Monday, November 22, 2021

The Bloody Pit #141 - Space: 1999 with John Kenneth Muir

John Kenneth Muir has been writing about film and television for more than twenty-five years. His published works range in subject matter from the horror films of various decades and books focused on individual movie directors to in-depth tomes about several different science fiction television series. His first published book was about a much maligned Gerry Anderson produced science fiction show from the 1970’s called Space: 1999. The two seasons of that show have recently been released on Blu-Ray by Scream Factory, reigniting my interest in engaging with its highs and lows. Forgotten by most but beloved by many Space: 1999 has always been an odd series that is somewhat difficult for a broad audience to embrace, but its finer points are extraordinary, its special effects are superb and the production rarely lacked ambition. It is a television program ripe for rediscovery even in this age of endless streaming possibilities.

Mr. Muir and I discuss the show from the perspective of a novel he wrote several years ago called 'The Forsaken' that uses the first season episode ‘Space Brain’ as a starting point. Along the way we talk about our own history with Space: 1999 and how our opinions have changed over time. The stark differences between the first and second season are debated and we certainly engage in the age-old conversation about favorite and least favorite episodes. The scientific implausibilities inherent in the show’s set-up are hashed over with a number of details explained about how various writers acknowledged the biggest one within the body of their scripts. We discuss the philosophical approach taken by the show’s creators and how it differs from what people expected from sci-fi TV in the 70’s – and possibly today. We do get off track at one point and talk about a few horror movies, but we are soon back onto MoonBase Alpha – I promise!
If you have anything to say about Space: 1999 or any other subject we talk about in the show is the place to send your emails. We’ll be thrilled to hear from you. Thank you for listening to the podcast. 

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