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Space 1999 - Dorzak

episode 2.21

UK 1977
produced by
Gerry Anderson, Fred Freiberger for ITC
directed by Val Guest
starring Barbara Bain, Catherine Schell, Tony Anholt, Nick Tate, Lee Montague, Jill Townsend, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Sam Dastor, Seretta Wilson, Richard LeParmentier, Yasuko Nagazumi, Paul Jerricho, John Judd
screenplay by Christopher Penfold, 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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Moonbase Alpha receives a distress call from an alien spaceship requesting medical help. But once the very humanlike alien Sahala (Jill Townsend) steps onto moonbase, the first thing she does is shooting resident shapeshifter Maya (Catherine Schell) with a stasis gun. She's of course immediately taken into custody, as her only explanation for her action is that the Psycons, Maya's race, are her people's, the Krotons, enemies. Actually the whole purpose of her flight was to fly Dorzak (Lee Montague), the last of her federation's Psycons, into exile, a mission that almost failed when Dorzak mindcontrolled one of Sahala's crewmembers, Clea (Seretta Wilson) to kill the other, Yesta (Kathryn Leigh Scott) - with Clea having killed herself later on but Yesta in critical condition and needing the assistance of the Moonbase's Dr. Russell (Barbara Bain). Nobody really buys Sahala's story, nobody but Alan (Nick Tate). Maya, when she comes out of stasis, claims she knew Dorzak and insists on seeing him, a request that's granted despite Sahala's protests. While Maya's with Dorzak, Yesta comes to and makes wild accusations against Sahala while claiming Dorzak was the Krotons' saviour - before dying. Sahala's put back under lock and key while Dorzak is given freedom on the moonbase. It's not long though before Dr. Russell finds out that when performing surgery on Yesta she has removed an ESP blocker from her brain, and it's now quite possible that Yesta made all the accusations against Sahala while being mind-controlled by Dorzak. Thus Maya turns into Sahala, pretends to take Dr. Russell hostage and requests for her being exchanged for Dorzak, as it's thought that Dorzak will spill the beans to Sahala if there's any beans to spill. Dorzak even agrees to the exchange, but doesn't fall for Maya's trick, instead learns from her how to shapeshift, turns into her and turns her into him, and then he mindcontrols the good doctor to do surgery on Sahala, to remove her ESP blocker. The moonbase's chief of security Tony (Tony Anholt) intervenes though, and saves the day as he had an ESP blocker implanted into his brain prior to the confrontation.

 

Of course, much of this episode's plot is pretty predictable, but in all it's one of the livelier episodes of the series, with its deception of intrigue angle making a good storyline. Plus the alien spaceship looks really cool from the outside, while the 70s styles interiors are a hoot. Now it's not great science fiction, as the plot is still riddled with holes, but an amusing watch nevertheless.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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