Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Space 1999: The Beta Cloud

'The Beta Cloud' was originally transmitted in 1977. A hostile alien cloud wants to rob Moonbase of its life support systems, so it incapacitates most of the crew and then sends a seemingly indestructible monster to nick everything. Tony is unaffected by the cloud so spends the whole episode trying to kill the invader, easier said than done as it is impervious to lasers, rockets and electricity and can live in a vacuum.

The monster looks exactly like one of the aliens that Maya turned into a couple of episodes previously (see 'Space Warp') which throws up some interesting questions, like why doesn't anyone recognise it and just how small was the costume budget? In the end, Maya turns into a bee and crawls into its ear and, recognising it for a robot, buzzes around its circuit board until it malfunctions.

Notable for the fact that Tony spends the best part of three quarters of an hour trying to knock out the menace but ends up on the floor with a broken arm and leg as his girlfriend easily finishes it off in about thirty seconds, it also features far too many shots of Commander Koening and Nick Tate in skimpy silk kung fu style pyjamas for my liking, although lady viewers or lovers of body hair may disagree.

Throughout the episode, I couldn't quite work out who Tony Anholt / Verdeschi reminded me of. Right at the end, it struck me: Alan Partridge in space.    

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