You searched for "patrick macnee". Here are the results:

Judgment Night

The Twilight Zone1942: an Allied passenger ship, S.S. Queen of Glasgow, has become separated from her convoy in enemy waters during the height of the German U-Boat threat in World War II. One passenger, a Mr. Lanser, admits to being from Germany and seems very distracted. This arouses the suspicions of his fellow passengers, who begin trying to find out more about him. Lanser has little recollection of how he came to board the Queen of Glasgow, but his memory returns at the same time the others discover his true identity: he’s a German boat captain – the one responsible for sinking the S.S. Queen of Glasgow.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Rod Serling
directed by John Brahm
music not credited

Cast: Nehemiah Persoff (Carl Lanser), Deirdre Owen (Barbara Stanley), Patrick Macnee (First Officer McLeod), Ben Wright (Captain Wilbur), Leslie Bradley (Major Devereaux), Kendrick Huxham (Bartender), Hugh Sanders (Potter), Richard Peel (1st Steward), Donald Journeaux (2nd Steward), Barry Bernard (Engineer), James Franciscus (Lt. Mueller)

The Twilight ZoneNotes: This is one of those Twilight Zone episodes that’s crawling with future genre stars, including Patrick Macnee (1922-2015), barely two years before taking on the role of Steed in ITV’s The Avengers, James Franciscus (1934-1991), future star of Beneath The Planet Of The Apes, and Nehemiah Persoff, who guest starred in Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, The Six Million Dollar Man, Logan’s Run, Battlestar Galactica, The Bionic Woman, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Hot Snow

The Avengers

This synopsis is based upon the Big Finish audio adaptation of the original television script. The original episode’s master tape is lost and presumed destroyed. This audio adaptation can be found in Volume 1 of Big Finish’s The Avengers: The Lost Episodes series.

Dr. David Keel, just days away from getting married, has his life thrown into chaos when his bride-to-be is the target of an organized crime hit. Feeling that Scotland Yard isn’t doing enough to solve the murder, Keel decides to take on some amateur sleuthing, but when he discovers that heroin is involved, he realizes this is bigger than him. A mysterious man in a bowler hat is waiting for Keel in his flat when he returns home, but not to kill him. Instead, the man offers to help Keel bring the killer to justice…but he needs Keel to act undercover and become part of the heroin trade. If Dr. Keel can’t bring himself to trust this stranger, he may never identify the murderer.

teleplay by Ray Rigby
story by Patrick Brawn
directed by Don Leaver
music by Johnny Dankworth
Big Finish audio adaptation written by John Dorney
Big Finish audio adaptation directed by Ken Bentley
Big Finish audio adaptation music by Toby Hrycek-Robinson

Original television cast: Ian Hendry (Dr. Keel), Patrick Macnee (John Steed), Philip Stone (Dr. Tredding), Katherine Woodville (Peggy), Alister Williamson (Superintendent Wilson), Godfrey Quigley (Spicer), Charles Wade (Johnson), The Avengers: The Lost EpisodesMurray Melvin (Charlie), Moira Redmond (Stella), June Monkhouse (Mrs. Simpson), Astor Sklair (Sergeant Rogers)

Big Finish audio cast: Anthony Howell (Dr. Keel), Julian Wadham (John Steed), Lucy Briggs-Owen (Carol Wilson), Colin Baker (Dr. Tredding), Camilla Power (Peggy), Tim Bentinck (Superintendent Wilson), Adrian Lukis (Spicer/Johnson), Phil Mulryne (Big Man), Blake Ritson (Charlie), Anjella Mackintosh (Stella/Mrs. Simpson), Kieran Bew (Sergeant Rogers)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Brought To Book

The Avengers

This synopsis is based upon the Big Finish audio adaptation of the original television script. The original episode’s master tape is lost and presumed destroyed. This audio adaptation can be found in Volume 1 of Big Finish’s The Avengers: The Lost Episodes series.

Dr. David Keel’s life has become dangerous. Having already helped his mysterious benefactor break up a dangerous drug ring, he has found himself entangled in a new world, trying to bring his fiancee’s killers to justice, even at the cost of the orderly operation of his own practice. But Keel’s mystery man does at least now have a name – John Steed – but everything else about him remains unknown. Steed has another job for Keel, putting Keel’s life in danger as he delves into the world of organized crime once again. But this time, Steed promises the payoff for which Keel has been waiting: the chance to lock up the man who killed his fiancee.

teleplay by Brian Clemens
story by Patrick Brawn
directed by Peter Hammond
music by Johnny Dankworth
Big Finish audio adaptation written by John Dorney
Big Finish audio adaptation directed by Ken Bentley
Big Finish audio adaptation music by Toby Hrycek-Robinson

Original television cast: Ian Hendry (Dr. Keel), Patrick Macnee (John Steed), Ingrid Hafner (Carol Wilson), Philip Stone (Dr. Tredding), Godfrey Quigley (Spicer), Robert James (Vance), Alister Williamson (Superintendent Wilson), Clifford Elkin (Pretty Boy), Charles Morgan (Mason), Lionel Burns (Prentice), Lawrence Archer The Avengers: The Lost Episodes(Johns), Redmond Bailey (Lale), Charlie Bird (Peters), Neil McCarthy (Bart), Anna Shan-Khoo (2nd Chinese Girl), Carol White (Jackie), Joyce Wong Chong (Lila)

Big Finish audio cast: Anthony Howell (Dr. Keel), Julian Wadham (John Steed), Lucy Briggs-Owen (Carol Wilson), Colin Baker (Dr. Tredding), Adrian Lukis (Spicer/Vance), Tim Bentinck (Superintendent Wilson), George Rainsford (Pretty Boy), Alan Cox (Mason), Blake Ritson (Prentice)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Square Root Of Evil

The Avengers

This synopsis is based upon the Big Finish audio adaptation of the original television script. The original episode’s master tape is lost and presumed destroyed. This audio adaptation can be found in Volume 1 of Big Finish’s The Avengers: The Lost Episodes series.

Steed’s superiors assign him to infiltrate a counterfeiting ring, impersonating a skilled counterfeiter who’s just been sprung from prison. He succeeds in getting inside the operation, but finds himself at the mercy of a vicious thug nicknamed “the Cardinal” (real name: Bishop). Desperately needing help from the outside world, Steed can only call on Dr. Keel and hope that he can provide an escape route…or at least a timely, if unwitting, distraction.

written by Richard Harris
directed by Don Leaver
music by Johnny Dankworth
Big Finish audio adaptation written by John Dorney
Big Finish audio adaptation directed by Ken Bentley
Big Finish audio adaptation music by Toby Hrycek-Robinson

Original television cast: Ian Hendry (Dr. Keel), Patrick Macnee (John Steed), Ingrid Hafner (Carol Wilson), Alex Scott (The Cardinal), Heron Carvic (Five), Cynthia Bizeray (Secretary), George Murcell (Hooper), John Woodvine (Bloom), The Avengers: The Lost EpisodesDelphi Lawrence (Lisa), Vic Wise (Warren)

Big Finish audio cast: Anthony Howell (Dr. Keel), Julian Wadham (John Steed), Lucy Briggs-Owen (Carol Wilson), Tim Bentinck (The Cardinal), Phil Mulryne (Five), Beth Chalmers (Secretary), Alan Cox (Hooper), George Rainsford (Warren), Kieran Bew (Steve), Blake Ritson (Tobert), Sophie Aldred (Lila)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

One For The Mortuary

The Avengers

This synopsis is based upon the Big Finish audio adaptation of the original television script. The original episode’s master tape is lost and presumed destroyed. This audio adaptation can be found in Volume 1 of Big Finish’s The Avengers: The Lost Episodes series.

Steed is involved in an operation to keep a major medical secret out of the wrong hands. A drug that temporarily presents the appearance of a cure (but allows a disease to continue doing damage to its victim) could be a powerful weapon in the hands of an assassin, and Steed and his superiors mean to keep it from being misused. Steed enlists the help of Dr. Keel, who already has an invitation to the World Health Organization in Geneva, to deliver the drug’s chemical formula to an ally within the WHO. But almost immediately, things go wrong: Keel is targeted and followed before he even leaves British soil. Steed must follow Keel to Geneva in order to keep his friend and ally from coming to a grim end (and to ensure the safety of the free world into the bargain).

written by Brian Clemens
directed by Peter Hammond
music by Johnny Dankworth
Big Finish audio adaptation written by John Dorney
Big Finish audio adaptation directed by Ken Bentley
Big Finish audio adaptation music by Toby Hrycek-Robinson

Original television cast: Ian Hendry (Dr. Keel), Patrick Macnee (John Steed), Ingrid Hafner (Carol Wilson), Ronald Wilson (Scott), Malou Pantera (Yvette), The Avengers: The Lost EpisodesDennis Edwards (Pallaine), Peter Madden (Benson), Irene Bradshaw (Maid), Frank Gatliff (Dubois), Steven Scott (Hotel Concierge), Toke Townley (Bernard Bourg)

Big Finish audio cast: Anthony Howell (Dr. Keel), Julian Wadham (John Steed), Lucy Briggs-Owen (Carol Wilson), Sam Clemens (Wilson), Francesca Hunt (Yvette), Nigel Carrington (Pallaine), Nicholas Briggs (Benson), Terry Molloy (Henry)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Saga of a Starworld

Battlestar Galactica (original)The end of a millennium-long war between a distant race of humans and their cybernetic enemy, the Cylons, looms as a peace summit draws closer. But the humans’ aspirations for an end to the war are crushed when the peace meeting turns out to be a well-orchestrated trap, drawing the fleet of heavily armed Battlestars away from the humans’ homeworlds. Only Galactica, a Battlestar under the leadership of Commander Adama, survives the attack, but to no avail – the Twelve Colonies of Man have been besieged and all but destroyed by the Cylons. A massaive evacuation of the survivors, filling every habitable space aboard a fleet of 200 ships, takes place, with Galactica leading them. Adama announces an unprecedented contingency plan – he plans to lead the fleet to a legendary planet called Earth, believed to be the thirteenth Colony.

The Colonial fleet makes a stop at the mining world Carillon to pick up supplies for their voyage, but the cracks are already showing in the humans’ hastily-formed alliance; statesman Sire Uri begins trying to rally support against Adama’s incredible plan in the belief that humanity could surrender to the Cylons and survive. On Carillon, Apollo (Adama’s son) and Starbuck, ace Viper pilots from Galactica, discover that the insectoid Ovions who operate a resort on the planet are harvesting visiting humans for food – and even worse, they have formed an alliance with the Cylons and have leaked news of Galactica’s arrival to them.

Quick strategic thinking on Adama’s part saves the day, and Starbuck and Apollo’s lightning-fast flying is instrumental in destroying the huge Cylon base ship, but as the Colonial fleet prepares to set off on its perilous trip to Earth, Adama does not realize that a traitor within the humans’ own ranks is working with the Cylons to cut that journey short.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Glen A. Larson
directed by Richard A. Colla
music by Stu Phillips
series theme by Glen A. Larson & Stu Phillips

Cast: Lorne Greene (Commander Adama), Richard Hatch (Captain Apollo), Dirk Benedict (Lt. Starbuck), Herbert Jefferson Jr. (Lt. Boomer), Terry Carter (Colonel Tigh), Maren Jensen (Athena), Noah Hathaway (Boxey), Laurette Spang (Cassiopeia), Tony Swartz (Wing Sgt. Jolly), Anne Lockhart (Lt. Sheba), David Greenan (Omega), Sarah Rush (Rigel), George Murdock (Dr. Salik), John Dullaghan (Dr. Wilker), Ed Begley Jr. (Lt. Greenbean), John Colicos (Count Baltar), Patrick Macnee (Imperious Leader), Jonathan Harris (Lucifer), Jane Seymour (Serina), Ray Milland (Sire Uri), Lew Ayres (President Adar), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Sire Anton), John Fink (Dr. Paye), Rick Springfield (Lt. Zac), Randi Oakes (Blonde Taurus), Norman Stuart (Statesman), David Matthau (Operative), Chip Johnson (Warrior), Geoffrey Binney (Warrior), Paul Coufos (Pilot), Bruce Wright (Deck hand), Carol Baxter (Woman in elevator), Myrna Matthews (Tucana singer), Stephanie Spruill (Tucana singer), Patty Brooks (Tucana singer), Sandy Gimpel (Seetol), Dianne L. Burgdorf (Lotay), Ted White (Centurion), John Zenda (Dealer), Renè Assa (Gemon)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

War of the Gods – Part 1

Battlestar Galactica (original)An unusual phenomenon strikes the Colonial fleet as unidentified luminescent objects – which could be vessels or might be life forms themselves – meander among the ships of the fleet. This celestial event becomes less innocuous when a wing of Vipers disappears into the vacuum of space without a trace. Apollo leads a search and rescue mission, but all his team finds is an enigmatic man named Count Iblis. He returns to Galactica with them, and immediately begins winning powerful friends among the Colonial fleet…and swaying opinion away from Adama. Adama sends his son back to the planet from which Iblis was rescued to confirm a suspicion, but the Count doesn’t seem to want any investigation into his past – and proves his point by killing Apollo.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Glen A. Larson
directed by Daniel Haller
music by Stu Phillips

Guest Cast: Patrick Macnee (Count Iblis), John Williams (Statesman), Janet Louise Johnson (Sgt. Brie), Jack Stauffer (Captain Bojay), Kirk Alyn (Old Man), Paula Victor (Old Woman), Paul Coufos (Pilot), Chip Johnson (Pilot), Bruce Wright (Guard), Leann Hunley (Warrior), Olan Soule (Carmichael), Norman Stuart (Statesman)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

War of the Gods – Part 2

Battlestar Galactica (original)All hell is literally breaking loose aboard Galactica. Count Iblis is revealed to be a legendary creature known in Earth lore as the Prince of Darkness, but he has already won the respect and admiration of the Council of Twelve by capturing Baltar and handing him over to them. Only Adama and his closest friends stand against the powerful being – and Adama pays for the struggle when he learns of Apollo’s death at Iblis’ hands. When another immensely powerful race of creatures arrives, calling themselves the Seraphs, it dawns on the crew that they have become pawns in the holiest war of them all…one which they may not survive.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Glen A. Larson
directed by Daniel Haller
music by Stu Phillips

Guest Cast: Patrick Macnee (Count Iblis), John Williams (Statesman), Janet Louise Johnson (Sgt. Brie), Jack Stauffer (Captain Bojay), Kirk Alyn (Old Man), Paula Victor (Old Woman), Paul Coufos (Pilot), Chip Johnson (Pilot), Bruce Wright (Guard), Leann Hunley (Warrior), Olan Soulè (Carmichael), Norman Stuart (Statesman)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Pilot

AutomanPolice officer Walter Nebicher is a danger to himself and others on the beat, so the chief of police puts him in the job best suited to him: running the department’s computers. Walter, still determined to fight crime in his own way, creates an artificial intelligence that manifests itself as a solid hologram – Automan, “the world’s first fully automatic man.” As long as he has sufficient power to draw upon, Automan can fight crime, starting with the mysterious disappearance of Lt. Jack Curtis, Walter’s friend and fellow officer who was following on a lead regarding shady activity at a private security company. Walter’s computer also points to the same company and its executives as a potential suspect, and he and Automan (and Automan’s tiny assistant Cursor, which can create vehicles for Automan on demand) set out to solve the mystery…but Automan must disappear to recharge when his power runs low, leaving Walter to improvised his way through tricky situations.

written by Glen A. Larson
directed by Lee H. Katzin
music by Stu Phillips / Automan Theme by Billy Hinsche and Stu Phillips

AutomanCast: Desi Arnaz Jr. (Walter Nebicher), Chuck Wagner (Automan), Heather McNair (Roxanne Caldwell), Gerald S. O’Loughlin (Capt. Boyd), Robert Lansing (Lt. Jack Curtis), Patrick Macnee (Lydell Hamilton), Steven Keats (Collins), Robert J. Hogan (Peterson), James Antonio Jr. (Cramer), Robert Dunlap (Chuck Wilson), Don Galloway (Martin Wills), Doug McClure (Det. Ted Smithers), Camilla Sparv (Tanya), Sid Haig (1st Gang Member), Mickey Jones (2nd Gang Member), Gloria LeRoy (Landlady), Herman Poppe (Swiss Guard), Carol Vogel (Joanne Wills), Dennis Fimple (The Taxi Driver), Kristina Hayden (Stewardess), Ed Hooks (Parking Attendant), Angela Lee (Wills Girl #1), Tricia Tomicic (Wills Girl #2)

AutomanNotes: Created by Glen A. Larson and obviously inspired by Disney’s heavily-promoted 1982 movie Tron, Automan takes the concept of a man from inside the computer world…and drops it into a buddy cop show. Without the budget for the manually-animated intricate body armor of Tron, Automan instead used a technique called front-axial projection, illuminating Chuck Wagner’s special reflective costume (and similarly reflective detailing tape on Automan’s various vehicles) with a powerful but narrowly focused light mounted to the camera itself. If Glen Larson had any visions of an Automan empire, they were quickly dashed – the show lasted less than one full season on ABC.

AutomanGuest star Patrick Macnee (1922-2015) was a frequent flier guest star on American TV, having established himself as the debonair star of the long-running, light-hearted British spy show The Avengers, which originally started out darker and featured Macnee’s character of Mr. Steed as its second banana. Sid Haig is also a mainstay of American genre TV, known best to science fiction fans as Dragos, self-styled Master of the Cosmos, the chief bad guy in the 1970s Filmation live-action series Jason Of Star Command. Automan mentions that Walter has programmed him to take sharp 90-degree turns – inspired by Tron‘s light cycles, but here chalked up to the 90-degree turns taken by video game characters such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 1

The Max Headroom ShowMax Headroom introduces himself and states the purpose of his show, rails against corporate sponsorship and takes someone’s take-away Chinese food order before revealing that they’ve dialed the wrong number. Sting drops in to discuss his hatred of golf, shoe color, and his new solo album The Dream Of The Blue Turtles. When the subject of Sting’s politically-charged lyrics is brought up, Max wonders what happens when those lyrics are sung in countries that don’t speak the same language (such as, Max suggests, America). Max tries to steer the conversation back to golf and shoes; a spat over spats ensues.

The Max Headroom Showwritten by Paul Owen & David Hansen and Tim John
directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel

Cast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Sting (himself)

Videos: “Zoolok” (Jean-Michel Jarre), “Destination Zululand” (King Kurt), “Visions Of China” (Japan), “Sensoria” (Cabaret Voltaire), “(If You Love Somebody) Set Them Free” (Sting)

Note: The lead singer of UK band King Kurt used the stage name of “Smeg“. The song “Kinky Boots” is bizarrely intercut with the shoe discussion, and was actually a 1964 single performed by – of all people – Honor Blackman and Patrick Macnee – as a tie-in to The Avengers (presumably because of Blackman’s jackbooted costumes on that series).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Battlestar Galactica (The Original Series)

Battlestar Galactica

    Miniseries: 1978

  1. The Saga Of A Starworld
  2. Season One: 1978-79

  3. The Lost Planet Of The Gods – Part 1
  4. The Lost Planet Of The Gods – Part 2
  5. The Lost Warrior
  6. The Long Patrol
  7. The Gun On Ice Planet Zero – Part 1
  8. The Gun On Ice Planet Zero – Part 2
  9. The Magnificent Warriors
  10. The Young Lords
  11. The Living Legend – Part 1
  12. The Living Legend – Part 2
  13. Fire In Space
  14. War Of The Gods – Part 1
  15. War Of The Gods – Part 2
  16. The Man With Nine Lives
  17. Murder On The Rising Star
  18. Greetings From Earth
  19. Baltar’s Escape
  20. Experiment In Terra
  21. Take The Celestra!
  22. The Hand Of God
  23. Season Two (also known as Galactica: 1980): 1980-81

  24. Galactica Discovers Earth
  25. The Super Scouts – Part 1
  26. The Super Scouts – Part 2
  27. Spaceball
  28. The Night The Cylons Landed – Part 1
  29. The Night The Cylons Landed – Part 2
  30. Space Croppers
  31. The Return Of Starbuck

Battlestar GalacticaInspired by his fascination with science fiction, mythology, and his Mormon roots with their emphasis on tracing family history, television producer Glen A. Larson created one of the definitive SF series of the 1970s, and one of the few such series to thrive – even briefly – on American TV during that time. Originally conceived as a six-hour miniseries with a possible series to follow, Battlestar Galactica came into being by arriving on the heels of an unexpected cinematic phenomenon. 20th Century Fox and George Lucas ushered in the era of the high-budget big screen blockbuster in May 1977 with Star Wars, Battlestar Galacticaand Universal – the studio for whom Larson created and guided new projects – saw the seasoned producer’s pitch as timely and profitable. Universal was able to sell the potential miniseries to ABC, though the network and the studio were both enthused enough by the project to greenlight not a six-hour event, but a three-hour pilot followed by a full weekly series.

While this was an attractive option to the entities buying and selling the show, it would become a nearly insurmountable obstacle to those charged with making it. Larson wasn’t short on ideas, and Battlestar Galacticaneither were the writers and producers he brought in to create more stories. Special effects legend John Dykstra signed on as a producer as well, overseeing the look of the show. But it was that look – flashy optical effects on a scale never before seen on TV – that would prove to be the show’s downfall. Those effects were not only prohibitively expensive even for a major motion picture – more than anything, they were time-consuming. This early era of motion control and blue screen photography was still in its infancy, and it was highly unorthodox to see a movie lean so heavily on those effects – let alone a TV series, which would need new effects produced on a weekly basis.

Battlestar GalacticaLarson set about assembling a cast for what he envisioned as the drama of an extended family in space. His biggest coup in casting was undoubtedly in landing the legendary Lorne Greene – late of the hit western series Bonanza – for the lead role of Commander Adama. Wise, wily, and occasionally crotchety, Adama would give the show and its characters their emotional and moralistic core. His son Apollo would handle much of the series’ action, along with a devil-Battlestar Galacticamay-care hotshot pilot named Starbuck – very much, it could be argued, set in the mold of Star Wars‘ Han Solo. Dirk Benedict quickly stepped into the boots of the cigar-chomping Starbuck, while Apollo took longer to cast; a young actor named Richard Hatch had been sent the script, but he had declined an invitation to audition. Hatch was set on finding more prestigious, serious projects to pursue and further his career. Finally, he was persuaded to try out for the role of Apollo and landed the part with Larson’s assurances that Galactica would handle its storytelling more seriously than the TV science fiction that had come before it.

Battlestar GalacticaThe cast was rounded out with film veterans and newcomers alike – model Maren Jensen and child actor Noah Hathaway Jr. won the parts of, respectively, Adama’s daughter Athena and Apollo’s adopted son Boxey. Herbert Jefferson Jr. filled out the ranks of Galactica’s pilot squaron as Lt. Boomer, while Terry Carter would take on the role of Colonel Tigh, Galactica’s first officer. Hollywood veteran John Colicos would be the villain of the piece as the traitorous human Baltar, while an uncredited Patrick MacNee (The Avengers) Battlestar Galacticaprovided the voice of the Cylons’ Imperious Leader and the third-person narration that opened almost every episode; MacNee would later appear in the flesh in a more substantial and sinister role. Finally, well on her way to being dubbed the “miniseries queen,” a young Jane Seymour signed on for the pilot and two additional hourly episodes, though members of both the cast and production crew later regretted not contracting her as a series regular.

And the alien hordes at Baltar’s command? Larson’s script called for a mechanical menace known as the Cylons. Though the Cylons would exact a high cost from humanity in the pilot movie, they also cost Battlestar Galacticathe production a great deal as well. Their chrome-plated plastic armor had to be specially molded to be worn over black bodysuits, and the producers insisted on casting actors at least six feet tall to literally heighten the Cylon menace. The helmets of foreground Cylons included a pulsing, rotating red light, and their voices were dubbed with an early generation of speech synthesis equipment – equipment that wasn’t cheap. Not that anything else about the Cylons was inexpensive, either: when “stunt” Cylons were fitted with explosive squibs for laser battles, the plastic armor was frequently damaged beyond any hope of reusing that portion of the costumes. Battlestar GalacticaThough special lighting and careful camera work made the Cylons a formidable foe on film, their all-conquering ranks would eventually be extinguished by the series’ rapidly-dwindling effects budget.

Riding high on the wave of Star Wars mania, Battlestar Galactica premiered in ABC’s fall 1978 schedule, earning some of the highest prime time ratings the network had achieved in recent years. Though some of the rough edges showed – spacefight scenes were frequently reused several times over in the space of a single episode or even within the same battle sequence, and an early effects shot of the Galactica herself dismally failed to hide a support pylon holding the model up – the audience seemed to be primed for a weekly science fiction blockbuster. There was Battlestar Galacticaonly one problem: the demands on the show’s budget and the production crew’s time threatened to make several episodes miss their network delivery dates, let alone their broadcast windows. Much of the prep work had been done assuming that Battlestar Galactica would be a miniseries, and the first half of its freshman season was weighted down with expensive two-part epics, featuring visits to forbidding environments like an ice planet, massive confrontations between huge starships and their attendant fleets of fighters, and enormous sets. Big-name guest stars like Lloyd Bridges, though a draw for the audience, were an added expense. Battlestar GalacticaBattlestar Galactica’s budget was already nearly exhausted, even with the judicious reuse of special effects elements.

As the season progressed, the Cylon threat seemed to fade into the background as Galactica wandered into the territory of the “Eastern Alliance,” leading the series briefly into a somewhat heavy-handed Cold War allegory (and not a well-planned one, either; in their first appearance, the Eastern Alliance dressed and spoke like Nazis, while their next appearance painted them in more of a Russian light, with uniforms and accents to match, and an eager finger on the Battlestar Galacticatrigger of a nuclear arsenal). One of these episodes, Experiment In Terra, gave co-producer Donald Bellisario a chance to try out an interesting storytelling device in which a member of Galactica’s crew would infiltrate a more primitive society, but would appear to those people as one of their own. This concept only appeared once in Galactica, but Bellisario would later create an entire series around that premise and call it Quantum Leap.

Struggling to meet each network delivery date, Battlestar Galactica finally reached the end of its first season, and both cast and crew awaited a second season pickup or cancellation. What did happen was completely unexpected. ABC wanted the show to continue, and Universal was game – if significant changes were made to the series Galactica 1980format. Apollo, Starbuck, Boomer, Boxey and the other familiar characters would vanish in the second season, as would the expensive interplanetary voyages. Instead, Galactica would find Earth in the second season premiere – but it would be modern-day Earth, something that could be represented with relatively inexpensive location shooting. The Cylons made only the briefest of appearances, and of the original cast only Adama remained. The bulk of the show involved members of Galactica’s crew interacting with Earth people of the year 1980. Larson washed his hands of the show and instead concentrated all of his efforts on another project he had recently started, a modern-day retelling of Galactica 1980the Buck Rogers comics. Fans looking forward to the continuation of the first season’s promising tapestry of stories abandoned the new season in droves. The final episode was written by Larson himself, and guest starred Dirk Benedict as Starbuck, with a Cylon in tow, trying to tie up some loose ends from the first season – and still failing to draw viewers back to the show. Galactica: 1980, as the show had now come to be known, was quietly cancelled – and given the sweeping changes to the show, there was no fan outcry to save it.

Battlestar Galactica entered syndication in a few markets, but didn’t regain anything more than a small, tightly-knit fan cult until the episodes of both series reappeared on the Sci-Fi Channel’s early lineup. Launched by Universal Studios and USA Network, Sci-Fi Battlestar Galactica: Second ComingChannel’s original schedule was heavy with Universal-produced shows including Galactica and Buck Rogers. A fan favorite on the convention circuit, actor Richard Hatch – who had originally turned down the role of Apollo – began to hatch his own ideas for a revival of the series. In the intervening years since production had wound down, Lorne Greene had died, so Hatch naturally assumed that Apollo would now be leading Galactica’s mission. A short pitch reel detailing the premise for new Galactica adventures was produced and shopped around to Universal Studios and Glen Larson, and shown during Hatch’s convention appearances in the Battlestar Galactica: Second Coming1990s, and many fans were eager to see him revive the show – but Universal held out, not granting Hatch the rights to do so (partly due to an extended legal custody battle with Larson to determine who really held the rights in the first place). Hatch was able to get permission to begin co-writing a series of officially licensed novels continuing the Battlestar’s voyages, and despite not being limited by Lorne Greene’s death, he essentially reused the plotline laid out in his new series proposal, with Adama having died and Apollo assuming command.

What Hatch didn’t expect was for Universal to grant the rights to someone else to relaunch Galactica. A proposal to retell the story from the ground up, without continuing the existing storyline, ultimately won the studio’s approval, and the project was Battlestar Galactica: Second Comingeventually picked up by the Sci-Fi Channel. At first, Bryan Singer, director of the recent hit movie X-Men, was behind the project, but he and creative partner Tom DeSanto dropped out of the project very early on. Ronald D. Moore, who had launched his writing career with a spec script submitted and produced in the third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and had continued through the end of that show and then worked on the latter four seasons of spinoff series Deep Space Nine, signed on to produce and co-write the new script, based loosely on Larson’s original pilot. The new Galactica would be darker, grittier and more realistic, Moore promised – and less camp. In the background, Richard Hatch – backed up by a vocal segment of fandom – protested the new direction for the show, but they were ultimately ignored.

Battlestar Galactica: Second ComingWhen reports began to surface that more significant changes were being planned, however, it appeared to some fans as though Hatch might have a point. The first, and most frequently touted, change was for the fan favorite character of Starbuck – rumored early on to be a cigar-chomping hotshot female pilot. Again, vocal fans questioned the changes and some even proposed a boycott, but when Sci-Fi premiered the lavishly-produced miniseries pilot in December 2003, Battlestar Galactica was again a ratings winner, beating out most of the network’s other original Battlestar Galacticaprogramming that year, surprising some of the fans and disappointing others, and meriting a 13-episode series production order in 2004.

A further twist awaited Hatch: in an effort to smooth things over with fandom, the producers of the new remake cast Hatch as a political agitator, pitting him against the already-uneasy duo of Commander Adama and President Laura Roslin in a series of infrequent guest appearances spanning the series’ entire run. Not long after the conclusion of the Galactica reboot – which had, during its run, become one of the most-acclaimed SF series in television history – Universal announced yet another revival of Galactica would be put into production, hewing more closely to the original 1970s TV series but still not Hatch’s continuation, and completely unrelated to the Ronald D. Moore series of the 2000s. The third iteration of CapricaGalactica is slated to be a movie, ensuring that somewhere out there, there’s still a ragtag fleet looking for a shining beacon called Earth; in the meantime, Syfy (formerly Sci-Fi Channel) continues to attempt a successful continuation to the Moore series, though finding a series formula that wins the kind of ratings that the remake did has already taken them through one cancelled prequel (Caprica) and another prequel with a troubled production history (Blood & Chrome).


The Crimson Horror

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is summoned to the Victorian era once again by Madame Vastra and her colleagues. People are signing up to become model residents of a walled-off, gated community promising traditional values… and then, once accepted, they are never heard from again. The Doctor and Clara pose as another perfect couple hoping to become residents of Sweetville, and their application is quickly accepted. Once inside the gates, though, the time travelers learn that residency in Sweetville carries a horrifying cost, one which puts them out of the picture. Now the fate of humanity, and the Doctor, rests with the Doctor’s unlikely trio of allies.

Order the DVDwritten by Mark Gatiss
directed by Saul Metzstein
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara), Dame Diana Rigg (Mrs. Gillyflower), Rachael Stirling (Ada), Catrin Stewart (Jenny), Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra), Dan Starkey (Strax), Eve de Leon Allen (Angie), Kassius Carey Johnson (Artie), Brendan Patricks (Edmund / Mr. Thursday), Graham Turner (Amos), Doctor WhoOlivia Vinall (Effie), Michelle Tate (Abigail), Jack Oliver Hudson (Urchin Boy)

Notes: Dame Diana Rigg is one of the most recognizable faces of British TV, having co-starred as Mrs. Peel in The Avengers with Patrick Macnee for several seasons. (Her predecessor as Steed’s sidekick, Honor Blackman, had a guest starring role in parts 9-12, a.k.a. Terror Of The Vervoids, in 1986’s The Trial Of A Time Lord.) The BAFTA, Tony, and Emmy-winning actress has also appeared in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and more recently in Game Of Thrones. Actress Rachael Stirling is Rigg’s daughter and a well-regarded actress in her own right, having appeared in Minder, Tipping The Velvet, Hotel Babylon, and Snow White & The Doctor WhoHuntsman.

The Doctor mentions traveling with an air stewardess who wanted to return to Heathrow; this is a rare reference to Tegan Jovanka, the Australian companion of the fourth and fifth Doctors. Though the character has been revived by actress Janet Fielding for the Big Finish audio adventures, this is the first mention of Tegan in the new series. (She was also mentioned in the laundry list of former TARDIS travelers and their respective outcomes in part two of the Sarah Jane Adventures story The Death Of The Doctor (2010).

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More