The greatest thing since Velveeta. It looks like it even kills Crockett and Tubbs.
When I was a kid, I watched Space 1999 and thought it was rather cool. Recently I watched some episodes of the Outer Limits on Hulu and that got me thinking about old shows, including Space 1999. I went on Amazon to see if they had the series and was pleased to see the complete set being sold for under $40. I hesitated a bit before buying it. After all, I have learned that my memories of TV shows past has sometimes been far better than the shows themselves. But, I figured that for $40 I could take that risk.
I’ve been through two disks already and must say that the experience was better than I had expected. The sets, effects and props were quite good for the time and the acting was competent.
The weak point of the series was, ironically enough, also the strong point: science. The show explored various interesting ideas such as black suns (black holes), the relativity of time, alien life, multiple existences in time, immortality through science, and so on. This helped make the show quite interesting. On the downside, the show contained serious scientific errors. The most obvious error, and one integral to the plot, was that the moon was blasted from earth’s orbit by an explosion and this somehow was able to propel it far beyond the solar system and into a series of adventures. This error was, of course, pointed out by Issac Asimov. Upon reflection, it seems a bit odd that the series creator decided to go with a wandering moonbase rather than using the more plausible idea of a wandering space ship. Then again, the idea of the moon wandering about is certainly an interesting approach and, of course, the series creators probably were worried about duplicating Star Trek.
If the series is ever re-envisioned (perhaps by the folks at the SyFy channel) they should (obviously) keep the moonbase aspect. However, they should come up with a better explanation for the moon’s wandering. Perhaps an experimental drive that becomes damaged and irradiated so badly that the Alphans cannot control or repair it. Or perhaps the old standby of alien technology that is discovered buried in the moon and accidentally activated (sort of a 2001 and Stargate approach). In any case, I think that the series would do well if it were redone properly.
One last thing that really struck me about the series was the realistic sets and props they used. For example, the Eagles looked (and still look) awesome. While it is hard to imagine them flying well in an atmosphere, they seem to be fairly well designed for short space flight and the modular design is certainly both practical and useful. The designers even included directional thrusters on them-a nice touch. As another example, the comlock device nicely anticipates the smartphone in many ways-it served as a communication device as well as an electronic key chain.
While Space 1999 lacks the broad appeal of Star Trek and is inferior to that series, it does have a certain magic of its own. Some of the episodes are quite good and the series is still worth watching-if only for a return down memory lane for folks like me. Of course, if you never saw it when it was on TV and you like sci-fi, then it is well worth giving it a watch.
My favorite episode is, by the way, Dragon’s Domain. This was the first horror/sci-fi I ever watched and it has stuck with me through the years.
Like most philosophers, I rather like the works of Lewis Carroll. After all, threaded into the fantastic settings and events of the tales are clever word plays, logical puzzles and philosophical matters. When I heard that the SyFy channel (“SyFy”…oh my that is absurd) was remaking Alice I had some hope that it would be cool and clever.
I watched it and found it somewhat interesting. However, it was something of a disappointment. While I did not expect the show to stick faithfully to the works of Carroll, I expected that a serious attempt would be made to capture the spirit and logical wit of Alice’s adventures. Instead, we are given a dystopian world, a tired plot, and some rather lame lines.
The only things from Carroll’s works are the characters’ names and some very basic plot elements. While Dum and Dee make a reference to logic, the wit and word play that made Alice’s adventures so special are simply missing. Perhaps it was believed that today’s audiences simply would not get or appreciate such cleverness, wit and logical puzzles. It might be contended that people like Alice’s adventures despite rather than because of these elements. That is, they like the strange characters and odd adventures and are willing to overlook the logic.
While that has some truth to it, I think that such a view does a disservice to Carroll’s readers and I think people do enjoy the wit and even the puzzles. But, being a philosopher, perhaps I am biased.
Naturally, if a show is going to be presented as being meaningful associated with the Alice stories, then it would seem that it should have a more substantial connection and also do more to match the spirit of the original works. True, it did have a degree of oddness as well as strange drinkable substances.
In many ways, Alice is a repeat of the Tin Man show. After all, Alice is in a dystopian world ruled by an evil queen who needs an item in order to do her evil stuff. There is even the missing father element. Also, the companion characters are in the Tin Man theme: the White Night is the Cowardly Lion and the father has lost his heart.
Interestingly, this is not the first dystopian Wonderland. American McGee‘s computer game Alice did a rather interesting job of twisting the Alice story and transforming the story into a game based on the Quake III engine. A movie based on the game has been in the works for some time. When I first heard the SyFy channel was doing Alice, I thought that it might be this version.
However, the show was not as bad as it could have been and was entertaining enough to motivate me to watch the whole thing
While reading a Penny Arcade post, I read that the Sci-Fi channel allegedly plans to change its brand name to “SyFy.” The reasoning seems to be that “SyFy” sounds like “sci-fi” and is “ownable.” I went to the site for SyFy and what I read made me hope that this is all a joke or parody. It sounds almost too stupid to be true. But, I must emphasize the “almost.” I’ve dealt with minds (or mind like things) that create such text in all seriousness. Any case, here are two excerpts and my commentary:
“Syfy will continue to celebrate the traditional roots of the genre, while opening the brand aperture to accommodate a broader range of imagination-based entertainment.”
It might be just me, but talk of opening a “brand aperture” to “accommodate” more stuff sounds vaguely pornographic. Perhaps that is the intent? Or maybe they are making some sort of reference to gluttony: they need a bigger mouth to devour more stuff? In any case, talk of “accommodating apertures” is a bit creepy.
“Syfy — unlike the generic entertainment category “sci-fi” – firmly establishes a uniquely ownable trademark that is portable across all non-linear digital platforms and beyond, from Hulu to iTunes. Syfy also creates an umbrella brand name that can extend into new adjacent businesses under the Syfy Ventures banner, such as Syfy Games, Syfy Films and Syfy Kids”
I am impressed with the use of jargon here. Reading it hurt my soul a tiny bit. Just a tiny bit (perhaps 1 hit point) but I still felt it. I think this means that they have a trademark that 1) can apply to all digital media and 2) can be expanded to trademark all kinds of other crap.
Although philosophers are often accused of being obscure or using odd jargon, we have nothing on the folks who spin this sort of stuff.
Please, someone provide evidence this is just a parody. 🙂