There were some character changes in the offing as well.
James Doohan departed the series to fulfill a commitment to appear in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and he was replaced by John Russell as blue-skinned Commander Stone. Nicole (Susan Pratt) also disappeared without a trace, to be replaced by the alien Samantha (Tamara Dobson).
But an impatient Jason test-flies a newly modified Star Fire fighter -- the "fastest one this side of Beta 2" -- and accidentally strafes the new Commander as he arrives aboard a Seeker. Stone dresses Jason down, indicating his desire to command "by the book."
"The galaxy is not your personal playground" he scolds Jason. Jason reminds him that he is not officially under Star Command jurisdiction, but seems chastened by his bad first impression.
Aboard the ship, Jason finds a beautiful, Amazonian woman in cryo-freeze, Samantha (Tamara Dobson). He quickly awakens her and learns that she is an amnesiac. All she remembers for certain is that her people were conquered by Dragos.
But a new threat emerges quickly. Dragos (Sid Haig) has fired a "freeze ray" at Star Command, and it's up to Jason and Samantha to determine the source and disarm the device.
The first half-hour of Jason of Star Command's second season flies by at a quick pace, and introduces new characters Stone and Samantha well. In the former case, Russell makes a strong impression as a more strict, less-friendly commander than Canarvin. He's a more imposing physical presence, and brings a much-needed sense of tension to the drama. Doohan's character never really had any individual traits, and since Jason was the star of the show, came off as rather weak.
Samantha also looks like a strong new companion in "Mission to the Stars, and there is a mystery at the heart of her story.
Where did she come from, and how did she get on that derelict? Is she part of Dragos' trap?
As was the case with the first season, the series is fun, and features some great 1970s era special effects too. The spaceship and starbase designs are really terrific, and are indicative of a kind of consistent approach to the universe, and to futuristic technology. The show always looks goods, even if the stories are juvenile.
That's roughly the same dynamic you get between Space Academy and Jason of Star Command.