Breakaway Day 2017: "End of Eternity"
In particular, this installment represents a near-perfect blend of cinematic visual style with a thoughtful science fiction premise involving immortality.
Simply put, “End of Eternity” depicts how visual touches -- in terms of innovative editing techniques and detailed production design-- actually buttress and express characterization, and other critical information. In other words, the story itself -- with all its nuance and coloring -- is not contained merely in the dialogue, but in the meticulous, beautifully-wrought imagery.
When questioned about this quality, Balor notes that his people “cast him out” after immortality was discovered on their world. They did so, he states, because they did not appreciate his efforts to make immortality meaningful in the absence of death.
|Low angle: The Power of Balor|
|The Power of Balor: His victims don't make a sound.|
|Balor's Power redux.|
|Victor suddenly understands Balor's philosophy of (endless) life.|
Often, Space: 1999’s visualizations possess a kind of grand scale and but minimalist formality, a carefully meted sense of order in terms of blocking and staging. However, this brutal scene breaks down that well-established sense of TV decorum, and the attack is lensed entirely from Koenig’s perspective. With jump cut ferocity, we watch as the biplane strikes the camera, --and therefore us -- again and again. It’s absolutely vicious, and the wicked, inventive punch-line is that, at some point, the camera even mimics an angle we might see from a real plane, as the weapon/plane banks and turns to attack Koenig again and again.
In Baxter's quarters, we can easily make-out artwork of the lunar lander, for instance, and also a brass or silver model plane. The decoration of his quarters -- uncommented upon -- tell us what we need to know about the character’s passion…and therefore his weakness. Balor exploits that weakness, and Koenig is bludgeoned with that weakness. It's a perfect metaphor for the ways that the Devil "tempts" his victims with the very things they love and covet.
"End of Eternity's" final moments fulfill the promise of the mirror-image zooms to close-up when Koenig sends Balor out of Moonbase Alpha’s airlock (foreshadowing Alien’s  finale). But the lead-up is a nail-biting contest between sadism and power (Balor) and self-sacrifice and experience (Koenig).
|Balor's veil lifted.|
So if you ever wanted to know what happens the second time Balor and Commander Koenig, this book provides the (riveting) answers.