Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 23:44:40 -0800
From: Blair (
Subject: Starlost Rant (was Re: Space:1999, Marked Down from 2001)

>Anybody else recall "The Starlost"?  Isn't it sort of the same idea as the
>ship in "Mission of the Darians"?

"The Starlost", a botched attempt to make a series out of Harlan Ellison's
"Phoenix Without Ashes".  one night in summer '90, my friendly neighborhood
indie TV station (same one currently running SPACE: 1999 unaltered) ran the
whole thing in original order.  Harlan's account of his involvement in it
was so harrowing and vomit-inducing that i decided to tape it all.  i have
since burned those tapes and had a priest perform an exorcism on my VCR!  it
makes Dr. Who look like APOLLO 13!  (i am, by the way, a Dr. Who fan from
way back.)

there, now.   my spleen feels much better!
sincere apologies for off-topic, high vitriol content, etcetera...

Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 19:10:13 -0800 From: Subject: Mission of the Darians/Starlost Similarities? In a message dated 96-03-10 19:57:04 EST, Jon D. Balinson wrote: >Wasn't that the show about a giant flat spaceship hundred of miles across, >with dozens of cities completeley separated from each other? Consulting "Fantastic Television" again: STARLOST (1973, syndicated) was a Canadian videotaped sci-fi series featuring Keir Dullea [from "2001: A Space Odyssey"]. It was so bad that its creator, Harlan Ellison, disowned it and signed the pilot with his pen name, Cordwainer Bird. The premise was that the survivvors of the destroyed planet Earth are travling on an endless jurney through space in a huge spaceship. This endless voyage came o an abrupt end after one season. Well, that description clears up EVERYthing! I seem to recall there were classes and subclasses of people living on this ship who may or may not even know about one another, but maybe I'm thinking of something else. At the risk of straying too far off topic, anybody else know anything about it? Robert
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 1996 07:22:21 -0800 From: Mark Eidemiller Subject: OFF TOPIC: The Starlost What they were trying to do was capitalize on Roddenberry's Thousand Worlds Concept, but "indoors". Yes, each of the domes on the Starlost was a special environment and thus a special civilization. In that way, the travelers would (theoretically) never run out of places to go to....and that would (theoretically) keep the series running indefinitely. Star Trek was Gene Roddenberry's adaptation of Wagon Train, and his Thousand Worlds Concept (I think it was Thousand; don't quote me) was a way of putting the main characters somewhere differently each week, another place, another world, etc.... Many series have tried this, and failed. Starlost really failed, although it had a good premise it had bad acting and lousy plots. But remember, this was post-Star Trek: anyone who lived during that time would pounce on ANYTHING that even SMELLED of science fiction. Later, Pastor Mark Eidemiller Moonbase Chaplain
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 1996 18:39:47 -0800 From: Tumbleweed Enterprises ( Subject: Re: Mission of the Darians/Starlost Similarities? Yes, there were many hundreds of biospheres on this ship, which was called the Ark (go figure). The scripts were absolutely top-notch sci-fi, but, as you said, the production values were so low as to be non-existent. Nontheless, "big-name" guest stars included Walter (Star Trek) Koenig as Oro tha alien, Lloyd (You name it, he's been a bit-part actor in it) Bochner as someone whose name I can't remember, and John (Battlestar Galactica) Colicos as some nasty guy whose reclining couch was covered in that foam rubber that looks like egg cartons. The deal was that the three main characters, named Devon (Dullea), Garth (Robin Ward) and Rachel (whose real name I can't remember) are members of an agrarian society called Cypress Corners, which, unbeknownst to the people who live there, is but one of many hundreds of distinct biospheres on a huge ship called the Ark. Devon and Rachel wish to marry, but Rachel is betrothed to Garth. Devon is thrown in jail for his persistence, and promptly escapes. He's given a kind of universal passkey to the rest of the ship by a wierd old hermit, and soon Rachel and then Garth follow him through the portal which connects Cypress Corners to the rest of the ship. Wandering the ship, they discover a whacky computer which tells them that the main bridge of the Ark was destroyed by a collision with an asteroid some years (the computer has lost count - it could be centuries or decades, but we know it's a while, since they find skeletons in lots of nooks and crannies)before. The computer (whose user interface looks like the demon spawn offspring of Max Headroom's marriage to Patrick McGoohan as he appeared in 'Scanners") does remember that the Ark is now on a collision course with a planet, but it doesn't know how far away this planet might be (it's apparently forgotten the date). The various episodes, of which there are a surprising number, follow the trio's efforts to locate the Auxiliary bridge, where they hope to be able to change the course of the Ark and thereby save the lives of the millions of humans who live on, each culture unaware of the others, in the Ark's hundreds of biospheres. The special effects were terrible, most of the backgrounds being blue-screened in behind the actors. The exterior shots of the Ark were quite convincing, and remain the technical highlight of the show. As I said, though, the scripts were great, and for this reason the show is definitely worth a look if anyone has the opportunity to see it. Also, the involvement of two sci-fi giants Ellison and Ben Bova make it a noteworthy failure. If anyone is interested, I can post an episode guide. The Littl Shynin Man
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 1996 19:20:28 -0800 From: (John Fleming @ COLD NORTH Publishing) Subject: Re: OFF TOPIC: The Starlost - Tapes???????? The ship was damaged and off course. Each Dome was not a 'special civilization', but evolved due to it's isolation. It was several hundred years after the accident, so there was several generations later in each dome, now sealed off from each other. Interesting idea, bad production. Then again, the book is always better than the movie!! >Many series have tried this, and failed. Starlost really failed, although it >had a good premise it had bad acting and lousy plots. As I said, the book thing. The plots had a good base, but by the time they could film them, they where chopped to hell to fit the budget. And yes, the acting is still some of the worst I've ever seen to date, and I whatch too much TV!!!! :-) >[....] I asked this before, but lost the info. Does anyone out there have any Starlost on NTSC video, and how do I get them from you???? I know, I know, WHY? Well, its a long story, a ridiculous project, and, and, I have nothing better to do!!! Yeah, Thats it! Thats my story and I'm stinking to it! Later...
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 23:59:28 -0800 From: Subject: Re: OFF TOPIC: The Starlost >Many series have tried this, and failed. Starlost really failed, although it >had a good premise it had bad acting and lousy plots. - And a TOTAL LACK OF BACKGROUND MUSIC! I have a few epis on tape, and its kind of eerie. There is no background music. Its noticable by its absense. It probably would of helped if it had had any background noise at all. With the actors, Keir Dullea(sp) (from 2001) among them, speaking in a monotone voices, with little to no emoting whatsoever (Al Gore school of acting). Or maybe it just SEEMED that way. You can't really tell, as TV and movies rely on BGM to set mood and tone to a program. Watch anything, anything at all, and then imagine it with no music. Or watch a scene being filmed. Its dull, as involving as watching someone read a book. IMHO because of BGM. In fact you can more often than not recognize a show by its music... Some of the plots were pretty good though. One was about a dome based on militaristic oppression, kind of 1984-esque. A false war created to keep the people from figuring they were oppressed. People dropping like flies creating munitionsin a heavily polluted atmosphere. Good I thought, or maybe I'm just REAL easy to please (must be, 'cause I kind of liked 'Star Command', except for the mini-skirts, and over-acting) Yours Truly, Nicolette
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 1996 16:54:41 -0800 From: Tumbleweed Enterprises ( Subject: More on "the Starlost" Here's the (crappy) episode guide I promised to post, but i'm afraid that There isn't much info here. 1. Voyage of Discovery 2. Lazarus from the Mist 3. The Goddess Calabra 4. The Pisces 5. Children of Methuselah 6. And Only Man is Vile 7. Alien ORO 8. Circuit of Death 9. Gallery of Fear 10. Mr. Smith of Manchester 11. The Ancient Woods 12. The Return of ORO 13. The God that Died 14. The Implant People 15. Jirthing's Comets 16. Beehive I have isolated memories of a few of these, and would like to hear from anyone who can tell me of a way to get them all on tape! Any other questions, let's talk.
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 23:59:31 -0800 From: >John (Battlestar Galactica) Colicos as some nasty guy whose reclining couch >was covered in that foam rubber that looks like egg cartons. "The Goddess Calabra" - J. Colicos is the ruler of an all male society,who were all gestated in artificial wombs, the women having all been killed off by disease. When the trio entered the sphere, Rachel is presumed to be a goddess, whom Colicos wishes to wed to secure his authority. Oh, and they COULD gestate females, but why bother ;O! What WOULD have made this an interesting episode, would have been an examination of the consequnces of a female-less society, but THAT was never touched upon. Nicolette
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 06:05:36 -0800 From: (Danny Lee) Subject: Why StarLost? Egads. The StarLost has got to be one of the worst shows period. The premise was good, but those awful special effects made Star Trek effect's look like Industrial Light and Magic. Vaccum formed plastic minatures with awful editing. And the stories made some of Space's worst episodes look like classic literature. At least in Britain and the US, you have plenty of material to make a Sci Fi channel. Here in Canada, we don't get the Sci Fi channel because of Canadian content rules. My personal dream (tongue firmly planted in cheek) is to make the Canadian Sci Fi Channel with 24 hours of Starlost, David Cronenberg films, and the William Shatner Masterpiece Theatre. All the episodes of Starlost played everyday and William Shatner's greatest moments(?) thrown in. Maybe even throw in a few episodes of Battlestar Galactica (Lorne Greene and John Calicos were Canadians) to boot. Somehow I don't think it would ever fly.
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 15:48:16 -0800 From: (John Fleming @ COLD NORTH Publishing) Subject: Re: Why StarLost? - Why not!!! Okay! Okay! I get the point. But, I'm looking for ALL Sci-Fi, good or bad. The bad ones are the hard ones to get a hold of. Since nobody likes them, nobody keeps them. They become rare, and lost in the large universe of 'commercial' Sci-Fi. I can get any Star Trek ep I want in a second, but Starlost, Battlestar, Quark. See what I mean?? Now for the why. I am working on a project that will, like Roberto's blueprints, take up a good portion of my life. But, I hope it will change the face of Sci-Fi and help direct the old hands, the new hands, and the future hands of Sci-Fi writes, artist, actors, etc. I know, what the hell am I talking about?? At this time I can't realy say. I'm still working up the framework. Once I have that, I will be able to tell all, and hopefully, you will all want to help. Credit given where credit is due. So, on that note... Who out there has 'bad' Sci-Fi on NTSC VHS??? Any Sci-Fi!!! Let me know. Thanks. Now, back to my pet project, getting a life. Later...
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 04:06:48 -0800 From: "Phillip C. Merkel" ( Subject: Starlost Tapes Off Topic Ok for all of you wanting to get Starlost, I have several "Movies" of Starlost episodes strung together. In total maybe about 6-8 episodes. Including the first episode with Harlan Ellisons psydonym (Spelling?) Cordwainer Bird. He uses that name whenever hes working on a project that gets...terrible. Anyway, I'm looking to trade for uncut episodes of 1999 or UFO. I'll trade tape for tape so if you gotta have it, I got it. Email me personally and we'll work out the details. Phil M Unity Intergroup of Suffolk County Long Island, New York PO Box 1134 Sound Beach, NY 11789 "There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another which states that this has already happened." Douglas Adams