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StuOz (aka Stuart Rawe)
This is me, StuOz, being interviewed in Australia: http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/11783235752/housos-extras-franky-meets-reg
The Event (2010)
An Adventure Series That Begins So Well Then...
A passenger plane goes missing, a 20-something male is on the run from the FBI, this is just part of the adventure.
I first saw this in 2017 on DVD. The DVD cover sort of promised science fiction and the series title, The Event, does sound like a sci-fi title. But it is more of an adventure/Lost-ish series instead. Not what I expected.
The Event series begins so well.
In fact, after watching the first two episodes you will think you have found a real gem of a series. By episode seven or eight I had some concerns that I was not going to make all the way through the 22 episodes. I gave up at episode ten.
What kept me going for ten episodes is that I just wanted to see what happens next with young Sean Ritter (almost a younger version of Richard Kimble from The Fugitive TV series), but as the series moved on we also got swamped with dull sub-plots about boring aliens and a boring US president. It just got too much for me when all I wanted was to follow the lead character and nothing else.
Perhaps others will enjoy this show more than me. Maybe I have just seen too many US adventure shows like this and I did not want to go down this road yet again. Maybe that was the problem I had with it?
Not Just For Female Viewers, Some Guys Can Like Dynasty
A rich American family, the Carringtons, fight for power and oil.
I don't usually review soap operas, but I always review campy TV dramas and Dynasty is about as campy as they get.
Each season ended with an over-the-top cliff-hanger ending which twice involved a building burning to the ground (with people inside) and once or twice involved people being shot. I loved it.
As a male, I never cared about, or hardly even noticed, the constant change of clothing given to the female leads...others found this so interesting...but not me...to me, Dynasty was all about the wonderfully acted out Carrington dramatics and amusing snotty comments given out by Joan Collins (Alexis).
The series probably should have ended two seasons sooner than it did as the last two years (seasons eight and nine) were missing some of the punch of previous years and Joan Collins sometimes even went missing in season nine to save budget costs.
Dynasty without Joan Collins is less pleasing (she is missing all together in season one) so seasons two to seven (six seasons all together) are when the show shined most brightly.
A much less talked about element to the series is the grand music scores that played over some of the early seasons, for example in the plot line when Blake Carrington (played well by John Forsythe) was blinded.
To me at least, music is vital to all kinds of TV drama and this is one of the very few 1980s TV shows that still cared about quality music composers (by about 1977 the quality of TV music went down hill).
So that is Dynasty, to be enjoyed by females AND males, for six seasons it set the world on fire, and it still holds up when watched today on DVD. Enjoy!
Fantastic Voyage (1968)
A Sight And Sound Wonder...But Mainly The Sounds
Cartoon about a miniature craft/submarine doing science fiction adventures.
Good voice artists are vital to a cartoon and this one had one of the best in the business: Marvin Miller (once Robby The Robot) as the voice of the darkly lite boss. At the start of each adventure he got you in the mood for what was to come with his outstanding delivery of lines!
And when that big ship/submarine started to shrink and go places we sort of felt like we were in some an animated Irwin Allen world complete with spacey sound effects used in Lost In Space (1965) and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964).
But let us not get too carried away here, not all the episodes of this short lived series were good, but enough of them were...to make this one of the best old school cartoons ever!
And finally, to add to the list of interesting things to listen to, great music cues playing over these fantastic voyages.
Maybe The Darkest Chapter Of Lost In Space
John Robinson (Guy Williams) enters an anti-matter world.
I agree with the positive reviews this episode is getting here and I might add this is one of Sutton Roley's best and most memorable direction jobs ever! In case you don't his name, he directed everything from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, QM's The Fugitive, QM's The Invaders, The Man From UNCLE, etc. He has this habbit of getting the camera very close to actors and positioning it so you can see up their noses.
The stock music in this hour is very good and well placed with the drama of it all.
The only negative thing I have to say about The Anti-Matter Man is the very human way in which the Robot is portrayed here. His desperate comments like "Oh, I can't waste time explaining it to you" and "You MUST, you MUST (do this)". I am told if LIS got a 4th year the Robot would have become even more human! Help!
But all in all, a wonderful hour of LIS where Guy Williams and Mark Goddard prove that they can do a lot more than fiddle with controls at the Jupiter 2.
A Sight And Sound Thrill Ride
More aliens in a mysterious cave, these ones want Smith.
The second half of season two is generally known as LIS's too silly period but this hour has always thrilled me with outstanding sets, a good Alexander Courage musical score, the rock men from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea's Fossil Men episode, Nero's tomb from The Time Tunnel episode The Ghost Of Nero, mystery concerning a second Jupiter 2 and some touching (if rather corny) moments between Smith and Will.
Alexander Courage is better known for his Star Trek music but he sometimes did outstanding music for LIS (Wild Adventure) and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (Leviathan, The Cyborg).
In a nutshell, Cave Of The Wizards is a sight and sound thrill ride.
The Story of Mankind (1957)
Time Tunnel Meets Adam West Batman
Oddball movie, where major events in history are looked at from above.
Well it might be the campiest movie ever made (so bad it is good) but this is NOT the worst movie ever made as many have said. But my IMDb review history/bio history reveals a love of Irwin Allen so perhaps I just dish up anything this guy makes?
The Story Of Mankind takes us on a Vincent Price (Egghead in Batman) tour of history and many of the events showcased also turned up in Allen's 30 episode TV series The Time Tunnel (1966-67). But Tunnel took itself all so very seriously...unlike this movie!
Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Grouch Marx turn out brilliant performances!
The general look of the film is grand and colourful.
I would call the film good fun rather than a classic, but not anywhere near as bad as many have said over the years.
Part Star Trek, Part Twilight Zone, Part Lost In Space
An attractive earthling-sized woman is found in the jungle.
Star Trek's The Cage (1964) meets Twilight Zone's People Are Alike All Over (1960) with a lot of Lost In Space (1965) thrown in as well.
Despite feeling like we have been down this road before, The Golden Cage is one of the best and most complex episodes of Land Of The Giants. The scenes between Mark and the cute woman will bring back memories of Star Trek's The Cage and the general actions of Steve/Mark/Fitzhugh will remind you of John/Don/Smith in Lost In Space.
This is one of the opening seven episodes in production order so the giant men are often silent and get very limited screen time...it is all about the "little people".
The musical score heard in the teaser (played over the giants in the jungle) is very loud, mighty and powerful...too bad this wonderful music was not re-used as stock music and heard all the time. But no, we never hear it again. Too bad.
The Golden Cage is a knockout!
The Seaview From Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Is Here!
Trouble is going on near Wonder Woman's home: Paradise Island.
This is a nice adventure from the series, we get to see WW change into a sexy outfit we don't often see her in, but whenever the episode is mentioned in conversation two questions always come up: "Is that the episode with the Seaview from Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea?"...then comes "what the hell was the Seaview doing in Wonder Woman?"
It seems the totally unknown director of this episode also directed one of the worst episodes of Irwin Allen's Lost In Space, The Mechanical Men, so perhaps he was trying to re-live his Irwin Allen days by bringing the Seaview into 1977 Wonder Woman?
Another point. Wonder Woman was a Warner show and Irwin Allen had recently jumped ship from Fox (where Voyage was made) to Warner so perhaps Irwin wanted to thrill his old fans by allowing Fox footage from Voyage to be used in a reasonably popular Warner show.
Whatever the case, the Seaview may only get very limited screen time in WW but retro science fiction fans like me still get a smile over the fact that the Seaview appeared in the show at all.
Wonder Woman: Time Bomb (1978)
Mind Blowing Teaser, Then It Slows Down
Two humans from 2155 travel to 1978...or is it 1999 as we see stock footage from the UK series Space 1999 in this hour??
The totally unknown director of this episode, Seymour Robbie, had previously directed season two's The Bermuda Triangle Crisis and he seemed to have a weird passion for bringing in totally out-of-place and totally recognized stock footage from past science fiction TV shows.
With "Crisis" he pinched footage of the Seaview from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and with Time Bomb he breaks a TV record by pinching footage from a series, Space 1999, which was produced in another country: the UK.
I am something of an expert on the subject of 1970s shows/movies taking footage from others, but I don't recall a case of a US show taking footage from a UK show.
But anyway, away from all this, after a totally mind blowing teaser (scored by Richard LaSalle) Time Bomb becomes a slower and more routine episode that can only be called okay.
Considering the imaginative plot, it should have been a whole lot better than it is. However, season three has better hours than this, like Gault's Brain and the two-parter The Boy Who Knew Her Secret.
Creepshow 2 (1987)
The Blob Returns In A Lake
Five horror stories.
Generally speaking, I don't review horror films but Creepshow 2 has a connection to a 1958 science fiction film called: The Blob. The blob came from outer space on a meteor and starts killing people. The film was later re-made in the 1980s.
But forget both versions and just watch a chapter of Creepshow 2 titled: The Raft.
The Raft is basically a "blob story" but told in a much quicker, smarter, suspenseful and sexier way. About a group of attractive stoned teenagers on a raft who encounter a creature in a lake. As is the case in these things, there is the rather dumb lad and the more intelligent lad who spots the danger before it happens.
As for the other four chapters of Creepshow 2, well I did not really warm to them, but I am more into science fiction than horror, so I would not pay too much attention to that.