The Catacombs Production Guide
Observations: The Immunity Syndrome

Thanks to James C, Thomas and others.

The planet landing party is made up of 18 people; 14 men, 4 women. By the end of the episode, four of the men are dead.

Koenig Verdeschi Alan Carter Jerry Travis Ed Spencer Alibe Ameson Joe Lustig Les Johnson J Klaff Quinton George Picard

A large survey team like this is unique. The normal landing party (Operation Exodus "Phase 2") contains one Eagle, and includes the science officer and chief medical officer, plus just one or two specialists, such as a geologist or botanist. It is very unusual that both Maya or Helena are not on the planet. Thanks to Fergus.

The planet was discovered two days ago, but the episode seems to take place in one day. At the end, they have to quickly leave before the Moon moves out of range. In Another Time, Another Place, an evacuation to the planet would take at least 24 hours; if the Alphans did decide to colonise, they would not have had enough time. How did Zoran's crew build a multi-level structure in less than a day?

There are two Eagles, but Eagle 4 has no passenger seating, only boxes. Eagle 1 passenger module has a computer on one side, so only 4 seats. There may be two seats in the rear compartment (as used by the guards in Testament Of Arkadia). So Eagle 4 could have up to 4 seats (including pilots), and Eagle 1 would have 8- leaving 6 people sitting on the floor. Thanks to John Day and Fergus.

The Immunity Syndrome

This Alphan, in a red jacket, only appears in a single scene, when Maya and Helena arrive at the camp. He is not present when the Eagle crashes or in any other scenes. Thanks to Fergus.

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In these frames, the stuntmen's faces are visible.

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Initially Tony wears his normal uniform tunic, which has two horizontal red lines and a seam across the chest. After he sees the alien, he is in a different tunic, with three horizontal red lines and no seam (a converted Year 1 top). Thanks to Fergus.

The Immunity Syndrome

Lustig lies dead at the foot of the rock pinnacle, in the glade through the arch. Yet having just flashed at Lustig and Tony, the alien doesn't react at all to Koenig, Spencer, Klaff and Quinton. It won't again until Koenig returns to the same spot wearing the silver suit. Off-screen, some Alphans must move Lustig's body, and apparently there is no reaction. Thanks to Fergus.

The Immunity Syndrome Space Warp

The scans of the Maya creature from Space Warp can just be seen.

The Immunity Syndrome

The fragment of material that Koenig finds is remarkably square, not like the ragged tears in Tony's uniform.

The Immunity Syndrome

Tony falls down a gully. At the top of this picture, beyond the rocks, a red ladder or frame and a wall can be seen - the studio wall.

The Immunity Syndrome

When Tony fires at Koenig the second time, the sound is slightly earlier than the laser effect and explosion.

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After the fight with Koenig, Tony is covered in dirt. When Spencer inspects him, not only has his face been cleaned, he wears a fresh, clean uniform.

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The Eagle cockpit is equipped with the space warp detector (from Space Warp). It also has the nuclear bomb controller from Space Brain.

The Immunity Syndrome

How and why was the alien structure covered with a rock wall? All forms of rock formation involve huge destructive forms over millions of years. If the rock was igneous, the structure was buried in lava; if the rock is sedimentary, it has been deeply buried under huge volumes of deposits and subject to massive lithostatic pressures. It either case, pressures and temperatures would be immense, and yet the exterior surface and solar cells are unmarked. Perhaps it is not rock, but hard clay. If the structure was built at the foot of a steep hills, sediment could have washed over the front, baked by the sun and held up by vegetation. If so, it shouldn't need a thermal lance to break it up, just a pickaxe. The alien structure resists the corrosive forces that destroy the Eagle, which may instead have just covered it. Thanks to Fergus.

The Immunity Syndrome

This is the only episode where the Alphans observe a quarantine. In Matter of Life and Death, they run tests on the water, and confirm in a few moments it is safe to drink..On the planet, they are already exposed to alien micro-organisms, even if they don't drink or eat anything. Waiting a period of time after tests have been conducted won't add any more protection (and it doesn't). A quarantine would more sensible on returning to Alpha. The fact that one Alphan is dead and another has gone mad might suggest more caution. Thanks to Fergus.

The Immunity Syndrome

The operator of the thermal lance dies in this episode (actor Harry Fielder; he was the guard named George in Seance Spectre). He is resurrected in the next episode, The Dorcons, as a medic.

The Immunity Syndrome

The first problems are heavy corrosion are on internal systems, which have been mostly sealed from the external atmosphere; the exterior hull doesn't start to smoke until later, although it had greater exposure. The hull is designed for re-entry, so should have stronger protection, and like the glider could be made out of carbon fibre and plastics, which are stronger and lighter than metals. The interior electronics would be more vulnerable.

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Abruptly, people start holding their commlocks in a different way than normal. It turns out this is prudent. Incidentally, this and The Rules Of Luton are the only two Year Two episodes in which close-ups of the commlock screen are shown.

The Immunity Syndrome

After his commlock explodes, Jerry Travis throws it away. Shortly afterwards, he is wearing it on his belt again. Despite the danger of explosion, all the Alphans continue to wear their commlocks for the rest of the episode. Thanks to Fergus.

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After the explosion, smoke rises behind Alan as he says "We're holding." We cut to a wide shot of the command module, and the smoke has disappeared. Thanks to Simon.

The Immunity Syndrome

Alan gives a very obvious sideways jerk to the control lever to make it break.

The Immunity Syndrome

Both guards travel back with Tony in Eagle 4. Tony is in a deep coma, so he doesn't need guarding. Wouldn't it be prudent to leave at least one guard to protect the ground survey team?
The guards and Spencer are thrown about in the passenger module, but walk away from the crash. Koenig is seated and secured by a seat-belt, but is unconscious after the crash. Thanks to Fergus.

The Immunity Syndrome

The top of the sky backdrop can be seen top right (thanks to James. C).
Note that the dead Alphan who they had been examining a few scenes earlier has gone.
This is the only episode where women in an Alphan landing party wear skirts. Thanks to Terry Shewmaker.

The Immunity Syndrome

One distant shot of Eagle 4 shows it without the lab pod.

The Immunity Syndrome

This shot also shows a transporter pod, although it is not recognisable from this angle. It's actually a shot taken from Devil's Planet. The previous shot of the Eagle showed it just above the trees, but the Eagle is much higher here.

The Immunity Syndrome

Two brief shots of Koenig during the crash are reversed left for right. Note his badges are on the wrong side, and the Eagle "1" is reversed. They seem to be out-takes from the crash scene in Devil's Planet. Thanks to James. C

The Immunity Syndrome

During the cabin fire Koenig says "I'll take over." So presumably Koenig was at the helm during the crash, apart from the moments when he was using the fire extinguisher. We see one brief shot of Alan at the controls. Afterwards when Koenig says "Some landing.", Alan says "Yeah. I have to admit it wasn't one of my best." Thanks to Martin Daoust and Todd Keys.

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As Koenig is carried from the Eagle crash, Alibe stumbles briefly.

The Immunity Syndrome

"Three more of our party have died, and the condition of Chief Security Officer Verdeschi remains grave." Koenig may not have much time, but his comments are not very sensitive. Who died? Listening on Alpha, the staff have no idea if it's Alan or Alibe or Spencer who have died. If we don't know their names, surely they have friends on Alpha, maybe family. The assumption is that these are people who don't matter, who had no names and can be casually killed off. Thanks to Richard Totis.

The Immunity Syndrome

"It would be a one way trip, Maya." Moonbase Alpha will lose the last two of it's senior command team- who is left in charge? Fraser? The two most senior medical staff will be gone. Thanks to Richard Totis. Fergus notes that Doctors Mathias and Vincent may be off-screen, but must be still present on the base.

The Immunity Syndrome

The glider-Eagle is docked to starboard, but they enter the portside.

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The ladder is shown "forward" of the passenger pod's port and starboard access doors. The access "tube" is clearly "aft" of the pod's access doors. Thanks to Martin Daoust.

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There are subtle differences between the model glider and full sized set. The full sized glider has side wings immediately under the cockpit windows, and they are strongly curved. The model glider side wings are further forward and flat. There is a black "O" and a white triangle outline behind the wing on the studio set, but they are not present on the model.

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In the glider, Maya's helmet has the air hose connected. Helena's helmet has no air cable. Thanks to Simon. The neck ring is painted white, rather than silver, to indicate they have replaced the "metal seals on the spacesuits".

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The metal frame of the stretchers is not corroded. Almost all the equipment at the Base Camp is not corroded, as it has been packed away at the end of the episode. Thanks to Fergus.

The Immunity Syndrome

Although corrosion causes the commlocks to explode and Eagles to disintegrate, it doesn't affect stun guns, or the buckles and zippers on Alphan uniforms. The alien communications device presumably does not contain metal parts, and the alien structure is unaffected by corrosion.

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The helmet ear pods are very reflective. Fortunately, when Koenig turns it around the edge of the set or the crew are not obvious in reflection, although the boom mike can be seen.

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The darker edge of the set and studio lights are more visible in the forest set. When Koenig takes off his helmet in front of the alien, we can see the reflections of the studio roof, a light and a crew-member in a red top.

The Immunity Syndrome

Early in the episode, Koenig hears Eagle 4 taking off as he pursues Tony. After the alien light disappears, the corrosive elements in the atmosphere have disappeared. After this, Koenig and the others must be returning to the base camp, as Fraser flies down and the camp is evacuated. Why didn't they hear the Eagle landing? Thanks to Fergus.

The Immunity Syndrome

Eagle 3 rescues them at the end of the episode. It contains all the equipment, the 14 survivors including Tony on a stretcher, plus 3 others (Fraser, Maya and Helena). There are four seats in the passenger module, and Spencer sits on a fifth seat. That is 17 Alphans and many large boxes occupying 9 seats. Thanks to Fergus.


Copyright Martin Willey