Space: 1999
Episode by Episode

"Dragon's Domain"

From: David Acheson ( Date: Mon, 04 May 1998 06:30:18 EDT Subj: Space1999: Dragon's Domain

Episode 23, DRAGON'S DOMAIN, and Christopher Penfold's and Charles Chricton's last filmed collaboration for the series. This one is yet another of their classics - at least, according to many series fans. Yet I must admit that, even though I like this episode, I liked it a lot more as a kid.

The story is, of course, based one of our basic childhood nightmares - that creature in the dark. Penfold sets the monster on an earlier space mission from Earth that went wrong. Only the captain survives to tell the tale but almost no one believes him. This is where the psychological aspects of the episode plays in. Is man prepared for the long-term effects of living in space? Was Tony Cellini, the captain of the doomed mission, in control of his faculties? This was a particularly relevant issue in the early days of the real space program and definitely is still today? Helena and Koenig became the spokesmen for both sides of the issue in the episode.

The creature itself was a huge improvement at the time over the rubber -suited monsters in the 1950's sci-fi thrillers. Although, less makeup work still made THE THING a classic. However, great strides have been made in special effects over the past twenty years. Thus the tentacled creature looks less hideous than it would be done today. It never moved and always was behind the doorway. The tentacles flailed like they were on wires. Still it worked for that time period and as a boy of 11 it did its deed of scaring the hell out of me. How many list members will admit they went to bed thinking that thing was hiding in the closet? I also believed that if the series was networked in the US, as ITC originally wanted, this episode would have been seriously redone. The image of a creature devouring and spitting out its human victims was too much for American network TV at that time.

I liked the flashback approach to the episode. It was a different approach from the earlier 22 episodes and gave us some great insights into the lives of Koenig and Russell before their current assignments on Alpha. We learned Helena, in particular, was already a highly dedicated professional with a high power job in the Space Commission. A big change from the days of Lieutenant Uhura on STAR TREK. We also got to see some of the teacher-student relationship between Koenig and Bergman that was only hinted at in BREAKAWAY.

It has been mentioned in the past that the Cellini role was originally written for Alan Carter. While it would be nice to see a character study of one of the regular support cast, the story would not have ended the same way. Remember everyone, Cellini dies in the second monster encounter. This works as the only sentence Cellini could impose on himself over his guilt of running away and abandoning his crew the first time. This aspect of the episode is what truly makes it a tragedy. Carter probably would not have been killed off - not without a lot of nasty fan letters.

It was nice that Penfold did make Cellini a friend of Koenig. It makes us think of the fine line between friendship and duty and even reality and the unreal. The tragic storyline could be maintained yet still be a personal one.

The flight sequence to Ultra and the use of Albinoni's "Adagio in G Minor" was a nice touch. Reminds me of the introduction of the Discovery in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Not much of a coincidence though as the series was being billed as the 2001 for television.

The biggest possible blooper in the series appears in this episode. In the first flashback sequence we see Koenig, Cellini and Bergman discussing who will command the Ultra probe. The newscast from Earth gives the date as sometime in September 1996. The next scene is the launch of the probe from the Interplanetary Space Station in lunar orbit. Helena's voice over gives the date as some day in June 1996. Whoops! I'm surprised no one caught that before final editing and it went to air.

Overall a good effort from the Penfold-Chricton team. I prefer other works from them more but definitely not bad at all.

David Acheson

From: Petter Ogland ( Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 12:13:07 +0000 Subj: Re: Space1999: Dragon's Domain

There are many interesting aspects to DRAGON'S DOMAIN, I feel. While it has a very simple basic story of the tormented astronaut Cellini, the main issue does not seem to be all that much Cellini but rather how John and Helena contrastingly view him. John thinks of him as a hero, Helena as a psychological case. As it turns out, or as it is rather presented through-out the episode, he is bits of both, but as with our experience with Penfolds earlier contributions, this is perhaps no surprise. My impression is that he is saying that most heros are more or less psychological cases in disguise.

I believe that if this episode had been directed by Tomblin instead of Crichton perhaps the less sane element of Cellini's character would have been even more explicit, perhaps more like Regina in ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE. But, anyway, the way he is presented works quite well. In the sequences representing 1996, he seems like a five year old child, full with pride of his own achievements. In the sequences showing the older Cellini, he still has the childlike egocentrical world view, but deeply disturbed by realising that his map of the world someway does not make sense.

All this is splendid, I think. It also makes sense the different ways Helena and John are perceiving him. John holds some of the same simplistic world view at times, and he sympethises with Cellini.

Perhaps Penfold is trying to cast Cellini as the John Wayne sort of idol of the WWII generation. At the time of making Space:1999, I assume this type of hero was no longer all that valid, people were beginning to look at things more from the Helena point of view, asking themselves what kind of people the John Waynes of this world really were like. Films like DR. STRANGELOVE would contribute to this, I believe.

From the hand of Penfold, who likes to compare the human race with a virus etc., this makes excellent opportunity to investigate the thoughts and values of John Koenig. While emotionally somewhat different, the values of Cellini and Koenig do not seem all that different.

The flight sequence to Ultra and the use of Albinoni's "Adagio in G Minor" was a nice touch. Reminds me of the introduction of the Discovery in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Not much of a coincidence though as the series was being billed as the 2001 for television.

The miniature work with the use of Albinoni is absolutely excellent. It's such a marvellous idea, that it's quite astonishing that it wasn't put to use in some earlier episode. A similar idea was used in the next episode, THE TESTAMENT OF ARKADIA, but DRAGON'S DOMAIN is quite unbeatable in this respect.

The low point of DRAGON'S DOMAIN is the characterisation of John and Helena, I feel, which is absolutely awful in some cases. Perhaps they were sensing that the series needed more "characterisation" and "humour" even before Freiberger arrived on the set. Making jokes about toothbrushes, bringing flowers, John joking with Kano about playing chess all day etc. is just horrible. It's obvious that the series was drawing to an end, and things were getting out of control.

From what I've understood, DRAGON'S DOMAIN was one of the early eight drafts for the series, made before any production was done, and by the time it was produced, Penfold had already left the set. Perhaps the script was too short or otherwise needed rewriting to fit in. In this case it seems as though, instead of having a scriptwriter fill in the holes, they made Landau and Bain improvise dialogue it seems.

The dialogue in itself isn't all that bad, it's only that one gets the impression of a hybrid between I LOVE LUCY, or whatever 1960s sit-com the Landaus were thinking of, and Space:1999. The only thing that is missing between the one-liners is a laughing track. Hysterical canned laughter!

I can't understand how Gerry Anderson, Sylvia, Johnny Byrne etc. could have accepted this. Probably they didn't. It's more likely that it was improvised on set, and as Crichton had to fill some minutes here and there didn't care to much how it was done. Very well, probably without knowing it the production team were making preparations for Year Two style acting, and DRAGON'S DOMAIN is perhaps the smoothest link between the seasons in this respect.

All in all, DRAGON'S DOMAIN isn't that bad. It's only sad to think what might have come of it if it had been made earlier on in the series of production. As it turned out, I feel it's about average quality.


From: "Petter Ogland" ( Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 08:23:15 +0000 Subj: Space1999: Dragon's Domain

Martin gives an interesting perspective on DRAGON'S DOMAIN on his web site, showing how this and THE TESTAMENT OF ARKADIA differ significantly from earlier episodes, the first ones in particular.

Apart from the use of music and mythology, Martin, contrary to how I feel, however, seems to feel an enhancement of the series by introduction of "humour"; the toothbrush joke, the flower joke, Cellini's comments on his sex life and Alan's comment as he recovers from Cellini's second knockout blow.

While I can agree that this is definitely different from the more "serious" approach of the early episodes, for me it seemed like a step in the wrong direction. From my point of view it seems as though the crew and cast didn't care all that much about the series any longer, and hence put in jokes at random just to make the episode flow without too being to demanding.

On the other hand, the path they are heading onto here is similar to the path of Year Two. Barry Morse said that there were both economic and artistic reasons for him not taking part in Year Two. In quite a lot of the later Year One episode, I feel the artistic reason is showing, and perhaps in DRAGON'S DOMAIN more than ever.

While, to me at least, Victor Bergman is perhaps the most interesting figure in the early episodes, in DRAGON'S DOMAIN the concept of Space:1999 has changed to such a degree that his character does no longer seem all that relevant. He is given a few odd lines, but the philosophical part that was put to such an tremendous effect in episodes like BLACK SUN and RING AROUND THE MOON is no longer quite as apparently visible.

On the other hand, DRAGON'S DOMAIN gives a lot of concern to the maturing relationship between John and Helena. In some ways I feel that DRAGON'S DOMAIN is in this respect explaining some of the parts that were not included in the final draft for THE LAST ENEMY, another episode concerned with matrimonial issues.

Comparing DRAGON'S DOMAIN to MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, however, is rather devastating, I feel, at least in aspects of psychological aspects and characterisation, MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH being the finest study of the relationship between John and Helena, as far as I can see.

I've understood that DRAGON'S DOMAIN was based on one of the first eight early drafts, along with BREAKAWAY, BLACK SUN, MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, EARTHBOUND, FULL CIRCLE, LAST SUNSET and WAR GAMES. It was along with LAST SUNSET and WAR GAMES written by Penfold, while the other episodes were written by seperate people.

While DRAGON'S DOMAIN in some respects seems like odd man out as a Penfold script, more concerned with people than ideas, there seems to be a central idea in focus of this episode as well, namely our understanding and use of mythology in a modern context.

From a contemporary philosophical point of view, thinkers like Jean-Francois Lyotard, for instance, the political narrative does no longer exist, a point that also seem pregnant in Penfold's story, I believe. Lyotard did not believe in the economic narrative either, in felt the need to focus on Freud to explain how the economy really works ("libidial economy").

I feel there is a certain parallell in Penfold's thinking here, showing the lack of communication between Cellini, Bergman, Koenig and Dixon, and showing how the political narrative is substituted with a psychologcal/mythological narrative in order to make sense out of a world like moonbase Alpha.


EDITOR'S NOTES: This note by Petter triggered extensive discussion on the progression of the series, mainly Year One. Though 'Dragon's Domain' is refered to with some frequency in that discussion, it is largely of a more general nature than about the specific episode, so I have made it a seperate thread page. Please note that it is in my standard, 'Thread Pages' preformatted style, as opposed to the more HTMLized format you may be in now, if you are reading in the 'Episode by Episode' section.

Specific 'Dragon's Domain' discussion resumes in the middle of a note by Mark, so I split that note into two parts, the latter half of which is below (with a header for clarity). A later reply by Petter is also split in this way.

From: "Mark Meskin" ( Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 20:15:51 -0500 Subj: Re: Space1999: Dragon's Domain

[Latter part of note follows.]

Both Landau and Morse look silly in this sequence, I feel, wearing loud jackets, foreshadowing the Season 2 style, as if they were construction workers not scientists,

I'm not sure I under stand how this is relevant, but what does the sensible scientist wear??

and arguing with Dixon on an emotional level rather than rational,

Ever had something that you have put a LOT of yourself into fall apart? Believe me, you are never rational when you have to defend yourself in such a situation. In addition, I think Koenigs little speech to Dixon was sort of an Anthem to Space:1999, we do not know everything, we still have much to learn.

seemingly expressing a total lack of responsibility for the project.

Yeah, that's sorta a good point, I'd have prefered if there was a scene in which Koenig had grilled Cellini one on one. Hit him really hard, and make Cellini fight for his side of the story. Then Koenigs defense of him would have had a little more impact. Another neat idea, would have been to not let the viewer see all of what happenned at Ultra, let the viewer have that same doubt in the back of their heads the way Victor did.

I wonder if Abe Mandell of ITC New York had visited Anderson just before the making of DRAGON'S DOMAIN. In so many ways the style of this episode is distorted from the original SPACE:1999 concept

Define "original concept". That concept seemed to bend just fine for R.A.T.M. as far you were concerned.

the loud jackets, the sit-com type dialogue,

Sit-com dialogue??? what are you refering to?

the "new" Helena of the past that seems absolutely incompatible with the Helena from BREAKAWAY and BLACK SUN.

Its 4 years later, she's more mature, and she's more introverted. People change, thats a fact.

I feel, wonderfully written, acted, at least until the attack of the monster that is a bit jarred by Cellini's strange behaviour, like his hesitation to close the doorway and the long time it takes before he gets out of the cockpit. On the other hand, this may have been ment to illustrate his psyche, indicating that he was not totally stable even to begin with.

Not unstable. Cellini has enourmous guilt over what happened, and for good reason, he DID hesitate. But if he hadn't he'd have died with the crew, and the story would have been entirely about Koenig finding his long lost friend D.R.T. when they encountered the spaceship graveyard.

While the sequence in Dixon's office is rather silly, the actor portraying Dixon is excellent.

How is it silly? There alwasy has to be an escape goat. Just ask Ollie North.

Rather than feeling that if they had kept closer to the DRAGON'S DOMAIN style in Season 2 they would have made it a better series, I feel this was excactly what they were doing. DRAGON'S DOMAIN seems like a hybrid of Season 1 and 2, I feel, showing that it would be unfair to blame Freiberger too much for the course the series was taking.

No way! That is so off the wall! Where do you get this stuff?

At the time of DRAGON'S DOMAIN, the season 1 approach to SPACE:1999 was already close to being a thing of the past.

Peter, the "Season 1 approach" was not some drugged out metaphysical art show. Dragons Domain fits the format of all the good S1 episodes just fine.


From: Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 18:23:14 -0400 Subj: Space1999: Dragon's Domain

It's funny to see Helena using a portable typewriter. It's like on Lost In Space (tv), which takes place in the late 1990's, seeing them use a slide rule.

A very minor continuity blooper: When Tony is heading into the front of the eagle in his pajamas, the first set of hatches opens, and he is far into the connecting section, and we can see the second set of hatches into the cockpit are still closed. But when we cut to him striding into the cockpit from well within the connecting section, the doors are already opened...they should have been in the process of opening at that point.

As previously pointed out, the newscast date and the space probe launce date in Helena's narration are in conflict.

This is something only a radio person would find interesting, but in the space probe cockpit, they are wearing Senheiser headphones. They have a nice sound, but if you have the volume up too high, you get feedback when you open your mic.

I didn't go back to double check this, but did Helena say in her narration that the flight out to Ultra was eight months, but Tony survived for six months alone on the flight back? Are we assuming that search parties were out two months in distance looking for the probe?

Great that the atmosphere and gravity are still working on the five years deserted space probe.

I saw a string on one of the tentacles when Tony was fighiting the monster at the end.

What's with these wandering planets anyway? Ultra, Meta, the planet on Star Maidens?

The ultimate question is whether Anton Phillips was relieved or jealous that Alan kept getting beat up in this episode and not Mathias.

From: Patricia Embury ( Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 21:31:25 -0400 Subj: Space1999: Dragon's Domain

I have to admit, I really love this episode! I place it in my top 3. The episode simply works on all levels. The story was good, conventional sci-fi with a twist, the acting was solid, and the effects were marvelous. Having Helena narrate it as a flashback gives the actions/events a bit more 'credibility' with the viewer, capturing it for the 1999 universe than the typical "meet the monster and kill it" type plot that is part of standard sci-fi fare.

The story starts off with a bang, with Cellini's nightmare and him planting the axe in the commpost. My question/nit here is, shouldn't there have been some sparking? The action with the monster, Alan getting knocked out twice moves the story along. The monster isn't shown merely to show the monster kill people gratuitously.

The argument scene between Helena and John is well done. I have to disagree with Petter. The toothbrush line is an attempt of Helena at one-upmanship vs sarcasm, in order to knock John down a notch or to. Koenig was so convinced he was right about Cellini, he wasn't willing to listen to another point of view. The line could have been delivered differently, perhaps. It was delivered in a light tone, almost as a joke. If it had been delivered with dripping sarcasm, the intent would have been more clear. Helena, by this time, is learning John's little quirks and how to deal with them ( and vice versa).

I'm glad the episode was not done from Carter's perspective as had been originally intended. To have Carter viewed as a hysteric would have changed too much in his backstory. His career would have been ruined, and there would be no way he would have been promoted to Reconnaissance chief in the atmosphere shown in the space program by Dixon. Dixon was a bueracrat first and formost. He was willing to play the political game to further the space program.

From: "Ellen C. Lindow" ( Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 22:24:14 -0400 (EDT) Subj: Space1999: Toothbrush controversy & other dragons

I agree with Mateo, if this series can spark this kind of a discussion twenty years after it was filmed it must be something special.

I liked the toothbrush scene. Koenig strikes me as the steamroller type. Once he made up his mind, he will do it his way, and ignore all other input. Fortunately for Alpha he was damn lucky most of the time. and when he wasn't right, Helena didn't hesitate to use any method necessary to point it out to him. Pat, I don't agree with you. The line shouldn't be delivered with sarcasm. She was trying to get his attention by saying something completely out of place, to make him attend her. He was tuning her out. David mentioned that Helena had probably learned some of John's quirks and how to deal with them. Sarcasm wouldn't have worked on him. At that moment she was just trying to get his attention.

There was a tremendous amount of detail in this episode, which makes the gaffs more disappointing. Their time sense leaves a lot to be desired. If they left in late 1996 and took 8 months to get there and 6 months to get back it would be nearly 1998 before they returned. An inquiry would take months, so would Cellini's recovery. John would have had to move directly to work on the Meta probe from being grounded. I can't see Cellini being in a position for John to request his assignment to the moon, even as late as September 1, 1999. Helena's report of a different departure date may simply be another instance of different points of view being explored. She may not have the dates correct. The hospital scenes were well done. Helena _is_ more like her second season character, as if she was in shock after breakaway, and had to recover her balance and her normal personality. During most of first season they are in extremely stressful, extremely exotic situations. Anyone who would not react to this with some kind of shock would not be a normal human being.

From: Date: Sat, 09 May 1998 00:58:41 -0400 Subj: Re: Space1999: Toothbrush controversy & other dragons

I agree with Mateo, if this series can spark this kind of a discussion twenty years after it was filmed it must be something special.

I agree too !

I liked the toothbrush scene.

Sorry, not me, and also the scene where they choose the mission commanderon a flip...

here was a tremendous amount of detail in this episode, which makes the gaffs more disappointing. Their time sense leaves a lot to be desired.

Speaking of time, did some of you notice that Cellini was suppose to hit theclock panel on is commpost ? and he didn't because they change it for this scene.

The hospital scenes were well done.

I'm wondering, what kind of odour could we get by leaving 3 dead bodies in a closed compartment for 3 years ? Doesn't seem to smell too strong...

Johnny Byrne told me a story about the monster in this episode. After they shot all the scenes with the monster in the Ultra probe, they took the monster over the L and M stages parking lot and left it there for many months, nobody wanted it. Each and every time that Johnny was taking a walk with his two dogs, both dogs went to p... on it !!!

I now know, a lot of fans who paid many thousands dollars for models, costumes or props. How much do you think the monster could worth today ? I'm sorry Johnny !, but i think you missed an occasion here...

I love this episode, one of my top 5 with AT-AP, FORCE OF LIFE, BREAKAWAY...and TESTAMENT OF ARKADIA which is my #1 because it's the one i remember the most from it's original broadcast in 1975.

And it's our next week discussion episode...

Andre Beauchamp

From: David Acheson ( Date: Sat, 09 May 1998 06:51:37 EDT Subj: Space1999: Commander Russell?

Thanks Pat for recognizing the sarcasm in the DRAGON'S DOMAIN toothbrush scene. That is exactly the way I have seen the scene for years. She must have done Koenig good because the next few minutes he pouts and walks out the door saying something about writing another letter to the Space Commission. What a he-man that Koenig is.

Our episode-by-episode discussions have made me revisit my views of the characters. I used to think Helena was so robotic, especially in year one, that she was wasted in the show. Now I am thinking she was the most complex character and somewhat more stable than John in most situations. She would have made the perfect commander for the base today. (But being the pre-VOYAGER era, ITC would have balked at a female commander.) Let's just say I now have a new appreciation for the character and Barbara Bain.

Koenig still comes across as more realistic than a superhero type like Captain Kirk. Its nice to see he has faults but I am starting to see quite a bit of them during our discussions. However, the way the stories were written in both seasons, it was usually Koenig's faults that saved the Alphans. Helena's rational approach would have killed them off most times.

Twenty years later and I am still finding new aspects of the show.


From: "Petter Ogland" ( Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 17:10:40 +0000 Subj: Re: Space1999: Dragon's Domain

I'm not sure I under stand how this is relevant, but what does the sensible scientist wear??

Problably not all that relevant, but I wondered why would they dress so loudly. There doesn't seem any need to. In hospitals people don't. In the military people don't. If they were construction workers on an oil rigg or something like that, I understand it would be vital to be seen, but on Alpha it seems odd, I think. The contrast between Dixon and the Alphans becomes hence much more explicit than would be necessary, I think. Instead of people in equally responsible positions, or nearly equally responsible positions, it seems like the guys who are fixing the telephone cables have just visited the president of the telephone company. Even if this is the case, metaphorically speaking, I feel it adds to worse by emphasizing this difference in level of authority. The final impression is almost of school boys visiting the head master.

Ever had something that you have put a LOT of yourself into fall apart? Believe me, you are never rational when you have to defend yourself in such a situation. In addition, I think Koenigs little speech to Dixon was sort of an Anthem to Space:1999, we do not know everything, we still have much to learn.

I may have been distorted by Keith Wilsons change of style. If the situation had been presented on a more even level, like with Koenig and Simmonds in BREAKAWAY, much of the dialogue would perhaps also have worked better. I believe I basically agree to what you are saying, but didn't feel to convinved by the way it was presented.

Define "original concept". That concept seemed to bend just fine for R.A.T.M. as far you were concerned.

What I ment with "original concept" was, of course, BREAKAWAY and the early drafted scripts that seem to follow the same investigation of the human condition being hurled into space, trying to survive, find a place to settle down and make a life.

Watching RING AROUND THE MOON, not one of these early scripts, although the fourth episode to be produced, I still find that the Alphans have not been accustomed yet to be living in space. In fact, much of the charm of this episode resides, I feel, in that they are not coping with the situation, very much like MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH and WAR GAMES.

On the other hand, DRAGON'S DOMAIN is one of the early drafts, from what I've understood, but it is produced at a much later stage and has apparently been rewritten to fit in with how the actors, writers and producers were feeling about the series at the end of it. Perhaps distorted was not the right word to use, but rather evolved. I feel that DRAGON'S DOMAIN is a vital episode for understanding the evolvement of Space:1999 from season 1 to season 2 that we are about to enter shortly.

There were many more interesting aspects that Mark brought up in this letter, but I see I have to end here.


From: Patricia Embury ( Date: Sat, 09 May 1998 20:26:12 -0400 Subj: Re: Space1999: Toothbrush controversy & other dragons

I'm wondering, what kind of odour could we get by leaving 3 dead bodies in a closed compartment for 3 years ? Doesn't seem to smell too strong...

The way the bodies were charred wouldn't have left much to decompose. The ventilation system/air purification system of the ship was still working, apparently, so the smell may have been trapped and recycled.h

Something else I noticed while watching this episode. The effect used before the monster enters the ultra probe (the white cloud) is the same cloud effect used, I believe, in Space Brain.

From: LKJ1999 ( Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 21:23:42 EDT Subj: Re: Space1999: Dragon's Domain

What white cloud was that? I remember spinning light, before the monster enters the probe. Also i don't remember any cloud in Space Brain. I guess i will have to take out the laserdisc, and take a look.

Chas P. LKJ1999

From: Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 21:56:24 EDT Subj: Space1999: Belated Dragon's Domain

Here's my $1.999 cents worth:

  1. Goofs / Nits: The most obvious - Announcer messes up date of launch

  2. Plot holes: How did Koenig get Cellini reassigned to Alpha? Koenig was put in the doghouse by Dixon in September 1997. That would have given him two years to get back in the good graces of the space commission. I guess he could have done it by sucking up to Simmons when Simmons replaced Dixon. I guess he could have used the Meta probe deaths to justify putting Cellini back on active status. "We have a shortage up here and he's a trained pilot."

  3. Artwork / Visuals: Cellini's quarters were nice although I wonder where how he got authorization to have all of those weapons, especially since Helena thought he was mentally unbalalanced. I know we hashed this out before but it still bothers me. Having been in the military, I know how they tightly control what you are allowed to possess in military quarters.

    The set design of the Ultra Probe interiors and the monster itself were great.

  4. Model work: Outstanding. The best of the series, especially that spaceship graveyard.

  5. The bottom line: A+. The best episode of the series. Not too metaphysical but not too concrete. The focus on Cellini and the doubts of those around him put this one a notch above the typical space monster tale. Of course, the very effective use of the Albinoni music helps as do the flashback sequences. That last sequence of the Eagle leaving the graveyard with the Adagio playing in the background and Helena's voice over narration top off this excellent episode.

  6. Misc: As has been noted, this story was originally supposed to be about Allen. That would have been a major format boo-boo. Why would a so recently disgraced captain be put in charge of the Meta probe? I wonder if anyone at ITC would have caught this if they hadn't been forced to rewrite the role for an Italian?

Sorry I was late.
David J Lerda,

"Just because we haven't experienced something
doesn't mean it doesn't exist" - John Koenig

From: South Central ( Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 16:26:06 -0700 (PDT) Subj: Space1999: Dragon's Domain dates.

In the novelization--based on the script--the first news report about the soon to be announced head of the probe is refered to as:

"Space News, dateline, nine, three, ninety-six"

If I am not mistaken in the UK this would be the NINTH of MARCH, in the U.S. it would be the THIRD of SEPTEMBER.

I don't know if the voice over in the show was done by an American or a British person. If they misread the date then this would account for the error. The March date would work as the launch date was in June '96.

Perhaps somebody just read the script wrong.


From: (South Central) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 20:52:17 -0700 (PDT) Subj: Re: Space1999: Dragon's Domain

I think the scariest element of Dragon's Domain is that the monster was waiting for him. It is no coincidence that that graveyard of ships just "appeared" in the moon's path. The novelization has interesting things to say about it.

He wanted to fight the monster again. I think the feeling was mutual.

That is frightening.

To realize that your the nightmare you are obsessed with--is, in turn, obsessed with you!


From: South Central ( Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 16:30:11 -0700 (PDT) Subj: Fwd: Re: Space1999: Dragon's Domain

I may be wrong about what the novelization says and doesn't say--it's been a long time since I read it. Anyway, he[re]'s some more comments looking for feedback.

The novelization doesn't actually mention this. I don't want to give you the wrong impression. Just a sec while I get it off the shelf.


I'm back.

The novelization features the following exchange between Koenig and Bergman:

Bergman: The past is always with us in memory banks. Sometimes in more detail than we expect. I believe it has another real presence.

Koenig: In what sense?

B: Every scene, every act, every spoken word is a complex web of energy. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It goes on existing. I believe it is transmitted like a programme, as the ripples go out in a lake. It goes out beyond the gravisphere of Earth. Space is shot through with the drifting record of past time.

K: And with delicates enough receptors your "programmes" [italicized] could be played back?

B: Why not?

K: When you've finished your engine you should work on it. You'd solve all the archeologists' problems at one go.

B: It isn't as farfetched as you think.

The part about the monster waiting for Cellini is my idea. That's just the way I have always seen it.


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