Thursday, June 02, 2011

Keir Dullea and 'The Starlost'

I Netlfixed the first four episodes of this 1973 Canadian sci-fi show recently.

The show is actually better than I remember when I watched it as a teenager. Yeah, the special effects are bad and the fact that it is on video tape makes the costumes and props look cheap. It looks like one of those old live action Saturday morning shows, or the original 'Dark Shadows'. And like 'Dark Shadows', I even saw a boom mic in one shot.

HOWEVER, I have to say, that for a show with a budget that didn't allow for much more than the characters standing around talking, it ain't bad. The writing is actually pretty darn good. It's a bit like the original 'Star Trek' without a budget.

After all, if 'Star Trek' was filmed on video, had no money for a decent soundtrack or props and sets or for going on location, it would pretty much the same thing as 'Starlost'. That is, Kirk and company confined to the ship and dealing with villains is sparkly costumes.

And the acting in 'Starlost', while sketchy at times, is generally good. They hired decent guest stars who seem to be giving it their all, and Keir Dullea, while awkward doing those rare 'action' sequences, does have that 'star power' certain people have that makes you want to watch him no matter what they're doing.

'Starlost' may be remembered as a great failure. So bad that creator Harlan Ellison walked away and used the pseudonym 'Cordwainer Bird' for his onscreen credit. But like 'Space:1999', it's interesting, if not great, and much better than garbage like the original 'Battlestar' or 'Buck Rogers'.


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