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Old 12th June 2018, 02:49 PM
Commander Desica Commander Desica is offline
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Default UFO and Space: 1999

As we approach SHADOCON2 (30th June) and with the welcome news that Suzanne Neve will be making her convention debut, for some reason I got thinking as to how much more 'pleasing' (for want of a better word) Space: 1999 might have been with Ed Bishop and Suzanne Neve as Koenig and Helena respectively. Admittedly, a more obvious UFO-influenced pairing would have been Bishop and Wanda Ventham, but Suzanne Neve's performance and chemistry with Ed Bishop is so remarkable and natural, that I can't help feeling that the characters of Keonig and Dr. Russell might have benefited from being brought to life by these two rather than Landau and Bain. Although, in the interests of fairness, I must point out that I am a fan of Space: 1999 (year one, anyway!) and have nothing particular against either of them.

My musings also led me to ponder on the subject of UFO and its close call with a second (CBS-purchased) series. There's no doubt that the US Networks then, as now, had huge influence and clout and although the New York office of ITC was usually behind the oft-mentioned 'interference', I could visualise a scenario where the head of CBS was chatting away to Abe Mandell and said something like "This UFO series is great, but I think it could be even more popular with some better known US actors playing the leads." Thus, it's not impossible that UFO may have returned in 1973 with Martin Landau as 'Straker' and Barbara Bain as 'Virginia Lake'. Or maybe Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James. Or maybe even James Franciscus or Lloyd Bridges and Angie Dickinson or Elizabeth Montgomery? I suppose the possible list is endless.

Similarly, I am intrigued to know exactly why Space: 1999 was cancelled in its second year which, to all intents and purposes, was much more 'Americanised' than the first. It has been speculated that this was because the networks, unhappy at the affiliated PBS stations almost creating their own 'Space: 1999 Network' by all showing series 1 at the same time, at the expense of some expensive home-grown product, forced them to move series 2 to less popular, non-primetime slot. This is possible, but ignores the fact that people would have watched the programme in fairly high numbers if they'd have wanted to, no matter where and when it was broadcast. So, again, this raises the spectre of US 'interference' and the fact that, under Fred Freiberger's leadership, series 2 simply wasn't much good.

What all this amounts to is simply guesswork and speculation on my part and I don't pretend to be anything other than (possibly) wide of the mark.

Ultimately, I think it's a shame that, certainly as far as Lew Grade's ITC shows were concerned, the UK was so dependent upon US money that they were allowed an undue degree of influence and power. Without a doubt I think that Space: 1999 would have been a lot better without it. As too, might a second series of UFO... had it gone ahead.
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Last edited by Commander Desica; 12th June 2018 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 12th June 2018, 03:27 PM
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Old 12th June 2018, 10:10 PM
theinspector theinspector is offline
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I thought it was a fairly common theory that Year 3 of 1999 didn't go ahead because ITC couldn't afford it having spent mountains of cash making big budget movies for the cinema.
When all said and done ITC was just an ATV subsidiary supposed to be mainly distributing tv series around the world rather than a company spending millions making films. I assumed the lack of a network sale for 1999 meant that gaining income via syndication was too slow to fund a third season when the coffers were empty from Lews attempts to break into Hollywood, a decision which ultimately cost him and ATV their ITV franchise.
Season 2 only went ahead with a much lower budget than season 1 and I doubt that matters were helped by the lack of support for the show from ITV themselves with 2 regions not bothering with Year 2 and the rest dumping it in the schedules in filler slots from saturday mornings in London to post News At Ten in Yorkshire

Last edited by theinspector; 12th June 2018 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 13th June 2018, 04:06 PM
Commander Desica Commander Desica is offline
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I am sure that, early 1977, YTV were showing Space: 1999 Year 2 in the mornings - I think on a Saturday. I do remember the early 1980s repeats, 1981 I think, when they showed them late at night.
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Old 13th June 2018, 10:53 PM
theinspector theinspector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander Desica View Post
I am sure that, early 1977, YTV were showing Space: 1999 Year 2 in the mornings - I think on a Saturday. I do remember the early 1980s repeats, 1981 I think, when they showed them late at night.
According to TV Times the YTV saturday morning broadcasts in summer 1977 were Year One repeats.
But by the end of the Year they were showing Year 2 around 11pm Thursday nights although i doubt it was all 24 but it seemed to appear on November 24th with The Mark of Archanon billed for December 1st but either way a perfect example of being used as filler.
For the first few months of 1977 Anglia reran Year One on saturday mornings but YTV were airing movies from January until at least June.

Year One moved to saturday mornings on YTV July 9th 1977 with Mission of the Darians, exactly one week after Year 2 premiered on Anglia at 5.45.

Last edited by theinspector; 13th June 2018 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 14th June 2018, 08:37 AM
Commander Desica Commander Desica is offline
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I clearly remember my first taste of Space: 1999 Year 2. It was the episode 'The Exiles' and, as far as my memory serves me, it was early 1977 and I'm sure it was a Saturday morning. Either that or an afternoon. I remember it so vividly because a) I recorded it on a reel to reel tape recorder with the mic near the telly's speaker and b) I was genuinely shocked (from the start!) at just how much the series had changed since the end of Year 1.

That's as far as I remember it. This was definitely on YTV.

I still have the reel to reel tape somewhere, together with others from the early 1970s with various episodes of UFO. Those were the days!
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Old 14th June 2018, 11:07 AM
theinspector theinspector is offline
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Knowing the way ITV in general , including YTV moved things around it might have been a random screening on a saturday. The fact that Mark of Archanon was December would indicate the earlier ones were shown earlier in the year but seems unlikely they would air Year 2 early 1977, then do Year One repeats then go back to Year 2. I've checked the TV Times for the first 6 months of 1977 and YTV are airing movies on saturday mornings so it may have been screened on another day
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Old 14th June 2018, 03:58 PM
Commander Desica Commander Desica is offline
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I certainly remember it as being a Saturday morning in early 1977 but, in all honesty, 41 years later, I could be wrong. It could have been a Sunday afternoon in late 1977! Pretty sure it was '77 though, can't say why exactly, that's just the impression that has stayed with me all these years. From mid '77 onwards my time was split between the YTV and ATV regions for several years. However, I am 100% certain it was on Yorkshire TV that I first saw Year 2 of 1999. I clearly remember standing there in my room, looking down at the black and white portable telly, watching and listening to the episode as it began and thinking "What the hell is this?!!!" I suspect I was not the only one! Watching it downstairs, on the big colour telly, was certainly an 'experience'. If I ever find and manage to play the reel to reel tape upon which I am sure I recorded it, maybe it will offer some other clues as to when it was shown. Otherwise, I shall just have to stick to what my memory tells me; that it was sometime in 1977 and probably in the morning. I too have a load of TVTimes magazines from the 1970s, but they are from all different regions and so the chances of them being much use in this case is remote.
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Old 14th June 2018, 08:35 PM
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saturnapollo saturnapollo is offline
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It was certainly on a Saturday morning on STV. Couldn't telll you the year. I remember there had been no pre publicity and I only noticed it was on at episode 2. Took me years to catch The Metamorph.

Keith
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Old 14th June 2018, 08:55 PM
theinspector theinspector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander Desica View Post
I certainly remember it as being a Saturday morning in early 1977 but, in all honesty, 41 years later, I could be wrong. It could have been a Sunday afternoon in late 1977! Pretty sure it was '77 though, can't say why exactly, that's just the impression that has stayed with me all these years. From mid '77 onwards my time was split between the YTV and ATV regions for several years. However, I am 100% certain it was on Yorkshire TV that I first saw Year 2 of 1999. I clearly remember standing there in my room, looking down at the black and white portable telly, watching and listening to the episode as it began and thinking "What the hell is this?!!!" I suspect I was not the only one! Watching it downstairs, on the big colour telly, was certainly an 'experience'. If I ever find and manage to play the reel to reel tape upon which I am sure I recorded it, maybe it will offer some other clues as to when it was shown. Otherwise, I shall just have to stick to what my memory tells me; that it was sometime in 1977 and probably in the morning. I too have a load of TVTimes magazines from the 1970s, but they are from all different regions and so the chances of them being much use in this case is remote.
The TV Times I have access to cover all of 1977 with YTV covered by the listings or the variations for all but a few weeks.
Saturday mornings for the first 6 months was 60 minutes of Batman followed by a movie. I stretched the search a bit and at random saw YTV showing The Black Sun from Year One at 1pm on Easter Sunday. But in typical random ITV practice the show was not on YTV either the sunday before or the sunday after.

ATV were also airing Year 2 in various slots during the same period although saturday mornings doesn't seem to be one of them.
But it is possible that a random repeat could have been shown anywhere.
By the end of 1978 ATV had finished with Year Two with the last episode aired being The Immunity Syndrome as an unscheduled replacement on Xmas Day at 2pm when 3-2-1 was cancelled by a YTV strike that saw the region off air for the whole Xmas period.
As far as I can tell Space 1999 never returned to the Midlands ITV ever again as I never spotted it on ATV during the post Xmas 1978 period and the 80's repeats never made it to the Midlands or Anglia

Last edited by theinspector; 14th June 2018 at 09:02 PM.
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