SPACE:1999 Born for Adversity by David A. McIntee
Reviewed by Patrick Fillion
In my humble opinion, one of the biggest tragedies of Space: 1999’s all-too-brief 2-year run is the boundless potential of a series that was never fully explored on screen. Thankfully, we have the Powys Media novels to delve into that potential. They not only continue the adventures of the characters we love so dearly, but the books permit them to soar to new heights, in a way that, possibly, a television series never could have done.
“Born for Adversity” is an original Space: 1999 novel written by David A. McIntee and published by Powys Media. The book also has a deeply charming foreword (and afterword) written by the lovely Catherine Schell, herself. As I began reading, I was instantly struck by the grandeur and scope of the story.
McIntee skillfully writes these characters exactly as you remember them. He adds a degree of maturity and excitement to their narrative that makes the Alphans seem vastly unprepared for what lies ahead. This is quite wonderful actually because these heroes of ours shine and thrive under the most difficult circumstances.
Now, spoilers are ahead, so be warned.
As the story begins, the Alphans come to an alarming realization: After years of utilizing their Eagles – indeed, ALL of Alpha’s hardware and technology – things are beginning to give up the ghost. The Eagles, which were never designed for deep-space exploration and frequent battle, are not only starting to malfunction, they’re becoming imminent death traps. Solutions must be found, but that’s not going to be easy, especially with a malfunctioning computer.
Things go from complicated to “red-alert” when a gigantic starship crashes onto the surface of the moon, bringing with it Maya’s brother Marek, and a group of surviving Psychon explorers.
The events that follow are startling and intensely exciting. This finally gives the Psychon race additional depth in a way that the series never had the chance to do. Throw in a new race of beastly aliens called the Korth, and you have a non-stop, action-packed narrative that keeps you on your toes, while never once neglecting to respect the cast of Alphans you’re so familiar with, or the new players introduced along the way.
McIntee expertly weaves in elements from a few key episodes of both the first and the second year of the show, and this solidifies his story’s credibility and authenticity. You may be surprised by who makes an appearance as the narrative unfolds.
Ultimately, the ending of this epic adventure literally left me with my jaw on the floor as I struggled to come to terms (I’m still reeling, in fact) with the immense implications of what I’d just read. Things will absolutely never be the same for some of the key players. This is character advancement at its best and you won’t see any of the big twists coming.
McIntee has beautifully woven a story that’s wonderfully broad in scale but always remains true to the source material, while allowing it to stretch its wings and rise to its fullest potential.