Monday, September 21, 2009

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Photobook

Although Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (VTTBOTS) fandom doesn't get as much press as Star Trek fandom, it's certainly out there. And indeed, VTTBOTS debuted before Star Trek, and lasted a year longer. (Star Trek continued to try to do mature entertainment in its 3rd season, whereas after season 1, VTTBOTS suffered the fate of Lost in Space after its first season as well, and became increasingly aimed toward children - a successful formula, apparently.)

There are several websites devoted to VTTBOTS, including an official Irwin Allen site which also has material on all of his other classic 1960s and 1970s shows.

The Thunder Child is launching a retrospective of the TV series, which starred Richard Basehart as Admiral Nelson and David Hedison as Captain Lee Crane, beginning with the first episode Eleven Days to Zero. Special guest star in this episode, Eddie Albert.

Not so much a retrospective as a guide book (eventually) to the actors who appeared on the show, locations that were used in the show, and any interesting camera angles/shots/special effects that were used throughout.

Most VTTBOTS episodes can be viewed for free over the internet, whether at or at its IMDB webpage. However, if you're a collector, why not pick up the collected comic book works of VTTBOTS?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

They remade WarGames? Noooooooooooooo!

Shall we play a game?

Just flicked the channels after my Steelers lost to the Bears (well, they're not my Steelers. It's just that, though I like Lovie Smith, I really dislike Jay Cutler and want him to lose. But the Steeler's field goal kicker missed two short kicks...)....

anyway, turned the channel and what do I see but WarGames: The Dead Code.

Well, instead of Global Thermonuclear War it's a terrorist attack simulator game.
Instead of Joshua it's Ripley.
Instead of John Wood as Dr. Falken it's Gary Reineke as Dr. Falken. Pah! No comparison.

And no Dabney Coleman and no Barry Corbin!

Pah. I wouldn't have watched it even if I'd known it was on before it was 2/3rds of the way over.

There was no need to remake WarGames. Just show it. Ten to one it'd get better ratings/do better in the theaters than this remake.

Pah, I say again.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Missed it by that much....

Just discovered that the Cleveland Orchestra, at The Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, did a whole SciFi themed performance on August 16. One hopes that it was recorded to be released at a later date.

Not that I would have been able to go see it, as my travelling days are curtailed til next year, but I would have liked to have shared the info here before it was too late.

Nevertheless, I will share the info here even though it is too late.

The Sith Training Temple website took photos, pretty cool, view them here:

From the Bedford Times Register:

Jack Everly will conduct The Cleveland Orchestra in a "Sci-Fi Spectacular" at the Blossom Festival on Aug. 16, at 7 p.m.

The program features George Takei as narrator. He is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the television and film series Star Trek. Vocalist will be Kristen Plumley.

Members of the Blossom Festival Chorus, prepared by Cleveland Orchestra Director of Choruses Robert Porco, also will participate in the program.

Concertgoers are encouraged to come in costume, dressed as their favorite Star Trek or Star Wars character. Star Wars characters from the 501st and the Rebel Legion will attend and be available for photographs with patrons.

The Aug. 16 program features music by composers including John Williams and Bernard Herrmann, from Star Trek, Star Wars, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

JOHN WILLIAMS – Main Theme from Star Wars
arr. JACK EVERLY – Lost in Syndication
JOHN WILLIAMS – “Adventures on Earth” from E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
JOHN BARRY – Main Theme from Somewhere in Time
JOHN WILLIAMS – “Superman March” from Superman
arr. CALVIN CUSTER – Star Trek Through the Years
RICHARD STRAUSS – Main Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey (Also sprach Zarathustra)
JOHN WILLIAMS – Main Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
JOHN WILLIAMS/arr. Ricketts – Main Theme from A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)
MICHAEL GIACCHINO – Music from Star Trek (2009)
BERNARD HERRMANN – Main Theme from The Day the Earth Stood Still
JOHN WILLIAMS – “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
JOHN WILLIAMS – “The Throne Room” and End Title from Star Wars

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Science fiction on BBC Radio

I've been a bit remiss reporting on what's going on with BBC Radio for the last several weeks, so let's get back into it.

There's some serials that are in their 4th or 5th parts, so I won't bother to mention them. Never fear, they'll be rerun in future.

From last Tuesday, still 23 hours left to listen to:
Ancient Sorceries
Episode 1
1/4. A timid commuter meets the cat-like residents of a French village. Read by Philip Madoc.

Episode 1
1/5. A chilling drama set in an imaginary Hitler-led post-war Germany.
Stars Anton Lesser.

Two days left to listen to:

The Laxian Key
Episode 1
1/4. Mystery space tourist deaths land two planet cleaners with a new contract.

Ancient Sorceries
Episode 2
2 days left to listen
2/4. Vezin realises that the cat-like villagers are watching him closely. Read by Philip Madoc.

Episode 2
2/5. Detective Xavier March probes the death of a retired one-legged civil servant.

Three days left to listen:

The Laxian Key
Episode 2
2/4. London is melting, but planetary decontaminationists Arnold and Gregor get the blame.

Ancient Sorceries
Episode 3
3/4. When Vezin declares his love for Ilse, he fears for his actions. Read by Philip Madoc.

Episode 3
3/5. Xavier March probes the deaths of senior party officials in Hitler's post-war Germany.

Four days left to listen:
The Laxian Key
Episode 3
3/4. With the planetary decontaminationists on the run, Arnold's apologetic call is traced.

Ancient Sorceries
Episode 4
4/4. Vezin is wary over mother and daughter's witches' Sabbath invitation. Read by Philip Madoc

Episode 4
4/5. As Hitler's 75th birthday nears, Kriminalpolizei detective Xavier March is in trouble.

Five days left to listen

The Laxian Key
Episode 4
4/4. Evans the Welsh vigilante aims to bomb the planetary decontaminationists for melting Earth

Where does man's sense of humour come from? Isaac Asimov offers his answer.

Episode 5
5/5. Detective Xavier March uncovers the terrible secret of Adolf Hitler's totalitarian state.

Six days to listen

Series 1, Mind the Gaps
1/5. Edna Turner's adventures in London's bizarre parallel city. Ben Moor's sci-fi comedy.

And there ya go.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Hood has given up taking over the world...

Ray Barrett died on September 8, 2009

Here's an interview with Barrett at YouTube, done by Movie Memorabilila

Australian actor Ray Barrett, the voice of the Hood and many other characters from Thunderbirds and Stingray died at the age of 82 from a brain haemorrhage in Queensland.

Having made a name for himself in radio soap operas in the 1950s, Barrett continued to work right up until his death, most recently appearing in director Baz Luhrman's historical drama Australia, in which he played the father of Nicole Kidman's character.

Barrett's acting career was long, distinguished and punctuated with awards, including two AFI Awards for best actor in 1982 (Goodbye Paradise) and 1995 (Hotel Sorrento). But it was his voice roles as the iconic villain 'the Hood', Thunderbird 5 operator John Tracy, Titan and Commander Shore that many fans will always remember him for. Like several of his fellow actors in Thunderbirds and Stingray, Barrett's ability to play both American and British characters with ease made him a highly versatile performer, and throughout the 60s he made guest appearances in numerous other 'cult' shows, including Dr Who, Z Cars, The Saint and Dixon of Dock Green.

Twilight Zone marathon today...

I see that the Syfy Channel is showing the Twilight Zone today. Yay. But of course, as per usual, not in order.

Well...I say that...maybe I should doublecheck and see if my memory is faulty!

On a sadder note, my laptop is back to doing the same old stuff...I guess the cold air freezes the stickiness for just a few seconds, then when it warms up again, the stickiness comes back.

Ah, well, that's life in the big city.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Weirder than color TV

A few days ago, I spilled just a little bit of Pepsi on my Vaio laptop. I didnt' think any of it got into the keyboard, but the next day the laptop started acting funny. I couldn't select the address URL bar, for example. If I tried to move the mouse to the front, the cursor would go through all the letters to get to the end, on its own. I'd have to delete the letters and type in the URL manually.

Then, when I'd try to select anything from the menu bar, every button would be selected one after the other...I couldn't choose anything.

Well, this ticked me off, as you can imagine. Thousand dollar laptop up the spout because of just a tiny bit of spilled Pepsi. I could still use it to watch my unbox videos, but I could only select the ones on the far end of the screen..anytime I selected one of the video icons on the left, they would just switch one by one to the far right hand side of the screen.

But if I did a view by list, then I could choose the ones I wanted.

Anyway, today, I decided to take a can of compressed air, and blow it underneath all the keys of the keyboard, and see if that would do any good.

I didn't expect it to.

But it did!

The laptop now works fine.

So, whether it was a bit of sticky pepsi that has now come unstuck because cold compressed air made it unsticky, or whether something had become lodged under one of the keys that was always pressing down (I don't think I ever tried to type anything in a word processing file, just to see what would happen).... in any event, problem solved.

So I'm feeling relieved and better than I have in days.

And now I've just noticed...the volume on the computer has now increased 100%. It used to be I could barely hear it when I was playing my vids, now I can hear it easily.

Guess I'll have to clean out my keyboard more often.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The passing of a tradition...

Well, nothing ever stays the same..

As I blogged about yesterday...Labor Day was the day when you could count on a Twilight Zone marathon at the Sci Fi channel. Now its the SyFy channel and all they've got on is paranormal - i.e. fantasy - crap called Ghost Hunters.

I admit it's been a long time since I watched the SciFi channel...I can remember when they first started airing, they had all kinds of classic TV shows, and talk shows for the SF enthusiast...when did all that start to fade away, and why?

But I could always count on them for the Twilight Zone on Labor Day!

Sure, I've got all the eps on DVD, and I don't even actually watch them except once a year any more, but the marathon was a great way to introduce new fans to the show, and by extension, one hoped, to 1950s and 1960s TV...

Not today, though.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Wither SF on the SF Channel?

Well, it's labor day weekend, the weekend of TV marathons.

And what are they showing on the Syfy channel (formerly the SciFi Channel)?

Well, garbage. A "reality" show called Destination Truth, which investigates the paranormal. Then, this evening, no quality sci fi either - like the classics such as Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, the original Outer Limits, Men In Space, etc. etc. and etc. No, instead we get one of their abysmal movies, Malibu Shark Attack, about prehistoirc sharks that terrorize scenic California. Then we get Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. Then we get Spring Break Shark Attack.

I'm sensing a theme here...

Yes, next is Deep Blue Sea. Smart sharks turn a research lab's staff into fish food. Atr least it's got Samuel L. Jackson, but it sounds similar to Jaws 3. (While I loved Jaws, I didn't bother to see its sequels, but I've seen trailers.)

Next is Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy.

Then, after a single episode of The Twilight Zone late at night, and after a few TV paid spots, what is happening on Labor Day itself? More paranormal crap! Ghost Hunters and then Ghost Whisperers.

No wonder they changed their name from SciFi Channel to SyFy. Siffy. Sh*tty!