Space Control

The Complete Series

If you remember Space Patrol, then that particular line of dialogue should need no introduction. It`s uttered by Galaspehre 347 crew member Husky in particularly very episode of this lost Sci-Fi puppet series. If you don`t remember Space patrol, you`re probably under thirty. It`s all of 29 years since it last saw the light of day on TV in the UK, and its fans have all but given it up as a lost cause.

Most informed sources list all 39 episodes as having been junked. For years the only Space Patrol material available to collectors has been a handful of cut down episodes released in the 1970`s on 8mm home movies. But if you thought you`d seen the last of Captain Dart and his crew, you could be in fro a surprise. And if you`ve never seen the singular adventures of the crew of Galasphere 347, then prepare yourself for one of the weirdest , most oggbeat, children`s Sci-Fi series of all time. Space Patrol is back. In May of this year, 16mm prints of all 39 episodes were finally unearthed in a lock-up garage belonging to series creator Roberta Leigh, and a video release is expected shortly. (Which has now happened)

Here, for the uninitiated, is a chance to get acquainted with a series that bought us such exotica as Plastifoam Guns, Meson Power, Martian Parrots and, of course, Yobba Rays. And if you`re a fan already, see how much of it you can remember after 29 years ....

Space Patrol was the creation of Roberta Leigh, a children`s writer who branched into television in the mid Fifties. It`s well documented fact that it was Gerry Anderson and Arthur Provis who translated her ideas into puppet films, and thus set in motion a chain of events that culminated in the state of the art techniques of Thunderbirds.

Along the way, Roberta, and later Arthur provis, parted company with Gerry. In 1960, Roberta and Arthur made their own series for Independent Television, Sara and Hoppity, which told the tale of a little girl who befriends a broken wooden doll. From Sara and Hoppity to Space Patrol was a conceptual leap for Roberta Leigh. It was as if Enid Blyton has forsaken Noddy for Dan Dare.

From the cosy, fairytale whimsy of her earlier creations, Roberta sent her imagination to the dizzy reaches of the 22nd century, to create probably the most imaginative Sci-Fi concept that had been seen on television at the time. Filmed in two blocks of episodes during 1962, Space Patrol debuted the following year, at varying times throughout the ITV regions.

Space Patrol dispensed with the stock cliché of winged rocketships that had been the staple of everything since Buck Rogers, and put in their place a gyroscopic vehicle, propelled by `Meson Power` and launched from the roof of an incredible futurist skyscraper in the heart of 22nd Century New York, Galasphere 347 is best described as an interplanetary spinning top; and as it cruises through Space it plays a little electronic tune - the `theme music` to the series.

Its the series` music that gives Space Patrol much of its atmosphere. Not that one can actually describe any of the pulsating rhythmical blips that make up the soundtrack as `music` in the strictest sense. Another key atmospheric ingredient is the amount of darkness in the series. Planet sets, especially the jungles of Jupiter and Uranus, are dramatically lit; even the control room at Space Headquarters has an almost film noir quality that`s further enhanced by the exterior scenes, where the sky appear permanently threatening and overcast.

The galasphere is the featured vehicle of Space Patrol, its crew comprising men from Earth, Mars and Venus, who patrol the limits of the known Solar System on behalf of the United Galactic Organisation, a peacekeeping force with a remit similar to that of Star Trek`s Federation.

Earthman Larry Dart is the ship`s captain, and a radical departure from the cleancut square-jawed appearance of almost every other Outer Space her0, before or since, looking, with his Vandyke beard and bobbed hair, not unlike an interplanetary Richard the Lionheart.

Dart`s loyal crewmembers are Husky and Slim, the former being a gravel-voiced Martian, and another trendsetter in the hair styling department, sporting a punk look about thirteen years too early. Husky`s chief characteristics are his obsession with food - Martian sausage preferably - and his habit of mixing up his words, coming out with expressions like `ridicule` or `fantasticacious`.  He can`t quite get to grips with idiomatic expressions, either. When a dangerous situation has been narrowly averted, Husky will invariably remark `that was a close hair-cut`.

Elfin Slim is typical of all the members of the Venusian race, in that he`s tiny, has three fingers and a pointy head, and unlike Husky is utterly fastidious in his spoken English. Slim`s dialogue wouldn`t sound out of place coming from Mr Spock. `My apprehension is considerable, Captain`, is a typical Slim remark.

Husky excepted, the most interesting characters in Space Patrol are to be found back on Earth, where we encounter the fraught relationship between UGO supremo Colonel Raeburn and the wayward genius that is Professor Haggerty.

Colonel Raeburn is probably not well remembered for his role in the series. But in the course of the 39 episodes, we learn more about him than any other character. Of course, he epitomises the typical no-nonsense, tough talking boss, but on the other hand, he`s not above cracking cruel jokes, at the expense of Dart and his men, and he practically bristles in the presence of the temperamental haggery. Raeburn and haggerty spend half the time male bonding, going on shooting expeditions or entertaining each other to lunch, and the rest of the time trading snide insults ! Raeburn really only cares about one thing; the plants in his window box. The efficient running of Space Patrol is largely down to Raeburn`s Venusian secretary Marla (who turns out to be a dead ringer for Noel Gallagher`s wife). Marla, who is fond of reminding us that a Venusian `has the facility never to forget`, gets things sorted for the Colonel without him having to ask. Telecall to the Martian President ? He`s waiting on screen. Orders for Captain Dart ? Already issued. This leads to some stock patter between the pair of them along the lines of :

Raeburn : You think of everything, marla
Marla : On venus, there is no such thing as a dumb blonde !

Perhaps the real star of Space patrol is the eccentric Professor Haggerty; or to give him his full moniker; Aloysius O`Brian O`Rourke Haggerty. Straight out of Father Ted (he actually looks just like accident-prone Father Larry Duff), Haggerty comes complete with mellow brogue courtesy of comedy actor Ronnie Stevens. He`s a sort of freelance boffin whose expertise is frequently called upon by the Space patrol crew to sort out every conceivable problem from wayward asteroids to shrinking spacemen.
 
 

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Series One

The Swamps of Jupiter

Dan and his crew are sent to investigate the loss of contact with a scientific base on Jupiter. With Galasphere 347 in decontamination, Dart is assigned a stnadby ship, Galasphere 024.  On Jupiter, Dart and Husky stumble upon a couple of Martian fur trappers who are killing the native Loomi creatures, furry animals who live in the swamps. A friendly Jovian Joe, informs them that the Martians have also killed the members of the scientific team. When the trappers return, they try to bargain with Dart, offering to cut him in on the proceeds from the sale of the skins. When Dart refuses, the Martians try to fight their way out ..
The Wandering Asteroid

An asteroid deflected from its orbit by a cometary collision heads straight for the Martian capital, Wotan. The only way to stop the asteroid is by disintegration. Dart and his crew accept the dangerous mission, knowing that time is against them.  Towing a cargo of high explosive, the galasphere sets course for the asteroid. Working against the clock, the Galasphere crew plant explosive charges around the asteroid, set to detonate by an automatic timer, but the timer fails to activate ...

The Dark Planet

Professor Haggerty and his daughter Cassiopeia are baffled by a plant sample from Uranus which seems to keep moving around on its own accord. When Haggerty runs tests on the `leek` he discovers that is can feel pain and `talk` by means of ultrasonic sound waves.  Raeburn wonders if larger versions of the plant may exist on Uranus, where a 20-strong survey team has recently been lost. Dart and his crew are sent to find out, and Slim discovers some adult specimens of the `leek`, which turn out to be far from friendly ...

The Slaves of Neptune

While Professor Haggerty attempts to teach Husky`s new pet Gabbler English, the Galasphere crew are sent to solve the mystery of a spaceship carrying colonists to Pluto which has disappeared near Neptune. Dart and his crew soon locate the ship, without realizing that they are about to fall under the hypnotic influence of the Neptunian Overlord Tyro, who is using his powers to trap Earth colonists as his slaves. Discovering that the Galasphere`s magnetic field shields them from the influence, Dart flies alongside the colonists ship, enclosing it in themagnetic field, but the magnetic field cuts out radio contact, and the colonists try to outrun the Galasphere....

The Shrinking Spaceman

The Galasphere crew are sent to repair the sonar beam transmitter on asteroid pallas, where Husky discover an unusual rock. When he cuts his hand on it, he quickly succumbs to a mysterious shrinking disease. Keeping him in suspended animation the effects of the disease can be temporarily halted, but Professor Haggerty is unable to come up with a cure.  With a new martian crewmember aboard, dart sets off on a routine mission to Jupiter, where he and Slim learn of the strange curative properties of the Loomi Pebble ...

The Robot Revolution

An undersea eruption at an Atlantic Sea Farm damages the robot workers. Dart takes a damaged robot`s head to Haggerty, who discovers that the part of the robot brain that obeys human instructions has been eaten away; and that all 5,000 robots at the Atlantic Farm are affected. The robots at the Atlantic Farm are affected. The robot workers march on Space Headquarters, seizing control, with every key position in the robots hands, Raeburn orders dart to take off. From Earth orbit, Dart watches helplessly....

The Clouds of Death

The afternoon sky suddenly grows dark - storm clouds are unknown on 22nd Century Earth. Haggerty shows that the cause is a cloud in Space, composed of millions of metallic particles. Raeburn receives a communication from the Neptunian leader Tyro who threatens to freeze Earth by blocking the suns rays, unless Raeburn sends slaves to work for them. As the temperature falls at Space Headquarters, Dart and his crew are sent to collect a sample of the strange cloud ...

The Rings of Saturn

Observing saturn, the Galsphere crew notice a meteor. When the meteor shadows the Galsphere, it becomes apparent that its a spacecraft from Saturn. Dart makes contact and brings a tape of saturnian speech back to Earth for decoding. When radio communication is established , the Saturnians will not speak to Raeburn and refuse to let any Earth people set foot on their planet. Dart has offered the Saturnians by picking the leaves of their sacred tree. Raeburn sends him to try to restore relations; but the Galsphere must pass through the planets rings, an ordeal which no other ship has survived ...

Volcanoes of Venus

Raeburns secretary, marla, is worried about events on her home planet, where a mysterious virus is paralyzing whole areas of the population. Raeburn contacts Venus and learns of a plot by Slim`s evil uncle Gallia, who intends to seize power with a powder that causes temporary paralysis.  Gallis has planted explosives inside one of the dormant Volcanoes surrounding the Venusian capital, Cresta, which will release clouds of the paralyzing powder. Slim agrees to go to Venus to investigate, but shortly after his arrival, contacts Space Headquarters to announce that he has changed allegiance and will assist his uncle  ...

Mystery on the Moon

A building near Space headquarters collapse, and buildings elsewhere on earth are also destroyed. The source of the attacks is the Moon, where the criminal Berridge is threatening to destroy Space Headquarters with a laser unless Raeburn sends him a freighter full of gold. Dart is sent to Moon Station One to investigate, where Major Valla tells him about the new prospector Sam Masden, Investigating, Dart discovers that the crater is artificial ...

The Miracle Tree of Saturn

A fungus is destroying crops at an alarming rate, even on the underwater farms. By chance, Professor Haggerty discovers that it is destroyed by the leaves from an ornamental plant on Raeburn`s desk, a cutting from the Saturnians` sacred tree. Raeburn arranges for supplies of the special leaves to be collected by Galasphere 347, unaware that his conversation has been overheard by an unscrupulous technician, who sees a way of making himself a fortune...#

The Forgers

Raeburn is baffled by a sudden influx of forged notes. meanwhile, dart and Slim are attempting to instill some culture into Husky at an art exhibition. Husky is baffled by a recent painting of the Dictum Forest on Mars which shows a large gap in the normally dense foliage. Concerned that a disease may be killing the vegetation. Dart investigates. In the Dictum Forest, the Gabbler brings back a bagful of banknotes from the nest of one of the savage insect creatures, the Glooks. It looks as though Dart and Husky might have stumbled across the source of the forged currency ....

The Planet of Thought

Tyro, the Neptunian leader, has come to Earth with a view to joining the UGO, but is sidetracked when he catches a sight of Marla. Raeburn is furious when Tyro tries to use his hypnotic power on Marla; but when the Neptunian leaves it seems as though Marla has gone with him. Has she gone of her own free will or is she a slave of Tyro ? And how can Raeburn make her change her mind when she`s under the neptunian`s spell ? Dart pays a visit to neptune, where he discovers that Marla has become Tyro`s princess ...

The Fires of Mercury

Professor haggerty`s device for translating the language of ants unexpectedly also converts heat waves into radio waves. Marla realizes that the invention might provide a way of transmitting warmth from Mercury to the colony on Pluto, where the freezing conditions are worsening as the planet nears the point in its orbit farthest from the Sun. Dart and his crew are sent to set up a transmitting beacon on Mercury ....

The Glowing Eggs of Titan

Husky`s discovery of a luminous egg on the Saturnian moon of Titan could prove to be the solution to the Martian energy crisis. `Egg light` could be used to light the martians `homes`; if sufficient luminous eggs can be collected. Dart and his crew are sent on an egg-gathering mission, but are unable to locate any more. Investigating the source of a mysterious noise. Slim falls and damages his air line. As he waits to be rescued, he again hears the strange humming noise, which leads him to the weird creatures who are laying the eggs ...

The Planet of Light

Galasphere 347 IS approached by an unusual spaceship. Two brightly-lit objects leave the ship and head for the galasphere. They are Luminas, strange crystalline beings from the planet Lumen. They travel in special containers as oxygen is deadly to them. The Luminas offer Dart and Slim the chance to visit their planet, but on Lumen Dart`s oxygen cylinder is pierced. The planet`s only oxygen comes from the `blister plants` in the `cave of death`. Dart and Slim must find the plants before dawn, or risk being boiled alive in the heat of the sun ....

Time Stands Still

Stolen art treasures are being transported into Space. Raeburn suspects that Venusian millionaire Tara is behind the thefts, but his palace on the Jovian satellite Callistro is too well guarded .... Professor Haggerty has the answer; a watch which speeds up the wearer`s reaction 60 times. dart will be able to sneak into Tara`s palace, collect the stolen treasure, and transport them back to the Galasphere without being seen ... [Note : This episode is sometimes referred to as `Time Watch`, a text story which appears in the storybook Space Patrol and the Secret Weapon, but which is closer in content to the episode Sands of Death.]

Husky Becomes Invisible

Professor Zeffer discovers that his new star-measuring apparatus can make objects disappear. When dart is sent to Mars to find the square eggs of the Ava bird, needed to help find a cure for a condition known as `the floats`, he calls on the Professor, and Husky accidentally makes himself invisible. It turns out to be serendipity, when Dart discovers that the Ava is far more ferocious than he imagined .... [Note : Some sources list `the Invisible Martian` as an alternate title. Prints sourced from both Australia and Canada both have the same on-screen title, as above]

The Walking Lake of Jupiter

Scientists Dr Brown and Dr Smith announce that the water from a Jovian lake has the power to cause inanimate objects to move as though with a life of their own. Dart arrives to witness this and ends up chasing after the unfortunate Dr Brown, whose spacesuit becomes energized by the Jovian water and sets off for the swamps, with the Doctor still inside it ! The infected suit is taken back to Earth for analysis, but the situation on Jupiter worsens when the water samples start to expand, causing a whole area of the planet to begin to shake.......

The New Planet

Galasphere 347 goes out of control and plunges into Deep Space. Dart and the crew are in the freezer compartment, but are roused when a comet collides with the ship. Dart realizes what has happened, but then an unknown planet appears, beyond the orbit of Pluto. Dart investigates, and touches down in the middle of a dense forest. Dart and Slim leave the ship and are marveling at the enormous size of the vegetation when one of the planets giant inhabitants arrives, and he speaks English ...

The Human Fish

The Tula Fish in the Venusian Magda Ocean are evolving at an extraordinary rate and attack fishermen. The President asks for help, and Raeburn sends the Galasphere crew. The Galasphere submerges and begins the search for the almost human fish, but Dart discovers an unexpected barrier, caused by building material that is routinely dumped in the area. Could there be a connection with the Tula`s accelerated evolution?

The Invisible Invasion

Meanwhile on Uranus, the weird plant creatures, the Duos, are planning to seize power on Earth by taking over the minds of everyone at Space Headquarters, clearing the way for a full-scale invasion, authorizes by none other than Raeburn. Concealing their spaceship in the sea, the Duos begin their invasion attempt and gradually the personnel at Space headquarters succumb to their influence. Only one person is unaffected, Professor Haggerty, who is installed beneath his electronic hair-restorer ....

The Talking Bell

On a hunting trip, Raeburn and Haggerty come across a soft and bell-shaped object, with a single extendable leg. They take it to Space Headquarters and are astonished when the creature speaks to them in perfect English. It is a visitor from another soar system; but Raeburn has accidentally shot down his Space vehicle with his 12-bore ! Dart is assigned the mission of transporting `Mr Bell` back to his mother ship in orbit around Neptune, but a stopover at Jupiter almost leads to disaster when Dart becomes trapped in a cave. Only Mr Bell`s miraculous healing powers can save him .....

The Buried Spaceship

The President of Mars asks Raeburn to find a solution to his planet`s long-term drought. Marla has the idea of moving water through Space as ice, which is in plentiful supply on Pluto. Raeburn contacts the miners on Pluto and puts `Operation Ice Cube` into action. The crew of Galasphere 347 travel to Pluto to assist in the operation, and then a fault develops in the Galasphere`s Meson Power Unit. Landing for repairs, Dart accidentally selects a site where mining operations have just begun; and the Galasphere slides into an icy crevasse ....

Explosion on the Sun

An explosion on the surface of the Sun causes a temperature rise on Earth and Venus. Shortly afterwards, the Venusian President is contacted by Dr Duncan, who has taken control of a scientific bas eon Ganymede and created the solar explosion by firing a freighter of beryllium into the Sun. He threatens to release further charges unless Earth and venus send weapons and robots to Ganymede. Raeburn refuses, but Duncan hijacks a robot freighter convoy carrying beryllium. Raeburn sends Dart to Ganymede, apparently to negotiate with Duncan, but covertly to look for a way of undermining his operation.

Message from a Star

Singals from star Alpha Centauri suggest intelligent life; but it would take a Galasphere 3,000 years to cross the immense distance. Dart and his crew are unexpectedly given the chance to make the journey at faster than light speed when Yria, a being from the planet Delta in the Alpha Centauri system, teleports himself to Earth and offers to fit a special power unit to the Galasphere. But Haggerty warns that the Galasphere might not survive the trip ....
 
 

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Series Two

The Unknown Asteriod

Space pirates are causing headaches, as well as dwindling supplies of Plutonite, the material from which Galaspheres are constructed. The problem appears to be solved when a new asteroid made entirely of Plutonite s discovered. Raeburn plans to secure the asteroid and bring it into Earth orbit, but the asteroid has vanished ! Raeburn learns that Miga, a wealthy Venusian, has taken possession of the asteroid and will sell it. Raeburn has to agree to the asking price and sends Dart to complete the transaction. In the Miga`a palace, however, Dart uncovers evidence connecting Miga with the pirate attacks...

The Evil Eye of Venus

Professor Borra of Venus has invented a mechanical eye which will destroy any ship constructed of metal not from Earth, Mars or Venus. The demonstration is impressive, but what will happen when a Galasphere, constructed from metal mined on Pluto, comes within range ? Galasphere 347 is prepared to land, but Raeburn manages to alert Dart and the situation is averted. Borra goes to alter the Mechanical Eye`s program, but his hoverjet blows up. The Eye has malfunctioned and is attacking every type of metal. The only way of destroying it is with an ultrasonic gun, but can Dart get close ?

Secret Formula

Exploring the Silver Forest of Venus, Husky becomes trapped in the web of a Spirigum Spider. Haggerty manages to free him, and discovers that the fragments of the web act as a truth drug. Raeburn, meanwhile, is offered the formula for Kinotine, which has the ability to store heat indefinitely. Kinotine`s investor, Dr Mason, will donate the formula, but when a call is received from Kolig, head of Mars`s largest chemical plant, offering the Kinotine formula for sale. Raeburn suspects foul play. Dart is sent to deal with Kolig, and learns of the `accidental` death of Dr Mason ....

The Telepathic Robot

Haggerty presents Raeburn with `Busy Lizzie`, a robot who responds to thoughts, Dart wants to test the range of the robot`s telepathic power, and takes it in the Galasphere, proving that in Space it can still receive Raeburn`s thoughts. Dart is sent to investigate a new planet near the sun; but it is the `holiday home` of the Neptunians, and the Galasphere crew succumb to their hypnotic influence. Only Busy Lizzie is unaffected, but Raeburn has a virus and cannot send any orders ...

Deadly Whirlwind

To halt a virus destroying Martian vegetation, Dart is sent with a spray which is deadly to all life forms except those native to Mars. When the spray comes into contact with a whirlwind, the chemical is rushed up into Space. Meanwhile, Tyro is using an artificial planet to engineer a collision between Earth, Mars and Venus. Unless his demand for slaves is met, the three worlds will collide in six months, but Earth will be dead even sooner, for the deadly chemical spray is on a collision course ..

The Jitter Waves

Raeburn thinks Haggerty is joking when he tells him about the strange juttering that`s shaken his house, but the Colonel soon learns that the jittering is affecting the entire city, and that other locations on Earth are also suffering. Searching for the source, the Galasphere travels underwater to Jim Barrett`s Atlantic Farm, where the robot workers are affected. A chance remark leads Haggerty to the conclusion that the jittering is caused by radio waves, which he traces back to Uranus, where the Duos are once again planning an invasion ...

Sands of Death

The President of Mars informed Raeburn of a plot by opposition leader Tyrig, why is planning to seize power using a nerve gas. When word reaches Raeburn that Tyrig and his men are establishing a base on the martian moon Phobos, Dart is sent to investigate. Tyrig releases a small quantity of gas over the Martian capital and Raeburn tries to warn Dart not to land, but is too late. Dart and his men are captured by Tyrig, who wants to use the Galasphere to spread the gas. Dart refuses to co-operate, and the crew are placed in a dungeon, which slowly fills with sand....

The Hairy Men of Mars

The Galasphere`s Meson unit malfunctions and lands in the unexplored Martian Tuhera jungle. Dart and Husky leave to fix the trouble. When Husky fails to return, Dart follows and is captured by a giant primitive man. Husky speaks with the giant in ancient Martian, and the two spacemen are set free, taking some fruit which the giants eat to make their hair grow. Dart gives the fruit to Haggery, who is still trying to grow a full head of hair. The team are soon faced with a bizarre dilemma, how to stop Haggerty`s fast-growing hair from getting any longer .....

The Grass of Saturn

A new leader has assumed power on Saturn, Riga has succeeded his brother Simba, following his death. Under cover of a diplomatic mission Dart tries to find out what happened. While Dart is en route, Riga sends rockets to Earth with seeds of Saurnian grass, which absorbs oxygen and emits carbon oxide. On Earth the seeds are mistaken for a dust storm. As the grass grows, the staff at Space Headquarters begin to feel its effects; everyone is drowsy. When Haggerty realizes that Venusians are suffering more than Earth people, he discovers that the planet is rapidly losing its oxygen ....

Forcefield X

With the Earth in the grip of a heatwave, Galasphere 347 searches for an answer. Slim collects some unusual particles, and remains in orbit to carry out further investigations. The particles have strong electromagnetic properties; if a belt of such particles were thrown around the Earth it would draw away the atmosphere, letting in more energy from the Sun. Only Neptunians can create such a force field. The field begins to disrupt the electricity supply, causing a complete blackout. Without power, the Galasphere cannot be launched, and Slim is still in orbit. Dart is forced to make a rescue flight in an antiquated solid fuel rocket .

Destruction by Sound

Haggerty`s daughter, Cassie, tests Professor Zeffer`s matter transmitter, and emerges talking backwards. On the Moon, Dart encounters a geologist using a powerful ultrasonic gun to detect minerals. With no cure in sight for Cassie, Dart wonders if the ultrasonic gun might help.  Meanwhile, Raeburn is contacted by Yria from Alpha Centauri, who is seeking help from Space Patrol in destroying an evil computer super-brain, which is attempting to take over the planet Delta. No one can get close enough to attack, but Dart realizes that the ultrasonic gun could immobilize it. Converted for faster than light travel, the Galasphere sets out for Alpha Centauri ...

The Shrinking Gas of Jupiter

On a mission to Jupiter, Slim disappears in the swamps. Raeburn orders Dart and Husky to leave, but there is trouble with the Galasphere`s primary drive, giving Dart an excuse to land and resume the search for Slim. Setting out on foot, Dart falls into a cave, alongside Slim, who has shrunk to dwarf-like proportions. Slim guesses that a patch of mist at the cave entrance is responsible for his condition, and is proved right when Dart also starts to shrink. Back on Earth, Raeburn is astonished when a diminutive Dart appears ...

The Water Bomb

The Galasphere is sent on a rain-making mission to Mars with a cargo of oxygen and hydrogen. Unfortunately, hydrogen is exactly what escaped criminal Marog requires to complete the bomb he is constructing in his hideout on Phobos. Dart responds to a distress call, apparently from a scientific base on Phobos. As soon as the galasphere touches down the crew are taken prisoner by Marog`s men. With his bomb completed and aimed at the Martian capital, Marog demands a pardon. The President threatens to destroy Phobos, and informs Raeburn of his intentions. Raeburn asks him to wait, but Marog`s deadline is drawing near and the attack is launched.