Thursday, October 11, 2012

That Was... Then.

I keep re-watching episodes of that long-gone SF TV series, Space:1999. I wanted to be John Koenig. I think I've got my Helena Russell. And I wanted an Eagle of my own.

But what struck me was how beautiful and fragile the whole idea of humanity out among the stars was. The sets were lonely, the sense of community on the brink of disaster (but not quite over the edge) was palpable. Everyone was melancholic even if some small victories were celebrated.

Most realistically of all, everyone was reasonably fit, but not body-sculpted. People were lean, but not bulging with whipcord-like muscles. People had natural shapes, even on that sad, sad lunar landscape of Moonbase Alpha.

This helped make them more real as they wrestled their inner demons, engaged the unknown, survived the sorrow of likely never seeing Earth again. I wondered if there were Jews on the Moon — would they have remembered the keen sense of exile that their forefathers had felt when they wrote in the Psalms, "If I should forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning; may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my greatest joy!"

Sure, you can pick at the dated style and the sometimes wooden acting. But the sadness, that was real. And it made its viewers grow up faster.

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