This novel is not the best overall of the four novels (that distinction would probably go to Phoenix), but it is the novel with the most tightly focused plot. All the three other novels suffer from meandering plot lines, with the focus of the central conflict constantly changing. This helps compensate for some of its relative dullness compared to the action of the other novels. Like Tubb's other novel, Alien Seed, it also very well captures the spirit of year one episodes.
Has anyone read E. C. Tubb's 'Pawn of the Omphalos' from 1980? I recall glancing through it some years back at a used book store. From what I remember, the story dealt with a group of people that encounter a giant green "brain" in space. Does anyone know just how similar the two books are in storyline?
I think i might have read it at some point, but it would have been 15 years ago or more. I know I did read one of Tubb's novels and noticed some similarities to material he used in his 1999 books.
The opening to this novel and "Android Planet", the previous one, are more than a bit similar. In both, the members of the base of busily engaged in putting on a theatrical production when an alert from Main Mission after they contact an object interrupts it and catapults us into the plot. I wonder if Tubb and Rankine realized how similar their two opening scenes were, or if it was coincidence?
E.C. Tubb did write a novel called "Moonbase", about ten years before S:1999 premiered, about a murder investigation on a moon colony which curiously presaged in some ways Moonbase Alpha.
SPOILER WARNING involving character death!!!
I was disappointed that Alan Carter's copilot, Frank Dale, died, after all he and Carter went through. I never thought the author would actually kill Carter, and so hoped he would also see fit to let Dale live, since the two men were in the same situation. I know Dale was a tad more talkative, and used up his air just a little faster than Carter. BUT... I especially thought the experience would make a good 'maturing point' for the young Dale, and would indeed be a "story to tell [the] grandchildren," as Carter joked to him. And for once, Carter would have a copilot LIVE through a mission with him!
Once in a while, it would be nice to see supporting characters survive, but I'll grant this: it's firmly in keeping with Series 1's body count!
Any similar feelings?
Never thought much about it. Someone did comment that the body count in Tubb's original novels was too high.
Of the 4 originals released in North America this one is the one that comes across most like an actual episode of the series. I can even think of places where commercial breaks might appear.