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Benji, Zax and the Alien Prince

ONE OF HANNA-BARBERA’s rare live action adventures, concerning a mutt, a kooky flying disc-shaped robot “guardian” of the Black Hole school of comedy sidekickery (TV executives: “We need a robot…with attitude!”), and your usual posh kid (see! They had them in America too!) who was actually from outer space and needed to get home but kept being chased by baddies in black Transit vans. Who knows if he ever made it.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Richard16378

    December 14, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    I remember this was almost the only American show at the time to me made on videotape rather than film, apart from some sitcoms & studio based shows like Sesame Street.

    Zax breaking down & neck telescoping so his head & body met seemed to happen any time the plot needed to get risky, which was quite often.

  2. George White

    December 14, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Yes, this, a few other Saturday morning shows from the Kroftt stable (this was the Joe Camp stable behind the Benji films, shot regionally with local cast and crew in Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, with money from Hanna-Barbera who also used VT for Banana Splits and their Superheroes roasts with Adam West), daytime soaps, sitcoms, and some TVMs like the dreadful Victory at Entebbe, and a lot of PBS stuff, which can be odd watching – especially something British-set like The Adams Chronicles, feels like Americans imitating the British, even more so when the US remake/spinoff/rival of Upstairs, Downstairs, Beacon Hill (produced by Beryl Vertue, with many of the same writers as UpDown) was shot on video despite costing almost a million dollars per ep to produce, in order to mimic its British cousin.

  3. Richardpd

    August 13, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Somehow I forgot to mention in my original post that there’s a chance Pip & Jane Baker had seen this while thinking up Watt On Earth.

    Both have an alien prince exiled to Earth, who needs a bracelet to stay alive while on Earth, & is being chased down by agents from his home planet who drive round in a black vehicle….

    At least Watt had Sean Ruddock & his transformations with mistakes gimmicks to help him, rather than a smart dog & a badly green-screened floating robot who was guaranteed to break down at just the wrong moment.

    American shows shot on VT seemed to start adding film effects around the turn of the millennium to cover up that they weren’t actually filmed.

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