Production Notes

  • The episode is introduced by the then ITN science correspondent Peter Fairley. His introduction is spoken directly to camera before the opening credits.
  • The music on the opening title sequence is taken from an earlier part of the stock track Rite de la Tere by Edouard Michael than later episodes use.
  • Location recording for the ministry field took place at Burnt Farm near Goff’s Oak in Hertfordshire.
  • Denis Quilley wore a greying wig for his role as the present-day Commander Traynor. His ‘normal’ can be seen when he portrays the younger 1940 Traynor.
  • The book Simon is seen reading and later loses when he and Liz enter the time barrier is Lavengro by George Borrow.
  • The episode contains no less than three references to ‘a tramp over the hill’.
  • Traynor quotes Sydney Carlton from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities
  • The end credits role over a shot of the radar screen.

TVTimes Synopsis

“In the first episode of an exciting new science fiction series, three children have vanished from the tiny Midlands village of St. Oswald in mysterious circumstances.

“First to disappear is a local girl, Sarah. Then Simon Randall and Liz Skinner, on holiday with Liz’s parents.

“Only a stranger in the area can offer some idea of where they are: and that idea is so incredible and horrifying that the Skinners cannot believe it.

“Introducing the series is TVTimes Science Editor, Peter Fairley.”

Cast & Crew

Cheryl Burfield (Liz Skinner)
Spencer Banks (Simon Randall)
Denis Quilley (Traynor)
Iris Russell (Jean Skinner)
Derek Benfield (Skinner)
John Alkin (Frank)
Sandor Eles (Gottfried)
Paul Humpoletz (Graz)
Kenneth Watson (Dr. Fordyce)
Virginia Balfour (Alice Fortune)
Sally Templer (Sarah)
Hilary Minster (German Sailor)
Peter Fairley (Introduction: uncredited)

Written by Bruce Stewart

Script Editor Ruth Boswell
Scientific Advisor Geoffrey Hoyle
Designer Gerry Roberts
Producer John Cooper
(Director John Cooper: uncredited)

Original Broadcast

ATV Midlands –  17.15   Monday 28th September 1970

London – 17.15   Friday 2nd October 1970