As is my way, I have returned to The Cultural Gutter for my monthly science fiction article. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, The Dandy Doctor celebrates the sartorial choices of the Doctor’s many incarnations
Debuting between the final episode of Star Trek and the release of Star Wars, Space: 1999 occupies an odd bit of real estate and has an even odder tone of voice, though it’s easier to make sense of if you understand where sci fi was when Space: 1999 aired.
When ITC commissioned then changed their mind about a second season of UFO, Gerry Anderson wasn’t one to let all the hard work that went into pre-production design go to waste. He tweaked the scenario a little and gave the proposed series a new name: Menace in Space.
You can’t really blame viewers who sat down to watch the first episode of UFO for expecting it to be pretty much the same as everything else Gerry Anderson had done, only with live actors instead of puppets. Those misconceptions about the show were quickly dispelled.
My latest article for The Cultural Gutter is now up. In keeping with the season, it’s science fiction with the heart of a horror film. Gothic Galactic takes a look at Mario Bava’s brief forays into the cosmos
I like Lupin and his crew matching wits against their foes and pulling heists in a world that seems at least vaguely familiar. Elusiveness of the Fog, however, puts an entirely scifi/fantasy twist on the Lupin formula and gives us a goofy, breezy time travel adventure that manages to be disposably entertaining without being all that good.
Crusher Joe is absolutely top-notch action-adventure storytelling, boasting smart writing, great artwork, a tiny dash of gratuitous nudity, lots of space battles, jungle battles, and a pirate named Big Murphy.
Then a transport shuttle lands on one of the giant sailers, the ramp opens, and one of the characters steps out, points toward…the future, perhaps…and yells, “GO!!!” The crew of the space sailer, invigorated by the anthemic rock music, stream out of the transport shuttle, running energetically and giving each other high-fives.
Mamo begins with the death of Lupin the Third, which comes as a major shock to Lupin the Third when he hears about it. This initial puzzler sends Lupin, Goemon, and Jigen on a wild quest that brings them face to face with the United States Navy and a mysterious, reclusive billionaire named Mamo.
When the only country in the world that has had atomic bombs dropped on it puts a mushroom cloud in a movies, it tends to have more resonance than when, say, the Italians do it. When the Italians set off an atomic bomb, it heralds the arrival of post-apocalyptic, dune buggy-driving leather aficionados. When Japan does it, however, it is something heavier.