The Boy from Space (1971) - Episode 9: Captured!

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This page is about the original, black-and-white version of The Boy from Space broadcast in the early 1970s. No recordings of this version are believed to exist, and the guide below is based on the original camera script, plus pamphlets and other surviving records.

There is a separate page about the revised 1980s version of this episode, which is available on DVD, and notes below explaining the differences.

Studio recording: Friday 12 November 1971, 12:00am in studio TC5 First broadcast: Tuesday 23 November 1971, 10:26am on BBC1 Last broadcast: Friday 23 November 1973, 10:00am on BBC1 BBC Genome listing: 2943884c93... BBC programme number: ESB1018H

Story Part 1

Tom, Dan and Helen look around the lake, not knowing that they are being observed from inside the space-ship.

They spot a 'look-out' platform in the trees with a camera mounted. Tom approaches it while the children hide.

The thin man appears on the 'look-out'

The thin space-man appears with his gun, makes Tom get on the platform with him and then into the space-ship meteorite room where Tom joins the other prisoners and learns what is happening from Mr Bunting.

Tom explains that they can communicate with the space-men using a mirror.

Teaching Middle

I haven't read the scripts to episodes 9 or 10 (as I ran out of time at the Written Archives).

According to the 1972 teacher's notes - which are reliable about the content of other episodes where I have seen the scripts - the phonics content of this episode included magic e words with a- such as 'lake,' 'space' and 'made', and revision of both -ight word families and th- words, so it is likely there were repeats of the animated sequences from episodes 2 and 8 respectively.

Charles likely has a model periscope to show us, made out of old cartons and handbag mirrors, and uses it to look at and read words from this chapter.

A periscope described in the teachers' notes.

Story Part 2

Dan and Helen try to run away for help but the thin space-man spots them on his monitor.

The children split up and Dan runs into the invisible wall in the wood. He tries to push his way through but the man captures him at gun-point.

Dan is captured.

Helen uses a mirror to reflect light into the thin space-man's eyes, allowing Dan to run away.

Dan uses the look-out platform to get into the space-ship. Outside the thin space-man catches Helen.

Differences from the 1980 programme

The revised (1972 & 1973) version of the pupil's pamphlet reveals that the mid-episode break in this episode falls in exactly the same place in the story in both 1971 and 1980 versions of the episode. The cliffhanger is Tom reaching for a mirror and telling Mr Bunting "you're going to learn to read!"

The original (1971) version of the pupil's pamphlet places the three space-ship symbols indicating a mid-episode break a little later, as Dan and Helen run away and the thin space-man sets off after them, so it seems that the decision to place the cliffhanger at the end of the space-ship scene was made during production and after those first 1971 pamphlets had been finalised.

The timings of the film story in this episode:

1971 version 1980 version
Story Part 1 ? 3:53
Story Part 2 ? 3:21
Total Approx 8:50 7:14

Source: 1971 PasB which shows 331 feet of sound film; 1980 episode recordings

The 1971 film story is about 1:36 longer than the surviving 1980 version.

The Boy from Space (1971)HierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious episode: 8: The LakeNext episode: 10: In the Space-shipHierarchyNext.gif

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