Message from Moonbase Alpha

Tagged: Film

Film (1999). Kindred Productions. Produced by Tim Makett. Written by Johnny Byrne. Cast includes Zenia Merton. 7 minutes. Colour.

A short fan-produced coda to the cancelled Television series Space: 1999 (1975-1977), set in the year 2024. Surviving members of Moonbase Alpha are evacuating to a habitable planet they have named Terra Alpha, as the base's life support systems have degraded to the point where they can no longer be repaired. Communications officer Sandra Bernes (Merton) broadcasts a message relating their fate, in hope that it will reach Earth. She mentions some of the base members who died over the years since the Moon was torn away from Earth in the pilot episode of the television series. Though she does not give the exact total of survivors from the original 311, Merton indicates that both Commander Koenig and the Shapeshifting alien woman Maya are included but have already departed for the new home planet. As her message concludes, it is revealed that this broadcast is the mysterious Communication received from deep space in the pilot episode of the series, "Breakaway" (4 September 1975).

This unofficial finale was first shown at a Space: 1999 Convention on 13 September 1999, being the date in the series when the Moon left Earth orbit. Despite being a fan production, Message from Moonbase Alpha features an impressive recreation of a portion of the Main Mission Control centre; much stock footage also appears. It has been included in various versions in several home video releases of the series in the US, Canada, France and elsewhere. Reportedly, screenwriter Byrne and series story consultant Christopher Penfold hoped at the time to interest a studio in reviving the programme as a series of feature films, as with the Star Trek franchise. Nothing came of their efforts. [GFi]

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