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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > TV > Space Precinct: The Complete Series (1994 – 1995/Image DVD Set)

Space Precinct: The Complete Series (1994 – 1995/Image DVD Set)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Episodes: B-



Producer Gerry Anderson made his biggest splash in television entertainment with the much loved Thunderbirds that featured incredible models and the wonder of “SuperMarionation”, a kind of sophisticated puppetry most recently spoofed in 2004’s uproarious Team America.  In 1995 Anderson resurrected a never completed project mixing his usual excellent model work with live actors.  Space Precinct includes the complete series, comprising five discs and twenty-four episodes in all.  Although the show mixes in plenty of kooky aliens (rubber and latex masks abound), the stories focus on human cops Patrick Brogan (ably played by Ted Shackleford) and his hot-headed rookie partner, Jack Haldane (NYPD Blue’s Rob Youngblood).  Transferred to the planet Altor’s Demeter City police department, Brogan and Haldane wrestle with alien criminals in an alien environment.  The only constant for them lies in the nature of the crimes these felons commit: rape, murder, drug pushing, and all of the other vices that drive crime in a big city.


Anderson and his team manage to portray a remarkably gritty Demeter City, with the excellent model work and solid use of sets and locations making up for an obvious lack of production dollars.  While Shackleford and Youngblood carry the show with convincing (if campy) performances, some of the supporting cast lack the necessary spark to make magic out of some pretty interesting scripts.  Some of this is attributable to the special effects the actors playing the aliens were encumbered with.  Although the animation of some of the masks made for some visually striking aliens, the mouths and eyes never quite synchronize with the character dialogue.  This seems like a small issue, but it can become irritating through two dozen episodes.  


Sadly, this boxed contains no extra material. The cast and crew of a show as colorful as this one probably have a lot of fun stories to share, but you won’t hear them here. The transfers themselves are solid, and the sound is adequate.


The stories tackled by Space Precinct’s creators run the gamut of the hard-boiled crime genre: drugs, prostitution, alien trafficking, and murder being chief among these offenses.  The juxtaposition of these elements with the sci-fi background works, and despite sometimes awkward dialogue, flat performances, and sketchy costumes, the series provides plenty of action, suspense, and thrills for the serious science fiction fan.



-   Scott Pyle


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