Moonbase 3: Season 1, Episode 3

Achilles Heel (23 Sep. 1973)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Sci-Fi
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Ralph Bates ...
Dr. Michel Lebrun
Fiona Gaunt ...
Dr. Helen Smith
Barry Lowe ...
Tom Hill
Edward Brayshaw ...
Adam Blaney
Anne Ridler ...
Prof. Kate Weyman (as Ann Ridler)
Malcolm Reynolds ...
Bill Knight
Nancie Wait ...
Dodi Knight
Peter Bathurst ...
Director General
Joanna Ross ...
Jane
Anne Rosenfeld ...
Lisa
...
Astronaut (as Oliver Ford-Davis)
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Drama | Sci-Fi

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23 September 1973 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Inward looking
18 September 2011 | by (North West England) – See all my reviews

In this, the third episode we do have (as expected) yet another crisis at Moonbase 3. Mistakes are being made left, right and centre, resulting in the loss of vital equipment and more seriously a young scientist, Bill Knight almost fatally runs out of oxygen in his spacesuit whilst performing some routine maintenance. As a result, Director Caulder has to get to the bottom of what's going on and try to stop it as soon as possible.

The real purpose of this episode is apparently to examine human flaws of all of the Moonbase 3 characters. In it we find that the usually professional Helen Smith is susceptible to romantic interest from charmer Adam, played by the "guest star" of the episode, Edward Brayshaw. (British viewers may know him from children's TV show "Rentaghost"). Caulder's fault appears to be that he cares too much about other people. Other scientists have other very human issues, such as anxiety about becoming incompetent due to ageing, or paranoid behaviour regarding the fidelity of a spouse.

It appears throughout that Adam has been playing on these crew-members' fears and quite effectively winding everyone up one way or another. In the end, he flips out himself when rejected by Helen and as a result nearly murders her and Bill in the process. In a theme not too dissimilar to the first episode, it turns out all along that Adam was a sick, broken man as a result of being rejected from a high-profile Venus mission on medical grounds. As a result he'd resorted to sabotage in order to undermine everyone else's lives, something which he'd done quite effectively.

Overall it's a reasonably good episode, although my main criticism is that it's a little too similar in substance to the very first episode and a bit too introspective at this point. I think the series could have gone in a different direction here and perhaps may have been better with a slightly fresher idea and even maybe a bit more action. It's easy to surmise that this episode marks a turning point where ultimately the series was axed, in part due to being rather bleak. Having said that, it's still enjoyable to watch, with a satisfying denouement and the charismatic Adam plays his leading role well.


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