The Catacombs Episode Critics
Compiled by Martin Willey

3. One Moment of Humanity

Those sets from 'The Metamorph' reappear, resprayed, in 'One Moment Of Humanity', a powerful story from Tony Barwick. The character interplay is the strength of Barwick's script; Tony and Helena are in conflict when they believe each is trying to kill the other, while the android Zarl hovers between a desire to learn hatred or love. But Billie Whitelaw steals the show as the android leader Zamara- a classy performance from a consummate actress. (Richard Houldsworth, TV Zone, 1993)

...stands so far as it has a strong, simple plot running throughout, set into a well crafted episode. That is not to say that it could not be better, but it lacks the obvious passing seen in its fellows. The majority of this episode is filled with varying degrees of tension, and even the dance sequence, choreographed by Lionel Blair, works well in context, although some negative comment must be made about the sequence where Helena is successfully seduced by one of the androids against her will. Charlie Crichton's direction has a lot to do with the success of this episode as he is able to make even the most preposterous idea seem quite credible, such as the Vegans not noticing when Maya transforms herself into a parrot. Geoffrey Bayldon also performs well as one of the humans- as always, he is able to add a little pathos to his role. As far as originality goes this memorable episode is as good as they come. Rating 8/10 (Anthony McKay, DWB, 1993)

For supposedly perfect physical specimens, the Vegans are a pretty sorry bunch and Leigh Lawson's chest could have done with considerably less exposure. Helena's erotic dance isn't (mainly because of the awful jazz that accompanies it), but on the whole this is a good story with an unusually downbeat ending. B (Chris Bentley, SFX 20, 1996)

All the elements are certainly there for this episode to take flight: strong character interaction, interesting motivation for the villains, an unusual focus on sensuality and sex and even some interesting views of Alpha's day to day routine. However, all of these elements fail to counterbalance some very basic problems with believability. To make matters even more grim, the climax of this segment is as hackneyed as one can get in science fiction. (John Kenneth Muir, Exploring Space: 1999, p106-107)

Whitelaw is good as an alien scientist. **- (average) (James O'Neill, Sci-Fi On Tape, p271, 1997)

This is one of the most outstanding productions of Year Two, And like this gem of an episode, all of the performances are clearly carefully refined and highly polished. Leigh Lawson, in particular, is outstanding as Zarl. His is a performance which resonates with strength and subtlety. This is an episode of great depth in characterisation, and of thoughtful warnings of the dangers of all-powerful technology. 10/10 (Bob Wood, The Future Is Fantastic, 2001)