It could have been the greatest television show ever. Conceived by Harlan Ellison. Ben Bova acting as technical advisor. Special effects genius Douglas Trumbull was on board. Scripts and storylines had been contracted from Phillip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frank Herbert, Joanna Russ, Thomas M. Disch, Alexei Panshin and A.E. van Vogt. Keir Dullea starred. (Dave from 2001: A Space Odyssey). Guest stars: John "Baltar" Colicos (Battlestar Galactica), Walter Koenig (Star Trek) and Barry Morse (Space:1999). And then it all fell apart. In all, 16 deliciously terrible episodes of The Starlost were made. Was it the worst science fiction series ever? Watch and decide for yourself! [more inside]
# of seasons × # of episodes per season × runtime of episode = total for 1 TV show. Repeat for more TV shows = total time. Tiii.me lets you select the name of a tv show, the number of seasons you've watched, and tells you how much of your life you've spent watching that show. Add more shows and it will keep a running total for you. [more inside]
On September 13, 1999, nuclear waste from Earth stored on the far side of the Moon exploded in a catastrophic accident. The explosion knocked the Moon out of orbit and sent it, and the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, hurtling uncontrollably into space. Their subsequent trials and adventures were chronicled... in Space: 1999. [more inside]
"The long night has come. The Systems Commonwealth, the greatest civilization in history, has fallen. Now, one ship, one crew have vowed to drive back the night and rekindle the light of civilization. On the starship Andromeda hope lives again" [more inside]
TV's longest-running World War II drama, Combat! aired on ABC between 1962 and 1967. "It was really a collection of complex 50-minute movies. Salted with battle sequences, they follow [US Army King Company's travails during the invasion of France, starting with the landing at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 -- D-Day. It's] a gritty, ground-eye view of infantrymen trying to salvage their humanity and survive." [more inside]
"Now, my friend Adams was accused of a crime he didn't commit, so he escaped into the mountains, leaving behind the only life that he ever knew." In 1977, three years after the popular movie The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams introduced the story of John "Grizzly" Adams to the public, a TV show of the same name premiered. [more inside]
The Stopped Dead: a 1200x18000 pixel infographic cataloging The Walking Dead's 347 on-screen zombie deaths by season, character, and weapon. [spoilers]
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman appeared in 1976... and it exists as a sort of island of experimentation, its ripples of influence not fully engaged with until several decades later... . Predictably rejected by the networks, this Norman Lear production ran in first-run syndication, five nights a week, usually after the late-night news. ... Louise Lasser (once Woody Allen’s muse) stars as a put-upon pre-feminist housewife who repeats the secular liturgy of American consumerism in an attempt to stave off a nervous breakdown.*
In Treatment was an HBO series that ran three seasons from 2008 through 2010. Adapated - often word-for-word - from the Israeli drama BeTipul, it depicted the weekly sessions of a psychologist (Emmy-nominated Gabriel Byrne) with his patients (including Debra Winger, Emmy-nominated Hope Davis, and, in her first American role, Mia Wasikowska) and with his own therapist (Emmy-winning Dianne Wiest). The filming of the series placed extraordinary demands on Byrne - which are well described in this interview with showrunner Warren Leight. (h/t: MCMikeNamara) You can watch its entire first episode here. (possible spoilers throughout)
There are some TV shows that last for years and years, and when they finally go away, they're barely missed. And then there is the phenomenon of the TV show that dies quickly but leaves an indelible mark. Ten years ago, ABC fielded such a show: My So-Called Life, produced by the thirtysomething team of Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, premiered on Thursday, August 25, 1994 -- and was quickly reduced to ratings rubble by another new 8 p.m. series, NBC's Friends. But in 19 sublime episodes, Life left a lasting pop-culture legacy. Not only did it launch the careers of Claire Danes and Jared Leto, it defined the modern family drama -- and has influenced an entire generation of television writers. Says Greg Berlanti, the creator of The WB's Everwood and Jack & Bobby, ''It's the most painfully honest portrayal of adolescence ever on television.''
The Breaking Bad Art Project is on exhibit at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles through August 26. [more inside]
"The more ghoulish and extreme the show becomes, ...the more accurately it captures the reality of the cartels and their business."
In 1973 and 1975, two one-hour television documentaries aired in the US: In Search of Ancient Astronauts (Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and In Search of Ancient Mysteries (Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The same producers also put out The Outer Space Connection (Parts 1 and 2) in 1975. All were narrated by Twilight Zone's Rod Serling. In 1976 a series was developed. Since Serling had passed away in 1975, popular actor Leonard Nimoy was chosen as host. In Search of... ran for six seasons, from 1976 - 1982, and was devoted to discussing unusual mysteries and phenomena. All 144 episodes can be seen on YouTube. Playlists: Seasons 1 and 2. Seasons 3 and 4. Seasons 5 and 6.
Thanks to his work in television, especially The Benny Hill Show, Benny Hill is the most universally recognised of British comedians. [more inside]
Following on from an epic Star Trek: The Original Series rewatch (previously) and their Star Trek movie marathon, tor.com are now watching each episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in turn. So far they have reached The Last Outpost, in which a terrifying new adversary was introduced as a replacement for Klingons as Star Trek universe bad guys: The Ferengi.
RussianFilter: Historical Chronicles with Nikolai Svanidze is an ongoing Russian television documentary series which, starting with 1901, picks out one person per year, every year, of the 100 years of the 20th century in Russia. It's entirely in Russian, of course, but for them as speaks it, it's one fascinating perspective on Russian history, with excellent narration, copious detail, and fascinating interconnections of events, people and places. All of the episodes that are available through Google Video and various other sources, and [more inside]
TV serials, says Richard Beck, self-consciously set out from the very beginning to get us to take them seriously. From Hill Street Blues to The West Wing to The Sopranos and The Wire, how the television series convinced us that it was art — and now, why Lost's achievement of success via casual genre mixing and narrative derangement might signal that there's no future creative ground left within the old limits of serial drama.
Forget your Buffies, your Wonder and Bionic Women. The first weekly American live-action television series starring a female superhero was The Secrets of Isis. (previously) [more inside]
History and the Universe, mentioned months ago in a NYTimes travel feature, has finally gone live. This Internet TV channel has two shows so far: Big Book of Lies and Emily Time, both filmed in Buenos Aires. Video is high quality, even filmic at times. Favorite characters include Buck Chomsky, the disaffected son of you-know-who, and Exon, a 5'3 Colombian gangster with a penchant for Apple products.
It's easy with the excessive shopping, TV specials, nonstop music, etc. but tomorrow we honor one of mankind's most important people. A man who told parables to the masses of how the meek shall inherit the earth, how to serve man, and how to face our own personal demons. People have built monuments to him, even died in his name. I am, of course, referring to Rod Serling (born 12/25/1924). Merry Serlingmas!
ABC is developing another new comedy pilot. Based on? Geico caveman commercials, of course. Because that kind of thing has worked so well before.
Anybody remember that classic sci-fi TV show The Starlost? You're forgiven if you don't, since it barely lasted one season. Dreamed up by Harlan Ellison, he promptly disowned it when it failed to meet his expectations, but he had grand ideas: featuring writers such as Frank Herbert, Ursula Leguin, Philip K. Dick and others, with more help from Ben Bova, The Starlost was a virtual who's who of anything sci-fi. Read all about it in this exhaustive site. Now that your interest has been piqued, buy the series for only $60! I think it should be made into a movie, myself.
Determined viewers try to save another TV show (Salon). In this case, its Farscape, which shows its last episode on Friday in the States, and has already aired here in the UK. (no spoliers). Farscape fans are trying just about everything - from picking up 6 families in the Nielsens to fundraising to produce a last episode. Interested? Read on...