Christmas episodes-Lost in space-Return from space

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What are you looking at you nobby headed ninny?

 

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Is this it? This makes Star Trek look high budget.

 

1965

The crew of the Jupiter two are having troubles with a limited food supply. This is made far worse when Dr. Smith leaves the lid off of a liquid they need for preserving food. So this causes the liquid to evaporate and now they are really going to be short on food. Meanwhile there is some ancient alien equipment not far away. Even though Major Robinson has told the kids to avoid it they still go around it and Penny ends up vanishing as a beam from the machine takes her away. Oh, holy cow what to do? Pretty much nothing and she eventually comes back and remembers nothing. Dr. Smith and Will go back to the machine later even though they were told not to. Shame, shame, shame. Will ends up getting zapped away by the beam ZWWWAPPP. Dr. Smith of course does not see it although the robot does. Will ends up on top of a roof in a small town in Vermont and he knows he has to be back at this same spot to return to the planet or he will miss it. He soon runs into a kid named Davey who takes him home. This is where we first see a Christmas tree and other decorations to let us know what time it is. Will tries to make a phone call to Alpha Control (kind of like NASA) to let them know he has returned and hopefully they can help rescue his family. However this is a small town with a phone operator and they think he is pulling a prank so no call for you. The sheriff finds out about this kid claiming to be from space and questions him, Will unfortunately answers honestly and they think he’s mental or at the very least an orphan looking for attention. Meanwhile back on the other planet the Robinsons notice Will is missing and begin looking for him. The robot tries to tell Dr. Smith that he (the robot) needs to stay by the alien equipment to wait and assist with Will coming back at a certain time. However selfish lunk head that he is Smith rips the robot’s memory tapes out and drags him away from the machinery. Smith tries to get the robot to memorize false events to cover his tail. In the process he says “spare me the editorial comments” and calls the robot the classic “ninny”. Major Robinson and the rest are getting really worried about Will when they can’t find him. Meanwhile back on earth Will is set to get on a bus to go to a boy’s home. One of the bigger boy’s starts making fun of Will’s clothes because he is the only dressed for space travel. Will again tried to be honest and tells them who he is. They say he’s crazy because they all know the Robinsons left earth a year ago and are presumed lost and dead. Will goes beserk attacking the big kid before an adult breaks it up. Eventually Will gets free and avoids the bus to the boy’s home. He tries to call Alpha Control from the general store, but the store owner stops him because he thinks it’s a joke. Will then remembers the liquid his family needed to preserve food. He tries to get some but has no money so he can’t even get that and is run off by the owner. He ends up back with Davey while the sheriff tries get him help. Will convinces Davey of his story and that he needs to be back on that roof where he first came in at noon or else he will be trapped here and never see his family again. Davey gets Will back to the spot and buys the food preserving liquid for him. Will gets zapped back to the planet as the sheriff and others come running towards where he is at. They wonder where he went. What Will didn’t know is that the local reporter had called and convinced a person from Alpha Control to come and talk to Will and they would have arrived in another  hour oh, well. The robot remembered he needed to be back at the machines to help Will, he shocks Dr. Smith so he can get back to the spot. The robot gets there, Will beams back and the machines give a last gasp. The rest of the family show up, Will kind of hints at where he went and hands his dad the food preserving stuff they need. The bottle tells where it is from so his dad believes him at least. They didn’t get off the planet and Alpha Control still thinks they are lost, but at least the food situation was solved. Roll the credits.

It’s a season one episodes which means black and white, it’s a little more serious and Smith and the robot have not taken the show over yet although they are on their way. This is a very different episode as it’s almost entirely about Will and doesn’t deal with either alien society or and alien monster. Instead it’s about Will trying to explain something that makes to sense to him to people who think he has a way overactive imagination. It’s fairly well played although a little sad that he can’t get anyone other than one other kid to believe him.

Christmas spirit-The holiday is more of a background in sets on the earth parts. However it kinds of works as a contrast in that as wild as space life as been for Will regular everyday life is still going back on earth.

 

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You went into space and all you got was that crappy looking shirt?

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You can trust me, Will. I’m in like every 1960’s TV series.

Christmas episodes-Lois and Clark-Twas the night before Mxymas

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What do you mean you think Clark Kent is cool and I’m not?

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Clock or no clock?

1996

Guests0-Howie Mandel as Mister Mxyzptlk (pronounced Miks-yez-pittle-ik)

This floating curly haired semi-urban pirate looking 90’s hipster shows up in Metropolis. He comes from the 5th dimension which much like Metropolis and Gotham City isn’t part of any real world that we know of. He does however know who Superman is. He then comes with the plot to get rid of Superman by taking away all hope because he thinks Supes is the sign of hope. To do this he comes with a masterful plan, okay actually I think he just watched Groundhog Day with Bill Murry for inspiration. So he makes a day repeat itself and only Clark Kent is aware of what’s going on. Mxyzpittlepoo, Mixypuddlecake, Moxyplasticup er Mr. M lets Clark know what’s going so he knows there is nothing he can do about. The deal is Supes has to leave this world or else Mr. M will let this hopeless world go on. So we get to see this day or parts of it play out over and over. The overriding theme is that everyone gets grumpier and cares less as the same day rolls around. Clark’s dad gets worried about losing the farm, Perry regrets not doing more with his kids, Jimmy’s new girlfriend starts dressing trashier, a guy keeps robbing the same bank every day and a recluse goes from falling off his balcony to jumping off with Supes catching him every time. Clark/Supes thinks the only way to correct this behavior is to give these people hope. He tries talking even reasoning with them and working to give people a purpose and hope. Eventually it succeeds and Mr.M gets mad. The final step is of course that they get magic guy to say his name backwards. Oh, the horror, the terror, the lack of imagination and poof he’s gone. The day has been saved, hooray for Christmas and roll the credits.

This was from the forth and final season of this show which was probably my least favorite overall, but this was a decent enough episode.

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Santa Perry

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How dare you say Lois has shorter hair than I do, oh wait she does.

Christmas episodes

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There are a few Christmas episodes I watch every year, but they tend to be more comedies than sci-fi and horror. Of course there are more of those because it’s easier to squeeze Christmas into a the world of a comedy than it is putting it into a sci-fi setting. Every year I normally watch Christmas episodes from the Andy Griffith show, Green Acres, Cheers, Night Court, Mary Tyler Moore and Frasier. Then there are Christmas episodes I watch maybe every other year as well. As I kid I would usually get excited when a show had a Christmas episode whether it was good or not. It’s not too surprising that there are more Christmas episodes of shows than any other holiday. Now if I watch an older series in order I find it funny that most shows just have their same setting every episode I mean it could be September or April and you don’t know and then bam it’s a Christmas episode. That’s fine too.

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***What are some of your favorite Christmas episodes?

Lack of Christmas episodes in sci-fi shows

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As I get ready for Christmas episode week later this month I am reminded of the lack of Christmas episodes in sci-fi series. Yes, I’ll find enough to review for a week. However they are all series set in either present day (when they were made) or the past and not in the future so much. Yes, Captain Kirk met Helen Noel at a Christmas party, but that was mentioned and not seen. Maybe spaceships, interplanetary travel and futuristic cities are more exciting than Christmas lights, caroling and eggnog. Perhaps religion has changed in the future and the holiday isn’t what it was. Another thought might be that sci-fi writers just shy away from the topic. They were not afraid to have snow and ice, but apparently the holiday and the weather don’t always go hand in hand in space or the future.

***Why do you think there aren’t more Christmas sci-fi episodes?

***What sci-fi show do you wish had done a Christmas episode?

Theme weeks for December and beyond

For December I hope to take on two theme weeks which will be on Christmas specials week and Christmas episodes week.

For next year I am hoping to take on the following theme weeks at a rate of one per month.

70’s sci-fi

80’s horror

90’s super heroes

Bela Lugosi

Boris Karloff

Ray Harryhausen

Werewolves

Godzilla

Jungle action

Mad scientists

Alien invasion

Insects

Christmas episodes:The new Adventures of Wonder Woman-The Deadly Toys

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A little bit different kind of review this time around as I really want to keep it short so I can get three epsiode reviews done this week of Christmas epsiodes.

Who’s in this?
The regulars
Lynda Carter … Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
Lyle Waggoner … Major Steve Trevor
Guests
Frank Gorshin (hooray) … Hoffman
James A. Watson Jr. … Dr. Prescott
John Rubinstein … Major Dexter
Donald Bishop … Dr. Tobias
Ross Elliott … Dr. Lazaar

TWO WW

What’s this about? Three scientists are involved in project XYZ (so maybe they failed with the rest of the alphabet already) which involves a dangerous and powerful weapon. Each scientist has been responsible for creating a part of the weapon. However it is soon discovered that one then a second of the scientists has been replaced by a robot. This is done by a cheapo melting effect although when I saw it as a seven year old it creeped me out. The scientists had a hobby in common as they played wargames with toy soldiers. Diana (Wonder Woman just in case you live under a rock and didn’t know that) links the soldiers to a toy store. This is when we see that it’s the Christmas as the store has decorations out front. The toy store owner (Gorshin) blows off Diana, but each is suspicious of the other. Hoffman tries attacking Diana with a toy plane, but hey she’s Wonder Woman so he better try harder. Hoffman has a robot Wonder Woman. So finally we get Wonder Woman against Wonder Woman. Meanwhile it turns out that a Major involved with the project is really working with the toy maker Hoffman and they are both working to get the information for project XYZ. Of course Wonder Woman wins out and saves the day.

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The negatives-It looks cheaper now than it did to me back then. Maybe I am being picky, but this is supposed to be Washington DC and living close to that area I can’t help but notice the people outside are wearing very thin jackets and it looks too green for December when Diana is driving around.

The positives-There are plenty of weak episodes to this show, but this is one of the better ones. We get some fine performances from solid character actors including Gorshin and Watson. The toy store and toys as weapons appealed to me as a kid and actually it still does. Having a robot Wonder Woman may seem not terribly creative, but it was good to see Wonder Woman have someone who could give her a fight for a change instead of just tossing stuntmen around like rag dolls. The story might be kind of thin, but there’s enough action and semi-interesting twists to keep it afloat.

The Holiday spirit-This was actually shown a few days after Christmas when it first premiered. You don’t see much Christmas related material until Diana goes to the toy store then we see some decorations. Also Wonder Woman paints Merry Christmas on a window at the end of the show. I suppose this episode could have been done without any of the Christmas trappings and it not been that different just because the holiday parts are slim. However I like the link of toy store owner using his store as a front for illegal activities during the busy Christmas season. It somehow makes sense within the corny plots of Wonder Woman and actually winds up one of the best episodes of the series. Not a great deal of Holiday Spirit perhaps, but I saw this one as a kid and then didn’t see it a seocnd time until maybe twenty years later. Yet the episode stuck in mind and I remembered it as being around Christmas time so it did make an impression on me because many of the other Wonder Woman epsiodes just blended together over the years.

Hope to have reviews of Christmas related episodes of Tales from the darkside and V this week as well.