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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Beyond The Stars... Jason Of Star Command!Feb. 18 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
"The time: the distant future. Man has reached the farther stars, but has also uncovered dark, mysterious galaxies. And, as Star Command heads into the unknown, danger lies in wait."
Originally broadcast in the wake of the "Star Wars" phenomenon as a 15-minute live action segment of CBS's "Tarzan and the Super 7" show during the 1978-1979 season, "Jason of Command" had proved to be so popular (and the most expensive Filmation series) it became a separate half-hour Saturday morning show a season later.
Set in the 22nd century, the "Space Academy" spinoff (utilizing the sets, costumes and props) featured Craig Littler as Jason, the Han Solo-esque space explorer vital to Star Command's defense against the Dragonship attacks of deliciously evil "Master of the Cosmos" Dragos played by Sid Haig. Star Command itself was actually a special ops division of the Space Academy.
The supporting cast includes Susan O'Hanlon ("All My Children") as computer expert Capt. Nicole Davidoff; James Doohan (TV's "Star Trek") as Season One Commander Canarvin; Charlie Dell as inventor Professor E.J. Parsafoot; Tamara Dobson ("Cleopatra Jones") as Season Two super-strong alien telepath Samantha (replacing Nicole); and John Russell ("Pale Rider") as Season Two blue-skinned Commander Stone (replacing Canarvin); plus outer space-ready pocket droid "Wiki" (W1K1), and Peepo the robot.
Though obviously inspired by Star Wars and Ray Harryhausen model animated epics, Jason of Star Command most closely resembled the sci-fi serials of the 1930s and 40s, with a single-storied overall first season told in 16 chapters. Unlike previous Filmation shows, the stories focused more on action (non-violent, of course) than education. Nonetheless, "Jason" still commands respect among those who fondly remember it as arguably Saturday morning's most ambitious live action series this side of Battlestar Galactica.
Jason of Star Command - The Complete Series is 3-disc set featuring all 28 episodes in Full Frame (1.33:1) Video. BCI Eclipse even tracked down Jason himself, Craig Littler and got him to do commentary for the set! Special Features include:
* The all-new half-hour documentary, "The Adventures of Jason of Star Command," featuring interviews with the producer, stars, and visual effects artists. * Two commentary tracks for Season One episodes "Attack of the Dragonship" and "The Disappearing Man" hosted by Andy Mangels with executive producer Lou Scheimer, and actors Craig Littler and John Berwick. * Special effects commentary track for Season Two episode "Beyond the Stars!" hosted by Andy Mangels with visual effects supervisor Chuck Comisky, stop motion animator Jim Aupperle, and live action creature effects artist John Carl Beuchler. * Jason of Star Command special effects demo reel * Extensive gallery of promotional photos * Extensive gallery of behind the scenes photos * Gallery of cast & crew renunion photos * Art gallery style guide for proposed "Jason of Star Command" animated series * Booklet with episode guide and trivia * DVD-ROM scripts from the series * Easter eggs * More previews from Ink & Paint
Season One: 1. Attack of the Dragonship 2. Prisoner of Dragos 3. Escape from the Dragons 4. A Cry for Help 5. Wiki to the Rescue 6. Planet of the Lost 7. Marooned in Time 8. Attack of the Dragons 9. Peepo's Last Chance 10. The Disappearing Man 11. The Haunted Planet 12. Escape from Kesh 13. Return of the Creature 14. Peepo on Trial 15. The Trojan Horse 16. The Victory of Star Command
Season Two: 1. Mission to the Stars 2. Frozen in Space 3. Web of the Star Witch 4. Beyond the Stars! 5. Secret of the Ancients 6. The Power of the Star Disk 7. Through the Stargate 8. Face to Face 9. Phantom Force 10. Little Girl Lost 11. Mimi's Secret 12. Battle for Freedom
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Saturday Morning Star WarsMay 23 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
Jason of Star Command is the reason I used to jump excitedly out of bed on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons with the anticipation that the Jason of Star Command live-action 15-minute segment of Tarzan and the Super 7 would be the crescendo of my weekly Saturday morning ritual. Building upon the first season of Filmation's highly successful live-action series Space Academy, it was revamped to appeal to kids who were still dazzled by seeing Star Wars, and the similarities to which are glaringly obvious. Craig Littler stars as Jason, the heroic soldier of fortune who is nothing less than Han Solo-lite right down to his 70's-looking vest and carries a pocket-sized droid on his belt named W1K1 (sounds like Buck Roger's Twiki) and Susan O'Hanlon who plays Captain Nicole Davidoff who bares more than a passing resemblance to Ralph McQuarrie's conceptual art designs for Princess Leia. Charlie Dell from Murphy Brown played the goofy Professor E.J. Parsafoot and Sid Haig (whom I vividly remember from Roger Corman's Galaxy of Terror and had guest starred with Batman's Julie Newmar on Buck Rogers) plays the evil space pirate Dragos with his over-the-top diabolical laughter and menacing helmet with laser-shooting eye crystal. James Doohan beamed over from the Enterprise to take command of the special secret-section of Space Academy (a space-station built upon a derelict asteroid) as Commander Canarvin but would be replaced in the second season by the hard-nosed blue-skinned Commander Stone played by John Russell when Doohan had to leave the show to go make Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Tamara Dobson would replace Nicole as the mysterious telepathic alien gypsy Samantha.
Jason bolstered the most ambitious special effects ever created for children's programming under the supervision of Chuck Comisky who would go on to work for Roger Corman studios and work with James Cameron to do the special effects for Battle Beyond the Stars. With impressive model spaceships like Jason's Starfire with illuminated ion engines and a detacheable escape pod called the "mini-cat" and Drago's Dragonship, a monstrous design that resembled an enormous beast with menacing arms, shoulders and head and its arsenal of unmanned fighter drones called Red Dragon Interceptors, Comisky and his team of visual effects gurus (some of whom had worked on Star Wars) were responsible for bringing the epic space battles of Star Wars and stop-motion aliens of Ray Harryhausen to the small screen and their impressive effects arguably still hold up to this day. After 30 years these shows have been preserved on DVD and look just as good as they did the first time I saw them and watching these shows again really take me back to the innocence and excitement I felt as a 6-year-old boy, they are exactly the same as I had remembered them. Sure it was cheese but it was damn good cheese.
The episodes were serialized in the style of the traditional 1930's movie serials like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. The first season had 16 episodes that were aired as part of a 15-minute segment of Filmation's 90-minute Tarzan and the Super 7 Saturday morning all-star show that included Tarzan Lord of the Jungle, The New Adventures of Batman, The Freedom Force, Superstretch and Microwoman, Manta and Moray and Web Woman. Unfortunately, due to lawsuits from Marvel and DC Comics, Superstretch and Microwoman, Manta and Moray and Web Woman have been withdrawn from commercial syndication and will likely not be made publicly available because of the numerous similarities to popular trademarked comic-book characters. However, Jason proved to be such a popular segment of the show that he required his own half-hour show for the second season consisting of an additional 14-episodes.
Danger hides in the stars... A sinister villain named Dragos threatens the cosmos... One hero will rise to stop him...
JASON OF STAR COMMAND!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
THANK YOU BRENTWOOD VIDEO FOR SAVING THESE OLD SHOWSApril 26 2007
John D. Page
- Published on Amazon.com
Brentwood Video has been releaseing these old filmation shows(Space Acadamy, Ark II, and the Groove Ghoulies) and saving a part of all of us 70's children's history. These shows were great then and they look good now. These are classics from a time when Saturday mornings were an event looked foward to all week. Keep them coming Brentwood, PLEASE!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Jason of Star Command-5 stars of cheesy goodnessJune 8 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
I was thrilled when I heard that Jason of Star Command, and other Filmation live-action and animated shows were being released. Admittedly, most of these programs were probably cheesy then, and certainly haven't aged well. That said, I was going on 8 when Jason debuted, and I probably also watched the 1980 repeats when I was nearly 10. Jason may not have been Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, or even Buck Rogers, but it was a fun part of those sorely missed Saturday morning tv lineups. I won't weigh you down with the synopsis of every episode, the characters, etc. I'll focus more on the quality, and what you're getting for your money. It's been a month or so since I've watched the set, but I recall the video quality being pretty decent. There were at least two commentaries, as well as new interviews with Lou Scheimer, Jason Littler, and Sid Haig. Also some effects reels, and still photos. It's nice when a distributor puts so much into the special features for a little show like Jason, or Space Academy. Hell, you don't always get that sort of thing with other successful, mainstream releases. So far, I've only purchased JoSC, Space Academy, and Star Trek: The Animated Series. I highly recommend all of them. I will definately be picking up the Flash Gordon animated series, Ark II, Isis, Isis and Freedom Force, and Blackstar.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Jason of Star CommandMarch 22 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
As soon as I ordered "Space Academy", I was hoping they'd release this great spin-off series, which has return appearances of the robot Peepo, and plenty of new characters.
Originally part of "Tarzan and the Super Seven", this live action Filmation series has a serialized storyline, and the excellent 1970s Filmation soundtrack music from their heyday. (You will have heard some of it in the Star Trek cartoons and the Freedom Force component of "Space Sentinels", if you bought those DVDs, and you should).
I've waited since I saw Jason as a young kid in 1980, for this release.
Space Academy's Seeker ships are reused, as well as the newer Starfires.
Star Trek fans can enjoy Jimmy Doohan as the Season one Commander of Star Command (replaced by a blue skinned alien commander in Season 2, where mini robot Wiki learns English).
Both seasons are included in the package, and will hold your attention right through.