, 13 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
As it's #Space1999 day today let's look at a question many fans of the show have asked: is there a link between Moon Base Alpha and the Moon base in Gerry Anderson's other live action sci-fi show UFO?

Let's find out... #FridayThoughts
The Moon's a good forward operating base if you need to intercept flying saucers. And that was part of the premise behind Gerry Anderson's first major live-action TV series in 1970 - UFO.
The SHADO Moon Base in UFO was pretty small: built in futuristic 1980 it consisted of five interconnected spheres to house the Interceptor crews and space monitoring staff. Fortunately there was plenty of drinks and smoking in space was still allowed.
A bigger problem was the amount of firepower SHADO had: there were only three Interceptors on the Moon, each armed with one missile. If four UFOs attacked then Earth was done for!
For all its purple wigs UFO was actually quite a dark series, which was a shock for Gerry Anderson fans expecting a real-life version of Thunderbirds. SHADO was, well a shadowy organisation, dedicated to killing aliens. Pretty bleak stuff...
Only 26 episodes of UFO were made. MGM-British studios went bust towards the end of production, and there was a five month delay in finishing the show as new studios were sought. This led to a disjointed and sometimes weird second series.
UFO had also been sold to America, where it was proving popular. Thus in 1973 a third series was commissioned to cash in on this. To suit US tastes season three had to be set on the Moon, so Gerry Anderson set about expanding the SHADO Moon base...
Alas the US ratings for UFO dropped once the 'weird' final episodes were aired. ITC Entertainment pulled the plug on UFO2, and that was that.

Undaunted, Gerry Anderson reworked the concept and pitched it again.
Menace In Space would feature Commander Steve Maddox, head of lunar defence force WANDER. Aliens would kidnap him, realise humans were savage and warlike, and would wrap Earth in a force-field. But the Moon would be allowed to 'wander' freely across space, along with Maddox & Co.
After a few tweaks and a lot of trans-atlantic negotiations, Space:1999 was born. A nuclear explosion would send the Moon hurtling across space, meeting metaphysical aliens, transcendental plot-holes and lots of Eagle Transporter crashes!
Was Moonbase Alpha related to the SHADO Moon base of UFO? Not according to the Space:1999 handbook - a promotional item sent to TV studios to publicise the show. It suggests Moonbase Alpha was set up in 1997 to study alien broadcasts, and to mind all that nuclear waste.
However Gerry Anderson's Space Report - a regular column in Starlog magazine - did hint that SHADO and Space:1999 were in the same fictional universe. And in real life Space:1999 was the step-child of the UFO2 project. So who can say...
Whatever the relationship was between UFO and #Space1999 both shows developed a strong following, and showed that Gerry Anderson wasn't only a master of supermarianation!

More pulp another time...
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