Pilot

PrimevalIn 2050, England is about to launch a massive space station, the crowning achievement of British technology. As preparations for launch continue, the BBC invites housewife Gertrude Noah to visit the launch pad and the station, which she describes as “fancy.” But a runaway reaction occurs in the station’s launch engines, and mission control – unaware that a few crew members and civilians are aboard the station for a live broadcast – launches the station for the safety of those on the ground. Without a full crew possessing the necessary expertise to land the station properly, Mrs. Noah is stuck in orbit with a reporter named Clive and three station crew members who seem oblivious as to how anything works.

Come Back, Mrs. Noahwritten by Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft
directed by Bob Spiers
music by John Scott / theme song by David Croft

Cast: Mollie Sugden (Mrs. Noah), Ian Lavender (Clive Cunliffe), Donald Hewlett (Carstairs), Michael Knowles (Fanshaw), Robert Gillespie (Mission Controller), Ann Michelle (Assistant Controller), Joe Black (Garstang), Jennifer Lonsdale (The Technician), Gorden Kaye (The Television Presenter)

Notes: Come Back Mrs. Noah was created by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, the creators of Are You Being Served?, and starred one of that show’s stars, Mollie Sugden. This series was produced during the long gap between the fifth and sixth seasons of Are You Being Served?.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

In Orbit

PrimevalWith the Britannia 7 space station still stuck in orbit without a qualified crew, Mrs. Noah and the others aboard set about trying to work out the basics of surviving in orbit. When the space station is equipped with such modern marvels as an artificial “space chicken” that disgorges sausage-like strings of eggs, it begins to look as though survival may be a bit more complicated than anyone thought. In the meantime, the BBC kindly provides two-way communication between those stranded on the space station and their families on Earth, and Mrs. Noah discovers that Mr. Noah has been comforted by their buxom next door neighbor.

Come Back, Mrs. Noahwritten by Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft
directed by Bob Spiers
music by John Scott / theme song by David Croft

Cast: Mollie Sugden (Mrs. Noah), Ian Lavender (Clive Cunliffe), Donald Hewlett (Carstairs), Michael Knowles (Fanshaw), Tim Barrett (Mission Controller), Ann Michelle (Assistant Controller), Joe Black (Garstang), Jennifer Lonsdale (The Technician), Gorden Kaye (The Television Presenter), Norman Mitchell (Mr. Noah), Diana King (Mrs. Carstairs), Raymond Bowers (Professor Holzburger), Jennifer Guy (Ivy Basset), Kenneth MacDonald (Space Man)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

To The Rescue

PrimevalThe unwitting occupants of space station Britannia 7 prepare themselves for the arrival of a rescue party via space shuttle. Mission control advises Carstairs to brief the non-astronauts aboard the station in proper procedures for a space shuttle docking, which he proceeds to try to explain with a variety of everyday food items (with varying degrees of success). There’s just one little problem: the Britannia 7 wasn’t ready for launch, and does not have the proper docking mechanism, meaning that Carstairs and everyone else aboard will have to create a temporary airtight seal when the shuttle arrives.

Come Back, Mrs. Noahwritten by Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft
directed by Bob Spiers
music by John Scott / theme song by David Croft

Cast: Mollie Sugden (Mrs. Noah), Ian Lavender (Clive Cunliffe), Donald Hewlett (Carstairs), Michael Knowles (Fanshaw), Tim Barrett (Garfield Hawk), Ann Michelle (Scarth Dare), Joe Black (Garstang), Jennifer Lonsdale (The Technician), Gorden Kaye (The Television Presenter), Raymond Bowers (Slumber Control)

Notes: The model work for the launch of the space shuttle is reasonably good for this era (especially considering that the space shuttle had not actually lifted off yet). Heard several times in this episode is a sound effects sequence known as “White Void”, created for and first used in the 1968 Doctor Who serial The Mind Robber by Brian Hodgson, co-founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Just thought you’d like to know.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Who Goes Home

PrimevalThe occupants of the Britannia 7 space station receive sobering news from Earth: the space shuttle that has just arrived to rescue them can only take a finite number of people home. Immediately, the stranded Britannia 7 residents begin sizing up the greatest achievements of their lives, each trying to prove his or her worthiness to return to Earth intact. The competition heats up until Carstairs points out that there might be another way to return home, though it’s a very experimental procedure – one he thinks should be tested first on Mrs. Noah.

Come Back, Mrs. Noahwritten by Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft
directed by Bob Spiers
music by John Scott / theme song by David Croft

Cast: Mollie Sugden (Mrs. Noah), Ian Lavender (Clive Cunliffe), Donald Hewlett (Carstairs), Michael Knowles (Fanshaw), Tim Barrett (Garfield Hawk), Ann Michelle (Scarth Dare), Joe Black (Garstang), Jennifer Lonsdale (The Technician), Gorden Kaye (The Television Presenter), Harold Bennett (The Priest)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Housing Problem

PrimevalThe shuttle returns to Earth with none of Britannia 7’s inhabitants. Facing a stay much longer than they ever expected – perhaps stretching into months or longer – Carstairs and Fanshaw begin investigating some features of Britannia 7 intended for long-distance journeys, including a facility for recreating Earthlike environments. Mrs. Noah gravitates toward one option that replicates the environment to which she is most accustomed – British suburbia – and the rest of the station’s occupants grudgingly help her return, briefly, to her ideal life.

Come Back, Mrs. Noahwritten by Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft
directed by Bob Spiers
music by John Scott / theme song by David Croft

Cast: Mollie Sugden (Mrs. Noah), Ian Lavender (Clive Cunliffe), Donald Hewlett (Carstairs), Michael Knowles (Fanshaw), Tim Barrett (Garfield Hawk), Ann Michelle (Scarth Dare), Joe Black (Garstang), Jennifer Lonsdale (The Technician), Gorden Kaye (The Television Presenter), Christopher Mitchell (The Butler), Vicki Michelle (The Maid), Jean Gilpin (2nd Technician)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Last Chance

PrimevalBiding their time until the next rescue attempt, the male members of the Britannia 7 crew use the station’s environment simulator to spend a day on the golf course, though they quickly discover that there are worse problems than trying to teach Mrs. Noah how to play, namely the computer-generated golf course which simulates things a little too perfectly, including sudden downpours. But Earth has worse news than that: a rescue plan has been devised which involves the crew bailing out of Britannia 7 and hang-gliding to Earth from the upper-atmosphere, a risky, never-before-tested escape method. Can Mrs. Noah really go home, or would it be better to remain in orbit?

Come Back, Mrs. Noahwritten by Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft
directed by Bob Spiers
music by John Scott / theme song by David Croft

Cast: Mollie Sugden (Mrs. Noah), Ian Lavender (Clive Cunliffe), Donald Hewlett (Carstairs), Michael Knowles (Fanshaw), Tim Barrett (Garfield Hawk), Ann Michelle (Scarth Dare), Joe Black (Garstang), Jennifer Lonsdale (The Technician), Gorden Kaye (The Television Presenter), Jean Gilpin (2nd Technician)

Notes: This is the final episode of the series and, as painful as it is to admit, it beats Star Trek: The Next Generation to the holodeck concept by nearly a decade. Whatever points the show gains for anticipating that concept, a few can probably be deducted for the apparent confusion between a space station and a starship (since the station apparently has some form of interplanetary drive).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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