Written by Tony Barwick
Directed by Jeremy Summers
I’ve previously mentioned how a number of UFO stories have the same basic premise – the aliens take over a human being and force them to do their biding. It seemed to be a particularly popular story device during production block two, as we’ve seen it occur in The Man Who Came Back, Destruction and The Cat With Ten Lives.
Is The Psychobombs any different from these and other stories? Well, one innovation is that there are three human agents, rather than the more normal one, so this allows several different threats to be carried out at once. And all three of the controlled humans are played by decent actors, so this is a plus point.
A UFO lands in a deserted woodland and sends out a hypnotic signal. Three people answer the call – Linda Simmonds (Deborah Grant), Clem Mason (Mike Pratt) and Daniel Clark (David Collings).
Clark is straight into the action and flags down Straker’s car. Given that the aliens have attempted to kill Straker before they miss a golden opportunity here. Instead, Clark knocks Straker unconscious and puts a note into his pocket. The note is an ultimatum – all SHADO operations must cease, otherwise Fairfield Tracker Station, Skydiver 3 and finally SHADO Control will be destroyed.
Clark manages to destroy the tracker station and Mason deals with Skydiver 3. That leaves Linda Simmonds and SHADO HQ. Whilst SHADO attempts to track Linda down, Dr Jackson shares a theory with Straker –
Dr. Jackson: I have a theory. But I must warn you, it’s pretty wild. A human body – muscles, brain – operates in a series of minute electrical charges, flowing around a complex of low voltage electrical circuits – the nervous system. Sometimes the electrical balance is disturbed. Imagine the situation where, for some reason, the balance swings violently off centre. The body becomes supercharged. Like a thunder cloud before a storm. If such a charged being could exist, it may be able to draw on all the primitive forces of the universe, attract them to itself. Space, time, light… electric potential, energy… they are all related. The result …
Straker: A human bomb.
Foster locates the girl and Straker orders that she be brought to SHADO HQ. A rather rash act, you might think – and it seems to have backfired after she escapes from custody and is poised to blow up the building. However, Sky 4 manages to destroy the UFO controlling Linda, though given the way previous stories have gone, I’ll leave you to decide if there’s a happy ending.
As I’ve said, there’s nothing particularly original here, but the number of threats posed by different people is an intriguing twist. There’s also interest in spotting some faces that would become familiar television faces years later (Peter Blythe, Christopher Timothy and Oscar James, for example).
Trivia fans may notice that the rather nice red dress worn by Deborah Grant is also worn by Susan Jameson in The Sound of Silence. It makes another appearance in the upcoming Timelash, so they certainly got their money’s worth from it!