From the VHS release:
The Liberator's deviating wildly off course, heading straight for uncharted territory. Suddenly, a black hole looms into view on the scanners and the Thaarn reaches out to Cally from her childhood stories...
The Liberator is being dragged off course but Orac insists the ship is functioning normally. The crew eventually determine the reason: They are being sucked into a black hole. Orac has kept quiet about this because he wished to investigate the hole's lack of x-ray emissions. The ship survives the crossing, ending up in a starless void. Cally collapses and receives a telepathic communication which causes her to mutter about the Thaarn. When she recovers, she has no memory of this and says the Thaarn is a character from an old Auron fairy tale.
Vila is nominated to go on a space walk to effect repairs but discovers the area has gravity and a solid surface. He is attacked by a tank-like robot which punctures his suit, revealing the area has a breathable atmosphere. Avon, Vila, Cally and Tarrant wait for the return of the tank with a laser cannon but it fails to operate. An oddly-dressed man, the Caliph, appears and welcomes to Crandor, world of the Lord Thaarn, who has rendered their technology useless. He collects Dayna from the ship, using a truth-measuring device to question her. She accurately tells him where Cally is but when he asks about Orac she says there is no-one of that name on board.
Cally explains the legend to her crew mates: The Thaarn was one of seven gods who came to Auron and promised the people there many gifts. He became jealous and killed another god and was exiled by his fellows. The Caliph has Cally sent to the Thaarn, who craves the company of another telepath, and has Avon and Tarrant sent to the research centre. The supervisor, Groff, a former citizen of the Federation world Xaranor, explains the Thaarn is planning to take over the galaxy by controlling gravity. Since he distrusts computers, he has workers carry out the calculations for him with no technological aid.
The Thaarn's men attempt to cut up the Liberator for salvage but are killed by a security device. The Caliph questions Tarrant about Orac but his truthful yet misleading answers make Orac sound like a bored dwarf. Meanwhile, Cally talks to the hidden Thaarn and tricks him into deactivating the technology suppressors in the area to prove they are not affecting her mind. Cally opens fire, damaging the equipment. Their guns working again, Avon and Tarrant easily overcome the Thaarn's guards. Groff turns down an offer to leave with them, instead offering to deactivate the Thaarn's gravity field which will cause Crandor to collapse and the Liberator to fall into normal space. Cally confronts the concealed Thaarn and finds him shrunken and withered with age.
Avon and Tarrant free Vila and Dayna from their cell and head to the Liberator, with Cally joining them en route. The Caliph discovers Groff and kills him but Groff still manages to deactivate the field. Both the Liberator and the Thaarn's ship escape Crandor's destruction. Tarrant sets a course for Xaranor, intending to tell Groff's family what happened to him.
- Avon - Paul Darrow
- Vila - Michael Keating
- Cally - Jan Chappell
- Tarrant - Steven Pacey
- Dayna - Josette Simon
- Zen/Orac - Peter Tuddenham
- The Caliph - Sam Dastor
- Groff - Terry Scully
- The Thaarn - Marcus Powell
- Production Assistant - Roselyn Parker
- Production Unit Manager - Sheelagh Rees
- Director's Assistant - Hermione Stewart
- Assistant Floor Manager - Antony Root
- Film Cameraman - Peter Chapman
- Film Recordist - Ian Sansam
- Film Editor - Sheila S. Tomlinson
- Series Videotape Editors - Sam Upton (Uncredited), Malcolm Banthorpe (Uncredited)
- Visual Effects Designer - Steve Drewitt, Jim Francis
- Video Effects - A.J. Mitchell
- Graphic Designer - Doug Burd
- Technical Manager - Peter Valentine
- Senior Cameraman - Bob Baxter
- Vision Mixer - Nigel Finnis
- Studio Lighting - Brian Clemett
- Studio Sound - Malcolm Johnson
- Special Sound - Elizabeth Parker
- Costume Designer - Dee Robson
- Make Up Artist - Sheelagh J. Wells
- Music By - Dudley Simpson
- Series Created By - Terry Nation
- This is the first of two episodes written by James Follett, the other one being "Stardrive".
- This is the first episode in which Blake is not mentioned.
To be added.
To be added.
- The Liberator's security device was previously seen in "Space Fall".
- Tarrant asks Cally why the Aurons exiled her and Cally says she might tell him one day. This seems to be at odds with the back story established in "Time Squad", where her exile was self-imposed as a result of failing to save the rebels on Saurian Major, but ties in with the later revelations in "Children of Auron".
- This is the first episode in which the teleport is not used since it was introduced in "Cygnus Alpha" and the last until after the Liberator's destruction in "Terminal".
Vila: Why do I never win?
Avon: Being a born loser might have something to do with it.
Tarrant: One day, Avon, I may have to kill you.
Avon: It has been tried.
Vila: (Suffering from double vision) I'm in hell and it's full of Avons.
Avon: We have fallen through the black hole into the negative universe of anti-matter, where time and energy no longer exist.
Vila: That sounds like a way of saying we're nowhere.
Home video releasesEdit
- Original BBC video release (Volume 15) in 1992.
- Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 15) on 1 February 1999.
- DVD release as part of the Series 3 box set on 20 June 2005.