Space Academy: The Complete Series

Actors: Brian Tochi Director: Jeffrey Hayden, Arthur H. Nadel
Jeffrey Hayden, Arthur H. Nadel
Box set, Color, NTSC
Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs:

DVD Features:

  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Unknown Format), Spanish (Unknown Format)
  • 15 episodes on four discs
  • "Back to School with Space Academy" featurette
  • Commentary on two episodes
  • Still galleries
  • DVD-ROM scripts and series bible
  • Commercial bumpers
  • Easter Eggs
  • Bonus trailers



An American TV show aimed at children between the ages of 6-12, Space Academy had the good fortune to have been in production the same time as the first Star Wars flick back in 1977. Not only did it thus manage to ride whole late-1970s sci-fi wave, but the makers of the show also managed to hire two special effects experts newly unemployed after Star Wars wrapped production.

It shows in the space ship model work for Space Academy which isn't too bad for this sort of zero budget breakfast television show. Still, the budget was pretty small and it shows particularly in the alien-planet-landscape-sets-so-fake-it-would-shame-the-original-1960s-Star-Trek-show sets.

The youthful teenaged cast though is game even though the campy Jonathan Harris (best known as the villainous Dr Smith in the original Lost in Space) is miscast as the kindly Commander Gampu who is in charge of the giant floating asteroid which doubles as a training academy for youthful space explorers in the year 3732.

THE DISCS: The entire series fits on four discs and the print insert offers some deliciously pointless trivia about the show. There are only audio commentaries for two of the episodes. A half-hour long documentary ?Back to School with Space Academy? offers an interesting glimpse into how the original cast members have aged throughout the years. However, it only manages to reunite three or four of the original cast members (none of the female cast members are included).

WORTH IT? Space Academy, which one of its own cast members accurately describe as Star Trek for kids, would most likely appeal to die-hard nostalgists who saw the show as kids and for whom the show's zipper-suit aesthetic probably informed their notions of what the future will look like one day (they must be pretty disappointed nowadays come to think of it).

Space Academy might also appeal to its intended demographic of small children, particularly boys, between the age of six and ten, but with the ADD-informed entertainment of today it is difficult to tell. The plots are simplistic (they have to be to fit in the twenty minute per episode slot) and offer genuine family-friendly entertainment in that there isn't much - if any - violence in the show. As one participant on an audio commentary points out, the aliens in the show are seldom genuinely hostile and their ?belligerence? can usually be chalked up to some gap in communication. There is a cute robot named Peepo too.

RECOMMENDATION: It is difficult to believe that anyone else would be interested in Space Academy though as it doesn't offer any real so-bad-it's-good guffaws in the same way that a spectacularly bad and over-the-top show such as the 1960s Japanese kids TV show Ultraman for instance does.



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