Category Archives: 1970s

Finally!

This is the text of a news release from Time-Life:
“STEVE AUSTIN. ASTRONAUT. A MAN BARELY ALIVE. WE CAN REBUILD HIM.
WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY. WE HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO MAKE THE WORLD’S
FIRST BIONIC MAN. BETTER THAN HE WAS BEFORE.
BETTER…STRONGER…FASTER”

THIS FALL, TIME LIFE GIVES TV DVD FANS SIX MILLION
REASONS TO GET EXCITED WITH A CULT CLASSIC
NEVER BEFORE AVAILABLE ON ANY FORMAT!

THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN:
THE COMPLETE SERIES

Outfitted in a Muscular Completist’s Set Sporting Sound Effects and Limited Edition
Lenticular Graphics, the Spectacular 40-Disc Collection Will Feature All 100 Hour-Long
Episodes and More Than 15 Hours of Bonuses Including the Three TV Pilot Movies,
the Three Reunion Movies, the Bionic Woman Crossover Episodes and Much More

FAIRFAX, VA; July 22, 2010 — This Fall, Time Life – the home of such classic TV as GET SMART, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E and THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS – will give TV DVD aficionados, cult classic completists and genre fans six million reasons to get excited about one of the most eagerly anticipated and buzzed about home entertainment releases in years with THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN: THE COMPLETE SERIES. The set, which will initially be available exclusively online at a specially branded site, will be released in November 2010 and feature all five action-packed seasons of the futuristic, fan-favorite adventure series never before available in the U.S. on any format!

Although the collection will not be bionically-enhanced, the singular set – the 4th most requested unreleased show at TVShowsonDVD.com – is certain to thrill fans both old and new. Across the 40-disc configuration, housed in a box sporting an audio chip and eye-popping lenticular images, Time Life proudly presents the series in its entirety with all 100 digitally-preserved and re-mastered hour-long episodes. Also included will be the three pilot movies (“The Six Million Dollar Man“, “Wine, Women and War“, “Solid Gold Kidnapping“), the three made-for-TV reunion movies (“The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman“, “Bionic Showdown” and “Bionic Ever After?“), the never-before-released cross-over episodes with The Bionic Woman and more than eight additional hours of never-before-seen bonus programming, with all-new cast and crew interviews, featurettes and docs featuring – among others – Lee Majors and Richard Anderson (“Oscar Goldman”) and much more.

One of the pop culture smashes of the ’70s, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN starred Lee Majors as Colonel Steve Austin, a top NASA pilot critically injured when his experimental spaceplane crashed. Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson), head of the OSI, used Austin as a test subject for an experimental procedure, rebuilding his body using cybernetic technology, making him the world’s first bionic man. Now, Austin works for Goldman and the OSI, protecting the nation from a myriad of threats. Based on the novel “Cyborg” by Martin Caidin, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN launched with several made-for-TV movies in 1973, which then spun off into a hit for ABC, running from January 1974 to March 1978. During its run, the program made Majors a pop culture icon, spawned three reunion shows, another series (The Bionic Woman, starring Lindsay Wagner) and thousands of licensed products, making THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN one of the defining TV shows of the “Me” decade.

“As the show that introduced me to TV audiences the world over, I have a fond place in my heart for The Six Million Dollar Man,” says Lee Majors. “And over the past several years, the one question I get asked most is ‘when will it be available on DVD?’ So, I’m truly excited to be involved in bringing the series to a new generation of fans.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to deliver such a long-awaited classic to DVD for the first time,” says Jeff Peisch, head of Time Life’s video division. “We have a long history of reverential treatment towards the packaging of cult classic TV and we now have the technology and capability to build a better DVD set. Better…stronger…faster. Actually, we’re pulling out all the stops for The Six Million Dollar Man, making sure that it’s both a completist’s dream set and the perfect DVD homage to an unreleased classic.”

The Six Million Dollar Man is a copyright and trademark of Universal Studios, and used under license.

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying ABOUT BLOODY TIME!!

Ah, my childhood… Will it never end? I hope not. 🙂

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On This Most Solemn Occasion.

I would be remiss if I didn’t wish our readers a Happy International Talk Like William Shatner Day! And to commemorate this holiday, let us bask in the warm glow of one of Bill’s most shining moments:

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Being a Geek isn’t Just About Sci-Fi and Comic Books…

Sometimes, it’s about liking fonts.

Really, really, really liking fonts.

And sometimes it’s about finding a fact you didn’t know before:

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Filed under 1970s, Music, Television, YouTube

The Ten Doctors… (Plus One)

First of all, warm and appreciative greetings to all those who have visited thanks to WordPress’ placing us on their front page – we all hope we can make it worth your while to keep visiting! Enjoy, and by all means comment, discuss, say hello!

Once upon a time, on an another blog since vanished into the mists of history, I posted a partial list of my favorite incarnations of The Doctor, the Time Lord that has travelled the corridors of time and space for centuries, righting wrongs and earning himself the sobriquet, “The Oncoming Storm”. I thought I would finally get around to finishing the list – not a repeat,but a reiteration that reflects my affection for all of the actors who have dwelled in this iconic role. Given that the eleventh Doctor is set to make his debut soon, I thought now would be an appropriate time. The choice of favorite story, which accompanies most of the entries, reflects the episodes/serials I have seen, of course – those I haven’t may supersede today’s choices at some point.

As always, I invite discussion, dissent and debate – this is one person’s opinion, and I’m always happy to hear yours! Allons-y!

1. The Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton (1966-69) Favorite Story: The Invasion

Explaining why one character/actor/performance is your favorite is often difficult – there are qualities exhibited by Troughton’s Doctor that he shared with his predecessor, William Hartnell, but they are relatively few – Troughton and the producers were keen to make a clear break with what had gone before. Although there are certain character traits, such as a tendency toward being manipulative, that the Second Doctor carried on, Troughton’s Doctor is clever enough to mask his manipulative nature in an apparent ineptitude, if not outright bumbling – his ‘cosmic hobo’ moves the story forward through the actions of others, rather than being the individual leading the way overtly. Troughton is humorous and engaging, and has a warmth that is a real contrast from the aloof Time Lord we were first introduced to. Some of the best stories of any era were accompanied by some of the crucial ongoing elements of the Who mythology: regeneration (although not explicitly called that just yet), UNIT, the name of the race from which the Doctor comes (although not their home planet), and so on. Sadly, the vast majority of Troughton’s stories were lost when the BBC wiped portions of their videotape library – fortunately, film versions turn up from time to time, so more is becoming available for us to enjoy.

2. The Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, (2005-2010) Favorite Story: The Girl in the Fireplace

Tennat’s Doctor is brilliant simply because of all the history he brings with him – there are echoes of almost all of the other Doctors in his performance, from Troughton’s knowing bumbling to McCoy’s sinister edge (you could also consider the half-human ‘regenerated’ Doctor to be a nod to the Eighth Doctor). Fast-talking and smooth, bound to do good but tainted by pain, the shades of grey that surround the Tenth Doctor’s actions have never been so pronounced.

3. The Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker (1974-1981) Favorite Story: Pyramids of Mars

Baker’s Doctor has the distinction of being the first to be seen by a large number of North Americans (Hartnell stories were shown on CBC in Canada in 1963, but were discontinued before the end of the firsat series), and the actor most associated with the role by many. The single quality I admire about his portrayal is the fact that he subtly (and not-so-subtly) reminds us that yes, he is an alien – his mannerisms, his slight, rather bemused detachment from humanity, his tendency to sprawl across any available surface – it all combines for a memorable character. While his behind-the-scenes behavior may have been trying, the results were, and still are, magical.

4. The Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston (2005) Favorite Story: Rose

The Ninth Doctor had the burden of re-introducing the Doctor to a new generation and dispelling the common view of Doctor Who as a series with cardboard sets and bad acting – and he did it brilliantly. The first episode brings The Doctor in after the episode is under way, and doesn’t let up – his description of how he feels the Earth turning along with the universe moving to Rose is a perfect introduction to the power and mystery of this lonely Time Lord. It is really a shame that he didn’t stay long, but the single season is memorable for showing us just how dangerous The Doctor is – to those who would do evil, as well as himself and his companions. Plastic Mickey aside, Eccleson is really… ‘fantastic’!

5. The First Doctor, William Hartnell (1963-66) Favorite Story: The Mutants/The Daleks (episodes had individual names as opposed to full stories)

The first, the only – William Hartnell. From the aloof scientist to the loving grandfather, from the mysterious and menacing technological wizard to the warm patriarch, Hartnell’s transition as the role evolved was amazing to watch – as was his forgetting of his lines due to increasing ill health. Even Hartnell’s forgetfulness, presented as part of The Doctor’s tetchy personality, works in the larger context. A well-placed, “Hmm?” or “mmm, yes” in the right place gave us the first, and in some ways definitive performance of the immensely powerful yet ultimately frail individual. It is a true shame that we don’t have more footage from The Tenth Planet, his last performance during his three seasons – however, we still have The Three Doctors, his very last performance, to enjoy.

6. The Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee (1970-74) Favorite Story: The Sea Devils

The Earth-bound man of action, the scientific James Bond, the brave master of Venusian Akido… the Third Doctor was a product of his ‘times’, so to speak. As the scientific advisor to UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, The Doctor defended Earth from any and all threats, including those of his most dangerous nemesis, The Master. Introduced during Troughton’s era, UNIT and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart were welcome additions to continuity that have stuck around ever since. In some ways, it seemed a little bit of a disappointing when the Time Lords hgave him the knowledge of time travel again at the end of The Three Doctors, however it turned out to be a very thoughtful reward for The Doctor, and for us as well.

7. The Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison (1981-84) Favorite Story: The Five Doctors

He was a well-known actor when he began on Doctor Who, and I’d wager he was even more famous when he left. Following Tom Baker in any context would be difficult, let alone in this role, but Davison infuses a quiet dignity into the role – his Doctor is often the author of the misfortunes he must fix – but despite often looking-before-leaping (the diametric opposite to Baker’s thinking-before-acting style), he is still the one man, or Time Lord, you want with you if danger lurks.

8. The Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann (1996) Favorite Story (well, duh) Doctor Who: The Enemy Within (unofficial title)

Although somewhat of a cipher, the Eighth Doctor has gone on to have a full and exciting career in novels and audio stories (if you’re like me, an appearance in a multi-Doctor TV story would be the height of excellence). He’s engaging, has a mission to do good whatever the cost, and his dress sense is absolutely perfect. He can nearly be forgiven the ‘half-human on my mother’s side’ remark. Almost.

9. The Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy (1987-1996) Favorite Story: Remembrance of the Daleks

Mysterious and somewhat menacing, McCoy, despite technically being the Doctor for the longest period, was the actor in the role when the series was ultimately cancelled in 1990. His return, with the sole purpose of being killed, in the 1996 movie, was ironically one of his best performances. The Seventh Doctor has, fortunately, had a long series of adventures on audio and in novels. A larger and more mysterious purpose was hinted at for a while, but ultimately it came to nothing.

10. The Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker (1984-86) Favorite Story: Trial of a Time Lord (yes, I know, but it’s still better as a whole than individually)

The actor who picked up where Peter Davison left off was reviled, ignored and ultimately let go in a rather insensitive fashion by the BBC. Attenpting to kill his companion in the first episode, and remaining obnoxious and arrogant throughout his tenure, the Sixth Doctor was memorable – often for the wrong reasons. His audio incarnation is considerably more tolerable.

And, the Plus One…

Peter Cushing, as “Doctor Who”, in Doctor Who and the Daleks and  Invasion Earth 2150 AD (1965-66)

Probably the less said the better – great actor, but the movies absolutely mangle continuity. Best watched with certain portions of the brain turned off. Mostly those dealing with memory and reason – for one thing, the guy isn’t human, and for another, his name isn’t actually “Doctor Who”. Mutter, mutter, mutter…

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Filed under 1960s, 1970s, Epic Awesomeness, Sci-Fi, Television

In This Time of Mourning

In this sensitive time, as people commemorate the 8th anniversary of 9/11, let us not forget an even greater tragedy, one that befell the whole world 10 years ago this Sunday, September 13, 1999.

Who can forget where they were the day the Moon, due to an explosion in one of the nuclear waste disposal areas, was blasted out of orbit, cursed to wander forever in space. Whatever became of the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha?

space1999

What was the ultimate fate of Commander John Koenig, Dr. Helena Russell, technician Sandra Benes and Astronaut Alan Carter? Was the mystery ever solved of the mysterious disappearances of Professor Victor Bergman, second-in-command Paul Morrow or technician David Kano? It was as if they were there one moment, then, like the change of the seasons, they were gone. Personally, I miss Tania, the hot German chick who also vanished inexplicably…

Tanya_AlexanderHot, German and bearing coffee. What more does a man need?

Moonbase Alpha brought us many important things in the nearly sci-fi free days of the 1970’s, such as:

blog_Space-1999Science!

Space-1999-science-fiction-4310901-1024-768Exploration!

1999babesSpace babes in futuristic bikinis!

Yes, let us not forget the brave men and women who forged on despite their isolation, despite their hardships, despite low ratings. Their spirit lives on in all of us, at least those of us who wasted their childhoods in front of a TV set.

Godspeed, Moonbase Alpha!

Season 1 intro:

Season 2 intro:

Special Update!

This message just received from the farthest reaches of space!

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Owl Stretching Time

In a bit of news that should set geek pulses racing and the Holy Grail quotes flying, Monty Python’s Flying Circus will reunite at an event in Manhattan  ob October 14, 2009. According to the New York Times:

All six — yes, six — members of that influential British comedy troupe… will come together in New York in the fall for an event to mark the group’s 40th anniversary and to promote a documentary…  In a news release, the groups said that the Monty Python founders John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and, somehow, Graham Chapman (who died in 1989) would be present for a screening of the documentary “Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut)”…

monty

The documentary, according to the article, will debut in a six-hour version on IFC on October 18. I’m cancelling any other plans I may have made for that day…

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Six Million Dollar Memories…

Saw this on Cracked.com, and figured I would post it for the edification of fellow Steve Austin fans…

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