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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, poor execution, January 19, 2012
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This review is from: The Starlost - The Complete Series (DVD)
The Starlost was a victim of a lack of forethought and finance by the TV executives who had originally bought into the concept - and what a concept. Some 300 years into Earth's future, the best of the population design and launch a Space Ark to preserve what's left of humanity before the imminent destruction of our home planet.
Each community aboard the Ark house a different aspect of Earth's culture, ranging from scientific to agrarian societies. Some 100 years into the journey, an accident damages the Ark's navigation system, and cuts off each societies Biosphere from each other. Each society then evolves seperately, with no knowledge of each other, or knowledge they are in fact on an Ark.
400 years pass, and in one of these Biospheres a man called Devon falls foul of his Amish style community by constantly questioning the meaning of his and their existance. He loves Rachel who is betrothed to Garth a blackmith , and his antagonistic rejection of this arrangement have the elders ranging against Devon. He eventually finds a means of escape via an electronic portal key given to him by an older man, much like Devon in attitude, but not before persuding Rachel to join him.
With the entire community ranging against him, Devon goes through the portal with Rachel, with Garth following soon after to bring Rachel back ...
So begins The Starlost - sounds ingriguing doesn't it ? Unfortunately the execution was disastrous. Finance for special effects was not forthcoming when buyers for network TV in the US didn't materialise. Cheap (even by 1973 standards) chroma key effects with ineffective miniatures and very basic in camera effects set ups and sets defeated the whole sense of mystery and scale.
Such a pity as the lead star (Kier Dullea - 2001) and guests were generally of A list quality: Sterling Hayden and Walter Koenig were just two of top echelon actors who guested.
For all this, the show had it's moments and has huge nostalgia charm.
All the episodes - 16 in all - appear uncut, the only extra being a 7 minute promo reel with Dullea and Doug Trumbull (effects supervisor) showing the proposed Magicam system that never materialised.
With Dullea, Trumbull, Ben Bova, and Harlan Ellison on board, this should have been an epic - it never came close, and Ellison (credited as Cordwainer Bird) disowned it before production started.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 15, 2012 9:47:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 15, 2012 9:47:14 AM PDT
A. Gammill says:
Good review, although I'm still on the fence about whether to buy this. I never saw it, although I grew up in the 70's watching (and enjoying) shows like Space: 1999 and the just-released Logan's Run. I am surprised that with the sci-fi pedigree it has (Bova, Ellison, etc. . .although I personally feel Ellison made a career of bitching about how other people screwed up HIS ideas) that the show wasn't better. Oh well, the price is right, I'll probably give it a try :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2012 4:02:50 PM PDT
A. C. bard says:
sorry to disagree with those who think Harlan has no grounds to bitch about the random evisceration of his page-to-screen projects..but when you supply a "bible" of a series..and the whole plot point of the end of the series happens in the first 20 minutes of the pilot..well, I can't say I'd be overjoyed myself. To each his own.
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Location: Limerick Ireland

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