Logan’s Run 1.14 – Stargate

It’s always a pleasure to see a story by Dennis O’Neil, who wrote many comic books that I enjoyed as a kid, and other good ones that I came to later, like the labored but incredibly influential Green Lantern/Green Arrow series. He got to write what turned out to be the final episode of the series, about some aliens from a very hot world who have landed on Earth and, finding it suitable if uncomfortably cold, plan to colonize the planet via a matter transporter since their own is threatened by an exploding sun.

Once again, our kid got really frightened by this story, particularly a sequence where the aliens dump our heroes in a swamp and leave them for dead among the mutants and creatures, just like a fifties monster movie. Fortunately, he shouldn’t have anything too scary for the next couple of evenings.

The show had started on Friday nights, following Wonder Woman, but the network decided to rearrange its schedule just one month later, in October 1977. Madly, CBS had decided to counterprogram a show called Young Dan’l Boone opposite the established NBC hit Little House on the Prairie. It sure sounds like both programs were trying to capture the same audience. CBS canceled Boone after four bottom-of-the-ratings weeks and moved Logan’s Run against it. I don’t believe that it fared all that much better – Little House was a ratings monster – and its fate was sealed.

But there’s some dispute over when it was axed. There’s an urban legend that says that the final three episodes were not shown on the West Coast, which seems incredibly strange. I can certainly believe that some CBS stations got sick of Logan‘s ratings and axed it in favor of something else, but did CBS actually broadcast the last three episodes of this series in the east and something different in the west? If so, what? Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh’s argument-settling The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present says that the last episode aired on January 16, 1978, which seems to be the date that “Carousel” was shown. Wikipedia and IMDB, neither of which are foolproof, have later dates (1/23, 1/30, and 2/6) for the next three installments. Perhaps these were shown in New York but not Los Angeles, and surrounding markets followed suit? I’d sure like to know what CBS showed instead of this series if this is true.

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