Protect And Survive

Space PrecinctIn the year 2040, interplanetary travel has become a reality. 20-year NYPD veteran Patrick Brogan is now working a new beat, patrolling space near the planet Altor, home to the nearest orbital precinct base for the interspecies Space Police.

But the transition isn’t as easy as Brogan and his hotshot young partner, Jack Haldane, sometimes make it look. They pursue a courier with insider knowledge of an interstellar crime syndicate, but the pursuit itself causes considerable damage and Brogan is forced to shoot to kill when the courier draws a gun on him. Later, the informant who tipped Brogan off to the presence of the courier is brutally murdered by crime boss Gershom… who has unwittingly left a witness to the incident. Brogan and Haldane are assigned to keep that witness alive long enough to testify against Gershom in court, a task that won’t be as easy as it sounds.

Season 1 Regular Cast: Ted Shackelford (Lt. Patrick Brogan), Rob Youngblood (Officer Jack Haldane), Simone Bendix (Officer Jane Castle), Nancy Paul (Sally Brogan)

written by Paul Mayhew-Archer
directed by John Glen
music by Crispin Merrell

Guest Cast: Bert Kwouk (Slik), Oliver Cotton (Gershom), David Shaw-Parker (Lawyer), Nic Klein (Matt Brogan), Megan Oliver (Liz Brogan), Richard James (Orrin), David Quilter (Fredo), Jerome Willis (Podly), Mary Woodvine (Took), Leigh Tinkler (Medic #1), Rob Thirtle (Loyster), Andy Dawson (Judge), Gary Martin (voice of Slomo)

Notes: Gerry Anderson’s first live-action series since Space: 1999, nearly 20 years earlier. In that time, Anderson had split with his wife and former producing partner, Sylvia Anderson, and sold off the rights to his earlier Supermarionation series as well as such projects as UFO and Space: 1999; his only other work since Space: 1999 had been the puppet series Terrahawks and Dick Spanner, P.I. in the 1980s. Unless one counts the Thunderbirds live action remake movie directed by Jonathan Frakes, Space Precinct remains Anderson’s last live-action project to date. The show shares some common ground with Space: 1999, including the “this episode!” montage in the opening credits, and sticking steadfastly to miniature models even at a time when CGI was rapidly coming into vogue with series such as Babylon 5 and seaQuest DSV on the air at the same time. Even before that, however, Anderson initiated Space Precinct in the late 1980s as a pilot film called Space Police, which starred Shane Rimmer as Chuck Brogan. Space Precinct launched in the lucrative syndicated market for science fiction in the U.S. that was created by the popularity of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but didn’t catch on in the U.S.; by the time Space Precinct premiered and gained an audience in Europe in 1995, its fate was already decided: there would be no second season without success in the American market.

Enforcer

Space PrecinctThe death of an armed street thug draws the attention of Brogan and Haldane, especially since there are no signs of a struggle – indicating that telekinesis may be the murder weapon. After he’s questioned in the death, a rival thug and several of his cohorts are killed in the same way: their hearts – human or alien – are accelerated until they burst inside their chests. It soon becomes obvious that there’s a new face in charge of crime on the streets, and it’s not a human one. One alien offers to come forward with information, but he dies in a suspicious accident before he can talk. Brogan closes in on a likely suspect, but even under questioning, he won’t talk either – and he certainly isn’t talking about the mysterious (and conveniently mute) alien girl taking shelter in his apartment. Brogan is alarmed when his wife Sally offers to let the alien girl stay at their home, since nothing is known about her. Only too late, Brogan discovers that the missing murder weapon is in his own home with his wife and children.

written by Marc Scott Zicree
directed by Sidney Hayers
music by Crispin Merrell

Guest Cast: Andrew Tiernan (Andy Sturgeon), Jade Punt (Vala), Tom Radcliffe (Nick), Kazia Pelka (Madam), Nic Klein (Matt Brogan), Megan Olive (Liz Brogan), Richard James (Orrin), David Quilter (Fredo), Jerome Willis (Podly), Mary Woodvine (Took), Leigh Tinkler (Lurzan), Rob Thirtle (Trask), Andy Dawson (Skeevan), Gary Martin (voice of Slomo)

Notes: Apparently the police code for a shootout is “1701,” surely nothing to do with a certain other SF series for which Marc Scott Zicree had written in recent years. Zicree has also scripted episodes of Babylon 5 and The New Twilight Zone.

Body And Soul

Space PrecinctBrogan takes his son on a joy ride through an asteroid belt, but the father-and-son outing is cut short with the discovery of a crashed, but largely intact, derelict spacecraft. Its hull still holds a pressurized atmosphere, so Brogan lands to investigate, though he’s worried about his son’s safety. They find a badly decomposed body, but no other signs of life; the ship is intact enough for Brogan to launch it again. It’s identified as a 20 year old prototype vehicle built by the giant Humes Interspace corporation, whose representatives are a little less than helpful because of the potential bad publicity. But before the derelict can be brought back to the precinct, a self-destruct system activates, and Brogan and his son barely have time to escape in their own ship. The ship – with evidence of a murder aboard – is vaporized, and Haldane can’t help but notice that this only happened after Humes Interspace was notified that the prototype ship was still in one piece. Brogan has to plow through layers of bureaucracy – and Humes’ unhelpful assistant – to finally get an audience with the reclusive Humes himself, but after that first brief meeting yields little information, new evidence surfaces. DNA from the body abaord the prototype ship was left under the fingernails of Brogan’s son, and the DNA reveals the identity of the murder victim: spacecraft magnate Alden Humes. So who did Brogan and Haldane meet at Humes’ corporate headquarters… and who’s really in charge of Humes Interspace?

teleplay by Marc Scott Zicree
story by Mark Harris
directed by Sidney Hayers
music by Crispin Merrell

Guest Cast: Bob Sherman (Alden Humes), Nic Klein (Matt Brogan), Megan Olive (Liz Brogan), Jerome Willis (Podly), Richard James (Orrin), David Quilter (Fredo), Lou Hirsch (Romek), Mary Woodvine (Took), Leigh Tinkler (Forensic), Rob Thirtle (Jomore), Will Barton (Underling), Gary Martin (voice of Slomo)

Space PrecinctNotes: With his reclusive nature, his obsessive avoidance of human contact, his aerospace company and, of course, his name, the character of Humes is obviously based on Howard Hughes (1905-1976). This episode of Space Precinct was the one distributed via VHS videotape to U.S. television stations as a “taster”; the tape was intended to impress program directors of independent stations enough to pick the show up from North American distributor Grove Television. Guest star Will Barton appeared in Survival, the final adventure of the original Doctor Who series’ last season, as a troubled youth exploited by the evil Master.

Double Duty

Space PrecinctBrogan and Haldane tail a crime lord back to his hideout, but when he and his henchmen are brutally murdered as the cops wait outside, they can find no suspect, and there’s only one survivor who seems to be little more than the dead criminal’s paramour. Traces of a life-extending drug are found, and that leads to an alien dealer who can only be identified by the woman who survived the massacre. When that criminal is also killed violently, uncomfortable questions surface: why is it that this is only happening to the suspects being tailed by Brogan and Haldane? The next move in their investigation might bring the killer right into the heart of the police headquarters.

written by J. Larry Carroll & David Bennett Carren
directed by Colin Bucksey
music by Crispin Merrell

Guest Cast: Nickolas Grace (Nissim), Lana Citron (Aleesha), Matyelok Gibbs (Bag Lady), Nic Klein (Matt Brogan), Megan Olive (Liz Brogan), Richard James (Orrin), David Quilter (Fredo), Jerome Willis (Podly), Mary Woodvine (Took), Idris Elba (Delivery Man), Nitzan Sharron (Inazy), Richard Ashton (Retainer #1), Leigh Tinkler (Alien Killer), Rob Thirtle (Torrance), Andy Dawson (Piru), Gary Martin (voice of Slomo)

Notes: The writing team of J. Larry Carroll and David Bennett Carren has also penned episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Stargate SG-1, among other series. On both Space Precinct and ST:TNG, the two served as story editors.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Snake

Space PrecinctA bomb strapped to one of Altor’s most prominent businessmen explodes – a signature of the Snake, an alien assassin who the Space Police have never been able to capture. One of them who has tried, Officer Jane Castle, saw the attempt to corner the Snake turn into tragedy. Another survivor of that incident, detective Gray, is called in to help deal with the problem. After the Snake’s next ransom demand is called in, Brogan and Haldane are dispatched to the target – an unmanned refinery vessel – only to find that it’s already been turned into an orbiting bomb that they can’t escape without detonating. Their only choice is to defuse the bomb from inside… but unknown to them, someone at the Space Precinct is working against them.

written by J. Larry Carroll & David Bennett Carren
directed by John Glen
music by Crispin Merrell

Space PrecinctGuest Cast: David Baxt (Gray), Joseph Mydell (Kane), Ken Drury (Azusa), Paul Humpoletz (Dallas), Nic Klein (Matt Brogan), Megan Olive (Liz Brogan), Jerome Willis (Podly), Richard James (Orrin), David Quilter (Fredo), Lou Hirsch (Romek), Mary Woodvine (Took), Leigh Tinkler (Captain Tecopa), Rob Thirtle (Driver), Andy Dawson (Military General), Joanna Berns (Medic), Gary Martin (voice of Slomo)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Time To Kill

Space PrecinctA raid on a counterfeiting operation that Brogan and his team have been watching for a long time goes disastrously wrong. The counterfeiters are better armed than expected, and even after they’re disarmed, they have a doomsday weapon – an unstoppable cyborg whose armor isn’t even dented by concentrated firepower. Took is wounded in action, and a wet-behind-the-ears new counterfeiter is critically injured when he’s knocked into an acid vat. Both of them are hospitalized, but the cyborg makes another appearance, killing both survivors. Brogan makes the pursuit of the cyborg his personal crusade, but the pursuit becomes deadly to everyone around him: the cyborg blasts Brogan’s police cruiser, and Haldane’s ejection seat doesn’t work, forcing him to press Brogan’s ejection button; the senior cop is helpless to watch as Haldane dies trying to land the ship without causing any civilian casualties. The cyborg infiltrates the precinct itself, killing most of Brogan’s fellow space police, including Officer Castle. Brogan hustles his family into hiding and waits for the cyborg to come after him, only to find that incide the armored suit is a familiar face with a time-twisting tale.

written by Hans Beimler & Richard Manning
directed by Alan Birkinshaw
music by Crispin Merrell

Guest Cast: Stephen Billington (Ross), Nic Klein (Matt Brogan), Megan Olive (Liz Brogan), Nigel Gregory (Tamsin), Alison Rose (Dr. Grant), Glenn Space PrecinctMarks (Cyborg), Jerome Willis (Podly), David Quilter (Fredo), Mary Woodvine (Took), Richard James (Orrin), Lou Hirsch (Romek), Rob Thirtle (Zipload), Will Barton (Drako), Gary Martin (voice of Slomo)

Notes: Hans Beimler and Richard Manning wrote, as a team, episodes of Fame, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beyond Reality and TekWar, and were staff writers on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Beimler went on to produce series such as The Profiler, The Dresden Files and The Middleman, while Manning wrote several episodes of Farscape and became one of that show’s executive producers.

Deadline

Space PrecinctA stakeout turns into a high-speed, high-stakes chase when Brogan and Haldane pursue a fast-moving, unregistered air limo. It launches something that looks like a missile toward one of Demeter City’s major buildings, and Brogan uses his police cruiser to ram the projectile off-course. Both the missile and the police ship make rough unscheduled landings, but the surprises don’t stop there – there’s a dead body inside the projectile. Castle and Took lose track of the limo. With no ID on the body, all the unanswered questions are dead ends, until a connection is discovered to a suspicious organ replacement operation that was shut down months ago. Brogan and Haldane begin putting pressure on one of the doctors caught up in that scandal, and find that his organ replacement business is booming – and he’s never short of the right organs for the right species of his patients. But his paperwork reveals nothing shady, and citizens of Demeter City continue to go missing without a trace, vanishing into an operating room that no one can see, and yet is in plain sight.

written by David Bennett Carren & J. Larry Carroll
directed by
music by Crispin Merrell

Guest Cast: Steven Berkoff (Dr. Jorry), Truan Munro (Speedy), Nic Klein (Matt Brogan), Megan Olive (Liz Brogan), Jerome Willis (Podly), David Space PrecinctQuilter (Fredo), Mary Woodvine (Took), Richard James (Orrin), Lou Hirsch (Romek), Ken Whitfield (Rik), Leigh Tinkler (Nurse), Joanna Berns (Patient), Alexa Rosewood (Receptionist), Rob Thirtle (Wirt), Will Barton (Prosperous Creon), Gary Martin (voice of Slomo)

Notes: This episode features a rare shot of Demeter City at daytime (the usual nighttime shots help to hide wires and mounts in the miniature models used). As proof that Space Precicnt, despite being made in the UK, was being aimed at the American syndication market, the emergency number in the future is seen to be 911, not its British equivalent (999). Steven Berkoff also appeared in the Business As Usual episode of Star Trek: Deep space Nine.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Message From Keeler

Space Island OnePaula Hernandez is a young scientist, and Space Station Unity’s most recent arrival. While the mysteries of the universe intrigue her, they don’t fascinate her as much as trying to find out what happened to her predecessor, a man named Keeler. Not only have all official records been expunged from the station’s database, but none of Paula’s crewmates seem to want to talk about it. When she digs deeper into the station’s computer mainframe, she finds an odd entry for Keeler, consisting of an incomplete verse of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” When Paula completes the verse, she sets into motion a deadly program buried deep in the station’s computer, carrying out Keeler’s final wishes regarding his former crewmates – and apparently, he wanted them all to die.

Space Island Onewritten by Andrew MacLear
directed by Dirk Campbell
music by Richard Blackford & Glenn Keiles

Cast: Judy Loe (Kathryn McTiernan), Indra Ove (Paula Hernandez), Angus MacInnes (Walter B. Shannon), Bruno Eyron (Dusan Kashkavian), Julia Brennerman (Harry Eschenbach), Kourosh Asad (Dr. Kaveh Homayuni), William Oliver (Lyle Campbell), Sally Grace (Control voice)

Notes: Space Island One was a short-lived attempt at a serious, not-too-far-into-the-future SF series set aboard an Earth-orbiting research station. Befitting a series set on a near-future space station, there were very few guest stars, with most of the show revolving around the main cast. Numerous bits of dialogue establish that Unity is a privately-owned corporate space station, since Keeler’s fate was apparently covered up to appease shareholders on Earth.

Space Island OneJudy Loe had been one of the stars of Russell T. Davies’ church-scandal soap opera Revelations, and had appeared in everything from Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life to hospital drama Casualty and its spinoff, Holby City. Angus MacInnes may be a familiar face to SF fans: he appeared briefly in Star Wars as Gold Leader, whose wingman insisted upon staying on target (leading to both Rebel pilots’ demise). Indra Ove had recently appeared in The Fifth Element and would also go on to appear on Holby City. Bruno Eyron, born Bruno Eirund, was a familiar face on German TV with starring roles in such series as Balko and Vienne Crime Squad; fellow German actor Julia Bremermann went on to star in the German series Coast Guard. (Since Space Island One was a British-German co-production, the German producers, Vox Film Und Fernseh-GMBH & Co., had casting input.)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Quarantine

Space Island OneAn unmanned Mars lander is returning to Earth, and is expected to berth at Unity before its precious samples of Martian soil are returned to Earth. The station’s scientists are bucking for a chance to get the first crack at analysis, though scientists on Earth are clamoring for the same prestigious opportunity. A malfunction on the lander itself means that it’ll be docked at Unity longer than expected, giving the station crew no excuse not to examine the samples. Harry finds herself under strict orders not to participate: a recent medical exam has shown her to be pregnant, so handling potentially dangerous samples is out of the question. But when strange things begin happening in the lab, and a strange phenomenon is observed within the space probe that brought the samples back from Mars, it could be that Unity’s crew has instead gotten the first look at something that could kill them all.

Space Island Onewritten by Stephen Baxter
directed by Crispin Reece
music by Richard Blackford & Glenn Keiles

Cast: Judy Loe (Kathryn McTiernan), Indra Ove (Paula Hernandez), Angus MacInnes (Walter B. Shannon), Bruno Eyron (Dusan Kashkavian), Julia Brennerman (Harry Eschenbach), Kourosh Asad (Dr. Kaveh Homayuni), William Oliver (Lyle Campbell), Sally Grace (Control voice)

Notes: An on-screen graphic identifies the just-arrived space probe as “Mar’s Lander” – so if there is life on Mars, it doesn’t know where to put an apostrophe.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

I Was Flying

Star Trek: The Next GenerationIn the late 21st century, high-end passenger travel has extended into the stars, thanks to Judd Galaxy’s space luxury liners. The newest member of that fleet, the Avenue 5, has embarked on its maiden voyage, which will loop out toward Saturn, grab a gravitational assist from its large moon Titan, and return to Earth in the space of eight weeks. The eccentric (and very rich) founder of Judd Galaxy, Herman Judd himself, is aboard for this first voyage, though he leaves the running of the ship to Captain Ryan Clark, and the running of his business to his right-hand woman, Iris Kamura. When a gravity glitch throws everyone in the ship up against one of the walls, Avenue 5‘s course shifts unexpectedly, turning its eight-week cruise into a loping three-year tour of the solar system – a longer journey for which there aren’t enough consumables aboard. The passengers learn of this development and begin to protest, and Captain Ryan Clark has to privately admit to Judd that he’s not actually a captain – he was hired by the ship’s actual, socially-deficient captain to present an acceptable point of contact for the passengers, but has no knowledge of how to run the ship…and the actual captain who hired him was one of the handful of fatalities of the gravity incident.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Armando Iannucci & Simon Blackwell & Tony Roche
story by Armando Iannucci
directed by Armando Iannucci
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Ethan Phillips (Spike Martin), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Matthew Beard (Alan), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Joplin Sibtain (Joe), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Andrea Pizza (Anthea), Ankur Bahl (Passenger), Vaughn Joseph (John), Simon Connolly (Max), Anne Witman (Lauren), Andrew Boyer (Passenger), Wanda Opalinska (Baily), Eugenia Caruso (Verity), Ako Mitchell (Passenger), Yasmine Akram (Passenger), Sonia Dorado (Yoga Teacher), Oseloka Obi (Dan), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Sandra Gayer (Passenger), Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Sophie Salako (Passenger)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

And Then He’s Gonna Shoot Off…

Avenue 5Captain Clark admits to his passengers that they’re now facing a trip home that will last about three years. On Earth, Rav Mulcair and the other Judd Galaxy mission controllers huddle to come up with solutions, including soliciting help from NASA. While the American space agency is willing to help, that help will come at a price – one that, when he sees the numbers, Herman Judd is unwilling to pay. One of the ship’s junior engineers hurries to the bridge to see Clark, insisting that the trajectory estimates are wrong: he believes Avenue 5 will only need six months to return home. Billie, promoted to chief engineer after Joe’s demise, warns Clark that this new information can’t possibly be right. In the meantime, however, Clark has to attend to four very public funerals, one of them Joe’s, along with the fact that Avenue 5’s artificial gravity will turn all of the coffins into artificial satellites, slowly revolving around the ship for the rest of its journey.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
story by Armando Iannucci & Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
directed by Natalie Bailey
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Ethan Phillips (Spike Martin), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Matthew Beard (Alan), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Neil Casey (Cyrus), Joplin Sibtain (Joe), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Wanda Opalinska (Baily), Yasmine Akram (Passenger), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Eddie Register (Gareth), Nancy Crane (Susan), Sandra Gayer (Passenger), Leke Adebayo (Pierre), Avenue 5Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Angelique Fernandez (Passenger), Rae Lim (Devon), Akie Kotabe (Kitchen Worker), Phaldut Sharma (Sanji)

Notes: This isn’t actor Neil Casey’s first sci-fi-sitcom experience – he was a series regular on Paul Feig’s short-lived series Other Space, which premiered on the equally short-lived Yahoo! Screen streaming service.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

I’m A Hand Model

Avenue 5Nerves grow frayed both aboard Avenue 5 – where Captain Clark finds that he can’t say or do anything without passenger Karen Kelly busting his chops for it – and on Earth. Rav Mulcair finds herself dealing with the press, with Judd’s cluelessness, and with NASA’s indifference since Judd insulted them. Clark finds himself dealing with bad news – Cyrus, the engineer who estimated only a six-month return journey to Earth, miscalculated: the journey will take three years after all…plus six months. Clark tries to put Karen’s ability to rally her fellow passengers to good use, appointing her the Passenger Liaison Officer of Avenue 5…and then putting her in charge of delivering the bad news about the length of the return journey to Earth to her fellow passengers so he won’t have to take the heat for it. On the bridge, Clark wants answers from the ship’s crew, and then discovers the horrifying reason why they can’t do anything about the ship’s predicament.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Ian Martin & Peter Fellows
story by Armando Iannucci & Ian Martin & Peter Fellows
directed by Natalie Bailey
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Matthew Beard (Alan), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Himesh Patel (Jordan Hatwal), Neil Casey (Cyrus), Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Simon Connolly (Max), Andrew Boyer (Drew), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Eddie Register (Gareth), Nancy Crane (Susan), Jung Sun Den Hollander (Reporter #1), Patrick Regis (Reporter #2), Mia Soteriou (Housekeeping), Joseph Balderrama (Tim), Richard David-Caine (Waiter), Ben Ashenden (Rick), Sacharissa Claxton (Jaz), Rachel Handshaw (Teri), Sanjeev Kohli (Stan Clark), Ginny Holder (Cris Clark), Mercedes Bahleda (Dagmar)

LogBook entry by Earl Green