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Plot Summary[]

A battle for life with a rock that pulsates with power, energy, intelligence and purpose...a rock fighting desperately for its own preservation, seeking water that it can obtain only from the Alphans.[1]


A small planet is detected in range of the Moon. When the presence of the rare element milganite is detected by Alpha's computer, a survey Eagle is dispatched to locate it, and bring some back. Koenig leads the survey team, including Helena, Maya, Tony, Alan, and Geologist David Reilly. During the flight to the planet, Reilly (an Irishman transplanted to Texas, who sees himself as a bit of a cowboy) starts flirting with Maya, much to Tony's dismay.

Act One[]

They land, and it's back to work. Looking where they believe the milganite deposits are located, they find no traces of milganite, but do find an unusual glowing rock formation. In order to study it, they blast a piece off with a stun gun. There is a sound like a scream, and when they examine the rock, it appears to be bleeding.They bring it back to the Eagle to run more tests. Tony attempts to look at it, and is struck by a flash of light. Helena examines him and he is dead. But when she hooks his body up to the medical monitors, they record normal brain activity. She tries to restart his heart with no success.

Koenig orders them to get rid of the rock, but Maya and Helena argue that, if they are going to help Tony, the answers they are looking for are linked to the rock. Reilly leaves to continue his search for milganite. Koenig has Carter join him, then he and Maya catch up with him in the cavern. He can still find no traces of the milganite reported by the computer. He checks the fluid from the rock and discovers that is has blood corpuscles. Back on the Eagle, Helena is alone with Tony and the rock. She is watching the rock apprehensively, when Tony sits up on the table behind her. Tony is struck by another flash of light, and leaves the Eagle.

Helena contacts Koenig to let him know that Tony has left. The others go to look for him, but he returns to the cavern, shoots off another piece of the rock, and brings it back to the Eagle. He sets it by the first piece and lies back down on the table. Helena tries to talk to him to no avail. The two pieces of rock fuse themselves together. The others return to the ship after discovering that Tony had taken another piece from the parent rock. Helena tells them what happened, and John decides to leave the planet and dump the rock in space. When they try to liftoff, they learn that all the Eagle's systems are dead.

Act Two[]

When John tries to get rid of the rock, it hits him with a flash of blue light causing paralyzing pain. They sense that the rock has a purpose, but can't figure out what it wants. With an hour and 45 minutes before the Moon moves out of range, they have to find some answers fast. They return to the cave, and Koenig lets Maya tranform into a rock to attempt to communicate with it, but the rock does not respond. Helena contacts John to tell him that the rock has changed color to green. He tells her to get out, but the rock won't let her.

Act Three[]

The rock starts searching the Eagle with the green light. It locates their stores of water and absorbs it all. That was what it wanted all along. All the rocks had drained the planet dry. When there was no more water, and they started to die off. The rock takes control of the Eagle and lifts off. It only gets a little way before it lands again. Apparently it can't leave the rest of itself behind.

It starts searching the Eagle's computer for star charts. Koenig believes that it will activate Tony again to collect more of the parent rock. He decides to try to stun Tony to see if that will break the rocks control over him. Helena notifies them that Tony has left the Eagle, and they wait for him in the cavern. When he arrives, he blasts off another piece of the parent rock. Before he can bring it back to the Eagle, they stun him and he vanishes.

He re-appears back on the Eagle and awakens free of the rock's control. Koenig decides to try to use Tony's commlock, which was left when he transported, to open the Eagle door to get them out. When they look for it again, it's gone. Reilly took it to try to rescue Helena and Tony. He manages to get them out, but is stunned by the rock before he can use his laser on it. The rock takes him over to gather more of itself.

Act Four[]

After having Maya modify a stun gun to fire four beams at once, Koenig has her transform into a rock again so that Reilly will bring her back to the Eagle, instead of more of the parent rock. John and Alan follow him back, and get in the door before it closes. The rock stuns them as Reilly puts Maya, in rock form, next to the other. It starts to pull her closer to begins the fusing process. Maya is able to tell Koenig that the rock is using most of it's energy to fuse her, and that they should be able to break free of it.

They do, but the rock turns red and tries to hit them with a red light. Maya tells them that red is the color that kills. Koenig fires the modified stun gun and dehydrates the rock, saving Maya, and freeing Reilly, and the Eagle, of the rock's control. They call Tony and Helena back to the Eagle and prepare to leave. They toss the rock out and lift off. They are almost out of range of the Moon.


As the Eagle climbs, they discuss the fate of the rock. It will die within hours if it doesn't get water. They realise that it did not want to hurt them, it just wanted to survive. As they approach the heavy cloud cover, Helena comments that it's too bad that the clouds won't give up their water in time to save the rock.

Maya says they can make it rain by dropping nucleoid crystals into the clouds. John gives the "ok" and they jettison the crystals from the bottom of the Eagle. It thunders and starts to rain over the rock. Reilly muses that they didn't get away with any milganite, and Helena responds that they did get away with their lives. They continue back to Alpha with virtually no time to spare.[2]


Shooting script dated 9 March 1976. Filmed 18 March-31 March 1976

Martin Landau hated the script. Handwritten comments on his copy of the script include ""All the credibility we're building up is totally foresaken in this script!", "...Story is told poorly!", "Characters go out the window"", and ""The character of Koenig takes a terrible beating in this script - We're all shmucks!""

Fred Freiberger was impressed by this script. Director Ray Austin and star Martin Landau disliked the concept; Landau was at the point of leaving the production. Tony Anholt (in SIG 8 p6) recalls: "There was one big, big battle going on about the script "All That Glisters." I got zapped pretty early on and spent my time walking around like a zombie carrying a piece of rock. Martin was desperately unhappy about the whole script, he thought it was absolute rubbish, as indeed we all did. Freddie, once he saw the opposition, just became utterly entrenched and would give nothing at all - that was the greatest episode of the series, it was the most sci-fi type of story - that was going to stay and he would prove his point. Short of walking off the set, completely screwing the whole series up, there was nothing we could do about it."[1]

International Titles[]

Country Title (Translation)
Belgium (Flemish) Al wat blinkt (All that glitters)
Denmark Farligt Mineral (Dangerous Mineral)
France/Canada Tout ce qui luit (All That Glisters)
Germany Der entscheidende Stoff (The Decisive Material)
Italy La Milgonite (The Milgonite)
Japan Bizarre! Lethal Colour-changing Rock
Poland Nie wszystko zloto, co sie swieci (Not all gold that glitters)
Portugal Nem Tudo o que Brilha... (All That Glisters...)
South Africa Skyn Bedreig (Mock Threat)[1]


  • Int. Eagle Pilot Section
  • Int. Eagle Passenger Section (a lengthened version)
  • Ext. Planet Surface

The only episode not to use the Moonbase sets[1]


There is one glaring error when the Eagle has a standard transporter pod.

At least one of the star charts was reused in The Taybor.[1]


Although a lifeform could exist with a mostly solid body of skeleton/shell, the rocks have no limbs to move themselves. Instead they rely on animals (humans) to carry them about. It is implausible that such an inert animal could evolve powers to control minds, and sufficient intelligence to fly an alien spaceship like the Eagle.

Presumably the rocks destroy water in their metabolism, creating the red oxide dust that creates the planet deserts. However it is implausible that the hydrological cycle has stalled over the entire planet, the water permanently suspended in clouds. Perhaps the water shortage is local to the Eagle landing site. Cloud seeding needs large unstable masses of moisture laden air. The "nucleoid crystals" must provide hygroscopic nuclei to accelerate the Bergeron precipitation mechanism.

Tony's heart stops, yet he is still alive. His organs and cells should fail and degenerate rapidly without oxygenated blood.

The geological minerals (quartz, orthoglase, hornblende, augite, olivide, feldspar) are typical igneous minerals suggesting a diorite or andesite rock.

Reilly says he has "tapped" uranium. Uranium is a hard-rock mineral, usually mined in open-pit mines (the largest deposits are in Canada, Australia and Kazakhstan). However, in US sandstone deposits, they are mined by in-situ leaching, pumping weak acid or alkali liquids into the permeable rock and extracting the leachate from wells, which arguably could be called "tapping".

The unnamed planet is 2.58 million miles (4.15 million km) from the Moon. The Moon has a mean orbital distance from the Earth of 240 thousand miles (384,000 km), and most planets encountered seem to be in the same range (their apparent diameter viewed from Moonbase Alpha is similar). Perhaps this explains the unusually restrictive 3 hour launch window. In comparison, Terra Nova and Retha were within range for about 3 days, Ultima Thule was accessible for 5 days and the War Games planet landing window was 4 days. The planet was discovered only two days before, so the approach must have been very fast; the return would presumably be slower to save fuel. Thanks to Marcus Lindroos.

This is a risky mission with most of the key personnel from Alpha. A second Eagle as backup in case of engine failure (or alien abduction) would have been sensible. Perhaps this is the Eagle with the different pod seen in one scene...[1]


Chronology: 565 days after leaving Earth orbit (Sat 31 Mar 2001). The planet was discovered two days previously; all events occur during the 3 hour, 2 minute landing window.

Alpha Personnel: 0 fatalities.

Alpha Technology: This and Mark Of Archanon were the only episodes of Year Two when the computer voice was heard.

The Alpha Log Recorder measures Tony's vital signs (so it isn't just an oversized dictating machine).

The stun gun is modified to fire all four beams at once.

Eagles: Eagle 4 ("Rescue"). Features the booster pod (usually!). Here it is a "specially adapted laboratory section".

Maya transformations: Rock

Planets: Unnamed planet

Aliens: Living rocks

Footage: The only episode not to feature any scenes on Moonbase Alpha.[1]


The Eagle has a booster pod throughout, apart from one scene (as the rock tries to make the Eagle launch) of a standard pod.

While the SFX model has lateral extensions (mostly), the interior set is actually normal width but about twice as long as normal. The exterior set door is the standard door with steps. The model Eagle has a narrow door and no steps are ever seen.

If Maya, transformed into a rock, can take over control of Reilly so he picks her up instead of the actual rock, why doesn't she release him from his trance?

If the rocks can matter transport Tony when Alan and Koenig stun him, why can't they transport themselves?[1]


Koenig is obviously very angry throughout this episode.

Tony Anholt dropped the rock. Ray Austin: "He broke the bloody thing, he dropped it! He was supposed to be trying to carry it or something. There was one scene where Frankie Watts had it wired and he had a wire up his leg to move across the set with it. He dropped it and it held us up." (Andersonic 13, Feb 2012, p10)

Colour Effect
Yellow induces cardiac arrest in Tony
Blue paralyses Koenig in pain
Green numbs Helena, stops Dave using laser, pilots Eagle and drains water
Red is death![1]



  1. See Alpha Date/Non Time Warp Date for a more detailed explanation of Second Season Story Dates.


Season 2
The Metamorph I The Exiles I One Moment of Humanity I All That Glisters I The Mark of Archanon I Journey to Where I The Taybor I The Rules of Luton I New Adam New Eve I Brian the Brain I Catacombs of the Moon I The AB Chrysalis I The Beta Cloud I Seed of Destruction I A Matter of Balance I Space Warp I The Bringers of Wonder - Part 1 I The Bringers of Wonder - Part 2 I Dorzak I The Seance Spectre I Devil's Planet I The Lambda Factor I The Immunity Syndrome I The Dorcons
Episodes are listed in the order suggested by Andrew Kearley.