Published on June 1st, 2014 | by Daren Thomas Curley
Playhouse Presents: Space Age on Thursday 5th June 21.00 on Sky Arts
Richard Wilson (One Foot in the Grave) and Simon Callow (Being Shakespeare) star as ageing astronauts in a poignant and witty drama written by Nick Moran (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Ralf Little (The Café).
Eager to escape the indignity and hopelessness of their nursing homes, John (Wilson) and Dudley (Callow) have volunteered for a brave space mission that aims to seek out and prepare new planets for human settlement. Working alternate solo shifts, the former accountant and teacher battle isolation and loneliness as they spend months alone travelling the galaxy, knowing that they are likely to die for their cause millions of miles from home. Their only company is Iris, the starship’s temperamental speaking computer (voiced by Robert Vaughn).
As John relieves Dudley as solo commander, the pair are just nine months from their destination. However, when turbulence strikes the starship, he discovers that he and Dudley are heading wildly off course and deep into space. Finding the problem lies with Iris’s desire to live eternally, he desperately attempts to convince the computer of the enormousness of their mission.
With the star-ship back on track, John returns to his duties. But his problems aren’t over yet. Before long, he and Dudley decrypt a transmission from their mission destination that shatters the two ageing men’s sense of self-worth and forces them to question the meaning of life without a purpose.