By Ty Burr
Updated November 10, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

White Dwarf, a busted TV pilot starring Neal McDonough and Paul Winfield, manages to puree cheesy sci-fi, hard-riding Westerns, film noir narrative, and samurai films into a surprisingly digestible whole. A young doctor (McDonough) arrives on the planet Rusta, hoping to zip through his tour of duty and get back to a lucrative New York practice. But the good doc mellows in the company of alien prison wardens, wimple-wearing princesses, and Dr. Arkade (Winfield), the head of the local clinic. McDonough suggests Ray Liotta without a spine, though Winfield’s professionalism keeps the momentum up. Still, this is one strange project to come from executive producer Francis Ford Coppola — a sort of Northern Exposure meets The Princess Bride on the planet Dune. C+