Sunday, 1 September 2013

OSW: Moonbase 3 (1973)

As well as helping to create a part of Doctor Who’s history, Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks also did other work. Such as, just after leaving Doctor Who, Moonbase 3. This is set on the moon (shock! surprise! a twist no-one would see!), and is one of several moonbase colonies set up, this one by the British.

One of the best aspects of it is that it is realistic. Sure, okay, it’s on the moon, but there are no aliens, no fantastical mysterious beings, no strange scientific experiments going wrong… okay, that’s not true at all, but what there is is treated in a very down to moon way. The emphasis of each story is on the people, not some invention or discovery.

While only six episodes, there is a decent range of topics covered, from, indeed, the possibility of life (and how people react to that), to the possible destruction of earth (and how people react to that!).

All this is done by brilliant performances by the cast, with Donald Houston leading the team, with Ralph Bates, Fiona Gaunt and the irascible Barry Lowe, whose line in the first episode "Not my pigeon" inspired me to take that on for a while at work (and I now have my own pigeon).

Where do you go after destroying the earth? Not to a second season. With low ratings, and a rather restrictive format for a science show in space, it only had the one season.


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