Quark: The Complete Series
A spoof of science fiction films and TV series, these are the adventures of Adam Quark, captain of a United Galactic Sanitation Patrol ship. His cohorts include Gene/Jean, a "transmute" with male and female characteristics; a Vegeton (a highly-evolved plant-man) named Ficus; and Andy the Android and Betty and Betty (who always argue over who's the clone of the other). Based at Space Station Perma One are Otto Palindrome and The Head. Though Quark is supposed to stick to his sanitization patrols, he and his crew often meet adventure with such colorful space denizens as the evil High Gorgon (head of the villainous Gorgons), Zoltar the Magnificent, and Zargon the Malevolent.
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Top Customer Reviews
The box talks about the series being created by Buck Henry who was involved with "Get Smart". It's not that good. There was a lot of comedic potential that was bypassed for cheap laughs. Good actors were also wasted on clichéd scripts and weak direction. In the end it was neither comedic, nor particularly good science fiction. The word would have to wait until "Red Dwarf" to get that combination right.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The series is hokey, it *knows* it's hokey and revels in it. Like the equally little-known "Wizards and Warriors", it mercilessly impales and lampoons an entire genre with a few well-written quips.
If you enjoy good parody, buy this baby. We need to encourage the studios to both bring these gems out of the vaults and to create more.
Our hero, Adam Quark (Richard Benjamin) commands the United Galaxy Sanitation Patrol ship. Quark's mission? To collect space baggies from United Galactic spacecraft. His other mission? Always getting himself into (and out of) trouble.
Quark's love interests are Betty I and Betty II (Cyb and Patricia Barnstable, the Doublemint twins of the 70s). The Betties co-pilot and co-co-pilot the 23rd century starship. The pretty one is the clone.
Ficus Pandorata (Richard Kelton) is a Vegeton. He is the ship's half-man, half-plant, Spock-like science officer. Wait until you see how he mates!
Gene/Jean (Timothy Thomerson) is a transmute. He/she has an equal number of male and female chromosomes (i.e., he's half-man, half-woman). His male half is never around when Quark needs it -- typically during a fight.
Quark's bosses are Dr. Otto Palindrome (Conrad Janis from Mork and Mindy) and an entity simply known as The Head (Alan Caillou). The head is a disembodied head floating through space. Together, they rule the galaxy! Well, not really. They rule Quark, and that's good enough for constant laughs. You'll see...
This show is a space adventure spoof, kind of like "Spaceballs" but from years earlier. This show is about the crew of a garbage collecting spaceship who end up saving the galaxy from dangers other that just overflowing waste-baskets and dumpsters. I love the low-budget, quirky design of the props, sets, and costumes. The ship itself is hilarious when they show it collecting garbage, which itself is in a gigantic garbage bag! I also like how the costume department was inconsistent with the insignia patches on everybody's uniforms. I'm glad that they included the pilot episode, even though it includes the old ship's engineer as the one who built Andy the nervous robot instead of Quark himself as stated in the other seven episodes. I like the rest of the crew - the non-emotional plant-man Ficus (spoof of Spock) who replaced the old guy, Gene/Jean the tough guy/sensitive woman, and Betty & Betty who argue about which is the clone and which is real. I also like the crew from the space station headquarters - Otto Palindrome the sniveling bureaucrat, his assistant who was introduced in episode two and looks and sounds like a cousin of Cousin It, and The Head the main guy in charge of the galaxy who is a big floating head, and of course the other ships' captains who each episode are given exciting assignments while Quark is sent on a suicide mission or a mundane garbage collecting run that somehow turns into a suicide mission.
I wish there was more of this series made, but at least I'm glad that I got to see what there is.
Of special humor was the two part episode about "IT". IT was more of a rock, but they made fun of the force. There is also a scene where Quark is granted a promotion to another ship, and does a Kirk-like stand up for his crew saying he doesn't want the promotion if his crew doesn't come with him. The "Head" says very well and vanishes. This leaves Quark saying how that isn't negotiation! Trust me, you have to see it to appreciate it.
For the price, I can't see why any sci-fi fan wouldn't want to own this. It isn't terrific, but you know what...it is 100x better than a lot of shows to come after it! (can you say Star Rangers?).
Produced from 1977-78, Quark starred Richard Benjamin as Adam Quark, Captain of the United Galactic Sanitation Patrol ship, Richard Kelton as Fiscus (vegetable-human officer), Tricia and Cyb Barstable as Betty and Betty, clone twin engineers (for the price of one), and Timothy Thomerson as Gene/Jean, a transmute male/female officer. Conrad Janis of Mork and Mindy fame, played Palindrome, and the `Head' included the top half of the shoulders of Alan Cailou. While only lasting 8 episodes, the show has garnered an audience for memorable TV series viewers, if not for the sheer lunacy of the show.
Imagine, a garbage scow captain saving the universe from the evil High Gorgon, Zoltar the Magnificent and Zargon the Malevolent. Only on TV they say. But, you can do anything with the Source (this is not a commercial for Radio Shack) if you only believe in it...anything...except explain just how Betty and Betty manage to hang onto Captain Quark in times of trouble, and those darned Daisy Duke short sets in the middle of space. There must be some kind of fashion program at Perma One. Gene/jean is funny however, as the he-she character switches at the wrong (did I break a nail) times. As a science officer, Fiscus, is intelligent, but annoying. The `Head' used here is obviously inspiration for Third Rock (and Shatner) who did the floating head routine so much better inspite of needing singing lessons.
While the characters are memorable, the episodes suffer from something resembling too much effort for so little return. Even the laugh track seems strained. The stunts just stink at time. But, remember, it's all about the audience, and Quark screams "watch Me".
The 8 episodes presented are:
Quark (Give me garbage or give me death)
May the Source Be with You (Star Wars never had it so good)
The Old and The Beautiful (The blind and the bald)
The Good, the Bad and the Ficus (Just where is the `good' Quark)
Goodbye, Polumbus (Shore Leave redux)
All the Emperor's Quasi-Norms - Part I
All the Emperor's Quasi-Norms - Part II (Quest for `It')
Vanessa: 38/24/36 (Celebrate #11!)
Included on the disc are two minisodes, I Dream of Jeannie and Fantasy Island.
Hey, who needs high brow, just go for the twins!