Space 1999 #47: The Immunity Syndrome

Alphans explore a habitable planet that suddenly turns toxic.
WHEN: The episode takes place 2310 days after Breakaway on Jan.9 2006, making a busy week for Alpha, since The Lambda Factor started just 2 days ago (and probably lasted into this episode), and Devil's Planet 2 days before that! It first aired on Oct.29 1977.

OH THE NOSTALGIA! The show has used those light panels with splatters of paint so often, it's no wonder this is one of the things I still remember from watching it the first time around.

REVIEW: They stole the title from a Star Trek episode (so where's the giant protozoa, man?), but regardless, it's one that would have fit better on Devil's Planet, and Devil's Planet on this. That episode was apparently 4 days ago, Alpha time, and also features a green planet onto which an Eagle crashes much in the same way. Might've spread those babies apart a little more (granted, they aired almost 2 months apart). Aside from the title, this is a perfectly fair planetary exploration episode, with the hope of a new home dangled in the Alphans' faces before things turn sour. Very sour, in fact. At about the same time, people start going mad, food and water turn poisonous, and metal corrodes destroying Alpha's technology.

The action-adventure elements are fairly strong. A man hunt for a violent Tony, for example, and of course, an Eagle's explosive crash. Helena and Maya, left on Alpha, figure out a way to use a non-metallic orbital glider to reach the planet and help their men. It's a cool sequence, with exploding windows and a rock and roll landing. The guys find a way to gain access to an overgrown structure and discover the records they'll need to figure things out before the atmosphere becomes entirely toxic. Those records are narrated by an alien with a very bad wig (it looks better on the skeleton, I guess). And in the end, it becomes a first contact story. Koenig must find a way to communicate with the entity that's inadvertently causing all of this. There's a silly silver suit and a pair of ski goggles involved, but that's not as important as showing trust once the talking begins. "I am I" is an interesting alien for not realizing it isn't the only life in the universe, but there's no real justification of why or how it's affecting everyone and everything this way. And before there's any hope of understanding its nature, we're off. The Moon's already moving away. Gotta go. See ya never.

Which makes me think Alpha should have some kind of stand-by protocol when in range of a potentially habitable planet. Even when things start to go wrong, you don't know that they won't be fine again before you're out of range. For the span of 4 days, they missed out on 2 or 3 golden opportunity - this unnamed planet (which we could call Eden based on the script's original title, The Face of Eden) and either Ellna or its habitable moon Entra - all because it took too long to resolve matters. No wonder Alpha is now spawning discipline problems and mutinies.

HEY, ISN'T THAT... Karl Held is Jerry Travis; he was Lindstrom in Star Trek's The Return of the Archons. Nadim Sawalha is Zoran; he appeared in a couple James Bond pictures, The Spy Who Loved Me and The Living Daylights.

- An okay action adventure with a Star Trek feel and some rare, cool action for Helena and Maya, but just okay. Its alien's existence isn't justified or explained, so it lacks follow-through.


Jeremy Patrick said...

So is it fair to say the writers just picked the "number of days since leaving earth" fairly randomly each episode, with no idea somebody thirty years later would try to make sense of them?

Siskoid said...

Completely fair. For a while it was +101 days, then suddenly +2 days. Season 2 has plenty of action that should be taking place in Season 1 according to those logs.

Maybe Helena was trolling future generations to spite Koenig for making her the only one who had to record logs.


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 Class 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 FW Team-Up 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 Shut Up Star Boy 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 Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville 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 Zero Hour Strikes Zine