The Lost Saucer was the last Sid and Marty Krofft live action puppet show of the 1970s to be marked by any degree of originality or quality. Debuting on ABC in September 1975 and running until September 1976, the show ran for seventeen episodes. Ironically, this show was on Saturday mornings at 9:30 AM, the same time as another outer space themed Sid and Marty Krofft live action puppet show was airing on another channel, CBS's grossly inferior Far Out Space Nuts. After its cancellation in 1976, the show lived on as a recurring segment on The Krofft Supershow.
The show's premise revolves around two androids from the year 2369 who, on a routine universe exploration mission, got sucked into a time warp and accidentally landed on earth in the year 1975. These androids, called Fi and Fum, set out to explore Earth and make new friends. They found two: a boy named Jerry and his babysitter Alice. The four of them made their way back aboard the spaceship to have a look around when suddenly people started noticing and crowding the ship. In a panic, Fi hit the launch button (see note below) and launched the four of them into space. The show then revolved around the four of them visiting new planets and making new friends, all in that wonderful costumery we've come to love from the Krofft brothers.
Note: So, at 9:30 AM on Saturday mornings in 1975 and 1976, both ABC and CBS were showing live action puppet shows by Sid and Marty Krofft that featured a premise based on a spaceship being accidentally lost in space due to one person on the ship inadvertently pressing the launch button, then wandering from planet to planet. Where's the originality, folks?
The Lost Saucer had a notable cast, featuring Jim Nabors (yes, Gomer Pyle himself) as Fum, Ruth Buzzi as Fi, Alice Playten as Alice, Jarrod Johnson as Jerry, and Larry Larson in heavy costume as Dorse, the pet of Fi and Fum who was a mix of a dog and a horse. Jim Nabors was just a few years removed from widespread fame as one of the stars of The Andy Griffith Show and the main star of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., so it was somewhat surprising to see him on a Saturday morning children's puppet show.
The show was clearly a carbon copy of the sci-fi classic Lost in Space, except that it had a Dorse instead of a robot and was directed at children instead of adults. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however; at least they borrowed a good template to work frum, and they did go beyond it by writing some effective children's programming.
The Lost Saucer is probably most notable for the fact that each of the episodes did a very good job of presenting a morality play, something which television programming for children at the time didn't really bother with. It dealt well with concepts like racism in a format designed for children and in that may have had the best writing of any of the Krofft shows.
This is definitely one of the better Sid and Marty Krofft shows, deserving rememberance next to such children's classics as H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos, Sigmund and the Seamonsters, and Lidsville. It had solid costumery, solid acting, and very good writing.