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Monday, December 09, 2013

Saturday Screwdriver Blog

Enjoying home-made French Onion Soup and a screwdiver. Or more.

Hmmm...these are more potent than port.


The villains are played by Rudy Vallee and Glynis Johns. MERCY!  Londinium LArceny is afoot!

Vallee is such a cheese, and Glynis Johns...whoof! She was the mum in "Mary Poppins', y'know!

Let it be remembered that Lorenzo Semple, Jr. was the executive story/script consultant! He wrote the script for the "Flash Gordon" movie. 'Nuff said.

Venerable Ireland Yard. Amazing!


Johnny Williams music is perfect. Unless it is the re-used Bernard Hermann music from "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Then, THAT is perfect!

Wally Cox for the win!  The voice of "Underdog" as the alien menace. Thanks, Mr. Peepers!

Star Trek
- "Journey to Babel". This episode is one of the strongest in the pantheon, and proves that furriners make better aliens. A cosmic UN meeting requires the Enterprise to ferry Federation diplomats to the event. Intrigue ensues. Also, it points out the biggest weakness of the retconning fanwankery that comprises Trek "history". Mr. Wolff. utilising subtle sub rosa channels, has expressed unease with my Saturday silence. There is a hint concerning the reason above.Anyway, Mr. Wolff:

 I was hoping to see some comment from you on one of my favorite Star Trek episodes if only to comment on the point that, if I were captain of a ship of the line (Starfleet, wet navy, etc.), I would've made a point to study the backgrounds of my senior officers.  Cannot believe Kirk would've been so ignorant of Spock's parentage.

(And not only does he flub that, he takes every other opportunity afterwards to chew on his foot.  If he couldn't read some Very Obvious Tension between Spock and Sarek then maybe he ought to find another line of work.)

Meanwhile the episode also gives us Reggie Nalder as the Andorian ambassador Shras.  Along with Celia Lovsky in "Amok Time", Nalder provides one of the more genuinely alien performances in the series.  His dialogue to Spock about "motivation based on passion" still sends chills down my spine, and he makes me believe the Andorians are a potentially creepy race (unlike the watered-down version we were given in "Enterprise").

*AHEM* blaspheme not the cerulean Shran. Jeffrey Combs. JEFFREY COMBS!!

Star Trek, as I have grumped before, was an episodic sci-fi series that kept Roddenberry, a large crew and cast in groceries. It was, as Roddenberry said, "Wagon Train  to the stars", and he should know. He wrote radio and TV Western scripts. What Michael points out also pinpoints the problem.

There is no overarching theme or story arc to Star Trek. It is '60s episode TV. period. Beyond a series "bible" that attempted to keep script writers on the same page, there was no apparent unifying plot. It was a more polished "Lost in Space", complete with "monster of the week".(Sometimes the monster was actually an allegorical alien race rather than a refugee from the commissary salad bar. Sometimes it was a salt vampire.) The gaffe of Kirk's apparent ignorance of Spock's pedigree is the smoking phaser of the piece. Kirk moves through the episode as things happen. Michael is correct. He should be cognizant of the situation and tensions, unless Kirk is a 23rd JFK, pumped full of methamphetamines and steroids by Doctor Leonard "Dr. Feelgood" McCoy.

Reggie Nalder

Yessir, that Austro-Hungary accent does the trick!

*fanwank alert*
*lateral lisp ON*

"But 'Enterprise' is ~200 years before "Star Trek". The Andorian societal norms could have changed by then.

*Lateral lisp OFF*

Svengoolie had "The Mummy's Ghost". UNIVERSAL monster derivatives begin to pall, John Carradine notwithstanding.

Or Ramsay Ames


VTTBOTS Episode: "The X Factor" has no salad bar revenants this week. Instead it has John McGiver as a foreign agent who runs a spy network from his toy company.


He immobilises US agents and scientists, disguises them as full-size toys, and ships them to his handlers. McGiver presents a personable persona, but can project bone-chilling menace with a mild stare.

However shall Admiral Nelson escape his clutches?
(I fell profoundly asleep during Lost in Space, and awoke during Trek!)


Jay said...

Andorrans: Also known as Ayanamians.

Michael W said...

Mmmm . . . French Onion Soup. I like it even though it doesn't like me.

Well I'm glad my ruminating led you to commenting, but I hope I hadn't disturbed anything. Just whack me on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper if I get out of line.

Another reason "Journey to Babel" worked so well: veteran actors such as Mark Lenard and Jane Wyatt making Sarek and Amanda totally workable. I always smile at the scene where a risky medical procedure for Sarek is discussed, and Amanda is asked if she's aware of the odds for success. Spock immediately moves in to offer the odds and Amanda tiredly goes "Please don't". Here Wyatt made it entirely believable that her darling son sometimes got on her absolute last nerve.

(Besides, Lenard and Wyatt really looked good together, and I find it utterly improbable that Sarek would marry some Twinkie with a pendant fetish later on in life. My personal theory is that Perrin had incriminating evidence or something.)

Yeah, Star Trek TOS couldn't entirely escape its problems. Even more unfortunate was the fact that, after all that work (and time for preparation), Roddenberry apparently never picked up on the lessons and, as a result, Star Trek TNG also experienced more than its share of train wrecks (the first season, especially, was pretty much a disaster. If the show didn't have Star Trek in the title I doubt it would've survived the season).

The Aardvark said...

Lenard and Wyatt DID make a good couple.

Twinkie with a pendant fetish...RIOT!!

As I recall, it looked like Sarek had had some work done by that time....

The Aardvark said...


I was thinking of "young" Sarek in Spock's birth scene in The Execrable Movie.