by Jim Follett
Avon is becoming more single-minded, and he is beginning to make mistakes. While attempting to obtain some precious Selsium ore he attempts to avoid Federation sensors by using an asteroid as cover; however, he takes Scorpio in too close and the ship is damaged: its drive system will need to be replaced. He and the others head back for Xenon base, only to encounter Federation ships of an unfamiliar design. Unable to outrun them, they are astonished when the ships inexplicably explode. Playing back the sensor recording frame-by-frame they discover that the ships were destroyed by super-fast space choppers piloted by members of the Space Rats, a gang of psychopathic speed-freaks. Orac infers that they must be using the photonic drive created by Doctor Plaxton - something that Avon now wants. They travel to the planet Caspar, where the Space Rats are based. Vila and Dayna teleport down to the planet and meet Doctor Plaxton, who has formed an uneasy alliance with Atlan, the leader of the Space Rats. Having used the others as decoys without their knowledge, Avon, Tarrant and Soolin arrive on the planet and steal the photonic drive; they rescue Vila and Dayna from the enraged Space Rats, and together with Doctor Plaxton, they return to Scorpio. Plaxton installs the drive into the ship, but just before the job can be completed, Federation ships appear. Avon programmes the drive so that it will engage the moment Plaxton finishes her work; she is killed, but Scorpio evades capture.
Paul Darrow (Kerr Avon), Michael Keating (Vila Restal), Josette Simon (Dayna Mellanby), Steven Pacey (Del Tarrant), Glynis Barber (Soolin), Peter Tuddenham (Orac / Slave), Barbara Shelley (Doctor Plaxton), Damian Thomas (Atlan), Peter Sands (Bomber), Leonard Kavanagh (Napier)
Directed by David Sullivan Proudfoot
Produced by David Maloney
19th October 1981 @ 7.20 pm - 8.10 pm
*Featuring Kerr Avon, Vila Restal, Dayna Mellanby, Del Tarrant, Soolin, Orac and Slave