Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Reunited: Trapped on "Logan's Run!"

We grew up loving the 1976 sci-fi thriller Logan's Run. In fact, it was a huge childhood fave of mine that I still occasionally like to revisit.  The story line (of a post-apocalyptic society in which people are only permitted to live - in a general state of pleasure - until they turn 30) was exciting, scary and titillating enough to this 9 year-old that I was near ecstatic when I found out that there was going to be a resultant weekly TV series version. (Hey, there were all sorts of leftover sets, props and costumes on hand that could be put to good use.)

Michael York played Logan, a sandman whose tasks included chasing down anyone who was over-30 and did not submit to the ceremony of "Carousel," in which a chance at rebirth was possible, but more often ended in death. He "ran" when his own time was taken from him, joined on his adventure by fellow runner Jessica, played by Jenny Agutter.

Sadly, I was left bewildered when the characters I'd come to know were no longer essayed by York and Agutter. In their place were a couple of young performers who bore no physical resemblance to their big-screen counterparts. The role of Logan was now performed by Gregory Harrison (who I would soon enough come to adore in other things) and his fellow runner Jessica was played by Heather Menzies. At least I knew her from her childhood role as Luisa von Trapp in The Sound of Music (1965), a much-beloved movie of mine.

Menzies was rather blatantly styled to resemble then-white-hot Farrah Fawcett, who had a small supporting role in Logan's Run, thus combining the attributes of two women into one.

Harrison was, and is, cute as a bug, but he shared almost nothing in common with the lithe, "veddy-British" York. And at this point had only scratched the surface of a screen career, unlike the then-in-demand York.

Following the series' pilot, the story focused on Harrison and Menzies struggling in the barren outside world, always looking for "Sanctuary," the promised land of all runners. The second episode found our duo surrounded by sand and rock formations with no available water.

Little do they know that they're being watched by a pair of glitzily-dressed strangers. Linden Chiles (an actor who only occasionally dabbled in sci-fi; more often portraying businessmen and lawyers) and Leslie Parrish portrayed these folks. Parrish, an actress most often used decoratively, had figured in a memorable episode of Star Trek as a crewmember who is coveted by a Greek-godlike alien.


Miraculously, Harrison and Menzies find a sumptuous oasis nestled in the desert and immediately hop in the water, cooling off and drinking it simultaneously.

Soon enough, they are greeted by a fellow runner who tells them that they are within striking distance of Sanctuary.

They are taken there and shown the "idyllic" location, complete with swans in the surrounding lake. (Not sure where this was filmed, but this is the damnedest-looking place one could think of... and I don't think it was a "set" specifically constructed for this show, but perhaps it was.)

Parrish and Chiles form the welcoming committee and show the weary couple to their quarters.

Once inside, Menzies is given a new dress "just like one she had" at the City of Domes and then is presented with an old friend of hers, a runner whose fate she was unsure of.

The old pal is played by Lawrence Casey.

Harrison can't help noticing how cozy the two are after seeing one another again and finds the whole thing rather suspect. He is also alarmed by the fact that there is a video book in their room turned to the precise page that he left his own on before fleeing the city!

Some of you may recall Casey from his days on The Rat Patrol, a WWII desert adventure series. His delicate Nordic features had taken a beating from the scorching Nevada sun. Not to seem unkind, but he was only 36 here! Having retired in 1992, he is 81 today.

There is just nothing like 1960s & '70s sci-fi when it comes to the slinky, often hilarious, costuming. I love it all so much, no matter how tacky or humiliating. And the sets, too!

These two lunkheaded guards filled out their tights pretty nicely, especially the one on the right.

But I digress. The title of this post is not "Guest Who" as I sometimes do. It's "Reunited." Thus, I have deliberately avoided letting you see the face of one of the episode's key guests. I'm rotten that way... Ha ha!  (Though I know that most of you will never ever see this program anyway!) It concerns the runner who met up with Harrison and Menzies at the tropical oasis.

Surely you've got it now...

Yes, this is Angela Cartwright. She had earned her sci-fi stripes on the series Lost in Space, but this was a reunion for her with Menzies as Cartwright had portrayed her younger sister Brigitta in the aforementioned The Sound of Music

Rare is the person who has never seen this enduring blockbuster (though they are out there!)

I couldn't love Eleanor Parker's face here any more if I tried. I also love the composition in this frame.

The actors who portrayed the Von Trapp children in the hit movie formed a close bond and a lifelong association with one another.

Many, many times over the years, often on anniversaries of the movie's release, the "kids" would be reunited for another round of photos and reminiscences.

And, every so often, such as here, they might get to work with one another again. Of course, most of the Von Trapp children moved out of the biz upon adulthood. But the ones who continued to act would sometimes find him or herself working again with their on-screen sibling.

As a regular costar, this was certainly Menzies' show and, thus, Cartwright had a less prominent role to fulfill.

Dig that "futuristic" '70s decor!

But it did at least give them the opportunity to perform together again, not to mention spend time with each other during the shooting schedule.

And Cartwright figured rather importantly in the finale of the episode, too.

This program ought to have been quite a draw for "leg men" out there! Parrish, who was then about 42, still had hers. She would retire from the screen altogether, though, the year after this. She'd just wed author Richard Bach and was always heavily invested in sociopolitical and environmental issues. She's still with us today at 86.

Her cohort on this episode, Chiles, continued to act in countless television projects and low-budget movies. He died in 2013 at age 80 after making the fateful decision to ascend a roof, which resulted in a deadly fall.

Menzies worked less frequently after this brief series was canceled. She had wed TV actor Robert Urich in 1975 and most often popped up in his hit shows. He bravely fought cancer before being claimed at only age 55 in 2002. Sadly, she later faced cancer herself and it was a shock when she died in 2017 at age 68. Harrison is a favorite here and has long had his very own tribute. Also up for the role of Logan was one Nicholas Hammond, Friedrich in The Sound of Music. Soon after, though, he landed the leading role in the short-lived The Amazing Spider-Man. (And he guested on Logan, too! Maybe sometime I'll take a look at that as well.)

Surely it was a treat for these fine, "feathered" friends (see what I did there?) to get to work together again. Cartwright opted to work less and less as adulthood took hold. Having married in 1976, she preferred to focus on motherhood to her two children as well as her lifelong interest in photography. Now 69, she periodically pops up with a cameo role in various incarnations of her old Lost in Space series.

Friends for more than 50 years.

The End! (I know... butt I just couldn't resist...!)


Dan said...

Lunkhead on the right, please. Like the song says, something about “big and stupid”.
Loved the movie when a kid but, like much 70’s sci fi, it hasn’t aged all that well. Still, as a time capsule of Qiana disco chic, still entertaining.
Never knew there was a TV series. Really, how many stories could they have squeezed out of the basic premise?
Nice to know the “Sound of Music” kids stayed so close. Even for those who never went on to a show biz career, how satisfying to have been part of one of the most beloved movies ever, a modern form of immortality, you could say.

A said...

I'm pretty sure I saw Logan's Run in a movie theater and I'm also pretty sure I thought it was terrible. It looked like it was filmed in a shopping mall and I'm pretty sure it was. I was never a big fan of Michael York. I remember paying attention, though, when the TV show came out with Gregory Harrison but I don't think I watched it. I did really pay attention, however, when he made "For Ladies Only".

Poseidon, thanks again for another great post!

Huttonmy710 said...

I would've preferred Gregory or maybe Tim Matheson (providing there could be some shirtless beefcake) as the lead in both the film and TV versions of Logan's Run. Sorry Michael York.

Decatur said...

You should checkout Lawrence Casey in The Gay Deceivers.

Shawny said...

My favorite aspect of Logan's Run was the sound. It had cheesy synth bleeps and bloops and tacky laser shot effects. Yes it did look like it was in a mall, probably because it was. But man oh man, Farrah Faucet's acting...just embarrassing, and all the more endearing for it. Love Logan's Run and always will. Didn't know about the tv show tho. As usual P, you always bring something new to me. :)

Gingerguy said...

I lived for the movie and was beyond thrilled by the idea of the tv incarnation. I remember the sets and clothes but time does funny things. Here the tv version looks like the JC Penney version of the movie, including poor Heather who is fine looking but doesn't compare with Farrah in looks and locks, apples and oranges to be fair. Planet of The Apes did the same concept, a tv version, both were on Friday nights on NBC I think? I love when you do postings like this, television shows and movies had an outsize impact on my life during that period, not much going on besides middle school. Heather did "Piranha" too I think. Angela is great looking here, I knew so many girls with that hair!

rigs-in-gear said...

My coming-of-age-let's-round-up-everybody-over-30 film was 1968's Wild in the Streets where Christopher Jones foments a cultural revolution, gets the voting age lowered to fourteen, and builds concentration camps for everyone over thirty, even his mother, played by Shelly Winters. Chris has several photos in your estimable blog bulging, bathing, wearing the ubiquitous terry-cloth towel -- not bad for someone with only ten IMDB credits.

David B. said...

Leslie Parrish was stunningly beautiful on Star Trek, Lil Anner, and The Manchurian Candidate. But that wig(?) she's wearing here is atrocious on her. Yikes!

Unknown said...

Movie was good, series not so. Thanks for reminding me of it.

Forever1267 said...

Yes, the Lunkhead Guard on the right. With that jawline! Yes, please!

Loved the movie and my gal crush Farrah (who is awful, but so cute!) I liked the blink and miss it gay chance for Michael York. It's a dumb movie, but it's a fun, dumb movie.

Don't remember the TV Show at all, but I would have been watching it.

Forever1267 said...

oh, and one more. Heather was also in "SSSSSS" with Dirk Benedict and Anthony Zerbe. Mad Scientist turns Hunk into a snake. Freaky!!!

vinboy said...

Thank you for the flashback of this fun show, Poseidon. I loved this show and loved the movie. I was so disappointed when the show was cancelled. At first glance I thought the bleached blond "Lunkhead" with the dark roots on the left was Barry Van Dyke whom I fell in love with since I first saw him in "It Happened At Lakewood Manor"...until I enlarged the photo. Not my Barry! I guess personal choice of hair color was an option in this futuristic society. Some things never change. Again, Thanks Poseidon for this nice trip through memory lane. You've got a wonderful Blog! Every new post is as entertaining as the last. Keep up the great work!

rryanlight said...

it looks like it was filmed at the old busch gardens

Poseidon3 said...

Dan, great point about the SOM kids and the "form of immortality." Kind of like Leonard Maltin said about Mary Tyler Moore's limited big-screen output [paraphrased], "If you're going to basically be remembered for one movie, one could do a lot worse than 'Ordinary People.'" I mean, what a movie to have costarred in, right? Viewers seem to feel like they KNOW those "kids." Thanks!

A, "For Ladies Only" was the EPITOME of "event TV" for me. NOTHING was going to prevent me from seeing that. LOL And it did not disappoint. I can't recall if I bothered to invent some non-gay excuse for having it on or if my mother had wanted to watch it (in our single TV home) or what, but after seeing Greg in The National Enquirer in his Zorro briefs, I'd have done anything to see that telefilm! Ha ha!

Huttonmy710, I had a special loyalty to Michael York from "The Three Musketeers," which was my favorite film as a kid, but I hear ya. Gregory was far cuter to me, too. ;-)

Decatur, so far I've only seen pics from "The Gay Deceivers." One of these days I'll FINALLY watch it...! I love Larry from that time frame.

Shawny, I always remember the model work with those enclosed transport "cars" looking SO fake... like nothing was done to make their movement seem more realistic. At the time of release, I was OBSESSED with Farrah and wouldn't have known if she was good or bad. She was just SO "it" for that time. BTW, the TV show theme song is so shrill it actually hurts one's ears to listen to it! LOL

Gingerguy, MANY girls at my school that the hairdo that Angela sports here... My hair was feathered, too! Egads! I don't think anyone else ever did justice to the Farrah mane than Farrah herself! Somehow the color(s), the thickness, the way it fell. It was HER 'do, despite countless imitators.

rigs-in-gear, I'm glad you caught up with the various shots of Chris Jones around The Underworld. His very spotty career made me curious about him early on. In at least two of his primary movies his voice is dubbed!! Unusual circumstances with him. And it always interested me that he came back long after his hey-day for another stab at it.

David B., Leslie was so statuesque! And the big hair of the day suited her face so much better than the "Dorothy Hamill" style cut she has here. LOL

Forever1267, ohmygod, that feature with men and women electronically visible for immediate action....!! I was gobsmacked by that as a kid (and wished that Logan would have taken the guy - and not been so dismissive...!) Amazing how we now have "apps" that provide a similar type of accessibility! (And I love "Ssssss" with Dirk, and also Reb Brown in the shower!)

vinboy, he DOES resemble Barry (or a lost Van Patten boy...!) I'm so glad you like this post and others at P.U. I appreciate the kind words and you're taking time to comment! If you haven't gone to it yet, I have a whole tribute here to "Lakewood Manor." :-)

rryanlight, you are a gem for taking a moment to comment here. After looking further: http://museumsanfernandovalley.blogspot.com/2012/02/busch-gardens-was-holiday-destination.html Budweiser Pavillion and Flamingo Island!!!! Mystery solved. Thanks so much!

rigs-in-gear said...

I think the most common excuse for watching For Ladies Only was feigning curiosity about whether the daughter of the President of the United States could act.

Unknown said...

I like the movie and have it on DVD. I thought it was cheesy, good fun.

Heather Menzies was married to the delicious Robert Urich.

Cinemasnob said...

While living in the Bay Area, my parents went to Hawaii for a week. I was eight. My sisters and I were “babysat” that week by a 16-year old hippy who dangerously used the cruise control on my mom’s station wagon as she sat cross-legged on her way to her job at a movie theater in Oakland. That week I was exposed to The Spy Who Loved Me and Logan’s Run repeatedly. I loved them both. Still do! But it was while watching those films that I realized I got a boner during certain scenes. It was an A-Ha! moment in my life that a stiff dick had something to do with sexual arousal. Not to be morose, but as a side note, we learned that Elvis died on the perilous ride home from the cinema that week.