Today’s Progressive Ruin brought to you by this man’s amazing head of hair…

§ April 13th, 2018 § Filed under television § 7 Comments

…as seen in the first episode of the 1977 Logan’s Run TV series, spinning off from the movie of the same name from the previous year (and, of course, based on the original novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson).

Now, I’d seen the original film plenty of times, on cable in the late ’70s/early ’80s and via a $5 copy of the DVD I pulled out a bargain bin. I even bought (or rather, my parents bought for me) a copy of this issue of the comic off the stands at the time. And I recall having watched the TV show at least once when it originally aired, but haven’t seen it since. And at this point, I’d only had vague memories of notMichael York Logan and not Jenny Agutter Jessica in their Future Car roaming the post-nuclear-war-but-lookin’-okay-now Earth.

Well I’m now adding to those memories because I just discovered that 1) that series is on DVD, and 2) it’s availble from Netflix, so now here it is, in my very own home, to watch as I please (or as I somehow make time for it). And having watched the first episode now, the thing that caught me by surprise, though in retrospect it perhaps really shouldn’t have*, is that it didn’t, as I’d always believed, simply pick up right from where the movie left off. It is essentially a reboot, retelling a somewhat different set of circumstances involving Logan turning on his fellow Sandmen, becoming a Runner, escaping to the outside world with Jessica, and so on…oh, and all pretty much within the first ten minutes. This first extra-long episode (which probably aired as a two-hour event originally, which I’m asserting without bothering to go look it up) sets up the supporting cast, gets our heroes into that Future Car I mentioned earlier, and sets up the Guest Star/Guest Setting Where Logan and Friends Have to Deal with the Locals formula for the remaining dozen or so episodes that this series managed to have.

One amusing bit from this first episode is that the final segment of the story involves Logan and Jessica being trapped in a community that (SPOILERS, I guess) is entirely comprised of robot servants, who essentially imprison our heroes just so that they’d have someone to serve. One of our mechanical persons here is this lady, who, like all the other artificial intelligences that exist here, only wants to provide service and assistance:

…is named “Siri.” Well well well, Apple has some ‘splainin’ to do.

Anyway, looking forward to enjoying this series, and wondering when I’ll hit that point where something in one of the episodes will trigger that memory of having originally watched it as an eight-year-old. Should be interesting to find out.

* I mean, M*A*S*H and Alice didn’t follow the same continuities as their originating films, right?

7 Responses to “Today’s Progressive Ruin brought to you by this man’s amazing head of hair…”

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    My favorite example of a TV series deviating from the movie on which it is based is a relatively obscure one. Back in 1968, there was a movie entitled MADIGAN, with Richard Widmark in the title role of a tough New York police detective. Five years later, there was a short-lived TV version, also starring Widmark. This required viewers to ignore the fact–VERY BIG SPOILER AHEAD–that Madigan died at the end of the movie.

  • Jack says:

    The pilot did air as a two hour movie on Friday night on CBS. And I watched it. And was amused, even as a kid, at how fast the series was set up. My memory of the start was it took literally ten minutes to get there. Haven’t thought of this show in YEARS. To Netflix!

  • De says:

    I always kept waiting for Logan, Jessica, and Rem to run into Alan, Peter, and Galen since they seemingly all had adventures in the same parts of Malibu Creek State Park.

  • I was 16 when it originally aired and remember enjoying it (need buy the DVD one of these days) though I knew it wouldn’t last much past 13 episodes. Network TV had previously canceled Kolchak & Planet of the Apes after 13 episodes, so…

    A few years later, Rem (Donald Moffat), he of the unique looking eyebrows would appear in John Carpenter’s The Thing

    Unfortunately, Heather Menzies-Urich (Jessica) just passed away on Christmas Eve, 2017.

  • Donald G says:

    If I remember correctly, the CBS disco era revamp of Wonder Woman and Logan’s Run premiered the same Friday night, both with 90 minute season premieres. Wonder Woman at 8 Eastern; Logan at 9:30 Eastern. For the next couple of weeks, Logan had the Friday 9 PM slot after Wonder Woman until it was moved in early October to Monday at 8 Eastern, which ended up being a death slot for this show. That fall, I remember it being often pre-empted for specials, and IIRC, my local CBS affiliate in Norfolk dropped it a couple of weeks before it was officially cancelled, but the Richmond affiliate kept it until the bitter end.

  • >oh, and all pretty much within the first ten minutes.

    But if it had been made-for-Netflix he wouldn’t have run until the 13th episode. :)

  • Skyintheairwaves says:

    I’ve always thought this story would make for a great reboot with nowadays sensibilities. Heck, TV series or movie.

    In fact I’ve been surprised with the rebootmania that goes on today that it hasn’t happened…