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.