The Powers of Matthew Star
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The Powers of Matthew Star is an American sci-fi television series that aired from September 17, 1982 until April 8, 1983, on NBC. 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.
|The Powers of Matthew Star|
|Created by||Steven E. de Souza|
|Written by||David Carren|
Steven E. de Souza
Gregory S. Dinallo
Richard Christian Matheson
Thomas E. Szollosi
|Directed by||Barry Crane|
Leslie H. Martinson
Louis Gossett Jr.
|Composer(s)||Michel Rubini and Denny Jaeger (1982)|
Johnny Harris (1983)
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Executive producer(s)||Bruce Lansbury|
Steven E. de Souza
|Cinematography||Héctor R. Figueroa|
|Running time||60 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Daniel Wilson Productions|
Harve Bennett Productions (1982)
Bruce Lansbury Productions (1983)
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original release||September 17, 1982 –|
April 15, 1983
The show was created by Steven E. De Souza, and developed by Daniel Wilson, Harve Bennett (Star Trek feature films II–V), 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. 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.
The series was cancelled after one season. The show ended airing the first pilot (with Barton as ‘David Star’) as the final episode broadcast.
|“||Quadris, a planet of the (Tau Ceti) system, twelve light years across the galaxy from Earth. It was home for us until an intergalactic armada conquered it. I fought by the royal family's side, but in vain. Even their remarkable powers weren't enough. The crown prince and I escaped to the nearest planet on which we could survive and further his powers in order to some day return to free his people.
Here on Earth, the prince is known as Matthew Star. He's a typical American teenager. He has friends; people who love him. And me, his guardian. I'm the only one who knows how special he is. Life for us is a series of joys and dangers. Enemy assassins constantly come to destroy us. Alone, we must survive.
First half of seriesEdit
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 seriesEdit
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.
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 QuadrisEdit
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.
US TV RatingsEdit
|Season||Episodes||Start Date||End Date||Nielsen Rank||Nielsen Rating||Tied With|
|1982–83||22||September 17, 1982||April 15, 1983||86||N/A||N/A|
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Jackal"||Ron Satlof||Allan Balter||September 17, 1982|
|2||"Accused"||Ron Satlof||Gregory S. Dinallo||September 24, 1982|
|3||"Daredevil"||Bruce Bilson||Jeffrey Alan Scott||October 1, 1982|
|4||"Genius"||Bob Claver||Tom Greene||October 8, 1982|
|5||"Prediction"||Guy Magar||Richard Christian Matheson & Thomas Szollosi||October 15, 1982|
|6||"Italian Caper"||Guy Magar||James Miller||October 29, 1982|
|7||"Winning"||Ron Satlof||Gregory S. Dinallo||November 5, 1982|
|8||"Endurance a.k.a. Survival"||Paul Krasny||Ruel Fischmann||November 12, 1982|
|9||"The Triangle"||Leonard Nimoy||Richard Christian Matheson & Thomas Szollosi||November 19, 1982|
|10||"Mother"||Ron Satlof||Walter Koenig||November 26, 1982|
|11||"Experiment"||Gunnar Hellström||Richard Christian Matheson & Thomas Szollosi||December 10, 1982|
|12||"Fugitives"||Jeffrey Hayden||Judy Burns||December 17, 1982|
|13||"Matthew Star, D.O.A."||Leslie H. Martinson||Bruce Shelly||January 21, 1983|
|14||"The Racer's Edge"||TBA||TBA||January 28, 1983|
|15||"Dead Man's Hand"||Vincent McEveety||David Bennett Carren||February 11, 1983|
|16||"36 Hours"||Barry Crane||Teleplay by: David Bennett Carren|
Story by: William Mageen & Gil Grant
|February 18, 1983|
|17||"The Quadrian Caper"||Guy Magar||Bruce Shelly||February 25, 1983|
|18||"Brain Drain"||Leslie H. Martinson||Teleplay by: George McIldowie|
Story by: William Mageen & Gil Grant
|March 4, 1983|
|19||"The Great Waldo Shepherd"||Barry Crane||Teleplay by: Bill Taube|
Story by: Gil Grant & William Mageen
|March 11, 1983|
|20||"Road Rebels"||TBA||TBA||March 25, 1983|
|21||"Swords & Quests"||TBA||TBA||April 8, 1983|
|22||"Starr Knight"||Ivan Nagy||Steven E. de Souza||April 15, 1983|
- Creator: Steven E. De Souza
- Executive Producers: Daniel Wilson/Harve Bennett/Bruce Lansbury
- Developers: Robert Earll/Allan Balter
- Dalton, Mary. Teacher TV: sixty years of teachers on television. Blog. Peter Lang.
- "TV Guide's 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time at vevmo.com Archived February 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
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- 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.
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