Computer is causing problems, and Moonbase Alpha has drawn close to a strange planet which is having adverse effects on the Alphans.
Guardian of Piri was written by Christopher Penfold, and first debuted on 13 November, 1975.
As the moon draws closer to a odd world, computer’s data, and mechanical instruments become increasingly unreliable, Eagle pilots who approach the planet behave erratically, and Bergman (Barry Morse) collapses due to a malfunction of his mechanical heart (they did mention it again, I was wrong!), despite the fact that computer says he’s fine.
Koenig (Martin Landau) has a but of a mystery on his hands, and his main computer engineer, Kano (Clifton Jones) blames himself for all of it, while arguing that the computer is not at fault. Russell (Barbara Bain) reveals that Kano was involved in an experiment back on Earth that saw his cortex able to integrate with computers, so while he investigates Alpha’s computer, Alan (Nick Tate) takes another Eagle out to investigate what happened on the first mission to the influencing planet.
They eventual encounter the Servant of the Guardian (Catherine Schell who would return in the second series as an iconic character). It seems she is exerting, through the planet some strange influence that is causing the Alphans to want to stay on the planet, and the survivors of the first Eagle mission as unresponsive, and quite happy to stay where they are.
Koenig seems to be the only one unaffected. Only he can reveal the truth and save the Alphans. He seems to be in control only because he’s the star of the show…
Everyone is preparing to conduct Operation: Exodus which would see the complete shutdown and disassembly of things on Alpha for use on Piri (the planet design is odd, and obviously hints at the intelligence at work there, but it’s not as cool as some of the other designs we’ve encountered) and John Koenig is fighting to show that everyone but him is under alien control.
But he’ll save the day yet, dammit, and the moon will continue on its journey, and we’ll have to wait until the second series to see Schell again.
End of Eternity was written by Johnny Byrne and first aired on 20 November, 1975.
Three light years from any star system (which again brings into question how fast Alpha is travelling) the journeying moon comes across an asteroid with a stable environment inside of it. In fact, it contains a sole passenger (or prisoner?) – Balor (Peter Bowles).
Letting Balor off the asteroid is the first mistake, bringing him to Moonbase Alpha is their second, and perhaps last…
It seems he is eternal, he cannot die, and on top of that he’s a sadistic psychopath.
While Bergman and Koenig discuss the possibilities of immortality and who Balor could be, the being reawakens, and quickly starts his assault on Alpha.
In a lull in the attacks, Balor tries to convince the Alphans he is peaceful, and only attacked others in defence, but Koenig isn’t sure he believes everything Balor is telling them, even as the alien details his strange history, and that of his people’s.
Balor slowly begins killing extras, as he seizes control, and attempts to destroy everything, because no matter what happens to this alien, he’ll survive it. Can Koenig, Russell, and Bergman find a way to stop him once and for all? Or at least get him off Alpha?
It plays as a bit of a gothic horror, working nicely in the confines of Alpha, which has changed its look a little – yellow panels have replaced the white panels in Command.
The moon continues its journey next week as I travel through Space… 1999.