Well we’re back to a Captain’s Log style story; I guess Koenig was annoyed that Helena got one in first, so he was determined to one-up her. Both are actually good stories, so I’m not sure he topped Dragon’s Domain, but he might have. You can decide for yourself.
Moon Base Alpha is passing a planet when an energy drain begins. The closer they get, the worse the drain. Then they get locked in orbit, so they start looking at the very likely possibility that they’ll have to colonize the planet. Upon arriving, they make their first discovery: Earth plants are all over the planet. Then they find a cave with humanoid skeletons and a message written on the wall in Sanskrit. Luckily they happened to go down to the planet with one crewmember who could actually read it! And what they find will excite fans of Ancient Aliens like nobody’s business!
Now I have to say, conceptually this episode was really good. The Alphans discover that some holocaust wiped out the planet 25,000 years ago and there’s indication of radiation damage. This is both a very 1970’s message, but it also works as a reminder to the Alphans of what happened to them that lead them here. So while two of the Alphans, Luke and Anna, are working in the cave, they start to have a vision (during which some really funky disco, Age of Aquarius style music plays) which tells them they have to repopulate the planet. They go back to Alpha, hold Helena hostage and force Koenig to give them 3 years worth of supplies. Koenig acquiesces planning to go after them once Helena is released, but as soon as she’s let go, the moon is released from orbit and starts drifting again and power is restored.
I do take some issue with the episode though but I should admit that most of that is me picking some really minor nits. For instance, Helena says there are over 300 Alphans. Sorry, but I’ve been counting and there were 311 to start with and as of last episode we were in the 280s. Now, I never did count the birth of Adam from Alpha Child and it’s possible other people have had kids, because we’ve seen a number of husband and wife pairings, but 30? Of course, she could be estimating or perhaps she’s not privy to how many people were staffed there, but I can’t imagine that. By the end of this, with Luke and Anna going on to repopulate a world, we’re down to 279, too! I was also thrown by the comments that the planet was barren when, prior to the power returning, they had been considering living there.
On the other hand, I really like some of the other things we’ve seen lately. People playing backgammon and chess, there’s a martial arts contest going on at the start of this story, and 2 episodes ago showed people working on jigsaw puzzles. One guy is a photographer and has the biggest camera ever made for taking shots of people on Eagles. And yet again there are some fantastic exterior shots and model work as I’ve come to expect.
The show has been a roller coaster. Some of these episodes are dull while others are absolute mind candy. As I think about it, I realize Koenig did get the better story. Helena’s had a monster, which is cool, but Koenig’s gave us something to think about and ponder. And at the end of the day, that’s what I really want in my science fiction viewing. This episode succeeded admirably! ML
I don’t remember seeing this episode. But your review, ML, already convinces me that it can indeed honor science fiction with much to think about. The Adam and Eve concept for any world has been as delicate as can be expected, certainly in sci-fi as The Midnight Sky recently reminded us. But the Alphans’ sense of purpose, despite their predicament, being revitalized by their potentially positive influences on the universe is traditionally uplifting. Thanks, ML, for your review.
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