50 Shades of Shada

As is generally well known now, what was intended to be the six-part season closer of Doctor Who’s 1979-80 season, Douglas Adams’ Shada, had completed all of its location filming and roughly 2/3 of its studio filming when studio workers at the BBC went on strike, halting production of Doctor Who and most everything else in production at the time. In an attempt to sow a little bit of anti-union discord, the BBC – despite having the ability to complete production on Shada and get it ready to air – opted to not finish the show, blaming the strike for the truncated season and the never-broadcast story. (Incoming producer John Nathan-Turner, who took over in 1980, made a push for completing Shada as well, either as a movie-length special or as part of his own first season as showrunner, only to be stonewalled by the BBC brass, which needed to show to remain incomplete and unairable just to make its point. JN-T did eventually give the viewing public its first taste of Shada by including excerpts from it as “all new footage” of the fourth Doctor in 1983’s The Five Doctors, in which Tom Baker otherwise declined to participate.)

Since then, finishing Shada in one form or another has become a bit of a cottage industry. Read More

Heroes and Trek and Icons and Trek

Greetings from Utah! I know it’s been a while since any blogging took place here, but things have been…busy. And crazy. The last blog entry here was in May. That was before the move to Utah…and sadly, it’s still before I’ve found even so much as a semi-permanent address in Utah. Me and the kids and the critters are now in week three in a hotel room – a very expensive proposition to be sure, and one that’s undoubtedly more expensive than finding a place. Other factors, however, have fought against landing even so much as a tiny apartment, so here we remain for at least another day or two. (I hope that’s all it is.) The room contains two queen size beds, a bathroom, and a television. It also now contains two bored kids and five cooped-up cats and one confused lazy dog. This is a recipe for a pressure-cooker environment in which everyone gets sick of everyone else rapidly. One of the few saving graces: we’ve discovered southern Utah TV station KCSG, a flagship station for the Heroes & Icons Network. Read More

Star Wars “Vintage” T-shirt construction kit

Thanks to scans of the (now incredibly rare) 1977 Star Wars Iron-On Transfer book, anyone can now get some inkjet iron-on transfer sheets and make their own brand-new copies of the almost ubiquitous T-shirts that we were all wearing as kids way back when.

Or…you can roll your own. I isolated the “frame” that’s common to my favorite designs (I refer to it as the “asymmetrical chrome frame”) so anything can be put in the middle. For example:

So here is the empty frame. Click on it to see and download the full-resolution PNG file with transparency; simply right-clicking on this will only get you a low-res JPG.

Make a “vintage” T-shirt of any character you like – BB-8, Ahsoka, Qui-Gon, the lady in the Chewie mask, stoned-looking Wicket from the Ewok TV movies, even Bea Arthur or Jefferson Starship from the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Enjoy!

Heroes included at no extra cost

The FalconIf you’re not interested in a very brief rant about Star Wars figures, you might as well skip this one.

I see that the only way to get a 3.75″ scale Maz Kanata figure is going to be in a box set that repackages all the Finn and Rey figures that didn’t sell individually last fall. It’s kind of cringeworthy because the trailers made it very clear: these people, they are who the movie is about. Oh, and Han and Chewie show up too. We knew these people, and the new X-Wing pilot, were our new heroes.

Of course, in the southern states (such as where I hail from), Rey and Finn were peg warmers. It was almost as if everyone was rejecting the notion that a woman and a black guy were the heroes of the new Star Wars. (What, did they think Mace Windu was a fluke?)

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to go ahead and get this new box set, just for Maz. Maz is cool; Maz almost makes the movie and I’m beyond happy that she’s already confirmed as being in the next one. I will then take the spare Rey, Finn and BB-8 – all of whom I already have – and put them in my ’78 Kenner Falcon, which sits in the box 364 days out of the year. I will enclose a handwritten note about how foolish people still were in 2015, and how I expect whoever is receiving the note (and the ship and its new crew) to do, and be, better than we were in 2015.

Maybe it’ll be my grandkids.
Maybe it’ll be someone else’s grandkids.
Maybe it’ll be somebody who gets the message, in which case the Millennium Falcon once again saves the day.

Everybody’s geekin’ for the weekend, part four: do it again!

Whoosh!In February, the fine folks at Oklahoma City’s Starbase Studios announced another of their open house events, during which all and/or sundry are invited to tour their exquisitely detailed replicas of the original Star Trek shooting sets, free of charge (though it’s hoped that visitors might be impressed enough to drop a few coins in the hat, donating to the upkeep of those sets so future fan-made productions can make use of them. My wife was pregnant with Little C when Little E and I tagged along with some friends to visit the sets last year, and that was before they had built sickbay and started work on a transporter room (!). There was no way she was going to miss out on this open house.

As the date got closer, Little E expressed disappointment that we weren’t going to repeat the entire trip with the Martins – i.e. Friday night at Arkadia Retrocade, and a visit to the Stafford Air & Space Museum in Weatherford, Oklahoma (almost an hour further west from OKC). Since he was so keen on doing it all again, we reserved a hotel room in Weatherford and decided to make it a whole geeky weekend getaway. (It should be pointed out that the timely arrival of a tax refund was pretty much the pivot point where we went from “go to OKC and back” to “make a whole weekend of it.”)

What follows is a ridiculous record – over 60 photos – of the geeky weekend in question. Ready to beam up and go to the moon?

OKC+WXford trip
Click on any photo below for the full-size version – I took “the good camera” this time and didn’t rely on my phone for much of the picture-taking this time around.

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