Convict in Space begins with the theft of top secret UN files by extra-terrestrial baddie Grovan Devlis, who breaks into a safe using his oxy-duranic ray gun. The theft's announced on TV by the mumpy faced chap from the Space Monster episode the other week, who seems to have a new job as a newsreader. I'm not too keen on his new hipster look.
Steve Zodiac and the crew fly off after Devlis, and manage to catch him, slinging him in Fireball XL5's Space Jail prior to taking him to the Space Pen on the planet Conva. Devlis is a funny one. Perhaps to try and compensate for his very spangly outfit (with cape), he sounds like a tough guy from a 1930s gangster film.
|"You win, Steve Zodiac... THIS time!"|
|Mr Boris Space Spy|
|Mrs Griselda Space Spy|
The Space Spys' (no hyphen) plan is to exchange Matt for Devlis, who they plan to extort the UN secrets from and then dispose of, the cads. Steve and Venus quickly agree to the exchange (I'd have to give it a bit more thought I think, the grizzled old prospector bit's getting rather wearing), but the sneaky couple decide to keep hold of Matt anyway.
|The dodgiest Blind Date lineup ever|
Poor Matt's imprisoned in the tower you can see above . With XL5's navigation equipment smashed up by Devlis, will Steve arrive in time to rescue him from a flood of molten lava? I love the little "coo-ee" wave the professor keeps giving from his prison.
Meanwhile, Boris and Griselda are double-crossed by the evil Devlis. "Stop him, Boris, stop him!" Griselda cries as he makes for their spaceship. "But how, my love? He has a ray gun," is the eminently sensible response.
The surfeit of ridiculous baddies in this episode makes it splendid fun, and it's also nice to see ship's robot Robert get something to do other than sit in a chair repeating people. Yes, here he is... sliding open a door!
Here's Convict in Space for you to watch for yourself:
This week's chart: well, Jet Harris and Tony Meehan's "Diamonds" is still in the top spot, with Cliff and the Shadows at number 2 with "The Next Time/Bachelor Boy". The biggest hit this week that I haven't featured yet is this, from four Liverpool lads who are making a big name for themselves. It's the Beatles, at number 3 with "Please Please Me".