SPACE: 1999

Chase - Posted on 22 January 2010

Good God, this show was so far ahead of its time it should be called SPACE: 5999. The episode I just watched was a first seasoner called VOYAGER'S RETURN. Not a typical first season episode it is a fairly  straight forward story, and I can't really call it an adventure becaues there's not much action in it. Yet, like its straight forwardness, it defies all illogical and logical criticisms of the first season in that it doesn't have a mysterious unknown force (well not in the normal sense if that can be applied to the MUF at all) AND there are reams of character development whereas one criticism of the show in its first year was that it didn't have any. Bull. Mostly among the guest stars facing the newest threat against Alpha this time: Voyager One, an Earth emissary probe ship, sent out in peace, returns to the area of Alpha. The Queller Drive destroys an Eagle and causes another, with Alan Carter on board, to nearly crash. The ship was sent out to find new worlds and make peace with alien life forms but the drive malfunctioned and caused the death ...we later find out...of the populations of two planets in the Sidonian area of space...the outer area. These aliens are following the Voyager and will enact an irreversible judgement upon the planet of origin: Earth and the Moonbase and Moon itself. Before the aliens arrive in three insect like ships...Ernst Lindstrom, really Ernest Queller reveals himself to Commander Koenig...he is the man who devised the Queller Drive. Some 20 years ago, the drive (of Voyager Two) killed 200 people, an entire community including Paul's father and both parents of Jim Haines, the young (and great looking) man who works with Queller...but he doesn't know it is the same man as Queller changed his name after the accident.  The Sidonian emissary, the Archon or just Archon, appears to bring his judgement on the Alphans...and seems to be some version of God but only in vision, his coldness and his alien judgement is more like the devil than God. He claims, when it appears Koenig has withdrawn an attack by the Eagles, that the death of the Alphans will be more merciful...but John has only done this because Ernest, trying again to right a wrong, has piloted the recovered Voyager One toward the alien ships to try to get them to punish only him. When they don't, he turns the drive on the aliens and uses the self destruct. If this sounds familiar it is because three years later, STAR TREK, the movie ripped this story off for the first movie. True, something like this was done o the original STAR TREK in THE CHANGLING, a terrible episode of the original TREK series. While VOYAGER'S RETURN can never be said to be fast paced or action filled, it is an interesting study of one man righting his mistake and for once, he's not a madman. The anger of both Paul and Jim is felt and is very very human. The aliens here, while human shaped, are very strange, as are most aliens in this show's two seasons. The entire thing is dipped in maturity and thoughtfulness. theory of mine is that the mysterious almost God like unknown force that seems to guide the Moon and the Alphans throughout season one (and even in season two if you look really hard) is here, watching. There are some very strange camera angles in this story. One has Victor and Ernst a room beyond the one we are in and we see them through a slanted door as if some thing is watching them from beyond, something invisible. Now, the production team on this show as not stupid...they had to know this was a strange way to film a chat between two men. Another shot of Ernst in his lab is through a huge cystal ball! WTF? Other shots seem to be tracking shots as if again something is watching the characters. All in all this is a misunderstood and great series and this episode in particular is adult, touching, and different.         

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