In the year 2104, Fort Hope is the most distant human outpost in deep space. A peacekeeping force called the Space Rangers struggles to maintain law and order on the frontier, all while tiptoing around treaties and delicate political situations. The job isn’t easy, and it is dangerous. Only the best need apply. Space Ranger John Boon is about to begin two months’ leave when Commander Chennault calls him back into action. A human ship has been forced down on the contested planet Scarab, and launching a rescue mission will violate numerous treaties; Chennault can’t offer any backup because she has to maintain deniability. Worse yet, one of the downed ship’s crew is Boon’s mentor.
Boon rounds up his crew, including a wet-behind-the-ears hotshot, Daniel Kincaid, whose bravado melts away when he sees the state of Boon’s transport. Ship’s engineer “Doc” delights in rattling Kincaid prior to launch; pilot Jojo’s rough flying and the presence of a Graaka warrior named Zylyn rattle him even more. Upon arrival at Scarab, Boon’s crew has to fight off an attack by space-borne marauders called Banshees. Once on the surface of Scarab, Boon realizes that the “rescue” was a trap all along.
teleplay by Pen Densham & M. Jay Roach
story by Pen Densham
directed by Mikael Salomon
music by Hans Zimmer & Mark Mancina
Cast: Jeff Kaake (Captain John Boon), Marjorie Monaghan (Jojo), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Zylyn), Jack McGee (Doc), Clint Howard (Mimmer), Danny Quinn (Daniel), Gottfried John (Weiss), Linda Hunt (Chennault), Wings Hauser (Decker), Amy Steel (Sarah Boon), Sally Elise Richardson (Survivor), Art La Fleur (Henchman), Pat Morita (Nazzer), Danielle Zuckerman (Roxie Boon), Gary Lee Davis (Thick Neck), Thomas Rosales (Gambler), Dan Zukovick (Arran)
Notes: Co-writer Jay Roach (sometimes credited with an M. in front of his name) has previously worked with series creator Pen Densham on a Fox sci-fi TV movie, Lifepod, early in 1993, and was at one time attached to direct a movie version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, working closely with Douglas Adams through most of the 1990s until he got involved with his next big project, directing Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery and its sequels. Roach went on to even greater success directing Meet The Parents and its sequel, Meet The Fockers.
Though this was the series pilot, it was the last episode to air in the U.S.; CBS cancelled Space Rangers after four weeks due to low ratings. Two episodes were left unaired, premiering abroad and only appearing on home video in the U.S. Although he appears in the opening credits, Weiss does not appear in this episode.
LogBook entry by Earl Green