geekery

SF Obscure: the not-so-famous sci-fi series files

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Gerry Anderson, known for Space:1999, Thunderbirds, UFO and countless others also produced a short-lived series in the mid 1990’s Space Precinct 2040. It followed the adventures of two human cops, Brogan and Haldane,  now working with the Demeter City police on a planet called Altor in the Epsilon Eridani system. Brogan was played by Ted Shackleford who became more famous as an actor on soap operas. There is the alien officer Aurelia Took, who has three eyes and is telekinetic. Her partner is human officer, Jane Castle, who is Haldane’s love interest; and Brogan’s wife and two kids and pet monkey/parrot type thing. And a robot named Slomo. There were also the alien races, the Creons and the Tarns, and a host of other aliens each episode.

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(Officer Aurelia Took)

It was developed from a pilot episode that Gerry Anderson pitched in the 1980’s that never took off. The concept was the same as later used in Space Precinct– a combination SF show and cop show. Elaborate make-up and puppetry would be used for  the aliens. There were 24 episodes in all. The show did  better in the UK and later Russia than it did in the US. There were action figures made, as well as a comic book series, and novel adaptations. It does have a fan base.

It’s lack of popularity was blamed on poor time slot issues in the US, but with all due respect, there are many other problems with Space Precinct. It is CAMPY. The costumes, the aliens, the corny jokes, the background synthesized spacey music. There are lots of shiny lights and laser gun type weapons and of course, flying cars.  There are all sorts of odd spacey inventions- such as a device in a police patrol car to dispense hot dogs-that exist for no apparent reason.  Sometimes it wants to be a crime show, other times a kid’s show, and other times it goes for comedy and doesn’t quite succeed.

There are some interesting little tidbits to watch. I kind of enjoy Officer Aurelia Took even with all the bizarre make-up; it’s trippy watching her third eye pop open and telekinetically move stuff around. The alien police sargeant looks kind of like Admiral Ackbar and has an exaggerated Irish accent that makes him sound like a leprechaun.  Idris Elba makes an appearance as a Space Pizza Delivery Man.

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It’s available as DVD and on HULU should one care to investigate.

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6 thoughts on “SF Obscure: the not-so-famous sci-fi series files

  1. I haven’t heard of that show. But if it’s got Idris Elba then it’s worth checking out!

    Here’s another scifi obscura that didn’t get very far, starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Cristine Taylor: Heat Vision and Jack. So much potential! LOL

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    • Idris Elba only has like 30 seconds of screen time. There is a clip of it on YouTube. I have to check this one out. It sounds like it has all the makings of dreadful fun.

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    • I can’t believe I missed it when it was on…a friend told me about it and I had to find out for myself.

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