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Monday, May 25, 2015

The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 127

The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 127 - Sci-Fi TV of the 1970s and 80s

Shag and I welcome guest Gene Hendricks (THE HAMMER PODCASTS) to discuss some of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) sci-fi TV shows of the 1970s and 1980s! Shazbot!

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Xum Yukinori said...


I admit to have actually watched a few episodes of "Far Out Space Nuts" back in the mid-1970s. Much of what I recall was the "Lunch not Launch" bit and the mild attempts to simulate cartoon slapstick humor in live action (I recall a few monster alien chase sequences employed running the film forward-backward-forward-back-forward-back-resume (over-excessive use of the Cat Chow advert's "chow chow chow" effect) to make them seem all the more ridiculous -- though I do not recall laughing along with the laugh track. There were however a few clever one-liners that I still find amusing to this day. Like when glass-creature king John Carradine declared Bob Denver's Junior to be the "chosen one" that would become king of his people (for a day):

Junior: "Why me? How come I am the chosen one?"
Glass King: "Because you are the one I chose."

And I obviously devoted too much time on this comment. Thank you for putting it up... and putting up with me.

Matthew McKinnon-Gray said...

Great Episode guys, but Rob called the "Star Lost" British, it was actually a Canadian production.

Darrin said...

Just started listening to this episode and it makes me feel old! Not only did I watch Space 1999 during its original run, but I was a huge fan of its superior predecessor series UFO which I also saw during its original US run. Space 1999 actually started preproduction as the second season of UFO, but delays due to funding lead to the series being completely revamped into Space 1999. We saw Matin Landau at Dragon Con a few years ago. A delightful man.

I also watched all those great Kroft shows during their original run and can still remember both Fat Out Space Nuts and Lost Saucer fondly ... LOL!

Darrin said...

The more I listen to this episode the older I feel. I remember almost all of those 1970s shows that you all just wanted to skip. Now I know why every show I loved as a kid was canceled after 13 episodes. You guys weren’t watching and don’t try making some excuse like “you weren’t born yet” :-)

Logan’s Run was great fun. The hovercraft vehicle was so well designed that it showed up in many other sci-fi movies and series in the years that followed. And Shagg, it had Heather Menzies in it. Surely you have something to say about that.

Fantastic Journey was a fantastic little adventure show about a family stranded on an island in the Bermuda Triangle and patches of cloudy fog would transport them to different areas and different times. And everything Roddy McDowall in was great because Roddy McDowall was great in everything!

Speaking of Roddy McDowall, Rob already knows that I’m a big Planet of the Apes fan from my letter about his Power Records show. I loved the live action POTA series. Sure, it was the Fugitive … but it was the Fugitive on the Planet of the Apes. That is much more entertaining.

As for the animated Return to the Planet of the Apes series. It actually ignored the movies and live action series and instead was based more closely on the original Pierre Boulle novel where the apes were more advanced. That concept was originally considered for the first movie as well, but was abandoned due to costs.

Quark was not a British comedy. It was an American show that starred Richard Benjamin who was a very popular actor in the 1970s before turning to directing. Originally a pilot episode that didn’t sell, NBC showed the pilot as a “special” and it surprisingly garnered some attention leading to an order for the following midseason. Plus, you have to smile at Tim Thomerson playing Gene and Jean. And Shagg, you would have loved the Barnstable twins.

Shagg, Project UFO was the name of the series when it originally aried, but Project Bluebook was the name of the project referred to by the characters in the series. Jack Webb was not in the series, but he produced it. The format was similar to his other shows like Adam-12 and Emergency in that it took actual cases of UFO sightings investigated by the government and dramatized them including the explanations of the sightings that the investigators found.

Rob is correct. The original Buck Rogers pilot movie was shown in theaters. While it was made for TV, NBC was so impressed with the look of the final product that they felt it was good enough for a theatrical release. I saw it in the theatre as well including that fun dream sequence opening that looks like a disco version of the opening of a James Bond movie.

Salvage-1 with Andy Griffith was goofy fun. Like Quark, it was initially a failed pilot that was shown as a “special” and got surprisingly high ratings so a series was ordered. It was literally about a junk yard owner who had the idea to collect the scrap in space and hired an astronaut to help him build a space ship. How could you not like a show with a premise like that!

As Shagg said, Sapphire and Steel was a great series. Mysterious and adventurous. David McCallum from The Man from Uncle and Joanna Lumley following her time on The New Avengers but before Absolutely Fabulous.

Sapphire and Steel are human looking alien elements that investigate paranormal activities and time loops. They are sometimes aided by other elements like Gold, Lead, and Silver.

And yes, while the series ran six seasons as Rob mentioned, those are British seasons, so there are actually only 34 episodes in total.

Shagg, fantastic to hear you reference The Prisoner. Though it isn’t a 1970s show, it is an all-time favorite of mine. Ruth and I have had the pleasure to attend the amazing Six of One convention in Portmeirion, Wales on a couple of occasions. A truly magical place. And yes, I have played human chess there and I have been chased by a Rover … LOL!