Space: 1999 (1976/1977) – The Lambda Factor, and The Bringers of Wonder: Part 1

The Lambda Factor is the first adventure for Moonbase Alpha this week. It’s a bit of a psychic horror story. Written by Terrance Dicks the episode debuted on 23 December, 1976.

Alpha, on its continuing tumble through space draws close to a strange region of space that seems to be emanating lambda waves and it is having an effect on everything on Alpha.

Equipment isn’t working, Commander Koenig (Martin Landau) is plagued by ghostly visions from his past that leave him guilt-ridden. Deaths are involved, tempers are high, and Dr. Russell (Barbara Bain) is conducting experiments that show that the latent psychic abilities of a number of the crew are surfacing.

And one of them is a murderer. When the murderer is found, Tony (Tony Anholt) and the rest will have to find a way to stop it, especially when they decide to seize control of Alpha.

Koenig has to confront his past, and once he does so, he and Russell are able to join in the fight to reclaim Alpha.

The story is executed fairly well, and with some changes in lighting to the sets, the base has an almost haunted house look. A lot of it actually works really well.

In terms of continuity this episode takes place 2308 days after the moon left Earth’s orbit, which puts this episode in 2006… thank goodness the supplies have lasted that long, and they haven’t aged much at all.

1999lambda

The Bringers of Wonder: Part 1 aired some nine months after the last episode on 4 August, 1977, though the story itself takes place before it.

Written by Terence Feely the story sees Koenig hooked up to an experimental medical machine after he crashes an Eagle on the surface. When he wakes, he learns that a ship from Earth is approaching, and the Alphans are looking forward to seeing friends and loved ones.

Koenig, however, sees something different… strange monstrous aliens.

While Alphans are reunited with lost loves, friends, family, no one stops to wonder how all of these people showed up on one ship, and Koenig may be the only one who may be able to see the truth.

The only real downside is that the aliens aren’t that impressive looking.

Of course the way the story plays out is that it makes Koenig look half-insane when he encounters the aliens, and everyone else is sane. This is tied in with the questionable events leading to the crash.

The episode comes to a cliffhanger ending with one of the aliens standing over Koenig getting ready to kill him, as he seems to be the only bump in their plan!

Next week we’ll find out what happens when we return to Space… 1999!

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