Episode Eight :
Other People's Secrets
Written by:
John Collee
Directed by: Christopher Baker
Episode Length: 51'47m
Originally Broadcast: 24th Aug 1987, 20:35
Ratings: 1.8m

David Calder (Nathan Spring), Erick Ray Evans (David Theroux), Trevor Cooper (Colin Devis), Linda Newton (Pal Kenzy), Jonathan Adams (Alexander Krivenko) and Sayo Inaba (Anna Shoun).

Geoffrey Bayldon (Ernest Wolffhart), Maggie Ollerenshaw (Dr. Angela Parr), Barrie Rutter (Hooper) and Leigh Funnell (Beverley Anderson).

Technical Personnel:
Chris Boucher (Series Deviser); Ian R. Wallace (Production Associate); Gary Downie (Production Manager); Karen Jones (Production Assistant); Penny Norman (Assistant Floor Manager); Robin Lobb (Video Effects Supervisor); Mike Kelt/Malcolm James (Visual Effects Designers); Reg Poulter (Technical Co Ordinator); Roger Goss (Studio Camera Operator); Charles McGhie (Graphic Design); Chris Ferriday (Properties Buyer); Dennis Collett (Videotape Editor); Julie Mann (Vision Mixer); Peter Catlett (Studio Lighting/Director); Chick Anthony (Studio Sound); Lynda Woodfield (Costume Designer); Jill Hagger (Make-Up Designer); Justin Hayward (Theme Composer/Theme Sung By); Justin Hayward/Toni Visconti (Incidental Music); Joanna Willett (Script Editor); Dick Coles (Designer) and Evgeny Gridneff (Producer).

Character Development:
Nathan's father stole half of Recondite's products off the drawing board and sold them to other companies, causing Recondite to crash. It's heavily implied that Nathan was the investigating officer. Young and naive, it took him a year to realise it was his own father sabotaging the company. (Although Nathan being the officer is almost blatant, as it's not directly confirmed it cannot be listed here as a "fact"). Nathan has also given Colin a communications device that alerts Colin when he is required (to the tune of "Waltzing Matilda"!)
Colin doesn't play chess, hasn't been to Naples, and was married to Dr. Angela Parr for a period of three years, a decade ago. Colin was also in the army before joining the police force.
Kenzy "met a few" psychiatrists when she was younger.
Krivenko is an old friend of Ernest Wolffhart, and drinks tea, never coffee.

Future lives:
The human race has yet to leave the Solar System.
Personal computers have a psychotherapy program, while Moonbase has a firing range.
Doctor Angela Parr, the ex-wife of Colin Devis, is a psychiatrist doing a project on space psychology.
Ernest Wolffhart is a visiting safety officer, who has a late wife, Hannah. He has passed the retirement age by a year, but keeps on working.
When Moonbase is depressurised, Krivenko talks of a Coral Sea Disaster that killed five people, "three of them over sixty".
Exit 14 is located in the Star Cops area of Moonbase.

The Crimes:
Moonbase is the suspected victim of a saboteur. When the safety officer and a visiting psychiatrist make unexpected visits, everything around the Star Cops seems to go wrong. This culminates in an explosion in an airlock, causing Moonbase to be decompressed...

The Solutions:
Wolffhart, the embittered, disillusioned safety officer, was behind the sabotage...

Nathan and David's Movie-Buff Challenge:
When David is begrudgingly assigned to work with Hooper, he quotes the "You do know how to whistle, don't you?" line from the 1944 film To Have and Have Not. Nathan gives an incorrect rejoinder by saying "You just put your lips together and you blow, sweetheart" in the style of Humphrey Bogart's Harry Morgan. "She says it", corrects David, referring to Lauren Bacall's 'Slim'. "Yes," replies Nathan, "you're right, so she did."

Things To Look Out For:
Nathan Cooke, a visitor to the site, suggested I flag up the seemingly contradictory continuity involved in this episode. Working from the original character brief that had Nathan as a young cop, he heavily implies here that he was the policeman who couldn't work out that his father was stealing blueprints from Recondite. However, Nathan's age was greatly upped upon David Calder's casting, but it seems the script-editor didn't take account of that. If Recondite went under in 2025, then that would have made it just two years previously... unless they just held on for years before finally folding. Yet such a thing wouldn't explain why Nathan has the highly advanced prototype Box, unless it was just before the company went under. To add to all this inter-series confusion, we have Nathan's comment in An Instinct For Murder that he could never find a polite way of asking his father how he got Box. Okay, he probably didn't want to spill his guts to Theroux, but he seems so earnest when he says it...

In addition to the previous episode which alludes to there being at least sixty exit points on Moonbase, this one has Theroux at exit 83... and the coffee machine in the public canteen is voice activated.

Viewpoint 2017:

"Fancy a game of hide the sausage?"

In sheer production terms then the Christopher Baker episodes are nowhere near the equal of the four directed by Graeme Harper, but here it hardly seems to matter. This is the comedy episode of Star Cops, making the most of the natural chemistry between the leads, and containing a pace and engagement that many other episodes lack.

John Collee gave Devis his crassest but most memorable lines, including this episode's "Your personal computer has a psychotherapy program." "Yeah... but it doesn't have tits." It's also always nice to see Geoffrey Bayldon in a guest role, who sadly died in May this year, aged 93.

Average Rating:

At 3.8, Other People's Secrets has the highest average rating for any episode on this site, only once (in a harsh series of reviews in 2008) falling below 4 out of 5.