Space: 1999
Episode by Episode

"End of Eternity"


From: Mateo Latosa Date: [unknown] Subj: [unknown]

The next episode for discussion is The End of Eternity, from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 22.

See ya!

Mateo


From: David Acheson (dkach@hotmail4tag.com) Subj: Space1999: End of Eternity Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 06:20:30 EST

Alphans:

I see we are now into END OF ETERNITY week. Looking over the course of the discussions, I am beginning to understand Petter's feelings toward the Ray Austin directed episodes. In particular, Austin seems to "click" with the Johnny Byrne scripted episodes just like Charles Chricton seems to have a similar knack for the Christopher Penfold stories. While the Chrichton-Penfold combination includes most of my favourite year-one episodes I am starting to find out the Byrne-Austin stories act as a second tier for me. Interesting discovery. Although Petter I still rank David Tomblin as my second favourite year-one director (I love the son-of-Kubrick style).

In that vain, I find END OF ETERNITY very similar in style to FORCE OF LIFE (an earlier Byrne-Austin piece). Although the danger is presented in a form of an alien humanoid the episode is really a study of the enemy within us all. Balor could have easily been a sociopath from Earth. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS anyone? This is probably what is disturbing about this episode - the fact that it could happen anywhere. The blue light in FORCE OF LIFE is just science fiction but we read about the Balor-types in the news. The immortality thing is brought up again but I find it is more background rather than the main point of the story as it was in DEATH'S OTHER DOMINION.

The style of direction, music and art design in this episode add to the disturbing quality of the episode. Barry Gray lets go of his grandiose music and gives us a film library score of eerie tones. This non-music form of music adds to the strangeness/isolation of the episode in my opinion. And check out Balor's abode in the asteroid! The paintings are like something out of Rod Serling's NIGHT GALLERY. Thankfully, the episode is less cheesy than that effort.

Its interesting to note Peter Bowles is the guest artist in END OF ETERNITY. I know him more for his comedic performances in many a British sitcom so am fascinated by how well he pulls off the pyschopathic Balor. This is one of the more interesting guest performances in the series.

Not much to report on our Alphan regulars. The story is mainly Balor and Koenig as adversaries. The others are just window dressing this time around.

Overall a pretty good episode. In my opinion this episode marks the start of the end of the middle slide the series seemed to have gone into. The high quality episodes seem to be at the beginning and end of the first year. To a lesser extend this same thing happened in year two.

Bye for now.


From: David Acheson (dkach@hotmail4tag.com) Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 12:34:39 EST Subj: Space1999: Correction to earlier Analysis

I screwed up royally. What I basically said about END OF ETERNITY I was hopefully factually correct and how I felt about the episode I still stand by. But what a screw up in the beginning Byrne-Austin and Penfold-Chrichton comparison. I must have been on some drug. So Petter I hope you read this correction before you comment on my original analysis.

The problem was that I did not bother to look at my own web site's episode guide and thought in my head that such and such people were responsible for such and such episodes. When I doubled-checked (hours after I sent off my analysis to the list) I found that it should have been the Byrne-Tomblin combination I was speaking of and NOT Byrne-Austin. In fact, there were only a few episodes Austin directed that were written by Byrne. A big slap in the face for me.

Thus I guess my second tier of episodes involve my second favourite first year director after all. Tomblin is in and not Austin. Sorry Petter and anyone else that listened to what I mumbled about before.

Still Ray Austin did film some fine episodes (END OF ETERNITY being one of his finer in my opinion) and I still see Petter's original points. I just have a different approach to the directors than Petter has.

I am going to hide my head in the sand for a short bit. Bye for now.

David Acheson


From: Petter Ogland (petter.ogland@dnmi4tag.no) Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 11:01:00 +0000 Subj: Re: Space1999: End of Eternity

I see we are now into END OF ETERNITY week. Looking over the course of the discussions, I am beginning to understand Petter's feelings toward the Ray Austin directed episodes. In particular, Austin seems to "click" with the Johnny Byrne scripted episodes just like Charles Chricton seems to have a similar knack for the Christopher Penfold stories. While the Chrichton-Penfold combination includes most of my favourite year-one episodes I am starting to find out the Byrne-Austin stories act as a second tier for me. Interesting discovery. Although Petter I still rank David Tomblin as my second favourite year-one director (I love the son-of-Kubrick style).

The son-of-Kubrick style is a nice term. As I was watching Kubrick's BARRY LYNDON (1975) Sunday night, I was struck by how similar it was in lightning, camerawork and colour to David Tomblin's ANOTHER TIME ANOTHER PLACE.

Concerning the teams Chrichton-Penfold and Byrne-Austin, the statements above seem reasonable to me. What I find puzzeling, however, is that, when interviewed, Johnny Byrne hardly mentions Ray Austin at all. In the Danish interview from 1982, he speaks quite interestingly about Crichton and Tomblin, and even a few words about Kellett, but nothing about Austin that I could notice.

Johnny Byrne did, on the other hand, say that he found MISSION OF THE DARIANS to be one of his most satisfiable achievements, an episode where the presence of Austin is also emphatically felt.

If I should make a personal guess, I would believe that Ray Austin was more interested in acting and filming, and less occupied with story, and this is why he perhaps felt that he didn't get too much feedback on the stories. Who knows? Before Austin became a director he was a stuntman, the story goes, and this may perhaps explain for some of his highly kinestetic and somewhat personal style of direction.

In that vain, I find END OF ETERNITY very similar in style to FORCE OF LIFE (an earlier Byrne-Austin piece).

Although I just thought it was just a slip of the tongue, giving Austin credit for the Tomblin-directed episode FORCE OF LIFE, David explains he must have been on drugs or something, making such outrageous statements. He-he.

Well, as similar as these two episodes are, Austin using much of the same type of filming along the corridors as Tomblin did in FORCE OF LIFE, I think it's rather interesting when directors or writers get mixed up. What would FORCE OF LIFE look like, anyway, were it directed by Austin? Or what would have been the consequences of Tomblin heading END OF ETERNITY?

In addition to the two above, I think THE TROUBLED SPIRIT has a certain Austin-Tomblin-Byrne feel to it, though Tomblin had nothing to do with it as far as I know. The resemblence between FORCE OF LIFE and END OF ETERNITY is the strongest, however, and it may be that Austin tried to emulate some of the strikingly efficient Tomblin style from FORCE OF LIFE into his episode.

Although the danger is presented in a form of an alien humanoid the episode is really a study of the enemy within us all.

Brilliant, David!

Balor could have easily been a sociopath from Earth. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS anyone? This is probably what is disturbing about this episode - the fact that it could happen anywhere. The blue light in FORCE OF LIFE is just science fiction but we read about the Balor-types in the news. The immortality thing is brought up again but I find it is more background rather than the main point of the story as it was in DEATH'S OTHER DOMINION.

It is a bit surprising, I think, that Johnny Byrne seems so much more affectionate for FORCE OF LIFE than END OF ETERNITY. To me this is a much more facinating story, but, as Johnny Byrne says, the success of END OF ETERNITY may rely more on actors and directors than story.

I'm not quite sure what he ment by this, but with it's focus on character rather than philosophy, it's not very typical Byrne. The only thing that comes close to this is VOYAGER'S RETURN, I think, which also is a character study of sorts.

Acting and style of direction in END OF ETERNITY is, of course, superb.

In terms of story, I find the prologue excellent, the two first acts and the beginning of the third very good. The end of Act III is ok, but I understand Byrne's feeling of that the further development of the story lacks motivation, and Koenig's statement in lines of "how does one kill something that can't be killed?" does perhaps move things away from the psychological aspects of the earlier acts.

Nevertheless, the confrontations between Balor and Helena and between Balor and Koenig are fascinating. The plan for getting rid of Balor may perhaps also have inspired Ridley Scott and the makers of ALIEN (1979).

Its interesting to note Peter Bowles is the guest artist in END OF ETERNITY. I know him more for his comedic performances in many a British sitcom so am fascinated by how well he pulls off the pyschopathic Balor. This is one of the more interesting guest performances in the series.

An absolutely wonderful actor, in my opinion. The comparision with Anthony Hopkins of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is very good, I feel. Bowles highly expressive face and wonderful voice control is perfect for this role.

Overall a pretty good episode. In my opinion this episode marks the start of the end of the middle slide the series seemed to have gone into. The high quality episodes seem to be at the beginning and end of the first year. To a lesser extend this same thing happened in year two.

I agree with David about high quality episodes seem to be at the beginning and end of the first year. To me END OF ETERNITY (#16) is perhaps one of the most interesting episodes since GUARDIAN OF PIRI (#8).

While the late episodes (#16-24) don't quite compare with the first eight from my point of view, I enjoy them perhaps more than many of the episodes from the mid period.

Petter


From: Patricia Embury (Patriemb@sprintmail4tag.com) Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 20:47:45 -0500 Subj: Space1999: End of Eternity

It was interesting to see this episode again. It can be argued that once more, the Alphans demonstrate that both curiosity killed the cat, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions. They explore the asteroid, it seems, to determine if there are any recoverable minerals and find an atmosphere they can't help but explore. They injure the occupant by setting off a booby trap (the door was wired with explosives) and take him back to Alpha to administer medical aid. They "slow code" the alien and then pronounce him. This was one of the better sequences. I liked the different view from cameras in the ceiling, reflected on the video monitor. The Alphans probably keep video records of their procedures for study, and since they left earth orbit, they could use it for research on different alien species.

Then the fun starts! Balor slowly reveals himself as a madman by setting up Baxter to kill Koenig, and then healing Koenig. Note the dried blood on the floor. This is briefly seen, and a nice touch. Balor confronts Helena in medical center. Balor seems charmed by Helena, and generously decides to spare her life, although make it uncomfortable for her if she refuses to help him. The "obsolete" dialogue between Helena and Balor is some of the best written in the episode, and strongly acted by Bain. Helena faces a future of treating torture victims, reviving them only to be hurt again, and being forced to let Balor use her medical equipment to perform only God- knows- what horrible medical experiments on the Alphans. The showdown between Koenig and Balor at the end placed the supporting cast in the same position as the audience, helpless and watching events unfold upon the screen. A crowd, it seems, holes up in main mission, as a "safe" area. Bergman grabs Carter as he attempts to help Koenig, Carter acting as the "everyman" in the audience who wants to "jump into the tv screen and help defeat the enemy." Nice touch. Peter Bowles is superb, and believable as the sociopath/psychopath Balor. I haven't seen any other of his work, but I hear he is a gifted comedic actor. Bain and Landau are very good, as usual. The others don't have a lot to do, but they help set up the rescue from the asteroid, and add to the overall atmosphere. Baxter is a good character, although he seems a bit odd to begin with. The character seemed nice enough, but something about his mannerisms and pattern of speech made it clear that he could be unpredictable if he couldn't pursue his love of flight. I liked the peek into the lives of the other Alphan pilots.

My only nit: Carter is supposed to be Chief of Reconnaissance, and , I assume, in charge of the pilots. Why wasn't he with Koenig when Baxter was grounded both times.


From: JSchill824 (JSchill824@aol.com) Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 10:53:50 EST Subj: Space1999: End of Eternity

Hi All,

Last year was the first time I saw this episode uncut. I was so surprised to find they had cut the whole first scene. This is a shame, because itís a great opening. The filming in this episode is unique and fits well with the theme of the show. In the beginning when Balor awakes in the Medical Center, the scene switches back and forth between Victor and Koening (who are trying to figure out the history of the asteroid) and Balor (trashing the security guys). The story develops here with little dialogue, but a lot of visual play. I also noticed how often they filmed Balor looking up at him. His dark garment and crazed looks definitely made him more menacing. I have to add here that the fight scenes were great. It must have been Ray Austinís influence, for itís very convincing. Has anyone else noticed what I might call well-executed throws in some of Year Oneís fighting scenes? Having a background in both Karate and Aikido, I know that itís choreographed, but they usually set up the throws correctly. Very fun!

Who remembers the first time they saw the scene with Baxter, the toy plane and Koenig? -- for me it was a true surprise. This scene builds so nicely that I still get a chill on subsequent viewings. Koenig enters the room while Baxter flies a plane like a 6 year old child. Who would have thought Baxter would beat the commander to a pulp in this scene! Wow! - itís chilling and wonderfully executed. Plus the music here is great; it starts very slow and builds to reinforce the crazed and tormented Mike Baxter. It reminds me of Psycho in that the viewer never really sees Mike make contact with the commanderís face. The viewer is still horrified because the filming here is superb and the viewer feels the effects. The camera at one point is shot through the toy plane - further taking us "along for the ride."

In my opinion Peter Bowles is best villain ever. He was great, and I remember as a kid liking him as a bad guy so much I bought a picture of him holding Koeing's bloody hand. (now that I think of it -- that's kind of morbid :-)

I still enjoy watching this episode and the closing "Pandoraís Box chat" with Helena, Victor and Koenig (with a black eye) is appropriate. So once again good triumphs over evil and our bruised hero has learned something, ď..we have to learn to leave some things alone.Ē I often wondered what ďReturn of BalorĒ would be like.

Until Tomorrow,
Janet


From: South Central (Tamazunchale@webtv4tag.net) Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 11:28:23 -0800 Subj: Space1999: Sequels to episodes

If there is any episode that leaves itself open to a sequel it is The End of Eternity. There is no way Balor would reach lunar escape velocity just by being ejected from a surface airlock. The show got it right when Koenig killed Zova by pushing her out an Eagle airlock---which is a subject for discussion in itself!

Balor would just stroll up to another (or the same) and force his way in again. Would anybody like to hazard a theory as to how this "cellular regeneration" thing works and how "immortals" such a Balor can be killed? I mean, if we saw him in half will we get two for the price of one?

Mateo


From: Patricia Embury (Patriemb@sprintmail4tag.com) Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 15:55:53 -0500 Subj: Re: Space1999: Sequels to episodes

Although Balor cannot be "killed" in the traditional sense, he would still be held in a type of stasis, in the vacuum of space, until some other poor sap took him in. The force of the vacuum opening might be enough to propel him far enough away from the moon, so that he wouldn't be able to get in another airlock.


From: "Robert Ashley Ruiz" (espresso@dnai4tag.com) Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 18:15:17 +0000 Subj: Space1999: Killing Balor

Balor would just stroll up to another (or the same) and force his way in again. Would anybody like to hazard a theory as to how this "cellular regeneration" thing works and how "immortals" such a Balor can be killed? I mean, if we saw him in half will we get two for the price of one?

I don't see it that way. Even Balor, being basically human, needs an atmosphere. In the context of the story it seems his body would shut down on the lunar surface until his surroundings changed, almost like he's dormant. We saw this with the effect of the explosion. It did affect him but didn't kill him, even though it seemed to at one point. His body needed time to regenerate. At this point, when he's vulnerable, they could have scooped him up and shot him/flew him into deep space.


From: Donald Hayunga (miramar@escape4tag.ca) Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 23:39:01 -0600 Subj: Re: Space1999: Sequels to episodes

Balor was a super strong being but I doubt he could survive the devistation caused to his body by explosive decompression. Each and every artery and vein and capillary would explode outwards, the skin and other surface area's of the body would be heavily damaged. Also whose to say that while Balor was incapacitated the Alphans didnt put him back in his tomb. After all they did attempt to destroy the asteroid carrying the tomb.

Don


From: David Acheson (dkach@hotmail4tag.com) Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 05:57:51 EST Subj: Space1999: Return to the End of Eternity

Hello Alphans:

Happy first day of Spring!!!!!It is finally here. Tells you how much I like winter.

Anyway, as to the suggestion of an END OF ETERNITY sequel. I don't believe it can be done. My feeling was that although Balor can regenerate his cells, and therefore not die in a normal fashion, he still needed air to breathe. Thus cell regeneration in the vacuum of space would not be possible. I believe Balor would die in space in much the same manner as the Alphans. This would be why Koenig planned to do Balor in this way. Koenig did not need to shoot Balor into escape velocity. Once Balor died, the Alphans would most likely go back out to the lunar surface and find a way to dispose of the body.

In fact, the only episode we discussed so far that would have a possible (believable) sequel would be VOYAGER'S RETURN. The Sidons would return to exact revenge on Alpha. But this particular episode wasn't all that strong.

I enjoyed reading Janet's and Pat's analysis of the episode and agree with much of what they say. The stuff about Mike Baxter in particular as I forgotten about him. In many respect this episode was very dark in nature - a very disturbing study of the mind gone mad. I just don't believe this episode would have translated so well in year two.

Happy Spring everyone! Or Autumn for those down in the southern hemisphere.

David Acheson
Site Administrator, Return to Moonbase Alpha
http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Heights/4376/moonbase.html


From: Allard1234 (Allard1234@aol4tag.com) Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 12:37:58 EST Subj: Re: Space1999: Killing Balor

I thought the purpose of blowing up the asteroid at the end, was to imply it would re-form around Balor again.

Mary-Lynn


From: "Robert Ashley Ruiz" (espresso@dnai4tag.com) Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 10:04:42 +0000 Subj: Space1999: RE: Killing Balor

I thought the purpose of blowing up the asteroid at the end, was to imply it would re-form around Balor again.

I thought it was just to suggest that it (and by extension Balor) may not be possible to destroy and the Alphans may not be as safe as they think they are -- a very X-Files type of ending.

In the end the Alphans didn't really have a reason to destroy the asteroid unless they had returned Balor's body to it. Wonder if something got edited out. Why else might they want to expend energy on destroying an asteroid that wasn't threatening them as it passed in space. It's never mentioned in the story that it's on a collision course with them.


From: Patricia Embury (Patriemb@sprintmail4tag.com) Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 20:32:46 -0500 Subj: Re: Space1999: RE: Killing Balor

I assummed it was for the morale of the Alphans primarily, and secondary as a remote possibility of having it reform around Balor.


From: jcg@vh4tag.net Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 16:58:52 -0500 Subj: Space1999: End Of Eternity

I thought it was funny that they comment that it would have taken the asteroid a thousand years to travel from the nearest star system...yet the moon doesn't seem to have that problem.

Victor is shouting inside his space helmet...which he wouldn't do if they were real because then his voice would be transmited via radio.

If you can break off a piece of regenerative rock, wouldn't it regenerate into the whole asteroid?

When a dangerous alien is beating the hell out of the security guards, why doesn't one of them step back and shoot the alien when the other security guard is clear? Why do they always insist on bare-handed fighting and getting knocked out?

Baxter's optic nerve is severly damaged, and yet he is seeing with no trouble? (which is what we must assume, because if he were now severly blinded, he wouldn't wonder why he is grounded.)

Would you take a dangerous alien and debrief him in your most sensitive control area (Main Mission?)

Not only did Balor heal Koenig, but also his clothing...no blood on Koenig's uniform.

It looks good, but no, being blown out the air lock at surface level will not achieve escape velocity (which means Space Warp had it right.)

If the laser couldn't destroy Balor, why can it destroy the astroid...even if only temporarily?


From: "Robert Ashley Ruiz" (espresso@dnai4tag.com) Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 14:25:32 +0000 Subj: Space1999: Re: End Of Eternity

I thought it was funny that they comment that it would have taken the asteroid a thousand years to travel from the nearest star system...yet the moon doesn't seem to have that problem.

That bugged me too, so the justification I use is that they were referring to only the direction the asteroid was coming from.


From: Petter Ogland (petter.ogland@dnmi4tag.no) Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 09:30:28 +0000 Subj: Re: Space1999: End of Eternity

I have to add here that the fight scenes were great. It must have been Ray Austinís influence, for itís very convincing.

Austin's previous experience as a stuntman may have had something to do with this. Greg once pointed out that the the fights where more prominent in the Austin episodes than others. I'm not sure whether this is right, but I remember the fight in MISSING LINK to be quite convincing. In the scene where Alan hits Dr. Mathias, Nick Tate actually knocks Phillps down, I believe. For a fragment of a second Tate looks rather horrified of what he's done.

Plus the music here is great; it starts very slow and builds to reinforce the crazed and tormented Mike Baxter. It reminds me of Psycho in that the viewer never really sees Mike make contact with the commander's face. The viewer is still horrified because the filming here is superb and the viewer feels the effects. The camera at one point is shot through the toy plane - further taking us "along for the ride."

PSYCHO (1960) is a very good comparision, I feel. The use of subjective camera angels, making the audience sometimes feel like the murderer and sometimes like the victim is incredibly effective, I feel, if perhaps a bit sadistic, just like Hitchcock, and makes one wonder what's going on in the mind of the director creating such a sequence in this manner.

I feel the execution scenes in MISSION OF THE DARIANS is made with equal flair and nastiness, perhaps a bit like Hitchcock's TORN CURTAIN (1966).

In my opinion Peter Bowles is best villain ever. He was great, and I remember as a kid liking him as a bad guy so much I bought a picture of him holding Koenig's bloody hand.

He is wonderful from the very first scene, I feel. I re-watched EARTHBOUND the other night, but even as Christopher Lee is impressive as the tall dark Zantor, Bowles highly expressive face makes enormous contrast to Lee's stone facade. Personally I find Peter Bowles to be one of the most interesting guest stars of the series, Peter Cushing, perhaps, as the only one with an equal charisma.

Petter


From: judas@netmatters4tag.co.uk (B J Dowling) Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 00:19:42 +0000 Subj: Space1999: End of Eternity

Hi y'all,

Snippets from David Acheson's and Petter's contributions alongside my own thoughts.

If I should make a personal guess, I would believe that Ray Austin was more interested in acting and filming, and less occupied with story, and this is why he perhaps felt that he didn't get too much feedback on the stories. Who knows? Before Austin became a director he was a stuntman, the story goes, and this may perhaps explain for some of his highly kinestetic and somewhat personal style of direction.

As I recall, Ray Austin acted as stunt co-ordinator on several Avengers episodes before he went on to Space:1999 and The Professionals. Certainly many of what are considered classic examples of each series had strong writing and production teams, giving the director room to orchestrate the story how he wanted.

Ray Austin is still active in television, being named as one of the directors of the new series of The Professionals currently in production. It would be very interesting to see who of the series directors are still in film/tv and if they would be interested in letting us know their thoughts on the series.

The episode starts with the Alphans already landed and checking out the approaching object to the extent of blowing a hole in it. Surprisingly there's a door there and Victor has a magic device which seems to be able to open any door.

The flash scene teasers in the credits here are very good, especially the shots of Peter Bowles' face.

As an aside, a few words on Peter Bowles. Before I saw this episode, I was familiar with Bowles wearing a moustache in the many roles he has take n on television. With his elegance and near RP accent, the roles he is most known for usually revolve around the character being upper class and very well presented, whether good, bad or comedic. This episode showcases Bowles' talents as something very different to the roles one would expect him to play.

The scene where Baxter takes the blast from the "cell" door had me wondering about the authenticity of this part of the sub plot. The blast was fairly powerful, but the explosion itself did not seem that intense. Besides, if Baxter was the pilot, why wasn't he back in the Eagle?

The final shot when the Alphans leave the "cell" is truly haunting - that painting really is the stuff nightmares are made of. Freeze that frame and take a good look if you are of strong constitution; the main focus of the painting is reminiscent of Edvard Munch's The Scream, while the background images cunjor up visions of Vald the Impaler.

I'm surprised that an image that strong didn't make some sort of impact until later in the story when John and Victor started thinking about the asteroid. The shock effect of that image overshadows the fact that Balor is in a very bad way for me.

As Balor is rushed to the medical centre, his heartbeat is heard from the moment the travel tube opens right through to when he "dies". How accurate is the behaviour of the emergency medical team in this situation?

I'm unsure as to why Koenig puts two security men on the door of the medical unit. What purpose would they serve outside the unit? If Balor was perceived as a threat, then restraints would probably have been a better idea. That or an alarm to alert someone when he came around.

The scenes where Balor investigates his new surroundings are beautifully directed and scored, the interpolation of the scenes with Victor and John and their contrast make a very good sequence into a great sequence. The eerie quality of Balor's wanderings allied with Bowles' expressive features elevate this sequence over the Zoref wandering sequence in Force Of Life.

Bowles' expressive features cover a wide spectrum in just a few short scenes - anger and confusion on first recovering, aggression with the security guards, almost wonder at the Alphan complex and then the scene in Assembly Area D tops it off. Reminiscent of Karloff's Frankenstein monster or Victor Carroun in The Quatermass Xperiment, unable to articulate and seemingly worthy of our sympathy for their inability to do so, but possessing potential for great threat.

The parallel with the Frankenstein monster becomes more accurate as the story progresses - near indestructible and with a tendency to hurt people - more like Lon Chaney Jr's portrayal of the creature in The Ghost Of Frankenstein rather than Karloff's interpretation of the role in the three preceding films.

The fight scenes are as good as one has a right to expect, having an experienced stuntman and fight co-ordinator directing. The look on Balor's face as he throttles a security guard with one hand is the first show of his true nature we will shortly encounter.

That doesn't stop a gang of security guards trying to take him out, or Carter blasting him. I thought "shoot first, ask questions later" wasn't Koenig's policy. I can't help but wonder if Balor was telepathic to some extent - this might account for his unwillingness at first to use vocal communication, but as he encountered more Alphans he realised the way to go and kept his telepathic abilities secret.

The camera work throughout the episode is excellent - the first hand view of the action (Balor's wanderings, Koenig on the wrong end of Baxter's mad attack) and the quick scene changes work well, rather than looking like a music video.

Balor demonstrates clarity, intelligence, logic and expressiveness during his question and answer session in Main Mission (traits of psychopaths, so I'm told). The immortality theme is mentioned again here - in the novels, I think this story happens before Death's Other Dominion. I'm sure I recall the part where Cabot Rowland makes his speech about spreading the gift of immortality throughout the galaxy and Koenig thinking that it reminded him all too much of Balor.

When I first watched this, I recall starting to wonder about Balor as he spoke more on what happened on Progron. "Only death gives a purpose to life" is good philosophy as a statement, but when he said "How can you value life if you do not fear death?" I got the feeling he might just be a psychopath. His line "Transcend the limitations of the human spirit" reminded me of a quote from the Marquis de Sade which I can never remember properly! Something along the lines of pain being the most memorable and impression making sensations one can experience. Especially when you consider those frightening paintings.

Baxter is told he's grounded. What a blow for a guy who loves flying. How does Balor know this? Koenig and Helena are hardly going to tell Balor what's been going on in the life of the base over the last 72 hours. Baxter is visited by Balor and I don't know what he did to that poor pilot, but the attack on Koenig (great camerawork here) was quite brutal. I take it that the missing scenes of a bloodied Koenig were taken out from this part of the story?

The way Baxter dies is gruesome, the fear being apparent in his final state. Were the results of the Baxter autopsy disclosed in the novel?

Balor and Koenig meet in the commander's office. Koenig and Victor think they know what they now have to deal with, but the way that Balor admits it to Koenig is truly chilling. The smile and look Balor gives to Koenig as he says "Yes, everything you say is correct..." wouldn't be out of place in any great horror film. Comparisons with Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter are justified here.

In terms of story, I find the prologue excellent, the two first acts and the beginning of the third very good. The end of Act III is ok, but I understand Byrne's feeling of that the further development of the story lacks motivation, and Koenig's statement in lines of "how does one kill something that can't be killed?" does perhaps move things away from the psychological aspects of the earlier acts.

I agree with Petter's point here. The "how does one kill something that can't be killed?" line is not really necessary, given what we already know about Balor from the rest of the story. Momentum seems to drop here, though Balor's appearance in the medical unit is a good scene. Helena is quite obviously scared, but still stands up to Balor. There is little she can do, however, should he decide to wreak havoc in there.

I think the novel differs from the episode in terms of its ending. If I recall, Koenig meets Balor in a similar place and has a dialogue with him which revolves around Koenig having his own private collection of things which may interest Balor and which he would be able to see if he would just follow Koenig. Balor says something about him being the master and that Koenig should follow him. He goes through the door, it shuts and the airlock opens and sucks him out into space.

I wouldn't be surprised if Ridley Scott was influenced by this for the "Alien" film released a few years after.

Acting and style of direction in END OF ETERNITY is, of course, superb.
The style of direction, music and art design in this episode add to the disturbing quality of the episode. Barry Gray lets go of his grandiose music and gives us a film library score of eerie tones. This non-music form of music adds to the strangeness/isolation of the episode in my opinion.

Wholehearted agreement with both points there. The episode gives us several chilling and disturbing moments, perhaps more in this episode than any other. The regular supporting cast merely support here, as the whole thing revolves around Koenig and Balor. Not much in the way of special effects, but they weren't needed for the most part. Overall I would give this a B+ - a real favourite of mine and a pleasure to view once again and give some serious thought to.

Brian Dowling - Online Alphan #144 - Birmingham, England


From: Petter Ogland (petter.ogland@dnmi4tag.no) Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 09:22:04 +0000 Subj: Space1999: End of Eternity

I got a letter from Janet where she makes some interesting comparisons between NEW ADAM NEW EVE and END OF ETERNITY. As I suppose more than I would enjoy this, I forward a short extract from the letter:

... However I did just get New Adam New Eve in the Mail today from Columbian House. Funny after just watching End of Eternity, there were some strange parallels. For example, Magus wants the Alphans to use as a second chance to make "a new species of mankind". Of course Koenig says no and the bad guy gets mad and shows his strength. Showing that if they do not agree he'll destroy Alpha. In the end Koenig again baits the bad guy (Magus) in to falling in the pit. Not too unlike the ending of End of Eternity. When the planet falls totally apart there is reference the Maglos still lives. Not too unlike our feeling of Balor.


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