The Questor Tapes (1974)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Gene Roddenberry wrote and produced several pilots during the mid-1970's as he sought to create another show on the level of the much-loved Star Trek. Like all the other attempts, The Questor Tapes never made it past the pilot-film stage - but that shouldn't be considered a reflection of its quality. In fact, The Questor Tapes is an excellent bit of small-screen science fiction that is imaginative and thoughtful enough to compare kindly with its big-screen brethren. The script, penned by Roddenberry with Gene Coon, mixes heady concepts about the morality and dangers of artificial life with a tight plot that built on compelling mystery and espionage elements. It also offers strong characterizations that suit the film's well-chosen cast: Mike Farrell creates a likeably intellectual variation on the everyman hero and John Vernon brings both gravitas and intensity to his government-man role. However, top honors must go to Robert Foxworth as Questor. He creates an android hero who is suitably unearthly yet sympathetic - and pulls off this challenging combination without ever resorting to over-the-top mannerisms or cheap sentimentality. Richard Colla's direction gives the script and the actors a sturdy, well-paced framework in which to showcase their skills. In short, The Questor Tapes is a strong example of made-for-t.v. science fiction and worth the hunt for genre fans.