Saturday, October 24, 2015
Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Jason of Star Command: "Chapter 5: Wiki to the Rescue" (October 7, 1978)
In Jason of Star Command (1978-1980) Chapter 5, “Wiki to the Rescue,” the tiny aforementioned robot proves his worth yet again.
While Jason (Craig Littler) and Princess Allegra (Roseanne Katon) are trapped on a crumbling planetoid, the droid finds Nicole (Susan Pratt) on a Star Fire and alerts her to the situation.
Meanwhile, Star Command is still facing the crisis that Dragos (Sid Haig) initiated. The base is falling into an alien star.
Accordingly, Professor Parsafoot (Charlie Dell) must either surrender to Dragos or die.
Demonstrating courage, Parsafoot rebuffs Dragos and decides that Star Command will take its chances.
Jason, realizing that he must break Dragos’ hold on Star Command, initiates a self-destruct sequence on his Star Fire and rams it into the sinister and imposing Dragon Ship.
Jason and Allegra escape in a pod, having achieved their mission.
Meanwhile, Dragos’ drones close in on Wiki, ready to destroy him.
Each fifteen minute segment of Jason of Star Command’s first season is really only a small piece of a big puzzle. Not all the segments stand up well as stand-alone adventures, as they start with a cliffhanger and end with another.
That said, the strong special effects, dynamic costumes, and space adventuring all call back the heyday of Star Wars.
Jason of Star Command is space swashbuckling pure and simple, and enjoyable on that basis, even if woefully shallow or superficial. Princess Allegra adds some much needed spice to the proceedings, and the visuals are, as usual, unimpeachable.
Here, on that front, we get the Star Command falling into a star, and Wiki caaught in a dangerous pursuit by drone interceptors.
This segment also features a fantastic and uncommon view of the Dragon Ship from beneath. The miniature remains impressive to this day, even though we are now decidedly in the age of CGI. Just look at the detail there...it's a whole city we've never even seen before!
Finally, it's nice to report that Parsafoot shows some real backbone this week, and doesn't serve only as wimpy comic relief.
Next week, one of the first season episodes that is often considered the best of the bunch: “Planet of the Lost.”