Sunday, February 26, 2017

Doll-A-Day 2017 #57: Commander Keonig

  Since the Academy Awards will be awarded tonight we're marking the occasion by featuring an
 Oscar winner: Martin Landau as Commander Koenig from Space 1999.

 Space 1999 was a British TV series, which ran from 1975 to 1977.
Space 1999, with Martin Landau, Barry Morse, and Barbara Bain. Barry Morse is best known to my children as 'the guy I saw in the post office' in London one day.

The doll was made by Mattel in 1976.

Although the head sculpt was a nice likeness of Martin Landau, the body was recycled from The Sunshine Family dad.

The body and legs are hard plastic, but the arms are softer.The knees are jointed.

Sorry.I don't have any space age chairs.

In Britain,Palitoy produced a series of Space 1999 figures with more jointed bodies and different head sculpts that weren't nearly as accurate likenesses.

Plus they called him 'Captain' Koenig,commander of Alpha Moonbase,instead of Commander Koenig. Around here,Ken's the expert on "Space 1999", and he refers to the character as 'Commander Koenig', so I'll take his word for it. And while I'm at it,I got this figure for Ken, so technically,it's his.
The series premise was that the crew of Moonbase Alpha,and the moon itself, are left hurtling through space after the moon is knocked out of orbit by an explosion of nuclear waste at a disposal site on the far side of the moon.

Commander Koenig was played by Martin Landau.

Martin Landau was born in Brooklyn, New York in June, 1928.

One of his early roles was as a villain in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 film "North By Northwest". He also appeared in "Cleopatra" in 1963,and 1965's "The Greatest story Ever Told".

From 1966 to 1969 Landau was one of the original stars of Mission Impossible,(You can see the classic opening and hear that magnificent theme HERE.)where he played disguise expert Rollin Hand.

Unlike the other stars,and at his own request, Landau was contracted year by year, rather than the usual five years. His wife at the time,Barbara Bain,appeared as another agent,Cinnamon Carter. (Married in 1957, they divorced in 1993.) After three years both actors left the series.(Thus ruining my favourite Mission Impossible cast!)

In "Space 1999" Barbara Bain played Dr. Russell.The doll made of her is a terrific likeness.

Martin Landau has been nominated for the Oscar three times: for "Tucker,The Man and his Dream" in 1988, "Crimes and Misdemeanors" in 1989, and the third time, his win for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood" in 1994.

Martin Landau in his Oscar winning role as Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood".

   These days Martin Landau is 88 years old, and lives in California.
Martin Landau in 2015.
Tomorrow we'll look at another doll. 

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