Disk 1: vol 3 : COLLISION COURSE : DEATH’S OTHER DOMINIION : THE FULL CIRCLE
Disk 2: vol 3 : END OF ETERNITY : WAR GAMES : THE LAST ENEMY
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Disk 1: vol 4
: THE TROUBLED SPIRIT
: SPACE BRAIN
: THE INFERNAL MACHINE
Disk 2: vol 4
: MISSION OF THE DARIANS
: DRAGON’S DOMAIN
: TESTAMENT OF ARKADI
This DVD completes the 24 episodes which made up the first season of “Space 1999″, the much-underrated sci-fi classic which was produced in England and which aired on American television in the mid-seventies. If you’re already a fan of “Space 1999″ you don’t need to be “sold” on this show, but if you’re a sci-fi fan who’s never seen this series, but who has grown tired of the bland fare that’s being offered on most sci-fi shows these days, then you’ll find “Space 1999″ to be a delightfully different and creative show. This DVD set contains three rather mediocre episodes, two superior episodes, and one episode which ranks as one of the best (and most memorable) episodes shown on any sci-fi series. The two superior episodes are “The Troubled Spirit”, a truly frightening story in which one of Moonbase Alpha’s scientists conducts an experiment that goes horribly wrong. In effect, the scientist creates a ghastly-looking “ghost” of himself which goes around murdering other crewmen. Eventually the scientist must track down his own “ghost” and destroy it. Like many of “Space 1999′s” episodes, “The Troubled Spirit” draws as much from the horror genre as sci-fi, and the episode uses vivid lighting and colors to create a creepy, moody feel that’s not unlike the “X-Files”. In the “Infernal Machine” a huge spaceship lands near Moonbase Alpha. When Commander Koenig and Dr. Helena Russell go out to investigate, they find that the ship is actually a powerful, psychotic computer which is desperate for human companionship – and is willing to destroy Moonbase Alpha unless it’s demands are met. The interior set of the spaceship is impressively done (as is typical on “Space 1999″ – a fortune was spent on large, elaborate sets), and the computer is both sinister and sympathetic at the same time – not unlike the “HAL 9000″ computer on “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The best episode, however, is “Dragon’s Domain”, and for many people my age it caused some serious nightmares when we saw this episode as kids. One of Commander Koenig’s best friends – a former astronaut on deep-space missions – is behaving strangely. He keeps having nightmares of a disastrous deep-space mission he led years earlier. He was the mission’s only survivor, and no one except Koenig believed his story of what happened. To wit: he claimed that his ship found a “space graveyard” of seemingly empty alien spaceships. When he docked with one of these ships and boarded it, his entire crew was eaten alive by a horrific space monster which was immune to fire from his laser pistol. He barely escaped with his life. Now he’s convinced that Moonbase Alpha is coming close to the graveyard of dead alien ships, and when the “graveyard” does in fact appear, he steals an Eagle spacecraft and returns to his ship, determined to kill the “monster” which has been giving him nightmares since his crew was lost. The actor who portrays the stricken astronaut does a superb job, and although the monster costume may look fake today, it was enough to scare the wits out of many younger sci-fi fans and make this episode one of the most memorable in sci-fi history. All in all, this fourth DVD set is not the best (I believe the first and third DVD sets contain more “superior” episodes), but for any fan of classic sci-fi this is still one DVD set that you don’t need to be without. As with the other “Space 1999″ DVD sets, these episodes (and especially “Dragon’s Domain”) will bring back many fond childhood memories of a series that remains unique – a cross between Star Trek, The X-Files, and The Twilight Zone.