There’s a really neat and old-fashioned video effect on this episode that represents the Forbidden Zone, into which starving villagers who lose a rigged “lottery” are sent. Remember when you’d leave your Atari 2600 on after a game finished and it would cycle through a series of color negatives? This took me right back and had me ready to play a gang of Invisible Tank Pong.
You can see a Star Trek-lite feel to much of this series in the premise, if not always the execution. This one really comes close, though. Daniel said that it was “pretty cool,” but didn’t really get into it. He misread the name of the co-writer, Robert White, as “robot” and was probably disappointed that one didn’t show up. If the back of the DVD package can be believed, he’ll have something to cheer about before long.
Guest stars included Eric Boles and his father Jim Boles, both of whom had pretty long resumes. Jim passed away the year after this was made; Eric still works occasionally. The villain is played by an Argentinian actor named Zitto Kazann who has shown up in small roles in darn near everything over a forty year career, from Ironside to Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. His only recurring role was in the Robert Blake priest drama Hell Town, which I bizarrely enjoyed when I was fourteen.