1 9 9 0 – 1 9 9 6 (UK)
150 x 30 minute episodes
This thrice-weekly soap opera set in space followed the lives and loves of a group of students on board the spacecraft Ilea – a floating university in semi-permanent orbit above Jupiter’s moon, Callisto – in the year 2050.
In between the space dramas – strange viruses, rogue comets, plasma clouds and other spacial “anomalies” and lots of EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity) – the students celebrated Valentine’s Day, held balls, competed in talent competitions, sat exams, travelled to and from Space City and fell in love.
A secondary plot dealt with an attempt to travel to the stars known as the Daedalus Mission, headed by Professor Brelan (Richard Derrington). The ship’s computer, Petra, was voiced by Charlotte Martin.
Produced by short-lived satellite channel BSB, the series actually managed to outlive BSB itself with the remaining unscreened episodes later picked up by the Sci-Fi Channel.
Sadly, the main ingredients simply failed to blend. The characters were two-dimensional and neither heroic nor anti-heroic enough for younger viewers, while the situations were flimsy and didn’t deal with issues of fundamental interest to older viewers.
The dialogue was devoid of wit, charm and excitement. The actors moved about an awful lot without going anywhere interesting.
For the serious sci-fi fan, there was too much adolescent small-talk and not enough dramatic action. The curious assortment of characters and their little adventures were unlikely to hold the attention of the mainstream viewer.
The cast included Anna Chancellor, Lucy Benjamin and Jason Durr before they were famous. The series – shown on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6.30 pm – was recorded at the studios of Central Television in Birmingham.
Captain Eliot Creasy
First Officer Finbow Lewis
Dr Piers Gilpin
Captain Natasha Kovitsky
Chantal de Gracy
Principal Harriet Bullock
Paul Fitzroy Drummond
Dr Christophe Chazalon
Principal Paul Lockwood
Commissioner de Gracy