Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Space Academy Class Reunion

This just in: Space Academy is coming to DVD in January!

January 16th, in fact, as a four-disc special edition from the fine folks at BCI Eclipse.

Space Academy has long been a personal favorite of mine, even moreso than its more action packed, comic book-styled spin-off,
Jason of Star Command. In fact, I believe that Academy, if remade today, would make a great series for modern teens and young adults. I imagine something that combines contemporary campus soap opera with the interstellar adventure of Star Trek... and lots of hot female cadets in short skirts.

After all, you want to stay somewhat faithful to the source material, and the original series had those short skirts (and brunette Maggie Cooper was particularly fetching in hers), along with some very memorable and impressive special effects footage – effects that, IMO, rivaled the quality and variety of those on
Space: 1999, produced a year earlier on five times the budget. But then, I'm a sucker for "old school" (get it?) special effects – give me honest-to-Harryhausen handcrafted miniature spaceships and live action pyrotechnics over flashy CGI cartoons any day.

Overall, it looks like another exceptional Saturday Morning nostalgia release from BCI, who have really gone the extra mile on these Filmation discs. One personal disappointment: it looks like short-skirted space cadet Maggie Cooper didn't show up for the class reunion, which is a real shame. Man, I had such the crush on her. She had a devastating smile (and nice legs, too).

Anyway, it looks like it's time to toss my bootlegs. Here's an excerpt from the official Press Release:

Space Academy features all 15 episodes from the 1977 series starring Jonathan Harris as the Commander Isaac Gampu who leads the young cadets attending Space Academy in the year 3732. The series also features Pamelyn Ferdin, Ric Carrott, Ty Henderson, Maggie Cooper, Brian Tochi and Eric Greene. Additionally, the special effects team was comprised of some of the technical wizards who created Star Wars that very same year.

The series premiered on CBS in the 1977 season and was later syndicated worldwide. The success of the series led to a spin-off the following season called Jason of Star Command.

Special Features include:
35 minute documentary, "Back to School with Space Academy"
Two commentary tracks featuring executive producer Lou Scheimer, actors Ric Carrott, Brian Tochi, Eric Greene, plus special effects supervisor Chuck Comisky
Photo and art galleries
Scripts and series bible
Easter eggs
Booklet with episode guide
Ink & Paint trailers
Spanish language tracks

Producing the special features, documentaries and most of the extra content is entertainment writer Andy Mangels, a best-selling novelist, and author of Animation on DVD—The Ultimate Guide.

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