The Catacombs Episode Critics
Compiled by Martin Willey

19. The Lambda Factor

a cut above the usual second season fare. It's a hugely enjoyable instalment, with some well devised set pieces, most notably the scene in which Alan Carter is trapped with an overheating atomic engine. The script also gives Martin Landau the chance to show the range of his acting skills. The sequences featuring the desperate Koenig, haunted by a past guilt, allow one to appreciate why Landau went on to become a respected Hollywood character actor. (Richard Houldsworth, TV Zone, 1994)

When Powell is questioned by Tony, she throws herself into a whirlwind of overacting due to bad scripting on the part of Terrance Dicks rather than Fallender's hyperactive performance. Unfortunately Carolyn Powell is in the same mould as Shermeen Williams in A Matter Of Balance and is likewise irredeemable as a believable character. Teenage temper tantrums do not suit supposedly space hardened scientists, and using such character flaws as the basis of scripts doomed the whole production from the start. The climax of the story is badly handled and seems to have been cobbled together to bring to a close what, admittedly, is a bit of a shambles. (Anthony McKay, Dreamwatch, 1994)

An oddly eerie episode for year Two with a wonderfully nasty villainess, although the gorilla is laughably unconvincing. An excellent performance by Martin Landau as a haunted Koenig. A- (Chris Bentley, SFX 20, 1996)

A fast moving and entertaining hour. The most fascinating aspect is Martin Landau's Emmy-calibre performance. (John Kenneth Muir, Exploring Space: 1999, p143)

Anholt flagrantly overacts his way through his private interrogation sequence, but the rest of the main cast is faultless. Landau is especially commendable for an acting triumph as Koenig confronting his ghosts. His is an Emmy-calibre performance and displays a depth and range of characterisation virtually never seen on science fiction television. 9/10 (Bob Wood, The Future Is Fantastic, 2001)