‘The Day of the Clone’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

To 1965 and Back Again with Liz and Simon

The final story of the ‘Timeslip’ TV series is ‘The Day of the Clone’! This is a six-part story by Victor Pemberton. I enjoyed the last story of the ‘Timeslip’ TV series as it rounded off things satisfactorily. 🙂

The story was directed by David Foster for its first four episodes and by Ron Francis for the last two. Again, like ‘The Year of the Burn Up’, the story appears consistent and it does flow really smoothly. 🙂

I like how ‘The Day of the Clone’ rounds off the ‘Timeslip’ series since it ties together many elements of previous stories. In a lot of ways, ‘Timeslip’ does feel like one continuous storyline all throughout.

The story follows up on Spencer Banks as Simon Randall trying to find out where his friend Cheryl Burfield as Liz Skinner is. He tracks her to R1, which happen to be this secret research establishment.

It’s under the command of Denis Quilley as Commander Traynor, who kidnapped Liz following the end of ‘The Year of the Burn Up’. Thankfully, Simon manages to find Liz, rescuing her from the place.

Liz and Simon discover that R1 was established by Morgan C. Devereaux, who they previously encountered in ‘The Time of the Ice Box’. It was established to research the longevity drug – HA57. 😐

The two children manage to break out of R1 and make it through the ‘time barrier’, escaping Traynor and his men pursuing them. They end up in the year 1965 and they are in Simon’s home of all places.

I wish a second season had been considered for ‘Timeslip’ as there could’ve been so many stories for Liz and Simon to have in terms of time travel. I know that comic strips have been made of the series.

But judging by the TV series overall, we’ve only had two stories set in the past and two set in the future. The past tales involve more recent history in 1940 and 1965 rather than long ago in the past.

I’m glad we got to visit the past for a change in this story with Liz and Simon ending up in 1965. But the two could’ve end up on a pirate ship or in the dinosaur age. I’m sure I’ve seen pictures of that. 😀

This story features the return of John Barron as Devereaux. I enjoyed seeing him again in this final story, though he only appears from ‘Episodes Two to Four’. I wish he had been in all the six episodes.

He also tends to slip in and out of his American accent from time to time. Ian Fairbairn also returns, playing Dr. Frazer this time. There’s also John Swindells who play Pitman, this other scientist at R1. 😐

Liz and Simon discover that R1 isn’t only researching longevity, but also cloning. Deveraux also conducts experiments on Traynor is pretty different in 1965 compared to how he is later on in 1970.

And the reason for that is the Traynor in 1970 is actually a clone. That was quite a surprise for me. It was a really big surprise when there happened to be two Traynors, one who was locked in a room. 😮

Liz and Simon also meet Mary Larkin as Maria, a young woman who becomes old and weak in the future. Maria was one of the volunteers for Devereaux’s very heartless scheme to change the future.

So it was Devereaux who was responsible for the future happening in the Ice Box story as well as the Burn Up story. The ‘time barrier’ also projected the futures in order to warn Liz and Simon on it.

It does get complicated as the story goes on and you would have to be alert to know what happened in previous stories. But I’ve been able to follow this series quite well and enjoy it all the way through.

Iris Russell as Jean and Derek Benfield as Frank, Liz’s parents also make a return for this final story. I like how the family element is brought into this story and we even get to meet Simon’s father in this.

That was John Cazabon as Mr. Randall in ‘Episodes Two and Four’. A shame we didn’t get to see a younger Simon however. I also liked how the relationship between Liz and Simon is developed here.

By the end, the two have become good friends. They also ponder on what their futures will be like – whether they will end up like Beth or 2957 in the Burn-Up story. Whether it’ll be romantic, I don’t know.

The story ends with the clone Traynor being sucked into the ‘time barrier’ and Simon, Liz, Traynor, Jean and Frank heading back home. All in all, ‘The Day of the Clone’ was a really satisfying series finale.

The DVD special features are as follows. On Disc 4 of the ‘Timeslip’ DVD box set; there’s ‘Beyond the Barrier’, a special fan-made mini-episode recorded in 2004, starring Cheryl Burfield, Spencer Banks, Ian Fairbairn and Teri Scobie. It has ‘Part One’ in it, but I want to know whether there’s a ‘Part Two’.

On Disc 5 of the ‘Timeslip’ DVD box set, there’s the feature-length behind-the-scenes documentary called ‘Behind the Barrier’, featuring cast and crew interviews on the making of the TV series. There’s also ‘Back to the Barrier 2003’, featuring footage of the cast’s return to the original location of the ‘time barrier’; ‘Day of the Clone 2007’, which is coverage of the 2007 ‘Timeslip’ mini-convention at Cuffley; cast and crew biographies; ‘Mike Noble – Look-In Artist’ and ‘On Location – Golf’s Oak’.

‘Timeslip’ the TV series has been pretty good. I enjoyed watching every episode featured in this short-lived TV series. Whilst I’m sad only one of the episodes is in colour, I am glad I’m able to see it in black-and-white and it’s nice that the series has a good set of strong storytelling and characters. 🙂

A large part of why I enjoyed ‘Timeslip’ so much is the performances of Cheryl Burfield as Liz and Spencer Banks as Simon. They’re clearly very good actors and I enjoyed how their enthusiasm shines throughout when they playing Liz and Simon. It’s amazing how they performed so well in this series.

There’s clearly an appeal to this TV series and after watching all 26 episodes I can see what that appeal is. Whilst the series is aimed for children, there is a grown-up atmosphere to it. It may not be ‘Doctor Who’, but the time travel concepts presented in it are thought-provoking and well executed.

I’m currently looking forward to the ‘Timeslip’ audios and hope what I’ve seen in the TV series gets reflected in them too. It’ll be interesting to hear how Liz and Simon have grown-up since the events of the TV series and I’m so keen to find out how Sarah Sutton’s character gets involved in the series.

Onto the Big Finish audios of ‘Timeslip’! I’m so excited!

‘The Day of the Clone’ rating – 9/10

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