Category: Authors & Writers

Lost In Space (Netflix Tv Series Reboot)

Lost in Space Reboot 2018, Netflix

Genre:  Sci Fi, Family in Peril in Space

Released Date: 18 April 2018 in the UK

Cast:

  • Toby Stephens as John Robinson
  • Molly Parker as Maureen Robinson
  • Ignacio Serricchio as Don West
  • Taylor Russell as Judy Robinson
  • Mina Sundwall as Penny Robinson
  •  Maxwell Jenkins as Will Robinson
  • Parker Posey as Dr Smith

 

Lost In Space (Netflix TV Series Reboot)

I am happy to see this classic TV sci fi series Lost in Space return for a deserved 21st century reboot.

I remember rushing home from secondary (high) school to watch the original series (seasons), running for 83 episodes  from 1965 to 1968.  The first series was made in black & white as colour TV was two years away. The second series introduced colour. Along with ‘Voyage to the bottom of the sea’ and ‘Dr Who’ (1963 to present)  & ‘Star Trek’ (1965 to present , were and still are my favourites  as with my friends.

Lost in Space is based on the classic 1812 novel  ‘Swiss family Robinson’, about a family ship wrecked and castaway in the East indies. The Robinson family learn  how to survive and become self reliant.

1965-1968 Family, Don West with Dr. Smith & Robot            The 1998 Movie cast

The 1965 modern sci-fi reiteration sees a family of would be forerunners of planet colonisers along with the co pilot Major West and an unwelcome stowaway, enemy agent, Dr. Zachary Smith. Smith was sent aboard to sabotage the Jupiter 2 space craft. He succeeds but gets trapped as the spacecraft is lost in space. Smith brilliantly played by Jonathon Harris  continually tries to thwart the family. In later episodes Smith becomes toned down & more comic. His bantering with the robot assistant (who becomes regarded as part of the family) is popular.  The Robot’s frequent utterances of “Danger, Danger, Danger Will Robinson!”  Smith gets into all sorts of escapades with aliens etc., dragging the family with him.  My male school friends & I liked Penny Robinson as she was our age.

The 1998 movie generally keeps the same characters & roles, but is  darker than the 1960s innocent TV show. Gary Oldman is excellent as Dr. Smith. technical evolution of SFX (special effects) and CGI (computer graphic imaging) add to the story.

Now the 2018 series approaches and the show’s trailer shows what looks like brilliant SFX and CGI  now de rigeur for a successful screen sci fi  creation. This time some tinkering with the characters. A mixed race daughter, a reformed rogue finding a family he never had character which replaces that of upright major Don West. Dr. Smith is now portrayed by a woman, which will be interesting as we see how the characters develop.  The popular human constructed family robot is replaced by a  mysterious  alien robot found on planet they land on.

2018 Space Family Robinson

The New Dr. Smith

 “Danger, Will Robinson!”  Alien robot – friend or foe?

My only regret is that they did not keep the original classic shape I like for the Jupiter 2 spacecraft. I am looking forward to the series.

Jupiter 2 Spacecraft

Original 1960s version

Movie version

Netflix 2018 series version

Celebrated Contretemps

Pen is not only mightier than a sword, it can oftentimes be bitchier.

Some quotes follows below of how authors, novelists and poets think of each other. It makes fascinating reading.

Man-with-Quill

Celebrated Contretemps

Any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen.
– Mark Twain

“If Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain) cannot think of something better to tell our pure-minded lads and lasses,he had best stop writing for them.” (concerning Twain’s Huckleberry Finn)
– Louisa May Alcott

People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.
– David H Comins

Legend has it that Gioachino Rossinoi (of The Barber of Seville) was passionate about food.  He had a recipe for macaroni that was so divine that it rivaled his glorious music.  Alexander Dumas, who spent the later days of his life compiling the ultimate recipe book, heard of Rossini’s macaroni.  He asked Rossini if he could include the recipe for the macaroni in his book.  Rossini invited Dumas to his house.  Rossini made a great effort to make the macaroni even better than perfect.  But when Dumas arrived he said he never ate macaroni and was only after the recipe.  Rossini was not impressed and refused to give Dumas the macaroni recipe.  Sadly the recipe is lost for posterity.

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE

AgathaDame Agatha Christie is a popular British author; Guinness Book of World Records lists her as the bestselling author of all times.  She had written 66 detective novels, 14 short stories, and even had time to write 6 romantic novels under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott.  I think she would probably be best known for her creation of the brilliant but rather busy-body Jane Marple and the Belgian Hercule Poirot.

Agatha Christie’s play called The Mousetrap is the longest running show of the modern age.  It opened in the West End in 1952 and it had continued to run eversince.

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE

I learned that one can never go back, that one should not ever try to go back – that the essence of life is going forward.  Life is really a one – way street.

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Farewell Leonard Nimoy

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One of our Star Trek Commemorative Plates of the man or should I say Spock himself

Being an avid Science Fiction (sci fi)  fan, I have read many novels seen moves and TV and radios  series of the genre.

I prefer to read, watch or listen to sci fi that has potential to become science fact and indeed has happened!

One such TV series is Star Trek. I grew up in the 1960s and there was not much sci fi on TV. I listened with my parents to some sci fi plays such as  the classic ‘Quatermass’ on BBC radio every Sunday evening. When ‘Dr Who’ came along on BBC TV in 1963  (now the longest running continuous sci fi tv series in the world). I was so happy and despite the black & white viewing  and sometimes wobbly stage sets and  minimal primitive special effects (sfx), the excellent actors and stories ultimately enchanted millions of viewers.

With the advent of colour viewing TV in the mid 1960s, more  sci fi  Tv series were produced, many from the USA.

One such was, of course,  ‘Star Trek’. Created by Gene Rodenberry, it introduced the crew & their weekly adventures in a faster-than-light travelling space ship called the ‘USS Enterprise’.  There were  British sailing ships called HMS Enterprise AKA ‘Enterprize’)  in the 1700s and one in 1800s.

In the pilot episode (1964) of Star Trek, one of the crew was referred to as a ‘Vulcanian’ a humanoid from from the Planet Vulcan orbiting the star 40 Eridani,  which is a real star  about 16 light years from earth.  Vulcan could be reached in a few days with the ‘warp’,  anti mattered powered engines of the  Constitution class star ships such as the Enterprise.

The ‘Vulcanian’ science officer was called ‘Mr Spock’, as apparently his Vulcan name was unpronounceable to humans!

From the beginning actor Leonard Nimoy was chosen to play Spock.

The Vulcan race looked human except for pointed ears, arched eyebrows, distinctive hairstyles, a slight green skin pallor due to green blood.

Vulcans were stronger and faster than humans, due to the higher gravity, less oxygen rich atmosphere and heat on Vulcan. Vulcans were extremely long lived too – up to 300 years. They exercise extreme control over their emotions as taught by  a venerated philosopher named Surak. as early in their history Vulcans were prone to violence.

To make the character more interesting Mr Spock was also  half human, with his father being the renowned, Vulcan statesman and  ambassador, Sarek (well played originally by actor Mark Leonard). His human mother is Amanda Grayson ( played by Jane Wyatt in the original series).

This early Mr Spock looked rather severe and shouted a lot!

Spock Pilot Star Trek 1964

Spock Pilot Star Trek 1964

 

After the pilot show, Gene Rodenberry was not satisfied and made big cast changes for the series proper in 1966. A new captain of the Enterprise was brought in ( William Shatner as Capt Kirk), A new ships doctor, actor Deforest Kelly as Dr (Bones) McCoy.

Leonard and his distinctive appearance as Spock now generically known as a Vulcan as opposed to Vulcanian, was retained and he became the science officer and second in command to Kirk.

Spock’s appearance was softened, as was his voice and manner, becoming calmer and most logical as befits a Vulcan.

Spock’s  ‘bantering’ and put downs with Dr McCoy with Kirk often acting as referee were brilliant. However,  the trio’s underlying loyalty and friendship to each other shone through as the series progressed; His Vulcan catchphrase and hand gesture became legendary too!

Off course, all of the main Enterprise crew became legendary in TV,  sci fi  & the motion picture history.

Leonard Nimoy was also known to me as I enjoyed the  early  ‘Mission Impossible’ TV shows. He played  ‘Paris’, a master of disguise brought in to the later  ‘Impossible Mission Force’ 1969-1971.  Mission Impossible was made at the same studios (Desilu) as the classic Star Trek series and so Leonard could swap pointy ears for various disguises!

Leonard was also a guest villain in one of my favourite detective series ‘Columbo’.  Spock’s logic was no match for Columbo’s detective ability & own brand logic 🙂

Mr Spock appeared in the various Star Trek sequels  and movies including the excellent 2009 reboot of the franchise under J.J. Abrams.

In the reboot, Zachary Quinto’s likeness as the young Spock although in a different time line captures that essence of Nimoy.

Spock and then other characters live on in the Star Trek novels I enjoy reading.

Leonard  Nimoy crafted and evolved Spock into one of the most popular, recognisable & iconic characters in entertainment.

Where ever you are now in that ‘undiscovered country‘ Leonard,  “Live Long And Prosper…”

Spock LLAP

 

Classic original crew of the Enterprise The main original crew of the Enterprise

 

 

Spock,_resurrected Zachory Quinot young spock

Spock in his second Century                             A young Spock (Zachary Quinto)

paris Leoanard Nimoy& Peter Falk in Columbo

Paris in Mission Impossible                 A baddie in Columbo

Farewell Leonard Nimoy

 

50 Shades of Red

50 shades of plaid

 50 Shades of Red

We may be familiar with Chicago’s St Valentine’s Day massacre, well  some new Valentine violence occurred at a cinema in Glasgow, Scotland this 14 February I suppose 50 Shades of Red!

To us Brits, Glasgow is known as Scotland’s most violent places and is legendary for introducing the so called ‘Glasgow Kiss’, which is a headbutt to the face!

Many years ago, a Scottish colleague/friend said that when there was a tense situation in a Glasgow pub, one of the protagonist’s would say to the other ” Pick a window you’re leavin’.”

The Glasgow cinema was showing the eagerly and hotly anticipated movie version of the British best seller ’50 Shades of Grey’ on St Valentine’s Day.

Three women were arrested for attacking a  man who apparently asked them to make less noise, as they were part of a group of ladies who were screaming during the screening!

The cinema theatre also sells alcohol, which appears to have fuelled the females flames of passion.

I guess this should not be too unexpected getting a group of Glasgow Gals together to check out and ogle the well ripped & fit Jamie Dornan 😉

We wonder if the man, the poor victim, did not produce 50 shades of sh*t (could also perhaps describe what many viewers & critics think of the movie),  when surrounded by a rampant hormonal horde 🙂

Brilliance of John Steinbeck

John_Steinbeck_1962

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 26, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939), East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception”. (Wikipedia)

Brilliance of John Steinbeck

He quoted:

A journey is like a marriage.  The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
– Steinbeck

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No one wants advice – only corroboration.
– Steinbeck
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Time is the only critic without ambition.
– Steinbeck
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Those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, ae the traits of success.
– Steinbeck

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Helen Keller Quotes

Helen_Keller13

Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. (Wikipedia)

Helen was not born deaf and blind.  She contracted an illness when she was only 18 months old which left her unable to see and hear.   She devoted her life campaigning and raising funds for the deaf and blind.

Helen Keller Quotes:

All the world is full of suffering.  It is also full of overcoming.

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Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

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It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.
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No pessimist ever discover the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.

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Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
– Helen Keller
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Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.

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Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.
– Helen Keller
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The highest result of education is tolerance.

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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched.  They must be felt with the heart.
– Helen Keller

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There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, a slave who has not had a king among his.

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Tolerance is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.

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Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.

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While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.

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Helen Keller

Leo Tolstoy Philosophy

Leo Tolstoy www.historytoday.com

Leo Tolstoy
www.historytoday.com

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (9 September 1828 – 20 November 1910), also known as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russianwriter, philosopher and political thinker who primarily wrote novels and short stories.

Today is Leo Tolstoy’s 186th birth anniversary.
(9 Sept 2014)

Tolstoy’s War and Peace is such a long read that it has entered the dictionary to mean, something long and laborious to read.

But having said that War and Peace is a true classic for everyone’s bucket list (book to read before dying). 😉

I always write in the morning.  In the morning one’s head is particularly fresh.
– L Tolstoy
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Leo Tolstoy Philosophy

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

– Leo Tolstoy
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It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.
~Leo Tolstoy
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No one who has not sat in prison knows what the State is like.
– Leo Tolstoy

When you feel the desire for power, you should stay in solitude for some time.
– Leo Tolstoy
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