Yesterday, I announced the impending arrival of a 1970s cult-tv series, Ghost Story, on DVD and today I want to remind sci-fi fans that Starman: The Complete Series lands in the same format on April 3rd.
Based on the 1984 film from director John Carpenter and starring Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen, the TV spin-off of Starman starred Robert Hays as the titular alien. His son, Scott, was played by Christopher Daniel Barnes, and Erin Gray assumed Allen’s role of Jenny Hayden for a special two-part episode entitled “Starscape.”
aired on ABC in 1986 and 1987 for twenty-two episodes, and was a series squarely in the familiar mold of The Fugitive
(1963 – 1967), The Incredible Hulk (
1978 – 1981) or even The Phoenix
In other words, our heroes were on the run from a hapless/dogged pursuer, in this case government agent George Fox (Michael Cavanaugh), and each week Starman and his son would interface with normal Americans in need of help as they attempted to remain free. In search of Jenny Hayden, Starman would not only help people in need with his unearthly powers, he also learned more of what it meant to be a human being.
I have not seen this TV series in 25 years, but I remember two things about it. First, the format was absolutely uninspiring, as were the individual stories. The science-fiction elements were pretty minimal, and the “man on the run” elements were primary.
But beyond that, the Starman series possessed an almost magical sweetness in terms of how it played, particularly in terms of Hays’ central performance. I remember liking the show quite a bit, even though I hated to see yet another genre program in The Fugitive mode. I definitely look forward to seeing the series again after a quarter century.
Here’s the link to buy Starman: The Complete Series on Amazon.