Answering a distress signal, Commander Koenig is forced to crash-land his Eagle on Entra - moon of the planet Ellna - which turns out to be the planet's penal colony, and Koenig finds himself a prisoner of the beautiful Elizia and her equally beautiful prison guards.
Commander Koenig and Blake Maine investigate two planets in Alpha's east quadrant that seem capable of supporting human life. Flying over the larger one, they land on the outskirts of a city, and find the lifeless bodies of several people lying around. As Koenig reports his findings back to Alpha, there is activity in the area of a booth. A man materializes within, and exits. He dies within seconds.
Ed Spencer recommends they leave the planet at once. They decide to take a look at it's moon, which has similar atmosphere and vegetation. As they get within range of the moon, their Eagle malfunctions, losing all power to it's engines. They regain power in time to lessen the impact as they crash land. They survive the crash, and leave the Eagle.
They see a man pursued by whip wielding woman. As Koenig tries to intervene, Blake steps into an electronic barrier, and is vaporized. Koenig is subdued by one of the women, a guard for the penal colony based on the moon. His mind is probed by the "Interrogator" at the request of Elizia, the mistress of the penal colony on Entra.
They learn that he has been to their home planet, Ellna, and knows that everyone there is dead, and those who go, die. Elizia tells the Interrogator to remove this knowledge from his brain. When told that he may not survive the process, she replies that he would be given a hand-some funeral.
In an attempt to maintain some appearance of normalcy, a prisoner is returned to Ellna. Crael tells Elizia that the other prisoners are wondering why no new prisoners are being sent from Ellna, and why they can no longer receive video messages from their families. Elizia evades the question stating that they are trouble makers whose natures are to be discontent.
The Interrogator, apparently unable to remove the information about the death on Ellna from Koenig's mind, scans his memories at Elizia's request. Elizia is attracted to him, and has him sent to one of the cell blocks, but warns that she doesn't want him disfigured. The Interrogator warns Elizia that he will tell the other prisoners about Ellna. Elizia smugly asserts that they won't believe him. The Interrogator advises her to tell the prisoners the truth. Elizia refuses, believing she can maintain control. They monitor the cell as Koenig wakes up. When he learns that the inmates are from Ellna he tells them what he saw. They chose not to believe him, because the ramifications are too terrible.
They become angry and violent. Elizia and her guards intervene saving Koenig. He asks that he be allowed to contact Alpha so that he can have someone come get him. Elizia tells him no, but that if he stays with her, he will experience undreamed of pleasure... until she tires of him.
An Eagle is detected approaching Entra. Koenig is placed behind a barrier preventing him from making his presence known. Elizia tries to dissuade Fraser and Alibe from landing, by telling them that the pilots died in the crash. Fraser responds telling her, that they must land to recover the bodies, and will come in shooting if they have to. Elizia tells them that their ship's systems will burn out when they come into contact with Entra's defense shield. Fraser tells her that they are coming anyway and if they don't make it, Alpha will send more ships to blast the planet.
Elizia concedes, and has her people remotely land the Eagle. Meanwhile, she has her people create evidence of Koenig's death, by having a prisoner wear Koenig's uniform and walk out to the defense screen and disrobe. But before he can, Elizia activates the shield vaporizing him, to Crael's shock. He contacts her saying she went against her promise not to do such a thing. She replies that it was a matter of survival.
When Fraser and Alibe land they are taken to the crash site. Elizia explains that, though the crew survived the crash, they stumbled into the boundary defences. She shows them the remains at each point of impact. Disheartened, they return to their Eagle and lift off as Koenig watches from the window in his cell.
He is brought before Elizia, who is waiting in an alluring gown. He notices a twin of the booth he saw on Ellna. Elizia follows his gaze, and tells him the trans-beamer is the dream that every prisoner on Entra wishes to attain. Koenig argues that the dream leads to certain death. Elizia replies that it gives the prisoners hope. She then tells him that his remaining alive depends upon his "entertainment quotient". He kisses he, and makes a break for the door. After a quick scuffle he gets away. Elizia holds her guards back from pursuing too quickly, as "the hunted" are always given a fair chance.
Koenig heads for the Eagle with hopes of either contacting Alpha, or getting a weapon. Achieving neither, he grabs a homing transmitter, and drops out of an emergency hatch in the cockpit as the guards appear in passenger module. He fights off several of the guards heads back toward the prison. Elizia alerts the Interrogator to hold him when he gets there. He maneuvers to put himself by the trans-beamer. He steps in as Elizia arrives. She tells him she will disintegrate him if he doesn't step out. He points out that if she does, it will destroy the only means back to Ellna.
This, not only affecting the prisoners, but the guards who are nearing the end of their tour of duty, stays Elizia's hand. Crael asks Koenig if the rumors he heard are true, that everyone on Ellna is dead. Koenig tells him it's true. Elizia asks why he would want to go there if everyone were dead. He says to get away from her brand of torture. He tells them that if he is lying, Elizia can follow and bring him back, then activates the trans-beamer. Elizia says that "Ellna will send him back." Crael counters saying "Not if he's telling the truth."
Elizia looks for support for her position from the Interrogator or Crael, but there is none. Clinging to her lies, she steps into the trans-beamer to avoid the wrath of what's left her people. Koenig exits the trans-beamer and activates the homing device he took from the eagle. En route back to Alpha, Fraser and Alibe receive the signal. Alibe confirms it is coded for the Commander's Eagle, and they head to Ellna to investigate.
Elizia materializes in the trans-beamer, much to Koenig's surprise. Intent on revenge, her only satisfaction comes from her belief that she will kill Koenig before she dies. She fires her weapon twice, narrowly missing him both times. Before she can fire again, the air born pathogen that killed all the people of Ellna, takes hold of Elizia. She dies the same quick death of all those she allowed to return home. Fraser and Alibe arrive to return Koenig to Moonbase Alpha.
Shooting script dated 9th September 1976 titled "Devil's Moon" (and filmed under that title)
A "Double Up Koenig" script, filmed simultaneously with Dorzak. Shooting schedule dated 28th October 1976. Filmed 1st November - 18 November 1976
Wrong credits: Barbara Bain recorded a status report but is not seen in this episode, apart from in flashback. Catherine Schell and Tony Anholt are credited but do not film any scenes for this episode (they are briefly seen in flashback scenes from previous episodes). Alibe appears in the first of her three episodes.
|Spain||El pianeta del diablo (A planet of the devil)|
|France/Canada||La planète du Diable (The Devil's planet)|
|Italy||Il pianeta del diavolo (The Devil's planet)|
|Japan||Nightmare of the Colonised Satellite ENTRA|
|Portugal||O Planeta do Diabo (Devil's Planet)|
- Int. Command Centre
- Int. Eagle Pilot Section
- Int. Eagle Passenger Section
- Ext. Planet Surface: Ellna transbeam station
- Ext. Planet Surface: Area Of Sanctuary Column
- Ext. Planet Surface: Outside Prison
- Ext. Planet Surface
- Int. Entra Reception Chamber
- Int. Entra Security Ward
- Int. Entra Cell
- Int. Entra Cell Block B
- Int. Entra Corridor
The buildings on Ellna uses clusters of Airfix Eagle leg pods. One tower uses a slide projector carousel, another is a plastic swing-top bin. They were built by Martin Bower.
The first image of Ellna is a reversed version of a photograph taken by Apollo 17. A monochrome blue copy of the same picture is seen as Entra when Koenig is teleported. Other shots of Entra are actually Tora from The Seance Spectre. Thanks to Marcus Lindroos.
The atmosphere is said to be nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen. There is not much hydrogen in Earth's atmosphere and it tends to react explosively with oxygen (it is found in the form of water, however).
Koenig's thoughts are projected on screen. This is very advanced technology. Note in some of them Koenig watches himself.
The forcefield destroys bodies completely, but leaves clothes intact. Clothes are generally more flammable than tissue and bone. Why is there an atmospheric forcefield if they don't have spaceships?
The deadly virus has evidently destroyed all Ellna life down to the microflora, whose enzymes are mainly responsible for decomposition. The virus did not strike long enough ago for inorganic processes such as leaching to have caused any obvious decomposition; perhaps months. As Beron's wife has had a baby (and presuming he is the father...) we presume it is within the last year. Even if the Alphans are immune to the virus, they may carry it from then on, causing other aliens the same fate.
Chronology: 2306 days after leaving Earth orbit (Thu 5 Jan 2006). 2 days before the events of The Lambda Factor
Alpha Personnel: 298 population (1 more than The Metamorph). 1 fatality, Blake Maine
Helena appears only in flashback and narration. There is no explanation of why she, Tony or Alan are not present.
Alpha Technology: The space warp detector is used to show a street plan.
Eagles: Eagle 1 (Koenig, crashed); 2 (Fraser, rescue). We learn the Eagle carries missiles. The forward view screen is seen. It is also seen in The AB Chrysalis, Seed of Destruction, Space Warp, The Bringers of Wonder - Part 2 and The Seance Spectre. The top mounted laser gun is seen. It is also seen in The AB Chrysalis
Maya transformations: None, but clips from previous episodes seen.
Planets: Ellna and moon Entra
Aliens: Elizia, Crael, Sares, Beron, Jelto, Kinano, Phirly, from Ellna. Humanoid
Props: The transmission booth is the same booth used in The Lambda Factor
Footage: In this episode Koenig shows pictures by pointing the barrel of the commlock. Normally they look at the screen while communicating.
Roy Marsden also appeared as Alien Invisible in The Rules of Luton
Shot of Maya transforming into a panther is from The Exiles
Shot of Maya transforming into an owl is from New Adam, New Eve
Shot of Koenig and Helena kissing is from The Bringers of Wonder - Part 1
Footage from the crash sequence (of the Eagle, and Koenig) are seen in The Immunity Syndrome
Garth is played by stunt arranger Peter Brayham. He also appears as a security guard in The Dorcons
There are several Alphans in the Entra prison. One prisoner, played by Alan Harris, was an Alphan in several episodes, such as Matter Of Life and Death.
When the path is prepared for the prisoner dressed as Koenig, the top of the sky backdrop is just visible top left. This can only be seen on the Carlton DVD, not on the A&E DVD. Thanks to Chris Dale.
When the girl says "Your signal cannot get through our defense shields" she has a light brown ponytail, but after Koenig throws her, her hair is blonde. Thanks to James. C
The Entran guards in their scarlet leotards and whips have led to several television companies shifting this episode to late night slots.
Sanctuary is a medieval concept by which criminals could seek protection from the law in churches or other consecrated buildings. In England it also allowed safe passage to a port in order to leave the country. Sanctuary was disallowed for treason and second offences in 1486, abolished for criminal offences in 1624, and abolished for civil offences in 1697 and 1723.
Transportation to penal colonies began in 1614 when British convicts were sent to Virginia as an alternative to the death sentence. By 1790 the range of crimes had expanded and Australia replaced the newly independent Americas as the primary destination. Convicts worked as labourers for the government or private citizens. By 1850, penal philosophy favoured prisons, and transportation was seen as an incitement to crime due to the booming economies of the colonies. In the 20th century, the Soviet government in Russia sent millions of ordinary criminals, members of ethnic groups and political dissidents to brutal Siberian gulags (forced labour camps).
The title of the episode explicitly references Devil's Island (Île du Diable, off French Guiana), the infamous French prison which housed political prisoners as well as the other criminals from 1852 to 1946. The harsh conditions and disease ensured that few prisoners lived out their full sentence, and very few escaped. The harsh conditions became notorious after the Dreyfus affair in 1895, and again in 1970 when the book Papillon was published, followed in 1973 by the film. The prison was only formally closed in 1952.
Thomas points out the episode title could easily be swapped with the next episode: The Immunity Syndrome which features an apparently cursed planet, while this episode features Koenig with immunity to a plague.
It is not stated how long ago the virus struck Ellna, but it is presumably very recent. Elizia must have known her regime was soon to collapse, as Sares and the guards would complete their tours of duty.
|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.|