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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

"After the Thaw"
TV episode
Written by: Theo Cohen
Directed by: Michael Grossman


The Eden Advance group discovers an ancient Terrian frozen in the ice.


Read the full summary at the Making of Timelines Yahoo Group


Didja Know?


The story of "After the Thaw" seems to be inspired by John W. Campbell's 1938 short story "Who Goes There?", which also inspired the 1951 and 1982 films The Thing from Another World and The Thing, all of which are about an alien found buried in the ice that is dug out and escapes, leading to paranoia as to its whereabouts and intentions among the humans responsible. There may also be a dash of the 1956 classic film Forbidden Planet and its story of the immense planetary machine of the extinct ancient Kelvans on Altair IV, which gives form to one's primal id, released from its imprisonment within the mind through the hubris of Dr. Morbius.


Ragamuffin and the Elder both reappear in this episode, having first been seen in "The Greatest Love Story Never Told".


Didja Notice?


Alonzo narrates this episode and states that it's the group's 109th day on the planet and the 40th day living at the bio-dome. Since the story spans two days, it must end on the 110th day.


When Julia slips and begins her fall down the snowy slope, it can be seen that the snow is already churned up ahead of her (likely from practice falls or earlier takes).


Julia has apparently learned previously that modern day Terrians receive their nutrition through osmosis, making their bodies more plant-like than animal; the suggestion of plant-like composition is similar to the description of the alien creature in The Thing from Another World. In "Promises, Promises", Julia's scanner was unable to identify the Terrian life forms as either animal, vegetable, or mineral.


Julia finds that the Terrian body the group has found in the ice is about 300,000 years old and has a body composition more similar to humans than the modern day Terrians.


Alonzo reveals to Julia that during his first cold sleep, he woke up five days early for some reason, trapped in the half-freezing sleep capsule, unable to go back to sleep. It was after that that he stopped having dreams.


The fears of many of the group members about the ancient Terrian body in the ice prompts Danziger to admonish them, "Honestly, you're more childish than my daughter." That's saying something!


Julia records in her log that, unlike modern Terrians, the frozen one has a spinal column and multiple vertebrae.


When the main generator in camp is mysteriously destroyed, Morgan sarcastically asks Julia, "Are you finally going to admit that the iceman shouldn't have cometh?" The end phrase of his sentence is a reference to the 1939 play The Iceman Cometh, written by Eugene O'Neill.


For some reason, when Devon brings the DuneRail to a halt at 25:51 on the DVD, the overhead lights and headlights come on. But when the camera angle changes seconds later, they're off again. Possibly the vehicle had a short in it that was causing the lights to come on when she hit the breaks or released the accelerator.


The man known as the Elder explains that, long ago, the Terrians were more individuated and had primordial emotions. They believe that all of those emotions were later frozen into one single Terrian who was swallowed into the ground. The Grendlers know of this legend and passed it on to the Elder.


While the "possession" test is being performed on the group members, Danziger and Devon hold a sedi-derm for tranquilizing the victim if necessary. Sedi-derm was used by Julia on the Z.E.D. to keep him incapacitated while they questioned him near the end of "Redemption"


Unanswered Questions


The winch on the TransRover gets burned out attempting to lift the ice block containing the frozen Terrian. Does Danziger manage to fix it again?


It seems a huge coincidence that Julia just happens to slip and fall and slide down the hillside and come to rest right on top of the buried Terrian in the ice. Did the creature's still living psychic energy sense her presence on the hilltop and somehow cause her to fall right at that spot?


Memorable Dialog


serving that carcass for dinner.wav

more childish than my daughter.wav

ice cube Harry.wav

the iceman shouldn't have cometh.wav

the Grendler was trying to warn us.wav 


Back to Earth 2 Episode Studies