The Catacombs The Continuity Guide
Moonbase Complement
by Martin Willey

7 Moonbase Complement

There are about 300 personnel on Moonbase Alpha, although fatalities are high. Precise figures are given: 311 in Breakaway (although this may not include casualties during the breakaway), 297 in The Metamorph, 298 in Devil's Planet. In Matter Of Life And Death, Kano calculates that 3600 divided by the number of Alphans is 10. In Alpha Child, The Last Enemy and Dorzak the population is approximately 300, and in The Testament Of Arkadia it is "over 300".

There are a total of about 48 fatalities through both series. From Alpha Child on, these may be compensated by births. Including Breakaway there were perhaps 20 deaths prior to Alpha Child, bringing the population to 291 (still approximately 300). There are 23 more losses (at least) prior to The Metamorph. At this point the Alphan population of 297 must include at least 17 children, which represents a significantly fertile population. There are another 16 deaths by the end of year 2, but the population remains static and even rises slightly to 298 in Devil's Planet, indicating further births as well as the addition of Maya. Although there are at least 33 children by the end of the series- over 10% of the population- we see no more children after Alpha Child. As the series takes place over just 5 years, this is understandable: they would be toddlers and babies, unlikely to be wandering Alpha's corridors on their own.

Population Fatalities (& Additions)
Breakaway 311 Numerous: Jim Nordstrom, Eric Sparkman, Frank Warren, various pilots
Matter Of Life And Death 0
Black Sun 1: Mike Ryan
Ring Around The Moon 2: Ted Clifford, Donovan
Earthbound 1: Simmonds
Another Time, Another Place 1: Regina Kesslann
Missing Link 0
Guardian Of Piri 1: Sarah Graham
Force Of Life 4: Anton Zoref, Hilary Preston, Mark Dominix, guard
Alpha Child "300" 1: Jack Crawford (plus one addition: Jackie Crawford)
The Last Sunset 0
Voyager's Return 2: Ernst Queller, Abrams
Collision Course 0
Death's Other Dominion 0
The Full Circle 1: Sandos
End Of Eternity 2: Mike Baxter, Orderly
War Games 0
The Last Enemy "300" 0
The Troubled Spirit 3: Dr James Warren, Laura Adams, Dan Mateo
Space Brain 3: Cousteau, Wayland, Kelly
The Infernal Machine Unknown: perhaps 2 laser tank crews, 3 Eagle pilots
Mission Of The Darians 1: Lowry
Dragon's Domain 1: Tony Cellini
The Testament Of Arkadia 300+ 2 deserters: Luke Ferro, Anna Davis
Between series: 3: Victor Bergman, Paul Morrow, David Kano
The Metamorph 297 3: Ray Torens, Lew Picard, Eagle pilot (plus one addition: Maya)
The Exiles 0
One Moment Of Humanity 0
Journey To Where 0
All That Glisters 0
The Mark Of Archanon 1: Andy Johnson
The Rules Of Luton 0
The Taybor 0
Brian The Brain 0
New Adam, New Eve 0
The A B Chrysalis 0
Catacombs Of The Moon 0
Seed Of Destruction 0
The Beta Cloud 1: Tom Graham
A Matter Of Balance 0
Space Warp 0
The Bringers Of Wonder 1: Clive Kander
The Lambda Factor 2: Sally Martin, Mark Sanders
The Seance Spectre 1: Greg Sanderson
Dorzak "300" 0
Devil's Planet 298 1: Blake Maine
The Immunity Syndrome 4: Lustig, Les Johnson, 2 others
The Dorcons 2: Thompson, another

According to the 2020 novel Year One story Operation Deliverance by Rupert Booth, 50 additional crew are added from Moonbase Beta, a second lunar base doing secret research on a speed of light device, which is destroyed immediately after the breakaway.

Minimal Staffing

Losses could leave Alpha short-staffed. The Moonbase life support cannot tolerate demographic contraction or expansion. Koenig rules against a proportion of the crew leaving in Death's Other Dominion: "Alpha cannot function without a great many trained men to operate it. Therefore freedom of choice is out of the question. Either all of us come, or all of us stay."

In Journey To Where, the attitude is more relaxed: "We still have time to send some of you back down to Earth. If anybody wants to try it." In The Beta Cloud just a few staff keep Alpha functioning while most are sick; in Guardian Of Piri the base is evacuated, leaving Koenig alone, evidently not too busy keeping the base functioning. We also see (fake) empty bases in Missing Link (just Koenig again) and One Moment of Humanity (just Helena and Tony). In these episodes, the Alphans assume the base will continue to operate automatically with no human intervention or even monitoring.

Population control

Alpha Child

The static population numbers indicate strongly enforced birth controls, to conserve their resources. In The Exiles Helena states: "We can't even permit any new births here on Alpha. We can barely sustain the people we have." Moonbase life systems cannot support the Alphan population (about 295) plus 53 additions; the maximum capacity must be significantly below 350. Even in Alpha Child Koenig warns "We can't sustain more people. Our environment here on Alpha is so precariously balanced we can barely support ourselves."

Copyright Martin Willey