Pixel Scroll 9/5/21 Scrollers Of The Purple Pixel

(1) LISTEN UP. Connie Willis proclaimed to Facebook readers “PRIMEVAL IS BACK!!!” (Hey, my ears may be deaf but my eyes aren’t!)

I just saw that the first two seasons of PRIMEVAL, the British science-fiction series, is now available from Britbox, and I thought it was a good time to encourage anybody who hasn’t seen it so far to take a look at it. That is, if there’s anybody left who I haven’t already told they HAVE to watch this series–

I have recommended it so many times that it’s become a standing joke in science fiction circles (I somehow figure out a way to mention it on every single panel) and Locus has forbidden me to mention it at the Locus Awards Banquet. As if that could stop me!

I know it sounds like I’m obsessed with the series, but so was Kit Reed, one of my favorite science-fiction writers of all time (see her brilliant short stories, “The Wait” and “Great escape Tours, Ltd.”) and nearly everybody I’ve ever introduced it to has loved it. (One couple took it on a beach weekend and ended up never going outside the entire time because they were binge-watching.)…

You know anything forbidden by Locus is mandatory here….

 … So, basically, the A-team with dinosaurs. So far, it’s completely formula, and you think the hunky guy and the pretty blonde will obviously get together, the geeky nerd will provide the plot explication and comic relief, the professor and the bureaucrat will flirt with each other, etc. but that only lasts for an episode or two, and then things start to get really interesting….

(2) SVENGOOLIE LENDS A HAND. Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications is one of five selected to host a special John Oliver exhibit. Horror-themed TV host Svengoolie told his fans how he helped with the successful pitch to Oliver, and that some of his items will be displayed by the Museum.

Tapped by Emmy-winning writer, comedian and television host John Oliver, the Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) announced today it is one of only five museums in the country receiving an art display featured on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The special exhibit opens Oct. 2 through Oct. 26, 2021. In addition to winning the honor through a national competition, the Museum also receives $10,000 from Last Week Tonight. The MBC’s designated charity, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, also will receive a $10,000 donation.

… The national competition began after Oliver’s 2020 segment about the harsh effects of the global pandemic on small museums. Oliver wanted to help. He called for submissions from museums that wanted to compete for displaying items from his Masterpiece Gallery collection. The Museum responded with a humorous video pitch using the power of broadcast to communicate important stories and influence audiences….

Admission is free, but the Museum has suggested that visitors bring a non-perishable food donation which will go, along with the $10,000 donation, to the Greater Chicago Food depository.

(3) TV TUNES. The theme songs of four genre shows made it into The Guardian’s top 20, although it was crime series “Inspector Morse voted No 1 theme song in poll of TV and music fans”.

4 Game of Thrones – Ramin Djawadi
13 Doctor Who – Ron Grainer
14 The Lone Ranger (William Tell Overture) – Gioachino Rossini
19 Thunderbirds – Barry Gray

(4) DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL. The latest (in 1966) British sff sensation is on black-and-white TV. Let Galactic Journey tell you all about it: “[September 4, 1966] British Science Fiction Lives! (Alien Worlds #1 & New Writings in SF #9)”.

Move over James Bond and John Steed, there is a new dashing science fictional spy on the scene. I am of course referring to the latest hit from the team behind Doctor WhoAdam Adamant Lives!

An old-fashioned Victorian swashbuckling hero, Adam Adamant is frozen by a masked supervillain and buried under London. After being found by a construction crew, he finds himself resurrected in the strange world of London in 1966. Teaming up with a young mod woman named Georgina Jones, they solve unusual crimes such as satanic aristocrats or a soap manufacturer drugging the nation with plastic flowers.

(5) TWO THUMBS UP. A pair of early reviews of Denis Villenueve’s Dune are quite favorable.

The Guardian’s Xan Brooks calls Dune “Blockbuster cinema at its dizzying, dazzling best”.

Dune reminds us what a Hollywood blockbuster can be. Implicitly, its message written again and again in the sand, Denis Villeneuve’s fantasy epic tells us that big-budget spectaculars don’t have to be dumb or hyperactive, that it’s possible to allow the odd quiet passage amid the explosions. Adapted from Frank Herbert’s 60s opus, Dune is dense, moody and quite often sublime – the missing link bridging the multiplex and the arthouse. Encountering it here was like stumbling across some fabulous lost tribe, or a breakaway branch of America’s founding fathers who laid out the template for a different and better New World.

The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey says the “Spectacular sci-fi adaptation is this generation’s Lord of the Rings”.

… Villeneuve’s Dune is the sandworm exploding out from the darkness below. It is a film of such literal and emotional largeness that it overwhelms the senses. If all goes well, it should reinvigorate the book’s legacy in the same way Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy did for JRR Tolkien’s work. Indeed, much like Jackson, Villeneuve has a certain pliancy to his vision that, in this case, has been his saving grace. Arrival and Prisoners, two of his previous films, may have possessed their own distinctive look but, when it came to Blade Runner 2049, his belated sequel to Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, it spoke fluently in the language of what came before….

(6) DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION. [Item by Jonathan Cowie.] Photo of myself (right) and Tony Edwards of Delta SF Film Group. Tony is wearing his Knight of St. Fantony jacket. The pic was taken at 2019’s Festival of Fantastic Films.

Tony Edwards (L), Jonathan Cowie (R)

(7) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • 1942 – Seventy-nine years ago on this date, “The Impatient Patient,” a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon short featuring Daffy Duck and Dr. Jekyll premiered. The cartoon is set in Jekyll’s mad scientist’s laboratory. It was produced by Leon Schlesinger and directed by Norman McCabe. The story by Don Christensen. It starred Mel Blanc. In 1968, a redrawn color edition would be re-released and in 1992, a computer colorized version came out. Animation fans detest both of these versions. You can watch the original version here as it’s in the public domain.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 5, 1936 — Rhae Andrece and Alyce Andrece. They played a series of androids in I, Mudd, a quite classic Trek episode. Both appeared as police women in “Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club” on Batman. That’s their only genre other appearance. They only acted for three years and every appearance of their total seven appearances by one was with the other. (Alyce died 2005; Rhae died 2009.)
  • Born September 5, 1939 — Donna Anderson, 82. She was Mary Holmes in On The Beach, based on Neville Shute’s novel. She also appeared in, and I kid you not, Sinderella and the Golden Bra and Werewolves on Wheels. The first is a Sixties skinflick, the second is a Seventies exploitation film. She last shows up in a genre role series in The Incredible Hulk
  • Born September 5, 1939 — George Lazenby, 82. He is best remembered for being James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. His turn as Bond was the shortest among the actors in the film franchise and he is the only Bond actor not to appear beyond a single film. (He was also the youngest actor cast as Bond, at age 29, and the only born outside of the British Isles.) Genre wise, he also played Jor-El on Superboy and was also a Bond like character named JB in the Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. film. He voiced the Royal Flush King in a recurring role in the Batman Beyond series. 
  • Born September 5, 1940 — Raquel Welch, 81. Fantastic Voyage was her first genre film though she made One Million Years B.C. thatwith her leather bikini got her much more notice. She was charming in The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers. She has one-offs in Bewitched, Sabrina the Teenage WitchThe Muppet ShowLois & Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanHappily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child and Mork & Mindy
  • Born September 5, 1951 — Michael Keaton, 70. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! He also has the title roles of Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns. His most recent role is The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He reprises that role as in Marvel’s upcoming Morbius film.
  • Born September 5, 1959 — Carolyne Larrington, 62. Norse history and culture academic who’s the author of The Land of the Green Man: A Journey Through the Supernatural Landscapes of the British Isles and Winter is Coming: The Medieval World of Game of Thrones. She also wrote “Norse gods make a comeback thanks to Neil Gaiman – here’s why their appeal endures” for The Conversation.
  • Born September 5, 1964 — Stephen Greenhorn, 57. Scriptwriter who written two episodes for Doctor Who: “The Lazarus Experiment” and “The Doctor’s Daughter”, both Tenth Doctor stories. He also wrote Marchlands, a supernatural series whichJodie Whittaker and Alex Kingston appeared in. He also wrote the Mind Shadows strip which was featured on the Who website.
  • Born September 5, 1973 — Rose McGowan, 48. Best known as Paige Matthews on Charmed. She played two different roles in the Grindhouse franchise, Cherry Darling in Planet Terror and Pam in Death Proof. She was Miss Kitty in Monkeybone, a very weird film indeed.

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • Tom Gauld on all the hoops people will be expected to jump through upon the arrival of the next big book.

(10) GAIMAN INSPIRATION. “HBO Max orders ‘Dead Boy Detectives’ pilot from Greg Berlanti”SYFY Wire has the story.

Greg Berlanti‘s involvement with the DC Universe on the small screen is expanding once again. Variety has confirmed the Arrowverse producer extraordinaire is teaming up with HBO Max for a pilot of Dead Boy Detectives, a DC/Vertigo comic inspired by the Sandman universe created by Neil Gaiman.

Written by Mark Buckingham and Toby Litt (Buckingham also served as illustrator), the book follows a pair of deceased boys — Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine — who forego a ticket to the afterlife in order to remain on Earth, solving mysteries via supernatural means. Think Constantine meets The Hardy Boys.

(11) HE RODE A BLAZING CREDENTIAL. “George Takei teamed up w/ Mel Brooks in film inspired by Blazing Saddles” reports RedShirtsAlwaysDie.

Fans rightfully so give William Shatner props for still working at 90 years old, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only original Star Trek actor still going strong these days. George Takei is 84 years old and is himself still acting. Takei even has a major project coming up with the famed Mel Brooks (who’s 95 years old himself).

The new project is called Blazing Samurai and features a loaded cast. Names like Michael Cera, Samuel L. Jackson, Ricky Gervais, Gabriel Iglesias, Djimon Honsou, and Star Trek: Discovery’s very own Michelle Yeoh. The man himself, Brooks, will also be lending his voice to the animated feature.

The film is based on Brooks’ own Blazing Saddles comedy and will center around Hank, played by Cera, who is a dog that wants to become a samurai. Jackson plays a cat, and Gervais plays the evil villain….

(12) YOU BET YOUR LIFE. This time they mean it. Coming to Netflix: Korean sf. “Squid Game Official Teaser #1” with English subtitles.

How far would you go for 45.6 billion won? Welcome to Squid Game, a mysterious survival game that could change your fortune for good. The only cost to play? Your life.

(13) WORLD FANTASY HEAD START. Lela E. Buis, in “That Concludes the 2021 World Fantasy Award Reviews”, rounds up the links to all 15 fiction reviews.

(14) MR. SCI-FI. Marc Scott Zicree tells viewers “Why I Love Used Books!”

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. A visit to Walt Disney’s house, featuring animator Floyd Norman and Disney historian Don Hahn.

From legendary filmmaker Don Hahn and Disney Files Magazine Editor Ryan March comes “Disney Drop-In,” a Disney Vacation Club series of unscripted videos filmed in interesting Disney places with equally interesting Disney people. In this episode, Don Hahn leads Disney Legend Floyd Norman on a tour of Walt Disney’s historic home on Woking Way in Los Angeles, California.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Paul Weimer.]

40 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/5/21 Scrollers Of The Purple Pixel

  1. a soap manufacturer drugging the nation with plastic flowers

    Satanic aristocrats are somewhat ho-hum as plots go, but this has my immediate interest.

  2. (1) LISTEN UP. All of PRIMEVAL is available on Hulu right. I’ve got it on my to be watched this winter list as I’ve only watched the first two seasons so far. I’m really surprised that Britbox is only streaming the first two series.

  3. (5) The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey says the “Spectacular sci-fi adaptation is this generation’s Lord of the Rings”.

    This generation’s? But the Lord of the Rings was released just… TWENTY YEARS AGO?!

  4. Andrew (not Werdna) asks Charles Stross has a book coming out soon, right?

    Invisible Sun, the sequel to Dark State, and the latest in the Family Trade series, is out on the twenty eight of the month. It’s on my eagerly looked forward to list. I’ve listened to Dark State three times, it’s that good.

  5. 3) Any ‘Best of TV Themes’ list that does not include Ron Grainer’s opening music for The Prisoner in the Top Twenty is worth its weight in cat litter as far as I’m concerned…

  6. (3) I was just about to make the same comment about The Prisoner. Also mysteriously not making the list is Wilfred Josephs’ theme for I, Claudius, a very adventurous (harmonically), as well as wholly appropriate, composition.

  7. Ok, anyone here who’s read Heinlein’s The Pursuit of The Pankera? I’ll admit that I’m curious as to how it reads. It’s now up on Audible but my to listen list is so long now that it’s not going to added to that list.

  8. @Kit Harding,

    For me “Dune” is a classic that I re-read every so often, including the Frank Herbert sequels. I acknowledge it contains patriarchy, classism, White Saviour-ism (though #spoilers: that takes on a different perspective with subsequent novels) but for me, the complex themes & terrific worldbuilding outweigh those flaws.

  9. I had a slice for morning tea. It was tasty.

    The history of the cake is fascinating: it’s believed to be derived from the German Baumkuchen, a type of spit cake that got introduced to Malaysia/Indonesia by the Dutch colonists. The Peninsula Malaysia version was originally single coloured. It’s the Sarawakian version (East Malaysia) that’s much more complex with layers of different colours and innovative patterns. Sarawak Kek Lapis involves a lot more architecture.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baumkuchen
    http://www.recipies.50webs.com/kek%20lapis.htm
    https://www.atlasobscura.com/foods/lapis-legit-kueh-lapis-indonesia

  10. It’s not surprising Connie Willis enjoys Primeval so much. It’s a variant of her Domesday stories.

  11. justwatch.com (I use it to check streaming availability for tv shows and movies; it’s been pretty reliable) shows PRIMEVAL available on Tubi, Pluto, and Hoopla as well. (It shows only 3 seasons for Hoopla, but I checked my own Hoopla link and all 5 seasons were available there.)

  12. (2) For those who can’t make it in person, the Last Week Tonight Masterpiece Gallery collection can be seen here:

  13. @Cat:

    Invisible Sun, the sequel to Dark State, and the latest in the Family Trade series, is out on the twenty eight of the month. It’s on my eagerly looked forward to list. I’ve listened to Dark State three times, it’s that good.

    And I’d go through the assault course mentioned in (9) to get to read Invisible Sun

    I read Pankera. It’s not as different from Number as advertising suggests – even well after the breakpoint between the two books, scenes from Number turn up in Pankera. Pankera does eliminate the tedious “Who should be the Captain?” arguing that bogged down the middle of Number and Pankera doesn’t have the British-colonized Mars that Number had. Instead, there are lengthy periods spent in Barsoom and the Lensman universe. There’s at least one editing error in Pankera (the characters recognize the name J. Worthington Jones in a history book – but the reader doesn’t, because that name shows up nowhere else in the book – I suspect the name was meant to match Neil O’Heret Brain). Only homeopathic amounts of Lazarus Long in Pankera. On the whole, Pankera though flawed, is somewhat better than Number (in my opinion)

  14. I just finished re-listening to Machine. It made me revise my earlier reservations about it not being a good a novel as Ancestral Night. It’s actually a better, more coherent and indeed overall a more entertaining story. The only thing it’s lacking is the felines that the first ones had. Though, and this is a slight spoiler I suppose, the vast, intelligent tree makes up a bit for their lack.

  15. Andrew (not Werdna) declaimed And I’d go through the assault course mentioned in (9) to get to read Invisible Sun

    So would I. It’s been on my to be listened to list from the very minute I finished Dark State which was damn awesome which was why I just re-listen to it. So far, it’s not popped up on Audible but I expect it to shortly.

    I read Pankera. It’s not as different from Number as advertising suggests – even well after the breakpoint between the two books, scenes from Number turn up in Pankera. Pankera does eliminate the tedious “Who should be the Captain?” arguing that bogged down the middle of Number and Pankera doesn’t have the British-colonized Mars that Number had. Instead, there are lengthy periods spent in Barsoom and the Lensman universe. There’s at least one editing error in Pankera (the characters recognize the name J. Worthington Jones in a history book – but the reader doesn’t, because that name shows up nowhere else in the book – I suspect the name was meant to match Neil O’Heret Brain). Only homeopathic amounts of Lazarus Long in Pankera. On the whole, Pankera though flawed, is somewhat better than Number (in my opinion)

    Huh. I’ll give it a listen at some point, though not in any hurry though. I’m somewhat surprised that Lazarus Long got excised from this version of the story. I wonder why.

    I don’t think that The Number of The Beast is a bad novel but it is definitely not by any means a good novel as it’s a garbage novel with everything left in and damn all for any editing done to it.

  16. Cat Eldridge: Dark State which was damn awesome

    I noped out of that series after reading the first 2 books. Theoretically, it should have really been my thing, but I just found it a slog. I’d hoped that reading the second book right after the first might get me more into it, but it didn’t.

  17. JJ says I noped out of that series after reading the first 2 books. Theoretically, it should have really been my thing, but I just found it a slog. I’d hoped that reading the second book right after the first might get me more into it, but it didn’t.

    As Andrew (not Werdna) can most likely also tell you, the tone of the series greatly changes with Empire Games. I think he really started the series over with that novel. If he ends the series with Invisible State, the last trilogy will be worth nominating for a Hugo for Best Series.

  18. Cat Eldridge: the tone of the series greatly changes with Empire Games.

    That’s what I’m saying. It was my impression that Empire Games and Dark State were the first 2 novels in a new subseries, and it was them I found to be a slog. I haven’t read the previous 6-novel series.

  19. JJ says That’s what I’m saying. It was my impression that Empire Games and Dark State were the first 2 novels in a new subseries, and it was them I found to be a slog. I haven’t read the previous 6-novel series.

    Ahhh I thought you were referring to the beginning of the series. My bad. I on the other hand thought they were a great improvement over the earlier novels, so, as always, taste is an individual thing, isn’t it? I heard folks here gush about series I won’t name that I detested the debut novel of, so I’ve learned that we as readers will never all agree on what is a good series.

    Now listening to Tony Hillerman’s Dancehall of The Dead

  20. Cat, I agree with Andrew (not Werdna) about Pankera. It’s pulpy, and not quite as…quite…as Number of the Beast is quite. A better book than Beast but that’s not saying much. I’d characterize it as more of a fun romp and a much more tolerable dose of Lazarus Long.

    (Honestly? The best thing about Number of the Beast for me? It was one of the things that brought my husband and I together. We saw it; I couldn’t afford to buy it–college years and broke college student–but I could go in halfsies with him.)

  21. (Honestly? The best thing about Number of the Beast for me? It was one of the things that brought my husband and I together. We saw it; I couldn’t afford to buy it–college years and broke college student–but I could go in halfsies with him.)

    That’s sweet. My wife and I met in college – and we kept running into each other at libraries (the college library, and the local town library), which eventually we realized was a sign from the universe (married 31 years as of a few weeks ago).

  22. #8 Donna Anderson, 82. She was Mary Holmes in On The Beach, based on Neal Shute’s novel.

    On the Beach was based on Nevil Shute’s novel.

  23. 8) Another memorable Raquel Welch genre role is that of Lust in the Peter Cook/Dudley Moore version of Bedazzled.

  24. The history of the cake is fascinating: it’s believed to be derived from the German Baumkuchen, a type of spit cake that got introduced to Malaysia/Indonesia by the Dutch colonists. The Peninsula Malaysia version was originally single coloured. It’s the Sarawakian version (East Malaysia) that’s much more complex with layers of different colours and innovative patterns. Sarawak Kek Lapis involves a lot more architecture.

    Come to think of it, it looks a little Baumkuchen like, though Baumkuchen is not multicoloured.

  25. Comfort reading continues to go well; I’m now into Norton’s Galactic Derelict.

    Comfort listening, The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee, also going well.

  26. 2) JJ: Thanks for the link. I dunno about the other museums but the American Visionary Art museum in Baltimore is a perfectly reasonable place to host the Oliver Collection.

  27. I’m trying to remember the name of a story by Larry Niven involving a predator on a colony where the children of the colonists are told that it doesn’t exist and the alien bring telepathic in turn believes that it doesn’t exist when it reads the children’s minds. So what’s the name of the story and where did it appear?

  28. Andrew (not Werdna) says of my question “The Nonesuch,” I think.

    Ahhh I do believe that you’re right! One second, while I head over to ISFDB… it’s in Convergent Series which I’ve got in my Infinite Library. Thanks much!

  29. @ Soon Lee, Mike Glyer, Cora Buhlert:

    For a very brief moment, I was imagining something like spettekaka, where “architectural” is definitely a word that comes to mind.

  30. (1) Primeval showed such promise but alas failed to deliver a decent, over-arching plot arc. It ended with so many loose ends and seemingly conflicting sub-plots.

    (4) Conversely, I have fond memories of Adam Adamant from the first time around…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.