You may not be familiar with The Great Space Coaster, but you might just be familiar with one of the series' most recognizable characters: Gary Gnu, of the show-within-a-show, The Gary Gnu Show, the ONLY TV g'news program guaranteed to contain no g'news whatsoever, because no g'news is good g'news!
The Great Space Coaster was an imaginative syndicated series from 1981 to 1986, co-created by Jim Martin and Kermit Love, and featured a number of people who either came from, or went on to working with Jim Henson, (including Pam Arciero, Kevin Clash, John Lovelady, and Noel MacNeal); the series featured a fun mixture of cartoons, live action segments, and of course, puppets, with some wacky characters like the fun-loving Goriddle Gorilla, the demure Knock-Knock the Woodpecker, some baby aliens known as the Huggles, and others.
I confess that I have not seen a great deal amount of this series, but from what I have seen of it, I really enjoy (presently, a copy of a VHS sold in the 80s called The Great Space Coaster Supershow is available on YouTube),
but the sad truth is, like a lot of other great shows from the past, this one has fallen into a level of obscurity... in fact, to say this show is obscure is sadly an overstatement, this show has pretty much become a retro rarity, and even sadder, most people are only aware of it because of a stupid Family Guy parody.
Nevertheless, I recently learned that this show is on the verge of disappearing forever: a company known as Tanslin Media has just purchased all 250 episodes (see, even I wasn't aware there were THAT many episodes... that greatly surpasses most other puppet series, even The Muppet Show), and wishes to preserve them for digital media, but the problem is that the episodes were originally recorded on video tape (as were a lot of shows back in the 70s and 80s), and unfortunately, there are a lot of technical headaches involved with converting the original master tapes into digital media, not to mention financial headaches as well: it apparently costs $350 just to convert and preserve one half-hour episode. It's estimated that it would cost anywhere between $35,000 to $40,000 to preserve all 250 episodes of The Great Space Coaster.
Recently, Jim Martin (in character as Gary Gnu) has started up a campaign to help raise the money needed to preserve and store all of the episodes of The Great Space Coaster; presently, they would very much be happy with just preserving at least one episode, but naturally, they would like to be able to preserve all the episodes they can, so a donation campaign has been started to help reach their goal, which is presently set at just $2,000, but they seem to be receiving even more.
I believe time is about to run out however, and I just now was aware of this campaign, so I thought I would help spread the word to see if we can help preserve as many episodes of this show as we can, and hopefully, this could mean official, legitimate DVD releases in the future as well.
Here is the link for more information on how you can help. Gary Gnu g'needs you!