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"A death on Thule would be a marvellous thing."


After receiving an invitation to visit the frozen planet of Ultima Thule, Koenig, Helena, Bergman and Carter land on the surface and soon find themselves lost in a blizzard. Carter manages to make his way back to the Eagle while the others are rescued by the survivors of the Uranus Expeditionary Probe of 1986, believed to have been lost in a proton storm. The Alphans meet Dr. Cabot Rowland who reveals that his group have survived on Ultima Thule for 880 years and none has aged a single day! Now they are attempting to rebuild their damaged ship and Rowland fosters dreams of travelling the stars as an immortal god. He invites the Alphans to give up their lunar home and join them on Thule, but Koenig learns his terrible secret...



The Moon appears on the screen of a computer on a nearby planet, whose inhabitants are monitoring its approach. Watching the monitor are Jack Tanner who had foreseen the coming of the Moon in a vision and Cabot Rowland, the leader of the colony, whom he had told it would happen.

He could not believe that was Earth's Moon, until he examined it more closely. Hoping that the Moonbase and it's personnel have survived whatever could have cast the Moon this deep into space, he tries to contact Main Mission. Successful, he invites the people of Alpha to join him in his "lost paradise" on Ultima Thule. In the background of the transmission, the Alphans can here Jack try to warn them to stay away. Roland tells them that the smog is coming in, and that their transmissions will be cut off. Unable to resist the invitation, John, Helena, Victor, and Alan take an Eagle to the planet to investigate.

Act One

Having lost computer guidance from Alpha because of the smog, they land as close to the source of the signal as their onboard instruments allow, and go in search of the "Thulians". They get to the location of the signal and find nothing. Figuring it would be easier for the Thulians to locate them, they head back to the Eagle. On the way back, John and Victor realize they have lost Helena and Alan along the way.

The Thulians locate Helena, then John and Victor, and bring them back to the caves where they live. When Koenig realizes that Alan is still missing, Roland sends his men out to try to find him before he succumbs to the severe weather conditions. While Helena, John and Victor rest, Jack muses to himself that "a death on Thule would be a wonderful thing." When Helena awakens, John tells her that, with the exception of Alan, they had been rescued by the survivors of the 1986 Uranus Probe. Just |at the limit of his endurance, Alan barely makes it back to the Eagle and collapses. Back in the caves, Helena and Victor ask Dr. Rowland how they came to be on this planet, when the last messages received from Colonel Jack Tanner were that the ship was breaking up in a proton storm. Rowland explains that a proton storm cast their ship beyond the limits of the,then known, limits of space, to crash land on Ultima Thule. Just then, the search party returns and reports that they were unable to find Alan, and that the likelyhood of his survival was very slim. Roland tells the Alphans to rest, and that they will search again in the morning.

Act Two

Back on Alpha, Paul tries to make contact with the landing party. Dr. Rowland hears the transmission, and before anyone else wakes, he shorts out the communications system. On board the Eagle, Alan wakes to the sound of Paul's voice, but when he tries to respond, his transmission is not able to penetrate the smog. Seeing on the monitor that the Eagle is getting buried in the snow, Alan realizes that he must lift off before he is unable to. Koenig wakes, and asks Rowland if he can contact Alpha. Roland agrees to try, but claims that the smog must be too thick for them to break through. He tells Koenig that he will have someone keep trying. Koenig suggests that if Rowland takes him to the Eagle, that perhaps they might be able to let Alpha know they are ok. Rowland agrees. As they approach the location of the Eagle, they can hear the engines as Alan is struggling to free the Eagle from the snow. They arrive as the Eagle lifts off. Koenig tells Rowland that they must contact Alpha, as the Moon will only be in range of the planet for five more days. When Alan clears the atmosphere, he reports to Paul that he's alone aboard the Eagle.

Act Three

Back in the caves, Ted gives Victor a tour of the facilities, and Victor is quite impressed with what he sees. Jack tries to warn him that there is something wrong, but Victor ignores what he believes are the ramblings of a mad man. Jack and Freda tell Helena to go home to Alpha. When Helena tells them that the Alphans are looking for a world where they can live and raise children, she is told that the Thulians, have lived on this planet for 880 years, and are frozen in eternity; unable to grow old, have children, or die. John returns and tells Helena that Alan is alive, and she relays what Jack and Freda told her. Dr. Rowland confirms this. He explains that he has been trying to analyze the difference between what they were, and what they are now, for that would be the secret to immortality. And with it, they could leave Thule and travel to the stars. But his research has been fruitless. What he needed was a mortal subject for comparison.

Now, with the arrival of the Alphans, he believes he will find the answer. He leads them to cave to show him the next phase of his plan. The Phoenix, built from the wreckage of the Uranus Probe. He tells them that when he solves the riddle of immortality, they will complete work on the Phoenix, which will allow them to travel freely, unlike the Alphans current situation on the runaway Moon. He asks them to join him on the greatest scientific adventure in the whole history of Man, saying that, unencumbered by death, they will travel from planet to planet, solar system to solar system, and galaxy to galaxy as gods. Helena and Victor seem to be mesmerized by Dr. Rowland. Koenig, on the other hand, is alarmed by what he hears. Jack sees this, and offers him more food for thought. Jack leads him to another cave where he sees the results of Dr. Rowland's experiments; the "honored living dead".

Koenig is aghast. Jack explains that he was once among the "honored dead", that as commander of the mission, he volunteered to be part of the first experiment. He eventually managed to regain most of his faculties. He says that Rowland deplores his erratic behavior but envies his new psychic abilities. Jack warns Koenig that his friends are about to become part of Rowland's last great experiment. Koenig runs to stop it but is grabbed by two of Roland's supporters.

Act Four

Freda shows up with other dissidents, and they smash Roland's equipment. Roland holds Koenig responsible. Koenig explains to Victor that Roland was not forthcoming about the victims of his previous experiments. Rowland states that he didn't want to involve the Alphans in the mistakes of the past, and he felt he had learned enough to be sure that his experiment would be safe. Helena and Victor take his side over Koenig's concerns.

While Alan and Bob Mathias head to Thule to look for their missing comrades, Jack shows Koenig that the Thulian transmitter had been sabotaged. He replaces the damaged parts, and Koenig is able to get through to Alpha. Alan and Bob land and are greeted warmly by the Thulians and are beguiled by the prospect of eternal life. Koenig's words of caution fall on deaf ears. Rowland suggests that each Alphan be given the choice to join him on his quest. Helena and Victor support this notion, as they are excited to unravel the mystery that would conquer death, and lead to the next step in the evolution of mankind.

Koenig tells them that Alpha cannot survive with a partial crew, but he will allow a vote, and that he would abide by the general consensus. Either everyone moves to Thule or everyone stays on Alpha. This decision satisfies everyone. Dr. Roland says he would like to present his case to the Alphans, and Freda offers to go to explain the opposing view point. Jack tells Freda that she should not go and neither should Dr. Rowland. Roland laughs off Jacks warning, but Freda is concerned. Koenig tells her that he will state her case in her stead.

He finds Jack in the cave with the revered ones, and asks him what he knows. Jack doesn't answer. Koenig tells him that if he wins his case, he'll not see Jack again. Jack assures him he will win. Dr. Rowland is confident that the Alphans will side with him. In the cockpit, Koenig asks Alan if he can count on his support. Alan doesn't understand just what Koenig has against the prospect. They hear a scream from the passenger module, and rush back to investigate. Helena is sitting next to the decomposing corpse of Dr. Rowland and it still has a grip on her hand.


It turns out that immortality on Ultima Thule has a price: you can never leave! As Alpha starts to pass out of range of Thule, they receive a message from Jack Tanner. The Thulians are going to give up the quest to understand their immortality, and focus on restoring the revered ones. Koenig wishes them luck and tells them that wherever they go the fate of the Thulians will haunt them 'til the end.

...if there is an end. [2]

Filming Schedule

Wednesday, September 11th - Monday, September 23rd, 1974.[N 2]


  1. Chronology is based on order suggested by Andrew Kearley (See Season Navbox for full list, and for Andrew's explanation)
  2. During filming, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain flatly refused to work on the ice cavern set until specialists confirmed that the fumes it gave off were non-toxic. Chemicals in the snow used in the blizzard scene took the top layer of skin off Landau's face.


Season 1
Breakaway I Earthbound I Black Sun I Missing Link I Voyager's Return I Matter of Life and Death I Ring Around the Moon I The Last Sunset I Alpha Child I Death's Other Dominion I Force of Life I Guardian of Piri I The Troubled Spirit I The Last Enemy I Collision Course I Dragon's Domain I The Full Circle I Mission of the Darians I End of Eternity I War Games I The Infernal Machine I Another Time, Another Place I Space Brain I The Testament of Arkadia
Episodes are listed in the order suggested by Andrew Kearley.