Up-words features the best of the articles from This way up when it was published as a print fanzine from 2002- 2010.
Shades of Blue
featuring The Story of Sky /Tim Worthington & Back in the Sky Life / Ben Finlay
NB Since these articles were written Sky has been released in DVD.
The Story of Sky
by Tim Worthington (with additional material by John Connors)
Bob Baker and Dave Martin were highly imaginative and sorely underrated writers; had they diversified into books, films and radio, perhaps I'd even regard them as highly as I do Nigel Kneale. As well as several ambitious Doctor Who scripts, there's a string of other excellent series they worked on for HTV in the 1970's which few know about and even fewer have seen. Among these were the daring retelling of Arthurian legend Arthur of the Britons which stripped the fabled king of all his magical powers and even his right to the throne, the weird allegory with fairytale overtones King of the Castle which was actually moved out of a children’s' slot because it was too disturbing, and of course Sky. First shown in 1975, Sky is in many respects very different to the shows it is usually bracketed with by telefantasy critics and their incomprehensible compulsion to 'categorise' everything (what profits it a man to know that Stargazy on Zummerdown is a bit like The Old Men at the Zoo? And more to the point, who cares?). Sky has no Ace of Wands style over-the-top mysticism, no Tomorrow People fashion flashy futurism, and definitely no Freewheelers-like megalomaniacs with entire fleets of hot air balloons carrying poison gas. There is in fact little bar pure disturbing eeriness, not least due to the fact that the title character seems to perform acts of both good and evil and not really cares about the outcome of either. He is a clear offshoot of the Solonians from Baker and Martin's Doctor Who script The Mutants' but unlike those particular 'beautiful people' he does not necessarily lead a planet to a brighter future. In fact, he almost manages to destroy one without doing anything at all.