Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: BraveStarr: "The Witnesses"

In “The Witnesses,” a spaceship carrying stowaways arrives at Fort Kerium and they are arrested by Marshal BraveStarr.

Matters grow more complicated, however, when BraveStarr learns that the stowaways are witnesses to a dangerous crime…and are therefore being hunted by a criminal.

“The Witnesses” is another standard Western tale revamped to the futuristic outer space setting of Filmation’s BraveStarr.  In this case, we meet stowaways -- Dax and Botch -- that are attempting to escape the reach of a criminal called “Slug Moody,” (I think, if I caught it right), who is wanted on sixteen planets.

The episode’s message is that telling the truth is important, and that “just because you’re small” that doesn’t mean you can’t have “courage.”  In other words, the little stowaways must show fortitude and tell the truth, even though bad guys are after them, and could hurt them.

Again, it’s a pretty standard Saturday morning message, and BraveStarr has handled the “size doesn’t matter when it comes to character” trope before, especially regarding the Prairie people.  A story like “The Vigilantes” seems more relevant today than this fairly generic show.

"The Witnesses" also demonstrates aptly the source of my conflicted feelings about BraveStarr in terms of visuals and designs. I absolutely love the strange, almost Rube Goldberg-like backgrounds and architectural details (like the look of Fort Kerium), but the characters tend to appear, for my taste, a bit too Disney-cute. The Witnesses here are just a bit too talking-rodent-ish, or something.

Next week: “The Wrong Hands.”

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