Space Cases About The Show

Behind The Scenes

The Crew

Episode Details

Episode Guide

Episode Snapshots



News Archives


Peter David

Site Info
and Awards

Website Contacts

Hosted by
Robert Rhodes
at Aloha Daze

A Day In
The Life

Season 1, Episode 3

Episode Details

Plot Summary | Ongoing Story and Character Developments
Unanswered Questions | Memorable Lines | Glitches
Trivia, Inside Jokes and References | NotePAD

MPG download available.

Plot Summary

The kids are caught in the middle of a conflict between Davenport and Goddard. Goddard needs them in the command post to pilot the ship, but Davenport insists that their studies must continue. Catalina suggests that they create a schedule so they can do both. Davenport and Goddard agree. Davenport tells Thelma that the schedule is "tip-top priority."

Meanwhile, the Christa is passing into Ferna Hernan space. The extremely polite members of the Ferna Hernan planetary intruder squad discover their presence, but instead of blowing the Christa up, they give the Christa three hours to explain their presence.

Thelma receives the message from the Ferna Herna, but does not pass it along immediately because she must stick to the busy schedule. She wakes the children up. As she is doing so, she attempts to tell Harlan about the Ferna Hernan threat, but he asks if it can wait. Thelma says it can wait three hours.

Thelma tries on several occasions to inform the crew, but her efforts are thwarted, either by the schedule or by Catalina's sonic practicing, which is starting to get on everybody's nerves and is shaking the entire ship apart. Cat eventually manages to blow out her vocal chords.

In the meantime, Davenport has the students begin keeping journals, to determine what jobs they are best suited for.

The Ferna Herna, having received no explanation, fire their missiles at the Christa. Thelma then finds an opportunity to tell Cat that the Ferna Herna have fired their missiles. Now Cat is the only one who knows, and she can't talk!

The Christa survives the first barage of missiles when Radu raises the shields at the last minute. But they know more will be coming.

Cat goes to the command post to tell everyone what is happening, and manages to use charades to tell them to ask Thelma. Thelma finally tells Goddard about the message she received. They send a message to the Ferna Herna, apologizing profusely, but it is too late, the Ferna Herna's most deadly missiles have already been fired.

Cat comes up with a plan to stop them: she will use her sonic powers to disrupt the missiles' guidance. She gets her voice back just in time, and saves the ship.

Back in quarters, time for bed, both Harlan and Cat tell their journals, in exactly the same words, that they saved the ship today.

Ongoing Story and Character Developments

  • This episode takes place on the fifth day of their journey.
  • Bova sometimes needs to be jump started in the morning.
  • We see early hints of Bova's fondness for food and sleep and Rosie's medical inclinations.
  • Radu wears ear muffs while sleeping (though he does not wear them in the second season).
  • Saturnians have the ability to generate sonic blasts powerful enough to knock down a building, although they need to practice to gain that much skill. We saw Cat use her sonic powers in Who Goes Where, but they were not explained at that time.
  • An Andromedan's idea of food is very different from a human's (Harlan is disgusted by a breakfast that Radu finds palatable).
  • Harlan is the son of a legendary Stardog and has studied space since he was a baby (or so he claims).
  • Harlan's father was killed by Andromedans during a war that ended "years ago." We learn this when Radu tells his journal. Radu heard this information from Catalina.

Memorable Lines

Jin: Who ever heard of invited intruders? If they were invited, they wouldn't be intruders, they'd be invitees and we'd be having them down for drinks and cheezy-bits, not blowing them up!

Harlan: We're stuck in space! It's like seven years of detention! What more can she do to us?
Rosie & Radu: You ... don't want to know.

Bova: I'll be in charge of mess!
Davenport: You mean food.
Bova: That too.

Harlan (to journal): I try hard not to constantly be the first one to give the answer in class...

Catalina (to Suzee): It's a good thing you're here, or I'd have gone nuts.

Goddard: Radu, raise the shields!
Radu: How do I do that?
Goddard: I don't know!

Davenport: Why would the commander want us staying down here?
Bova: Maybe he thinks some of us will panic and be a distraction.
Davenport (panicking): Why would he think that?

Goddard: Thelma, you've got to have priorities.
Thelma: All right, Commander. When should I schedule them for?

Jin: Even if they contact us now, apologizing profusely, they haven't got a prayer.
Pel: Jin! Look! It's them! They're contacting us and apologizing profusely!
Both: Ew....

Thelma (referring to the Ferna Herna): My, what polite killers.


  • Davenport's schedule overlaps. The schedule provides for class from 9:30 to 11:30 and free study from 11:00 to 12:00. (provided by CAEmery)
  • In the episode Who Goes Where?, Catalina is celebrating The Rejoicing Festival which is supposed to last for a week. But, in this episode, the crew has only been gone for 5 days... which means that Cat should still be celebrating the festival. Glitch provided by JewelKO
    (This is a valid point... but Cat was trying to get out of celebrating the festival in
    Who Goes Where?, and we don't know how long a Saturnian week is. -Tracey Rich/Robert Rhodes)
  • When the missiles are coming toward the Christa, Radu has to raise the shields... but the station he's standing at when he does it is Catalina's engineering station, not Bova's tactical station! Bova's tactical station (with 7 horizontal bands, which control shields) is clearly visible in front of Radu! (submitted by Kelly Knight [] 4/25/98)

Trivia, Inside Jokes and References

  • The episode title is the name of a Beatles song.
  • The Ferna Herna are played by Bill Mumy and Mark Hamill. Mumy is one of the creators and writers of the series. He is best known for his work as Will Robinson on Lost in Space and as Lennier on Babylon 5. Hamill is best known as Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.
  • Mumy and Hamill speak with "Beatles" accents.
  • The Ferna Herna's names were Jin and Pel, sly variations on John and Paul. Originally there were going to be four Ferna Herna, each with a name that was a slight tweak on a Beatle, but this was too unwieldy. (information provided by PAD)
  • The consoles that the Ferna Herna were seated at were from the 60s TV series "Time Tunnel". These pieces were provided by Kevin Burns, a film executive who directed the second unit shooting of the Ferna Herna sequences in Los Angeles. (information provided by PAD)
  • Behind Mumy, throughout the episode, you can see the robot from Lost In Space. (See picture at right.)
  • When Davenport decides to eat lunch without waiting for the others, she says, "actions have consequences," a line that was significant in Peter David's Oblivion movies. (This line seems to be a Peter David favorite, since it is also repeated in his Star Trek: New Frontier Book #1 - House of Cards. - Robert Rhodes - 7/21/97)
  • Harlan refers to Cat as being "hooked on sonics," a riff on Hooked on Phonics, a system for learning to read.

Unanswered Questions

  1. How did Thelma know when Goddard called her name, and how did she get from the galley to the command post so quickly?
  2. What happened to Catalina's parents? They are apparently dead, because she speaks of them in the past tense and talks about how much she misses them as if they have been gone for a long time, but the crew has only been away for 5 days.

(Notes from co-creator Peter A. David)

"Day in the Life" was originally supposed to air second. We wanted to give viewers a feeling for what a "typical" day aboard the Christa was supposed to be. However Nickelodeon decided they wanted the more action-heavy "Who Goes Where?" to air second. The major problem with this decision is that several key elements in WGW--which were to be introed in "Day"--instead simply show up, unexplained and confusing, including the food wheel and Cat's sonic scream.

Cat's scream actually grew out of a throwaway joke in our original, unaired pilot, in which Cat--when Harlan is about to make an unwise bargain with a shady salesman--Cat says, "If you sign that contract, I'll...I'll scream!" "Go ahead!" says Harlan. Cat promptly uncorks a scream which shatters glasses in the team room, Miss Davenport's reading glasses, and prompts a CGI-animated constellation labelled "The Dog Star" to howl.

This was our first episode with guests stars. with the immortal performances of Bill Mumy and Mark Hamill as Jin and Pel. Obvious send-ups of the Beatles (their names variations on John and Paul, and the title itself is from a Beatles song) we were going to have four Fernaherna instead of two in order to make the Beatles parallel really clear. But it was decided that four was somewhat unwieldy from a filming circumstance, if nothing else. The Jin and Pel sequences were shot "second unit" in Los Angeles, filmed by Fox executive and producer Kevin Burns. Kevin also owns the "Lost in Space" robot who can be seen on the left hand side, and the consoles which were from the "Time Tunnel" series.

Mark Hamill had been promised that shooting would wrap by four o'clock. But as the day wore on, the four finish became increasingly hopeless. There are outtakes during certain blown scenes of Mark dryly reciting the constantly revised wrap time as Kevin calls "Cut" and Mark says, "Oh yeah, problem." "Five...five's happening. We're out at five." "Six, definitely six, no sweat."

Very playful musical score during the missile sequence, particularly at one point where the missiles are closing in on the Christa and we hear a quick riff of a classic funeral dirge.

Concept cut for time: When we see Miss Davenport's electronic journal in which she's smugly writing about the students, the playback image of Davenport was suddenly going to start saying, to the shock of the real Davenport, "However...little do any of the students realize that I'm actually...Stellara, Empress of the Universe!" The reason being that Harlan had hacked into her computer journal and screwed with it.


Episode Details provided by Tracey Rich.
This page was created on September 12, 1997.