Season 2 Episode 1

What Goes Up…

Aired Unknown Apr 06, 1996 on BBC

Episode Recap

Ros and Beckett are at STA (Space Technology Agency) overseeing the final transfer of RX44, a satellite affectionately referred to by STA's Chief Colonel Stone as Rex. With the three is Joy, the representative of the Kituman Government who is paying for the satellite's placement in orbit. There has already been an attempt to sabotage the satellite on it's way to the facility, and Stone assures Joy the satellite will remain under armed guard until it can be transferred to STA's launch facility in Guyana. Asking for a confirmation of the launch date, Stone asks Beckett to confirm that the threat to the satellite has been removed…as an alarm sounds from the Training Centre. Inside a shuttle simulator two astronauts are fighting a fierce fire: outside Zito, the Head of the Training Program, can't release the seals on the hatches to allow the astronauts out. Desperately looking for a release switch, Ros is directed by two other astronauts to an override panel, which has been disabled. Ros searches for another way as time begins to run out: but Ros finds a way to spring the hatch and release the two astronauts, one of which is Ed…

After the incident, Ros thinks that placing Ed on the Training Programme is a bad idea: Beckett assures her that the best way to find out what's happening at STA is to have someone on the inside. Ed seems unconcerned that his life is in danger, until Beckett informs him his colleague from the fire has died in hospital of smoke inhalation. Ros presses Ed for an idea of the saboteur's potential presence as an astronaut, but Ed can't tell him anything and asks for more time to investigate. Meeting Stone, Zito and Joy Beckett tells them it seems that now the satellite is safe, the saboteur is trying to wreck the launch. Zito is adamant his Training programme is watertight…Beckett presses Joy for more information on why the satellite is needed. Ros has guessed the RX44 is not a telecommunications device, but is equipped for geological survey. Asking about their knowledge of Kutuma, Beckett is very well informed of its history, something he seems uncomfortable to admit. Joy explains that her country's President is convinced of the existence of hidden platinum deposits, but that there isn't the time for traditional surveys as the country is on the brink of financial ruin and foreclosure from the Global Banks. The satellite has to go into orbit or the Kutuman people will be returned to anarchy. Ros and Beckett go to visit McNair who is responsible for the revolutionary power cell that will power the satellite…McNair insists it needs more testing, but Beckett only wants to know when the cell will be delivered. Suddenly an intruder alarm activates in the Vacuum Test room where the cell is housed: rushing to investigate Beckett is locked in the vacuum chamber with the air being pumped out. McNair is "instructed" by a mystery individual to dispose of both members of the Gizmos team, so he tips a box of tools from a skylight, but misses Ros…but gives her a wrench to break open the vacuum room door. Racing after McNair, Ros arrives to see his car explode in a wall of flame…while at STA someone is planting an explosive device in the Shuttle Robot Arm Simulator. Ed arrives to use the simulator with four other astronauts, and is quicker than anyone else in using the robot arm to deploy a "fake" satellite. Ed's speed doesn't impress Vornholt, the Mission's commander, but his agility does save his life as the console explodes…

Ed is now on a personal crusade to find the STA mole: Ros suggests that if McNair was a traitor, perhaps someone on STA's command staff is the saboteur. She and Beckett go to Stone and tell him to postpone the launch, but Stone is adamant that as a commercial operation the launch must go ahead as planned. Things are further complicated by an ultimatum from the Global Bank: Kutuma has 48 hours to locate the mineral reserves or the country will be declared bankrupt. Joy informs Stone there is a launch window in 18 hours, and despite Ros and Beckett's protests the pre-launch countdown is started…Ros then notices a closed off area filled with sophisticated technology, which Stone refuses to talk about. Ros tells Beckett about Star Shield, a space based defense system using lasers on satellites…and that it appears the system has been built, despite all information to the contrary. On his way with the other astronauts to a weightless training session, Ed stops to talk to Ros about his suspicions that Vornholt may be the traitor, but Vornholt sees him and thinks he is the traitor. Her suspicions end up as her savior as the minibus the remaining astronauts were waiting in suddenly explodes…With Vornholt the only surviving astronaut Stone is forced to cancel the mission: although she is prepared to fly alone the shuttle needs a trained mission specialist to help deploy the satellite. Joy is insistent that the mission must continue, and asks if there is anyone else to fly with Vornholt…Ed then volunteers for the mission, to the amazement of his colleagues…before he leaves by helicopter Ros gives him a long-range transceiver for a field test…

The STA shuttle sits on the Launch Pad at Guyana, watched by Joy and Stone at STA Headquarters. Ros too has set up her own "Mission Control" at Gizmos, which greatly impresses Beckett. They watch Ed and Vornholt undergoing their final medical checks. Vornholt is un-impressed by Ed's confidence, but Ed is too busy practicing his chat up technique with the nurses… Looking at one of the on-board cameras, Beckett sees coolant leaking from the experimental fuel cell….when Ros checks the STA control feed it reads that everything is normal. Beneath STA someone else is monitoring the STA feed from Guyana, and falsifying the readouts…. it is Zito. Beckett goes to warn them, as Ed feels he's not being used to his full potential by Vornholt. Ros can't get through to STA, and suggests to Beckett that she can try to piggyback a signal to Ed on the STA frequency…and that there is an unmanned Hive microwave transmitter that will serve her purpose. Zito watches Beckett arrive at STA and intercepts him, taking him away from Mission Control, tasering him and throwing him into a locked room. Recovering, he tries to escape as Ros arrives at the microwave transmitter. Finding a removable panel in the floor Beckett makes his getaway, as Ros begins the long climb up the transmitter.

Ed and Vornholt are nervous but confident, unaware of the danger that faces them…as Zito tries to kill Beckett as he makes his escape. Launch control is transferred from STA to the Guyana Launch site as Ros sets up her equipment to send a signal to Ed's transponder, frantically informing him of the leaky fuel cell. Telling Vornholt of the danger she tries to warn Launch Control, but Zito cuts her feed to STA plunging the whole centre into chaos…although Guyana is unaware of the problem. Beckett finally arrives and tells Stone that Zito is his traitor…and thinks of a way of tracing Zito's transmissions. Inside the shuttle Ed releases himself from his launch harness, and despite Vornholt's protests heads into the Shuttle's Payload bay to release the leaking fuel cell…as Zito impersonates both Launch Control and Ed to keep the countdown rolling. As the seconds finally tick away Ed is unable to remove the power cell and is trapped in the payload bay as the shuttle launches. Beckett finally breaks into Zito's control room and he makes an exit via a duct…allowing communications to be re-established with the Shuttle. Ed has survived the launch, but still has to remove the fuel cell from the satellite. Zito makes his getaway

as Ros arrives: Beckett joins her and they set off in pursuit. Ed finally gets the fuel cell away from the satellite, but the temperature inside the payload bay is rising and the cell is unstable…he manages to get the cell out of the waste airlock mere seconds before the cell explodes. Ros is in pursuit of Zito, and thinks she has him cornered when his car explodes. Thinking him dead they drive away, but Zito gets out and walks away from the inferno…

Back at STA Ed is confident his deployment of the satellite will be successful, but suddenly and without warning Star Shield is activated…and is aimed at the Shuttle. One blast from the Star Shield is enough to cripple the Shuttle and to throw STA into chaos…

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