Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Thunderbirds Have Gone.

So, Friend Fred may well disown me, or block me on Facebook, but I must confess to you all...

I just finished season three of Amazon/Pukeko's hybrid series "Thunderbirds Are Go". I like it in the sense of "It's the only game in town.". That said, it is not in that sense, the way that ST-TNG was in that sense. I have spoken of my initial reaction to the practical effects/CG series elsewhen.

I like it in that the updates on the ship designs are somewhat logical, and seem to help in the rescues (Thunderbird 3 is now more than a space taxi). I like that Ben and Nick Foster have produced a soundtrack built upon Barry Gray's iconic "Thunderbirds" theme. (They have been doing Doctor Who scores of late, as well).

Check out the launch sequences:

(Mr. Wolfe, there are a number of full episodes on YouTube, as well)

The shading on the secondary characters is somewhat better...sort of a digital version of the plasticine heads in earlier Anderson shows, used for lesser one-off characters. (Oh! The sets and ships are real, practical models. The characters are CG.) The New Zealand producers have predictably ramped up Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's Shiny, Happy, Dark and Moody SocialismTM. Thunderbirds often work hand-in-digital-glove with the GDF (Global Defence Force). This is problematic. The whole "Must maintain secrecy at all costs" has been jettisoned, apparently due to the universal use of CCD cameras. The camera detector must have been plonking constantly, 'til Scott put a bullet through it.

The rescuees have a predictable male/female dynamic. The guy is either an oaf, or just weak, relying on the strong-woman-who-don't-need-no-man to get through it all. It is wearisome.

The Hood has become an uber-capitalist who relies on cybernetic gadgetry to do his dastardy. He does not have hypnotic glowing eyes. He has cyber glowing eyes. Meh.

The Hood has a confederate, "The Mechanic" who is physically plugged into his equipment to interface and control it. He is creepy and indulges in histrionics, playing to the back row to get across that he is controlling multiple drones at a time, his own self.

HOWEVER, Brains (who is apparently Indian, and with a lessened stammer) has come up with A Thing. Rather than developing new single-use vehicles, he has developed a pod system, infinitely customisable with attachments and tracks and gizmos, oh, my. Clever, and nicely dirtied and banged up. Used.

They apparently got over environmental catastrophes in the first season. Good. Uranium's bad, mmm-kay?

It is fun chewing-gum for the brain. Gives me something to do whilst I wait for FIRESTORM.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Rosemont Reportage

Hail the conquering heroes!

Noeru and I have spent the weekend selling shirts of awesomeness at G-Fest, the foremost Godzilla/kaiju convention on the planet. This is the 24th year of the venerable con, and the Aardvarks have been blessed in being able to provide printed shirts for the convention for the last decade, if memory serves, as well as our own pop-culture shirts that we sell in the dealers room. Riatsila started going with me to the con, and I have also had Mark Hooton (a NASA engineer friend) and David the Good (of www.thesurvivalgardener.com fame!) as my helpers at G-Fest in years past.

G-Fest is an offshoot of J.D.Lees' G-Fan magazine, celebrating the likes of Godzilla, Mothra, and other tokusatsu movies and series (like Ultraman!). The con imports actors, artists and technicians from the various incarnations of Gojira, and offers the chance to meet and hob-nob with these worthies. G-Fest is held at the Chicago O'Hare Crowne Plaza in Rosemont, IL, a fantastic venue which is only now beginning to feel the strain of a growing fandom. The Crowne Plaza has been the location of G-Fest for as long as I have been in attendance.

Image may contain: indoor

We have some thirty kaiju-specific designs that we designed for this convention.

It is THAT good, and the fans are THAT enthusiastic.

We have many friends and fans, as well. and it is always a joy to see them, year after year.

I have a request, though. My dealer neighbor (call him "D") has a dreadful health issue, one which has him on a countdown. Please pray for him to be well.

More later.