Out of the Unknown: Season 1, Episode 7

Sucker Bait (15 Nov. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
7.0
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An expedition sets out to discover what has happened to a lost colony on a distant planet. Amongst the scientists is a strange, intense teenager called Mark Annuncio, raised to be a kind of... See full summary »

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Title: Sucker Bait (15 Nov 1965)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Del Baker ...
Crewman
Tim Condren ...
Crewman
Roger Croucher ...
Fawkes
Bill Dean ...
Crewman (as Billy Dean)
Peter Diamond ...
First Crewman
Adrian Drotsky ...
Crewman
Clive Endersby ...
Mark Annuncio
Tenniel Evans ...
Rodriguez
Fred Haggerty ...
Crewman
David Knight ...
Cinam
...
Novee
John McArdle ...
Second Crewman
...
Dr. Sheffield
Bill Nagy ...
Captain
Keith Peacock ...
Crewman
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Storyline

An expedition sets out to discover what has happened to a lost colony on a distant planet. Amongst the scientists is a strange, intense teenager called Mark Annuncio, raised to be a kind of human computer, able to make connections between different specialisms. Disliked by the crew, Mark nevertheless may be the only person capable of saving the ship when they land and scientists begin dying mysteriously. Written by Gazhack

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Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

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15 November 1965 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
Dated sci-fi with some good ideas but doesn't really go anywhere.

Out of the Unknown: Sucker Bait is set in the distant future where a spaceship called the Triples G's heads towards the almost forgotten planet of Troas where a colony of human settlers from Earth mysteriously died out a hundred years ago, a team of men aboard are on an expedition to find out why the colony suddenly died out. A team of scientists & doctors are joined by a strange teenage boy named Mark Annuncio (Clive Endersby) who is a specially trained Mnemonic, a person who is trained to remember & by using intuition does what no computer can do & make logical connections & come up with logical answers. Once the spaceship lands on Troas a small team of men head out to the abandoned & dead settlers camp where Mark finally works out what killed them all a century ago but has the simple answer come too late to save the expedition from the same fate?

Episode seven from season one of the British produced television series Out of the Unknown this was directed by Niaomi Capon & starts off nicely but doesn't really go anywhere & ends rather unsatisfactorily. The script by Meade Roberts was adapted from the short story by famed sci-fi author Isaac Asimov & the set-up regarding the mission to Troas to discover why hundreds of humans suddenly died out a century earlier is nicely done, the mystery is engaging enough & apart from some stiff exposition it flows quite well. However things don't really progress that much, sure they reach Troas & eventually find out the cause of the sudden death's in a twist ending that could have been better & much more dramatic, every bloke aboard the spaceship is told they are likely to die & they just all sort of walk off quietly in a rather forgettable ending that should have been played to it's full dramatic potential. The aspect of Sucker Bait that really stands out though is the character of Mark, the idea that computers forget & have no intuition or logic is repeated over & over although strangely an example of the computers deficiency is never shown. I suppose the message is that computers are cold & unfeeling & only do what they are told while the human mind has imagination & capacity to make connections that a computer can't, the point is reasonably well made but again I don't understand why a scene was written which actually showed a computer at fault. At an hour in length the pace is alright & it's certainly watchable but the middle does drag a bit & there's little on screen action with the majority of Sucker Bait long stretches of exposition & awkward social message.

Originally broadcast during November 1965 this has decent production design, the spaceship sets look OK even if the computer equipment looks hideously dated, the costumes aren't over the top & the planet surface although obviously made from foam does look OK as well. The set must have been two storeys high & quite big, there are at least scenes where Mark gets inside an elevator & it travels up to another level of the ship in one continuous shot, Sucker Bait probably had a decent amount spent on it by television standards of the 60's anyway. The model spaceship shot looks like a model, that's the best I can say about it. The acting varies, the main problem here is an obnoxious & annoying performance from Clive Endersby as Mark while Burt Kwouk has a small role.

Sucker Bait is a decent enough way to pass an hour, sure it's dated visually but I think the story is still strong enough to keep most watching. The next two Out of the Unknown episodes, episode eight The Fox and the Forest (1965) based on a story by Ray Bradbury & episode nine Andover and the Android (1965) are permanent casualties of the BBC's wiping & junking process & no longer exist, or at least known to exist...


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