The Catacombs The Character Guide
by Martin Willey

Tony Verdeschi (Main Mission Section)

Tony Verdeschi at his desk
Character Name Tony Verdeschi
Played by Tony Anholt
Sex M
Approx. Age 32
Section Main Mission
Episodes 22 episodes
23 end credits

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

click for larger image

Age 32, born 1967 in Italy (The Bringers Of Wonder part 1). According to Magus in New Adam, New Eve, generations of his family before him were farmers. Elder brother is Guido. According to The Bringers Of Wonder, his "mama" makes voluminous pasta and remarkable sauce. Both his parents were alive in September 1999, but according to the (unreal) Guido, his papa "went quiet. Then he got thin.", while he mother was weeping and phoning the White House.

His character was originally called Simon Hays, and that name still used in the shooting scripts of The Metamorph and The Exiles. Tim Heald records the first day of filming, 26 January 1976, when Barbara Bain first met Tony Anholt on set: Just after she sat down at her desk, she turned to Tony Anholt, whose character's name had been changed from Simon Hays to Tony Verdeschi a couple of days previously. "Why do they give you a name which is immediately difficult to get round your tongue?" she asked. Tony didn't seem to know. "I shall call you Tony," she said, crisply and adamantly. (The Making Of Space: 1999, p27)

The Immunity Syndrome

In The Immunity Syndrome, the following captions are seen: "Psychological Profile: Subject Anthony Dean Verdeschi. Subject born Florence Italy. Graduated B.A. Hons University Of Rome 1990. Ph.D Cambridge England 1993. Commissioned Space Service 1994.." The script added a caption "Rank science specialist G.I.".

His id badge reads "T Verdeschi" - T for Tony, not A for Anthony.

His accent is British and his Christian names are English (Anthony, not Antonio, although his brother Guido has an Italian Christian name and an American accent). He uses an English pronunciation for his surname (Ver-des-she) rather than the correct Italian pronunciation (Ver-des-ki). His beer making is also not particularly Italian (although there are well established Italian beers, such as Peroni). The evidence suggests he was raised by Italian or Anglo-Italian parents in Britain, and his parents and (elder?) brother may have spent some time in North America before he was born. His father or mother (or both) may have worked for international companies or organisations (universities, technology), which would explain the international upbringing.

Guido Verdeschi appears in the Blam comic Aftershock (2012), flying an Eagle as coastguard in the south Pacific.

The same episode titles Tony "Chief Security Officer". He is also head of security in The Taybor & The Lambda Factor, although his sleeve colour is Main Mission red. Second in command (often assumes command, as in Journey To Where, The Mark Of Archanon, Catacombs Of The Moon, The Beta Cloud, The Bringers Of Wonder, Dorzak). Often accompanies Koenig on missions (All That Glisters, The Rules Of Luton, New Adam, New Eve, Brian The Brain, A Matter Of Balance, Space Warp, The Immunity Syndrome). Experienced Eagle pilot (The Rules Of Luton, Brian The Brain, Seed Of Destruction, Space Warp, The Seance Spectre). Best man at Pat Osgood's wedding (Catacombs Of The Moon).

According to Magus in New Adam, New Eve, "a man rooted in the rocks and earth", practical and hard headed, sometimes sceptical and cynical (accusing Carolyn in The Lambda Factor, antagonistic to Sanderson in The Seance Spectre), even boorish (in A Matter Of Balance, The Beta Cloud conclusion). A sense of humour often expressed with Maya (gives her a flower in The Rules Of Luton). Other interests include beer making (seen in Journey To Where, A Matter Of Balance, Catacombs Of The Moon, The Taybor, referred to in The Rules Of Luton, Seed Of Destruction, Dorzak).

Featured in 22 Year 2 episodes (not The A B Chrysalis, Devil's Planet, although he is credited in the latter).

In the Powys books, Verdeschi is introduced in the rewritten version of Android Planet, and Phoenix of Megaron, and he takes a prominent role in the landing expedition in The Forsaken, which leads up to his new role by the start of the second series.

Brian The Brain The Bringers Of Wonder part 2

Tony only wears a spacesuit in 2 episodes: Brian The Brain (on the Swift mothership) and The Bringers Of Wonder part 2 (the only episode he ever wears the helmet).

"You asked what sort of people they are? What sort of people are we?" (The Exiles)
"Hey. The natives are growing restless." (Journey To Where)
"You know your problem? No sense of adventure." (Journey To Where)
"Offspring! You would say that. You couldn't just say children." (New Adam, New Eve)
"Would you tell me what does a computer know about beer anyway? No lust for adventure, no imagination, no taste. Nothing." (Catacombs Of The Moon)
"Anyone who likes my beer is somebody who can't be trusted, right?" (The Taybor)
"Maya, you know all that wild garbage that I handed you? Well, you know, the heavy syrup, the thousand violins, all that romantic stuff. I mean the pressure was murderous. A guy says a lot of strange things when he's under pressure." (The Beta Cloud)
"Come on, let's celebrate, sweetheart." (Dorzak)

The Beta Cloud The Beta Cloud The Beta Cloud New Adam, New Eve The Seance Spectre Behind the scenes, December 1976
All That Glisters The Immunity Syndrome A Matter Of Balance

Beer making

Tony's beer making machine includes a lava wave machine, possibly made by the American company Lava-Simplex (who licensed the concept from the British inventors, Crestworth). Using the same principle as lava lamps, a coloured oil-wax mixture moves through water. While a lava lamp uses heat from a lamp, the wave machine rocks from side to side, creating a slow motion wave. These were sold as office decorations for business executives. Under the rocking wave machine is Bergman's glass ball (as seen in the Year 1 credit shot).

Seen in Journey To Where (oddly, in Medical), A Matter Of Balance (in Hydroponics), Catacombs Of The Moon (in Tony's quarters), The Taybor (no brewing machine, but Taybor drinks).

There are also mentions of his beer in Seed Of Destruction and Dorzak.

Journey To Where Journey To Where A Matter Of Balance A Matter Of Balance Catacombs Of The Moon

Copyright Martin Willey