Monday, July 9, 2012

Captain's bLog: Supplemental

A few quick notes....

•  With a little luck, my new DVD of The Black Hole will arrive in the mail today or tomorrow. With the passing of co-star Ernest Borgnine over the weekend, I'm particularly eager to revisit the film. I've always felt that the cast was one of the genuine joys of the movie, and Borgnine's reporter, Harry Booth, was a somewhat unusual character for a space-based film. I always wondered how he was filing his articles...

  We also saw the passing of actor Andy Griffith last week, which put me in mind of his Space: 1970-era genre television series, 1979's Salvage 1. Griffith played salvage expert Harry Broderick, who, with the aide of a couple of ex-NASA experts (Joel Higgins and Trish Stewart) built a spaceship (the Vulture) out of junkyard scraps and traveled to the moon to salvage all the equipment left there after the Apollo space missions.

I remember being really excited about the original TV movie/pilot that January, and forcing my cousins to watch it since I was staying over at their house that weekend. Once it went to series (a very short-lived series), I found it much less compelling as the subsequent stories were considerably more Earthbound. Still, it has stuck in my memory, and I probably should have mentioned it here earlier.

As for Griffith, he was as charming and amiable in Salvage 1 as he was in most of the other productions he appeared in. He wasn't the sort of actor generally cast in genre shows, but he did have a memorable role in the first season Bionic Woman episode, "Angel of Mercy."

• Well, a couple of days ago, I went ahead and ordered the Region 2 DVDs of the 1975 British-German series Star Maidens with some early birthday cash I received from my generous mother-in-law. I've only seen one episode - on YouTube - but it was enough to let me know that, aesthetically anyway, the show is right up my alley. Pure. Seventies. Style.

Hopefully, the DVDs will be here in a week or so. I'm looking forward to reviewing it here, too.

• has posted an advance review of Warners' forthcoming Outland Blu-ray disc. From the sound of it, it is a quantum leap in quality over the old, and sub-par even for its age, DVD. Apparently, there's a very informative audio commentary track by writer/director Peter Hyams, as well, who reportedly acknowledges the film's debt to Ridley Scott's Alien in its look and feel. I've always said that it didn't take much to pretend that Outland and Alien took place in the same universe...

•  I did recently get my hands on an affordable "previously-viewed" set of the Star Wars "Original Trilogy" Blu-rays. While I - like many first-generation SW fans - am more than a little annoyed at the fact that George Lucas didn't choose to make the original cuts of the films available on the discs alongside the Special Edition versions (and also made additional digital alterations to those!), I have to admit, that it's very nice to see those characters (and spaceships, etc.) in nigh-flawless high definition.

•  Oh, and I finally finished watching The Invisible Man DVDs! Look for a review here later this week.


  1. Hello Chris...
    You might be interested to know that you can transfer/copy the "STAR MAIDENS" (region pal zero anyway) format into a Sony DVD Direct System which will put the show onto a region one DVD for regular viewing! Which is about the equal quality as the original pal zero or region "2" dvd. It will be playable then on all your region one AMERICAN/CANADIAN players. Too bad that the distributers didn't think things through on the initial release of this! Perhaps someone at the Space:2099 convention will confirm this to Judy Geeson in California when she visits there this year 2012? Maybe, one day a "BLUERAY" release will come with the original opening/closing slow themed "10 cc" sounding beeping theme as it originally aired here in America. (Wish you can hear it now) The european/foreign disco version theme takes away from the more spacey feel of the series we had hear in the states. Check out CATHERINE BUJOLD Space:1999 site and go click under the video release of Star Maidens -you'll find the original Beginning/Ending theme as it was aired here in the 1970's -you won't be dissapointed! Enjoy!

  2. Agree re: The Black Hole. It's a far from perfect film but the older members of the cast - Borgnine, Perkins, Schell - were a massive plus point. Along with John Barry's score and the genuinely creepy atmosphere, it remains one of my faves

  3. Having watched The Black Hole DVD last week, I agree with what you said about the cast. Borgnine, Perkins, and Schell were particularly good so I think you will enjoy it. The behind the scenes documentary you will definitely enjoy, since it answers questions about the ending of the film.

    I loved Salvage 1 the TV movie, but not the series. With all the space junk floating out there and the rise of private space companies, a remake could be a lot of fun.

  4. My Black Hole "upgrade" disc arrived today. This 2004 anamorphic DVD looks pretty good, but I really wish Disney would restore & remaster the movie for Blu-ray. The production design and special effects were truly groundbreaking in '79 and still look cool today...

  5. So, the documentary answers questions about the ending? For those of us without a copy, can someone reveal what they said?

  6. I finally broke down and got the STAR WARS Blu-rays, too. I used a gift card I received when I bought my Kindle Fire so I could keep my promise to myself to not give Lucas any more of *my* money until I can get good copies of *my* STAR WARS. (yeah, it's splitting hairs maybe but I really wanted the behind-the-scenes stuff) Meanwhile, if you get a chance to check out the SW fan-edits WAR OF THE STARS and WAR OF THE STARS II, you should do so. Fun stuff.