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Plot SummaryEdit

PrologueEdit

Alpha signals a habitable planet as they enter it's system. They receive no reply, but as they come into close range, three Earth-style Mark IX Hawks approach the base. They try to contact the ships with no luck. Three Eagles are launched and take up defensive positions over Alpha.

When the Hawks are in striking range, and still have not responded to hails, Koenig orders a preemptive strike. The Hawks are destroyed, but are immediately replaced by three more, which devastate Alpha and a second wave of Eagles before they can be engaged by the first wave of Eagles.

Act OneEdit

Two Hawks are destroyed and two Eagles are lost. Alan's Eagle is damaged and "plays dead" in space. A large alien "bomber" approaches the base, which is so badly damaged that they cannot defend themselves or launch another Eagle.

Act TwoEdit

Alan restarts his Eagle and blasts the bomber out of the Alphan sky. He returns to Alpha where a meeting is held to discuss the status of the base. With 128 Alphans dead, they are unable to repair the power and recycling plants in time to save themselves. Koenig decides to that he and Helena should go down to the planet to try to convince it's leaders to discuss their situation.

They do not receive any answers to their signals, but meet with no resistance as they approach the planet. Their Eagle is then brought in, by remote control, to a city and lands. They are transported to a chamber where they meet two of the planet's inhabitants.

Koenig asks why his base was attacked when they come in peace. He tells them that half of his peole are dead and his base can no longer support human life. The aliens tell them that Man is "a fatal virus"... "a plague of fear", with "no place in space", and "no future"and that the Alphans presence on their planet would destroy a civilization that had survived for billions of years. Koenig cannot accept this judgement, and begins to destroy the delicate equipment in the chamber. The female alien shoots and kills him.

Act ThreeEdit

Helena is allowed into the "brain" which the aliens inhabit. She is given the power to restore Koenig to life. Unable to remove Helena from the "brain", John leaves to get some support and fire power, as he has decided to take some space on the planet, by force if need be.

He initiates Operation Exodus and arranges to change to an armed Eagle in space. He and Alan then attempt to return to the planet, only to be confronted by a forcefield. Their Eagle starts to break up, and they eject as it explodes. Alan is killed and Koenig is adrift in space with only 97 minutes of oxygen.

Act FourEdit

Within the "brain" Helena can sense Koenig's plight. She decides to save him despite the alien's warnings that he will destroy them all. Koenig is brought back to the planet by Helena. He fires his stun gun at the male alien within the "brain" and starts a chain reaction which devastates the planet.

EpilogueEdit

He tells the rest of the Alphans, en route to the planet, to return to the base, if they are going to die somewhere, it might as well be Alpha. Then we are returned to the moment before Koenig orders the Eagles to fire on the Hawks.

This time he orders Alan to stand down. The Hawks disappear from their screens and sensors. Victor is baffled by this turn of events, and wonders if this means they can go down to the planet. The male alien appears on the main screen to tell them "No", that the Alphans were shown, in an instant, the possible consequences for a decision that the aliens hoped they would not make.

BackgroundEdit

International TitlesEdit

Country Title (Translation)
Belgium (Flemish) Krijgertje spele
Spain Juegos de guerra (War games)
France/Canada Ruses de guerre (War Stratagems)
Germany Angriff aus dem Weltall (Attack From Space)
Italy Mondo proibito (Forbidden World)
Japan Big Battle with Space Fleets
Netherlands Ruimteoorlog (Space War)
Portugal Jogos Guerreiros (Warring Games}

NotesEdit

This is one of the original storylines prepared before the series began.

Shooting script dated 15 October 1974

ITC New York vetoed the entire script as it killed off the most of the cast. They relented when the ending was explained to them.

Filmed 24th October- 8 November 1974

Edited into the 1979 compilation movie Alien Attack

Writer Christopher Penfold describes War Games as the best episode that he wrote for the series.

SetsEdit

  • Int. Main Mission
  • Int. Command Office
  • Int. Medical
  • Int. Alpha Corridor
  • Int. Eagle Pilot Section
  • Int. Eagle Passenger Section
  • Int. Alpha Corridor (explosive decompression)
  • Int. Planet Control Centre

SFXEdit

The Hawks were built by Martin Bower in three sizes: 79cm (31"), 41cm (16") and (for the scenes accompanying the bomber) 13cm (5"). They were originally painted white, but test shots showed they looked too similar to the Eagles and orange stripes were added just before filming (crudely hand painted on by Cyril Forster at the studio). The viewport notches were originally black, but for filming they were painted white. After filming, the black was restored.

Stock footage of a real nuclear explosion is used. The original black and white film is tinted red- the explosion is the Baker test of Project Crossroads, at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, 24 July 1946. It is a 21 kiloton bomb, seen displacing two million tons of water and sinking 9 ships (one ship can be briefly seen in the third shot). The footage is seen in many film and TV programmes, including Dr Strangelove.

The alien bomber was previously seen in Alpha Child. It would be seen again in Dragon's Domain and, in a revamped form, in The Last Enemy. The nose piece would appear in The Metamorph.

The landscape was filmed on 28 November 1974. The buildings on the planet surface are fairly crude models.

Photo cutouts are used extensively. The Eagle raised on a launch pad is very obviously a cutout. An Eagle that explodes over the launch pad, and a Hawk that explodes, are less obvious.

Shots of many Eagles rising from Alpha, and many Eagles flying to the planet, are reused from Guardian of Piri.

Shots of 3 Eagles peeling off, and Eagles firing laser beams, are from Alpha Child.

A shot of an Eagle turning is from The Last Sunset

A shot of a Moonbase building exploding is from Force of Life.

MusicEdit

Library track: "The Astronauts" composed by Mike Hankinson (Chappell Recorded Music Library)

ScienceEdit

Alpha Personnel: 0 fatalities (128 dead in the alternative timeline plus Koenig and Carter).

Alpha Technology: Why did the Earth have fast war spaceships like the Hawk? Was there a space war in Earth's history? Why doesn't Moonbase Alpha have any Hawks now? It may tie in with the 1987 war mentioned in Rules Of Luton.

The laser rifle is seen. It is also used in The Infernal Machine, Dragon's Domain and The Metamorph, and is often seen in other episodes.

The multi-function hatch is shown; here it activates Red Alert status.

The stairs to the underground shelters are obviously the stairs to the balcony in Main Mission (or there were an extraordinary number of people up on the balcony during the proceedings).

Eagles: Eagle 1 (Alan: internal number is 9); 2 (in flight 1); 6 (Koenig, unarmed); others. In the end none are destroyed.

Eagle laser sights are seen extensively. They are seen again in The Dorcons (used by aliens).

Planets: Unnamed planet. Note that one shot shows two suns in the sky.

Aliens: Unnamed aliens (male and female). Humanoid with large heads.

Props: The laser barriers from Breakaway can be seen in the wreckage of the alien control room

The alien glass columns are seen again as booths in Hydroponics in The Troubled Spirit.

Footage: A shot of four astronauts running to the travel tube is from Voyager's Return.

The alien bomber was seen in Alpha Child. It is possible the aliens used a frightening image from the Alphans' past, in the same way as they picked the Hawks from their memory.

Cast: Isla Blair also appears as Carla in Journey To Where. She is married to actor Julian Glover, who was in Alpha Child.

Errors: In an episode notable for the volume and quality of the effects, a few flaws are seen, including cut out Eagles and visible wires.

Observations: Julian Glover says (Starlog 52 p40): "My wife, Isla Blair, did one where she had a most extraordinary make-up that was ridiculous. She and Anthony Valentine both had these appliances on. They couldn't look at themselves without laughing, which is why they did all of their scenes facing away from each other. That's the glamour of the theatre for you!"

On the background radio messages in Main Mission, the word "CAPCOM" can be heard. Are these NASA mission recordings?

The two-tone Red Alert is a sound effect that also appears in the film Fahrenheit 451 (1966), which Barry Gray created some electronic sound effects for. Thanks to Monica Eriksson, sound effect on Ken Scott's Moonbase Alpha site.

George Lucas is known to have been impressed by the special effects in Space 1999 and visited the studios during filming. The shot of the alien bomber flying overhead would be echoed in the opening of Star Wars two years later.

Koenig reveals that he is the ninth commander of Moonbase Alpha.

ReferencesEdit



Season 1
Breakaway I Earthbound I Black Sun I Missing Link I Voyager's Return I Matter of Life and Death I Ring Around the Moon I The Last Sunset I Alpha Child I Death's Other Dominion I Force of Life I Guardian of Piri I The Troubled Spirit I The Last Enemy I Collision Course I Dragon's Domain I The Full Circle I Mission of the Darians I End of Eternity I War Games I The Infernal Machine I Another Time, Another Place I Space Brain I The Testament of Arkadia
Episodes are listed in the order suggested by Andrew Kearley.
(http://www.eyespider.freeserve.co.uk/space/one/index.html)

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