Space:1999 Episode A-01
Space 1999 Breakaway Title Card

Episode Title Card[1]

Production Info
Director Lee H. Katzin
Story by Christopher Penfold
Teleplay by George Bellak (Sole Writing Credit)
Editor Dave Lane
Production Code #1
Transmission Info
Airdate 4 September 1975 (SFX Episode Guide)
17 October 1975 (IMDB)
Length {{{length}}}
Guest Star(s) Roy Dotrice as Commissioner Gerald Simmonds
Philip Madoc as Commander Gorski
Lon Satton as Benjamin Ouma
Eric Carte as Eddie Collins
Don Fellows as GTV Newsreader
Roy Scammell as Jim Nordstrom
Season 1
Episode 1
Episode Production Order
Previous None
Next Matter of Life and Death
Episode Transmission Order
Previous None
Next Force of Life
Chronology[N 1]
Previous None
Next Earthbound


"A giant leap for mankind. It's beginning to look like a stumble in the dark."


September 9th, 1999: Commander John Koenig arrives at Moonbase Alpha to supervise a manned probe mission to the newly discovered planet Meta. Nine astronauts have been killed by a mysterious illness and Dr. Helena Russell is convinced that radiation is the cause. An investigation of the Moon's nuclear waste disposal areas reveals no sign of radiation leakage but intense heat is registered and Professor Victor Bergman suggests that increased magnetic output is the real threat. One of the nuclear waste areas explodes and the only way to avert a major disaster is to disperse the remaining nuclear waste canisters, but a sudden increase in magnetic radiation sets off a chain reaction which alters the Moon's gravitational field and throws the satellite out of Earth orbit.

Filming ScheduleEdit

  • Monday, December 3rd - Friday, December 21st, 1973
  • Thursday, December 27th - Friday, December 28th, 1973
  • Wednesday, January 2nd - Friday, January 11th, 1974
  • Friday, February 22nd - Tuesday, February 26th, 1974


  • Original Titles: "Zero G", "The Void Ahead","Turning Point"
  • Filming began on Space:1999's premiere episode on Monday, November 5th, 1973 with special effects shooting at Bray Studios. Principle photography began on L & M stages at Pinewood Studios a month later, on Monday, December 3rd, 1973, and continued for six weeks (four weeks longer than scheduled). Three additional filming days were then required to complete the episode late in February 1974 at the end of filming on Black Sun. This was primarily due to director Lee H. Katzin's insistence on filming each scene in the minutest detail, shooting scenes over and over again to capture reaction shots of each member of the cast. Originally contracted for the whole series, Katzin only directed one other episode (Black Sun) before he was 'let go'. Katzin has previously worked with Martin Landau and Barbara Bain on Mission: Impossible and had also directed episodes of Branded, The Wild, Wild West, Rat Patrol, Mannix, It Takes A Thief and Police Story. He went on to direct episodes of The Quest, The Man From Atlantis, The Yellow Rose, Automan, Miami Vice and The Young Riders.
  • Lon Satton, previously seen as C.I.A. agent Harold Strutter in Live And Let Die (1973), was originally intended to be a series regular as Benjamin Ouma, but other members of the cast found him difficult to work with and he was not re-contracted for further episodes.
  • Breakaway was originally scripted as a 90-minute episode by George Bellak who takes sole on-screen writer's credit, although his script was completely re-written by Christopher Penfold.

Errors and Explanations - Internet Movie DatabaseEdit

Factual errorsEdit

  1. A tremendous explosion on "the dark side" of the Moon supposedly throws the Moon out of orbit and into deep space. There really isn't a "dark side" to the Moon. Though it is true that only one side of the Moon ever faces the Earth, all parts of the Moon get sunlight as it orbits Earth every month. Even if they meant the "far side" of the Moon, the situation is no better. If they actually meant "dark" side (ie: the side facing away from the Sun at that moment) then the explosion would have flung the Moon into the Sun. If they meant to say "far" side, then the explosion would have flung the Moon into the Earth.[2]
    The Gravitational fields of Earth and the Sun could have deflected the moon away from the solar system.



  1. Based on order suggested by Andrew Kearley (See Season Navbox for full list)


  2. IMDB entry

Space: 1999 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.
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