Friday, 10 July 2020

Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

Here's an old chestnut from my misspent youth; the remake of The Magnificent Seven in space, also known as Battle Beyond the Stars.  I'm half way through a rewatch this very evening and have rediscovered a very forgettable spacesuit scene.

I had spotted a hint of a space helmet when Richard Thomas first enters the spaceship Nell but had assumed it was there as set dressing but no, about 30 minutes in and it actually gets a bit of airtime.

These are not the best images in the world but then its not the best space helmet either.  Still, that's another one added to the list that we didn't have before


Deliveroo TV Advert (2019)


I've had these images saved from when this advert first aired but was interested to just read that it ended up getting banned for false advertising in the UK.  i.e.; Deliveroo cant really get a food order to your orbiting space station!  I have mixed feelings about this because on the one hand its sort of important not to lie in adverts and make false promises but equally what happened to a sense of humour!

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Adrian Chesterman - A gallery of book covers

I nearly bid on a copy of this the other day just because I liked the cover but then I heard the creak of my bookshelves and decided to hold back.  On the plus side it made me do a little investigation.

Well these are rather lovely, aren't they.  For obvious reasons I've selected the covers with spacesuits in them but if you go google image; Adrian Chesterman, you will find a lot of very beautiful icon book covers from the 70s and 80s. Enjoy, I know I did.


Airfix Astronauts (1971)

A classic set of 1:76 scale figures originally released in 1971 and still available to this day.  Its nice to see the box art remains almost the same.  As a kid I spent as long staring at that picture as I did painting and playing with the figures.
 I'll admit I'm tempted....


Thursday, 27 February 2020

Seksmisja (aka Sexmission) (1984)

I've yet to read the article but this Polish film is featured in the latest copy of Infinity Magazine (#25) which is nice because it brought it to my attention.  Unfortunately I've not seen the actual movie so you lot are going to have to tell me if its any good or not.  Swanky spacesuits though!


Thursday, 16 January 2020

Lost In Space - S3 E8 - Flight into the Future (1967)

We've looked at Lost in Space before, both the original series Robinsons' spacesuits as well as the movie and Netflix reboots.

For this post though we are returning to a specific episode of the original run - season three's Flight into the Future, the eighth episode that first aired in 1967.  This story features two Destination Moon style suits which may even be the originals or at least a very accurate reproduction.

What's particularly interesting about this spacesuit though is that's its an ensemble of very mixed origins because while the suit may be from 1950, the helmets are from 1966's Way...Way Out.  They have been modified to reflect the 50's aesthetic but that actually appears to have been done for an earlier Irwin Allen production; episode two of  The Time Tunnel.  There is lots more to be said about this but at the risk of repeating myself its perhaps best to follow the link and read all about here:


The Time Tunnel - Episode 2: One Way to the Moon (1966)

The Time Tunnel was the third of Irwin Allen's four classic sci-fi serials following on from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964–1968), Lost in Space (1965–1968) and preceding Land of the Giants (1968–1970).  The time travel themed adventure series ran for just one season of 30 episodes from 1966 to 1967 and in true Irwin Allen tradition, made good creative use of stock film footage to add cinematic value that far exceeded a normal television show's budget.

With that particular trait in mind we can easily deduce why the space suit costumes seen in episode 2; One Way to the Moon have more than a passing similarity to those seen in the1950's iconic Destination Moon as indeed, scenes from that movie are intercut into the TV episode to broaden the spectacle.
 The Time Tunnel
Destination Moon

I'm tempted to suggest, given the passage of time between the two productions, that the spacesuits seen on TV are reproductions but who knows they might indeed be the actual movie originals, they're certainly a very close match and other spacesuits have enjoyed equally long lives

The helmets on the other hand are not the movie ones getting a second outing but are, I now believe, far more interesting in their origin in that they are most probably the helmets from Way...Way Out (1966).

This theory was suggested to me by blog-follower Tim Armstrong who's spent a lot of time trying to solve the mystery, because neither of us believed that they were originals produced for that one episode, because, well;  why would Allen go to the expense!  Tim said this in a blog comments made back in June 2014:

"Damn those suits have had a long life, any idea where the helmets seen in this episode came from, I find it hard to believe that they would have had helmets custom made for just this episode."

And then 6 years later in January 2020:

"I think I`ve just cracked the riddle of the helmets on the Destination Moon type suits that we first saw in episode 2 of The Time Tunnel and that also made an appearance in the Lost in Space season 3 episode flight into the future [ep8]
These are actually the Way... Way Out helmets prior to receiving their new opening visors. The profile looks identical and there are 4 of them [we see 4 in The Time Tunnel] it looks like they've covered part of the original visor in some new material and added a raised lip to the new visor's edge, in fact in a couple of the scenes in Lost in Space you can actually see this in profile as the actor turns his head.

These ARE the Way...Way Out helmets! I`m certain of it!"

And do you know what; I'm going to agree with him because when you look and compare the images for long enough, you can see it.

You may also wish to follows the label below: Way Out Spacesuits to trace the history of the suits and the helmets or;  A Suitography of the "Way... Way Out" Spacesuit (1966 and onwards)  which gets updated with each new discovery so feel free to let me know of any gaps.
So a massive thanks to Tim, whose fascination and dedication to this site has been greatly appreciated over the years. Cataloguing spacesuits is one thing but unearthing these cultural hand-me-downs and exposing their secret histories is for me the most satisfying part of it all.  Top work.