November 23, 2019

FAR OUT SPACE NUTS


FAR OUT SPACE NUTS
(CBS, September 6-December 13, 1975)

Sid & Marty Krofft Productions



MAIN CAST:

Bob Denver – Junior
Chuck McCann – Barney
Patty Maloney – Honk




            Far Out Space Nuts was the first of two programs developed by Sid & Marty Krofft Productions exclusively for CBS (the other being Pryor’s Place), and one of two space-themed shows they released in 1975 (the other being The Lost Saucer). The show served as a last-minute replacement for a scrapped cartoon.

Promo image of Barney, Junior and Honk by their ship.

            Developed by the Kroffts, Joe Ruby, Ken Spears, Chuck McCann and Earle Doud, Space Nuts followed the adventures of dim-witted Junior (Bob Denver) and the grumpy Barney (McCann), two NASA maintenance workers who accidentally find themselves launched and lost in space. There, they befriended a furry alien named Honk (Patty Maloney) who only spoke via honking sounds from the horn on top of her head. The three of them travelled from planet to planet, typically having to escape from hostile aliens to get back to their ship and continue their quest to find a way home.

Junior getting his mind switched with a sinister computer.

            Far Out Space Nuts debuted on CBS on September 6, 1975, with music by Michael Lloyd for Mike Curb Productions. Written by Doud, McCann, Dick Robbins, Duane Poole, Buddy Atkinson, Dick Conway, Jack Mendelsohn, Bruce Howard and Ray Parker, the series blended goofball comedy with satire poking fun at movie clich├ęs and parodies of other movies and shows; blending elements of McCann’s comedy stylings and Doud’s experience as a writer for Mad Magazine. While the jokes were generally family friendly, the bulk of the humor was targeted for adults. For instance, the villain of “It’s All in Your Mind” was named G.A.L 36-24-26 (an idealized woman’s measurements, voiced by Joan Gerber). Denver actually had his choice of two Saturday morning programs; being offered a role in Filmation’s The Ghost Busters alongside former Dusty’s Trail co-star Forrest Tucker before ultimately ending up settling for Space Nuts.

The Nuts meet an alien queen.

            Unfortunately for Denver, Space Nuts fared as well as Dusty’s Trail did. The show’s adult humor ended up not attracting the child audience CBS would have liked and it was trounced in the ratings by Speed Buggy and Return to the Planet of the Apes. The series remained on CBS until it was replaced by Filmation’s Ark II the following season. It entered into syndicated reruns as part of the package program Krofft Super Stars beginning in 1978, where it began to slowly find its fans. The first two episodes were released to VHS by Embassy Home Entertainment in 1985. Rhino Home Entertainment released another VHS in 1999 with the episodes “Tower of Tagot” and “Secrets of Hexagon”. In 2002, they released “Birds of a Feather” to DVD as part of The World of Sid & Marty Krofft compilation, and the pilot episode in the 2005 compilation Saturday Morning with Sid & Marty Krofft.



EPISODE GUIDE:

“It’s All in Your Mind” (9/6/75) – Junior and Barney end up on a planet ruled by a brain-controlling computer.

“The Crystallites” (9/13/75) – Junior enjoys being the ruler of the glass people, until he finds out he has to become glass as well.

“Robots of a Pod” (9/20/75) – Junior and Barney have to rescue a princess and retrieve a magic belt from an evil robot ruler.

“Fantastic Journey” (9/27/75) – A mad scientist makes Junior and Barney his assistants.

“Tower of Tagot” (10/4/75) – Junior and Barney have to rescue a queen from the evil Tagot.

“The Three Space-keteers” (10/11/75) – Junior is mistaken for a legendary hero and is tasked with rescuing a queen.

“Flight of the Pippets” (10/18/75) – Junior and Barney are shrunk down and added to a collection of miniatures.

“Birds of a Feather” (10/25/75) – Captured by the bird-like Vultrons, Junior and Barney are ordered to hatch a giant egg.

“Dangerous Game” (11/1/75) – A woman and her dog-like henchmen hunt down Junior and Barney.

“Secrets of the Hexagon” (11/8/75) – Junior and Barney are duped into trading their spaceship for a powerful key.

“Captain Torque, Space Pirate” (11/15/75) – An evil space pirate forces Junior and Barney to steal a treasure map for him.

“Vanishing Aliens Mystery” (11/22/75) – Junior and Barney end up on a space station in time for the reading of a will, and all of the heirs slowly being disappearing.

“Barney Begonia” (11/29/75) – Barney is turned into a half-man, half-flower creature.

“Destination: Earth” (12/6/75) – Junior and Barney end up taking a trip through time as a way to get back home.

“Galaxy’s Greatest Athlete” (12/13/75) – Junior is tricked into competing in an athletic event by two beautiful women.

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