In 1967 the novel Logan’s Run was written by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. In 1976 it was turned into a film starring Michael York and Jenny Agutter in the two main roles. In 1977 the television series was born and ran for an entire season of 14 episodes.
The year is 2319 and the world has been ravaged by nuclear war. The land is poisoned; civilization has been destroyed. Life no longer exists on the planet, except for a small refuge of humans living in the great domed city.
The people in the city live a life of luxury in their utopian society. That is until they reach the age of 30 when they participate in carousel, a religious festival where the inhabitants put themselves to sleep so that they can be reborn once again as babies and start their lives anew.
But there’s an underground movement that doesn’t believe in carousel. They don’t believe that you are reborn, and don’t want to die. These people are called Runners, because when it gets close to their 30th birthday they choose to run. And running is not easy because in order to escape the domed city they have to also escape the Sandmen. The Sandmen enforce the laws and terminate the Runners.
Logan-5 (Gregory Harrison) is a Sandman, and he’s started asking the bigger questions and wondering about his true purpose in life. So when he finds himself tracking down a couple of Runners he finds that he cannot execute them and decides that he will become a Runner himself. With the help of one of the runners he’s been tracking, Jessica-6 (Heather Menzies), the two flee the city in search of the fabled city of Sanctuary.
In order to make an example of them, the elders who are a secret society that runs the domed city, decides to send Sandmen to hunt them down and bring them back.
Having a head start on their pursuers, the duo finds that the world is no longer contaminated. The air is fresh and the water clean as the planet has managed to rejuvenate itself over the last few hundred years. During their quest for sanctuary, they will find survivors, mad scientists, aliens, and even an android named Rem (Donald Moffat) who joins them on their journey.
Having only one season worth of episodes, it feels like the show is finally beginning to find its footing near the final episodes. While the first few episodes feel really stiff and dated, the characters are finally beginning to develop when the series is cancelled.
Filmed in the ‘70s, it has a very classic sci-fi feel like the original Star Trek and Battlestar Galacatica, but without that little spark that the other two had. For the most part, the android is the one with a sense of humor and shows more emotion that many of the humans. Had it continued for a few more seasons it might have been able to find its voice and become a classic.
Unfortunately, it never got that chance and will be little more than a memory and footnote in television history.