Regular readers might know my massive love for Doctor Who, and think, “Ah!, I’ll bet it’s the TARDIS.” Nope.
It’s the Eagles from Space: 1999.
The reason is simple. The Eagles looked real to me: practical, achievable machines. The Eagles looked like a reasonably logical progression from the real spaceships of the day; you could see design elements from the Apollo lunar excursion modules. They were clearly meant to run on liquid fuel, rather than some imaginary power source. I particularly loved the small steering rockets on the sides of the landing pads, which would be necessary to adjust the position of a spaceship in airless space. (Sadly, the Eagles were usually filmed swooping through space like airplanes. More realistic depictions of maneuvering would have to wait for Babylon 5.)
My quest to see the Enterprise, the restoration of the Eagle, and the excitement over the discovery of a Serenity model makes me a bit sad for the nearly complete transition of special effects from model making to computer generated imagery. With computer images, there’s no actual object that a fan can ever go see. That makes me just a bit sad.
Shame such a great design was stuck in a usually sub par show.
Additional: The Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait, has a great article on why Victor Bergman from Space: 1999 is his favourite depiction of a scientist on television.
Restoring the original 44" Eagle 1 studio SFX model
The 44" Eagle 1 studio model today