The Catacombs Episode Critics
Compiled by Martin Willey

8. The Mark of Archanon

It's superior season two fare, which allows a larger role than usual for Australian Eagle pilot Alan Carter... (Richard Houldsworth, TV Zone, 1993) of the better episodes of the second season. Despite the obligatory dose of sentimental nonsense the story is well written and harks back to season one in its structure and pace. John Standing is excellent as Pasc... Standing's restrained performance, never going over the top, is responsible for turning this episode of a space opera into fifty minutes of real drama. It is a breath of fresh air to find an actor taking such a role seriously rather than ham it up as has been the way with many of the guest stars in the previous episodes. Credit must also go to Michael Gallagher who, as Etrec, was first class despite his age. 9/10. (Anthony McKay, DWB, 1993)

An unusual Year Two episode with some genuinely shocking moments. Tate is particularly good and his scenes with Michael Gallagher are touching. B+ (Chris Bentley, SFX 20, 1996)

Unusual and emotionally rewarding. Primarily the episode highlights the touching friendship between young Etrec and Alan Carter. (John Kenneth Muir, Exploring Space: 1999, p115)

Routine stuff. ** (fair) (James O'Neill, Sci-Fi On Tape, p271, 1997)

Space 1999 continues it plummeting nose dive in quality, and manages the feat of producing the worst entry in the entire 48-episode series. I have in the past stated that I would rather attempt to drive hot daggers into my eyes than struggle through Mark of Archanon, and I'm afraid my opinion had not changed greatly. On the positive side, Bain has a highly prominent lead role which she handles beautifully. On the negative side, shockingly terrible special effects hurl tun-foil asteroids at Koenig and Maya's Eagle. It is a sorry excuse for an asteroid field. The script is feeble, and delivers nothing of substance or intellect or intrigue. Watching Michael Gallagher is wearisome. 4/10 (Bob Wood, The Future Is Fantastic, 2001)