Space Precinct episode 23: “Deathwatch, Part I”

It’s Space Precinct’s final two parter, so are they going to go out in a blaze of WTF characterisation, overly ambitious plotting and exciting model work? Indeed they are.

An asteroid crashes onto a farm in what appears, from the characters’ outrageous accents, to be somewhere in the Southern US (but is apparently not too far from Demeter City). The farmer is possessed by the asteroid, murders a farmhand and turns up in Demeter City under a different name, purchasing a dilapidated block of flats and pressuring the tenants into selling up. Brogan and Haldane become involved when he hires thugs to start enforcing the message and one of the tenants, a fierce old lady, calls the police. Meanwhile Castle and Took are investigating the disappearance of the farmhand, only to find the farm under military guard. There’s also a sinister pair of military intelligence types (OR ARE THEY?!) blocking Brogan and Haldane’s investigation of the slumlord. The episode ends with the slumlord burning down the building and getting killed, the sinister military types acquiring the asteroid, and one of them getting possessed by it. Freeze frame, roll credits.

The story seems to be trying to turn Haldane into a more likeable character, having him make friends with the old lady and also finally admit to Castle that he fancies her. On the other hand Podly is off into sheer irrational territory, telling Brogan and Haldane to drop their investigation and implying the old lady’s making it up, despite all the evidence to the contrary, and likewise dismissing Took and Castle’s missing persons case as not police business (maybe it’ll turn out he’s being pressured too, but IDK, that sort of character inconsistency is normal for Space Precinct). We also learn that Romek lives with his mother.

The only woman in Demeter City that Haldane doesn’t sexually harass?

While the model work is good as always, there’s some really quite over-the-top violence in the scenes with the thugs intimidating the tenants. Piers Haggard is back behind the camera and he’s good with that sort of thing, so maybe that’s why. One of the tenants is surnamed Luton, which may or may not be an Anderson productions in-joke.

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Fiona Moore

Academic, anthropologist and SF writer, living, teaching and working in a global city.

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