Shout! Factory is resurrecting the cult classic sci-fi series Space: 1999. Due out July 16 on DVD and Blu-ray, the upcoming re-issue marks the first time that the series has received a full domestic release. It was released most recently released in a full set overseas via Network in 2017. Spread across 13 discs on DVD and Blu-ray, the collection is a must have for the most devout fans of the short-lived British import. That is due in part to the set’s packaging, which will be addressed shortly. The bonus content, which is expansive to say the least, is another key addition to the collection. The companion booklet that is also featured with the set, rounds out the set’s most important elements. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Space: 1999 – The Complete Series. All things considered, they make this first-ever domestic home release of the series one that will be difficult to top for any future re-issues domestic or otherwise.
Shout! Factory’s upcoming domestic release of Space: 1999 – The Complete Series is a collection that the cult classic series’ most devoted fans will appreciate. That is due in part to the set’s packaging. The series’ 48-episode run is spread across 13 discs in two separate Blu-ray boxes. The discs are placed on either side of a series of plates inside each box. While the series’ two seasons are separated out into boxes, the packaging manner for the discs actually minimizes the bulk of each box. Even with the main bonus features being placed on their own disc inside its own third case, the set’s overall Blu-ray box size is conservative on its size because of how the discs are packaged within the cases and because Blbu-ray boxes are themselves smaller than DVD boxes.
The actual packaging of the discs is just one key item to note in examining the overall packaging of Space: 1999’s Blu-ray set. Audiences will note that on the back of each of the collection’s main two cases is an episode listing for that season. The episodes are specifically aligned with their respective discs. This might not seem overly important on the surface, but in reality it is very important. Having the episodes listed specifically on their discs saves time for viewers in deciding which disc and episode to watch. Of course, this is nothing new for Shout! Factory’s home releases, but it is still worth noting since it is another example of that continued effort by the people at Shout! Factory to give viewers the best experience possible with each of its multi-disc sets. While the episode summaries are not included inside or outside the cases, Shout! Factory’s people did not forget those, either. They will be discussed a little later. Moving on, the packaging of Space: 1999 – The Complete Series is just one part of what makes the collection stand out for the series’ fans. The bonus content featured throughout the set adds even more to the set’s presentation.
The bonus content featured in this first-ever domestic release of Space: 1999 – The Complete Series is spread across the set’s 13-discs with the main discs featuring picture galleries from each episode. The main bonus content is a series of featurettes and a mix of old and new interview segments. Star Barbara Bain’s interview features her talking about her draw to the series despite not being a science fiction fan at the time that she tried out for a role on the series, but coming to enjoy her time on the show. Bain also mentions in her interview, her interest in the show’s premise and its set. There is also an entertaining anecdote shared by Bain here, about working with Christopher Lee in one episode of Season One. She joked about his height and how the show’s creative heads wanted to make him even taller than his natural 6-foot 4-inch height. That is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg here. The discussions on the series’ concept and creation features discussions with the series’ creator Gerry Anderson – who also created other classic series, such as Thunderbirds, Stingray and Joe 90 – as well as other members of the series’ creative team discussion the series’ creation. Anderson discusses the role that ITC had in the importing of the series to the United States while others discuss the things that went on behind the scenes. Perhaps one of the most intriguing discussions is that of show runner Fred Freiberger, who came into the show near the end of its first season. Anderson’s wife Sylvia speaks one way of Freiberger – essentially saying he did not understand the difference between British television and American – while cast member Nick Tate spoke a little more warmly of Freiberger. As if all of that is not enough for viewers, there is also a look into the models that were used That look is key because it reminds people about how groundbreaking Anderson’s series were then and are now in hindsight. As another interviewee noted in another segment, shows of this series’ caliber can only be made in this era using CG. Between these discussions, so many others featured in the bonus content, the bonus picture galleries and the audio commentaries also featured throughout the set, audiences get here a full and fully immersive viewing experience. It takes the foundation formed by the set’s packaging and strengthens it even more than one could even imagine. That foundation is strengthened more still through the companion booklet that is also featured as part of the collection’s whole.
The companion booklet that is featured with Space: 1999 – The Complete Series opens with a brief but concise look at the history of Space: 1999 by pop culture historian and Shout! Factory Associate Producer Russell Dyball. The history is also an appreciation for the series, with Dyball discussing the series’ theme music, its stylistic approach, which was far different from that of Star Trek – but common for Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s series – and the expansive merchandising associated with the show. From there, the booklet features a full rundown of the series’ episodes with brief, but concise summaries of each episode. There is even a note ahead of the episode summaries stating that the lineup is based on the series’ episode production order, the most commonly accepted episode order. Considering that there was not enough space inside and outside the series’ cases for episode summaries, the people at Shout! Factory are to be commended for taking the time to make sure even that element was still included in one way or another with the set. Audiences will likely end up using this episode guide even more than the episode guides printed on the backs of the cases. It’s just one more positive to an already positive presentation that the most devoted fans of this classic series will appreciate. When it is considered along with the previously noted positives – the packaging and the bonus content – the set in whole becomes a presentation that every Space: 1999 fan will want to add to their home library.
Shout! Factory and itv’s upcoming domestic release of Space: 1999 – The Complete Series is a presentation that the most devoted fans of the series and the most devoted science fiction fans will appreciate. That is due in part to the set’s packaging. Once again, Shout! Factory has set the bar for multi-disc packaging with this Blu-ray set. The bonus content featured with the set adds even more interest to its whole, as it includes audio commentaries, interviews, retrospectives and picture galleries throughout the set’s 13 discs. The companion booklet that is also featured with the set rounds out its most important elements. Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of the set. All things considered, they make this collection a “universal” hit among science fiction audiences, not just fans of this series. More information on this and other titles is available online now at:
To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.