I have placed this episode in the year 1985, late in the chronology,
due to the scene near the end where Bradley looks at the bottle of
champagne he's sharing with Lt. Ellis and remarks on its year of
1984, suggesting that the current year must be something later.
At 1:34 on the DVD, as the Lunar Carrier is lifting off, a
string can be seen holding it up at the rear cockpit (the
This episode seems to indicate that Lt. Ellis is in charge
of Moonbase, as she indicates she would like to see spare
supply levels 20% higher and Freeman informs her that
Commander Straker, in fact, wanted her opinion on that.
As the three UFOs move past at 3:57 on
the DVD, a new star suddenly appears and seems to follow the
craft...this same scene appears in
At 4:36 on the DVD, notice that Freeman seems to react
slightly to Lt. Ellis' remark of "Good luck" to Mark Bradley
as he heads for his Interceptor to engage the detected UFO.
This seems to indicate that even Freeman has suspicions
about an emotional attachment between the two; the
novelization confirms that, at this point, Freeman is
convinced of the connection between the two.
As the three Interceptors race over the moon's surface and
into space, notice at 7:22 on the DVD that something falls
diagonally across the starscape as the third Interceptor
disappears behind the rock formation.
When Sky 1 launches from Skydiver out of the sea at
10:41 on the DVD to search for the landed UFO in Canada, the
novelization reveals that
was in the Hudson Strait at the time. Hudson Strait links
Canada's gigantic Hudson Bay with the Atlantic Ocean.
At 12:05 on the DVD, we see the
crescent moon over Canada. The moon,
in the northern hemisphere, is seen
from the south, so the crescent seen
here is to the east, indicating the
last quarter of the moon's phase,
thus it is near the end of whichever
month this story takes place.
Unfortunately, this contradicts the
scene earlier in the episode as the
Lunar Module approaches a gibbous
moon instead. (See also notes
in the entry below.)
Immediately after the scene above, a
monitor displays an image of a
crescent Earth over the surface of
the moon. However the phases of the
Earth as seen on the moon, would be
seen in a more horizontal sequence
rather than vertical as depicted in
this episode (see comparison to the
famous "Earthrise" photo taken
by astronaut William Anders during
the Apollo 8 mission below). (Note:
PopApostle reader Marcus pointed out
that the orientation of the Earth's
terminator, i.e. the line dividing
the day and night side, actually
depends on the observer's physical
location on the Moon. Near the
equator, where Moonbase is located
"Survival"], it should be seen
as a horizontal terminator, but the
image could have been transmitted
from a camera at the lunar north
pole, resulting in the orientation
and direction seen in the episode.
Another anomaly pointed out by
Marcus is that if the Moon is in the
"waning crescent moon" phase as seen
above, then Earth should be in the
"waxing gibbous" phase, with more
than half of the disc illuminated by
the sun. Thanks for the great
by William Anders
While Ellis and Waterman exit the Psycho-Analytic Department
office, leaving Bradley to be interviewed by the doctor,
notice at 16:55, that Bradley winks at Ellis, another
indication of their attachment.
At 19:26 on the DVD, the SHADO emblem on Carlin's flight
jacket is about to peel off! It must be just a pinned-on
badge instead of a part of the overall garment.
Straker tells Freeman the UFO has crash-landed near Lexfield
Air Base, Canada. This appears to be a fictional air base.
In this episode we see Freeman's office, much smaller and
plainer than Straker's.
At 27:10 on the DVD, as the camera pulls out from a close-up
on Straker's desk, an object on his desk next to the small
monitor screen seems to flash or reflect light off and on a
couple times in an unusual way. I'm not sure if it's an
intentional effect of some kind of device on the desktop or
the unintended reflection of production lighting or
something else. The lighting flash occurs again seconds
At 27:50 on the DVD, we see the sign for Lexfield Air Base,
designating it a base of the Canadian Defense Department.
The real world analog is actually known as the Department of
National Defence. Note also that Canada uses the British
spelling of "defence" with a "c", not an "s" as seen in the
At 31:23 on the DVD, movement on the ground ahead of the
mobile SHADO 3 suggests that the vehicle model is being
pulled along the
miniature set by a string.
At 32:12 on the DVD, some unexplained shadow movement is
seen on the miniature set at the left of screen.
At 40:50 on the DVD, as the surgeons attempt to save the
life of the captured alien, a device labeled Cyclator is
seen. This is a real world medical ventilator designed to
keep a patient breathing.
Straker speculates that the reason the aliens have seemed to
age almost instantaneously and die after exposure to Earth
air is related to the individual's age and that a younger
alien might survive in our atmosphere longer.
When the alien patient screams at 45:25 on the DVD, the
fillings in the actor's teeth can be seen. I guess aliens
get cavities, too!
Notes from the novelization of
"Computer Affair" by Robert Miall, published as UFO-2 in Great
Britain and UFO: Sporting Blood in the USA.
(Roughly speaking, chapters 1-4 cover the
"Computer Affair". The page numbers come from the 1st
printing, UK paperback edition, published 1971)
This book is actually a novelization of several episodes,
interwoven into a single story in a way the televised
versions are not. It features the plot and characters of
"The Dalotek Affair",
and "Survival". For purposes of
this study of "Computer Affair", only the chapters covering this
episode will be covered here. The chapters covering others
are dealt with in the studies of those episodes.
Page 7 reveals that Colonel Freeman had nominated Joan
Harrington for her position on Moonbase.
Page 9 reveals that Mark Bradley is from the West Indies.
On page 14, Freeman refers to Lt. Ellis as the base
commander in his ruminations. And, on page 19, after he has
returned to Earth and reports to Straker on the loss of the
Interceptor and pilot Matthews, and Straker orders Ellis and
the two surviving pilots to SHADO Control for debriefing on
the incident, Freeman recommends Paul Foster for temporary
command of Moonbase to give him some experience. This, of
course, plays havoc with the TV series timeline in many
ways. As pointed out earlier in studies of the UFO-1 book,
Robert Miall's adaptations of the episodes are rearranged
and modified for the convenience of telling a single, larger
story in novel form.
Page 17 mentions that Harlington-Straker Studios is
currently shooting a 3D movie which somehow manages to fit
Ulysses, Queen Victoria, and Romeo and Juliet into the same
story. Ulysses (also known as Odysseus) was the possibly
fictional, possibly real king of Ithaca in Homer's epic poem
The Odyssey, written circa the 8th Century BC.
Queen Victoria was the ruler of the United Kingdom from
1837-1901. Romeo and Juliet are the infamous young lovers
from William Shakespeare's 1597 play.
In the novel, Dr. Shroeder is described as wearing glasses.
In the TV episodes, he does not.
In the novel, Freeman expresses the psycho-tronic test
results on Lt. Ellis and Bradley as stating that the two have an
embryonic relationship that could develop into love between
the two. The two deny any current relationship. But the TV
episode seems to suggest a bit more substance to the
attraction between them.
The alien rifles are described as shooting something like a
blast of flame. But in the TV episodes, the alien weapons
seem to fire projectiles similar to bullets; only the UFOs
are seen firing laser-like weapons. (Though many of the
comic strip stories do depict a more laser-like aspect to
the alien firearms.)
On page 36, Bradley seems to be aware of the circumstances
of Carlin's sister's disappearance/death and chalks up the
alien he's just dispatched as "another one to balance out
what happened to Leila."
The novel reveals that the doctor who works on the survivor
alien is named Dr. Murray. (The end credits of the episode
also reveal this.)
On page 38, Straker remarks to Freeman about the survivor
alien, "We had a chance at one of them before, remember?"
This is intended as a reference to the events of
On page 41, Straker remarks to Freeman, in reference to
command position, "I'm the guy in the responsibility seat."
This is a subtle reference to the TV episode
Why did the captured alien die? He did not undergo rapid
aging after exposure to Earth atmosphere as seen by the one
"Identified". Was it a result
of the truth drug administered to him? Was he able to
trigger his own death in order to prevent himself from
giving away information?
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