Dawn of the Gods

Written by:
James Follett
Directed by: Desmond McCarthy
Episode Length: 50'55
Original UK Transmission Date: 28/1/1980
Original UK Ratings: 8.9m
Original UK Chart Position: 39

DVD Availability: Try sendit.com
DVD Availability: Not yet released - check back later for pre-order details

Starring: Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), Steven Pacey (Tarrant), Josette Simon (Dayna) and Peter Tuddenham (Orac/Zen).

Guest-Starring: Sam Dastor (The Caliph), Terry Scully (Groff) and Marcus Powell (The Thaarn).

Crew: Roselyn Parker (Production Assistant), Sheelagh Rees (Production Unit Manager), Hermione Stewart (Director's Assistant), Antony Root (Assistant Floor Manager), Peter Chapman (Film Cameraman), Ian Sansom (Film Recordist), Sheila S. Tomlinson (Film Editor), Steve Drewett/Jim Francis (Visual Effects Designers), A.J. Mitchell (Electronic Effects), Doug Burd (Graphic Designer), Peter Valentine (Technical Manager), Bob Baxter (Senior Cameraman), Nigel Finnis (Vision Mixer), Brian Clemett (Studio Lighting), Malcolm Johnson (Studio Sound), Elizabeth Parker (Special Sound), Dee Robson (Costume Designer), Sheelagh J. Wells (Make-Up Artist), Dudley Simpson (Music), Terry Nation (Series Deviser), Chris Boucher (Script Editor), Ray London/Gerry Scott (Designers) and David Maloney (Producer).

Story: Cally tells of an Auron myth where seven gods discovered their planet and left behind the first man and woman. They returned a million years later, and, pleased with their progress, bestowed on them great gifts, such as food, peace and the promise of telepathy. However, one of the Gods, Thaarn, was angry as he feared giving the Aurons too many powers and so he killed another of the Gods. Furious, the five remaining Gods exiled Thaarn beyond the furthest reaches of space. Though only a fairy story, Avon speculates that the "Gods" could have returned unaged a million years later using time travel technology.
It's while travelling in the region that the Liberator is pulled through a black hole in sector twelve and onto the artificial planet of Krandor, Thaarn's lair. There he attempts to control Cally, though she resists him and destroys his base. Both Thaarn and the Liberator crew escape, with the crew fearing they have made another enemy. Cally notes that she should have killed the Thaarn while she had the chance, and tells Vila that she never got to see him, even though she clearly did.

The Liberator: The Liberator's shell is made up of 1000 cubic cobars of Herculanium alloy, the strongest known material in the universe. Zen also demonstrates a defence mechanism for the first time and only since Space Fall. Orac informs Zen that verbal discussion between them is unnecessary and "in future, we will communicate by direct sensory link."

Game: The crew is playing a game at the start of the episode, which seems to be some kind of galactic Monopoly. What we do learn about it is that it costs 5000 credits per night in the Space City hotel, and Avon has some battle fleets on the board. We also discover rule ten: "A player may miss two turns while on a penal colony planet. On his third turn he must pay a 10,000 credit fine and leave the colony."

Tarrant: Tarrant and Dayna are both bitchy to Cally, while Tarrant is clashing with everyone. His arrogance shows through as he gives orders to the entire crew, while he is clearly intimidated by Avon's superior intellect (though he does claim Dynamic Flux Mathematics was one of his best subjects at the Federation Space Academy). After Avon tries to escape the black hole alone, Tarrant tells him "one day Avon I may have to kill you." Avon smirks and responds with "It has been tried."

"It will boil your brains in your skull."

When I first launched this website it included a review of Dawn of the Gods that, even for a fairly flippant site like this, was a bit TOO childish. Fourteen years on (and where does the time go?) I found that the review embarrassed me a little, as it tried a bit too hard to be funny. (You may think this applies to all of them, in which case, I won't argue with you).
As a result I've mothballed the original review, which was just full of pretty juvenile invective, but keep the basic point it made, which was that the episode is so bad that "I don't even think it deserves a review to be honest with you."