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I have these vague memories of this show when I was a kid. I'm not sure whether it was TV or movie. Here are the things I think I remember about it:

  • Happened in space. I remember scenes of large spaceships flying by the camera very slowly (the kind of shot Spaceballs spoofed).
  • I remember a hand-to-hand fight between the good guy and a bad guy. I believe it was on a spaceship (indoors, arena-type environment). The good guy got thrown into a pit in the floor, which I believe was glowing and I recall having the impression that it was bottomless. The audience was made to think the bad guy won. Then the good guy hauls himself out of this pit, and, though I can't remember what happens then, I presume he won the fight.
  • I believe this good guy had dark hair and a short beard.

This may be too vague for anyone to get a read on (or I may be misremembering), but if anyone has any ideas I would really appreciate hearing them. I've been trying to recall this for years.

  • 1
    You're not describing the fight in Cloud City, are you? – Mr Lister Aug 11 '13 at 8:49
11

Could possibly be the 1980 version of Flash Gordon.

One of the main protagonists, Prince Barin (Timothy Dalton) had a mustache and dark hair, and the whip fight seen below took place over a bottomless pit, which if I remember correctly degenerated into a hand-to-hand, but I don't remember specifics. I do know that at least one (if not both) end up hanging off the edge of the platform at some point.

Flash Gordon whip fight

Also, Vultan was a hawkman with a beard, seen here:

Vultan

Vultan battle scene

And, some of the battle scenes showed lots of hawkmen and hovercraft type ships with laser battles, but I can't find any images for that other than the second one of Vultan.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion. I looked that up on Youtube, and my memories of the scene are that it was darker (both in color and emotion) and that the bearded man was definitely one of the ones doing the fighting. I'm not saying it wasn't Flash Gordon, but that scene did not seem familiar to me. – Michael Aug 9 '13 at 22:46
  • @Michael - Hmm... I'll take a look at some of my old VHS tapes when I get home, see if anything else tickles my brain. – JohnP Aug 9 '13 at 22:48
  • @michael - Possibly the 1979 version of the black hole? I have a vague memory of a fight around a glowing thing in that movie... shockya.com/news/wp-content/uploads/black_hole_max.jpg – JohnP Aug 9 '13 at 22:50
  • Good thinking, but when I saw Black Hole I must have been older because I have pretty vivid memories of that movie. – Michael Aug 9 '13 at 23:00
  • If I remember correctly, the character I'm thinking of had a shorter beard than either of the two mentioned so far. It was pretty close-cropped. – Michael Aug 9 '13 at 23:00
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As per Jason's answer, this does indeed match to a scene in Earth*Star Voyager, a pilot shown on the Disney Sunday Movie in 1988 (it was not picked up to be turned into a series). Specifically, it seems to be this scene from the description on Wikipedia:

The crew also explores a distress signal from a massive space station known as 'the 2020 World's Fair', which is inhabited by warriors and researchers of the Outlaw Technology Zone. The landing party is captured by the warriors after encountering one of Captain Brown's former crew members, Willy. They discover that the mutinous Vance has also landed here and became "Top Dog" of the warriors by employing a stunner much like the one Brown used on Huxley. A warrior, named Whistlestick, who was beaten and humiliated by Vance, explains that anyone may challenge the "Top Dog" at any time. Huxley demonstrates his skill at pickpocketing by getting the key for their cage. Brown offers to occupy their captors by challenging Vance while the rest escape. After a difficult fight, Brown (who taught Vance how to make such weapons long ago) is able to make Vance's weapon backfire and destroys it - but spares Vance's life (unaware that Sally was watching and afraid that he would be killed by Jake). In the ensuing ruckus, the crew and their two new allies escape.

Here are some of the images showing Brown being dropped into the pit and making his way back out.

Images showing Brown clinging to the edge of the pit as Vance stomps his hand, Vance standing seemingly victorious, and Brown exiting the pit

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0

Amazing to find that 6 years ago someone with the same recollection of the same strange movie scene asked the same thing that I have been troubling myself over for a long time. It was definitely Earth Star Voyager! Thanks to whoever mentioned that!

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