Friday, September 14, 2012

Where No Show Had Gone Before...

If you want to read about the world in the weeks before Star Trek debuted, take a look here.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Comics on comics.

Hello faithful readers.  We're coming back regularly now at our new location.  To read my new post about early comic books that show comic books, please visit us at

Monday, February 27, 2012

Nice to know

I like both George Takei and Penn Jillette very much, so I was quite glad to see Takei comment on meeting Penn on "The Celebrity Apprentice":

He especially enjoyed working with Penn Jillette, whom he found to be "an extremely well-read person, a walking encyclopedia. Where most of us forget or bury details in the back of our minds, he has the ability to recall dates and places and historic elements in conversation. When he's interested in something, he really digs in and explores it, and when he talks about a subject like that, you feel like you're getting a college lecture." Takei expects to catch a Penn & Teller show "the next time I'm in Vegas."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

On the internet, nobody can hear you scream first.

I rarely try to be particularly timely in my posts here - to provide breaking news on geekdom happenings - but the look at the Prometheus trailer that premiered online today does make me want to jump into the pool of voices eagerly crying it's either a prequel or otherwise related film to the Alien movies - and particularly to the 1979 classic that started the series.

First, take a look at the trailer here.

Despite overall feeling like the Alien series - which could be simply dismissed as both being science fiction films from the same director - there are two dead giveaway elements from the first film.

1) The space jockey.

As he was called, the dead pilot of the alien ship found by the Nostromo in Alien. His seat, at least, is clearly seen in the trailer at 0:39.

2) The ship.

Several shots reveal the same horseshoe shaped spaceship that the Nostromo discovered crashed, and explored:

Here's another image from Prometheus, clearly showing the whole horseshoe shape:

This is all news to me, but if you search the internet, you'll find plenty of references to the upcoming film, and even a quote from Scott confirming it is about the space jockey from the original film. I don't know how many of these are true, but I know I'm looking forward to this one with almost the same anticipation I felt for the first when I went to see it in theaters back on my 13th birthday in 1979.

This also underlines how much movie making has changed since the first sequel Aliens was released in 1986. Then, returning to the ship depended on the existence of the model, which had been stored somewhat exposed to the elements in a driveway in Burbank CA for several years.

Damage to the model had lead to the idea that a lava flow had cut through the ship since Ripley had last visited, but now I can't recall if that appears in the film or just in the comic book / novel adaptations.

The space jockey couldn't have appeared again without CGI (hence adding to the need for a path into the ship that didnt pass him). I'm told the original giant space jockey, sculpted out of foam, was on display in the forecourt of the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood when the film premiered, until a stray cigarette caught it on fire and destroyed it in a matter of seconds.
Egyptian Theater photo swiped from here.

Next time: 'Tis the Season to Collect....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Apparently, we have a new theme.

It's "footage of 1970's TV spaceships that ends up in karaoke videos on new programs." Last week's episode of Community featured scenes of Joel McHale as Jeff Winger and Jim Rash as Dean Pelton (that's him on the left screaming) making karaoke videos in the mall. They break into a fight as another video starts rolling behind them, and there once again appears the Salvage 1 spaceship on network screens for the second time in thirty years. (See the last entry if you're confused at this point).

Is this a new trend in television? Or the last time it'll ever happen? How odd.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quark flies again - sort of...

Just a few weeks ago I was watching Breaking Bad - easily one of the best dramas on TV today - when something very unusual but very familiar caught my eye.

Not to give away any spoilers, a side plot involved viewing a karaoke-style video one of the characters had made to the tune of Peter Schilling's Major Tom. Behind him ran mostly space themed stock footage.
And, unmistakably, footage of the space ship from Quark.
In fact, it was clearly from the episode "The Good, the Bad, and the Ficus," which is about the ship being pulled through a black hole and, with dazzling disco-y effect, splitting into two copies - one good one evil. (Ficus, being the emotionless Vegeton alien, is neither good or evil - hence the title). I recognized the ship right away not just because it's so distinctive -
but because I had recently commissioned this model of it online, and had sent the manufacturer every angle of the ship I could find on the show. They built it with the garbage collecting door open, and the trash bag collecting arms extended.

Once you're commissioning models, I think you have to admit to a certain obsession with a show - or at least, in this case, an obsession with collecting everything possible on the program. With this model, plus all the scripts (except one) and dozens of press stills and more, I think I can safely literally say what I once joked: I almost certainly have the largest collection of Quark stuff assembled.
The music video also included footage from a show even more obscure than Quark, if only because it was never released on DVD.
That odd 3-engined rocket is Salvage One, the ship from the Andy Griffith show by the same name. Griffith played an ex-astronaut who used NASA surplus to make his own rocket to go to the moon and salvage everything NASA had left behind, plus bring back his own moon rocks too. I don't remember much about the show, but I remember enjoying it.

A bit of trivia: Quark may be about the only science fiction show that never named it's spaceship - all the scripts only call it "Quark's ship."

More soon!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Big Bang 5.0

I'm writing this up just as the season 5 premiere of "The Big Bang Theory" is recording on my DVR upstairs. Thinking back to the start, it's a tribute to the cast and crew that the show was 1) created in the first place, and 2) good enough to last this long. (Also notable, it garnered what I believe is still the best syndication deal ever for a TV show.

I've been collecting stuff from the program since the beginning, and it's worth noting that without the San Diego Comic Con, there'd be a heck of a lot less stuff out there to collect. Probably the prize of my collection is the set of posters from each season, signed by the cast at Comic Con. These are all framed similarly and hanging near each other in the living room.

Above is the latest, which for the first time is illustrated: a super-hero version of the whole cast. This one includes seven signatures, including both Mayim Bialik (Amy) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette).
Last year's poster featured the cast in a tribute to, um... the Beatles? Barbarella? Casino? I feel like there's a specific pop culture reference being made here that's eluding me. (If you know, please fill me in). In any case, they look cool. Signed by the 5 cast members.

Season two's art featured a "Usual Suspects" style line up, equating each character's height with their relative IQ - and Penny breaking the rank to come out on top. Five signatures.

Finally, the first year's art features Sheldon and Leonard in their Flash costumes, with the rest of the cast represented in small photos at the bottom. This one is notable because it's not only signed by the 5 cast members, but also producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady.

I'm not sure how many of these they sign each year - maybe 100 at most? But I'm guessing the first is the rarest simply because they had no idea what to expect at the Con. According to Johnny Galecki at their second Con, it was the overwhelming response at the previous show that first showed them how big the show was catching on.

More soon...

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