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Things are quiet on the moonbase, and off-duty Alphans are doing puzzles to pass the time. Suddenly all the monitors on the base are filled with streams of strange glyphs, cutting off communication. Scanners indicate that the source of the strange symbols is somewhere
along orbital reference 397. Eagle 1 is dispatched to investigate. The glyphs stop as suddenly as they appeared, and communication is restored. Eagle 1 reports a phenomenon pulsing with light and color. The ship is covered with a strange foam-like substance and
contact is lost. A rescue Eagle is sent to search for Eagle 1 and is nearly hit by a meteor on a direct path towards Alpha. Inexplicably it passes through the defense screens and impacts near one of the launch pads. Fearing that the meteor may have collided with Eagle 1, Kelly is
told to do a space walk to look for wreckage. The meteor is retrieved and brought back to the base for analysis. Helena's research reveals the presence of an organic compound on the exterior of the meteor. Victor reports the composition of the meteor to be the
same as an Eagle, along with traces of human tissue. Realizing that the meteor is eagle 1, Alan is recalled to base. But he has lost contact with Kelly who was doing a space walk and won't return until he has him back on board. Alan finds Kelly floating unconscious, brings
him back to the ship, and returns to Alpha. Victor tells John that the organic substance coating the asteroid has reverted to it's original state, a "foam" that, in sufficient quantities, could crush anything. Kelly regains consciousness and begins transmitting data to the
object in space. In an attempt to stop him, the computer is shut down. Kelly attacks Koenig and Security personnal are forced to stun him. Koenig decides to send an Eagle loaded with nuclear charges to reduce the crushing force of the object in space that
threatens their survival. When the transmitted data is analyzed, it is surmised that the force is trying to change the course of the Moon to avoid a collision. In order to better understand the entity that has taken Kelly over, Koenig decides to link minds with him, via symbiosis.
Koenig learns that it is a brain, and it does want to help. Together with computer it comes up with a plan, but it will require the nuclear charges on the Eagle that's on it's way to the brain. Paul turns the Eagle around but the computer fails and the nuclear charges will not
disarm, and they can no longer control it remotely. Koenig flies out to dock with the Eagle, and disarm the charges, but is still unable to land it safely. He does manage, however to divert it from colliding with the base, but the nuclear charges are destroyed in the crash.
Unable to change their course, the Moon continues on towards the space brain. It begins to send out tendrils of the foam-like antibodies. The Alphans come up with a plan. They will attempt to equalize the pressure by increasing the internal pressure within the base, but it must
be done gradually or that could be dangerous. The foam starts to build up causing decompression in certain areas around the base. Medical Centre is compromised and during the evacuation, the unconcious, Kelly is overcome. The foam begins to flood the base,
filling the underground hangars, the halls, and even Main Mission. The Moon tears through the brain like a bullet. The brain dies and the foam is neutralized. They have survived, but at what cost? Helena mourns the loss of Kelly. She feels that she abandoned him when Medical
Centre was evacuated. John tells her that she can't assume responsibility for Kelly's death, any more than they can assume responsibility for the death of the space brain. If only they had been able to communicate with it sooner, things might have been different.

This Episode

Screenplay..............................................................Christopher Penfold

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

Guest Stars

Kelly.............................................................................Shane Rimmer

Melita Janni................................................................Carla Romanelli

Random Thoughts

I remember seeing this episode as a child and thinking it odd that everyone on the base was doing puzzles in their free time. I guess the symbolism was lost on me back then.

It is interesting now to see the correlation to the bits of information that the Alphans get and watch them try to put it together. I always liked the fact that they could not necessarily figure out every situation immediately. I don't think most of us would be able to either, were we in their shoes.

It also occurred to me during my most recent viewing of this episode how similar it is, in many ways, to Ring Around the Moon. In both episodes an Alphan is used as a conduit between an alien intelligence and computer, with the information being transmitted from their brain to that entity. The victims, in both circumstances, are unable to communicate their situations to their comrades and instead become violent when there is any resistance to their "mission". They are both in danger of their brains just "burning out" due to the excessive amounts of data being processed.

I think the symbiosis scene was an interesting way to discover the identity of the alien intelligence, but I fail to see why Kelly could not impart this information to the Alphans.

The main difference between the two episodes is that the Space Brain is benevolent and trying to help the Alphans avoid a collision. I have often wondered if this was not really motivated by self preservation. Using the analogy of the antibodies attacking an invading entity, the Eagle in this case, is like a germ being destroyed by the immune system, but the Moon is a "million times larger". Could our immune systems stop a bullet? Or perhaps it is the lucky blending of both benevolence and self preservation.

While the death of the Space Brain is tragic, I am always impressed by the writers choice to show us that the situations the Alphans face, as in real life, are not always within their ability to control. So few shows are willing to show their heroes unable to conquer the challenges set forth for them. As always, any replies to any comments made here are welcome. You can contact me by using the commlock in the Communication Centre.


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Sound Files

"What's happening here?"
"I don't know. I'ts either a practical joke or something very interesting."
Waylon: "It's not going to let us get a word in edgewise. Well, let's hope it has a pretty face."

"John, here it is... weight 328 tons, constituent elements: titanium, stainless steel, aluminium, glass, carbon fibres, plastics, nuclear fuel cells, and a small amount of human tissue."
"Human tissue?"
"We found Eagle 1."
Kelly: "You must not touch my brain!"

"Whatever's out there, it's going to get one hell of a headache when it starts to squeeze that little bundle."
"I still don't like the idea of a pre-emptive strike against an enemy I don't understand."


"Yeah, that's what it looks like."
"Where did it come from?"
"It's the same material that we found encrusted onto Eagle 1, but it's reverting back to it's original form,"
"It looks harmless enough."
"Looks, yes, but it's highly unstable. We don't know why but it's chemical structure changes... gains incredible weight and density."
"Are you saying this "foam" crushed eagle 1?"
"In sufficient quantity, John, this 'foam', as you call it, can crush anything."





"John, something interesting here. Kelly transmitted an astonishing amount of information in the short time he had. Of course I'm only taking random samples, so chances are I'm on the wrong track altogether, but..."
"Well you're on some track, go ahead."
"A lot of the data is physical information about the Moon itself: weight , density, dimensions..."
"It's got information about the gravitational pull, about every change of course we've made since we left the Earth's orbit!"
"Wait a minute... wait a minute! I think it's trying to find out if we can change course now!"
"Right!" (edit)
"Whatever that thing is, maybe, just maybe, it's trying to help us."
"...Help us to avoid a collision that will destroy Alpha."
Koenig: "It's a living organism, like a brain, pulsating with life and light. It's the center of our whole galaxy, maybe even hundreds of galaxies, planets, stars, strange life forms... and in the middle of it all is this brain."
Koenig: "Attention all Alpha personnel, this is Commander John Koenig, we're about to enter the area of the space brain, and as a result we are faced with a grave crisis. I want you all to know that we in Main Misson will do everything in our power to prevent the destruction of Alpha. Please remain calm. We cannot predict the final outcome, but with luck, and the measures we are taking, it is my belief that we will survive. Good luck to you all."


"It's a miracle we're alive, John."
"We tore through it like a bullet."
"Complex as the human brain, and just as vulnerable."
"Helena, don't make it hard on yourself."
"John, I deserted Kelly. I just keep thinking that maybe we could have saved him."
"Helena, you can't assume the responsibility for Kelly's death, no more than we can assume the responsibilty for the death of that cosmic intelligence. Now yes, we've lost Kelly, but think of those other worlds out there, that depended on that brain. Think what they've lost."
"If only we could have communicated..."
Effect: Computer tracking the source of the glyphs.
Effect: Space Brain sound effect.
Cue: Background sound

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