US tv series (1985). Produced by Universal Television for CBS-TV. Created by Roderick A Taylor. Produced by Lew Hunter. Cast includes Jonathan Banks, Gretchen Corbett, Brandon Crane, Sam Groom, Chris Hebert, Jonna Lee and Tony O'Dell. Eight 48-minute episodes. Colour.
This short-lived series involved the adventures of the Sterling family: father Hal (Groom), mother June (Corbett), their sons Trace (O'Dell) and Smith (Crane in pilot, then Hebert) and their daughter Gina (Lee). While on a tour of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Sterlings are abandoned by a guide who has attempted to extort money from them. An extremely rare conjunction of planets occurs while they search for a way out, transporting them to the planet Thel, a world of Aliens who seem identical to humans. It is unclear whether Thel exists in a Parallel World or elsewhere in our own universe. The planet is made up of many autonomous Zones rather than countries, operating under widely varying forms of government. The Imar zone appears to be the overall controller of the planet, as the Emperor is said to reside there. Travel or contact between Zones is forbidden, this law being enforced by Zone Troopers. The family soon has an encounter with Kommander Kroll (Banks), leader of such a force. They obtain his access crystal and sidearm during this affair, then flee; Kroll pursues them for the remainder of the series. The crystal allows them to obtain vehicles for Transportation, additional Weapons, and other items. In encounters with various societies, indications are discovered which point to past contact with Earth including previous visitors to Thel, and apparently, considerable contact with ancient Egypt. The primary item of alien Technology seems to be a series of Androids almost indistinguishable from humans. A state Religion based on artificial intelligence (see AI) also exists. The programme was cancelled before any storylines were resolved. The US television series Sliders (1995-2000) used essentially the same concept with considerably greater success. [GSt]
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