Scorpio is disabled in an attempt to hide from detector beams behind an asteroid and limps back to Xenon Base. On the way, the ship is approached by three Federation pursuit ships which suddenly explode for no apparently good reason, which is what they investigate back at base. The cause of the ships’ destruction is a space-chopper, the orbital equivalent of a Harley-Davidson, with the significant exception that this one moved at time-distort 15 and was well-armed. The repaired Scorpio visits the base of the space-chopper, where Plaxton, once one of the best minds of the Federation, is devising powerful stardrives for an interstellar motorcycle gang. Dayna and Vila manage to distract the gang long enough to get Plaxton and her biggest and best stardrive out of the base safely. Scorpio is approached by a flotilla of Federation ships while Plaxton is in the engine room connecting her drive. If Avon starts the engine as soon as Plaxton connects the final wire, Scorpio will escape but the firing of the drive will kill its creator.
written by James Follett
directed by David Sullivan Proudfoot
music by Dudley Simpson
Cast: Paul Darrow (Avon), Michael Keating (Vila), Steven Pacey (Tarrant), Josette Simon (Dayna), Glynis Barber (Soolin), Peter Tuddenham (Orac, Slave), Barbara Shelley (Dr. Plaxton), Damien Thomas (Atlan), Peter Sands (Bomber), Leonard Kavanagh (Napier)
Notes: Scorpio apparently used the new stardrive to escape danger in Animals, the next episode, but afterward it seemed as though the new engine system was nowhere to be found – you’d imagine it would have helped them out of a few scrapes such as…crashing on Gauda Prime?
LogBook entry by Earl Green