Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television: Katie Saylor of The Fantastic Journey

by Karen A. Romanko

I’m delighted to reveal the cover for my forthcoming book Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television (McFarland, 2019). The model is Katie Saylor who portrayed Liana on the short-lived series The Fantastic Journey (1977).

Katie Saylor on the cover of Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television

Liana is the “daughter of an Atlantian father and an extraterrestrial mother” in this series which may have suffered from one too many concepts. The opening narration tries to lay things out:

“Lost in the Devil’s Triangle, trapped in a dimension with beings from the future and other worlds, a party of adventurers journey through zones of time back to their own time.”

Um, what?

It seems that a research expedition finds itself shipwrecked on an island in the Bermuda Triangle, which is the center of a space/time warp. People from various eras and even worlds are trapped there, and have established their own communities in different “zones of time.” Varian (Jared Martin) becomes the guide for the expedition, hoping to lead its remaining members, including teenager Scott Jordan (Ike Eisenmann) and medical doctor Fred Walters (Carl Franklin), to a promised land, which is the gateway back home. Liana, who possesses superior physical strength and has a companion cat with whom she can communicate telepathically (convenient!), also befriends the group. Roddy McDowell rounds out the cast as Dr. Jonathan Willoway, a 60s scientist, who is leading a community of robots. (The ideal of every 60s scientist!)

(Clockwise) Katie Saylor, Roddy McDowell, Carl Franklin, Jared Martin, and Ike Eisenmann from The Fantastic Journey

Ten adventures ensued, but no further transmissions were received, when another unnatural force, the National Broadcasting Company, wielded its mighty, but invisible axe of cancellation, stranding our intrepid travelers forever.

We hope they remain safe and well, tucked comfortably in their own zone of time on the island.

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