Monday, July 11, 2016

Cult-TV Theme Watch: Fighters

A fighter is a one or two-man attack craft, intended for use in times of war.

There have been some amazing fighters in sci-fi TV history.

For example, in Gerry Anderson’s UFO (1970), Moonbase is equipped with three one-pilot fighters, called Interceptors. These crafts can attack UFOs before they reach Earth, and launch missiles at the alien craft.

In Space: 1999 (1975-1977), one episode, “War Games,” introduces a fighter craft from Earth, the Mark IX Hawk. In this episode, aliens use Hawks (or illusions of Hawks) to attack Moonbase Alpha.

Fighters very much came into vogue on cult-TV after the release of Star Wars (1977), and the popularity of X-wing, Y-wing, and TIE Fighters was evident.  

On Glen A. Larson’s Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979), for example, the Colonials had fighters called Vipers, and the Cylons flew fighters called Raiders.

The next year, Larson’s Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981) introduced all kinds of fighters.  Buck (Gil Gerard) and Wilma (Erin Gray) flew Directorate Starfighters. These ships clashed with Draconian Marauders and hatchet fighters, and fighters of the week in stories like “Planet of the Slave Girls.”  In Season Two, Hawk's fighter (pictured above) was introduced.

Filmation’s Jason of Star Command (1978-1980) features Star Fire fighters, launched from the Academy, as well as Dragos’ (Sid Haig) drone fighters.

In the V saga, Visitors often fly fighters called Skyfighters in Earth’s atmosphere, and the first mini-series, The Final Battle, and the Series all feature fighter-on-fighter dogfights.

In Space: Above and Beyond (1995), Earth goes to war with alien soldiers, and use fighters called Hammerheads to wage war against them.

Farscape (1999 – 2004) also features some amazing fighter designs, including those of the Peacekeepers.

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