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Powers of Matthew Star, The (NBC 1982, Peter Barton, Louis Gossett Jr)



The Powers of Matthew Star

Matthew Star may very well have been the ultimate foreign exchange student—he didn’t come from another country, he came from another planet. The brooding alien dreamboat was forced to leave his home planet of Quadris when his father—the planet’s ruler—was overthrown by rebels. Matthew was sent to Earth with his guardian, Walt Shepard, to mature and develop his natural superpowers of telepathy and telekinesis. Once he had fully matured, he would return to his planet to help reclaim his father’s throne.

In the meantime, Matthew posed as a high school student at Crestridge High. Walt found work as a science teacher and football coach to stay close to Matthew. Which was probably a very good idea—both Quadrians had to constantly be on the lookout for their foes from back home, who would sneak to earth in various humanoid and robotic forms to get at Matthew. Other characters included Pam, Matthew’s girlfriend, and Bob, the lad’s best Earthling friend.

The show experienced a change in plotting as it reached the mid-season mark. Matthew and Walt ceased using the school as a cover and went to work for the government, where Matthew now used his powers to battle foreign enemies under the direction of Major Wymore. By this time, Matthew’s powers had become quite formidable and had expanded to include astral projection and transmutation.

The show was originally intended to premiere in the fall of 1981 (under its original title, The Powers of Daniel Star) but was delayed until 1982 because Peter Barton (Matthew) was badly burned while shooting a stunt sequence. Lou Gossett Jr. (Walt) was also injured during this same stunt. When The Powers of Matthew Star finally did air, it was unable to expand beyond an audience of sci-fi die-hards and was cancelled after one season.

production details
USA / NBC / 21×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 17 September 1982 – 11 September 1983

Creator and Producer: Harve Bennett

Peter Barton as Matthew Star
Louis Gossett Jr. as Walt Shephard
Amy Steel as Pam Elliott (1982)
Chip Frye as Bob Alexander (1982)
James Karen as Major Wymore (1983)