Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Martian Chronicles Complete 1980 Mini-Series Parts I-III

In what is arguably Rock Hudson's last major role, Ray Bradbury's most popular novel is . . . well . . . made into a television movie that Bradbury himself said was "just boring".  And that's what I thought about this mini-series at about fourteen years old when I saw it.  However, a kind of pastoral charm has attached itself to this work over time, sort of like finding an old stash of Quaaludes. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

78RPM Video Records - Yes, They Did Exist! - No, This Isn't An April Fools Joke - That's Why I'm Posting This On The 4th.

This video is from a website, TV Dawn.  The site has not been updated since 2007, and extended video taken from the handful of 78 RPM video records created between 1927 and the early 1930s are no longer for sale.  The video here is from a 2002 lecture by the engineer who recovered video from the records, and includes some scenes taken off the records.

The 78RPM video record, which was called Phonovision, was the brain child of the primary developer and inventor of British television, John Logie Baird.  He envisioned a home recording system for television from the very beginnings of the birth of television in the UK, and he got as far as a handful of experiments and proof-of-concept records. 

Another Interesting Invention Of Baird's

Here is a newspaper article from the Ogden Standard Examiner, March 5, 1927.  The article is in the middle of the left side page, titled "Black Light May Now Make War Impossible".

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lost Science Fiction - Probe - 1988 Asimov Created OSD (Original Super Dork)

A forgotten Asimov creation.  A dork with a company that does something high-techy plays with gadgets and solves unsolvable crimes with his Watson-like sidekick.  Here is the penultimate touchstone of the cyber-genius before getting the girl could pass the verisimilitude test. Great hair.  The show lasted 7 episodes as a mid-season replacement.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dude, The Nazi's Had Television

Creepy. Very Very creepy. This German doc from the nineties shows a fairly sophisticated operation. The audience was primarily upper rank officers, bureaucrats and party insiders.  Berlin had numerous public television parlors, and several hundred privately owned sets.  What's creepiest here is the drooling host ranting about making deviants dance to a different tune for their supper, and the injured soldiers forced to perform, and talk about how great it is to dance with one leg.  Oh, and that happy vacation time thing they had going . . . crap.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Quark Episode 2 1979

This Sci-Fi comedy was more than a decade ahead of its time. In the years just before the Sci-Fi Channel, this show lasted only 8 episodes and while it had a loyal following, myself among them, that following was small and there just wasn't the room in three hours prime-time with most markets offering around six channels.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dracula The Series 1990

From the era of complicated hair, cheaply built but design conscious sets, and slightly computerized special effects, a saga of Dracula foiled by those damn kids - the Van Helsing nephews.  The show was a Canadian production (the country that brought the world The Starlost), and was possibly the only English language show shot entirely in Luxembourg.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Remaster Of X-1 The Old Die Rich, written by H. L. Gold

So for the first story I pick in more than a year its going to be something timely . . . and about time. Time, starvation, depression (the financial kind), yup perfect note to restart on. Written by H. L. Gold, The Old Die Rich follows the investigations of an actor and sometime P.I. who tries to discover why elderly people are turning up dead, starved to death, when they have bank books showing tens-of-thousands of dollars in their accounts.

He discovers a woman with an interesting scheme, and gets sent back in time to 1931 (note the bank clerk who says on May 15 of 1931, "this temporary recession is bound to abate, sound banking policies will see us through."). One side effect of this form of time travel leaves one with a hunger for more.

While not exactly a god of the golden age, H. L. Gold founded Galaxy Magazine, still regarded as one of the best fiction magazines of its or any time. Galaxy Magazine took Science Fiction in the direction sociology, phsychology and philosophy, paving the way for the fantasical and mind-bending writing of later decades.

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