Monday, July 24, 2017

SALVAGE 1 (1979) TV Guide Ad

"I want to build a spaceship, go to the moon, salvage all the junk that's up there, bring it back and sell it."

The TV movie, Salvage 1, starring Andy Griffith, Joel Higgins and Trish Stewart, debuted on ABC on January 20th, 1979. The telefilm, which chronicled a salvage expert's attempt to build a spaceship and travel to the moon (to salvage all the stuff NASA's Apollo astronauts left behind, as noted above), was a surprise ratings smash.

The weekend it aired, I was staying at my cousins' house while my folks were on a snowmobiling excursion in Canada. I vividly recall commandeering the TV set and forcing everyone to watch the movie, which I, as I remember, I found incredibly engrossing. The characters were likable, the junkyard spaceship - named The Vulture - was oddly believable and the actual trip to Luna seemed entirely possible (Isaac Asimov, according to his own autobiography, was a scientific advisor). I haven't seen it since, though, so I have no idea how it would play today.

The ratings success of the telefilm led to a 20 episode (although only 13 were aired in its network run) Salvage 1 weekly series. I only saw a few of those, and I remember them being a real letdown, with mostly earthbound stories, and The Vulture being used only sparingly.

As far as I can tell, just two of the episodes are available as Manufacture-On-Demand DVDs from Sony, and neither is the pilot film. The titles available are "Golden Orbit" and "Hard Water," both of which originally aired as two-parters.

Countdown: this is Space: 1970 post #996...


  1. I believe that has both the series and TV movie for sale.

    1. They list only two discs, and neither is the pilot film. "Golden Orbit" and "Hard Water," both originally aired as two-parters.

    2. I actually own the "Golden Orbit" disc. It and "Hard Water" were put out by the Sony Pictures Choice Collection. One of those special archival editions since Sony obviously doesn't believe the whole series will sell well enough to make it an official release.

  2. If the movie was ABC, there's a chance for a bluray from Kino. They said they have some tv movies from their new deal with Disney.

  3. I only saw one episode of the regular series when I was a kid and wasn't terribly impressed. I don't remember exactly what it was about but I seem recall it had something to do with World War II, which wasn't what I expected. I eventually saw the pilot movie when it was shown on TBS sometime in the early '90s and thought it was really fun, but unfortunately the VHS recording I made of it is long gone.

  4. I know I watched this show as a kid. But I only remember an episode where they strap one of the spaceship's rockets to an iceberg to move it somewhere.

  5. The pilot is available on Youtube:
    along with additional 13 episodes

  6. I watched this series as a kid and really liked it. I remember being upset when it got cancelled. I'd love to see the unaired episodes, I wish someone would sell this series on DVD.

  7. There were 19 episodes, including the pilot. (IMDB) Now I don't know what ones weren't shown, but I remember watching "Hard Water" from the start of season 2.
    I need this to come out on DVD. There was talk of it once, I read it on TVSHOWSONDVD.COM