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Helena and Maya are trying out
outfits for an upcoming party
when alarms start going off for
no apparent reason. They head
to Command Center to find that
Alpha's power and life support
systems are failing at an alarming
rate. As all the systems fail the
Alphans are immobilized. In a
flash of light, a woman appears.
She moves through the crew
as though she is looking for
something, or someone in
particular. The Alphans begin to
revive, and Koenig asks the
intruder who she is and what
she wants. She tells him her name
is Zamara and comes from the
planet Vega, and that she requires
two Alphans to return to Vega
with her. John and Alan volunteer,
but Zamara finds them unsuitable.
In their stead, she selects Tony and
Helena. She allows the Alphans
48 hours of life support, and says
that Tony and Helena will be
returned at that time. John balks,
but Zamara tells him they have
no choice. In order to transport to
Vega, Tony and Helena must
freely wish to go. They arrive on
Vega and are met by Zarl and
the other Vegans. They are
offered food, but when a "Number"
places a dish in front of Helena,
he whispers a warning, telling her
not to react as they expect. He
tells her that if they display
aggression, they will be killed.
Helena takes a bite of the food
while the Vegans watch, and nearly
gags. She remains calm, and says
that it is unusual. Zamara tries to
elicit a reaction by calling her a
liar and a decrepit hag. But Helena
does not react. Tony is told to try it.
Helena tries to guide his reaction,
telling him the food is delicious.
Tony follows her lead but is
goaded by Zarl. Helena manages
to diffuse the situation by saying
that they are not used to hot food,
telling them to "cool it". They are
locked in a room to consider their
"impoliteness". Tony asks Helena
what is going on. She tells him
what the Number told her. He asks
if he is supposed to believe a
"robot". She tells Tony she did, and
that they need to find that
Number again to find out more.
Wondering why the Vegans let him
keep it, Tony uses his stun gun to
blast the door open. They see a
Number and follow it. He leads
them to a large chamber. Inside
they find a roomful of Numbers.
They tell them they are there as
friends. Helena asks which is the
one that warned her. There is no
reaction. Helena tells them she
and Tony need their help.
Number 8 steps forward and
removes his mask. He explains that
he and the rest of the Numbers are
human, and that Zamara, Zarl and
the others are the androids. The
Numbers wear the masks to avoid
being caught off guard and
displaying any strong emotions.
He tells them that the androids
want to kill the humans because
as long as they are alive, they may
find a way to shut down the master
computer that controls the Vegans.
Helena and Tony ask where the
master computer is located, and
Number 8 tells them. They thank
him and set out to see if they can
somehow deactivate it. Tony fires
a laser at it, but it is deflected by
an energy barrier. Zarl and Zamara
show up, and tell them that they
were supposed to stay in their
room. Helena and Tony tell them
they were worried about their
friends, and were looking for a
way to communicate with them.
Zarl asks if they are so concerned
why don't they just go back to
Alpha? They ask how, and are told
they only need to wish it. They try,
and find themselves back on
Alpha, but it is deserted. They
learn that Alpha is light years away
from it's previous location. Unable
to "wish" themselves back to Vega,
where they suspect the rest of the
Alphans have gone, their isolation
begins to unnerve them. Helena
suspects Tony of drugging her
coffee, and Tony suspects Helena
of turning off the life support
systems. While accusing each other
at gun point, they realize that they
aren't alone on Alpha. Zarl and
Zamara have set them up! They
start to laugh, and call out the
Vegans who have been watching
the whole time. It seems the
Vegans created an exact replica
of Alpha, only to fail in their
objective. Zamara transports back
to the real Alpha (which is still
freezing due to lack of power) for
information to help them elicit a
murderous rage. After a brief
exchange with Koenig, she selects
Othello as the model for her plan.
She now believes she can use
jealousy to enrage Tony to kill.
Koenig tells her it won't work
because Tony doesn't love Helena,
he does, Tony is in love with
Maya. Zamara takes them both to
Vega to try again. Maya sneaks
away to disable the computer,
but learns that doing so will destroy
the planet. She returns as Zarl is
seducing Helena in front of John,
and explains the situation. Without
the hope of shutting down the
computer to hold him back, John
grabs Zarl and punches him.
Having seen violence, the Vegans
are now ready to kill! Zamara
orders Zarl to kill the Alphans. As
Zarl prepares to kill John, Maya
explains that the androids are all
linked together, and if one "link"
can be broken, their collective
will perish. Helena tells Zarl he is
no longer like the others. John tells
him to take the final step, and
become human. Zarl doubles over
as he evolves into something more
than he was. Zamara screams as
the main computer fails, shutting
down the Vegans. The Numbers
remove their masks as Zarl
collapses. Helena tries to comfort.
him, as she knows he is "dying".
He tells Helena that he did feel
"something", and asks if it was
real. Unable to answer his
question, Helena says she's sorry,
but Zarl replies that it was worth
it for one moment of humanity.

Screenplay.......................................................................Tony Barwick

Director......................................................................Charles Crichton

Guest Stars

Zamara.........................................................................Billie Whitelaw

Zarl................................................................................Leigh Lawson

Number Eight.............................................................Geoffrey Bayldon

One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of this episode is the scene where Zarl seduces Helena. I always found it interesting that the Vegans "play", based on Othello, took the form of interpretive dance. It seems to me an unusual choice, but the choreography, combined with the excellent acting of both Barbara Bain and Leigh Lawson really make it work. I get a huge kick out of the way Helena's blocks of Zarls advances are worked in during the dance. I really like Derek Wadsworth's jazzy score for this scene (a suite including this selection is available in the MP3 section titled A New Desdemona), and the rest of the episode.

There are a few plot points that do stretch credibility though. I find it hard to believe that the Vegans created an exact replica of Alpha (2.5 miles in diameter and extending .6 miles down). I realize windows are in short supply in season two, but surely some must have survived somewhere on the base... What about the view? I guess this is another instance where "willing suspension of disbelief" comes into play. But on the other hand, I really enjoy the scene where Helena scoffs at Zamara, telling her that they "created this complete replica of Alpha, down to the finest detail, and you lost!" and the unflappable Zamara retorts "This time!", and Helena visibly wavers. I thought that was extremely well acted, after the slightly over the top scene of Helena and Tony laughing it up when they learned they had been tricked by the Vegans. Of course, that scene also works, on certain levels, as it was meant to be somewhat forced.

There was some nice character play between Maya and Helena at the beginning of the episode. It is always fun to get a peak into the lives of the Alphans outside of their duties and the "danger of the week".

This really seemed to be a "Helena" episode. Although it centered around both her and Tony, she remained the focus throughout (she even got to wear her party dress for the whole thing!). Barbara Bain took full advantage of this and did an excellent job, especially in the scene where she and Tony are alone on the duplicate base, and they start to suspect each other of foul play.

Guest stars Billie Whitelaw and Leigh Lawson also turned in some great

performances. Zamara was wonderfully threatening and erotic. Leigh Lawson played Zarl with great sensitivity, but managed to not come across as weak. He seemed anything but, when he was trying to goad Tony into a hostile act at the table.

The one scene I am not sure I understand is the one where Alan shoots Zamara with the Stun gun. Wouldn't that be sufficient for them to learn

how to kill? Or does it necessarily have to be emotionally motivated? And even were that the case, wasn't that act motivated by fear? Oh well...

Despite a few glaring faults, this still an entertaining and well acted episode. Any 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 hallway from The Metamorph re-painted with some gothic plaques placed on them.

The view of Vega, as seen out the window by Tony Verdeschi is stock footage from Death's Other Dominion of the planet Ultima Thule.

Portions of the Vegan computer room seemed to have been salvaged from other episodes; the domes with the colored circles from
The Exiles,

and a panel on the wall in the background appears to be from The Last Enemy.

Click here for downloadable version.


Click here to play sound Koenig and Zamara meet.
Click here to play sound Zamara demands that two Alphans
come with her to Vega.
Click here to play sound Helena and Tony are invited
to refresh themselves.
Click here to play sound Helena receives Vegan hospitality.
Click here to play sound Tony receives the same treatment and
Helena gives serving suggestions.
Click here to play sound Helena and Tony discuss
Number 8's warning.
Click here to play sound Tony and Helena learn the truth about
the Vegans and the Numbers.
Click here to play sound Number 8 explains Vegan history
to Tony and Helena.
Click here to play sound Helena and Tony reach
the breaking point.
Click here to play sound Helena and Tony win the
game... this time.
Click here to play sound Zamara does research
back on Alpha.
Click here to play sound Zarl and Zamara discuss emotions.
Click here to play sound Koenig tries to maintain composure
as the play heats up.
Click here to play sound Koenig strikes Zarl.
Now, the Vegans are able to kill
Click here to play sound Zarl begins to feel emotions.
Click here to play sound Background sound.

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