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Plot Summary[]

A boisterous, flamboyant, larger-than-life trader from hyper-space makes a remarkable appearance on the moon -and falls in love with Maya.[1]



Strange glowing, metallic objects start appearing throughout Alpha. They are discovered, and picked up, by various moonbase personnel who are rendered unconscious, or blinded and burned. Koenig then alerts the base about the objects, to avoid further mishaps.

Just after the announcement is made, Alpha is contacted by a voice asking permission to land, but no ship can be detected by their scanners. Koenig refuses to give permission, but a brightly colored ship materializes near Alpha anyway. As Koenig tries to get him to identify himself the owner of the ship materializes in Command Center. He introduces himself as Taybor the Trader.

Act One[]

Koenig and Tony keep their stun guns aimed at him, but Taybor shows them a huge cannon-like weapon materializing on the lunar surface and it is aimed at Alpha. He then explains that it is merely an illusion, and makes it disappear. He says that surely his gifts should have announced his honest intentions. Koenig explains that several of his crew were injured by those "gifts". Taybor is amazed that the Alphans could be harmed by his "toys", complete with color coded safety instructions. Helena explains the nature of the injuries, and Taybor tells her the effects are temporary and even pleasant for those affected.

Taybor requests some refreshment before trade begins. Over some of Tony's beer, Koenig asks how his ship could appear so suddenly without registering on their scanners. Taybor tells him that their instruments cannot detect hyper-space. He explains that in hyper-space, a ship can "jump" almost instantaneously to its desired destination. Koenig thinks that if the Alphans can adapt the jump drive to their Eagles, that they might be able to return to Earth. Taybor laughs at the idea that the Alphans would be able to understand the technology, and passes out before trade can be discussed.

Act Two[]

The next day, Koenig asks if Taybor could return the Alphans to Earth. But without "universal quadrants", "routing angles", "subcluster" and "spin drift", Taybor is unable to fix coordinates for the jump. He offers to take Koenig aboard his ship to cheer him up. Koenig tells Taybor that he will give him anything he wants for the jump drive. Taybor tells him what he wants for it... Maya!

Act Three[]

Koenig refuses, but offers an exact likeness of her instead. Helena creates a duplicate to Taybor's specifications. He takes the robot Maya back to his ship and returns to trade wares with the Alphans. He presents Helena with a bottle of perfume for her assistance in making the copy of Maya. When the trading is done, he gives Maya a necklace as a gift. When they are alone he transports them to the Emporium.

Act Four[]

Koenig asks where Maya is, and Tony tells him that she went to show Helena her gift. When Koenig finds Helena, she is under the influence of Taybor's perfume. He begins to be affected by it, but manages to clear his head.

He goes back to Command Centre and contacts the Emporium. He learns that Taybor intends to leave with Maya aboard. He asks Taybor to give her back. Taybor agree and transports the duplicate back. It explodes and Maya demands to be sent back to Alpha. Taybor moves his ship into hyper-space. Maya transforms into a dog, and Taybor imprisons her in a glass case.

Koenig contacts the Emporium by means of the limpet transmitter he attached to the hull of Taybor's ship. He tells Maya that Taybor likes to be surrounded by things of beauty, that's why she's there. Understanding his meaning Maya transforms into a "female reflection" of Taybor, and tells him she has locked herself in that form. Unable to bear the thought of being with this ugly woman forever, he returns her to Alpha.


All of Taybor's goods start to vanish, and the Alphans' things reappear. Even the "diagram" for the jump drive disappears out of Koenig's hands. He says that Taybor was a poor sport after all. Helena says that they should "beware of traders bearing gifts." Koenig tells Helena that he's thinking about the perfume that Taybor gave her. She tells him to keep thinking... they don't need Taybor's perfume.[2]

International Titles:

Country Title (Translation)
Belgium (Flemish) De Ruiler
Spain El comerciante (The merchant)
France/Canada Taybor le commerçant (Taybor The Trader)
Italy Taybor
Japan Visitor from out of Space
Portugal O Negociante (The Trader)
Portugal Taybor (The Taybor)


Shooting script dated 31 March 1976. Filmed 15 April - 3 May 1976

Writer Thom Keyes was an old friend of writer Johnny Byrne


Int. Command Centre Int. Medical Centre Int. Recreation Centre (revamp Medical) Int. Koenig's Private Dining Room (revamp Reception) Int. Technical Section Int. Weapons Section Int. Survey Equipment Room Int. Helena's Quarters Int. Alpha Corridor

Int. Taybor's Grand Salon Ext. Moon Surface (CU moonbuggy, hull of Emporium)


The design for the Emporium is based on a 1967 NASA concept for a Mars Excursion Module.

The SS Emporium was built by Space Models, who also built most of the Eagles and the ship from Earthbound. It was made of wood in three parts (base, main body, top); one side was not finished to provide access to the central light bulb.

Taybor's gun was built by Martin Bower. The design was inspired by the paintings of Chris Foss, who did preproduction design for the series.

There are two scenes using split screen to show two Mayas.


Original score by Derek Wadsworth, recorded Friday 2nd July 1976 at the Music Centre, Wembley.


Astronomy Location: "So you want to return to your Earth? This galaxy?" "No. Galaxy M104. It's half way between PKS 1148 00 and 3C454." "Oh, I can't say that rings a bell either. Which Universal Quadrant?" "It's a.. spiral galaxy, it's right near N G C 185 and, ah, M33. It's a small cluster of thirty or so."

The information seems to have been taken from the New Concise Atlas Of The Universe by Patrick Moore (probably the 1974 edition, seen in Brian The Brain). Thanks to Marcus Lindroos.

M104 is the Sombrero Hat galaxy, a spiral galaxy in Virgo. It was added to the Messier catalogue of nebulae and clusters in 1921 by Camille Flammarion.

Our galaxy is the Milky Way, which is not in the Messier catalogue. It is a spiral galaxy in a Local Group of about 30 galaxies about 500,000 light years across. The Local Group is dominated by two large spiral galaxies, the Milky Way (200 billion solar masses) and M31, the Andromeda galaxy (300 billion solar masses). The other smaller galaxies are associated with one or other of these major spirals. M33 (30 billion solar masses) in Triangulum is a spiral galaxy near M31. NGC 185 is a dwarf elliptical galaxy (100 million solar masses) associated with M31. In Patrick Moore's book, one diagram shows M31 and NGC 185 close to the Milky Way, although later research will have changed the diagram (M33 nows seems to be slightly more distant than Andromeda, M31, and both M33 and NGC 185 are now generally regarded as satellite galaxies of Andromeda, not the Milky Way).

PKS 1148 00 and 3c454 are distant quasars, each about 10 billion light years away. They appear on opposite sides of a diagram on pages 134 and 135 in Patrick Moore's book.


Chronology: No date given.

Alpha Personnel: population 297. 0 fatalities.

Alpha Technology: A small solarium area is shown. This is noticeably smaller than the large set in Force of Life. The same footage also appears in The Exiles.

Maya has the Eagle remote control on her desk.

Koenig doesn't know about hyperspace, but the Alphans do have technology that uses it (the limpet transmitter). A "subspace" transmitter is also used in The Testament of Arkadia.

Helena can create an accurate robot in the likeness of Maya, complete with speech.

In the Survey Equipment Room is one of Reilly's instruments from All That Glisters, and a nuclear bomb from Space Brain (labelled "Wall Probe Crater", although the "Fuse" label is also clearly seen).

Eagles: Eagle 1 (Andrews); two others

Maya transformations: White dog, ferret, slatternly Maya, reptile hand Maya transforms directly from a dog into a ferret (in the script, a coral snake). This contradicts The Rules of Luton, where she cannot transform directly into another animal to escape a cage.

Maya locks herself in a form permanently (so she says). This contradicts The Rules of Luton and Space Warp where she can only hold a form for an hour.

Planets: None, but we learn about lots of different trading planets.

Aliens: Taybor from Pinvith the Lesser.

Props: Taybor's pyramid plan appears in the equipment room in A Matter of Balance.

Taybor's "essence of the planet Hermosia" perfume given to Helena reappears in an Alphan room in Catacombs of the Moon.

Footage: Shot of a moonbuggy driving towards the lunar hills (SFX) is reused in Catacombs of the Moon.

A short sequence from the opening pan through the solarium appears in the earlier episode The Exiles.

Catherine Schell also had a robot double whose face explodes in Guardian of Piri.

Helena again sculpts (as in The Exiles) but this time she creates a sophisticated robot.


Helena calls the memory amplifier cylindrical (as it was in the script). It is hexagonal.

The grey-haired medic (played by Micky Clarke) seen in the Solarium scene appears moments later as a technician in a Moonbase corridor. He wears a white sleeve again in the trading sequence. Thanks to Chris Dale.


In 1977 Yorkshire TV in the UK publicised this as a special Christmas episode, presumably as it involves an overweight man with gifts; it was shown on 22 December 1977 at 11pm.

Although Taybor admits he has been scanning them for some time, and knows their names, language and technology, he doesn't know they can't read colour coding.

Fraser's role was scripted for Alan Carter.

Kate's role was scripted as "Barbara". This is one of only two episodes where Sarah Bullen's character was given a name.

Taybor is described in the script: "A corpulent jolly figure dressed in a most outlandish costume of coloured capes and scarves, striped baggy pantaloons and a turban type hat with jewels and feathers, twirling a moustache."

When the traded goods are returned to Alpha, the script states they smashed the Recreation Centre juke box.[1]


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.