Logan's Run 40th Anniversary Blogging: "The Collectors" (September 23, 1977)
The second Logan's Run episode, "The Collectors" aired on September 23, 1977, and was written by James Schmerer and directed by Alexander Singer.
Bluntly stated, it's an episode that doesn't live up to the potential of the series. The episode is well-directed by Singer, a veteran director of many programs, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, but the story is hopelessly cliched, and just doesn't fit well in the Logan's Run universe.
Here's what happens:
After a careful watching, I have to say that "The Collectors" would have been much more successful if, as viewers, we believed that the alien spaceship really were that grand destination, Sanctuary, along with Jessica and Logan.
Secondly, the episode really treats Jessica really poorly. I thought she was slightly insipid in the pilot episode, but here this character - a revolutionary from an oppressive society, we should remember - throws caution to the wind and immediately believes that they have located Sanctuary. She shows no cynicism, no skepticism.
Because Logan is our hero, he's the suspicious one, which fits in with his character, I suppose. After all, he is the only Sandman to have an introspective, questioning side. But I do think there is some "premise" drift here.
Even beyond these issues of character and plotting, the story line of "The Collectors" is trite. How many times over the years have we met aliens who want to collect Earth specimens in a kind of zoo and bring them back to their planet, only to be dissuaded by the wiles of humankind? Too many, I'd say. It feels a little too Star Trekkish, which -- of course -- was the yardstick for sci-fi programs in the 1970s. The final act is also a plug for Star Wars fans, with the myriad aliens fleeing from their cells, looking in all their glory like the denizens of the Tatooine cantina.
But sadly, "The Collectors" doesn't address the themes and ideas that should be at the heart of a series like Logan's Run.
But then again, early episodes of a series often have difficulty finding their footing. The pilot is usually strong (it must be, to sell the series), and then the first few episodes dip in quality while everybody gets their legs, and then the show -- if it is lucky -- comes back strong.
We'll see in the weeks ahead of Logan's Run recovers from this sophomore stumble.
Next week: "Capture."