“What's happening? You must not touch my brain!”
Alpha encounters an intangible mass as it heads though space...and towards disaster. Whatever the mysterious energy field might be, it possesses a strange and frightening power. (ITC summary)
Things are quiet on the moonbase, and off-duty Alphans are doing puzzles to pass the time. Suddenly all the monitors on the base are filled with streams of strange glyphs, cutting off communication. Scanners indicate that the source of the strange symbols is somewhere along orbital reference 397. Eagle 1 is dispatched to investigate.
The glyphs stop as suddenly as they appeared, and communication is restored. Eagle 1 reports a phenomenon pulsing with light and color. The ship is covered with a strange foam-like substance and contact is lost. A rescue Eagle is sent to search for Eagle 1 and is nearly hit by a meteor on a direct path towards Alpha. Inexplicably it passes through the defense screens and impacts near one of the launch pads.
Fearing that the meteor may have collided with Eagle 1, James Kelly is told to do a space walk to look for wreckage. The meteor is retrieved and brought back to the base for analysis. Helena's research reveals the presence of an organic compound on the exterior of the meteor. Victor reports the composition of the meteor to be the same as an Eagle, along with traces of human tissue.
Realizing that the meteor is Eagle 1, Alan is recalled to base. But he has lost contact with Kelly, who was doing a space walk and won't return until he has him back on board. Alan finds Kelly floating unconscious, brings him back to the ship, and returns to Alpha. Victor tells John that the organic substance coating the asteroid has reverted to it's original state, a "foam" that, in sufficient quantities, could crush anything. Kelly regains consciousness and begins transmitting data to the object in space.
In an attempt to stop him, the computer is shut down. Kelly attacks Koenig and Security personnal are forced to stun him. Koenig decides to send an Eagle loaded with nuclear charges to reduce the crushing force of the object in space that threatens their survival.
When the transmitted data is analyzed, it is surmised that the force is trying to change the course of the Moon to avoid a collision. In order to better understand the entity that has taken Kelly over, Koenig decides to link minds with him, via symbiosis.
Koenig learns that it is a brain, and it does want to help. Together with computer it comes up with a plan, but it will require the nuclear charges on the Eagle that's on it's way to the brain. Paul turns the Eagle around but the computer fails and the nuclear charges will not disarm, and they can no longer control it remotely. Koenig flies out to dock with the Eagle, and disarm the charges, but is still unable to land it safely. He does manage, however to divert it from colliding with the base, but the nuclear charges are destroyed in the crash.
Unable to change their course, the Moon continues on towards the space brain. It begins to send out tendrils of the foam-like antibodies. The Alphans come up with a plan. They will attempt to equalize the pressure by increasing the internal pressure within the base, but it must be done gradually or that could be dangerous.
The foam starts to build up causing decompression in certain areas around the base. Medical Centre is compromised and during the evacuation, the unconcious Kelly is overcome. The foam begins to flood the base, filling the underground hangars, the halls, and even Main Mission. The Moon tears through the brain like a bullet. The brain dies and the foam is neutralized. They have survived, but at what cost?
Helena mourns the loss of Kelly. She feels that she abandoned him when Medical Centre was evacuated. John tells her that she can't assume responsibility for Kelly's death, any more than they can assume responsibility for the death of the space brain. If only they had been able to communicate with it sooner, things might have been different.
|France/Canada||Cerveau spatial/Space Brain|
|Germany||Wer programmiest Kelly?/Who Programs Kelly?|
|Italy||Il cervello spaziale/The Space Brain|
|Japan||Attack of the Huge Space Brain|
|Netherlands||Kosmisch Brein/Cosmic Brain|
|Portugal||O Cérebro do Espaço/The Brain Of Space|
|Spain||Cerebro del espacio/Space Brain|
|South Africa||Ruimtebrein/Space Brain|
Final Shooting script 25th November 1974
Final Shooting script 1st December 1974
Shooting schedule dated 5 December 1974
Filmed 5th December 1974- 19th December 1974
"Additional material" 20 page script dated 25 February 1975, reshooting 25 February- 28 February 1975
As foam filled Main Mission, director Charles Crichton tried to cut the scene but could not be heard above the sound of the aircraft engines whipping up the foam. He ran forward waving his arms, slipped and disappeared into the foam. He emerged covered in it. The foam continued until it filled the set (account by Nick Tate in Starlog 4, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain in the Kindred/Fanderson video "The Space: 1999 Documentary")
- Int. Main Mission
- Int. Command Office
- Int. Alpha Corridor
- Int. Kelly's Quarters
- Int. Medical/Observation
- Int. Technical
- Int. Computer Room
- Int. Eagle Pilot Section
- Int. Eagle Passenger Section
- Ext. Space (spacewalk)
The Computer Room originally appeared in Black Sun with some slight differences.
Library track: "Mars, Bringer Of War" composed by Gustav Holst, arranged by Malcolm Sargent (published by EMI Music For Pleasure)
Bergman says there are only two schemes to move the moon: "Shockwaves and antigravity screens". Antigravity is an invention of the series. Shockwaves cannot travel through space (see Collision Course).
"This is neither a sun, a star or a planet we're dealing with." A sun and a star are synonymous.
"That part of the cerebellum that controls the will". The cerebellum controls muscular coordination; higher mental processes are controlled in the cerebrum.
Symbiosis between two minds seems to be similar to Kano's link to the computer in Guardian of Piri.
Astronomer Fred Hoyle has proposed that space nebulae could become alive and novelised the idea in his book The Black Cloud.
Where does the foam go at the end of the episode? The moon will be coated with it, and it will not erode or decompose in the vacuum of space. Where do they put the foam that was inside Main Mission?
In his book The Biology Of Science Fiction Cinema (McFarland, April 2002); Mark C Glassy analyses this episode's treatment of antibodies. He approves of the concept of the moon and eagle as "antigens". Antibody proteins turn into bubbles when rapidly mixed with air, like the foam seen in the moonbase. He disapproves of the concept that the antibodies can gain weight and density.
Helena induces "neuronic concussion" with a handheld direct ophthalmoscope (used to examine the eye). Visible are the little dial that you spin to adjust the focus and even the eye aperture you look through on the 'top side' as it is held over Kelly's forehead. You can even see the power cord dangling off the back which seems appropriate for the 1970s since the lithium battery powered sort didn't become readily available until much later. Thanks to Meredith Girard
Alpha Personnel: 3 fatalities, Cousteau, Wayland, Kelly.
In the script cast list and some publicity material, Melita is listed as "Melita Janni" - although the surname is never used in dialogue. They are married (Koenig talks to her about "her husband"), so it is possible that Kelly is a forename; alternatively Melita may use her maiden name.
Alpha Technology: This is the first time we see the EVA backpack. It is seen again in The Exiles.
The timing device for the nuclear bombs appears in a number of other episodes, including in the Eagle cockpit in The Immunity Syndrome.
Eagles: Eagle 1 (Wayland and Cousteau, destroyed); 4 (Rescue); 7 (Koenig, fastest); remote Eagle (crashed); cargo Eagle
The Rescue pod appears. The launch shot is from Earthbound.
Aliens: Space Brain
The first part of the robot Eagle crash is a clip from Ring Around the Moon.
The space brain shape is seen again in Dragon's Domain just before the appearance of the dragon.
Kelly takes his helmet for EVA wearing a normal backpack. Later he has a special backpack (where is his oxygen?)
When the Eagle door opens to the vacuum, how can Kelly get away from the artificial gravity? We could presume the gravity is turned down or off, but there are unsecured boxes and stun guns on the shelves which could float away.
During the space-walk, the stripes on the rescue pod are gone.
Completing the wide angle turn, Koenig's Eagle and the robot Eagle are superimposed.
In the boarding tube between Koenig's Eagle and the robot Eagle, one door is the normal Moonbase door.
Several publicity shots exist of a fight between Kelly and Alan Carter in the Eagle cabin. This makes no sense in the context of the episode (as rewritten) and is not seen in the final print.
Christopher Penfold: "The microcosm meets the macrocosm. The universe that the single complex cell of Alpha moves as itself only the interior of a brain that was huge beyond comprehension. It's a science fiction idea I find appealing, that within ourselves other universes exist."
Melita only calls her husband "Kelly". We never learn his first name.
Why can Kelly see more on a spacewalk than in the Eagle with all its sensors? Isn't there a danger of being hit by wreckage from the missing Eagle 1?
The human link to the computer, complete with fast typing, is also seen in Ring Around the Moon.
Two shots on the Carlton DVDs are in widescreen (with black borders top and bottom). They are zoomed in on the Network DVDs, cropping the sides of the shot.
|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.|