Pirate Planet = Star Wars?

Wow, you can totally tell this show was filmed in 1978, with Douglas Adams cracked out on the heavy influence of “A New Hope”. There are Star Wars references ALL OVER the goddamn script and some of the visuals are similar as well. I don’t have time to write them all down for you, you’ll have to go rewatch both and make your own notes, but here are a few stand-outs. I’m sure we can all agree on some general plot parallels involving a part-mechanical, helmeted megalomaniac who wants to destroy planets being used as a puppet by a more powerful, shriveled malevolent overlord. Can’t we?

1) The grey uniforms on the Captain’s men look a lot like those worn by Imperial Army Officers.
2) The flying cars and cityscapes look really familiar. Wish I could find a screenshot, but you’ll just have to trust me on this. (I do love how the Doctor lures the guard away from the flying car with a trail of Bassett’s licorice allsorts. I also enjoy the many references to his love of candy, wine gums, etc. in this episode.)
3) At one point, K-9 is tired and says “batteries mine exhausted nearly are” and “recharge I imperative it is”. Hello, Yoda-dog!

Looking forward, Part Four features a scene in the Tardis where the Doctor is explaining his fantastic plan to Romana, and there’s an image straight out of “Ringu” on the monitor behind them.

Semi-relatedly, my favourite Tom Baker quote (about “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”): The BBC is very good at period drama but not very good at giant rats. Truer words were never spoken, Tom. They’re not so hot at green bubble-wrap insect beasts (Ark in Space) or yellow psychic trippy brain waves and force fields (Pirate Planet) either.

Also semi-relatedly, Douglas Adams’ first cameo appearance in “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” (episode 42) is remarkably similar to ‘s cameo appearance in “Robocop: Prime Directives”. Observe:

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