Thursday, September 07, 2006

R is for Recovered Memory

[posted by Callimachus]

This is an attempt to prove the axiom that if you have a question, however obscure, there's someone out there in Internetland who has the answer.

Alternately, it's an attempt to prove I'm demented.

I remember seeing something on TV when I was a kid. It was fascinating, and I only saw it once, when I guess I was 10 or 11. A few years ago I mentioned it and I got blank stares in return. That scene's been repeated a few times from then to now, even among people who know obscure TV and science fiction. Now I wonder if I didn't hallucinate the whole thing.

The show I think I'm remembering I can best sum up (in a "Snakes on a Plane" way) as "Amish in Space." I'm not making this up.

At least I think they were Amish. There were two young guys and a young girl, I think, and they were part of some plain religious farming sect that dressed Amish. There was some conflict -- the two boys were fighting over the girl, I think, and they ran off into some obscure part of the terrain and found a door.

And when they got through it they eventually realized their whole little community-world was just one room of a vast space ship. I think it transpired that the Earth was destroyed, but there was enough time to build this ship and send it off to a new planet. And every culture was to be preserved by having its own space in the ship during the centuries-long journey.

I forget whether they were supposed to be aware of this or not. But it was a classic set-up for a weekly series: Every episode, they enter a different culture.

Probably it was inspired by the idiotic "Star Trek" second- and third-season shows where Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to a planet that has -- shocka! -- exactly the same state of development and appearance as a 1930s gangster move. Or a Wild West Indian village. Or whatever set the studio happened to have up next door to the "Star Trek" set at Desilu that had nothing else to do that week.

My recollection was that the Amish in Space show was a pilot, or a TV movie for a pilot, that never got made. The year, and this is really rough, would be maybe 1970?

So does anyone anywhere have the slightest recollection of anything resembling this? Or am I really just losing it?