Voyage Of Discovery

The StarlostAfter returning from exile as punishment for sacrelige, Devon returns to the rustic farming community of which he is a member, still bitter that he will not be permitted to marry a woman named Rachel. Devon demands a second opinion, and so the town’s preacher asks the computer system – a device which gives him direct access to his Creator, and which he refuses to question or second-guess – and it once again declares Devon an unfit genetic match for Rachel, regardless of her feelings for him. Devon refuses to stop his attempts to interrupt the impending marriage of Rachel and Garth, and is cast out from his community again. But when Devon learns that the “voice of the Creator” is actually programmed by the preacher himself, a new decree is issue: Devon must be purged from the gene pool. He ventures into a remote cave with a torch-and-pitchfork-toting mob hot on his heels – and a metallic hatch closes behind him. Devon discovers himself in an enormous chamber filled with technology the likes of which he has never seen. He stumbles across a talking console which reveals to him the truth about this place: his village is part of an agrarian biosphere, one of many biospheres clustered together to form an enormous spacefaring vessel called Earthship Ark. Constructed between the Earth and the moon and launched after a catastrophe in the year 2285, Earthship Ark’s sealed biospheres contained a representative sampling of Earth’s flora, fauna and cultures, carrying them away from their dead homeworld and seeking a solar system around a class G star, capable of supporting life.

But Devon doesn’t even know what space is, the people in his biosphere dome having reverted to a more primitive way of life (and yet one that acknowledges the prefabricated boundaries of the world, computer equipment, and other anachronisms). The machine tells him that 100 years into Earthship Ark’s multi-generational flight, an unspecified accident occurred, and the command module containing the Ark’s bridge, from which its flight was guided, was damaged; the bridge has not been heard from in over 400 years. Devon returns to his village with this knowledge, but he is branded a heretic and is sentenced to be stoned to death. Garth breaks Devon out of his prison cell on the condition that Devon should leave and not come back, but instead, Devon does the one thing that he knows will reveal the truth to the rest of his neighbors: he takes Rachel through the hatch into the Ark’s infrastructure. Only Garth is brave enough to step through, and he does so armed with a crossbow, intending to bring Rachel back by force if necessary. The three of them make their way to the bridge, finding it littered with the skeletons of the Ark’s crew. And blazing through the enormous windows in the distance ahead, they see a class G star – suitable for settling the Ark’s precious cargo of life if it has habitable planets – but there’s just one problem: the Ark is locked on a collision course for that star…and no one left alive knows how to alter that course.

Season 1 Regular Cast: Keir Dullea (Devon), Gay Rowan (Rachel), Robin Ward (Garth)

Get this season on DVDwritten by Cordwainer Bird (pseudonym for Harlan Ellison) and Norman Klenman
directed by Harvey Hart
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Sterling Hayden (Jeremiah), George Sperdakos (Jubal), Gillie Fenwick (Old Abraham), William Osler (The Computer), Sean Sullivan (Rachel’s Father), Aileen Seaton (Rachel’s Mother), Jim Barron (Garth’s Father), Kay Hawtrey (Garth’s Mother), Scott Fisher (Small Boy)

Notes: The concept for The Starlost was credited to series creator “Cordwainer Bird”, a well-known pseudonym for renowned SF writer Harlan Ellison, who frequently used this nom de plume to signal to his fan following that his writing had been tampered with by producers. (At one point Ellison campaigned to have his famous Star Trek script, City On The Edge Of Forever, credited to Cordwainer Bird, and claims that Gene Roddenberry threatened to smear his name in Hollywood if he did so; afterward, Ellison included contractual provisions to have his work credited to Cordwainer Bird, and he triggered that clause on The Starlost.) The producers at Canada’s CTV network obviously had the relatively-recent 2001: a space odyssey on the brain, as Keir Dullea (2001‘s David Bowman) and 2001 special effects maestro Douglas Trumbull both worked on The Starlost.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

Lazarus From The Mist

The StarlostAs Devon, Rachel and Garth explore the unmanned bridge, the Ark’s computer alerts them to an emergency in the command medical center. When the three go to find this place, they discover something potentially even more terrifying than the Ark’s flight toward a star: they are not alone on the Ark. A group of vicious primitives attacks, accusing them of being thieves, and suddenly Devon and his friends are on the run. Garth stays behind to fend off the attackers, while Devon and Rachel find the medical center, where the computer directs them to activity in the cryonic “life suspension” chambers: several members of the Ark’s crew were cryogenically frozen and one of them is beginning to awaken. But the crewmember who is awakening, Dr. Aaron, was frozen because he had contracted a terminal disease – and it was hoped that medical science would have advanced enough to cure him in what little time he would have left upon awakening. With only two hours of life left unless he is refrozen, Dr. Aaron helps Devon and the others as best he can, but he’s only the ship’s communications engineer and can’t change the Ark’s course. And then there’s the question of making peace with the savages who roam the corridors and securing Garth’s safe return…

Get this season on DVDwritten by Douglas Hall and Don Wallace
directed by Leo Orenstein
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Frank Converse (Dr. Gerald Aaron), Vivian Reis (Jane), William Osler (Computer Voice), Doug McGrath (Sergeant), Clive Endersby (1st Tube Dweller), Alan Bleviss (2nd Tube Dweller)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Goddess Calabra

The StarlostWhen Devon and his friends emerge into another habitat dome on the Ark, Rachel is immediately revered as an object of worship – and all three of them notice that she seems to be the only woman present. The Governor of the Omicron dome introduces himself, and assumes that Rachel’s arrival is the prophesied coming of the goddess Calabra. He also seems to assume right away that she is here to becomg his bride, so he may ascend to godhood himself (and, in so doing, permanently consolidate his position of power). His leaps of faith are not shared, however, by the Shaliff, Omicron’s spiritual leader, who realizes that Rachel is telling the truth when she claims not to be a goddess. While she is held in high esteem by the Governor, Devon and Garth realize that they’re living on borrowed time and ask the Shaliff for asylum in his temple. While taking shelter with the Shaliff and his monks, Devon realizes that the “holy texts” store in the temple are, in fact, the technical manuals of the Ark, hinting at the existence of a backup to the destroyed bridge compartment, which may still be intact. But the leave the Omicron dome with that knowledge, Devon must interrupt the wedding of Rachel and the Governor, challenging Omicron’s leader to a duel to the death.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Martin Lager
from a story by Ursula K. LeGuin
directed by Harvey Hart
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: John Colicos (Governor), Barry Morse (Shaliff), Dominic Hogan (Priest), Michael Kirby (Captain), George Naklowyck (Deputy), Paul Geary (Guard), William Osler (Computer Voice)

Notes: This episode’s chief guest stars both have major SF television credits to their names; John Colicos was the first actor to portray a Klingon on the original Star Trek, and a few years after his Starlost appearance would go on to play another villain, the treacherous Baltar, in the original Battlestar Galactica. Barry Morse would go on to co-star as Professor Victor Bergman in the lavish international co-production Space: 1999, and would also appear in the BBC/Universal Studios miniseries dramatization of Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles. Though early plans for The Starlost called for Canadian writers to build scripts around advance science fiction concepts devised by some of the best novelists and thinkers in that field, this episode, based on a story by Ursula K. Le Guin, seems to be – aside from Harlan Ellison’s pilot – the only time in the series’ brief run that this promise was in any danger of being fulfilled.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Pisces

The StarlostAn alarm wakes Devon, Rachel and Garth, and they’re stunned to see a spaceship approaching the Ark and coming in for a landing. Out of the ship, called the Pisces, steps Colonel Garoway, who, along with his two-woman crew, insists that he left the Ark only ten years ago to scout ahead for habitable worlds. But since the Pisces’ engines accelerate the tiny ship close enough to light speed that its crew experiences a time dilation effect, and contact with the Ark was lost, Garoway is unaware that hundreds of years have passed. Worse yet, there’s a side effect for Garoway and his crew: the early onset of senility. Devon hopes he can convince Garoway and his crew to help change the Ark’s course to avert its eventual collision with a star, but the crew of the Pisces has other ideas.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Norman Klenman
directed by Leo Orenstein
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Lloyd Bochner (Colonel Garoway), Carol Lazare (Teale), Diana Barrington (Janice), William Osler (Computer Voice), Ted Beatie (Old Man), Lillian Graham (Old Woman), Susan Fleming (Tech)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Children Of Methuselah

The StarlostDevon thinks he’s located the Ark’s backup bridge, the only hope of regaining control of the drifting ship. Garth manages to jimmy the lock keypad to get into the doors marked “Restricted Area,” but the first thing Devon and his friends see is a young girl wearing the uniform of an Ark crewmember. They follow her into a room filled with elaborate controls, and see more uniformed children. When they reach the actual bridge, however, a teenage boy who seems to be acting as the captain makes it clear that Devon and the others are not welcome – and the children demonstrate their ability to mentally send pain to anyone who displeases them. At a very quick, one-sided trial, the teenage captain declares Devon’s story of the Ark in imminent danger to be a lie, and decides to hold the adults prisoner. Rachel finds that she has a little more pull with the children, especially the girls, but Devon’s hope that he’s found a way to regain control of the Ark is fading fast – because for some reason, the sensors and systems the children are using to pilot the Ark don’t register any danger…and in fact, they aren’t piloting the Ark at all.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Jonah Royston and George Ghent
from a story by Jonah Royston
directed by Joseph L. Scanlan
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: David Tyrrell (1), Susan Stacey (5), Scott Fisher (4), Gina Dick (10), William Osler (Computer Voice), Ricky O’Neill (6), Michael Tough (2)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

And Only Man Is Vile

The StarlostDevon, Garth and Rachel enter a biosphere that’s been left in prime condition – fresh food everywhere, clean quarters…and no people to be found, at least until Garth discovers a young woman named Lethe, who appears to be in shock after the rest of her people suddenly abandoned her – or so she says. She seems to make a remarkable recovery and begins to say things that cause the three travelers to doubt one another. Devon eventually finds the other former inhabitants of this dome, discovering that they’re paranoid to the point of being fully prepared to kill any strangers in their midst. Devon protests, but is sentenced to death – and Lethe has turned Garth against him, so he refuses to save him. But in a secret observation room, a cynical scientist is pulling Lethe’s strings – using all of these events to prove his belief that the descendants of the Ark’s original residents are too soft to survive.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Shimon Wincelberg
directed by Ed Richardson
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Simon Oakland (Dr. Asgard), Irena Mayeska (Dr. Diana Tabor), Trudy Young (Lethe), Tim Whelan (Village Elder), John Bethune (Villager “A”)

Notes: The “ancient poem” Devon remembers is the hymn “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains”, written by Reginald Heber in 1819. The section quoted on the obelisk at the beginning of the episode – which also gives this episode its title – is “Though every prospect pleases / And only man is vile / In vain with lavish kindness / The gifts of God are strown / The heathen in his blindness / Bows down to wood and stone.”

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Circuit Of Death

The StarlostAn alarm sounds, alerting anyone listening to the presence of intruders on the bridge’s circuit room – intruders who are bypassing the failsafes on the Ark’s self-destruct system. Though Devon doesn’t understand the technical terminology, he, Garth and Rachel know that it’s reason enough to race back to the bridge. They find an electronics tech named Richards, along with his daughter Valerie, tampering with the circuitry, and Richards cons them into helping him load an escape vehicle supposedly intended for dumping the Ark’s logs in the event of a catastrophic emergency. But while Devon and his friends are from a relatively backward society, they’re not fools – an unmanned log dump wouldn’t require food and supplies. Richards and his daughter, fleeing from political oppression, are planning to destroy the Ark and make their own escape. But when the escape vehicle proves to be as damaged as the rest of the Ark, Richards is stuck – and now he has to undo the damage he’s done to the failsafe systems to initiate self-destruct, and he only has a “primitive” like Devon to help him.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Norman Klenman
directed by Peter Levin
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Percy Rodrigues (I.A. Richards), Nerene Virgin (Valerie), Calvin Butler (Cort), William Osler (Computer Voice)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Gallery Of Fear

The StarlostAs they continue to explore the Ark, Devon and his friends are driven to the safety of another biosphere by what appears to be a windstorm in one of the ship’s corridors. Once inside, they find themselves in a gallery of abstract art that reshapes itself depending on their moods. A woman called Daphne appears, telling the travelers that they are guests of Magnus – but evading any kind of question Devon asks about who Magnus is. After Rachel and Garth see illusions of their parents, they’re more than convinced of Magnus’ impressive powers, but Devon isn’t swayed so easily. He demands to meet Magnus personally, and has to fight to regain his friends’ loyalty. But when Daphne finally agrees to escort Devon to his audience with Magnus, it becomes clear that Magnus is a supercomputer, not a living being. Even the Ark’s usually-helpful sphere projectors can’t clear up the mystery of why Magnus is here, warning Devon that whoever built Magnus, they had the highest security clearance on the Ark, since it seems to supercede even the ship’s computer itself. It finally emerges that Magnus was a computer designed to help the bridge crew make life-or-death decisions – and that it was taken offline due to mechanical delusions of granduer even before the accident that left the Ark adrift. But why is it online again now?

Get this season on DVDwritten by Alfred Harris and George Ghent
from a story by Alfred Harris
directed by Joseph L. Scanlan
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Angel Tompkins (Daphne), Allen Stewart-Coates (Magnus), Jim Barron (Garth’s Father), Aileen Seaton (Rachel’s Mother), William Clune (Admiral Austin), Danny Hodgkins (Monster), William Osler (Computer Voice)

Notes: Series star Keir Dullea is an old hand at dismantling supercomputers that have decided they’re superior to humans, having participated in arguably the best-known version of that basic plotline in 2001: a space odyssey. Aileen Seaton and Jim Barron reprise their roles here from the pilot episode, Voyage Of Discovery.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Mr. Smith Of Manchester

The StarlostDevon, Garth and Rachel are captured as they explore another biosphere, which turns out to be an industrial wasteland with toxic polluted air, and brought before Mr. Smith, the dome’s self-proclaimed leader. Believing them to be agent of an enemy force trying to infiltrate his biosphere, Smith has the travelers brutally interrogated, only to find out that his interrogation equipment can’t detect any lies in their statements. Believing them to be spies whose memories and personalities have been reprogrammed, he orders his second-in-command, a woman named Trent, to keep a close eye on them…but when she expresses her doubts about Smith’s leadership to Devon in an unguarded moment, her comment is overhead by one of Smith’s omnipresent surveillance systems and she’s rounded up for questioning herself. Since he thinks Trent is a traitor, Smith has her tortured as well, and this changes Devon’s mind about what course of action to take. Instead of just securing an escape route for himself and his friends, Devon is now determined to do what he can to topple Smith’s regime before he moves on elsewhere in the Ark.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Arthur Heinemann and Norman Klenman
from a story by Arthur Heinemann
directed by Ed Richardson
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Ed Ames (Mr. Smith), Pat Galloway (Trent), Doris Petrie (Nurse), Pattie Elsasser (Secretary), Nina Weintraub (Girl), Les Ruby (City Man), William Osler (Computer Voice)

Notes: Mr. Smith mentions the “first dome war” which, while he doesn’t elaborate much further, hints at the possibility of past conflicts between biospheres.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Alien Oro

The StarlostA spaceship traveling at high speed fails to detect the presence of the Ark in its path, and its pilot loses control. Devon, Garth and Rachel suit up for a spacewalk to examine damage that they don’t realize has been caused by the collision of the smaller ship with the Ark. They find two visitors who at least appear human, a man named Oro and a woman named Idona, but their guests seem to be very elusive about where they came from, where they’re going, and why they’re making the journey in the first place. For the most part, Oro and Idona conduct repairs to their own ship, and quietly dismiss any discussion of using their expertise to save the Ark by changing its course. Oro even claims to know of the accident that left the ship adrift, but isn’t discussing any specifics. To try to convince Oro to help, Devon attempts to play on his uncertainty: with the Ark adrift, how can Oro even be sure of where he is now, much less whether he’ll be able to get home if he can even repair his craft? To complicate things even more, Idona quietly asks Rachel and Garth for asylum: she wants to remain on the Ark – with Garth – instead of continuing her journey with Oro. Oro is displeased with the request, arguing that Idona’s health is fragile and that her well-being has been entrusted to him alone. He claims that she won’t survive unless she leaves the Ark with him. But a mishap during the repair of Oro’s ship may settle the question of whether anyone is leaving – or whether Idona will live or die.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Mort Forer and Marian Waldman
directed by Joseph L. Scanlan
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Walter Koenig (Oro), Alexandra Bastedo (Idona)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Astro Medics

The StarlostDevon, Garth and Rachel wander into an area called the sonic computer section, where a sonic chamber’s powerful sound waves stun Garth after he stumbles into it. Devon goes into the chamber to pull Garth out, but becomes trapped himself for a longer period of time. When Devon is rescued from the sonic chamber, he’s comatose. Rachel asks the Ark’s computer to summon help, and both she and Garth are stunned when uniformed medics arrive mere moments later. They put Devon on a stretcher and take him to the mobile hospital aboard their shuttle, Medical Module 7, which launched from a medical biosphere. Devon is diagnosed with brain damage, but an operation – though risky – could restore him. But the chief doctor of Medical Module 7 is distracted when a distress call is received from an alien vessel. Judging the aliens to have a much better chance then Devon of putting Earthship Ark on a safe course, the doctor decides to leave Devon to his fate and rush to the aliens’ aid instead – even if it means that Medical Module 7 will travel so far from the Ark that it cannot return.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Paul Schnieder
directed by George McCowan
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Stephen Young (Dr. Chris Trask), Budd Knapp (Dr. Martin Trask), Meg Hogarth (Dr. Jean Pelletier), Bill Kemp (Captain), Michael Zenon (Commander), David Mann (Astrogator)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Implant People

The StarlostDevon, Garth and Rachel are resting after a long trek to one of the Ark’s other biospheres, and apparently not one of the better-appointed ones, as Garth is certain that they’ve wound up in a sewer. A young boy comes along and silently slips away with Garth’s crossbow, and the three try to follow him. Instead they encounter a surgeon named Brant, who introduces himself as the boy’s grandfather – and one of the implant people. A byproduct of an attempt to cure his grandson of being mute, the implants are now issued to nearly everyone in this dome, making crime nonexistent since any implant can be remotely activated and cause its wearer intense pain. But the implants have also put the population at the mercy of Roloff, a man who masquerades as an advisor to the dome’s elected chief legislator even as he plots to overthrow her. When he learns of the three trespassers, Roloff orders them to be held and implanted, but Garth escapes, learning of an underground resistance effort that aims to remove Roloff from power and stop the use of the implants. But how can Garth overthrow this tyrannical regime when Roloff can kill Devon and Rachel with the press of a button?

Get this season on DVDwritten by John Meredyth Lucas and Allen Spraggett
directed by Joseph L. Scanlan
music by Score Productions, Ltd.

Guest Cast: Donnelly Rhodes (Roloff), Pat Collins (Serina), Leo Leyden (Brant), Dino Narizzano (Domal), Jeff Toner (Jardy), William Osler (The Host)

Notes: The role of Roloff was played by Donnelly Rhodes, later much better known to genre fans as the constantly-smoking Doc Cottle in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Return Of Oro

The StarlostDevon and his friends encounter a wounded wanderer named Williams, who has been exploring the Ark on his own since long before Devon’s party left Cypress Corners. A scavenger and thief by nature, Williams has been felled by some sort of automatic defense system of a kind that Devon has never seen; when he asks the nearest sphere projector why Williams was blasted, Devon learns that someone has assumed control of the Ark – and isn’t prepared to say if this is good or bad news until he knows who it is. When Devon discovers that the alien visitor named Oro is now in charge of the Ark, he decides it’s bad news; the news only gets worse when Oro reveals that the Ark is being flown to his home planet of Exar so he can claim a salvage prize. Devon, Garth and Rachel – with the shifty Williams in tow – start trying to regain control of the Ark, while Oro insists that their only options are the Ark’s eventual collision with a star or being forced down on Exar, which may not even support human life.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Norman Klenman
directed by Francis Chapman
music by Score Productions, Ltd.

Guest Cast: Walter Koenig (Oro), Henry Beckman (Williams), Philip Stevens (Tau Zeta), Patricia Moffatt (voice of Tau Zeta), Jim Barron (Computer Voice), William Osler (The Host)

Notes: Had the series lasted much longer, this might have served as a major turning point, as Devon formally gains control of the Ark’s systems in this episode (although episodes that aired after this one seem to ignore this rather significant development); despite this, Devon still doesn’t know what he needs to do to change the ship’s course. At the end of the story, Oro is left stranded on the Ark, presumably to serve as an ongoing villain, but the series didn’t last long enough to see a third appearance.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Farthing’s Comet

The StarlostThe Ark rocks violently, and Devon rushes to the nearest sphere projector to ask the ship’s computer what caused the impact. The computer only replies cryptically that the Ark is “under attack,” referring all other questions on the matter to the ship’s chief astronomer, to whom the computer also guides Devon and his friends. They discover that this astronomer, Dr. Linus Farthing, has managed to exert some measure of control over the course of the Ark, but only to put it on a dangerously close heading alongside a massive comet he wishes to study. Farthing is largely unconcerned with the damage being caused to the Ark, even when reports of ruptured environmental domes begin to filter in – given the chance of colliding with a star or with a comet, he has opted for the comet, despite the high likelihood that everyone aboard the Ark will still die. Devon demands that Farthing use his engines to reverse his course and back off from the comet, but as those engines have also been damaged, someone will have to repair them – and Farthing seems only too happy to let the three “primitives” suit up for a hazardous spacewalk.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Norman Klenman
directed by Ed Richardson
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Ed Andrews (Dr. Linus Farthing), Linda Sorenson (Dr. McBride), Allen Stewart-Coates (Voice), William Osler (The Host)

Notes: Whereas earlier episodes referred to the Ark’s reactors as a power source, this episode seems to use the term “reactors” in a context that implies reaction control engines, small engines (actually used since the dawn of manned spaceflight) allowing minute changes in attitude but not designed to impart significant thrust for a course change. This episode also marks the unusual appearance of the massive miniature filming model of the Ark in an interior set, apparently as a device to allow the crew to monitor damage. As usual, it is shown only from the right side, as The Starlost’s budget could only permit the modelmakers to finish and detail that side of the ship. Despite his having gained control of the ship’s computer in The Return Of Oro, Devon seems to once again have only limited cooperation from the computer here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Beehive

The StarlostA shipwide alert warning of “impending threat” draws Devon and his friends to a biosphere devoted to zoological studies. There, Dr. Marshall is leading a team of researchers who are examining the evolution of bees from Earth. But with all the time that has passed since Earthship Ark was launched, and with a little bit of genetic tweaking from Marshall, something has happened to the bees – at least four of them have grown to almost human size, and they’ve gained dominance over the smaller honeybees in the swarm. They’ve also somehow gained control of Marshall’s mind, jeopardizing the safety of his fellow humans (including Devon, Rachel and Garth) and forcing him to inform the swarm of any actions the humans are taking against the bees. When the other scientists decide that the time has come to eliminate the bees before they can escape and make the entire Ark their hive, the bees see it as a declaration of war.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Norman Klenman
directed by Bill Davis
music by Score Productions, Ltd.

Guest Cast: William Hutt (Dr. Pete Marshall), Antoinette Bower (Dr. Heather Marshall), Alan McRae (Ron Callisher), John Friesen (Harry Keeble)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Space Precinct

The StarlostHaving endured an endless series of life-or-death adventures alongside Devon and Rachel, during which he faced up against threats he could barely begin to comprehend, Garth decide’s he’s had enough: he’s leaving to return to Cypress Corners. Despite the others’ best attempts to convince him to remain with them, he parts company with them and goes his own way…and it seems like he’s barely out of their sight when Garth is accosted by a uniformed man claiming to be a member of a security force on the Ark, something Garth finds unlikely since no such force has ever intervened during the many crisis situations he’s personally seen. It turns out that this security force isn’t native to the Ark itself, but instead comes from outside; the chief of this squad is keen to recruit Garth for his instincts, his sense of order, and his local knowledge of the Ark. As soon as Garth dons his new uniform, however, he’s embroiled in a series of incidents including hijackings, political posturing and the threat of an imminent war – all with the Ark helpless in the middle.

Get this season on DVDwritten by Martin Lager
directed by Joseph L. Scanlan
music by Score Productions Ltd.

Guest Cast: Ivor Barry (Rafe), Nuala Fitzgerald (Reena), Richard Alden (Mike), Diane Dewey (Technician), William Osler (Computer Host)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

Countdown To Looking Glass

Countdown To Looking GlassFollowing the collapse of major American banks sparked by the default of several South American nations indebted to the United States, the American embassy in Saudi Arabia is bombed, and the U.S. ambassador and several others are killed. Oman, its economy weakened by the American bank collapse, is “stabilized” by a Soviet military force; in response, Saudi Arabia invites the U.S. to deploy its own military force on Saudi soil. Oman blockades the Strait of Hormuz, demanding a hefty toll for every oil tanker seeking passage. A large U.S. Navy battle group is ordered to the Strait of Hormuz to keep the shipping lanes open, and the Soviets send nuclear submarines there to enforce the blockade. Both sides are prepared for a potential nuclear conflict. Reporters for CVN news cover the story extensively, including a reporter embedded aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz, while their sources among White House staff warn that the President himself is preparing to evacuate…

written by Albert Ruben
directed by Fred Barzyk
music not credited

Cast: Scott Glenn (Michael Boyle), Michael Murphy (Bob Calhoun), Helen Shaver (Dorian Waldorf), Patrick Watson (Dan Tobin), Nancy Dickerson (herself), Eric Sevareid (himself), Matsu Anderson (Matsu Yamada), Barbara Barnes-Hopkins (Mrs. Langhorn), Michael Beattie (Youth #1), Lincoln Bloomfield (himself), Murray Chruchley (James Otis), Richard Comar (Pentagon Spokesman), Faye Dance (Ann Gailmore), Don Dickinson (Unger), Michael Donaghue (Technician), Robert Ellsworth (himself), Don Francks (Don Geller), Newt Gingrich (himself), Rex Hagon (Barry McKay), Seymour Horowitz (Washington Demonstrator), Jerry Hyman (Col. H. Alexander), Ray Landry (Young Announcer), Gene R. La Rocque (himself), Robert Lesko (John J. Bingham), David Lucas (Marty Schindler), David Main (Gordon Scott), Eugene McCarthy (himself), Vincent Murray (Youth #2), David Nichols (Frank Hollander), Maida Rogerson (Barbara Levin), John Thomson III (Commander Pritchard), Murray Westgate (The President)

Notes: Professor Lincoln Bloomfield was also one of the advisors who constructed the fictional geopolitical scenario that plays out over the course of the movie.

LogBook entry and review by Earl Green Continue reading

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