Back to Command Center

Back to Year 2 Episode Guide and Archive

During a review of the record
of Alpha's journey, the computer
reports a change in the horizon.
Unable to locate the source of
whatever is pulling the Moon off
course, the Alphans assume the
worst... a collision course with
a black dwarf. Koenig orders
an evacuation of the base.
While doing a visual sweep of
the surrounding space, a ship
is spotted. Two Eagles are sent
to investigate. Bill Fraser contacts
the ship. The pilot of the ship
identifies it as a Swift, also from
Earth, that got lost on a star
mission in 1996. The computer
verifies his story. The pilot says he
has not seen anyone in too long,
and asks if he can come down to
Alpha for lunch. Koenig agrees.
The Swift lands, and Koenig, Dr.
Russell, and two security guards
go to investigate the ship.
When they board, security takes
a look around, but can find no
one on board. The voice speaks
again and says he will come out
to meet them. A robot rolls out
from the cockpit to greet them.
He tells them that his crew died
while investigating a nearby
planet, and that he has been
waiting for another mission from
Earth since that time. When asked
what he should be called, he says
the first word he ever spoke was
"brain" but he got it wrong and it
came out "Brian", and they could
call him that. Koenig asks if
he has recorded a change
in the Moon's course. Brian asks
if he means a gravity pull from
Planet D, and states that he has
not, but would check into it. After
a brief visit to Command Center
He says he will return to Swift
to investigate Alpha's change
of course. He invites Helena
along to see if she can offer any
information as to why his crew and,
more importantly, his Captain died.
She accepts, and Koenig asks to
go along. After they have left,
Maya expresses her concerns
about the "brain" to Tony. She
asks him to open a channel
to Swift, but the computer has
ceased functioning and all their
communications have gone down.
The Swift has taken off and is
flying erractically. John and Helena
have been kidnapped by the brain.
Koenig demands that they be
returned to Alpha, but Brian
threatens to blow them into space
if Koenig doesn't put down his
weapon. He does, and Brian drops
it through a trap door. Tony goes
after the Swift with four Eagles.
Brian plans to blind their computers
but Koenig asks to speak to them.
Brian allows him to, and John
orders the Eagles back to Alpha.
Tony sends the other Eagles back,
but when he discovers the brain's
destination, decides to get to
Planet D ahead of them. Back
on Swift, Brian is conducting a
little experiment. He asks
John and Helena if they love
each other. They tell him no. To
test his theory that they do, Brian
has them both step into separate
airlocks. He tells them that as he
releases the air, they can transfer
their remaining air to the other
airlock by pressing a black
button. As the air gets thinner
both John and Helena press their
buttons at exactly the same time.
Brian opens the airlocks and lets
them out, secure in the belief
that as long as he has one, he
has control over the other. They
land on Planet D and Brian
has Koenig put on a spacesuit.
John asks why, and Brian tells him
that he wants him to walk over to
the mothership and bring back
it's fuel core. On his way, Koenig
finds members of Brians crew
lying dead on the planet, without
their spacesuits. He continues
on to the mothership. When he
boards, he finds Tony and Maya
waiting for him. They find the body
of Captain Michael, Brian's creator.
Maya checks the ships computer
and finds that it has been blinded
like Alpha's was. That's why the
crew went out without their
spacesuits. While trying to find
the fuel core, Koenig finds what
looks like parts to another brain,
and has an idea of how to get
at Brian by breaking his mind.
Maya says she got a good look
at Captain Michael, and turns
into a mouse so Koenig can
smuggle her aboard Swift in
his pocket. Koenig returns with
the fuel core and immediately sets
about shaking Brian up. He tells
Brian he saw his crew lying dead
on the surface, and Captain
Michael sitting dead in his
command chair. Brian faulters
but makes Koenig install the
fuel core. Elated at his new sense
of freedom, Brian lifts off. Koenig
removes Maya from his pocket and
places her on Brian's antenna.
Brian wants to know where the
mouse came from. Koenig tells
him it came from Planet D and
that it has a message from
Captain Michael. He and Helena
accuse Brian of killing his creator
because he was working on a
better brain. Brian denies it, and
Koenig tells him that Captain
Michael told him so. Maya
tranforms into his "father" and
Brian short circuits. When he is
sufficiently disoriented, they push
him out of the air lock, but his
antenna gets caught, suspending
him a short distance from the ship.
Koenig tells Tony to dock with the
Swift. They have to get the memory
core from the brain and get it
back to Alpha, but they are not
sure if they will be able to as long
as Brian's antenna is still working.
Koenig decides to cut it, but Brian
threatens to wipe his memory clean
if Koenig does. Believing this an
empty threat, Koenig decides to
go ahead. Brian pleads for his
"life" and Koenig makes him a
deal. They will let him "live" if he
will give them his memory core
intact. Brian tells them to take it,
that all he wanted was life and
friends. He breaks down and starts
to cry, much to the surprise of the
Alphans. They return to Alpha
with the memory core, get their
computer functioning again, and
learn that the Moon had never
changed course. That was another
lie from Brian the brain. After some
deliberation, they decide to return
Brian's memory core to Swift with
their morality programmed in it.
John asks Helena if they have
any off duty time that coincides.
she tells him it's been used up for
the month. He says he had wanted
to discuss the "love test". Maya
asks about it, and Helena tells her
it was a test they failed. John says
he thought they had passed it.

Screenplay.......................................................................Jack Ronder

Director.........................................................................Kevin Connor

Guest Stars

Captain Michael/ Voice of Brian...................................Bernard Cribbins

Brian robot......................................................Michael Sharvell-Martin

Additional Cast

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

Yasko Nugami.........................................................Yasuko Nagazumi

Security Lieutenant.............................................................Mark Zuber

Security Guard...............................................................Quentin Pierre

1st Operative................................................................Annie Lambert

My first thoughts about this episode are that it mirrors The Infernal Machine awfully closely, without achieving the level of quality in design, mood, and emotional impact. It even lacks the morality tale of the vanity of wanting to live forever. I guess, I wonder why they felt compelled to make this episode, when The Infernal Machine told essentially the same story so well. Granted, Brian was a construct, and not the transference of Captain Michael's essence into a machine, but close enough. Both kidnap several Alphans in order to get fuel cores so they can live forever. Both take over main computer to make it useless to the Alphans. Both are motivated by the need for companionship. But sadly there is no growth in Brian the Brain. At least Gwent learned the error of his ways, Brian had to be reprogrammed. And what will he do roaming the universe forever with his new morality? He can't leave the ship unless it is docked to someplace with smooth surfaces!

And who decided on the look and voice for Brian? "Crazy hijacking slot machine" is right! Or maybe washing machine... Other than the fact that you can see why the security guards would overlook him in the pilot's section of Swift, I fail to see the appeal of his design.

And then his voice! He sounds like Jerry Lewis doing a New York accent. He was one short circuit away from screaming "Hey la-a-a-a-d-y-y-y!" throughout the show. Perhaps this episode is a hit in France?

With all that said, I don't totally dislike this episode. Despite the annoying quality of Brian's voice, and his almost total lack of moving parts to convey emotions, his performance is really pretty decent. You do tend to accept him as a character, rather than the blocky console that he appears to be.There are also some nice character moments in it. I just wish they would have spent as much time on the story, as the character interaction. I think this episode explores John and Helena's relationship more than most. I liked that John missed spending his free time with Helena while she was working on the "computer rewind". The "love test" provides one of the more tense scenes in the episode. I also liked that we got to see a little bit of Bill Fraser's spunky side. He gets to deliver one of the best lines in the show, calling Brian a "crazy hijacking slot machine".

I was glad that I was not the only one being annoyed by the robot! And, as always, Tony is the soul of loyalty and dedication. I love the scene at the very end when Koenig mention's the "love test" and you can practically see Maya's ears perk up as though she has heard something that will provide her with many hours of material to chide John or Helena with. Each with their different impressions of their success with the test, is one of the better "humorous" endings of the second season.

Then we have the very well designed Swift, which fits in so well with the style established for Earth-based ships.

There are plenty of nice effects shots, which I always enjoy. These, with some really fine acting, and some memorable character moments, help keep this recycled story from sinking as low as it could have.

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 for downloadable version


Click here to play sound Alpha's computer records a change
in the horizon.
Click here to play sound With no help from Main Computer, the
Alphans assume the worst and evacuate.
Click here to play sound Fraser contacts the Swift, and
speaks to it's chatty pilot.
Click here to play sound Brian gets overly friendly with a yellow
wheeled trolley, and Main Computer.
Click here to play sound Tony and Maya discuss the brain.
Click here to play sound Brian tells his captives their destination.
Click here to play sound Fraser asks a legitimate question,
and receives a negative reaction.
Click here to play sound Brian explains the rules for the "love test".
Click here to play sound Brian explains his goals in life
to Koenig and "the lady".
Click here to play sound John finds Tony and Maya waiting
aboard the Swift's mother ship.
Click here to play sound Koenig starts to shake up Brian,
and installs the fuel core.
Click here to play sound Brian is pushed over the edge,
and out the airlock.
Click here to play sound Koenig makes a deal with Brian the brain.
Click here to play sound Koenig and Helena grade their performance
on the brain's "love test".
Click here to play sound Background sound.

Back to previous episode Back to top Forward to next episode