IMDb

Flick Friday: Jigsaw 2017

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IMDb Amazon Jigsaw 2017 Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Five years ago, today, the #1 movie at the box office was Jigsaw. Directed by the Spierig Brothers (identical twins Michael & Peter) and, written by Josh Stolberg & Pete Goldberg, it starred Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell (as Jigsaw), Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson, Clé Bennett, Laura Vandervoort, Paul Braunstein, Mandela Van Peebles, Brittany Allen, Josiah Black, Edward Ruttle, Michael Boisvert and Shaquan Lewis.

Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.

IMDb Summary

The plot follows a group of people who find themselves forced to participate in a series of deadly “games” inside a barn. Meanwhile, the police investigate a new series of murders that fit the modus operandi of the eponymous Jigsaw Killer, who has been dead for almost a decade.

Wikipedia Summary

Trivia Bits:
♦ Tobin Bell stated that he was not interested in having John Kramer appear alongside other slasher horror icons in future films.
Previously called “Saw: Legacy”, the title changed to “Jigsaw”, making it the first film to have Tobin Bell’s character’s name displayed in the title.
♦ The tagline for the film “Make America Bleed Again” derives from the motto instilled by a former president of the United States: Donald Trump, who inserted the mantra in his electoral speech “Make America Great Again”.
♦ The John Kramer fan site to which Eleanor Bonneville is a frequent visitor is entitled “Jigsaw Rules”.
&diams This is the first “Saw” film to feature a laser-related trap.

Honestly, I’ve never seen a “Saw” movie and have never wanted to. Blood and gore torture movies are not my choice for a good movie. It’s hard to watch, peeking out from behind the couch. ~Vic

TV Tuesday: Just For Fun 1947

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Image Credit: Mancunian Films & britmovie.co.uk Forum

Seventy-five years, ago, today, the black & white TV Movie Just For Fun aired on the BBC. Created/devised and written by Richard Hearne, he stars as Mr. Pastry:

…an old man with a walrus moustache [sic], dressed in a black suit or raincoat and with a trademark bowler hat. [T]he the bumbling old man would have adventures, partly slapstick, partly comic dance, with two young friends. Jon Pertwee also starred in the show in a variety of roles. The Mr. Pastry character had originated in the 1936 stage show Big Boy in which Hearne had appeared with Fred Emney.

Wikipedia Career Summary Snipet

Directed and produced by Walton Anderson, it also starred John Blore Borelli (and his orchestra), Buddy Bradley, Joan Heal, Yvonne Hearne, Jean Kent & Henry Oscar.

Hearne first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in March 1954, with many subsequent visits. Buster Keaton was a fan. He was interviewed by producer Barry Letts for the role of Doctor Who when Pertwee departed but, wished to play The Doctor as Mr. Pastry. Letts, in turn, offered the role to Tom Baker.

I couldn’t find any clips for this movie but, I did find Hearne/Mr. Pastry on Ed Sullivan. ~Vic

Additional:
Just For Fun (BFI)
Just For Fun (British Comedy Guide)

Movie Monday: Suffrage And The Man 1912

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Suffrage And The Man IMDb Amazon Image
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

One hundred, ten years ago, today, the B&W silent, short comedy film Suffrage and the Man was released. Produced by the French company Eclair, in conjunction with the Women’s Political Union, its original title was Suffrage Wins Herbert.

A young man learns that his betrothed is leaning toward the suffragette cause. He remonstrates with her father to be told “My butler and my bootblack may vote, why not my wife and daughter?” He cannot agree, however and their quarrel brings about a broken engagement. Disappointed and unhappy, he seeks forgetfulness by going to a summer resort. There, he succumbs to the wiles of a designing mother and, caught in an embarrassing position, her daughter “feinting a faint” in his arms, he permits their engagement to be announced. He learns, by an accidental eavesdropping, of the mother’s trickery. He loses no time to denounce the deception and withdraw his offer of marriage. The mother and daughter promptly start suit tor breach of promise. In the meantime, votes have been won for women. The trial of the suit comes up before a mixed jury of men and women with the old sweetheart as forewoman of the twelve peers. Their verdict is acquittal and, as might be expected, “Suffrage Wins Herbert” with a permanently happy result in his reconciliation and marriage.

IMDb Summary
Written by: Moving Picture World

According to Silent Era, the director is unknown, the cast is unknown and the film’s survival status is unknown. There is one trivia bit…it is based on a story written by playwright Dorothy Steele. ~Vic

Hans-Max 2022 TV Draft: Round Five-Pick One-Sisters (1991-1996)

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Sisters Pinterest Image One
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Five pick.

I didn’t catch the first season of this show during its original run but, started watching during season two (it was a while before I got to see season one). I was immediately hooked by the quirky interaction between the sisters and their day to day lives in Winnetka, IL and, I was already a Patricia Kalember fan due to the short-lived Kay O’Brien TV show. ~Vic

Created by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, the series begins one year after the death of the family’s father, Dr. Thomas Reed, a workaholic, played in flashbacks by three different actors but, mostly by Peter White. The matriarch of the family is Beatrice (Elizabeth Hoffman), a long-suffering, neglected wife, who turns to alcohol to deal with the doctor’s multiple affairs. She has four daughters:

Alexandra…”Alex” (Swoosie Kurtz), the eldest. She married a plastic surgeon that had affairs on her and she divorced him, retaining some wealth. After battling breast cancer, she became a talk show host. She frequently butts heads her daughter, Reed Halsey (played by three different actresses, most notably Ashley Judd). She eventually remarries.

Sisters TMDb Image Two
New grouping with Charley, on the left.
Image Credit: TMDb

Theodora…”Teddy” (Sela Ward), the second daughter. At the beginning of the series, she is returning from California and is shocked to discover that her ex-husband, Mitch, is engaged to her youngest sister, Frankie. She, drunk, temporarily, stops the wedding with a shotgun (she inherited Beatrice’s drinking habits). An artist in school, she becomes a fashion designer, helming three different companies. She goes on to marry twice more…to Det. James Falconer (George Clooney), the cop that investigated her daughter Cat’s rape (he was killed in an explosion) and Dr. Gabriel Sorenson (Stephen Collins), the doctor that saved her life when she was shot in the head.

Georgiana…”Georgie” (Patricia Kalember), the third daughter. She is the stay-at-home mom with the most level head of all the sisters. A part-time real estate agent, she is the one the other sisters come to for guidance. She and her husband, John, have two sons, the youngest surviving leukemia. She carries and gives birth to Thomas George, Frankie & Mitch’s son. After trouble with her first son, she has an affair with her therapist, separates from John, has a second affair with a much younger classmate in college and, eventually returns to John.

Francesca…”Frankie” (Julianne Phillips…Springsteen’s first wife), the fourth daughter. She is a highly paid executive, a workaholic like her father and discovered that she was infertile. Georgie becomes her surrogate for her baby. Her work habits break apart her marriage to Mitch. Afterwards, she quits her job and buys a local diner. She eventually moves to Japan for another job.

Charlotte…”Charley” (a doctor, originally played by Jo Anderson, then Sheila Kelley) as the unknown, fifth, illegitimate daughter that shows up in the fourth season, looking for a bone marrow donation (a shift in the story-line as Julianne Phillips prepared to leave the show). The nicknames are a product of their father wanting boys and never getting one. The four older sisters tagged Charlotte with her own nickname.

Supporting Characters:
John Witsig (Garrett M. Brown), Georgie’s husband.
Mitch Margolis (Ed Marinaro), Teddy’s high school sweetheart, ex-husband & Frankie’s ex-husband.
Catherine “Cat” Margolis (Heather McAdam), Teddy & Mitch’s daughter that goes on to be a cop.

Much of the show is full of flashbacks, particularly the interactions of the sisters growing up.

Trivia Bits:
♦ Patricia Kalember’s husband in real life, Daniel Gerroll, had a recurring role in season five. He played psychiatrist Dr. David Caspian, who was counseling her character Georgie.
Julianne Phillips and Patricia Kalember also co-starred in Fletch Lives.
♦ Elizabeth Hoffman was a minor, recurring character on Stargate SG-1 and played Eleanor Roosevelt in two mini-series: The Winds of War (1983) and War & Remembrance (1988-1989).

Scene & Opening Theme

Hans-Max 2022 TV Draft: Round Four-Pick Two-The X-Files (1993-2018)

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Scully & Mulder IMDb Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Four pick.

I’ve stated, before, that I was born and raised in law enforcement. I’ve also worked in law enforcement (non-sworn) at two different agencies, one state and one county (think of me as the blond chick on Criminal Minds, sitting in front of a computer screen…though I am not blond). It can be an interesting job if you’re lucky enough to be employed with an agency that doesn’t take its political self too seriously (virtually impossible these days). I’ve met and worked with a couple of FBI agents. They were nice, everyday guys, back in the late 90s and early 2000s. I’ve seen and heard a lot of things.

The Sci-Fi geek that I am, I’m not presenting this show in that light. This show is, first and foremost, law enforcement. These are the folks, alongside first responders, to arrive at the scene of the accident, the scene of the disaster or the crime scene. In the case of these FBI agents, they investigate the weird shit. That being said, I do have a very full binder of X-Files non-sport cards and chase (special) cards, plus, all of the original series-run DVDs. ~Vic

The X-Files IMDb Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Created and written by Chris Carter, there were many other writers, including David Duchovny (Agent Fox Mulder), Gillian Anderson (Agent Dana Scully) and Stephen King but, this was Carter’s baby. It starred Duchovny and Anderson as the dynamic duo, investigating all manner of odd, macabre, out-of-this-world or just plain gross happenings. In later years, Duchovny reduced his presence on the show and eventually left. In 2000, Robert Patrick (Agent John Doggett) was brought in as a new partner for Gillian Anderson. In 2001 Annabeth Gish (Agent Monica Reyes) showed up and, with the upcoming departure of Anderson, became Patrick’s partner. There was some chatter that the show would live on with Patrick and Gish but, it never materialized. Gish returned in the series revival but, Patrick did not. Neither of them were in the X-Files feature films.

Other regular cast members were Mitch Pileggi (Asst. Dir. Walter Skinner), William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man), Nicholas Lea (Alex Krycek), Chris Owens (Jeffrey Spender, son of the Cigarette Smoking Man) and James Pickens, Jr. (Asst. Dir./Dep. Dir. Alvin Kersh). Secondary, popular characters were Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund & Bruce Harwood (The Lone Gunmen), Don. S. Davis (Captain William Scully, Agent Scully’s father), Sheila Larken (Margaret Scully, Agent Scully’s mother), Melinda McGraw (Melissa Scully, Agent Scully’s older sister), Pat Skipper (Bill Scully, Jr., Agent Scully’s older brother), Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat), Steven Williams (Mr. X), Rebecca Toolan (Teena Mulder, Agent Mulder’s mother), Peter Donat (William Mulder, Agent Mulder’s father) and five separate actresses portrayed Samantha Mulder, the agent’s abducted, younger sister. Agent Scully also has a younger brother, Charles but, except for flashbacks, the character is uncredited.

Agent Reyes & Agent Doggett IMDb Amazon Image Three
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Addendum: Honestly, I was hoping the show would continue on with Agents Doggett & Reyes. They had a lot of really good on-screen chemistry and I liked both actors. After nine years, I had grown weary of Duchovny’s primadonna attitude. When the series was revived, the magic was gone and I wasn’t impressed. Naturally, they turned Agent Reyes into a bad character and killed her off.

Addendum #2: I also have to mention that the theme song changed, just slightly, at some point. The first theme has a solid, continuous echo sound. The second theme is a double-repeating echo sound. Why it changed, I don’t know (it drove me crazy). It is never mentioned but, it did happen. Listen, below.

Trivia Bits:
♦ As stated in my last draft, Mark Snow created the X-Files theme, the Starsky & Hutch theme for Season Three and many others.
♦ Gillian Anderson was nearly replaced when she got pregnant during the first season.
♦ Props from Mulder’s office are preserved at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in LA. The I Want To Believe poster kept disappearing from the set.
♦ The agents badges read “Federal Bureau of Justice, United States Department of Investigation” as making a fake FBI badge is illegal.
♦ Gillian Anderson has stated that she based her approach to the role of Dana Scully on Jodie Foster’s performance as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
♦ Dana Scully was named after the famous sports journalist Vin Scully. Mulder is the maiden name of Chris Carter’s mother.
♦ Chris Carter lists All the President’s Men (1976) as one of his inspirations for the series. There are numerous references to the film, including the shadowy informer Deep Throat, meetings in underground parking garages and hints at conspiracies which stretch all the way to the F.B.I.

X-Files Original Opening

X-Files Second Opening…Can you hear the difference?

Hans-Max 2022 TV Draft: Round Three-Pick Three-Starsky & Hutch (1975-1979)

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Starsky & Hutch IMDb Amazon Image One
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Three pick.

I was raised in law enforcement. My dad was a Probation/Parole Officer, his younger brother, a city cop in our hometown and my first cousin became a deputy. Some years later, when my dad re-married, my stepmom was Parking Enforcement for the same city police department. I grew up watching every manner of cop TV show you could find, from re-runs of Dragnet to Hawaii Five-O to Kojak to The Rookies to Baretta to Adam-12 to The Rockford Files to Police Story…and everything in-between. My personal favorite was Starsky & Hutch. I had a “thing” for Paul Michael Glaser. His picture was one of four photos I kept as a kid and young teen. The others were Lindsay Wagner, Olivia Newton-John and John Schneider. I later regretted my attachment to him. I didn’t remember most of the episodes but, I was reintroduced to the show in the 90s with re-runs. ~Vic

Created and written by William Blinn (Brian’s Song, The Rookies, Eight Is Enough & Pensacola: Wings of Gold), it starred David Soul (Det. Sgt. Kenneth Richard “Hutch” Hutchinson), Paul Michael Glaser (Det. Sgt. David Michael Starsky), Antonio Fargas (Informant Huggy Bear) and Bernie Hamilton (Captain Harold C. Dobey). In the Pilot TV Movie, Captain Dobey was played by Richard Ward. Sgt. Hutchinson was from Duluth, MN, was divorced and was a reserved, intellectual type. Sgt. Starsky was from Brooklyn, NY, was an Army veteran, had street-smarts and, could be intense & moody. Informant Huggy Bear was a flashy, ethically ambiguous bar owner that provided the two Sergeants with whatever street action knowledge he could gather. Captain Dobey was their barking & gruff but, fair boss. He had his hands full with those two. One of the main characters of the show was Starsky’s red, 1975 Ford Gran Torino (four of them, actually), nicknamed the “Striped Tomato.” In the show, Hutch calls the car that name in the episode Snowstorm (10-01-1975) but, that crack actually came from Paul Michael Glaser when Aaron Spelling showed him the car (First Season DVD Collection). Hutch’s vehicle was a beat-up, tan, 1973 Ford Galaxie 500, whose horn would blow when the door was opened.

Hutch Gran Torino Colt Python IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Hutch & His Colt Python
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Favorite Episodes:
The Fix (10-08-1975)
Running (with Jan Smithers/02-25-1976)
The Las Vegas Strangler Part I & Part II (with Lynda Carter/09-25-1976)
Nightmare (11-28-1976)
Starsky’s Lady (with Season Hubley 02-12-1977)
Long Walk Down A Short Dirt Road (with Lynn Anderson/03-12-1977)
Fatal Charm (with Karen Valentine & Roz Kelly/09-24-1977)
I Love You, Rosey Malone (10-01-1977)
Blindfold (with Kim Cattrall/09-26-1978)

Trivia Bits:
☆ Originally, Starsky was supposed to drive a green and white Chevy Camaro but, the producers had a contract with Ford.
☆ On numerous occasions, Paul Michael Glaser has talked about how much he hated the car, as well as playing Starsky and, that he had campaigned to be released from his contract.
Zebra Three was the radio call sign for Starsky, Hutch…and the car.
☆ Starsky and Hutch were based on Lou Telano and John Sepe.
☆ The Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver used by Hutch is the same pistol carried by David Soul in his role as Officer John Davis in Magnum Force.
☆ The show had four different opening theme songs with seasons two and four crafted by Tom Scott and sounding similar. Season one was crafted by Lalo Schifrin and season three crafted by Mark Snow, known for the X-Files theme.

Different Themes

TV Tuesday: Tomorrow’s Child 1982

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Tomorrow's Child IMDb & Amazon Image
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Forty years ago, today, the TV Movie Tomorrow’s Child, also known as Genesis, debuted on ABC. Written & executive produced by Jerry McNeely and directed by Joseph Sargent, it starred Stephanie Zimbalist, William Ahterton, Bruce Davison, Ed Flanders, Salome Jens, James Shigeta, Susan Oliver and Arthur Hill.

The wife of a research geneticist agrees to the experimental procedure of a “test tube” baby by having her fetus brought to full term in a glass jar in a laboratory.

IMDb Storyline

A couple agree to take part in a secret experiment to produce the first test-tube baby grown entirely outside the mother’s body.

TV Guide Synopsis

There is not a lot of data on this TV movie but, here is the full video of it. ~Vic

Hans-Quinn 2022 TV Draft: Round Two-Pick Six-Firefly (2002-2003)

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Firefly Cast Screen Rant Image One
Photo Credit: Screen Rant
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Hanspostcard/Quinn Maddux has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Two pick.

“You can’t take the sky from me.”

Ok. I will say it. I am a hopeless Sci-Fi geek. I could easily do this TV Draft with nothing but Sci-Fi. I led with Doctor Who because it, by far, has the longest tapestry in my life. I would venture to say that Firefly was the shortest…and, yes, I am a Browncoat. I had an extensive list of Sci-Fi choices but, chose these two, only, because I also wanted to touch on other genres including law enforcement, drama, comedy and a couple of cartoons. ~Vic

Neato Shop Image Two
Image Credit: Neato Shop

When this came out, it struck me as being very close to the original description given to the first Star Trek series…a western in space. Fox had already scored big with the X-Files, running from September 1993 to May 2002. Firefly debuted September 2002 and, I was front and center. I didn’t find out until later that the first episode that aired was not the first episode of the series. You can thank Fox executives for that mess-up. It went downhill from there.

Created by Joss Whedon (Executive Producer, Writer, Theme Composter & Director of three episodes), it starred:
Nathon Fillion as Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds, the owner & Captain of Serenity, a Firefly-class, small transport spaceship. He is a former sergeant from the Battle of Serenity Valley, an Independent soldier in the war against the Alliance (a fusion of the last two superpowers, the US & China) in the year 2517.
Gina Torres as Zoë Alleyne Washburne, second-in-command aboard Serenity and Mal’s loyal corporal during the war. She is Wash’s wife.
Alan Tudyk as Hoban “Wash” Washburne, Serenity’s pilot and a bit jealous over his wife’s attachment to Mal. He is known for cracking jokes, even during horrible situations.
Morena Baccarin as Inara Serra, a Companion that is a blending of a courtesan, a geisha & a mistress. She has a very high social status and rents one of Serenity’s small shuttles. She & Mal are attracted to each other, dislike each other’s “jobs” and want to remain professional towards each other.
Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb, a 6’4″ mercenary that acts dumber than he really is. He sends much of his income back to his mother. He is excellent in a fight, has an intense fear of Reavers and has an extreme dislike of Simon and his sister, River, as she attacked him with a knife.

Firefly Deviant Art Image Three
Image Credit: Aerettberg
Deviant Art
Click for a larger view.

Jewel Staite as Kaywinnet Lee “Kaylee” Frye, the ship’s adorable mechanic. With no formal training, she intuitively knows mechanical equipment. She routinely talks to Serenity and has a crush on Simon Tam.
Sean Maher as Simon Tam, a trauma surgeon (top 3% of his class) that became a fugitive after he snatched his sister, River, out of a government research facility. He struggles with his desire for Kaylee as his life revolves around his sister.
Summer Glau as River Tam, an intuitive child prodigy that the Alliance experimented on, leading to psychic abilities and combat training. She suffers from PTSD and has flashbacks from the experiments. She can be delusional, paranoid and violent without warning.
Ron Glass as Derrial Book, commonly referred to as Shepherd Book (a 24th century version of a pastor). A devout Christian, his background is unknown but, he has much knowledge that the average pastor would not have. He has a fairly high status with the Alliance and, though he objects to violence, he is skilled in combat. Quote: “…while the Bible is quite specific about killing, it is somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.” Book is the voice of reason, spirituality and conscience for the crew.

Serenity TMDb Image Four
Image Credit: The Movie Database

Fourteen episodes, with a two-hour pilot, were produced but, only 11 of them aired before being unceremoniously cancelled. The Browncoat Brigade started a postcard writing campaign to Fox, and UPN but, it ultimately failed. They continued to push for the DVD release and, in 2005, the feature film Serenity was released on September 30.

Trivia Bits:
♦ The real reason it was cancelled was that the FOX executives thought it was too dark (It was very dark).
♦ Whedon proposed a Firefly plotline in which Inara injected herself with a prophylactic solution, not a birth control but, a serum that would poison anyone who raped her. Whedon’s idea was that Inara would, then, be kidnapped and gang-raped but, that the rapes would take place offscreen and, the only sign of them would be a pile of her rapists later found dead. This plotline was nixed by the network and no version of it ever appeared on the show.
♦ Serenity’s engine room includes the center console from a Boeing 737.
♦ When Whedon created the show, he intended for it to run seven years.
♦ Between shots, the cast preferred to wait in the ship’s lounge, instead of their trailers/dressing rooms.
♦ The Alliance officer and soldier uniforms are leftovers from Starship Troopers (1997).
♦ The pistol-sized lever action gun Zoe wears on her hip is called a Mare’s Leg. It is a cut down Model 1892 Winchester, the same gun used by Steve McQueen in the TV series Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958).
♦ Astronaut Steven Swanson is a Browncoat and brought his Firefly & Serenity DVDs with him on the Space Shuttle Atlantis for the STS-117 mission in June 2007.
♦ The Shuttle crew of the Endeavour is awoken at 4:14pm ET to The Ballad of Serenity, played for astronaut Robert Behnken.
♦ The DVDs are in the media collection on the ISS.
♦ There are actual Browncoat Balls, held all over the US. The first one was in 2004.

Firefly Opening Sequence

50 Quotes

Our Witch

Too Much Hair

Reboot? Yes, Disney Sucks (Sorry for the ads)

Hans-Quinn 2022 TV Draft: Round One-Pick One-Doctor Who (1963- )

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Doctors One Thru Eleven Plus The War Doctor
Image Credit: YouTube
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Hanspostcard/Quinn Maddux has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round One pick.

Doctor Who…? This long running series is its own inside joke. In its entirety, it is older than I am. I was completely unaware of it until it showed up on PBS in the US in 1978 when I was in sixth grade. It was always a treat after school and my introduction to the series was, of course, the great, long-scarfed Tom Baker, the Doctor with the longest run.

Tom Baker Bing Image Two
Doctor Who Opening Sequence 1970s
Image Credit: Bing Images

For those that have no idea about this show, Doctor Who is a Time Lord, an alien from the planet Gallifrey (setting aside the recent retcon). He belongs to an ancient race of beings who time travel and have a non-linear perception of time, itself. He (and, she, now) also has the ability to regenerate, meaning, if mortally wounded, a healing process takes place with a new body created and…a new personality. The name “Doctor” is a personal, self-selected title, and his true name is unpronounceable by humans. He travels in a TARDIS (Acronym: Time And Relative Dimension In Space), a spacecraft/time machine that he stole when he fled his planet with his Granddaughter, Susan. Built with a chameleon circuit (that is stuck in one position), the Doctor’s machine looks like a 1963 blue British police box. It is dimensionally transcendental, meaning, it is bigger on the inside than on the outside. He travels all over the Universe and, sometimes, into other, parallel Universes but, he has a particular affinity for Earth.

Doctor Who Catchphrases Image Three
Doctor Who Catch Phrases
Image Credit: Cheez Burger
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The Doctor rarely travels alone, preferring to have at least one companion. When I started watching, his companion was Sarah Jane Smith and she had been the companion of the Third Doctor (the late Jon Pertwee) prior to his regeneration. I watched the Tom Baker version for several years (with other companions Leela, Time Lady Romana & K9) and saw some of the episodes of the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) in the early 1980s. By the end of his run, I was a senior in high school and lost interest. Fast forward to 2005 and I’m living in Texas. The series is revived and I’m curious. My late-thirty-something self fell in love, all over again, with the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and, his companions Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness. In his case, he became the Doctor with the shortest run and a new story-line that makes the Doctor the Last of the Time Lords due to a Time War (against the Daleks…mutant beings in metal containers that resemble salt & pepper shakers) that took place prior to the show’s revival.

I thoroughly enjoyed the new episodes when they were picked up by the Sci Fi Channel in March 2006. The return of Sarah Jane Smith and K9 in the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) series and the return of Tom Baker in the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) series was an exciting re-visit of my childhood. The introduction of the War Doctor (the late John Hurt) was an interesting addition to the story-line, born out of Eccleston’s controversial exit (and subsequent blacklisting by the BBC).

Ninth Doctor Image Four
Wonderful Number Nine
Image Credit: Flickering Myth

Then show-runner, Steven Moffat, had originally written the Ninth Doctor as the one that ended the Time War but, knew Eccleston would not return and couldn’t see the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) providing a proper back-story. McGann never got the opportunity to explore the character for himself in any great length, despite a television film that did well in the UK in 1996. The film was a joint venture with the BBC, Universal Studios & Fox Broadcasting but, US audiences didn’t appear to be interested and a new series was not developed. When contractual rights were returned to the BBC, the revival proceeded.

By the time the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) showed up, I had lost interest, again, as ridiculous politics began to show up. I did, however, watch the last episode with River Song/Melody Pond, an on-again, off-again, sometime wife-companion to the Eleventh & Twelfth Doctors and daughter of Amy Pond & Rory Williams, companions to the Eleventh Doctor. Conceived in the TARDIS, River is human but, has Time Lord DNA. Other wonderful companions were Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Astrid Peth, Lady Christina de Souza, Adelaide Brooke and Wilfred Mott (Donna Noble’s maternal grandfather) (Tenth Doctor).

River Song's Diary Image Five
River Song’s Tardis Diary
Silence In The Library
Image Credit: Tardis Wiki

I’ve seen a handful of the First Doctor (William Hartnell) episodes but, I’ve never seen an episode of the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) or the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). I’ve seen a few episodes of the Captain Jack Harkness show Torchwood but, didn’t really follow it. I made a valiant attempt to watch the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) but, between her and show-runner Chris Chibnall, the show is unwatchable and the ratings have tanked, completely. I’m so hoping that someone, somewhere, will correct this show and, bring back the whimsy and great storytelling. Until then… ~Vic

Trivia Bits:
Lalla Ward, the second Lady Romana (after her own regeneration), was once married to Tom Baker.
♦ David Tennant is married to Peter Davison’s daughter, Georgia Moffett.
♦ Georgia Moffett was Jenny in The Doctor’s Daughter, opposite her future husband.
David Troughton, son of Patrick Troughton, was Professor Hobbes in Midnight.
Karen Gillan’s (Amy Pond) cousin, Caitlin Blackwood, was Amelia Pond (young Amy) in The Eleventh Hour.
♦ Patrick Troughton was Father Brennan in The Omen.
Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott) was Tom Campbell in the 1966 film Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. as a companion to the Doctor (Peter Cushing).
Alex Kingston (River Song) and John Barrowman (Jack Harkness) share the same birthday…March 11 (1963 & 1967, respectively).
♦ River Song is the only companion that knows The Doctor’s real name.
♦ Leela (Louise Jameson) was named after the Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled.
♦ David Tennant was Barty Crouch, Jr., in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Rose Tyler and Jack Harkness were named after Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) from Titanic. Kate Winslet was the original choice for River Song.
♦ Sylvester McCoy was Radagast in The Hobbit Film Series.
♦ Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald, companion to the Eleventh & Twelfth Doctors) have all been in Marvel movies.
♦ Sarah Jane Smith (the late Elisabeth Sladen) had her own show The Sarah Jane Adventures.
♦ There are 97 episodes missing from the first six years due to BBC archive deletions.
♦ The theme music was composed by Ron Grainer and developed by Delia Derbyshire, with early electronics, in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Original Theme From 1963

Updated Theme From 2005

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Movie Monday: The Dying Swan 1917

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The Dying Swan IMDb & Amazon Image One
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

One hundred, five years ago, today, the 1917 short, silent film The Dying Swan (Russian: Umirayushchiy Lebed) was released in Russia (Moscow). Starring Vera Karalli (Gizella), Aleksandr Kheruvimov (Gizella’s Father), Vitold Polonksy (Viktor Krasovsky), Andrej Gromov (Valeriy Glinskiy) and Ivane Perestiani (Glinskiy’s Friend), it was directed by Yevgeni Bauer and written by Zoya Barantsevich.

A grief-stricken ballerina becomes the obsession of an increasingly unhinged artist.

IMDb

Gizella, who is a dancer and mute, falls in love with Victor, whom she met at the lake. She believes that love is mutual but, […] sees Victor with another girl after he cancels a date with her. She becomes an object of sympathy for the artist Glinsky, who sees Gizella dancing The Dying Swan and uses her as a model for a picture on the theme of death.

Wikipedia

When Viktor meets Gizella one day beside the lake, he takes an interest in her and begins to call on her regularly. When Viktor deceives her and she finds him with another woman, she moves away and begins a career as a ballerina.

Mubi

The Dying Swan Mubi Image Two
Image Credit: Mubi

A brokenhearted dancer and an artist desperate for inspiration form a strange collaboration in Russian director Yevgeni Bauer’s psychological drama. Morbid in the best possible way.

Movies Silently

Additional:
The Dying Swan (Century Film Project/12-10-2017)

Full Movie

Song Saturday: Natural One

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Folk Implosion YT Image One
Image Credit: YouTube

“Your world is falling down, you may as well crash with me…”

Returning to my Samsung playlist for this Saturday evening submission, I present Natural One by The Folk Implosion. Written by Lou Barlow and bassist Wally Gagel of Orbit, it was the seventh song on the soundtrack album from the 1995 movie Kids, though it wasn’t actually played in the film. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #54 on December 9, 1995 and peaked at #29 on February 3, 1996. It peaked at #4 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart on December 16, 1995 and peaked at #21 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart on February 17, 1996. I hope you enjoy. ~Vic

How Lou Barlow Soundtracked 1995 (Vice/Cam Lindsey/03-21-2017)
Instagram Account
Bandcamp Account

Lyrics

TV Tuesday: The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy 2001

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Billy & Mandy IMDb Amazon Image
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Twenty years ago, today, the animated series The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy or just Billy & Mandy premiered on the Cartoon Network. Created by Maxwell Atoms, the story line follows a ditzy, kind-hearted boy and, a sinister, cynical girl, that have the Grim Reaper as a personal slave after he lost a wager in a limbo match. They use the Reaper’s supernatural powers to visit the underworld and other weird locations for twisted adventures. They encounter creatures such as Dracula, the Wolfman and the Bogeyman.

Voice Credits:
Billy (Richard Steven Horvitz)
Mandy (Grey DeLisle Griffin)
Grim Reaper (Greg Eagles)
Irwin (Vanessa Marshall)
Harold (Richard Steven Horvitz)
Gladys (Jennifer Hale)
Dick (Phil LaMarr)
Grandmama (Phil LaMarr)
Mindy (Rachael MacFarlane)
Sperg (Greg Eagles)
Phil (Dee Bradley Baker)
Claire (Vanessa Marshall)
General Skarr (Armin Shimerman)
Pud’n (Jane Carr)
Hoss Delgado (Diedrich Bader)
Jeff the Spider (Maxwell Atoms)
Nergal (David Warner)
Nergal, Jr. (Debi Derryberry)
Bogeyman (Fred Willard)

Trivia Bits:
♦ The spooky droning gibberish played in the end credits in a creepy voice is Maxwell Atoms talking backwards, saying: “No, no. This is the end of the show. You’re watching it backwards!”
♦ Originally, Maxwell Atoms wanted Grim to speak in a “British” accent and had Jonathan Harris in mind to voice him. When Greg Eagles auditioned, and spoke in a Jamaican accent, he was impressed and had him retooled.
Tom Kenny was originally considered to voice Billy in the show, but he declined.

Movie Monday: Holly 2006

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Holly IMDb Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

“Out of thousands, he tried to save one.”

Fifteen years ago, today, the drama film Holly debuted at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Directed by Guy Moshe and, written by Moshe and Guy Jacobson, it starred Ron Livingston, Chris Penn, Virginie Ledoyen, Udo Kier and Jacquie “Thuy” Nguyen as Holly.

Shot on location in Cambodia, including many scenes in actual brothels in the notorious red light district of Phnom Penh, “Holly” is a captivating, touching and emotional experience. Patrick, an American card shark and dealer of stolen artifacts, has been ‘comfortably numb’ in Cambodia for years when he encounters Holly, a 12-year-old Vietnamese girl in the K-11 red light village. The girl has been sold by her impoverished family and smuggled across the border to work as a prostitute. Holly’s virginity makes her a lucrative prize and, when she is sold to a child trafficker, Patrick embarks on a frantic search, through both the beautiful and sordid faces of the country, in an attempt to bring her to safety. Harsh, yet poetic, this feature forms part of the ‘K-11’ Project, dedicated to raising awareness of the epidemic of child trafficking and the sex slavery trade through several film projects. The film’s producers endured substantial hardships in order to be able to shoot in Cambodia and have also founded the Redlight Children Campaign, […] a worldwide grassroots initiative generating conscious concern and, inspiring immediate action against child sex-ploitation.

IMDb Summary from Anonymous

Trivia Bits:
Tom Sizemore was originally slated to play Freddie but, after being arrested for failing several drug tests, he was dropped from the production and replaced by Chris Penn.
♦ This was one of Chris Penn’s last films.

Official Website

Flick Friday: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes 2011

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Rise of the Apes IMDb Image One
Image Credit: IMDb

Ten years ago, today, the #1 movie in theaters was Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Released August 5, it was directed by Rupert Wyatt and is based on the novel La Planète des singes by French novelist Pierre Boulle, translated to Planet of the Apes and, Monkey Planet in the UK. Written by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (married writing team), it was produced by Jaffa, Silver, Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark. Thomas M. Hammel was Executive Producer and Patrick Doyle was the film composer. Cast: Andy Serkis (Caesar), James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo, David Hewlett, Karin Konoval (Maurice), Terry Notary (Rocket/Bright Eyes), Richard Ridings (Buck), Devyn Dalton (Cornelia), Jay Caputo (Alpha-Caesar’s Father) and Christopher Gordon (Koba).

At the story’s heart is Caesar, a chimpanzee who gains human-like intelligence and emotions from an experimental drug. Raised like a child by the drug’s creator, Will Rodman and a primatologist Caroline Aranha, Caesar ultimately finds himself taken from the humans he loves and imprisoned in an ape sanctuary in San Bruno. Seeking justice for his fellow inmates, Caesar gives the fellow apes the same drug that he inherited. He then assembles a simian army and escapes the sanctuary, putting man and ape on a collision course that could change the planet forever.

IMDb Summary

I liked this movie but, Roger Ebert was brutal. ~Vic

Trivia Bits:
♦ The jigsaw puzzle that Caesar has nearly completed is a depiction of Taylor and Nova from Planet of the Apes (1968), riding on a horse down the beach, just before coming upon the Statue of Liberty.
Koba, the scarred lab ape and, some apes at the Gen-Sys and sanctuary, are bonobos. This species was assumed, until very recently, to be a subspecies of chimp, explaining its absence in previous films.
Will Rodman’s surname is a nod to Planet of the Apes (1968) screenwriter Rod Serling.

Movie Monday: Portraits In Dramatic Time 2011

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Portraits
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Ten years ago, today, the film Portraits In Dramatic Time was released. Directed by David Michalek and Paul Warner, it starred William H. Macy, Holly Hunter, Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill, Lili Taylor, Patti LuPone, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Alan Rickman, Ludivine Sagnier & William Mapother.

[This was] a series of 40 art films created by artist David Michalek. [It was] a free, public installation that [could] be seen on the facade of the David H. Koch Theatre, between July 5-31, 2011, nightly, from 8:45pm-11:45pm, as part of the 2011 Lincoln Center Festival. Each video depicts a dramatic scene shot in just 10 seconds and played back in hyper-slow motion, extending the length to about 7 minutes. The scenes vary from solos by famous actors […]. The extreme slowness allows the viewer to witness details of movement, such as muscles [or] facial expressions, revealing the gradual progression and in-between moments of developing emotions. Veteran film and theatre director, Paul Warner served as executive creative consultant and assisted in coaching and directing the actors.

IMDb Summary

Alan Rickman Video (David Michalek Site)
Participating Artists (David Michalek Site)

Trailer