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We finally reach the end of the broadcast episodes.



Garth informs Devon and Rachel that he has had it with the nomadic life and that he plans to go back to Cyprus Corners. Although the other two are sad to see him go, he cannot be persuaded to stay. Rachel and Devon go their way and Garth goes his.

Devon and Rachel find themselves confronted with a freight elevator innocent of a life support system. The elevator is the only way to get where they are going so they don space suits and start on their way. The elevator stalls, leaving the couple trapped. With no way to call for help and limited air supply, they seem doomed. They languish in the elevator for the remainder of the episode.

Garth is accosted by a hostile old duffer in an ugly white jump suit. The old fellow has a pistol and he forces Garth to accompany him at gun point to what turns out to be the Inter-Ark Police HQ so that the Chief can run a check on Garth, whose journeys through the Ark have been documented by the cops and whose presence near the HQ has been deemed suspicious. After checking Garth's computer records - something the Chief could have done without Garth being nearby - the Chief decides that Garth is an OK guy and he recruits Garth as a cop. Garth has nothing better to do with his time and he agrees.

Garth's training appears to consist of being handled a uniform.

As it happens, the cops are in the middle of a crisis. They have been liaising with an alien police force in a nearby solar system, a system on the brink of interplanetary war, and have been planning to relocate to that system to better offer their services to their new allies (As the Chief points out, this will bring many benefits to the Ark, not least of which is a better propulsion system). The Ark cops need to leave in the near future if they are going to hit this year's launch window.

Someone jams the cops' computer systems, making it impossible to launch their space craft. Tek, the woman who handles most of the technical issues the cops face, tells the Chief that the source of the jamming signal is somewhere on the alien police space station and once that bit of information has been allowed to stir up paranoia, she narrows the location down to the office of the woman who heads up the alien cops, a woman named Reena. As we soon learn, Tek is a lying lie-face and she is working for the bad guys.

The Inter-Ark cops notice that Devon and Rachel are trapped in the elevator and the Chief arranges for another precinct to rescue them. Tek calls the rescue off and later tells Garth that his friends were dead by the time the cops arrived, hoping that his grief will distract him from doing his job.

Garth does his best to assist with the investigation, applying his surly distrust as best he can. The others reward his enthusiasm by continually sending him off to help other people, so that once again Garth spends a suprisingly large part of the episode walking from one room to another. This allows him to discover a vital clue when he overhears Tek talking very loudly on the phone to one of her confederates. Although there is no reason he could not just turn around and walk out, Garth lingers long enough for Tek to decide Garth must have heard her. She shoots him with a ray gun.

Meanwhile the Chief is informed by a flunky that the flunky has double-checked Tech's work and to his surprise traced the jamming signal back to the Inter-Ark Police HQ. When the Chief learns that the IAP have jamming devices that could produce the effect they are seeing, he and his flunky check the safe where the jammers are kept. They discover that one of them is missing.

Knowing that:

1: Whoever took the jammer had the combination to the safe

2: Whoever took the jammer knew that it existed in the first place

3: Whoever took the jammer knows how to use it

4: Whoever took the jammer has interplanetary contacts

They decide the logical suspect must be the new recruit who grew up in a 19th century level technological environment. Tek enters and confirms this, telling the other two that she was forced to kill Garth when he attacked her. In fact, she walked his apparently hypnotised body into a service elevator and left him there to die as his air ran out. What she didn't do was hang around long enough to notice that one of Garth's feet was in the path of the door and that the safety systems kept the door from closing.

Garth returns. Tek's perfidity is exposed. She has prevented the cops from leaving the Ark in time but thanks to Tek (and her phone records) they are able to figure out who was stirring up interplanetary tensions and why.

Devon and Rachel are finally rescued.


Comments: The Chief says the new propulsion systems are five times faster than the old ones. Farthing gave the speed of the Ark as 1/3rd the speed of light. Hrm.

No, I don't understand how launch windows work in this universe either.

The intelligence suppression field makes more and more sense.

People who don't like Star Trek funny forehead aliens would like this show even less, since all the aliens look completely human.

For the record, Garth never did get to fire his crossbow in the entire run of the show.

Date: 2009-03-18 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] filkerdave.livejournal.com
Surely firing the crossbow would have been an additional effect that they'd have had to pay for.

'the end of the broadcast episodes'

Date: 2009-03-18 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raycun.livejournal.com
So are there un-broadcast episodes that you will also be reviewing?

Re: 'the end of the broadcast episodes'

Date: 2009-03-18 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] james-nicoll.livejournal.com
Not on the DVD that I know of. I will admit I didn't look at the extras.

Re: 'the end of the broadcast episodes'

Date: 2009-03-18 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bunsen-h.livejournal.com
The only extras are the series pitch reel and a promo for Dark Star.

Don't suppose I can interest you in reviewing Space: 1999..? There's this episode in which the crew transmogrify between themselves and cave men, ferinstance.

Re: 'the end of the broadcast episodes'

Date: 2009-03-19 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timgueguen.livejournal.com
That would be "The Full Circle," which 1999 fans tend to think is stupid, let alone what the rest of the world thinks. Its hard to say what the most disliked episode is, but candidates include "The Beta Cloud" and "All That Glisters."

As always I point to Martin Willey's Catacombs page www.space1999.net/~catacombs as the best resource for the series online. Willey doesn't give the science problems any breaks, and has pages on such important topics as the Essential Services Hatch
http://www.space1999.net/~catacombs/main/cguide/umessentialservices.html and the Multifunction Hatch http://www.space1999.net/~catacombs/main/cguide/ummissionhatch.html

Date: 2009-03-18 03:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aisb23.livejournal.com
I have come to the conclusion that the basic idea behind The Starlost was actually fairly sound and what they really needed were some decent scripts and actors to carry it off. Good writing and acting can potentiallly even overcome poor production values (though the reverse is definitely not true, viz. Space 1999) and that more than anything else was the show's downfall.

Date: 2009-03-18 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] james-nicoll.livejournal.com
The fan site I linked to way back when has comments from the Canadians involved that suggest they had and have no comprehension just how awful their show was.

Date: 2009-03-18 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] keithmm.livejournal.com
Well, to be fair to them, look at the state of Canadian television at the time. Outside of sports, news and kid's programs there was The Beachcombers and...um...The Beachcombers. There really wasn't a whole lot to to scale it against to realize how totally awful it was once you got past the excuse that it had a small budget.

Continued confusion of how bad it was is less understandable.

Date: 2009-03-18 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] james-nicoll.livejournal.com
Global didn't start up until 1974, right? And they dumped their early programming line-up in favor of something more CTVlike early on, as I recall.

Date: 2009-03-19 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeffreyab.livejournal.com
You left out "The Trouble with Tracy" and "Mr. Bobby!"

Date: 2009-03-18 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] le-trombone.livejournal.com
The basic idea came from Harlan Ellison, and although he readily acknowledged that the idea was a spur of the moment thing (If I recall correctly, he didn't know he was going to pitch a program idea until the last moment, so extra details came later), it's an idea that can handle several runs through the rinse cycle.

I think he went into detail in an introduction to the Ed Bryant novelization. Anyone want to confirm that?

thank goodness....

Date: 2009-03-18 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emt-hawk.livejournal.com
I appreciate that this is over.

i suspect that the whole crossbow thing was a prop that wasn't going to work, anyhow.

--H

Date: 2009-03-18 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] llennhoff.livejournal.com
So is the ship saved, or will it merely plunge into the sun 5 times faster?

Date: 2009-03-18 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oh6.livejournal.com
If I was going to try to make sense of the series, I would just assume that the chief meant that the new propulsion systems can manage 5x the acceleration.

Strangely enough, none of the episode descriptions you've posted seem to match the short clip I've seen. I guess that never saw the light of day, or alternatively the show is even more incoherent than it appears.

Date: 2009-03-18 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burger-eater.livejournal.com
For the record, Garth never did get to fire his crossbow in the entire run of the show.

Most cops never fire their weapons on the job, though.

Personally, I'd like to see this remade for the Syfy Channel. Michael Shanks could play Garth. It smells like a hit.

Date: 2009-03-18 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anton-p-nym.livejournal.com
I understand that Bear McCreary is available to redo the score these days...

-- Steve's thinking that if a reboot of "Space Book of Mormon" could turn out so well, maybe Starlost's central concept could be rehabilitated too.

PS: at least this one doesn't have to overcome the legacy of Killer Boy Scouts from Beyond the Stars rescuing Wolfman Jack.

PPS: just please don't turn Garth into a hot chick.

Date: 2009-03-18 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimjim.livejournal.com
Perhaps the Ark is part of the Dilbertverse. It appears there are several space-faring civilizations capable of liasing with the Ark, but are apparently so lacking in resources and/or skills and/or manpower that the Ark still has something to offer.

One could rationalize the Chief's comments as referring to acceleration rather than velocity.

With this episode, we've barely got a trend going. The Ark has been aiding both law enforcement and providing medical care to aliens, apparently with the intent of bartering for technological improvements. That appears to imply there has been a larger disaster on an interstellar scale. It can't be good if alien civilizations appear to be little better off than individual domes.

Date: 2009-03-18 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] armb.livejournal.com
> five times faster than the old ones

Gets you to the destination in 1/5 of the onboard time, though it still looks slower than light to an outside observer?

Date: 2009-03-18 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jkahane.livejournal.com
I want to thank you, James, for going through the agony and suffering of watching all The Starlost episodes, for posting your reviews and humourous (and always dead-on) comments about the 16 episodes. Brought back some vivid memories to me of the series.

I think the series could be re-made in today's market, but with quality effects and perhaps actors who were a bit better at what they do. The scripts for the original series weren't that bad for the most part, but lacked a decent continuity editor and lacked decent dialogue. Among other things, of course. :)

Anyway, thanks again for doing these reviews. Appreciated. :)

Date: 2009-03-18 05:38 pm (UTC)
ext_63737: Posing at Zeusaphone concert, 2008 (Default)
From: [identity profile] beamjockey.livejournal.com
Keir Dullea (Devon) was a guest on the first episode of Castle last week, "Flowers for Your Grave."

Under the (unconventional) assumption that feature films and individual television episodes are the playing field for the Kevin Bacon Game, this connects the cast of Firefly to the cast of both 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Starlost in one hop.

Date: 2009-03-18 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gareth-wilson.livejournal.com
Thanks for doing these reviews, I've been enjoying them even if I couldn't think of any comments to make. Actually I do have a question - what other TV series has featured time dilation through travelling close to the speed of light? You'd think it would be a pretty obvious idea for any spaceship show, but I can't think of any apart from the episode you reviewed.

Date: 2009-03-18 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] keithmm.livejournal.com
Stargate Atlantis and Andromeda both used relativistic travel in order to have people from the past show up in the present. Earth 2 used it to get the colonists to the planet.
Edited Date: 2009-03-18 11:43 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-03-18 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/krin_o_o_/
> The intelligence suppression field makes more and more sense.

Please roll your SAN check.

Date: 2009-03-23 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mcpye.livejournal.com
As another reg'lr punter, irregularly attending, I'd like to belatedly extend my thanks and sympathy to Mr Nicoll for his endeavours with 'Starlost' and such, somewhat along the lines of the death-defying Fred Clark (slacktivist (http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/)), with his heroic Left Behind (http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/left_behind/) analysis.

These are yet another of the many benefits of the Internet, showing how people can help each other, not merely compete (nods to work done in last 150 years of evolutionary studies).
Edited Date: 2009-03-23 11:58 pm (UTC)

it was very helpful|

Date: 2009-06-23 03:49 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
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Date: 2009-06-26 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
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Great its very interesting subject thank you and we wait for more

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