Farthing’s Comet

The StarlostThe Ark rocks violently, and Devon rushes to the nearest sphere projector to ask the ship’s computer what caused the impact. The computer only replies cryptically that the Ark is “under attack,” referring all other questions on the matter to the ship’s chief astronomer, to whom the computer also guides Devon and his friends. They discover that this astronomer, Dr. Linus Farthing, has managed to exert some measure of control over the course of the Ark, but only to put it on a dangerously close heading alongside a massive comet he wishes to study. Farthing is largely unconcerned with the damage being caused to the Ark, even when reports of ruptured environmental domes begin to filter in – given the chance of colliding with a star or with a comet, he has opted for the comet, despite the high likelihood that everyone aboard the Ark will still die. Devon demands that Farthing use his engines to reverse his course and back off from the comet, but as those engines have also been damaged, someone will have to repair them – and Farthing seems only too happy to let the three “primitives” suit up for a hazardous spacewalk.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Norman Klenman
directed by Ed Richardson
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Ed Andrews (Dr. Linus Farthing), Linda Sorenson (Dr. McBride), Allen Stewart-Coates (Voice), William Osler (The Host)

Notes: Whereas earlier episodes referred to the Ark’s reactors as a power source, this episode seems to use the term “reactors” in a context that implies reaction control engines, small engines (actually used since the dawn of manned spaceflight) allowing minute changes in attitude but not designed to impart significant thrust for a course change. This episode also marks the unusual appearance of the massive miniature filming model of the Ark in an interior set, apparently as a device to allow the crew to monitor damage. As usual, it is shown only from the right side, as The Starlost’s budget could only permit the modelmakers to finish and detail that side of the ship. Despite his having gained control of the ship’s computer in The Return Of Oro, Devon seems to once again have only limited cooperation from the computer here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green