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THE TOMORROW PEOPLE-The Medusa Strain


Chase - Posted on 21 November 2009

1

The seemingly lengthy pre credits sequence picks up almost where the last story left off, minus the regulars laughing. Rash's ship blows up (Thames firecracker effects and slight blast). Jedikiah, the robot, floats in space and the effects are not bad for early 1970s and Thames and the UK. A spaceship comes out of hyper space and the model work is quite good, too. A life line with a suction cup comes out of it and sticks onto the robot and pulls him in. As he is pulled toward the ship, the theme music starts a few seconds before the credits roll!

Stephen and Kenny are in the Lab dark room trying to develop photos Stephen took in hyperspace. He knows he saw something in hyper space but Kenny balks at this. TIM is helping them and tries to get them to say thank you and please. While they do this, in the main Lab, Carol tries to read John's mind so she can win some futuristic bubble chess like game and then when that doesn't work, she tries to distract him about Stephen's "monster" in hyper space. John tells her that they've taken pictures in hyper space before and nothing comes out. Besides, TIM tells them that nothing can live in hyper space. Stephen and Kenny emerge and have the pictures on a cassette tape as used in the old reel to reel but more modern reel to reel tapes. Ginge is let in from outside and we see the outside lab door again. This time shut and then opened. He and Kenny have a slap happy relationship and knock each other about, teasing each other, Kenny teasing Ginge about being a Sap.

In the meantime, the muscle bound...and loin cloth wearing android Copin (a very impressive looking David Prowse, who played Darth Vader in STAR WARS and varied monsters in SPACE: 1999) serves tea to the owner of the ship, Rabowski, who then watches as Jedikiah returns to power using power from the ship. Jedikiah also takes on a new form, a bearded younger and skinnier looking man but still physically impressive and Rabowski is pleased by his form. Rawbowski tells him he is a criminal who likes war and fighting and he is hiding from Galactic Police and others in hyperspace but from time to time he returns to Norm Space to let the Solar Absorbers get solar power. It is 2526, 500 years Jedikiah has drifted in space. 300 years ago time travel was discovered or invented. Rawbowski has a device that can allow them to go back in time but he needs a telepath that is cooperative to lead them down the time lanes to the past. Rabawski does not know the words Tomorrow People but the universe is full of telepaths winking and blinking and spreading peace. He tells Jedikiah that a Roman Emperor was really a galactic criminal and another named AC Pritchard was Hitler or rather one of the Hitler imposter (we'll see this come into conflict with a much later story HITLER'S LAST SECRET).

Rabowski eats dinner and so does Jedikiah! He shows Jedikiah images of how he tried to brainwash and torture Peter, a Time Guardian, although I don't think he's called that in his episode or in this story...yet. Peter is an androgynous (yes, another one!) blond (yes another one!) who gets to bare chest and lower legs alot. He's on a spinning wheel in the dark. Rabowski shows Peter to Jedikiah in his treasure trophy room, where Peter is in a large bird cage which has a metal tube over it and that tube can rise up. Peter is kept prisoner due to an animal life form called a Medusa. On its own planet, the thing eats smaller telepathic life forms by sucking out brains and will do the same to larger telepathic life forms. Here, it is used in a case to keep Peter from using any powers.    

At the dinner, Jedikiah suggest something like good cop bad cop and later, goes to Peter, who knows Jedikiah is trying to trick him but nevertheless falls for it in order to try to escape somehow. He will lead them down Time Lanes to the 20th Century where Jedikiah says he knows some friends who will help him. Jedikiah tries to give the pretext that he wants the Medusa to stay behind but Rabawski takes it and Copin with them.

In the meantime or not, Carol and Stephen, in AE Suits, take to hyper space with a life force detector. Before leaving, both Ginge and Kenny fool around with hit; Kenny turns it off as he points it at Ginge's head, "Dead from the neck up,"  and Ginge claims he's surprised Kenny has any life at all. Just after Carol and Stephen jaunt off, Ginge says something about something and Kenny reacts by saying something about Fulsom. I guess you ahve to be British to really understand what the hell they're talking about.  Lefty is visiting his mother (Ginge says he's surprised he has one).            

I believe Peter is forced to take Rabawski, Jedikiah, the Medusa in a canister, and Copin to The Tower of London to steal the Crowned Jewels or something we find out about in the next ep.

TIM, John and Kenny, but not Ginge, hear a loud sound. Carol and Stephen, in hyper space, hear it also and have to be called back...this is the Time Device (which looks like one of those far out 70s light fixtures with all those lit up wiring fronds).  

The sounds all stop as the time travellers appear. Carol and Stephen ask TIM to recall them from hyper space and they appear back in the Lab. Kenny, John, and Ginge are frozen in time, seemingly between one second and the other. Carol goes hysterical again and declares, "TIM's dead too, they're all dead!!!!"

REVIEW: Honestly. Roger Bizley who plays the new form of Jedikiah and the man who plays Rawbowski do a very good job. They have to deliever lots and lots of exposition and they keep it going without it ever getting boring. They are aided in this by the set design which is leaps and bounds over anything DW was doing at the same time and over THE SLAVES OF JEDIKIAH. The effects are adequate for the most part and hyper space looks and sounds almost as it did in the last serial. Carol is not as hysterical as in the last story but that last scene here amlost kills the whole thing as she goes wide eyed and over reacts again. Kenny is sidelined for most of this...again and doesn't do anything that embarassing. We can, however do without Ginge. He's really a lame  character and once in a while he has a funny line but the show can do without him. Unfortunately this story and the next THE VANISHING EARTH feature him A LOT. Ginge is written out of the show when between series one and two, his motorcycle fell on him and he broke his leg, if that didn't happen, he'd have been in it a lot longer. Geeze. Nick Young does a good job but why chide Stephen about his "hyper space Loch Ness Monster"? As Carol says John is a bit of a know all. This episode doesn't suck and the sets and effects and that Lab are just great. The ideas keep on coming and then there's the whole gay factor: bondage again, torture again, bare chests and flat muscled stomachs, foppish girlie boys and fair haired males...and a man's man who looks fat and unconditioned turned on or impressed by Jedikiah's form, inviting him to plunder the riches of time with him!  The music works, stock or not, slow version of the theme song or not and if not for Carol, the cliffhanger would have worked, too. A most imaginative series that, for now, is living up to the premise.              

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The reprise of last week's cliffhanger IS different or cut differently and Carol is less traumatic as before. That's a good thing. Stephen decides to look outside and returns, tells Carol that she should see for herself. The pair jaunt outside and then to various major location spots to find everyone and everything is still in time, unable to move. Carol calls it like the day the earth stood still and it's not like that movie versions of that at all since in those the machines (or at least the first movie and the best one) were all that stood still, here, everything is like a photograph (and in reality Carol and Stephen, the actors rather, are filmed infront of large photographs that are CSOed behind them), and later John figures it is like a film frame, caught in a projector, one frame just frozen, stopped like in an old camera.

While this is happening, Peter and Rawbowski, Jedikiah and Copin are in the Tower of London and Jedikiah states it is 1973 (but I could be wrong but I think the comics came out eariler in LOOK IN, possibly 1972 or even 1971?). Rawbowski is stealing the jewels, breaking the First Law of Time as Peter says. He asks Jedikiah to stop him as this could change things. Instead, Jedikiah offers that Copin should helpl Rawbowski. This enables Peter to slip away from Copin and make for an exit. He can't get out. Rawbowski sends Copin after him.

Outside, Stephen picks up life signs on the life sign detector gun and he and Carol head for the Tower, then hear a telepathic plea for help. They also hear a very girlie scream: Peter. Copin has caught up with him (and Copin seems to have picked up a red target worn over his...erm, nether regions, is it a target and for whom?). Copin picks Peter up by putting one hand between Peter's legs and reaching behind! Stephen and Carol appear and give chase back to the room where the crowned jewels were...Jedikiah unceremoniously drops it into Rawbowskis' bag. Carol and  Stephen rush in and Jedikiah set this up...knowing the TP would come to Peter's cries for help telepathically. He aims a ray gun at them but Rawbowski, fearing that killing anyone or anything from the present, could change time and wipe HIM out of existence. Copin pushes slim Stephen against the wall, making Stephen hit his nose and it bleeds, and making the boy fall onto his back. Jedikiah and  or Copin knocks Carol out and with Peter, all of them except Stephen vanish back to the 26th Century hyper space ship. The guard gets unfrozen as does everyone else. The guard grabs Stephen from behind (another one!) but Stephen jaunts away.     

When everything was frozen in time, Stephen and Carol put Ginge, Kenny and Lefty into the Lab seats and when things become unfrozen, to them it appears that they have jaunted or moved across the room somehow. Stephen appears and explains to the bewildered group and to TIM. He tells them Carol has been kidnapped.

On the ship, Carol is suspended in the air as the two men watch over her unconscious form. Jedikiah tells Rawbawski that Carol is no ancestor of his, she is one of the TP. This scene was used often on Nickelodeon as a promo or as a major part of a promo. Carol is put in a cage and when she wakes up she meets Peter, who's voice cracks when he tells her he's lived with the Medusa for months (three I think Rawbowski said last ep). Carol gets the idea to link up so that they can kill it. Or just disorientate it. Rabowski tells Jedikiah to remember who is in charge but Jedikiah tells him to forget it, it is Jedikiah that is in charge.

While all this is going on, the others try to figure out what happened. John figures hyper space might be the key to time travel and that if they wait in it for a time, they might be able to drift there.

Jedikiah has read about the beta ray for the Time Lane machine and wants to know more about this key and to have it from Peter, who refuses. He uses the Medusa as full size to try to kill Peter or force him to reveal the info. While this is happening, Carol is free to send a message to the others and tell them she is in hyperspace in the 26th century. John tells TIM to amplify link (Ginge tries to link too but John patronizingly and sympathetically tells him, "No, Ginge, no."). TIM responds with, Confirmed."  This is something that ZEN will say often on BLAKE'S 7. Then Rawbowski brings both an unconscious Peter and the Medusa back with Copin's help.   

Peter tells Carol that the inability to kill in the TP's minds is called the Prime Barrier. Carol learns that Peter is from the Eternal Order of Time Guardians and he mentions Jedikiah's name. He also believes Jedikiah just made himself look like an android but he is instead a shape changer. Rawbowski tells Jedikiah that he can kill and the TP can't. They stop Carol and Peter from disabling the Medusa and take them both out toward the airlock. Rawbowski puts Carol in the airlock after demonstrating that he can blow up and pop a balloon by letting the air out of the airlock. He will do the same to Carol unless Peter tells them about the beta ray and the Key. Carol starts to lose air and black out...

REVIEW: ALOT happens here and for once, Sammie Winmill is'nt that bad. Richard Speight, who plays Peter, tries real hard but he's inexperienced and his voice cracks and he screams like a girl. This is really their episode and the episode of the two main villains. Again, a great deal is made of sound and minor visual effects, the sets, and the music, all of it working together. At times, the silence mixed with the growing sound effects as in last ep, works really really well. Peter Vaughn Clarke as Stephen shines through again even though he is not that involved this time. The air lock cliffhanger is similar to one in GALAXY FOUR story of DOCTOR WHO but to be honest, I'm sure it's better produced and directed here. One can almost feel the air draining out and Sammie is pretty good in this scene.

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Peter relents and when Carol is dumped out, he has to reanimate her. This is a subtle hint that the Tp might just be able to raise the dead and/or bring soul energy back to the body of someone who may be passed or in the process of passing. In return, Peter will modifty the Time Bubble device so that a non telepath can operate it. Jedikiah makes two new silencer bands to stop Carol and Peter, who's combined psi powers can stop the Medusa's effects. 

Stephen in the present, asks TIM why they don't drift into another time when they teleport/jaunt. TIM figures that maybe it is a natural law that matter has to drift or re-enter normal space in their own time. John tells Ginge that they use hyper space for space travel and that time travel might be possible. Stephen's fantastic memory recalls what Jedikiah said about hyper space in the last story, word for word. Ginge recalled something about it and in this ep, Ginge seems to make a lot of sense and  not be stupid. Stephen hopes the guard, whom they call one of a beef eater type (?), isn't put in the looney bin. TIM tells him he has not but the authorities gave him tests and revealed he was telling the truth. Stephen and Kenny return to the Tower of London to find the crowned jewels are there so either they or the ones that were stolen were fakes. The guard spots them spotting a burn mark so they move on. The guard seems to recognize Stephen.

Peter adjusts the Time Device but to do so, Jedikiah has to take off the silencer band he put on Peter. Rubowski is left alone with Carol and he touches the silencer band on her head in her cage. Later, when she awakes, the two have a heated conversation; Carol telling him she feels sorry for him because he is  a Sap born into a world of Tomorrow People. 

As Peter adjusts the time arch device, he calls and alerts John to the whereabouts of Carol, but Jedikiah puts the band back on, making Copin nearly strangle the boy from behind. Kenny and Stephen return and they all link to try to contact Carol but to no avail.

Peter is put back into the cell and Carol is dissapointed that he told them the secrets of time travel...she realizes that Jedikiah is going to kill her anyway. John and Stephen jaunt into hyper space after going up steps (that the actors reveal on the commentary lead to nowhere) to the changing room that houses the AE suits. They jaunt and leave Ginge with Kenny.

Jedikiah talks Rubowski into going to the 20th century to get the rest of the Tp, thus stopping the root of telepaths. He feels that by doing this, Rubowski will change the present and the future of mankind will not include any telepaths. This is probably not true: other TP would probably break out anyway. It fools Rubowski into taking Copin and the Medusa back in time while Jedikiah operates the time mechanism, sure that if he let Rubowski operate it, the Count would strand him in the 20th century.

Kenny tests Ginge's psychic ability using cards and Ginge gets two in a row correct but TIM doubts this means Ginge is a TP. Ginge wants a pack of cigarettes but TIM refuses to submolecularize transmogrify a pack for him so Ginge asks TIM to open the flaming door. Then Ginge adds, "Please."  Ginge, on his way out, sees Rubowksi, Copin and the full size Medusa coming down the underground railroad way. He runs from the Medusa, which is in slow motion and fast motion and looks ridiculous. It might have been better if it had been darkened and kept in the shade and shadows. As it is, the chase is silly. Ginge gets into the Lab and tells Kenny that King Flaming Kong, Dracula and Frankenstein are outside. He tells Kenny to get the Hell out of there (this is by my count the third time across both stories, Ginge has used the word Hell!). Kenny finds he cannot jaunt. Ginge promised John he'd look after Kenny (actually he didn't really) so he hides Kenny in the Dark Room. Rubowski uses a device to blow the lab door away and he has Copin take Ginge outside. As they leave, Ginge resists outside for a bit and throws the Medusa into a rail, possibly the third rail (?) and this desroys it as it hits a live rail. Copin hits him and carries the big red headed man the rest of the way. They return to the hyperspace ship in the 25th century where Jedikiah continues to insult Rubowksi and his species, which is almost exstinct. He also recognizes Ginge. He orders Copin to put Ginge in the cell, which he does, near the other two.

Peter likes Ginge's joking around and thinks Ginge is nice. Ginge tries to pull open bars on the birdcage like cell and claims he's been in tougher places than this; Carol mentioning this is not a police lock up. Ginge tells them as a kid he always wanted to be a spaceman and his father told him he was a nutter and now, Ginge thinks his father was right.

TIM recalls Stephen and John from hyper space where he and Kenny fill them in on what happened. They remolecularize the lab door so that there is a new one there. TIM tells them that he traced the coordinates of the time drift from the hum the device Rubowski used so that John and Stephen can find Carol on the ship. Once again, John tells Kenny to stay behind, this time to look after TIM. Stephen and John appear in hyper space near the spaceship. Inside, Rubowksi shows Jedikiah the sonic cannon which has a vertical and horizontal alignment for targets. He hopes Jedikiah can get both of them with one shot. Jedikiah says he's waited a long time for this. He aims and fires the cannon. Outside, there is a loud whine (no, not Stephen whining) and a large yellow circular blast behind the two Tomorrow People and the pair of them vanish before it does!

REVIEW: WOW. ALOT happens in this episode. Peter is at the forefront really. Peter Vaughn Clarke who plays Stephen relates how he hung around a lot in this episode on the sidelines, trying to mess up Richard Speight, who plays Peter the Time Guardian. Stephen wears what Vaughn Clarke calls fake suede (Nick Young as John had the real thing)--a brown jacket affair. They also discuss how Peter (Richard! and Peter actually)  and, well, almost all of them, wore eye make up. Peter the Time Guardian gets to show a lot of chest and a nipple in this...again. Carol is not terrible in this. Ginge is even good and made less stupid and more intelligent. Kenny's lines are seemingly cut short at times but maybe not. He does less but he's not too bad in this and looks pretty good. Like a real kid. Even doing less, Peter Vaughn Clarke stands out. But honestly, everyone here is in top form. The costumes in this entire story have excelled. On the commentary, Nick Young relates how Adam West of BATMAN! fame once visited and the two of them made some kind of song, that Peter and Nick admit was awful. Peter Vaughn Clarke that is and he met Adam, introduced by Nick. He says Adam was a nice man and there might have been plans for Nick and Adam to do more together. The song is said to have been on a list of the 20 Worst Songs...or something like that. This ep ends with a classic cliffhanger.               

4

Apparently the shot of Jedikiah's shot is a different one. In any event, he missed but Stephen and John are in a bad way. John holds Stephen's wrist or hand and calls to TIM to bring them back. TIM does so just as Jedikiah's next shot blasts. They arrive in the Lab and Kenny checks them and thinks they are dead.

Jedikiah prepares to make another time trip via the Time Key device. As he and Rubowski argue since Jedikiah prepares to go the past (8th Century?) without Rubowski, Jedikiah pulls a ray gun on Rubowski but Rubowski hits Jedikiah's arm and the blast damages the Time Key. Rubowski retreats to the cell area and prepares to arm himself somehow against Jedikiah. Jedikiah now claiming to be a robot does not need air so he shuts the air off and locks the cell area off so that Rubowski cannot open the doors. Ginge insults Rubowski left and right.

Kenny carries and sits the dead Stephen and John to the link table and even though John never told Kenny about it, TIM urges Kenny and helps him to use the reanimation technique (and on the commentary Nick Young makes fun of Stephen Salmon as Kenny's delivery of the words) to reanimate the pair. Problem is: the technique drains Kenny's life force and he too collapses onto the link table.

As Ginge continues to spar with Rubowksi, the Count gets an axe and batters at Peter's cage in order to kill him and then the other two since less air will be used up. Ginge calls Rubowski over to him to try him instead. He and Carol get Rubowski to see that Copin can bring the key and open the door. Rubowski calls Copin but Copin cages Rubowski instead, now serving Jedikiah. The air continues to run out.

Stephen and John revive but find Kenny passed out. They are all severely tired so must rest. John puts Kenny into a bed roll. Stephen rests but not long afterward, tries to get up to help Carol and Ginge but has to retreat back to bed.

Jedikiah puts the air and life support back on. He takes Peter, takes him on the elevator (and we see more nipple!)  and forces Peter to fix the Time Key taking off Peter's psi dampner draining band. If Peter will send him to his own time, he will let them go. He is lying and Peter realizes that might be the case but he has no choice. Peter does it and Carol is upset that Peter let Jedikiah trick him again. Peter shows her that he lifted the Magna Key to the cages and hid it in his shirt. Despite Rubowski telling Peter to throw it to  him, Peter lets Ginge and Carol out but Ginge stops Peter from letting Rubowski out. Ultimately, they have to let Rubowski out since only his hand print will open the door even with the key. I say they should cut his hand off! Ginge finds a sword to defend against Jedikiah and Copin. They take a lift toward the ship's room (going up or down?), Ginge says something about going up or down, recalling Ladies' underwear, furnishings, mad robots and fancy dress, also telling Rubowski that he's dressed for the lift operator. This might be a reference to ARE YOU BEING SERVED? but maybe not.

The commentary comments that the cast posed with Jon Pertwee about this time, and possibly during a show called WHO'S WHO?

Jedikiah shuts off the lift and strands them near the energy converter coils and they will be roasted or fried like fish. Peter is the only one who can fit through the shaft and know how to operate the machinery on the other end. He crawls through illuminated colorful ducts. On the other side, when he emerges, Jedikiah moves to vaporize Peter but Copin gets in the way by mistake and is vaporized. Jedikiah grabs Peter and allows the others to come up in the lift. Once there, he threatens Peter unless they stop. Rubowski changes his spots once again and takes charge of the sword from Ginge. Jedikiah will take Peter with him back in time. Neither Jedikiah nor Rubowski realize Peter has set the Time Lanes (which is where Rubowski picked him up so Peter's own people do not realize he's gone for more than a few moments) to take Jedikiah to the molten surface of the planet Mercury. Since Jedikiah is a robot he can be stopped or killed since he's not really alive. At least NOW! Jedikiah will leave Rubowski behind again so Rubowski throws the sword into Jedikiah's back and it goes through his front, too. Malfunctioning, Jedikiah grabs the crown jewels, which he was preparing to take with him (JUST WHAT was he planning now????!) and Rubowski grabs on. In the fight, the two of them go through the time arch and end up...we think, on the surface of the molten planet Mercury. Peter and Carol go wide eyed and Ginge can't understand (something he says he's getting used to) why they are so worried. Peter is upset because he killed Rubowski. BUT the prime barrier doesn't kick in nor is it seemingly as dangerous here for a TP to kill someone, even by accident. Ginge tells them that they might be wrong: he might still be alive.

Peter half appears in the Lab as he returns Ginge and Carol. He tells John, Stephen and Kenny he will enter them into his history books or something like that and then one day he might even meet them. John smiles that he will look forward to that, if forward is the right words, all this time travel stuff gets confusing. After Peter fades away, Ginge balks that he didn't get the winner of next year's derby or this years. The boys throw their sneakers at him.

REVIEW: Not bad but not terribly good either. Some action, despite the commentary that says there should have been more. John, Stephen and Kenny are side lined in this ep which revolves around Ginge and Rubowski's sparring; Peter's trickery and Jedikiah's trickery; even Carol has less to do. In any event, there ARE some funny moments mostly due to Ginge. Despite what I usually feel with this story and this ep, Ginge is pretty good, somewhat funny, especially when insulting Rubowski; the acting isn't that bad for a child's show; and the effects not terrible. Trouble is that it is all studio...good studio and more effective than anything DOCTOR WHO studios were using at the same time but studio is somewhat claustrophobic. It sort of fits this script though being stuck in hyper space as it were. Of note here is more of the funny lights when the TP jaunt (this will be dropped at the start of THE BLUE AND THE GREEN and we even get an explanation). Bizley made a good Jedikiah, more subtle if that can be the word, than De Wolfe who was good, too. Jean Kelly's costumes are nice. I like Ginge saying, Peter is a nice kid even if he does wear funny clothes. Some of the shots of Kenny carrying Stephen with his hand between his legs and over his butt; Peter's sort of fey way of moving his shoulders and his clothing are...of the gay factor but tha't is okay. Peter's eyes btw are very very blue. IN all, not a bad ep or story. The commentary gave it a 6/10 and I guess I'd agree with that but maybe a 7/10 would be more in order.         

Of note: I'm not sure how I missed it but in an ep, Copin is taking either Peter or Carol out of their cage or putting them back in and the cage hits the actor in the head and shakes!  

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