Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Adventures of the Galactic Star Force Power Squad

My friend Allen Singer is a multi-talented writer, historian and audio producer with a great FM radio voice. Way back in the early 1990's (seems so long ago) we worked together at Waldenbooks. Since then, he has published three very informative books on Cincinnati area history. One of his lesser known claims to fame, however, is as writer and producer of THE ADVENTURES OF THE GALACTIC STAR FORCE POWER SQUAD in 1993.

Allen has posted his original audio episode on YouTube today here.

THE ADVENTURES OF THE GALACTIC STAR FORCE POWER SQUAD is exactly what it sounds like, a pastiche/mash-up of everything from STAR TREK and STAR WARS to SPACEBALLS and THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY...with, as Allen adds, a little of THE SIMPSONS thrown in.

Done originally as a class assignment for a course in Radio Production, THE ADV...errr...let's just call it TAGSFPS from here on out...TAGSFPS was the result of a project to create write, produce, edit and direct a 10 minute audio piece. With a background in old-time radio fandom (even at his young age), Allen naturally veered in that direction but, as a lifelong sci-fi fan, with that futuristic twist.

Enlisting a few of his fellow students for his cast, Allen did an impressive job in a short amount of time with very limited facilities!
His cast members were:

Adam Campbell: Lee Stormwalker
Brant McKeehan: Brett Nabors 
Rodney Cobb: Harry the Automaton
Sean Staggs: Captain Oberling
Sheree Paolelo: Lisa Oberling
Allen Singer: Commander Langstrom
Special guest Dave Thompson: Barth Hornet
Special Guest Mark Babin: opening and closing



This being from 1993, by the way, I hasten to add that the Dave Thompson listed (actually the class instructor in a cameo!), is NOT my son bookdave who wasn't born until 1996.

Anyway, if you're also a fan of mainstream sci-fi up through the early nineties, TAGSFPS is a hoot! The whole piece is nicely laid out and edited with music and sound effects, many of which will sound quite familiar. It's amateurish, yes, but impressive on all kinds of scales considering the limitations being dealt with at the time.

The performances are all a tad stiff but the voices are good, leaving one to think that with a few more rehearsals, they could have been much better. Unfortunately the dreaded "Ohio accent," one of my least favorite regional accents, rears its ugly head throughout. The best performance is probably from Sheree Paolelo as the bimbo nurse who turns out to be pretty tough in a fight...but she also has that accent. It actually kind of works, though, for Rodney Cobb, whose altered voice is utilized as a fey, vaguely Southern, deadpan and very funny direct rip-off of Douglas Adams' Marvin the Paranoid Android.

The plot? It's little more than a set-up for adventures that never came but it all feels so comfortable and familiar, particularly the well-edited (if too-long) spaceship fight scene with its sound effects and music cues we've heard a million times before.

Allen gives all the full details of TAGSFPS and even info on its 12 years later follow-up at http://allensedge.com/Galactic/Background.html

It didn't have to be original. It was a class assignment. It just had to be professional enough to get a good grade. Instead, it's actually loaded with talent and possibilities and a little more time invested clearly could have led to a superior product far beyond simply a class project.

For reasons long forgotten, I even get a thanks in the closing credits. I wish there was a real market for things like this as I'd love to be able to participate or even just listen to more shows like Allen Singer's THE ADVENTURES OF THE GALACTIC STAR FORCE POWER SQUAD. Try it yourself and let us know what you think. I think you'll like it!

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