The Interceptors in this story are depicted without the
front landing gear normally seen.
The aliens engage in a new tactic of sacrificing one of their
UFOs in an explosion in front of a trio of Interceptors to
blind their sensors and visuals so the two remaining UFOs
can make it safely to Earth.
For some reason, Straker is wearing sunglasses in SHADO HQ
in part one of the story.
In pursuit of the two UFOs on page 2 of the story, Sky 1
emerges from the Indian Ocean to give chase. Soon, Captain
Carlin reports to SHADO HQ that he's getting a little
worried about how close he's getting to the Chinese border.
This would tend to suggest that he has flown over India and
is approaching the Himalayan mountain range, which forms the
border between those two countries. This is confirmed in
part two of the story (page 3 of the complete story).
The events of this story would suggest that China is not
part of the central world government revealed in
"The Alien Ally".
China must be one of the few unnamed states mentioned in
that story as still shunning membership in the world
government. The peace breakthrough that the general claims
SHADO has nearly ruined may have been part of negotiations
for China to join the world union.
Straker and Freeman speculate that the aliens may be after
some prime human specimens in the form of an international
expedition scheduled to climb several mountains in the
Himalayan range, including two in Chinese territory, a week
later. Freeman goes on to remark on the subzero temperatures
available for the aliens to work in. That the aliens are
able to better manage their bodies' metabolisms in frigid
air was established in "Arctic
Straker makes a visit to the International Mountaineering
Club in his capacity as the head of Harlington-Straker film
studios to arrange a deal with the head of the upcoming
expedition to film the adventure. The
International Mountaineering Club appears to be a fictional
organization, but may be based on the
International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation formed in 1932 and
still existing today.
The airplane Straker and Foster take to Katmandu for the
expedition is a SHADAir Mobile Transporter, seen in several
episodes of the TV series.
Katmandu is the capital of Nepal, a nation engulfed by the
Upon seeing the SHADAir Transport plane, one of the
expedition members exclaims, "Sacre bleu! It is magnifique!"
Sacré bleu is an old French
profanity meaning "sacred blue", a reference to the color
associated with the Virgin Mary. The exclamation is not in
frequent use among the French, but is widely assumed as one
by English-speakers through the popularity of Agatha
Christie's novels of the French-speaking detective Hercule
Poirot, who was known to use the phrase frequently. Magnifique is French for "magnificent".
When three more UFOs attempt an Earth penetration, two are
destroyed by Interceptors, while the third is damaged, but
makes it to Earth at half speed. The lower speed allows
Moonbase to track it to a landing 30 miles west of Mount
Djhoubli, at the base of which the mountaineering expedition
has its base camp.
Mount Djhoubli appears to be a fictional mountain. Page 5
reveals the peak to be in Chinese territory.
This story introduces a SHADO helicopter not seen in any of
the TV episodes.
When a storm requires Foster and Straker to set down their
copter on the mountain, they find an old building that
Straker speculates may be an old Buddhist monastery.
Buddhism is prevalent religion in the Asian countries. A monastery
is an abode used to house Buddhist monks.
A previously unseen type of alien surface craft is depicted
in this story.
On the last page of the story, Straker tells the Chinese
captain, now aware of the alien intrusions on Earth, that,
given the chance, the aliens would "enslave us all." But we
haven't seen any evidence of alien interest in enslaving
humanity in any of the UFO stories. Rather, they
are interested in taking appropriate human bodies for their
organs or, possibly, as hinted at in
Cat With Ten Lives", for