Space Academy  

Lt. Paul Jerome   

Lt. Paul Jerome developed into a playful character from the loner viewers met in the second episode, "Castaways In Time And Space".  At first, he seems to be the outside man on the team, but we abandon the  idea by the end of the episode where Paul draws off the monster chasing the rescuers, after disobeying Academy orders with Chris Gentry, captain of the mission.  We see his first, real, genuine smile as he is introduced to Laura Gentry.  How could we stay mad at him for long?  His interest in making sure Gampu is going to be okay cements our acceptance of him as a new member of the Blue Team. 

Paul's personality is revealed throughout the series in little bits of information.  We instantly identify with his need for self-protection as we are told, through a quick and dirty conversation between Tee Gar and Chris, that this colony is a rough place to survive.  Chris seems like he's willing to give the boy chance after chance, with one exception.  But, by the end of the episode, even critical Tee Gar decides he's a good guy.

From Laura, we learn that he can play tricks.  We don't know what kind, but these must be fairly successful ones as she quizzes, "Paul, this isn't one of your tricks?", after Gampu is found missing in "Hide and Seek". 

We also find that he is an astro-navigation expert.  Paul tends to give mini space lessons:  what a black hole is, or what a Camelopardus star cluster looks like at Midnight Culmination...  He is one of the main pilots in later scenes for the Seekers.  And, in the last episode aired, "Johnny Sunseed", he shows us his interest in botany. 

Ty Henderson played the loner from the Earth Colony Ceto in the series.  His character was slyly revealed during the first episode, "Survivors of Zalon", where he diligently informed the crew of Seeker 3 that "something is following you!" in his role as mission monitor, back in the control room.  It could have been anybody with similar skills, but lucky for viewers, it was Paul, not yet a member of the team.  However, I wonder that Gampu (aka writers) already knew he'd be part of the team and that this was a way for him to acclimate to the Academy's culture?  In the next episode, we later understand his function on the Blue Team and even later still, the writers let us know that he was transferred to the Academy.  There's been controversy, via cyberposts, that timeline issues were in error, but I find no discrepancy.  He is not part of the team in the first episode, and officially introduced and admitted to the team in the next.

His character's development pretty much ended after that.  He does have some fun scenes where he plays a cadet digesting a mind altering substance that he has grown and eaten, apparently without testing it first before feeding it to the Academy's cadets.  His loss of inhibition makes for a believable (almost) story.  I love his "Whoa...." in the "Sunseed" episode.

But as far as a contributing player to the development of helping the viewer understand the concept or insight into Academy life, his development is arrested as much as the story line.  And, this is unfortunate as he brings to the set years of acting experience to end up as a background functional, reactionary character.

Go to Ty Henderson's page

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