Mysterious objects in the space sky. In them: humans from another planet, preserved in a frozen state for 300 years. Two who return to consciousness on the moon have a grim story to tell. But can they be trusted?
All is quiet, and the universe around Alpha seems at peace. That is, until sensors detect a group of objects in space which resemble a "swarm of space bees". When they change course for Alpha, the base goes to red alert. Eagles are launched to intercept, but before they come into range, they alter course, again, and go into lunar orbit. Unable to penetrate the cylinders with the sensors, Koenig and Maya take an Eagle up to investigate them.
Still unable to learn anything, they bring one back to Alpha. The safest place to examine it is an underground research facility at the outskirts of the base. Using every precaution, they attempt to open it. They finally succeed, but not before damaging the capsule itself. When they look to see what is inside they are surprised to find the lifeless body of a young humanoid male... killed by their actions!
He is rushed to Medical Center, where he is revived. It turns out the pods are cryogenic chambers, and Koenig wants to know how they work. Koenig orders another one brought down so that they can try to open one without damaging it. They select the one paired with Cantar's, and with his help, are able to open it successfully.
In it is Cantar's wife Zova. While she is being revived Cantar asks Koenig to save the rest of his people before the gravity of the Moon crushes the capsules. Koenig tells him that Alpha's life support systems can't support that many additional people. Cantar tells him that He and Zova could enhance the life support systems to more than compensate for them. Koenig tells him no, but Tony and Helena ask him to reconsider, asking what price is too high for survival. Could they let all of those people die without trying. Koenig agrees to let them try after stunning Cantar to make sure their weapons will be effective against them if something goes wrong. Cantar is returned to Medical Center to recover from being stunned, but is not so vulnerable to stun guns as we were lead to believe.
Cantar and Zova begin work on modifying the life support systems to enable the rescue of their comrades. During her off time Helena is sculpting a bust of herself for John. While she is showing it to Maya, John stops by for a visit, but not before Maya transforms into Helena's double. John asks which is the "real" Helena. After a kiss from both of them, he is asked if he can tell the difference. He says there is none, aand Helena tells him he is no longer getting the bust she made for him!
He tells her she is needed in life support. There, she checks on Cantar and Zova's progress. They tell her they are almost finished with their modifications. When they do finish Cantar heads for the Power Room which is off limits. The security guard tries to stun him to no effect. Cantar incapcitates the guard and enters the restricted area. Helena tries to sound the alarm, but is stopped by Zova.
There is an explosion caused by their tampering and Tony and Maya rush to the Power Room to investigate. When they arrive, Tony manages to set off the alarm before he is stunned. Maya tries to stop them by changing into a black panther, but is stunned by Zova. Cantar and Zova kidnap Helena and Tony, and take them to their homeworld of Golos via the teleportation device they created from the life support systems.
When they arrive at their destination, they are recognized as exiles. Cantar threatens to destroy the main life plant if the ruler of the planet is not brought before him. Mirella arrives and Cantar tells her to tell the people of Golos that they are the new rulers of the planet, and if she does not comply he will destroy the life plant. Mirella counters that the two of them will not be able to hold all of Golos captive. Zova tells her that the Alphans will recover the rest of their group, then returns to over see the operation. She tells koenig of their plan and he refuses to cooperate.
Zova digs her fingernails into the sculpture of Helena, and Helena's screams can be heard. Koenig ultimately gives in and agrees to recover the rest of the capsules. He, Maya, and Zova are taken to recover another capsule. They all suit up and attach life lines for the space walk. Cantar watches as Koenig unhooks Zova's life line and pushes her out of the Eagle. Cantar tries to shoot Helena in retribution, but she has scratched the protective membrane that has maintained his youth for the last 300 years.
Helena manages to stay out of his line of fire as he begins to age. At the rate of 10 years per second, he quickly becomes too feeble to fire his weapon. Mirella returns Helena and Tony to Alpha, where they reappear in Life Support. They head back towards Command Center, but are met en route and greeted by John and Maya. Maya figures out a way to use their antigravity screens to return the capsules to their original trajectory.
Tony tells Maya she would be court-martialed if Alpha was a military base for "embarassing the man in charge". Maya asks if a kiss causes embarassment for humans. Tony said it must for Psychons, because she had to turn into another woman to do it. Maya said it was more fun that way, and asked if he would like to try. He declined...
Helena is in Koenig's quarters and sees the damage to her scuplture. She asks why he did that to her, and said he probably thinks she looked better that way (not letting him get a word in edge-wise), and ends suggesting he make her "a pretty nose".
Draft script featured Year One cast
Shooting script dated 8 January 1976. Revised 2nd and 4th February (Tony is named as Simon Hays throughout).
Filmed due to start 12th February 1976, but actually began 17th February (The Metamorph over-ran by a week). An additional sequence (of Petrov trapped in an explosion and being rescued by Maya as a gorilla) was filmed by Kevin Connor on June 7th.
Int. Command Centre Int. Medical Centre Int. Life Support Centre/Power Room Int. Recreation Centre/ solarium (clip from The Taybor) Int. Research Unit Int. Koenig's Quarters Int. Helena's Quarters Int. Alpha Corridor Int. Eagle Pilot Section Int. Eagle Passenger Section
Int. Golos Life Support centre Ext. Space / Golos Capsule
A third 44" Eagle appears for the first time.
The capsules were 3 inches long.
Martin Bower built two towers seen on the Golos surface very briefly.
A model astronaut is seen with an Eagle (seen in Cantar's hand).
There is a split screen shot of Helena and Maya/Helena.
Original score by Derek Wadsworth, recorded Wednesday 21st April 1976 at Olympic Sound Studios, Barnes.
Stars are so close "we're constantly bathed in a lovely blue light". Suggests intense radiation. Also close stars tend to be young and would disturb the formation of solar systems like that of Golos.
Why are the cylinders only able to withstand orbital gravity for 36 hours? One explanation may be their orbit is degrading and they will crash into the moon; their "gas points" may be insufficient to escape lunar gravity or correct the orbit.
"The antigravity effect will return them to their original course". Again the Alphans demonstrate they have antigravity technology. Why didn't they do this before?
The plastic membrane would not stop cell growth or decay, the causes of ageing. Also it would not be a perfect seal; there must be orifices for eating and breathing. The Alphans also took a blood sample which would have punctured it. Logically if it were broken they would resume normal ageing, not age 10 years a second. How does the ageing Cantar grow a beard?
The Golos people have psychic powers including telekinesis ("Your life support systems are now tuned to my mental processes"), clairvoyance (viewing a distant scene in their hand), and sympathetic magic (the voodoo ability to cause Helena pain by attacking the sculpture).
How does the Golos life support system (a small room with two operatives) control an entire planet (which should have abundant air, water and food resources)? Two possible explanations are that it is a sperm bank (as in Mission Of The Darians) or it is a power station (perhaps a fusion reactor).
Chronology: 403 days after leaving Earth orbit (Fri 20 Oct 2000)
Alpha Personnel: 0 fatalities.
Alpha Technology: The remote Research Station is seen. It is equipped with a laser (see props).
The EVA packs were used in Space Brain (although the central black cylinder is no longer present). In that episode they did not need buckles.
It is stated they cannot have children because of the strain on the life support system. This contradicts Alpha Child.
The multi-function hatch is shown; here it activates the "anti-gravity effect".
Eagles: Eagle 4 ("Rescue"); Recovery Eagle
The grab arm is seen as a refuelling arm in both Rules Of Luton and Space Warp
Maya transformations: ape creature, Helena, old hag, panther
Planets: None (Golos is some distance away)
Aliens: Cantar, Zova, Ragnar, Mirella, Stal and Mantor from Golos. Humanoids.
Props: In a Life Support desk we see the water analyser from Matter of Life and Death.
The laser remote control is used to control an Eagle laser turret in The Seance Spectre.
Footage: Shot of boosters being added to an Eagle in a hangar are reused from The Metamorph.
Shot of Maya transforming into a panther is seen again in flashback in Devil's Planet.
Pan over Alphan buildings is reused in The A B Chrysalis.
Shot of a corridor explosion and the wreckage inside is reused in The A B Chrysalis
Shot of two technicians gassing the Golos capsule is reused in Catacombs of the Moon
Errors: Stars are so close "we're constantly bathed in a lovely blue light". This is not seen.
Cantar's stun is supposed to last an hour. When Tony is stunned he wakes up after about 30 seconds.
Tony is shot by the power station door, and Helena is stunned by Zova next to him. Maya jumps close to the computer panel. When Koenig arrives, Tony and Helena have been moved next to the computer bank. Maya's position has shifted too, as can be seen by the floor markings and the position of her arm. Tony and Helena are unconscious when they leave Alpha. They are awake when they arrive on Golos.
Observations The leotards in stretch fabric are very much from 1970s science fiction. When the caskets are opened, Cantar is topless but Zova is wearing Moonbase Alpha-type pyjamas.
Cantar is a Jewish name meaning "singer of songs".
Golos has hereditary leaders (Mirella is a descendant of Ragnar). The planet has a population of "millions" which is relatively small (Earth has about 6 billion population). It is "known to us as the Peace Planet", which is similar to Archanon, the Planet of Peace, in Mark Of Archanon.
Why doesn't Maya/panther guard the laser when Cantar drops it?
When Peter Duncan joined the children's magazine Blue Peter a sequence of photos of aging Cantar was shown. Duncan is obviously dubbed to sound more American.
The Decontamination crewman is played by Frank Maher (he has one line: "Commander"). He also appears in a number of publicity shots fighting Helena in Command Center (he has a blue wash over his face, but otherwise wears a standard Alphan blue jumpsuit and white sweater). The other technician was played by Vic Armstrong, a top stuntman best known for the Indiana Jones series.
- ↑ http://catacombs.space1999.net/main/tscript/z26te.html
- ↑ http://catacombs.space1999.net/main/epguide/t26te.html
- ↑ moonbase99.space1999.net entry
- ↑ Catacombes Episode Guide entry
|The Metamorph I The Exiles I One Moment of Humanity I All That Glisters I The Mark of Archanon I Journey to Where I The Taybor I The Rules of Luton I New Adam New Eve I Brian the Brain I Catacombs of the Moon I The AB Chrysalis I The Beta Cloud I Seed of Destruction I A Matter of Balance I Space Warp I The Bringers of Wonder - Part 1 I The Bringers of Wonder - Part 2 I Dorzak I The Seance Spectre I Devil's Planet I The Lambda Factor I The Immunity Syndrome I The Dorcons|
|Episodes are listed in the order suggested by Andrew Kearley.|