Commander Koenig and company find what appears to be a habitable planet; but it is ruled by a single being who, in its efforts to make contact with the Alphans, unwittingly puts them in peril of their lives!
Alpha has discovered a planet, in its west quadrant. Preliminary reports suggest that it is capable of supporting human life. A reconnaissance team has been dispatched to substantiate these reports. Although the planet appears to be uninhabited, an alien structure has been discovered. Koenig calls the survey party in closer to base camp until they learn more. As Tony and Joe Lustig head back, Joe hears a sound as Tony walks ahead. He investigates, and sees a pulsating light at the source of the sound. He screams as it drives him mad. Tony hears, and returns to help Lustig, but too late. Lustig pulls a gun on Tony, who is forced to defend himself. They struggle, and the weapon goes off, killing Lustig. As Tony tries to let Koenig know about the accident, he is driven mad by the same thing as Lustig.[N 1]
He runs off into the woods. Koenig tries to contact him, but Tony crushes his commlock and keeps running. Lustig's body is found, and Dr. Ed Spencer pieces together roughly what transpired. A security detail reports to Koenig that they discovered Tony's crushed commlock, about half a kilometer distant, heading away from base camp. Koenig takes them to try to track Tony down. At base camp, they decide to unbury the alien structure, as they were unable to penetrate it with their lasers or sensor scans. They find a control panel to open a door, but with no power. Alan notices some solar cells and he uncovers more in hopes of powering up the control panel. He alerts Koenig to their progress, who in turn asks him come pick them up in an Eagle as they have seen Tony, and are about to confront him. Tony fires on Koenig when he approaches. Koenig circles around and they fight until Tony collapses.
Alan arrives with Dr. Spencer, who tells Koenig that Tony is slipping into a coma, and needs to be returned to Alpha for treatment. Koenig contacts Alpha from the Eagle to tell them they found Tony and are returning with him. On the surface, two men die from drinking water that was tested and declared safe. Jerry Travis contacts Alpha to tell them what happened, and his commlock shorts out while he's using it. Maya reaches Koenig to tell him what has happened, but loses contact with him as well. In light of the system faults, Koenig checks the Eagle's circuits before proceeding to Alpha. He finds that all the metal are corroding, and has Alan head back to base camp.
Maya's sensors detect a change in the atmosphere of the planet. Helena worries that Tony won't make it if they can't get him back to Alpha. On the planet, another Alphan dies from fruit that has turned to poison. The systems on Koenig's Eagle start to fail, and it catches fire. They crash land, as the rest of the survey party helplessly watch from the base camp. Having survived the crash, the Eagle crew are brought back to base camp. Alan checks the other Eagle to find it had corroded as well, and is unsafe to fly. When Koenig wakes, he is apprised of the situation. They are stranded, and if Alpha tries to send another Eagle, it will break up in the atmosphere.
They manage to put together a transmitter made of parts scavenged from the Eagle that did not corrode. Using the solar cells from the alien structure for power, they warn Alpha not to attempt to land. Maya and Helena decide to use a glider to get to the planet, as it is made of carbon fiber and the atmosphere won't affect it. The solar cells on the alien structure become fully charged, and Koenig, Carter and Travis investigate. Inside they find the remains of an alien sitting at a desk with a roll of discs in his hand. When placed in a port on the desk, each disc activates a holographic recording.
The first one they try is of Zoran the leader of an alien expedition explaining that his people perished, and he, too, was dying. He states that the only way to escape the planet is death. Bill Fraser, who is flying the Eagle carrying the glider to the planet, alerts Helena and Maya that they are coming into range of the planet. They move into the glider to prepare for release into the atmosphere. At the pre-determined altitude, Maya tries to launch, but cannot. Bill decided to take them closer, to increase their chances. He releases them when his Eagle develops a fault. Maya and Helena encounter a region of severe turbulence. The glider is struck by lightning more than once, and Maya has to alter course.
Meanwhile at the alien structure, Zoran's recordings tell of a solitary, immortal, creature that longs for companionship but inadvertently kills those it wishes to make contact with, by driving them mad. He also describes a brief period of lucidity before the death of its victims. Dr. Spencer shows up to tell Koenig that Tony is awake. Koenig leaves Alan to review the discs for any useful information they may have missed, and goes to see Tony. Tony is awake and tells John what happened with Lustig. Helena and Maya appear to everyone's surprise, having walked from where they landed. Helena examines Tony, and can find no permanent damage. Maya spends a little time with Tony trying to comfort him.
Jerry tells Koenig that they found another disc that may be useful. Koenig has Maya join him to look at it. It describes a protective encounter suit Zoran used to confront the alien being. He tells of a minor fault around the eyes that allowed him to see the alien, causing him to go mad. Alan shows Koenig where he found the suit. Koenig decides to reinforce the area around the eyes, and try to contact the alien himself. Helena, Maya, and Alan help him prepare, as he must walk into the alcove of the being completely blind. When he is ready, Helena guides him via the transmitter built into the head piece of the protective suit.
He walks into the grotto where Tony found Lustig. The alien begins to try to communicate with the light and sound. Koenig tries to talk to it. At first it simply mimics his words, until it finds the key to communicate. When it does, it asks John who and what he is. John tells it that he is a man. It responds that he is a voice. John tells it he is a living being like it is. It asks John to reveal himself, saying that he will be safe. Against all advice, John removes the protective gear. Good to it's word, "I that am I" did not harm him. Koenig calls in the others to show it, that it is not alone, but one among many. "I that am I" restored the planet to it's nonpoisonous state, and Tony is saved.
But sadly, as the four return to find their base camp missing, Bill Fraser appears to tell them that it has been evacuated, and everyone is waiting on the Eagle to return to Alpha before it moves out of range of, what is once again, a perfect planet.
Draft script titled The Face Of Eden dated 24th October 1975. Featured Year One cast and a mostly different plot.
First draft script titled The Immunity Syndrome dated 4th March 1976. Featured significant changes and different ending to completed episode.
Shooting script dated 11th October 1976. Filmed 19th November- 6th December 1976.
Original Title: The Face Of Eden
|Denmark||Zorans skæbne (The Fate of Zoran)|
|France/Canada||Le syndrome de l'immunité (The syndrome of immunity)|
|Germany||Zoran's Schicksal (Zoran's Fate)|
|Italy||Il Lampo che Uccide (The Lightning Bolt That Kills)|
|Japan||Mysterious Space Intelligence|
|Portugal||O Sindroma da Imunidade (The Immunity Syndrome)|
|Portugal||O Planeta sem Esperança (Planet Without Hope)|
|Spain||El sindrome de inmunidad (Symptoms of immunity)|
- Int. Command Centre
- Int. Eagle Pilot Section
- Int. Eagle Passenger Section
- Ext/Int. Glider Cockpit
- Ext. Base Camp
- Ext. Structure
- Ext. Clearing
- Ext. Planet Surface
The glider was built by Martin Bower in two scales; the smaller 16 inch model was mounted on top of the 44" Eagle, the larger model crashed onto the planet surface. Actually the larger model was built in scale with the 44 inch Eagle (the internal figure is a 1:24 scale Revell Gemini astronaut, just as in the 44" Eagle cockpit).
The crushed fake commlocks have obviously flat buttons.
The planet is the same Apollo 17 photograph of Earth used as Ellna in Devil's Planet.
Plastic fibres that conduct electricity were invented in the 1980s.
The design of the re-entry glider is closely based on a real NASA design tested in 1969. Plastic composites began to replace metal in aircraft in the 1990s, as they withstand temperature changes and corrosion, are lighter and equally strong.
Chronology: 2310 days after leaving Earth orbit (Mon 9 Jan 2006)
Alpha Personnel: 4 fatalities, Lustig, Les Johnson, 2 others. One of the Survey Alphans who dies (played by Harry Fielder, whose character was named George in Seance Spectre) reappears as a medic in The Dorcons. Alpha Technology: The thermal lance/laser cutter/sonarscope is used. It is also seen in Mark Of Archanon and The Bringers Of Wonder - Part 2.
We see "comlock" spelt with one M in this episode. Contrast to Guardian Of Piri
The space warp detector is seen in the Eagle cockpit.
Eagles: Eagle 1 (disintegrated on ground); 4 ("Survey", crashed); 3 (Fraser)
The booster pod is featured, and crashed for the first time.
Maya transformations: None.
Planets: Unnamed planet
Aliens: Zoran, a humanoid. Alien force.
The glider-Eagle is docked to starboard, but they enter the portside.
One distant shot of Eagle 4 shows it without the lab pod. This shot also shows a transporter pod, although it is not recognisable from this angle. It's actually a shot taken from Devil's Planet. The previous shot of the Eagle showed it just above the trees, but the Eagle is much higher here.
The ladder is shown "forward" of the passenger pod's port and starboard access doors. The access "tube" is clearly "aft" of the pod's access doors. Thanks to Martin Daoust.
The alien may actually be humanoid... The flashing light effect seems to be created by a studio technician moving a round mirror, standing behind a plant. At normal speed, the flashing light and violently moving camera make him hard to see, but he can just be seen in individual frames.
The script has Helena checking Tony's background from the computer profile: "Anthony Dean Verdeschi. Born 2-13am Florence Italy. BA Hons University Of Rome 1990. PHD MIT 1993. Space science commission 1994. Rank Science specialist GI"
Note the non Italian forenames, the birth time but no date, and a Ph.D achieved in just 3 years.
Jerry Travis was named Yuri Salkov in the script.
Maya's transformations were removed. In the first draft she is seen as a pacing panther and she changes into a hollow sphere to re-enter the atmosphere; in the shooting script she changes into a bird to find the camp. None of these transformations survive to screen.
Helena gives the date as 2310 days after leaving Earth orbit (Monday 9th January 2006); the planet was encountered two days previously. This overlaps with The Lambda Factor, which starts at 2308 days, and lasts about 2 days.
During the cabin fire Koenig says "I'll take over." So presumably Koenig was at the helm during the crash. Yet afterwards when Koenig says "Some landing.", Alan says "Yeah. I have to admit it wasn't one of my best." Thanks to Martin Daoust.
During the ITV4 showing on 31 December 2006, the flashing light sequences were either slowed down or removed, presumably to protect people with photosensitive epilepsy. Tony's scream in the beginning was also cut.
- Tony's scream was cut from the ITV4 showing on 31 December 2006.
|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.|