Space Rangers (TV series)

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Space Rangers
Created by Pen Densham
Starring see below
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 6
Production
Running time approx. 46 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run January 6, 1993 – January 26, 1993

Space Rangers is an American futuristic science fiction drama. The short lived series aired on CBS in 1993. The show was created by Pen Densham and Trilogy Entertainment Group.

Synopsis[edit]

In the year 2104 the Earth colony Fort Hope on the distant planet Avalon struggles to survive. A small force of police/marines called the "Space Rangers Corps" are the first, last and only line of defense for the colonists against crime and the perils of interstellar exploration. The series concentrates on Captain John Boon and his team of Rangers aboard Ranger Slingship #377.

Cast[edit]

Space Rangers cast

Other terminology[edit]

Banshees 
A space-faring predator. They teleport aboard spaceships as they travel at lightspeed. They are violent, impervious to regular weapons and teleport away as suddenly as they arrive. They also emit a high pitched sonic "scream" that can disorient a person in close quarters, which is where they get their name from. If they manage to kill everyone aboard the ship they will envelope it in an organic cocoon and teleport it with them back to their hyperspace hive.
Bellysnappers 
A single person escape pod. They are used to travel to a planet's surface. They are called "bellysnappers" because they tend to give their passengers rough rides and make them sick to their stomachs.
Central 
The higher echelons of command back on Earth, respected but often considered meddlesome, inefficient and out of touch with the facts of frontier life. The term also refers to the distant core of human civilization in general.
Hazard pay 
When a situation is above and beyond the level of danger that a sane person might elect to encounter, the Corps have been known to entice volunteers for missions with a bonus in Rangers' pay-checks. Boon's team is offered "triple" hazard pay if they could capture a Banshee for scientists to study. Doc has mentioned to the others that he is still waiting for hazard pay-checks from two other missions and does not expect to ever see them.
Lightspeed rings 
Large orbital ringed structures, they are designed to "slingshot" spaceships into hyperspace from one planet to another. Some ships, such as Slingships, are capable of reaching light speed without the usage of the lightspeed rings.
Runabouts 
Small, but swift and highly maneuverable interplanetary craft often stolen by smugglers to be used for their runs.
Slingships 
The interceptor spaceship of choice used by the Space Rangers. Unlike other ships, it does not need a lightspeed ring to achieve hyperspace as it can use a planet's orbital gravity to sling itself. It can still use lightspeed rings to conserve fuel. Captain John Boon's team are assigned Ranger Slingship #377. It has been nicknamed "Tin Lizzie" by its flight engineer Doc Kreuger and there are shark teeth nose art, much like pilots did to their fighter planes back in Earth's World War II-era. Slingship #377 has seen better days as Doc has had to jury rig many of the ships parts and systems to keep it online, as budget cuts have prevented them from always getting the proper parts and repairs.
Zulu 
A traditional drink at Fort Hope's Officers' Club which is consumed after returning from a successful mission.

Planets[edit]

New Venus -A former Earth colony that was overrun with Banshees. While most of the men elected to abandon the colony, the women chose to stay and fight off the invaders. As a result the colony became an Amazon-like matriarchy. Jojo Thorsen originates from this colony and harbors a deep hatred for Banshees.

Skaraab -A desolate planet where the days are so hot that the suns burn away all surface life in a matter of one day. The planet's vegetation has to grow back overnight and is so aggressive that it will even consume animal tissue in order to survive. It is also home to an ancient Graaka burial temple.

Earth -Home to the Space Rangers Corps & its Central Command. It is several weeks away at lightspeed from Fort Hope.

Avalon -Home to our heroes' colony of Fort Hope. On the outside it looks much like the Painted Desert in the American southwest.

Katraz -Penal colony. A place where the galaxy's worst are dumped off never to be heard from again. There are no guards and no ways to leave. The planet is ruled by anarchy among the inmates. One inmate named Rec heads the majority of factions on the planet. The name is no doubt derived from the former San Francisco prison of Alcatraz Island which also had the reputation for being impossible to escape.

Blood Nebula -A favorite hiding spot for smugglers and slavers. Its red clouds jam most sensors making enforcement in this area difficult at best.

Vee'Lon Prime -A wet, sandy, and tropical planet home to the reptilian Vee'Lons.

Episodes[edit]

"Fort Hope" aka "Space Rangers" aka Pilot -A lone escape pod reaches Fort Hope, its passenger tells the Rangers of a transport ship that went down. The ship was carrying Boon's former captain ex-Ranger Decker (Wings Hauser) and Graaka High-Priest Nazzer (Pat Morita) as it went down on the desolate planet Skaraab, a lifeless, sun-scorched wasteland, that's also home to a sacred Graaka burial site. Boon picks up new team member Daniel Kincaid who is fresh out of the academy. Zylyn tells Boon a legend of an ancient weapon hidden on the planet a thousand years ago, and protected from intruders by deadly vegetation. The Rangers attempt a rescue mission that could cost them all their lives.

"Banshees" -Colonel Weiss asks the Rangers to trap one of the deadly space predators known as Banshees - a request that Boon refuses until he learns a young boy (Rick Latini III) is trapped on an abandoned slaver spaceship in the Blood Nebula with some of the creatures. Once aboard the spaceship, they have difficulty finding him and learn the secret of his exceptionally long survival. They also have to worry about saving their own lives against creatures they know little about.

"The Replacements" -The Rangers are assigned a new android troubleshooter, who they dub "Ringer" (as in Dead), while they try to uncover the reasons behind a mining ship's hijacking. They're convinced that the ship is being used by a Hobbaba crime lord named Isogul for smuggling a deadly drug known as "Exjay", but if they cannot prove it, they have to return it. They also discover that Colonel Weiss's plans to eventually replace all human Space Rangers with androids.

"To Be Or Not To Be" -A has-been comedian Lenny Hacker* (Buddy Hackett) crash lands on prison planet Katraz on which there are no guards and from which no one ever leaves. Desperate to escape from yet another dress rehearsal for visiting General Kincaid (Danny's father), the Rangers undertake to rescue the comedian. General Kincaid holds Commander Chennault responsible for his son's safety. The team lands on the inhospitable penal colony and come face to face with its violent inhabitants, and the prisoners' vicious leader Rec.

"The Trial" -Zylyn is accused of the murder of another Graakan. When they fail to find legal counsel for his defense, the rest of the Rangers are forced to defend him in court themselves. Convinced there is a conspiracy to bring discredit to the Graaka race, they hunt for evidence as to the identity of the real murderer. Meanwhile, Isogul, the ruthless Hobbaba crime lord, has a new card up his sleeve to destroy the Space Rangers' defense system from inside. His master plan is to take over control of Fort Hope, but the Rangers also have a plan of their own designed to stop Isogul's crime wave permanently.

"Death Before Dishonor" -Captain Boon twice accidentally offends a race of reptilian warriors known as Vee'Lons. The Vee'Lon's dignitary Prince Gor'Dah (Sherman Howard), sentences Boon and his crew to death and declares war on Fort Hope & Central Command. After Central Command's Ambassador Hardcastle is assassinated, Chennault and Weiss are left alone to prevent an attack on Fort Hope. The crew's only way to avoid execution is for to Boon challenge the Prince Gor'Dah in a duel to the death in hand-to-hand combat.

Media[edit]

The complete series was released for a short time on VHS tape. It was later released to DVD for Region 2.

On October 15, 2013, Mill Creek Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time.[1]

See also[edit]

Star Rangers, a short-lived comic series from 1987–88 with similar characters and concepts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Short-Lived '93 Show on DVD as 'The Complete Sci-Fi Cult Classic TV Series'

External links[edit]