As the Space Academy cadets get to know their newest team member, Paul Jerome, Commander Gampu and Laura are investigating a black hole. Chris and Laura try linking their minds, but the link is broken when Gampu’s ship is sucked into the black hole. The last message Laura is able to send to her brother is that Gampu is injured, and the ship is severely damaged. Space Academy launches a calm and orderly search for the missing ship, but Chris is in no mood to take it slow. He takes the Seeker into the black hole to search for Gampu and his sister, even if it means defying orders from Space Academy. But there are three problems: Gampu and Laura have crash-landed on a world guarded by a huge monster, Jerome is a loner who seems reluctant to be part of a team… and nobody’s ever escaped from a black hole before.
written by Samuel A. Peeples
directed by Jeffrey Hayden
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana
Cast: Jonathan Harris (Commander Gampu), Pamelyn Ferdin (Laura), Ric Carrott (Chris), Ty Henderson (Paul), Maggie Cooper (Adrian), Brian Tochi (Tee Gar), Eric Greene (Loki), Peepo (himself)
Notes: Strangely enough, although the team seems to know who Paul is in the previous episode, this episode is treated as an introduction. (On the other hand, Paul’s only contact with any of his fellow cadets in the first episode is via radio communications.) Paul defines a black hole as “a blank spot on the celestial charts that reflects no gravitic or magnetic stress lines” – a definition he gives when Adrian says she doesn’t know what a black hole is (some space cadet!) – although certainly a real black hole would have some effect on “gravitic stress lines” due to its immense gravity. Despite the technobabble and just plain bad science, the script is written by Samuel A. Peeples, whose previous genre credits include the second Star Trek pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before, as well as the first episode of Filmation’s animated Star Trek series. The Tic-Tac-Toe game being played by Peepo and Loki was a real live state-of-the-art video game… at least by 1977 standards when this episode was filmed. The game shown was the Tic-Tac-Toe game for the Fairchild Channel F console, a device which first hit the market in 1976 with a price tag of $200; it was also the very first video game to feature a cartridge slot rather than limiting users to a handful of built-in games.
LogBook entry by Earl Green