The Catacombs The Production Guide
Writer's Guide


(a) IDX (Temporary name)

The IDX is a multi-purpose communication device, held comfortably in the palm of the hand. At one end is a miniature two-inch TV monitor, and set into it also are microphone and speaker, so that it is first of all a portable videophone. Secondly, it carries an electronic identification code. This emits no audio or visual pulse, but when the IDX is aimed at the key plate beside each door it will electronically signal the door to open. Provided, of course, that the Individual concerned is security cleared to pass through that particular door.

The IDX was renamed as the commlock.

(b) The Central Computer

All of the information, on whatever subject, that concerns the working operations of Alpha is stored in the Central Computer.

Of course, much of this information is classified, and the only person who has access to all the information is the commander.

But everyone on the base has access to the computer to a greater or lesser degree. They get the information simply by asking for it through their IDX, and if they ask for information to which they are not entitled, then the computer will refuse to divulge. Its method of selection is straightforward. The same electronic key that gives people access to specific areas also governs their access to the computer's information. So whenever a request is made the computer knows instantly, by means of the electronic key, who is making the request and the extent of the information to which that particular individual is entitled.

(c) Communications post (Temporary name)

There will be a constant background of audio and visual information of a general nature relating to aspects of life on Alpha. Reports on space conditions, news of the base, progress report on probes, duty schedules - routine chatter about daily fife. And this information is available to everyone through the Communications Posts which are found in every communal area.

The temporary name communication post stuck.

Copyright Martin Willey