This week on Jason of Star Command, the Saturday morning Filmation series pulls out a familiar genre convention: “My Enemy, My Ally.” In this staple of sci-fi television, two enemies must work together to resolve an existential crisis. It was Geordi and a Romulan officer on Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “The Enemy.” It was Peter Burke and Urko on Planet of the Apes’ “The Trap.” Paul Foster and an alien pulled the same trick on UFO’s “Survival,” as well. Even Land of the Lost saw Rick Marshall and a Sleestak named "S'latch" team-up in "The Hole."
I realize that "diversity" as a concept or virtue has come under heavy fire over the last several years as being "PC," but its merit is obvious in a sci-fi setting: a different (and alien...) background offers a different viewpoint and opinion about survival, and often a different philosophical approach to facing death. Such qualities are incredibly useful. It's always better to have more viewpoints and more knowledge, from varying sources, when trying to assure survival. IDIC and all that.
At first, Adron is reluctant to trust Jason, but Jason is optimistic. “I believe all life is worth saving,” he tells his new friend.
Finally, Jason gives up his claim on the life support system to help Adron survive, and this softens the alien’s heart. “It is better to live with brotherhood than hatred,” Adron agrees, noting he must “heal” his conscience after working with the evil Dragos.
At least the re-use of such an old concept gives this installment some philosophical and cerebral heft, so it isn’t just action all the time. This episode of JOSC doesn't feel as empty as some, as a consequence.
Another nice touch in "Face to Face" is that Adron and Jason are trapped on a “living planet,” one which attempts to kill all invaders, and which starts setting off explosives across the landscape. At one point, a cave wall comes to life and attempts to crush the duo. It's one thing to work together in a dangerous environment, it's all together something else when that environment is consciously trying to murder you...
Next week: "Phantom Force."