The CatacombsThe Continuity Guide
Medical Equipment
by Martin Willey

Medical Equipment


Matter Of Life And Death

A perspex tube bent near the end, which lights up as it administers injections. Injections are usually to the hand or wrist. It is not a hypodermic needle, penetrating the skin, so presumably it is a type of jet injector, commonly known by the Star Trek name "hypospray". Jet injectors use compressed gas to blow the drug through the skin. They were widely used in mass vaccinations since the 1960s, because they avoided the expense of single-use needles. Serious cross-contamination problems became evident, and they are now mostly banned. Laser microjet injectors may solve some of the problems with gas injectors.

Featured in Matter Of Life And Death, Another Time, Another Place, Missing Link, Guardian Of Piri, Alpha Child (Jackie is given one to play with!), The Last Sunset, Voyager's Return, Collision Course, The Troubled Spirit, Dragon's Domain, The Immunity Syndrome.

Missing Link Guardian Of Piri Alpha Child The Dorcons
The Beta Cloud

In The Beta Cloud, the nurse uses it as a light- which it really is.

Twinlite, thanks to Simon Friend

The instrument is a real medical device, an illuminated probe used to look in the mouth, nose and ears. There were several different ones used in the series, but most seem to be the Twinlite, from English company Eschmann. The pointed end is the auro-nasal illuminator; they also come with a wider tongue depressor. Thanks to Simon Friend.

High pressure injector gun

The Lambda Factor

Used in The Beta Cloud and The Lambda Factor.

The Beta Cloud

Ellendorf Quadrographic Brain Complex

The "cerebral wave machine" featured in The Bringers Of Wonder. The same unit was also used in Catacombs Of The Moon (testing the artificial heart) and The Lambda Factor. It can be seen in the Medical Center in Dorzak and Immunity Syndrome.

The Bringers Of Wonder part 1 The Bringers Of Wonder part 1 The Bringers Of Wonder part 1 The Bringers Of Wonder part 1 Dorzak Dorzak The Lambda Factor The Lambda Factor The Immunity Syndrome

Lambda Variant forcefield booth

Used in The Lambda Factor to isolate the subject from the lambda variant. Set up in the Recreation Centre.

Dorfmann artificial heart

In Catacombs Of The Moon, the artificial heart with tiranium coated valves that is implanted in Michelle Osgood. Perfected by Dorfmann in 1987. In the script, they used the plans to Bergman's artificial heart (this was rarely mentioned: Black Sun, Force Of Life, The Infernal Machine).

Hyperthermic lance

Space Warp

Seen in Catacombs Of The Moon. Similar operating instruments are seen in Space Warp and Dorzak.

Turned aluminium operating instruments seen in Dorzak

Dorzak Dorzak Dorzak

Vacuum enclosure

End Of Eternity

Used in End Of Eternity to transport a patient in space.

Anaesthesia Control

A panel that extends from the ceiling, with the captions "Laser Control Unit X5", "Medical" and "Repressurise". Used as part of the spaceship control panels in Dragon's Domain, it is also seen in Space Brain, Dragon's Domain (and a third time this episode in the Earth hospital room) and the Year 2 Medical Centre.

Space Brain Space Brain Space Brain Space Brain Dorzak Dorzak

Medical Pack


Helena carries a transparent medical case; it is seen in Matter of Life and Death and featured in The Last Sunset, and One Moment Of Humanity. The contents are pretty consistent throughout: the long box is labelled "A11 blood administration set" from Avon Medicals Limited (the Birmingham company was acquired by Smith Medical Ltd in 1988) ; there are smaller boxes marked "Gillette Sabre" (disposable scalpels, from the UK medical division of the Gillette company), plus cotton swabs and bandages. One clear case of "pills" is a pack of "tic tac" mints (introduced by Ferrero in 1968 and still widely sold). The box with Dexetrol also has a "Twinco" salt and pepper pot for picnics. The two halves were pulled apart; one side is pepper, the other is salt (more).

It is a 1973 acrylic attache case by the Dutch company Gunther Lambert. It is 30cm x 46 cm x 8cm.

Another part-transparent case is seen in Dorzak, with one side yellow-orange.

Matter Of Life And Death The Last Sunset One Moment Of Humanity

Blood Transfusion Unit

Voyager's Return

This computer panel is often seen in Medical. It is labelled "Blood Transfusion Treatment And Recycle Unit MK.II.GK.ES". It is first seen operated by Mathias in Guardian Of Piri for the blood transfusion of Sarah Graham; later in the episode Helena uses it while linking Kano to the computer. It is present over the beds of patients with a wide variety of conditions (such as new mother Sue Crawford in Alpha Child, Queller in Voyager's Return and Mateo in The Troubled Spirit.)

The dials are marked:

The small text of the label reads "Countdown 112-24-CLK" (Countdown is a font designed in 1965 by Colin Brignall for Letraset) and "24 pt Data 70" (Data 70 is a font designed by Bob Newman in 1970 for Letraset; the text is readable during closeups of Queller in Voyager's Return).

White versions were created for the Year Two Medical Center. They are seen in The Metamorph and most versions of the set. It is seen in close up in All That Glisters in the elongated Eagle passenger module. They are labelled "Blood Transfusion Treatment And Recycle Unit MK.II.CX.BS"; the dials are marked "Oxygen", "Flow", "Pressure" and "Ret.Pres".

Guardian Of Piri Alpha Child Voyager's Return Voyager's Return Voyager's Return Alpha Child Space Brain The Troubled Spirit All That Glisters Dorzak The Exiles The Mark Of Archanon Catacombs Of The Moon Space Warp

Diagnostic Computer Memory Link

Guardian Of Piri Guardian Of Piri Voyager's Return The Full Circle End Of Eternity Dragon's Domain The Exiles

This panel was first created for Guardian Of Piri when Kano's brain is linked to the computer. It is then seen in many episodes, often in Medical but also in other locations including the Eagle.

Copyright Martin Willey