As I mentioned in Part 1, Logan's Run was and is the high water mark by which all television minis should be judged. Former Sound of Music star, Playboy model, and spouse of Robert Urich, Heather Menzies, filled out one of the scantiest miniskirts ever to grace the boob tube. Sadly, the show only lasted for 14 episodes, but nonetheless deserves a couple Miniskirt Monday posts. This is textbook quality over quantity.
But why didn't it last?
I've already mentioned that the show was preempted a great deal, which prevented it from gaining momentum. However, that can't be the only reason. Having just watched all fourteen, I think I understand why.
First, not a lot happens in each episode. Logan and Jessica get captured, are induced into a hallucinogenic dream state, then are saved by their android friend.... and that's it. There was simply too much talking and slow parts to hold the attention of a young audience.
Plus, there wasn't a very cohesive world you could immerse yourself into like Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica. Jessica and Logan are on the run and encounter folks along the way... but there's no intriguing backstory, no "mythology episodes" as they used to say about the X-Files. And, unlike Doctor Who, the stories themselves were inconsistent - sometimes terribly weak, sometimes excellent.
But here's the rub - you've got to give a show time to develop. Just when Logan and Jessica started to really define their characters, the show was scrapped. Sure, it was the most expensive program on television at the time, but you've still got to give it time.
Miniskirts are great, but they alone do not make a great show...... Well, they kind of do, but you get my point. Kids wanted lasers, aliens, and spaceships. What they got was very little action, zero aliens, and zero spaceships (unless you count their lame hovercraft). Not exactly a recipe for success in the shadow of a newly released Star Wars.
Several of you commented in last week's post that Heather Menzies didn't stack up against the original Jessica - Jenny Agutter. Jenny showed more skin, but that's an unfair comparison since that was in a movie, where you can get away with that sort of thing. As the article I presented in the last post demonstrated, Menzies pushed the envelope pretty damn far with her outfit.
I suppose there will always be a bias against the TV character adapted from the movie. It's a shame that Menzies never got a chance to fully grow into her role and prove the naysayers wrong. Had the show lasted a few seasons, I think the consensus would be much less one-sided.
Although, Logan's Run deserves its placement at the top of the Miniskirt Hall of Fame, it is lacking in the variety department. Heather Menzies basically wears the same exact mini-dress in all fourteen episodes, with only brief moments of variety.
Granted, Logan and Jessica are on the run, far from a JC Penney's. So, it would make precious little sense to have her changing wardrobe every episode. But still.... it would've been nice.
There are a plethora of scenes featuring Menzies walking through various terrain. I can't decide if this was padding, an excuse to show the miniskirt in action, or both. Whatever the case, they could have done better in selecting interesting locations. The outdoor cinematography looked like they were taken downhill from a freeway, or maybe Robert Urich's backyard. Exotic locales they are not.
The last few episodes were wildly inventive. "Night Visitors" (above) was a rather terrifying episode, featuring a lot of occult imagery. Still another sign that the show was on its way to greatness.
More desert walking. There was a lot of that.
Of course, all this desert, prairie, and high chaparral walking was highly conducive to miniskirt movement.
The views up Menzies' skirt are plentiful. I'd devote a whole post to them if it wasn't so perverted and sad. It would make a good drinking game, though.
More walking in abysmal terrain. Lots and lots of walking.
In this scene, Jessica and Logan are drugged by aliens that can only exist in extreme heat. I bring it to you to illustrate the smoking hot sex appeal Menzies brought to the role. Warning: For young lads going through puberty, this scene could result in an embarrassing amount of sweating and swelling.
I should point out that it wasn't just Menzies in a mini; there were other actresses who bedecked themselves in its finery.
Unfortunately, since Logan and Jessica are on the run, you don't get many views of the City of Domes - intergalactic capital of the miniskirt (the required attire of every single female citizen in the population!)
That's Melody Anderson on the left with the with the green mini and the armband. I did a whole post on her way back in July 2009.
This is from the last episode 'Stargate", just as the shit was really starting to get good. Gregory Harrison had such a strong personality as Gonzo on Trapper John MD, it was finally rearing its much needed head by the final episode.... but it was too late. CBS had a habit of prematurely cancelling sci-fi - look no further than Planet of the Apes which ran at about the same time as Logan.
My understanding is that the Logan's Run novel is being adapted for the big screen once again. I'm sure it will be dark and oh-so-very-serious. All the campy fun will be sucked out and replaced with Dark Knight levels of brooding and self-love. The director also directed Drive, so get ready for some uber cool music in every scene too.
I sincerely hope I'm proved wrong.