Short-lived and admittedly cheesy, Logan's Run is nonetheless an excellent 'escape' show with a lot of replay value.
I'm not a sci-fi buff by any means, but I enjoy a lot of the sci-fi movies, comics, and TV shows from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. There's plenty I haven't seen, but when I saw Logan's Run for the first time a couple of years ago, I was thoroughly entertained and it remains one of my favorite sci-fi films. Not long after the release of the movie, a TV series was created, starring Gregory Harrison, Heather Menzies, Donald Moffat, and Randy Powell. The series only ran (har har) fourteen episodes, but like many sci-fi stories and media of the time, it became a cult favorite.
Warner Home Video has released the complete series in a three disc DVD set for the first time just yesterday. I'll spare you an episode-by-episode synopsis, but I'll offer a general introduction. Imagine the world in 2319. Some two hundred years have passed since the last great war, where humans had essentially bombed themselves to oblivion. A civilization known as the City of Domes was created at some point in the past, and it was all most humans knew of anymore. Inside the City of Domes, every one had their dreams fulfilled and life was simply blissful, but with two very strict rules. One, you were not permitted to try and leave the City of Domes. Afterall, the radiation levels were dangerous, the people were told. Secondly, your life ended at the age of thirty, when you participated in a bizarre ritual known as Carousel. This was supposed to be a rebirth ceremony, and over the years the people had come to believe it as so, but there were always a few that thought otherwise -- that had their suspicions about this lifestyle, and perhaps rightly so.
One of these doubters was Logan (Harrison), a Sandman. The Sandmen are the security of the City of Domes -- they appease the computers that keep everything running and everyone happy by lethally stopping anyone trying to leave the city. At the outset of the show, as with the movie, Logan is running security at a Carousel event when he is called away to chase down some runners. I'll leave out some details, but suffice it to say that, as the name would suggest, Logan becomes a runner himself. He, like the other runners (none of which have been known to survive once they got outside the City of Domes), believes that there is more to life -- that there is place called Sanctuary where life can be lived to its fullest.
Logan and Jessica (Menzies) become unlikely partners in the search for Sanctuary. After just a couple of episodes, they pick up Donald Moffat's character, Rem. An android created to keep machines running, Rem reminds me of C-3PO or perhaps more like Data from Star Trek TNG. Entertainingly awkward and critical about human nature, Rem is that almost required character-type that fits these types of shows so well. On their way across the vast and challenging terrain, the trio encounter many strange creatures and societies, all the while being chased down by a determined Sandman (Powell) dispatched from the City of Domes to capture Logan and Jessica.
Production values, such as the gadgets and special effects, aren't the best, but like many great TV shows, movies, and videogames, that's not what it's all about. The series has a lot of charm, largely due to the writing and cast. Other than the excessively cheesy smiles of Logan, the cast is very likeable and major asset to the series. Character relationships and the plots of episodes are intriguing, enough that they invite discussion and repeated viewings for sci-fi and philosophical types.
Warner did a decent job getting this set together. A removable cardboard cover reveals a three disc set (two discs share a "page" while disc three is on the back inside of the case). The disc labels are actually pretty nice, featuring the show's logo, disc number, and faint artwork of a cityscape. A nice two page color booklet is also inside. The booklet acts as a table of contents, including episode name, writer, director, and a brief synopsis for all fourteen eps. Disc menus are far less appealing, though; the selections for Play All, Episodes, and Setup look like they were created last-minute and appear very amateurish; better than nothing I suppose. Each episode includes subtitle support for English and French, which I am pleased was included. There are absolutely no extra features though, and that feels like a missed opportunity.
To the summary...