The Catacombs Production Guide
Observations: Devil's Planet

by Martin Daoust with contributions thanks to Thomas, Jim Burke, John Day, David Sisson and Simon Rhodes.

Devil's Planet

It is odd to site the beaming station receiving released prisoners in a wood some distance from a main town. They obviously don't believe in helping prisoners be reintroduced and rehabilitated into the community.

Devil's Planet

In this episode Koenig shows pictures by pointing the barrel of the commlock. Normally they look at the screen while communicating.

Devil's Planet

At the beginning of the episode, we see a man coming out of the transportation booth on Ellna. He collapses in front of Koenig. Spencer urgently tells Koenig and Maine not to touch the body.
Incidentally, the actor usually plays an Alphan medic in other episodes (he carries the stretcher at the start of Dorzak).

Devil's Planet

A little later on, Beron is sent back. When he gets out of the booth, the first man seen (supposedly left untouched) has mysteriously vanished. Beron is played by another actor who is also normally an Alphan extra, either a medic or an off-duty pilot.

Devil's Planet

At the end of the episode, when Koenig steps out of the booth, Beron has disappeared and the first man reappears in a different position.

Devil's Planet

When Elizia steps out of the booth, the corpse has moved again.

Devil's Planet

As in The Metamorph Koenig has gas jets on his face during the crash.

Devil's Planet

The Eagle is caught in Entra's "atmospheric force field". It causes the Eagle boosters to malfunction. It is, however, not very effective; it doesn't stop the Eagle reaching the surface, and it is unclear if it would stop an unpowered glider. Presumably it is more effective in preventing an escape from the surface, but the Entrans seem unaware of the Eagle crash and don't care much about it. Thanks to John Day.

Devil's Planet

The Eagle crashes with lots of explosions and destroyed trees. It is close to the Entran sanctuary column, so the guards must have seen or heard the crash. But the Entran guards have no interest in the alien spaceship or it's occupants, and Koenig is only caught because he stumbles upon their pursuit. It seems an unusually relaxed attitude on a prison planet. Thanks to John Day.

Devil's Planet

Although Elizia calls the prisoners "political troublemakers", they seem to be common violent criminals. Crael appeals for freedom of speech, so Ellnan society is presumably democratic.

Devil's Planet

Elizia is not surprised to encounter aliens, or to learn about metamorphs. Perhaps they have had extensive contact with aliens.

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Devil's Planet

Koenig tells Elizia his name, and Elizia replies she knows it- they probed his brain. It would also have been possible to read the name from the badge on his chest (if they understood the Latin alphabet).

Devil's Planet

At the start of Act 2, we see Alibe and Fraser in the Eagle: "We're approaching the quadrant of the Commander's last message." The last message from Koenig was after the Eagle was hit by the force shield, but "approaching the quadrant" does not mean they are close. We see the rest of act 2 and start of act 3 (Koenig's mind is probed, confrontation with the prisoners, meeting Elizia) before there is another short clip in which Alibe announces "ETA precisely three hours". Approaching the area of the last message apparently means they are many hours away. Thanks to David Sisson and Simon Rhodes.

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Koenig's "top floor" cell on Entra has an oval window. No windows are visible from the outside. Two trapezoid doors are seen. Obelisks (also seen in A Matter Of Balance and The Dorcons) are widely spaced.

Devil's Planet
Closeup on the Lion's head molding seen next to the window

Devil's Planet
Lion's head as seen from the inside.

On this shot, you can easily compare the Lion Head's size to Koenig (he's 190cm). I would estimate it is around 90cm in diameter. Given around 3m between floors and a higher ground floor, this would roughly place his cell on the 5th floor when looking at the exterior model.

Devil's Planet

Alibe: "We're being scanned." ! Another alien race uses a spotlight as a scanner (see also All That Glisters and The Dorcons).

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Although they make a point of having the prisoner dressed as Koenig walk into an undisturbed area, his clothes are rearranged by the time Fraser and Alibe see them. After the prisoner has been zapped, the stun gun, still in the holster, points forward. As Fraser and Alibe walk up, it points to the side. In the close up when they look down, it turns round, outside the holster, to point at the clothes. When Koenig jumps down, it points to the side again, although the feet now point together. Koenig doesn't attempt to take back his weapon, although he could at this point.

Devil's Planet

In the top right of the Eagle cabin you can see wood at the edge of the set. Thanks to Simon Rhodes

Devil's Planet

The Interrogator leads them to Koenig's clothes: "As you can see, Commander Koenig's footprints..go to here". Fraser and Alibe have not mentioned Koenig's name or title. Thanks to David Sisson.

Devil's Planet

When Koenig looks out the window, he sees Elizia's guards walking back in between those "giant bottle openers". Two things here:

  1. The point of view couldn't be any higher than the 3rd floor (see the size of the guards against the obelisks), so there's a definite scale problem between the interior set and the model
  2. The gate, made of aligned obelisks, is never seen from the outside.
Devil's Planet Devil's Planet

Small squares of transparent perspex with coloured dots, normally seen as Helena's Medical Equipment props, become communication devices here. See Crael's Hand Held Transmitter and Koenig's Distress Homing Transmitter.

The Immunity Syndrome
Devil's Planet Devil's Planet

After Koenig escapes, Elizia changes from her dress to a cat-suit uniform. She also has a new hair-do. The on-screen elapsed time is 14 seconds. After her party sets out, roughly 30 seconds later Koenig had discovered his "burnt" clothes and we hear the hunters footsteps from Koenig's point of view. Subsequently the chase is "real-time". Either Koenig wastes his head start or Elizia and the search party are incredibly efficient.

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Who put up the scaffolding under the Eagle? It wobbles dangerously when Koenig jumps down beside it. It is not visible in the model shots. The entire Eagle is at a 30 degree angle but the interior set is level (immediately after the crash -and when Fraser and Alibe visit- it was more level, but the command module was embedded into dirt). Thanks to Thomas

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After Koenig has transported himself to Ellna, the Interrogator and guards confront Elizia. The Interrogator says "I'm not political" and leaves, walking out the door and away. When Elizia transports herself, the Interrogator is standing where she stood before. Thanks to Jim Burke


Copyright Martin Willey