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The Stranger - More than a Messiah

episode 2

UK 1992
produced by
Bill Baggs, Helen Hewlett (executive) for BBV
directed by Bill Baggs
starring Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Sophie Aldred, Peter Miles, Barbara Shelley, Nigel Fairs, Mark Trotman, Julian Boote
written by Nigel Fairs, music by Alistair Lock, special effects by Susan Moore


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Stranger (Colin Baker) and his companion Miss Brown (Nicola Bryant) find themselves on a supposed paradise planet, where nature is as of yet undisturbed by human influence - or so the ads say, as the planet has long be marketed as a holiday resort, with a few special rules though.

When wandering off on her own, Miss Brown stumbles upon student Nick (Nigel Fairs), who has just lost his friend (Mark Trotman), and before you know it, he's accidently shot by a hunter, Darton (Peter Miles), who seems to be more bothered by what has happened than really sorry for what he did. Anyways, he and Miss Brown take Nick to his cabin, where Darton's wife Charlotte (Barbara Shelley) shows way more compassion. Darton on the other hand starts to think Nick and Miss Brown are spies. The background for this is that Darton, a former land developer, was just laid off by his company, and now he has crazy plans to develop the planet into an urban paradise on his own but thinks that pretty much everybody, including the apes on the planet, wants to steal his ideas. This almost turns him into a homicidal maniac when Miss Brown leaves the cabin to fetch the Stranger ...

The Stranger meanwhile has made the acquaintance of a mysterious girl (Sophie Aldred), who promptly falls in love with him, and he feels a strong affection for her as well, even suggests her to accompany him. When the girl learns about his other companion Miss Brown though, she tries to kill her via mind-control and is only held back in the very last minute by the Stranger. Thing is, she has never felt jealousy before ...

Eventually, the girl shows a slightly mad streak, at least in the Stranger's eyes, when she claims to be the soul of the whole planet, no, the planet itself. Then though Darton shows up, and by now he has really lost it, and he shoots the girl to make the planet his - but with the girl dead, the whole planet starts to disintegrate and Darton is killed in a resulting cave-in. The Stranger wants to stay on the planet to die with the girl he only now finds out he has really loved, but he's dragged away by Miss Brown and Nick, and somehow (don't ask how), the three of them save themselves.


Very obviously based on popular TV series Doctor Who not only in casting, More than a Messiah is nevertheless an interesting piece of (slightly esoteric) low budget science fiction, which might take its time to kick into gear (especially considering its running time of less than 45 minutes), but then crams loads of fresh ideas into its plot that nevertheless stays exciting and suspenseful. No masterpiece perhaps, but well worth a look.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD