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LOGANíS RUN

Youth comes with a price tag

Logan's Run Cast




Series Overview

1. Pilot Parts 1 and 2
2. The Collectors
3. Capture
4. The Innocent
5. Man Out Of Time
6. Half Life
7. Crypt
8. Judas Goat
9. Fear Factor
10.Futurepast
11.Carousel
12.Night Visitors
13.Turnabout
14.Stargate



Logan -
Gregory Harrison

Jessica -
Heather Menzies

Rem -
Donald Moffat

Francis -
Randy Powell





OTHER TRAVELLER SHOWS
The Fantastic Journey
Jules Verneís Mysterious Island
Lost







SERIES OVERVIEW

LOGAN's RUN is based on the 1976 film starring Michael York and Jenny Agutter. In the far future, a series of disasters, probably man-made, has made the surface of the Earth uninhabitable and the last remnants of humanity now live a life of luxury and joy in the Domed City. At the age of 30, each inhabitant of the city undergoes the ceremony of Carousel in which they are 'renewed'. Runners believe that the ceremony merely kills you to make way for the next generation and so go on the run onto the surface in search of a place called Sanctuary. Sandmen are the city's police force, dedicated to killing runners, but Logan 5 is having doubts about this and an encounter with Jessica 6 turns him into a runner himself. The council of the city send his Sandman partner Francis to bring him back and crush the runner movement forever.

Out beyond the city for the first time, Logan and Jessica shelter from the first storm they have ever known and discover an ancient vehicle that still works. They use this to find a fallout shelter, but learn that the people who live there are in fear of a group of riders. Jessica tells a child what it is like outside and the girl goes to see for herself and is captured. Jessica follows and is also captured. Logan has to attempt their rescue.

The series takes in Logan and Jessica's journeys across a shattered America, encountering each week a new and isolated community that either wants to imprison, kill or torture them. Along the way they meet up with an android called Rem who takes a liking to them and decides to go along for no particular reason.

LOGAN'S RUN didn't last very long for the perfectly good reason that it's not very good. The plots are paper thin and overused from a dozen other shows. The focus is on a family audience so there's no real threat or danger or anything too complicated for the kids.

Worse than that, the characters are rather wet and really rather stupid, Jessica especially who falls for just about every lie and trap that is set for them. Logan is a little more suspicious, but not too much. The cast is very likeable and the two leads are certainly easy enough to look at, but there is nothing here to engage the brain and make anyone think.

If you saw this as a child then nostalgia might rose-tint the memory, but another viewing will shatter that, so best not to go back. Ever.



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PILOT - Parts 1 and 2

Sandmen exist to kill runners, inhabitants of the City of Domes who choose not to take ritual suicide at 30 and try to escape to a place called Sanctuary. Logan is one such sandman, but he has doubts about the ritual of rebirth and when his partner Francis kills another runner and threatens the attractive Jessica who was helping him, he reacts and instantly becomes a runner.

Out beyond the city for the first time, Logan and Jessica shelter from the first storm they have ever known and discover an ancient vehicle that still works. They use this to find a fallout shelter, but learn that the people who live there are in fear of a group of riders. Jessica tells a child what it is like outside and the girl goes to see for herself and is captured. Jessica follows and is also captured. Logan has to attempt their rescue.

Free again, Logan and Jessica head for the mountains where they discover a city of perfect people who turn out to be androids that want to serve them and refuse to let them go. There, they find a new source of aid called Rem.

There's a lot of plot in the first two episodes of LOGAN'S RUN, far too much in fact. Where we would be much more interested in seeing how Logan is turned from his beliefs as a sandman into a runner, we are rushed through three stories. He kind of says that he's not sure about rebirth and then when Jessica says that it's all a lie he immediately turns. It's hardly a convincing change of attitude.

The plot of the second story in which the riders are terrorising the locals doesn't convince either. The locals are pacifists and won't fight back, until they see Logan fight that is and Logan manages to deal with all of the riders with absurd ease. The third and final story is an excuse to introduce Donald Moffat as Rem - android companion, technology fixer and generally know it all get out of jail free card.

Fortunately for the show Gregory Harrison is a likeable enough lead as Logan with Heather Menzies proving attractive enough in a string of short skirts, but both of the characters seem a little stupid to say the least with the script asking them to miss the most obvious things.

Other than that, it's bright and breezy, but not likely to strain even a single brain cell.

Written by William F Nolan and Saul David
Directed by Robert Day

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THE COLLECTORS

The vehicle breaks down and so whilst Rem repairs it, Logan and Jessica take a look around, finding that Sanctuary is just over the hill. Everything is there to make them happy and contented, but Logan is suspicious and it becomes clear that their hosts are not runners, but aliens out to collect pairs of the dominant lifeforms to take back to their planet for experimentation.

Another silly story doesn't bode well for the rest of this series. It is obvious from the beginning that the surroundings can't possibly be Sanctuary, but Jessica is asked to remain completely convinced even when her best friend walks in just after she's asked about him. Logan is allowed to go on a walkabout that shows him secrets behind the illusions even though every effort to keep him convinced have been made elsewhere. It's lazy plotting and never convinces for the slightest second.

Even worse, the alien creatures are terribly rendered and look like stunt people in hallowe'en masks and there is a terrible sugary sentiment that seeps out at the end that just adds to the disappointment.

Written by James Schmerer
Directed by Alexander Singer

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CAPTURE

Francis captures the runners and determines to take them back to the City of Domes, but they all fall inot the trap of Borden, a hunter who has exhausted his supply of worthy game and has turned to hunting humans. Logan and Francis, Sandmen both, provide the ultimate challenge. Only by working together could they escape him.

Another weak story is made even weaker by its realisation. The idea of hunters chasing human prey is hardly new, but it can rarely have been so poorly presented. Logan and Francis manage to stumble into every trap that is laid for them before finding a way of escaping. The hunter himself is stupid enough to actually kill his own wife and the sandman who is accompanying Francis (hang on, weren't there two?) is so dumb that it makes you wonder why Borden considers the sandmen to be such a challenge.

Horst Bucholz adds some star wattage, but nothing more, to the proceedings whilst Mary Woronov uses her limited screen time to much better effect.

Written by Michael Edwards
Directed by Irving J Moore

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THE INNOCENT

Taking refuge behind an impenetrable forcefield, Logan, Jessica and Rem discover a girl who has lived virtually her whole life in isolation. When she takes a shine to Logan, it's a bit embarrassing, but when she turns out to have psychokinetic powers capable of transporting Jessica and Rem nowhere so that she can be alone with Logan it becomes something more dangerous.

Considering that STAR TREK was doing stories like this, and a whole lot better, over a decade ago, it is disappointing to find such a weak and unoriginal story cropping up here. It comes as no surprise to find DC Fontana's name on the list of writers for such a recycled idea. It is only because Lisa Eilbacher is able to make what is essentially a spoiled brat into something more like the innocent soul that the title suggests by her appealing performance that this is in any way watchable.

The robot companions of the girl are quite laughably bad and the special effects are altogther poor.

Written by Ray Brenner and DC Fontana
Directed by Michael Preece

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MAN OUT OF TIME

The three fugitives find a piece of functioning equipment that offers up a rabbit and then a man who claims to also be looking for Sanctuary, and to know where it is. He is from before the time of disaster, come forward in time to find out what caused the end of the world in his time so that he can stop it. This will, of course, mean that Logan, Jessica and Rem will never exist.

In a series that is pretty vanilla in terms of concepts, this at least has a bit of moral greyness about it. How do you justify the murder of millions of beings in the name of saving billions of others? It's a nice question that never gets any sort of real analysis. The plot stays determinedly on the discovery of what might be Sanctuary and how it turns out not to be.

It's a shame really because it wastes the first good concept the show has come up with.

Written by Noah Ward
Directed by Nicholas Colastino

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HALF LIFE

Attacked by a band of primitives, Logan, Rem and Jessica are saved by people who call themselves positives. They live in a society that has found a way of splitting out all their negative side into a second body and banishing them from paradise. Jessica is split and her bad side cast out, but Rem and Logan are not about to let this state of affairs continue.

Captain James T Kirk was split like this way back in STAR TREK's very first series and this is no improvement on that, in fact quite the opposite. Jessica's good half seems no better than her original combined form and her evil side does little more than get a bit dirty. The moral that we are both light and dark is not exactly a surprise to anyone.

The episode contains a cameo appearance by Kim Cattrall long before her Sex and the City days.

Written by Simon Wincelberg
Directed by Steven Stern

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CRYPT

In a deserted city, Logan, Rem and Jessica discover a secret scientific hideaway in which six of the very best minds have been cryogenically frozen until a cure could be discovered for the plague with which they were infected. One of the phials of the cure is shattered in an earthquake, so the newly-awakened six leave the decision as to who lives and who dies to the newcomers. One of them, though, isn't willing to wait and sets about taking care of the opposition.

At last, an episode worth watching. The central question of who deserves to live and die is a more morally disturbing one and the manner in which the survivors vie to be on the saved list is more realistic behaviour than anything that we have seen of characters so far. When the murder plot kicks in it all becomes a bit Six Little Indians, but it still remains head and shoulders above the other shows in the series to date.

Written by Harlan Ellison &A Hayes
Directed by Michael Caffey

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JUDAS GOAT

A Sandman takes on the face of a terminated runner that was known to Jessica and seeks out the fugitives to tell them that they are needed back in the City of Domes to head the brewing rebellion. Once there, he plans to trap them and have them reprogrammed. All three are then trapped by another ex-runner who is now the overlord of a community of pretty useless people.

There's a lot of plot jammed into one episode, two stories for the price of one in fact, but neither is really worth the time that it takes to tell. It also doesn't say much for the journey that the fugitives are making if the sandman can catch up with them so quickly. Aren't they moving away from the City of Domes, or just going around in circles?

Written by John Meredyth Lucas
Directed by Paul Krasny

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FEAR FACTOR

The trio happen upon a community where the scientific elite are working to create a super race by eliminating all emotions from humans. This has so far only managed to create a race of subservient slaves who cannot function with the slightest touch of anxiety. Logan, with his lack of fear, seems to be the key to finally creating the race of superwarriors.

This is a variation on the theme of Half Life, with the separation out of negative emotions, creating a race of slaves instead of a race of evil doppelgangers. There is little here that is better than that episode and eventually it all turns out to be a bit dull and uninteresting. It seems that Rem's programming around harming humans does not extend to not causing them pain in order to escape.

This episode features a cameo by Jared Martin who later starred in THE FANTASTIC JOURNEY.

Written by John Sherlock
Directed by Gerald Mayer

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FUTUREPAST

Logan and Jessica are delighted when they are able to sleep in two real beds for a change. Unfortunately, they are hooked up to machines that are used for dream analysis and the anxiety in their dreams is of such a pitch that it could conceivably kill them as they sleep.

This is an episode that is wrong on so many levels that you can't help but wonder how people actually got paid for writing the show. The use of stock footage for Jessica and Logan's dreams is pretty cheap and, whilst he is seen to be afraid of not being able to save Jessica from death, she is shown to be a brat who just wants her mommy.

It's obvious from the out that the centre's guardian is another android, but the burgeoning romance between Rem and Ariane is beyond cringemaking. This is the worst episode to date.

Written by Katharyn Michaelian Powers
Directed by Michael O'Herlihy

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CAROUSEL

Logan is shot with a dart that wipes the last year of his memory. As a result, he takes up his old life as a Sandman and is to speak before Carousel to say that runnning is wrong and thus crush the order. Jessica and Rem follow him in an attempt to awaken his memories before he can make the speech or be disposed of by the council.

This is a more interesting episode, mainly because it dumps the 'community of the week' format and gets Logan and Jessica back in the City of Domes with a real problem to solve.

Heather Menzies in full on seduction mode just shows what a wet character Jessica actually is and further makes you wonder how she got Logan running in the first place when he had the choice of other ladies (like FLASH GORDON's Melody Anderson) on tap.

Written by DC Fontana & Richard L Breen Jr
Directed by Irving J Moore

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NIGHT VISITORS

It's been raining for so long that the solar hovercraft runs out of power. Fortunately, it does so right next to a big house. Going inside, the trio are met by a pair of strange people who are then joined, somehow, by a third. As strangeness builds on strangeness, Rem decides that the house is haunted, but what do the ghosts want with Jessica?

Possibly the most effective episode yet, this benefits from quite a good use of the hoary old haunted house set up complete with lightning storm outside, people who appear and disappear, mirrors that show entire other rooms. Most of these are used sparingly and create an eerie atmosphere. Unfortunately, the ghosts act so wierdly from the outset that it is obvious that they are not what they seem and it remains only to find out what they are and what their purpose is.

Still, this shows that the show can be more than the bland futurescapes that have been shown to date.

Written by Leonard Katzman
Directed by Paul Krasny

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TURNABOUT

The trio cross into a land where books are banned and women must not show their faces. The repressive regime is threatened byt he sense of rebellion in the runners. Francis claims his prisoners, but they are sentenced to death.

Probably the poorest episode yet sees another community with nothing interesting in it at all. The plot hasn't got a lot more in it either. It is, in fact, so threadbare that Logan, Jessica and Francis have to wander around aimlessly in the desert being pursued by horsemen for what seems like ages just to waste some time.

The cut price light sabres are absolutely hysterical.

Written by Michael Michaelian & Al Hayes
Directed by Paul Krasny

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STARGATE

The fugitives find a man stumbling around freezing to death even though the weather is warm. They take him home to a ruined city where the rest of his kind live. They turn out to be aliens from a planet much hotter than Earth and they start to disassemble Rem for his circuits so that they can complete a matter transporter that will bring their army to conquer our planet.

Another example of just why this series got cancelled, the plot is a variation on a theme that has now become well worn. When the humans are to be killed, they are dumped into what is supposed to be a dangerous swamp, but which contains nothing very scary at all, but it takes time for them to walk out, thus filling out time in the episode.

This marks the end of LOGAN'S RUN and it's hard to feel sorry about it.

Written by Dennis O'Neill
Directed by Curtis Harrington

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