1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Very strong introductory episode
benkidlington from North West England
16 September 2011
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this first episode is. It sets
the scene very well by introducing us to the harsh realities of living
and working in space. Namely that one small mistake, or simply failure
to deal with problems can have catastrophic consequences. The viewer is
left in no doubt that the lives of all people on the moon base
critically depend on unfailing diligence and a duty of care from all
people in the chain of command. Fortunately, by the end of the episode
we are reassured that the lead character, the director of the base is
made of "the right stuff" as he stamps his authority on his team,
whilst at the same time showing complete loyalty to them.
Some of the dialogue certainly comes across as dated when viewed with
21st century sensibilities, but the acting is generally good and the
characters work very well together. The plot is intriguing and offers
plenty of drama with an interesting twist at the end.
The episode's initial theme of Europe as an "underdog" space power,
somewhat behind the US and Russia whilst facing constant financial
constraints and threats of cutbacks and closure is however not dated.
In fact it now seems quite prophetic, and given the current Eurozone
crisis perhaps rings even more true in 2011 than it did almost 40 years
As such, a gritty realism persists throughout the episode and it's
refreshing to see issues such as funding pressures, human foibles and
psychological burnout tackled in such believable ways.
There's also quite a bit of extra-vehicular action, with scenes both on
the moon's surface and in space done quite well. There's plenty of
model work used for panoramic scenes, as to be expected from a
production of this era.
OK, so the Moon's surface shouldn't really bounce back after an
astronaut has stepped on it, but I can't help but find the lunar
scenery to be charmingly well presented, given the no doubt limited
resources of the BBC props department of the time.
Overall, just an excellent episode of a classic sci-fi series, leaving
the viewer wanting more.
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