Jason of Star Command is a 1978-1981 live action television series by Filmation.
The series revolved around the exploits of space adventurer Jason (Craig Littler) and his colleagues, including Professor E.J. Parsafoot (Charlie Dell) and the pocket robot “Wiki” (formally W1K1).
The series also starred Sid Haig as the evil Dragos, and, in the first season, James Doohan. Jason was inspired by Filmation’s 1977 live-action show Space Academy, and used the same robot, Peepo.
Its first season, which was a segment of Tarzan and the Super 7, was done in the style of the movie serials of the past, telling a single overall story with 16 “chapters” of approximately 15 minutes’ length, each ending in a cliffhanger. The second season was a stand-alone, half-hour series.
Filmation would later revisit the serial format with both their rendition of The New Adventures of Flash Gordon and “The Great Space Chase” segment of The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle.
Jason flew a “Starfire”. This fast spaceship had a “star pod” that could separate from the ship in an emergency. Dragos commanded the vast “Dragonship”, similar to the Space Academy in that it was built on a large asteroid. Dragos’s fighter craft were unmanned drones. This was a choice made by the series’ producers and repeatedly pointed out in the plot, so that the destruction of these craft would not involve killing a pilot. The series aired on Saturday mornings, and deadly violence had to be kept to a minimum.
James Doohan left the series at the end of the first season to join the rest of the original Star Trek cast in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). He was replaced by John Russell, who played the blue-skinned “by the book” Commander Stone. Originally, Jonathan Harris was to have reprised his role as Commander Gampu from Space Academy, but according to the DVD booklet, he “had a falling out” with Filmation, thus the creation of Doohan’s character.
The asteroid prop used for Space Academy was re-used for Jason, where Star Command was stated to be “in a secret section of Space Academy”. Other than the appearance of the robot Peepo and the appearance of a Seeker shuttle piloted by Lt. Matt Prentiss (John Berwick), no references were made to the characters or situations in Space Academy.
After the first run episodes that were shown on CBS during the fall lineup on CBS Saturday Morning, Jason Of Star Command was replaced by Shazam! in January 1980, which took Jason Of Star Command to being towed from the Saturday morning lineup of 12 noon ET to Sunday morning CBS hiding lineup at 8:30 am ET for a year and two months, before CBS had brought back the Jason Of Star Command series on Saturday at 1:00 pm ET, right before 30 Minutes. Jason Of Star Command would finally be canceled from the CBS lineup after the first episode of season two was shown on CBS that day, before it was finally cancelled from the CBS Saturday morning lineup.
BCI Eclipse LLC (under its Ink & Paint classic animation entertainment label) (Under license from Entertainment Rights) released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 on 08 May 2007. The three-disc set contains all 28 episodes from seasons one and two, digitally remastered for optimum audio and video quality, and presented uncut and in story continuity order. as well as an array of special features including commentary tracks and photo and art galleries. The galleries also contain characters sheets for the proposed but never produced animated version of the show.
As of 2011, this release has been discontinued and is out of print as BCI Eclipse has ceased operations.
Jason of Star Command Series
Production & Filming Details
- Creator(s): Arthur H. Nadel.
- Director(s): Arthur H. Nadel.
- Arthur H. Nadel … producer (28 episodes, 1978-1979).
- Norm Prescott … executive producer (28 episodes, 1978-1979).
- Lou Scheimer … executive producer (28 episodes, 1978-1979).
- Joe Mazzuca … associate producer (12 episodes, 1979).
- Arthur H. Nadel … (creator) (28 episodes, 1978-1979).
- Samuel A. Peeples … (9 episodes, 1978-1979).
- Ted Pedersen … (5 episodes, 1978-1979).
- Don Heckman … (4 episodes, 1978-1979).
- Martha Humphreys … (2 episodes, 1978).
- Chuck Menville … (2 episodes, 1978).
- Jackson Gillis … (2 episodes, 1979).
- Len Janson … (1 episode, 1978).
- Sidney Morse … (1 episode, 1978).
- David Villaire … (1 episode, 1978).
- Margaret Armen … (1 episode, 1979).
- Lynn Barker … (1 episode, 1979).
- Michael Halperin … (1 episode, 1979).
- Alf Harris … (1 episode, 1979).
- Joe Mazzuca … (1 episode, 1979).
- Music: Ray Ellis and Norm Prescott.
- Cinematography: Alric Edens.
- Michael Pozen … (10 episodes, 1978).
- Bill Moore … (8 episodes, 1978-1979).
- Bob Crawford … (4 episodes, 1979).
- Ray Williford … (3 episodes, 1979).
- Dennis Erkel … (2 episodes, 1978).
- Phil Tucker … (1 episode, 1979).
- Production: Filmation.
- Distributor(s): NBC Universal Televison Distribution.
- Original Network: CBS.
- Release Date: 09 September 1978 to 01 December 1979.
- Running Time: 30 minutes (per episode).
- Rating: PG.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.