Friday, May 31, 2013
31 May 2013
Colin Farrell b. 1976
Mr. Farrell has made a lot of non-genre films, but the best known work he has done in the field would include Daredevil, Minority Report and the remake of Total Recall. The blog wishes him many happy returns of the day.
Prediction:1980: From a secret base hidden under a film studio, SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization) battles hostile aliens from a dying world.
Predictor: UFO, a 1970 British TV series produced by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson
Reality: Reality? C'mon, I already typed "Gerry and Sylvia Anderson". Reality don't enter into it, mate!
Big Ugly Stick removed from its protective casing: Okay, that's more like it.
Browsing around the Internet, there appear to be people still fond of this stinky cheese. If Irwin Allen was Star Trek's main competition when it started, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson were first major competitors just after, but they were constricted by tiny budgets and weak writing. The Andersons did learn a few lessons from Star Trek.
1. Put the women in outfits that are very tight or very skimpy, preferably both.
1a. Just to be fair, put some of the guys in outfits that are best described as "package forward".
2. There is no such thing as a wig that is "too ridiculous".
3. No amount of make-up can be considered "over the top".
4. Silver jumpsuits! Nothing says the future like silver jumpsuits!
Add to all this a level of smoking, drinking and sexual harassment at work that makes Mad Men look like a model of decorum and you start to get an idea why UFO was truly awful.
Star Trek had budget problems as well, but their problems were more along the lines of splurging too much on one episode and forcing the writers to keep all the action on the ship for a few episodes. Another option was to come up with scripts that could let them use costumes and sets that were easily borrowed from other Paramount productions, hence the Planet O' Nazis or Planet O' Gangsters or Planet O' Wyatt Earp Dream Sequence episodes.
UFO never splurged. The show looked cheap ass from beginning to end. Special effects looked almost exactly the same as the marionette shows they produced in the sixties, like Thunderbirds are Go! and Fireball XL-5. They made an effort to upgrade the moon base set late in the series, but the show was canceled after a single season and those sets were re-used in the next cheesy Gerry and Sylvia vehicle, Space:1999.
Several online sources make fun of the "two alien" rule. The aliens had special costumes and the budget was so tight they could only afford two of them, so there were never more than two aliens in a shot, even if there were more than two aliens in the script.
It's easy to make fun of the original Star Trek series as well, but it's a matter of degree. Compared to Irwin Allen and Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, Gene Roddenberry looks like Ibsen compared to a Punch and Judy show.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
Again our regular weekly pattern is broken by an exact date, a post-apocalyptic vision that is almost livable. Maybe we should call it Apocalyse Lite.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!