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TV series of British/German origin, and set in the "present" Earth of the 1970s. A planet from another solar system drifts into Earth's system and is detected by some Earth scientists who investigate. The surface of this planet is no longer habitable and the residents have moved to a high-tech underground city. The society is ruled by the women, who of course, are all beautiful. Men are considered mentally inferior and are divided into two categories: the "adequately intelligent" who are selected by women to act as their personal "domestics" for household chores, and the remainder who are forced to perform menial labor under the supervision of female guards. The guards are attired nicely in visored helmets, boots, hot pants, and elbow-length gloves which are used to control the men through some sort of apparent force. Scientists from Earth (one men and one woman) find their way to the planet, and are forced to take their stated places in society. The man is chosen as a domestic, ... Written by
Robert L. Oliver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Star Maidens is a curio amongst the crowded halls of science fiction television. An Anglo-German production featuring a mixture of both English and German actors, Star Maidens was produced by Portman Productions and distributed by German and Scottish companies. Filmed at Bray Studios (famous for being the original home of Hammer Horror) in Berkshire, the show was made by a number of personnel who had been involved with 'Space: 1999' the big budget science fiction drama that premiered in September 1975, most notably special effects designer Brian Johnson who worked in the same capacity on 'Space: 1999' who, here creates a similar look and tone, just on a massively reduced budget. Gareth Thomas who would later appear in the excellent 'Children of the Stones' and play the lead character Roj Blake in 'Blake's 7' plays Shem the reluctant male escapee from Medusa in this programme, with Derek Farr playing Professor Evans (he would later guest appear in 'Blake's 7). Two of the show's female leads Judy Geeson (Fulvia) and Lisa Harrow (Liz Becker) had also guest starred in 'Space: 1999' before they appeared in Star Maidens. All in all its links with other science fiction greats makes it of great interest. Created and often written by Eric Paice (who had previously written for 'The Avengers') the show is a sex comedy which follows the exploits of two male domestics Adam (played by French actor Pierre Brice) and Shem as they escape from the dominant rule of their home planet Medusa by women. The programme explores the theme of role reversal in great depth, the initial episodes setting up the story of Adam and Shem as they arrive on earth after stealing a Medusan spacecraft, the later episodes dealing with the predicament of Rudi Schmidt (Christian Quadflieg) and Liz Becker (two scientists from earth) as they are taken hostage and live out their lives in the peculiar society of Medusa. This thirteen episode mini series, each episode running to 25 minutes in length is often a little light on story, the second episode 'Nemesis' is essentially a runaround as the earth's police force fail to catch Adam and Shem and notably features the hilarious line "There are two funny men stealing our apples" as Adam and Shem raid a local farm for food, but the whole thing has a certain charm and is overall very enjoyable. Despite the low budget, the production values aren't too bad, the Medusa set for example is quite expansive and visually interesting and there is plenty of earthbound location footage. The Medusan women are gorgeous and Judy Geeson is excellent as Fulvia (long before Inseminoid!) but the curious blond streaks in the male domestics hair takes some getting used to, particularly if your used to seeing Gareth Thomas (a particular victim of the hair dye) in his Roj Blake persona. It's a pity that the series was shot on cheap 16mm colour film as the results are a bit jumpy when viewed today, but this series all in all is very good fun. Sit back, relax and don't take it too seriously, this is well worth purchasing on DVD!
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