Please help me find this sci-fi flop!

Only if it was repeated. IMDb says it premiered in July.

Obviously, since that show barely mentioned anything remotely scientific. It was more like a soap opera (videotaped) with minimal special effects (a la Dr. Who). The Ark had several biodomes separated from each other. (99.999% of the passengers had no idea they were on a ship (reminiscent of Robert Heinlein’s “Orphans of the Sky”.) 0 A couple of people discover the truth and have “adventures” in each dome as they try to find the bridge. Each dome conatined it’s own culture which invariably led to conflicts with the show’s main characters. The Ark was “multi-generational” so you had no faster-than-light TV physics to contend with.

One of the stars was one of the astronauts from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

If only there was a way to search the IMDb for all TV movies that premiered in the month of January.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the history of The Starlost, but it’s worth repeating. The original series was developed by Harlan Ellison. He tells the heartbreaking story of what it could have been in the novelization of the first episode, Phoenix Without Ashes, novelized by Ed Bryant. Ellison’s rant is worth reading, as they always are. The show coulda been great, and probably a cult classic by now, if they hadn’t succimbed to TV executive short-sightedness. You can read Ellisdon’s original script in the anthology Faster than Light, edited by George Zebrowski circa 1982. Ben Bova’s The Starcrossed is a fictional account of an awful TV show, obviously inspired the The Starlost. (Bova was involved to some degree in the conceptualizing, at least, according to Ellison. I’m not sure how deep he was into it.)
I never saw the series, except for possibly a fleeting glimpse. I’d still like to see an episode, no matter how bad it was. I think you can create great SF even on a small budget – look at what Twilight Zone was able to accomplish.

Well, that didn’t help.

I tried searching the IMDb for all bad Sci-Fi TV movies (rated 1 to 5.5) and found some likely candidates but further investigation revealed that none of them premiered on the same day as a Superbowl.

How about Quark?

I seriusly doubt that it’s the answer to your question, it was a comedy after all. I just wanted to post a link to the show because it had a character named Otto Palindrome. I find that funny. :slight_smile:

I remember that one! The crystal amulets were color coded to ensure that all potential pairings would avoid whatever genetic defect made people “unclean” or whatever. There was one character with a Black crystal, which meant that he wasn’t allowed to breed.

I also recall there being a scene with a (male) child character using VR (being the Next Big Thing at the time) to ‘go outside and play’ with a virtual female friend, who noticed him checking her out, and offered to show her virtual goodies, but was prevented from doing do by some kind of V-chip.

I thought it was pretty funny. Anyone know what the title was?

Don’t look at me. I’m not about to wade through all those bad movies again!


I will take this opportunity to point to this gentleman’s side of the story,

Norman Klenman: head writer of The Starlost on the creation of the pilot episode.

scroll down for what sounds like a much more truthful version than what Harlan has to say.

Mr. Ellison has had some hits but he is almost more well known for being eternally pissed off.

Don’t forget this is the guy who wrote the Star Trek episode “City on the Edge of Forever” in which our favorite glowing doughnut-porthole (which work just fine for television) was written as a 1 mile long canyon with 1000 foot tall Easter-island type statues.

Did this pilot have a scene where the ship ‘catches up’ with radio transmissions from 20th century Earth radio broadcasts? The result first being that the talking computer plays FDR’s “Day that will live in infamy” broadcast, but then starts playing cheesy 80’s TV music and the young crew all starts dancing?

It was called Island City. It premiered on March 2, 1994. Is that Superbowl time?

That was actually the first thing that came to my mind, too, even though it clearly isn’t what the OP is after. I have only vague memories of the show, but I remember liking it even though it was pretty cornball. I am surprised, however, that there were 9 episodes made!

Island City

Blast, if only I’d gotten here sooner. OTTOMH

The team commander was played by Kevin Conroy. Conroy did the voice for the art deco Batman animated series, and Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond. He is (last time I checked) still Bats/Bruce Wayne on the JLA and JLU cartoons. Island City showed that he was physically right for the role as well and would make a hell of a lot better Batman than Kilmer or Clooney.

It wasn’t radiation, but an immortality serum. The majority of the world had some recessive genes that reacted badly to the serum. They mutated so that they look like stereotypical cavemen, are unintelligent, and violent. The last is partly due to the fact that they are in constant pain. The teams go out in armored vehicles to look for resources, check on the city’s defenses, and bring back tranquilised recessives for research. Scientists are working on a cure. They’ve been at it for decades with no success.

The remaining population lives in Island City. In order to prevent the birth of more recessives, they have colored implants at the top of their sternums. It is highly illegal to date or have sexual relations with any one who does not have the same color implant. (There was only a pilot, still, they never addressed the obvious use of contraceptives. They have all this advanced technology, but no birth control?). When a new member joins the team, he has a large brow ridge and explains that he is partially recessive. His implant is black. (Again, couldn’t these people with their advanced medical technology give him a vasectomy?)

The city has teleporters. After stepping through the exit portal, you hear the message “Thank you for using AT&T.”

One of the characters is a wacky scientist with no manual dexterity. He’s IIRC #21 of a series of experimental clones. All of the clones have something wrong with them. One is smart and athletic, but a sociopathic criminal.

Any chance it could be Plymouth ? IMDB dates it from 1991, but does not give an exact date.

Another possibility I recall was set on a space station, and the plot had to do something with one of the crew dumping a nuke into the Sun. Alas, she flunked orbital mechanics, and caused all sorts of havoc leading to the retreaval of said device before it landed on some unsuspecting city and detonated. That one dates from the 1970’s, I dimmly recall.

I’m… having a flashback…

Dear, Og! I remember that!!!

The 1994 Superbowl was played on January 30th.
Here’s a list of Superbowl dates, if someone is really bored enough they could probably cross reference air dates on TvTome or something:

I was thinking of the same show that Mr. Miskatonic was thinking of (I think). The crew of the ship were all kids/teenagers, because the journey was supposed to take so long they’d be adults when it ended. IIRC they had an excercise room where instead of lifting weights they held little discs that simulated weight. They also didn’t have ship mounted weapons, but had to fight off space pirates or something like that using a home-brew railgun they stuck in an airlock.

I cannot for the life of me remember the name of that show, but I think it aired when I was in high school, which would put it in the late 80’s or early 90’s.

I remember seeing “Island City”. At least I remember the colored crystals aspect of it, and the big guy with the black crystal. For some reason I thought that it was an episode of either Buck Rodgers or Battlestar Galactica, not a standalone show. How odd.

Gassyman already gave the name of this particular program Earth Star Voyager

The kids are given a ship and sent on their mission. On the way they encounter pirates, a marooned starship captain, and Topdog, a former cadet trained by the marooned starship captain.

They use sonic showers. They have a gym with discs which gain or lose weight based on a command console. They have problems with a cyborg called a “shell”. The geeky young brother computer wiz and the nurturing older sister doctor work together to figure out the secrets of his brain.

“That’s all they left him to feel with.”

I can’t recall if they try a railgun and it fails, they try a laser and it fails, or what. But, the big weapon only works because the marooned starship captain finds a broken circuit board and holds the two pieces together with his bare hands.

The big bad guy is

The same fleet command that sent them on their mission. They have been gathering various ships to fit together into one really big ship (The project is codenamed assembly) to conquer planets or something. The young crew is given a chance to lead the project, and they turn it down and destroy Assembly

Ah, Earth Star Voyager…

Wildly hyped by the Disney CEO in an intro segment as the first in a great new series, but then just plain bad and the series never materialized.

Most interesting thing about it was the wholesome girl doctor was the nude shallow chick from Revenge of the Nerds.

…and originally aired January 17, 1988 in case nobody has said for sure that this is the leading contender for the answer to the OP.

What was the show that allowed you to shoot at the screen like a video game?

Everyone had panels on their costumes like when you go play Lazer Tag, and you could buy the guns at a toy store to shoot at the TV screen. They tried to make it seem like it was interactive television. It was probably in the late 80s, but I’m thoroughly confued and don’t remember. (I assume it was 1980s because I remember talking to my friends about it, so pre-college fo rme).