Saturday, September 17, 2016
Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Space Stars Episode #6 (October 17, 1981)
This week on Hanna Barbera’s omnibus series, Space Stars (1981), Kid Comet and Jan -- out on a date – escape collision course with a planet by breaking the time barrier. They end up going into a distant world’s prehistoric era. Meanwhile, Space Ghost pursues a space pirate in the Phantom Cruiser, and finds he is operating in the same prehistoric era, thanks to a time machine.
As you might guess, this is quite a coincidence, though Jan terms the serendipity a “miracle.” This episode is distinguished not just by the contrivance of having two groups of superheroes encountering one another in a different time period, but by the use of the Super Friends sound track score.
“Elektra’s Twin” is the story of the week on “Teen Force,” and it involves another attempt by Uglor to take-down the team. Here, he lures them into space with a damaged star-liner and replaces the real Elektra with a twin he has grown in his lab. “Elektra Prime” then sets about to sabotage the Teen Force as they embark on a mission to save the free planets. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that Uglor’s scientists wear upside down Starfleet emblems around their necks.
The next adventure in the hour is “The Purple Menace,” a Herculoids story. Here, breakfast is interrupted on Quasar by an attack of giant purple plaints. The Herculoids investigate and find that the plants are drawing their strength from a strange growth in a nearby fissure. Radioactivity from that source is responsible for mutating normal ferns into the dangerous monsters.
In “the cold, lonely heart of space,” anything is possible, even “the supernatural,” according to this Space Ghost segment, called “The Haunted Station.” Here, Space Ghost and his friends land on a space station an encounter zombies. These undead are actually the crew, who have had their souls stolen by a space-going, light-sensitive vampire called a Vorvoloka.
And yes, this is a straight-up knock-off of the famous Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981) episode “Space Vampire.” There, Buck (Gil Gerard) battled a soul-sucking, light-sensitive vampire -- a Vorvon -- on a space station.
The Astro and the Space Mutts assignment this week, “The Night of the Crab,” involves another ridiculous super-villain, The Crab. He steals Space Ace’s “space award” at a gathering of superheroes (which includes the Teen Force and Space Ghost) and then absconds to the “Crab” Nebula. The mutts and space ace pursue, even as the crab drenches their ship in a space storm.
About that storm, the Crab literally causes it to rain in space. The rain floods Space Ace’s ship, and the dogs have to bail water from it. Which makes me wonder why so many spacecraft on Space Stars have open cockpit designs.
The final story of the week, the Space Stars Finale, is called “The Crystal Menace.” The tale finds Space Ghost and friends chasing a crystal cyborg to Quasar, home of the Herculoids. This cyborg is turning everything in his path into crystal – including life forms -- and must be stopped. The episode opens with everyone safe, and un-crystallized, but the phantom cruiser is left damaged, and according to Space Ghost will have to be replaced.
As usual, there are a number of black-outs or interstitial segments in this episode. Space Magic finds Moleculad tricking the Astromites with another coin trick, and a mighty implausible one at that. In the Space Fact segments, the Teen Force heads to a “super hero reunion” on Earth and discusses the “international date line.”
The Space Mystery involves the Teen Force again, going after a criminal on another planet that possess an international date line.
Finally, this week’s Space Code comes from Space Ace.