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Moloch was the eleventh episode of Series C it was first broadcast 17 March 1980.


From the VHS release:

Just why is Servalan bound for Sardos, a planet in the outer darkness of the galaxy? And is it worth Avon risking all their lives to find out?


The Liberator is discreetly following Servalan's ship, even though there is nothing in the direction it is heading. Then the ship disappears and when the Liberator reaches the same spot, it nearly crashes into a planet which had been invisible. Down on the planet, Sardos, two female technicians, Poola and Chesil, observe the Liberator pass through the shield. Poola erases the log but is spotted by a Federation trooper. She is taken to the trooper's superiors, Section Leader Grose and Unit Commander Lector, and a voice from inside a computer, Moloch, tells them to hand her over to their men as punishment.

Avon believes the Liberator's teleport wouldn't be able to penetrate the shield but Zen detects the approach of a Federation transport. Tarrant decides to teleport inside a hatch onboard, taking Vila with him to open it, and land on Sardos with it. However, a mistake in co-ordinates sees Vila teleport outside the hatch. As he is opening it for Tarrant, he is met by Doran, who believes that Vila, like the others onboard, was picked up from the prison planet Kalkos and befriends him. When they arrive on Sardos, Tarrant tries to force Vila to accompany him but fails. Soon after, Tarrant is knocked out and captured by Grose's men.

Servalan meets with Grose and Lector, who brought her to the planet by telling her the members of the Fifth Legion who survived the Intergalactic War have several ships left for her disposal: The pair are the surviving officers, having disposed of their superiors. In fact, they only have the one transport but Sardos has a matter/energy transmutation system, meaning once it has the blueprint for an object it can replicate it an infinite number of times. Lector kills Servalan's Mutoid aide and Servalan is taken prisoner. Grose and Lector have realised the Federation is in disarray and intend to use Servalan's ship as a blueprint to create a fleet to conquer it. They recruited the criminals from Kalkos as troopers and intended to use the brainwaves of Servalan's pilots to create a computer programme to pilot the ships: Instead, they intend to use Tarrant. Grose also reveals that Moloch had their commanding officer, Colonel Astrid, imprisoned in a sensory deprivation tank as punishment for trying to disconnect it. Moloch tells them to hand Servalan over to their men.

Doran tells Vila he has found a woman for him, which turns out to be Servalan. Servalan convinces Vila to join forces with her to rescue Tarrant and her pilot. En route, they encounter one of Grose's troopers; Servalan kills the man and gives Vila the slip. Vila arrives at the stockade to find the guards dead, Servalan and her pilots gone and Tarrant unharmed. Knowing Moloch has his brain print, Tarrant decides to penetrate the Sardoan city and destroy it.

The Liberator briefly passes through the shield to allow Avon and Dayna to teleport down. Poola erases the log but is seen by Lector. Avon and Dayna find the control room and Moloch. Avon realises that the Sardoans made a computer prediction of humanity's ultimate form and fed it into the transmutation system, complete with a built-in life support function so the resulting creature would be alive. Before they can work out more, they are captured by Grose and Lector.

Doran joins Chesil in the control room and sees Vila and Tarrant entering the city. They go to meet them and together the four head to the control room, where Tarrant kills Grose and Lector. Doran and Chesil go to leave the room but are killed by a charge from Moloch. The dome of the computer opens to reveal the true form of Moloch: A wizened creature created by the computer prediction. Intending to use the Liberator to dominate the galaxy, he uses Tarrant's voice print and a teleport bracelet to trick Cally into teleporting him aboard...but dies as soon as he is teleported out of his life support system.

The rest of the crew return to the ship, with Avon thinking that, with Moloch gone, they can leave the Sardoans and the Kalkos criminals to get the society working again and restore Astrid. The ship quickly leaves the area where Servalan appears with a group of ships.



Story notes[]

  • Deep Roy, who plays Moloch, was previously a Decima in "The Web" and the Klute in "Gambit".
  • The actors had tremendous trouble acting oposite the Moloch puppet, because they kept laughing, unable to take the thing seriously. This was solved by having them deliver their lines off-camera. This annoyed Deep Roy, as he was in pain from breaking his collarbone doing stuntwork for "Terminal".
  • Paul Darrow particularly singled out Moloch as one of the more disappointing realisations on the series' budget.
  • Debbi Blythe (Poola) was previously considered for Dayna.
  • Vere Lorrimer took it upon himself to write a song that was sung by convicts from the planet Kalkos - "The Convicts' Freedom March".
  • The metal plating that makes up much of the interior or the T-16 Troop Transport ship was previously used in the Vogon ship from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which got this from the set of Alien.



Filming locations[]

Betchworth Quarry, Reigate, Surrey.

Production errors[]

To be added.


  • Grose knows the Liberator as Blake's ship, which is consistent with him being out of contact with the Federation since before "Aftermath".


Tarrant: What would Servalan want with a penal colony?
Avon: Who knows? Perhaps she wants to compare notes with some other genocidal maniacs. Or take a refresher course in basic brutality.

Doran: My problem was always women.
Vila: You like them?
Doran: No.

Home video releases[]

Series 3 DVD

DVD cover

  • Original BBC video release (Volume 19) in 1992.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 19) on 7 June 1999.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 3 box set on 20 June 2005.

External links[]