Guardian Of Piri

Space: 1999The moon nears a colorful planet, but Moonbase Alpha’s scanners can’t indicate whether or not the planet sustains life. An Eagle is dispatched to investigate, and the two pilots aboard make a remarkable find – a “forest” of spherical shapes. When they begin flying recklessly among the spheres, exhibitng almost intoxicated behavior, Carter furiously orders the pilots to return to the moon – and then contact is lost. Carter blames the incident – and presumably the death of two pilots – on a rapid-fire series of computer failures on Moonbase Alpha. As the head of the moonbase’s computer division, Kano is at a loss to explain, and the failures continue: a patient dies during a routine (but computer-supervised) blood transfusion, and computer-maintained life support drops the oxygen level within the moonbase (causing Bergman’s artificial heart to fail momentarily). A second excursion, in an Eagle with no computer control, reveals that the first Eagle didn’t crash – it’s suspended in mid-air above the planet’s surface. To find the source of the computer glitches, Kano interfaces himself with the moonbase’s mainframe via an implanted connection, but he vanishes before Dr. Russell’s eyes. Koenig and Alan Carter visit the planet for themselves, where Koenig finds Kano and the missing pilots. They can’t tell him what’s happened – until a beautiful woman appears, offering Koenig and the other humans eternal happiness. All they need to do is pledge their loyalty to the Guardian of the planet Piri. Koenig refuses, and when he returns to the Eagle, finds that Alan has received a visit from the woman as well – and he seems to have accepted her offer. It also seems that the rest of Koenig’s crew has accepted the invitation from Piri, as he discovers when he returns.

Order the DVDswriter not credited
directed by Charles Crichton
music by Barry Gray
additional music by Vic Elms

Guest Cast: Catherine Schell (The Woman), Prentis Hancock (Paul Morrow), Clifton Jones (David Kano), Zienia Merton (Sandra Benes), Anton Phillips (Dr. Mathias), Nick Tate (Alan Carter), Michael Culver (Pete Irving)

Notes: Technically, Christopher Penfold is credited only as the story consultant, and no writer is actually credited for this episode. However, it’s worth noting that Kano’s human-computer interface is very similar conceptually – right down to the plug-in jack implanted into the back of his head – to Crewman Maddox’s computer connection in the 1984 Doctor Who story Warriors Of The Deep, which was written by Space: 1999 veteran Johnny Byrne. Actress Catherine Schell would join the show’s regular cast in season two, although in a very different role.

LogBook entry by Earl Green