1 9 7 3 (UK)
6 x 50 minute episodes
In the 21st century, representatives of many of the world’s governments live in bases on the moon.
Against the backdrop of political tensions both on Earth and on the Moon – coping with insufficiently meagre budgets and non-stop technical and psychological problems – the large cast of characters led by scientific troubleshooter and new European Moonbase director Dr David Caulder (Donald Houston) and his deputy Michel Lebrun (Ralph Bates) struggled to live and work in the hostile environment which marked the then farthest outpost of the final frontier.
Fiona Grant played base psychiatrist Dr Helen Smith and Barry Lowe was astronaut Tom Hill who managed much of the base’s maintenance and operations as well.
Supporting characters included the Director-General of the European Space Program (Peter Bathurst), Ingrid (Christine Bradwell), Rao (Madhav Sharma) and Bruno Ponti (Garrick Hagon).
The BBC series – co-produced with 20th Century Fox and set in the far-off future of 2003 (!) – was doomed to a run of a mere six episodes rather than the intended thirteen.
In hindsight, the reason for the show’s failure can be laid squarely with the lack of genuine dramatic tension in the majority of the stories.
Episodes were shot on videotape, and to save money, the tapes were erased and re-used (a common practice in the UK at the time). Decades later, 20th Century Fox found their US copies of the shows and sent them to the BBC, making VHS and DVD releases possible.
Dr David Caulder
Dr Michel Lebrun
Dr Helen Smith