I checked on Space: 1999, which premiered on September 4th, 1975, after William Shatner’s tweet about the show and September 13th. In the fictional storyline, part of the Moon blows up on that date hurtling into space. As a kid growing up on science fiction, I loved the show because of its psychic shape shifting science officer Maya (played by Catherine Shell), who appeared in the second and final season. By today’s standards, her transformations would seem cheesy, but back then it was just fascinating to see someone become someone or something else.
Feeling sentimental, I wanted to see who had Space: 1999 to watch online. Google returned the results of Hulu and a few other places. I figured I stop by and see what’s going on with Hulu because I hadn’t been in there in a while. Last time I was, they already had a subscription based-service called Hulu Plus where you didn’t have to wait a week for the most recent episodes of current shows. Well, I’m sad to report that Hulu Plus is gone, and so is the free part of Hulu. It became a full-subscription service on August 8, 2016. Prices are 7.99 per month for ad-supported content and 11.99 for ad-free content.
“For the past couple years, we’ve been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers,” Hulu senior VP and head of experience Ben Smith said in a statement reported on Variety. “As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy.” Bottom line, the shareholders want their money and ad-driven streaming doesn’t pull in as much as subscription services.
Not lost on me is the ironic timing of the shutdown. Shatner is best known for his role of Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek with more recent successes like Sh*t May Dad Said, Boston Legal, and Better Late than Never. Star Trek predicted flip phones, smart phones, voice interactive computers, and the Apple IPad. The franchise also celebrated its 50th Anniversary on September 8, 2016, one month after Hulu ended its streaming service.