Monday, May 4, 2020
The Promise of The Chosen One
The mantle of "hero" is never an easy one to bear. People look to you to rescue them from every plight that befalls them. Not an easy job. Even if you are faster than a speeding bullet, or have every gadget known to man in the pockets of your tool belt, or even if you can manipulate time and space to make the bad guys just disappear into another dimension.
But what if, just what if, you are just an ordinary guy who has less power and intelligence in your entire body than Superman or Batman or Dr. Strange has in their pinky finger? What if you are just some shmo who everyone thinks in the promised savior but you know yourself to be just some guy who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?
That's exactly what happened to Ty Farrell. He's just a struggling actor trying to make a paycheck on a cheesy 50's sci-fi superhero series as "Captain Zoom". But far far away in another galaxy, the planet of Pangea is on it's last legs fighting off the evil overlord Lord Vox. And the little electronics wizard brother of the leader of the resistance is searching for a champion to help them in their endeavor.
And he thinks he's found it when he stumbles across a broadcast of "The Adventures of Captain Zoom", a kiddie sci-fi show originating on Earth.
The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space (1995):
In a galaxy far, far away, the residents of the planet Pangea are in a desperate struggle to avoid the taking over of their planet by Lord Vox of Vestron (Ron Perlman)
In the struggle a young warrior, Tyra (Liz Vassey) leads the people to thwart the evil machinations of Vox. But in a raid on the base of operations Tyra is captured.
Back at home base, things are looking bleak, despite the promise of their spiritual leader, Sagan (Nichelle Nichols) that "it is written" that a promised one will appear.
Most of the people accept her predictions, but young Baley (Gregory Smith), the young brother of Tyra has become exasperated with Sagan's platitudes. Instead, being the electronics genius of the clan, he uses his knowledge and equipment to search for a hero on his own.
And he thinks he finds it in the person of Ty Farrell ( Daniel Riordan).
Farrell is the star of a TV show on a planet far away, "Captain Zoom". But young Baley thinks his exploits are real and thinks that Captain Zoom is just the hero the people need to defeat Lord Vox. So he uses his equipment to bring Zoom to the planet of Pangea.
Of course, you and I know Farrell is just an actor, although no one on Pangea knows what that is...
Farrell: I'm not a hero. I'm just an actor.
Simulus: What's an 'actor'?
Farrel: I pretend I'm somebody else, for money.
Simulus: Oh, a spy... kill him.
Vox has plans to subjugate Pangea and discover the ancient wisdom hidden somewhere on the planet. He also wants Tyra to marry him and become his queen (because he is, after all, just a horny man who has needs other than the desire to become king of the known universe...)
Meanwhile, back at home base, Farrell is having trouble coping with his new situation. For one thing, everyone thinks he really is Captain Zoom, despite his efforts to dissuade them. And they think he is the chosen one come to deliver them just as Sagan's prophecies have foretold.
Of course, due to his ineptitude, while actually trying to rescue Tyra, he too is captured, mainly because Vesper (Gia Carides) i, Vox's high priestess, has clairvoyant psychic powers. But she only has these powers as long as she remains a virgin. (Don't get ahead of me here...)
Vesper has the hots for Zoom, and she tries to work her powers on him. But Tyra and the captain escape from Vox's fortress spaceship. Unfortunately for Vox, this is a surprise because Vesper failed to foretell of the escape. (OK, now you can catch up...)
Eventually Farrell is informed of the sad fact that Baley used all of his available isotopes in brining Zoom to Pangea and the bad news is it will take thousands of years before more can be made. But Tyra tells him that the quest for ancient wisdom in the hidden cavern that both she and Vox are searching for may also contain information that could restore him back on Earth. So he reluctantly joins the quest.
Farrell is essentially the essence of The Peter Principle (a theory that eventually a person rises to a position of which he is too incompetent to perform the duties to which he is assigned... sound familiar?) Farrell is far from the hero that the people of Pangea think he is, but he has an ego to match just about anyone in Hollywood so he thinks he can be whatever they want (as long as it isn't too strenuous...)
The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space is a real hoot. Unfortunately I don't think it's ever been released on DVD. However, there is a poor quality recording of it on you tube (in three parts, but not to worry it's only about an hour and a half long in toto). I had the fortune of seeing this when it was first broadcast on Starz back in 1995. It's a made for TV film, and the special effects are negligible, but don't go into it expecting a Star Wars knockoff. Go into it for the comic performance of Zoom and his would-be worshipers.