Tuesday, June 16, 2015


From the Telegraph:

Sir Christopher Lee, the actor, who has died aged 93, defined the macabre for a generation of horror film enthusiasts with his chilling portrayals of Count Dracula; in a career that spanned more than half a century Lee played the sinister vampire no fewer than nine times in productions including Dracula (1958), Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973).

With his saturnine glamour and striking physique — at a gaunt 6ft 4in he was a dominating physical presence with an aristocratic bearing, dark, penetrating eyes and a distinctive sepulchral voice — Lee was an ideal candidate to play the bloodsucking Count. “Dracula is a very attractive character,” he insisted, “he’s so heroic – erotic too. Women find him irresistible. We’d all like to be him.”

Rightfully so, Sir Christopher is best known for his movie roles - from Dracula and Fu Manchu, both Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, to Scaramanga, Rochefort, Saruman, and Count Dooku.  But he made his mark in television as well, with over sixty roles ranging from 'The Avengers' to 'Charlie's Angels' and my personal favorite, hosting an installment of 'Saturday Night LIve'.

No matter which TV dimension in which they resided, all of Christopher Lee's TV characters were "real" - no matter if they were android replicants, Lucifer, or even Death itself.  (He played Mr. Death in an SNL sketch, my favorite of his characters in my favorite of his TV appearances.  "I'll visit you on your fifteenth birthday!")

But there was one TV character he played who did not exist at all, just a figment of imagination.....

'SPACE: 1999'

A sleeper ship of alien pacifists crash-landed near Moonbase Alpha and one of the lunar colony's commissioners plotted to take one of their suspended animation chambers for himself when they relaunched for Earth.

The captain of that space-faring vessel was Zandor, played by Christopher Lee.

I have established in the past that everything that occurred in 'Space: 1999' after the explosions at the nuclear fuel dumps on the far side of the Moon never actually happened.  If the Moon had been thrust out of its orbit by those explosions in 1999, it never would have been seen again in other TV shows.  And Toobworld itself would have been devestated by seismic disruptions.

So, my splainin?  Commander Koenig was thrown into a coma in which he dreamed the events and characters who would appear in the episodes to follow.  So the Psychon metamorph Maya, Raan of Zenno, and the huge spacecraft Delmer Plebus Powells Gwent and its Companion Gwent, all were products of Koenig's sub-conscious.  And that included Captain Zandor.

That's fine as far as it goes, but where did Koenig's imagination come up with the image of Zandor?  I think the alien was based on Christopher Lee himself.

The televersion of the British thespian, known for his horror roles, would have been the same in both worlds.  We saw evidence of this in several TV series:


'Midsomer Murders': A Tale of Two Hamlets (2003)
Poster is in bookshop.

'Midsomer Murders': Who Killed Cock Robin? (2001)
Scene from the movie is playing on a television as the female victim is attacked by the killer.


'Endeavour': Nocturne (2014)
A double-bill poster is seen.


'Supernatural': Monster Movie (2008)
Poster in the movie theater


'Switched at Birth': As the Shadows Deepen (2013)
Mac: "'Taste The Blood Of Dracula' has universal appeal."

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that John Koenig was a fan of Christopher Lee's work in the cinema.

Sadly, there is only one last entry in the late actor's lengthy list of credits which we can look forward to, according to "Old Reliable", the IMDb.  But as the lunar explosion happened in 1999, the last possible movie Koenig could have seen would have been Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow".  I think that it's more than likely that Commander Koenig is still in that coma sixteen years later.....

Thank you, Sir Christopher, for all the great roles you gave us.  Even Zandor, who didn't really exist.....

Good night and may God bless.

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