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Friday, January 10, 2014

And the chicken stew burned.

The call of the telly has been strong. Well, at least the DVDs. I had printing to do this afternoon, so I plugged in a favorite of mine: "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun" (aka "Doppelganger"). I've spoken of it before. It was the first live-action SF film by the Andersons, starring Roy Thinnes, late of "The Invaders". Herbert Lom stars as a turncoat physicist, spying for the other side, making photos of secret space probe documents with an eyeball camera, which is one of the keenest gadgets ever! The developing rig is the best, to an old darkroom jockey like me.

What really struck me was the launch of the Phoenix, a multi-stage monster that was to send two astronauts to a previously unknown planet exactly opposite ours in orbit around the Sun. The effects work renders a miniature launch indistinguishable from a NASA Saturn 5 takeoff. It is breathtaking, and was shot against real blue sky, in a parking lot!


I cannot rave enough over the effects work on this film. The model work is Derek Meddings superb (and I suspect Mike Trim had a hand in, as well). Barry Gray composed and conducted the score, which he said was his favorite work for the Andersons.

Here is the trailer:


"The Prisoner" is also a taste I have had a yen for, and my kvetch from awhile back remains true: putting in a DVD is wo-o-o-ork. Crackle is a dreadful site that has a lot of offerings (including "The Prisoner") FREE! But, TANSTAAFL remains operative, because there are adverts; adverts inserted with no view to a clean edit. the end of a sting may be clipped, the sort of thing that makes a theme guy like me froth. But, I watched 3 episodes, "The Girl Who Was Death", "Once Upon a Time", and
 "Fall Out" to quench the cravings. It was good. Leo McKern was my favorite Number Two (the chief warden of The Village) He's the one with the beard.

Be seeing you.


Michael W said...

Favorite Number Two in "The Prisoner". Wow. Although I'm a pretty big Leo McKern fan (I hope you've also seen "Rumpole of the Bailey", as well as movie work such as "X, The Unknown" and "The Day the Earth Caught Fire"), but Mary Morris in "Dance of the Dead" was nicely creepy, and Patrick Cargill in "Hammer Into Anvil" was a joy to watch.

The Aardvark said...

Morris WAS a creepy one. Almost all of the "Twos" do well, each bringing a different nuance to the role, but McKern is, well, Leo!

I'm quite familiar with Rumpole, as well as his film work. His role in "HELP!" is a hoot.