John Moore - Jim McMullen
Pamela Williams - Connie Sellecca
John Quaid - James Wainwright
Oppenheimer - William Jordan
OTHER MECHANICAL MENACES
Battlestar Galactica (1978)
The robots of theme park Westworld ran riot and killed both the tourists and the scientists controlling them. This was caused by Simon Quaid, an inventor who believed they were worth more than simple pleasure machines. Now Quaid has seeded his robots throughout the world and it is down to the head of Delos security, John Moore, to track them down and destroy them. His first challenge is to discover which member of the crew of a nuclear submarine is a robot, hell bent on launching a nuclear missile.
WESTWORLD was a taut action movie, stripped down to a battle of survival between a man and his implacable pursuer. FUTUREWORLD, the sequel, introduced the idea of using the robots as doubles for important people in order to change the world. It is this second film that the show's opening episode seems most like, which is a shame, because that was very much the lesser of the two. The show also deletes the sequel by kicking off just where the original film finished.
Even so, the quality of that sequel would be a welcome step up from this clunky, uninteresting mess of a pilot that uses blunt exposition scenes to set up the initial scenario for the viewers who haven't seen either movie. There's a hero of action who will have to locate the robots and then figure out which way to destroy it since each robot has a different set of strengths and weaknesses.
Jim McMullan is a one note hero as John Moore, whilst virtually nobody else makes an impression. James Wainwright is the villain, Quaid, but attempts to muddy the waters by painting his as both idealist and megalomaniac fail to make him even interesting.
Considering that the main bulk of the action takes place on a nuclear submarine, it is inexcusably dull.
Quaid sets his site on taking over an oil company through the gambling debts of one of the brothers owning it. Moore and new partner Pamela have to work out how Quaid plans to use the sponsored american football team to kill the other brother.
This is a rather far-fetched plot that suffers from the fact that there must be hundreds of easier ways to take over a company, especially when you can duplicate people with robot lookalikes. The double of Pamela (the new partner who arrives on the scene in only the second episode) has a mission that she fails in within seconds.
The acting from everyone involved is poor and the dialogue that the cast are working from can't possibly give them any help.
One of Quaid's robots is hidden inside a successful rock band in order to steal uranium from a nuclear plant to build a bomb for a north African dictator.
The credentials of singer/songwriter Ronee Blakely gives this episode some seriously needed credibility, at least whilst the music is playing anyway, and it is fun to see Renee Auberjonois give it his all as a rock performer, but everything else is the usual parade of terrible plotting, dire scripting, wooden acting and action that is just embarrassing.
You know that you're in trouble when the stock footage being used is better and more entertaining than the supposed drama.
A troubled car firm with an experimental engine becomes the latest target for Quaid, who wants to send them into bankruptcy in order to gain control financially and gain the engine design. In order to prevent this, Moore must help win a vital race.
A straightforward drama about a family dealing with financial problems and personal injury crises has barely anything to do with Quaid and his robots until the running of the race, which is unconvincingly staged in front of thousands of stock footage fans and supposedly millions of TV viewers. Since the outcome of the race is critical, the obvious cheating that Quaid determines to carry out is so painfully obvious as to render the whole thing ridiculous.
Hidden bombs and exploding paint are just part of the silliness.
John and Pamela infiltrate a team of police officers protecting high-profile individuals, believing one of them to be a robot. What they are unaware of is that Quaid is testing technology that will allow him to control humans.
It is astonishing just how tedious this episode is. The team of cops is filled with characterless people who fail to create any spark of life or interest. Working out which one of them is the robot is of no consequence at all.
The fight of the man being controlled by Quaid for his own mind is old hat and very poorly done. The only surprise in the whole thing is finding George Takei in a tiny cameo role.
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