Edgewise #2 – Sci-Fi Movies on TVMay 7th, 2012 | Posted by in Columns and Essays
Dwayne’s Science Fiction and Fantasy column, hosted by FantasticCon.com-
Crappy Sci-Fi movies on TV. I like em.
Last week, I told you a little bit about myself and my relationship to SF literature. This week, I had intended to talk about old SF television, as a segue to me trashing THE X-FILES. Unfortunately, I’ve enjoyed the show each of the last three times I’ve watched. My employers, captains of the mighty starship we call FANTASTICON, have informed me that if my first review is a good one, you guys’ll lose all respect for me. So I’ll be back with a review as soon as I see something that’s suitably stinky. Shouldn’t take long, this is the science fiction beat, after all. If worse comes to worst, I’ll watch one of those Thursday Night Movies on UPN.
The first science fiction movie I can remember going to see was ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES, a film about superintelligent talking apes in the future. I had a great time until the very end, when a nuclear weapon detonated, destroying the entire Earth (a pretty neat trick for the SECOND film in a five-part series). I tell you that only to tell you this: don’t take small children to see movies where the Earth blows up at the end. I didn’t get a full night’s sleep again until I saw THUNDERBALL on TV. James Bond didn’t let HIS nuke blow up. If James Bond had been in THE PLANET OF THE APES, we’d probably still have the Statue of Liberty in one piece. My point? Charlton Heston’s always been a loser.
I didn’t often get to go see SF movies, my folks had little tolerance for the genre. So I got most of my SF fix from the tube. Pickings were much slimmer than they are these days, though. So I watched anything that wasn’t on at the same time as something my dad liked; THUNDERBIRDS, a space drama starring, so help me, marionettes (worse, when the puppets picked up an object, like a glass of water, their puppet hands would temporarily be replaced by human ones; DR. WHO, a show my friends thought looked cheesy but I thought was cool; STAR TREK, a show I thought was cool but in retrospect, looks awfully cheesy, even digitally remastered; LOST IN SPACE, a show I hated but watched diligently in the hope that this week, the Robot would shoot electricity out of his claws. It didn’t happen often enough, for my taste. Usually, the bad guy would just pull the Robot’s “power pack” off of his side and the robot would slump helplessly, bereft of juice. Okay, I can see this happening once, but every week? Couldn’t they have just duct taped the battery on?
Oh, good God. I’m almost out of space again. I didn’t even get to talk about Monster Week on the 4:30 movie (always culminating on Friday with DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, quite possibly the greatest film ever made). Okay, next week I’m going to step into it good fashion. Anyone up for trashing STAR TREK?
Dwayne McDuffie is a founder of Milestone Media and has unaccountably agreed to do this column every week. This will be a lot easier if people like you write in so he can do a “Reader’s Mailbag” feature every so often, thus lessening his workload.