The Catacombs Production Guide

These special effects storyboards were drawn for the episode Breakaway. These are much rougher drawings than later storyboards such as The Immunity Syndrome; there are no pre-printed forms and no colour. It does use the same technique of crossing off the storyboards after they are filmed.

In later storyboards, the scenes are renumbered as slates; here the original script scene numbers are used (and the intervening shots in Main Mission or the Eagle are noted and sometimes storyboarded).

Note that even in the first episode, the special effects crew are planning to save money by reusing shots from different parts of the episode, and flopping them (left for right).

Many of these shots would be changed. Koenig's Eagle crash sequence is completely different, but it appears the original version does appear in the series titles.

Scene 53. N.D.A.1. Big impact shot.

The script specifies "A lightning-like flash leaps up from the surface."
Shot not seen in final episode (although a version of the shot appears on the Main Mission Big Screen)


Scene 55. Eagle flies towards pulsating N.D.A.1.
Shot for sc 27. Flopped with light added (choice of high or low Eagle) (Keep light blue)

Scene 27 was two views of Collins' Eagle flying towards the NDA 1, marked by a flashing red beacon. That scene was cut, so we only see this version of the shot. The light in the episode was white, not blue.


Scene 56. N.D.A.1. 53 flopped.

Like scene 53, this didn't make it into the episode.

Scene 59. Eagle up & away.

The script reads: "Arcs of light reach up higher and higher to the Eagle that is roaring up and away."


Scene 59. NDA1. Eagle silhouetted by flash - animation.

Script reads: "The whole sky is lit up by a flash of violet light. Koenig's Eagle is silhouetted against it.". The shot is not in the final episode, but the famous "lightning" scene that is only glimpsed in the "This Episode" sequence could well be this shot.

Breakaway This Episode

Scene 60. Eagle spins out of frame.

Not used in final episode - but a shot like this appears in the standard titles.

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

Scene 60/64. POV of ground spinning.

Not used in final episode, but we do see two POV shots of the lunar hills on the Main Mission Big Screen. Later in the episode we see the equivalent spinning POV shots of waste area 2.


Scene 60. Eagle crashes into crater rim.
120 fps

In the final episode, we see the Eagle zoom over the lunar hills, then slide into the dust, then shots of the waste area exploding, and finally the glow rising over the hills with the Eagle in foreground.
The shot as described is seen in the standard opening titles, and the NDA1 style mounds are seen bottom right. It is surprising that Koenig had no damage after a huge explosion as filmed.

Breakaway Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

Scene 69(a). NDA 2 Eagle approaching & descending.
Use S35 with back magazine.

Script reads "An Eagle approaches the area enclosed by the laser barrier. It slows, hovers, and then begins to descend." This was split into two shots, the first just an Eagle shot, which would be reused in several other episodes.


Scene 69(b). NDA 2 Eagle descending towards NDA 2.

In the episode this appears on the Big Screen.


Scene 69(c). Main Mission, studio cut.


Scene 69 (d). NDA 2 Eagle hovers & descends.
Large scale laser posts + big Eagle.

Seen on Main Mission Big Screen in episode.


Scene 69(e). NDA 2. Eagle stirs up dust.
Plenty of dust + 1 star pass. Starfilter from Samcine. Max. shot.

A star filter is a set of two glasses placed over the camera lens with an etched grid, which turn point light sources into "stars". The laser post lights show the effect of the 4-point star filter. Samcine is a manufacturer of camera filters.


Scene 71 (cont). NDA 2 nose rears up.
On screen. Big model 72 frames. Check with Nick re motor rig. Test 96 fps. Phone SpaceModels for big scace caps.

The shot is filmed with 72 frames per second (and possibly tested with 96 frames per second), which smooths out small movements to give the impression of scale.


Scene 73. Vernier motor C.U.

The script reads "The one vernier motor blasts and cocks the Eagle over at a crazy angle - it careens across the site.". This shot is not used in the episode.

Scene 73+75. Must use 3 axis flying rig! Try F.P. razzle dazzle trick.

The script for scene 75 reads "The Eagle points nose down and heads wildly towards the middle of the area.". In the episode is lurches over the waste area in clouds of dust. The razzle dazzle trick involves shining a light on a rotating cylinder covered in aluminium foil, off camera. Random bright reflections from the foil are thrown over the model set.


Scene 76. Ground coming up at crazy angle.
Comm.Module. Flash lights on onboard computer readout. Don't forget dust in synthocrete cap f/ground from motors. P.O.V.

A shot of the caps zooming past.


Scene 77. NDA2 Eagle ploughs in amonst [sic] caps
120 fps open choice of angle (-can hit post)

Note the small picture of "int. command module with joystick". They took "choice of angle" literally and filmed two different angles. The alternate one being seen in the "This Episode" sequence.

Breakaway Breakaway This Episode

Scene 77a. NDA2 crashed Eagle amonst [sic] caps. Dust settling.
120 fps 24 fps.

Shot not used in episode. The "This Episode" sequence does have a fast pan over the crashed Eagle with dust still over it.

Breakaway This Episode

Scene 81. Simmonds Eagle approaching Alpha. (Orange pod unit). > sun.

Filmed as storyboarded.


Scene 82. Tube travels out to Eagle.

We see the Eagle landing but not the travel tube.


Scene 85. NDA2. Pan. Hold on crashed Eagle.

We see a static shot on the Command Office screen.


Scene 86. Picture on screen shakes during tremor.

Act 3 ends as Bergman warns "We have limited time." followed by the static shot of the crashed Eagle again. The script continues: "CAMERA PANS about the tense faces and finally over to the screen of the Communications Post. A kind of tremor shakes the ground. ON KOENIG. He reacts, knowing now what it means."

Terry Schubert, Brian Johnson and Terry Reed check storyboards for Breakaway (showing NDA2, probably the sequence when Collins Eagle arrives at the depot). Note the laser posts alongside the storyboards.