Truly a bit of comic SF genius! It poked fun at every current SF blockbuster out there at the time…the take -off on Star Wars with Hans Conried as the voice of “The Source” is worth the price of the series by itself as it is one of the best of the early parodies of the movies.
The series is hokey, it *knows* it’s hokey and revels in it. Like the equally little-known “Wizards and Warriors”, it mercilessly impales and lampoons an entire genre with a few well-written quips.
If you enjoy good parody, buy this baby. We need to encourage the studios to both bring these gems out of the vaults and to create more.
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“It” hit the television world on February 24, 1978 like a galaxy-class starship slamming into a Quasi-norm. Quark, NBC’s fantastic science-fiction spoof from the mind of Buck Henry, was released about the same time as Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Battlestar Galactica were making their impact on the science fiction community. The short-lived series featured Richard Benjamin as Adam Quark along with his crazy crew aboard a spacefaring garbage scow. Well ahead of it’s time, the series has become a cult classic with precious few original copies available — until now! Buck Henry’s oddball creation will easily bring you back (and forth) in time. Although Amazon briefly covers what the series is all about, here’s a little more information on the crew…
Our hero, Adam Quark (Richard Benjamin) commands the United Galaxy Sanitation Patrol ship. Quark’s mission? To collect space baggies from United Galactic spacecraft. His other mission? Always getting himself into (and out of) trouble.
Quark’s love interests are Betty I and Betty II (Cyb and Patricia Barnstable, the Doublemint twins of the 70s). The Betties co-pilot and co-co-pilot the 23rd century starship. The pretty one is the clone.
Ficus Pandorata (Richard Kelton) is a Vegeton. He is the ship’s half-man, half-plant, Spock-like science officer. Wait until you see how he mates!
Gene/Jean (Timothy Thomerson) is a transmute. He/she has an equal number of male and female chromosomes (i.e., he’s half-man, half-woman). His male half is never around when Quark needs it — typically during a fight.
Quark’s bosses are Dr. Otto Palindrome (Conrad Janis from Mork and Mindy) and an entity simply known as The Head (Alan Caillou). The head is a disembodied head floating through space. Together, they rule the galaxy! Well, not really. They rule Quark, and that’s good enough for constant laughs. You’ll see…
I like TV shows on DVD because it lets you whatch what you want whenever you want. It doesn’t matter if any channel airs it in syndication or not, and most channels pick from the same pool of shows to air in syndication anyway it seems. I really like discovering obscure and short-lived series on DVD. I like seeing something that I never knew of, or only vaguely remember. This short-lived series “Quark” falls into the “Never Knew Of” category, but I’m glad DVD has let me find out about it.
This show is a space adventure spoof, kind of like “Spaceballs” but from years earlier. This show is about the crew of a garbage collecting spaceship who end up saving the galaxy from dangers other that just overflowing waste-baskets and dumpsters. I love the low-budget, quirky design of the props, sets, and costumes. The ship itself is hilarious when they show it collecting garbage, which itself is in a gigantic garbage bag! I also like how the costume department was inconsistent with the insignia patches on everybody’s uniforms. I’m glad that they included the pilot episode, even though it includes the old ship’s engineer as the one who built Andy the nervous robot instead of Quark himself as stated in the other seven episodes. I like the rest of the crew – the non-emotional plant-man Ficus (spoof of Spock) who replaced the old guy, Gene/Jean the tough guy/sensitive woman, and Betty & Betty who argue about which is the clone and which is real. I also like the crew from the space station headquarters – Otto Palindrome the sniveling bureaucrat, his assistant who was introduced in episode two and looks and sounds like a cousin of Cousin It, and The Head the main guy in charge of the galaxy who is a big floating head, and of course the other ships’ captains who each episode are given exciting assignments while Quark is sent on a suicide mission or a mundane garbage collecting run that somehow turns into a suicide mission.
I wish there was more of this series made, but at least I’m glad that I got to see what there is.