Thursday, November 10, 2005

CULT TV BLOGGING: Logan's Run: "Carousel"

Back on the Logan's Run Carousel. Literally.

In a freak mishap, Logan gets shot with "memory warp" dart and forgets the entire last year of his life. Realizing that his old buddy is now an amnesiac and doesn't recall his act of treason back at the Domed City, Sandman Francis brings Logan back to the City to renounce runners and Sanctuary. Meanwhile, Jessica and REM must negotiate their freedom from the weird locals who shot Logan with the memory warp dart in the first place, return to the City of Domes, and rescue their confused buddy.

In the City of Domes, Logan undergoes a "truth" scan and picks up his old life as a swinging single. In particular, there's a hottie named "Sheila" (played by Melody Anderson, Flash Gordon's Dale Arden) who would like to pick up precisely where they left off a year ago. Realizing (with REM's help) that the way to get to Logan -- and spur his memory -- is to seduce him, Jessica dresses up as a sexy chick named "Jerri 4" and pays a slinky visit to Logan's bachelor pad. But before anything too much fun can happen, Jessica wimps out and reveals to Logan who she is. Shucks.

All in all, "Carousel" is another pretty entertaining episode of Logan's Run, and it's always nice to be back at the City of the Domes (i.e. a shopping mall), watching attractive young people flit around in tight clothing and their Farrah Fawcett hair styles. However, "Carousel" does establish (in dialogue) the fact that Logan and Jessica fled the city over a year ago. Okay, so we're to believe they can just drive back to the City of Domes (AGAIN!) in like a half hour or something? This reminds me of Star Trek: Voyager, where the ship was in Kazon territory for two years, and stopped at every outer space anomaly it encountered. Nice way to try to get home in a speedy fashion! The same must be true of Logan, Jessica and REM. Apparently they drive and drive and drive in their solar craft, but don't actually go very far. "Hey Logan, that grass over there looks interesting. Let's stop and take a look!"

Watching this episode, I kinda felt sorry for Francis (actor Randy Powell), our hapless pursuer. He could have killed Logan in this episode and been done with the whole bloomin' mission, but he didn't. You get the sense that he just wants Logan to come back to the City and be his best friend again. And that's really sort of sad/pathetic. I remember I interviewed Dorothy Fontana once, and she said that had Logan Run continued as a TV series, Logan and Jessica would have converted Francis to their side, and all three of them would have returned to the City of Domes to wage a war of insurrection against the Council of Elders. Too bad that never happened. A plot like that would have better served Francis, a character who is constantly made to look either foolish or just plain incompetent. It also sounds like a cool way to continue the show, especially since the "civilization of the week" thing wasn't exactly going so well.

Interestingly, at one point during "Carousel" Logan declares that Sanctuary (his goal...) is just a place "invented by runners to encourage other runners." After seeing this many episodes of Logan's Run and watching the characters visit dream clinics ("Futurepast"), psych wards ("Fear Factor"), alien spaceships ("The Collectors") and the private estate of a hunter ("The Capture"), you know, I think he's telling the truth. Does he know he's telling the truth? Is Logan aware he's on a wild goose chase? That's one of those questions that never gets answered on this show...

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