Out of the Unknown: Season 1, Episode 1

No Place Like Earth (4 Oct. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
7.1
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Earth is no more, destroyed by nuclear war; but itinerant handyman Bert Foster, wandering the canals of Mars, is possessed by a restlessness for a home which no longer exists. Perhaps the ... See full summary »

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Title: No Place Like Earth (04 Oct 1965)

No Place Like Earth (04 Oct 1965) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Terence Morgan ...
Bert Foster
Jessica Dunning ...
Annika
Joseph O'Conor ...
Freeman
Alan Tilvern ...
Blane
George Pastell ...
Major Khan
Jerry Stovin ...
Spaceship captain
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Zeyla
Vernon Joyner ...
Carter
...
Chief Officer
Roy Stewart ...
Security guard
...
Harris
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Storyline

Earth is no more, destroyed by nuclear war; but itinerant handyman Bert Foster, wandering the canals of Mars, is possessed by a restlessness for a home which no longer exists. Perhaps the isolated outpost on Venus retains something which could satisfy this hunger; or has the madness which shattered a world merely settled in a new location? Written by hutch48

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Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

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4 October 1965 (UK)  »

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A little slow & ponderous for modern tastes, including mine.

Out of the Unknown: No Place Like Earth is set in the future fifteen years after the Earth has been destroyed in a huge explosion, homeless & now living on Mars wandering it's canals handyman Bert Foster (Terence Morgan) shuns other human contact. A Martian named Annika (Jessica Dunning) wants Bert as a son-in-law & pushes him towards her daughter Zeyla (Hannah Gordon), but Bert longs for Earth & feels alone. Then unexpectedly a spaceship from a human colony on Venus lands & recruits Bert with promises of a new Earth, a new society & a normal life. However the truth is that Venus is nothing but a slave camp where the powerful promise lots but deliver nothing, Bert begins to realise that his simple existence on Mars wasn't so bad after all...

The first episode of the first season of the British produced television series Out of the Unknown this was directed by Peter Potter & is maybe best described as sci-fi being used as a metaphor rather than trying to be serious, I mean even back in the mid 60's we knew there was no indigenous life on either Mars or Venus or huge water canals on Mars so one has to treat No Place Like Earth as pure fantasy. The reason No Place Like Earth was selected as the opener was that it was adapted from two stories by famed sci-fi writer John Wyndham (probably best known for penning The Day of the Triffids), I suppose at it's most basic No Place Like Earth champions the idea that it's alright to be satisfied with what you have, longing for something better is a waste of energy & the corruption of power & lies. Unfortunately No Place Like Home is slow going & I found my interest wavering, the story which is average anyway just didn't engage or grip me to any great extent. The character's are broadly simplistic, the dialogue feels stiff & the ending is a bit weak as it just fizzles out in predictable fashion.

Running for almost an hour this was originally broadcast during October 1965, just one year after BBC2 launched & at a time when less than 60% of the population could receive it. Because of the BBC's wiping policy form the 60's & 70's less than half the episodes of Out of the Unknown exist although amazingly all but two of the twelve episodes from the first season survive, having said that Out of the Unknown has never been officially released on any home video format & all the copies floating around are presumably illegal bootlegs naughty BBC employees have copied & distributed which probably explains the appalling quality. The production design here is alright, no great expense was made to create a truly alien planet while the Venus creatures the Grippa's wear what looks like motorbike crash helmets, there's a giant man eating plant that looks like it's made from foam & some predictably dated technology. British TV regular Geoffrey Palmer has a small role while Bill Treacher went on the play Arthur Fowler in almost 600 episodes of the popular BBC soap opera Eastenders from 1985 to 1995.

No Place Like Earth isn't an episode of Out of the Unknown that I liked that much, the story is very average as is everything else about it. When eight episodes from the first season were repeated No Place Like Earth was placed in the middle of the run rather than the start.


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