Saturday, August 2, 2008

May the source be with you

I have to admit, you could have knocked me down with a feather when I read over at that the 1978 cult sci-fi comedy Quark was coming to a DVD near you October 14th. This hysterically funny show (at least I remember it as such—please don’t tell me I’m doomed to disappointment) starred Richard Benjamin as Adam Quark, the commander of an interstellar garbage truck in a sitcom reminiscent of the classic spy spoof Get Smart (and why not—Buck Henry had a hand in Quark’s creation). His staff was a walking definition of “motley crew”: genders transmute Gene/Jean (hilarious played by Tim Thomerson), Ficus the vegaton (Richard Kelton), the Bettys (played by Doublemint twins Tricia and Cyb Barnstable—one of them was a clone, but they never could remember which one) and the depressed robot known as Andy the Android (Bobby Porter). Quark took orders from Otto Palindrome (Conrad Janis of Mork & Mindy fame), who in turn answered to “The Head” (Alan Caillou).

Quark was one of television’s devastating disappointments—not because it was terrible (again, I recall laughing my ass off) but because its spoofing of science fiction movies and TV shows (Star Wars in particular) should have made it a monster hit. Unfortunately, at the time of its brief television run it was on NBC, who was languishing in third place with such clinkers as The Man from Atlantis and Big Hawaii (which starred Mister John Dehner). (Fred Silverman’s arrival to NBC in 1979 only made things worse—Supertrain, anyone?) have also announced that Sony Home Video has finally managed to acquire the necessary energy to release the third season of the 1970s family sitcom hit The Partridge Family to DVD on the same date. I had planned to collect this series—even bought the first two seasons—but the studio took its time about bringing out the third season that I figured it was just another abandoned series and sold my copies on eBay. Sorry, Sony—this is one sale on which you lost out.

In closing, I wanted to direct your attention to this interesting blurb (also from TVShows) about the upcoming Mister Peepers: Season 2 release due out November 11th from S’more Entertainment. This thing looks like it’s going to be bulging with extras (including an interview with Tony Randall, footage of the awards ceremony where star Wally Cox accepts the show’s Peabody, and the bonus episode of Suspense, “Murderer’s Meeting”); so much so that I may have to put this on my Christmas want list. (Check out the trivia in the article—some truly fascinating stuff.)


maryc said...

Quark?! On DVD?! Oh, I'm totally getting that one!

I loved that show, it was hilarious! And I had a huge crush on Tim Thomerson. Can't wait to see it, again!

Interesting side note, I actually had a chance to meet Tim Thomerson back in 2001 (iirc) at the cult movie convention held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

I came up to his table where he was signing photos (I think from Dollman...) and I shook his hand and said how much I loved him in Quark. His eyes widened and he replied, "Oh, you are NOT old enough to remember that!"

Oh yeah. I'm old enough to remember that.

Linda said...

OMG. I loved Quark. Ficus was my favorite character.

Stacia said...

Until you posted the photo, I didn't realize THAT was "Quark". I vaguely remember it because I was only 6 years old at the time, but I do recall it was advertised heavily and on the schedule at a time we usually watched NBC. Did a little 'net searching and I think it was the replacement for "Chico and the Man". It was definitely on just before "The Rockford Files", which we always watched.

I may have to get this.