Like many people who knew and loved this series when we brought it up in conversation no one seemed to have heard of the series before. The original series created by Roberta Leigh had thought to have been lost - just like many of the Patrick Troughton Dr Who series. That is except for a scant few episodes. But on exploring Roberta Leigh's Loft a full collection on 16mm were found along with 2 in 35mm prints.
It is these two episodes that were still on 35mm that have been released on Blu-Ray. The episodes are 'Mystery on the Moon' and the unforgettable 'The Robot Revolution'
The series really was ahead of it's time. All the planets and life upon them was allegedly put through a scientific advisor for authentification.
Planetary travel was not the almost instantaneous faster than light travel of other series but rather took many months with the crews being 'put in the freezer' to borrow the series terms but really a believable suspended animation system. The duties of the crew being placed in the hands of a robot crew.
In the Mystery on the Moon episode earth is being attacked. Buildings and complexes just explode. What could be the cause? The source is a gang who are threatening to blow up complexes using a laser beam wepon. The beam is located on the moon and is well protected by natural overhanging rocks making an all out attack suicidal and futile. Larry Dart and and crew come up with a plan aided by the quick thing and genius Professor Haggerty. As Col Raeburn says he's a genius and Irish a dangerous combination!!
Of course the solution is simple- reflect the ray back along to its source. Wonderful and a geniuine scientific solution to a problem. The science aspect was always a strenghth of the Space Patrol storylines.
The Robot revolution one of the episodes presented here has always stuck in my mind. I think it was the genuine menace of Robots running amok!
Robots work on the seabead harvesting the rich sea farms (very farfeached and believable) seweed being harvested for human consumption. Naturally the robots are able to work at very deep depths and at hign pressue. They have the added advantage over humans in that they don't require oxygen.
An element in sea water reacts with their brains and a componant responsable for controlling them fails.
Now the real magic for me as a child of six was that the image of a whole army of robots was created with just 3 different robot puppets- all slightly different! I really would encourage you to invest in the complete series.Space Patrol : The Complete Series (6 Disc Set)
It really is wonderful.
I can really recommend that you seek out the full series.