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Starman (ABC 1986-1987, Robert Hays, Christopher Daniel Barnes)




Based on John Carpenter’s 1984 hit film, TV’s Starman took place 14 years after the events of that celluloid odyssey. In the show, the Starman returned to Earth and took the form of Paul Forrester, a photographer who had died in a plane crash. In his new humanoid form, he set out to find Jenny, the woman he had loved years ago, and meet the son he had never seen.

Starman soon discovered that his former love and his son Scott were separated, with Scott ending up in an orphanage when his adoptive parents died. After convincing the boy he was an alien, Starman took his son and set out to find Jenny. The pair traveled incognito, with the Starman posing as Forrester to conceal his true identity. The Starman was aided in his quest by a set of small luminescent spheres from his home planet that gave him the ability to do minor magical acts—opening a locked door, healing someone injured in an accident, and so on.

Episodes would balance the ongoing ‘search’ storyline with new subplots each week, as Scott and the Starman met and interacted with different people during their travels. Often, Starman would use his spheres to help people in trouble or resolve disputes within families, but not everyone saw the E.T. as a friendly visitor. Tension was provided by Charles Fox, a sinister government agent who knew the Starman’s secret and believed him to be a threat to national security. He pursued the father-son duo on their travels and often got close to finding them, but Scott and the Starman always escaped in the nick of time.

Alas, mediocre ratings did what Charles Fox couldn’t, and Starman was canceled in September of 1987 after one season.

USA / ABC – Columbia Pictures Television – Henerson – Hirsh Productions/ x50 minute episodes / Broadcast 19 September 1986 – 4 September 1987

Robert Hays as Paul Forrester/Starman
C.B. Barnes as Scott Hayden
Michael Cavanaugh as George Fox
Mimi Kuzak as Liz Baynes
Erin Gray as Jenny Hayden/Karen Eisley
Jane Wyatt as Stella Forrester
Brooke Bundy as Phyllis Geffner
Joshua Bryant as Wayne Geffner