Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Quark (1977 - 1978)

It's the year 2222 and Adam Quark is the commander of a United Galaxies Sanitation Patrol Cruiser, a garbage scow who's job is to collect trash, or space baggies as they're known.

His crew include Betty and Betty, a woman and her clone, though even they can't seem to decide which is which.

Gene/Jean who is a transmute, a being with a complete set of both male and female chromosomes.

Ficus Pandorata who although human in appearance is actually a Vegeton, a member of a race of sentient plant life.

Andy the Robot, made from spare parts

Based at the United Galaxies Space Station Perma 1 is Otto Palindrome who gives Quark his orders, and Palindrome is answerable to The Head, mainly seen as a disembodied head with an enormous cranium.

Made in 1977 and 78 this show lasted for only 8 episodes for NBC and starred Richard Benjamin as Adam Quark. The show itself satarized shows like Star Trek and films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars. Now this is a show that as far as I know never got aired in the UK, and although it had only a few episodes it's fondly remembered by the people who caught it when it originally aired. A mate recently managed to get me copies of the episodes, from the few I've watched I found this show to be very silly yet very amusing, also it has that Mork and Mindy type feel to it, that same canned laughter that seems to laugh at things that aren't even that funny. Funnily Otto Palindrome is played by Conrad Janis noted for playing Mindy's father on Mork and Mindy. Gene/Jean was played by Tim Thomerson who went on to play Jack Deth in Trancers. Sci-Fi comedy on TV is a genre that doesn't always work, with shows like Red Dwarf and Hyperdrive having their lovers and haters. It's a pity Quark never got more chance of a bigger run, as it's pretty much a forgotten show now.
Never heard if Quark in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was named after Quark the show but it might have been a homage.

The Episodes were:

Pilot (May 7, 1977)
May the Source Be with You (February 2, 1978)
The Old and the Beautiful (March 3, 1978)
The Good, the Bad and the Ficus (March 10, 1978)
Goodbye Polumbus (March 17, 1978)
All the Emperor's Quasi-Norms, Part 1 (March 24, 1978)
All the Emperor's Quasi-Norms, Part 2 (March 31, 1978)
Vanessa 38-24-36 (April 7, 1978)


Graeme Neil Reid said...

Oh man where do you dig this stuff up from? Is that the guy from Westworld or am I wrong?

I'd have watched it for Betty and Betty either way :)

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Yeah Graeme, Richard Benjamin was indeed in Westworld, but he also Directed Tough Guys, The Money Pit, Mermaids and My Stepmother is an Alien any quite a few more movies. I believe he's still acting and directing now at 70.
The 2 girls who played Betty and Betty were known for Wrigley's famed "Doublemint Twins" ads.

Type "Doublemint Twins" into You Tube and you'll find a few of their ads.

Eduo said...

I have the whole truncated series in AVI. I chased it down some time ago when I decided to hunt all those cut-too-short series I knew I'd watched as a kid. Quark was the earliest but I also chased Misfits of Science, Automan, Manimal, Max Headroom and some others (different styles, I know, but I WAS a kid).

Funny series that, sadly, never really got the attention it deserved, from the same people that managed to make "Get Smart" a success.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I know there's a petition to get Quark released on DVD. Maybe it will eventually !!

TimeWarden said...

Now, who's posting babes in bikinis?!! I know, it's all in the name of science!

Michael G Clark said...

I have no memory at all of this. I must have been off world at the time.

DanO said...

Richard Benjamin is terrific. sheck out his performance in 'Diary Of A Mad Housewife', which also stars Frank Langella.

Moonwatcher said...

Not heard of this. Those twins look very hot. :)