This show, like Manimal, Automan, Matthew Starr and that one about the super-crime-fighting motorcycle (Streethawk, I believe), will always haunt my dreams. I think I prefer that they stay in my dreams. That is to say, this show gives me chills when I think about it. The concept of being lost in a strange land inhabited by weird cultists (no, not Kansas!) really got to me...AS A CHILD. I think if I saw this show now, I'd probably laugh for five minutes and then get bored. In other words, this show had great potential, but no staying power.
The family was the classic stereotype of an 80s TV family as another pointed out - They all looked like they walked out of a Sears clothing advertisement.
The stories were fair to good but tended to get bogged down in preachiness - dont use drugs, rock n roll isnt evil, get good grades or you end up in the army, stuff like that.
The plot centered on a family who entered an Egyptian Pyramid and were transported to another planet that had gone thru a world war. After the war the planet was divided up into provinces, each of which had a specific purpose for its people - manufacturing, farming, entertainment, one where women ruled, another run by robots, ect. The central province was the capital city and thats where the Sterlings spent 8 episodes trying to reach. Presumably once there they could be returned to Earth.
Problem was the provinces were seperated by forbidden buffer zones patrolled by an army of Zone Troopers. The purpose of which was to prevent each province from interacting with the others. Only the leaders in the Capital City would determine who could travel. The Sterlings made the mistake of crossing one of their commanders, assaulting him and stealing an access crystal used to access a computer network. Commander Kroll would always be 1 step behind the Sterlings forcing them to remain on the run. ** Spoiler **
They never made it to the capital city but near the end of Episode 8 Gina came close. They arrive in the newest province after their hot air balloon is shot down by a defense laser gun. Upon the Sterlings arrival in the Metraplex province involved in advanced technology development, Gina Sterling is found to be wearing a Kennedy coin around her neck and she is believed to be another young woman from Earth, whom they named Princess Metra, who has returned from Earth. A computer asks her questions, in Metras recorded voice, about Earth--- Father of your country: #1 George Washington, #2 ball bigger than a golf ball and smaller than a football: Baseball and #3 Who made a speech at the Berlin Wall: JFK - fortunately she anwered the questions correctly otherwise she would have been declared an impostor and killed along with her family. They believed she was this Princess Metra so they sent her into a room with a small wooden chest containing a crystal which when touched sends the person on a psychic journey to the Capital City - it resembled a several minute long acid trip with some pretty cool images (days before CGI) and 80s style techno pop music; of course this was the height of the MTV video craze so it looked like a pop music video. Reminded me of a Peter Bardens video around the same time called "In Dreams [You can fly like the wind]" Half way thru a mysterious faceless figure intones: "SUCCEED or DIE" - sounded like Darth Vader and looked like Emporer Palpatine. It was rather cool. Still have it on a VHS tape. Gina, after "flying" over several provinces, finally arrives and sees the city skyline of the capital where the government is housed in 3 huge skyscrapers - thats where the Sterlings need to go - it was how Metra got back to Earth. The city is really Manhattan with the old World Trade Center Twin Towers (except one tower is copied and pasted making it look like 3 towers). The dream ends and Gina wakes just in time to find out Commander Kroll is once again hot on their heels and the people repair their balloon and send them off towards the city. THE END. This series is a decent concept and could work if remade.
One part Sliders and one part Lost in Space, this show was too hard to understand and too brief on TV. Creativity unleashed, the series was wild and fantastic with typical TV series stereotypes as kids: a knock-out babe of a daughter, a Ken doll perfect son and an annoying little brother, who with their parents found themselves trapped in a quantum reality which our world could have been - separated even more as it already was by social, political and religous boundaries. It could have worked if it had not been so pretentious or unbelievable and maybe even edgier. As it was, it could have survived as a Saturday morning kid's show, but in prime time, it was too easier eclipsed by other shows. Otherworld had nothing to really make it interesting, except maybe the bombshell beauty daughter and the life lessons it tried to teach. Unfortunately, like the Castaways and the Robinsons, we had to leave the stranded Sterling family left behind in that shadowy realm of expired TV Shows.
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