Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Jason of Star Command: "Through the Stargate" (October 27, 1979)

The Tantalution story arc is now behind the series, and Jason of Star Command's second season continues with an episode entitled "Through the Stargate."  

Here, a minion of Dragos named Adron (Rod Loomis) pretends to be an ambassador so that his disabled ship, "The Space Flyer" can be repaired at an unsuspecting Star Command.

Jason rescues Adron after he experiences a blow-out in his engine.  Specifically, Jason "piggybacks" the alien ship to Star Command in a dangerous, perfectly-timed maneuver.  

Once at command, Adron reveals a precious and "fragile" artifact aboard his ship, one that shares an emblem with Samantha's (Tamara Dobson necklace.  Thus, the artifact may be from her world, which she still can't recall because of amnesia.  This similarity proves an irresistible mystery to the alien woman...

Soon, Samantha, Jason and Parsafoot use the artifact to transport to an alien world, one where they encounter a giant, injured creature, and nurse it to health.  Soon however, Adron shows up too, and reveals his true form.  Before long, he traps his enemies in a cavernous prison edifice.

"Through the Stargate" features a new alien monster costume (Adron), a new stop-motion creature, and even a new spaceship miniature for the "Space Flyer."  Unfortunately, the moments set on the planet surface all look abundantly familiar.  We've been to this sound stage and seen these rocks at least three times before during the second season.

Also, we seem to be in bit of a rerun, storywise. 

In "The Power of the Star Disk" and "Secret of the Ancients" episodes, Parsafoot learned that an alien device was actually a matter transporter, and Dragos used it to strand the crew on a planet in another dimension.

In this episode, "Through the Stargate," yet another matter transmitter strands the heroes on another planet...and the same sound-stage to boot.  This planet, like its predecessor, seems to be set in another dimension, since Dragos tells Adron "We have intruders in your universe."  All the same story elements are repeated, only this time, the narrative promises to reveal more about Samantha than Commander Stone.

The twin-highlights of this episode of Jason of Star Command are the piggy-back action sequence set in space (which forecasts a similar scene, done with CGI, in Star Trek: Insurrection [1998]) and Samantha's telepathic communication with the affectionate, stop-motion monster.  Otherwise, this is a case of been there, seen that.


  1. Anonymous2:37 PM

    The two highlights of the ep still stand out. The 'rhino-dog' is brought to life, again, with exceptionally smooth animation. It's also an amazingly detailed model which can stand up to close scrutiny ( the poorly detailed dinos in 'Land of the Lost' always looked shoddy close up). Executed on a much smaller budget, the docking sequence was almost as good as that in primetime's Buck Rogers' ep "Olympiad".

    As for the other aspects of the show, one just gets used to the level of acting (very broad for children) and the overly familiar alien planet set. Samantha's powers were always ill defined, but her ability to communicate with animals made her even more appealing to children. Along with Maya, Samantha is one of the most fondly remembered tv aliens for 70's kids.

  2. Anonymous2:15 PM

    The last photo posted has the impressive prop full-scale Minicat escape pod( Which docks to the bow of the Starfire. ) that the actors could climb into for realism.