ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Television & TV Shows»
  • TV Shows

"The Starlost" Hub for Fans

Updated on July 12, 2016

“May I be of Assistance"

“May I be of assistance" would be the question asked by the helpful computer voice in the “Starlost” as the large image would look out of the view screen at Devon.
“May I be of assistance" would be the question asked by the helpful computer voice in the “Starlost” as the large image would look out of the view screen at Devon.

"The Starlost" is an amazing show which many science fiction fans regard with cult like wonder. The year is 2790 A.D., and the giant Earth Starship called the Ark is drifting out in deep space, the crew is dead and the Starship Ark is out of control, the crew was all killed over five hundred years ago. The airlocks that connecting the ship's domes that housed millions of the last survivors of the dead planet, Earth, were all sealed when the accident that killed the crew occurred. Many communities simply forgot that they were on a spacecraft being so long cut off from the outside world. Many of the inhabitants became content with their lot in the biospheres and simply accepted that their world was only fifty miles in diameter and that the sky was a dome with a metallic gleam. But tragically the Starship Ark without the crew was on a collision course with a solar star.

The most awesome thing about this show is there are the most out of the world special effects: the models, and miniatures are superb. Of all the models used on this show, the most obvious was the ark. The Ark model was ten feet long and carried 37 biospheres. The main body was constructed out of solid wood overlaid with vacuum-formed plastic and model parts. Amazingly the detailed production drawing of the “Starship Ark” showed that the Ark should have been 1000 miles long, and would carry hundreds of the 50 mile in diameter biospheres!

Garth, Devon, and Rachel, on command bridge of the Ark

Garth, Devon, and Rachel, after finally escaping for Cypress Corner, they made it all the way to the command bridge of the great Starship Ark only to find the crew has been dead for hundreds of years and the ship is unmanned and the great ship is in
Garth, Devon, and Rachel, after finally escaping for Cypress Corner, they made it all the way to the command bridge of the great Starship Ark only to find the crew has been dead for hundreds of years and the ship is unmanned and the great ship is in

Each Biospheres was to be 50 Miles in Diameter

The biospheres which were to be 50 miles in diameter and hold different cultures from the dead Earth were actually made of three parts on the show. First, there was a 12-inch circular wood base with a hand colored photograph pasted on. Second, there was the vacuum-formed base in which three different styles base molds were used, with model parts then added for detail. Third, and finally, there was the dome; vacuum-formed out of a special diamond-shaped faced plastic. When assembled, the wood base was connected with metal tubing to other wood bases and the ark main body. Then the vacuum-form base was but over the wood base and fastened. Finally the dome was glued on. Then final “touch-ups” and painting was done to finished off the Ark.

The Ark Model was Ten feet long and carried 37 Biospheres

The strangest thing about this model was that it took sixteen men to build it!
The strangest thing about this model was that it took sixteen men to build it!

Voyage of Discovery, "The Starlost" Episode One

Devon had to teach Himself and learn things on his Qwn.

Devon was orphaned when his parents died in a fire in their home in the Cypress Corner biosphere dome, he is a dreamer and kind, but the lead Elder of Cypress Corner hated him and was very cruel to Devon. So Devon had to teach himself and learn things on his own. Unfortunately, his love for Rachel caused his banishment from Cypress Corners. I feel the evil old Elder in the Cypress Corn biosphere had something to do with the death of Devon’s parents. This was a very primitive community isolated for centuries in their agricultural farm based biosphere dome, and totally dependent on the laws and rules of the Elder.

Keir Dullea is the great actor who plays Devon on “The Starlost”

Keir Dullea is the great actor who plays Devon on “The Starlost” he is also known for the character he played in the 1968 film “2001”, which was the astronaut David Bowman.
Keir Dullea is the great actor who plays Devon on “The Starlost” he is also known for the character he played in the 1968 film “2001”, which was the astronaut David Bowman.

Rachel is the love of Devon’s life in the Starship Ark.

Rachel is the love of Devon’s life, and she is also very much in love with Devon. Because Devon had to leave the Cypress Corner biosphere or be stoned to death Rachel left with him into the darkness and depths of the unknown Starship Ark. In the Cypress Corner Biosphere women were raised to be nothing more than to be mothers, and the domestic servant of the man they are promised to at birth. So when Rachel is free of this oppressive environment she soon enjoys the new freedom she has over her destiny.

Gay Rowan who plays Rachel in “The Starlost”

Gay Rowan who plays Rachel in “The Starlost” she was born in 1948 in Toronto which is in Ontario Canada. She also played in “The Girl in Blue” which came out in 1973 and in the movie “Sudden Fury” which premiered in 1975.
Gay Rowan who plays Rachel in “The Starlost” she was born in 1948 in Toronto which is in Ontario Canada. She also played in “The Girl in Blue” which came out in 1973 and in the movie “Sudden Fury” which premiered in 1975.

Keir Dullea as Devon, and Gay Rowan as Rachel

Keir Dullea as Devon and Gay Rowan as Rachel from the the Cypress Corner biosphere on "The Starlost"
Keir Dullea as Devon and Gay Rowan as Rachel from the the Cypress Corner biosphere on "The Starlost"

Lazarus from the Mist , "The Starlost" Episode Two

Garth was a blacksmith in the Cypress Corner Biosphere

Garth was a blacksmith in the Cypress Corner biosphere, and Rachel was promised to Garth for marriage by the ruling Elder in that dome. But Garth does not love Rachel and wants her and his best friend Devon to be allowed to marry since they are both madly in love with each other. But the Elders will not give Devon their permission to marry Rachel and send him in exile for being a troublemaker, and not being in harmony with their believes and fake creator. Garth goes after Devon and Rachel to not cause shame on his family, but he really just wants to live in peace and be happy.

Robin Ward is the Canadian actor who plays Garth

Robin Ward is the Canadian actor who plays Garth on “The Starlost” he was born in London, England, and is a wonderful television personality. He is known for hosting the well know game show, "Guess What?" in Canada in the 1980s.
Robin Ward is the Canadian actor who plays Garth on “The Starlost” he was born in London, England, and is a wonderful television personality. He is known for hosting the well know game show, "Guess What?" in Canada in the 1980s.

The interiors for the Ark Biospheres were Redressed Landscapes

The interiors for the Ark biospheres were all redressed tabletop landscapes with the dome matted in photographically. At the start of production some of the sets, specially the Ark corridors and bridge, were miniatures. The corridor was about one and a half feet high and twelve feet-long. The corridor was divided down the middle and each side was devised into eight food and a half long sections. This set-up enabled technicians to shoot only one side of the corridor, if needed. Also, if a long tracking sot was needed, the opposite side could be used to lengthen the remaining side to the distance required. Each corridor section was construed out of vacuum-formed plastic panels glued to clear acrylic plastic walls, which in-turn were attached to a wooden base. Control panels, modules, and communication spheres were additions, placed randomly on each corridor section.

A Corridor from a Biosphere on the Starlost Set.

The corridor was about one and a half feet high and twelve feet-long. The corridor was divided down the middle and each side was devised into eight food and a half long sections. This set-up enabled technicians to shoot only one side of the corridor,
The corridor was about one and a half feet high and twelve feet-long. The corridor was divided down the middle and each side was devised into eight food and a half long sections. This set-up enabled technicians to shoot only one side of the corridor,

The Ark Bridge, Miniatures to later to full-size Sets

The Ark bridge was one and a half feet high and six feet long. It was composed of three walls, one operating door, and a lower control window support section divided into five removable sections. The walls were constructed of vacuum-formed plastic panels and consoles overlay-ed in wood. The star map on one wall was a Kodalith film transparency of a regular constellation map covered with colored transparent plastic and back-lit. Both the corridor and the bridge had their own functioning doors. The corridor door was a three-way opening type; and it, along with its supporting structure, was made of acrylic sheet plastic. The bridge door was a two-section opening door and also made of acrylic plastic. The movement of both doors was a combination wire cable and 12 volt D.C. motor system. The motor wound the cable on a drum and pulled the reversed and the doors were forced to close by either springs (three-way door), or rubber bands (two-way Door). Both doors were built on their on bases and were removable. Later on in the course of production, all set miniatures were replaced with full-size versions. The full-size sets, as with their smaller counterparts, were painted a matte gray. This color when videotaped appears to be white and allows technicians to give a set any color needed without repainting by altering the video image.

"The Goddess Calabra" with one of its Remarkable Scenes.

"The Starlost" the back set for one of the scenes for the third episode "The Goddess Calabra"
"The Starlost" the back set for one of the scenes for the third episode "The Goddess Calabra"

Actors to walk through Miniature sets with Magicam

The system that was used to allow the actors to walk through miniature sets, is called Magicam. Magicam is an electronic matting system that combines miniature sets with live action. It can be used to achieve fantastically realistic effects and production value at a very low cost. The system works through the use of two cameras, the foreground camera (live action) and the background camera (miniature). The movements of the cameras are divided into five parts. Back and forth is one, upward movements is two, special movement is three, pan is four, and tilt is five. When a scene is to be taped, the miniature is built and place on a mobile table. Then it is positioned under the background camera, which hangs overhead and peers into the miniature through a periscope lens system. The background camera is then linked with the foreground camera, which is on a blue matte stage, through video and electronic servo control units. The actors then go on stage and preform. The movements that the foreground camera makes are transmitted to the electronic servo control. Signals are then sent to the background camera and the movements are mechanically duplicated.

The Goddess Calabra, The Starlost 103

Edonna and the Alien Oro Played by Walter Koenig

Here is a great photo of the human female from a bio-dome who was named  Edonna and the Alien Oro Played by Walter Koenig. Garth was falling in love with her.
Here is a great photo of the human female from a bio-dome who was named Edonna and the Alien Oro Played by Walter Koenig. Garth was falling in love with her.

Oro the Alien from the Planet Xar played by Walter Koenig

Devon, Rachel, and Garth come to an uninhabited dome where they find an alien played by Walter Koenig is sent on a reconnaissance mission to the Star Lost and his ship crashed into the Star Lost Ark and the alien know as Oro. The humanoid Oro is from the planet Xar and he has been living a Robinson Crusoe existence with a human woman from an advance Star Lost Ark dome. The two of them are now stealing parts from the ark to repair Oro ship to return to his home world; and tragically Garth falls for in love with the human woman who is helping Oro and she must leave with Oro to go to his planet in order to survive her radiation illness.

The Alien Oro Episode Ten, "The Starlost"

In "Starlost", Images from both Cameras are brought Together

But, because the model is smaller the movements in the background camera are scaled down. So, if the foreground camera moves five feet to the left, the background camera, peering into a model one-fifth normal size, will move one-fifth the same distance to the left. Simultaneously the images from both cameras are being matted together in the video control unit. So that where there is blue background on the image from the foreground camera, the image from the background camera is electronically superimposed. And when the scene is played back, it looks as thought the actors are moving through a full-size set. This is how the Starlost was shot, unfortunately the technicians did not properly adjust the images in some scenes. This resulted in having what was called matte lines (halos) around the actors.

Keir Dullea takes you on an Amazing Adventure as Devon

Keir Dullea takes you on a amazing adventure as Devon. It is really cool watching all the differed worlds Devon and his companions explores on the Starlost Ark.
Keir Dullea takes you on a amazing adventure as Devon. It is really cool watching all the differed worlds Devon and his companions explores on the Starlost Ark.

Station CFTO-9 in Toronto, Where "The Starlost" was Made

As additional background on the subject, Paramount Studios has has a Magicam system since 1973 and the largest set-up for this system in the world. Station CFTO-9 in Toronto, where the Starlost was produced, previously had this distinction. Even the late Gene Roddenberry has said that he would use Magicam on the Star Trek movie because it would allow them to create very exotic settings at relatively low cost.

Oro's Ship taking off from the Starlost Ark.

Oro's Ship taking off from the Starlost and Heading back to his home world. Devon, Rachel and Garth are in their spacesuits looking out of the damaged hole Oro made to the Ark when he crashed into it.
Oro's Ship taking off from the Starlost and Heading back to his home world. Devon, Rachel and Garth are in their spacesuits looking out of the damaged hole Oro made to the Ark when he crashed into it.

Magicam and Chroma-keying used in "The Starlost"

The system used to put the models in an outer space setting was a parallel system to Magicam. This system was called Chroma-keying and works the same way as Magicam except that the background camera does not move and usually neither does the image. The best example of this type of special effects is to be seen on either the local or national news shows. When different pictures appear behind the newscaster, Chorma-keying is probably what is producing it. When Chroma-keying was used with the Starlost models, only the Ark had a blue matte colored mount. All other models were hung from wires attached to screw-eyes and stabilized by tying down the power cord to the interior lights. Another hindrance to this setup was that the lamps had a tendency to start to melt, or burn the models.

"Gallery of Fear" on The Starlost

You never knew from week to week what star you would see on "The Starlost" set.  Here is a scene from "Gallery of Fear" with Devon and  Daphne the voice and spokeswoman for the powerful  Magnus.super-computer.  played by  Angel Tompkins.
You never knew from week to week what star you would see on "The Starlost" set. Here is a scene from "Gallery of Fear" with Devon and Daphne the voice and spokeswoman for the powerful Magnus.super-computer. played by Angel Tompkins.

Gallery of Fear "The Starlost" Episode Eight.

The Ark, Bridge and Corridor models were Saved.

When the show was eventually cancelled, all full-size sets were torn down and either stored away or destroyed. The models were spared a similar fate when they were acquired by Mr. Kevin Atkins when he lived in Rochester, New York and worked at the Strasenburgh Planetarium. Mr. Atkins who later resided in Denver, Colorado. Of all the models, he now still owns only the Ark, and he rebuilt the Ark. The corridor and bridge miniatures he gave to Allie C. Peed and the corridors and bridge were rebuilt by Allie.

"The Starlost" Coming to TV was big News in the year 1973

 Keir Dullea as Devon and Gay Rowan as Rachel from the the Cypress Corner biosphere on "The Starlost" with great artwork of the Ark and the Bridge.
Keir Dullea as Devon and Gay Rowan as Rachel from the the Cypress Corner biosphere on "The Starlost" with great artwork of the Ark and the Bridge.

Station CFTO-9 in Toronto, Where "The Starlost" was made.

Oro's Flying Saucer Used in "The Alien Oro"

Oro's Flying Saucer Used in "The Alien Oro" and "Return of Oro," both of which guest-starred Walter Koenig as Ora.
Oro's Flying Saucer Used in "The Alien Oro" and "Return of Oro," both of which guest-starred Walter Koenig as Ora.

Oro's Model Ship had a full-size Counterpart.

During the entire run of the show there was only one model ship that had a full-size counterpart. That ship was Oro's flying saucer used in the episodes, "The Alien Oro" and "Return of Oro." both of which guest-starred Walter Koenig as Oro. The miniature was two feet in diameter, while the full-size model was sixteen feet in diameter and eight and a half feet high. It was also constructed in four sections so that it could be opened up for interior shots. Both models were constructed of wood overlay-ed with plastic sheeting.

Children of Methuselah "The Starlost" Episode Five

Children of Methuselah "The Starlost" Episode Five
Children of Methuselah "The Starlost" Episode Five

The Pisces spacecraft in "The Starlost"

The Pisces spacecraft in "The Starlost"  episode number four. The shuttle, Pisces 777, was actually about four and a haft feet long.
The Pisces spacecraft in "The Starlost" episode number four. The shuttle, Pisces 777, was actually about four and a haft feet long.

The Space Craft or Shuttle, Pisces 777

The space craft or shuttle, Pisces 777, was actually about four feet long and constructed entirely out of wood and body putty, with model parts added for detail. Since this shuttle was one of many used on the Ark, the model was a repainted a number of times to represent, in turn, a police ship, a medical ship, and a deep space explorer. In one episode there was an alien space station used. A fine idea except that it was quite noticeable constructed out of a Pilgrim Observer Space Station model attached to a repainted live preserver.

The Ark biospheres were all Redressed Tabletop Landscapes

The Ark biospheres were all redressed tabletop landscapes with the dome matted in photographically. At the start of production some of the sets, specially the Ark corridors and bridge, were miniatures
The Ark biospheres were all redressed tabletop landscapes with the dome matted in photographically. At the start of production some of the sets, specially the Ark corridors and bridge, were miniatures

The Ark at first was to be 1000 miles long with 100s of Domes.

 The Ark model was ten feet long and carried 37 biospheres. The main body was constructed out of solid wood overlaid with vacuum-formed plastic and model parts. Amazingly the detailed production drawing of the “Starship Ark” showed that the Ark shoul
The Ark model was ten feet long and carried 37 biospheres. The main body was constructed out of solid wood overlaid with vacuum-formed plastic and model parts. Amazingly the detailed production drawing of the “Starship Ark” showed that the Ark shoul

John Colicos & Barry Morse in Starlost "The Goddess Calabra"

Two Great stars in the third episode "The Goddess Calabra"  John Colicos and Barry Morse.
Two Great stars in the third episode "The Goddess Calabra" John Colicos and Barry Morse.

Oro an Alien played by Walter Koenig on The Star Lost

An alien played by Walter Koenig is sent on a reconnaissance mission to the Star Lost and his ship crashed into the Star Lost Ark and the alien know as Oro is now stealing parts from the ark to repair his ship to return to his home world.
An alien played by Walter Koenig is sent on a reconnaissance mission to the Star Lost and his ship crashed into the Star Lost Ark and the alien know as Oro is now stealing parts from the ark to repair his ship to return to his home world.

The Return of Oro, The Starlost Episode 13

Act one, Camera moves in Smoothly on a Grey Metallic Surface

In act one the camera moves in smoothly on a grey blue metallic surface, joined as plating with hairline seals that may be riveted ... the the camera as thought it h as just come thru the bulkhead. We are high above the land below, under the arching vault of the curving metal dome that serves as sky. An artificial sun burns in the sky. Far below we see a landscape as placid and contemporary as any rural area in the late 1800's. Camera comes down without moving forward, at a height of four of five hundred feet above the ground. As it moves it picks up seed until we get the impression of shooting over treetops, lending the feel of many miles of land-surface. Speed forward and then gradually slow as camera descends to the outskirts of a small, rustic, rural village. This is Cypress Corners.

Garth, Devon and Rachel are the Inseparable Trio on the Ark

Garth, Devon and Rachel are the inseparable trio from the Cyprus Corner Dome on the Star Lost.
Garth, Devon and Rachel are the inseparable trio from the Cyprus Corner Dome on the Star Lost.

Garth, Devon and Rachel, come from an Amish-like Community

The main characters Garth, Devon and Rachel, come from an Amish-like community called Cypress Corners. Severe, austere and technologically 19th century, it’s a stifling society that the main protagonist, Devon, longs to break free from. It was a dome made of a small farm town nestled among hills (essential there to be hills, even if only low foothills), tiny lakes, rich and flourishing farmlands. Houses arranged in a circle around the Place of Worship. Everything is very orderly, almost an anal retentive Judeo-Christian version of a rigorously laid-out Zen garden.

Forgotten before one Man finds the Truth, The Star Lost

The human race knowledge about Earth was forgotten before one man named Devon finds the truth, on the Star Lost ark.
The human race knowledge about Earth was forgotten before one man named Devon finds the truth, on the Star Lost ark.

There are no bright Colors. No Pinks, no reds, no bright Blues

Ruff draft for act one ... "All the structures are made of metalwork scavenged from the environment, we as creators, know this is all material taken from the body of the ark, we should not tip this initially. There are no bright colors. No pinks, no reds, no bright blues. This is clearly a town where frivolous is discouraged. This is brought home to us forcefully as a small boy goes laughing through the center of the town circle, rolling a metal stave hoop with a metal rod, and the serious adult, walking to the Place of Worship turn on him" ...

The 1973 Starlost Book Descent into Aquarus By Bantam Books

One of the rarest books on planet Earth is this Starlost book "Descent into Aquarus".
One of the rarest books on planet Earth is this Starlost book "Descent into Aquarus".

100 Years into the Trip, the Ark itself Suffers a Major “Incident”

The Ark is subdivided into many pressure domes, each inhabited by a subset of Earth’s former population split along racial, geographical, political and religious lines. After many generations the inhabitants of the Ark have forgotten their propose ..
The Ark is subdivided into many pressure domes, each inhabited by a subset of Earth’s former population split along racial, geographical, political and religious lines. After many generations the inhabitants of the Ark have forgotten their propose ..

"The Starlost" is the first Television Series for actor Keir Dullea

"The Starlost" is the first Television series for Dullea ... Playing the role of adventuresome and questioning member of a Puritanical Dome Society.
"The Starlost" is the first Television series for Dullea ... Playing the role of adventuresome and questioning member of a Puritanical Dome Society.

Gay Rowan, stars in "The Starlost" Helping Devon on his Mission

Gay Roan is a  wonderful actress, she is noted for her free flowing modernistic approach to acting. She is intelligent, sensitive, and she follows Devon on his prophetic mission on the Starlost Ark.
Gay Roan is a wonderful actress, she is noted for her free flowing modernistic approach to acting. She is intelligent, sensitive, and she follows Devon on his prophetic mission on the Starlost Ark.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 15 months ago

      Thank you Mark, I have joined your wonderful site on Facebook "The Starlost (Cypress Corner) site" is an amazing tribute to the Starlost series :)

    • profile image

      Mark Huber 15 months ago

      Glenn Waters please join us on Facebook

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/2264463570/

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 15 months ago

      Thank you Bruce, Starlost was to me a very well made and thought out Science Fiction series, and it was a horrible shame it did not get the funding, and the respect it should have had. Coming out during a huge writers strike, hurt the series as well, but I think they did remarkably well with the episodes, and should have been given at least another year, just to see what they could have done with the Ark and the story line.

    • profile image

      Bruce 15 months ago

      Thanks for this great work on Starlost!