Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 07:24:58 -0800
From: (Marshall Poindexter)
Subject: Re: Space 1999 Violent?

On 26 Jan. 1996, Frank Holcomb wrote:

>Last nite I got a S1999 fix by watching "Wargames," one of my favorite
>episodes.  As I watched Alpha get trashed, people sucked into space, Koenig
>torched and killed by a ray gun, etc., I seemed to recall hearing/reading
>something to the effect that S1999 was a particularly violent show for that
>time period.  There was a lot of death and other nasty things, but
>comparatively was it really that violent?  I'm interested in hearing what
>others think.

Actually, I can kind of understand why S1999 was considered violent.
Certainly, the scenes in Season 1's "Dragon's Domain" where the creature
spits back the husks of its victims is quite vivid and disgusting. After
watching that episode as a 9-year-old, that image has stayed with me since.
I suppose the violence you're referring to in "War Games" also is quite
graphic. However, compared with the really gory stuff we can see today on
"The X-Files," "Tales from the Crypt," etc., S1999 is nothin.'

Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 07:27:23 -0800 From: Erkki Rautio ( Well, it was so violent, that the Finnish authorities actually banned to show it any more on our local state-owned TV, back in '76 and '78, since it was said that many children get "terror reactions" from the show... The initiative to that was made by the Association of the Finnish Kindergarten Teachers, or so I recall: just another good example of the patronizing mentality that was going on here in the neighbourhood of the former Soviet Union those days... Well, as for me, it *was* scary since I was only between 8 and 10, but on the other hand, that was just one of the biggest appealing things to me in S1999 - "Rod Serling's Night Gallery" was just nothing compared to "Avaruusasema Alfa"! :) ERkki Tampere, Finland
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 07:32:10 -0800 From: (Jeanette Quimby) Violent in the 70s? Hmmm, my senility is setting trying to remember what was on back then - let's Starsky and Hutch, Sunday Night Mysteries (McCloud/Columbo/McMillan and Wife), Welcombe Back Kotter, Maude, was Charlie's Angels out yet? Violent, it probably was back then. But then, this show dealt with a higher chance for death due to environment. The 'detective' shows had a death usually, but it was normally one person and rarely did you actually see the crim. Starsky and Hutch, yes that was a bit more violent. Think about it, how many times in Season I, did you see their hand reach for a laser on S1999 - you rarely would have seen that on other shows. Season II also had it's share of "violence" - Dorzak, Dorcans, episode with Pasc and son. But compared to today - gee, it would be G rated and on Saturday morning, which I recall some of the members stating is when they viewed it in reruns. The late 60s and the 70s brought about a change in our television viewing - in terms of sex, violence, language - that in the early/mid 60s and 50s would have been unthinkable. Another milestone for S1999? Probably. But again, most folks today would laugh at the thought that this show is violent - no blood, no guts, no violent death scenes, no fiery "eagle crashes". In the 70s, they were venturing into new arenas. Just my .02.
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 08:45:49 -0800 From: Rob ( Gee...don't forget MASH, where the Korean War boiled down to playing poker, chasing nurses, making bathtub gin, and oh yeah...having a war in your backyard. I was only a kid back then, but I don't remember Welcome Back Kotter being all that what about Star Trek? I mean think about it, typical dialogue on the show went like this: Kirk: We need to beam down the surface. Spock, McCoy, and . . . Ensign Smith, you're with me. (On the planet surface) Kirk: We're under fire. Ensign, run out into that clearing and set up a crossfire. Smith: Aye sir. (3 seconds later) ZAP. Kirk: Bones! McCoy: He's dead Jim. Change it around a little bit and there you have almost every episode of Star Trek. I would hate being an ensign in StarFleet! Rob ======================================================== Rob Kauder Murphy's Rules of Land Warfare: "Friendly fire--isn't" "Recoilless rifles--aren't" "Tracer rounds work both ways" "When in doubt, empty the magazine" "No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy." "If your attack seems to be going really well--it's an ambush."
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 15:51:47 -0800 From: (Gareth Randall) I don't consider Space:1999 to be violent at all; in fact, I can't think of any TV science-fiction that *is*. Looking back at the other TV shows of S:1999's era (the cop shows especially) the contrast is obvious - guns everywhere, and because the violent situations are in real-life locations, potentially far more damaging than people firing laser guns (which were normally set on "stun" anyway). Then again, I disagree fundamentally with the concept that fictional violence breeds real-life violence, but that's another debate entirely!
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 18:40:45 -0800 From: (Graham Levi and Cecilia Levi) Hi Everyone, This is an interesting topic and one that I'd have to agree with. Yes, Space 1999 is/was violent. Its premise was a battle for survival at all costs - and this laid a psychological tension of violence through the entire series (both season 1&2). In Australia, the show has never been screened in "G" rated areas and I would advise against that. It might not have the gore or senseless violence of shows today, that rely on violence for ratings and viewers, but it has a tension, an undercurrent of violence that draws the viewer in. I know that is part of the appeal of the show. The Alphans are faced with all kinds of horror and evil in their effort to survive. It is how they deal with this and their responses that show humanity. Any critics have complained that the Alphans didn't know what they were doing. But, this is a typical uneducated view. How do they think humans would act in Space, cut off from Earth and alone and ignorant of their surroundings. It's not Star Trek out there folks - The quick fix and man's superiority. What Kirk didn't understand he shot! Now that's real intelligence for you!?! Space 1999 follows an European style of Science Fiction. It tries to bring issues out into the open, but doesn't necessarily find solutions. That part should be up to us. It shows the complex nature of an imagined space existance and the problems that could happen. Accidents are very much apart of human existance, the Moon blasting out of Earth's orbit might seem extreme, but who's to say that it couldn't happen. The new space shuttles weren't supposed to blow up either, but it happened. I think of human history and the things that shouldn't have happened, but here we are!! The issue with Space 1999 is that the violence is/was in balance with its environment. It never used the violence to titilate the viewer. It tried very hard to keep it in check. But, this was a show for adults not children. Even though many of us watched it as children. My own experience was governed by my parents who thought the show was a wonderful example of Euro sci -fi, and we discussed the issues that came up in the show. It was also on very late here in Australia, so I had to have permission to stay up to watch it. It was on at 10pm. Late for a "little um". This issue shouldn't cloud our view of the show. It should be seen in perspective - for the time(70's) and the subject matter. Yours, Cecilia.
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 07:02:56 -0800 From: (Chana,Amardeep) Subject: How I define a violent show If you remove the violence, will the story deteriorate? For SPACE: 1999 the vast majority of season one episodes and many season two episodes would not. This is because they basically had a really good story behind them. Now if you look at some of the rubber-monster-smashes-up-the-base episodes... oops I feel myself getting started on another F.F. bash... better stop now. No, I don't think SPACE: 1999 was a violent show. It was a show that occasionally used violence to set the degree of a scene. Amardeep
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 15:58:52 -0800 From: Bill Greer ( Subject: Re: Space 1999 violent?? At 05:11 AM 1/29/96 -0800, you wrote: > Cecilia wrote: > > > But, this was a show for adults not children. Even though many of > >us watched it as children. > > I also watched it as a child, but if the show was for adults why then > all the toys that came out for the show? I remember having the > Space:1999 lunch box in elementary school. Perhaps the producers of > the show thought it would appeal to both children and adults? Would > it make sense to have an adult show and also make kids toys from the > show? Just wondering. > > Michael Moncey > Alpha Historian It's not that surprising to me - since Star Trek has always been aimed at the 18-35 year-old range. And they have plenty of toys for kids.