Writer's Guide Episode Guide
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"Artefact / Maya"
Based upon ‘Space: 1999’
by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson
1. EXT. SPACE
An almost full moon hangs silently in inky darkness. As we watch the credits on screen, the blackness of space slowly recedes, gradually being replaced by the azure blue of an Earthly sky.
2. EXT. ATLANTIC OCEAN - DAY
As the final credit fades, the camera pans down to reveal a sparkling ocean. A caption scrolls onto the screen:
THE ATLANTIC OCEAN OFF NAMIBIA, AFRICA,
MAY 29TH 2093.
Suddenly, a jet fighter thunders onto the screen from above, its flight pattern is erratic. Another, different, fighter appears, obviously in pursuit of the first.
3. INT. ALAN CARTER'S COCKPIT
CAPTAIN ALAN CARTER is one with his plane, his human form almost completely obliterated by the pressure suit and hi-tech helmet he is wearing. Today, though, he is fleeing for his life.
(with an Australian accent)
I can't shake him! Jesus, this guy is good!
He throws his fighter through another series of crazy manoeuvres. His Heads-Up Display begins flashing and a repetitive beep resounds in his helmet earphones.
The bastard's got a missile lock on me now! Powell, if you've any ideas, I could sure use 'em now! Do I need to remind you that I've already lost my wingman to this maniac?
USS POWELL RADIO VOICE (V.O.)
You are still inside Namibian airspace, Captain. I'm afraid you're on your own until you break into international waters.
Gee, thanks for your concern, guys! Oh, the hell with this...
He slams on his airbrakes and pulls back hard on his column, almost causing the jet to stall. Alarms blare in his ears.
The enemy fighter zips overhead. CARTER'S plane now has the advantage.
Powell, I now have a firing lock. Do I have permission to take out this son-of-a-bitch?
USS POWELL RADIO VOICE (V.O.)
Negative, Captain. Stand down. Repeat stand down, you are entering international airspace.
CARTER presses a button and a single missile streaks away from the belly of his jet. Seconds later, the enemy plane disintegrates in a swirling, amber rosette.
4. EXT. SPACE - FADE IN
A lone Eagle transporter glides silently across the midnight ocean between Mars and its larger moon, Phobos. The camera begins to zoom in on the cockpit, its twin viewports glow a warm red. As the camera closes in, we can see the pilot and co-pilot in their seats, both wearing orange and white spacesuits, but no helmets.
The camera zooms through the left-hand window and we see that ALAN CARTER is the pilot. He is a handsome man in his early thirties with a shock of blond hair.
A caption fades in:
MARS - PHOBOS TRANSPORT,
MAY 27TH 2100.
5. INT. EAGLE TRANSPORTER - COCKPIT
ALAN CARTER smiles to his co-pilot, SERGEI PETROV, a typically Russian-looking man with black hair, tinged with grey, and a rugged, yet handsome face.
Another glorious day in the history of science, shipping a bunch of nerdy eggheads to push around a few pebbles on a dead lump of rock.
PETROV (with a thick Russian accent)
You are too cynical, my friend.
(He jabs a thumb back towards the cargo area.)
It's eggheads like these that get all the girls.
CARTER (suddenly serious)
You know, Sergei, it's almost seven years to the day that I was drummed out of the Corps?
How can I forget? You've been like a wolverine with a sore head all week. I think seven years is long enough to forget, no?
I lost a good friend and a career all in the same day, Sergei. Those kinds of things are kind of hard to put out of your mind, you know?
(He takes a deep breath)
God, I wish I was back home in Bermagui. My folks had a cattle ranch and when the old man didn't have me mucking out the cowsheds, I'd go surfing. Sure beats this hell-hole!
I too miss home. Minsk in May. Beautiful.
Suddenly both men start singing “Memories” and end up in fits of hysterics.
Beeping from the console interrupts them.
We’re almost there. Go tell our passengers to buckle up. Landings on Phobos are always a little tricky.
PETROV heads aft, leaving CARTER alone in the cockpit.
6. EXT. PHOBOS SURFACE
CARTER expertly pilots his Eagle onto the dusty surface of the tiny Martian moon. A cloud of dust erupts as the bulky craft’s landing engines ignite and it settles down gently onto Phobos.
7. INT. EAGLE TRANSPORTER - CARGO BAY
CARTER enters the bay from the cockpit, the sliding door that separates the two areas hissing quietly behind him. In the cargo bay are four scientists from Marsbase Alpha, two from the United American States (DOCTOR THOM FLANDERS, from the USA & DOCTOR SHEILA JEFFRIES, from Australia) and two from the Eurasian Union (PROFESSOR IAN MCDONOHUE, from the UK & DOCTOR JEAN RICARD, from France).
Both parties are arguing vociferously with one another and CARTER has to raise his voice to shut them up.
Hey! HEY! (louder)
(he winks to PETROV, who smiles back while he works at the airlock console.)
Okay, who wants be first out of that goddamn airlock without a helmet?
(the argument subsides)
Thank you. What’s all this about?
The scientists stand before CARTER like a gaggle of unruly schoolchildren.
It’s nothing, Captain. Just a minor difference of opinion, nothing more.
Well, you’d better keep those ‘differences’ in check or I might just have to call this whole thing off and shuttle you all back to Marsbase. Got that? What the hell’s so important out there that you have to fight over it anyway?
Okay, you can go out and play.
8. EXT. MOONBASE ALPHA – DAY – FADE IN
Sprawling over several square kilometres, Moonbase Alpha nestles in the lunar crater known as Plato. It is a major centre for off-world research and scientists from all over the world have access to its extensive laboratories and facilities.
A caption reads:
SEPTEMBER 10TH 2100
Currently under the command of COMMANDER JOHN KOENIG, a naval officer for the United American States, he has only been in charge at Alpha for two months, replacing his predecessor, CAPTAIN DIMITRI GORSKI, of the Eurasian Union.
KOENIG is a tall, lean character with dark hair and chiselled features. His bright, friendly eyes conceal hidden depths and few people have ever got to the bottom of this complex man.
One of those people, though, is DIANA MORRIS. She is the head of the International Science Congress and is currently giving KOENIG a hard time over the comlink from her office in Boston, Massachusetts.
9. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - KOENIG’S OFFICE & COMMAND CENTRE
KOENIG sits behind his desk, a video monitor in front of him displays the lovely face of DIANA MORRIS.
MORRIS (on viewscreen)
Look, John, you tell Bergman that if he has any problems with his new staff, that he take it up with the political envoy. I have enough problems down here without having to nursemaid you Alphans as well!
I don’t think Victor needs a nursemaid, Diana. It’s just that his new assistant, MARSHALL, is a little, well, eager. He almost destroyed a whole section last week because of his rash stupidity.
MORRIS (on viewscreen)
If the man’s incompetent, get rid of him, John.
It’s not that simple, Diana, and you know it. The ISC grants equal rights to both the UAS and EU and positions up here are decided politically. It’s madness I tell you. (beat) All I want you to do is have a word with the EU Political Office at the ISC and see if we can get a replacement for Marshall. I have the safety of over three hundred people to worry about up here.
MORRIS (on viewscreen)
Alright, John, I’ll see what I can do. I always was a soft touch for you.
Thanks, Diana, I’m sure Victor will appreciate it. (beat) Now, what was it you called me for in the first place?
MORRIS (on viewscreen)
More work for Victor, I’m afraid. It seems that the team at Marsbase Alpha has found something on Phobos and it’s en route to you even as we speak.
Found something? That’s a bit vague, Diana. The scientists at Marsbase have excellent facilities. Why send it all the way here?
MORRIS (on viewscreen)
I can’t go into details on an unscrambled line, just have Victor ready for when it arrives in a day or so. He’ll also have another ‘assistant’ to worry about. Doctor Jean Ricard is accompanying the artefact.
Not the Jean Ricard? The man who developed Alpha’s nuclear power plants?
MORRIS (on viewscreen)
The same. I’m sure Victor will be happy to work with him.
Hardly! Ricard’s safety record is worse than Marshall’s. He’s lucky nobody has been killed under his charge. I’ll break the news to Bergman gently, but I can’t see him being very happy about it, especially not knowing what Ricard is bringing with him as well. Moonbase Alpha out.
KOENIG turns off the monitor and rubs his chin in thought for a moment. He leaves his office and enters the Command Centre, a wide, brightly-lit open plan section that houses several rows of computer terminals and is dominated by a huge display screen, which is currently showing a static image of the lunar surface.
He crosses the Command Centre, smiling at several of the technicians, and exits through a passageway on the far right.
10. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - CORRIDOR
As he walks down a long, straight corridor, an attractive, middle-aged woman jogs up behind him. It is DOCTOR HELENA RUSSELL, Alpha’s Chief Medical Officer. She has a large wad of papers under her arm and struggles to keep up with the fast-walking commander.
Got a minute, John? I have the latest series of test results from the power plant staff.
Can’t it wait, Doctor?
RUSSELL (equally brusquely)
I suppose it could, but then by the time you get round to it, you might find half the power plant staff in the Medical Bay with radiation poisoning.
What?! The reactors aren’t leaking radiation! There are a hundred safeguards to prevent it.
I know, John, but the figures speak for themselves. Here…
(She hands the papers to KOENIG)
I’d suggest that until further notice, nobody works in that section for more than an hour at a time.
KOENIG (rubs his forehead)
Okay, Helena, I’ll pass on your recommendation to Chief Reeves.
RUSSELL stops walking and lets KOENIG continue his journey. KOENIG leafs through the papers, shaking his head. He stops outside a Transit Tube Station and the large, round door slides open.
11. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - TRAVEL POD
He steps inside the Travel Pod and sits down in one of the half dozen comfortable seats.
KOENIG (leafing through papers)
Impossible. These figures can’t be right.
The Travel Pod stops and KOENIG exits, still carrying the papers.
12. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - CORRIDOR
KOENIG walks the short distance to the laboratory of VICTOR BERGMAN, Moonbase Alpha’s Chief Scientist and KOENIG’s closest friend. The large, double-doors to the lab area are closed and KOENIG must enter a security code into a panel by the door. The doors hiss open and he steps through.
13. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORY & BERGMAN’S OFFICE
KOENIG enters the domain of PROFESSOR BERGMAN, a large complex of labs with several sections capable of being independently sealed. The facility as a whole lies well over a kilometre from the main body of the base and the Transit Tube is the only access.
KOENIG approaches BERGMAN, who is leaning over a microscope in true scientific style. He is a man of about sixty, with little hair and what there is left is grey. He has a kind face, with many laughter lines around his eyes. He is very popular.
Good morning, Victor.
(standing upright and rubbing his eyes)
John! Great to see you! Coffee?
I’d love one.
The pair leave BERGMAN’s workstation and enter his office. BERGMAN pours KOENIG and himself a cup of strong, black coffee and he sits down at his desk, surveying the lab beyond his office through the large windows. KOENIG sits on the opposite side of the desk, plopping the papers down so they spread out in front of BERGMAN.
Trouble at t’mill?
You could say that. Where do you want me to start?
Try the beginning.
(takes a swig from his coffee mug)
Okay. First off, I don’t think you’re going to get shot of Marshall any time soon.
Doctor Jean Ricard, yes the Jean Ricard, is on his way from Marsbase Alpha with some super secret discovery and you are to afford him every courtesy.
And what have you got to round off my day for me?
(points to the papers)
Helena says that the power plant is leaking radiation.
What? Let me see.
(he picks up the loose leaves and begins thumbing through them)
Hmmm. It would seem that the good doctor is correct. I thought alarms and sirens and flashing lights were supposed to go off the instant the radiation levels even crept above normal?
They are. Luckily, we have the man who designed those systems coming here on the next bus.
(KOENIG rises from his chair)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have the chief of the power plant to see and break him the news that he has to change his entire staff’s shift pattern!
KOENIG exits and we CUT to:
14. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - CREW QUARTERS
SANDRA BENES and PAUL MORROW are clinched in a passionate embrace. She is short, with black hair cut in a tidy bob and deep, almond eyes. Her Asian roots are evident, yet she speaks with a clipped English accent. He is tall, moustached and, with his almost unkempt, sandy blond hair, could have been a male model in the 1970s. They part and stare longingly at one another.
Oh, Paul. I wish you didn’t have to go back. We have had so little time together.
(speaking with a rich, Southern drawl)
Yeah, but my tour is up at the end of the week. We can always hook up when you get Earthside.
You know that won’t happen, Paul. I hate the ways things are happening on Earth. If only we could break away, go independent.
You mean up here on Alpha? Go it alone? That sure sounds fine. You’re such a romantic, Sandy.
The pair clinch again and we CUT to:
15. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
KOENIG enters the Nuclear Power Plant cautiously, obviously recalling DOCTOR RUSSELL’s warnings about radiation. The plant is on the far side of Moonbase Alpha from the research labs, a distance of about three kilometres from BERGMAN’s office.
The plant is less spacious than other areas of Alpha, the majority of the section taken up by the nuclear reactors. The area is supposed to be so safe from radiation that no protective clothing is necessary.
KOENIG approaches a man who is reading a computer monitor. This is CHIEF PETER REEVES, Alpha’s officer in charge of the power plant.
Good morning, chief.
(turns around, startled)
Good morning, sir. What brings you out here?
(rubbing his forehead)
Bad news, I’m afraid.
1. EXT. MOONBASE ALPHA – DAY – FADE IN
An Eagle transporter touches down on one of Moonbase Alpha’s five launch pads, its rocket jets spewing flame and roaring loudly.
A caption reads:
SEPTEMBER 12TH 2100
2. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - TRANSIT TUBE
A Travel Pod zips down the transit tube from the launch pad and slows to a halt at the station on the Main Hub.
3. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - TRANSIT TUBE STATION CORRIDOR
The round door of the Travel Pod slides open and disgorges three men: ALAN CARTER, SERGEI PETROV and DOCTOR JEAN RICARD.
KOENIG greets them along with BERGMAN.
Alan! It’s so good to see you again!
(CARTER and KOENIG shake hands vigorously)
How long has it been? Five years?
Six years! Jeez!
(a cough from BERGMAN)
Oh, sorry, this is Victor Bergman, our scientific chief of staff. Professor, Alan Carter…
Captain Sergei Petrov, sir. Alan has told me a lot about you. I am honoured to finally meet the man who diffused the Gibraltar Siege.
(slightly taken aback)
Er, it was nothing really.
(whispers to CARTER)
Thanks a bunch!
RICARD steps forward, interrupting the informal gathering. His slight frame and hawkish face disguise a hidden strength. Although of an unimpressive stature, he possesses the presence of a man twice his size.
(with a French accent)
Commander, if you wouldn’t mind, I would like to get to Professor Bergman’s lab. I’m sure your people have delivered the artefact there from the hangar bay already. We have a lot of work to do.
(raises an eyebrow)
Of course, doctor. If you will follow Victor, I’m sure he will accommodate you.
BERGMAN leads RICARD back into the Transit Tube without a word. The tension between the two scientists is palpable.
I’m glad that’s out of the way. I just hope Ricard survives the day. So, Alan, what have you been up to since we last met?
Not much. Milk runs around Mars for the most part. Not exactly a dignified end to an illustrious career, eh?
Life’s a bitch, Alan.
4. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORY & BERGMAN’S OFFICE
BERGMAN and RICARD are arguing. The members of staff in earshot cannot help but hear the two scientists and many smiling glances are exchanged.
They are standing beside the artefact that RICARD has accompanied from Mars. It is a large, silver and black globe. Deep grooves cover its entire, brushed metal surface, giving it the appearance of a huge, scratched ball-bearing.
BERGMAN is holding a hand scanner and this is the source of their argument.
Mon dieu! I know that it is emitting graviton waves! I also scanned it at Marsbase with the very device you are holding. I was ordered to bring it here because they said you are the best. Perhaps I should take it to Earth and let the EU Science Division handle this, no?
No, doctor. We can handle this whatever-it-is perfectly well.
(he sets down the scanner)
Now, where exactly did you find this on Mars?
We found it on Phobos, actually. We were doing some standard geological research and stumbled across the graviton waves you so kindly found for me. The device was buried twenty-five metres beneath the surface.
I see. And you saw no harm in removing an obviously alien device and hauling it halfway across the Solar System?
What are you suggesting, professor?
I am not suggesting anything, doctor. I am telling you that removing this, this thing was an unacceptable risk.
(he approaches the object and regards it cautiously)
You don’t know what it is or what it does. Yet, within a day of digging it out, you are on your way here!
I am acting under the direct authority of the ISC and the Eurasian Union.
That makes all the difference, doesn’t it? Were you acting under the auspices of the mighty EU when you caused the evacuation of the Landau Station?
How dare you?!
I dare anything, doctor. Now, nobody is to touch this object until I am certain that it is safe to do so. Do I make myself clear?
You are under orders to assist me. Not vice versa.
Screw my orders, Ricard. I will not put this station at risk for the sake of a few words uttered by a low-level official in an office in Geneva.
I shall take this up with the commander at once.
He heads out of the door.
(he picks up the scanner and turns his attention to the artefact)
Now, my friend. Let’s try and find out exactly what you are.
5. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA - KOENIG’S OFFICE
RICARD is fuming with anger and KOENIG is not helping his mood.
I’m sorry, doctor, but Victor is the Chief Science Officer on Alpha and in matters that relate to the Science Division, he has the final word.
But my orders…
Your orders are a quarter of a million miles away, doctor. I suggest you try to develop some patience and let Victor conduct his analysis.
Look, you’ve had a very long trip, perhaps you should rest. I’ll have somebody take you to your quarters. Don’t worry, they’re in the nearest Accommodation Section to the labs.
(RICARD nods and KOENIG presses a button on his desk)
Tanya, could you show Doctor Ricard to his quarters, please?
TANYA ALEXANDRIA (V.O. over comlink)
6. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – CORRIDOR
TANYA ALEXANDRIA guides DOCTOR JEAN RICARD through the complex of corridors and sub-sections that make up Moonbase Alpha. She is a tall, slim German with medium-length brown hair and only a slight accent.
This is quite a station. Much larger and more impressive than Marsbase Alpha. Have you ever been to Marsbase, Miss… forgive me…
Lieutenant Tanya Alexandria, doctor. Yes, we are very proud of Moonbase Alpha and no, I have never been to Marsbase. I get homesick enough here, I don’t know how I would cope on Mars.
You manage, mon cherie. Believe me.
(he decides to change the subject)
You are European, no?
I was born in Düsseldorf but educated in England.
Ah, oui. I have visited England, but never Düsseldorf. If the ladies are all as beautiful as you, I shall make it a priority to go there as soon as I return to Earth.
You tease, doctor.
I know. Seriously, lieutenant, how do you find working in such close proximity to our enemies?
(wears a puzzled frown)
Enemies? We are not at war, doctor.
Technically, no, but those of the UAS are our enemies nonetheless, no? And of course people like Professor Bergman who collude with our enemies?
No, absolutely not! I have many friends from the States and I do not think I like your tone, doctor.
Luckily, they arrive at RICARD’s quarters quickly and ALEXANDRIA makes a hasty farewell after giving the briefest of tours.
7. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – RICARD’S QUARTERS
Bedroom is through there, bathroom there. If you need anything, press this button by the door. Goodbye, doctor.
The door slides shut behind her and RICARD is left alone in the middle of the room.
(he crosses to a computer terminal in the corner of the room and taps in his security code)
Seventy-nine four one one, scramble code omega.
The viewscreen flickers into life to reveal the face of DIANA MORRIS.
As you feared, Bergman has denied proper access to the artefact. I suggest we take direct action.
MORRIS (on viewscreen)
Very well, doctor. You are ordered to access the labs during tonight’s sleep cycle and activate the artefact. The Eurasian Union must learn the secrets of this technology before the United American States.
Yes, of course.
MORRIS (on viewscreen)
I am transmitting the proper access codes for Bergman’s office and the high security laboratory to your IDX. Good luck, doctor.
Thank you, Control.
8. INT MOONBASE ALPHA - MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORY & BERGMAN’S OFFICE – FADE IN
RICARD slinks furtively into BERGMAN’S office. The lighting is muted, indicating that the station is on a sleep cycle. He uses the access codes provided by DIANA MORRIS and is soon standing before the artefact. In the semi-darkness, the alien object appears even more ominous and foreboding. Shadows playing across its surface combine with the grooves to give the impression of a million spiders crawling on its slick shell.
RICARD reaches out and touches the artefact, his hands seemingly knowing which parts of the surface to press against.
A deep, red glow emerges from the grooves that criss-cross the artefact and RICARD steps back, afraid. The glow becomes brighter and brighter, casting eerie, crimson shadows about the lab. Accompanying the glow is a deep, basso rumble that increases in intensity in concert with the brightening light from the interior of the device.
Suddenly the lights flicker on and a loud klaxon blares. Every computer screen in the section blinks into life and the words
flash in bright, amber letters on each display.
He rushes to the doors and hastily punches in his stolen access codes, but they do not budge. He is locked in. He slides down the wall and sits with his head in his hands, almost sobbing.
Behind him, the growling continues and the blood-red glow becomes brighter and brighter.
1. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – COMMAND CENTRE
SANDRA BENES is working the night shift. She is alone in the Command Centre and leans back in her chair, stretching her arms above her. The lights are dim and her face is illuminated only by the glow from the computer screen in front of her. A computerised card game is in progress.
A caption fades in:
SEPTEMBER 13TH 2100
Suddenly the lights flash on and an alarm rings around the cavernous room. BENES almost falls from her chair, but quickly recovers and hastily shuts down the card game and begins typing commands into the terminal.
A diagram of Moonbase Alpha appears, with the research section blinking red, indicating that this is the source of the alarm.
Several technicians rush into the Command Centre and take their positions with speedy efficiency.
BENES presses a button on her console and a sleepy-looking KOENIG appears in her screen.
Commander, we have an emergency in Professor Bergman’s lab.
Is Victor in there?
(arriving in the Command Centre and pulling on an old-fashioned cardigan)
No, John, I’m here. What the hell is going on?
There has been a dramatic rise in energy levels from your lab, professor.
(she taps in more commands and a bizarre, swirling pattern appears on the screen beside KOENIG’s face)
I have never seen such an energy signature before.
Neither have I, Sandra, but I can guess where it’s coming from.
KOENIG (on viewscreen)
I’m on my way. Victor, meet me at the Transit Tube. Sandra, alert the ISC that we may have a major problem.
KOENIG’s face vanishes from the screen and BERGMAN dashes from the Command Centre.
2. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – TRANSIT TUBE STATION
KOENIG and BERGMAN arrive at the Transit Tube station almost simultaneously. Two SECURITY GUARDS accompany KOENIG and BERGMAN has PETER REEVES with him.
Ricard is not in his quarters. I bet he’s got something to do with this.
KOENIG attempts to open the Transit Tube door, but it remains firmly closed and the computer display on the wall flashes the words
Dammit! The tube has been shut down by the computer.
How do we get to the lab then?
(thinks for a moment)
We’ll have to take a buggy and cut our way in through the emergency airlock.
How long has it been since you put on your spacesuit, Victor?
BERGMAN groans audibly.
3. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – MOON BUGGY GARAGE
KOENIG and BERGMAN have donned bulky orange and white spacesuits. They communicate via internal radio and their voices are metallic and distorted. In front of them is a row of about half a dozen small, chunky-wheeled vehicles. Each has identical orange and white livery, but a large, black number differentiates between each buggy on the side. Each buggy can take two passengers and a small amount of cargo or a couple more people in the rear storage well.
KOENIG places a large, square case into the storage well.
KOENIG climbs into the nearest vehicle and BERGMAN gets in beside him. The buggy glides forward with an electronic hum and the large garage doors roll up as they approach.
4. EXT. MOONBASE ALPHA – LUNAR SURFACE – MOON BUGGY
Like a scene from the NASA Apollo missions, KOENIG guides the moon buggy across the grey, dusty surface of the Moon with expert speed. He throws the small vehicle around rocks and buttes, the wheels sending cigarette ash dust into the airless sky.
The Transit Tubes are below the surface, but they follow a line of service ports that protrude from the landscape, forming an arrow-straight line towards a distant structure.
(pointing towards the distant research section)
Look at that, Victor.
Even from this distance, the crimson light from the artefact can be seen glowing through the thick Perspex windows of the laboratory area. The off-white structure sparkles as though a child has poured glitter over it in a playful way. The buggy continues to near that devastated section of Moonbase Alpha.
The computer has decompressed the whole section. The vented atmosphere has frozen onto the outer skin of the lab. Unless Ricard was wearing a spacesuit, he will have been killed instantly.
The poor bastard.
If he activated that device, he deserves everything he got, John. I warned him not to touch the device until I had completed my analysis.
5. EXT. MOONBASE ALPHA – OUTSIDE MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORY & MOON BUGGY
The moon buggy comes to a halt outside the lab, the structure dwarfing the tiny vehicle. Its large windows glow eerily from within and occasional electrical discharges inside flash brilliant white.
KOENIG and BERGMAN climb out of the buggy and KOENIG collects the case from the storage well behind his seat. They slowly walk towards a large, round airlock, their gait awkward in the lower lunar gravity, but not as bouncy as the Apollo astronauts had been. Moonbase Alpha generates a slight artificial gravitational field that allows for an Earth normal to exist within the base and this bleeds over to the nearby outside sections. Further away from the base normal, lower lunar gravity is the norm.
KOENIG sets down the case by the airlock while BERGMAN examines the external controls for the heavy door.
The computer has sealed the airlock. Even my security code won’t open it.
I suspected this might happen, which is why I brought this.
KOENIG opens the case and produces a large, unwieldy device. A telescopic tripod flicks down and KOENIG sets it close to the door locking mechanism on the left-hand side of the airlock. A thick, spiral cord connects the device to a power pack in the case.
A laser cutter. Good thinking, John.
Okay, Victor, once we get this door open, we’ll only have a short time to get some readings from the device and get it shut down…
If I can shut it down. I don’t even know how Ricard activated it. All my readings suggested to me was that it was some form of energy storage device, like a nuclear plant only much smaller than the ones we have.
Whatever. At any rate, Doctor Russell tells me that the EM radiation is so high in this section that we can only spend a couple of minutes in here before we start going la-la. So no heroics, right, Victor?
(points to the laser cutter)
Well, get on with it then, my feet are freezing here.
KOENIG switches on the laser cutter and a thin, blue beam slices into the locking mechanism, sending showers of sparks in all directions. The door judders open a fraction and what atmosphere was trapped in the decompressed lab escapes into space, dragging a single sheet of notepaper with it.
KOENIG and BERGMAN grab hold of the edge of the door and pull with all their might, grunting and puffing, and the airlock slowly slides open with a loud grating, scraping sound.
KOENIG and BERGMAN enter the airlock and we CUT to:
6. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – GENERIC AIRLOCK & MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORY & BERGMAN’S OFFICE
KOENIG and BERGMAN find the interior airlock door already open. Beside door, his hand resting on the control panel, lies the frozen form of JEAN RICARD. He is dead. Everywhere is illuminated by the crimson glow from the alien device.
Looks like he tried to make it to the airlock when the decompression cycle began. The poor fool just didn’t make it.
(points across the lab to the now shimmering form of the artefact)
Come on, John. We’ve got to shut that thing down.
KOENIG follows BERGMAN through the devastated laboratory towards the device. Several small fires had broken out when pieces of Alpha equipment shorted out, but the decompression had smothered them, leaving charred remains and burnt paper.
Soon, they are standing as close to the artefact as they dare. It is pulsating and glittering like a massive Christmas bauble and an almost deafening growl fills the room. A pulse of energy throbs from the artefact like a ripple on a pond, almost knocking the two astronauts from their feet.
BERGMAN unclips a hand scanner from the belt of his spacesuit and switches it on, his thick gloves making the task tricky. He looks shocked as he examines the small display screen.
John! We’ve got to get out of here. I won’t be able to shut it down. I’m reading a cascade overload from the device. It’s going to explode in minutes and it’ll probably take this whole section with it.
KOENIG nods and the two turn to leave as another energy pulse is emitted. This one is degrees of magnitude greater than the first and sends the men flying across the room. BERGMAN’s body smashes through the Perspex window of his office and KOENIG is sent skidding into the wall.
Both men lay still and the camera pauses on them for a long moment while the roar from the device grows louder.
7. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – COMMAND CENTRE – FADE IN
DOCTOR HELENA RUSSELL observes the video screens, her hand going to her mouth as they watch an external view of the Main Research Laboratory. They can see the moon buggy and the open airlock and we assume they have watched KOENIG and BERGMAN enter the building.
SANDRA BENES, ALAN CARTER, SERGEI PETROV and Alpha’s Chief of Security, TONY VERDESCHI, are also present.
Suddenly the video feed is replaced with static.
(stating the obvious)
I’ve lost the feed!
(checking a nearby medical display)
The energy levels have gone off the scale. We’ve got to get them out of there!
I’ll take another buggy out there, but it’ll take a while to get there.
An Eagle will be faster. C’mon, Sergei.
CARTER and PETROV rush from the room, leaving the others crowded around BENES’ computer screen. (I have done it this way, instead of having the action play out on the big viewscreen, to give the scene a sense of claustrophobic panic)
8. EXT. MOONBASE ALPHA – LAUNCH PAD THREE
An Eagle transporter appears from the beneath the lunar surface as it rises on one of Alpha’s launch pads. Almost before it has finished rising, it blasts off, sending dust and flames in all directions, pivots above the pad and glides towards the Main Research Laboratory.
9. INT. EAGLE TRANSPORTER – COCKPIT & CARGO BAY
CARTER and PETROV look concerned as they pilot the spacecraft towards the research section. Within seconds they are above their goal. Neither are wearing spacesuits.
There it is. Sergei, set us down and I’ll go in and get them.
PETROV nods and CARTER unbuckles and heads for the cargo bay. He hastily climbs into a spacesuit and clicks a helmet into place.
The ship judders as PETROV violently yet expertly sets the Eagle down. CARTER grabs a handrail and curses under his breath.
PETROV (V.O. over radio)
Okay, Alan, we’re down.
CARTER opens the cargo bay door, the decompression cycle hissing as he does so.
10. EXT. MOONBASE ALPHA - OUTSIDE MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORY & EAGLE TRANSPORTER EGRESS
The Eagle is sitting several metres from the building. A fine layer of dust from the landing rockets has coated the moon buggy, painting it grey.
CARTER stands for a moment at the top of the boarding ramp, then sets off as fast as he can towards the open airlock of the laboratory.
A strong energy pulse from the device sends him reeling and static can be heard over his radio as the pulse rips through him.
He steadies himself and continues into the building.
11. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – GENERIC AIRLOCK & MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORY & BERGMAN’S OFFICE
CARTER stumbles into the lab and quickly finds KOENIG and BERGMAN. He grabs KOENIG and sits him up. KOENIG’s eyes are closed.
(KOENIG’s eyes flicker open)
Thank God! C’mon, we’ve got to get out of here!
CARTER helps KOENIG to his feet and they both pick up BERGMAN, who groans slightly over the radio, but remains unconscious.
Taking hold of BERGMAN under each shoulder, KOENIG and CARTER drag him out of the lab and through the airlock to the Eagle.
12. EXT. MOONBASE ALPHA - OUTSIDE MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORY & EAGLE TRANSPORTER EGRESS
CARTER and KOENIG drag BERGMAN back to the Eagle as another, more powerful pulse emanates from the artefact.
(We quickly cut to COMMAND CENTRE as the pulse begins to affect equipment there, causing spark explosions around the room)
The three men climb the boarding ramp and the door slides shut behind them.
The Eagle immediately blasts off and heads back towards the launch pads.
(Another quick cut, this time to the MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORY and the artefact is glowing more brilliantly than ever and sending out ever more powerful pulses every few seconds)
The Eagle is caught by a powerful pulse of energy and reels in space.
13. INT. EAGLE TRANSPORTER – COCKPIT & CARGO BAY
CARTER and KOENIG lay BERGMAN down on a bench as the energy pulse hits the Eagle, sending them crashing into the bulkheads. Computer panels erupt in showers of sparks. CARTER heads for the cockpit, removing his helmet as he goes.
The door slides open and he enters the cockpit, flopping into his pilot’s chair and buckles himself in quickly.
PETROV is having difficulty holding the spacecraft steady: the pulses are becoming more frequent and more powerful.
CARTER grabs his flight controls and attempts to help PETROV steady the ship. The pulses are too powerful, though, and more spark showers and explosion rip through the cockpit.
PETROV is caught in a blast and slumps forward, pushing his flight controller down, sending the ship into a spinning dive. CARTER struggles furiously to save the ship, but it is to no avail.
14. EXT. LUNAR SURFACE – SOME DISTANCE FROM MOONBASE ALPHA
The stricken Eagle ploughs into the lunar surface, gouging a deep trench in the soft, dusty landscape. It lies there motionless, clouds of dust settling on its battered hull.
The energy pulses from the device continue to wash over the landscape and we CUT to
15. EXT. SPACE – MOON
The pulses encircle the whole of the Moon, so vast in their energies that electrical discharges swathe the Earth’s companion in blue fire.
(a quick cut to the COMMAND CENTRE and we see lots of concerned and terrified faces, followed by quick cuts to the EAGLE TRANSPORTER – COCKPIT & CARGO BAY show CARTER, PETROV, KOENIG and BERGMAN unconscious.)
One final, massive pulse smothers the Moon and when the electrical discharges fade, it has vanished.
1. EXT. SPACE - FADE IN
A bright starfield with swirling, colourful nebulae fills the screen, giving us a clue that we are now far from Earth. The camera swings around and a planet comes into view. Beyond it orbits a moon, peeking shyly above the crescent limb of its parent.
Suddenly the firmament erupts with violent, energetic electrical fire. A huge, grey orb appears – our Moon, now in orbit around this alien world.
2. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – COMMAND CENTRE
The crew of Moonbase Alpha are picking up the pieces. Electrical fires are widespread and the staff are struggling to put them all out.
In the Command Centre, TONY VERDESCHI has taken charge and is coordinating efforts to save the station, barking orders and pointing a lot.
DOCTOR HELENA RUSSELL picks herself up and uses her hands to brush herself down. SANDRA BENES has a small cut on her forehead, but she remains at her station.
PAUL MORROW rushes into the room, his sleeve is ripped and he is covered with grime.
What the hell is going on?
Paul, man your station!
MORROW obediently crosses to his workstation in front of the main viewscreen and begins tapping commands into his computer. RUSSELL sees his dishevelled state and realises she has work to do.
Sandra, let me see that cut.
It’s nothing, doctor. I’ll be fine. I’m sure there are worse injuries.
Yes, you’re right. Tony, I’d better get to the Medical Bay and help Doctor Mathias.
VERDESCHI nods and RUSSELL darts from the Command Centre.
MORROW turns from his station. He quickly looks to SANDRA BENES with concern and she smiles weakly, giving him a thumbs up. He smiles back with equal fatigue. MORROW addresses VERDESCHI
Captain, I don’t believe these readings.
(VERDESCHI rushes to his side)
According to this, we’re not in orbit of the Earth anymore.
(he points to figures scrolling up the screen)
Either that or Earth has changed its physical characteristics dramatically and gained three new moons!
(turns from MORROW)
Sandra, any news of the commander’s Eagle?
(looking extremely worried)
It went down about three kilometres from Launch pad Three. We’ve had no communications from them.
(thinks for a long moment)
All right. I’m going out after them. Sandra, have Bill Fraser meet me at Launch pad Three with an Eagle ready to go.
Paul, you’re in charge.
3. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – MEDICAL BAY
DOCTOR HELENA RUSSELL and DOCTOR BOB MATHIAS, her deputy, are almost inundated with injured Alpha personnel. The wounded are sitting on the floor because all the chairs and beds are full. RUSSELL and her team rush from patient to patient using the triage system to dispense treatment.
Luckily, most of the injuries are slight: a few broken bones, cuts, bruises, many sprained joints and some burns from the many fires that broke out after the incident.
SANDRA BENES’ face appears on the comlink in the back wall of the Medical Bay.
Doctor Russell, could you join Captain Verdeschi at Launch Pad Three?
(crossing to the video display)
Sandra, I’m very busy here.
I appreciate that, Doctor, but the captain is taking an Eagle out for Commander Koenig and he wants you along in case they are injured.
I’m sorry, Sandra, I…
It’s okay, doctor. We can manage here now. The worst is over, I think. You go and rescue the commander.
All right, Sandra. Tell Tony that I’m on my way.
BENES’ face vanishes from the screen and RUSSELL picks up a medical field kit from a storage locker and exits the Medical Bay.
4. EXT. MOONBASE ALPHA – LAUNCH PAD THREE
Another Eagle rises from the ground and blasts into an alien sky. The brilliant starfield and rainbow nebulae stretch from horizon to horizon and a bizarre, purple and brown planet hangs almost directly over head.
In the distance behind the Eagle, a moon similar in size and colour to our Moon balances on the horizon.
The cumbersome spacecraft soon arrives at its fallen comrade and swings around to land close by. The landing rockets ignite and the Eagle settles down onto the lunar surface. A short boarding tube extends from the starboard side of the cargo pod and latches with a metallic clang and hiss of compression on to port side airlock of the downed Eagle.
5. INT. EAGLE TRANSPORT – CARGO BAY & COCKPIT
The airlock hisses open and VERDESCHI and RUSSELL rush inside. The cabin is filled with smoke, but there are no fires. VERDESCHI and RUSSELL both cough and cover their mouths. RUSSELL immediately checks on KOENIG and BERGMAN, while VERDESCHI heads for the cockpit.
CARTER is slumped forward in his seat and it is he whom VERDESCHI examines first. The relief on VERDESCHI’s face is apparent when he realises that CARTER is alive. He moves on to PETROV and the relief quickly vanishes when he realises that CARTER’s Russian friend is dead.
He moves back to CARTER.
(lightly slapping CARTER’s cheeks)
(CARTER’s eyes snap open)
(confusion on his face)
We’re still trying to work that out. C’mon, let’s get you out of here. Doctor Russell’s in the back.
(looking across to PETROV)
I’m sorry, Carter. He’s dead.
Oh, hell no! Jeez!
CARTER and VERDESCHI exit the cockpit and find RUSSELL sitting beside KOENIG whom she has revived using ‘stuff’ from the medical field kit. BERGMAN is still unconscious. KOENIG’s eyes are red-rimmed and he looks old suddenly.
Tony, what’s out status?
Let’s get back to Alpha and find out, hmm?
6. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – MEDICAL BAY
BERGMAN sits up in bed and tries to swat away the pretty, young nurse that attempts to restrain him. He is in a private room off the main Medical Bay.
Look, my dear, I am perfectly fine. Now if you’ll just let me up?
I’m sorry, professor, but Doctor Russell has ordered you to rest.
Young lady, there may be no time for me to rest! Now let me up!
(presses button on panel by BERGMAN’s bed)
Doctor Russell? Professor Bergman is insisting that I discharge him.
(from the doorway)
It’s all right, Judith. You see to your duties.
(the NURSE scurries away gratefully)
Now, Victor, what are we going to do with you?
(pushes himself up onto his elbows)
Helena, I need to get back into the lab and get some readings from the artefact. It’s imperative!
RUSSELL hands BERGMAN a small sheaf of papers.
It’s a full spectrographic analysis of the device. The commander and Carter went back in and took some readings for you. It seems dormant for the time being.
Well, we’ll see about that.
(he begins flipping through the pages)
How long have I been out of it?
About four hours. With the shock you received going through that window, I’m surprised your injuries weren’t more severe. You’re a tough old bird. (smiles)
Less of the ‘old’, my dear! Hmm, what’s this?
(suddenly sits bolt upright)
Oh crap! I need to see the commander!
RUSSELL produces her hand-held medical scanner and points it at BERGMAN for a long second. She reads the display for a while and BERGMAN’s impatience is evident.
All right, Victor. I’m going to discharge you from the Medical Bay. (raises a finger) However, I want you back in here tomorrow so I can check your progress. Your clothes are in the locker.
RUSSELL leaves the room and BERGMAN swings his legs out of bed.
7. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – KOENIG’S OFFICE - FADE IN
BERGMAN is standing in front of KOENIG’s desk waving the sheaf of papers in front of him. He is obviously distressed.
I’ve been lying there in bed for four hours, John! Surely you could evaluate these readings yourself? You have a degree from MIT, after all!
I did read the data, Victor, but I couldn’t see what acting rashly would accomplish.
John, that thing is building up its energy levels again. We have only forty-four hours before we are zipped to God-knows-where again! Can Alpha survive another jump?
Sit down, Victor. The important thing is that we have those hours to work something out. In the meantime, I have Morrow working on finding out exactly where we are. If the artefact is some form of transport device, then there must be a purpose to its design.
(he points out of the window and the alien world beyond the lunar horizon)
I don’t think it’s an accident that we appear in a stable orbit around a world that appears capable of supporting life.
(points to BERGMAN’s papers, smiling)
It’s on the last page. You should read it to the end before going off half-cocked, professor.
Sandra is scanning the surface to see if there is any sign of intelligent life and Carter and Fraser are standing by with an Eagle for a reconnaissance mission.
You’ve got it all worked out, then? Perhaps I should go back to bed?
Hardly, Victor! The Transit Tube to your lab should be up and running again soon. I suggest you get out there and figure out where our next destination could be and if we will ever return home.
1. EXT. ABOVE THE ALIEN PLANET – DAY – FADE IN
An Eagle transporter glides over the surface of the alien planet. Although it is daytime, the sky is darker than Earth’s and tinged purple. The Moon is clearly visible, appearing slightly larger than the other moon in the sky at that time. The surface of the planet looks quite barren. The only life appears to be scrubland vegetation, small bushes and the occasional, stunted tree. There are no animals at all.
2. INT. EAGLE TRANSPORTER – COCKPIT & CARGO BAY
CAPTAIN ALAN CARTER and CAPTAIN BILL FRASER are sitting in the Eagle cockpit. In the cargo bay are KOENIG, BERGMAN and DOCTOR RUSSELL.
BERGMAN is struggling to get a view out of the tiny windows set into the airlock doors. He is muttering to himself.
Can’t even get a decent view! Who designed these confounded machines?
The brightest minds of the ISC, Victor, that’s who.
(in gruff tones)
Well, there’s an oxymoron if ever I heard one. How long before we get there?
Don’t worry, Victor. We’ll be there soon. Captain Carter will let us know.
(she looks to KOENIG, smiling)
Is he always this bad?
When I was assigned to Alpha back in July, one of the first things I did was accompany Victor on a scientific expedition to the Hadley Rille. By the time we got back, I was ready to throttle him!
(RUSSELL laughs out loud)
I’m listening, you know!
(winks to RUSSELL)
I know, Victor, but imagine what I say about you when you’re not around!
CARTER (V.O. over comlink)
We’re almost there, commander. I’m setting us down now.
(crosses to comlink and presses a button)
Okay, thanks, Alan.
My God! What is that?
3. EXT. ALIEN PLANET SURFACE & EAGLE TRANSPORTER CARGO BAY EGRESS – DAY
The Eagle sets down on the planet. Beside it stands a huge, monolithic tower. It shines with the same, brushed metal sheen as the artefact and its surface is criss-crossed with similar deeply-etched grooves.
When the dust from the landing rockets settles, the boarding ramp lowers and the cargo bay airlock hisses open to reveal four space-suited figures.
They walk down the ramp and step onto an alien world for the first time. Gravity seems to be Earth-normal as they head towards the monolithic structure.
We watch them make their way across the desert-like terrain, walking around sparse vegetation and rocky outcrops. Above them, green and yellow clouds drift and swirl in the turbulent upper atmosphere, temporarily obscuring the Moon.
They approach a triangular opening at the base of the huge, metal tower, its dark interior beckoning them, and they quartet slip inside.
4. INT. MAYA’S TOWER – CORRIDORS, CONTROL ROOM & ANTECHAMBER
The four astronauts find themselves in a huge, vaulted chamber, although this appears to be nothing more than a connecting corridor that leads deeper inside the tower.
RUSSELL checks her scanner, as does BERGMAN. They look to one another and BERGMAN nods.
The atmosphere is as near to Earth-normal as makes any difference. I think we can remove our helmets.
After you, doc!
KOENIG beats them all to it and removes his helmet, pressurised oxygen hissing from the sudden release of the locking mechanism. He takes several deep breaths.
A little dusty, but breathable. Makes a change from the recycled oxygen we breathe on Alpha.
The others remove their helmets and gawk in awe at the spectacle around them. BERGMAN checks his scanner.
(points down the corridor)
I’m getting an energy reading from inside. It’s similar to the pattern from the artefact.
The group plunge deeper into the mysterious structure, their very human sense of curiosity driving them on.
Eventually, the corridor opens out into an even larger hall: a vast, round chamber, so high that the ceiling is lost to the dark shadows high above them. The building appears to be lit by faintly-glowing lights set into the walls in such a way that you can’t see the source directly. This gives the interior a spooky, almost haunted castle, feel to it.
At the centre of the room a ring of what appear to be alien computer consoles stand silently, as though waiting for a long-lost operator.
The Alphans head towards this rotunda.
KOENIG steps up onto the slightly raised platform that delineates this part of the chamber from the rest. As soon as he does so, a low hum can be heard and several triangular screens wink on. Weird, alien script begins scrolling across the displays, following the edges of the screens, thus forming a bizarre pyramidal block of text.
BERGMAN steps forward and runs his scanner over the consoles. He pulls off his gloves, stuffs them into his belt and rubs his eyes with one hand. Then he presses a button on the console. Nothing happens.
Victor! What the hell are you doing?
Seeing what these buttons do.
And you called Ricard and Marshall rash!
BERGMAN shrugs and tries a few combinations of the faintly glowing buttons that dot the consoles. Nothing happens. He throws his arms up with exasperation and when they come back down, his hand accidentally mashes a group of buttons.
An echoing, clanging peal resounds around them, followed by a voice speaking an extra-terrestrial tongue.
(pointing to the edge of the chamber where an faintly-glowing opening has appeared)
Look! That wasn’t there before.
Well, I suppose we’d better check it out. Doctor, Victor, I think you had better stay here. If Alan and I get trapped in there, you two can figure out how to get us back out.
KOENIG and CARTER head towards the opening, their heavy boots ringing loudly against the metal floor. They pause briefly at the threshold of the portal, glancing inside with trepidation. KOENIG gestures for CARTER to enter and the Australian smirks, stepping through the door. KOENIG follows him.
They find themselves in a small, rectangular antechamber, about as large as the Medical Bay on Alpha. The lighting is as faint in here as everywhere else in the tower, but rows of clear-topped, horizontal tubes can be seen occupying both sides of the room, in all about a dozen in number.
KOENIG approaches one and peers inside. He recoils, horrified and CARTER steps forward.
We adopt CARTER’s P.O.V. as the contents of the tube are slowly revealed.
Through the clear casing we see the hideously desiccated corpse of a humanoid alien. It is mottled brown in colour and its mouth is open, the skin stretched back to reveal a set of human-like teeth. The eyes are closed beneath a set of slanting eyebrows that appear more like rhinoceros horn than hair. A shock of red hair tops the crown of the head. In all, save for the eyebrows, a very humanoid creature indeed. The alien is covered by a loose-fitting, sleeveless white robe.
Jeez! I wonder how long it’s been here?
(checking the other capsules)
It seems as though they’re all dead. They’re all in a similar condition.
(beat, as he reaches the far end of the chamber)
Hang on! (shouts) Helena, get in here quick!
RUSSELL dashes into the ante-chamber, her boots clanking beneath her. She joins KOENIG and peers into the chamber. She pulls off her gloves and places them atop the tube. CARTER begins to walk across to them.
(using hand scanner)
Oh my God! She’s alive.
We switch to CARTER’s P.O.V. again as he sees what inhabits the capsule for the first time. A young woman is lying in the tube, a look of serenity on her beautiful, unmarked face. Like the alien in the first capsule, she has long, red hair, almost bright red, but with an auburn cast, and it cascades around her shoulders almost down to her midriff. She also possesses those bizarre horn-like eyebrows. Her cheek bones are high, giving her a regal appearance. Her eyes are closed. She is wearing a robe identical to the rest of the chamber’s occupants.
Can we get her out of there? Resuscitate her?
I wouldn’t recommend it. I wouldn’t know where to start. If I do it incorrectly, I could easily kill her.
BERGMAN appears at the doorway. He has a look of concern on his face.
I think we’ve got a problem. Come and see.
KOENIG follows BERGMAN back to the computer consoles and sees that the scientist has managed to activate a few more of the triangular screens.
(gesturing to one of the screens)
If I’m reading these patterns properly, this whole building is a kind of Noah’s Ark. There are literally thousands of people interred here in a form of cryogenic suspension.
I know. We’ve just found one alive.
Incredible, but I suspect she may be the only one left. The power levels appear to be so low that I think it is close to failing completely. In fact, I am surprised there is enough power to keep even one person alive and in suspension.
(looking around the chamber)
What happened here? Why are they all here? Are they connected with the artefact?
Actually, I think they are. Many of the symbols on these screens are replicated on the device in my lab. These may be the creators of the artefact.
Then that means that they have been to our solar system before. Perhaps even to Earth.
Yes, but not for a very, very long time.
Oh, by the rate of power loss recorded on these screens I reckon no less than five million years.
(rushing from out of the ante-chamber)
John, I think you’d better see this!
KOENIG and BERGMAN follow CARTER into the ante-chamber. They are stunned to see the alien girl standing beside DOCTOR RUSSELL with a quizzical look on her pale face. Her deep, green eyes regard CARTER for a longer moment than is comfortable for him and he hops from foot to foot awkwardly.
I don’t know what happened, John. I was taking some readings when the cover vanished into thin air and she opened her eyes and sat up! (beat) As far as I can tell, but I’m no expert on alien physiognomy (laughs awkwardly), she is perfectly healthy.
I am Maya.
Everybody is stunned to hear her sweet, trilling voice.
You can speak English?
What is English? I speak words.
I am Commander John Koenig of Moonbase Alpha. This is Doctor Helena Russell, Professor Victor Bergman and Captain Alan Carter.
(regarding CARTER intently)
Captain Alan Carter.
MAYA breaks eye contact with CARTER and moves to the other capsules, peering in each one in turn. She betrays no emotion at seeing her dead people, save for a single tear that rolls down her ivory cheek.
I am alone.
MAYA collapses to the floor in a dead faint. RUSSELL dashes to her side and runs the scanner up and down MAYA’s motionless form.
She’s all right. It must have been a shock coming out of stasis like that. I can treat her better back in the Medical Bay. If she wants to come back to the planet later, that’s up to her.
(checks his own scanner)
I think we had better be leaving. The energy levels have dropped to almost zero. I don’t know if the building will seal itself when that happens and I don’t what to be in here when we find out.
CARTER scoops up MAYA in his arms and they head out of the ante-chamber, through the control room and back into the high-ceilinged corridor. KOENIG collects up the group’s helmets and struggles to carry them all.
Actually I don’t think we ever needed them, John. The building appears to have been open to the atmosphere for at least five million years.
(hands BERGMAN and RUSSELL their helmets, keeping his own and CARTER’s)
Well, I’m not carrying them all back!
5. EXT. ALIEN PLANET SURFACE & EAGLE TRANSPORTER CARGO BAY EGRESS – DAY
They quickly make their way back to the Eagle and enter the ship via the boarding ramp. The door hisses shut behind them.
6. INT. EAGLE TRANSPORTER – CARGO BAY & COCKPIT
CARTER sets MAYA down on one of the couches in the cargo bay and heads for the cockpit.
He settles into his seat beside FRASER.
Find anything interesting?
You could say that. Let’s get back to Alpha.
As we hear the roar of the Eagle’s rocket, we
1. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – MEDICAL BAY – FADE IN
MAYA lies on the same bed that BERGMAN occupied only a few hours previously. DOCTOR RUSSELL, KOENIG, BERGMAN and CARTER are crowded around the bed, regarding the lovely alien intently. As they watch, her eyes open slowly, then close again. Then they snap open and she glances around with panic plain in those emerald irises. She sits up and relaxes only slightly when she sees CARTER.
Where am I?
Easy. You’re on Moonbase Alpha. How are you feeling?
I feel perfectly well, thank you. Why have you brought me here?
We found that the tower you were being held in stasis inside was about to lose all power. We felt it prudent to bring you here.
What is Moonbase Alpha? You are not of my people. I do not understand.
We arrived here by accident, Maya, from a planet called Earth. We are very eager to return home soon.
But what of my people? Where are they?
(Everybody looks to one another)
It seems that you are the last of your kind, Maya. I am very sorry.
I see. I am alone.
BERGMAN pulls KOENIG to one side and speaks quietly to him.
John, we only have a few hours before the artefact builds up enough power again to cause a danger to us. Perhaps she can help? I mean, if her people were the creators of this technology…?
Yes, you’re right, Victor. I just hope she knows about these devices. For all we know, she may not even be a scientist. It’s like asking me to fix the engine of one of the old Boeing 747s. I wouldn’t know where to start.
We can but try.
I can help you, Professor Bergman.
(whispers to KOENIG)
She’ll be difficult to keep secrets from!
What are ‘secrets’?
Never mind, Maya, I was just joking. With the good doctor’s permission, I would like you to assist me in deactivating a piece of equipment we believe your people created. Doctor?
(leads BERGMAN out of the room)
I suppose so, just don’t work her too hard, Victor. I’ll find her a uniform to wear and send her to your lab, okay?
Now I have to decide whether or not to tell her that she has been asleep for five million years.
If she can handle the news that she is the last of her race, I’m sure she can handle anything.
2. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORY & BERGMAN’S OFFICE – FADE IN
MAYA enters BERGMAN’s office. She is wearing a standard Alphan uniform bearing the colours of the Science Division. Her long, red hair is tied back in a pony tail and a headband. She is accompanied by a FEMALE SECURITY GUARD.
BERGMAN is sitting behind his desk, deep in thought at some computations. Through the now repaired Perspex window, the artefact has started visibly glowing again and a low hum can just about be heard above the sounds of BERGMAN’s busy staff. BERGMAN doesn’t notice MAYA’s entrance. She coughs.
(looking up at MAYA)
Oh, Maya, my dear. I didn’t see you there. I was busy trying to work out whether the energy output of the artefact was directly related to the distance of the spatial jump.
It is… and the ‘artefact’ is called a Psychon Interspatial Transport System.
P.I.T.S. Well, if there was ever a more suitable nomenclature, that’s it! ‘Psychon’? Is that the name of your people.
Yes. It is also the name of our homeworld.
(she looks out of the window at her home beyond the distant crater wall of Plato)
(sensing MAYA’s sadness)
I’m sure we could find you a home back on Earth. If we return.
Thank you, professor. Now, let me see the System.
BERGMAN leads MAYA into the lab where the P.I.T.S. device sits. The SECURITY GUARD follows. BERGMAN dismisses her.
(smiling at the GUARD)
I’m sure we can manage without your presence, my dear.
The GUARD indicates wordlessly that she will wait by the laboratory doors and this satisfies BERGMAN.
I observe that some of your people do not yet trust me.
We come from a very paranoid world, I’m afraid. We have a natural distrust of strangers or of those that are different. Many of us have learned to overcome such prejudices, but a great deal more seem to revel in them.
MAYA nods, but doesn’t really understand. She turns her attention to the artefact. She looks at several points on the surface of the globe and nods her head.
I understand now. Whoever activated this device did with an incorrect sequence.
(she points to the grooves)
See where the lines converge? Those are the command terminals. Where two converge are the activation terminals. Where three converge are the plotting terminals. Where four converge are the deactivation terminals.
Ah, so you can use the deactivation terminals to power down the device?
(shaking her head)
It is not that simple, I am afraid. The deactivation sequence is identical to the activation sequence. See how the terminals are grouped? Yes? I have no idea what sequence the activation terminals were depressed or even which ones were utilised. The same applies to the plotting terminals. Whoever set them has programmed in a fixed course, a series of destinations that will end back at Earth. Unfortunately, I have no idea how many were entered. Your next jump or a thousand jumps from now could take you back to Earth.
I could try a hundred combinations every minute for a thousand years and never find the correct sequences to get you home.
Sorry, my dear. Never mind. So we have no way to switch off the machine and we shall keep jumping from place to place for an indefinite period? Doesn’t this thing ever run out of power?
It draws its energy directly from the fabric of space itself, so it can never be without power.
There is some good news for you, though. There are a finite number of destinations encoded onto the sphere. After two or three jumps, I may be able to plot a course and work out when you shall return to Earth.
Then you have decided to remain with us?
It is my responsibility, yes?
Not really, but I’m glad you’re staying.
1. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – KOENIG’S OFFICE – FADE IN
KOENIG and RUSSELL are talking in his office. They are sitting on a comfortable settee that is placed away from his desk. They are sipping coffee from mugs and appear relaxed.
So, John, is it true that Maya has decided to remain on Alpha?
News sure travels fast here.
I thought you would have got used to that by now. So, is it true?
Is she going to have a security escort for the rest of her life?
Don’t you think having an armed guard follow her round every minute of the day will send the wrong kind of message about us?
There are safety considerations. Many sections of Alpha are potentially dangerous.
John, she’s at least twice as intelligent as the smartest person on Earth. I think she’ll be able to tell where on Alpha is dangerous or not.
She’s an alien, doctor!
Helena. And what does that have to do with anything?
Nothing. I don’t know. I think maybe I’m being a little paranoid.
Not to mention xenophobic.
Sorry, Helena. And I’ll have a word with Tony about Maya’s security detail.
(she sips from her mug for the first time)
It was the one thing my wife said I could make that was edible.
She was right. How long has it been since she died?
I’m sorry. If you’d rather not talk about it…
I’d rather not.
Several awkward seconds pass by and the pair sip their coffees without making eye contact.
Can I ask you a question about the artefact?
Sure, as long as it’s nothing technical.
How come it was found on one of Mars’ moons? How did it get there?
I asked Diana Morris that very question as soon as it arrived here. She muttered something about ‘classified information’ and hung up.
She thought that the commander of Moonbase Alpha didn’t have a high enough security clearance?
It would seem so. I was hoping that Ricard could answer those questions for us.
Maybe we’ll never find out.
2. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – BERGMAN’S OFFICE
BERGMAN is standing behind his desk with his arms folded. SENIOR TECHNICIAN DANIEL MARSHALL is standing on the opposite side. MARSHALL is a broad, stocky man with a full beard and dark, hooded eyes. BERGMAN is angry and is not in the least intimidated by the larger man.
How long have you been here, Marshall?
Two months. I came with the same duty rotation as the commander.
Yes. Two months and in that time how often have you and I been in this very situation?
I’m sorry, professor. It won’t happen again.
I bloody well know it won’t happen again. You’re off my senior research team. I’m sure Doctor Kano at the Technical Engineering Workshop can find you something to do.
Please reconsider, professor. I promise I will follow your orders to the letter in future. (pause) Besides, whom will you get to replace me?
Maya will be joining my team.
The alien?! You are demoting me, a fellow countryman, in favour of the first alien we encounter? I bet Russell had something to do with this! Those Americans are so naïve!
Doctor Russell had nothing to do with it! Get out before I have a member of Security drag you out!
You haven’t heard the last of this, professor, believe me!
MARSHALL storms out of BERGMAN’s office, leaving the professor alone with his thoughts.
1.INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – CAFETERIA – FADE IN
CARTER and FRASER are sitting in the cafeteria speaking in hushed tones. It is the sleep cycle and the lighting is dim. Both men are nursing empty coffee cups.
(looks to his wristwatch)
Another nine hours and we go on another sleigh ride.
Yep. I just hope we don’t lose any people this time.
(looks to FRASER)
I visited Sergei earlier. He’s in a freezer in the morgue. Doctor Russell wouldn’t let me open it up and see him, so I just stood there talking to a refrigerator. It must have been quite a sight.
Had you known Captain Petrov for long?
Three years. We were birds of a feather, you might say. I was busted out of the UAS Marine Corps for shooting down an EU fighter in ‘93 and he was kicked out of the EU Tactical Attack Division for pretty much the same reason in ’96. Except he shot down one of his own wingmen when he opened fire on a school bus in Borneo. We both ended up at Marsbase Alpha eventually ferrying eggheads and doing supply runs. Sure beats being in the stockade, though.
It sure does.
At that moment, MAYA walks in. She is alone. She sees CARTER and FRASER and almost turns to leave.
(rising to his feet)
Maya, come back. Have a seat.
(MAYA returns and tentatively sits down at the table)
I’m glad to see you’ve shaken your tail.
Shaken my tail? I have no tail. The Psychons are descended from ground-dwelling primates…
I meant you no longer have a security escort.
Oh. Commander Koenig considers me to be a minor security risk now I have decided to remain at Moonbase Alpha. I have been assigned to assist Professor Bergman.
You’re staying? That’s great news. Let me buy you a coffee to celebrate.
(she looks to FRASER as CARTER heads to the coffee pot on the nearby counter)
Well, I’m gonna turn in. Goodnight, Maya. See you, Alan.
See you, Bill.
(as FRASER leaves the cafeteria, the double-doors slide shut behind him)
Cream and sugar, Maya?
I have no idea of what you are referring, Captain Carter.
Cream and sugar it is then.
2. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – CORRIDOR
FRASER heads down the corridor from the cafeteria. This is still the sleep cycle and the lighting is muted, casting dark shadows. Coming the other way is DANIEL MARSHALL. He is carrying a heavy, metal pipe with one hand, secreting it behind his back as he approaches FRASER.
Captain. (beat) Is the alien in the cafeteria?
You mean Maya? Yes, she’s with Captain Carter.
The pair pass in the corridor and MARSHALL quietly turns back, raises the pipe high above his head and brings it down on the back of FRASER’s skull. The pilot slumps to the deck.
MARSHALL pulls FRASER’s inert form into a nearby storage locker and closes the door when he re-emerges.
MARSHALL heads to the cafeteria and glances through the window. He sees MAYA and CARTER sitting at a table. Nobody else is present in the dining hall.
MARSHALL ducks down and sidles beneath the window, so as not to be observed by MAYA and CARTER. On the opposite side of the cafeteria doors, MARSHALL flipped open a control panel, marked ‘ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL’ and entered a series of commands. A graphic display shows temperature, oxygen and pressure levels falling gradually. Then MARSHALL uses the pipe and smashes the controls.
Take my job, will you? Freak!
MARSHALL slips away, unseen by MAYA or CARTER.
3. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – CAFETERIA
MAYA is enjoying the creamy, sweet coffee that CARTER has poured for her. She appears to have relaxed considerably and she smiles at CARTER.
You know, Captain…
You know, (beat) Alan, we have a drink on Psychon that is very much like this. We call it praseelas.
(she takes another sip)
But this is lovely. Thank you, cap… Alan.
I suppose you’ll have many chances to try lots of Earth foods. I recommend hamburgers and fries.
I am not sure that I like the sound of that.
Perhaps you’re right.
(he rubs his arms)
Is it me, or is it getting cold in here?
A little, perhaps. We Psychons are used to the cold, though. We only came out of an ice age a few hundred years before I was sent into stasis.
I can hardly breath. (gasps) Must be the environmental controls. Malfunction.
CARTER tries to get to his feet, but falls heavily onto the table causing it to collapse. Coffee spills across the floor and MAYA shrieks.
She tries to revive CARTER, but he lies motionless.
With panic-stricken eyes, MAYA looks around the room, eventually focussing on the large windows on either side of the double-doors.
The atmosphere is becoming very thin by now and she begins to gasp for breath too.
She staggers towards the doors, but they remain firmly closed. She tries to pull them open to no avail. She glances back to CARTER, still motionless in the centre of the cafeteria.
MAYA looks around, as though ensuring that nobody is looking, and then we close-up on her lovely, green eyes.
A change occurs: the eyes morph into reptilian slits and we pull back sharply to see her slight frame transform into a hulking, bipedal reptilian beast, a huge, green-scaled monster with lethal-looking talons, sharp teeth and a thick head crowned with a row of feather-like quills.
The MAYA-BEAST roars and, using the massive claws on each hand, begins prising the double-doors open. An internal mechanism explodes and the doors slide apart. Fresh atmosphere floods into the cafeteria, fluttering the quills on the MAYA-BEAST’s head.
An alarm begins to sound and normal lighting flickers on.
The MAYA-BEAST turns to CARTER and gently scoops him up in a pair of massive, green arms. Once outside, CARTER is set down and his eyes slowly open.
We CUT to CARTER’s P.O.V. and a blurred image of the MAYA-BEAST’s hideous visage. Then it morphs back to the normal MAYA before CARTER can focus.
He shakes his head, as though to clear any cobwebs and looks up to MAYA.
(a little coyly)
I’m not sure. It all happened so fast.
A security detail led by TONY VERDESCHI appears and CARTER gets to his feet. He sees the open panel beside the door and the smashed keypad. VERDESCHI joins CARTER by the panel.
(inspecting the fizzling controls)
Hmm, could be.
VERDESCHI looks to MAYA (who is standing awkwardly to one side) a little suspiciously. CARTER sees this.
Don’t even go there, Verdeschi. She saved my life… somehow. She may have been the target anyway.
Possibly. Whatever, it seems we have a potential murderer on Alpha.
Suddenly, a muffled rapping noise attracts everybody’s attention. CARTER crosses to the storage locker as the thumping continues. He opens it and FRASER stumbles out, holding the back of his head.
Bill, what happened? Who did this?
I think it was Marshall.
4. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – COMMAND CENTRE – FADE IN
KOENIG, BERGMAN, MAYA, CARTER and VERDESCHI are watching the big viewscreen in the Command Centre. It is a day cycle, yet the lighting is muted. We can see the artefact glowing brightly on the screen.
Victor, are you sure we’ll be okay when this thing goes off again?
Well, we’ve sealed off the lab, shut down the Transit Tube system and are running on minimal power. Helena and her team are standing by in the Medical Bay and we have grounded the Eagle fleet. I don’t see what else we could do.
The Command Centre is rocked as a powerful energy pulse rips through Moonbase Alpha. Then another. And another.
Here we go again.
MAYA slips her hand into CARTER’s and smiles weakly.
Another pulse has everybody hanging on to their workstations. A light-fitting explodes in a shower of sparks.
A final pulse reduces the viewscreen to static and we cut to
5. EXT. SPACE – MOON
The Moon is yet again swathed with swirling energies and vanishes from the orbit of Psychon in a brilliant flash that whites-out the screen.
6. EXT. SPACE - MOON – FADE IN FROM WHITE
The Moon reappears as it vanished, with a brilliant flash and arcing electricity. This time it is in orbit of a ringed planet, similar to Saturn. The orbit seems dangerously close to the ring system.
7. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – COMMAND CENTRE
BERGMAN’s sage advice seems to have done the trick. A relieved Alphan crew look to the viewscreen. The artefact sits silent and still in the laboratory, yet we know that it is a sleeping monster that will awaken in two days’ time.
Paul, bring the power levels up to normal. Begin getting status reports from all sections.
(from his station MORROW nods and begins working. The lights return to their normal, bright levels)
Well, Victor. Here we are again.
Yes, John. I’ll get back to the lab. Maya?
MAYA releases CARTER’s hand reluctantly and follows BERGMAN from the Command Centre.
KOENIG turns to VERDESCHI.
Now, Tony, what do we do about Marshall?
I’ve got him in a holding cell, John, but he denies any knowledge of what happened to Carter and Maya. He also denies assaulting Fraser.
Just give me five minutes alone with him, John.
Easy, Alan. Tony can handle this.
(rubs his chin)
I have heard some disturbing things in the last few hours, John.
(KOENIG raises an eyebrow)
It seems that Marshall was a little pissed that Bergman added Maya to his team over him. He was very vocal about this.
Then he has a motive.
Yes, he has a motive. He also has an alibi. He was seen in his bunk at the time you were in the cafeteria, captain.
Then his alibi is false, because Bill Fraser says he spoke to Marshall in the corridor just before it all happened.
Then we have a problem.
I realise this, John. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to release Marshall. It’s his word against Fraser’s and he has an alibi.
We FADE OUT on their concerned faces and cut to
8. INT. MOONBASE ALPHA – HOLDING CELL – FADE IN
MARSHALL sits in the holding cell, his elbows resting on the table in front him. We hear the door open and a voice say
GUARD (V.O. off screen)
Okay, Daniel. You can go.
MARSHALL rises to his feet and steps towards the camera until we
The year is 2100 and the political landscape on Earth is dominated by the United American States (UAS), which comprises of the countries of the Americas (including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil etc.), the Pacific Islands (Japan, Fiji etc.) and Australasia (Australia, New Zealand etc.) and the Eurasian Union (EU), which is made up of the countries of Europe (the UK, France, Russia etc.) and Asia (India, China, Malaysia etc.). Large parts of Africa are disputed, with many skirmishes occurring between these two superpowers.
Although not technically at war, there exists a constant, paranoid state of alert that makes the Cold War of the 20th Century seem tame by comparison.
The only time the UAS and the EU collaborate is in off-world activities. Moonbase Alpha was set up so that both powers could conduct research in an environment free from the prejudices on Earth, although this is easier said than done and frequent animosity can flare into violence between crew members from the opposing sides. Most, though, get along with their crewmates perfectly happily and romantic encounters are tolerated.
A similar, if smaller, facility is on the planet Mars and is known as Marsbase Alpha.
All projects that take place in space are controlled and commissioned by the International Science Congress (ISC).
Moonbase Alpha is a large research station nestled in the lunar crater, Plato. It has a permanent crew of about three hundred (300) under the command of COMMANDER JOHN KOENIG. The UAS and EU alternate Moonbase Alpha command every few years and KOENIG has only been in charge of Alpha for a couple of months. The normal staff rotation (essentially a tour of duty) is two years, but many of the senior staff have been there for much longer. Some have left and returned. Most of the posts are politically appointed and this means that a good deal of the crew are very loyal to their respective governments. As Alpha journeys through the cosmos, though, most of these tribal inclinations fade, except in the case of MARSHALL’s sinister ‘group’.
The station is roughly circular, with a central hub where the majority of activities take place (crew quarters, medical facilities, recreation areas and the cafeteria). The research sections are set away from the central section with access via a series of Transit Tubes. The Nuclear Power Plant is also set away from the main body of Alpha, as are the Eagle Launch Pads and hangars.
Many systems on Alpha are automatically controlled by the Central Computer, but many systems can be overridden by human operators if necessary. The computer is a tool and does not talk. There are many access terminals all over Alpha.
The base is controlled from a centrally-located Command Centre. From here, all sections of the station can be monitored and, if necessary, controlled. KOENIG’s office adjoins the Command Centre.
Moonbase Alpha’s Medical Bay is state-of-the-art and can handle almost any emergency. A broken bone can be repaired quickly and any space-borne viruses that may be encountered can be isolated and studied or destroyed as necessary. The Chief Medical Officer is DOCTOR HELENA RUSSELL.
The Nuclear Power Plant is located about a kilometre and a half from the main hub and is powered by a large fusion reactor. It is permanently manned by a dedicated team of engineers. The reactors were designed by brilliant, if reckless EU scientist DR JEAN RICARD.
Moonbase Alpha is supplied and serviced via a fleet of spaceships known as Eagles. These chunky, unattractive crafts are true workhorses and can be adapted for many roles. They require two pilots, although one person can fly it easily. The Eagles are launched from five (5) Launch Pads that are dotted around the perimeter of Moonbase Alpha, about three-quarters of a kilometre from the hub. The hangars are beneath the surface and Eagles rise on platforms to blast off. Alpha has about twenty Eagles in its fleet.
There are three research sections at Moonbase Alpha: The Main Research Laboratory, which has a catch-all scientific philosophy and is the main centre of study; The Biological Research Section, which is responsible for analysing any organic materials either from Earth or wherever (this section becomes more important as the series progresses and Moonbase Alpha travels through the galaxy); The Technical Engineering Workshop, which has the job of developing technologies for use on Earth using methods developed by the first two labs.
The Main Research Lab and the Technical Workshop fall under the purview of PROFESSOR VICTOR BERGMAN, while the Biological Section is administered by DOCTOR HELENA RUSSELL.
Communications are controlled from the Command Centre. Contact with the various sections of the base is maintained using the computer screens and video links (known as comlinks). Space suits use standard radio to communicate.
The technology of the series is obviously more advanced than we have now, but not excessively so. The people are very human (some more than others) and technology, as well as people, can fail.
Moonbase Alpha has a large security contingent, led by TONY VERDESCHI. They wear sidearms at all times, officially called a TSLA (tranquilliser, stun, laser, atomic) gun, but often referred to simply as a stun gun. These have four settings that can incapacitate, render unconscious, kill or even atomically disperse a victim.
Some sections of Moonbase Alpha are hazardous or require a high security level to access. In these cases the use of an IDX device is required to gain access. The IDX is a wand-shaped instrument that is encoded with the user’s personal security clearance codes. It can also be used as a communication device via a small screen set on one end.
Each gun is encoded to its user via the handgrip, so that an enemy cannot steal a stun gun and use it.
Moonbase Alpha has two laser cannons that rise out of the ground and can disable or destroy an incoming ship or meteorite. Alpha is also protected by two batteries of surface-to-air (a misnomer, as the Moon is airless) missiles of varying yields.
Eagle transporters can be equipped with weapons systems, although this is rarely
COMMANDER JOHN KOENIG
JOHN KOENIG is a UAS naval officer of about 50 years of age. He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, leaving his family’s farm at an early age, essentially ‘running away to sea’, although he has fond memories of his childhood and was devastated when his parents died. He has a brother and two sisters.
He has commanded a number of naval vessels and seen hostile action on several occasions. He is known as a calm and cautious commander and this helps in his assignment to Moonbase Alpha. He has quick intellect and can make tough decisions, but he always likes to hear all opinions before deciding on a course of action.
He had pushed to be stationed at Alpha for quite a while, as he had always dreamed of going into space.
He knows CAPTAIN ALAN CARTER from their days in the UAS Navy and felt CARTER was badly treated when he was forced from the service.
He had a lengthy relationship with International Science Congress (ISC) head DIANA MORRIS and it is possible she pulled a few strings to get KOENIG his commission as commander of Moonbase Alpha.
He is tall and dark, with a square jaw and lively eyes.
DOCTOR HELENA RUSSELL
HELENA RUSSELL is an attractive woman of about 40 years. Born in Portland, Oregon from a family of doctors, being a physician is in her blood, you might say.
She is an accomplished surgeon and psychologist and has been in charge of the Medical Bay at Moonbase Alpha for four years.
Coming out of a messy divorce and having no children, the opportunity to work on the Moon was the ultimate chance for her to ‘get away from it all’. Despite this pessimistic reason for going, she soon fell in love with the station and its crew and is exceedingly protective of them.
She has a good working relationship with her staff and after a shaky start with KOENIG, the two develop a romantic chemistry.
PROFESSOR VICTOR BERGMAN
VICTOR BERGMAN is the Chief Scientist on Moonbase Alpha. He refuses to be called a ‘Science Officer’, as he is not a part of the military. He runs the Main Research Laboratory and other technical sections on Alpha. He has been at the Moonbase for five years, but has made frequent visits to Earth for conferences, symposia etc.
He soon made friends with KOENIG and the pair quickly became on first name terms.
Born in Leeds, England, he is about 60 years old and is balding on top. He has a lined face, yet his eyes sparkle with the exuberance of youth. Sometimes he wears glasses, but only if he wants to really concentrate on something.
During his early years after graduation from Oxford, he found himself working for an EU research facility that used questionable methods. After making this public, he was prosecuted and spent two years in prison for violating the EU State Secret’s Act. He called himself a prisoner of conscience and to this day is proud of his stance.
A dedicated scientist, he expects the best from his team, but does not over work them. He is well-liked on Alpha.
CAPTAIN ALAN CARTER
ALAN CARTER was one of the best fighter pilots in the UAS Marine Corps. He was stripped of his combat status after shooting down an EU fighter that had taken out his wingman when they accidentally (genuinely) strayed into EU-controlled airspace in 2093.
He was born in Bermagui, Australia in 2067 on a cattle ranch. Rather than help out on the ranch (although he claims he did his share), he enjoyed surfing in the Pacific a little too much, so his father signed him up for the Marines to ‘make a man out of him’.
He found he had a natural talent in anything that flew and rose through the ranks quickly, attaining the rank of captain when he was only 24.
After the incident in 2093, rather than spend time in prison, he was given the opportunity to relinquish his UAS command rank and join the ISC fleet of Eagle pilots. Although still called ‘captain’, his rank is a civilian one rather than military (similar to a pleasure boat owner referring to himself as ‘captain’ – sort of).
He is tall, blond and impossibly handsome, with a quick wit and courage in spades.
After the Alphans discover MAYA on Psychon, the two quickly become romantically entangled.
MAYA is the last of the Psychon race. Her people were placed into suspended animation five million years ago when a great disaster threatened their world. Unfortunately, they were never revived and only MAYA was left alive when the Alphans arrive at her homeworld.
She appears to be about 25 years old, with a beautiful, pale complexion, long, vivid, red hair and deep, green eyes. She appears mostly human, except for her eyebrows which are thin, bony slivers rather than hair.
She has a keen intellect and has a photographic memory. She soon becomes invaluable to BERGMAN and her presence among his senior staff irritates some of his underlings, notably DANIEL MARSHALL.
Her people have evolved in such a way that they understand and can speak any language. This means she can act as a translator for any non-English speaking people the Alphans may encounter.
One of her most amazing abilities is that of metamorphosis. She can transform herself into any biological life form she has seen (not necessarily in life – a picture of a life form will suffice) for a maximum of one hour. Then she must revert back to her natural form. If she remains in an altered state for longer, she risks being locked into that form.
The Alphans are at first unaware of this ability, even though she uses it several times.
SECURITY CHIEF TONY VERDESCHI
Born in Milan, Italy, in 2062, but raised in Oxford, England and educated there, TONY VERDESCHI is Moonbase Alpha’s Chief of Security. He has a military rank of major, yet he is often simply called ‘Chief’.
Stationed on Moonbase Alpha since 2082, he began as a security guard with the rank of private and worked his way up over the years. He has rarely returned to Earth and this has caused friction with his family, especially with his older brother, Guido, who feels he has neglected his ailing parents.
After an initial period of mistrust with MAYA, he begins to develop feelings for her which brings him into conflict with CARTER.
OPERATIONS OFFICER PAUL MORROW
PAUL MORROW is 30 years old and is the Moonbase Alpha Chief of Operations. He is charged with overseeing the day-to-day operation of Moonbase Alpha. This ranges from ensuring that the sanitation system works properly and is serviced regularly to monitoring the systems in the Nuclear Power Plant.
He was born in Jackson, Mississippi and has wanted to work in space since he was a small child. He has a sister whom he is very close to and a brother with whom he hasn’t spoken for years.
He has been on Alpha for two years and was only a week from returning to Earth when the Moon was dislocated from Earth orbit. He had planned on reapplying for his post at Alpha immediately.
He is romantically attached to SANDRA BENES and the pair become engaged early in the series.
SANDRA BENES is Moonbase Alpha’s senior Communications Officer. She spends most of her time in the Command Centre, but occasionally accompanies teams on exploration missions.
She is 25 years old and was born in Thailand to a Thai father and English mother but raised and educated in France and England. Her parents were officers in the EU armed forces and as a child she had to travel with them wherever they were stationed. She is an only child.
She has been on Moonbase Alpha for a year and had fallen head-over-heels in love with Paul Morrow the moment she saw him. They soon became ‘an item’ and she was devastated when he told her that his tour of duty would end a whole year before hers. The one good thing to come out of being stranded on Alpha was that their relationship could continue and they became engaged not long after the first ‘Moon Jump’.
ARTEFACT / MAYA
An alien artefact is discovered of the Martian moon, Phobos and shipped to Moonbase Alpha for study.
DR JEAN RICARD activates the artefact on orders from DIANA MORRIS and the entire Moon is propelled across the galaxy to the planet Psychon.
Here they discover MAYA, the last of her race and a woman with extraordinary powers.
Moonbase Alpha finds itself orbiting a ringed planet. BERGMAN calculates that the Moon will pass through the planet’s rings before their 48-hour ‘Moon Jump’ window expires. This will be dangerous for Moonbase Alpha because much of the ring debris is comprised of mountain-sized lumps of rock and ice. Even an impact from a small object will be disastrous for the base.
VERDESCHI and BERGMAN must devise a plan to use Alpha’s laser cannons and missile batteries to protect the base before they jump again.
Also, MORROW and BENES become engaged and MARSHALL gathers support.
Moonbase Alpha appears above a beautiful, garden planet. BENES meets MORROW at the airlock. He is still wearing his environment suit and hands her a small posy of flowers. She immediately collapses and is taken to the Medical Bay. The flowers are carefully sealed away. Unknown to anybody, CARTER has a single flower in his pocket. It doesn’t affect him because he has placed it in a small, plastic bag.
CARTER sneaks into the morgue and places the flower in PETROV’s freezer, removing it from the back as he does so.
Somehow the plant revives PETROV. DR RUSSELL discovers that the plant’s genetic code can reanimate dead tissue, but is deadly if in prolonged contact with a living being.
The only way to save BENES is to extract a large amount of genetic material from PETROV. Unfortunately this will be lethal for the Russian.
Should he die again to save BENES? He decides to sacrifice himself for the young woman.
Also, MARSHALL steals a flower from the Biological Research Section and uses it to reanimate the frozen corpse of DR JEAN RICARD.
A small Psychon colony is discovered. Several dozen Psychons are in stasis and have been ever since MAYA was placed into suspended animation. All the Psychons are alive and are resuscitated.
We learn that the P.I.T.S. device on Alpha originally came from these Psychons and that a group of them had travelled to Earth shortly before the decision was made to place the entire race into stasis.
They had used the artefact to travel to Mars and Phobos turns out to be a five-million year-old Psychon spacecraft.
They had travelled to Earth to investigate the ice age that enveloped the Northern hemisphere at that time.
Somehow, a non-functioning P.I.T.S. was found on the Moon near Moonbase Beta and a terrible accident with it had caused the abandoning of that station several years before KOENIG took command of Alpha. It turns out that RICARD had been there at the time.
The Psychons, acting uncharacteristically, decide to steal the P.I.T.S. device so that they can return home immediately. Despite his hatred for the MAYA, MARSHALL is forced to help her defeat the Psychons when she discovers that he has ‘stolen RICARD’s corpse’.
CARTER and MAYA’s Eagle crashes on a desert planet when an explosion disables the engines. The impact completely destroys the Eagle except for the extremely tough, impact-resistant cockpit section.
CARTER cannot get a signal to Moonbase Alpha as it is over the horizon. They must make a 24-hour trek across the desert before the Moon will be in line of sight.
MAYA transforms herself into a camel, much to the surprise of CARTER, and carries him across the desert.
Also, on Moonbase Alpha, MARSHALL steals medical supplies and food for RICARD, who is hiding in a disused Transit Tube. We find out that it was MARSHALL’s ‘Group’ that sabotaged the Eagle in an attempt to kill MAYA.
A group of hostile aliens has overrun Moonbase Alpha, imprisoning everybody in the Security Section, except for DR RUSSELL and BERGMAN.
They want the Psychon Interspatial Transport System, but BERGMAN insists that he does not know how to operate it and that the Alphans are here by accident. The aliens torture and beat BERGMAN, allow RUSSELL to treat his injuries, then beat him some more.
MAYA has transformed into one of the aliens, but is forced to remain in that form for over an hour, causing herself tremendous distress.
She is forced to accept the help of RICARD when she discovers him in the disused Transit Tube. He is hideously scarred and helps to stop the aliens only if MAYA keeps his whereabouts a secret. This is the first time a Psychon has deliberately been dishonest.
When most of the staff of the Nuclear Power Plant fall ill from radiation sickness, KOENIG has to contend with the possibility that he may have to evacuate Moonbase Alpha.
The planet they are orbiting is habitable, but only just.
BERGMAN suggests that the Nuclear Power Plant of the long-abandoned Moonbase Beta, several hundred kilometres from Alpha, could be cannibalised to repair Alpha’s reactors.
They have less than 48 hours to carry tons of material hundreds of kilometres before their next ‘Moon Jump’ occurs.
RICARD secretly meets with MAYA and explains to her that when he designed the power plant, he did not expect the base to last as long as it did and that is why the radiation shielding has failed. MARSHALL almost discovers MAYA in the old tubes, but she transforms into RICARD in the nick of time and fools MARSHALL.
FORCE OF NATURE Part I
Moonbase Alpha appears in open space. MAYA is confused, as the P.I.T.S. device is supposed to park the traveller in orbit of a known planet.
Suddenly the Moon is gripped by a powerful magnetic field and is being pulled through space. BERGMAN deduces that a black hole has recently passed through this star system and has disrupted the orbits of the planets. The Moon is now being dragged along by the black hole’s gravitational wake.
MAYA says that she was close to computing how soon Moonbase Alpha would return to Earth, but now her calculations were worthless, as the effect of the intense gravitational field may have skewed the course originally plotted into the artefact.
MARSHALL and RICARD hatch a plot to seize control of Moonbase Alpha, as MARSHALL believes that he has enough members of the ‘Group’ to make an attempt successful.
The episode ends with the black hole appearing on scanners and the Moon heading rapidly for it. MARSHALL’s ‘Group’ mutiny and wrest control from KOENIG. The senior staff are all placed in confinement in the Security Section.
FORCE OF NATURE Part II
As the Moon falls towards its doom in the black hole, MARSHALL solidifies his power base on Moonbase Alpha. Obviously totally insane, he puts MAYA on trial for crimes against humanity, citing that she alone bears the burden of the consequences of her people’s technology. Moonbase Alpha’s situation is therefore her fault alone.
He finds her guilty and decrees that she is to be placed in an Eagle and that it be remotely flown into the black hole.
RICARD frees KOENIG and his senior staff, claiming he did not see MARSHALL’s madness coming and that he does not want to see MAYA hurt. He tells them that MAYA has been seeing him in secret and that he helped her stabilise the Nuclear Power Plant.
KOENIG and crew retake Moonbase Alpha, but MARSHALL manages to escape in an Eagle.
CARTER remotely pilots MAYA’s Eagle back to base and he is soon reunited with her. For the first time they share a passionate embrace.
Meanwhile, RICARD is aboard MARSHALL’s Eagle. He tells MARSHALL that he must pay for what he tried to do to MAYA and the pair fight in the Eagles cockpit. The out of control spacecraft plunges into the black hole.
It seems inevitable that the Moon is going to be destroyed by the black hole, so everybody sombrely accepts their fate.
Unexpectedly, the P.I.T.S. device activates ahead of time and rapidly cycles up. The Moon is swathed with blue energy as it falls into the black hole.
They emerge above a blue planet, swathed with grey and white clouds. There is no sign of the black hole, only a rapidly dissipating gravitational eddy.
BERGMAN’s readings tell us that the planet below is Earth. They are home.
With MARSHALL’s ‘Group’ in custody and the P.I.T.S. device now deactivated, KOENIG tries to contact the ISC on Earth.
BENES looks puzzled as she says that nobody on Earth is responding to their signals.
BERGMAN runs a series of scans of the Earth’s surface and tells them that the planet has been ravaged by massive tectonic movements, volcanic eruptions and devastating floods. Large areas have been inundated, reduced to rubble or destroyed by magma flows. He can detect no signs of life anywhere.
The Earth is a dead world and this is a direct result, he says, of the Moon’s sudden disappearance from orbit.
The volcanism has rendered the atmosphere toxic, so any chance of their returning home within a million years has gone.
A decision must be made.
MAYA suggests that they return to Psychon. She can activate the P.I.T.S. device for a single jump.
Although not the world it once was, it is habitable and will afford the Alphans the time they need to decide their future plans.
KOENIG puts it to the population of Moonbase Alpha and they unanimously vote to go to Psychon. Even the ‘Group’ elect to leave Earth, surmising that, as the UAS and EU no longer exist, their political struggle is pointless and they should attempt to re-enter society on Moonbase Alpha as part of a single, human community. Perhaps they are the last humans alive anywhere in the universe.
BERGMAN suggests that now they share a common link with MAYA.
MAYA activates the P.I.T.S. device and it cycles up over two days, during which time BENES and MORROW marry, CARTER is finally allowed by DR RUSSELL to bury his friend, PETROV, on the lunar surface and KOENIG and HELENA RUSSELL share a kiss.
The final scene has the Moon in orbit above Psychon and the camera pulls back to reveal a dead-in-space Eagle Transporter. In the cockpit we see the bodies of RICARD and MARSHALL. The camera zooms in on MARSHALL’s face and his eyes snap open.
END OF SEASON ONE!!
© 2004 Steven Johnson & Simon Murphy
Updated 18th June 2006