COLONY IN SPACE
I was still on the staff as a PA when Barry gave me the opportunity to direct this 6 part story after seeing my work on a few episodes of Z Cars, Newcomers & The Doctors - a man of great imagination and trust! To say I was scared - 'creatively challenged' - is an understatement.
I feel I failed to utilize properly the wonderful set designed by Tim Gleeson and the robot mining machine was not perhaps the most frightening of monsters. What appears on the screen is perhaps only 5% of the intended footage. It looked like an old tank, it moved like an old tank, it attacked like an old tank and was about as intimidating as an old tank - it was an old tank. By the skill of editing and leaving most of it on the cutting room floor it is just about OK.
The beautiful dome buildings were made out of quadrants and in advance of their time and I wish I had made better use of them - I quite like the microwave oven type thing I thought up - 2 colonists are chatting away preparing a meal - they put a couple of pills on a plate - put it in the oven and out comes a roast and 2 veg - well that was the intention and long before microwaves were ever invented. I liked the wrist watch with the moving image on it on the Masters (Roger Delgado) wrist - like modern mobile phones except that technology was si fi in those days...
Looking back at COLONY IN SPACE I feel it had lots of good ideas but I had failed to capitalize by integrating good visual images with the script. I had tried to impose quite ambitious ideas rather than mould them into the story.