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Week of July 9, 2001

Delia Derbyshire, 1937-2001. British composer and musician Delia Derbyshire, probably best known for the unforgettably haunting arrangement of Ron Grainer's Doctor Who theme music which graced the show from 1963 to 1980 (and is still in use today by Big Finish's range of Audio Adventures), died on July 3rd, 2001. The first female composer to work in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Ms. Derbyshire also contributed a great deal of music both otherworldly and otherwise to the BBC's library over the years, and remained an active participant up until her death. Source: Mark Ayres

Details revealed about Enterprise music. It looks like earlier quotes attributed to Rick Berman and other members of the "Star Trek Repertory Company" at Paramount have proven to be inaccurate. Word has it that Jerry Goldsmith, whose association with Star Trek stretches back 22 years with the mold-setting score for Star Trek: The Motion Picture and his Emmy-winning theme music for Star Trek: Voyager, will be creating a new theme for Enterprise, UPN's upcoming prequel series - though there is a small minority of conflicting rumors that the studio may insist upon using a song (as in with lyrics) to open each episode. Additionally, Dennis McCarthy is now said to be the first of the Next Generation/Deep Space Nine/Voyager music makers to sign back on for regular duty aboard Enterprise, so fans can expect to hear a familiar sound to the new show. Source: Film Score Monthly

Voyager continues in print. I think it's fair to say that everybody felt a bit cheated by the final episode of Star Trek: Voyager, which passed up on reunions with loved ones and instead gave us...well...explosions. Pocket Books intends to rectify the situation. Just as they have done recently with a new series of post-season 7 Deep Space Nine novels, Pocket will launch a new series of Voyager novels detailing the crew's return to the Alpha Quadrant. The novelization of the series finale includes a big excerpt from the first book, Christie Golden's Homecoming, due later this year.

Star Trek: Voyager Endgame novelization

New (and old) Folds albums slated for September. Ben Folds, late of the apocryphally-named rock trio Ben Folds Five, is finally set to unleash his first solo effort since the band's breakup, Rockin' The Suburbs, this September. But wait, there's more! On the same autumn day as Folds' new solo release, Sony will reissue the Five's much-loved 1997 album, Whatever And Ever Amen, with four extra bonus tracks from roughly the same time as the Whatever sessions. Two of the songs, Air and Theme From Dr. Peyser, have been released before (the former as part of the soundtrack from the awful 1998 remake of Godzilla), while two others - Prince Charming and Amelia Bright - are previously unreleased songs said to be "rough mixes" from the aborted recording sessions for the follow-up to the outstanding (and oft underrated) 1999 album The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. Both CDs will hit the shelves September 11 (and, of course, we'll make sure you can pre-order them here). Source: Rolling

The Pac is back. But is that a good thing? Normally, we're big supporters of any new action on the retro-gaming scene, and the Game Boy Advance seems to be this year's hot new video game system (take that, X-Box!), but there are mostly games we've seen before. Pac-Man Collection, Namco's follow-up to the Game Boy Advance edition of Namco Museum, includes the vintage Pac-Man (probably still the primary reason Nintendo, Namco or anybody is still bothering to make video games to this date), along with a previously-unreleased variation called Pac-Man Arrangement. But also included here, and likely to be the subject of some debate among classic gaming fans, are the Tetris rip-off a la Pac called Pac Attack, and a not-very-faithful-to-the-original version of the last Pac arcade game of the 80s, Pac-Mania, which really bears little resemblance to the isometric 3-D graphics of the original (despite the fact that many games prove that the Game Boy Advance probably could pull it off). Why not Super Pac-Man instead of Pac-Attack, which was already chucked at us with the Game Boy Color edition of Pac-Man? C'mon, Namco, we appreciate the bone you're throwing us...but couldn't it be just a little bit juicier?

Pac-Man Collection

Unearthed Gallifreyan treasure? Well, that's a matter of opinion. But one thing Doctor Who fans are agreeing on unanimously is that they never expected to see this released: one of the BBC Radio Collection's newest "Lost Episodes" titles out this month is the Tom Baker-read audio abridgement of Terrance Dicks' novelization of Genesis of the Daleks, along with the educational radio drama Exploration Earth, which hasn't been heard in its entirety since its original 1975 broadcast. A somewhat more typical release, also available now, is the classic Patrick Troughton story The Abominable Snowmen, which introduced the vicious Yeti to the Doctor Who mythos.

Doctor Who: Genesis Of The Daleks / Exploration Earth

Doctor Who: The Abominable Snowmen

Tori to tell the other side of the story. She's been busy touring since her 1999 double album To Venus And Back, but now Tori Amos is readying her own September release, Strange Little Girls, which will actually be a cover album consisting of a dozen songs written by men - some of which, like Eminem's '97 Bonnie & Clyde, have been decried for depicting violence against women in their lyrics. There are conflicting reports as to whether or not the lyrics will be amended, or left as is. Other artists whose songs will be covered on Strange Little Girls include Depeche Mode, the Beatles, Slayer, 10cc and Lou Reed. A tour will begin in September, featuring Tori's first solo turn at keyboards with no backing band since 1994. Sources: Associated Press, Atlantic Records

Anyone who was around 39 years ago will attest to the fact that in October 1962, the world came closer than it probably ever has since to seeing a nuclear war. For it was then that U.S. spy satellites spotted signs of Soviet nuclear missile installations being constructed in nearby Cuba - and American ships blockaded the island, drawing threats of war from Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev. Thirteen Days is the story of nearly two weeks of terror - and how then-President John F. Kennedy walked a fine line between standing his ground ...or provoking the end of the world. Bruce Greenwood, that incredible actor of Nowhere Man fame, portrays Kennedy, with Kevin Costner (in what may be his first respectable flick in years) in tow. Though it didn't exactly break box office records, Thirteen Days has won critical acclaim. And since I'm a big fan of history, that alone - if not the presence of some fine talent in front of and behind the cameras - qualifies this movie as this week's Killer DVD.

Thirteen Days

Well, it's not so much an editorial, or even an editorial cartoon per se, but rather a cautionary tale for our times about leaving mildly mentally-debilitating antibiotics, a digital camera, and a still-unpacked box of action figures in the immediate vicinity of someone with a nasty summer flu. (On the other hand, all that downtime works wonders for a web site badly in need of updates.)

Earl's Bizarro Action Figure Cartoon
Oh, go ahead, e-mail it to your friends. Just bloody well leave my name on the thing, okay?

First new Intellivision cartridge in over a decade. About a year ago, Intellivision enthusiast Valter Prette formed the makeINTV mailing list and web site to provide a forum for stalwart fans of Mattel's extinct Intellivision video game console - and hopefully to spark enough interest to create new games. A recent message from Valter reveals that the first new Intellivision cartridge since the 1980s is to make its debut at the next PhillyClassic retro-gaming expo, though his message sent to list members in late June is a bit confusing - this year's expo has already happened, so is he referring to next year's PhillyClassic? Visit the above web site for details. Source: Valter Prette

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