Back in the late seventies there was a cracking sci fi television series called Space:1999. Those of you who are – like me – of a certain age, will hold this series in high esteem.
It was one of Gerry Anderson’s later creations and at the time it seemed as cutting edge as anything out there. It was part of the late seventies sci fi explosion that was born out of Star Wars in 1977 and as a teenager growing up in Leeds it joined the pantheon of an obsessive sci fi geek along ranging from Planet of the Apes to John Carter of Mars.
Speaking as a connoisseur of space craft both fictional and factual, one of the finest creations has definitely got to be the Eagle Transporter. Employed as the workhorses of a space station built on the moon, the Eagle contains a number of geeky sc fi reference points in terms of its design. And was one of the first believeable space crafts that actually looked like it was not too far away from being real.
The space craft design still stands the test of time too and every time I see it, I still get a ludicrous thrill.
It’s practical, tubular body and ungainly engine pods aren’t a patch on the sleek star cruisers of George Lucas’ Star Wars. But its design looks pragmatic and matter of fact, like it should be to service a working outpost. Not fancy or futuristic, just right.
The cabin is the only concession to cool and it’s the kind of space ship that you’d kill just to sit in the cockpit (or is that just me). The thrusters looked like a tamer version of the muscular Apollo engines and added to the whole picture.
Space:1999 has probably dated really badly (I’ve not seen it for many years) but at the time it caught the mood and delivered a high quality sci fi series. I notice with some pleasure that they’re planning a release on DVD this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t some kind of remake on the cards too, along with a ‘re-imagining’ of the Eagle…