The Nobel Prize winning scientist Sir Benjamin Dyce (Michael Gough) is visiting Moonbase 3. He is one of the fathers of a project called the Arctic Sun Project. He and a Russian scientist developed the theory. The idea is to detonate a hydrogen bomb above the Arctic Circle. This would result in the melting of the North Pole icecap. The melting ice would reveal the land beneath. The new sun generated by the explosion would allow cultivation of the land thus ending starvation. The plan is put into execution.
When Dyce explains the theory to the scientists at the Moonbase he relays that he and his partner, Boris, went over the calculations and realized that there was a serious problem. They now believe that the explosion would, instead of melting the icecap, ignite the nitrogen in the atmosphere and reduce the planet Earth to a burnt cinder. All life on Earth will be destroyed. He says they tried to stop the project but to no avail.
At first the scientists at the Moonbase believe that Dyce has lost his sanity and is talking nonsense. It is only when the Earth is seen covered by a haze and all communication ceases that the population on the Moon realize that Dyce may actually be correct. Contact with the other Moonbases proves that their communication systems with Earth are also gone. Director Caulder (Donald Houston) is now faced with the realization that they are the last of the Earth inhabitants, and that without the Earth, their days are also numbered.
As far as scientific accuracy is concerned, you are more likely to find it here than in other science fiction series. However, that doesn’t lend itself to stories of fantasy or whimsy. That leaves stories of human drama which can be a little tedious if most of your stories are based on human frailties. The science adviser for the series was James Burke. Burke was a BBC science journalist who had covered the NASA program. He was instrumental in ensuring the correctness of the science portrayed in the series.
Sir Benjamin Dyce is played by Michael Gough. I love Michael Gough and he is usually a good actor. Here, however, his portrayal of an octogenarian isn’t great. At the time the episode was filmed he was fifty-seven. His impression of an eighty plus man is a little too spry. His wig sucks too.