The Catacombs Catacombs Credits Guide
Tony Anholt

from an interview with David Nightengale in SIG, 1983

At the time I became involved in Space: 1999, I had been on the dole so long that they told me I had to come off the dole until I got another job. I was thinking of going into an organisation that organised international conferences because I thought that if I couldn't be an actor At least I'd get to travel the world and meet some people. Then I got a phone call out of the blue from Gerry Anderson who said, "Have you seen Space: 1999?" Well, I had seen one episode of it and, to be perfectly honest, I had thought that it was a load of rubbish. I said, "No, I don't think I have. Why? and he said, "Well, we did a year of it and it was sort of shelved and we think we're going again with the second year. Freddie Freiberger is coming over to give it a slightly new feel and Abe Mandell wants you in it. Would you be interested?"

When I signed to do the show, I was aware that I was being brought in as the number four after Martin Landau, Barbara Bain and Catherine Schell, and my position on the show was fairly secure, unless I was going to make a real hash of it. I think Nick Tate suffered a lot because of that. I was being paid to be number four and so they couldn't really give me less to do than Nick. It was a case of, "We've got Martin, Barbara, Catherine, Tony, guest names, action - now what room can we find for Nick?"

Whatever his virtues are or are not, one thing I feel that Freddie Freiberger was right about is that he was trying to make the peoplethere more human, in the sense that everybody in the cast thought that if you're going to have a bunch of people stuck up on the Moon for God knows how long, whatever else they are they're human beings: they would have relationships, recreation, be seen doing human things and not just staring at a screen, launching into space, fighting the baddies and coming back wondering whether they were ever going to return to Earth.

I remember that there was a big, big battle going on about the script of All That Glisters. I got zapped pretty early on and spent my time walking around like a zombie carrying a piece of rock. Martin was desperately unhappy about the whole script - he thought it was absolute rubbish, as indeed we all did. Once he saw the opposition, Freddie became utterly entrenched and would give nothing at all - it was the greatest episode of the series, the most sci-fi type of story, and it was going to stay. Short of walking off the set, completely screwing up the whole series, there was nothing we could do about it. I said to Martin, "Well, if you feel that strongly about it, why don't you just refuse to do it?" and he said he found it very difficult to work like that, There would be a whole unit standing around wondering what the hell was going to happen, the schedule would be put back, it would cost more money, provoke ill feeling and for the sake of one episode it really wasn't worth it.

Martin and Barbara were very involved. They were the stars of the show and if it was a disaster it would be that much more difficult for them to work subsequently, They were very professional: they were always there, turned up on time, knew their lines and didn't muck about. I have worked with other people who, because they're the star, they think that nothing moves without them, but there was nothing of that with Martin and Barbara.