The People (1972)

Based on pre-feminist science fiction writer Zenna Henderson’s story Pottage, as well as some of her other pieces like Ararat, Gilead and Captivity, this movie stars two of the top stars of made for TV movies: William Shatner (The Horror at 37,000 FeetGo Ask Alice) and Kim Darby (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark). This movie also draws on the love Trekkies had for Shatner and Darby together after “Miri,” an episode of the original series.

He’s there to be a doctor and she a teacher for a commune of Amish-like people who — surprise, it’s 1972 and Erich Von Daniken is everywhere — are space aliens whose origins sound suspiciously like Battlestar Galactica years before that became a movie and TV show.

Diane Varsi from Wild In the Streets, Laurie Walters from Warlock Moon and Dan O’Herlihy — Conal Cochran, Andrew Packard, The Old Man and Grig! — are all in this.

This was the directoral debut of John Korty, who also would make Go Ask Alice, and was produced by Francis Ford Coppola.

There’s a rumor that this was a pilot for a series that never got picked up. What’s an even bigger shame is that there’s never been an official release of this film. I sound like a broken record, hoping that old made for TV movies that I only I care about will someday come out on blu ray.

You can watch this on YouTube:

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