Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Say; Hello Spaceman

This is the actor Ori Levy in Moon Zero Two, a Hammer Studios film from 1969. And this is as good a place as any to start; Say; Hello Spaceman. an investigative blog exploring the cultural impact and history of the spacesuit through real life, film, television and just about anywhere else where interesting and innovative design can be found.

So why start with Moon Zero Two?

Well, while I concede that I was at a very impressionable age when I first saw the film (7 or 8 by my reckoning) I still think it offers the coolest looking spacesuits going in any film before or since. And that’s not just nostalgia talking. Having recently reacquainted myself with the movie after at least a couple of decades away, time and maturity have not lessened it’s charm or appeal. For me its everything a space suit should be.

Which is, I’m well aware, a very subjective viewpoint and that was what got me wondering as to exactly how and why this particular suit design managed to make such an impression… and bare in mind that I’m part of the original Stars Wars generation so a lot of sci-fi has passed before these eyes.

So I started investigating and it transpires that repetition had some part to play in all of this although not simply through the repeated showing of the film but through the recycling of the costumes. And that lead me to discover that the same practise had happened with other spacesuits from other films. And the more I uncovered the more interesting the search has become. Some of these outfits have had quite impressive careers lasting decades and crossing oceans to appear in Galaxies far, far away!

By default of all this research I’ve managed to gather quite a gallery of images, uncovered quite a catalogue of stories and inadvertently mapped something of an evolutionary timeline for how the design of the space suit has been altered and informed over the years.

Now I can’t promise I’ll steer a straight path through the subject, because it gets a little tangled in places, but I do hope that as I meander through the many futures past, it will at least be an informative and as entertaining a ramble as possible.

So welcome aboard and prepare yourself for the bit they used to call; Lift-off!

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