Saturday, January 06, 2018

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Far Out Space Nuts: "Dangerous Game" (October 30, 1975)

In “Dangerous Game” a furry alien and an alien female, Solanna, embark on a new hunt, seeking fresh prey. They come upon Barney (Chuck McCann) and Junior (Bob Denver’s) in their lunar lander, and settle on the duo.

The lander sets down in a spaceship grave yard, and the duo learns they have been trapped there “for the games.”

If victorious in this deadly context, they can be returned to Earth.

The duo attempts to escape from the games, and the hunters never waged on prey as stupid as the far out space nuts…

“Dangerous Game” is another sci-fi TV variation of the famous cult-TV standard: The Most Dangerous Game. In stories of this type (or trope) -- seen on Space:1999, The Incredible Hulk, Logan’s Run, Deep Space Nine and other programs -- the series’ protagonists must escape from deadly, technologically advanced hunters.

Here, the alien hunters are particularly distinctive, at least in terms of their visualization. The female, Solanna, possesses a face of glitter, and long, pointed side-burns, much like Space: 1999’s Maya (Catherine Schell). And the male, Lycos, looks very much like a silver-haired Wookie, from the Star Wars universe.

Another trope, the space-graveyard, or “Sargasso Sea,” also gets a work-out in this episode of the Sid and Marty Krofft live-action series. Long-abandoned space-ships (miniatures) are seen on an alien surface.

Some other weird touches: When being threatened by the hunters, the space nuts encounter a weird space distortion, a vortex of some type. To determine what it is Junior and Barney consult their Encyclopedia of Space Disasters. This isn’t likely a tome that America’s space program could have developed, given its knowledge at the time of the space nuts’ accident.

That said, the lander’s passage through the space vortex allows for a ridiculous scene of (chroma-key) weightlessness with the two main actors.

The episode culminates with pie-throwing and other shtick, and then Barney teaching the alien “Space wolves” about poker, though the rules sound more like Star Trek’s Fizzbin.

Next week: “Secrets of the Hexagon.”

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