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

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Jason of Star Command

That's right – this is the hardboiled crime fiction/cheesy space opera blog. Deal with it.

Just got my review discs of the complete Jason of Star Command – Filmation's last live-action show and probably the most expensive kid's program of its era – and I've been having fun watching the show again.

The transfers are on a par with the Space Academy discs, a little soft, but light-years better than the bootlegs floating around the comic book conventions. The stories are slight and silly, but fun; serialized adventures with really remarkable special effects.

In fact, as impressed as I was with the miniatures and effects on Space Academy, the FX work on Jason, by the same team, shows a marked improvement, both in conception and execution. The quantity of and variety of shots is impressive, too, as well as the surprisingly large number of stop-motion alien menaces that appeared on the show. Pretty amazing, considering their limited resources. For fans of old school special effects (guilty!), these discs are something of a treasure trove of pre-computerized FX work.

The new documentary includes on-screen interviews with Craig Littler (Jason) and Sid Haig (Dragos). They both are obviously fond of the show and seem to have had fun making it. Littler is now the Gorton's Fisherman in TV commercials, while Haig continues to appear in horror films and other supporting roles. There's some nice tributes to the late Jimmy Doohan and Tamara Dobson, as well.

This should be on sale soon, and if you're another aging sci-fi fan who came of age in the Seventies, you might want to check it out. Decent price, too.


Anonymous said...

my god! I grew up watching the reruns in the early 80s here in NY on WPIX 11!

John R. Platt said...

I shall now revert to being ten years old.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I really loved this show !! I thought the miniature work was very cool, a mate has just bought me this for my 40th Birthday, what a big kid I still am !! :)

Anonymous said...

Just got these on Netflix; I'm 38 years old and was amazed to find it while browsing through 70s era DVDs. The interviews were really good and it was so funny to hear how they made do with what they had (the Dragos helmust story is so funny!) Great review, having the same nostalgia here. Long live Jason, of Star Command! =)