"The Secret Underground"
Teleplay by David Braff and Colley Cibber
Story by David Abramowitz and Donald R. Boyle
Directed by Cliff Bole
Diana wraps a fiendish plot for
revenge around the Visitor celebration of Ramalan; Donovan and
Julie must recover a list of Resistance leaders hidden by a
Fifth Columnist aboard the L.A. mothership.
At 2:46 on the DVD the tip of the microphone is visible at the
top of the screen.
At 4:32 on the DVD, a Ramalan decoration has a symbol in the
middle of it. What does it mean? It's not a standard character from the
Visitor alphabet, though it is kind of like a flipped version of
their letter "I". Is it an official symbol of the Ramalan celebration?
Meanwhile, notice that the tube-structured gong next to the Ramalan
decoration looks like a sideways
"U" in the Visitor alphabet.
To keep it out of Visitor hands, the Fifth Columnist Jonathan
hides the resistance's computer diskette,
containing the names of resistance leaders,
in the Ramalan decoration that is referred to as the
volcano. Curiously, the volcano appears to be the same prop used
as the Mentamorph in "The
There appears to be Visitor writing on the lab beakers at 5:13
on the DVD.
There is Visitor writing on the sheets of paper on Diana's table
at 10:35 on the DVD, but it is too blurry to make out.
We learn that Julie was once romantically involved with Dr.
Maitland. Julie must have a thing for tall, blond men since Marc
Singer (as Donovan) is 6'2" and Maitland (actor John Calvin)
appears to be about the same height!
Philip arranges for Donovan and Julie to pose as Visitor
scientists in order to sneak aboard the mothership to search for
the diskette. You'd think by now though that the faces of Mike
Donovan and Julie Parrish, two of the resistance's most
well-known leaders, would be required memorization by all
Visitor personnel. Yet they board easily without recognition!
As Oswalt begins to escort Donovan and Julie to the laboratory
of human studies he says it's, "...in the X wing. That's room
113, I think." This may be an oblique reference by the writers
to George Lucas' Star Wars saga (X-wing fighter craft)
and his stand-alone film THX-1138.
For some reason, Dr. Maitland
has a couple of posters of
Rudolph Zallinger's famous 1947
The Age of Reptiles on
the wall of his lab on the
mothership. The original fresco
is on the walls of the Yale
Peabody Museum of Natural
History, depicting the
Devonian through Cretaceous
periods, covering 350 million
years when ancient reptiles and
dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
Lydia's brother Nigel says he was born on the 9th of Zendi, the
11th cycle of the 43rd sequence. Zendi must be the name of a
|Visitor writing appears on
the monitor at 15:50 on the DVD.
When Lydia walks in on Philip to seek help against Diana, he
seems to be in a sort of meditation, holding a glowing geode in
front of his face. He even seems momentarily oblivious that
Lydia has entered the room. This strange mental state he seemed
to be in is never explained.
Even though they're speaking in a corridor, when Diana delivers
her sinister warning to James, the ship's command center set is
seen behind her at 24:32 on the DVD.
Nigel comments that those who die in the feast of Ramalan have
their names inscribed in the Book of Heroes.
Diana announces that Dr. Maitland has pronounced the virus ready
and so they will celebrate "the final solution to the human
question." This phrase is deliberately borrowed by the writers
from Nazi Germany's Final Solution, which was the plan for the
systematic extermination of Jews, what Hitler referred to as
"the final solution to the Jewish question".
|More Visitor writing on
beakers at 26:31 on the DVD.
As Lydia and Nigel reminisce on the past, we learn that they
once took a trip to the Crab Nebula and that Lydia was
personally decorated by the Leader. The Crab Nebula is a
supernova remnant in the Taurus constellation.
|James is reading
a page of Visitor writing at
29:56 on the DVD. We see the
writing through the thin page,
so it is backward. Below, I've
provided the original scene and
a flipped version so that the
writing is "legible".
James appears to have a painting of a planet and moon on the
wall of his office. Is it the Visitors' homeworld?
If I'm not mistaken, a new shot of the mothership and L.A.
background appears at 31:32 on the DVD, instead of the usual
recycled images. The L.A. Bank of America building appears in
After rescuing Julie from the guards in the Ramalan feast
chamber, Donovan tosses away his Visitor security helmet/visor.
Why? He could have continued to use it to cover his face and
maybe even pretend to be escorting Julie as prisoner to a cell
if she was recognized.
Donovan and Maitland knock out two Visitors who are not wearing
the dermoplast human skins. Then Donovan and Julie place human
masks and wigs of themselves (provided by Philip) over the two
as a decoy. But they don't apply the fake skin to the two Visitors'
green, scaly hands...yet in the next shot (39:10 on the DVD) the
two suddenly have human-looking hands!
The Donovan and Julie decoys are heard speaking Visitorese
when Diana stops them. Listen:
As Diana gloats over her impending sacrifice of Nigel, Lydia
says, out of the blue, "If Philip had survived, he'd have seen
your victory turn to ashes." Why does she think Philip is dead?
The only thing I can think of is that James must have said something
because Philip was present when Donovan and Maitland clobbered
James and his men, but was absent when they regained
consciousness in the corridor, so they must have thought Philip
had been taken away and killed by the humans. Of course, when
Philip quickly turns up alive, that would tend to lend credence
to Diana's contention that Philip is a traitor.
Just before she is about to sacrifice Nigel, Diana says, "Hail, Ramalan!" and "Hail our hero!" and the gathered assemblage
echoes her. This seems to imply that Ramalan was a person, a
hero of Visitor history.
When Philip interrupts the sacrifice at 43:38 on the DVD, Diana
refers to the ceremony as Throne Day. Perhaps Ramalan was a
The Visitors put on quite a
fashion show during the Throne
Diana (with killing implement)
This episode implies that Donovan and Julie's romantic
relationship is over and has been for a while. She tells former
flame Maitland that she and Donovan are "just friends" and that
there's "not time for anything but war". But at the end of the
episode she tells Maitland she wants to be with him again, so
apparently she does think there's time for romance in war...just
not with Donovan! Julie and Maitland have their separate
obligations with the resistance though and must go their
separate ways with a promise to hook up again whenever the war
is over. However, in "The
Prince and the Power", Julie seems to be thinking of the
possibility of having kids with Donovan someday and, in
"Blood on the Wind", the two
even seem to renew their romance when they get a night alone