I thought I knew science fiction — if nothing else, I was sure I knew the high points from the original Star Trek onwards. Scratch that — I was pretty sure I knew the high points and the low points. Then, this weekend, Netflix showed me how wrong I was.
I did a little researching after I watched an episode, and found out that this was a Saturday morning show in 1978. That forgives some of how awful and cheesy it plays nowadays. But when I first sat down to watch an episode, my thoughts were, “Why is Captain Spaulding trying to kill Scotty?” and “Is someone playing an elaborate prank on me with this show? Is Netflix in on it? This couldn’t be an actual show that aired on actual television, right?”
It’s not that I don’t believe the show was ever made. It’s more that it’s a pitch-perfect example of bad sci-fi. Observe:
70s hair, porn-quality production values, and an alien whose entire makeup effects can be summed up with the word “baldness?” Check!
Actor from a respectable sci-fi series hustling for a paycheck between jobs? Check!
Bad masks for aliens? Cheap sets? Sid Haig? Check, check, and check!
It’s almost too perfect. So what do you think, folks? Were they serious with this show? Also, what’s the best worst sci-fi you’ve ever seen?