Welcome to Action TV Online homepage for the British magazine of archive and cult Television.
Moonbase Three
BBC 1973
Departure And Arrival
TX : 9th September 1973
Script : Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts
Director : Ken Hannam

Notes : Director Ken Hannam also directed Day Of The Triffids TV series. Micheal (Davros) Wisher was cast in this episode. Regular Dr Who musician Dudley Simpson provided the series theme tune. This was recorded second in production order. The series survival first came to light when the Amercian Sci Fi channel started screening the episodes in February 1993.

TX : 16th September 1973
Script : John Brason
Director : Ken Hannam

Notes : Writer John Brason also scripted episodes of Colditz and Secret Army. All episodes were transmitted on Sunday nights at 7:25pm. This episode was recorded fourth in production order.

Achille's Heel
TX : 23rd September 1973
Script : John Lucarotti
Director : Christopher Barry

Notes : Christopher Barry has a long association with Dr Who - among his other directing credits are Out Of The Unknown, Tripods and Poldark. This episode was recorded first in production order. Up until it's recovery in 1993 only the film inserts from this episode were known to exist in the BBC archives.

TX : 30th September 1973
Script : John Brason
Director : Ken Hannam

Notes : Costume designer for the series was Dee Kelly who under her married name of Robson was also a designer for Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, Blake's Seven and Dr Who. This episode was recorded sixth in production order.

Castor and Pollux
TX : 7th October 1973
Script : John Lucarotti
Director : Christopher Barry

Notes : The show is set in 2003. Donald Houston who played Moonbase director David Caulder was the older brother of Glyn Houston and died in 1991. This episode was recorded third in production order.

View Of A Dead Planet
TX : 14th October 1973
Script : Arden Winch
Director : Christopher Barry

Notes : Micheal Gough, who's been a bastion of Brit screen acting since 1947, was the main guest star for this episode. His most recent role was in Tim Burton's Legend Of Sleepy Hollow (1999). To prevent the visors of the space suits steaming up the costume department applied in thin film of washing up liquid to them. This was suitable for short periods, but more had the disadvantage of the liquid starting to bubble after lengthier periods. This episode was recorded fifth in production order.

Regular Characters
Portrayed By
David Caulder
Donald Houston
Tom Hill
Barry Lowe
Michel Lebrun
Ralph Bates
Dr Helen Smith
Fiona Gaunt

"Do moon rocks usually bounce back after the astronauts have stepped on them, or this property only found in rocks made at Ealing Studios?" - contemporary letter to the Radio Times.

"The trouble was we built a too restrictive format for ourselves. I think we got some very good scripts, but somebody said they were stories that could have taken place in a lighthouse or in a submarine or in a deserted fort in the desert, anywhere where people are isolated in a harsh environment." - Terrance Dicks.

Unexpectedly recovered in 1993 this earnest 1973 series was the brainchild of the Doctor Who production duo Barry Letts (producer) and Terrance Dicks (script editor). James Burke (hot from covering the Apollo missions) is credited as Scientific Advisor on the show which tried to portray an accurate character driven drama with no science fiction gimmicks. This failed to capture an audience either in the UK or abroad (the show was a BBC/USA co-production) and the show was not renewed. Shortly after all episodes were purged from the archives. The show was proclaimed long lost and it wasn't until copies turned up in America that the public were once again given a chance to view the show. The show was released by the BBC on VHS but sales were poor and the videos were soon deleted.

Featuring many Doctor Who stalwarts (from both behind and in front of the camera) the show can now be seen as a brave failure and a predecessor to the eighties BBC 2 series Star Cops. All episodes exist, having been recovered in the early 90s from America and were reissued the series on both VHS and DVD format in July 2002 by Second Sight.