The Martians And Us
a BBC documentary series on the history of British science fiction.
Part 1 - 'From Apes To Aliens' (1
Part 2 - 'Trouble In Paradise' (1
Part 3 - The End Of The World As We Know It (1
) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Jun 7, 2010 -
for their song Tiger is a voyage through some vintage 80's scifi.
posted by euphorb
on May 14, 2010 -
Cult Radio A-Go-Go.
"Our radio crew, including your hosts Terry & Tiffany, Cragg our drive-in movie gargoyle and Wicked Kitty, welcomes you to our world of exploration into the very bizarre genre of ultra rare B - pop culture in comedy, parody. horror, sci-fi, exploitation, sexploitation, T.V., Old Time Radio & drive-in movies! We are stationed at the abandoned drive-in near death valley where we are broadcasting our pirate internet radio signal to you, for the audio pop culture junkies needing a fix!" [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses
on May 5, 2010 -
Pigs in Space
appeared in over 30 Muppet Show episodes and spoofed contemporary science fiction television series. Most of them are now on YouTube or other video streaming sites. Links inside. [more inside]
posted by cog_nate
on Apr 9, 2010 -
He invented or popularized
a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."
Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects
. [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Feb 3, 2010 -
(1975-77) is a British sci-fi series, the last production of Gerry
and Sylvia Anderson
who were first recognized for their work in "Supermarionation
." This series saw the end of the couple, with Sylvia Anderson leaving the show at the end of the first season. She was replaced by Fred Freiberger, who brought in some Star Trek sensibilities
and attempted to cater the show more to the American action-adventure audience. A third season was planned but not produced, and left the series unfinished, ending on an episode that was "like bad Shakespeare, or worse, bad Star Trek.
" Fans still support the show in many forms, even creating a semi-official fan-produced mini-episode entitled Message from Moonbase Alpha
to bring some completion to the series, which was shown on September 13, 1999 at the Breakaway: 1999
convention. Another group of fans has recently taken to updating the whole series
, to bring Space:1999 into the future
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jan 13, 2010 -
Metafilter's Own Charlie Stross
asks the question; " You, and a quarter of a million other folks, have embarked on a 1000-year voyage aboard a hollowed-out asteroid. What sort of governance and society do you think would be most comfortable, not to mention likely to survive the trip without civil war, famine, and reigns of terror?" engrossing commentary follows
posted by The Whelk
on Dec 11, 2009 -
No mere transcription can give the true flavor of the original printing of The Eye of Argon. It was mimeographed with stencils cut on an elite manual typewriter. Many letters were so faint as to be barely readable, others were overstruck, and some that were to be removed never got painted out with correction fluid. Usually, only one space separated sentences, while paragraphs were separated by a blank line and were indented ten spaces. Many words were grotesquely hyphenated. And there were illustrations - I cannot do them justice in mere words, but they were a match for the text.
The Eye of Argon (prev.
), long hailed as the worst sci-fi story ever written, is at last available online in all its original glory
posted by Paragon
on Dec 1, 2009 -
What's 51 years old and made of silicone with red food dye? The Blob
, best known for it's work in The Blob
, an independent film released in 1958, with Steve McQueen's second movie role (following Never Love a Stranger
, which was released earlier that same year). The movie has been considered the definitive '50s film about a town that won't listen to the kids until it's too late
(as noted in a review for the Criterion laserdisc release
), with a super-catchy theme song
(extended single version
and b-side Saturday Night in Tiajuana
) that was Burt Bacharach's third US hit song
. (See more: theatrical trailer
, full film on Veoh
, full film as YouTube playlist
) Times change, and so do monsters, and things got a bit wacky in the 1970s, with Beware! The Blob
(aka Son of Blob
, full film
). The sequel played more to the slapstick comedy than the sci-fi/horror spectrum of things. Thirty years after the original, The Blob was remade in 1988
, full film
), and is supposedly being re-created by Rob Zombie
, though his statement about reviving The Blob without "the big red blobby thing" has people asking, then why remake The Blob?
(previous blobby goodness
) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Nov 3, 2009 -
In 1954, Harper's Magazine ran a story called the Jet-Propelled Couch
) about a government scientist who was forced to go into to treatment. His problem? He lived half his life on another planet:
“As I read about the adventures of Kirk Allen in these books the conviction began to grow on me that the stories were not only true to the very last detail but that they were about me. In some weird and inexplicable way I knew that what I was reading was my biography. Nothing in these books was unfamiliar to me: I recognized everything–the scenes, the people, the furnishings of rooms, the events, even the words that were spoken. My everyday life began to recede at this point. In fact, it became fiction–and, as it did, the books became my reality.”
Ever since the story was published, sci-fi fans have attempted to discover who Kirk Allen really was. One theory
is that it was cleverly disguised Cordwainer Smith
, others think there may have been a government physicist
named John Carter
, and some think he might have been more than one patient
. Either way, it's a great story. [via
] [more inside]
posted by empath
on Sep 21, 2009 -
"Prisoners of Gravity
was the most thoughtful and creative television program ever produced anywhere in the world about the literature of science fiction, and it was a substantial Canadian success story. In first-run, it was one of the most popular series on its originating network, TVOntario, lasting for five seasons and 139 installments." Here are a few of them
, with more being added every now and then. [more inside]
posted by aldurtregi
on Jul 25, 2009 -
Read all about it! Discover all the news! Read all about it! Track down all the clues!
With interesting people there's a mystery to be solved! An adventure is unfolding, so why not get involved? Come on and
READ ALL ABOUT IT.
Young Chris is left an old coach house by his missing uncle. As he and his two friends fuddle with the lock, a strange figure watches. The kids do not yet know the building is the entrance to a mystery that spans time and space! Aided by Otto the IBM Selectric
robot typewriter and Theta the spooky as hell
talking viewscreen, they will find that the concerns of an alien tyrant reach into the government of their own town. (24 of 40 15-minute episodes, including the entire first season, of this early-80s TV Ontario-produced "educational" show are on YouTube
.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on Apr 5, 2009 -
Watch The Skies!
Directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and James Cameron discuss the science fiction movies of the 1950s that influenced them. 1
:: 1 hour.
posted by vronsky
on Apr 4, 2009 -
We made a mistake
. That is the simple, undeniable truth of the matter, however painful it might be. The flaw was not in our Observatories, for those machines were as perfect as we could make, and they showed us only the unfiltered light of truth. The flaw was not in the Predictor, for it is a device of pure, infallible logic, turning raw data into meaningful information without the taint of emotion or bias. No, the flaw was within us, the Orchestrators of this disaster, the sentients who thought themselves beyond such failings. We are responsible.
posted by aheckler
on Mar 29, 2009 -