For some reason, the first two pages of each 3-page chapter of this
story are in color, with the third page in black-and-white.
The pilot of the Ariel yacht states in his log that
he is in the lead in a round the world race. He also
mentions being 206 days out from Plymouth and having his
last radio contact with Melbourne. "Plymouth" is probably a
reference to the city in Devon county, England. "Melbourne"
is probably a reference to the city in Australia, supported
by the opening third-person narrative box that the boat is
in the South Pacific and, on page 2, panel 10 of the story,
the alien points to the Great Barrier Reef on a chart,
indicating to the yachtsman he wants to head in that
Barrier Reef is off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
The overhead view of the yacht shows it to be a trimaran,
having a main hull and two parallel minor hulls, placed on
either side of the main. Trimarans are often used for
On page 2 of the story, Straker remarks that they know the
aliens can survive in a liquid environment and even below
the surface of the ocean. These are references to the
aliens' life support suits, which are filled with a
breathable green fluid in the helmets for space travel
(evidenced since the first episode,
"Identified"), and, likely, Straker's own underwater
adventure in which he and Foster discovered a submerged
alien structure in
"Reflections in the
On page 2, panel 8 of the story, the alien uses a previously
unseen type of pistol that fires a laser beam or electronic
The recap paragraph of part two of the story states the
yachtsman's name is Robin Jackman, though he never states it
in the story. Yet, somehow, Carlin knows Jackman's name on
page 5 of the story!
On page 4 of the story, Carlin refers to Jackman's yacht as
a cockleshell. A cockleshell is a nautical term for a small,
Jackman runs up a series of nautical flags that Skydiver
decodes into meaning, "Danger...keep away...plague on
board", realizing that Jackman must be a captive of the
alien. But the flags shown do not conform to any actual
nautical signal flags!
This story reveals the aliens have a device capable of
disabling all electronic components in a wide region.
Possibly it projects an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which
is known in the real world to have similar effects, though
the effects seen in this story go away once the device is
shut off. Colonel Freeman later refers to it as "some kind
of alien negative force field."
On page 7, panel 4 of the story, Jackman calls the aliens
"green-faced gannets". A gannet is a type of large sea bird
known for eating large amounts of fish. The word "gannet"
has come to be used as a descriptive term similar to
"glutton", though its use here does not really fit the
The patrol plane sent to investigate the loss of contact
with the north-eastern coast of Australia is a SHADair
Albatross, also seen in several other UFO stories, both
televised and in print.
On page 10 of the story, the aliens have captured the
Skydiver crew (except for Carlin) and contained them in
capsules. But where did the capsules come from? The aliens
appeared to be empty-handed when they walked across the
underwater reef on page 9!
On page 11 of the story, Straker arrives in Adelaide.
Adelaide is the capitol of the state of South Australia.
With essentially all vehicles disabled in eastern Australia,
Straker sets off
with three other SHADO operatives
on camelback from Adelaide, heading for Brisbane. But Brisbane is
well over 1,000 miles away from Adelaide! Yes, they are
hoping to catch a steam train on the way, if the engineers
are able to get them running in Adelaide, by riding
alongside the railway, but they'd be better off just waiting
until they are running than expecting to get anywhere in a
reasonable time on camelback!
On page 12 of the story, Carlin is helped by a band of
aboriginal Australians on the Queensland coast. Queensland has
the second highest population of aborigines in Australia,
after the Northern Territory.
The aborigine called Albert has a very large war boomerang
with him which he uses to take down the power source in the
aliens' underwater base. But it did not seem that the
aboriginal village was nearby, so why was Albert carrying a
war boomerang with him?! Regular boomerangs for hunting
maybe, but not a giant war one!
At the end of the story, Albert claims (possibly jokingly)
he is going back on walkabout. The term "walkabout"
refers to an aboriginal rite-of-passage journey across the
land, usually by adolescents, as part of growing into an
adult. Additionally, adults may also go on walkabouts as a
spiritual journey or break from normal life.
Jackman uses a number of unlikely
nautical-themed exclamations: "What in the name of
Neptune..?", "Suffering sea-snakes!", and "Great sufferin'
Will SHADO use the amnesia drug on Jackman and the
aborigines to make them forget their encounter with aliens?
It seems like the aboriginals might be hard to track down
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