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  1. #691
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    Past Tense - Boy Becomes A Man, Becomes A King Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on May 21st, 2015 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    This outing we get a sleeper gem; how magic with heart can create a modern classic - "Stardust"...



    The motion picture opened on August 10th, 2007. It was made with a budget of $70,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $38 million during its U.S. theatrical run; counting foreign receipts it made $135,560,026. The film opened number four at the box office, the following week it dropped to number five.

    The feature opened against "The Bourne Ultimatum", "The Simpsons Movie" and "Rush Hour 3".

    There was no slipcover issued, nor any inserts. This streeted on December 18th, 2007 for $29.99.

    - - -

    Bought my copy not on street, but in January 2008 - a blind buy, based on overwhelming positive reviews.

    There was a single exclusive from from Wal-Mart.



    This was an added slipcover, post release. A tactic that Wal-Mart is well known for... tricking you into thinking an older release was new. I am sorry, fuzzy on the release.

    Can't give an exact date. I should've, but didn't make notes, I apologize. I can tell you it happened in 2010 and sold for $9.98.

    This was only seen for two weeks on the racks. Poof, gone - like it never happened; have no idea how rare this thing is. The backside is different from the case's wraparound.



    Above is the regular DVD cover.

    And yes, I was naughty once again to acquire. *cough*

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    While researching I made some discoveries - which saddens me.



    Movie was released on February 25th, 2008 in the United Kingdom for 19.99.

    This region 2 DVD came with an extra missing from the U.S. release - commentary by writer/director Matthew Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman.

    Came on Blu-Ray (region 1) on September 7th, 2010 for $29.99. This carried over the commentary and added a five part documentary, "Crossing The Wall: The Making Of Stardust". Plus a featurette, "Nothing Is True" along with the rest of the DVD extras.

    *sigh*

    Too bad this wasn't re-released on DVD as a deluxe edition - would buy in a heartbeat; two disc set?

    Found some other trivia, that most have forgotten. *nods*

    Paramount announced the home video release on August 27th, 2007 - two weeks after the film opened across America. That's pretty damn quick. Perhaps it was done since they felt, at the time it was bombing. Get it out as fast as possible to recoup their losses. Not the case when counting foreign box offices.

    - - -

    Invisible reflections now rendered in blood.
    - Dust Is Noise

    This was the failed big screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel of the same name. The movie is different than the book, but in a nice way.

    I am not alone - this is such an endearing movie. I put it into the same category as "The Princess Bride" (1987). It's just that good, lightening in a bottle. Hell, that's even a plot point; can not say enough good things about this.

    At its heart, this is a coming of age story. Since not that many or enough have seen...

    It is the late 1800s in England, the English village of "Wall". The place is named after a long wall that's near the locale.

    Tristan Thorn (Charlie Cox) is infatuated with the prettiest girl in town, Victoria (Sienna Miller). But he's a wannabe and is one of many who seek Victoria's attention. Tristan sees a falling star and thinks this will be his way in. She agrees to marry him if he brings the fallen rock to her. She knows he has a zero chance and was said to make him stop pestering her.

    Tristan is delighted he will finally get the girl of his dreams and goes to seek the meteorite, but his path is blocked by an old man who guards the stone wall next to town which is named after. And gets beaten up by the elderly fellow, 'you can not pass'.

    There is a good reason - that stone barrier is actually a real barrier... to an alternate Earth. A place called, Stormhold. A place where magik exist.



    Tristan manages to jump over the wall and ends up on the other side. Too stupid or innocent to realize, he continues his quest to find that rock. He locates the impact site, but not a meteorite - a young woman, Yvaine (Claire Danes). She's an Eternal who has come down - to live life like a mortal, an act of rebellion.

    The promise remains - Victoria will marry him when presented with the falling star. Okay, this is a person. He chains her and forces her to go with him, saying he promises to let her go once shown to his would-be wife.

    While this is going on, the king of Stormhold (Peter O'Toole) is dying, on his death bed. As is their custom, the royal enchanted jewel necklace is ejected from the castle. It's somewhere in the kingdom. The king has several sons who want the throne.

    The first who finds it - of royal blood will become king. The hunt for the jewel begins.



    The ruthless of the sons, Septimus (Mark Strong) murders his siblings to increase his odds. Seeking info on where the jewel might be, he learns of Yvaine and the legend that accompany such an event. If Yvaine's heart is taken (cut out) and eaten, the person will become immortal... an immortal king. His quest goes into two directions from that point; find that necklace and that Eternal.

    Adding to the trouble is a trio of old witches - "The Lilim" who want Yvaine too. Their alpha, Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) wants the fallen star to regain her beauty, forever young. Forever powerful.

    While finding the spot where Yvaine fell was mostly easy. Tristan gets lost in Stormhold and discovers what's going on and does his best to protect her; far more than a wedding gift/meeting. This takes the couple on an adventure over land and in the air once they meet a sky pirate, Captain Shakespeare (Robert de Niro), a fellow traveler from Earth who decided to stay in Stormhold, it was profitable. He has a cool arc.

    It is during this time that Tristan grows and sees his quest as a foolish one. He didn't really love Victoria. Yvaine grows as someone he admires and fallen for... the feeling is mutual. But this coupling takes a back seat because of Septimus and Lamia.



    It culminates in an epic, yes used correctly - 'epic' sword fight between Septimus and Tristan at the castle; quite inventive. I'll stop here. There's a lot more that happens.

    Still amazed this remains a sleeper, so under rated. Years from now folks will be wondering 'why didn't we hear about this earlier?'

    By the way, a pre-famous Henry Cavill plays Humphrey, one of the sons. And Ricky Gervais steals his scenes as Ferdy The Fence, turns out most of his lines were ad libbed.



    Above; Lamia seeking information from Ferdy about the whereabouts of the fallen star. The movie is fried gold, do seek it out. And no Shakespeare isn't Shakespeare, he took that name since it sounded violent; shake-spear to cut up and kill. *wink*

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Void.

    I have so many to write about. But I want to focus on just two this time. Welcome to Volume Four of "Dead TV Shows Not On Home Video". Yes we're in filler country, taste the void - it has hints of cinnamon. *nods*



    "OceanQuest" - This former show aired on NBC in 1985. It was a pseudo-documentary, hour long series. Sea adventurer/underwater cinematographer and documentarian, Al Giddings wanted to do a show focused on ocean environments and conservation. How to get the public on board?

    Get a person with zero diving experience - put them in a crash course SCUBA training and free style diving. And take this novice around the globe; film on location (not video tape). We experience these undersea explorations through their eyes. That person... a hot girl, who spends most of her time in high cut swim wear. *nods* A winning combination that - didn't. It was panned by critics and failed to find an audience.

    Who did they get? The 1980 Miss USA and [B[Miss Universe[/B] (won both in the same year) - Shawn Weatherly, above. She played an active role, not simply eye candy. She was serious about her involvement.

    For purposes of dramatic clarity, some scenes have been re-created and the order of events rearranged.
    - opening narration

    A beautiful woman is pushed to the limit when she trades a year of her life for a lifetime of adventure.
    - NBC promo voice over

    It was a single season, all five episodes aired. What sticks in my mind was Weatherly appearing on "Late Night With David Letterman" (NBC) promoting the show. Her appearance was near Christmas. The set was adorn with festive decorations.

  2. #692
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    Past Tense - Boy Becomes A Man, Becomes A King Part II


    Dave asks her - since she was the only woman in a boat full of men; spending most of her time in swimsuits. 'Did any of the guys get frisky?' She said no. The camera then cuts to a winking Santa Claus wall bauble. Holy crap, that made me laugh so hard. I miss you Dave.

    What made it work so well, Weatherly didn't know why the audience was laughing. Letterman then showed her the feed and... smirked. It was cute, 'ha-ha'.

    Giddings worked on such movies as "The Abyss" (1989), "For Your Eyes Only" (1981), "Striking Distance" (1993) and "Titanic" (1997) to name a few. He was well known as 'the guy' who you want for underwater filming. And he worked for National Geographic on various sea related docs.

    It was a cool show, didn't try to be anything more than an ocean travelogue. And it worked. Plus Weatherly was great to look at. They put her in really dangerous situations (for drama), like when they had her in a cage; filming her as she watched great white sharks feeding. Why yes, they attack her cage. Drama! *jazz hands*

    Or when they went to Cuba and dove off the coast into a shipwreck filled with unexploded munitions. Weatherly wanted to touch one and got her hand pulled; Giddings making the boom motions with his hands. Why take her there?

    ...just because.

    Okay, yeah - the critics had reasons to disapprove. It's pretty much, 'lets put this gal in peril each week'.

    Would totally buy the DVD. The other thing that sticks with me was their cabled ROV, seen above. Man, I wanted one of those, almost futuristic looking. The operator pretty much made that ROV like a pet character. Too bad this show has pretty much been long forgotten.

    Weatherly would go on to do another water related series, "Baywatch" (1989) for their first season since her character Jill Riley got killed during a shark attack - for ratings. Which failed since NBC canceled it. But show runners got the idea and sold it for syndication - and the rest is history. What bugs me is that producers didn't want Playboy models for "Baywatch". But were okay with Penthouse girls.

    What popped in my mind as I wrote this? The Duran Duran song, "Save A Prayer".

    Finding any solid photo from the series was next to impossible. I'm lucky to have found that one and it took an hour of fixing just to look like that. Sorry, the best I could muster.

    - - -



    "Q.E.D." was a former CBS series which ran for six, hour long episodes (all aired), a midseason replacement in 1982. It is largely forgotten. Hell, even I forgot until I stumbled onto it in late March of this year (and watched it back in the day). Sorry about that pix too. Could not find anything better, it is quite the lacking.

    Left to right; A.C.Weary as Charlie Andrews, George Innes as Phipps, Caroline Langrishe as Jenny Martin and Sam Waterston (yes that Waterston) as Dr. Quentin E. Deverill.

    This was set in pre-World War One, England - 1912. We follow the exploits an eccentric expatriate, Quentin E. Deverill (we never found out what the 'E' stood for). Deverill was an ex-Harvard professor and inventor who had his full - contemporaries ridiculed his ideas. He moves into a manor outside of London.

    Along the way he gains a cockney man servant/chauffeur - Phipps. He was a freelance taxi driver who owned his car. Deverill didn't want to deal with it and offer to buy the auto from him. Phipps agreed and drives him to this newly bought home. There the professor offered him a live-in job. A huge upgrade, this too he agrees.

    The third member of this assemble is an American reporter, Charlie Andrews. He moved to England seeking adventure, things are afoot here. His position is 'special correspondent' for International Wireless newspaper. Charlie is somewhat of a nuisance to Deverill, but does offer eager, sometimes needed assistance.

    The last member was added by accident. This is where things get murky as it does from pilot to series.

    After settling in - Betsy Stevens (Sarah Berger) seeks Quentin for help. Her brother has gone missing, a fellow scientist who was in correspondence with Deverill. And more than likely the last person he had contact with. The professor doesn't want to get involved, but she presses him. Use his mind to solve the mystery; her brother's yacht was recovered - abandoned off the British Coast. Deverill manages to extrapolate where the boat was going.

    Using the yacht, the four of them find the island and are promptly held in detention. The island is a secret testing site being used for the Kaiser. He knows that war is coming and wants an edge. Scientist and profiteer, Dr. Stefan Kilkiss (Julian Glover) has kidnapped the brother to build him a wireless homing apparatus. Kilkiss has made a rocket for war. It can be aimed in mid-flight. But needs a targeting gadget to fix in. Yes, we're talking about an early blitzkrieg.

    Quentin is disgusted by Kilkiss and manages to sabotage the projectile - exploding on the launching pad. Betsy is reunited with her sibling and the gang escape in a hot air balloon - the object has the gadget installed for the test fire. With the rocket disabled they make a getaway back to mainland with Phipps, piloting as it were. He's a man who had a ton of short lived jobs before working for the professor.

    Charlie got his story and an adventure. He was there just to interview Deverill - an established academic who rejected his peers back home. Here he first meets Betsy and tries to win her over, but she's not into him like that, friend zoned. He keeps trying.

    Once all is done, Betsy inserts herself into the professor's life. He needs a secretary to write up correspondences (she types), answering the phone and doing all the things so that Dr. Deverill can focus on his research, not bothered by daily trivialities. He's caught off guard by her moving-in and realizes he does need a personal assistant beyond Phipps. As the series progressed, Deverill discovers how crucial she has become. From gathering food for Phipps to cook and beyond.

    This begins his second life as a scientist sleuth, most of the time - forced into it.

    Stevens' actions makes perfect sense from her point of view. At this time, women were not treated on equal footing. The professor isn't progressive - he just doesn't give a crap. As long as you can hold your own and keep up, you were treated the same. Race, gender, age or social status is insignificant, just be a reliable person. Plus she gets to play with the boys in various adventures; she participates, not on the sidelines.



    Above is the TV Guide ad for the premier; "Target: London" aired March 23rd, '82. Kilkiss is the one in the top hat. Odd, Phipps isn't in the ad. For the second episode the role was taken over by Langrishe as Miss Jenny. Same difference, but what happened to Betsy? No answer. Are we to accept that Jenny was Stevens? It's never mentioned. But that does happen from pilot to series. *shrugs*

    Can kinda see why the Network wanted the change. Berger was somewhat pretty and quite direct - almost pushy. She moved into the manor without consent. Langrishe's character is more attractive and demure (she doesn't curse either), quite feminine.

    All the episodes can be seen on YouTube, the quality is 'watchable', it's better than nothing. As I wrote, this takes place in that period of transition from horse drawn carriages to mechanized, modern tech. The world still had exploring to be done. It reminds me of a latter-day, "The Adventures Of Brisco County, Jr." (Fox; 1993).

    Sure.

    "Brisco" took place in 1893; same idea; retro future tech. This had time travel, a rocket too, land pirates (exactly what you're thinking), proto-tank, a ghost, proto-motorcycles and an early zeppelin among a lot of things. Plus a sentient horse too. Its on DVD. A cult classic; steampunk, western serial, just under over-the-top. A Harvard educated lawyer turned bounty hunter, the bizarre travels he finds himself in. And man, that had an outstanding opening credits music by Randy Edelman. So good... it was used for the 1996 Summer Olympics - their theme music and in the NFL too. Quite triumphant.



    Left to right; Christian Clemenson as Socrates Poole, Julius Carry as Lord Bowler, Kelly Rutherford as Dixie Cousins (semi-regular), John Astin as Professor Wickwire (semi-regular), Bruce Campbell as Brisco County Jr. and Comet the wonder horse. I should pull out my DVD and rewatch the show.

    Hell we also get an Elvis impersonator too; don't fight, just go with it. So batsh!t crazy. And we got a wicked villain in John Bly (Billy Drago) who revels in being evil. Hint... he's a criminal from the future seeking misplaced tech/object sent into the past. *nods* Totally sway. Too bad we only got one season, but it was extended, twenty-seven episodes, not twenty-two. And don't forget, never touch Pete's piece!

    Anyhow, if "Q.E.D." were to come to home video - it would be a two disc set. Maybe have a vintage EPK and series promos along with some TV and radio spots. A commentary on the pilot would be grand. And a retrospective featurette with cast would be welcomed. Oh well... just dreaming.

    There you go. Not one of my strongest entries and yeah, I know. Sort of went all over the place. *shrugs* Come back here on July 23rd, 2020 for a musical excursion.

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    Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series
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    Past Tense - Still Believing Part I


    Another brand new entry! And my very first music PT listing (sway!); concert footage and music videos collection from Journey...



    It streeted against "Dirty Harry Ultimate Collector's Edition", "The Andromeda Strain" (A&E mini-series) and "Weeds: Season Three". Pix above, left to right; Neal Schon, Steve Smith, Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry and Ross Valory.

    This set came in a thin card stock slipcase. It holds the DVD and a pocket space for the CD. No inserts for the DVD.

    - - -

    This was a Best Buy exclusive - but NOT new, other than the slipcase.



    The DVD, "Journey: Greatest Hits 1978 - 1997" is a combo of music videos and live performances. This release came out on November 25th, 2003 for $14.95. The CD, "Journey: Greatest Hits" came out on August 1st, 2006 (reissue), not remastered. The original hit stores on November 15th, 1988 as a digipak with 15 tracks. I apologize, I have no clue on the CD price.

    Tracks

    1 Only The Young
    2 Don't Stop Believin'
    3 Wheel In The Sky
    4 Faithfully
    5 I'll Be Alright Without You
    6 Any Way You Want It
    7 Ask The Lonely
    8 Who's Crying Now
    9 Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    10 Lights
    11 Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'
    12 Open Arms
    13 Girl Can't Help It
    14 Send Her My Love
    15 Be Good to Yourself
    16 When You Love A Woman (Bonus Track)



    "Journey: Greatest Hits CD+DVD 1978 - 1997 Collector's Fan Pack" streeted on June 3rd, 2008 for $14.99. Can't say how many per store. Did not buy when it came out (I do remember seeing it at my store); well over a decade after the fact - was bought off eBay for $7.00 with free shipping in April 2020.

    Above is the weekly ad; it was separate from the regular DVD showcase, highlighting that week's music titles for sale.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    It's a mixed bag. The CD does have a bonus track, but all of the songs in the compilation as said a moment ago - were not remastered. That's kinda cheap, feels like a quick cash grab. *nods*



    Then you have the DVD, above you can see the screen snaps from the two menu screens. Yeah, it's that poor. Did not bother to enhance or some kind of improvement. No remastered done in here either. Then it gets worse.

    This music video collection is actually incomplete. It has concert footage and videos. The problem is there is no overlap. They made the choice to have concert footage instead of having the corresponding music video.

    Wheel In The Sky (1978)
    Faithfully (1983)
    Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (1983)
    Lights (1978)
    Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' (1979)
    When You Love A Woman (1996)
    Send Her My Love (1983)
    Just The Same Way (1980)
    Feeling That Way (1978)
    After The Fall (1983)

    Those were the only music videos, the rest is live footage. To be honest, I've never been into concert titles - I much rather have the music videos. I didn't have cable growing up, no MTV. So viewing music videos were difficult for me. Remember, this is pre-internet.

    *deep sigh*

    So we have a collection of tunes which are incomplete and not remastered.

    Here's the thing, there would've been room to have the band's full music video compendium on disc. But that didn't happen. It's better than nothing, true. But quite lackluster and that's a shame. The band is awesome, a power house in the 1980s, they deserved better than this.

    Yes, I did see it. The DVD cover does say "I" as in 'Volume I'. But there was never any further collection. So no, that doesn't help.

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    Past Tense - Still Believing Part II


    Tangent.



    You're looking at an arcade video game based on the band. Had long forgotten until doing various research for the post.

    Now long dead, pretty much existing in the memories of Gen-Xers and Boomers is the former discount store chain, TG&Y it was much like how RiteAid is now. Our "Five And Dime". A bit of everything on a smaller scale. What lingers for me is how decent their toy section was. I'm still seeking an old Tomy wind-up portable game. Only saw it at the store and only a couple of times. The concept was a submarine that shoots out a wind-up torpedo, point at the target and let it go. It would be kinda random as the thing hopped forward. Still don't know its name.

    Tomy had similar themed wind-up games; from golfing, bowling, boxing, basketball and a few others. They came inside a folding case with storage and a built in handle; portable games for children.

    The point?

    In front of the check-out was a couple of arcade games, cabinet enclosures. They were next to the quarter vending machines that popped out those random plastic eggs with prizes inside. But that video game was short lived - was there for a few weeks and pulled. Probably since it did so little game play. It was in an awkward location where there's a lot of foot traffic, would be hard to concentrate.

    Stepping back. The game was released in March of 1983 from Bally Midway. This was the first time a video game had digitized sprites - characters using photographs of real people. I was super impressed when I saw it, not game graphics, real photos (in low res). There is even more history here.

    The head photos used in the game were taken by Ralph Baer. He's the guy who is considered the father of home video game consoles. His system - Magnovoxx Odyssey was the very system to play at home... September of 1972.

    The game?

    Wild alien Groupoids have seized Journey's electro supercharged instruments. Your mission is to help Journey retrieve their instruments from the dangers of five galaxies. Trek through hazardous obstacles in quest of each instrument and then battle your way back to the Scarab vehicle. When all five missions are completed Journey begins a spectacular concert at the Galactic Stadium. Journey plays their hit song [a midi version] while Herbie guards the stage from frenzied Groupoids who are trying to take the instruments.
    - Opening screen

    Before the game begins there's some text on the right hand bottom...

    Joystick controls band member's movement. Use blast button to clear return path after instrument has been retrieved.
    While each level is played a midi version of one of their songs plays.

    The song playing as they go from one galaxy to the next is "When The Lights Go Down In The City".

    1st Galaxy - Microphone: Steve Perry must successfully navigate various turnstiles (swinging gates) without touching (getting wacked). Get his microphone and shoot is way back to the Scarab. Song is "Don't Stop Believing".

    2nd Galaxy - Bass Guitar: Ross Valory must successfully leap on and off elevated pedestals. Not to fall to his death and jump as it were to get his guitar and shoot is way back to the Scarab. Song is "Keep On Running".

    3rd Galaxy - Keyboard: Jonathan Cain must successfully jump over obstacles on a multi-level conveyor belt to reach his keyboard and shoot is way back to the Scarab. Song is "Stone In Love".

    4th Galaxy - Guitar: Neal Schon with his jet pack must successfully traverse an underground cavern without falling or touching the walls to get his guitar and shoot is way back to the Scarab. Song is "Chain Reaction".

    5th Galaxy - Drums: Steve Smith must jump onto various free floating... drums to get to his supercharged drums. The catch is he must jump onto each floater at least once before he can get his instrument. And shoot is way back to the Scarab. Song is "Wheel In the Sky".

    The some of the instruments are not stationary which creates complications. As you can see, this becomes quite repetitious.

    Herbie by the way is a morbidly obese bouncer. Or is a 'Space Bouncer'? The final... level at the concert is petty much just controlling Herbie from left to right and vise versa. Pushing the 'Groupoids' from entering one of three doors below the stage. Both of his hands go up and down as he moves, kinda like "Donkey Kong" or he's doing a poor job at bitch slapping.

    Successful arcade games usually wind-up in home versions, but this is the first time that an unsuccessful home game became a successful arcade game. Now of course, we're talking about "Journey" - the machine that stars a rock group and is patterned loosely after last year's "Journey Escapes". "Journey" is really eleven different games, five basic racks represent the five members of the band. First you complete a task to get a band member's instrument - then you fight off attackers before you go onto the next band member. After all five musicians have been reunited with their instruments; the band plays a mini- concert for you. And then in the final board, you maneuver a fat bouncer to keep the groupies from robbing the band. The computer pictures of the band and the sound reproduction are superior.
    - from what appears to be a short local TV news review of the video game by Patrick Scott Patterson

    What? This video game has six levels, together - where do you get eleven? I'm being dead serious, that's poor math. So what's "their hit song" that plays at the concert? Can't answer, it is dominated by generic sound effects of Herbie repelling the Groupoids. If he fails and just one of them enters a door, Herbie flees and the stage is rushed, taking the instruments once more. Oh joy. You can find game play videos on YouTube. It's not that impressive today, all the levels are weak.



    So? Why was this broken into two parts? Couldn't this all fit as a single entry?

    Nope. Too many characters, even before the images were added. And I didn't want to widdle down the info presented. Did a good amount of research to have it deleted for space.

    Come back here on August 13th, 2020 for another store exclusive. *shrugs* Don't know what it will be, but I'm fairly certain it might be interesting. Can you read the confidence in my text?

    One more bit - that 'Space Bouncer' was named after the band's manager - Herbie Herbert. Why yes, I'm a fan of the band. *wink* They were an iconic 1980s pop group. Would go so far to say has popular as "Duran Duran".

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    Past Tense


    Another brand new entry! This week we get a TV movie that got turned into a single short television series in "Powderkeg"...



    I have no stats, this was a made for TV movie, backdoor pilot for CBS. And unless I'm mistaken, this is the very first television movie appearing as a Past Tense. I CAN tell you, this aired on April 16th, 1971.

    Since this was released on a Friday, I'm gonna go with what titles were released on March 26th, new releases day. When it streeted, it was with "The Borgias: The Second Season", "Lincoln", "Star Trek: Enterprise - Season One" and "Killing Them Softly".

    This came in a regular DVD case, matted wraparound with no insert. I added an index card with the air date and network info.

    - - -



    This was an Amazon exclusive, one of their M.O.D. (manufacture on demand) DVD-R titles. An official release that came out on March 29th, 2013 for $9.98.

    Oh man, this... is a disservice to the show. Such a half-a$$ effort that Amazon should be ashamed.

    The cover reads: "Digitally Remastered", pardon? No, no it is not. In fact this looks like it was taken from a second or third generation VHS copy. Not a joke. The image quality is crap on a cracker.

    Before I got into this, let me set the stage for his movie and subsequent series which is also on DVD (three discs) and so much better. Released by Timeless Media Group on May 14th, 2013 for $19.95.



    "Bearcats!: The Complete Series" is out print since Timeless Media Group no longer exists. And is NOT complete since the set is missing pilot movie. Just be clear, yes - their hair was 1970s style as well as were some of the fashions, just a bit. Not fully authentic which is how period TV was back then.

    At its core this is a modern-western; the year is 1914, Hank Brackett (Rod Taylor) and Johnny Reach (Dennis Cole) are partners. They are freelance adventurers (soldiers of fortune would be more accurate) who will do the jobs which are impossible, they get it done. Their exploits come at a price... they want to be paid with a blank check. They will fill in the numbers on what they feel their job was worth.

    These men are the last line when all else have failed. If you need to put a dollar amount to your woes, you don't call them. No horses used, but horsepower - the gimmick is the duo ride around in a Stutz Bearcat sports car ('14). The movie...

    The men are hired by a railroad magnate after one of his trains is hijacked while coming from Mexico. Taken by "The Morales Gang", former revolutionaries gone bitter. Lead by Chucho [Morales] (Fernando Lamas) who wants his brother released from jail in exchange for the train and their seventy-three hostages; his brother (Michael Ansara) is going to be executed (hung) in days for his crimes in New Mexico.

    Among the captives is the daughter of the tycoon's friend who was killed in the heist. It's a complicated tale of them using their car and a bi-plane to halt the train. Even going so far to blow-up a bridge. A story that's more complicated as it goes, there are people sabotaging their efforts.

    The actress, Luciana Paluzzi who plays Juanita Sierra-Perez is a Bond girl. She was a femme fatale in "Thunderball" (1965); she was the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. agent Fiona, the girl on the lethal motorcycle hunting 007.

    Story wise, a solid popcorn flick, like the later series (thirteen episodes). The car used in the pilot was the real deal; a genuine Bearcat goes for $150,000 - 200,000 today. It was assembled through a Hollywood movie car rental agency. Today that TV movie car is held in a private collection in California.



    For the later series, they couldn't rely on a single car that might break down - it was fifty-seven years old after all. Two full sized replicas were created by George Barris, the mocks had hand built chassis with 1960s Ford engines and transmissions. Should be known, Barris is the guy who made the Batmobile for the 1966 "Batman" series and Munster's car on "The Munsters" (1964).

    His autos are iconic.

    Anyhow, I have so little data to work with. I can tell you, "Powderkeg" had a limited theatrical release in the United Kingdom; a 1972 double feature with "The Chastity Belt ".



    See that? That's the menu screen on the Amazon exclusive, the picture quality is very good. Too bad that's not the quality of the movie. It appears that image was sourced from a promotional image.

    No options other than 'Play'. Does it have chapters? Yes - three of them. Which have such odd placements, like they didn't know what they were doing. Surprise!

    It has a run time of 93 minutes. As as you can see, zero extras. The original CBS 'Sunday Night Movie' opening would've been nice.

    Nope.

    So I'm not going to do any kind of image enhancements - zero. Why bother? *throws hands in the air*



    *long deep sigh* Yup that's how it looks. The image is either too dark or over-exposed. And you can see the cassette image line on the second picture. Can it get worse? Yes. Yes it can!

    They have tracking issues - the picture jumps, jitters like it has A.D.D.. Plus the movie is presented in weak, window box, a frame around the video. I can say the audio is decent, if that counts for anything. Hint... it doesn't.

    Here's another bit of trivia; that bi-plane is a Curtiss JN-4 that didn't fly until 1915. Yeah, they weren't sticklers to history.



    Above is a snap from the later TV series. As you can see the picture quality is decent for forty-nine year old show. It is quite serviceable as was the series. I liked it, part of my collection. Which is a story. I was lost in 2015 or so on Amazon; a link to a link and so - seeing what the site would offer as recommendation. I ended up on the complete series page, caught my attention. Sounds interesting, made a mental bookmark and moved on.

    It wasn't until April of 2017 that I bought the show and July 2020 when I purchased the pilot. What stands out for me is the time when they modded their car to become a machine gun, the spinning rear wheel. That Bearcat gets pretty much modded for each episode. So what would I do here (pilot) if I could?

    I would have the movie transferred from original film reels, not a cassette - remaster it... but I want more. Want a recording of the original broadcast with the original Sunday promo (can be a tape) - do the best that could be done on that, picture quality.

    And here's the thing. You have the option to watch the movie by itself, seamless branching or as the 1971 two hour telecast. Using the tape find the commercials which aired and remastered them too, adding them to the appropriate spots. Just like how it aired. How sway would that be? *nods*

    One last bit of before I close. The M.O.D. was made for Amazon by TGG Direct, LLC. Oh yeah, the disc has pressed art which mirrors the menu screen, like it was a real DVD (not a printed label sticker). TGG Direct isn't known for quality DVDs (transfers). There you go.

    Sorry about this being late, I forgot. Should've been posted on the 13th. Anyhow, I'm a bit fuzzy on what is coming next time; August 27th, 2020. Have an idea, but I'm waiting for an item to arrive before I announce; let alone start the write-up. If it can happen in August - it will NOT be a Past Tense, but something different. Something I've been wanting to do for over a year, concept. Call it quality filler.

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    Past Tense


    Another brand new entry!

    This time out we get pesky tweens who should know better and get caught in a lethal predicament in "I Saw What You Did".



    The motion picture opened on May 15th, 1965. Can't really tell you more, not even a budget. This was a B-movie. Sorry, further stats are unavailable to me. Can tell you - top billed star Joan Crawford got paid $50,000 for four days work.

    The feature opened against "Decision At Midnight", "Young Dillinger" and "The Hill".

    This had no insert nor slipcover.

    - - -



    This was a limited time exclusive release from Wal-Mart in early June 2017 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, sorry can't be more specific. It had a retail price of $7.96.

    The later wide release happened on September 5th, 2017 for $9.99. It was a blind buy, glad I did. The movie still holds. It was later re-release as part of Universal's "Vault Series" collection, bare bone DVDs.

    It was however released on Blu-Ray from Shout! Factory on May 17th, 2016 for $29.99 and carries over the extras from the 1999 DVD plus a gallery - new.

    Should be noted that Wal-Mart gave no mention that this was a store exclusive, no sticker on the wrapping to indicate.



    Above is the menu screen. As you can see... ZERO. Not even the trailer is present which sucks. A trailer should be a given - all basic, meat and potatoes releases should have it.

    The DVD is an upgrade from the last one (more on in a moment). The film is now presented in anamorphic widescreen.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    The movie is an adaptation of Ursula Curtiss' novel "Out Of The Dark"

    The first DVD release came out on August 24th, 1999 for $24.95 from Anchor Bay. This came with an insert; one is is a reproduction of the poster (above) and the other is chapter listing, twenty of them.



    There were many moans on the release. It had no real remastering for starters. It still has the projectionist's cues - every twenty minutes a black circle flashes on the upper right corner. It was there for projectionists to guide them when to change to the next reel of film. Plus the contrast was not balanced.

    Text on the screen had a halo effect around credits. And the biggest offense, this was not in anamorphic widescreen. The movie is in letterbox. While true this was '99, but many titles had already shifted to the better viewing experience.

    Add to that... what the hell? That has got to be one of the ugliest DVD covers I've seen in a long while. No genuine effort was made for the cover. Like a college drop out's collage attempt. Too lazy to hire a better draftmans. OR too cheap. As you might have guessed this title is out of print, no real crime.

    The DVD came with William Castle's "Special World Premiere Announcement", the teaser - done like Castle was Alfred Hithcock. And its trailer. Castle being a king if not The King of B-movie gimmicks. This had two.

    1) Some theaters had seat belts installed, so that you won't be 'shocked out of your seat'. *shakes head*

    2) A cheap phone was installed in some theaters near the entrance where you would dial a number and get a message - "I saw what you did and I know who you are". But it backfired, phone companies were flooded with calls, jamming their systems around the country. Castle pulled the plug because of angry complaints.

    - - -



    There was a second attempt, a remake as it were. "I Saw What You Did ...And I Know Who You Are!" aired on CBS on May 20th, 1988, a two hour presentation.

    It starred Tammy Lauren as Lisa Harris - revised Libby Mannering and Shawnee Smith as Kim Fielding - revised Kit Austin. The little sister, Julia Fielding revised Tess was played by Candace Cameron of "Full House" fame as D.J. Tanner (God, I hated that series). Our big bad here is Adrian Lancer (Robert Carradine) revised Steve Marak.

    Here Mrs. Harris is played by Rosanna Huffman, she replaces the Amy Nelson character in the original film - Joan Crawford.

    What we have is a murderer with a mental problem, snapped when is girlfriend (Jo Anderson) said "no" to his marriage proposal. He thinks there are two witnesses who are going to expose, teasing him. The movie ends with a twist... Kim gets a phone call of her own - Adrian's brother, Stephen (David Carradine) is seeking revenge for what she and her friend did, setting Adrian on fire killing him.

    Spoilers? The film got overwhelmingly negative reviews. The TV movie nobody asked for. The audience DID like the synthwave score, but not much else. The telefilm was directed by Fred Walton best known as the director of another phone based horror flick, "When A Stranger Calls" (1979) also remade in 2006. I own that, the '06 feature, a solid thriller.

    Here's an odd thing. I'm running into info that the TV movie was released on DVD Paramount Home Entertainment, but I can't find further info - like it didn't happen. But I'm seeing cover art that matches Paramount's early '00s DVDs. Quite odd.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    Man, the old days before pre-caller ID. This really couldn't made today unless it was a period flick. It was a different time.



    Above, left to right - Sarah Lane, Andi Garrett and Sharyl Locke with dog. Tweens pals, Kit and Libby are stuck in the Mannering's home; her parents are gone on an overnight trip - leaving Kit to babysit her younger sister, Tess. Because she lives out in the sticks, there's not much to do. Can't ride the horses in the stable, unsupervised.

    Above; Kit discovers Tess was browsing their phone book, leaving behind peanut butter pages.

    Out of sheer boredom they decided to make prank telephone calls for entertainment. This was a time when there were three channels on television, perhaps some minor others if their signal was strong enough - independent. The phone numbers were random. Giggling and laughing after "I saw what you did... and I know who you are!"

    This becomes far more than innocent tomfoolery, one of the callers is to Steve Marak (John Ireland). He had discovered his wife (Joyce Meadows) is leaving him and is processing what to do. The girls call Steve and get his wife, she leave the phone on the table to get her husband who was in the shower. He snaps and murders her. Once done he finds the phone open. Because it took so long, Kit and Libby moved on, hung up.

    Later they try again to reach Mr. Marak and get him - "I saw what you did... and I know who you are". Matters get worse when his neighbor, Amy Nelson hear the ruckus - it wasn't a neat kill, stabbed. The older woman comes over to see if he's all right. She has a long term crush on Steve and is happy to learn he had a fight with his wife and she left. Amy sees this as her opportunity to take Steve, competition departed. *wink*



    Steve isn't some dumb plot device; using serious deduction, he pieces together where the phone call came from. And sees the girls inside an empty house, no parents. Nothing left to chance - he cuts the power and stalks the girls inside house. Using he same knife he killed his wife with.

    It's up to their collected efforts to save themselves from the killer; trying to gain outside, adult help. What was so refreshing was watching kids behaving like kids. Not mini-adults, that's fine when done right, but a lot of it is lazy writing if not pretentious. And was cute to see Kit behaving like she was more worldly than Libby.

    There's a lot more that happens, things left out. For a disposable thriller, this has legs; fifty-five years later and can still command attention. What happens next? If you haven't do check it out beyond nostalgia, it's a solid flick.

    That's it folks. One of my shorter entries - and a title written in a few hours and posted on the same night. Pulled this one out of my a$$, so imporant to have good notes. I really dropped the ball, glad I had my image works done, ready to go. The only exception was the poster which I found a better picture and did a dash restoration job on it, nothing too difficult.

    I must say, I'm quite happy with this post - come together nicely. Sway.

    What happened to that announcement I made last post?

    I'm still trying to gain info; I receive, but not a pressed DVD, a DVD-R. Was it always that way? I don't know, I'm not happy about it. Still trying to sort it. More than likely that will happen next month. The next PT will happen on September 10th, 2020. No clue what that might be. But I greatly suspect it will be brand new. See you then.

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    Past Tense - Overcoming Your Dark Past Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on July 24th, 2014 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    Good or Evil, it's a choice we all have to make; what do we want to be? For Al Simmons his decision will effect the entire world in "Todd McFarlane's Spawn"...



    "Todd McFarlane's Spawn: 10th Anniversary Signature Edition" was released on home video on July 24th, 2007.

    It streeted against "The Crow: Stairway To Heaven - The Complete Series", "The Secrets Of Isis: The Complete Series", "Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Sixth Season" and "Cashback".

    The release originally came in a steelbook case (above) holding four discs. Came with two inserts. 1) Card stock backing; side A is the DVD release info, side B is disc content. 2) Advertisement for MacFarlane Toys and Spawn dot com. The ad was inside the case.

    There was no regular DVD case release.

    - - -



    One exclusive from Best Buy; twenty-six page mini-comic book; reproduction of issue one (origin story). The comic came shrink wrapped on the case's rear, under the card stock backing. The set sold for $27.99; eight copies per store.

    No problem getting mine on street, but I do have an issue - I'll get into that in a few.

    There was a pair of titles I wanted, got both, but was a chore. The other is the above mentioned "The Crow: Stairway To Heaven" (that brief period when TV Guide was in the DVD business). I was able to locate at Circuit City with assistance; had ONE copy (all discs were mint). Damn lucky to have mine.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    Man, this is something I need to mention; not the only one - same complaint, echoed by many others...

    The nubs!

    Four nubs holding the discs inside the steelbook. Each is so tight - hard to remove the discs. If you're not taking care, will crack. Dead serious, they are lodged in. Few times in my DVD collecting have I ran into this woe - this title ranks number one. I've hurt my fingers trying to pry them out.

    Before I forget, the series presented here is the uncut episodes. *nods*

    My exposure was from videos; a friend of mine had cable and taped a few episodes off HBO. I liked what I saw and ended up buying the laser disc.



    LD was released on September 2nd, 1997 from HBO Video for $49.98. I paid less from Ken Crane's Laser Disc (Long Beach, CA), an extinct shop. Two disc set (gatefold jacket; three sides all in CLV) is season one (uncut), compiled; came with a chromium art print. Extras included storyboards, the trailer for the live action "Spawn" (1997), interview with Todd MacFarlane and running commentary by MacFarlane.

    Commentary did NOT carry over to the DVD and is exclusive to the dead format. I no longer have this LD. I sold mine years earlier. Kinda sorry I did now.

    In the interview, MacFarlane talked about putting season two on laser disc as well, didn't happened.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    Lets talk about other animated shows, I need filler. *cough*

    Man, this is something that has become largely forgotten - the web animated series, "WhirlGirl".



    C'mon, how can this NOT be out on home video? I'm looking at you Showtime, release it already.

    For newbies... the year is 2077, the location, Los Angeles.

    Official synopsis...

    Kia Cross, a twentysomething infodrone/girl-next-door, strives to find love and happiness in a future city under siege by a ruthless tech-tyrant. As head of the all-powerful ZoneWerks corporation, Ty Harden reigns supreme over the world's vast computer network - controlling all that is seen and heard, known and learned.

    When Harden unleashes a devastating new weapon against the underground resistance group FreeVox, Kia's only hope of saving her friends and way of life is to confront the repressed memories of her notorious cyberpirate mom and don the identity of a whirling, pleather-clad superheroine.
    This began as a web comic in early 1997. In July 1998 it became a Flash animated show. It was bought by Showtime and debuted in 1999. These weekly (Friday) webisodes were done in serial format (each ended with a cliffhanger) and ran for roughly five minutes long; some seventy-six webisodes (official number is fuzzy) were produced until 2001. This does not include over a hundred episode comics before Showtime. All of these shows could fit on a three disc DVD set with room to spare (including all the web comics, DVD-ROM) for some extras.



    In 2000 there was suppose to be an action figure of Ms. Cross; released by ReSaurus toys - was to have been an exclusive to Spencer Gifts. But as far as I can tell, that never happened. Too bad, I would've liked one. Before you ask, do not know how much or how tall. It had limited action; three points of articulation.

    WhirlGirl to me represents the internet generation and she's fighting for creativity and freedom in this new world.
    - Creator, David B. Williams

    An odd thing; you have this image in your mind of what the voice actor looks like; doing the research for the topic I got to see what Jen Sprague appears, the voice of Whirlgirl/Kia. Ahhhhhh... Pass.

    Mo Mellady who voiced Erin Esurance looked as I expected, a bohemian kind of woman. I'm still bummed that Esurance dropped the character from their marketing. And that Erin didn't have a life of her own.



    There were a series of popular TV commercials for Geico featuring Cavemen, "so easy, a caveman could do it" auto insurance in 2004. This promotion was so successful (twenty-one television ads) that it got its own TV show on ABC in 2007. WTF?

    There is only so much you can do. The series lasted thirteen half hour episodes. *shakes head*



    Erin should've gotten her own show. I'm guessing it would've cost far less to produce than the live action sitcom; keep it animated, same software - just flesh it out to 30 minutes. There was a large horizon of tales to tell. And besides, she already had a list of villains to play with. Man, that was such a missed opportunity.

    She had style and class; understand she'll pay to dance.
    - Ratt

    We did get a taste of what it could be. Among the spots was an internet exclusive short, Miss Esurance on a mission at a villain convention in a castle. That was very sway.

    The character was retired in June of 2010 for banal TV spots that continue to this day. She had her own Halloween costume (unauthorized) back in 2008. Five piece set; black catsuit, pink wig, hot pink belt, gloves and two hot pink accessories. $59.95. Boots and attitude not included.

    And there were many cosplayers too with homemade homages for conventions and Halloween parties.

    Unofficially - her ads were discontinued because corporate discovered how popular Erin was in the artist forum, DeviantArt - the artists there put Miss Esurance various adult and pornographic situations... so easy, even a caveman can do her.



    There was a fan made action figure by a DeviantArt artist with the monicker "Advancesculptor" in 2009. Well more like a figurine, no action. There were a couple of other fan made figs, such as from SomaKun (also from DeviantArt). But Advancesculptor's work looks much better.

    Discovery; Advancesculptor made available his creation as a model kit; ten inches tall made of resin in four parts. Still for sale for $50.00 plus shipping from Bad Faerie Productions. Would be nice to have, but I do not have the skills to build. Yeah, that's a bubble butt.

    Anyhow, should be a DVD with all the TV ads (slightly over thirty during her three year run) and that short along with interviews with the people involved, single disc. Would totally buy that. Plus some bonus features, not many.



    Gonna moan some more. Another bad idea was axing Carly Foulkes from T-Mobile's marketing, the unnamed girl dressed in pink. That campaign lasted from Fall 2010 to Spring 2013. She was still popular, what the hell?

    The same reason for both firings; the company was rebranding themselves.

    Whatever. It was a bad move. She was eye catching, sold her product well. Guys liked Foulkes and women wanted to be her - a win win.

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    Past Tense - Overcoming Your Dark Past Part II


    May have noticed in that weekly ad - the box set for a largely forgotten 1960s ABC TV show, "Irwin Allen's Land Of The Giants". On release week for $169.99 - only gotten MORE expensive over the years, it's beyond my wallet.



    I've known for decades, reading in Starlog mag and the episode guide magazine, "Epi-Log". But only until the Fall of 2019 did I see - on the retro channel, MeTV - airs on Sunday mornings at 3 am.

    From left to right above...

    Gary Conway as Captain Steve Burton, Deanna Lund as Valerie "Val" Ames Scott, Don Matheson as Mark Wilson, Kurt Kasznar as Commander Alexander B. Fitzhugh, Stefan Arngrim as Barry Lockridge (getting caught), Heather Young as stewardess Betty Hamilton and Don Marshall as co-pilot Dan Erickson.

    Debuted on September 22nd, 1968 and took place in the future. It is June 16th, 1983. We are following the crew and passengers of Flight 612, suborbital shuttle from New York to London. The craft, Spindrift while on the red eye gets caught in a spacial anomaly, pulled in - barely make it through, crash landing in what appears to be a forrest.

    To their horror this isn't Earth, but a parallel universe - an unnamed planet where humans are twelve times our size. And only as technologically advanced as we were in the 1960s. Worse yet, the nation they landed on isn't a republic - it's authoritarian.

    Further worse - the giants know about us. Spindrift isn't the first Earth ship on this planet and they want our gang and ship; knowing we are far more advance than them. They are hunted by the S.I.D., Special Investigation Department, their version of the F.B.I.. The city bureau is run by Inspector Kobick (Kevin Hagen) who wants them badly.

    Their tales - trying to repair the shuttle and get home; low fuel and various structural damage, a hard crash... into a huge park. They cover their ship with leaves and various debris, surviving in 'Giant' world; making allies and enemies. And discovering other Giant scientist who want them for their own scientific advancements.

    Impressive. You see, pretty much all of the Irwin Allen shows devolved into campy kid programming - from "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" (1964) to "Lost In Space" (1965) to "The Time Tunnel" (1966). This was different. This is my conjecture...



    The show was made possible because Allen wanted it - another feather in his cap. At the time - was one of the most expensive shows on television at $250,000 an episode. So many huge props and sets. Sets built on platforms so the camera can be under it, looking up at the actors; the impression of size. At this moment, he was making the transition to big budget screen movies such as "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972). He wasn't available for day to day operations.

    He hired show runners to do it for him and they didn't succumb to kid friendly pitfall. Didn't go for plot conveniences; while it did have various tropes it had in equal measures of smart moves by both our heroes and Giants. Actions have consequences and characters had growth. Which was a huge surprise too - didn't happen in '60s TV shows; each episode is self-contained, can be mixed up with any other season without continuity. Meaning you didn't need to watch previous shows to understand.

    Plus our characters didn't gel from the start - it was earned. They were antagonistic, only working together since it's about survival. But it grew into a family.

    Mark Wilson is the head of a tech company with business in aeronautics who was on his way to London to sign an acquisition contract. He's their tech expert. Mark was a jerk and demanded Capt. Burton to do his bidding as the riches person on board. They butted heads frequently, early on. But as episodes went by, got to respect him and gained humility.

    Val was always told to say behind with Betty and Barry (with his dog, Chipper) - she got pi$$ed and later in season one - fought back. Not some dainty thing. She hissed at Burton and pushed forward, being proactive - helping our 'Little People'. After that point she was given equal footing with the boys. She went with them on their food hunts and on various activities. Valerie could be relied on and took to the danger with creativity and strength. Like when she saved Mark from getting crushed by massive gears - decapitating. She didn't give up, even when there was little hope of being saved. He was unconscious.

    That's not to say that Betty didn't get involve, she was their nurse and joined in, when asked. Later she was Val's search buddy when not with the guys. Fitzhugh is a fraud, a thief on the run who made a hasty escape with a few millions stolen from a bank; donning the disguised of a military commander hoping to cover his tracks. He befriends Berry, the only one who doesn't think he's a charlatan. He was their Dr. Smith ("Lost In Space" reference), but wasn't over the top and found his footing among the gang. Even being proactive to save his friends.

    Such an odd coincidence; "The Golden Cage" aired on December 29th, 1968. While searching for repair supplies, Mark finds a girl in a jar, sleeping on a bed; frees her and later talks to her. How did Marna (Celeste Yarnall) end up on this world? Her father was a pilot of a personal craft, their flight went missing years ago; a flight from Florida to Paris.

    She's a young woman now, her father is... Charles Weyland.

    Mark: At least to me, he was the most brilliant engineer who ever lived.

    What!? Charles Weyland - as in the engineer who created the life like A.I.s? As the half of the name sake, Weyland-Yutani? The Company, big bad in the "Alien" movie franchise? This blew my mind when I saw the episode on March 1st, 2020 (took notes). Why hasn't anybody else notice this?

    Raised by Giants who saw her value and kept her in case they would run into other Little People; they had reverse engineered the wreckage, both parents were killed in the crash. Mark tried to persuade her to join them, but she saw no reason to leave, everything she could ever want is provided by her keepers in her doll house - like a living Barbie. Marna was used as bait to capture other Earthlings; Mark is taken to the toy house and told he will never leave.

    Our gang rescue him. She doesn't leave and asked the others to stay. The offer was declined. The young woman will never come, why would she? It ends with Mark depressed and somewhat broken. You can't save everyone.

    It lasted two seasons, they never got home; could've ran for two more - a lot of possibilities. Season two had new tech added; one of which, used just once. Added a laser cutter to cut through walls and metal, used a lot. And motorized periscope; could extend to window height to see who was in a room and collapse into something that could be carried - was only used the first episode of season two. Would've liked to have seen them get a toy, an RC car that could've been modded to have controls to drive inside - running on a fuel cell from the ship. All their travels were done on foot, having wheels would have expanded their adventures.

    All and all, fifty-one, hour long episodes. Had aliens and time travel too. At one point, Steve and Dan went back in time (on Earth) trying to prevent the Spindrift from taking off - stop them from ever landing on Giant world. The episode really showcases how much the characters had grown since the crash.

    And great casting of Gary Conway, he had the air of authority, a good leader.



    Their craft (full size prop) had the same manta ray design used for the submarine, the SeaView and it's flying sub shuttle in "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea". Spindrift is a thing of beauty, too bad they didn't spend too much time showing the inside. There were a few episodes which showed they had converted the passenger area into sleeping quarter, make-shift hammocks. We know it has a galley. We see the cockpit, not much else. Can assume it had a shower and some kind of washing machine.

    Heather Young was absent for several episodes in season two; no reason given - Betty isn't there nor mentioned. Young was pregnant at the time and could no longer hide her pregnancy; they did the tropes, hiding her stomach behind objects and other people. As well as giving her baggy clothes to conceal. She did come back and lost all her weight - like it never happened.

    By the way, the visual effects - the composites were better in season one, they used blue screen for season two and it shows. The season one composites were nearly seamless, impressive for television. This and the theme music was done by future uber-composer, John Williams. Before doing the iconic music for "Jaws" (1975), "Superman" (1978), "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" (1981), the "Star Wars" and "Jurassic Park" movies plus "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" (1977) and a lot more. He was a television tunesmith first.

    Anyhow, to be clear - "Spawn" was an adult series. NOT for kids, this was about terrible and violent bastards who were trying to manipulate a tainted soul to their sinister desires. How a fallen man must navigate his post life as an undead weapon. The '97 movie was watered down for a PG-13, made kid friendly. *shakes head* There was however an R rated cut released on home video, but by then the damage was done.

    That's it folks. Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Come back here on September 24th, 2020 for more. It will be a surprise for the both of us.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 09-13-2020 at 07:52 AM.

  15. #705
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