Space 1999 - A Matter of Balance
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
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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.
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.