Sunday, November 13, 2005

CULT TV BLOGGING: Logan's Run: "Night Visitors"

Eeeesh. After the relative success of "Carousel," the last Logan's Run episode I blogged about here, I had high hopes that the series was going to finish out its fourteen episode run in fine fashion. Well, episode twelve, "Night Visitor" squashes that hope like a Sandman squashes Runners.

In this installment of the short-lived 1977 series, Logan, Jessica and REM experience the futuristic equivalent of running out of gas: their solar craft's energy cells power down during a night-time rain storm. While parked in the rain, Jessica thinks she spies someone: two figures beckoning in the darkness.

Logan, Jessica and REM then find their way to an old Victorian (pre-holocaust) house owned by the very odd duo of Bart (Paul Mantee) and Marianna Clay (Barbara Babcock). They claim to be waiting for the return of someone named Gavin (George Maharis), who apparently disappeared quite a long time ago. On that very night, Gavin does return and decides that Jessica is a gift from Heaven...or in this case, Hell. For long ago, Gavin made a deal with the Prince of Darkness to trade the life of a virtuous woman for that of his comatose wife. Now he wants his wife back, and he wants Jessica to help him conduct a spritual ritual that will make this deal complete. Naturally, Jessica's not too keen on the idea. She's transported to a cave-like dwelling under the house for the ritual, but Logan and REM are in hot pursuit.

This is perhaps the weakest Logan's Run episode yet, mixing as it does the post-apocalyptic world with the supernatural or occult world. Again, in lieu of finding and interacting with an interesting post-holocaust society, the writers of Logan's Run choose to have their protagonists encounter just a couple strangers at a Victorian house. Even more disturbing is REM's easy acceptance of the existence of ghosts. He even suggests the house is haunted. I don't know how he could possibly back up such an assertion, but there it is. I understand budgetary limitations, but still, you'd think the series could come up with something more imaginative and interesting than this.

However, there is one good scene in "Night Visitors." Logan and Jessica share a moment in her bedroom. "It's hard to think of my life without you in it," Logan says. "It's as if we've always been together." Then Logan and Jessica actually kiss. My goodness, for twelve episodes the writers on this program have assiduously avoided suggesting any kind of romantic relationship (even though that was the core of the relationship in the novels and the movie...). And now they change their minds all of the sudden. Still, it's nice to see that the relationships are developing.

Too bad this development came with only two episodes remaining, when there was precious little time to change the character dynamics...

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