Wednesday, 20 January 2016

321 Logan's Run

First  viewed :  7  January  1978

More  dystopian  sci-fi  but  this  was  pretty  tame  stuff  compared  to  Blake's  7.

It  was  a  spin-off  from  the  1976  movie  covered  in  my  film  blog  ( in  the  Jenny  Agutter  post  of  course )  and  used  some  of  the  same  sets  though  none  of  the  original  cast. Gregory  Harrison  replaced  Michael  York  as  Logan, Randy  Powell  replaced  Richard  Jordan  as  Francis  and  Heather  Menzies, hitherto  best  known  as  one  of  the  kids  in  The  Sound  Of  Music ,  replaced  Agutter  as  Jessica.  The  other  regular  character , Rem  , the  affable  android  played  by  Donald  Moffat   didn't  feature  in  the  film  at  all.

The  pilot  obviously  had  to  reprise  the  original  story  to  some  extent  for  those  who  hadn't  seen  the  film  but  did  this  economically - the  suspicious  plastic  surgeon  and  Box the  robot  were   completely  excised - and  introduced a  new  element  in  having  a  hidden  council  of  elders  who  induce  Francis  to  pursue  the  couple  for  personal  gain.  They  do  go  to  the  Capitol  building  but  instead  of  meeting  Peter  Ustinov  they  uncover  a  futuristic  hovercraft  in  which  to  travel  around. From  that  point  the  series  leaves  the  film  behind  although  one  episode  does  involve  Logan  returning  to  the  city. The  rest  of  the  pilot  sees  the  couple  having  two  mild  adventures, the  second  one  of  which  results  in  them  acquiring  Rem  as  a  travelling  companion  and,  more  often  than  not,  handy  saviour . Francis  is  their  regular  adversary  but  he  doesn't  appear  in  every  episode  and  sometimes  is  forced  to  work  with  them  against  a  common  enemy.

The  general  structure  of  an  episode  was  that  Logan  and  Jessica  would  bump  into  that  week's  guest  star  who  would  generally  have  sinister  intentions  and  often  be  an  alien  and  then  have  to  be  rescued  by  Rem  or  Francis. The  guest  stars  included  The  Magnificent  Seven's  Horst  Bucholz  and  Kim  Cattrall .

Logan's  Run   fitted  into  the  same  sci-fi   genre  as  things  like  The  Six  Million  Dollar  Man   and  Man  from  Atlantis  but  it  was  also  a  prime  example  of  so-called  "jiggle  TV" . The  delectable  Ms  Menzies  - and  it's  a  very  tough  call  who  you'd  take  between  her  and  Jenny - wore  what  was  basically  just  a  short  pink  nightie  and  a  pair  of  knickers   for  a  role  that  required  a  lot  of  running, jumping  and  bathing  and  she  certainly  caught  the  eye. Menzies, who'd  already  done  a  Playboy  spread  was  unfazed  and  said  the  well-ventilated  costume  was  an  advantage  when  they  were  shooting  scenes  in  the  desert.

The  series  was  expensive  to  make  and  inevitably  short-lived ; only  14  episodes  including  the  pilot  were  made. It  was  fun  at  the  time  but  I  can't  say  I  felt  cheated  when  it  disappeared. Harrison  has  had  a  long  steady  career  in  US  television  ever  since  with  the  occasional  film  role  such  as  the  lead  part  in  Razorback.  Menzies  had  the  lead  female  role  in  Piranha   ,made  around  the  same  time  as  Logan's  Run   but  let  her  own  career  run  down  in  the  eighties  as  she  had  three  children  with  Robert  Urich  who  we'll  meet  soon  enough. Since  his  death  she's  run  a  charitable  foundation.  Moffat  maintained  a  long  career  as  a  character  actor , most  notably  as  the  US  President  in  Clear  and  Present  Danger  ,but  retired  around  a  decade  ago. Powell  made  a  big  impression  in  his  one  season  in  Dallas  particularly  for  the  amount  of  chest  hair  he  unveiled  in  his  bedroom  scenes   but  quickly  faded  after  that  and  since  the  late  eighties  his  acting  credits  have  been  few  and  far  between.

No comments:

Post a Comment