I remember watching this on TV in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s or early 1980s. I only saw one episode, and the ending resolved very little, leading me to believe that it was a pilot for a TV series that ended up not being made as opposed to a made for TV movie.

It was live action, but the non-human characters were puppets or animatronics, not actors in costumes. The main characters were the goofy looking alien robot crew of a spacecraft - their design was vaguely similar to the robots from the Cadbury's Smash advertising campaign.

Some other details that I remember:

  • One of the aliens was named "Gadget".
  • Another one of the aliens had black armour; his character description in the TV guide's advertisement for the show had the comment "talks as black as he looks".
  • Everything in the Universe was made of matter, "don't matter", or a mixture of matter and don't matter called "Kleptonite" (not 100% sure about that name).
  • The spacecraft was towing a ball of Kleptonite behind it in a crate.
  • The Kleptonite ball was lost and fell to Earth.
  • According to the aliens, Earth was made of "don't matter".
  • One of the humans who found the Kleptonite Ball was into fortune telling and mistook it for a crystal ball.
  • Sigh. I just keep finding a Doctor Who episode named The Waters of Mars, because is has a robot named GADGET. Jun 19, 2015 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


This appears to be Stainless Steel and the Star Spies, released in 1981 in the UK.

cover art

I found this article about it which mentions the kleptonite ball and the "don't matter".

Stainless Steel chronicled the adventures of the crew of ‘SS Compromise’ – a race of robots called the Metaliens – and their quest to retrieve the Maguffin-esque Kleptonite Ball and return it to the tyrannical leader Kublai Chrome back on their home planet. Commander Steel and his crew, amongst them Lieutenant Utensil, Professor Gizmo, Gadget and Canz, are transported through a Black Hole into a ‘Don’t Matter’ Universe and forced to search for the ball on a planet called Earth.


Writer Gray Jolliffe took the principle of the Smash advertisement to look at Earth with alien eyes (the Earth is a Don’t Matter planet inhabited by non-ferrous life forms)

It also includes a photo of Gadget. That's Gadget on the left.

Gadget and Stainless Steel

This other description mentions the kleptonite ball being mistaken for other items, including a fortune teller's ball.

the Metaliens pursue their Ball to this strange new planet. It masquerades as a Christmas tree decoration, a bathroom ornament and a fortuneteller's ball, and chaos ensues as the Metaliens' retrieval robot Klepto pops up in the everyday lives of the human inhabitants, who are blissfully unaware of the fantastic galactic situation that's unfolding...

It was a tv pilot that was not deemed successful, and never got a full order.

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