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Otherworld (1985)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Otherworld (1985) This is one of my favorite Sci-Fi shows from the 80's. The Sterling family goes on a tour of one of the Egyptian pyramids and get sucked into a portal to another Earth-like world called Thel in a parallel dimension. The planet is divided into various zones, each containing very types of cities. However, they are all ruled by a dictator who lives in the capital of Imar.

In the first episode, RULEs OF ATTRACTION, after the Sterlings find themselves in this other world, they encounter bad guy Nuveen Kroll (Jonathan Banks), a zone trooper commander who tries to arrest them for not having the proper identification. They resist, accidently knock him out and take his vehicle for escape. They also have this crystal key which comes in handy in future episodes, as it allows them to access various computer banks and create new identities. They hide out in an idyllic city where the people act a bit strange, which is explained when they realize they are all robots. The teenaged son, Trace, has fallen in love with a girl robot and doesn't want to leave her. She ends up helping them escape.

In the second episode, The Zone Troopers Build Men, Trace does bad in high school and gets a yellow slip, which means he's now recruited by the Zone troopers. He's forced to go through boot camp and is determined to become an officer since officers are the only ones who can quit the job. Mark Lennard (Sarek from STAR TREK) portrays the leader of the academy.

In PARADISE LOST the Sterlings find themselves on a tropical island vacationland after braving a weird electrical storm on the ocean. It turns out that it was a scientific lab before it was a resort and they're still doing biological experiments. The woman who runs the resort is ancient but is able to keep young by taking a potion derived from the essence of humans. She becomes obsessed with the father, Hal Sterling (Sam Groom) and tries to brainwash him.

ROCK AND ROLL SUICIDE is the best episode of the series, a wish fulfillment for anyone who ever imagined being a rock star. The two teenagers, Trace and his sister Gina "invent" rock and roll and become rock stars, much to the dismay of the leader of the local Church, The Church of Artificial Intelligence.

In VILLAGE OF THE MOTORPIGS the family is abducted by a gang of motorcyclers who force people to work in their mine, digging out a type of chalk that has a narcotic effect. Here they meet a man whose grandfather came from Earth, which gives them hope that they may be able to find a way home.

I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR concerns a city where men are treated like slaves and June Sterling becomes the head of the household. Kroll, as always, is pursuing the Sterlings and ticks off the leader of the city and is bound and sold at an auction.

After crossing a barren wasteland in a wagon, the Sterlings come to a strange forest ruled by a Beast-man. He has power not only over the animals but the weather. He takes a liking to June Sterling after he watches her treat an injured owl (she was a Veterinarian on Earth) and tells the others to go away. They do, just to figure out a plan to get their mother back, and encounter an old woodsman (Jon Astin). It turns out that this is his brother, who started transforming after getting caught between the parallel worlds. Again, this gives the Sterlings hope that there is a way back home.

In PRINCESS METRA, the new city they come to in a hot air balloon thinks that Gina (Jonna Lee) is the reincarnation of a long ago princess because of her long blonde hair. She successfully passes a test, which involves answering questions about Earth, and discovers that Princess Metra was another Earthling, from the 1960's. It turns out that time works different on Thel.

Overall, this was a decent series, along the lines of Irwin Allen's LOST IN SPACE crossed with LAND OF THE LOST.

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