Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nose-Talgic Sci-Fi

Time for a break from all this Idol madness. I've been contributing to TFN for a month, and it's high time I journey to the "Star Trek" world, and then take a quick trip to the Jupiter 2 for some "Lost In Space" thoughts. They are my sci-fi faves, and I know these shows are near and dear to the other TFN contributors! I was a nerdy Trekkie as a teenager, and Lost In Space was among two shows I never missed in reruns on WNEW-TV, while growing up in Warwick, NY (the other was, of course, "I Love Lucy").

Let's keep it simple. My 5 favorite "Star Trek" episodes (the orignal series):

"For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky."
Just the title says it all! It was taken from the line of an old alien man in the episode. His peeps lived for millennia inside a semi-hollow artificial satellite the size of a small moon. They had no idea they weren't on a planet looking at at the real sun and stars... and an all powerful computer called The Oracle controlled their thoughts, and punished them when they strayed. The old man-alien defied them all by climbing one of the fake hills and literally touching the sky (must have been a giant Imax screen!!).

"City on the Edge of Forever."
Ok this is like everybody's favorite. It's the time travel episode staring Joan Collins. Go back in time and change history and you might make your present-day world disappear. The first episode that proposed the kind of paradox that used to give Voyager's Capt. Janeway a headache!

"Space Seed"
The Ricardo Montelban episode. The prequal to "Star Trek II, Wrath of Kahn." 'nuf said.

"The Devil in the Dark"
This was the one about the alien called the Horta. I loved this since it first aired in prime time when I was 7. It proposed life forms based on something other than carbon. The writers really did their homework! They based this creature on silicon, an element that scientists think could support life in much in the way carbon does, albeit not as complex. This creature tunneled through rock the way we walk through air. Big confrontation ensued until Spock's Vulcan mind-meld revealed the creature was simply protecting her eggs, which had been unwittingly crushed by human miners! Brilliant!

"The Corbomite maneuver"
One of Captain Kirk's first great poker bluffs that outwitted a hostile alien! It's the one with that "little person" piloting a ship of what looked like a ball of light bulbs! I think I love this one because I remember watching it in prime time, on a tiny portable B/W Sony TV my dad mounted in the car for my sister and I to watch on our Friday night drives from NY City to Warwick, 90 minutes away. Not only was Star Trek ahead of its time-so was my dad. And Sony! Note to self, post these Warwick references on my Warwick blog!

TNG Mention
I must add that my all-time favorite Star Trek episode is from "ST The Next Generation" (one of the classiest TV shows of all time). It's called "The Inner Light," and has Capt. Picard experiencing - actually living - an alien's entire life from young adult to death as an old man when his planet is destroyed by its sun going supernova. To the Enterprise crew, the whole event lasts just a few seconds, and only plays out in Picards mind. Turns out a space probe zapped the Enterprise with some sort of particle beam that gets into Picard's head and downloads the decades-long scenario. The doomed race designed it so someone-anyone-would remember their wonderful world and how they lived. Tears.

OK... as for "Lost In Space," a short list of my favorite quotes:

1. Dr. Smith to Robot: "Mind your manners or you'll lose your bubble."
2. Dr. Smith to Robot: "Yours is not to question why, yours is but to do or have your bubble removed!
3. Robot singing "today is Penny's birthday, today is Penny's birthday" to the tune of "for he's a jolly good fellow," while holding a birthday cake with candles! Irwin Allen must have been on drugs.
4. Space creature to Will: "I'm your ID! I. D. id!
Will's reply: "You can't fool me with your big words."
5. Any alien to any of the Jupiter 2's occupants: "FOOLISH, FOOLISH Earth creatures!" I use this one at work sometimes. I need to exhibit more self control.

**The beautiful Jupiter 2 model in the photograph above is an incredible creation available from Simon Mercs and The Kit Factory. Please visit his wonderful website and marvel at the one-of-a-kind projects built for clients -- and you can buy one, too!


Lisa said...

I'm glad to see that you weren't afraid to include an episode from Trek's less-serious but certainly vibrant third season! I think I need to do my top five in a whole post, but I like and respect your choices very much, Scott! I recently watched "Devil in the Dark" and was struck again by what a compassionate episode it is. I love McCoy's "I'm beginning to think I could cure a rainy day!" line and his big smile. I'll get my choices together asap and chime in! Wonderful post, Scott!

Scott said...

Don't forget the other memorable quote from Dr. McCoy in that episode: "I'm a doctor, not a brick layer, damn it!"

Anonymous said...

Nice article, however, the image of the Jupiter 2 Saucer model,is my copyrighted image. You really should ask before using this sort of material, created by an artist, or at least credit the artist if your going to use it in a post.

It's a model created at the kit factory, and the image is my sole property.

I contacted the Flaming Nose staff on this issue a week ago, but no reply yet.

Please try to do this next time you use a copyrighted image, or it could cause you some legal problems in the future.

Anonymous said...

Simon --

Sorry about that and we will post your info right away. No harm meant, of course.


Anonymous said...

No harm done, just don't want my "Rabid" and somewhat "Gonzo", (A La "Hunter Thompson"), attorney, bugging me about it, thanks for the links and credit, very much appreciated FN!

The Flaming Nose Rocks!!!