I've placed this story after the end of the TV series since it
features the new Earth ship, the Space Scout, able to maneuver in
and out of "deep space" fairly quickly, indicating more
sophisticated engine technology than exhibited in the series, and
because the aliens here are depicted as able to speak English to
communicate with the humans.
SHADO introduces a new Space Scout ship for patrolling space
beyond Earth's orbit. But some other stories do suggest long
range probes already in existence, such as Deep Space Probe
87 (also referred to as Watchdog) in
"Reflections in the Water" and the Venus Probe in
Cat With Ten Lives". The Space Scout seen here seems more
sophisticated than the probes in those earlier episodes.
Notice in the image above that, as in
"The Force Field",
Moonbase appears impossibly enormous on the surface of the
Once again, Foster is referred to as a major instead of a
Notice on page 1, panel 3 of the story that the lovely,
young Moonbase lieutenant has her hand on Colonel Foster's
shoulder as she remarks that he sounds apprehensive about
the Space Scout mission. Seems a bit inappropriate for a
subordinate to be touching a Colonel, but then Foster always
was a ladies man. Maybe the two have been seeing each other
Foster remarks that the Space Scout is actually a
program, not SHADO.
On page 2 of the story, the aliens use never-before-seen
jetpacks to maneuver during a spacewalk from a UFO to the
The interior of the Command Sphere looks quite a bit
different than that seen in the TV episodes. Possibly, at
this point in time, after the end of the single season of
the TV series, SHADO has expanded Moonbase into underground
chambers, with an additional "nerve center" or "control
room" as it is referred to here. There also appears to be a
separate landing/launch pad for the Space Scout from that
which is used for the Lunar Module in past stories.
The communications monitor on Straker's desk, seen in panel
10 of page 3 of the story, is different from the style seen
in episodes of the TV series.
After Foster crash lands the Space Scout in the ocean, page
6 states he's in the medic bay at SHADO HQ just 30 minutes
later! That's a pretty fast rescue and delivery from the
middle of the ocean to the London area!
Why does Straker feel the need to blame the Pentagon's Space Scout
mission for the alien attack? Couldn't the aliens just as easily
have hijacked another Earth probe to infiltrate Moonbase? It's never
explained why Straker and Foster thought the deep space scout craft
to monitor for UFOs was such a bad idea. Wouldn't Straker be pleased
about additional space monitoring? Maybe Straker is the egotistical
control-freak General Henderson has been claiming!
Back to UFO