328 – Space: 1999 – The Metamorph

Big, exciting changes are coming in the Series Two premiere of Space: 1999.  First up, Mentor of the planet Psychon wants to drain the Alphans’ brain.  His daughter Maya just wants to have fun with her ability to transform into any living creature.  What could possibly go wrong?

Ben and Eugene discuss the Metamorph!

6 thoughts on “328 – Space: 1999 – The Metamorph”

  1. Fred Frieberger – Showkiller! This won’t end well.

    I too noticed the pocket-sized Doctor No set. It certainly wasn’t a subtle borrowing

    The reduced budget meant that they could no longer afford the vast Main Mission set, but the Command Center looks to be the size of a shoe box. The series lost so much of its grandeur with this one change.

    As a kid I found the new opening theme absolutely electric! I held a tape recorder up to the TV to capture it, and then played it overandoverandover for months on end. The rest of the soundtrack didn’t impress, and time has not treated it kindly, but the titles still pack a wallop.

    Did Maya transform into a gorilla or a yeti? Or was it some strange gorilla-yeti hybrid? Surely someone on the set pointed out to Fred how unconvincing and goofy it looked. This also applies to the Willie Wonka Bondage Slaves.

    Was one of the alien miners supposed to look like an anthropomorphic badger?

    The episode was unengaging, but modestly entertaining. However, the last two minutes (“We’re all aliens until we get to know one another”) was teeth-grindingly execrable. I cringed right through the back of my couch.

    At least Brian Blessed got to do a little shouting at the end. 8^)

    1. I have to say, those last minutes when they’re consoling Maya… it sounds like they’re about to induct her into a cult.

      Hmmmm, the Cult of Koenig… considering some of our comments on an upcoming episode… I may be looking at Series Two with whole new eyes this time.

  2. FrEiberger … I could at least spell his name correctly. Looking at his IMDB listing – it’s amazing how many shows he worked in or wrote for – (Josey and the Pusseycats in Outer Space!?!). Also, I do have a soft spot for one of the three Space:1999 episodes he wrote. I’ll see how well it stands up when we reach it.

  3. I think Fred simply got the reputation (in Hollywood) of being the go to guy who could temporarily revive a series that had already flat-lined, at least in terms of ratings. He didn’t kill them, they were already dead. Of course, to revive these series, he felt he had to simplify them and thus lower their quality (in the minds of most, including me). It didn’t help that he was, to put it mildly, glib yet forthright. The second season was obviously inferior (with some better episodes, and some decent ideas sprinkled in), but Space: 1999 wasn’t going to continue in the same spirit as the first year anyway, so there weren’t any other options.

    1. I think that’s a fairly good assessment. We’ll probably continue to dig at Mr. Freiberger, and he certainly had a successful career over the years, but I don’t think his touch was what 1999 needed.

      Budget changes – OK, those are challenges and he met them reasonably well. Second series 1999 was still vastly better looking that any contemporary.

      Some of his choices on direction of characters and types of storylines… well, those aren’t necessarily great.

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