Space 1999 #35: Catacombs of the Moon

A heat storm, a man with prophetic visions, and his wife who will die if she doesn't have an artificial heart implanted.
WHEN: The episode takes place 1196 days after Breakaway on Dec.22 2002. They should put up Christmas decorations, maybe the natives wouldn't get so restless. It first aired on Nov.25 1976.

REVIEW: It starts off well enough, with an engineer trying to find a rare metal under the Moon's surface as it's needed for his wife's artificial heart, but quickly devolves into a pointless runaround in underground tunnels. While Osgood's visions are nice and visual, the story really hinges on a satisfactory explanation or resolution to these sudden powers. Instead, Helena and Tony are rather glib about it in a coda that's more about his new batch of homemade beer (a subplot they should really put to rest now). Writer Anthony Terpiloff wrote another episode where someone shrilly asks everyone to have faith - Collision Course - but at least that one was about Koenig, a character we know and want to follow. Catacombs of the Moon needs us to care about Osgood and Michelle as if they were recurring characters - Tony is even strapped with a shared back story - but one goes mad and acts like a suicide bomber, and the other is in bed practically the whole time. Who cares?

What we should take on faith is that the literal heat wave encountered by the Moon is a sentient being beaming images into Osgood's head. If so, what did it want? Why did it help? Is it like the Space Brain, unable to stop itself from almost blowing up the base, and feeling guilty, finding a way to manipulate an Alphan into dangerous, but ultimately beneficial behavior? If so, it's very bad at it, as Osgood is only really concerned with saving his and his wife's lives, and going into the catacombs (I swear, they don't know what that word means, and I winced every time they used it) is scarcely a solution to the base blowing up from the heat. It somehow leaves the rare metal they need, again, how and why are not known. Maybe it just wants to see the Alphans get down to their bathing attire. This thing is just a huge McGuffin that shows up, does things, then leaves; an obstacle to the real plot, which is just about a husband going nuts while the doctors fail at making a heart for her.

The climax is a completely unnecessary chase into the tunnels, and a dreadfully boring one at that. Truth is, Osgood didn't need to go down there to survive the heat wave; it went away on its own and everyone's fine. And he didn't need to keep his wife out of medlab, because they get her back there as soon as possible and the new heart works. Well it doesn't, and then it does when she sees her husband. Love conquers all, or something. Such a mess.

HEY, ISN'T THAT...
James Laurenson is Osgood; he was Detective Inspector Bonaparte in Boney, and starred more recently in such things as State of Play and MI-5. Pamela Stephenson is Michelle; she was Lorelei in Superman III, and is a Saturday Night Live alumni (84-85 season).

REWATCHABILITY: Low -
Whatever the episode's intentions are, they're never made clear. A nonsense threat, characters acting crazy, and no real justification for any of it. And boring too.

0 comments:

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine