Third incarnation of my Weblog. 2007-8 and 2012-5 Weblog entries are archived. And 2015-8 Weblog entries also are archived.
For this incarnation of my Weblog, I will be sequencing entries from most recent to least recent, thereby guaranteeing visitors to this Weblog that the first ruminations, sharings of information, or defences of Season Two of Space: 1999 (yes, the saga goes on, and on and on and on) that they see from me will be my latest ones. With thanks to Jonathan Wood for contacting me with a suggestion to this effect.
The archived sections to the Weblog will continue to be chronological from oldest to most recent.
Firstly, for today's Weblog entry, I will call the attention of my readers to three excellent Podcasts with interviews with people involved in the making of Spiderman. Two of them contain lengthy interviews with Paul Soles on his career inside and outside of the Toronto voice recording studio at which he gave vocal life to Peter Parker/Spiderman. And the other is (wait for it!) an interview with Ralph Bakshi, producer and director of Spiderman- Seasons Two and Three. It is the first time that I have heard Ralph Bakshi's voice. And no, he does not swear at any time in the interview. Nor does he "call down" anyone for not being "grown-up" for fancying Spiderman or Rocket Robin Hood. He does have a reputation for doing that, for being acetous as regards discussion of his Krantz Films television work prior to his highly acclaimed opuses of the 1970s. In the interview, however, he is quite mellow, cheerful, obliging. And although he does express misgivings about the quality of the output of his cartoon production facility for Spiderman, he does not condemn it. He says that he made the episodes that he did, episodes that deviated from what Marvel Comics was doing with the Spider-Man character, because he fancied the subject matter of those episodes, the fantastical and psychedelic subject matter. When money and time became scarce, he did have to put into production stories that he was not particularly enamoured-with, just to have completed episodes delivered to Steven Krantz on deadline. If he was late with the delivery of completed episodes, Krantz would not pay him. That was why there were cheater episodes. That was why "Phantom From the Depths of Time" and "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension" were commissioned. That was why there were so many prolonged web-swinging sequences. He makes direct references to Rocket Robin Hood in the interview, and without any disparaging comment.
Paul Soles reveals that, "Whallopin' websnappers!" was used only in the cartoon television series, that "Here Comes Trubble" was his favourite Spidey outing, and that he is approached by people working on post-year-2000 projects with which he is involved, to sign his autograph to DVD box sets of the 1967-70 Spidey television show.
The Podcasts are available at the following URLs. Enjoy!
Watching and/or hearing these interviews have given me pleasure over the past week.
Now, I am going to refer back to something that I said in my qualification of my disliking of the cartoons of Popeye. I said that romantic triangles are a story device that interests me least. It has occurred to me that people quick to pounce upon me with accusations of hypocrisy, may be throwing at me a couple of episodes of Season Two Space: 1999 wherein there is either a suggested possible development of or an incontrovertible statement of a love triangle, to try to portray me as being inconsistent at the very least, in my un-enthusiasm for the romantic triangle, that inconsistency being indicative of some lack of artistic or intellectual integrity. I am now going to respond to that probable angle of attack.
"All that Glisters" opens with some demonstrable attention given to Maya by geologist Dave Reilly, to the concern and the pique of Tony Verdeschi. There is a suggestion that perhaps a love triangle may be forming, or is on the verge of forming. However, "All That Glisters" is an episode about an encounter with an enigmatic alien life form in a state of survival panic. Any romantic tension that may exist is at most ancillary to the main story element, the finding of a living rock that is desperate to survive. And besides, whatever romantic or sexual attention is being cast upon Maya by the eyes of Reilly, is not being reciprocated. Maya's only interest in Reilly is curiosity about his Texan "cowboy" attire and professional collaboration as scientists. And the male protagonist, Tony, in any love triangle that could potentially form with the three characters, is incapacitated as a free-thinking individual for most of the episode. This subverts a viewer's possible love triangle expectation. Further, when the episode is in its denouement, Reilly seems to have lost some of his romantic aggressiveness, having been humbled somewhat in the encounter with the rock as that encounter neared its conclusion, and there is some good-natured humour delivered in his direction by Tony, who seems to be quite robustly confident of Maya's fidelity to him as a future lover. This is at most ancillary to the episode's central, story-"driving" conflict, that of the Alphans with the rock that has gained dominion over their Eagle. It is not the episode's primary focus.
"The Lambda Factor" opens with a love triangle in existence, but within the episode's first few minutes, one of the females, the protagonist, in the romantic triangle is killed, and although jealousy in the love triangle is catalyst for the killing, which is a murder, the main concern for the Alphans in the episode is the science fiction element, the boosted psychic abilities of certain Alphans, that boosting being caused by a Lambda wave phenomenon outside of Moonbase, and the death and destruction, and potential death and destruction, that it may wreak. The most dangerous of the affected Alphans was, yes, the antagonist, the aggressor, in the love triangle. But her rival is killed "early on" and the love interest is murdered by her at the end of the second act when he tries to leave her, and thereafter, for the latter half of the episode, the matter of the affected Alphan's growing psychosis and of her desire to cruelly dominate all people on Alpha, is the menace that must be fought by the Alphan heroes. And most particularly by John Koenig, for whom the episode is a harrowing experience because of the Lambda wave phenomenon's effect upon him, fostering the creation of "ghosts" from a dark chapter in his past life. The episode is not focused throughout its structure upon a cliched battle of wiles between two rival lovers of one character.
Here is some of the bile being flung around at the Facebook group for Space: 1999 in the past twenty-four hours.
"There was NOTHING good about Tony he was the Jar Jar Binks of Space: 1999"
"Wasn't 'Guido' an alien blob of radioactive snot?"
"Tony sort of resembles alien snot for that matter."
I am not going to dignify this inane tripe with a response beyond what should be the obvious observation. In addition to being abjectly and blithely blinkered, these people are lacking in basic adult maturity. This is banter that one would expect to find in a school playground. Not in conversation of mature fifty-year-olds.
And an eighteen-year-old coming out of high school should know where to put a period or a comma.
December 10, 2018.
December 5, 2018.
They are doing it again. Concocting premises for the attacking of second season Space: 1999. They being the illustrious paragons of open-minded enlightenment who are the fans of Space: 1999- Season One.
Onward I go. Once more into the breach, dear friends.
"I've noticed that, in S2, the dates are all off."
No, they are not "all off". The second season episodes can be watched in the order of the given dates in Helena's Moonbase Alpha Status Reports. Until the final batch of episodes, i.e. the ones from "The Bringers of Wonder" to "The Dorcons", there is, within the scope of Season Two, no episode dating information given that may be interpreted to conflict with that of other episodes. And as for the last batch, its episodes have a pattern of given dates suggestive of something that I am not at liberty to divulge (Dean, again; sigh!). But the dates are not "all off" from "The Metamorph" through to "The Dorcons". Not as a chronology limited solely to Season Two. Yes, there is a contradiction with the date given in "Dragon's Domain" in Season One. But it can be rationalised, if one has an inventive imagination. And anyway, information given in "Dragon's Domain" is inter-episode contradictory (if the Ultra Probe is launched on June 6, 1996, why does the "Space News" report on the planned launching of the Ultra Probe give its date as September 3, 1996?) or quite evidently inaccurate (Helena saying the Moon is between galaxies when she ought to have said that it was between solar systems; Koenig later says that there is nothing for billions of miles, indicating an interstellar, not intergalactic, void). So, there is that.
"One had Helena saying that it had been 2312 days since 'Breakaway', and the very next 2105 days."
Wrong. There is no episode of Season Two dated at 2312 days since leaving Earth orbit. Nor is there any Season Two episode dated at 2105 days since leaving Earth orbit. In fact, there are no episodes dated as happening between 2100 and 2300 days since leaving Earth orbit. Again, these people will not present correct facts. And yet, their opinion on Season Two is supposed to be sacrosanct and regarded as the only legitimate one possible.
And hilariously not far away in the Facebook group's postings from a picture of an enraged Koenig shouting at Gwent in Season One's "The Infernal Machine", someone says this.
"I prefer the cool collected Season 1 Koenig. The S2 version was a tad unhinged."
Further, this is said beneath a picture from "War Games" from a scene wherein John is about to act rashly, violently in the aliens' control chamber after being denied by the aliens any mercy for Alpha. He refuses to listen to Helena's counsel that, "Violence is not the answer," and begins hitting and kicking some of the aliens' equipment. Cool, collected Season One Koenig, indeed.
Okay. That scene of "War Games" did not actually happen, was part of an illusory machination by the aliens. Yes, I know that. Still, the person making the statement about Koenig being "cool and collected" does put that statement forth beneath said picture from "War Games". And such still warrants ridicule, by my reckoning. And besides, in a Weblog entry not long ago, I gave numerous examples of an angry or outraged, shouting Koenig in Season One. Examples outside of "War Games". What examples are there of Koenig being "unhinged" in Season Two outside of "The Lambda Factor" (when he was disturbed by "ghosts" of his past; Landau gave a bravura performance in that, I think) and "The Bringers of Wonder" when he was under the aliens' control? In Season Two, he sometimes did what his experience and instinct told him to do, even if it meant drastic action had to be undertaken (smashing Psyche's tubes or gambling that Zova was bluffing) for the aim of preserving Alpha.
In either season, Koenig could be "cool and collected" at times and angry and impulsive at others, as his "vulnerable humanity" did decree. The fans' perceptions are skewed by four decades of hatred for Fred Freiberger and stunted intellect from the unflinching adherence to that hatred. And so, they say Koenig was all one way in one season and was irremediably corrupted from that way in the other. And are clearly wrong in doing so.
"I always took that number (311 people on Alpha) to be post-Breakaway, after the devastation was complete. And I'm brought back to a suggestion from S2 that the number is just around 300. Hard to swallow that, given the apparent need to build big-a$$ laser guns for defense. Permission to blame Freiberger?"
No, permission not given from me to blame Freiberger. Or at least not to exclusively blame him. But of course, I do not matter, right? I am garbage. Excrement. "One can short of a six-pack".
The big-whatever guns were installed for defence because of the vulnerability of Alpha to alien menaces in Season One. Q.E.D..
"If you remember correctly, Doctor Russell said that the count was at 297 in the first episode of the second series. Practially speaking, it should be lower, but it's like counting Eagles...only good when you've nothing better to do."
In "The Testament of Arkadia", considered by most fans to be Season One's final episode, Helena says that there are over 300 people on Alpha. That was after all of the many deaths (in a number exceeding twenty) of personnel in Season One. So, why "pick on" Season Two for providing an ostensibly unlikely number for Alpha's population since the 311 population number stated in "Breakaway"? That practice started in Season One. Season Two just carried it forth- and did not kill Alphans in a majority of the episodes as Season One did.
I am amazed, though, that, with regard to the 297 population count given in "The Metamorph", someone actually provides correct information. Pity that he forgot what Helena said in "The Testament of Arkadia". Or expediently overlooked it.
Under a picture of Maya in "The Metamorph" is this little gem.
"Imagine... she lived her whole life (before Alpha) in a grotto with a crazy father? Where's the mom? What about her past? Nah... no season 3 and Freddy was not interested in characters lives."
Oh, sure. I suppose that was why "Freddy" wrote that lengthy scene in "The Rules of Luton" in which Koenig and Maya talk about their pasts, and Maya says that her mother died and that Mentor was a bereaved husband and could not leave his wife's tomb. And Koenig remembers his wife and the circumstances of her death. Because "Freddy" was not interested in characters' lives? Right. I am being sarcastic here, of course.
Oh, but why let facts "get in the way" of a good anti-Freiberger tirade sure to receive a hearty series of thumbs-up icons?
Instead of anyone mentioning the scene in "The Rules of Luton" that contradicts this person's faulty assertion, along comes this.
"Fred 'Kiss of Death' Freiberger"
Non-Player-Character programmed response number one... dot... EXE.
"Season 1 score was beautiful, season 2... pass"
Non-Player-Character programmed response number five... dot... EXE. I should compile a list of them.
On second thought, why bother? People familiar (through this Weblog) with the wretched fandom for Space: 1999 knows what they all are. Why waste the Web space?
A short Weblog entry for today, Monday, December 3, 2018.
It seems that 2019 will be solely a Doctor Who and Pink Panther year for me for Blu-Ray purchase. Nothing else of interest to me has been announced so for for the year ahead. I do hope that quality control will be more of a consideration for the BBC in its further Doctor Who Blu-Ray releases, after the problems with the Season Twelve box set. Season Eighteen has been announced for February. And Season Ten is said to be "in the works". I do hope that Season Thirteen is "in the pipeline", also. It is my favourite season of Doctor Who.
I propose to "follow up" my comments of my last Weblog entry on the subject of the cartoons of Popeye. Lest anyone accuse me of being as intransigent about Popeye as the people I routinely detract for their pigheadedness on the matter of second season Space: 1999 or post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons, I think it necessary to articulate in no uncertain wording my stance as an aesthete on the matter of the Popeye cartoons versus those of the Warner Brothers cartoon characters.
It is not that my mind is wilfully locked tight against any arguments for sophistication in the Popeye cartoons. No such arguments have been proffered. The cartoons do not appeal to me visually, aesthetically. Not in the character designs. Not in the backgrounds. And the imagination factor (which I always prize most highly) in the Popeye cartoons tends, in my estimation, to be minimal, if not nil. Popeye is a sailor in the usual sailor's seaside town's settings. A sailor who loves that repulsive (to me) foodstuff, canned spinach, and is constantly needing it to fight his arch-enemy, Bluto. And the cartoons are, to the best of my knowledge, a love triangle with Popeye, a woman named Olive Oyl (a character for whose portrayal in live-action the uncomely Shelley Duvall was apparently preordained) and the brutish cad, Bluto. And if there is one story device that interests me the least, it is the romantic triangle. It is a soap opera cliche resorted-to most often by the writers of daytime drama. Give to me anthropomorphised animals in a vast array of historical, literary, legendary, fairy-tale, futuristic, or modern urban, rural, or modes of conveyance settings, with suggestive philosophical import, any day of the week over the trite fare of the Popeye cartoons.
And I fancy neither stereotypical sailors and their mannerisms nor spinach. Of course, this is just a matter of personal taste. Granted.
There. I have given my reasons for not being an aficionado of Popeye. Unlike the Non-Player-Characters of the Space: 1999 fan community, I do not spend valuable time every day of every week reiterating my distaste for entertainment which I do not like in increasingly smug sorties. I have elucidated my disliking of Popeye for the one and only time and have in an earlier Weblog entry expressed my disapproval of the abandonment of Looney Tunes for Popeye on the part of Warner Archive and decision-makers as regards what to release to shiny digital videodisc. And I propose to "leave it at that".
All for today.
There is a statement from Jerry Beck appearing on some discussion forums, to the effect that unless Popeye sells in sufficient numbers, that is "it".
"It" being the end of vintage cartoon shorts on optical media.
All right. I certainly have something to say to this.
I acknowledge that Popeye cartoons have their aficionados, but I am not one of them. Not every theatrical cartoon character or series of theatrical cartoons is identical, aesthetically. And I do not appreciate a character or a cartoon simply because he, she, or it is a work of cartoon animation. I bought PORKY PIG 101 last year on the understanding that "strong" sales would mean further releases of the Warner Brothers cartoons. I say again for emphasis, the Warner Brothers cartoons. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. And most particularly the ones of the most recognised characters. Bugs Bunny. Road Runner. Tweety and Sylvester. Daffy Duck. And spanning at least some of the post-1948 oeuvre. The PORKY PIG 101 DVDs sold "well", and it was reasonable to expect a further release. Of the Warner Brothers cartoons. NOT Popeye!!!
Whose decision was it not to go with a further release of Warner Brothers cartoons and to instead shift to Popeye? Someone made that decision. What was the, ahem, rationale for that? An unwillingness to see any more restored post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons on shiny digital videodisc? I am so damned sick and tired of that attitude on the part of certain people. People I will not name.
I bought the PORKY PIG 101 DVDs in good faith. There was not a single post-1948 cartoon in that DVD set. But I bought it. As I say, in good faith. In good faith that my purchase of it would be contributing to further DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the Warner Brothers cartoons. Good faith that the powers-that-be were interested in increasing the representation of the Warner Brothers cartoon catalogue on digital videodisc. Representation thereof including my beloved post-1948 cartoons. Even if only as a fraction of a further series of DVD or Blu-Ray releases. My good faith was abused. Plain and simple. Instead of, say, "Finish the Wabbit" or a comprehensive Road Runner, Tweety and Sylvester, or Daffy Duck DVD set, the persons with the "clout" at Warner Archive give to us, the consumers, not anything Warner Brothers but... Popeye. And then say to us that if we do not buy Popeye, nothing else will be forthcoming.
At the risk of appearing vulgar, I call bull's excrement on this. And no amount of persuasion or threat will compel me to buy a Blu-Ray of cartoons that do not appeal to me aesthetically in any way. I say again, in any way. At least Porky Pig is a character for whom I have some affection, and some of his early cartoons do have somewhat interesting milieus. This Blu-Ray release could have been of Bugs Bunny or of Tweety. But, no. It is Popeye. It is late 2018, and still "Hyde and Go Tweet" is not on DVD. Nor is "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide". Nor is "Beanstalk Bunny", "Hare Brush", "Rabbitson Crusoe", "Upswept Hare", "Hare Lift", "Hopalong Casualty", "The Fastest With the Mostest", "Plop Goes the Weasel", etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The one release of post-1948 cartoons this year contained only a handful of new-to-DVD cartoons, all of them un-restored.
No, I will not buy Popeye. And if the amount of units sold is insufficient to continue DVD and Blu-Ray releases of vintage cartoons, so be it. It is the people choosing what cartoons to release who are at fault. Buyers of PORKY PIG 101 expected a further DVD (or Blu-Ray) set of Warner Brothers cartoons, and for whatever reason (or for no reason at all), a different choice was made at the helm. I will be voting against that choice with my wallet. Besides, even if I were to buy the Blu-Ray, what guarantee would I have that a further Warner Brothers cartoons DVD (or Blu-Ray) box set would be forthcoming? None whatsoever. As the lack of such in the year after PORKY PIG 101 is plainly indicative.
In order to acquire a complete set of the cartoons on digital videodisc media, I will need the help of other collectors. And the cartoons' quality will be far from pristine. But that is the sad reality. The post-1948 cartoons just do not have the support of any influential people at Warner Archive or Warner Home Video.
So ends my rant for Monday, November 26, 2018.
Sunday, November 25, 2018.
Last night, Comet showed the Space: 1999 second season episodes, "Dorzak" and "Devil's Planet". And thus is there a barrage of hostile commentary from the Space: 1999 Facebook community on the two episodes. One would think that these two episodes should be immune to animus from fans, for they contain no rubber-suit monsters and no Maya transformations into monsters (Maya is not even in one of the episodes, beyond a brief flashback). One of them offers an element of mystery for a time as to who an evil quantity is, and both of them have conversations over different philosophies of leadership (they are not just ostentatious action "run-arounds" lacking any overt philosophical content). Both of them portray alien societies with some potential for further exploration. There is a darker element to them as an alien woman is bludgeoned by a stone ornament and an Alphan meets a sudden and grizzly end in unwittingly stepping into an energy boundary. And yet, Season Two just cannot win with these people. They "rip to shreds" the episodes on story plot technicalities that they regard as defective. And as usual (sigh!), I will respond to the attacks with as much rational thought as I can muster, in my pique over the lack of reverence for the imagination on display in the episodes and the potential for aesthetic representation or meaning in such.
"'Devil's Planet' is awful. What exactly is the medical emergency team, and why does Alpha suddenly have one? The appearance of a character called Blake Maine is further evidence of how bad the Americanising of series 2 had become as well"
Are these to be considered acceptable criteria for judging an episode to be awful?
What exactly is the Medical emergency team? It is a Medical team that responds to emergencies. Duh! It is seen in Season One's "Matter of Life and Death" as the Eagle with Parks and Bannion (and Lee Russell) aboard is returning to Alpha. What is it about a team of Medical Centre personnel assigned to emergency response that is so difficult for this person to comprehend?
As for Blake Maine, Maine is a surname with Old World roots.
Yes, Maine is also the name of a U.S. state. The one that borders my Canadian province, actually. But how is that a certain indictment against "bad" Americanisation? Even if one assumes that the writer, Michael Winder, or Fred Freiberger used the name of Maine to appeal to American audiences, how is the surname of one scarcely even incidental character (who dies less than ten minutes into the episode) an incontrovertibly bad and episode-damning creative decision. How, objectively, is Americanisation an absolutely negative process? Cannot American productions be artistic? What these people are peddling is sophistry. Sophistry with flimsy projected intellectual foundation. It is so laughable it ought not to merit any consideration, serious or no.
"Yeah it's unfortunate that America gets blamed for the TV executives' folly. I would suspect most Americans here prefer the first year."
This person can suspect all that he wants. But the attitudes of Space: 1999 die-hards are not representative of the population in general, and it was the general population for whom Space: 1999 was made. And even if most people do prefer the first year, that does not mean that they cannot or do not enjoy the second, or indeed that people in minority who do prefer the second should be invalidated out of existence (oh, I know that the Season One fundamentalists would love for that to be done).
"Watched 'Dorzak' last nite. Poor episode. So many of these Year Two episodes rely on characters being stupidly naive and making stupid decisions. Let’s leave Maya alone with Dorzak. What could possibly go wrong?? Let's just have Helena surgically remove the suppression device without asking what it is. Let's send Alan to the alien ship even though he's an astronaut and Tony is security chief. You really do have to shut your brain off to enjoy some of these episodes."
Night is the correct spelling. Not "nite". How, pray tell, am I (or anyone) to seriously consider the judgement of someone who refuses to spell words correctly?
Episodes relying on characters being stupid, eh? What of the first season? What of Koenig leaving Helena alone in Medical Centre with Zoref in "Force of Life" and her turning her attention away from him? What of Sandra opening the Eagle door so that a caveman can come into the Eagle and abduct her in "The Full Circle"? What of sending Sandra on the mission to Retha? Since when was she a trained photographer? What of Cellini in "Dragon's Domain" not suspecting something undetectable of killing the occupants of those spaceships and sending his entire crew into deadly danger? What of Koenig not being securely fastened into his Eagle cockpit harness in "Missing Link"? What of Helena not deactivating Koenig's commlock when she confines him to quarters in "Collision Course"?
And as to "Dorzak". What was wrong with leaving Maya alone with Dorzak? She was trying to learn the truth from him while she was in the form of Sahala. Dorzak was not expected to "open up" about his true nature unless Sahala were alone with him. Helena removed the jammer from Yesta's head because it was involved in Yesta's wound. She was not privy to Sahala's story to Alan about Dorzak's ability to psionically control minds and was not cognisant of the possible function of the jammer. She could have asked Sahala about the device, I suppose. But Sahala earlier "pulled a gun" on her, and she was unlikely, as yet, to categorically believe what Sahala says. And Tony had Sahala in detention. Negotiating with Tony to see Sahala would consume valuable time, and Yesta needed surgery as soon as possible. Tony was in charge of Alpha in Koenig's absence and could not leave Command Centre until he was certain that the landing of the alien spaceship posed no threat to the structures of Moonbase. So, he sent Alan along with Maya to meet the Croton landing party. He probably wanted a couple of executive officers there. So, what? Why must this be a damning indictment against the episode? Much of the criticism here quoted is petty and wilfully crass.
Sure. Shut brain off. Prescribe that everyone watching the episodes do that. Cannot possibly leave brain functioning to absorb the aesthetic nuances, the situating in timeline, the symbolism of the episodes.
"The Immunity Syndrome" and "The Dorcons" are next to receive a renewed slinging of venom. They will be televised tonight. Then, it is back to the "perfect" Season One for another run of that. Oh, but the assaults upon Season Two will persist. Of course they will. Daily. Every time that a picture is posted to the Facebook groups, even if it is a picture from Season One, the loutish goons will scribe some concocted dialogue pejoratively pertaining to Mr. Fred Freiberger and the changes rung for Season Two. Or someone will pose the question, "Why was Space: 1999 cancelled?" to one of the groups. And on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on it will go.
As I said before, familiarity breeds contempt, and Generation X, my generation, is the most contemptuous generation to walk this Earth (in modern times, at least), gushing with "snark" and pridefully possessing zero reverence and scant appreciation for the generation that raised it and that gave to it so very much in terms of entertainment and imagination. Sneering at conscientious, professional effort from its elders to bestow unto it mythology in a Space Age setting. Sniping for decades at productions over alleged imperfections. Most of the despicable Space: 1999 fans are Generation Xers. As were the "f-word"-spouting, obsessed-with-reefer, obnoxious boors I endured in school post-Grade 6. One of these days, I will "let loose" here at this Weblog my opinion of my generation. That will be scathing, and justifiably so.
I have updated all of my Televised Looney Tunes Web pages to put a hyphen in "A Pizza Tweety-Pie", as I have discovered that a hyphen should be put between the last two words in that cartoon title.
Now, then. I rejoin the fray. Briefly. At the Space: 1999 Facebook group this morning is this.
"One other question about 'Year 2'. I have not read a lot about the series and what went on behind the scenes... but something seems 'off' with the casting. Landau and Bain seem to be deliberately separated during large parts of episodes..."
I have an idea. Why not "read a lot" about the television series instead of baiting the Season Two haters in the Facebook group with questions? Many a Website will provide the answer to this person's question. I know that research can be such an undesirable thing in this era of instant gratification, but it behoves someone claiming to be interested in Space: 1999 to have enough dedication to the subject as to "read up" about its production history. The simultaneous filming of episodes mandated by Lew Grade for delivery of episodes for a certain broadcast date, meant that the acting cast of the television series needed to be divided. Plus, it creates drama for people who have romantic interest in one another to be circumstantially separated, with one or both of them in peril.
"Martin's role in 'Year 2' seems to be making irrational command decisions and yelling a lot."
Examples, please. I want many of them for such a generalisation. And I want to see the context for which he is yelling. Is Alpha under attack? Yes. As in "The Dorcons". Is Alpha being invaded? Yes. As in "The Bringers of Wonder". Is he angry at a member of his crew for lacking concern for a fellow Alphan? Yes. As in "All That Glisters". What is wrong with having a moment or two of intensity in an episode? And as for irrational command decisions? Name one. Name several. I can wait. I would wager that any examples given will involve misconstrued story or lack of allowance for "economy of detail" or a failure to attribute to him the quality of "vulnerable humanity" (again, to quote Christopher Penfold).
The Koenig in Season Two has many moments of calm and sympathetic rapport with his people. Look at his scene with Shermeen in the Eagle in "A Matter of Balance" and his scene on the hilltop with Maya in "The Rules of Luton" as he hears her story about Psychon and his comforting of Tony during Tony's near-death account of his fight with Lustig in "The Immunity Syndrome". And the "shouty" Koenig is seen in "Year One", as in episodes such as "Missing Link" ("Raan!!!!"), "The Last Sunset" (he severely tongue-whips poor Kano there), "Collision Course" ("Helena! Why don't you believe me?!!!!!" and "Arra!!!! Arra, where are you?!!!!"), "The Infernal Machine" ("Gwent! Gwent!!!!"), "Dragon's Domain" ("There were no facts!"), and "The Testament of Arkadia" ("Just do what I say!" and "Do it!!"). Mind, the context in most (or all) of those cases may allow for the shouting. But to argue that Koenig only yells "a lot" in Season Two, is wrong. And as for irrational command decisions, what about leaving Helena alone with Zoref (an alien-possessed man who has already killed) inside Medical Centre in "Force of Life"? Or ignoring Victor's credible warning about anti-matter in "Matter of Life and Death"? Or believing Arra's far-fetched let-our-two-worlds-touch directive in "Collision Course" without any evidence and basing his command orders on that belief.
"I'm really enjoying quieter scenes with Tony and Helena (when Bain is not acting in a one man play)."
Huh? What one-man play?
"Don't get me wrong, I still love it.... something just seems off with chemistry."
Whenever I see the expression, "Don't get me wrong," I wince. I hate that expression. It shows an abject lack of sophistication. My first-year English professor impressed upon me that the word, get, is very imprecise and should not be used in intelligent discourse. And never imply preemptively that someone is wrong. Wait for proof that they are. And besides, when I read or hear the expression, I have instant recall of the theme song for the ridiculous Bosom Buddies situation comedy from 1982.
What chemistry do Koenig and Russell have in Season One? Is it always consistent there? No. In some episodes ("The Last Enemy", "Dragon's Domain"), they seem to have a romantic tenderness. In others, less so. In "Space Brain", Koenig and Russell seem to be straining for patience with one another. In "The Troubled Spirit", Koenig is quite restrained in his comforting of Helena after her experience. And in "Missing Link", Helena shows little emotion at Koenig's life-signs not registering. For what it is worth, I have always regarded Koenig and Russell in Season Two to be a believable romantic couple. Even if the writing did require for them to be separated in episodes and to focus attention on the crisis confronting them.
"And whats the deal with Yasko and Sandra? Was Sandra fed up or busy with other projects, and who was Yasko sleeping with on set because she has got to be the worst actress I've ever seen."
Again, read. Research. Zienia Merton was unhappy about not having a contract. Yasuko Nagazumi was director Ray Austin's wife. English was not her first language, apparently. And her role was not a major one. She is serviceable. Would I prefer to have had Zienia Merton as Sandra in every episode? Yes, definitely. But it is not something that I am going to bemoan for the remainder of my born days. Life is too short. Life is too short for me to be sitting and writing any of this.
Anyway, in response to this person's Facebook posting comes this.
"Season 1 for adults, Season 2 for children." With two thumbs-up icons.
That Non-Player-Character meme that seems to be ubiquitous on the Internet of late. It may originate in the sphere of national politics but is also a quite apt metaphor for the Space: 1999 fans who mindlessly belch out drivel like this on a regular basis. There is no way that I am going to waste time and energy to reply to this rot yet again. Nobody in the group is responding to it, of course. But I cannot be bothered responding either. Not again. It would be a waste of my Web space.
"Yeah, and 'Monster of the week' doesn't do it for me unless I'm watch B films from the 50s, then they are just so bad they are cool."
Non-Player-Character. "Monster of the Week". I am not responding to this again.
Really, this is all that I have to say for today, November 18, 2018.
Saturday, November 10, 2018. And snow. Good God, I hate that foul white, cold substance. And there will be more and more and more and more of it to come in the next six months.
I am back in the Website and Weblog maintaining business now that the migration of my Website is complete. And there really has not been much for me to comment about in the past couple of weeks as regards my favourite entertainments. Oh, the fans of Space: 1999 do what they do and say the smugly complacent and galling things that they say. But none of what has been said in the past two weeks merits response. Just the predictable put-downs for "economised detail" and fanciful story devices in the episodes being televised on Comet, people saying that from an adult perspective Season Two is the biggest piece of indigestible tripe ever to be foisted upon mankind and is rightly hated, and all of the usual cliches about Command Centre being a broom closet, Victor being better than Maya and that Maya is nothing more than a convenient story plot contrivance, "my season is better than yours; na-na, na, na-na," and so on and on and on, for ever and a day.
Does any of that really merit a further expenditure of my time in the writing of a response to it? I mean, really? Anyone with an un-blinkered, astute eye ought to be able to perceive how pridefully ignorant and foolish and immature that they are. And hypocritical. They had their underpants in a convulsions-inducing twist over Kevin Smith's sweeping, all too confidently and steadfastly derisive assessment of Space: 1999 (Season One, mainly), calling him stupid, ignorant, and God knows what else (I did not bother reading the entire discussion) while mindlessly "dissing" Season Two with the same insufferably intransigent and ignorant attitude as that of Smith. The hypocrisy should be obvious (and ludicrous) to any open-minded person observing the matter somewhat dispassionately.
This is all that I have to say today.
Saturday, October 27, 2018. A dark and dreary autumn day today. Matches my mood.
At least the snow that fell mid-week is all but gone, apart from the remains of snowmen (or perhaps I should say snow-persons, eh, Mr. Trudeau?) built by children.
HostPapa will be doing some migration of my Website in the next week and has advised me not to do any Web page updates within that time frame.
Visitor traffic to my Web pages is down again to frustrating lows. Usually, my article on "Hyde and Hare" sees a "bump" in its number of "hits" around Halloween, but I am not seeing much of that this year. And my Littlest Hobo Web page is having its worst slump in visits since I first introduced it to my Website twenty-one years ago.
Comet will be showing the Space: 1999 episodes, "Journey to Where" and "The Taybor", tonight. And even before their broadcast comes the oh, so predictable negativity from the Facebook Space: 1999 community.
"No far from Luton in England is a place called 'Ware'. Was Freddie having a laugh with us?"
Typical. Always have to invoke the Freiberger pejorative before the discussion "takes off".
"'Journey To Where' doesn't deliver on its set up and is rather overrated. There are far better Season 2 episodes. The story has more of a Season 1 feel about it, which might explain its popularity with some fans. 'The Taybor' is Season 2 at almost its very worst I'm afraid."
Overrated? Nobody other than myself and Dean appreciates it at all. And we are irrelevant, right? Abjectly irrelevant.
So, the Jekyll-and-Hyde symbolism in it does not exist, right? Figments of imagination? Maya turning into Hyde after a gulp of Tony's beer. The Alphans desiring a return to Earth with which man's animalistic connection is said by Jekyll to exist. The "Who needs nature?" scientific arrogance of the Earthlings being analogous to that of Jekyll. Logan's reference to escaping the laboratory. Tony's beer as a Hyde potion symbol imbibed by the Alphan heroes before transference, their assuming of risk with some relish being a function of "lust for adventure" (an element of the baser side of human nature per Carl Jung) which Tony associates with his beer. Tony brewing the beer in Medical Centre, cogently affiliating his hobby with physician Dr. Jekyll's on-the-side experiments, and Helena ("You're the doctor, Helena.") being the one beset with illness following the gone-awry transference (and her and the others' assumed risk of transference) who compares herself to a monster. Attempt to "stave off" illness (Hyde) with a drug ineffective after the consumption of more alcohol. And because of Helena's affliction, she, John, and Alan are in chains and set afire in a cavernous underworld. Helena contemplating about more Earthly experience after sipping more of Tony's beer in the epilogue. And then looking down at the beer with revulsion as John mentions some of Earth history's most lamentable events. As if to say, "I'll never drink that potion again".
Does not deliver on its "set-up", huh? Subtlety is lost on you, Pinky.
I wrote a rather more elaborate essay on the symbolism of "Journey to Where" for Alpha League's newsletter in 1992 (the above paragraph consists of a precis of my observations and interpretations in that essay). Nobody (and I mean, nobody) acknowledged any of it, and everyone was happy to see me gone from the club three years later.
So now everyone confidently declares "Journey to Where" to be no better than or as "bad" as the other twenty-three Season Two episodes. A couple of years ago, it was attacked by numerous people on Facebook. No doubt those attacks will be reiterated tonight and tomorrow and Monday and Tuesday. Them plus the complaints about crickets, the misconstruing of the particulars of neutrino transmission, Helena's short time frame for incubated virus, and some carefully chosen "screencaps" to show "risable" countenances on faces, so that "Freddie the F." can be invoked as the definitive "put-down" to buttress confident denial of any nuance whatsoever existing in the episode.
What Season One "feel" does it have? The fact that John and Alan remove their jackets and show their tunic sleeves? In my estimation, "Journey to Where" is all Season Two in its story structure, the sociability of its Alphan characters, its action, and its humour. And I do not judge that to be a "bad thing". But who cares what I say, right? I am nothing but a piece of excrement as far as these people are concerned. Human fecal garbage who would be "better off" six feet under. Yes, that is me.
As for "The Taybor", just what is wrong with it? Besides the "old sot" appearance of Taybor and Maya's slatternly woman transformation? Both of those being representative of the baser side of humanity, they have value for appreciating the episode thematically. The McGuffin, the jump-drive, provides for the Alphans and Commander Koenig some keen interest in bartering with Taybor. And there is appealing dialogue in it, likening space to a "wide, wide sea", a "lonely place to wander in". It fits "neatly" in the first cluster of Season Two episodes with focus on beauty and on good (honesty) versus evil (dishonesty). And Tony says that, "Anyone who likes my beer is someone who can't be trusted." And I love the look of the S.S. Emporium. Inside and outside.
But, again, these people are chemically devoid of any capacity for appreciating something that is not delivered with unsubtle philosophical commentary by a "brainy" character in "the show". Of course, nobody (I mean, nobody) will defend the two episodes as they are scorned and accosted and brutalised.
My rant for the day. It will have to serve as a preemptive strike to the copious bile soon to be heaped upon the two episodes, as I will be doing no Weblog entries for the next several days.
Attacks on the episodes, "One Moment of Humanity" and "All That Glisters", of Space: 1999- Season Two, are continuing. The Facebook group dedicated to Season Two has entered the fray, with the two episodes being disparaged in that group by several persons yesterday. Why these particular episodes all of a sudden? Because they both were telecast on an American speciality cable television channel called Comet on Sunday night. Indications are that all episodes of Season Two are going to be run on Comet within the next month, and one can expect that every episode will receive a renewed round of assailing for alleged hopelessly faulty story technicalities or for their central concept involving alien life or alien worlds. "One Moment of Humanity" and "All That Glisters" happen to have been the two latest ones to receive a pummelling in the wake of their Comet transmission.
Yes, there is no "corner" of the Internet, other than mine, where episodes of Season Two are assessed with aesthetic appreciation being the paramount interest, and with rational interpretation of their developments of story. No, not even at a Facebook group dedicated to Season Two. It may be the unkindest cut of all to find people professing to like or love Season Two (pah!) buttressing and emboldening the venomous attacks of the Season One-adhering detractors of all things Season Two. And within a group supposedly created to honour it, yet.
Neither "One Moment of Humanity" nor "All That Glisters" contain the phenomena for which Season Two is routinely lambasted. There are no monsters in them. No men in latex. The Alphans are not "God-awful spacemen" militarily "kicking alien butt" through use of bulky weaponry attached to their Moonbase. Rather, they are "set upon" for the majority of the episode, put through crises by some alien quantity. And forced to improvise potential solutions as a situation develops. There is no alien in tight yellow shorts and yellow boots and cape. Maya does not transform into an ape or a monster. The episodes are quite similar to episodes of Season One in that there is a divided alien society with a mystery and an ingenious "twist" to be revealed and an enigmatic alien life form encountered, the source of its sentience left unexplained. And yet, still Season Two cannot win with these people. No, it just cannot. No matter what it does, these people reject it and invoke the pejorative of Freiberger.
And so, it is "plot hole", "plot hole", "plot hole", "plot hole". "Why this?" "Why that?" No "economy of detail" permitted. No allowances made for Space: 1999- Season Two to deviate occasionally from "air-tight plotting" for dramatic or artistic necessity. While other works receive such allowances. And in my perusing of the Space: 1999- Season Two Facebook group discussion of "One Moment of Humanity" and "All That Glisters", all that I see is: bad scripts, bad writing, failure, blame, silly, cheesy, very Trek. Bad. Bad. Bad.
It is as I say. There is no fandom for Season Two. No appreciative mindset. Outside of myself, Dean, and maybe one or two others on this planet, all of whom outliers derided by the "right-thinkers" as mentally deficient, there is no liking for Season Two, its concepts, storytelling of the concepts, its depictions, its timeline. No one in the fandom for Space: 1999 has the imagination to accept that a rock on an alien planet in a galaxy far from Earth could be alive and sentient. Nor is there any respect for the imaginative planet production design of "All That Glisters". A world whose look I have always fancied. Me in my abject solitary state.
And as for "One Moment of Humanity".
"Yep, actually creating an entire 'moonbase'...mere days after the moon reached proximity.
It was an interesting idea, just badly written and executed."
With "friends" like this, Season Two does not need enemies.
Who knows how powerful the Vegan master computer is? It could have manufactured a duplicate Moonbase with some sort of replicator apparatus over the course of several weeks, or longer. Remember that the Moon is travelling at relativistic speeds while in interstellar space. Years of time on Vega may pass while only weeks pass on Alpha. The telescopic sight of the master computer could have reached into interstellar space and started recording the dimensions and the detailed contents of Alpha long before the Moon encountered Vega, Vega time. And this is alien technology that should not be beyond the imagination of an obliging viewer.
Oh, and Koenig probably told Helena about Raan's image of Alpha in "Missing Link". A precedent exists for alien duplication of Alpha. Hence why Helena is not incredulous at the idea of it, once she and Tony have "figured out" Zamara and Zarl's ploy.
"Just watch 'Lambda Factor'. Same story as Star Trek- 'Where No Man Has Gone Before'.
The idea of psionic powers boosted by an encounter with some space phenomenon is shared between the two episodes. But the story is not the same. Execution of it is different. "The Lambda Factor" starts as a murder mystery, whereas Mitchell in "Where No Man...", while known to be a dangerous quantity over much of the the course of the episode, does not kill anyone until Act Four of the episode. And the antagonist, Carolyn Powell, of "The Lambda Factor" is defeated when the Commander is the victor over her in a battle of minds, whereas Kirk vanquishes Mitchell by physical means.
"By the time Fred Freiberger took over the show, the writing was on the wall. As I say, Fred did make some suspect choices in stories but in his defense, he was put under an enormous amount of pressure to make Space 1999 a hit in the U.S.A.."
Always disparaging. Always disparaging. It is not much of a defence of Fred Freiberger to say that he was a hapless cog in a machine of a blame-worthy production for which "writing" was already "on the wall". I am not convinced that it was so, anyway, or that everyone in the production was of that opinion. All of the still photography done during production (with many hundreds of gorgeous pictures snapshot) at some considerable expense would indicate to me that there were high hopes among some people in the production team for successful distribution of and viewer interest in Season Two.
"Since it was stated by Number 8 that the androids have never seen violence, so when Zamara and Zarl observed Tony using a laser on the master control room doesn't that constitute as an act of violence?"
They want violence with intense emotion and clear intent to kill. Their determination to learn aggression and murder is based on that premise. What Tony intended to do was to see whether his gun would be in any way effective against the force field.
"For such an apparently observant race of androids not a single one noticed that Maya transformed into a parrot and flew off out of the grove during the entire dance scene."
"They're all linked together like a chain," Maya says. As Zamara is fixated on "the play", Othello, and on provoking jealous violence from Koenig, so are they all. They have no interest in Maya. At least none that is immediate for the goal that they have. How do we know that they did not notice her being gone from the grove? They may have noticed and just did not care, confident as they were that the force field and the master computer behind it could not be neutralised by any Alphan. Not in the time frame that they had allocated for "the play". And once they were successful in eliciting violence from Koenig, they would kill all of the Alphans and the humanoids of the planet. Also, they probably did not know that Maya could turn into a cockroach to pass under the force field. An ability to do so was outside of their experience.
"Speaking of which Koenig with his advanced knowledge of what the androids are attempting to do sure can not contain himself for very long before bashing Zarl across his chops."
"The real failure I think is Koenig loosing it because Helena is dancing with an Android and starting to get into it in front of everyone. Wacky for Dr Russell, did this happen at medical school mixers? And it's a machine, is Cmdr Koenig jealous of the Alpha Log Recorder?"
He was desperate. Maya had just told him that the computer could not be de-energised, Alpha's weapons had been known to be ineffective against the androids, the androids were not going to be talked into relenting from their desired outcome, and he could not just sit and let Helena be sexually assaulted. He therefore acted in an instinctive way as his "vulnerable humanity" (to quote Christopher Penfold's assessment of the character of Koenig) compelled him to act in a time of crisis. And so he pulled Zarl off of Helena and punched him. And because Helena is the woman he loves and he had been restraining himself with difficulty during her dance with Zarl, emotion release occurs with the punch. I do not see how the scene could have been better written. All that these people do is criticise it. No one offers any blueprint for script improvement.
Zarl is a machine, yes, but is in perfect humanoid form. The comparison of him to an Alpha Log Recorder is nonsensical. Helena could have found him attractive. Perhaps he reminded her somewhat of her husband, Lee. Who knows?
I have "had enough" with defending "One Moment of Humanity" and "All That Glisters" this evening. I will end this Weblog entry by acknowledging, vis-a-vis observations in last Weblog entry, that Koenig, in "The Bringers of Wonder", does use surnames in addressing Ehrlich and Bartlett. And although both of those men, in what they are doing under the aliens' illusions and telepathic control, are posing a threat to Koenig's leadership and to Alpha itself, neither one is being wilfully seditious. Koenig mostly calls non-mutinous people by first name in Season Two. If there is an inconsistency to be noted, it is in "The Bringers of Wonder". But perfect consistency in this regard, in either season, is scarcely of paramount importance in any case. "Pointing it out" is just being "nitpicky", and is quite a "reach" in that, too. Koenig has the prerogative as Commander to address his people how he chooses to do so on any given Alpha day. He does not have to be perfectly consistent.
And that is all for this evening, that of October 23, 2018, the day of the first snowfall of autumn and winter. One of the earliest snowfalls that I have experienced in my many years.
Word is that there will not be a fourth volume of Pink Panther cartoons on Blu-Ray until mid-January. So much for releasing all six volumes in 2018 as was originally intended. At this rate, the Pink Panther Blu-Ray collection of cartoons will not be completed until late-summer or autumn of next year. I am not sure how much that I should be carping about this, though. If Kino Lorber requires this much time to do each volume right, with no flaws to audio or video on the Blu-Ray discs, then so be it. It is disappointing, though. I was hoping to have a complete collection of the Panther on Blu-Ray by early-to-mid-2019 at the latest.
All that I have to look forward to for the remainder of this year is the Doctor Who Season Nineteen Blu-Ray set. Not exactly at the top, or near the top, of my list of seasons of Doctor Who desired on Blu-Ray, is Season Nineteen. And I have given up hope of receiving replacements for the faulty Blu-Ray discs in the Season Twelve box set released in July. They are never going to come. My faith in the Blu-Ray range for Doctor Who is not exactly as robust as it could be.
Late this past summer, I was in communication with a collector of Warner Brothers cartoons with the possibility of once again possessing a complete collection of the post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons. Inexplicably, communication stopped on his end in early September, and therefore it looks like my hope for completing once more my collection has been dashed.
Returning to something that I said a couple of Weblog entries ago. What following that Season Two of Space: 1999 had in its initial run on television ceased to exist not long after the cancellation, because the viewers of it were casual and "moved on" to something else. Yes, I have to acknowledge this fact. To not acknowledge it, to deny it, would be stupid. Season One retained a die-hard fan following while Season Two now has almost nothing but the occasional self-deprecating person of some affinity for it bemoaning it for having had supposedly damning flaws and proclaiming it to be nothing more than a nostalgist's "guilty-pleasure" (which by no means is satisfactory rebuttal to the daily slurs heaped upon it). Again, this is a fact that needs to be acknowledged. To try to deny it would be foolish. It is obvious and true.
Not an incontrovertible indication of Season Two lacking aesthetic interest, mind. It says only that the people who liked it back in the heyday of Space: 1999 did not watch it very attentively, or largely were lacking the degree of sophistication needed to "pick up" on its more subtle artistic qualities, even in a seminal way. Or that the allure of Star Wars was so strong that considered people "put aside" all thought of Space: 1999 and embraced the "new thing". And people who did "pick up" on those subtle artistic qualities and did not "leave aside" Space: 1999 for Star Wars, are doomed to be minorities of one, two, or maybe three persons scattered across the Terran landscape. All of them regarded as "flakes".
And mind further, the die-hard fans of Season One have, over four decades in a cosy "echo chamber" of like-minded persons, become intellectually atrophied and routinely fallacious from blinkered mindset, and act like spitefully hostile children toward anyone not adhering to their group-think. And especially toward one Fred Freiberger, deceased. Of whom they "make fun". Daily. Lack of couth and class and humanity is so clearly evident. And I am therefore not of the belief that retention of a fan following has been a good thing for Space: 1999 as a whole or for Season One specifically. The attitude of the fans casts rather a negative light (or ought rightly to cast such light) over the television series for it conditioning such a myopic group of people to be the disagreeable way that they are. They certainly do not practice the open-mindedness and humility that their favourite television programme ostensibly proffers. The "passing" of Season Two's sizable following soon after its first departure from the television airwaves, is sad, very sad, for it has effectively left Space: 1999 an appreciated-for-one-season-only opus whose prideful pundits are, in their unending, venomous resentment over and hate for Season Two, some of the most despicable people on the planet. They are the most despicable people I have encountered in my mostly frustrating existence. I thank my maker that I have had other entertainment interests to which I could turn for escape from people like them. Like the Warner Brothers cartoons. For awhile, at least. Before the Termite Terrace Trading Post.
And with another lovely day, my oh, so good friends at the Space: 1999 Facebook group are "at it again". They are today having still another "go" at episodes "One Moment of Humanity" and "All That Glisters".
"One Moment of Stupidity and a glistening dog turd."
What a charming specimen of a quality human being! Space: 1999 fandom is replete with such people.
"'One Moment...' is ok, if a little dull and plodding, but All Those Glowrocks is a mound of pure doodoo, no artificial colors or flavors."
Another prize specimen of the sort of person that plagues the fan movement with adolescent air-headedness.
"Season 1 is much more about serious sci-fi. Season 2 is more science fantasy with a comic book edge to it."
So, they are still using comic book as a pejorative. One might have expected that with the success of comic book characters at the cinema in the past several years that this angle of attack would have been abandoned. Not so, I guess. There is no hoary old cliche that these people will avoid using.
"Another comment on 'All That Glisters'. Koenig oddly calls Reilly 'Dave' throughout. Usually he calls everyone by surname unless it's someone like Victor who he knows well. So sadly more inconsistencies"
Wrong. Koenig addresses Bill Fraser as "Bill" several times in "A Matter of Balance". And he addresses Shermeen as "Shermeen" in that same episode. He calls Mark Sanders "Mark" in "The Lambda Factor". He calls his co-pilot "Bill" in "Catacombs of the Moon". He addresses Lew Picard as "Lew" twice when they are on Psychon in "The Metamorph". And going back into "Year One", he calls Luke Ferro "Luke" numerous times in "The Testament of Arkadia", and he calls Baxter "Mike" in "End of Eternity", and he calls Ryan "Mike" in "Black Sun". As a leader, Koenig prefers a personal "touch" with his people as much as possible. With Alphans who are being recalcitrant or mutinous (e.g. Sanderson), he addresses them by surname. And yet, he does prefer to call David Kano "Kano", for some reason, and never deviates from that.
Another Season Two detractor is proved wrong. Yes, another one. Proved wrong by me, that is. Not by any of the 11,778 members of the Facebook group. They are complicit in disseminating false information with intent to diminish Season Two.
All for today, Sunday, October 21, 2018.
Saturday, October 20, 2018.
All right. To start with, I finally have the Bugs Bunny STARS OF SPACE JAM DVD. I had to change my order from Amazon.ca to Amazon.com after Amazon.ca changed the due date for a package consisting of it to mid-November. And then, as Amazon.com was declining to send the DVD because of threat of a Canada Post labour stoppage, I had to pay expensive courier fees for it to be dispatched. And I reckoned that as I was paying "through-the-nose" for parcel conveyance, that I should add some more content to the package. And therefore, I also bought Kino Lorber's two-disc Blu-Ray release of DePatie-Freleng's Misterjaw cartoons.
I can confirm that "Hot Cross Bunny" is not remastered on the DVD, and that it looks and sounds worse than it did on the Treasure of the Sierra Madre DVD on which it was a bonus item. The audio crackles and pops in the first minute or so of the cartoon in ts STARS OF SPACE JAM DVD iteration, and there is aliasing over edges of stationary objects and over Bugs Bunny's whiskers, and an overall blurry look to the cartoon throughout its run time.
"Hare Splitter" fares better. Though it is time-compressed or is the result of a PAL "speed-up" prior to a PAL-to-NTSC conversion, its audio is without crackle. And the cartoon does not suffer from the aliasing and blur marring "Hot Cross Bunny". One can thank goodness for small mercies. However, "Hare Splitter" looks "soft", and it does not exactly sport vibrant colour. And it must be said that the transition from these cartoons to the restored ones on the same DVD is jarring, to say the very least. It is a sad, sad state of affairs that one must be satisfied with quality such as that on "Hot Cross Bunny" and "Hare Splitter" on the Bugs Bunny STARS OF SPACE JAM DVD, that Warner Brothers will not bother to at least do a new film-to-video transfer from the best film elements available (without any restoration work), for just a couple of cartoons on a DVD. This said, I still am pleased to have any previously-unavailable-on-DVD-or-Blu-Ray cartoon that Warner Brothers will deign to release. These cartoons still look better than they did on VHS videocassette. That is at least something about which to be happy.
Misterjaw is not my favourite DePatie-Freleng character (by far, he is not so), and watching thirty-four of his cartoons is going to be something of a trial. I will be "spreading out" my viewing of them over the course of days or weeks. Still, it is rather gratifying to now have every cartoon in The Pink Panther Show as it was distributed in syndication in the 1980s, and I do give plaudits to the documentary included on the first of the two Misterjaw Blu-Ray discs. Kino Lorber has come rather a long way as regards documentary production quality since its first two slipshod efforts for bonus documentary on DePatie-Freleng cartoons on Blu-Ray, those first two efforts having been for the Blu-Ray releases of the cartoons of the Inspector, the Ant and Aardvark, and Crazylegs Crane. Two thumbs up, definitely, for the latest documentary.
Canada Post's workers will be in legal "walk-out" position on Monday, and oh, bully for them. Sarcasm, of course. I hope that there is no "caving" to their demands. I am so sick and tired of this interruption or threatened interruption of mail delivery every couple of years (2016 was the last time I remember being anxious about packages being suspended in transit because of recalcitrant Canada Post employees). "Snail mail" is a dying operation, and it is long past time that this fact be accepted and that people in the mail-sorting and mail-delivering field of endeavour be more cooperative with their managers, who are just trying to keep the sinking ship afloat for as long as possible. People like me who would rather not have to pay for expensive courier service every time that we order something from Amazon.com or wherever, would appreciate that.
Anyway, for me, for the time being, I am not expecting anything else in the mail for some time to come. And unlike my "pot-smoking" fellow countrymen, I have no interest in having cannabis delivered to my door. Timely delivery of cannabis seems to be the main concern in my country with threat of a mail delivery stoppage. I wish that I were joking, but I am not. This is true.
Lo and behold, there was finally some protest (fairly meekly worded protest) to the worse-than-ever proclivity for, amount of, and severity of assaults upon Space: 1999's second season on Facebook, and what was the response from the people doing the venomous berating of all things Season Two? "Oh, we're just having fun." "Oh, don't be such a baby. Suck it up." "Oh gawd not this shit. I thought this forum was free of it.... sigh....." Along these lines. Pique or indignation at being told to "dial back" the snide, contemptuous, hate-filled dialogue and to at least try to be civil, empathetic, respectful of others' tastes. Or saying that being "called out" for their hostility toward Season Two makes them hate it all the more. Or proclaiming that "snarky" comment is justified in Season Two's sake and that anyone who does not like comparisons of it to body emissions or the content of garbage cans should just leave the group and join the one dedicated to Season Two, for the banter there is so much more respectful of the second season. And even likening the protester of the bile to a "snowflake", as being akin to someone trying to stifle free speech in a political arena or needing a "safe space" or a "trigger warning" in the event of statements of an opposite political ideology. Oh, some proportion, please. A television show and avenues for appreciating it is not the same as a national political discourse involving the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Mind, there should be some level of civility in the latter of these, too. But when it comes to being an aesthete for some work of imaginative fiction, it should behove all persons participating in a discussion on such to be respectful of one another for the merit that each person sees in it, to not "trash-talk" any of it, to be grown-up in bearing and conduct, to not gloat or laugh like children in school yard at others' mean-spirited sorties against producers, episodes, concepts, or fans of current or past age.
As usual, the nasty people "won the day". They emerged victorious from the brief dispute, and the disparagements and the attacks continue unabated. So, what else is new, eh?
On and on and on and on it goes. I cannot "keep up" with it anymore, and beyond today, I am not going to try. I am increasingly busy at work, and I am frankly too tired at the end of work days to assemble words and press keyboard buttons for a cogently articulated, rational response to the sorties. I would much rather unwind by watching some esteemed work on Blu-Ray. Oh, not Space: 1999, of course, because I cannot enjoy that anymore. Or going outside for a walk in whatever daylight there is left.
Anyway, here I go again. At least some of these attacks give examples.
"One problem with S2 I had was the planetscapes were not all that interesting. Seems like half the planets were filmed in the backyard of the studio...nothing surreal like Piri or Arkadia or Terra Nova or Zenno. Golos and Ellna were leftovers from 'War Games'. Vega was a second rate Ultima Thule. The Chrysalis planet had some intrigue, as did Psychon, but even they didn't have much imagination."
Half the planets, eh? No, just Luton and Sunim and medieval Scotland. Notice that the person declines to mention the desert planet in "All That Glisters", 2120 Earth in "Journey to Where", the toxic Planet D in "Brian the Brain", the jewel-like Kalthon in "Seed of Destruction", "dust planet" Taura in "The Seance Spectre", and the penal satellite of Entra, with its prison compound, in "Devil's Planet". Golos and Ellna have elevated city buildings, like some of the structures in "War Games", but sky and flora on those planets are different from those of the "War Games" planet. They are different worlds. What would the griper consider to be enough imagination? Psychon is a fascinating fevered planet of volcanoes with ghastly subterranean goings-on. A hell. With a biological computer, Psyche, being the force through which the planet's tenuous stability seemingly hinges. The moon-ringed planet of the Chrysalids in "The AB Chrysalis" also has an underworld. And has a populace with a unique life-cycle. And a defencive mechanism of blast waves. And artificial intelligences made mobile as bouncing balls.
To be honest, I regard Piri to be rather a dull place. Indeed, it is for that very reason that Koenig objects to it as a place for his people. What are those stationary balls supposed to be? Machines as artificial plants? The viewer does not know. "Economy of detail"? Fair enough. The cyclorama perspective set is at times rather too obvious, though. One sees little of Zenno other than a view of some city blocks outside of the ceiling-to-floor sheets of Raan's abode. Future Earth in "Another Time, Another Place" is a successful planet depiction, and, yes, so are Terra Nova, Ultima Thule, and Arkadia. The viewer never actually sees the "planetscapes" of Ariel or Astheria. Balor's asteroid is rather drab. Retha was filmed in Black Park as were Luton and Sunim in Season Two. All told, both seasons offered diverse impressive alien planet depiction. The television series as a whole should be lauded for its imagination as regards planets.
"'Year 2' has a handful of decent episodes, 'Seed of Destruction', 'The Metamorph', 'Immunity Syndrome', 'AB Chrysalis', 'The Dorcons'. A few more mediocre episodes, and then absolutely dreadful outings like 'All That Glisters', 'New Adam New Eve' and the infamous 'Rules of Luton'."
Handful? Why not "Journey to Where"? Why not "The Bringers of Wonder", "The Lambda Factor", "The Seance Spectre", "Dorzak", and "Devil's Planet"? Decent. Mediocre. Those are subjective judgements heedless of the subtle qualities of episodes' subject matter. Symbolisms. Etymologies. And not liking the intelligent rocks and plants of other worlds concepts is not sufficient footing for making sweeping, absolute statements about episodes being dreadful. Those concepts are pulp science fiction/fantasy used successfully in Star Trek or Doctor Who. And just what is so objectionable about "New Adam, New Eve"? Why has it suddenly "come in" for heaps of venom? Is it the use of live lizards filmed in miniature caves to appear as though they are giant? The miniature caves are convincing enough to sufficiently give to the lizards the illusion of being gigantic, for the seconds in which they are shown. A viewer's imagination ought to be able to compensate for any lapse in that illusion, if there is any. Magus' awesome powers and the Biblical affectation that he chooses and the explosive end of New Earth should be distinguishing characteristics of an imaginative episode.
I cannot credit these people for their dismissals of Season Two involving wilful neglect of examples or facts about successfully utilised concepts that may contradict their stance against the value of Season Two and the taste of some eternally beleaguered person who appreciates it. My former associate, Dean, provided some fact-based observations on "regions" in the Season Two chronology, etymologies of certain names, and correspondences between symbolisms in episodes, in fan newsletters back in 1988 to 1990. I put forth my work on Jekyll-and-Hyde symbolism in "Journey to Where". Fandom embraced none of it. None of it was coopted into the "received fan wisdom", and we were branded pariahs. Dean before me.
And I now propose to pivot away from this for a little while to address the matter of my detractors over the years who were always most quick to pounce on any error that I may commit.
I am wrong occasionally but am usually right. I was more fallible when I was young than I am now. Naturally, as I was in the process of learning and had problems with only-child's difficulty with relating to others. Of course, people point to those occasions when I am wrong to portray me as incapable of ever being right, so that everything that I say may be oh, so confidently dismissed (which is, of course, an unjust and ludicrous contention). The fans of Space: 1999 are usually wrong, right only for a small fraction of the time. That they are right some of the time does not make them right all of the time. And when they are right, it is usually in their nearly forty-year-old reiteration of observations regarding nuance or symbolism in some of the episodes of their precious "Year One".
They are chronically blinkered as regards "Year Two" and wrong about it the lion's share of the time, pridefully ignorant as they are of its aesthetic qualities and artistic patterns in its given chronology. Oh, they have numbers on their side. Numbers being people. But just because people in large numbers are ignorant does not lessen or negate the ignorance. The ignorance just becomes legion and banal.
And in yet another long series of sorties against Fred Freiberger (at the Space: 1999 Facebook group in the past twenty-four hours), this is said.
"FF was a lousy penny pinching idiot and even though TOS and S:1999 were in trouble, he made things worse!"
No. The idiots are the people who will not open their pig-headed minds after more than four decades. And as for him being lousy, was he lousy when he fought in World War Two for the values of democracy and liberty? And he was exceedingly kind to me. He was a far, far better human being than any of these disgusting people. I say that without the slightest trace of reservation.
Freiberger had to work under a budget. A budget that, in Star Trek's case, was substantially reduced by Paramount Television after Desilu ceased to be and turned production over to Paramount. A budget that, in Space: 1999's case, was lessened by Lew Grade as a proviso for a second season. Freiberger did what he could with a budget given to him, and was quite a superb craftsman in the conceiving of imaginative worlds with less money than what was had by his predecessors. And with Season Two Space: 1999 in tooling episodes to be filmed simultaneously to meet deadlines imposed on him by ITC.
And as to making them worse, I would argue that he did not. Season Three of Star Trek is more imaginative, does more with the concept of seeking out strange, new worlds, than Season Two. "The Mark of Gideon" has more imagination in it with its overpopulated planet concept than the Spock family drama of "Journey to Babel". Gladiatorial combat on alien turf is more strikingly otherworldly in "The Savage Curtain" with the planet of molten lava and a rock creature (and with an accurate representation, somehow, of long-dead Abe Lincoln, to boot!) than it is in "The Gamesters of Triskelion". "All Our Yesterdays" presents the time-travel concept with more diversity of setting than "Assignment: Earth". And so on. Freiberger eliminated the comedic episodes like "I, Mudd", "The Trouble With Tribbles", and "A Piece of the Action" and chose a thoroughly serious study of dislike-of-the-unlike in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield". And Season Two of Space: 1999 is filled with representations of "the other" in its array of alien planets and alien societies, offered a mirror-image impostor and "doors" in space and an alternate universe with devolution instead of evolution, chose to dedicate its last batch of episodes largely to psychic phenomena in an interesting clustering, and had many symbolisms in its episodes, including that of Tony's beer and Dr. Jekyll's concoction in "Journey to Where".
And this is said.
"Killer. Talentless hack."
No, he is not talentless. Just look at his Internet Movie Database history at all of the productions, spanning many genres, to which he contributed scripts. If he were talentless, none of his scripts would have been commissioned, and he would have been denied entry to offices in Hollywood. Fans of The Wild, Wild West do not consider him to be talentless. Neither does anyone who respects such Star Trek episodes as "Spectre of the Gun", "The Enterprise Incident", "The Tholian Web", "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky", "Day of the Dove", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", "Requiem For Methuselah", and "All Our Yesterdays". Those are the more acclaimed third season Star Trek episodes. Several others have merits, even if they are not appreciated by as many people as are those of the episodes here listed.
A producer worth his salt delivers productions on time and on budget, and Freiberger did that. He did it while combining derivative ideas in original synthesis and in a chronology of events without match in some other work. If a producer (or a director) does not meet timetables and overspends, he or she is replaced or is not again invited back to the production. And the ideas that he or she may have contributed to it thrown to the wind.
"So much went wrong with S2. Terrible stories, bad acting, removal of the beautiful main mission set from S1 and, did I mention terrible stories? From what I remember Space: 1999 was retooled in hopes of reaching a wider American audience or something but ban did they ever destroy that show. Had they kept S2 the same or similar to S1 I'm sure it would have done very well."
Terrible stories. Not a single example given. "Bad" acting. Not a single example given. Nor is there an objective telling of what constitutes the terribleness and badness. "Economy of detail", fanciful ideas for alien planets and alien creatures, and a non-minimalist approach to portraying characters? How is any of that objectively "bad"?
Yes, the Main Mission set was beautiful, but beauty may also be found in another control room design. One that is more "busy" and more colourful. The Command Centre set has a more Space Age control centre look to it, with video monitors at every desk and a multi-coloured computer terminal that outputs data on also multi-coloured reusable cards (rather than Season One's rolled paper). It was still a large enough control room to retain the lovely Big Screen wall panel used in Season One. The production schedule of Season Two made the Main Mission set and its time required for lighting impractical.
The person can be sure that a continued Season One would have "done very well" all that he wants. But it is at variance with facts. Ratings for Season One declined in the autumn of 1975, renewals of syndication contracts were not probable in numerous U.S. television broadcast markets, and Grade cancelled Season One. Keeping Season Two the same as or similar to Season One was not "on the cards". There was no continuing Space: 1999 with the style of Season One. Q.E.D..
"...but ban did they ever destroy that show."
Ban or man?
Destroy is an exaggerated choice of terminology. Season One was history when Grade cancelled it. It was, in 1976, no longer a continuing commissioned work to be destroyed. Season Two essayed a different style to the runaway Moon premise. It captured imaginations of people willing to suspend disbelief. It had an audience. In Canada, with a broadcaster that treated it with respect, it certainly did. And as Scott Michael Bosco, consultant on the A & E Space: 1999 DVDs, has stated, American television networks were interested in Space: 1999 in 1977 after Season Two reached the end of summer reruns. He said that "high-ups" at ITC told him so, and I believe him. Here is what he said.
"From high-ups at ITC, which originally distributed Space: 1999, I was told the U.S. networks showed an interest in that series after its second season run. First it was CBS that wanted to run the series, starting from 'Year 1', and if successful after running 'Year 2' would create a new series with as many of the same characters, with new episodes. However, due to the way the series was sold to various local stations throughout the country this was impossible since it would result in conflicting rights already sold to various regions. ABC entered the equation with an option of using the same characters but building a new scenario to continue the series anew thus avoiding the rights issue of 'Years 1 & 2' in syndication. It was devised that the traveling moon from Earth would be contacted by human aliens who foresaw a collision course was imminent between two celestial bodies which would destroy both their planet and the Moon. Their offer was to have the Earth people from the Moonbase join them on a space-ark on which they can find a new home. The ship used a unique jump drive that allowed them to jump from galaxy to galaxy and thus named... the Galactica. Not being able to obtain most of the cast from Space resulted in the idea being shelved. But not ABC's interest structuring a new sci-fi series. Although it could have been interesting what eventually emerged was a rip-off opera from of the popularity of Star Wars rather than the intellectual and stylized approach of Space: 1999 (especially 'Year 1'). Even 'Year 2', though vastly different was still true to the show being unique in style. Merging with Star Wars effects with laser-ridden space dog fights would have been sad indeed."
So, there. Space: 1999 was not really destroyed or dead after Season Two's run. Potential existed for an extrapolation from it. But, alas, circumstances with existing contracts and unavailable people prevented it "living on". Thence, it died.
Moreover, Gerry Anderson was not convinced of Fred Freiberger being the "kiss of death" following the run of Season Two on television, as he was in collaboration with Freiberger for a time on some other project. I do not remember the title of it. It was not until much later than that, after fandom had expressed for years and years its disdain for Season Two, that Anderson started talking disparagingly of Freiberger.
Season Two had merits. Superficial and subtle (though I do not any longer expect the fans to recognise or appreciate subtlety). And people watched it week after week for its entertainment value. Those people evidently did not become die-hard fans, for there does not appear to be any fandom for Season Two nowadays. The members of the public who enjoyed it in its initial run on television "moved on" casually to other works after the cancellation and for the most part are disinclined to look back at it (or at just about anything else from that long ago). My friends of my youth would seem to be of that persuasion. The past should be left behind in the past. This is, sadly, the way that most people are. I wish it were otherwise, but it is not. For whom was "the show" made? The general public, for the most part. The people from whom advertisers of foods and clothing and household appliances and automobiles and so forth sought business. It was not made solely or mostly for "nerds". It was made to capitalise on an increasing public taste for things otherworldly, that taste surging with the release of Star Wars in 1977. Star Wars with its action, its heroes-versus-villains conflict, its gun-wielding, laser-firing young heroes, its wisecracking rogue, its robots, and its monsters, monsters, monsters. See? Many of the things in Season Two Space: 1999 that fans of Space: 1999 lambaste as so very objectionable were in vogue just a year later. And do not "get me started" on questionable script technicalities, for The Empire Strikes Back and Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan have several of those and still are considered five-star movies.
I am tired. I have said my "piece". I propose to end this Weblog entry for October 17 and will at a later time write an update on the status of my STARS OF SPACE JAM Bugs Bunny DVD.
Monday, October 15, 2018.
I have been looking at my Weblog entries for 2015 and 2016 and am inclined to affirm that attitudes vis-a-vis the matter of Space: 1999 season preference, specifically Season One preferred over Season Two, have become more hatefully vitriolic over the past few years since Season Two's Blu-Ray release, and are worse now in their rancour than ever before. With the constant growth of the Facebook groups, intransigent, harsh bearing against Season Two has proliferated, become more and more venomous, and is more and more arrogantly and cockily expressed and put forth more times per day. Few people bother now to articulate specific examples of what they hate, even if the examples would be from wilful misconstruing of episodes' story developments or outright fabricated falsehood. It is just sweeping statements of absolute disdain laced with vernacular of the gutter, expressed with the utmost cocky confidence that what is said will be unanimously approved (or received with acquiescence from a dwindling minority) by the members of the group. And the attitude is metastasising across Facebook groups and Internet platforms. Internet platforms such as YouTube, Amazon.com product reviews, etcetera.
I did say a few years ago that the rancour would just keep worsening and worsening, that mellowed age with open-minded wisdom is a concept totally foreign to a group-think gestalt with some kind of pathology. And these fans of Space: 1999 cannot abide there being even a possibility of people watching the Blu-Rays and appreciating the visual beauty, if nothing else, of Season Two's episodes. Hence the "ramping-up" of the sorties. That was back in 2015 and 2016. What is on display now is indicative of a derangement syndrome that is like a snowball far along on its roll down a long hill, and gathering more and more poison moss in addition to snowy mass as it goes.
Thing is, I find that, correspondingly, my own "tone" in my Weblogging has itself become more and more vitriolic. I am calling people nincompoops, ignoramuses, dolts, and louts. Even if the terminology is apt or correct, it is a departure from how I responded to animus toward Season Two a few years ago. Growing incivility, not just in Space: 1999 fandom but in the world at large, is affecting me too. Though from me it is borne of fatigue and pique. Of being "fed up" with other people's confounded asininity.
This is just a hunch, mind, but I tend to think that the people in Space: 1999 fandom who are so devout in their antipathy for Season Two and Fred Freiberger as to be impossible to reason with, are supporters or voters of the American Democrat Party. And political parties of that ilk in other countries. I say again, just a hunch. From where does that hunch come? Just from an observation of attitudes and behaviours that certain assemblages of people have in common.
My own slide into incivility is reactive, and I at least have the self-awareness to recognise it and to self-admonish for it. Other people are lacking in self-awareness and are too far gone in a blinkered mindset. And because of this, dark times loom. Much as I do hate to say this. That World War of which Koenig spoke in "The Rules of Luton" may have its manifestation in real life three or four decades later than was stated in Space: 1999.
Sunday, October 14, 2018.
My Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote STARS OF SPACE JAM DVD arrived in my mailbox on Friday. On it, "Hot-Rod and Reel!" is un-restored but fairly decent-looking, with no audio issues and no time-compression (or PAL-to-NTSC "speed-up"). "Zip 'n Snort", likewise. I am as pleased with the DVD as I can possibly be, per the conditions that prevail at Warner Brothers Home Video. Amazon.ca is in no hurry, it seems, to dispatch my Bugs Bunny STARS OF SPACE JAM DVD. I will wait until mid-week, and if there is no progress by then in this matter, I will cancel my order with Amazon.ca and opt for ordering from Amazon.com. Doing so will cost me substantially more money, with shipping and currency exchange.
No word as yet on release date for the next volume of Pink Panther cartoons from Kino Lorber. I finally received Kino Lorber's Blu-Ray release of The Night Stalker, and it appears to be without any flaws.
I have attended to the wound of my eleven-year-old self following the statement by a Space: 1999 Facebook group member that Season Two Space: 1999 was for "dumb kids". The fact that nobody in that group of several thousand persons objected to it is quite telling. Not a single person who liked Space: 1999- Season Two as a child (and numerous people in the group have said that) thinks that he or she was an intelligent boy or girl, evidently, concurring as they so apparently do with the statement. To not object to it, the inflammatory assertion that it is, is to be in agreement with it (and doubtless a lack of any reprimanding for it will embolden others to say the same thing), and this, as far as I am concerned, is the "tin hat" put on my contention that fans of Season Two do it no justice and are the perfect self-deprecating quislings with the Season One fundamentalists. They declined to rally to "back me up" when I was being verbally assailed by said fundamentalists. They just sat on their hands, complicit with their silence in the "wolf-packing".
When it comes to stupidity in children, I had my taste of it. An abundant fill of it. When I was in Grade 6 and in junior high school in Fredericton. People who opted for talk of drugs, sex, and vulgar music and sneered at intelligent consideration of space phenomena and cosmology. The same people who preferred aggressive physical sports over creative writing and other avenues for intellectual development. Who idolised distinctly non-intellectual characters in situation comedies (John Travolta's character in Welcome Back, Kotter, for instance), declaring them "cool". And who thought art to be a waste of time. Who deliberately misbehaved in a Friday afternoon art class knowing "full well" that the consequence of that would be a full-class detention for an hour on a sunny springtime Friday afternoon. This, people, is my definition of stupidity in children. I recognised it then as now. Of course, none of them had any use for either of the two seasons of Space: 1999.
These were people who "picked on me", bullied me, had me fearful of reprisals for appearing to be "brainy". And who portrayed me as being stupid for liking Space: 1999. I would have hoped to have left all of that behind me upon reaching adulthood. But oh, no. Of course not. Not when I have to contend with people of school yard bully (or school yard bully's minion) mentality in their forties and fifties.
There should be consequences for people in their forties and fifties who demean others just for being fanciful and open-minded. The "dumb kids" slurrer ought to be scolded by the group, or better yet invited to leave it, for his mean-spirited statement. People should be righteously offended at it. But the group is too far gone. Attitudes therein such as that fuelling word usage along the lines of "dumb kids" are de rigueur, and will forevermore be so. Sad. So very, very sad.
People think that they are edgy, avant garde, ever so sophisticated, in dissecting the creative work of the Greatest Generation in faultfinding exercises with the ultimate aim of nullifying following of such work, but they are scarcely any better than the art-repudiating boors that I had to endure in school, and they bully just like them.
I have said it before and will say it again. Nothing made by man is going to be perfect. "Plot holes" and "goofs" exist in even the most meticulously made motion pictures. What is important are the ideas. The concepts. The motifs. How they are arranged in imaginative depiction. People who go on and on and on and on with the refrains of "why this?" and "why that?", allowing for no "economy of detail", dramatic necessity, artistic licence, or suspension of disbelief, are no more than Visigoths defiling the beautiful works created by better men and women. And they are of the same mentality as the louts who were my peers from Grade 6 through junior high. At least, I think so.
All right. I have said my "piece" for today.
The discussion at the Space: 1999 Facebook about which I wrote yesterday, has gone on and on and on and on, with person after person after person (many of them new to me) "weighing-in" with negative opinions of Season Two. Cliches, of course. They hate Maya. They hate Command Centre. They say the episodes have "bad" writing. Monsters. Freiberger was a derriere's hole. And Season-One-for-adults-and-Season-Two-for-children. Oh, yes. Of course, that one. That camera pan along the dead body of Joe Lustig in "The Immunity Syndrome". Joe Lustig dying from a discharged laser ray into his abdomen, with blood trickling out of his mouth. Perfectly at home on children's television. Kander dying after being on fire following an explosion in "The Bringers of Wonder". That, too. Beer consumption. Taybor grabbing Maya's leg. A woman being killed by shattering of her internal organs. A woman hitting another woman over the head with a stone ornament, ultimately killing her. Dead bodies strewn over the surface of two planets. All perfectly at home on Saturday morning television. Not!
"Season 2 was for kids. Season 1 was for adults." Two "thumb-up" icons and a heart icon denoting love.
Demeaning children, now, are they, these despicable louts?
All right, then. I will spare them nothing in my response. The second person here quoted has reached forty-one years back in time and called eleven-year-old me "dumb". Me and the friends that I had who enjoyed Season Two along with me. He is scarcely any different at whatever age he is at now, from the hectoring duo in sixth grade who cackled at me for liking Space: 1999, insinuating that I was a contemptibly stupid piece of human refuse. He has torn open that old wound, a sensitive boy's wound, and thrown salt into it. Oh, of course, not a single person reprimanded him, and this makes everyone in the discussion culpable in the insensitive slurring of impressionable boys. I therefore have righteous anger thoroughly on my side now and no longer feel any qualms over having called these people half-adults. I was too kind. They deserve much more of a verbal thrashing. They are not half-adults. Even if they are fully grown and have a libido, mentally they are not adults at all. That someone in his fifties would speak so of fanciful, sensitive children, is indicative of a dearth of maturity and adult human decency. These people are the swine that slobber and defecate over cast pearls. Which they do daily. Every single day. Forty-two years after they declined to appreciate the beauty in what was depicted in the second season of their favourite television programme. They are almost entirely dead inside. Hatred has "hollowed out" their souls, turning them into detestable things with zero empathy. Their sole pleasure in life is in being gratified by people of the same mindset in their avowed disdain for the work of the man named Freiberger. They will continue as they are into cursing-Freiberger-daily senior citizens, before their miserable corpses are pushing up droopy daisies.
I hope that they never have their Region A Shout! Factory Blu-Ray set. Of course, with the way that they "carry on", why would Shout! Factory believe that Blu-Ray box sets of Space: 1999 would sell in sufficient numbers for a profitable manufacturing line of pressed Blu-Ray discs? They have only themselves to blame for Space: 1999 currently being out-of-print on optical disc media in North America.
I do not deny that when I was a teenager and a young man of approximately twenty years, I was a jerk sometimes. Less so than many of my then peers, I would hasten to say. But God Almighty, I and my contemporaries in the viewing of Space: 1999 in its heyday, are in our fifties (or late forties, at least). We are supposed to be grown men and women with accumulated wisdom from decades of humbling life experience. Humble would not describe these people in their eternally steadfast hatred for Fred Freiberger and their obstinate, closed-minded refusal to accept Space: 1999 as it is and entertain insights into the aesthetic qualities of both seasons. And their insensitive "putting-down" of children is the foul, decomposing thick icing on the rancid cake representative of their despicable frame of mind and resultant behaviour.
So. What started as an entertaining read turned into a hurtful tribulation for me. Oh, the challengers to the ignoramuses had sway for a short while, but the oh, so high-horsed, ever-so-courteous ones "came back", gushing with bile. I have no doubt that the discussion will continue until every single person in the stinging swarm has had his and her say in the marathon of reiterated repudiation of Season Two and the cursed wretches who fancy it. And then, they will chide offended people like me for being overly sensitive at having our lifelong fancies dragged through mud and feces and us branded as having been "dumb" for having liked those productions from the "get-go", in our youthful phases of life.
October 11, 2018.
The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote STARS OF SPACE JAM DVD is now en route to me. Amazon.ca has for some reason (or no reason) not sent the Bugs Bunny STARS OF SPACE JAM DVD to me yet. It had better be soon, because, yet again, Canada is living under threat of a Postal workers labour stoppage. Last time that this was the case was little more than two years ago. I do not know what the dispute is about, this time. Is Jean-Claude Parrot still the head of C.U.P.W.? It would not surprise me.
Anyway, word on the Internet is that the cartoons on the Bugs Bunny STARS OF SPACE JAM DVD that were not restored for earlier DVD release, are still in an un-restored state. Them being "Hot Cross Bunny" and "Hare Splitter". And while I have no interest in buying it, the Daffy Duck STARS OF SPACE JAM DVD has a time-compressed, un-restored "Boston Quackie" thereon. I will therefore expect for "Hot-Rod and Reel!" on the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote STARS OF SPACE JAM DVD to be un-restored. So be it. I have lost any hope of Warner Brothers bothering to do any more restoration work on the cartoons. I just want the cartoons, from the best existing film elements possible.
Quite a discussion has erupted at the Space: 1999 Facebook discussion group. A member of the horde of regular Season Two detractors asked why UFO receives unqualified acclaim while Space: 1999 receives "bad press" from both critics and "sci-fi" fans. And of course, of course, of course, within no more than the first few responses, so began the usual chorus of Season Two being to blame for for all that ails Space: 1999. It and Fred Freiberger. And then someone says that there being no budget and monsters was not all because of him. There was a budget, confound it! That should be plain to see from the eyes of any rational person. Reduced, yes. But still a budget. These people think in extremes. Reduced budget means no budget. A less spacious control centre means broom closet or "portaloo". A few episodes with monsters as antagonists means "Monster of the Week" for all 24 episodes. Season Two is not "as good" as Season One (not that I personally think so) means it is horrible, awful, unwatchable garbage or feces. This is the idiot's reasoning that permeates the fan movement for Space: 1999. Permeates and is legion.
Monsters being unacceptable phenomena for a work of science fiction/fantasy is not an absolute truth. What of the monsters of Doctor Who and Star Wars? Are they lamentable blemishes on the television or movie series entries of those works? I am so damned sick and tired of the snobbery of these clowns. They speak of something being "cartoonish" or "comic-booky" as being beneath contempt, as though cartoons and comic books are not imaginative art forms in their own right.
The discussion became entertaining when some people without an intellectual or emotional investment in lauding Season One every sixth way from Sunday, entered the fore and proclaimed that Season One was not the masterwork that it is rabidly claimed to be, that it was the reason for the "bad press", syndication contracts not being renewed, etc., and put the arrogant ignoramuses on the defencive. And they, the ignoramuses, could not formulate responses beyond their usual lazy reliance on tired cliches (e.g. Season One, 2001; Season Two, Star Trek), which were upbraided with assured calm by the challengers. Invoking Star Trek and similarity thereto as being something damnable is boring and so very predictable, they say. And indicative of forty years of atrophied brain activity in a complacent "echo chamber". The usually blustery nincompoops then retreated to a let-us-agree-to-disagree posture. "Let's not," was the response to that. And then, faced with more counter-arguments to their forty-year-old refrains, it was a cowering "bye-bye" from the usually cocky, obnoxious louts. Ha!
The challengers' opinions on both seasons are just as blinkered as that of the haters of Season Two. I acknowledge that. But it was delightful to see the minions of the cosy "circle-jerk" being thrown into a fluster, convulsing, and "folding". I even chose to put aside my objection to Space: 1999 being branded a "kid's show" (yes, the challengers countered with that to the Season-One-for-adults-and-Season-Two-for-"kids" old chestnut, contending that both seasons were made for children, as also were the Andersons' earlier work with puppets), just to enjoy this spectacle. Certainly, I do not believe that either season was produced as "kid vid". I have already demonstrated that not to be the case with regard to Season Two. They were made for families to watch together, as was the case in Canada. On Saturday afternoons or evenings. But anyway, it was a pleasant change to see the swaggering ones knocked off of their self-made pedestals. They will be back on those pedestals soon enough, though. Within less than twenty-four hours, no doubt.
Not even twenty-four hours. As I discover with a further look at the discussion.
"Fred Freiberger took a wrecking ball to S2 as he did with Trek TOS S3."
No, he did not. Season Three of Star Trek had a "clunker" or two, but was for the most part an imaginative set of episodes, all of them quintessentially Star Trek in the seeking-out of discussions and hopeful alliances with denizens of other worlds, the preserving of alien cultures from potential catastrophes, exploring strange, new worlds, contrasting the Federation values with those of aliens, defeating tyrants, etcetera. The vast majority of third season Star Trek is true to the essence of the Star Trek known and loved by people by the millions. Star Trek was cancelled by NBC which had wanted to cancel it after its second season. NBC which hated Star Trek and intensely disliked working with Gene Roddenberry. And as to Fred Freiberger's wrecking of Season Two Space: 1999, that is a matter of opinion. Blinkered opinion.
"But part of the blame also goes to the BBC, if you watch the documentary."
Ha! The BBC did not air Space: 1999 in the 1970s and certainly did not produce it. Such ignorance of basic facts (basic facts that anyone who knows anything about Space: 1999 to be worth his or her salt ought to have had imprinted on his or her grey matter forty-some years ago) should torpedo any credibility that this person thinks that he has. As for The Space: 1999 Documentary, it was a biased concoction slapped together by the most blinkered people in Gerry Anderson's U.K.-based fandom. An editorial "hit-piece" against Season Two masquerading as an objective documentary work. Even Johnny Byrne, far from being a Season Two aficionado, objected to the editing of it. Or so I was told. Editing done to make the commentary about Season Two and Fred Freiberger sound as scathing as possible.
"They wanted action and Monsters of the Week, and Catherine Schell got imposed on them as a Spock wanna be."
"Monsters of the Week". I have rebutted that quite effectively already. No need to do so again. Aside from being, like Spock, a resident alien, which is not by any objective measure a demerit for a work of the science fiction/fantasy genre, Maya was quite unlike Spock in her personality. Maya was not imposed on "them". Lew Grade green-lit Season Two based on the suggestion by Freiberger and Anderson of the Maya character. Maya was conceived by Fred Freiberger and then was "pitched" to Grade by Freiberger and Anderson. Successfully. The producers themselves broached the Maya character. It was not imposed on them by the ITC Entertainment "high-ups". The idea for the character did not come from ITC. It was not an imposition. Gerry Anderson said that Catherine Schell was the best choice for the role of Maya. Yes, she was the preferred choice of Abe Mandell of ITC New York, but Anderson conceded that Mandell was right. The idea of Maya gave a new lease on life to Space: 1999 after Grade had cancelled it. Season One was cancelled. This world is, sadly, teeming with people unwilling to acknowledge that fact.
"I agree with Landau that S1 was much better and a lot of S2 is almost unwatchable."
None of it is unwatchable. To anyone with an eye for visual beauty (and an ear for aural beauty) and an imagination unfettered by an unwillingness to suspend disbelief. Wherever he is, Landau now knows that he was wrong about Season Two. He sees the nuance in it. The "regions" and patterns to the given chronology. Jungian archetypes and so forth.
October 10, 2018.
Here is what I have for my Thanksgiving. Because, after all, I must be thankful for the curse I am condemned to live for whatever time that I have left in this cruel world. The curse of evidently being only one of two people who appreciate Season Two Space: 1999. So my Karma has evidently decreed.
Facebook group for Space: 1999.
"And now we're sitting on the biggest bomb mans ever made !"
Why no apostrophe in the third word from the end? Why the space between the word, made, and the exclamation mark?
Anyway, among the responses to this is this delightful series of slurs.
"You mean Season 2??" Eight laugh icons and three "thumb-up" icons.
"Actually the biggest bomb was Galactica 1980, but season 2 came close."
And not a single rebuttal from any of the so-called fans of Season Two. They disgust me. Almost as much as the arrogant, empathy-poor louts who peddle this gallingly offencive rot.
Comparing Season Two of Space: 1999 to Galactica 1980 is an insult. An insult to anyone who fancies Season Two of Space: 1999. An insult to the professionals who produced Season Two of Space: 1999. Really, though, anyone with the faintest amount of discernment should be able to acknowledge that production values of Season Two Space: 1999 permitted encounters with many alien worlds, extinctions of planets, the battle scenes in "The Dorcons", etcetera, etcetera. While Galactica 1980 had scarcely anything of the kind. It used stock footage from Earthquake and space battle footage from the original iteration of Battlestar Galactica for what little spectacle that it offered. Space: 1999- Season Two was not restricted to twentieth century Earth and the stale "fish-out-of-water" premise of otherworlders being on Earth. It had imagination in bucket loads. Galactica 1980 had super-Scouts, Wolfman Jack, and an episode about farming. But the fact that matters for Season Two have become so dire that it is said without any refutation to be almost as "big" of a "bomb" as Galactica 1980, is most distressingly offencive. Of course, these Space: 1999 fans do not care about offending. They are half-adults with an empathy deficit. And of course their opinion must always be the definitive one. It is hopeless. Absolutely hopeless. This woebegone effort of mine to try to bring fair-mindedness to the fore. Who in hell gives a rat's derriere about that or about the perspective that I have on that "bomb"? The people who said good riddance to bad rubbish to me when I left the Alpha League club in 1995 are no doubt smirking in smug satisfaction.
This is my Thanksgiving. This is what I have to be thankful for. This curse under which I am condemned to live.
I have a turkey to roast today. Oh, a turkey! Why not compare Season Two Space: 1999 to that too? Oh, come on. I know that everyone bar one other person would like to do that. Oh, so very much so. With many laughter icons to follow.
Sunday, the accursed seventh of October, 2018.
I have found a 1970s picture of the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Newcastle. It and the street adjacent to it. I have done digital "clean-up" of the photograph and have added it to my Era 2 memoirs.
My Blu-Ray of The Night Strangler has arrived. I am still waiting for The Night Stalker Blu-Ray that I ordered from Amazon.com at the same time as the Blu-Ray of The Night Strangler. The two Blu-Ray discs were dispatched to me separately for some reason (or no reason at all). And it will be a long wait, as Amazon.com's shipper sent the Night Stalker Blu-Ray parcel to Long Beach, California, instead of Canada. The same thing happened in August to my Blu-Ray of The Day After, and I had to wait for more than two weeks for its arrival.
Kino Lorber has yet again produced a Blu-Ray with faulty audio-video synchronisation. Yes, again. The audio commentary for The Night Strangler is noticeably ahead of the video throughout the movie. What is it with Kino Lorber and audio quality control? What is Kino Lorber's malfunction? Oh, the movie's main audio track is correctly synchronous with the video. That is what is of primary importance. But the Blu-Ray disc is not glitch-free, overall.
The Space: 1999 Facebook group's latest escapade. Beneath a picture of the replica Koenig from "Seed of Destruction" poised to fire the Moonbase main laser weapon, is a discussion (always pictures with discussions (or invented dialogue "captions") beneath them; this is what the Facebook community for Space: 1999 consists of these days, for the vast majority of the postings thereto) about the printed appellation, in bold lettering, of the weapon on a Command Centre console above a red firing button.
"'Not the red one,never push the red one'"
"The production designers probably thought that television was going to be 480p forever, there the Batman style signage"
"Ah ... series 2 Fred subtlety"
Still too lazy to typewrite periods, I see.
So, now they are comparing Season Two Space: 1999 to Batman because of bold-lettered labelling of equipment or equipment controls. Alleging lack of subtlety. Oh, trust me. There is subtlety in Season Two. Subtlety beyond the most superficial appearances of the tiresomely bemoaned alien monsters of certain episodes. Subtlety, as Season Two's patterns in given chronology and symbolisms are evidently perpetually beyond the awareness of Space: 1999's wretchedly intransigent fandom. Even after some of such has been intelligently "pointed out" to the fans in newsletter columns.
Yes, Batman was unsubtle in its labelling of equipment in the Bat Cave, and the satire, the camp, in such stemmed from the fact that only Batman and Robin work in the Bat Cave and, being experienced in their particular brand of crime-fighting, should know what each mechanism does, the labelling therefore being superfluous- and affectedly showy in the size of its lettering. But on Moonbase Alpha, there are some 300 people of varying professions and Moonbase departments. Not everyone is trained in all of the particulars of Command Centre operations. Some people of certain specialisations that do not bring them often into Command Centre may be required to undertake command personnel tasks in the absence or incapacitation of the regular Command Centre operatives. The lettering is for them, arguably. So that they can quickly find something if circumstances require them to hurry. The colouring of the laser weapon firing button as red and having the wording of, fire, above it, is logical if a person wants to be certain of pressing the correct button during, say, a time of Red Alert on the Moonbase. Red Alert. Red button for the laser weapon firing control. Why not? There is an aesthetic consistency to this. No? Further, people not trained in Eagle spaceship operations may be required to pilot the Eagles. Bold lettering for mechanisms may be justified in those cases, also.
Moonbase Alpha is not the Bat Cave. It has some three hundred people. Three hundred people of many different specialisations. The Bat Cave has two. Two seasoned crime-fighters with extensive experience in operating their equipment. Quite different conditions. A reasonable person should recognise this. An unreasonable person will not- and he or she will invoke the pejorative of Fred Freiberger to try to buttress his or her ignorant and fallacious point of view.
Oh, these people are monotonous! And galling in their smugness. But it is just another usual day in my life. Such as it has been for the past few decades.
October 6, 2018.
My Weblog is experiencing a slump of late. Readership of a number of my Web pages is also in a recent decline. Oh, the usual ones to receive daily visits (The Littlest Hobo Page, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page) continue to have them. But others are not faring as promisingly as they were over the summer months of this year.
Last evening, I had a look at the MI6 Community James Bond discussion forum. I seldom visit there as my interest in the James Bond movies has "flagged" in the past ten years. Occasionally, I will put a Bond Blu-Ray in one of my Blu-Ray players for a spin. But generally, my enthusiasm for Bond is not what it used to be. Everyone with whom I talk (with frustratingly decreasing regularity) is only inclined to discuss the Daniel Craig Bond movies, which leave me quite cold. And, as I have previously stated, I am of the opinion that the Bond movies should have been retired many years ago. Anyway, I ventured onto the MI6 Community's discussion forum and found a compelling angle for looking at A View to a Kill (1985) as one mission too many for an ageing Bond nearing retirement. The initial proffered argument for such was intelligently written and the discussion of it to follow was respectful, open-minded, tentatively accepting of it. This despite the fact that A View to a Kill is one of the least acclaimed James Bond films.
It was a treat for me to read it. Being as these days I can find enlightenment from other people on my other entertainment fancies in very, very, very few places. The Space: 1999 fan community on Facebook is now simply posting picture after picture after picture to the Facebook groups and writing fatuous dialogue "captions" to them under a razor-thin pretense of sophistication with vain airs of purported wit. Most of them are, of course, slights against Season Two. This is what Space: 1999 fandom has been reduced to, between its reiterating of praises of "Black Sun", etc. from nearly forty years ago. The originality-welcoming discussion at the MI6 Community regarding A View to a Kill was some breaths of fresh and crisp air to push away some of the stale stench of Space: 1999 fandom's beyond-cliched refrains, quasi-intellectual pigheadedness, bullying group-think snobbery, and smugly concocted jocularity.
Word is that the BBC is at last mailing replacement Blu-Ray discs for the Season Twelve Doctor Who box set. But is doing so without cases to protect the Blu-Ray discs from damage in transit. Just stuffing them into bubble-wrapped envelopes without protection from scratching or bending. What a shambles! I never did receive a confirmation that replacements would be sent to my address, that the proof of box set ownership that I supplied attached to an e-mail message was acceptable to the people at BBC's home video division. If the Blu-Ray discs are going to be scratched to the decrepit defacement of the damned denizens of Hades' hole, why even bother to ask for replacements? Why not just be satisfied with my DVDs of the same stories and leave the matter at that? And not buy any further Blu-Ray releases of Doctor Who. I am not happy with the BBC's politics now, anyway. No more than I am with the CBC's. Or the politics of today's Britain in general.
I am continuing to enjoy the third Pink Panther cartoons Blu-Ray. Kino Lorber definitely scored a goal with this one. I would not say that it is a winning goal, though. The audio errors on the Inspector and Ant and Aardvark Blu-Rays mean that Kino Lorber has since then been playing at a marked deficit.
September 29, 2018.
The third Kino Lorber Pink Panther cartoons Blu-Ray is now in my possession. There are more cartoons in in this Blu-Ray release than in either of the previous two volumes of Pink Panther cartoon shorts. Twenty-two instead of twenty. And to my eyes, there does appear to be a "bump-up" in picture clarity and depth of colour. I have watched most of the cartoons and am smitten with the look of the cartoons on this Blu-Ray release. "Pink is a Many Splintered Thing" I found to be especially impressive to behold. Almost all of the cartoons that I have watched thus far were those with audio commentaries, with the audio commentaries being set to on. I have no quibbles with the audio on the commentaries that I heard. And the few cartoons without commentary that I have watched were free of any problematical audio. So far, so good.
And I have not found any cartoons with laughter tracks as yet on this Blu-Ray disc. Kino Lorber is to be commended for managing to find the original film elements for most every Pink Panther cartoon. I wish that the same success could have been had with offering the Inspector cartoons without laughter tracks (and with the correct opening credit music for "Napoleon Blown-Aparte" and "Cock-A-Doodle Deux-Deux"). I confirm also that a laughter-free version of "Pink Outs" is offered as a bonus item on this third volume of Pink Panther cartoons. Alas, the visual quality of the film print used looks to be as shabby as that of the version of "Pink Outs" with laughter on the Pink Panther cartoons second volume. Film wear lines. Digital video tools could remove many of them, or perhaps all of them, and restore the cartoon to a pristine look. But MGM or Kino Lorber have not the budget for that, one guesses. Still, I am pleased that "Pink Outs" is now available without laughter track.
All in all, I am exceedingly pleased with this Pink Panther Blu-Ray release and am eagerly awaiting the next one. No release date is set as yet for it, however. Disappointing, as I thought that the intention was to release all six volumes of the Pink Panther cartoons this year.
Having justifiably lauded the latest Blu-Ray, I cannot help but notice how bored that Jerry Beck seems to be with the recording of the audio commentary for "Think Before You Pink". From it, I have the impression, whether right or wrong, that he is recording the audio commentaries out of some obligation (to Greg Ford, maybe) and not love for the cartoons. His commentary for "Think Before You Pink" pivots to stating his appreciation of audio commentary in general. And even that comes across to a listener as nothing more than laboured small talk, to fill time. When the Pink Panther is attempting to build a wood bridge from one building to another, Beck says that it is a gag used in other cartoons but cannot motivate himself to provide the title and characters to the earlier cartoon in which the gag had been done most effectively and most akin to how it was "staged" in the Pink Panther cartoon. That earlier cartoon having been "Tree Cornered Tweety" (1956). The character nailing planks of wood together in it having been Sylvester. I have a feeling that other commenters, like Greg Ford or William Hohauser, would specify the earlier cartoon and note the similarities and differences between how the gag is essayed there and its utilisation in "Think Before You Pink". And do so with some amount of ardour. Jerry Beck does not seem to care. Honestly, I am of a belief that Jerry Beck does not really think much of the works of Friz Freleng, before and after the advent of the DePatie-Freleng oeuvre. Certainly not those post-1948. And when Beck is likening one of the Pink Panther's actions to those of Chuck Jones' Wile E. Coyote, he just seems to be straining to sound interested, or is rather less than intellectually or viscerally invested in what he was watching and remarking about in commentary. It seems to me that he would much rather be commenting on a 1940s Bob Clampett Warner Brothers cartoon. That would seem to be where is love for cartoons focuses or resides. By contrast, commenter William Hohauser has an enthusiasm for the cartoons of DePatie-Freleng that is plentiful and quite contagious. It is very, very evident that he loves them. I believe that commenter Mark Arnold loves them, too. He may not be as effusive in his love as William Hohauser, but his affection for the cartoons comes through to the listener in his voice intonations and his precise, encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the DePatie-Freleng output.
Not that I cannot accept that one may not be enthusiastic about certain cartoons. I am not so about the cartoons in the PORKY PIG 101 DVD set. But, then, I am not supplying audio commentaries on them to be value-added content in a DVD or Blu-Ray release of them. Not that I would expect to be asked to undertake that, mind.
I was wrong about the New Brunswick election in that I had underestimated the votes garnered therein by the Green and People's Alliance political parties. As a result of Legislature seats won by them, neither of the traditional two political parties that have alternated as provincial government since long before I was born, are able to form a majority government. The Progressive Conservatives hold one seat more than the incumbent Liberals and need the support of either the Greens or the People's Alliance to pass votes in the Legislature. All told, the parties of a conservative identification or a specified conservative leaning received approximately 45 percent of the vote in the election. And in English New Brunswick, conservative parties won more than fifty percent of the vote. Francophone New Brunswick seems to be eternally in love with the Liberal Party. Provincially and federally. I cannot say any more than this, for, because of my job, I have to be as impartial as I can be on New Brunswick provincial politics.
All for today, September 27, 2018.
September 24, 2018.
Election day today in New Brunswick. I am not expecting any significant change in how my Canadian province will be governed for the next four years.
And it is more of the same when it comes to my compulsion to respond to attacks upon Season Two Space: 1999. Day in, day out. The same thing. The "echo chamber" that is the Facebook Space: 1999 community continues to grow, and each new person in it only launches into the same old baiting of the group to say what they dislike about the accursed season of the producer with the names starting with F.
"'One Moment of Humanity'. Androids seek to learn how to be violent. But can't until they experience it. Alpha's have to avoid agression acts or be killed.
They make a copy of Alpha in the hopes that Tony and Dr. Russel might shoot one another. They don't
However Alan does shoot one of the androids later. Why didn't they perceive this to be an aggressive act?"
Alpha's? Dr. Russel? Agression?
All right. The response to this is simple. Ridiculously simple. For anyone possessing a pair of eyes and a modicum of reasoned thought.
Zamara is not looking at Alan when he trains his gun at her and fires it. Her back is to him. She is preoccupied with the Alphan library and on finding something therein that may be used on Helena and Tony and is not looking at John, Alan, and Maya. Further, Zamara and her peers are of the belief that killing is an act of strong emotion. Passion. Jealousy. Intense suspicion and mortal fear. By her reckoning, Alan cannot be driven by such emotion under the immediate circumstances. And indeed he does not raise and fire the gun with intent to kill. Only to incapacitate. Or to test whether the gun may have effect on her. High definition video permits view of the setting on Alan's gun. No red to be seen. Only black. Therefore, stun.
Alan's firing of the gun may have some minimal aggression in its enaction. But Zamara does not see it, and if she did see it, she would not regard it as being the impassioned, murderous aggression that she wants.
From this blinkered observation does of course come the usual series of slurs.
"I try not to think too much about the 2nd series episodes, which is the answer to the question here."
Oh, funny. Do not think much about the episodes. Cannot possibly risk seeing something conceptually beautiful and potentially meaningful in them. Oh, heaven forbid. Really, it requires little thought for one to "reason out" the above-cited, allegedly faulty scene. For someone actually willing to think, and think un-scathingly, with regard to Season Two.
"Especially the big problem at the end of this one. If they needed the androids to thought-teleport, how the $#%! did they get back to Alpha? And if they could somehow do it by sending someone with an Eagle, why didn't they stay on the planet? The humans who lived there probably owed them a bid debt for deactivating the androids and would have welcomed them. Unless they were going out of range and didn't have time for Operation Exodus."
Oh, good grief! Must every detail be stated in dialogue? Obviously, John, Helena, Maya, and Tony were returned to Alpha (the next episode makes that quite patent), probably by an Eagle flown by Alan. Or if not that then by an old spaceship of the humanoids of the planet put back into service. The outdoor environmental conditions on Vega (or whatever it was called prior to the androids' ascendancy) would make it an undesirable planet for Alpha to colonise. I would have thought that to be obvious. And the climate-controlled city might not be able to accommodate nearly 300 Alphans, particularly with the city's master computer non-operational (the humans of the city would in all likelihood have a quite onerous amount of work ahead of them for just their own survival). And besides, there could be and probably is insufficient time to mount a successful evacuation of Alpha to Vega.
"I call it 'One Moment Of Stupidity' for a reason. Although truth be told, it's more like 50 minutes of it..."
Truth is not being told in this arrogant attack. Only blinkered thinking of a mind believing itself to be sophisticated in its confounded, wilful ignorance. And I am offended at the implications in the use of the word, stupidity, with reference to something that I have fancied for many decades. And of course, someone "like-clicks" it.
Stupidity, eh? All right. I can "give as I get". I am not the person unable to intuit simple story details. One such detail being plainly visible to the eye. Zamara not looking at Alan, her back to him, when he fires his gun. The androids are fixated on the idea that murder is an act of intense emotion. Killing potentially being done dispassionately is a concept outside of their breadth of consideration. They are androids, locked in a thought process from one basic premise and lacking a capacity for any lateral movement of cogitation. It is the way that the androids have been programmed. A full range of complex human thought patterns should not be attributed to them. I have intuited this. Without difficulty. Oh, but I am the stupid one who likes stupid things. Sure.
My late father used to say that familiarity breeds contempt. Over-familiarity would appear to do so when it comes to works of entertainment, or Space: 1999 at the very least. Actually, an argument could be made for this as regards the Warner Brothers cartoons, also. I have not forgotten (how could I forget?) what a privileged occasion that it was to see an episode of Space: 1999, especially after CBC Television terminated broadcasts thereof in 1978. And even during the years when it was a full CBC television network offering, there never was a guarantee of Space: 1999 being aired in New Brunswick on CHSJ-TV on any given Saturday. To have those first glimpses of an episode or of the Season Two opening was met with the profoundest satisfaction and sense of relief. It hurt so very much when CBC Television replaced Space: 1999 with Mork and Mindy in September, 1978. And again when CBAFT discontinued its airing of Cosmos 1999 in September of 1979. From then until 1983, I had only my audiotape-recordings of some episodes in English or French and the books, and I clung to them as items of dearest import to me. Them plus two ATV telecasts of Destination: Moonbase Alpha. Oh, how good it felt to be seeing Space: 1999 again that late night in May of 1980! I will never forget my dogged determination in 1983 to obtain videotape-recordings of Space: 1999 from its broadcasts then in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. And my eventual most gratifying success in that pursuit. How prized and precious were those videotapes, televised Space: 1999 in New Brunswick being so rare a thing as to be effectively extinct (aside from the Super Space Theatre "movies")! The notion of being to any substantial extent "nitpicky" with or cynically disrespecting of the episodes that I was collecting (in some cases through transactions, with long, long wait times, with American videophiles) was alien to me. Mind, some of my then associates (i.e. friends of friends) did not refrain from putting forth some uninvited mocking of dialogue of the occasional episode, an irreverence at which I bristled with sullen or sometimes fuming indignation. The imagination in Space: 1999 had my fancy firmly in its grip, and I thought it superior in its episode concepts to those of every other television or movie series opus of space encounter. Its production values continued to be impressive. And John Koenig was my hero.
Some people would deride my enthusiasm as being "fanboyish" (as though one can only legitimately be an aficionado of something by being bitingly critical of it, cynical of its production methodologies, and having only a rigidly qualified regard for its concepts and depictions), but it was unflinchingly resolute and deep-hearted loving appreciation of a work of entertainment that had frustratingly eluded me for a number of my upbringing's most socially sparse years and that were it not for my efforts and expense to procure it on videocassette through videotape-recordings of broadcasts outside of my Canadian province, would have stayed quite elusive until the breakthrough with YTV in 1990.
Fans today have it too easy where Space: 1999 is concerned. It is on DVD and Blu-Ray. It is on the Internet. No episodes are rarer than others. All of them can be watched over and over and over again. Dozens of times. Hundreds of times. With instant replay and capacity for pause and slow motion. Space: 1999 was not produced for that. Its episodes, like those of all television programmes of the years of its heyday, were made to be seen twice, in run and rerun. And maybe a few more times in some later syndication distribution. The episodes were filmed very fast, over a time period of nine or ten days, and with limited budgets. Continuity lapses and maybe even some illusion-shattering filming off of set or visible production crew are to be expected. Script editors did not have the luxury of forty years of scrutiny. If a script had an imaginative idea and could be followed without confusion by the average television viewer, it was commissioned, and an episode was filmed. If the episode was found to overrun, some exposition would be excised, the viewer expected to intuit what details were omitted. Some creative licence was required in some cases. Considering the constraints under which producers, directors, and production team had to operate and the dog-eat-dog business that was and still is television, one should be appreciative of the fact that two full seasons of Space: 1999 were made at all. And that they were as impressive visually and conceptually as they were. My generation was so very blessed to have had Space: 1999 over which to marvel in its most impressionable years of "growing up". That familiarity with it has grown to excess and contempt is so often expressed toward any of its episodes is such an awful and most upsetting travesty.
Readership for my Weblog has decreased in over the past ten days. I would hazard a guess as to why. People are tired of my indignant replies to the daily attacks upon Space: 1999 Season Two by the louts of the Season One "camp" and by persons touting themselves to be pundits of second season. Believe me, no one could be more tired of it than I am.
I wish that I had numerous DVD or Blu-Ray releases of other entertainments of my fancy about which to write. All that is coming for the remainder of the year, all that is of interest to me, that is, are the final Kino Lorber Blu-Ray volumes of the Pink Panther cartoons. Plus the two Kolchak television movies and Doctor Who- Season Nineteen. And I know of nothing of my fancy "in the pipeline" for 2019. I will review the third Pink Panther cartoons Blu-Ray when I have it. As is usual now, I must wait for nearly two weeks, and sometimes more than that, for a package from Amazon.com to reach my door.
Oh, yes. How could I forget? The STARS OF SPACE JAM DVDs are coming, too. I will be buying two of them just to acquire two cartoons.
Seven years ago today, my father was admitted to hospital, beginning the downward spiral that ended with his death on November 2, 2012. I am aghast and disconcerted at how much time has elapsed since then. It does not seem to be that long a time. Indeed, when I typewrite the year, 2019, I can scarcely believe that I am now that late in the day that is my life. And that I have lived nearly six years without either of my parents.
I have carried with me through many decades my esteem and love for entertainments that captured my fancy and imagination in my life's first thirteen years. It has been a most frustrating journey in my adulthood to find kindred spirits in my veneration of those productions. And in the past ten years, all too many of them have dropped out of the public consciousness. Most particularly the Warner Brothers cartoons. Spiderman cannot even have its DVD release brought back into print during time periods when Spider-Man is in vogue via some current movie. Yes, the DePatie-Freleng cartoons are receiving a comprehensive release to Blu-Ray, but the general public is oblivious to that. I cannot stir any degree of enthusiasm among my Facebook friends for my favourite works. Certainly not nostalgic sentiment. Recently, I posted Hyperlinks on my Facebook to every episode of Spiderman, offering them weekdays at 4:30 P.M., replicating CHSJ-TV's old 1981-3 airtime for Spiderman. Almost no one commented on or "like-clicked" those Hyperlinks. Despite the popularity of the Marvel characters in the Zeitgeist of late. At least, it generated recall and nostalgic feeling in me for the old days of 1982 and 1983, when I looked forward to seeing and videotaping Spiderman each day as I boarded the school bus for home in the afternoon and as I sat through the 4 P.M. Do it For Yourself television show in eager anticipation of Spiderman and hoping for an episode that my videotape collection then lacked. My social life in that time frame reaching a zenith, I would be confident of seeing a friend and perhaps talking about Spiderman not long after seeing the day's episode thereof.
Anyway, I continue to update my Web pages. The Space: 1999 Page has seen some updates for the CBC broadcasts list for 1976-8 and for addition of the late Zienia Merton (may she rest in peace) to the In Memoriam section of the Web page. And Space: 1976-8: Boy Meets Alpha has also been updated.
All for today.
September 21, 2018. Another summer has come and gone. Sigh.
Another day, another set of sorties.
I am tired. I am so tired!
Regarding "The Metamorph". What used to be a fairly acclaimed episode of second season Space: 1999. The opening episode. The one that introduces the character of Maya.
"Watching 'The Metamorph' today. Directive 4 when Alpha sends a Robot Eagle to blow up Maya and Mentor's planet.
The whole planet? What the hell sort of fire power does Alpha have at its disposal?"
Firepower is one word.
Why? Why watch "The Metamorph"? Why not watch your precious "Year One", oh, one of the ubiquitous stalwarts of the Second Season "put-down"? I mean, is it not established beyond any reasonable doubt that Season Two of Space: 1999 is an utter abomination? The worst work of science fiction/fantasy ever committed to film. Of no value to any rational person. That is what I read every God-damned day of my miserable life!
Why, oh, why was I cursed with seeing Season Two first during the best twelve months of my childhood? Why was I condemned to a lifetime of seeing merit in something that virtually everyone besides myself and one other person, vilifies, scoffs at, or blames someone for it having been produced? What did I do prior to 18 September, 1976 to deserve this eternal punishment?
It is plain to see how tired and dispirited that I am.
Directive Four is a coded signal to destroy the place from which it originates. It is established later in the episode how tenuous planet Psychon's stability is, that a release of the energy of the biological computer, Psyche, in Mentor's lair, can destroy the planet, and does. In response to receiving Directive Four, Tony asks Petrov in Weapons Section what the maximum destructive power of a robot Eagle would be in the circumstance of the planet Psychon. It would be reasonable, or it should be reasonable, to presume that all of the analysed data from Fraser's original pass over the surface of Psychon has been found to indicate an energy source on Psychon that if released in a huge nuclear explosion (with nuclear devices aboard the robot Eagle) would destroy the structurally strained planet. Prior to his capture by Mentor, Koenig may not have known yet that Psychon could be totally destroyed by Alphan means. The data from Fraser's pass over Psychon may not have been fully analysed as yet. Or maybe he does know and he judges Psychon's destruction to be a necessary manoeuvre to preserve Alpha.
One could perhaps quibble with an Eagle only requiring ten minutes to travel from Moonbase Alpha to Psychon. If one were not prepared to accept short travel time for Eagles going to planets in first season episodes such as "Missing Link" and "The Full Circle", that is. But this matter is not broached in the discussion that I am citing.
I hew to the above rationalisation that I make. Not that it is necessary. Cannot it just be accepted, without detail, that the robot Eagle has the capacity to bring total destruction to Psychon? It is known that Alpha can destroy an asteroid with nuclear materials being detonated, as in "Collision Course". And Alpha sends a Eagle armed with "nuclear charges" into the space brain in "Space Brain". The ability of Alpha to destroy a tenuously stable planet should not be beyond believability.
But oh, how predictable are the comments that spewed forth after the original Facebook posting.
"The kind that Freddy writes into the script." Six school yard bullies or bully minions "like-clicked" or "laugh-iconed", this one. The smugly proclaimed drivel that it is.
"Moon blasted out of Earth orbit... Yeah that's fine; Encounters a new system each week... I'm cool with that; crashes into a black hole... This is good sci-fi; Alphans make a big bomb.... Freiberger!!!"
I do not know one way or the other whether this is meant to be a critique of Freiberger-phobia or is an iteration of it. Probably the latter. And it garners a "laugh icon".
The Alphans are already able to bomb, as I have said. They explode asteroids.
"I guess he figured that if the Enterprise could do it, Alpha could as well."
Then why does not Alpha do it to Taura in "The Seance Spectre" to avoid a collision in that case? No. Alpha is only able to do it to Psychon because of Psychon's deficient stability.
I do not recall the Enterprise destroying a planet in any of Freiberger's episodes of Star Trek. Or threatening to do so. In the first season Star Trek episode, "A Taste of Armageddon", Scotty threatens to destroy the inhabited surface of Eminiar VII. It is a rather large assumption that Freiberger knew of what transpired in "A Taste of Armageddon" (an episode of Star Trek in which he had no production involvement) and that he deliberately coopted it into his plans for Season Two of Space: 1999.
"The planet DID blow up .. didn't it."
Yes, it did.
"But that was because Psyche blew up and that set off the planet's own internal stresses (which were already close to exploding as it was)."
Yes. And Alpha could have known that a nuclear blast in the vicinity of the energy source that is Psyche would destroy the planet.
"Eagle could set it off."
"Yeah but what the hell the Eagle packing in the first place?"
Nuclear explosives like those seen in "Space Brain".
"All eagles are packing a nuke in the back. Remember Koenig dropped his off before crashing."
I do not know to what this person is referring.
"Given what Alpha was originally designed for, and given that it wouldn't have occurred to the builders that the Moon could possibly leave orbit, why such a directive would have been programmed is open to question."
Koenig had it programmed sometime later, after experiencing acts of alien treachery. Why is this so difficult for a person to comprehend?
"I'd guess that that set-up (along with the 'Combat Eagles', plus the fixed-mount laser cannons), were attempts by Alpha to toughen up their defenses later in their journey, long after 'Breakaway'.
Good guess. A reasonable deduction.
"...well...then again, there was Earth......lol"
"exactly the only planet the could blow up was Earth."
"Maybe waste wasn't the only nuclear material stored on the Moon."
I say again. What?
"Or maybe they salvaged some super bombs from the wreckage of the Deltan and Bethan gunships."
Not necessary as a rationalisation but an interesting conjecture.
The discussion goes on and on and on, and then there is this.
"I did think it was a bit of a problem that if Mentor had tripped over Maya's gown tails and knocked over one of the fragile glass columns of bubbling water, the whole planet would explode."
Somehow, I doubt that this thought would have occurred to Mentor. Any more than it has occurred to viewers in the forty-two years before it was put forth in a Facebook discussion. And if it did occur to Mentor, the tubes of Psyche were probably made resistant to a minor accident such as tripping into something. Koenig with his upper body strength swings a sharp-edged rock formation through several of the Psyche tubes. That is no minor accident.
"Definitely a few health and safety issues. That's the '70s for you."
Oh, how funny!
"I'd have to watch it again, but doesn't the directive state to blow up the origin of the signal (or something like that). I don't remember it referencing the destruction of the whole planet (although maybe Sahn says something like that), but maybe it was just unsaid that alphas computers knew of the instability of the planets internal forces and recognized they could set it in motion by a chain reaction from an eagle nuke detonation."
Yes. Everything after the but and the maybe. Apart from missing apostrophes and lack of capital letters for Alpha and Eagle, I like this. It should have ended the discussion. But, oh, no, it does not. It cannot. Season Two "dissers" and Freiberger-phobes have to have the last words.
"Oh, the whole thing was such a star treky Fred freiberger addition to the series. It's exactly like something captain Kirk would have done. I recognized that immediately and sensed the deep changes afoot."
Capital letters, please.
What should Koenig do, then? Just capitulate to Mentor? Or allow Mentor to destroy Alpha and reduce Helena, Alan, and Bill to mindless beings as Mentor threatens to do? Or go down on his knees and pray to God or the "Mysterious Unknown Force" for help? Or I suppose that "The Metamorph" should not have been made at all. Oh, yes, of course. Forget about making Season Two. To hell with anyone who liked it. Instead do "Balor Returns". Or something like that.
"Well when you think about it. There was a Picard in the episode as well."
Space: 1999- Season Two. Produced, 1976. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Produced, 1987-94. How is there being a Picard in Season Two Space: 1999 in 1976 a "rip-off" of the Picard character of Star Trek: The Next Generation which premiered in 1987? I presume that this is what is being suggested. Anything to smear Season Two Space: 1999. Crazy.
"So many changes in S2 weren't explained or attempted to tie in with S1, having a ton more firepower is just one."
But Alpha in Season One did have the ability to destroy small worlds. How does what is planned for the tenuously stable Psychon in "The Metamorph" require "a ton more firepower"? It need not require that.
"I think Fred did get the idea from Star Trek. It sounds just like General Order 24 in 'A Taste of Armageddon'."
Koenig orders destruction of the place of a transmitted signal, knowing or not knowing that an almost lifeless planet's end would be the outcome. Alpha knows that the commanded destruction will indeed cause the planet to be obliterated and proceeds with "carrying out" of the order. Koenig is intent on stopping Mentor from reducing Alpha to ashes or turning the lion's share of Alphans into what Torens has become. And Psychon is an environmental hell with no life outside of Mentor's corridors, laboratory, and caves. Psyche could restore Psychon to being a green, beautiful, structurally secure, and life-giving world, so Mentor says, but Mentor's deeds in that direction are obscene, evil. They cannot be allowed to continue. If Psychon is a doomed world without Mentor's work, then destroying it is not equatable to erasing a biosphere from a temperate world- which is what Kirk commands with General Order 24. Kirk wants to put a stop to an all too tidy computerised war and prevent the Enterprise and its crew from being "collateral damage", and he gives orders for the erasure of the surface of a vastly inhabited world. General Order 24 would have killed more people. Millions of more people. Suffice it to say that there are some differences between the two cases of commanded destruction. And Koenig is not Kirk. The survival of his people, none of them Starfleet personnel with orders to die if a mission makes that necessary, is of paramount importance to him. At all times. "Big-stick diplomacy" is not the motivation for Alphans going to alien planets at start of episodes. And this would, by my reckoning, make Koenig more justified than Kirk in doing what is necessary to protect his people during encounters with aliens.
"Economy of detail" ought to be sufficient for allowing the existence of the Eagle being able to do what it said to be able to do. A scene with Tony and Sandra discussing the analysed data on Psychon would have been exposition extending the episode's length past the allotted 51 to 52 minutes.
There is also a long discussion today disparaging "The Bringers of Wonder", but I am done with my day's defenses of Season Two Space: 1999 for the day. I have "had enough".
Still waiting for the arrival in my mailbox of the third Blu-Ray disc of Pink Panther cartoons.
September 19, 2018.
At the Facebook group supposedly existing for the celebration and admiration of Season Two.
"This episode ("Space Warp") is hilariously bad. Pure season 2 crap"
"This episode ("Space Warp"), just like 'The Beta Cloud' needs to be watched just for fun and not taken seriously."
"This is my 'guilty pleasure' episode. My main reason I liked it was because it gave Alan more to do."
Under a picture of Maya in "One Moment of Humanity". "'Fred, how much more of this do I have to take?'"
Under pictures of "All That Glisters". "Probably the most bird-brained episode ever."
Under picture of Malic (Gerry Sundquist) in "The Dorcons". "Probably the only season 2 episode worth watching"
Putting periods at the end of sentences. It is merely a finger press of a keyboard button. Too lazy to bother doing that? If someone is too lazy to typewrite a simple period, why should what he or she has to say be regarded as having a degree of authority?
Why, I ask with rolling eyes and clenched teeth, are people making comments such as these permitted within a group dedicated to Season Two? The answer begging to be stated is, as I have said before, that Season Two does not have a fandom. And therefore practically anyone is acceptable within the group. Anyone at all. I have looked at Facebook groups formed to celebrate the Planet of the Apes and Logan's Run television series. Not a single disparaging remark about any episode, situation, character, or depiction. Not a one. Those television programmes, however short-lived, have fans. Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century certainly do. Space: 1999- Season Two, with its production values and its likable characters and its beautiful concepts of speculative fiction and its dynamic music and its compellingly nuanced timeline has no fandom at all.
Really, the above quoted comments do not merit response. But I will hazard a doing of such with regard to a few of them.
What is so laughable about "Space Warp"? The Maya monster transformations? Transformations of a fevered, delirious, and disoriented Maya, the monsters being product of her fevered nightmare? One of them looks like a tree creature, with skin like bark. And with long hair like Maya's but with the hair dishevelled and looking like frayed, hanging wire. A surreal representation of the last days of a temperate, forested Psychon with its technological civilisation in tatters, before Mentor's obsessive work with Psyche to try to re-transform Psychon proceeded with grim determination? Maybe. She assumes the form of what looks like Mentor but is not quite Mentor. The product of fevered and disarrayed mind. And then, she has the form of an air-storing creature (she, in "The Bringers of Wonder", describes one such as having lived on Psychon's moon) but with the hybridised head of the creature of "The Beta Cloud" with perhaps the living matter of the head of the Thaed in "A Matter of Balance". The monsters are a projection of Maya's delirium. Of course they are going to look outlandish.
The subjectivity in someone laughing at a depiction in a non-satirical, serious work of the genre, is not an incontrovertible condemnation of that work. That should go without saying. Rather, it is indicative of the cockily irreverent mindset of the person who laughs. And of his or her deficient breadth of imagination and smug self-assurance in believing that he or she is the ultimate arbiter on what is right and wrong in a work of science fiction/fantasy. The compulsion to laugh at something un-Earthly and monstrous moving about in a technological setting would appear to be legion among the populations of science fiction-fantasy aficionados and of much of the world in general. I am not a psychologist by profession, but laughing at something not intended to be funny would seem to me to be a mind's effort to assert superiority and authority over it. And to "laugh it off" so as to not give considered attention to it. And to discourage others from giving such attention. Why? Could it be that that mind senses something about it? Something discomforting or disquieting. Something that could potentially deflate the ego of an individual or a gestalt. I am speculating here, of course. But calling laughable something that is not meant to be satirical or farcical, just seems to betray a disobliging arrogance in the person doing the derisive guffawing. To say nothing of contemptuous belittling of some other person's product of imagination.
The "door in space" space warp concept itself is beautiful, and the dramatic effect of John and Tony being separated from Alpha as a result of the space warp is done with competence in the acting, especially in that of Barbara Bain in the scene of Helena, Alan, and Sahn talking in Command Centre. I have also always fancied the scenes on the derelict spaceship wherein John and Tony view an alien commander's final communique. The exposition is simple and effective, saliently establishing premise for the alien commander's act of posthumous aid of John and Tony toward finding the "door". And giving some tantalisingly sparing insight into an alien culture about which there is no living trace present aboard spaceship. The alien commander had a most otherworldly sense of head wear. I do not know quite what it was about the peculiar head garment that has always impressed me. But impressed I was and am. It certainly is not something that one would expect to see a humanoid alien's face to be within. By the way, the derelict in "Space Warp" is the first disused alien spaceship encountered by Alpha since the confrontation with Mentor on Psychon (with derelict alien spacecraft on Psychon's surface). Curious that Maya's fever and her nightmarish visions of Mentor and of Psychon's final days begin coincident with the appearance of the derelict in "Space Warp". Both the derelict and Maya's fevered visions "hearken back" to "The Metamorph". It would be curious to someone who is not superciliously sniggering at the episode.
And why should episodes of Season Two not be "taken seriously"? Is that something to be eschewed out of fear of finding something aesthetic and beautiful, or sheer pomposity? Think about what is proffered in Season Two. And appreciate what may be there to find. There is no need to abandon Season One in appreciation of Season Two. What is wrong with enjoying and valuing them both?
As to "All That Glisters". If a person's imagination is too constricted to absorb the idea that a rock on an alien world may be alive and sentient, perhaps even intelligent, that is not the objective fault of the episode or its producer. The rock in "All That Glisters" is a strikingly alien form of life. And one that is not incongruous with the manifestations of alien life in both seasons of Space: 1999. A television series with an alien force zeroing in on Moonbase Alpha on a mission to energise itself ("Force of Life"), non-corporeal "souls" piloting spaceships ("Alpha Child"), and an intelligence in space ("Space Brain"). The precedent for consciousness or intelligence to exist in beings without an anatomically tangible organ structurally analogous to the human brain, was already set in Season One. And I have defended "All That Glisters"' story structure enough already.
First reviews of the third Blu-Ray release of Pink Panther cartoons have been posted to the DePatie-Freleng Cartoons Facebook group. And in them is good news that a version of "Pink Outs" without laughter track is included in Volume 3 as a bonus item. I hope that it is from better film elements than is the "Pink Outs" on Volume 2. My Blu-Ray disc of Volume 3 is en route to me. I should have it within the next seven to ten days.
Sunday, September 16, 2018.
I have visited the GoldenAgeCartoons Facebook group and found it mired in an a bitter, acrimonious contention over American politics. Even cartoon fandom does not seem to be outside of the reach of the "culture war" dominating the Zeitgeist of post-2015. Believe it or believe it not, before 2015, and late in 2015 at that, I had not heard tell of a Social Justice Warrior or "identity politics" or any of the other nomenclature attached to the peak Leftism that gained ascendancy in the U.S. and Western countries apparently during the Obama Presidency. I was rather preoccupied with the Fukushima disaster and its enormous threat to public health and to the continued existence of life on this planet. I sometimes wonder if the craziness of present times is being caused by radioactive isotopes bombarding the cerebral matter of people, impairing the executive function of their brains, accentuating the brain's emotional facets and atrophying the rational ones.
Anyway, I visited the cartoon discussions in search of any promise of something in the foreseeable future for the release to digital videodisc of some cartoons (other than the STARS OF SPACE JAM DVDs coming within the next month). Where are those further releases from Warner Archive that had been pledged should PORKY PIG 101 garner a large amount of sales? There is nothing. As is all too usual, Warner is more interested in releasing properties other than its own cartoon catalogue to the DVD and Blu-Ray market. It would appear that this autumn, Warner Archive is putting eggs in one basket in releasing Hanna-Barbera's Jonny Quest on Blu-Ray. If it is not Hanna-Barbera, then it is MGM's Tom and Jerry. Bugs Bunny? Oh, who cares about him? Right?
I watched Jonny Quest in 1978 and 1979 on WVII-TV on Saturday mornings before WVII switched to the ABC television network for its programming offerings for the remainder of the A.M. hours. It was a fairly entertaining way of passing thirty minutes of time. I bought the DVD box set of Jonny Quest in 2004, and, apart from a few of the episodes to feature monsters, I found it to be rather dull. "Not my bag," one might say. And music from The Flintstones heard in it was, for me, quite incongruous with its serious premise and pulled me out of whatever I was watching. I do not doubt that Jonny Quest has a fandom, and good for it. But I am still very disappointed that Warner Archive is evidently abandoning its nod to the vintage theatrical cartoons of Warner Brothers after PORKY PIG 101 had been a sales success. I supported that DVD release in good faith.
Last Weblog entry, I said that the Season Two-hating fans of Space: 1999 are vulgar. Yes, indeed. I have quoted a number of them as being so. I was subjected to a barrage of it in that Mailing List back in the late 1990s, as I have recalled. Have I been vulgar? Yes, in using the "circle-jerk" terminology to describe the nature of their particular "echo chamber". I do feel somewhat sullied in descending to that level. But if there is a terminology as incisive and as pithy and as apropos as it that could be used, I would like to know what it is. A group of people in a circle of shared mindset who daily gratify one another in their hatred for a work and its producer. What other apt description for that is there?
I have had scant use for vulgarity and profanity, and as little respect for such, since I first heard the four-letter word starting with the letter, F, in those early disagreeable days of sixth grade at school in Fredericton in 1977. The values of my mother and father were impressed upon me in my upbringing. They were very strict about the use of any such undignified language. Not even if it was quoted. My mother would curse using the Lord's name in vain, if she was extremely agitated or had hurt herself. But she would never ever use that unmentionable word starting with the alphabet's sixth letter. And the children with whom I associated while living in Douglastown must have had parents with similar values and strictness, as they did not use that word, either. Nor the ones referring to body parts and excrement. My ears were certainly virgin before they were assaulted with the foul language of my school peers of Grade 6 and beyond.
Retreating into the Space Age worlds of Space: 1999 and Space Academy and, later, Star Wars, wherein nobody spoke as odiously as the people I was forced to sit with in classrooms or share playground space with in those early weeks and months of my tenure in Fredericton, was a, for me, richly cherished, highly appreciated procedure. I am so sick and tired of vulgarity and profanity. Any hope of leaving it behind upon finishing school and entering adulthood has been hopelessly dashed for all time, apparently. Not that fifty-something Space: 1999 fans are unique in being teenage vulgar. Not at all. Star Wars fans are much, much worse. And especially when it comes to using the word starting with the letter, F, as an adjective. Good grief! Just watch any YouTube video created by a Star Wars fan on the subject of something that he does not like.
All right. This is all that I have to say today. Very best regards to my readers.
I am a tired man. Tired and afflicted with an upset gut. Acid reflux the control of which is evidently going to require medication for the remainder of my days.
I am not the only person to be tired, evidently, with the Space: 1999 Facebook herd and its daily bile. This past weekend, someone finally, at long last, wrote something to the effect that he is tired of all of the vituperation heaped upon Fred Freiberger and the scorn flung daily upon his work in Season Two. Of course, it could not be an unqualified protest. There had to be a, "Don't get me started on 'The Rules of Luton'," etc.. But it sparked a rather lengthy discussion, with some other persons stating some degree of agreement with the original Facebook posting. Someone said that the poor man (Freiberger) is dead and should be allowed to rest in peace. Amen. Someone else said that the attacks on Season Two with comparisons of it with refuse are disrespectful to the production and to the professionals who worked on it. Certainly, they are. Of course, none of the regular vitriolic Season Two detractors had anything to say to the discussion. And it "fizzled" without any definite resolve to forge a different path for the group. But for all of twenty-four hours, Season Two photographs or whatever posted to the group's Facebook Web page were free from any derogatory comment. And then, the campaign to forever debase Season Two and pillory its producer resumed in earnest. As if the discussion had never occurred. Or in impudent spite of it. And the people who did express their tiredness with the routine statements of anti-Season Two acrimony went back to being quiescently wordless, saying nothing about the remounted sorties.
And the discussion on tiring of the anti-Season-Two attitude was, overall, not very gratifying for me in and of itself, because the angle used in broaching the matter was still disparaging toward the second season, in the territory of, "Fred Freiberger is not the sole person to blame." As long as the word, blame, is used, Season Two is portrayed as being a bastard work, something worthy of blame, of no ostensible artistic value, and the people appreciating it dismissed as "cranks" of "flakes". And there was "Don't get me started on 'The Rules of Luton'", as I said. As long as "defenders" (the quotation marks mean that I use the word quite loosely) of the second Space: 1999 production block choose this tack, they do Season Two no justice and are really just aggrandising the egos of the Season One bullies in a way slightly different from the usual round of "circle-jerking".
A Season Two detractor (not one of the usual ones) did contribute to the discussion with a telling of one of the complainers to "chill". Right. Like the fans "chilled" when I, in 1995, called attention to some "nitpicks" with Season One? Indeed, they did not "chill". Look, a person has every right to object and to complain when they and something that they venerate is being likened to feces and its producer unendingly slurred. I never did that in my incendiary newsletter column of 1995. And yet I was character-assassinated and resoundingly jeered-at as I "left town".
Anyway, after a day had passed, it was back to "business as usual" at the main Space: 1999 Facebook group. The Pavlovian impulse to go on and on and on and on with accosting all things Season Two and belittling directly or indirectly anyone who respects the production and its subject matter, could not be arrested for any longer than that. It is all that these people do, and do and do and do. It has become their basic nature. A single picture from an episode of Season Two will reliably always serve as trigger for that impulse. And such is all that Space: 1999 fans are doing lately at the Facebook groups. Posting pictures to the groups and provoking responses. Responses praising anything Season One, condemning anything Season Two.
And so, the boredom quotient. Space: 1999 Facebook group, of course.
Under pictures of "The Beta Cloud". "'The Beta Cloud' is a guilty pleasure."
Under pictures of "Catacombs of the Moon". "The one I like the least."
Beneath picture of Bergman writing equations in "Black Sun". "Victor works out just how much the viewing figures would drop off in season two before signing his contract."
Gr-r-r-r-r!!! Ho-hum! Yawn.
Beneath picture from "A Matter of Balance" "Man, what a missed opportunity for the writers. So many holes, items."
Tedious. And fallacious. Details economised to avoid unnecessary, time-consuming (Space: 1999 episodes have a set run time of 51 or 52 minutes) exposition are not "holes".
Calling "A Matter of Balance" "A Matter Of Crap, er, I mean Balance."
Oh, how clever! I could easily procure that wording from a thirteen year-old.
Beneath pictures of "Brian the Brain". "It's like a lot of season 2...theres a lot great ideas here...but there's no cohesive execution..."
Wrong. On the matter of there being "no cohesive execution". Wrong and boring.
Calling "Brian the Brain" "Brian the Brain-less"
Oh, how witty! How funny! How trite!
I was disposed to be appreciative of "Brian the Brain", for it had, for me, some cachet to it for being one of the most difficult episodes of Space: 1999 for me to have occasion to watch. I saw it only once in English and only once in French in television season 1976-7, and then never saw it again until I acquired it on videotape in November, 1984. Its repeat in English was preempted by CHSJ-TV for a Kiwanis Auction. Its repeat in French was preempted on CBAFT Moncton due to programming changes as a result of special New Brunswick news programming. I did not have it on audiotape, in English or French. And I was unsuccessful at obtaining it from its CBHT broadcast on New Year’s Day, 1984. Moreover, the one viewing I had of it in English was on the evening in 1976 that Halloween was celebrated, and it was a distracted viewing with trick-or-treaters coming occasionally to the door. It was one of those episodes that I scarcely knew. I saw "The Testament of Arkadia" even less. Only once in English. And not once in French. Before attaining it on videotape in November of 1983. Other difficult-to-see episodes were "Death's Other Dominion", "Force of Life", and "End of Eternity", all of them one-time-in-English and one-time-in-French during my 1976-9 experience of the television series. And furthermore, my first attempt, in 1983, to attain "Force of Life" on videotape met with failure. The majority of episodes, I saw twice in English and twice in French prior to 1983. "The Exiles", "Catacombs of the Moon" and "The Lambda Factor", I saw only once in English and twice in French.
Anyway, just what is brainless about "Brian the Brain"? It is an episode about the danger of artificial intelligence, most particularly when an artificial intelligence is given a robotic body. Brian, that artificial intelligence, a robot, tricks the Alphans into believing that a collision is imminent between Alpha and some hitherto undetectable celestial body and then uses the ruse of his being able to help in determining what is pulling the Moon toward it, to gain Koenig and Russell's confidence. He later entices them onto his Swift spaceship and has gained them as his hostages. He also wipes and disables Alpha's computer that is needed to process and interpret sensor data for Alpha to be able to "see". The computer circuits in Alpha video monitor screens are also affected, obviously. Brian uses a "love test" to determine whether Koenig and Russell love one another, and then holds Helena hostage to force John to acquire the Mothership's fuel core with which Brian can have an eternal existence. Maya and Tony go to the planet where the Mothership is, Brian being preoccupied with the "love test" and not noticing their Eagle descending to the planet; alternatively, maybe they are behind the planet at its far side and not seen by Brian (supply of such detail in dialogue is not necessary; the episode can be understood without it). Koenig meets Tony and Maya at the Mothership and deduces how Brian might be overcome. And with help from Helena and Maya, succeeds in exactly that. Brian is dealt the same outcome with which he had threatened John and Helena: expulsion into space via an airlock. Nemesis. A hallmark of inventive storytelling. Alpha is able to extract Brian's memory and regain the data that Brian wiped from Alpha's computer. And Brian is restored of his memory and reprogrammed to be less dangerous than he had been. With orders to self-destruct if he ever has an evil thought again. It is a intelligible script. And overall, I like the look of the episode. Impressive scenes on the planet and aboard Brian's Swift spaceship.
Oh, I suppose one might quibble about Brian not doing a life-form scan of the Mothership and not detecting Maya and Tony's presence. And his not knowing that their Eagle is nearby, presumably with Fraser at the controls. Maybe Brian was so confident of success in his plan, that he just did not do that. In any case, as I have said before, "perfect" productions like The Empire Strikes Back and Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan are not faultless. Why "pick on" Space: 1999- Season Two?
Beneath pictures of "New Adam, New Eve".
Now, there is an intelligent assessment if ever I saw one of an episode.
Beneath pictures of "All That Glisters".
"That episode made Lost in Space look intelligent."
Oh, really. Since when did Lost in Space do a non-satirical, serious story about the effects of survival panic in an enigmatic, uncommunicative alien life form? The intelligence in "All That Glisters" is in the concept of the life form of the rock and what it signifies, invoking the Gaia principle in a scenario wherein a sentience or a consciousness within a constituent, living part of an environment has disrupted the overall ecology of a system, that system requiring something of a reset. It is a beautiful concept. Something lost of these narrow-minded louts. Oh, and I must have missed the singing Vikings, the gold-painted alien faces, Dr. Smith or a similar character acting in some exaggerated way and then groaning, "Oh, the pain!" before calling a robot a "bubble-headed booby", and the rotund actors in carrot costumes.
All of this and more has spewed forth onto the Facebook group in the days following that discussion last weekend, totally oblivious to, and perhaps in spiteful response to, that discussion. The ultimate result of all of this rancour is the general public's perception of Season Two following what the fans "generally" think. The "general" thinking being that Season Two is not only "the inferior season", but garbage because of "show-killer" Freiberger. People just accept such as dictum from an irrefutable source that is the oh, so enlightened fan gestalt. Even if the fandom unendingly stating it is demonstrably blinkered and wilfully ignorant, unwilling pigheadedly to grant any appreciable amount of suspended disbelief and recognition of "economy of detail" to the episodes of Season Two, densely misconstruing dialogue in episodes, making patently false statements about episodes or characters, obviously lacking in class in slurring and "making fun" of a dead man, and all too often cannot write with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Any viewpoint deviating from the "general" one being unworthy of any acknowledgement, no matter how observant and astute the articulation of the outlier.
And so, in a discussion outside of Space: 1999 fandom's "echo chamber", in a "thread" of dialogue on Star Trek comes this oh, so edifying statement.
"Season two is generally derided by fans, and justifiably so as it was the year Fred Frieberger took over and killed the show. Maya was an interesting addition, and well-liked character who had previously been a guest star during season 1. However, the character was poorly written, essentially the female Spock, with little to do outside of spouting stats and calculations, and was made all the more comical by the constant shape shifting into ridiculous space creatures to solve problems."
See? People outside of the Space: 1999 fan community adhere to the "general" opinion of Space: 1999 fans as the authoritative "word" on the question of Season Two having merits or not. What the minority of fair-minded, open-minded, aesthetically curious and venerating-of-all-things-Space: 1999 aficionados of that television series may think or have insights about, is ignored completely. This is what I "rail against". What I have been "railing against" for nearly three decades. With sheer, utter futility. It is all too easy to declare "the show" as having been "killed" because a third season was not "green-lit" by Lew Grade. But it was popular in Canada with Season Two. It had good ratings. Because it was scheduled with care and with wisdom at a family viewing hour and given effective promotion and because it was appreciated by the fanciful audience of all ages for whom it was intended. And because it had likable and relatable characters. And the subtle artistic "touches" to it being lost on the closed-minded vast majority of the fan following of Space: 1999 is not its fault. Nor that of the producer. There is no saying with any degree of certainty that the Season One format of Space: 1999 had further seasons of life in it as entertainment for mainstream audiences. Lew Grade did not think so. The "general deriding" by fans for forty-two years (and counting) is not justifiable. They are ignorant. Pridefully so. And they act like a group of bullying teenagers in a school yard to anyone who disagrees with them. They are vulgar. They are rude. They lack self-awareness, humility, and empathy. They have hated a man and his work for more than four decades. And they are unwilling to listen to reason. How is any of this justifiable?
And the dismissal of Maya is most unfair. That reminiscing scene with Koenig on the hilltop in "The Rules of Luton", her romance with Tony, her statement on generations-of-God theory in "New Adam, New Eve", the depicting of her as "the other" integrating into a human society hailing from twentieth century Earth, her confrontation with Dorzak and the contrast of her with him, and her being the McGuffin in the conflict in "The Dorcons". There was more to her than "stats and calculations" and problem-solving with "ridiculous space creatures". How did she solve the problem in "The Beta Cloud"? She came to a rational conclusion and turned into a bee (not a "ridiculous space creature") to act on the conclusion that she had drawn. Her transformation into Captain Michael (not a "ridiculous space creature") in "Brian the Brain" contributed to solving the problem in "Brian the Brain". It was Helena who overcame Cantar and John who dispatched Zova in "The Exiles", not Maya. Koenig defeated the aliens in "The Bringers of Wonder" and Carolyn Powell in "The Lambda Factor". And Elizia in "Devil's Planet". And he contacted the Solitary Being in "The Immunity Syndrome". And so on. I am so very sick and tired of responding to this rot. It is all just reiterated fan refrains of denigrating and bleating. Repeated so often that it is just written or spoken without any thought anymore.
There is some speculation on Shout! Factory releasing Space: 1999 on Blu-Ray in North America. The Digital Bits said something recently about that, but I am unable to locate the particular entry in The Digital Bits' information stream. I frankly cannot see why Shout! Factory would proceed with manufacturing such a product. Season Two has no fandom, is hated by all people of any consequence. Right? And the Season One fans have their Region A Blu-Ray set released by A & E in 2010. Oh, and by the way, I have determined that the Season Two episodes available for viewing via the Shout! Factory Website are the monaural-audio versions of the episodes on Network Distributing's Blu-Rays, with the main opening from "The Exiles" grafted onto all other episodes, with some first notes of music from start of "The Exiles" post-main-opening remaining before the edit to the episode-proper in a number of cases. "The Rules of Luton" and "The AB Chrysalis" have lost the "warble" to their audio. Otherwise, it is the same audio tracks as are on the Network Distributing Blu-Rays.
Anyway, I await Kino Lorber's third Pink Panther cartoon Blu-Ray release. Due this coming Tuesday. After that, I believe a fourth and a fifth Kino Lorber Pink Panther Blu-Ray disc are on the docket for the final few months of the year. Other than these, I am looking forward to a Night Stalker and Night Strangler Blu-Ray release, also by Kino Lorber. And the BBC's Blu-Ray release of Season Nineteen of Doctor Who. Things to anticipate as the fair weather gradually gives way to the ice and snow of that season that killed my beloved cat, Sammy, this year.
Thursday, September 13, 2018.
I was thinking today of some of the people who gave encouragement to me in my earliest days on the Internet. There was one person whose name I remembered. He was the editor of FPS Magazine. I am somewhat hazy on the details of how that particular periodical came to my attention, but in 1997, I viewed it as a potential venue for my "Hyde and Hare" essay. I sent a copy of my essay in its then form to an Emru Townsend. He replied most swiftly, said that he enjoyed it and would like to print it but that I would need to format it in a way as to be "accessible" to the average reader. He encouraged me to undertake a complete rewrite, which was what I did. Ultimately, it was in an acceptable format for printing but, alas, did not reach the pages of FPS, for some reason that I cannot recall. I remember Emru recommending that I start a column at the magazine with the same sort of "eye" trained upon other cartoons, but I was doubtful that I could repeat the same degree of analytical and aesthetic interpretive work on other cartoons.
In any case, the Internet seemed to be a better platform from which to make available my essay. Better in as much as more people would see it. But I do concede that being published in a magazine would have brought to it rather more prestige and aura of authority. Still, it was disseminated, and what came after that is history. Emru was the first person with whom I corresponded on the Internet to respond positively to my writing.
I did a Google search for Emru and was saddened to read that he passed away from leukaemia almost ten years ago. Awful disease, and it does seem to claim everyone whom it touches. He was kind to me. Why must it always be the kind ones who are "struck down" in their prime? He would have been only 39 when he passed.
On a diametrically opposite note, I am reeling from the discovery that the old Space: 1999 Mailing List did not end when I thought that it did, circa 2005 with the advent of social media platforms such as Facebook. Rather, it has lingered on and on and on, to almost the present day. I last night did a Google search for myself, as a curiosity to see if I am the subject of some discussion in some obscure corner of the Internet, and I found that I am mentioned in a book encapsulating that Space: 1999 Internet community's baleful wrangling over Space: 1999 season difference in what I thought had been just the late 1990s to mid-2000s but which instead persisted to as late as last year.
I and my interview with Fred Freiberger are invoked in the book. What is said is that if I interviewed Josef Stalin, he would have contended that what he did was right, as did Freiberger in my interview with him. And in this it is insinuated that I presumably would have been as amenable to Stalin's statements of self-justification as I was to Fred Freiberger's belief in what he did being right. This was the gist of a berating of me and my interview, a dismissing of it and me along with it as garbage.
Does it give to one cause to shake head in disbelief?
To try to portray what Fred Freiberger did to change style or format of a television show struggling to retain an audience, syndication contracts, and the support of Lew Grade for its continued bankrolling as being analogous to the murder of millions upon millions of people in the U.S.S.R.'s forced collectivisation programmes and Communist Party purges, is an appalling excuse for an argumentative position. It betrays an utter lack of sensible proportion, to say nothing of deficiency in good taste and common decency, in the person daring to draw the comparison. Loathsome. And to try to depict me as anyone who would interview, sympathetically or no, a monster like Stalin, is a most egregious slur on me. I am staunchly anti-communist. I despise Stalin and all that he stood for, from Marxist-Leninist collectivism heedless of millions of individual lives, to total trampling of the rights of the individual under the jackboots of the collective, the state, to group-think brutally enforced and "wrong-think" resulting in exile to gulags. Freiberger produced the ill-reputed season of my favourite television programme. In no conceivable way can the two men and their actions be legitimately compared.
The person alleges that Freiberger sought to destroy Space: 1999 of first season format. And that this casts him in an evil man's role. Confound it! Yet again I must repeat that the first season format had been ended. Cancelled. It no longer existed as a commissioned precept for production that could be destroyed. Space: 1999 had to change, or Grade would not commission a second season. It is as simple as that. Freiberger, with the collaboration of Gerry Anderson, opted to make the changes that he thought to be right for survival of the television show. And Fred Freiberger fought for the free world in World War Two. To allege that he should be thought-of in the same vein as a brutal despot is among the unkindest cuts of all.
Who are these people, anyway? Assembling Mailing List ramblings and squabblings into a published book. Was every participant's permission asked? That is everyone who had contributed to the Mailing List's discussions. Mine was not. Was everyone given the understanding that their contributions to the discussion would be published in a book? Not me. One of the publishers goes by the pseudonym of the evil antagonist of a certain Season One episode. I know. It is downright bizarre.
Against my better judgement, I had a cursory look at a few of the other pages in this repellent publication. To see what purported justification these people may have for their outrageous posturing. I found quite lengthy passages of baffle-gab to the effect of Space: 1999- "Year One" being an unassailable reiteration of the works of Homer. All right. I will "bite". I am not one to utterly reject any idea. At least not before I have analysed it from a variety of perspectives. But why only "Year One"? Outside of the palpable pomposity of the predominant musings in the book, there is no credible argument given for excluding "Year Two" from such a conception. Merely saying that it was produced by the hated "show-killer" Fred Freiberger should not be at all persuasive to any fair-minded, non-blinkered person. Someone goes so far as to say that Maya is a representation, somehow, of fascism. To which I, with a full body convulsion, incredulously say, "What?!" Maya actually represents a successful integration of "the other" into a human society. Of course, for that it helped that Earth culture is similar to that of Psychon, as Mentor observes. But a successful integration of "the other" is the antithesis to fascism that seeks to exclude and ultimately to eliminate all traces of "the other" from a nation. What about Maya's background? Psychon may have been a homogeneous world, as Maya remembers in "The Rules of Luton", but there is no evidence that such was achieved through force or through any practice of eugenics commanded by a state. There were no wars on Psychon. Fascism is a warrior's credo, intended for the mobilisation of a nation for war. Advocating for an aggressive nationalism. There is no evidence that Psychons sought to forcefully expand their society to other worlds. At least not before Dorzak's reappearance in Maya's life, and in his case his dissimilarity in character to Maya was effectively delineated. He was a Psychon renegade who abandoned the peaceful poet's principles by which he had lived on Psychon. Mentor may have been despotic, but his actions were not ever said to be motivated by political ideology or by a desire to practice eugenics or to conquer and annex other worlds. Yes, he committed heinous acts upon peoples of other races, but what he wanted was to restore his beautiful world from an environmental catastrophe. He intended no aggression toward other races beyond forcing people of them to surrender themselves to being mentally drained to power Psyche for a re-transformation of Psychon. He was obsessive. He was mad. But obsessiveness and madness are states of mind not restricted to adherents to the ideology of fascism. A person can be obsessive and mad and not be a fascist. I cannot believe that this even has to be stated. The logical fallacy in what it debunks ought to be obvious. Anyway, the contention would appear to be that Maya herself represented fascism while on Alpha. Which is preposterous. Koenig was in command, and she was part of the team under the morally principled leadership of Koenig. At no time did she try to seize control of Alpha for the cause of her own race. Not even when she was delusional and on the rampage in "Space Warp". All that she wanted to do then was to leave Alpha and return to Psychon to save her father's life.
Ultimately, I cannot appreciate what these people are trying pompously to say. And say. And say, And say. Their effort to tie Season One and only Season One of Space: 1999 to Homer is not persuasive. Someone's trying to brand Maya as some fascistic bastardisation of "The Odyssey" concept and thereby invalidate consideration of Season Two's relevance to a comparison of Space: 1999 to Homer's poem brings, or ought to bring, the whole association-with-Homer exercise to a crash-landing with a dull thud. And these people's contemptible likening of what Fred Freiberger did to the deeds of Josef Stalin in an effort to smear him and myself, deeply undermines their credibility, besides- if they ever really had any of that to start with.
To be sure, the most obnoxious fans of Space: 1999 that I have encountered anywhere were in that Space: 1999 Mailing List group. Through a barrage of four-letter words, I was told to violate myself sexually and was called a series of derogatory things. I had long thought that it had gone the way of the Do-Do. That as recently as last year the group's members were persisting in the same narrow-mindedly and grandiloquently venomous spiels that they were proffering circa 2000 just goes to show how obtusely and insufferably obsessive and irrational that they are. A rational person would at least moderate his or her mindset over time to be tentatively accommodating of other, aware-of-merit perspectives. But these people just quasi-intellectually add more and more bolts to the locked door of their minds, to an extent that comparing Fred Freiberger's actions to those of Josef Stalin is judged to be an acceptable tactic in their unending quest to besmirch Fred Freiberger and his production work, along with my aesthetic interest in it.
There is some good news on the subject of Space: 1999. Yes, really. Shout! Factory has opted to offer all 48 episodes of Space: 1999 for free "Web streaming", and the episodes are all the high-definition film-to-video transfers used for Network Distributing's Space: 1999 Blu-Ray releases. The episodes look outstanding, and some of the audio problems that plagued the Blu-Ray releases are gone. The "warbling" in "The Rules of Luton" and "The AB Chrysalis" on the Blu-Ray discs is not in those episodes provided by Shout! Factory. Some of the audio problems remain, however, including muffled sound in "Seed of Destruction" and missing sound effects in "All That Glisters" and "The Immunity Syndrome". All of the episodes provided in Shout! Factory's "Web streaming" are time-compressed for some unknown reason. But they look absolutely gorgeous!
Does this mean that a Blu-Ray release of the whole television series by Shout! Factory in North America is imminent? I would not be sure of that. Shout! Factory would have to certain of its saleability. And that is the big X-factor in the situation. Most North American Space: 1999 fans would have the out-of-print A & E Blu-Ray release of Season One. And Season Two aficionados, what few there are, have probably bought Network Distributing's Region B release of that.
September 6, 2018.
It required ten years of being on the social media platform, but I have at last reached maximum disillusionment with Facebook.
I have already parted company with the elementary school alumni group that I formed. And now I am effectively convinced of my irrelevance to my Facebook friends.
Facebook will not allow its users to know who looks at their profile and their News Feed postings, or at least to know how many times that those have been accessed. Probably because if people, most people, did know, they would realise just how uninterested that their friends are in them, and how insignificant that they are to their friends. And they would react to that by choosing to have little or nothing to do with Facebook. Ah, but I do have a way of gauging friend interest. I post Hyperlinks on my Facebook to my Web pages, whose traffic I can track (in as much as I know that they have been visited and the geographical location of their visitors). And when I do post the Hyperlinks to my Facebook, making them visible only to friends, those Web pages receive no "hits". Zero. Zilch. Nada. None. And this can be regarded as indicative of how many "hits" that my other Facebook postings (the ones not involving my Website) receive from the people who are of utmost import to me.
The fact has to be faced. My friends do not care one jot about my fond reminiscences of my past, my interests, my favourite entertainments, my manner of appreciating those entertainments, the very things that define the person who is Kevin McCorry. What I am to them, at most, is one of many dozens or many hundreds of people to whom to show wedding and child-rearing pictures, "viral" memes with Hallmark card cliches, and virtue signalling. Not that I am opposed to friends showing wedding and baby pictures. Within moderation. But several of my friends only post those on Facebook. Those plus virtue signalling. Year after year. I will congratulate a friend in marrying or having a child- but I expect some interest in me in return. The virtue signalling is by far the most tiresome of all of these. There is more of it now than ever, and there is increasingly an us-versus-the-not-us political dimension to it. One can guess what political direction toward which the virtue signalling very much slants. And there is more of it now than ever.
The highest virtue, by my reckoning, is caring for one's own people. The people in one's life. Family. Friends. Keeping them safe. Safe from quantities that would wish them harm. Harm to them physically or psychologically. Keeping their neighbourhoods safe places in which to live and to move about freely. Keeping them financially secure. Solvent in the long term. Maintaining the dominance of the heritage and the traditional values with which they can prosper. Virtue begins at home. And should not veer very far away from home if such potentially jeopardises the safety and solvency of the local community and the nation of which the local community is part. One of those virtues is "taking interest" in one's friends' personal remembrances and being supportive of them in their "carried torches". If a person wants to signal his or her virtue, he or she can do so by caring first and foremost for the people in his or her life. That was what my parents did, and they were good people.
Because of Facebook's latest algorithms, I cannot any longer see many of my friends' postings in my News Feed, and what I see is dominated by the virtue signalling. But knowledge that my friends do not care about me is the clincher where believing in the use of Facebook is concerned. I know that they do not care about our shared past. The experiences that brought us together and through which our friendship grew and prospered. Again, all that I am to them now is someone to "show off to", to feel superior to, because they have spouse and children while I do not. The things in my life that make living it bearable mean nothing to them. There is no nostalgia in my friends. They utterly lack it. The Baby Boomer generation gushes with nostalgia. Generation X has no regard or fondness for its past. Not even the loss of parents can stir nostalgia in members of Generation X.
Not that nostalgia is all that Generation X does not care about. Generation X is the care-little or the care-not generation. But nostalgia is, I believe, the item for which Generation X most egregiously lacks enthusiasm. My parents, our generation's parents, gave to us outstanding childhoods in a time of prosperity and political stability when the future held so very much promise for man's development. For the producers and movies and television of the day the sky was no limit in what imagination-sparking concepts and depictions could be offered. And Generation X regarded it all as a trifle, to be dismissed readily as soon as something "edgy", so "grounded" as to be grungy, and nihilistic and ever-so-"cool" in its nihilism came along. Is it any wonder that the cultures of the West are now in danger of extinction? We spat at what our parents' generation gave to us. And so, our "Prime Mistake" says that the Canada in which we grew has no core identity and is the world's first "post-national state" (what an Orwell-worthy concoction of double-plus-good drivel that is!).
I am a believer in finishing what I started, and I have some current series of Facebook postings that I am going to bring to completion. Beyond that, I cannot be bothered using Facebook. Oh, Facebook still is a last thread of connection with people I knew in my life during my upbringing. It has value for that. But I have practically no chance, no hope, of ever seeing them again. Even when they are back in Fredericton or in New Brunswick, they never "look me up". They probably think me undesirable because I am not "current" enough for their liking and because I am not a spouse or a parent. The middle-aged single person is the only person toward whom ostracism is considered acceptable and de rigueur. Over the past decade, some of them have "un-friended" me, for reasons unknown, as they do not care enough about me to tell me why. Maybe because I did not "like-click" their virtue signalling. Or maybe they just regard me as an eminently disposable stupid loser who refuses to "let go" of cancelled television programmes. Maybe I am a loser along with all of the other losers who fancy Space: 1999 (perhaps season adherence and aesthetic astuteness are irrelevant in one being a loser).
But who needs Facebook to iterate this sad fact of one's life? The people whose past presence in my life has been cherished so much by me over the last several decades could not possibly care about me and our past any less than they so evidently do. In the day-to-day activities of social media. As the world now turns.
I have added an assemblage of nine Return of the Jedi images to my Era 4 memoirs.
September 2, 2018.
I continue to struggle to bring my latest bout of acid refux under control. What I need to do, I think, is to purge all sources of aggravation and agitation from my life. And that means another attempted resolution not to look at the bile of the Space: 1999 fan community on the Internet. It can only help my physical situation to do that. Of course, it will mean that I will have less to write about on this Weblog. But I can go with that. A long weekend beckons, anyway. The last one of this disappointing summer.
Summers certainly are not what they used to be, for me. The "fun factor" is totally absent. But I need the company of others for that, and these days that does seem to be way too much to ask.
Last Weblog entry, I quoted some quite offencive banter among the Facebook-based fans of Space: 1999. Anytime that there are comparisons of Season Two of Space: 1999 to foul bodily emissions, I have every right to be offended and indignant. Yes, I have myself used vulgar terminology (i.e. "circle-jerk") to describe the Space: 1999 fan movement. But that was my provoked reaction. I am as usual provoked to react. Not vice versa. My preference would be to just "get along" in a climate of mutual respect. But alas, that preference is perpetually frustrated in most galling manner. And the terminology is, in the attitude that I purport it to represent, certainly more demonstrably and objectively true than is Season Two being feces-like and its adherents loving of anything like feces. If these people do not like me comparing their group to a cluster of males stimulating one another in a certain bodily area, then they need to modify their behaviour and drop their insulting "echo-chambered", confirmation-biased, gratifying-of-one-another glibly smug derisive portrayal of Season Two. But they will not.
Seeing one another assail Season Two and gratifyingly congratulating one another for their ostensible wit in so-doing, with "like-clicks", laughter icons, etc. is what I mean with that terminology. They do seem to derive "jollies" from seeing their espoused hatred for the Freiberger season of their favourite television series affirmed by others of their group, and they go about expressing that hatred with the comfortable knowledge that no one will "take them to task". It is exceedingly rare for someone to come to Season Two's defence. The person who may do so is always solitary and is usually less than fully reverent himself or herself toward it. And people claiming to be Season Two fans do it no justice in their own sorties "in fun" against it. And their proclamations to liking it despite its apparent faults that they will stumble over themselves to signal, do not absolve them from blame in contributing to the unending negativity. They themselves in their "put-downs" of Season Two only contribute further gratification to the haters of all things Season Two. And embolden the detractors in their vulgar comparisons of Season Two to biological waste. And as things are, the Facebook group dedicated to Season Two is almost as riddled with denunciations of second season episodes as are the main Space: 1999 Facebook groups.
What I would settle for, because a changed mindset of fans is completely out of the question, would be for the fans to make all of their Facebook groups private. That way, neither I nor the general public will be able to see the hate-fuelled deprecation of Fred Freiberger and hostile faultfinding with everything from the opening scene of "The Metamorph" to the last seconds of "The Dorcons". They will not do so, however, as their berating of Season Two is intended to be oh, so persuasive propaganda to prevent members of the general public from gazing upon Season Two with an accommodating eye and considering it with an open mind. Alas, they do seem to be winning. Utterly. And have been winning for more than two decades.
But even if they are winning in the arena of public opinion, they are unwilling to relent. Not even for twenty-four hours. The repetition of their "truth" cannot rest even for a day.
But I have to stop looking at it. For my own health.
Season Two sits on my shelf on glorious Blu-Ray. Can I watch it and enjoy it with the same sense of wonder, feeling of fun, and capacity for hearty appreciation that I had decades ago? No. That avenue of pleasure has been removed from me, as have Dairy Queen chili dogs, tasty Hamburger Helper, my old elementary school building and much of my personal geography of old Douglastown, and the company of valued friends. Considering all of this loss, I do sometimes wonder what there is to live for.
All for today, the final day of August in 2018.
"But my point is Alpha clearly had the technology. If they did then 1) why didn't they attempt at least to call Earth and 2) If Alpha had it a year later Earth MUST have had it (again experiments started before they left earth in 1999. So clearly Earth must have had the ability much sooner"
No, Alpha does not have the technology! The technology was developed on Earth after the Moon left Earth. Quite some time after that, probably. Egad! People are dense.
JOHN: "Tony. What about neutrino transmissions?"
TONY: "When we left Earth, the first neutrino experiments had just begun."
MAYA: "They can cover billions of miles in a matter of seconds."
JOHN: "But could they have perfected that system so soon?"
TONY: "Yeah, sure! We've been in space for months."
JOHN: "Which in Earth terms means decades."
JOHN: "Okay. ... Okay. So it could be Earth."
And they call me and people like me who appreciate Season Two mindless. Mindless. Mentally unfit. People who like "shite". Whatever. While they cannot even interpret dialogue correctly.
Alpha does NOT have neutrino transmission technology, as this dialogue clearly indicates. If Alpha did, this conversation would not come about.
Mind, neutrinos would have to be travelling much faster than billions of miles in seconds for transmission between galaxies in the episode. Obviously. Perhaps Earth found a way to accelerate neutrinos such that they enter hyperspace and bypass the light-speed threshold. It is a reasonable assumption, for the Alphans and Dr. Logan are conversing without any time lag.
"As far as neutrino transmission goes, if the technology was just being started in 1999, how would Alpha have a receiver on line? Why would it be in receive mode all the time if they did have one? What would it be tuned to? It's the same as if 100 years ago you were using the first crystal detectors, and you came across a video or high speed data signal, how would you even know what it was?
The transference dome, Alpha could receive instructions for building one, but how would they have the material or components to build it. It would involve technologies and methods not even thought of in 1999. Do they have some super manufacturing facility, to synthesize and create anything? I'm not even going to go into the watch sensors that can simulate a human being."
Oh, boys! Boys. Oh, Boys. Oh, Boys. Big sigh. Look, people. This is all excusable by "economy of detail" and by what Gerry Anderson called "licence". To encumber the episode with so much exposition would result in people in droves tuning their television to another broadcaster. Space: 1999 was being made for the general public, not for "sci-fi geeks" who want every detail addressed with dialogue in an episode.
Suffice it to say that the neutrino transmission is analogous to a carrier wave, with communication by radio signal receivable by Alpha (with its 1999 radio signal technology) sent along it, by the same principle that animate and inanimate matter is transferred from place to place along it? Not terribly knotty, is it? Alpha does NOT possess neutrino transmission technology. Earth sends the neutrino transmission to Alpha with radio signals conveyed along it, with an automatic two-way reception system established once Alpha "copies" the radio signals.
Why is this difficult to intuit and accept? Mind, it is not essential to rationalise the neutrino transmission in this way to follow and to appreciate the story. Hence why the information was not offered in the episode-proper.
The transference dome on Alpha is only a container for dispatch, built with Logan's specifications using materials on Alpha (Earth probably knew what Alpha has and how it may be adapted for use in transference), with all of the process of transference operated by Logan on Earth. It has to generate a signal for Logan's equipment to "lock onto" for "halation" to begin, and that signal need not to be 2120 A.D.-sophisticated. I would expect that all of this would have been "factored into" Logan's decision to "seek out" the runaway Moon and offer the transference option. The viewer does not know how the adapting of Alpha-based materials was done. And really, it is not necessary that the viewer knows. Just that Logan knew how Alpha could build a transference dome, and that Maya and the Alpha Technical Department had a window of time with which to build the dome.
"I would guess that it (the neutrino transmission) was like a sub space conduit. The transmission then only had to be a radio wave much the same way as SG1 can contact the SGC using only their 2 way radios through an active wormhole."
Yes. Somewhat along the lines of what I say above. The discussion stopped at this person's posting.
I will end this by reiterating that we, the viewers, are not privy to every detail. There are only 51 or so minutes with which to "tell" the story.
And besides, one could ask lines of questions about the details of any episode. Season One or Season Two.
Actually, I do have more to respond to, before bringing this Weblog entry to a close.
Beneath a photograph of Ray Torens in the Space: 1999- Season Two opener, "The Metamorph", about to have his mental energy drained from him by the Psyche biological computer, is an edifying set of comments.
"Maybe he required his brains to be sucked dry to fully appreciate Season 2?"
Accompanied by three "thumbs-up", and three laughter icons.
People, I am going to say it. This comment is an affront. Deeply offencive. To me and to anyone for whom Season Two is imaginatively and aesthetically stimulating. It is tantamount to saying that people who appreciate Season Two have no brains, are stupid. It is the sort of insult that one would expect from an immature teenager in a school yard. It plus the aforementioned reactions to it. I am not the person who cannot write a sentence without spelling mistakes. I am not one who fails to comprehend information being conveyed by dialogue. But I am stupid, right?
"So Series 2 - brains = Series 1"
"Actually the opposite is true for most of Season 2, sadly."
Oh, it is funny, is it? Rolling on the floor laughing, eh?
And then, there is this pair of gems beneath pictures of Season One's Main Mission control centre.
"Every time I look at that fantastic Main Mission set I wonder what the hell they were thinking when they replaced it with a Portaloo for season 2."
"Almost appropriate really, a shithouse for a shite level of the 2nd series."
I have already argued that the Command Centre in Season Two was large enough for many desks with video monitors (six such desks with a seventh lacking a video screen; see "Dorzak", first Moonbase interior scene), a bank of computers, and some trolleys. Apart from Martin Landau, all of the regular actors and actresses, some routine background "extras", and the entire guest cast for "The Bringers of Wonder" fit in Command Centre- and with empty space to spare.
Of course, nobody objected to the person's vulgar and offencive language or defended Season Two in any way in response to it. Abject quislings, those purported Season Two fans. Following the vulgarity came a comment by someone else with an attempt to smear Season Two and its Command Centre with, "Main Mission was a stunning original and grand cinematic set, Command centre was a pathetic little set that belonged on some cheap Saturday morning kids show."
Which one? Space Academy? It was and still is a respected opus for Saturday morning television. I have never read anyone disparaging the main set designs for it. Some of the episodic planet sets were disappointing, but not Academy Control or the interior of the Seeker spacecraft. In any case, the Command Centre of Space: 1999 looks more "busy" and more technologically sophisticated than Academy Control in Space Academy.
This is the attitude of these people. It "speaks for itself", does it not? It plus the obvious inability of these people to intuit details for an episode of a television series or to even correctly interpret its dialogue. After more than forty years of familiarity with it.
It also qualifies to the ultimate degree my problem with the fans of Space: 1999 expounded at length in this Weblog. It is not that I am "badmouthing" them unjustly, maliciously. They deserve upbraiding. The upbraiding that I have written, and then some. I was not being condescendingly vicious when calling them half-adults. The terminology befits them. They certainly do not practice the lofty principles of the television series that they admire. And they do not have the moral "high ground" when they bemoan Star Trek fans for jeering at, ridiculing, and rejecting "their show". They are no better than the Trekkies. In fact, I would venture to say that they are worse. Because they pridefully claim to be better, and are not. And with those airs of intellectual superiority over the Trekkies that they smugly don, they are nothing but an adolescent group of posturing and hypocritical snobs. Cosy and comfortable in their "echo-chambered" group of, what, a few thousand people? Or maybe a million. I do not know. I do not want to know. I wish that I never knew any of them.
August 28, 2018.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Sigh.
Yesterday, at the Space: 1999 Facebook group.
"'Journey to Where', one of my favorite S2 episodes. Huge fan of the show. So this below post is mainly just poking good fun."
It is not "good fun" when it buttresses the arrogant attitude of the Season Two detractors, strokes their egos, and gives to them further ammunition for slurring appreciators of Season Two as "cranks" of a smaller and smaller minority.
"Some serious issues with this episode:"
No, I do not think that they are serious at all. The crickets in Scotland observation is more serious than any of this drivel.
"Earth calls Alpha by 'neutrino transmission'. Alpha responds. Ok if Alpha had this technology why didn't they use it before?"
Alpha does not have that technology. Tony says that neutrino experiments were just beginning on Earth in 1999. Technology based on those experiments was years, if not decades, away. This person either is not "paying attention" when he watches "Journey to Where" or lacks basic comprehension ability. Comprehension ability that I had when I was ten years-old watching "Journey to Where" for the first time.
The neutrino transmission sent from Earth has two-way reception capability. And is tuned to be compatible with the transmission frequency known by Earth to have been used by Alpha in 1999. So that connection with Alpha's transmission frequency is instantaneous. That has to be the case. Simple logic.
"Why didn't Earth call them sooner. If Alpha had it Earth (being decades ahead) must have."
Once again, Alpha does not have it. Earth evidently has achieved some breakthrough with neutrinos, enabling transferences across huge intergalactic distances, sometime prior to the events of this episode. Presumably not very long before them. Or maybe Logan had been searching for the runway Moon for some time and only recently achieved results in his search.
"They say they have been away for months. However, according to the Catacombs Website this incident occurred 429-433 days after leaving Earth - so years not months."
No, not years. One year and a few months does not constitute years. Not years, plural. Tony stating months is an apropos measurement of time. Not as precise as actually saying a year plus a certain number of days. But I can accept it. And so should any reasonable viewer.
I will respond to the remaining "issues" altogether in one "go".
"They say and eclipse will cut off communications for nearly a century. Ok but all Alpha has to do is wait a few months (as stated Alpha months are decades on Earth).
How an earthquake causes them to go back in time is beyond me - but I will let that one go.
Assuming i'm ok with going back to the past, how the hell do their wrist watch health devices send their data back (real time mind you) to the future?
And lets not forget the guy who captures them takes the wrist watch medical device from John and Alan. No consequences from leaving 20th century technology in the past?
Finally, to return them Logan says just reverse the magnetic pods on transference pod and they can be returned. Ok so why did they need to know the year and location? They could have just reversed the polarity.
Things I wonder about."
"My thought was about the eclipse. There's no moon anymore to cause an eclipse and besides how does an eclipse cause the transmission to end for a century."
Are these people for real? All right. First of all, an eclipse is the moving of a celestial body between two others, obscuring view of one or both of those other two objects from the other. A Solar eclipse is the passing of the Moon between the Earth and the Sun, such that the Earth's view of the Sun is blocked. A Lunar eclipse is the result of the Earth being between the Moon and the Sun. A person standing on the Moon would see the Earth blocking view of the Sun. And on the Earth, the Moon is seen in the Earth's shadow. In the case of "Journey to Where", a cluster of stars (a presumably dense cluster of stars) in a third galaxy is going to pass between the galaxy where the Moon is wandering and the Earth in the Milky Way galaxy, preventing Earth from "locking onto" the Moon for neutrino transmission. Maya says this in her report to Koenig near the start of Act One of the episode. It is a contrivance to generate an urgency to the proceedings of "Journey to Where", and quite a inventive one, I have always thought. And even at the age of ten, I understood it.
Galaxies are huge. A time-scale of centuries for duration of a "galactic eclipse" is not unreasonable.
Maya says that communications will be impossible for almost a century. And I have always understood her to be speaking in terms of time on Alpha. She later says to Yasko that there will never be another chance to return to Earth in Yasko's lifetime.
The earthquake's damage to the receptor equipment in Texas City causes a distortion in the transference of John, Helena, and Alan, and the distortion sends them through a freak time eddy "opened" by the distortion somewhere along the neutrino transmission's Moon-to-Earth connection, to Scotland of 1338-9. The transmission's path through time is traceable providing that Logan is considering the effect of a time eddy (for most of the episode, he is not) and depending upon whether he can, with his computer, pinpoint a precise time and place of the trio before the eclipse occurs and breaks the neutrino transmission "line". The three Alphans' biomonitor transmitters on their wrists are sending information through the neutrino transmission and through the time eddy back to Alpha, which is how Alpha is receiving signals from the wrist instruments. Logan needs a precise determination of when and where the time eddy put the three Alphans, and that is achieved with the information provided by Koenig through Morse Code. Scotland. New Year. Bannockburn plus twenty-five. Logan's computer then successfully traces the neutrino transmission's matter transference back in time through the time eddy and retrieves the three Alphans.
Understanding these elements of story is intuitive, for viewers possessing that quality. For some reason, or for no reason, these people seem to lack it. This has long been very apparent, judging from their inability to "grasp" the concept of an Irishman fancying himself a Texan cowboy after his having worked and lived in Texas as a geologist. They just say, "They don't have cowboys in Ireland," in response to Tony calling Dave Reilly an "Irish cowboy" in "All That Glisters". I was able to correctly intuit what Tony meant when I was all of eleven years of age. Even today, at ages of fifty-something, the fans of Space: 1999 cannot.
I also believe the time eddy to have originated in hyperspace, though that is my personal extrapolation based on incidences of hyperspace in other episodes.
Reversing a field polarirty on the transference dome on Alpha will enable John, Helena, and Alan's return to Alpha once the three are located by Logan and a transference procedure is initiated by Logan on Earth based on their location. Simply reversing field polarity will not automatically teleport the trio back to Alpha from wherever (and whenever) the three of them are. I always understood that too. These people evidently do not.
Clan Chief MacDonald probably burned the biomonitor bracelets removed from John and Alan. To prevent spread of supposed Plague. My guess is that he threw them into the fire meant to consume John, Helena, and Alan. But even if he did not, there was no way that anyone of his time would understand them or the technology behind them. They would have been deemed useless objects and discarded. Or possibly thought to be the work of the devil and buried. To be fair, I will acknowledge that one of the contributors to a subsequent discussion does say something to this effect, in "Journey to Where"'s defence.
Funny, is it not, that the latest efforts to assail "Journey to Where" seem to be happening all at once? Just last week, I was responding to the crickets criticism and opted to reject it, and, as if on cue, this series of "issues" then comes forth, to give a further beleaguered condition to "Journey to Where".
And of course there are comments like this.
"Really now, you ought not question plot loopholes one can fly an eagle through."
They are not "plot loopholes". Some of them are details economised for story pacing. Details that a viewer can intuit, if he or she possesses a developed capacity for intuitive thought. And the others are outright mistakes in comprehension of the episode's essential, given information.
Sometimes, I think that I am living Pinky and the Brain. I, the brain. And who is Pinky? I leave the answer to that to my readers.
"I can't be doing with getting tied up in knots over supposed lapses in scientific logic in science 'FICTION' myself. I don't care for the episode in any case."
Why? Why does this person not care for it? Oh, blinkeredness. Oh, blinkeredness. T'is unending and banal. Because of his blinkeredness, I cannot say that I am grateful for his seeming willingness to eschew being "tied up in knots".
"Some serious issues with this episode is an under statement I'd say."
And I would say not. Not these, anyway. Understatement is one word, by the way.
Monday, August 27, 2018. "Hyde and Hare" was released to theatres 63 years ago.
I have come to the seemingly inescapable conclusion that, apart from Doctor Who, nothing more in my collection of DVDs will be released on Blu-Ray, and that my Blu-Ray holdings are not going to increase any further, outside of the Doctor Who Blu-Ray releases. And as regards Doctor Who, I do wish that the BBC would institute better quality control prior to release date.
Day after day after day, I search Internet forums about Blu-Ray for news of future releases and am frustrated to see nothing of interest to me. Most of my collection of science fiction/fantasy is on Blu-Ray with some notable exceptions. The Black Hole, for instance. One of the earliest titles on DVD, courtesy of Anchor Bay. Now denied to Blu-Ray collectors for some ten years. A High-Definition video transfer of the movie definitely exists. It is just a matter of having the will to commission a release of the movie to Blu-Ray, will that Disney seems to lack. I wonder if a letter campaign would do any good.
I would have liked to have seen the Planet of the Apes 1974 television series on Blu-Ray, but if Fox Home Video was going to commission that, it would have been done in conjunction with one of this past decade's Planet of the Apes movies. I think that the window is closed firmly shut on that one. Star Maidens? Unlikely. It was re-released on DVD recently with the same film-to-video transfers used for its initial, 2005 DVD release. There was some talk of Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman Blu-Ray releases later this year in France, but the well has gone dry for information on those.
All of the STARS OF SPACE JAM DVDs are now available for pre-order at Amazon.com.
And this is all for today, August 26, 2018.
In a move almost as "left-field", almost as bizarre, as DVD releases of volumes of the old MARVEL COMICS VIDEO LIBRARY, Warner Home Video has decided to, in autumn of this year, resurrect its STARS OF SPACE JAM range of videocassettes of 1996 and to offer the volumes of that on DVD. Presumably intended for some sort of cross-promotion with a sequel (what on Earth for?) to Space Jam. One would have hoped that Warner Brothers might have deigned to commission several new DVD or, better yet, Blu-Ray, discs consisting mainly of cartoons previously unavailable on any digital videodisc format. But I suppose that I should not be a choosy beggar and be happy that this re-release of STARS OF SPACE JAM will allow me to strike two cartoons off of my cartoons-needed list for my collection, them being "Hare Splitter" and "Hot-Rod and Reel!". There would have been a third cartoon for this category, but Warner Brothers has, in its infinitely confounding wisdom, opted to replace "Holiday For Drumsticks" in the Daffy Duck volume with "Daffy Duck Slept Here".
I will buy the Bugs Bunny and Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote volumes just to have "Hare Splitter" and "Hot-Rod and Reel!" on DVD. It is doubtful that they will be from restored film prints newly transferred to video. But I will settle for whatever is there on the discs. The other volumes contain nothing of interest for me as a collector.
Does this set a precedent? Might Warner Brothers be considering "porting over" other VHS videotapes and laser videodiscs of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies to DVD? I doubt it. But it would be nice if that was to be the case. LOONEY TUNES AFTER DARK and the other laser videodiscs would be welcomed by me on DVD. One can but dream.
In 2008, I founded on Facebook a Douglastown Elementary School Alumni group. Now, I have not only resigned as its moderator but have left that Facebook group. Frustrated as I am that I am consistently unable to stir its members, numbering just over 100, to contribute memories and photographs to the group. Most notably my old schoolmates. The people whose memories and photographs would be most associated with me in my years in Douglastown. The group's Facebook Web page has been almost entirely barren as regards postings other than mine for many months. Nobody is sharing anything (despite my appeals that people do so), and I have exhausted my photographic material, and my memories just do not garner appreciation beyond a few people. Generation X is quite a "tough cookie". Even in their fifties, their parents having died, its members still are not nostalgic for their childhood. And never will be, I think. The 1970s decade is one that never, ever will be appreciated by the people whose most innocent and impressionable times were set therein. I have people in that group patronisingly lecturing me to embrace the future (what future?) and not to linger over the past. And I am "giving up" on trying to interest my contemporaries in remembering and cherishing old times and loving all that was a part of them (and, yes, this includes television entertainment). Join the teeming masses, one and all, in erasing memory of the past, for we are all "going forward". Not to Moonbases, Mars colonies, and commonplace space travel but to Orwell's rotted-civilisation-on-Earth dystopia. Further and further to the political Left we all go, happily embracing moral relativism, nothing-is-beautiful nihilism, bigger and bigger government, central planning, destruction of free markets, tearing down of monuments to past achievement, and, eventually, pushing people possessing any amount of treasured personal property into having nothing but abject squalor, if not killing them for "wrong-think".
I am most unhappy now with the state of things politically in both Canada and the U.S.. Nothing is going the way that I want it to, and this is unlikely to change with the national news media acting as propaganda arm of the political parties on the Left. People still believe everything that they are told by the television news. I do not, but I am an outlier. Mistrust of the news media may be "a thing" in some parts of the U.S., but in Canada, nothing doing. Today, Canadian news media "runs defence" for the anointed one, our Prime Minister, trust-fund-raised son of a previous Prime Minister, and hews consistently to the narrative that the Prime Minister's Office proclaims. Always, always way to the left of the traditional political centre. Spending future monies like crazy on social engineering. And now, the Conservative Party of Canada, the only political party with a chance of unseating him, has split into two parts. And the 1990s showed what happens with that. Majority governments in perpetuity for the Liberals, the party of the Trudeau dynasty. Not good. Not good at all. A state in which one party, only one party, wins elections, is only democratic in appearance, as long as some vestigial remnant of a challenging political party exists to maintain an illusion of bi-partisan politics. And when that one governing party is not centrist and embraces some form of collectivism, the situation is dangerous. I fear for the future. Again, what future?
I did say that I would "leave aside" the politics, but I cannot help but say something about the latest developments. Dark days ahead for Canada. And for the neighbours to the south, too. It looks like nothing is going to stop their lurch to the Left, with conservatives losing their ability to elect Presidents, an ability lost forever.
With what is happening in the world, there being crickets in Scotland in an episode of a television series does seem to be a most trifling thing over which to stew. I am opting to dismiss that criticism, by the way. Crickets could have been in a southern region of Scotland below latitude parallel 55 in the fourteenth century. And in a television series (both seasons thereof) in which aliens speak English and there is sound in a vacuum, surely the sound of some crickets in a Scottish location centuries ago can be accepted as falling within the scope of some acceptable licence, for "atmospheric" effect if for nothing else. Do I wish that it had not been done? Yes.
I think that the lapses in story in Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan are far more egregious, though. And much more difficult to dismiss.
Thursday, August 23, 2018.
On the YouTube video for "Journey to Where".
"Hilarious that they put in the sound of crickets in the night time scenes! You do not hear crickets in Scotland! Can't Ameticans relate to night with no crickets?"
Typographical error with Ameticans. At least, I presume that is typographical. Nighttime is one word. Anyway...
Space: 1999 was filmed in Buckinghamshire. Not Scotland. Funding someone to go with a Nagra to Scotland to audiotape-record "wild sound" of an evening outdoors was probably not included in budget. Whether the Pinewood Studios sound library had in it Scottish after-dusk wildlife sound effects is open to conjecture. Somehow, I rather doubt that the Space: 1999 sound department had time to search the darkest depths of Pinewood Studios' sound vaults to find so obscure an item, if indeed it did exist. And all of this would be assuming that the thought occurred to anyone in the production team to check whether crickets exist in Scotland.
I admit to not knowing much about crickets. I never had a motivation to research about them. And now, I have.
Part of the Southern Uplands of Scotland is below the 55-degree parallel of latitude, the northernmost parallel for crickets to appear, according to Wikipedia. Some crickets could have migrated to there in the early-to-mid-fourteenth century and later left the area. Or "died off". I doubt that the distribution of crickets was logged by the scribes of the time in all lands. The Southern Uplands likely is the area of 1338-9 Scotland to where John, Helena, and Alan are teleported in "Journey to Where", as it is wooded and it is hilly, hilly with potential for caves (it being somehat near to a coastline). There are pictures of it on the Internet. One such can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/49506000/jpg/_49506776_southup1_mbaker_766.jpg.
This said, I have to admit that crickets in Scotland is quite an astute criticism. These past four decades, the average Season Two haters evidently have not delved so much into fault-finding as to research the world distribution of crickets. Or else this criticism would have become part of the smugly proclaimed fan refrain long before now.
I would venture to say that it is doubtful that Space: 1999 production would have done insect research when planning the filming for "Journey to Where". And whether there were Scots among the production crew, Scots whose input was sought or welcome on all technicalities of production, I do not know. Was it stupidity or laziness or insufficient collaboration or a wilful lack of professionalism in the team working under their loathed "Freddie the F." that resulted in this so egregious error? Or did Fred Freiberger himself order the sound department to use the sound of crickets? What is the answer? Does the answer really matter? "Journey to Where" is trash, right? Because crickets are heard in Scotland. Has to be, right?
Should I reject "Journey to Where" and all of its symbolism and foreshadowing because a certain insect may not have been present anywhere in Scotland in 1338-9? Is this a reasonable proposition? Maybe it is. I am not so arrogant as to dismiss the idea "out of hand". The episode does have an improbably short incubation for a virus, does not explain how Alpha is able to reply to a neutrino transmission, and is incorrect about the first married man in space. This could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
But I still have "Hyde and Hare", though. No insects in it.
Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
As if Facebook were not enough, I have YouTube to contend with, also, in my effort to, at least for my sake, counter the assaults upon Space: 1999's second season.
Recently all Space: 1999 episodes have appeared afresh at YouTube. It is only a matter of time before Network Distributing and Grenada Ventures order their removal from that Internet video platform, but until then, the videos are contaminated with deluges of "snarkily" negative fault-finding comments. After little more than two months after being made available, the videos have acquired a "jeering section" comprising a protracted list of disdaining statements, with this-is-an-error and that-is-not-explained, mixed with the oh, the ever so reliable stand-by of Season One-great, Season-Two-"shite", and with the name of Fred Freiberger wielded as the ever so incontrovertible pejorative.
It does seem to be that all that people do these days is to watch videos on YouTube of decades-old television shows and, with notepad and pen in hand, systematically find fault with them, "jotting down" each and everyone of such, with which to regale the world with their oh, so avant garde and ever-so-sophisticated "edginess" and so very scintillatingly stimulating scathing cynicism. Usually unfair fault, with the quibbles stated not those that a reasonable person extending courtesy of suspension of disbelief, recognition of "economy of detail", and allowances for dramatic licence, would choose to put forth. And all too often, it is not specific faults that are being "written-up" but sweeping rejections of the television series or season thereof, with the statement that the acting, the directing, the sets, the effects, are all abysmal and that although the person liked it as a child, he or she (usually he) cannot abide anything about it now.
As regards the Season Two episode, "Devil's Planet", from the oh, so aesthetically stimulated persons from the seats of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, make-believe version, comes this resplendent and edifying display of astute, artistically observant, sophisticated commentary.
"Uhm... Moonbase Alpha... is looking for a habitable planet. They are immune to the disease that kills the natives. Plants, trees, presumably wildlife... and an intact city... exactly what more do they want?"
"I know the reasons why the producers of Space 1999 changed the second season opening and casting and overall look, but they took so much away from the show's original urgent survival story and the awesome opening and ending credits, the first season was awe-inspiring but the second season ruined the show."
"I always saw Season 2 as Star Trek but without any intelligence."
"The 'killer' of this season 2 was new producer Fred Freiberger - the man also known for killing the original Star Trek as he came on to that show for Season 3. Trying to sex it up and adding bells and whistles to a great show (Season 1) that didn't need it. If it ain't broke.... (Good intro music though) But come on!! The character of Maya that transform into any creature. This isn't Manimal."
"Traveled so many light years from Earth...meet a new civilization...they all speak English. Brilliant writing."
"How can a planet and its moon have the same gravity and atmosphere? At 48:28 she walks out 'I'm not political'. A minute later, she's back. Continuity error."
"5:32 Worst Death acting EVER!"
"So convenient for them to speak English."
"Freiberger did some stuff for Star Trek."
"Season 2 sucked."
"I've seen better acting from a pile of bricks."
"Oh God, I forgot how bad this was. Tacky sets, cheap costumes, very bad acting, childish plot line. I remember this as the 'it' show when I was a kid, but now that I see it again ....................Uh........ yuck."
To quote something I heard recently on a Webcast, "'Snark'-u-ment is not an argument." Most of these comments, and especially the last one, are garbage. Garbage fit only for rats. The rats ignorantly gnawing away at Space: 1999 as a two-season, 48-episode television series. They are a waste of the bits of Internet data used for their presence on the World Wide Web. And the people stating them are in my estimation worthless. They may not have been so when they were younger and somewhat open-minded, but they are so now. Worthless to anyone wanting an enlightened view of fanciful entertainment. Oh, but useful, ever so useful, of course, to my detractors, my former associates in fandom, who would point to such commentary to try to prove their contention that I am a "flake" rightly ostracised for appreciating something held in contempt by many people other than themselves. To them, numbers of people are all-important in championing their case. The quality of the commentary is not quite as important as the number of people belching it forth. And the amount of "turncoat" people who, having liked it in the past, now reject Space: 1999's second season, as blinkered to its merits as the people who never liked it. They point to such as proof that Season Two needs to be relegated to the garbage heap of history, and every day forevermore spoken-of as the damnable piece of excrement that it so objectively must be. And anyone who now still appreciates it unapologetically deserving the chiding and allegations of mental deficiency that they incur for choosing not to be silent.
I will respond to some of these. Ones that are specific in their criticism.
Why does Alpha not colonise Ellna? Four possible reasons. One. Alpha feels that it would be morally wrong to "take advantage" of the death of an entire planet's population, Alphans literally stepping over millions of dead bodies to colonise a planet. Two. There is no guarantee that the "nerve bacteria" will not mutate and become deadly to Alphan settlers. Three. The Entran warders and prisoners may not appreciate Alpha colonising their home world, and they might eventually have some means of striking from Entra at the Alphans on Ellna. And four. By the time that John is returned to Alpha, Alpha may not have sufficient time to mount an Exodus evacuation.
The second season ruining the television show is not proved by objective criteria. It is a subjective fan opinion based on the premise that Season One was the only possible quality format for Space: 1999 and was a success. If it was a success, there would not have been the Season Two that was. However, Lew Grade looked at the declining ratings in the U.S. in the autumn of 1975 and judged the television show to not be successful in its first season. Bottom line. And there are other styles of proved-successful science fiction/fantasy entertainment besides the style of Season One. People who saw the second season first did in fact like it. Yes, many of those people were children then and try conceitedly now in adulthood to satisfy themselves that they are sophisticated and above their childhood tastes by "knocking" their childhood favourite. I presume that they are also immune, thoroughly immune, to nostalgia. In any case, back in the heyday of Space: 1999, when tastes and ratings mattered for Space: 1999's survival as a first-run television programme, the second season had good ratings in Canada on its CBC run. It was bringing the viewers to the sofa. It was adhering to its "worlds beyond belief" slogan with imaginative flair.
There is survival urgency in Season Two, evidenced in episodes like "The Exiles", "Journey to Where", "The AB Chrysalis", "Catacombs of the Moon", "Seed of Destruction", "The Seance Spectre", "The Immunity Syndrome", and "The Dorcons", but the Alphans, like any people, do need respite from that urgency. In the long months between planetary encounters, it is natural for people to settle into routines of work and recreation.
How can a planet and its moon have the same gravity and atmosphere? The viewer does not know. The viewer is not made privy to every detail. Just enough detail to "follow" the story to its conclusion. All other details can be left for a viewer to furnish. Or not. Whatever he or she chooses. Perhaps Ellna and Entra are twin planets in orbit around each other, with Entra being smaller than Ellna (and therefore nominally, as a figure of speech at least, a satellite) but perhaps having a similar mass or a faster rotation, such that its gravity pull is the same as Ellna's. Entra being a planet would verify Helena's reference to it as such in her Moonbase Alpha Status Report. Koenig later calls it a moon in response to Blake Maine saying that it is a satellite. Possibly because moon is the word that first comes to mind to Koenig when satellite is mentioned. Who knows? Or possibly the Ellnans terraformed their moon, Entra, at some time in their history, putting in place an energy field encircling Entra to generate an artificial gravity pull on the alien moon's surface and to keep the atmosphere from gushing away into space. The same energy field that causes Koenig's Eagle to malfunction. Ellnan technology may have achieved that capability, in addition to teleportation. Who knows? Who "bloody well" knows? None of this is impossible, though, within the established parameters of Space: 1999's universe. Need I say that Earth's own Moon attained atmosphere-retaining gravity by some alien machination in "The Last Sunset" of Season One?
Space: 1999 was being made for a general public that would be "turned off" by too much exposition. Hence, "economy of detail". And it was produced more than forty years ago, when it was not expected that people would have home video equipment enabling stoppages for intensive visual examination, in repeat-playbacks of an episode. There was also an expectation that viewers would not be the snidely unaccommodating cynics that they are today and that they would suspend disbelief in watching something set far, far away from Earth.
Aliens speaking English is done for dramatic necessity. In Star Trek. In Space: 1999. In Doctor Who. In so many other works. Taylor does not question why the apes speak English in the highly acclaimed Planet of the Apes. Why "pick on" Space: 1999? Why, indeed.
Sunday, August 19, 2018.
The Space: 1999 episode, "Black Sun". I propose to contemplate about it this morning.
Not to any great extent. The virtues of the episode have been extolled and extolled and extolled and extolled enough already. And this is to state it most mildly.
I love "Black Sun". Much of that love is rooted in nostalgia, it has to be said. "Black Sun" was the first Season One Space: 1999 episode that both of my parents and I watched together. And that viewing, on Saturday, October 29, 1977 from 6 to 7 P.M., was also the first time that both of my parents watched Space: 1999 with me in our new Fredericton home. My father had watched "Alpha Child" with me two weeks previous; my mother was out somewhere (I do not remember where) that afternoon when "Alpha Child" aired at 4 P.M..
My parents are both dead now. Dead for several years. I treasure all of the memories of our watching television together as a family. We did far more of that in Douglastown between 1972 and 1977 than post-1977 in Fredericton. And in fact, as a family we watched most of the second season of Space: 1999 together in Douglastown in 1976-7, whereas in Fredericton the vast majority of my viewings of the episodes of Season One were solitary. Me alone. Sometimes because my parents were out visiting my mother's sister and her family. Or my grandparents. But usually they were at home but just did not have any interest in watching Space: 1999 in its first season style. I remember us watching "Earthbound" together on November 18, 1977. And "The Last Enemy" and "Voyager's Return" in January, 1978. "The Testament of Arkadia" in late February, 1978. And "The Troubled Spirit" in early March. During the repeat run of Season One in spring and summer of 1978, they almost never were in the living room with me for Space: 1999's hour. And if they were, they were not paying much attention to what was happening on screen.
My mother would complain that the first season was too remote and ethereal for her, and she hated the screaming of the women in it. My father liked Landau (they shared the same birth year) and would watch Space: 1999 with me if he had nothing else to do and if my mother was watching it. And in 1977-8, that was not the case very often. But "Black Sun" was an episode that they watched, engaged with, and enjoyed.
There are many moments in it that, watched today, recall me, with fondness, to that experience after supper on 29 October, 1977, the McCorry family sitting in the living room of a new home and viewing Alpha being gravitationally pulled into a black sun. Most especially striking of the chords of bittersweet nostalgia is the scene in the Eagle with Helena and Sandra talking about their childhood and Bergman saying, with regard to his cigar-smoking, "Oh, I don't think Dr. Russell will object," which, along with Koenig turning aside in his chair and thinking dolefully about the woman he fancies, gone supposedly forever, segued into the Eagle scene. The music that plays over all of this is evocative of the sad longing for a past condition, which is what nostalgia is. And it reminds me very strongly of being with my parents that crisp autumn evening so very long ago and enjoying my favourite television programme. Very tender and cherished memory. That particular piece of music also plays with one of my other favourite first season scenes, that in "War Games" as Bergman records his emotionally moving valedictory to Alpha before remaining assembled persons in Main Mission depart for a launching pad. It is a magnificent composition.
When the Moon was going through the black sun, my friend Michael telephoned me long-distance from Douglastown to invite me there for a Remembrance Day weekend stay. I was back in the living room for the reunion scene of the Alphans that brought the episode to a close. I adore that visualisation of the Alphans dispersing from the reception area and Bergman looking into camera and flicking ashes off of his cigar before walking into the distance to a freeze-frame. And the music that accompanies it.
My appreciation of "Black Sun" on that broadcast is rather more emotional than intellectual. I enjoyed the Alphans' jubilation at having not only survived the black sun but in being a full complement again, some kind of space-time eddy having teleported the survival Eagle and its six occupants into the same post-black-sun position in space as that of the runaway Moon. I liked how the characters interacted in the hours preceding the Moon's entry into the inky collapsar. It was a satisfying viewing experience. Now, though, I am aware of faults with the script. But the episode was pleasing to me at the time of my first viewing of it that October of 1977 evening and resonates with me today with nostalgic power. The CBC cut Bergman's statements about an intervening intelligence (i.e. God). And I, during my telephone conversation with Michael, did not see much of the experience of Koenig and Bergman in the black sun. I heard it in my audiotape-recording of the episode from that October broadcast, but lacked the visual stimuli for conveying to me most effectively what had happened. I later saw it on "Black Sun"'s later airing of April 29, 1978. And then I just regarded the Alpha-preserving actions of some omnipotent, metaphysical force as a "one-off" concept. Nothing more. I was blissfully unaware of story arc in the Space: 1999 first season until I read David Hirsch's column about the "Mysterious Unknown Force" in Starlog in, I think, 1979. And even then, I did not perch my appreciation of Space: 1999 solely or mainly upon that observation or interpretation. For me, Space: 1999 had been and still was a space adventure television series. Both seasons. Somewhat more deliberate in its first season, granted. But thoroughly an aesthetically fascinating and compelling opus of the imagination.
Much as I do love "Black Sun", the fan adulation for it, routinely expressed in conjunction with slurring of Season Two for it being different from "Black Sun", I do not love. I am sick and tired of it. Actually, to say that I am sick and tired of it is a woefully insufficient description. It is beyond being tiresome, surpasses being merely irritating in its unending repetition by fan after fan after fan, has long ago assumed a loathsome, gallingly overweening proportion and become one of the biggest cliches associated with Space: 1999 and its group-think fandom. Fixation on the "Mysterious Unknown Force" has stunted the fans in intellectual development these past decades and kept them in their juvenile or teenage mindset, as they ignorantly wield it as their oh, so supreme brickbat against all other perspectives on and angles of appreciation for Space: 1999 and bullyingly proclaim their mental superiority over others for their having "gotten it" (after it was "pointed out" to them by Hirsch or by some of the pridefully observant fans pontificating in the first fandom newsletters) and venerating Space: 1999 because of it first and foremost or it exclusively. I imagine that to someone who did see scenes that the CBC cut, the "Mysterious Unknown Force" concept might have been more readily detectable than it had been to me and to persons following Space: 1999 with me. But it now being very evident, and sung and sung and sung by fans for decades, it is one of the least subtle artistic qualities of the television series. It is explicitly posited by Bergman and Koenig in "Black Sun" (in the scene that the CBC cut). There is more, so much more, to Space: 1999 than it. Much more subtle artistic "touches". Once identified, those "touches" should be recognisable to and appreciated by all people with an inclination toward Space: 1999 and the science fiction/fantasy genre. But alas, they are not. Because of the stunting of the fan mentality and the credence given to the fans and their "echo-chambered" banter. And the proud belittling of the "flakes" who perceive and dare to articulate something in Space: 1999 that the orthodox herd does not and will not see.
The Facebook group ostensibly dedicated to liking Season Two now has a member who says this.
"Thanks for adding me. Here are my thoughts on the season:
I think the new look of Alpha's command centre was good (I have no problem imagining a past disaster destroying the previous one, forcing them to rebuild), the new uniforms looked better, and as for the new intro.. well, while not tinged with the nostalgia of the first season's, it was more than adequate, and actually really good. Also it was nice to see more emotional display between the characters, even though the forced gaiety that ended virtually every episode quickly got tired and cliched. But the robot-like sternness of season one's total lack of emotions, save anger and fear, was very hard to swallow.
Worst addition: Maya! Now, this might be like swearing in church (I mean, she is sweet and lovable and all), but her ability to transform into anything allowed for way too many deux ex machina-type escapes, resulting in lazy writing (one reason 'Journey To Where' was so good was the absence of Maya as a central character; the perils of Koenig, Carter and Russel felt genuine as a result, because there was no Maya to wreak havoc in the enemy camp via some monstrous transformation.)
Also, the lack of Victor Bergman weighs heavily on the season. Bergman might not have been the most developed of characters (Shakespeare this aint, that's for darn sure), he was also a bit ineffectual at times, but he was a really nice guy, a human among robots, someone to spread enthusiasm and optimism around, so, yeah, I really missed him.
Ok, so here is my take on some of season two's episodes..
Favourite episodes, episodes that, with some pruning perhaps, would have been able to stand proudly alongside the better episodes of season 1:
'Journey To Where'
'The A B Chrysalis'
'The Immunity Syndrome'
'The Seance Spectre'
Episodes that are so bad one find it hard to understand how they ever got past the screenplay stage:
'Brian The Brain'
'Rules of Luton'
'Mark of Arachnon'
Others are bad, but have a strong entertainment value (like 'Space Warp'), while others are decent to good, but lack that extra something that the first five mentioned had (like 'Dorcon').
There, a short summary of my take on the show's second season."
I am going to say it. If this person thinks that those episodes, and others, are "bad", he has no legitimate "business" in joining that group, and the group should not welcome him- if its individuals are sincere in their appreciation for Season Two. Those episodes are quintessential Season Two. Fantastic worlds of diverse conditions, strange and unexpected sentient alien life, an alien possessing a coveted technology, and many outstanding character moments, to say nothing of suggestive iconography (e.g. the Archanon "Flammon" symbol, the "mark" of the "killing sickness").
There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the concept of any of those episodes (yes, including "The Rules of Luton"). They are concepts that are lauded in their use in other productions. "Arena" is hailed as a Star Trek masterpiece, and "The Seeds of Doom" a Doctor Who exemplar. "Brian the Brain" offers an artificial intelligence with a fanatical desire to perpetuate itself indefinitely and possessing a homicidal tendency because of that desire. A valid concept for science fiction/fantasy. There is nothing wrong with "Brian the Brain" in concept. Bernard Cribbins' funny voice for Brian is an ironic affectation. And the episode is more, much more, than the voice. "The Taybor", with an alien barterer of wares offering to the Alphans a device that could liberate them from their runaway Moon but asking a price that John is unwilling to pay, is also a valid science fiction/fantasy and Space: 1999 concept. People's aversions to it tend to be purely superficial, based on the make-up of Taybor and that of the slatternly woman into which Maya transforms. The concept for "The Mark of Archanon", aliens with a violence illness, is also quite "solid", cogent, potentially meaningful, and worthy of presentment within the Space: 1999 universe. "The Mark of Archanon" may not be a favourite episode of mine, but I acknowledge the import of the concept of the "killing sickness" and the curing of it through a giving of blood. If a person judges these episodes to be unfilmable, he or she should not be credibly called a Space: 1999- Season Two adherent.
Another old stand-by. The contention that Maya's powers are used in episode after episode after episode to resolve episode's crisis. It is wrong, wrong, wrong. People never give abundant specific examples, because they cannot. Maya's powers are used, of course, when called-for by Koenig, but crisis-resolving effort is that of the team of characters, each of them contributing some expertise, intuition, or resolution, to extricating Alpha or Alphans from peril. Not only Maya. Is it not strange that the fans who allege deux ex machina in Maya, tend to have no issues at all with that in their vaunted "Mysterious Unknown Force" in Season One?
Seven purported Season Two fans have "like-clicked" this person's posting, which is demonstrably largely disparaging of Season Two.
And then he puts under a picture of "Brian the Brain" this little sortie.
"Possibly the worst episode EVER!!!"
And then he slurs "Devil's Planet" with this comment.
"Another guilty pleasure, quite a crappy episode that delivers camp entertainment."
I have already answered to the camp allegation. And the other things said are sheer drivel. Guilty pleasure. I am so sick and tired of reading that tripe of a pretentious pronouncement. Where in hell did it come from, anyway?
So. What exists is a Season Two Facebook group in which this manner of commentary is not only slavishly tolerated but granted "like-clicks". A group that has clearly been infiltrated by a Season Two detractor proclaiming some conditional liking for some elements of Season Two. And quislings that they are, they like what he says.
And another person says this.
"Thanks goodness, I hate year 2. I get a break."
What in hell are people like this doing in a group for Space: 1999- Season Two?
The answer would appear to be obvious. There is no appreciative fan following for Space: 1999- Season Two. Every other 1970s production of the science fiction/fantasy genre, from Planet of the Apes to The Tomorrow People to Logan's Run to Battlestar Galactica to Blake's 7 to Star Blazers to Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, has a fan following. The second season of Space: 1999 does not. The best that a fan group for it can hope to attract is people with attitudes such as those of the people whom I am quoting. It is so very unjust and sad. And, yes, infuriating in the injustice.
But I still love "Black Sun", and I always will.
Saturday, August 18, 2018.
As regards my Weblog entry for yesterday and my promise to provide a list of the Warner Brothers cartoons that I lack in my stacks of optical disc media, below is the list of cartoons from 1948 to 1964 that I need to complete my collection of those.
"Holiday For Drumsticks"
"The Bee-Devilled Bruin"
"His Bitter Half"
"Stooge For a Mouse"
"A Bone For a Bone"
"A Hound For Trouble"
"A Mouse Divided"
"There Auto Be a Law"
"Tom Tom Tomcat"
"Plop Goes the Weasel"
"Yankee Doodle Bugs"
"Pests For Guests"
"A Kiddie's Kitty"
"A Waggily Tale"
"To Itch His Own"
"Hip Hip- Hurry!"
"Hot-Rod and Reel!"
"The Fastest With the Mostest"
"Ready, Woolen, and Able"
"The Mouse On 57th Street"
"D' Fightin' Ones"
"What's My Lion?"
"I Was a Teenage Thumb"
"Devil's Feud Cake"
"Fast Buck Duck"
"Mexican Cat Dance"
"Zip Zip Hooray!"
"Road Runner A-Go-Go"
I also desire these pre-1948 and post-1964 cartoons.
"Two Gophers From Texas"
"Nothing But the Tooth"
"Bone Sweet Bone"
"A Hick, a Slick, and a Chick"
"Road to Andalay"
"Rabbit Stew and Rabbits Too"
"Bugged By a Bee"
I will again state that I want copies of these cartoons free of "bugs" or logos and without videotape tracking problems, copious dropout, or other picture-quality-compromising issues.
Some of them were on laser videodisc (and I had all of those but, again, foolishly dispensed with them on the belief that the cartoons on them were going to be released on DVD). Some of them were on commercial videotape. But the majority of them were limited to television for their post-theatrical distribution.
I had them all at one time, on either videotape or laser videodisc. All without logos. But I foolishly believed information sources proclaiming that Warner Brothers intended a comprehensive DVD release of its classic cartoon catalogue. Sigh.
August 17, 2018.
Very bad attack of acid reflux last night in bed. I had another one a couple of days ago when I was standing (yes, standing). I thought that I had overcome the problem these past couple of years. I guess not. Something has caused this resurgence of the condition. I think it is having to adjust to the wild and uncompliant kitten that I have. He was neutered on Wednesday and has not cooperated at all with my carrying-out of veterinarian instructions. The neutering has not calmed him at all. I will have to see if I can have a replenishing done of my prescribed reflux medication at the local pharmacy. If not, I will need to see my doctor.
Mind, my latest attack could also have something to do with my agitation over the round of Freiberger-bashing at the hate group that is the Space: 1999 Facebook community. Yes, I was quite agitated yesterday.
I propose to broach an entirely different topic today. People may remember that a year ago Warner Archive released a DVD set of 101 Porky Pig cartoons called PORKY PIG 101. I supported the release by purchasing a set through a generous benefactor in the U.S.. I did so in good faith on the prospect of there being further releases, comprising presumably, hopefully, not exclusively pre-1948 cartoons. Word was that the consumer response to the release was impressive and that such did bode very favourably for further DVD (and possibly Blu-Ray) sets. Okay. So? It is a year later, and no announcement of a further set. There was no mention, so far as I know, of any further Warner Brothers cartoon box set "in the pipeline" in reports from San Diego Comic-Con. I have had a look at the discussion forums for the Warner Brothers cartoons. No mention of anything. So, that is it, then? That money spent on that Porky Pig cartoon set led to nothing further? The fans of the Porky cartoons of older vintage have their favourite cartoons released in a full set. Those of us who want a complete Bugs Bunny, Tweety and Sylvester, or Road Runner set can go and have a jump off of a short pier.
It is crazy. Of all of the cartoon characters to have all of his cartoons released on DVD, surely that ought to be Bugs Bunny. The most famous, the most beloved vintage cartoon character ever to exist. And Chuck Jones' Road Runner cartoons have long been regarded as quintessential cartoon classics. And what of the popularity of Tweety? All of those T-shirts. And the only Warner Brothers cartoon character to see an exhaustive assemblage of his cartoons is Porky Pig of very old. None of which were networked on Saturday morning over-the-air television.
To this day, I lack a comprehensive collection of the post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons, having foolishly dispensed with my VHS videotapes bar my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour reconstructions, on the expectation that a full DVD release of the cartoons was imminent. Reliable sources were saying so, and everything (including Spiderman and Rocket Robin Hood) was being made available on DVD. It seemed so certain. Sales of the first, admittedly paltry (with less than 60 cartoons), DVD set in 2003 were brisk. All signs were encouraging. With that first boxed set as an evident template, I certainly expected more than one set per year. As things transpired, the future of the DVD range was in trouble by the fifth volume of THE LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION, which was disappointing in its contents and its sales tallies.
I am not going to rehash the whole distressing history of the Warner Brothers cartoons on optical disc media. Conditions today are what they are because of it, though. It plus an engineered changing of the public taste away from physical media and from vintage entertainment. The bottom line is that another dead end has been reached in the latest effort to distribute the cartoons on digital videodisc, and aficionados of the post-1948 cartoons of Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob McKimson are back to where they were a year ago. No prospects of adding-to or completing their collection.
What I have is every cartoon in The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour- Season One, plus every cartoon officially released on DVD from the first GOLDEN COLLECTION volume in 2003 to MARSUPIAL MAYHEM in 2013. Not counting cartoons released as bonus features on movie DVDs (I do have a few of those, though). I have a handful of others acquired on VHS videotape releases and transferred to DVD. I lack approximately 65 cartoons. In a future Weblog entry, I will provide a listing of them. I am not interested in cartoons marred by "bugs" or logos, or in cartoons with very apparent videotape playback problems. I know the chances of acquiring logo-free cartoons with unblemished video quality from collectors in this day and age. But this is where things stand for me.
All for today.
August 16, 2018.
Here is one of the recent discussions at the Facebook group for that television series that I, woe is me, had the misfortune to see and enjoy and be imaginatively and aesthetically stimulated-by in my impressionable years of youth.
"Hi guys, new here, recently finished the show. I liked the second season more, simply because i felt it became more Star Trek-ish. My question here, what would your thoughts be on a reboot? and IF THEY WERE to reboot, would not having Alpha on the moon, but rather an Asteroid (Which to me makes more sense) be a deal breaker for you?"
Oh, boys. Here we go. I knew that this would poke the hornet's nest. The person may like Season Two more, but his quality of writing is scarcely any better than that of the Season One pundits. And then there is the good old, "I felt..."
And the responses. Cue the "talking points". Cue the Freiberger-phobia.
"The fact that it became more like Star Trek was the reason that so many people hated season 2"
In the immortal words of Yoda, "So certain are you?"
Really? Know that for a fact? There seem to be many issues that people, i.e. Space: 1999 fans of hopelessly blinkered mindset, have with Season Two. I very much doubt that being more like Star Trek is the (with emphasis on the) reason for the hostility. And I do not really believe that the similarities to Star Trek "run as deep" as these ever so enlightened people would assert. And besides, there is (cough, cough) "Guardian of Piri"/"This Side of Paradise" to consider. That is being like Star Trek. For the uninitiated, "Guardian of Piri" is Season One.
"Im trekkie so.."
Must admit that I quite like the pithy comeback. Even if I could quibble with spelling, punctuation, etc..
"There's a reason why season 2 of Space: 1999 and season 3 of Star Trek are disliked so much by fans"
Yes. They are blinkered. They lack a broad scope of imagination. They are selective in suspension of disbelief. They are intellectually stunted and proud of it. They reject out of hand any positive point of view on those television show seasons. They are spiteful dolts. These, if anything, are the reasons.
"well i like both"
Good pithy comeback again.
"Ah, yes. Fred 'The Serial Killer' Freiberger"
I knew that it was coming. T'was not too long to wait. Calling all fans of The Wild, Wild West, please. Rebuttal required. And for that matter Marc Cushman's book on Star Trek- Season Three.
Pavlov's dogs, people. Pavlov's dogs. Out comes the conditioned, unthinking response of forty-plus years on impulse.
"I agree about S2 of 1999. However, I'm one of those weird Star Trek fans who liked S3 better than S2, and almost as much as S1."
This is something, I suppose. Cannot say that I appreciate his agreement with the hostility toward Season Two of Space: 1999, and my appreciation for his words of defence for Star Trek's third season is hampered in consequence.
"As a Star Trek fan myself, I'd say that Season 1 is more similar to Seasons 1 and 2 of ST: TOS, while Season 2 is more similar to Season 3 of ST: TOS and a bit of early ST: TNG."
How so? Explain.
Okay, yes, "This Side of Paradise" is Season One Star Trek, and "Guardian of Piri" is Season One Space: 1999. But "The Rules of Luton" of Season Two Space: 1999 aligns in story essentials with "Arena" of Season One Star Trek. And "Missing Link" of Season One Space: 1999 has distinct similarities to "The Mark of Gideon" of Season Three Star Trek (i.e. the heroic leader on a deserted duplicate of his place of command and encountering therein the daughter of an alien scientist, and him being a valuable item for the research of that alien scientist). Really, though, this is such silliness! The two television series (with all of their seasons) have between them different motivations or objectives for their characters. Need I state them again? Even at the age of ten and eleven, I could tell the difference. Even the similarities between Maya and Spock end at the most basic "resident alien scientist" level of concept. The two characters have very different backgrounds and personalities. As to Star Trek: The Next Generation, it, in most (if not all) of its seasons, used many of the tropes of both Season One and Season Two of Space: 1999. Back in the day, back when I favoured less eloquent turns of phrase, I called them "rip-offs".
From here, the discussion pivots toward the subject of reboot, which thankfully turns the venom tap off for awhile as regards Season Two and my late friend, Fred Freiberger. But elsewhere is a picture of Fred Freiberger and Gerry Anderson, and allusions to Freiberger being Satan, among such smugly ignorant concoctions as the following.
"'How to destroy a television series in three easy steps' First ..."
"Freddy the series slayer..."
"The curse of the Freiberger"
"'So, Gerry, whad ya think of the new series?'
'Well Fred I think it’s a load of shite as it stands!'"
"Never has a more unnecessary and destructive managerial decision been forced onto such an excellent series as when the F took over our Beloved Space: 1999."
"Creator and Destroyer in one photograph"
"GET OUT OF MY OFFICE.!!!!! (important things that were never said.)"
Need I respond to any of this arrogant rot from this band of blinkered losers? Or the "circle-jerk" of approving "like-clicks".
These people are wrong. They were not in the 1990s and today still are not willing to entertain any evidence to the contrary of their vaunted, decades-old opinions. I am so sorry for Mr. Freiberger going to that convention to absolutely no avail. I should not have advised him to go.
The managerial decision was necessary because Sir Lew Grade was unwilling to commission a second season in the "Year 1" format. It was either ring the changes or no Season Two. If a second season of the "Year 1" format had been green-lit, what would have been done with it? What would its 24 episodes have broached as new-to-Space: 1999 concepts? Has anybody ever said? Did the first season's format have a further twenty-four episodes of material in it, without bringing back old antagonists?
And as to the destructiveness of the decision, that is a matter of opinion. A wilfully uninformed opinion. Twenty-four beautiful and aesthetically suggestive episodes were produced under Anderson and Freiberger, and then Grade opted to spend money elsewhere, on feature films and on Return of the Saint. And as it stands, Space: 1999 has 48 episodes, not 24.
There is no evidence for contending that a "Year 1"-formatted Space: 1999 would have endured beyond 1977 and Grade's decisions of that year. It did not endure beyond the 1975-6 television season. Syndication renewals were not a guarantee for a second season as ratings had declined. Changes were required for Grade to give the go-ahead on a second season.
And did anyone, anyone at all, come to the defence of the late Fred Freiberger in the discussion? No, of course not.
"I watched an interview with Martin Landau and he was not happy with the changes of year 2 and had arguments with Fred Freiburger and he said some battles he'd win and some no and he did things just for the script. I missed Victor Paul and Kano and Tanya. I feel the first year was overall just better."
Ah, the feels. The feels. Feelings, not thoughts. Feelings, not facts. Not symbolism. Not motif. Not patterning of episode contents. Not etymology. Okay. How about this? Someone sees Season Two first and then Season One and misses Tony, Maya, Dr. Ben Vincent, and Bill Fraser. A valid feeling, no? And Landau was wrong about Season Two. The man was not perfect. Nobody is. Wherever he is now, he is enlightened about Season Two's beauteous qualities and accepts them. At least, that is what I believe, in accordance with the values with which I was raised.
And I have better things to do with my day than to answer to more of this redundant, cliched garble.
August 12, 2018.
It is known to most of my fellow Canadians that the city in which I live had an incident of gunfire and multiple death on Friday last. What the readers of this Weblog, all twelve of them, may not know is that the incident occurred some seven city blocks from my front door, along a stretch of road that I routinely travel for groceries. I have also walked that road many a time over the past decades. It was downright surreal to see that road on the national television news. And frightening, with all of Northside Fredericton having to lock doors and stay away from windows.
Nothing really ought to shock me anymore. And I should not be shocked by this. With a recent gun-shooting spree in Toronto, the people of Fredericton, including myself, would be justified in thinking that the same sort of mass-killing was happening here. Information was lacking for almost a day.
The killer was in this case a Canadian of European extraction (at least, I presume that to be so, from the man's name). But the fact remains that the streets of my surroundings have been covered in the spilt blood of multiple murder. This is not an occurrence of the Fredericton in which I have lived since 1977. This city has changed. Its population is almost double what it was in the 1970s. The bigger the city, the higher the probability of a "mass-shooting" incident. There is a fraction of any population that has a proclivity to criminality and violence. The larger the population, the larger that fraction, the more that criminal elements are prone to organise and metastasise, and an increased likelihood of violence erupting on a wider scale than just between two people. And there is another factor that I will not address. One that I am sure is on most people's minds. Why has the Fredericton population increased so much while New Brunswick as a whole is constantly being said to be seeing steady population decline? I would note that although Fredericton population has nearly doubled, the city still only has one hospital. Now, there is reasoned, sensible planning. Not! The one hospital in Fredericton is horrible. My father's protracted stay there was a contributing factor in his eventual death.
It is known that I am no fan of Fredericton. The place has not been "my oyster", socially. Apart from a brief fling with some degree of popularity in the early-to-mid-1980s, I have never prospered here as a social being. It is a very snobby city. And even today, with me at the age of 52, I am still jeered-at by passers-by in automobiles while I am walking. As trying as some of these conditions are, at least I was always able to say that Fredericton was a mainly quiet and quite safe city. One of the safest ones on the planet. I can say that no more. I can no longer walk the sidewalks, streets, walking trails in broad daylight with any confidence that I will not be a mortal victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This city therefore has nothing "going for it" at all now. The powers-that-be have made it too big, and they keep allowing further and further development, further and further to the north. And the problems that plague other big cities will become commonplace here. It is a matter of human nature. Human nature is not just suddenly different when one lives in a Canadian province outside of the hustle and bustle of the Toronto heartland.
I am disturbed over what happened. I am sad for the people killed and their families. But I am also angry. Angry that this violence has claimed lives. Angry that it occurred within city blocks of my home. Angry that it has removed yet another pleasure of life from me and others. The pleasure of walking in reasonable assuredness of safety. And I am angry that the news media keeps refusing to acknowledge the existence of the human emotion of anger in reporting on incidents such as the one here in Fredericton. Anger in and of itself does not lead to "the Dark Side" (sorry, Star Wars). Ever heard of righteous indignation? If it is managed properly and used correctly, anger can be a constructive emotion. It can, for instance, spur people to think more prudently about how, or whether, to grow their city. And it is part of the grieving process. If I were to lose a loved one in an act of violence, damned right that I am going to be angry. Acknowledge that people have a right to be angry when something as awful as this occurs. Expression (non-aggressive) of anger is essential for a balanced mind.
I do not really have anything else to say today beyond this.
Brief Weblog update today, August 9, 2018.
I wrote about Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour reconstructions. I have done them on DVD-R. They exist solely for viewing in my home, and for a visual record in my collection of DVD and Blu-Ray of that television series' existence. I do not sell copies or trade for them. Nor will I give away copies. To do so would be illegal.
I have a YouTube channel, but I have "lost track of it". I only ever posted one video on it. About 5 years ago. Just the closing credits of Sylvester and Tweety from 1976, and only because that particular video kept being removed from other people's YouTube channels. I do not have the software for making YouTube-capable video transfers of videotaped material, and I no longer possess any videotaped material apart from the VHS videotape that accompanied Friz Freleng's book. I do routinely peruse YouTube, Dailymotion, etc. for vintage video content from television broadcasts and post Hyperlinks to some of that either here at my Weblog or at my Facebook. The videos themselves were posted on YouTube, etc. by persons other than me. And all too often, those videos are removed, along with the YouTube user, because of copyright violations.
But as regards Facebook, its star has fallen in the past ten years in which I have been a regular Facebook user. Un-friendings, ostracising, and plain rude treatment from friends (such as "singling me out" for non-thank-yous) oblivious to how I feel, have all "taken a toll" on my enthusiasm for social media. And I have misgivings now about an ever-narrowing range of acceptability of political opinion on social media. This is all that I dare say on that matter.
Oh, Facebook still has uses. I still like to post links to YouTube videos. But I find that an increasing number of my Facebook friends are opting out of using that social medium. There is an undeniable paucity of comment from my Facebook friends on what I post to my Facebook. And this has been a trend that has been growing for some time. Now, it is very manifest.
I had some response from friends to my remembering of my 1995 trek. Response with sympathetic words most appreciated by me. But responses by friends to what I post to Facebook are otherwise few and far between. I share my interest in imaginative entertainment with friends on Facebook (and I have done so since 2008), but seldom now do I receive any comment or "like-clicks". I have tried a number of times to walk away from Facebook, but since my parents' deaths, and because I lack a robust in-person social life with friends and am without siblings, Facebook has been exceedingly difficult to expunge from my day-to-day existence. It is my tether for staying connected with the people for whom I have past association and affection. But as I say, its star has fallen over the past ten years.
Oh, I see that the Facebook Space: 1999 fans have returned to their annual practice (they last did it a year ago this month) of invoking Season One's "The Full Circle" to use against Season Two. Rather than "owning" the somewhat ostentatious "nits" of "The Full Circle", they opt to brandish it against Season Two, asserting that it, with its flaws, belongs there. No, it does not. It is a Season One episode. It has Season One's deliberate style. "Atmosphere" as opposed to much dialogue. Mysterious force acting through the mist. Cave people motif "borrowed" from that illustrious and unassailable 2001. And some of them are even saying, with correction from no one, that it is a Season Two episode. This is how far gone that these people are. And they call me delusional. But yet again, these are the people whose opinion matters, whose opinion is everything. Mine is nothing. I am nothing. Garbage. Trash. Rubbish. Yes, that is me, as far as they are concerned.
Yet another day in La-La Land.
August 7, 2018
It is my final day of vacation today, and I am in a plaintive frame of mind as a result of that.
Oh, dear! Does this mean that some "pathetic whining" is on my agenda for today? It depends, I guess, on what sort of "whining" is deemed to be pathetic.
I was on vacation this year for more than three weeks. During almost all of that time, it was either oppressively hot and humid, or it was raining. I went twice to the Miramichi region. Day visits only. First time, it was so hot that I could not walk around for more than five minutes before I needed cooling. Even in shaded areas. My second visit to the Miramichi area, this past Sunday, was on possibly the only day this summer when it was not scorchingly hot and not raining. I spent most of my Miramichi-region-situated time on that day in the former town of Chatham. There is not much remaining of my personal geography in the towns and villages along the river Miramichi. The past few years have been especially brutal in seeing my cherished places destroyed or drastically altered. I dare not say precisely where I go now, because that would most assuredly guarantee that those places will be next to be wiped away from the face of the Earth. But there are a couple of locations in Chatham that have remained more or less the same as they were when I lived in that region if New Brunswick.
I sat in contemplation for several minutes, longing for my life of yesteryear, when my parents were living, I was a youngster, and the world under my parents' generation's control, was largely governed by common sense, deficit financing was not as yet out of control, there was prosperity, and the future looked bright. People dared to dream, all things seemed possible, and my friends and I were children in the best time ever for being such. I long for, I ache for, a return to that world lost long ago. And I will, for the remainder of my days, yearn for such a return in every cell of my heart.
My late friend, Sandy, and I sat on his doorstep seven summers ago talking about how blessed we were to have been fanciful boys in the 1970s. I still believe that and will always believe that. Blu-Ray resolution aside, I hate living in today's world. And every day that comes gives to me more reason to feel that way.
This year, I have lost tasty Hamburger Helper and the Dairy Queen chili dog. Some Weblog entries ago, I speculated as to the cause of the latter's removal from my life. I want to qualify my speculations. Food regulation is a federal responsibility in Canada, not a provincial one. My job prohibits me from criticising government and politicians on a provincial level, and I need to make clear that what I said was specific to federal governance. Increases to minimum wage have been undertaken in jurisdictions throughout Canada (it was not solely a decision of New Brunswick's government, but was a coordinated one made across the country), and any decision made by Dairy Queen based on those wage increases was no doubt at a national level. I have been informed that chili dogs are no longer being offered at Dairy Queen franchises in Nova Scotia. So, this is not a development isolated to New Brunswick.
I did not stop at Dairy Queen in Newcastle to have lunch on my latest visit to the Miramichi region. I ate at Pizza Delight in Chatham. I doubt that I will be stopping at the Newcastle Dairy Queen on most of my occasions to be in the Miramichi area. That is a consequence of the decision made by that chain of restaurants. If I want a hamburger or chicken strips or a chicken wrap, I can go to any number of places for those. The chili dog was unique among fast food restaurant chains, to Dairy Queen. And now it is gone. And I will decide accordingly where I go to eat in future.
But enough about food.
I find myself questioning the purpose of maintaining this Weblog, and my Website. These past few years, I have dedicated the largest bulk of my Weblog's Web space to responding to attacks by a hive mind upon Season Two of that now quite obscure 1970s television show, Space: 1999. Why? I have no hope of changing the outlook of any of those people in the fan movement of that television show, or of vindicating myself from the bad reputation with which I have been saddled for more than 23 years. No matter how many times that I show those people to be wrong in their anti-second-season statements (to say nothing of their poor writing skills), and regardless of any artistic flourishes that I may observe, Jekyll and Hyde symbolism in "Journey to Where" or whatever, their opinion will continue to be seen as the only one that is legitimate. By any publications that may opt to remember that television relic that is Space: 1999. And that opinion will be expressed daily in the smuggest ways possible on Internet discussion forums. I cannot hope to win. I will go to my grave the outsider deemed to be mentally deficient, while they will be octogenarian purveyors of the anti-Fred Freiberger, anti-Season Two worded jab. All that I can really hope to do is to continue intelligently and eloquently replying to the sorties to satisfy myself that I have said everything that I can say, to try to counter the refrains of the "echo-chambered" herd. For my own peace of mind, I suppose.
I "hold out" no hope of Dean ever publishing his project on nuance, symbolism, and episode patterning in a season-encompassing artistic storyline. Twenty-eight years ago in a house in Belledune, New Brunswick, he told to me that I needed to be patient, that I needed to wait until he is ready to being the whole project into the public arena of ideas. That day has not come, and I despair that it never will come. And even if it were to come in, say, 2022, the fans will reject it anyway, with the handy-dandy ad hominem of mental defectiveness. The general public will not care one way or the other. No, if I want vindication, if I want people to say, "Gee, Kevin was right after all," it is not going to be in this life. All I can do is to pray that my grandmother was right, that God and heaven are real, and that we do go to the Pearly Gates. And that the people who bore false witness against me will there have to account for themselves.
And in the meantime, for the remainder of my life, stay true to my veneration of the works that I fancy. Only though that can I maintain some degree of self-respect and perhaps the respect of the handful of people who read this Weblog.
Yes, a handful of people is all whose eyes into which this Weblog's words pass. Whether they be defending Season Two of Space: 1999, lamenting the demise of DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons, addressing issues with Blu-Ray releases of DePatie-Freleng cartoons, or on rare occasion venturing an opinion on world or national politics of the day. The last of these, I shall be doing much less of, because I risk de-platforming in the putting forward of observations or ideas contrary to accepted current "narrative". To be conservative-minded, even if only slightly to the Right of political Centre, is to risk censure. I am an outcast from entertainment fandoms. That is enough. I propose to "leave it at that". I will quietly cast my vote for the political party most in tandem with my mindset on matters of politics and governance. That is all.
Do I envision anything other than a bleak future as regards the imaginative entertainments that I fancy and the world in general? Alas, no. Even if the Fukushima disaster is not an Extinction Level Event (E.L.E.), the Western civilisation some of whose works I admire, does seem to be in a suicidal death spiral. It is "on its way out". Star Trek is not going to happen.
It would be nice if humans would at least acknowledge the capacity of the collective unconscious to influence imaginative works. But that is not going to happen either.
I return to work tomorrow with a bleak outlook. I am sorry. I cannot help it.
This past week, I "swapped out" "Don't Axe Me" for "Wild Over You" in my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour reconstructions on DVD. The final step in making an "across-the-board" correction of the contents of Show 3. I am quite confident now that I have the correct contents for the twenty-six episodes of Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour- Season One as shown on CBC Television between 1969 and 1975.
A rather poor quality YouTube video has surfaced showing the introduction to Bunny et ses amis that was on Radio-Canada in 1975 and 1976. It fully refreshed my memory of it. Bugs and Daffy do sing "This is it" in French. The visuals are "flopped". And there is a spartan title card for the television series appearing before "This is it". The Other Television Shows Starring the Warner Brothers Cartoon Characters Web page has been updated accordingly. I have also added some cartoon title cards for the Merrie Melodies television show to same Web page.
To see the aforementioned YouTube video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEqqGqxfN8M.
Last Weblog entry, I stated that Six Million Dollar Man fandom is not renowned for looking for scapegoats for the cancellation of its fancied television programme. On what do I base this statement? I have read the product reviews for the Six Million Dollar Man Time-Life DVDs. And reviews of The Six Million Dollar Man at the Internet Movie Database. If there was a tendency toward scapegoating on the part of fans of that television series, that would have bled into the reviews. I saw almost none of that. What blaming there may be is placed on television network policies for not allowing cross-over episodes for Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers and on a certain television network executive who cancelled The Bionic Woman twice, which boded poorly for the seminal bionics television series. But the blaming was not widespread among the reviewers. It was rare. And Fred Freiberger's name was invoked nowhere. If there is any ill will harboured toward him in the fan community for the bionics television series, it is not evident within my scope of knowledge. I believe that most fans of The Six Million Dollar Man are content with the five-season run of it on television. It "hit" all of its creative marks before the public taste "moved on" to wishing to see a Star Wars on television, hence Battlestar Galactica (The Six Million Dollar Man's replacement), and there are almost 100 episodes of it "in the can". That was a more than ample amount of episodes for syndication.
It is Space: 1999 fans who like to "harp" about it, because it would appear to buttress their stance against "show killer" Freiberger. And they are wrong. With The Six Million Dollar Man, Fred Freiberger happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, co-producing (with Richard Landau) a television series that had already run its course. Apart from Lee Majors shaving off his moustache and having longer, permed hair, and there being no cross-overs with The Bionic Woman, the episodes of the fifth Six Million Dollar Man season really are not particularly distinguishable from those of the fourth. The fourth season that, aside from outstanding Bigfoot, Fembot, and Venus probe episodes, was showing signs of fatigue in the television series' range of concepts. The fifth season's episodes' subject matter varied with investigation of mundane Earthly enemy machinations, foiling of mad scientists, some space exploration phenomena, and some aliens. As had Season 4's episodes. There are extraterrestrials in Seasons 2, 3, 4, and 5. So, it was not as though Fred Freiberger brought otherworldly unbelievability (unbelievability for persons refusing to a suspension of disbelief) into a previously "grounded" television programme. It had already ventured into the territory of the far-fetched.
I found this little gem at one of the Facebook groups for good old Space: 1999 this morning.
"Season 1, was definitely better, by bulk episodes. Then 'Myra' was brought in to resurrect season 2, but it never happened unfortunately. The episodes were inferior writings, somewhat muddled and clouded out by most often, psycodelic lighting and strange disco music, going on in the background."
Muddled writing, eh? Pot, meet kettle. Anyone who cannot correctly spell the name of the character played by Catherine Schell, forty-two years after the fact, should not possibly be regarded seriously. And the other comments, without any examples to give any substance to them, are just drivel. Poorly written drivel. These are the people for whom I am supposed to throw my impressions of and aesthetic appreciation for Season Two to the wind and genuflect with abject apologies for how wrong I have been lo, these many years?
I should think not.
August 4, 2018.
The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page and the supplemental image gallery thereto, have been updated, with further cartoon title cards added. I have also added another image to my autobiography's Era 2.
As an addition to my little rant last Weblog entry about my 1995 journey, I will note, to be fair (one must strive to be fair), that the club president did aim camera and press camera button for several photographs of me at locations in Alberta. But a total stranger would have done the same actions for me had I asked him or her to do such. I would do them for someone if I was asked. So would most people.
And, yes, I was at those locations courtesy of him. But as I have said, he had his strategic reasons for conveying me to those places. Along with opportunities to "show off" his spectacular province to the yokel from the nothing part of the country. As an extension of action from such, pushing a button on a camera would be a trifle.
God knows, I would prefer for the photographs to have been snapshot by someone else. Just about anyone else. But what is done is done. I do not think that I will ever go back to Alberta in my lifetime so that more pictures can be attained, to replace the ones that he snapshot. So, the photographs that came of his button-pressing will be my only visual record of my having been in those places. I accept that. I have no choice but to accept that. But any everlasting gratitude that I would be morally compelled to have is effectively erased by his behaviour toward me back at his abode and en route to and in Regina. And by his befouling of my reputation because I would not yield utterly to his bullying. And his convincing the Reginan, my purported friend, to side with him.
And in siding with him, the Reginan nullified the good hospitality that he had extended to me. That he had extended to me mostly on my outward portion of my journey. He had been a good host. A very good host. In fairness, I have to grant to him this commendation. But in the end, he was not a good friend. Not a friend at all. If he had been my friend, he would have believed my account of the president's demeanour and effort to force my capitulation, he would have bristled at the invalidating of me being done by the president while we three were together (he had always claimed to abhor bullying and invalidation, and the president was clearly doing that when we were a threesome), and he would not have gone on an "excursion" with the president two months after I returned home. An "excursion" by which the president persuaded him to throw me under the modern-proverbial bus. He never telephoned me again after that "excursion" or answered his telephone to me. And he did join my detractors in that final newsletter issue. He was a good host. I say that in all fairness. He would have been so to anyone, I would guess. Even to someone whom he did not consider to be a friend. In the final analysis, though, with everything said and done, does his hospitality "make up for" his later repudiation of me and his siding with the enemy? I reckon not. How could it?
But I try to be fair. And I acknowledged the amenable aspects of my stays with those two young men. I leave the unfairness to my detractors led by that person in Calgary. All of them belonging to the preeminent persuasion of fandom to which he and his buddy in Regina are very keen adherents.
And now, I propose to leave aside remembrance of the trek of 1995. Moving onward.
Of late, the favourite angle of attack on Season Two of Space: 1999 at that television series' Facebook groups is to "caption" a posted photograph or video frame grab of someone looking startled, befuddled, perplexed, appalled, or quarrelsome, with some reference to Fred Freiberger or to one of the Freiberger-scripted episodes. They think that they are being good-humouredly funny when they are just showing their deficiency in couth, their wilful disrespect for a dead man, and their unending conceited asininity.
The degree to which I am sick and tired of these people is way off of the possible charts of measurement. With the ordeal through which I went in 1995, how could I not be bothered by these incessant reminders of the season bias and biliously condescending attitude of the people who wanted my guts, or failing that an eternally binding besmirching of my good name, for my submitting some provoked faultfinding and my leaving a club and a fan movement within which it was proved that there could be no respect and no place for me and my appreciation for Season Two?
Fans of Star Trek have actually "come around" to acknowledging that Fred Freiberger's Star Trek season had imagination and that the cancellation of Star Trek was not based on story-writing or production quality, or any lack thereof, of the television series in its third season. They have, for the most part, accepted that the cancellation was an inevitable decision by NBC that did not like Star Trek or Gene Roddenberry, and that the reduction in budget for the third season had come about because of changes in production company (from monetarily flexible Desilu to uncompromisingly pinchpenny Paramount). A book published in recent years, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season 3, by Marc Cushman, has amply cultivated the field for the improving of Fred Freiberger's reputation in Star Trek circles. Season Three of Star Trek has many laudable episodes. The imagination in it is strong. Much stronger than that in Star Trek Season Two. Production did what it could with the budget that it had, and managed to bring the Enterprise to many imaginative worlds. Yes, "Spock's Brain" should never have been commissioned (though I do find it to be far more watchable than the second season's "Friday's Child" and "A Private Little War"; life just is not long enough for me to allocate an hour of my time for the watching again of either of those). As a concept, it could have worked, had the production team opted for a different approach to it. If Spock, body and brain, had been abducted by the Eymorgs and connected to a vast mechanism for his brainwaves to power it, there could have been an admirable episode of import yielded by the concept. As it is, perhaps it might be viewed as a nightmare that Spock has while he is in a state of insanity after viewing the Kollos in "Is There in Truth No Beauty?". Or maybe it is a simple-minded Eymorg's conception of the episode (that had transpired differently in "reality") from the reading of a written account of Kirk's visit to their planet, that Kirk left with the Eymorgs after removing Spock from them, in an effort on Kirk's part to prevent them from opting to abduct another highly intelligent individual to power their mechanism. To show to them the value of the individual spirit and the essence of friendship.
Anyway, Star Trek fandom seems largely to have "moved on" from its Freiberger-blaming patterns of thinking, and fans of The Wild, Wild West venerate Freiberger, while Space: 1999 fandom is mired for all time (or for as long as its loutish legions continue to draw oxygen) in quasi-intellectual hatred for the man, oblivious to any different points of view. And pridefully closed-minded toward any appreciative observation of the twenty-four episodes of Season Two. I have never been in Six Million Dollar Man fandom. Any ill will that it may harbour toward Fred Freiberger is outside of my scope of knowledge. But I doubt, I very much doubt, that it is as malignant and persistent as Space: 1999 fandom's unending fetish for Freiberger-reviling and smug, anti-Freiberger quipping.
Readers of my Website know that I interviewed Fred Freiberger many years ago. Early 1999, in fact. I had been given his address by someone who knew a contact of his. I wrote a lengthy letter to him, and he responded. I will never forget the night on which I came home late from a long day at my job to find his letter on the kitchen counter. He was very appreciative of my interest in his work and very thorough in answering the questions that I posed in my letter. We exchanged some further correspondence which, along with first exchange of letters, formulated the interview that, with his permission and indeed his gratitude, I put on my Website. It was noticed almost immediately by the Internet-based Space: 1999 fandom. There was a minority of Space: 1999 fans who expressed some appreciation of it. But the pejorative of "fanboyish" was applied to it by the usual movers and shakers, and that became the "tack" that the Season One pundits would use toward it if it were to be referenced in some discussion. The "fanboy" designation was being applied to me, presumably for how I worded my questions. The fact that I was asking questions to a man of nearly eighty years who had not met me nor ever heard of me before did mean prefacing my questions in a very respectful manner with very specific points of reference to facilitate his recall. He had had a stroke and was in recovery from it. He was nearly eighty years-old. And Space: 1999 was at that time more than two decades in his past. But as I so often say, Space: 1999 fans are not reasonable people.
However, convention organisers that year (1999) said that they liked the interview and because of it they wanted Fred Freiberger to attend their September 13, 1999 convention in Los Angeles. He had never before been approached, nor even considered, to be a guest at a Space: 1999 convention. He wrote to me and asked whether I thought his going to the convention would be advisable, knowing as he did, from me, how disdainful and hostile toward him that the fans were. So, I communicated with the convention organisers. Some of them I trusted more than others. Or mistrusted less than others. No, it would be unfair to say mistrust as an encompassing statement. There was among the organisers a lady who had been quite kind to me when I joined fandom in 1984. And there were two people I knew who would be at the convention, people who I trusted would watch over him, "have his back", as it were. Still, I had misgivings about the idea of him going to the convention. But it would probably be his only opportunity to appear before the fans and face them with his side of the story. To potentially "win them over" and to partake in a celebration of the television series whose second season he had worked to craft. And to see some of his colleagues again. Of course, I had my doubts. And for good reason. But I did not want for my bitterness toward the fans to negatively impact him. I therefore counseled that he go, that he find sympathetic persons there, and rely upon them if his reception became unpleasant.
He went to the convention, and he was superlative in his courage, resolutely seating himself before the fans in an auditorium, and fielding their questions. A man nearly eighty years-old, recovering from a stroke, and possessing a will of iron and a lifelong valour engendered in wartime combat. He answered all of their questions to the best of his memory and defended his decisions. My contacts who were with him said that he had "won the crowd over". I was not convinced of that. I later saw videotape-recordings of the convention and his appearance there. The fans were speaking to him in disrespectful, discordant tones of voice. The man of nearly eighty years had fought in World War Two for their freedoms. And he had done everything he could to preserve Space: 1999 for a second season. And he was there at that convention for their celebration of their favourite television show. And they were speaking to him as insolent high school students would address a supply teacher who they did not like. He "took it in stride". Johnny Byrne sat with him to help him to decipher questions whose intent or details of interest may have been unclear. Johnny Byrne was one of his most vocal detractors but was generously helpful in making the convention appearance experience a manageable undertaking for him.
After the convention, he wrote a letter to me, said that he enjoyed the convention, and thanked me for the advice that I had given to him on his going to it. He sent to me a signed copy of a script for "The Metamorph" and lauded the quality of friends I had at the time (my contacts who stayed close to him at the convention). And he sent a Christmas card to me that year. My contacts insisted that he had greatly impressed the convention-goers and that opinion would improve for him and for Season Two in the fan movement. I was dubious. I did not expect any improvement at all. And as is known now, there was none. Quite the contrary. The rancour has become worse and worse in the years since that convention. And after Mr. Freiberger died in 2003, the fans could scarcely wait until his body was cold before they questioned whether they could still "make fun" of him. Which of course they do as regular, day-to-day practice. To this day, and evermore. But it will only be them. Star Trek fandom has "moved on". The Wild, Wild West fandom never disliked him. And Six Million Dollar Man fandom is not renowned for looking for scapegoats for the cancellation of its fancied television programme.
All for today, August 1, 2018.
July 28, 2018. Twenty-three years ago, in 1995, I was on an aeroplane, on my return to home from a Space: 1999 fan convention in Los Angeles and some unpleasantly-impacting-upon-me stays with two Canadian fellows of the fan following of that television series. More on that later in this Weblog entry.
My fears are confirmed. The Dairy Queen chili dog is an extinct beast in both Fredericton and Newcastle. I was at the Newcastle Dairy Queen yesterday, having gone north to the Miramichi region for a few hours. Though the menu no longer had hot dogs listed anywhere, the staff on duty let me have one, while saying that they were being "gotten rid of". This is a terrible time as one pleasure after another is being removed from my life.
I was not given an explanation for why hot dogs at Dairy Queen are going the way of the Do-Do. They have been a standard offering at all Dairy Queen restaurants since I first knew of those restaurants' existence in the early 1970s (way back when Dennis the Menace characters were on all of the restaurant's products), and now they are passing into the ether. Quietly. Without any uproar.
I have some theories about why this is happening. Frankfurters and all processed meats have been receiving negative press attention in recent years. Demand may have diminished. There is nothing wrong with eating hot dogs in moderation. One a month. But people in large numbers may have dropped them outright from their diet. Why the negative press attention? There is usually a reason for that beyond concern for the public welfare. There is these days always some agenda behind the media's attention toward anything. If the media was concerned about public health, the Fukushima disaster would never have been pushed into a "memory hole". It could just be some government agency busy-bodily flexing muscle to restrict the public's food choice, on the premise that it is trying to reduce diet-related disease. And the media being the government's propaganda arm, if it tells the people not to eat hot dogs, for health or for other reasons, people will not eat them. Government agencies love to flex muscle. It makes them look like they are doing something. And somehow, controlling every facet of people's lives appeals to some government persons. A more likely explanation is that Dairy Queen is streamlining its menu, to lessen the breadth of employees' food preparation tasks and their paid training time, and to reduce overhead paid to suppliers, to save money now that minimum wage has been increased.
Whatever the explanation for my latest loss, I had my final Newcastle Dairy Queen chili dog on Friday, and it was a most solemn occasion.
A third Pink Panther Blu-Ray disc from Kino Lorber is now announced for September. Twenty-two cartoons this time. Comprising the final batch of cartoons made before The Pink Panther Show premiered in 1969. I am looking forward to it, with fingers crossed that there are no audio issues with it.
In the past week to ten days, I have been remembering my trans-North-American odyssey of 1995. What good that there was in it (almost none at all), what bad there was, and what ugliness there was.
I have been remembering it to my friends on Facebook. Some of them expressed their sympathies with what adversity I had to endure. Others probably just regarded it with bemusement, wondering why I was in a fan club at all, much less trying to make some measure of difference in it on the matter of one-season-versus-the-other. Twenty-three years of hindsight do have me puzzling over what I was thinking in embarking upon that woeful misadventure.
Oh, I met Nick Tate. I went on the odyssey expecting to meet Martin Landau and Barbara Bain and Barry Morse and Nick Tate. They all were the guests listed in the Command Conference convention's advertisement. But only Mr. Tate was at the convention (and for only a couple of hours), stating his usual "talking points" oriented around his disliking for Season Two and Fred Freiberger, to the whooping applause of everyone in the room but me. Mr. Tate did not seem to be very impressed with me as I introduced myself to him at the autograph signing and told him of where I lived. And I was much too tongue-tied at meeting someone from "the show" at last to have said anything really cogent.
An auctioneer commented that a photograph of Season Two's "The Metamorph" could be used as a dartboard. And everyone except me guffawed. And the only Space: 1999-related conversation from fans with whom I dined, was on which episodes of Season Two they disliked the most.
Actually, though, the convention that I attended in Los Angeles was not the "low point" of the trans-continental travelling, though it was certainly a dispiriting experience for me. No, the nadir was in my return journey and my stay with the fan club president in Alberta and then in his and my visit in Saskatchewan with a fellow Space: 1999 fan and the then publisher of the club newsletter.
To say that I was the "odd one out" is to put it mildly. I came home defeated, completely "on the outs" (as my late father would say) with the Calgary, Alberta-based president of the fan club and soon to be excommunicated by a fellow in Saskatchewan who preferred the club president to me. Both of them being Season One adherents, how could I possibly have expected anything else? The club president had, unbeknown to me, been "itching" for an in-person confrontation with me and effected that as I was at a disadvantage not on my turf (or even neutral turf) but on his, thousands of miles from home and dependent on his hospitality.
The McGuffin of the latest, most immediate conflict between myself and the club president that marred that odyssey (or marred it the most; I cannot say that my attending the convention in Los Angeles was an edifying experience either, it, also, having been marred by some displeasing circumstances or events) was my most recent club newsletter column by which I, for the first time, called extensive attention to "nitpicks" with the first season's content, in response to years of slurring of Season Two for anything and everything. To gain my support in the forming of the club, its self-appointed president had promised to me that both seasons would be respectfully treated, with intelligent appreciation of both of them being club policy. And as a gesture of good faith, I submitted content for the club's first three newsletters that was whole-heartedly complimentary of Season One. I remember writing a lauding analysis of the first season episode, "Mission of the Darians". Within the first two years of the club's existence, a bias against the second season had become most clearly manifest in the submissions of fans approved for printing, in British magazine articles reprinted in the newsletter, and in the bearing of the president who in his telephone conversations with me and in the "Ultimate Guidebook" on which he and I had collaborated was routinely disparaging Season Two from his position of presumed authority on the subject of the television series.
My handicap was that I am self-aware and self-critical by nature, and that I was with someone, and beholden as a guest, thousands of miles from home, to someone without a smidgen, without the tiniest trace, of self-awareness and self-criticism. Someone who is arrogantly convinced of his infallibility and who is determined for his point of view against what I venerate, to be supremely prevalent. And I had "gone after" his precious "Year One", and he felt threatened by that. I was more astute, more intellectual (if I must say so myself), and better written than he. And my then associate, Dean, especially so on all three counts. Dean was isolated from the group (him having left the club in its initial months, chafing from the president's anti-Season Two bias that he perceived then) and silent. I had been conciliatory. I had thought that devotees of Season One exclusive, could be worked-with in an environment of cooperation and mutual respect. Fool that I was. Fool that I also was to "nitpick" Season One in advance of a visit with this imperious person.
With my column, there I was, ostensibly (as he saw it) "taking the battle" toward him and his cosy "echo chamber" that he had grown in "his" club over the course of five years. As long as I was ever on the defencive, beleaguered with incessant reading of slights on Season Two in the newsletter (or reprinted articles in the newsletter attacking Season Two, articles whose "wittiness" amused him, he intimated, prior to his shows of apparent rebuttal of them), and without vocal allies, coming, aggrieved, to the aid of the ever-put-upon second season in solitary response to routine sorties against it in the newsletter, I could be regarded as an obscure and ineffectual "dufus". But I had "crossed the line". And I had to be "slapped down" for it. Oh, he wanted for my column to continue, but in a neutered way, confining itself to "fluff pieces" like "this character is 'cool' in such and such an episode" when daring to address Season Two at all. And after I had "taken my lumps" and been resoundingly vilified by other fans and by him in a "hit piece" on me in the newsletter.
If I had been in the company of a gentleman, he would have said, "I have a disagreement with your latest column. I don't want to spoil your trip or your stay with me by going into it here. We can hammer it out when you're home and we're both on our own ground." But, no, he "took advantage" of my being his house-guest at a late hour at which I was tired after a long day and upon which going to a hotel would not have been a viable option, to assert his authority over me as president and to try to force some huge capitulation on my part as regards my appreciation of Season Two and my column's content henceforth. And when I would not utterly "cave" and abjectly capitulate to his dictates and spoke of just retiring the column outright and was also entertaining, to myself, thoughts of walking away completely from "his" club, I had to be character-assassinated. Which was what he undertook to do when we were with our mutual chum (soon to be his bosom buddy and my detractor) in the Saskatchewan capital city of Regina. Insinuations that I am a stupid rustic from an eastern province, with screws loose upstairs. Some as laughable as asserting that there is something wrong with me for my locking a car door with all of my travel belongings inside the vehicle. That pathetic attempt at invalidation should be laughable to any reasonable person. But these are not reasonable people, these Space: 1999 fans. It was the beginning of a campaign to discredit me totally in the fan movement, to bestow unto me a reputation so bad that nothing that I had ever said, or will say, could be seriously considered. And it was a successful campaign, as I am lumbered to this day with the reputation that he applied to me at what ought to have been my understandable leaving of "his" club. And any efforts by me to counter it dismissed as the paranoid drivel of a delusional crank.
He is very good, ultimately, at what he does. I will grant to him that compliment. Using people and then destroying them, their reputation, and smelling like a rose after having done that deed from his high horse of imperiousness as the president, as the "Ultimate Guidebook" writer, as the anointed one of the fan movement, the actors all favouring him, is his forte; he has it "down to a science". I was not the first person to leave his retinue. He had managed to "pooh-pooh" the others' departure and to present himself as without fault, as pure and noble. His portrayal of me as "Kevin the Destroyer", the non-team-player, the person who ruins everything that he touches, "flies in the face" of my team-player collaboration with him in the first releases of his "Guidebook", my good faith in helping in the starting of his club, my having "stuck with" the club and him for as long as I did, and my spearheading of the latter campaign that succeeded in bringing Space: 1999 to YTV for two years, from 1990 to 1992. Indeed it does, but he was successful in dismissing all of that as irrelevant.
Anyone with a modicum of empathy and rationality would have acknowledged that my inflammatory column "nitpicking" Season One was provoked. And it really was not very thorough. I further concede that it was far from being my best work. I acknowledged that at the time of my inquisition- but I should not have done so. One should never budge an inch in responding to the attacks of non-self-critical people. A reasonable person would not partake in a verbal lynching of me or a group's approval of such, over some provoked "nitpicks". A reasonable person would not judge me utterly and for all time and completely invalidate my past work in aid of the television show. But these are not reasonable people. I had to "find that out the hard way".
My huge mistake in 1995 was in planning that trek and scheduling overnight stays and a number of days in the close company of people whom I had not met. And with one of whom with whom I had had disagreement in the past. Though we had in recent months appeared to find an "entente cordiale", I believe his intention, upon hearing that I would like to meet him on my westward trek, was to try to force an understanding entirely on his "terms", and my latest, incendiary column had given to him a convenient brickbat with which to proclaim his differences with me in an accusatory manner, denying to me any quarter, any concession. Me being utterly "in the wrong", as he would argue. He said in a most cutting and condescending tone, "You know what this is going to do? Don't you?" And he answered the question before I could utter a sound. He said that I had only made things worse for my beloved Season Two. And that he was going to give to me quite a verbal thrashing in the next newsletter. Oh, not because I had unleashed the dogs of war in fans' expected retaliations and that Season Two may suffer for it. He did not give a "flying flip" about Season Two or my appreciation of it. His concern was that Season One had been violated. That was unacceptable. I therefore had to be "made an example of". And so, I would have to face a scorching reproval from him, together with what any other fans may say. The next newsletter would be an "open season" on Kevin McCorry the loser, and the president was going to relish it. Things might go easier for me if I was contrite and meekly "took my lumps". But it was clear that I would henceforth be the "village idiot".
In writing that column I had given to him ammunition for my destruction. And while we were in Regina, he kept insinuating to our mutual friend that I have screws loose somewhere. That would the basis for his assassination of my character. That plus my alleged inability to be a team player.
As for the column, it was nowhere near as thorough as it could have been. In this Weblog, I have delved into faultfinding vis-a-vis first season episodes much more comprehensively and articulately. I loved the first season so much that I could not then perceive many of the lapses in story or depiction that I now see. It was far from being a definitive "nitpicking" exercise. And I will say that it was by far the worst column that I had written. But it did expose the hypocrisy of the fans. They attack Season Two relentlessly, and one is a precious "wuss" if one objects to that and should be laughed off of the proverbial stage as being an infantile crybaby, but to point to imperfection in Season One is to invite the most vicious of reactions by a hysterical "mob". "How dare you! HOW DARE YOU! HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!"
"Yes, Kevin the Destroyer, that's who you are!"
Oh, yes. Kevin who led the letter campaign to YTV to return Space: 1999 to television screens across Canada. The successful letter campaign. Kevin who, in 1994, "took on" Sci-Fi Universe magazine over a Chris Gore "hit piece" written about Space: 1999. Kevin who represented the fan club at the convention because the president was unable to attend it, gave copies of the newsletter to Nick Tate, and spoke positively about the club in a podium address to a crowd and may have brought to it some new members. Kevin who was one of the first contributors to the newsletter and who had suggested names (e.g. "Neutrino Transmissions From..." and "Taybor's Emporium") for a number of the newsletter sections and whose ideas had elevated the nomenclature of the newsletter from such banal, non-Space: 1999-specific titles as "Stuff and Nonsense". All wilfully overlooked by people who would have his head on a Fred Freiberger hater's brandished sword.
I had submitted a regular column in the newsletter urging a more considered perspective on Season Two than was being adhered-to by the herd. I was trying to shed light on the beauteous and meaningful aspects of the second season. The club president had invited me to do so with a regular column, proclaiming that he wanted "shaking up" of the views of one's fellow fans with new approaches to regarding the subject matter. And now he suddenly was telling me that he did not like those particular columns and wanted me to limit myself to observations that did not challenge anyone to concede to Season Two any merit beyond characterisation. The superiority of Season One to Season Two must never be questioned. Anyone who favours Season Two or respects both seasons in equal measure must be regarded as a wrong-thinking oaf of limited intellectual means. The "orthodoxy" of fan attitudes must be maintained. It still had to be, "Switch brain off while watching Season Two." And cheer when the actors express dislike for it.
He was obnoxious toward me on our journey to and stay in Regina. He was terse and short of words with me when we left Calgary in the morning. He ate cold chicken as we undertook our eastbound journey by highway, content that it would be sufficient nourishment for him for the morning and afternoon and caring not one whit about his guest, his passenger, as the lunch hour came and went. He kept pressing the accelerator pedal until I, famished, asked at around 3 o'clock if we could stop somewhere so that I could eat something. And although we did stop, he said in an haughty tone of voice that I (yes, I) was not being considerate, that we would be late arriving in Regina (we were not late; we had to wait awhile for our friend to join us) because of me. Upon our arrival in Regina, before and during our dinner with our mutual chum, he was purposefully disagreeing in a clipped manner with everything that I said, trying to goad me into a dispute. He did not give a rat's derriere how I felt about anything by then, for I was to be mortified, chastened, rendered wretchedly ineffectual in the club. He probably had expected that I would just "take it" and not quit. And if I were to quit, he would have the last word, anyway.
Oh, he did conduct me to some of Alberta's scenic locations during my stay with him, and had his own reasons for doing so. Probably to portray me as ungrateful if I was in any way critical of him for his tactics on the matter of my column. And his car-drive to Regina proved to benefit him in his acquiring there a Space: 1999 toy. That plus opportunity to invalidate me to the Reginan as many times as he could probably justified for him the time and expense of the Regina sojourn.
I quit his club and would need to be cast in the villain's role. But no matter what I did, I would be censured, vilified, tarred and feathered. All that I could do was to minimise my losses and leave the fray with some vestigial amount of dignity. Those losses included the fellow in Regina and other fans with whom I was corresponding. They would not believe anything that I said about my detrimental stay with the president (it was my word against his) and about how I was being character-assassinated, my every contribution to the cause of Space: 1999 dismissed.
My dues had expired after the newsletter with my inflammatory column, and there was no way in Hades' hole that I would pay money to read that next newsletter with me in the villain's role. I learnt of that newsletter some years later from someone who was in the club at that time. I learnt of what was said about me in it. I learnt of my former chum in Regina's disavowal of me and his agreement with the president. Just knowing of it second-hand, from another person, was distressing enough.
I would not pay any more money to that club and its president for all the tea in China (if indeed I liked tea). I ought to have followed Dean out of its door years previous. But I was a fool. I thought that the "Year One" "camp" could be worked-with and that some headway was possible in improving Season Two's standing. Pah! If anything, the state of affairs today on Facebook is indicative of the impossibility of such.
The club came to an end sometime after that "open season on Kevin McCorry" newsletter.
The fact that only one more newsletter was printed after I quit the club upon my return to home from my trek and before the club "folded", only reinforced the contention that I am "the Destroyer". Actually, the burgeoning Internet was, by mid-1996, seen as the ultimate platform for fandom, and the club ceased operations in favour of the World Wide Web. But I was pilloried in that final newsletter, and the Season One pundit rank and file (the sort of people whose comments on Facebook and elsewhere I have rebutted and grammatically dissected here in this Weblog) had me in mind as the individual to blame for whatever became of the fan club. Oh, it was quite a hatchet job. But perhaps I should wear my bad reputation with honour, as the people unfavourably judging me in perpetuity and ignoring the good that I did, are scarcely an agreeable and really intelligent assemblage of persons. Even if they are regarded as having the only legitimate opinion on the television series.
Still, what was I thinking in 1995 as I stepped onto the aeroplane at Fredericton YFC airport? It was the thinking of a gullible fool who was walking into the lion's den.
Twenty-three years hence, after losing my parents, and long after losing all vestiges of my former naivete, there is no possibility of me succumbing to that gullibility again.
I have mentioned no names in remembering my westward journey and ordeal in 1995. They may have befouled my name, but I will not stoop to the same level. Granted, anyone who was in Space: 1999 fandom at that time would know who these people are. But my bad reputation in fan circles having been cemented to me, none of those fans would give to me the time of day, much less seek me out on the Internet and read this Weblog. And even if any of them were to read this, they are all in their cosy bubble, in common cause to the hatred for Season Two, and would not think negative thoughts about anyone in their complement based on anything that I say. Nobody in that fan movement then or now would give to me any credence, nor any semblance of a sympathetic ear. I had that sympathetic ear from some of my Facebook friends, as I related the journey in every stage in detail that I had never before committed to written word. I especially remembered how happy I was to be stepping off of the Toronto-to-Fredericton aircraft and into the Fredericton YFC, where my parents were waiting for me. How I missed them in the two weeks of my odyssey. And oh, how I miss them today!
And I am content with this arrangement, as I do not want any of those Space: 1999 fans in my life today, not even as "lurkers" reading my Weblog. I am certainly not writing my Weblog or my Web pages for them. They are as lost a cause for me as my reputation is in their "echo chamber". The convention in 1995 was in itself as clear a message to me as one could ever be, of my not belonging among those people. And it has been magnified many, many, many times in the twenty-three years since then. Daily, in fact. Every time that someone slurs Season Two to a hearty round of approval.
July 19, 2018.
Returning to a few of the subjects of my Weblog entry of yesterday.
I have almost always leaned towards conservatism while also being stimulated in my imagination with 1960s and 1970s opuses having a humanist's liberal view of human advancement towards a Space Age. But the liberalism of the 1960s and the 1970s would be considered conservative today, as it did not embrace Marxism or socialism. The Star Trek episode, "Return of the Archons", among others, addressed the dangers of collectivism under the Communist model, and according to Marxist-Leninist thinkers, socialism is the first stage of a process toward Communism.
I am not usually fond of parables of Earth politics in science fiction, and "Return of the Archons" has never been one of my favourite Star Trek episodes for that and for other reasons. But the parable is there. Indicative of an anti-Communist stance on the part of Roddenberry and his script writers.
I would prefer my imaginative entertainment not to be mired in present-day political ideology. Political Left or political Right. But I judge the political Left to be particularly objectionable because it is not reverent of the heritage and values of the Western civilisation that yielded my favourite works and the treasured eras of my life. And of which my parents and their generation were consientious stewards in the years of my youth. The best years of my life.
My father was definitely conservative. My mother less so, but she had misgivings about the welfare state and did not approve of flaunted sexuality. I would say that she was a blue liberal. My father always made clear to me the disagreeable nature of socialism and Communism. And from that, I extrapolated the Marxist's defective view of human nature. Human nature is not malleable to voluntary, selfless adherence to the dictates of some collectivised state. Individual achievement and the right to private property are essential for maintaining a man's voluntary and productive engagement in a societal structure. Where the engagement is not voluntary, a state must utilise increasingly coercive measures, along with propaganda to dull the minds of a sufficient number of people made dependent on the state, for the more strong-minded libertarians of society (the people who are often the entrepreneurs in a capitalist system) to be outnumbered, easily segregated and identified for consignment to forced labour camps in some formidable locale. And even the people whose minds are dulled will eventually crave freedom, and increasingly oppressive measures will be "called for" by the oligarchs in control of the state. Orwell saw to what direction this would lead.
I am not sanguine about unregulated capitalism either. Something like nuclear power which poses a threat to public health, has to be outlawed. Capitalism should be free to generate productivity and wealth, but not when it endangers the health of the citizenry. Which is why some regulation is essential.
No system is perfect, but the best one that there is, is a liberal democracy with free enterprise. And with competition for profit (fuelling the urge to innovate) and occasional advantageous-to-everyone cooperation between capitalist establishments within sovereign states and between whole sovereign states. It was the free enterprise and liberal democracy and cooperation between multiple states model for human interaction and human development that Roddenberry envisioned as leading to a Space Age. His Federation of Planets is a salient galactic extrapolation of the cooperating sovereign states of Earth, Captain Kirk asserted the freedom of the individual to self-actualise, Kirk and company revered the American flag and the liberal-democratic and sovereign-nation values for which it stood, and the Starship of Star Trek was called Enterprise. And rugged individualism and the American frontier and pioneer spirit were very much in effect in the exploratory impulse of Captain Kirk and his crew in the individual-rewarding meritocracy in which they functioned.
Globalism and socialism will only lead to Orwell's dystopia. Not to Star Trek.
And I like my private property. Always have. Always will. The money that I spend on it helps to fuel the economy. And I have money in investments and do know that I can expect a higher return on my investments when government spending is curtailed, monetary deficits are avoided, there is consumer confidence, and capitalism is functioning.
I studied Marxism when I was in university, and it is an unrealistic ideology in its goals and despicable in its methods. The form of Marxism that exists today is setting groups within nations against one another, seeks to subvert the culture of the most successful nations of the past couple of centuries, and wishes to dis-empower the individual intellectual mind through constant indoctrination in news and entertainment. I see it at work in what is being done to the "franchises" that I mentioned yesterday. And that is "down to" Hollywood and the Democrat party for which Hollywood "shills", along with the news media. The same news media that sent the Fukushima disaster down a "memory hole" and that is trying to spur the Trump administration into war with Russia. We were dangerously close to that in April. Closer than we have been in my lifetime (and that includes the Cold War).
On the subject of James Bond. Back in 2012, while Skyfall was in theatres, a friend I had at the time was touting Skyfall to be the best James Bond movie ever made. I had a decidedly different opinion on Skyfall. And we "fell out". Yes, we "fell out" over a movie. The "falling out" was due to him not respecting me in my assessment of the movie and his patronising attitude over my disliking of the 2006 reboot, stupid old goat that I allegedly am. And me holding my ground, not budging an inch. He most confidently argued that the reboot was right, that all previous Bond movies, especially the ones of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, ought to be discounted because they were sexist. He cited the Pussy Galore character as particularly offencive in her name, and I reminded him that the Pussy Galore name was from Fleming's original Goldfinger novel. He "dissed" Moonraker utterly, laughing at my contentions that Moonraker was escapist fun from a time when such was what movie audiences wanted, in a Space Age vein following the success of Star Wars. I did fail to mention the portrayal of the love interest in that movie as a highly intelligent, professional woman. But somehow I think that he would have dismissed that by citing her succumbing to Bond's masculinity, especially in the final scene with the weightless love-making.
There were several intelligent and physically and emotionally strong women in the vintage Bond movies. They were strong while being quintessentially women. Diana Rigg's character in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, for instance. The Barbara Bach character in The Spy Who Loved Me. Even the maligned Pussy Galore of Goldfinger (indeed, her help was instrumental in enabling Bond to defeat Goldfinger). But all of this said, if the Bond movies of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s were sexist, I do not care. James Bond movies of those decades were men's movies. They were made by men for men (and boys). Women back then had their own movies. Family dramas. Romantic comedies. Historical epics. And men had theirs. James Bond movies and other movies of that ilk. War movies. Westerns. Men wanted dominant male heroes in their movies. James Bond is a twentieth century archetype of the male hero. His movies were produced by men, written by men, and directed by men. Men were the demographic being sought first and foremost for viewing of the Bond movies. And outcome "beared that out"; the majority of Bond aficionados and routine Bond movie ticket buyers were men. Some women enjoyed the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s Bond movies. But mostly because they fancied the actor playing Bond. Connery, Lazenby, Dalton. Moore, not quite to the same degree. But Moore kept returning to the role of Bond because because men (and boys) were going to the theatres to see the Moore Bond films.
There may be some women who appreciate James Bond for story, milieu, action. I do not reject that idea outright. But I suspect that most women who attended Bond movie screenings in the twentieth century were there to gaze at the handsome and attractive leading actor.
In 1987 when The Living Daylights was in theatres, I went to the Plaza Cinema 1 to see it one weekday evening. Seated behind me in the theatre was a group of college (or late high school) students. Some of them male. Some of them female. The young ladies were only commenting on the less sexually promiscuous than usual Bond and lamenting about that. They kept plaintively asking when Bond was going to have sex with some woman or with the love interest played by Maryam d'Abo. And that was the limit of their conversation. While the males in the group were remarking about the action scenes and the gadgets and the storyline. I remember them scoffing at Koskov surviving the collision between his jeep and an aeroplane. That was admittedly rather unbelievable. They were occasionally expressing bewilderment at the story and its development. But they were there for the story, for the intrigue, for the action. It was primarily them for whom the movie was made.
My problems with the twenty-first century Bond movies have nothing to do with how the ladies in them are written and portrayed. For me, the concerns are aesthetic and conceptual as regards the characterisation of Bond and the nature of the spy scenario in which he operates. And the diminishment of the fun factor in the Bond formula, with the tired tropes being all the more wearisome because of how bereft that they are of the fun that used to be an integral part of them. And the lack of necessity in making more Bond movies. They achieved their artistic zenith decades ago.
My friend refused to acknowledge any acuity in my assessment of Skyfall (despite the fact that many reviewers of the movie were of a mind similar to mine) and rejected all of the Bond movies with which I was raised on the basis of the "critical theory" of academia of today. Male dominance, even that of past decades, is taboo. Even in men's movies. Are the Bond movies of today in fact men's movies?
I mentioned preferring Season One of Space: 1999 in the early 1980s. Yes, I did. I started to find myself drawn more toward Season Two episodes toward the end of the 1980s. And then I met Dean, whose observations and insights on patterns and symbolisms in Season Two were all recognisable and verifiable. Etymologies and motifs and similarities between episodes cannot reasonably be denied once they are stated. They are factual. I changed my outlook on Space: 1999 then and have had no compelling reason to change it again. The loutish hostility and blinkered, dismissive attitude of bullying fans could not possibly have a prayer of making me reject Dean's astute findings, and my own. Not even my "falling out" with Dean could produce that outcome.
All for today.
July 17, 2018.
Something I routinely do when on vacation is to revisit my old high school, Fredericton High School. The outside of it. Most specifically the driveway, curbside, and entryway of the academic C-Wing of the school, where the school buses that I rode each day deposited and collected students. And the doors of which I passed through during lunchtimes when I walked to either Wendy's or Burger King, going to the latter via the high school fields, and passing the old Plaza Cinemas and K-Mart Plaza while en route to the Home of the Whopper. During a school bus drivers' labour dispute in spring of 1982, I would walk to the K-Mart Plaza to meet my father, who would transport me to home in his car at the end of the school day. I also joined my parents there on May 2, 1983 before we began our travel to Ottawa that afternoon. Gazing out from the pillars to the entryway to C-Wing, I look at the driveway where I "caught" the afternoon school bus in Grades 10, 11, 12. Where in Grade 12 I boarded Bus 93, joined by Tony as we talked about WVII's autumn of 1983 weekday showings of Star Trek, the bus then bringing us to our home neighbourhood in the afternoon sunshine and my father at home waiting to ask me how my day went. And I look at the old K-Mart Plaza (now, the Smythe Street Plaza, K-Mart having long ago discontinued operations) and the building that used to be the Plaza Cinemas many dozens of metres in the distance, past the soccer and football fields and a bushy incline as the frontiers of Fredericton High School give way to the rear driveway of the Plaza. And I direct my vision two o'clock to the right at Priestman Street, onto which was the first turn of a homeward-bound school bus, and which was the first street of my long treks to home after seeing a matinee performance of a science fiction/fantasy movie at Plaza Cinema 1 (e.g. Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan in June of 1982 and Return of the Jedi in July, 1983).
What often crosses my mind now as I "take in" these sights and recall myself to the way that I was back then, and the way my world was, is how good it was to be young. To be un-jaded. To be seeing so many productions either for the first time ever or for the first time again after a passage of a number of years since some prior experience with them. To be with friends who were also young. Alike to me in that they were unmarried. Not interested in pursuing marriage or romantic relationships. Totally free to share with me the experience of being enamoured with and drawn into fanciful fictional worlds. In between fun games of baseball, badminton, etc.. And to have my parents and my grandparents living, my life untouched by death apart from that of some pets in early-to-mid-second-life-era. My mind was not burdened with worries of loss due to death. Although school was a "drag" and commanded some of my attention, I was free to immerse myself with fervour in the colourful excursions of Spiderman (and to delight in my ever increasing collection of videotaped episodes thereof). And post-summer-of-1983, in the fantastic future and spatial encounters of Moonbase Alpha in Space: 1999 via the most gratifying acquisitions of episodes of it on videotape from Nova Scotia. Plus Star Trek, returned to television in my area in the autumn of 1983 in a very big way, on two television stations for a combined total of six broadcasts per week. And Star Wars, with the release to theatres of its third produced movie in summer of 1983, continued to impress, even though it was starting to "flag" in the creativity department prior to the rather "pat" resolution of its storyline in Return of the Jedi. Everything still seemed quite fresh, and I would be excited to see a long-elusive episode of Spiderman again, or to receive a videotape of Space: 1999 episodes, impressed by the spaceship battles of Star Wars, desirous of having The Empire Strikes Back on videotape, and gratified to add another James Bond movie to my holdings of those. Everything, from Bond to the George Lucas opus to the revived Star Trek in movies, just seemed to be unstoppable in their quality of output. I will reiterate that I was un-jaded. Except, perhaps, where the Warner Brothers cartoons were concerned. But that was more to do with how they were being handled at the time by CBS than with diminished aesthetic appreciation on my part. They were being brutally film-spliced. With little to no variation from year to year in the truncated cartoons offered. And increasingly worn and faded film elements. And less and less dependable airing of them on WAGM- Presque Isle. Back then, I was more "into" the cosmic element. Deep-space adventure. The Warner Brothers cartoons, even the ones with Marvin Martian, seemed quaint by comparison. My interest in them would rebound by mid-decade (i.e. mid-1980s). I was not jaded with them in any permanent way.
I miss so much from back then the untrammelled sense of wonder that I had. There was still a "magic" to everything. Cynical, fault-finding fans did not contaminate my experience with any of my favourite entertainments. Oh, I knew of course about the errors in Bakshi's Spiderman episodes, but I did not "dwell upon" that, preferring to be swept into the awesome adventure being had by the intrepid web-swinger. And with regard to Space: 1999, it was virtually unassailable on matters of quality of technical production or story structure. I saw very few lapses of depiction or story in the episodes of either of the two seasons. I preferred Season One then (yes, my viewpoint is not set in stone; it changes, with new perspectives, new observations, new insights), but I was delighted to be reunited with Season Two when episodes of it stared coming my way on videotape. Everything in life was just so "right". Apart from the medium that was VHS videotape. But it was all that I had then for building a collection (the RCA VideoDisc had been a cul-de-sac).
My exhilaration at gaining new videotape-recordings of favourite works was complemented by treasured friendship moments (especially with my buddy, Joey), winning decisions in neighbourhood baseball games, and a prosperous outlook for world economies and developments in technology. The Space Age still looked as though it might be upon us. This was before the Challenger disaster of 1986 and the Chernobyl disaster of that same year. Imagination was "fired" by the possibilities that seemed then to be boundless. And male heroes with whom I identified went on the awesome journeys to the array of strange new worlds.
And as I say, it seemed as though what is today called "franchises" could do no wrong. Or if they did, it was just a small anomaly. An untoward "blip" quickly rectified in the next outing.
Now, today, everything is a mess. Everything has been "done to death" and is being besmirched by people who do not understand, or wilfully overlook, the "ethos" of the subject matter that they have seen themselves fit to undertake in further and further and further production. After more than fifty years, Doctor Who has been "done to death". The well is hopelessly dry, and it is just serving the old tropes for the umpteenth time, the only new "thing" offered being heavy-handed sociopolitical commentary hewing to the increasingly divisive political Leftism, or neo-Marxism, that permeates media and academia of today. The so-called "culture war" that I have mentioned. Star Wars fans are railing against it. And good for them. I say that unironically. And without condecension. Even though I am of the opinion that Star Wars had been "done to death" already by the end of Return of the Jedi. That the well had dried after The Empire Strikes Back, and that, really, Return of the Jedi just "served up" the tropes of the first Star Wars, with a "dash" or two of the second. The only really novel thing was the Ewoks of Endor. And that is not very widely considered to be much of a mark of distinction. At the time, they were popular enough with children to lead to a "spin-off" pair of television movies. Plus the Ewoks/Droids cartoon television series. But whatever deficienies there may have been creatively with Return of the Jedi, Star Wars ought to have finished then while it was somewhat "ahead", and "called it a day" with the conclusion of its 1983 movie. For fifteen years, the aforementioned television movies and cartoon television series aside, Return of the Jedi had indeed been the end of the Star Wars saga. It was regarded and accepted as such. Though rather rushed and perfunctory in its "wrapping-up" of conflicts and storyline questions and arguably less than profuse in its creativity department, it did serve as an effective resolution to an overall story arc. Star Wars should have been left at that. The prequels were unneccessary and largely just returned to the old tropes and gave to them another "go". But there were some interesting new worlds depicted, and casting Christopher Lee as a villain was an inspired move. All in all, I can accept the prequels and the original trilogy as a cohesive and effective saga. Albeit an uneven one by times. But that is where the absolute end should have been.
Ah, but there is money to be made by putting derrieres into theatre seats. Because of its popularity passed from generation to generation, Star Wars could be a "cash cow" to be "milked". And "milked" often. Even annually. Or twice annually. Disney now has its hands on Star Wars and is intent on exploiting it for every profitable million dollars that it can yield. Disney was so confident that anything Star Wars would be successful, no matter how recycled the tired tropes, that it opted to use Star Wars to propagndise the hapless masses to the political Leftism of Democrat Hollywood, political Leftism that is apparently seeking to subvert traditional Americana and the values of Western civilisation, and bring a dystopian pan-global, uncultured, subsistence-level socialism. With an elite of oligarchs living in luxury. The first step would appear to be the denigration of traditional male heroism (a pillar of myths upon which much of Western culture is founded), hence the debasing and "killing off" of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. And simultaneously offering a super-powered juggernaut of a female hero to replace them. What Doctor Who is currently doing is to follow a distinctly similar path, divesting its hero of his maleness. These "franchises", along with those of Star Trek and James Bond, have already been "done to death" and are only being kept alive by "franchise"-recognition, force of habit, misguided, erroneous nostalgia proclivity (trying to find nostalgia in modern rather than vintage material), and the "push" by political power brokers and monied interests to use culture to indoctrinate the citizenry to accept political Leftism as the new paradigm for centrist norms.
James Bond is still male, but he is not the character that Connery portrayed. He went through Skyfall failing, ultimately unsuccessful in his mission to keep M from being killed. He can survive a fall from a bridge (not even Max Zorin, genetic superman that he was, was that impervious to death) and can be underwater without oxygen supply for several minutes but cannot succeed in his mission. As to Star Trek, the stoic, deliberate heroism of "Alpha Male" Captain Kirk has been reduced to the puerile and reckless behaviour of an arrogant man-child. Chris Pine is no William Shatner. Not by the wildest stretch of the imagination. No, not even my imagination. I saw Star Trek (2009) once, and I have no desire to see it again. It was a thoroughly unpleasant experience. And Chris Pine's Kirk was an integral component of the unpleasantness. Parodies of Captain Kirk over the years were more satisfying than Chris Pine's effort. Give to me Frank Shuster's portrayal of the Enterprise's Captain any day over his.
Once all of the Ian Fleming books had been made into movies and Roger Moore had decided to leave the role of Bond, the James Bond movies ought to have ended. Cubby Broccoli had achieved what he had "set out" to do. Movies of the Ian Fleming books. By 1983's Octopussy, every Ian Fleming James Bond book had been made into a movie. Granted, Casino Royale (1967) was a spoof made by the man, Charles K. Feldman, who had the film rights to Fleming's Casino Royale and to it only. Still, every Fleming Bond book was a movie by 1983. That should have been sufficient, fond though I may be of The Living Daylights and Tomorrow Never Dies. I know that A View to a Kill and The Living Daylights had come out of a couple of Ian Fleming James Bond short stories. I suppose that an argument could be made in favour of the making of those. Perhaps combining those stories into one premise for Moore's and Bond's swan song. Yes, I think that Moore retiring from the role, and Bond going into retirement at that time, would have been consistent with the age of the Connery Bond in Dr. No as projeted some twenty years into future. The time would have been right to retire Bond. People respected the creative decisions to stop the Mary Tyler Moore and M*A*S*H television series. Those were not decisions based on popularity. Or on the monetary viability of and profit in further production. Ah, but in the case of the Bond movies, the profit motive persisted, and persists to this day. Just keep on "churning them out", and people will pay to see them. Generate the hype. Denigrate all the prior movies, tout the latest one as being the best one ever, and the masses go out to the movie houses and open wallets. I went to see Skyfall as something to do out of the house in the aftermath of my father's death. I knew as I was watching it that the "ethos" of Bond cinema had drifted very far, unpalatably far, from my viewpoint, from Cubby Broccoli's seminal renderings of Ian Fleming's works. Apart from that, it was a bland and unpleasant movie in every respect. Characters. Visualisations. Music. There really was not much action. James Bond movies of old usually climaxed with a huge battle of Bond and his allies with the villain's forces. And there was an exciting chase or skirmish every so often over the course of the average vintage Bond movie. The average vintage Bond movie helmed by Broccoli, or by Broccoli and Saltzman. Bond would prevail most of the time. Sometimes not. Sometimes he would be captured. But he would ultimately foil the villain's plans, sometimes dispatching the villain in some very apt way. I did not see Spectre, and I still have not to this day. I was able to sit through Casino Royale (2006) after several unsuccessful attempts to do so, when I viewed it on Blu-Ray in 2013 (it came in the box set; I did not buy it individually). I tried to give to it "a chance". It was after all based on Fleming's first James Bond book. I have not seen Quantum of Solace. The reboot in 2006 was unnecessary and disrespectful to the efforts of all of the tremendously talented people who brought the vintage Bond movies to the screen. Effectively nullifying them from consideration in the public mind as new movies are "trotted out" by people vainly thinking that they can better what was made when the essential Bond story material was fresher and more germane to world affairs of the day (i.e. the Cold War). Efforts to present Bond as a hero who does not have experience and wide-ranging expertise and who is subservient to an older female superior stern and scolding like a school teacher, and who routinely fails and is angsty about his failures, amount to a subversion of the "ethos" of the James Bond of Broccoli and Saltzman. And to try to "overwrite" the vintage films with this, I judge to be disrespectful. And besides this, the post-2006 Bond films are not colourful and beautiful films. They look "washed-out" and dreary.
As I say, the Bond films ought to have retired in the 1980s. Mission was accomplished. The Fleming books had all become successful movies. All that is being done now is to "milk" the "cash cow". Subversively.
As to Star Trek, it ought to have stopped with Roddenberry's death and the retiring of the original crew. I think there is a climate of opinion that Star Trek is a spent concept. That it was spent as a concept with the last of the Next Generation movies. Whether that climate of opinion is the prevailing one, I cannot say. These days, it is difficult to determine truth from fiction. The news media would have the common man believe that everything is "hunky dory" with every "franchise". I have to concede that J.J.'s movies always seem to have a widespread and enthusiastic following. As confounding as that may be to me.
But back when I was in my late teenage years, there was so much enjoyment to be had and wonder to be felt. Imagination was vivid and colourful. My male heroes went forth on their journeys and would ultimately "win the day" with flair and unabashed masculinity. And sometimes, sometimes, having to pay some price in their victory. Evil was clearly defined and defeated through the hero's efforts. And if it occasionally prevailed as it disturbingly could, that was an aberration that usually would be rectified in due course. And my adulation for Space: 1999 was untainted by antipathy or hostility on the part of condescending, preeminent sections of fandom. It was a different time. A better time. If only DVD and Blu-Ray were available then. Then, I would have had everything I could want. A vast collection of entertainment on top-quality media. Friends. My parents. My un-jaded youth.
I can dream. It is one of the few pleasures that I have left for my vacations.
July 16, 2018. Forty years ago to this day, CHSJ-TV ran a videotape-delayed-from-CBC's-May-telecast Space: 1999- "Dragon's Domain" in lieu of Walt Disney. I remember that vividly. And my friend, Mike J., saying to me the next day, "Hey, Kevin. Space: 1999 was on Walt Disney last night." Ah, the "good, old days" when people watched the same television stations and had televisual subjects for conversation.
It is so difficult to adjust to the notion that forty years have elapsed since then. Oh, it was a long time ago. But forty years just seems to be an excessive amount of time to separate those experiences with my today's awareness of them.
I wish to return to my commentary yesterday about self-awareness and self-criticism.
Both of those are essential for intellectual growth. One requires them for self-correction and for adaptation to new modes of thought, and new ways for looking at things. Where they are lacking, a person remains fixed on old viewpoints and old interpretations of events. New data that contradicts them and that "calls for" an adjustment of perspective and accepted fact, is not "taken up", is rejected. A person's growth in mind and knowledge is stunted.
This Website is a prime example of the value of self-awareness and self-criticism. I have updated the Website many times over the past twenty years. In the case of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, I have made updates numerous times in the past two decades because new awareness and sudden memory flashes have prompted me to change data on which cartoons are in an episode. Such new awareness and flashes of memory have necessitated rethinking on the content of the instalments. Rejection of old reportages of data and replacing of them with the products of new insight. I became suddenly aware of similarities between "Wild Over You" and "Mouse-Taken Identity", began thinking about the possibility that "Wild Over You" was cartoon two of Show 3 and not "Don't Axe Me" as had previously been supposed (if only because it was the only cartoon on The Road Runner Show as that television programme known to me in 1997, that seemed to fit into The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour's first season in its early batch of episodes). I later, in 2009, learnt that "Wild Over You" was in The Road Runner Show's cartoon package. In 2015, I had my sudden insight into the similarities between it and "Mouse-Taken Identity" and the apparent fit of the knight's armour motif with other cartoons in Show 3 and Show 4. And then, the flashes of memory of seeing the opening scene to "Wild Over You" while in our house in Douglastown. And fairly early then. 1973. Or 1974. Based on all of this, I had to change my cartoon listing for the episode. Self-criticism made that possible. Had I lacked self-criticism, I would just have said that as I am always right, I had to be correct back in 1997, "Don't Axe Me" therefore has to be cartoon two of Show 3, and new indications to the contrary should be rejected. Self-correction that ought to go with cataloguing of vintage material from memory alone, is essential to the integrity of one's work in that field of endeavour.
It is also self-correction based on self-criticism that has prompted me to reject old ideas and favour new ones for my Space: 1999 chronology that has changed numerous times in the past thirty years. I may indeed someday replace what I currently have with something quite different as new and better ideas come to light for chronicling the subject matter in a coherent way that is respectful toward given data.
If I were lacking in self-criticism, I would not have given consideration to the self-improvement books that I read in the early 1990s. I would not have grown mentally and become aware of different angles for looking upon my childhood experiences and for better understanding my friends' actions toward me.
What my oh, so favourite people in Space: 1999 fandom routinely say is, "I felt that..." Or, "I thought that..." Always citing their past, initial reaction to something, some episode, some character, some concept, some performance, as set in stone, immutable, the sacrosanct product of some unquestionable orthodoxy. And they are never wrong. They cannot ever be wrong. Any contradictory observations or insights are rejected outright, and these men and women congregate into groups of people whose outlook on the television show matches theirs precisely and who in unison "slap down" anyone who possesses cogent insights that might compel a reasoning, open-minded individual to reassess an episode, a season, or whatever.
Oh, they accepted David Hirsch's observations about the "mysterious unknown force". Of course, they did. Because those observations buttressed their established preference for "Year One". Indeed, they coopted them fully and have become rabidly dogmatic in proclaiming them, and in rejecting the season that opted to veer away from them. No matter what insights may be had from that other season. People seeing merit in it are heretics. Delusional "flakes" who are "one can short of a six-pack". Who must be pilloried in the court of opinion.
Derangement syndromes can be the ultimate outcome within groups of "echo-chambered" people lacking in self-awareness. When questioning of accepted norms within the group has become unthinkable, when rather than adapting to changing circumstances or facts that point to a different conclusion, people become deeply entrenched in their established outlooks and base their biases rigidly upon those outlooks, scapegoating of an outlier or of outliers and routine attacks upon him, her, or them becomes standard practice. And this is where a derangement syndrome "kicks in". Some deranged groups are congregations of losers. Others, if they have political power to some degree or some established control over the dissemination of thought outside of their bubble, can be quite dangerous. There are all too many minds that are attracted to ideologies that demand unquestioning obedience to an idea or course of action. And history has shown to where that may lead.
Problem is that people lacking self-awareness and self-criticism cannot be reasoned-with. And to them one should not ever show weakness. They tend to be attracted to positions of authority and political power, and when they achieve that, people possessing self-awareness and self-criticism must be exceedingly guarded in how they proceed with their enlightened processes of thought. Self-aware people cannot afford to show self-doubt, and any mistake (all humans make mistakes) will be used by the authority person or persons to nullify them in the eye of the hoi polloi. And, yes, I am alluding to my experience in 1995 with a certain fan club president. I learnt too late what sort of person I was dealing with in the early-to-mid-1990s. Him, plus the the rank-and-file, hive-minded crucifiers of the person whose thoughts do not belong in the vaunted group.
I really must go back to work on restoring my Era 6 memoirs. I keep losing my initiative, as it is not a time period of my life for which I have any large amount of affection. Apart from the fact that my parents were alive then. Indeed, that is the one undeniable merit of that life era, and it was a merit of every life era prior to their deaths. The better eras preceding 1987. Them, also.
July 15, 2018.
Just a short Weblog entry for this morning. I am on my vacation. Vacation from work. Vacation from contending with Fredericton drivers and traffic patterns. Vacation from responding to the asininity of people who have nothing better to do than to slur and smear a decades-old work of the imagination that I happen to fancy, for the amusement and approval of hive-minded, echo-chambered doltish louts who think themselves to be high-minded sophisticates.
But I will pose a question. Or a series of connected questions. If a man really detests and holds in contempt some production, why does he possess copies of it? And why does he watch said copies? Why does he sit down on his sofa and dedicate an hour of his life's ever-lessening hours of time to the viewing of something that he cannot abide and from which he is closed-mindedly incapable of gleaning any salient insight? And then march over to his keyboard and waste further minutes of time in the typewriting of a "hit piece" on it to share with people of the same persuasion who have said the same things and read the same things time and time again before?
It is patently ridiculous, is it not? To anybody possessing a rational mind and hailing from an upbringing rooted in common sense? It is an irrational behaviour that is indicative of some individual and collective disorder. A group of people each one of them so desperate to be validated in his or her negativity toward some work that he or she feels compelled to watch that work, myopically faultfind with it, and share with the approving herd more and more reiterated confirmation-biased attacks upon it. And then they, in their cosy circle of a few hundred (or perhaps a few thousand) wretchedly blinkered for decades wastes of highly evolved brain matter, feel superior to anyone who likes it, and declare themselves to be absolutely so through force of their numbers. And from that each one of them derives some sense of personal worth.
Of course, this is in reference to the Facebook group for Space: 1999. It is another usual day there. People approving one another's skewed hostile perspective on episodes of a season of their favourite television series that even forty-two years after its production they are unwilling to entertain any constructive aesthetic commentary thereupon. The episodes, "One Moment of Humanity" and "Brian the Brain", are receiving the intractable and relentless venom and wilful misinterpretation of premise and story (and denial of any suspension of disbelief, artistic licence, or "economy of detail") today. That and the ever-so-creative slights against Fred Freiberger and his work on the final seasons of a few television series, two of which were due to be cancelled whatever was done with them. Par for the course. And only people holding the same point of view are responsive in discussion "windows". Quislings that they are, fans of Season Two are saying nothing, them probably being in tacit accord with the "thrust" of the impaling swords of the legions of Freiberger haters. Or what few of them who are steadfast to their tastes and appreciations departed the group some time ago. It is such a horrible travesty that an imaginative television series of beauty and aesthetic calibre should be lumbered with a fandom such as this.
Somehow, my conflict in the past with the fans of Bob Clampett's cartoons does not seem to be very bothersome anymore. At least in cartoon fandom, outside of a circle of self-professed iconoclasts, there is a significant number of vocal appreciators of the works of Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng. I made some mistakes. Mistakes in how I responded to the Clampett pundits. And being self-aware and self-critical as I am, I was in a position of weakness in their company in the group whose discussion forum I helped to create. I conceded error and apologised to people totally lacking in self-awareness and self-criticism. And that is an invitation to be eaten for breakfast. One must never, ever mea culpa to such people.
Anyway. So much for my intended-to-be-short Weblog entry for today. But such is life in a world wherein asininity is confoundedly commonplace. One should not, one cannot, be brief in reacting to it. Not if one is to have integrity.
July 8, 2018.
I know that I said that I would desist from responding to the smugly rancorous garbage at the Space: 1999 Facebook groups. But I came upon this little gem, and I just could not resist the urge to write a response to it.
"Had to block the 'Damn Year 1 Snobs' guy to have any chance of enjoying this group. Damn, he's a pathetic whiner."
Oh, yes. Must not have anyone with an alternate point of view on Season-One-versus-Season-Two. Block him. The group must be a thoroughly sealed "echo chamber".
What is the matter? Is that person's statement about snobbery on the part of the Season One pundits hitting a bit too close to home? Striking a sensitive area, is it? Too close to the truth, perhaps?
And of course, their sensitivities must always be of the utmost consideration. Oh, they just perpetually call Season Two trash, excrement, fit only for children or for abjectly and wretchedly unsophisticated minds, and allege that anyone who fancies Season Two is stupid or mentally deficient. But oh, no. There is no snobbery in that. Or any effrontery. Of course not. Season Two has nothing in it that is the least bit laudable. And anyone who perceives otherwise must be delusional. Only stupid people could like it. Oh, but no offence. "Awww. What's the matter, Season Two lover, can't take a joke?" But oh, no. There is no snobbery at all in this. Oh, no, no, no, no.
"Fundamentalist" fans of Space: 1999- Season One are snobs. They are the epitome of snobbery. Of superciliousness. Of condescension. They mentally subsist on snobbery, on the sharing of it with each other and the expected garnering of hearty, "circle-jerking" approval. Anyone who does not stroke their group-associating egos is beneath their contempt.
I am quite sure that the "pathetic whiner" denunciation would be applied to me in the same brush stroke, for my deliberations on this Weblog about the group's attitude. Hm-m-m-m. I suddenly feel an urge to respond to such by singing, "It's my Weblog, and I'll whine if I want to. Whine if I want to. Whine if I want to."
But seriously. Ought not the assertion that somebody is a "pathetic whiner" be more aptly applied to people who for 42 years (and counting) closed-mindedly bemoan the changes for Season Two of Space: 1999? Day after day after day after day after day. Who for 42 years lament the appointment to producer role of Fred Freiberger. Who reiterate for the hundred-thousandth time that they missed Barry Morse in Season Two. Should not the pathetic whining be that of the fans who after four decades will not accept Space: 1999 for what it is and appreciate what both seasons have to offer? Might not this "pathetic whiner" tag be a case of psychological projection?
Still, perhaps I do have cause to pause. Oh, not for their sake. Their sake is damnable. Their not allowing a dead man to rest in peace and "making fun" of him is attestation to that. It is for my sake. Why waste my time writing entries for this Weblog on the subject of Space: 1999 and its fandom? I have no hope of changing anything. The rancour is just going to worsen. And more and more, these awful people are going to be given credence and authority on the subject of Space: 1999. Fewer and fewer people are going to be willing to look upon Season Two open-mindedly. Almost all that I ever read from people who did like Season Two when it first aired is that they have rejected it and are now "with" the Season One "camp". Or that they consider it a "guilty pleasure". Dean did say that what he called a conspiracy would not ever relent. That man has a frustrating tendency for being right.
I remarked this week on my own Facebook that fandom is one big cliche. Everything that it says is cliche. And I, too, have become a cliche in responding to the slurring of Season Two and of Fred Freiberger. What a tiresome bunch of moaners! And I suppose that this does include me. See? I have self-awareness. I can self-criticise. They utterly lack self-awareness and will never self-criticise. Anything that might give them pause has to be blocked. Stick fingers in ears and chant, "I can't hear you." So much for the enlightened ones.
This whole thing brings absurdity to a level that a quarter-century ago I would never have thought possible. But there is a whopping amount of absurdity in the world today. National politics is rife with it. Ah, but I am not going to go there. Not today.
No more pathetic whining from me today. I am going to enjoy the sun and the company of my little cat.
July 7, 2018.
I have updated my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page to now have "Wild Over You" and not "Don't Axe Me" as the second cartoon of instalment three. I am not absolutely certain which of the two cartoons was in fact the third instalment's second cartoon, but I seem to be more confident now in saying that it was "Wild Over You" than I had been in favouring "Don't Axe Me" for that placement. I have been having flashes of memory of seeing the initial scenes of the cartoon (the ones in the Parisian Exposition of 1900) in our house in Douglastown in the 1970s. Of course, I do acknowledge that the memory can be inventive, especially after so long a time has elapsed since that which is seeming to be remembered. And I do not recall anything further of seeing that cartoon back then. But I do not remember seeing "Don't Axe Me" back then either.
Hence, I had better just follow what little memory I do have and go with "Wild Over You". I have also removed the title card for "Don't Axe Me" from the supplemental image gallery for The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page.
I never thought that the day would ever come when Dairy Queen stops selling hot dogs, chili dogs, etc.. But it has. At least in Fredericton. I went to the Prospect Street Dairy Queen and tried to order a chili cheese dog, to be told that hot dogs are no longer available there. I fear that this is also the case at the Dairy Queen in Newcastle. If it is, it is a humongous loss to me. And why? Why are companies making asinine decisions to constrict their range of offered items?
Earlier this year, Hamburger Helper removed all of the taste from every one of its varieties of hamburger meal. Varieties that had already shrunk in number over the past ten years. And now none of them have any taste to them. First that and now the demise of the Dairy Queen hot dog. Is 2018 not a monumentally excellent year so far?
I now have The Martian Chronicles on Blu-Ray, and am happy to report that the Kino Lorber curse has not touched it. An excellent release. The Blu-Ray disc's picture quality far surpasses that of the DVD release of 2004. And the audio is flawless.
July 4, 2018.
The second Blu-Ray disc of Pink Panther cartoons came unto me yesterday. I watched its cartoons and listened to some of the audio commentaries. So, what is my verdict?
First of all, "Pink Outs" still looks very worn. It has looked distinctly not pristine in all of its prior DVD releases. There are several black vertical lines indicative of film wear. Technology is now able to remove such lines (and it ought to be especially easy to do so with a cartoon like those of the Pink Panther). But apparently there is no budget for film restoration at either MGM or Kino Lorber.
The music in "Pink Panic" has a "hollowed-out" and narrow sound to it. A pity, as that is one of my favourite Pink Panther cartoons, and music is one of the key reasons as to why this is so. There is something distinctly "sour" or "off" about the music at the start of "Pinknic". And the audio to "Congratulations! It's Pink" sounds by times like it is being rendered in a cardboard tube. I do not know why it is so, but audio always seems to be a weak area for a Kino Lorber Blu-Ray release.
On a positive note, "Psychedelic Pink" is finally presented again without laugh track, for the first time in a home video release since the PINK PANTHER ANIMATION ARCHIVE laser videodisc. And it has had its title music restored to include the bongo music passages as the cartoon title appears and as credits are transitioned. Bravo for that. But it, alas, does not compensate for the loss of unique title music on two Inspector cartoons on the Blu-Ray release of those some two years ago.
The audio commentaries that I heard are appreciative of the work that went into the cartoons and do not verge into the "snarky" negativity that blights audio commentaries on the post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons. And for this, I am grateful.
It feels so good to actually have some Blu-Rays to buy as it had been, for me, a mostly fallow year for that prior to late last month. Apart from some additional Kino Lorber Blu-Ray releases (of more Pink Panther cartoons, The Day After, and the two Kolchak television movies) and maybe some more Doctor Who, the remainder of 2018 is going to be "easy on my wallet". I think that a fact has to be faced, it being that little else of what I currently hold on DVD is going to be released on Blu-Ray.
And that is, I suppose, an agreeable arrangement as I am loathe to give any of my money to the major studios these days. Political reasons. The "culture war" of late that is being waged against my particular demographic. It seems that, for the political Leftist posturing of today, my demographic is the new bourgeoisie that must be subverted, de-platformed, disenfranchised, and (I pray that such is never permitted to happen) dispossessed and removed from existence.
I must have missed how I am so privileged, so high-status. So deserving of being knocked off of a pedestal. My parents worked under the yoke of other people for all of their working lives, and worked laboriously and stressfully for what they had. My mother in particular sacrificed a tremendous amount of time with me and my father, for her career. A career as a nurse. Someone who helps people, cares for people. My father was working class. Blue collar. He was an enlisted man in the military and then a bus custodian for Fredericton Transit. Their combined incomes and the fact that they had only one child enabled them and I to live comfortably in middle class. Back in the prosperous times that were the 1970s and 1980s. Just. I was an outcast at school. Definitely not a privileged or prestigious figure there. In my working life in adulthood, nothing was handed to me. I had to struggle for whatever advancements I achieved. I did janitorial work. I mowed grass. Over the course of ten years, I worked up a ladder from volunteer to freelance Production Assistant to Associate Producer to Producer. And with my promotion to Associate Producer, I was on the receiving end of flak and wilful uncooperativeness from colleagues. Friendship in adulthood has been difficult for me to find and to maintain. And of course, everyone who reads my Weblog knows how outcast I am in the communities of followers of my favourite entertainments. I bristle at any attempt to portray what I have achieved as unearned and a result of privilege. My parents if they were alive today would be even more nettled at a portrayal of the results of their labours as being somehow undeserved.
I am "holding firm" to my principles. I have bought nothing Star Wars since the Blu-Ray box set of the movies back in 2011. Nothing more of twenty-first century manufacture. Nothing first-hand. I have bought some second-hand books from the 1970s and early 1980s. But the money for those purchases does not go to the coffers of present-day Lucasfilm and Disney. I vowed never again to pay for movie tickets for the Star Trek "franchise" after seeing what J.J. Abrams was doing to it. I have not supported Space: 1999 fandom with any of my money since I quit Alpha League in 1995. At the very least, one ought to respect me for the steadfastness of my convictions in these regards.
I have rambled enough for today, I suppose.
July 3, 2018.
I am still waiting for the delivery of the second Pink Panther cartoons Blu-Ray disc and The Martian Chronicles Blu-Ray. The Doctor Who Season Twelve Blu-Ray set is now en route to me also, but reports of flaws with it are hampering my enthusiasm.
I am not aware as yet of any problems with the second Pink Panther cartoons Blu-Ray. Reviews of it have been curiously non-existent. But given Kino Lorber's "track record", it would be most premature to expect a faultless Blu-Ray disc.
The Trudeau Day (oops, I mean, Canada Day) holiday has slowed the national mail system somewhat. I would not expect to see any of the shipments coming my way for another couple of days at least.
Yes, Canada is fixated on the Trudeau family. I have no hope of ever being free of that family's hold on the reins of our country. Canada was never really happy in the years between 1984 and 2015 during which a Trudeau was not the Prime Minister of our country. All that it wants is for a charismatic (or so my fellow country-persons claim him to be) person with the Trudeau surname hailing from Quebec to be its "daddy" provider of unlimited "free" goodies. No malfeasance or abject far-political-Leftist-ideological goofiness that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commits ever seems to harm him in the eyes of the people of my country. Why not just rename the country Trudeau and be done with it?
I have to admit to feeling some satisfaction at the tribulations now besetting the Star Wars "franchise". The latest movie, Solo, has lost money, is not profitable. And The Last Jedi finally awoke a majority percentage of Star Wars fandom to the fact that all is not copacetic with the writers, directors, and producer of all things Disney Social Justice Star Wars. I am happy to report that I have not contributed a thin dime to the "franchise" as it currently exists. I have not paid to see any Star Wars movie from The Force Awakens onward. The hiring of J.J. Abrams to direct and to write was all that I needed to know as regards the wisdom, or lack thereof, fuelling the Disney iteration of the George Lucas opus.
Many a YouTube video exists that asks if Star Wars can be saved. I say, no. Not unless a Bobby Ewing in the shower sort of scenario can be concocted. And even then, why bother? Star Wars is a spent concept. It was a spent concept after The Empire Strikes Back. It has just been regurgitating the same old tropes ever since. Quick. We have to "blow up" the Death Star again. We need to find some missing item or rescue some captured person. We must defeat the evil Sith Lord in yet another sabre duel. We must try to keep someone in the family from succumbing to the Dark Side. Yawn. Lucasfilm should have quit when its ideas were still fresh. Or at least after Return of the Jedi. That was a logical place to end the saga, however perfunctory was the conception and execution of that third Star Wars movie.
All for today.
Brief Weblog entry for today, Sunday, June 24, 2018.
It is my friend Joey's birthday today. I will not say how old he is.
Joey, my best friend of my life's fourth era. He was more like a brother to me than anyone I have ever known.
This past week, I was seized with a sudden inspiration. I have at last reconciled the given date in "Dragon's Domain" of Space: 1999- Season One with the chronology of Space: 1999's Season Two, without the shaky contrivance of advancing the Alphan calendar to 887 days since leaving Earth orbit and reversing it back to before 342 days after leaving Earth orbit. In a way, "Dragon's Domain" does happen at 887 days after Moon departing Earth orbit and does occur while Alpha is in the midst of the 42-day-long space storm cited by Helena in "The Rules of Luton". How is this possible? Look at my chronology for Space: 1999 and the entry for "Stormy Passage". For John and Helena, "Dragon's Domain" happens twice. Once in actuality at 271 days since leaving Earth orbit, and once during disorientation in the climax of the Moon's passage through the space storm, in a kind of repetition. Koenig and Russell's most turbulent time in their developing relationship.
After "Dragon's Domain" happens originally, at 271 days after Moon leaving Earth orbit, Helena four days later says in her preamble to the typewritten Cellini story that it was 271 days since the Moon left Earth when Cellini began to believe that he was, "...closing for a second time with his mortal enemy." And Koenig states that it is years (an unspecified number of years) since the Ultra Probe and not five years. So, as events are shown in the episode as filmed, the viewer is experiencing "Dragon's Domain" from the relived version of it experienced by John and Helena during the space storm. And as a result of their disorientation, incorrect depictions of the Ultra Probeship in the spaceship graveyard and of Eagle docking with the Probeship, are explainable. As, too, is the incorrect date on the "Space News" report.
And one might envisage Koenig and Helena speculating on the possibility that there may have been an intelligence in the space storm. An intelligence that wanted to know about human relationships and the challenges to the continuance of them and that plucked the memory of John and Helena's quarrel over Tony Cellini out of their minds and had them relive it and the circumstances surrounding it. And they were prevented from realising that they were reliving the experiences so as for their reprise of them to be unimpaired by doubt on their part as to the reality of any of the reiterated circumstances and events.
So, "Dragon's Domain" is at 271 days after Moon leaves Earth and is reprised as an experience for John and Helena at 877 days since Moon went out of Earth orbit, whilst Alpha is going through a disorienting space storm. There it is.
Kino Lorber's second Blu-Ray of Pink Panther cartoons is expected to be released this week. I should have it within the next ten days. I certainly hope that Kino Lorber quality control has improved for this Blu-Ray release. Time will tell if this is the case.
It is Tuesday, June 19, 2018.
I have a kitten. A totally black one by the name of Nero (chosen by the people at the pet adoption agency or by the people supplying him thereto). Nero is the Italian word for black, which is rather apt as a name for a black cat. Nero was also the Roman Emperor who played the fiddle while Rome burned and who fed Christians to Colosseum lions, but I trust my little kitten does not share that nature with his namesake. He is a little terror, though. Very much so. He has attacked me several times and is slowly subjecting the household furniture and curtains to shredding by tooth and claw. He will not allow me to eat without his presence beside my plate, poised to grab at the food thereon. Sleep at nights can be problematical, too. He is particularly jealous of my attention and will not permit me to type anything at length. As things are, I am writing this Weblog entry while at work on a slow afternoon.
I expect that my Weblog entries will be few and far between for awhile. Because of the attention that I have to concentrate upon little Nero. And also because HostPapa has informed me that I have exceeded the Website limit for automatic back-up. Web space is starting to become a concern, and in response to that concern, I propose to reduce my ruminations and my responses to the attacks of other people upon my esteemed favourite works.
I do not wish to waste valuable Web space responding more to the incessant, repeated slurring of Season Two of Space: 1999. I have defended that quite adroitly and impressively, if I must say so myself, over the past few years. With what Web space that I have left in my current plan with HostPapa, I want to restore my Era 6 and Era 7 memoirs. And I promise that this coming summer (which is almost upon us) I will do precisely that. Image content will be sparse for those eras, as I do not retain much photography for them, outside of my 1995 trek across North America. And that is largely an odyssey that I would prefer not to remember. I certainly do not remember it fondly.
Before I "leave aside" my defences of Season Two of Space: 1999, one final hurrah, as I "deal with" some of the more recent remarks by the denizens of the Space: 1999 Facebook community.
Nothing major. Just the following.
"First season was excellent, second season was not."
Oh, how considered! Oh, how eloquent! Oh, how observant of every potential interpretation of subject matter! Where aesthetic appreciation of an imaginative work is concerned, a work that is the result of collaboration between so many talented people, nothing can be so absolutely judged. Not by someone with an iota of intellectual acuity. This is the breadth of intellectual discourse offered by the average Space: 1999 fan. At least there is no vulgar language. One can be grateful for that mercy.
"'Year 1' was nearly flawless. And the use of monsters was minimal - as it should be.
The ridiculous monsters of 'Year 2' makes one cringe and sadly made the show look really retarded."
Why should it be minimal? Where is the guidebook for science fiction/fantasy production wherein it is cited as absolute truth that monsters are "bad" science fiction/fantasy? They certainly are popular in Star Wars and in Doctor Who. Both highly acclaimed opuses.
I am not the person who usually argues in zealous favour of political correctness, but the word, retarded, is offencive to the intelligence of anyone to whom it is directed, by extension in this case anyone who happens to fancy what the commenter here brands as looking retarded. What is ridiculous about the monsters of "Year 2"? They are aliens with rubbery skin. So, what? Such aliens appear in other works. Works that are popular and acclaimed. How about specifying exactly what is ridiculous about them? And proving that they are any less effective than the Gorn of Star Trek or the Ice Warriors of Doctor Who or some of the Cantina creatures of Star Wars? And as I have said before, the monsters in the majority of Season Two episodes in which monsters appear, are not on screen for very long. A dozen or half-dozen seconds in a number of cases.
The discussion that I am citing here pertains to the usual fan refrain about "Dragon's Domain" being virtually perfect (it really is not) and a using of "Dragon's Domain" against Season Two much like Victor Bergman is routinely used to attack Season Two.
There are plenty of things wrong with "Dragon's Domain". It is a very effective opus of science fiction/horror with its monster scenes. But it can often be questionable in its storytelling logistics. Why is a "suppressed hysteric" like Cellini allowed to have axes and spears in his living quarters? Why does Cellini not wait for restored communications with Alpha to report contact with the spaceships and then request instructions? Why does he send all three of his crew members into the spaceship when it would be prudent to first send one, in case there are dangers not detected by sensors? Two poor command decisions there, rather validating Cellini's critics' assessment of him as an overconfident and deficient leader. I think the intention was to portray Cellini as a man unfairly maligned and to show Koenig as being incontrovertibly right to believe in Cellini's integrity of character and infallibility of leadership. If so, the script does not support it. Why are there not sufficient provisions for even one Ultra Probe crew member to make a return journey in the Ultra Probeship's command module without returning in a near-death state? A planned manned landing on Ultra with no wings, vertical thrusters, and landing gear on the Probeship's component sections? Really? Dixon and Bergman maintain that the contacts recorded on the Black Box were not specified as being spaceships, but Koenig says that the Black Box recorded a breathable atmosphere on an alien spaceship with an intact docking seal. Contradictory, no? Why no video cameras on the Probeship recording moving images of the alien spaceships for the Black Box as the Probeship approached them? Cellini overpowers Carter and dumps him in the passenger module and evades capture by Koenig and company way too easily. The "Space News" announcer gives the wrong date for his newscast. Helena ought to say that the Moon is between solar systems, not galaxies; Koenig says that there is nothing for billions of miles, which is a description of an interstellar void, not an intergalactic one. The Ultra Probeship is shown, shorn of its command module, already atop the monster's spaceship as the Ultra Probeship is approaching the monster's spaceship and Cellini and Darwin King are talking about the "graveyard". The nose cone of Cellini's Eagle has both a Stewardess Section and the Pilot Section. No. That is wrong. The same sort of mistake was made in Season One's "Missing Link". Koenig's Eagle in exterior view clearly is not shown docking with the Ultra Probeship at its port side, which is the way whereby Koenig and company enter the Probeship in the interior view. The Ultra Probeship multiple-exposes with the Space Dock as it launches. Jets are not coming out of the Eagle nozzles but from what looks like piping as Cellini does a lift-off of the Eagle minus its passenger module.
Yes, there is plenty wrong with it. Yet, the fans matter-of-factly proclaim its perfection. "Dragon's Domain" was my favourite episode for many years, and I am rather fond of it to this day. But it is not something to be used as a supreme brickbat against episodes of Season Two. Not by a rational person.
"What happened? a Serial Killer came on board, namely Fred Freiberger..."
Pah! That is all that this cliched and ignorant comment really warrants. Besides, I have answered it before, so very many times before.
"The second series chased the same thing current cinema is chasing which is lowest common denominator popularity with no real concern for substance."
Rubbish. Current cinema does have substance. It is just not the sort of substance that is to my liking. The substance is political Leftist messaging. Identity politics. Subverting, debasing, and "killing off" the traditional white male hero. Oh, there is substance, all right. Plenty of concern for it. The substance that could ultimately destroy all pride in Western civilisation and its myriad accomplishments.
And Season Two has substance, by the way. Whether there was concern for substance or not, it is there. It is just not along the lines of overt philosophical commentary. It is aesthetic. It is referential of Jungian psychology and archetypes thereof. It invokes literature like "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". It can appeal to the action-craving lowest common denominator mentality (though I hate the invoking of that terminology with regard to anything imaginative in the space science fiction/fantasy field of entertainment; a person watching a work of the imaginative space science fiction/fantasy genre is already not part of that lowest common denominator that is at home in the watching of something Earth-grounded and largely unimaginative like The Dukes of Hazzard) and be refined and thought-provoking in its motifs at the same time. Action and meaningful content are not mutually exclusive things.
"Haven't posted here before, but I remember watching episodes in the mid 70s here in Alberta, and being captivated by the Eagles and of course some of the toys that came out when I was a youngster. Just got through Season 1, and was pleasantly surprised how it held up. I might not be saying that much longer though.. on my 2nd episode of Season 2. Please tell me that it can't get any worse. I had read some things that a few characters were changed, but why such a dramatic shift in storyline, etc? Did whoever was making it just want it out of it's misery?"
It's. I laugh.
But it does distress me to see people in my own country, to whom the CBC served Space: 1999's second season in a way that really did it justice, be so pigheadedly dismissive about Season Two. As is very usual for the Season Two detractor, he does not qualify his statements about it "getting worse" upon having viewed, I presume, "The Metamorph" and "The Exiles". And the fact that after forty-two years someone has to ask the questions that he does just shows an unmitigated ignorance. And a decades-spanning laziness for doing research.
As to something "holding up", what does that mean, anyway? "Hold up" to what? To the ever so definitively absolute standards of today? As if today's standards are by necessity the ultimate in superiority. Standards of what? Imagination? Production value? Set design? Visual effects? Season One has computers that output paper read-outs and lack monitor screens. That "holds up"? Open-reel magnetic tape inside computers. That "holds up"? Cardboard Eagle "cut-outs". That "holds up"? Jump-cuts as spaceships explode, most especially in "Alpha Child". That "holds up"? Luke Ferro's camera. That "holds up"? Just prattling a vacuous and lame comment like this on the expectation that like-minded people will accept it as gospel, ought to be just a fatuous exercise and a waste of any rational person's time. It is, as far as I am concerned.
Par for the course for these people.
Back to my kitty.
Warner Brothers has yet again repackaged its first few DVD sets of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, those under the LOONEY TUNES SPOTLIGHT COLLECTION banner, and is selling them through retailers. Yes, those same old 2003, 2004, 2005 DVDs. The codec on them is very inferior to the codec of DVD today, and there are still those 2010 DVDs with cropped-to-widescreen cartoons that could be reissued with correct aspect ratio. But Warner Brothers is averse, evidently, to spending any money on new glass masters for any new DVD release. Yes, even if some cartoons are already remastered and require no further restoration work. Sad times. And I can see no end in sight to them.
Recently, among the daily assaults upon Season Two of Space: 1999 at the Facebook group for that television show, was a bemoaning of Fred Freiberger not watching all twenty-four first season episodes before commencing work on Season Two. The contention being that he ought to have watched all twenty-four episodes of Season One in order to craft second season episodes having an intricate continuity with what had transpired in first season.
To this I say (per what is printed in the late Tim Heald's book, The Making of Space: 1999) that it was recommended that Freiberger watch eight Season One episodes, and he did so. He probably was expected upon his appointment to producer to just "get on with it", to ring the changes that he and Gerry Anderson "pitched" to Lew Grade to persuade Grade to commission a Season Two. He probably was expected to not "dwell" very much on what had been done in Season One. The first season was regarded as having failed. Failed to achieve placement on an American television network, despite the sums of money spent on employing Landau and Bain by Grade. Failed to win favour with established fandom for televised science fiction/fantasy, such as Star Trek. ITC had spent some considerable money on advertising Space: 1999 to individual television stations, and "curiosity viewing" in the initial weeks of broadcast had abated by mid-autumn. "Year One" of Space: 1999 had been cancelled. Having Space: 1999 revived by Lew Grade for a renewed Season Two meant changes. Significant changes. If Gerry Anderson had been more "gung ho" about continuity with Season One, he could have been insistent upon it. Freiberger was working for him. He was the Executive Producer. But he was not insistent upon continuity with Season One. Not during conception of the Season Two style. Not during the writing of the scripts. Not during filming of the episodes. Episodes of first season were not referenced in those of Season Two. There were statements in "The Metamorph" to the effect that the Alphans had been betrayed in past history. Not much else was said beyond that. The intention was for viewers to be engaged in what was happening in Season Two, not to encumber scripts with past episode references. References to episodes of which viewers on a given week may have no knowledge. Space: 1999 was being made for the general viewing public. Not for fans. Oh, I know how difficult that it is for fans to accept this fact, but all feelings aside, it is a fact that has to be acknowledged by a rational mind.
The two seasons do still have many things in common (runaway Moon concept, the struggle for survival in space, Eagles, reconnaissances to alien planets, encounters with Greco-Roman-styled alien civilisations, planets with feminine coding and subtle references to Gaia, Koenig and Russell and their relationship, the heroism of Alan Carter), and imagination on the part of viewer can reconcile them to the same continuity. The date in "Dragon's Domain" excepted, there really is nothing in Season One that cannot be coopted into an overall Space: 1999 continuity, if one accepts that something may have happened to cause Alphan outlook to alter. There is no outright contradiction in situation or depicted empirical fact that makes reconciliation utterly impossible. Yes, Earth civilisation still exists in Season Two's "Journey to Where" but had perished on the Earth seen in Season One's "Another Time, Another Place", but it is not stated when "Another Time, Another Place" occurs in the epochs of the Earth. It could be far in the future or, as Bergman posits, far in the past. There is no irreconcilable difference.
Much as the fans refuse to accept it, Space: 1999 is one television series. It was distributed as such in syndication in North America. It was on DVD and is on Blu-Ray as such. It is one television series as Spiderman, with its different Grantray-Lawrence and Ralph Bakshi styles, is one television series. If after more than forty years fans are unwilling to accept this fact and appreciate what Space: 1999 as one television series had to offer aesthetically, philosophically, entertainingly, this is their problem. And their closed-mindedness and incessant maligning of Season Two is their pathology.
Freiberger watched those eight episodes and gave his assessment of what he had seen to Abe Mandell. Anderson could have talked to Freiberger about what Season One's strengths were and urged him, or ordered him, to watch more episodes. But that was not the case. I am not sure that Anderson even recognised those strengths, beyond the obvious technical production achievements. Anderson and Freiberger were embarking on a new season with new style, new characters, new adventures for the Alphan characters. To use the post-modern vernacular, they were "going forward".
All right. The latest deluge of anti-Season Two arsenic concentrates upon costuming. First posted comment in the Facebook "thread" says that the "overdressing" in Season Two is detestable. And out pour such ever so erudite statements as:
"Like everything else in Season 2, ott."
"The ID badges they wore in season 2 were just dumb."
"Amnesia was becoming a problem on Alpha. 300 people to keep track of were just too many after all that time."
The last of these is from someone whose only contributions to the group are venomous attacks on Season Two and "like clicking" of other people's anti-Season Two rants. Seriously.
"Over-the-top". Everything? Really? And nothing ever, ever was "over-the-top" in Season One? Not even Regina Kesslann's fit of hysteria? I had a friend who thought Jack Tanner in "Death's Other Dominion" to be laughably exaggerated in his mania at times. Not that I necessarily agree with that, mind. But an argument could be made, I suppose.
Look, since when is having a full range of human emotion an exaggeration? Wilful exaggeration or not. Nobody in Season Two twirls a moustache and laughs like the Joker in Batman. Indeed, there is an admirable amount of subtle acting in Season Two. There are some theatrical performances, to be sure. Gerry Sundquist as Malic in "The Dorcons", for instance. But it is still measured to the particular import of a scene and gives a Shakespearean quality to the dialogue delivery. How anybody can brand the conversation between Koenig and Maya on the Luton hilltop as laughably exaggerated is beyond me. Koenig and Maya are talking about their pasts and the pain experienced by loss of a loved one. News flash, people. It is natural to cry over the remembered loss of a beloved wife.
Sanderson is obsessed and irrational. Of course, he rants and raves. Carolyn Powell is losing her mental stability. So, of course she has fits of hysteria along with sullen and menacing contemplation. Koenig, having been incapacitated for some time, has suddenly discovered hideous aliens having infiltrated the Command Centre, and all of his people think that they are friends. That would be enough to send any normal person into an extremely agitated state. And this said, there is admirable subtlety in Landau's acting as John first walks into Command Centre with Helena and Vincent and sees for the first time what is therein. The viewer can discern that something is clearly wrong from Koenig's perspective, and wonders for some seconds what it is. Koenig's emotion builds as it becomes all too evident that he is the only person who sees what is really there in Command Centre and he becomes cognisant of the menace in the situation (clearly all of his people are being deceived in an elaborate and probably sinister scheme of aliens, the end to which not yet known). The refusal of his people to see what is really there or to at least give to him benefit of doubt is what makes him bellow and "lash out". And he may also have an idiosyncratic aversion to the look of the aliens.
But I am digressing. I was intending to address the attacks upon costumes. Specifically, the Alphan dress. The first season Alpha uniforms could, from another point of view, be said to be drab and unflattering to the physique of some actors. I have always liked the jackets of Season Two. That many of the characters have at least two jackets that they wear alternately episode to episode gives to each episode a look somewhat different and distinguishable from that of the others. What is wrong with wearing a jacket, or a blazer, to work? I do so much of the time. I am required to do so. The Alphan jackets have a sartorial purpose, in that they can conceal the degree to which an actor possesses a paunch. And they have pockets, which can be convenient if a person has objects (e.g. scanning equipment) that he or she needs to carry while at the same time he or she prefers to have free use of his or hands. With planetary reconnaissances, the jackets are practical in this sense, with small analysis gear needing to be carried. In addition to providing additional comfort in conditions lacking in climate control (not every planet that the Alphans reconnoitre is going to have a perfect twenty-degrees-Celsius temperature and little or no wind).
I like the fact that jackets change on some Alphans as Season Two progresses. Alan's jacket is red in early episodes and green in the later ones. The men wear jackets increasingly toward the end of the second season. And there is an aesthetic quality to the jackets also. In "Devil's Planet", every Alphan besides Koenig is wearing red. Red in jackets and in some cases red in tunic sleeve and collar. A curious correspondence to what Koenig will find on Entra, Elizia and her minions all dressed in red. Oh, of course we know that the fans despise the very idea that there could be anything aesthetically interesting about Season Two. So, naturally they are averse to the jackets and the possible aesthetic value of them.
The I.D. badges are not dumb. They have a purpose. Alpha receives visits from aliens. Is it not sensible for Alphans to wear badges of identification for aliens to know who they are and what their area of specialisation is? In case an alien wants to put a question to them? The I.D. badges as a concept may be said to hail from a pre-"Breakaway" Alpha on which new people were joining Alpha on a regular basis, and when it was practical for each Alphan to be identifiable to every other Alphan. See? Not dumb.
As to the jacket badges, they indicate the particular achievements and the expertise of individual Alphans, while also representing that Alphans wearing the same badges share a similar professional background. On a Moonbase that is trying to become less depersonalising and more congenial to long-term habitation by a psychologically balanced populace of individuals sharing some commonalities within a collective, opting for the wearing of badges has a certain sense to it.
And I will add that Koenig, Bergman, and Cellini in all have I.D. badges in Season One's "Dragon's Domain". And that the jackets that they wear (yes, jackets) have on them some of the badges seen in Season Two. So, the jackets and the badges had their beginning in "Year One".
Someone has also lambasted Season Two for it no longer portraying the commlock as granting limited access of Alphans to the sections of Moonbase, i.e. as restricting entry to certain sections to Alphans authorised to be in them. In Season Two, doors open to all Alphans at push of a button on a wall panel. And some open automatically. To this, I will say that post-"Breakaway", Alpha is a community with very little addition to its complement, and everyone on Alpha soon has a proven dedication to a common cause. Everyone on Alpha is working toward the same end. Survival. Naturally, Alpha would be "tighter-knit" as a community. With the sections of Alpha having to collaborate to a greater degree for the purpose of survival, would it not make more sense for Alphans to be able to come and go throughout Alpha with as little restriction as possible? To deliver equipment, reports, whatever, to one another. Of course, if there should arise a situation in which Koenig or Verdeschi may decide to restrict movement through the Moonbase or in one section of it, the coming and going of personnel could be limited, and Alphans would require commlocks again to gain entry to the sections to which they have particular access. So, the commlock would still have a purpose outside of its function as a communication device.
The damning of Season Two on these grounds is unfounded. It can be rationally argued that the jackets, the I.D. badges, and the changes to the applications of the commlock follow the ethos and the motivations of the Moonbase as it adjusts to changing circumstances.
All for today, June 7, 2018.
The usual garbage. This time with a difference. Someone actually writes an intelligent reply to it.
First, the garbage. It pertains to Maya. Maya of Space: 1999- Season Two.
"How could her mass shape shift in to a smaller mass, especially the cock roach that could crawl under airtight doors as she did in that one episode. Grrrrr, have I ever mentioned how much better and more believable season one was?!!
I know she might have been. 'Hot' for her day (I didn't think so), but Catherine Schell ruined/destroyed an otherwise awe inspiring and thought provoking show, at least for a ST fan teenager.
I would rather of had Victor Bergman back in S2 In drag if need be."
I am sure that my former friend, Tony, would have had no end of fun in ridiculing Victor for that. Anyway...
"Would rather of". Ah, yes. The requisite grammatical mistake.
Punctuation mistake in a lack of question mark at end of a question.
And a spelling error. Cockroach is one word.
Missing hyphens in awe-inspiring and thought-provoking.
And the usual factual error. Maya turned into a cockroach to move underneath a force field barrier in "One Moment of Humanity". Not a door. Airtight or otherwise.
I am as usual overwhelmed by the fans' precision in following the rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation and their ever so exacting knowledge of the proceedings of Season Two episodes as they attack Season Two for alleged faults.
So, Season Two cannot provoke thought or inspire awe? It does so for me on both counts. It did for a former associate of mine.
How in bloody hell does one "jobbing actress" doing an acting part and delivering a more than decent performance (even most of Season Two's most vitriolic critics tend to concede that much) in that part ruin or destroy a television show all by herself? She was doing a job, and doing it competently and professionally.
"At least for a ST fan teenager." What? Does this person mean to say, teenage fan of Star Trek? Why not just say so? Okay. In what way is being a teenage fan of Star Trek germane to having a sufficiently considered disdain for Catherine Schell as Maya? I do not know. This person makes no cogent effort to articulate the association between his fandom for Star Trek and his dislike of Season Two of Space: 1999 and its "resident alien" character.
Her mass can change because of the special life-force that Psychons have. It can store life energy and discharge life energy. For God's sake, people. Stop applying Earth standard to alien beings. These are aliens! Aliens that can teleport themselves or teleport Alphans. Aliens that can mutate a baby into an adult and change its clothes. Aliens that can give to the Moon atmosphere and Earth gravity.
Every time that anything photographic from Season Two is posted onto the Facebook Space: 1999 groups, the negativity, the hostility, the erroneously founded cavils, the use-Season-One-against-Season-Two tactic, and the imagination-stunted assaults are to be expected as a matter of course within the first couple of posted comments. Day in, day out. Day in, day out. Day in, day out. Day in, day out. Day in, day out.
But at last, someone responds to it with a balanced statement.
"Let's face it, even Season 1 was more science fantasy than science fiction. Just based on the number of explosions of nuclear material, they should all be dead from the radiation. You either have to accept the junk science and enjoy it, or watch something else more realistic.
I missed Space 1999 when it was first released. I was born in 1960 and lived in South Florida from 1965 to 2016. It is entertaining and has good if not superb acting. I notice some story similarities to Star Trek but I'm not sure if that's coincidence or who may have copied whom.
Shape shifting pretty much requires alteration at the subatomic level because the molecular composition of one creature is completely different from another. So, it isn't too far of a stretch to assume mass and energy can change, or perhaps transition between adjacent dimensions. Science is just a way to explain what we observe. When we observe new things we have to develop science to explain them.
I'm a computer programmer and I have to turn off my programmer brain whenever I watch any movie or video that has computers or AI. Just comparing the computers in Space 1999 to the real computers in 1999 is striking. Why do their computers spit out paper cards? What are all those damn lights for? And how come all equipment catches fire but never creates smoke?"
Bravo. I tip my hat. A coherent argument. And almost completely devoid of any mistakes. Spelling, grammar, observations. Almost impeccable. It ought to be clear who the smarter person is in this exchange of writings.
I nominate the responder to be my hero of the year for 2018. I need not say anything more. His comments are effective as a reasoned reply in its own right.
He wrote the response two days ago. The attacker upon Season Two, Maya, and Catherine Schell has said nothing further. Why does that not surprise me? Oh, he will simply "double-down" and return at a later date to the Facebook group's discussions to repeat his opinion with ever more acidity and absurd self-confidence. Probably after someone else "lets loose" with a barrage of slurs against some episode's concept and an avowed hatred of Freiberger, the late man's name ridiculed for the millionth time.
June 4, 2018.
Today on planet Facebook, Space: 1999's isle with the "echo chamber".
"Ok guys subject for discussion with all the prequels going around just now how's about 'Space 1988' or thereabouts. Stories of the base being built & all of the missions into space that happened (and subsequently failed as told in Space 1999 storyline?) the building of the space station & the Hawk squadron. Thoughts anyone?"
"I'd say, lose the year 2 stuff-- otherwise their has to be a world War III"
And I would say, not lose the "Year 2" "stuff". So, there. I say there as in there. I at least know the difference in meaning between the words, there and their.
Ever so intelligent, as always. Are they not? Again, these are the people whose assessments of and opinions on Space: 1999 are sacrosanct.
World War Three was obviously a limited war, as it did not make Earth uninhabitable and end humanity. Why would it be so difficult to include it in a Space: 1999 "prequel".
Oh, sure. There could be a "prequel" for Space: 1999. There could also be a fourth LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION volume to the specifications that I proposed yesterday. But there will not be. Actually, the chances of there being a fourth volume of THE LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION and of it precisely following my specifications, are better, I reckon, than there are of there being any new production of Space: 1999. But a "pipe dream" is what both of these things are.
Ah, but fans sure do love to imagine their beloved Space: 1999 being revived. Without anything to do with the universally despised (ah, yes) "Year 2", of course. To be very plain with them, I will say that if Season Two is "retconned" out of existence in the Space: 1999 universe, spitefully ignored, "de-canonised" to please the fans, I will not accept anything that is made to revive Space: 1999. Not that such has a snowball's chance in hell of happening, mind. And if saying this makes me look like I have succumbed to asininity, then all I can say is, asininity breeds asininity. The first people to be asinine in Space: 1999's following were not devotees of Season Two.
On "Brian the Brain".
"Disliked this whole episode. Brian had the same shtick 'robots' had in American malls at this time. Referring to Command Center scene. I could not take this one seriously."
"Robots" in malls? With shtick? I had to "Google" this to see what such things are. I went to malls in the 1970s. There were no "robots" there, shtick-proclaiming or otherwise. Just some sit-in toy vehicles for the children. Maybe a booth for viewing a short cartoon. And the occasional instant-photograph booth. And some coin-operated dispensers for jelly beans, gumballs, or peanuts. That is all that I remember. Not being an American, I guess that I "missed out" on some ostentatious items in shopping malls.
Brian is a robot of modular design, physically connectable to the Swift spacecraft drive system and believable within the modular technology schema of Space: 1999. He would not be believable if he were obviously beyond the technological development of twentieth century Earth. And the maker, the "father", Captain Michael, may have been somewhat eccentric in fashioning the robot's head and in programming its voice. How is that unbelievable?
So, this person disliked a whole episode because of one humorous scene in Command Centre. Brian was supposed to be funny in that scene. It was an amusing affectation not revealing of his sinister purpose and not indicative of his past lethal actions on Planet D. A robot of funny impression that has mass-murdered. Irony, people. A storytelling quality that is lost on these proudly posturing quasi-intellectuals.
"I seem to remember liking it as a kid, but now it is unwatchable."
Maybe this person had better taste as a child. And probably more imagination. Unwatchable. How? How is it unwatchable? Because of Bernard Cribbins' Brian voice? I think that it looks quite fetching in high definition on Blu-Ray. An "unwatchable" production on Blu-Ray. Really? If it were really so bad as to be unwatchable, it would never have been repeated on television, much less be mastered in high definition and released on Blu-Ray.
I continue to search for a kitten. Oh, Fredericton, ever the city of unavailing and ignorant people. Nobody in this place believes in answering Kijiji correspondence.
May 31, 2018.
As a lark today, I have imagined a fourth LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION Blu-Ray set per my own particular desires for availability in high definition of certain cartoons, and have listed the contents of that desired box set. Here is that list.
"Hot Cross Bunny"
"Water, Water Every Hare"
"My Bunny Lies Over the Sea"
"Wild and Woolly Hare"
"Hip Hip- Hurry!"
"The Fastest With the Mostest"
"Tweet and Sour"
"The Leghorn Blows at Midnight"
"Plop Goes the Weasel"
"Holiday For Drumsticks"
"A Kiddie's Kitty"
"Here Today, Gone Tamale"
The Complete Egghead Jr.
"Little Boy Boo"
Friz Freleng Jekyll-and-Hyde
"Dr. Jerkyl's Hide"
"Hyde and Hare"
"Hyde and Go Tweet"
The Complete Charlie Dog
"Little Orphan Airedale"
"The Awful Orphan"
"Often an Orphan"
"Dog Gone South"
"A Hound For Trouble"
The Complete Goofy Gophers
"The Goofy Gophers"
"Two Gophers From Texas"
"A Ham in a Role"
"A Bone For a Bone"
"I Gopher You"
"Pests For Guests"
"Tease For Two"
The Complete Bugs and Wile E. Coyote
"To Hare is Human"
BONUS CARTOONS: "The Case of the Stuttering Pig", "The Impatient Patient", "Porky's Pooch", "Gopher Goofy"
A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur's Court
Bugs Bunny Creature Features
Bugs Bunny Superstar
Last Daze: The Final Years of Looney Tunes
"Cats and Bruises"
"Run, Run, Sweet Road Runner"
"Chimp and Zee"
"Bugged By a Bee"
May 30, 2018.
May 29, 2018.
Continuing on the subject of Space: 1999 and the attitude of its fans.
I recently watched the Space: 1999 first season's episode, "Guardian of Piri". A quite beautiful episode in production design. But it has not been an engaging and enjoyable episode for people with whom I have associated. Horses for courses, I guess, as such people in my life have rarely been enamoured enough with Space: 1999 to be absorbed into the "goings-on" in all episodes. I do tend to find it to be rather distant and distancing, difficult to "warm to", un-absorbing, and slow, with long periods of time with no dialogue. And what dialogue there is, mostly concerns computers. Not my favourite subject. It is not a favourite episode of mine, even though Koenig is very much the hero of it.
Do the Season One pundits ever remark on how convienient and how facile is the resolution of the story of "Guardian of Piri"? On planet Piri, the Servant of the Guardian commands the Alphans to destroy Koenig, who, the Servant says, threatens their peace and happiness. And they do not attack him en masse. Mathias and Carter stalk him and Helena but are stunned unconscious by Koenig. If time is suspended, as is said to be the case on Piri, how do guns fire? Anyway...
Pete Irving motions to kill Koenig and is stunned from behind by Helena. The Alphans around Helena have not disarmed her. Why not? They can see that she is now in league with Koenig. Koenig fires his gun at the Servant of the Guardian, and the gun's stun beam (surely Koenig did not fire the kill ray; surely he would not "shoot to kill" because of the off-chance that the Servant is a living being) fries away the Servant's face and burns out of operation the electronics behind the face. And then the Guardian conveniently explodes. The Guardian, that super-computer that can suspend time, gain dominion over Alpha's computer, brainwash the Alpha population, and lock the Moon in orbit around Piri (if time on Piri is suspended, how is it that Piri rotates and through rotation has gravity?), can be destroyed just by the firing of an energy weapon at its Servant. Koenig has zero difficulty in convincing every Alphan on Piri that they had been under the Guardian's influence and had been seeing illusions of a livable existence on a planet with many forms of life. Then, it is a hurried evacuation of the full Alpha population from Piri and back to Alpha. Everyone returns in a rush to Alpha, no one left behind on Piri, ostensibly, in the scramble to embark the Eagles.
But what happened to Pete Irving? Helena stunned him seconds before Koenig destroyed the Servant of the Guardian and, seconds after that, the Guardian itself. Surely he did not recover from the stun effect that quickly. Helena stunned him at rather a close range. It is unlikely enough for Alan and Mathias to quickly recover from the full-body-stun effect upon them. If Irving did not recover within the time frame of the dash back to the Eagles, he must have been carried to an Eagle, or left behind. The viewer is not told what became of Pete Irving. Were Season Two to be so vague about the fate of a character, it would be called onto "the carpet" for it, for a most severe thrashing. Ah, but as "Guardian of Piri" is Season One, no problem.
Ultimately, one just has to suspend disbelief and just accept that things happen because they do. That the viewer is not privy to every detail. But to be consistent and fair, this procedure must also apply to the episodes of Season Two. Of course, one can choose not to be consistent and fair, but if that is the case, then surely he or she should not be given reasonable credence as objective judge of the quality of a production. And the final and definitive word on the merit of either season should not be his or hers.
On Victoria Day, I went to New Brunswick's Miramichi River region and spent a few hours there in the former town of Newcastle and the former village of Douglastown, the two Miramichi River area places wherein I resided in my life eras one and two. The past few years have seen a huge amount of, for me, unfavourable change there in my old habitats, and on my latest visit back to there, my eyes were assaulted by another change. The mobile home in which my parents and I lived in my pre-school years is now gone from the trailer park in Newcastle. It used to be at back of Reid Street, with train tracks behind it. It was the mobile home with which my parents and I moved from Rivers, Manitoba to the Miramichi region of New Brunswick when I was three years-old.
Until as recently as last year, it was dependably situated where it had been since we parked it in the trailer park back in 1970. I could look upon it and its surrounding territories and experience surges of memories of my pre-school life. Now, that avenue of pleasure has been removed from me. As already had been the ability to gaze upon my old elementary school in Douglastown and revisit memories of being in and around that. The home of a friend in Douglastown has been torn down, and another friend's house has been radically altered by its new owners. And my old Douglastown dwelling has been renovated extensively. And all of this has happened in the space of a few short years.
The mobile home in Newcastle now being gone, just about every trace of the McCorry presence in the region Miramichi in the 1970s has been wiped. In that trailer, I saw "Hyde and Hare" for the first time and experienced my first disturbing and fascinating impressions of it. Also therein, I saw "Hyde and Go Tweet" for the first time. And "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide". And The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour and its many distinctive characteristics. Along with several of its cartoons.
I had my first glimpses of Spiderman there in the trailer, and therein I also regularly watched Batman, Rocky and His Friends, Walt Disney, Adventures in Rainbow Country, and Sesame Street. I for the first time saw the "Sad Flower Song" of Sesame Street while in that mobile home with my mother one memorable weekday. And I saw the Dig television special made by John and Faith Hubley one Sunday evening in the trailer living room. My interest in recorded media had its origins inside that trailer. That trailer, the surroundings of it, and my sitter's place just outside the trailer court constituted my world prior to our move to the house in Douglastown in July, 1972. It and the entertainments that I saw. The sad day has come for me to report its disappearance. Either it was torn down, or it was moved to somewhere else. Perhaps some place in the western regions of my country. Whatever happened to it, I will never see it again in the niche of the world in which I lived in my life's earliest era.
Here are some photographs of it and of sections of the trailer court in which it was located. The photographs are from 2011 and 2012.
CBC Television in the late 1970s and very early 1980s produced a television series called Beyond Reason, which involved a panel of three occultists, each of them competing with one another to pinpoint the identity or the expertise of a guest hidden from them but visible to and identified for the audience. The three occultists usually consisted of an astrologer, a graphologist, and a clairvoyant. Sometimes, a palmist would replace the graphologist. It was a bizarre but always entertaining television programme. I now think that it was intuition and the collective unconscious that had the most to do with the panelists' sometimes accurate and occasionally precise determinations on the professions or identities of the guests. And less so the occult arts. Back in the day, I was more inclined than now to believe in supernatural forces, especially astrology. I have to credit Carl Sagan for planting doubt in my mind about what he called the pseudo-science of astrology. But when I watched Beyond Reason, I used to "root for" the astrologer, Geof Gray-Cobb, and I was annoyed at graphologist Marilyn as she was very fast and aggressive in her questioning of the guests and usually won "the rounds".
Such was the case when Stan Lee of Marvel Comics was a guest on Beyond Reason in 1980. I cannot recall whether I saw that particular episode or not. And really I should, because it was a most remarkable circumstance, for the television show's host/moderator at that time was Paul Soles, the voice of Spiderman in the 1967-70 Spiderman television series. So, the voice of Spiderman was host of a television programme episode in which Spidey's creator was guest. "Cool", no? All three panelists were convinced that Mr. Lee was a publisher or writer of some kind. Gray-Cobb thought that Lee was Hugh Heffner. Funnily enough, Gray-Cobb determined from his astrological charts that Mr. Lee was interested in what atomic science was doing to "us" at the moment. The best part of the Stan Lee Beyond Reason episode segment was when Mr. Lee reminded Mr. Soles of Mr. Soles' connection to the super-heroic web-spinner, and Mr. Soles reprised his Spidey voice.
And here is the entire Stan Lee guest appearance on CBC's Beyond Reason.
Some fun material to be savoured there. Not much fun to be had these days on the world political stage. There are things happening now that worry me deeply. I fear for the future of Western civilisation and Western liberal democracy more with every day that passes. Scary times.
My concentration in recent months upon the blinkered fans of Space: 1999 has kept me distracted somewhat from the worrisome trends and events in world politics. The world was closer to World War Three in April than it had ever before been in my lifetime (yes, even during the Cold War). Thank goodness that Putin "stood down" and thank the maker that Russian forces were not hit. Yes, I am referring to the crisis in Syria and Trump's decision to do a military strike against Syrian targets. The world may not be as fortunate the next time.
On the subject of Space: 1999, of course the daily sorties against Season Two continue with ever more smug airs of assurance. The big discussion of recent days has circled around the episode, "All That Glisters", and one oh, so intrepid fan's report that he has finally, after 40 years, "made it through" that oh, so abominable and devoid-of-any-quality episode. The glib and slick responses by other oh, so clever fans in their expected conceited closed-minded arrogance came gushing forth thereafter. Hey, brainy ones, I sat through "All That Glisters" with captivated wonder when I first saw it in French on December 11, 1976. It was an episode not yet shown in English, and I was fascinated with the look of it (the alien sands of a desert world; this was before Tatooine of Star Wars, people) and the central concept (a rock as an alien quantity, "the other", possessing the ability to seize control of the heroes' Eagle and impose its strange and initially mysterious will upon the heroes). And when I saw it in English on February 5, 1977, I loved every minute of it (apart from the two minutes or so that the CBC cut out of the episode for advertising time). The Alphans on a palpably alien world trying to understand and to overcome a very alien life-form. The pulsations of the rock and its many different colours were beautiful and compelling in the impressions that I was receiving from its role in development of the episode's story. Impressions that I had yet to fully comprehend.
Much as I respect Martin Landau as an actor, I think that he was wrong about "All That Glisters". His imagination evidently was not as broad in scope as it ought to have been for the pulp science fiction/fantasy material in which he was the starring leading man. Of course the fans do sling the late and much-missed Landau for use against "All That Glisters" in their sorties. The man was wrong. He did not see the merit in the concept. The Gaia principle. A sentient ecosystem, or a sentient component part of an ecosystem. One iteration thereof in the fantastic future and worlds beyond belief of Space: 1999. Lauding oneself for having contemptuously struggled one's way through "All That Glisters" is a fatuous, lame, cliched articulation of pride in being of closed mind toward a beautiful episode in one's purported favourite television series, and "playing to" a crowd of approving goats braying in unison.
The same fan pledges to venture forth oh, so valiantly with further previously eschewed Season Two episodes in a similar manner. And to this, I shout at my computer screen, "Why?!!!! You don't like it!! So, why are you watching it?!!!! And why must you keep reminding us of your dislike as you report on your struggles with every episode?!!" What valuable contribution to the enlightened knowledge of humanity can be made by this person's stated cliched disdain for the episodes of Season Two of Space: 1999? None. It is just a "venting" exercise in approval-seeking and confirmation bias. If I have already established that I do not like something on a conceptual level, so be it. I will watch something else. And why would I waste my time writing over and over and over and over again that I do not like it? I have an intense dislike of the movie, Strange Days. I hated it the first time that I saw it. I hated its concept and its concept's gratuitously smutty and violent dramatisation. But apart from now, only once in the past 23 years have I written my negativity toward the movie. Even if I were not to have better, more constructive things to do, I would rather count cracks in the ceiling than to reiterate ad nauseam my hatred for that movie and its dystopian ideas and depictions. And I promise that I have done so here for the last time.
All for today, May 28, 2018.
There is just no relenting of late in the barrages against Season Two of Space: 1999. On Facebook and elsewhere. The Roobarb's Forum is "at it" again now, too. Every so often, the Roobarb's Forum discussion "thread" on Network Distributing's Blu-Ray and DVD releases of Space: 1999 shows some activity, invariably pivoting toward slurring of the second season of said television programme, by the usual cluster of persons convinced in their "hive mind" of their individual cleverness and sophistication. Sophistry. That is what I would describe them as purveying. At best.
I had my last tussle with the Roobarbians on the subject of Space: 1999 in 2005. I was "wolf-packed", descended-upon by all of the Roobarb's Forum's foremost personalities and ridiculed and provoked to react and then ridiculed for my reaction. The usual behaviour of groups of school yard verbal bullies. One thing that was established was that my interview with Fred Freiberger was "fanboyish". And another was that I am a whimpering emotional moron rightly exiled from Space: 1999 fandom and deserving for all time of a bad reputation for being sensitive to the slights on Season Two and comparisons of it to foul bodily emissions. Nobody sided with me or even expressed any empathy for me. Of course not. That was in fact the last time I ever engaged in any exchange of communication with detractors of Season Two. Strange. I should have learnt my lesson in my most disagreeable series of encounters with the people on the Space: 1999 Mailing List in my first few years on the Internet, pre-2000.
I stay with the Roobarb's Forum because it can be a valuable source of information on DVD and Blu-Ray releases of science fiction/fantasy genre television- though outside of Doctor Who there is not much of interest to me lately on that subject. Members of the Doctor Who Restoration Team post comments routinely to the Roobarb Forum, and that is always of good value where I am concerned, collector of Doctor Who DVDs and Blu-Rays that I am. Yes, I do intend to buy whatever Doctor Who serials that the BBC chooses to release on Blu-Ray in the coming years. But the regularly communicative rank-and-file Roobarbians are a generally haughty cluster of sophistic people, smug and comfortable in their own quasi-intellectual community and their sense of belonging therein. They are for the most part a more intelligent, more grammatically proficient group than are the people populating the Space: 1999 Facebook communities. But this is not really saying much, as the Space: 1999 fans in the Facebook "echo chambers" do tend to be rather low on the scale of true intellectualism and writing ability. And maturity.
I am not going to quote people verbatim this time. The general "thrust" on the Roobarbian attacks of late upon Season Two of Space: 1999 has been focused on the differences between it and Season One (big yawn) and on the alien costume designs, the look of alien creatures, the general aesthetic of the second season's episodes. Okay. To begin, Season Two ought to be judged, first and foremost, on its own merits, and not solely or primarily on how much that it follows Season One in style and retention or no of certain characters. Those of us who saw Season Two first were not lumbered with prejudices against it for it not "carrying over" certain elements of the first season. We assessed it on what it had to offer in and of itself. And that is as unclouded and reasonable a judgement as one could desire. Distinct dissimilarity with Season One was a requisite of Lew Grade to resume producing the television series, and the decision was made to not throw at the viewers set-in-stone explanations for characters not being there, to leave such explanations to the option or the discretion of the viewer. Not unlike a decision made for production block two of Gerry Anderson's UFO. Where were Freeman, Ellis, Bradley, Ford, and Waterman? It was left to the imagination of the viewer to "fill in" those "blanks".
And as far as the look of the episodes and their aliens go, this is not an objective angle of attack. Appreciation or lack thereof of the look of the second season is ultimately a matter of personal taste. Such is what it "boils down to". And that, people, is sheer subjectivity. And the opinion of a majority is still subjective. And majorities can be wrong. The majority of the people pre-1492 thought the Earth to be flat. A majority of people used to believe the Earth to be the centre of the Solar System. So, throwing numbers of closed-minded people at me in defence of the anti-Season Two position, is not a victory. It is a presumption that numbers of people thinking a certain blinkered way equals fact. Poppycock. There is no written law of the universe that says that alien dress sense must follow a certain, specific track of design comparable to what is commonplace on present-day Earth. Aliens could evolve a culture wherein a set of garments like the shorts, boots, and cape worn by Vindrus of Sunim in "A Matter of Balance" is quite acceptable. Even a standard sartorial comportment. Besides, for credible functionality of story, Vindrus had to be garbed in a way as to be both alien and physically attractive to Shermeen. Shermeen's attraction to Vindrus would not be believable if Vindrus were garbed in flowing robes from neck to toe, his particular physical endowments obscured. The production design of Space: 1999 with regards to aliens and alien garments always was in the direction of the strange or the eccentric. This goes for both seasons. Aliens did not dress in blandly coloured military fatigues. Dione certainly did not dress that way in Season One's "The Last Enemy". I say eccentric in regards to experimenting with extrapolations of ancient, Classical civilisations and their styles of garment. Oftentimes melding such with 1970s clothing design, or some of the more unusual flourishes thereof. A traceable aesthetic from Space: 1999 (e.g. the cape, the boots, and the loin-covering shorts, in the case of Vindrus) through to what warriors of ancient times wore, may be said to exist and be worthy of aesthetic appreciation. There is also not a law that states that alien creatures must all look a certain way. That they must all evolve humanoid forms. That none should ever look like Thaed in "A Matter of Balance". The creatures of Season Two are outlandishly alien in their appearance. That was the intention, aptly following the worlds-beyond-belief tag-line to the television series. This said, I can concede that criticism of the use of the same monster head three times in episodes produced within the same three-week time period, does have a validity. It does betray a lack of time and/or money and a cutting of corners, made evident in a most ostentatious display in a costume design that already had a potential to "off-put" some segments of the audience. But one of those iterations of the monster head was the result of a delirious Maya's nightmare. In Maya's delirium, she might have assumed a hybridised form of the monster encountered in a previous episode. And the people of one world could have based their robot design of a seemingly alive creature on some of the physical characteristics of a creature on a neighbouring solar system's planet. It is not unbelievable. One might say that there is a certain logic to it. It certainly is not a thoroughly, for all of Season Two, damning act of repetition. There was also a degree of concerted effort to re-dress the head from episode to episode.
Concentrating on only the most superficial aspects of a work and using subjective slighting of such as a basis for despising the work as a whole and advocating suppression of it in the Zeitgeist and berating of persons having a different regard for it, is a shaky proposition at best for a real intellectual. And I do not brand these people as intellectuals. Much better though they may be at writing the Queen's English than are the denizens of Facebook's Space: 1999 communities.
On a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Roobarb's discussion "thread", someone says that, with regard to Season Two of Buck Rogers, he cannot think of another example of a television programme so comprehensively revamped in its second production block as to remove everything that had made it appealing. And oh, yes. Oh, yes! To this, inevitably somebody has to come along with a reply of Space: 1999. With a question mark. And accompanied with a big-smile emoticon, of course. Right. So, the only things appealing about Space: 1999 were Victor Bergman, Paul and Sandra, Kano, philosophising, horror in a few episodes, and metaphysical interventions by a mysterious force. Not the Eagles. Not reconnaissances to alien planets. Not Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. Not space battles. Not the stun guns and commlock communicators. Not the Greco-Roman motifs. Not the visual aesthetic of space and the aural aesthetic of alien cultures. Not the vivid imagination. Not anything of what Season Two did "carry over" from Season One. Just Victor, some supporting characters, overt philosophical commentary, some occasional horror, and a deux ex machina. That was all that Space: 1999 was about. Its only appealing components. Right. People, young people as we all were, did not care about the Eagles, the guns, the communicators, and so forth. Right.
And someone "trots out" the old Season Two of Space: 1999 being campy and silly refrain. Camp, people, is intentional satire, with sometimes homosexual undertones. Wilfully "making fun" or "sending up" of a genre. Camp is defined as such. Camp is Batman. Camp is Lost in Space. Camp is The Brady Bunch Movie (which "sends up" the television show, The Brady Bunch, and its tropes). Doctor Who sometimes dabbled in it in its Tom Baker years. Anyone who cannot see that Season Two of Space: 1999 was rendering its genre seriously with occasional nod to some non-satirical humour (humour largely stemming from characters and their foibles, heterosexual romance, or hobby), cannot rightly be said to have acuity of observation. Obviously the subtle "touches" of Season Two's episodes and its chronology are lost on them. Best they "stick" to being told what episode A and episode B are about by Victor and John in conversation. And silly is, again, a word for people lacking in imagination.
All right. This is my spiel for today, May 23, 2018.
May 20, 2018.
Kino Lorber has provided to its customers a listing of planned Blu-Ray titles for the remainder of this year. Volumes 3, 4, and 5 of the Pink Panther cartoons are in the list, but all clustered within the year's final four months. I believe that the plan is to release six volumes, and the sixth and final volume has evidently been pushed into 2019.
But with that final volume, all of the DePatie-Freleng theatrical cartoons will have been released on Blu-Ray. And that, I must say, is a most remarkable "sell-through video" breakthrough for cartoons. Especially for cartoons from so late in the history of hand-drawn cartoon animation. Much as I may quibble with Kino Lorber's quality control. It still vexes me that the original title music for two Inspector cartoons cannot be heard accompanying high-definition visuals and that audio for the Ant and Aardvark cartoon, "Technology, Phooey", is out of synchronisation with the video.
Still, nevertheless, my hat is off to the people at Kino Lorber for so comprehensive a release of cartoons on Blu-Ray. If only Warner Brothers would be willing to "licence out" the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons to Kino Lorber or to a similar company!
Okay. So, what are my favourite people, the high-minded populace of on-Facebook discussions Space: 1999, "up to" now?
Beneath a picture of Sandra (Zienia Merton) screaming at the sight of one of the "Bringers of Wonder" aliens (of the Season Two episode, "The Bringers of Wonder") is this delightful Facebook string of comments.
"I'm amazed she had time to scream before fainting. Didn't all the women on Moonbase Alpha faint every time something happened? Loved the show but hated the incredibly sexist fainting spells of the women."
"...and the men always have this strange death grip on the women. The photo of Martin with his arm across Barbra is crazy. I can never tell if he is protecting her or restraining her."
"Ziena Merton tells a very interesting tale of one of the directors on Season One saying just that and that these women would be intelligent scientists and not likely to pass out at the slightest thing! Sadly, this idea seamed to be reversed by 'Year 2'."
Zienia, not Ziena.
Anyway, here we go. What is being said by these ever so astute, ever so infallible Space: 1999 fans is that in Season One, women on Moonbase Alpha were intelligent scientists and did not faint. And that in Season Two, they did. Routinely.
Other than Annette Fraser in "The Metamorph", which healthy female Alphans in Season Two fainted? I cannot think of any.
Sandra fainted in Season One in "Black Sun". She did not faint in Season Two.
"ANOTHER S2 ALIEN MONSTER OF THE WEEK .... I CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE ...... AGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH"
That again. I have already debunked that generalisation. Putting it all in capital letters does not make this person's remark any more persuasive.
Back to how women were portrayed in Space: 1999. I can put together a list of instances of women screaming, fainting, panicking, becoming hysterical. It is not difficult to do this. My late mother had an intolerance of hysterical, screeching, or screaming women (she hated Laverne and Shirley for this reason). She tended more, much more, to complain about hysterics and screaming on the part of women in Space: 1999's first season than in that television show's Season Two.
Onward I go.
"Black Sun". When Mike Ryan's Eagle is caught in the crushing gravitational forces of the black sun and explodes with Ryan inside of it, a grief-stricken Sandra (who had "a thing" for Ryan) faints onto the Main Mission floor.
"Another Time, Another Place". Regina Kesslann becomes hysterical after she embraces Alan only to realise that in her mind he is dead. Her hysterics are as melodramatic as melodrama can be imagined. Earth Sandra screams twice at the sight of Helena in the window of the Earth Alphans' settlement structure.
"Guardian of Piri". After the Guardian of Piri explodes and there is an urgent return by Alphans to Eagles to return to Moonbase Alpha, female Alphans are screeching and screaming in a panicky fluster.
"Alpha Child". Cynthia Crawford (or Sue Crawford, or whatever her name is) screams most loudly from the very bottom of her lungs three times as her infant Jackie grows explosively into a five-year-old.
"Collision Course". As the time for initiation of the shockwave is nearing, a woman in Main Mission becomes hysterical and needs to be comforted by Prof. Bergman.
"The Full Circle". Sandra stupidly opens the Eagle door. And a Stone Age man enters the spaceship and abducts her, as she shrieks, screams, and squeals ear-shatteringly. She later screams in the cave as caveman Koenig and cave-woman Helena both sit in front of her, looking at her. And again as Spearman tries to unclothe her. And she screams and screams as cave-woman Helena threatens to kill her.
"End of Eternity". Female operative screams after Balor touches her. Women in corridor are panicking and screaming and falling to floor at the sight of Balor. Woman in Main Mission faints and has to be pulled by Alan to standing as Balor struts into the Alpha control centre.
"War Games". Cornered against a cubicle by the two aliens, Helena screams at length from the bottom of her lungs.
"Space Brain". Flustered women need to be guided by level-headed men out of the foam in the corridors.
News-flash, people. These are all "Year One" episodes. Mind, I have not listed the death scream of Laura Adams in "The Troubled Spirit" and the screams of the certain victims of the monster in "Dragon's Domain", as screaming in those circumstances is the only reasonable thing that should be expected. And the men in the same mortal circumstances in those episodes scream, too. All told, though, women fare poorly in Season One with regard to being calm and composed in urgent or upsetting situations. And they fare poorly in not resorting to screaming.
Now, let us examine "Year Two". Does Alibe scream or faint? No. Does the much-maligned Yasko? No. Does Sandra? She screams only once. She screams when she suddenly discovers, to her shock, that what she thought for some time was her fiance, Peter, is a horrible, repulsive monster. And that Command Centre is replete with such monsters. I think that in that sudden instant, screaming is a natural reaction to the sight before one's eyes. It is the only time in Season Two when Sandra screams. Who else screams? Sally Martin does as she is dying in agony in "The Lambda Factor". But like the screams of Laura Adams and the monster's victims, it ought to be an admissible screaming under lethal circumstances. Does Eva in "The Seance Spectre" scream? No. Nor does Cranston in "Seed of Destruction". In "A Matter of Balance", Shermeen neither faints nor screams when Vindrus appears to her. She does not scream, nor does she faint, when she sees Thaed. She is understandably distraught when she is "taken down" by Vindrus' people and needs some comfort from Maya after she is brought back to the matter universe (with her helping Maya to operate the switches on the conversion machine). But does she scream? Does she faint? No.
Karen in "The Taybor" does scream (but not to the bottom of her lungs). She does so after she is hit by a blinding light ray. A natural reaction to sudden physical harm. Oh, yes, Zamara in "One Moment of Humanity" screams most loudly- but she is an alien android, not an Alphan, and she is screaming in death. Michelle Osgood has a serious heart condition. So, her fainting should be admissible. Carolyn Powell does become maniacal and is hysterical in one scene with Tony, but she is under the influence of the Lambda variant. Helena screams briefly at the abrupt, sudden death by disintegration of Lew Picard right in front of her in "The Metamorph". She then whimpers briefly before Koenig pulls her away from the death scene. I suppose that one may quibble with that. But it is scarcely comparable to Helena's protracted, all-out scream in "War Games". And to her defence, Helena maintains composure and reason as she is held captive by the rock in "All That Glisters". Maya screams when feverish, delirious, and nightmare-wracked in "Space Warp" and while she is being caused great pain, her brain being almost torn apart, by the Dorcon probe in "The Dorcons". At all other times, Maya does not scream. She is an emotionally strong woman. Even when she is trapped by the rock in "All That Glisters", she does not scream. Annette Fraser in "The Metamorph" is the only incontrovertible instance in Season Two of a hysterical, fainting woman. She faints when her husband's Eagle is enveloped in light, and she becomes hysterical when Tony orders her husband's death in the destruction of Psychon. Whether her behaviour is passable under the circumstances is for an individual to arbitrate, I suppose. But generally, women on Alpha in Season Two are portrayed as calm and collected. Helena commands Alpha on one occasion. Sahn runs Medical Centre after Helena is overcome by the sickness in "The Beta Cloud". Alibe is rational and assertive while meeting Elizia in "Devil's Planet". She cries understandably at believing that Koenig is dead. But her crying is restrained. Not melodramatic.
But leaving aside my defences of Season Two and concentrating on the numerous instances in Season One of women fainting, screaming, being hysterical, the fact that these fans so clearly fail to acknowledge the recurrent presence in their vaunted Season One of women acting in the way that they claim is ubiquitous in Season Two, is a further indictment of their tendency, deliberate or no, toward falsification, or at the very least intellectual dishonesty. Their attempt to mis-characterise Season Two as a damnable departure from Season One's perfect portrayals of professional females, falls flat with a thud. And yet I am the only articulating person to respond to it. They will contend Season One's superiority over Season Two on shaky footing, and do so with confounded degree of supreme confidence, slurring Season Two with daily derogatory comment. In their bid to prevent fair regard for Season Two and to perpetuate the cliches that keep Season Two mired in pejoratives and sweeping denunciations and its beleaguered pundits like myself derided, ostracised, forever lumbered with bad reputation. These people have been shown by me in this Weblog to be wrong about Season Two time and time and time again. Yet, their point of view is the only one that ever is acknowledged as definitive.
Now, having said all of this, it did not and does not concern me much how either Season One or Season Two portrayed female reactions to situations. Both seasons were products of the years in which they were made and should be assessed as such. I have no interest in deconstructing forty-year-old television series on the basis of gender studies, gender roles, gender stereotypes, and present-day sensibilities on those subjects. I am not on the political Left. Identity politics do not interest me. They never have. If women are portrayed as admirably strong in a production, I will laud it for such, with sincere appreciation. But I can have many reasons for venerating a production. And presentment of gender roles has never been of paramount consideration for me. I did not initially watch Space: 1999 or Star Trek or Doctor Who because I wanted to see strong female role models. I watched those television shows because I liked to see otherworldly phenomena and imagined encounters of our technological civilisation with such. Being a boy and not a girl, I naturally found identification as a male with the heroic men. And I chose to play them when friends and I played Space: 1999. I did, however, enjoy Catherine Schell as Maya. It was a bravura achievement in characterisation of an alien heroine. And to this, I would add that The Bionic Woman was one of my favourite television shows of my youth. The quality of the writing was excellent, I thought. And combined with that was Lindsay Wagner's compelling performance as Jaime Sommers. Wagner had more of a presence on screen, by my reckoning, than Lee Majors as Jaime's bionic counterpart, Steve Austin. And her emotional responses to difficulties in adjusting to and managing her bionic powers and in confronting opposing forces and daunting situations were believable as those of a woman. She had a gravitas because of that. And she prevailed against her antagonists in just about every episode. If a female leading character is compelling, I will watch the television show or movie with her in prominence in it. But a science fiction/fantasy opus like Space: 1999 has an imagination-based and aesthetic appeal to me that goes beyond considerations of strength of the women in it. And it does not hamper my enjoyment of it for a woman to scream or faint on occasion. Though I do still wince with my conditioned-over-the-years expectation that my mother will make some disapproving comment, and perhaps insist that I turn the audio volume down (to reduce the sound of the screaming).
Another ever so impressive undertaking by the good people at the Facebook groups for Space: 1999 is the capture of video frame of a character briefly shouting with their mouth wide open and their eyebrows highly raised, or of a Maya transformation of a few seconds into a monster, and putting the captured images together in a montage to attempt to portray all of Season Two as an undignified, non-beautiful, constant deluge of shouting, gurning, overwrought characters and rubber-suited monsters. And then, the fans "have at it" with more venomous denunciations of it and Mr. Freiberger (or some distortion of the proper spelling of his name). Anybody can try to capture the most extreme actor expressions possible in a selected scene and maybe some cheap-looking visualisation and patch together a "hit piece". It could be done for Season One. A video frame of Koenig shouting with his mouth wide-open. Another video frame of a cardboard Eagle. A video frame of a gurning Anton Zoref. And a screaming Cynthia Crawford. Cave-woman Helena screaming. Stone Age men looking befuddled. Kano grimacing as he is being connected to Computer. Etcetera. It could be done for just about anything. The question is, why do it?
No need for me to answer. Regular readers of my Weblog will anticipate the answer with precision.
May 18, 2018.
It has come to my attention that using Firefox as Internet browser and accessing through Google my Website using the www. prefix to the URL will result in images not being visible on the Web pages. The solutions to this are typing kevinmccorrytv.ca into the Website address space, using an Internet browser other than Firefox, or utilising something other than Google as search engine.
I have come upon on YouTube the first minutes (with advertisements) of some of the STARS OF SPACE JAM videocassettes of late 1996. An enjoyable trek down Memory Lane. Here is one of these YouTube videos.
I had all five of those videocassettes. Those were the days! When Warner Brothers would open the vaults, dependably those of post-1948, to commercially release newly remastered cartoons on a routine basis. Days long-gone now.
May 17, 2018.
Another day, more sorties against Season Two of Space: 1999 on that paragon of high-mindedness, the Facebook Space: 1999 group.
Here is a fan's commentary on the character, Tony Verdeschi.
"I did think Tony was a liability. Every time he was on screen the tension and mood seemed to drain out of a scene. He was such a sterotypical, cardboard character that he turned the series into a soap opera. The ill conceived effort to turn him into an action hero fell flat. He became security chief as well as second in command so he could run around and look dynamic. This was in contrast to Paul who rarely ventured out of main mission doomed to be an over the top melodramatic figure of fun rather than the low key but more rounded, credible and cerebral Paul."
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the typical attitude of the Space: 1999 fan. "I did think..." "I felt that..." Always clinging to their initial negative reactions, being unwilling to budge on them. And none of this tirade is supported with cogent examples to give to it even the slightest degree of credible objectivity. And everything said can be questioned and challenged from a rational viewpoint. How is the effort to make Tony an action hero ill-conceived? I had a friend who liked him. He was my friend's favourite character. My friend liked Tony because Tony was an appealingly assertive character. A man of action, sometimes. Sometimes, he was a barker of orders to others. Either way, he has to be what he is. He is in charge of Security. He has to respond to threats to the security of the Moonbase and its people. Wherever on Moonbase those threats may be. To defend the Moonbase most promptly and efficiently. He cannot just limit himself to a Command Centre desk, especially at a time when most Security guards are incapacitated, as in "The Beta Cloud". He has to be "on the move". And "hands-on". His men would not respect him if he were not so. And when in command of Alpha, he is authoritative and under some circumstances humane. He is effective in responding to Patrick Osgood's accusations about Koenig with a measured mix of disapproving indignation and humane sympathy for his friend Osgood's troubled and volatile state of mind. He is rightly angry at Sahala for Sahala's incapacitating of Maya and suspicious of her as a result, but is at the same time willing, with reluctance, to listen to Alan, his trusted associate, who is giving to Sahala benefit of the doubt.
The tension was sustained in the scene in "Catacombs of the Moon" between Tony and Osgood. It was not in any way drained. It built to the fight that happened when Tony tried to persuade Osgood to talk to Helena about his visions.
How is he stereotypical? How is he cardboard? A man of action who has a hobby. An alcoholic beverage hobby. And is not particularly adept at that hobby. How is this stereotypical? Stereotypical men of action are usually not shown to have hobbies, and those of them who are will tend to excel at the hobby, the perfect specimens of male heroes that they are. A Security Chief on a Moonbase falling in love with a resident alien. Not something that is seen in next to every opus of the space science fiction/fantasy genre. And therefore not a stereotype. And that scene in "The Beta Cloud" wherein he puts aside all pretenses of romantic indifference (which is common to we humans afraid to commit to someone for fear of being rebuffed or of appearing sentimental and vulnerable and weak) and confesses his love for Maya always has impressed me. Tony Anholt did a most effective job of enacting it. I like the Psychon-is-my-favourite-planet way that he chooses to segue into the love admission. Stereotypical? I have never seen another character in a science fiction/fantasy work pivot toward expressing love with that sort of comment. And then later when Tony attempts to "dial back" his expressed love for Maya and return to the old, reticent, playfully noncommittal modes of interaction with her with which he is more comfortable, he is believable, the invulnerable man of Security that he is, that he must be. Believable, too, is his private smile of pleasure at knowing that Maya is "really crazy" about him. What is cardboard about this? And just because some behaviour is believably common to we humans, does not mean that it is stereotypical. It is humanity, for crying out loud. How is humanity stereotypical? Humanity, the very thing that fans claim that they want to see. His reaction in "The Bringers of Wonder" to seeing his brother, Guido, on the video screen is a perfect mix of shock, incredulity, and surge of hope for relieved longing. It is not a stereotype for a person to act in a so believable, so human a way under fantastically far-fetched circumstances. A television show has to have believable character reactions to events. And Tony Verdeschi as played by Tony Anholt offered that. Which, given that Anholt did not like science fiction and was not enamoured with what he was doing in Space: 1999, is remarkable.
I think that Tony Anholt consistently delivered a competent performance as a man unaccustomed to tenderness and in charge of Security, a man needing the dis-inhibiting effect of beer to "unwind" from the mental stresses of his job. A Security man whose instincts about a person, like Carolyn Powell, are honed to precision. And yet believably doubts himself when he questions the mental competence of his seeming leader, an impostor of the man whom he trusts with his life. I almost always found Verdeschi to be believable, whether as a man who is desperate to find his friends lost in time or as a hobbyist who has to good-naturedly endure the slights of his peers with regard to his hobby. Or as a man not practised in gently and sensitively turning away the unrequited affection of an infatuated young woman (Shermeen). Or as a man furious at the prospect of alien Dorcons turning his beloved lady into a living husk and in their having the effrontery to want the Alphans to be a willing party to that obscenity. Anholt is particularly effective as the crazed Tony in "The Immunity Syndrome", very menacing indeed with his gun set to kill John, and later as the lucid, near-death Tony telling to John what happened with Lustig. Tony's fury with the actions of the mutinous Sanderson is believable. And also credible is his reluctant and strained and sad compliance with Koenig's order to destroy Psychon and everyone thereon in "The Metamorph".
The only quibble that I would have with Anholt's performance would be in "The Exiles". Tony's objections to Koenig's caution regarding Cantar's people joining Alpha. One would expect that Tony, being man of Security and having the instincts that he has about potential threats to security, would side with John. I do not find Tony to be credible in that instance. It is more due to writing than Anholt's acting, granted. But Anholt does not help the cause any with his very loud "Have you gone mad?!" proclaiming when Koenig stuns Cantar. It is rather "over-the-top". That may have been his first scene filmed with both Landau and Bain (it probably was), and he misjudged and overplayed his performance. It can happen.
On the other hand, Tony is credible in "One Moment of Humanity" when he and Helena discover they they are alone on what seems to be Alpha. His strained-to-be-controlled upset feeling is sympathetic. And he is naturally dubious of Helena's claim that they could wish their way back to planet Vega, but he is willing against his feelings of incredulity to try it. His anger at Taybor's deception in "The Taybor" is credible, too. Taybor is trying to abscond with the woman for whom Tony has affection. Tony's frustration in "Journey to Where" with Dr. Logan, demanding a thorough explanation for the gone-awry transference of John, Helena, and Alan, is competently conveyed. As is his suspicion of the lying Pasc in "The Mark of Archanon".
Really, fans do not like Tony Verdeschi because he was not in "Year One" and because he replaced a character that was in "Year One". A character for whom fans had a liking. That is the essential truth. Their attempt to buttress their dislike by portraying Tony Verdeschi and the actor, Tony Anholt, as a complete and utter misfire on the part of production, is not credible and is downright ludicrous.
How, exactly, is Paul "more rounded, credible, and cerebral"? He plays the guitar (Tony brews beer). He loves Sandra (Tony loves Maya). But though he loves Sandra, he is not demonstrably jealous when Alan suddenly has "a thing" for Sandra in "The Full Circle". He lost a parent, his father, to the Queller Drive, but how did that loss of a father figure impact his personality? No noticeable sign of any effect. I am not going to "diss" Prentis Hancock's performance. I have always liked the Paul character. But, really, Hancock was not given more to do with his character than Anholt was given with Tony Verdeschi. Both conveyed madness effectively in episodes wherein that was scripted. Both were effective leaders of Alpha on occasion, giving to the assigned job an authoritative presence. Paul may have known Bible passages that Tony did not. But is that knowledge necessarily being cerebral, or being intellectual, or just the result of a capacity for recitation by rote of something learnt in childhood.
I have given examples to support my position. The fan berating Tony Verdeschi gave none to support his.
Today is Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
Firstly for today, I will report further additions to my autobiography, to Era 3 specifically.
Secondly, I will share the good news that my Bugs Bunny and Mr. Hyde vinyl figures have arrived and have a position of prominence on one of my shelves.
Thirdly, my quest for a new kitten his met with a deep disappointment. The expectant mother was not as fertile as I had hoped that she was, and I was not first in the queue of hopeful adopters of feline. Hope. Hope was a comedian who lived to be one hundred years-old. That is all that hope really ought to be for me. When I entertain it as a vehicle of optimism, it is quashed. This has been true for my life for almost thirty years now. With very rare exceptions.
I await the release of the second Blu-Ray of Pink Panther cartoons. It plus The Martian Chronicles and first Tom Baker season of Doctor Who Blu-Rays. All of those Blu-Rays are being released within the same week in late June.
Recently, I purchased the German DVD release of The New Avengers and am disappointed with the variable quality of the episodes' film-to-video transfers. Many of the second season episodes have "washed-out" colours, with a colour timing tending toward a sickly yellow. The episode, "Trap", is blurry and almost unwatchable. Some of the episodes, "To Catch a Rat" most especially, suffer from film wear damage in the form of black, vertical lines. Resolution is still vastly superior to that of New Video Group's 2002 and 2003 DVD releases of The New Avengers, and there is an audio commentary for "The Eagle's Nest" (one of the better-looking episodes in the DVD box set) by Gareth Hunt and Brian Clemens. But alas, a top-quality release of The New Avengers on DVD or Blu-Ray remains elusive. From what I understand, the original film elements for The New Avengers cannot be found.
All right. The Space: 1999 Facebook groups have been mounting a barrage of increasingly populated attack "threads" of discussion upon the second season of Space: 1999, its episodes, its producer. One of them has trotted out an old article to which I have already responded, an article concerning changes between seasons of science fiction/fantasy television series. The others are just dumping heaping amounts of negativity, some of it vulgar, upon the beleaguered Space: 1999 season as pictured in photographs. It is assuredly becoming worse and worse with each passing day and with the addition of more and more quasi-intellectual, Johnny-come-lately, repeat-the-prevailing-prejudice people of stunted imagination and no reasonable consequence. People of no humility, no self-awareness. Just declaiming to the choir for said choir's hearty approval and upward-extended Facebook thumbs.
I am tired and cannot be bothered responding to most of the bile being flung in Season Two's direction of late. It is garble from people of limited imagination, blinkered mindset, an arrogant attitude founded on wilful ignorance, and the confirmation bias of an "echo chamber" that in growing in numbers of individuals is becoming more and more and more removed from fair and reasoned judgement and outlook.
That more people are joining the congregation and iterating the same hostile-to-Season Two contentions and sentiments in a "circle-jerking" unison, does not make their bearing any more persuasive as true intellectualism or as the definitive "word" on artistic quantity within the Space: 1999 oeuvre. Not to anyone with an open and considered mind, that is. It just makes them look all the more arrogant and insufferable in their confounded expanding group-think.
I will, however, respond to this criticism of "The Immunity Syndrome". It is articulated in a fairly rational way, without the usual bilious rancour of conceited closed-mindedness amongst an approving crowd.
"It was never explained how Tony survived when everyone else exposed to the creature died shortly after they became lucid. Did the creature somehow cure him or did he just need some routine medical attention on Alpha? I assumed the reason they couldn't stay was because they needed to get Tony back to Alpha in order to save him. It was never stated that way but it would answer both questions."
Yes, the articulation is rational in its wording, but it is indicative of an inability to "fill in blanks" with the most sensible inferences based on given information. Yes, Tony recovers. And it is implicit that the creature did intercede into Tony's terminal condition and somehow reverse it. For a creature that can alter the atmosphere composition and the chemical properties of vegetation of a planet, arresting and reversing a brain cell expansion in a human body ought not to be particularly difficult, after Koenig, following a reference to it having earlier caused deaths, asked it for its help and its reply to John was in the affirmative. It could not resurrect the dead. It could not bring Lustig and the other dead Alphans back to life. Or Zoran and his people. The creature's abilities only extend to being able to effect change to life and biosphere conditions in the present. As to why the Alphans cannot enact Operation Exodus, the person doing the criticising is either not paying attention to all dialogue or is not interpreting dialogue correctly. Fraser clearly states that there is not much time for the landing party and rescue party to return to Alpha, that the Moon is moving out of range. Ergo, there is no time for an Exodus.
And I will respond to this.
"In that the second season was already an obvious ripoff of Star Trek, but to give one of the episodes the same name as one of the better Original Trek episodes is just inexcusable."
Good God, people! The harsh and damning language just does not "let up", does it? Not even after more than four decades.
Is it really inexcusable? It is any less excusable than "War Games" bearing a title used previously for a Doctor Who serial? Or "This Side of Paradise" being reiterated in "Guardian of Piri"? It is excusable if it aptly pertains to what happens in the episode? A planet's immune system yielding a syndrome of sicknesses and deaths and deadly circumstances. Yes, if it has an artistic purpose in calling attention to the Gaia principle, it is excusable. Also, I am not really sure that "The Immunity Syndrome" was one of Star Trek's better episodes. I find it to be boring. And I do not find it to be obvious that Space: 1999's second season is a Star Trek "rip-off". "The Rules of Luton" is based on the same premise as "Arena" of Star Trek, yes. But that is one episode. And it has some its own flourishes that set it apart from "Arena". Maya is a "resident alien" like Spock but very different from him in personality and in her transformation powers. All in all, Season Two of Space: 1999 differs from Star Trek more than it resembles Star Trek. Most cogently, it differs in how the heroes approach the phenomena that they encounter. They have no Federation of Planets for "back-up" and must be concerned, ultimately, for their survival as they are reconnoitring worlds. And they are doing that for survival purposes, not mere fact-finding. The Alphans are not seeking to bring alien worlds into a Federation. Nor are they invested in upholding a non-interventionist ideal (Star Trek's vaunted Prime Directive). They will intercede in an alien society's politics if doing so is necessary for their survival. They are not going to planets on missions on orders from an agency. They are their own agency.
The beauty in Season Two is in its concepts, in their symbolisms, and in how the episodes and their subject matter are "patterned" within the given chronology as stated in Dr. Russell's Moonbase Alpha Status Reports. I am privy to such. It exists. The evidence for it, once presented comprehensibly to me, was- and still is- undeniable. And I extrapolated observations of my own and a symbological "thread" for one episode. As much as I wish that my former associate would just write his book outlining and elucidating the beauteous nature of Season Two, he has not done so and seems to be content to only share his findings with select individuals. Given the tendency of fandom to be the swine that slobbers and defecates all over one's pearls, I suppose that his chosen way of disseminating his work has some sense to it, though it is not helping Season Two's cause in the wider world, in which the asinine opinions of the fan collective are regarded, unjustly, as definitive.
It should go without saying that fans of Space: 1999 are among my least favourite inhabitants of this planet. I cannot abide the thought of ever again being in the same room with them. And every day, I am given further impetus to flinch fitfully at the notion of ever again having to endure their presence.
All for today. God, I miss my cat, Sammy! Below is a photograph of him a few weeks before his death.
"The one thing that drove me nuts was that Helena causes the one exile to age by basically scratching his protective layer. I was OK with that, but then Koenig asks, 'How did you know that would work,' and Helena replies, 'I'll tell you later,' and we heard nothing else on the subject. I was OK with the episode up to then but that was kinda pathectic"
What? I have seen "The Exiles" on several broadcasts, on laser videodisc, on DVD, and on Blu-Ray. I have never seen a scene wherein this dialogue occurs. So, are the fans now resorting to inventing scenes and dialogue to use as brickbats?
And spelling of the word, pathetic, is the latest to be incorrect. Something is pathetic, all right. But it is not "The Exiles".
And the response on the "thread" of discussion to this concocted scene and dialogue?
"Well I'm afraid that pretty well sums up Season 2. Many of the episodes were slap dash, cobbled together in a make shift manner. This one was fairly watchable though."
The only thing cobbled together in a makeshift (it is one word, not two) manner is the fans' justifications for belittling Season Two. And sure, go on contending that the newly conjured lines of dialogue are there in the episode as it has existed since 1976. Do not correct anybody on their blatant falsification. Just add to it.
As to the scene of Helena piercing Cantar's protective membrane. Helena detected the membrane when she first examined Cantar and said to John that part of the answer to the aliens' ability to suspend animation was in that membrane. It was an inference on her part that piercing the membrane might weaken or incapacitate Cantar. And she proceeded to act against Cantar by digging her fingernails into the membrane on his face. And shortly thereafter, she saw that Cantar was showing signs of ageing and then reasoned that the breaking of the membrane was going to cause him to go through three hundred years of decay of his body. And she started informing Cantar of that.
It makes sense to me. It did when I was ten years-old.
And as to how the protective membrane, combined with deep freezing, made suspended animation possible, and why the membrane must be permanently intact to preserve the suspended-animation subject's youth. That would fall under "economy of detail".
And then there is this delightful statement.
"Indeed 90% of series 2 episodes were utter shite, but this one is above average."
The fact that not a single person challenged it indicates how far gone the fan movement now is toward total, abject group-think blinkeredness. An association of people completely devoid of any capacity for enlightenment. Fan movement? To use the vernacular of it in its current state, it is akin to a bowel movement. Long, tedious, painful. And it stinks. It reeks. As rank as the foulest smell imaginable.
My disgust for these people is at an all-time high.
On some happier notes, I have added more images to my Web pages for The Littlest Hobo and Star Blazers, my Mr. Hyde and Bugs Bunny vinyl toy figures are a day or two away from my door, and I am hopeful of adopting a purebred Himalayan kitten sometime within the next three to four weeks.
All for today. May 9, 2018.
Windy Saturday, May 5, 2018.
On the subject of a chronology for Spiderman, here is what I have put together thus far. 1962 being the year in which Spidey first appeared in Marvel Comics' publications, it would be the most apt year to begin the web-swinger's crime-fighting tenure. And a newspaper article fantasised by Jameson in "Trick or Treachery" has a November 2, 1967 date. That episode coming rather late in Spiderman's battles against evil-doers. Peter begins his Spiderman experience while as a high school student (he refers to school a number of times in the early second season episodes) with a foothold in college, attending the occasional course there. He is totally enrolled in university in September, 1963 and is undeniably in a college setting in "The Evil Sorcerer", in which some foliage in background is autumnal. "Trouble With Snow" is the only Spidey television series entry clearly transpiring in the winter. As many first season episodes occur with ample green foliage on trees, they must occur between late May and October at the very latest.
I have "sprinkled in" origin episodes for some of the villains.
"To Cage a Spider" logically follows "The Menace of Mysterio" if one infers that Spidey's audiotape-recording of Mysterio's confession is ruled inadmissible, Jameson retracts nothing in his news coverage of Spidey, Mysterio is freed, and Spidey remains under suspicion as being the perpetrator of the crime committed by Mysterio in Spidey's guise. Spidey's attitude in "To Cage a Spider" and the hostility of the New York populace toward him in that episode, makes perfect sense in this context. From then onward, Spidey is wary of the police, whose top officers (other than Captain Stacy) are operating against Spidey's interests on Jameson's insistence. The mayors of New York, however, are content to believe in Spidey's innocence (he did, after all, defeat Blotto and prevent New York's destruction, which impressed the mayor of that time) and to seek his assistance on occasion. Specific amnesia following his fall in "To Cage a Spider" is the reason why Spidey does not remember the Conner family, how to spell the Conner name, and where that family lives when he visits the Conners again in "Conner's Reptiles". Dr. Vespasian dies from unexpected physical complications of his use of his invisibility serum. Which explains why Spidey later says that Dr. Noah Boddy is the only man who could enter a prison without being seen; Dr. Vespasian is dead by then. It is also reasonable to assume that the Robinson laboratories' invisibility serum referenced in "Criminals in the Clouds" meets with a similar snag in their development of a serum-based invisibility. Which would be why Jameson scoffs at Dr. Noah Boddy's theory of invisibility, as invisibility has been proved in government-sanctioned laboratories to be unworkable. The death of Dr. Vespasian attracts one of his evil colleagues, Calvin Zabo, alter-ego Mr. Hyde, and Hyde's associate, the Cobra, to New York City, in pursuit of some stolen fortune that Vespasian ensconced somewhere in Manhattan.
"The Origin of Spiderman" (September, 1962)
"King Pinned" (September, 1962)
"Swing City" (October, 1962)
"Criminals in the Clouds" (November, 1962)
"False Implication" (February, 1963) (Kingpin) (first time that Spidey is accused of being a criminal)
"Menace From the Bottom of the World" (March, 1963)
"Diamond Dust" (June, 1963)
"Wrath of the Vulture" (June, 1963) (Adrian Toomes/Vulture, and Kingpin) (Vulture's origin)
"Helium Heist" (July, 1963) (Dr. Dumpty)
"Multi-Armed and Dangerous" (August, 1963) (Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus) (Doctor Octopus' origin)
"Spiderman Battles the Molemen" (August, 1963)
"Phantom From the Depths of Time" (August, 1963)
"Origin of the Green Goblin" (September, 1963) (Norman Osborn/Green Goblin)
"The Evil Sorcerer" (September, 1963)
"Vine" (September, 1963)
"Pardo Presents" (September, 1963)
"Cloud City of Gold" (September-October, 1963)
"Neptune's Nose Cone" (October, 1963)
"Home" (October, 1963)
"Blotto" (October, 1963)
"Thunder Rumble" (October, 1963)
"Spiderman Meets Skyboy" (October, 1963)
"Revenge of the Green Goblin" (December, 1963) (Norman Osborn/Green Goblin)
"Cold Storage" (May, 1964)
"The Power of Doctor Octopus" (June, 1964)
"Sub-Zero For Spidey" (June, 1964)
"Where Crawls the Lizard" (June, 1964)
"Electro the Human Lightning Bolt" (June, 1964)
"The Menace of Mysterio" (July, 1964)
"To Cage a Spider" (August, 1964)
"A Strange Case of Amnesia" (September, 1964)
"Horn of the Rhino" (September, 1964)
"Kilowatt Kaper" (October, 1964)
"The Peril of Parafino" (October, 1964)
"The Winged Thing" (October, 1964)
"Conner’s Reptiles" (October, 1964)
"Trouble With Snow" (December, 1964)
"Spiderman Vs. Desperado" (April, 1965)
"Return of the Flying Dutchman" (May, 1965)
"Farewell Performance" (June, 1965)
"The Golden Rhino" (June, 1965)
"Blueprint For Crime" (June, 1965)
"Sky Harbour" (July, 1965)
"The Big Brainwasher" (July, 1965)
"The Vanishing Doctor Vespasian" (July, 1965)
"Scourge of the Scarf" (July, 1965)
"Super Swami" (July, 1965)
"The Birth of Micro Man" (August, 1965)
"Knight Must Fall" (August, 1965)
"The Devious Dr. Dumpty" (August, 1965)
"Up From Nowhere" (September, 1965)
"Rollarama" (September, 1965)
"Revolt in the Fifth Dimension" (September, 1965)
"Specialists and Slaves" (September, 1965)
"Down to Earth" (September, 1965)
"Trip to Tomorrow" (September, 1965)
"The Sky is Falling" (September, 1965)
"Captured By J. Jonah Jameson" (September, 1965)
"Never Step On a Scorpion" (October, 1965)
"Sands of Crime" (October, 1965)
"Diet of Destruction" (October, 1965)
"The Witching Hour" (October, 1965)
"The Spider and the Fly" (October, 1965)
"The Slippery Dr. Von Schlick" (November, 1965)
"The Death of Doctor Vespasian" (December, 1965)
"Hyde in Plain Sight" (January, 1966) (Calvin Zabo/Mr. Hyde, Cobra)
"Rhino" (April, 1966)
"The Madness of Mysterio" (May, 1966)
"The One-Eyed Idol" (June, 1966)
"Fifth Avenue Phantom" (June, 1966)
"Revenge of Dr. Magneto" (June, 1966)
"The Sinister Prime Minister" (July, 1966)
"The Night of the Villains" (August, 1967)
"Here Comes Trubble" (August, 1967)
"Spiderman Meets Dr. Noah Boddy" (August, 1967)
"The Fantastic Fakir" (August, 1967)
"The Vulture's Prey" (August, 1967)
"The Dark Terrors" (September, 1967)
"The Terrible Triumph of Doctor Octopus" (September, 1967)
"Magic Malice" (September, 1967)
"Sting of the Scorpion" (October, 1967)
"Trick or Treachery" (October-November, 1967)
"To Catch a Spider" (November, 1967)
"Double Identity" (May, 1968)
"Fountain of Terror" (May, 1968)
"Fiddler On the Loose" (June, 1968)
I need to do further viewings of the episodes before I can settle conclusively on this sequence. And I lack the desire right now to do more frame-grabbing work for images to go with the chronology's text.
It is something that I often sardonically say. The best way to insure that a Web page will go unvisited is to update it. All of the work that I did this past week to upgrade my Littlest Hobo Page's images, and what is the result? Daily traffic to it has utterly ceased. As if on cue. Update the Web page, and accessing of it reduces to zero.
How can I motivate myself to make improvements to Web pages when this most vexing phenomenon occurs?
Anyway, I will report that my Era 2 memoirs have had further text and image additions, and my interview with Simon Christopher Dew has also received an images upgrade.
I am also working on a chronology for Spiderman. That is a project that I have undertaken before, only to abandon it as my initiative dwindled in a low-morale situation. Time will tell if this time I will succeed in bringing a Spiderman chronology to a state of completion.
Fredericton is a major flood zone. The downtown area is beset with pools of dirty water, and places further down the Saint John River are thoroughly inundated. My home is outside of the floodplain, but the flooding in the city's major arteries of traffic has impacted routine daily movement. And I have noticed a slowing of mail delivery. My Mr. Hyde and Bugs Bunny vinyl figures set is en route to me, but it seems that I must expect delays. At least my house is safe from the flood water. My parents chose it wisely back in 1977. I remember one of the first houses for sale that we visited (on Wednesday, May 25, 1977 while I was thinking about the Space: 1999 episode, "Space Warp", that had aired for the first time on CBC Television the Saturday previous) was on Burpee Street, which is now very much underwater. Thank goodness we did not move into that house.
All for today, Friday, May 4, 2018. And no, I am not going to make a lame, pun-based reference to a certain line of dialogue in a 1977 movie whose name I will refrain from stating. Every year, I have to endure it on Facebook, and it has become quite a cliche. Where cliches go, it cannot hold candle to the refrains of the fandom of Space: 1999. Pavlov would have a "field day" analysing those. By the way, I was talking at a local mall's food court with a friend the other day, and he concurred with me that there is a pathology of some sort in the Space: 1999 fan attitude toward Space: 1999's second season. Mind, with regard to psychoanalysis, we are both lay people, but still such a hypothesis is a rational one for a lay person to consider, under the circumstances. The fans are vilifying the Season Two episode, "Seed of Destruction", today after having venomously assailed "Brian the Brain" in their latest systematic slurring of everything Season Two. In between the usual "shots" at Season Two for not having Main Mission and Victor Bergman in it. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Four-decades-old cliches.
And the same person in the Space: 1999 fan group on Facebook still cannot spell the word, chrysalis, or the word, damn.
Anyway, now this is all for today.
I am still pulling my chin off of the floor after I discovered this two evenings ago.
I have learned that this set of vinyl toy figures was manufactured last year in a very limited production run of 850 units for selling at the July, 2017 San Diego Comic-Con. I was not aware of it until two evenings ago because I have been "out of touch" with cartoon fandom for several years (besides, I doubt that the cartoon fans with whom I was associated would have noticed or remarked about the item). It was in doing a simple Google search for "Hyde and Hare" (I do those from time to time) that I came upon the above image of the Mr. Hyde and Bugs Bunny toy figure set.
And yes, there was no way that I could resist finding and purchasing a set. The prices that this item is fetching at eBay are exorbitant, and I am paying one of those prices. But I just have to possess the item. With my history with "Hyde and Hare", there can be no question of me foregoing the toy figures set. I do not buy much merchandise memorabilia anymore, but this is a special case. It is astonishing that a toy set based on "Hyde and Hare" would be made on an assembly line to be sold to buyers. In fact, I have to wonder if I am dreaming this. I mean, the Warner Brothers cartoons had never been as unpopular and unrecognised as they are these past couple of years, and "Hyde and Hare" was scarcely one of the most sung-of-praise efforts of the Warner Brothers cartoon studio.
Someone has a video on YouTube with a discussion of the Mr. Hyde and Bugs Bunny toy figures set and of the cartoon on which the toy figures set is based.
I cannot hope to satisfactorily express my gratification at the attention and acclaim that "Hyde and Hare" is currently receiving. A cartoon that merited no mention in Joe Adamson's Bugs Bunny book apart from the shortest possible synopsis toward the end of the book. A cartoon that has long been among the lowest rated of Bugs Bunny's films at the Internet Movie Database. A cartoon that the ever-so-expert denizens of the old Termite Terrace Trading Post routinely proclaimed to be one of the poorest cartoon shorts (if not the poorest cartoon short) for the rabbit. The cartoon of which a steadfastly held stance of detraction on the part of the most prolific and the most supercilious contributors to the discussions at the Termite Terrace Trading Post finally precipitated my acrimonious departure from that vaunted association of persons.
Yes, I am revelling in this unexpected change of fortune for "Hyde and Hare". And I will for the remainder of my life own a souvenir of that change of fortune in the collector's item that is now en route to me.
Now, how about a Blu-Ray release of "Hyde and Hare"? Either in a further Blu-Ray set of the Warner Brothers cartoons or as a bonus feature in a Blu-Ray release of the 1932 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde? Please? Pretty please?
The Littlest Hobo Page is now upgraded with improved images. It is the last of my Web pages to receive such an improvement. Unfortunately, with there not being a complete DVD release of that television series, image quality is still not optimal. But at least the digital blockiness and graininess of the old images is gone, finally.
May 2, 2018.