Something truly scary is lurking in the vents in the Galactipol patrol ship that Walrus and Mandrake stole last episode. They have no idea what it is, what it looks like and what it’s obviously sketchy motives are! Will they be able to stop this threat to their very lives?
The Making Of What Lurks Above
What Lurks above was made on a draconian time limit. I had to get an episode up and out as quickly as possible and had very little option in regards to what I could do. It was hard to make an episode with Walrus and Mandrake arguing because they’d just worked together, however I had to find a way to drive a rift between them in a way that would give them the option to still get along as friends.
Around the time I was writing the pilot of Chan Walrus: Space Adventurer, I was working on a film called Aircraft II by my good friend Hen Jach. He and our talented mutual friend John Simpson had designed a fantastic interior for their Aircraft, and I begged Hen to let me on board so I could use it. I also asked Hen if he wanted a role in my wacky sci fi series. He was very happy, and so I thought that we might as well do something that resembled my favourite film of all time: Alien.
One of the best moments in that film were the moments where Dallas is crawling through the vents so I figured I’d send Mandrake into the vents because he’s slightly less cowardly than Walrus. But I had to put something in the vents that was much scarier than any xenomorph! I chose the most frightening thing that came to mind. An Intergalactic Salesman!!! The horror!
At the end of the episode the main joke is that Walrus has had a gun the entire time, which we actually see earlier in the episode! He sent Mandrake up into a possibly life threatening situation with a terrible makeshift weapon. Whilst everything is OK because the salesman wasn’t dangerous, this is still an unfortunate rift in their friendship which Mandrake brushes off. He doesn’t have a lot of faith in Walrus at the best of times so he passes it off as something that’s just in Chan’s nature.
• The guns in Chan Walrus are made by Martin Bower who originally designed them for Blake’s 7!
• John Simpson and Hen Jach are much better set designers than me! The hold of the ship was made on the Aircraft II set and is AWESOME!
• I made the radar in Microsoft Paint. Don’t judge me.
• We had to take the candle going out 5 times as the blasted thing just wouldn’t go out!
• The Vents aren’t actually filmed in Vents, I forced Rikki to crawl on stone floor for this episode.
• We lost Rikki’s visor making the episode we wouldn’t find it for months!
• The blue blazer for Chan I used to create a contrast with Mandrake’s red because for once I had proper lights.
• The lights on the Aircraft II set weren’t mine!