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Space 1999 - A Matter of Balance

episode 2.15

UK 1976
produced by
Gerry Anderson, Fred Freiberger for ITC
directed by Charles Crichton
starring Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Catherine Schell, Tony Anholt, Lynne Frederick, Stuart Wilson, John Hug, Nicholas Campbell, Brian Osborne
screenplay by Pip Baker, Jane Baker, created by Gerry Anderson, Sylvia Anderson, music by Derek Wadsworth, special effects by Brian Johnson

TV-series
Space 1999

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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It all starts rather innocently, when young and impressionable botanist Shermeen (Lynne Frederick) helps Tony (Tony Anholt) with his beer-brewing experiments, and when his latest fails like all the others, he carelessly blames it on the hop she has created - which sends her crying to her room. In her room she suddenly has a vision of a bald, exotic-looking guy, Vindrus (Stuart Wilson), who sweettalks her. When she tells Doctor Russell (Barbara Bain) about that vision though, she tells her that it was probably all in her mind. However, this vision means she's not on the next landing party to an earth-like planet their runaway moon is passing but her colleague Eddie (Nicholas Campbell), but Vindrus sees to it that Eddie's knocked out by a plant spitting narcotics, so it's on again for Shermeen. Down on the planet, she splits from the others to collect samples while the others detect a temple that's guarded by a monster. The monster doesn't attack Shermeen though and she enters the temple and finds out it has something to do with Vindrus. Back on Moonbase Alpha, Commander Koenig (Martin Landau), Dr. Russell, shapeshifter Maya (Catherine Schell) and Tony speculate what the meaning of all this could be and finally come to the conclusion that Shermeen's visions were not just imagination but the attempt of a being of the antimatter universe to communicate with her, as for some reason the antimatter beings want to cross over into the matter universe, but since for every matter there needs to be antimatter and vice versa, for every antimatter being crossing over into our universe, one of ours must cross over into theirs. But while our heroes still try to work this out, Shermeen has already hijacked one of the moonbase's shuttles and made it back to the planet where she steps into a machine which is to bring Vindrus into our universe - and too late she learns she'll cross over into the antimatter universe in his place. Fortunately, Commander Koenig and company make it to the planet in time, manage to evade the monster to enter the temple where Koenig is able to push Vindrus back into his machine, reverse the process, and once Shermeen is back in our universe, Koenig blows the machine up - and before you know it (but after our heroes have made it off), the planet disappears, supposedly having gone back to antimatter for good.

 

A monster guarding a temple, a girl driven by visions, and an antimatter man all sound like promising plot elements, and the episode sure is some fun - but not quite there, as the science it relies on is just too hazy and only makes limited sense, and of course the fact that this is the first and also last appearance of the central character Shermeen really doesn't create the amount of emotional investment in her needed to make the story powerful (this is a fault this episode shares with many of the series though). Still, it's fun, just nothing resembling greatness.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD