The Catacombs The Character Guide
by Martin Willey

Helena Russell

Helena Russell
Character Name Helena Russell
Played by Barbara Bain
Sex F
Approx. Age 45
Section Medical
Episodes 47 episodes
48 title credits

Breakaway Dr Helena Russell
Matter Of Life And Death Dr Helena Russell
Black Sun Dr Helena Russell
Ring Around The Moon Dr Helena Russell
Earthbound Dr Helena Russell
Another Time, Another Place Dr Helena Russell
Missing Link Dr Helena Russell
Guardian Of Piri Dr Helena Russell
Force Of Life Dr Helena Russell
Alpha Child Dr Helena Russell
The Last Sunset Dr Helena Russell
Voyager's Return Dr Helena Russell
Collision Course Dr Helena Russell
Death's Other Dominion Dr Helena Russell
The Full Circle Dr Helena Russell
End Of Eternity Dr Helena Russell
War Games Dr Helena Russell
The Last Enemy Dr Helena Russell
The Troubled Spirit Dr Helena Russell
Space Brain Dr Helena Russell
The Infernal Machine Dr Helena Russell
Mission Of The Darians Dr Helena Russell
Dragon's Domain Dr Helena Russell
The Testament Of Arkadia Dr Helena Russell
The Metamorph Dr Helena Russell
The Exiles Dr Helena Russell
One Moment Of Humanity Dr Helena Russell
All That Glisters Dr Helena Russell
Journey To Where Dr Helena Russell
The Taybor Dr Helena Russell
The Rules Of Luton Dr Helena Russell
The Mark Of Archanon Dr Helena Russell
Brian The Brain Dr Helena Russell
New Adam, New Eve Dr Helena Russell
The A B Chrysalis Dr Helena Russell
Catacombs Of The Moon Dr Helena Russell
Seed Of Destruction Dr Helena Russell
The Beta Cloud Dr Helena Russell
A Matter Of Balance Dr Helena Russell
Space Warp Dr Helena Russell
The Bringers Of Wonder Dr Helena Russell
The Bringers Of Wonder part 2 Dr Helena Russell
The Lambda Factor Dr Helena Russell
The Seance Spectre Dr Helena Russell
Dorzak Dr Helena Russell
Devil's Planet Dr Helena Russell
The Immunity Syndrome Dr Helena Russell
The Dorcons Dr Helena Russell

Helena's birthdate and age varies according to source:

The early character name in the early script Zero G was Doctor Gordon, a much smaller role. In the early series proposal, she was named Dr. Janet Bowman.

According to The Bringers Of Wonder part 1 script, her father died of a massive and unexpected coronary while she was a first year intern ("I was there in the house when it happened. I haven't lost many patients, but the first one had to be my father.") According to the writer's guide and Barbara Bain's own character profile, her father was "a West Coast physician of great energy and drive" in whose footsteps she followed; Bain speculates he made a significant breakthrough in cancers, and Helena was striving to emulate his academic excellence.

She was awarded a replica 1887 Donnelmeyer microscope, as used by Louis Pasteur and Madame Curie, as a college prize (Breakaway). Helena's tutor at Medical School was Dr. Shaw (The Bringers Of Wonder part 1).

Dragon's Domain

Helena in 1996 (flashback in Dragon's Domain). She was responsible for assessing a space probe captain after a mission.

Her husband Lee was lost on Astro 7 mission (Matter Of Life And Death). She was appointed chief of Moonbase Alpha Medical section (sometime after 1997) and was responsible for life support systems (The Exiles, Seed Of Destruction). According to the writers guide she was appointed to Alpha in September 1998; "she has been on Alpha for 12 months, working and living, and to some extent retiring emotionally in that space womb environment."

Helena is hard on her own failures (Missing Link, Alpha Child, Catacombs Of The Moon, The Mark Of Archanon), she can also be harsh on others (on Koenig in Breakaway, Mathias in Guardian Of Piri, Sally Martin in The Lambda Factor). She'll talk to herself when alone (Death's Other Dominion, One Moment Of Humanity).

The Exiles The Exiles

Her other interests include sculpture (The Exiles, The Taybor)- in the writers guide her hobby was holographic sculpture.

Usually part of exploration parties (Matter Of Life And Death, Earthbound, Another Time, Another Place, The Last Sunset, Death's Other Dominion, The Full Circle, War Games, The Infernal Machine, Mission Of The Darians, Dragon's Domain, The Testament Of Arkadia, The Metamorph, All That Glisters, Journey To Where). She is often kidnapped (Ring Around The Moon, Mission Of The Darians, The Testament Of Arkadia, The Exiles, One Moment Of Humanity, The Mark Of Archanon, Brian The Brain) and placed in danger to intimidate Koenig (Alpha Child, The Metamorph, Brian The Brain).

Her living quarters are seen in Matter Of Life And Death, Dragon's Domain, The Exiles, One Moment Of Humanity, and The Taybor. In her quarters the only books are the 24 volumes of the revised 14th edition Encyclopaedia Britannica (the 15th edition, from 1974, was restructured into 30 volumes in 3 sections). She also has a "Visible Man" and "Visible Woman" model figures.

Featured in all 48 episodes (only as narration in Devil's Planet).

"Look, I can cope with the known, but the unknown..." (Breakaway)
"We're looking for answers, Commander. Not heroes." (Breakaway)
"Incredible stupidity. The risk to both of you." (Black Sun)
"I remember when I was a little girl I was afraid of the dark. Isn't that funny?" (Black Sun)
"It may simply be John's time to die." (Missing Link)
"I'm not behaving like a doctor." (Death's Other Dominion)
"Eva, we're living in deep space. There's so many things we don't understand. We don't know what that alien force was. Why it came here. Or why it selected Anton. But we've got to try to help each other. To understand." (Force Of Life)
"I'm a doctor, John. I save life for the sake of saving life." (The Exiles)
"With a history like that, who wants to go back to Earth anyway?" (Journey To Where)
"Like they used to say in old time show business. One more time." (Catacombs Of The Moon)
"Don't ask questions, to me. Make me laugh." (The Taybor)
"Never underestimate the power of human inventiveness." (The Bringers Of Wonder part 1)
"Our brains are such incredible instruments. Just think what we might be able to achieve if we knew how to use them to their fullest potential." (The Lambda Factor)
"I'm a doctor, John, not a miracle worker! Look, I can cope with the known, but the unknown..." (All That Glisters)
"As a doctor I should have known. Besides, not a very satisfactory defence, ignorance." (The Mark Of Archanon)
click for larger image click for larger image (63854 bytes) click for larger image

Publicity Photos

Helena Helena Helena Helena Helena

Helena with a ball-and-stick molecule model. The set is Care Unit 3 from Matter of Life and Death. This picture was the basis of a Hope jigsaw painting and of the cover of the US Pocket edition of Moon Odyssey novel.

Year 2 publicity. More publicity shots

Breakaway Thanks to Mark Shaw.

Helena in her Medical Office in Breakaway

Matter Of Life And Death All That Glisters click for larger image

With John Koenig

The Exiles Another Time, Another Place The Mark Of Archanon The Lambda Factor


Episode Photos

Breakaway Breakaway
Matter Of Life And Death Matter Of Life And Death
Black Sun Black Sun
Ring Around The Moon Ring Around The Moon
Earthbound Earthbound
Another Time, Another Place Another Time, Another Place Another Time, Another Place
Missing Link Missing Link
Guardian Of Piri The Pirian surface
Force Of Life Force Of Life
Alpha Child Alpha Child
The Last Sunset The Last Sunset
Voyager's Return Voyager's Return
Collision Course Collision Course
Death's Other Dominion Death's Other Dominion
The Full Circle The Full Circle
End Of Eternity End Of Eternity
War Games War Games
The Last Enemy The Last Enemy
The Troubled Spirit The Troubled Spirit
Space Brain Space Brain
The Infernal Machine The Infernal Machine
Mission Of The Darians Mission Of The Darians
Dragon's Domain Dragon's Domain
The Testament Of Arkadia The Testament Of Arkadia
The Metamorph The Metamorph
The Exiles The Exiles
One Moment Of Humanity One Moment Of Humanity
All That Glisters All That Glisters
Journey To Where Journey To Where
The Taybor The Taybor
The Rules Of Luton The Rules Of Luton
The Mark Of Archanon The Mark Of Archanon
Brian The Brain Brian The Brain
New Adam, New Eve New Adam, New Eve
The A B Chrysalis The A B Chrysalis
Catacombs Of The Moon Catacombs Of The Moon
Seed Of Destruction Seed Of Destruction
The Beta Cloud The Beta Cloud
A Matter Of Balance A Matter Of Balance
Space Warp Space Warp
The Bringers Of Wonder The Bringers Of Wonder part 1
The Bringers Of Wonder part 2 The Bringers Of Wonder part 2
The Lambda Factor The Lambda Factor
The Seance Spectre The Seance Spectre
Dorzak Dorzak
Devil's Planet Devil's Planet
The Immunity Syndrome The Immunity Syndrome
The Dorcons The Dorcons

Copyright Martin Willey