Star Trek the animated series-The Practical Joker

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The Enterprise is attacked kapow by some Romulans near an asteroid. Kirk decides to pull away because they out numbered and their shields have been hurt awwwww. When they establish communication the Romulans claim that Kirk entered their space. The Romulan says he’s going to kill Kirk and pursues the Enterprise zoom zoom. Sulu reports an identified energy field up ahead. Having no fear and little sense Kirk says full speed ahead with the goal of losing the Romulans being in his mind. They lose their pointy eared pursuers, but the cloud gets into the computer system and screws it up. Jokes begin to be played on the crew by the computer including dribble glasses, Spock’s new microscope smears black around his eyes, the food dispenser pelts Scotty with food and Kirk gets a name written on his shirt. Spock figures out the computer is doing this. Around this time Sulu, Uhura and McCoy get trapped in the rec room but the computer which starts to get mean. Spock and Scotty work to free the others from the rec room. They manage to get the computer to stop some things, but now the ship is heading into the neutral zone oh , no!. The Romulans of course attack. The computer plays a joke on the Romulans and makes a balloon resembling the Enterprise and it’s gets shot kapow! The distraction allows the real Enterprise to escape but Roumlans are still coming. Kirk makes another pass through the energy field and it fixes things woohoo. All is good and roll the animated credits.

The negatives-The solution of passing through the energy field seems a bit too simple and feels like a bit of a cheat for an otherwise decent episode.

The positives-The plot isn’t terribly creative, but it’s the decent. The early pranks are quite funny. Glad to see the Romulans for a change. Good to see Uhura and Sulu get more to do.

The was one of the very first episodes I saw of this show and it has stuck with me. It has very much the feel of the original series which is something the animated series didn’t always. Overall a decent episode.

Space Academy-Planet of fire

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Tee Gar invents something Cryotron which doesn’t involve sobbing during the 1982 Disney sci-fi film but instead it is a device that emits a freeze ray. Against orders (and common sense) he, Loki and Peepo takes it to a dreary planet called Delius to test it out. Meanwhile back at the academy the things that Tee Gar froze have exploded which you know they weren’t supposed to so the machine has a problem, but Tee Gar does know that yet. Back out to Delius a giant type named Dramon (Don Pedro Colley, Beneath the planet of the apes, Sugar Hill and Sheriff Little from the Dukes of Hazzard) gets the Cryotron and freezes Peepo the robot. He feels bad for it eventually, but the people from the Space Academy use a laser type thingie to thaw Peepo out. Dramon asks for forgiveness and gets it-oh how nice. So everything is back to normal and roll those Saturday morning credits.

The negatives-You do have to remember that this was a kid’s show so the action and intrigue is on that level. If you watched the show much using unstable elements and taking off to do something he was told not to seems out of character for Tee Gar, but not Loki.

The positives-I liked this show as a kid and although it doesn’t have the same punch now I still enjoy it. Seeing Jonathan Harris playing the grandfatherly instructor Gampu is a huge change from his more known role as Dr. Smith on Lost in space yet I still liked him here as well.

I bought the complete set of this show some years back and watch the whole series at least once a year.





Classic monsters in the 1970’s

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Classic monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman dominated horror in the 30’s and a large part of the 40’s. Maybe WW2 scared people more than those monsters as their popularity faded around the end of the war. The  1950’s saw invaders from other planets as well as plenty of giant beasties. However by the end of the decade Hammer films decided to revive the classic monsters and Dracula, Frankenstein, the mummy and others lived again. This new found interest in old creatures kept on through the 1960’s. However films like Rosemary’s Baby and the Night of the living dead popped up at the end of the decade and they showed audiences scarier things than dusty vampires and creaky mummies. By the early 1970’s Hammer was trying to keep their monsters going, but tried different takes on some of them like bringing Dracula into modern times, making a Frankenstein comedy and having a mummy’s curse film with a beautiful woman instead of a bandaged sack of dry flesh. However films the Exorcist and the Texas chainsaw massacre were outdoing the gothic tales of Hammer and by the middle of the decade the studio that dripped blood was almost done. In Spain Paul Naschy was starring in films with mostly werewolves and some vampires. He stayed busy for a long time and actually the 70’s was a very good time for this sort of film in Spain as far as amount of films they made. These films had their audiences but they certainly didn’t their genre as they usually went by the same old very basic formula that we have seen over and over. Vampires have always been the monster that seems to show up in the most films and despite the decrease in classic monster films overall in the 70’s the blood suckers still did alright. Maybe the middle of the decade didn’t see too many films, but 1979 saw a relative explosion of vampire films with remakes of Dracula and Nosferatu plus Salem’s Lot , the spoof Love at first bite and on TV the short lived show Cliffhangers had the Curse of Dracula series. The phantom of the opera saw a 70’s glam rock revival in the all too overlooked Phantom of the paradise. On the small screen it seemed variety shows all had to have a Halloween episode normally with someone dressing as a square headed Frankenstein monster or somewhere in traditional Dracula outfit complete with cape and a bad Bela Lugosi impersonation. For me the most memorable small screen classic monster show of the 1970’s was the one season show The monster squad. Made by some of the same people that did the 60’s Batman show this had an even stronger camp element to it and featured wax figures of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman that could come to life to fight would be master criminals including a mummy, a skeleton, a witch and more. As far as classic monsters go I think it was split between movies and shows that tried new takes on the character and ones that either spoofed the classic version or just did the same old thing. As someone who grew up in this decade and developed a love for classic monsters in this decade I was glad to see enough attempts at keeping the characters going or re-inventing them.


Kicking off Scooby Doo and Mystery Inc. week

Scooby Doo

Even though I grew up in the 1970’s I don’t that decade’s cartoons as a whole were as good as the cartoons of the 1960’s. Maybe that’s fitting since Scooby Doo actually began in the fall of 1969. However it’s my choice for best cartoon of the 1970’s. While they borrowed some plots on occasion from Johnny Quest this cartoon managed to create it’s own style by combining action, humor, horror and of course mystery. One of my favorite parts about Scooby Doo was that no matter where they went they managed to find monsters and mysteries. It could be the big city, an isolated beach or their home town but they always found some events that needed to be investigated. They also had likable main characters, catch phrases and the monsters were mostly very cool. This was definitely the top cartoon that I acted out as a kid. It also made me thinking the eyes in paintings were watching me, crooks dressed as monsters and the Mystery Machine was the coolest thing on four wheels. So get set for Scooby-Doo week.




The six million dollar man-The secret of bigfoot

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When I was in kindergarten this was probably the highlight of the 1975-76 television season or at least I thought it was. So did my brother actually he was a much bigger fan of the Six million dollar man than I was. He was in middle school then and it was probably his favorite show while my favorites at the time were likely Scooby Doo and The land of the lost. Anyways not content to just take on evil geniuses and foreign spies Steve Austin winds up taking on some different adversaries in this two parter.

Two of Steve Austin’s friends who are also geologists vanish while setting up earthquake sensors. Could it have been the Loch Ness monster? Nope, wrong country. The abominable snowman? Nope, too far south. Chupacabara? Nope, too far west. Plus the big old footprint they find leads them to one only logical, scientific conclusion-it must be Bigfoot. The dude from the vanished couple comes back, but not the woman. The dude is all hazy and not a lot of help. Fortunately Bigfoot comes to them for an attack. Steve Austin does battle with him and rips one of the fuzzy fiend’s arms right off! Leading to the assumption that the effects on this show are really cheap  beast is really a robot of sorts. Old fuzzy runs off and Steve follows. He ends up getting knocked out, but when he wakes up he’s told some tale about being in an alien colony under the earth and stuff about earthquakes and volcanoes. Wait, you sure this isn’t a dream because it sure sounds like a messed up crazy dream. Only it’s not and Steve works with the alien and the Bigfoot robot (created to scare off people from the aliens hideout). There’s lots of talking, cheap sets shaking about and Bigfoot being cooperative so yeah the first part is way better. Everything turns out okay but with good ratings we know that Bigfoot will be back.


The negatives-The time after we find out what Bigfoot is are not as strong as the parts before we know what he is. As a whole it’s not as good as I thought it was as a kid.

The positives-There is enough going to make a two parter decent enough. Andre the Giant was a good choice for Bigfoot.

The Six Million Dollar might be many people’s choice for best sci-fi show of the 70’s. It was certainly popular for most of it’s run and it ran five years so longer than any other sci-fi show that decade. Frequently the action elements outweighed the usually slim sci-fi parts. This two parter goes more into the sci-fi world then this show normally did and they handled it alright despite cheap sets and that awful wig that Stefanie Powers had to wear.


Bigfoot and the abominable snowman


Growing up in the 1970’s there was definitely a fascination at least for me with the idea of Bigfoot, the abominable snowman, the yeti and other giant beasties that may or not exist. Back then shows and cartoons worked these creatures and the mystery surrounding them into a plot of some sort. I ate it up not matter what when I like in first to third grade. I checked out any book on the subjects as well from my school libary. The librarian probably thought “goodness, why can’t this goofy kid check out normal books about dogs or cars”. Anyways back then I had a definite fascination with the subject and that’s why I am dedicating this week to these monsters as they were portrayed on TV in the 1970’s. Hope you enjoy the theme week.



Me, UFOs and the 1970’s

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Much of my interest in UFO’s in the 1970’s came from the TV. As I have reviewed several episodes of shows that featured them. Plenty of shows had these discs in them including sci-fi, action and comedy shows. Whether these episodes were good or not wasn’t as important to me as it was that they had UFOs. That’s kind of the approach I had to the late 70’s show Project UFO. Now back then I only watched it for the saucers and that’s what I remember most about the show. Actually I have not seen it since it was first on and since it isn’t on DVD I may never see it again. It was a Jack Webb/Dragnet dry matter of fact type show that re-enacted UFO sighting. Most of what I do recall was the spaceships. After seeing the show I would go outside looking for a UFO. Hey, give me a break I was like 8. Another source of UFO material for me were comics like the one above. Along with Captain America, the Flash, Marvel Team-up and other comics in the 70’s I also liked anything with UFOs. The title above like Project UFO showed reports of saucers sightings, but had them in comic form. I read these over and over back then often when my brother and I were camping in the yard in a tent. Somewhere around the early 1980’s my interest in UFO’s declined. Now I still go back and watch some of those shows and remember how the subject caught my interest so strongly back then.

Charlie’s Angels-Unidentified Flying Angels




The plot-
So this rich woman disappears or actually she is roughly escorted from the room after seeing a UFO. Such beastly behavior. The angels are called upon to investigate this place which is run by a flim flam man (Wild Wild West’s Ross Martin) and an ex-astronaut who wears the worst blond wig/hair helmet this side of a Star Trek alien. Apparently they charge people a bunch of bread in exchange for the chance of maybe spotting a UFO. Oh, boy! Bosley (David Doyle) and Kris (Cheryl Ladd) pretend to be a couple (of what I am not sure) who want to see a UFO or rather Kris does so her sugar daddy gives in. Meanwhile Sabrina (Kate Jackson) plays a cheap PI looking for a missing person (although not the one she is really looking for) at the UFO/rich guy place. The third angel Kelley (Jaclyn Smith) hits up the bewigged ex-astronaut in hopes of finding out information. So the girls and Bosley play their roles trying to figure out what is going on. They go through different outfits, fool the baddies, stroll through 70’s style rooms and eventually Sabrina finds the UFO is a fake. There is also an airplane, a water running car (yeah, right) and uh a desert. This UFO business is all a sham, the evildoers are outed, the saucer revealed and the case solved. The girls talk to their boss Charlie over a little black box while they grin a lot and our show is over.

The UFO-
The saucer looks relatively detailed and is a typical saucer shape. It’s grey and makes a whooshing sound. When it is revealed as a fake it’s a metallic looking thing around a meter in length. It’s on a rod and it goes up and down while being controlled by remote control and the controls are a big desk like thing. So a fairly elaborate set-up and it’s kept outside behind a stone wall a ways from the house.

I just saw this one for the first time last week. It’s a decent enough episode that shows how people can want to see a UFO and I’m sure that happened in the 70’s. Ross Martin is good as the crook. Kate Jackson is always a delight when she gets to play a tacky person as her cover as she does here. The UFO actually looks very good, like a Hollywood style prop which of course it is. Once you see the model it’s hard to believe that’s the same huge thing that duped a room full of adults.