The Catacombs Episode Critics
Compiled by Martin Willey

7. The Rules of Luton

...the series at its lowest's a B-movie story... (Richard Houldsworth, TV Zone, 1993)

Star Trek meets Gardeners Question Time. Most people think that this episode is a few feathers short of being a turkey, but contrary to popular myth, this story is not that bad. Okay, it has one or two factors against it from the start, the most obvious being that it is a rip off of the Star Trek episode Arena. Then it has the disadvantage of only featuring two members of the regular cast, as well as three men in cheap alien costumes and a trio of talking trees. But given all these handicaps the story rattles along at a decent pace with the requisite number of excitement stops along the way. 7/10 (Anthony McKay, DWB, 1993)

Not quite as awful as it sounds, since the original story on which it is based (Frederic Brown's Arena- also done by Star Trek and Blakes 7) is so good. D+ (Chris Bentley, SFX 20, 1996)

The story is an incredibly thin retelling of the Star Trek classic Arena. Beyond its derivative nature, the episode is compromised by other short comings. The alien costumes are unintentionally hilarious. These alien criminals are hardly a frightening bunch and their silly appearance severely dates this episode, and thus the series as a whole. The story drags from one dreary hill locale to another and the aliens are defeated in such an easy manner that it makes one wonder what al the dramatic hullabaloo was about. (John Kenneth Muir, Exploring Space: 1999, p117-119)

Guest's direction enlivens this one, with Koenig and Maya kidnapped by a trio of plantlike alien creatures. **- (average) (James O'Neill, Sci-Fi On Tape, p272, 1997)

Landau and Schell deliver outstanding performances and are provided with a wealth of character-building material in the script. However, the remainder of the script is moved along by nothing more than running to action music, and the tedious and predictable engagements with the alien trio, amounting to a laboriously dull viewing experience. 5/10 (Bob Wood, The Future Is Fantastic, 2001)