The Catacombs The Production Guide
Writer's Guide



The living arrangements of the base personnel are somewhat Spartan, though exceedingly functional, and resolve themselves into units which are occupied by either a married couple, or a single inhabitant. There are no children at ALPHA: the 18-month tours of duty obviate that.

But in spite of the Spartan modular similarity of the basic structure of the living quarters, they will nevertheless strongly reflect the personalities of the people who occupy them. Eighteen months in a totally strange and unsympathetic environment is a long time and we can assume that, in the interests of keeping the personnel as contented as possible, provision would be made for them to pursue their normal Earthbound leisure interests. Psychological advice would be available to them before being posted-advice as to what in the way of objects from their Earthly lives they like to take with them to make their stay on Alpha as palatable as possible. Each person would be restricted to predetermined limits of volume and weight, but within those limits, a weird collection of idiosyncrasies would be reflected in the incongruous Earth objects that they took to decorate their space environment: a collection of butterflies, perhaps, or an antique chair, even actual, leatherbound, printed books as an alternative to the microfilmed literature that is pumped, on request, into the videoscreens in their rooms. This is one way in which we hope to populate Moon Base Alpha with credible human beings with whom we can readily identify.

The base personnel live a structured life. They work for a stated period of time and, if there are not alerts, are on their own for whatever recreation the base affords. These may include all kinds of Earth-sent and cassette entertainments, such as 3-dimensional film transmissions, holographs, current music, television, etc. It is postulated that within the limits possible, the Earth Command has done all it could to keep Moon Base life as normal as possible.

At this point, the plot for Alpha Child had not been developed. The references to 3D films and holographs suggests they were thinking of showing these. Some sort of a Pepper's ghost-type effect would be possible.


As an instance of the above, the personnel, when on duty, take their meals in a very pleasant, though highly automated kind of restaurant (no restaurant personnel can ever be seen, all of the installations are almost 100 percent labour-saving, thus eliminating manpower requirements).

When they are off duty they might choose to relax and eat in the privacy of their own quarters, in which case the meal of their selection would arrive automatically as one of the service facilities, adding a touch of recognisable domesticity to the flagrantly futuristic setting.


Since there is no Sun, with its healthful rays, upon this base, the medical department has had constructed a gymnasium with very special exercise equipment, and a solarium, with an artificial Sun giving off the needed spectrum so that base personnel, sunless though they are, have healthy looking tans.

Copyright Martin Willey