Friday, July 8, 2011


Here's the bizarrely psychotronic TV Guide advertisement that NBC ran for the premiere of its short-lived science fiction series, The Fantastic Journey, starring Escape To Witch Mountain space kid, Ike Eisenman, Jared Martin and Carl Franklin (who would become an acclaimed film director in the 90s, with movies like One False Move and Devil In A Blue Dress).

The pilot film had about twice as many main characters as the ongoing series that followed it, characters that were written out rather clumsily at the end of the premiere in a tacked-on scene. In subsequent episodes, the lovely Katie Saylor and Space: 1970 favorite Roddy McDowell would join the cast as they wandered through various strange universes and different time zones.

Oh, that wacky Bermuda Triangle!


  1. I loved this show, but could never get out of church in time to watch it on Sunday nights (which is why I missed Project UFO, BSG, Disney shows and The Fantastic Journey). But it was soon canceled and forgotten -- that is, until the Sci-Fi Channel showed the entire series (back when the SyFy Channel actually showed Sci-Fi series). I have some pretty good memories of what little I saw -- and I wish it had lasted.

  2. Wow! I completely forgot about this show until now. So much Bermuda Triangle action back then.

  3. Oh yes, I recall this show! But barely recall watching it. I knew it better from the Starlog article with its accompanying episode log. Sundays were usually All in the Family and whatever else followed it. I had to go watch these shows on the tv in my parents room. Cosmos, too, went the same way.

    I think that COSMOS was an important part of 70s sf (albeit at the end in 1980), as the show talked a bit about science fiction (Carl Sagan was a Burroughs fan), had cool real-life spaceships and models of spaceships, and his own personal sf throughout the show--the Spaceship of the Imagination, prominent in the first episode but visited later, including the Encyclopedia Galactica towards then end of the run. I enjoyed the show tremendously!

    As for anonymous' Bermuda Triangle comment: Yes, the Bermuda Triangle was a hot topic in the 70s, much as flying saucers were in the 50s and alien abductions and greys were in the 90s. There was a best-selling book by Charles Berlitz which really kick-started it, and several of those bad-but-good documentaries. Part of STARSHIP INVASIONS was set in the Triangle. Noted aviation & sf writer Martin (THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN) Caidin claimed to have an incident in the Triangle. The Trek Animated Series had an episode revolving around the 'Delta Triangle', an interstellar equivalent, named 'Time Trap'. An episode of SPACE ACADEMY was set in a similar place as well; I think it might have also been the 'Delta Triangle' (at least I did when I was a kid), in the episode 'Star Legend'. And of course, THE BERMUDA DEPTHS was set in the Triangle. All of these were from the 70s.

    Part of the interest came from the discovery in 1968 of 'The Bimini Road', what looks like an underwater road from a sunken civilzation off Bimini Island in the Bahamas; it was connected to an Edgar Cayce prophecy that Atlantis would rise near Bimini.

    If you were a kid in the 70s who liked science fiction, you probably enjoyed Ike Eisenmann: Disney's Witch Mountain films (as you've nicely touched on elsewhere on the site), in THE FANTASTIC JOURNEY, and shortly thereafter in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN.

    Unfortunately, I remember Jared Martin better for his role in Dallas. I wish this was out on DVD... Hey, maybe this is the title island from the FANTASY ISLAND remake with Malcolm McDowell? LOL!

    Gordon Long

  4. I had never heard of this show until it was mentioned in this very blog awhile back. It seemd like the kind of show I would have liked so I hunted it down and now have all the episodes on DVDR. The premise was very much like the Logan's Run TV or Ark II TV series, with the characters moving from one place to another and finding a different civilization along the way. As such I very much enjoyed it and it surely would have been a favorite of mine had I seen it back in the day.

  5. Well, the same producers of Fantastic Journey went on to showrun Logan's Run, so the similarities between the two shows are probably not coincidental.

    I like both shows - a lot - but Fantastic Journey, despite its obvious narrative/casting stumbles, was the more imaginative of the two series, IMO.

  6. I loved this show when I saw it in it's heyday and was sad to see it end when there was so much more story to tell. Another show years later had a similar theme which reminded me of Fantastic Journey called "Otherworld". The family in this world had to pass through zones to get home too, but they were being pursued by futuristic soldiers.