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The Spell Of Tut

BatmanThe theft of a string of amber beads – leaving behind far more valuable baubles – puzzles Commission Gordon and Chief O’Hara. The clues, however, add up to one thing: King Tut is at large once more, planning a new scheme to take over Gotham City. The amber beads contain ancient Egyptian scarabs whose bodily secretions, combined with other chemicals, can create a formula capable of weakening the will of whoever drinks it…and Tut intends to unleash this potion upon Gotham City as a whole, after testing it on Robin. But the Boy Wonder would rather take his chances against Tut’s hungry pets…

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Robert C. Dennis & Earl Barret
directed by Larry Peerce
music by Nelson Riddle / Batman theme by Neal Hefti

BatmanCast: Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin), Alan Napier (Alfred), Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon), Stafford Repp (Chief O’Hara), Madge Blake (Mrs. Cooper), Victor Buono (king Tut), Marianna Hill (Cleo Patrick), Sid Haig (Royal Apothecary), Michael Pataki (Amanophis Tewfik), Boyd Santell (Sethos), Rene Paul (Man of Distinction), Peter Mamakos (Royal Lapidary), Van Williams (Green Hornet), Bruce Lee (Kato)

BatmanNotes: Holy superhero supergroup! Van Williams and Bruce Lee are this week’s “window cameos”, appearing as the Green Hornet and Kato. The Green Hornet series had begun its single-season run on ABC just a few weeks prior to this episode. The two characters would return for a more substantial guest shot the following March.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Tut’s Case Is Shut

BatmanBatman is able to break Robin out of his predicament, and the Dynamic Duo regroups to the Batcave to plan their next move. King Tut and his cronies, in the meantime, advance their plan to introduce the scarab concoction into Gotham City’s water supply, subjugating the will of the entire population of the city. When Batman and Robin see Commission Gordon become a mindless subject of King Tut before their very eyes, they worry that it’s too late. When Robin sees the same happen to Batman, he knows it’s too late.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Robert C. Dennis & Earl Barret
directed by Larry Peerce
music by Nelson Riddle / Batman theme by Neal Hefti

BatmanCast: Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin), Alan Napier (Alfred), Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon), Stafford Repp (Chief O’Hara), Madge Blake (Mrs. Cooper), Victor Buono (king Tut), Marianna Hill (Cleo Patrick), Sid Haig (Royal Apothecary), Michael Pataki (Amanophis Tewfik), Boyd Santell (Sethos), Peter Mamakos (Royal Lapidary)

BatmanNotes: When you want flamboyant, exotic villainy, you want to cast Sid Haig. Perhaps best known for his stint as Dragos, the primary enemy of Jason Of Star Command, Haig has also appeared on Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, Electra Woman & Dyna Girl, The Six Million Dollar Man, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, Automan, and Sledge Hammer!, among countless others, with big screen roles in THX-1138, Diamonds Are Forever, Kill Bill Vol. 2, and more.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Return of the Archons

Star Trek ClassicStardate 3156.2: Sulu and another crewman are investigating a primitive but ancient-Earth-like alien culture incognito, but their disguise is blown and they’re running for their lives. The Enterprise can’t beam Sulu up in time, and he is hit by a weapon on the planet which leaves him under the control of something or someone called Landru. Kirk and Spock beam down, finding the planet’s people engaged in unusual rituals, and also finding out from some of the locals that Landru has complete control over most everyone on the planet, aside from a small resistance effort. What begins as an effort to free the people on the planet becomes a matter of survival when Kirk and Spock become hunted by Landru’s “puppets.”

Order this episode on DVDDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxteleplay by Boris Sobelman
story by Gene Roddenberry
directed by Joseph Pevney
music by Alexander Courage

Guest Cast: DeForest Kelley (Dr. Leonard McCoy), James Doohan (Mr. Scott), George Takei (Lt. Sulu), Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura), Harry Townes (Reger), Torin Thatcher (Marplon), Brioni Farrell (Tula), Sid Haig (First Lawgiver), Charles Macaulay (Landru), Jon Lormer (Tamar), Morgan Farley (Hacom), Christopher Held (Lindstorm), Sean Morgan (O’Neil), Ralph Maurer (Bilar), David L. Ross (Guard)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Ali Baba – Part 1

Electra Woman & Dyna GirlAs Electra Woman and Dyna Girl are covering an international gathering of influential scientists in their plain-clothes journalist alter egos, the diabolical criminal mastermind Ali Baba and his genie accomplice pluck an airplane out of the sky. That plane was carrying Professor Nabokov to the scientists’ conference, but Ali Baba wants the professor to hand over a formula that can change a person’s personality completely. When the two superheroines arrive to free the professor, Ali Baba uses the formula to turn Dyna Girl from Electra Woman’s greatest ally to her adversary.

written by Dick Robbins and Duane Poole
directed by Walter Miller
music not credited

Cast: Deidre Hall (Lori / Electra Woman), Judy Strangis (Judy / Dyna Girl), Norman Alden (Frank Heflin), Malachi Throne (Ali Baba), Sid Haig (The Genie), Ian Martin (Nabokov)

Electra Woman & Dyna GirlNotes: When you want flamboyant, exotic villainy, you want to cast Sid Haig. Perhaps best known for his stint as Dragos, the primary enemy of Jason Of Star Command, Haig has also appeared on Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, Batman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, Automan, and Sledge Hammer!, among countless others, with big screen roles in THX-1138, Diamonds Are Forever, Kill Bill Vol. 2, and more.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Ali Baba – Part 2

Electra Woman & Dyna GirlUnder the control of Professor Nabokov’s formula, Dyna Girl leads Ali Baba and his genie to Electra Woman’s secret headquarters, freezing Frank in the process. Electra Woman and Professor Nabokov escape from Ali Baba’s hideout and return to base, where they free Frank but discover that Dyna Girl is still in league with Ali Baba. Nabokov frantically tries to devise an antidote to his own formula, even as Ali Baba and Dyna Girl plan to use that formula to turn Electra Woman to a life of crime.

written by Dick Robbins and Duane Poole
directed by Walter Miller
music not credited

Electra Woman & Dyna GirlCast: Deidre Hall (Lori / Electra Woman), Judy Strangis (Judy / Dyna Girl), Norman Alden (Frank Heflin), Malachi Throne (Ali Baba), Sid Haig (The Genie), Ian Martin (Nabokov), Marvin Miller (Narrator)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Attack Of The Dragonship

Jason Of Star CommandScientist and inventor Professor Parasfoot presents a small robot, W1K1, to Jason, one of Star Command’s most seasoned space adventurers. When Space Academy is attacked by an unknown ship, W1K1 immediately proves to be useful in sealing up a dangerous gas leak. Jason contacts Commander Canarvin, Star Command’s leader, only to see Canarvin disappear from the screen, only to appear on Space Academy’s detectors somewhere in deep space. Jason boards his spacecraft, the Starfire, to rescue Canarvin and investigate the Academy’s unidentified attacker, but he has a passenger he hadn’t counted on – Professor Parsafoot has stowed away, hoping to see some excitement. After Canarvin is recovered, alive and well thanks to his life support belt, a gigantic ship pursues the Starfire. Jason orders Canarvin and Parsafoot into the Starfire’s shuttle and launches them back to the safety of Space Academy. As they escape, the huge ship looms over the Starfire…

written by Samuel A. Peeples
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason Of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin)

Notes: Episodes of the first season of Jason Of Star Command were approximately 11 minutes in length, as the show shared a half-hour time slot with Filmation’s Saturday morning cartoon Tarzan And The Super 7. The opening titles describe Star Command as a “secret section” of Space Academy, so presumably Commander Gampu and his cadets are elsewhere on the Academy at the same time; as there’s virtually no crossover between the two shows other than the use of the same sets, costumes and models, the whereabouts of the Space Academy characters is unknown. After working on Jason Of Star Command, in-demand miniature model maker Ease Owyeung joined Industrial Light & Magic, where he built other instantly recognizable science fiction miniatures, including the refinery-like alien ships of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, miniatures for The Empire Strikes Back, Jason Of Star CommandReturn Of The Jedi, Starman, E.T. and Innerspace, and later he supervised the construction of the original six-foot-long filming model of the Enterprise for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Although he is seen in the opening credits, Sid Haig only does a voice-over as Drago in this episode. The music from the animated Star Trek series continues to be used, as does that show’s concept of a “life support belt” which creates an invisible force field around its wearer (and prevents the costume department from having to make expensive spacesuits).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Prisoner Of Dragos

Jason Of Star CommandIn the clutches of the interplanetary warlord Dragos, Jason finds that his reputation precedes him. Dragos has been expecting Star Command to interfere, and creates an “energy clone” of Jason to return to Star Command instead of the real Jason. Unknown to Nicole and Professor Parsifoot, a similar clone of Commander Canarvan is already in their midst, and leaves Star Command headquarters defenseless.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Samuel A. Peeples
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason Of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Escape From Dragos

Jason Of Star CommandNicole, having escaped from Dragos’ ship thanks to Jason’s interference, returns alone to Star Command and stops Canarvan’s clone from lowering the shields. Aboard Drago’s ship, Jason uses Wiki to free himself and the real Commander Canarvan, and then helps Canarvan to escape in his Starfire shuttle. Jason, however, is trapped on the Dragonship with Drago and his minions…

Order this series on DVDwritten by Samuel A. Peeples
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

A Cry For Help

Jason Of Star CommandCanarvan’s energy clone, under Dragos’ control, makes one final attempt to leave Space Academy defenseless. Jason is thrown into a dungeon, where he meets an alien princess whose world has been taken over by Dragos. They escape to the Starfire escape pod and take refuge on a planet, only to discover that the safety of their haven is only momentary – and not just because of Dragos.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Samuel A. Peeples
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin), Roseanne Katon (Allegra)

Notes: Dragos can apparently see everything that goes on at Star Command – security probably needs to do something about that. Also, the engines of Dragos’ ship can apparently destabilize an entire planet – the show’s makers probably need to double-check the laws of physics on that.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Wiki To The Rescue

Jason Of Star CommandLaunched by Jason from the surface of the unstable planet on which he’s tapped, the tiny Wiki robot homes in on Nicole’s Starfire and alerts her to Jason’s plight. Dragos delivers an ultimatum to Space Academy: surrender, or he will allow the Academy to fall into the sun. Professor Parsifoot, left in command in the absence of anyone higher-ranking, refuses to give in to Dragos’ demands. Nicole rescues Jason and Allegra from the planet moments before it explodes, but her Starfire is intercepted by the Dragonship. Jason hatches an audacious plan to abandon ship, leaving Dragos to pick up an empty Starfire which will self-destruct shortly afterward.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Samuel A. Peeples
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin), Roseanne Katon (Allegra)

Notes: Jason and company’s “life support belts” are conceptually similar to a life support system introduced in Filmation’s animated Star Trek series of the early ’70s, even if the “bail out of the Starfire” scene features atypically underwhelming special effects in a show that, for its time, generally boasted excellent effects scenes.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Planet Of The Lost

Jason Of Star CommandAllegra finds crystals on the surface of the asteroid where she, Jason and Nicole have taken refuge, but the two officers from Star Command are unimpressed with her find, as well as her insistence on being treated as royalty. When a giant insectoid monster attacks out of nowhere, Jason leads it away from his friends and drives it away by triggering an avalanche. Dragos’ space fighters accost Wiki in deep space, preventing the tiny robot from reaching Space Academy; fortunately, Wiki is close enough to its goal that the Academy helps him break free. Professor Parsafoot recovers the stranded space heroes, but Dragos intercepts them yet again. Jason has no choice but to send Allegra home via the Starfire’s escape pod, while the crew of Star Command find yet another planetoid on which to elude Dragos.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Samuel A. Peeples
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Cast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin), Roseanne Katon (Allegra)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Marooned In Time

Jason Of Star CommandJason’s latest planetoid hiding place seems to be a time warp – characters from Earth’s distant past appear and disappear when the Starfire first lands. But Jason, Nicole and Parsafoot are soon captured by a man claiming to be treasure-hungry pirate Captain Kidd, who takes Wiki to help him find a treasure Dragos has left on this world. Typically for Dragos, the treasure turns out to be a trap – but despite the danger, the loot is needed to power up Jason’s Starfire.

Order this series on DVDwritten by David Villaire
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Cast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin), Brendan Dillon (Captain Kidd)

Notes: Planets in Jason’s universe seem terribly prone to exploding.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Attack Of The Dragons

Jason Of Star CommandDragos spawns an electron storm in space, leaving Jason’s just-launched Starfire to be buffeted in the deep space equivalent of choppy waters. But with Captain Kidd aboard, Jason is able to pit the wits of one pirate against another (since Kidd is of the opinion that Dragos is little more than another scurvy dog of the high seas). Dragos dispatches all of his firepower to attack Space Academy, leaving himself open to attack from Jason himself. But can the Academy withstand the attack while Jason goes after Dragos?

Order this series on DVDwritten by Don Heckman
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin), Brendan Dillon (Captain Kidd)

Notes: There’s no small irony in the scene of Commander Canarvin demanding quicker results from Space Academy’s engine room (since Canarvin actor James Doohan was often on the receiving end of such demands in Star Trek). The voices of Dragos’ fighter pilots are, in fact, the heavily-processed voice of Filmation honcho Lou Scheimer.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Peepo’s Last Chance

Jason Of Star CommandDragos discovers Wiki and Peepo conducting a defense survey on the planet Arcturon, and sends his minions to capture them. When the robots fail to check in with Star Command on time, Jason and Nicole go to Arcturon to investigate. When Peepo realizes that Dragos’ henchmen plan to reprogram him, he sends Wiki for help, but it powerless to prevent Dragos from extracting the coordinates of Space Academy from his memory banks. Jason leads Dragos’ henchmen on a chase while Nicole frees Peepo, unaware that Peepo has been completely reprogrammed.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Don Heckman
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Cast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin)

Notes: Aside from the appearance of Space Academy itself in nearly every episode, this is the only episode to deliver on the intriguing notion that Space Academy and Jason Of Star Command take place in the same universe, with both sets of characters potentially existing side-by-side. Peepo was seen throughout Space Academy.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Disappearing Man

Jason Of Star CommandA Seeker spacecraft appears out of nowhere near Space Academy and disappears again, reappearing moments later in the landing bay. Jason and friends record strange sounds aboard the empty Seeker, but when played back at a slow speed, the strange sounds turn out to be the voice of missing Space Academy cadet Matt Prentiss, who has been missing for a year. Professor Parsafoot devises a way to speed Jason up into the same “time dimension” as Prentiss, but after Jason finds the missing cadet and returns him to normal time, the device malfunctions, stranding Jason.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Sid Morse
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin), John Berwick (Lt. Matt Prentiss)

Notes: Matt Prentiss is the only human character to carry over to Jason Of Star Command from Space Academy (original plans called for Commander Gampu to give Jason his orders, but a dispute with actor Jonathan Harris over merchandising royalties short-circuited the producers’ plans for such major continuity elements). He previously appeared in the Space Academy episode The Cheat. This episode shares many conceptual similarities with the Star Trek episode Wink Of An Eye – but to give credit where it is due, Jason figures the mystery of the mosquito-like voices much faster than Kirk does! In line with the notion that five years of his life have passed in the year that he has been missing, Prentiss’ hair has greyed (despite the fact that he still appears to be in his twenties).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Haunted Planet

Jason Of Star CommandJason’s Starfire vehicle is in trouble: its atomic power source is seconds away from going critical. He’s forced to land on a nearby planet and abandon the Starfire before it explodes, unaware that someone on that planet is the cause of the problem. A hooded man named Bork emerges, informing Jason and friends that they are now prisoners of Queen Vanessa. And she seems to be in no hurry to let them go.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Ted Pedersen & Martha Humphreys
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason Of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin), Julie Newmar (Queen Vanessa), Angelo Rossitto (Bork)

Notes: Julie Newmar had appeared in the 1960s Batman series as Catwoman, as well as guest starring in the original Star Trek.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Escape From Kesh

Jason Of Star CommandUpon learning that Queen Vanessa of Kesh has captured him on behalf of Dragos, Jason resorts to extreme measures to escape, including the use of a miniaturization device that’s almost more trouble than it’s worth. Once he masters its use, he breaks Nicole and Professor Parsifoot out as well, and to their amazement, an intact Starfire awaits them outside…all part of Queen Vanessa’s latest trap.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Chuck Menville
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason Of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin), Julie Newmar (Queen Vanessa), Angelo Rossitto (Bork)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Return Of The Creature

Jason Of Star CommandDelivered to Dragos by Queen Vanessa, Jason again makes escape and survival his first order of business. Unfortunately, Dragos has already extracted information on Star Command’s weaknesses from Peepo’s memory banks and has launched an attack, lowering Star Command’s shielding as a galactic typhoon approaches its position.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Len Janson
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason Of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Peepo On Trial

Jason Of Star CommandRocketing home to Star Command in the escape pod from his captured Starfire, Jason brings Peepo, Nicole and Professor Parsifoot yet. Jason and friends immediately set about solving the crisis at hand, of accelerating Star Command safely through the galactic typhoon, but no one is watching as Peepo – reprogrammed to continue obeying commands from Dragos – begins sabotaging Star Command.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Chuck Menville
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason Of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin)

Notes: Commander Canarvin refers to Star Command and Space Academy interchangeably. After several tense minutes of preparing to break into the control room and then breaking into the control room, Commander Canarvin punches a button, calls the engine room, and orders the engines turned back on. (Couldn’t he have done that from any other communications terminal in Star Command?) The quality of the “galactic typhoon” effects are far above average for American television science fiction of this era.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Trojan Horse

Jason Of Star CommandStar Command barely survived its passage through the galactic typhoon, but knowing that Dragos will be expecting to find debris, Jason plans to give the self-proclaimed master of the cosmos just what he wants: flotsam in which Jason is waiting to infiltrate Drago’s ship and take over. After capturing Dragos, Jason signals Star Command: Dragos’ reign of terror is over. But Dragos has another surprise up his sleeve, and Jason’s delcaration of victory is slightly premature.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Ted Pedersen & Martha Humphreys
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason Of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin)

Notes: Spoiler alert – when the next episode is titled Victory Of Star Command, maybe a good idea would be not revealing that title in the trail for the next episode. Because now we know who wins.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Victory Of Star Command

Jason Of Star CommandSurrounded by energy clones of Dragos, Jason and Nicole have to outthink their enemy. Dragos believes they’re both trying to escape, but Jason stays behind and hides to sabotage Dragos’ ship from within and face him in a final battle. Dragos’ unmanned drone ships launch an all-out attack on Star Command, and Star Command drains its energy reserves putting up a fierce fight. It’s now up to Jason to defeat Dragos before any further damage is inflicted, but Dragos isn’t giving up without an escape plan.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Don Heckman
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael and Horta-Mahana

Jason Of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Sid Haig (Dragos), Susan O’Hanlon (Capt. Nicole Davidoff), Charlie Dell (Prof. E.J. Parsafoot), James Doohan (Commander Canarvin)

Notes: The fairly impressive space battle scenes reveal that Star Command/Space Academy can defend itself quite adequately. This brings the first season of Jason Of Star Command to a close. Where these short episodes, averaging 11 minutes each, shared a broadcast time slot with Tarzan and the Super 7, the next season would expand Jason’s adventures to a full half-hour time slot with new stories and new cast members. James Doohan would not return for that second season, returning instead to his post aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (though he’d keep Commander Canarvin’s moustache even after re-enlisting with Starfleet).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Mission To The Stars

Jason Of Star CommandJason picks an inopportune time to kick the tires and light the fire on Professor Parsafoot’s new and improved Starfire: a new commander is arriving to take over Star Command, and he’s rumored to be strictly by-the-book. Commander Stone is less than impressed with Jason’s “antics”. A derelict spaceship with no life signs drifts into Star Command’s vicinity, but a robot probe sent to inspect it is blown out of the sky. Jason goes to investigate and finds a woman named Samantha frozen in suspended animation. She claims to be one of the last survivors of an invasion of her planet by Dragos. And while Jason is away, a distress call lures Star Command into a trap set by Dragos.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Ted Pedersen
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael

Jason Of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Charlie Dell (Professor E.J. Parsafoot), John Russell (The Commander), Sid Haig (Dragos), Tamara Dobson (Samantha)

Notes: Drago has built a new Dragonship since his escape in season 1’s finale. Commander Stone is from a planet in the “Alpha Centauri cluster”. W1K1 now has a voice. In one of the first (and only) onscreen acknowledgement’s of season one’s voiceover description of Jason as a “soldier of fortune”, Jason points out that he is “not under the direct jurisdiction of Star Command”. Jason’s exact relationship to Star Command and/or Space Academy is left unclear.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Frozen In Space

Jason Of Star CommandAs Star Command slowly freezes in a temperature-lowering force field erected around it by Dragos, Jason and Samantha visit the source of that force field, meeting Drago’s savage new underlings in the process. But Samantha turns against Jason, claiming to be bringing him to Drago as a prisoner. As Star Command plunges toward a dwarf star, its controls frozen, Commander Stone and Professor Parsafoot are unable to help Jason.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Margaret Armen
directed by Arthur H. Nadel
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael

Jason Of Star CommandCast: Craig Littler (Jason), Charlie Dell (Professor E.J. Parsafoot), John Russell (The Commander), Sid Haig (Dragos), Tamara Dobson (Samantha), John Berwick (Tehor)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Flight of the War Witch, Part 1

Buck Rogers In The 25th CenturyReturning to New Chicago after a relaxing weekend with a ladyfriend, Buck spots a large metallic sphere in the desert and relays his findings to Dr. Huer, who immediately suspects a Draconian trap. Buck, Wilma, Huer and Twiki visit the unusual globe, and it extends an arm toward Buck, presenting him with a smaller globe. As soon as the smaller sphere is in Dr. Huer’s lab, the vehicle in the desert launches itself into deep space again. Huer decodes the globe’s contents to a precise set of coordinates which would take anyone following them into another universe, and there’s also a single word encoded into the sphere: “Pendar.” Draconian spies within the Earth Defense Directorate alert Princess Ardala to the alien visitation, and she sets her command ship on a course for Earth. Buck and Twiki follow the coordinates and pass through a turbulent vortex into another universe, where he is guided toward the planet Pendar. Dr. Huer and Wilma are invited aboard Ardala’s command ship, where they lodge a protest of her violation of Earth space, and wind up accompanying Ardala as she follows buck into Pendar’s universe. Locked in a war with another race led by a tactician known as Zarina the War Witch, Pendar needs tactical help – and they’ve decided to recruit Buck, whether he likes it or not.

Order the DVDsteleplay by Robert W. Gilmer & William Mageean
story by David Chomsky
directed by Larry Stewart
music by J.J. Johnson

Guest Cast: Pamela Hensley (Princess Ardala), Kelley Miles (Shandar), Donald Petrie (Keeper), Sid Haig (Nero), Michael Ansara (Kane), Julie Newmar (Zarina), Vera Miles (Council Member), Sam Jaffe (Kodus)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Flight of the War Witch, Part 2

Buck Rogers In The 25th CenturyBuck and Dr. Huer refuse Earth’s help in the Pendar-Zad war, and Ardala likewise refuses to offer Draconian support in the conflict. But the Pendar Council won’t take either party back through the interdimensional vortex unless they take Pendar’s side in the war. Once Buck and Ardala both agree to fight the Zad, Ardala tries to double-cross everyone – only Zarina, the Zad’s infamous War Witch, sees through Ardala’s grab for power. Despite her attempted swindle, Buck and the Draconian fighters are soon fighting side-by-side for the first time. But will that be enough to stop Zarina?

Order the DVDsteleplay by Robert W. Gilmer & William Mageean
story by David Chomsky
directed by Larry Stewart
music by J.J. Johnson

Guest Cast: Pamela Hensley (Princess Ardala), Kelley Miles (Shandar), Donald Petrie (Keeper), Sid Haig (Nero), Michael Ansara (Kane), Julie Newmar (Zarina), Vera Miles (Council Member), Sam Jaffe (Kodus)

Notes: This was the final episode of the first season, and NBC only renewed the show with a half-season order to see if its problems – not the least of which was star Gil Gerard’s constant friction with the producers and writing staff – could be “fixed.” Former Gunsmoke producer/writer John Mantley was brought on board to retool the series into a more thoughtful, less action/FX oriented series patterned somewhat on the original Star Trek. Tim O’Connor was dropped from the show, as was the character of Dr. Theopolis; the change was made more abrupt by NBC vetoing Mantley’s proposal for a “transitional” episode. And worse yet, the Writers’ Guild Strike of 1980 meant that the series wouldn’t return for over nine months.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Time Of The Hawk

Buck Rogers In The 25th CenturyBuck, Wilma and Twiki have been reassigned to the deep-space exploration ship Searcher on a mission to search for any colonies that may have been established by humans who escaped Earth around the time of the holocaust. Their first evidence of human colonists, however, is a primitive ship found adrift, its hull shattered and all but one of its crew dead. The lone survivors warns Buck with his last breath that someone called “Hawk” is on a mission to exterminate every human, every human ship, and every human colony he can find. The survivor gives them one tip about where Hawk might be found, and the Searcher changes its course so Buck can follow up on the lead. A neutral planet turns out to be the current lair of Hawk, and Buck asks Wilma to meet him there; against her better judgement, Wilma brings a passenger along: Dr. Goodfellow, the Searcher’s elderly but brilliant chief scientist.

Buck doesn’t find Hawk, but he does find Hawk’s mate, Koori, half-human and half-bird, and bets that if he takes Koori with him, Hawk will follow. Hawk does indeed catch up with Buck, grappling the earthman’s starfighter with the harpoon-like claws of his own ship – but impaling Koori in the process. Both ships land, and Buck helps Hawk take Koori to a healer who lives in a distant cave on the planet, both men postponing their fight until she can be saved. Hawk tells Buck that he and Koori are the last of their kind, hunted to extinction by humans, and that his fight is just. Buck tries to tell Hawk that the actions of human colonists don’t necessarily reflect the current state of humanity on Earth, but Hawk is not swayed – when Koori is either restored to health or laid to rest, Hawk and Buck will fight to the death.

Season Two Regular Cast: Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers), Erin Gray (Colonel Wilma Deering), Thom Christopher (Hawk), Jay Garner (Admiral Asimov), Wilfred Hyde-White (Dr. Goodfellow), Felix Silla (Twiki), Jeff David (voice of Crichton)

Order the DVDswritten by Norman Hudis
directed by Vincent McEveety
music by Bruce Broughton

Guest Cast: Barbara Luna (Koori), Lance Le Gault (Flagg), David Opatoshu (Llamajuna), Sid Haig (Pratt), Kenneth O’Brien (Captain), Dennis Haysbert (Communication-Probe Officer), Lavelle Roby (Thromis), Michael Fox (High Judge), Andre Harvey (Thordis), J. Christopher O’Connor (Young Lieutenant), Tim O’Keefe (Bailiff), Ken Chandler (Court Clerk), Susan McIver (Simmons)

Notes: Crichton admits, somewhat reluctantly, that he obeys Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, and even more begrudgingly admits that an ancestor of Admiral Asimov wrote those laws. The Crichton prop first appeared early in the first season, but as a large clock instead of a robot. Twiki’s voice was replaced for part of this season as part of the sweeping changes introduced by new executive producer John Mantley, but eventually Mel Blanc was brought back to provide Twiki’s voice.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Pilot

AutomanPolice officer Walter Nebicher is a danger to himself and others on the beat, so the chief of police puts him in the job best suited to him: running the department’s computers. Walter, still determined to fight crime in his own way, creates an artificial intelligence that manifests itself as a solid hologram – Automan, “the world’s first fully automatic man.” As long as he has sufficient power to draw upon, Automan can fight crime, starting with the mysterious disappearance of Lt. Jack Curtis, Walter’s friend and fellow officer who was following on a lead regarding shady activity at a private security company. Walter’s computer also points to the same company and its executives as a potential suspect, and he and Automan (and Automan’s tiny assistant Cursor, which can create vehicles for Automan on demand) set out to solve the mystery…but Automan must disappear to recharge when his power runs low, leaving Walter to improvised his way through tricky situations.

written by Glen A. Larson
directed by Lee H. Katzin
music by Stu Phillips / Automan Theme by Billy Hinsche and Stu Phillips

AutomanCast: Desi Arnaz Jr. (Walter Nebicher), Chuck Wagner (Automan), Heather McNair (Roxanne Caldwell), Gerald S. O’Loughlin (Capt. Boyd), Robert Lansing (Lt. Jack Curtis), Patrick Macnee (Lydell Hamilton), Steven Keats (Collins), Robert J. Hogan (Peterson), James Antonio Jr. (Cramer), Robert Dunlap (Chuck Wilson), Don Galloway (Martin Wills), Doug McClure (Det. Ted Smithers), Camilla Sparv (Tanya), Sid Haig (1st Gang Member), Mickey Jones (2nd Gang Member), Gloria LeRoy (Landlady), Herman Poppe (Swiss Guard), Carol Vogel (Joanne Wills), Dennis Fimple (The Taxi Driver), Kristina Hayden (Stewardess), Ed Hooks (Parking Attendant), Angela Lee (Wills Girl #1), Tricia Tomicic (Wills Girl #2)

AutomanNotes: Created by Glen A. Larson and obviously inspired by Disney’s heavily-promoted 1982 movie Tron, Automan takes the concept of a man from inside the computer world…and drops it into a buddy cop show. Without the budget for the manually-animated intricate body armor of Tron, Automan instead used a technique called front-axial projection, illuminating Chuck Wagner’s special reflective costume (and similarly reflective detailing tape on Automan’s various vehicles) with a powerful but narrowly focused light mounted to the camera itself. If Glen Larson had any visions of an Automan empire, they were quickly dashed – the show lasted less than one full season on ABC.

AutomanGuest star Patrick Macnee (1922-2015) was a frequent flier guest star on American TV, having established himself as the debonair star of the long-running, light-hearted British spy show The Avengers, which originally started out darker and featured Macnee’s character of Mr. Steed as its second banana. Sid Haig is also a mainstay of American genre TV, known best to science fiction fans as Dragos, self-styled Master of the Cosmos, the chief bad guy in the 1970s Filmation live-action series Jason Of Star Command. Automan mentions that Walter has programmed him to take sharp 90-degree turns – inspired by Tron‘s light cycles, but here chalked up to the 90-degree turns taken by video game characters such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Leisure Hive

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Romana, after an unsuccessful attempt at a Brighton vacation, pay a visit to the war-torn planet Argolis. Laid to waste by a war between the native Argolins and the reptilian Foamasi, Argolis is now not much more than a deadly environment whose sole artificial structure – the Leisure Hive – is a holiday resort with an anti-war theme. The Argolins themselves are sterile, and have been sponsoring tachyon experiments conducted by a human named Hardin. Hardin boasts that he can use tachyonics to reverse the aging process of the Argolins, but in truth he’s nowhere close to that goal. The arrival of two Time Lords seems to coincide with a wave of violence, including a man who appears to have been strangled with the Doctor’s scarf. But the presence of two seasoned time travelers also threatens to unravel a plan to sell the defective tachyon technology to the Argolins…and the Doctor and Romana soon become targets themselves. To make matters worse, the brash young son of the Argolins’ leader has plans to lift his people from a dying, pacifist race to conquerors of the galaxy.

Season 18 Regular Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Janet Fielding (Tegan), John Leeson (voice of K9)

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by David Fisher
directed by Lovett Bickford
music by Peter Howell

Guest Cast: Adrienne Corri (Mena), David Haig (Pangol), Laurence Payne (Morix), John Collin (Brock), Nigel Lambert (Hardin), Martin Fisk (Vargos), David Allister (Stimson), Ian Talbot (Klout), Andrew Lane (Chief Foamasi), Roy Montague (Argolin Guide), Harriet Reynolds (Tannoy voice), Clifford Norgate (Generator voice), David Bulbeck, David Korff, James Muir (Foamasi), Alys Dyer (Baby)

Original Title: The Argolins

Broadcast from August 30 through September 20, 1980

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

New Arrivals

Mercy PointIn the year 2249, space station Mercy Point serves as humanity’s primary medical facility at the edge of a hazardous area of deep space known as the Sahartic Divide. Both human and alien doctors practice there, straining under constant shortages of both supplies and personnel. Dr. Grote Maxwell and Dr. Haylen Breslauer, both humans, eagerly await the arrival of a new resident to ease their workload, but Haylen is less than overjoyed when her younger half-sister, Dr. Dru Breslauer, is the new arrival. Her arrival also leaves Dr. Caleb Jurado, Mercy Point’s chief EMT, at a loss for words, as the two had a tumultuous prior relationship. Mercy Point’s resident nurses seethe with jealousy over Ani (short for Android Nursing Interface), a tireless nurse with perfect bedside manner and appearance, no matter how long her shifts are. A computer technician from the nearby Jericho Colony, the most distant human settlement, arrives and begins have seizures. Maxwell is flustered in his attempts to pinpoint the cause, but when a group of patients arrive from the same colony and display similar symptoms, Mercy Point is placed under quarantine to contain a possible epidemic.

written by Trey Callaway
directed by Michael Katleman
music by Jon Ehrlich

Mercy PointCast: Joe Morton (Dr. Grote Maxwell), Maria Del Mar (Dr. Haylen Breslauer), Alexandra Wilson (Dr. Dru Breslauer), Jordan Lund (Dr. Batung), Julia Pennington (Ani), Gay Thomas (Dr. Rema Cook), Brian McNamara (Dr. Caleb Jurado) Joe Spano (Dr. DeMilla), Salli Richardson (Kim), Zachary Ansley (Bortok), Veena Sood (Mrs. Tennant), Gordon Currie (Mr. Tennant), Mitch Kosterman (Hennessy), Christine Willes (Nurse Tobbit), Leanne Adachi (Mednaut Cowan), Brent Chapman (Launch Attendant), Paul McGillion (Pvt. Banes), Joe Pascual (Mednaut Westhusing), Rick Ravanello (Mednaut Thurston), Diana Stevan (Mrs. Hennesey), Haig Sutherland (Nagnom)

Mercy PointNotes: As the writer of the hit movie I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, series creator Trey Callaway was given his first shot at a “created by” credit on TV, resulting in Mercy Point, a SF medical drama which was part of an attempt by UPN to revitalize the network in its third year on the air. Genre series were greenlit with great fanfare in UPN’s fall 1998 season, though Mercy Point was the first to fall under the axe, airing only three episodes before cancellation. Its stablemate, Seven Days, found an audience by virtue of sharing Wednesday nights with Star Trek: Voyager. UPN burned off the remaining unaired Mercy Point episodes in July 1999. Callaway went on to write and produce CSI:NY.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Long Road

JeremiahIn the year 2030, a new generation of the human race is coming of age, the first to do so since a global epidemic now referred to as “the Big Death” killed everyone over the age of puberty. One young man named Jeremiah is on a quest to learn as much as he can about his father’s involvement in the search for a cure, but it’s not easy going – electricity, gasoline, and any kind of working technology are rare commodities, and people have been known to kill anyone they even so much as suspect of possessing them.

Jeremiah’s immediate problems are much simpler, however – a wanderer named Kurdy has stolen his fish. Jeremiah catches up with Kurdy in a rough-and-tumble town, only to discover bigger problems. A woman named Theo has become the law in this town, but her rule isn’t one of justice, but one of violence. Jeremiah is approached by a young man named Simon, who claims to be seeking others who wish to bring civilization back as their parents once knew it, but Jeremiah turns down his approach. Theo and her men find a truck – with half a tank of gas – hidden just outside of town, and they wait to ambush the owners: Simon and his traveling companion. Theo viciously interrogates them, trying to learn where “the end of the world” is, supposedly a place with resources aplenty which she could use to her advantage. When one of Theo’s men reports that he saw Simon talking to Jeremiah, she has him rounded up as well. Kurdy, who has been trying to get Jeremiah to take him along on his travels, watches as Theo’s men beat Jeremiah and take him back to Theo’s compound. Kurdy is torn between safe inaction and risking his life to help someone he had no problem stealing food from the day before. Rather than a brash frontal assault against Theo’s armed thugs, Kurdy engineers a full-scale town revolt and uses it as a cover to break Jeremiah and Simon out.

Kurdy, Jeremiah and Simon make it to Simon’s truck, but Simon is fatally wounded during the escape. Before dying, he tells Jeremiah that the end of the world is a real place – and he tells him how to get there, and to deliver a message: the Big Death is returning. Kurdy is more eager to get out of town and sell Simon’s truck, but Jeremiah is determined to deliver Simon’s message, and find out if the end of the world Simon reffered to is the same as the Valhalla Sector his father spoke of before his death.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by J. Michael Straczynski
series based on the comic book by Hermann Huppen
directed by Russell Mulcahy
music by Tim Truman
series main theme by Tim Truman

Guest Cast: Peter Stebbings (Marcus Alexander), Tricia Helfer (Erin), Kim Hawthorne (Theo), Daniel Gillies (Simon), Curtis Bechdholt (Matthew), Byron Lawson (Lee Chen), Kandyse McClure (Elizabeth), Robert Wisden (Devon), Teryl Rothery (Mary), Zak Santiago Alam (Sam), Alex Zahara (Ezekiel), Jada Stark (Gossip), Sean Tyler Foley (Gossip), Victor Da Costa (Gossip), Peta Brookstone (Gossip), Malik McCall (Kurdy’s Father), Terra MacLeod (Carol), Jenn Bird (Cherysse), Ryan Drescher (Michael), Devin Douglas Drewitz (young Jeremiah), Rayden Porbeni (young Kurdy), Haig Sutherland (Keith), Simon Wong (Phil), Mark Holmes (Guy in Crowd), Claude Duhamel (Ticket Cashier), Michael Scholar Jr. (Colin), Phil Trasolini (Seller), Dave Nystrom (Talking Jock), Haili Page (Young girl), David Coles (Skinhead leader), Charles Zuckerman (Skinhead), Colin Corrigan (Skinhead), Brahm Taylor (Man at pole), Darryl Quon (Market thug)

Notes: Seen here in one of her very first acting roles, Tricia Helfer didn’t appear again in Jeremiah, and neither did her character (who was replaced by Erin after the pilot); she would later rise to fame as Battlestar Galactica’s Number Six; Kandyse McClure, whose character does continue through the rest of season one, also became a semi-regular on Galactica as Dualla. Teryl Rothery is well-known to Stargate SG-1 fans as Dr. Janet Fraiser.

LogBook entry by Earl Green