1 9 6 9 (Australia)
26 x 25 minute episodes
“The year: 2500 AD. The Phoenix Five. The crew: Captain Roke, Ensign Adam Hargreaves, Cadet Tina Kulbrick, and their computeroid Karl. Their mission: to patrol the outer galaxies for Earth Space Control, to maintain peace, and to capture Zodian the humanoid, who with the aid of his computers Alpha and Zeta endeavours to become dictator of outer space.”
The first attempt at an Australian sci-fi series had been The Interpretaris in 1966, which had a brief run of six episodes. They pulled the plug and tried again two years later, using the same model ship and sets, with Vega 4. After seven episodes, that show was also killed.
This subsequent low-budget Sci-Fi drama series from the ABC featured the three-person crew of the spaceship Phoenix Five – “the most sophisticated craft in the Earth Space Control Fleet”.
Captain Roke (Mike Dorsey) and his team – Ensign Adam Hargreaves (Damien Parker) and Cadet Tina Kulbrick (Patsy Trench) – patrolled the outer galaxies for Earth Space Control in the year 2500 AD, dressed in gold tunics, black slacks and Beatle boots.
Accompanied by their ‘computeroid’, Karl, they fended off aliens, space giants, mutants and evil would-be universe dominators, especially Zodian the humanoid (pictured below right), from planet Zebula 9.
Zodian’s ambition was to become “dictator of outer space”, with the aid of his computers, Alpha and Zeta (a couple of flashing illuminated heads). The crew of the Phoenix Five finally captured Zodian in episode 13 and subsequently were pitted against a new villain, Platonus (Owen Weingott).
Predictably, Platonus was another mad scientist, though he had pointy ears like Star Trek‘s Mr Spock and a cockney-accented computer named Tommy. Platonus was captured in the final episode. Captain Roke was subsequently promoted to Head of Earth Defence, and Adam was promoted to Captain of the Phoenix Five.
Ensign Adam Hargraves
Cadet Tina Kulbrick
Earth Space Controller
Zone of Danger | Two Heads Are Better Than None | To End Is To Begin | Stowaway | The Human Relics | Six Guns Of Space | Back to Childhood | Two Into One Won’t Go | A Sound In Space | A Gesture From Kronos | The Hunter | Slave Queen | The Bigger They Are | The Cat | Toy Soldier | Something Fishy | Spacequake | The Pirate Queen | The Baiter Is Bitten | Planet Of Fear | Dream On | Shadow Ship | General Alarm | Efficiency Minus | Spark For A Dying Fire | A Little Difficulty