Has there been any blog discussion on this little story? Oh, most likely, but “this episode” made for interesting impact to the the Alphans, Fans and promotional materials.

Ring Around The Moon was one of those episodes that really felt more Avant Garde and very different. Brought the mood rather dark and gloomy. Of course, it didn’t help the available master of the episode in its debut release on laserdisc or original DVD prior to the Network UK remaster.

As the fourth produced episode, the cast and crew were still finding their rhythm and working on ironing out their details. This episode is not regarded as one of the highlight stories in the lineup by the fans. This was also one of the incorporated episodes from the Italian movie release “Spazio: 1999”. If you’re out of the UK or have a region free player, you can now see this compilation movie totally remastered…recently there were OST CD and LP edition marketed in limited quantities and can be easily obtained if you missed out. A tidbit detail that blows my mind was the Italians were lucky enough to see Space: 1999 months before we folk in the US/UK laid eyes, heart and mind on Breakaway. Probably wasn’t quite the significance then as it is today for us dedicated fans, but what a time it would have been and to associate it.

Some of the highlights from this episode was more of the out of nowhere alien contact on Ted Clifford (played by Max Faulkner). Burning his brain out almost immediately. The production team really did a great job with the stunt work of Clifford throwing Kano across Main Mission. Was a bit shocking to see.

As he made his way back to the computer to start hammering at the computer keys transmitting data at a furious rate, Koenig tried to stop him. After the neck grab and after his plea for help, he falls over. One of the observations at this point is Koenig grabbing Helena sparks the production team to round up a number of promo shots that you have seen all over magazine covers and merchandise branding this show with serious drama and emotion as a show to be reckoned with. And all of this prior to the main title theme.

Giving the atmosphere in these first few minutes, Barry Gray went about his composition in a different direction with the music setting the stage for the rest of the episode to tell its story. There was funk added to the moon walk, and commercial stings. I’ve always loved the drumming sequence in this suite. During filming of the moonwalk was another promotional photo-op for the Landaus (and others) in spacesuits on the moon action.

The producers really tried to emphasize the presence of the Alpha computers at almost every turn of each scene. This episode had even more emphasis since we got to see both Clifford and especially Helena almost literally “tickle” the unmarked keyboard on the X5 Main Computer panel. It really brought serious focus on the plethora of unmarked buttons throughout Alpha. It always brought to my mind “I hope they don’t hit the eject button” being unmarked. On the other hand, you also manage to see an over marked critical button which was used for that critical moment element at the plateau of the storyline. I wonder who that “label maker” was, because I know he/she was very busy on set.

Seeing the Triton probe for the first time with the eyeball connecting into some sort of bizarre brain was a bit of a shock at first. Made for branding the show all the more apparent. Someone from Mondo thought it was a real good idea to produce Ennio Morricone LP set.

Some of the more absurd elements in this episode was the gravity pushing Carter back once the alien’s force field was turned off and somehow the Eagle was going too fast for them to reach the controls to slow it down.

One of the things that were unique to this episode was there there were lights on the landing gear of the Eagle. We love the Eagle dearly as our own branded and iconic spaceship in the world of science fiction, if there would be a small change to it, I’d add lights to them (as well as some of the other ships featured) to give them a bit more life. This episode added that briefly while Koenig and team were on the Triton probe.

You either love or hate this episode. I personally thought it was a very interesting story to tell. I believe that the commander and Alphans have been slightly desensitized with the encounter of the Triton probe with the lackluster reaction to the probe itself or the fact that they accommodated some English in response. I think that I would have made a bigger deal of crossing paths with this very odd alien encounter.

2 Replies to “Ring Around The Moon Episode Random Thoughts”

  1. Like you said Gordon, you either love this episode or hate it. I’m a big fan of it, even with its many flaws. It was the soundtrack and the Eagle prominence that I enjoyed most back in the day and still do!!

  2. I always liked that last line of dialogue where Victor mentioned that perhaps knowledge isn’t always the answer, and John wondered the following: “Then what is?”

    That final scene – acted brilliantly by Martin Landau and Barry Morse – certainly made viewers ponder such a question after the Alphans encounter with the Triton probe.

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