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DVD Review: Strange New World

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Strange New World (1975) was a proposed television show that was loosely based on an idea by Gene Roddenberry. This film consists of two episodes of the failed show combined. It stars John Saxon (Enter the Dragon) as Captain Anthony Vico, Kathleen Miller as Dr. Allison Crowley, and Keene Curtis as Dr. William Scott. The show has guest appearances by Cynthia Wood (Apocalypse Now), Martine Beswick (Thunderball) and Catherine Bach (The Dukes of Hazzard).

Vico, Crowley, and Curtis are astronauts who are cryogenically frozen and sent into space. While they're floating around frozen in space, an asteroid slams into earth and destroys everything except for a select few who are frozen and hidden in an underground facility. The astronauts are kept frozen for 180 years and finally wake up with the mission of freeing the people left on earth in their frozen state.

The astronauts are part of an organization called PAX whose goal is peace. PAX had been introduced in two previous television programs Planet Earth (which also starred John Saxon) and Genesis II which were both written by Roddenberry. We really don't learn all that much more about it.

As the astronauts arrive on earth, they first meet a group of clones who live in a Utopian community where everyone is beautiful and handsome and no one gets old, sick or dies. While they seem friendly, they have an ulterior motive for being nice to the astronauts.

After leaving the Utopian community, the group roams for days attempting to find the PAX facility they've been directed to and eventually decide to stay where they are and "just live." While there, they encounter a rather primitive society of hunters/trackers living in a swamp-like area. Dr. Crowley is kidnapped by another clan of people living at the top of the mountain. They turn out to be enemies of the people living in the swamp at the base of the mountain and tensions mount as Vico and Scott try to get Crowley back and keep the two clans from killing each other.

I really enjoyed Strange New World. It's clearly a '70s production and the filming and special effects are about what you got in Planet of the Apes and Star Trek but since I loved those too, Strange New World was great by me. There's one good fight sequence where John Saxon gets to show off some very basic martial arts skills. He looks pretty darn good in that little red toga he's wearing too. The DVD is not rated but I'd say it makes for a good family film if a bit of violence and a few skimpy outfits don't concern you.

The DVD is released as part of the Warner Bros. Archive Collection and is 97 minutes in length. There are no special features.

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media. You can find her at http://www.confessionsofanover-workedmom.com/ and http://the-socialites-closet.blogspot.com/.