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Space Cases

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: TV.

US/Canadian tv series (1996-1997). CINAR Productions for Nickelodeon television network (US), Family and TVOntario (Canada). Created by Peter David and Bill Mumy. Directors included John Bell, Jeff Blyth, Otta Hanus, David Straiton. Writers included Jerry Colker, David, Magda Liolis, and Mumy. Cast includes Kristian Ayre, Paul Boretski, Walter Jones, Cary Lawrence and Jewel Staite. 27 30-minute episodes. Colour.

In a future Space Academy orbiting Pluto (see Outer Planets), misfit students from various worlds of our and other planetary systems are being kept from a field trip for various offences. An Alien Spaceship appears and the group's self-appointed leader, human Harlan Bond (Jones) decides to board it without permission; he is soon followed by the others. Teacher Theresa "T.J." Davenport (Lawrence) and Commander Seth Goddard (Boretski) also come aboard just before the sentient craft is accidentally sent into a "spatial rift" which results in everyone being stranded some seven light-years from the Solar System. The series deals with their subsequent attempts to return home and encounters with various alien races, many hostile. The Starship is named Christa after Christa McAuliffe, the science teacher who died in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster. The students possess various helpful abilities or powers: for example, Catalina (Staite) from Saturn's moon Titan can produce destructive sonic screams, while the "Andromedan" Radu (Ayre), presumably from the Andromeda Galaxy, has super-strength and hearing. The series was cancelled with the group still many light-years from home, their eventual fate left unresolved.

Co-creator Mumy is best known for his role on the television series Lost in Space (1965-1968). Other featured performers with sf connections included Mark Hamill and George Takei. [GSt]

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