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249 – Space: 1999 – Ring Around the Moon

In this episode the moon has a ring…  not really.

Ben and Eugene discuss the Space: 1999 episode, Ring Around the Moon.

5 thoughts on “249 – Space: 1999 – Ring Around the Moon”

  1. The reason why Sandra didn’t immediately alert Security when Ted flipped out was that she wanted to see Koenig take a beating. I’d be doing the same.

    I keep waiting for Helena to stop her freaky-typing and say “What am I doing? These keys don’t have any labels! They’re just blank! How do I know what I’m typing?!?”

    Dr Mathias’ bedside manner with “Oh, by the way, you’re blind” is the reason why he’s only second banana in the Medical Unit.

    For me, the biggest hole is that the Eye of Triton, a massive information gathering system which has been able to keep tabs on Earth, on the far side of the Universe (that’s Earth’s Universe, not Triton’s Universe) for millennia, has completely failed to notice that its own home plant exploded.

    There’s a lot to mock, but much is a consequence of the episode aging badly. I think cheesy elements like the slo-mo moonwalk and the brain-eyeball didn’t look quite as silly when the show first aired.

    On the plus side, that was a great Eagle crash! I agree that there must have been some stipulation that Koenig has to save the day in the Eagle, rather than poor Nick Tate, who gets the short end of the stick with these scripts.

    At the very end, where Koenig and Victor have their philosophical moment, Koenig should have been asking “Say Victor, did you notice how the Eye of Triton sounded just like Paul?”

  2. So I’ve not finished with the podcast, but I needed to set down a couple of things before I forget.

    Firstly, the director is Ray Austin, who worked on The Avengers as a stunt arranger and then became a director. Take a look at All Done With Mirrors, that’s one of his. It looks terrific, but he doesn’t do much to make sense of a fairly major aspect of the script. I didn’t fall asleep during this episode, but I didn’t think it amounted to much – however, I did enjoy the direction. I thought the moonwalk was a hoot, and there was some nice camera work. I’m not surprised he didn’t bother to make sense of mashing the computer keys, though…

    Secondly, I’m not convinced a couple of your plot holes are as big as you think they are. Why is it a problem Bergman knows about Triton? It means Earth is relatively close to Triton. We know the moon is a long way from Earth (Black Hole) and we know the ‘sphere’ thing is a long way from Triton (because they don’t know it’s blown up). Why does that mean they can’t be meeting at a vertex of a veeery elongated isosceles triangle?

    Then when these aliens chappies teleport Dr Russell through a door (rather than just having her reach out and open it) and even locally across space between the moon’s surface and the sphere, the thing your picking on is the fact they teleported her from her suit into a hospital gown…?

    Anyway, apologies if you pick this stuff up later, I will continue listening…

    1. I think my main complaint about Bergman’s knowledge of Triton had to do with the time span it obviously had to encompass.

      But first, in the pilot, with the talk of planet Meta, it just doesn’t seem like Earth’s technology and knowledge has reached a point where we’re cataloging many planets in other solar systems. (OK, yes, we actually are now, but we certainly don’t have the info Bergman seems to have.)

      That Bergman was able to actually identify Triton from the information available is tricky at best, since, if I recall correctly, Triton was destroyed long ago, so any information Bergman or the computer has isn’t even direct scientific observation but in historical legends. Not, in my opinion, good enough to get a “match” and start authoritatively expounding on the dead world.

  3. Not going to defend Mathias’ priorities in reporting his diagnosis anymore than his bedside manner, but I did really like the 2 pencils/4 pencils thing.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with Russell’s eyes becoming ‘like cameras’ because you’d still see 4 pencils if your brain were reconstructing the 3D world in your head based on input from two 2D sources. Instead, it suggests to me that the Tritons are beaming spatial awareness direct into her brain, bypassing the usual optical processing stuff, which her brain is then interpreting as coming from the usual source – at least until the usual parallax artefacts don’t show up. I do agree it’s a shame they didn’t do anything more with this – e.g. how are the Tritons getting such complete real-time data of everything within Alpha with just their one big eye… is their funky yellow beam doing this? But it’s a great concept.

    Couple of things on the computer, then.

    I remember Windows 98 (the last time I had to use Windows on a regular basis) would often go perpetual egg-timer or even blue-screen if you asked it to do more than a couple of things at once; much in the way that if you hit a couple of typewriter keys at the same time they’d jam… Well, ok, not in the same way at all if you think about the mechanics of it, but the experience for the user is much the same.

    On the other had, I agree with you the trope of the computer blowing up because it’s function no longer serves a purpose is ludicrous. Imagine if when your boss comes in and says he no longer needs that report you’d fired up Word to write, and you hit ‘exit without saving’, you have to dive under the desk because your PC blows up…

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