Sunday, July 12, 2009

Starlog Memories

I lived for this magazine!

For most of my life I've been a fan of science fiction, it started with watching Star Trek reruns and grew from there. One of my favorite past times as a kid was reading Starlog magazine, the magazine that had all the information I was looking for on the latest in sci fi news. I've blogged about Star Trek before and it's a given that it's my favorite sci fi tv series of all time so here it is, my Top 10 Favorite childhood sci fi - minus Star Trek.

10. Ark II (1976)

You know what, I can't remember anything about this show other than that vehicle. I thought the vehicle was cool. I know I watched this show a lot, after all this time that's all I can remember though.

9. Exo-man (1977)

What if you had the ability to become an indestructible vibrator? Would you do it? (Huh huh, I said "do it"). In the case of a scientist who becomes paralyzed and must fight the forces of evil, the decision is ad hoc. Exoman was a dull, dull tv movie about a ridiculously slow armored man yet I watched it every time it showed up on tv.

8. Gemini Man (1976)

A short lived series about a man who could turn invisible for a few seconds at a time, Gemini Man showed off the spectacular high tech instrument known as the digital watch. After this show, I never looked at digital watches again and seeing them in timer mode pops this program in my mind each time.

7. Space Academy (1977 - 1979)

For some reason I kept thinking James Doohan was on this program, on You Tube it's Mr. Smith from Lost in Space which just shows how shot my memory is. Anyway, for Saturday morning sci fi this program could not be topped. Plus the blond girl was cute (and I think she used to do a lot of tv programs at the time) and Brian Tochi was there to represent!

6. Logan's Run (1977)

Before he was saving lives as the trailer livin' doctor in the parking lot on Trapper John M.D., Gregory Harrison was taking lives as the Logan in the tv adaptation of Logan's Run. To be a Sandman on the run (Runner!) with a beautiful blond (they sure favored blond women in sci fi back then) and a faithful android. I so wanted one of those guns with the flame that shoots out the sides when fired.

5. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979 - 1981)

In 1987 astronaut Buck Rogers was frozen in space until he was found centuries later. In the future, Earth is a computerized society where everyone androids do all the thinking down to the piloting of fighters in combat. Humans are just along for the ride. What the 25th Century needed was a 20th Century man to show them 'ol fashioned American gumption. Buck brought turning off the autopilot and turning on the disco dancing just when mankind needed it most. Later, he Captained a 2001 Space Odyssey kind of ship with his best bud, the feathery alien Hawk. And through it all, red hot Erin Gray took tight shiny suits to new heights. Buda-Buda-way to go Buck!

4. The Man From Atlantis (1977)

Patrick Duffy is known to most people as Bobby Ewing of Dallas, to me he is the Man from Atlantis aka Aquaman without paying trademark rights. He can breathe underwater and swim like a dolphin! Inspiring a generation of kids like me to attempt to do the same in tribute to the aquatic hero. Swim like a dolphin that is. I wonder if he got a laugh out of watching kids do humping motions in the deep end of the pool across America.

3. Six Million Dollar Man / The Bionic Woman (tie) (1974 - 1978)

Because The Bionic Woman was a spinoff of the Six Million Dollar Man I considered them to be more or less the same program. Lee Majors in his red jumpsuit squinty eyed glory was Colonel Steve Austin, astronaut, a man barely alive because he refused to eject from a test flight everyone including him could see was going wrong. Col. Austin lost his legs, right arm and eye in the crash. Fortunately, for the price of what would now be some kids party on MTV's My Sweet Sixteen, they could rebuild him. I was a huge fan of both programs, to this day you can run in slow motion making that Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Da-Na-Na-Na sound and people in my age group will know what it means. And going down that rotating tunnel from the Bigfoot episode during the Universal Studios tour was a total headtrip. I wonder if that's still there?

2. Battlestar Galactica (1978 - 1979)

Frak Frak frickin' Frak, it's the original Battlestar Galactica. Back when Apollo was a fire fighter, Starbuck was Face and Adama sold dog food. And Boomer was a cool black man instead of an Asian Cylon woman (he was my favorite character on the show, had a level head and took care of business). While the remake series has become one of the most critically acclaimed sci fi shows I've witnessed, it can't beat the charm of the hokey old 70's show for me. Maybe it was the Star Wars knockoff special effects. Maybe it was the pseudo Egyptian clothing. Maybe it was going to the actual movie theater to see it on the silver screen with rumbling audio. Because the Vipers flew more like jet fighters than the Star Wars X Wings, I liked them a little bit more. And you can't beat the thrill of that launch tube! And I think the over attention that Frak has received is a bunch of Feldacarb.

1. Space 1999 (1975 - 1977)

Was there any doubt? I've blogged about this fantastic slice of British made science fiction before. In 1999 the moon is blasted out of Earth orbit by a nuclear accident, sending the occupants of Moonbase Alpha hurtling through space. Surrounded by a mostly British crew, American Commander Koenig leads the team through all kinds of space craziness. The original costume design of polyester outfits with bell bottom pants, huge plastic belts and a colored zippered sleeve is burned in my mind as the height of fashion. I totally had the horseshoe shaped laser gun toy that shot plastic rings at people. Back in the 70's it was Ok to make toys that could choke small children (My Battlestar Galactica Viper shot a small red missle that could choke a kid out too). Ah, the good old days.

Hard to believe this post started because I was reminiscing about The Tales Of The Gold Monkey series with Stephen Collins. Jack!

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