The Catacombs Catacombs International Guide

The first series was financed in part by RAI (Italian State Television), and was originally to have two Italian supporting stars (the pilot and Main Mission operative who later became Alan and Sandra respectively). At the time, RAI had 2 channels, at the time known as Rete 1 and Rete 2.

In addition to the series being shown on television, three episodes were edited together into a compilation and shown in cinemas from 14 January 1975: according to Keith Wilson, "the streets of Rome were empty because everyone was going to the cinema." The compilation used music from Ennio Morricone in place of Barry Gray's theme and some incidental music. The Morricone theme is available on the CD Time Of Adventure by Ennio Morricone (BMG 1997) 4321315512. (now out of print). The series on television had all the original music intact, with the exception of the Year 2 end titles, which were replaced by song S.O.S. Spazio 1999, performed by the Italian group Oliver Onions.

Year One

The Year One episodes were shown on the second RAI channel, Rete 2, in 3 blocks: the first 6 episodes from Saturday 31st January 1976 at 10pm, the second block of six from Thursday 1st July at 8:45pm, then the remaining 12 from Sunday 24th October to January 9th 1977 at about 6pm. At the time (and until 1977), RAI broadcast in black and white. The first 10 episodes were repeated, in colour, from 29 July 1978. The first series was later repeated in 1981. This probably excluded The Last Sunset, the Italian print of which was lost until 2006. A clip of the sunset from that episode was used to replace the "This Episode" caption in the last 12 episode titles. The 16mm film with magnetic soundtrack was discovered in the SAFA-Palatino archives, but it is not known if they edited the titles or how the only known copy ended up in their collection.

Year Two

In 1979 Year 2 was broadcast on RAI channel 1 from April, each episode in two parts. The daily slot at 7:20pm (Monday to Saturday) was a prime slot before the main RAI news at 8pm. The first episode, The Metamorph, was scheduled for Friday 6 April 1979, but was rescheduled for the following day (possibly because of a previous over-running programme). This would have meant knocking all the episodes back one day, with the last episode shown split on Saturday and Monday. On 7th April an unexpected journalists' strike meant the 8pm news was cancelled, so the second part of the episode followed immediately after. Episodes from Monday 9 April were thus as scheduled, with 3 episodes per week. For some reason The Bringers Of Wonder was not included in the first run of season two and was aired only some time later.


In the Italian version Dr. Russell is HELEN not Helena. This is probably due to the fact that HELENA sounds exactly like the Italian name ELENA. The people who supervised the Italian version probably thought this was too Italian for an American character(!) In year two Tony's last name is pronounced VERDESKI which is the correct Italian pronunciation for VERDESCHI.

The Eagle was called "Aquila" (Italian for eagle); the moonbuggy was a "lunarmobile" (also the name of the Moon mobiles in UFO).


In October 2002, the satellite channel Canal Jimmy aired the series, using Carlton's 1996 telecine visuals matched to the Italian audio. There were short sequences in 6 episodes, mostly from Year 2, which had no Italian soundtrack, so they were shown with original English audio and Italian subtitles. As the 16mm Italian print of The Last Sunset was missing, it was shown with English soundtrack and Italian subtitles. From 2003, Pulp began to release the series on DVD, and used a home recording, which was poor quality and missed the initial few minutes. After the release, the original 16mm version of the episode was discovered, but the DVD publishers were unable to agree the rights until NBC's digital channel Steel began to show the series from 13 January 2009; The Last Sunset with the original Italian audio matched to the BBC HD restoration from 2004. It was shown on 5 February 2009 at 1:35am, repeated at 3:05pm.


On 30 October 2022, the series was available for streaming on RaiPlay, RAI's streaming platform (free with registration). All the episodes are in HD (using the 2004/2010 HD restorations) with English and restored Italian soundtracks, including The Last Sunset.


The Italian fan club Moonbase '99 has organised a number of conventions in Italy.


There was also a poster for the 1975 Spazio 1999 movie.

Web sites (in Italian):

Nr Date Italian Title Translation Original Title Prod.Nr
1 31 January 1976 10:00pm Separazione Separation Breakaway 1
2 7 February 1976 10:00pm Destinazione obbligata: Terra Obligatory Destination: Earth Earthbound 5
3 14 February 1976 10:00pm Sole nero Black Sun Black Sun 3
4 21 February 1976 10:00pm Questione di vita o di morte Matter Of Life Or Death Matter Of Life Or Death 2
5 28 February 1976 10:00pm Fiocco azzuro su Alpha Blue Band On Alpha Alpha Child 10
6 7 March 1976 10:00pm Un altro tempo, un altro luogo Another Time, Another Place Another Time, Another Place 6
7 1 July 1976 8:45pm Forza vitale Life Force Force Of Life 9
8 8 July 1976 8:45pm Il ritorno del Voyager The Return Of Voyager Voyager's Return 12
9 15 July 1976 8:45pm Il Pianeta Incantato The Enchanted Planet Guardian Of Piri 8
10 22 July 1976 8:45pm Gli occhi di Tritone The Eyes Of Triton Ring Around The Moon 4
11 29 July 1976 8:45pm Gli amanti dello spazio The Space Lovers Missing Link 7
12 5 August 1976 8:45pm L'ultimo tramonto The Last Sunset The Last Sunset 11
13 24 October 1976 6:00pm Fantasma su Alpha Ghost On Alpha The Troubled Spirit 19
14 31 October 1976 6:00pm Mondo proibito Forbidden World War Games 17
15 7 November 1976 6:00pm Il Pianeta di Ghiaccio The Planet Of Ice Death's Other Dominion 14
16 14 November 1976 6:00pm Rotta di collisione Collision Course Collision Course 16
17 21 November 1976 6:00pm Nemici invisibili Invisible Enemies The Last Enemy 17
18 28 November 1976 6:00pm Fine dell'immortalita End Of Immortality End Of Eternity 18
19 5 December 1976 6:00pm Circolo chiuso The Closed Circle The Full Circle 15
20 12 December 1976 6:00pm Il dominio del drago The Domain Of The Dragon Dragon's Domain 23
21 19 December 1976 6:00pm La missione dei Dariani The Mission Of The Darians Mission Of The Darians 22
22 26 December 1976 6:00pm Il cervello spaziale The Space Brain Space Brain 20
23 2 January 1977 6:00pm La macchina infernale The Infernal Machine The Infernal Machine 21
24 9 January 1977 6:00pm Il testamento degli Arkadi The Testament Of The Arkadians Testament Of Arkadia 24
Year 2
2.1 7 April 1979 7:20pm
7 April 1979 8:00pm
Psycon The Metamorph 25
2.2 9 April 1979 7:20pm
10 April 1979 7:20pm
Golos The Exiles 26
2.3 11 April 1979 7:20pm
12 April 1979 7:20pm
Il ritorno The Return Journey To Where 29
2.4 13 April 1979 7:20pm
14 April 1979 7:20pm
Vega One Moment Of Humanity 27
2.5 16 April 1979 7:20pm
17 April 1979 7:20pm
La Milgonite The Milgonite All That Glisters 28
2.6 18 April 1979 7:20pm
19 April 1979 7:20pm
Archanon The Mark Of Archanon 32
2.7 20 April 1979 7:20pm
21 April 1979 7:20pm
Taybor The Taybor 30
2.8 23 April 1979 7:20pm
24 April 1979 7:20pm
Luton The Rules Of Luton 31
2.9 25 April 1979 7:20pm
26 April 1979 7:20pm
Il robot The Robot Brian The Brain 33
2.10 27 April 1979 7:20pm
28 April 1979 7:20pm
Magus New Adam, New Eve 34
2.11 30 April 1979 7:20pm
31 April 1979 7:20pm
Kalthon Seed Of Destruction 37
2.12 2 May 1979 7:20pm
3 May 1979 7:20pm
Le crisalidi The Chrysalids The A B Chrysalis 35
2.13 4 May 1979 7:20pm
5 May 1979 7:20pm
Il Tiranium The Tiranium Catacombs Of The Moon 36
2.14 7 May 1979 7:20pm
8 May 1979 7:20pm
I naufraghi The Shipwrecked People Space Warp 40
2.15 9 May 1979 7:20pm
10 May 1979 7:20pm
Vindrus A Matter Of Balance 39
2.16 11 May 1979 7:20pm
12 May 1979 7:20pm
La Nuvola The Cloud The Beta Cloud 38
2.17 14 May 1979 7:20pm
15 May 1979 7:20pm
Onde Lambda Lambda Waves The Lambda Factor 43
2.18 16 May 1979 7:20pm
17 May 1979 7:20pm
Tora Seance Spectre 44
2.19 18 May 1979 7:20pm
19 May 1979 7:20pm
Dorzak Dorzak 45
2.20 21 May 1979 7:20pm
22 May 1979 7:20pm
Il Pianeta del Diavolo The Planet Of The Devil Devil's Planet 46
2.21 23 May 1979 7:20pm
24 May 1979 7:20pm
Il Lampo che Uccide The Lightning Bolt That Kills The Immunity Syndrome 47
2.22 25 May 1979 7:20pm
26 May 1979 7:20pm
I Dorconiani The Dorcons 48
2.23 Attenti ai terrestri Beware the Earth People (terrestrials)! The Bringers Of Wonder 41

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Copyright Martin Willey. Thanks to Roberto Baldassari for help with translations, and Andrea Gualco for corrections.