Barbara Bain as Dr. Helena Russell: Her debut scene

Friday, April 9th, 2010 Horrorthon Posts

I’m working at cross-purposes to myself here, because I love Space: 1999 and I want everyone to watch it (Look at that incredible production design!), but I also dislike nepotism and I kind of wish a better actress had played the important role of Dr. Helena Russell besides the odious Barbara Bain, whom I’ve described elsewhere as “the most dreadful actress ever to step before the cameras or audience in any medium ever including industrial training films and voice-overs for technical school television ads.” (This is a bit of an exaggeration: for example, I believe that Megan Fox is actually a worse actress than Barbara Bain.)

Anyway, as I reported in comments below Bain hits the ground running in her debut introductory scene in “Breakaway” (the first Space: 1999 episode), wherein she has (in my opinion) conspicuous problems handling the “commlock” prop (not to mention the medical jargon, which sounds like it was edited in post). (Note her presentation of the “thermographic plate” as well. And yes, I know that’s really a microfiche reader.) When I watched this with Octopunk, I said, “Watch Bain with those props! Step aside, Angelina Jolie with your twin nickel-plated .45 automatics…this is real acting!” Or some such.

Martin Landau, of course, won an Academy Award nineteen years later. (Nobody else from Space: 1999 ever won any Oscars.)

Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, without futher ado: Barbara Bain as Dr. Helena Russell: her debut scene: