Powers of Matthew Star, The

Tagged: TV

US tv series (1982-1983). Paramount Network Television for NBC-TV. Created by Steven de Souza. Executive Producers included Harve Bennett, Bruce Lansbury. Directors included Barry Crane, Leslie H Martinson, Ron Saltof, Leonard Nimoy. Writers included de Souza, Gil Grant, Richard Christian Matheson, Walter Koenig, Bruce Shelly. Cast includes Peter Barton, John Crawford, Chip Frye, Louis Gossett Jr, James Karen and Amy Steel. Narrator: Gossett. 22 50-minute episodes. Colour.

Matthew Star (Barton) is in reality the alien prince E'Hawke from the twelve-lightyears-distant planet Quadris, hiding on Earth from rebel forces which have overthrown the royal family. He is accompanied by his Guardian D'Hai, alias Walt Shepherd (Gossett). At Crestridge High School, setting of the first half of the season, Star masquerades as a student while Shepherd is a science teacher; Pam Elliot (Steel) is Matthew's girlfriend and Bob Alexander (Frye) his best male friend, neither knowing the truth of his origin; General Tucker (Crawford) is the military man tracking them down, who eventually succeeds in locating them. Various alien assassination attempts are directed at Matthew. The series underwent an overhaul in the second half of the season, with Pam and Bob being dropped without explanation and Major Wymore (Karen) replacing Tucker as the military contact. Matthew and Walt now undertake various assignments for the US government with little mention made for the remainder of the series about ever claiming the throne of Quadris. Matthew's specific Superpowers were never made clear, although he possessed near-superhuman physical strength. Apparently, all members of the royal family have limited Psi Powers which enable them to project very realistic illusions, as shown in the episode where Star is crowned King of Quadris by others who had sought him out for this purpose. Despite the involvement of Star Trek's Bennett, Koenig and Nimoy behind the scenes, the series was dropped after one season.

The Powers of Matthew Star has, perhaps regrettably, been rated as one of the worst US television series ever aired. Reportedly the original title was to have been The Powers of David Star, and the series format somewhat different. [GSt]

see also: Bermuda Triangle; The Man with the Power.

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