Saturday, July 4, 2020

Lost in the Stars Fun

Produced here in Toronto, Canada, but actually an NBC initiative, The Starlost (1973 - 1974) helped fill an epic hole left after Star Trek finished its original run in 1969 (but continuing to burn up the "stripping" markets). The program from day one was to be produced on videotape in order to save money and to allow for extensive, and inexpensive, chroma key work: enhancing sets and backgrounds in addition to the expected "space" element. NBC set up a coproduction deal with Canada's CTV network, allowing for further budget savings. It should be mentioned that Glen-Warren Productions at that time was one of the most sophisticated and well-equipped television facilities in existence; one reason why key parts of Network (1976) were shot there.

Why do I know so much about this series? As part of my ongoing research on Canadian television programs The Starlost was an obvious target. I've interviewed many people associated with its production, and ultimately wrote the insert liner notes for the show's DVD release -- which I describe here.

Whatever. In September of 1973 my space-cadet friend and I sat down in front of the colour console in great anticipation. I stuck with the series but was not disappointed when it failed to be renewed for another season.

One of the most memorable things about the opening titles -- in this case from the episode "Mr. Smith of Manchester" -- is the catchy theme music.


First posted as "Sunday Fun: The Starlost Opening" on October 21, 2018.

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