Saturday, February 17, 2018
Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Far Out Space Nuts: "Galaxy's Greatest Athlete" (December 11,1975
Two beautiful space aliens -- who are really alien hags -- want to recruit Barney (Chuck McCann) and Junior (Bob Denver) as the galaxy’s greatest athletes in a kind of cosmic Olympic Games.
These space sirens determine that only Honk is actually intelligent, and attempt to seduce Junior, the dumbest of the trio, to their cause.
He participates and wins in different events such as “laser leap,” (a long jump), “astro arm wrestling” and more.
Junior proves victorious, and must battle the “space fuzzy” as the final contest.
The final episode of Sid and Marty Krofft’s Far Out Space Nuts (1975) doesn’t chart much new territory in terms of theme or plot, but remains enjoyable in the campy manner of much Saturday morning TV from the era (think: The Ghost Busters .)
As always, the humor remains juvenile, but pleasantly juvenile.
Once more, in “Galaxy’s Greatest Athlete,” we get female characters who appear to be beautiful, but are really hideous aliens, a story idea we have seen before in the series.
Once more, Junior is singled out as the stupidest man in the universe, and recruited to some cause (space piracy, scientific experimentation, or Olympic Games) that he has no desire to be involved with.
Once more, the “space nuts” out-maneuver the “superior” aliens they contend with.
This episode, intriguingly, does rely more heavily on chroma-key technology than most installments of the series do, with Junior (Bob Denver) visually inserted into miniature arenas and sets. These shots are not visually-accomplished by today’s standards, yet remain inventive for a low-budget 1975 series.
The focus on crazy “futuristic” games at the galactic Olympics here also forecasts similar imaginings in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981) episode “Olympiad.”
As this is the final episode of the series, I should offer a summation of the program as a whole. I’m as surprised as anyone to note this, but I actually enjoyed Far Out Space Nuts more than the previous two Krofft series I covered: Lidsville and the Bugaloos.
Perhaps it’s all the crazy aliens, or the outer space milieu, or perhaps just the fact that the series arises from an era I am nostalgic about (the immediate pre-Star Wars era; the epoch of Space: 1999), but I’m sad to have reached the end of a program I watched when I was five years old.