Escape To Paradise

Star MaidensBlown out of orbit from its home star of Proxima Centauri, the planet Medusa hurtles through space, its female-dominated society surviving by moving underground. Eventually, Medusa is captured by the gravity of a small yellow star elsewhere in the galaxy, and this new star even has its own life-bearing planet. But upon learning that this other world, Earth, is male-dominated, the Chancellor of Medusa forbids travel to that planet.

This restriction means nothing to Adam, Chancellor Fulvia’s personal servant. Tired of having to serve every whim of Medusa’s ruler, he plans to make his escape to Earth. He enlists the services of his friend Shem, a sharp engineer but still far too accustomed to living under the boot of Medusa’s women. Shem has been working on a ship that Adam intends to steal for their flight to Earth. But the prediction computers on Medusa have spotted the trend toward a dangerous but futile revival of the “men’s liberation” movement – and Adam’s part in it. The two men race for the safety of Earth in their stolen ship, failing to work out a course that involves a safe landing. Chancellor Fulvia and her security chief, Octavia, can only watch helplessly as the runaway ship slams into Earth at what can only be described as a very unsafe speed.

Star Maidenswritten by Eric Paice
directed by James Gatward
music by Berry Lipmann

Cast: Judy Geeson (Fulvia), Lisa Harrow (Liz), Gareth Thomas (Shem), Pierre Brice (Adam), Christian Quadflieg (Rudi), Christiane Kruger (Octavia), Derek Farr (Evans), Ronald Hines (Stanley), Penelope Horner (Medusan Announcer)

Notes: If Adam and Shem’s ship was on a collision course with Earth at 5,000,000 miles per hour, that falls a bit short of the astronomers’ observation the ship is incoming at “half the speed of light” (also known as approximately 336,000,000 MPH). Gareth Thomas, as Shem, mentions pursuit ships – something he’d get to talk about plenty two years later as the leader of Blake’s 7.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Nemesis

Star MaidensMonitoring Earth radio communications, Fulvia and Octavia realize that Shem and Adam have somehow survived their suicidal plunge to the primitive planet. As the two men wander aimlessly in search of food and civilization, the Medusan women head for Earth to initiate contact with the locals and retrieve their prey. Caught stealing food, Adam and Shem find that they’re now on the run from the law on another planet – and it doesn’t help their case when Fulvia lands and warn the authorities that Adam and Shem are wanted criminals.

written by Eric Paice
directed by Wolfgang Storch
music by Berry Lipmann

Cast: Judy Geeson (Fulvia), Lisa Harrow (Liz), Gareth Thomas (Shem), Pierre Brice (Adam), Christian Quadflieg (Rudi), Christiane Kruger (Octavia), Derek Farr (Evans), Ronald Hines (Stanley), Wilfred Grove (Innes), Kristine Howarth (Mrs. Moss), Jenny Morgan (Katy Moss), Norman Warwick (Desk Sergeant)

Star MaidensNotes: The spherical, inflatible nature of Adam and Shem’s escape capsule may be the one big example of actual scientific foresight for the entire series: it could be that their capsule operates on the real principle of aerobraking in a manner similar to the inflatible heat-dissipating airbags deployed to safely land the Sojourner and Mars Exploration Rovers. It’s altogether more likely, however, that having a giant balloon on hand cost the production a lot less than building a more “futuristic” escape craft.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Nightmare Cannon

Star MaidensFulvia and Octavia reluctantly cooperate with the police manhunt for Adam and Shem, leaving the Nemesis, their space vehicle, completely unguarded. Earth scientists Liz and Rudi sneak aboard to document the spacecraft, certain that they’ll never have another chance to do so. While taking pictures in the ship, Rudi uses a flashbulb; the ship’s automatic defense system responds in kind, blinding him permanently. When she learns that Earth medicine can’t repair or replace a destroyed optic nerve, Fulvia offers the help of Medusan medicine. Upon learning that Adam and Shem have taken a hostage and holed up in an ancient Earth castle, Octavia’s patience with the police negotiations wears thin and she resorts to other means of driving the Medusan men out into the open. Rudi and Liz then learn that they’ve become hostages to be held in exchange for Adam and Shem’s return.

written by Eric Paice
directed by James Gatward and Wolfgang Storch
music by Berry Lipmann

Star MaidensCast: Judy Geeson (Fulvia), Lisa Harrow (Liz), Gareth Thomas (Shem), Pierre Brice (Adam), Christian Quadflieg (Rudi), Christiane Kruger (Octavia), Derek Farr (Evans), Alfie Bass (Gatekeeper), Graham Crowden (Minister), Ronald Hines (Stanley), Norman Warwick (Desk Sergeant)

Notes: As Octavia’s Nemesis ship lifts off, the Doctor Who sound effect associated with the Chumblies (Galaxy Four) can be heard.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Proton Storm

Star MaidensWith Liz and Rudi as their hostages, Octavia and Fulvia open negotiations for an exchange: the two humans will be returned to Earth if Adam and Shem willingly return to Medusa. Making the negotiations even more difficult is the outbreak of a proton storm near Jupiter, which makes the already difficult task of communications between Earth and Medusa nearly impossible. As Adam and Shem broadcast their demands back to Medusa, a garbled transmission results in a misunderstanding on Fulvia’s part, and she sets out to retrieve the two men from Earth. Only when she arrives does she discover that their surrender wasn’t as unconditional as she thought.

Star Maidenswritten by John Lucarotti
directed by Wolfgang Storch
music by Berry Lipmann

Cast: Judy Geeson (Fulvia), Lisa Harrow (Liz), Gareth Thomas (Shem), Pierre Brice (Adam), Christian Quadflieg (Rudi), Christiane Kruger (Octavia), Derek Farr (Evans), Uschi Mellin (Andrea)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Kidnap

Star MaidensFulvia stays on Earth to coordinate with the police authorities in the search for Adam and Shem, without her usual security escort. When she runs afoul of unscrupulous humans who want to drug her and interrogate her about Medusan technology, Shem is reluctantly forced to admit that he and Adam will have to mount a rescue operation to free their mortal foe. It’s only when Fulvia is freed that Shem begins to suspect that she could have escaped on her own all along, but instead feigned helplessness to lure Shem into her trap.

written by Lohn Lucarotti
directed by Freddie Francis
music by Berry Lipmann

Cast: Judy Geeson (Fulvia), Gareth Thomas (Shem), Pierre Brice (Adam), Derek Farr (Evans), Terence Star MaidensAlexander (Gregori), Philip Stone (Sforza), Uschi Mellin (Andrea), Stanley Lebor (Carlo), Hedger Wallis (Hotel Manager)

Notes: Terence Alexander would later cross paths with another interplanetary traveler when he played the historical figure Lord Ravensworth in the 1985 Doctor Who story Mark Of The Rani.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Trial

Star MaidensOn Medusa, while Fulvia is on Earth trying to recapture Adam and Shem, Rudi has been forced into the menial role of most the planet’s men and begins hatching a plan to escape. Liz, under the watchful eye of Octavia, is unable to help him. When Rudi decides to free some of the Medusan men at the same time he makes his escape attempt, he’s suddenly public enemy number one among the female ruling class. What he’s unprepared for, however, is how easily his fellow escapees surrender again when Octvaia demands it.

Star Maidenswritten by Ian Stuart Black
directed by Wolfgang Storch
music by Berry Lipmann

Cast: Lisa Harrow (Liz), Gareth Thomas (Shem), Christian Quadflieg (Rudi), Christiane Kruger (Octavia), Dawn Addams (Clara), Roland Astor (Troy), Clare Russell (Clara’s Assistant), Annette Lynton (Clara’s Assistant), Ann Maj Brit (Octavia’s Assistant), Susie Baker (Blonde Guard)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Test For Love

Star MaidensFollowing his escape attempt, Rudi is assigned to a menial labor detail. When he protests, he gets a quick and painful reminder that men on Medusa have no rights. Aware that she’s been given the freedom to move about freely on Medusa, Liz starts hatching a plan to escape by requesting a job as a commander in Medusa’s space patrol, which would give her access to her own ship. It’s her intention to conveniently have Rudi along as her personal “servant,” but sensing the set-up, Octavia assigns another man to serve Liz instead.

Star Maidenswritten by Ian Stuart Black
directed by Freddie Francis
music by Berry Lipmann

Cast: Lisa Harrow (Liz), Christian Quadflieg (Rudi), Christiane Kruger (Octavia), Dawn Addams (Clara), Veronica Lang (Nola), John Wyman (Ercule), Belinda Mayne (Zita), Clare Russell (Clara’s Assistant), Annette Lynton (Clara’s Assistant), Diana Weston (Guard)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Perfect Couple

Star MaidensTrying to educate the backward people of Earth, Fulvia makes a presentation about life on Medusa, but when it comes to the issue of how the planet’s male servants are disciplined for failing to obey, there’s just no way to spin it to look acceptable. But Fulvia’s presentation does spark the imagination of a group of radical feminists who become fixated on the idea of remaking Earth society in Medusa’s image, making men subservient to women. They plan to make Fulvia their leader, but the Medusan leader has other ideas: Adam offers to show Fulvia what he’s learned about middle-class life on Earth, and the “happy couple” moves into a suburban house. Their attempt to keep up appearances is very short-lived, and they fall back into their usual roles: Fulvia goes to work while Adam cleans house (and gossips with the local housewives) during the day. The feminist group invites Shem for a visit, but he then discovers their plan to turn Earth into a new Medusa. The Medusan slave men’s worst nightmare is coming true: their safe haven could become just like Medusa. But will Fulvia allow it to happen?

Star Maidenswritten by Ian Stuart Black
directed by Hans Heinrich
music by Berry Lipmann

Cast: Judy Geeson (Fulvia), Gareth Thomas (Shem), Pierre Brice (Adam), Derek Farr (Evans), Ronald Fraser (Kipple), Dorothea Kaiser (Garcia), Marianne Nebel (Freda), Jenny Hill (Mrs. Fraser)

Notes: Some of the multilingual signs seen at the feminist meeting give away the international nature of Star Maidens’ production backers. This episode also features one of the most absurdly sexist observations in a series that, generally speaking, is full of such observations, with Shem commenting that Fulvia’s weapons are “temperamental” because they’re “female.”

LogBook entry by Earl Green

What Have They Done To The Rain?

Star MaidensRudi, ignoring orders to keep working regardless of the risks, moves his fellow slave laborers out of the way of a giant mudslide. Octavia neither thanks nor congratulates Rudi; she simply has him thrown back outside to continue working. More incidents on the surface – and chemical analysis conducted inside by Liz – point toward an unavoidable fact: Medusa’s skies are pouring down acid rain that’s destabilizing the entire surface of the planet. After his work detail is rescued from another mudslide, Rudi is brought before the Medusan Grand Council and tries to offer his first-hand scientific analysis of what’s happening, but the women of Medusa are more concerned with maintaining their matriarchal social order than with the erosion of their planet and their artificial environment. Liz uses her influence – and her orders from the Grand Council to find out what’s destroying the environment on Medusa – to have Rudi appointed as her “assistant,” but the two of them together find out what’s causing the surface and everything on it to liquefy. The mere fact that a man is involved in the discovery, however, prevents the Medusans from taking it seriously.

Star Maidenswritten by Ian Stuart Black
directed by Freddie Francis
music by Berry Lipmann

Cast: Lisa Harrow (Liz), Christian Quadflieg (Rudi), Christiane Kruger (Octavia), Dawn Addams (Clara), Anna Carteret (Announcer), Kirstie Pooley (Guard), Annette Lynton (Clara’s Assistant), Ann Maj-Brit (Octavia’s Assistant)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The End Of Time

Star MaidensOctavia returns to Medusa with Evans in tow, only to discover that the entire planet has gone into hibernation and the Medusan president has been assassinated. Octavia tries to trace the chain of events that happened in her absence, in an effort to discover what happened to the leader of the Medusans and if Earth people were involved. Only when the mystery is solved can life on Medusa be restored.

written by Eric Paice
directed by Wolfgang Storch
music by Berry Lipmann

Star MaidensCast: Lisa Harrow (Liz), Christian Quadflieg (Rudi), Christiane Kruger (Octavia), Derek Farr (Evans), Dawn Addams (Clara), Ciaren Madden (Fidelia), Imogen Claire (Doctor), Barbara Trentham (Theda), Ann Maj-Brit (Octavia’s Assistant)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Hideout

Star MaidensAdam and Shem continue their flight from both Earth and Medusan authorities, breaking into an apartment to hide. When police surround the building, Adam makes a run for it and is captured; a young man who tipped off police to the alien men’s whereabouts after seeing their pictures on TV is also captured, with the police assuming that he is Shem. Shem accidentally discovers that alcohol on an empty stomach is not an Earth delicacy, and passes out in the apartment hallway. He is taken in by a woman named Rose, who takes care of him (much to his horror, as a Medusan man would normally be taking care of his mistress’ needs). As they spend time together, Rose and Shem begin to fall for each other, and Shem discovers why love can be a weakness.

written by Otto Strang
directed by Freddie Francis
music by Berry Lipmann

Star MaidensCast: Judy Geeson (Fulvia), Gareth Thomas (Shem), Pierre Brice (Adam), Graham Crowden (Minister), Corny Collins (Rose), Don McKillop (Sergeant), Adrian Shergold (Youth), George Hilsdon (Desk Sergeant), David Ellison (Policeman), John Pennington (Announcer)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Creatures Of The Mind

Star MaidensOn Medusa, Liz and Rudi are assigned to the archives of the Medusan people, unaware that the last official archivist lies in a coma, driven mad by unseen voices in the archive facility. Rudi discovers than a space vehicle is held in the archives, and immediately senses an opportunity to escape Medusa. But what Octavia hasn’t revealed is that the vehicle was built by Medusan technology, a failed attempt to replace a ship’s crew with artificial intelligence. That technology became a little bit too intelligent, and now seeks to merge with organic life – and Liz is now set to become the victim of its next attempt to do so.

written by Ian Stuart Black
directed by James Gatward
music by Berry Lipmann

Star MaidensCast: Lisa Harrow (Liz), Christian Quadflieg (Rudi), Christiane Kruger (Octavia), Ina Skriver (Officer)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Enemy

Star MaidensWith Adam and Shem captured, Earth and Medusa prepare to exchange prisoners. As arrangements are made, another signal is found in deep space, originating from somewhere other than Medusa; the Medusans suddenly accelerate the timetable for the prisoner exchange. When the signal is played back on Earth, it makes Shem violently ill, and Professor Evans is only able to get Fulvia to tell him that this is a matter between Medusa and its ancient enemy from another galaxy.

written by Otto Strang
directed by Freddie Francis
music by Berry Lipmann

Star MaidensCast: Judy Geeson (Fulvia), Lisa Harrow (Liz), Gareth Thomas (Shem), Pierre Brice (Adam), Christian Quadflieg (Rudi), Christiane Kruger (Octavia), Derek Farr (Evans), Dawn Addams (Clara), Uschi Mellin (Andrea)

Notes: This is the final episode of Star Maidens; the unnamed (and mostly unseen) enemy hails from Proxima Centauri, just like the planet Medusa, and they are said to have fed upon the Medusans during past clashes.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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