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A small planet is detected in
range of the Moon. When the
presence of the rare element
milganite is detected by Alpha's
computer, a survey Eagle is
dispatched to locate it, and bring
some back. Koenig leads the
survey team, including Helena,
Maya, Tony, Alan, and Geologist
David Reilly. During the flight to
the planet, Reilly (an Irishman
transplanted to Texas, who sees
himself as a bit of a cowboy)
starts flirting with Maya, much
to Tony's dismay. They land, and
it's back to work. Looking
where they believe the milganite
deposits are located, they find
no traces of milganite, but do
find an unusual glowing rock
formation. In order to study it,
they blast a piece off with a stun
gun. There is a sound like a
scream, and when they examine
the rock, it appears to be
bleeding.They bring it back to
the Eagle to run more tests.
Tony attempts to look at it, and
is struck by a flash of light. Helena
examines him and he is dead.
But when she hooks his body up
to the medical monitors, they
record normal brain activity. She
tries to restart his heart with no
success. Koenig orders them to
get rid of the rock, but Maya and
Helena argue that, if they are
going to help Tony, the answers
they are looking for are linked to
the rock. Reilly leaves to continue
his search for milganite. Koenig
has Carter join him, then he and
Maya catch up with him in the
cavern. He can still find no traces
of the milganite reported by the
computer. He checks the fluid from
the rock and discovers that is has
blood corpuscles. Back on the
Eagle, Helena is alone with Tony
and the rock. She is watching the
rock apprehensively, when Tony
sits up on the table behind her.
Tony is struck by another flash
of light, and leaves the Eagle.
Helena contacts Koenig to let him
know that Tony has left. The others
go to look for him, but he returns
to the cavern, shoots off another
piece of the rock, and brings it
back to the Eagle. He sets it by
the first piece and lies back down
on the table. Helena tries to talk
to him to no avail. The two pieces
of rock fuse themselves together.
The others return to the ship after
discovering that Tony had taken
another piece from the parent rock.
Helena tells them what happened,
and John decides to leave the
planet and dump the rock in space.
When they try to liftoff, they learn
that all the Eagle's systems are
dead. When John tries to get rid of
the rock, it hits him with a flash of
blue light causing paralyzing pain.
They sense that the rock has a
purpose, but can't figure out what
it wants. With an hour and 45
minutes before the Moon moves
out of range, they have to find
some answers fast. They return to
the cave, and Koenig lets Maya
tranform into a rock to attempt to
communicate with it, but the rock
does not respond. Helena contacts
John to tell him that the rock has
changed color to green. He tells her
to get out, but the rock won't let
her. The rock starts searching
the Eagle with the green light. It
locates their stores of water and
absorbs it all. That was what it
wanted all along. All the rocks
had drained the planet dry. When
there was no more water, and they
started to die off. The rock takes
control of the Eagle and lifts off.
It only gets a little way before it
lands again. Apparently it can't
leave the rest of itself behind.
It starts searching the Eagle's
computer for star charts. Koenig
believes that it will activate Tony
again to collect more of the
parent rock. He decides to try to
stun Tony to see if that will break
the rocks control over him. Helena
notifies them that Tony has left
the Eagle, and they wait for him
in the cavern. When he arrives,
he blasts off another piece of
the parent rock. Before he can
bring it back to the Eagle, they
stun him and he vanishes. He
re-appears back on the Eagle
and awakens free of the rock's
control. Koenig decides to try to use
Tony's commlock, which was left
when he transported, to open the
Eagle door to get them out.
When they look for it again, it's
gone. Reilly took it to try to rescue
Helena and Tony. He manages to
get them out, but is stunned by the
rock before he can use his laser
on it. The rock takes him over to
gather more of itself. After having
Maya modify a stun gun to fire
four beams at once, Koenig has
her transform into a rock again
so that Reilly will bring her back
to the Eagle, instead of more of
the parent rock. John and Alan
follow him back, and get in the
door before it closes. The rock
stuns them as Reilly puts Maya,
in rock form, next to the other. It
starts to pull her closer to begins
the fusing process. Maya is able
to tell Koenig that the rock is using
most of it's energy to fuse her, and
that they should be able to break
free of it. They do, but the rock
turns red and tries to hit them
with a red light. Maya tells them
that red is the color that kills.
Koenig fires the modified stun
gun and dehydrates the rock,
saving Maya, and freeing Reilly,
and the Eagle, of the rock's control.
They call Tony and Helena back
to the Eagle and prepare to
leave. They toss the rock out and
lift off. They are almost out of
range of the Moon. As the Eagle
climbs, they discuss the fate of
the rock. It will die within hours if
it doesn't get water. They realise
that it did not want to hurt them,
it just wanted to survive. As they
approach the heavy cloud cover,
Helena comments that it's too bad
that the clouds won't give up their
water in time to save the rock.
Maya says they can make it rain
by dropping nucleoid crystals into
the clouds. John gives the "ok"
and they jettison the crystals
from the bottom of the Eagle. It
thunders and starts to rain over
the rock. Reilly muses that they
didn't get away with any milganite,
and Helena responds that they
did get away with their lives. They
continue back to Alpha with
virtually no time to spare.

Screenplay.........................................................................Keith Miles

Director..............................................................................Ray Austin

Guest Stars

Geologist David Reilly....................................................Patrick Mower

Computer Voice..............................................................Barbara Kelly

What can I say? Irish cowboy? Whose idea was this? While I'm sure that they may exist in real life (it's possible), what does that contribute to this story? I feel bad for Patrick Mower, as I am sure he did the best he could with what was clearly a very poor script, although he was a little over the top when he was so excited about the rock, early on. I also feel bad for David Reilly in this episode. Yes, he was irritating, but everyone abused him like he was the base pariah! Perhaps he had annoyed them since they went out of orbit, and they finally had a chance to take it out on him outside of the professional atmosphere on Alpha?

The story itself was decent enough. I like the aspect that the rock was neither malevolent nor benevolent, but merely trying to survive. I also liked the fact that the Alphans were willing to try and understand this mysterious adversary, even though it had attacked one of their group.

The look of the alien planet was very striking. The red sky and dead trees gave it a haunting beauty. And the sets matched the miniatures extremely well.

But I am curious as to why the clouds look so wispy from the ground, when they were so thick when seen from the air.

All That Glisters seems to follow certain aspects of some of the first season episodes. It was filmed in much more of a "horror show" style, e.g. the extremely low light in the Eagle and the cave for much of the episode. This was reminiscent of previous episodes like
Force of Life, The Troubled Spirit, and Dragon's Domain. It also recalled a theme that appeared several times in the first season, one in which the Alphans brought life back to a dead, or in this case, dying planet. This was seen before in Guardian of Piri and Testament of Arkadia.

One scene I simply never understood, was when Helena calls Koeng to tell him that Tony has left the Eagle. He tells her to "Stay where you are, you're safe in there until we find Tony." On what does he base this assumption? Wasn't he the one who wanted to get rid of the rock because he felt it was "too dangerous"?

There is a continuity problem with the Eagle model in this episode. The Eagle that lands on the planet, and is seen throughout the episode, has a Laboratory module, except in the scene where the Eagle lifts off under the rock's control; in that scene it has the standard passenger module.

One scene which I would have liked to have seen expanded was when Maya is looking at Reilly's cowboy hat, and he tells her, what was wrong with Psychon, is that it didn't have the great state of Texas. I didn't care for that remark so much as I liked the conviction in Maya's answer that Psychon had many wonderful things. I would have liked to hear what some of them were. And I know that Catherine Schell would have brought as much emotion to her reminiscences as she did to that single line.

Over all, not one of my favorite episodes, but it still has a certain entertainment value. Any replies to comments made here are always welcome. You can contact me by using the commlock in the
Communication Centre.

Click here for downloadable version


Click here to play sound While discussing Tony's condition,
Helena does her Dr. McCoy impression.
Click here to play sound Koenig wants to get rid of the
rock, but meets dissension.
Click here to play sound Helena reports that Tony is missing,
but his health is still in question.
Click here to play sound Koenig tries to get rid of the rock
again, but it has other plans.
Click here to play sound The Alphans discuss the rock's goals in life.
Click here to play sound Realizing that their foe is
smarter than the average rock,
Koenig wants Maya to talk to it.
Click here to play sound Helena finds out what the rock really wants.
Click here to play sound The rock makes a move on Maya
and tries to kill Koenig and Carter.
Click here to play sound After a moment of reflection, the Alphans
come up with a way to save the rock.
Click here to play sound Background sound.

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