FunSpace: 1999

Space:1999 Eagle crashes and losses – Year Two

Season two may have brought many drastic changes to Space:1999, but one thing that never changed was the fact that the Eagles were just as vulnerable as they had always been. Continuing our look at Space:1999 Eagle crashes and losses, we’ll be continuing the same format as we did for Year One. EAGLES CRASHED records the number of Eagles crashed, and EAGLES LOST records the number of Eagles destroyed or left behind.


Eagle 1, piloted by Bill Fraser and Ray Torens, is captured and dragged down to the surface of the planet Psychon by Mentor and his biological computer Psyche. We later see Eagle 1 on the surface, and although it looks intact Mentor had told Koenig that it was beyond repair. However, as with many other things, Mentor could have been lying when he said that so we’re not prepared to count this one as a crash as such. Regardless, Eagle 1 is destroyed when it’s left behind on Psychon at the end of the episode.

Mentor also destroys two more Eagles during the course of the episode; the robot Eagle sent to destroy Psychon, and another Eagle that curiously is seen taking off from a launchpad that’s apparently out of action.




The Alphans are visited by alien being named Magus, who would have them believe he is God. To prove his power he destroys an Eagle on its launchpad, which appears to melt before exploding.

Hopefully there was no-one in there…




In another impressive first for Eagle crashes, the delirious Maya manages to crash an Eagle that’s already on the ground. Obsessed with getting to back to Psychon she breaks into the Eagle hangar and gets aboard Eagle 4, firing its forward vertical thrusters and tipping the craft onto its back, where it skids through the hangar in a glorious mess of fire and explosions.

No doubt other Eagles were damaged by this incident, although this monumental disaster is brushed off fairly lightly in favour of making sure Maya is alright.




While under the hypnotic influence of the plasma Aliens, Commander Koenig crashes Eagle 10 at the nuclear waste dumps – presumably these are replacements for the dumps that were destroyed in Breakaway, or a different dump that they’ve never mentioned until now.

Eagle 10 doesn’t look to be in great shape after the crash, but the only real mention we get of its post crash status comes from Dr Ben Vincent; “totalled”. Since the wreck looks largely intact we can’t really count this one as a complete loss, although it certainly is odd that, following the crash, fires continuing burning inside the Eagle long after the door is opened to space…




Eagle 1, with Koenig and Maya at the controls, crashes on Tora after Sanderson and his crew sabotage Alpha’s computers.

Miraculously, not only is the ship still able to fly after the crash despite bits literally falling off of it, it’s still spaceworthy enough to be safely returned to Alpha.




Eagle 1, with Koenig and medic Blake Maine at the controls, crashes in a forest on Entra, moon of the planet Ellna.

Despite Koenig’s concern that the ship might explode, probably born from the multiple Eagle crashes he’s been part of over the years, Fraser and Alibe later inspect the wreck and discover it largely intact. However, no attempt is made by the Alphans to recover Eagle 1, so this one counts as both a crash and a loss – although the Entrans themselves may possibly have been able to make some use of it.




Eagles 1 and 4 are assigned to the survey team examining an idyllic new planet that soon becomes hostile to both the Alphans and their technology. Koenig and Carter team up for one last Eagle crash, appropriately enough their most epic yet, when they attempt to return an injured Tony Verdeschi to Alpha. Unfortunately the sudden appearance of corrosive elements in the planet’s atmosphere leads to the Eagle falling out of the sky and into another spectacular forest crash landing.

These corrosive elements also render Eagle 1 useless, although thankfully the Alphans are smart enough not to try to take off in it.

Eagle 3, with Bill Fraser at the controls, is also affected by the corrosion when it enters the planet’s upper atmosphere, but thankfully the effect is negated soon after this and the craft suffers no further damage. Fraser is then able to rescue all the surviving Alphans and get them safely home, but the wrecks of Eagles 1 and 4 are left behind on the planet.




4 is once again an unlucky number for an Eagle, as during an attack on the Dorcon battlecruiser Eagle 4 becomes the final Eagle to be destroyed in Space:1999.

However, in another first, we don’t even get to meet the pilot of this doomed ship, as Alan simply tells us after the battle which poor nobody was at the controls. If you’re interested, his name was Thompson.



That brings us to the end of the series, but we do also have one more honorary Eagle crash to mention from a later Space:1999 production; the 1979 movie Alien Attack, which was a compilation of Breakaway and War Games. No, we’re not going through all the compilations to count up all the crashes seen in those, since we’d just be re-treading the same ground again. However, Alien Attack included several specially shot additional scenes featuring Patrick Allen in charge of the turtleneck-wearing members of the International Lunar Commission back on Earth. Nobody there crashed an Eagle, but at the very start of the film they are seen monitoring an Eagle training flight of meta probe astronauts Warren and Sparkman, which subsequently crashes.

This crash is pieced together from various sections of Breakaway and War Games, with much of the footage flopped around to disguise its origins. While we’re not counting this crash in the official tally, since Alien Attack’s place in the wider Space:1999 continuity can only ever really be nebulous at best, it is still worth noting as the earliest chronological Eagle crash we get to see.

Which leaves our final tally of Eagles crashed and lost throughout the entire series as

But now it’s time to name and shame those Alphans responsible for all these disasters. Ignoring any one-off guest characters, since very often their experiences in Eagles were fatal anyway, and just focusing on the regulars, then the following six Alphans have very good reason to feel ashamed.

Fourth place

In joint fourth place are Dr Mathias, Paul Morrow, and Bill Fraser. Mathias and Morrow each have one crash on their record, as a co-pilot, and Fraser has one loss as a pilot.

Third place

In third place, Maya was involved in two crashes, one as a pilot and one as co-pilot.

Second place

Alan Carter takes second place, with one lost Eagle and four crashed Eagles to his name. For three of those crashes he was pilot, and for one he was co-pilot to the man who easily takes the number one slot…

First place

Commander John Koenig has seven Eagle crashes on his record, six as a pilot and one as a co-pilot. Additionally, two of the Eagles he flew – one as a pilot and one as co-pilot – had to be left behind on alien planets. And yet, they still kept letting him fly them…

(Surprisingly, and despite his best efforts, Tony Verdeschi has never once crashed an Eagle.)

Written by
Chris Dale

Writer, editor & voice actor on Big Finish's Doctor Who, Terrahawks, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet audio ranges. Host of the Randomiser on the Gerry Anderson Podcast.

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