Saturday, January 16, 2016

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Jason of Star Command (1978); "The Victory of Star Command" (December 23, 1978)

In the final episode of the first season, “The Victory of Star Command,” Jason (Craig Littler) evades a trap set by Dragos, destroys the medallion that creates the minions, and flees the Dragon ship with Nicole (Susan O’Hanlon).

Meanwhile, Space Academy falls under attack from Dragos’ drone fighters.  But the attack falls short, and Space Academy is victorious.

Refusing to accept defeat, however, Dragos promises to return.  “I will be alive in every dark corner of the universe,” he promises.

“The Victory of Star Command” is kind of a silly ending for the first season of this series.  When Dragos disappears in the last scene, for example, he leaves behind his helmet, gloves and cape.  


Isn’t he going to need his helmet wherever he is going? Why has he left pieces of his uniform, but not all of it?  

Secondly, Jason of Star Command has established all along that energy clones are real flesh-and-blood beings. But Drago’s duplicates this week are intangible and untouchable.  So they aren't energy clones at all, and the series' last chapter doesn't tightly tie in with the first few (wherein we discover Canarvin is an energly clone).  

This is a missed opportunity to tie back to the beginning of the season, and the whole energy clone subplot. But then, the series has long since stopped being coherent at this juncture. It's all phantasmagoria.

What makes the finale a little disappointing, even as phantasmagoria, is the fact that many of the effects are but stock footage at this point.  We've seen the Starfire escape the belly of the Dragon ship before, and we've seen the attack on the Academy by the drone fleet too.  So a sense of freshness and excitement is missing here.

Indeed, I’m not sure why this is the “finale” storyline except that the Dragon ship is destroyed, and Dragos leaves his items behind in his command center.  But we have seen in earlier episodes that Drago, whenever defeated, just comes right back and picks up where he left off.

And indeed, that’s sorta what happens in the second season of the series, isn’t it?  Next week, Season Two!


  1. John nice review. Maybe Drago's left behind his helmet because in season two Filmation was going to give him a new helmet design as they gave him a new Dragonship design. Albeit, they only gave him the new Dragonship.


  2. Anonymous1:25 PM

    I wasn't disappointed by the finale's use of stock footage. All shows of the era did that. The attack on the Space Academy was enhanced by several impressive new shots (of drones flying low over the academy). I would compare the finale to the UFO episode "Reflections in the Water". Previous footage was used to create a rather spectacular battle. The first season model for Drago's battlecruiser was rather more impressive than the second season's. The longer eps in the second season provided the opportunity for better story-telling.

  3. Season two will give Drago a pirate ship looking Dragonship, maybe Filmation was planning a pirate hat helmet.

    I agree that season one Dragonship was more impressive.


  4. Wild guess at why the helmet and cloak were left behind: the writers remembered how when Vader light-sabered Kenobi his body vanished leaving only his material possessions behind and thought it looked cool and used it regardless of whether it made any sense in context.

  5. John,
    There's a great article over at space1970 about Jason of Star Command. Check it out if you get a chance!