Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Jason of Star Command: "Return of the Creature" (December 2, 1978)

In “Return of the Creature,” Jason of Star Command (Craig Littler) encounters the Gill-Man from Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).

No, I’m just kidding.  

In this episode, Jason, Nicole (Susan O’Hanlon) and Parsafoot (Charlie O’Dell) have been delivered to Dragos (Sid Haig) on his Dragonship.  There, Jason escapes, and encounters the monster with an electrically-charged tongue from a few episodes back.  He defeats it and rescues his friends.

Meanwhile, Dragos re-programs Peepo, the kindly little robotn from the Academy, and re-wires his circuits so he will turn against Star Command.  At the same time, Dragos spawns a galactic typhoon, and Star Command falls into its gravitational pull.

Well, “Return of the Creature” is a pretty dire entry in the first season of Jason of Star Command (1979-1980).  When this series is at its worst, it is simply a series of escapes, rescues and more escapes. 

That’s what “Return of the Creature” is. It consists of a lot of Jason running down cave-like corridors, escaping from monsters and guards, and rescuing his friends.  That’s pretty much it.  The whole story is filler until we get to a significant plot turn or point.

Commendably, the returning monster (or creature, per the title), still looks pretty good.  The stop-motion animation is strong, particularly in its coordination with the live-action elements of the action.  We learn that the monster is one of Drago’s energy clones this time, and the special effects are good as Jason destroys it.  The production values of this series never fail to impress.  Just some entries are narratively empty, from time to time.  And "Return of the Creature" is one of those times.

"Return of the Creature" fast-moving filler, a place holder until the next big story pivot point.  We should be getting that soon, with poor Peepo getting brainwashed by the evil Dragos.

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