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"Starman" was a good, quality series. I loved this show back in 1986,
became so used to the Robert Hays version of Starman that I remember when
looked up the 1984 Jeff Bridges/Karen Allen movie, I had a hard time
accepting Bridges as Starman. And I wasn't as blown away by Bridges
performance as others seem to have been. Bridges's was actually
for an Academy Award in acting in that 1984 John Carpenter film.
Robert Hays does an excellent job bringing the Starman back to life. Starman isn't as uncomfortable with his human body as he was in the film, and Hays brings a great gentleness and warmth to the character. Hays doesn't try and copy Bridges, but he brings a different but similar take on the Starman character. Like Bridges, Hays plays the character as if he has an IQ of 60, but at the same time possesses the genius of Albert Einstein, Mahatma Ghandi, and Stephen Hawking combined. But thankfully Hays doesn't do the annoying bird like head movements Bridges does, and he doesn't speak with the motor neuron time delay that Bridges did in the film. You can believe that this is the same alien from the movie, but one that has learned things from his first time on Earth. He's still innocent and naive, but he's been around the block a bit more. In the pilot, Hays briefly played Paul Forrester, the photographer Starman cloned to use as a human body. There was a great contrast in the performances of Forrester and Starman as Forrester. So if Bridges could be nominated for an Oscar, why couldn't Hays have been nominated for any Emmy?
I also prefered the TV series to the movie because the show was far more funny and lighthearted then the dreary and depressing movie. I think a lot of this has to do with the addition of Starman's 14 year old son Scott Hayden, played wonderfully by Christopher Daniel Barnes. In the movie, Starman gives Jenny the sphere and tells her "the baby will know what to do with". We get this sense that the baby will be born a genius and be just like Starman, a weird alien. But Scott is just a typical human kid that has a hard time accepting he is half alien. Back then, Barnes was was known as "C.B. Barnes", who for a while was a very low level teen heartthrob. In the 1990s Barnes got some mild fame playing Greg Brady in the "Brady Bunch" movies and doing the voice of Spider-Man in the Spidey animated series.
Sure the John Carpenter/Jeff Bridges movie had some funny moments, but I felt that the movie was really depressing and gloomy. It was just this gigantic tragic road love story with such sad, sad, SAD music. The TV series has Scott Hayden to let the air out of it all and there are some hilarious exchanges here between Scott, his father and the people they come across in their quest for Jenny Hayden. I highly recommend this funny, warm and intelligently written series. It was a shame that ABC gave this series the shaft after just 1 year and 22 episodes. They never gave the show any good time slots anyway. They were always yanking "Starman" around on different nights, and always putting the series up against the heavyweights of the day like "Dynasty" or something like that. Yes Sci-Fi channel IS airing "Starman". It comes on Sunday/Monday morning at 2 AM Eastern/1 AM Central.
Starman has a huge following! Several websites have dedicated themselves to Starman, and they are full of info about the series, fans who love the show, plus continuing efforts to keep the memory alive. Starman was full of promise, too bad it ran for a very short time. Positive messages, family content and interesting plot lines made the show good even today, when t.v. and movies are full of cynical story lines. If you suspend your disbelief, sit back and open your mind, Starman was a good watch for sure!!! BTW, some negative comments about the show should be tempered by the fact that the Movie, Starman, had some different elements, actors and writers. The t.v. series was fun, I wouldn't pass up a rerun! Not a waste of time what so ever!
This show picks up 14 years after the movie left off. The alien returns to
earth to find the woman he had met during the movie and the child he had
fathered. He finds the son, now a teenager, and together they search for
mother, while being hounded by a government agent. In the movie, the woman
helped Starman (who apparantly had no corporal form of his own and assumes
the body of a photographer who has just died in a helicopter accident in
show) learn about earth customs; in the tv show, the son does the
All in all, I thought this was a decent television show and a worthy companion to one of my favorite movies of all time.
I was 14 years old when "Starman" the TV series premiered and I loved
the show from the get-go. It was helpful that CB Barnes was a bit of a
babe but it was the quality of writing on the show that kept me
watching every week. In fact, I was so disappointed when they kept
switching the time-slot that I was not surprised when they canceled it.
In fact, I was incredibly upset because they kept really pathetic shows
on the air and gave "Starman" the shaft.
Funny enough, there were enough people that felt the same as me that there were "Blue Lights" clubs all over North America that wrote angry letters and petitions to have "Starman" continue. After months of fighting, it was clear that ABC had no intention of giving it the opportunity it deserved. If anyone knows how I could buy the two seasons that "Starman" was on the air, please let me know. I would love to add this series to my DVD collection and finally give it the credit it deserves.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I heard that Starman the TV series was coming out, I was
skeptical. Why? Because so many TV series based on hit movies don't
make the grade. I thought this was going to be one of those trying to
cash in on the movie's success.
When it premiered in September 1986, I was surprised. While the writing wasn't super, it was decent enough to garner my interest. I found myself actually looking forward to the next episode.
My only big criticism of the series was that it wasn't consistent with the movie. This was supposed to be a sequel. The story of the movie took place in 1977. When I began watching the series, I thought hey, it's 1991 (seeing that the events in the series took place fourteen years after the movie). Then in the final episodes, they make it clear that Starman the series was taking place in contemporary (1986-87) times. A general says, "14 years ago I was flying jets in Vietnam." And George Fox, the NSA agent says his interview with Jenny Hayden took place in 1972. What did the writers think of viewers? As stupid? That we didn't care? Sorry, (from some of the other comments), not too many viewers were fooled and caught the inconsistencies.
Too bad Karen Allen, the one who played the original Jenny Hayden didn't come on board to reprise the role towards the end of the series. I'm an Erin Gray fan, but she just wasn't Jenny Hayden.
Anyway, the series was written well enough to garner an audience and last through the whole 1986-87 season. (Most series based on movies die before mid-season.) I just wish that either 1) they could've continued it or 2) have a better ending than the one they had (the last eps were supposed to tie up loose ends). But unfortunately, and to quote the SciFi mag, Starlog (on the fate of Starman the series), "Not even all the fan mail in world can save it."
So may this decent series rest in peace in re-runs.
I liked the way that people would expect Starman to be a jerk (because
the guy who's body he copied was kind of a jerk), but he would end up
inspiring hope in everyone. I was impressed with how he handled his
captor, George Fox, in the next to last episode.
In the motion picture, I always felt that it was wrong for Starman to get Jennie Hayden pregnant and just leave her. The TV series sort of helped to redeem that.
It made sense that, as an alien, he had a completely fresh perspective on things, and thus was a very creative photographer.
The stories were all set in the southwest U.S. The scene of Starman first emerging in Paul's body was cool.
A unique show that appeals to lovers of peace & social justice. I remember seeing a bumper sticker after it was cancelled: "Starman will return in a moment." The show was something new under the sun.
This was a great show. The series was a sequel to the theatrical film
of the same name, although with entirely new actors. The episodes
focused on Paul Forrester "Starman" and his 14 year old son Scott
Hayden, in their quest to find Scott's mother Jenny Hayden. Constantly
on their tail was federal agent George Fox, seeking to capture them.
Most episodes showed how Starman learned not only about living on
Earth, but about being a father to Scott. There were some genuine
touching moments as they both loved and lost, and always had to move on
to another location. Although a sci-fi series, the episodes all had
human interest stories.
Today's sci-fi shows are all about special effects and gore. No sci-fi show comes close to being what Starman was. It's a shame that this series isn't on DVD. Since it only ran one season and the studio that owns the rights seems to have an aversion to 80's shows, it most likely never will. If the sci-fi channel ever shows the reruns again, and you've never seen this show, tape them and watch them with your family. There is no gore and almost no violence. This a family viewing series.
I just finished watching the Starman series again. I loved this show as
a teenager when it first came out. However, I now realize a lot of the
actual storyline and meaning of it was lost on my youth. In watching
the show again, I see how well Robert Hays brought to life the
character of the alien wrapped in the body of Paul Forrester.
The interactions between Paul the Alien and Paul Forrester and his old friends, family, or acquaintances are priceless. Each Paul has a different feel to him, the way he stands, the way he moves, or the way he reacts to different things. We truly believe that Paul the Alien is experiencing some things for the first time. However, it's not overkill either.
This is a great show that probably deserved at least another season. It seems like all the good science fiction shows are cut too short.
Just read an article online saying STARMAN the TV show is finally going to be released on DVD. I wrote this to let dedicated fans know! The DVD is coming out April 3, 2012. It's being released by Sony and you will only be able to get it via online (will not be sold in stores). Follow the link below for more details.
I just wanted to let everyone know as we have been waiting so long for this DVD !!! I'm sure you will have a big smile on your face as I did when I first read this! Enjoy !!! :D
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Although the series did not get re-upped for a second season, I found
it so many years later to be both inspiring, sensitive and tender.
Starman, played by Mr. Hayes, came to life and captivated me into believing an alien can take on human form and excel in all the ways we hope humanity can behave. His expressions of tenderness, not only for his son, Scott, admirably played by Barnes, but all of those he encountered was an inspiration to be more open to all human frailty.
The drama was low pitched but the messages in each episode finely drawn and memorable.
It is a pity that the simple messages in a series like this are not more appreciated and valued.
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