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Ring Around the Moon

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Episode QuoteEdit

"Earthmen - do not resist. You are the captives of the planet Triton."

ITC SummaryEdit

The moon becomes a prisoner of an alien planet as an eerie new menace grips Alpha in a ring of light and turns Dr. Helena Russell into an involuntary informer, with death as her threatened reward.

SynopsisEdit

Prologue:Edit

While Maintenance Technician Ted Clifford is setting up his tools on the sill of one of Main Mission's windows, an orb appears in the distance over the lunar landscape. It begins to pulse with yellow light, and takes control of Ted Clifford. He walks over to the bank of computer panels, and begins typing furiously. Paul tells Kano to stop him. When Kano tries, Ted picks him up by the neck and tosses him across the room. Paul leaps across his desk and grabs Clifford, who quickly neutralizes him.

Koenig appears, and Ted grabs him by the throat and pins him against the computer banks, and continues typing away. Helena tries to free John from his grasp, which loosens, as Ted stops typing. He pleads for them to help him, then suddenly collapses. Before they can react, the Alphans are thrown to the ground by a jarring force. Koenig order Paul to activate the big screen to identify the cause. They see the orb emitting a force-field made of light which completely envelopes the Moon. The picture is lost, but immediately after they realize that they are locked in it's orbit, they receive an audio transmission announcing that they are the captives of the planet Triton.

Act One:Edit

Status reports come in from around the base. They are operating with minimum power, and all but four Eagles are inoperative. All attempts to communicate with the Triton's sphere go unanswered. Koenig thinks it's time to pay them a visit, but Victor doesn't think it will be a surprise. He suspects the Alphans are being watched, which, in fact, they are. After Helena and Bob Mathias perform an autopsy on Ted Clifford. They report their findings to the Commander. They tell him they saw a ball of orange light at the base of his brain, which pulsated briefly then died out. And that their was very little brain tissue to examine, as most of it had melted.

Astronauts Carter and Donovan lift off to look over the sphere. En route, their Eagle is engulfed in a force-field which repels their ship, and sends it spinning out of control on a collision course with the Moon. Unconscious, and with their controls set to manual, Paul is unable to land their Eagle. It crash lands about 700 meters from the base. Koenig leads a rescue team out to the downed Eagle. Just over half way there, Paul reports that the scanners have been jammed and suspects an attack. They hurry on towards the Eagle, but Helena is abducted, and John knocked unconscious.

Act Two:Edit

Helena materializes within the Triton's sphere, as John wakes in Medical Centre. Victor tells him that Helena has been taken. John suggests boosting the anti-gravity shields on one of their Eagles to break through the force-field to retrieve her. Meanwhile, in the darkness of the sphere, Helena tells the Tritonians that the Alphans mean them no harm, and need their help. They reply, that she is the one who will help them. They explain that everything that is, has been, and shall be, is recorded by them. She is to be the servant of the Eyes of Triton, and they program her to that end.

Victor tells John that the modifications to the Eagle are ready. John and Alan lift off and head for the sphere. As they come into range, John turns the anti-gravity shields to full power. When the Triton probe projects it's force-field at them, the screens create a tunnel through it. But this success is short-lived, as the force-field is reversed, pulling them towards the sphere, at dangerous speeds. They struggles against tremendous g-forces to cut the engines, and switch the controls from manual to automatic, before they black out. Barely succeeding at this, Paul is able to remotely pilot their Eagle, and they are safely returned to Alpha. Immediately after they touch down, Sandra detects another object approaching the base. Helena appears just outside one of the airlocks, and is brought to Medical Centre for a full work up.

Act Three:Edit

Aside from a short bout of dizziness, she feels fine, and appears to be in perfect health... with one exception. According to Dr. Mathias' examination of her optic nerve, she should be blind, but isn't. When John asks her if she can think of an explanation, she responds "Ted Clifford". Victor finds a reference to the Tritonians in the Pyramid Text of the Old Kingdom calling them "the eyes of heaven". Helena tells them that she spoke to a voice in the sphere, and that she wasn't wearing her space suit. Based on the presence of a breathable atmosphere, they surmise that the Tritonians may possibly be humanoid. Suddenly Helena stands up, and with a flash of yellow light, Helena is activated like Ted Clifford.

She walks to the door and vanishes. Koenig realizes that she's going to Computer, and orders that no one is to interfere with her. She walks to Main Mission transporting through doors until she's inside. She begins transmitting data to the Triton probe, then suddenly stops. Victor figures that Helena has 132 hours before she exhausts the computers memory cells, which gives them some time to formulate a plan. He and John discuss the Tritonians, and realize that they must limited in someway, making them unable to leave their sphere. Dr. Mathias shows Koenig the results of his tests on Helena. The same ball of light that they saw in Ted Clifford is present, only stronger. Mathias tells Koenig that Helena cannot survive many more activations.

Act Four:Edit

After checking his star charts, Victor has discovered that Triton no longer exists. John, figuring that there is a circuit going from the probe to the force-field around the Moon, to Helena, to Computer, and back to the probe, comes up with a plan to jam Computer, and temporarily deactivate the Triton force-field. Kano sets twenty-five key circuits to jam in computer, which will shut down the force-field for thirteen minutes and ten seconds. John explains to Helena that this will allow them to get to the sphere, and if he can convince the Tritonians that their mission is obsolete, perhaps they will release her. The next time she is activated, Koenig, Carter, and a security team lift off. When they encounter the force-field, Kano jams the computer, and the force-field vanishes. They enter the sphere, and land in total darkness.

The probe's control of Helena temporarily broken, the Alphans wait for her to be reactivated so she can send the data about Triton's destruction. Inside the probe, Koenig and his security team disembark. But as they begin their search of the sphere, the security team vanishes, leaving him alone in the darkness. After seeing a projection of Helena Koenig is greeted by one of the aliens, who apologize for the deaths of his men.

It tells him that they are gathering information for when Earth decides to invade Triton. Koenig tells them that it is two million light years from Earth. It responds that time is an illusion. Koenig argues that it isn't, because Triton no longer exists, and tells it that he can prove it. He contacts Victor to have Helena send the data regarding Triton. Koenig has the acknowledge the incoming information. When it realizes it's home has been destroyed, and it has no further purpose, the probe begins to self destruct. Koenig runs for the Eagle, and the security team reappears. They board the Eagle and lift off as the sphere continues to beak up. On Alpha, Helena is free of the Triton's control. They watch as the Eagle escapes the exploding sphere before it disintegrates.

Epilogue:Edit

Back on Alpha, Dr. Mathias finishes his examination of Helena, who has survived her ordeal with no ill effects. Koenig sees Victor deep in thought, and asks why he's so pensive. Victor reflects on the destruction of Triton, musing that "Perhaps knowledge isn't the answer". Koenig asks "Then what is?"

CastEdit

BackgroundEdit

  • This was adapted by di Lorenzo probably from one of the early story concepts.
  • Script dated 14th December 1973; green page amendments 17th January 1974
  • Final draft dated 8th February 1974. Filmed 4th March- 13th March 1974
  • Edited into the 1976 Italian compilation movie Spazio 1999

Ray Austin directed the first of nine episodes of Space:1999. A former stuntman and fight choreographer, Austin turned his hand to directing on The Avengers and went on to direct episodes of The Saint, Department S, Randall And Hopkirk Deceased, The New Avengers and The Professionals. In the 1980s, he established himself in American television directing episodes of Salvage 1, Magnum p.i., Tales Of The Gold Monkey, Airwolf, Alfred Hitchock Presents, Highlander, Heaven Help Us and JAG.

Formerly with the band Christie (of "Yellow River" fame), Vic Elms is credited as Music Associate on every Year One episode, although his only compositions for the series' incidentals feature in this installment. The son-in-law of producer Sylvia Anderson, Elms had previously provided the music for Gerry Anderson's unseen series pilot The Investigator and arranged the electric guitar section of Space:1999's title music (an electric guitar arrangement by Elms of the series' theme can also be heard in Matter of Life and Death). However, as music editor Alan Willis discovered to his dismay, although he could compose pop songs, Elms was unable to read music or understand the requirements of scoring music to cues for film incidentals. The majority of the scoring for the episode was completed by Willis, who also conducted the orchestra at the recording session. Elms was not invited to contribute to any further episodes.

Max Faulkner has appeared in supporting roles in a number of British television productions over the last thirty years including Doctor Who (seven times), The Saint, The Prisoner (twice), Arthur Of The Britons, Survivors, The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes and Robin Of Sherwood. His film appearances include The Ipcress File (1965), Bedazzled (1967), Salt And Pepper (1968), Perfect Friday (1970), See No Evil (1971) and, most recently, GoldenEye (1995). Prior to his Space:1999 role, Faulkner appeared as Jarman in the The Tiger And The Goat episode of Gerry Anderson's The Protectors.

ReferencesEdit



Season 1
Breakaway I Earthbound I Black Sun I Missing Link I Voyager's Return I Matter of Life and Death I Ring Around the Moon I The Last Sunset I Alpha Child I Death's Other Dominion I Force of Life I Guardian of Piri I The Troubled Spirit I The Last Enemy I Collision Course I Dragon's Domain I The Full Circle I Mission of the Darians I End of Eternity I War Games I The Infernal Machine I Another Time, Another Place I Space Brain I The Testament of Arkadia
Episodes are listed in the order suggested by Andrew Kearley.
(http://www.eyespider.freeserve.co.uk/space/one/index.html)

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