Publicity Booklet for
"Menace in Space"
(a transitional phase between UFO's second season and Space:1999)
Introduction by Marc Martin
In early 1973, the American broadcast ratings of Gerry &Sylvia Anderson's "UFO" TV series were high enough that CBS was thinking about ordering a second season from ITC. As a result, Gerry Anderson and his team began pre-production on a sequel series which would've take place in the year 1999. The battle with the Aliens would have escalated, and SHADO HQ would have been moved to the moon in a much larger moonbase. Models, sets, and costumes were created, but then UFO's ratings began to fall, and Lew Grade canceled the project. However, Gerry pitched the idea to use this pre-production work for a brand new series, and SPACE:1999 was born.
Given the go-ahead for the new series, ITC created a publicity booklet to promote the new series. A lot of things changed between this booklet and the first broadcast of Space:1999, but it's still interesting to read, as it shows a step in the evolution from UFO's second season to Space:1999, and there are even a few leftover ideas from UFO in it!
Below is a transcription of this booklet. I only have photocopied pages from this booklet, and I am not 100% sure if I have all of the pages, or even if the pages are in the proper order! Please note that the original has double-spacing, but this transcription has single spacing. Also note that the pages are separated by horizontal lines.
MENACE IN SPACE (working title) 26 NEW HALF-HOUR SCIENCE-FICTION ADVENTURES IN OUTER SPACE Possible Titles "The Intruders" "Space Intruders" "Journey Into Space" "Space Journey" "Outer Space" "Space Probe"
INDEPENDENT TELEVISION CORPORATION 555 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10022, (212) 755-2100
WHY SCI-FI? Never has the interest in science-fiction enter- tainment been higher. Books, movies and television programs about space adventure are experiencing marvelous popularity across a wide range of demo- graphics. This milieu, combined with feedback from the 136 stations which programmed our UFO series last season, has encouraged ITC to produce a brand new series of science fiction stories.
WHY ITC? Because we've been doing it successfully for a dozen years. Our new science fiction series will be delivered to a ready-made science-fiction audience by the same team which helped get that audience ready. For the past 12 years, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson have special- ized in producing science-fiction movies (UA, Universal) and television series (ITC) -- working with a virtual repertory company of special-effects technicians, designers, architects and engineers to achieve some of the most spectacular effects on the screen. Together with Reg Hill, who collaborated with them on UFO, the Andersons have developed this new series of outer-space adventures. It will again be produced by ITC, with most of the same talents who have been working closely together for 12 years!
THE CONCEPT: FAR OUT ACTION ITC's "everybody-in-the-pool" theory is that the best way to combine story continuity and action is to keep everybody in an action environment - UFO was earthbound and required a full hour for development and narrative form. Our new series is conceived as a half-hour action format and to keep it moving, all the action is far out in space. Set near the turn of the next century, in 1999, every exciting story depicts an adventure of the colony of earthmen who must wander through the universe on a small world which once was earth's moon. All the "business" is either on this world-ship, on other worlds and their ships -- and in the space/time continuum which varies according to the moods of the art director! In the limbo of outer space, limits are set only by the imaginations of the writers, art directors, set designers and other creative people involved in the production. New hardware and special effects are being created for the new series. Everything about it will literally be new: stories, costumes, props, special effects, writers and cast.
THE FORMAT Earth is destroyed and the Moon, released from its orbit, wanders in space. On it are 300 men and women from all the nations of Earth, originally based there to man an early-warning system and to repel invaders. Now they are Earth's sole survivors, on a quest for a new planet compatible with their needs. Ironically, they are considered the invaders, by inhabitants of other planets. Their conflict is with the life forms encountered on other worlds, with the elements of outer-space -- and with the problems of sustaining life on their new world as it wanders on its unexpected odyssey across the universe.
SETS AND HARDWARE All sets, of course, are futuristic. Since WANDER was originally a base on Earth's moon, a system of geodesic and other domes has been constructed, both for the main- tenance of atmosphere and for protection from the elements. Additional exteriors include domestic and industrial structures, armament and observation equipment. Interiors are highly sophisticated and complex representations of space technology. HEADQUARTERS: The moon is 2,160 miles in diameter. Control of it as it speeds through space is maintained within a compound about twenty miles square and protected by an elaborate security ring of fences, photo electric fields and domes. Only top security personnel are permitted within these boundaries, and fewer still within the Commander's Control Sector. Inside the general compound there is a stratofield, with hangars for various lunar craft. There is also a circular metal disc about 30 yards in diameter. This disc is actually an armour-proof cover which opens in sections, like the petals of a metal flower, to give access to a cylindrical tube leading down to the heart of the H.Q. complex. The only vehicle to land in this cylinder are the fully computer- controlled vertical take-off HOVERHOPPERS, used for local transport of WANDER personnel. At its base, the cylindrical access tube become hexagonal and each of the armored walls protects access to one of the six corridors which lead out like an asterisk from the hexagonal heart. (more)
As the HOVERHOPPER lands it lines up automatically in front of the corridor pre-selected by its passengers. A tele- scopic metal tube then moves out through the armored wall to the craft, In the door of the tube is a numerical key- board on which the passengers pick out the appropriate code of the day. If they are code-correct,. the door opens and admits them to the corridor they have selected. The master corridor of the six gives access to the Commander's office and the control room. COMMANDER'S OFFICE Access from the corridor is by further key-code and voice- print identification. The office/control room complex is wedge shaped, the apex of the wedge being the access door from the corridor. On the Commander's desk is a visual display unit on which he can monitor any of the information sources which feed constantly into the control room. He can also communicate direct by videophone with any area of WANDER. For general information he relies on a multitude of computer sources throughout the complex; but he also has in his office a personal Commander's Computer called COMCOM.
COMMANDER'S COMPUTER (COM COM) This has been programmed with all possible or imaginable permutations of factors that could affect the Commander's decision-making. In purely technical matters he can 'consult' this computer and get a logical answer which will often form the basis of a decision. It is a machine which he has lived with and with which he has fed facts and information; it is a tool which he has himself brilliantly equipped with the data necessary to do his own job effi- ciently and quickly. With all of WANDER's problems the buck stops with the Commander and he uses the computer to help him decide. However, there are many WANDER problems whose solution cannot be based on the assessment of technical information. Whenever he puts in a problem with human or moral elements, the computer's reply is: "Impossible to answer: your decision." And now the Commander is entirely on his own.
EARLY-WARNING SYSTEMS To give early warning of the approach of U.F.O.s in space WANDER has set up a manned base on the Moon to monitor all approaches. They are the back-up systems to S.I.D. "FIRST BASE" Nickname for the first section of Emergency Base to go into action. It is a complex consisting of control room, living-quarters, leisure sphere and sick-bay. It is manned by Control personnel and a team of pilots who fly the Interceptors. There are launch bays for these craft, and a landing area for lunarcraft. The complex is protected by moon-to-space guided missiles and by the Interceptors. INTERCEPTORS To take advantage of the early warnings of approaching U.F.O.s, WANDER supports a fleet of single-seater, high- speed craft designed to be able to intercept and destroy U.F.O.s in space before they enter WANDER's gravity field. They are equipped with space-to-space rocket missiles and are controlled by a pilot who is directed from Control. MOONMOBILE Designed for travel over the surface of the Moon, this 'buggy' is used to investigate U.F.O crashes or meteorite strikes.
LUNARMOBILES To combat U.F.O.s that have actually landed on the moon, WANDER has a fleet of tracked armored vehicles manned by a crew of two and firing ground-to-ground missiles. MOONSHIP This is the basic rocket vehicle which carries personnel and equipment on short reconnaisance flights. HOVERHOPPERS For short-haul personnel transport to and from the H.Q. there is a fleet of these fully automatic, computer- controlled, vertical take-off craft. They carry up to four passengers whom they fly into and out of the H.Q. Cylinder, responding to the destination requests which they key into its computer. TRAVEL TUBE For movement of personnel between H.Q. and the various vehicles on the stratofield there is a fully-automated, underground travel tube. At H.Q. a passenger gains access to a travel capsule by punching up the correct key-code. Inside the capsule he selects his destination by punching up another numerical code on the capsule key. The capsule is then whistled along the underground tube in a cushion of air.
DR. JANET BOWMAN Senior member of the Space Therapy Division of WANDER, although under 30, Janet Bowman is responsible for phys- ical fitness of the entire population of her world. She is a splendid example of her work, and as competent as she is good looking. Since the preservation of life is a top priority, Dr. Bowman is a member of The Commander's Council, a cabinet-like group of top advisors with whom he is continually meeting.
ACTION..AND VIOLENCE The problems of personal violence are avoided by placing the concept outside the understanding of the 300 WANDER residents...who understandably hold all life sacred. Realizing that what they have is all they get, hurting each other is unthinkable in their society -- and not a bad idea for ours. Action, on the other hand, is the major ingredient of the series -- and it is not confined to space-ship interiors. Neither are the plots confined to a rigid format. The open-end structure of this outer space series is as limitless as the structure of space itself. #