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Dorzak Production Notes

'SPACE 1999' (Series 2)

Episode: 'Dorzak'


There are two big surprises in store for Catherine Schell in 'DORZAK', the latest episode in Gerry Anderson's 'SPACE 1999'. First of all she is shot down on sight by Jill Townsend, a visitor from another planet, and later meets another survivor from her own planet, Psychon, when she thought all save herself to be dead.

As Sahala, Jill Townsend has a very good reason for shooting Maya. It seems that not long previously a Psychon spaceship landed on her planet, Norvah, full of survivors from the destroyed planet one of whom, Dorzak, incited the peaceful Norvahns to violence. Meeting Maya on Moonbase Alpha, she had no doubt about what she had to do, especially as she was carrying Dorzak to exile for his crimes against her people.

Regular viewers of 'SPACE 1999' will know that the relationship between Maya and Security Officer Tony Verdeschi (played by Tony Anholt) has boon developing in a discreetly romantic way. So it will come as no surprise to them that Verdeschi is more than a little upset by Sahala's unfriendly action! On the other hand, Eagle Pilot Alan Carter (Nick Tate) is very taken with the beautiful newcomer, quick though she may be on the draw. He persuades her to make Maya recover and then with the help of Dr Helena Russell (Barbara Bain) they set about finding out just what Dorzak is up to.

Dorzak himself (played by Lee Montague) pleads innocent to all the charges Sahala lays against him and, not surprisingly, he finds an ally in Maya. She knows of him as a philosopher, a man of peace, incapable of setting people against each other. And the crunch comes when, in order to find the truth, Maya has to change use her extraordinary powers of molecular transformation to change herself into Sahala, the girl who shot her!

And where is Martin Landau all this time? Well, he's out on a mission in deep space and doesn't appear at all in this episode. But rest assured, he's not just sitting around doing nothing! He'll be seen in a future story on his own, without any of the regular cast of 'SPACE 1999'.

'Dorzak' is directed by Val Guest from a screenplay by Christopher Penfold. Freddie Freiberger produces this ITC production.

'SPACE 1999' (Series 2)

Episode: 'Dorzak'


When Jill Townsend was suddenly taken ill on set during the filming of 'Dorzak', the latest episode of Gerry Anderson's 'SPACE 1999', nobody was seriously worried. After all, there was very definitely a bug of some sort going round Pinewood Studios at the time and quite a few cast and crew members were laid low with what appeared to be gastric flu. But by mid afternoon Jill was feeling and looking so ill that she had to be sent home, where her doctor promptly diagnosed a grumbling appendix!

Suddenly there were some very worried faces in the 'SPACE 1999' Production Office, for the surgeon who confirmed the doctor's opinion wanted to operate almost at once and Jill was hardly halfway through her Guest Star role as Sahala, a beautiful alien who arrives on Moonbase Alpha with a desperate plea for help. Insurance policies were checked and rechecked, the Casting Director hastily looked for a replacement and the Production Manager started rescheduling his schedule.

But it was all in vain for Jill would have none of it. "The show must go on!", she gasped, with mock heroism. "So long as my appendix continues merely to grumble, I shall stagger through. After all, this is the first time I've ever been ill while working and I'll not be beaten by a piece of human plumbing that's never used anyway!"

So she returned to Pinewood and for three more days and finished her role. "You know, I'll miss this lovely lady next week" said director Val Guest of her, admiringly. "You don't have to, Val," said Jill, with a giggle. "You can come to the London Clinic and direct me in the theatre the operating theatre!"

'SPACE 1999' (Series 2)

Episode: 'Dorzak'

Guest stars in 'Dorzak', latest episode in Gerry Anderson's 'SPACE 1999', Jill Townsend and Lee Montague finished their roles the same day and both headed out of Pinewood Studios for starring roles in the theatre. But whereas Jill would here been delighted to watch Lee acting in 'What The Butler Saw' at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, wild horses wouldn't drag Lee to watch Jill's performance. "Nothing personal, you understand" he explained, hastily, "it's just that she's starring at the London Clinic, in the operating theatre. She's having her appendix out!"