The Catacombs The Character Guide
by Martin Willey


Character Name Maya
Played by Catherine Schell
Sex F
Approx. Age 32
Section Main Mission
Episodes 23 episodes
24 title credits

The Metamorph Maya
The Exiles Maya
One Moment Of Humanity Maya
All That Glisters Maya
Journey To Where Maya
The Taybor Maya
The Rules Of Luton Maya
The Mark Of Archanon Maya
Brian The Brain Maya
New Adam, New Eve Maya
The A B Chrysalis Maya
Catacombs Of The Moon Maya
Seed Of Destruction Maya
The Beta Cloud Maya
A Matter Of Balance Maya
Space Warp Maya
The Bringers Of Wonder Maya
The Bringers Of Wonder part 2 Maya
The Lambda Factor Maya
The Seance Spectre Maya
Dorzak Maya
The Immunity Syndrome Maya
The Dorcons Maya

Maya on Psychon

Maya was born on the planet Psychon. Schell was 32 in 1976, so presumably Maya is approximately the same age. According to The Rules Of Luton, Psychon had a peaceful and happy culture, with one race, one religion and one government. "Our planet was so rich in resources that there was no separation of classes." Psychon was also known to Taybor (The Taybor) and the Dorcons (The Dorcons), the latter being their most feared enemies, using Psychon brain stems to confer immortality on their oligarchy.

Daughter of scientist Mentor (The Metamorph). One brother, who served with Mentor on Psychon's High Scientific Council, left the planet with a thousand others when it began to boil (The Rules Of Luton). Other Psychons, including Dorzak, built spaceships after this, finally leaving just Mentor and Maya. Mentor remained with his wife's tomb on Psychon, and believed he could restore his planet with the biological computer Psyche, which was fed by the minds drained from captured aliens. When Koenig destroyed Psyche, the released energy destroyed the planet (The Metamorph).

Maya is very emotional; she cries at the end of The Metamorph, and breaks down in The Beta Cloud and The Dorcons. Her emotions lead her to simplistic, and misplaced, trust in Dorzak).

She is also a playful prankster, with a taste for practical jokes: the two Helenas & the ugly hag in The Exiles, Mr Hyde in Journey To Where, Diana's monster in The Bringers Of Wonder part 1, and particularly joking with Tony and his beer. Close to Tony: The Exiles (offers a kiss), One Moment Of Humanity (we are told Tony loves Maya), All That Glisters (Reilly pursues her), The Taybor, New Adam, New Eve (she kisses Koenig), Seed Of Destruction, The Bringers Of Wonder part 1, Dorzak, The Immunity Syndrome, particularly The Beta Cloud when they kiss). Note she kisses Koenig twice: in The Exiles (as Helena) and New Adam, New Eve.

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Maya has a "computer-like mind", quicker than Alpha's computer: flying an Eagle in Brian The Brain, calculating the flight time in The A B Chrysalis, analysing the raw data in The Immunity Syndrome. According to The A B Chrysalis, the Psychon numerical system in based on "the function of an ellipse", not the decimal system, so calculations are just "elliptical progressions". Hence she serves as science advisor, assigned to many exploratory parties (The Exiles, All That Glisters, The Mark Of Archanon, The Rules Of Luton, New Adam, New Eve, Brian The Brain, The A B Chrysalis, A Matter Of Balance, The Seance Spectre) and devising the scientific solutions (Journey To Where, The Beta Cloud, Seed Of Destruction, A Matter Of Balance).

Maya was taught the skill of metamorphosis by Mentor (not all Psychons have the skill: Dorzak has to command her to teach him). She is thus a "metamorph" or "transmorph" (the latter is Taybor's term) capable of "molecular transformation". "Only Psychons have the unique molecular structure which permits transformation" (Dorzak); she attains the form of an animal by knowing its molecular structure (unless it eludes her as in The Beta Cloud). In The Exiles, The Rules Of Luton & Space Warp she can only hold the form for an hour (in The Seance Spectre she holds a form for 3 hours, in The Taybor she can lock herself in a form).

Many of her transformations -even on Psychon before she meets the Alphans- are into Earth animals that she can never have seen. She can even transform into fictional characters like Mr Hyde in Journey To Where.

Additionally in The Rules Of Luton she cannot change directly from one form to another, although she can in The Metamorph (dog to gorilla), The Lambda Factor (chimp to caterpillar), A Matter Of Balance (monkey to Shermeen), The Rules Of Luton (kestrel to lion) and The Taybor (dog to ferret). She can change just parts of her self: her hairstyle in One Moment Of Humanity, her hand to a claw in The Taybor.

All Maya's transformations are into living things, never into inanimate objects. In All That Glisters, it is stated that she can transform into anything organic. However, she also transforms her clothes. When she transforms, her original clothing disappears and her transformation either has no clothes (if an animal) or has the applicable clothing (if human or humanoid). When she transforms back, her original uniform or spacesuit returns. In the cut scenes for The Metamorph the trees are in pots, which she must also have transformed into. In The Bringers Of Wonder part 1 she transforms into a kendo fighter, with complete body armour (bogu and hakama), and changes a small plastic stick she carries into a shinai (bamboo staff).

Maya did not transform in The Mark Of Archanon & The Immunity Syndrome (she did in Devil's Planet in flashbacks to The Exiles, New Adam, New Eve).

Journey To Where

Maya's early makeup, with brown ears, strong brown "side-burns" and red-streaked hair.

One Moment Of Humanity The Beta Cloud
In early episodes, Maya has brown ears; later she has pink ears and less dramatic sideburns.
The Exiles The Dorcons
In early episodes, Maya's eyebrows are much longer.

She is featured in 23 Year 2 episodes (she is not in Devil's Planet except in flashback, but is still credited). Key roles in The Metamorph, The Taybor, The Rules Of Luton, New Adam, New Eve, The A B Chrysalis, Seed Of Destruction, The Beta Cloud, Space Warp (in alien forms), The Bringers Of Wonder, Dorzak, The Dorcons. Minimal roles in The Mark Of Archanon, Catacombs Of The Moon.

The Taybor
Before the split-screen, another actress stands in for Maya.
The Seance Spectre
The three ages of Maya: 3, 4 and 32 (The Seance Spectre publicity shot)

"I like them, father. They're very attractive, aren't they? Quite unlike any of the others." (The Metamorph)

"You told me heroes were fools who had a talent for nothing else." (Journey To Where)

"You mean people killed people just because they were different from each other? That's disgusting." (The Rules Of Luton)

"Is there some flaw in the Psychon nature that turns us all into monsters? First my father, and now you." (Dorzak)

"Well, then we'll discover the joys of walking, won't we?" (The Immunity Syndrome)

"That's a highly improper question to ask any lady, Tony." (The Dorcons)

Copyright Martin Willey