Friday, December 31, 2010

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Jason of Star Command (1978)

Originally created as a component of Tarzan & the Super 7, Jason of Star Command was the last live-action series produced by Filmation. Let's go to the series opener.

Jason was spun off from Space Academy, which had been cancelled after 1 season. In fact, one of Academy's stars, Jonathan Harris (ex-Uncle Croc's Block, Lost in Space) reportedly had a falling out with the producers and left the studio, which created an opening for James Doohan. Doohan, in turn, left the series after 1 season to begin work on "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", and was replaced by John Russell when Star Command was spun out of Super 7 and into a stand-alone series which served as a lead-in to Super 7 the next year. Season 2 also saw actress Tamara Dobson ("Cleopatra Jones") join the series for her only television role to date.

Filmation would repeat the cliffhanger format for a pair of animated series. Flash Gordon on NBC, and, The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse & Heckle and Jeckle on CBS. On the latter, Mighty Mouse starred in a serial of his own, "The Great Space Chase", which was later repackaged as a feature film. In Flash's case, the series, like Star Command, was renewed for a 2nd season, and went to stand-alone stories for the 2nd year.

Jason star Craig Littler has hardly been heard from in the intervening years. His series may be largely forgotten because it came along around the same time as the original Battlestar Galactica, which drew more attention from sci-fi fans, and season 2 of Star Command was also in the same season as season 1 of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Now, if only someone would actually have the onions to bring Jason back, just for kicks......

Rating: B.

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