In Review: Big Finish: Space 1999: Breakaway

Thank you Big Finish for getting me hooked on another Gerry Anderson narrative.

Synopsis: After the Apollo missions of the 1960s and early 1970s, space exploration was very nearly abandoned as public pressure mounted for money to be concentrated on problems down here on Earth.

But, by a whisker, funding was granted for a base on the Moon. Greatly expanded, it became the international Moonbase Alpha we know today. 311 personnel serve in a perfect, self-sustaining, artificial environment – their mission statement: ‘to forward the frontiers of human knowledge and science’.

Dateline: 13th September 1999. The interplanetary Meta Probe is due to be launched from a platform orbiting the Moon. What could possibly go wrong?

Review: I’m a Space: 1999 newbie. Thank you Big Finish for getting me hooked on another Gerry Anderson narrative.

According to the Extra Interviews, writer Nicholas Briggs (with able assistance from the creator’s son Jamie Anderson) had to make significant structural changes to the original pilot story for today’s listening audience. First, he had to add layers to characterizations. Then, Briggs had to get the pseudo-scientific elements of the original 1970’s era retro-future more in line with modern understanding. Finally, he had to connect plot strands through greater use of narrative economy than the original series employed. The result is a gripping, cohesive tale.

Briggs’ adaptation is brought vividly to life by a marvelous cast. Mark Bonnar and Maria Teresa Creasey play off each other extremely well. I really appreciate how deftly they each convey various levels of their thankfully professional relationship. The initial antagonism is refreshingly free of sexual tension — driven instead by genuine peril. For his part, Timothy Bentinck portrays Commissioner Simmons with gusto. The rest of the cast has relatively little to work with as they are relegated to reciting exposition, but each actor demonstrates skill and potential in their roles. I’m psyched to hear how this new Big Finish range develops.

You can purchase Space 1999: Breakaway here. 

Cast

Mark Bonnar (Commander John Koenig), Maria Teresa Creasey (Dr Helena Russell), Timothy Bentinck (Commissioner Simmons), Clive Hayward (Professor Victor Bergman),Susan Hingley (Sandra Benes / Sian Springer / Alpha Computer), Glen McCready (Commander Gorsky / Paul Morrow / Alan Carter), Amaka Okafor (Dashka Kano), Jules de Jongh (Petra Nordstorm)

Production Credits

Cover Artist Tom Webster

Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery

Music Benji Clifford

Producer David Richardson

Script Editor Jamie Anderson

Sound Design Iain Meadows

Written by Nicholas Briggs

Theme Music by Barry Gray

9.5
Big Finish: Space 1999: Breakaway
  • Story
    8.5
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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