This story adds further to the speculation that there may be
a division among the aliens in regards to how to treat the
people of Earth.
Notice the alien city seen here appears
to be the same one seen in the
"Shock-Wave" and the
story previous to this one,
On page 3, Sky 1 intercepts the UFOs in the troposphere. The
troposphere is the lowest region of Earth's atmosphere, 0-6
miles above the surface.
Also on page 3, Sky 1 is depicted as firing a missile from
the nose instead of from pods mounted on the wings as in the
TV series (although the pods are visible).
On page 4, panel 1, a French fighter pilot says, "Mon dieu!
Imbecile!" This is French for "My god! Imbecile!"
Evading the French fighter jets, on page 4, panel 3, Carlin
says, "Bonsoir, mon braves!" This is French for "Good night,
my brave men!"
As Sky 1 soars away, one of the French fighter pilots
exclaims, "Sacré bleu!" This 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.
The landed alien sprays himself with a brown skin coloring
(presumably to cover the green tint of his skin from the
liquid pressure space suit) and passes himself off as a
native of India.
Page 5 states that the UFO landed in Brittany. This is a
region in northwest France.
The alien, Sagum, catches a ride to the ancient city of
Valleine. As far as I can tell, this is a fictional city.
The lorry driver refers to his passenger as mon ami and
Sagum responds, "Merci, M'sieu."
ami is French for "my friend" and merci, M'sieu means
"thank you, sir" (M'sieu is an abbreviation of the French
On page 6, Professor Lemarq finds Sagum's skin to be cold to
the touch. Do the aliens naturally have a low body
temperature? Or is it a result of the survival girdle he
wears, keeping his body cool to prevent the accelerated
aging that normally occurs to the alien body after exposure
to Earth's atmosphere? Recall that SHADO learned that low
temperatures could keep an unprotected alien alive for an
extended time in "Arctic Affair".
Notice on page 6 that at least 6 UFOs converge on Earth at
once. On page 7, Foster implies that there were 8 UFOs
total, with 7 destroyed by Interceptors and Sky 1.
Previously, 3 has been the highest number of them seen at
once (except when the aliens briefly took over a mining
station on Mars in "The Force
Field"; and 50 are mentioned, but not seen, in
"Reflections in the
Water"). There are also at least 5 Interceptors sent to
combat them at once, whereas we normally see only three of
them as well; however, it has been presumed that additional
Interceptors are stationed at Moonbase, if for no other
reason than to replace those destroyed in action.
Throughout part two of the story (Countdown #39),
the alien called Sagum in part one is now referred to as
On page 7, notice that the alien observing the SHADO
investigation in Brittany from a nearby hill is easily able
to identify Straker and Foster. Apparently, the alien
infiltrators have been given much advance information about
SHADO operations and its most important personnel.
On page 8, Professor Lemarq discovers that the unconscious
Sagum has a green body (beyond the brown-colorized skin of
his face and hands). In episodes of the TV series, we've
seen the aliens with white (Caucasian) hands, but it would
make some sense that, while the hands might be sealed from the
liquid environment of the spacesuit for ease of
mobility/dexterity, the body overall would need to be
submerged within the fluid to protect internal organs.
Also on page 8, Foster asks the lorry driver if he picked up
anyone near Le Son D'eglise. I have not been able to confirm
this as an actual location in France.
On page 9, the lorry driver guesses his passenger might have
been Algerian from the dark brown color of his skin. Algeria
is an African country with a northern coast along the
A sign at the entrance of the university is partially
visible on page 9, panel 5. The word "universitée" is seen
on it; the actual French spelling of "university" though is
On page 9, panel 6, non is French for "no".
On page 11, panel 7, Foster shouts to the farmer with the hay
wagon who is blocking the road, "Allez-vous en!" This is
French for "You go in!"
Did the aliens ever manage to recreate the survival belt invented by
Sagum which would allow them to walk the Earth without harm for
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