The Catacombs Catacombs Credits Guide
Catherine Schell

Space: 1999 is my absolute favourite of anything I've done because we all got along so well. We had so much fun doing it, so many giggles and laughs and it was really sad when it ended.

I know that they had a tremendous problem casting it and it was all very strange. Gerry Anderson rang me up and said, "Excuse me for ringing you personally, but we have a huge problem. We're desperate to cast this part in Space: 1999 as a regular and I'd love to see you and talk about it. Can I send my chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce to come and pick you up?" and I said, "But of course." I drove out and we had a long chat at his house and he offered me the part, but he said, "We have to go through a kind of charade at the moment, because your name has been mentioned time and time again and Barbara Bain doesn't want you." Barbara and I were very similar types, but I was so much younger than she was and she wanted someone who looked totally different from her so that there would never be a comparison.

The following day we did some film tests and there were all these girls going in and out and they were still doing casting tests. I said, "What is this? I've already been offered the part." But that was the charade they had to play for Barbara, because she had to look at all the tests, She had to make a choice, whom she wanted, and in the end she chose me, but on the condition that I looked very strange. So that's why I had the makeup and much darker hair.

The producer told me that Barbara had it put in her contract that I must never appear as myself - I could only ever look as Maya. They had written a scene for The Beta Cloud where Tony is in hospital reading a magazine and in it is a picture of Catherine Schell. He is looking at it saying, "Oh, isn't she nice," and Maya has a look at the picture and she says, "You think that's nice? That's your taste? You're mad! " and then she changes herself into Catherine Schell. But it was completely scratched out because Barbara had a look at that and said, "Sorry, in the contract it says she is never ever to look as Catherine Schell. This scene has to be changed."