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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

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