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Found 33 results

  1. And so I watched the 1993 movie, "The Gathering." I'm pretty sure that this is going to be a necessary prerequisite for understanding the series, even though the series will apparently have a very different cast of characters. On its own, the movie played like a better-than-average, one-hour TV episode - it was clever, with nice plot twists, and set the stage for the viewer to hit the ground running when watching the series. The "I'll have what she's having" line has a lead-in that goes: "Someday, I'm going to find the guy that thought up the idea of renting telepaths to businessmen, and I'm going to kill him."
  2. Listen Up! I'm writing this comment six months after writing this post (on Nov 17, 2014). If anyone has any ambition to go through the entire series of The Twilight Zone, do yourselves a favor and buy "The Twilight Zone Companion" by Marc Scott Zicree before you start - I just got my copy yesterday after having already gone through 150 episodes (I didn't know it existed before), and I can assure everyone that it is indispensable - it is *the definitive* reference guide, and the paperback cost me something like $11.96 with free shipping on Amazon Prime. Trust me and buy this book before you begin - you'll thank me after only one episode. I cannot believe I watched this entire series without it - don't make the same mistake I did. *** SPOILER ALERT: Assume that all episode links contain them *** The Twilight Zone - Season 1 (Oct 2, 1959 - Jul 1, 1960) 1.1 - "Where Is Everybody?" - Oct 2, 1959 - <--- The books in this rack are all entitled, "The Last Man on Earth." Directed by Robert Stevens (Directed 44 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"), Written by Rod Serling (Writer of "Requiem for a Heavyweight" on "Playhouse 90") Featuring Earl Holliman (Sergeant Bill Crowley on "Police Woman"), James Gregory (Senator John Iselin in "The Manchurian Candidate," Dr. Tristan Adams in "Dagger of the Mind" on "Star Trek"), Garry Walberg (Hansen in "Balance of Terror" on "Star Trek" (2)) 1.2 - "One For The Angels" - Oct 9, 1959 - <--- "A most persuasive pitch, Mr. Bookman - an excellent pitch." Directed by Robert Parrish (Academy Award Winner for Best Film Editing for "Body and Soul"), Written by Rod Serling (2) Featuring Ed Wynn (Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor as Albert Dussell in "The Diary of Anne Frank," Army in "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (2) As Himself in "The Man in the Funny Suit" on "Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse"), Murry Hamilton (Dr. Stafford in "The Swan Bed" on "Route 66," Mr. Robinson in "The Graduate") 1.3 - "Mr. Denton On Doomsday" - Oct 16, 1959 - <--- "The gunner and me, we're gonna have a showdown here." Directed by Allen Reisner, Written by Rod Serling (3) Featuring Dan Duryea (Mike McKay in "Don't Count Stars" on "Route 66," "Waco" Johnny Dean in "Winchester '73," China Smith on "China Smith"), Martin Landau (Andro in "The Man who was Never Born" on "The Outer Limits," Rollin Hand on "Mission: Impossible," Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor as Béla Lugosi in "Ed Wood") [Martin Landau making Mr. Denton sing for his drink reminds me of Paul Dano's unspeakably heinous taunting scene from "12 Years A Slave" - maybe I'm wrong, but I think at least an indirect influence is there.] 1.4 - "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine" - Oct 23, 1959 - <--- "There you are, Jerry ... there you are. You look so young." Directed by Mitchell Leisen, Written by Rod Serling (4) Featuring Ida Lupino (Mrs. Helen Chernen in "The Hard Way," Director of "The Hitch-Hiker" (The first female ever to direct a Film Noir)), Martin Balsam (Milton Arbogast in "Psycho"), Jerome Cowan (Miles Archer in "The Maltese Falcon," Thomas Mara in "Miracle on 34th. Street"), Ted de Corsia (Randolph E. Branch in "The Inheritors" on "The Outer Limits") [The "aging actress" is Ida Lupino, who, by this episode, was all of 41 (my how times have changed).] 1.5 - "Walking Distance" - Oct 30, 1959 - <--- "Martin, I only wanted to tell you that this is a wonderful time of life for you." Directed by Robert Stevens (2), Written by Rod Serling (5) Featuring Gig Young (Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor (2) as Rocky in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"), Ron Howard (Academy Award Winner for Best Director for "A Beautiful Mind"), Irene Tedrow (Lucy Elkins on "Dennis the Menace"), Frank Overton (Sherrif Heck Tate in "To Kill a Mockingbird," Elias Sandoval in "This Side of Paradise" on "Star Trek") [I'm writing this 28 episodes into Season 2 because I only recently realized that The A.V. Club reviewed The Twilight Zone episodes. The reviewer, Todd VanDerWerff, positively raved about this episode - so I took it seriously, and watched the second half of "Walking Distance" again, and I liked it a *lot* more than I did on first viewing. Maybe it's because that, as a whole, I don't like the series quite as much as I remember as a teenager, but regardless, I really did see things in "Walking Distance" on the second viewing that I missed in the first. A *very* young Ron Howard (five years old!) is in this episode, as is Irene Tedrow, who plays the mother, and who also appears in Season 2's "The Lateness Of The Hour" - many, many actors appeared in multiple episodes.] 1.6.- "Escape Clause" - Nov 6, 1959 - <--- "You deed to me your so-called 'soul,' and in exchange, I give you immortality." Directed by Mitchell Leisen (2), Written by Rod Serling (6) Featuring David Wayne (Sam Jacoby in "One More Mile To Go" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (2), Andrew Anderson in "The Thirty-First of February" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," Ralph White in "The Three Faces of Eve," The Mad Hatter on "Batman," Dr. Charles Dutton in "The Andromeda Strain," Dr. Mill in "The Diary" on "Night Gallery"), Thomas Gomez, Virginia Christine (Model in "Salvage" and Secretary in "The Long Shot" in on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (3)) 1.7 - "The Lonely" - Nov 13, 1959 - <--- "No, but you don't understand: She's not a robot; she's a woman!" Directed by Jack Smight (Directed 4 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (2)), Written by Rod Serling (7) Featuring Jack Warden (Juror #7 in "12 Angry Men," 3 episodes of "Route 66," Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Performance as George Halas in "Brian's Song," Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (2) as Lester Karpf in "Shampoo" and Max Corkle in "Heaven Can Wait"), Jean Marsh (4 episodes of "The Saint," Co-Creator and Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series as Rose Buck on "Upstairs, Downstairs"), John Dehner, Ted Knight (2-time Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series as Ted Baxter on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show") [This is one of Ted Knight's very first roles in Hollywood. Surprisingly, he also plays the prison guard who guards Norman Bates at the end of "Psycho" (*** MAJOR SPOILERS are at this link, which is the end of "Psycho" ***) 1.8 - "Time Enough At Last" - Nov 20, 1959 - <--- "Books! Books! All the books I'll need!" Directed by John Brahm (Director of "The Lodger" (1944 version), 10 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (3), and 5 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), Written by - Teleplay: Rod Serling (8), Story: Lynn Venable Featuring Burgess Meredith (The Penguin on "Batman," Dr. Diablo in "The Torture Garden," Dr. William Fall in "The Little Black Bag" and Charlie Finnegan in "Finnegan's Flight" on "Night Gallery" (2), Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (3) as Harry Greener in "The Day of the Locust" and Mickey Goldmill in "Rocky," Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie as Joseph Welch on "Tail Gunner Joe") [Not to nitpick, but I seriously doubt there would be a source to provide enough water pressure to make a ruptured hose spray up into the air.] 1.9 - "Perchance To Dream" - Nov 27, 1959 - <--- "Do you want to know how many hours I've been awake? 87 hours." Directed by Robert Florey (Co-Director of "The Cocoanuts"), Written by Charles Beaumont (Co-Writer of the Screenplay for "The Masque of the Red Death") Featuring Richard Conte (Tony Bergdorf in "Ocean's 11," Don Emilio Barzini in "The Godfather"), John Larch (Chief of Police in "Dirty Harry"), Suzanne Lloyd (Featured in 6 episodes of "The Saint") ["Perchance to Dream" comes from Hamlet's "To Be, or Not To Be" speech.] 1.10 - "Judgment Night" - Dec 4, 1959: Directed by John Brahm (2), Written by Rod Serling (9) Featuring Nehemiah Persoff ("Little Bonaparte" in "Some Like it Hot," Jack in "First Class Mouliak" and Vladia Dvorovoi in "Incident on a Bridge" on "Route 66"), Patrick MacNee (John Steed on "The Avengers"), James Franciscus (Ben Kendall in "Summer Shade" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (4), Mike Longstreet on "Longstreet") [Note: And yes, it's James Franciscus.] 11. "And When The Sky Was Opened" - Dec 11, 1959: Written by Richard Matheson (Writer of "The Enemy Within" on "Star Trek" (xx), "Duel," The Big Surprise" and "The Funeral" on "Night Gallery" (xx)) [Note: One of the reasons this first season comes across as very dated (so far) is that 4 of the first 11 episodes (#1, #8, #10, and #11) deal with post-WWII military paranoia - with 3 of the 4 involving sheer terror. They're very good episodes, but there's no question that they haven't survived the test of time (and are perhaps a bit overacted as well). These definitely play into peoples' fears in the late 1950s - the Cold War took a brutal psychological toll on the American public, and that is represented here in full force.] 12. "What You Need" - Dec 18, 1959: 13. "The Four Of Us Are Dying" - Jan 1, 1960: Directed by John Brahm (Director of "The Lodger" (1944) and "Zzzzz" on "The Outer Limits"), Written by: Teleplay - Rod Serling (12), Story - "All of Us Are Dying" by George Clayton Johnson (Writer of "Ocean's Eleven," "Logan's Run," and "The Man Trap" on "Star Trek" (??)) Featuring Harry Townes (Three episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," Dr. Clifford Scott in "O.B.I.T." on "The Outer Limits," Reger in "The Return of the Archons" on "Star Trek" (??)), Ross Martin (Artemus Gordon on "The Wild, Wild West," Mr. Gingold in "Camera Obscura" on "Night Gallery" (??), Bradley Meredith in "The Other Way Out" on "Night Gallery" (??)), Phillip Pine (Leonard O'Brien in "The Incredible World of Horace Ford" on "The Twilight Zone" (??) Colonel Phillip Green in "The Savage Curtain" on "Star Trek" (??) Theodore Pearson in "One Hundred Days of the Dragon" on "The Outer Limits" (??), Dudley Grey in "Log 123: Courtroom" on "Adam-12"), Don Gordon (Luis B. Spain in "The Invisibles" on "The Outer Limits" (??), Dave Crowell in "Second Chance" on "The Outer Limits" (??)) [Well, maybe they listened to me - two episodes in a row now having nothing to do with the military. However, with only one exception (okay, 1 1/2 if you include "The Lonely"), all thirteen episodes are very white-male-centric - it's as if Rod Serling was portraying himself, complete with cigarettes (Serling was a four-pack-a-day smoker).] 14. "Third From The Sun" - Jan 8, 1960: 15. "I Shot An Arrow Into The Air" - Jan 15, 1960: [Note: They shouldn't have shown #14 and #15 back-to-back for obvious reasons. And we're back to the (para-)military episodes again - these two make 6 out of 15. "I Shot An Arrow Into The Air" is from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Arrow And The Song," and this is a genuinely great title for this episode.] 16. "The Hitch-Hiker" - Jan 22, 1960: [Note: I'm pretty sure that I'd seen all 16 of these episodes at some point in my life, and unlike Star Trek (either TOS or TNG), they're just not all that wonderful to see a second time. The acting is sometimes poor (refer to the gentleman above with his thumb out), and the plots hinge on "a moment" that's generally worth waiting 30 minutes for (especially when you're a teenager), but not worth another viewing - for example, if you don't figure out "The Hitch-Hiker" in the first 5 minutes, you simply need to watch more plays, movies, or television (I never thought I'd say that). However, Dan Duryea (who played Mr. Denton in episode #3) really stands out to me, acting-wise - when he's forced to sing "How Dry I Am," it is genuine pathos which evokes quite a bit of viewer sympathy.] 17. "The Fever" - Jan 29, 1960: 1.18 - "The Last Flight" - Feb 5, 1960 - <--- "We had no idea you were so advanced." Directed by William Claxton (Director of "Sheba" on "Route 66" (xx)), Written by Richard Matheson (xx), Featuring Kenneth Haigh (Brutus in "Cleopatra"), Simon Scott (General Bronson on "McHale's Navy," Arnold Slocum on "Trapper John, M.D," ), Alexander Scourby (Mike Lagana in "The Big Heat"), Robert Warwick (Major Henry in "The Life of Emile Zola") [Note: Yes! The best episode to date - perhaps the first great one - *and* it was even military in nature. This reminded me of Star Trek. [interesting - after I posted this, I read on Wikipedia: "This episode is similar to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise.] A couple of these episodes I'd seen in the past, but there's a detail or two I didn't remember, and I'm glad I didn't remember everything about "The Last Flight." If you want to watch *a* Twilight Zone, but don't feel like watching *every* Twilight Zone, start here. "Time Enough At Last" is perhaps the most famous of the first eighteen episodes, and may be just as good as this, but I'd seen it several times, so it lost a bit of luster for me.] 19. "The Purple Testament" - Feb 12, 1960: 20. "Elegy" - Feb 19, 1960: [Note: Clunk. My least-favorite episode to date. And with #18, #19, and #20, this makes 9 out of 20 (para-)military episodes. I don't remember if this turns away from military and space, and more into other aspects of science fiction, or not. Well, I guess we'll see.] 21. "Mirror Image" - Feb 26, 1960: [Note: It really is amazing just how many of these episodes were reused in Star Trek - maybe not "reused" so much as "borrowed and transformed." "Mirror Image" is a prime example, and this is about the third or fourth time it's happened - that said, this was an extremely weak episode, parallel (no pun intended) to "Mirror, Mirror" in TOS Season 2.] 1.22 - "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" - Mar 4, 1960 - <--- "Charlie, you killed him - he's dead." Directed by Ronald Winston (Director of "Banning"), Written by Rod Serling (xx) Featuring Claude Akins (Seaman "Horrible" in "The Caine Mutiny," Joe Burdette in "Rio Bravo"), Barry Atwater (Craig in "A Time Out of War," Dr. Jonas Temple in "Corpus Earthling" on "The Outer Limits," Surak in "A Savage Curtain" on "Star Trek," Alec Brandon in "The Doll of Death" on "Night Gallery," Janos Skorzeny in "The Night Stalker"), [Note: A classic. Like "Time Enough At Last," I'd seen it a few times so it lost its luster, but still, a classic. Claude Akins is unyielding with his reason, but ultimately not persuasive enough to stop the monsters.] 23. "A World Of Difference" - Mar 11, 1960: Directed by Ted Post (Director of "Sleep on Four Pillows" on "Route 66," "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," and "Magnum Force") [Note: Ah, finally! It took 23 episodes before I found one where I hadn't seen the entire thing - somehow, I vaguely remembered the beginning (after "it" happened), but didn't remember the ending at all.] 24. "Long Live Walter Jameson" - Mar 18, 1960: [Note: You just get the sense that the show is beginning to mature, and come into its own, with episodes like this.] 25. "People Are Alike All Over" - Mar 25, 1960: Directed by MItchell Leisen (Director of "Death Takes a Holiday" and "Murder at the Vanities"), Written by: Teleplay - Rod Serling (xx), Story - Paul W. Fairman (Founding Editor of "If" Magazine) Featuring Roddy McDowall (Cornelius and Caesar in the "Planet of the Apes" franchise, Gerald Musgrove in "The Gentleman Caller" and George in "See the Monkey Dance" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," Peter Vincent in "Fright Night," Jeremy Evans in "The Cemetery" on "The Night Gallery") Susan Oliver (Annabel Delaney in "Annabel" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx) 3 Episodes of "Route 66" (xx), Vina in "The Cage" and "The Menagerie" on "Star Trek" (xx)), Paul Comi (Modeer in "The Crimson Witness" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx), Lieutenant Stiles in "Balance of Terror" on "Star Trek" (xx)), Byron Morrow (Admiral Komack in "Amok Time" and Admiral Westervliet on "For the World is Hollow, and I have Touched the Sky" on "Star Trek" (xx), Vic Perrin (3 episodes of "Star Trek" (xx), Everett Jones in "Citizens All" on "Adam-12" (xx)), Vernon Gray (John Fraser in "To Paris with Love") [Note: Why is it that, unlike both Star Trek series that I've watched, The Twilight Zone hasn't skipped a single week? Yes, that's Roddy McDowall.] 26. "Execution" - Apr 1, 1960: [Note: Albert Salmi, who will appear in later episodes, is adept at playing unremorseful bastards.] 27. "The Big Tall Wish" - Apr 8, 1960: [Note: I suspect Rod Serling had "The Big Tall Wish" up his sleeve from day one. To quote Serling, "Television, like its big sister, the motion picture, has been guilty of the sin of omission... Hungry for talent, desperate for the so-called 'new face,' constantly searching for a transfusion of new blood, it has overlooked a source of wondrous talent that resides under its nose. This is the Negro actor." This is the first time I remember anyone of color in a Twilight Zone episode, and it's fantastic that it wasn't even referenced; nevertheless, this was a tough pill to swallow. As an aside, who knew that an athlete named Bo Jackson would be seriously injured after watching Bolie Jackson?] 28. A Nice Place To Visit" - Apr 15, 1960: [Note: Boy, I don't know if the other seasons will have this many "classic" episodes, but this first season has several. How can anyone see PIP as a child and not remember him (especially us latchkey children who were occasionally subjected to watching the awful Family Affair?).] 29. "Nightmare As A Child" - Apr 29, 1960: [Note: Hey! We skipped a week! I'm pretty sure Rod Serling was a "change the world" liberal relative to his day, but was also smart enough to bide his time and win over the Good Old Boys first. Here is another episode that might be considered "modern" by contemporary standards, one in which the power of a woman defeats the strength of a man. Nothing too radical, and nothing I even noticed when I first posted this, but maybe a little bit.] 30. "A Stop At Willoughby" - May 6, 1960: [Note: Only 2 of the past 10 episodes (#22 and #25) have used (para-)military or space-age paranoia as premises, so that makes only 11 out of 30 - a much more reasonable number. Also 2 out of the past 4 (#27 and #29) episodes have dealt with people of color or the strength of females - the show is definitely settling in and teaching us something rather than merely entertaining us. That said, the female character in "A Stop At Willoughby" was, just like in "A World Of Difference," a stereotypical harpy - the type of person anyone would despise. You can easily see how they chose Howard Duff to play the lead in "A World Of Difference" - his eyes and his eyebrows are perma-fixed in this kind of confused-looking stare. I've never seen a facial expression that changed so little over the course of a thirty-minute show - it's almost funny although it's not meant to be.] 31. "The Chaser" - May 13, 1960: [Note: Well, here it is: The very first episode in Season 1 that I hadn't seen any of. What a refreshing point of view to have, not having the foggiest notion of what is to transpire, and not recognizing it when it does. This episode - comic to the point of being laugh-out-loud funny at times - but also tense (in an "Arachnophobia" type of way - not knowing if an innocent mistake might kill you) - was very nearly outstanding, and gave me the "thrill of first sighting" once again, and for that, this whole endeavor has been worth it. This gives me hope that there will be others, perhaps numerous others, and this exercise is like a little treasure hunt. "The Chaser" is absolutely a comic episode, but the acting, particularly by the Clara Bow-like Patricia Barry, is fantastic - Barry plays two distinct roles here, and transitions from being a stand-offish dream-girl to "every guy's worst nightmare" in an instant, and she performs the dichotomy seamlessly. Because of the hilarity of this episode, her excellent acting could easily be overlooked, but it would be a mistake to do so. You should watch this if you haven't - I'd love to see your thoughts.] 32. "A Passage For Trumpet" - May 20, 1960: [Note: There are many inside jokes in Twilight Zone episodes, and a really clever one here is when Jack Klugman walks out of the bar just after selling his trumpet: The bar is named "Bandwagon," and that's just perfect. Between these playful little jokes, and some of the ingenious titles, there was a very clever person at work here - maybe more than one - but I suspect one of them was named Rod Serling. "A Passage For Trumpet?" Think about that title for a second.] 33. "Mr. Bevis" - Jun 3, 1960: [Note: Hey! We skipped a week for the second time in a month! What gives? Baseball season? Why do I feel like I just watched my own biography? Mr. Bevis is the way I want to be. Yeah, it would nice to have wealth, fame, idolizing fans, all that good stuff, but at the end of the day, all that's important is who cares that you're gone, what your children develop into, the character of your grand-grandchildren ... all that stuff that can't be put onto a corporate balance sheet. I know all of this, and to the best of my knowledge, I've yet to walk in ... to ... The Twilight Zone. (Although, honestly, sometimes it seems like I've come pretty close.)] 34. "After Hours" - Jun 10, 1960: [Note: A surprisingly weak episode after a long run of strong ones. Well, every series is entitled to some clunkers, and this was theirs. Weak acting, a weak storyline, a weak plot, very little consequence, very little at stake, just all-around weak and very little.] 35. "The Mighty Casey" - Jun 17, 1960: Directed by Robert Parrish (Academy Award Winner for Best Film Editing for "Body and Soul") and Alvin Ganzer (Directed 14 episodes of "Police Woman"), Written by Rod Serling (xx) Featuring Jack Warden (xx), Robert Sorrells (Charlie Guthrie in "Bound for Glory"), Abraham Sofaer (Arch on "Demon with a Glass Hand" on "The Outer Limits" (xx), Haji on "I Dream of Jeannie," The Thasian on "Charlie X" on "Star Trek" (xx)) [Note: Gosh, I hate to say it, but my least-favorite Twilight Zone episode so far has been about baseball. This could have been a classic; instead it was just a big dud. If you're a Twilight Zone fan *and* a Sports Fan, you'll be bitterly disappointed in this - the combination couldn't have been worse. That said, I've seen a lot of online comments about this episode, and not one of them mentioned that this was shown just one year after west-coast baseball began, and there's kind of a "cutting" comment at the very end regarding the West Coast - I'm wondering if this is something of a metaphor for teams (the Dodgers and Giants, to be exact) moving west of Kansas City - note that the Giants *shellacked* the Zephyrs after Casey got his heart, but that the manager moved the Zephyrs to the West Coast shortly afterwards and dominated, because he got the robot blueprint. I also read, in one comment, that the gentleman who originally played the manager of the Zephyrs passed away just before filming ended, and they had to reshoot all of his parts with Jack Warden - and they had to do it in short order - that, too, can explain a lot that went wrong. Warden was a fine actor, but he didn't give a good performance in this episode (notice how silly the opening "handshake" scene is).] 36. "A World Of His Own" - Jun 24, 1960: [Note: Season one is now a wrap, and it went out on a high note - with a comedy, yet. The ending of "A World Of His Own" was wonderful, with two back-to-back surprises (I'm not sure what this second technique is called). I'm so glad I went through this entire season because it not only lent a perspective to things, but also solidified how a series matures over time and gains its own personality. I'm very much looking forward to beginning season two. My remembering how much I enjoyed The Twilight Zone wasn't just childhood reminiscing; it's actually a really good, absolutely groundbreaking series. I believe The Outer Limits may be superior (I'd need to revisit all shows from both series to make that judgment, but hey, I've got "time enough at last," as Burgess Meredith would say). Please allow me to pat myself on the back, feeling and enjoying a small but significant sense of accomplishment.]
  3. Star Trek: The Next Generation Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker Brent Spiner as Lieutenant-Commander Data LeVar Burton as Lieutenant-Commander Geordi La Forge Michael Dorn as Helmsman and Chief Security Officer Worf Gates McFadden as Chief Medical Officer Beverly Crusher Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi Wil Wheaton as Ensign Wesley Crusher Denise Crosby as Security Chief Tasha Yar Diana Muldaur as Chief Medical Officer Katherine Pulaski Colm Meaney as Transporter Chief Miles O'Brien Whoopi Goldberg as Bartender Guinan Season 1: Sep 28, 1987 - May 16, 1988 - Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry 1.1 and 1.2 - "Encounter at Farpoint" - Sep. 28, 1987 - Directed by Corey Allen (Buzz Gunderson in "Rebel without a Cause," Primetime Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for "Goodbye, Mr. Scripps" on "Hill Street Blues," Primetime Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for "Jungle Madness" on "Hill Street Blues"), Written by - Teleplay: Dorothy Fontana (Writer of 10 episodes of "Star Trek"), Story: Gene Roddenberry (Creator of "Star Trek") Featuring John de Lancie as Q (TV Executive in "The Fisher King," Donald Margolis in "Breaking Bad"), Michael Bell as Groppler Zorn (Voice of Chas Finster in "Rugrats"), DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (H. Norbert Willis in "The Clover Throne" and Bob Harcourt, Jr. in "1800 Days to Justice" on "Route 66"), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Court Bailiff (Chang in "The Last Emperor") [Star Trek or not, this Pilot was *rough* - both in terms of the acting (Troi was awful, Q functioned not only as a God-like being, but also as some sort of "nanny chorus," telling us what we didn't need to be told, and Data was seen grinning on more than one occasion (remember how awful Spock was, at first, in the original series - he was grinning too)). My biggest problem here wasn't the plot; it was the condescension of Q, telling the viewer what they're about to figure out for themselves - that is elementary-school TV. This was largely a very interesting plot, but the writers spoiled it for the viewers. I do wonder just how much the creators, e.g., Gene Roddenberry, had in mind when it came to essentially building the entire series around Q - could Roddenberry possibly have envisioned the glorious final episode before the series even began? Nah ....] 1.3 - "The Naked Now" - Oct. 5, 1987 - Directed by Paul Lynch (Director of "Prom Night"), Written by - Teleplay: Dorothy Fontana (2), Story: John D.F. Black (Co-Writer and Associate Producer of "The Naked Time" on "Star Trek") Featuring Brooke Bundy as Sarah MacDougal (Leah in "Firecreek," Elaine Parker on "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors"), Benjamin W.S. Lum as Jim Shimoda (Kim Mei Clerk in "Another 48 Hrs.") ["The Naked Time" was George Takei's personal-favorite episode on "Star Trek," as he got to have fun prancing around the decks, shirtless, as a swashbuckler. That episode was written by John D.F. Black, and because of that, he was given credit for having written the story for this episode, a "parallel" version written for The Next Generation. In case anyone has forgotten, this is the one where "Data Does Dasha" (sorry, Tasha, and not to be confused by a porn movie with a similar-sounding name) - him being an android, one can only imagine his thrusts-per-minute - Tasha looked pretty tired when she emerged from her quarters. The Pilot featured a cameo by McCoy; this episode has a verbal reference to Kirk - this was undoubtedly to "ease seasoned viewers into" this new and very different series - it seems like a wise and prudent decision. The "Acting Captain Wesley Crusher" scene may have been the beginning of the hatred for Wesley hijacking the series (according to people who didn't like him; to me, his "precocious genius" got a bit annoying, but never went so far overboard that I couldn't stand him, plus he redeemed himself as the series progressed).] 1.4 - "Code of Honor" - Oct. 12, 1987 - Directed by Russ Mayberry (Director of "Unidentified Flying Oddball") and Les Landau (Assistant Director of "Leadbelly"), Written by Katharyn Powers (Writer of "The Longest Drive" for "The Quest") and Michael Baron (BS Degree in Organizational Systems Management from California State University, Northridge) Featuring Jessie Lawrence Ferguson as Lutan (Calder in "Prince of Darkness"), Karole Selmon as Yareena (Homeless Woman #1 in "The Soloist"), Julian Christopher as Hagon (Prison Truck Guard #1 in "X-Men: The Last Stand") [A very poor episode in the weakest season of the series, "Code of Honor" features bad writing, bad direction, and acting that should have - and could have - been stronger. I can't remember the last time I had to hunt this deeply for something else - anything else - the directors, writers, and actors did outside of "The Next Generation," and it's a shame that *this* has to be the episode with the most primitive black stereotypes in this normally equitable series (Ferengi stereotypes notwithstanding). Just look at what I found for the three guest stars - other than Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, it's downright embarrassing to even cite their other acting achievements, especially when all three people did a perfectly decent job in the episode. Karole Selmon is absolutely lovely, and was fine in her role; yet ... "Homeless Woman #1?" Ugh. For one of the writers, Michael Baron, I couldn't find *anything* else he did, so I simply listed his degree, and then when I researched Cal State Northridge, I couldn't even find the degree. Interestingly, Patrick Stewart is in "X-Men: The Last Stand," and I'm wondering if his influence helped Julian Christopher get his role (Prison Truck Guard #1? Ugh). I'm not very politically correct, but this episode makes even me cringe, and I'm wondering if it should have ever been made in the first place. I don't know of a good way to put this, so I'll just come out and say it: Denise Crosby has too much air time in these first three episodes. The most laughably bad moment in the episode? When millions of people are about to die, Tasha is about to engage in a fight to the death, the Enterprise is in a gravely acute diplomatic crisis with the Ligonians, and Riker - who is acting captain - has just finished making a silent soliloquy about the gravity of the situation. Then, the turbolift doors in the bridge open, and Wesley Crusher is standing there, grinning. Riker greets him as if he were working the registration desk at the Four Seasons in Fiji, smiles warmly, and says, "Care to lend a hand? Sit at ops," as he waves Wesley onto the bridge, gets onto the turbolift himself, and exits the scene with this young child strolling over to the control panel, unattended. Are you kidding me?] 1.5 - "The Last Outpost" - Oct. 19, 1987 - Directed by Richard A. Colla (Director of "Olly Olly Oxen Free"), Written by Richard Krzemien (Writer of "Kentucky Rye" for "The New Twilight Zone") Featuring Armin Shimerman as Letek (Stan the Caddy in "The Caddy" on "Seinfeld"), Jake Dengel as Mordoc (Pee Wee in "Ironweed"), Tracey Walter as Keyron (Lamar in "Silence of the Lambs"), Darryl Henriques as Portal 63 (Life Reporter in "The Right Stuff"), Mike Gomez as DaiMon Tarr (Auto Circus Cop in "The Big Lebowski") [Note: After these first 5 episodes (I'm calling the pilot episodes 1-2), I don't know how this show survived the rest of 1987. I don't think I'd ever seen any of these except for "The Naked Now," and they are all ... just ... largely ... bad. I've actually forgotten, at this point, why I ever liked this show so much. Leigh, I'm very much looking forward to watching the entire first half of Season One (which hasn't been terribly fun), and then purchasing Wil Wheaton's book - it should be the perfect quick read for me when I'm finished. I do think "The Last Outpost" is the second consecutive episode where TNG has reinforced negative stereotypes about a human ethnicity of people (with the Ferengi, you can pick your ethnicity, but they're surely being mocked as "short little mercantile, conniving opportunists who won't hesitate to cheat others"). I don't remember how I initially reacted to the Ferengi appearing on the view-screen as giants, but it certainly echoed, and was influenced by, "The Corbomite Maneuver" in The Original Series, except that Balok was just a wonderful person - the type of guy you'd enjoy sharing a glass of tranya with. My problem, in general, with the Ferengi is that the series makes them just a little too easy to hate, and there's no complexity to them at all - they're defined in black-and-white, shallow, and (I guess the current term among Millenials is, "basic"). Also, it's somewhat painful to see them jumping up, down, all-around while Riker is trying to have a discussion with Portal 63. Sure, they've now been established as a race of entities you'll hate upon their very mention, but isn't that just a little too convenient? Looking back, after having watched every episode (I've written this summary at different times), I don't remember a single moment of honor among them.] 1.6. "Where No One Has Gone Before" - Oct. 26, 1987 - Directed by Rob Bowman (4 consecutive Primetime Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Drama Series for "The X-Files"), Written by Diane Duane (Writer of the "Young Wizards" novels) and Michael Reeves (Daytime Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program for "Batman: the Animated Series") Featuring Stanley Kamel as Kosinski (Dr. Charles Kroeger on "Monk"), Eric Menyuk as The Traveler (Carney in "Der Roachenkavalier" on "Hill Street Blues"), Herta Ware as Maman Yvette Picard (Rosie Lefkowitz in "Cocoon"), Biff Yeager as Chief Engineer Argyle (George in "Edward Scissorhands") [When Troi, Ryker, and Argyle go to meet Kosinski and The Traveler in the transporter room, the cinematography, lighting, and camera angle is all wrong (see the first picture above). In the "Awkward Scene of the Episode," when The Traveler says to Wesley Crusher, "Something troubles you with the way this is configured?" there is silence, as Crusher sits there nodding for four full seconds which seem like an eternity. This episode clearly borrows something from "2001: A Space Odyssey," as the Enterprise is jettisoned one-billion light years away, in an unknown part of the universe which features fantastic lights outside the ship (see the 3rd picture), and where ideas come to life in the form of terrifyingly real characters from times past. Wesley is introduced to the viewers by The Traveler as a Mozart-like genius, to be nurtured (but not informed) by Picard - this sets the stage for him being a Boy Wonder in future episodes. Kamel overacts as the annoyingly arrogant Kosinski, both while intractably cocky, and also while reduced to a blubbering "I didn't mean to do that," before he gets largely elbowed out of the episode - why he wasn't taken into quarters, I'm not sure.] 7. "Lonely Among Us" - Nov. 2, 1987: 8. "Justice" - Nov. 9, 1987: [Note: In "Justice," Worf's comment at 5:58 on Amazon, "Nice planet," was the first laugh-out-loud funny moment I've ever had in any Star Trek episode, from either series. I want to take shore leave on this planet. This series is improving, markedly.] 9. "The Battle" - Nov. 16, 1987: 10. "Hide and Q" - Nov. 23, 1987: 11. "Haven" - Nov. 30, 1987: [Note: Some of these recent episodes were panned by some reputable online sources; I, on the other hand, remember again why I like TNG after watching them. In "Hide and Q," Worf proved himself to be one of the great heroes of the series. Leigh, I assume Majel Barrett will redeem herself later in the series? There's nothing, nothing at all, to like about her in this episode.] 12. "The Big Goodbye" - Jan. 11, 1988: [Note: Does anyone know why there was such a gap between episodes 11 and 12?] 13. "Datalore" - Jan. 18, 1988: [Note: This is the final episode covered in Wil Wheaton's book, so if you've made it to here, buy the book.] 14. "Angel One" - Jan 28, 1988 - 15. "11001001" - Feb. 1, 1988: [Note: It's not the first season that's bad; it's only the first few episodes - the critics are wrong, and I'm loving this. In this highly structured, almost military environment, a logical person might assume that, at this point, the wonky holodeck might become prohibited, but, meh, to heck with logic.] 16. "Too Short A Season" - Feb. 8, 1988 - 1.17 - "When the Bough Breaks" - Feb. 15, 1988 - Directed by Kim Manners (Director and/or Producer of 132 episodes of "The X-Files" (xx)), Written by Hannah Louise Shearer (Writer of "Q-Less" on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") Featuring Jerry Hardin as Radue (Deep Throat on "The X-Files" (xx)), Brenda Strong as Rashella (1980 Miss Arizona, Sue Ellen Mischke on "Seinfeld" (xx), Mary Alice Young on "Desperate Housewives," Ilene Stowe on "Fear the Walking Dead"), Jandi Swanson as Katie (Jenny Drake on "Baywatch"), Paul Lambert as Melian (Washington Post National Editor in "All the President's Men"), Ivy Bethune as Duana (Evelyn Tuttle on "Father Murphy") [I get the concept of cloaking a planet visually by bending light rays, but ... isn't there this other force called "gravity?" Regardless, Riker is positively thrilled at the possibility (and realization) of finding the mythical planet Aldea, something akin to Atlantis. "When the Bough Breaks" is an unheralded, but extremely strong, episode with a fine writer in Hannah Louise Shearer, a talented director in Kim Manners, and the sometimes-hilarious, always-alluring presence of Brenda Strong (who guest-starred with Armin Shimerman in the very funny episode, "The Caddy," on "Seinfeld" (Strong is in the first photo up above). You'll see, in the first ten minutes of this episode, that it stands above the norm, and that the slow-starting first season is (and has been) fully on-track - there is beauty, mystery, intrigue, and especially after the uninvited visit to the Enterprise, Hitchcockian suspense, animated by the telepathic powers of Counselor Troi (you get a glimpse here of how effective Troi becomes in later seasons, after getting off to such a clumsy beginning). A subtly hilarious moment occurs right after a little girl named Alexandra disappears - the next scene shows a girl playing a musical instrument, and when she disappears, the instrument simply tips over: This is absolutely a "You have to see it to appreciate it" moment, but if it doesn't slip by you (and it easily could), you might find it laugh-out-loud funny - there's obviously a stagehand holding the instrument who forces it to tip over. It is remarkable just how much Wesley has aged since Episode 1 - he has clearly entered puberty, and has gone from being a boy to a young man in just a few, short months. I'm not certain, but this episode seems to contain a very early reference to the lethal potential of climate change - how many dramas can you think of that mentioned it nearly thirty years ago?] 1.18 - "Home Soil" - Feb. 22, 1988 - Directed by Corey Allen (Buzz Gunderson in "Rebel without a Cause," Emmy Award for Directing "Goodbye, Mr. Scripps" on "Hill Street Blues"), Written by: Teleplay - Robert Sabaroff (Writer of "The Immunity Syndrome" on "Star Trek"), Story - Robert Sabaroff, Karl Geurs (Director and Co-Writer of "Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin"), Ralph Sanchez (Writer and Executive Producer of "Boxcars") Featuring Walter Gotell (Second Officer of the Königin Luise in "The African Queen," Oberleutnant Muesel in "The Guns of Navarone," Hans Lasser in "The Hi-Jackers" on "The Saint" (xx), Morzeny in "From Russia with Love," General Gogol in six "James Bond" films), Elizabeth Lindsey (Miss Hawaii, 1978), Gerard Prendergast (Erik Slade on "Summer"), Mario Rocuzzo (Angelo in "The Locket" on "All in the Family" (xx), Andrew in "Goodbye, Mr. Scripps" on "Hill Street Blues" (xx)), Carolyn Barry (The Metron in "Arena" on "Star Trek" (xx)) 19. "Coming of Age" - March 14, 1988 - 20. "Heart of Glory" - March 21, 1988 - 21. "Arsenal of Freedom" - April 11, 1988 - [Note: "Get Off My Train!"] 22. "Symbiosis" - April 18, 1988 - 23. "Skin of Evil" - April 25, 1988 - [Note: RIP, TY.] 24. "We'll Always Have Paris" - May 2, 1988 - [Note: That's Michelle Phillips from "The Mamas and The Papas."] 25. "Conspiracy" - May 9, 1988 - [Note: My first question: The "homing beacon sent from earth comment at the very end ... what did that imply? It sounds ominous, but nothing seemed to pan out from it in later shows that I'm aware of, so ...? (Answers will be Spoilers)"] 26. "The Neutral Zone" - May 16, 1988 - [Note: And that's a wrap for season one.]
  4. I just finished reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I am glad I read it. It is like nothing I have read before, including other works by him. It is challenging, but worth the effort. The 1,079 page story takes place in the future, at a junior tennis academy and a nearby substance-abuse recovery facility. It is brash, brilliant, funny (most of the novel takes place in the Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment), thought-provoking and tragic. Ninety-six pages are devoted to footnotes, located in the back of the book. These need to be read along with the text, as much of the story is told there. (A dear friend gave me book clips to mark my place in the footnotes, and they proved to be invaluable. I recommend them to anyone who reads a printed copy of this book!) Has anyone else read this book? Did you love it? Hate it? Put it down after about 600 pages? I would love to hear your thoughts. I am sure there is much I missed. After I finished the novel, for example, I went back and read the first chapter again. There were several hints in that chapter about what happened to the main characters after the novel ended. How do you think it compares to other works by David Foster Wallace?
  5. Believe it or not, the only time I'd seen "2001: A Space Odyssey" was when it was released in 1968 (I was six-years old, and quite honestly, I remember being bored) - it was about time I watched it again. The only thing I remembered from the movie - which was wildly promoted and marketed at the time - was an usher in the theater, walking around and hawking programs before the movie started, saying "2001: A Space Odyssey. 2001: A Space Odyssey." Isn't it amazing what trivial memories get implanted in the minds of children? And isn't it upsetting what important things children don't remember? There is a very real possibility I attended the world premiere, on April 2, 1968, at the Uptown, but at this point, there's no way for me to ever know. As I watch it (I'm still watching it as I begin this post), I'm astonished at how much it reminds me of "Solaris," the film by Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky, who is perhaps the greatest director you've never heard of - he is a legend in his native country, and was heavily influenced by Ingmar Bergman, who said of Tarkovsky: "Tarkovsky for me is the greatest (director), the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream." And you can rest assured, Tarkovsky most likely said something similar about Bergman. Anyway, if you love the cinema, and you're not familiar with Tarkovsky, you'd be doing very well to put him next on your list. So, which came first? "2001" was either a great pioneering masterpiece, or a rip-off of "Solaris" - which was it? It was a great pioneering masterpiece: "Solaris" came out four-years later, in 1972. I've always loved Stanley Kubrick ("Dr. Strangelove," "A Clockwork Orange"), and thought him most likely a genius, and "2001" only serves to reinforce that supposition. *One* Academy Award for "2001?" For Best Visual Effects? Not even nominated for Best Picture? No win for Best Director? Are you kidding me? This is the same Academy that nominated the ridiculous "Dr. Dolittle" for Best Picture just one year before, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised: This only serves to bolster my belief that mediocrity is rampant in humanity, even at the highest positions of influence and power. Science Fiction and Horror are two genres of movie making that have always been overlooked, but this goes much deeper than that. Just the beginning of the movie, with the screen entirely dark, and an "overture" of sorts playing in the background for nearly three full minutes, exudes self-confidence on the part of Kubrick - I'm not convinced it worked entirely, but it most certainly set the tone for the epic nature of the film, as well as preparing the viewer for the bleak darkness of space. The scene when the B Pod is preparing and performing EVA, the use of deep human breathing as the only sound is incredibly effective - it conjures up primal fears in the viewer. What could be more frightening than not being able to breathe? Out of all the basic human needs (with the possibility of "shelter" during, for example, a tornado), denial of oxygen is the one thing that kills most quickly. And given that we're in space, that possibility is always in the background. This was pure Kubrick, and it was pure brilliance - what could have been a dull, torpid scene to watch invoked a sense of dread, and Kubrick thought of employing this technique out of thin air. As I write this paragraph, I've now finished the movie - I clearly saw the post-Saturn psychedelic scene within the past ten years or so, probably on YouTube, but that's about the only thing I remembered about the movie. It's a masterpiece, while at the same time being both dated in parts, and fresh as a daisy in other parts.
  6. I'm not quite sure what the difference is between speculative fiction, science fiction, and pulp, but Harlan Ellison appears to have blurred the lines between the three genres. Ellison, a supposedly cantankerous man of 84, is most famous for having written stories which became notable on television - for example, "The City on the Edge of Forever" on "Star Trek." One of the reasons he got to write this story was because Ellison had just won the 1965 Writers Guild of America award for "Outstanding Script for a Television Anthology" for "Demon with a Glass Hand," (a second-season episode of "The Outer Limits" starring Robert Culp and Arlene Martel (who went on to play T'Pring on "Star Trek")). I've been slowly winding my way through "The Outer Limits," and "Demon with a Glass Hand" is absolutely the best I've seen so far (it's Season 2, Episode 5) - Harlan Ellison actually sued James Cameron (of "The Terminator" fame), and won an unspecified amount out of court - his name is apparently also in the credits of the original Terminator film (and if you watch this episode, you'll see why, hint hint). TV Guide ranked this #73 in their 2009 list of "100 Greatest TV Episodes," hint hint, although you need to keep in mind that this was a weekly series, and costs were limited to less than $100,000 per episode (the enemy species looked liked divers in wet suits), but all-told, the special effects were pretty darned good for a weekly TV series from 1965, especially The Hand - and Robert Culp was *perfect* in his role (the story was actually written with Culp in mind). Click on Harlan Ellison and read through his Wikipedia entry - his background is quite impressive.
  7. I had heard of "Ex Machina," but knew absolutely nothing about it before a couple of nights ago - released in 2015, it won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects - considering it was a relatively low-budget, independent, science-fiction film, it's pretty remarkable that it didn't come across as low-budget (it didn't come across as high-budget either; it fell somewhere in the middle). Made for $15 million, it beat out such films as "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" ($250 million) and "Mad Max: Fury Road" ($150 million) - this alone is remarkable. Writer-Director Alex Garland also received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Original Screenplay, justifiably losing to the fine "Spotlight" - I suspect that, in this category, the crew took a "just happy to be here" attitude. I don't write plot summaries here - my time is too limited, and there are too many other fine websites that handle that task with aplomb; instead, I make whatever observations come to mind, and that I think people may find interesting or relevant. If you read past this point, I'm assuming you've already seen the film (don't forget, this is a discussion website). As a side note, if you've never heard "Deus ex Machina" pronounced before, the words sound like 1) Ama"deus" 2) "x" 3) "Mach" V + "eena," with the accent on Mach. As for Racer X, I did not ask him his opinion. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** The setting, in God-knows-what remote part of Alaska, Canada, or Siberia - as well as the role of Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac) - both come across to me as silly. I don't care how smart or rich someone is - they don't own half the world, and have the knowledge to out-think all of humanity by themselves. Isaac played his part poorly, although he was in a no-win situation: Think, for a moment, how inane it is for him to have built a company which handles 94% of all internet searches, *as well as* having the technical intelligence and knowledge to make world-changing breakthroughs (you can be mega-rich, or mega-educated; never are you both, at least not to *this* extent. (Bateman wasn't even very old, yet he made Bill Gates look like a mentally impaired panhandler.) Furthermore, his character was not that far removed from that of a frat boy - I can see this as a satire or farce, but it was intended to be neither, and that's why it falls flat: not short, but flat. I do applaud it for taking a Mickey Mantle-like swing for the fences (that took guts, and I admire it), but it whiffed in a way that could have turbine-powered the entire Bronx on a hot summer day. The computer, Ava - deliciously played by Alicia Vikander, and undoubtedly stoking techno-nerd fantasies they didn't even realize they had - was supposed to pass what's known as a "Turing Test," theorized by tera-genius Alan Turing in 1950, which basically says that if a human interacts with a computer, but thinks they're interacting with another human, then the computer passes the Turing Test. Recall also that Alan Turing, whose work I studied more than any other individual's while in graduate school, was the subject of the fine 2014 biopic, "The Imitation Game" (it just this second popped into my head that "The Imitation Game" also alludes to a gay person staying in the closet, imitating someone who's straight, but that bit of mental numbness is my problem, and can be openly (sorry) discussed in The Imitation Game's thread). I mention the content of the preceding paragraph because at the very end of the film, Ava did indeed pass the Turing Test, as she obviously convinced the helicopter pilot (as well as pedestrians at the intersection) that she was human - I suspect most people are so wigged out by the film's finale that they miss this subtle-but-important point. This was essentially a four-person script, with "test subject" Caleb Smith (played more than adequately by Domhnall Gleeson), and in a lesser role than the other three, the "other" robot, Kyoko (played very well, and with respect for subtlety and nuance, by Sonoya Mizuno). You really need to turn your mind off to enjoy Ex Machina, as the fundamental premise, including the setting and the personality of Bateman, are so improbable that you'll pull your hair out if you question it, so it will help your emotional stability if you accept this in advance - but then again, you aren't supposed to be reading this until you've finished the film. On a related note, a friend of mine gave me a copy of Joseph Heller's "Catch 22" just this afternoon. On an unrelated note, it's somewhat disturbing that "Portnoy's Complaint" just popped into my mind. Admit it: You had the hots for Ava, and you feel somewhat conflicted. Just admit it. Do.
  8. "Infinity Chamber" (originally called "Somnio") is so new that it doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry. I'm not sure if it was even released in theaters, and it just came out on streaming video last month. There was initially an attempt to fund it on Kickstarter - if you watch the video there (which won't give much away), you'll "get to know" Writer-Director Travis Milloy, which makes me feel somewhat guilty for what I'm about to write. This intriguing title is about an equally intriguing subject: A man wakes up with only a vague recollection of being shot, and is imprisoned by a high-tech, futuristic, fully automated "LSO" (Life-Support Operative) named "Howard," which is a self-learning computer, fully (and hilariously) reminiscent of HAL in "2001: A Space Odyssey." (Note that the diminutive of Howard would be "HOW.") *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Howard is the best and most memorable part of this film, which the LA Times correctly says is "a little too long." It's actually not only too long, but also too garbled, with an unsatisfying denouement that leaves the viewer with a "What the hell just happened" perception. There are films (such as "Inception") with deliberately ambiguous endings, but "Infinity Chamber" is more than just ambiguous - it's also perplexing, and not in a good way. I'm all-for open-ended endings, subject to interpretation, but this movie was one hell of a long ramble, not justified by the payoff. Christopher Soren Kelly plays Frank Lerner (note the double entendre), Cassandra Clark plays the girl of his dreams, Gabby (note the double entendre), and both are just about perfect in their roles, so the acting here is quite good. Howard is a delight as the laid-back, thoughtful LSO who almost befriends Frank during the arduous time spent getting to "know" one-another. The lighting is good ... until it isn't (the film becomes one of "those" black-as-night films, which leaves the viewer squinting and guessing - they've become a fad, and I'm sick of them), the music by Jacob Yoffee fits the movie, and the angular cinematography is as good as it can be within its severe limitations. This all sounds wonderful, but the actual plot not only plods, but is so infuriatingly vague that the stingy reveal leaves the viewer empty. Did Frank outsmart Howard? Is it all a dream? Did he die despite the ventilator? Is he happy-ever-after? You're welcome to pick-and-choose whatever you wish, and you won't be wrong, unless there's something patently obvious that I've missed. "Infinity Chamber" isn't a joy to sit through; it's hard work at times, and the claustrophobic set must have been the cinematographer Jason Nolte's worst nightmare, because with such a long film, and such a limited space, he simply ran out of things to try. As much as I don't want to say this, I just can't recommend this film to anyone except the most avid science-fiction fans - it does a lot of things right (and doesn't even come across as being low-budget), but there are just too many inherent flaws in the story and direction for talent to overcome - the irony being that I think there is some talent in writer-director Travis Milloy; it just didn't come out in this film.
  9. "The Stepford Wives" (1975) - Directed by Bryan Forbes (Director of "The Whisperers") Produced by Edgar Scherick (Producer of "Sleuth") Written by: Screenplay - William Goldman (Academy Award Winner for Best Original Screenplay for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and for Best Adapted Screenplay for "All the President's Men"), Story - "The Stepford Wives" by Ira Levin (Author of "Rosemary's Baby") Featuring Katharine Ross as Joanna Eberhart (Etta Place in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," Elaine Robinson in "The Graduate"), Paula Prentiss as Bobbie Markowe (Liz Bien in "What's New, Pussycat?" Lee Carter in "The Parallax View"), Peter Masterson as Walter Eberhart (Fryer in "In the Heat of the Night"), Nanette Newman as Carol van Sant (Girl Upstairs in "The Whisperers"), Tina Louise as Charmaine Wimperis (Ginger Grant on "Gilligan's Island"), Patrick O'Neal (George Maxwell in "Bed of Roses" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," Harmon Gordon in "A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain" on "The Twilight Zone," Jonathan Meridith in "Wolf 359" on "The Outer Limits," Justus Walters in "A Fear of Spiders" on "Night Gallery"), Josef Sommer as Ted van Sant (District Attorney William T. Rothko in "Dirty Harry"), Franklin Cover as Ed Wimperis (Tom Willis on "The Jeffersons") --- I had managed to avoid "The Stepford Wives" (the original version) for my entire life, but given that the term has entered our lexicon, and more importantly, that the 1975 version was at least an attempt at horror (the latter version mixed in comedy), I thought I'd give it a go. While I can't say "it was a great movie," I also don't regret watching it. My biggest gripe about this film is one that other critics have repeated: It feels like a made-for-TV film, and is also about thirty minutes too long. I can't imagine walking into a movie theater, even when I was fourteen years old, and seeing this on the big screen. Katherine Ross is eight years older than when she played Elaine in "The Graduate," but she weathered those eight years beautifully - she has a very unique loveliness to her, and did a pretty good acting job in this role (I can't honestly say it was "great," but that's because she didn't have much to work with - this script would fit nicely in a thirty-minute episode, or perhaps a sixty-minute episode, of "The Twilight Zone"). *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** One thing that isn't entirely clear to me is whether or not her husband, Walter, knew about the goings-on in Stepford before leaving New York City - his conversion to one of the Stepford Husbands was seamless and total; yet, how could the town of Stepford trust a complete stranger, whom they'd never before met (or had they?), with this information? Two-thirds of the way through the movie (I'm loathe to call it a "film"), I wasn't quite sure how the transition would be done - was it drugs? Surgery? Or something else entirely? Make sure to see the outstanding 2017 film, "Get Out," which was clearly influenced by this movie, as well as by several other films (I won't insult you by naming them). "The Stepford Wives" is optional viewing; "Get Out" is an absolute requirement.
  10. "Star Trek" (TOS) Main Cast Series created by Gene Roddenberry William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk Leonard Nimoy as First Officer Spock DeForest Kelley as Doctor Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy James Doohan as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott George Takei as Helmsman Hikaru Sulu Nichelle Nichols as Communications Officer Nyota Uhura Walter Koenig as Ensign Pavel Chekhov Majel Barrett as Nurse Christine Chapel Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Janice Rand Eddie Paskey furtively appeared in 57 episodes, most famously as Lieutenant Leslie. Season 1 (Sep 8, 1966 - Apr 13, 1967) (available for free on Amazon Prime) 1.0 - "The Cage" (Pilot) - Original Air Date November 27, 1988 (not a typo): Directed by Robert Butler, Written by Gene Roddenberry (Creator of "Star Trek") Featuring Jeffrey Hunter (Martin Pawley in "The Searchers," Harold in "Don't Look Behind You" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), Susan Oliver (Annabel Delaney in "Annabel" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (2), 3 Episodes on "Route 66"), Teenya in "People Are Alike All Over" on "The Twilight Zone"), Meg Wylie (Sister Florence in "The Night of the Meek" on "The Twilight Zone" (2)), John Hoyt (Principal Warneke in "Blackboard Jungle," Ross in "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" and Dr. Loren in "The Lateness of the Hour" on "The Twilight Zone" (3), Bifrost Alien in "The Bellero Shield" on "The Outer Limits") [Many, and I would venture to say "Most," don't realize that the primary Talosian is played by a woman, Meg Wylie. It's truly interesting to see her in "The Night of the Meek," because you can get a good look at her as she's leading a prayer service. Susan Oliver is the famous "Green Girl" who is every guy's Dream Girl, pictured at the close of many Star Trek episodes. John Hoyt plays a solid (if critically overrated) role as the principal in "Blackboard Jungle." This is not *the* most enjoyable of episodes, but the more you watch Star Trek, the more you realize that it's *such* a classic, that it's important enough to demand a viewing, if not several. It's an important work, and sets everything in motion, but in my opinion, the two-part "remake" - "The Menagerie" - improves upon this original, and integrates this "true pilot" episode with the rest of the series, and if you have to watch one or the other, make it "The Menagerie," but that in no way detracts from the value of this, which eventually deserves its own viewing. The series was right to eventually publish this as its own episode in 1988.] 1.1 - "The Man Trap," - September 8, 1966 - Directed by Marc Daniels (Director of the first 38 episodes of "I Love Lucy"), Written by George Clayton Johnson (Writer of "Ocean's Eleven" (Novel), Writer of 7 episodes of "The Twilight Zone" (4), Co-Writer of "Logan's Run" (Novel)) Featuring Jeanne Bal (Penny Foster in "An Effigy in Snow" on "Route 66" (2)), Alfred Ryder (Goudy in "True Grit"), Michael Zaslow (Roger Thorpe on "The Guiding Light"), John Arndt (Mr. Pool in "Amy"), Bruce Watson (Technician in "Johnny Got His Gun," Tom in "The Swinging Barmaids") Budd Albright (Stuntman on all 76 episodes of "The Name of the Game"), Sandra Lee Gimpel (Prolific stuntwoman who also played a Talosian in "The Cage"), Ed Madden as Enterprise Geologist (Dr. Gary in "Man in a Chariot" on "The Fugitive") [The death of Crewman Darnell (Michael Zaslow) was supposedly the impetus of the first-ever utterance of the now-legendary line by Dr. McCoy, "He's dead, Jim" - or, at least. so say the reviews online, but, pssst, here's a detail: McCoy actually says, "Dead, Jim." And for the record, after the second death of Crewman Sturgeon (John Arndt), McCoy said, "He's dead." So, we still have no, "He's dead, Jim." Crewman Green (Bruce Watson) was the third death, but The Salt Vampire (technically named the "M-113 Creature") stole his identity, so there was no report at all of any death from McCoy to Kirk. Navigator Barnhart (Budd Albright) was reported via communicator from Sulu to Kirk as "Casualty, Captain," so despite the first four deaths in this episode, there's not a single "He's dead, Jim." And Professor Robert Crater (Alfred Ryder) makes *five deaths* in one episode, but Kirk noticed him, and simply said, "Dead." The Salt Vampire - like the primary Talosian, played by a woman: the successful and prolific Hollywood stuntwoman, Sandra Lee Gimpel, is the sixth and final death - I cannot remember *any* Star Trek episode with six deaths - five human - in sequence (as opposed to en masse). Also, I think there's a philosophical inconsistency here with wanting to destroy the creature (instead of simply feeding it with salt) as opposed to, for example, The Horta in "The Devil in the Dark." This was not a murderous creature; it was merely trying to eat. All deceased characters are listed by t (heir real names up above - and who knew that both primary alien-antagonists in the first two episodes were played by females? I'm probably the only person on Earth who knows, or cares, about things like this - God, I'm a loser, but damn I'm good at ferreting out detail. NB - About 2/3 of the way through the episode, immediately after Professor Robert Crater fires on Kirk and Spock to frighten them, Spock crawls backwards - in my opinion, it would be physically impossible to do this without having a production assistant pulling on his right leg: I think he was being pulled backwards - have a look and see what you think.] 1.2 - "Charlie X" - September 14, 1966 - Directed by Lawrence Dobkin (Kell in "The Mind's Eye" on "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), Written by - Teleplay: Dorothy C. Fontana (Co-Writer of 5 episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (2)), Story: Gene Roddenberry (2) Featuring Robert Walker (Michael Ely in "Across Walnuts and Wine" on "Route 66" (3) Jack (communist - the very first (and very last) person you see here) in "Easy Rider"), Charles J. Stewart (Clergyman in "Marsha, Queen of Diamonds" and "Marsha's Scheme of Diamonds" on "Batman"), Dallas Mitchell (Chat Hollis in "Even Stones Have Eyes" on "Route 66" (4) Tom Gavin in "Madigan"), Pat McNulty (Computer Technician in "The House of God"), Bob Herron (U.S. Navy boxing champion, Prolific stuntman), Don Eitner (Tony Barrata in "Queen of Blood"), Abraham Sofaer (Dr. Stillman on "The Mighty Casey" on "The Twilight Zone" (5), Arch on "Demon with a Glass Hand" on "The Outer Limits" (2), Haji on "I Dream of Jeannie") [Did you know that "Charlie X" (Charlie is played by Robert Walker) took its inspiration from "It's a Good Life," the infamous "Twilight Zone" episode which featured Bill Mumy as a little boy, terrorizing, and in complete control of, seemingly everything and everybody? If you've seen both episodes, the similarities will become instantly obvious to you, and if you notice the (very brief, but very obvious) actions of Antares Captain Ramart (Charles J. Stewart) and Navigator Tom Nellis (Dallas Mitchell), they're almost *exactly* like those of the townspeople in "It's a Good Life," although if you look at Charlie's face immediately beforehand, they were either willed into, or scared into, saying the nice things they did. About a third of the way through the episode, you'll hear a transmission to the bridge from the ship's galley (it's Thanksgiving), which says, "Sir, I put meat loaf in the ovens; there's turkeys in there now" - that voice is none other than Gene Roddenberry's, making a cameo. When Kirk takes Charlie into the workout area, the burly gentleman (Bob Herron) Kirk picks out to help him demonstrate some judo throws makes the mistake of momentarily laughing at Charlie, and Charlie sends him "to the cornfield," as the folks in "It's a Good Life" might say. Right after that, Kirk calls security, and two crewmen come in to take Charlie to his quarters, where he has now been confined - distrustful and angry, Charlie mentally knocks them down, and makes one of their phasers disappear - this kid is quickly becoming an obvious threat of unfathomable power, all controlled by the glands of an out-or-control, mercurial, 17-year-old who thinks everyone hates him and is "out to get him." Kirk takes enormous risk by standing up to him as a stern, paternal figure, when he knows full well that Charlie could blink him out of existence at any moment. At this moment, the viewer should take note of the brilliant lighting employed on Charlie's eyes (this is done throughout the episode), making him look even more supernatural and threatening. The possibility arises that Charlie is actually a Thasian - legendary "beings" with powers of transmutation, but McCoy swears that this isn't so - Charlie's readings are clearly those of an Earthling. The Navigator on the bridge during this time of crisis is a new, possibly one-time-only actor, played by Don Eitner, instructed by Kirk to lay in a course *away* from Colony Five, Kirk's hypothesis being that Charlie is too dangerous to be there. You know, for someone so uneducated, Charlie sure has a way with making Spock recite passages from William Blake (which Spock pulls off brilliantly). They wrote Kirk's Yeoman, Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney) off the show after several episodes of the first season - a shame, really, because Janice had the perfect combination of "beauty" and "bitch" - and that braided hair! Thankfully, when things are looking really bad, Deus ex Machina cometh to the rescue in the form of The Thasian (Abraham Sofaer)] 1.3 - "Where No Man Has Gone Before" - September 21, 1966 - Directed by James Goldstone (Director of "The Sixth Finger" and "The Inheritors" on "The Outer Limits"), Written by Samuel A. Peeples (Co-Writer of "Walking Tall: Final Chapter") Featuring Gary Lockwood (Frank Poole in "2001: A Space Odyssey," Jim Figg in "The Ring with the Red Velvet Ropes" in "Night Gallery"), Sally Kellerman (Ingrid Larkman in "The Human Factor" and Judith Bellero in "The Bellero Shield" (2) on "The Outer Limits," Sally Benner in "Thou Still Unravished Bride" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (3), as Major Margaret J. "Hot Lips" Hoolihan in MASH), Lloyd Haynes (Pete Dixon on "Room 222"), Paul Carr (Young man in "The Wrong Man"), Paul Fix (Judge Taylor in "To Kill a Mockingbird") [Wow, I cannot imagine how "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was televised after the first two episodes, at least not without a *lot* of explaining - either that, or television audiences in 1966 were so unobservant that they may as well have been staring at a blank screen. There are so many discrepancies between this (which was obviously filmed before the other two, just like "The Cage") and episodes 1 and 2, that it's almost like two different shows. Where do I even begin? There's Mr. Spock, who looks and acts completely different than the Vulcan we all came to know and love, the uniforms, the anomaly at the edge of the galaxy (which we never hear about again) and the equipment (for example, the "phaser rifle," which makes its only appearance in the entire series here), and that's just for starters. There *must* have been some commentary (in TV Guide? in the preview?) about how this was an early, experimental episode that represented Star Trek as it might have been, but isn't. When I was a kid watching reruns, I always wondered why some Star Treks were "different," with a strange-looking Mr. Spock, and just a different overall "feel," but you don't really question things when you're a child. Aside from these enormous differences, there's one blatant discrepancy: the name on Kirk's grave: "James P. Kirk," when his name was actually "James Tiberius Kirk," which I suppose was decided on later, assuming audiences wouldn't be watching episodes fifty-years later on Hulu. Gary Lockwood had a major role in "2001: A Space Odyssey," but then essentially vanished, and Sally Kellerman played "Hot Lips Hoolihan" (who we usually associate with Loretta Swit) in the movie version of "MASH" - this episode almost certainly helped them land both of those roles. The ending of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is perhaps the first time we see the "softer side" of Captain Kirk, as he makes special mentions for both Mitchell (Lockwood) and Denner (Kellerman) in the official log, declaring that they both died in the line of duty (which, in truth, they did).] 1.4 - "The Naked Time" - September 28, 1966 - Directed by: Marc Daniels (2), Written by: John D. F. Black (Co-Writer of "The Naked Now" on "Star Trek - The Next Generation" (3)) Featuring: Bruce Hyde as Lt. Kevin Thomas Riley (Professor of Communication Studies at St. Cloud State University), Stewart Moss as Lt. Joe Tormolen (Dr. John Beck in "The Bat People." Website) [One of the most amusing (and uncharacteristic) lines in the entire series occurred when Sulu appeared on the bridge with his rapier, Spock takes him down with the Vulcan Neck Pinch, and then says, "Get d'Artagnan here to Sick Bay." Another gem was just before that when Sulu says to Uhura, "I'll save you, fair maiden!" and Uhura replies, "Neither." Although Bruce Hyde did a fine job as Lt. Riley, I found his "Irish Ballad" *so* annoying that I have a hard time watching this episode - viewers almost need to filter it out to preserve their sanity. George Takei, in his autobiography, "To the Stars," mentions that "The Naked Time" is his favorite episode. The funniest piece of trivia is near the beginning of the episode, when Spock and Tormolen are on planet Psi 2000 in their red suits, hovering over a frozen woman - in real life, the woman was a mannequin, and the red suits (remember, the show was on a very tight budget) were repurposed 1960s Art Deco-style shower curtains - ponder, for a moment, just how low-rent this is, and how silly the actors must have felt.] 1.5 - "The Enemy Within" - Oct 5, 1966 - Directed by: Leo Penn (Primetime Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Director in a Drama Series for "The Mississippi," Father of Sean Penn), Written by: Richard Matheson (Writer of 16 episodes of "The Twilight Zone" (6), "Duel," The Big Surprise" and "The Funeral" on "Night Gallery" (2)) Featuring: Jim Goodwin as Farrell (Fakir in "Emperor of the North"), Ed Madden (2) as Fisher [It says a lot about male nature that the first thing Alter-Ego Kirk does is go for the Saurian Brandy (and yet, he *didn't* go for Yeoman Rand; until he had a couple of drinks - then, he does. That was a pretty racy shot of Rand running away from Kirk, btw.). I didn't realize that Ed Madden (the geologist Fisher), who slipped and fell down the rock, covering himself in yellow powder, was also the geologist in "The Cage," having small speaking roles in both episodes. It's odd that, after Scotty showed both Spock and Kirk the dog (who was also beamed up with its fierce alter-ego), that they didn't instantly piece together the possibility of an alter-ego Kirk. Speaking of which, William Shatner is *much* better at portraying the "Gentle Kirk" than the alter-ego Kirk - he has a terrible makeup job, and this is one of the first (of many) examples of his horrific overacting. "The Enemy Within" is the episode with Sulu and the landing party stranded on the planet's surface, which goes down to -120 degrees Farenheit at night (they nearly freeze to death). Why couldn't the Enterprise have shot a phaser down onto the surface and heated up a rock for temporary warmth?] 1.6 - "Mudd's Women" - Oct 13, 1966 - Directed by Harvey Hart (Directed 5 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (4)), Written by - Teleplay: Stephen Kandel (Screenplay for "Battle of the Coral Sea"), Story: Gene Roddenberry (3) Featuring Roger C. Carmel as Leo Walsh aka Harcourt Fenton Mudd (Rogel Buell in "The Mothers-in-Law"), Karen Steele as Eve McHuron (Virginia in "Marty"), Susan Denberg as Magda Kovacs (Christina in "Frankenstein Created Woman"), Maggie Thrett as Ruth Bonaventure (Prostitute in "Cover Me Babe"), Gene Dynarski as Ben Childress (Man in Cafe in "Duel" (2)), Jim Goodwin as Lieutenant John Farrell (Fakir in "Emperor of the North") ["Bridge to Transporter Room ..." "It's looking like two, Captain." As harmless as it seems, this is an early example (a late example?) of human trafficking - an exact contemporary to the 1967 Comedy, "Thoroughly Modern Millie," the viewer needs to suspend belief about this portion to be able to flow with the comedic aspects of this episode - for example, when the three lovely ladies beam aboard, Scottie, McCoy, and a couple others are hypnotized by the three ladies' beauty, and the dialog - Mudd (talking about Kirk's directness over the intercomm): "That fellow sounded a mite upset, didn't he?" McCoy (hypnotized, and not fully coherent): "Yes. Yes they are." None of this would be funny (which it is) if you can't suspend your knowledge of human trafficking, although the women in this case are somewhat willing participants, as Mudd gives them a hypnotic "beauty drug" so they can attract husbands - not only are they radiantly beautiful, but they also get what they want more than anything: a husband! Sure, it's somewhat neanderthal, but these are lonely miners on lonely planets without any female companionship, these beautiful women came from crummy situations they were happy to escape from, and this was filmed before human trafficking became exposed as a serious issue in our world (the late 1960s) - well, it's better than being Shanghaied, I suppose - now *that* would have sucked. Although "Mudd's Women" is considered a "comic Star Trek," the ship is in very real danger, and the Enterprise comes dangerously close to perishing - all because they were good-hearted enough to pluck Harry Mudd and his "cargo" out of the asteroid belt, almost completely draining their dilithium crystals in the process. This is a deceptively complex episode, with several storylines running in parallel.] Episode 7: "What Are Little Girls Made Of," October 20, 1966: 1.8 - "Miri," - October 27, 1966 - Director - Vincent McEveety (Director of "Firecreek"), Writer - Adrian Spies (Emmy Award Winner for writing "What's God to Julius" on "Dr. Kildare") Featuring Kim Darby (Mattie Ross in "True Grit"), Jim Goodwin (Survivor in "Ice Station Zebra"), Michael J. Pollard (Shoeshine Boy in "Appointment at Eleven" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominee as C.W. Moss in "Bonnie and Clyde"), David L. Ross (Reporter in "Rocky II"), Keith Taylor (Pizza King Delivery Guy in "Archie is Worried about his Job" on "All in the Family," Mouse in "Dirt Duel" on "Adam-12"), Ed McCready (Crook in "The Penguin Goes Straight" on "Batman"), Kellie Flanagan (Candice Muir on "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir"), Stephen McEveety (Co-Producer of "The Passion of the Christ"), John Megna (Charles Baker "Dill" Harris in "To Kill a Mockingbird") Episode 9: "Dagger Of The Mind," November 3, 1966: Episode 10: "The Corbomite Maneuver," November 10, 1966: Episode 11: "The Menagerie, Part One," November 17, 1966: <--- "Captain Pike, were any record tapes of this type made during your voyage?" <Beep ... Beep.> Episode 12: "The Menagerie, Part Two," November 24, 1966: <--- "Captain Kirk ... Captain Pike, he has an illusion, and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasant." Episode 13: "The Conscience Of The King," December 8, 1966: <--- "Are you Kodos?" Directed by Gerd Oswald, Written by Barry Trivers Episode 14: "Balance Of Terror," December 15, 1966: <--- "He's a sorcerer, that one - he reads the thoughts of my mind." Directed by Vincent McEveety (xx), Written by Paul Schneider (Writer of "The Looters") Featuring Mark Lenard (Prosecuting Attorney at Fort Grant in "Hang 'em High," Appeared in 5 Star Trek Films, Sarek in "Sarek" and "Unification" on "Star Trek: The Next Generation") Lawrence Montaigne (Mr. Glee in "The Joker's Last Laugh" and "The Joker's Epitaph" on "Batman") John Warburton (Bob in "Captain Fury") Paul Comi (Modeer in "The Crimson Witness" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx), 3 episodes of "The Twilight Zone" (xx)) Barbara Baldavin (Nurse Holmby on "Medical Center") Garry Walberg (Colonel in "Where is Everybody" on "The Twilight Zone" (xx) [This is an early version of the film "Das Boot," a quasi-submarine episode which takes its inspiration from the film, "The Enemy Below." Recall also that the cold open features the (almost-)happy wedding between Lieutenants Angela Martine and Robert Tomlinson (Stephen Mines), before crew members are called to battle stations. "Balance of Terror" is also the first episode in which Romulans are ever seen, and prejudice becomes a main sub-plot when it's revealed that they look a lot like Mr. Spock; ironically, Mark Lenard, who plays the Romulan Captain, would famously go on to play Mr. Spock's father, Sarek, in many future Star Trek episodes and movies, without so much as a reference to this episode.] Episode 15: "Shore Leave," December 29, 1966: Episode 16: "The Galileo Seven," January 5, 1967: 1.17 - "The Squire Of Gothos" - January 12, 1967 - <--- "I warn you that anything you might say has already been taken down in evidence against you." Directed by Don McDougall (Director of 42 episodes of "The Virginian"), Written by Paul Schneider (xx) Featuring William Campbell (Brent Reno (the first person to sing on-screen with Elvis Presley) in "Love Me Tender"), Richard Carlyle (Rezin Bowie in "The Iron Mistress") 1.18 - "Arena" - January 19, 1967: <--- Why doesn't the Gorn just bite his neck during this fight? Directed by, Joseph Pevney (Shorty Pulaski in "Body and Soul"), Written by - Teleplay: Gene L. Coon (Screenplay of "The Killers") and Carey Wilber (Producer of Teleplay of "A Question of Rank" on "Gulf Playhouse"), Story: Carey Wilber Featuring Vic Perrin (The "Control Voice" in "The Outer Limits"), Bobby Clark (The 10th Avenue Kid in "Santa Claus and the Tenth Avenue Kid" and Charles in "The West Warlock Time Capsule" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"), Ted Cassidy, Carolyne Barry (Female Engineer in "Home Soil" on "Star Trek: The Next Generation") [Aside from the single worst fight in the history of television, the odds of Captain Kirk being able to roll that huge boulder (which probably weighs 1,000 pounds) *up a hill*, to drop it on the Gorn, are precisely zero. It's incredible that Bobby Clark played *both* "The 10th Avenue Kid" *and* "The Gorn," although The Gorn was voiced by Ted Cassidy - young Bobby certainly grew up a lot between the two roles. Vic Perrin (the voice who "controls the horizontal, controls the vertical, etc." on "The Outer Limits," also had a voice role here: He was the first Metron you hear in this episode - now, if we only knew what he looked like (actually, Perrin was in plenty of roles). People remember "Arena" for the absurd fight, and the impossible lifting of the boulder by Kirk, but if you can put those two things aside, it's really a very good episode. One other thing you need to overlook: Assuming "Warp Factor 1" is equal to the speed of light (which I always assumed), at the end of the show, Mr. Sulu tells Captain Kirk that they're 500 parsecs from where they were, and Kirk tells him to head back at Warp Factor 1 - that would take a good 1,600 years., so they might want to speed it up a little bit.] "Gorn To Be Wild" on startrek.com 1.19 - "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" - January 26, 1967 - Directed by Michael O'Herilhy, Written by Dorothy C. Fontana (xx), Featuring Roger Perry (Dr. James Hayes in "Count Yorga, Vampire"), Hal Lynch (Big Henry in "The Way West"), Episode 20: "Court Martial," February 2, 1967: Episode 21: "The Return Of The Archons," February 9, 1967: Episode 22: "Space Seed," February 16, 1967: Directed by Marc Daniels (xx), Written by - Teleplay: Gene L. Coon (xx, Screenplay of "The Killers") and Carey Wilber (xx, Teleplay of "A Question of Rank" on "Gulf Playhouse"), Story: Carey Wilber Featuring Ricardo Montalbán (Tony "Pepe" Llorca in "Outlaw in Town" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx), Khan Noonien Singh in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," Mr. Roarke on "Fantasy Island"), Madlyn Rhue (Ara Rados in "Every Father's Daughter" on "Route 66" (xx), Consuela Sandino in "The Dark Pool" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx), Secretary Schwartz in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World") 1.23 - "A Taste Of Armageddon" - February 23, 1967 - Directed by Joseph Pevney (xx), Written by - Teleplay: Gene L. Coon (xx) and Robert Hammer (Director, Producer, and Writer of "Don't Answer the Phone!"), Story: Robert Hammer Featuring David Opatoshu (Dorn in "Valley of the Shadow" on "The Twilight Zone" (xx), Ralph Cashman in "A Feasability Study" on "The Outer Limits" (xx)), Gene Lyons (3 Episodes on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx), Psychiatrist in "King Nine Will Not Return" on "The Twilight Zone" (xx)), Barbara Babcock (Flora Alden in "Brenda" on "Night Gallery," Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series as Grace Gardner on "Hill Street Blues," Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series as Dorothy Jennings on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman") Episode 24: "This Side Of Paradise," March 2, 1967: 1.25 - "The Devil In The Dark" - March 9, 1967 - Directed by Joseph Pevney (xx), Written by Gene L. Coon (xx) Featuring Ken Lynch (Charlie in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" on "The Twilight Zone," Bernie Ryan on "Log 43: Hostage" on "Adam-12," Jail Guard Callahan in ") Episode 26: "Errand Of Mercy," March 23, 1967: Episode 27: "The Alternative Factor," March 30, 1967: <--- "This is a parallel universe?" ... "Of course." Directed by Gerd Oswald, Written by Don Ingalls Episode 28: "The City On The Edge Of Forever," April 6, 1967: <--- "You deliberately stopped me, Jim. I could have saved her - do you know what you just did?" "He knows, doctor ... he knows." Episode 29: "Operation Annihilate," April 13, 1967: Episode 99: "The Cage," January 1, 1966: <--- "She has an illusion, and you have reality - may you find your way as pleasant."
  11. I won't be issuing any spoilers in this post, but I would urge any-and-all science-fiction fans to watch one of the greatest science-fiction films I've ever seen: "La Jetée" ("The Pier") - a 30-minute French short (translated into English) - the only place I found it was Amazon Prime (*), and it was $3.99 - yes, it hurt paying that for such a short film, but once I watched it, it was worth every penny. For me to say anything about the film would be to ruin it, other than this: It is an art film - absolutely for the art-house cinema folks - and is unlike anything else you've ever seen (with the possible exception of one modern movie which it directly influenced). It is disturbing, riveting, and sobering - if you're a science-fiction fan and *haven't* seen this, there's a gaping chasm in your repertoire. (*) At 15'40", there is a direct homage to Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" - the influence Hitchcock had on the French New Wave simply cannot be overstated.
  12. "Forbidden Planet" is one of the final science-fiction films from the 1950s I feel an almost-urgent need to see - Gene Roddenberry himself said it was a major influence for "Star Trek" - within the first minute of the movie, you can easily see the inspiration for "Warp Drive." The film introduces the legendary Robby the Robot - a seven-foot-tall robot (interestingly, he makes an appearance in "Lost in Space" where he battles "Robot," for whom he was a major inspiration). The film stars Walter Pidgeon ("How Green was My Valley") as Dr. Edward Morbius, Anne Francis ("The Blackboard Jungle") as Altaira "Alba" Morbius, and Leslie Nielsen ("Airplane!") as Commander John J. Adams. It also features Warren Stevens as Lt. "Doc" Ostrow and Earl Holliman ("Where is Everybody?" on "The Twilight Zone") as Cook. If you listen even half-carefully, you'll easily be able to detect the use of a Theremin in the theme song. Recently, I've watched some important science fiction films from the 1950s: "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "The War of the Worlds," "Kiss Me Deadly," and "Forbidden Planet." Of the four, I thought that "Forbidden Planet" was, by far, the weakest of the bunch in terms of "general quality," although there's no denying the influence it had on making "Star Trek," and that alone is enough to place it in the pantheon of 1950s Science Fiction. Likewise, Robbie the Robot as an influence for "Lost in Space." As a movie? It's the weak link of the four, but there's no denying the film's influence, and you can absolutely see "Star Trek" in it, without even looking very closely. The plot is somewhat difficult to wrap your head around, and the viewer walks away from the film with something of a hollow feeling - the acting is fine, the effects quite good, and the character development is surprising, so why am feeling like I saw something "more influential than great?" I feel like I'm missing something here, and I'm hoping that discussion will help me sort things out. Can anyone out there help?
  13. Gosh I've seen Cloris Leachman a lot lately - it's so easy to become familiar with actors and actresses in older films, because there just weren't as many. Leachman is the very first thing you'll see in "Kiss Me Deadly," a genuine classic, independently made, archetypal example of film noir from 1955. (The lower-body shots are certainly a stunt-double (either that, or they were sped up), because I'd bet my bottom dollar that Cloris Leachman couldn't run that fast. Interestingly, that opening shot was the very first time Leachman ever appeared on camera - likewise Maxine Cooper, who plays Mike Hammer's secretary, Velda.) Mike Hammer, a stereotypical Mickey Spillane detective, is played by Ralph Meeker, who has a somewhat similar role in Season 1, Episode 1 of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" later in 1955 - I suspect playing Hammer is what got Meeker his part in HItchcock's excellent "Revenge" (which you should watch on Hulu, if you're a member). Just in case you hear the name Christina Rossetti, and don't know who she is. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Boy, what is it about 1955? There is a *very* disturbing, albeit non-graphic, scene towards the beginning of this movie - certainly more than enough to make you pity Cloris Leachman. Wow, about the car bombs: I *just* saw an episode of "The Saint" called "The Careful Terrorist" which used a "double-bomb" method, planting an obvious one, but also a second, non-obvious one that was supposed to be the *real* agent of death. That episode, shall we say, "borrowed" that sequence of events from this film - fortunately, the "good guy" in both cases was somewhat superhuman in his intuitive abilities, and had the wits to figure out the sinister plot. This may be the most violent movie I've ever seen from the 1950s; the difference is that none of the violence is graphic (which, to me, makes it scarier) - I'm surprised at just how far they're willing to go with this. "Thugs" is too gentle of a word for what these mobsters are. Hammer is led to Christina Bailey's (Cloris Leachman's) "roommate," Gabrielle (Lily Carver), and it's very hard to tell what to think of her - this is one of the main elements in Film Noir - it's the story line, not the character development, that drives things. We know nothing about *any* of these people - it's almost Photographic in a way, since we're capturing moments in time. This particular film, after all, had a major influence on the French New Wave movement. This film has allegory written all over it - this is *not* the finish you'll be expecting. What a fascinating movie this was - a perfect fusion of Film Noir and hard science fiction. Jean-Luc Godard, a seminal figure in French New Wave cinema, was apparently deeply influenced by "Kiss Me Deadly," and it's not hard to see why - who knew that *Mickey Spillane* would indirectly influence an entire movement in Europe?! In "The Usual Suspects," I mentioned how annoyed I am at at internet know-it-alls who try to sound smart by misusing the term Film Noir (which "Kiss Me Deadly" most certainly *is*). Now, I'm going to say that I'm equally annoyed by people who misuse the term MacGuffin (which the suitcase in "Kiss Me Deadly" most certainly *is not* - when the reveal is made, the viewer realizes they've just seen a film unlike anything else they've ever seen before - it was no fluke that those opening credits were rolling in reverse order). "Kiss Me Deadly" is available for free, with good quality, on oldmovietime.com (and there are no Czech subtitles - I'm not sure why it says there are).
  14. Fifteen years before "The War of the Worlds" was released, on Oct 30, 1938, Orson Welles scared the pants off of people with his now-infamous radio broadcast of H.G. Wells 1898 novel of the same name. How many of you knew that this book was actually written in the 19th century? I did not, and that makes me want to read it even more. The movie is available on Amazon Prime, as well as several other sources. Filmed in Technicolor, the film starred Gene Barry (Bat Masterson) and Ann Robinson (the film "Dragnet") as Dr. Clayton Forrester and Sylvia van Buren. The film was narrated by Sir Cedric Hardwicke whom we just saw in "The Lodger." Cecil B. DeMille's first choice to produce this film was Alfred Hitchcock, who declined, so he recruited George Pal ("The Time Machine") as Producer, who chose Byron Haskin ("Treasure Island") as Director, much to DeMille's approval. Hardwicke's opening commentary makes me want to do two things: it makes me want to re-memorize the ordering of our planets (it's ridiculous not to have this mentally available as instant recall (Remember: Outside of Mars, you have - in order of distance from the Sun - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, the #1, 2, 3, and 4 planets in diameter, and the only 4 planets bigger than Earth - if you remember that, everything else will fall into place), and it makes me appreciate how lucky we are to exist on planet Earth, with its optimal conditions for human beings. The fact that we're fucking everything up is a side issue which we can discuss in another thread. See this? One day, it isn't going to mean squat. Fifteen minutes into the movie, at the point where the "meteor" crashed, and its lid began unscrewing, revealing a cobra-shaped probe, the special effects of The War of the Worlds are believable and well-done - very impressive for a 1953 work. I guess we're going to see a lot more of them in the near future, so we'll see how that goes. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Well, so much for the three Earthlings' initial overtures of friendship. Mars draws first blood. And I *love* the juxtaposition of 1950's America with Martian technology when a local looked at the deadly Martian heat ray and exclaimed, "What *is* that gizmo?!" Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At 29:20, the town of Saint Julien is wiped out! No more Super Seconds! Léoville-Las Cases - gone! Ducru-Beaucaillou - gone! Gruaud Larose - gone! And I've invested so much time and money figuring out that Léoville-Poyferré is better than all of them. Oh, God! No Léoville-Barton, no Talbot, no Beychevelle, no Branaire-Ducru, no, no, no. Oh, God, I finally understand how Dustin Hoffman felt. No Saint Julien! Oh, Jesus God, NO! This is also how I feel after waiting for two hours at Lucky Strike, when one of the parties hogging the alleys finally leaves: A lane! A lane! 37 minutes into this 85-minute film, I remain impressed, almost dazzled with its 63-year-old special effects - I just now found out that, out of its $2 million budget, $1.4 million was spent on special effects - and it shows, too: They are outstanding. (I reiterate this is a *** SPOILERS *** section.) Boy, how many movies do you see, especially just eight years after it actually happened, when the U.S. President orders the use of the A-Bomb? And I had absolutely no idea there was even a concept of a "flying wing" in 1953, but the Northrup YB-35 began to be developed during World War II. <--- This is a picture from the movie. And the A-Bomb sequence is very, very well done. I'll tell you what: "Five" may have been the first-ever post-apocalyptic movie ever made, but considering that "The War of the Worlds" came only *two years* after that? Well, let's just say the progress made was remarkable: I'm no expert, but I cannot name an earlier film that I've ever seen that has better special effects than this. Today, special effects are generally to a film's detriment, but 63 years ago? They were SPECIAL effects, and these are magnificently done - I cannot think of a single film before "2001: A Space Odyssey" that has *better* special effects - and that came fifteen years later. Wow, what a surprise ending. I will only say that this *excellent* film was very much ahead of its time, and also very much a *product* of its time. Watch it - you'll not be disappointed unless you're an *extreme* cynic, in which case you *might* be disappointed at the ending, but only if you are, well, an extreme cynic.
  15. There are some movies that are so bad, they are good. "Five, isn't one of them. "Five" is simply bad. It is a low-budget film that looks like one. Writer, producer and director Arch Obolor used recent graduates from the University of Southern California film school as his crew, and it shows. Oboler's own home, an unusual Frank Lloyd Wright design, is the setting for most of the film. This interesting house is the highlight of the movie, for me. Five is the number of people remaining on earth following an atomic bomb disaster. It has been written that this film is the first to deal with a post-apocalyptic world, which makes watching it seem less like a complete waste of time. There are huge holes in the implausible plot. The actors seem to have been given very little direction. There is one woman remaining at the end of the world, and four men. Two handsome guys fight for the hand of this mother-to-be, who is committed to learning if her husband survived. She has the personality of a rock, yet the men all want her. I suppose that is what happens when you are the last woman on earth. The other characters are stereotypes. There is one funny scene--the only time "Five" crosses over into the so-bad-it-is-good category--where the evil Russian runs away, bumping into and nearly toppling a large, supposedly solid outdoor mailbox. There is another scene, involving the mother and her child, that was almost good. But one scene a movie does not make. Unless you are interested in the evolution of post apocalyptic films, I would suggest skipping this one.
  16. What an excellent movie "Charly" is. Based on the book "Flowers for Algernon," it stars Cliff Robertson in an Academy Award-winning role as Charly, and he is magnificent - fully deserving of a Best Actor award. I'm not going to go into any details, because this film is free on putlocker.com, and if you can tolerate the rather dubious "extra windows" that open on occasion, you can watch one heck of a good movie for free. This falls within the "exceptional person" genre of fictional biopic: Refer to "Rainman," "A Beautiful Mind," "The Man Who Knew Infinity," etc., but interestingly, this film also falls within the science fiction genre, and has elements of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," and even "A Clockwork Orange" as well (without any of the "ultra-violence"). It's a complex, moving, character study, as well as a commentary on ethics, and our society's treatment of the mentally ill. I highly recommend this film to anyone and everyone - you won't get a lot of action, but you won't need it.
  17. I wanted some comfort food last night, so I (re-)watched "Star Trek Generations." This movie has one of my personal-favorite openings of any movie I’ve ever seen (okay, okay, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” might be a tad better), but still: I’m surprised Captain Harriman didn’t offer Captain Kirk the helm when he gave the order to “Take us out” on the Enterprise B - it would have been touching, although the way Kirk is playing his role (at least initially), he’s being a bit aloof, and “touching” isn’t in keeping with his demeanor. Oh my goodness - when Kirk found out there were no photon topedoes, and just now said, “Don’t tell me … Tuesday,” I braced myself for what I fear is going to be some awful filmmaking and acting. This was not funny, it was not cute, it was … for children. (“Computer, remove the plank!” was pretty damned funny.) There is *no way* that Jordi (or Data) would implant the emotion chip without first consulting with Captain Picard. That said, Data “hating his beverage” was highly amusing, in an obvious kind-of way. Picard’s grief scene over the death of his brother and nephew was so well done that every other foible in this movie, at least up until this point, can be forgiven so far. Data’s amusing “Life Forms” song is performed in D-major. Unfortunately, it was negated by his stupid, “Oh, shit” comment. The extended saucer-crash scene was really well-done. I’m certainly no expert at being able to tell whether or not it was realistic, but to these layman’s eyes, it was very much so. I wasn’t even sure I’d seen this movie, but I remember Kirk’s “Oh my” scene like it was yesterday, so I’m certain I saw it upon release. As a film, there isn’t all that much here; as a bonus, extended, "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode? I think it’s just keen.
  18. I would normally never watch a film such as "The Martian," (an implausible Hollywood blockbuster about a crazy thing), but a trusted friend saw it, and told me I might like it more than I'd think (actually, the exact words were, "The Martian was not a great film. But my expectations were very low, and it surpassed them. It was amusing escapism on a day when I really needed some"), so given that I like to remain at least somewhat in touch with popular culture, why not? Plus, I've liked Matt Damon ever since "Good Will Hunting," - an underachieving film that has an interesting premise, sort of like Patrick Swayze in "Roadhouse" (a black-belt "cooler" who drives a Mercedes 560SEC and has a degree in Philosophy?) Plus, sometimes you have to just enjoy cheap (actually, not-so-cheap) escapism for its own sake, you know what I mean? Some of these tidbits I got from, or was inspired by, Amazon X-Ray, so instead of citing each of them, I'll give a global citation here. I mention Amazon X-Ray in greater detail here. In the opening credits, the title "THE MARTIAN" slowly fades away, but the bottom part of the "T" in Martian lingers on the screen by itself for about one second, forming an "I." This is both similar to what happened in Alien (the letters fading), and obviously a foreshadowing of what is about to occur in the movie. The spaceship in The Martian is named Hermes, the Greek God of Scarves and Neckties, and also the Protector of Travelers. The Roman equivalent of Hermes is Mercury. The Latin name for Mark (Mark Watney is Matt Damon's character) is Marcus, which means, "of Mars." I have to admit that when Watney pulled the object out from inside of him (which I think might have been some vague tribute to the infamous scene in Ridley Scott's "Alien"), and was sitting in the chair, staring at the ceiling, with his predicament slowly dawning on him, and he said, "Fuck," I laughed out loud. So far (I'm writing this as I watch), I like the comic relief in this movie, e.g., when Mark threw up his arms in triumph while working with hydrazine. In the preview for The Martian, which I first saw many months before it was released, they used the eye-rolling line, "I'm going to have to science the shit out of this." That was so off-putting to me that it, alone, made me not want to see the film. In context of the movie, it was *still* an eye-rolling line - horrible - but not *as* bad as it was in the trailer, stripped of all context and previous events. These people know what they're doing: This line might have lost my demographic as a potential audience, but it probably gained ten-times as many people in other demographics. Okay, I'm an hour into this movie, with about eighty minutes remaining. I am predicting - but do not know - that Mark will be saved, because ... how can he *not* be? Hollywood is a mega-business, and a tragic ending would be bad for business (and it would have surely leaked out very early on). In an indie art film? Sure, but not here. No way. Just once, I'd love to see an ending like Tosca in a Hollywood nine-figure blockbuster, where the lead character drops dead right before the final curtain falls. It would make for better suspense going forward. As a final thought, I can see how watching The Martian would make the life of someone who is trapped in a prison, or a wheelchair, or a dungeon, or some other place of absolute solitude a little more bearable, giving them just an extra ounce of hope, knowing (or even fantasizing) that as long as you're still breathing, nothing is impossible. When I first saw the trailer for The Martian, I never dreamed that I would actually watch it, much less like it, but I liked The Martian a lot more than I thought I would.
  19. I'm about 25% of the way into "Breakfast of Champions," by Post-Modernist, Counter-Culture grump, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. The only other work I've read by Vonnegut is "Slaughterhouse-Five," and a beginning Vonnegut reader should probably start there, as it's most likely his best novel. "Breakfast of Champions" is a fine book, but "Slaughterhouse-Five" is its equal, and more important historically. It would be pointless, as usual, to summarize the plot in this, or any other, book for you, so instead I seek intelligent discussion about the novel - I would love for this forum to evolve into a gigantic Book Club, where we can all chime in whenever we feel like it, about anything we want to chime in about. My limited experience with Vonnegut is that he is cynical and nihilistic, hates people and what they've done to both the planet and to themselves, and has little or no hope for the future of mankind. And yet, he expresses those sentiments with biting humor, sarcasm, and literary weaponry. He's an important author, not necessarily a great writer, and the world would be a better place if everyone fit one or two of his works into their repertoire while not necessary buying into his entire philosophy. **SPOILERS FOLLOW** As a reader's guide, here are some brief Chapter descriptions: Epilogue: Homage to Phoebe Hurty by the author, nicknamed Philboyd Studge. 1. Introduction to the novel's two main characters, Dwayne Hoover and Killgore Trout. 2. More depth about Hoover and Trout; the tale of Kago and the Zeltoldimarians. 3. Trout gets his first fan letter, and is invited to the Midland City Arts Festival. 4. Hoover briefly descends into madness, and is clearly having some trouble. 5. Trout goes to Manhattan to prepare for the Arts Festival; his novels are detailed. 6. Hoover continues his insanity, with more details given about his escapades. 7. Trout is intrigued with and inspired in a pornographic theater, seeing meaning there. 8. Trout wanders down 42nd Street, and is battered by the Pluto Gang, scaring NYC. 9. Hoover checks in his own Holiday Inn at an odd hour, falling asleep like a lamb. 10. Trout gets picked up by the Lincoln Tunnel; rides in an olive truck through NJ. 11. Hoover gazes across highway; sinks into dimples; Wayne Hoobler is in Fairyland. 12. Trout heading west past Philadelphia in truck; chats with driver; his son is Leo. 13. Pontiac dealership has Hawaiian Day; Sacred Cave owned by Hoover's stepbrothers. 14. Truck in WV; Rosewater's mines; Books used for toilet paper; Hoover's a Hoobler. 15. 38-page chapter; Patty Keene; Bannister memorials; Penis sizes; Hoover and Francine. 16. Truck approaches cave; "Now It Can Be Told"; Adam and Eve; Trout closer to Hoover; 17. Bunny Hoover is a gay pianist; Military school; Bunny's mom expanded on; Skid Row 18. Truck is close, Hoobler misses prison; Author incognito; Keedsler and Kerebekian. 19. Cocktail lounge; Ned Lingamon; Eldon Robbins; Swimmer; Temptation of St. Anthony 20. Maritimo Brothers; Plastic in Sugar Creek; Milo; The Smart Bunny; Trout checks in 21. Lounge; Lynching in Shepardstown; E=MC2; Robo-Magic; Goodbye, Blue Monday 22. Lounge; WO1 Jon Sparks; Crispus Attucks; Bird calls; Hoover confronts Trout at last 23. Y-O-U; Hoover goes on rampage; Hoover attacks Hoobler; Payton Brown; Fairyland 24. Martha; Christmas Cards; Ukwende and Miasma; Eddie Key; Trout's fingertip; ETC. 25. Epilogue; Elgin Washington; Kazak; Trout transported; Weeping for parents; ETC.
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