Does the Funky Future book need to be a podcast instead?

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    As you may or may not know, I’ve been watching and chronicling ’70s American sci-fi/fantasy/superhero shows for a future book project, and have also been doing the same with UK shows from many decades (but still weighted heavily in favor of the 70s) for another book project.

    I have to admit, given the return-on-investment…my book-writing mojo has been at a very low ebb for quite a while. So I’m wondering if maybe all this research shouldn’t be turned into a podcast of some sort. Here are some notes I jotted down yesterday for a possible format.

    Basically…this would be the Mission Log of ’70s and early ’80s genre TV. Maybe further into the ’80s if folks aren’t just sick of it by that point.

    Focus on 2-4 TV shows, preferably from the same week of the same year.

    What happened in history that week? Famous deaths (or now-famous births)? Give the context and the cultural “mood”.

    Synopsis of each show (read the Logbook entry, basically).
    Trivia (guest star, writer, director connections).
    Irreverent observations (what dates it badly, or what aged really well – be fair).
    What is the story really telling us? Does it succeed in telling us that?

    Intersperse with theme music/show opens/network teases if available/contemporary commercials.

    In the event of a squeeze:
    A “b” episode can always be done for a jam-packed week.
    Favor weeknight shows over Saturday morning cartoons.
    Favor live action over animation; favor English-speaking over foreign (such as anime).
    Only cover radio if it’s something major (i.e. NPR Star Wars, early Hitchhiker’s Guide, Alien Worlds).

    #73-38: Week of September 17th, 1973
    – Starlost: Voyage of Discovery
    – Star Trek TAS: One Of Our Planets is Missing
    – Moonbase 3: Achilles’ Heel

    #73-50: Week of December 15th, 1973
    – Starlost: The Return of Oro
    – Star Trek TAS: The Slaver Weapon
    – Doctor Who: Time Warrior part 1

    #74-11: Week of March 11th, 1974
    – Six Million Dollar Man: Rescue of Athena One
    – Doctor Who: Death To The Daleks Part 4
    – Tomorrow People: A Rift In Time Part 1

    #75-16: Week of April 14th, 1975
    – Survivors: The Fourth Horseman
    – Sky: Juganet
    – Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen Part 1

    #75-36b: September 6, 1975: Saturday Morning Special!
    – Land of the Lost: Tar Pit
    – Shazam: On Winning
    – Isis: Lights of Mystery Mountain
    – Far-Out Space Nuts: It’s All In Your Mind
    – Planet of the Apes: Flames of Doom

    #75-37: Week of September 8, 1975
    – Invisible Man: The Klae Resource
    – Space: 1999: Force of Life

    #76-40: Week of September 27, 1976
    – Gemini Man: Minotaur
    – Doctor Who: Hand Of Fear Part 1
    – Star Maidens: Kidnap

    #77-01: Week of January 3, 1977
    – Wonder Woman: Last of the Two Dollar Bills
    – Doctor Who: Face of Evil part 2
    – Children of the Stones: Into The Circle

    #77-07: Week of February 14, 1977
    – Wonder Woman: In Hollywood
    – Fantastic Journey: Beyond The Mountain
    – Children Of The Stones: Squaring the Circle

    #77-08: Week of February 21, 1977
    – Fantastic Journey: Children of the Gods
    – Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng Chiang Part 1
    – Children Of The Stones: Full Circle

    #77-38: Week of September 19, 1977
    – Man From Atlantis: Melt Down
    – Wonder Woman: Anschluss ’77
    – Raven: Episode 1

    #78-14: Week of April 3, 1978:
    – Hulk: 747
    – Spider-Man: Deadly Dust part 1
    – Vanessa 38-24-36

    #78-17: Week of April 24, 1978:
    – Spider-Man: Night of the Clines
    – Man from Atlantis: Imp
    – Hulk: Never Give A Trucker An Even Break

    #79-03: Week of January 15, 1979
    – Captain America (TV movie)
    – Blake’s 7: Shadow
    – Doctor Who: The Armageddon Factor Part 1

    #79-07: Week of February 12, 1979
    – Supertrain: And a Cup of Kindness Too
    – Battlestar Galactica: Murder on the Rising Star
    – Blake’s 7: Trial

    #79-47: Week of November 19, 1979
    – Captain America II: Death Too Soon
    – Buck Rogers: Cosmic Wiz Kid
    – Doctor Who: Nightmare of Eden part 1
    – Monkey: Turns Nursemaid

    Show titles:
    “The LogBook”
    “We Come From A Funky Future”
    “The Future Was Funky”
    “The Next Exciting Episode”
    “Retrogram Complete” (Logan’s Run in-joke)

    That was just from playing around with the “on this date…” function on the episode guide page.

    Just as I tell my kids, not every thought that occurs in their head needs to come out of their mouths. Not every idea I have for a podcast necessarily needs to be brought to fruition (believe me, I’ve had a few goofy ones I haven’t even told you guys about). And there’s no saying that books might not still happen at some point in the future.

    Thoughts? Good? Bad? Don’t care? 0/10, would not listen again?

    Steve W
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    To me it’d probably do better as a podcast. I think I like “The Next Exciting Episode” better than the other titles, but maybe you shouldn’t make a decision just yet, come up with some other names. None really strongly evoke that ’70s feel to me.

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    “Spandex Spacesuits”

    Maybe that’d be a better subtitle. “The official podcast of spandex spacesuits and open-reel computers…FROM THE FUTURE.”

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    “UHF SF”?
    “Prime Time Travel” / “Prime Time Travelers”?
    “Space Station Corduroy”?
    “Children Of The Corduroy”?
    “The Robot Wore Bell Bottoms”?
    “Leisure Suits In Space”?

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    Hey Google, what you got for me today?

    No results found for “tune in next time podcast“.

    I'm Batman

    What do you think, sirs?

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    Finally settled on “Retrogram“. I know that’s the podcast-naming equivalent of a director getting so attached to a temp music track during editing that he just licenses a piece of music from someone else’s soundtrack rather than having his composer do something new there, but it just seems like the shortest, sweetest, most on-the-nose name…and no one else has claimed it for anything. And it’s also perfect for a show about ’70s sci-fi since the term (and even the font used) originates from Logan’s Run.

    There’ll be a “pilot episode” to iron out the kinks and give the format a shakedown cruise before the year is out. It’s already outlined, the week already decided, the shows already picked.

    I’ve already started inputting shows (with links to the Logbook where they already exist) into a timeline [LINK] designed to help me – and others! – spot interesting confluences of interesting shows for the purpose of suggesting future episodes. Lot of work still to be done there, but it overcomes one of the limitations of the ubiquitous “on this day…” plugin, which will show you one day at a time but not a range of dates.

    I’ve already been editing interstitial pieces out of royalty-free music, which tends to fall into three categories – 70s style hard rock (think stylistically in terms of KISS), funk/disco, and Rick-Wakeman-going-apeshit-on-keyboards prog rock. Everyone I’ve shown the format notes to has had a really good feeling about this show, so I’m trying to keep it “cleaner” in copyright terms than I do with some of the other shows, and I don’t think the usual Kasatochi chiptunes would feel right in a show that deals heavily with the 1970s.

    The design for the embedded “cover artwork” is already done. [LINK]

    I’m trying to record Mission-Log-esque hot takes and impressions of stuff as I watch it, banking it for later inclusion in the show proper, though the time is rapidly approaching to put the microphone away to move.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Earl.
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    The timeline is full show-wise, and I am adding historical events to it for context as time allows. (I’ve been trying to substitute late-night stress-coding for late-night stress-eating, and I’m not sure one is really more healthy than the other, to be honest.) The request form has gone live, and

    …someone’s already requested a specific week of a specific year (week 11 of 1973). That’s after just a minimal bit of promotion on social media.

    I think this is gonna be pretty cool. Go take a look at the full public write-up of the show concept here. [LINK]

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    Okay, so moving prep overtook podcast prep last May, but that may be for the best, as it gave me time to refine the format. So… this May. Memorial Day weekend, in fact – the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the LogBook project back in the BBS days. And in some ways, Retrogram is the LogBook’s graduate thesis.

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    This was a bit of fun to put together.

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