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Space Academy Reunion Class of '77!
, November 22, 2006
This review is from: Space Academy: The Complete Series (DVD)
Who could forget that the year Star Wars blasted its way across cinemas that Space Academy launched on CBS Saturday mornings? The SA was a man-made planetoid built upon a large asteroid in space that was navigated by way of an interstellar star drive and commanded by Lost In Space's Dr. Smith, Jonathan Harris, who played 300 year-old Commander Isaac Gampu. The SA contained several really cool space shuttles or "Seekers" that allowed them to take off-campus expeditions to nearby planets. The Seekers were basically designed after the Ark II vehicle (minus the wheels) which had been Filmation's previous live-action Saturday morning sci-fi entry. The culturally diverse and co-ed students attending the SA included Lt. Adrian played by Maggie Cooper, Lt. Laura Gentry played by Pamelyn Ferdin (the voice of Lucy from the Peanuts and Sally on Sealab 2020) and her brother Captain Chris Gentry played by Ric Carrott, Lt. Paul Jerome played by Ty Henderson, Tee-Gar Soom played by Brian Tochi (the voice of Leonardo in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films), and Loki played by Eric Greene along with a funky robot named Peepo (voiced by She-Ra Erika Scheimer) who looked as though he could have been the distant cousin of Buck Rogers' Twiki. The students each had some kind of special skills and abilities like telekinesis and invisibility which were attributes used to overcome hostile situations and the stories generally involved plots that included some kind of moral for kids by teaching them the consequences about making the right choices but who really cared? For its day, this show boasted some of the best visual effects on television (cheezy by today's standards of course) with detailed scale models and stop-motion aliens. What kid wouldn't be intrigued by this show at that age? Bell-bottoms and blue-screens never looked so passe but for those of us who were glued to the television every Saturday morning in the 1970's should find this old-school fun and a somewhat embarrassing nostalgic trip down memory lane.
In 1978, Space Academy was revamped into the successful spin-off serial Jason of Star Command starring Craig Littler as Jason and Sid Haig as the evil space pirate Dragos and it recycled the Space Academy sets and models which became Star Command under the command of Star Trek's James Doohan and the Seekers were "upgraded" into the sleeker Starfire crafts. It was mentioned that Star Command was actually a special secret section of Space Academy although there was never any crossover between the two shows.
It's hard to believe that after 30 years BCI-Eclipse will finally release the complete series on DVD featuring all 15 episodes of this rarely-seen vintage 70's Saturday morning show on 4 discs including audio commentary on two episodes "Phantom Planet" and "Countdown" with Filmation producer Lou Scheimer and stars Ric Carrott, Brian Tochi, Eric Greene, and Special Effects Supervisor Chuck Comisky, and hosted by Andy Mangels. Special features also include:
* Featurette - "Back to School with Space Academy"
* Behind-the Scenes photo gallery
* Cast Reunion photo gallery with interview clips
* Memorabilia photo gallery with interview clips
* Promotional photo gallery
* Booklet with Episode Guide and Trivia
* All 15 Scripts (DVD-ROM)
* Series Bible (DVD-ROM)
* Easter Eggs
* Trailers - Ink & Paint Previews
All 15 Episodes:
1. The Survivors of Zalonm
2. Castaways in Time and Space
3. Hide and Seek
5. There's No Place Like Home
6. The Rocks of Janus
7. Monkey Business
8. The Phantom Planet
9. Planet of Fire
10. Life Begins at 300
11. The Cheat
12. My Favorite Marcia
13. Space Hookey
14. Star Legend
15. Johnny Sunseed
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