The Great Space Coaster (1981 – 1986)

My mind is blown. It’s been more than 30 years since I’ve heard this song, and I still remember the melody and most of the lyrics. The show itself is coming back to me as I write this: three young musicians take off on a roller coaster rocket ship to hang out with their alien friends on a giant asteroid. There’s lots of singing, animated sequences, life lessons learned.

GSC VHS 1983


The Great Space Coaster is not available on DVD, and won’t be any time soon, if it ever is. According to Tanslin Media, owner of the master tapes: “The problem is that the show used a lot of great music that would need to be re-licensed if the show were ever released. This is extremely expensive, so a DVD release would probably cost more to make than it would ever earn.” Tragically, the tapes are already deteriorating.

In 2012, GSC co-creator Jim Martin, who also played a number of characters (including Gary “no gnews is good gnews” Gnu), launched a campaign to preserve at least one half-hour show. His goal was $2000. He raised $3500. Follow The Great Space Coaster Facebook page for updates.

The video below is from the 1981 one-hour special, The Great Space Coaster Supershow. Check in at 11:00 to see Goriddle Gorilla (Kevin Clash) with special guest Mark Hamill. The possibility of losing something this priceless makes me sick to my stomach.

(Video via FuzzyMemoriesTV; image via eBay)

6 Responses to “<em>The Great Space Coaster</em> (1981 – 1986)”

  1. 1 Anon July 11, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Absolutely nothing about this seems familiar. I watched the opening and the Mark Hammil clip and I have to say I have no memory of any of this.

  2. 2 2W2N July 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    You were the perfect age for it. I wouldn’t have watched it past ’82, so I’m not sure why it struck such a chord.

  3. 3 leftylimbo July 12, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Aw dood. I was hooked on TGSC for a long time! I watched it almost religiously back in the day. I especially liked that little “drawn” squiggly character guy (animated) that popped up on that mini-viewer thing which the black dood (forgot his name) would pop a cartridge into… “Watch THIS!”

    Actually you know that guy died awhile back. Totally sucks.

    But anyways, I also always laughed at how they made that transition from animated characters to “real-life” people by rolling that Space Coaster down the small length of “runway” to the stage, with their arms up in the air, jubilant from the “ride through the galaxy” they just took. LoL.

    I know that song by heart, btw.

  4. 4 2W2N July 12, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    The song is catchy as hell. I love when it slows down and gets funky: “Get on board, step inside…”

  5. 5 Jason July 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Although I was generally too old for it, I had two younger sisters who weren’t, and when there’s only one TV in the house (which only gets four channels to begin with), one tends to sometimes get outvoted on what to watch. So I was quite familiar with the show. It is a shame that bad copyright law keeps it out of print.

  6. 6 Ed February 6, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Sure I watches this show but when it was gone I could careless. That said I am upset that these episodes will not be preserved.

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