Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Jason of Star Command: "Chapter Four: A Cry for Help;" (September 30, 1978)

In “A Cry for Help,” The officers of Star Command, including Nicole Davidoff (Susan Pratt) and Professor Parsafoot (Charlie Dell) must deal with the energy clone of Commander Canarvin ensconced in their midst.  They manage to defeat him, but not before he de-activates the station's force field.

Dragos seizes his moment and attacks Star Command. Before long, the facility begins to plummet towards a sun, where it will burn up.  At this juncture, Dragos demands the surrender of Star Command.

Meanwhile, on the Dragon Ship, Jason frees one of Drago’s mindless minions.  

The being is transformed into a beautiful princess, Allegra (Roseanne Katon). Her father is the prime minister of a civilized world, Claru, and Dragos has been keeping her prisoner to secure his allegiance.

Jason and Allegra manage to escape the Dragon Ship and destroy Jason’s energy clone. Wiki, meanwhile, goes off to find Nicole, now captaining a star fire and in search of the missing Jason…

The Star Wars-y-ness of Jason of Star Command begins to come more sharply into focus in this fourth episode, “A Cry for Help.” 

Jason, stranded on a death star-like space station/vehicle, seeks to rescue a beautiful princess, in this case Allegra, rather than Leia. 

Meanwhile a helpful little droid – Wiki rather than R2-D2 -- just may save the day.

The Star Wars story tropes pile in in some upcoming episodes, particularly one wherein Jason and Allegra suddenly take to bickering, as though they are latter-day Han Solos and Princess Leias.

Still, one must credit the series with ambition.  Episodes like this feature space battles, starships (or asteroid-starships, to be precise...) falling into stars, and so forth.  There's a tremendous amount of action featured here.

Meanwhile, on a human scale, this story is quite satisfying on a human level.  The Canarvin energy clone is finally eliminated, putting Star Command back in the hands of the heroes.

Longtime fans of Filmation productions may feel déjà vu in this "chapter" for another reason.  The soundtrack in this fifteen minute installment of the series can also be heard on Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973), in the episode “Beyond the Farthest Star,” as well as others.

Next episode: “Wiki to the Rescue.”

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