Oro returns, offering to repair the Ark's faulty systems and fly them all to settle on Exar, which he claims is much like earth. Devon discovers he's lying, but can only prove it in a debate in which the loser will be killed.



(creator) (as Cordwainer Bird),


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode complete credited cast:
Patricia Moffatt ...
Tau Zeta (voice)
Philip Stevens ...
Tau Zeta Operator
James Barron ...
Computer Voices (voice) (as Jim Barron)
Computer / Host (voice)


Oro returns, offering to repair the Ark's faulty systems and fly them all to settle on Exar, which he claims is much like earth. Devon discovers he's lying, but can only prove it in a debate in which the loser will be killed.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

15 December 1973 (Canada)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Did You Know?


This marks the return of Walter Koenig as the character Oro, first seen in episode 10 "The Alien Oro". At the end of the episode, Oro is left to wander The Earthship Ark as a fugitive, thus making him a future recurring character (that never happened). See more »


Devon makes note that Tau Zeta is a robot. Being as this is the first robot seen in the series, and Devon is from the low technology biosphere of Cyprus Corners, there is no way he would have any idea what a robot is. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Toy Robot Debate Moderator
16 May 2013 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Devon (Keir Dullea) runs into a curmudgeonly creep by the name of Williams (Henry Beckman) who keeps trying to break in to restricted areas on the Ark. Before Devon can stop him Willams has been stunned by a remote blast from the security sensors. Garth (Robin Ward) & Rachel (Gay Rowan) show up to try and help the guy while Devon asks the computer 'sphere projector' (William Osler) for help.

Devon is instead told that the ship has a new commander and is granted an audience with him. The encounter yields a sense of the familiar. Oro (Walter Koenig) - the only recurring guest character in the entire series is back for an encore. The personality minus alien has assumed command via hacking the main computer on the Ark.

Devon demands to know why Oro is back. He tells them that he has returned to help them put the Ark on proper course - away from collision with a sun and toward his home planet - a life-sustaining star which all the biosphere communities can live on. As the viewers of previous episodes know an accident knocked the Ark off course and into the path of a class 'G' solar star.

But as viewers of previous episodes also know Oro is pathologically self-serving. He shows Devon film (Stock footage probably left over from another CTV production) of the natural wonders of his home planet but Devon knows he can't be trusted.

The return of Oro allowed the producers to use the footage of his ship from episode 10. That is a little cheap. But at very least they completed the arc of the character on the series. Oro was clearly intended to illustrate the attitude of Old World explorers toward indigenous peoples of the New World. Under the guise of friendship and good will he offers a very one-sided bargain.

The unlikely formal debate over the future of the Ark between Devon and Oro with a giant toy robot as moderator comes off as less absurd than that might sound. The Oro character is in one of his different incarnations - lying politician running on his record articulately and dispassionately presenting his case for bringing the Ark to his home planet.

The bold juxtaposition of enslaver/conqueror with that of huckster statesman within the same character betrays a sophistication in the writing that contrasts starkly with the primitive production design and nearly non-existent production value. This could have been a clever (though dated) socio-political statement against imperialism. It is yet another biblical allegory - Corinthians 11:14 "For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light" which conveys in the abstract how forms of evil evolve to fit circumstance.

As for why the useless Williams character was in this episode I have no answers. But then the casting on this show was a continual issue. They evidently could not afford enough background performers which was fully as disastrous as the fact that they couldn't afford proper sets and were shooting on video tape. The guest-stars they got were, all things considered, quite excellent

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: