Two Martians investigate the Earthling habit of murder. They observe a killing as it happens. Despite a thorough look at the event, including a speeding up and slowing down of the action, they are at a loss to understand the reasons for this behavior.
This episode had both good and bad elements. On the positive side, it is interesting to look into the psyche of a killer. I must also say (as a man) that the femme fatale struck a stunning image (I imagined her in a red dress). It was also nice to see a pre-Archie Carroll O'Connor. On the negative side, I thought that it was against the policy of the show to do any funny episodes (and the way it was carried out--with the back and forth editing--was funny, or at least mildly amusing). Also, the logic behind the **spoiler alert** conclusion was faulty. The Martians did not see the man shot, because he wasn't shot. His coat pocket was shot, and the cigarette case prevented the bullet from entering his body.
A marvelously witty script with several (genuine) lol points, and great turns by the Martian-Moon tag team of Morse and O'Connor. And a nice change of pace for a series which was generally unrelentingly sombre throughout. O'Connor amusingly assumes his Bunkeresque patois in a brief exchange with a patron of his pawn shop. Morse is perfectly cast as the haughty outlander who can't quite get a grasp on the customs and mores of these wacky earthlings, as we keep watching Yeoman Rand blowing away some guy. The humor is nicely snide, and surprisingly irreverent for the time, as witness the discussion of the dollar bill ("Who is this old woman?" "That's an old man" "Oh"). It's weakened somewhat by the ending though. Generally the shortcomings of the shaky science got lost in the atmosphere of tongue-in-cheekiness, but the extrapolation from "Martian Control" came off a bit far-fetched. Yet if you give them the benefit of the doubt, the "solution" put into place by our Dynamic Duo leaves something to be desired (as does the concluding "que sera?" VO). Wouldn't people given such a task be a bit more trustworthy than that? Also, Morse's sudden acquiescence to all things Terran in the finale comes off as rather perfunctory.
I managed to at long last get hold of a copy of this yesterday and have watched it six times since..lol Brilliant episode which explores human kind from an aliens point of view. Particularly liked the cafeine and nicotine part, as the Pheobus tries what is supposedly his first cigarette and his first cup of coffee. The rewinding of the Murder is quite funny as well, (i won't spoil it)
classic episode, easily one of my all time favourite programs.
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