In the year 2319, two centuries after nuclear war rendered the Earth’s surface uninhabitable for a time, humanity lives in the City of Domes, with every need – and every desire – supplied by the City’s computers. But at the age of 30, every resident of the City is required to take part in Carousel, a ritual sacrifice that keeps the City’s population growth at zero. Everyone is taught that Carousel brings renewal, life in a new body, but not all believe it; an underground railroad of “runners” steadily helps those who want to live past 30 escape. And the City dispatches Sandmen to deal with those runners – fatally. But not even all Sandmen believe the lie of Carousel; during a pursuit, Sandman Logan corners a runner and a woman named Jessica, both of whom confirm what he has already suspected: there is life past 30, and freedom beyond the City of Domes. Logan’s fellow Sandman, Francis, arrives and shoots the runner, but Logan knocks Francis unconscious before he can kill Jessica. Now as much of a fugitive as any runner, Logan follows Jessica outside the City to look for Sanctuary.
Before Francis can pursue Logan and Jessica outside the City, he is summoned to White Quadrant 1, a high security area of the City that few ever see. There, he meets a group of men who are clearly past the age of 30; they introduce themselves as the Elders who keep the City running, and make the rules about how society works, including Carousel. They make a bargain with him: if Francis brings the refugees back for “reprogramming,” he will be guaranteed a seat on the Elders’ council – and life beyond 30. He agrees and sets out on his mission.
Logan and Jessica take shelter in an abandoned military planning post, where they also find a solar-powered hovercraft. The vehicle helps them find a fallout shelter Logan spots on a map, but before they can explore the shelter, they’re pursued by raiders on horseback. They manage to enter the shelter and lock the door, finding a society of pacifists that has lived there for years. When one of the shelter-dwellers’ children hears Jessica’s tales of the outside, she investigates for herself and is captured by the raiders. Jessica, feeling guilty for inspiring the little girl’s misadventure, goes outside to find her and is herself captured. Despite the pacifists’ insistence that blood must not be spilled, Logan mounts a rescue operation anyway, destroying many of the raiders’ weapons himself before the shelter-dwellers emerge from underground to help him. After freeing all of the raiders’ captives, Logan and Jessica move on; shortly after they leave, Francis finds the raiders’ camp and gets the pacifists to tell him where his prey was headed.
Logan and Jessica arrive at a the foot of a mountain with a magnificent city built into its side, but strange energy emitters bring their hovercraft to a halt. Immaculately clad people welcome them to the city and offer to serve them, fulfilling any desire – but the first time Jessica mentions leaving the city to continue the search for Sanctuary, she and Logan discover that they are not guests, but prisoners. Their captors turn out to be robots whose “masters” are the skeletal remains of people who died in the nuclear war. Logan and Jessica befriend Rem, the only other “guest” in the city, who toils away at keeping the robots working. He offers to help them leave the city if Logan and Jessica will take him with them, but during their escape, Francis and two other Sandmen catch up with them. Rem is shot in the leg and goes down, but before Francis can capture Logan, the city’s robots emerge and claim the Sandmen as their new guests.
Rem manages to repair his own injuries – it turns out he is an android, a much more advanced machine than the city’s robots – and professes a genuine curiosity about the human concepts of love, self-sacrifice and freedom that his new friends have taught him. The three fugitives board the hovercraft and continue the search for Sanctuary.
Season 1 Regular Cast: Gregory Harrison (Logan), Heather Menzies (Jessica), Donald Moffat (Rem), Randy Powell (Francis)
written by William F. Nolan & Saul David and Leonard Katzman
directed by Robert Day
scenes from the movie Logan’s Run directed by Michael Anderson
music by Laurence Rosenthal
music from the movie Logan’s Run by Jerry Goldsmith
Guest Cast: Lina Raymond (Siri), Keene Curtis (Draco), Wright King (Jonathon), E.J. Andre (Martin), Morgan Woodward (Morgan), Ron Hajek (Riles), J. Gary Dontzig (Akers), Anthony De Longis (Ketcham), Cal Haynes (Rider #3), Mary Hamill (Marianne), Ted Markland (Karlin), Sandy McPeak (Rider #4), Kimberly la Page (Leanna), Patrick Gorman (David), Gilbert Girion (Man), Marvin Dean Stewart (Paine), Michael Biehn (Sandman), Mary Ball (Woman), Gary Charles Davis (Barry)
Notes: Considered by Starlog magazine to be the most promising SF TV series of 1977, Logan’s Run borrows some visual elements from the movie – namely costumes and props, to say nothing several minutes of the movie’s “Carousel” scenes (complete with excerpts of Jerry Goldsmith‘s music, a rarity for the series). The segment of the story dealing with the fallout shelter and the raiders was a late addition to the script; the pilot was originally scheduled to be an hour long, but new scenes were written to fill it out for a 90-minute time slot. The plotline of the City Elders was a relatively late addition as well; planning documents for the series seemed to indicate that this storyline wouldn’t occur until later in the series. (Then again, those same documents hinted at Logan and Jessica returning to the City to free other runners, a story which the series didn’t stay on the air long enough to tell.) The series concepts were actually gestated during very early pre-production for a sequel to the Logan’s Run movie, but MGM turned the movie project into a TV series a few months before the release of Star Wars; several big names in SF were recruited, including story editor D.C. Fontana, and writers such as Harlan Ellison, John Meredyth Lucas and David Gerrold.
LogBook entry by Earl Green