The Catacombs The Character Guide
by Martin Willey

Victor Bergman

Bergman at desk
Character Name Victor Bergman
Played by Barry Morse
Sex M
Approx. Age 56
Section None
Episodes 24 episodes
24 title credits

Breakaway Victor Bergman
Matter Of Life And Death Victor Bergman
Black Sun Victor Bergman
Ring Around The Moon Victor Bergman
Earthbound Victor Bergman
Another Time, Another Place Victor Bergman
Missing Link Victor Bergman
Guardian Of Piri Victor Bergman
Force Of Life Victor Bergman
Alpha Child Victor Bergman
The Last Sunset Victor Bergman
Voyager's Return Victor Bergman
Collision Course Victor Bergman
Death's Other Dominion Victor Bergman
The Full Circle Victor Bergman
End Of Eternity Victor Bergman
War Games Victor Bergman
The Last Enemy Victor Bergman
The Troubled Spirit Victor Bergman
Space Brain Victor Bergman
The Infernal Machine Victor Bergman
Mission Of The Darians Victor Bergman
Dragon's Domain Victor Bergman
The Testament Of Arkadia Victor Bergman

Koenig and Bergman

Victor's birthdate and age varies according to source:

The early character name in the early script Zero G was Science Officer Dr. Marc Miller. "Doctor of space research, his vast knowledge of space science gives him a key position in Moon City." In the early guidelines, he was named Professor Danilo Sabatini "Ast-Phy" (astrophysics?), an "interesting and wise Italian astrophysicist in his late fifties". Koenig was one of Sabatini's students. By the next guidelines he was English "Professor (name to be decided)". In the early Siren Planet script he was Professor Penmarric.

Dragon's Domain

Flashback to 1996 Dragon's Domain. Bergman is an astronomer who discovered planet Ultra. After 1997 he was "grounded", but was back on Alpha by 1999 (Breakaway). We also see him doing the calculations to discover the Black Sun. He also turns the artificial gravity systems used by Alpha into a protective forcefield in Black Sun.

Black Sun Ring Around The Moon Death's Other Dominion

Bergman has broad interests in the physical sciences, concentrating on technology. His work is not academic or theoretical (which, apart from equations on perspex, isn't easy to dramatise). His Ultra work was closely associated with the probe mission, not planetary science or orbital calculations. In his living quarters, we see a plan for a "Photon Drive". We also see a Nobel Prize diploma on his wall, for Physics. Science Nobel Prizes are generally given to academics, and are notorious for being awarded after many years or decades. Bergman is unusually young to receive such an award.

He is enthusiastic about science, sometimes ignoring the dangers (Voyager's Return, Death's Other Dominion).

In Tubb's Earthfall it is explained that aerospace industries had created the laboratory on the Moon and placed Bergman in charge, to find a new means of interstellar transport. He is trying to develop on anti-gravity field. This would also fit what we saw in Black Sun (in the original script, the anti-gravity generators used are called "Bergman effect machines").

Several books state Victor Bergman had a wife who died. In Alien Seed, we are told of Bergman's wife "Koenig broke off, remembering how the man had lost his wife. Victor had not been to blame. Only in his mind could he consider himself guilty for the crash that had taken her and left him to mourn." In Earthfall E C Tubb expands on this, which also explains his heart problems ("A careless driver jumping a stop light, moving too fast to halt, his reactions too slow for him to avoid the crushing, tearing impact which had speared his torso on the steering column." In the Powys books, his wife was named Dorothy.

Bergman is musical. He has a violin in his living quarters. In the original script for The Troubled Spirit he was part of a string quartet giving the concert in the opening. He is humming in Another Time, Another Place ("Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Choral Symphony) and The Full Circle (Grieg's Morgenstemning from Peer Gynt).

Black Sun Guardian Of Piri Force Of Life The Infernal Machine

Bergman has an artificial heart (mentioned in just 4 episodes, Black Sun, Force Of Life, Guardian Of Piri, The Infernal Machine). According to the writer's guide he has a mechanical heart, which responds much more slowly to nervous stimuli than does a normal human heart. This makes him unsusceptible to panic or to emotional stress of any other kind. This description was reproduced in ITC publicity and in merchandise. Apart from moments when his heart fails, it isn't mentioned in the series, and Barry Morse doesn't make him less emotional than the others. In E.C.Tubb's novel Earthfall, we see Helena giving Bergman the artificial heart.

Black Sun Black Sun

In Black Sun we see him drink brandy (Courvoisier Napoleon Fine), and smoke a cigar.

Breakaway Black Sun Missing Link Space Brain

Bergman and Koenig are close friends. They already knew each other well in 1996, during preparations for the Ultra Probe, and they meet each other warmly when Koenig returns as Commander in Breakaway. Bergman is always the person Koenig turns to first for advice. Nevertheless, Bergman and Koenig argue at times.

Earthbound Death's Other Dominion The Full Circle End Of Eternity Mission Of The Darians The Testament Of Arkadia

Bergman is not affiliated with any Moonbase section, and thus does not have a coloured sleeve. He attends command conferences. He also joins various exploration parties (Earthbound, End Of Eternity, Mission Of The Darians, Death's Other Dominion, The Testament Of Arkadia, follow-up mission in The Full Circle). He does not always join planetary missions (Matter Of Life And Death, Guardian Of Piri, not initially in The Full Circle).

His spacesuit number is 3 in Earthbound, 4 in End Of Eternity and Space Brain. He does not wear life support packs in Black Sun and The Infernal Machine.

Black Sun Ring Around The Moon Another Time, Another Place War Games

Bergman often expresses philosophical as well as scientific concerns. Writer Johnny Byrne said "In general though, Bergman combined something of the scientist, philosopher, mystic, a steady presence and essential counterweight to the more visceral, upfront principled Koenig."

Breakaway Collision Course The Full Circle The Infernal Machine

Bergman is involved in only a few action scenes.

Black Sun

We see an old Bergman in Black Sun.

Another Time, Another Place

We see an alternative Bergman living on Earth in Another Time, Another Place. Although the Alphans have abandoned technology, Bergman retains his telescope. But he has also embraced the simpler life of cultivating plants.

Featured in all 24 Year 1 episodes. He was mentioned in the scripts of The Metamorph (Simon Hayes: "One lousy spacesuit with a faulty helmet and Victor had to be in it.") and Catacombs Of The Moon (they are reconstructing the Bergman artificial heart, not the Dorfmann).

Black Sun

In Survival by Brian Ball (Powys, 2005), Bergman is propelled into space during a battle, his suit torn and losing air. The Alphans are unable to find the body. Unknown to them, the epilogue shows the alien scientist Yendys seeing Bergman healing in a stasis chamber within the living ship Susurra. The book names Bergman's former wife as Dorothy.

In the short film The Return of Victor Bergman (recorded 2002, first seen 2010), Barry Morse reprises the role of Bergman, recording a Moonbase Alpha status report in 2030.

"Alright, Nordstrom. We're watching you closely." (Breakaway)
"I haven't enjoyed a picture that much in a long time." (Matter Of Life And Death)
"I suppose we...all believe what we want to believe. Perhaps that's what reality is." (Black Sun)
"Maybe I've had enough of Earth and its so called civilisation." (Earthbound)
"We believe that revenge, sanctioned by authority, is also the sign of a debased culture." (Voyager's Return)
"Because, we have learned many things, but most of all, we have learned ..we still have much to learn." (War Games)
"I'm having trouble calculating our seasonal variations, but just instinctively I'd say it was spring." (The Last Sunset)

Publicity shot in Bergman's quarters, LQ12. The papers in front of him mention "Engines", "Petrol 1660, 23 Gallons", "Compartments".


He is the first regular actor to appear on screen. The episode establishes a close relationship with Koenig.

Matter Of Life And Death Bergman dies when the Moon blows up. "If things don't go too well, I'd like you to take over my command." Matter Of Life And Death
Black Sun Many Koenig and Bergman scenes, including meeting "God" and the final cigar tip to camera. Black Sun
Ring Around The Moon Koenig and Bergman scenes. Ring Around The Moon
Earthbound Bergman joins a mission to the spaceship. Earthbound
Another Time, Another Place An alternative Bergman is found on Earth. Another Time, Another Place
Missing Link Bergman on his second mission at the start, and spends much of the episode in pyjamas. Raan has an alternative image of him. Missing Link
Guardian Of Piri Bergman collapses. He is happy to accept the guardian. Guardian Of Piri
Force Of Life Bergman joins Koenig and Carter chasing Zoref over Alpha. Force Of Life
Alpha Child Bergman only appears in his quarters for a few scenes with Jackie. Alpha Child
The Last Sunset Bergman is either in Main Mission or the lab. The Last Sunset
Voyager's Return Bergman is excited by the knowledge gathered by Voyager Voyager's Return
Collision Course Bergman devises Operation Shockwave and does not believe Koenig. Collision Course
Death's Other Dominion Another expedition to a planet, he is subjected to an experiment. Death's Other Dominion
The Full Circle Bergman visits Retha twice. The Full Circle
End Of Eternity Visits the asteroid. End Of Eternity
War Games Evacuated to the underground shelters. War Games
The Last Enemy With Helena while most of the episode focuses on Koenig and Dione. The Last Enemy
The Troubled Spirit Organises the seances. The Troubled Spirit
Space Brain Space Brain
The Infernal Machine Abducted by Gwent The Infernal Machine
Mission Of The Darians Abducted by the Darians Mission Of The Darians
Dragon's Domain Seen in 1996 flashbacks, and boards the Ultra Probe Dragon's Domain
The Testament Of Arkadia Discovers the skeletons with Helena. The Testament Of Arkadia

Copyright Martin Willey