Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Lance, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Zaku

    Zaku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I read somewhere that the Andersons were saddened by the fact that everyone is ready to nitpick the science of the show (ignoring the stories they wanted to tell) and in meantime "Star Trek" has a "free pass" for all its inaccuracies...

    Edit. Wikipedia tells me that the quote is from this book: "Destination: Moonbase Alpha, Telos Publications, 2010"
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    It's their own damn fault, for not getting in front of the problem early enough. Andrew_Kearley is correct that Koenig et al. said that their survival was a miracle. However, not only didn't the writers lead with the idea that a higher power was responsible for all the mechanics of the moon getting blasted out of orbit, but also they never unambiguously said that anyway.

    AFAIK, any way of making sense of the events in "Breakaway" involves some sort of retcon. My way of approaching the problem is to lay all unexplained phenomena about the Moon's departure on the shoulders of the rogue planet Meta, which was the source of a mysterious signal in the pilot. Unfortunately, Meta is a thread that's been dropped by the very next episode.

    Somehow, the premise of the show was never fully disentangled from its conception as the sequel to UFO, in which aliens would steal the Moon as a means of disarming Earth. (Apparently, the alien gravity ray doesn't cause the Moon to dissociate into a stream of particles, and it's easier to just make the Moon leave orbit than to destroy it; perhaps the aliens are reserving the possibility of brining it back someday.) Although higher powers were encountered on several occasions who hinted at cosmic purpose and destiny, no counterpart to the UFO aliens ever appeared in Space: 1999 who could be said to be responsible for the whole thing. Having a half-baked premise was the problem, and it could never be overcome, despite what are in my opinion a number of worthwhile episodes, including most of Byrne's.

    On the subject of what Freiberger et al. could have done to keep the show from crashing, where do I begin? Frankly, the higher power stuff is all but jettisoned for the second year. There is no follow-up that I know of whatsoever to the climax of the first season, "The Testament of Arkadia", which surely should have been a game-changer for the Alphans, in terms of understanding their place in the cosmos.

    Instead of moving towards a higher purpose, the whole thing devolved even closer to GNDN (goes nowhere, does nothing). I would have been concerned with at least establishing a meaningful premise besides being forever lost in space, simply lurching from one random threat to another. In Star Trek TOS, you knew where the Enterprise stood. In Lost in Space, there is at least some hope that the Jupiter 2 will find Earth someday. In 1999, the Alphans had no such hope, and the show ultimately seemed to be all about falling away into nothingness, sorta like The Incredible Shrinking Man. Shrinking Man is a brilliant movie, but it would make an awful TV series, since he just never stops shrinking (unless he did, but then he wouldn't be shrinking anymore).

    Even in Quantum Leap, the whole thing is seen to be for some higher purpose.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  3. Zaku

    Zaku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It isn't a running subplot that they were hoping to find a planet suitable for colonization? (Or something similiar, It 's been a long time :rommie:)
     
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    In a Gilligan's Island kinda way, yeah.

    What I mean is, at some point it became clear that their chances of colonizing a planet were no greater than those of Gilligan and pals making it back to the States.
     
  5. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    That's interesting stuff. It gets the moon's interstellar travel in motion and makes internal sense. An idea like that in pre-production might have saved the show from all the disrespect it got.

    My old pet idea for Space: 1999 goes even further toward scientific plausibility, at the cost of giving up the galactic playground. Have an asteroid hit the Earth (like in Armageddon or Deep Impact), while the moon and Moonbase Alpha remain unscathed and still in Earth orbit. The Earth becomes enshrouded in a massive dust cloud and all contact is lost.

    The Alphans have to deal with this tremendous tragedy (is everyone we ever knew dead?) and figure out whether, when, and how to fly blind down into that dust and survey what's left of the world. Between the enclosed, well-ordered, but emotionally devastated Alphan city on one hand, and Eagle flights down into the new wilderness and savagery of Earth on the other, I think you could get a series out of it.
     
  6. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

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    Well, that's the whole problem really, and why I generally regard the first season as a separate entity, and the second as a rather disastrous attempt at a reboot.
     
  7. Zaku

    Zaku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So, if the show premise had been Nuclear Waste technobabble explosion technobabble space warp that swallows all the moon technobabble and the plot of following episodes had been exactly the same (except the random space warp of the moon), would people have liked the show more?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  8. Zaku

    Zaku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh well, if it' s any consolation...
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuAP1LtlEnI[/yt]
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, that's a fan-film written by Johnny Byrne, and of course starring Zienia Merton [the wiki on it].
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I doubt it. The moon explosion premise is an easy target, but I think the series' problems go far beyond it. For the most part, though, the series always looks cool (even if it's quite derivative of 2001: A Space Odyssey).
     
  11. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Actually, myth, religion, and art have always been understood as symbol, the interface between the known and unknowable. It's mainly in our age that we concretize the forms and interpret them literally. On the one hand you have the fundamentalist believing in literal angels, people with bird wings sitting on clouds, and on the other hand you have Zecharia Stitchin believing the gods are space aliens. Both extreme sides misinterpret myth as literal fact.

    Myth has to do with connotations rather than denotations. The denotation of God pulling a rib from Adam is that this is historically how woman was made. If you're stuck with the denotation, you imagine literal supernatural or extraterrestrial beings involved in the act. A modern allegory could be the pulling away from the earth a "rib" to form the moon, a worldwide symbol of the feminine and the cycles of time and of life (as well as the ability of life to throw off death and be reborn as the moon casts off its shadow). The moon is also connected with the serpent, a creature who sheds its skin as the moon sheds a shadow, a creature which also appears with Eve in the garden of Eden. It's at the snake's behest that the woman initiates mankind out of the eternal and into the field of time.

    The connotation of the story has to do with the unity behind all apparent diversity, the opposites we see in the world (such as male and female) ultimately coming from one primal source. This mythological truth is to be neither scientifically proven nor "believed," but, through the myth and associated rituals, experienced.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  12. Zaku

    Zaku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    From the hilarious recap/review of Agony Booth :D
    http://www.agonybooth.com/tv/Space__1999/Breakaway.aspx
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's true, but it doesn't mean they didn't consider the myths to have no reality. They were attempts to codify the reality around them, to give it meaning; it's just that their approach to doing so was very different from our modern approach. They saw truth more as a function of the stories they told than of some external, objective phenomenon. Generally it's only when writing/printing enters a society that a more objective view takes hold, because it's only then that the stories with which they define the world take on a permanent, objective form rather than being reinvented by every teller.
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No. General audiences don't care.


    I don't recall ever reading/hearing the before.

    Anyone who thinks the Moon can act as a "shield" has no idea how far away the Moon is (25ish Earth radii away), so if the UFOs just attacked when the Moon was on the far side from their approach vector...
     
  15. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

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    Didn't make me laugh.

    Actually, I'm increasingly of the view that the perception of Barbara Bain's performance is badly affected by the episodes being played at the wrong speed.
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Agony Booth reviews remind me of supposedly "funny" stuff I wrote in High School.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would recommend trying books by either Greg Cox or Dayton Ward. Cox' The Rings of Time is very good. Picking up on the events of Shaun Christopher, the not yet born offspring from "Tomorrow is Yesterday". :techman:
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. Though I really did find this funny!

     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Speaking of 1999: anyone seen this video by the "Space Opera Society" where they propose Lucasing 1999?

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keWCX3guy5w[/yt]​
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Yes, I have seen that. And while it is intriguing on some level I also have certain reservations. Space: 1999, like original Star Trek, is a product of its time. It is a visual document representative of science fiction in the visual medium of the day. In the least a revamped version should also allow the original to exist side-by-side.