Saturday, October 08, 2016

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Space Stars Episode #9 (November 7, 1981)

Hanna Barbera’s Space Stars (1981) episode #9 commences with the story called “Devilship.”

Here, Space Ghost’s young friend Jace discovers a space-dragster and starts to fly it.  Unfortunately, some force on the ship makes him turn evil, and he immediately sets out to steal the gold ore harvested on the twin moons of Bellerophon.

Space Ghost attempts to stop him, but when he boards the space dragster, he also grows avaricious and greedy…at least until Blip splashes him with cold water.

Space Ghost soon realizes that the criminal known as the Wizard is behind this plan to steal gold, described in the episode as the most valuable ore in the universe.

The Teen Force story in this episode is “The Space Slime,” and it sees Uglor again attempting to conquer the Free Worlds, this time with a deadly space slime that ages anyone it comes in contact with “50 years in a few seconds.”

Electra is super-aged in this fashion, but Uglor owns a rejuvenator ray to help reverse its effects.  Unfortunately, the space slime soon evolves, and grows out of control, leaving the Teen Force no choice but to set the ship’s course for a nearby star.
This story is riddled with risible dialogue, including the line “Call off your slime!”  And once more, it’s a veritable rerun, with the narrative concerning Uglor’s (thwarted) attempt to take over the Free Worlds.

The Herculoids story of the week is “Return of the Ancients.” It is an update of the Tarzan “lost city” formula in some ways. Here, aliens who lived on Quasar five hundred years ago return to the planet only to find their former metropolis in ruins, abandoned. 

They kidnap Doro to learn what has happened, while his parents attempt a rescue.  The aliens learn that their ancestors were killed by a poisonous flower, and Tara uses that very flower to send them scurrying back to the stars.

The second half of the hour commences with “The Deadly Comet,” wherein a comet, under remote control, is destroying space vessels in a shipping lane. Space Ghost and his friends come to the rescue and find that the comet is controlled by a villain called the Commander.

The worst story of the week -- again -- belongs to Space Ace and the Space Mutts.  

In “Jewlie Newstar” (Julie Newmar?) a jewel thief, Jewlie, steals the Jupiter diamond from her diamond ship.  

The story is typically lame, and Space Ace is such an irritating, whiny character. He’s always complaining with some variation of “why me?” In this episode alone, he asks “when will I ever learn” “and what else can go wrong?” 

The final story in episode nine, “The Outworlders” features Space Ghost and the Teen Force, and probably qualifies as the most interesting story, though that is slight praise considering the other offerings.  

Here, an “Outworlder” -- an insectoid -- gets aboard a starship and begins converting the solid matter into energy so as to feed itself.  

An “energy vampire,” the Outworlder is just one villain here.  The other is the ship’s captain, Delos, who is wired directly into the spaceship -- which he considers his body -- and is concerned only with his vessel, not his human crew.

One corridor on the ship looks exactly like the interior of the Millennium Falcon.  That may or may not be a coincidence.

The “Space Magic” this week is also incredibly stupid. Doro teaches Tundro about magnetism, but in fact is just blowing air from his mouth on a stick.  

Yep, that’s magic, all right.

“Space Fact,” meanwhile, finds Space Ace and Astro discussing the sun’s incredible heat, a concept which recurs in the “Space Mystery.” Here, Space Ace and his canine budz battle the Automan, who steals the fastest space car in the galaxy, but stops at the sun…because it’s too hot.

Finally, “Space Code” involves Space Ghost and the deciphering of the phrase “Trouble in the Martian Empire.”

Two episodes left!

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