The Catacombs Production Guide
Observations: Force Of Life

Force Of Life

Zoref's alarm clock is a Sanyo Stereocast radio-alarm clock. Are there radio stations on Alpha? The split-flap clock shows 4:30 PM. Thanks to NeoGoglu.

Force Of Life

The girl who wakes up the Zorefs is Jane, played by former Miss World Eva Rueber-Staier. Later we see her in the solarium.

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The book that Zoref reads has the title "A Far Cry" on the spine (the author name isn't clear, but the surname may begin with "Do"). Inside is a blue stamp with the name "MOOREDAN LTD" (a theatrical props supply company) and a pencilled "X".

Force Of Life

When Dominix uses the coffee machine (the only use in the series), he presses the sixth button down. The text isn't visible in this episode, but in some Main Mission scenes it is readable: the sixth button is labelled "Tonic-Vitamin". There isn't a button for "coffee".

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When Dominix falls to the ground, his head lies near the "AT" of the "Radiation" sign. In the distorted view following Zoref fleeing, Dominix's head is closer to the "DI" letters.

Force Of Life

Zoref drains the heat from Dominix and the power from lights and video monitors. But Dominix's medical monitor still has power- and Zoref's own commlock still functions. These devices would have small low-power batteries, so arguably they could not be drained rapidly. Thanks to John Day.

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Dominix's commlock has the first keypad button missing and a scratched picture (it's unclear who it is). In later scenes, Eva Zoref has the same commlock with the same picture. Later the guard Tony Allan has it. A fourth Alphan wears it too- the woman walking past Medical Centre when the base is frozen at the start of the episode.

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When Koenig enters the Nuclear Generator area after Dominix's body is taken away, he passes a communications post. As he walks past, the screen abruptly dies - the same effect that Zoref has on Alpha's lighting. Within the same shot, the screen fades back to life. Thanks to Mark Spalding.

Force Of Life

The Alphans in the solarium: Tanya, Jane (played by Eva Rueber-Staier), Leon Burton (he stands and leaves at the start of the sequence), Hazel Wilson (seen at the start, standing and walking across the solarium to leave), John Repsch (seen passing in the sauna corridor beyond), and Jodi Sherwood (also seen passing in the corridor, she appears in the next sequence as a nurse).

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When Zoref is wheeled into the medical security room, he passes the door just before Koenig enters. Just visible as the gurney passes and Koenig enters is a strip of brown carpet which Koenig walks on.

Force Of Life

The warning light used to detect if Zoref is draining power in Medical is useless. Nobody watches it, and Helena's desk faces the opposite direction. The audible bleeps of medical monitors, as used in real hospitals, would have been better.

Force Of Life

The brown carpet appears again, this time in Main Mission. Thanks to NeoGoglu

Force Of Life

Koenig orders an immediate power cut, which causes problems for Mathias in Medical. In reality, medical should have back-up power. Many technical and scientific operations, and computer systems, could fail catastrophically if not shut down properly. Thanks to Richard Totis.

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When Koenig orders all the power cut on Alpha, we see a long shot of the base. Building by building the lights wink out, including the Main Mission tower. Then the camera switches to a close up shot, and we see the lights of the inner buildings go out, and the Main Mission tower lights turn off again. Thanks to John Day.

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The generating area is full of reflective surfaces, but the director carefully avoids showing camera and crew. But some blurry unwanted reflections do occur. When Zoref enters the reactor, the curved surface of the reactor door reveals a figure in white shirt and pale trousers walking after Zoref (possibly the camereman), following by another figure in dark.

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The exterior shots of the Moonbase buildings exploding use the same models, but in slightly different configurations. Note for instance the pile of girders in the foreground left in some pictures.

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Amongst the footage from Breakaway, there are a couple of shots that were cut from the pilot episode and only appear here. One is a close up of the Alphans (including gray-haired Alan Harris) falling to the corridor walls; the second shows technician Young falling in flight control (as he rolls, his legs catch and trap the black actress already on the floor).

Force Of Life

In this shot we briefly see Roy Dotrice as Simmonds in Main Mission.

Force Of Life

When the Nuclear Generator area starts to blow up, Koenig and company are running down corridors to escape. During the last few seconds of the explosions, they race into Main Mission and hold onto the desks for dear life. But Main Mission is located several stories above the level of the reactor (judging from the explosion). Did they get into an elevator in the middle of all of this? Or run up four flights of stairs? Thanks to John Day.



Copyright Martin Willey