Thursday, July 28, 2011

Captain's bLog: 0728.11

Obviously, the big event since my last "Captain's bLog" entry was the arrival (at last) of Shout! Factory's Battle Beyond The Stars and Damnation Alley Blu-ray Special Editions. I reviewed both discs for my DVD Late Show website; if you missed them when I announced them here a few days ago, you can find the complete reviews linked below:

Battle Beyond The Stars Blu-ray Review

Damnation Alley Blu-Ray Review

I've been really looking forward to the HD upgrade of Battle Beyond The Stars since Shout! Factory first announced that they'd acquired it almost two years ago. I'm pleased to say that the new edition doesn't disappoint, and makes a great companion piece not only to the other Roger Corman sci-fi Blu-rays (Galaxy Of Terror, et al), but their Starcrash disc, as well.

Bionic Woman update: I received my replacement disc from Universal today, replacing the defective Disc Four from the Second Season set. The audio problem has been corrected, and the exchange was easy, painless, and prompt. Kudos to Universal for correcting the problem so quickly.

  I'm determined that my reviews of Strange New World (the conclusion of Warners' "PAX Trilogy"), the complete Thundarr the Barbarian cartoon series, and the 1978 TV movie, The Bermuda Depths, will be posted in August. I can guarantee that there will be reviews of the Man From Atlantis DVDs, too. I will try and get at least one new essay up. There will also be a new Reader's Poll and - barring unforeseen complications - a second Space: 1970 Podcast, as well.

  Stats: The site now has over 300(!) "followers" here on Blogger, and the Facebook fan page is up to 636 "likes." Thanks to everyone for your support and loyalty! I also want to thank everyone who have used the Amazon links on this site to make purchases (and the few who've made Paypal donations). Every little bit helps.

  I've "disapproved" a few comments lately. I don't like doing that, but I want to keep this site a positive place, and free of snobbery and snark. If you think one of the movies or TV shows we celebrate here is crap, well, keep your opinion to yourself, or post it somewhere else. I love this stuff, and this is my blog. You're not welcome here if you're going to insult my tastes, plain and simple. That doesn't mean I don't have a sense of humor or can't appreciate some light-hearted goofing on this stuff, but mean-spirited derision is not going to be tolerated.

  This keeps coming up, so for newer readers: I was born and raised in Maine, in the United States, and this blog is about the sci-fi flicks and television that I grew up with - roughly covering the years between 1969 and 1983 (the original Star Trek slips in because it was really more of a success - and more prevalent - in syndication in the 70s than it ever was when it originally aired in the 60s) . Aside from UFO and Space: 1999, I am woefully unfamiliar with pretty much all other 70s British sci-fi. I've never so much as seen an episode of Blake's 7, Star Maidens, etc., so I cannot write about them with any authority - and I have no personal nostalgia for them. I'm sure it's my loss. (Of course, if anyone wants to send me R1 NTSC videos of those shows...)

As for Doctor Who - I am a fan of the classic series as well as the new, but I didn't see an episode until well into my 20s, so it's not part of my childhood, either. That does not mean that I'll never mention Who or the other shows, but it's why they don't get the same attention as the U.S. programs (or foreign material that was distributed here).

  People seem to be digging the "Behind the Scenes Pix" - if anyone stumbles across one they think I should showcase here on the blog, please send it along. I'm also open to suggestions for Space Babes (I haven't picked August's babe yet, for example), "Fave Fives," and Poll questions. I always appreciate reader feedback and suggestions.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. For Space Babes, how about Susan Pratt from Jason Of Star Command?
    Here's her IMDB page:
    And I found some images by searching "Susan Pratt Jason Of Star Command" on Yahoo's Image Search.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Star Maidens episodes have been cropping up on YouTube.

  3. I second that nomination!

    Nicole (or to use her full name and rank, Captain Nicole Davidoff) was a rather large crush of mine back in The Good Old Days. She was more proof that Space Opera had more strong, capable women that the trendy print SF of that era. >looks daggers at the surviving New Waveistas<

    (and I forget--have you done a Space Babes post on Sarah Rush yet?)

  4. How about a fave five of favourite space/starships... or space suit designs... or aliens?

  5. Hi,
    Just wanted to say that I greatly appreciate all aspects of Space: 1970 and loved the recent Fave Fives feature! How about a Fave Five on your favorite alien races? Ex. Gorn or Sleestack; Rodian or Romulan? Or, perhaps, fave robots or starships? I would be interested to read your thoughts! Thanks!

  6. I'll third the nomination.

    And thanks for keeping up the blog, I really enjoy your posts.

  7. Chris, if people are looking for blogs about UK sci-fi, perhaps you could host an article from time to time (guest posts)—if there are any readers who would like to submit something? Doctor Who, UFO and Space: 1999 are available on NTSC DVD, but I have no qualms with buying region 2 media when I see something good. (There are many ways to cope with regioning.)

  8. My nominations for Space Babe: Sigourney Weaver and Tamara Dobson.

    Fave Five ideas: movie scores, starfighters, capital ships, heroes, villains, robots, sidekicks, geniuses

  9. Christopher, I know its not your purview but you really need to see BLAKE'S 7. Its a great show, and you'd love it. Somebody out there in the US please send him some discs!

    Great blog as ever...

  10. Great blog Chris, I always enjoy your posts.

    Any gems you can dig up on 'Star Trek TMP' and 'The Black Hole' (my personal faves from this era) will always be welcome. Some behind the scenes pics from those would really hit the spot

    I live in the UK and can't recommend 'Blakes 7' enough. It only available on Region 2 DVD, but if that's a problem, you can download it fairly easily

    And can I nominate the very sexy Valerie Perrine (Superman, Slaughterhouse 5) as your next Space Babe of the Month?

  11. Thanks for all that you do, Christopher!

    And yes, I agree with aficionadofan about Blake's 7. It's a really fun (yet cheesy) show to watch. There are some episodes that are a must for any sci-fi fan. It broke new ground in ways that I can't spoil. You just have to see it.

  12. While I'm thinking of it, I'd love to see something on this blog about "2010: Odyssey Two." It's not the equal of the original, but it's still an intelligent movie with a thoughtful storyline and some excellent acting by Roy Scheider, Helen Mirren and John Lithgow. I DVR'd it last week from Retroplex, and I'd forgotten how much I like this movie. Hopefully you can find some things to post about it?

  13. I greatly concur with your view about the stuff you talk about. Yes, viewed with 'modern' eyes---the ones who have been heaped on with CGI and 100 million dollar budgets---some of the stuff appears cheap or cheesy---but that's not what these were about originally (well, except Roger Corman, of course! LOL). But this is a nostalgia type of blog, so it should reflect what you liked then. I'm as passionate about this stuff and don't care about the supposed primitive effects. Effects are what they are in the time they are made. They should always be celebrated as that, and perfection be damned! In fact, in a lot of ways, we might have been better off without Star Wars (as great as the film is) because that dramatically affected science fiction films and television. The nostalgia factor is powerful, and one could make a lot of cogent arguments that the 70s had the best science fiction and were the best time to be a kid!

    Gordon Long

  14. I would be quite happy to look at that picture of Sybil Danning forever...