A spacecraft with only three human occupants drops out of lightspeed and goes into a parking orbit around Earth to recharge. On the ship, naive, servile Elmer does practically all the labor, freeing his older sister Emily and their mother up to watch transmissions from the primitive world below. As most of those transmissions seem to be cowboy movies, they assume that this is an accurate representation of life on Earth, sending Elmer down to the planet via matter transporter to restock food – and dressing him in full cowboy regalia, which is a little out of place in 1970s England. Having been told how to behave (in accordance with the westerns seen by his sister and mother), Elmer shoots a man rather than paying for food. Already aware of the ship’s presence in orbit, John and Elizabeth jaunt into space, where the ship grabs Elizabeth but leaves John adrift. He returns to Earth to follow TIM’s reports of Elmer’s dangerous behavior. Knowing that Elmer is an alien who likely doesn’t know how to act among humans, John and Stephen try to get Elmer out of harm’s way…but must jaunt out of sight before the police arrive.
Cast: Elizabeth Adare (Elizabeth), Nicholas Young (John), Peter Vaughn Clarke (Stephen), Philip Gilbert (TIM), Margaret Burton (The Momma), Sandra Dickinson (Emily), Peter Davison (Elmer), Dean Lawrence (Tyso), Robin Parkinson (Publican), Bill Dean (Mr. Greenhead)
Notes: This episode of The Tomorrow People marks the series television debut of young actor Peter Davison, age 23 – six years before he became the youngest actor ever to be cast as the Doctor in Doctor Who up to that point. (That record was later broken by Matt Smith.) Between The Tomorrow People and Doctor Who, of course, Davison made a name for himself as a reliable and likeable actor in such series as All Creatures Great And Small, Love For Lydia, and Holding The Fort. This was also Davison’s first professional collaboration with his future wife, Sandra Dickinson, who would go on to play Trillian in the BBC’s TV adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
LogBook entry by Earl Green