Created in 1980, “Beyond Westworld” was to pickup on the success of the two feature films as well as America’s obsession with robots.
It did have one thing going for it that “Futureworld” didn’t. It did have Crichton’s name in the credits. But even that couldn’t save this extremely unorganized and ill-conceived series.
The loose plot is that the creator of the robots Dr. Oppenheimer (William Jordan), who runs Delos, had an assistant, Quaid (James Wainwright), who was drunk on power. So he stole several hundred of the robots and have placed them in key places around the world.
In the pilot, Delos brings in their chief of security John Moore (Jim McMullan) to track down Quaid and stop one of his robots aboard an American nuclear submarine. His companion for this mission is Laura Garvey (Judith Chapman).
The pilot was directed by feature film director Tom Post, who directed “Magnum Force”, “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” and “Good Guys Wear Black”. So it is obvious the network really spent some money on the pilot.
Laura Garvey is replaced with Pamela Williams (Connie Sellecca) with episode #2. This would be Sellecca’s second TV series after playing a sexy stewardess on “Flying High”. Her appearance on this series predates “Greatest American Hero” and “Hotel” both those series would make her a star. Just for the record, Chapman was actually a better fit for the series than Sellecca.
Some of the biggest problems with the series was casting very wooden actor Jim McMullan as the lead in the series. McMullan had been kicking around Hollywood for a while. He had bit parts in almost every series in the 1970s and starred in the short-lived TV series “Chopper One” with Dirk Benedict.
But the man had no chemistry with either of his female leads. He didn’t really have the charisma of an action hero battling robots. I probably would have bought him more as Oppenheimer than action hero John Moore.
McMullan wasn’t the only problem with the series. The whole concept is just ludicrous even for sci-fi. It is puzzling to think that if the series would have followed what happened at the end of Futureworld then you could have had a good series.
Have John Moore running around the world trying to discover the robot duplicates already in place at the end of Futureworld.
His mission is to clean up the mess. Then cast some guy with charisma as the lead like a Dirk Benedict or young William Shatner.
Futureworld left a huge gap open for a series and they gave us this instead.
The series only lasted five episodes and only three of them ever made it on TV. It could have been a classic 1970s sci-fi series like “Six Million Dollar Man” or “Man from Atlantis” if it could have been better conceived and gave us a plot that was interesting. The series really isn’t worth finding.
0.5 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer.