I’ve never made any secret of my love for Gerry Anderson’s “Thunderbirds”. I loved all of his shows that made it to our local television network and Thunderbirds was by far and away my favourite of the lot. Just as an aside I owe many thanks to Flash for aiding and abetting my addiction. Therefore when I came across this webpage imagine my frustration when I read these sentences – “Many have radio control capability” and “The huge Thunderbird 2 has motorized, telescopic legs and stunning interior detail“. It Comes with missiles! Missiles! Dammit! Why did I not have these as a child! Oh yeah, they apparently weren’t available in my part of Canada. For no other reason than that I want to, I blame Stephan Harper for this. Now I’m off to haunt Ebay in hopes of fulfilling retroactive childhood desires.
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On occasion, Flash and I discuss the TV shows of our youth and I always bring up the show Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot , the stirring tale of a young Japanese boy and , well, his flying robot, about which all information can be found here . Sadly, neither Flash nor any others in the room can remember ever seeing this fine example of early Japanese television. In fact, when I bring it up people tend to look askance and shake their heads in pity, as if I had commented on memories of mermaids in Shepody Bay, or manticores living in the woods behind my house. This always saddens me, as it was required Saturday morning viewing when I was a young boy in Dorchester NB. Actually, anything that provided a distraction from life in Dorchester NB was required viewing. Exciting the place was not, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment. What is here and there is the now available on demand DVD set of the complete series . I can now prove to everyone that my memories of this show are not just the delusional memories of a misspent and opium addled youth. Now, if I can just get over the Thunderbirds fixation.
Robert Culp, star of the TV classic I Spy, has died at the age of 79. To say he was merely brilliant would be an understatement. Besides I Spy, he also starred as gung-ho FBI agent Bill Maxwell in The Greatest American Hero in the early ’80s.
In honor of a brilliant actor, I give you the themes from I Spy, which I consider to be one of the best ever written for TV, and The Greatest American Hero, which, despite the risk of ridicule, I quite like also…
For me, one of his most enjoyable performances was as Trent, the immortal warrior in the Outer Limits episode, “Demon With A Glass Hand”, written by Harlan Ellison. Truly one of the finest pieces of sci-fi ever presented on television, IMHO.
And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another absolute classic Outer Limits episode, “The Architects of Fear” – if you are at all a fan of Watchmen, you owe it to yourself to watch this one…
A sad farewell to a true master of his craft, and a role model for ‘cool’…
In an earlier post, some discussion was made of reviving the Buck Rogers franchise, and while the proposed movie is still said to be in the works, there is going to be a revival of sorts, in the form of a webseries. Here we see a short teaser trailer:
One thing’s for sure – they definitely seem to be going for retro in a big way for this one. And here we see the young Buck Rogers in his pre-cryogenics days, complete with a couple of guest stars:
This seems to be a tradition – IIRC, Buster Crabbe made an appearance in the TV series…
As some of my various blogmates may know, I’ve a fondness for the Steampunk esthetic ( no, I don’t dress up like a gear encrusted Victorian explorer but I do like to build things). That’s why when I see something like this, which I sadly don’t have the metalworking skills to build myself, the first thing through my mind is “I WANT ONE OF THOSE”
Anyway, my point is this: Not all of the geekiness that we celebrate here is concerned with comics and obscure sci-fi. That and if one of these keyboards somehow showed up on my doorstep, I would ask no embarrassing questions and be filled with the kind of gratitude that only a geek could feel at such an occasion. Also, everyone needs to check out Datamancer‘s website because after all, Christmas is coming and we could all use a little geektech in our lives.
An interesting article in the NY Times today about an upcoming miniseries. On November 15, the new, updated version of The Prisoner will premiere on AMC. To be frank, I have many more misgivings about this than about the remake of V.
The original production, starring Patrick McGoohan, was a wild, psychedelic allegory on the place of modern man in what was then a society undergoing profound technological and social change. We are experiencing similar social change now, but is the medium of allegory going to be usurped by the necessities of commercial success? Is it possible for a TV series to end on such an ambiguous note as the 60s series did? Is the viewing public intelligent and open minded enough to cope with the profound questions raised in the original, such as ‘what is the individual’s role in relation to society?’ ‘What is the true meaning of freedom?’ ‘To what extent must individual liberty be sacrificed for the good of the community?’
I think the answers will come too easily, the typical drama formula superseding the spirit and intent of the original. Plus, my cable company doesn’t carry AMC, which pisses me off. Only time will tell whether my questions will be answered, keeping in mind of course the Village philosophy:
“Questions are a burden to others, answers a prison for oneself.”
Be seeing you.
Those bastards at SurfaceScape have just come up with the ultimate reason to look forward to Microsoft’s new touch-screen Surface – a true fusion of Table-Top RPG’s with computers:
Of course, the only problem with this is that in order to afford this, you need money, which means devoting time to work, and between this and the fact that Sid Meier is bringing Civilization to Facebook, time for work may be something we are definitely short of (of course, I *could* probably get by on 1 hours sleep a night….).