Starlost Review

The Starlost. Awful. I was happy to see this available on DVD, and happier still to see it available on Netflix. I vaguely remember its original appearance, and have read The Starcrossed and Ellison’s essay about the horrors that were its production. Ellison being Ellison, I suspect not every impartial witness who observed the events would have described them as he does; but however horrible the production was, the end product is worse: Awkward pauses fill the space between leaden dialogue, chroma-key is brutally substituted for sets, and blank stares seem to pass for introspection. I’m going to watch all of them, because that’s my contractual obligation, but unless you are a masochist or Ellison completist—or you want to hone your MST chops—there’s no reason you have to. Read Phoenix without Ashes, Edward Bryant’s novelization of the excellent original pilot script, or The Starcrossed, Ben Bova’s Roman à Clef recounting the production stupidities. Watch the first episode if you must, but trust me that it doesn’t get any better.