Space 1999 #29: All That Glisters

A glowing boulder holds an Eagle crew hostage.
WHEN: The episode takes place 565 days after Breakaway on Mar.31 2001. It first aired on Oct.28 1976 (out of order in spite of dates stated on screen).

REVIEW: Is it me or are the topmost synopses sounding more and more like I'm making fun of the episodes? Well, it's no exaggeration. That is exactly what happens in All That Glisters. A story so bad, Tony is lucky to be sleeping or a zombie through most of it. The villain is a rock that glows different colors (not the death color, no!!!!) like it escaped from Geoff Johns' Green Lantern comics. The guest star is an Irish Cowboy, making him twice the overbearing stereotypes for the price of one. And unlike other episodes this season, which at least try to give us a little on-station character development, hobbies, etc., we're left with the boorish Reilly sexually harassing Maya while Tony, her nominal boyfriend, taps his foot. Great.

So yeah, an inert rock is the bad guy. Even after it zaps Tony - who, like Koenig, really shouldn't even be on a prospecting mission - the Alphans are just happy to stand around next to the glowing mound of rocks. The different colored light beams it uses aren't really that different from one another, being four kinds of painful paralysis with different extras on the side, including one that flies the Eagle remotely. Still, the episode reaches a kind of kitsch grandeur when Maya, shapeshifted into a rock but also represented by her humanoid form inside a rocky bubble, is almost fused to the main rock. I guess that's what "organic" minerals call it these days. No, really. Koenig set her up to be sex bait.

I will give the Alphans (if not the production team) props for making it rain in the end - oh didn't I say? the rocks crave water! - saving a species that was very nearly lethal to them. That's sweet. But in no way excuses the script, which includes lines stolen from Star Trek like "I'm a doctor, not a miracle worker!" (lawsuit pending). I think the actors just gave up. How else do we explain why Maya is so worried about John, when she really means Tony? Oops! Everybody's asleep at the switch in this. Those rocks have far-reaching powers.

REWATCHABILITY: Low - In fact, a whole NEW low in stiff, paper maché guest villains.


Anonymous said...

Easily the greatest science fiction script ever!!! Of this there can be no doubt.


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