Jupiter Moon
Volume 7 (Episodes 46-50)

Starring: Andy Rashleigh, Caroline Evans and Susy Cooper
Oracle Home Entertainment

RRP: 12.99
Certificate: PG
Available 22 August 2005

The Stardust Café is voyage-end for hundreds of space travellers. It's the most romantic rendezvous beyond the Asteroid Belt, the first civilised restaurant beyond Island 5, and the haunt where captain Creasy drowns his sorrows. It's where Chantal is offered a place on a
Daedalus 10 mission. Twelve years on a starship - with the lover who rejected her...

Jupiter Moon was originally broadcast in 1990, and to be quite frank the production values are pretty atrocious. It looks not unlike any number of 70/80s sci-fi shows which were studio bound (Moonbase 3, Doctor Who or Blake's 7, for example). And the acting... Don't even get me started. It's like a cross between a poor Australian soap opera and the aforementioned sci-fi shows at their worst.

I cringed at the poor use of cameras (especially when they try to suggest elevator movement by panning the camera up or down), the clichéd sci-fi sets and costumes (everything is either chrome, or white and clinical, and the costumes... the doctor has a very large red cross pinned to his uniform), and the Crossroads style cliff-hangers.

But, despite all these elements, there's something here that is almost hypnotically compelling about the episodes. Sure most of the actors can't act, and the script is flat (maybe the odd joke or amusing incident would have helped), but I really did start to care for the characters.

There are plenty of familiar faces here, including Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Karen Murden (Your Mother Wouldn't Like It - I'm probably the only person that remembers her in that.), Alison Dowling (Emmerdale) and Lucy Benjamin (Eastenders).

Extras are a little thin on the ground. There's an image gallery (continuity polaroids; interesting production notes; two 'blink and you'll miss them' featurettes that are just pointless (in fact it looks like they've been taken from a longer feature as we get a burst of music and then it cuts back to the main menu) and an Easter Egg - that I really couldn't be bothered to hunt for.

The fact that the quality of the image is comparable to a very bad video print (understandable given the original source) is another thing that will have you turning your nose up in disgust.

This DVD release is really only for those who loved the series when it was originally broadcast.

Nick Smithson

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