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The Medusa Strain

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The Medusa Strain
Tp-medusa-strain-01
Rabowski's spaceship
Episode Information
Series Original Series
Season # 1
Episode # 2
Number of Parts 4
Original Airdate(s) 11 June 1973 - 2 July 1973
Writer(s) Roger Price, Brian Finch
Director Roger Price
Previous The Slaves of Jedikiah
Next The Vanishing Earth

The Medusa Strain was the second episode of Season 1 of The Tomorrow People Original Series.

Count Rabowski finds Jedikiah after 500 years and uses him in his time-travel plans.

Plot SummaryEdit

Part 1 (11 June 1973)

Jedikiah is drifting in space after the explosion of the Cyclops' ship. Eventually, another ship approaches. It extends a suction hook and brings him onboard.

Inside, the ship's owner, Count Rabowski, attempts to bring Jedikiah back online while berating his android assistant, Coppin, for not bringing him fresh coffee. At the lab, John and Carol are playing a game; TIM corrects John about how long he is allowed for a move while John accuses Carol of trying to read his mind. Carol asks John about the fact Stephen thought he saw something in hyperspace but John dismisses the idea, adding that they've never managed to photograph anything there anyway. Carol wins the game and John accuses her of deliberately sidetracking him. In the next room, Stephen and Kenny try to develop the photographs but they come up blank.

Rabowski has succeeded in reviving Jedikiah using power from the ship's energy banks. Jedikiah asks about the century and Rabowski says it is the 26th: 2526, to be precise. Jedikiah realises he was adrift for 500 years. He asks about time travel. Rabowski says it was invented 300 years ago but is not commonplace. In the lab, Stephen is still trying to convince John of what he saw. Ginge turns up and tells them Lefty is visiting his mother.

Rabowski comments on Jedikiah's "ugly shape" and he adopts a new humanoid form. Jedikiah realises they are in hyperspace. Rabowski is hiding there after accidentally destroying a planet and its ten billion inhabitants. He shows Jedikiah a disintegrator cannon. He is planning to flee into the past to live out his life and has a time key that can open the time lanes but it can only be worked by a telepath.

Carol and Stephen have donned AE suits to protect them in hyperspace. They have with them an instrument to measure life force, which prompts more banter between Ginge and Kenny. The pair jaunt. Ginge jokes about using it to get into football matches free. Meanwhile, Rabowski shows Jedikiah his collection of treasure. He says he is one of the last "real" men; the rest are all telepaths, although he is unfamiliar of the term "Tomorrow People", which he realises were early examples of Homo Nova, new man.

Carol and Stephen detect life signs in hyperspace. Radowski shows Jedikiah his "menagerie", which largely consists of empty cages he hopes to fill in the future. One of them contains his prisoner, a telepath boy named Peter. He is unable to use his powers because of a Medusa, whose presence robs telepaths of them and who is capable of growing in size from handheld to waist high. It feeds on the brains of telepaths. Peter has refused to operate the time key for Rabowski.

Stephen communicates with John telepathically and tells him about the life force reading. John is sceptical, despite Carol backing him up. Back on the ship, Jedikiah explains to Rabowski the principles of brainwashing: Keep someone in the dark and ill treat them, then have someone else be kind to them. Jedikiah asks permission to attempt it. He tells Peter he wants to help him and claims to be from the future. He tells Peter to take Rabowski to the 20th century, claiming he has friends there who will help them. Jedikiah gets Rabowski and Coppin to release Peter. Rabowski insists on taking the Medusa along. Peter operates the time key and they all disappear.

Carol and Stephen pick up electrical interference that prevents them jaunting back. In the lab, John and Kenny hear a loud ringing noise which Ginge cannot, as do Carol and Stephen in hyperspace. Peter, Jedikiah, Rabowski and Coppin appear at the Tower of London in the present day; everything else is frozen in place. Carol and Stephen finally jaunt back to the lab, only to find John, Kenny and Ginge frozen in place. Stephen calls out to TIM but receives no response. Carol cries out that they're all dead.

Part 2 (18 June 1973)

Jedikiah confirms they are in 1973. Rabowski begins opening the case containing the crown jewels, to Peter's horror. Back at the lab, Stephen tries to reassure Carol. He jaunts outside and returns to inform Carol that everywhere is frozen; she jaunts with him to see for herself. Stephen realises they were spared because they were in hyperspace when it happened.

Coppin helps Rabowski remove a section of glass from the case. Peter slips away into the corridors. Rabowski notices he is missing. Peter finds a locked door and calls for help. Carol and Stephen hear him telepathically and try to track him down using the life force scanner. Coppin recaptures Peter as Stephen and Carol jaunt in. Rabowski wants to leave but Jedikiah is hoping someone will have heard Peter's cries. Carol and Stephen run in; Jedikiah tries to shoot them but Rabowski stops them. Coppin knocks Stephen to the ground and grabs Carol, who disappears with the rest of them. The alarm goes off as the beefeater on guard unfreezes. He grabs Stephen, who jaunts out of his grip.

Stephen returns to the lab where John, Kenny, Ginge and TIM have all recovered and begins to explain to them. Onboard the ship, Rabowski chides Jedikiah for trying to kill Carol, which could have upset history. Knowing she is a Tomorrow Person, Jedikiah refuses to send her back. She is imprisoned in another cage, stripped of her AE suit.

John, Stephen and Kenny try to contact Carol without success. Carol recovers to find Peter in the next cage. Peter accuses her of visiting a closed world but Carol says Earth and the 20th century are where she comes from. Peter confirms they're in the future and they're both telepaths. Carol sees the Medusa nearby and Peter explains what it is and that they're supposed to be illegal. Peter recognises the term "Tomorrow People" but was unaware they existed before the 21st century because they were in hiding. He worries that she could be the ancestor of a line of Tomorrow People and thousands might not exist if anything happens to her.

Rabowski quizzes Jedikiah about the Tomorrow People. Jedikiah blames them for his lost 500 years. Back at the lab, John demonstrates his theory that time could be a series of frames like a film and one frame could have been frozen. Jedikiah tells Rabowski he wants to see Carol and Peter alone. They argue about who is running the operation. Peter tells Carol he is one of the Eternal Order of Guardians, who enforced order on time travel to stop history being constantly changed. Rabowski and Coppin arrive to collect them.

TIM confirms the validity of John's theory. On the ship, Jedikiah tells Carol (who is still unaware of his identity) and Peter that, unlike Rabowski, he has learned of the beta ray, which can allow a non-telepath to travel in time. When Peter refuses to share the secret, Jedikiah sets the Medusa loose on him and has Coppin take Carol back to the cages. Rabowski is furious that she has been taken away from the Medusa. Carol takes the opportunity to contact the Tomorrow People and tell him she's on a spaceship in hyperspace, but Coppin returns with the Medusa before she can give the co-ordinates.

Jedikiah tends to an unconscious Peter. Rabowski is angry that he let him be harmed but Jedikiah makes it clear that he is now in charge. At the lab, TIM admits he was unable to track Carol and states she is in the 26th century. Peter has been returned to the cage alongside Carol; together, the Medusa has less of an effect on them, and if they're separated one of them will get their powers back. Peter mentions Jedikiah's name to Carol; she is shocked that he is still alive and Peter explains he is a shape-changer.

Rabowski is eating a large meal and still refuses to accept Jedikiah's authority. He knows Peter would rather die than help them but thinks there is another way. Carol is encouraging Peter to help her attack the Medusa. He reminds her of their inability to kill, which he calls the Prime Barrier. At the same time, Rabowski is suggesting it gives them an advantage.

In the lab, John, Stephen, Kenny, Ginge and TIM discuss the fact Stephen saw something in hyperspace. They speculate that things might drift in time there. Meanwhile, Rabowski demonstrates a pressure chamber to Carol and Peter. He blows up a balloon which explodes as the air around it is drained out. He then places Carol in the chamber and tells Peter she will die unless he helps him.

Part 3 (25 June 1973)

Peter agrees to tell if Carol is released first and Rabowski repressurises the chamber. Back at the lab, Stephen wonders why, if there's a temporal drift in hyperspace, they've never travelled through time. TIM suggests it is designed for matter to always return to its present. Ginge recalls Jedikiah saying hyperspace was everywhere and nowhere, and Stephen recalls the whole speech, that hyperspace made space and time travel possible. John notes that since they already use hyperspace to travel to other stars, time travel must also be possible.

Carol is unconscious. Jedikiah says Peter can tell him how to use the time bubble later and orders Coppin to return them to their cages. Rabowski again bristles at Jedikiah taking authority and repeats the orders. Jedikiah tells him that the Medusa is not strong enough to hold both Peter and Carol indefinitely, so he is working on something else.

Stephen wants to return to the Tower of London and wonders why the theft has not been reported. TIM states that the authorities have ordered a clampdown. John reluctantly allows Stephen and Kenny to jaunt there. As Peter helps Carol recover, Jedikiah fits them both with the head bands that will rob them of their powers, as he used before. He says this will ensure Peter keeps his word.

At the Tower, Stephen and Kenny find the crown jewels still in their case. They examine the spot where Carol and the others disappeared but the beefeater Stephem encountered before looks at him suspiciously and they leave. Jedikiah is instructing Peter to reprogramme the key to be worked by a non-telepath. Peter is reluctant but Jedikiah says Carol will die if he doesn't co-operate. Peter finds he can't operate the key with the silencing band in place. Jedikiah reluctantly removes it. Peter takes the opportunity to send a message to John in the lab, which Jedikiah picks up on.

As Stephen and Kenny return to the lab, John decides to go into hyperspace and Stephen decides to go with him, with Ginge staying at the lab to look after Kenny. The pair don AE suits and jaunt out. Kenny decides to take the opportunity to test Ginge for latent telepathic abilities. Meanwhile, Rabowski is lording it over Carol, proud of his aristocratic breeding. Carol notes that that inbreeding explains his status as a sap born into a world of Tomorrow People. Jedikiah returns Peter to his cage; Carol is distressed that he told them how to time travel.

John and Stephen search hyperspace with the matter detector. Jedikiah tells Rabowski to travel back in time and deal with the Tomorrow People while he stays to operate the time key. Jedikiah doesn't trust Rabowski not to abandon him if he goes back. He points out they could wipe out the telepaths and create a future full of ordinary men like Rabowski if they can take care of the first emerging telepaths.

Kenny is testing Ginge by getting him to try and read his mind while he stares at cards. Ginge gets two right in a row but TIM says the number of wrong answers outweighs them. Ginge discovers he has run out of cigarettes and TIM refuses to provide more. He decides to go out and get some. Rabowki, Coppin and the Medusa emerge from the time tunnel in the underground. Ginge runs into them and flees back to the lab. He gets TIM to show the view outside. However, Kenny is unable to jaunt and TIM is unable to contact John and Stephen because of the Medusa's presence. Ginge hides Kenny in the dark room. Rabowski blasts his way in and Coppin seizes Ginge before they leave.

TIM contacts John and Stephen and jaunts them back to the lab. As the others approach the time arch, Ginge pushes the Medusa onto the rail tracks, electrocuting it. Rabowski and Coppin take him through the arch. TIM and Kenny explain the situation to John and Stephen.

Jedikiah is annoyed that Rabowski only brought back Ginge. Both he and Rabowski order Coppin to lock him up. He is placed in another cage near Carol and Peter. Ginge explains the situation. TIM directs John, Stephen and Kenny to use their powers to restore the door to the lab. John realises the invaders were after them. Since TIM now has the co-ordinates in hyperspace, John and Stephen decide to go back with stun guns.

Ginge is trying to bend the bars of his cage, despite Carol thinking it's hopeless. Peter is amused by their new friend. John and Stephen arrive in hyperspace, setting off an alarm in the ship as they sight it. Jedikiah and Rabowski set up the ship's cannon and Jedikiah fires.

Part 4 (02 July 1973)

Jedikiah celebrates killing two Tomorrow People but Rabowski, seeing John and Stephen floating, says they're not dead yet. John calls for TIM to jaunt them back as Jedikiah fires again. Carol, Peter and Ginge hear the firing and fear what's happening. TIM jaunts John and Stephen in. Kenny says he thinks they're dead.

Ginge is still anticipating rescue and wonders why no-one has come for Peter. Peter says Rabowski intercepted the time lane, so as far as the Guardians are concerned he's only been gone a moment. Rabowski is packing to leave but the others warn him not to trust Jedikiah. Meanwhile, Kenny and TIM are setting up to test one of John's theories to revive him and Stephen.

Jedikiah is setting up to travel to the past but tells Rabowski he's going without him. He produces a gun but Rabowski knocks it aside and the blast damage the time key. Rabowski runs back to the cage area and tells the prisoners he wants to help them, since Jedikiah wants to kill them all. Jedikiah announces he is turning off life support, something neither he nor Coppin needs. There is enough air to maintain the four of them for fifteen minutes or one for an hour. Rabowski grabs an axe and swings it at the others.

Kenny has his hands on the focusing table, energy surrounding John and Stephen, who are slumped next to him. Eventually, Kenny falls prone as well. Back on the ship, Carol shouts at Rabowski that killing them will just buy him a bit more time and he won't be rescued. Rabowski tells her her friends are dead.

In the lab, the other Tomorrow People recover. TIM tells John and Stephen they were technically dead. Kenny used the reanimation technique John developed, draining his energy to them, but none of them are strong enough to go back to hyperspace and can only rest and wait. Meanwhile, Ginge tries and fails to get out of his cage. Rabowski says Coppin has the key. Ginge tells him to order Coppin to bring them, but Coppin is acting under orders from Jedikiah and merely locks Rabowski in the remaining cage.

John is starting to recover his strength but TIM says it will be three hours before they can jaunt to hyperspace. Stephen tries to stagger to a pad but John and TIM tell him to conserve his energy. Meanwhile, life support is restored. Jedikiah releases Peter but leaves the others behind. Carol is worried Peter will be tricked again.

Jedikiah shows Peter the damaged time key and tells Peter that if he repairs it he will return to his own time and set the others free, otherwise he will key Carol and Ginge. Peter inspects the damage and says he needs the silencer removed to break the telekinetic seal. Jedikiah reluctantly complies. Afterwards, he takes Peter back to the cage area. Carol and Ginge berate him for being fooled again, but Peter used his abilities to swipe the key. He releases himself, Carol and Ginge but Ginge stops him releasing Rabowski. Ginge grabs a sword. Peter tells the pair that he fixed the time key so it will transport the next person who uses it to the surface of Mercury. However, Carol says they need Jedikiah to remove their silencers.

Ginge tries to work the lift but they need Rabowski's palm print so release him. Jedikiah hears them coming and stops the lift near the energy converter coils where the heat will kill them. They find a hatch which only Peter is small enough to get through. He crawls down a glowing tunnel.

John asks TIM for news of Carol but he still can't contact her telepathically. Peter finally reaches the control room. Coppin goes to attack him. Jedikiah fires at Peter but hits Coppin instead, disintegrating him. The lift comes up but Jedikiah is holding Peter at gunpoint and tells Rabowski to take the sword and keep them covered. He tells Peter to set the co-ordinates, saying he's coming with him. Angry that Jedikiah plans to leave him behind again, Rabowski throws the sword, impaling him. Peter snatches the silencer key. Rabowski runs forward to grab the crown jewels from Jedikiah and both of them disappear down the time tunnel.

Carol and Peter remove their silencer bands and instantly hear TIM calling Carol. The other Tomorrow People dash to the link table and exchange notes. Peter is distraught that Rabowski went to Mercury with Jedikiah, meaning he killed him. Carol reassures him that it was an accident.

Carol, Peter and Ginge appear in the lab. Peter says he'll send someone from his time to clear Rabowski's ship out of hyperspace, and also write the Tomorrow People into their history. He disappears. Ginge curses that he went 500 years into the future and didn't find out the winner of next year's Derby. John, Stephen and Kenny throw shoes at him.

Guest Cast Edit


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