khaosworks: (Television)
I have the Complete I Dream of Jeannie DVD set, which comes in a cardboard case shaped like her bottle.

And in answer to your inevitable question: Sexy blonde parading every episode in a harem girl outfit, wants to cater to your every desire, and calls you "Master" all the time. What's not to like?
khaosworks: (Peepee)
Just got a hold of Get Smart: The Complete Series.

I am reminded once again that Barbara Feldon is hawt.

Tic-Toc

Nov. 3rd, 2006 09:14 pm
khaosworks: (Television)
So I bought the complete two seasons of The Time Tunnel from Amazon.com. I wasn't really intending to get the second season set, because that was when it went horribly horribly wrong as Irwin Allen series tended to do when he started introducing aliens and monsters into the mix.

However, what prompted me to get the set was two things. One was the Time Travelers TV movie from 1976 which I remember watching as a kid, about two men who are trying to cure a plague in the present, and have to find the cure in the past before it's destroyed in the 1871 Chicago Fire. The younger man falls in love (naturally) with a girl back then, which leads to a line that has stuck with me for 30 years, when the older man yells at him to leave her, "She's a ghost from the past, while you're just a phantom from the future!"

Okay, maybe you had to be there. I thought it was pretty cool when I was 10 or so.

The other thing that prompted me to get the set was the unaired pilot for a proposed revival of The Time Tunnel that was produced in 2002. Apparently it was axed because it was too similar to Stargate SG-1, which actually is a little unfair, because aside from a gate-like thing and a troubleshooting team, it wasn't anything like it — at least, not that you could tell from the pilot.

The premise of the new show is very different from the original. We open on a title sequence that shows us that history is changing: people vanishing from pictures, a headline of PEACE turning to WAR and the United States only having 49 states. As we're introduced to Doug Phillips (David Conrad), an investigator for the Department of Energy, we also find out that Boston's baseball team is the Yankees and that red means go in traffic lights. Doug, a nice guy with a wife and two kids, is approached by an old friend, Flynn (Kavan Smith, the guy who plays Major Lorne on Stargate Atlantis), who tells him that he has a job that only he is suited for.

Eight months before, a Department of Energy project to initiate hot fusion through a long tunnel tore a hole in time, creating a storm. It took them four hours — 240 minutes — to lock down one end of the storm in the present, but by that time, the "240" had created random changes in history. Only those at the core when the accident happened were protected, and remember what it was like before the 240. The interesting part is that they're not trying to fix history: what's done is done. They're trying to prevent any more damage.

The other end of the storm is still whipping around, and creating time ripples whenever history is in danger of being changed. When this happens, they try and figure out what's about to happen, send a team back and stop it from happening. Flynn approaches Doug because right now, the time storm picked up someone from 1546 and dumped him in 1944 in the middle of the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. Doug, for reasons that become apparent, is an expert on the course of the battle and the terrain, and so he's pulled into this world and placed on the team, which includes the beautiful but deadly serious Toni Newman (Andrea Roth) and ex-CIA operative J.D. (Tawny Cypress, who's now Simone Deveaux on Heroes). Among the people overseeing operations back in the present, I even spot Alessandro Juliani (who's Gaeta on Battlestar Galactica).

It's actually quite good. This is a series I would have watched. The effects aren't amazing, but they're not shabby, there's a nice dark tension to the show, and the acting is enough to carry the premise through. The idea that they're not interested in fixing things as such (and in fact, Doug has a good reason not to want to fix things) is a cool concept on its own. Although they can only go where the time storm takes them, this doesn't have the "lost in time" concept, which is again a good thing because it's not a retread of the original but a re-imagining, taking the name "Time Tunnel" and just running a whole new show with it. And this, a couple of years before Ronald D. Moore. It's a damned shame that it never went to series.

So if you're looking into avoiding the Time Tunnel season two set because the season was crappy, these two things might be worth the price of admission.
khaosworks: (Scratch Fury)
I mean, just for Robot Monster alone...

SciFi Classics Collection 50 Movie Pack Collection

1. Incredible Petrified World
2. Queen of the Amazons
3. Robot Monster
4. She Gods of Shark Reef
5. Amazing Transparent Man
6. Atomic Brain
7. Horrors of Spiker Island
8. Wasp Woman
9. Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet
10. Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women
11. King of Kong Island
12. Bride of the Gorilla
13. Attack of the Monsters
14. Gamera the Invincible
15. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
16. Teenagers From Outer Space
17. Crash of the Moons
18. Menace From Outer Space
19. Hercules Against the Moonmen
20. Hercules and the Captive Women
21. Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon
22. Hercules Unchained
23. Lost Jungle
24. Mesa of Lost Women
25. Assignment: Outer Space
26. Laster Mission
27. Killers From Space
28. Phantom From Space
29. White Pongo
30. Snow Creature
31. Son of Hercules: Land of Darkness
32. Devil of the Desert vs. Son of Hercules
33. First Spaceship on Venus
34. Zontar Thing From Venus
35. Astral Factor
36. Galaxy Invader
37. Battle of the Worlds
38. Unkown World
39. Blod Tide
40. Brain Machine
41. Wild Women of Wongo
42. Prehistoric Women
43. They Came From Beyond Space
44. Warning From Space
45. Phantom Planet
46. Planet Outlaws
47. Colossus and the Amazon Queen
48. Eegah
49. Cosmos: War of the Planets
50. Destroy All Planets
khaosworks: (Nerdboy)
Okay, so I don't have the classic Dino De Laurentis Flash Gordon on DVD, but what I do have here is the complete 1979-1980 Filmation animated series of Flash Gordon which I eagerly devoured week after week as a wee bairn. The DVD also includes the pilot for the disappointing Defenders of the Earth semi-sequel, but it also has two collector art cards illustrated by Gene Ha and Frank Cho, which ain't shabby.

The music came back to me almost immediately, as did the designs for the ships and the robots which I do remember learning to draw at that age. The animation alternates between mildly impressive and sucky — Filmation was really really into reusing animation within a single episode, the voices range from adequate to cheesy, and the writing is full of plot holes, but... aw, I can't help it, I'm a sentimental sap. I'm loving every minute of it.

And man, Princess Aura was one hot chick.
khaosworks: (Jay)
I got Series One of Steven Moffat's brilliant 1990s sitcom Joking Apart in the mail. The show only lasted two series, spread over a few years, and never got the audience it truly deserved, so it died. Critically acclaimed, wonderfully acted, hiliariously funny and poignant at the same time, the premise for the comedy is an unlikely one: Mark Taylor, a comedy writer, starts off the series with the single line: "My wife left me."

As Moffat puts it, it's a romantic comedy about a romance that has already died. The show weaves in and out of Mark and Becky's relationship in flashbacks over the course of the season, juxtapositioning it with the present day and Mark's trying to cope with the fact that his wife has left him for another man. Moffat based the sitcom on his own life at the time, and the bitterness does show and is sometimes painful to watch. However, he is equally as hard on himself, if not more, than the wife-substitute in Becky. The non-linear structure prefigures the type of comedy we see in his later Coupling, and Moffat's wit here is rougher but no less biting.

I first watched Joking Apart when I was studying for my law degree and it taught me everything I know about how to structure a farce. The line between comedy and tragedy is often said to be a fine one, but in farce you can see exactly how fine that line is: the fast pacing, the absurd situations and justifications, the snowballing predicaments that leads to even more and more absurdities. It's certainly not fun for the people, but it's funny from the outside nontheless. It's the monster snowball that starts from a single snowflake that explodes at the end which is the essence of it all.

Joking Apart was not available for years, but still very fondly remembered by its audience, until an enterprising fan got the license from the BBC to put together a DVD. He even got Moffat and the other stars to do commentaries and a short making-of feature, and it's all very professionally done. Look for it at replaydvd.co.uk, and hope that he releases Series Two as well. It's brilliant stuff. Go get it if you've never seen it, and if you've seen it before, here's your chance to see it again. I was watching it and I'm amazed at how much I still remember and has stuck with me over the years.

I've been singing the theme song all day.

Save your cryin' for the day... )
khaosworks: (Justitia)
"What we do is important. We speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves."
As of two nights ago, I finished watching all 7 seasons of Homicide: Life on the Street on DVD. I'm waiting for a copy of the Homicide TV movie to wrap it all up.

It was a damned good series, with characters I genuinely cared about, even if the last season was showing the distinct signs of wear. I miss it immensely. I need to dig out my copy of David Simon's book from my boxes and read it again.

Al Giardello, Tim Bayliss, Frank Pembleton, John Munch, Stan Bollander, Steve Crosetti, Meldrick Lewis, Kay Howard, Beau Felton, Megan Russert, Mike Kellerman, James Brodie, Paul Falsone, Terri Stivers, Laura Ballard, Stu Gharty, Rene Sheppard, Mike Giardello - an ensemble cast like no other... here's to you, guys.
khaosworks: (Jay)
And it takes very little to make a geek happy.

Nowhere Man, Alien Nation and MacGyver Season 4 DVD boxed sets arrived.

'sfunny how the memories come flooding back. I'm remembering all sorts of trivia and crap about the Tenctonese religion, language and culture that I learned back when the show was on which I had forgotten until now.
khaosworks: (Prisoner)
Been quiet for a while - nothing much going on this week, just trying to get past work and heading for the long weekend. I had the sudden urge to rewatch the most excellent BBC adaptations of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "Smiley's People", and I always marvel at how absolutely compelling drama it is, for little to no action and scenes consisting entirely of talking heads. Alec Guinness's quiet, gentle portrayal of George Smiley holds such hidden steel that you're constantly drawn to him just to see if you can pierce that veil of mystery, the hint of the wheels turning inside the ultimate spymaster's head. I don't think such an adaptation would even be contemplated for today's modern audience by network executives, who would probably demand that Smiley shag Madame Ostrakova, or Peter Guillam be played by Ben Affleck, or something.

Makes me want to dig out my Sandbaggers DVDs next.
khaosworks: (Scratch Fury)
At dinner Saturday night, myself, [livejournal.com profile] logam and Larry were talking about what television shows we remembered from our teenage years that we would buy on DVD. Popular shows, shows that were cancelled before their time, whatever. Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Wild Wild West and Mission Impossible (2nd season on) we would definitely get. A lot of the old Universal stuff, like Knight Rider, A-Team, Baa Baa Black Sheep have been released but Universal generally makes really crappy DVD releases. The less said about Buck Rogers, the better.

Randomly searching on Amazon.com today, I found two series that I grabbed almost immediately once I found that they were, joy of joys, releasing them. Alien Nation and Nowhere Man.

I'm sure you remember Alien Nation (1988), or at least the mediocre movie with James Caan and Mandy Patinkin, a thinly-veiled allegory about immigration in Southern California, using a newly arrived alien race as the new Hispanics (although the Tenctonese had more parallels with blacks due to their history as slaves). Kenneth Johnson, the man that elevated The Incredible Hulk to more than just a Fugitive knockoff, and was behind the incredible but horribly wasted at the end V and V: The Final Battle (and not, as I hasten to point out, the living abortion that was V: The Series), took over the reins of the television version of the movie for 1989, along with Rockne S. O'Bannon, who wrote the film and would go on to do Seaquest DSV (before it devolved into a Trek clone and then went completely psycho on us) and is probably best known now for Farscape.

Together, they made a fairly enjoyable and intelligently written science fiction/crime/family drama for Fox that made multicultralism its watchword. The slower pace of a television series worked much better for the concept, as we were able to take the time to take a deeper look at the Newcomers and their culture. The series lasted only a season for reasons which are still not quite clear, which was a damn shame for the first show to have a theme song sung in an alien language (oddly enough, both leads, Gary Graham and Eric Pierpoint, both eventually turned up in roles on Enterprise). Now it's coming out on DVD this January, and will be mine, all mine.

Nowhere Man had a rather inauspicious beginning — it was part of the freshman season for UPN in 1995, along with Voyager and a few other shows that were all cancelled and completely forgettable. If I had a choice of course, with hindsight I would've cancelled Voyager, but for pete's sake, we should have had a second season of Nowhere Man, if only to wrap up the story. The series was a cross between The Fugitive and The Prisoner. Imagine the mind-fucking plots of the Prisoner but instead of being confined to a village, the canvas is the lower 48. Thomas Veil, played by Bruce Greenwood, is a photojournalist who is having dinner with his wife, goes to the rest room and comes back to find that his wife is not at the table. When he goes home, Alyson doesn't know him, and she's married to someone else. His ATM cards don't work. Nobody else remembers him. His mother is a coma and can't identify him. The only clue, and he suspects the reason for the erasure of his life, is a photograph of a multiple execution called "Hidden Agenda", which he took in South America. So he sets off to find out why and who is doing this to him.

This was a show that took a while to pick up steam, but once the clues started coming in, it was riveting. What was this conspiracy? Was it even real, or was Veil completely nuts? Was he even who he thought he was? You wanted to find out more. You wanted to piece it together, and it actually was starting to come together. The last few episodes were one senses-shattering clue drop after another, and you could see the first half of the second season laid out in an instant... but we never got there, because despite excellent reviews, Nowhere Man got cancelled and replaced by Homeboys in Outer Space and Moesha. Not that we should be bitter or anything. It's not a brilliant series by any means, but it's one of those cult favorite things, and definitely worth checking out.

So, what shows are you waiting for to come out on DVD? I know that I'm desperately waiting for Cupid...

December 2011

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