The Catacombs The Character Guide
by Martin Willey

John Koenig

Koenig, Year 2
Character Name John Koenig
Played by Martin Landau
Sex M
Approx. Age 46
Section Command
Episodes 47 episodes
48 title credits

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

Koenig's birthdate and age varies according to source:

  • Year 1 writer's guide: about 40 (so born 1959)
  • Year 2 writer's guide: about 35 (so born 1964)
  • ITC publicity: born 1959 (40 years old in 1999)
  • Technical Notebook: born March 1957 (42 years old in 1999, author David Hirsch used his own birthday)
  • Landau's actual age: 46 in 1974, so if Koenig were the same age, he would be born in 1953.

The early character name in the early script Zero G was Commander Steve Maddox. "A man in his prime - an ex-astronaut who led the first manned expedition to Mars. Highly trained - tough, dedicated. Space orientated - a man of the future - in the future."

Two versions of the Year 1 writer's guide give Koenig the full name of "John Robert Koenig", which the Technical Notebook follows. A middle name is not indicated in any episodes or scripts.

Koenig is an only child (The Rules Of Luton). He studied at M.I.T. (among his other interests were jazz ballet class where he met Diana Morris, The Bringers Of Wonder part 1). He was married, but wife died in 1987 war (The Rules Of Luton). According to George Bellak's writer's guide, his wife was a gifted artist who sacrificed her career for his, until she decided she could no longer do so and separated from him.

In E.C.Tubb's novel Earthfall (1977), Koenig is due to marry Marcia Gilcrest, and has to tell her they can't be married as he's going to the Moon. In Blam's Awe comic (2012) Koenig tries to contact Marcia Gilcrest after he arrives on Alpha, but she doesn't return his call. Later captions reveal his wife, Kateryn, was in Switzerland when the atomic bomb went off, and he searched the survivors hoping she escaped. In Aftershock, Marcia appears, on holiday in Fiji; she is killed when a volcano erupts, caused by the Moon leaving orbit.

As an astronaut cadet Koenig travelled to a Venus space station (The Exiles, The Lambda Factor). In Reconnaissance section he was assigned to the Ultra probe mission planning during 1996, and then grounded in 1997 until 1999 (Dragon's Domain). On September 9th, 1999, Koenig was ratified as ninth commander of Moonbase Alpha (War Games). His other interests include physics (he has his own unified field theory, according to Black Sun) and according to the writers guide he was an astrophysicist of some note (this is not otherwise evident in the episodes, however). His spare time interests include kendo (The Testament Of Arkadia) and chess (Dragon's Domain).

Koenig is often selfless and rather reckless ("We're looking for answers, Commander, not heroes" says Helena in Breakaway). The writers guide describes him having two contradictory streaks, a rather ruthless side, and a moody introspective side. He can be rather moody, snapping orders (Matter Of Life And Death, The Last Sunset, The Seance Spectre). He frequently demonstrates what Magus describes as an "iron will" in New Adam, New Eve ("The John Koenig philosophy. If there's chips on the table, we're still in the game" The Seance Spectre), at times ruthless ("Must you always assume the worst?" "Yes. When the safety of Alpha is concerned" he states in The Exiles), though he dislikes aggression ("Shoot first and ask questions later. It's not your style, John" The Last Enemy; "I still don't like the idea of a pre-emptive strike against an enemy we don't understand" Space Brain).

Note he likes to pace back and forth (Dragon's Domain, The Last Sunset, others), and likes to slap people as a greeting. He is often in fights, and enjoys kendo as a hobby (The Testament Of Arkadia).

He is very close to Victor (Dragon's Domain, Breakaway, Missing Link, others) and Alan (Collision Course). According to the writers guide, he was a student of Victor. Koenig's relationship with Helena begins with cautious hostility in Breakaway, quipping "I didn't know you cared" at her concern. He is uncomfortable in Matter Of Life And Death, but on the planet he draws closer to her: "We almost made and I". He is concerned for her in Black Sun, Ring Around The Moon and Earthbound. In Another Time, Another Place, their other selves are married. Their first kiss is when he makes up after their argument in Dragon's Domain. Subsequent kisses in The Exiles (also with Maya/Helena), The Mark Of Archanon ("Is that all you have to be grateful for?"), The Bringers Of Wonder part 1 (recap in Devil's Planet). He falls in love with an alien in Missing Link, is kissed by one in Guardian Of Piri, and is the object of desire in The A B Chrysalis.

A frequent Eagle pilot (& involved in several crashes: Breakaway, Another Time, Another Place, Missing Link, The Bringers Of Wonder part 1, Devil's Planet, The Immunity Syndrome). He died in Matter Of Life And Death, Another Time, Another Place, Missing Link (briefly), War Games, End Of Eternity.

Featured in 47 episodes (not Dorzak).

John Koenig click for larger image Koenig Metamorph vest
Koenig living quarters

"Now we're sitting on the biggest bomb man's ever made." (Breakaway)
"We're all aliens, until we get to know one another." (The Metamorph)
"We're great triers, we primitives." (New Adam, New Eve)
"Forget logic. Recognise desperation." "There are things more precious than safety. Loyalty is better than logic. Hope is better than despair. And creation is better than destruction. I just wanted to tell you that, you seekers of perfection." (The A B Chrysalis)
"Maya. That structure. Obviously built by intelligent life." (A Matter Of Balance)
"It's better to live as your own man than as a fool in someone else's dream." (The Bringers Of Wonder part 2)
"What's your boredom quotient?" (Devil's Planet)
"I've never seen you before in my life. Dr Russell." (The Seance Spectre)
"If we understand others, in time, I believe, we come to understand ourselves." (The Immunity Syndrome)
"Whatever you say, doctor." (The Dorcons)




Our first view: in Breakaway


A warm greeting to Bergman


Announcements to Moonbase crew- a frequent duty

Black Sun Another Time, Another Place Force Of Life War Games Space Brain The Taybor Seed Of Destruction The Seance Spectre The Dorcons

"Attention all sections Alpha."

Seed Of Destruction

A duplicate Koenig from Seed Of Destruction

New Adam, New Eve

In New Adam, New Eve, a liaison with Maya

Koenig is protective of Helena

The Metamorph

In The Metamorph, under stress

Black Sun

In Black Sun, feeling old.

Collision Course

In Collision Course, alone and in pyjamas

Matter Of Life And Death Another Time, Another Place Missing Link War Games End of Eternity


Guardian Of Piri Missing Link Death's Other Dominion The Full Circle The Metamorph Journey To Where Seed Of Destruction The Beta Cloud The Bringers Of Wonder part 2 The Lambda Factor The Seance Spectre

Koenig asleep or unconscious

Copyright Martin Willey