Aquila is an alien ship that appeared in the books Aquila and Aquila 2 by Andrew Norriss, as well as the TV adaption (of which Norriss also wrote)
"Licat volare si super tergum aquila volat"- Aquila's opening theme (Translation: "A man can fly where he will, if he rides on the back of an eagle.")
History (TV Series)Edit
Aquila is a liferaft/survival pod from a larger ship, built by the Yrrillians from the planet Deneb. The ship can fly an almost infinite distance, and can fly in space without the need for crew spacesuits, but, due to damage sustained to the 'Oxygen Regeneration' system before Aquila was unearthed, the air inside the ship would only last for 6 hours which was featured in one of the episodes of the television series. The first series of episodes was loosely based on the first Aquila book, while the second series was loosely based on Aquila 2. A third series was apparently made by the BBC but was never aired.
Some other abilities of the ship include invisibility, a form of verbal remote control, lasers, a holographic interface and the Core Defence Wave Gun (capable of killing everything in a 3 mile radius).
Aquila can be programmed to execute basic manoeuvres from the detection of certain signals. This feature was used when the boys program it to travel to the location of an inaudible dog whistle. The problem arose when a dog owner blew his own whistle when the craft was in invisible mode in the grounds of a stately home. This rendered the craft missing and a lengthy operation by the boys was needed to recover it.
Aquila has the ability to demolish objects by flying directly through them. This ability was used by the boys when they flew it through a brick wall while discovering some of Aquila's capabilities. After inspection by the boys, the craft was found completely unharmed. Aquila stores everything it sees on egg shaped objects which can be played back on the holographic screen. It records approximately 1600 years of data. If the eggs are not replaced, then the ship starts recording over the start of the 'footage' - this occurs in an episode of the television series. Aquila is the Latin translation of the word eagle (see Aquila). The words inscribed on the Centurion's safety harness (formerly inside the ship), "Licat volare si super tergum aquila volat", translate as "A man can fly where he will, if he rides on the back of an eagle." This proverb was derived from an ancient Greek story, where one day, the gods decided to elect the noblest bird of all by having them race to the top of Mount Olympus. The eagle appeared to be winning, but the tiny sparrow had been resting on the eagle's back for the entire race, and at the last moment leapt up and won the race. The name of the craft is inscribed on its own exterior as 'AQVILA', since 'u' and 'v' were different letter-forms of the same grapheme in Latin: 'u' in minuscule (not used in the early centuries A.D for inscriptions) and 'V' in majuscule.
StoryEditThe two boys are on a holiday in Wales with their mums where they do some digging for treasure at a local moor. As Geoff is digging, he falls into an underground cavern followed cautiously by Tom. It is there they find the skeleton of a Roman Centurion, standing beside a large red object which looks like a giant boulder. One of the boys notices a hollowed out area in this "boulder" which turns out to be a two-seat cockpit. The craft, which is called Aquila, soon turns out to be something more advanced than Roman technology, and by pressing the numerous coloured buttons in the cockpit the boys learn more about this strange craft and take off upwards into the sky. The story becomes more tense and yet humorous as the boys try to think of ways to hide their amazing discovery, prevent doing damage with it and communicating with it. Eventually, the boys manage to find a way of communicating with Aquila, but even then the show managed to end each week with a dramatic cliff-hanger as a new problem arose.
The last ever line in the series came as the characters discover the source of Aquila, and the camera pans into outer space to see a massive abandoned spaceship orbiting the sun. They realise the significance of this and exclaim "A battle cruiser! You could have some serious fun with a battle cruiser!".
Differences between the books and TV seriesEdit
In the book, Tom and Geoff are on a school field trip and come across the cave containing Aquila when the ground they're standing on unexpectedly gives way. The inside of Aquila also has minor differences, such as the controls for moving in different directions been blue instead of red and set out like the petals of a flower.
When Aquila begins to suffer a power failure in the book as a result of running out of 'fuel', the boys accidentally learn as it begins to rain that Aquila's fuel is water. In the TV series, it's stated that Aquila's 'air inlets' - used for drawing air into the engine to convert into fuel - were clogged up with mud as a result of been underground for so long.
Geoff first meets Paige when he goes to the South of France by himself in Aquila, with Paige (who is also on holiday there) spotting him leaving Aquila and the two getting into conversation after she asks him how he can just appear out of thin air. In the TV series, Paige is Geoff's penpal who he tells about Aquila during his messages with her.
In the book the boys get stranded in Norway at Paige's Birthday party before been rescued by Duncan, while in the TV series they get stranded in Wales before been rescued.
One of the biggest changes between the book and the TV series is Aquila's origin. In the first book the ship is a warship built by the people of Deneb "in the 4th decade of the reign of Emperor D'BengPar" to defend his property against the "treacherous and deceitful Yrrillian". In the second book and the TV series, Aquila is a lifepod that was jettisoned from a Denebian battlecruiser that was ambushed by a flotilla of Yrrillian warships after the cruiser had come out of a portal. When the cruiser had been sliced open during the battle, the crew had evacuated - with Aquila's pod (although receiving some damage during the escape) reaching Earth.