The Catacombs Episode Guide

The Rules of Luton

The Taybor Year 2 - Episode 7 The Mark of Archanon

Writer Charles Woodgrove
Director Val Guest

Belgium (Flemish) De Wetten van Luton
Spain Las normas de Luton The rules of Luton
France/Canada Les directives de Luton The Rules Of Luton
Germany Rühr nicht die Pflanze an! Don't touch the Plant!
Italy Luton
Japan Terror of the Plant Planet LUTON
Poland Prawda planety Luton
Portugal A Lei de Luton The Law Of Luton
South AfricaDie Wette van Lutton The Laws of Luton

A grim fight for survival takes place between Koenig and Maya and three weird aliens on a planet of living plants. ITC summary


The Rules Of Luton


Int. Command Centre
Int. Eagle Pilot Section

Ext. Planet Surface: River and Woods area (Black Park location)
Ext. Planet Surface: Berry Bush area, ravine area, cliff and lower slopes area (Knowl Hill location)


The Rules Of Luton



  • Luton is a Bedfordshire town with an airport. Freiberger saw it on a roadsign and pronounced it "Lew-ton" instead of "Lut-on". It is very odd to British viewers.
  • The Romans used gladiatorial fights between criminals and slaves (often prisoners of war) as religious festivals and public entertainment. Constantine I abolished gladiatorial games in AD 325 although they continued for over a hundred years later. Trial by combat was a Norman legal concept introduced into English common law after 1066. Aggrieved parties could challenge those suspected of felony to trial by combat. God would ensure the righteous was the victor. It was condemned as early as 1190. It continued after 1215 for land law (in criminal law, trial by ordeal was halted by the Pope), declining gradually through the Middle Ages. It was not actually abolished until 1818.
  • Plants have no nervous system, so they cannot think, talk, scream, or move rapidly. They cannot create technology (to make the planet disappear).
  • In Luton society, all plants from very many species (vines, trees, berry bushes) have the same level of intelligence. This isn't true in the animal kingdom and it isn't likely to be true for plant species. Cannibalism is eating one's own species, so the Alphans are not cannibals.
  • All plants are competing for water and sunlight, and they would not be likely to cooperate.
  • Many plants are dependent on animals for pollination and seed dispersal. Flowers attract insects and birds to take nectar and transfer pollen. Berries and other fruit are intended to be eaten so animals will disperse the seeds. Without animals, flower and fruit plants will die out in a generation. The plants should encourage the Alphans to pick berries.
  • The dinosaur bones have peg teeth indicating they are carnivores (eat other animals). They are therefore no threat to the plants. Their bones are white and scattered, showing scavenger animals have picked their flesh clean.
  • Matter transportation, as demonstrated by Alien Transport, is impossible.
  • Invisibility is impossible and impractical (dirt would soon reveal Alien Invisible, and as light passes through his transparent retinas he would be blind).
  • "American Indians used bows and arrows". Actually every society has since the Mesolithic.
  • The planet surface temperature is 73 degrees (ie. 22.2 Centigrade). It is implausible that the entire planet has the same temperature.
  • Psychon has one race, one religion, one government and no separation of classes. The absence of diversity suggests an extremely conformist regimented society. The lack of classes, essential to capitalism, indicates Psychon is a communist state that prohibits any division of labour.
The Rules Of Luton The Rules Of Luton The Rules Of Luton



892 days after leaving Earth orbit (Thu 21 Feb 2002). They have just passed through a 42 day space storm (approx. 850 days-start). The episode duration is less than 1 day.

Alpha Personnel:

0 fatalities.

Alpha Technology:

The Rules Of Luton


The Rules Of Luton

Eagle 1 (Koenig); 4 (replacement)

Maya transformations:

Kestrel, Rottweiler dog, lion

The Rules Of Luton The Rules Of Luton The Rules Of Luton




Luton plants; 3 different species of humanoid aliens. The aliens must be advanced enough to develop interstellar spaceflight. All are clothed: boots and gloves are obvious. Alien Invisible has a ragged scarf, Alien Transport's sleeve is seen, Alien Strong's boots are very visible. They are given "abilities" by the judges of Luton to match the Alphans- transport, invisibility and strength.

Alien Strong Alien Invisible Alien Transport



Crossing the lake 1


Click for larger view

David Jackson on his role:
They had this outfit for me which looked like a teddy bear and I had this big fight scene. I said 'It doesn't look very menacing. I mean, a teddy bear?' I said 'You've got this one alien who looks like a bird, like Osiris the god, and this other character. Why not make him the teddy bear, because he gets killed very quickly, and I could be... a lizard! So they got a lizard half mask for me, long, green and scaly, a long droopy moustache, long sort of patchy dark hair, and lots of black leather and crocodile skin!

I was given the power of speech by the gods of the planet, whom I also played. I said 'If the gods of the planet gave me this voice, I would still have vocal cords that were tuned to whatever a crocodile-like beast's might be tuned to, and it would be rather like a person from Japan trying to speak English. So, the words should come out in a sort of strangulation, trying to get through those strange vocal cords. And I played it like that.



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Contents copyright Martin Willey