“They have to be careful with the camera with this costume… When I bend over they’re in trouble” – Heather Menzies
I highly recommend you read the newspaper article below. The description of how the creators of futuristic TV show Logan’s Run (1977-78) kept making co-star Heather Menzies’ wardrobe skimpier and skimpier is pretty hilarious.
Former Sound of Music star, Playboy model, and spouse of Robert Urich, Heather Menzies, filled out one of the scantiest miniskirts ever to grace the boob tube. Heather’s miniskirt is the high water mark in the history of miniskirts on television. No skirt was shorter, more center-stage, or more prone to flying upwards.
Of course, the original movie was no slouch when it came to to miniskirts either. It falls in line with the grand tradition of the 1950s-70s to depict futuristic women’s clothing as miniskirts. We could postulate all day as to who filled out the costume better: Jennifer Agutter or Heather Menzies. However, when compared to the television landscape of miniskirts from On the Buses (1969) to The Nanny (1993), Logan’s Run reigns supreme.
Indeed, it was the topic of much discussion at the time. Even smack in the middle of the “jiggle TV” phenomenon, it still raised eyebrows. “They have to be careful with the camera with this costume… When I bend over they’re in trouble,” said Heather.
There were 14 episodes in all, before the show was ridiculously cancelled. It was hyped pretty big with the younger generation – I remember it being the cover story in Dynamite.
Alas, the story goes that CBS preempted the show one too many times, and so the show was never able to build momentum.
Why else did it fail? Well, check out the awful looking robot. Granted, this wasn’t supposed to be a Terminator or IG-88… but, c’mon! I don’t know if it’s attributable to the show’s limited budget or poor effects department, but Logan’s Run was woefully lacking compared to Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica.
I think the guy in the scene above is Linden Chiles. He’s been in a million TV shows, but I know him best as Marilyn’s boyfriend in the first episode of The Munsters.
This scene is truly remarkable. There’s an inexplicable cave-in down this hallway (?) and Jessica must be carried by her robot friend, Rem. The camera leers up her skirt as the pair travels the length of, not one, but two corridors. There is simply no other reason for this scene to exist other than to spice things up a little..
I’ve already mentioned that the show was preempted a great deal, which prevented it from gaining momentum, and the lacks of special effects. However, they can’t be the only reasons. Having just watched all fourteen, I think I understand why.
First, not a lot happens in each episode. Logan and Jessica get captured, are induced into a hallucinogenic dream state, then are saved by their android friend…. and that’s it. There was simply too much talking and slow parts to hold the attention of a young audience.
Plus, there wasn’t a very cohesive world you could immerse yourself into like Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica. Jessica and Logan are on the run and encounter folks along the way… but there’s no intriguing backstory, no “mythology episodes” as they used to say about the X-Files. And, unlike Doctor Who, the stories themselves were inconsistent – sometimes terribly weak, sometimes excellent.
Miniskirts are great, but they alone do not make a great show…… Well, they kind of do, but you get my point. Kids wanted lasers, aliens, and spaceships. What they got was very little action, zero aliens, and zero spaceships (unless you count their lame hovercraft). Not exactly a recipe for success in the shadow of a newly released Star Wars.
But here’s the rub – you’ve got to give a show time to develop. Just when Logan and Jessica started to really define their characters, the show was scrapped.
Now here’s that newspaper story.
The wardrobe department designed a gossamer pink costume for Heather which looks for all the world like a shorty nightie… The skimpy gown was slit up both sides to the waist. Ergo, more of Menzies scenic landscape was revealed than ever before. Still dissatisfied, a fiat was sent down that Heather should forget the undergarments. Panty hose were eliminated. And, finally, it was ruled that Heather should also go without a bra…
When Heather’s first footage was reviews by the brains trust, one executive said, “Gad, we can’t have her running around like that! This is a children’s show.”
“In the pilot show they had me running around in a pink gunny sack with a bionic bra. I also wore pink tights and ballet slippers. They had my hair pulled back in barrets. It made me look like a 12-year-old… No I look like a woman.”
The views up Menzies’ skirt are plentiful. I’d devote a whole post to them if it wasn’t so perverted and sad. It would make a good drinking game, though.
BTW: Many of you may remember Heather Menzies as Louisa von Trapp fromThe Sound of Music. Although my personal favorite is her role in Piranha (1978).