Gerry Anderson Primer: Space 1999
Space: 1999 was a British science-fiction television series that ran for two seasons and originally aired from 1975 to 1977. In the opening episode, set in the year 1999, nuclear waste stored on the Moon’s far side explodes, knocking the Moon out of orbit and sending it, as well as the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, hurtling uncontrollably into space.
The series was the last production by the partnership of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and was the most expensive series produced for British television up to that time.
The most iconic spaceship from the series were the Eagles which served as the primary spacecraft of Moonbase Alpha and used to explore alien planets, defend Moonbase Alpha from attack, and to transport supplies and other items to and from the Moon.
The Eagles, usually crewed by two Eagle pilots, are constructed by the engineering and technical section of Moonbase Alpha using materials and components either shipped from Earth or manufactured on the Moon. The Eagles are powered by four nuclear fusion rockets and carry fuel reserves for 48 hours of flight. Artificial gravity force fields built into the Eagle enable it to accelerate up to 15% of the speed of light, giving it a maximum range (with extra fuel reserves) of several light days.
Various types of module could be attached to the Eagles including:
Several types could be used, depending on the mission for example:
- Transporter — These Eagles are used to transport supplies and equipment rather than passengers. Their transport modules are designed to carry equipment and have limited seating space for passengers.
- Rescue — These Eagles are recognisable by their vertical red stripes
- Freighter — These specialized Eagles are used to transport dangerous nuclear waste to the Nuclear Disposal Areas; unlike supply or transport Eagles, they are heavily shielded to protect their crews from radiation. The waste canisters are carried in a ‘pallet’ type pod which links to a conveyor belt at the disposal areas.
Dinky produced two models from the TV series, the Eagle Transporter (259) and the Eagle Freighter (260) between 1975 and 1980 when the factory closed. The Eagle Rescue version could be created by using the red stripes decals provided with (259)