Alternately known as Saturn 1999, Space 2100, Space: 1999 Moonbase Alpha, and Space 1999: 1 in various overseas markets for its TV syndication and foreign theatrical distribution, Destination Moonbase Alpha is the Star Wars-inspired feature-film created from the 1976-1977 second season, two-part story arc of Space: 1999: “The Bringers of Wonder” (Ep. 18 and 19, but Ep. 42 and 43 overall).
Space: 1999, of course, was the last in a long line of science-fiction series produced by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, beginning in the early ‘60s with their marionette-led children’s programs, most notably, Thunderbirds, as well as their first live-action series, UFO—itself turned into a theatrical film: Invasion: UFO.
The production design and plotting of Space: 1999 owes it debt to UFO, as the tale of the Moon being blast out-of-orbit was originally planned for the second season of UFO, which was to be known as UFO: 1999. The improved look of Space: 1999 over UFO came courtesy of the program’s special effects supervisor, Brian Johnson, who worked on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and, eventually, Star Wars.
The second sequel, Alien Attack—also known as Space: 1999 Alien Attack, and Space: 1999 II—consisted of the first season’s episodes Ep. 1: “Breakaway” and Ep. 4: “War Games.” The next film, Journey through the Black Sun—alternately known as Black Sun: The Death Planet Intervenes and Space 1999 III, was cut from Ep.3: “Collision Course” and Ep. 10: “Black Sun.” The fourth and final film, Cosmic Princess, which concentrated on the second season’s introduction of its Mr. Spock-inspired character, the metamorph Maya (Catherine Schell), and the James T. Kirk-like Tony Verdeschi (Tony Anholt), was cut from “The Metamorph” (Ep. 1/25 overall) and “Space Warp” (Ep. 14/38 overall).
In 2012, the American arm of the British production company ITV announced a reboot of the series to be called Space: 2099. In August of last year, Brian Johnson announced the reboot was still on track.
For those of you who can’t wait for the reboot, you can watch an incredible, China-produced variation of the themes introduced in Space: 1999, with China’s third highest-grossing film of all time, the year’s eighth highest-grossing film worldwide, and the second highest-grossing non-English film to date: 2018’s The Wandering Earth.
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Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker is currently in theatres and was released theatrically on December 20 in the United States.