Sunday, April 24, 2011

Richard Benjamin in Quark (1977)

Obscurity factor: 8

In the year 2222, Adam Quark (Benjamin) is an officer of the United Galaxies. He commands a ship with a crew of 6 and travels the Universe protecting the Federation from Gorgons, bedding princesses, fighting evil and... collecting garbage. Though he and his crew are often charged with important duties, his charter is part of the Sanitation Patrol. His crew consists of Ficus (Richard Kelton), a Vegeton - sort of an ambulatory, plant in human form, Gene/Jean (Timothy Thomerson) - a transmute with a full set of male and female chromosomes (leading him to exhibit either hyper masculine or stereotypically feminine behavior), Betty and Betty (The Barnstable twins, better known as the Doublemint Twins), a beautiful blonde and her exact clone (both of them have the hots for Adam and neither will admit to being the clone) and Andy, the android, made from spare parts and chronically chicken. They are based out of Perma One, a space station run by Otto Palindrome (Conrad Janus) and overseen by The Head (Alan Caillou), a disembodied head with an enormous skull and very long eyebrows who only appears on communication screens.
Adam Quark with The Bettys (image courtesy of Wikipeadia)
Each week (for the 8 weeks the series was on) found the crew on another strange mission, most of which were vaguely familiar. The plots were parodies of iconic sci-fi films and television episodes including 2001, Star Wars, Star Trek and Flash Gordon. The cast does a nice job of making the characters likable, though many of the situations and much of the dialog is silly. The Barnstable twins are extremely good at looking gorgeous and speaking in unison, but not much else, Tim Thomerson is very sexy in a skin tight denim jump suit and Richard Benjamin holds it all together and manages to make the silly situations fun and enjoyable. Guest stars include Joan Van Ark and Barbara Rhodes.

The series was released on DVD a few years ago. Above is part one of May the Source Be With You uploaded to YouTube by quarkscow.

Obscurity factor: 8 (available on DVD, largely forgotten mid-season replacement series)

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