I remember as a kid thinking that if you were in space the planets would all just be "hanging there like fruit"...
It was reading books by Heinlein and Asimov where they explained that if you were in a spaceship entering a solar system all you would see were little points of light, and you would have to take lots of pictures and maybe change your location a few times (taking pictures each time) to locate any planets.
I guess you are unaware that habitable planets are surrounded by a space-time distortion field. This explains why one can travel between stellar systems in hours but passing a (habitable) planet is a relatively slow process. This field also seems to draw ships to pass close to the planet. (Space: 1999 was not unique in this; Blake's 7 also had near-planet slowdown and attraction--sometimes even when just passing through a stellar system.)
Based on the frequency of extraterrestrial visitation on Earth, Earth's field might be unusually strong. (Since visitations tend to be more frequent in modern times, perhaps there is some psychic component to the field generation correlated with intelligent brain mass.)
Thanks for dragging up some wonderful memories! My father an I watched almost all of this stuff - on of our many shared pleasures. Being a Brit, I especially remember Logan's Run, UFO, Space:1999 and Blake's Seven.
A piece of trivia for you...if you look very carefully at the picture here (http://starringthecomputer.com/computer.php?c=209) you'll see an Acorn System One playing the part of a computer in an episode of Blake's Seven. This was Acorns first venture into "personal computing". That venture ended with the Archimedes and the invention of what became the ARM architecture.
I was in college when I saw "Logan's Run". What I remember is the whole audience (all college students) booing when Michael York wimped out and decided not to remove his wet pants (Jenny Agutter was totally nude).