The temperature at Space Headquarters is rising but the cause is not solar activity. Galasphere 347 is despatched to investigate and Slim finds electromagnetically charged particles that are causing the upper atmosphere to thin. These have been introduced by the Neptunians in another attempt to extort slaves. The particles start interfering with power supplies on Earth and Galasphere 347 cannot lift off to retrieve Slim who is now marooned in orbit. The only hope lies in using an old rocket that doesnt require electrical power to lift...
And The Moral Is:
Captain Larry Dart
All Power Is Corruptible
Today I Will Be Mostly Learning... :
Explosions on the Sun can cause heatwaves.
The atmosphere protects Earth from harmful rays from space and the Sun.
There was no electricity when James Watt invented the steam engine.
Without gravity repulsion, a lift-off is extremely uncomfortable.
I am obtaining profoundly interesting experimental data. Dart says Slim is enjoying himself. Whatever turns you on, Slim...
"I told everyone I was clever but no-one believed me! If only I knew what I said!""
Dont Call Me Pop!:
I'm a scientist, not a fortune teller.
I know I know but if I dont say I know Im encouraging myself to find an idea.
I'm as scared as a leprechaun in the sunlight.
Riding Along In My Monobile... :
Dart takes the atmospheric sample to Haggarty.
Im An Alien!:
Gabbler hates reading but is trying to become cleverer.
Ooh, Bitch... :
Dart (about Gabbler) Whos ever heard of a clever birdbrain.
Raeburn requests the Moon Observatory check the Suns surface for explosions as a cause of the heatwave, recalling the events in Explosion On The Sun.
He also recalls sending robots to Neptune (PT, TR) but Tyro replies they prefer Earthmen.
When the power fails, Raeburn and Marla just happen to have candles on their desks and presumably the matches to light them!
"Within a few days, Earthmen will be so hot
they will have to give in."
Havent I Seen... ?:
The curator of the Aeronautics Museum is General Smith with a wig and goatee.
Dart says the Neptunians would never have seen a ship like the rocket he uses before but it resembles every other rocket and missile used throughout the series.
The main Space Headquarters building is seen in two distinct pieces as the Aeronautics Museum
There is also, curiously, a scene lifted from Secret Formula where Gabbler eats the crushed web that seems entirely superfluous to this episode.
For Those Of You Just Joining Us... :
Neptunians are telepathic and do not require elektrans, as they can make themselves understood in any language. And they hate work.
Take A Break:
Marooned in space by the effects of the Neptunian articles, Slim says "If only I could see my beautiful Venus again.".
Astro Viewer Working:
When Tyro is talking to Raeburn from his quarters on Neptune, the light that illuminates him when he speaks can be seen glowing on and off reflected in the metallic ball atop the rotating couch .
Raeburn tells Tyro the rocket used was invented a hundred and fifty years ago but earlier in the episode the rocket was refered to as a 1980 type. This implies the episode takes place around 2130.
A small model of a space station resembling a Galasphere can be seen in some shots in the Aeronautics Museum - it is most notable at the bottom right when Dart, the Curator, Haggarty and Raeburn look out at the rocket on its pad.
Unlike previous versions, the rocket uses a pyrotechic flame as opposed to dry ice or smoke - a precursor to those seen in Paul Starr.
The frustration and fear at not being able to rescue Slim again underlines that the crew are good friends, not just people who work together.
The particles Dart brings back seem very large to hang in the upper atmosphere.
When he is stranded in space, Slim seems to lose his testing machine then gets it back.
The energised particles seems very selective in their disruption - Galaspheres and Space Headquarters are powerless but communications seem unaffected. Missiles wont lift but the old rocket will.
First screened: May 21st 1964 (Associated-Rediffusion London)
Running time: 24 minutes 17 seconds
BFCC Classified - 9th August 1999
VHS - Volume 9
DVD - Complete Series Box Set, Disk 6
London, May 21st 1964:
The people of Neptune evolve a diabolical plan to enslave the inhabitants of Earth. When Dart returns from an unsuccesful attempt to counter the efforts of the Neptunians, things look grim indeed.
Tyne Tees, June 1st 1964:
The Neptunians who hate work, decide they want Earth Slaves and when Colonel Raeburn refuses to do as they wish, they put a magnetic barrier around the Earth which minimises the density of the atmosphere.
Brahms & List
Some listings refer to this episode as just Force Field.
Ready To Lift ?:
Despite the inconsistancies with power, an above average episode with some nice ideas.