CTV Television Network


Network: CTV Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1973 to 1974

Broadcast Medium: Television

Starlost 1
Rob Ward, Gay Rowan, Keir Dullea

When this one-hour series hit the CTV airwaves in September 1973, there were high hopes that this would mark a significant break-through into the international market for a Canadian program. The marquee value was substantial: its star was Keir Dullea, fresh from his success in 2001: A Space Odyssey, while famed writer of science fiction Harlan Ellison came on board as story editor, and the executive producer was Douglas Trumbull, who brought his special effects know-how over from the aforesaid 2001.

The plots, set in the year 2790, centred around a massive spaceship, The Ark, which housed half a million habitants from various cultures, most of whom were unaware of each other’s existence. Also in the cast were Robin Ward, Gay Rowan and William Osler, and guest stars included Star Trek alumnus Walter Koenig, Alexandra Bastedo, and Canada’s John Colicos, Stephen Young, and Donnelly Rhodes. The series was produced for CTV in the studios of CFTO-TV Toronto

Starlost 2
A tense Starlost moment: Robin Ward (right) and Keir Dullea (second from right)

Early internal production problems resulted in the loss of Ellison and Trumbull’s respective talents, and what was left was not enough to keep the series going for longer than one year. The series was scheduled on Fridays at 7:00pm starting in September 1973, and The Ark drifted off into space anonymity only twelve months later, though five TV movies were cobbled together by combining pairs of episodes. These were later released on VHS.

Written by Pip Wedge – June, 2002