Space 1999 – Tales from the Far Side – tape 2096

More from Moonbase Alpha on this tape. I like Derek Wadsworth’s main title for series 2, although I know many Barry Gray fans would see that as heresy. But one thing I don’t like about it is the way it starts. It always sounds like it’s been started in the middle of the piece, and the start has been missed off. Unlike Gray’s theme for S1 which has the most magnificent opening. But I do still like Wadsworth’s theme.

This episode sees yet another buried tomb being unearthed by the Alphans. This one is actually on the moon itself, which is at least a nice mystery.

Moon Tomb

This episode is called Mark of the Archanon. The tomb contained two people, an adult and a child. Despite having been buried on the moon for millennia (we presume) his tight curls haven’t lost their bounce.

Pasc

Oddly enough, the child is bald on top, so I guess he hasn’t inherited his father’s hirsute genes. Or perhaps it’s cosmetic baldness.

Etrec

The eponymous Mark of Archanon is on the man’s forehead, and it’s clearly a significant mark, as it glows when he’s going to do something violent.

The Mark of Archanon

So he takes some bubble-wrap bandage to cover it up.

Bubble Wrap Bandage

Pasc tells the Alphans that they are Archanons, Peace Bringers. “Violence was outlawed on our world” he says, as if this is something odd. This story is very judgmental about Earth. The Archanons travelled the galaxy bringing their message of peace, and their only failure was on Earth (explaining their presence on the Moon). Earth’s violence was so pervasive that it infected the Archanons, and Pasc tells them that they were the only ones not affected, so they were locked in the tomb on the Moon.

But it’s clear he’s lying, as he looks close to killing Alan Carter before Etrec deflects him.

Maya and Koenig are away from Moonbase, flying through an asteroid field, allowing lots of new shots of the Eagle.

Asteroid Field

Pasc takes Russell prisoner, and demands that Etrec be brought to him. Carter, who has developed a bit of a big brother relationship with Etrec, is told that they need a sample of Etrec’s blood. But Etrec is also showing the mark of the killing sickness, and threatens Carter with a knife.

But he can’t do it, and instead tries to cut the mark from his forehead.

Archanons can’t regenerate blood (not a good evolutionary strategy, I would say) so the only thing that can save Etrec is Pasc’s blood. Plus, Dr Russell can make a cure for the virus that causes the killing sickness.

Despite typically shoddy science, and overly preachy “aren’t all humans horrible” subtext, I was genuinely moved by this episode. It just shows that if you base your stories around character rather than action, they work a whole lot better.

Sad Goodbye

After this, recording continues for a short time, into the start of an episode of The Prisoner.

Then recording switches to BBC2 and the end of an episode of The Young Ones.

There’s a trailer for Nick Broomfield’s film Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam.

Then, as part of Animated 2, there’s Gary Larson’s Tales from the Far Side. I love Larson’s cartoons, but this only ever elicits a wry smile or two, and no actual laughs.

The Far Side

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 21st December 1995 – 22:00

There’s a trailer for Arena: The Burger and the King (about Elvis). Then the very start of Newsnight leading with the divorce of Charles and Diana. The tape ends here – a short tape today.

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One comment

  1. “The Far Side” was, along with Victor Lewis-Smith, the only good thing about “The Evening Standard” – that said this special and its sequel don’t really work.

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