Pathfinders in Space – The Man in the Moon

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Jimmy’s made an impressive discovery – another spaceship – and this one’s deep in an underground cavern.  It’s a bit of a mystery though, how did the ship get there?  Henderson and the others join Jimmy to puzzle it out, but soon find themselves trapped underground ….

Budget limitations are rather exposed at the start of this episode, as our intrepid explorers puzzle over the mysterious ship.  The script no doubt called for an impressive landslide to trap them, but what we saw on screen was not so much a landslide, more of a trickle.

Professor Wedgewood’s party are hopelessly lost.  With only limited oxygen, this isn’t good news and Dr O’Connell continues to be a rather gloomy companion.  Once again, Wedgewood’s lack of forward planning is exposed – he suggests they try over there (more out of hope than from any sort of scientific judgment).  But when they find a mysterious marking in the ground – similar to the ones discovered by Henderson – it suggests they’re close to Henderson’s rocket.  This is a bit of a stretch – why couldn’t these marks be all over the Moon? – so you have to admit that the pessimistic O’Connell does have a point.  Wedgewood might be enthusiastic but he seems to bumble from one crisis to the next.

Wedgewood and the others reach Henderson’s rocket, but of course they find nobody there.  They’re still trapped in the cave and with their oxygen running out face certain death.  Jimmy responds by going a little stir-crazy (enthusiastic over-acting, shall we say) but just when it seems all is lost they’re rescued by Wedgewood.  It’s all a tad convenient, but no matter – everyone’s together and they can now set up camp and try and solve the mystery of the alien spaceship.

There’s some hard – well hardish – science fiction talk as Wedgewood and O’Connell ponder over the ship.  And then Hamlet goes missing, which means that Jimmy heads off to look for him.  I think we have to be very grateful that when Doctor Who was set up they didn’t decide to give Susan a pet which would run off every five minutes and therefore create an excuse to put her into danger.  Four episodes in, I’m getting a little tired of Hamlet.

We have to wait until the final shot of the episode before Valerie discovers the man in the Moon.  It’s maybe not what was expected, but it’s a very effective cliffhanger.

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