As they continue to explore the Ark, Devon and his friends are driven to the safety of another biosphere by what appears to be a windstorm in one of the ship’s corridors. Once inside, they find themselves in a gallery of abstract art that reshapes itself depending on their moods. A woman called Daphne appears, telling the travelers that they are guests of Magnus – but evading any kind of question Devon asks about who Magnus is. After Rachel and Garth see illusions of their parents, they’re more than convinced of Magnus’ impressive powers, but Devon isn’t swayed so easily. He demands to meet Magnus personally, and has to fight to regain his friends’ loyalty. But when Daphne finally agrees to escort Devon to his audience with Magnus, it becomes clear that Magnus is a supercomputer, not a living being. Even the Ark’s usually-helpful sphere projectors can’t clear up the mystery of why Magnus is here, warning Devon that whoever built Magnus, they had the highest security clearance on the Ark, since it seems to supercede even the ship’s computer itself. It finally emerges that Magnus was a computer designed to help the bridge crew make life-or-death decisions – and that it was taken offline due to mechanical delusions of granduer even before the accident that left the Ark adrift. But why is it online again now?
Guest Cast: Angel Tompkins (Daphne), Allen Stewart-Coates (Magnus), Jim Barron (Garth’s Father), Aileen Seaton (Rachel’s Mother), William Clune (Admiral Austin), Danny Hodgkins (Monster), William Osler (Computer Voice)
Notes: Series star Keir Dullea is an old hand at dismantling supercomputers that have decided they’re superior to humans, having participated in arguably the best-known version of that basic plotline in 2001: a space odyssey. Aileen Seaton and Jim Barron reprise their roles here from the pilot episode, Voyage Of Discovery.
LogBook entry by Earl Green