The Catacombs Catacombs Credits Guide
Alibe Parsons

It was a bit scary at first coming on to Space: 1999 for the last three episodes, not only because everybody had been working as a team on the series for so long before I arrived, but also because nobody knew what was going to happen with the series. It was a bit daunting, but everybody made me very welcome so it was easier than I had anticipated.

I was really taking over Zienia Merton's role because she was going off to make a film, so the role had already been established in the sense that there was a communications officer, but on a base that big it was obvious that they would have more than one communications officer, so I was just another one. That allowed me to take the character and make it what I wanted it to be without being bound to anything that Zienia had done before.

The character didn't actually have a name in the scripts that had been written because the part had been written for Zienia's character, but the producer said, "Oh, you've got a nice name that's unusual and sounds rather futuristic, do you mind if we use it?" and I said, "Not at all!". But I'm not sure that it was the right decision because it's sometimes difficult for people to divorce the character that you're playing from the real-life you, so using your own name - especially one as unusual as mine is - probably wasn't a good idea.

Most of my work was with John Hug who played Bill Fraser, and he's a very good actor and he was particularly easy to work with. I also did some scenes with Nick Tate and Tony Anholt and they were very good to work with. Martin Landau was a lovely chap and liked to joke quite a bit and had time to have a bit of a laugh. Barbara Bain was OK but she was a bit remote. Catherine Schell was quite different, she was very down to Earth and God bless her she had to be because she had to be in before anyone else to put all that make-up on and I think she deserved a Brownie point for that - many Brownie points in fact! We all enjoyed each other's company very much and we had a lovely time.

I had just done a film with Lynn Frederick in Spain the previous year, and when I was being costumed for the series I looked inside my costume and there was Lynn's name. She had guested in an earlier episode and her costume had been recycled for me, so I rang her up the next day and we had a great giggle about it. The series went on for a long time and had a lot of different people in it, and so there was always somebody's costume that had somebody else's name inside it.

One of the reasons that I took the job was that if the series had gone to a third season then I would have been in it and my character would have been developed more. I was very sad when we were told that there wouldn't be a third series because first of all I was enjoying it and I was just getting into knowing everybody and knowing the routine, but also because I think that the series was getting so much better and would have been even more so in a third series - and not just because I would have been in it! We finished the last episode, The Dorcons, just before Christmas which gave us the opportunity to have a great big Christmas party, but it was a bit bittersweet because we all had a good time with Father Christmas but it was a bit sad to think that it was also one of the last times that we were all going to see one another.