Friday, October 7, 2011

LOGAN'S RUN (1977) TV Guide Preview

From the September, 1977 "Fall Preview" issue of TV Guide, here's the magazine's write-up for the Logan's Run television series. Based on the Michael Anderson MGM feature film of the year before, which was based, in turn, upon the novel by George Clayton Johnson & William F. Nolan, the Logan's Run television show only ran for 14 episodes. It was produced by the guys who had run The Fantastic Journey the year before, and starred Gregory Harrison, Heather Menzies and Donald Moffat.

I was - and remain - a big fan of the show. I've been told that the Warner Archive manufacture-on-demand DVD label has a complete series set in the works, but no release date has been announced as yet. In the meantime, the series is apparently available for online viewing and download from iTunes and at Amazon.


  1. I watched the series and enjoyed it as a kid, but the series made even less sense than the movie. In the book, the whole world was over-populated and the value of age, wisdom, and experience had been forgotten. "Bread and circuses," the liberal fantasy.

    The movie made Last Day the edict of limited resources. (Still a moronic idea, especially since the birth rate was controlled by machines!) At least Francis went insane trying to reconcile the "truth" of Last Day with the reality of the world he could plainly see around him. Logan also had trouble accepting that there was anything beyond the city: "Outside? There's nothing outside!" The world ended at the domes.

    Then along came the series, and Francis was just a mindless soldier following orders. A new settlement of other people beyond the domes every week, yet that made no impression on Francis. All that mattered was capturing Logan and bringing him back for "justice."

    Some stories just aren't meant to have sequels or series made out of them, but the networks will do it anyway. (The Highlander series is another example; with no Gathering, the relevance of the Immortals is nullified. )

  2. Half way thru the series Jessica's dress was revamped to be shorter and sheerer. A desperate move by the producers I approved of!

  3. I actually read the original book before the TV show came out (I suspect a lot of it flew past my 11 year old mind), but what I remember distinctly is the intro that set up the backstory... the author projected the baby boom and the 'youth power' of the 1960s forward, predicting a world where the average age kept dropping as people had more children earlier and earlier life. (In the book, you died at 21, which pretty much meant it was a world without adults.) Of course, today, the real crisis is the AGING population, while youth put off having kids and have fewer of them, moving towards a world run by cranky old men who want those damn kids to stay off of their lawn. (I was a cranky old man by the time I was 14; my body is aging into my personality.) Just an amusing example of how the "If this goes on..." school of sci-fi prophecy can age badly.

  4. While the series had a lot of flaws, the one metryq brought up wasn't one of them. Francis wasn't being a "good soldier." The council of elders told him if he brought back Logan he could join them. He knew carousel was a lie. Supposedly in the second season Francis was going to join Logan and the series would have focused on them trying to bring down the city. There were quite a few bad episodes but two of them (The crypt by Harlan Ellison and Man out of Time by David Gerold) were as good as TV science fiction got in the 70's.

  5. Anonymous wrote: Francis wasn't being a "good soldier." The council of elders told him if he brought back Logan he could join them. He knew carousel was a lie.

    Thank you for making my point, "Anonymous." Francis was indeed being a good soldier because he was bribed to maintain an oppressive society he knew to be a lie. The "life boat rules" of the City of Domes were no longer necessary once the world outside became viable again. The abundance of other people encountered outside only underscored the point. Ergo, the council was a dictatorial body maintaining control for the sake of control, and not in the interest of the people. This is my complaint with the series. All too many good stories get "translated" to the screen as "oppressive Goliath corporation gets taken down by heroic underdog David." That shows the filmmakers don't have much respect for the audience. Try giving us the real argument of the novel. It wasn't that complicated.

    What I'm confused about is your statement that Francis was bribed with a position on the council. Then in the non-existent second season he was going to join Logan to bring down the city.

    Lizard wrote: Of course, today, the real crisis is the AGING population.

    Not exactly. If you'e referring to Social Security and medical, then you're talking about symptoms, but not the actual problem. If anything, the situation more closely resembles that in the book. (I'll stifle myself here, as I imagine Chris might frown on a political debate. We're here to reminisce about all the old movies and TV shows we grew up on.)

  6. jervaise brooke hamsterOctober 21, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Oh Heather...oh Heather.