Friday, March 05, 2010

The Martians Are Coming, The Martians Are Coming

The Martians Are Coming, the Martians Are Coming
February 26, 1980
Music: Jimmie Haskell
Teleplay: Stephen Miller
Story: Tom Chehak and Stephen Miller
Director: James Sheldon

THE MISADVENTURES OF SHERIFF LOBO has a close encounter of the third kind when Lobo (Claude Akins) and deputies Perkins (Mills Watson) and Birdie Hawkins (Brian Kerwin), along with three stripper pickpockets, return to Orly to find the townspeople gone. Perkins and two of the girls are kidnapped by humanoids in white spacesuits carrying laser pistols, who take them back to their spacecraft. Okay, not really, but it sorta looks that way. Think a Soviet satellite, some Commie spies, and a few familiar middle-aged character actors dressed like nincompoops.

Some very clumsy writing by staff writer Stephen Miller gets the characters out of town long enough for Orly to be abandoned in their absence, but one has to wonder why he even bothered. The plot, such as it is, seems as though it could have sustained the entire hour, and so little is done with the possibility of extraterrestrials in Orly that introducing the idea hardly seems worth the trouble. And there isn’t a single car stunt to be seen. What a ripoff. Three days before playing Birdie’s ex-fiancĂ© Marla, actress Deborah Ryan showed up on BJ AND THE BEAR in the episode “The Girls of Hollywood High.” Suzanne Reed and Candy Brown play the other strippers. Ken Swofford and Bill Fletcher play the “spacemen.” John Kerry and Burr DeBenning are the enemy spies.

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