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THE TOMORROW PEOPLE-The Doomsday Men


Chase - Posted on 23 December 2009

THE DOOMSDAY MEN

 

1-Dressed To Kill

 

Chris Harding is in his white van, possibly a 1966 Ford. It has graffiti written on it including Kilroy Was Here with a less than artistic face and hands drawn on it. Stephen in red sweater and turtle neck and new hair cut (on the commentary, PVC says he looks Chinese)  is with Chris in the passenger side. The van starts to smoke  under the hood so Chris pulls over to the side of the road. Stephen tells him the salesman told them or Chris who later told Stephen that the van is worth 130 thousand miles left in it. Chris still feels the van will take him round the world. A policeman with a Hitler moustache is giving out traffic tickets to cars parked illegally. He moves over to a parking meter and hits it so that the arrow register shows that a car is over its excess time, which it is not. He gives that car a ticket and looks over at Chris’s van. It is not starting and the policeman smiles, seeing a new victim. Stephen touches Chris to give him encouragement and then tells him he will be back. He is wearing one of the silver rectangle jaunting belts. He jaunts to the Lab. There, Liz is sewing and wants to try it on Stephen, whatever it is she is sewing. She comments that TIM got Stephen’s measurements wrong. TIM tells her that he cannot be an expert on everything. Stephen doesn’t look happy but asks to borrow a matter transfer box, like the belts, one of  which John had made, originally for Chris. When John asks what it is for, Stephen honestly tells John, “You wouldn’t approve,”  but John okays it anyway and lets him borrow it. Stephen appears back in the van. Chris complains, wishing he could be taught how to do that. Stephen says, “Who knows, Chris, maybe one day.” Stephen attaches the machine to the van’s front dash and when Chris asks what it does, Stephen gives him a voice, “You’ll see in a second.”  It works and the policeman arrives to put a ticket on the van front. Stephen gives him a strange high pitched voice, “Byeeeeee.”  The van vanishes and the policeman, leaning to put a ticket on it, falls onto the ground.

 

THEME SONG and titles: DRESSED TO KILL

 

Liz and John play chess. John sets Liz back (they’ve played this or a game or games like it in THE BLUE AND THE GREEN and  A RIFT IN TIME). Smugly, he tells her in two moves he’ll win. Stephen doesn’t want to come down to show them his new outfit. Tim says he is shy. Chris comes into the Lab via the door (and despite what others say, the door control is the same as usual). He wants to thank Stephen for helping him out with the van earlier. Chris hears that Stephen may be bashful and he wonders why. John laughs, “Stick around, kid.”  From above rooms, Stephen calls, “Send Chris away.”   Chris calls up, “Charming.” John  tells Chris to stay. When Stephen descends the stairs, he is wearing a kilt. John laughs, “Well, hello, Scotland.”  Someone whistles, probably John. Stephen tells them to shut up. Liz thinks he looks sweet. Chris tells him that he wouldn’t last a minute in any school he goes to. Stephen tells him it is a special school and Chris tells him it would have to be. NOTE: Of interest is that in a comic story in LOOK IN, Stephen infiltrated another Scottish school and befriended a scientist’s son to find out about a secret invention and spies…and it was a Kenny/Carol era story. That same story was remade and retooled to be a Liz/John era story in a novel. In that novel, events of DDMen might have been referred to but more on that later. Chris wonders what is going on. John asks if he has heard of the Doomsday Men but he hasn’t. They are a secret society Liz explains (on commentary Nick thinks she looks pissed and he’s bleeped on the UK version of this but not the Australian version; they also make commentary that she looks drunk and her wig is crooked; she doesn’t and it’s not, they’re just joking) and she goes on to explain they want to preserve war and consider it to be a noble and pleasurable pass time. Chris calls them crazy. John tells him that they believe the Doomsday Men are going to try to stop the signing of a peaceful World Disarmament Treaty in Geneva.  TIM puts a photo up of Leftenent General Arthur McLelland, nicknamed Iron Mac. This man stopped a rebellion out East. He was born August 25th, 1910, educated in Repesco Prep School in Brighton and in Sclartz Internaut 1923 in Dresden a boarding school in pre Nazi German. He left in 1928 and joined the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst. He was commissioned in Scotts guards in 1930. (All of this info is said fast and furious and the spellings might not be correct, nor the info itself).  When Chris starts to wonder what Stephen will be doing, Stephen tells him he’s not going to join as a drummer boy.  When TIM asks John if he wants him to go over the General’s military career, John says, “No, thank you, TIM.”        

                

TIM puts a photo up of Douglas McLelland, the General’s grandson. Douglas attends Glen College in Scotland.  Chris then realizes that Stephen will join the school to get close to Douglas and find out what Arthur is up to. “Got it in one, Chris,”  Stephen smiles. Stephen calls John a sissy and tells him that he’s not going to freeze his knees in a kilt. On the commentary, they make note that John and Stephen are mirroring each other’s standing…with their hands locked in either pockets or the sporran, both near their crotches. On commentary, when Nick ask PVC to talk about William Relton who played Douglas, PVC makes the first of many jokes which seem to have more truth in them than not. PVC calls him, laughingly, “a mincing old puff.” He’s also bleeped out. Nick Young jokes about beating behind the bush. PVC says that Will stayed with him at his mum’s house in Q’s? He says they got on but and they still do but “Not after he hears this.”  He hasn’t spoken to him in 15years or so. 

 

At Glen College, Paul Frazer (Simon Gipps Kent who played in NIGHTMARE OF EDEN on DOCTOR WHO) shows Stephen to his bed. He warns Stephen not to trust Douglas, who runs their dorm. They have inspections every day and Douglas has ways of dealing with people who cause them to lose points in the dorm competitions. Stephen moves to shut the window near his bed and finds out that there are no glass panes in the windows to outside. Paul assumes Dr. Laird’s voice and accent when describing the toughness of the school: no heat and plenty of fresh air and exercise. Paul moves closer to Stephen and asks if he’s wearing anything underneath. Stephen backs away. Wearing anything underneath is against the rules and Paul tells him if he is, he’ll have to take them off. Stephen thought that was just an old musical joke but he will be like the proverbial monkey. The other boys are on a run.

 

Not much later, John and Liz are eating. With Paul gone, Stephen communicates telepathically and this is the first time I’ve noticed that when they telepathically communicate, sometimes they mouth the words, actually speaking them. The high pitched whine that accompanies the telepathic messages is on a long time here and it drives Nick Young a bit loony but he thinks it the sounds of the Lab. The bed is made of concrete, he telepaths to them. He figures that breakfast will probably be cold porridge and raw haggis. He also tells them he’s found out one of their best kept secrets. “They don’t. They just don’t.”  It is that he has to put his underwear in a drawer and explains it is very drafty. John and Liz laugh at him. On commentary as you might imagine everyone is laughing and making jokes, including PVC who claims he would be dangling on the floor. The commentators explain that the set is probably from a prison show which from the sound of it is WITHIN THESE WALLS with Googie Withers which Liz Adare did 2 eps of.  Nick makes note of Roger Price’s anti establishment feel: first the traffic cop and now a shot at Gordonstoun, a real life tough Scotland school. When the boys return, one of them has long long hair and from the back, the commentary makers think that Richard Speight might be back.

                      

Douglas and about four other boys and Paul return.  Stephen meets Douglas who calls him Jamieson and demands he be called McLelland. He tells Paul to show Jamieson around the school and Paul takes Stephen outside. Douglas murmurs that it is not a welcome Stephen is going to like.

 

Later, Douglas holds a rope behind his back. Paul comes in and takes off his shirt to get ready for early bed time. Paul asks Douglas to go easy on Stephen. Douglas pokes Paul’s lower chest with his stick and throws him toward the bed. ! Stephen returns from the welcome speech from Dr. Laird. Douglas makes note of his unusual belt and pokes it, nearly hitting the button. Stephen, undercover, lies that his grandfather wished him to wear it as a family tradition. Douglas tells him it is not standard uniform but he won’t stand in the way of family tradition. When Stephen thanks him, he tells Stephen to call him McLelland as if using first names has to be earned. Douglas tells him that the have something of a tradition here too: for first night students. Stephen mocks, “Yes I thought WE might have.”  Douglas turns on Paul, who cowers. Stephen defends Paul, telling him that he was not told anything. He knows that all schools have tricks and it’s to be expected. “One expects a few tricks, does one?”  He moves at Stephen.

 

Night in the Lab: John is laying down reading a book. Stephen appears, all tied up, his hands behind his back, on his knees. They tied him up and left him under the fire escape as part of an initiation ceremony. John gets mad that Stephen is running away from a school boy prank. Stephen says, “It’s all right for you!”  John orders TIM to jaunt him back, warning Stephen not to go untying himself using his special powers. Stephen, as he vanishes, looks at John, pleading, “They might leave me out there all night. I might freeze to death.”       John asks TIM if  he was too hard on Stephen and TIM answers, “No.”  TIM tells him that Stephen can take care of himself.  They talk about a fear of bullying. John feels like a Scarlet Major which is a reference from a poem (Base Details) by Siegfried Sassoon about the First World War.  John asks if TIM knows of it and TIM gets it and starts reciting it but John finishes the ending:

 

If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath
I'd live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
You'd see me with my puffy petulant face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
Reading the Roll of Honour. "Poor young chap,"
I'd say -- "I used to know his father well;
Yes, we've lost heavily in this last scrap."
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I'd toddle safely home

and die -- in bed.

On the commentary, PVC says the bald man they are talking about is Mike Holloway. Nick tells PVC not to worry that Mike wouldn’t waste his time listening to this commentary. Earlier they commented that Simon’s make up didn’t cover his body and it looked gray. Nick also kept commenting on his V on his jumper. The actor who plays Dr Laird they mention is on the Archers with a “face for radio.” 

 

On the fire escape, Stephen struggles at his bonds but stops as Dr Laird (on commentary, they think Laird is played by Noel Gordon and that he’s on CROSSROADS) meets Arthur below the terrace, and the pair talk about the entire plot. Stephen is lit with a kind of halo light on his head. There are also birds cawing during this. The entire thing is on film and very well done with a nice feel and nice location shooting. Arthur knows their brotherhood is not supposed to show emotion but he might not see Douglas again and he’s worried that his enemies might use the boy and his love for the boy against him. His affection for the boy is well known. Laird says the plan is a good one and he will make sure the boy is taken care of and not harmed. Laird molds and trains the Doomsday Men of tomorrow from among the boys here. NOTE: there is a Rover in the scene and PVC thinks it is Roger Price’s but Nick Young states that Roger had a different car. They wonder, correctly, why Stephen couldn’t just wear his AE Suit and pretend to be wearing a kilt. I don’t know. This AE suit thing might have been found out if Stephen were…uhm, probed at all.     

 

Not long after this and still night, Douglas opens the lights in the boys’ sleeping room and hits their beds with his stick to wake them up and then taunts them with details of his dinner with Dr. Laird: salmon, roast duck or something like that. Paul asks him to stop, he is very hungry. Douglas rants about empty vessels make the most noise. Douglas warned Paul  that if he looked outside at Stephen, he’d put him out there as well and indeed he would have. Paul tells him it is a bitter night cold outside and wants to get Stephen inside. Douglas feels that after a meal like that a person can’t help but feel generous and merciful. Paul and another handsome long haired boy bring Stephen in and untie him. Paul looks Stephen over, “He looks all right.”  Douglas is impressed by Stephen’s lack of whining and his courteous good manners when he thanks Paul and Douglas. Stephen tells him he doesn’t mind ancient traditions. Douglas looks Stephen over, walks around him, and puts his stick on Stephen’s body in a most homo erotic way. He thinks there is hope for Jamieson yet.

 

Liz is eating. Stephen telepaths to Liz and John, who seems to rush in from the left side. Was he sleeping? He tells Stephen telepathically that “Of course he was up,”  but he didn’t seem to be but he’s wearing his full outfit again. There’s an interesting VEE effect of Stephen’s face filling the middle of the screen as John and Liz eat on either side of the VEE. John apologizes to Stephen, feeling he was rotten. Stephen says, “Yes, you were rotten.”  He goes on to tell John it was good that he was because a few moments after being back there, he saw Arthur and Laird talking about how the entire school is a training ground for Doomsday Men and how the two men are in it up to their necks. It sounded to him as if Arthur is going on a suicide mission but he thinks soon he will be asked to join the Doomsday Men. The pair tell him to be careful: he says he will be all right. He can telepathically smell their bacon and eggs. He tells Liz when you are as hungry as he is,  you can smell food telepathically and he guessed correctly what they were eating. For him it was early morning PT (phys ed?) training and porridge, cold with no sugar and two tablespoons of salt. John feels he will be fit as fiddle. Stephen, sitting on the bed, telepaths, “If I live that long.”  NOTE: In one of these sitting scenes the shadow of a boom mike is seen.

 

Soon, all the boys including Stephen are doing training on an obstacle course. There are swinging ropes, rope ladders, wooden walls to climb, brick walls to climb, and rugby. They also have to pass revolving sticks and swing over mud pits, crawl through things, ab sailing, etc. We get to see Stephen’s shirt ride up with wear. There is a long haired blond boy that Nick Young on the commentary is in disbelief over as “That’s Tarzan of the Apes, that bloke is.”  The commentators feel that would not be allowed in a school like this, especially not now. Also PVC notes that this training area is near Box Hill.

 

After it is over, we hear showers running. Stephen and Douglas come out and are in various states of getting dressed. Stephen is barefoot and bare-chested but soon puts on his shirt but doesn’t button it yet. On commentary, PVC notices his Yiddish necklace he wore that means LIFE. Not sure if he is Jewish or not, but this would seem to indicate PVC was but from the commentary, it seems he may not be and yet he jokes that his name might be Moishe Vaughn Clarke. It is interesting they let him wear this. One of them, or both of them have large watches on.  It’s hard to hear but as the boys talk of commissions in the army, Nick Young does a put on voice, “I want to be a rear admiral.”   He also says stuff like, “…I’ve not rolled him over of late,”  when watching Will R talk to PVC and makes comments about PVC’s “Hairy Sporran.” 

 

Anyway, Douglas and Stephen discuss fear and being scared. Stephen tells him that his grandfather used to tell him that true courage is overcoming fear. Douglas feels Stephen showed real courage last night. He asks Stephen what his goals will be and Stephen hears John’s instructions in his head: “if anyone asks you must tell them a lie. Tell them you want a military commission.”  Stephen changes this slightly but tells Douglas he wants to be an army officer. When Douglas asks if Stephen wants Sandhurst, Stephen smiles that if he can get enough A’s. Douglas tells him about his grandfather and Stephen smiles about having friends in high places. Douglas tells him that sort of thing counts for nothing. One has to rely one’s self. “You’re only as good as yourself.”  He tells Stephen that despite his doubts, at first, he thinks he’s a good sort. He tells Stephen to call him Douglas when Stephen thanks him as McLelland. Stephen tells him his first name for the first time, “My name’s Stephen by the way.”  Douglas also has doubts whether or not the war they love will last and that even now there is peace business going on. Stephen fakes it when he says that women and cowards run this world and it should be stopped. Douglas tells him that some of them are in a secret club, a secret society but that term is childish, Douglas states. Stephen wants to join so Douglas will talk to some of the others.  

 

At the lab, Stephen is eating pizza. He tells Liz and John that emptiness is next to godliness in that place. And he aches all over. John tells him he’s only been there one night and day. Stephen tells him this mission will be the death of him. John rubs his hair, “Oh, you poor little boy.”  Liz tells Stephen to think of the kids who are always on boarding schools  like that and that can’t jaunt 500 miles to stuff their faces with pizza. John asks, “SO how is our mad kilted Doomsday Man getting on?”  Stephen childish, asks, “ME?”  his face full of food. He says they have a code word for the mission Arthur is going on, “Operation Silver Thread.”   NOTE: Liz is using a slide rule. When the space station first appears, we hear RIDE OF VALKERYIES. John’s hair looks neater and less long, a better cut? To me it looked good either way.

 

In space is the United Nations Space Station Damoclese which is there to keep peace thanks to  a peace treaty. The others discuss this. Liz thinks it is crazy and that no one ever saved the world by threatening to destroy it. They wonder how the Doomsday Men will get the station. TIM tells them that a United Nations international crew man it. It can destroy rockets, manned or unmanned, that might get too close to it. Stephen thinks the Doomsday Men are going to hi jack it somehow. John wants him to get back to the school and John points and Stephen’s food vanishes.

 

At the school, Paul parades in and out of the dorm room, just missing Stephen as Stephen appears out of thin air. Stephen says he was exploring. Paul gives him a message: Douglas wants to see him in the gym. He warns Stephen about Douglas and not to trust him. On commentary, PVC says that Simon wore the dress in their relationship. Stephen thinks he and Douglas are getting on well. Paul tells Stephen not to trust him.

 

Stephen walks into the gym and can’t find anyone. We hear a NEW slower version of the TP Theme song and it’s quite effective. In the reprise next ep, we hear an extra bit of soundtrack to this exact same scene  --a kind of heartbeat added to the music and more TP theme but slower and different but not very different to this ep’s version. Stephen hears laughing and then someone says “SHHH,”  probably Douglas. A fencing saber comes flying down at his feet, thrown and slid to him. Stephen tells him to stop playing games. Douglas appears with a saber in his hand, telling him, “It’s no game, Jamieson. So you want to be a Doomsday Man, then ick up that sword and show us how you can fight.”  Stephen with his hair VERY long now, picks up the sword and feels it, “This isn’t a practice saber. It’s sharp it can kill.”  Douglas tells him that he and two other boys, who come out from both other sides of Stephen---so that Stephen is surrounded---also have sharp sabers that can kill, too. Stephen looks at the sword and up at the boys, then around. He can’t kill or be violent…what can he do…

 

REVIEW:  I must admit I’m particularly fond of this story and of this ep, as the last bit of this episode is the first thing I have ever seen of the TP. I believe it started from when the boys were training on the obstacle course to the end and I must admit that I read they couldn’t kill and the dilemma Stephen was in was what I believe  is the heart of the show: teens who can’t kill or even do anything overly violent to defend themselves, peaceful, in bad situations, unable to give in or give up in time and space and on Earth, surrounded by enemies and sometimes friends…trying to save the world or the universe. AND this show is one of the only ones that featured, at least in the 1980s but even the 70s, young heroes, not 20 somethings or older. I love MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE but the characters there are all much older than the characters here. This echoes that show but with younger heroes, it also is a forerunner of stuff like the terrific ALEX RIDER books. And 21 JUMPSTREET, which to be honest was also from MOD SQUAD but also from MAN UNDERCOVER with David Cassidy. Now, that show might have been influenced by this but maybe not. I mean PVC at his age here, does look like David Cassidy as will be mentioned in the commentaries later on. Okay, one cannot deny the gay factor that runs rampant over this show, but mostly over this story, and this ep in particular. We have shirtless boys, boys being mean to each other, boys being loyal to each other, boys whining, boys being brave in the face of cold and other threats, ropes and bondage, the kilt, the stick, the underwear gag, the peace vs war thing, and so much more. William Relton does indeed, whether or not he is or not, garner the feeling of a gay repressed villain who just need the right boy to love and to love him back. Nick Young states that this story impressed him (he’s never seen it) but resembles a 1940s movie about boarding school. In that respect it does have a sort of softer TOM BROWN’S SCHOOL DAYS feel to it. The DDS Men are a perfect  set of villains for the TP and I’m sorry they didn’t come back in a story somehow and that Douglas and Paul, who later find out about the TP didn’t become full allies or friends or even TP themselves. In any event, this showcase for Stephen is just fantastic and lives up to the premise and the promise of adventure and can’t be more different from A RIFT IN TIME and THE BLUE AND THE GREEN if it tried. And thankfully for the first time, there are NO aliens.

2

 

So the reprise is different, as noted. Different music with more emphasis on the TP theme and a heartbeat added. Then the excellent theme song comes and those images. A word about the title opening, which is short, and the theme credits and the end credits. It seems that they change slightly a lot of the time, more color is added or less color to the swirling bubbles, etc. The faces in the opening segments change slightly from season to season. And at times, rare times, the theme is tweaked.  

 

2-The Burning Sword  

 

Stephen in an excellently choreographed (by PVC himself) sword fight disarms the two other boys and then Douglas himself. As he fights, one time, Stephen sticks out his tongue in athletic moment. Douglas is surprised. Stephen asks, cheeky, “Do I pass?”  Douglas asks where he learned to fight like that.    

 

Later, in the Lab, Stephen eats again. Liz tells him it hardly seemed fair as he used his special powers. Stephen tells them he didn’t need to. Chris says, “Pull the other one.”  Tim explains that before he broke out into one of the TP, Stephen was a school boy fencing champ. Stephen adjusts his collar (and on commentary Nick Young says, “He can do smug,” as he’s learned from the best of the smugs). Stephen says it trains the mind and the body and it’s fun. John asks his little saber rattler what he’s learned. With is mouth full, Stephen mispronounces the word Certain. He is certain the plans have to do with the space station Damocles.

 

In the dorm, Douglas brings Paul in by the ear to Dr. Laird who tells him that his bed is a mess. Paul claims to have cleaned it but Douglas calls him a liar. Paul yells that he did clean it as Douglas physically hurts him, by the ear or arm. Laird tells Paul to go meet him in his study. Paul leaves. Laird gives Douglas’s dorm 8 points. SO who did mess it up? Douglas? Stephen? Paul and he IS lying? Who would gain from it? Douglas mentions Stephen as Jamieson and that he wants to join the regular army. Laird mentions that maybe Stephen will be allowed to join the Doomsday Men.

 

Going out of a hatch on the space station, Lee Wan (and his uniform seems to come from the defunct 30 ep show UFO and maybe even that hatch does, too) moves to go fix something or check something. He steps on a huge red bolt marked DANGER EXPLOSIVE BOLT. This launches him into space, away from the station. TIM alerts the TP in the lab that something has just cropped up across his scanners. In the station, the black man (who wears a cap)  and the officer listen to Lee’s last message over the communication device in his helmet. TIM picks it up and apologizes for the poor quality of it. Lee says that there is nothing for him to do but sit back and count the countless stars.  He says he will do what his ancestors of old used to do and take his own life and he will not bite on the suicide capsule in his suit. Okay, first of all he’s from China as we find out later…did they believe in suicide as the Japanese did? Also: as stated on commentary: how will he get to the capsule AND why is there a suicide capsule in there anyway? On commentary, Nick Young says he will meditate but he’s not sure how that can be accomplished in a spacesuit. Lame joke? TIM also picks up his final words. Also on commentary is the first of many racial jokes by Nick Young and PVC. PVC says, “There’s a Nip in the air,”  as Lee flies off and Nick later says, as the TP in a van find Lee in space, “Look, there’s a chink in his armor,”  which is a definite play on words. Liz Adare feels, “This is outrageous,”  and Nick Briggs, who joins in on the “fun” claims she left the room but she’s still there on soundtrack anyway. Stephen thanks TIM for being able to pick Lee up at all, “You did well to pick him up at all, TIM.”

 

Liz questions if they can do something to help him. John tells her they can but he’s not sure they should. She feels he’s joking and asks what’s he on about. John tells her that they do little to interfere with the affairs of the Saps. Liz cannot believe it and has a go at both John and Stephen. “Just who do you two think you are?” She goes on to say something like, “You sit all snug in here and bragging of your special powers and your promise of immortality and you won’t help a mere Sap…well, that Sap is a human being just like you and I.”  John tells her he didn’t mean that…that that man was not less than a human being. She tells him he merely implied it. John argues that they cannot condone using nuclear weapons that threaten the entire world and the people who run programs like it. Liz counters that the man is doing something he believes in and that they can do little more than congratulate themselves on their special powers and promise of immortality (when I first saw this, it was only my second ep so I thought the TP themselves were immortal, which added to my enjoyment of the show). Stephen cannot take Liz’s chastising any longer, “Okay, Elizabeth, okay.”  John puffs and wanting to win any argument, states, “You’d better change Stephen, you can’t go into space dressed like that.”  NICE SCENE all around from all actors. Even Chris, who doesn’t get any lines, has some really tense looks. Liz Adare outshines herself here.

 

There is a field not far from a string of stores, surrounded by a thin fence, where the van sits. The stories include a Wash and Dry Cleaning Store and a Supply Store. Stephen and John appear in the van in their AE Suits. They look out just as the policeman, the traffic warden, is checking out the van, sneaking up behind it. He doesn’t them and they don’t see him. Stephen says the field is as empty as the Sahara. John telepaths, “C’mon, Liz…”  Liz calls to him, “Keep your hair on, John.”  Liz appears and they all put their helmets on. The van vanishes amid 2001 A SPACE ODYESSY music, the grand theme you know the one with the Star Baby. The cop throws his tickets down.

 

In space, John and Stephen go over how much scrap metal the Americans have sent up as well as the Russians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the French, Stephen adding, “Even the British.”   I don’t know if this is meant to mean the British are nicer than everyone else and “even” is that the poor British don’t mean to be stupid but do it along with everyone else and that the British are better or the British are worse because they can hardly afford a space program. Not sure. John jokes that they should be on the look out for a Police Box, an obvious DOCTOR WHO reference. Nick Briggs makes comment about this on the uh, commentary and he comes off as a BIG GIANT geek nerd fan boy. Nothing new there. Stephen spots the astronaut and the van teleports to him.

 

In the lab, with his open necked collar and chain on, Chris is reading a book HOW TO INCREASE YOUR MENTAL POWERS. He asks how his van is holding up as a spaceship.

 

The three Tp have pulled Lee into the van. Liz is running her hands over his body but not touching. Is she healing? Checking his systems? John notices he seems to be in shock. Liz explains so would he if he were just picked up by three nuts in a van. John orders Stephen, who’s driving, to take them down. Chris is given an update by TIM.

 

The cop leaves the field and gets his hand stuck in the gate. He gets it out and moves along the street road on the other side of the field. He stops and looks over the bushes as the van reappears. The TP and Lee get outside of it and Stephen attaches the matter transporter to Lee’s belt but later John describes himself as having done that. They all vanish and the cop runs away, having seen that.

 

In the Lab, John and the others struggle to get Lee out of his suit because if his life support has given out, he’ll die here as surely as if he were in space.

 

In the field, the cop returns and examines the van. Of note is some more graffiti: a peace symbol, a flower, FRONT END, STP, “Make Love Not War, That’s What the Driver is For.” There is also GB and the number 50. It might be a 1969 van and not 1966.

 

Lab: Lee wakes up, groggy and everyone comes into his field of vision, having been blurry. He murmurs that he doesn’t believe in the afterlife. Liz laughs that he must think that he’s in heaven (but he just said he doesn’t think there is an afterlife). Stephen jokes, “Better not let him see you, Chris, or he’ll think he’s in the other place.”  Chris knocks Stephen’s hand off his shoulder, “Ha. Ha.”    Nick Young jokes that if  you save one Chinese in 1974 then a million of them will spring up in the present. 

 

The cop brings his boss to the van and they arrive in a police truck. The cop puts a ticket on the van. The boss rips it up. The cop/traffic warden shuts the boss’s hand in the police truck by mistake.

 

In the Lab, Lee Wan tells the others he was originally from the People’s Republic of China Air Force but now he’s part of the UN. The TP tell him everything off screen. Chris reaffirms that he is like Lee, just a plain old homo sapien and “These three take some getting used to, I can tell you that.”  Lee asks how are they different and Stephen demonstrates jaunting. Chris makes believe he can do it and uses the matter transport device and teleports to the van.

 

At the van, the cop is sneaking up again. We see another bit of graffiti: “Driver Asleep. Do not Disturb.”  Stephen jaunts and we notice that he pulls his kilt down over a large bit of leg that was showing far up. The cop sees Stephen appear and he runs. Stephen tells Chris they should go, “It’s a bit public here.”  They vanish. The cop brings his boss back to the van and when they see nothing inside, the boss attacks the cop, Frankenstein-like.

 

When they return to the lab, John says, “Well done, Stephen. Chris don’t do that again. The matter transporter wasn’t properly programmed, you could have disappeared.”  Lee cannot believe what he’s seeing and hearing. John sits down with Lee on the other side of the table and asks him, “Would you believe that there are millions of life forms living on other planets. Would you believe that there are people from Earth already living on other planets.”  He feels it makes his work obsolete. Liz tells him it doesn’t, if that work stops the Earth destroying itself. Lee tells them he will keep their secret and asks if others know. John tells him a few do but they like to keep their existence a secret for fear that the governments would see them as a threat or use them as a secret weapon. Lee agrees that is what probably would happen.

 

In the field, two kid with a dog watch as the boss strips the traffic warden of badge, hat and stripes. He throws the hat on the ground. On commentary, Nick Briggs believes that this already happened in THE PINK PANTHER to Closeau.

 

Chris tells Stephen to be careful with the van, because it is going to take him right around the world, that is. Stephen tells him it’s already been around the world, in orbit. Stephen goes to the jaunt pad and jaunts to the van.

 

The boss’s truck runs over the cop’s hat and the cop picks it up and dejected, puts it back on his head. He has a green apple in his hand now. The van vanishes and the cop throws his apple to the ground.

 

Stephen reappears in the Lab on the jaunting pad and tells Chris the van is safely tucked away safe and sound in the garage. Chris starts to call the traffic warden a yellow peril but looks at Lee and stops. Lee is amused. Stephen puts his hands on his hips. Lee is aware he is back on Earth as there is talk of traffic tickets and pollution (from Liz about not having too many cars about). John is reminded that Stephen must get back to Glen College and his DDMen friends. Lee is startled and stands up, gasping about DDSMen being Stephen’s friends. John calms him as does Stephen and they fill him in on the mission. Stephen says of the Doomsday Men being his friends, “Not likely.”  Lee agrees if anybody can stop the Doomsday Men from stopping the signing of the Peace Treaty, the Tp can.  Stephen moves the jaunting pad and leaves, as Chris asks him to bring him back proper bag pipes.

 

John then asks what to do about the problem of Lee. Lee hopes they wouldn’t come to think of him as a problem but Liz comforts him by telling him that they couldn’t harm him even if they wanted to. They think they could bring him back the Space Station. John tells him they can’t just have him show up on the doorstep of the UN in New York and knock and say, “It’s me, I’m back.”  They wonder about the Space Station. Chris suggests that maybe Lee can drift back to it and that would keep the TP secret. TIM agrees however the gravitational pull would take Lee’s body that way but in the time it has taken,  Lee should already be dead, his life support exhausted. Lee confirms this.  John says that people believe what they want to believe.

 

Stephen jaunts to the dorm and takes his belt off and puts it in a drawer. WHY?  Douglas already knows about it. Douglas has been looking for Stephen everywhere. Stephen tells him he didn’t feel well. Douglas asks him why didn’t he go see matron, she’d give him some horse medicine. Stephen says he’s too young to die, besides he didn’t want to appear as a sickly wet, always running to matron. He  jokes it must be the rich food they get to eat here. Douglas tells him the brotherhood have agreed to let him join in a little ceremony.

 

Night: we hear the MARS, GOD OF WAR music (which is also used in SPACE:1999’s SPACE BRAIN). On a hillside in the moonlight with flaming torches, which Stephen later relates to the others as the only “moving” part of the ceremony, Dr Laird, in full Scottish military dress, has Paul, Douglas and other boys with them, many from their Dorm. Stephen is there on his knees. Dr Laird performs some rhetoric and plunges the sword into the wine cup in front of Stephen. He says something like, “By plunging the flaming sword of war into the blood of man shows how war cleanses the spirit of mankind as the ancient gods of war spoke to warriors of old to drink the blood of battle so do we drink this wine and feel the brotherhood it brings and flows in our veins. Stephen Jamieson may the warrior bred never vanish from the face of the Earth. We welcome you into the brotherhood of Doomsday Men.”  Everyone takes a swig from the wine including Stephen. It is an ancient pagan ceremony. Some of the ceremony is in flashback as Stephen tells the others what happened.  Stephen felt it made him sick to watch it. This might be due to his being a TP. At first he didn’t know whether to laugh or what. On commentary, PVC wonders if they did flashback here to cover his mistakes at remembering his lines but it does not look that way. Nick Young is concerned with seeing the screws in TIM’s  ceiling balls. The reason, right after the ceremony, Stephen came back to the Lab was because of what Dr Laird said next. In flashback we see Laird tell the boys about the treaty that the milk fed pacifists want to end the noble art of war. The treaty is not to be signed if the Doomsday Men can stop it. He wants the world to then tremble at the name of Doomsday Men and wants them to strike with the sword of war over them. The boys yells, “YAH!”       

 

In the Lab, Lee tells John that the relief crew is to be relieved right about now. A rocket takes off.  Liz is sure the Doomsday Men are after the Space Station. Stephen thinks the Doomsday Men do not have the resources. The shuttle approaches the space station. John thinks they are panicking. At the peace signing, he thinks the Doomsday Men will host a ceremony to protest. There will be security there anyway and there’s not much the TP can do that the security men can’t. The relief crew comes in and the leader of the trio is Arthur McLelland. He shoots the two men there and behind him is Major Langsford and another Doomsday Man. Arthur puts on his General cap, replacing his relief crew hat.

 

Also on commentary: Nick jokes that if the director holds on PVC they will know who directed this. Roger. Simon was in Young Pip in GREAT EXPECTATIONS. PVC now works with a TP fan that he calls nice but a bit of a stalker. Nick Briggs calls Stephen a bit of a smart ass. It is bleeped on the UK version. Nick Young claims to have some Scottish in him after he makes a Scottish joke about Scots not giving themselves away. They also make note of the STINGRAY like costumes on the space station interior crew. Someone says pissed again.  

 

REVIEW:   This is my first full ep of the TP that I ever saw. Amazing now in that it stops the plot dead in its tracks with the oh so unfunny silent movie comedy stuff from the cop, traffic warden and his boss…it didn’t stop me from watching more. I thought the fascinating arguments about Earth, pollution, war, ceremonies of the past, tradition, peace, and nuclear deterrent to holocaust was all just so interesting. Plus: how would the TP react to someone who found out about them who worked for the government and on a space station. Stephen’s mission, while sidetracked for some of the van comedy stuff, is still interesting and exciting. Some things I got wrong was when Liz talked about the TP immortality: I thought the TP were immortal individually and would live forever.  I like the interplay between Stephen, Chris, Liz, John, Lee and Douglas. It all worked. It still does despite the back and forth to the comedy stuff and despite the fact that the TP didn’t have to go into space in the van at all. As part of the story, this works. As an ep on its own, it works. It would have worked better had their been less of the traffic warden stuff. It seemed as if they let him pantomime his way through the interludes using comedy music. The other music: the MARS THE GOD OF WAR works well. The sword fight is amazing and well done. PVC, Young, and Adare all do very well among the chaos. And as a show it remains entertaining. There are some gay things going on here but see if you can spot them yourself. Stephen with hands on his hips, Paul’s ear get  held,  that war ceremony, Lee’s suicide thing maybe.           

3-Run Rabbit Run

 

TIM is aware, somehow, that the Doomsday Men are in control of the Damoclese space station. Lee tells the Tp that that gives those madmen 50 thousand megatons of nuclear terror with which to enforce their will on the world. They discuss a Major Longford who is one of the relief crew not found dead, murdered by Arthur and/or Longford. Three Doomsday Men including Longford and Arthur have taken the place of the relief crew and killed the current crew of two men. Longford was an American Air Force Major on attachment to the UN Space Force. Lee tells them he was always a broody guy, boasting of what he did in the war. He didn’t seem like a Doomsday Man though. Stephen says that is the difficult part, you can never tell who is. John suggests they get in their AE Suits and go into the Space Station by jaunting inside. Lee tells them that would not be a good idea since there is a deadman’s switch---it looks like a giant mousetrap and is red colored. It is used only for emergencies but the Doomsday Men might have activated it. In short, a man holds it down manually. If the hand is released for any reason, the switch moves the other way, and the missiles fire. Liz thinks that is crazy but thinks John’s new plan is mad as she is the only one who guesses what it was: that he will use Lee’s spacesuit to act as the drifting corpse and take a look inside the porthole. Lee warns that they have weapons that could blast him out of space.

 

On the Space Station, Longford tells Arthur of the space station: that it has four fifths of Earth’s gravity and that this would have been his third term of duty; that he’s been with them for eight months. Arthur tells him that by now their fellow Doomsday Men must have told them about what happened. This is not clear. It might also mean that other people who were ? tied up? Might have found out? In any event it sounds like other DDMen have told about the plan, blackmailing the world. Longford tells Arthur of a laser communication channel and he plans to use that to tell the world about the deadline (to what? Again, this is not clear. We know they want to stop the signing of the treaty and just by doing this, they have; or maybe they have postponed it but want the meeting stopped altogether?). Each tour of duty on the space station lasts for 4 months.

 

In the Lab, Lee asks John if he can do what John plans to as John suits up in the space suit. John tells him that this calls for the TP’s kind of special powers. Liz feels this is too big a risk but John gently tells her that last time she didn’t say that when it was time to rescue Lee. Lee tells them the portholes are either on the spinning side where the living quarters are so as to be seen from there or that they can be seen from that side.

 

John jaunts into space. We hear an even slower and more effective theme tune of the TP. It is very good. John drifts to the station which sends out a proximity alarm to the men on board via a big porthole-like thing beeping and flashing red. John is too close to the station for them to fire upon. He is laying on his back, looking like he’s giving birth as they say on the commentary (This time is it Liz noticing that position). John tucks himself into a blind spot near the hull to look into the window…it doesn’t look like a blind spot but anyway…He describes the red handle big mouse trap looking thing that one of the men has his hand on. It looks like a large old fashioned mouse trap and is red. Tim transfers the info to Lee who confirms that it is the Dead Man’s Switch. At TIM’s suggestion and unable to see if it is Douglas’s grandfather in the room with the two “youngish” other Doomsday Men, John shunts off and appears laying on his stomach position in his float in space.

 

Longford sees him again and feels bad. Arthur, touchy, yells about Longford’s touching concern for a rotting corpse and orders him to do something about it. Longford tells him that he used to have nightmares about dying that way, a horrible and painful way to go. Arthur tells him to fire the laser at it. He does. TIM has started to jaunt John back but loses him, “JOHN!” 

 

The ex-traffic warden, who apparently calls himself Bishop, is fishing (commentators feel this was in a place maybe called Twiggendem or Twiggenham?) near a lake or river, traffic in the background of the bushes. He is talking to himself of how great it is to fish and not be bothered by disappearing vans and space suited people. John comes up out of the lake (in what looks like a somewhat different place and not in the same scene). He doesn’t see the fishing man run away. When he communicates telepathically with Tim and the others, TIM jaunts him back. The ex traffic warden Bishop brings a civilian (who seems to be the boss again!). The man rolls his eyes and seeing nothing, runs off. The traffic warden Bishop holds his nose and jumps into the water. His hat floats on top…he doesn’t come up again! NOTE: On commentary, Liz thinks he’s committed suicide. If so, this is very grim and not at all funny. In any event, it is the end of this comic (but unfunny) sub plot.

 

Lee, in the lab, as they help John get out of the spacesuit, calls it a miracle that he’s alive. Chris says, “You get used to miracles with this lot.”  Stephen finds a fish hook on John’s spacesuit. John hopes he hasn’t ruined anyone’s fishing. Chris thinks it must be open season on the TP. John tells him that it will be open season on the world if the Doomsday Men get their way.  TIM relates to them the official answer to the Doomsday Men: the signing is postponed. TIM also infiltrated a top secret security microwave link from the GPO Tower: government officials are being shuttled to a bomb proof hideout in Berkshire. The UN Headquarters Laser transmitter gives the info that evacuation has started but only of key government employees, civil service workers, and documents!  Liz expresses her disapproval. The Doomsday Men have sent a message and again it is unclear: if the signing goes forth, key capital cities will be destroyed. Stephen notes the voice on the message is that of Gen McLelland but can’t be sure. TIM would like to do a voice print comparison analysis. He can only do so if they have a voice tape of McLelland.

 

Stephen jaunts to Douglas’s bed in the dorm. He jaunts again to the other side of the room (when he might have run or walked)  as he hears a noise. Douglas walks in. Douglas asks, “Where do you keep disappearing to? Do you have some secret hideout or something?” NOTE: This alone should make him and others suspicious. Douglas also asks if he’s burglared his locker or burgled him? Of course on commentary, Nick Young can’t resist the gay joke. He was sure he left the locker closed. Indeed he had, Stephen opened it. He takes out Scotch whiskey to celebrate the disarmament treaty not being signed. When Stephen protests about the alcohol, Douglas tells him that rules are made to be broken occasionally and not to worry about Dr. Laird, he’s a small fish in Doomsday Men circles. Stephen tells him that he never drinks alcohol, never, that it doesn’t make you tough, it rots your guts and addles your brain. He makes Douglas an offer: he will drink a full glass of water; Douglas will drink a full glass of that stuff and Stephen will use only his left hand and still beat him at sabers. When Douglas opens his locker, Stephen sees a tape recorder machine. Douglas tells him he used to use it keep messages going between himself and his grandfather.

 

Lab: Lee has given TIM a full description of the Space Station interior and TIM will work up a map or a diagram like a sketch artist will do with the police from witnesses’ descriptions.

 

Dorm: Douglas is finishing his running outfit: short shorts and tight and a white wooly pull over with long sleeves. Stephen is his blue wooly pull over with long sleeves and VERY tight and VERY short white shorts enters. He and Paul are putting the finishing touches on their sneakers and stuff. Paul has on a red pull over. Paul tells Stephen that Douglas thinks he’s the best runner in the school. When Paul leaves, Stephen uses his special powers to point the locker and open it. He plays a tape and hears Arthur’s voice talking to Douglas. He takes  the tape out of the tape recorder, jaunts off, gives it to John in the lab and tells them he must run. Chris says, “You’re dressed for it.”  He vanishes just seconds before Douglas comes in and then goes out again, not finding Stephen. On commentary, PVC notes his girth.

 

The run starts and we see about ten boys running through woods and dirt piles. They run through a puddle which Stephen wants to avoid. Douglas is in front, taunting everyone to run faster. They run down a dirt hill. The music throughout this ep is quite nice, tense and unusual and probably stock music.

 

Overlooking the runners on a flat cliff top or higher level land, Laird and two men, Boswell and Price (don’t ask me which is which and they are named after Roger Price and Ruth Boswell, producers, and they rarely if ever speak) are watching with binoculars I think. Laird has the land rover; the two men have another vehicle, a red jeep.

 

In the Lab, Lee congratulates TIM on his spot on Space Station interior designs. Lee hopes he got it right but knows TIM did. He calls TIM a genius. TIM has also been working on comparing the word “AND” on both the tape Stephen brought which had clarity and the government received message from the Doomsday Men. They are the same man’s voice. John telepaths to Stephen not to lose Douglas—not let him out of his sight-- since he is now part of their plan to save the Earth. Stephen, running in the woods as the camera man uses a great tracking shot, telepaths back that that will not be easy: Douglas is a good runner and he’s having trouble keeping up with the boy. Stephen tells him he’s about to burst now. John chides him that he’s not fit and is getting as fat as a pig and that he doesn’t get enough  exercise and he’s always jaunting back to the lab to get something to eat. Stephen tells him that he’s getting the exercise now. Chris starts to say something but then stops, thinking the idea foolish but Liz prompts it out of him. Chris thinks it would be cheating but why can’t Stephen use his special powers to jaunt to keep up with Douglas but he’s not wearing his belt, so Chris thinks it’s impossible. John tells him it is not: they only need the belt as a navigational aide and booster. On short distances, Stephen can jaunt without it. John relays this idea to Stephen who calls it cheating but adds, “Ahh, well, all’s fair in love and war. Perhaps it isn’t, but who cares?”  There is snow on the ground. Running on a paved path for a bit and then on snowy ground, Stephen runs to the side of a bush, outdistancing a longhaired bloke from his dorm. Once behind it, he jaunts, confounding the kid when the kid reaches the bush. Stephen jaunts ahead of Douglas, who wonders if he took a short cut but Stephen tells him he couldn’t have as they have been running in a straight line (no they haven’t!) since they left the school. Douglas thought Stephen was behind him. Douglas calls him a fast runner.

 

They run some more and Douglas passes Stephen and they hop over several wood stacks. Douglas moves on ahead and yells to Stephen, “You fagged yourself out too early on.”  Stephen agrees. Douglas, annoyingly yells back, “NO one in Glen College can run faster than me!!!”  Stephen runs around a bend and sees Douglas yelling, “Oh Stephen help me please!”  Two men are attacking Douglas. Stephen rushes them but is quickly punched in the stomach and hauled over one man’s shoulder and dumped on the side of a dirt mound road. He is spread eagled like Jesus! The men, one of them seemingly wearing wellies for fly fishing or something, get into the red truck…with Douglas a willing participant. Douglas is clearly part of the plan. The red truck starts up and seems to head for running right over Stephen!!!!

 

Commentary notes: Both PVC and Eric Young as Lee have sores on their lips. The commentators wonder if they got it from each other from kissing. WTF? Nick Young  and Nick Briggs especially comment, perceptively that Douglas’s mannerisms with the stick must have come from his grandfather since the older man uses the same manner with the stick. The man playing Arthur is from New Zealand. Nick and others claim how gorgeous they all wore in those halcyon days. PVC states that Nick looks the same. Tubes from TIM hit John’s head later in the story but here a tube or tube dangle limply off the UFO/JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN spacesuit. Nick Young mentions Viagra for that. Nick Young again mentions watching who directed this. PVC mentions his girth and that is why he got the part. The obstacle course would have been or might have been a raw marine’s course. It was cold PVC says and Nick Young mentions that is why that “IT” doesn’t show so much. There is some joke about a man with a big watch or a man giving PVC a watch or something with William Relton but this must be an inside joke somewhere.

 

REVIEW:  One can see the limitations of the comedy this ep inflicts on the show and perhaps Roger Price thought that kids’ shows had to have some humor to offset the more grim aspects such as the grim shooting of the two men in the start of the episode and the nuclear terror. Also destroying the world or capital cities could kill Douglas but that is DDMen for you. Everyone looks great from the guest stars to the regulars. PVC looks wonderful with his long hair and his kilt and muscled legs. Liz looks pretty and John decked out in spacesuit and regular clothing. Chris and Lee look good, too. The commentary makes fun of Lee’s perfect teeth and his always smiling so maybe he wanted to show them off. Nick Young later tells all that the comments are just joking but one does wonder. Still, once the traffic warden subplot is over, this moves along rather better and the location work AND the stock music and the slow version of the theme song work well. Douglas makes for a  real interesting villain/guest actor and seems to have a real personality and life beyond the story. Another good episode. Again, it could have worked without the traffic warden sub plot and it’s shocking that he goes into the water and is not seen coming out.

 

       
                                                    

                                                                                 

4-The Shuttlecock   (nothing gay about there, is there?)    
                                                    

Some things left out of last time: the theme song at the end sounds like it has more clicking bit in it as a variation. Nick Briggs asked Nick Young about a movie called ESKIMO NELL which Nick Young refused to talk about. It was rumored that PVC and Nick Young both appeared in some UK variation on the movie PORKYS which they had a fare share of nudity in but that is just rumor. Maybe.

 

After the theme song, Liz worries about Stephen as she and John receive a strange signal, which means he is unconscious, John knows the signs. TIM cannot bring Stephen back since Stephen is not wearing his jaunting belt. He does manage to bring the belt back under remote control from Stephen’s dresser near his bed. John comforts Liz. He puts his arm around her. TIM cannot even locate Stephen since he is not in telepathic communication. John tells Liz they have more important things to worry about like the Doomsday Men on the space station. Stephen can take care of himself.

 

We see the Space Station.

 

In the red truck, Douglas tells the two men it doesn’t feel like a kidnapping. Aren’t they going to tie him up or something? One of them offers him a cigarette but he tells them he doesn’t smoke.

 

Paul and two other boys find Stephen flat out and wake him up. Stephen tells them Douglas has been kidnapped but they are not sure he is just not groggy. Nick Briggs notices Paul’s soiled pants…probably because the actor slid down the dirt hill. He’s also been noticing hair length and such and to be fair, PVC’s hair seems to change sometimes during a story, especially this story. It almost always looks good though. Paul and the other boys carry Stephen with Paul getting his hand far up…well anyway…

 

The red truck’s engine (OXC584M) is smoking and the truck stops. The men and Douglas get out and open the bonnet and look at it. Douglas comments that this is some kidnapping. They will have to walk. To where? Where were they going? Why have this scene at all? Filler? Under running? Not sure. Later, I’m sure we see the red truck parked in front of the windmill so maybe they got it fixed later on?

 

Paul is putting his gray school shirt back on as Stephen in yellow JS lay in bed. Paul tells him he should be careful because matron will be trying to fatten him up for the pot. Stephen telepaths to John and Liz about Douglas being kidnapped but John warns Stephen to stay there and recover.

 

On the space station, the key is in the Dead Man’s Switch and the three men take turns sitting by it and keeping their hand on it. When Arthur asks, Longford tells him that he just has a mother on Earth. Arthur tells him about his grandson. He hopes that these acts will give Douglas a future and if not, there will be no deeds of glory, no chance of honor, just peace.

 

Dr. Laird is sitting on Stephen’s bed and interrupting as Stephen tries to give a description of the two men who kidnapped Douglas. Stephen also verifies the make of the truck and is sure about it. Laird tells the policeman that boys sometimes like to think they know more about the makes of cars than they really do. This is an attempt to prevent Stephen from giving a definitive description of the red truck but he does anyway. Stephen tries to argue, “But I…”  but Laird takes the unspeaking cop for a drink in his office. We hear strange music as we did when Stephen was knocked out and John and Liz were trying to contact him.

 

Later. Laird comes in, skips, hops and acts more camp than before (on commentary they refer to this as acting as if he’s in Hallo, Hallo), takes Douglas’s clothes…he tells Stephen this is for the police who supposedly told him that if they do find Douglas, they will need a change of clothes for him. This makes Stephen suspicious and he telepathically relays this to John and Liz. Paul returns  with a horrid drink from matron and he tells Stephen that maybe she is fattening him up for the witches’ feast. Paul thinks the Headmaster, Dr Laird has something to do with Douglas’s kidnapping and Stephen thinks he is mixed up in it, too. Paul tells him that Laird asked Jock for the keys to the Land Rover. Paul thinks Laird is working for the pacifists and he will explain more to Stephen as Stephen changes…in front of him.

 

Stephen telepaths that he will need two matter transporter belts and a jaunting belt. NOTE: the matter transporter belts seem to be jaunting belts with some kind of bigger box attached. It’s not explained how Stephen gets Paul to put one on and keep one on as Paul has one on later on. Why? Why’d he wear it? Liz worries but Stephen tells her not to worry. John nods for Liz to send them and she does, John telling Stephen not to take foolish risks. But come on, John, this is Stephen.

 

The Land Rover (LM377X) drives up to the Windmill and Dr. Laird gets out and goes inside. Peter and Stephen get out from the back of the truck. As PVC gets out we see FAR up his kilt than ever before and the land rover’s hood curtain and PVC’s hand seem to hit Paul in the head. The two boys sneak over to a window and look in…and the villains are sitting around a table and seem to have no peripheral vision as the boys can clearly be seen. The interior room is not circular. One of the bad guys goes outside and takes a gun from his crotch (no kidding!) upon seeing the two boys. He takes them inside where Douglas is smug about it all. Douglas goes on and on about Paul and Stephen on their own Boy’s Own Adventure story and salutes Stephen for figuring it out and being James Bond himself, clapping. Doug’s annoying. Stephen has figured out that he was supposed to be a witness to Douglas’s kidnapping but in reality, Douglas hasn’t been kidnapped but taken out of the harm’s way of any government that might want to use him to double blackmail his grandfather Arthur. This is when Douglas claps and tells Stephen he’s a bright boy and that he should go to the top of the class.  Douglas doesn’t like that the two have to be kept here, it’s going to make it crowded but if they are let go they can go tell everyone.

 

Dr Laird decides the two cannot be kept here and takes out his gun. Now, if their vanishing will cause a concern for the DDMen, then wouldn’t their deaths also? In any event, Douglas protests but Laird tells him that their bodies will be found and the concern will be on that and not on Douglas’s vanishing. Huh? Makes no sense really. Douglas seems to try to stop Laird; Stephen presses Paul’s matter transporter and makes Paul vanish. As the other two get confused, Stephen jaunts or runs to Douglas and puts one on him, too. Then presses it and jaunts away at the same time. The villains fall into each other.

 

In the Lab, Paul has John wrapping his arms around him from behind and Paul struggles to get lose. John tells an appearing Stephen that this one fights like a tiger and bites like one, too. Stephen comes to him and holds his arms and yells at him, then tells him he’s safe.

 

On the space station (which at various times throughout the story is seen as gold and at other times, seen as silver in other scenes), Longford is given food and eats. There has been a six hour ultimatum given. WHAT? What are the terms? If the terms are not agreed to in six hours, Arthur will open an envelope which has the codes to the missiles. The codes will be used to program missiles to destroy three cities that even Arthur doesn’t know the locations of. WHAT? WHY? Why doesn’t he know? Isn’t he the leader? Maybe to protect him the guilt and fear of maybe having Douglas killed too if it just happens Doug is near or in one of those cities?      

 

Douglas and Paul are in seats on the long couch in the Lab. There is something swirling red around their heads (and thanks to the effects also around Liz and John in long shot, too). They are blinking in REM or so it seems. Lee asks what is happening and is told they are being re-educated. Lee gets upset comparing this to brainwashing. In the past their heads have been filled with a lot of junk about warlike death and glory, John firmly tells Lee but now they are getting the other side of it, too. They are giving them a freedom of sorts…they’ve only been told about and read about the glory of war, John affirms. Now, they are getting to see the gory side of it, too. Stephen tells Lee that they are seeing the real side of war, not some movie, not some fictional side of it but the real death and violence of war. Liz asks Lee about the horrors he’s seen in war and Lee tells her it is not like the child Lee thought it would be…it was much more horrible than anything a child can imagine. TIM tells Lee that Paul and Douglas will come to no harm and still have the freedom to make up their own minds. Lee tells them that the freedom to choose, even if wrong, is one of the basic human rights. NOTE: Geeze, he’s from China in the 1970s, what is he on about? Liz Adare on the commentary, mentions his “high horse” all of sudden and while he’s right, did he escape from China’s regime?

 

When it is over, Douglas emerges like a new person, realizing how horrible it was. He tells them his grandfather always went on about how war was a noble art. Paul notes that they always realize people died but didn’t realize it was forever, not really dead. Douglas states that that kind of thing can’t be right, it just can’t. NOTE: Much is made of this on the commentary as a joke but really, children and even teens and some adults these days, don’t see this. They DO have their heads filled with blood and gore and fighting and action and that war is a fun, exciting thing…we used to have CONAN movies where the hero or heroes would robustly slay anyone and anything that got in their way and think nothing about it but nowadays things have gotten even worse with junk like HOSTEL and violent but yes, entertaining cutemups like GLADIATOR, 300 and soon to be Showtime’s SPARTACUS as well as the many, many horror movies that are so over the top in violence (MORTUARY, SAW, the new HILLS HAVE EYES, and SO many others) but the ones that are really odd are the ones that evoke feelings of revenge and vengeance so that audiences feel it is okay and justified to kill the bad guys in horrid ways because they killed first and even worse. I cannot say I disagree or agree at this point in my life and having lost people to terrorism. But it is a trend and can be felt. Real war IS horrible (and some movies do show the results of real war and revenge). Revenge may be wrong (and some movies show that but far more show that it “feels so good.”  So that is what they are getting at here and this message is an important one that action shows and sci fi show in general DO NOT want to express. I salute the TP for trying.

 

Douglas addresses Stephen, “I don’t know what you are, Stephen, from another planet or what, but I trust you.” Paul feels the same way. They will help.

 

Dorm: Douglas appears and moves to his locker to get the bagpipes. Dr. Laird comes in and pulls a gun on him. Stephen appears and stuns Laird and empties his gun and pushes him onto the bed. PVC on commentary tells us he enjoyed that. Stephen tells Douglas he will be all right. Douglas and Stephen vanish. Laird wakes up.

 

With the life support system in his spacesuit charged up, John appears in space again. TP THEME slowed down again and this time slower. In the space station, Arthur changes places with Longford at the dead man switch, sitting down. The alarm goes off again and they think it is just the corpse again. Paul, in the lab, asks Stephen if he can join them but Stephen tells him no and that Chris will look after him. He and Douglas and Lee vanish to the space station but only Douglas appears first. TIM chimes in the music of the bagpipes. Douglas tells his grand father not to let go of the switch. He claims to be a vision of his mind. He introduces Stephen and then Lee. The pipes stop. Douglas holds the switch down but then Longford is there and shoots Lee in the arm. Lee falls and Douglas moves back. As Longford moves to shoot Douglas, Arthur attacks Major Longford. This makes the dead man’s switch spring the wrong way and the missile countdown starts. As the other two fight, Stephen stuns them both. The third Doomsday Man has the abort key and he throws it down a waste disposal chute before Stephen can stop him. Stephen stuns him. NOTE: On commentary, everyone laughs at this third man since he seems…well, they make jokes that he never married and his hand motions make him look, well, VERY GAY! Liz thinks they can use their backpack power to move the station and make the missiles miss the Earth or fire away from the Earth. John and Liz try but the station will not budge. Lee is supported by Stephen and Douglas to the mechanism…a clock innards like affair. Lee tells them if they can jam the mechanism somehow, the entire space station will spin, not just the living quarters. Douglas chucks the bagpipes into the mechanism, jams it and the missiles fire into the sun as the entire station rotates. NOTE: I Know what they were going for here but to be honest, visually, it just doesn’t work or make sense but it does in a way thanks to the dialog. This makes the station unable to be used as a missile base again in the near future as the entire thing is now rotating.

 

Later, the three DDMen are tied up and won’t give Lee any more trouble. John seems to be wearing a light purple shirt but on commentary, Nick Young thinks it is pink. Either way it seems to him to be hideous. Lee is bandaged or healed or something. He will the hero of the day and he says he can live with that. John warns him, laughingly, not to tell anyone about the TP, no one will believe him anyway. WTF? Why not? And just why will the three DDMen shut up? A shuttle with a relief crew is already docking. The TP and Douglas leave.

 

TIM warns Chris and Paul the foursome are on their way back. Chris has on a cooking smock. Paul is setting places on another table in the Lab. Chris tells Paul they are not ready and he has to stall them. Paul does his best to stall them. John tells him and Stephen that they will do their best to get Douglas and Paul back to normal life and that means turning Glen College into a normal school and that means Stephen going back there for at least the end of the term. Stephen balks, “Oh, I thought it might.”  NOTE: Frankly, I’d like to see that accomplished as there are still DDKids there and Dr. Laird has not been seriously dealt with yet. TIM tells them about a surprise. At a table for four that Paul and Chris lead them to, the TP and Douglas see a dish prepared for them. Douglas says it is his favorite. The other three, John, Liz, and Stephen taste it and then TIM announces it as “Haggis,”  and Liz goes wide eyed. The other two seem not to like it but they then all three of them, taste it again and eat it. On commentary, it is not the laugh out loud endings that American TV always has at the end that are smaltzy and have graced a few Tp serials. Here, the ending is fitting and not bad.

 

REVIEW: In the notes above, I told what I thought were most of the flaws of the story and the side comments. I also think that another story about how the TP dealt with the Glen College situation would have merited a good serial. There are many plot holes and flaws here as noted above. Yet…this is still one of the more thought provoking stories of late than any of the others. Violence is a controversial issue as is revenge and peace and all that. Also: the series did not, for once, have the menace from space. This will continue in the next serial with even better results even if the TP characters themselves as sidelined for Prof Cawston, Tricia Conway and Colonel Masters. The issues come to a head there and in THE DIRTIEST BUSINESS. But here, more should have been made of Stephen’s mission and less on the comedy in the entire story. It sort of ended in the third episode. Boswell and Price, as introduced to Stephen and Paul by Douglas are named after producer writer Roger Price and also a producer at this time, I think. The outside locations, a staple of the TP by now, help tremendously. The attitude of the cast helps a great deal, too. Everyone totally convinces to be honest of the threat, even if that threat lags on too long and even if it becomes…sort of vague in this episode. Just what do the Doomsday Men want? How will destroying parts of Earth save Douglas? Are the DDSMEN just crazy? In any event, no one else was really telling these kinds of stories in any way that survived to be shown on Nick in the 1980s. A show with Chris Chittel and the girl who plays Zoe on Doctor Who comes to mind but most of those were destroyed by the BBC and season six of that show just came out on dvd. The TP would have done best to focus on world affairs, spies, school adventures and such but while some of these things did come about, more space aliens would feature in the future. Most of those would be an embarrassment. The best TP stories to come feature a newbie breaking out (CASTLE OF FEAR, SECRET WEAPON), the governments trying to use the TP (SECRET WEAPON, THE DIRTIEST BUSINESS), or a more convincing trip to an alien planet, which didn’t happen all that often (WORLDS AWAY and the better  A MUCH NEEDED HOLIDAY). In addition, sometimes, though rarely, fads or popular culture would be used (HEART OF SOGGUTH which also had some supernatural overtones, THE LIVING SKINS).  All of this mixed well but unfortunately there were some embarrassing alien robot puppets (THE THARGON MENACE and I think one other), old men nearly naked on a bed (ACHILLES’ HEEL), terrible unrealistic aliens (WAR OF THE EMPIRES), as well as an American President (WAR again), and some satire on historical figures such as Idi Amin and President Carter (THARGON MENACE again, WAR again). Interestingly,  the American President in WAR mentions that the previous President (Ford) met the TP…and in the show they never did but in the novel THREE INTO THREE they did! And helped which should have made this President more an ally than an enemy. Of course, one of the most embarrassing is soon to come with A MAN FOR EMILY. Seen today, most of the new TPs such as Tyso and Tricia were left with unfulfilled storylines and the feeling was of missed opportunities. There was one more serial planned after WAR OF THE EMPIRES and Mike Holloway still has the script but all of this is another story. THE DOOMSDAY MEN isn’t perfect by any means and could have been so much better but as it is, it stands as a good boys’ adventure…                   

                                                           

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