The Alphans journey aboard the travelling moon continue this week as we come to the conclusion of the first season with this pair of episodes.
Airing on 12 February, 1976, and written by Johnny Byrne this episode embraces that line made famous by the 1978 series Battlestar Galactica – “…life here, began out there…” Luna draws close to a planet, that when it is explored reveals the possibility that this was the cradle of civilisation.
A strange series of glyphs and the remains of a ruined civilisation hint that humanity was born there, and the moon is inexplicably drawn closer and closer to it.
Koenig (Martin Landau) and others feel that the desolate planet may not be suitable for a new home, but a group on the Moonbase have a different opinion, and aren’t afraid to take hostages to prove their point, Helena Russell (Barbara Bain) among them.
The moon is pulled almost to a complete stop, and the power levels of the base are depleting dangerously while the outcome of the planetary expedition plays out.
There are some interesting things happening in this episode, Landau gives a narration much like a captain’s log throughout, here is some interesting camerawork, and it continues to show that hobbies and interests are pursued – Koenig is practising his sword technique.
I like a lot of this episode, and it gives Bain, Landau and Barry Morse’s Professor Bergman all get a number of great moments, and the ideas presented in this episode have always been one that fascinates me.
The Last Enemy was the final episode of the first season to air on American television. It first aired on 19 February, 1976, and was written by Bob Kellett.
Alpha approaches a pair of planets, Betha and Delta, who have long been at war with one another. And the travelling moon finds itself caught between the two of them.
When a representative from Betha, commanded by Dione (Caroline Mortimer) approaches the moon, Delta uses the opportunity to strike. Believing Betha to be irreparably harmed in the attack, Dione seeks asylum with Koenig and the rest… but is she just using the tactical position of the moon for a last attack on Delta?
This one ends up being suitably predictable, and gets away from the rather dynamic storytelling, and production featured in the previous episode.
If the broadcasters had followed the production order, the previous episode would have been the final one of the season, and a much stronger story to end the first series on. Still, this episode brings us to the end of the first series, and when we start the second season there will be a number of changes to the series! (and hopefully a few fresher stories).