Friday, December 16, 2011

Barbara Bain


It's time for all things glorious and out of this world from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson including the hand-picked beauties of the universe.

Our latest focus shines the laser pointer on the beautiful Barbara Bain [1931-present] of Space:1999. Space:1999 may not have reached UFO proportions when it came to its women, but its sound approach to science fiction ideas aside it still had its fair share of beautiful ladies.

It's almost unfair to stack up voluptuous Wanda Ventham and Gabrielle Drake, two of the finest science fiction females to grace television, against Zienia Merton and Barbara Bain of Space:1999, Year One. Even the adorable Merton can't save the day in that fight. Take UFO's ladies Ventham and Drake and put them head-to-head against Catherine Schell and Barbara Bain in Space:1999, Year Two and you may be onto something. That match up significantly ups the ante, but if I had to choose a series based solely on sex kitten status, UFO might edge out the competition. It's tough for anyone to beat form-fitting spandex tights and purple-pink wigs.

Nevertheless, Barbara Bain was the image of grace and sophisticated beauty. Bain was born Mildred Fogel. The attractive lady that was Bain, to thine young eyes during the airing of Space:1999, always struck me as an older woman even then. Today, her then physicality and how she carried herself, has won a much greater appreciation from me. In fact, as a young person the fine ladies of tomorrow never did catch my attention in that way. After all I was oblivious to the sex appeal of Catherine Schell. I was simply over the moon that she could transform into any animal or space creature she desired. Sex appeal was never an issue even if Barbara Bain reminded me of my mother in some odd way.

Of course, Bain is best known to science fiction aficionados as Dr. Helena Russell on Space:1999 [1975-1977] and as Cinnamon Carter on the television series Mission: Impossible [1966-1973]. She starred opposite her then husband Martin Landau on both series with whom she was married from 1957-1993. The two had two beautiful daughters. Her daughter Juliet Rose Landau appeared in Millennium, Forcing The End opposite Andreas Katsulas. It's stunning to see the striking offspring of those we adored adorn television screens for a whole new generation including our own children.

Juliet Rose Landau is beautiful. Bain has appeared in a number of series through the years, but will always be remembered as Dr. Russell. She may not be a vintage UFO sex kitten, but she indeed was and remains a certified FAB babe of the fine wine variety.

Looking once again at the one actress from the Anderson oeuvre that had a wildly varied and successful career with considerable longevity, this is a scene from the series Millennium, starring Lance Henriksen. The Season Three episode is called Matryoshka [1999] where she plays Lilly Unser opposite the always stunning work of one Terry O'Quinn [Lost] as Peter Watts.

Again, it's always a treat to see Bain perform as one of the most prolific actresses of all the beautiful women that ever graced the magic of those Gerry and Sylvia Anderson productions.


jdigriz said...

Juliet was also great on "Buffy". I've come to appreciate Barbara's low key portrayal of Dr. Russell. Her scene from "Black Sun" where she asks Koenig to be replaced on the "lifeboat" Eagle is one of my favorites. Thanks for the tribute.

le0pard13 said...

Excellent tribute, SFF. I don't think my childhood would have been complete without Barbara Bain and her Cinnamon Carter in 'Mission: IMPOSSIBLE'. She always came off with class and sophistication, alright. Thanks for spotlighting her with this piece.

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

Barbara Bain may not have been a “sex kitten” on Space: 1999, but the then 44-year-old actress was most likely hired for her thespian abilities and filmic gravitas. I may not have been a fan of the show, or of Bain and Landau’s understated acting style, but I still can appreciate their talent and dedication to their craft on what most would perceive to be sci-fi fluff.

SFF said...

Hello all.

I couldn't agree more with you jdigriz on that Bain moment from Black Sun. That's a very strong episode that really highlights character on that series. I actually covered Black Sun here some years ago. Cheers.

L13, right on the money. A classy woman.

Doc. It's funny, she was an attractive woman, but there were many detractors along the way that never felt she was much of a thespian despite her "filmic gravitas". But you're right, she did lend weight to the proceedings.

Sacre bleu! "sci-fi fluff" Perish the thought. : )

Anonymous said...

Not Millicent. Mildred.