The Starlost (1973–1974)
6.1/10
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Circuit of Death 

The angry, embittered Dr Richards tries to escape the Ark with his daughter after triggering the ship's self-destruct mechanism. His capsule fails to launch, and the self-destruct can't be overridden. But there is a very dangerous fix.

Director:

Peter Levin

Writers:

Harlan Ellison (creator) (as Cordwainer Bird), Norman Klenman
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Keir Dullea ... Devon
Gay Rowan ... Rachel
Robin Ward ... Garth
Percy Rodrigues ... Sakharov Richards
Nerene Virgin Nerene Virgin ... Valerie Richards
Calvin Butler Calvin Butler ... Cort
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Osler ... Host / Computer (voice)
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Storyline

The angry, embittered Dr Richards tries to escape the Ark with his daughter after triggering the ship's self-destruct mechanism. His capsule fails to launch, and the self-destruct can't be overridden. But there is a very dangerous fix.

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Genres:

Sci-Fi

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Details

Release Date:

10 November 1973 (Canada) See more »

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Trivia

Devon, Rachel and Garth appear in this episode not in their normal Cyprus Corners clothes but in silver and red spacesuits (without the helmets). These are the same they change into in "Farthings Comet" (Ep 114). This may indicate that this episode was supposed to follow Ep 114, and have have been shown out of order. See more »

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User Reviews

Silver Track-Suits Legoland Adventure
14 May 2013 | by JasonDanielBakerSee all my reviews

Political dissident technician Sakharov Richards (Percy Rodrigues) and his protégé daughter Valerie (Nerene Virgin) sneak into the bridge of the Ark and bypass security protocols so that he can trigger the self-destruct sequence and destroy all the biospheres instantly killing all on board. He thinks that this is preferable to the gradual decline in living standards which will inevitably lead to mass suffering.

Devon (Keir Dullea), Garth (Robin Ward) & Rachel (Gay Rowan) are still searching for the elusive back-up bridge of the Ark. Somewhere along the way they have discarded the colonial 1800s frontier costumes of their home biosphere Cypress Corners in favor of silver lame track-suits. They meet Sakharov and Valerie and are tricked into loading an escape pod for the madman and his epileptic daughter.

Sakharov doesn't figure on the escape pod malfunctioning and when it does it instantly looks like the biggest comeuppance ever. Cort (Calvin Butler) a cop from Sakharov's home biosphere is there just in time to try to arrest him. Sakharov of course abruptly changes his mind about blowing up the Ark and enlists Devon to help him stop the self-destruct sequence.

Percy Rodrigues had resonance amongst science fiction fans having appeared on Star Trek and the sci-fi series Genesis II (1973). As one of Canada's most distinguished actors he was given a sizable role in a domestic production. This production - shot on video with only five other actors on cheap sets and with cheap special effects does raise the question of whether he might have deserved better. In the case of one scene it looked like they had him playing hopscotch on a miniature golf course made from giant legos.

Robin Ward of course did a lot more than act to pay the bills. Included in that were stints as a game-show host and a weatherman. Nerene Virgin who guest starred in this episode combined teaching, acting, voice-over work and broadcast journalism in her career. Versatility helped performers in Canada's entertainment industry - not only keeping them employed but giving them a springboard to dabble in different things.


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