Jonathan Harris played the occasionally crusty mentor, Gampu. He is the backbone of the Space Academy, or is he? The debate rages on*. He alone seems to have the ability to give the command to move the actual asteroid the Space Academy is built on to other parts of the galaxy for adventure and mayhem.
He has a girlfriend (or is she a girl friend?) and a brother who is as persnickety as he is. But no one on the Space Academy can sing a sea chantey like the covert persona of "Captain Blood"!
As surrogate father figure to Loki and friend to the android, Peepo, he displays a tender side of the unique octogenarian (300+ years) the other Blue Team members do not enjoy. But, would they like to climb in his lap and cuddle like Loki can? Not likely.
Gampu deciding who should pilot the mission to investigate possible life on Zalon!
On the other hand...
Gampu's character is often harsh, with little provocation. Okay, granted someone well over middle age might be testy and 300+ years might get away with being very testy. But is this an age/developmental issue?
Under the surface of this blue clad lad is the possible key to the safety of that quadrant/sector (universe?). Viewers are not given much background and the debate among Space Academy/Jason of Star Command camps is divided*. Who really is in control of the asteroid both Space Academy and Star Command share? Gampu is one, of possibly two individuals, who have the authority to move the rock around "the vastness of space". We never see who Deputy Commander Brooks is, but what if this is a cross-over from Star Command? Brooks may have been in command before Canarvin. We can only speculate.
Moving on, Gampu likes the young women (Adrian touches him the most) and seems to tolerate the male members (more so from Paul and Chris and less from Tee Gar. Girlfriend/girl friend Marcia is in the latter category). But he seems to care for Loki a great deal, even though the child is a handful. There also seems to be a special relationship with Peepo that the viewer can only wonder at. When Peepo is short circuited in "Life Begins at 300", Gampu reveals to us that Peepo is an "old friend". That statement coming from Gampu could mean a few years to a few lifetimes...
The question remains: why does the Blue Team need a supervisor? Since there is little information on the reason the team was formed to begin with, that question is unclear. We know that the team is fairly new by the second episode when Paul joins them. All we have are tiny hints after that to give us information.
I've had little contact with original concept writer, Ted Pedersen. He and Martha Humphries can answer some of these questions...and I wish they would. The Space Academy Bible sketches in broad strokes about the mission of the Academy and no reason why the team was formed. In 2003, Mr. Pedersen was still writing and working in the educational field. Ms. Humphries had spoken (2003) with my friend, Mark Philips, so I know she's on the planet, somewhere... I'd love to know...
* The Space Academy/Jason of Star Command Discussion...Who is in charge?
Go to Jonathan Harris's page
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