The Catacombs Episode Critics
Compiled by Martin Willey

22. Devil's Planet

Any moments of dramatic integrity in Devil's Planet are marred by its overbearing sexism. It's ideal tv for fetishists: the wardens all swagger around in their skin tight red jumpsuits whipping the predominantly male convicts. It should have been made in the Fifties as a B-movie - with title like 'Space Vixens of the Prison Moon' of course. (Richard Houldsworth, TV Zone, 1994)

This tale is told in a very dry manner reminiscent of dull European science fiction films of the Sixties. There is really nothing to commend this episode, although the funky glockenspiel music is worthy of interest to enthusiasts of funky glockenspiel music. The whip wielding women of Entra are never camp enough to be sexy nor vicious enough to be threatening. There is probably a decent story hidden in there somewhere, something about coping with loss and renewal, but I'm damned if I can find it. (Anthony McKay, Dreamwatch, 1994)

An odd atmosphere permeates this slightly pervy S&M hetero-fantasy which is carried entirely by Landau in the absence of the other leads. A good romp with a very satisfactory conclusion. B+ (Chris Bentley, SFX 20, 1996)

Despite the cliched premise and the fact that the entire supporting cast has disappeared, Devil's Planet is surprisingly strong in dialogue and character interaction. There is no inventiveness here, no new ideas to propel the story forward. The entire plot is a weak excuse for the action of the central hunt. Devil's Planet is Space: 1999 lobotomised. (John Kenneth Muir, Exploring Space: 1999, p146)

Marsden is outstanding as Crael, lending a subtlety and reason to his character. Neil is also very compelling as Elizia, giving something of a disturbed angle to her tyrannical leadership. Fraser and Alibe are appealing strong supporting characters. This is a fine script from Michael Winder, with some impressive sections of dialogue between Elizia and Crael, including thoughtful discussions about the rights of prisoners and of people everywhere. Elizia is a fully rounded character whose presence and complex psychology help raise the episode to a high level. Here is one of the most thoroughly well realised and believable alien civilisations in the entire series, with complicated political angles and criminal punishment systems. 8/10 (Bob Wood, The Future Is Fantastic, 2001)