The "big screen" is the large view screen at the front of these rooms. Both are staffed by members of all organisational sections. Normal staff levels are about double the number of desks: various staff are employed looking at the computer panels (this was Kano's position until he got a desk) or walking round carrying pieces of colourful plastic. Minimum staff levels are two or less (Black Sun, Space Brain).
The layout and lighting of Main Mission changed through the series. In early episodes, the panels are illuminated white. In Alpha Child they became green for six episodes. In End of Eternity only they are yellow. In War Games and The Last Enemy they are both white and red. In the remaining six episodes they are white, except for some scenes in Space Brain when they are green.
Another Time, Another Place
In Another Time, Another Place, we see Main Mission stripped of all electronics. The camera pans over the deserted room.
Breakaway The view from Koenig's desk. Breakaway Breakaway: Main Mission is in the early layout with steps to the viewports (there is a slight change in Ring Around The Moon; the new layout is in Earthbound). Black Sun Black Sun: early layout Black Sun Black Sun Earthbound Earthbound: the steps to the windows are gone, and the desks open out slightly; but Kano still does not have a desk. Another Time, Another Place Another Time, Another Place: the wider layout Guardian of Piri The later layout with Kano's desk, which first appeared in Missing Link. Force Of Life View from the balcony Space Brain Space Brain: including Kano's desk Force Of Life Often wires are seen running on the floor between desks. Collision Course The desks move forwards and backwards in each episode, and sometimes foreground desks even disappear for particular shots.
There are a number of different portable instruments usually seen on the desks. The Eagle remote control is featured in Breakaway and used extensively throughout the series.
Paul's keyboard normally sits at the front of his desk. He often presses buttons to initiate calls or show things on the Big Screen. Breakaway At the start of Breakaway, unusually, it is on the side of his desk, not in front of Paul. Breakaway Paul uses it in conjunction with the Eagle remote control Ring Around The Moon The Last Sunset The 3 rows are numbered (1,2,3) along the left side, with alphabetic labels along the top (A to L). The green illuminated lights on the right side have the label "CODES". Earthbound Death's Other Dominion Death's Other Dominion
Sandra usually has a display in front of her desk. It isn't present in Breakaway or Matter Of Life And Death; it first appears in Black Sun Black Sun Black Sun Force Of Life Ring Around The Moon
A second keyboard is usually at the end of the desks closest to the Big Screen and the computer wall. There are two different designs. Only one is featured, in Collision Course, but it is rarely used in other episodes. Black Sun Initial design: a light coloured keyboard is seen in early episodes. Ring Around The Moon It seems to be similar in design to Paul's keyboard. Breakaway A close up from a publicity shot: the keys on top are labelled "A, B, C, D" and "1, 3, 5, 7". Collision Course The design in Collision Course is a simple 10 x 3 keyboard of red keys with no lights or labels. Unlike the other keyboards, the front base forms a lip so it can sit on the edge of a flat desk. Collision Course In Collision Course Koenig uses the keyboard to locate Alan's navigation beacon. Death's Other Dominion The keyboard is also seen on Ultima Thule in Death's Other Dominion, and in Experimental in Voyager's Return.
Kano's desk first appeared in Missing Link.