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"Logan's Run" Turnabout (1978)

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Conflict in Zidor

Author: ShadeGrenade from Ambrosia
26 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Written by Michael Michaellan and Al Hayes and directed by Al Hayes, 'Turnabout' is the penultimate 'Logan's Run' episode and the last to feature Randy Powell as 'Francis'. After helping a young woman named 'Mia' ( Victoria Racimo ) in the desert, Logan and co. encounter a group of horse-riders from the nearby city of Zidor, which is under the command of the ruthless 'Asa' ( Nehemiah Persoff ). Identified as runners, Logan and his friends are sentenced to be executed. But then Francis arrives and insists they be turned over to him to be taken back to the City of Domes to be killed ( in fact, he intends to have them reprogrammed ). While Asa deliberates on this new development, Mia helps Logan and Jessica escape. Rather than let Francis remain a prisoner, Logan opts to go back and rescue his former friend...

A good episode. Zidor is like one of those Middle Eastern countries were women are not allowed a voice in society and have to wear masks at all times. Powell is on good form here, particularly in his scenes with Persoff, and getting to fight one of Asa's men with a stick that emits a laser beam. It is indeed a shame this was his final episode. Logan's concern for Francis' welfare is touching and reminds us that they had once been close friends. As ever, Heather Menzies is beautiful, even when dying of thirst. A strong black character - 'Samuel' ( Hari Rhodes ) - is the story's pivot. I like the ending - instead of killing Asa, he gets a more just punishment - he is voted out of office!

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Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
26 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode establishes the complex relationship between Logan and Francis, with a backdrop of this xenophobic, closed-in society, living by a type of religious fanaticism that keeps the females in the community under rule, faces covered, an example of sin that must remain subservient. Asa (Nehemiah Persoff, The Twilight Zone) is the leader who sits in authority of the high council, while his more cerebral, moral, and progressive "advisor" Samuel (Harry Rhodes), wishes for their quick-trigger impulse to sentence outsiders to death (runners like Jessica and Logan once were welcome in the city of Zidor, saw how the people lived, and caused a revolt, leaving the populace with less youth, the numbers dwindled), execution at first light. Asa's general is Gera(if I'll be damned if it isn't Gerald McRaney!), ruthlessly loyal to Asa and the mission to keep outsiders out. Trapped and bound to die, Logan, Jessica, and Rem need to find a way to get out of Zidor, but this will not be easy. Meanwhile, Francis and another Sandman offer to take Logan and Jessica off Asa's hands but he will not allow them to leave Zidor alive (Francis, also loyal to his leaders, will do whatever it takes to see they leave with him alive). So Francis will attempt a rescue mission, so that he can return Jessica and Logan to the City of Domes, but will this be possible under the hot sun of the desert, with no water or transport? A constant of Logan's Run, the Series, is the absence of freedom because this is the sole reason for escaping the City of Domes, to be free and alive. It seems, though, that Jessica and Logan (…with Rem, their constant companion, an android with knowledge and know-how, often assisting them in breaking free from those who wish to harm or capture them) always find themselves right back in a predicament that threatens to deter their plans to reach Sanctuary. Often, though, they leave each situation bettering many of those they come in contact with, because, at the very heart of the matter, these are people with sterling character and care for others. This episode, Turnabout, once again has the three stuck in a city where the people are dedicated to a way of living that hinders and oppresses, and they had enough of that back at Dome City where the people had lush environs and the choice to enjoy a life of pleasure but were not allowed to venture outside or avoid Carousel. Maybe this ought to have been the final episode of the series because it has Logan and Francis save each others lives, the former because of his orders, the latter because it is the right thing to do, but in these acts of bravery, we see that even if hunter and hunted continue after this adventure, they won't allow others to dictate the final result. I think this episode also firmly establishes that nothing will deter Francis' determined goal to bring his quarry back to the City of Domes. Logan, also, will do everything within his power to remain free and on a lofty pursuit of a paradise where humans can live and prosper. The California locations look stifling hot; the direction really places an emphasis on the combat against dehydration and fatigue for Jessica, Logan, and Francis as they flee from their captors. There is even a "sword fight" as Francis and Gera engage in a duel using canes that emit laser bolts. Mia (Victoria Racimo) is one of the oppressed females rescued from certain death by Logan and Jessica who give her water for malnourishment (she was out gathering herbs for medicinal purposes) who helps them escape from Zidor. This episode does also establish Samuel as the voice of reason amongst a group of wrong-headed ideals certain to keep Zidor from flourishing.

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