1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Where Are All The Children?,
This review is from: Space - 1999: Series 2 (Box Set) [DVD]  (DVD)And so, as we are informed by Dr Helena Russell in the opening introduction to almost every episode (emulating a certain Captain Kirk from a different time and production company), with this series we move into "year two" of Moonbase Alpha's sojourn through the galaxy.
Changes in personnel, both on and off screen, have taken place. Bye bye Bergman, Morrow, Kano; hello Vedeschi and the alien Maya, the latter becoming the equivalent of Spock with her additional powers. Indeed, `Star Trek' producer Fred Freiburger is brought in to make it more popular by making the shows less clinical and scientific and more warm and human, exemplified, for instance, by a new soundtrack by jazz composer Barry Wadsworth. Another example of the Star Trek emulation is Helena Russell more than once telling Koenig, "I'm a doctor, John, not a miracle worker." Oh, and there are more monsters too!
Any series that foregoes scientific rigour in such an outrageous fashion - the Moon, for instance, seems to cross the vastness of interstellar space with frightening speed - immediately undermines its credibility, but now we have the added `problem' of a metamorph amidst the crew in the shape of Maya. But despite the show being grounded on a false scientific premise, the writers try their best. Indeed, some of the scripts are well-written, if a little formulaic.
There are, though, some cringing moments, such as when the Eagle takes off, Koenig tells us "It's taking off". Or how about the massive tension when Koenig shouts to his companions, "Helena's in there with that rock!"? But questions that sprang to mind as I watched this second series and which went unanswered were many, including: Does the leadership never sleep? and Where are all the children? In episode seven we at least learn something about Koenig's backstory, including the wife who died in the global war of 1987.
The arrangement and organisation of the boxed set is pretty good, with each disc being accompanied by concise information about details of the production. However, the on-screen extras do not amount to a great deal. These comprise mostly behind-the-scenes stills etc, but there are also details about the novelisation of some of the episodes (I had two of the books), and the trailer for the feature film cobbled together from a couple of episodes. However, there are short five-minute interviews, filmed at the time of production, with Gerry Anderson, Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Catherine Schell, Keith Wilson (Production Designer), and Fred Freiburger (Producer).
I don't want to appear too negative. The modelling for instance is still often first class, and Martin Landau is still often credible in his role as commander. Clearly an immense amount of effort went into trying to make the series a success. It was primarily with a sense of childhood nostalgia that this boxed set was purchased. (I was eleven when this second series was first aired.) But now that I've (supposedly) grown up, watching each episode of this series often left me more frustrated by the errors than entertained by the story.