|The tension is high in Main Mission. Kano is pacing, while others stand around nervously. Through the open doors of the Commander's office we see Koenig and Paul pacing as well. They are all waiting. When an alarm sounds, Koenig and Paul quickly exit the office. The alarm is silenced, and all eyes|
|are on the big screen. Helena's image appears, holding a newborn child, and happily announces "It's a boy!" When Helena states that both mother and her seven pound eleven ounce son are doing well, there are smiles all around, and the mood changes to one of joy. In Medical Centre, Helena tells|
|Sue Crawford to rest, as her baby is placed in an incubator. Helena sits happily at her desk near the babies medical monitors. Somewhere in space, a pulsating green light approaches Alpha. There is a drastic increase of activity on the medical monitors, and Sue Crawford screams|
|in horror. Helena spins around, and is shocked to see that Sue's baby has grown to the size of a five year old child. Koenig arrives shortly after Sue Crawford has been sedated. He sees the child, and, trying to mask his bewilderment and concerns, says hello to the boy. The boy smiles, but seems|
|to pick up on Koenig's discomfort, and pulls away. John speaks with Helena, who is shaken by the fact that what has happened is beyond all medical explanation. Her feelings quickly change to concern for the child, and what kind of life he will have in the artificial environment of Alpha. She laments that he|
|won't even have a father to help him cope. This gives Koenig an idea. Jack Crawford worked in the Nuclear Generating area until his death seven months ago. Koenig begins an investigation into the possibility of a connection. As word spreads about the child's inexplicable growth, concerns that the|
|Alphans may never expect to have normal, healthy children begin to surface. In Main Mission this idea is suggested by Alan. Paul suggests that there is no reason to infer that from what may be a unique case. Like Koenig, Sandra guesses that it could be related to Jack Crawford's death. Kano tells|
|them that the possibility is being investigated. In Medical Centre, Jackie is being evaluated by Doctors Russell and Mathias. Their tests reveal him to be a healthy, albeit deaf, mute child. Helena relays this information to John. Although they may never discover the cause of his rapid growth, Helen assures John that|
|he is a lovely child. Helena brings Jackie to Main Mission, where he receives a rather cool reception. But when Alan takes an immediate shine to him, and "flies" him around like an Eagle, the rest quickly warm up to him. Paul shows him how to use a commlock to open the Commander's office.|
|When Koenig comes out, he is caught up in the enthusiasm of the other Alphans. He and Helena take Jackie into his office to show him some "pretty pictures" on a monitor in his desk. Koenig watches Jackie's attention drift to other controls, and is disturbed. Jackie notices, and clings to Helena, until she takes|
|him away. As the pulsating green light continues on its path towards Alpha, Jackie is slowly being shown around the base, with his eyes always seeking out the technology around him. Helena tells John that Sue Crawford refuses to recover from her state of shock, and will not see her son. Helena tells|
|him that she thinks if Sue could see the comparatively normal life Jackie is leading, she might come to accept him as the rest of Alpha has. John tells her that he can't accept Jackie either. Victor, who has been teaching Jackie how to draw, is amazed to receive Jackie's first drawing, an incredible likeness of|
|a flower. When John arrives to talk to Victor, Jackie let's him in using Victor's commlock. Koenig comments that Jackie seems to be learning quickly, and tells Victor that he thinks everyone is a little too charmed with Jackie. When he asks to see Jackie's drawing, the boy covers it. Koenig is called to Main|
|Mission, where sensors have detected something moving towards Alpha. On screen they see the green ball of light turn into an alien ship. This ship (the same ship in Jackie's drawing, which he crumples up) moves into a position directly over Alpha. Koenig has Alan fly out to take a closer look, while Paul uses|
|every type of communication they have to try to make contact. With the exception of the blinking green light, the ship shows no sign of activity, and does not respond to any hails. Paul suggests a preemptive strike, but Koenig looks at Jackie and wonders if they may simply be unable to communicate, and|
|recalls Alan. Later, in Medical Centre, Sue Crawford wakes screaming that Jackie is trying to kill her. Helena has to sedate her, but as Jackie is escorted away, Helena sees a smile cross his face, that sends a chill down her spine. She tells John what happened, which only helps confirm his|
|suspicions that Jackie has been fooling everyone. Paul informs Koenig that three more ships are approaching Alpha. Koenig has serious doubts that this is a coincidence. He tells Alan lead three Eagles out to intercept. When their cameras are knocked out, Koenig orders him to stop them. Alan|
|is stopped in his tracks by Jackie Crawford. As Koenig returns to his office, he sees Jackie beneath the stairs in Main Mission. Following his gaze, he sees that Alan hasn't left for his mission. He calls to Alan, who remains motionless. He shouts Carter's name which seems to break the hold Jackie has on him.|
|Koenig approaches Jackie, who suddenly falls unconscious. When the Eagles begin their attack on the alien ships, Carter disregards Koenig's orders to use Main Computer for targeting, and orders his pilots to target manually, making it almost impossible to score a hit. The alien ships|
|return fire ,with beams that immobilize the Eagles, then take up positions directly over Alpha. In Medical Centre, Jackie's cell growth has accelerated again. Koenig is convinced that it is related to the appearance of the alien ships, and that Jackie is not human, but an alien intelligence using human form. He|
|tells Helena that they may have to destroy it. Helena counters that assuming Jackie is an instrument of the aliens in the ships, the argument not to destroy him is even stronger. She asks John how he thinks the aliens will react if they kill him. Koenig agrees, and holds a conference with Alan, Kano, and|
|Paul. After deciding that the use of Eagles will be ineffective, Koenig suggests that the four of them go out onto the surface on foot, armed with armor piercing lasers, position themselves beneath the four ships, and simultaneously fire into their underbellies. While they are positioning themselves on the|
|lunar surface, Drs. Russell and Mathias discover the results of Jackie's latest growth spurt. Now a fully grown man, he announces that his name is Jarak, and asks if any action has been taken against his space ships. Helena tries to lie, but he forces the truth out of her by making her strangle Dr. Mathias|
|against her will. She relents, and tells him about Koenig's plan. He then forces her to call John and stop him. Next, he kills Sue Crawford, and her body is revived, inhabited by Rena. John, Alan and a small security detachment arrive outside Medical Centre as Helena exits. She tells John to have everyone|
|put down their weapons or she'll kill Alan. When this is done, Jarak and Rena exit Medical Centre, release Helena, and take the Alphan's weapons and commlocks. In Main Mission, Jarak explains that there are 120 of his people looking for a place to live, and bodies to inhabit, to hide from pursuers|
|from his home world; a place where genetic conformity is rigorously imposed. He explains that the moments of life and death are ideal for the transition to a host body. Rena tells the Alphans that there will be no more births on Alpha, but, sadly, there will be many more deaths. As Jarak begins the process|
|of killing the Alphans, so that his people may transfer into their bodies, another, larger alien ship approaches Alpha. It fires, and destroys one of Jarak's ships. Jarak and Rena realize that they have been found, and run from Main Mission. The Alphans recover and see the other ships being destroyed on the|
|big screen. They chase after Jarak and Rena, following the the trail of bodies in the corridors. Jarak and Rena return to Medical Centre, and Jarak, using Koenig's voice and commlock, orders Computer to lock the doors. The Alphans arrive outside Medical Centre, and Jarak appears on the commpost.|
|He tells Koenig that he wants to negotiate. Koenig tells him to make his demands. Jarak replies that they are no longer in a position to issue demands, but has a request. He and Rena wish to be allowed to remain as Alphans. The larger alien ship moves in over Alpha, and emits a beam of green light.|
|Jarak tells Koenig that they have been found. He says that the people of his world will destroy them, and "will destroy the whole of Alpha unless..." At that moment, his communication is disrupted by the alien beam. Koenig yells through the locked door, asking Jarak if he will allow Alpha to be|
|because of them. He receives no answer, but Sandra reaches Koenig through Alan's commlock, stating that the beam has stopped, and the alien ship is moving away. When Koenig cannot get an answer from anyone in Medical Centre, he uses his laser to blast out the locking mechanism. Upon|
|entering Medical Centre, they find the medical staff recovering, and Sue Crawford holding her baby. They realize that Jarak and Rena are gone. Helena asks John if he thinks they gave themselves up. He replies that it's a nice idea, but he doubts that they had any choice in the matter.|
Sue Crawford/ Rena..........................................................Cyd Hayman
Jackie Crawford..............................................................Wayne Brooks
Joan Conway.....................................................................Rula Lenska
Guard ...............................................................................Tony Allyn
I think one of the strongest features of this episode is how it deals with the humanity of the characters in a very realistic way. During the cleverly misleading opening, (where I was certain the base was in some sort of danger, until they reveal that they are actually waiting for the birth of the first child on Alpha) we get a nice glimpse into the lives of the Alphans, and how they respond to a "normal event" which is made all the more special by their unusual situation. Their anticipation is understandably intense because a child has never been born in space before. And their joy is equally magnified, when their silent fears are put to rest. One of my personal favorite aspects of the scene is when Paul tells Koenig that he knew it would be a boy, and Koenig remembers him betting it would be a girl. You can almost imagine them having a betting pool going around the base. I also loved where Sandra cries, and when Koenig asks her what's wrong, she replies that she's happy. Then Koenig just moves on in bewilderment. I especially liked when Helena offers to take the first watch over the baby. She just seems so happy. Then when things go wrong, and the baby mysteriously grows five years in the matter of seconds, Barbara Bain really captures the overwhelming confusion, and distress. We get to hear the previously unspoken fears revealed when Alan, Sandra, Paul, and Kano are talking about the possibility of never being able to expect to have normal children. I was particularly pleased with Paul being the voice of reason stating that their living conditions weren't that unusual.
The episode continues with the Alphans trying to make sense of the inexplicable, and looking for anything that might have caused the child to grow at such an alarming rate. Fairly typical of the time, the idea that radiation might have caused it is looked into, as Jackie's father worked in the Nuclear Generating Area until his death. This turns out to be a red herring as we see that an alien force is approaching Alpha. But I like that the Alphans are doing what they can with the limited information they have at the time.
Then we see them try to come to grips with what has happened, and try to integrate Jackie into their lives. When Helena brings Jackie into Main Mission, everyone seems understandably hesitant, and somewhat awkward. It takes Alan with his obvious love of children to break the ice, and soon everyone else follows suit. Even Koenig tries to accept Jackie, but he is the first to pick up on the boy's unusual behavior. making it hardest on him to let go of his concerns.
When the first alien ship approaches Alpha, I really liked Koenig's reasoning for why they should not shoot first, and ask questions later. Oddly, his reasoning does not carry over when the very same situation presents itself in War Games. Perhaps because things didn't work out so well in this episode?
Julian Glover does a respectable job in this episode, but I think his delivery of the dialogue is a little too stilted. While I think this works very well after he has just emerged as a full grown man, I think he should have become a little more comfortable with speech later on. Rena seems to do just fine. Speaking of Rena... Cyd Hayman does an excellent job of creating two separate characters for SueCrawford, and her evil doppelganger. Wayne Brooks, does an exceptional job as Jackie. He is both endearing, and chillingly creepy when called for. I find his character and performance reminiscent of Damian in "The Omen".
This episode features some really excellent model work, with two visually distinct alien ship designs. I have always loved the images of Jarak's ships over Alpha, and the shot looking down on Alpha from above with Jarak's ships in the foreground. I always thought the design of these ships was deceptively simple.
Then of course we have the pursuit ship, which is incredibly reminiscent of the Discovery in "2001: A Space Odyssey". We will see this model again in War Games, and redressed in The Last Enemy.
While much of this episode works extremely well, there are still a few nits to pick. First where did the silver outfits for Jarak and Rena come from? Not only did Sue Crawford come back from the dead in a new outfit, but with full makeup to boot! I also found Jarak's ability to mimic Koenig a bit convenient. I can understand that his telepathic abilities would carry over from his original form, but since he seemed to have such difficulty speaking normally the rest of the episode, his ability to imitate Koenig perfectly, just seemed out of place.
Despite these minor issues, I think
this is an incredibly strong episode, with wonderful character moments,
and a great look into the lives and minds of the Alphans.
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In this episode, we see the Nuclear Generating Area from Force of Life used again.
|It's a boy!!|
|Sue's baby boy grows up.|
Sue, and everyone else, is shocked
at the sudden aging of her child.
Alan, Sandra, Paul, and Kano
discuss the possibilities of ever
having normal children.
Helena is determined to give
Jackie as normal a life as
Alan takes Jackie "flying",
and Koenig meets the new
Helena finds out that Sue
isn't the only one who can't
Koenig decides not to shoot
first, ask questions later.
Jackie smiles as Sue screams
that he's trying to kill her.
Jackie's growth is accelerating
again. And Helena talks John
into not killing him.
John has a primitive plan
to attack the alien ships.
Jarak wakes, and forces Helena
to stop John's plan to attack
the alien ships.
Jarak and Rena explain why
they are on Alpha.
Jarak tells Koenig that he has a
future as one of the aliens...
or none at all.
Jarak begins the process that will
allow his people to transfer into
the bodies of the dying Alphans.
|Jarak makes a request of Koenig.|
Jarak and Rena are taken by their
people, and Sue and Jackie are
returned to normal.