Space 1999 #40: Space Warp

Alpha goes through a warp, but Koenig and Tony are left on the other side. They strive to follow while the Moonbase is under attack from a feverish Maya.
WHEN: The episode takes place 1807 days after Breakaway on Aug.24 2004. It first aired on Dec.2 1976.

OH THE NOSTALGIA! Now I'm sure the last time I saw the series in any form was the Cosmic Princess combo movie, because I remember the warp and monster sequences being part of Maya's introduction. Cosmic Princess edits The Metamorph and this episode together into one continuous story. I think it left me with the impression at the time that the Moon was consistently warping to new places, as opposed to flying on simple momentum. Still not too far from the truth.

REVIEW: Space Warp has a few problems, notably Helena's opening narration that tries to link the discovery of a derelict ship with Maya's fever - bad medicine and a red herring - an alien ship with Arabic numbers on all its files, and the ultimately silly visual of monster-Maya frolicking on the lunar surface. Otherwise, it's a rare instance of Season 2 doing some good old-fashioned Season 1 astronaut procedural. At its core, Space 1999 is a big disaster movie, or at least, the pilot was. Space Warp is all disaster, all the time, and showing how Alpha would actually deal with such things. I'm all for it! The number of times Alpha has gone down some kind of wormhole, it was bound to happen eventually that an Eagle would be stuck on the other side. Seeing how both sides of the warp face their challenges keeps the episode momentum going.

Now granted, the Maya plot feels a bit grafted on, something to keep Alpha personnel busy while they wait for Koenig's Eagle to return. Visually, there is a link between the warp and the way we consistently zoom into Maya's eye, but there's no real connection. The plot is nevertheless successful because it creates disaster-type problems for the Moonbase, including a terrific accident sequence in the Eagles hangar and a firestorm that was surely handled by venting the air out into space (I'm guessing). There's also the matter of having to operate on one of Maya's monstrous forms, and not having the anatomical knowledge for it. And a fight sequence on the Moon in which Alan rips his backpack and loses air, which is handled realistically, the way they might have if this were a real lunar situation. (Of course, Alan gets his visor knocked open during the fight, so he really should have died earlier, but don't mind the bloopers.) We never find out what Maya's illness was all about, or why she became feverishly obsessed with returning to Psychon - it feels like the derelict ship should have had a Psychon origin all along - but there needn't be a reason. Psychons can contract diseases, infections and syndromes we know nothing about, perhaps even due to overuse of their shapeshifting powers. If there's a weakness to this part of the story, it's really Alan's presence. He should be piloting the mission with Koenig instead of playing Tony's role at mission control - and playing it badly, might I add, putting a kill order on Maya because, let's face it, he's not coordinating information between departments correctly - and even spending time in surgery like he's a doctor. What the hell, Alan? Jockeying for a lateral promotion?

Five light-years away, Koenig and Tony, in dire need of fuel find what they need on the derelict. Not more fuel, but information about the warp and how to find it again. The fate of the alien ship is tragic, with the entire crew committing ritual suicide by airlock rather than die a slow death aboard a dead vessel. At least they left the maths behind for anyone else who might need them. So while there aren't any fights with monsters (and we have to include not-Brian Blessed in that description), it's still a fair procedural where stranded pilots must find a way to conserve what they have so they can make it home.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - A return to what the series should really have been about, exciting and relatively well thought-out.


Anonymous said...

Methinks it's time for another link to "Space: 1899":


Blog Archive


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