Friday, June 19, 2009

1978 Quark TV show articles

(Click on images to view large sized scans.)

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Although few seem to remember it, the short-lived TV series "Quark" was a favorite of mine. It ran only three months, from February to March of 1978. Like "Star Trek" on laughing gas, it parodied not only that show but sci-fi movies as well. (Visit the Quark wiki page for more info.)
Below, a still from the pilot, which featured a character dropped for the regular series; Dr. O. B. Mudd was a crusty, eccentric scientist that was replaced by the Mr. Spock-like Ficus, to much better effect.

Below is an article I clipped from the Macon (GA) Herald TV guide supplement, on February 24, 1978.

The characters were a lot of fun to watch and interacted humorously with each other: the put-upon and unappreciated Adam Quark, commanding the garbage ship; his genius and emotionless first officer Ficus, who is a humanoid plant from Vegeton; the identical Bettys (one is a clone, but it is unknown which) who navigate the ship and are hopelessly in love with Quark; Gene/Jean the engineer, a transmute who is constantly switching back and forth between male and female personalities; and Andy, the cowardly swearing robot.

Ficus enjoyed listening to "Classicial Music To Make Your Plants Grow" in his off-duty time.

The scanned crew photo at the top of this post was one I acquired at a movie/TV show collectables store in Florida in 1979, and put it in my scrapbook. The article below is from Famous Monsters #144 from June 1978. Sadly, the show had been cancelled by the time the article was published!

Something I hoped for, but I never expected to see, was the recent DVD release, which I snapped up immediately and have enjoyed since. One thing that hampered the show was a near-nonexistent effects budget, so this would be a nice one to see remastered with updated effects! Maybe some fan could take this on and make available online? Anyone? (Crickets chirp.) I guess not.

I have a number of other magazine articles and clippings which I'll post in the future, so keep an eye out (like O.B. Mudd) for more Quark!


  1. Recently watched the DVD and boy did this bring back memories enjoying this with my brother and sister! Great stuff, wish they could have did a full season. Richard Benjamin was always great, as well as in Love at First Bite. Thought the Spock-like character "the Vegiton" was a hilarious addition, and well played by the actor. Even the robot was funny despite looking more like a reject from a 1940's serial!

  2. Never knew the series and never heard of the guys playing in it, being a 'dutchy' and all (although the captain looked slightly familiar), but I was sold right away after the first episode and the next were even better.

  3. Oh, boy... I watched this thing when I was a kid and loved it, and now I found it in YouTube. I thought: "What the heck, I probably thought it was funny as a little kid, now it will look terrible, being both the series and myself old, but I will give it a shot for the old times". I was so wrong: it's way, way better than I remembered. Calling it hilarious is an understatement. I didn't know it was created by Buck Henry, which explains its lasting quality.

    Another thing I didn't enjoy as a kid, but recognize now as a grown up... the Bettys: super-extremely-hot ladies. Sorry, I'm a male, can't avoid it.

  4. "...would be a nice one to see remastered with updated effects! Maybe some fan could take this on and make available online? Anyone? (Crickets chirp.) I guess not."

    Well... looks like a fan took on the challenge and did a bit of a "special edition" on Quark. The Remastered-ish versions. Pilot and eps on youtube.

    If link doesn't work, user is "battlestar1999"

  5. Yes, I was surprised to see that Quark holds up better than I thought it would. Not that it wasn't without its faults, but it certainly had something good going for it, and had a lot of potential that was never completely fulfilled.

    Of course, the best part of the dvd release is that I finally got to watch ALL the episodes, and not just the few I managed to catch on TV back when it was originally shown.