The Powers of Matthew Star was a NBC network sci-fi series, starring Peter Barton, Amy Steel and Louis Gossett, Jr.
The show aired from September 17, 1982 to April 8, 1983, lasting one season and 22 episodes.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The first half of "The Powers of Matthew Star" dealt with Matthew Star attending Crestridge High School and trying to survive his teenage years while dodging assassins, all under the watchful eye of his guardian, Walter Shepherd, who stayed nearby as a science teacher at the school. Those in their lives who had no idea about the truth were girlfriend Pam Elliot (Amy Steel), friend Bob Alexander (Chip Frye), and the merry principal, Mr. Heller (Michael Fairman).
General Tucker (John Crawford), an Air Force officer specializing in extraterrestrial investigations, had tracked the two of them across the country as they evaded alien agents intent on exterminating them. From time to time, he enlisted their specialized aid in solving monumental problems.
The first dozen episodes dealt with the daily troubles of high school students, although in the episode "The Triangle," a chance trip to the Bermuda Triangle resulted in the discovery of messengers from Quadris, who told the pair that the king had been executed. E'Hawke/Matthew was crowned the new king in a torch-lit cave.
In the episode "Mother," a strange carnival gypsy is revealed to be Matthew's mother Nadra, who had been traveling the galaxy and hiding from assassins. This reunion was bittersweet because, due to Nadra's health problems, she was forced to leave Crestridge for an undisclosed location with a higher elevation.
Finally, in the "Fugitives" episode, Walt, trying to elude a nosy doctor, comes into contact with a substance in the hospital that causes him to have a deadly allergic reaction. At the same time, Matthew is being booked into jail and needs Walt to bail him out. At the last minute, Matthew manages to save Walt, as he has done many times throughout the series.
The second half of the series took a sudden turn from a dramatic adventure series to a by-the-book adventure series with Walt and Matthew having to deal with government assignments. Major Wymore (James Karen) replaced General Tucker (John Crawford) and met with the Quadrians in all sorts of strange locations where he briefed them on the missions.
Gone were Pam and Bob and references to the high school.
Matthew was being portrayed as older and not much was said about their true mission: which was returning to Quadris to take back their world from the enemy. He had used the name "Shep" for his guardian, but with the sudden format change, Matthew started calling him Walt.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Peter Barton as Matthew Star/E'Hawke
- Louis Gossett, Jr. as Walter "Walt" Shepherd/D'Hai
- Amy Steel as Pamela Elliot
- Chip Frye as Bob Alexander
- Michael Fairman as Principal Heller
- John Crawford as General Tucker
- James Karen as Major Wymore
Production[edit | edit source]
The series was originally called "The Powers of David Star." With this title and a somewhat altered premise, the original pilot was to deal with teenaged David Star, who lived with the school janitor, Max (portrayed by Gerald S. O'Loughlin). Max had a secret he was not sharing with David, who had no idea that he and Max were from another planet.
As his powers began to surface, David started to understand who he was. Hot on their trail was the FBI. The original pilot was aired as the last episode of the series.
TV Guide's 1981 Fall Preview issue's network schedule grid lists the original series title as "The Powers of Daniel Star."
The program was originally slated to debut in 1981 with the new title and storyline, but it was delayed when Peter Barton had fallen backward onto pyrotechnics and was badly burned while co-star Louis Gossett, Jr., tied to a chair, had fallen on top of Barton, but managed to rescue him. After months in the hospital, Barton was released, and the show resumed shooting.