Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Forgotten Films

Directed by James Goldstone, who also directed the pilot episode of Star Trek (1966) - Where No Man Has Gone Before.   Some say this is better than the Star Trek: The Next Generation series.  I can't say that as I haven't watched it yet.  But I ran across it on YT, so thought I'd post it here.

Earth Star Voyager is a science fiction television movie about a space mission to find another planet suitable for colonization. It was shown on the Wonderful World of Disney in 1988.  The show aired as a two-part pilot, but was never picked up for a series and has not been released on DVD, although a fan base for the pilot has grown over the years.   The cast includes:  Duncan Regehr (Jacob Jake Brown), Julia Montgomery (Sally Arthur - MD), Brian McNamara (Jonathan Hays), Jason Michas (Jessie Beanie Bienstock), Peter Donat (Admiral Beasley).

 It is now six years later, in the year 2088. Command cadet Jonathan Hays, twenty-one, and his best friend Jessie Beanie Bienstock, a 14-year-old computer specialist, are among the young military cadets chosen to serve as the crew of Earth Star Voyager, the planets newest interstellar vessel. Due to worsening ecological conditions on Earth, there is a plan in place to evacuate the planet and colonize another world.  

Probes have been sent out six years ago via the Vanguard Explorer, and one has sent data back on Berensons Star; she has a life-zone planet which has been named Demeter. The mission of Earth Star Voyager is to go to Demeter, perform a full planetary survey and return that information because if conditions on Demeter prove accurate (the probes data indicates that human life could survive on Demeter), then the human race will colonize the world. The plan to colonize Demeter has already begun; ships are already being built to transport the population but will take forty years to complete construction of all the necessary vessels, and the trip to Demeter, with plasma-thrust engines and the Bauman Drive (named for Professor Bauman, the creator) will take 26 years. That was the rationale of choosing the crew from the Academy—for their youth and intelligence. Jonathan, as second-in-command, will assume command if Forbes is shown to be unable to continue his duties due to age. It is also mentioned that a modified form of cryogenic suspension will be used by the crew during the voyage in order to slow the ageing process. (Beanie mentions that he'll be forty years old upon their return to Earth, and Captain Forbes also mentions that although the process will slow their ageing, they will still age.)

At any rate, I'd never heard of this SF film, and thought I'd share it here.  Both parts are present on Youtube, so if that appeals to you as well, check it out.  


At 11:06 AM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

I don't remember this at all -- though in '88 had I been aware of it it's likely I would have watched it.

Sometimes one would like to hear the reasoning behind picking up one show and not another. Execs try to guess at future ratings of course, but it is easy to be wrong about that. About actors too: In 1949 Columbia saw nothing in Marilyn Monroe and dropped her contract.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

Art and commerce can be a fickle beast. It's hard to predict what the public will want at times. Sometimes even when art/ a movie/ book/ film/ or whatever is created it's specifically done so for an audience, which is why there's so many sequels, and trends following trends. Hollywood tries to narrow its risk by giving screenings and audience questionnaires, etc. but still it's hard to predict. I think in the end it's still best if you are a creator of such things to just go with what excites & motivates you, sticking with your own personal vision, and let the rest fall into place. At least in the end, you'll feel like you've put your best imprint on the work and not compromised to some middling standard.

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

Wow, never heard of this one either. Thanks for the review!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Yeah, I have to admit the cover is a bit cheesy. I don't know who designed it. If I were to guess, since it was a made for TV movie, someone just designed the cover on their computer. But since it's a fairly obscure movie, I don't know for sure. One of the best things about Youtube though is running across these obscure rarities that so many never got a chance to see.


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