YMMV: Space: 1999

  • Critical Research Failure: "The Metamorph" explains how an Eagle is desperately searching for the "rare metal" that is... titanium.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: John and Victor's warm conversation as the moon approaches the Black Sun and their conversation with the "cosmic intelligence" as they go through.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • Barry Gray's scores for Season One.
    • And the unworldly-sounding sitar score for "The Troubled Spirit".
    • The episode "Space Brain" uses Gustav Holst's "Mars, God of War" in its climax.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Alan Carter was originally planned to be written out as part of the cast changes for Season Two. However, when the producers learned how popular he was with viewers, he was kept on and given an expanded role.
    • To a degree, Fraser in Series 2.
    • Also Professor Victor Bergman. The man was loved enough by fans that three of the official Expanded Universe novels ("Survival", "Alpha" and "Omega") showcase his (only briefly alluded on in a deleted scene) Bus Crash between seasons and then go to work on bringing him Back from the Dead. "Survival" was even liked enough by Bergman's actor (Barry Morse) that he wrote a foreword for it!
  • Idiot Plot: The second season, especially — so much so that even Martin Landau complained (in particular, he hated "All That Glisters"note  so much that he threatened to quit).
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Anton Zoref is transformed into a heat-craving one in "Force of Life".
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • Allegedly thanks to the low budget; inevitably, it was nicknamed Space: 19.99. At the time, it was the most expensive TV series ever made and the effects still stand up today, so this is probably an indication that critics didn't check their facts.
    • The spaceship FX are extremely high quality, and usually achieved using double-exposure rather than blue screen. This means the images are captured on the original negative and don't suffer from extra grain, although this does limit the angles that can be used. On the other hand the show does have some extremely poor matte paintings.
    • As has been said, the overall production value was very high, approaching feature-film quality in many areas. The fly in the ointment is the writing; many cast members have made the point that the producers seemed more interested in the special effects than the scripts. That said, some of the actors rose above the material and there are some excellent character scenes, mainly those involving Barry Morse as Professor Victor Bergman.
    • There is a certain dissonance between good and bad special effects. Obviously, some viewers remember the good ones and other the bad ones. As an example, in the first-season episode "Dragon's Domain", we see a number of abandoned spaceships — created as very detailed and realistic-looking models — orbiting a supposedly Earth-like planet that looks more like a brightly-colored plasticine ball (perhaps from a third-grader's art project) than any real planet.
    • The eponymous "Dragon" of the episode mentioned above is a very static Tentacle Monster that appears stuck in a doorway. In some shots it does look rather nightmarish, but the fight between it and the protagonist looks very much like a stage fight, with an actor trying to look like he's fighting obviously plastic tentacles.
    • Just a couple of years later, the Star Wars movies came along and changed everything. Compared to Star Wars and later productions, Space: 1999 does indeed look a bit on the cheap side. Star Wars made ALL sci-fi on a TV budget — and indeed, an awful lot of SF movies — look cheap. That does not alter the fact that Space: 1999 was, at the time, the most expensive TV series ever made and many of the effects do still stand up far better than would be expected for a mid-70s TV SF show.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Whatever else you can say about the series as a whole, you can at least admit that the model work is top-notch (as was usual of a Gerry Anderson production).
  • What The Hell Costuming Department: Despite the uniforms being designed by famous fashion designer Rudy Gernreich, they didn't look very cool or interesting even back then. If the intention was to avert the Space Clothes trope they succeeded only too well.
  • Wizards from Outer Space: The whole series might actually make more sense if viewed as Fantasy IN SPACE rather than Science Fiction.
    • All of the scientific... ahem... inaccuracies would go away. A Wizard Did It!
    • Many of the plots are about inner journeys, mind control, possession — all classic Fantasy topics. As is fighting against the Monster of the Week.
    • And Professor Bergman would fit better as a wise old wizard than as a scientist — he's almost never shown doing any actual science, or rational reasoning, but rather seems to have some mystical knowledge of what's going on.