Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Jason of Star Command 1978 – 1981

Jason of Star Command was a spin-off from Filmation's other show Space Academy which ran from 1977 to 1979. The show states that Star Command was a secretive section of Space Academy, didn't really seem very secretive though seeing as though everybody seemed to know who they were. There were 28 episodes in all, the first series being sixteen 15 minute episodes which aired with Tarzan and the Super 7. Season 2 episodes were 30 minutes in length and just ran by themselves. The episodes were told in chapters, each ending on a cliffhanger for the next episode.
Craig Littler starred as Jason, space adventurer and poor man's Han Solo. During Space Academy Commander Gampu was played by Jonathan Harris from Lost in Space, before he could reprise his role in Jason of Star Command he had a falling out with Filmation, so he was replaced by James Doohan playing Commander Canarvin in series 1 and John Russell as Commander Stone in series 2. Doohan left after just 1 season to film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Aiding Jason was Professor E.J. Parsafoot played by Charlie Dell, Susan O'Hanlon as Captain Nicole Davidoff in series 1 and Tamara Dobson as Samantha in series 2. With them was the pocket sized robot Wiki (W1K1) which looked a bit like a wind up clockwork toy that walked.
The main villain of the piece was Dragos played by Sid Haig, who like most bad guys in shows like this do a lot of plotting and threatening etc... but never win and come back the week after with another crap plan to rule the galaxy.
Considering the show is set on the same base as Space Academy besides the appearance of the robot Peepo from that show and an episode where a Seeker shuttle shows up, being piloted by Lt. Matt Prentiss who was in one episode of Space Academy, no other reference is made to any of the characters or situations in the other show, maybe the guys in Space Academy are oblivious to the attacks every week by Dragos and only those in Star Command can see him ?!
The Visual FX work like Space Academy was handled by Chuck Comisky, John Grusd. The show had some neat stop-motion animation for a kids TV show by Jim Aupperle. I really love the ship designs in this, Dragos' Drone ships were built using a large amount of sections from the Airfix Saturn V rocket kit.
I have a real soft spot for these 1970's early 80's kids shows by Filmation. And as I mentioned in my Space Academy post a while back a lot of these shows used the same sound FX and music, most of which seem to have originated in Filmation's own animated show of Star Trek which ran from 1973 - 74. So when you watch a few of these shows they get a certain familiarity to them because of the stuff that's been re-used.


Michael G Clark said...

I may have seen some of this, very Buck Rogers like but cheaper. I like the pink girl villian, you couldn't pull that sort of oufit off now.

allen said...

I remember seeing this and being shocked, SHOCKED, that Scotty had a mustache...

...then in Star Trek the Motion Picture he is seen sporting the lip fur...

I liked the serial feel to the show, but even then realized that it was a bit silly.

Moonwatcher said...

Buck Rogers but cheaper must be pretty cheap Michael,about 50 quid if that.

Michael G Clark said...

Ooh 50 quid in the 70's, that's 2 seasons of Blakes 7.

Totally different subject, but Anna Friel is on the cover of the radio Times this week (yay). Looking forward to Pushing Daisies (which I first heard about on Andrew's blog).

Fraser Lovatt said...

I was going to do a post about how Andrew was costing me more money as I ordered this steaming pile of SF off Amazon, but it was only £2.97 - so, woohoo!

But then, it's not the money, it's the time that'll spend watching it and shaking my head. Plus the saddened looks from my wife.

What's with that blue/green guy? he's disturbing.


Andrew Glazebrook said...

Fraser, you've just taken your first step into a larger world !
That blue guy is Commander Stone from season 2.

I never did put up a review of the Pushing Daisies pilot, it's ell worth watching Michael as it's probably the best thing Anna Friel's done if you discount lesbian kiss scenes !

Fraser Lovatt said...

There will, I hope, be little danger of me buying any cutlery featured in Star Command (c.f. my blog for recent spoon purchases), but I'll let you know how I get on with it.

I feel safer knowing that Creepy Blue Green Guy doesn't appear in the Season 1 disc I've ordered. Is he the equivalent of Hawk from Buck Rogers then?

There's a great blog post idea - Characters Brought into the Second Season of SciFi Series Just to Spice Things Up a Bit.


Andrew Glazebrook said...

Yeah a bit like the shape changing woman Maya who was brought into the 2nd series of Space 1999