The Catacombs Episode Critics
Compiled by Martin Willey

19. The Troubled Spirit

Best of all in my book. Okay, it doesn't make a lot of logical sense, and to be sure it has another of those open-mouthed endings, but it's a nice idea, pursued with an excellent spooky atmosphere. Perhaps this one stands out because mood pieces are rare in Space 1999, a point which led some critical wits to remark that the moon lacked atmosphere. (David Scott, DWB, 1992)

Again a potentially good plot is spoilt by Martin Landau and Barbara Bain hamming it up (Anthony McKay, DWB, 1992)

A no-holds barred chiller, with some sterling prosthetics make-up work by Basil Newall for the charred Dan Mateo. Of special note is the remarkable camera work. The photography is complemented with some eerie lighting, and some interesting use of primary colours (the medical centre is in deep blue, the hydroponics centre deep red) whilst there is an abundance of darkness and shadows. A mediocre 1999 story; as ever it is impeccably made, but the basic idea is rather corny (an attempt to communicate with the nervous systems of plants!) and features some implausible moments- would Koenig risk his entire command team in a dangerous experiment? (Richard Houldsworth, TV Zone, 1992)

A very strange and frightening ghost story with an unexpected twist. The extensive use of sitar music is a stroke of brilliance. A+ (Chris Bentley, SFX 20, 1996)

...out and out horror with very few scientific trappings. Unfortunately the story is confusing since it is unclear how plants and temperature drops relate to the cryptic spirit. Script problems are overcome to a certain degree by the excellent direction of Ray Austin. A second strength is Barry Gray's frightening guitar music. (John Kenneth Muir, Exploring Space: 1999, p69-70)

A confused but inteesting horror themed segment. **- (average) (James O'Neill, Sci-Fi On Tape, p272, 1997)

Ray Austin delivered one of the most obviously impressive and successful directorial efforts in the first season. It is atmospheric and moody and scary - complimenting the script, and complimented by all the cast and the production design. 10/10 (Bob Wood, The Future Is Fantastic, 2001)

Abject nonsense that's just saved by the earnest delivery of the cast. 2/5 (Alasdair Stuart, SciFiNow #10, 2007)