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Quark - The Complete Series

4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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(Sep 02, 2008)
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$99.99 $42.98

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A spoof of science fiction films and TV series, these are the adventures of Adam Quark, captain of a United Galactic Sanitation Patrol ship. His cohorts include Gene/Jean, a "transmute" with male and female characteristics; a Vegeton (a highly-evolved plant-man) named Ficus; and Andy the Android and Betty and Betty (who always argue over who's the clone of the other). Based at Space Station Perma One are Otto Palindrome and The Head. Though Quark is supposed to stick to his sanitization patrols, he and his crew often meet adventure with such colorful space denizens as the evil High Gorgon (head of the villainous Gorgons), Zoltar the Magnificent, and Zargon the Malevolent.

The cancellation of Quark after a mere eight episodes makes us ponder yet again the existence of intelligent life in the television universe. Created by Buck Henry, who with Mel Brooks, sent up the spy genre with Get Smart, this quite funny 1978 series spoofs space operas like Star Trek and Star Wars. Richard Benjamin stars as Adam Quark, an "ordinary human," who commands a United Galaxy Sanitation Patrol ship. His mission: "To boldly seek out grime and grit, to collect the uncollectible space baggie, and to always leave the area cleaner than when I found it." His eccentric crew includes Ficus (Richard Kelton), a Spock-like Vegeton; Gene/Jean ("Timothy" Thomerson), a male/female "transmute"; the gorgeous, hot pantsed navigators Betty I and Betty II (Cyb and Patricia Barnstable, who gained commercial fame as the Doublemint Twins), one of which is a clone; and Andy; the cowardly robot. The hapless Quark yearns for greater adventures, but gets no votes of confidence from bureaucrat Otto Palindrome (a pre-Mork & Mindy Conrad Janis), who administers Space Station Perma One as the behest of the behemoth The Head (Alan Caillou). Proceed with warp speed past the pilot episode. The series really takes off with the second episode, "May the Source Be With You," featuring the voice of Hans Conreid as the galaxy's supposed greatest weapon, but, that, after 200 years of inaction, is a little rusty. The Force may not be entirely with the cheesy-looking Quark, but, like Mel Brooks' When Things Were Rotten, this dimly remembered curiosity rates rediscovery. May it live long and prosper on DVD. --Donald Liebenson

Stills from Quark – The Complete Series (click for larger image)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Benjamin, Tim Thomerson, Richard Kelton
  • Directors: Hy Averback
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Middle Dutch
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 2, 2008
  • Run Time: 222 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DHE9GA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,660 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Quark - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Truly a bit of comic SF genius! It poked fun at every current SF blockbuster out there at the time...the take -off on Star Wars with Hans Conried as the voice of "The Source" is worth the price of the series by itself as it is one of the best of the early parodies of the movies.

The series is hokey, it *knows* it's hokey and revels in it. Like the equally little-known "Wizards and Warriors", it mercilessly impales and lampoons an entire genre with a few well-written quips.

If you enjoy good parody, buy this baby. We need to encourage the studios to both bring these gems out of the vaults and to create more.
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"It" hit the television world on February 24, 1978 like a galaxy-class starship slamming into a Quasi-norm. Quark, NBC's fantastic science-fiction spoof from the mind of Buck Henry, was released about the same time as Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Battlestar Galactica were making their impact on the science fiction community. The short-lived series featured Richard Benjamin as Adam Quark along with his crazy crew aboard a spacefaring garbage scow. Well ahead of it's time, the series has become a cult classic with precious few original copies available -- until now! Buck Henry's oddball creation will easily bring you back (and forth) in time. Although Amazon briefly covers what the series is all about, here's a little more information on the crew...

Our hero, Adam Quark (Richard Benjamin) commands the United Galaxy Sanitation Patrol ship. Quark's mission? To collect space baggies from United Galactic spacecraft. His other mission? Always getting himself into (and out of) trouble.

Quark's love interests are Betty I and Betty II (Cyb and Patricia Barnstable, the Doublemint twins of the 70s). The Betties co-pilot and co-co-pilot the 23rd century starship. The pretty one is the clone.

Ficus Pandorata (Richard Kelton) is a Vegeton. He is the ship's half-man, half-plant, Spock-like science officer. Wait until you see how he mates!

Gene/Jean (Timothy Thomerson) is a transmute. He/she has an equal number of male and female chromosomes (i.e., he's half-man, half-woman). His male half is never around when Quark needs it -- typically during a fight.

Quark's bosses are Dr. Otto Palindrome (Conrad Janis from Mork and Mindy) and an entity simply known as The Head (Alan Caillou). The head is a disembodied head floating through space. Together, they rule the galaxy! Well, not really. They rule Quark, and that's good enough for constant laughs. You'll see...
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I like TV shows on DVD because it lets you whatch what you want whenever you want. It doesn't matter if any channel airs it in syndication or not, and most channels pick from the same pool of shows to air in syndication anyway it seems. I really like discovering obscure and short-lived series on DVD. I like seeing something that I never knew of, or only vaguely remember. This short-lived series "Quark" falls into the "Never Knew Of" category, but I'm glad DVD has let me find out about it.
This show is a space adventure spoof, kind of like "Spaceballs" but from years earlier. This show is about the crew of a garbage collecting spaceship who end up saving the galaxy from dangers other that just overflowing waste-baskets and dumpsters. I love the low-budget, quirky design of the props, sets, and costumes. The ship itself is hilarious when they show it collecting garbage, which itself is in a gigantic garbage bag! I also like how the costume department was inconsistent with the insignia patches on everybody's uniforms. I'm glad that they included the pilot episode, even though it includes the old ship's engineer as the one who built Andy the nervous robot instead of Quark himself as stated in the other seven episodes. I like the rest of the crew - the non-emotional plant-man Ficus (spoof of Spock) who replaced the old guy, Gene/Jean the tough guy/sensitive woman, and Betty & Betty who argue about which is the clone and which is real.
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Ignoring the laugh track, this series had so much potential! There were some hilarious moments making fun of all the sci-fi shows before it.

Of special humor was the two part episode about "IT". IT was more of a rock, but they made fun of the force. There is also a scene where Quark is granted a promotion to another ship, and does a Kirk-like stand up for his crew saying he doesn't want the promotion if his crew doesn't come with him. The "Head" says very well and vanishes. This leaves Quark saying how that isn't negotiation! Trust me, you have to see it to appreciate it.

For the price, I can't see why any sci-fi fan wouldn't want to own this. It isn't terrific, but you know is 100x better than a lot of shows to come after it! (can you say Star Rangers?).
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If Buck Henry is behind it, it has to be good, right? If you believe that, then you may have never seen Quark.

Produced from 1977-78, Quark starred Richard Benjamin as Adam Quark, Captain of the United Galactic Sanitation Patrol ship, Richard Kelton as Fiscus (vegetable-human officer), Tricia and Cyb Barstable as Betty and Betty, clone twin engineers (for the price of one), and Timothy Thomerson as Gene/Jean, a transmute male/female officer. Conrad Janis of Mork and Mindy fame, played Palindrome, and the `Head' included the top half of the shoulders of Alan Cailou. While only lasting 8 episodes, the show has garnered an audience for memorable TV series viewers, if not for the sheer lunacy of the show.

Imagine, a garbage scow captain saving the universe from the evil High Gorgon, Zoltar the Magnificent and Zargon the Malevolent. Only on TV they say. But, you can do anything with the Source (this is not a commercial for Radio Shack) if you only believe in it...anything...except explain just how Betty and Betty manage to hang onto Captain Quark in times of trouble, and those darned Daisy Duke short sets in the middle of space. There must be some kind of fashion program at Perma One. Gene/jean is funny however, as the he-she character switches at the wrong (did I break a nail) times. As a science officer, Fiscus, is intelligent, but annoying. The `Head' used here is obviously inspiration for Third Rock (and Shatner) who did the floating head routine so much better inspite of needing singing lessons.

While the characters are memorable, the episodes suffer from something resembling too much effort for so little return. Even the laugh track seems strained. The stunts just stink at time.
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not much of a fansite but more than I expected for Quark and I have bookmarked
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He and She
Yes I remember it. Thought it was a very smart comedy.
That is probably why it was canceled!
Richard Benjamin was the director and went on to direct several movies and TV projects.
Aug 1, 2009 by V. Cosier |  See all 2 posts
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