Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Berkley's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Paperback Novels

More books from my collection - the first four Battlestar Galactica novelizations by Robert Thurston ("and Glen Larson" - sure....) from Berkley Books. The first Galactica novel adapted the pilot, and sported the familiar Robert Tannenbaum poster artwork on its cover. I must have read this book a couple dozen times in Junior High....

I read book 2, Cylon Death Machine, (based on the two-part epic, "Gun On Ice Planet Zero") even more times. Thurston's adaptation is a terrific space adventure story that improves on the teleplay somewhat, and employs a truly neat narrative device that switches around between the viewpoints of various characters - including the hardboiled convicts that the Galactica crew conscripted from the Prison Ship for this "Dirty Dozen Against the Guns of Navarone at Ice Station Zebra" mission. Berkley chose to use Frazetta's TV advertising art for this cover - which I'm sure was a very wise commercial decision.

I remember that I received books 3 & 4 for Christmas, 1980. The Tombs Of Kobol adapted the two-part "Lost Planet of the Gods," while The Young Warriors adapted and slightly expanded upon the episode of the same name. Both of these books sported rather nice (and TV-accurate) wrap-around cover paintings by sci-fi artist David Shleinkofer.

Amazingly, this series outlived the television show by almost a decade - running all the way to 1988, and totaling 14 titles, the last few of which were original stories, and not adaptations of TV episodes. Somehow, I missed all of the later volumes (written by Thurston, Mike Resnick, Ron Goulart, and others), except for #13 - a Thurston original called Apollo's War. (Cover art by James Warhola.)

Oddly, I don't recall actually reading that one - I think I'll pull it out and add it to my "To Be Read" pile....

In the meantime, I think I'll start scouring online used booksellers for the volumes I'm missing. I'm especially interested in reading the later "originals" by Thurston.

ADDENDUM 2/5/12: I found a few of the ones I'm missing at some reasonable prices, and ordered four books from various online dealers: #7 War Of The Gods, #9 Experiment In Terra, #11 The Nightmare Machine, #12 Die, Chameleon!

Die, Chameleon arrived on Saturday in good shape. Hopefully, the others will also show up in decent condition. Turns out that I also already have a beat up copy of #5, Galactica Discovers Earth, though it's in such bad shape I may want to try and find a replacement copy. Then I think I'll only need the following books: #6 The Living Legend, #8 Greetings From Earth, #10 The Long Patrol, and the final volume, #14 Surrender The Galactica.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Close Encounter You Can Wear!

"Through the science of LASER technology and recent advances in the art of holography - a new space age product - the hologram has been created for your pleasure and enjoyment!"

Check out this decidedly 70s piece of sci-fi memorabilia: a Close Encounters Of The Third Kind hologram pendant! This ad appeared in Starlog #15, back in the Spring/Summer of 1978. Cool.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I didn't just build spaceship models as a kid. I also assembled at least three Six Million Dollar Man "action" diorama kits: "Jaws of Doom," "Bionic Bustout," and "Fight For Survival!" They were rather sophisticated snap-together kits, and fairly-well detailed, as I recall. I'm pretty sure that they all had detachable sleeve and pants leg pieces that could be removed to expose the bionic workings underneath, as well.

The Fundimensions company produced at least two other Steve Austin models (one where he's tackling a biker on a motorcycle and one of the bionic man on a laboratory table), but I only remember having these three. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the alligator from "Jaws Of Death" is still in a box of miscellaneous childhood debris in my parents' basement. My favorite, though, was "Bionic Bustout," because it portrayed Steve in mid-jump, and I thought that was way cool.

One thing - I don't think I ever painted my Six Million Dollar Man models. I would have been about eleven or twelve when I assembled these kits, and the sort of control and precision that would have been necessary to paint them properly was well beyond my skill. (And the last time I saw that alligator, he was still white.) Who else remembers having these cool kits?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


People seem to dig these vintage TV Guide ads - and why not? They're powerful memory triggers, especially for those of us who grew up in the pre-cable, pre-Internet Stone Age of the 1970s. This advertisement for the U.S. network television premiere of Ed Hunt's Starship Invasions is a great example. I was always the first one in my house to grab the new TV Guide when it showed up in the mail, and immediately pored over its pages, looking for cool stuff to watch, so I could plan my schedule accordingly. I remember being pretty damned excited when I came across this particular ad in my weekly review of the magazine.

I had already read a couple of articles about Hunt's UFO movie in Starlog, and its plot, with warring alien races, extraterrestrial abductions, undersea pyramids (in the Bermuda Triangle, no less!), and flying saucer space battles, pushed all the right buttons in my Star Kid brain.

Terrific descriptive copy, too, worthy of an Ace sci-fi paperback blurb: "Forced to seek a new home, the Legion Of The Winged Serpent has selected Planet Earth." Wow.

The Secrets of HANGAR 18 (1980)

Confession: I've never seen the 1980  Sunn Classics Pictures UFO conspiracy thriller Hangar 18. I remember the television commercials vividly, and I recall planning to go see it at the Waterville Cinema Center, but for some reason, I missed it. And while I'm willing to bet, based on stuff I've heard and read over the last thirty(!) years, that it's probably a pretty lousy movie, it does star Robert Vaughn and Darren McGavin, two of my personal favorites. So, as it's currently available on Netflix instant play, I'm going to have to watch it one of these nights....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Behind-The-Scenes Pix #14: LOGAN'S RUN TV Series

Gregory Harrison and Heather Menzies on location during the filming of the 1977 Logan's Run CBS television series - which will be released on DVD in April. I am eagerly anticipating having this series - one of my favorites from my childhood - on my DVD shelves! Can't wait!

Pre-Order: Logan's Run: Complete Series

A Blast For Buck!

Space: 1970 wishes a very happy birthday to Captain William "Buck" Rogers himself, TV astronaut and interstellar lothario, Gil Gerard!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

McDonald's STAR TREK (1979) Kid's Meal - Klingon Ad

A while back, I posted a commercial for the McDonald's "Kid's Meal" fast food promotion that the famous burger chain did in conjunction with 1979's Star Trek - The Motion Picture. Here's another commercial for that same promotion - featuring a Klingon "dad!" 

Apparently, these were the very first McDonald's "Happy Meals"...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gold Key BUCK ROGERS (1979) House Ad

When Gold Key Comics adapted the 1979 Universal version of Buck Rogers In The 25th Century into comic book form, they offered the movie adaptation in multiple formats - and touted that fact in this house ad, featuring what appears to be Al McWilliams artwork.

Is that Ardala sporting a turban?

 Interestingly, this Treasury-sized version of the Buck Rogers film adaptation was available under both the Whitman and Marvel Comics imprints....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

GALAXINA (1980) Advertising Art

It's been a while since I've posted anything here relating to the 1980 Dorothy Stratten vehicle, Galaxina, a decidedly underwhelming intergalactic comedy from Crown International Pictures. But I recently came across the cool foreign one-sheet above, and thought it'd be fun to share. For other Galaxina posters, go HERE.

And, while Galaxina is an undeniably bad movie... I enjoy revisiting it every once in a while. The screenplay is sophomoric and the direction leaden, and any movie that features Avery Schrieber in a major role demands a certain amount of derision, but it does possess those 70s miniature space effects that I enjoy, the late Ms. Stratten is delicious eye candy, there are a couple of decent Chris Walas-designed alien creatures (both featured in the art above) and... well, actually, that's about all this movie has going for it.

For those who might be wondering, I did pick up the Galaxina / Crater Lake Monster  Double Feature  Blu-ray from Mill Creek Entertainment several months ago, and must report that while the film is presented in widescreen and HD, it's derived from an inferior print and appears to be a simple standard-def up-convert, with no evident remastering done on the transfer. There are no extras, either. If you should happen to be a fan of the movie, you're better off hanging onto - or picking up - the Galaxina special edition DVD that BCI Entertainment put out a few years back. The transfer is better, and there are plenty of extras. Although technically out of print, it's still available for under $20.



Any Star Kid who read comic books in the 70s (and I'm guessing that's pretty much all of us) will have these 4-color advertisements for Kenner's Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman action figures and accessories burned indelibly into their brain matter. Hell, I actually remember these ads better than the toys themselves!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Here's wishing the glorious Caroline Munro, also known known throughout the Haunted Stars as the stunning interstellar siren Stella Star, the best of birthdays!

The lovely Ms Munro was Space: 1970's very first Space Babe.

MESSAGE FROM SPACE (1978) Lobby Cards

Today I've got a selection of colorful theater lobby cards from Toei Studios' interstellar epic, Message From Space. As I've said before, I'm a big fan of this bonkers space opera, and I enjoy it completely without irony. Now that I own it on DVD and I've had the opportunity to view it a few times, it's risen right up there with Starcrash and Battle Beyond The Stars as one of my favorite Star Wars "rip-offs!"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012


Pat of the fun of being a sci-fi fan in the 1970s was that the success of Starlog magazine (which owed much of that success to the unprecedented popularity of Star Trek reruns in syndication combined with the one-two boxoffice punch of Star Wars and CE3K in '77) inspired a number of other publishers to flood the newsstands in the latter half of the decade with science fiction film magazines of their own. None of them matched Starlog in quality or longevity, unfortunately.

Another short-lived Starlog imitator was the awkwardly-titled Science Fantasy Film Classics, which had a four-issue run from late 1977 through 1978. The issue at the top of this post, the fourth and final issue, was the only one I ever bought, and unlike some of the other genre film mags of the era (Space Wars, I'm looking at you), it was in color and reasonably well-produced. (If I recall correctly, that Mattel "Code Name: Galactica" toy insert that I posted here a while back, originally appeared in this magazine.)

Anyone else out there remember this mag?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Behind-The-Scenes Pix #13: BUCK ROGERS

Space ace Gil Gerard waits in the cockpit of his Earth Directorate starfighter for clearance to launch into an interstellar dogfight on the set of 1979's Buck Rogers In The 25th Century - the first season of which has just been re-released on DVD by Universal Home Video.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Season One

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January's Space Babe: Joanna Cameron

The first (Super) Space Babe of 2012 is sultry super-heroine JoAnna Cameron, star of the Saturday morning adventure series, Isis (a/k/a The Secrets of Isis), produced by Filmation Studios for CBS beginning in 1975 as a companion series to their popular Shazam! program. The mighty Isis  - with the occasional assistance of Shazam’s Captain Marvel - fought crime and saved lives every week, usually managing to teach kids a nice moral lesson before the end credits, too.

JoAnna Cameron radiated confidence, strength and a serene wisdom both as the mysterious Isis and as her bookish alter ego, California high school chemistry teacher Andrea Thomas. Using a magical amulet to imbue herself with the powers of an ancient Egyptian goddess, Isis protected children from a wide variety of dangers and disasters - and their own poor judgement. With her slender, finely-turned legs showcased by her white miniskirt, Isis gave prime time’s Wonder Woman a run for her money as TV’s sexiest super-heroine for two seasons in the mid-70s. (And for my money, Isis wins.)

The lithe and lovely JoAnna Cameron was born in 1951 and appeared in a handful of movies and television shows (including a two-part episode of the prime time Amazing Spider-Man) during the early and mid Seventies before retiring from acting in 1980. Reportedly, she moved to Hawaii, where she has enjoyed a career in the hotel industry.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Captain's bLog: 0109.12

For various reasons that I've addressed previously, my Space: 1970 blogging dropped off a bit over the last couple of months. To my surprise, the site still managed a fair amount of new traffic during November and December, and my recent post of those Frank Frazetta TV Guide ads for Battlestar Galactica (which I had the foresight to clip and save back in the Fall of 1978!) got linked to by SyFy's "Blastr" site and the Retroist blog, among others, which brought a surge of new visitors to S:70 just this past week. In fact, the last four days have had, by far, the highest number of unique visitors and page views to date. I hope that some of these new folks hang around.

  The last Space: 1970 Poll, posted waay back on November 4th, asked the immortal question: "Should Space: 1970 cover the superhero shows/films of the 1970s, as well as sci-fi?"

Well, the answer was a resounding, "Yes!" Of 203 votes cast by blog visitors, a whopping 176 were in favor of me adding 70s super-hero fare like The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Shazam! and Isis, and Superman: The Movie to the mix here on the site. I still have my reservations (it feels like I might be opening something of a Pandora's Box), but I can't ignore such unbridled enthusiasm from the S:70 faithful. I'll start working on integrating our favorite costumed crusaders into the site over the next couple of months....

I finally saw Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, and enjoyed it enough to pick up the Blu-ray and add it to my Apes collection. I still prefer the original movies, but I admit that Rise turned out to be a much better flick than I had initially anticipated. I'm still not a huge fan of mo-cap/CGI characters, but in this particular case, it worked well enough. I did enjoy the clever references to the original film cycle, of course.

  Support Space: 1970: The site now has more than 350 "followers" here on Blogger, and the S:70 Facebook fan page is up to over 770 "likes." My sincere appreciation to everyone for their support! I also want to thank everyone who have used the Amazon links on this site to make purchases of vintage sci-fi on DVD/Blu-ray (and the few who've made Paypal donations - if you'd like to contribute, there's a link in the right-hand sidebar). Every little bit helps.

  Shameless Self-Promotion: Anyone who enjoys my writing and reviews on this site should check out my DVD Late Show site, where I have been reviewing B-movies, cult films and genre television shows on DVD and Blu-ray disc since 2005. Among the over 700 reviews are plenty of Space: 1970-era favorites, like Battle Beyond The Stars, Damnation Alley, Starcrash, The Starlost, the Space: 1999 Blu-rays, and many more.

That's it for now. January's Space Babe will be posted shortly....

Saturday, January 7, 2012

UFO (1970) International Movie Posters

Here's a selection of "fab," International (mostly Italian, I believe) posters for ITC's feature film compilations of episodes from Gerry Anderson's first live-action science fiction series, 1970's UFO, all of them featuring Ed Bishop's Commander Straker. I love how some of them look like James Bond spy movies, while others have a very 50's pulp "alien invasion" vibe - which, now that I think of it, is a pretty fair way of describing the program.

Back in the early days of this blog, I wrote about these UFO "movies" and posted some art from a couple of the film releases, but I knew there were a lot more of them. I've been hunting and collecting scans over the last year or so, and here are the results of my various Google safaris. Gorgeous, aren't they?