Back to Command Center

Back to Episode Guide and Archuve
Click here for bonus Morph

A strange cloud appears
over Alpha. It begins to
interfere with the sensors,
and to incapacitate the
bulk of the crew, by making
them weak and listless.
Eagle 6 is sent to investigate
but fails to return after 4 days.
Long after its fuel stores should
have been exhausted Eagle 6
returns to Alpha. Pilot Tom
Graham does not respond to
Alpha's hails. Sensors detect
no life, but the Eagle lands
safely. When Tony and the few
remaining security guards
board, they find a large
creature aboard. It attacks and
they try to stop it with their stun
guns. They fail. Outmatched
by the creature, they retreat to
Command Center. Tony posts
the few remaining security
guards to watch the travel
tube for signs of the beast.
As Maya tries to get the relative
position of the strange cloud, it
speaks. Tony asks who they are
and it replies that it's beyond their
comprehension. It tells them that
it has sent for Alpha's life support
core. It returns the screens
so they can observe the creature
leaving the Travel Tube. Security
fires rocket guns at the creature
but it shrugs it off and proceeds
to beat up the two man team.
Tony Sends Maya and Sandra
to Medical Center, and has the
the computer lock all the doors
on Alpha so they will only open
and close at his voice command.
He sends Bill Fraser to guard
the corridor to Life Support,
and tries to lure the creature
into a vacuum chamber in
Tech Lab 5. Maya wants to help
him, but waits, per his wishes.
Tony gets the creature to chase
him into the vacuum chamber,
confuses it, gets out, and locks it
in. He depressurizes the chamber
and lets Alan know what the
situation is, as Koenig is still
sedated. When he opens the
door to make sure it's dead,
the creature springs out and
attacks. Tony manages to get
away and down the hall before
it catches up to him. Alan
tells Maya to help Tony. She
turns into a mouse and leaves
Medical Center via an air vent.
She arrives and tries to turn
into the creature to even things
even things up, but can't. She
opts for another and attacks.
She distracts the creature long
enough to release Tony. When
she can't get away from the
creature, Tony releases high
pressure carbondioxide which
knocks the creature off its feet
so they can get away. They go
to Medical Center where Helena
suggests a heavy duty tranquilizer
to use against the creature. Tony
uses the commposts to confuse
the Creature and keep it from
reaching Life Support before
they do. They realize they can
lead it by taunting it from the
screens on the commposts. Maya
has Tony lead it towards the
Hydroponics Experimental Section
that they can fill with chlorine.
Alan calls Tony to find out what
the alarm is about, and comes
up with a plan to safeguard
the Life Support systems. He
calls Fraser and has Sandra
explain how to build an electrical
barrier across the hallway. Tony
joins Maya in hydroponics. She
has it all set up. They only need
to get the creature to walk into
the trap. Maya turns into an
animal from the planet Kreno
that is capable of breathing in
a chlorine atmosphere. Tony
calls to the creature and hides
then Maya leads it into the
room. The chlorine has no effect
so Maya tries the tranquilizer
gun. It also has no effect. The
creature throws Maya into the door
controls shorting them out. Tony
has to break the window to give
her an exit. They get away, but
Maya is beginning to believe there
is no stopping this creature. Tony,
unwilling to give up, comes up
with an idea to try to attack
the cloud to see if they can affect
its control over the beast. They
go to the weapons section and
fire the laser cannon into the
cloud. The cloud thins and they
see a diamond shape within.
They target the object and
it splits in two. As they monitor
the creature it is disoriented.
They think they have succeeded
until the two halves rejoin. The
voice from the cloud taunts them.
They fire and split it again, then
split both halves. All four pieces
rejoin to the great amusement
of the cloud. Realizing that this,
too, was futile, they join Bill
Fraser, who has completed his
work on the electrical barrier,
and wait for the creature to
arrive. When it does, it tests the
barrier and is repelled. But it
gets up and tries again. The
barrier weakens with its second
attempt. When they realize that
the creature has survived, they
know that it will break through
shortly. Tony confesses his love
for Maya. Their kiss is interrupted
when Fraser alerts them to the
fact that the barrier won't hold.
Fraser fires the rocket gun in a
last ditch effort, but the creature
shrugs it off and breaks through
the barrier anyway. As it moves
into Life Support, Maya realizes
that the reason nothing worked
against the creature, was that it
was, in fact, a robot. It manages
to remove the life support core,
but Tony and Bill fight the robot,
to try to retrieve it. Maya turns
into a bee and enters its "ear" to
land among the inner workings.
She shorts out its circuitry, finally
stopping it. Meanwhile the cloud
has been diminishing in size until
it vanishes. Maya visits Tony in
Medical Center with an armload
of gifts. He asks if she recalls
"the wild garbage" he told her
when the creature was at Life
Support. She promptly takes the
gifts and leaves. He laughs
knowing she is crazy about him.

Screenplay..................................Charles Woodgrove (Fred Frieberger)

Director...........................................................................Robert Lynn

Guest Star

David Prowse.............................................................Cloud Creature

Additional Cast

John Hug..........................................................................Bill Fraser

Zienia Merton...............................................................Sandra Benes

Albin Pahernik..............................................................Kreno Animal

Where to begin... there are so many things wrong with this script that it boggles the mind. And yet, once I shut my brain off, I still find this episode well paced and entertaining.

I guess I'll start with some nitpicking. Why bother telling us the Beta cloud is interfering with the sensors (doesn't everything?), and then have Maya asking Sandra its range if the sensors aren't working? When the Eagle lands, and they go looking for the pilot, why do they head towards the back of the Eagle? What happened to Tom Graham, and why isn't anyone concerned about his disappearance? When Tony and the security guards escape the creature, Tony posts security at the Travel Tube station to watch for it. Isn't there more than one Travel Tube station? How does he know which one the creature will stop at? The Beta Cloud needs Alpha's life support core? It seems so improbable that beings that exists in a cloud would have the same life support requirements as humans. But even accepting that, if they are capable of creating an unstoppable robot, why aren't they capable of making their own life support systems, or repairing the ones that they must have, realistically, had before? And why is this race, so far advanced of humans, unable to create a robot smarter than... say... Brian the Brain?

Another thing I find really odd about this episode is how it puts the women into such subservient roles. I can understand Tony being a little chauvinistic and wanting to protect Maya, but surely even he should be aware of the fact that she can be useful in a fight because of her abilities, not to mention her tremendous intellect. But When Helena tells Maya to help him by letting him do things his way, I was a little surprised. She always struck me as a strong, take charge kind of woman. OK, this isn't the script's fault, but when Maya tries to turn into the creature, why does she see it inside the Eagle? She wasn't even there!

The quality of special effects in this episode is also pretty weak for Space: 1999. The Beta Cloud looks like an explosion one moment, then a cloud the next, and then a sparkling mass the next. None of which really match up very well. By comparison the creature costume looks great! But to be fair, a lot of the practical effects are great! The doors with their showers of sparks, the rocket guns, and the electrical barrier setting fire to the robot costume, all work really well. I'm amazed that poor David Prowse survived them all unharmed!

I did like the fact that the supporting cast got to take a front seat for a change. Both John Hug and Zienia Merton got a chance to shine in this episode, and were well up to the task. There were also some nice camera angles used in filming the episode. And a nice bit of continuity with Maya's transformation into the chlorine breathing animal from the planet Kreno. Sadly they forgot that it couldn't breathe oxygen when we saw it last in
AB Chrysalis.

Something I hadn't noticed until being brought to my attention by Don Monk... when the Eagle is boarded by Tony and his security guards, and we see the Beta Cloud creature. Behind him the computer panels from Main Mission are visible through the cockpit. Perhaps they should have left the entry way with the second set of doors from the first season?


One last thing.. who edited the music over the beginning scenes when the cloud first appears on the Command Center screens? That was so poorly executed that I cringe when I watch it.

Replies to comments made here are always welcome. You can contact me by using the commlock in the Communication Centre.

In this episode we see the animal from the planet Kreno from
AB Chrysalis again.

Click here for downloadable version


Click here to play sound The Alphans learn the cause of the strange sickness.
Click here to play sound "Moonbase Alpha status report..."
Click here to play sound Eagle 6 approaches Alpha under
questionable circumstances.
Click here to play sound Tony tries to talk to Koenig, who is sedated
in Medical Center, while Eagle 6
moves in to land.
Click here to play sound The Beta Cloud makes its demands
as condescendingly as possible.
Click here to play sound The Beta Cloud declares its "peaceful" intentions.
Click here to play sound Helena sets women back fifty years, and
Maya displays her faith in Tony's abilities.
Click here to play sound "Open.... Close...."
Click here to play sound Tony attempts the "sarcasm defense".
Click here to play sound Tony annoys the creature using the commposts.
Click here to play sound Fraser unwittingly tests the electrical barrier.
Click here to play sound The Beta Cloud laughs at its own jokes. (edited)
Click here to play sound Tony declares his love for Maya.
Click here to play sound Maya figures out the true nature of the "creature".
Click here to play sound Tony recants his earlier comments.
Click here to play sound Background sound

Back to previous episode Back to top Forward to next episode