Kevin McCorry's Weblog Archive: 2007-8; 2012-5


And now for the start of a new feature of this Website. A Weblog. "How original!" one might be tempted to say. And it would be an apt reaction. Indeed, Weblogs are as ubiquitous on the Internet as grains of sand on Miami Beach. And in addition to that, I doubt with my present work timetable that I will have enough occasion to regularly add to this Weblog. But from time to time, experiences or impressions of some note do occur in my present life, and I have not been able to find the time- or perhaps I should say the initiative- to bring McCorry's Memoirs fully up to date and thence add to them with current events. So, I thought it might be better for the time being to post my present daily thoughts in the form of a Weblog.

My work on the McCorry's Memoirs section of my Website has been stalled for more than a year now after the completion of Era 5 (1987-92). I have not found the incentive to continue with Eras 6 and 7, mainly because neither are particularly inspiring, all in all, nor all that gratifying to reflect upon. A few noteworthy experiences aside, these are quite unexciting, unappealing eras. Times of slow development in my job situation. Elusive lasting social fulfilment. And a first, positive impression of the Internet that turned out to be something of a mirage. One of these days, perhaps this coming summer during a vacation from work, I will finally complete Eras 6 and 7 and move on to Era 8. But for now, the ending of Era 5 at 1992 will need to stand as the stopping point of my life chronicle.

2007 has so far been a dire year. The weather has been lousy, lousy, lousy. All the hullabaloo about global warming seems somehow unconvincing after a near constant stretch of bitterly cold temperatures through mid-January to mid-March- and spring has yet to arrive. It has been snowstorm after snowstorm in April, with below normal temperatures forecast until the end of the month. Oh, the refrain I hear is that global warming does not apply this year to Atlantic Canada, that this year for my neck of the woods is atypical of the present trend. Oh, whatever. Additionally, there have been some setbacks at work, stalling associations with some valued colleagues, persisting equipment problems, and so forth. And I found a second rotted DVD in my collection recently, said DVD being Vertigo, purchased in 1999 at a cost of more than thirty dollars. The disc lost its reflectivity, I guess, and stutters and jams, if it will play at all. Hardly a promising outlook for the hefty investment that is my DVD collection. I re-purchased Vertigo this past weekend, rather grudgingly, I might add. The re-purchase was almost as expensive as the original one. This time, however, I am permanently keeping the DVD store receipt on file.

In terms of DVD releases, 2007 promises to be the weakest year yet. The Doctor Who DVD range, though recently upped to nearly double the annual rate of release, is a very drab schedule for 2007 thus far, consisting of late 1980s serials (which did not inspire me, in either style or substance) and the embarrassing first story for Tom Baker's Doctor (the one with the King Kong wannabe giant robot), and rumours are that the remainder of the year will be nothing about which to be excited. A "double-dip" of an extant-in-North-America box set. A pair of lesser Peter Davison stories. And maybe a middling Jon Pertwee tale set in the Middle Ages. And no doubt more late 1980s material. There was an eyebrow raised when I learned that the 1981 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde starring David Hemmings, a version I only saw once on its Mystery! telecast on PBS in the early 1980s, was on the upcoming list for 2007, but its release in March was delayed. It figures. A DVD of Ant and Aardvark DePatie-Freleng cartoons in early April has been welcome, of course, but I would have preferred a DVD collection of Inspector cartoons. Despite speculation on the Internet that such a collection may be forthcoming, I am pessimistic. Why would such a collection not come before an Ant and Aardvark one, rather than after? Especially as the Inspector cartoon series was produced before the Ant and Aardvark one. There is no major DVD release slated for the fourth quarter of the year. No huge Superman or Star Wars movies box set or some such thing. And though I am not at liberty to divulge specific titles or spotlighted characters, I do expect the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION planned for this autumn, the fifth volume in that glacial range, to be the weakest yet, from where I am standing, of course. Not from where the 1950s-cartoons-hating legions of many an Internet message board and Amazon.com product review are concerned, though. They will be singing the highest praises of LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5. Though I nowadays eschew the Internet message boards as much as possible, such prospects still do not instill optimism or merriment in my middle-aged soul. I am also unhopeful of a Region 2 deluxe DVD treatment of Space: 1999- Season 2. It looks like the Region 1 A & E DVDs are the best for which the tiny minority (if even that) of beleaguered second season loyalists can hope. And on further glance at the oddly soft image of the remastered Region 2 Network DVD first season episodes, I am beginning to wonder of maybe this is indeed for the best. Season 2, after all, has little else going for it but its vivid images, or so the oh, so factual majority opinion attests.

Some solace has been found of late on the marvel that is YouTube, along with AOL.com's offering of vintage episodes of The Edge of Night. YouTube has much to enjoy, for as long as a contribution can remain accessible. There are many television jingles and introductions to television shows unseen by me in twenty-five years or more. And the people at AOL have afforded to us the opportunity to once again experience The Edge of Night of mid-to-late 1979, storylines that I followed during the summer I first met my friend, Joey, and during the autumn when The Edge of Night at 5 P.M. on the ABC U.S. television network was followed on WVII-TV Bangor, Maine, by the Star Blazers animated cartoon television space adventure series. I did not watch The Edge of Night with much enthusiasm in the summer of 1979 as I recall, as the storylines then were concentrated mainly on the stalking of young Paige Madison by members of the Tobias group of thugs. But with the start in autumn of the "Mansion of the Damned" movie production storyline and the wreaking of havoc in Monticello by the unhinged Nola Madison actress character (who started drugging detective Deborah Saxon and Dr. Miles Cavanaugh and eventually "framed" hero attorney Draper Scott for the murder of wealthy socialite Margo Huntington), my interest rebounded. This was one of the times I remember The Edge of Night as being most addictive. There is nothing like a calamity-causing, "scenery-chewing" villainess on a daytime serial to raise the watch-ability quotient of an already "hard-hitting" suspense serial. And it is amazing how easily I can watch these Edge of Night episodes with the same mindset as my then-thirteen-year-old self. The Edge of Night can be found at http://video.aol.com/video-category/edge-of-night/1917.

That is all for today, Monday, April 16, 2007.


Yet another day in the year of the interminable winter. Snow is falling again, with northeasterly winds buffeting the house. The forecast for the remainder of the week is for cold rain or snow. Below seasonal temperatures are still expected to persist to the end of April- and probably beyond.

I awoke this morning with thoughts on my ultimate plans for this Website, before my disillusionment with the Internet and after such. To be sure, my intentions have fluctuated over the past ten years. At first, my motivation was solely to provide a bounty of television series information, remembrances, and impressions- from my personal point of view. I believed this to be of value to surfers of the Internet, whether they be kindred spirits or no. Around 2001, I began opting for a more academic approach to the subject matter, analysing it under an overarching theme of what I then called Human Imagination at Extremes, the rationale being that many of my long-cherished works of imagination were extended to places, times, situations most removed from humdrum everyday experience- and that people in general rejected these works because of their unrestricted scope of depiction and concept. While I believe this approach still has merit, I have gone back somewhat to a personal dimension as regards all of the entertainment I hold dear, while retaining an intent to have a wide-ranging theme or hypothesis. Why do these works persistently fall upon the wrong side of acclaim, and why do I invite derision, rejection, isolation if ever I am seen to regard them with an intellectual reverence? For this Website's ultimate form, I envision a systematic study of all of the entertainments discovered and beloved in my life, with Spotlight Articles for every television show that has its own Web page, each such article pontificating on the importance of that television show and validating (or attempting to validate) my long allegiance to the particular television programme. And under an overall umbrella, as it were, alluding often to Jungian psychology, which does offer salient explanations for much of the artistic observations and hypotheses to which I tend to arrive. And I would include also the story of my life, as it has progressed through its many stages, me being introduced to and influenced by these productions. That is if I ever fully recover my urge to write.

This is all for April 17, 2007.


The past week has been one of sadness and life outlook re-evaluation, following the passing away of a cousin at age 44 of a brain aneurysm, the first death of a member of my generation in my extended family. It is the same condition that my mother now has, though of a less severe nature, I am told.

In view of this loss, and of increased awareness of mortality, somehow the oftentimes bitter laments that I have about contrary prevailing opinions on the Internet seem of much lesser consequence, and needlessly poisonous to one's emotional health, to which physical health is often viewed as being inexorably connected. To be sure, becoming agitated about anything is not the best course of action for one with a family history of neurovascular disorder.

This year, I have already decided against participating on Internet message boards and in other means of Internet discussion, a wise, stress-and-negativity-avoiding decision even before news of the death of my cousin. An improvement in outlook is in order, too- difficult though it is, in view of all that has happened on the Internet in the past several years.

Blessings are to be counted, for a start. Atlantic Canada weather has done a 180-degree turnaround and is now very warm- summer-like, in fact- and sunny, the snow of the past winter is almost completely melted. There are signs of improvement on some work concerns. And although 2007 is a disappointing year for DVD, there is always 2008. Provided I stay in good health, and avoiding hostility is essential to that, there is every reason to expect that I will live to see the DVD release of the balance of my desired works of the imagination. The arrogant invalidations of my favourites by younger, un-humble people on Internet forums of various kinds, should be put in the minuscule context that they deserve. Life is too short and too precious to waste time fretting about such. And it is time for me to continue on with the writing that I have been long intent on completing.

All for Tuesday, April 24, 2007.


Could 2007 be verging on a turnaround for DVDs of interest to myself? There is a very encouraging indication to this effect in my discovery that a DVD collection of Inspector cartoons is planned for July 24 release. From the total 119-minute run time of the DVD, given on the Amazon.com Website, it would appear that only half of the 34 Inspector cartoons will be on the single-disc DVD release. I am hopeful that they are the first 17 cartoons, with the remainder to achieve representation on shiny digital videodisc sometime later this year.

If only The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour would come to commercial DVD, I could then fully retire my small assemblage of DVD+R for which archival shelf life is widely reported to be dubious. But, alas, Bugs and the Road Runner constitute part of one televised lifelong fondness of mine not to have an appreciable following in its own right, and the component cartoon shorts thereon are unlikely to appear on DVD in anything other than their original theatrical release print format, if they all are so fortunate to reach DVD in any form.

Beautiful May weather has arrived, and I strive daily for sufficient occasion to bask in and enjoy it. I'm also planning an excursion to the Douglastown-Newcastle Miramichi area this coming summer after a long 7 years since my last such visit. Scheduling my days away from work at the optimum time for best weather will be a key concern in this regard. With the death of my cousin and a heightened more than ever awareness of mortality among my generation, I feel a need now to once again be in my childhood environs again and to possibly be with some of my same-age peers of yesteryear. At the very least, I want to be on that hallowed ground where I was once a carefree youngster, however much the buildings and vegetation upon that ground may have been changed. Sunny, mild weather would maximise the positive sensations in such a "homecoming".

All for today, May 3, 2007.


Friday, May 4 set a record for my Website. More than 200 "hits", mainly for my Spiderman Web page, which is understandably benefiting from the current public attention toward the web-swinging super-hero in the hoopla surrounding the third of the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man movies. I have not as yet seen Spider-Man 3 and plan to do so within the next week to ten days. I am trying to find some work colleagues with whom to see the movie at Fredericton's Empire Theatres, but scheduling and quest for shared interest in Spidey are so far proving problematic.

Cooler than normal temperatures persist in Atlantic Canada. There is snow in the forecast, daytime high temperatures are still below ten degrees Celsius, and on one of my walks yesterday, I saw some piles of snow in shaded places. 2007 is already rivalling 1982 for having one of the most interminable winters.

And latest indications are that my misgivings about 2007 as a year for Doctor Who and Warner Brothers cartoons on DVD, are about to be confirmed. Two less than stellar vehicles for Peter Davison as the Doctor have been announced for August release, and rumours are of yet more representation for late-1980s Doctors Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker. And there are reports of audio commentaries being recorded for two Warner Brothers cartoons of the 1930s. An omen of a LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION that skimps on the post-1948 cartoons and focuses on the earliest, black-and-white or bizarrely-paced colour cartoons with characters not in their ultimate forms? I expect lively applause for such a DVD collection from the people on the Internet message boards, people who would rather see little or no post-1948 cartoons on DVD.

As for myself, I would rather that the earlier cartoons be reserved for a separate DVD set for the aficionados of those, and the full post-1948 cartoon catalogue see release in GOLDEN COLLECTION format. But such is a "pipe dream", and if family medical history is any indication, I expect to be facing preoccupying health problems, if I am not already dead, by the time the GOLDEN COLLECTION range reaches its last volume.

Still, I persist in my more health-conscious intent at present. I have quit drinking carbonated beverages of all kinds, have added grape juice to my daily intake, am looking at levels of sodium on all food products, and plan, despite the weather, to augment my outdoor physical activity, walking ever more with each day this spring, summer, autumn. If I am doomed to suffer the fate of my cousin, I will "go down fighting".

All for today, May 5, 2007.


On May 16, 2007, it snowed in my area of New Brunswick. A 15-centimetre accumulation was forecast, and although such did not come to pass, because most of the snow melted as soon as it hit ground, the frozen precipitation event is a further noteworthy instance of a year of little or no spring in Atlantic Canada. And now, just ten days later, it is summer, with daytime high temperatures of 32 degrees. From winter to summer in less than a dozen rotations of the Earth.

But what lamenting I may have been inclined to do for lack of comfortable springtime weather and for what 2007 looked like for DVD, has been superseded by jumps for joy at a three-fold good news revelation, for Inspector cartoons will indeed arrive on DVD (either in two separate disc volumes or as a full, 2-disc release; it is undetermined as yet which of these the cartoon Inspector's coming to DVD will be), with a July 24 release date stated at Amazon.com. Then, in September, after 2 years of waiting, Granada/Network in the U.K. will compliment its fully restored and remastered Space: 1999 Season 1 DVD set released in 2005 with a second season collection of DVDs of similar film-to-digital-video transfers and a parallel amount of bonus material on a seventh disc. And later this year, the Doctor Who "Planet of Evil" serial will be on DVD with some intriguing supplemental content, including a documentary on the making of the 1975 Tom Baker vehicle, an audio commentary, and something called "Hidden Hinchcliffe". Highly edifying news, especially as I was doubtful of any "bells and whistles" on a "Planet of Evil" Doctor Who DVD when the BBC-contract company, 2|entertain, deigned to give the serial the DVD treatment. Summer and autumn this year bodes quite gratifyingly for me in terms of DVD after a rather disappointing first third of the year.

Now, then, for 2008, please do bring on "The Seeds of Doom" and some more of Jon Pertwee's time as the heroic Time Lord.

As regards Space: 1999- Season 2, I expect to be dazzled by the visual element of the episodes, totally clear of film grime, dirty optical effects, hairs, and colour timing errors. A & E's Season 2 DVDs, though looking very vivid, colourful, and eye-catching, are from 16-millimetre film prints of a somewhat less than pristine extraction from the original 35-millimetre film negatives. The upcoming Granada/Network DVDs will be from high-definition digital video transfers as the first season Space: 1999 Granada/Network DVDs are, coming directly from the film negatives. Of course, a showcasing of Space: 1999's discredited season must be heralded with matter-of-fact scorn. I do not expect anything but a negative message in the bonus content not as yet specified.

All for today, May 26, 2007.


Two Saturdays ago, I went to Fredericton's Empire Theatres to view Spider-Man 3. What follows is my assessment of the opus that had my attention for close to two and a half hours, punctuated by needing to pull insufficiently popped popcorn from my teeth.

I have rarely been one to hew slavishly to the mark of negative critical opinion, especially if a movie or television show is imaginative and involves outer space phenomena. Critics since the mid-1980s do seem disposed to deplore any meshing of our humdrum present-day world, or even Earthman of the near future, with the extraterrestrial. And I knew that Spider-Man 3 was to feature as one of its villains the black gooey alien Symbiote that would become Spidey's fearsome opposite number, Venom. Plus an advanced Computer Graphic Image rendition of the Sandman character known to me from Spiderman (1967-70).

As a caveat, however, there were aspects to the first two Spidey movies about which I had had distinct misgivings. Apart from some moments in the first Spider-Man where I had glimpses of the confident and appealing super-hero to whom I thrilled in my younger days, I was uncertain of Tobey Maguire's gravitas as a leading man outside of the Spidey suit. I wanted to see Spidey fully costumed as much as possible, not an unmasked Maguire. Next, I felt the emphasis on a love interest was excessive and detracted substantially from the action quotient of the movies and also from the portrayal of Spidey as an altruistic crime-fighter (it was his girl-friend being in trouble in Spider-Man 2 that restored Peter's latent Spidey abilities, not his desire to be a force for good in New York City). And I did not think it necessary for every villain to have a "back story" and to be made sympathetic. Spider-Man 3 continued these troubling movie-writing processes to exceedingly unpalatable proportions while fumbling a coherent and cogent portrayal of conflict between Spiderman and his antagonists and failing to "take advantage" of material in the first two movies to "set up" the storylines in this one, particularly the name-dropping in Spider-Man of a Daily Bugle photographer named Eddie, the introduction in Spider-Man 2 of astronaut John Jameson (who would be the logical means for bringing the Symbiote to Earth), and what one would expect to be an antagonism in J. Jonah Jameson for Peter after Mary Jane left Jameson's son at the altar to instead be with Peter. All of these were ignored, and a series of too convenient contrivances were "cooked up", or rather "half-baked", to bring the Symbiote to Peter and to generate rivalry between Peter and Eddie Brock, who we are now told never was at the Daily Bugle before this third instalment in the Spidey movie franchise. An unnecessary "back story" for the Sandman consumed much time in Spider-Man 3, and Sandy's motivations for villainy in the movie are disjointed at best, anyway. And in the main, we are subjected to heaps of relationship melodrama, much of which is contrived to give Peter cause to be angry so that the Symbiote can bond with him for a time, resulting in a, by Maguire, wince-inducing, unconvincing "turn to the wild side".

I would have envisioned John Jameson encountering the Symbiote in space or on the Moon, and a spectacular crash-landing of Jameson's space vehicle on Earth, Spidey assisting in rescuing John Jameson from the wreckage and thereby having his suit accidentally smeared with the black gooey Symbiote. Spidey soon has his new black skin and finds that he likes his improved abilities. Sandman, a villain by dint of simply being a maladjusted sociopath, his origin already having occurred sometime prior to start of the movie, would enact some fantastic and destructive crimes that black-suited Spidey would be in the process of foiling when Green Goblin Jr. Harry Osborn intrudes upon the scene and obstructs Spidey's effort to stop the Sandman, and then refuses to listen to Spidey's angry assertions that he did not kill Harry's father. Peter becomes frustrated and ever angrier with his inability to convince Harry of the truth. Following an inconclusive battle with Harry, preempted when Spidey must rescue some New York City citizens endangered in the destruction caused in the Spidey-Goblin Jr. conflict, young Osborn in addition to Sandman are still at liberty as a threat to Manhattan. Peter, driven by (1) his quest for Sandman and for Harry who is now lurking somewhere in the city and plotting a new angle of assault upon Peter/Spiderman, (2) the irritating presence of Eddie, whose work at the Daily Bugle is now praised by Jameson who resents Peter- until Peter humiliates Eddie over a fraud photograph, and (3) by an obsessiveness born of the Symbiote, can then have his relationship with Mary Jane start to sour somewhat like it does in the movie, with Harry's meddling complicating matters. Harry, becoming increasingly unbalanced in his exposure to the performance enhancer fluid, threatens Mary Jane's life at the church where Peter and she were going to marry, and Peter nearly kills him before realising that the Symbiote is exerting undesirable influence. Peter determines that the Symbiote must be purged from him and the ringing church bell enables this. Brock, being at the church in an effort to redeem himself with photographs of the Spidey-Harry battle, is then exposed to the residue of the Symbiote, and Venom wreaks havoc for the remainder of the movie. Peter himself could eventually persuade Harry to believe that Harry's unbalanced father was killed by his own glider blades, and gain Harry's help with Mary Jane's life in danger by Venom. No need for Gwen Stacy. No need for overlapping love triangles. No need for a return by the Sandman until a further movie. It would still be a sizable amount of story with which to contend, but it would flow much better than the bloated mess of improbable coincidences that is Spider-Man 3.

What we have is a Spider-Man 3 that looks like it became a victim of the dubious practises of the first two Spider-Man movies put into overdrive, and of director Sam Raimi's apparent dislike for the Symbiote from space that producer Avi Arad insisted be incorporated into the movie. Another overblown misfire by Hollywood.

Give me instead the Spiderman (1967-70) episodes produced by Ralph Bakshi which though delving into Peter Parker's personal life did not allow it to dominate or overtake Spiderman's super-heroism.

All for today, May 27, 2007.


On Saturday this past weekend, a mostly sunny, breezy summer Saturday, I opted for a different walking route than those which I have tended to chart over the past several years. And thus did I go by car to Fredericton's southside mall district, park the car at the Smythe Street Burger King, and stroll by where the old Plaza Cinemas once sat and then along Prospect Street, on which I had walked on many a day when I was in high school, to and from fast food restaurants and mall stores. The three years, 1981-2, 1982-3, and 1983-4, in which I was a student at Fredericton High School were, so far as my classroom and school corridor experiences were concerned, not very noteworthy, but I do vividly remember the routines as I passed through my last three years in the public school system, and how good my life was, all in all, away from school, back at home and around home. How pleased I always was, particularly in the warmer weather months, to be boarding the bus for home in the afternoons, and how often I thought of my friends around home and the fun to be had!

Yes, life was good then. Not so much when I was in Grade 10, but certainly in those years after summer of 1982 after Era 4 of my life had begun. Grade 12 (1983-4) was a very pleasant time for me. This past Saturday, as I walked the same route along Prospect Street that had brought me in 1981, 1982, and 1983 to the Wendy's restaurant from Fredericton High School and back again to the school from Wendy's, and as I crossed the soccer and football fields on the path I in 1983 and 1984 walked from Fredericton High to the then K-Mart Plaza and Burger King, and as I traversed the crosswalk at the traffic lights separating the southern grounds of Fredericton High from the Fredericton Mall, I was mentally travelling back in time, recalling the way of things in my life when I was putting one foot before the other in the same walking directions to same destinations more than 23 years previous.

How profoundly powerful is that longing to be again back there, in those bygone years in that era of my life! When I could depend, upon returning home, on seeing my friends, when my best friend Joey was just around a corner and up the street from me, when baseball games with Linden Crescent street-mate Craig and his company were an everyday occurrence, baseball games which on the whole were pleasureful and exhilarating, when my neighbourhood was alive with activity, fun, and frolic and I was part of that, and when I could show movies and television series episodes newly acquired, to friends. What glorious days those were! They were not altogether perfect, to be sure. Era 4 was not perfect. But then, what in life ever is? But those days, the memories of which alive with nostalgia aplenty, were possibly the closest to fulfilling perfection that I would ever experience in Fredericton, or indeed anywhere, including Douglastown. I pitched in and won most of the baseball games I played, favourite entertainments were filling my videocassette storage drawers, and I had willing co-watchers of those, something that in today's age of DVD and far superior picture quality, consistently eludes me.

The world made sense then. Life made sense. There was no evidence of any hostility or rancour on the part of a sizable, unified portion of the population, toward my favourite, elaborately imaginative television shows, cartoons, or movies. Casual, dismissive disinterest, perhaps, on the part of some random individuals. Disparaging remarks from typically abrasive early-teenaged peers at school. But not hostility or rancour in a unified movement of persons. Death had not touched my life beyond the loss of a few pets somewhat early in childhood (i.e. before age 10). My grandparents were alive. My long-lived third cat, Frosty, was alive at 7, 8, 9 years of age. I had experienced the divergence of a best friend, Michael from Douglastown, but I had other friends in Fredericton to compensate for that. I had known some very lonely times early in my Fredericton existence, but by 1982, those dismal days were seemingly behind me. Even if I did on an odd day have a less than edifying encounter with a friend of friends near to my Fredericton home, I could intuit fairly confidently that a new day's dawning would reset the relationship(s) to a positive aspect, that my friend(s) would be there for me again, and he or they were precisely that. Plus, there was no really jaded outlook upon anything I enjoyed watching. I was just starting to collect videotaped record of my beloved Space: 1999, and the episodes, despite less than top-quality picture, sparkled dazzlingly to depict a future that still seemed not only fantastic but within the bounds of imaginative possibility.

I miss everything that had been a part of those years. All of my friends and acquaintances. I miss some more than others, of course. But everyone had a place in my life back then, and we were all young, all of us unmarried, years away from the prospect of such commitment separating us from each other, responsibility beyond school studies was light, unfettered fun could be had day by day in the summer, arguably the best time of year, and I could come home from school on the final days of a school year, with the most exalted zeal for life. Of the 1983-4 school year, I fondly recalled, as I this past Saturday stood in front of Fredericton High School's western C-wing where the school bus loading zone was, the many sunny afternoons in autumn of 1983 on which I came out of the school, met my friend Tony (he was in Grade 10 when I was in Grade 12) who was in the process of boarding our bus (Bus 93) to Fredericton North, and talked with him about the Star Trek episode expected to air on WVII-TV that day at 6 P.M.. As I crossed Prospect Street to the Fredericton Mall, I remembered the Monday noon hours during which I, joined sometimes by Tony, would scurry to Beegie's Bookstore in the mall to look at TV Guide magazine's Maritime Canada edition with the next Sunday's television listings for CBHT in Nova Scotia and what Space: 1999 episode was going to air next down in Halifax/Dartmouth where someone was videotaping the television show for me. I remember coming home on the school bus, hoping to find, on the kitchen counter-table, videotape-recordings of Space: 1999 episodes telecast in Nova Scotia, and usually doing so, to my extreme delight! I remembered that in winter and early spring of 1984, I would spend time with Joey on Thursday evenings at his house on his invitation, and each Thursday at school, I would look forward to that. It was a very sweet year, 1983-4.

And I also have pleasant recall of 1982-3, too, of Spiderman being on CHSJ-TV each weekday afternoon at 4:30, and of watching some of the episodes, either on live broadcast or on my videotape-recordings, with Joey before going outdoors to play a winning game of baseball. Wonderful times, those were.

I shall be going back again to the Fredericton mall district this summer. The memories of the fourth era of my life are refreshed, reinvigorated whenever I indulge them from a location not revisited in years. And reminiscing about that era tends to bring tremendously pleasant feelings. I can channel my younger self and his much more idealistic, less defeated, less beleaguered frame of mind as regards favourite entertainment and the world and life in general.

But oh, how I wish I could go back and be in those times again!

All for today, Monday, June 25, 2007.


LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION DVD Volume 5 has been the subject of discussion of late on message boards on the Internet. Yes, I have broken my New Year's resolution to lurk on those in recent weeks. My curiosity as to DVD releases later this year was too powerful to resist a few glances at the cartoon discussion forums, among others. A preview trailer for Volume 5 in the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION range has appeared on Popeye DVDs released recently. While I have had scant use for the gratingly voiced, non-intellectual, singing sailor of dubious tastes in women and foodstuff, it is certainly pleasing, as always, to have advance knowledge of specific cartoon selections for the fifth box set of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, in as much as the images from the preview are representative of cartoons to be included in Volume 5 LTGC (abbreviation for LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION). It would appear that the first disc is to be an amalgam of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, consisting of a mix of pre- and post-1948 cartoon shorts, while Disc 2 would be dedicated to director Bob Clampett (yes, still more Clampett adulation, as if there was not enough of that in LTGC Volumes 2 and 3) with a number of black-and-white Porky Pig cartoons. Disc 3 is evidently going to be a cartoon fairy tales compilation, and Disc 4 looks like it is going to be filled with 1930s cartoons. A dire prospect for anyone desiring a sizable number of cartoons made after the 11 major Warner Brothers cartoon characters came into their definitive personas, i.e. Bugs the hero who retaliates when provoked, Daffy the hungry, vainglorious, excitable, and sometimes simply annoying promoter of self and various items, Tweety the innocent but spunky canary, etc... Only the fairy tale disc seems likely to be significantly satisfying to a Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies aficionado of my post-1948 leaning, and even that is likely to contain more than a few cartoons produced before 1948, and even before 1945. Several of the expected post-1948 cartoons do not appear to be most desirable, either. 24 cartoons have been identified as appearing in the preview trailer, and they are:

"Senorella and the Glass Huarache" (the final cartoon released to theatres before the 1964 closure of the Warner Brothers cartoon studio), "The Abominable Snow-Rabbit", "Paying the Piper", "Scrap Happy Daffy" (Daffy fighting Nazis during World War II) , "A Pest in the House", "Goldimouse and the Three Cats", "The Turn-Tale Wolf", "Buccaneer Bunny", "A Star is Bored", "Little Red Rodent Hood", "The Super Snooper", "The Stupor Salesman", "Hollywood Daffy", "The Old Grey Hare", "Red Riding Hoodwinked", "The Wacky Wabbit", "Bacall to Arms", "Little Red Walking Hood", "Prehistoric Porky", "Patient Porky", "The Daffy Doc", "Porky's Preview", "Milk and Money", "Bugs' Bonnets".

While the list above may appear to be generous as regards post-1948 cartoons, of the cartoon selections not listed, many (including all on the expected Clampett disc) will be pre-1948, and outside of perhaps "Beanstalk Bunny", "Tweety and the Beanstalk", "A Lad in His Lamp", and "Yankee Dood it", the fairy tale disc is probably going to be weighted down with a plethora of pre-1948 cartoons such as "The Trial of Mister Wolf", "Foney Fables", "Cinderella Meets Fella", "Jack-Wabbit and the Beanstalk", and "Pied Piper Porky", in addition to those already mentioned.

We are five volumes into the LTGC range, and Foghorn Leghorn has been more or less sidelined since two cartoons in Volume 1. There have been no Tasmanian Devil or Marvin Martian cartoons since Volume 1. Road Runner cartoons have been sparse since Volume 2. Likewise, the cartoons pitting Tweety against Sylvester. Pepe Le Pew has been underrepresented, and there has as yet been no Hippety Hooper cartoons. "Ali Baba Bunny" is a possibility for Volume 5, though it being absent from the preview trailer is not a promising sign. "Often an Orphan", "Curtain Razor", "Tree For Two", "High Note", "A Mouse Divided", "Hyde and Go Tweet", and many other cartoons that received very early attention in the VHS videocassette and laser videodisc ranges, are still unaccounted-for, to say nothing of ever so many Foghorn Leghorn cartoons, and dedicating a whole disc to 1930s cartoons before releasing these, is questionable marketing practice. Doubtless, the preeminent denizens of the Internet message boards who are contemptuous of the corpus of cartoons aired on network television via The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show and its Saturday morning television predecessors, will rejoice in heaps of pre-1948, pre-1940s cartoons "making the cut" this time. But will the general public who, I am assured by direct-contact correspondents, still favour the cartoon characters in their post-1948 modes of conduct and colourful, diverse and abstract milieus?

Oh, and the box set cover is hideous. The artwork, if that is what it could be called, looks of the children's-drawing calibre visualisations which adorned the jackets of public domain videotapes of the pre-1948 cartoons. I note the black-and-white film reels that entangle Daffy, indicating, I think, that this is indeed going to be heavy with black-and-white early cartoons. Unless the extra features are especially enticing, this may be the first time that I opt to forgo the LTGC box set and instead buy the economical Spotlight Collection containing half of the cartoon shorts and none of the bonus material in the LTGC.

At the end of the day, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour will be the only television show of my favour, to exist in my DVD collection solely as a set of non-commercial, i.e. "burned", DVDs made from inferior VHS videocassette recordings constructed to replicate as much as possible the television series as it once was. I even expect Rocket Robin Hood to eventually reach DVD and not The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour with its constituent cartoons and interstitial and wrap-around segments.

All for today, July 8, 2007. Expect more regular Weblog entries, and possibly Website updates, through July while I am on vacation from work.


One of the DVD releases that I was eagerly anticipating to counteract the doldrums so far of 2007 has been delayed until next year. Could the other intently awaited two DVD releases suffer the same fate?

Yes, the people at MGM have decided to put the Inspector cartoon DVD release into limbo until at least January 15, 2008. Lack of cover art on Amazon.com had me perplexed and worried for some weeks, and now the reason is depressingly obvious. Delayed release.

Alarm bells are sounding in my head at the total lack of information surrounding the planned September 10 release in the U.K. of Space: 1999 Season 2, and moreover the Doctor Who- "Planet of Evil" DVD still has not been officially announced.

The poor year that is 2007 could indeed persist for the full duration of its twelve months.

To be certain, as more news of LTGC Volume 5 comes forth, my expectations of its heavy slant toward pre-1948 cartoons appear verified. However, Disc 2 will now be the fairy tales one, and Disc 3 the Clampett tribute, and Disc 4 the compilation of early Porky Pig and other black-and-white cartoons. The choice, then, would be to buy the LTGC and discard Discs 3 and 4 or to go for the Spotlight Collection, if it consists of the cartoons on Discs 1 and 2. Some choice. And it looks tilted in favour of the latter option if as is being reported the one noteworthy extra feature in the LTGC will be a documentary already available on DVD, namely Chuck Jones- Extremes and in-Betweens, a Life in Animation.

Is it 2008 yet? Sigh!

All for today, a depressing Friday, July 13, 2007.



Woe for the Inspector today, July 24, 2007. No DVD for him.

It is July 24, and THE PINK PANTHER CLASSIC CARTOON COLLECTION: INSPECTOR CARTOONS DVD is nowhere to be found on the Internet or in the shops. Amazon.com has removed any mention of a release date from its product information Web page for the item, and all other Internet DVD vendors have the digital videodisc listed as "backorder only". There is zilch in information why this DVD release was essentially cancelled, though I do suspect that lack of consumer interest was a factor. I have rarely seen so scant an amount of pre-release reviews of a DVD on Amazon.com. The Inspector cartoons are the Rodney Dangerfields of the DePatie-Freleng/United Artists/Mirisch Corporation cartoon catalogue; they have never received the recognition and respect that they truly deserve. It is always the Pink Panther and the Ant and the Aardvark that are cited when The Pink Panther Show is mentioned or discussed.

This does not bode for the remainder of 2007 and the DVDs which I have been anticipating. The planned U.K. DVD release of Space: 1999- Season 2 for September 10 is following the same pattern as THE PINK PANTHER CLASSIC CARTOON COLLECTION: INSPECTOR CARTOONS. No images of its cover anywhere to be seen. No Internet news about it. Paucity of pre-release attention. One should, I suppose, be grateful for small mercies on this last score, in that whatever attention the second season of Space: 1999 ever receives tends to be of the mindless "dissing" variety that has become the only legitimate reception to anything involving Space: 1999's latter 24 episodes.

Believing that I am desperately in need of a proper vacation to alleviate the low morale associated with an abysmal 2007, I am planning a few days' visit to the Miramichi region of New Brunswick for sometime next week, July 30-August 2.

This Weblog rarely receives readers according to my Geocities statistics records, and I am considering discontinuing it. I shall see how I feel about this and other matters when I have returned from my travel to the Miramichi area.


Word on the Internet is now that (surprise, surprise!) the U.K. Region 2 Network DVD box set of Space: 1999- Season 2 has been delayed from its initially expected release date of September 10, 2007, completely off of the 2007 schedule and with only a vague reference to sometime in 2008 as the new time for which the box set can be expected to be ready for sale. That is now two for three, of the DVD releases that would have made 2007 a good year for me in terms of digital videodisc acquisition, that have gone down the proverbial drain, the first of which being the DVD of Inspector cartoons that was supposed to "street" on July 24. All 2|Entertain/BBC Enterprises need to do is to delay the Doctor Who- "Planet of Evil" DVD into 2008, and I will have a "hat trick" for the fizzling of anticipated DVDs for 2007. It certainly will be difficult to put together a 10-best list of 2007 DVDs at the end of the year.

I still have no news to report about the Inspector cartoons DVD. It has completely "fallen through the cracks" in DVD release schedules, leading me to believe that MGM Home Entertainment had scant faith in the product (scarcely surprising given the near total lack of outcry at the cancellation of the DVD) and opted not to proceed with it. A possibility of it being held back to be released to coincide with the theatrical premiere of a second unnecessary Pink Panther movie with Steve Martin as Clouseau, is little comfort as such a movie is unlikely to reach cinemas until first quarter of 2009, at the earliest.

Is it just me, or are projected DVD releases for years like 2009 or 2010 or later distinctly uninspiring? The more aware that one becomes of one's mortality, the more it seems to be folly to plan purchases of DVDs that much in advance, even if I am still alive and healthy and financial circumstances and priorities for me then are still conducive to collecting audio-visual media.

August 16, 2007.


I have not been updating my Weblog often in recent weeks, the two reasons for this being a much-needed holiday in my early-childhood area of New Brunswick and the other being yet another foray (in sorry contravention of my 2007 New Year's resolution) into discussion on an Internet message board. The first of these was a rather expensive but essential and quite overdue, pleasurable experience in a milieu of quite cherished significance, commencing Monday, July 30 and finishing Wednesday, August 1.

On the morning of July 30, I stepped aboard a bus of the former S.M.T. company (now called Acadian) for transportation 100 miles north to the Newcastle-Douglastown-Chatham Miramichi region of my Canadian home province of the past 38 years. It was a drizzly morning, but the precipitation stopped part of the way on my bus journey, and the weather was mostly overcast and rather humid on my arrival in Newcastle at around 2 P.M. While on the bus as it was readying to leave Fredericton at 11:30 that morning and as it was en route to Miramichi City, and as I was looking through the bus window, I had vivid flashbacks to being on S.M.T. buses in the 1970s, mostly during the years that I lived in Douglastown but also following a stay in Douglastown with my friend Michael on Remembrance Day weekend in 1977, some months after I had moved to Fredericton. My mother and I travelled by bus from Newcastle to Fredericton several times in 1972-7 to visit my grandparents whilst my father needed our car to go to his workplace in Chatham; he would often join us later during a weekend at my grandparents' house in Fredericton and car-drive my mother and myself back to Douglastown with him. A particularly memorable weekend for such a procedure was that of May 16-19 in 1974. My mother and I were bused to Fredericton on the Friday morning and met at the Fredericton bus depot by my grandfather, and my father did not come to Fredericton until the Sunday; he audiotape-recorded for me in Douglastown on television station CKCD the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour episode (instalment 10 containing "A Pizza Tweety Pie", "The Unmentionables", etc.) that Saturday and brought the audiocassette with the desired recording for me to listen to (I had seen it at my grandparents' house on CHSJ-TV on the same Saturday), when he came to Fredericton.

Just being on an S.M.T. (Acadian) bus again after not having been on one for many, many years was bound to have nostalgic effect. And I was going "home", to Newcastle, to Douglastown, the area where I had more or less come into being in terms of personality, sensibility, tastes. I had a comforting feeling within my soul that I had not experienced in a substantial number of years. I had not been back to New Brunswick's Miramichi region since 2000 and was uncertain of what I might find in my 1972-7 childhood community. But nonetheless, as the bus neared Newcastle and when I stepped off of the bus onto Newcastle pavement outside of the new Acadian bus depot situated at the Miramichi train station in Newcastle, I felt very mellow! I opted to travel as "light" as I could because I anticipated a lengthy walk from the bus depot to my hotel (the Lakeside Inn and Suites) on King George Highway in Newcastle near to the Dairy Queen fast-food restaurant and thence from the hotel to a rental car business many blocks distant, past the fork in the road where the Old King George Highway splits away from King George Highway main. The humid weather had me sweating as I walked the distance, stopping at Dairy Queen for a late lunch of my traditional Dairy Queen Newcastle favourite, a chili dog and French fries, cooked exactly as it had always been. And once I had the rental car, onward I went to Douglastown.

I was pleased to find the wood, brick, mortar, and pavement of "upper Douglastown" where I once lived, to be mostly the same as when I last saw it in 2000. The old McCorry homestead was still there, with a single change to the garage structure (windows replacing the rear-side doors facing the church hall behind it) and one modification to the windows in the house's back porch. The row of evergreens along the edge of the very back of the yard had been removed, but somehow their removal made the backyard look more like it had appeared in the early 1970s.

Two houses from my former Douglastown residence, I saw the grandparents of my childhood friends, Johnny and Rob. I then visited with my sitter on Kearney Street a couple of blocks past the old Douglastown Elementary School. Next, I surveyed the mall area of Douglastown before having Pizza Delight dinner in Newcastle. Then, a walkabout in downtown Newcastle, with the discovery that Gallivan's Bookstore, one of my most frequent purchasing stops in the 1970s, had ceased operations since my last Miramichi City visit in 2000. And following that, it was back to Douglastown and to the home of Sandy, friend of mine and mutual friend to a schoolmate and pal of mine, David F., and in the late 1980s himself a cohort in conversation on imaginative works of entertainment and real-life matters. Sandy and I talked until sunset about his school custodian work and some of the Hollywood opuses of cinema of the past 8 or 9 years. On the following day, Tuesday, three visits, one with my friend Michael's older brother and father in Michael's house which holds many memories, and the other two with the surviving parents, mother and father respectively, of my friends Kevin MacD. and Ev. Michael and Kevin MacD. are, I was told, successful in career and living happily with significant others in respective cities of Toronto and Calgary. Ev still lives in Miramichi City, in Newcastle on the Old King George Highway quite close to the trailer park where I resided in my pre-school years. He is married with a child and works both as radio announcer and educator. I knocked at Ev's door three times but was not there at a time when he was at home.

The remainder of my stay in the Miramichi area was spent driving my rental car about Newcastle, Douglastown, and Chatham and sightseeing, looking at many of the places known in my childhood, as possible. I spent a sizable amount of time in and around the former Douglastown Elementary School , now the Rankin House museum and Miramichi tourism office, remembering many a school day in Grades 1 to 5. I also stepped out of the rental car and walked around the exterior of the Croft Elementary School in Newcastle where I would have attended school in Grade 6 had I not moved to Fredericton in 1977.

It is always gratifying to learn of my friends' lives and of their success. Still, in regards to my closest friends of my Douglastown years, 1972-7, I remain unable to meet with them, mend fences- if need be- in some cases, and bond with the people with whom I was boys- a powerful urge in my life lately in view of my cousin's death and my increased awareness of my own mortality and a need for contact with others of my age group. Most particularly with persons of that age group who were friends with me early in life, persons who could relate to how I was feeling under the circumstances, being of the same age- or nearly the same age. Such was a major reason for my wanting this year to go to Douglastown again after not visiting there for nearly 7 years. Not being able to see and talk with my old friends, Michael, Ev, Kevin MacD., Rob, and others, is, of course, quite naturally disappointing. However, I was pleased by the reaction by Kevin's mother to my bringing with me some Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour DVDs (my reconstructions of the episodes) to give to Kevin for viewing, and her comment that Kevin would very much enjoy those. Being able to bring to those friends something of our shared past and of my enduring, though beleaguered, favour, compensates somewhat for not being able to re-meet them on my return to our past shared habitat. Channelling their potential enjoyment of the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour episodes gives to me something of a morale boost, as too did being in the places of my early childhood for a few days.

I am determined that I shall someday see those old friends again. Granted, my resolve, supported by hope, does sometimes waver with an incoming and outgoing tide of pessimism and despondency which I have been experiencing over the past twenty years. As I have not seen or spoken with those childhood friends in 15, 19, 27, or 30 years, the reality of such a time span can sometimes be quite taxing on optimistic expectation, even though I can, and do, dream about being with those friends again, still fairly frequently. One must never lose hope, as has been said in many an enjoyed entertainment, in many a statement on the power of positive thinking.

A day or two after my return to Fredericton from my Miramichi excursion, my mother referred me to a newspaper article about members of Generation X realising that friends of one's youth are proving more and more to be the only real friends possible, that friendships formed and cultivated in adult life tend to be rather shallow, fraught with frequent misunderstanding, and short-lived. Such has been true for me, I am afraid to say. The newspaper item said that older friendships tend to survive while the newer ones "burn themselves out" within just a couple of years. And that this is because of a spiritual bond, a deeply rooted connection shared by friends in the process of "growing up", side-by-side. I did note that the newspaper article concentrated on high school friendships, mentioning practically nothing about the relationships between friends as juveniles or as pre-high-school teenagers. Perhaps my fate is sealed in as much as I did not have peer friends in high school in Fredericton? Might high school peers be the only possible source of lifelong friendship? No. I will not, will not, relent to such depressing thoughts. Not even while I experience further tribulation as a participant of, it seems, solitary persuasion on the Internet discussion forum.

So, yet again I ventured to offer comment on entertainments of nostalgic and aesthetic interest. Entertainments which are currently not in favour by the majority of Internet forum participants. On the Zeta-Minor Roobarb's DVD Forum, I joined a couple of discussions as regards Doctor Who. Specifically, the 1963-89 Doctor Who television programme in terms of DVD releases of serials that I would like to see on shiny digital videodisc, serials of which my fidelity is seldom matched or appreciated, and the 2005- iteration of the eccentric Edwardian alien space-time-traveller concept, the aspects thereof that one finds to be not to one's liking. I put forward single postings in contribution to these two discussions and departed. I later discovered the standard retorts and the usual accusations of inconsistent or contradictory posturing and of being insufficiently considered. I did this time resist the impulse to defend my viewpoint. One of the challenges to me invoked a comparing of 2005- Doctor Who to Season 2 Space: 1999 and saying that if I like the latter for light-hearted characterisation (which is a very simplistic, generalised assessment in any case), I ought to enjoy current Who and its lead character's pixie demeanour. Oh, yes, the predicament of human wanderers through space needing some respite, some relaxation, from a protracted, hazardous trans-stellar odyssey should be regarded same as an alien Time Lord having lived for many hundreds of years and nearing the inevitable end of his regenerative cycle and life span. As though the circumstances of one are totally analogous to those of the other. When in fact the latter almost cries out for sombre characterisation. But I did make my initial contribution to the discussion "threads" and "left it at that".

As regards Home Theatre Forum's annual discussion of Warner Home Entertainment's upcoming LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION volume and the list of cartoon shorts to be included therein (that list has now been revealed in full), I lamented there being a mere nineteen post-1948 cartoons in this year's volume compared to forty-one pre-1948 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, a configuration of DVD box set content cheered, as usual, by the legions of pundits of Bob Clampett and other directors exclusively pre-1948 in work for Warner Brothers, as being ideal- and perhaps the way of things for all subsequent volumes if the Internet "right-think" "gestalt" community is to be the guiding force in cartoon selection for the LTGCs.

Where this "gestalt" came from and how it gained momentum is perplexing. A decade ago, Chuck Jones' cartoons of the late 1940s and the 1950s were considered the outstanding and essential creations of the cartoon output of Warner Brothers' studios, by most all respected writers on the subject of the animated cartoon. But today, one is unlikely to find even a sizable minority of people on the Internet who believe the Chuck Jones cartoons of the 1950s and also those of Jones' cartoon-director colleagues, Friz Freleng and Robert McKimson, are worthy of much positive attention. They are not worthy as art, say today's experts, and in most instances not even as quality entertainment.

Yet, in deference to the work that had been done in studying and gleaning cogent interpretation from the works of Jones, Freleng, and McKimson of the 1948-64 time frame, in consideration of the very real statistic of there being some 11 to 13 "leading" characters of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies stable, some of whom sparsely represented thus far in the LTGC range after 5 of the 10 planned volumes therein, and in expressing a feeling of slighting in the fact that directors of exclusively pre-1948 are having dedicated DVDs centred on cartoons of their helming while Jones, Freleng, and McKimson have yet to receive that honour, I thought it necessary to state my objection to the way that the upcoming volume of LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION is oriented.

In reaction, I received the usual statistics report on cartoons released on the GOLDEN COLLECTIONs thus far per director and per decade of production, lectures from people young enough to be my sons (why has age distinction become taboo on the Internet, when everywhere else it is emphasised very much indeed?) on how "ridiculous" my complaining is, and quite soon after I replied to some of those retorts, there came the inevitable condescending call for me to put a stop to my "craziness", along with an assertion that the cartoons that I admire are not "as good" as the better ones of earlier years of cartoon output and a comment about me being obsessed and therefore, I presume, of zero credibility or worth as a writer on the particular subject. The same sort of tactic so decisively utilised against me regarding another opus of the imagination, Space: 1999.

What now always happens on this particular subject is, quite similar to what I experienced in Space: 1999 fan circles, that the people favouring the earlier "half" of the body of work, dominate the dedicated fan community. And anyone else bar myself who happens to think highly of the latter portion of the oeuvre, stays silent or "puts himself or herself down" if he or she ever feels so brash as to state a liking or fondness for the material being disdained, disapproved of, or downplayed by the prevailing "group-think". I bemoan the process by which the "group-think" dominates and by which it proclaims a "consensus" among all people of consequence. And I protest the preference of the members of that "camp" (to whom the deciders at Warner Brothers seem very much attentive) for LTGCs to be constantly constructed as two-thirds pre-1948 cartoons. And so does it become me versus combined challenges to my position on the matter. My most vocal detractor(s) soon brand me a hypocrite for advocating less esteem, less representation on DVD for the "half" of the body of work that I do not rate highest.

Yes, I do admit to feeling some impulse to resent, frown on, or at least downplay, the earlier cartoons. But this is the effect- not the cause- of prevailing opinion on the Internet becoming contrarily locked-tight against the body of cartoons that I fancy and by which I am inspired. And also the effect of this opposing mode of thought becoming "right-think" while I was uploading articles about 1948-64 cartoon symbologies, etc., onto the Internet. I was actually willing to regard the pre-1948 cartoons (I shall call them pre-1948s henceforth in this Weblog, and their successors, post-1948s) as essential links in the Warner Brothers cartoon development chain and to be open-minded and receptive to a study of their possibly signifying or aesthetically interesting aspects, if articles in regards to subtle meanings and such, were forthcoming.

But I simply thought (and I have seen scant rational basis for rejecting such thought) that the cartoons with the many "star" cartoon characters in the personas and forms that are Warner Brothers studio signatures now and for decades prior to now, including the most celebrated cartoons of all time ("Rabbit of Seville", "Duck Amuck", "What's Opera, Doc?", "High Diving Hare", "Birds Anonymous", "Hillbilly Hare", "Beanstalk Bunny", "Betwitched Bunny", "Lovelorn Leghorn ", "Little Boy Boo", "Claws For Alarm", "Ali Baba Bunny", etc., etc.)- along with other "second-tier" characters (Ralph Wolf, Sam Sheepdog, Goofy Gophers, Hubie and Bertie, Claude Cat, Frisky Puppy, Hippety Hopper, Sylvester Junior, Charlie Dog, the Three Bears) and their cartoons plus "one-shot wonders" (such as Michigan J. Frog in "One Froggy Evening")- are not only unassailable but the ultimate creations of the cartoon department at Warner Brothers. This was what authors of books were saying for many years. Further, relatively unheralded 1950s cartoons that I have been lauding with copious examples of nuance and meaning, that also came out of the post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoon "factory", ought also to be receiving favourable evaluation.

Indeed, if the people dominating the Internet in this "new age" of glory for the pre-1948s- and of eclipse of the post-1948s- were willing to give the cartoons of the latter "half" of Looney Tune and Merrie Melodie cartoon production their due appreciation, I would be inclined to look more kindly upon the previously made cartoons that did not inspire me in my upbringing and first decades of adulthood. Provided that compelling contemplation of them beyond praises of lively, extravagant animation, was put forward. But such Internet people are not so-willing. And so, I chafe at the idea that I must accept theirs as the definitive viewpoint, that I must "shut up" as I have been told to do in those precise words, and retire to my "cubby-hole" keeping my affection and appreciation of the cartoons unto only myself, with no hope for communing with other people in my particular range and extent of interest, now or in future, while LTGCs from now onward, are dominated by pre-1948 cartoons, and littered with unfavourable commentary at times on the post-1948s. Why cannot people comprehend my vociferous objection to this?

I am also lectured that not everybody was weaned exclusively on the cartoons aired on television within The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show. No, but how many people experienced in their upbringing only the post-1948 cartoons on television with no knowledge of the pre-1948s? And in comparison, how many people "came of age" solely on a diet of black-and-white Bosko, Buddy, or Porky Pig cartoons? Surely not as many in the latter case. And therefore, pandering equally to them, or more to them, as/than to the multitudes of my and preceding generations (casual though interest in the cartoons may be on the part of most such people) to whom the post-1948s were shown on television in compilations produced and logoed by Warner Brothers, does not seem sensible. I say again that there are very few persons who grew to adulthood with no awareness and liking of the Warner Brothers cartoons of 1948-64 or 1948-69, but there are, conversely, many, many people who "grew up" exclusively with the post-1948s, to which most of the pre-1948s are exceedingly dissimilar. I know that most of the contributors to Internet discussion of Warner Brothers cartoons favour the pre-1948s, but the general public at the present time and for the most part do not prefer those. Someday, maybe this will change, due mainly to the fact that post-1948s are not televised while the pre-1948s are aired on television specialty channels of expanding viewership- and I find that alarming.

Even now, despite The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show and its predecessors (every cartoon short therein post-1948) being touted as the most popular Saturday A.M. television shows of all time, nobody ever seems to join me on my crusade of sorts against the currently fashionable (amongst the "serious" cartoon buffs) movement away from the post-1948s. It may be because such people feel intimidated by the sheer number of the pre-1948s pundits and by the glib and cocky way that those pundits speak or write. Or it could be that they do not care anymore.

Whatever the reason, the dominant cartoon "fans" of the Internet are quite zealously confident that the "true" cartoon buffs who care to contribute to discussion on the Internet are all like themselves. It is only the general public, they say, who are insufficiently discerning to see that the "true" cartoon aficionados' favourites, the pre-1948s, are the ultimate, definitive, important Warner Brothers cartoons. Someone such as me, writing articles about the post-1948s, is an invalid entity to be generalised out of existence, more or less. Within another generation, the post-1948s will be marginalised so much on television and on commercial audio-visual media, that the pendulum will swing to the pre-1948s among by the then so much better learned general populace. So the cartoon buffs would have it, anyway.

Somebody needs to call a halt to this. Are the people of my generation who grew to adulthood with The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show to have no successors in generations to come? Are people with a more in-depth interest than most in the post-1948s really deserving of inconsequential minority branding? Now and even more so in future?

No. The post-1948s are the definitive, more important cartoons, and it is not only because I spent more than three decades of life being cognitively imprinted by them, that I think so.

I am not interested in the pre- and post-1948 equality of representation on DVD argument that keeps being thrown in my face. The post-1948s should be the dominant selections in number. Why? Because those are what feature major characters in their most famous, definitive, imaginative conflicts with their most noted foes in vividly visualised locales or historical times or literary situations, said characters' series of cartoons being mostly, near totally, or totally, of the post-1948 production time period. Those are the cartoons with the most variety of setting or situation and with the most vividly abstract and impressionistic depictions. Not that there are not some interesting locations or whatever in the pre-1948s, but there was a long development time through the 1930s that need not be completely brought to shiny digital videodisc (at least not in the main GC range) while so many of the 1950s cartoons are left in limbo. And as to the unsubtle wartime cartoons with ethnic or racial stereotyping and humour based on the stereotyping paramount in the stories, if there were stories at all in the cartoons (instead of a sequence of sporadic wartime gags strung together or characters singing as they zanily act destructively), I note the historical significance of those though not necessarily their allegorical, symbological, or aesthetic contribution to the overall body of work.

It really was not until after World War II and where the triumvirate of Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, and Robert McKimson settled (with few exceptions) on character depictions and character definitions and character motivations and the directors and writers began to fully explore space and time as milieu for character interaction and conflict and moved away from the woodland Bugs-and-Fudd hunting cartoons, cat-and-bird-in-a-generic-house situations, and so forth, that the cartoons of Warner Brothers reached their ultimate successful format that would see television broadcast in intriguing compilations on a network basis for four decades. Not that some of these sorts of less imaginative cartoon prospectus stopped completely, but the incidence of them was less.

Such is my contention, and I have elucidated my bases for thinking thus. I do not advocate excluding the pre-1948s from DVDs (although I wish I had the option to do that like I was able to do with VHS videotape or laser videodisc in the days when MGM/UA Home Entertainment, not Warner Home Entertainment, held the videocassette and laser videodisc distribution rights to the pre-1948 colour cartoon catalogue). However, I would be in favour of limiting them, not the post-1948s, to one-third of the total of cartoon shorts in each volume. With regard to relative quality or significance of cartoons on either side of the 1948 "demarcation", I have presented quite, if I must say so myself, sophisticated articles in favour of suggestion and of correspondence of themes or images in post-1948s. These are insights that by right ought not to rest on par with mere opinions that cartoon A "sucks" or cartoon B is "lazy farce" or cartoon C is not as fluidly or abundantly funded and animated. A pre-1948 cartoon or indeed a feature-length movie today may have heaps of money spent in its production and be technically very energetic, and yet signify nothing for all of its sound and fury. At least, nobody to my knowledge has attested to there being symbolisms, foreshadowing, or subtly meaningful imagery or characterisation in the pre-1948s. Only that the technical animation is of high standard. I do not dispute that. But surely that is not what cartoons as art form are only about, or even mainly about.

At the risk of appearing obsessed and having allowed myself to become agitated, I have commented at some length on this matter and propose now to put it aside and to concentrate on other subjects for awhile on this Weblog.

August 18, 2007.


Hot summer weather appears to be finished as the last few days have seen temperatures at or slightly below 20 degrees. Celsius, of course.

I have in recent days finally made a start on writing my Era 6 (1992-7) memoirs. I am fairly confident that I can stay motivated enough to bring that section of my autobiography to a finish before this year is done. Goodness knows, there is a paucity of very appealing (to me, personally) DVD releases to pull my attention away from writing. I am, in fact, feeling my usual very retrospective self this time of year, and even though Era 6 contains not much to reminisce about, I do have an urge to revisit the past, an urge that I believe I can channel into some substantial amount of progress toward an up-to-date degree of autobiography completion.

In the past week, I have found myself flashbacking to 1984. To August thereof, to be precise. To the days of a calendar that, from March onward, exactly matches, in terms of days of week in relation to month dates, that of this year. I have had vivid remembrance of the days of August 18, 19, 20, and 21, 1984 whereon I was playing outdoors around my house with Joey and other denizens of the Linden Crescent and Longwood Drive area of Fredericton North, spending a Sunday afternoon, August 19, 1984, with Joey closest by my side as people of our friendship or acquaintance were with us, watching television in my room with Joey on the rainy afternoon of Monday, August 20, and on Tuesday, August 21 beginning a series of days upon which I worked as a golf caddy at the Fredericton Golf and Curling Club and after work came home at around 3 P.M. to play baseball with Craig and company, and with Joey joining us for a number of those baseball games. What splendid times those were! How deeply do I long to be back in the way of things of summer, 1984, when Joey was with me for hours at a time and before I started to slump at baseball later in the year!

I am also very much aware that 2007 marks a 20-year time passage since the collapse of Era 4 (1982-7), the end of day-by-day companionship and communication between Joey and I and the near end of many of my other social connections in the Fulton Heights neighbourhood of Nashwaaksis. It is a solemn thought, for sure. 20 years since so much came to an end. An unfavourable change of which many of the disagreeably new conditions still are felt in my life. It does not seem like that long ago. Nor do the many excellent times in the years before 1987. Indeed, if I could transport my consciousness today into my body of, say, 23 years ago, I could very easily slip back into living in the social structure and ways of my neighbourhood of those days. I would naturally miss DVD, the one twenty-first century technological boon that I would miss (yes, I would gladly forsake the Internet), but I believe that I could cope with that. Indeed, in a very real sense, I never really left my pre-1987 world. Certainly not of my own accord and not without a tremendous amount of anguish, detrimentally protracted bitterness, and regret. Yes, quite a few seas have passed under bridges since the end of my best life era in Fredericton, and my perspective on that end and of its causes is, I think, far more accurate than it had been, but, oh, how I still miss how things were back before 1987, and my best friend and everyone else with whom I was socially a part, the pre-1987 youth group of Linden Crescent, Woodmount Drive, and Longwood Drive, and the immediate surrounding area!

While in Douglastown a few weeks ago, I was browsing through CD-Plus in the Northumberland Square (Douglastown Mall) when I discovered two box sets of The Forest Rangers- Season 1. Yes, that vintage, filmed-in-colour CBC television series produced before I was born and airing in reruns weekday afternoons on CBC in the mid-1970s and reappearing on YTV in the late 1980s and on Showcase and on TV Land Canada in still later years, has been released to shiny digital videodisc by a Canadian company of DVD distributor. And earlier this year, so did the CTV family viewing television staple, Swiss Family Robinson. While I quite like to occasionally watch a Forest Rangers episode, I am not quite so dedicated as to buy Forest Rangers DVDs, at least not yet. Though who knows? If the relegating of pre-1990s television programmes to more and more "fringy" specialty cable television channels, if not burying them altogether, continues, DVD may be the only hope of retaining them for one to watch and enjoy. The Forest Rangers is a prime example of a yesteryear television show that aired on a national broadcast network (CBC) then on quite widely accessible specialty television (YTV)- at least on a broadcaster that can be found within the Channel 2-to-20 range in most basic cable television packages, and then on an "upper-tier" cable television channel, and then on digital cable television (in Fredericton, on Channel 293), before disappearing from telecast. Swiss Family Robinson has been in oblivion, where airing on television is concerned, for many years now. Though I did watch it fairly often as a young lad (I seem to recall running home in Douglastown to watch it on a Friday night in 1974 or 1975, but that must be my memory tricking me, as Swiss Family Robinson was not made for airing on CTV until 1976), I am rather less inclined to want to revisit it, in that when I last had occasion to view it, on ATV/CTV in the mid-1980s on Saturday mornings, many of the episodes seemed to feature the little girl menaced by wild animals and screaming to extraordinarily high pitch. Still, Chris Wiggins was watchable, and listenable, as ever, and I seem to recall appreciating the family "spirit" of that television programme about people of the 1700s marooned on an island- and with a moral to most episodes, too. I am glad that it, also, has reached DVD. I just hope that for these two television series, their time in the "DVD sun", as it were, is not short-lived like has been the case with television shows of the past having Canadian talent or production facilities involved in their making, Spiderman (1967-70), whose 2004 DVD box set from Buena Vista Home Entertainment has quietly gone out of print, being the most glaring example of late of this tendency.

The question arising is, what about another DVD release of a television programme of the past which had some substantial contribution by Canadians? Rocket Robin Hood. Even a very ephemeral DVD box set, available commercially long enough for me to purchase a couple of them, comprising the totality of the Space Age exploits and excursions of Rocket Robin and the Merry Men, would be sweet indeed. And the whole of the 52-episode run of the television series could fit onto 4 DVDs, if the character descriptions were only used once as a bonus on the final DVD in the box set instead of within every episode.

If The Forest Rangers and Swiss Family Robinson can be put onto commercial DVD, even if just in Canada (as seems to be the case now for those), then why not Rocket Robin Hood, too? Second and third seasons, at least, for their wildly impressionistic visualisations and the extremely imaginative stories.

August 22, 2007.


A peculiar mix of weather this past week. First windy and very cool with morning frost warnings, and then later in the week so hot as to require activation of air conditioner.

The episodes of The Edge of Night at AOL.com have reached January, 1980 in sequence of presentation at the AOL.com Website. Storylines are now at where Dr. Miles Cavanaugh has repeatedly and unwittingly drunk drugged H20 from his office water cooler and is having paranoid delusions of his wife having extra-marital relations with Police Chief Derek Mallory. Meanwhile, Draper Scott is about to learn the truth about his mother-in-law Margo Huntington's negative interference in his being considered for a New York law firm job, and Margo's refusal to divorce her gold-digging, philandering husband, Elliot Dorn, is setting into motion her eventual murder by the increasingly unhinged has-been actress, Nola Madison (who drugged Miles' water after Miles discovered her barbiturates-laced fruit cake given by her to Deborah Saxon, with whom Nola's estranged husband was in love). Nola's latest love interest is Elliot Dorn, whom she wants Margo to divorce. Draper will be blamed for and found guilty of Margo's murder and sent to jail, escaping police custody during a train wreck (a la The Fugitive) and losing his memory, to be brought into the household of the Gault family. On watching the episodes again, I can discern how intricately the story strands were developed and knitted together. Again, The Edge of Night can be viewed at AOL.com at http://video.aol.com/video-category/edge-of-night/1917.

This past week, I attended the Fredericton Exhibition for the first time in twelve years. Although I am much too old for any of the amusement park rides and felt rather too self-conscious about playing any of the games, I did enjoy the stroll through the Exhibition grounds and buildings, and the taste of popcorn after a few swallowings of cotton candy along with the accompanying smell of candied apples and the noise of the rides and the young people on them was a pleasant and tender reminder of yesteryear, when I was a wide-eyed child at the Miramichi Exhibition and an older though still fun-loving person on the earlier side of twenty years-old in Fredericton. When I could come home from the Exhibition in either Chatham or Fredericton and be assured of a visit quite soon from a friend or friends. Ah, the memories. Sigh.

It looks like the Doctor Who- "Planet of Evil" DVD release is coming on schedule in October. I feel confident that it shall redeem the otherwise unsatisfying and sometimes frustrating year that has so far been 2007.

September 9, 2007.



Image of the front cover of a Space: 1999 novel, The Forsaken, published by Powys Books.

This month, I decided, finally, to buy some of Powys Books' Space: 1999 paperback novels. The price of them at $15 in American greenbacks had been something of a deterrent. As too had been the intention in the books to try to bridge Seasons 1 and 2 of the television series and expand upon both of the seasons with original storylines spun from each. While in principle I should welcome such a project (Season 1 expansion excepted as I do not think there to be room, chronologically, for further stories), I was dubious as to how an expansion of the cosmic peregrinations of Space: 1999's Moonbase Alpha would be handled, especially in a bridging of Seasons 1 and 2, knowing as I do how the fans tend to allow their be-all-and-end-all anti-Season 2 bias to jaundice, or maybe I should just say, shape, their conception of what would be acceptable in additional storytelling, i.e. downplaying or disparaging style, situations, places of Season 2 and emphasising those of Season 1. However, I learned that the paperback novels that have been available for the past few years are soon to go out-of-print, and I therefore thought that I had better plop down my money and buy them now if I was ever to read them at their current cost.

And so, I did precisely this, ordering The Forsaken and Survival from Amazon.com at a combined price of thirty U.S. dollars, plus postage fee. Actually, early in 2006, I spent upwards of one hundred U.S. dollars to buy the hard-covered Space: 1999 Year Two Omnibus directly from Powys Books, having not been able to resist temptation to see Michael Butterworth rewrite his Space: 1999 second season episode novelisations to adhere them to the sequence of episodes delineated by Dr. Helena Russell's Moonbase Alpha status reports. I discovered that further work had been done by the editors at Powys Books to tie the Space: 1999 Year Two Omnibus (I have come to loathe the designation of the second season of Space: 1999 as "Year 2", but reasons for that are best left for my memoirs still in process of assembling) to story arcs established in the paperback original novels. I found the Space: 1999 Year Two Omnibus to all in all be an admirable and satisfying effort. I did think many of the so-called fixes to alleged "plot holes" to be unnecessary and by times arguably not in accordance with the dates given by Dr. Russell in the television series' episodes or certain other story developments. And I found Michael Butterworth's preface to the book rather less than pleasing, to put it mildly, its message being to the effect that the story material is of no artistic value and ought to be way beneath a really mature, intelligent person's sensibility, but that the author condescends to write the Space: 1999 Year Two Omnibus manuscript, not because Space: 1999 is intrinsically "any good" but only out of regard for the legions of kind, productive people to whom it appealed when they were unsophisticated teenagers.

So typical this is of the way of things of the past 20 years. Space: 1999- Season 2 must first be derided utterly before it can be presented to a consumer. I seem to recall being told that the BBC in the United Kingdom scorned Season 2 of Space: 1999 in its "coming next" promotional advertisements of its broadcasts of same in the late 1990s. No doubt the fans who hate Season 2 are delighted to see or hear this negative branding of the unloved, by them, second Space: 1999 production block, in an officially sanctioned product, yet, by Granada International- and never does anybody see or care how blinkered, and guiding and encouraging to be blinkered, that the branding is. Needless to say, Mr. Butterworth's preface put a sour note straight-away upon my experience of reading the Space: 1999 Year Two Omnibus. If only he could have simply said that it was his pleasure to rework his episode novelisations for the splendid people who supported the initial product, and refrained from the unfavourable designation of Space: 1999 as insufficiently kitschy kitsch, among other things, I would have been deeply grateful and appreciative. However, as I have been frequently told, I, being a keen aficionado of the content of Season 2, am of minuscule significance, am deluded, and ought never to count. Oh, yes, of course.

But as regards Powys' other Space: 1999 efforts, including the Space: 1999 Year 1 Omnibus which has been expected to be released for sale sometime these last couple of years, I was prepared to suspend misgivings about the potential portrayal of the differences between the two Space: 1999 seasons and about the all too probable miscarry of an attempt to explain the differences, and to give to The Forsaken and Survival an open- and fair-minded reading.

Having digested nearly all of The Forsaken, into which I chose first to delve as it was said to occur before Survival in Moonbase Alphan timeline, I was pleasantly surprised by many of the concepts and by the story structure and by the very intricate and quite poetic way that writer John Kenneth Muir crafts and tells his opus. The essential elements to the novel's premise are plausible within the context of transition between Seasons 1 and 2, the retooling of Alphan outlook on the Moon's odyssey and on the possible purpose of the Alphans' plight, plus the departure from Alpha of the Paul Morrow character and the rise to prominence of Tony Verdeschi. It is a tale of tragedy for the indigenous and nobly intelligent populace of a planet ravaged by a catastrophe brought about by the runaway Moon's passage through and killing of a space brain in a late Season 1 episode of the television series, and of the sense of responsibility that the Alphans have for the cataclysm on the planet. There is contention over whether Alpha ought to colonise the planet whose ecosystem despite becoming inhospitable to the native life form, has evidently stabilised and is indeed quite fit for settlement by Alphans. Divided opinion on Commander Koenig's decision not to proceed with an Exodus leads to Paul Morrow and some other Alphans defying their Commander and going in their own, ahem, breakaway group to establish their new world on the alien planet.

I must say that I am impressed by how seamlessly this storyline leads into the apparent abandoning of belief in- or reverence for- a beneficent, guiding force in Alpha's destiny (Season 1's underlying theme), and into a sense of foreboding on Koenig's part that the universe is soon to become quite considerably less favourable, less ordered (mind, I do have issues with the high incidence of death in the first season as regards the contradiction of such with this concept, but anyway...). The result being a move of operations control and other key Moonbase sections to underground level, installation of defencive laser batteries, and so forth. While I do not hold with the notion that these changes need only be started, put into effect, this late for the wandering Moonbase (I prefer to think that these projects were already in progress long before the purported time of The Forsaken), I cannot snipe at the thought that went into explaining how the decision by Koenig to go that route, came to be made, and how such a decision is portrayed in the book.

But where it does propose a very compelling, effective, in many ways apropos segue into Season 2, The Forsaken creates different and unnecessary new complications where conjoining Seasons 1 and 2 is concerned. Which leads me to my outstanding caveats concerning Muir's Space: 1999 novel. Which I propose now to list.

First, I quibble with the coarse language spoken on occasion by Alphans in the book. The Alphans of the Space: 1999 that was endeared to me in my youth, I had always regarded as being further ahead in human development than to resort to uttering crude slang even as interjections at times of pique or frustration. Damns and hells, maybe, but nothing referring to body parts or their emissions. I looked to the Alphans as role models while I was subjected to so much, shall I say, undistinguished vernacular in junior high school. Alan Carter declaring a word that the hosts and guests of television shows that I have produced are forbidden by government guidelines from using, is an unsettling discovery, for sure, especially in an otherwise gracefully penned work of published future space fiction. I cannot say that it does not surprise me, what with the proliferation of profanity-laced television in the past twenty years and in the mired, dystopic template of futurism made exceedingly popular by way of the Alien movies, etc.. But I still would wish the ethos of Moonbase Alpha in the Space: 1999 television series and any "spin-off" works, to aspire to a superior level of conduct in a somewhat immaculate envisioning of the future.

And this brings me into my second complaint. I wince, nay, cringe, at the sexual situations presented in the book, situations that code the Alphans as a sexually promiscuous people on their technological base, promiscuous enough at least to indulge in fornication followed by attempted contraception. Again, as noted above, I hold the characters of my favourite space-fiction future to a higher standard than I would, say, James Bond. Indeed, it is Mr. Bond's sexual behaviour that I find to be the least appealing aspect of him as a heroic character (but I digress). The imposition of the idea of Alphans having sexual liaisons at various stages of the Moon's flight through the cosmos, during Season 1, before Season 2, or within Season 2, I find to be objectionable. I especially rail against such indulgence between the Commander and Dr. Russell in The Forsaken, alluded-to by Helena with some very Pierce-Brosnan-James-Bondian innuendo. It is the same gripe that I have against the new, 2005- Doctor Who television series, this supposed requisite today of all entertainments, in whatever the medium or genre, to put the consummation of sexual attraction, or even mention of such attraction, into stories, on the basis that the beholder cannot accept anything other than a sexual relationship between characters, even characters existing in a different reality to that of "post-modern" Western society. Different-reality characters with perhaps a higher, better purpose to life than gratifying urges to have sex, mate, and perpetuate the ancestral gene. Higher purpose like survival in previously uncharted territory, or the expansion of knowledge, or existing in an environment in which abstaining from sexual intercourse has become essential and custom. Or in which sexual behaviour, if it is occurring, is not the motivating force in the lives of the characters and is not mentioned unequivocally. I mourn very much the loss of the wholesome, imaginative television programme or whatever, that leaves sordid details of character relationships to the viewer's imagination- if that is what his imagination fixates upon. At no place in either Season 1 or 2 of Space: 1999 is it incontrovertibly said that the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha are engaging in sexual relations. There is some flirtation, some kissing, statements of love between characters (love which could be interpreted platonically), but no actual references to characters "doing the deed". Not even the married couples. Some Alphans say that they yearn for an Exodus to a planet on which they may settle and raise a family, but it is not an empirical fact from the television series that "hanky-panky" is occurring on Alpha Moonbase as it drifts through space- and I prefer things that way. Koenig and Russell have separate living quarters, as do Verdeschi and Maya or Morrow and Benes. My parents' generation had no need to resort to portraying sexual relationships in genres like science fiction, to gain viewership; this generation to which I belong cannot conceive of a group of heroes who transcend those impulses that I would say tend to preoccupy and prevent man from expanding his species' horizons. I find that sad. Very sad. Generation X- and younger generations- cannot accept a depiction of some future community without some gratuitous sex within that community- and I do indeed think the sexual situations in The Forsaken to be gratuitous, like the utterances of coarse language. They could be removed from the book's narrative without altering the direction or the import of the story. Even a character's pregnancy is not absolutely necessary to further the book's story plotting; some other contrivance could serve as vitally, and, in my view certainly, more tastefully.

Next, and I have a hunch that I will have this same problem with Survival, I must bicker with the author's decision to divest Alpha of an additional sizable amount of its population. With all of the losses of personnel already tallied through the course of Season 1, too many as it is, if the population count of 297 in Season 2's "The Metamorph" can be at all reconciled, albeit with "doctoring", with the 311 men-and-women-on-Moonbase-Alpha stated near the end of first episode "Breakaway", there can be no more copious mortality or multiple numbers of desertions. I also find it that much more difficult to assimilate the relaxed, light mood in less stressful times in many Season 2 episodes with what has ostensibly happened earlier in the Alphans' errant journey, when authors of appended encounters for Moonbase before Season 2 are adding to the crew loss sum. I do not think it necessary to "kill off" the "Alpha Child", Jackie Crawford, which is how Muir chooses to commence the book. Alphan trepidation about child-rearing on the Moon could as easily be established in recalling what had happened to the newborn Jackie in the "Alpha Child" episode itself, i.e. his possession by an alien. No need to terminate Jackie's life to inaugurate the storyline of The Forsaken. And mention of a medical condition making conception necessary in a short time if Tanya is to successfully bear a child would be sufficient to give her motivation for wishing to leave Alpha for planet Pyxidiea; no need to have her already pregnant. Further, the number of Alphan migrants, eight, I believe, to the planet in The Forsaken could be reduced by half- or even more than by half. Just how does Muir and the other authors of Powys Books intend to find the extra Alphans to bring Moonbase population to a level that is at all compatible with 297 stated in "The Metamorph" and with the mood after awhile in Season 2? Even some contrived occurrence like additional people located after "Breakaway" or Helena resurrecting previously dead Alphans when she performs her restorative miracle in "Matter of Life and Death" can only be stretched so far. Fitting Seasons 1 and 2 together is a difficult task under the best of conditions. Why complicate it unnecessarily?

Do not tell me. I know. They will say that one should just ignore what is said by Dr. Russell in "The Metamorph" and disregard anything else in Season 2 that does not accord with the large number of casualties and deserters postulated by Season 1 and writers of adjunctive stories? Because, of course, it is Season 1 that has the inviolable integrity and Season 2 that has not. Right...

Ultimately, I find much to enjoy and admire about The Forsaken, and I can accept its premise as canon, though not the full execution of the premise as written by Muir. I prefer to regard The Forsaken, like I do the reworked episode novelisations in the Space: 1999 Year 2 Omnibus, as an alternative telling, with an author's embellishments, of the odyssey of Moonbase Alpha. The Alphans do come upon Pyxidiea and its inhabitants, and the outcome is the same, with just some of the specifics of the encounter and the outcome happening differently.

Now, then, I move onward to reading Survival. I have a hunch I will depart much the same way with the writer, Brian Ball, of that as I do with The Forsaken and Muir. I am not looking forward to Victor Bergman's demise (my old friend Tony, as he was in the late 1970s, would have issue with me for feeling this way). I dislike the idea of any major character meeting death, and I do not think Bergman dying is really necessary, when him being lost somewhere in space and still alive would serve much better in segueing into Season 2. But this for another time.

September 15, 2007.


Do I have powers of incredulous prescience, or just some occasionally validated unconscious intuition as regards seemingly unlikely events? In above entries in this Weblog, I muse about a potential though ostensibly very doubtful DVD release of Rocket Robin Hood in Canada. And news has today come of a Rocket Robin Hood DVD release one month from now. My Rocket Robin Hood Page has all of the details currently extant. Fourteen DVDs for 52 episodes seems to be quite an excessive expense of media for content, especially considering that all 52 episodes of Spiderman (1967-70) fit on six DVDs. However, it is still "early days" yet. More information will be forthcoming- that is of course assuming that I am not dreaming this. It is admittedly difficult to believe that Rocket Robin Hood DVDs commercially distributed by Warner Brothers Home Entertainment could be true, in fact.

If it is true, then I cannot help but remark at how ironic, how very ironic, it is that Rocket Robin Hood will fully reach DVD before The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour or all of the constituent cartoon shorts thereof.

This weekend, I have pulled my Space: 1999 Season 1 DVDs from shelves and given to each of them a spin in my computer's DVD player. For some reason that I cannot fathom, the Space: 1999 episodes look better on my computer monitor when I watch them in the daytime than after dark. This might possibly be due to a quirk of my computer screen, or possibly my eyes focus better when I am closer to having awoken from a night's sleep.

I listened to some of Gerry Anderson's commentary on episodes "Breakaway" and "Dragon's Domain" and endured about a half-hour of him on each of the two episodes. Good grief! The man is such a broken vinyl record! Always the same stories about telephoning Sir Lew Grade in London from the Beverly Hills Hotel to negotiate for Martin Landau and Barbara Bain's salaries, and about Abe Mandell of ITC Entertainment's New York City office coming to Pinewood Studios and insisting on use of monsters and then reversing by 180 degrees (something that Season 2 producer Fred Freiberger did not remember happening- although this may have been memory loss on the part of the elderly Freiberger when I interviewed him in 1999) and wanting monsters gone. Accompanied by the usual lament about monsters in corridors as though those items in combination are somehow especially reprehensible. Would a monster in a spacious field be somehow less objectionable? Always the same old propping-up of himself as the supreme creative force behind Space: 1999, UFO, etc. while ignoring his ex-wife Sylvia's contributions and blaming everybody but himself for the alleged wretchedness of everything in Season 2. It is very old indeed by this juncture, though the legions of fans who worship him as God II cling to his every re-re-reiterated word.

The Gerry Anderson interviewed in an issue of Starlog magazine in the late 1970s appears to be a far humbler, more likable man than the Gerry Anderson of today. I refer particularly to his comment back then that while he would tend to think that the more serious science fiction buff would prefer Season 1 of Space: 1999, the larger proportion of letters that he had received seemed to prefer the second season. Such has a truer, more balanced, more diplomatic "ring" to it than latter-day Anderson's statement (on the Fanderson Space: 1999 Documentary) that virtually nobody whom he has encountered has any liking, let alone preference, for Season 2. Historical revisionism at work. I think back, way back to the day in 1978 when I reacted to my friend Eric who, quite the provocateur with a zest for the "winding up" of Kevin McCorry, wrote a letter to Gerry Anderson that started with, "Dear Gerry Anderson, I hate your guts." I feel tempted to revise my action, or at least my recall of it, on that day which was to indignantly tear Eric's letter to shreds, and instead encourage him to mail the letter. Freedom of speech and so forth- as people of contrary persuasion frequently affirm to me. Not that he would have sent it. Like I say, he was just "winding me up". But anyways....

I certainly hope that he (Gerry Anderson, not Eric- though Eric would be a more agreeable speaker, no doubt, on the topic) is not interviewed for the Granada/Network Space: 1999 Season 2 DVDs should that still theoretical DVD box set come to reality, but my hopes where attitudes as regards Space: 1999 go, are typically dashed.

September 23, 2007. My father's seventy-ninth birthday is tomorrow. I will buy his birthday card today on my afternoon walk.


Autumn has manifested itself quite abruptly this week as the leaves of trees in the Linden Crescent area changed colour and then fell to the more and more yellowy-grassy ground within a matter of a few days during which I was working in the cellar (I call it "the dungeon") of the New Brunswick Legislature building.

I have not had time this weekend to do much else but search for all of the necessary elements for reconstituting four of my articles on the Warner Brothers cartoons ("Hyde and Hare": An Overlooked Masterpiece, "Deconstructing" Bugs: The Bugs Bunny Cartoons of 1955, Nuance and Suggestion in the Tweety and Sylvester Series, and Taz) after their sudden, mysterious disappearance from the Web space at Golden Age Cartoons. I needed to go to the Internet Archive Website and from that procure the most recent cached version of each of the four aforementioned articles, then find all of the pictures, save all of these to my computer, and upload them to my Geocities Web space, once my capability to "login" to manage files was itself restored after an inexplicable day-long lapse in the Geocities Pro "login" option. Spooked by these untoward events, I also laboured to save everything on my Website, plus all that is written by me at Golden Age Cartoons (and the pictures on those Web pages), onto DVD+R. My weekend computer time has been almost entirely spent in these tasks. As of this juncture, my Website, except for the Eras 6 and 7 sections of my autobiography on which I still have work to do, is available. Whew!

September 30, 2007.


Last evening, I was in quite the nostalgically pensive mood as I did my after-dinner walkabout in Nashwaaksis. I have found myself lately to be drawn to the location of what used to be the baseball diamond at Park Street School field. So many memories there are of baseball games played. And even with the baseball diamond some years ago bulldozed and replaced by a soccer field (soccer seems to be the "in thing" nowadays in Fredericton, for some unfathomable reason), as I strolled around and stood in the approximate place where the batter's box used to be and looked out onto the grassland into which I used to hit singles, doubles, triples, and home runs, I could imagine myself 20-plus years ago playing baseball with friends, as though it were yesterday. And as usual, I become misty with longing to be back in those days. As I persistently try and fail to reconnect with old friends, the more sentimental that I become for the days when we were quite readily together. Not all baseball games played on that field were pleasant ones, it is true. But I do remember the good ones. And this September, I have been especially inclined to recall of the ritual, several calendar dates consecutive, of evening baseball played at Park Street School field in mid-September, 1983. Some of the very best baseball games that I ever experienced as key participant were in September, 1983. Truly a superlative time in my life that was, with Space: 1999 episodes coming to me from videotape-recordings from Halifax, Nova Scotia CBHT broadcasts, my Spiderman collection on videotape having reached completion, my best friend Joey favouring me first and foremost that summer, and my playing of baseball at a pinnacle of success that it would never again attain. Ah, to be team captain and have people actually want to be on my team- and to win, as I did, on the pitcher's mound! Oh, how I wish I could have friends with me today if for nothing else than to walk with me on that field and remember!

As I proceeded forth past Park Street School to MacDonald Avenue, Maple Street, Fulton Avenue, and the location of the former Pic N' Puff store (now a disused empty space in the York Plaza), thoughts expanded to contemplating my persisting affiliation to works of entertainment of 30 or more years ago which are fading further and further into the past so far as popular culture is concerned, aired on ever more obscure television channels, if at all, and in most cases scarcely available in local stores even when released on DVD. More and more, I find myself watching the television shows and movies of my past and everlasting fancy not mainly out of admiration for those for themselves. Giving them a spin in my computer's DVD drive is less and less for the intrinsic artistic or entertainment value of those works than it is for my personal history in which they were integral, and for the memories of being close to my friends, or with my friends, as those television shows were run and rerun, as I acquired them on videotape either by way my own videocassette recorder or that of someone hundreds of miles away. That marvellous conjunction of euphoria felt at incorporating those into my videotape collection with the pleasure of being with friends, watching them with friends who would indeed sit with me and watch them, and playing outdoors with those friends before or after the viewing of those items.

It is certainly true that what it was about those productions that appealed to me 25, 30, 35 years ago that caused me to want them in my life at the time then, still is of some substantial interest to me yet. Yes, that special something (or those special somethings) about them that impressed me, that "spoke" to an interest of mine or to something about me, so as for me to want to own them and share my enjoyment of them with friends decades ago, will continue to be compelling. However, I find my urge to watch, to listen to them, to stir my soul with them to be much, much more to do now- and probably more and more in future- with the tender memories associated with them, with how connected I feel through time to my old friends, than it does with some purely intellectual or academic appreciation of them for their value unto themselves as productions. I watch them more for emotional reasons now than for cogitative purposes, than for high-minded consideration about meanings in the subject matter, than for the imaginative portrayal in many of them of life in the future, life in space, on other planets, etc.. It certainly helps for the viewing experience now to be unencumbered by audio-visual flaws, faded film prints, poor quality multiple-generation videotape copy, or whatever. DVD has freed one from the gripes about such matters that could detract from becoming immersed in the memory of seeing the entertainment item for the first time or first half-dozen times. My connection to these works is deeply personal, rooted in past experiences cherished, experiences contributing to defining of myself and to my humanity and my fondness for old friends. It follows that I can become livid with anger when ignorant, arrogant people for whom nostalgia, sentimentality, and such mean nothing, subject them to scathing reprovals, full of gratuitous criticism concentrated on alleged, perceived, damnable flaws, and using comparisons of them to dross, heedless of their beauty as already highlighted by myself and others. And denouncing those qualities to them that did impress me when I was on the younger side of twenty (and I do not concede that one's tastes during one's upbringing are patently unsophisticated and worthless). "Mindless dissing", someone once coined the terminology, belched by people who accuse the works and by extension those persons to who they have appeal as being mentally inferior. Though I am endeavouring to maintain an unperturbed, non-excitable approach to living after my cousin's death this year, it becomes rather a trial when I must continually be subjected to attitudes such as the aforementioned.

But returning to the notion that a television programme or theatrical motion picture or such, retains my fidelity as its sensitive viewer and appreciator in no small part because of the history that I have with the entertainment item as regards connection through it with old friends and old times in which I was with those friends, I would note that I have in recent years had occasion to watch many 1959-64 Twilight Zone episodes and the whole of Season 2 of The Wild, Wild West. Excellent television shows from a time period in entertainment when imaginative scope was certainly quite broad, and in the late 1960s in The Wild, Wild West's case, there was much colour, much action, much larger-than-life heroism. I had little past experience with The Twilight Zone and had never seen The Wild, Wild West before the late 1990s. And when I did finally watch them to an appreciable extent or for the first time, I saw and admired the fancy, the speculative wonderment, in their conception and writing, and as television productions they are fairly impeccable. Yet, I could not put myself into the world of their stories. I was detached and impassive to their charms. I felt no hankering to retain them on DVD or yearning to share them with friends (if such were possible, that is). Lack of association with them in those times in my life when I was very happy in the company of friends, meant that they bounced off of me rather than be absorbed. This could account a bit at least for my lack of favour for post-1990 entertainment. Just a bit, as it is still the aesthetics or wilful lack of it, the ridding of costumes of colour, the emphasis likewise on "toning down" colour in story settings, the reduction in musical tempo to little more than a hum or a dirge or to graceless, characterless stock instrumental action music, in television and cinema post-1990 that tends to repel me.

Rocket Robin Hood and Doctor Who- "Planet of Evil" appear to be on schedule for DVD release this month. I have been informed also of The Mighty Hercules (the cartoon television show thereof produced in the 1960s that aired prolifically in Canada in the 1980s) being due to reach DVD early next year as it has been digitally remastered alongside Rocket Robin Hood. Will wonders never cease! Even in this age of the ever-receding presence and influence of pre-1990 entertainment in mainstream media, some little-acclaimed television shows of yesteryear are making the move to shiny digital videodisc whereas commercial VHS videocassette always eluded them. Now, then, just where in Hades is the Inspector?

October 1, 2007.


It is a warm and sunny Thanksgiving weekend in Fredericton and most of New Brunswick.

Toward the end of the past week, I was approached by a representative of CBC News to be interviewed for a news story on the DVD release of Rocket Robin Hood. In my e-mail correspondence with the CBC News representative, I learned that (here it comes) the Rocket Robin Hood DVDs have been delayed from their expected October 23 date of release to sometime in late November. Definitely, 2007 should, for my intents and purposes, be forever known as the Year of the Delayed DVD. Thus far, almost every by me eagerly anticipated DVD release this year has been delayed, and in one case cancelled, and even the one notable exception, a Doctor Who serial coming on DVD this month, is expected to be slowed if not stalled in transit due to job walk-offs by workers at U.K. Royal Mail. And I am unable to find a vendor of DVD that offers courier as an alternative. Negative karma or just plain bad luck working on me this year? Something is amiss.

2007 has not been the worst year of my life, not by any stretch of the imagination. That dubious distinction goes to 1996. But it has been a very, very disappointing string of months, and not only with regard to digital videodisc releases. It suffers profoundly in comparison with 2006.

I have expressed interest, albeit warily, in the interview by CBC News. Never having been in front of a television camera in such capacity, and certainly not on a national basis, and scarcely being the most extroverted person to walk Canadian soil, I am uncertain of how I will perform in the interview, especially on a subject that I know has a quite large number of scornful detractors. Nonetheless, I would be foolish to not "go for it" particularly as so many other people with Websites have been interviewed about their imaginative fancies, and it would mark rather a definitive turnaround in a poor year. That is assuming the Rocket Robin Hood DVDs are not delayed right off of the 2007 calendar. I should say that I am not certain yet as to whether the interview would be part of a televised story, or of one aired on CBC Radio. But either way, it would be quite an honour, even if it is pertaining to a television show considered to be the worst animated cartoon production ever by historians of animated cartoons.

I have finished McCorry's Memoirs: Era 6 and uploaded it onto my Website. Not the happiest five years of my life and quite the chore to write about at length, but the 1992-7 part of my life story is finally completed for my Website and I can now progress to remembering the years of Era 7. Rather more upbeat. For sure more optimistic in its early years and certainly more successful in terms of employment. A pity that so much of my hope as regards the Internet proved to be unfounded. But in any case, I have a few optimistic years about which to write in weeks to come.

All for today, October 7, 2007.


Fredericton is now in the midst of a string of rainy days.

On Tuesday this past week, I was contacted by John Klawitter, lyric writer for "It's Cartoon Gold", the song for the opening of all instalments of the 1984-5 season of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show. Through correspondence with Mr. Klawitter, I have already done a substantial expansion to the part of my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page concerning the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner 1984-5 season, adding an original lyric sheet of "It's Cartoon Gold", a corrected transcript of the lyrics, and information on Mr. Klawitter's process of writing the lyrics and producing the 1984-5 Bugs Bunny/Road Runner opening under the watchful eye of Steven S. Greene of Warner Brothers. There is more to come, including an interview with Mr. Klawitter and audio-visual material, i.e. demonstration sessions of the song and the reactions to it by groups of children in 1984.

Work has commenced on McCorry's Memoirs Era 7. I am confident of completion of it by year's end. I also this week upgraded "Hyde and Hare: An Overlooked Masterpiece with some added elaboration on items discussed in the paragraphs about Irv Wyner's impressionistic backgrounds and the pigeons in the park, and I moved some of the pictures around for improved effect.

My Doctor Who- "Planet of Evil" DVD is now en route via courier, avoiding the mail gridlock in the U.K. caused by rotational worker walk-outs at Royal Mail. I hope to have that DVD in my possession by late this coming week. Beyond this, I have no update on anything DVD related. Rocket Robin Hood DVDs still are expected in late November at the earliest. No information on the Inspector and U.K. Season 2 Space: 1999 DVDs. The former has evidently been indefinitely "hoosegowed", and the latter is in limbo, or Hyperspace. I have the distinct impression that the A & E Space: 1999- Season 2 DVDs are the best that are likely to ever exist, even if they are very close now to being out of print.

I called at my old friend Joey's house yesterday afternoon for a visit, but he was in bed with influenza. Knowing as I do how unpleasant that is, with or without an added onset of bronchitis, I certainly do not envy him but do wish him a speedy recovery. I have not as yet had occasion to tell him about the upcoming (barring any untoward development; 2007 being what it has been for DVD delays or cancellations, I cannot dismiss the possibility of such) Rocket Robin Hood DVDs, news that will no doubt bring a smile to his face.

I have of late been enjoying CBS television network promotional advertisements available on YouTube. Particularly those for 1979, 1981, and 1982, all of which have brief clips from The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show. The 1982 promotional advertisement is particularly outstanding. I am going to chance placing the Hyperlinks to them on this Weblog. The Hyperlinks follow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJtlNLcVK9I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDZ9LXKm-0c&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv8oKj93EIg&NR=1

All for today, October 14, 2007.


Leaves are nearly all off of the trees now in Fredericton , and raking and bagging of leaves is now the order of the days on which I am not at work. With this plus some positive developments as regards DVD- and therefore the watching of DVD, my time for writing Weblog updates is decreasing of late.

The aforementioned DVDs include that of Doctor Who- "Planet of Evil", which, due to a Royal Mail labour disturbance in Britain, I had sent to me by courier- and the courier was no faster, really, in conveying my parcel to my door than the regular mail would be under ordinary conditions. And it sure was expensive- and this is not including the import fees that I usually do avoid on individual Doctor Who DVDs valued at under 11 U.K. Pounds when those are dispatched to me via mail. But I dare say that the price was worth it, even if the wait had me beside myself with impatience and anxiety. I was unable to counter such with tenets of my Dale Carnegie training; I wanted this particular DVD so very much.

The Doctor Who Restoration team did an outstanding job in bringing the four-part Doctor Who serial to pristine-looking condition, and the bonus features, though rather less and shorter than on DVDs of some other more heralded and more popular Doctor Who stories, were of a commendable standard, quite informative, and indeed fun to watch. Audio commentary, too, was very much appreciated although Tom Baker did seem rather subdued compared to how he has been on other DVD commentaries. Perhaps it is the rather serious, even quite intense, premise and storyline of "Planet of Evil", that made Baker feel less ebullient than usual.

Rocket Robin Hood DVDs are now scheduled to be released in Canada on Tuesday, November 27. No change on the expected contents. Two box sets, one with the first twenty-six episodes and the other with the last twenty-six of Robin's cosmic excursions of beneficence. The new projected date of release does coincide with the opening of the New Brunswick Legislature, an event for which my services as television producer will most certainly be required on November 27, and then on subsequent days as the Throne Speech is debated on the floor of the Legislature. I doubt that I will have much, if any, time to watch the Rocket Robin Hood DVDs until the following weekend. Assuming, of course, that they are released on November 27 and there are no delays in the acquisition of them.

I have also this week acquired the new U.K. DVD release of The Prisoner, and though I rarely like to "double-dip" on television series DVDs, this particular upgraded release so much surpasses the A & E DVD box set in terms of picture quality and bonus features, it is like Space Age coming after Stone Age. Network DVD always does seem to do a superlative job on its television show DVD releases, and The Prisoner, like Space: 1999- Season 1, is a definite feather in the Network DVD cap. Now, then, where is Season 2 of Space: 1999? Are the potential buyers, what few of us there doubtless are, to have to wait until autumn of 2008 to add it to our DVD collections?

Website updates? Work progresses on McCorry's Memoirs Era 7. I have expanded slightly on a couple of paragraphs on my Pink Panther Show Page. And an interview with John Klawitter, writer of the "It's Cartoon Gold" introduction to The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show in 1984-5, is only awaiting pictures before I open a Hyperlink to it from my main Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page. Mr. Klawitter has been sending to me .wmv files of "It's Cartoon Gold", and the quality is marked improvement over what I currently have on DVD-R by way of a videotape-to-DVD transfer of an off-broadcast videotape-recording. Success in playing the file without it freezing at where Porky Pig responds to the song's announcement of him, has so far been elusive.

I rather fancy the idea of expanding my Rocket Robin Hood Page in the same way that my Spiderman Page was increased, with comprehensive season guides, and hope to do so upon receiving and watching the Rocket Robin Hood DVDs. A new computer purchase is also imminent, and I do intend to have the capability with that new machine to frame-grab from DVDs, in order to put more pictures onto my Web pages.

Episodes of The Edge of Night continue to be added to AOL.com at a rate of three such per week, and the storylines have reached a resolution in Dr. Cavanaugh's unwitting drugging of himself via tainted water in his office, with paranoia- and schizophrenia-inducing amphetamines, while Draper Scott goes on trial for the murder of Margo Huntington, a murder committed by the same lady who had turned Miles' water dispenser into a "Speed" cocktail. It is going to be difficult to follow the television serial after Draper develops amnesia after the wreck of the train on which he had been en route to prison, in that I remember the amnesia lasting for months as Draper thinks he is Kirk Michaels while in the home of the annoying Gault family. I recall tiring very much indeed of that storyline as it dragged to completion late in the summer of 1980.

Hours at work do not give to me much occasion to watch the new Teletoon Retro specialty cable television channel, but I have seen a few of the Porky Pig Show instalments included on the Teletoon Retro television programme roster, and the instalments are same as those listed in my Other Television Shows Starring the Warner Brothers Cartoon Characters Page's Porky Pig Show section, though without the opening and the closing credits provided by Hal Seegar Productions for the 1964-7 Porky Pig Show. It is a treat to see cartoons such as "Punch Trunk", "Gopher Broke", "Riff Raffy Daffy", and "A Hound For Trouble" again after a half-dozen or so years, cartoons that Warner Brothers seems to be not in a hurry to include on LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION DVDs. By the way, LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5 is due for release this coming Tuesday. For the first time in the history of that DVD range, I have not pre-ordered from any Internet vendor, and nor am I in a hurry to go to a Fredericton store to purchase the item.

October 27, 2007.



Front cover to the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5 DVD set.

On Thursday, November 1, I went to the Regent Mall up the hill in Fredericton South and bought LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5 from the HMV store, at cost of $59.95 in our soaring Canadian currency. Taxes extra, of course. I went first to Wal-Mart to see if the DVD box set might be on the shelves there for a somewhat reduced price, but all that Wal-Mart had was LOONEY TUNES SPOTLIGHT COLLECTION 5, and not very many of those.

There, now. Have I paid my dues with the dedicated Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies fans? The ones for whom DVD box sets of mostly pre-1948 material are the ideal treatment for Warner Brothers cartoons. The ones who insist that every individual component of the entire Warner Brothers cartoon oeuvre spanning 1930 to 1969 is all of equal candidature for selection onto DVD- but that of course the cartoons made in the first decade and a half of the Warner Brothers cartoon studio's life should be given precedence and most attention and reverence. And the ones who maintain that, whether one likes the early Warner Brothers cartoons or not, one should happily buy the pre-1948-cartoon-heavy DVD box sets, forget all about the cartoons after 1948, after 1950, after 1954, which no serious aficionado really cares to have anyway, and be a really mature fellow, reject the post-1948 cartoons that can only appeal to children, and be a pundit of the work of Bob Clampett, Tex Avery, Frank Tashlin, and early Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones.

If spending between sixty and seventy Canadian loonies to mainly subsidise the DVD release of pre-1948, pre-1942 cartoons is not sufficient dues paid, perhaps additionally conceding that the pre-1948 boosters have won the day and all of the days henceforth, is. Perhaps also an admission that I just do not anymore glean much enjoyment from watching the cartoons will sweeten the dues pot further.

Retribution for my past sins, perhaps this is. Punishment for my having so impudently declared the pre-1948s as mostly not to my liking and for thus allegedly having soured opinion on Internet message boards toward the pretentious works of the 1950s of Charles M. Jones, I. Freleng, Robert McKimson. Leaving aside the fact that the first salvos of negativity were fired toward the post-1948s by persons on the Internet, with my own ire about that prompting me to be less tolerant of the first 18 years of Looney Tune and Merrie Melodie production than had been the case previously, I would say that my own Internet verbalisations are scarcely those of a person of much significance- even if I am co-creator of the very Internet discussion forum on which I was said to have contributed to the demise of appreciation of the cartoons that I sought to see esteemed. I am no more than a fan of strange introduction to the cartoons, a fan of some recall and some worthless observations about the cartoons as they were presented on television and some fancy notions about the subject matter of some damnable Friz Freleng cartoons.

Still, maybe paying my dues would help to turn the tide just a little bit. Then again, maybe not. The gigantic surf blasting from the front may be much too formidable, now that it has gained such momentum propelled by the writings of cartoon historians like Michael Barrier, by the cocksure oratory of a person by the name of John K., and by DVD cartoon releases in which the bulk of cartoons given most attention are those directed by Bob Clampett, etc.. DVD sets about which the vast majority of reviews at Amazon.com and elsewhere are highly complimentary, with urging for more of the same, i.e. with the post-1948s relegated to less than 1/3rd of all subsequent LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTIONs, now the runts of the litter, given little in the way of commentary that is at all edifying, constructive, and that does not contain back-handed reproach of the 1950s and early 1960s cartoons and of those casual folk who know no better than to venerate them. Nostalgia is the only reason, one is told, for any of the cartoons on The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, etc. to have a following, the reasons for such cartoons having an impression at all being unworthy childhood taste, or there not having been back then a showcase for the real gems, the pre-1948s, in the Warner Brothers cartoon crown.

The school of thought now is certainly that Chuck Jones' cartoons were up on a pedestal long enough, and that now it is the turn for Bob Clampett, Tex Avery, and Frank Tashlin's work, and we now shall for the duration just give a cursory glance, if that, to Jones and those other two men who directed cartoons with him in the 1950s. How long should the turn for Clampett, Avery, and Tashlin be? A few decades? Maybe the first half of the twenty-first century? Forever? Perhaps paying my dues is a lost cause, then. For the remainder of my minuscule, little life, certainly, it seems that the cartoons on which I was weaned are doomed to wallow in scant significance. To the people who maintain that the pre-1948s are the "bee's knees", I say, grudgingly but abjectly, you win.

It may be quite impossible for me to review LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5 in anything approaching an objective way. There is too much baggage now attached to the cartoons on either side of 1948. The pre-1948s I feel resentful about; the post-1948s I feel illegitimate about and a loser for ever having liked. Time was at a premium this week, and DVD-watching was a disjointed exercise. I could only give a rather abbreviated perusal to the 4-DVD box set's contents. Anyway, as Spiderman would say, here goes nothing...

I still do not like the packaging. I wish that these DVD releases could have switched to "slim-paks" like most other DVD box sets have done, that is with DVDs in plastic holders similar to Amaray DVD cases, only much slimmer. Digipak packaging, fold-out cardboard with hard plastic trays glued to the cardboard and the disc(s) on them too tight at the hub and often having been scraped near centre hole at the packaging plant, continue to be a pox upon my house, the resultant blank Alpha DVD cases in which the individual discs are placed and lined on my shelves looking decidedly non-presentable (if anyone were to visit me and look at my DVD collection, unlikely or impossible as that is). I would be especially critical of discs resting atop each other (as they again do with LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5) if I did in fact intend to use or keep the original packaging. At least this time, the DVDs are easily removed from their spindles and do not appear to have been scratched by rough handling by the workers at Cineram, the DVD factory used by Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Canada. As regards box set cover art, it is certainly better than what was being revealed in early publicity for LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5, which was, to say the least, uncomely and ill-favoured. The renderings of Bugs, Daffy, and Porky now look somewhat like their quite standard appearances in Warner Brothers cartoon character marketing of the past few decades. The fold-out cardboard DVD-holder inside the box is adorned with images from cartoons, a sizable majority of them pre-1948, notable exceptions to this being pictures from "Bugs' Bonnets" and "Red Riding Hoodwinked" which seem to "stick out like sore thumbs" amidst the plethora of pictorialisation of pre-1948s. There is also an image from "The Stupor Salesman", which though a post-1948 has rather a pre-1948 look to it. The back of the box has an image of Sylvester and Tweety on it, which, I suppose, is representative of contents, given that there are two cartoons pairing the birdie and putty tat in the box set.

The images on some of the DVDs, however, are misleading. The fourth DVD for instance which consists of the pre-1942 cartoons has on its exterior, top side a picture of Sylvester in his fairy Godmother guise in "Little Red Rodent Hood" (which is in DVD 2 in this volume). And on the label side of the third DVD is an image of Daffy Duck in private detective hat from "The Super Snooper" (which is on DVD 1). One cannot help but wonder why the planners of this DVD box set chose not to use an image of one of the pre-1942 cartoons of DVD 4 to adorn such in its art side, and an image of one of the Clampett-directed cartoons on DVD 3 to dress its label side.

I began by watching the first of the four DVDs, the one with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons. I do not know if my eyes have been "spoiled" by the extraordinarily clear, quite pristine-looking Prisoner and Doctor Who DVDs that I have been watching of late, but I noticed immediately much more grainy digital artifacting around edges and most conspicuously around words like those in the credits listing in the titles of cartoons than I had seen before with the first four LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION volumes. And in the middle of "The Stupor Salesman", the picture bounces as though there were a loss of vertical synchronisation on the master digital source. Could it be that the quality of cartoon restoration or of digital video compression is dropping? I also could not help but perceive a much snowier appearance to the Bugs Bunny Show material from the "Bad-Time Story" episode than had been true of the Bugs Bunny Show footage, in both colour and black and white, in the first four LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTIONs.

And excerpts of cartoons used for the documentaries specially produced for this entry in the DVD range looked particularly disappointing visually, even those of cartoons restored for this and prior volumes (such as "Tweety and the Beanstalk", "Pigs in a Polka", and "Walky Talky Hawky"). The impression that I was receiving from this LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION was that there was a reduction of interest on the part of Warner Brothers in a top-notch presentation. The menus, too, sport some rather peculiar and less than appealing visualisations, such as a film-frame-grab of Tweety from "Red Riding Hoodwinked" appearing to have had its colour deliberately diluted as to simulate an old-vintage look. Further inspection of the menus revealed a tendency to include images of cartoons on other DVDs in this volume, resulting in rather a mismatched display. A far cry from the handsome, cartoon-specific images aptly, nicely yielded by scrolling down the cartoon shorts listing in the menus for LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 1. Granted, the menus of this LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION volume are still superior to the abysmal ones marring Volume 2, but that is not saying very much.

I enjoyed the product commercials for The Bugs Bunny Show and the portions of the "Bad-Time Story" episode of The Bugs Bunny Show (including closing credits in colour!) even though most of that I already had in my DVD collection both from my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour DVD-Rs with stage scenes coming from The Bugs Bunny Show as having aired on MITV in 1994-5, and from the "Tricks of the Cartoon Trade" segment on the Extremes and In-Betweens: Chuck Jones- A Life in Animation DVD that I purchased in 2002. And as the main feature and much of the bonus content of that 2002 DVD was ported over to LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5, "Bad-Time Story" footage of Bugs demonstrating cartoon physics does appear twice in the same box set. Not that there was not a precedent for this sort of occurrence, as Two Guys From Texas and My Dream is Yours movie extracts were together manifested on two of the four digital videodiscs of LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 1.

The best ingredient to LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5 was, to my distorted view of things, the "Behind the Tunes" documentary on Robert McKimson. Though much too short and a sizable portion of what is said in it being a repetition of the McKimson section of LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 1's "flagship" documentary, "Irreverent Imagination: The Golden Age of the Looney Tunes", I found it to strike all of the right chords (bar maybe the dismissals by Paul Dini of McKimson's two Road Runner cartoons of the mid-1960s) and deliver most of the pertinent factual information on the career of Mr. McKimson. And although Michael Barrier predictably uses the opportunity to aggrandise director Bob Clampett's oeuvre in praising McKimson's work as a cartoon animator in the Clampett cartoon animation unit, I found myself nodding and smiling reservedly (reservedly, as ever now) as I watched "Drawn to Life: The Art of Robert McKimson". There were some quite reverential comments allocated to "The Hole Idea", that I appreciated hearing.

Conversely, I was perturbed and shaking my head and muttering despairingly to Greg Ford's audio commentary on "Red Riding Hoodwinked", that 1955 Tweety and Sylvester cartoon amidst the fairy-tale "doin's" of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Very unexpected, this, because I usually like Greg Ford's audio commentaries. I found myself railing at his description of "Red Riding Hoodwinked" possibly being the "least" of the lampoons done by director Freleng of the story of the girl in the red hood. Mr. Ford cites the usually mentioned similarity of mid-1950s Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies with the works of the U.P.A. cartoon studio and the Warner Brothers cartoon shorts coopting the manner of drawing, movement, even characterisation of the U.P.A. animated cartoons, and this being oh, so necessarily an untoward development. The skewing of designs of characters and backgrounds to express personality in the designs so as to compliment the desired effect in the vocalisation or actions of the characters, is U.P.A.'s most famous, or ostensibly infamous, deed. And the Warner Brothers cartoons adapting themselves to such a cartoon-making approach in the mid-1950s, is routinely deemed an artistic faux-pas and reason for rejecting most everything that came out of the Warner Brothers cartoon studio in the mid-to-late 1950s. Yes, "Red Riding Hoodwinked" is stylised and abstract, but why must that be a bad thing?

The stylisation of the cartoon seems meant to convey the impression that Little Red Riding Hood is an old story now being "modernised" with a visually suggestive flair, of Victoriana (in Granny's home) under constraint, being superseded by motifs of the modern age. It follows that Red Riding Hood would ride a bus from city to the less-advanced hinterland (instead of only walking there)- with a gag that the city bus would have on its destination sign the quaint abode of a grandmother's house in the woods, just to show that technology may condescend to point the way from metropolis to the relatively rustic "sticks". And the yes, abstract, egg-shaped heads of girl and her grandmother denote the enduring kinship between the youngster of the urban place and the elder of the "country" settlement.

"Red Riding Hoodwinked" also should confound the generalisation propagated by boosters of the pre-1948s that the post-1948s are all uninventive, paired-down conflicts, for, lo, "Red Riding Hoodwinked" contains four characters (five, if we include Granny), two pairs of adversaries intersecting, the antagonists complicating one-another's intention to feast respectively upon the flesh of the girl and her canary gift to her grandparent. Indeed, director Freleng and writer Foster very cleverly merge the two prospectuses of Red Riding Hood and Sylvester-and-Tweety-and-Granny such that the feisty Granny of the Sylvester and Tweety "world" quite befits the tale of Red and the Big Bad Wolf and that her no-nonsense approach to blocking Sylvester's quest for Tweety would work equally effectively to foil the wolf's evil intentions. All four characters (Red, Tweety, Big Bad Wolf, and Sylvester) in the parallelling and eventually intersecting cartoon chase have a purpose and a vital role in what comes about, as indeed does Granny, her ire at the Big Bad Wolf commandeering her home "paying off" in the final scene, along with her earlier intertextual reference to Ralph Kramden of The Honeymooners. That the bus driver who punches Sylvester and the Big Bad Wolf out of the public transit vehicle is the character who spoke bus-driving Ralph Kramden's trademark line of dialogue, is very apropos.

"Red Riding Hoodwinked" also rather confuses the oft-stated contention that movement in all 1950s cartoons is boringly from left to right, in that the viewer of "Red Riding Hoodwinked" sees characters advance from background toward "camera", as in the chase in Granny's house, or as Red Riding Hood and Tweety flee the house and are running to the road to "catch" the bus, the latter being seen from a high perspective, the "camera" way above them. Ah, but nobody is going to listen to me, anyway. So, why bother?

I was not very enamoured with Jerry Beck's commentary on "Transylvania 6-5000" either, mostly for citing the so-called "purists" who dislike that cartoon (but who presumably cannot laud highly enough the likes of "Hare Ribbin'" and "Tortoise Wins By a Hare" in which, respectively, Bugs sadistically incites a rather sympathetic Russian dog to commit suicide and is a hot-headed loser to a wise-guy tortoise) and designating as young the "cult" adherents to Count Bloodcount, the implication being, I suppose, that this particular cartoon is of interest mainly to young people lacking real discrimination about cartoon greatness. Of the audio commentaries that I have heard in LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5, only Eric Goldberg's on "Bewitched Bunny" really was a pleasure to hear and to savour, for Mr. Goldberg's understanding and appreciation of the subtle, elegant, abstract style of the 1950s cartoons. It is somewhat reassuring, I guess, to know that not everyone has abandoned the post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons and joined the bandwagon against the contemptible style of the cartoons of the 1950s. But nonetheless, the bandwagon has turned into a steamroller, and the flattened ones are the people like myself and Mr. Goldberg. The "casual" fans who like the post-1948s are not at much of a loss because they are not aesthetically trumpeting anything, just being nostalgic and inclined to quote characters' dialogue for wittiness' sake, and are not privy to much of the contempt for their favourite cartoons.

Another of the "Behind the Tunes" documentaries, "Wacky Warner One-Shots", provides glimpses of cartoons like "Chow Hound", "Bartholomew Versus the Wheel", "Now Hear This", and "Norman Normal", the result mostly being that I yearned all the more to see those very cartoons again, not just clips from them. But to see them in full glory again a long, long wait does lie ahead, which just invokes a feeling of quite intense sadness. Also, the DVDs on which some of those documentaries with the clips from desirable cartoons are situated are unlikely to be spun in my computer DVD drive even a modest number of times as I found myself unable to watch the cartoons un-restlessly and unmindful of the now preeminent school of thought. I probably will give DVDs 3 and 4 of this box set (plus the now quite redundant Extremes and In-Betweens: Chuck Jones- A Life in Animation DVD) to the Salvation Army or to my local library, and retain only DVDs 1 and 2 (for old-time's sake- and the hope that I may someday watch the cartoons again with the same enthusiasm as I had 10 or more years ago)- my qualms about some of what is said in the audio commentaries or documentaries thereon notwithstanding. But in buying the DVD box set at full market cost, have I not at least paid some of my dues?

More later (maybe) on LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5. And that is all, folks, for today, November 3, 2007.


On this past Saturday night and Sunday, New Brunswick and its neighbouring Canadian provinces, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, were buffeted by the high winds and heavy rains of the remnants of Hurricane Noel. Fredericton seemed not to fare very badly from the storm. No widespread power outages. Not much in the way of damage. Thank goodness. It is remarkably calm now just a day later. No wind at all. Which is unusual for after a storm. The day or two following intense low-pressure air disturbances, there does usually tend to be hours of quite blustery influx of air from the northwest. One must, I would guess, be ever thankful for what mercies life has in store.

My pique has subsided with regard to LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION Volume 5. There is not much reason to stay perturbed or aggrieved about it. It is a fait accompli, as too is the victory of the champions of the pre-1948 cartoons. No sense losing any more neurons or precious minutes fretting about another lost cause. There is a "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" for me as there is for my local McDonald's restaurant. The last time that I was in there, a few years ago at least, the photographs of the likes of James Dean and Humphrey Bogart still adorned the walls under "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" titles. I am more inclined to think of a scene in the second of the Naked Gun series of movies, a scene in which Leslie Nielsen's oafish cop, Frank Drebin, is drowning his sorrows in liquor in a "Broken Dreams" nightclub, the walls of which having on them pictures of the Titanic, the Hindenburg, the space shuttle, Neville Chamberlain and his "peace in our time" posturing, and Michael Dukakis. Yuk-yuk. My own "Broken Dreams" wall display would have pictures of me on the pitcher's mound at Park Street School field in the mid-1980s, choice images of Space: 1999- Season 2, and film-frame-grabs of cartoons on The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour and "Hyde and Hare", etc., a DVD-R of my Website, and a few other things.

But as my Dale Carnegie training did include a tenet to the effect that one should always cooperate with the inevitable, I should act accordingly. Pre-1948-cartoon-heavy LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTIONs will be the norm. People who list desired cartoons on upcoming DVDs as though Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies ceased production after "Haredevil Hare" (1948), as though no sooner were Tweety and Sylvester paired did their cartoons cease, as though there never were Road Runner or Speedy Gonzales cartoons, as though Foghorn Leghorn and Pepe Le Pew only came into being to appear in two cartoons each, Yosemite Sam in three, Marvin Martian in one, Tasmanian Devil in none, will be given much about which to celebrate. It is inevitable that I will have my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour reconstructions upon which to rely if I desire to see every cartoon short that was included in episodes of that. Just accept this, I tell myself- and accept too the certainty that the Internet will yet more and more be a place in which discussion will be unfavourable to the works of Freleng, Jones, McKimson when the three of them were with few exceptions the only cartoon directors at Warner Brothers. Do what I this past New Year's Day had resolved. Avoid the Internet discussion forums, Amazon.com product reviews, etc.. And if needs be, stay away from the cartoons themselves. Why not, if I am not enjoying them anymore as it is?

There is a glimmer of hope for a better tomorrow, or tomorrow after tomorrow, a glimmer of hope which rests with the so-called casual fans. And especially with Canadians to whom pre-1948s were almost never televised or sold on videotape and are yet foreign and un-engaging. Canadians who still delight, even if for nostalgia's sake, in such cartoons as "Rabbit of Seville", "One Froggy Evening", "Knighty Knight Bugs", "Hare-Way to the Stars", "Bully For Bugs", etc.. They may not even buy LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION DVDs and be inculcated to the way of thinking of John K., Michael Barrier, etc.. They can watch the cartoons of the 1950s on television (e.g. by way of Teletoon Retro) and appreciate the style and the humour of them and proceed to show the same cartoons to their children to endearing, eventual nostalgia-inducing effect. My friend Joey told me this past Saturday as we talked at his place, that he is showing to his son the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour and Spiderman (a spare Buena Vista box set) DVDs that I provided to him to watch, and the enjoyment is indeed passing from one generation to the next. This cheered me somewhat, quelling my lamentations regarding the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION DVDs that I had this week purchased. I do not feel so alone when I know that a friend is with me in prizing those cartoons upon which the pre-1948-adhering snobs in cartoon fandom frown. We are in this together. Myself, Joey, my other old friends, a gentleman in Winnipeg with whom I am in correspondence. Possibly by keeping my mind attuned to thought of this, I may yet be able to watch the cartoons again in the zesty spirit of a decade or more ago.

Rocket Robin Hood DVDs. Still nothing new on those. No box set cover art at Amazon.ca. No communication from my CBC contact for a few weeks now. It still seems exceedingly unlikely that Rocket Robin Hood DVDs are coming. I will believe such when I see it, or at least when I see box covers at Amazon.ca. Where are they?

AOL.com has changed the procedure for viewing Edge of Night episodes. No longer can one just click the Hyperlink to an episode and watch it effortlessly with but a few short commercial intervals. AOL.com now requires that a person become a signing-in member of its classic television access group. Joining is apparently free, though one does need to go through a registration process and "login" on each visit to click Hyperlink to a newly provided episode.

All for Monday, November 5, 2007.


Weather forecast is calling for snow tomorrow, Remembrance Day. A substantial amount of it, too. So, in the same year of a winter ending late comes a winter starting early. Canada's east yet again is not the beneficiary of the global warming phenomenon.

I am having a mini-vacation from work, combining the statutory holiday of Monday (substituting for Remembrance Day which is on a Sunday) with a couple of paid vacation days selected for Friday and Tuesday. I wish that I could say that I have been feeling motivated to do some Website work, but that, alas, is not the case. I have been slipping in and out of depressed state in recent days, being unable to resist the self-destructive temptation to read the Amazon.com Web page for LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5 and to see the plurality, the vast majority of people praising this year's LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION to high heavens and calling for more like it. I do not know why I cannot induce the stupidly optimistic part of myself to "take a hint" and give up all belief of there ever being a turnaround in the fortunes of my hundreds of favourite Warner Brothers cartoons; if they are to be released to DVD, it shall not be until the bitter end of the range- assuming that it does last as long as 2019 or whenever- as if I am content to wait that long, which I am not. And against better judgement, I gave a spin to the fourth DVD in the latest box set and tried to watch Bugs and Daffy's Carnival of the Animals, which I had never seen before but which had been reported to have been very, very lame- and indeed I found it to be so. A major misfire by Chuck Jones and not at all redeeming of the DVD 4; neither are the other two television specials (Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales and Bugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All Over) on it. Even the few moderately amusing or interesting items in those I would prefer to see released as cartoon shorts with full titles, namely "Freeze Frame", "Fright Before Christmas", "Soup or Sonic", instead of as untitled cartoon features in a television special. The rest of the DVD did not engage my interest, and I felt myself railing against the content. Best to eject it from my computer DVD drive and retire it. The reducing numbers of people who fancy the cartoons of the 1950s and early 1960s have nothing to look forward to but a long wait for an un-guaranteed DVD release of those cartoons. With few exceptions, i.e. the people at Amazon.com whose reviews are voted helpful only to 5 of 35 people, everyone has either "come around" to the now accepted way of thinking or are blissfully unaware of it. Fortunately, I do have other interests and other DVDs to collect. I just have to force myself to let go of my invalid focus and unworthy way of appreciating the cartoons. Somehow, I must keep myself from ever again looking optimistically for content information on upcoming DVDs in the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION DVD range. All box sets will be like this one and cheered by the multitudes of serious cartoon buffs, until the range's tail end, if then.

On Friday, November 9, I watched Rocket Robin Hood on Teletoon Retro and was treated to a telecast of "Dementia Five", arguably the most definitive episode of Rocket Robin Hood in mode of outlandish concepts, spookiness, and "trippiness". I was instantly attentive to the degradation in the film elements. Film wear, film print damage galore, faded colours, overexposed faces and underexposed space backgrounds, all of the indicators of something in need of restoration. I certainly hope that the DVDs still expected of Rocket Robin Hood will not have used such poor quality materials in the film-to-digital-video transfer process.

"Dementia Five" happens to be available now on YouTube. The Hyperlinks to it are below. This particular rendition, or "cut", of it looks like it hails from my videotape-recording of the episode from an airing on MITV in 1992, as the edits between segments 1 and 2 and segments 2 and 3 are precisely those effected by me in the videotaping of "Dementia Five" back in 1992. I recall some of my Rocket Robin Hood videotape-recordings having been subjects of trades with other collectors in the late 1990s. The person who uploaded to YouTube this Rocket Robin Hood episode may be someone who was in direct communication with me a decade or so ago, or somebody subsequently in contact with such a person and providing of a further "Dementia Five" copy. Generation loss on the episode as presented on YouTube does not appear to have been very extensive; so, it could be that the person uploading it to YouTube was a former contact of mine.

Hyperlinks to "Dementia Five" are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRw49ggXO4Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BokBaUE5Yeg

And to simulate the way that Rocket Robin Hood used to be shown on CHSJ-TV and CKCD (ATV)- and likely on other television stations- in the 1980s and 1970s, here is a further Hyperlink to a serving of Max the 2000 Year-Old Mouse, which tended to follow Rocket Robin to fill a half-hour television programming slot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB66NcOSmu4

Sometime this weekend, I hope to work toward completing the addition of an interview with John Klawitter to my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, though such would need a morale boost as regards me and the Warner Brothers cartoons, and I am sceptical of that occurring on this or in the next couple of days. Maybe I will surprise myself and find the morale-energising motivation.

All for today, Saturday, November 10, 2007.


Last evening, I went for a walk in my neighbourhood, and it was eerily like being on the streets of a community ravaged by a descending nuclear bomb. Not a soul about. Not anywhere. Not even in passing motor vehicle. I have been cognisant for some time now about how my neighbourhood, once upon a time teeming with life and activity, is a dead husk of its former self of twenty to twenty-five years ago. Never was this more in evidence than last evening. With nearly all of the leaves off of the trees and the air still and icy with the feel of impending winter, there was nobody but myself walking the streets, many houses dark, others though somewhat lit having no signs of activity through the windows. November is traditionally a gloomy, depressing month, but I still do not recall seeing so little life in my neighbourhood environs. As I say, it was as though I was on the streets of some place having been target of a nuclear missile strike.

This morning, I found this statement in a "thread" on an Internet discussion forum on the subject of Doctor Who, although it does apply to other entertainments, one could arguably say.

"I don't think symbolism alone is enough to save a story if you don't enjoy it. If it's not told or put together in a way that has enough appeal, then the cleverest concept in the world wouldn't help. I know this from experience of what some have said about stories that I like."

At long last! A likely answer to all of my perplexed lamentations. People do not enjoy a work of entertainment; so, it matters not what meaning there may be found in it by individuals who do like that work. And it follows that it is a waste of time attempting to qualify the meaning, or even alluding to such. The same goes for observations of similarity in coinciding, consecutive, or clustered episodes or other constituent segments. Those ever-preeminent persons with negative reaction to an item, will concentrate on and avow their reasons for non-enjoyment to reject a minority claim to merit. And those reasons will be the basis for what always will be the orthodox judgement, the "right-think". I do believe that this will be the ultimate epitaph to my presence on the Internet when I finally decide to completely vacate from the World Wide Web.

Statements like the one quoted above do make it look quite hopeless for just about all of the low-rated entertainments at my Website. But maybe another day will turn morale around. Right.

November 11, 2007.


The already once-delayed Rocket Robin Hood DVDs are now cancelled. Not delayed temporarily or indefinitely, but out-and-out cancelled. So says a Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Canada notice sent to DVD retailers. No explanation given.

And the curse of 2007 continues.

What could possibly have happened?

I must admit that I never really believed that the Rocket Robin Hood DVDs were truly coming; as I have said, I would believe them when I see them. Having contemplated over the last twenty-four hours the matter of their cancellation, I find myself gravitating toward content-related concerns. There is a mighty peculiar aspect to the history of Rocket Robin Hood on television. At least in my part of planet Earth, Rocket Robin Hood has not been televised in its entirety since the 1970s. The episode, "Safari", has, since the early 1980s, always been omitted from broadcast runs of the television series, and "The Dark Galaxy" was quite out of sight on CHSJ-TV and MITV here in New Brunswick/eastern Maritime Canada all through the 1980s and early 1990s. The latter of these episodes does feature a villain name of Count Adolf in addition to unflattering depiction of some savage natives on a hostile planet, while the former mentioned episode, from my memory of it, contained some pygmy-like alien creatures. I note that while "The Dark Galaxy" did materialise on Teletoon in recent years, "Safari" did not, and nor did "Catch a Comet By the Tail", "The Emperor Jimmy", and "The Space Wolf" (to the best of my knowledge, anyway). "Catch a Comet By the Tail" has within it a superstitious, primitive people. "The Space Wolf" has a somewhat stereotypical Norseman. And "The Emperor Jimmy"? The rather rotund and unpleasant Prime Minister, perhaps. Then again, the size of girth and appetite of the Friar Tuck character is definitely emphasised for comedic effect, especially in his between-segments description in all episodes, and they are not excised from episodes shown on television. Still, all told, it is not a very "politically correct" opus, Rocket Robin Hood. Warner Brothers Canada may have balked at a DVD release of it for such a reason. Or perhaps the DVD cancellation may simply be due to an unanticipated rights issue, or the elements for digital remastering might have been declared to be of insufficient quality. I do yet incline, though, to a conjecture of "political correctness". There must be some reason why episodes are withheld from telecast, and it could indeed be applicable to the pulling by Warner Brothers Canada of the two DVD box sets of Rocket Robin Hood in the frustrating year of 2007.

First the Inspector and now Rocket Robin. And I am no nearer now to "finding out" the rationale for MGM Home Entertainment's cancellation of the July 24 Inspector DVD. Further, there has been no official announcement of a re-scheduled release date for that DVD. Amazon.com's projected January 15, 2008 date of release for the Inspector DVD was just stopgap at the time last July when Inspector DVDs were known to definitely not be released on the twenty-fourth day of that month. I do not believe it to be a genuine new release date, and even if it is, it can also be nullified a few weeks before it, again with no explanation.

Perhaps I should just apply Occam's Razor (or a variation thereon) to these particular items. The simplest proposed explanation being the right one, in the case of Rocket Robin Hood DVDs, it is: because Rocket Robin Hood is considered by experts to be one of the worst works of cartoon animation ever committed to celluloid, Warner Brothers Canada declared it unfit for selling on shiny DVD to the public, or very unlikely to sell. Much as I hate to consider such, it does fit the confounded facts, the experts' opinions being indisputable and so forth. There is also a tendency to downplay the Inspector cartoons in relation to those of the Pink Panther and the Ant and Aardvark. Hmmmm. Perhaps Occam was really "onto something" with his notion, at least with regard to the French detective and the future outlaws.

What 2007 is affording to me occasion to do, is to upgrade my DVD collections of such British television productions as The Prisoner, UFO, and The Last Place On Earth, in that much-improved DVD releases of these have been occurring in Britain or Australia. A & E Home Entertainment's DVD releases of The Prisoner, UFO, and indeed Space: 1999 look hopelessly jaded and of dubious quality compared to what Granada/Network in the U.K. and Umbrella Entertainment in Australia have achieved. I have not as yet received the Granada/Network Last Place On Earth (it is en route to me) but it can only be an improvement to the glitch-riddled-digital-video transfers for the BFS Entertainment DVDs of 2001 manufactured here in Canada.

November 16, 2007.


An addendum to my Weblog entry for yesterday, lest anyone glean the wrong idea from it. It is mere speculation on my part as to potential reasons for a DVD box set's cancellation. Cynical, perhaps, in one or two places. A cynic's speculation only. I am entitled to speculate, after all. There is no harm in that, so long as I am not libelling anyone by name, which I certainly am not doing. And I did address such ostensibly less cynical angles as rights issues or insufficient film elements.

No explanation on the DVD box set cancellation was provided to tvshowsondvd.com, on which the news of the decision to cancel was "scooped". Naturally, I am disappointed, and in that disappointment to brood somewhat about the matter, until such time as definite information comes to light, is an understandable reaction, one would think. I am disinclined to probe the matter myself by telephoning the distributor, because I know that I am not owed an explanation by that distributor. My Website scarcely entitles me to that. If the powers at Warner Home Entertainment Canada issue a press release about what happened to the Rocket Robin Hood DVDs, and my media source(s) notify me or reputable Websites like tvshowsondvd.com report on the matter from their inside sources, I will add the pertinent information to my Rocket Robin Hood Page.

I believe in lucky and unlucky streaks. I have experienced both and cannot ever forget how gratifying it felt to find efforts and hopes rewarded by favourable conditions affording ample occasion for efforts to yield results, nor how dismaying it is to discover just the opposite to be true. I can turn a corner on a road and find a dog unavoidably in front of my car just a couple of feet in front of me, when just a few seconds' timing before or after, an accident would not occur. Or I can be challenged with some teammates to a game of baseball, be berated by my opponents, and promptly make perfect contact with ball at best possible height and pitch speed, propelling ball over opponents' heads for a multi-base hit or home run. Just an inch or two lower on the bat, and the hitting of the ball would be nowhere as effective. I can win a series of baseball games with ease over the course of several excellent summer and early autumn days in 1983 and then struggle to win even half of played baseball games in later years. I might encounter a friend on street or in public edifice twice in one week, or even twice in one day in 2006 and never see that friend again by similar happenstances for 12 whole months. Random chance. Luck. Either good or bad. 2006 was, with few exceptions, an amazingly gratifying year in which opportunities for success in work or pleasure in leisure were aplenty. From its very first month, 2007 was a litany of expectations quashed- and I refer not only to DVDs. Some years can be availing, and others as unavailing. Maybe 2008 will be one of those availing years. I perceive that already in some social regards, my fortunes are changing, after months of circumstantial constraint.

When I am struggling to maintain fortitude during a time period of adverse luck, or whatever it is, I may opt to use this Weblog to self-commiserate, with the indulgence of readers, what couple of dozen (at most) that I may have. The last thing that I want or need is armchair psychiatry from people enjoying better conditions and judging me from their vaunted position, as a former Space: 1999 fan contact, reappearing, has done this morning in an e-mail. I shun Space: 1999 fandom, and have been doing thus since 2000, because I know how detrimental contact with it is. The false friends within it never declining to find fault with me for my reactions to ever more evident, invalidated minority status, were years ago deemed poisonous, too. I know what real, supportive friendship is like. I have experienced it for eras of my life. And I yet do now, however transitory it tends to be in friendships formed today. Friends do not hurl psychological daggers. They try to understand. Not judge and spin-doctor. They do not goad me into rashness or make provocative comments on known to be sore subjects and then judge me afterword for my reaction. Space: 1999 fans as I have described are incapable of empathy, only of debasing and ridiculing someone whom they will not understand. I am aware of my faults and their consequences during the course of my life; I do not need un-empathetic people listing my faults and "putting me down" for them. I am sorry if some of the fans who did at one time profess to be friendly, feel offended by my refusal to parley nowadays with them, but I think it best to avoid the entire mob. Such is easier said than done, alas, and I do often think that leaving the Internet completely, or at least the Internet discussion forum communities, is the only sure way of achieving the goal. It has aggrieved me deeply to find the same sort of contrary "group-think" happening in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies fan circles. A really empathetic person ought to understand this. I can no longer rely on my interest in Bugs Bunny, etc. to armour me against the memory of my disagreeable experience with Space: 1999 fans. Naturally, one is apt to feel hurt and beleaguered. It is not paranoia. But what should be an understandable reaction to frustrations, to being the disgruntled loser in two patently unfair-by-numbers (and unfair by other means) debates, those on differences in seasons of a science fiction/fantasy television show and on the dissimilarities of prior-to-1948 and after-1948 production of cartoons.

Back to Rocket Robin Hood. The DVDs are reported to have been cancelled, without given qualification. When such qualification comes to light, I will add it to my Rocket Robin Hood Page. Time permitting, of course. Because I do have a job to work (and end-of-year reports to write) and other responsibilities to which to attend also. And real friends in my thoughts and nostalgic DVD watchings, too.

November 17, 2007.


Peter Davison returned to the role of the fifth incarnation of Doctor Who for a Children in Need BBC television special on Friday, November 16. He appeared alongside David Tennant as the current Doctor in a duo-Doctor 8-minute Doctor Who episode. As this television production was for charity and stipulated never to be made available commercially, DVD release of it is not on the proverbial cards, though some good people at YouTube were so kind as to put the television special into their YouTube offerings. Seeing Davison again in action as the Fifth Doctor, all mannerisms carried over into this reprise, tugged at heart-strings for this follower of the Time Lord's travels and good deeds, my having experienced Mr. Davison's turn as the Doctor by way of MPBN telecasts in 1985 and 1986 within the era of my life with which I desire repatriation. I may not be very enamoured with the 2005- Doctor Who or with Tennant as the Doctor, but this little reunion of the Doctor with his prior self sparkles as a gem amidst the rough.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtIXg7MzPUY

Anything that can tap into my yearning for yesteryear-two-decades-plus and add to it (favourably, of course) is really most welcome, warming the cockles of the heart at a time when the Internet of the present is casting a dark pall over all of the artistic bases for my esteeming of the works of entertainment about which I wrote Web pages. So long as I do not allow it to override considerations of other people with whom I am interacting in job and life around home and the dictates of conscience in day-by-day living in the present, I now find myself seeing little or no harm in indulging nostalgic tendencies. And my tendency now is most certainly to remember and crave to recapture the spirit and ways of the fourth era of my life, the years 1982 to 1987, and of them most especially 1983 and 1984. And toward such end, I did this past Sunday resolve to watch an episode of Gunsmoke (DVDs of that were purchased recently) followed by a serving via DVD of Space: 1999, mimicking the schedule of Sunday A.M.-to-early-P.M. television programming on CBHT in Halifax in summer, 1983 through spring, 1985, as I would have seen it had I then lived in Nova Scotia (I did in fact see such on a couple of excursions into the frontiers of Nova Scotia, i.e. to Amherst and Truro). Ah! Space: 1999 as it was unto me and others of my region of the world in those marvellous years when life was saner, sensible, complex in some respects but quite tractable. I also quite fancy watching on Sunday instalments of Carl Sagan's Cosmos documentary that in 1983 was being rerun on PBS (MPBN), Sundays at noon. The music used on Cosmos, be it Classical or of Vangelis composition, always has a soothing effect upon me, even the less-than-upbeat musical passages like in the final portions of the "Heaven and Hell" episode or in "Who Speaks For Earth?" as Dr. Sagan discovers that nuclear holocaust has ravaged Man's natal planet. The combination of the music with Carl Sagan's always enlightened and rather empathetic, comforting voice easily recalls me back to sunny Sundays when I was 17 years-old, baseball games pending in the afternoon, visits by friends a certainty before the day was done. When I can channel the joie-de-vivre and wonderment at the works that I was procuring on videotape and watching, I can indeed escape for a time from the deplorable cynicism of my post-1987, post-1990, post-1996, post-2000 existence, from when I am beset with invalidations coming non-stop, without relent from contrary, debate-winning haters or dismissers of my sentimental and aesthetic favourites.

And so it was this past Sunday that I sat and watched the Gunsmoke episode, "Hung High", followed by Space: 1999's "The Last Enemy". A week previous, I spent part of Sunday A.M. with Cosmos- "Journeys in Space and Time". For the coming months, I intend to pursue such a combination of Sunday morning DVD viewing selections of old television shows that in 1983 graced the televised airwaves in Canada's eastern Maritimes on Sundays. And if possible, forget all about the unpleasantness of living in the present when entertainments for many years cherished have sorrowfully in whole or sizable part been convincingly repudiated.

Oh, Kevin McCorry of 1983, may I pass through into your time and join you like Fifth Doctor Peter Davison of that time crossed over into David Tennant's present-day temporal zone in the aforementioned Children in Need Doctor Who special short episode! I promise not to bring from the future any news that you would not want to hear. Though I may offer a kindly word of advice to shun certain people and say and do more to affirm relations with others...

Last week, I completed Internet-readying the John Klawitter interview for addition to my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page and linked from main Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Web page to the interview Web page.

Beyond this, I am inclining to feeling quite demoralised about the subject of televised Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, the cartoons themselves, and my Web pages concerning those. And thus do I propose to put to rest any further writings, deliberations, dissertations on the Warner Brothers cartoons for the foreseeable future. As it happens, my job responsibilities requiring most substantive attention for the next while with Legislature going back into session and there being a number of incoming DVDs to watch (albeit many of them being "double-dips" of some sort), this Weblog and my Website in general is apt to receive much less attention from me than has been the case since early-to-mid-summer. Time permitting, though, I would like to review some of the DVDs recently received and watched, most especially UFO from Umbrella Entertainment in Australia.

November 21, 2007.


The Rocket Robin Hood DVDs are not cancelled. Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Canada cancelled its distribution of the DVDs; so, the 14 shiny discs will be released this coming Tuesday by Seville Pictures of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Whatever the reasons for Warner Brothers Home Entertainment pulling out of distributing the DVDs, the two DVD box sets are still coming.

Send a joyous shout throughout the land! And monumental thanks to my friend, Doug Carlson, who offered to contact Warner Brothers and Seville Pictures to obtain this information and share it with me and thence to my readers.

November 23, 2007.


The whole of Canada, including New Brunswick, is in the midst of a deep freeze whilst the jet stream has decided to park itself along latitudes south of the Canada/U.S. border for the duration of a half-year (November-to-May inclusive) Canadian winter. Major snowstorm expected here in Fredericton this afternoon. Here is global warming again at work! Yes, that phenomenon that almost never seems to apply to Canada. Coldest, snowiest winter in fifteen years is predicted by that Scrooge at Environment Canada. What is his name? David something.

Long winter ahead. No spring to speak of being forecast either. And a long, cold wait for Rocket Robin Hood DVDs, also. Report from tvshowsondvd.com now is that Seville Pictures has delayed the Rocket Robin Hood DVDs into the "first half" of 2008, which could mean as late as June 30, if one opts for the strictest, least optimistic interpretation of "first half". With so many DVDs delayed into 2008, it ought to be a banner year for the shiny digital videodisc, assuming that one survives the winter- and that there are no further delays. If there is one thing that 2007 has drilled into my head with a sledgehammer, it is that release dates for DVDs can never be certain. And already for 2008, there is an expected delay for the January box set of outstanding Doctor Who DVDs.

I have lacked time in the past couple of weeks to do much work on my Website, and perhaps it is for the best as I do not have it in my heart to do much of anything. My Era 7 Memoirs are stalled at 2000, and I have not right now the fortitude to sit and typewrite remembrances of that mostly unpleasant year. Death in family and in friends' families, worry about arm cyst, toothache, "all-nighter" at the Legislature, mid-summer meltdown in relations (if they can be called that) with Space: 1999 fandom on the Internet, the cancellation of The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show, etc.. My inclination is to jump ahead to 2001, but it was not much better.

What free time I have from work has been spent perusing recently bought DVDs, most of such being "double-dips", with attraction of improved picture quality over previous DVD iterations and a few extra "bells and whistles". Finding willing buyers of some of my former-collected, now superseded DVDs is proving quite a task, and it is looking like I shall need to more or less give many of those old DVDs away. Not that I mind doing that, where it brings to co-workers or old friends some of my favourite entertainment productions, but I would still have hoped to defray some sizable fraction of the cost of the "double-dips". UFO, The Prisoner, The Last Place On Earth are now all of much ameliorated quality in my DVD collection by way of purchase of overseas releases this past year.

On the past two Sunday mornings, I continued my new "It's 1983 again!" strategy, watching one episode each of Cosmos, Gunsmoke, and Space: 1999. It can be quite a thereaputic exercise, though this past Sunday, I found my mind wandering during the Space: 1999 episode, wandering of course to thought of the fan attitude. If only I could erase my memory of fandom! Anyway, Sunday, November 25 was Cosmos- "Heaven and Hell" at 9 o'clock, Gunsmoke- "One Killer On Ice" at 10, Space: 1999- "The Testament of Arkadia" at 11. And Sunday, December 2 was Cosmos- "The Edge of Forever" at 9 A.M., Gunsmoke- "Treasure of John Walking Fox" at 10 A.M., Space: 1999- "The Troubled Spirit" at 11 A.M..

All for today, December 3, 2007.


On Sunday, December 9, for my endeavour to replicate 1983 and channel my younger self with sensibilities untainted by contact with fandoms, the viewing schedule was Cosmos- "The Lives of Stars", Gunsmoke- "The Jailer", and Space: 1999- "Space Brain". Again, the unfavourable experiences with fans of Space: 1999 preyed upon my mind as I watched the television show's episode. "Space Brain" had a substantial amount of favour with me twenty-four years ago, and for awhile as I watched it on Sunday, I found myself enjoying it like I did lo those many years ago, but the burden of present-day reality eventually exerted its weight upon me, and I heard the fan voices in my head berating me for not putting Season 1 solitarily on pedestal and Season 2 in the sewer. And so, my enjoyment evaporated and my feeling of resentment mounted before the screaming soapsuds were inundating Moonbase Alpha.

Ah, well. Next Sunday, I shall be changing over to Season 2 with "The Metamorph". Forlorn hope, I know. But in 1983 by this time of year, CBHT was showing Season 2; so, it does make some sort of sense to "follow suit".

MGM/UA Home Entertainment is reported by tvshowsondvd.com as reinstating last summer's vanished Inspector cartoons DVD into a release date of March 4, 2008. I refuse this time to entertain hope until a DVD cover is shown in an Amazon.com listing. But for the more optimistic persons who may be reading this Weblog and who happen to like the Inspector, this news is probably cause for satisfied sigh and smile.

I have been asked by some readers for contact information on the current rights holder for Rocket Robin Hood. As far as I know, the copyright on the television show, its characters, indicia, etc. still is Centaur Corporation. I do not have contact information, and a Google search reveals that it is a popular name for companies. Perhaps when the DVDs do finally surface, the relevant Centaur Corporation contact address will become available.

December 13, 2007.


My friend Doug Carlson in Winnipeg has brought to my attention a Website purporting to be that of the official distributor of Rocket Robin Hood on DVD. There is even a sample of a DVD-quality film-to-digital-video transfer of the episode, "The Time Machine". This proclaimed distributor also says that it is in possession of the DVD rights to Max the 2000-Year-Old Mouse. From what I can glean from the Website, it has nothing to do with Seville Pictures' upcoming (still ostensibly) DVDs, nor is this distributor calling itself Centaur Corporation, although Centaur is cited at Website's screen bottom as Rocket Robin Hood copyright holder. While the sampling of "The Time Machine" is definitely of quality superior to what is currently circulating on Teletoon Retro, it is not struck from pristine film elements, and the Rocket Robin Hood episode guide provided under the Website's heading of Television Distribution contains synopses of several strange episodes, episodes unknown, by me and by my contacts, ever to have been shown or produced, while all of the third season's "cheater" stories are not included in this episode guide. It is an exceedingly bizarre development, to be sure. But that is all of which I can say I am sure. My gut tells me to think from the phantom synopsised episodes alone that it is not genuine, but considering the peculiar quirks of fate in the last couple of eras in my life, I would not rule out the possibility of anything. For there to be possible Rocket Robin Hood episodes never before seen by my eyes is an exceedingly compelling concept, however unlikely.

I understand that the Inspector cartoon DVD now slated for March 4 release is already available for viewing at the Netflix Website. Lacking a U.S. zip code, I was unable to procure a temporary account to see the elusive digitised-for-DVD Inspector cartoons. While the availability at Netflix could be a good omen, the obvious thought occurring to me is the question of why the DVD is not available for sale now.

Available now at YouTube to serve as a companion piece to Max the 2000-Year-Old Mouse- "Daniel Boone" is The Wonderful Stories of Professor Kitzel- "John Cabot". I had not seen any cartoons with the lovable Professor Kitzel in over 28 years. The last occasion I remember having for seeing some was via the French CBC television network's Bagatelle cartoon compendium television show that used to air in the 1970s at 6 P.M. Atlantic Time on Saturdays. Bagatelle's opening, by the way, is also available on YouTube. Links to both the aforementioned Professor Kitzel cartoon and the Bagatelle opening are below. The Wonderful Stories of Professor Kitzel had its most cogent impression on me when it was included in ATV and CKCD's Saturday morning Funtime along with Spiderman, Rocket Robin Hood, Max the 2000-Year-Old Mouse, etc. and when it tended to follow Spiderman on weekdays on ATV/CKCD, with Max the 2000-Year-Old Mouse coming after Rocket Robin Hood, usually.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olkgIbyMDrg&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ0dWFZPIRM

Sunday, December 16 was for me one of A.M. viewings of Cosmos- "The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean ", Gunsmoke- "Ten Little Indians", and Space: 1999- "The Metamorph". So, what was the verdict this week? Gunsmoke does not fail to entertain. I can never tire of hearing Carl Sagan describing the size and composition of the universe. And Season 1 or 2, Space: 1999 has so much baggage attached to it that channelling my youthful self of 1983 and reliving the innocence of my fascination then with the television series about Moonbase Alpha, continues to be an elusive goal. I am also distinctly unimpressed now with the quality of the Space: 1999 episodes of A & E/New Video Group DVDs of 2002. In terms of both sound and picture. My eye is now adjusted to pristine digital-video transfers from original film negatives or interpositives, all film dirt and smudging and noticeable film generation loss in optical effects matting removed. Such that watching reduction-film-print-sourced material with all of the hallmarks of un-pristine film is something of a come-down and a let-down. I just wish that Granada/Network would "come clean" as it were on whether there is indeed going to be a DVD release of Season 2 in the same manner as Season 1 was put onto DVD fully restored in 2005. The Granada/Network DVD release schedule up to and including March, 2008 has not a trace of mention of Space: 1999.

A fully restored, 24-episode release of Season 2 would be gratifying, certainly, despite the total destruction of it as a fan-worthy opus of the imagination. Destruction at the hands and mouths of the now absolutely preeminent "fundamentalist" Season 1 fans. However, I still cannot envision any easier a time for me in regaining my once profound exuberance for Space: 1999, both seasons. Selective memory erasure is not possible. Perhaps if I could be persuaded that everyone who ever mattered to me in the times of my life that I revere, all those cherished people feel that my dedication to Space: 1999 is, for all time, just and right and that the fans who declare my interest as bastardised and me as defective, are hateful and contemptible to say nothing of being blinkered and plain wrong, maybe this could aid me in overcoming this defeatist, inferiority-complex mindset that I now have as regards Space: 1999 and my years of dedication to it. The Moon has a better prospect of leaving Earth orbit than this has of being true. There are some people in my life who might reserve judgement one way or the other and not throw in my face the venom spewed on the Internet as the definitive "take" on the subject, and others who in good will for me might be supportive of me for old times' sake. But I can think of some who would not hesitate to cite what is said on the Internet as the ultimate indictment against my hopeless "madness".

Of course, Space: 1999 Season 1 and 2 together and each season intrinsically, is a flawed television series. But so is practically everything else produced for television, and this includes UFO which seems lately to be the object of choice in assailing Space: 1999. I fancy UFO in a number of respects, but it, too, is far from perfect, really. In fact, there are aspects to it, from inconsistencies in concept and characterisation to miniature effects that do not always work (last evening I saw in the episode, "The Psychobombs", a SHADO Mobile hitting a tree and the tree moving like no full-sized arbour would when hit) that seem to cry out to be criticised but that few people of the majority snobby persuasion toward UFO's successor Gerry Anderson production, seem willing to acknowledge. 'T'is ever thus.

One of these days, I will review the Umbrella UFO DVD box set released in Australia which was added to my collection last month and finally read the Powys Books Space: 1999 novel, Survival. It is a busy time now at work, and brutal winter weather is sapping my desire to do much when off of work and triggering an unusually early Seasonal Affective condition.

Christmas is just over a week away. I will see what Santa puts in my stocking. An end to the prevalence of the cult of Bob Clampett or dusk at last for the hegemony of the Season-2-detracting "fundamentalist" adherents of Space: 1999 Season 1? A reversal of time to 1987? I would even settle for a stoppage of the eradicating from popular culture of pre-1990s entertainment (a visit to Fredericton's A Collector's Dream store recently had me feeling like a stranger in an almost wholly foreign land; "almost" if not for a Darth Vader action figure and a Captain Kirk statuette) or even an early release of the Inspector cartoons DVD. But I have pouted for sizable periods of time this year, which likely disqualifies me from Saint Nicholas' generosity. Hopefully not so much as to guarantee me a lump of coal.

December 17, 2007.


For the morning of Sunday, December 23, as per my 1983-again mode of late, I watched Gunsmoke- "Mannon" followed by Space: 1999- "Journey to Where". Preceding these, instead of an episode of Cosmos, was Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, which though not a CBHT-in-1983 item does have a past significance for me in that it formed half of one of my most numerously attended videodisc/videotape shows of the early 1980s. I also, in the afternoon, watched my DVD of A Charlie Brown Christmas, a perennial favourite in childhood as telecast by the CBC television network.

"Mannon" was the first in-colour episode of Gunsmoke to impress me for its pristine visual quality. It seems to have been digitised from original film elements while the other DVD Gunsmoke episodes that I have watched thus far hail from worn reduction film prints transferred to analog video and later digitised. "Journey to Where" kept my attention unfettered by thoughts of fandom for most of its duration. Where fandom's gripes with the episode did come to mind, I was able to dispel them for their blinkered excess. Criticism of the three Alphans all being successfully retrieved from 1339 Scotland with only one of them wearing bio-bracelets is unwarranted because at no time is it said in the episode that wearing the bracelets (which only relay readings of body functions and temperature) is essential to a reverse-transference procedure. And then there are the attacks on the alleged phony and silly American accents of Dr. Logan and Carla in Texas City. I never found those accents conspicuously fake and still do not. It ought to be reasonable to infer that on 2120 Earth, the human population retiring to enclosed cities has somewhat assimilated, with merging of dialects and accents. It is a churlish criticism no matter what fair-minded, good-will rationalisation is being ignored, because union rules in Britain prohibited the use of American guest actors on Space: 1999, and British actors could only mimic American way of speech if the episode's location of future techno-Earthling activity was to remain in Texas City near the traditional Houston hub of outer-space research. Records of the 1300s are fragmentary and may not be fully accurate as to when the Black Death did in fact reach Europe; hence, the derision spewed on "Journey to Where" based on that supposed historical inaccuracy is inflated. As for cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin being married when he went into space contrary to what is said in this episode, it is possible that his marriage reported from behind the Iron Curtain could have been eventually proven false; this rationalisation is admittedly "a stretch", but so what? It is also going beyond the boundaries of reasonable criticism to harp about there being no enclosed cities mentioned or shown in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, etc.. Just because the viewer is not privy to the existence of enclosed cities in other parts of the world does not mean there are not any. And besides, there are comparable factual errors in Season 1, the mention in episode "Breakaway" of the "dark" side of the Moon, for instance, where the term, "dark side", is scientifically inaccurate. Or brain anatomy errata in "Ring Around the Moon" and "Another Time, Another Place".

Further. The neutrino transmission being a two-way device for communication and object teleport is also to be intuitively understood, lest the episode become "bogged down" in techno babble or overly calculated exposition as to how this or that happens. Should not some things be left to the viewer's imagination? Assuming the viewer has an imagination. And Tony brewing his beer in Medical Centre and not his quarters ought to be of interest to the viewer with good will for the television show's second season and not an inveterate flaw or lapse of production (haters of Season 2 regard everything in Season 2 provoking of enquiry as mistakes). Perhaps Dr. Russell has the only mixing instrument on Alpha that Tony needs for producing his concoction and has temporarily approved its use? And it is any case an apt setting for the beer manufacture if one accepts a Dr. Jekyll's formula symbolism of the beer (conveyed by Maya's Hyde transformation after sampling the beer) connecting it with the events later in the episode, Helena the doctor becoming in her words a "monster", the beer being made in a doctor's place. I am so sick and tired of the know-it-all anti-aesthetes and their overweening contention that a critical bent against Season 2 is the only legitimate way of looking at every episode, every aspect of the season, and that no sensible viewer can see any merit in anything in Season 2. They nevertheless won, but their victory was cheap. Very cheap. Watching an engaging and entertaining episode like "Journey to Where" helps me to console my feeling of bitter, unfair defeat at the typewriting hands, etc. of those bullying, mobbing, rumour-mongering, quasi-intellectual louts and to connect with myself of 1983, of a time when both seasons of Space: 1999 were both viscerally and intellectually enjoyable, fun, a source of joy whenever a videotape arrived from my contact in Dartmouth with CBHT-sourced episodes on it. Before I was subjected to the sneers and jeers and jibes of the most absolutely slanted and blinkered fan bandwagon.

It is hopeful for the future that I did not feel as defeatist this time in watching Space: 1999 as on previous weeks. But I shall propose in weeks to come to go further along this route, to include a revisiting of last year's New Year's resolution and a bid to try, try again. More on this later, but for the time being I stay resolute in my effort to return in spirit to 1983 by any means, including the Sunday morning regimen of television-on-DVD viewing.

Moving on...

A cover for the Inspector cartoons DVD has appeared at tvshowsondvd.com. This is certainly a step ahead from the total lack of cover art in advance of the aborted July 24 release of the Inspector DVD this year. I am rather perplexed, though, as to why the DVD cover does not say INSPECTOR VOLUME 1, for there are 17 additional Inspector cartoons, of which a number have been more difficult for me to procure via videotaping from television. Still, it is a positive development to see the Inspector DVD cover, giving some optimism for 2008.

I wish I could say that I am optimistic for 2008 in other regards, such as Canadian politics and government, but I am not. An election seems certain for 2008, and indications are that another long hegemony for Left-leaning Quebec Prime Ministers is certain to start at the behest of the media and non-Quebecker Canadians. What a silly country I inhabit! And even this is overlooking the Canadian fixation with global warming as a number one issue during the coldest winter in fifteen years. And the blaming of the current Prime Minister for the alleged misdeeds of a past Prime Minister of the (supposedly) identically same party. Again, I inhabit a very silly country. Or this may all be part of some wild dream filled with counter-intuitive phenomena...

And it is a very silly Western world, too, it seems. Judging for what merits billing of "top seller" DVD entertainment. A movie about a "pot-head" fornicating and impregnating some woman is top-rated movie on DVD of 2007? Indeed! If I were to be told in 1983 or 1977 that this would be what I had to look forward to in 2007, with society degenerating so much in its priorities and aspirations and the "pot-heads" with whom I attended school being the objects of public adulation, I would have been quite inconsolable. This is not the future I longed to see when I was on the young side of 25.

Perhaps this is an apt segue into my top DVDs of 2007. Knocked-Up certainly is not one of them. I wish that I could say that my 2007 DVD top-ten was chalk-full of superlative, first-time releases of most treasured works of imagination, with intense competition for each of the ten spots. But these selections are more default due to lacking releases of more outstanding, personally most greatly fancied productions- and some of them are "double-dips".

1) UFO: THE COMPLETE SHADO FILE (Umbrella Entertainment)- UFO is a compelling companion piece to Space: 1999, something of an inversion to the Space: 1999 prospectus, the human outpost on the Moon turned "within" to Earth rather than directed "without" and moving into the vastness of the cosmos, and alien contact occurring on or near Earth rather than off of and away from the Earth. It is Earth-centric rather than spatial science fiction. And with characters who smoke copious cigarettes, drink liquor as the rule rather than the exception, womanise (or man-ise), and generally conduct themselves not much differently from the heroes of most other Earthbound action television or movies. These vices in abundant evidence are often cited for calling UFO "adult" as opposed to the childishly naive concept of a future in which human behaviour evolves somewhat further, to where smoking is rarely seen, beer is an improvised beverage by one person instead of established norm (no drinking establishments), and sexual relations are, if occurring, very discrete. Is it not more imaginative and edifying to portray improved human behaviour in the future? And with a lack of alien planets or variety of alien organisms or entities visited by the heroes, I struggle to see how an imagination craving most diverse and elaborate immersion in otherworldly depictions and concepts should prefer UFO to the expansive, deep-space-voyaging opus of the runaway Moon. But the episodes in which the aliens use ethereal, mind-controlling or nature-manipulating means to control people and to attempt destruction of the SHADO defence are engaging and bold science fiction- even if they tend to conflict with the lack of same in the aliens' machinations in early episodes. And Ed Straker is quite a compelling leader and his relationship with his seconds-in-command, Paul Foster most particularly, is very interesting to follow. Every bonus feature of the A & E and Carlton box sets is combined in this Umbrella Entertainment of Australia release with new extras including The UFO Documentary (standard Fanderson fare with the usual Gerry Anderson commentary against American involvement in his works but as ever technically impeccable with dynamic opening and closing sequences), a George Sewell commentary (pity that the moderator is a known basher of Space: 1999 who once smugly laughed when someone opined that fire should be applied to Season 2), and Invasion: UFO (though lacking of much of its incidental music due to parts of the movie compilation being culled from already digitised footage of episodes-proper). It was a very long wait for the delivery at my door of this set of DVDs from Australia, but it is definitely the best DVD release of UFO (even the episodes themselves look sharper and more stable, without the digital artifacting or picture distortions in places on A & E's DVDs).

2) Doctor Who- "Planet of Evil"- Having agitated for some years for a sooner-rather-than-later DVD release of this entry in the Doctor Who canon and thereby drawn the ire of fellow members of the Outpost Gallifrey Doctor Who Discussion Forum, I was edified certainly that the people at 2|Entertain chose to include this particular thirteenth season (1975-6) serial in its 2007 schedule of Doctor Who DVDs, a serial with a bounty of stimulating concepts intertwined in a horrific, atmospheric story with Tom Baker at the peak of gravitas in his performance as the Gallifreyan minstrel of time and space. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", Forbidden Planet, the Gaia concept of a sentient, "living" planet turning against persons thereon, classical hell imagery (black pit to oblivion) and symbolism in anti-matter, even a passing reference to Scott's South Pole expedition, all mixed together in a story that despite the usual dodgy visual elements, e.g. spaceship exteriors, sets, costumes, of the low-budget, rapid-production approach to bringing mid-1970s Doctor Who to cameras and television screens, had rather a substantial appeal to my aesthetic sensibilities. The Doctor Who Restoration Team performed its usual unsurpassable standard of eliminating years of ravaging age on the videotapes of the four episodes of this Doctor Who serial, and the extra features commissioned by 2|Entertain including a making-of documentary elaborating on story concept, planetary depiction, etc., and a featurette on actors' impressions of working on "Planet of Evil", plus an audio commentary that for me was one of the better, more entertaining ones, had me smiling. What a shame it is that the DVD release has done virtually nothing to improve the reputation of this serving of Doctor Who among the rank and file of Doctor Who fandom! An occasional disparaging remark by producer Philip Hinchcliffe about the blatant, extensive similarities to Forbidden Planet and invoking of the pejorative terminology of "rip-off" now are used as basis for avowing the story's fatal lack of appeal to fan "right-think". And as someone I have previously quoted on this Weblog did affirm, concepts and symbolism are not sufficient merit to give appeal to an entertainment. But I tip hat to the people who brought "Planet of Evil" to DVD in 2007. I do not exaggerate when I say that it saved 2007's bacon for me in terms of anticipated DVD releases, with so many others being delayed off of 2007.

3) Doctor Who- NEW BEGINNINGS- Doctor Who recurs often on this list, not because 2007 was much of a banner year for the good Doctor on shiny digital videodisc but because of there being not much competition. This box set of the final two serials with Tom Baker as the Doctor and the first serial with Peter Davison in the title role is notable mostly for what is on the DVD of Mr. Baker's finale, "Logopolis", a very informative, superbly entertaining, and staggeringly candid but fair featurette entitled "A New Body at Last", and an unexpected audio commentary combining Tom Baker with Janet Fielding (who only joined Doctor Who in Mr. Baker's final serial) and script editor Christopher Bidmead (who oversaw the season that ended with the long-established Fourth Doctor's demise below a radio telescope). Peter Davison's appearances on television in the U.K. at the time of his casting are also very entertaining, especially some of the recommendations of young viewers as to how his incarnation of the Doctor should look, dress, and behave. I had a longer than expected wait for this DVD box set as I also did for "Planet of Evil", and it felt very gratifying to watch all of the content when it did eventually arrive safe and sound at my door.

4) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1981)- David Hemmings gives an interesting performance as the less-than-comely, ageing Dr. Jekyll and a handsome, devious Mr. Hyde. Music and camera and effects trickery and signatureship are evocative of the time of production of this television movie, and for me this is a plus, in that the early 1980s are shining rather brightly for me currently. And refreshing it certainly is to see a version of the Robert Louis Stevenson horror story that I had not experienced since its 1981 televising on PBS' Mystery!, after so many years of only having the Barrymore, March, Tracy, Rennie, Palance, and Caine versions. No bonus material, not even Leo McKern's introductions on Mystery! for this rendition of the "bogey tale".

5) Doctor Who- KEY TO TIME- I had all six of the serials in this DVD box set by way of its North American release in 2002 and am not much of an avid enthusiast of any of these six stories (though I am not a detractor either), but the U.K.'s release of it this year is superior to the Stateside iteration in every way, from picture quality of the serials themselves to the multitude of bonus features. A couple of the documentaries are rather frivolous if not downright fatuous and corny, and one or two others did not hold my interest, but the "A Matter of Time" documentary on the whole Graham-Williams-produced "era" of the long-running British television series, is a stand-out effort.

6) 2001- A Space Odyssey- This is a "triple-dip" merited by a much-improved digital-video capture of film elements and actors Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea providing an informative, contemplative audio commentary (though, alas, participating separately rather than together) and documentaries on a bonus, second DVD. I appreciated all of the documentaries bar the one in which people rattle on and on about about how much Stanley Kubrick's depictions of the future proved correct or no. It should not be the imperative of a producer of science fiction/fantasy theatrical film or television to accurately predict the future but rather to entertain and stir sense of wonder and imaginative fancy. A power of foresight really should not be a prerequisite for a film-maker's work of science fiction/fantasy being worthy of unqualified respect. And it is not the fault of a producer of film or television science fiction/fantasy that mankind of the twentieth century's final quarter chose not to concentrate attention and priority to pursuits higher than smut, frivolity, and greed.

7) The Prisoner- Granada/Network brought to the European DVD market the best digital video presentation of Patrick McGoohan's enduringly meaningful and provocative television show, by the same process that brought Season 1 of Space: 1999 to such an impeccable look on the Granada/Network DVDs of that in 2005. The bonus material is concentrated mainly on the last DVD in the set and in the ninety-minutes-plus-long documentary, "Don't Knock Yourself Out", outlining thoroughly the creation and technical production of the 17 Prisoner episodes.

8) Incredible Hulk Season 2- There is precious little in the way of currently made bonus material not before available on DVD, just a Kenneth Johnson interview that retraces much of the same territory as in his audio commentary ported over to this DVD release from the 2003 "double-feature" of television series opener and Season 2 premiere episode. But the bonus episode from Season 3, "Homecoming", is arguably the most ideal choice for such. In fact, Season 3 is something of a plod with "Homecoming" being one of the rare stand-out exciting episodes dealing with David Banner and not with some cause celebre with episode's guest characters. Season 2 is an almost uniformly engaging as entertainment and as social commentary by times (not quite as tiresomely so as those sorts of episodes became in Season 3) with absorbing storylines brought to exciting climax with David Banner's hulking transformations. However, I honestly found the episode, "A Child in Need" (which I had not seen since 1979), uncomfortable to watch for its child abuse content, with "The Quiet Room" also rather disconcerting for its depictions of mental illness.

9) Voyagers!- A moderately enjoyable Sunday evening could be had in 1982-3 with this yarn of two time travellers correcting anomalies in the course of history. Meeno Peluce tended to grate on one's nerves with his affected effort at emoting, though I am more appreciative now compared to back then of his sensitive portrayal of the knowledgeable but vulnerable boy who lost his parents. And as that television season, 1982-3, of Voyagers!'s first broadcast run, is part of perhaps the most revered year now in my life, anything and everything experienced back then is quite delightful to experience again and therefore a pleasure to purchase on DVD. However, Universal's film-to-digital video transfers of the 20 episodes' film elements leaves something to be desired (same is true also for Incredible Hulk Season 2), in squeezing five episodes on each of four DVDs, with the Jack the Ripper episode suffering most of all, marred with graininess and artifacting galore during scenes of foggy London.

10) Doctor Who- "The Time Warrior"- Another impressive effort by 2|Entertain and the Doctor Who Restoration Team. The main documentary covers familiar ground remembered in the documentary on 2006's Doctor Who- "The Hand of Fear" but still is praiseworthy. Space Academy would have been in the tenth slot here had the episodes in that looked better than the rather blurred, hazy film prints used in the digital-video transfer process.

December 24, 2007.


New Year's Day is fast approaching. And with it my resolution to reduce my use of Internet and remove my presence, as lurker or contributor, on Internet discussion forums and any other medium on the Internet existing with the proliferation of contrary and hostile opinion. All of the daydreams, of better times on the Internet for everything I treasure, must go. It is hopeless to find any discussion to my liking anywhere on the subject of my favourite entertainments, but rather all the more antipathy or at best apathy toward them. For my own good, for sake of quality of life, in the hope that morale as regards my long affiliation toward those works of imagination will rebound, and for physical health reasons too (blood pressure, at least), I must abstain from contact with any asinine, blinkered opinion-mongers in bandwagon majorities. I tried this resolution last year and only succeeded in passing through January before I found myself accessing discussion forums again. And it is as self-destructive, to morale, as other vices can be self-destructive to one's other aspects of being. I shall strive this year to go way beyond January, free from exposure to the closed-minded denunciations, one after another (and never with any effort at refutation by any fair-minded persons), of imaginative productions that I highly esteemed and delighted-in during positive life eras. The debasing or cheapening of my attachment to such works is what I wish to avoid by refraining from even reading as a lurker Internet "message boards", Amazon.com product reviews, or whatever.

Hate begets hate. And I am not immune. I never used to hate or dislike or reprove an earlier season, production block of something, or touted "rival" production, or whatever it be. But it was the use by vast majorities, by cliques on discussion forums, of a preceding entertainment unit of alleged all-superior technical production quality or intended import, use of that against what I have come to cogitate and enjoy, and the implicit or explicit argument that I and my interest is worthless to any but myself in all of my solitariness and alleged defectiveness, to say nothing of comparisons to rubbish or fecal matter, that generated in me resentment and a disinclination to look upon the majority's preferred item with the same ardour as the majority. It is not that I cannot perceive shortcomings in what I fancy (though much of what is pointed-to by detractors should be invisible to most rational viewers or of little consequence to really fair-minded persons with good will for the entertainment in question). But the majority's refusal to acknowledge shortcomings in majority's favourite and to dismiss any argument for worth in my favoured works, moves me to antipathy for the majority, for its confounded smugness, and for its entertainment "champion". And it ultimately hampers my ability to watch and enjoy my favourites, with the taint of failure (on my part) prevailing over them.

Whether or not it is possible to regain my old mindset before all of the unpleasantness on the Internet or in fandoms, or whatever, it is most definitely to my detriment to subject myself to the unpleasantness in perpetuity. I have no desire to die as young as my cousin did in spring of this year, and for my blood pressure's sake, there should be no more agitation in reading the slurs of asinine persons. Asininity is something from which I resolve to steer clear away. Alas, national politics in Canada is replete with it nowadays, and I work in a profession in which it is impossible to avoid hearing about opportunistic, blinkered spin-doctoring by political opponents. Federal Canadian politics disgusts me nowadays. Provincial politics I can abide; my party sympathies have tended more to be in flux provincially, and my job does require me to be politically neutral provincially as I believe I now am. Federally, though, I find that I really cannot listen to the attitudes and bellicose posturing of certain political parties and those of national media that clearly is preferential and slanted. The fact that majorities of voters hew, with nary a pause for rational thought, to the views of those parties has the same effect on me, I regret to say, as does the manner of the majorities on the Internet regarding works of imaginative entertainment. I may not be able to shelter myself from politics, but contrariness of opinion-mongers on the Internet is something from which I can remove myself if I can muster the will to do it constantly. Not just for one month.

The main reason for my weakening in resolve last year was curiosity about upcoming DVDs and in the discussion of them. This year, I am anticipating only the Inspector cartoons DVD, Rocket Robin Hood, and Doctor Who serials (and of those I expect few released in 2008 to be of much interest to me and my particular imagination interests, though I will probably still purchase them). And even some of my anticipation of these is this year offset by scepticism, 2007 being what it was. I am expecting more success this coming year in adhering to my January 1 resolution.

With so much "double-dipping" in DVD purchases in 2007, I had a sizable amount of surplus DVDs to give away to friends and co-workers this Christmas. I gave to my friend Joey my redundant DVDs of Goldfinger, The Black Hole, The Island at the Top of the World, and The Last Place On Earth. Colleagues at work received Twilight Zone DVDs, Incredible Hulk DVDs, Superman: Extended Edition (I cannot adjust to the new 5.1 audio mix on that, and my retained DVD of the original "cut" of Superman pleases me for the non-tampered-with audio track), 2001- A Space Odyssey, Ladyhawke, and another of my Last Place On Earth DVD sets. Among others. My hope is that I brought a Christmas of viewing pleasure to several of my favourite people. I still have complete, superseded DVD sets of UFO and The Prisoner and hope to be able to sell those somehow to someone. I received for Christmas the upgraded DVD box set of the Planet of the Apes movie series and am now holder of two sets of the old Planet of the Apes movie DVDs. It looks like I will be giving those away, too.

December 28, 2007.


On the morning of Sunday, December 30, 2007, I watched, via DVD, Cosmos- "The Harmony of the Worlds", Gunsmoke- "P.S. Murry Christmas", and Space: 1999- "The Taybor". "P.S. Murry Christmas" is a light-hearted, by times sentimental entry in the Gunsmoke television series; no marauding gunslingers, no killers, just some children and their guardians in need of Christmas cheer. Even the typically intense (with death dealt in gunfighter showdowns) Western genre has room for a gentle, light-hearted story, and I fail to see why Space: 1999 with its runaway Moon in daunting space prospectus cannot itself have a share of episodes with a "light touch", such as "The Taybor". Both it and "P.S. Murry Christmas" are apropos episodes of the two respective television programmes to present at Christmastime, and indeed both were televised near or on Christmas Day during the heyday for wholesome television with a heart, before dismal post-modernism became established.

I am now in a position to begin adhering to my New Year's resolution. At the risk of appearing melodramatic in "going on and on" about my disaffection with the Internet, I propose to delineate at some length why I think it necessary to terminate my presence on Internet discussion forums as I endeavour again to do just that.

I had long ago started giving an astronomically wide berth to Space: 1999-specific discussion forums and Space: 1999 Websites bar perhaps a couple of the somewhat frequently updated Websites for news on DVD releases. But even by distancing myself from these places on the Internet I was scoring no victory in stopping my exposure to the hateful and hurtful attitudes of fans of this science fiction/fantasy opus. Fans' disagreeable, absolute posturing creeps occasionally onto general DVD and entertainment Websites. Roobarb's DVD Forum is populated with several persons who proudly proclaim the wretchedness, the feces-like nature, of all 24 Season 2 episodes along with implicit allegations of lack of taste, of sense, of mindfulness, of respectability in anyone who disagrees with their judgement. And there are occasional incursions of similar sort into "threads" pertaining to television show DVDs at Home Theatre Forum and other DVD discussion communities on the World Wide Web. Even the Outpost Gallifrey Doctor Who forum periodically becomes polluted with hatred for Space: 1999's second season, i.e. with intransigent, sweeping, i.e. all-inclusive, negativity and hostility for it and contempt for its late producer. "Threads" concerning UFO, by the fifteenth comment posting or so, are disparaging either of Space: 1999 as a whole or of Season 2. There are the customary statements that second season ought never to have been brought before the cameras. It always becomes one posting after another, parroting the same blinkered point of view touted as fact, and never, ever does anybody contest the "same-think". And in consequence, smugness and arrogance increases on the part of the detractors of the second season of Space: 1999. They have disavowed Season 2 and credibility of people who see merit in its depictions, episode phenomena, clusters of episodes, etc., and done so in some of the most disrespectful ways possible. And still they do not desist. That the 24 episodes of Season 2 might have entertained people, interested people in space, comforted, given solace, to people in lonely times in life, sold advertised products during first run and syndication rerun, and may even be of aesthetic interest in its content, episode chronology, etc., matters not. Let us all hail invalidation and blinkered thinking!

No. There was a time twenty and more years ago when sensible, balanced thought did still exist, or at least there was the possibility of sane open-mindedness on the subject of Space: 1999 and the other productions of Gerry Anderson. I want to "get back" to that happier time or to the ways of it, and I am determined to do thus. If it requires near complete disconnect from the Internet and closeting utterly my interest in Space: 1999 in my day-to-day relations with people so as not to invite any citing of opinions on the Internet, so be it. As per my New Year's resolution, the aforementioned Internet discussion forums are off-limits for me starting today.

It has aggrieved me profoundly in recent years to see my favourite production time of Warner Brothers cartoons fall afoul of opinion of all of the revered aficionados of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. The entirety of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour seems on the verge of meeting much the same fate as has Space: 1999- Season 2. And it is the DVD releases of the cartoons that has fuelled the repudiation of the post-1948 works of Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Robert McKimson and an apotheosis for the school of thought that everything made after 1948 is predictable, formulaic tosh and that lavish expense on animation is all that matters, such that pre-1948 cartoons and most specifically those directed by Robert Clampett are what Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies are all about, with everything coming later being bastardisations by what had become hack directors. This despite the visual beauty and concept creativity in cartoons such as "Bugs' Bonnets" of Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour instalment 12. And hence the adulation for DVD box sets heavy with pre-1948 cartoons with calls for more of the same in the subsequent years to come, and scant anybody besides myself (and I am no longer of any credibility on this issue having been condescended to time and again as being in error as to what constitutes good cartoons) protesting the new "orthodoxy". Apparently, the general public is of the same mind as the dedicated cartoon buffs on the Internet "message boards" as there is a general acceptance of pre-1948 cartoon-heavy DVD sets at Amazon.com. I am now more piqued about this than I am about what has become of Season 2 of Space: 1999. Why? Because it is more recent that this rolling stone (the current "wisdom") gathering poison moss started descent down the steep hill. I cannot enjoy watching any Warner Brothers cartoons at present, not even by channelling- or attempting to channel- myself of past and better days. But there is a prospect that removing myself totally from the Internet discussions on the cartoons might help me to regain my enjoyment of the cartoons on which I was weaned and grew and which saw me through good times and lonely times. For now, I can no longer count upon my interest in those cartoons to armour me against the unpleasant memory of my treatment in Space: 1999 fan circles, and this is quite embittering. And I hold out no hope for LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION volumes to come. All will be like Volume 5 because that is what everybody who matters, wants.

Spiderman (1967-70) always had a difficult time in appealing to a portion of the population, due to its divergence from the illustrated magazines in which Spidey was born and thrived for decades and its repetitive cartoon animation and far-fetched stories that were bound (sigh!) to attract some derision. But it never occurred to me that there might be on the Internet people who create Websites for Spiderman to condemn the Ralph Bakshi-produced seasons (despite the boldness in their settings, the stylishness of their visualisations, the grandiose cataclysms threatened by villains, etc.). Complaints about story logic or plausibility, when Spiderman is of a genre in which suspension of disbelief is expected, abound on the Internet, and rationalisations for some unexplained or ostensibly contentious story elements never occur to the Website-hosting naysayers, who want calculated writing to a tee in a 10-minute-long or 20-minute-long Spidey story. Why, for instance, does Spiderman's spider-sense not keep him from being hit with a cane handle in "Cold Storage" or from web-swinging into an explosive device thrown at him by bank robbers in "To Cage a Spider"? Maybe because his spider-sense is already tingling upon his entry into the perilous situation of pursuing the wrong-doers and he cannot differentiate the specific threat from the general danger into which he is necessarily and bravely putting himself. Or perhaps his growing arrogance or cynicism in these episodes is impairing his awareness of his spider-sense. Sensible explanations, people. Just because we are not privy to every detail does not mean that explanations cannot be forthcoming- if indeed they are required for immersing oneself into the events of an episode.

And the usual refrain whenever Spiderman (1967-70) becomes subject for "message board" discussion, at, say, ToonZone Forums, is that it is of no worth. Bakshi's Spiderman is respected next to nowhere in discussion on the Internet, and while the Grantray-Lawrence Animation Spidey season fares better, such is only because it features more of the Marvel Comics Spider-Man rogues gallery of antagonists and tends to stay within present-day New York City. I am aware of the shortcomings of Spiderman and did acknowledge them in expansion of my Spiderman Page in 2005. But I am fair to both Grantray-Lawrence's and Bakshi's conceptions of the web-swinger's super-heroic deeds in elucidating upon episodes' artistic aspects, similarities between adjacent stories, interesting arcs of characterisation, etc.. Why, then, do discussions confine themselves to absolute posturing against all of Bakshi's work on the television show or sweeping condemnations of Spiderman in comparing it to the 1990s cartoon television version of Spidey or whatever? Because nobody cares to give credence to my accolades for Spiderman's three seasons? So it seems. I remain able to watch and enjoy Spiderman without antipathy for it on the Internet corrupting the experience, and to safeguard this, keeping away from Internet discussion on the subject of Spiderman would be prudent.

Rocket Robin Hood has tended to be derided much more than its touted "illegitimate" sibling, Spiderman produced by Ralph Bakshi. And there are people on Internet discussion forums who begrudge the existence of Rocket Robin on Teletoon Retro's daily schedule and who say that it must go. I am aware of how Rocket Robin Hood can be seen to be lacking, but the hyperbole of it being the worst cartoon production ever which now goes uncontested on the Internet discussion forums despite Ralph Bakshi's visually and conceptually interesting work on the second and third seasons of the television show, is further reason to withdraw from the entangling mass of disfavouring opinion that is discussion on the World Wide Web.

While the Pink Panther cartoons seem to have fared positively on Internet "message boards", those of the Inspector have come under criticism for story, depiction, and humour- or alleged lack of it. It is only a lack of availability of most of the DePatie-Freleng cartoons that has, I think, kept opinion on them from proliferating in a negative way. The same argument against the allegedly effete cartoon animation in the post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons could as easily be applied to the DePatie-Freleng cartoons (it definitely is so-done with regard to the cartoons that DePatie-Freleng provided to Warner Brothers in the mid-1960s).

My Littlest Hobo Website has consistently received the largest amount of daily Web-surfer traffic, though how much this translates into esteem accorded to it on the Internet at large and in discussion of it is unclear. My impression is that theme song excepted, The Littlest Hobo is not a frequent discussion subject on the Internet, except for on the Internet Movie Database, and even there, discussion is predictably limited to theme song and questions about remembered episodes.

All in all, I have had in the past 7 years more than sufficient reason to despair of my presence on the Internet. I have "lost heart" a number of times and removed my Website. Still, the Internet has been gratifying in one aspect that all of the bile slung at my favourites cannot blemish. Through the Internet, I have been in contact with people with whom I would otherwise probably never have connected. Actors, television producers, writers, musicians, Littlest Hobo dog trainer and owner, and others- all of them courteous and helpful. I would not, I could not, lament the Internet unconditionally; not by a long chalk. Admittedly, most of these associations came about in the earliest years of my involvement on the Internet, 1997 to 2000, mainly. And since 2000, it has been by and large a long process of demoralisation as I have watched so many of my avowed fancied entertainments assailed seemingly without relent and without appreciable protest. It hurts to see this. So much of my sense of self is tied to the entertainments, my love for them, for their part in my life in cherished eras.

Retreating from the Internet totally is not my intention as yet. My Website will remain existent, and communication with friendly correspondents will continue. I still need the Internet for work purposes in any case. It will just require a supreme effort of willpower to steer clear of the Internet forums whereon I have participated or lurked for nearly ten years. It is my hope that by planning each day in advance, apportioning time for work, for walking and/or socialising, for DVD viewing, for whatever, and including Internet only for e-mail and doing more updates to my Website, I can reduce the temptation to indulge in the destructive, to morale, practice of accessing discussion forums on entertainments, DVD, and so forth.

And this Weblog will still be updated regularly for the coming year.

January 1, 2008.


In the past six days, three snowstorms have dumped a total of nearly 90 centimetres of snow on Fredericton. And that is on top of un-melted snow from prior winter blasts. There is more snow on the ground than I have seen in many years. It is unlikely to melt anytime soon. Only more snow to come to add to it.

The term, "global warming", is so very inadequate. Higher temperatures may be occurring in some places on Earth, but Canada, and particularly eastern Canada, is experiencing a climate change toward longer, colder, snowier winters, no springs to speak of, and hot summers (but summers have always been hot). And I think that heating in the Polar and equatorial regions is due more to dispersing of Polar air masses into, ahem, temperate zones and the ozone hole problem (meaning more solar radiation in the Arctic and Antarctic summers) and a paving-over of land in the tropical areas (pavement radiates more heat than sand and trees). Mild winters in Canada are a fluke- and of recent years I can only remember winter in 2005-6 as being particularly mild; 2007 had a very cold winter from mid-January onward, with snowstorms persisting into May- a fact which nobody seems willing to acknowledge. My memories of 2004-5 and 2002-3 are of stormy and cold winters. This one is the worst in my memory since 1986-7.

With all due respect to Carl Sagan, with whom I agree in just about every contention, I cannot concede to his alarm about global warming until I experience it in evidence locally with my unloved season in retreat, i.e. it shortening and weakening- not lengthening and intensifying. And the refusal of the media to address the non-existent spring of last year in chronicling 2007 looks specious, as lack of spring flies in the face of the brickbats being used against the environmental policy of the present federal government.

I am neither pure liberal nor pure conservative, but rather a blending of tenets of both liberalism and conservatism. But I do not appreciate the federal Liberal party at all. Especially with its current leader. Conservatives have fallen from favour with me by times, and I have voted Liberal provincially once or twice. Provincially, my political leaning is fickle, I guess. I am not much of a social conservative nowadays, and I often find myself at odds with the Conservatives on such regards. But I cannot stand the entitlement-to-power attitude of the federal Liberals, the media's obvious favouritism for the Liberals especially when a Quebecker is the Liberal leader (which has been the case nearly all my life), and the stance against non-Quebeckers that the party so obviously has regarding qualification to lead the country. For nearly all my life, the Liberal Party's leader has been from Quebec- and still is. I have nothing against Quebec per se., but it is one province of ten, and it is patently unfair that one province should always send media-endorsed Prime Ministers to Ottawa- and perplexing to say the least that my fellow countrymen do not elect non-Quebec Prime Ministers with as much license to err in successive mandates as the Quebec Liberal ones have.

Enough on politics. I would not have delved into politics on the Weblog, but this global warming issue that I am addressing in my references to weather, has become very politicised in Canada.

I saw a bit of the Rocket Robin Hood episode, "Return Trip", shown this morning on Teletoon Retro. With faded colours, washed-out picture, and film grain galore, it is one of the worst-looking Rocket Robin Hood episodes yet on Teletoon Retro.

So far so good in staying true to my New Year's resolution. I have not succumbed to temptation to look at Internet forums and other places on the World Wide Web on which un-protested, disagreeable discussion occurs. Attaining happier personal times by cloistering myself off from contrary bandwagons may be regarded as something of a "cop-out", but I have more than paid my dues on the Internet in seeing my nostalgically and aesthetically favoured entertainments factually become losers in the vaunted judgement of "group-think". What happened to the Warner Brothers cartoons of the 1950s, my decades-old impression or their being one (at least) item venerated by me having a sizable degree of approval ultimately falling by the wayside was, I think, the critical straw on the straining camel's back. May my imposed absence and ignorance of the direction of "message board", etc. deliberations, eventually help to rejuvenate my enthusiasm for the entertainment works that were outstanding for me in my best years!

January 2, 2008.


Mild, above-freezing weather forecast for next week will, if it comes, hopefully reduce the monstrous heaps of snow through Fredericton to something resembling of what is expected in normal winters in early January. Snow piles are now so high on city streets that people can barely put money in parking meters which are nearly completely buried. And such is a sight that I never recollect seeing in all of my life. Not even in some of the harshest winters in the 1980s (e.g. those of 1981-2 and 1986-7).

Onward from snow to problems with DVDs. In my last weeks present on Home Theatre Forum, it came to attention that television show DVDs sold by CBS/Paramount in box sets of several 2-DVD-holding "slim-paks" are developing smeary stains on DVD playing surface due, it is theorised, to a chemical reaction of the digital videodisc with the plastics in the "slim-paks", most especially those thin DVD cases manufactured by the Scanavo company that "outsources" to China for parts and labour. I had noticed peculiar blemishes on some Brady Bunch DVDs that I had bought in 2005 but because the DVDs still played flawlessly, I was not much alarmed. However, word now is that a season box set of Have Gun, Will Travel contains DVDs so corrupted by these stains that playback impairment developed. Close examination under concentrated light in my room has found that not only Brady Bunch DVDs but those of Mission: Impossible, Hawaii Five-O, Gunsmoke, and even the non-CBS/Paramount Space Academy have telltale signs of the stains. I was able to wipe the stains off of most of the affected DVDs except for DVDs 1 and 2 of The Brady Bunch Season 4, which look as though they are losing their outermost polycarbonate layer. And second DVD in Season 4 of The Brady Bunch clearly appears to be losing its reflectivity and succumbing to the notorious DVD rot. I pray that I was in time to prevent the same outcome in this disagreeable process of DVD entropy in my Season 1 and 2 box sets of Hawaii Five-O and Mission: Impossible and with Gunsmoke and Space Academy. All of the DVDs are now ensconced in traditionally DVD-friendly Alpha "keepcases" in which they really should have been sold. Naturally, discussion forums being as contrary as ever, a plurality of people would not accept the verity of what was happening or the postulated cause, instead launching into a discourse about DVD not being a patently durable format, despite what digital media experts and movie studio representatives had trumpeted in the late 1990s and early this decade, and arguing that DVD is about to go obsolete and that everyone will switch to High-Definition-DVD (HD-DVD) or to what is known as Video-On-Demand (VOD). Yes, after investing thousands of dollars into DVDs of favourite entertainments of bygone years, we shall all turf those DVDs and go through the experience all over again with buying HD-DVDs before retiring those to jump on the bandwagon for the non-personal-collection of VOD. Not without kicking and screaming while all of my DVDs rot, I will not. I have not spent 25 years- and counting- of my life in the collecting of my fancied television shows, etc. just to go with a non-ownership system of availing entertainment for oneself. And there had better be some class action lawsuits if the DVD format does not "live up" to the many-decades-of-media-durability hype based on which we collectors were advised to dispense with our videotapes in the late 1990s.

For the time being, I will keep a close eye upon all of the DVDs in my collection that have been stained. Whether or not I will bother to repurchase Brady Bunch- Season 4 to replace the two deteriorated DVDs in that, I have not as yet decided. The Brady Bunch may be a sentimental favourite for its noontime telecasts on ATV/CKCD during my childhood, but whether I can justify further expense and on DVDs that could corrupt, or already be corrupted, as severely as those that they would be replacing, I do not know.

I have also in recent days pulled my oldest DVDs from shelves and given a spin to them in my computer DVD drive. Hopefully, I do not jinx anything when I say that so far, every old digital videodisc has performed in this latest check. I was rather concerned about Capricorn One (purchased in 1999) when I saw what looked like internal condensation along the outer rim of the DVD, but it was a dried water stain on the surface of the DVD, removed without problem. I found that my DVD of The Cassandra Crossing had a darker than normal look to it on its playing side (a quite dark shade of gold), but the DVD still played. A European disaster movie of the mid-1970s that I first saw on Academy Performance on CTV Television on a Saturday evening in mid-May, 1979, The Cassandra Crossing has always unnerved me, even more so after I did myself become ill on a train (as many people do in this movie) in 1984. Scenes of liquefied Plague spilling onto a Swedish terrorist in a Geneva laboratory and the Swede becoming deathly sick and soon dying after infecting other passengers on a trans-European train and depictions of the train becoming a sealed hospital for the many afflicted persons and at movie's climax meeting its fiery doom at the titled train bridge which is disused and decaying, upset me very much on first viewing of the movie that May, 1979 evening. I was to learn that the movie had been watched that evening by most of my young associates in my neighbourhood. It still "packs a wallop", this movie does. It is poorly rated, of course, by today's ever so sophisticated movie buffs (as are most the disaster movies of the 1970s), even though more recent films like Outbreak tread similar "terror-tory"; not, however, in so claustrophobic a setting as a train. But the notion of a horrible virus released and spread among unsuspecting people before the authorities too late become cognisant of the extent of the virus' transmission, and potential transmission, and subsequently are forced to quarantine hundreds of people in an effort to prevent epidemic or pandemic, resonates indeed this decade. SARS is a very disturbing memory to anyone in Canada. I certainly was scared out of my wits during the SARS crisis in Toronto. It was frustrating how little was done effectively to contain the spread inside Canada of that deadly strain of pneumonia. Canada just "lucked out" that SARS did not continue its scourge past the Toronto region, and even in Toronto, horrible death stalked hospitals and families. I will balk at becoming political again, but the potential nation-wide calamity of SARS in 2003 still makes me shudder.

Other DVDs bought in 1999 or 2000 that I have recently tested for playback include Alien, The Towering Inferno, 90 Degrees South: With Scott to the Antarctic, Logan's Run, Nicholas and Alexandra, The Thing (1982), Star Trek III- The Search For Spock, and All Quiet On the Western Front (1979). Clean bill of health for each of these. However, the outer edges of all of these DVDs felt different somehow when I handled them. Not as smooth as the outer edges of currently bought, recently manufactured DVDs. I dearly hope that there is nothing significant in that. Many of the DVDs that I bought in 1999 or 2000 have since been superseded by upgraded editions in terms of superior picture or more extra features, the James Bond movie series being a standout example. But of the old DVDs remaining in my collection, I am comforted by their smooth playability. And for what it may be worth, I have recorded DVDs (DVD-Rs) from 2003, on rather cheap Ritek media, that continue to play without worrisome incident. Knock several layers of wood...

And tomorrow, January 5, is my birthday. A nice, mild weather day would be one birthday wish. I have several more such, of course, but a reader of this Weblog and of my autobiography would know already what most of those wishes are; no need for me to list them here.

All for today, January 4, 2008.


A quiet birthday for me yesterday, January 5. Received birthday card in the morning from my parents, and my mother baked one of my favourite supper desserts, cottage pudding.

During the afternoon, I thought back to 1974 in which January 5 also fell on a Saturday. For my eighth birthday that year, my parents bought a photograph album for me which I still have, and during my birthday party that afternoon at our house, I was photographed with my friends Michael and Evie, my sitter's son, Greg, and some older boy named Mark of whom I have no recollection other than his attendance at my party, on Polaroid pictures that I also still have, in the same photograph album. I pulled the album out of storage area yesterday to look at the pictures of that January 5, 1974 party, smiling at the sight of friends and I being served cupcakes with candles in them and having a fun time in each other's company in the dining room and living room, Michael's arm around me at the shoulders, and behind us my family's television set and my audiotape-recording equipment and the cushions that a certain microphone would always rest upon beneath the television speaker. That 1974 January Saturday evening at 6 P.M., after the party, I audiotape-recorded Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour instalment 17 with "Devil May Hare", "Rushing Roulette", "Tweet and Lovely", etc., which would from then forward always be remembered as my "special birthday episode" of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour.

1974 and 1975 were the only years in which there were arranged birthday parties in my honour, though 1984 is notable for its January 5 afternoon hours spent with my friend Joey and a couple of others that became what could be called an impromptu birthday celebration. For the most part, though, January 5 has for me tended to be a low-key day. I have known but a few exceptions to this in my life, and I now expect on my birthdays only an in-family recognition of the day- and recounting of those few years when January 5 was memorable for the friends' company that I had. For the day to be a Saturday quite naturally recalls me especially to January 5, 1974 and my birthday party.

This morning, January 6, my DVD-watching schedule commemorating television (and living) in eastern Maritime Canada in 1983-4 was Cosmos- "Who Speaks For Earth?", Gunsmoke- "The Legend", and Space: 1999- "New Adam, New Eve".


Last week, I bought a 40-inch LCD 16X9 television monitor on which to watch my DVDs played on my computer for effect of maximum resolution and no distortion on DVDs purchased, in PAL, from Europe or Australia. Truly, every DVD, of Regions 1, 2, 4, that I have played on the new television is a revelation. I can now experience anamorphic enhancement on all movie DVDs having such a quality, and even 4X3 screen ratio television programmes look crisper, livelier, bigger, far more vivid than I had ever before seen them to be. Last evening, I watched Earthquake in its widescreen glory (anamorphically enhanced), and the detail and breadth of the picture to say nothing of the colour, gave this resplendent viewing the closest possible comparison to my first-time-ever casting of eyes upon Earthquake in its performance at the Uptown Theatre one evening in Newcastle in 1975. The scope of the devastation wrought by the titled event has never in the intervening 33 years been as apparent, and the visual effects, quaint by today's standards, still impress for the audacity of their scale, miniatures and matte paintings though many of the achieved visualisations may be. On Saturday evening, I indulged myself with an anamorphic widescreen presentation on my new television of The Empire Strikes Back. Gorgeous! Exquisite! Best viewing of that since an evening with Tony at Nashwaaksis Cinema 2 in June, 1980.

The weeks and months to come stand to be very exciting indeed, for it is going to be like watching every single one of my DVDs for the first time. And in the case of films that I never saw at a movie theatre, I shall be having the closest experience possible to that- with movies only known to me for years in pan-and-scan or tiny letterbox on my television or computer monitor screen.

And yesterday, Sunday, I watched in the morning Cosmos- "Travellers' Tales", Gunsmoke- "Which Dr.", and Space: 1999- "Brian the Brain". Space: 1999 looked staggeringly vivid in detail and colour. Yes, even an episode whose representation on DVD was achieved through digital-video transfer from 16-millimetre reduction film print and not from remastered film negative or interpositive. And for the first time since I began this "back-to-1983" Sunday A.M. endeavour, I never once thought of the fan collective's antipathy for the episode that I was watching. I used to always be (and am again) impressed by the look of the production of "Brian the Brain", the larger-than-usual scale to the spaceship models, the interior and exterior of the Swift spacecraft, and the depiction of the surface of lethal Planet D on which Commander Koenig is walking in a silver spacesuit to the strange but wonderful accompaniment of the choir-like "Aaaaaaaaah" music that tended usually to be heard during seemingly miraculous occurrences, most particularly in the "New Adam, New Eve" episode. My former Space: 1999 fellow aesthete, Dean, had quite a compelling theory for the recurrence of "New Adam, New Eve" music in "Brian the Brain", which in episode chronology comes right after "New Adam, New Eve". I am not at liberty to say much more, but it was a most impressive proposition. Haters of both episodes and of whole of Season 2 notwithstanding. Those louts.

The episode came to life for me in a way that had been elusive in nearly as long as I first acquired it on videotape in 1984. "Brian the Brain" was also in New Brunswick perhaps the most difficult of all Season 2 episodes to see or procure on audio-visual media after its initial November 30, 1976 airing on CBC English Television. CHSJ-TV declined the CBC network's April 16, 1977 rerun of "Brian the Brain", and CBAFT, the CBC French television station serving Atlantic Canada, preempted the CBC French telecast of "Le Cerveau ordinateur" ("Brian the Brain") in the winter-spring, 1979 run of Season 2. And I was unable to acquire "Brian the Brain" from CBHT's showing of it in Nova Scotia on Sunday, January 1, 1984, eventually having to go the route of having a Space: 1999 fan in Ohio copy for me his videotape-recording of "Brain the Brain" from its broadcast on the WUAB television station in Lorain-Cleveland. Fans tend to deride the use of Bernard Cribbins' somewhat comedic voice for the Brian robot in the episode, completely oblivious to the merits in the episode's depictions, to say nothing of its aesthetic interest. But given that Brian has committed murder and threatens murder through most of the story, surely the glibly comedic nature of his speech is ironic, in addition to being functional to the episode, i.e. disarming and even ingratiating at first, allowing him to gain the confidence of the Alphans whom he has targeted for abduction and computer impairment.

In 2000, I foolishly tried to convince the blinkered fans to acknowledge poetic justice or nemesis in "Brian the Brain", that Brian at the episode's climax and denouement has happen to him precisely what he threatens to do and has done to the Alphans, i.e. ejection from the Swift spaceship into space and "blinding" confiscation of computer memory.

In watching the visual beauty of the episode and regaining enthusiasm for its story content, I can and do easily put out of mind the gripes that fandom has with "Brian the Brain", much appreciating the experience of viewing it on my new television. It would appear that at last healing will really start to happen after my years of subjugation to the smugly blinkered arrogance and bullying of the "right-think"-dominated fan movement and unpleasant memory of such. Withdrawal from Internet discussion forums combined with these quite refreshing screenings of my fancied works of imagination could, combined, be just the tonic for what has been ailing me and my enthusiasm for the items honoured at this Website, for most of the current century so far. I even find myself urging to watch some of my DVDs of Warner Brothers cartoons on my new, awesomely huge television. If the Spiderman episodes that I watched this past Saturday morning on my new television are any indication, all cartoons will be positively gorgeous, possibly eradicating all thought in me of their, in this century, alleged inferiority and lack of worth as subject of aesthetic appreciation.

The fact that New Brunswick is due to be hit with yet another winter storm in the next 24 hours does not confound this positive frame of mind in which I now am.

January 14, 2008.


Last evening, I brought to my new 16X9 television a playing of my anamorphic widescreen Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan DVD and as had been true with movies watched this past weekend on my new television monitor, the life-and-death battle between James T. Kirk and Khan Noonian Singh came to life to an extent that it has not done since my first-time observance of it in a movie theatre. For a movie lensed in 1982, Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan boasts an admirable production quality, with imaginative concepts such as terraforming with a "Genesis Device", planetary explosions wreaking destruction on neighbouring orbs, and a tiny but horrid alien creature, within a storyline of revenge and of missed past opportunities and a "mid-life complex" for Kirk whose awareness of ageing and trepidation about such was all the more acute as he is surrounded by young cadets aboard the Starship of his former and circumstantially renewed command. I remember a Macleans magazine review of Star Trek II during the film's original cinema circulation being very scathing. I recall reeling at the severity of the reviewer's disagreeable reaction to the movie's screenplay, completely heedless did he or she appear to be of the boldness in it (a boldness that leaves just about all Star Trek that followed to be wanting). Much of the review's criticism seemed gratuitously peevish, harping about overplayed characterisation in the lead role, violence, and supposed lack of invention in returning Khan (Ricardo Montalban). Yes, William Shatner has seldom been the epitome of the subtly expressive, "economical" and refined thespian, but on the whole he conveys Kirk's psychological "hang-ups" about growing old and not being in his prime as he once was, very sympathetically, with his conversations with Spock in the first reels of the movie being particularly noteworthy (in view of what happens with death touching these two friends near the end of the film). And the "body horror" surrounding the Ceti Alpha 5 ILF (indigenous life form) is quite unusual indeed in the relatively (compared to Space: 1999 or Doctor Who) cosy Star Trek universe. For having the courage to go against Star Trek convention and to show alien organisms that can penetrate a human body orifice and inflict horrible, ultimately deadly damage, with some gore besides, Star Trek II received my respect. As too it did in bringing back Khan, whose initial meeting and clash with Kirk in the Star Trek first season episode, "Space Seed", I had not yet seen but which I had partially read in James Blish's Star Trek 2 compilation of episode novelisations. It seemed, to me, inspired to utilise an antagonist from an episode of the Star Trek television series, someone of formidable will and muscle with whom there could be "unfinished business".

I was rather less than enamoured with Star Trek- The Motion Picture when I restlessly sat through it in 1979 at the Nashwaaksis Cinema 2 and did go to the Plaza Cinema 1 one Sunday afternoon in June, 1982 with some wariness about having to endure a further plodding and pretentious- though visually impressive- Star Trek yawner, only to be on the edge of my seat, thrilling thoroughly to Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan. The battle scenes between Enterprise and Reliant and the incurred toll in lives, including that of a regular character, exuded an intensity, an energy, of a kind I had not witnessed before with Star Trek. And the visual effects on the whole went way beyond what the original Star Trek had done, and this time were in service to a rivetingly entertaining, good story.

Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan was the first in a run of early-1980s movies that I went alone to theatres to see. This movie-going experience without a friend's accompaniment was followed in 1982 by E.T. in July of same year, Firefox in August, 1982, The Cannonball Run, on, I think a re-release, also in summer of 1982, Return of the Jedi in 1983, and Star Trek III- The Search For Spock in 1984. Gremlins in 1984, which I saw at the Nashwaaksis Cinema 2 with Joey and Andrew, marked the first occasion since January 24, 1982, that a friend was watching a movie beside me in a theatre aisle. My days of attending movies in theatres with Tony had come to an end with Time Bandits on January 24, 1982, and for a variety of reasons, Joey and I did not have compatible plans for attending movie theatres before Gremlins in 1984; Joey did suggest on Sunday of Labour Day weekend in 1982 that we two go to the Nashwaaksis Cinemas to see E.T., but I had already seen it in July while Joey was away to summer camp for a couple of weeks and was in any case saving my pennies in early September of 1982 to buy a 100-dollars-plus-priced VHS videotape of Star Wars. I wish I had gone with Joey to see E.T. and deferred buying Star Wars until a later time when the asking price for it was more reasonable.

But I digress. After viewing Star Trek II in its Sunday matinee screening at the Plaza Cinemas, I walked all of the way home from the top of the hill of Fredericton South, frequently contemplating the movie that I had seen and how little of the Star Trek television show that I had until then beheld on television- or on CED videodisc. Of Season 1, the only episodes known to me through such had been "The Menagerie" and "City On the Edge of Forever" via CED videodisc, and "The Galileo Seven", "This Side of Paradise", and "The Devil in the Dark" (the latter two I had seen on television while in Toronto for a week in 1978). And of Season 2, I only recollect having watched "Journey to Babel" by way of cable television at my grandparents' place sometime in 1976 or 1977. I had owned the Star Trek Photonovels, but those, though all of them read, were a poor substitute for the experience of seeing the episodes on television. 1983 would rectify this deficiency. Very much so. First with the acquisition of "Space Seed" on videocassette when that videotape became present at Video King on King Street, Fredericton, then with my purchase in Ottawa of some of Paramount Home Video's two-episode videocassettes in spring, and then with airing of Star Trek on weekdays by WVII-TV Bangor, Maine and with CHSJ-TV's Saturday 12:30 P.M. telecasts starting in autumn of 1983. Ah, those were the days! I remember acquiring videotape of Star Trek II near the end of March in 1983. On a Thursday evening as I recall. It was the only item of Star Trek in my videotape collection at that point in time, indeed one of very few space opuses in my possession, and I was very pleased to have it. Just over a month later, it would be joined by 2-episode videocassette volumes with episodes such as "Mirror, Mirror", "Balance of Terror", etc., and two and a half months later by "Space Seed" by way of Paramount Home Video's release of it on videocassette to companion Star Trek II on collectors' and videotape seller/vendor shelves.

Good times. By this I refer not only to the occasions for seeing and acquiring on videotape entries in the Star Trek television and theatrical feature films series, but also the outstanding social aspect to my life in 1982 and 1983. A fun baseball game was played on the street in front of my house on the evening of the day that I had added "Space Seed" to my VHS videotape collection. Much fun was had in my neighbourhood in the weeks after I arrived at home from Ottawa in May of 1983 with Star Trek 2-episode videotapes. And the March, 1983 Thursday on which I attained videotape copy of Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan was just 8 days before a memorable evening visit by Joey during which we watched a slew of cogent Spiderman episodes from my videotape recordings off of CHSJ-TV. The spring of 1983 was arguably the best such season I have ever had, and 1983's summer is definitely a prime candidate for best in its category. Watching Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan in an expansive screen format hearkening back to my earliest days of familiarity with the second Star Trek movie, was a pleasant nostalgic exercise, for sure. I look forward to more of those in weeks ahead with DVD and my new television monitor.

January 15, 2008.


Mild weather in Fredericton two weeks ago has been succeeded by the deep freeze, wind-chills of minus 35 degrees Celsius now being the daily norm. What snow melted during the "January thaw" has been mostly replaced, and the piles of cold, white precipitation are almost as high as they were before the mercury climbed above freezing a couple of weeks ago. Streets and sidewalks are hazardous to walk, and if I go out for a stroll, I inch along without lifting a foot as I go. Quite like how Tom Conway's character on The Carol Burnett Show used to perambulate.

My DVD viewing of late has concentrated mainly on my latest acquisition, the Doctor Who DVD box set entitled BENEATH THE SURFACE and consisting of the three serials, "Doctor Who and the Silurians" (1970), "The Sea Devils" (1972), and "Warriors of the Deep" (1984). I was expecting somewhat better results from the latest re-colorisation work done on "Doctor Who and the Silurians", but I guess that what is presented is the best that can be achieved, considering that the colour comes from a domestically recorded (from broadcast) Betamax videotape, and one that is some 30 years-old, to boot. One of the bonus items for the two DVDs comprising "Doctor Who and the Silurians" is a magnificent documentary called "What Lies Beneath" that expounds on the prevailing British mindset of the year in which this particular Doctor Who serial came to be and posits some intriguing notions about the serial's story, from whence its ideas came and the 1970 context of the ideas, and how they were developed into an engaging television script. "What Lies Beneath" also presents a palpable contrast between Doctor Who and television in general of 38 years ago and Doctor Who and television of the present, the sensible viewer gleaning the correct message that twenty-first century television howsoever fast-paced, calculated, relentlessly gritty and realistic, and ostensibly more sophisticated though it may appear to be, is really quite shallow conceptually, philosophically, and imaginatively, demanding less of its audience than the works of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Dangers of scientific hubris, parallels between alien contact and apprehension about "the other" in the world of man, the collective unconscious and "race memory", and much more are elucidated as coming from cogitation of the characters, milieus, storyline of "Doctor Who and the Silurians". For once, the presence of men in rubber monster suits does not incite instant switch-off of brain activity and Crazy-Glued application of blinkers, and I applaud the persons involved in "What Lies Beneath" for their courage and insight to eschew the old stand-by of men-in-monster-suits invariably being bad science fiction and bad television. No doubt there are still people who cling unswervingly to so ever insightful an attitude. One can lead a mule to water but one cannot make him drink.

I did, however, find the tone of commentaries on "Warriors of the Deep" to be rather too harsh ("Warriors of the Deep" was a Doctor Who serial that I rather thought to be quite impressive in its depicted future world and portrayed conflicts, trademark Doctor Who dodgy production value accepted) and the picture quality on "The Sea Devils" to be sketchy in early episodes (this again due to the best archival elements being of some visual deficiency, in this case three of the six episodes being a multi-generational videotape recording picture-standards-converted from PAL to NTSC and back to PAL). But on the whole, I think Doctor Who- BENEATH THE SURFACE to be a laudable effort by everyone involved.

The way things look so far, BENEATH THE SURFACE appears to be the only Doctor Who DVD release of 2008 to stir in me much enthusiasm. A black-and-white set-on-early-medieval-Earth serial, "The Time Meddler", with William Hartnell as the First Doctor; a previously released story, "The Five Doctors", seeing a "souped-up", multi-DVD treatment; a measly 2-parter, and pure historical one at that (with no science fiction/fantasy included beyond the time-and-space travel machine of the hero and his companions), of the era of Peter Davison as the Doctor ("Black Orchid"); and a Tom Baker-as-the-Doctor vehicle of the arguably weakest television season in Mr. Baker's seven years as the Gallifreyan voyager of time and space, and quite possibly the story that I was most eager on first viewing to see conclude only to go on for a further 45 minutes. Indeed, I still recall the traumatic experience of the "Invasion of Time" Doctor Who serial on my watching of it on MPBN in October of 1984. 90 minutes of almost unintelligible tedium on the Doctor's humdrum home world with a storyline in which I could feel no empathy or need of investment of attention, much less excitement, and just when I thought the credits would start to run (and the television guides did say that Doctor Who that week was only to be 90 minutes in length), the Sontarans appear. And while that raised the excitement level a tad from the cellar in which it had rested for an hour and a half, I still could not wait to see the story end with those Humpty Dumpty wannabe Sontarans being nullified. Other Doctor Who serials thought to be coming this year (the above-mentioned ones definitely are) are just as un-uplifting. "The Dominators" or "The Krotons", both of them black-and-white serials with Patrick Troughton as the Doctor in the midst of humanoid alien societies not descript in much else but bizarre sartorial taste. The distended 14-part "Trial of a Timelord", which monkeyed with television series continuity and indeed imploded upon itself in its final episode after thirteen "chapters" of build-up (if such can be called build-up). It is but another serial with highfalutin Gallifreyans in their dull-as-dishwater society. "Battlefield" with Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor. K-9 and Company. Ah, me.

Sailing ships among the planets of the Solar System, a transmittable mental force for serpentine evil in a planetary Garden of Eden, the Doctor helping Earth prevent invasion by the monstrous blobby Zygons or giant, tentacled, vegetable Krynoids, a feudalistic world governed by vampires, a planet on which humanoids are subservient to intelligent arachnids, the devious Master wreaking havoc on Earth of the 1970s with lethal plastic daffodils, a parasite draining evil impulses from criminals and developing homicidal tendencies of its own, and an ethereal creature with mastery over time's forces. How about some of these? I would even settle for one of the Dalek serials with Jon Pertwee as the intrepid Time Lord. Or some of the efforts at alien and/or futuristic environments undertaken in the Hartnell years. "The Keys of Marinus", "The Rescue", "The Space Museum", or "The Ark", for examples.

At least it looks quite promising for a March 4 DVD of the Inspector cartoons. Amazon.com now has the DVD cover art included on the main details Web page for Amazon.com's product listing for PINK PANTHER CARTOON COLLECTION VOLUME 6: INSPECTOR. Much better than had been the case last year at six weeks before the projected July 24 release of this DVD. I have no news to report on Rocket Robin Hood or a Network DVD box set of Space: 1999- Season 2.

Last Sunday, that of January 20, I continued my new Sunday morning DVD viewing ritual hearkening back to arguably the best year of my existence, by a recreation of Sunday television programming of 1983 (and 1984), with episodes of Cosmos, Gunsmoke, and Space: 1999. This past Sunday, the episodes were "The Backbone of Night" for Cosmos, "Chato" for Gunsmoke, and "The Rules of Luton" for Space: 1999. On watching "Chato", I was much reminded of the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century two-part episode, "Time of the Hawk". Fate of the antagonist aside, the ingredients of the developing story are almost identical. The fact that John Mantley was producer of both Gunsmoke and Buck Rogers during the time that these episodes of the respective television series were lensed does rather appear to point to the source of observable story replication. It underscores how creatively wanting that Buck Rogers and its predecessor, Battlestar Galactica, were. Turning a Western into a space fantasy with very little tweaking of story structure and character motivation and interaction, or salient, extensive, first-time combination with story phenomena or fantastic concepts of another heritage. Ricardo Montalban is always compelling in villainous roles, and he seems to have been ubiquitous in such in Paramount Pictures' television shows of the late 1960s. Star Trek, of course. But also Mission: Impossible, The Wild, Wild West, and Gunsmoke. In "Chato", though, Montalban's character, a lawless, notorious killer, is imbued with a distinguishable degree of humanity as he forms a truce with Marshal Dillon so that the two can carry his (Montalban's character's) wounded woman to medical help. She dies, as Hawk's mate does in "Time of the Hawk", and hero and villain return to their prior confrontation. I do like Buck Rogers- and Battlestar Galactica, too, in as much as both do have some imagination in them by times and hail from a unit of years in which Star Wars had inspired many efforts at portraying space as a setting for action to elevated purpose, when heroism was for the most part unsullied by "darker" motivations and so forth.

As for "The Rules of Luton", it is still an episode for which I continue to have both time and appreciation. For it having dared to explore the possibility of a planet on which the plant and animal are at odds rather than in harmony- and with the vegetation, though not having anatomical brains, possessing sentience and ultimate authority on the planet. And for it having endeavoured this without the Lost in Space cheap "cop-out" of using the concept in a lampooning fashion (and portly actor Stanley Adams dressed as a giant, talking carrot). "The Rules of Luton" acknowledges merit in the sentient-plants prospect and portrays it with enough subtlety so that how the plants have self-regarding consciousness and the Judges of Luton possess the ability to communicate with the Alphans is indeterminate. Forced explanations would have been imprudent. As the episode is presented, the plants could be the appendages of a planetary consciousness (the Gaia principle) that chooses to use plants and not some other life form or constituent element on the planet through which to have a tactile, physical existence. Or they could be the physical bodies of intelligences that do not require brains (non-corporeal aliens were portrayed in at least one episode, "Alpha Child", of Season 1, by the way). And communication is possible through some psychokinetic manipulation of Koenig's commlock's audio (and video) circuits. Simply interpreting the episode as being of talking plants with no brains and thereby absurd and unbelievable is typical of the blinkered fans. And heedless of the humanity at the heart of the episode in the characters of Commander Koenig and Maya. The conversation on the Luton hilltop between the two Alphans in reminiscence of their past lives never fails to be "moving" to me sentimentally, nostalgically. The music combined with the acting of Martin Landau and Catherine Schell are key to this effect, combined of course with one's viewing of the episode's initial or subsequent telecasts during a cherished time in one's life. And that the conversation does connect with the no-to-fighting and no-to-killing mantra of the heroes of the episode and of them at its climax is further warranting of note if not praise. Mammalian life has redeeming characteristics after all, as the Judges of Luton would discover.

And there is nothing like watching so vividly sunny and lush and green a planetary habitat while in the dead of winter. It is a most welcome sight to gratefully behold! And for the first time on my new, large-screen television, too. I am cognisant of the production shortcomings of the episode (I would be much less so, and the better for it had I not been exposed to hyper-intensive fan scrutiny of the episode on the Internet): people seen in the background, dog trainer seen restraining the bloodhound of a Maya transformation, evidence of tree clearing along the river shore, a bird- and not one of Maya transformation- seen in one scene, and etcetera. But is it unreasonable to posit that maybe Luton retains a humanoid custodian work force? It must surely have some penal place for the imprisonment, lasting some time, of the three aliens against whom John and Maya are pitted in battle. It could even be a "natural park" of its solar system with the beings of other planets allowed to visit without violating the planet's laws. This would counter some of the criticisms of the impossibility of a planet of plants without humans to attend to plant maintenance or to clearing of dead flora to the release of birds and insects to assist in pollination. The humans are there as caretakers or visitors but ordered to keep in the background as much as possible during the "crucible of combat" between Alphans and aliens. Still does not explain the dog trainer, though. Maybe Koenig hallucinated him as he watched Maya's encounter with Alien Invisible.

But were I so daft as to still be in the fan movement and suggest such things therein as I do here, I would be dismissed as a sad apologist. In fact, I am dismissed as that- among other things- anyway. Much as I hate the word, apologist, with regards to any of the productions that I fancy. All that I am doing here is placating myself for trying to preserve my childhood and early adulthood enjoyment of "The Rules of Luton". It occurs on an alien planet of which not much has been conclusively revealed of its nature and that of the forms of life on its surface. And it is not as if there are not lapses of production in other works of science fiction/fantasy and genres of all kinds. The concepts in "The Rules of Luton" are not done for camp, and it is only a person with blinkers on and an unwillingness to sanction any of what the episode is trying to do who will contend it to be such. Why I am even bothering to waste valuable time (and Weblog space) to consider the reactions of fans to the episode and to my appreciation of it, is quite confounding. Will I ever really overcome the unpleasant memories of my involvement in Space: 1999 fandom? Time will tell. I might reach this elusive goal sometime yet.

January 23, 2008.


New Brunswick is being hit by another snowstorm today, but at least this once, Fredericton will be spared the brunt of the messy weather. Or so the forecasters are saying.

Yesterday, Sunday, January 27, my Sunday morning of viewing DVD to recapture the Sunday mornings of a particular past year, or a pair of certain adjacent past years, consisted of Cosmos- "Encyclopaedia Galactica", Gunsmoke- "Trail of Bloodshed", and Space: 1999- "The AB Chrysalis". It was an interesting choice for episode of Cosmos in that unbeknown to me, on Canada's SPACE- The Imagination Station cable television specialty channel yesterday afternoon, would be the movie, Contact!, in which most of Carl Sagan's ideas expressed in "Encyclopadeia Galactica" about how an alien civilisation might communicate by radio wave with man of Earth were dramatised. I rarely ever watch SPACE, for I have long thought its moniker to be woefully inapt because of the paucity of space and the abundance of Earth on that television channel- and I also did not much appreciate how Space: 1999 and Doctor Who were treated by it. But I just happened to be channel-surfing yesterday when I came upon a familiar scene with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey as their characters contemplate the possibility of having dinner (which in Hollywood productions must always lead to bed scene with implied sexual intercourse). Quite possibly the part of that movie that I find to be gratuitous. Nonessential. Not a requisite to the movie's appeal to an astronomically curious person such as I. But I digress.

"Trail of Bloodshed", with Kurt Russell in a guest role as a young man whose father is killed by same young man's own uncle, is one of many Gunsmoke episodes of that television series' last seasons to be almost devoid of Marshal Matt Dillon. Still, it is a quality story, keeping my attention for its approximate 50-minutes. "The AB Chrysalis" benefits from being a cracklingly effective Space: 1999 episode with some exquisite visualisations- including some outstanding planet set designs, Moonbase Alpha in danger of being destroyed unless aliens can be persuaded to desist from securing their world with outward-emitted violent blast waves, and there consequently being a strong sense of urgency in the episode's proceedings. The hate-all-Season-2 fans can- and of course do- find copious fault with it. I have the advantage of the episode having been, with "The Rules of Luton", a contender for most attended videotape (or videodisc) show that I had for youngsters of my neighbourhood in the early-to-mid-1980s. In fact, a Space: 1999 "double-feature" on a Wednesday afternoon in early February of 1985 was one of three performances of items in my videotape (or prior videodisc) collection to enjoy "packed-room" viewership, the other two having been Superman in August of 1982 and TALES FROM MUPPETLAND- The Muppet Musicians of Bremen and Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas in January of 1982. Both "The AB Chrysalis" and "The Rules of Luton" were both very much acclaimed by most of my neighbourhood co-inhabitants who came to my showing of those two episodes in 1985. The pleasant memory of this was certainly recalled while I yesterday beheld "The AB Chrysalis" on my large-screen television monitor. It definitely does help me to retain so positive a remembrance of a viewing experience of a Space: 1999 episode with so many appreciative other persons; I thought quite little of the fans as I viewed "The AB Chrysalis" yesterday morning.

It also is one of the better film-to-digital-video transfers available of second season Space: 1999 episodes on the A & E/New Video Group DVDs, having very few film blemishes and a vividly captured image. The blacks of space are almost pure, with wires invisible on the Eagles, the only one exception to this being an Eagle landing on Moonbase during the episode credits. I was impressed by "The AB Chrysalis" yesterday, almost as much as on my first-ever watching of it on November 13, 1976.

Appropriate for me to have mentioned Superman; it so happens that I watched my DVD of Superman on my 16X9 television last Friday, January 25. An excellent-looking movie on anamorphic widescreen DVD, this, with all due kudos to Warner Home Entertainment for bringing so, so super a DVD to the consumer market. I of course listened to the original audio on the movie as I watched it. Not that monstrosity that is the "recreated" audio track in Dolby 5.1. Word from some quarters is that the original audio on the DVD still is not true to how it sounded in theatres, some of the audio channels having been inverted. And yet, as long as Krypton sounds like an actual planet as it explodes and there is rumble to the California earthquake, and the whip-cracking heard in "Devil's Planet" episode of Space: 1999 can be heard in a wayward cable preventing the ascendance of the helicopter with passenger Lois Lane on the Daily Planet roof, I am happy. As close as I can come to the evening in 1982 when Joey and I had our showing of Superman in my filled-to-capacity television room, the better. My first two viewings of Superman at a drive-in theatre in Fredericton in 1979 and in the Nashwaaksis Junior High School theatre during Winter Carnival Week 1980 are certainly quite memorable, but my most prized, indeed most definitive, experience of the movie was on that presentation of it by Joey and I in August of 1982.

I propose to exploit advantage of an opportunity here to "plug", or at least link to Era 4 (1982-7) of McCorry's Memoirs. My memoirs could use all of the promotion that I can give to them, for Geocities statistics indicate that my autobiographical Web pages are nowadays only being accessed for their pictures. At best, on an odd day here and there, a scant 1 percent of visitors come to those Web pages from anything other than www.google.com/imgres or some national variant thereof (e.g. www.google.ca/imgres). So much for their text. While I will concede that in terms of pictures, my autobiography boasts some of the best content on this Website, or certainly the most diverse, i.e. everything from photographs of self to pictures of places to images from favourite entertainments, the bulk of the work and time that I invested into the project was into the text. And it is not all just a protracted diary of remembered events in my surroundings but in many ways an informative recounting of what television and cinemas were like ten, twenty, thirty years ago in eastern provinces of Canada.

But it is not just my autobiography that is registering few "hits" nowadays for what was written. Granted, in the case of McCorry's Memoirs, it is a very pronounced phenomenon, this. However, my Web pages dedicated to television programmes, etc. are also being visited by way of www.google.com/imgres, to a substantial degree. The one Web page that continues to enjoy daily totals of accessing in the high thirties or low forties, and not routed thereto by www.google.com/imgres, is The Littlest Hobo Page. I shall leave it to readers to interpret this as they will.

January 28, 2008.



Barry Morse (1918-2008).

Veteran actor Barry Morse, best known to me and probably so also to readers of this Website as Prof. Victor Bergman in Space: 1999, died this past Saturday, February 2, at the age of 89.

Although one tends not to be particularly surprised at the passing of people in their late eighties, I must say that I was rather sideswiped by news of Barry Morse's death, for somehow, I had thought Barry Morse's time on Earth to be eternal, quite like I had thought Chuck Jones' to be. Interestingly, Mr. Jones and Mr. Morse both died at 89 and in a February with a date involving the number 2.

Barry Morse brought a quantifiable amount of definite humanity to the Bergman character, raising the characterisation several notches above what one would expect of the archetype of the professor-scientist. I would go so far to say that in the first season of Space: 1999 in which there was something less than an abundance of normal human sociability, Bergman was by far the most accessible character of the lot.

My own history with the character of Victor Bergman and the distinguished actor who enacted him is admittedly rather uneven in terms of veneration. At first, I found Bergman to be quite appealing a character, providing a most sympathetic presence in the first episodes of Season 1 that I saw in English in 1977. But my friend Tony whom I met some months later would poke fun at old Victor without much if any relent, scorning the occasionally eccentric mien and rather egg-headed (in look and manner) representation of the ageing professor on Moonbase Alpha, for eccentricity and braininess must always equate with deficient masculinity or unusual sexuality, in the mind of the pubescent or pre-pubescent youth. It certainly was thus in Fredericton. I am ashamed to admit that I did hew to Tony's view for some years, this being spurred somewhat by the memory of being required by another friend, David, whom I met three months after moving to Fredericton in 1977, to be Bergman (and female characters) whenever we two played Space: 1999 while he (David) was Koenig, Carter, Morrow, etc.- a memory which carried with it an amount of umbrage. I could not subsequently keep from laughing at, or with, Tony's ribbing denunciations of the Victor character and of Barry Morse. Although I have rarely been one to adhere to or go along with the opinion of another person/other persons (especially after moving to Fredericton), I must confess that in the case of Barry Morse and Victor Bergman I did, in the late 1970s and very early 1980s, accord with Tony's assessment of the professor and the actor. Some of this, or much of it, was admittedly for Tony's approval. And so I did also sadly shrink from going to see Theatre New Brunswick's "A Christmas Carol" with Mr. Morse as Scrooge, at the Playhouse in Fredericton in 1980. There were in fact some advertising posters from Theatre New Brunswick for "A Christmas Carol" pinned on the lobby walls of Nashwaaksis Junior High School, and Tony never forsook the occasion to speak derisively of the man billed in leading role Ebenezer Scrooge. It is one of several regrets of my life that I did not attend "A Christmas Carol" in 1980 at the Playhouse and speak to Barry Morse behind stage after his performance. A Douglastown friend of mine, Peter, mentioned to me in 1991 that he did see that play when it was at the Miramichi region's theatre in 1980 and had thought of me and my love for Space: 1999 and expected that I would have not only gone to see the play but met Mr. Morse backstage; Peter was quite bewildered to learn that I had not gone to the play, and of that I chose not to explain to him why.

Alas, Mr. Morse's appearances on television shows like The Littlest Hobo did little to allay Tony's dislike of him, as Mr. Morse demonstrated some rather twee, overly exuberant, and/or rather "un-macho" traits in the characters which he played on some of those pre-/post-Space: 1999 works.

When I started acquiring videotape-recordings from Nova Scotia of Space: 1999 telecasts on CBHT in 1983, I began to revise my estimation for the Bergman character, and my appreciation of him as the anchor for humanity on Moonbase Alpha in the first season did supersede my inculcation to Tony's Victor-is-"stunned" perspective, as I watched episodes like "Black Sun" and "Another Time, Another Place" on my videotapes. Bergman was a dependable personage. A much-educated man of distinction. Loyal to his friend, Commander Koenig. And consoling to other Alphans in times of stress or crisis. And with some old-fashioned outlooks that were cogent counterpoint to the "techno-ethos" of the Moonbase. Endearing "Bergman-isms" like whistling while he works through some mathematical problem or walking in circles as he deliberates, or some compassionate actions such as putting a coat on Dr. Russell as he escorted her to the launching pad on which a "survival" Eagle awaited her, did quite accentuate the favourable impression I again had of him.

I wavered again, though, in esteem for Barry Morse as he became known to express disdain for Space: 1999 as an entertainment construct and as the Space: 1999 fan movement (my opinion on that is very extensively known; no need here to reiterate any of it, I should think) cosily, and it seemed rather cloyingly, declared him its darling among the cast members of Space: 1999, his obvious association only with Season 1 appearing to me to be the primary motivation for the preference of him at conventions and so forth. For sure, fan attitudes have been a taint upon much of my sensibilities surrounding Space: 1999 and its contributing persons. But I have in recent years come rather "full circle" in appreciating Bergman and Barry Morse again, for the professionalism and humanity of both gentlemen. Michael Sheard, rest his soul, who played Dr. Darwin King in the "Dragon's Domain" episode of Space: 1999, remarked in his memoirs about occasionally encountering Barry Morse in the 1990s and early 2000 decade and always being greeted by name by Sir Barry Morse (as Mr. Sheard affectionately called him). Barry Morse never forgot anyone with whom he worked, or indeed anyone he met (so I have been told). Truly remarkable.

I saw The Fugitive and thought Barry Morse to be very effective indeed as the exceedingly tenacious Lieutenant Gerard. However, apart from an episode or two showing Gerard's family and the final episode of the long-"running" television series- an episode in which Gerard helps Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen) as Kimble finds a witness to prove finally that he did not kill his wife, Mr. Morse's portrayal of Gerard was lacking the congenial dimensions of Victor, and indeed it is as Victor Bergman that I will always remember Barry Morse most. Although I am tending nowadays to restrict viewing of Space: 1999 to once weekly on Sundays, I shall this day break with my current covenant and view the "Black Sun" episode of Space: 1999 in memory and appreciation of Barry Morse and the character of Prof. Bergman.

And another actor from Space: 1999 has died in the last few days. I refer to Kevin Stoney who was the alien Talos in the episode, "The Last Enemy", i.e. the warrior character who seemed content to talk to Moonbase Alpha with his eyes nearly closed, and who is likely best known for playing two of the most dastardly charismatic villains in Doctor Who, Mavic Chen in "The Daleks' Master Plan" and Tobias Vaughn in "The Invasion".

On Sunday, February 2, I watched Cosmos- "One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue", Gunsmoke- "The Wrong Man", and Space: 1999- "Catacombs of the Moon". "Catacombs of the Moon" looked most exquisitely sensational on my new television monitor. Even better defined, more vivid than "The AB Chrysalis" had been the Sunday before, with perfect contrast and blacks bringing out every pore in Tony Anholt and James Laurenson's faces and even the subtlest seams in the Alphan tunics. I do not recall ever seeing a Space: 1999 episode look this good. And I cannot envision it looking this astonishing on that elusive Network DVD release of Season 2 of Space: 1999! Conversely, "The Wrong Man" is an abysmally looking episode of Gunsmoke on DVD. Tracking errors at bottom of screen throughout the episode, revealing the source of the episode to be an old analog videotape, and picture being quite blurry and under-saturated throughout. I cannot comprehend the wisdom in not doing new film-to-digital-video transfers, especially for a commemorative, "best-of" DVD box set representing the twenty-year span of that television series. "Catacombs of the Moon" did I suppose benefit from being viewed right after "The Wrong Man", but still, it and the television series to which it belongs have never been so eye-poppingly clear.

I will have more to say in the next few days on Barry Morse and no doubt on his obituaries, which I feel sure will be loath to mention Space: 1999.

RIP, Mr. Barry Morse. And Kevin Stoney, too.

February 4, 2008.


The Globe and Mail newspaper out of Toronto had a quite extensive obituary today for Barry Morse. Alongside a photograph of the late actor, the Barry Morse obituary mentions of course his work on The Fugitive. And it then proceeds to list other productions in which he contributed, among them The Winds of War and The Martian Chronicles. It even notes his portrayal of Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" here in New Brunswick. And no mention of Prof. Victor Bergman and Space: 1999. Nope. None at all. Surprise, surprise.

When Lorne Greene and John Colicos died, their work on Battlestar Galactica was acknowledged. Even when Lloyd Bochner died, his appearance as Commandant Leiter in but two Battlestar Galactica episodes was listed among his television credits. I can think of numerous other examples. But mentioning Space: 1999 to the mainstream public in an actor's obituary is like a criminal offence, it seems. Even when an actor's portrayal of a character in half of the episodes of Space: 1999 is that for which many Generation Xers most remember him. I cannot help but feel sure that on that sad day when Martin Landau departs this world, Space: 1999 will not appear anywhere in his obituaries either. At least not in the Globe and Mail's.

This is not the first nor even the fiftieth time that I have objected to something printed in the Globe and Mail; its political leaning has been contentious by my reckoning for many years now. But an uncynical reader should expect a sufficiently thorough obituary for Barry Morse, and to omit Space: 1999 is a deplorable oversight.

I was even less impressed with the CBC National news report last evening on Mr. Morse's death. No mention of Space: 1999, which CBC Television did itself air nationally and regionally in the 1970s and 1980s. Scarcely much footage from anything other than The Fugitive. Considering the amount of acting Barry Morse did in Canada and the number of Canadian actors and television, theatre, and movie producers who worked with him, surely his passing warranted more than the abbreviated notice included on the news on CBC last evening.

Ah, well. Such is the way of things in this absurd world, wherein counter-intuitive phenomena are rampant- and the wonderful space science fiction/fantasy opus called Space: 1999 never receives the attention and respect due (nay, overdue) for it.

I am so, so, so-o-o-o-o-o-o sick and tired of being right in my cynic's expectations about what befalls my favourite space opus, among other things. Why cannot a pleasant surprise come one's way once in a while?

February 5, 2008.


The latest news in the continuing saga of the ever-delayed Rocket Robin Hood DVDs is that because of persisting problems in finding French language tracks for a few of the episodes, end of summer is now the earliest that one can expect to see Rocket Robin and Little John cross the threshold to Dementia Five in crisp digital picture on a commercially released DVD. This news came from Doug Carlson through his e-mail correspondence with one of the people at Seville Pictures. My response to it is in two sentences which I tend to use a great deal these days. Oh, yeah, of course. And yeah, whatever.

I would sure like to know which episodes lacking French language tracks are holding back the DVD release of this entire television series. Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that they are something like "Goritang", "Little George", and "Slaves of Medulla"?

It being now February, the Inspector cartoon DVD's release is less than a month distant, and it seems to be safely on trajectory. There is also this month the imminent DVD release of all, or at least most, of the Academy-Award-winning and Academy-Award-nominated cartoons of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s of which rights to disseminate on commercial DVD are currently held by Warner Brothers. WARNER BROTHERS HOME ENTERTAINMENT ACADEMY AWARDS ANIMATION COLLECTION: 15 WINNERS, 26 NOMINEES is the mouthful that is the official title of this set of three DVDs containing a number of cartoon shorts as yet not available on digital videodisc in other capacities. As Warner Brothers does not seem to be in a rush to release to DVD very many of the post-1948 Looney Tunes, this could be the only opportunity this decade to own such cartoons as "From A to Z-z-z-z", "High Note", "Beep Prepared", "Nelly's Folly", etc.. I remain very cynical on the subject of the Warner Brothers cartoons but feel compelled to buy the DVD set that I here mention, I guess just to increase my holdings on DVD of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies- and out of curiosity about how this DVD release will be approached in terms of presentation and cartoon restoration.

2|Entertain's Doctor Who DVD slate for 2008 is currently "shaping up" to be not overwhelming though sporadically interesting. "The Time Meddler" (which I still await to arrive in the mail) for February and then "The Five Doctors" (the bonus content alone makes this an essential purchase) for March, followed by, yawn, "The Invasion of Time" for April and, ho-hum, "Black Orchid" for May, and "The Brain of Morbius" (to which I have never warmed very much after it failed to engage me on first viewing in May, 1985 while my father was in Halifax having open-heart surgery- and it is not the next, nor the next-next, story that I wanted from Season 13) in June, and "The Invisible Enemy"/K-9 and Company (I have always had a soft spot for "The Invisible Enemy" for Michael Sheard's presence as possessed Supervisor Lowe and some eye-catching "techno-future" designs) for July. Other serials likely this year are "The Krotons" or "The Dominators", "Trial of a Timelord" (oh, mercy!), maybe another story or a combination of stories with Jon Pertwee as the Doctor ("Planet of the Spiders", "Frontier in Space", and "Planet of the Daleks" are known to have had audio commentaries recently recorded), and a token Sylvester McCoy serial (much as I try to be broad-minded, I can never seem to apply myself to sitting and watching Sylvester McCoy stories with Andrew Caramel- oops, I mean Cartmel- as script editor).

I propose to go back to Barry Morse for a bit of today's Weblog entry. It remains sorely felt that obituary writers would not put aside bias, or wilful ignorance, against Space: 1999 to give a thorough account of the life's work of Mr. Barry Morse. One person I vividly remember who could not avoid Mr. Morse's association with the television programme called Space: 1999 was clairvoyant Irene Hughes on CBC Television's "paranormal quiz" television series, Beyond Reason, which aired in the late 1970s and very early 1980s on the televisual airwaves of what we in the Canadian broadcasting industry call "the Mother-Corp". Beyond Reason would present to its audience a guest who would be out of vision of three panelists consisting usually of astrologist Geoff Gray-Cobb, clairvoyant Irene Hughes, and palmist Marcel Broekman, who would be presented with, respectively, the guest's astrological data, a prized possession, and a photocopied picture of palm. The panelists would pose questions to the guest based on their impressions, to try to determine who the guest might be. Irene Hughes spoke of having visions of stars and planets and galaxies as she touched something belonging to Barry Morse and asked him questions. Later, after Barry Morse was revealed to the panel as the guest, he remarked at Irene Hughes' evident psychic prowess for she had been precisely right about his connection to space phenomena in that he did work on a television series called Space: 1999 and more recently (then) on The Martian Chronicles television miniseries. Ah, those were the days! When Space: 1999 could be spoken about or in some way referenced by title in something going before members of the mainstream (or semi-mainstream) public. Before the late 1980s and early 1990s when Space: 1999 became a thoroughly dirty subject for people in general and a partially dirty subject (i.e. in latter half of episodes) to its own following. Before I met Dean and became privy to this collective subconscious conspiracy concept- which I, dearly in perpetually quashed hope, wish to see convincingly disproved. Or at least might I please wake up now in 1987 to find this perversely contrarian nightmare brought to a long-overdue end?

Anyway, I continue to pass the time when not at work by watching movies and television shows from my DVD collection on my new 16X9 television monitor. In the past couple of weeks, I have purposefully revisited, with DVD and anamorphic widescreen, some of the very first items that I acquired in 1981 or early 1982 on the then RCA CED videodisc format or in the early days of my collecting of VHS videotape or movies that I saw at cinemas in the early 1980s, among them The Love Bug, The Bad News Bears, The Odd Couple, Star Wars, Fahrenheit 451, and Firefox. And also Nicholas and Alexandra, one of the first DVDs that I bought in 1999. All look spectacular indeed in widescreen, recalling me to my most definitive seeing of them (even if those viewings had not in some cases been by means of the dimensions of a movie theatre screen). The Love Bug and The Bad News Bears were two of the very first movies that I showed on CED videodisc to youngsters of my neighbourhood in late 1981 and very early 1982, with my budding best friend Joey being most noticeably impressed by them and by my ability, at last, to present both sound and picture of movies to any comers. Joe was the sole attendee at my January 10, 1982 showing of The Bad News Bears- and he was absorbed by every one of 102 minutes of movie running time. Fahrenheit 451 and Nicholas and Alexandra were both first and most definitively seen by me at school in Grade 11 and Grade 9 respectively, and seeing them in anamorphic widescreen sent me back in time to those years in my life in which there was so very much to which to look forward. It is difficult to say what my definitive viewing of Star Wars was, and as for Firefox, the grandeur of that movie on the theatre screen of Plaza Cinema 1 on Sunday, July 31, 1982 constituted easily the most cogent viewing of the Clint Eastwood-directed-and-lead-acted Cold War espionage thriller, on a weekend in the midst of one of the most fun units of days in the summer of 1982, with badminton play the order of most days with friends in the yard behind my house, Joey with me for hours on many a day, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service to be broadcast on the ABC television network in the evening of that same Sunday.

I also have recently watched my DVD of the Doctor Who serial, "The Caves of Androzani", Peter Davison's final story as the Doctor in which the time-travelling hero and his companion Peri are poisoned by raw spectrox on the planet of Androzani Minor, leading to the Doctor's regeneration at serial's end after saving Peri's life with a single dose of a spectrox antitoxin. I recalled my first-ever viewing of this, by way of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) on the early evening of Saturday, May 10, 1986. It was a distinctly memorable day, for the weather front carrying what remained of the radioactive emissions from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in Russia crossed New Brunswick. It was sunny and fairly warm, but the air mass was calculably the same as what had crossed western Canada a few days before in that week (with people's shoes having been reported glowing in the rain in Vancouver, British Columbia). I refrained from going out of doors that day, May 10, and curiously, I did hear a high-pitched buzzing on the power lines behind our house, of an intensity never since noticed, and there were some mild but strange distortions in video on MPBN during "The Caves of Androzani". I did not socialise with my friend Joey that day during his newspaper deliveries, though I saw him out my window crossing the junction of yards behind my home. In fact, I refrained from going outside until the evening of Sunday, May 11, 1986 on which I was enticed to join Craig and his group for a game of baseball at Park Street School field. I recall feeling very wary of the ground I walked on and the air I breathed. Fortunately (knock wood), I do not seem to have suffered long-term effects; none as yet, at least. I always remember that weekend when I watch "The Caves of Androzani" and my latest viewing of same was no exception.

This Weblog is reaching a length at which it will need to split onto a separate, new Web page in order to continue. I may choose to defer further additions to it for awhile as I concentrate on finally bringing my autobiography up to 2002.

February 7, 2008.


Since last Saturday, Fredericton has been hit with three snowstorms, with another due tomorrow. A snowstorm one day, a fair day the next, and then snowstorm again. Again. And yet again. What snow melted in the brief thaw in early January has easily been replenished and then some. There are piles of snow taller than a Harlem Globetrotter on my own street, many streets are slowly becoming one lane only, and there is no end in sight to this craziness. Next week is expected to be a repetition of this week. A series of snowstorms, one every second day. No matter where a storm originates, be it in the Gulf of Mexico or in the western Canadian provinces or the U.S. Midwest, New Brunswick is walloped with it. Winter of 2007-8 is now easily the second worst in my memory going back to pre-school. 1981-2 still claims the dubious top spot, though by next week, if forecasts are proven true, 2007-8 will surpass it as the most wicked winter in 40 years. And there is still March and April yet to come, lousy weather months both if last year is to be any indication.

It looks like this contrarian nightmare that I am living is reaching a new zenith of surrealist absurdity. For both the obscene amounts of snow and for the continued jabber about global warming in the media. Hello-o-o-o-o-o, people. Wake up. Winter in Atlantic Canada is not milder or shorter. Clearly a warm-up is NOT global, or else winters would be tamer with less snow, not wilder with amounts of it unseen in 40 years!

I have given a cursory viewing to WARNER BROTHERS HOME ENTERTAINMENT ACADEMY AWARDS ANIMATION COLLECTION: 15 WINNERS, 26 NOMINEES. Certain post-1948 cartoons like "Beep Prepared" were dropped from the selection of cartoon shorts on the DVDs in favour of more Tom and Jerry. As I seem to keep saying lately, oh, yeah, of course and yeah, whatever.

Last Sunday A.M., my DVD viewing in trying to recapture the sense and sensibility of living in 1983-4 consisted of Cosmos- "Blues For a Red Planet", Gunsmoke- "A Quiet Day in Dodge", and Space: 1999- "Seed of Destruction". The allure of watching television shows on my new, large-screen television continues, with "Seed of Destruction", though not as impressive in appearance as "Catacombs of the Moon" the preceding Sunday, still the victor in ersatz competition to dazzle my eye with vivid detail, amongst the three selections upon which I cast eyes this past Sunday morning. I have been compelled by the look, in addition to the premise, of "Seed of Destruction" since I first saw it at my grandparents' house in November of 1976. Yes, impostor storylines may be commonplace in science fiction/fantasy and even in other genres, but "Seed of Destruction" proposes an alien purpose behind the identity-usurping that involves transfer of essential energy from one universe-traversing community to another, to give conception to a seed in a cave on an asteroid (a seed in a cave is a fascinating motif in itself), a cave whose crystalline walls are able to yield a living mirror image of Commander Koenig. His opposite. Chronologically, the next episode in Season 2 is "A Matter of Balance" in which the populace of Moonbase Alpha is menaced by beings of anti-matter, the opposite of matter. Interesting. The mirror-image Koenig is not a doppelganger in the same way that Captain Kirk's "evil half" is manifest in Star Trek's "The Enemy Within". And it also is of interest how the Alphans react to the strange behaviour exhibited by who they still think is there genuine leader, with many of them yet prepared to believe what he says and what he does to be in Moonbase Alpha's best interests, John Koenig having been proven right many a time before. The gripe that fans have that nobody notices the part in the impostor Koenig's hair being on opposite side of head from normal, is heedless of the real tendency in people not to notice or at least not to specifically determine subtle changes in a person's appearance. And this is especially so in the case of Martin Landau whose expressive face tends to hold one's full attention, not his hair. I certainly did not notice the hair-part reversal when I first viewed "Seed of Destruction" and was quite impressed at how it was revealed in the episode's "showdown" of Koenig and impostor, as the decisive factor of the Alphans' recognition that Koenig is in fact their leader, whatever the markings on his jacket might indicate. And besides, Koenig's hair is not as starkly parted as that of some other Alphans. Not to my eyes. Also, he has notified Alpha of an urgent operation that he says will require the full mental concentration of all Alpha personnel; the Alphans have more important things to think about than Commander Koenig's hair. And they are in any case prepared to believe in the truth of Koenig's report on his reconnaissance, after having been through many pivotal situations wherein Koenig's judgement proved correct. Oh, for goodness' sake! Why am I bothering to rationalise the John Koenig hair-noticing issue in "Seed of Destruction"? It is a dramatic necessity for the episode called "Seed of Destruction" that the Moonbase Alphans are not in contemplation of the placement of hairs on Commander John Koenig's scalp. Ought not one to be content with that? And to enjoy and respect the episode on its merits? It does quite have some.


My television listings project has been reformatted and is available at the following links.

Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1966 to 1972
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1972 to 1974
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1974 to 1975
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1975 to 1976
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1976 to 1977
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1977 to 1978
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1978 to 1979
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1989 to 1981
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1981 to 1982
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1982 to 1983
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1983
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1983 to 1984
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1984 to 1985
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1985
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1985 to 1986

I have grafted these Hyperlinks onto my autobiographical Web pages, which will be their permanent home, as a supplement to my memories of television viewing in those first two decades of my life.

Now, having completed this mammoth project, what is next?

I am continuing to update and improve various Web pages, the most recent one such being The Space: 1999 Page. I have adjusted the proposed chronology, hopefully making the bridging work between Season 1 and Season 2 more satisfying. On the subject of Space: 1999, I have no news about any Blu-Ray release of Season 2. Revelations are cyclical where such is concerned. We are currently in the long silent phase. Then, someone on one of those banes of my Internet life, the discussion forums, posts something to the effect that the work for the Blu-Rays has been stopped or terminated, and/or that Network in the U.K. has no plans (and never did have plans) for any release of Season 2. The people on the discussion forums launch into their usual smug Season 2 put-downs, and then someone pulls some reassuring words out of some presumed communique from A & E/New Video Group, to the effect that the Blu-Rays are still coming at some ever more late date, and there are some sighs of relief, some expressions of doubt (usually from me), and another round of put-downs. The latest silent phase has lasted about six months. It would be about that time now for the unpleasant news to again surface that there will be no Blu-Rays. I would give it a few more weeks until then.

One would think that the announced remake of Space: 1999 as Space: 2099 would stir enough interest in the original television series to yield a Blu-Ray Season 2. Or I should say that in a sane and sensible world, one would think that, but this is not a sane and sensible world. Certainly not since the calendar changed to 2000. And while those Fukushima nuclear reactors continue to spew carcinogenic and heart-stopping isotopes into the biosphere, we may not live to enjoy a Blu-Ray release of Season 2 of Space: 1999. In the past month, three people I know have died of cancer. Two of them in their forties. People in their forties, none of them smokers, dying of cancer is a sign of some environmental damage. A more carcinogenic habitat. The air breathed, the water drank, and the food eaten by us all. One is playing Russian roulette whenever one goes for a walk or sits down for a meal.

But enough about Fukushima for now.

THE LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION is going to go the way of THE LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION as the released list of cartoons for the second volume would indicate. Few, very few new-to-DVD-or-Blu-Ray post-1948 cartoons, with the second disc heavy with 1930s and early 1940s cartoons, including those horrid proto-Bugs-Bunny and early Bugs Bunny films. The ones that would make the Bugs Bunny of the post-1948 cartoons reel in revulsion. As ever, the discussion forum people are genuflecting at the released list of titles, saying that fringe treatment of the post-1948s is precisely what they want to see. And the usual refrain that I am the only person in existence who favours the post-1948s or regards them as having any consistent quality. And with that, the implied put-down of me as wrong, silly, delusional. You name it. Nobody ever agrees with me on those discussion forums, despite the fact that the post-1948s were on network television for 40 years and popular enough to retain that enviable condition. Despite the fact that documentary after documentary on Chuck Jones reference the cartoons directed by him in the 1950s as sublimely artistic works. Despite the obvious marketing of the first, crucial volume of every Looney Tunes DVD and Blu-Ray set as one with a lion's share of popular post-1948 cartoons to pull in those initial sales. Despite Warner Brothers putting labels on the DVD sets specifying the popular post-1948 cartoons in the DVD sets. If those cartoons have no pundits other than Kevin McCorry of Canada, why market them in such a way?

But I am so sick and tired of this. Let them have their precious PLATINUM COLLECTION. I will not be buying the second volume, and if I were to do so, I would dispose of the second disc in any case. 1930s Looney Tunes are as dissimilar to the post-1948s as Walt Disney or Popeye cartoons. And not everybody (and I would even say not most people) like all cartoons. Many of us want a fairly consistent look to the cartoons that we fancy and wish to collect. I guess that for us, old VHS videotape and laser videodisc will need to suffice.

August 21, 2012.


I must admit to toying with the idea of reviving my old Weblog so that I may offer my daily musings about various subjects. This is the second time this week that I have felt motivated to write something of a commentary nature for my Web page.

For this occasion, I propose to address in some detail my Space: 1999 chronology, why it would seem to be in constant flux, and why I have arrived at its current form as the one to which I would like henceforth to adhere.

The big headache when doing a chronology for Space: 1999 is of course the difference between the two seasons. They are an awkward fit at the best of times, and some licence has to exist for reconciling the differences and assimilating those differences as best as possible. It is no secret that I am a Season 2 pundit. I saw Season 2 first, mostly. I saw it during some of the best times of my life. I was at my most impressionable when I saw it, and the impressions I received from it were mighty powerful. Still are, in many cases. I find it aesthetically more appealing than Season 1, though there's much about Season 1 that I will always admire and venerate.

When I first viewed Space: 1999 (both seasons; Season 2 mostly first, then Season 1) via their broadcast on CBC Television, I perceived it as a "sci-fi" action-adventure opus. Yes, even Season 1, slower and more deliberate, was, to me, still action-adventure- with a few episodes venturing into "sci-fi"/horror. The portrayal of Season 1 today as having been a religious television show is a much-expanded (one might say much-inflated) spin on an idea I first came across in a 1980 issue of Starlog and that magazine's regular feature, "Gerry Anderson's Space Report". David Hirsch made reference to some mention of God (or a "cosmic intelligence" or "mysterious unknown force") in the two first season episodes, "War Games" and "Black Sun". He asserted that the writers and producers of Season 1 were hinting at there being a divine purpose in the odyssey of Moonbase Alpha and that the Alphans (in Season 1, anyway) were being helped, protected, guided by some mysterious, unknown entity. God, perhaps.

None of that was evident to me when I saw the first season. The CBC always cut 2 minutes out of every episode, and the two minutes removed from "Black Sun" (either for time or for specific content- or for both) were always of the conversation between Commander Koenig and Professor Bergman about the possibility of God intervening to save Alpha from destruction time and time again. I did see the scene in "War Games" in which God was mentioned, but it was during a plea for mercy from Koenig toward aliens who were believed responsible for a devastating attack on Moonbase Alpha. I did not do any further interpretation to that.

Still, when I read Mr. Hirsch's article, I said, "Hey, that's cool." Circa 1980, it was so very rare to see anything positive said about Space: 1999 (in Starlog or anywhere else); so, I revelled in what "good press" that my favourite television show was enjoying. But even then, I was not prepared to extrapolate the "mysterious unknown force" idea to the entire first season. The metaphysical happenings in "The Testament of Arkadia" I had always thought to have been made to occur by the spirits of the Arkadians or the spirit of the planet within that self-contained episode. "Collision Course" I had viewed as a stand-alone episode about one prophecy (concerning the Moon-planet collision itself) and the need for faith in that prophecy. Nothing more. Other episodes made incidental references to miracles or to God or to damning or to "the Ark" or to whatever, but those also I had not considered as part of an "arc". I had not. My friends had not. My parents had not. It was not obvious to a regular viewer of Space: 1999 back then. I and everyone I knew considered Space: 1999 as fantastic action-adventure set in outer space. The aesthetic impressions that I had of it were cosmological, I suppose, and mythical- sometimes anthropological (as regards man's dual nature a la Jekyll and Hyde), but definitely not religious.

The "mysterious unknown force" idea was attacked by some Starlog readers, and while at the time I bristled at those readers' hostility toward Space: 1999 (they certainly "pulled no punches"), I can perceive today that they did have some validity in what they were saying. Reliance on a deux ex machina to resolve story is (or at least can be) an "out" for a lazy or sloppy writer. The new Doctor Who relies on deux ex machina an awful lot of the time, and- for the record- I am not a fan of new Doctor Who. Space: 1999 "got away" with it in my estimation only because it had not "crossed a line" in how many times that it was used and how subtly it was referenced ("Black Sun" excepted) by the characters.

I am prepared to respect it as part of the prospectus of Space: 1999. It certainly makes the Moon being left intact after the break from Earth orbit easier to accept. But I have never really warmed to it, and the fans of Space: 1999 have done it no favours with their dogmatic pushing of it. That it was not carried over into Season 2 does complicate considerably a writing of an all-encompassing chronology. But I cannot blame Season 2 for not carrying it over, for it was not resonating with viewers (or even being noticed by them) during the initial run of the television series. It was slowing episodes down, which for non-fan viewers (the majority of viewers) can mean the difference between continuing to watch or "switching off".

The fans have turned Space: 1999 into a religion because of it. They see themselves as proselytising a faith. They always talk of "keeping the faith". They view Fred Freiberger as the Great Satan. And Season 2 as the work of the devil. People who fancy or favour Season 2 are Satan's apostles or misguided souls who need to be shown "the light", who must either be converted or humiliated, disgraced, mortified, and silenced. That is what Space: 1999 fandom has become. All that is done at conventions is the vilifying of Season 2 and Fred Freiberger and the chastening of those "fools" who regard Season 2 as anything other than trash. Nowadays, anyone who wants to offer the slightest amount of positive commentary on second season has to genuflect to the first season pundits, acknowledge the supremacy of the first season pundits' point of view, and "put themselves down", grovel, kiss rear-end flesh, and... so... forth, before being so bold to say they like something about Season 2. No outright favouring of Season 2 is tolerated. It is sacrilege. Contrary to the consensus. And consensus is everything in a religious movement, is it not?

But apart from my induced dislike of the Space: 1999 first season deity, "mysterious unknown force", or whatever on these grounds, it is a royal pain in my backside where writing a chronology is concerned. Reconciling the two seasons can still be done, but to do so means so very much work at contriving the right circumstances to effect a change in the Alphans' outlook. I have done so in my chronology by using the referenced-in-Season-2 encounter sometime previous with Krom II as some pivotal event for Alpha. One which entails not only Professor Bergman and Paul Morrow no longer being on Alpha (without killing them) but which also gives Alpha cause to question having an unflinching belief in a benevolent, intervening deity. But such a contriving is not easy, and I often need to return to it and add further embellishment. It and an explanation for the date given in "Dragon's Domain", which, apart from different outlook on Alpha, is the big stumbling block for making an integrated, 48-episode-inclusive chronology work.

The chronology even then only just works. It cannot if I do as the Powys Books range is doing and add further Season 1 adventures to the mix, with still more deaths on Alpha. There is barely enough time before "The Metamorph" to fit Season 1 as it is (and even then, I have had to add an additional 30-some days by inventive means). And the death count in first season, in addition to its rough co-existence with early Season 2, is actually at odds with the benevolent force idea that the fans proffer so rabidly. So many Alphans meet grisly and senseless deaths in the first season (and Alpha can ill-afford to go on losing personnel at such rate) that it is difficult to conceive of there being a helpful entity on the Alphans' side. Other than the outlook change, Alphan fatalities are the aspect of first season that tends to set it apart from the portrayal of Alpha in Season 2 (early Season 2, mostly). I can barely succeed as it is at meshing the two. More deaths in addition to what is already recorded in the first season's 24 episodes reduces to absurdity a melding of the two seasons. I think that I do make a melding possible, but I would not if I added further Season 1, pre-"The Metamorph" episodes and still more fatalities. And Bergman cannot die. At least not in any contemporaneous time frame with Alpha. That is very much at odds with how Koenig and Dr. Russell act in Season 2. I know that it was ITC's intention to have Bergman mentioned as dead, and a scene was filmed for "The Metamorph" in which Bergman's death is stated. But it was not included in the final version of the episode, and thank goodness for that! Bergman can leave Alpha by choosing to remain on some planet, or perhaps not having a choice in the matter. But I cannot conceive of him being "killed off". Bergman and Paul Morrow are the only first season characters who could not believably fade into the Alphan background. They cannot be on Alpha during Season 2. I opt to have them both left behind on Krom II. No need for two additional episodes to squeeze in pre-"The Metamorph" when one will suffice.

I like some aspects of John Kenneth Muir's The Forsaken, the Powys Books "bridge episode" between the two seasons. There is some good material in there. But I have said before that I do not like the foul language spoken by Alphans in it. Also, I am opposed to having Koenig and Russell in a sexual relationship. I object on moral grounds (they are not a married couple) and also on grounds of Space: 1999 always having been a family television series (and a sexual relationship between the two lead characters within Season 2 just is not to my liking). And as Koenig and Russell are asking their people to abstain from having children and therefore to abstain from sex (the idea of contraception is something I am not touching), it is wrong for them to be "doing it". On further reflection, I am not sure that Paul Morrow being a mutineer is something that I can believe. And the idea of the death of the space brain causing physical-environmental upset on many worlds (including the ones encountered during Season 2) is workable at first glance, but on further consideration, I do not like it- especially if what happened on Psychon is attributable to it. If Alpha breaking from Earth orbit and killing the space brain is what triggers Psychon's environmental calamity and all that happened there associated with Mentor's obsession, then the ramifications are extreme sense of guilt on Alpha for Earthman's technological mistake that led to the destruction of Psychon and the very likely prospect of Maya blaming the Alphans for the death of her world. I just cannot go with any of that. I have to, in my chronology, make the overheating of Psychon something that clearly could not have come about because of Alpha tearing through the space brain. Other planetary disasters in Season 2 are also difficult to accept as having been caused by the Moon's passage through the space brain- though the idea of the brain's death having an impact does have some merit.

I respect what Powys is doing. Keeping Space: 1999 alive is always a noble cause. But the people writing for Powys are not Season 2 fans. I understand that the initial intention of Powys was to ignore Season 2 entirely. And in some of the books (which I have yet to read, I admit), there is much being done to nullify the mythology of Season 2, to fold it into an overarching Season 1 format, and of course the fans do approve. Another aspect of Powys' works and of fan literature in general is to expand upon the sci-fi/horror of a few Season 1 episodes (I have always preferred those to be the exceptions rather than the rule, a horror episode here or there being more effective than horror nearly all of the time). Fans also have a tendency to want to bring back antagonists (Balor, the Dragon, Jarak) rather than leave those antagonists as "one-offs" and move on to new situations, new opposing forces. Doctor Who was notorious for pandering to such a tendency in the 1980s. I see that much of what is being written to extend the Season 1 universe, by Powys and by fan writers, is to again have Alpha encounter Balor, the Cellini monster, or whatever. Though I admit to being intrigued in the past by such an idea, I no longer like it. Best, I think, to leave these antagonistic quantities with their one episode. I would say the same thing to bringing back Magus, Brian the Brain, Dorzak, or others from Season 2.

The dominating personalities and organisations today within the fandom of Space: 1999 have their own conception on what Space: 1999 is or should be. As I do not accord with theirs, I do not expect a ringing endorsement of my chronology work, or even acknowledgement of it. Not from them nor from the rank and file. Space: 1999 fandom and I had a bitter divorce 12 years ago. And for me at least, the sore areas can still be felt. I do not miss fandom one jot, and I am quite sure that fandom does not miss me. This said, fans are probably the only people familiar enough with the details of Space: 1999 to be able to follow my proposed chronology. At the end of the day, the chronology may only be appreciated by me. Maybe I am the only person for whom I have written it. If so, then so be it. Some have said that the same is true for everything that I have written on this Website. It is a depressing thought, to say the least. I can only hope that such is not true.

Notice that I did not say "have faith" that such is not true.

All for now.

August 24, 2012.


I have managed to find my old Weblog over at Wayback Machine. Or rather the first half of it. The second portion of my 2007 to 2009 ramblings seems to have passed fully into the Cyberspace ether. What I have found of my old Weblog I am restoring to my Website. The pictures that I had in my Weblog entries have also not survived the archiving process at Wayback. I have therefore had to remove the connections to them. There may be some format glitches in the text that need correcting. Someday, when I have the time to proofread the whole thing, I will add the polish to the Weblog that had been there originally.

I propose to return to my Space: 1999 chronology for further commentary on it.

To be sure, there is a difference of opinion on the order in which to chronicle the episodes of Season 1 and a few of the episodes of Season 2, also.

I choose to put "Matter of Life and Death" as the second filmed episode after "Breakaway" because of how the Alphan executives are shown to converse with one another, most notably Commander Koenig addressing Alan Carter as Carter and Captain. Never as Alan. If "Earthbound" is the second filmed episode as some fans assert, why would Koenig speak to Alan by first name in that episode and then later go back to Captain and Carter? I have "Ring Around the Moon" as third filmed episode because in that episode, Koenig is still using Carter for addressing Alan. It is after Alan has a severe crash-landing and Koenig is visiting him in Medical Centre that the use of Alan to address the Australian pilot seems to become the preferred conversational approach. In "Earthbound", during a one-on-one talk near start of Act 3, Koenig and Carter seem to have a rapport that signifies that some trust and affinity has started to appear in their relationship. And Koenig never speaks to Alan by surname in "Earthbound". "Earthbound" therefore should come after "Matter of Life and Death" and "Ring Around the Moon". And all three of these episodes ("Matter of Life and Death", "Ring Around the Moon", and "Earthbound") I chronicle as coming before the Moon's drastic displacement in "Black Sun". Such is sensible as Koenig in "Matter of Life and Death" refers to Jupiter as being billions of miles away and not some vast intergalactic distance. And "Earthbound" would seem also to occur in some reasonably close proximity to Earth's solar system, in that the alien spaceship in that episode is travelling very slowly en route to Earth, which the aliens expect to reach in less than a century. "Ring Around the Moon" can also be regarded as happening near the Solar System. There is nothing in it that would arbitrate otherwise. Commissioner Simmonds could be lurking in the Alphan background during "Matter of Life and Death" and "Ring Around the Moon". I do not perceive any problems with that.

After "Black Sun" and before the space warp in "Another Time, Another Place" further displaces the Moon, I opt to have two planet-encounter episodes occur in between. "Missing Link" and "Guardian of Piri". Both of which feature purple planets and alien civilisations of some considerable age. It is reasonable to suppose them to be in the same solar system. One could speculate interestingly as to how much that the Zennite and Pirian civilisations had been aware of one another. Raan may have opted not to warn Koenig about Piri because he knew that Koenig's strong will would be enough to defeat the pernicious influence of the Guardian. A possible need to analyse the computer's conduct during "Guardian of Piri" or perhaps to repair computer damage in that episode would explain the absence of Kano's desk in "Another Time, Another Place", which I have as coming shortly after "Guardian of Piri". Once the space warp has ultimately put the Moon into a rather cool void some distance short of a solar system, the events of "Force of Life" can then occur (in "Force of Life", we even see the flooring in Main Mission looking as though as it has been lifted, possibly for the reinstallation of Kano's desk). With a shift in Main Mission lighting from white to green being possibly a result of the explosion of a nuclear generator in "Force of Life", "Alpha Child" could then follow, some while before the Moon is near to the planet Ariel in "The Last Sunset". I have "The Last Sunset" and "Collision Course" as happening on opposite sides of the same solar system as that would save some interstellar travel time for Alpha. "Voyager's Return" could also happen with the Moon in same solar system. We can certainly see in "Voyager's Return" that the Moon is in phased lighting consistent with there being nearby starlight. After the Moon touches with Astheria at the end of "Collision Course", some displacement could be said to occur to put the Moon near to Ultima Thule and Retha, the two worlds encountered by Alpha in "Death's Other Dominion" and "The Full Circle". I would posit those as being of the same solar system. No reason why they cannot be. There is a compelling reason why they could be, both planets seeming to possess a force that causes physiological change in the humanoids trodding on them.

More on this sometime later.

September 6, 2012.


Continuing with my explanations for the ordering of episodes in my Space: 1999 chronology. If anyone is interested.

I decided to use E.C. Tubb's idea of Alpha encountering the asteroid in "End of Eternity" while still near planet Retha and the asteroid determined to originate from another solar system and on a transit course through Retha's solar system, said idea being in Mr. Tubb's novelisation of "End of Eternity". It eliminates the need for Alpha to spend additional weeks or months in space between "The Full Circle" and "End of Eternity". Besides, the Moon is starlit in "End of Eternity" and moving slow enough for the Alphans to return to the asteroid at episode's end, meaning that it should not be far out in interstellar space.

I have long liked having "War Games" come a little while after "End of Eternity" because both episodes show decompression at airlocks and high camera angles in Main Mission. An artistic reason, I suppose, but why not? I then propose having the solar system in "The Last Enemy" be of that second star in the sky of the planet in "War Games". Bergman could have been wrong in "War Games" when he spoke of the next star system being six months too far. The Moon's course does change, and being in the presence of a binary star system with peculiar gravitational conditions could produce some trajectory-changing effects for the runaway Moon. Having the planet of "War Games" and the Betha/Delta conflict somewhat near one another does create some interesting possibilities. Are the aliens in "War Games" so deeply averse to fearful outsiders and potential conflict because they are aware of the centuries-old war between Betha and Delta? Might they have established planetary force fields to keep the Bethans and Deltans away? I would choose to put "The Troubled Spirit", an Alpha-based episode, between "War Games" and "The Last Enemy" to "break up", as it were, those two planet episodes. It is also reasonable that the Alphans would try to relax and enjoy some respite between planet encounters, which they are seen to be doing at the start of "The Troubled Spirit".

It has been suggested in the past that Koenig's decision to preemptively intercept the approaching Satazius in "The Last Enemy" is contrary to the "lesson" that he ostensibly learned in "War Games". Surely "The Last Enemy" should therefore come before "War Games"? Not necessarily. Truthfully, I find quite silly the idea that Koenig would just let an approaching spaceship of clearly immense design and potential firing power (and which is not responding to Alpha's signals) coming from a known-to-be-inhabited planet just do what it pleases with Moonbase without some substantial attempt of interception. Whether that be before "War Games" or after. "With one blow", as he says, it could erase Alpha from existence or at the very least cripple Alpha's defences. But if fans do require some contrived explanation, maybe Mateo's ghost from "The Troubled Spirit" and the fear of "unimaginable intensity" associated with it has left something of a lingering imprint upon Alpha's executives, and upon Koenig in particular. If so, then putting "The Troubled Spirit" before "The Last Enemy" makes a sort of logical sense. John Rankine's book of novelisations has the episodes ordered thusly.

After "The Last Enemy", Alpha may begin consideration of a strategic movement to underground Level D of Moonbase control headquarters and other essential sections, with transition to Season 2 format beginning with five further first season episodes left to go. "The Infernal Machine" could have provided further impetus for such an plan, which may then have been put into effect as a top priority for Technical Section.

To further streamline the chronology of Season 1, I have "Space Brain" occur quite close to a subsequent "The Infernal Machine", explaining Paul Morrow's absence in the latter episode as being due to an accident with foam left by the space brain. And as "The Infernal Machine", "Mission of the Darians", and even "Dragon's Domain" are encounters with spaceships rather than with planets, might it not be a nice idea to have there be an optimum route for interstellar travellers which Alpha is traversing for awhile. Perhaps travel in the vicinity of the space brain has enabled spaceships to move through highly ordered space. Space presided-over by the space brain. There may be space warp "worm holes" in the area through which the brain provides smooth passage to a defined "other side" to the warp, offering ease of transportation. Gwent and the S.S. Daria may have made use of one of the space warps before the death of the brain. So, too, may have the monster and spaceship graveyard. Or perhaps the monster brought its domain into the somewhat busy area in search of more curious spacefarers to ingest. Or a space warp may have randomly brought it thereto after the brain's death. Or maybe the space brain, before dying, obliged to transport monster and graveyard into the area because it learned of the Ultra Probe disaster and of Tony Cellini's yearning for a second encounter with "his monster". These are all provocative questions, and I quite like that the proposed ordering of the late first season episodes gives rise to them.

I explain the dating of "Dragon's Domain" at 877 days after leaving Earth as being due to some localised bizarre temporal ebb and flow as a result of the space brain's death. The Moon advances in calendar time and sometime later recedes in that calendar time. It is the simplest, best way of explaining the discrepancy in the date of "Dragon's Domain" in regards to early Season 2 episodes. It accounts for Helena's date given to the episode and Koenig later speaking of it then being five years since 1997. Five years as is being recorded on Alpha at the time of "Dragon's Domain". Later, the calendar date slides back to some weeks before the 342 days since leaving Earth orbit stated by Helena in "The Metamorph".

As to Helena saying that Alpha is between galaxies in "Dragon's Domain", that is false because Koenig, who is more of an astrophysicist than Helena, later says that there is nothing for billions of miles. An intergalactic void would involve distances much greater than that. Besides, if Alpha were in an intergalactic area, the mood on the Moonbase would be very depressed indeed. Alan Carter would not be as jovial as he is in scenes in "Dragon's Domain". I am prepared to accept that Helena meant to say solar systems rather than galaxies. It is an all-too-common mistake for people who are not scholared in spatial bodies and not practised in astronomical nomenclature.

After "Dragon's Domain", I have "The Testament of Arkadia" as the last episode of Season 1 as it is widely accepted to be. The fanaticism of Luke Ferro and Anna Davis in "The Testament of Arkadia" and an aversion of many Alphans to such fanaticism could leave an impact on how Alpha views its odyssey in the weeks and months ahead. This sets the stage, so to speak, for a pivotal planet encounter between "The Testament of Arkadia" and "The Metamorph". I believe that I delineate the events and effects of that encounter satisfactorily enough in the chronology.

Early Season 2 can then proceed as is dated. "Journey to Where" and "The Taybor" do not have given dates. But they do seem to belong early in the Season 2 timeline if for no other reason than the garments which certain Alphans are shown to be wearing (Alan in his red jacket, for instance, which he seems to abandon quite early in Season 2). Of the two of them, "Journey to Where" should come first as it establishes that there is a civilisation still existing on Earth, and the Alphans therefore have an Earth to which to consider returning in "The Taybor" (an Earth which they would not have as a travel option if they had not learned that Earth still exists as a viable place to which to return- albeit a much changed one environmentally). I must diverge further from Powys Media, which has both "Journey to Where" and "The Taybor" happening after "The Mark of Archanon". The way that Helena grimly and resignedly says, "Earth," after Pasc said that his quasi-evangelical mission centuries earlier had ended on the Solar System's third planet, would seem to indicate that she herself has already had an unpleasant encounter with Earth of the past, i.e. that of "Journey to Where", which therefore should come before "The Mark of Archanon". One could also argue that belief in Earth as a desirable place with which to repatriate might be effectively quelled for a long time after the revelations in "The Mark of Archanon". Only with the insidious influence of the aliens in "The Bringers of Wonder" does it resurface.

Really, the episodes of Space: 1999 can form an intellectually stimulating integral whole. I would like to think that finally, after years of deliberation and work, I have arrived at a chronology that functions as such. The chronology proffered by Powys Media could be regarded an an alternate one, if the fans so-like. My interest is the television series itself as a canon with some extra items added to best make the episodes fit together.

September 7, 2012.


I have tweaked my Space: 1999 chronology somewhat more.

Also, I have been working on revisions to my autobiography. My outlook on my past is in constant flux, and I suppose that would mean that my autobiography will always be open to revision. A reunion with an old friend will tend to cast a different light on many a past experience and how those should be regarded. I find that my Douglastown years (1972-7) and my best Fredericton years (1982-7) are constantly vying for supremacy, for being in top position in my esteem and favour. And I do not believe that there will ever be a lasting victor in such a contest. Both were outstanding time frames in my life. But I am also aware at some times more than at others, of how imperfect those life eras were too. And the circumstances of their endings may be regarded more broadly and inclusively than I may have done at times in the past, i.e. when I previously wrote or revised sections of my autobiography.

The Six Million Dollar Man was released on DVD two years ago by Time-Life as a full-television-series box set. It was expensive, but I put forward the funds required for a purchase. With approximately 100 episodes plus three reunion movies to watch, completing the viewing of all items would naturally involve quite the amount of time. The Six Million Dollar Man was an iconic television offering of the 1970s, and it does convey much of the ethos of the decade. An ethos that is mostly derided today in Internet culture. But I do not propose to go into a comprehensive examination of The Six Million Dollar Man's 1970s pedigree. Rather, I wish to address the refrain of Fred Freiberger's legions of detractors to blame him and his producership for the end of The Six Million Dollar Man as a regular television programme.

I have watched the final Six Million Dollar Man season, Season 5 (1977-8), on the DVDs in Time-Life's box set. Mr. Freiberger did not produce all of the episodes. He shared producer duties and credit with Richard Landau. And on watching Season 5, I found the episodes to almost always be of an equal calibre with those of Season 4 (1976-7). Competently written and filmed. There are some imaginative episodes. There are episodes with a palpable and respectable sense of mystery as to what really is happening. Bigfoot and the Venus Probe are brought back in ways that are plausible and enjoyable. Granted, some of the two-parters, like some of those of Season 4, struggle to justify their length ("Sharks", however, did come across to me far better than I had expected). There are some mediocre episodes, but such is true of Season 4- and Season 3, too. Contrary to some popular belief, Lee Majors did not have a cheesy moustache in Freiberger (and Landau)'s Six Million Dollar Man season; he had the moustache in Season 4. I will say that there is a feeling of tiredness about the season as too is there such a feeling with Season 3 of The Bionic Woman (produced in the same television year), mainly coming from the main cast of actors, which is to be expected, I would reckon, after so many years of production of a fantasy action-adventure television series. But the Death Probe and Bigfoot episodes are fun and entertaining, the time travel mystery one is excellently done, and I quite like the epic quality of the two-parter, "The Dark Side of the Moon". Whatever involvement that Freiberger had with the final season of The Six Million Dollar Man does not appear to my eyes to be detrimental to prospects of further The Six Million Dollar Man seasons. After five years, it was decided that The Six Million Dollar Man had bionically run its course, and it was time for different fare such as Battlestar Galactica (which was The Six Million Dollar Man's Sunday evening replacement).

But people who like to mindlessly berate Mr. Freiberger will forever say that he put a cheesy moustache on Lee Majors and brought incompetent writing and production to The Six Million Dollar Man and single-handedly presided over its demise. Just as they will say that Mr. Freiberger produced the final season of The Wild, Wild West. He did not, you know. But why let facts "get in the way" of an "air-tight" case against "the show-killer"?

September 17, 2012.


My Website is currently undergoing a major refurbishment. Many of my Web pages are being upgraded as regards their look. I am replacing a majority of the pictures, nearly all of them hailing from before 2000, with images of much better quality, and vastly increasing the amount of visual material on several of my Web pages, in addition to expanding upon the text in several cases.

Receiving particular attention in this venture is my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, whose amount of images has at least quadrupled, with more cartoon title cards added and images from a great many cartoons inserted over the course of the Season 1 episode guide and in a number of other places on that Web Page. The result is something quite outstanding, a superlative tribute to one of my two all-time favourite television programmes. And there are more images to come!

The Bugs Bunny Show Page, The Road Runner Show Page, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page, The Spiderman Page, The Rocket Robin Hood Page, and The Pink Panther Show Page have all been improved substantially, too. And to compliment the revisions to my Space: 1999 Page's chronology, I have boosted the amount of visual material on that Web page, and I have plans to go further in such a direction vis-a-vis The Space: 1999 page.

Visual standards have increased since the late 1990s when I had most of my Web pages' original images scanned. Most of them look drab or messy today. As nearly everything for which I have Web pages has been released on DVD or Blu-Ray, the opportunity exists for some tremendous improvement.

For the time being, enjoy my Web pages as I continue to upgrade them. The versions of them here at my Website are undeniably the definitive ones. The Looney Tunes On Television section of Golden Age Cartoons will continue to have the old, outmoded forms of all of my Warner Brothers television series Web pages, and it is to my Website where one must go to view them in all of their updated, upgraded splendour!

I want to think Frank Rey and Adel Khan for their assistance in this refurbishment project. It was Frank's generous providing of a cache of title card images for The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show that not only expanded upon what I had on the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Web page but gave to me the impetus to begin major overhaul of the entire visual presentation. Adel has assisted me with some improved frame-grabs of some Pink Panther cartoons for The Pink Panther Show Page.

Exciting times are here for my Website, and for the first time, I think, since the late 1990s, I am enjoying my work on Website-building.

October 19, 2012.


Work has continued on upgrades to my Website. At this juncture, apart from a select few pictures, everything on my Looney Tunes On Television Web pages has been improved to 2012 standards, and all of those Web pages are a visual delight to scroll through, as indeed they should be. One cannot hope to effectively argue a case for beauty in those cartoons (to "trump them up") when they are represented by images that look like eyesores, as many of them sadly have for more than a decade. Snowy appearance, pixellation artifacts, colour banding, and weak colour have plagued the images on my Web pages since I first had them rendered back in the late 1990s. Of course, at that time, most everyone had dial-up Internet connection with very slow Web page load times, and computers could be prone to crashing if accessed Web pages overloaded random access memory. Concessions had to be made on the quality of the images to allow them to load in reasonable time. And then, of course, the images were mostly coming off of VHS videotape recordings (some of those not even first-generation) of analog (sometimes even microwave) television broadcasts. Today, high-quality digital versions of the entertainments exist, and most people have High-Speed Internet and vast amounts of computer memory. A Web page as image-heavy as my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Web page now is, should only require a load time of about ten seconds.

The Web pages that have been upgraded are The Bugs Bunny Show Page, The Road Runner Show Page, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page, and The Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends Page. And also The Pink Panther Show Page, The Spiderman Page, and The Space: 1999 Page. Plus, I have replaced as many of the images on my Rocket Robin Hood Page as could possibly be replaced using whatever is available on Google Picture Search. There are yet several images on my Rocket Robin Hood Page that need to be upgraded. If anyone has the Rocket Robin Hood DVDs, frame-grabbing software, a bit of time to spare, and a wish to see my Rocket Robin Hood Page look as good as, for instance, my Spiderman Page, please do feel free to contact me and send improved images. Same goes for my Space: 1999 Page. There remain some images on that that I would like improved.

Google Picture Search has been an enormous boon to me in this Web pages upgrading project. Much time is needed, of course, to seek out the precise images for which I am looking- and the quality has to be top-notch. No smeary resolution, no pixellation artifacts, and no colour banding or colour bleeding. Frame grabs from DVD or Blu-Ray should not have any such problems. I have scoured Google Picture Search for the images desired to enhance my arguments on the Web pages, and for what I was unable to find with Google Picture Search, Adel Khan has generously dedicated the time and effort to frame-grab for me, and every time, he provided precisely what I requested. My appreciation and gratitude for his efforts is immense! And further very, very highly appreciative kudos to Frank Rey, whose work at screen-capturing for me many a Bugs Bunny/Road Runner or Bugs & Tweety Show cartoon titling has been superlative! I have yet many more of his screen-captures to use in a further Archive Gallery project.

The beauty of these cartoons is now very evident on my Web pages, and now, perhaps, my arguments in favour of such beauty will be more convincing. Not, of course, to the intransigent, "snarky", churlish cliques of people on Internet forums. But to the open-minded people who are willing to recognise and appreciate the style, imagery, symbolism, and nuance of the works of entertainment that my Website venerates.

Also upgraded are my articles on "Hyde and Hare", the Tweety and Sylvester cartoons, and Bugs Bunny's 1955 cartoons. Those are gushing with visual splendour going side-by-side with my arguments. A tremendous undertaking, and thanks again to Adel and to Frank for all that they have done!

If anyone can provide screen-captures for Rocket Robin Hood, please contact me.

October 31, 2012.


My father passed away on Friday, November 2. And with my mother's death in 2010 and now my father's death, it is the absolute end of any trace of childhood. And not only am I an only-child, I am now also an orphan. The future is uncertain, and I must face it alone. I have no parent to whom to turn for advice or help. No siblings to support me. This is what real loneliness is. What loneliness that I have experienced at times earlier in my life cannot begin to compare. This new reality puts a new spin on a great many things, to be sure. When one has watched one's father, one's last surviving parent, die before one's eyes, the change that is effected upon one's outlook and priorities cannot be anything but massive.

My work on upgrading the look of my Website is winding down now. My profoundest thanks again to Adel and to Frank for all of their help! There are a few more Web pages that could do with increased or improved pictures. I will be persisting in such work in the days and weeks ahead. But most of my off-work time henceforth will be spent just living what is left of my life.

I think that this is about all that I have to say, for now. My previous communiques of the past few months will be added to my Weblog archive.

November 19, 2012.


It is now January 5, 2013. One of those extra-special occasions on which my birthday is on a Saturday. When my birthday was on a Saturday in 1991, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show's first cartoon was "Oily Hare", which any cartoon aficionado knows contains a scene with a birthday cake. And in 1974, when my birthday was on a Saturday, the Tasmanian Devil's first cartoon, "Devil May Hare", was first cartoon on The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour on CBC-TV, and it was followed by the Road Runner cartoon, "Rushing Roulette".

And what do those cartoons have in common? They were all directed by Robert McKimson.

Robert McKimson's son, Robert McKimson Jr., has authored a book, "I Say, I Say... Son!": A Tribute to Legendary Animators Bob, Chuck, and Tom McKimson, detailing the careers of his father and uncles. And in honour of that, I am reviving my tribute article on Robert McKimson. Originally written in 1999, it has been textually adjusted and its picture content increased (with thanks again to Adel Khan for his assistance in acquiring images), and it is now available at my Website.

Remembering Robert McKimson

Eventually, the articles that I wrote in tribute to Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones will also be revived. Hopefully later this month.

I have now attained a frame-grabbing software with which I will be able to improve the picture content on my Web pages, and I have already used it to better the images from "Hyde and Go Tweet", "Tweety's Circus", and other cartoons on my Tweety and Sylvester article, the "Sicque! Sicque! Sicque!" images on my Pink Panther Show Page, various images on my Televised Looney Tunes Pages, many of the Space: 1999 images on my Space: 1999 Page and Boy Meets Alpha memoirs and autobiographical pages, and certain Spiderman pictures. I have also finally improved the look of my Rocket Robin Hood and Last Place On Earth Pages. Various other images across my Website have also been ameliorated, including some on this main index Web page.

And there are more improvements to come!

January 5, 2013.


January 26 is on a Saturday this year, as it was in 1974 when the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour instalment with "Robot Rabbit", "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide", "The Leghorn Blows at Midnight", "Transylvania 6-5000", "A Bird in a Guilty Cage", "Lickety-Splat!", and "Clippety Clobbered" aired on CBC Television. At 6 P.M. at my home which was then in Douglastown on the Miramichi. A little anecdote about today's date.

On the subject of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, I have recently had some memory flashes while watching my reconstructions of Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour episodes. I tend to trust these things. They happen for a reason, and they are triggered by no conscious design on my part. They just come. I can now affirm that "The Solid Tin Coyote", not "Hairied and Hurried", was the first of the two Road Runner cartoons in Show 1. And "The Foghorn Leghorn" was in Show 17, with "Strangled Eggs" being the Foghorn Leghorn cartoon in Show 19. Not vice versa. I have adjusted my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour episode guide accordingly and made some new observations about cartoon correspondences in same or adjacent episodes based on the new cartoon placements. These cartoons truly do seem to fit where I now put them. I have sent updates to TV.com regarding this, and anyone who used my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page as a source for their episode information is hereby advised of the change, also.

Further on The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, I have assembled a gallery of images to supplement my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page. They are on a separate Web page because my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page is already very heavy with images. The gallery can be found at http://kevinmccorrytv.webs.com/bbrrgallery.html. I will also give to it its own dedicated Hyperlink in the body of my home Web page. Thanks again to Frank Rey for his assistance with frame-grabbing of many a cartoon titling from the 1980s, most particularly those of the 1984-5 Bugs Bunny/Road Runner season. I have also done frame-grabs of the post-1984, pre-1989 cartoon titles that I have from Teletoon Retro's Bugs & Tweety Show, and they also are in the mix. There are now many pre-1984 cartoon title cards, too. And I hope to expand the collection in the months ahead. For the time being, enjoy the gallery.

Improvement of images also continues as a project. My best work, using digital paint, is on the restoration of the "Scare Hare" cel by Virgil Ross at the top of my article on "Hyde and Hare". Many hours were spent removing digital blockiness from the initially poor .jpg compression. I am not saying that it is a perfect job. One cannot make silk from a sow's ear, after all. But it is still quite an impressive job at restoration, if I do say so myself. I have also improved the Pink Panther Show traffic-safety-with-the-Inspector image, also with a digital paint job. Many other images have been newly frame-grabbed by me using my recently acquired frame-grabbing software. I can frame-grab at will. And there are many improved and new images all across my Website. My Boy Meets Alpha memoirs are especially impressive, as they should be. I am, after all, endeavouring to explain how I became enamoured with Space: 1999, and beautiful image representations of the look of that television show are essential for that.

A new DVD of Warner Brothers cartoons is coming in April. It will be dedicated to the Sylvester cartoons directed by Robert McKimson, and particularly those with Sylvester Jr. and Hippety Hopper. A very nice DVD release, and most of the cartoons on it will be having not just their debut on shiny optical disc but their home video debut. I am, however, concerned that there will be no other Sylvester DVD for Friz Freleng's Sylvester cartoons, among them "Tree For Two" and "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide", "Stooge For a Mouse", "A Kiddie's Kitty", "A Mouse Divided", "Pappy's Puppy", and "D' Fightin' Ones". Each character seems to be having only one LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS DVD devoted to his cartoons. And of the characters, only Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd seem to be left (and many of Elmer's cartoons have been released on other characters' DVDs). Taz and Marvin are possibilities, I suppose, but their cartoons have all been released on digital videodisc (DVD and/or Blu-Ray), and their cartoon filmographies are quite short. One never knows, though; the Sylvester/Sylvester Jr./Hippety Hopper DVD comes as a complete surprise.

January 26, 2013.


There is now a very stringent digital copyright law in effect in Canada, and the authorities are empowered with the right to access people's Internet activities and intercept packages going through customs, in the enforcement of the law. For this reason, I cannot provide DVD or any digital video copy of any television series, etc. honoured by Web pages at this Website. My heartfelt apologies to any and all persons who may hope to gain a personal copy of any of these items, but I am not comfortable distributing any of this material, even for free. At the very least, I could lose my Website if I were to be caught sending digital video copies of anything to interested persons. This is a very different time, compared to the days of analogue VHS videocassette. My hands are tied. I cannot supply digital copies. There may be other collectors who are prepared to assume the risks of doing so. I am not. Because I run a Website dedicated to many works of entertainment, I could be a person of interest. It certainly is not outside of the realm of possibility.

I am bringing my image updating work to a close. Many new images have been added to my autobiographical Web pages, and I have worked tirelessly with digital paint to arrive at the best possible Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour main title image for that television show's Web page. There are still sub-par images on some of my Web pages, The Littlest Hobo Page, for example. But without quality source material unmarred by logos or "bugs", I am not able to replace the images with improved ones. At least not at present time.

I am hoping to work this month on reinstating my tributes to Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones. And once I have done so, I will add to the main body of this personal Web page Hyperlinks to them and to my Robert McKimson tribute.

February 5, 2013.


Still more improvements to pictures on my Website as I continue to adjust images for less jpg. pixel artifacts. Come the summer, I will re-photograph many of the places currently represented with images riddled with artifacts.

I believe that I am finally in a position to work on upgrades to my old Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones tributes. For the most part, they will remain as-is, but I do want to add mention of Friz Freleng's rather Hitchcocky style at staging scenes and introducing situations in his cartoons. The through-the window perspectives, the slow, methodical reveals of a character's violent intentions as a character is shown going through the various phases of his aggressor initiative, and the overall psychological process of anxiety and morbid dread accompanying a character's contemplation of a grimly terminal predicament in which he finds himself to be. If I may appear to describing the cartoon, "Tweet and Sour", to a tee, it is because... I am. Other Freleng-directed cartoons have one of more of these Hitchcockian touches in them also. "Each Dawn I Crow", for instance. And "Birds Anonymous", for another. If Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, were to undertake directing of cartoons, it is Freleng's cartoons that his work would most closely resemble.

For Christmas last year, I bought for myself the commercially available Space: 1999 graphic novel, Aftershock and Awe. Many great ideas in it, I thought, especially those for bridging Season 1 and Season 2. But then I read the graphic novel company's Facebook Page and see that the gentlemen in charge of the series of graphic novels are saying that Season 2 as presented in canonical Space: 1999 is a child's interpretation and a child's telling of that portion of the Moon's odyssey, and I just shake my head. The fan bashing of Season 2, now nearing 36 years running, not only shows no sign of abating but is becoming all the more absurd. When are these people going to come to terms with the fact- and it IS a fact- that Season 2 of Space: 1999 was televised, watched and, yes, enjoyed, by millions of people, and is therefore canonical- just as every televised episode of Doctor Who is canonical? Never, apparently. But to assert that Season 2, from the first frames of "The Metamorph" to the closing scene of "The Dorcons", is coming out of the mind of an eight-year-old, is insulting to everyone who enjoys, fancies, and appreciates far into adulthood the episodes of Space: 1999- Season 2. If indeed Season 2 as televised is the subjective outlook of anyone, should not it be Dr. Russell, who records the Moonbase Alpha Status Reports and is presenting her perspective on the runaway Moon's many encounters? The concept of Season 2, all 24 episodes of it, being of a single, subjective outlook is hogwash anyway. And it is a pity, because, as I say, there is much to admire in Aftershock and Awe. But that bias against Season 2 is there. It is always there. No matter what the work being presented. Am I the only person contributing to the body of written material pertaining to Space: 1999 who is not biased against Season 2? That is very sad, if true. A television series' season that captured imaginations and entertained millions of people to be nearly devoid of an an appreciative following, is, of course, a sad state of affairs- if true.

February 25, 2013.


I have recently added a statistics option to all of my Web pages. It is the first time that I have tracked Web page traffic since I left Geocities in 2009. With my Website at Webs.com now for nearly three years, I would have expected it to have regained the amount of daily traffic that it once had during its years at Geocities. Perhaps more traffic, with my efforts of the last several months to greatly upgrade the Web pages stated here on my Home Page and on discussion forums.

The statistics tell me some surprising things. My most frequently viewed Web pages now are the ones regarding Dallas' "Dream Season" and The Flintstones, what had traditionally been two of my minor efforts seldom accessed. I put almost no work into upgrading them recently, and they are the ones receiving the "hits", while Web pages like The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, The Pink Panther Show Page, and my memoirs on which I toiled for hours to visually improve are receiving almost no attention at all. It does rather stifle any incentive I might have to put more time into improving my Website. As it is, I cannot motivate myself to sit and work on the Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones tributes that I have been meaning to revise and re-introduce.

And my Spiderman Page has only been seen once in the past week.

I have to admit that it does annoy me that people have outmoded versions of these Web pages at their Websites, versions which doubtless are being seen more than my updated, expanded, and improved iterations. I wrote the Web pages, and I should have the ultimate say now, today, in where and how they appear. Many years ago, I allowed someone to put my Spiderman Page on his Website. That Web Page has been improved here many times since then, but that person continues to host the long-out-of-date version of the Web page, and I believe that is being seen more than the version here that I now endorse.

As to the Looney Tunes On Television Web pages, the difference between my ameliorated versions of them hosted here and the pre-2009 versions of them at Golden Age Cartoons is like day and night. The improvements have been massive. There is also information in them that has since been corrected. The versions here are what I endorse. I cannot contact Jon Cooke at G.A.C. to ask him to drop the old versions, and I am not prepared to go to G.A.C.'s Facebook Page with a general appeal. I quit that group for a reason in 2009, and I have no intention of putting myself among its disagreeable members again. Not on Facebook, and not anywhere. I have tried to change the Hyperlinks at Wikipedia and at IMDb from G.A.C. to my Website for The Bugs Bunny Show Page, The Road Runner Show Page, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page, and The Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends Page, but the good people at Wikipedia and IMDb will not effect that change. Wikipedia still has footnotes on its Bugs Bunny Show article that connect with the pre-2009 G.A.C. versions, and IMDb will not budge one inch. And Google will show Hyperlinks to the G.A.C. versions and will only provide Hyperlinks to my Website if my name is included in the search function.

This whole thing frustrates me tremendously! I was hoping to see substantial Web page traffic to the Web pages that I laboured for countless hours to improve. Traffic to my Space: 1999 Page is also almost non-existent, by the way. Oh, I know the fans hold me in contempt, and the feeling is mutual, but surely there are people out there among the general public with an interest in Space: 1999 who may appreciate my particular way of regarding Space: 1999. IMDb refuses to add a Hyperlink to my Space: 1999 Page. And the only way to see it on Google is to include my name in the search. And that is the way it is.

Does anybody know how these conditions may be rectified? As the author of these Web pages, I do want their most up-to-date iterations to be the only ones available- and more readily available to people on the Internet. Otherwise, what does it matter if I have quadrupled and improved the images and revised the text?

If Jon Cooke is out there and reading this, please, Jon, remove the old versions of the Looney Tunes On Television Pages and link to the ones here. And perhaps others may have a more privileged relationship with IMDb and Wikipedia and could convince them to change their Hyperlinks where I have been unsuccessful in doing so. I want these improved iterations to be readily visible on the Internet.

Thanks immeasurably to anyone who may be able to help in this matter!

March 23, 2013.


Continuing to track traffic to my Website, and the results are perplexing, frustrating, and non-motivating.

The total "hits" for my Website, including all Web pages, is about 70 per day. That is 70 spanning across my Website's full content. With few exceptions, my Televised Looney Tunes Pages seem to be of interest only to people in the United States. Wikipedia's Bugs Bunny Show article tends to be the point of entry to my Web pages regarding Looney Tunes on television, with my Bugs Bunny Show Page receiving the majority of those "hits", which really are not all that numerous. My Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends Page seems to garner a sizable percentage of the traffic, explanation for that unknown at present (it is not included in the "Web links" section on Wikipedia's Bugs Bunny Show article). I really do weep for public awareness of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, which seems to have fizzled away entirely- especially here in Canada where The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour was shown nationally on CBC-TV for many years. Of course, I have no way of knowing how many people are still looking at the outmoded versions of the television-Looney-Tunes Web pages at Golden Age Cartoons. If those outmoded versions are receiving "hits" by the hundreds every day, all the more reason for me to feel perplexed, frustrated, unmotivated.

Canadians are not looking at my Website very much at all. Where there are "hits", they are either for The Littlest Hobo Page or The Rocket Robin Hood Page. But daily "hits" by Canadians are below 20. Traffic from the U.K. is most perplexing of all. All anyone there seems to be interested in, is the "Dream Season" of Dallas and maybe The Littlest Hobo or The Flintstones. But where The Littlest Hobo Page used to attract 50 or more daily "hits" from Britain, today it may receive one or two. Some other countries only register "hits" to my Website maybe once or twice per day. Germany, Spain, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Brazil, China. In those countries, all that my Website seems to be "good for" is Dallas and The Flintstones. One person in Japan was interested in my Looney Tunes Web pages; other than that and one person in Germany accessing my Road Runner Show Page, my work on Looney Tunes could easily not exist outside of North America or the United States.

My Spiderman, Pink Panther Show, and Space: 1999 Pages are lucky to receive one "hit" per day, and my autobiography, for all of the pictures that I have recently added to it, also could easily cease to exist. And Web pages such as those pertaining to Star Blazers, The Prisoner, and The Last Place On Earth are complete dead zones.

As ungratifying as this report may be, I have presented it.

I have tried and failed to update the Hyperlinks at various locations to my Web pages, and as long as the outmoded versions of them continue to exist elsewhere as first (and often only) option to appear on Google Search, I cannot envision an improvement in fortunes for my preferred versions here.

March 28, 2013.


On this day in 1974, at 6 P.M. Atlantic Time, Bugs Bunny was remembering his early career in "What's Up, Doc?", Daffy Duck was on the dinner menu at Elmer Fudd's home and at George K. Chickenhawk's abode in "Don't Axe Me" and "You Were Never Duckier", Sylvester was attempting to snatch Tweety from a San Franciscan apartment building in "Canary Row", Bugs was battling Sir Pantsalot of Dropseat Manor in "Knight Must Fall", Sylvester and Tweety were part of the story of Little Red Riding Hood in "Red Riding Hoodwinked", and Wile E. Coyote's chase of the Road Runner constituted the events of the cartoon, "Stop! Look! And Hasten!". All on CBC-TV's broadcast of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour.

Some good news for me to log here today. At Golden Age Cartoons, outmoded versions of my Televised Looney Tunes Web pages have been removed, and Hyperlinks direct to my much improved iterations here have been added to the Looney Tunes On TV Web page at G.A.C., and all of the formerly existing Web pages at G.A.C. function as gateways to my Web pages here. And as a result, traffic to my Website has increased. Not as much as I would have hoped, but an increase nonetheless. My thanks to Jon Cooke at G.A.C. and to anyone who may have brought the matter to his attention.

Now, if IMDb and Wikipedia could be convinced to change or to add Hyperlinks to my Web pages, further improvement to Web page traffic would certainly occur. My Web pages for Spiderman, The Pink Panther Show, Space: 1999, etc. receive almost no "hits" at all. Even adding a "If you like this Web page, you may like these..." notation to some of my more visited Web pages, has no discernible effect. People who come to my Littlest Hobo Page are not interested in Spiderman or Rocket Robin Hood. Perplexing though that may be. It is all Canadiana and Canadian television history.

And I have pictures of the 1960s Littlest Hobo on my memoirs' Era 2, but I cannot seem to convince anyone to "check out" those memoirs. They are also teeming with pictures of Warner Brothers cartoons, Pink Panther and Inspector cartoons, and Spiderman and Rocket Robin Hood episodes. But they are not being seen. I also have more Dallas images on my Era 4 memoirs than are on my Dallas- "Dream Season" Web page, but nobody is looking at them. Sad, really.

But the news this morning is good. Hopefully, better times are ahead for my Web pages.

Before I "sign off" for this morning, I want to promote one more time my Boy Meets Alpha memoirs for 1976-8 for all of the Space: 1999 images recently added thereto, plus my supplementary image gallery to The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, and Remembering Robert McKimson, which was revised, expanded, and added back onto my Website this past January. These Web pages are receiving almost no traffic at all, and I want to change that.

All for today, March 30, 2013.


Announcing the re-introduction of my tribute to cartoon director Friz Freleng.

A Tribute to Friz Freleng

Originally written in 1999 to go with similar tributes to Robert McKimson and Chuck Jones, this article has been expanded and enhanced by the addition of many pictures from Freleng's cartoons positioned within the tribute to cogently illustrate my many accolades for Mr. Freleng's oeuvre. I am painfully aware of how out of favour Friz Freleng is these days with cartoon aficionados on the Internet, and maybe this article will help to sway those persons less entrenched in the all-too-sturdy structure of the anti-Friz bandwagon, towards appreciating the man and his work.

My tribute to Chuck Jones will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

April 2, 2013.


My Tribute to Friz Freleng has, according to my records, only been accessed three times since I uploaded it to my Website two nights ago. I posted a link to it on the BCDb forum, but although 43 people are noted as having viewed my posting there, only three people (maybe even less) went ahead to look at the tribute. Is that sad, or what?

I do not think that I am going to put much effort into the re-introduction of my Chuck Jones tribute. It was fairly thorough as it was, and I cannot justify the amount of work put into not just editing text but in frame-grabbing and adding a multitude of new images.

After an encouraging boost in Website traffic following the changing of the Hyperlinks at Golden Age Cartoons, I am back to low-"hits" territory each day. Whenever anyone outside of North America accesses a Web page, it is usually the one for Dallas. Except for the U.K., in which most of the half-dozen or so daily "hits" are for The Littlest Hobo Page. Visits by my fellow Canadians are about a dozen daily now. Most of them are Littlest Hobo Page visits. But less than twelve a day-- when The Littlest Hobo is being telecast on CTV-Two twice a day and twice each Saturday and Sunday on CTV? Egad! And I have yet to see a "hit" for my Space: 1999 Page this week. Someone in Los Angeles is looking at the eras of my autobiography. Otherwise, all of the images I added thereto are not being seen.

I would also add that most of the people coming to The Littlest Hobo Page were directed there by Google.com from their question on when the Littlest Hobo dog died. Morbid, eh?

Maybe I should stop looking at my Web page statistics. It is far too demoralising. In the last five years, interest in and awareness of twentieth century television has nosedived. One sees that every time that one visits a DVD store. The recession (I prefer to call it a depression mitigated somewhat by borrowed money) has given stores an excuse to stop stocking pre-2000 titles, and there no longer appears to be any demand for them. The paltry amount of traffic at my Website now may be symptomatic of an overall trend. A distressing trend, to be sure. The world is a poorer place for its abandonment of twentieth century entertainment. And I chafe at the efforts to overwrite some of the entertainments by "rebooting" them with new versions untrue to the originals.

This is all for today, Thursday, April 4, 2013.


Right now, the Littlest Hobo episode, "The Spirit of Thunder Rock: Pt. 3", is airing on CTV. Picture quality on my high-definition television set is quite poor, which is to be expected given that the television series was videotaped rather than filmed. I cannot help but wonder what will become of The Littlest Hobo when high-definition is broadcast standard everywhere. A rotating lower-third-of-television-screen advisory not to adjust one's television set?

A further report, just a short one, on Web page traffic. The vast majority of "hits" are now for my Televised Looney Tunes Web pages, with The Bugs Bunny Show Page receiving the majority of the traffic. I only receive one or two "hits" daily from countries other than the United States and Canada, and those are usually for Dallas, The Flintstones, and- surprisingly- The Road Runner Show. There seems to be widespread foreign syndication of The Road Runner Show now, today. Curious.

I just do not know what to do to increase traffic to The Spiderman Page, The Pink Panther Show Page, The Rocket Robin Hood Page, The Space: 1999 Page, etc.. Hyperlinks on Wikipedia would certainly help, but try though I may, I cannot convince Wikipedia to put links to my Webpages on the relevant Wikipedia articles. Would anyone out there like to try? It would be tremendously appreciated!

I am going to fast-track my Chuck Jones tribute to have it available here before my workload at my job increases in the next week or two. The really time-consuming aspect of re-introducing these tributes is the frame-grabbing and image processing. Doing so for my Friz Freleng tribute involved two days of intensive and at times frustrating work.

All for today, Saturday, April 6, 2013.


My autobiographical Web pages are now on moratorium and will remain indefinitely in that condition. One might be inclined to ask why, after all of the work I did this past winter to upgrade and increase the images on all of those Web pages. I am afraid of my old friends finding my autobiography, reading it, and not liking something that they read. Now that I am parentless in addition to being brotherless and sisterless, I am more in need than ever of my friends, and I dare not risk estrangement with any of them. Of course, I speak affectionately of my friends in the autobiography, but in my recounting of some past experiences, some of them for a time upsetting to me, my old friends may regard me as being judgemental and grudge-harbouring or petty, and that is not the case for a vast percentage of my relationships. I believe in being thorough in expounding upon the events of my life and how they influenced my entertainment tastes and loyalties, and among those events are some that were unpleasant, including some occasional quarrels with friends. The person of whom I am most critical in my autobiography is, by far, myself. But my old friends may not regard that as mitigating enough my recall of the lesser esteemed times of our shared history. I appreciate all of my friends, those people with the patience and tenacity to keep their friendship with me going through a vast array of potentially divisive circumstances. To have friends who like me and appreciate me is precious. Always was so. And more so now than ever before.

I am maintaining a "shadow" index Web page on which the autobiography continues to be available to me.

Lately, I perceive a narrowing and a concentrating in the Web page traffic at my Website, which is the exact opposite of what I was hoping. Nowadays, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page is the only one that receives a sizable amount of daily "hits" in the United States. In Canada, it and The Littlest Hobo Page are receiving the lion's share of the traffic. Interest in the balance of my Website is paltry, to say the least. I have to blame the lack of Hyperlinks on search engines, Wikipedia, etc., to the other Web pages. Accessing of my Website outside of the United States and Canada is limited to only one, two, three, or four daily "hits" from different countries each day, the only exception being the U.K., in which I am looked-at maybe 4 or 5 times daily, but seldom for the same material. Most accessed Web pages outside of North America tend to be the Dallas- "Dream Season" one, or my article on The Day the Earth Stood Still. I shake my head at the lack of "hits" for Spiderman, The Pink Panther Show, Rocket Robin Hood, and Space: 1999 Pages. And I just do not know how to change this.

Back on this day in 1974, I saw for the first time the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour episode with "Tweet and Sour", "Hot Cross Bunny", "Muzzle Tough", "Bugs' Bonnets", and three other cartoons therein. The sun was shining brightly outside as I watched that Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour episode between 6 and 7 P.M. on Saturday, May 25, 1974.

May 25, 2013.


Web page traffic reached an all-time low early this week. Single-digit numbers for all Web pages except for The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page, which dominates the "hits"-per-day count on a regular basis now. I have to admit to being more than a little annoyed at this development. This is not the The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Website. Even among my Televised Looney Tunes Web pages, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page is but one of six items, and not my best achievement. That is a distinction of my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page.

But really, the high number of "hits" for The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page is skewed by the fact that the same people are coming back to it again and again, sometimes as many as ten times a day. And ignoring all of the other Televised Looney Tunes Web pages, concentrating only on it. Why? Would not their interest in the presentation on television of Bugs Bunny and the other Warner Brothers cartoon characters extend to the other television programmes also? That is what logic should tell. But why access any Web page ten times daily? Why not just download it? Not that I am in any danger of exceeding my bandwidth, but I just cannot see why someone would want to focus only on one Web page to the exclusion of all else, day after day. And this might cause a brief hiccough in availability of my overall Website at the time that someone is accessing something else, limiting the other person's ability to see one of my other Web pages. This could explain why "hit" numbers for the other Web pages are abnormally low this week.

But traffic to my Website is still not what it used to be when I was at Geocities prior to 2009. I remember Littlest Hobo Page accessing at 50-"hits"-per-day on average, for instance. Today, my Littlest Hobo Page may attain a dozen or so "hits" on an average day. And my Spiderman and Rocket Robin Hood Pages are only being viewed four of five times a week, whereas at Geocities, they had at least ten "hits" per day. The Pink Panther Show Page is languishing in a rarely-seen state, as is The Space: 1999 Page. Does anyone know how to increase traffic to these Web pages? Maybe by mentioning them (with Hyperlinks) at discussion groups on the Internet, or on Facebook, etc..

I am thinking of adding pictures to my Weblog's past entries. That is something I may do to occupy my time during the summer. Otherwise, it is stay the course on my Website for the months ahead. I am aware that my Littlest Hobo Page needs an upgrade of its images, but acquiring logo-free frame-grabs from Littlest Hobo telecasts is next to impossible these days.

June 6, 2013.


I am sick and tired of every Saturday morning finding that people have come to my Website via a Google search using one of the following questions: "Is the Littlest Hobo dog still alive?" and "Is the Littlest Hobo dog dead?"

People, do look at the year on the copyright at the end of the closing credits of any Littlest Hobo episode. I presume that it is the watching of a Saturday CTV telecast of The Littlest Hobo that prompted you to go to Google. Look at the year shown at the end of the credits and do your mathematics. Maybe also do some remedial reading about canine life expectancy. And then maybe come to my Website for a purpose more germane to its raison d'etre, that of increasing awareness of the production and nuances of imaginative entertainment, The Littlest Hobo included.

Oh, why not? I will answer the question. Yes, the Littlest Hobo dog is dead. There were actually multiple Littlest Hobo dogs. They are all dead. The primary one in the 1979-85 Littlest Hobo television series was dead in 1998 when I corresponded for awhile with Charles P. Eisenmann. So, he has been dead now for 15 years at least.

Now, if you are genuinely interested in the produced television series, The Littlest Hobo, its 114 episodes, and its creative talent, read all about it on my Littlest Hobo Page. Or if you have only come for one item of information and do not give a hoot about any of the content of my Website, I have given that one item of information to you. Now, please go away.

I am sorry to be so blunt, but I am feeling quite dejected these days at the paucity of real, comprehensive interest in the entertainments honoured and examined by this Website.

June 8, 2013.


For some reason unbeknown to me, the John Delaney "Hyde and Go Tweet" sketch popped into my head. What, one might ask, is the John Delaney "Hyde and Go Tweet" sketch? In 2002, at the ToonZone Website, artist John Delaney would do a sketch every week of a cartoon character or characters, and somehow, the idea of him doing a drawing of the Tweety monster of "Hyde and Go Tweet" came into consideration. There was a poll at ToonZone Forums, with "Hyde and Go Tweet" in competition with other candidates for a Delaney Sketch of the Week, and amazingly, "Hyde and Go Tweet" won the poll, the result being a stylish, black-and-white drawing of Tweety-Hyde looking menacing while standing in front of a window shadow. Here is the "thread" at the ToonZone discussion forum with the poll that "Hyde and Go Tweet" won.

http://www.toonzone.net/forums/comic-book-culture/28642-john-delaneys-sketch-week-15-a.html#.UcGOWNhOeSo

And here is the John Delaney "Hyde and Go Tweet" sketch.

I say that it was amazing that "Hyde and Go Tweet" won the poll. Why do I say that? Firstly, because "Hyde and Go Tweet" is a Tweety-and-Sylvester cartoon. For quite some time now, the dominant opinion on the cartoon series with the pairing of those two characters and on one of those characters himself (Tweety) has been negative. Very negative. The negativity almost ubiquitous on the Internet. And "Hyde and Go Tweet" was directed by Friz Freleng, a largely unsung cartoon director back then in 2002 and now the most scorned of the classic cartoon directors at Warner Brothers. And lastly, even in 2002, vintage cartoons were far from the most popular items of discussion at ToonZone. Nowadays, they are further still from such status.

The lack of "Hyde and Go Tweet" on DVD/Blu-Ray today (excepting its inclusion in Daffy Duck's Quackbusters), 11 years after that poll, also lends a sizable amount of amazement to that cartoon ever coming at the top of a voting contest. I seriously doubt that "Hyde and Go Tweet" will ever be among the cartoon selections on a Warner Brothers cartoons DVD. But it did have a time of glory 11 years ago. For that, I suppose I can be grateful.

John Delaney is a fellow countryman of mine, actually. Yes, he is Canadian. Possibly weaned on the cartoons like I was, by way of CBC Television's Saturday broadcasts of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, by which "Hyde and Go Tweet" could be seen year after year, late in February and late in August, coming after "Bully For Bugs" and before "Who's Kitten Who?".

June 19, 2013.


I have made some slight adjustments to my Space: 1999 Page. Changed one image and revised some of the Maya's Psychon Life chronology section's text.

Does anybody care about Website Hyperlinks anymore? I have tried time and again to persuade people who have in the past Hyperlinked to my Website to update their URLs to my Website's current location. But they do not respond or comply, and my Space: 1999, Pink Panther Show, and Spiderman Pages remain mired in the scarcely-viewed column.

There has to be some way to improve traffic on those Web pages. I have tried everything that I can do. I have even posted headlining on my more popular Web pages, notifying readers of the existence of my other Web pages. So far, no joy. Traffic on my more popular Web pages has been steadily declining, too. As I have said, interest in vintage television and cinema is on the wane in this world of increasingly disposable culture. Go into any DVD store, and expect to be tasked to find anything on the shelves that hails from the twentieth century.

To my readers, I am wondering if you could post Hyperlinks to my Website on your favourite news groups/"mailing lists" (do those still exist?), or perhaps on some of your Facebook groups or your own Facebook profile. These would help. Anything would help, at this juncture.

All for today, June 30, 2013.


A mighty thank-you to the person or persons who put a Hyperlink to my Web pages on his/her/their Facebook profile(s). There was a modest increase in traffic to my Website for a couple of days early this week. Alas, however, "hits" to my Website have tailed back to the paltry amounts of a week ago. Keeping the momentum going is going to be quite a challenge.

There can be no denying that my Website may never regain the amount of traffic it used to have every day at Geocities before 2009. While I have to concede that over the past 3 or 4 years, public interest in pre-2000 or certainly pre-1990 entertainment has declined sharply and that reduced interest in my Website could be attributable somewhat to this distressing trend, I think the year or more that I was off of the Internet and then my subsequent relocating to Webs.com is in no small part responsible for the doldrums in which my Website is now mired. When it was at Geocities, Hyperlinks to it dating as far back as 2001 were active in many places on the Internet. Popular information sources like Wikipedia and the Internet Movie Database had active Hyperlinks to nearly all of my Website's Web pages, and the Web pages had priority listing on most search engines. Try as I may, I cannot persuade Wikipedia and the Internet Movie Database to add my Website at its current location to their Hyperlink listings, and search engines are not as readily accepting of suggested Websites as they used to be.

I had no choice but to leave Geocities in 2009, as Geocities was terminating its Website-hosting function. However, I did leave Geocities and go dark on the Internet months before the Geocities deadline of late 2009. I did not resurface on Webs until mid-2010. The circumstances of my 2009 departure from the Internet are perhaps known to a number of my readers. My growing disenchantment with- nay, outright and strident opposition to- the prevailing attitudes on the Termite Terrace Trading Post at Golden Age Cartoons reached a "boiling point" that summer. Increasingly, the discourse there was becoming snooty, uncivil, ignorant, loutish, in many ways equalling the bad, old days on the Space: 1999 Mailing List. It was becoming par for the course for people to matter-of-factly declare everything made at Warner Brothers' cartoon studios after 1948 or after 1954 to be garbage, for people to brand as "hopeless" anyone who preferred a later-produced cartoon over something made earlier, and for people to "gang up upon" and "pick on" the person who protested the proliferation of such conduct, as being "emo", or some similar unfavourable designation. There was an increasing number of people there who were completely full of themselves, their heads so far up their posterior that empathy and understanding were as much an anathema to them as the cartoons they despised. I committed the fatal mistake of allowing myself to enter into a discussion with one of those people, a person with the pseudonym of a certain Burt Lancaster character in a movie of some considerable age. And I should have known from bitter experience never, ever to engage in any verbal exchange with people like that. They twist anything that I say into an ad hominem attack, and they play the wronged victim to my vehement words of opposition, portraying me in my solitary stance as the villain while they have the might of the collective opinion on their side, and they use straw man arguments to invalidate every salient argument that I make. They for instance liken a slightly reduced budget for production to a sometime later drastically reduced production funding, to proclaim with absolute authority that the works of the former situation can be of no more value than those of the latter, their premise being that all reductions in monies for a production are equally damning to the artistic worth of what is produced, that creativity and meaning, even quality of entertainment, are solely determined by how much money is spent. It is a ridiculous argument, but if it is glibly and forcibly proffered at the same time as a ripping apart of some premise put forth by me, and in an Internet discussion forum in which I am a seeming minority of one, it has a massive effect of chastising, discrediting, demoralising, and smiting the unwanted interloper on the group "consensus". It is a successful instance of bully-and-conquer, with the sheer force of membership numbers and vocal agreers clearly and hopelessly "lining up" on side. I had other members of the group, all of them of course opposed to my ways of regarding the cartoons, saying that I had no right to any respect, much less an apology, for how I was being treated then or in the past. And so on.

I would state that it is strange that for all of the disdain for me and for all that I venerate, that existed at that "message board", that long after that "message board" was shut down at Golden Age Cartoons, the old Termite Terrace Trading Post dominators continue to use the name I gave to the "message board" (or at least its anagram-abbreviation) in their unauthorised perpetuation of it, as "TTTP in Exile", in another place on the Internet.

After my conflict with the not-so-good people at the TTTP, I decided that there could be no rationale for maintaining a Website. Indeed, following the logic of my preeminent detractors, everything that I write, everything that I say, is unworthy of support at any of these places on the Internet whose people shape official policy as regards DVD releases, DVD commentaries, and so forth. I had been conclusively repudiated. I had fallen prey to such despicable but powerful, collective-opinion-dominating people not only once as regards Space: 1999 but also concerning cartoons. But it was my mother's urging the last time she ever spoke to me, that I persevere and "make something" of my life, that prompted me to venture back onto the Internet, to restore my Website at a new location (Webs). And here I am. Struggling to find an audience after my own particular state of exile. I put an enormous amount of work in not only reconstituting my Website but in improving it textually and visually (in its images), and it disheartens me that of the billions of people on the planet, my Website is seen by only about fifty people daily... and that number decreases as more time passes.

Ah, well. At least it is summer, and the Sun is shining.

All for today, July 4, 2013.


I have friends who can skate and who can play hockey. I have friends who can play just about any sport with precision and success. I have friends who are mechanically minded and good with their hands and who can do carpentry, plumbing, and motor mechanics. I have friends with a talent for music; they can play one or more musical instruments. I have friends who are skilled at chess and card games. I have friends with exceptionally good voice who can host television and radio programmes or do a vast variety of voice-over work. I do not begrudge my friends for these talents. Mind, it did used to hurt me when I was excluded from games of sports where friends were bonding with each other, and some resentment of their abilities might have been stirring inside me because of that. But ultimately, I did not begrudge those friends.

My talent, at least in as far as I was led to believe by my mother and most of my teachers, is writing. I also have a discerning eye for visual presentations, such as on television or in theatrical motion pictures. Which is what led me into television production as a job. But not only production. Also retention in memory and appreciation and interpretation of what is being shown. I cannot do what my friends do. Granted, I suppose I could be taught to play chess or play a musical instrument. Maybe. But I do not intuitively feel talented in such endeavours. I therefore would say again that I cannot do what my friends do. But why cannot my friends accept me for what I am able to do? Why must they shun me for being able to write?

Oh, I know that my mother and other people have pointed to my tendency toward negativity as being a "turn-off", but let us not conflate effects with causes here. I argued often with my mother on this matter. My negativity is the effect and rarely the cause of being shunned. Indeed, I came onto the Internet in the late 1990s with an amazingly optimistic mindset. This Website was built upon hope, upon the premise that I would find many, many, many a kindred spirit in the world beyond my circle of friends, that indeed there would be a plurality of readers who would find my insights on imaginative entertainments to be stimulating and enjoyable, and that the body of opinion on particular works, be they cartoons, science fiction opuses on television, or whatever, might be adjusted favourably to include my outlooks and ideas. And I reach out to my friends with the same optimism. The negativity comes with the spurning of me and my ideas. People hate me for being able to write, and they likewise come to hate (or hate all the more than they already did hate) what it is that I am writing about.

With all due respect to my late mother, I do not think that I am all that good a writer. I struggle these days to put words together. I was a better writer fifteen years ago than I am now. There are many people who can write better than I can. But writing is what I am able to do with some degree of efficiency. I can dot my i and cross my t. I know where to put punctuation. My vocabulary is broad enough to avoid the repetition of simple words. I can use simile and metaphor. These are things that are taught at school. I practised them as I was instructed to do, was interested in their use, and at some point in time became motivated and able to utilise them in my own projects. But the friends with me at the time did then and do now back away from me because I am using the few talents that I do have (e.g. writing, appreciating imaginative works).

My experience with Facebook, which I was quite keen to laud back in 2009 when I joined that social Website, has, in a number of ways, become demoralising. I feel distinctly not accepted there by most of my friends. By the lion's share of my childhood friends. By the friends with whom I was in school, for the most part. I honestly do believe it is because they begrudge my ability to write. That such is certainly most of their objection to my occasional presence on their Facebook profile. I comment on their Facebook "postings" or say something friendly on their Facebook profile, and they not only do not respond but go out of their way, it seems, to impress upon me that they will respond to just about everybody besides me. Even a birthday greeting from me does not garner the comment or the "like" that those offered by just about everyone else are merited. Honestly, now, it is really unusual to become negative-minded under such circumstances? I say again that the negativity is the result and not the cause of my being shunned.

I have some enduring friendships on Facebook, and I treasure those. Fact remains, though, that most of my friendships there have soured. And these are friendships going as far back as early childhood. With people who sat with me in class at school. Who came to my birthday parties. Who followed along with me many of the very entertainments that shaped my personality and my values of today. Why do I not just cull my friend list to include the enduring friendships and "un-friend" all others? Well, there is always the possibility of misunderstanding in some cases. And I just cannot bring myself to sever the connection with friends to whom I have a sentimental attachment. Even if that attachment is entirely based on experiences of the distant past, experiences that mean less, far less, to those friends of yesteryear than to me.

The designation of "best friend" can be troublesome. But we all have had "best friends". And I know- and so do they know that I know- that I was not the "best friend" of almost every friend I had in childhood. Why then should they be resentful of me for having a "best friend" back then who did, after all, consider me his "best friend"? I feel sure that if each and every one of these friends were to search their soul they would have to say that they did not wish to be my "best friend" back then, and that I certainly was not theirs. Is it really that much of a faux-pas to acknowledge my "best friend" in my biography? I was his "best friend", too, after all. I do say that under different circumstances, other friends could have had that designation, too. I have two or three childhood friends who have proven their friendship to me today and to whom I could give the title of "best friend". Those are the enduring friends to whom I refer above. But I am not inclined today to use the "best friend" designation in my current social life, because each of these old friends, and a number of new ones, are each greatly valued in equal measure. Friends who accept me for what I am, for what talents I do have. If I had a "best friend" in childhood, or different "best friends" in various eras of my upbringing, it does not necessarily follow that I would choose to use such a designation today. Childhood does have its own particular criteria for the closeness of friends- and some of those criteria sometimes or oftentimes totally out of one's control (i.e. separations during one or more seasons of the year, streaming of friends by age bracket into organised activities, etc.).

While I can concede that some of my friends might chafe at my use of the "best friend" designation, I am not convinced that such is the reason for the spurning of me today. I think in large part that the spurning is because of my ability to write, and maybe also some or all of the subjects of interest in my writing. I cannot do the things that they can do; why cannot they accept the one or two things that I can do? There is no satisfactory answer for that. At least none that springs to mind.

July 14, 2013.


Traffic to my Website continues to wane. I do not know if this is just because of it being summer and people being away from their computers. I would imagine that such a condition may be partly to blame for the paltry amount of "hits" of late. But I do not think that it is the only cause of this current malaise. The Website is still receiving "hits", but they are becoming increasingly concentrated on certain Web pages. Honestly, I do think that if it were not for The Littlest Hobo, my fellow Canadians would not be looking at my Website at all. Of the 20 or so Canadian "hits" yesterday, 16 of them were for The Littlest Hobo Page. Although I have put Hyperlinks to other Web pages at the top of The Littlest Hobo Page, nobody ever proceeds to look at them. They are all probably just information seekers fixated on the time of death of the Littlest Hobo dog. And when they do not see such information flashing at them in red at the top of the Web page, they depart. Why does my Website only register daily "hits" from Britain to the order of about 5 or 6? How many people are there in the United Kingdom? 60 million? 5 or 6 people daily out of 60 million? And them also mostly only morbid information seekers on The Littlest Hobo or Dallas fans.

The United States accounts for most of the Web page traffic, and what there is of that is focused on the Televised Looney Tunes Web pages. But there are several repeat viewers fixated on but one Web page, and for the life of me I cannot understand that. Surely someone interested in Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends should also be interested in The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show and vice versa. No? Then, why not?

I blame the confounded intransigence of search engines and information Websites, all of them constantly refusing to allow Hyperlinks to my Web pages, whereas before, when I was at Geocities, Hyperlinks to my Web pages were widespread on the Internet. And other people refuse to update their Hyperlinks despite my requests that they do so. Also, I tried to contact the Spyder-25 Website to persuade the good people there to remove the outdated version of my Spiderman Page, and my e-mail bounced back to me.

This amount of traffic is just not acceptable, and I cannot motivate myself to put more work into upgrading the Website with daily "hits" from around the world averaging close to 60.

In the immortal words of Doctor Who, "Is no one interested in history???" Has a culture of disposable entertainment really become as entrenched and as prevalent as the snide cynicism of my and younger generations has done?

Moving on for a minute to another subject not particularly dear to my heart. The DVD and Blu-Ray releases of Warner Brothers cartoons. The word that I am reading now is that the third volume of LOONEY TUNES: THE PLATINUM COLLECTION will probably be the last. Yes, here it is. Yet again, the plug is being pulled after ill-advised configurations of assembled Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons fail to perform to unrealistic expectation. This latest attempt only went half as far into the vast catalogue of material as did its predecessor. Not even that, as there have been fewer cartoons per volume in the PLATINUM COLLECTIONs.

I still have not bought the second volume. There were only four cartoons of interest therein. "Home, Tweet Home", "The High and the Flighty", "The Lion's Busy", and "Strife With Father". The others were slightly better-looking "double-dips" of cartoons in the GOLDEN COLLECTION range of DVDs or pre-1948 cartoons in which I have no interest. I could not care less about "The Complete Happy Bunny". Or "The Complete A. Flea". "What the heck are they?" most prospective buyers probably rhetorically asked. "The Complete Three Bears" or "The Complete Goofy Gophers" or "The Complete Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog" or "The Complete Frisky Puppy and Claude Cat" or "The Complete Spike and Chester"; those all would be good choices for a PLATINUM COLLECTION's dedicated attention on the second optical videodisc in the DVD/Blu-Ray set. Stop trying to conflate slow-paced, early cartoons with ugly-looking, nascent characters with the exquisite works of the 1950s. One is not equally as viable as the other for attracting consumers. And kindly stop putting non-Warner-Brothers bonus features in the DVD/Blu-Ray sets. I do not wish to see MGM cartoons in the mix. I may appreciate Friz Freleng's cartoons at Warner Brothers, but I am cold to what he did at MGM. Kindly stop pushing those on me. Other collectors must feel the same way.

I may never buy the second PLATINUM COLLECTION volume, and I will assuredly not buy the third if it is configured similarly. Include more new-to-DVD/Blu-Ray cartoons. Concentrate on the post-1948 cartoons. Do complete coverage of cartoon series such as the ones that I mention above. And please, please, PLEASE release "Hyde and Go Tweet". What in blazes are you waiting for? The end of our civilisation?

These are my two cents for today, July 19, 2013. For any of my fifty or sixty readers who choose to proceed further into my Website than The Littlest Hobo Page or The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page.


I have been banned from the Radio-Info Boards for the cardinal sin of offering Hyperlinks to my television listings project. And that is that.

Website traffic was at an all-time low this weekend. Aside from Canadians who visit my Littlest Hobo Page only for information on the dogs. As far as Canada is concerned, everything else on my Website need not exist. And that is that. My attempt to attract visitors to some of my other Web pages by using Web page headers with Hyperlinks in them, has been an abysmal failure. And that is that.

Most of the American visits to my Website are to the Televised Looney Tunes Web pages, and even then, it tends to be for silly reasons. Like people wanting to know if there is a pornographic Tweety cartoon. That sort of thing. Or it is people who cannot even spell Bugs Bunny's name wanting to know about a cartoon from some other cartoon studio with some antagonist unknown to me. And that is that.

I have tried and tried and tried to improve the visibility and the profile of my Web page-- and failed, failed, FAILED! And as of today, I am going to stop trying. I am also going to cease giving any attention to my Website. With all due respect to the wishes of my late mother, my Website is not how I am to "make something of my life". I do not know what is, but a Website without even a modest percentage of serious readers is definitely not "making something of my life". Fifty people daily out of seven billion-- and most of them only interested in the time of death of a dog or whether or not a Tweety cartoon is pornographic or whether or not Bugs Bunny was in a Woody Woodpecker cartoon. That is beyond sad. Far, far beyond sad.

I try being positive and optimistic. It was on that basis that I did undertake a many-months-long effort to improve my Website this past year. But I always hit the brick wall of frustration. Thud!

July 22, 2013.


I have been rather busy of late in expanding my vintage television listings project. Now, the television listings included go all of the way back to before the premiere of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour on CBC Television in September of 1969. I also have added Sunday television listings for most of the 1970-1 television season. Because of this increased content, the television listings project has gained a whole new Web page. There is now a total of sixteen such Web pages for the entire project. The Hyperlinks to all of them are below. 1975 to 1976 has received significant expansion, also. Many weekday listings have been added. 1975-6 was the television broadcast year in which I was most fanatical in following weekday showings of The Flintstones, and the added weekday listings are indicative of such. I remember when I first saw most of the Flintstones episodes for the first time while I was in fourth grade at school in 1975-6. Which days of the week on which I saw each of them. The weather conditions, too. Anyway, here are the television listings project Hyperlinks.

Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1966 to 1971
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1971 to 1972
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1972 to 1974
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1974 to 1975
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1975 to 1976
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1976 to 1977
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1977 to 1978
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1978 to 1979
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1989 to 1981
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1981 to 1982
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1982 to 1983
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1983
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1983 to 1984
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1984 to 1985
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1985
Television Listings For Canada's Eastern Maritime Provinces: 1985 to 1987

Further, keen readers of my Looney Tunes On Television Web pages may already have noticed some additional images thereon, particularly to the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour and Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Pages. I have also procured a much-improved screen-capture of the closing image of the Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour, that of Bugs and the Road Runner with the Warner Brothers shield logo. I had to do some substantial work of digital painting to bring it up to my current standard, but there it now is on my Other Television Shows Starring the Warner Brothers Cartoon Characters Web Page.

I have also recently come into possession of some rare, excellent image material concerning Space: 1999, which I hope to incorporate into a Space: 1999 supplemental image gallery similar to that which now exists for my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page. Alas, I do note that my Space: 1999 Page is one of the least visited Web pages at my Website. A supplemental image gallery is unlikely to receive a single viewing on most days, but I will pursue the matter of a supplemental image gallery in the weeks ahead.

I am also temporarily restoring my autobiography to my Website to showcase the improvements that I have recently made to their images. I re-photographed many of the places that had been pictured in the autobiography since 2005 or 2006. The autobiography will continue to be available only for Eras 1 to 5. I have now lost access to my extant electronic copy of Eras 6 and 7. Eras 6 and 7 are on my computer's old hard drive, which is now non-operational. It may be possible to extract data from that hard drive, but I am at present reluctant to spend any money on such an initiative.

September 16, 2013.


Web page traffic continues to decrease even as I work daily on improving the Website. Further additions have been made to the vintage television listings project. I now have episode information for every Saturday broadcast of UFO on CKCW and CJCH in early-to-mid-1971. More day listings have been added for 1976 to 1977, 1977 to 1978, 1978 to 1979, and 1970 to 1980. I have tried to locate the day in summer of 1977 on which the episode of Celebrity Cooks with Barry Morse as guest was broadcast. I remember being in the living room of my Douglastown home on a sunny day when I saw it. The only pre-August-19 days for which I lack episode information are July 7 and July 14. July 14 had a weather forecast calling for showers and thundershowers. It might have been sunny in the afternoon when Celebrity Cooks was being shown. And I have reason to doubt July 7 as the airdate, even though the weather that day was forecast as sunny. But anyway...

Back to my lament about diminishing Website "hits". I was hoping that with the end of summer, traffic to my Website would rebound, but it has gone in the opposite direction. It is rare now for any of my Web pages to reach a double-digit "hit" count for the day. It would also appear that The Littlest Hobo has been pulled off of the air by CTV, as the Web page traffic for The Littlest Hobo Page is now as poor as that of the others. And some of my lesser-accessed Web pages such as The Pink Panther Show Page and The Space: 1999 Page have bottomed out completely. I can only expect it to become ever worse as more time passes. Public awareness of and interest in the entertainment of the twentieth century keeps diminishing year after year. To see anything hailing from the twentieth century on the DVD and Blu-Ray shelves at retail stores is becoming quite impossible. The generations of today for whom Hollywood caters sure do like to minimise, neglect, deride, and scorn the televisual and cinematic works of the twentieth century and the entertainment professionals who conceived them- even while Hollywood goes on and on plundering those twentieth century works for ideas. For "reboots". For "re-imaginings". For supposedly superior "remakes". Star Trek, The Marvel Superheroes, Batman, and even Transformers, were all conceived by twentieth century writers and/or visual entertainment media producers. For the most part by my parents' generation. One of the greatest generations ever to have lived. Children of the Great Depression, young adults (or teenagers) of World War II, creators of post-war television and modern cinema, people whose young imaginations flourished at a time when there was not much of material gratification to be had. With technology advancing beyond leaps and bounds, the future was exciting. And this was where the Gene Roddenberrys, the Stan Lees, the Gerry Andersons, and, yes, the Fred Freibergers and the Ralph Bakshis emerged to ply their trade. There may not have been any computer generated imagery, but those men had their imaginations, and even within the limitations of what resources were available, they transported their audiences to truly fantastic worlds and adventures. Filmmakers of today like to condescendingly scoff at the works of such men, yet produce glossy but conceptually vacuous (and flawed in their own ways) imitations that movie-goers of today gobble up like so much fast food. Now, I did like the Iron Man movies and some of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies. Other current movies founded on the mythology of Marvel Comics' super-heroic characters are also quite enjoyable "popcorn entertainment". But the essential concepts in their original form were more colourfully and I would dare say more imaginatively done in their twentieth century iterations. And for the record, I cannot stand J.J. Abrams' Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry's ashes are truly spinning fitfully out in space somewhere.

But this is the Zeitgeist of today. "Diss" the twentieth century, venerate the "remake". "Reboot" the James Bond "franchise" and forget about Cubby Broccoli's movies of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Remove the original Star Trek from television, leaving J.J. Abrams' monstrosity as the only Star Trek in existence. Do a Google search for Star Trek Blu-Rays, and what comes up on the search? J.J. Abrams' Star Trek. Google Hawaii Five-O even, and what appears first? Not the 1968-1981 television series. Today's generations (and I am ashamed to say that this includes my own) have disposed utterly of the twentieth century. There is not even any nostalgia felt for it. All hail the twenty-first century where the "war on terror" is the order of the day, where one's next breath may be fatal (SARS, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Fukushima nano-particle fallout), where everybody is "texting" on cellular telephones and being totally oblivious to the world around them and conversing in person almost never, where colours are all regarded as garish, where beauty is in the bland or ugly, where it is "redo", "redo", "redo", and "reboot", "reboot", "reboot", rendering something ever more drab (but with lens flares, shaky camera, and ever more profanity and debauchery).

Well, that is my rant for the month. Is there nothing that can be done to improve the fortunes of my Website? I am aware of my stated intention to add a supplemental gallery for my Space: 1999 Page. It is still on the docket, as it were. But my priority now is in improving my extant Web pages and the pictures thereon. Sometimes, it requires tedious and time-consuming digital paint work. As is the case for some of the photographs of places in my autobiography. Places that no longer exist or which have recently seen drastic change and can no longer be photographed in the appearance with which I am familiar and which I knew in bygone times.

All for today, October 1, 2013.


It has been some time since my last communique on this Web page. My life has been going in some unexpected directions. None of them good, I am afraid. I have learned that a friend has cancer. A very aggressive cancer that spread from his colon to his lymph nodes. This is a friend from childhood. This is a friend with whom I became acquainted during the CBC's run of Space: 1999 in 1976 and 1977. He and I followed that television series very closely. He was as keen an aficionado of it as was I. I still vividly remember the morning he came to the Grade 5 classroom to show to me the Space: 1999 book he had bought. It contained novelisations of four Season 2 episodes. Planets of Peril was the book's title, and it contained novelised versions of the episodes, "The Metamorph", "The AB Chrysalis", "The Rules of Luton", and "New Adam, New Eve", and I remember him showing the photograph section of the book to me and commenting on the episodes included in the book. It was a new and a "cool" thing to at last have episodes of the second season in book form, and I rushed to obtain the book for myself from Gallivan's Bookstore in Newcastle, urging my late father to chauffeur me thereto after he arrived at home in the afternoon of that same day. My friend and I played Space: 1999 in the school's yard, and I went to see him at his home one day and was astonished to discover that he had not only the Mattel Commander Koenig doll but the Mattel Eagle spaceship. He and I were the most attentive, the most devout followers of the fantastic universe of Space: 1999 in the whole Douglastown-to-Millbank area of the Miramichi region. At least among the juveniles there. Space: 1999 made us friends. We were both touched by it in remarkably the same way, at the same time in the same place. Our interest in it did diverge after I moved out of Douglastown in late summer of 1977. Indeed, we lost contact after that for more than a decade. I was at first quite flustered to discover that the torch that he carried seemed to flicker and wane while mine kept burning bright, but it is understandable that he would move on to Star Wars and so on. Nostalgia did not as yet have much of a role in his entertainment fancies. This has since changed, and in the last few years, he and I have been together quite often and have sat for hours and talked about vintage television, Space: 1999 included. We share many of the same outlooks now not only on television and entertainment but on life in general. We both lament the proliferation of the cellular telephone and the abysmal lack of attention being given nowadays to actual, in-person conversation. And he is the same as me in three other respects. He has lost both of his parents. He is an only-child. And he is not married. In many ways, he is a very close-to-identical version of myself. To learn of his illness is very upsetting. I knew for some while that he was ill. But the diagnosis of cancer hit me like a ton of bricks. I went to Moncton to visit him in hospital a week and a half ago, and his spirits were good, but that was before he started undergoing chemotherapy, which he needs to have for eight months. He emphasised the aggressive nature of his cancer and said that he is bracing himself for whatever may come. I gave to him a printed copy of my Space: 1999 CBC Television broadcast history, and his face brightened when I handed that to him.

It is trivial compared to what my friend is experiencing, but I am having problems now with my father's taxes, and unless I can chase down the necessary information from certain as yet unresponsive people, I will need to pay a large sum of money to the government. It will put my future savings back by a whopping amount of dollars, and it already has me scrambling to economise for the year to come. I am praying for a mild winter that will not dent too much my household finances.

As regards my Website, it continues to struggle to receive any sizable amount of traffic. I have completed work on digitally improving several photographs on my autobiography. They look as good as they are ever going to look. I have also brought my television listings project very near to completion. The final instalment of those television listings has been extended into the year of 1987. January, at least. There, I propose to end it. All other instalments of the television listings have been expanded. It is now possible to follow WVII's first run of Star Trek in 1983-4, for example. Just about every broadcast day of note in my life prior to 1987 is represented in the television listings. The only exceptions are those instances for which I cannot find a sufficiently detailed listing of something to confirm its day of broadcast. Examples are the ATV Midday Matinee showing of Pinocchio in Outer Space in 1976 or 1977, the Barry Morse episode of Celebrity Cooks shown in summer of 1977, the evening in early 1977 when CHSJ-TV aired Earthquake, and some of the Academy Performance CTV movie presentations.

Now that these projects are finished, I may opt for a sabbatical from Website work for awhile. My job is about to become labour-intensive again and will remain so until at least Christmas. And I have personal life matters that require my attention when I am not at work. I intend to go to the Miramichi to see my friend when he is out of hospital. Probably on one of the weekends within the next month. Good, lasting, steadfast friends have been rare for me. I have such a friend there in my old home area, and I am scared that I am going to lose him. Not to the usual estrangement process that I experience with friends, but to the "big C", which is reaching epidemic proportions now. I don't want to invoke the Fukushima crisis in regards to my friend's illness (cancer has run in his family long before the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors melted down and exploded), but there can be no doubt that the amount of nuclear material released into the biosphere has been massive. Many times more than was the case with Chernobyl. And it is ongoing, with no end in sight. I think we humans have finally, really done it. To paraphrase Charlton Heston's famous statement in a certain science fiction movie. Nothing is being done to stop Fukushima. Indeed, our world's leaders are pretending that it is nothing of significance.

Some happy things have transpired. Nine previously missing episodes of Doctor Who have been recovered and are about to be released on DVD. And further episode recoveries are quite possible now, too. But the situation is unpromising on other areas of entertainment interest. It is quiet again on the matter of Space: 1999- Season 2 Blu-Ray. I fully expect to learn of the Blu-Ray release being suspended or delayed yet again to 2015 or 2016 or 2017. Indeed, DVD and Blu-Ray release of much vintage material has stalled. There are no further LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS DVDs announced as pending, release of LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3 has been pushed back into 2014 (due, no doubt, to poor sales of the second volume, which I have yet to buy, actually). And there was a comprehensive Blu-Ray release of the Pink Panther movies and cartoons (and the Inspector and Ant and aardvark cartoons, too) being planned for 2013 which has fallen completely from radar. It appears that the major companies have lost faith in the DVD and Blu-Ray market and think that Internet downloading is the way of the future. It will not be so for me. I either own a physical copy of something, or I do not have it.

But all of this for another time. Now, I need to concentrate on being a friend and on resolving somehow my late father's tax situation.

October 27, 2013.


I have a couple of days off from work and some time to do some updating of my Website. With my workload being what it is now, my replies to e-mails tend to be delayed longer than their usual time lag. I have difficulty sitting and concentrating on typing Website updates and e-mails, but I will find the time and the attention this weekend to respond to e-mails still awaiting response.

This week, I was kindly sent a few corrections to my Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show episode guide. For episodes in Seasons 1 and 9, specifically. As contents of certain episodes are ascertained with videotaped record, some of the listed contents of adjacent episodes require some changing. Seasons 1 and 9 are the two seasons for which my episode guide does depend somewhat on imprecise recall based on one-time viewing. I only videotaped the cartoons I needed, and I watched the episodes but once. This is in contrast with Season 1 of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, which I saw many times and audiotape-recorded, and most other seasons of Bugs & Tweety whose episodes were videotaped and watched quite often. My memory of Season 4 and Season 8 was so spotty that I could not even attempt an episode guide for those. For sizable frames of time, I stopped watching the television show during those seasons. My interest had wavered due to ennui with the extant package of cartoons offered in those seasons. If anyone can assist me in any of my gaps of knowledge in my Bugs & Tweety episode guide, please feel free to contact me.

Website traffic continues to feebly register on my Website statistics. Most of my Web pages at best have one visitor per day. The Televised Looney Tunes section has the best traffic. This is just the way that things are going to be. There is no changing the fact. Most people who are interested cannot find my Website unless they actually know my name and use it in their search. And even then, some Web pages (e.g. The Pink Panther Show Page) do not appear in the search findings.

I have finalised my television listings project, stopping it at Saturday, January 17, 1987, the day that the Doctor Who story, "Inferno", aired on MPBN. All sixteen of the instalments of the television listings project have the same length. I shall be leaving it at that. Every remembered CBC broadcast of Space: 1999 and every recollected CBC French transmission of Cosmos 1999, every CBC telecast of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, every recalled airing of Spiderman on CHSJ-TV, every precisely remembered showing of episodes of The Pink Panther Show on ATV in 1985, the full 1983-6 engagement of Star Trek on CHSJ-TV, much of MPBN's run of Doctor Who, many specifically remembered ATV Flintstones broadcasts, and just about all of my cogent experiences with television in my childhood are included in the television listings project. I can go into it and look through it whenever the desire to revisit old television schedules comes upon me, just as I look at my autobiographical Web pages when I miss my youth, my parents, my old friends, the good old days. A sensation of combined warmth and longing always hits me when I enter into McCorry's Memoirs, especially Eras 2 and 4. I have recently added more images to those two eras, and they really do come to life with the visual material included. The more images that I add, the better the effect.

My friend in the Miramichi is responding rather positively to his first chemotherapy treatment. He is groggy but not ill. He has an appetite, and his aunt sounded optimistic when I spoke on the telephone with her last week. I do know that my friend's cancer was advanced and aggressive. So, I am cautious about optimism at this stage of his battle. Cautious but desiring to be hopeful. If that makes any sense. I am told that my coming to see him in hospital in Moncton did help him, and I intend to visit him at home in the Miramichi later this month.

That is all for today, Saturday, November 9, 2013.


Back I am for a little update.

I have not been completely idle these past few weeks as regards my Website. I have added many new images to my autobiographical Web pages, with particular concentration on Era 3 and Era 4. Era 2 has also received some attention. The pictures on them really do make those life eras come to life, and I feel a distinct lump in my throat when I look at them.

I do have many, many more pictures that I could add, but the autobiography eras are already quite loaded with visual material. Era 5 still needs some work, but I am rather less enthusiastic about that one. My fondest memories are of life eras two and four.

I have also done some improvement to the images on "Hyde and Hare": An Overlooked Masterpiece, in particular those from "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" and "Hyde and Go Tweet". I had the images from "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" re-scanned with highest possible quality (and even then had to do some digital paint work). And I did some minor tweaking to the "Scare Hare" art by Virgil Ross at the top of the article.

Improvements have been made, too, on images on my Spiderman Page. I replaced the Prism videotape cover image for THE VULTURE with that of THE GREEN GOBLIN. Better quality. And I did some digital paint work to improve the quality of the image of the MCA VHS videocassette cover. Gradually, I am ridding my Website of inferior quality images, but there remain a sizable number of them. The title image for Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends, for instance. And most of the images on my Littlest Hobo Page. Obtaining crisp, uncompressed images for The Littlest Hobo is proving to be difficult.

I must apologise to everyone who is awaiting e-mail correspondence. I just have not had enough time to sit and write a sufficiently considered e-mail, and my e-mail programme's format change has not been to my liking. It is ugly, unwieldy, inconvenient, and I shrink from having to use it. But I will. Hopefully this weekend.

In addition to my work schedule, I have other things in my life occupying my attention, most especially the condition of my Miramichi friend, who is becoming gravely ill from his chemotherapy. He is back in hospital, and he went into cardiac arrest two weekends ago. Thank goodness that he was in hospital when that happened. If it had occurred when he was at home...

Such is the way of things right now, today, November 27, 2013. My Website continues to flounder in the daily visits department, but, again, I cannot think of a way of correcting the situation. Nobody is accepting my Hyperlinks.


Yesterday, December 1, 2013, only twelve of my fellow Canadians visited my Website. That is an all-time low. But it is part of a trend that I have been noticing for awhile now. Increasingly, Canadians are only visiting my Website for my Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page, presumably because Teletoon Retro is still showing Bugs & Tweety (the same old reassembled package of cartoons from the 1989-90 and 1990-1 seasons of Bugs & Tweety). And occasionally, there is a visitor to my Littlest Hobo Page. But never, never does any such visitor bother to delve further into my Website. It is always, always a one-Web-page-only visit.

Words fail me in describing my disappointment with my fellow Canadians. These are the people who should best appreciate my television broadcast histories, my autobiographical memories, and so forth. And they cannot be bothered to even look at what I have written.

Oh, and I am sick and tired of my lesser Web pages receiving most of the traffic from other countries. Just what is so fascinating to Britons about the "Dream Season" of Dallas, anyway? My articles on The Day the Earth Stood Still and Alien (university essays) are not at all of the same calibre as my articles on Warner Brothers cartoons. Yet, they have more "hits". And why does The Flintstones have more of an appeal than Spiderman and Bugs Bunny? What the heck is going on?

Little rant over.

All for today, December 2, 2013.



Image from A Charlie Brown Christmas, an annual offering on CBC Television in the 1970s.

It is Wednesday, December 4, 2013.

Last evening, I pulled my DVD of A Charlie Brown Christmas off of its shelf and "gave it a spin". Truly a timeless classic and a guaranteed nostalgia surge. I saw it every year during the 1970s. It aired on a Sunday evening in 1970, preempting Adventures in Rainbow Country. It was shown on a Monday in 1977, starting just as I was back at my new Fredericton dwelling following a school Christmas concert. Apart from the very late 1970s when I had cable television and saw it on CBS, my viewing of it was each year by way of Canada's CBC Television. Every year, CBC cut the same scene (the one in which the children are throwing snowballs at the can on the stone fence). I can still remember the sound of the film splice. I saw it in our living room in Douglastown. I saw it one year at my grandparents' place. I had a hardcover book version of it, bought by my mother from a Newcastle store. In many ways, it is connected with the sense of home, of my parents being there, and of me doing Christmas-y things. Like giving a recital of some Bible passage at a 1975 Christmas show in Douglastown. Like acting in a skit in the 1976 Christmas show. Etc..

The underlying message of the special (the commercialising and sensationalising of Christmas) was mostly lost on me at the time. Like most kids, receiving, attaining all sorts of "cool stuff" was Christmas. But when one is older, the profound concepts in the television special really do resonate. Christmas is about love. About caring. About being there for each other. Yes, even Lucy. Positive emotions that transform a needle-poor, emaciated tree and have Charlie Brown singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."

No, not Harold Angel. That is a gag from a later Peanuts Christmas special. One which lacks the spark of the original.


Another weekend, another weekend I decide to tackle the pile of unanswered e-mail, only to have other things suddenly commanding my attention. Working full-time, doing housekeeping, running all errands, and being a landlord. How I am able to juggle all of these things has so far been remarkable in itself, but with the onset of winter and my usual lack of energy and "get-up-and-go", I am bound to flounder. I was very tired yesterday, and just doing my job was quite a draining task in itself. Even with my strength at its best, I still fell behind in replying to e-mail. Maybe it is a blessing in disguise that my Website is not receiving very much traffic.

I have added some images to my Weblog. Just a few. I hope to add more when I can find the time to do so.

For now, I propose to remember Saturday, September 29, 1990. Why that particular Saturday? It was the one on which I at last saw the Bugs Bunny cartoon, "Hyde and Hare", in English after more than 18 years. I had rather a powerful hunch that "Hyde and Hare" would surface in the Bugs Bunny & Tweety episode airing that day. The cartoons of the previous week's episode contained a reference to Bugs having a master, Daffy launching himself into Porky's arms, a poster of a distinguished gentleman about to imbibe something called "Olde Innertube", Pepe Le Pew referring to timidity, a pet adoption, a laboratory, and a green Sylvester. I had thought that maybe "Hyde and Hare" was going to appear in that episode. Since a major reshuffling of cartoons offered on Bugs & Tweety had been indicated in the 1990-1 season premiere on September 8, I had been optimistic about "Hyde and Hare" "turning up" among the many new-to-Bugs & Tweety cartoons being shown. And as I was with my father at the Regent Mall food court in the mid-morning hours of September 29, I had a premonition that "Hyde and Hare" would be cartoon one of that day's Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show. We were back at home at noon, and my trusty JVC 4-head videocassette recorder was activated as Bugs & Tweety was starting. Programme substitution was performed, as the CKLT-TV ATV signal superseded that of ABC-affiliated WVII Bangor, and after the "This is it" opening, there was a long ATV-produced interlude, before it was back to The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show. The then-familiar icons of gold film and an arcing-across-screen Bugs Bunny were next seen, with the words of the title of the first cartoon of the episode gradually being revealed. "Hare" was the first word visible. And then a letter "d", then an "n", and then an "a". When I saw the "n", my heart started beating faster. Within a fraction of a second, the full title was there before me. "Hyde and Hare". Amazing. Utterly amazing. I had "nailed it". How could I have known?

I leaped with glee and scurried out to the kitchen to tell to my mother and father that "Hyde and Hare" was on television at long last. In English. In crystal-clear picture quality. As I listened to the distinctive, provided-by-Mel Blanc voice of Bugs Bunny and that little man with the affectedly meek voice, I could scarcely believe it. I was all of six years-old when last I had heard those two voices in interrelation. A definite sense of timelessness was upon me. I had already been reunited with "Hyde and Hare" in its French broadcast of early 1989. It was then that I experienced most of the revived memory and channelled sensations of childhood horror. On September 29, 1990, with the cartoon appearing on The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show, it was more a feeling of, "Gotcha!" But oh, what a gratifying feeling it was!

The remainder of that day's Bugs & Tweety was anti-climactic, of course. Cartoons such as "A Mouse Divided" (with Sylvester), a heavily-edited "Hare-Less Wolf", "Beanstalk Bunny", and "Hot Cross Bunny". In fact, apart from "Hyde and Hare", the only other cartoons new to Bugs Bunny & Tweety that day were "Cat Feud" (with bulldog Marc Antony and kitten Pussyfoot) and a much-shortened "A Broken Leghorn". I was relieved not only to see and have "Hyde and Hare" on videotape but also that it was shown without any cuts to it. When Bugs & Tweety concluded at 1 o'clock, I, needless to say, rewound my videotape and watched "Hyde and Hare" again. And again. And yet again. What a superb day that was! Even though it was following a few days of turmoil as a problematic associate of mine was bombarding me with written vitriol and was trying to do same on the telephone.

Anyway, I thought that I would share my memory of that special Saturday of (holy Dinah!) more than 23 years ago. And here is an image of the cartoon titling for "Hyde and Hare" on The Bugs & Tweety Show on September 29 in the year 1990.

All for now. Hope to at last delve into those unanswered e-mails today or tomorrow.

December 6, 2013.


December 23, 2013. T'is two days before Christmas, and added to my Website are three pages from the J.C. Penney 1976 Christmas catalogue, specifically one advertising Star Trek toys, another promoting Space: 1999 toys (those were the days!), and still another showcasing electric trains available that year. Why these three pages? Need one ask about the second one? I should think not. The first one is meant as counterpart to the second one. And as to the third page, I used to like electric trains when I was very young. Younger than I was in 1976, granted. Still, it is interesting to me to see what electric trains were popular in 1976. I had the Star Trek walkie-talkie communicators but not the Space: 1999 walkie-talkie commlocks, and anyone who has read my autobiography knows that I never was able to acquire the Mattel Space: 1999 Eagle Spaceship. I did have the Remco Space: 1999 Stun Gun and the Mattel Moonbase Alpha Playset (the latter of which I purchased in Bangor, Maine on Labour Day weekend in 1979 when I was with my father on a overnight stay and shopping expedition there). At the time, I also had Mattel Commander Koenig and Professor Bergman dolls to put in the playset. I never did find the Dr. Russell doll. And in any case, having a female doll would have invited ridicule, I think. Even if it was part of a set.

This is a pleasant jaunt down Memory Lane, and thanks go to David Sudbury for pointing me in the direction of the source for these catalogue images.

Here they are.

   

I have a sizable amount of time with which to work on my Website in the next couple of weeks. Already, I have added new paragraphs and many new images to all eras of McCorry's Memoirs. Most especially Eras 1, 2, and 3. I do know that these Web pages are some of the least visited ones on my Website. I suppose that one might say that it is more for my gratification than for anyone else that I have undertaken the expansion of my autobiography.

I have several more images that I was thinking of incorporating into a supplementary image gallery for Space: 1999. But as image galleries seem to receive next to no traffic (and my Space: 1999 Page is also one of the least accessed Web pages here at my Website), I may just opt for putting the images here on my Home Page and eventually on my Weblog.

My latest attempt to draw some readers over to my Web pages other than the Web page what they initially accessed, has met with failure. I put a banner at the top of my Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page and at the top of my Littlest Hobo Page recommending my Home Page with images of the titles of six other television series. Not a single person has proceeded to my Home Page from either of those two Web pages. I also tried to steer some traffic over to my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour supplemental image gallery from my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page. Again, nobody proceeds to look at the Web page to which I am calling attention. Not even in that case, where there is a direct relevance of one to the other. The only possible conclusion is that people just are not interested. They came to one of my Web pages and were not sufficiently impressed or interested to delve further into my Website.

In looking at Website traffic statistics, what bores me the most? People from the United Kingdom looking at my Dallas- "Dream Season" Web page. People from Canada visiting The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page. Those two things, first and foremost. Whenever "hits" are received from Britain or Canada, probability always is that it is, respectively, a "hit" for those Web pages. Traffic from the U.S. is broader in scope. Somewhat.

It is a very gloomy Christmas here, and the weather has been diabolical. At least I do have power, unlike some of my friends in Ontario who are experiencing a prolonged power failure caused by icy precipitation. We are receiving the same sort of precipitation in New Brunswick, but to a lesser degree, I would guess.

Merry Christmas to my Website's readers.


I just happened to turn my television channel selector to Teletoon Retro at 1 P.M. this afternoon as I was having lunch, and what did I see? Teletoon Retro's Looney Tunes television show, and starting it was... "Hyde and Hare". Funnily enough, the only other time that I stumbled across Teletoon Retro's Looney Tunes, I saw "Hyde and Hare" then, too. With "Hyde and Hare" were two Road Runner cartoons, "Hot-Rod and Reel!" and "Hook, Line, and Stinker". Three cartoons within a half-hour time slot, one of them, "Hot-Rod and Reel!", time-compressed. The remaining airtime, more than ten minutes, was filled with specially produced Teletoon Retro bumpers and commercials.

It was very clever on Teletoon Retro's part to put an on-screen "bug" or lower-right-corner logo on the one cartoon of the three (i.e. "Hot-Rod and Reel!") that is not on DVD and that would be of interest to the collector. I wonder how often that such is the case.

"Hyde and Hare" looked to be of the same mastering as the presentation of that cartoon on DVD. How ironic that after my having not seen "Hyde and Hare" for seventeen years from 1972 to 1989, it keeps "turning up" when I happen to be watching a television broadcast of Warner Brothers cartoons. And it is not very often that I do that these days.

But watching "Hyde and Hare" on a television screen different from the one to which I am accustomed to watching cartoons, had me a bit more attuned than usual toward arriving at new observations. People have "taken me to task" about Bugs' disposition apparently not altering very much after he drank the formula. But indeed it has. Bugs, in "taking offence" to Doc's question of, "Oh, my. Did you drink this?" is in fact lying. He was already being less than honest near the start of the cartoon by pretending to be something other than the evolved rabbit that he really is. But after the Doc asks him about his having drunk the formula and as he is responding by acting all-offended and by departing in a fit of pique, Bugs is lying. Vainly lying. He did drink the potion and is acting as though he did not. It could be that he is also lying to himself. But his demeanour is already quite different from the Bugs that we know. It was different from the start of the cartoon, but here, any semblance of the moral bunny, even a moral bunny expressing shame, is gone. Bugs has undergone a behavioural change. Perhaps the beginning of a decline analogous to that of Dr. Jekyll.

I just thought that I would remark about this.

As to Teletoon Retro, I do not know what else there is to find on Looney Tunes on Teletoon Retro. Whether some of the rarer cartoons, such as those not on DVD, can be found on Teletoon Retro via Looney Tunes. What boggles my mind is why the same reassembled episodes of The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show continue to air every day. Surely, the regular viewers of Teletoon Retro are more than a little sick and tired of seeing those. Are there no Bugs & Tweety episodes post-1992 available for broadcast? Why cannot The Road Runner Show be brought back?

December 29, 2013.


Only one person from Canada has looked at my Website today, December 31, 2013. Way to go, fellow Canadians. Way to go.

Canada was only the country that had The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour airing in it through the 1970s, that had coast-to-coast telecasts in English and French of Space: 1999, that was presented with broadcasts of Spiderman and Rocket Robin Hood for several decades, that has been the home country to production of The Littlest Hobo and received same on television for many decades until very recently, that had Teletoon Retro broadcasts of The Road Runner Show and The Pink Panther Show in recent years, and that is the place to which my autobiography and television listings project are directly relevant.

One measly "hit" today. Way to go, Canada.


Did I just awaken from a long slumber to discover that there was a LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION VOLUME 8 released this past year?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Tholden28/Looney_Tunes_Golden_Collection:_Volume_8

If so, how can I find it for purchase? There is not a trace of it to be found on Amazon.com.

I wish that this were true as the DVD box set would have "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" and "Hyde and Go Tweet" in it. In addition to cartoons such as "Captain Hareblower", "Hare Brush", and "A Kiddie's Kitty".

Of course, with Wikipedia, anyone can submit information, whether it be true or not. It is possible that this person has some insider knowledge on what was, in 2008, the planned LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION VOLUMES 7, 8, and 9. These may have been the intended cartoon selections of the seventh, eighth, and ninth volumes before Warner Brothers pulled the proverbial plug on the GOLDEN COLLECTION DVD range. Actually, this does have some credibility as a hypothesis because some of the here-stated DVD subjects were being suggested as possibilities (the Tex Avery DVD, for instance) for further volumes. And with the switch to the SUPERSTARS range, we did see some of the ideas (e.g. the complete Pepe Le Pew) come to a fruition. And there was a SYLVESTER AND FRIENDS DVD in the SUPERSTARS range being suggested before the Sylvester and Hippety Hopper one was decided upon, that SYLVESTER AND FRIENDS DVD said to have many of the cartoons mentioned in this Wikipedia listing. Of course, it could all be just so much "dingo's kidneys". After all, the person is alleging a definite 2013 release of LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION VOLUME 8 when we know that know such release never happened. At least not in this dimension.

Word is circulating, however, that some of the cartoons in the upcoming LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION VOLUME 3 are "Tree For Two", "Honey's Money", and "Beep Prepared". One might hope there to be a "Complete Spike and Chester" that would include both "Tree For Two" and "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide". That would be sensible and would fit the pattern established for the second BD in both of the first two PLATINUM COLLECTION volumes. Those two cartoons might, just might, already have been restored/remastered for the aborted SYLVESTER AND FRIENDS DVD in the LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS range. I do believe that "Tree For Two" and "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" were to be included on that DVD before it was "scrubbed" in favour of SYLVESTER & HIPPETY HOPPER: MARSUPIAL MAYHEM. Hope springs eternal. At least it may have done so sometime in the past. In this topsy-turvy century, who knows?

I would surely like to hope for 2014 to offer something in the way of a DVD or Blu-Ray release of some entertainment of my keenest appreciation. But I am so used to being disappointed that I am afraid to entertain such hope.

Doubtless, Warner Brothers must know that if PLATINUM COLLECTION VOLUME 3 does not sell, nothing further will be released. So, stuffing the third volume with "double dips" from the GOLDEN COLLECTIONs and "ancient duffers" with crude versions of the main characters, should be highly inadvisable. Put as many new-to-DVD-or-BD cartoons in the box set as possible, and have them be as representative as possible of the truly definitive, evolved phases of the characters' "careers". I would endorse such a release in addition to buying it. I still have not bought PLATINUM COLLECTION VOLUME 2, and, as may be remembered by my readers, I did not give to it my endorsement. Whether my endorsement really carries any weight, who knows?

At the same time, I am hearing that there is no longer a budget for restorations, and what is being released this time would mainly be material already restored for previous releases. This could mean a mostly "double dip" affair. Who knows? We will see soon enough.

If anyone is interested in what I would like to see in this final "kick at the can" for digital optical media release, here goes. "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" and "Hyde and Go Tweet". "Hare Brush", "Captain Hareblower", "Hare Lift", "Rabbitson Crusoe", "Half-Fare Hare", "Yankee Doodle Bugs", "Backwoods Bunny", and "Beanstalk Bunny". "Hip Hip- Hurry!", "Hot-Rod and Reel!", and "The Fastest With the Mostest". "Tom Tom Tomcat", "A Kiddie's Kitty", "Pappy's Puppy", and "A Mouse Divided". "Sock a Doodle Do", "Plop Goes the Weasel", "The EGGcited Rooster", "Feather Dusted", and "Feather Bluster". "Cracked Quack", "Muscle Tussle", "His Bitter Half", "Holiday For Drumsticks", "Boston Quackie", and "Aqua Duck". "There Auto Be a Law", "I Gopher You", "A Bone For a Bone", "Mixed Master", "To Itch His Own", "Sheep Ahoy", "Ready, Woolen, and Able", and "I Was a Teenage Thumb".

Not much chance of much of this coming to light, but I would hope for at least the Sylvester, Bugs Bunny, and Road Runner selections to appear. Some of them. The absence of "Hyde and Go Tweet" and "Beanstalk Bunny" on digital optical media continues to be astonishing. Note that I am not counting Daffy Duck's Quackbusters for "Hyde and Go Tweet", though I have certainly made much use of the DVD of that for "Hyde and Go Tweet" images.

And for the record, no, there is no news whatsoever about a 2014 Season 2 Space: 1999 Blu-Ray release. Not that I expected that there really would be. There will never be a Blu-Ray release of Space: 1999- Season 2. At least not one of the same calibre as the Season 1 set. I am aware of the existence of a German Space: 1999- Season 2 Blu-Ray set, but those are simply a standard-definition "porting over" of DVD masters (and the inferior ones used for the European DVD releases of the early 2000s). I have said it before, and I will say it again. The powers-that-be will not commission a BD of Season 2, especially now that digital optical media is said to be dying. Just a stroll through Future Shop, Wal-Mart, and HMV does rather confirm such a grim analysis.

That is all for today, January 3, 2014.


Not much to say today. I have been busy and have fallen behind once again with replies to e-mail. The work on my Website has lately been concentrated on all of my autobiographical Web pages. On expanding the text and augmenting the amount of images. Those McCorry's Memoirs Web pages are now popping with colourful pictures enhancing the reminiscences.

I remember someone years ago e-mailing me with criticism for the whole Website but concentrating mainly on the life's story. The person said that he still did not understand me after reading the whole thing. I do not know if he was being facetious or being a "troll", but it was criticism that I very much "took to heart". Personally, I cannot fathom how someone could read the story of my life and not comprehend my attachment to the Warner Brothers cartoons, Space: 1999, Spiderman, or whatever. It should be clear as day how I came to be so devout in my appreciation, both aesthetic and nostalgic, for just about everything venerated on this Website. And if it was not before, it surely should be now, especially from a reading of Eras 1, 2, and 3.

Ultimately, the master work of this Website will be my biography, I think. Because it is a story of love for imaginative entertainment and for being with friends in the seminal years for the growth of that love, that appreciation. It does have soap-operatic turns by times, but such is life. Yes, it does alternately depress and vex me that these Web pages are some of the least visited, but that is only natural. People come to this Website to read about (if that) the television shows or whatever. Not to learn about this Website's author.

There was a slight uptick in my Website traffic in the past couple of weeks, but in the last few days, it has been back to the doldrums. Canadian visitors to my Website are frustratingly and uniformly single-purposed. It is The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show and The Littlest Hobo. That is all. Some days, the only Canadian "hits" are to do with those. It bores me and vexes me. My efforts to guide such visitors to my overall Website constantly fail. It is always one action, and one action only. To those Web pages and nowhere else. American traffic to my Website has a much broader scope, with most Web pages (other than my biography) receiving at least one "hit" per day. Exceptions are The Pink Panther Show Page, which continues to wallow in obscurity, and The Last Place On Earth Page, which is understandable in that case (a largely forgotten television mini-series from 1985).

January 15, 2014.


January is typically a long month. It is the dead of winter. There are winter-related issues that have dominated my life this month. As I type this, my car is having its front windshield replaced. Pressure of winter ice cracked it.

Winter is always a problematical season for me in terms of morale, too. But I have been keeping busy, whenever possible, on further improvements to this Website. Sometimes I wonder why I bother, when I look at the traffic statistics for a number of the Web pages- but I press onward. Who knows? Maybe someday, people will be looking at these Web pages with the consistency and frequency of years ago.

For January, my two big projects were re-capturing images from Spiderman and Space: 1999. Not just for my Spiderman Page and Space: 1999 Page. but also for every era of McCorry's Memoirs on which images for those two television shows appear (essentially, everything from Era 2 onward). I want the images from those two television series to have a consistent look across my Website. And I feel that I have achieved that. The images are now astonishingly vivid and colourful. Very, very colourful. Just as they should be. Because Spiderman and Space: 1999 are two of the most colourful television shows ever made. The colours should look rich and vibrant, as indeed they now do. There are some, a few (a handful, maybe), publicity photographs on the The Space: 1999 Page that I retained because I happen to like them. They are not as deep in colour as the episode screen-captures, though in a sense they serve to enhance the quality of colour in all of the other images. These are two of the most visually striking and beautiful television shows that I have ever experienced. It is right that they should look as good as possible. I am, after all, trying to argue for their beauty, to "trump them up" on that basis, certainly, in addition to the other ways that they appeal to me. They should look as good as they can possibly look.

I am aware, of course, that those are two of the least visited, least seen Web pages at this Website. And if people continue choosing to ignore them, such is their loss. Of course, I put much of the blame for low traffic, for the Spiderman Page most particularly, on the Internet search engines and other key Internet junctions, which persistently refuse to list those Web pages. Spiderman and his fellow Marvel super-heroes are basking in popularity of late, and yet my Spidey Web page receives maybe one "hit" a day from around the world. Google Spiderman 1967, and what comes up on the resultant listing? Not my Web page. It is nowhere to be seen. The same problem plagues my Web page for The Pink Panther Show. Then again, I have put banners announcing the existence of these Web pages atop my most accessed Web pages, and nobody bothers to proceed further. Of course, I have said all of this before. None of this is new.

But just look at my Spiderman and Space: 1999 Pages. And my Boy Meets Alpha memoirs. And my autobiography. Look at all those images. Are they not gorgeous? Where is such beauty on television today? Thirty-five millimetre film and its rich colour palate and depth of image is not used anymore. Producers strive for minimalism in terms of colour. Teal and orange are de rigueur now. And imagination has been narrowed to what could be considered "believable".

One of the usual drums I beat. But back to the Website upgrade. I added a promotional picture for CBET's 1975-6 run of the first season of Space: 1999 to my Space: 1999 Page at the appropriate location, plus a further couple of images, those of CBC logos. And a paragraph describing the CBC. I want to thank David Sudbury for pointing me in the right direction for finding the CBET promotion picture. Any CBC promotional item from the 1970s is a rare sight, and this certainly qualifies as such. It is in black and white, but beggars cannot be choosers. It is a superlative find. Thanks again, David.

I also added a new pictorial montage to my Boy Meets Alpha memoirs, a montage of images representing the CBC's summer of 1976 on-air promotion of Space: 1999 for the then-upcoming autumn.

I am not sure where next to turn my attention. My Rocket Robin Hood Page's images are as good as they ever will look, given the DVD release of it that is unlikely to be improved upon. What I may do is improve my Warner Brothers cartoon images as much as possible, but unless there are further DVD or Blu-Ray releases of the cartoons, I do not think there is much more I can do there. Doubtless, those are the Web pages that receive the most "hits", and they should look as good as possible.

I hope to do some "catching up" on responding to e-mail in the coming week.

All for today, January 29, 2014.


My Miramichi-area friend who had been battling cancer died on Monday. He was only 45 years-old. Just a few months after starting chemotherapy treatment.

His name was Sandy, and I mention him in my autobiographical Eras 2 and 5 and my Boy Meets Alpha memoirs. I am now going to share some memories of my friend, Sandy.

Most of the alumni of mid-to-late-1970s Douglastown Elementary School will remember Sandy coming into the school yard every morning with David F., another of my friends. They would arrive together in David's mother's car. Sandy was two years younger than I, and we did not become acquainted with one another until my final year at Douglastown Elementary. It was a shared interest in the science fiction television series, Space: 1999, being shown that year, that brought us together. Sandy and I were among the few pupils of that whole school to actually buy books and toys based on the Space: 1999 television show.

I will always remember the sunny spring morning in 1977 when Sandy came to the Grade 5 classroom to show to me the Space: 1999 book that he had bought. Called Planets of Peril, it contained adaptations of four episodes of the Space: 1999 season with the Maya character. There we two were, flipping through the photograph section and talking about the episodes in the book. I remember him telling me about some of the changes to one of the episodes as presented in the book- and notifying me that there was only one other copy of the book available at Gallivan's Bookstore in Newcastle. Needless to say, that afternoon after school, I prodded and begged my father to transport me to Newcastle to buy that book- and that evening I had it with me in our living room.

Sandy and several of the boys in Grade 3 and Grade 4 played with me in the school yard that spring. And one afternoon, David F. brought me to Sandy's house for a visit, and my chin hit the floor when I saw Sandy's collection of toys. He had two toys I just ached to have. One of them I eventually did have, and the other would elude me.

In addition to Space: 1999, Sandy was an avid follower of The Six Million Dollar Man and The New Avengers, two television series that I was also viewing with great interest. We also watched Star Trek on its early-1977 CHSJ-TV Saturday broadcasts.

In all of the years after I left Douglastown, I remembered Sandy, his interests in common with mine, and those toys that he had. I reconnected with him in the summer of 1989. Out of the blue as it were, I arrived at his driveway- and he remembered me. The strong torch that I carried for old television shows was difficult for him to appreciate at first- but he warmed to me. We actually spent more than four hours one sunny August-of-1989 afternoon in his yard, just talking. Talking about entertainment. Television. Movies. What we liked. What we did not like. We discussed politics. World affairs. Space travel. We were not alike in all of our views, but we understood each other's language. We are both only-children. We like imaginative things. I guess I should use the past tense now, but it is so difficult.

We saw each other quite regularly for a few years, then lost contact again. We were out of contact the second time almost as long as we had been the first time. In 2009, we connected again in my visit to his place. To my heart-felt surprise, I found he had "come around" to liking a couple of the James Bond movies that I had praised but which he previously had not liked. The thing is, he respected my views, and after his mother died, he started to develop the same nostalgic tendencies that I have.

When we were together at his place one sunny afternoon in the summer of 2011 and I told him of my mother's death, he seemed to bond with me like never before. I showed to him the Grade 2 reading textbook that I had managed to find, and we sat on his step flipping through it. It was like two brothers rediscovering their roots. Difficult to explain, but that is a close approximation. He started reminiscing about our times at the Douglastown school in a way that he had never done before. He remembered that I liked to be Eagle 3 when we played Space: 1999. It was astonishing how good his recall was. We both agreed how blessed we had been to have been boys back in those special times. They were really wonderful times. There were space and science fiction television shows airing every year, and they were so colourful and vivid. We agreed too about what was lacking in post-2000 entertainment. We were precisely "on the same page" about the War on Terror and other twenty-first century world events, and on the popular culture and trends of today. I gave to him a set of Space: 1999 DVDs. The full television series. As he flipped through the DVDs and saw the episode titles, he remembered the episodes from the titles. And I also gave to him some seasons of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. Sandy's two greatest heroes were Evel Knievel and Six Million Dollar Man Steve Austin (Lee Majors). When he learned that one of the Bionic Woman DVDs which I had given to him had an episode with Evel Knievel, he was delighted.

After that special meeting, my life went haywire. My father fell ill and died. And after that, I became aware of just how much of a kind Sandy and I were. We both had lost our parents. We were both only-children. We were both unmarried. We both fancied space television shows and other imaginative entertainments. We both loved the television shows of our youth, and he would understand all of my fond reminiscences of television of the 1970s.

As he became ill last year, he became increasingly appreciative of my visits, which last year increased to a record number. I was up to the Miramichi many a time in the summer months. And Sandy and I sat in his living room and talked. Our last time in his home, we sat watching a television broadcast of the original movie of Flipper as I showed to him my collection of Space: 1999 comic books, including a Space: 1999 graphic novel recently published. He seemed to really enjoy that. It moved his mind off of his health worries for a time. He still had not been diagnosed, even though he had collapsed at work and had to be hospitalised with blood transfusions. I can only imagine what he was going through, but he always opened his door to me and sat with me and talked. I always stayed longer than intended, and it was great.

I last saw him in hospital in Moncton last October. One day before his first chemotherapy treatment. He was in good spirits and looked healthier than he had looked for quite awhile. I honestly thought that I would see him again- but fate had other plans. I was going to go to the Miramichi in early December one Saturday to see him, but I didn't feel myself to be in rested enough condition to undertake the travel, and did not go. I feel awful for that. But his aunt told me that he understood. I am not a winter driver (neither was he). I know that he was highly appreciative of my coming to Moncton to see him in hospital in October (and for arranging a day off from work to do it).

With the loss of such a kindred spirit, I feel like a part of me has also died. I no longer have him there to talk to and to understand the torches I carry and the way life is as an orphaned only-child. I honestly do not know what I am going to do without him. My excursions to the Miramichi are going to be so much emptier for his absence.

February 5, 2014.


February has been a busy month. When not on the job on weekdays and some additional evenings, my time has been spent toiling away on upgrading my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page. The third of three of my Web pages thus far (my Spiderman Page and my Space: 1999 Page being the others) to receive such treatment. What it has meant is re-grabbing the vast majority of images on the Web page, and not just grabbing them but refining them. I am acutely aware now of how poor the digital video compression was on the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION DVDs and on most of the other DVDs released of the Warner Brothers cartoons. Digitally painting out unwanted video compression artifacts is a chore from which I am frankly very tired. But the fruits of my labours are there to see on The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page and somewhat also on the supplemental image gallery for said Web page. Eye-popping colours and clarity, on all images for which I have frame-grabbing capability. I also had to do some extensive digital painting on some of the cartoon title cards, as I discovered that I accidentally uploaded them initially without maximum quality.

Some of the inferior quality images, such as a couple of the on-stage scenes, I moved off of the main Web page and onto the supplemental image gallery (on which I have a disclaimer as regards archival image quality).

My intention is to have as consistent a look as possible on my Web pages. Images of varying quality detract from the look of the Web page and from my effort to "trump up" the cartoons or the television show or whatever.

Some time later, I may do a similar work on another of my Televised Looney Tunes Web pages, but as this latest effort required most of my time for an entire month, I doubt if I will be undertaking a similar endeavour in the very near future. For now my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page is the "crown jewel" of my Web pages dedicated to the television presentation of Warner Brothers cartoons. Just as it should be, for it is my favourite television presentation of those cartoons.

During the Olympics, Canadian visits to my Website dropped to almost zero, and they really are not recovering much since the closing of the Olympics. My fellow Canadians, or at least those who come to my Website, really do need to "get over" their fixation on The Bugs & Tweety Show. It really is becoming a bore, and a downer, and a de-motivator. There is more to my Website of interest to Canadians than but one of my Televised Looney Tunes Web pages. But when my Website registers a "hit" from Canada, the odds are one in three that it is for The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page. And only for that. Never anything else.

Nothing new about LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3 of Space: 1999 second season Blu-Rays. The way that the bottom seems to have fallen out of the barrel, as it were, I would not speak confidently of anything being newly released to shiny, optical disc this year. The situation is that dire.

A supplementary image gallery is still on the cards for Space: 1999. It will be my next project.

February 26, 2014.


A couple more weeks of concentrated labour have yielded vastly improved images on my Pink Panther Show Page and on my Bugs Bunny Show Page. I have also added more images to The Pink Panther Show Page and worked further on improving extant images from the Pink Panther Show introduction and interstitials.

My hope is to continue in this project in the coming weeks. It is helping to pass these tedious winter months. I also have e-mails to answer and hope to do so this weekend.

Bad news (is there ever any other kind these days?) about LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3. It would appear that apart from the already announced cartoons ("Life With Feathers", "Tree For Two", "Honey's Money", and "Beep Prepared"), the Blu-Ray box set will consist of "double dips" from the GOLDEN COLLECTION. And it will be the final (partly) new release of cartoons on physical media. If that is the case, why not fill the third disc with as many unrestored bonus cartoons as possible? Put on it every post-1948 cartoon from the VHS videotape and laser videodisc releases not as yet revisited on DVD/Blu-Ray? Having cartoons unrestored is better than not having them at all. If anyone involved in the content of PLATINUM COLLECTION 3 is reading this, how about it?

March 8, 2014.


Where to begin.

Problems with my tenant, problems with my car, problems with this winter which is already the worst of my entire life and which just will not stop (New Brunswick is turning into Greenland), and the lingering feelings of loss associated with the death of my friend (compounded with the fact that I am in a permanent slump where seeing my other friends is concerned) have had me very near the point of breakdown. A vast majority of my Facebook friends seem to have "flown the coop" there, and my Website traffic woes have worsened still.

I propose to address the last of these first. Canadians, my fellow countrymen (or, to be gender-neutral, country-people), just do not have any use for my Website other than The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page and, somewhat, The Littlest Hobo Page. These days, if my Website registers fifteen "hits" a day from Canada, seven or eight of those are for The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page- and only that. Always, always, ALWAYS only that. Five or six are for The Littlest Hobo Page (and as is already acknowledged, only for information on the death of the dog). And the remainder are for one of my television listings Web pages (usually the 1975-6 one, though why always that one, I have no idea). The saddest statistics of all are as follows.

The last time that someone in Canada looked at my Space: 1999 Page was a couple of weeks ago. Canadians no longer access my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, despite all of the work I put into the image upgrading to that Web page. My autobiography is virtually unvisited. And The Spiderman Page only registers one or two "hits" daily from around the world. Yes, from around the world! This is Spiderman, people. At a time when the Marvel Comics characters are basking in popular culture adulation. One measly "hit" a day!!!

It can become worse still. No "hits" at all.

The entertainment of the twentieth century, for all of its imagination, for all of its colourful depiction, is gone from the public consciousness. Apart from Bugs & Tweety, which Teletoon Retro is running, re-running, and re-re-running into the ground. I am under no illusions about the fact that the Canadians who come to The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page, do so because they have seen that television show on Teletoon Retro and are interested only in some particular thing and have no patience for my writing work. They quickly depart. No interest certainly in what else I have written. Nobody from Canada ever looks at my articles on "Hyde and Hare", Bugs' 1955 cartoons, etc.. No. All that they want is a picture of the barnyard dog or the lyrics to Michigan J. Frog's songs. Or whatever.

And here is the wildest thing of all. The Bing or Google search terms that people use to find my Televised Looney Tunes Web pages, are "bugs bummy road humper". Seriously. How search terms like that guide people to my Website, I have no idea. Nowhere on my Website are the words, "bummy" or "humper", used. But this does go to show where people's minds are at nowadays. The fact that people like that are coming to my Website does not exactly edify me. I actually prefer the refrains of "is the Littlest Hobo dog still alive" of a year or so ago.

This all said, I have further upgraded The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page's images and have undertaken same work on The Road Runner Show Page. It, too, is now upgraded. Some sporadic improvement has been made to images on The Bugs & Tweety Show Page, but my resentment of the fixation of Canada on that one Web page has prevented me from proceeding from a more systematic upgrade. I have a certain fondness for Bugs & Tweety. Yes, I do. It was a part of my life for many years. Especially 1990 and 1991. But I loathe the concentrated Web page traffic on it and it only. And Teletoon Retro's re-assembly of it, run ad nauseam since 2002, bores me no end. If Teletoon Retro would bring back The Pink Panther Show, The Road Runner Show, Spiderman, and Rocket Robin Hood, that would help immensely. But chances of that are slim to nil.

I have been so agitated and depressed about everything else in my life that sitting down to lucidly collect my thoughts to compose satisfactory answers to e-mails, has been next to impossible. I am unspeakably sorry for not being able to do that, but there it is. Even this Web page update is something of a daunting task, and it is no doubt not to my usual standard of writing. But if I do have to be honest with myself, do I even want to write such updates anymore? Knowing as I do how little regard the people in my own country have for my labours as a Website writer. It is sad that my generation is clearly the least nostalgic, least sentimental one of the past 100 years (especially as we had been blessed with so very much during a mostly peaceful and prosperous time in the history of our civilisation). Yes, the 1960s, 1970s, and even the 1980s were superlative times to be alive, young, and impressionable, for so many reasons, including what was being offered on television. Yet, my generation today is leading the charge, as it were, to abandon all of that and concentrate fully on... what? Reality television? Survivor? American Idol? Bog-standard, drab crime dramas? The works of J.J. Abrams? Teal and orange? Non-stop televised sports? Not that I have anything against sports, in moderation. But lately, it has been all sports. The Super Bowl. The Olympics. The NHL. FIFA World Cup. Just one thing after another, and no time for anything else?

My friend, Sandy, is... was... the only person I know who was exactly of the same mind as me on all of this, and in the carrying of the torch for Space: 1999 and all of the other opuses. Not as intense a torch in some cases. But he saw value in the torch that I carried, and he was, in his own way, willing to acknowledge that value. While my other friends' eyes glaze over if I start to talk about any of my lifelong favourites (if they have any time for me at all; I can no longer expect any such time; my current slump is eternal).

Nothing this year to which to look forward on DVD and Blu-Ray (apart from a Blu-Ray release of Rollerball and The Time Machine). As I have said, it is hopeless as regards Season 2 of Space: 1999 or LOONEY TUNES: THE PLATINUM COLLECTION, etc..

But this is where my thoughts are at today, Saturday, March 22, 2014.


Brief update today, before I have some breakfast and ready to enjoy this small glimmer of springtime that we in snow-dump-of-the-world New Brunswick will be having today before winter rears its disgusting head again tomorrow. Worst winter of my life, this has been. Bar none. And there is no end in sight to it as the snowbanks are as high as ever.

Word is that a high-definition remaster of both parts of "The Bringers of Wonder" of Space: 1999's second season will be screened at an upcoming Andercon convention in England. I will extrapolate nothing from that (I dare not) other than the fact that Network Distributing has been working on high-definition transfers of some of the second season Space: 1999 episodes. If anyone wants to interpret this as meaning that a Blu-Ray box set is coming, have at it. The way that fate likes to punish me for entertaining optimistic thoughts, I am not going to tempt fate's contrary and treacherous hand, thank-you very much.

That is about all of the news that I have to share today. If it prompts anyone to have a look at my woefully neglected Space: 1999 Page, then it is not a total loss, whatever the outcome.

There are times when I do wish I was not such an outcast and an undesirable and that conventions were just a car-drive away. I do envy the people who go to those and see all of the gorgeous items on display and meet many actors associated with the television series. It would certainly liven up my depressing, rut-ified (I do not care if that is not a word; I wish to use it; so, deal with it) existence.

All for today, March 29, 2014.


Another short update.

I have completed an arduous task on upgrading the images for The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page. The sheer number of images to be improved was tremendous! But what there is there now is a Web page that looks visually on par with The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, etc..

Further word on potential (I say again, potential) Space: 1999- Season 2 Blu-Rays. Network Distributing is said to have unearthed behind-the-scenes footage of the production of the Season 2 episode, "The Mark of Archanon", which is supposedly being assembled for some "later release". Again, if any readers wish to speculate on this meaning imminent Blu-Rays, feel free to do so. For myself, I remain persistently sceptical.

No further information on LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3, other than that it is certain to contain almost nothing but "double-dips" from the GOLDEN COLLECTION DVD range. And that it will be the final release to physical media of any classic Warner Brothers cartoons. Sad news. But not altogether unexpected. Once again, the ball was dropped. The wrong people were listened-to. The denizens of the Internet discussion forums are not representative of the viewing public. The people who post comments and comments and comments on discussion forums are usually people with an agenda contrary to what I must term as normal opinion. Where Warner Brothers cartoons are concerned, it is not normal opinion that the cartoons released after 1948 are inferior and unworthy of concentrated release on DVD or Blu-Ray. It is not normal opinion that the cartoons that aired on Bugs Bunny & Tweety, etc. are not quality cartoons deserving of appreciation and dedicated release on commercial optical disc media. When the people on Internet message boards post wish lists consisting solely of pre-1948 cartoons, those people ought not to be given credence when deciding upon configurations of Warner Brothers cartoon DVDs to be released. Sadly, such were the primary people given consideration in the decisions on which cartoons to restore for release on DVD/Blu-Ray. And so, we have seen both GOLDEN COLLECTION and PLATINUM COLLECTION fizzle away long, long before many outstanding cartoons could be released. It was folly to listen to those people a second time and to load the second PLATINUM COLLECTION volume with "dusty oldie" cartoons like the earliest Bugs Bunny cartoons (if that is what they should be called). For what it may be worth, I finally did relent and purchase PLATINUM COLLECTION 2, but I have watched it but once, and not every cartoon in it.

My Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends Page is the latest of my Web pages to receive the deluxe treatment as regards image improvement. It is looking very nice indeed. More image improvements will be coming for other Web pages.

April 13, 2014.



Image of the front cover for LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3.

Above is a front cover image of LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3. And below are the cartoons that will be included in that, the final of the PLATINUM COLLECTION releases. Read and weep.

"Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt"
"A Corny Concerto"
"Falling Hare"
"Little Red Riding Rabbit"
"Hair-Raising Hare"
"Acrobatty Bunny"
"The Big Snooze"
"A Hare Grows in Manhattan"
"Easter Yeggs"
"Slick Hare"
"Gorilla My Dreams"
"High Diving Hare"
"Hillbilly Hare"
"Bunny Hugged"
"Operation: Rabbit"
"Bully for Bugs"
"Bugs and Thugs"
"Knighty Knight Bugs"
"Honey's Money"
"The Hep Cat"
"Pigs in a Polka"
"A Ham in a Role"
"Dog Gone South"
"A Bear for Punishment"
"Steal Wool"
"Porky Pig's Feat"
"Scrap Happy Daffy"
"Plane Daffy"
"The Stupid Cupid"
"Draftee Daffy"
"Nasty Quacks"
"The Stupor Salesman"
"Wholly Smoke"
"The Swooner Crooner"
"Life with Feathers"
"Canary Row"
"Tree for Two"
"Sandy Claws"
"Dog Pounded"
"Satan's Waitin'"
"Birds Anonymous"
"Mouse and Garden"
"The Pied Piper of Guadalupe"
"A Gruesome Twosome"
"Guided Muscle"
"Beep Prepared"
"Walky Talky Hawky"
"Rhapsody in Rivets"
"High Note"
"Nelly's Folly"

I had to scroll down an unacceptably long way before I reached the first post-1948 cartoon on the list. And our worst fears are confirmed. Except for the three or four new-to-DVD/Blu-Ray cartoons already known to be in the box set, there is nothing to add to one's collection of cartoons on optical media. They could not even put "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" in the box set to have a complete Spike and Chester. Oh, that would be too much to ask. After all, Freleng's cartoons of the 1950s are feces, are they not? Of course they are. The "experts" say so. Therefore, it must be true. Then again, this box set defecates on all who watched and enjoyed the cartoons in their network television presentations for 40 years. It is a big "screw you" to anyone who prefers the post-1948s and a "forget it, kid" to anyone hoping to augment their collection of post-1948 cartoons to an appreciable degree.

That appears to be that. No hope now of pristine optical media release for "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide", "Hyde and Go Tweet", "Beanstalk Bunny", "Hare Brush", "Hopalong Casualty", "Rabbitson Crusoe", "Cracked Quack", "His Bitter Half", "Tweet and Sour", "Hare Lift", "Feather Dusted", "A Fractured Leghorn", "Stooge For a Mouse", "A Mouse Divided", etc., etc., etc..

We can thank the Clampett-philes and the Avery-philes for this. They at least have all of their favourites with adulating commentaries to boot. Why not just release complete Clampett and Avery collections with documentaries declaring the Jones-Freleng-McKimson oeuvre to be unmitigated garbage or a more colourful metaphor starting with the alphabet's nineteenth letter? Nobody on any Internet discussion forum will complain, and those are, after all, the only repository of opinion that counts for anything. As far as the powers-that-be are concerned, yes?

I am washing my hands of this and relinquishing my already very feeble grip on any hope for improved conditions for my favourite works. I have my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour reconstructions, and it seems that I must repurchase as many of the VHS videocassettes and laser videodiscs as I can and do a DVD-R transfer of them, and even then, a complete collection will be out of reach.

I hold no hope for any further volumes on the LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS DVD range. They could not even bother to include corrected versions of any of the cropped-for-widescreen cartoons of the first two SUPERSTARS DVDs, in this final PLATINUM COLLECTION. A further insult.

It goes without saying that I cannot, I will not, endorse this box set, and I will not be buying it on release day. The haters of my favourite body of cartoons can be satisfied. They won. At the end of the day, they won. The final official commercial optical media release of cartoons pandered mainly to them.

And it is snowing today. A perfect way to enhance my mood.

Feeling dejected on April 16, 2014.


Another spiel, this time more "cool-headed", I would venture to say.

I really should not "come down too hard" on Warner Brothers, the company. It is simply acting in reaction to market forces. The problem is the people responsible for assembling the cartoon configurations of the DVD/Blu-Ray releases and their peculiar biases that they insist on imposing upon the consumer, those biases in many cases being validated by the vocal minority on the Internet. It has been the DVD releases in which those people have had little or no involvement, that have arguably been the superior ones of recent years, them being some of the LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS DVD series. While I am none too keen on DVDs concentrating solely on one character or pair of characters, these DVDs have given to the consumer a generous portion of post-1948 cartoons not released in the GOLDEN COLLECTION DVD range. Of course, there have been disastrous missteps, such as the cropped-for-widescreen cartoons on the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck SUPERSTARS DVDs and the inclusion of post-1969 cartoons on the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote SUPERSTARS DVD and wasting the Sylvester and Tweety DVD on "double dip"cartoons. But when the DVDs were done right, as with the others in the SUPERSTARS DVD series, they were quality offerings, and I mourn the loss of further releases, such as for Yosemite Sam, Sylvester cartoons apart from Hippety Hopper, and, say, a further Bugs Bunny DVD.

Back in the days of VHS videocassettes, I did occasionally write to Warner Brothers with ideas for videotapes. One was "All's Hare in Love and War" and would have included "Hare Spiltter", 'Forward March Hare", 'Napoleon Bunny-Part", "Rabbit Romeo", and one other. I cannot recall what the fifth cartoon was. This was before these cartoons saw release years later in STARS OF SPACE JAM, BUGS AND FRIENDS, etc.. I had a few other clever notions, if I may say so myself. But Warner may have been contractually obligated to other individuals and could not endorse or even respond to my ideas. Fair enough. But after so many abortive attempts to put the cartoons out to the public on optical media, surely it has become apparent that the individuals responsible for advising have not been providing consistently good advice. It should be primarily the post-1948 cartoons that receive attention. Some pre-1948 cartoons can be "thrown in for good measure", but they should not be the primary provision in any commercial release. I know. MGM/UA had no choice, as the pre-1948s were all to which it had access. But Warner Brothers in its laser videodisc releases of the 1990s had the right idea. The proper configuration. Mostly post-1948 with a taste of the earlier material.

That vocal minority persistently tries to turn upside down the history of 40 years of broadcasting and the proven popularity of the post-1948 cartoons. I do not subscribe to the idea that the abundance of cartoon animation for the pre-1948s automatically deems those to be superior and more deserving of attention. It was a reduction in budget that prompted the cartoon directors and their writers to raise their creative game, as it were. To do more with less. And it was in that creativity that the cartoons gained their aura of sophistication and the adversarial pairings that defined the Looney Tunes characters in popular culture of many decades. This was after Clampett, Avery, and Tashlin had left the cartoon studio. The fact remains that the cartoon studio, guided by Freleng, Jones, and McKimson, continued for 16 to 17 years, outputting nearly 500 cartoons, most with the defined versions of the 12 major characters, and that fact should not and MUST not be ignored, despite the best efforts of a minority to obfuscate it. The output of the cartoon directors is not equal, and equality in representation on the DVDs does do a grievous disservice to the much more substantial oeuvre of the stalwart three directors of the cartoon studio and to the aficionados of that oeuvre.

And bottom lines are that before 1948, there were no Road Runner cartoons. There were but two Sylvester-versus-Tweety cartoons, and they were quite generic in their setting and situation. There were but three Yosemite Sam cartoons with Bugs Bunny, and while the three were funny and established the characters as an effective adversarial pair, the more elaborate, more entertaining scenarios for that pairing (e.g. "High Diving Hare", "Bunker Hill Bunny", "Ballot Box Bunny", "The Fair-Haired Hare", etc., etc.) came later. Before 1948, there were but two Pepe Le Pew cartoons, both rather generic and unremarkable. There were but two Foghorn Leghorn cartoons. A cartoon series still "finding its legs" and which would not flourish until such cartoons as "The Leghorn Blows at Midnight" or until the introduction of characters such as Miss Prissy, Egghead Jr., the Weasel, etc.. The directors were only just starting to understand the character of Bugs Bunny and the vast creative potential to be had in moving him out of the woodland hunting scenario. Before 1948, there was no Speedy Gonzales. No Tasmanian Devil. Daffy before 1948 could be indistinguishable from Woody Woodpecker in temperament and irritability. It was the attributes that he was gaining in the late 1940s that gave to him an "edge", as it were, and there was released a vast potential for sophisticated cartoon comedy. Porky was a nondescript character, and the directors were right in using him less and less. Elmer too, for that matter, though I do mostly like what was done with Elmer in the 1950s. The popularity of the post-1948 cartoons on television for four decades does 'bear this out". Much as the effort persists by the minority to obfuscate such. It is the characters and their situations and their dialogue that have become widely beloved in popular culture. Less so the indulgent "rubberiness" of earlier cartoon animation. All of this was sadly ignored or obfuscated in the DVD releases of this century. The worst thing that happened in the history of distribution of the cartoons was for the two packages (the pre- and post-1948s) to be merged back in 2000. This enabled the minority to begin their obfuscation in earnest. We started receiving the "bunk" of equal representation of all of the directors, despite their unequal tenure and creative time periods, and the DVDs, when they were finally released three or four years late, were guided by that blinkered mindset. It is not blinkered on my part to regard the pre-1948 time period as an agonisingly long development stage, with many "false starts" and dead ends and over-indulgent forays along the way. I was always prepared to respect that development phase and allow for some representation of it. But it should not dominate the established stage in the history of the cartoons. And it should definitely not supersede it.

These are my two or three or four cents for today, April 17, 2014. And to the minority who can claim their victory yet again, all I can say is, "Enjoy it, as you no doubt will, but the cost of your victory will be unacceptable to a great, many people." Said cost being no more optical media releases and incomplete cartoon collections.


Time for the whammy to be doubled. And of course, this is totally expected.

Word is, there will not be a Blu-Ray release of Space: 1999- Season 2 in 2014 or 2015. Which essentially means never. Whatever Network Distributing is doing on high-definition mastering of Space: 1999's second season, it is NOT being undertaken for release on Blu-Ray. At some later, much later date, there may be available-over-the-Internet high-definition episodes for viewing only (not owning), and that would be the ultimate outcome.

Why announce a Blu-Ray way back in 2011 if it was never going to happen? This sort of thing is happening all of the time. Need I remind my readers that LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTIONs were supposed to go to a tenth volume before they would be ended? MGM and Twentieth Century Fox have evidently mothballed a planned release on Blu-Ray of the Pink Panther movies and cartoons. There are other examples. In the case of Space: 1999, I cannot help but think that this has been a cruel game being played to torment the already put-upon and demoralised fan base (if any such does yet exist) of all of Space: 1999, but even if it is not, the fact remains. Fans of Space: 1999- Season 2 have nothing to look forward to- unless they simply want to watch the episodes in high-definition on a World-Wide-Web-stream. Video Rental Library. Remember that abomination vis-a-vis the first release of Star Wars on videocassette, along with several other movies? Here it is all over again.

Will people out there finally put to rest their ridiculous extension of unlimited patience? There will be no Space: 1999- Season 2 Blu-Rays in 2016 either, people. Or 2017. Or 2018.

But I do not believe there are many people who care either way. We all know that the lion's share of Space: 1999 fans would be content to see the second season incinerated.

I have nothing more to say today, April 20, 2014, other than that those 2001 DVDs by A&E will be all that will henceforth ever be owned in my home of Space: 1999's second season.


I have been toiling away these past few weeks on more image upgrades. Nuance and Suggestion in the Tweety and Sylvester Series has been the latest recipient of improved images. And before it, The Other Television Shows Starring the Warner Brothers Cartoon Characters. I am not totally happy with what images are on the latter of these, but they are the best that I can provide.

It is a struggle these days to keep morale at a modicum of a level, and having to pretend otherwise in work situations can be very draining, mentally and even physically. Collecting my thoughts to send e-mail or to do substantial textual updates to this Website has been exceedingly difficult. I do have plans to write more, but my work schedule has to ease somewhat first, and that is not likely to happen until at least late May.

I cannot boost morale when I keep having to cope with negative news and negative developments in my life, with nothing to which to look forward. Never any pleasant surprises. Just the same old, same old funk and funk-sustaining lack of positive news or pleasant surprises. I would of course include the non-existent Season 2 Space: 1999 Blu-Ray release and the colossal disappointment on the LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3. These have not helped to boost my mood.

All for today, April 26, 2014.


I propose to revisit the matter of Space: 1999- Season 2 on Blu-Ray. Or rather the continuing, or I should say continual, delay in the release of such. I have been asked in private e-mail to elaborate further on the matter, on what my explanation is for this constant, year-after-year-after-year-after-year delay, and I thought that I should elucidate here.

The second season of Space: 1999 is not going to be on Blu-Ray. It would not, it should not, require this long a development time period if Network Distributing was *really* committed to "bringing it out". The bottom line is that it is not a priority for Network, and the reason for that is basic market research, which I am sure Network does. Any company worth its salt does market research. And sadly, the primary, or indeed the only research tool in use these days is the Internet. And all that can be seen on the Internet as regards Season 2 (or "Year 2", as it is called in pejorative discussion) is extreme negativity, animosity, disdain, and smug, smart-aleck expressions of pseudo-intellectual contempt. There is precious little expressed support for it anywhere, and where there is any, it is: "I prefer Year 1, but Year 2 has a few good episodes."

None of this is lost on Network. The market for DVD and Blu-Ray has shrunk tremendously. There is still a market for "cult television", but on a case-by-case basis. To produce the Space: 1999 second season Blu-Rays requires an investment of money that Network does not think would be recouped in unit sales. Now, depending on who we believe, work has been partly done or completed on high-definition remastering, and there is a lack of initiative and/or lack of funding on remastering the audio tracks. The market research must be what is prompting Network to "hold back" and not commit. I honestly cannot see any other explanation. And it is the fans themselves, and most especially the "Year 1 fundamentalists", who are responsible for this deplorable state of affairs. They have drowned out any amount of good will and enthusiasm for the second season. Everywhere they go, they spread their poison and bully everyone of a differing opinion into saying nothing. The Facebook page for Space: 1999 is a case-in-point. I am sure Network looks at that. When said Facebook page first started, there was a seeming healthy broadness of opinion on the two seasons of Space: 1999, a willingness to celebrate the television series as a whole. But as usual, as time passes, the "fundamentalists" dig their hooks into the group, spread their poison, generate a chorus of identical-think supporters, and silence all alternate points of view. It is quite possible that Network tentatively thought Season 2 on Blu-Ray to have a ready-made market but have since "pulled away". And I blame the Space: 1999-is-only-"Year 1" fundamentalist fans. Indeed I do. If I go on Home Theatre Forum and say this, I will be attacked personally. But here I can say it, and I do. Space: 1999 fandom is its own worst enemy. And this is a sterling example of such. Those of us (including me, definitely) who yearn to see all of Season 2 on Blu-Ray in beautiful high definition, are denied. And the insufferable bullies who hate "Year 2" have their Season 1, and their Season 1 alone, on Blu-Ray. And to use one of the immortal expressions of my father, they are, "... laughing all the way to the bank."

Again, this is a deplorable state of affairs, but the fans have themselves to blame for it. It is amazing that we even have the DVDs. But those required much less work on the part of the companies involved, and as we know, are lacking in certain aspects of quality. Audio, mostly.

This is my view of the situation, for whatever it may be worth. We will never see a Blu-Ray release of Space: 1999- Season 2, and anyone who still thinks that we will after all this time and all of the continuing lack of positive news, is not being realistic. They are dreaming in Technicolour. Glorious Season 2 Technicolour.

April 27, 2014.


So, what now?

I have further improved the images on The Other Television Shows Starring the Warner Brothers Cartoon Characters and on "Deconstructing" Bugs: The Bugs Bunny Cartoons of 1955. As a matter of fact, I removed some of the images on the latter, as they do not meet my standard any longer, and as Warner Brothers will not release "Hare Brush" on DVD, it will now be represented in the article by but three images, all of them still markedly inferior to the others. I have also improved and increased the images on The Prisoner Page.

I propose to put aside my work on image improvement for the time being and to concentrate on textual expansion on some Web pages. I am currently working on season overviews for The Space: 1999 Page, similar to those for The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page and The Spiderman Page, and I will of course add some further images to the Web page to enhance those season overviews. Basically, as with The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, etc., they will consist mostly of observations about correspondences between adjacent or almost adjacent episodes. Work has progressed, and I am half of the way toward completion.

I then intend to turn my attention to some of my more neglected Web pages and "spruce them up", such Web pages including The Star Blazers Page, The Prisoner Page, and The James Bond Films.

Something to do over the summer months ahead, when it will be raining most days, I expect.

May the fourth be with you. Not that I am feeling particularly like watching any Star Wars today. My interest in Star Wars just is not what it used to be, and Star Wars never was my absolute favourite space opus.

May 4, 2014.


Web page traffic has been abysmally low in the past several days. There had been a significant uptick in the Web page hits registered through April and early May, and now it is down to near-flatline level. This despite the fact that I have recently upgraded (again) many Web page images (Web pages including The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, "Hyde and Hare": An Overlooked Masterpiece, and "Deconstructing" Bugs: The Bugs Bunny Cartoons of 1955) and added season overviews to The Space: 1999 Page.

I am starting to wonder if maybe this is due to Webs narrowing my bandwidth from time to time to keep it within paid-for limits. The upgraded images are larger files than those images were previously.

Still nothing but bad news. The Doctor Who DVD range will not be continued, and the final story on the schedule will not have its missing episodes animated. The old mantra of, "It'll do because it's Doctor Who," is being revisited here, as the missing episodes will be presented in the form of telesnap reconstructions. A definite step backwards. All over, the DVD (and Blu-Ray) production studios are shirking the format and either cancelling releases or putting next to no work into offering a top-quality product. Sad times. Sad times.

All for today, May 20, 2014.


I have made some correction to textual errors in my latest additions to The Space: 1999 Page. I have not done much else of late. Web page traffic continues to flounder. On the weekends, no Web page registers more than 10 "hits" from all over the world. Again, frustrating and demoralising as this is, I can see no solution.

It does irk me to see minor Web pages receive more attention daily than those into which I have invested many, many hours of work on writing and image refinement. To be honest, I have recently toyed with the idea of dropping some of those minor Web pages, among them The Flintstones Page, which although being the product of many work hours back in 1998 and 1999, was not really much of an inspiration to me. I enjoyed The Flintstones when I was ten years-old, but it has not aged very effectively for me into adulthood as an entertainment interest. It is solely nostalgia the keeps me in any way attuned to Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty, and even then, my nostalgia for other television programmes is much more potent. Today, I derive no pleasure in watching best friends fighting, someone berating his best friend, a husband trying to deceive his wife, or a man's efforts to "get ahead" failing time and time again. The situations in most episodes of The Flintstones I find unwatchable today. Exceptions are the more fantastical episodes, and I am all too aware of the lack of acclaim for those among fans of this television show. And even those do not really stir me to watch them. My Flintstones DVDs are some of the least watched ones in my collection, and my Flintstones Web page is far from my best work. Frankly, I would much rather see The Spiderman Page, The Pink Panther Show Page, and The Space: 1999 Page receive an increase in visits.

I am woefully behind (far, far behind) in replying to e-mail. To be honest, it is a matter of motivating myself to sit and write responses. I have developed a distinct trepidation about writing personalised messages, whether they be in e-mail, on Facebook, or any other means of communication. I have developed a doubt in my ability to write effective, personal messages to people, for my efforts to do so appear to have "off-put" several of my friends, most of whom have come to prefer no written communication with me at all. I blame myself for that. My overly formalised writing, perhaps. Or the occasional inadvertent mistake in word choice, resulting in an unexpected interpretation. Whatever the case, if I sit down to write a personal message, I cringe and back away. Most of my friends do not want to see me attempting to communicate with them in writing, and that has to be due to some fault in my writing style or word choices.

I have no other news to offer today. Other than the fact that the Space: 1999 Facebook group is now firmly in the hands of the Season-2-haters. Smug put-downs are par for the course, and people who like Season 2 are to either go away or shut up, as they evidently have. The same-old, same-old.

June 11, 2014.


Today is June 15, 2014.

I honestly do not know why I keep looking for positive news, when there never is any.

Recent discussions at the blu-ray.com forum as regards to Space: 1999- Season 2 now have a 2016 Blu-Ray release in the if-lucky category. Was there ever really any doubt that it would be delayed again? Scott Michael Bosco, late of A & E/New Video (he was production consultant there), has "weighed in" on the discussion, and I believe what he says. Something mighty peculiar is going on there at Network. Someone is deliberately holding this Blu-Ray release back indefinitely. There is no way that it should be this long a wait. Not for technical reasons in restoring the material. Somebody in a position of influence or authority does not want Season 2 released to Blu-Ray. Somebody who hates it (oh, we know that there is an overabundance of those people, especially in high echelons of the fan organisations, some of which are involved in the DVD/Blu-Ray release of Space: 1999, either in an advisory capacity or in the supplying of value-added content). It is not unreasonable to imagine that one of the people at Network is of that persuasion. I believe there is a move by someone or some people to delay the Blu-Ray release of Season 2 until the Blu-Ray format dies. The more that this continues, the more undeniable this becomes. Read the discussion, people. Read Scott Michael Bosco's contribution to it. This is NOT paranoid delusion on my part.

And one of the people says that he is prepared to wait. Are we all prepared to wait until we are dead- or until Blu-Ray is dead (whichever comes first)? That is doubtless what the delayers are counting upon.

Now, the probability of Season 2 not selling as successfully as Season 1 is granted. There is an all-too-vocal contingent of Space: 1999 fans who regard Space: 1999 as a one-season television series and who will not acknowledge the existence of the second season or any merit thereto. People in Britain seem particularly averse to the "more American" style of Season 2. Strange, for Britons do not seem to sneer at imported American television programmes, even those of the science fiction/fantasy genre. But people will buy it for completeness. They will buy it for the bonus content, if it is unique enough to the Blu-Ray release. The snobs of the "Year 1 camp" are not the full number of human beings occupying this planet. I would argue that people who "rag all over" a second season of a television show almost forty years-old, constitute a fringe group. No matter how vocal that they are. Space: 1999- Season 2 did air successfully in Canada in its day. It had a loyal audience. It was not cancelled here. The CBC proceeded after it to air Space: 1999 for a whole additional year. Maya was a popular character. Popular enough for ITC Entertainment to at least posit the idea of a "spin-off" with Maya. But I am wasting my time with this spiel. It serves no purpose. Minds are closed. Minds of people with the power to determine the future of Space: 1999 on Blu-Ray.

But I have decided that I will write a letter to Network Distributing. I might even start a letter campaign. I lack the contacts now that I had back in 1989 when I campaigned successfully for the showing of Space: 1999 on YTV Canada. But I will make the attempt. I would ask my readers, however small they may be in number, to come back here regularly to my main Web page as I put this letter campaign into motion.

All for now.


I have not said much in the past 30 days because I plainly have not had much to say. There is no news to report about anything. Website traffic continues to languish in the single digits, even for what used to be somewhat popular Web pages. There is no sign of any upcoming DVD or Blu-Ray releases of interest. I am feeling disengaged from this Website and even from much of what it venerates. I cannot generate the enthusiasm to write more. My effort to expand The Space: 1999 Page met with a resounding thud in the Web page visitor statistics department, and I am unmotivated to proceed further with other Web pages. I do know that The Littlest Hobo Page is in desperate need of improvement in its images, most of which were added to it in 1998. But a recent, clean (i.e. logo-less) video source is lacking, apart from for the episodes of Seasons 1 and 2 which were released on DVD in the U.K.. There are also some minor Web pages that could use some image improvement, but in those cases I just lack the initiative to do any DVD screen-captures.

I have thought about reinstating Era 6 of my autobiography, but it needs substantial work. Text needs revision for it to fit with what I have added in recent years to Eras 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Virtually all of its images need to be recaptured or re-photographed. And I just cannot be bothered, knowing as I do that my autobiography is the least visited part of my Website.

July 13, 2014.


It has been more than a month since my last communique here. I have been on vacation since mid-July, that vacation set to come to an end tomorrow morning. The vacation has been quiet and rejuvenating, with most of the time spent on solitary reveries about past time. Times of Era 4. Times of Era 2. Good times of long ago but which still are vivid in my mind and more easily tapped when my mind is free of present-day concerns.

I found a long-missing set of negatives to rolls of film dating from 1989 to 1995. From it and my local Wal-Mart's photographic section, I was able to obtain much improved images for some of my autobiography and for one image on my Home Page. Further images have been added to McCorry's Memoirs Era 2 and improvements now exist for images in McCorry's Memoirs Era 5. Other than that and a few textual corrections, not much change to my Website in the past month. I have the usual laments as to the Website traffic statistics, which continue to disappoint. Why are minor Web pages receiving more "hits" than major ones? Why is The Flintstones Page visited more than The Spiderman Page? Why does my less accomplished article on The Day the Earth Stood Still merit more attention than my Space: 1999 Page? It is about visibility and the dogged refusal of Internet search engines to show Hyperlinks to many of my best Web pages. After years now of complaining about this, I am no nearer to a solution. The halcyon days of 20 to 50 "hits" in every 24 hours for most of my more accomplished Web pages, the halcyon days which I enjoyed back in my time on Geocities, are gone forever.

But it is not only visibility. People nowadays are not using the Internet to look at Web pages or even Weblogs. They use the Internet, by and large, for social media. That is where most of the appreciation, what appreciation there is, for these vintage works of the imagination, is going. And with it of course go all of the snidely negative put-downs. Social media is where those are to be found now too- with many a Facebook thumbs-up to them. I loathe the turning of the Facebook Space: 1999 Group into the usual Season 2 jeering section. People making blinkered comments like Season 2 only giving to us guest stars like Peter Duncan and Lynne Frederick, while Season 1 offered Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ian McShane, Leo McKern, and Joan Collins. The omission of such names as Brian Blessed, Billie Whitelaw, Freddie Jones, Guy Rolfe, Sarah Douglas, Stuart Damon, and Patrick Troughton from the names mentioned of Season 2 guest stars is a clear attempt to fudge the issue. And of course, they "get away with it" because nobody challenges it. It is all like-minded group-think there. And there are other less recognisable actor or actress names I could mention. Patrick Mower, Bernard Cribbins, Carolyn Seymour, and Roy Marsden, for example. There are blinkered arguments presented as fact every day at the Facebook Space: 1999 group, and there is not a single facet of Season 2 that is not derided. The same-old, same-old. Nearly 40 years since Season 2 was made, and these people cannot accept the entire television series of Space: 1999 for what it is and appreciate all that it, in its 48 episodes, gave to us. They are still mired in their early-days-of-fandom mindset, only far, far more rancorous about espousing it. And while I do sometimes wish I could go to a convention and belong there with the crowd of people listening to the actors and eyeing the exhibits, I still think that leaving fandom thirteen years ago was the correct decision. The people in fandom that I thought of as friends, just were not friends at all. I suspected so at the time, but tried to convince myself that such suspicions were mistaken. At the first opportunity, with the most convenient pretext open to them, they turned on me, or quietly rejected me. And now they are among the people computer-mouse-clicking "like" to the saucy or smart-alecky put-downs of Season 2. All I can do is sigh and roll my eyes and click my computer mouse to move onward to some other Facebook activity or some other Web page.

Nothing new about a Season 2 Blu-Ray release. Scott Michael Bosco has "weighed in" again at the Blu-Ray forum with further comment on what may be causing the interminable delay. Now it seems that it is A & E that is the "hold-out", refusing to offer any money up-front to help to finance the audio remastering. High-definition video mastering has evidently been done on all episodes. Yet, we will not be able to see them. I still think that Network is "holding out" also, because it does not feel that Season 2 will sell on Blu-Ray, based on all of the intransigent negativity and hostility toward it (and the utter silence of its appreciators, that silence creating the understandable impression that such appreciators do not exist).

On another note, I have ordered LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3, and it will be sad occasion to add it- the final DVD or Blu-Ray release of the Warner Brothers cartoons- to my collection, with my knowing fully that the remaining multitude of desired cartoons will forever be inaccessible on shiny digital videodisc.

I suppose this is all that I have to say today, August 17, 2014.


My letter to Network Distributing as regards Space: 1999- Season Two on Blu-Ray is now in the mail. It cost me nearly three Canadian dollars to send. Yes, three dollars! To mail one letter to Britain. But old-fashioned, snail-mailed letters are going to impress the powers-that-be at Network far more than e-mails or Facebook commenting. From a willingness to compose a letter, put the letter in an envelope, and pay for the postage for the letter, comes the impression of a person deeply committed to the cause of obtaining the desired item. A definite buyer of it. In the letter, I praise the release of Season 1 on Blu-Ray and ask how much longer one has to wait for Season 2. I promise to buy it upon release and to support that release in any way that I can. The letter is one page in length. There is no need for it to be any longer. I am not expecting a reply, but if I receive one I will not sneer at it, even if it is just along the lines of thank-you-for-your-interest-in-our-products and we-have-no-plans-at-this-time-but-will-consider-your-letter-in-future.

I know that my Website and my Web page for Space: 1999 are not an Internet destination of many people these days, but if there is anyone out there on the World Wide Web who is reading my words here and who wants to see a Season 2 release on Blu-Ray sometime soon, please, please consider writing a letter to Network Distributing expressing your interest in purchasing Season 2 to have a complete Blu-Ray set of Space: 1999. It might make all of the difference in the world in finally, finally bringing to us a Blu-Ray set of Space: 1999- Season 2. In fact, Network is considering its release schedule for 2015 and 2016 right now. As I say, your letter could be the one that prompts Network to decide favourably. I know that, if you are in Canada, three dollars is a substantial sum of money for the mailing of a letter, but again, it might just be what Network needs to sway its decision concerning Blu-Ray of Season 2 in a positive direction. Below is the address for Network Distributing. Please do write.

Network (Network Distributing Limited)
19-20 Blythe Road
Berghem Mews
Hammersmith
London, U.K.
W14 0HN

That is all for today, August 28, 2014


September 9, 2004.

The decline continues for readership of my Website. In Canada, most especially. And yesterday, Canadian visits to my Website were concentrated upon my television listings project (which was never intended to be the dominant part of my Website) with a few "hits" for The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page and The Littlest Hobo Page. Interest has flat-lined as regards everything else. Outside of a few "die-hards" who are solely Season 1 adherent and never liked me or my work anyway, Space: 1999 is truly dead in Canada. As too are Spiderman, Rocket Robin Hood, and The Pink Panther Show. And evidently, nobody remembers The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour anymore. Despite it having been a staple of television in Canada for ten to fifteen years.

I am going to eliminate the autobiographical section of my Website. Not just temporarily, but permanently. It has always been the least visited section of my Website, but it used to at least receive a "hit" or two every two or three days. Now, it does not register visits at all, or if a portion of it does receive a visit, such is only to serve as a portal to the television listings project. My autobiography will be removed at the end of this week.

All other Web pages will remain available, for now.

A question. Just a rhetorical one. When the century turned from the nineteenth to twentieth (i.e. from the 1800s to the 1900s), did everyone reject the art and entertainment of the century that had passed? Is this rejection of the past century's art and entertainment solely attributable to the start of the twenty-first century and to the "Millennial" generation to which popular culture overwhelmingly panders (and to the final two generations of the twentieth century that are lacking both nostalgia and steadfast appreciation)? Again, solely a rhetorical question.


My autobiographical Web pages have been granted a reprieve, for now. Due to an uptick in traffic thereon in the past twenty-four hours. I am, of course, aware that the traffic uptick is probably a result of my stated intention to remove said Web pages.

A tremendous amount of work went not only in the writing of them but in the capturing and photographing of their images. Indeed, the amount and quality of the images on those Web pages, to say nothing of their variety, is quite remarkable, to say the least.

Not much more to say today. I do have LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3 and have watched only the cartoons that are not "double dips". The new documentaries are far too heavy with pre-1948 cartoon clips. I wearied of that quite quickly and just fast-forwarded through the documentaries, and most of what I saw flash past my eyes were glimpses of faded and visually drab early cartoons. I have said it before and will say it again. Whatever happened to the old orthodoxy that the cartoons shown on The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show, etc. (those of the post-1948, pre-1960 oeuvre) are the definitive Warner Brothers cartoons? The iconoclasts are "at it again", are they not? They had their way with the Blu-Ray release. It "tanked". And now we are not even seeing any more DVDs of LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS. I have reason to believe, based on what I am witnessing with Teletoon Retro's Classic Looney Tunes, that just about every Tweety cartoon was digitally restored and remastered for release on DVD (cartoons such as "Tweety's Circus", "Tweet Zoo", and "A Pizza Tweety Pie" as shown on Teletoon Retro look as sharp and colourful as the other remastered-post-2003-for-DVD cartoons offered in Teletoon Retro's package). They were purposely not released to DVD, not even in the LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS range of DVDs, possibly because of snobbish attitudes toward the Tweety cartoons of Friz Freleng that seem (I say, seem) to prevail on the Internet and which may be shared by persons responsible for selecting cartoons for DVD release. It is academic now, though, because there will be no further DVD (or Blu-Ray) releases.

All for today, September 10, 2014.


The litho-cel by Virgil Ross called "Scare Hare" based on "Hyde and Hare" has been greatly upgraded at the top of "Hyde and Hare": An Overlooked Masterpiece. It looks gorgeous. Virgil Ross painted the litho-cel in 1996 shortly before his death. It is perhaps his best work in that product range. I have always loved it. In fact, a scan of it was used on my "Hyde and Hare" article when that article first appeared on the Internet in 1997.

September 13, 2014. Fifteen years since the Moon was supposed to be blown out of Earth orbit.


This is something I do not normally do anymore, but I have been feeling increasingly agitated by the exceedingly venomous assaults upon Season Two of Space: 1999 that have appeared in various places on the Internet recently. There is one that is particularly vicious, and it appears on a Weblog discussion about Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, of all things. Yes, someone has even tried to implicate Fred Freiberger in the cancellation of that, insinuating that he had something to do with the Buck Rogers second season. After all, every science fiction/fantasy television series that was cancelled had to be due to the talentless involvement of "Freddie the F", right? Oh, yes. Of course. My eyes are rolling as I type.

Another person then asked why there is so much hate directed at Freiberger, and the response was more vitriolic than I have ever seen before. Along the lines that the man should be burning in hell for all of the television series that he personally caused to be cancelled. Star Trek, Space: 1999, and The Six Million Dollar Man (Freiberger is blamed even for Lee Majors' attire, that attire allegedly being one of the contributing factors to The Six Million Dollar Man's cancellation). And his involvement with Season 1 of The Wild, Wild West is said to be disastrous and the reason for his being replaced on that, everyone disliking the direction in which he was steering the first season's episodes. I am not familiar very much with The Wild, Wild West, but it had been my understanding that Freiberger's contributions to it were quite highly regarded by its fans. Freiberger's three scripts for Space: 1999 are thoroughly derided as the worst ever penned for the genre. And so on, so on, so on. I am not even going to dignify this one with much of a response, but it does occur to me to ask if the Almighty does damn men to hell for allegedly supplying inadequate scripts for television series or for making bad production decisions on television series. Are these television series so highfalutin important in the grand scheme of things that souls are burning for their cancellation?

We know that Star Trek was doomed to be cancelled before Season 3 of it even started filming, because NBC was dissatisfied with the Nielsen ratings figures for the second season. We also know that Season 3 contained several acknowledged fan favourites, among them "The Enterprise Incident", Day of the Dove", "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky", "The Tholian Web", and "All Our Yesterdays", and in my view, Season 3 is more varied and imaginative in its stories than was the more formulaic Season 2. It does have a few duds, but on the whole, the story quality in terms of concept was of an admirably high level. People quibble about story developments and so-called "plot holes", but those exist in just about anything if one goes looking for them. If the ideas are strong and the depictions appealing, I am prepared to "fill in" the so-called "plot holes" with rational explanations extrapolated from other episodes or totally of my own invention. For the most part, Season 3 of Star Trek was what I saw first. I may not have liked it as much as Space: 1999, but I did find the concepts of most of its episodes to be quite engaging. It is only Star Trek's second season that I find to be uninspiring and boring, for the most part. Season 1 is the best, then Season 3, then Season 2. In my opinion. But it is an opinion that I am prepared to qualify with examples of imaginative story and impressive visualisation.

In any event, the primary focus of vitriol is always the second season of Space: 1999. Everything from the first scenes of "The Metamorph" to the epilogue of "The Dorcons". Everything about it is damnable and ought to have no following whatsoever among the billions of inhabitants of planet Earth. So the argument goes. A rubber monster here, a talking plant there, and it is, to arms, to arms! No philosophical commentary from Professor Bergman means zero intelligence in a script. So they say. Season 1 was this perfect piece of art that, although itself being cancelled by Sir Lew Grade in mid-autumn of 1975, was ruined by the intrusion of Fred Freiberger, and nothing good came of his involvement. That is the argument, reconstituted ad infinitum with ever more rancour and presumed absolutism each additional time. We also see the tired, old refrain that Freiberger fired Barry Morse (not so; Morse left the production of Space: 1999 of his own volition, after being unable to come to terms with Gerry Anderson over salary and after having been dissatisfied with the writing of his character of Bergman in Season 1). And next the argument that Nick Tate and Zienia Merton were ill-served by Freiberger and the Season 2 format. To his credit, Freiberger listened to the fans and retained Nick Tate and did everything possible to involve the character of Carter in the scripts for the Season 2 episodes. Alan was in command of Alpha on two occasions. Something never seen in the first season. He was made more likable too, though that was something already starting to happen in the later episodes of Season 1. As for the character of Sandra, it was nice to see her when she appeared, but her replacements of Yasko and Alibe filled the same function in the stories, that of a supporting character who occasionally had some important involvement in an episode's story development. I cannot carp with her non-involvement, because in my estimation, it did not harm the episodes in question. And the loss of Paul Morrow and David Kano was suitably filled by Tony Verdeschi and by Maya, whose presence filled the vacancies of both Bergman and Kano. I have never understood the hate for Tony Verdeschi. I have always liked him. I had a friend many years ago who liked Tony Verdeschi most among all of the Space: 1999 characters. Hating him just because he replaced one or two others who might have been popular, is not something that can be seriously received as a considered criticism.

But these are all arguments of thirty-eight years ago. The fact that they are still ongoing today, with more vitriol than ever, speaks to the abject obsessiveness of fans, who cannot let go of their resentments of nearly four decades ago, for the supposedly untimely cancellation of their favourite television show. Resentments that were lacking in full knowledge of the facts behind the production and distribution of Space: 1999 and the need for changes. Resentments that are fuelled by personal dislike for things that differed from what had been proffered with the style of Season 1. Dislike of men in monster suits, or of a synthesised jazzy and sometimes upbeat sound to incidental music, or of characters in loving relationships, or of super-human powers being used as an occasional (not all the time) story plot device or gimmick. But all of that is personal taste. There are audiences who embraced the rubber monsters on Doctor Who or in the Star Wars movies. When conveying a sense of dynamic futurism, music does not need to be orchestral, and there is nothing wrong with some upbeat motifs. Even for a prospectus like that for Space: 1999. People adapt. They adjust. They do so by being upbeat, by enjoying the company of others, and by engaging in some banter. And super-heroes are more popular than ever today. An occasional super-heroic moment with a character (i.e. Maya) should not be an incontrovertible and universally damnable contrivance.

I long ago wearied of having to deal with these attitudes. More prevalent today is to quibble with story development, finding "plot holes" or aspects of a story that seem illogical or illogically contrived to bring about a certain outcome. Many of the attacks levelled at the episodes of Season 2 these days are of this nature. People lambaste "The Beta Cloud" for the Alphans only having one life-support core (no working back-up), but that can be explained within the context of a run of episodes including "The Beta Cloud". We are not on Moonbase Alpha; we are not privy to every detail. But some details can be extrapolated from what is said in other episodes. A key life-support element was needed for another purpose in an earlier episode, perhaps the reason for why there was not a working back-up life-support core. I have no problem furnishing explanations such as this.

Thing is, there is scarcely a script written that cannot be faulted for something. This includes the scripts for episodes of Season 1 of Space: 1999. Fan favourite (and mine) "Dragon's Domain" is problematical in some respects. If Tony Cellini is regarded by Alpha's chief medical officer as being mentally unstable, why is he permitted to have spears and axes in his quarters? Why was he allowed to bring those items with him to Alpha? Cellini is said by Koenig to be a first-class astronaut of irreproachable integrity; yet, Cellini made two very poor command decisions on the Ultra Probe. First, he should have waited until contact could be reestablished with Alpha so that he could report the spaceship graveyard and request instructions from Earth command. And second, he should not have sent his full crew to board the alien spaceship to which he had docked the Ultra Probeship. He should have sent one of them (Darwin King), while the other two remained with him in the Ultra Probeship's command module. And Darwin should have been in a spacesuit as a precaution- because sensor readings could have been wrong about the alien spaceship. There could have been a sensor malfunction. This may, for peoples of Earth, be a first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, or products thereof. Surely, the most precautions possible ought to be undertaken. Cellini threw caution to the wind, enabling the monster to surprise and devour his entire crew, leaving him no one to corroborate his story. Moreover, why were there not four survival kits in the command module? Should not all eventualities have been considered when planning the mission? Why was there not an emergency transmitter in the command module for contacting Alpha? Cellini's survival flight need not have been so devastating to his physical condition. And of course, there is the issue of Alpha encountering the spaceship graveyard, when the odds against that should be astronomical. Koenig just accepts it with little incredulity. Cellini is also able to overpower Carter too easily in the Eagle cockpit and conveniently has the passenger module doors close before Koenig can reach him.

There are also established subjects of criticism, such as Ultra having Earth-like conditions and Helena's steadfast unwillingness to at least posit the possibility of the monster being real, after everything that Alpha has experienced in its odyssey. And Helena ought to have said that the Moon was between solar systems, not galaxies. And of course there is the date "blooper" during the Space News telecast. And all of this is not considering technical production errors, such as spaceship model exteriors not matching spaceship interiors and a spaceship graveyard scene from late in the episode appearing much earlier than it should.

All of this is a given, and has to be accepted. The fans do accept it. All of it. We just have to accept that special allowances were granted to Cellini (by Koenig, supposedly) to possess primitive weapons in his quarters. And that bureaucratic bungling resulted in a space mission inadequately considered for its dangers and eventualities. And that Cellini's judgement was clouded by his personal ambition and that Koenig seems to have no problem with that. Etc.. These are accepted. But things like these in episodes of Season 2, are not accepted by the fans because... they... just do not... like... Season 2. For no other reason than personal taste. Trying to maintain that Season 2 is flawed beyond any acceptable or explainable reasoning and therefore irredeemable, is sheer hyperbole. But they all say it because they are in a group wherein it is socially acceptable, and indeed socially expected, to be so inclined, and so it is done with gusto. And heaven help any lone wolf who "stands up to the pack".

By and by, Season 2's re-release on DVD a year or so ago has resulted in new Amazon.com reviews of it, trotting out the usual angles of attack. Fred Freiberger. Men in rubber monster suits. Acting cast changes. And some others, such as calibre of guest stars. All young, unaccomplished, and unrecognisable, except for Brian Blessed and Patrick Troughton. Also some surprising acts of fault-finding, arguing that outdoor filming made episodes look cheap and stating that Koenig's absence in "Dorzak" was not explained, when in fact it was. The reviewer says that Martin Landau was surrounded by acting-school talent in "Devil's Planet". Anyway, to make a long story short, the "put-down" of Season 2 was comprehensive, if more than a little exaggerated and in some cases erroneous. I went ahead and wrote a rebuttal, which I am including, word-for-word, here. Here it is.

I'm going to comment on a few things here.

1) I would scarcely call Freddie Jones, Willoughby Goddard, Guy Rolfe, Bernard Cribbins, Lee Montague, and Roy Marsden young. There was, in fact, a blend of young and veteran guest stars throughout the second season. First season had a share of young guest stars. For example, Paul Jones and Ian McShane. It was also lumbered with some guest stars with heavy Italian accents and something less than effective dialogue delivery (e.g. Orso Maria Guerrini in "The Testament of Arkadia").

2) In "Devil's Planet", the main guest cast consisted of experienced thespians. Hildegard Neil (Mrs. Brian Blessed) had played Cleopatra alongside Charlton Heston in 1972's Antony and Cleopatra. Roy Marsden had been acting in British TV since 1964. Arthur White (Kinano), even longer than that. Dora Reisser (Interrogator) had been in an episode of The Avengers in the 1960s. The supporting cast was young in a few cases (Blake Maine, Sares Controller), but on the whole, the actors were to the standard of Landau. Indeed, the interaction sizzled between him and Hildegard Neil, making them great foils for one another.

3) Production did not start going outdoors in the second season. First season's "The Full Circle" was filmed outside at Black Park, and there was some footage lensed outdoors in Season 1's "The Last Sunset". I fail to see what is so bad about outdoor filming. It adds production value, as is the case for Seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek, which are said to be superior to Season 3, with one reason for that being outdoor filming to "open up" the production. This said, Season 2 of Space: 1999 did do some indoor filming for Earth-like planet surfaces, and the results in several cases were admirable. Far better than what Star Trek had done.

4) The search for a habitable planet is still ongoing in Season 2, as is the case in "The Taybor", "The Rules of Luton", "A Matter of Balance", and "The Immunity Syndrome", but looking for the materials needed for prolonging Alpha's survival is also a logical pursuit. The Alphans may not have asked some of the alien visitors (Archanons, Norvans) for help in finding a way to a habitable planet (at least not on-screen), but doing that may have been Koenig's decision to make, and he was away from Alpha in those episodes.

5) Koenig's absence *was* explained in "Dorzak". It may have been done in a something of perfunctory, throw-away manner, but it was done.

6) The "rubber monster" refrain has been used as the biggest brickbat to wield against the second season, but Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who all had men in monster suits, and they're not damned for that. Except for the occasional Maya transformation, few Season 2 episodes revolved around the "rubber monster" element. Mostly the mid-season ones. But aliens are unlikely to all be humanoid. Season 2 acknowledged that, while also giving us an array of humanoids. First season aliens tended to be reflective or early-'70s hippie sensibilities (long-hair, painted face, revealing lower garments, "biker" leather, platform shoes, and so on). One could criticise that too. Is it really likely that aliens would look like that, any more than they would dress Greco-Roman style as they do in episodes of the second season? You have to suspend some disbelief in either season.

7) Fred Freiberger did write 3 episodes, and except for "The Rules of Luton" which could have been less rough around the edges, his scripts in their premises were sound. "Space Warp" in particular posited a compelling scenario and was written around having to be filmed simultaneously with "A Matter of Balance" and was quite ingeniously structured, with a sensible reason not to use Catherine Schell for most of the episode and for John and Tony to be separated from Alpha. "The Beta Cloud" has a straightforward plot, and the monster there turns out to actually be a robot designed by its senders to look like a monster, which is an interesting conceit. People criticise the Alphans not having a back-up life-support core-- but we do know that terranium is scarce, and some of it was taken from a life-support system (the back-up, perhaps) for Michelle Osgood in an earlier episode. In any case, the same criticism could be applied to "Earthbound" in Season 1 where the power converter hijacked by Commissioner Simmonds doesn't have a back-up.

8) I don't really think the supporting cast were all that better served in the first season. Mathias just solemnly said, "He's dead", or some made some grim diagnosis and not much else. I actually think Jeffery Kissoon and Sam Dastor were better actors than Anton Phillips. Their range was greater. ... Carter flew off his rocker in one episode, "The Full Circle", over a woman (Sandra) he'd had no involvement with in any previous or subsequent episode. Outside of "The Last Sunset", Paul and Sandra really didn't do much together. Not on-screen, anyway. Kano said very little in most episodes outside of reporting on Computer and its read-outs. In Season 2, Carter does take command of Alpha on 2 occasions, and we meet Sandra's fiance and learn something of her past. Alan also has a romantic relationship with an alien and a fatherly or big-brotherly relationship with another. The supporting cast was given things to do, and on "double-up" episodes formed an ensemble around either Barbara Bain or Martin Landau when the other lead was not much in the episode.

9) People like to carp on budget cutting, but the second season did spend money on its planet sets. The derelict spaceship in "Space Warp" looks good, and Peter Medak gave us some wonderful camera angles there. Eagle crashes, especially the one in "The Seance Spectre", were quite excellently effected, and we even had a battle scene in "The Dorcons" that ultimately wasn't just a dream sequence. Alien planets depicted throughout the series, and especially in the second season, were far above the calibre of most television science fiction/fantasy of the time. Just look at Space: 1999's contemporaries.

10) Action and meaningful story are not mutually exclusive. A story with action can still have something to say, and a slow story without any action can be devoid of meaning. It is a false paradigm, the argument that something has to be slow and deliberate to have any meaningful story to it.

Yes, it does come down to a matter of taste. That's ultimately what it comes down to. Neither season is perfect. I'm not sure there is a perfect episode in Space: 1999. Fans have had 40 years to rip the episodes apart. The producers had just a few weeks to approve the writing of them and to film them. And the first season had as many "Say what?" moments, such as 2 brains in one head, Bergman knowing where to locate the position of the planet Triton, Balor escaping Lunar gravity by being expelled from an airlock, and the it-was-all-a-dream ending to "War Games", to say nothing of the time-reversal device in "Matter of Life and Death". Again, I don't think there's any episode that's perfect. You *can* find something wrong if that's what you're looking for.

But there's entertainment to be had in all 48 episodes, and something imaginative and interesting in them. Ultimately, that's the appeal of the series to me, in addition to the look and the sound of it and the calibre of acting from its leads (which is vastly underrated, in my view).

And that was my response to the negative review. A negative review that has a vast majority of "helpful" votes. I fully expect to be voted as being unhelpful to the discussion, because after all, it is unhelpful to speak in favour of the indefensible. Even if most of what I say is factual. We are dealing here with hatred dating back thirty-eight years. I am not even looking at the Facebook group anymore. Last I looked, the venom was gushing off of people's postings. Venom and smug, smart-alecky quips. From people supremely confident in the verity of their extreme negativity.

And the wait continues for Season 2 on Blu-Ray.

September 20, 2014.


From Network Distributing's Facebook Web page, there is some possible good news about Space: 1999- Season 2 on Blu-Ray. In response to an enquiry about the matter by a Gordon Moriguchi, Network has said, "Keep an eye out for news soon..." There is also a photograph of what looks like a Season 2 Blu-Ray set cover, but it was posted by Gordon Moriguchi, not by Network. I would suppose that it is a composite image made by Mr. Moriguchi of a theoretical cover. Still, Network did respond, and the response, though cryptic, is better than nothing.

This is the image posted by Gordon Moriguchi.

And this is the actual Facebook posting. An option for clicking like to it is there. If anyone is on Facebook and would like to support the cause even by just clicking like, feel free to do so.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205106093601182&set=o.168549753615&type=1&theater

I would add that even if Network were to announce the title for release to Blu-Ray, that release could still be a year away. But this is something. With thanks to fellow Canadian Space: 1999 fan Michel, for informing me of this development. I am cautiously, most cautiously, optimistic.

News of this is spreading slowly on discussion forums. It is also being discussed on the "Year One Camp"- I mean Space: 1999- Facebook page. Many of the comments are, as expected, along the lines of "Year 2 sucks", and "I don't care for Year 2; so, no sale." Honestly, there is no low to which the "Year One pundits" will stoop to foul any positive mood regarding Season 2. It would seem to be a pathological spitefulness and reflex asininity that afflicts these louts whose consideration for the feelings of others never developed at all from early childhood. For nearly forty years, they have clung to the same refrain, only with increasing degrees of rancour, and they are completely incapable of understanding the feelings of someone who may like Season 2 and who may be offended by their absolute proclamations of bile. It is a crying shame that Space: 1999 fandom is dominated almost entirely by these clowns, that conventions are "no-go" places for anyone who is fair-minded about the merits of the two seasons, and that it is a struggle to be optimistic about any positive development, including this one. I want to believe it. I mean, Network could have just said nothing, or said later rather than soon. But I must be wary of embracing optimism, because that can and often does lead to disappointment and hurt. Any disappointment is sure to be exacerbated by the spiteful or smart-alecky quips of the dominant herd in fandom and their rotating groups of mouthpieces. Just once these days, I would like for something really great to happen for Season 2 and for someone of quite high esteem in fan circles to tell the detractors to "shut up".

On another note, I am working on some additions to The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour supplementary image gallery. Just a few additional cartoon title cards. They should be available for viewing before this month ends.

October 18, 2014.


Still awaiting news from Network Distributing regarding Space: 1999- Season 2 on Blu-Ray. As soon as news is forthcoming, I will relay it here. Meantime, while we all wait, here is a photograph of an old-fashioned means of possessing a collection of Space: 1999. Paperback books. I have every paperback book published in North America and the United Kingdom during Space: 1999's heyday. Unfortunately, they are showing their age. I have secondary "reading copies" of many of them and hardcover versions of four of them. My "collectible copies" are not pulled off of the shelf very often, but even so, the covers are losing some of their ink (particularly the first six of the Pocket Books versions), and there are hairline creases in the covers in in the spines in some cases (again, the first six of the Pocket Books versions). And some of the spines show signs of fraying or tearing at bottom end. Books seven, eight, and nine of the Orbit versions are difficult to acquire (I do not know if they were ever sold in Canada; I never saw them in any store), and Earthfall is the most difficult one to find. It does sport on its cover a Canadian sale price in addition to those for British territories, but I doubt that it ever was offered in any Canadian bookstore. The Making of Space: 1999 has spine creases in the photograph section and in one or two other locations. I would like to replace it with a pristine copy, but such are next to impossible to find at anything other than an exorbitant price. This is my Space: 1999 paperback book collection as it currently exists. On the two sides of it are Planet of the Apes and Peanuts books and the first books in the James Blish Star Trek series of episode novelisations.

I have now added five more cartoon title cards to the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour supplementary image gallery. To bring them to standard is a tedious job of digital pixel painting. I will not be making further additions to the image gallery in the foreseeable future. Enjoy what is there.

All for today, October 22, 2014.


Still no news about Space: 1999- Season 2 on Blu-Ray. Network Distributing's definition of soon is evidently not squarely in the category of immediateness, or that of near-immediateness. I do frequent Network Distributing's Facebook Web page and, rather masochistically, the one for Space: 1999, which is a "hang-out" for the sort of fans I cannot abide. Never any news from the latter but plenty of trash-talk about the differences between seasons and all of the usual refrains. Like a Pavlovian dog's response, whenever someone posts a picture of Professor Bergman or Barry Morse, out spew a few dozen comments of intense negativity or hostility toward Season 2 and Fred Freiberger. Again and again and again. I like the Bergman character. I respected Barry Morse, even if his enthusiasm for playing off-the-wall characters could be a bit excessive. But Space: 1999 was a Landau-Bain vehicle, first and foremost. And they were better in Season 2. I will say that and I will argue it until I am gone from this Earth. And Maya and her otherworldly transformations had a charm all of their own. The two seasons both had their merits, and Space: 1999's format should be flexible enough to accommodate some distinct stylistic differences, as Doctor Who and other opuses of the science fiction/fantasy genre have proven themselves to be. To go on and on and on for nearly forty years about the changes between seasons and to be so abjectly unwilling to accept Space: 1999 as it was and to just congregate with like-minded people to prattle venomously and smugly in a constant cycle, should, to a dispassionate eye, look like the peevishly futile and loutishly silly sport of a group of- dare I say it- half-grown-ups. They do not have the decency to at least go to Network Distributing's Facebook Web page and give a like-click of their computer mouse to Network's "keep-an-eye-out-for-news-soon" posting. They have their precious Season 1 on Blu-Ray. Could they not have at least the consideration and good will to support the cause of those who want the full Space: 1999 television series on Blu-Ray? No, of course not. They are spiteful. They are selfish. They hate Season 2 and have contempt for anyone who thinks otherwise. All that they want is their single 24-episode season of a four-decades-old television programme (and they do not even rate all twenty-four episodes of that). I am so tired of "calling out" and chastising that stagnant group of "olde-guarders" and "olde-cliquers".

But lest someone try defining me by the same terms, I accept Space: 1999 for what it is. I enjoy both seasons for what they are. And over the course of my life, I have actually accomplished things for the television show as a whole. Its broadcast on CBC Maritimes in the early-to-mid-1980s. Its showing on YTV Canada in the 1990s. Participation in the campaign several years ago for a DVD release. I bought the Blu-Ray sets of Season 1 released by both Network and A & E. At least two of each. I have tried to share my positive points of view and have instead been pushed and pushed and pushed toward faultfinding in their preferred season. Much the same thing could be said of my involvement in the fandom for the Warner Brothers cartoons, actually. Hopefully, Network will have the full Space: 1999 on Blu-Ray within the year and those louts and their hateful verbal sorties will not matter, at least with regard to Space: 1999's availability. As far as public recognition of it is concerned, that ship sailed away from an already distant harbour a long, long time ago. Sadly.

November 1, 2014.


I said something rather sweeping in my last Weblog entry. I said that Space: 1999 fans (of the Season Two-hating persuasion) are half-grown-ups. I wince when I see it now. I wince because I have had people describe me as such for not "letting go" of my affection and appreciation for Season Two of Space: 1999, or suggest the same from my steadfast and delicate point of view on the Warner Brothers cartoons. Who knows? Maybe I am a first-class hypocrite. In addition to being not fully grown-up, as has been alleged.

But it would seem to me that people who cling to unwavering, narrow viewpoints, hostility, and peevish scapegoating dating back nearly forty years and who persist, with increasing confidence and rancour, in espousing such, are not completely mature either. These are people who continue to "make fun" (their words, not mine) of a dead producer, invoking his surname disparagingly with ridiculing syntax distortions. People who derive much self-satisfaction and who formulate irreverently derisive expression out of being a part of a somewhat large group of like-minded people, and who belittle or bully others who are not in tandem with the group "orthodoxy". And then say that anyone who objects to this is hypersensitive, "a sissy" or "one can short of a six-pack". Is such not school yard behaviour? Surely the mature person puts aside such disagreeable conduct, overcomes grudges, and comes to accept the good in all that a television series has to offer.

Lest anyone say that I am guilty of that as regards the pre-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons, I will say that my point of view on those did not used to be disagreeably negative. I may not like them aesthetically, but they have historical value, and many of them are very funny. They may not star many of the twelve leading characters, and the characters who do appear in them may not be developed to the extent (post-1948) that I prefer, but I had a respect for them. I had time for a great many of them. I bought the GOLDEN AGE OF LOONEY TUNES laser videodisc sets (with exclusively pre-1948 cartoons) to go with the Warner Home Video laser videodisc releases (post-1948 cartoons). I videotaped the cartoons presented on TBS, and I enjoyed many of them. It was in their being used against the cartoons I enjoy most, by persons as disagreeable as the fans of Space: 1999, that I soured. I did not like seeing them dominate the DVD box sets and the critical response to those DVD box sets. I did not like the condescending or scorning and spiteful attitude of some of their fans and the push to have yet more dominance of them in the cartoon selections on DVD and Blu-Ray. I do not understand the resolute denial of merit in, and resolute denial of attention given to, the post-1948 cartoons. Except for Porky Pig, the twelve main characters all have the bulk of their filmographies in the post-1948 oeuvre, and that should be of paramount consideration, I feel, in addition to the fact that the definitive personalities and the definitive adversarial pairings of the twelve characters came into being around or after 1948- or a year or two or three earlier- and the further fact of the long-enduring popularity of the post-1948 cartoons on network television. It frustrates me that people cannot see any of that and that it was not given due consideration in the putting together of the DVD releases.

But that is my standing, and it has admittedly become strident and grudging in the lambasting, censure, and ostracism of cartoon aficionados on the Internet. People who were as averse to seeing the merit in my proffered fascinations, observations, and insights vis-a-vis cartoons as have been the fundamentalist fans of Space: 1999- Season 1 with regard to Space: 1999- Season 2 and what I see in that. Maybe being strident and grudging is immature, reactive though such may be. Maybe I do need to seek the peace of acceptance of my minority or solitary status and in not casting any more pearls before swine. But it is not easy, for every human being feels a need to belong, to be a respected part of a herd. Being belittled, ostracised, and isolated makes arriving at such peace difficult- if not impossible.

My autobiography's sixth and seventh eras have not been available for some time. My unavailing and unpleasant experiences as a fan of Space: 1999 are largely not present for my readers' consumption (I mention some of such in Era 5; some; but the really morally taxing fallings-out and the ultimate partings of the ways came later). I was used for certain of my contributions and cast out for other perspectives and for my increasing, outspoken weariness and despair with the dearth of open-mindedness. When my usefulness was declared finished, I was baited and pushed into a no-win situation, chided for my exasperated reactions, and reviled, the leaders and rank and file not even trying to understand me. More or less jeered-at behind my back as I left the door. Not unlike how outcasts are treated at school.

An ongoing problem is that the fans are completely locked into the mindset that all was right with "Year 1" and everything was wrong with "Year 2". They are blinkered to the flaws in Season 1 and blinkered to the merits of Season 2, merits that I and some others have lucidly highlighted. In their mind, nothing can be right with "Year 2", the abomination that it is to their minds. I said a few weeks ago that there is no perfect episode of Space: 1999, Season One or Two. They all think that there is. All of them in "Year 1". And that the twenty-four episodes of "Year 2" are thoroughly reprehensible. "An unmitigated farrago from beginning to end," is "Year 2" in their eyes. And attack is all that they do. Attack, attack, attack. Say that some facet of Season 1 is supremely admirable and use it to brickbat Season 2. And they will use ad hominem argument against any naysayer who does not meekly capitulate, alleging mental deficiency. I am not joking. That is precisely what they do.

I try not to use the "Year 1" and "Year 2" labels, since they have long ago been tainted with the rigidly and obnoxiously pejorative arguments. I much prefer the Season One/Season Two terminology that is traditional to broadcast television. "Year 1" and "Year 2" were labels used by ITC Entertainment in promoting Space: 1999; in terms of given chronology within the television series, they are meaningless.

Season 2 is not perfect. That is a fact that I am prepared to accept. But neither is Season 1, and that is something that has to be acknowledged and accepted also. The two seasons' episodes can equally falter in the scrutiny of a "plot-hole"-searching faultfinder. The scripts were written by men and women, and men and women are imperfect. Time for writing and editing may help to reduce the tendency toward imperfection. Perhaps money can, too. Maybe. But neither of these is a panacea. Science fiction/fantasy as a genre is immensely difficult to write in an ongoing prospectus like that of a television series. There may perhaps be a maximum amount of time and money for "re-takes", but a script can still have fundamental problems that are not immediately or soon evident to a script editor, perhaps not even to the people on the production set.

Space: 1999's first season is hailed by its Season Two-hating pundits as some master work of unassailable perfection. Or most episodes of it, anyway. I had a correspondent once who maintained that the first season episode, "Death's Other Dominion", is one-hundred percent perfect. It is not. I knew at the time that it was not, and I certainly know so today. I hate having to play the nitpicker as regards the television show that I love and to which I owe so very much for being there for me during some intensely lonely months in my mid-childhood. I very much resent having to resort to this to try to bring balance to this abominably lopsided "debate". But nobody else is going to call attention to the flaws in my erstwhile correspondent's absolute contention, or that of the legions of fans behind him.

From a technical production standpoint, there is not much that can be faulted in "Death's Other Dominion". The visual effects have little in them that could be faulted. I can only right now recall the bizarrely changing appearance of the planet Ultima Thule as seen from space. We do see the studio lights in Main Mission in the epilogue as Koenig is walking to his office desk. I doubt that they were meant to be shown. The sets of the planet and the Uranus Probe survivors' Ultima Thulian habitat are quite laudable, apart from some odd-looking white Styrofoam formations hanging from the ceiling of the cavern. Understandably, we cannot see breath from actors' mouths as they speak and breathe. Making the set sub-zero during filming was not feasible. We have to assume that is sub-zero in the caves for the snow or ice on the stalagmites not to melt, but perfectly capturing the conditions of that was not going to be possible.

Now, to the script. Is it likely that a probe to Uranus launched in 1986 would have a crew as large as twenty or more people, especially given that a space probe launched ten years later had a crew of four? In terms of spaceship's life-support capacity, to say nothing of provisions, twenty or more people is a massive crew complement. Is it likely that the electronics salvaged from the Uranus Probe by the survivors would still be operational after nearly nine hundred years? I mean, electronics would depreciate and eventually stop working long, long, long before the full passing of nine centuries. Reference is repeatedly made to smog on the ice planet. Smog is technically the product of industrial pollution. Maybe the Ultima Thulian society has polluted the ice planet to such an extent. I do not know. But surely ice fog would have been a more apropos term to describe the atmospheric conditions on the ice planet.

Minus sixty degrees in the heat of the day (I presume that does not include windchill). In such a temperature, snow is unlikely to be wet and sticky (i.e. sticky enough to cling to garments as seen on those of our heroes). Minus sixty plus blizzard winds. People could not survive in those conditions for even a few minutes- especially people not acclimatized to them (and I doubt that our Alphan heroes are used to such extremes of temperature). Alan is out in the blizzard for quite a long time.

Koenig, Russell, and Bergman are surmised by Carter and everyone in Main Mission to have died in the blizzard, but why surmise? Do they not have biomonitor bracelets relaying their vital signs to Alpha? Surely on a perilous reconnaissance such as this, such implements would be a necessity. We know from other episodes that reconnaissance party members have such bracelets on them for their vital signs to be read on Alpha. I can accept that maybe the blizzard conditions prevent the signals from the bracelets from reaching Alpha, but this is not stated, and Season Two is routinely lambasted for not stating everything in its episodes. But why go out on the surface of Ultima Thule without wearing hermetically sealed, climate-controlled spacesuits? I know that the snow suits look aesthetically pleasing, particularly set against the colours of the Thulian cave, but for temperatures as cold as minus sixty, exposed skin on the face and shallow-fabric snowsuit hoods are a guarantee of major problems. What would Roald Amundsen say if he saw this?

Lastly, the ghastly end of Dr. Rowland. Certainly effective as a piece of science fiction/horror. I never did see this episode before reading the novelisation and seeing photographs. If I had seen it without any expectation, the steaming corpse of Rowland would have traumatised me. But I did not see it in such a circumstance. As effective as it is, it is not what a body would look like if nearly nine centuries had "caught up with it all at once". We should see a dry-boned skeleton crumbled to dust. No eyes in the sockets. No flesh. Just fragments of bone. What is shown is effective as horror but not accurate.

I love "Death's Other Dominion". Always have. I fell in love with it just reading E.C. Tubb's novelisation back in September of 1977 (and it deeply hurt that CHSJ-TV opted to preempt the CBC's airing of it that month). The Ultima Thulian cavern sets are gorgeous. The planet surface exteriors and the blizzard effects are magnificent. Brian Blessed and Jack Shrapnel deliver excellent performances. The music is superlative.

But it is not perfect. Neither is "Dragon's Domain", as I delineated some weeks ago. The imperfections are largely inherent in the script as presented. But I can accept that. I can even furnish explanations for some problematical things- just as I can for those in the episodes of Season Two. Because I love Space: 1999 as a whole.

It hurts me deeply that there is no fan movement for Space: 1999 as a whole. Not one in which I can feel welcome and respected. If there are fans of the entire television series in the fan movement, they are only welcome if they "take their lumps" as regards appreciating Season Two- and "take those lumps" often. Almost daily. And they must kowtow. Yes, they must kowtow. The Season One hoard must be acknowledged as the definitive fans, the consequential fans, the fans who really matter. They must never be "taken to task" for their sweeping and rude denunciations of everything Season Two. No real fan movement exists for both seasons. I joined fandom in 1984 on the expectation that it was an all-inclusive fan movement, but I would learn how utterly wrong that expectation was. This being said, I was tolerated for a time, even made to feel like there was a place for me. But alas, it was all a tenuous sham. I did not kowtow enough. I did not "take my lumps". And for that, once what little usefulness I was seen as having had expired, I was goaded and pushed and then ridiculed as I departed. Not unlike how I was treated by opponents in baseball games in childhood (childhood, I say again). Children. That is how children act toward people they brand as outsiders or in some way not like them.

And I will reiterate that a mature person, it seems to me, should be able to acknowledge and accept the good that exists in both seasons of Space: 1999.

I knew someone once who was of a similar mind to me concerning Space: 1999's fan following. As he described it, the fan movement is like a bowel movement. It is long and tedious. Sometimes painful. And it stinks.

It does indeed stink that with the development of a possible decision by Network Distributing to release Season Two on Blu-Ray at long-last, the fan movement's knives are out with renewed ferocity. Attack, attack, attack. Not that it should be unexpected. That is what these people do. They have been doing it for nearly four decades. But with each decade, they have become more rancorous in their detraction. What does that say about them? The fans of Space: 1999 are just not nice people. Their hatred of Fred Freiberger and the changes he made to their favourite television show (changes to impress Sir Lew Grade who was just not going to renew the Season One-styled Space: 1999) has made them this way.

But am I like them? I like to think not, but the inability that they have to empathise and understand was similar to my difficulty in that department in my early life. Or is it unwillingness, rather than inability, in their case?

What good there is in lurking on the Space: 1999 Facebook group (there is the occasional lovely-looking picture) is outweighed by the galling hostility of its preeminent members. As was said to me once, there can be no winning with such people. Nor even the possibility of "a draw" or an even compromise or understanding. They have to win. Utterly. Completely. And they have to rub the loser's nose through the mud of collective opinion, time and time again. Almost every day. One of them was so obnoxious yesterday as to compare Freiberger's following of ITC's orders to that of Nazi officers at concentration camps as mentioned in the Nuremberg trials. Freiberger was Jewish. Likening him to the Nazis is a head-shakingly insensitive move, but the writer of that comment will "get away with it". In any other arena of discourse, such a line of commentary would be condemned. But in Space: 1999 fandom, everything goes when it comes to demonising Freiberger and his contributions to Space: 1999. Surely such horrible people cannot be right in their stance when they resort to such tactics. And they called me specious!

This is all that I have to say on this disagreeable subject today. I expect the rancour will increase all the more as Network's announcement of Season Two on Blu-Ray is being awaited. And then after that, too. Oh, yes.

All for today, this brutally windy and cold eighth of November, 2014.


Space: 1999- Season Two is announced by Network Distributing as coming in autumn of 2014. Here is the Hyperlink to the announcement.

http://networkonair.com/shop/2090-space-1999-the-bringers-of-wonder-pre-buy-5027626801847.html

At last! A year away, but at least it is finally announced. And for those of us who cannot wait, an advance release on Blu-Ray of the two-part episode, "The Bringers of Wonder".

The release of "The Bringers of Wonder" comes with that episode's "movie" variant, Destination: Moonbase Alpha, reportedly also in high-definition video. It is unclear as yet whether Destination: Moonbase Alpha will be ported over to the full-season set. I would advise buying the "taster" (Network's nomenclature for the "Bringers of Wonder" Blu-Ray). As stated by Network, it will be Region B, not North America Region A. It will therefore require a multi-region or Region B Blu-Ray player, but such machines can be easily acquired on Amazon.ca. For a price much lower than that which I paid years ago for a multi-region DVD player.

I hope for a few things from the Blu-Ray release of Season 2. First, that the music will be clearly audible and dynamic on all episodes. Second, that cropping of the frame to remove boom microphones, clapperboards, wooden set rims, and other production gear, will be done as had been done for Season 1. And third, that the episodes will be presented chronologically. The last of these is the least likely to be fulfilled, but it would be superb if it could be achieved. I cannot help but wonder about the bonus features. Will they be mostly negative in their tone as regards Season 2? Very probably, especially if portions of Fanderson's Space: 1999 Documentary are used. All that it was was a prolonged editorial against Season 2, using Freiberger's filmed-in-1976 statement of his hopes with the format changes, as a "straw man". I also cannot see Gerry Anderson, Johnny Byrne, Christopher Penfold, Zienia Merton, or anyone else having had anything positive to say about Season Two in their recorded interviews in 2005. But time will tell. The goal now is to stay alive and healthy until then. Quite a tall order, that, with the Fukushima-Daiichi death complex spewing its long-lived radioactive poisons into the ecosystem now for more than three years and with no end in sight. My friend Sandy did not live to see this announcement. How long will I be able to dodge the lethal isotope dose with my name on it?

Network Distributing's Space: 1999- Season Two announcement on its Facebook Web page now has 184 "likes". Now, while I must emphasise that a number (amounting to some percentage) of those are not necessarily from people who like Season 2 (some of them may simply be completests who desire to have the entire television series), it is still an indication that Season Two does have a following. A following of some appreciable size. I would note that among the names of the "likers", I can see none of the names regularly seen on the timeline of the Space: 1999 Facebook group. None. Nor do I see the names of fandom's "top personalities" of the past few decades. No, not them either. I say again, those people have not even the decency or good sportsmanship to go over to Network Distributing's Facebook and do a "like" click of the computer mouse. In fact, the announcements made at the Space: 1999 Facebook group as regards the coming Season Two Blu-Ray release have received far less "likes" than the main announcement at the Facebook Web page of Network Distributing. Indeed, the posting of Season One photographs has largely "drowned out" the Season Two Blu-Ray announcements on the timeline of the Space: 1999 Facebook group. In the immortal words of the Doctor in Doctor Who, "What a predictable response." I do "take heart" at the positive response on the Network Distributing Facebook Web page. Nearly all of those names are completely new to me. I did not even know that they existed. But they do. And they, and I, will be having Season Two available for purchase. That is ultimately what matters. Not the tiresome mutterings of the complacent, closed-minded group of Season Two invalidators in their own hermetical niche. Post photograph of Bergman, and lambaste Freiberger. Over and over. Rinse and repeat, repeat, and repeat. That is what makes them feel good and superior, nearly forty years on in time.

This, November 14, 2014, is our day, and not even the occasional "party-pooper" or two posting comment on Network's Facebook announcement can really detract from that.


An addendum to my latest musings as regards Space: 1999 and its fandom, before I leave the subject aside for quite awhile.

But first, a report on something quite unusual of late. A sudden surge in "hits" to my Boy Meets Alpha memoirs. Thirty-four visits yesterday, and a further thirteen so far today. With Facebook as the Website from which nearly all of those visitors came. Someone in the Space: 1999 Facebook group posted a Hyperlink to my Boy Meets Alpha memoirs on that group's Facebook timeline. So far, one comment, to the effect of my departure from the Space: 1999 Mailing List in 2000, making the usual remark about my temperamental nature concerning attacks on Fred Freiberger and Season 2. I will not speak further to this unless someone assails me viciously there. Such a thing can never really be discounted as a possibility.

But virtually everyone who looked at my Boy Meets Alpha memoirs did not proceed further into my Website. As to whether that is good or bad, a compelling argument can be made in either direction. I suppose I should be grateful that none of them did go any further. Less potential strife.

Recently, someone at the Space: 1999 Facebook group did acknowledge the existence of "plot holes" in Season One episodes. Imagine that. That person then continued onward to say that he chooses to overlook "plot holes" in those episodes because the concepts are strong. And presumably that "plot holes" in Season 2 episodes are not to be overlooked because the concepts are poor. To use one of Dennis Weaver's famous expressions, "Well, there you go." As I say, there can be no possibility of winning or achieving a mutually satisfying "draw" with these people. Not even when imperfections to Season One are acknowledged. The relative strength or weakness of concepts is a subjective judgement. It depends on personal taste. It is not something that can be wielded as some absolute brickbat. The fans may say that monsters are unpopular and ill-advised in use, that Abe Mandell or whoever was wrong to ask for monsters in the episodes of Season 2, but how much of an absolute truth is that? The Cantina scenes in Star Wars (with all of those creatures, many of them men in monster suits) are immensely popular. Less than a year after Season 2 of Space: 1999, bipedal, non-humanoid alien denizens of multitudinous worlds were incorporated into the body of accepted science fiction/fantasy archetypes and part of the then Zeitgeist surrounding fantastic movie and television entertainment. The existence of monsters in a work of science fiction/fantasy is not an indictable offence. And it should not be so in Space: 1999. It may be different from the ethereal ways of depicting "the other" in Space: 1999's first season, but it is not intrinsically, i.e. in and of itself, an invalid way, or even an inferior way, of portraying the otherworldly prospectus of that television show. Or any television show.

But round and round like hamsters in a cage. That is the way that things are in this "debate". The bottom line is that these people just… do… not… like Season Two, and after nearly forty years, who is to stand in their way of espousing that dislike time and time and time again? They will try to justify that dislike and the sweeping and abrasive ways in which they undertake to qualify that dislike. I have said that they are not nice people- and they are not. They are lacking in empathy. They are lacking fair-mindedness and a sense of "fair play". And in my earliest dealings with them, over the first 8 years or so that I was in the fan movement, I found them to be relentlessly confrontational and argumentative, wilfully putting words into my mouth or into my pen, spinning most-negative-possible interpretations to things that I say. And when not doing that to me or to other aficionados of Season Two, they turn against each other. Yes, they do.

In one of my first years in fandom I simply said in one of my communiques to the fan club's newsletter that I did not like the U.S. west coast location for a convention, it being a long, long travelling distance from where I live, and I was almost immediately accused of petulantly boycotting the convention. Did I say that such was my intention? Where did I say that? I did not. It was inferred that I meant to say that. But… I… did… not say it.

Some years later, I commented in another letter to the fan club that after having Barry Morse as a solitary representative of the television show's acting talent for some then-recent conventions and after Mr. Morse having stated openly that he does not have all that complimenting an outlook on the television series, Space: 1999, that maybe further convention guests should be considered. To bring some different points of view to the table. I was accused of insulting Mr. Morse. Where did I insult him? I just recommended having some other people to the next convention, people who were more favourably disposed toward our favourite television programme. There was no implied insult of him as an actor or as a person. But I was interpreted as being insulting.

I enjoyed Barry Morse's portrayal of Professor Bergman. It is one of my greatest regrets that I did not go to see him and meet him when he was appearing as Scrooge in a Theatre New Brunswick Christmas Carol presentation in 1980, that I calved to a friend's intense disliking of him and his style of acting. I had a videotape recording years ago of his appearance at a 1982 Massachusetts Space: 1999 fan convention, and I found him thoroughly enjoyable as a speaker.

Now, I am not going to argue that I was a paragon of tactfulness at age 20 or 23. But if I was going to insult someone, if I really meant to do so, would I not just incontrovertibly say it? But the fans were always misconstruing my words and intentions. They did so again in 2000 in my final disastrous foray into their group. Using metaphors is lost on them. Perhaps wilfully on their part, this is so. They are so literal minded. And the only interpretation that they may be prepared to make is always the most negative one, the one that will make me (or whoever) look boorish or menacing. The only menace that I pose, that I have ever posed, to them, has been to possibly "shake up" the complacency that they feel in their posturing regarding the second season or the solidarity of their "group-think". But they dealt with me very efficiently in 2000. I have not gone back to conversing with them and never will.

My mother and father set the standard for maturity in adults. My peers at junior high school set the standard for immaturity. For the most part, very much for the most part, these people act much more in tandem with the latter. Sadly, I have come upon attitudes like theirs in the fandoms for other entertainments, including cartoons. It has exasperated me. It has also, I admit, made me bitter and, I suppose, petulant by times. Bitterness begets bitterness. Petulance begets petulance. If they had been in my place, my mother and father would probably have just forgone even venturing onto the Internet, rather than put themselves in the line of fire as I did. But when one has insights that one wishes to share, it is difficult to just "hold back" and be totally silent. As regards Space: 1999, since 2000, I have more or less kept to my own place on the Internet, said what I have to say there, and refrained from directly engaging with those people. Alas, I did not decide the same for my involvement in discussion groups for cartoons. Not for many more years.


It has been a busy past few weeks at work. I have DVDs and Blu-Ray discs coming in with the delivery of my daily mail, plus books from my past that I have been seeking of late to reacquire. Among the DVDs and Blu-Ray discs to come to my mailbox has been the "taster" for the Space: 1999- Season 2 Blu-Ray release next year, said "taster" consisting of the two-part episode, "The Bringers of Wonder", along with Destination: Moonbase Alpha. Of course, my Blu-Ray disc arrived later than did those for most other Space: 1999-interested North American videophiles. Of course it did. Such is my Karma.

Before I had the Blu-Ray disc in my possession, I could only rely on the impressions of other people posted on Internet forums and Facebook groups. The word was that the audio quality was deficient, on par with the disappointing audio mix for "The Metamorph" in that episode's presentation as a bonus item on the first season Blu-Ray set. The music for most of "The Metamorph" was weak in its bonus presentation, barely audible when there were sound effects. Distinctly inferior to what is on the A & E DVD and to what is offered in European DVD releases. I believed the reported problem, largely because the lack of 5.1 audio track on the "Bringers of Wonder" Blu-Ray had been noted by many reviewers. Network Distributing was not responding to this complaint for several days, understandably causing myself (and others) to think that what had been the case with "The Metamorph" and now ostensibly also with "The Bringers of Wonder" was to be the expected norm for the second season. That evidently mono audio remixes were being done to de-emphasise Derek Wadsworth's wonderfully expressive music. Presumably because somebody thinks that the music in "traditional" audio mixes of second season episodes is "too intrusive". I know for a fact that there is a sizable number of people of that belief, or perhaps I should say, opinion. On the same day, the very same day, that reports of problematical audio were being posted, the Space: 1999 Facebook group was replete with derisive opinion about Wadsworth's music. The haters of Season 2 are ubiquitous, especially in high echelons of fandom. The "movers and shakers", as it were. The people who are listened-to, given the lion's share of credence. Season 2, we keep being told, has no proponents within fandom, or none that should be "taken seriously". And the people who produce the fan publications, the documentaries, the published source books, the current ranges of published fiction, all espouse that view. Season 2 is illegitimate, ought never to have been made, and anyone who came to Space: 1999 by way of Season 2 is irrelevant. That is precisely the message of The Space: 1999 Documentary produced by Fanderson. Gerry Anderson himself avowed the non-existence of any Season 2 fandom anywhere in the world. But what does all of this have to do with Blu-Ray audio tracks of Season 2 episodes? Just that there are highly influential people who would be content to see Season 2 doctored. They would prefer not to see it released at all, but if it must be, why not make it less "objectionable"? It is a ridiculous proposition, to be sure. But audio tracks have been remixed to reduce the prominence of music (the Blu-Ray release of On Her Majesty's Secret Service is an egregious example of such). I have been underwhelmed by the music levels in Superman and in the 5.1 audio mixes of several James Bond movies. There is a precedent for it, and the comments on the audio quality of the "taster" Blu-Ray disc for Space: 1999 had me thinking the worst (after having to endure Space: 1999 fandom's worst rancour, one cannot really fault me for being so-inclined).

But I am happy to say that on receiving the "taster" and thoroughly watched it, the audio, although mono, is perfectly correct. The levels of music, speech, and sound effects are all the same as they have ever been, dating all of the way back to the CBC's initial airing of the episode's two parts in 1977. I do not know what did happen with "The Metamorph", but the problematical audio mix in that case has not had a repetition. I still believe that someone did judge the music in "The Metamorph" to be "too intrusive" and adjusted it in the Blu-Ray mono mix of that episode. Whether there will be a correction of it in the eventual second season Blu-Ray set is unknown at this point in time. But I can report that Network Distributing has announced that 5.1 audio tracks will be on the full-season set. That announcement came later this past week after some days of speculation about the second season episodes' audio. It is good news, absolutely. Actually, if all episodes sound in mono as "The Bringers of Wonder" does, I would be content with that. But I will, for what little it may be worth, state emphatically that Season Two haters should be kept as far away as possible from this Blu-Ray release. They are blinkered as regards Season 2's merits and are jaundiced when it comes to Season 2's presumed faults, exaggerating such beyond rational recognition. Much of what they quibble about, comes from a wilful misconstruing of episodes' concepts or story plot developments. And from their inveterate hatred of Fred Freiberger.

Oh, I have no doubt that there will be negativity in the bonus features, as there was from Sylvia Anderson in one of the bonus features for the Season One Blu-Ray set. The precedent exists. But the negativity should be presented as opinion of individuals, not as universally accepted, condescendingly absolutist fact. Word is that The Space: 1999 Documentary was considered but rejected by A & E for the DVDs of Space: 1999 because of the nature and extent of its hostility toward Season 2. I know that commerce today has gone down some bizarre paths on occasion, but surely there is some steadfast remnant of the principle that one does not insult customers for buying one's product. One does not say that this product that has just been purchased, is contemptible and illegitimate, and that by extension that the buyer has poor judgement or taste in wanting the product. I would hope that Network Distributing, whatever be its association with Fanderson in compiling the Blu-Ray set, will exercise discretion based on this principle and will reject anything coming from Fanderson (or elsewhere) that declares Season 2 to be a bastardised work with no following whatsoever. The Sylvia Anderson featurette was an uncomfortable experience, but it was presented as one person's opinion, not framed within an overall narrative of documentary-styled attack.

Time will tell what the Blu-Ray set of Season 2 will offer in its audio and its special features. After so long a wait, I hope and pray that we will not be disappointed. We the beleaguered proponents of Season 2 and Space: 1999 as a whole. It is one television series, with stylistically different seasons. Not unlike Spiderman and Rocket Robin Hood, actually. The essential elements to its prospectus are present in each of its seasons. Runaway Moon, alien worlds with impressions of Gaia, explorations of alien environments, strange life-forms, Eagles, Martin Landau as Koenig and Barbara Bain as Dr. Russell, etc.. Space: 1999 is not just the Victor Bergman's philosophising of the week television show. I will reiterate that I respect and like Barry Morse and Professor Bergman, but Space: 1999 and its appeal to me was more, much more, than the Bergman character and Mr. Morse's contributions to him, laudable as they are.

Bring on the Blu-Ray set.

If I have been remiss in commenting on the video quality of the "taster", I do apologise. It is excellent on the two episodes, passable on Destination: Moonbase Alpha. On the latter, the colours flutter as does the brightness, and the film elements show blemishes. But I am so very pleased to have it. Destination: Moonbase Alpha holds special memories for me. Listening to the song over the closing credits sends me back to that late night (or I should say, early morning) in May of 1980 when I heard it before retiring to bed, my father arriving home from work not long after that. And the CBS-FOX videocassette release of it in 1983 was one of many highlights of that year, socially one of my life's very best years. The best, I tend to think.

Busy at work though I have been, I have been dedicating some time to adding some more comic book cover images to Era 2 of my autobiography. I hope to have those images ready to include in the autobiography sometime this coming week.

My e-mail programme has lost everything dating back to September 12. I have no explanation as to why. I have lost the e-mails of several correspondents. If I cannot find anyone's e-mail address, I will extend my Holiday greetings here. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2014.


Canadians continue to disappoint me in their deficient interest in my Website outside of Bugs & Tweety and The Littlest Hobo. The saga continues.

And the fans of Space: 1999 never fail to "live down" to their reputation (to me, at least) as a miserable group of people wallowing in their "high-minded", pseudo-intellectual disdain and hatred for the second production block of their favourite television series. They do not even desist in their "Year 2 bashing" for the celebration of Christmas. Sure enough, the Blu-Ray release of "The Bringers of Wonder" has people doing "frame-grabs" and making disparaging comments on the perceived lack of quality in visual effects. As if the first season did not have its share of sub-par special effects (2-dimensional "cardboard" Eagle cut-outs, anyone?). And there is some... some... person (I will desist in the spirit of Christmas from using anything more descriptive to express my pique at his gall) doing "frame-grabbing" from second-season episodes, systematically looking for images that can be "made fun of" and putting them on the Facebook group for the "bashers" to "have at" with gusto. Day after day, episode after episode, this person does so, and nobody ever tires of declaring Season 2 rancid tripe from beginning to end. Heaven forbid that there are monsters, or that aliens do not dress in modern Earth fashion, or that Martin Landau yells or looks terrified. All aliens have to be humanoid or ethereal or dress in robes or uniforms, and anything other than a poker-faced expression is "over-the-top" "camp". Etc.. Etc.. Etc..

Moving onward, if anyone is interested, I am close to adding the images of Gold Key Looney Tunes comic book covers to my autobiography's second era, an era which is already very "loaded" in the images department. As indeed it should be, for that was when I as most impressionable when it came to visual stimuli, as in that of my surroundings and that of entertainment presentments. And purchased products, also.

I lament the loss of three months' e-mail, but hopefully such is the last calamity to befall me for awhile. I finally succeeded in acquiring a pristine-quality copy of The Making of Space: 1999, and I also found the Alien Movie Novel for sale on eBay for $5. Time will tell if that was a "good buy"; the Alien Movie Novel is still en route to me. My hope is to reacquire in full the collection of books that I used to have prior to purchasing my first video playback device, the RCA VideoDisc Player, in late 1981. This pursuit will be ongoing in the year ahead, but thanks to a few eBay sellers who were vending "lots" of books, I have essentially regained every Star Trek book I had in mid-1981. And I have ameliorated my collection of vintage Space: 1999 books to I think the best possible quality, given their age. Near-mint copies of Moon Odyssey, Collision Course, Astral Quest, and Alien Seed (Pocket Book editions) have recently been acquired, and I have Orbit Books editions of everything up to and including the elusive Earthfall, plus Warner and Star editions of the Season 2 books. Also giving hope of improved Karma is the mildness of winter in the weeks of December. There has been one intense snowstorm, followed by a week or more of above-zero temperatures, warm rains, and warm winds, removing most of the snow except for the ploughed piles fringing people's yards. I pray that this winter will at least be normal (normal in the sense of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s) with regard to snowfall and temperature. I cannot bear the thought of another winter like last year's.

I hope my readers did have a Merry Christmas and that the new year will be a happy and, above all, healthy one.

December 27, 2014.


Here is this morning's Space: 1999 Facebook Group discussion. Another day, more of the same. Par for the course.

"Been watching the reruns of the original Star Trek. ... And I must say that Space: 1999 stands the test of time better!"

"Not Year Two though!"

"Year Two is probably about as good as Star Trek!"

"No way."

"Year 2 of Space: 1999 is about the same quality as year 3 of Star Trek."

"Fred Freiberger sucks."

"Totally agree. Space: 1999 is a sheer work of art; Year 2 is a let down in terms of continuity and scripting, but the level of special effects and miniatures are still world-class on a ground-breaking level."

"Maybe in terms of writing, but I think Year Two's effects and set designs aged better than Star Trek. Star Trek looks dated. Space: 1999 is timeless."

This is the calibre of commentary to be found in the Space: 1999 Group and in Space: 1999 fandom in general. I corrected the poor punctuation and inconsistent capitalisation. I wish that I could correct more than that, but these people are incorrigible. I was in their organisation for many years, even having a column in a newsletter, and it was like bashing my head repeatedly against a wall of bricks. And it is over and over and over and over and over again with them. For close to 40 years, the wheel of hatred, resentment, and pridefully blinkered closed-mindedness behind a thin veneer of quasi-intellectualism, keeps on spinning and spinning. Every single day. Every single lousy day.

Anyway, I have been busily expanding my autobiography's Era 2. Work on it continues. Its expansion is greatly deserved, because it was so huge an influence on me now and evermore, and the people who were a part of it with me continue to astonish and edify me in their fond and detailed recall of me as they knew me all that time ago. I made an impression on most of the people I knew there, an impression that has withstood the passing of thirty-seven years. The one big impression I made subsequently in Fredericton is one that up-turned noses and activated frowns and sneers and proclamations of the four-letter word starting with the alphabet's sixth letter. This was the case with anyone on whom I made any impression at all. To the lion's share of people in Fredericton, I was a forgettable waste of space, worthy only as someone to belittle. Not unlike how I was treated in Space: 1999 fandom, actually.

But the Douglastown portion of my life, Era 2, endures in the hearts and minds of the people who were with me in school rooms, on the school playground, at home, and in the neighbourhood. It was a special place and a special time, and it is a pleasure to ameliorate the chronicle of it. I have also re-edited Era 2 to make it more chronological as it progresses, as opposed to the rather scattered, jumpy telling of experiences of those five years, that I had originally written back in 1998.

All for today, January 17, 2015.


Here is the question. How, just how, do I improve the traffic statistics for my Website outside of The Bugs & Tweety Show and The Littlest Hobo?

I have nothing whatsoever against those television shows. They have had an enormous place in my life, and their meaning to me in undeniable. But the Web pages regarding them are a small fraction of my Website.

Spiderman was made in Canada. Super-heroes now are more popular than they have ever been. Why is it unreasonable of me to expect, to want my Spiderman Page, into which I invested tremendous time and work, to be seen more than once a day? Space: 1999 was networked in Canada. It probably received better treatment by Canadian broadcasters than it did with those of any other country. Why cannot The Space: 1999 Page receive two "hits" per day from Canadians (it registers only that much with the population of the whole world). My university essays on The Day the Earth Stood Still and Alien receive more traffic than either my Spiderman Page or my Space: 1999 Page. With the sheer amount of work put into them, I cannot help but feel despondent.

The Flintstones Page receives four times as many visits, and the visitors come from Google Search. Why is Google Search so obliging with that and not with Spiderman? I have tried with Facebook to augment the visibility of my Spiderman Page, but the Facebook Group dedicated to Spiderman blocked my Hyperlink from appearing. And so it goes.

I am sick and tired of looking at the Canadian views to my Website and finding that they are for The Bugs & Tweety Show and The Littlest Hobo Pages. Day after day after day after day. At most, I only receive about 20 "hits" to my Website from Canada each day, and two-thirds of them are Bugs & Tweety/Littlest Hobo. And I am reasonably certain that most of the Hobo "hits" are for people wanting to know when the dog died. The remainder of my Website's "hits" are either for the television listings Web pages or possibly for one of the other Televised Looney Tunes Web pages, or maybe for The Rocket Robin Hood Page (it, too, has better "hits" statistics than The Spiderman Page).

I have almost finished the augmenting of McCorry's Memoirs Era 2. Further paragraphs have been added and still more images. Thank goodness that it is now the era of high-speed Internet. I shudder to think of what would happen if someone with "dial-up" Internet were to access my Era 2 memoirs. But the visual aspect to them is key to their effectiveness. Whenever I look at them, that cherished part of my lifetime springs to life.

I have some further additions for Era 3, which will be forthcoming in weeks to come.

All for today, January 25, 2015.


The madness continues.

Warner Brothers has announced a DVD of cartoon shorts under the title of LOONEY TUNES MUSICAL MASTERPIECES.

And here are the cartoons to be included on that DVD.

"A Corny Concerto"
"Page Miss Glory"
"Rabbit of Seville"
"Katnip Kollege"
"One Froggy Evening"
"High Note"
"Rhapsody Rabbit"
"Pigs in a Polka"
"What’s Opera, Doc?"
"The Three Little Bops"
"Hillbilly Hare"
"Rhapsody in Rivets"
"Pizzicato Pussycat"
"Back Alley Oproar"
"Nelly’s Folly"
"Holiday For Shoestrings"
"I Love to Singa"
"Lights Fantastic"

A feeling of deja-vu on reading this is understandable. Every one of these cartoons has seen a previous DVD release. And there has been Blu-Ray release, also, for many of them. I am not going to delve into the argument over whether all of these cartoons qualify as "masterpieces", "musical" or otherwise. I really cannot be bothered doing that anymore.

The American economy is constantly improving, so I keep hearing on the news as the Canadian dollar fades in value. So, Warner Brothers' tired, old refrain of it being, "...the economy, stupid," can no longer resonate as the reason for refusing to continue remastering and releasing the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. It just looks to me now like a refusal to put any effort or any money toward preserving the full legacy of Chuck Jones, Mel Blanc, Friz Freleng, and Robert McKimson (and, yes, Clampett, Avery, Tashlin, for those people who appreciate their work). Not even in this year, Bugs Bunny's seventy-fifth anniversary, does Warner Brothers think (or care) that there might be a viable market for a set of new-to-DVD-or-Blu-Ray cartoons. Warner Brothers did not even bother releasing LOONEY TUNES MUSICAL MASTERPIECES as a Blu-Ray for the cartoons on it that had not been previously released in high-definition. The whole thing looks like a perfunctory effort to bring in some revenue from casual buyers. I would even be prepared to bet that the speed and/or pitch problem that has marred "Rabbit of Seville" since its initial DVD release still has not been corrected.

Thanks to David Sudbury for calling my attention to it being Bugs Bunny's seventy-fifth anniversary. I would have missed that fact entirely, for Warner Brothers is not emphasising it at all. Neither are cartoon animation pundits. All that they care about from Warner Brothers is a second volume of Tom and Jerry cartoons, which were not even productions of Warner Brothers!

Why, I do certainly remember Bugs Bunny's fiftieth birthday celebrations! The prime-time television special. The sticker book. The colourful drinking cups. The revamp of The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show. The special syndicated television series released that year, Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends. "Sell-through video" was still in its infancy, and there was admittedly nothing new released to pre-recorded videotape that year, though all previous commercial videocassette releases were re-packaged and discounted, and Time-Life offered them in a special TIME-LIFE LOONEY TUNES VIDEO LIBRARY range.

The very least that Warner Brothers could do would be a single DVD and/or Blu-Ray of newly released (to those media) Bugs Bunny cartoons. I would just have to conclude that Bugs Bunny is deliberately being left to die in public consciousness, and the cartoons not on DVD or Blu-Ray left to mold away in some dusty vault. I do not deny that the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION was a disappointing venture for Warner Brothers, but the wrong advice was given and listened-to. The LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS DVD range could still be continued and "buttressed-up" with improved releases of the first two DVDs released therein, for proper aspect ratios for most of the cartoons.

But why "harp" on this? I am the lone voice crying out in the wilderness. It may be Bugs' seventy-fifth anniversary, but Warner Brothers does not care. I doubt that the cartoon aficionados care either, for they have all of their precious Bob Clampett-directed pre-1948 cartoons. It has been suggested that I boycott Warner Brothers over this, but why bother? I practically never buy anything from Warner Brothers now anyway. I think I bought but two Blu-Rays from Warner Brothers last year, The Odd Couple and The Time Machine, and there is as yet nothing from that company on the Blu-Ray release schedules for 2015 that is of any interest to me. I would not want to antagonise Warner Brothers because I am hosting a Website with a huge amount of Warner Brothers cartoon images. Even though my use of those images does fall under Fair Use Provisions, I do not wish to "rock the boat". And again, as I so often lament, my Website does not receive the traffic to be in any way effective in rallying the public.

People must be buying these "triple-dip" or "quadruple-dip" releases for Warner Brothers to continue repackaging the same-old remastered cartoons, but not enough people are making purchases for Warner Brothers to consider further digital remastering of the cartoon catalogue. It is a Foghorn... I mean, forlorn, hope to see "Hyde and Go Tweet", "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide", "Beanstalk Bunny", "Hare Brush", etc. on optical digital videodisc. And as I have said, the Internet-based organised fandom for the cartoons is as much responsible for this sorry situation as are the bean-counters at Warner Brothers.

By the way, I see that cartoon fandom is still using the discussion forum name that was proposed by me back in 1998. I suppose that such may be seen as some semblance of flattery from the group that had no use for me and my ways of looking at the cartoons and remembering the compilations of them for television.

I continue to work on expanding my Era 2 memoirs. Just a few more paragraphs to add. I should hope that my autobiography makes me easier to understand, for those people who want to understand. I have always remembered the person who e-mailed me many years ago to complain that after reading my whole autobiography he still did not understand me. I sincerely hope that I have put that problem to rest. And any people who would not "carry a torch" for entertainments that affected them so very much (viscerally, aesthetically, nostalgically) in their cherished youth, them- and them especially- I would have the ultimate difficulty in understanding and appreciating.

All for today, the final day (hurrah!) of January, 2015.


Today, February 1, 2015, my Littlest Hobo Page has had a surge in traffic, mostly from Britain. Evidently, a Hyperlink to it was posted to a discussion forum called Digital Spy. Here is "the rub". 40 "hits" today for The Littlest Hobo Page, and not one, not a single, solitary one, of those visitors has proceeded onward to look at more of my Website. How un-curious! How relentlessly single-minded!

This has been my "beef" with Hobo-related visitors for years now. They never- and I mean never- bother to delve deeper into my Website. Not even when I put that banner announcing my other Web pages at the very top of the Hobo Page. Again, how single-minded can people be? We all know that their only interest is the ultimate fate of the dog.

For me, a Hobo Web page visit amounts to no visit at all. Sad, but that is the way that it is.

I also see that the Space: 1999 Facebook Group has chosen, in its infinite preeminent wisdom, to zero in to the Season 2 episode, "Devil's Planet", for today's angle of attack.

"So it's "Devil's Planet" today. Some great performances, but the cracks are truly showing in the production quality, IMO. Something weird. When the prisoners get the fake news from Elnor, one of the prisoners is told that his wife has just given birth to a son. So, there's two options here. 1) The prisoner's wife had the child with another man!!! In which case the prisoner in question maybe a little annoyed??!! LOL. Or 2) The prisoner in question had not been in the penal colony for 9 months, and he would then know that all on Elnor were dead as it's intimated that prisoners have been sent to Elnor for some time... Can you say plot holes ?? LOL."

I left in the misspelling of Ellna. It shows the ignorance of the "reviewer". A modicum of research on the Internet would have helped to make at least this aspect of his critique accurate.

But he is wrong in his premise here. At no time in the episode is it said exactly how long that it has been since Ellna became a planet of death, or how long that particular prisoner had been sentenced to the penal colony of Entra. There is every reason to suppose that it has not been very long in the past that the scourge of death struck Ellna. Elizia's guards have a tour of duty, and it is unlikely that their tour of duty would be longer than 6 to 9 months, and with no contact from Ellna, they would have become suspicious of Elizia before too long. Ergo, Ellna has been deadly to its humanoid life-form and Elizia has been lying to her guards and prisoners for less than 9 months- and the prisoner in question came to Entra after he had impregnated his wife and a short while before the death that swept across Ellna. But if this is unsatisfying to the irrationally critical viewer (who would have every episode "bogged down" with tedious exposition), perhaps the prisoner's wife was artificially inseminated? It is an alien culture. Surely, such a thing might be possible. What the fandom of Space: 1999 continues ad infinitum to do is to think in Earth terms about every planet, every society that the Alphans encounter, and from that premise, to critically tear into an episode's concept or story development. Never mind that Space: 1999 was about journeying to "worlds beyond belief". Never mind that Bergman said in the second episode that the Alphans have to start thinking differently, if they are going to come to terms with space. That their Earth-centric mindset had to be jettisoned. Ironically, the rank and file of the fandom for Space: 1999 are unable or unwilling to adjust their thought patterns accordingly.

One has to wonder what the fans' attachment is to Space: 1999, anyway. It cannot be nostalgic, because if it were, there would be an overriding love for it that would preclude such constant "griping" criticism. And if it were nostalgic, then surely Season 2 should benefit more than Season 1 from nostalgia because it was of a more sentimental nature as regards characterisation and comradeship, and with music more evocative of the "feel" of the time of when Space: 1999 was originally broadcast.

But anyway, the "plot hole" cited is not really a "plot hole". "Devil's Planet", even though Helena and most of the regular characters are not seen, is one of the better constructed episodes of Season 2, and the Ellna/Entra culture is a fascinating one and deserving of much rumination, study, and even fan-fictional extrapolation.

And so it goes. Around and around we go some more.


The rabid dogs of the Space: 1999 Facebook Group are "at it again". Another day, another "bitch-fest". This time, a photograph of the ITC second season promotional booklet triggered the outpouring of bile. Here is most of it.

"Season 2 sucked."

"Bigger, better... If only."

"Yeah, if only they hadn't gutted it!"

"Smaller, worse, and less exciting"

"A real disaster."

"Crrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaap."

"I enjoyed Season 2."

"Derek Wadsworth's score was a real cheese fest. Where was the grandeur of Barry Gray's orchestra?"

"I hate just about everything about Year 2, but I actually rather like the music in the intro. Taken on its own, it's a really cool piece. It just doesn't set the same kind of mood, but that was the whole point, I guess."

"Without the 'science' of Series 1 and with the addition of 'foam-monsters', it took on a shallower kids theme. Why do people fark things up, still?"

"Ask Fred Frieberger! He's an idiot for messing it up."

"I tried to give it another chance a few years ago, and couldn't take it. Starting with all the unexplained changes and missing characters, all the way down to the silly rubber monsters and overall tackiness. It's just too bad to swallow. Come on, by the end, they were shooting sets with no ceiling- and letting us see that. And using holes in a wall to simulate screens. It's hard to take that seriously, specially after the production values and concepts of 'Year 1'."

"Sad what it turned to. It was a cool show."

"Bigger, Better, more Exciting Than Ever! Year 2. Not hardly."

"With all the shows that have been rebooted in the last 10 years or so, it has come to my mind that we need to think of Space: 1999- Season 2 as a reboot that just didn't quite work."

"That is how I think of it. Same premise, same ships, but different approach. Also, different characters, and even the characters that remained felt like they were different people."

"Not to mention the different sets, music, tone, etc.."

"That is exactly how I think of the Galactica reboot. There were so many changes that, even though I did give it a chance, I couldn't take the changes. Especially the change in the overall story and them getting rid of Stu Phillips great music."

"To be fair, it was the American distributors of the show that demanded the extreme changes; they felt that "Year One" was a bit "too British" (to use their words), which contributed to falling ratings. Admittedly, Freiberger took a lot of unnecessary risks in the design, music, monster stories, etc., serving to further send the show into rapid decline by late 1977. On the other hand, personally I did enjoy the new theme music, the costumes, increased amount of human interaction between Koenig and Helena (who looked more attractive than she did in Year One). Biggest drawback for me: Maya. I never found myself drawn to her like I did to Helena."

"What I missed the most was the loss of the Mysterious Unknown Force that seemed to be guiding Alpha in its journey."

"Again, blame ITC's head honchos."

"Okay then, If you were in charge of Space: 1999 and you knew the ratings for Season One were falling, how would you fix it let's say if Fred hadn't come aboard?"

"Season One for adults, Season Two for children."

It kept right on going, but I am stopping here.

Now, I ask my readers. Is this the discussion of an intellectual group of people? Is it really?

After nearly forty years, they still cannot move themselves beyond this petty brickbat-pounding and scapegoating and just plain immaturity. Season 2 for children, indeed! Is Taybor lusting after Maya for children? Or the seductive dance in "One Moment of Humanity"? Or Brian the Brain's murdering of his master and the crew of the 1996 Star Mission?

Season 2 was not a reboot. It was a reformatting and a continuation, but it was still the same television series. Space: 1999 was syndicated all through the 1980s and 1990s with both seasons included in the syndication package. It is one television series. Spiderman (1967-70) is one television series. Rocket Robin Hood is one television series. Etc..

So what if a few characters disappeared without explanation! The same thing happened in UFO. Where were Freeman, Ellis, Ford, and Bradley? It was left to the viewer's imagination to explain the missing characters. Comparing the differences between Season 1 and Season 2 of Space: 1999 to the "re-booted" Battlestar Galactica is just plain fatuousness. These people are so far gone that they cannot see how crazily exaggerated their mutterings are.

The two seasons as presented on film (leaving out all of the fan fiction and the Powys Media oeuvre, etc.) can be reconciled. All that is required is imagination and some healthy suspension of disbelief. Attributes that these people are totally lacking. And really, now, how many viewers actually did perceive the "arc" of the Mysterious Unknown Force during the initial run of Space: 1999? Before it was flagged by a David Hirsch article in Starlog in 1979 or 1980? I did not. None of my friends did. Neither my parents, the adults that Season 1 was supposedly "made for". There is an awful amount of revisionist history being written. And that is in between the belching of "sucked" and "crap".

The "hole-in-wall" screen thing never bothered me. It was effective. Optically superimposed images have their own sets of problems. Showing the set ceiling also happened in Season 1 (I recall a scene in Medical Centre in "The Full Circle" where the ceiling was partly gone). And the berating of Derek Wadsworth's expressive music is completely subjective. Nobody ever, ever "points out" the gaping flaws in these people's matter-of-fact pronouncements of half of their favourite television opus being thoroughly despicable.

The accusations of tackiness being thrown around. Both seasons of Space: 1999 looked far, far more impressive than Star Trek or Doctor Who. Space: 1999 did, however, have a budget. Season 2 also needed to be produced faster than Season 1, which had an unusually protracted production. These people will carp about "hole-in-the-wall" monitors on alien spaceships and conveniently overlook the attack on Alpha by the Dorcons, or the Eagle crash on planet Taura, or the impressively realised world of the chrysalid beings. As regards Season 1, those cardboard Eagle "cut-outs" sure do look "tacky". How about the explosion of Ryan's Eagle in the supposedly unassailable "Black Sun"? Or Jarak's silver trousers? Or the "jump-cut" explosions in the "Alpha Child" spaceship battle. Or Luke Ferro's camera? Some things look cheap. Some things do not. Space: 1999 did have a budget.

But for me, its imagination was superlative. The worlds in it captured my imagination. Psychon. The planet of the rocks. 2120 Earth. Luton. The planet in "The AB Chrysalis". The asteroid Kalthon. Ellna and Entra. These were worlds that had me captivated and, yes, made me think. If these people do not care to think about them and ignorantly declare all of Season 2 as fit for drinking rather than thinking, why should their point of view be considered the correct one? Or indeed the only one? There were worlds in the first season that also had a sense of wonder about them. Ultima Thule. Retha. The "War Games" planet. But one set of worlds cannot be "all that and a bag of chips" while the other set unworthy of any acceptance or deliberation.

These are people who read my Boy Meets Alpha memoirs and then have turned around and declared Season 2 to be "crap", completely dismissive of all that I said.

Season 2-hating fans of Space: 1999 are some of my least favourite people on the planet, with fans of Bob Clampett being among the others. Their smugness, the conceit of their group dynamic, is so very galling. And hurtful. A television series as wonderful, as beautiful, as Space: 1999 is, deserves so much better than this group of boors. It is a hurtful travesty. Karma always punishes me if I start to entertain arrogant thoughts, and it confounds me how Karma always seems to smile upon these foul-spirited people. They would of course say that it is because they are right. But look at their behaviour. Viciously berating a man who has been dead for twelve years (that man does have a family). Arrogance is arrogance. Even if there is some degree of verity behind its posturing. I do not deny that Season 2 had a smaller budget, but it still was vividly imaginative and entertaining. Much more so than most, if not all, of what was being offered on television by Hollywood at the time. It and Season 1 both were about space, boldly about space, about exploration and discovery in space. Star Wars was set in space, but it was not about space. Space was just a setting for its conflict. Space: 1999, Star Trek, and to some extent Doctor Who are the television shows that that are about space, Space: 1999 being the most vivid and most audacious among them.

It was cancelled, yes. "Year 1" was cancelled. "Year 2" was cancelled. From what I have been able to gather in my researches, most television stations in North America showed Season 1 with most of the strongest episodes aired early in the run. "Dragon's Domain" was second in many cities. "Death's Other Dominion", "Force of Life", "Mission of the Darians", and "War Games" were also offered rather early. A few months into the run then came the likes of "Voyager's Return", "Matter of Life and Death", "Ring Around the Moon", "The Full Circle", and "Another Time, Another Place", and with them viewer interest began to flag and then to drop substantially. Enough for Sir Lew Grade to declare Space: 1999 cancelled. The bottom line here is that ITC and/or the television broadcasters knew that a sizable percentage of the production block's earlier episodes were weak, or at least not as potentially successful at sustaining viewer interest as the ones chosen to launch the television series in the autumn of 1975. If Season 1 were the be-all-and-end-all, then surely it should have had more "heavy hitters". For what it may be worth, whenever I tried to show first season episodes like "Guardian of Piri" and "Missing Link" to friends, they wanted to leave part of the way through the episode. "Year 1" was cancelled because of audience response like that. Not every episode can be a "Dragon's Domain" or a "War Games". My parents likewise were less than enamoured by many of Season 1's episodes. Season 2, by contrast, was consistently enjoyed. And nobody, I mean, nobody, noticed the missing ceiling. I still would not know about it if some, some... fan... had not freeze-framed their Blu-Ray of "The Bringers of Wonder".

Anyway, that is my response to this latest barrage of hostility toward Season Two of Space: 1999. Not that such should come as any surprise. I did say (did I not?) that with Network Distributing about to release Season Two on Blu-Ray, the fan movement will spare no hateful remark in endeavouring to discredit it, and discourage people from watching it with open-mindedness and suspended disbelief. Forty years later, they cannot "let it go". I will leave the ultimate judgement upon them to my readers, all of whom are way, way more enlightened than "Space-fen" could ever hope to be seen to be.

All for today, February 10, 2015.


In the past few days, my part of the world crippled with exceedingly heavy snow, I have been spending my time as a "cooped-up" New Brunswicker watching YouTube and its counterparts, in addition to the work I continue to do on my autobiography.

I have watched a number of episodes of The Littlest Hobo on YouTube. Who would have thought that watching The Littlest Hobo would only become possible via YouTube? But such is the way of things now. Vintage television is next to impossible to find through television broadcast. Yes, even The Littlest Hobo.

The Littlest Hobo is quality family entertainment from a time when the inherent goodness of people prevailed over adversity, with the aid of a wandering hero. Yes, a hero dog in its case. The people who made that television series had heart. They were good people. And there was much creativity in the breadth of situations that the peregrinating canine encountered. It is such a shame that the traffic to my Littlest Hobo Web page has become fixated upon one thing and one thing only. The fate of the dog. It used to be that I would receive e-mail from persons interested in this or that episode. Now, The Littlest Hobo is just a past Canadian cultural touchstone of interest only to people wanting to put some closure upon it by learning what became of the character of London and the dogs that portrayed him.

Sad. Very sad. But this is a world in which everything is disposable past a certain "expiry date". Not even The Littlest Hobo is everlasting as an opus of some appeal.

I would note that my Littlest Hobo Page is the only part of my Website to ever receive an award, and I have friends made through it. I have a good rapport with its producer, and one of its guest actors and I are friends on Facebook. It is a special television show for these reasons, certainly. And for the creativity of its episodes and of its variation on the archetype of the wandering, do-righting outsider.

If I bemoan the concentration of Canadian "hits" to my Website, upon it, this is because of the single-purpose motivation of those visitors, and, yes, the lack of interest from my countrymen in my overall body of work, which really ought to be relevant and significant first and foremost to Canadians. Canadians who watched the same television networks and many of the same television programming line-ups as I did.

Anyway.

I have completed my latest expansion of my Era 2 memoirs and am proceeding to made additions to Era 3. Mostly some paragraphs putting some of my experiences in a more salient context as regards my development and how I came to think as I do now. It is clearer than ever to me now how much the changes in my life in the late 1970s impacted my world-view and set me on a course of life-long appreciation, and nostalgia, for the productions that touched my life in Era 2 and at the transition from Era 2 to Era 3.

It does seem to be my life's most distinctive and quite unique tenet. No one who was there with me in Era 2 had the same set of experiences subsequent to it. What few people who left Douglastown at around the time that I did, had rather a different set of circumstances awaiting them in their new surroundings. The carrying of the torch for Douglastown and also for the entertainments of interest there, does seem to be quite unique to me in its intensity. There are people who share my fondness for those times, but not necessarily for everything that we liked. And my discovery that I was to be an outsider at school in Fredericton from Grade 6 onward post-1977 is my own particular experience.

These are my ramblings for today, February 17, 2015. I do note that the Space: 1999 Facebook Group is persisting in its crusade against everything Season 2 (naturally, for that is its only actual raison-d'etre), the most recent angle of attack being a best-"Year 1"-episode/worst-"Year 2"-episode questionnaire. I really cannot be bothered saying much more, other than the fact that the wilful misconstruing of episode story elements and wholly subjective denunciations of music style and acting performances knows no sensible boundaries.


February 23, tomorrow, is what I consider to be "Hyde and Go Tweet" day (or the Saturday nearest to it if February 23 is not a Saturday). Yesterday, Saturday, February 21, I watched "Hyde and Go Tweet" from an Internet source. A quite vivid and unblemished transfer (could be from the LOONEY TUNES AFTER DARK laser videodisc; I cannot imagine what else it could be from as it has none of the old VHS videotape imperfections and is without any "bug" logos, and therefore not from a television broadcast; not of the past 20 years, anyway).

I think I can see why it was consistently overlooked for DVD/Blu-Ray release, i.e. why Jerry Beck or whoever was selecting cartoons for DVD/Blu-Ray release, might not like it. Scary as it is, it is quite illogical, in terms of story. Sylvester does not actually see Dr. Jekyll drink the Hyde Formula and change into Mr. Hyde. He only hears Hyde's evil laugh before looking through the open window and seeing the re-transformed Jekyll. He does not see Hyde. So, how, then, does his dream come about? His dream of Tweety jumping into the Hyde Formula container and turning into the monster. Maybe he saw Jekyll do a previous Hyde transformation not shown in the cartoon. But if that were so, why would he be sleeping on the window ledge outside of such a dangerous place (Jekyll's laboratory)? Surely there would be a safer place to park himself for a rest.

To be honest, the dream pretence resolution was always a "let-down" to me. The viewer does not even see any indication that perhaps, as so often happens in the Warner Brothers cartoons, it may not have been a dream after all. The cartoon could have ended in some other way.

As with many Freleng cartoons, background continuity is tenuous. That place with the bread and the condiments to where Sylvester carries Tweety. When Sylvester is shown throwing the key out the window, it looks very much like the window of Jekyll's laboratory (there is even a letter D shown on the window (D as in Dr. Jekyll) as seen earlier. But Sylvester was shown at street level running with Tweety into a different building. Not the one where Jekyll's laboratory is. Maybe it just happens to be some other place with an owner whose name starts with the letter D. Perhaps. Or as it is all meant to be a dream, perhaps this observation does not matter. But I can see how someone, perhaps Jerry Beck, could quibble with the cartoon, even to the extent of "passing it up" for DVD release.

The tenuousness of background continuity in Freleng's cartoons is noted, but I would not consider it to be an art-denying liability. As long as it is not too conspicuous. As things are, "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" and "Hyde and Hare" do make more sense than "Hyde and Go Tweet" (they, too, do have some dubious background continuity; more the case with "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide"). But all three cartoons affected me tremendously. More for their overall "thrust" and their general look. It is a profound shame that "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" and "Hyde and Go Tweet" are not on DVD/Blu-Ray, and never will be.

Actually, if one wanted to see some meta-continuity as regards Sylvester, "Hyde and Go Tweet" can make sense. Let one suppose that Sylvester retained some trace of memory of what had happened to him in "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide". And if in his subconscious at least he was aware that he himself had become a monster. And that somehow the Jekyll person who owned the high-rise laboratory and had a container marked with "Hyde Formula" was also the man who had that ground-level laboratory in "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" (there was a Mr. Hyde on the signage outside the door thereto). And that this "registers" in the subconscious of Sylvester. Consciously, he does not perceive the connection, though he is somehow "drawn" to putting himself in the vicinity of the laboratory of Dr. Jekyll. The laugh of Mr. Hyde heard by Sylvester in "Hyde and Go Tweet" would be the catalyst for a dream in which Sylvester projects his prior experience with the Hyde potion (and his own evil laughter) onto Tweety, with him experiencing the trepidation and horror that had previously been Alf's. Plausible?

Sylvester was mentally scarred in his prior encounter with Dr. Jekyll's concoction, and here the horror of it "plays out" in his dream in which Tweety is terrifyingly transmogrified by the Hyde Formula, much to Sylvester's ignorance in the dream, that ignorance also a projection, perhaps, of the disconnect in Sylvester's conscious mind with what had happened to him in "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide".

Not that I would expect this to sway Mr. Beck. Or whoever it was who selected cartoons for release onto DVD. Not that it would matter, in any case; Warner Brothers cartoon DVD and Blu-Ray releases are dead. Just my own musings. For the benefit of the three or four individuals who visit my Weblog.

I am currently working on season overviews for Rocket Robin Hood, to be added to my Rocket Robin Hood Page sometime within the next month.

All for now. Sunday, February 22, 2015. Is it spring yet? Of course not. The groundhog always sees his shadow in New Brunswick.


Said by someone (not me) on a discussion "thread" about Blu-Rays of The Avengers at the Roobarb's Forum.

"I have never encountered such twisted, unhinged, warped fans as those of Space: 1999."

Who would I be to dispute it, when my experience with the fans of that television show has been so consistently unpleasant? Of course, some people would argue that I fit that description. Then again, I have often been reminded of my "bad reputation" within Space: 1999 fan circles. To have a "bad reputation" among people like that might be a good, if not sure, indication that I am "all right". One thing is for sure. There is no limit to the blinkered drivel that they, the fans, speak on their commandeered Facebook Group (it was, once upon a time, an all-inclusive, all-accepting community on Facebook; now, it is the same old "'Year 1' clique").

I have finished my season overviews of Rocket Robin Hood and added further images to The Rocket Robin Hood Page. Naturally, after having done that, I see traffic to that Web page drop to near zero. Like I always say, the surest way to insure that a Web page receives no visitors is to update it.

As I persevere in my autobiography's expansion, adding further text to Era 3, I am reminded again of the "culture shock" of my change of habitat from Douglastown to Fredericton. "Culture shock" to me, that is. Not to the people surrounding me in my new environs; for them, I was inconsequential. At most, someone to "put down". But it has me thinking along the following very apt lines.

In Douglastown, although there were some people who did not like me, although there was some non-acceptance, some lack of respect, on the whole I was liked, was accepted, was respected. It was home. I belonged. In Fredericton, though there were some people who did not dislike me, overall I was disliked, not accepted, not respected. It was with the people who did not dislike me that I found friendship and with whom had good times. But there was an encompassing, pervasive field of dislike that made arriving at a stable social existence more or less impossible. Even when I had attained a stability, it was tenuous. Easily toppled by "bad-mouthing". And I was "bad-mouthed" constantly by people to my friends. I was informed by my friends of it on a few occasions, and it must have been occurring regularly. I heard people "bad-mouthing" other people routinely; so, it stands to reason that it would be happening with regards to me. The result was not knowing where I stood with my friends from one day to the next. They were all of younger ages and had their own acceptance in their own peer groups, to think about. Thus, many of my Fredericton friends would not be seen with me by their peers, would not acknowledge me if they saw me while they were with their peers, and would even laugh along with their peers if one of them said something derogatory about me. As I describe it, it was a miserable environment to be in, especially after my Douglastown experiences. But I had to "make the best" of it. I had to make my new surroundings work for me, and for several years, I did. But I do bear the scars of betrayals, of backbiting, of being taunted into quitting baseball games. And so forth. Many people would counsel forgiveness (that is, after all, Jesus' teaching). But it is just not easy at all. The effect on me has been so huge. The negative change to my social existence between Douglastown and Fredericton has become an enormous- perhaps the biggest- part of my identity. It reset my outlook on the world and on life and entrenched that reset outlook, for decades and probably for all time. And my treatment by enemies and by friends in Fredericton from first days onward, does continue to be the "driving force" of my social existence here, and probably always will be. All of the Dale Carnegie courses in the world cannot change that, evidently.

Some people would ask, and some have asked, why do I not just go back to the Miramichi, back to Douglastown. It is not that easy. The Miramichi region is not what it was. It is not thriving economically. The two things that sustained it when I lived there, the Canadian Forces Base in Chatham and the pulp and paper mill in Newcastle, are gone. Not that the loss of the mill is a bad thing; its emissions and its effluent can only have had an adverse effect on people's health (cancer is rife in the Miramichi). But the outcome has been an opportunity-poor region. For someone of my profession and interests, certainly. The Miramichi has become a retirement community with a service sector built upon that. And stores cater to older people. Clothing stores, drug stores, grocery stores, major department stores, and restaurants. There are no bookstores there anymore. No electronics stores. No specialty stores for hobbyists. Nearly all of my friends are long-gone. Two of them who lived there continuously, are now dead. Douglastown of the 1970s was home to me. The only home that I have ever really known. But it exists no longer. There is a place called Douglastown, a part of what is now designated as Miramichi City. And much of the upper and middle part of the village is intact (thank goodness!), but dominated by car dealerships, while the old buildings such as the one that was my elementary school, decay from neglect and lack of money. It is a place to revisit to remember old times, but the changes to the look of it increase with every passing year.

It seems that I must "live out" the remainder of my days in surroundings with which I am largely at odds, where I (and my parents, too) have been unpopular. Where new friendships where I find them, are fettered by uncertainty as that cloud of general dislike for me covering and spinning over the city of Fredericton, constantly threatens to engulf them, and while clique considerations continue to be paramount. I am, frankly, so very weary of it all. There are days, increasing days, when I just want to retreat into my past and mentally live there, but I cannot because I have a job to do. Professionalism has to be maintained. Protracted reveries make me unresponsive and open me to criticism. Some might even argue that they are the path to dementia. To Alzheimer's.

This is the quandary that I am in, in this God-awful winter. March is starting, but last year's March demonstrated how cruel that it can be. And then, there is April. Arguably the cruelest month of all.

March 1, 2015.


My Website is now fully loaded onto my own domain at HostPapa, and now I am doing side-by-side comparisons of each Web page, Webs.com version and HostPapa version, to insure that everything is identical, that no data has been lost. Once that work is done, my Webs.com account will be terminated, and all of the portal Web pages there will disappear. From what I can determine from my Webs.com statistics, almost nobody is visiting there now, anyway. Google Search is now showing kevinmccorrytv.ca for most of the Web pages and their images, and I have also successfully changed the Hyperlinks at Wikipedia to my Web pages. I have also sent notifications of the change of Internet address to people known to host connections to my Web pages, including Jon Cooke at The Ultimate Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Website. I can only hope that they will update their Hyperlinks. Keeping my Webs.com account open is costing me ten American dollars per month, and I will cease that within the next fifteen days. My Web pages now at HostPapa load much faster, and, on my computer at least, images do not fail to appear. I am having no problems as yet with Hyperlinking to my Web pages at Wikipedia and will proceed to do so at the Internet Movie Database. So far, I am happy with how things are developing.

I wish that I could say the same thing about the weather which has been absolutely horrible. Last winter and this winter are the two of the worst winters that I have ever experienced. Every precipitation event has been a snowstorm. Every two to three days. Storm. Heavy snow. While people to the west bask in above-normal temperatures and little or no snow cover. Everyone will be playing golf, baseball, and other summer sports in the weeks ahead while people-sized or house-sized snowbanks will persist here. How, I ask how, are we in the eastern Maritimes supposed to have any morale in such circumstances?

The people at the Termite Terrace Trading Post in Exile continue on with their minimising of the work of Friz Freleng, declaring all of his post-1948 cartoons as "un-classic", devoid of ideas and artistry, matter-of-factly declaring Freleng's work with writer Warren Foster to be unremarkable and valueless. Honestly, it is like Michael Barrier (author of that slanted, anti-everyone-but-Clampett "tome", Hollywood Cartoons) has been cloned multitudinously. The derision of Freleng and Foster at Internet discussion groups reads like a perfect regurgitation of Barrier's viewpoint- and that of John K., also. I do not think that I need counter this with any newly written defence of Mr. Freleng. My tribute to him and my articles on his cartoons still speak for themselves, much as the blinkered types in the Clampett "camp" choose to ignore or downplay such writings. Clampett's work may not have been my "cup of tea", but I did not hate his cartoons. Or him. I still do not want to hate. It is his pundits and their attitude that has poisoned the chalice that I hold in venerating the Warner Brothers cartoons, and the history of that poisoning has been long and anguished. Even today, I shrink from involving myself in any group of Warner Brothers cartoon aficionados, on Facebook or at wherever, because invariably the Clampett-philes hold sway, and appreciation of Freleng is frowned-upon, if not verboten.

All for today, Saturday, March 21. First day of spring, for people, for everyone, outside of Canada's eastern Maritimes. Spring? What is that? Green lawns in April? Not any more. April showers? April snow, more like it. And it is all normal now.


My happiness was premature. Wikipedia has rejected all of the Hyperlinks I added there to my kevinmccorry.ca Web domain. I am told that I am being too "self-serving" in trying to direct traffic to my Website, even though I also worked to expand Wikipedia's listings of television programmes aired on Canadian television networks. What happened is that the Hyperlink that I sent for my Rocket Robin Hood Page did not appear on Wikipedia's entry for Rocket Robin Hood, and, thinking that the Hyperlink had been lost in transit (that my Internet connection had "timed out", or something), I sent it again. Not looking at my received Wikipedia messages for a few days, I finished sending Web page Hyperlinks, and then I found a message from Wikipedia declaring my sending of two Hyperlinks to my Rocket Robin Hood Page as excessive and "self-serving" (I say again, the first one that I sent did not appear on the Wikipedia entry for Rocket Robin Hood). Without bothering to consider the most likely explanation, the Wikipedia representative "blacklisted" my whole Website, and I discovered that every (yes, every) Hyperlink that I had sent had already been removed. And so much for access to my Website for any interested persons searching Wikipedia for information on any of the television shows honoured at my Website.

What a friendly and obliging place the Internet now is! In the late 1990s, increasing my visibility on the Internet was no problem at all. Now, all that I find are roadblocks. Incorrect-jumpings-to-conclusion, unfriendliness, and intransigence. My problem with Wikipedia is the latest example of such. Certainly not the first, and definitely not the last, I feel sure. The Internet Movie Database has been more cooperative than Wikipedia thus far. The Hyperlinks that I sent to there are visible, though they are not visible readily. One has to mouse-click "See More" in order to reach External Links and my Web page included there. How many people do that, these days? How many people use the Internet Movie Database nowadays? Now that I have been "blacklisted" at Wikipedia, I can expect even less visitors at HostPapa than I had at Webs.com. I just cannot win.

Just what is so wrong with trying to direct people to my Website? I have worked for close to 20 years on it. Yes, it is the product of nearly two decades of labours. Why is it unreasonable of me to want people to see it? How is its information and images of no value to Wikipedia readers? Even my autobiographical Web pages, comprising the most personal part of my Website, contain a veritable bounty of pertinent information on Canadian television broadcasting history. A Website that prides itself on being informative "blacklists" me and all of the information that I offer. How is that not unjust? And just plain wrong?

I am painstaking in trying to be as accurately informative as possible, in addition to being insightful and enlightening. Just this past week, I had to edit my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page when information came to light that I had Show 6 and Show 7 transposed. My television listing research and some searches on Dailymotion have conclusively shown that the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour episode starting with "Tweet Dreams" aired on April 26, 1975, not April 19, 1975 as I had previously thought. I had known that episode to have aired mid-afternoon one Saturday that April because of some late-afternoon and early-evening sports broadcast, which I now have to acknowledge was Connors-Newcombe Tennis Match that aired on April 26. I have ascertained the exact time of day for that and the length of it. There can be no doubt. When it comes to research and information versus my memory, the research and information must come first, superseding memory, which can be faulty. Yes, even mine. In the case of Show 6, my memory had been distorted by the fact that the mid-to-late October Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour preemption in 1973 for World Series had indeed impacted airing of the episode starting with "Tweet Dreams", which I mentally slotted into the mid-to-late-month placement for October and April. I failed to consider that the CBC simply delayed the mid-month episode, the one starting with "Rabbit of Seville", to the last Saturday of October of 1973 (that was when the "Rabbit of Seville"-starting episode aired that month), bumping the episode starting with "Tweet Dreams" out of rotation until it was due again to air in April. For many, many, many years, I thought of the "Tweet Dreams"-starting episode as being a mid-to-late month one, not a late-month one. "In light" of new information, I have had to modify my episode guide for The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, putting the episodes in proper order, and to dispense with a faulty memory to which I have clung for decades. Information must always trump memory. Now that I am thinking of the episodes in this newly rediscovered sequence, I am having newly refreshed recall of seeing the episodes in that sequence. It fits. And there is some logical sense to it as regards cartoon interconnections between Show 5 and the newly acknowledged Show 6.

And I have also sent updates to TV.com and the Big Cartoon Database for those episodes. Doubtless, the episode guides at those two Websites are probably being seen by more people than my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page.

By the way, Connors-Newcombe Tennis Match is available for viewing on Dailymotion in its entirety. A tennis match lasting two hours and forty-two minutes. Amazing! Most of the world was watching it that day, Saturday, April 26, 1975. It was being shown on Canada's CBC English and CBC French, and on CBS in the United States. And on network television in Australia and doubtless in Europe. I was not watching it. My friend, Michael, came to visit me toward the end of the 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. CBC showing of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour (during the cartoon, "Hare-Less Wolf"). After the CBC logo appeared following end credits, I turned off my audiocassette machine, and Michael and I went to the kitchen and then upstairs to my room to talk and to play. My father probably did watch the tennis match, which began at 3:30 and lasted until 6:30.

That was Saturday, April 26, 1975. No doubt of it.

An overcast, drizzly Saturday, that was. There was no snow on the ground. Unlike what will be the case this God-awful year.

All for today, Sunday, March 29, 2015.


It is April 12, and there are still big piles of snow all over the place, and my lawn is only visible on the peripheries of my yard.

I have just terminated my Webs.com account, and when the month ends, my portal Web pages at Webs.com will vanish. Hyperlinks to my old Webs.com Website persist on other people's Websites. All that I can do is to send the notifications to those Website hosts. And I have done so. These days, nobody seems to be particularly interested in updating their Websites. It would seem that this also includes The Big Cartoon Database, to where I sent several Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour updates a few weeks ago. My Website and its Web pages are all up to date; that is all that I can guarantee.

Lately, I have been looking at old issues of Starlog magazine available for viewing at an archival Website. It is an odyssey down Memory Lane to the late 1970s and very early 1980s when I regularly purchased Starlog and avidly read its many articles, columns, and reader mail. It has been a long time since I sold my Starlogs to a collectors' shop to fund videocassette purchases. I remembered an impressive percentage of what was printed, but my memory of a substantial portion of Starlog's inscribed pages did fade over the passage of thirty-plus years.

I had forgotten how controversial the two-part interview with Fred Freiberger had been. Mr. Freiberger was interviewed in Starlog issues 39 and 40. The issue 39 portion of the interview concentrated on Star Trek, and the issue 40 portion thereof focused on his involvement in the production of Space: 1999. It was what Mr. Freiberger said about Star Trek that raised the most ire. I guess I did not give very much consideration to that at the time, Space: 1999 being my primary field of interest. By far, at that point in time (autumn of 1980). After the Star Trek part of the interview had been printed, Star Trek writers David Gerrold and Dorothy Fontana both "weighed in" with their impressions of Mr. Freiberger and on what he said about their problematical involvement in Star Trek's third season. Instead of just quoting it verbatim, I will Hyperlink to the interview. Here it is.

https://archive.org/stream/starlog_magazine-039/039#page/n47/mode/2up
https://archive.org/stream/starlog_magazine-040/040#page/n57/mode/2up

Most cogently, the readers to the magazine became privy to the two sides to the fraught relationship between Mr. Freiberger and David Gerrold on the writing of the third season Star Trek episode, "The Cloud-Minders". At the time that I first read the interview, I had not seen that episode. I would not see it until early 1984, and I remember being bored, very bored, with it. The workers-versus-the-elites concept itself might be considered pulp Doctor Who material and would be aptly described as having a pedigree in the central premise of Metropolis. When I was 18, I thought it boring. I appreciate it more now, but it still is not Star Trek's finest hour, nor that of the unfairly much-maligned third season. I am inclined to believe Mr. Freiberger about its difficult development, and if he says that he "stood up" for David Gerrold and did everything possible to bring the story to production, I believe him.

Now, let it be clear that I was never a fan of David Gerrold's column in Starlog. He poured criticism-for-criticism's-sake and cynicism over what was in many respects a halcyon time for science fiction/fantasy on television and in the cinema. I branded him the Rex Reed of the science fiction world. Whether or not that was a fair analysis on my part at the time is debatable. I have "warmed" to Mr. Gerrold after having seen him hosting a look at Star Trek conventions, which was an extra on the Star Trek Blu-Ray set. But I still think that his response in his next Starlog column to the Freiberger interview, had the noxious scent of sour grapes in more than a few places, and he trotted out that erroneous refrain that Mr. Freiberger "killed" The Wild, Wild West, and listed other productions in which Mr. Freiberger's involvement is only circumstantial vis-a-vis their end (untimely or no), including one, Korg: 70,000 B.C., which lasted one season and of which Freiberger is credited as creator (one cannot be said to have "killed" a television series that was not on the air long enough to be said to have really lived). I never saw Korg: 70,000 B.C.; so, I am unqualified to comment on it. But live-action Saturday morning television series were routinely ended after one season, Space Academy for example. Their not lasting more than one season is not necessarily an indictment against their conceptual or scripting quality, or lack thereof. But to use it in a "show-killer" accusation is patently unfair, especially in conjunction with the incorrect accusation of "killing" The Wild, Wild West. I would suppose that the "show killer" designation really had its roots in Mr. Gerrold's column, and the fans of Space: 1999 "picked it up" and ran with it all of the way to the obnoxiousness stakes.

But then, if one looks more closely and dispassionately at Mr. Gerrold's column, one sees that Mr. Gerrold was not exactly thoroughly damning of Mr. Freiberger. Actually, for substantial sections of the column, Mr. Gerrold was quite level-headed and fair-minded in his reply to the interview, even placing most of the blame on the interviewers, and not on Mr. Freiberger, for how the interview "came across" as regards the relations between the producer and prospective writer of the third season's troubled "The Cloud-Minders". And he said something about fan mentality and fan tendencies that I, in re-reading the column now, staggeringly do find myself nodding my head with, in full agreement. Agreement with David Gerrold?! Me?! Yes. I say, yes.

Not long ago, in this very Weblog, I was describing Space: 1999 fans as half-adults and shrunk, somewhat, from saying that, before undertaking some introspection and reiterating it somewhat guardedly. Imagine my astonishment when I read the following, which I will quote verbatim. It is in David Gerrold's column of Starlog issue 40 in response to the Freiberger interview.

"What did they expect? That he would grovel at their knees and beg forgiveness for his crimes against science fiction? Hell, no- Fred Freiberger thinks he's done a good job. And he's no hypocrite- he says what he feels. Unfortunately, that kind of candour almost always feeds a certain insidious social phenomenon that is classically crystallised in science fiction fandom."

"I make this observation. Science fiction is an adolescent literature. Most of its stories are derived from adolescent fantasies of one kind or another. As a directly related phenomenon, fandom is an adolescent environment. This is meant as neither condemnation nor approval, merely analysis (I hope to get into this in more detail in a later column). While the bulk of fans are positively oriented and well worth knowing, there is always an element irresistibly drawn to feuds, because they get off on the excitement. Maybe it makes things seem important and meaningful to take sides, but it happens almost on a regular basis- you can set your calendar by it- because there are always new fans coming along, who don't know what happened two years previously. The people who initiate these situations never seem to realise, not even afterword, just how much damage they have done to the people they have involved."

Hear, hear, Mr. Gerrold. I tip my hat to you, sir. Whatever I may have thought of your column in general and whatever I may still think of how you do respond to the Freiberger interview in the balance of your Starlog issue 40 column, I do have to acknowledge that you hit the ball out of the park with this description. And it is pinpoint accurate with regard to Space: 1999 fandom and my experience in that, and also Warner cartoon fandom (in some respects even more accurate there), and what I have seen in Doctor Who fan circles. This column pre-dated the Internet by fifteen years or more, but it applies so thoroughly to what fills the Internet discussion forums on a routine basis. Step forward, all ye Jones-versus-Clampett-invoking Clampett-philes, for you have been truly "called out".

Adolescents. Biologically grown-up but mentally half-grown adolescents. Attacking like bullies in a school yard anyone who does not hew to their vaunted "side" in the feud. Or who will not join in their denunciations of the work of the perceived greatest loser in the regularly incited fracas stakes. Because they "get off" on it. Caring not one whit about who they may hurt in the process. Set calendar, for it is time for someone new to come along and start it all again. "'Year 2' really sucked, didn't it? Discuss."

Launching the Termite Terrace Trading Post could only have led to a cartoon fandom version of the hate-Season-2 "camp". I see that now. Alas, eighteen years too late.

Here is a Hyperlink direct to David Gerrold's column in Starlog issue 40.

https://archive.org/stream/starlog_magazine-040/040#page/n69/mode/2up

And with that I bring today's Weblog entry to a close. Kevin McCorry and David Gerrold "on the same page". Who would have thought?


I have been exceedingly busy these past several weeks and have not had much, if any, time for Website maintenance and updates.

What updates I have now are as follows.

Network Distributing has reaffirmed its commitment to releasing Season 2 of Space: 1999 on Blu-Ray, that reaffirmation being in response to a question on Network Distributing's Facebook Web page. But still no definite release date given. Just that Network is aiming for late in the year.

The Space: 1999 Facebook group is again rehashing its Season 1 versus Season 2 "debate". Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. The quotation marks around debate are meant to indicate the questionable propriety in using the word in describing the proceedings. It is, as usual, the smug, self-assured pack of wolves running roughshod over the occasional voice of fairness and reason. One of the few Season 2 defenders is saying that Space: 1999 was a two in the ratings for CBC Television three years running. Much as I would like for that to be true, I do not find it credible. Ratings were respectable for Season 1 in 1975-6 on the CBC owned-and-operated television stations running it. They were rather high in 1976-7 for Season 2 on full-network broadcast (enough for CBC to continue airing Space: 1999 nation-wide for a further year). For Space: 1999 to be the number 2 highest rated television programme on CBC would mean faring better than the likes of All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore, Chico and the Man, and many other U.S. imports, and some of CBC's own stalwart viewer favourites like The Beachcombers. Besides, if it were number 2 in the ratings three years in a row, I doubt that the CBC would have ended its run in 1978. A nice thought, though. Not surprisingly, the very mention of such did not impress the detractors at the Facebook group, including one now-ubiquitous know-it-all who has materialised out of nowhere in the past year or so.

But on and on and on and on and on it goes. Said know-it-all argues that the ratings dropped for Season 2 in the U.S. because viewers did not like Freiberger's loony, comic-booky tinkering. Maybe they did drop, but they had already dropped over the course of Season 1's 1975-6 run in the U.S. (Sir Lew Grade responded to that by cancelling Space: 1999, recanting that decision sometime later at Gerry Anderson and Fred Freiberger's new "pitch" with the Maya character). There was no way that Space: 1999 would return with a "Year 1"-formatted second season. This is all fact, and know-it-all's assertion that ratings were consistently very high in the U.S. throughout the 1975-6 season flies in the face of fact. "Heavy curiosity viewing" and then a distinct ratings drop. That was reported in publications like Starlog and in interviews with persons involved in production. But people will believe what they want to believe. And these people will cling to the belief that Season 1 was an unqualified success throughout 1975-6 until their dying breaths.

By the way, I recently showed some episodes of Space: 1999 to a friend who is new to that television series. Three from Season 1 ("Dragon's Domain", "War Games", "Mission of the Darians"). Three from Season 2 ("The Metamorph" and parts one and two of "The Bringers of Wonder"). He prefers Season 2. For him, Season 1 is remote and distancing. Season 2 is more engaging and dynamic, and the occasional humour is welcome. I did not prompt him in any way; he came to his decision on season preference entirely on his own.

Presenting Space: 1999 to friends is something that I have done all of the way back to the late 1970s when I played audiotape-recordings of it for all comers to my then Cine-Audio. I do not think I created any actual new fans among them, but I tried. The really important achievements for which I can claim credit involve bringing Space: 1999 back to broadcast television. Its run on YTV from 1990 to 1992 was definitely a result of a letter campaign initiated and organised by me in 1989. So, Canadians who watched Space: 1999 on YTV in those years were doing so because of me. I do not think it is arrogant of me to state this fact. Nobody else is stating it. Others were instrumental in the success of that campaign, certainly, but it would never have begun if I had not initiated it, rallying all of my then contacts to write a letter to YTV. The CBC Maritimes broadcast of Space: 1999 in 1983-5 came about just under a year after a letter that I wrote to the CBC Ottawa main office, requesting a rebroadcast of Space: 1999 on CBC Television, the first such (in English) since 1978, the response letter I received being positive, along the lines of my suggestion being a good idea and that efforts would be undertaken to pursue it as a very good possibility. Whether my correspondence was a deciding factor in that case, I do not know. But Space: 1999 did resurface the following year, in the eastern Maritimes section of the country where I lived on owned-and-operated CBC stations there (albeit not on the privately owned affiliate station in New Brunswick). My letter certainly contributed to the cause. Quite effectively, as the CBC's response letter to me did delineate. It would not be too much of a stretch to say that my letter was instrumental.

Achievements such as these are the best that can possibly be measured, I should think, for they kept Space: 1999 in the public eye, in the public consciousness. I would also think that I ought to be able to speak with some authority as an accomplished aficionado of Space: 1999. I have earned my stripes. Have these know-it-all Johnny-come-lately types on Facebook earned theirs? What have they done besides squawking their habitual, obnoxious refrains and "passing themselves off" as experts on the subject?

I supported organised fandom with my dues for a total of eleven years. I started regular columns in two newsletters. But, really, contributing to a hermetically niched group of fans is not all that great an undertaking. Nor is venturing to a convention. I attended one convention. A very small one. Much smaller than I expected it to be. Martin Landau did not attend, though he was the top-billed listed guest. Barbara Bain was also listed and did not attend. It had all of the events and displays of a convention, even if it was not much more than a "relax-a-con" with Nick Tate spending a couple of hours with us. Yes, I met Nick Tate. To date, he is the only Space: 1999 actor I have ever met, and he will probably retain that distinction for all time. Because I have no intention of ever going to another convention. Even if one were held in New Brunswick (many improbable things have been happening this century, but this is too far outside the realm of remotest possibilities). What I saw, what I heard at the convention that I did attend constituted all of the cliches that could be said to exist with regard to Space: 1999 fandom and Space: 1999 fan assemblies. Nick Tate gave a speech disparaging Season 2 at every opportunity, and the audience applauded and cheered. They had UFO, not Space: 1999, playing in the display and dealer's room, with the males remaking about lusting after the Gabrielle Drake Gay Ellis character of UFO (what boring conversation!). The fans were buying resin stun gun models from a dealer but bemoaning the stun/kill switch not being "Year 1"-style, the dealer agreeing whole-heartedly but saying that he had to settle for the oh-so-inferior "Year 2" version (yes, sir; everything- every single thing- about "Year 2" was inferior). Nick Tate looked at the costumes on display and reassured sceptical fans that they were original costumes, that without film studio lighting they naturally look a different colour. We dined at a restaurant as one big group, and as we waited for our meal and as we ate, nobody was talking about the television show itself. Until when we were all en route back to the hotel, when someone asked what were people's preferred episodes, and the responses were all "Year 1"- and I kept my mouth shut. There was an auction where the auctioneer made snide remarks against Season 2 whenever something "Year 2"-related was "up for bidding" (a photograph from "The Metamorph" would make a good dart target, for instance). And so on. I could not possibly have felt more uncomfortable and the odd one out. People were cordial. No one was outwardly hostile. In person, during one-on-one conversation, most fans are quite cordial. But there was a pervading disrespect for any point of view contrary to that of the herd. Pervading and unwavering.

And then on my way back home via western Canada, I was confronted rather un-cordially and most detrimentally by the president of the then extant fan club for my vehement, "fed-up" opposition to the hostility toward Season 2 in the club's newsletter, as he tried to bully me into recanting fully and apologising to the membership. But that is another story. An unpleasant experience into which I, to this day, regret having put myself. I suppose that it had to be. My ultimate disaffection with and departure from fandom had to happen. I do wish that it had happened in different circumstances, without the expense of cross-continent travel.

There is no respect in fandom for all that I have done for Space: 1999. Just the rubbing into my face the oh, so derogatory declarations of "bad reputation" for my intolerance of the hostility toward Season 2 and my allegedly ever-so-single-minded bemoaning of the rampant Freiberger-phobia. I subsequently was subjected to such any time that I opened my mouth or typed on my keyboard. Yes, yes, yes, and bully for them. It should be plain to the unbiased eye why I should be bitter. Granted, it has been twenty years since I attended that convention and had that grilling by the president (who had hitherto made whatever use that he could of my contributions, disparaging though he always endeavoured to be toward Season 2 and my fidelity to it). Twenty years. It is difficult to believe that it has been that long. Where is the time going?

But my bitterness persists and will continue to do so, for as long as fandom continues its daily sorties. And as I have said before, it hurts very much that I cannot go to a convention for my favourite space science fiction opus and feel welcome and belonging.

Anyway, that is where I am at this day. Oh, another of my efforts was the letter that I wrote last September to Network Distributing. I am not going to be so vain to argue that it was instrumental in bringing about Network's decision in November to announce the Season 2 Blu-Ray release. A drop in the bucket, it was. But it was a drop. A small initiative on my part. I can say that I did it, while the herd at the Facebook group were doing their usual "Year 2-is-shite" thing.

I have been asked what extra features that I would like to see in the Season 2 Blu-Ray set. "Message From Moonbase Alpha", of course. Maybe with a commentary on it by its producer. The already-known-about behind-the-scenes documentary made during production of "The Mark of Archanon". Interviews with cast and production crew during production of "A Matter of Balance". Brian Johnson special effects interview. Brian Johnson narrating footage at Bray Studios. Ice Lolly commercial. Three Season 2 trailers. U.S. and British promotions with Landau and Bain on set. Next week's episode introductions by Landau, Bain, Schell, Anholt, and Tate. "Space City" promotion. A merchandise gallery showing all books and toys. Photograph galleries for every episode. The galleries all in high definition. Catherine Schell and Brian Blessed commentary on "The Metamorph". A Bernard Cribbins introduction to "Brian the Brain", with him reprising the voice of Brian. A Dave Prowse introduction to "The Beta Cloud". John Hug and Alibe Parsons commentary on "Devil's Planet". Cosmic Princess trailer. Cosmic Princess in full. Sample of Maurice Jarre alternate musical score. Derek Wadsworth's alternate themes with newly assembled visuals to accompany them. Maya's orange tree transformation in "The Metamorph". And what I do not want to see. Fanderson's Space: 1999 Documentary, not in its original form or in any "cut-down" version. And what I do not expect to see. A "These Episodes" analysis documentary in the same format as that for Season 1.

Not that I expect to be listened-to. But the question was put to me, and I have responded.

I suppose this constitutes my communique for today, Victoria Day, 2015.


A delightful discovery. Friz Freleng's daughters, Hope Freleng Shaw and Sybil Freleng Bergman, have launched a Facebook tribute to their father and his work. It is lovely to behold, and the reader-viewer comments are respectful and positive. It can be seen by way of the Hyperlink below.

https://www.facebook.com/FrizFrelengFamilyPageOfficial?pnref=story

It has been twenty years now since Friz Freleng's death. So much time has passed. So many things have changed, and not for the better, for the cartoons of Mr. Freleng and his colleagues at Warner Brothers. Twenty years ago, it would have been unthinkable for there not to be a weekly television series of compilations of cartoons, for DVDs and Blu-Rays of the cartoons to be deemed insufficiently marketable, for hundreds of the cartoons to languish unrestored in a vault, and for Bugs Bunny's seventy-fifth birthday to go unhearlded. And for the tide of opinion amongst cartoon aficionados to become so averse to the work of Friz Freleng most particularly. At Golden Age Cartoons and similar Websites, anyway. Not that Chuck Jones and Robert McKimson have not also seen the admiration for their work experience a distinct and lamentable drop. But most of the debasing has been directed toward the Freleng oeuvre. My hope is that efforts such as Friz Freleng Family Page will effectively turn that tide. It is a most pleasant and welcome sight!

I am not sure if Hope Freleng Shaw and Sybil Freleng Bergman are aware of my tribute to their father here on my Website.

While I am on the subject of the Warner Brothers cartoons, I will mention that some updating has been done to The Bugs Bunny Show Page and The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page. Some slight expansion to their episode guides. And by the way, Wikipedia continues to blacklist my Website, apart from some citing of it as a source for some information on the Warner Brothers cartoon-compilation television series.

I now propose to give some attention to my autobiography and some comments that I have recently received about it. Specifically, why I only had one best friend in the various life eras. It is a question that I have never really cogently asked myself. I just accepted as an axiom that one can only really have one best friend at any given time, the word, best, implying one, singular unit. And besides, in Era 4, only one person, Joey, was evidently interested in best friendship. And with regard to Era 2, only one friend, Michael, actually declared me to be his best friend. In Era 2, almost all of the others were most partial to someone or some persons other than me, and of my closest friends that did show a keenest interest in being with me, Michael was the only one able to be with me for twelve months of the year and to visit with me whenever he liked. Also, the potential for "off-putting" a best friend by spending large amounts of time with someone else, was always there. Tony in 1979 in Era 3 would not tolerate my being with Joey for any sizable amounts of time and even gave to me an ultimatum. Give Joey "the brush-off", or else. And at that time, Tony was my closest friend (though his keenness for the best friend distinction just was not in evidence; he liked the projects on which we two worked together), and he was nearer my age than was Joey, which, in 1979 at least, appeared to be a rather important consideration. It was a most difficult position in which to be, I felt. There did not seem to be a way of pleasing everyone. And in Era 4, when Joey was my best friend, for me to spend any hours with Tony was disaffecting for Joey, I now perceive. And I would be at something of a loss with Joey for a period of time, while another of Joey's friends would try to force me out of the picture. There were blabbermouths in the neighbourhood in Fredericton; compartmentalising of friends was seldom, if ever, possible. Having one best friend did appear to be the only feasible social paradigm. And even then, I had to soft-peddle on the matter of best friend. Douglastown in Era 2 was rather more harmonious for me when it came to having many friends and a number of potential best friends. But circumstances did seem to decree that Michael should be my closest friend, and that the rapport between him and myself should have the strongest foundations in terms of time spent together and range of activity. Almost any of the others could have been a best friend if circumstances had so-determined. In Fredericton, an array of potential best friends was not there. By 1982, Joey had become my best friend, and I was most fond of him in that capacity. I had no inclination to audition other best friends or to think as affectionately of anyone else, even if someone else was interested in best friendship with me. And to the best of my knowledge, no such person existed.

And from this indulgent foray into friendship soap opera, I shall proceed to the subject of Season 2 of Space: 1999 and its Blu-Ray release. Still no information on release date. However, one possible value-added feature has been revealed. Something to be made available for a screening at an upcoming Gerry Anderson convention. A "Year 1"-ized version of the second season episode, "Seed of Destruction". I struggle to comprehend, much less appreciate, the rationale in undertaking such a project as a bonus feature for the Blu-Ray release. Other than to placate the preeminent Season 1 "camp", perhaps to entice them into buying the Blu-Ray set, or to make some kind of statement about Derek Wadsworth's music versus Barry Gray's. I am all too acutely aware of how low the general opinion is among Space: 1999 fans has always been for Wadsworth's contributions. The oh, so predictable response to this on the Facebook Space: 1999 group is noted. It might just make "Year 2" watchable, indeed. Yawn. Sigh. Frown. Clench teeth. Roll eyes.

At least this is an indication that the Blu-Ray release is "on the radar" at Network Distributing.

I have come upon a ton of 1982 and 1983 Edge of Night episodes uploaded onto YouTube, including just about every episode from that time period (late summer of 1982 to early 1983) when The Edge of Night could not be seen in New Brunswick (both CBC Television and Bangor, Maine ABC affiliate WVII had both stopped airing it by the last weeks of 1982's summer). I have been watching those episodes in recent days. I am also working toward reacquiring the collection of magazines and comic books that I used to have in life eras 2 and 3. Starlog and Future magazine from 1976 to 1981 and Gold Key Comics' Looney Tunes and comic book series of individual or paired cartoon characters. My ultimate aim is to again have everything I used to own from my parents' purchases or my purchases with allowance monies. I now have most of the paperback and hardcover books, and now it is the magazines. Such is an ongoing project that will perhaps also encompass the toys based on Space: 1999. That and that only. I have no desire to reacquire the Star Wars toys that I had. Doubtless, the price for some of those has to be astronomical these days. I am not willing to spend the money. I am not much of a Star Wars aficionado these days, having very much reverted to my attitudes of late 1977 and early 1978 on the subject of the George Lucas space opus. I have very little nostalgia for the years when I most closely followed the Star Wars saga (1979 to 1981)- though I continue to be enamoured with memory of 1983 when Return of the Jedi was released to theatres (my seeing of it, was a solitary experience, however, and while a vivid and cherished memory, not one of the greatest of that wondrous year).

I guess that this ends my ramble for today, Saturday, June 6, 2015. My work schedule is going to ease somewhat in the days to come, and I will be on vacation in mid-July. And I may eventually delve into the accumulated e-mail that I have- and endeavour to answer some of it. Answering e-mail these days seems to command a tremendous amount of initiative that I have been lacking of late. I am usually just so mentally drained from work and my efforts to project synthetic extroversion (as my job requires).



Advertisement on Facebook for Kino Lorber's upcoming 2015 Blu-Ray release of DePatie-Freleng cartoons.

Just over a week ago, I came upon an advertisement for something most unexpected. A release in full, on Blu-Ray no less, of DePatie-Freleng's Inspector and Ant and Aardvark cartoon series. Kino Lorber has acquired licence for properties of the MGM/UA company in the past for Blu-Ray, with variable quality. But this is, to the best of my knowledge, the first time that cartoons have been in a licencing agreement between MGM/UA and Kino Lorber. And it encompasses not only the Inspector and the Ant and Aardvark, but also the Tijuana Toads, Misterjaw, and the remainder of the DePatie-Freleng cartoon stable for United Artists. Except, that is, for the Pink Panther, whose cartoons MGM itself evidently plans to release, together with the Inspector Clouseau movies, on Blu-Ray. Sometime in 2016, I have read. To be honest, I have never thought much of the DePatie-Freleng cartoon series beyond the Pink Panther, Inspector, and Ant and Aardvark. Those that I have seen, anyway. Them being the Tijuana (Texas) Toads, Misterjaw, Crazylegs Crane, and Roland and Ratfink. I sat through several of those cartoons and frankly found little pleasure in that. Misterjaw's cartoons were the better of the ones that I saw, but this would be faint praise. At last, they will all be available for all who wish to see them. And this also includes the Dogfather, Blue Racer, and Hoot Kloot. I will most certainly be buying the Inspector and the Ant and Aardvark Blu-Rays and, hopefully, retiring my DVDs of the cartoons of those characters. I do say hopefully, because quality is not always guaranteed with Kino Lorber. I have a Kino Lorber Blu-Ray of On the Beach with audio out of synchronisation with video. And a Kino Lorber Blu-Ray of Meteor with a feeble audio track and changed end credit music. Twilight Time is another Blu-Ray label that has released MGM/UA-licenced titles, with higher standards and more dependable results. As regards the DePatie-Freleng cartoons, time will tell. It would have been nice to have a complete set of cartoons from MGM/UA itself, with sleeves in the same format on my shelf. But in this day and age, one cannot have everything. It is actually quite amazing that this is happening, considering especially Warner Brothers' abandonment of its cartoon catalogue. Yes, it begs the question of why we consumers are able to buy complete Pink Panther, Inspector, and Ant and Aardvark, but not complete Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Tweety and Sylvester, Daffy Duck, etc.. Why is that?

It was from the Friz Freleng Family Facebook Page that I found the news about the DePatie-Freleng cartoons on Blu-Ray. Again, I would encourage people to have a look at the Friz Freleng Family Facebook Page. It is outstanding!

Late 2015 is going to be a superlative time for me in terms of Blu-Ray purchases. DePatie-Freleng cartoons and Space: 1999- Season 2. If all goes according to plan. Network Distributing had an impressive pair of brochures for the upcoming, autumn of 2015 Space: 1999- Season 2 Blu-Ray release at a recent Andercon. One of the newly remastered episodes of Season 2 was also presented in high-definition. Some people were complaining that it was not the expected "Journey to Where", but the often-maligned "All That Glisters". Some people were opining that it made little difference as both episodes are poor. And so it goes. The tired, tired, tired old refrains of the "Year 1" pundits reconstituted yet again, always with Martin Landau's derogatory comments on his copy of the "All That Glisters" script trotted out as some kind of authoritative brickbat. I do respect Martin Landau as an actor- but the man can be wrong. I have never, ever had a problem with "All That Glisters" outside of some of its exterior-view depictions of the Eagle (specifically that we do not see the steps that are clearly there when Alphans are shown disembarking or embarking the spacecraft, and that the Eagle changes from Laboratory to standard Reconnaissance/Transporter when the rock is lifting it off of the planet). I see nothing wrong with the idea of a living, sentient rock. It is a salient distillation of the Gaia principle, with a constituent part of a planet's ecosystem having a consciousness. Gaia is something that Space: 1999 "hints at" or references in episodes of both of its seasons. And the concept of alien intelligences not requiring humanoid bodies or brains, is one that already had been broached in some first season episodes. Again, I have no issue with the concept of "All That Glisters". In many ways, it fits with Space: 1999's ways of portraying "the other" as an uncanny, never thoroughly or precisely knowable alien quantity. It captured my imagination, together with the compelling, quite unique look of the episode.

And Landau and the fans' carping on Koenig's decisions and actions rings hollow for me. John Koenig is an instinctive man. He acts and reacts in instinctive ways. As a situation develops, his instincts, opinions, and command decisions may change. When Tony is struck by the rock, Koenig's first, visceral response is, "Get that thing out of here." When the threat posed by the rock becomes more understood, Koenig becomes wary of allowing anyone to go near it, but also cannot move the rock from the Eagle and far from Tony because Helena says that the answer to Tony's peculiar cardiac-arrested condition is in the rock. He cannot let Helena go too far away from her patient and her diagnostic unit in the Eagle, and therefore must she be unnervingly close to the rock. This frustrates Koenig, probably frightens him, but there is an investigation that has to be undertaken, and if needs be, he has to modify his order of nobody going near the rock, including the main body of it on the planet and its fluid, so that the investigation can proceed. It is a situation that would (quite naturally, I should think) tax Koenig's patience and make Koenig short of temper. Desperate, even- especially when it is discovered that contacting Alpha has become impossible. Koenig had decided upon a simple geological reconnaissance mission. He had allowed Dave Reilly all of the time needed to survey the planet for the best possible location for quickly extracting vital milgonite. The planet appeared to be without any substantial life-forms, detected by sensors or by any visual means. Its conditions were stable. Three hours to extract milgonite. Two people to "mind the store" in the Eagle while Alpha's Science Officer and top geologist acquired the desired mineral. But what looked like a simple procedure became an unexpectedly and confoundedly complex and potentially deadly situation. Every one of Koenig's actions and command decisions in the episode makes sense in this context. One could argue that his decision to leave Helena alone in Medical Centre with Anton Zoref in Season 1's "Force of Life" was foolhardy, because in that episode, he had the full complement of Alpha's Security personnel to call upon to monitor Zoref. But anyway.

The landing party had three hours, which had seemed more than enough time for a simple, straightforward endeavour, and Alpha would be contacted if an unforeseen problem had arisen. But something happens that has hitherto been outside of Koenig's experience. A planet without evident life, but having life in a geophysical form, life that can establish itself in the Eagle and that cannot be safely extracted therefrom and which can incapacitate or commandeer the Eagle. It is after the experience on the planet in "All That Glisters" that Koenig modifies his instructions to Alpha during reconnaissances, with Alpha having to contact the landing party every thirty minutes and send help if need be. In first season, there was no back-up plan, was there? No back-up Eagle or back-up party if contact with the landing party was lost in "Death's Other Dominion". Nobody "minded the store" in the landed Eagle, either. Everyone went out in the snowstorm. And with, I say again, no search party on stand-by in another Eagle in orbit around the planet. Nobody "minded the store" in "The Full Circle", in terms of the first reconnaissance party. When nobody "reported in", only then did Alpha suspect that something was wrong. Procedures change as the Alphans become better experienced. One could quibble, I suppose, with the reconnaissance in Season 2's "A Matter of Balance" as being something of a "throw-back". Nobody "minds the store", and there appears to be no plan for Alpha to stay in communication. At least, nothing that is apparent from what is seen and heard by the viewer.

"Irish cowboy". Even in my first viewing of "All That Glisters" in English at the age of 11, I intuited that Dave Reilly was an Irishman who liked Texas (he probably worked there, him being a geologist who tapped oil wells) and fancied himself a cowboy. I did not launch into a foolish tirade about there being no cowboys in Ireland, as the fans seem to have done. Honestly. Are these people really that obtuse? So obtuse that they cannot intuit something as simple as an Irishman with a love for the ways of Texas? Apparently so. But that is not the fault of "All That Glisters", its writer, Keith Miles, or Fred Freiberger.

With regard to "All That Glisters", I rest my case. I have no inclination at this time to answer to the attack on "Journey to Where", other than to say that the attack is pure blinkered balderdash.

This is all for today, Saturday, June 20, 2015.


Updates have been done to The Pink Panther Show Page and The Space: 1999 Page, in the former's case to add information on the upcoming Kino Lorber Blu-Ray releases and in the latter's case to, sadly, expand the in-memoriam section. Recently, actors Richard Johnson, Christopher Lee, and Alex Scott have died. All of them had, to use the British expression, "good innings", Christopher Lee, most especially. I thought that he might live forever. I had entertained the same thought about Patrick Macnee, who has also died in recent weeks. Just a day after I had acquired the Season 5 Blu-Ray set of The Avengers. And just a day after I most recently posited the possibility of an immortal Patrick Macnee.

A world without John Steed was- and still is- unthinkable. The New Avengers was another of the television shows that impressed me greatly in years of my upbringing, and if I was to add to my list of Web pages dedicated to imaginative entertainment, The New Avengers would be my first choice of subject. I have, from time to time, toyed with the idea of writing a New Avengers Web page, but such a project never progressed from the nascent stage. I discovered The Avengers much later in life and quite like it too, in its Diana Rigg seasons mostly. But for me, the John Steed sometimes fantastical spy adventure opus was always, first and foremost, The New Avengers.

It is mid-July. Where is the summer going? Where do all of the summers go? They pass me by far, far too quickly. They just lack so much of what they used to have, and there is nothing that I can do about that. I have tried time and time and time again, but friends old and new are not prepared, or are not willing, to spend the sort of quality time with me that they once did. I travel alone, if I do travel, and the one friend on my travels to the Miramichi region who did always have time for me, is now dead.

So, it is just me here. Me and Facebook on which my friends are almost all not engaging with me, disapproving as they appear to be of my love of certain twentieth century entertainment, and on which groups are steeped in ever reiterated rancour. As I predicted, the Space: 1999 Facebook group has grown more vitriolic and more numerous in its assaults on Season Two, as the Blu-Ray release thereof edges closer. The people in the Space: 1999 Facebook group hate Season Two and Season Two aficionados so much that a positive development such as the Blu-Ray release has to be soured and scourged so thoroughly, so condescendingly, in massed attack on everything from the opening scenes of "The Metamorph" to the final camera shot in the epilogue of "The Dorcons". In fact, both Space: 1999 Facebook groups, including the somewhat tamer Space: 1999 Fan Club, are now steeped in disdainful sorties on every aspect of the "Friedberger" season of Space: 1999. Yes, "Friedberger" is an epithet used by these arrogant louts. They call him "crap". And they say he knew nothing about science fiction (even though an episode that he wrote, "Space Warp", used the valid science fiction concept of "doors" in the fabric of space).

Oh, and they talk of "Year 1" being a "hit" in 1975-6. If it was, why did Sir Lew Grade cancel Space: 1999 just three months into its run on television? Arguing that it was a "hit" in syndication does not answer my question. If it were a "hit", Grade would not have cancelled it. He cancelled it because after "curiosity viewing" for a few weeks, people were "tuning out". The success in syndication was initial, not sustained enough for Grade to commit to a second season in the same format.

The fans talk of it being better for Space: 1999 to have been cancelled after Season 1. Better for whom? Oh, why, them, of course. If Space: 1999 had been permanently cancelled in 1975, it would have disappeared, probably, before the 1976 summer repeats in many television markets. Having not seen it in 1975, I would not have had any awareness of it in 1976, 1977, or 1978. Possibly never. I doubt that it would have gone on being syndicated. Like UFO, it would have been an obscure curio, possibly reaching niche-market home videotape or DVD. Not having known of Space: 1999, I might have just been a Star Wars fan like many of my fellow Generation Xers. A great many other imaginative people would, like me, have gone through the late 1970s untouched by the universe of Space: 1999. That would have affected demand for it on television and in the "home video" market in subsequent decades. It might never have seen release on DVD, to say nothing of Blu-Ray.

They go on and on about lost potential and bastardisation and abomination, etc.. For all of the "Year 1" potential spoken-of in the past forty years, have the fans ever been able to compile a theoretical set of twenty-four story outlines for a "Year 1"-styled second season? A set of story outlines that contains no- I mean no- returning antagonists and that has an alien quantity, astral body, or space phenomenon in every story (no Alpha-bound stories limited to character interaction only, please)? I have not seen one. John Rankine and E.C. Tubb, professional writers both, did supply four original novels with some good ideas in them. They were writers doing a job. Not fans. But then, there is the Powys Books range of novels whose very first effort is a return of Balor from "End of Eternity" and whose next publications tried to explain the much-lamented disappearance of Bergman, Morrow, and Kano. Some interesting material, but still the tired, old refrain that Bergman has to die. And Morrow is portrayed as a mutineer and deserter, which is supposed to be believable because he was rather fractious in "The Last Sunset" while under the influence of "magic mushrooms". And then there is the return of the Dragon monster. And Jarak. Maya loses her powers, to the approval of fans who never liked her in the first place. Etc.. Etc.. Just because a story is published professionally does not mean that it is liberated from the murky depths of "fanwankery" (to use another British expression). The Rankine and Tubb novels at least stake out new territory within the format of the first season (some fans bemoan Rankine's work as "too 'Year 2'", but anyway...).

In my chronology project in its most recent iteration, I do posit a "bridge" episode, or perhaps an extended, two- or three-part episode, that rather credibly (if I really must say so) proposes a forced separation from Bergman and Morrow and an outlook change emerging from an encounter with a people later mentioned in an episode in Season 2. Some might call this "fanwank", but it does not bring back old foes or try to portray characters in a way that would win the approval of fans for approval's sake. It extrapolates changes on Alpha from events in the first season's later episodes, as having already been "in the works". And for what it is worth, professionally written stories that do not resort to "fannish" tendencies carry enough weight with me, for me to endeavour to include them within the chronology of the television series, Charlton Comics' "The Primary Life Form" being such a story. I would have liked to include Rankine and Tubb's works, but there is no room for further Season 1 stories, or for any further pre-"The Metamorph" stories with "a body count". They could perhaps be adapted to fit within Season 2, and I did once attempt such with Rankine's Phoenix of Megaron. But I was not then nor am I now a professional writer of fiction. English was not my major in university (though I was an "A" student in it in first university year). The chronology that I supplied for Space: 1999 is a product of my love for and fidelity to the television show, as a maverick to the fan movement, with my background as a student of history and a somewhat knowledgeable chronicler of television history (albeit restricted in his writings to Internet publication). My readers can make of that what they will. But I try not to pander to the worst impulses of fans. I cannot abide those impulses and the extent of nastiness that ensues from them. Nastiness with ballyhooed validation inside the fan group construct.

In fandom with its unending lust for scapegoating, there is power in numbers, and that power aggrandises the egos of the nastiest contributors to the group's bias and solidarity. In recent days, the Space: 1999 Facebook group's push to invalidate Season Two and ostracise and demoralise its adherents has reached a fevered pitch, with a "thread" with hundreds of replies. Several of them verbose in assailing Season 2 with subjective "bitching" about just about everything. Forty years, people. Forty years. And no end in sight. What a blinkered-for-life-and-proud-of-it and wasted bunch!

Now, I am not proud of some of my own blinkered attitudes, but they were the product of biases forced upon me, used against me, all too often ad hominem, by people who, I have to say, hated me and the work that I had undertaken. The work of this Website. It is quite perplexing and "off-putting" how entertainment like the pre-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons, can engender such condescending, disagreeable, and even vicious people. It is difficult to look upon such entertainment with a broadly and constructively open mind, when I see what it begets. And that entertainment itself being used as a brickbat against what I hold dear.

There is not much difference, to my eyes, between the pre-1948 cartoons "camp" and the "Year 1" of Space: 1999 "camp". What difference there is, is in the ferocity of the hostility. Space: 1999 fandom is unmatched on that. Definitely unmatched.

And a refrain of late is that Space: 1999- Season 2 was "made for children". Absolute balderdash. Alcohol consumption (Tony's beer), lust (Taybor grabbing Maya's leg), brain-damaged cave creatures, i.e. those in the caverns of Psychon, clearly visible, copious corpses (the cadavers on Planet D), brutal fights (e.g. John fighting the crazed Tony in "The Immunity Syndrome"), the seduction scenes in "One Moment of Humanity", Elizia's bloodlust in "the Hunt" in "Devil's Planet", description of internally shattered bodies in "The Lambda Factor", the horrible-looking creatures of "The Bringers of Wonder", etc.. None of these would have been approved for inclusion in a Saturday morning children's television show. Space: 1999's second season was intended as family entertainment, to be viewed after dinner late on a Saturday afternoon/early on a Saturday evening. By imaginative, open-minded parents and their children. As was the case in Canada. This should be an incontrovertible fact, and especially so to anyone familiar with "kid vid" standards of the day, i.e. what was permitted on television directed exclusively at youngsters.

Yes, "Year 1" was darker, more horrific. But just because something is less dark, less horrific, does not mean its target audience is juvenile. Honestly, the thought process of these people is staggeringly skewed. Is this what "Year 1" engenders?

On what was acceptable for "kid vid", Ralph Bakshi pushed limits to their most peripheral with his seasons of Spiderman- but when it came to death, that was something that could be implied or spoken-of, but not shown. Uncle Ben's death was not shown in "The Origin of Spiderman". It was told-about in exposition from a policeman. And even some of the implication in an episode could be deemed unacceptable, if the toll of death is on the scale of whole worlds, as in "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension", which the ABC television network opted not to show. Yes, Bakshi's Spiderman was dark, unnerving, frightening. But characters dying "on camera", dead, human bodies strewn across a landscape, and people dying in explosions of worlds were eventualities and depictions outside of the boundaries of acceptability for Saturday morning television. To say nothing of live-action lustful actions, live-action social alcohol consumption, and live-action violence. There is no way, people, for Season Two of Space: 1999 to be "kid vid". At least not at the time that it was made. So, how could it have been "made for children"?

I am tired. So tired of addressing the blinkered attitudes and distorted thoughts of the fans of Space: 1999. I propose to now close this Weblog entry. So, that is all for today, July 15, 2015.


A further Space: 1999 guest star has died, and I have updated The Space: 1999 Page to make the requisite addition to the in-memoriam section. Aubrey Morris, who played the Mengele-like Petros High Priest in "Mission of the Darians". The man who decided which captured people were mutant and consigned to a cabinet for protein-extraction and disintegration, or perfect and given to the "spirits", i.e. civilised Darians, for organ and tissue transplants. I did not see him in many other productions, The Prisoner and S.O.S. Titanic being some such, and I occasionally thought I saw him in some guest-starring role in a television series episode- only to discover that I was mistaken. I thought that the character of Jobel in the 1985 Doctor Who serial, "Revelation of the Daleks", was being played by Mr. Morris, but the end credits revealed it had been Clive Swift playing Jobel.

Most of the guest stars in Space: 1999, and the main cast of actors, were of the generation of my parents, a generation whose members have now reached, if not passed, life-expectancy age in the developed world. It is a grim thought, but I will doubtless be adding more names to the in-memoriam section of my Space: 1999 Page in months to come. There are some who have reached a most ripe old age. Douglas Wilmer (Commissioner Dixon in "Dragon's Domain") is now 95 years-old. I used to think that he had died in the early 1990s, due entirely to an error-riddled obituary section in a certain fan newsletter. Also, an erroneous Internet Movie Database death notation on a biography had actress Mary Miller (Freda, "Death's Other Dominion") said to have died in 1988; however, she is still alive. These days, the possibility of error is reduced, because I follow Hyperlinks to obituaries on reputable news agencies. If someone connected to Space: 1999 has died, I will know about it, with as much accuracy as can be reasonably expected. As regards Douglas Wilmer, I have found an interview with him that was conducted circa 2005. In the interview, he looks very chipper and sounds mentally sharp and very articulate. Here is that interview.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAh8eitWo_4

As Commissioner Dixon, he portrayed the stern, harshly judging, and calculating bureaucrat in an amazing contrast to his more comedic "turn" as a befuddled Surete Commissioner in Revenge of the Pink Panther and his somewhat jaunty aristocrat character of Fanning in Octopussy.

I propose now to once again address the pompous mutterings of that rancorous "lot" of Space: 1999-"fen" on Facebook and the recent Season Two-debasing "thread" that continues to "sputter on". There is someone arguing that if Season Two fans would only "see the light" in Martin Landau's derisive opinion of Season Two and Freddie Freiberger, there would be no need for any more remedial lectures from the preeminent ones of the fan movement. Oh, sure. He is right. Everyone who hates Season Two is right. Anyone who disagrees is patently and fatuously wrong. Sigh.

Season One producer Sylvia Anderson has spoken of Mr. Landau in a relentlessly negative way, including in her demeaning assessment everything from his acting ability to his footing to his tastes to his temper, and yet he speaks highly of her and, it is claimed, bears an unending grudge against the late Fred Freiberger, who famously said that he had tremendous respect for Landau- and Barbara Bain, too. It makes little sense to me why an actor would perpetually begrudge someone over a professional disagreement over aspects of a directed acting performance, and not resent someone who is attacking the quality of his acting and his personality. But anyway.

The "Year 1" actors and actresses had worked for fifteen or more months with Space: 1999 being a certain way, and found it jarring to suddenly be part of a newly assembled, somewhat changed production team with a remit that Space: 1999 be oriented in its stories and enacted quite differently. Less deliberately. Faster and with more intensity, with more tenderness and some occasional jocularity. They saw Space: 1999 as some grandiose opus patterned after the fastidious and arguably tediously cryptic 2001- A Space Odyssey, and bristled at the "more mundane" approach of the Freiberger season which was more in line with American television and its adherence to formula, interpersonal conflict, and "showy" heroism and "flashy" super-heroism. As if the latter of these is incapable ever of being meaningful or profound, or even satisfyingly entertaining. They were "set in a way" following the production of Season 1, and they evidently hewed to the cliched notion of there being a vastly and always incontrovertibly inferior orientation for science fiction subject matter, one that can only be perceived in a certain way, and one that is patently beneath the "serious actor".

Ah, yes. The silly Saturday-morning "comic strip" again.

There are some actors who do appear to be awfully pompous when it comes to imaginative space fiction/fantasy. Harrison Ford, for example, has famously looked down his nose at Star Wars. Sir Alec Guinness certainly did not view his work in Star Wars with much, if any, satisfaction. The idea of being involved in a work that captures the imagination of children and their fair-minded parents is evidently ever so beneath the professional range of an Academy actor. How could they possibly condescend to play a character who flies a spaceship with an animal-like companion and sits with rubbery-skinned aliens in a space tavern? How could they lower themselves to fight alien monsters on a planet of sentient plants, or to confront a living rock with utterly fantastic, alien capabilities, or to spar against an evil mirror image of their character, or an anti-matter man of alien garment fashion? Or hideous alien "jellies"? Or "Amazonian" women of an alien penal colony? Oh, the horror! Such condescension. So much better to walk in make-up as someone aged and converse with a disembodied voice amid copious tinsel. Because in that case, theology is being addressed, rather than a by-necessity waged battle with a sinister alien quantity. Oh, yes. And "Journey to Where" with its depictions of an Earth ecosystem destroyed by human pollution coinciding with a Mr. Hyde transformation and capped with a recitation of some of human history's worst events followed by a statement that maybe a return to Earth is not so desirable a prospect, is not provocative and is beneath the talents of "serious actors". Yes, right. I roll my eyes.

Actors are as capable of missing nuances and meanings in something as anyone else. Even if they were integral parties in the production. Martin Landau is an excellent actor. One of the twentieth century's best. And some of his best work is in Season Two of Space: 1999. In his only leading part in a television series. A television series in which he is given the gravitas of a strong-willed character with a troubled and haunting past, and a full range of human emotion.

I never met Fred Freiberger, but I corresponded with him and interviewed him. I exchanged a number of letters with him, and some erstwhile friends of mine accompanied him to the Space: 1999 Los Angeles convention of 1999. By their accounts, he was the perfect gentleman, car-driving them around Los Angeles for a tour of that city. And he had "balls of steel", they said ("balls of steel" was their phraseology, not mine), for sitting in front of the fans and fielding questions from the oftentimes impolite, thirty-something half-adults in a convention audience. This was a man, a Jew, who was downed in his aeroplane in World War II over Nazi territory. Sitting in front of a couple of hundred (if that) disagreeable fans of a decades-old television show would, one might think, be nothing compared to that. But he was not a young man, and he had already suffered a stroke. His memory was not pinpoint accurate. It cannot have been a relaxing, unstressful experience for him. But he weathered it. My friends contended that he "won over" the crowd and that hostility would end and that there would be harmony in Space: 1999 fandom. I doubted that. I knew Space: 1999 fandom "all too well" by then. Fandom has since then been more acrimonious than ever with regard to Season 2 and its producer. But Mr. Freiberger did go and face the fans. That should warrant respect. And would receive respect- from fair and decent people.

In my correspondence with him, I can say categorically that he was not the egotistical, narcissistic monster that Space: 1999 fandom would have everyone on this planet believe him to have been. While he genuinely believed that his work was good and had been undertaken for the betterment of television programmes, he was humble. And he was considered and amenable to corresponding with some young man from all of the way across the North American continent. He did not have to answer that first letter that I had sent to him, but he did. And he did so eloquently and comprehensively. He later sent me a Christmas card and an autographed copy of the script for "The Metamorph". He was a nice man. He was an intelligent man. He was not a boorishly pragmatic man (as some of his most vocal detractors would portray him), but a fanciful man. He was interested very much in Greek and Roman mythology. He was extensively read in such. Also literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth century; he had read Verne, Mary Shelley, and Robert Louis Stevenson. He saw science fiction as a latter-day vehicle for myth and fable. Myth and fable patterned somewhat after Greek and Roman, i.e. classical, mythology and such mythology's ideas, constructs, and archetypes. He was less concerned with futuristic "realism" and perfect consistency of concept. Not that he was intent on tossing such things completely to the wind; he just was not as "hung up" on them as other writers and producers may have been. He did not eschew ideas for being too far removed from Earthly reality. As long as they were not outside the potential scope of Earthly myth, they had legitimacy and engaging story potential. If they were speculative, in terms of alien environment or alien life forms, so much the better.

And he was not interested in weighing down stories with protracted rumination and philosophising. He wanted to reconstitute and expand upon old-Earth mythologies in a space science-fictional premise. And for viewers to see the parallels and roots in old mythology and appreciate his works on that basis- along with with the visceral thrills of an hour's fast-paced drama (or melodrama).

His Star Trek became a more mythological offering than what had been the case previously, with episodes like "And the Children Shall Lead" (the Gorgon), "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" (the Medusan), "Plato's Stepchildren" (gift-bearing Greeks to beware), "That Which Survives" (the sad-faced, deadly siren), and even the much-maligned "The Way to Eden" (and its Biblical references). While one or two or three of his episodes failed in story development or structure, or in portrayal of concept, the essential story idea was still a valid one. Even "Spock's Brain" might have worked if it had been structured and portrayed differently. Season Two of Star Trek had become staid and predictable, even situation-comedic on numerous occasions, resorting all too often to the same crew-is-captured-and-forced-to-fight story premise and at other times, such as in "I, Mudd", "A Piece of the Action", and David Gerrold's "The Trouble With Tribbles", using large doses of comedy to tell a story. Mr. Freiberger was right. Star Trek should not be a comedy. Though some occasional, tension-easing humour may still be welcome. Season 3 was a return to the more imaginative, "out there" stories of Season 1 (and the music was largely carried over from first season, eliminating most of the tediously repetitive musical scores of Season 2), with space again becoming spooky and daunting. Not a place for Kirk and company to encounter and fight in the latest Earth political-system parallel of the week.

He came into the production of Space: 1999 with a requirement that the television series be retooled. He was not emotionally invested in what had transpired before his arrival (I doubt that Gerry Anderson really was either, actually). In the eight Season One episodes that he viewed, Mr. Freiberger saw a potential in Space: 1999 for producing a space-fiction mythology of even more fanciful dimensions than what Star Trek had proffered. He was not aware of metaphysical and/or theological underpinnings to the first season's episodes, much less any "arcs", and Gerry Anderson did not make him privy to any such things. I am not sure that Mr. Anderson himself really was aware of them.

Mr. Freiberger came into a production that had already been cancelled by Sir Lew Grade, ostensibly for failing to capture the fancy of the United States of America. There was already no possibility of continuing Space: 1999 fully in the Season One "mold". Mr. Freiberger instilled into Space: 1999 his interest in mythology and his own "take" on science fiction, and that of the writers with whom he chose to work. He was imaginative and did not like to constrict his imagination with thoughts of, "Oh, we can't do that." Ideas like rocks and plants possessing sentience had basis in mythology and in some modern science fiction. He was not interested in philosophising on them or in lumbering them with tedious exposition. He had faith, perhaps too much faith, in the imagination of his audience to not be narrow, but broad. As broad as that of writers of old mythology. He also knew the requirement of space science fiction/fantasy to show alien worlds and life forms and to be speculative. A weekly drama about life on a Moonbase. Not for him. A space war with robots and encounters with Wild West societies on frontier planets. Not for him. I would say that Glen A. Larson (rest his soul) did not know or "grasp" science fiction long, long before I would say the same about Fred Freiberger.

One more thing before I leave the subject of Space: 1999. The fans are now attacking the jackets of Season Two, saying with absolute certainty that they resemble leisure suits. First, what is wrong with a leisure suit? I mean, what is objectively wrong with it? It did fall out of fashion after the 1970s. Sure. But so what? Colonel Steve Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man wore one, and he is still looked-upon today as "cool" by a sizable number of people. And besides, to be fashionable in the 1970s (or in any past time) does not equate with badness. I had a professor who taught of the fallacy of positivism, the ideology that anything old is inferior to anything new, that everything, including fashion, improves over passage of time and that people of a later time period are by necessity "better off" in lifestyle, thought, all sensibility, than people of earlier days. It is a fallacy. Fashions have been known to be cyclical. They can "come back". Just as outlooks, modes of thinking, can make resurgences after being frowned-upon for a time. Human development is not necessarily linear through time. There can be cul-de-sacs and retroactive motions. For this and for other reasons, believing fashion today to be empirically and incontrovertibly superior to fashion of yesterday, is a fallacious mentality. In any case, apart from the collars, the jackets do not resemble leisure suits. The sport jackets resemble athletic jackets of the 1970s (like those of Adidas), with some flourishes reminiscent of the Village jackets of The Prisoner. And the anoraks resemble... anoraks. What one would see at a ski resort. Note the waist belt on the jacket's outside. That was not leisure suit. That was anorak. I distinctly remember wanting to replicate the Space: 1999 jackets, and I saw the look of them in Sears catalogues in the athletic jacket and anorak sections. Not the leisure suit sections. Leisure suits had breast pockets, which the anoraks and sport jackets worn by Koenig, Russell, etc. did not have. They also were buttoned, not zippered. And their pants and jackets had matching colours. Were the Space: 1999- Season Two sport jackets and anoraks the same colour as the Alpha uniform pants? Of course not. I rest my case, again. What silly people these fans are. I really do wish that they would stop being given credence.

Episodes of The Edge of Night from 1983 continue to be made available on YouTube. It is now possible to follow storylines to near the end of June, 1983, and I am hoping to at last be able to see the whole Edge of Night summer of 1983. That superlative summer of 1983. Which I still like to remember in detail, every nuance of my fun at baseball games, how in-demand I was in my neighbourhood, and how I would look forward to my best friend, Joey, joining me in the basement, on the front steps, or out in the neighbourhood. And my most insistent, most determined, and eventually successful (and how!) quest for access to the CBHT broadcasts of Space: 1999 in Nova Scotia. What a summer that was! And how good life was back then. Jaded by nothing. Impressed by almost everything. Winning more than losing. And best friendship. It is a summer to which I hearken back in mind very, very often. The summers of 1977 and 1975 are also prominently in my remembrances of summers past, remembrances that I intend to indulge in the vacation weeks ahead.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015.


This week I have been trying, and so far failing, to find a glass-doored bookcase for my expanding collection of books from my upbringing. Everywhere I look, no success. Yesterday, my quest brought me to Sears in the Regent Mall in Fredericton. I waited for several minutes in the furniture section for a clerk to come to me and ask if I needed help. I grew impatient and left, eventually walking the aisles of Wal-Mart, and the closest thing to a bookcase that I was able to find was a television stand with a couple of shelves (assembly required, of course). But the back of it had gaping holes in it, and the shelf space in it was inadequate. Nobody came to me as ask if I needed help (customer service is not what it used to be), and when I tried in my frustration to walk out of the store, every aisle was blocked by people just standing obstructively in middle of aisle and staring into their cellular telephone device (this is another problem that I have with the world today, and I will expound upon it). I returned to Sears and went to a customer service desk and stated exactly what it was that I wanted. A book cabinet with glass doors. The young lady turned to her computer to do a search, and I did not like what was augured when she misspelled "cabinet". I stifled my sigh, for courtesy's sake, as the search initially found scant results. But there was little improvement after the clerk clicked the correctly spelled "cabinets and dressers" and found no indication of a set of glass-doored book shelves. I do know that the Sears in the United States sells them, but Sears Canada? Of course not. I finally tapped my fingers impatiently, allowed myself an non-stifled sigh, said an exasperated thank-you, and exited the store.

The spelling mistake of the clerk is the second time this summer that I have been less than impressed with customer service. A Dairy Queen cashier/cook could not do simple arithmetic, and I, her customer, had to do it for her, while the person behind me in line had to verify for her that my arithmetic was correct. This is what comes of a no-fail policy at school and a generation of people so absorbed in cellular telephone screens and social media that they cannot go to a shopping mall without bringing along their cellular communication device to stare, blank-faced, into, as they meander through the mall corridor (to say nothing of blocking store aisles in a state of physical inertia and obliviousness to their surroundings). They cannot remove themselves from "screens" long enough to go shopping. It is not surprising that they miss, or fail to mentally process, certain spelling or mathematics lessons in school, as their minds are on the text message that they have just read- or that they are reading while in class. I shudder to think of what will come of the world when even surgeons cannot tear themselves away from cellular telephones in the middle of operations. It is going to happen. Every year, the "dumbing down" of our society and the increasing fixation on self-gratifying use of cellular communication gadgets and the obliviousness of people to what is around them, looks more and more egregious. Nowadays, every second person in the mall has a "smart phone" (ha!) in his or her hand and staring into it with a blank or self-satisfied look on his or her face, or has one up to his or her ear as he or she talks to someone while the people with him or her either distract themselves with their "smart phone" or stand vacuously and sheepishly. Nobody, I mean nobody, looks at me for longer than a micro-second as I pass them in the mall corridor or store aisle. I have been on this planet for awhile, and I may be viewed by some Millennials as a crotchety old man, but I do recall a time when at least some people would say hello or at least nod their head in greeting (yes, even to a total stranger). And people would look at me for a full second to see if maybe they might recognise me. Nobody does that anymore. They do not care if they by chance happen to encounter anyone they know at the mall. All that they care about is their confounded cyber-chats. Worse still, one often sees groups of people on mall seats not talking to each other. All of them absorbed in what is on the screen of their hand-held device.

I used to think that wireless, hand-held communicators of the future, be they those of Star Trek or those of Space: 1999 were "so cool". Who would have thought that now that they are everywhere, I would be lamenting, even cursing, the things? But I liked wireless, hand-held communicators when they were being used for a higher purpose than talking about sexual liaisons or plans for such and the "night out" leading to them, or gossipping about who is in love with whom or what embarrassing predicament a peer or friend has been in, or asking the wife or husband what to buy for dinner. It is true that some of my resentment of cellular telephones comes from my not having anyone contacting me on them. Envy, I suppose. Yes. But that is not all. By no means. I just deplore the obliviousness of people, because I know that it is affecting their overall mental performance. As competent clerks in a store or restaurant or in whatever their occupation. It is also impairing their ability to read non-verbal cues and recognise acquaintances. Because they are not attentive. They are closing themselves off to their surroundings and the people in those surroundings. Nothing good can come of that.

And I still do not have the bookcase for which I am looking. I may never find it.

My pursuit of printed matter acquired in my childhood years has turned mainly to what was then called "funny books". Illustrated magazines, i.e. comic books, with the Warner Brothers cartoon characters and such other cartoon luminaries as the Pink Panther and Inspector, Heckle and Jeckle, and Underdog. In 1975 and 1976, I was amassing a collection of comic books, and I was primarily interested in cartoon characters, while some friends occasionally showed to me comic books in their possession that were ghost-story-related, horror-story-related, off-the-wall fare such as D.C. Comics' Plop!, and comic books with Walt Disney cartoon characters. Oh, yes. And the ubiquitous Archie, which bored me to the extreme. Nearly all of the comic books I owned had either disintegrated or had been lost (i.e. thrown in the garbage by my parents, I feel sure- unless our house had magical powers, which I doubt) by 1980. By 1978, I had all but stopped buying them, Gold Key Comics' Looney Tunes being the last comic book whose regular issue I was still purchasing. I did, however, "snatch up" Space: 1999 comic books from Charlton Comics whenever I happened to find one of them in a store for second-hand books and magazines. Which was not often.

So far, I have reacquired the first fourteen issues of Gold Key Comics' Looney Tunes, several Gold Key Tweety and Sylvester comic books from 1975, a sizable number of Gold Key Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny comic book monthly issues from the early-to-mid-1970s, a few Gold Key Bugs Bunny comic books, a couple of Heckle and Jeckle comic books (of the New Terrytoons Gold Key comic book series), one Daffy Duck (Gold Key), one Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny (Gold Key), one Road Runner (Gold Key), and a handful of Pink Panther and the Inspector (also Gold Key). An Underdog (Gold Key) comic book issue number three (I remember having that one) is on order. And I am looking at Charlton Comics' The Flintstones and Pebbles and The Great Gazoo (I had one or two issues of each of those). Finding the comic books in mint or "Very Fine" condition is proving to be quite the challenge (and expensive), but I do want the best quality possible. And I must say, the smell of a freshly opened, mint-condition comic book has done more to recall me, to "take me back", to the mid-1970s in the Miramichi, than anything else has for quite some time. The olfactory system is one of the most powerful triggers for nostalgia, and it is definitely doing its work in this case. All of those sunny evenings in Newcastle at Gallivan's Bookstore with my parents, my eyes pouring over the comic books out on display on the expansive wooden shelves and my parents agreeing to buy one or two of them for me. Me sitting in the back seat of the car as we returned to our home in Douglastown, my eyes absorbing the colours and text on comic book pages spread open on the car seat. And my procedure of displaying my comic books on shelving units in my garage or in the house's basement. All of it, brought back to me by a scent of a mint-condition comic book. Glorious!

I also am again possessor of almost all Starlog magazine issues from 1976 to 1981.

In recent days, I have had some photograph scanning done of some old pictures, which I will be adding to my autobiography- if I can find room for them there. They are photographs that would mostly go in Era 2, and that already is exceedingly "weighted" with images. I also opted to have a new scan done of the letter that I received from Chuck Jones Enterprises in 1993. In case I do eventually find the initiative to restore my Era 6 memoirs to my Website, it would be nice to have a maximum amount of my old images on hand to insert into that part of the autobiography, including that prized letter from Chuck Jones Enterprises. Here is the scan that I have recently done of said letter.

Yes, "Hyde and Hare" was not Chuck Jones' cartoon. It was Friz Freleng's. I addressed my correspondence (with "Hyde and Hare" essay and pictures that I had drawn) to both Mr. Jones and Mr. Freleng to best insure that Warner Brothers, the initial intended recipient of the packet (I had known Warner Brothers' address), would forward it to one of the surviving cartoon directors and not return it to me or hold it in limbo. And besides, I wanted for Mr. Jones to read the essay, too, knowing as I did then how intellectual he was about the cartoons of his and his peers' exemplary cartoon animation teams. Mr. Jones kept the essay and returned my drawings. I like to think that he read it and sent a copy of it to Friz Freleng. Something tells me that he did. He would have found it to be an irresistible "read", I think. And knowing the respect that he had for Mr. Freleng, I feel rather sure that he would have contacted his colleague and told him of the arrival of an essay about one of the cartoons of the Friz oeuvre.

I now end Kevin McCorry's Weblog entry for July 24, 2015.


Here it is. Bugs Bunny's seventy-fifth birthday. Seventy-five years ago, to this very day, the first Bugs Bunny cartoon, "A Wild Hare", had its theatrical debut. And where is the recognition of this important day on the Internet or on television? Precious little of that recognition can be found. Variety.com has something written about the birthday of Bugs. Here it is.

http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/bugs-bunnys-75th-birthday-a-quiet-celebration-of-his-wild-debut-1201544222/

I do have to dispute the statement in that article that says, "There won't be much hoopla to celebrate, because Warner Bros. doesn't observe the birthdays of animated characters." I was alive in 1990. Alive and aware at the age of twenty-four. Bugs' fiftieth birthday was celebrated in a U.S. network television special, a book by Joe Adamson, a re-issue of all then-available commercial videotapes through Time-Life, sticker books, fast food restaurant cups, and probably many other things. The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show was revamped, with a new cartoon titling system with Bugs removing a top hat, smiling, and blinking, and a vastly different package of cartoon shorts offered in the 1990-1 season of the television show. And released into syndication that year's autumn was Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends. In the early 1990s, there was more Bugs Bunny available on television in my area than had been the case since the 1970s. It was then that I was able to see every post-1948 Bugs Bunny cartoon, and in fact just about the entirety of the post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoon oeuvre. The fiftieth birthday of Bugs was certainly being recognised and celebrated. Now, his seventy-fifth birthday is largely being ignored.

One can speculate as to why this is. Doubtless, the Warner Brothers cartoons have, since 2000, not been very much in the public consciousness. Whether this is intentional or inadvertent, it depends, I guess, on what an individual is prepared to believe. There can be no doubt that Warner Brothers has "given up" on the remastering and releasing to DVD and Blu-Ray of the cartoons of Bugs Bunny and the other Looney Tune and Merrie Melodie cartoon characters, citing poor sales. And of course, the 2008 recession is blamed for that. I tend to think that the recession came at an opportune time for people wanting to leave behind and bury the work of the twentieth century. If the public stops spending money on luxuries like DVDs, shelf space in brick-and-mortar stores will be cleared of stock (and how selective the retailers were in removing vintage entertainment stock and retaining current, post-2000 productions!). Presumably, the buying public was eschewing only the twentieth century entertainment, abandoning nostalgia and opting only to spend money on current works. Or was the public being directed, manipulated into doing so? Something of a conundrum, one might say. But as regards Bugs Bunny, the star was fading long before 2008. There was no U.S. network television show after 2000 for the Looney Tune and Merrie Melodie characters. Bugs and the other characters became limited to speciality or niche television channels. Warner Brothers waited for years during the DVD "boom" before finally releasing a DVD set of the cartoons, and it was far, far, far from being comprehensive. The first DVD set ought to have contained hundreds of cartoons. Not 56. One looks at the deluxe treatment that Batman has recently received. If only Bugs Bunny and his cohorts had been graced with a release to digital videodisc of something that impressive! To this day, there are dozens of Bugs Bunny cartoons still not available to the buying public. And other characters' representation on DVD and Blu-Ray is even less satisfactory, in many cases. Here in Canada, to see the Warner Brothers cartoons, one has to have Teletoon Retro- and even Teletoon Retro has scaled its telecasts of Looney Tunes Classic down to a half-hour. Just this year, in fact. A full half-hour for vintage Warner Brothers cartoons was given instead to Animaniacs. What a thing to do to Bugs on his seventy-fifth birthday!

It does seem that all that I have to do these days is to complain. But I do have so much to complain about, for the entertainments on this Website have almost all fallen upon "hard times" of one sort or another. Which (I sigh as I typewrite this) brings me to Space: 1999, an entertainment that is enjoying a better year in 2015- or should be, were it not for the fans.

Space: 1999 fans. Onward they go in their unending negativity. And now they are proclaiming that Season Two showed no older people whatsoever on Alpha, and that it is inferior a priori to Season One on that basis.

There they go again, being blinkered and making sweeping, absolute statements. Yes, there was emphasis on youth in some Season Two episodes. But a closer examination of Season Two reveals that there are some older people visible on Alpha. Petrov in Weapons Section, for example. Definitely an older man. And there is that short, balding man in "Journey to Where" who recognises Morse Code. He is seen again in "The Dorcons". And what about Bartlett in "The Bringers of Wonder"? Not a young man, him. There are also a couple of older astronauts in spacesuits seen running during a Red Alert, and an older man being attended-to by Dr. Ben Vincent in Medical Centre while Moonbase is being buffeted by waves of heat in "Catacombs of the Moon".

Is it really likely that very many older people would want to work in space, i.e. off the Earth? I would think that as people grow older, they want to be close to their roots and their families. Granted, there will be some older people who "cut away from the herd", are different, and want to work in space research on a colony in space. We see some of them on Alpha in the first season. People such as Dr. Linden and Dr. Warren. And those people are "killed off". Logically, junior staff would be called upon to replace them. In fact, "The Troubled Spirit" in Season One "kills off" three experienced people in Hydroponics. The subsequent presence of younger people in the Hydroponics department is sensible. I know. The Season 1 fanatics are not interested in sensibility. Or in fair comment.

But, really, would not a space commission want its Moon base to be staffed for the most part by people in the prime of physical condition? To have a Moon base with a sizable contingent of older men and women in its personnel would mean higher costs for medical services (drugs, equipment, doctors). One would think that a budget-conscious space commission would want to keep older staff to a minimum, as that means a savings of money.

The crux of the contention that these fans are now having with age in Season 2 Alpha personnel is in the departure of Barry Morse. Of course it is. The thing that they seem to moan about the most, these days. Along with declarations of, "Freiberger is an idiot." The man is dead, people. Use the past tense, please, when referring to someone deceased. And show some maturity and decency in not name-calling a man who is dead. They are asserting now that Freiberger "fired" Barry Morse for being "too old". That is at variance with what Fred Freiberger told me. But even supposing that he did, so what? The entertainment industry caters to the public taste (and to advertisers, too). It does not operate on the terms, conditions, and employment standards of other fields of endeavour. Actors are often deemed to be too old for roles and replaced or "written out". In the case of Professor Bergman, it was decided to try something different for the role of the leading scientist on Moonbase Alpha. With Maya joining the Alphans, Bergman would have been superfluous. And Freiberger had a right to his option for going with a young alien woman for the Science Officer position on Alpha. I say yet again that change was required for Sir Lew Grade to green-light a second season. And besides, Sylvia Anderson says that Barry Morse was unhappy and approached her with his desire to leave at the end of Season One, and Mr. Morse himself is known to have said that, during much of the first season's production, he was rather less than happy with characterisation and dialogue. There was a salary dispute often reported as happening, too. Why is that suddenly not credible- when it is known that salary cuts were a condition being set at the time by Sir Lew Grade for bringing Space: 1999 back into production? Ultimately, it has to be said that there was an agreement in principle among various parties to "phase out" the Bergman character. Whether or not that was for the betterment of the television show is debatable, I suppose. But not an incontrovertible brickbat, one way or the other.

I respect Barry Morse. I think that the first season benefited greatly from his presence as Victor Bergman. I also respect the grace and dignity that Catherine Schell brought to Space: 1999 as Maya. It is possible to appreciate Space: 1999 in both of its forms. Some of us do, and I would argue that we are the enlightened ones.

For Christ's sake, people. Let it go! Your precious Season One was cancelled. Season Two was made, it aired, it had viewers, it was liked by segments of the viewing audience, and it had (and still has- though sadly in fewer numbers now, apparently) its enthusiasts. Deal with it. The events being lamented and lambasted over and over again on the Internet, happened nearly forty years ago.

Of course, I know that no one will listen to me, and the sorties will continue to intensify as Network Distributing's release of Season Two on Blu-Ray edges closer. The Blu-Ray release has to be spitefully fouled by rancor. Such is consistent with usual practice of the Season One "fundamentalists". They would of course like to see the Blu-Ray release halted due to a supposedly widespread disapproval from the Space: 1999 fan base. They would claim a victory if that were to happen. I had a bad dream about it a week ago. Network Distributing puts Blu-Ray plans for Season Two "on indefinite hold" due to sudden doubts about marketability of the product. The fact that these louts even gave me one unpleasant night's sleep is galling enough. I pray that is all that they will have accomplished. No doubt, there will be an effort to flood the release day for the Blu-Rays and my receiving of the Blu-Ray set with some huge gush of extreme negativity, so that I will be thinking of that and not about the outstanding set of Blu-Rays and their gorgeous picture quality in front of me at long last.

Difficult as it will be for me, I will from now until the release of the Blu-Rays not address the spiteful sputterings of the rancorous "lot" at the Facebook groups and anywhere else (e.g. YouTube) whereat they spew their venom. And in the days leading to and after the Blu-Ray release, I will summon all of the willpower at my disposal to not look at the Facebook groups or at any reviews of the Blu-Ray set on discussion forums. Nothing good for me can come of that. Only a ruining of what should be a happy day. Oh, I know that me being happy is, as far as some people are concerned, contrary to the laws of the universe. And it has been a struggle to find and to sustain that happiness as a result.

I would add, lest anyone may not think so, I appreciate Space: 1999 as a whole. The package of 48 episodes that aired on television nationally and regionally in my country. I preferred Season One, actually, for a number of years in the early-to-mid-1980s. But even then, when I watched episodes of Season Two, I enjoyed them. My appreciation of Season Two surged in the late 1980s to surpass that of Season One. And then the fans started poisoning the chalice with their mounting, condescending, matter-of-fact (they said) attacks on second season. I was used and discarded by disdaining-of-Season-2 first season enthusiasts and reviled by them in the early to-mid-1990s, and the Internet cemented that woeful treatment as a matter of perpetual course. I struggle some days to fully channel my old appreciation and love for Season One, but I usually am able to find that appreciation and love and then try to override the intensely aggravating "off-putting" by the fans. I say usually, not always. And in the immediate wake of their sorties, I cannot enjoy either season.

All for today, yet another rainy day on my vacation in 2015. It has rained every day on my vacation thus far. July 27, 2015. The largely unheralded birthday of Bugs Bunny.


A short Weblog entry for today, August 5, 2015.

Kino Lorber's Blu-Ray release of the DePatie-Freleng cartoons, originally slated for November, has been delayed into 2016. Word is that the delay is for potential bonus features and also for some checking of the Blu-Ray content for flaws (audio-video synchronisation problems, perhaps).

No release date is set for Network Distributing's Blu-Ray release of Season Two of Space: 1999. Several television series releases by Network Distributing have been delayed from fourth quarter of 2015 to April of 2016. Network says that Space: 1999- Season Two is not one of those delayed releases and that hope is for a 2015 release of Season Two on Blu-Ray. I would wish for more than hope. A definite release date at this stage would be appreciated. A list of bonus features, maybe, too. For something whose release is imminent within, presumably, a few months, it is unusual for release date and bonus content not to be announced by now. Was that bad dream that I had a couple of weeks ago some kind of prescient foreboding? I have been known to have such dreams, occasionally. A couple of autumns ago, I dreamed that a friend from work disappeared, and I was searching a Fredericton sports complex in search of him, to no avail. That same friend did indeed leave me at that same place a couple of months later, and I was searching for him, unable to find him as he went home. There is a precedent for prescience in my dreams.

I see that there is now a Space: 1999- "Year 2" Facebook group, established ostensibly for positive-minded outlook on the second season of Space: 1999. But the "tack" of the people in the group is, "'Year 2' is silly and stupid, but we love it anyway." And known haters of Season 2 from the other Space: 1999 Facebook groups, have joined it. So, my inclination is to ask if there is any purpose in bothering to do this other than it being just a "kinder, gentler" venue for debasing Space: 1999's second season. If that. I see that someone "trotted out" the refrain of, "Season One is for adults, and Season Two is for kids." Yes, in the Facebook group for Season Two.

Tiresome. Tiresome. I feel sure that my Weblog's readers are tired of my defences of Season Two. But I will go one further on this occasion and defend Season 3 of Star Trek. Someone is tarring it with the same brush used to tar Season Two of Space: 1999, contending that Fred Freiberger had "corny and cheesy" humorous end scenes in the episodes he produced of Star Trek. With the exception of "Spock's Brain" and possibly "The Tholian Web", "Day of the Dove", "Whom Gods Destroy", and "The Lights of Zetar" (I would contend that the "lighter-hearted" endings of those are effective), the third season episodes of Star Trek ended with serious or solemn commentary by Captain Kirk or with some character coping with a sad loss (Kirk in "Requiem For Methuselah", Mr. Spock in "All Our Yesterdays") or with a good-bye to a visitor or with the characters finding an optimistic thought to occupy their minds as they "move on" to their next assignment. Third season episodes that most cogently ended on something other than a humorous "note": "The Paradise Syndrome", "And the Children Shall Lead", "Is There in Truth No Beauty?", "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", "The Mark of Gideon", "The Cloud-Minders", "The Savage Curtain", "Turnabout Intruder", and the aforementioned "Requiem For Methuselah" and "All Our Yesterdays". If a situation-comedy, "family" ending is to be a criticism levelled at episodes of Star Trek, it would more aptly be applied to those of Star Trek's second season. But of course, the fans will not acknowledge this as correct. Better to "Freiberger-bash" with generalisations. Sure.


The Space: 1999- Season Two Blu-Ray release by Network Distributing is announced at last- and it is just over a month away!

http://networkonair.com/features/space1999/

The bonus features have been announced, and I am very surprised that "Message From Moonbase Alpha" is not among them. Most of the DVD bonus features have been "ported over", but not all of them. Looks like many a fan will be needing to hold onto the bonus DVDs from yesteryear's DVD releases of Space: 1999. Interesting and gratifying that the stop-motion video from 1979 made by two Quebec fans of Space: 1999 has "made the cut". It is nothing less than awesome.

I will doubtless have more to say about this in the days and weeks to come. But at long last, Space: 1999's two seasons will be on Blu-Ray. All for now on this, the twenty-fourth day of August, 2015.


Sure enough, with Space: 1999- Season Two Blu-Rays now imminent, date of release just over a month away, the anti-Season-Two people are becoming more insistent with their sorties. Surprise, surprise. At the same time as the Catacombs Website announces the date of release of the Season Two Blu-Rays, it also posts its "observations" on the Season Two episode, "The Seance Spectre". Here it is. An entire, prolonged Web page dedicated to undermining viewer enjoyment of "The Seance Spectre" with a detailed work of exceedingly finicky faultfinding.

http://catacombs.space1999.net/main/pguide/obs/upob44tss.html

Space: 1999 has to be the only television show having a season with a dedicated group of detractors. Relentless detractors. People who watch episode after episode with fingers poised on the remote-control's pause and slow-motion buttons. People who actually spend their precious time "frame-grabbing" supposed mistakes, formatting and sizing the images, and putting those images on Websites along with intricately descriptive accompanying text.

Honestly, I know of no season of any other television series to be subjected to this intense scrutiny. Not even Season Three of Star Trek. I mean, a Web page for every episode! With copious images. Images presented there in aid of a systematic deconstructing of the episodes, using "observations", to make the episodes look slipshod and artistically worthless. Ultimately to reduce their appeal to viewers, to such an extent that nobody would dare to like them or publicly express that like.

Space: 1999 fans have a deep-seated, obsessive need to debase Season Two of their favourite television show to tiniest minutiae, for doing so supposedly makes them feel superior, ever so clever, or simply better about themselves. No rational viewer would ever notice the vast majority of these things. I mean, Sanderson's hair?!? Come on!

Most of these things are explainable if one imagines an intervening, unshown scene. I mean, surely Sanderson would disarm Koenig after stunning him. In the "hook" of the episode, before incapacitating the on-duty Security guard, Sanderson may have somehow silenced the Security alert system around Command Centre, slowing Security's response to his group's intrusion into Command Centre. And because the intruders (Sanderson and company) could have hostages in Command Centre, Security may be under orders by Koenig not to undertake any action on Command Centre or on the surrounding areas, until Koenig arrives back on Alpha. The stun effect may be different depending on how a person is standing. We do not know what point in time during Koenig and Maya's flight to Taura that Sanderson and his followers escape Medical Centre. It may be 2 and a half hours into the flight. Where does Eva obtain the anaesthetic spray? It may have been in a medical kit that she personally has. Maybe as part of Sanderson's team, she has medic's duties. Who knows? There is a cut to another scene, and in the interim, she may have procured the spray from her personal kit.

And so on.

Some, a few, of the criticisms cannot be refuted, true. Like why a rescue Eagle is not sent to meet John and Maya's crippled Eagle. That one can be seen as a genuine, reasonable criticism. Just as there are genuine, reasonable criticisms of Season One's stories.

In order to "spot" many of these "lapses", one would have to watch and re-watch every scene, pausing, going in reverse and then forward in slow-motion. The viewing public in the heyday of Space: 1999 was not doing that. Even if people wanted to, they could not.

Any television show produced single-camera with a ten-day turnaround from episode to episode, is going to have discrepancies from camera shot to camera shot. It is inevitable. It is the nature of the business. Even feature films are going to have them. Not as many, perhaps, because movies do have more production time, much more production time, per hour of film. But they are still going to have them.

A few years ago, I was watching an episode of The Incredible Hulk with a commentary by its executive producer, Kenneth Johnson, and Mr. Johnson was calling attention to continuity errors between camera shots in a conversation scene between Banner and his new love interest (played by Mariette Hartley). The discrepancies were obvious once Mr. Johnson had "pointed them out", but I would probably never have noticed them if he had not mentioned them in his commentary.

On the other hand, I did, with no prompting, see, in a wide-camera-shot action scene in a Six Million Dollar Man episode, an entire camera crew, evidently for a scene filmed with multiple cameras. One of the cameras mistakenly captured another camera and its crew within frame of its camera shot. Errors exist in television show episodes. Some more egregious than others. And, yes, even in multiple-camera productions. Continuity from camera shot to camera shot may be achieved in a multiple-camera episode done "as live", but even then, there are going to be some mistakes. Production crew visible. Boom microphone shadows. Etc..

There is not a continuity person in the film and television industry who has a perfect photographic memory. It is unreasonable to expect otherwise. There are always going to be lapses of continuity. I am quite sure that they exist, too, in Season One of Space: 1999. I have noticed some of the more glaring ones, like the boarding tube on one side of the Eagle in exterior view, and people entering the Eagle from its other side on interior view. I cannot be bothered watching the episodes with the same degree of intense scrutiny that Season Two detractors have chosen to pursue. I do not want to, frankly. Back in the 1990s, I did some "nitpicking". In a vain effort to counter a surge of printed animosity toward Season Two. Not to a great extent. But I did. Of course, the Season One fans went ballistic. How dare I do that! But when it comes to Season Two, no amount of scrutiny is too much for these people.

But these people are doing a disservice to Space: 1999 as a whole by their extremely fussy actions. Of course, they do not see what they are doing in this way. To their minds, any debasing of Season Two is good for Season One. And that is their motivation. They feel better, more confident, about their fandom for Season One. And they verbally pat each other on the back for their apparent cleverness. They then continue their sorties against Season Two and Freddie Freiberger with ever more wittily smug satisfaction. The television show is done a disservice with this because the pettiness and the fractiousness of its fandom is all too visible, and does cast a shadow over the television show as a whole. Rather than recognise and celebrate what Space: 1999 as a whole does offer, concentrating on the strengths of the two seasons and the things in common that the two imaginative seasons do have, fandom chooses to obsess over flaws (flaws, again, that will be there in any television show if one goes looking for them) and the differences in style and approach between the two production blocks, alleging one is the be-all-and-end-all and the other thoroughly rancid, right down to to the tiniest of mise-en-scene imperfections. And their systematic concentration on continuity "lapses" and so on, does tempt the critical eye of the lay person into looking also at the first season and any errors that may exist, that may be seen to exist, in its episodes. And into acknowledging the already extant criticisms of the first season by science fiction "experts" in the wider community of the science fiction genre. It concentrates thought on production technicalities and on script technicalities and not on the merits of the concepts and the nuances of the episodes. First and second season.

There are some of the things on the Catacombs Website that I do like and that I do applaud (I have always liked Martin Willey's Wilding Field idea and have credited him for it), but he is way, way too critical of Season Two's episodes. And these "observations" are a component of that excessive approach to criticism. Them and the concerted efforts to debunk the science in Space: 1999. Space: 1999 is not science fact. It is science fiction. I would even be willing to call it fantasy. Imaginative fantasy. Artistic fantasy. Science as it is now on present-day Earth may not apply on other worlds in another galaxy. On worlds "beyond belief". "If we think we know everything that goes on out there, we're making a terrible mistake," said Koenig in an outstanding, albeit flawed, Season One episode.

I rest my case, again. Now, bring on the Blu-Rays.

August 26, 2015.


I propose to "shift gears" now and to acknowledge that today, August 27, 2015, is the sixtieth anniversary of the theatrical release of "Hyde and Hare". I have also noted this at The Friz Freleng Family Page on Facebook. Ten years ago, I recognised the fiftieth anniversary of "Hyde and Hare" in a posted comment at Golden Age Cartoons' Termite Terrace Trading Post.  It launched a respectful "thread" at that discussion forum. And I believe that it was the final "thread" there that I initiated and thoroughly enjoyed. The attitude at Golden Age Cartoons deteriorated in the four years following that, and in 2009, people there were "ragging" all over "Hyde and Hare" and the work of Friz Freleng, and that in addition to a general disposition not unlike that within Space: 1999 fandom prompted my acrimonious departure. I do not regret that departure, but I do nevertheless look back with fondness upon that "thread" on "Hyde and Hare" in 2005. Difficult it is to believe how fast time has passed since then. My mother and father were both alive then. Fukushima had not yet happened. Life was so much different. So much better. Strange that an anniversary on the scary cartoon, "Hyde and Hare", has me looking back longingly on my life of a decade ago. But I guess that one's thought process follows that strange course in later life. I always think of "Hyde and Hare" when I look at the mobile home in Newcastle that my parents and I used to have, situated in the same place as it was then. The mobile home in whose living room I first saw "Hyde and Hare" in 1972, while nestled in the loving care of my parents, whom I miss dearly.

The "thread" on "Hyde and Hare" is available in a Termite Terrace Trading Post archive. It can be found with Google Search.


A few more responses to the Catacombs Website's nitpicking exercise regarding "The Seance Spectre".

The atmosphere of Taura may be configured differently to the atmosphere on Earth. It may be more dispersed, within the "weather belt". A "hot" entry into it may not necessarily be the case.

When Koenig suddenly fires retro rockets to try to slow the Eagle's approach to the planet, the equipment in front of him may have been jostled forward in the nose cone and become lodged somewhere, therefore not flying backward onto him on the crash-landing.

We do not know how much time passes between the explosion of the nuclear waste at end of Act 4 and the epilogue of the episode. Days may have passed in the interim, as damage repairs were being done. Or perhaps the removal of a bulk of equipment in the evacuation reduced the damage potential of the sudden two-degree shift of the Moon's course. Some, perhaps several, of the sections of Alpha may have been depressurised to minimise the spread of fire. Or maybe Maya's damage forecast was a worst-case scenario. We do not know. Should we know? Is it the responsibility of the writer to fill in every detail with exposition? Would that not add many minutes to the episode? Would it not reduce the immediacy of the story and have viewers reaching for the channel selector? Space: 1999 was not being made for obsessing-over-minutiae "geeks"; it was being made for the general public. A general public that could reasonably, rationally "fill in" ostensible "gaps" in shown story.

And finally, it may not be possible to send the rescue Eagle to meet Koenig and Maya's damaged Eagle. Docking gears on both sides of Koenig and Maya's Eagle may have been damaged, rendered non-operational in the crash. There.

I have been looking at the Facebook group for Planet of the Apes (the 1974 television series). It is a breath of fresh air. Not a smart-alecky, spiteful remark anywhere to be seen. Truly, the Space: 1999 Facebook group is in a class- a dubious class- all of its own. Not a single image posted of Season Two goes without a derisive comment. Usually a series of them. Never is an image of Barry Morse as Professor Bergman posted without a parade of anti-Season-Two sorties. And then someone says they know of not a single person who prefers Season Two. Might that be because such people vacate the hateful group very quickly after witnessing the usual proceedings?

Moving onward, I am reporting some further additions to my memoirs, to Era 2 and Era 3, most particularly. More images and more text. A photograph in Era 1 has been replaced, and some minor revision has been done to Era 4. I have made some corrections to The Pink Panther Show Page, also. It is a good thing that most people have high-speed Internet. A Web page like Era 2 is so loaded with images that it would probably "time out" if it were being load onto a computer in a "dial-up" connection.

And now, to this Weblog. It has become exceedingly long. If I continue it from this entry, either it will be split onto another Web page, or I will put the pre-2012 content onto another Web page. Probably the latter.

All for today, August 31, 2015.



Network Distributing's advertisement for the September 28, 2015 release of Space: 1999- Season Two on Blu-Ray.

Without a doubt the most important Blu-Ray release of 2015 for me is the Space: 1999- Season Two Blu-Ray box set. That release now within less than a month of this Weblog entry, has me in a most highly expectant mood. I have not felt this way in a long, long time.

News has come that Network Distributing is not offering "Message From Moonbase Alpha" because that item is not owned by the copyright holder of the Space: 1999 television series, and evidently there was no coming-to-terms with the owners of copyright of "Message From Moonbase Alpha". One can speculate as to the negotiations, if any, that were undertaken. It may simply be that the costs of restoration on the episodes were so high as to reach the budget threshold for production of the Season Two Blu-Rays, and that Network Distributing decided to forgo "Message From Moonbase Alpha". Whatever happened (or did not happen), the outcome is that one will need to retain the A & E "bonus disc" containing "Message From Moonbase Alpha" if one wants the produced-in-1999 forty-ninth Space: 1999 episode sitting on one's shelf beside the two Space: 1999 seasons. There will probably be other content on that "bonus disc" that will not be redundant with the Blu-Ray release of Season Two. The merchandise gallery, for instance, and the audio commentaries for "Death's Other Dominion", "Dragon's Domain", and "The Testament of Arkadia". I am also waiting to see if the promotions of "next week's episode" by actors and actresses (as seen in the bonus features of A & E's twelfth Space: 1999 volume) will be available on the Season Two Blu-Rays; I have a strong hunch that they will not be available in the Blu-Ray set.

Of prime importance, of course, are the episodes themselves. I pray that they look gorgeous and sound fully resonant in music, sound effects, and dialogue.

My memoirs' fourth era has undergone minor change to its text, and I am working on a supplemental image gallery for Era 2. I do not have a timetable toward the supplemental image gallery's completion. A lovely picture of mid-1970s Newcastle has been found, and it requires some extensive digital clean-up, and that work is what occupies me of late. That photograph will highlight the supplemental image gallery.

All for today, Saturday, September 5, 2015.


A moment of silence for the end of Teletoon Retro.

The specialty cable television station, which had been telecasting since 2008, ceased operations over two weeks ago. Cartoon Network now occupies its place on the channel selection list of my cable television provider. And that is not much consolation, Cartoon Network being an outlet for post-2000 productions. 

Granted, Teletoon Retro these last few years became inundated with 1980s and 1990s material, to the detriment of the truly vintage cartoon television series, those of the 1960s. The Road Runner Show, The Pink Panther Show, Spiderman, and Rocket Robin Hood long ago vanished from Teletoon Retro. Even The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show, whose reassembled-by-Teletoon version had been vastly over-shown and become tiresome, was removed from Teletoon Retro a year or so ago. There was little for one of my tastes to cheer about on Teletoon Retro in the last few years, though there still was a Classic Looney Tunes being offered. But now, on the year of Bugs Bunny's seventy-fifth birthday, the last vestige of his cartoons and those of his fellow Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies characters, is gone from television transmissions in Canada. And this plus the termination of DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the Warner Brothers cartoons puts Bugs Bunny in his grimmest time period thus far in his seventy-five years of existence. And I can see no way out of it for him.

I cannot any longer monitor traffic to my Website, and maybe that is for the best, because I expect that "hits" for my Looney Tunes On Television Web pages and my other Warner-Brothers-cartoons-related Web pages have already undergone a drastic drop. In my homeland, anyway.

Time is close now for those Space: 1999 Season Two Blu-Rays. Network Distributing on its Facebook Web page is trailing the Blu-Ray release with some exclusive clips, the most recent one being from "The Seance Spectre". The picture quality is gorgeous. Even with the video compression of YouTube. But I have misgivings about the audio. The music sounds restrained in the audio mix. It is the same complaint that I have had with a number of episodes on the A & E DVDs and with "The Metamorph" as a bonus feature on the Season One Blu-Ray set. I want to hear the music soar and pound resoundingly, like it does with the Season One episodes on Blu-Ray. I want Derek Wadsworth's expressive tuneful renderings front and centre and proudly loud in the episodes, not pushed far to the background, overpowered by sound effects. I hope these previews do not bode a Blu-Ray release that still requires me to hold onto my European DVDs of Season 2 for me to hear the episodes with the same degree of excitement experienced in 1976 and 1977. The music is so very important to that effect. I can only hope that between the 5.1 and monaural audio tracks, there is a version of the audio with the music in thoroughly effective presentation. I and all others looking forward to this Blu-Ray release will know soon enough.

This past week, I received my long-awaited Blu-Ray of Journey to the Far Side of the Sun from Madman Entertainment in Australia. The film-to-video transfer of the movie is greatly superior to that on the Region A Blu-Ray from Universal. There is also a commentary on it by the late Gerry Anderson, as he provides copious insights and information on the making of the 1969 space science-fiction opus produced by his company, Century 21, for Universal Pictures, with generous assistance of Lew Grade of ITC Entertainment. Listening to the commentary and hearing of Gerry Anderson's problems in working with the movie's lead actor, American Roy Thinnes, and with American director Robert Parrish, I cannot help but be reminded of his criticisms of American director Lee H. Katzin (director of two early episodes of Space: 1999), his abortive working relationship with American writer George Ballak (an early collaborator on the prospectus of Space: 1999), and, of course, his oft-spoken dislike of Freddie Freiberger and Abe Mandell. Abe Mandell was a particular regular target of Mr. Anderson. It would seem that Mr. Anderson was convinced that he could do no wrong, and that demerits to be "pinned" on the productions of Gerry Anderson are always because of the intrusions of Abe Mandell. To broadly state my impression, it just looks to me like Gerry Anderson just did not like working with Americans. And the result almost invariably was friction and finger-pointing. I am not qualified to arbitrate in observational comment one way or the other, but there is always another side to any conflict, one that is not heard, and alas cannot now be heard in a number of cases. Robert Parrish, Lee H. Katzin, and Abe Mandell are dead. All that I can say is that I enjoyed the vision in Gerry Anderson productions. In the ones with live actors, anyway. Or in the ones before Space: 1999 came to an end. And I enjoyed them for the collaborative work involved, even if the collaboration was not a happy one. Sometimes, perhaps oftentimes, there is a balance needed between vision and effective structure. If Gerry Anderson (or Gerry and Sylvia Anderson) had the vision, it was people like Robert Parrish, Lee H. Katzin, George Bellak, and Fred Freiberger who structured that vision, within the parameters of what was thought to be the public taste of the day (and that was where Abe Mandell came into the picture, providing an insight or two or three in regards to the public taste and the ratings). I would argue that it was a successful collaboration in most cases, and that it is graceless to point fingers.

Gerry Anderson is gone now, too. Maybe they are all together now somewhere, communing together and appreciating each other's contributions to the productions. This does make me wish for life after death, because in this world it seems that people are incapable of recognising one another's strengths and of appreciating in unison what was produced in a collaboration between people of different nationalities or circumstances.

All for today, Saturday, September 19, 2015.


How predictable! How relentlessly predictable!

My Blu-Ray of Space: 1999- Season Two has been delayed in transit for an indeterminate time period due to "external factors". It is still in an airport in the U.K.. While the Season Two haters are all receiving theirs. Oh, yes. Of course. This is exactly the outcome that I would have expected, my history with Space: 1999 being what it is. My Karma, when it comes to Space: 1999 anyway, is absolutely abysmal. How could anyone be so unlucky? I could order ten of these Blu-Ray sets and have every one of them lost in transit. I have often wondered with my Karma being what it is, how I am still alive.

It does not pay, I guess, to like Season Two of Space: 1999. Hate it, and good Karma flows. Like it, love it, and be condemned to bad Karma for life.

Actually, my bad Karma does not just pertain to Space: 1999. My social life has been afflicted with ill fortune for almost three decades now. Timing is almost always bad. I miss people by the narrowest of margins. Sometime in my life, I brought bad Karma down upon me, and I have been kept alive only to have to endure the frustrations of bad Karma again and again. Was it liking Season Two of Space: 1999 in 1976-7? Or leaving Douglastown? Or disliking people I subsequently met in Fredericton? Actually, my Karma did rebound for a time in the 1980s; I cannot honestly say for sure why. But it has been consistently bad ever since
then. And nothing incurs the wrath of bad Karma more than my connection with Space: 1999. Will I have the Blu-Ray set by Christmas? Is that reasonable, then? Or should I just resign myself to the fact that I am not going to be allowed to have it at all? Again, maybe if I hated Season Two or a number of its episodes, I might have better fortune.

How aggravating could it possibly be to read of people watching their new Blu-Ray set and their declaring it torture to watch "The Taybor" and "The Rules of Luton"! While I sit here looking at a delay on my tracking "log" for my package and ponder on my constant ill fortune and wonder when- or if- mine will arrive. And to think, I paid for priority shipping.

All in a day's experience for Kevin McCorry, the perpetually frustrated aficionado of Space: 1999. Move along. Nothing more to see here. Just Kevin McCorry and his usual, predictable lamentations over his usual, predictable bad luck.

September 30, 2015.


My Weblog entries continue from October, 2015 with Kevin McCorry's Weblog.



Kevin McCorry's Home Page