The Powers of Matthew Star

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The Powers of Matthew Star
Title Screen
GenreScience fiction
Created bySteven E. de Souza
Written byDavid Carren
Steven E. de Souza
Gregory S. Dinallo
Gil Grant
William Mageean
Richard Christian Matheson
Bruce Shelly
Thomas E. Szollosi
Directed byBarry Crane
Guy Magar
Leslie H. Martinson
Ron Satlof
StarringPeter Barton
Louis Gossett Jr.
Amy Steel
Chip Frye
Michael Fairman
John Crawford
James Karen
Composer(s)Michel Rubini and Denny Jaeger (1982)
Johnny Harris (1983)
Country of originUSA
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes22
Executive producer(s)Bruce Lansbury
Producer(s)Harve Bennett
Steven E. de Souza
Daniel Wilson
CinematographyHéctor R. Figueroa
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Daniel Wilson Productions
Harve Bennett Productions (1982)
Bruce Lansbury Productions (1983)
Paramount Television
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Original networkNBC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 17, 1982 (1982-09-17) –
April 15, 1983 (1983-04-15)

The Powers of Matthew Star is an American sci-fi television series that aired on NBC from September 17, 1982 until April 8, 1983. It starred Peter Barton as the title character, alien prince Matthew ‘E’Hawke’ Star of the planet Quadris. Also starring were Amy Steel as Pam Elliot, Matthew’s girlfriend at Crestridge High, and Louis Gossett Jr. as Matthew’s guardian Walt ‘D’hai’ Shepherd.[1]

In 2002, The Powers of Matthew Star was ranked #22 on the list of TV Guide's "50 Worst TV Shows of All Time".[2]

Main cast[edit]

Series history[edit]

The show was created by Steven E. De Souza, and developed by Daniel Wilson, Harve Bennett (Star Trek feature films IIV), Robert Earll and Allan Balter. Wilson, Bennett and Bruce Lansbury (who produced many television series in the 1980s) executive produced. Star Trek actors worked behind the scenes; Leonard Nimoy directed the episode "Triangle", and Walter Koenig wrote the episode "Mother".

The series was originally called The Powers of David Star.[3] With this title and a somewhat altered premise, the original pilot was to deal with teenaged David Star, who lived with the school janitor, Max (Gerald S. O'Loughlin). Max had a secret he was not sharing with David, who had no idea that he and Max were from another planet. As his powers began to surface, David started to understand who he was. Hot on their trail was the FBI. The original pilot was aired as the last episode of the series. TV Guide's 1981 Fall Preview issue's network schedule grid lists the original series title as The Powers of Daniel Star.

The program, originally slated to debut in 1981 with the new title and storyline, was delayed when Peter Barton fell backward onto pyrotechnics and was badly burned, while co-star Louis Gossett Jr., tied to a chair, had fallen on top of Barton but managed to rescue him. After months in the hospital, Barton was released, and the show resumed shooting.[4]

The series was cancelled after one season. The show ended airing the first pilot (with Barton as ‘David Star’) as the final episode broadcast.



D'Hai/Walter Shepherd's (Louis Gossett Jr.) dialogue over the opening theme tells the tale of E'Hawke/Matthew Star (Peter Barton):

Louis Gossett Jr. and Peter Barton

First half of series[edit]

The first half of the series' run dealt with Matthew Star attending Crestridge High School and trying to survive his teenage years while dodging assassins, all under the watchful eye of his guardian, Walter Shepherd, who stayed nearby as a science teacher at the school. Those in their lives who had no idea about the truth were girlfriend Pam Elliot (Amy Steel), friend Bob Alexander (Chip Frye), and the merry principal, Mr. Heller (Michael Fairman).

General Tucker (John Crawford), an Air Force officer specializing in extraterrestrial investigations, had tracked the two of them across the country as they evaded alien agents intent on exterminating them. From time to time, he enlisted their specialized aid in solving monumental problems.

The first dozen episodes dealt with the daily troubles of high school students, although in the episode "The Triangle," a chance trip to the Bermuda Triangle resulted in the discovery of messengers from Quadris, who told the pair that the king had been executed. E'Hawke/Matthew was crowned the new king in a torch-lit cave.

In the episode "Mother," a strange carnival gypsy is revealed to be Matthew's mother Nadra, who had been traveling the galaxy and hiding from assassins. This reunion was bittersweet because, due to Nadra's health problems, she was forced to leave Crestridge for an undisclosed location with a higher elevation.

Finally, in the "Fugitives" episode, Walt, trying to elude a nosy doctor, comes into contact with a substance in the hospital that causes him to have a deadly allergic reaction. At the same time, Matthew is being booked into jail and needs Walt to bail him out. At the last minute, Matthew manages to save Walt, as he has done many times throughout the series.

Matthew's powers during this season were mainly telekinetic, being able to move objects with the power of his mind. This power was illustrated in the opening credits as moving a book back into a slot on the shelf. In episodes, he used telekinesis to manipulate a football, raise rocks that had buried an experimental Air Force flying unit and then its simulation. The opening title suggests that members of his family had other powers that probably expanded after achieving physical maturity (and practice).

Second half of series[edit]

The series took a sudden turn from a dramatic adventure series to a by-the-book adventure series, with Walt and Matthew having to deal with government assignments. Major Wymore (James Karen) replaced General Tucker (John Crawford) and met with the Quadrians in all sorts of strange locations where he briefed them on the missions. Gone were Pam and Bob and references to the high school. Matthew was being portrayed as older, and not much was said about their true mission, which was returning to Quadris to take back their world from the enemy.[5]

Matthew had used the name "Shep" for his guardian, but with the sudden format change, Matthew started calling him Walt.

In the gap between episodes 12 and 13, Matthew apparently developed or perfected additional powers, including separating his intelligence into an "astro", a simulation of his current appearance that could walk through walls. Another power was transmutation of objects.

Enemies of Quadris[edit]

The name of the Marauding species that attacked Quadris is unrevealed. They seem human enough but they tend to explode when they hit water. Then again these ‘human replicants’ may just be service drones working for a real enemy, an image of which may have been seen in the first pilot (when "Matthew" was "David"). As to why the Marauders would invade Quadris but not Earth, that, too, is not known. But it may have to do with powers the Quadrians possess. They do seem to have incredible strength, and the Marauder in the second pilot, played by Judson Scott mentioned someone named ‘Olan’ who gave them chemicals to feel pleasure. The character 'Olan' is never revealed.[4]

US TV Ratings[edit]

Season Episodes Start Date End Date Nielsen Rank Nielsen Rating Tied With
1982–83 22 September 17, 1982 April 15, 1983 86[6] N/A N/A

Episode list[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Jackal"Ron SatlofAllan BalterSeptember 17, 1982 (1982-09-17)
2"Accused"Ron SatlofGregory S. DinalloSeptember 24, 1982 (1982-09-24)
3"Daredevil"Bruce BilsonJeffrey Alan ScottOctober 1, 1982 (1982-10-01)
4"Genius"Bob ClaverTom GreeneOctober 8, 1982 (1982-10-08)
5"Prediction"Guy MagarRichard Christian Matheson & Thomas SzollosiOctober 15, 1982 (1982-10-15)
6"Italian Caper"Guy MagarJames MillerOctober 29, 1982 (1982-10-29)
7"Winning"Ron SatlofGregory S. DinalloNovember 5, 1982 (1982-11-05)
8"Endurance a.k.a. Survival"Paul KrasnyRuel FischmannNovember 12, 1982 (1982-11-12)
9"The Triangle"Leonard NimoyRichard Christian Matheson & Thomas SzollosiNovember 19, 1982 (1982-11-19)
10"Mother"Ron SatlofWalter KoenigNovember 26, 1982 (1982-11-26)
11"Experiment"Gunnar HellströmRichard Christian Matheson & Thomas SzollosiDecember 10, 1982 (1982-12-10)
12"Fugitives"Jeffrey HaydenJudy BurnsDecember 17, 1982 (1982-12-17)
13"Matthew Star, D.O.A."Leslie H. MartinsonBruce ShellyJanuary 21, 1983 (1983-01-21)
14"The Racer's Edge"TBATBAJanuary 28, 1983 (1983-01-28)
15"Dead Man's Hand"Vincent McEveetyDavid Bennett CarrenFebruary 11, 1983 (1983-02-11)
16"36 Hours"Barry CraneTeleplay by: David Bennett Carren
Story by: William Mageen & Gil Grant
February 18, 1983 (1983-02-18)
17"The Quadrian Caper"Guy MagarBruce ShellyFebruary 25, 1983 (1983-02-25)
18"Brain Drain"Leslie H. MartinsonTeleplay by: George McIldowie
Story by: William Mageen & Gil Grant
March 4, 1983 (1983-03-04)
19"The Great Waldo Shepherd"Barry CraneTeleplay by: Bill Taube
Story by: Gil Grant & William Mageen
March 11, 1983 (1983-03-11)
20"Road Rebels"TBATBAMarch 25, 1983 (1983-03-25)
21"Swords & Quests"TBATBAApril 8, 1983 (1983-04-08)
22"Starr Knight"Ivan NagySteven E. de SouzaApril 15, 1983 (1983-04-15)

Production credits[edit]

  • Creator: Steven E. De Souza
  • Executive Producers: Daniel Wilson/Harve Bennett/Bruce Lansbury
  • Developers: Robert Earll/Allan Balter

Home media[edit]

In 2018, Visual Entertainment Inc. (VEI) released the complete series on DVD.[7]


  1. ^ Dalton, Mary. Teacher TV: sixty years of teachers on television. Blog. Peter Lang.
  2. ^ "TV Guide's 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time at Archived February 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Terrance, Vincent (1985). Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials: 1974–1984. VNR AG. p. 500. ISBN 0-918432-61-8.
  4. ^ a b "The Powers of Matthew Star". Blog. Tombs of Kobol.[unreliable source?]
  5. ^ Marsh, Earle (2003). The complete directory to prime time network and cable TV shows, 1946–present. Random House. p. 1592. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  6. ^ Lina. "The TV Ratings Guide: 1982–83 Ratings History – Soap Bubbles Rise, Several Veterans Part and NBC Renews Poorly Rated Masterpieces". Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  7. ^ "The Powers of Matthew Star - All Episodes plus The Pilot". Visual Entertainment Inc. Retrieved June 11, 2019.

External links[edit]