This story is actually untitled. I've chosen to apply the title
"Clarion Call" to identify it in the chronology.
A newspaper called The Clarion breaks the news in
England about the existence of a secret government
organization called SHADO.
appears to be a fictional newspaper, although there was a
socialist newspaper in England by the same name from 1891-1931.
The alien here wears a Type 2 spacesuit. But notice that the
metallic module that normally
appears on the left breast of all alien spacesuits is missing. In
addition, the helmet also appears to be of the Type 1 variety, with
the smaller faceplate. This mismatch of the spacesuits continues to
occur in various stories presented in Countdown.
Johns hides the alien body in Robbicombe Cave along the
coast. This is a fictional cave as far as I can tell.
On pages 5-6 of the story, the salvage boat appears to use a
magnetic grapple to haul the crashed UFO from the sea floor.
After interrogation by Freeman, Johns admits he told the
reporter Mason about the alien and that Mason then said he
had a contact named Spencer who could get him into a secret
organization that dealt with UFO incursions. As a seasoned
reporter, Mason would not have so carelessly given away his
contact's name. Doing so, Mason winds up sabotaging his own
story, as we see at the end.
The alien shoots Spencer with an alien rifle at the SHADO
HQ. But where did the gun come from? The alien did not seem
to have it on him when he was dragged out of the sea by Johns!
Was it hidden on his person somehow? Did SHADO have a
captured weapon in their possession that the alien took from
a storage room?
On pages 9-10 of the story, Straker examines Spencer's dead body and
comments on the burn marks on it as those left by an alien
ray gun. But in the TV episodes, the alien rifles are seen
to shoot projectiles similar to bullets, not rays.
How did the alien know where SHADO HQ was located? It's
possible they learned of it from previous spies they had
within the organization, such as Roper in
"The Dalotek Affair".
Does the amnesia drug allow SHADO to also implant false memories? After all, they can't undo the already published
article about the conjectured existence of SHADO, so wouldn't
Mason need to have a cover memory of how he got the initial
information and a reason to not follow up on it any further?
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