My son and I had a science chat after this evening’s episode, which turns the spotlight on Jonathan Harris and lets him take center stage instead of his young co-stars. His character, Commander Gampu, is racked with guilt after making a mistake that almost kills Paul, and he’s ready to resign, feeling that, at age three hundred, he’s too old for the job. Then someone else’s mistake forces him into action. Since in this show they use “life support bracelets,” nobody around has his astronaut experience in pressure suits, and one is needed for this rescue. So we talked about why spacesuits are used, and why every outer space show and movie ever made hand-waves a convenient reason why they’re not needed. It’s good to occasionally talk about actual science, because science fiction on screen can’t be expected to.
The guest star this week is Paula Wagner, who plays a cadet from one of the other groups at Space Academy, the Yellow Team. If you don’t recognize an actress with that name, you’re probably not alone; she only has two acting credits listed at IMDB. She worked principally as an agent at CAA until the mid-90s, when she became a producer. She seems to have worked behind the scenes on what looks like most of Tom Cruise’s movies over the last twenty years.