Pixel Scroll 1/23/20 No-One Expects The Scrollish Pixelation!

(1) THE DOCTOR IS STILL IN. Entertainment Weekly confirms “Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker will play time traveler for at least one more season”.

… “I’ve seen loads of fan art, which I always love,” she says. “But it’s never been that great for me to immerse myself in noise that you can’t control, good or bad. I think both are a rabbit hole that you shouldn’t necessarily go down. We know that we work really hard for the show to be the best it can be in this moment. Once it’s out in the ether, how people feel, in a way, is kind of irrelevant.”

But Whittaker isn’t going anywhere. The length of time an actor has played the Doctor has varied over the years — back in the ’70s and ’80s, Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor piloted the TARDIS for seven seasons; in the aughts, Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor survived just one. So, will Whittaker return for a third run of shows? “Yes, I’m doing another season,” she confirms. “That might be a massive exclusive that I’m not supposed to say, but it’s unhelpful for me to say [I don’t know] because it would be a massive lie! [Laughs] I absolutely adore it. At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight!”

(2) GUINAN. Patrick Stewart, while appearing on The View, extended an invitation to host Whoopi Goldberg to appear in Picard’s second season. See 4-minutue video here. Stewart said —

“I’m here with a formal invitation, and it’s for you, Whoopi.  Alex Kurtzman, who is the senior executive producer of Star Trek: Picard, and all his colleagues, of which I am one, want to invite you into the second season.”

The crowd delivered a standing ovation as Goldberg and Stewart hugged, and Goldberg replied, “Yes, yes, yes!” 

(3) THE PEOPLE ALL RIDE IN A WORMHOLE IN THE GROUND. The New York Post tells readers “Here’s where to get ‘Star Trek: Picard’ MetroCards featuring Patrick Stewart”.

“Star Trek: Picard” is beaming to a subway station near you.

For three weeks starting Thursday, when the show premieres on CBS All Access, the series will be promoted on special MetroCards available at six MTA stations in Manhattan.

In the drama, Sir Patrick Stewart, 79, reprises his “Star Trek: The Next Generation” role of Jean-Luc Picard, the retired Starfleet admiral and former captain of the Starship Enterprise who is living out his latter days on his family’s vineyard in France. Fittingly, the subway promotion will showcase two different cards — one featuring Picard on the front and his family’s sweeping vineyard on the back, the other with Picard’s dog, No. 1, on the front and several planets on the flip side.

(4) IS PICARD MESSAGE-HEAVY? The Daily Beast argues “‘Star Trek: Picard,’ With Its Refugee Crisis and Anti-Trump Messaging, May Be the Most Political Show on TV”.

…At the crux of the Picard premiere is a devastating monologue Stewart delivers recounting a catastrophic event that happened years before, triggering a refugee crisis and driving Picard to quit his position in the Starfleet, disgusted by what the organization and the Federation now stood for. 

It might sound in the weeds if you’re not a Trekkie, but the basics of the plot are refreshingly simple. 

A supernova blast threatened the planet Romulus. Despite their antagonistic relationship, the Federation agreed to rescue the Romulan people. But in the midst of the rescue mission, synthetic lifeforms like Data, who helped Picard pilot his ship, went rogue and destroyed the Federation’s base on Mars, killing over 90,000 people. In the wake of the incident, synthetic lifeforms were banned, a decision that appalled Picard and caused him to quit before he carried out his Romulan rescue mission. 

“It has always been part of the content of Star Trek that it will be attempting to create a better future with the certain belief that a better future is possible if the right kind of work and the right kind of people are engaged in that,” Stewart told reporters. “And my feeling was, as I look all around our world today, there has never been a more important moment when entertainment and show business can address some of the issues that are potentially damaging our world today.” 

(5) CLONE WARS TRAILER. The final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars starts streaming Feb. 21 on DisneyPlus.

One of the most critically-acclaimed entries in the Star Wars saga will be returning for its epic conclusion with twelve all-new episodes on Disney+ beginning Friday, February 21. From Dave Filoni, director and executive producer of “The Mandalorian,” the new Clone Wars episodes will continue the storylines introduced in the original series, exploring the events leading up to Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

(6) HAVE SPACEWORTHY 3D PRINTER, WILL TRAVEL. Daniel Dern looks into “NASA’s 3D Printing Space Initiatives” in an article for GrabCAD.

…The SLS [Space Launch System] is intended to be the primary launch vehicle of NASA’s deep space. By manufacturing as many of the engine’s parts as possible (like the fuel injectors, turbo pumps, valves, and main injectors) with 3D printing, NASA can significantly reduce time and money spent.

“NASA is on track to reduce the number of individual parts by an order of magnitude — from hundreds to tens — and reduce the cost of the entire engine by 30% and later by 50%, and the build time by 50%,” John explains.

Dern notes, “This is the 3rd or 4th NASA-related article I’ve gotten to do over the past six months. I had a lot of fun researching and writing this, and hope find more assignments on this stuff over the coming year.”

(7) WHAT IT TAKES. “Oscar-nominated filmmaker Chris Butler’s top animation tips” – BBC video.

Film writer and director Chris Butler, who has been nominated for an Oscar, has said anyone who wants to be an animator needs to be prepared for “hard work”.

His film Missing Link is up against Toy Story 4 in the Animated Feature category, but Butler, from Maghull, Merseyside, has already beaten it – and Frozen II – to a Golden Globe.

He said he was “shell-shocked” when it was announced as the winner earlier this month – so much so that he cannot remember going on stage to collect the award.

Butler said making animated films was “not easy” and warned that budding filmmakers have to “put in long hours” to make it in the industry.

(8) STONE AGE. First Fandom Experience not only remembers when — “In 1939, Lithography Came To Fanzines — But Why?”. Zine scans at the link.

Beginning in 1932, Conrad H. Ruppert reshaped the world of fan publications with the printing press he bought with money saved by working in his father’s bakery. He printed issues of the most prominent fanzines of the period, including The Time Traveller, Science Fiction Digest, and Charles D. Hornig’s The Fantasy Fan. It’s not unreasonable to assert that the professional appearance of Hornig’s leaflet-sized ‘zine contributed to his ascension to the editorship of Wonder Stories at the age of 17….

(9) THOSE DARN FANS. RS Benedict posted a new episode of the Rite Gud podcast — “This is the first of a two-part series about the dark side of fandom. Why does fandom turn toxic? Can over-investment in fandom stunt your social and artistic growth?” The first episode is here: “The Dark Side of Fandom, Part 1: Have You Accepted Spider-Man as Your Lord and Savior?”

Tim Heiderich of Have You Seen This took the time to talk to us about the creative perils of fandom. Fandom can be fun, but it can also turn ugly too, or it can keep us so busy focusing on someone else’s work that we fail to develop our own talents.

This was a huge conversation, so we split it into two parts. In the first installment, we talk about toxic fandom, simulacra, and the siren song of nostalgia.

(10) EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT. “Orange Mike” Lowrey’s TAFF win attracted local media attention: “From Chester County High School to Stockholm and Birmingham (England)” in the Chester County Independent.

…Lowrey has been attending these conventions since 1975 and loves it. He said he loves how the conventions are filled with interesting, intelligent people. The interaction of science fiction fans overseas is awesome as well he said.
“I got people I consider good friends that I never met before,” he said.
He actually met the woman whom he would spend his life with and marry, C.K. “Cicatrice” Hinchliffe of Bertram, Iowa, at the local Milwaukee science fiction convention in 1981.
Lowrey graduated from Chester County High School in 1971 and earned a magna cum laude degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to his job with the State of Wisconsin, he’s been working as a writer and editor since 1984.
He is also a bookseller, serves as a local president and state executive board member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and acts as a volunteer administrator for Wikipedia. He has had book reviews published and also Dungeon and Dragon articles published in Dragon magazine.

(11) KARLEN OBIT. John Karlen , the actor who played multiple roles (Willie Loomis, Carl Collins, William H. Loomis, Desmond Collins, Alex Jenkins and Kendrick Young) on the ABC serial Dark Shadows died January 22 at the age of 86.


  • January 23, 1954Killers From Space made it to your local drive-in. It was produced and directed by W. Lee Wilder, brother of Billy Wilder. It has a cast of Peter Graves, Barbara Bestar and James Seay. We should note that Killers From Space came about as a commissioned screenplay from Wilder’s son Myles Wilder and their regular collaborator William Raynor. How was it received? Not well. There was, in the opinion of critics, way too much too talk, too little action, poor production values… you get the idea. Though they liked Graves. Who doesn’t? Reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it a decidedly unfavourable rating of just 24%. 
  • January 23, 1974 The Questor Tapes first aired on NBC. Created and written by Roddenberry himself with Gene L Coon as co-writer, it was by Richard Colla. It starred Robert Foxworth, Mike Farrell and John Vernon. (Fontana’s novelisation would be dedicated to Coon who died before it aired.) though it was intended to be a pilot fir a series, conflict between Roddenberry and the network doomed the series. It would place fifth in the final Hugo balloting the following year at Aussiecon One with Young Frankenstein being the Hugo winner.
  • January 23, 1985 — The Rankin-Bass version of ThunderCats premiered in syndication. Leonard Starr was the primary writer with the animation contracted to the Japanese studio Pacific Animation Corporation, with Masaki Iizuka as the production manager. It would run for four years and one and thirty episodes. Need we note that a vast media empire of future series, films, comics, t-shirts, statues, action figures and so forth have developed since then?


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 23, 1923 Walter M. Miller Jr. He’s best remembered  for A Canticle for Leibowitz, the only novel he published in his lifetime. Terry Bisson would finish off the completed draft that he left of Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, a sequel of sorts to the first novel. He did a fair amount of short fiction as well. He’s poorly represented both digitally and in the dead tree sense as well beyond A Canticle for Leibowitz. (Died 1996.)
  • Born January 23, 1932 Bart LaRue. He was the voice of The Guardian  of  Forever in the “City on the Edge of Forever” episode of Trek as well as doing voice roles in “Bread and Circuses” (on-screen too) “The Gamesters of Triskelion” as Provider 1 (uncredited) “Patterns of Force” as an Ekosian newscaster (Both voice and on-screen) and “The Savage Curtain” as Yarnek. He did similar work for Time Tunnel, Mission Impossible, Voyage to The Bottom of The Sea, The Andromeda StrainWild Wild West, Land of Giants and Lost in Space. (Died 1990.)
  • Born January 23, 1939 Greg and Tim Hildebrandt. Greg’s aged eighty one years, and Tim passed in 2006. I’d say best known for their very popular and ubiquitous Lord of the Rings calendar illustrations, also for illustrating comics for Marvel Comics and DC Comics. They also did a lot of genre covers so I went to ISFDB and checked to see if I recognized any. I certainly did. There was Zelazny’s cover of My Name is Legion, Tolkien’s Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham and Poul Anderson’s  A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows. Nice.
  • Born January 23, 1942 Brian Coucher, 78. He appeared in three genre series — first  the second actor to portray Travis in Blake’s 7 and also as Borg in the Fourth Doctor story, “The Robots of Death”. Finally genre wise he appeared in a Doctor Who spin-off that I’ve never heard existed, Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans. No Who characters appeared though Sophie Alfred played someone other than Ace here. 
  • Born January 23, 1943 Gil Gerard, 77. Captain William “Buck” Rogers in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which I fondly remember as a really a truly great SF series even if it really wasn’t that great. He also shows up in the very short lived E.A.R.T.H. Force as Dr. John Harding, and he’s General Morgenstern in Reptisaurus, a movie title that proves someone had a serious lack of imagination regarding titles that day. In Bone Eater, a monster film that Bruce Boxleitner also shows up in as Sheriff Steve Evans, he plays Big Jim Burns, the Big Bad. Lastly I’d like to note that he got to play Admiral Sheehan in the “Kitumba” episode of fan created Star Trek: New Voyages. 
  • Born January 23, 1950 Richard Dean Anderson, 70. Unless you count MacGyver as genre which I can say is open to debate, his main and rather enduring SF role was as Jack O’Neill in the many Stargate Universe series. Well Stargate SG-1 really as he only briefly showed up on Stargate Universe and Stargate Atlantis whereas he did one hundred and seventy-three episodes of SG-1. Wow. Now his only other SF role lasted, err, twelve episodes in which he played Enerst Pratt alias Nicodemus Legend in the most excellent Legend co-starring John de Lancie. Yeah, I really liked it. And damn it should’ve caught on. 
  • Born January 23, 1976 Tiffani Thiessen, 44. Better known by far by me at least her role as Elizabeth Burke on the White Collar series which might be genre adjacent, she did end up in three films of genre interest: From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th (a parade of the Friday the 13th films) and Cyborg Soldier. They’re average rating at Rotten Tomatoes among reviewers is fifteen percent in case you were wondering how good they were. 
  • Born January 23, 1973 Lanei Chapman, 47. She’s most remembered as Lt. Vanessa Damphousse on Space: Above and Beyond, a series that ended well before it should’ve ended. She made her genre debut on Next Gen as Ensign Sariel Rager, a recurring character who was a conn officer. 
  • Born January 23, 1977 Sonita Henry, 43. Her very first was as President’s Aide on Fifth Element. She was a Kelvin Doctor in the rebooted Star Trek film, and she’s Colonel Meme I the Eleventh Doctor story, “The Time of The Doctor”.  Her latest is playing Raika on Krypton.


(15) AND SPREAD HIM OUT THIN. Adweek says “Rest in Peace, Mr. Peanut—Planters Kills Off Iconic Mascot in Lead-Up to Super Bowl”.  

… In a shocking move, Planters, the Kraft-Heinz-owned snack brand, has killed off its iconic mascot in a teaser for its Big Game spot. Mr. Peanut’s untimely demise began with a Nutmobile crash, followed by falling off a cliff and ending in an explosion.

… And when will the classic mascot be memorialized? During Super Bowl 2020, naturally.

…The loss of Mr. Peanut is a major moment for the brand. Planters first introduced Mr. Peanut to audiences in 1916, meaning that the mascot has been around since the midst of World War I, making him of the longest-standing brand mascots of all time.

The spot, which will air during the third quarter of the Big Game on Feb. 2, was produced by VaynerMedia. Planters also has several promotions and activations to honor Mr. Peanut’s life, including commemorative pins for fans who spot the Nutmobile on the streets and a hashtag, #RIPeanut, for fans to share their sympathies.

(16) POMPEII AND CIRCUMSTANCE. “Mount Vesuvius eruption: Extreme heat ‘turned man’s brain to glass'” – BBC has the story.

Extreme heat from the Mount Vesuvius eruption in Italy was so immense it turned one victim’s brain into glass, a study has suggested.

The volcano erupted in 79 AD, killing thousands and destroying Roman settlements near modern-day Naples.

The town of Herculaneum was buried by volcanic matter, entombing some of its residents.

A team of researchers has been studying the remains of one victim, unearthed at the town in the 1960s.

A study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday, said fragments of a glassy, black material were extracted from the victim’s skull.

Researchers behind the study believe the black material is the vitrified remains of the man’s brain.

(17) YOUR PAL IN SPACE. “Meet Vyom – India’s first robot ‘astronaut'” – BBC video.

India’s space agency has unveiled a robot that will travel to space later this year as part of an unmanned mission

Scientists hope that it will be able to later assist astronauts in a manned space mission called Gaganyaan, which is scheduled for December 2021.

Isro will conduct two unmanned missions – one in December this year and another in June 2021 – before the Gaganyaan mission.

The robot, which has been named Vyom Mitra (which translates from the Sanskrit to friend in space) is designed to perform a number of functions including responding to astronaut’s questions and performing life support operations.

(18) DO IT FOR SCIENCE. Public spirited citizens arise! “Wanted – volunteers to monitor Britain’s growing slug population”.

Citizen scientists are being sought to help carry out the first survey in decades of Britain’s slug populations.

To take part, all that’s required is curiosity, a garden, and a willingness to go out after dark to search for the likes of the great grey or yellow slug.

The year-long research project will identify different slug species and the features that tempt them into gardens.

The last study conducted in English gardens in the 1940s found high numbers of just nine species of slug.

Many more have arrived in recent years, including the Spanish slug, which is thought to have come in on salad leaves. Less than half of the UK’s 40 or more slug species are now considered native.

(19) TRANSMUTING GOLD TO LEAD. Iron Man never had days like this. GQ asks “Does Dolittle’s Box Office Flop Spell Trouble for Robert Downey Jr.?”

For over a decade, Robert Downey Jr. played MCU pillar Tony Stark, a billionaire superhero who would almost certainly consider Dolittle’s abysmal opening weekend earnings to be little more than pocket change.

Despite opening on a holiday weekend, RDJ’s Dolittle made just $29.5 million over the four-day period, and only an additional $17 million internationally. Dolittle cost a jaw-dropping $175 million to make, so those box office numbers are kind of catastrophic, with Universal expected to lose $100 million on the movie, according to The Wrap. Universal, it should be noted, also took a bath last month when the furry fever dream that is Cats flopped, but at least Cats only cost $90 million to make, so the loss isn’t quite as terrible.

The only slim hope for Dolittle’s prospects is a higher than expected haul in the international markets where it hasn’t opened yet—including China—but maybe don’t hold your breath.

It took the strain of wielding all six Infinity Stones to kill him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so Robert Downey Jr. will probably survive Dolittle’s bomb. Still… yikes.

(20) I SPY, AGAIN. “Twitter demands AI company stops ‘collecting faces'”

Twitter has demanded an AI company stop taking images from its website.

Clearview has already amassed more than three billion photographs from sites including Facebook and Twitter.

They are used by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security and more than 600 other law-enforcement agencies around the world to identify suspects.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent on Tuesday, Twitter said its policies had been violated and requested the deletion of any collected data.

…US senator Ron Wyden said on Twitter Clearview’s activities were “extremely troubling”.

“Americans have a right to know whether their personal photos are secretly being sucked into a private facial-recognition database,” he said.

“Every day, we witness a growing need for strong federal laws to protect privacy.”

(21) PYTHON PASSPORT. [Item by Hampus Eckerman.] A fitting (and unintentional) tribute to Terry Jones. I’d vote for a Brexit for this one if I could.


Sad to say, the Express graphic is fixed now — “Britons will fly to 2020 summer holiday destinations on classic BLUE passport”.

(22) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Model Citizen” on YouTube, David James Armsby portrays what seems to be the perfect nuclear family–but why is it controlled by evil robots?

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Hampus Eckerman, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Contrarius, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anthony.]

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118 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/23/20 No-One Expects The Scrollish Pixelation!

  1. [10] Being a small-town weekly, the Independent went out of the way to emphasize my local-boy stature: “He is the son of Medon native Jim D. Lowrey, who was a reporter for the Jackson Sun, and Deanburg native Sybil Blondell (Scarbrough) Lowrey. His parents are buried in the old Lowrey Cemetery on Lowery Road between Deanburg and Medon.”

  2. Willie Loomis… My favorite Dark Shadows character. 🙁 Fans might enjoy the Dark Shadow audio dramas John Karlen recorded for Big Finish. You get to hear Willie Loomis flirt with insanity again.

    John Karlen’s commentary on the Daughters of Darkness DVD was also a lot of fun.

  3. 18) Will Jason Fox, creator of the great action comic hero Slug-Man, be invited to help in the slug census?

  4. (1) Doctor Who is currently shedding viewers faster than a snake sheds scales, so Whitaker may not get the opportunity of a third season.

  5. “aptain William “Buck” Rogers in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which I fondly remember as a really a truly great SF series even if it really wasn’t that great. ”

    I was like 10 at the time…so yes, and yes.

  6. Steve Green: Doctor Who is currently shedding viewers faster than a snake sheds scales, so Whitaker may not get the opportunity of a third season.

    I can hear the sound of your axe grinding clear across the ocean, and I can assure you that the damage it’s doing isn’t to Doctor Who or Jodie Whittaker. 🙄

  7. Steve Green says with a definite vindictiveness that Doctor Who is currently shedding viewers faster than a snake sheds scales, so Whitaker may not get the opportunity of a third season.

    Complete and absolute bunk as Whittaker herself announces here that the third season is a go. This claim you make was made by legions of disgruntled fanboys about her first season as well which it set records for the number of new viewers who weren’t older, white males like yourself. And had excellent ratings to boot!

  8. @JJ, @Cat; I really cannot see why my age, gender or ethnicity is relevant, given the audience figures (dropping every week since the launch of S11) are available to all. As for my alleged “axe”, all i’m after — as a fan of the show since the 1960s — is intelligent, imaginative writing and solid acting. For the record, I thought much of Peter Capaldi’s tenure was a mess, too.

  9. Whittaker’s first season was (to my eyes) definitely better than Capaldi’s first season, but that’s mostly due to the writing, not due to acting.

  10. Walter M. Miller’s short fiction is brilliant. It is past time that it should be collected.

  11. Fanboys with disgruntled grudges are not the best judges of quality. I can still recall the barrage of words from Tim Burton’s BATMAN choice for leading man. Some of the content read “another load of guano”.

  12. @Andrew: Yes indeed, there was a downward arc throughout Capaldi’s time in the Tardis. His debut scored a respectable 9.17m, but that had collapsed to 7.6m by the end of S8, with his final regular episode only getting 5.3m. Whittaker’s arrival did produce a temporary bounce, as was expected, but her opening 10.96m had slipped to 9m by episode two and 8.41 the following week.

    I get no pleasure from watching one of my favourite tv shows die on its arse, and I have to say all this “fanboy” nonsense is as tiresome and uncreative as one of Chibnall’s scripts.

  13. Steve Green in an attempt to drive home a point disproven says I get no pleasure from watching one of my favourite tv shows die on its arse, and I have to say all this “fanboy” nonsense is as tiresome and uncreative as one of Chibnall’s scripts.

    Oh give it up. It’s not dying. It’s doing quite well. You don’t like it. That’s fine. But your story that that it’s dying on it’s arse is outright lie as it isn’t. The ratings are added healthier than they’ve been in years.

    The stories? Name me a fan who has complained about a season of a given Doctor. The Fourth Doctor who was mine had some terribly awful scripts — I’m looking at you Douglas Adams! — and the Thirteenth did as well.

    For me, the mark of her success is that she finally grew the audience beyond the increasingly white, male older audience that it become to a much more diverse audience. That the ratings are a success as well is be commended too.

  14. Robert Whitaker Sirignano says correctly Fanboys with disgruntled grudges are not the best judges of quality. I can still recall the barrage of words from Tim Burton’s BATMAN choice for leading man. Some of the content read “another load of guano”.

    Yeah there’s that. I’d be happy if they don’t like it if they’d just not watch it. Not your cup of Earl Grey hot? Don’t consume it. The Colin Baker Doctor was the one I avoided watching. (Shudder!)

  15. (1) I don’t see them canceling Dr Who anytime soon regardless of how low UK viewership gets – which probably can’t drop much below 4M anyhow. DW is flagship British culture at this point. Also, being made by a public broadcaster gives it a certain protection against cancellation due to low numbers. A hiatus is possible of course.

    (4) There have always been political episodes of Star Trek, right from the beginning. Some of them were quite good. ST:P seems to be different in centering the show on specific political stances. I say “seems” because we’ve only gotten the one episode. We’ll see. I still haven’t given up on ST:P being about Picard leading a ragtag crew of space archeologists.

  16. Given that the BBC isn’t ad-supported, I wonder what criteria they use to choose what to show. Why, for example, Dr Who? instead of sheepdog trials? Do ratings matter? Do the demographics of the viewers matter?

    (I confess that I’ve never watched televised sheepdog trials, though I’ve been to some in person.)

  17. I am curious how “White Collar” might be considered genre-adjacent?
    It had no SF or fantastical elements that I could detect?

  18. Dana Lynne asks hopefully: I am curious how “White Collar” might be considered genre-adjacent? It had no SF or fantastical elements that I could detect?

    Keeping in mind that post death and resurrection that my recall of it is far more than a bit fuzzy, but I remember that their use of technology stretched the limitations of believability more than once. Now I freely admit that I could be wrong.

  19. Cat, that makes sense. There was one episode where the art forger character used a zip line between buildings, and another one involving base jumping, but that type of thing didn’t reach James Bond levels or anything.

  20. Dana Lynne says Cat, that makes sense. There was one episode where the art forger character used a zip line between buildings, and another one involving base jumping, but that type of thing didn’t reach James Bond levels or anything.

    I was thinking of some of the schemes that they got involved in. Wasn’t there a Lost Treasure Ship once? And didn’t they do Things with computers that just weren’t truly possible?

  21. (15) Mary Tyler Moore did it first.

    Actually, I’m concerned that Mr. Peanut will be replaced by four different leguminous characters who will try to fill the vacuum caused by his passing.

    Several months later the real Mr. Peanut will return having had to soak up solar energy or salt or something to resurrect himself.

    Two Pixels were walking down the street and one was scrolled.

  22. Even going back to Matt Smith’s last season, ratings ranged from 6.5 to 7.5 million – highly variable, but not very different from current ratings. I suspect that all television ratings have declined over the last decade or so, anyway so a comparison over time is probably not completely appropriate. At any rate, Doctor Who is a BBC flagship program, which seems unlikely to be cancelled, since it supports all the ancillary associated products as well (books, comics, audio dramas, etc.).

  23. Jack Lint: Mr. Peanut is such an icon, perhaps they have a plan to keep it going by capitalizing on a current trend– Baby Groot, Baby Yoda, next, Baby Mr. Peanut!

  24. I’m constantly amazed by entertainers that go out of their way to alienate half of their potential audience. There’s a way to engage issues thoughtfully. And there’s preaching to the proverbial choir.

    If CBS is counting on subscriptions, then they (and their talent) might want to think more about the former than the latter.

    The Africans know I’m not an African. I’m an American. – Whoopi Goldberg

  25. @3: cute header. very cute header.

    @4: doesn’t sound any heavier-handed to me than a lot of OST; the difference is that the dogs on the other side are more rabid, having fed on the they’re-not-fair-to-you line for decades.

    @13 (Hildebrandt): I recognize the Zelazny cover; it’s more dynamic than I think of them doing. (I remember their Tolkien-calendar picture of Orthanc looking like publicity still of a national monument.) I’d like to see what they did for A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows but I don’t find it in ISFDB; IMO, the original magazine cover is better than any of the book covers I see there. The Ctein print of this cover was my first significant art purchase; I later used it the one time I taught SF.

    Does anyone have an informed viewpoint, or even a UUSWAG, about how relevant the UK viewership figures for Dr. Who are, given the wider distribution? How have the figures in the US (with several times the UK population) been running, and do those matter to the BBC (e.g., in terms of revenue)?

  26. Killing off Mr Peanut for what reason? To be replaced by Ms Peanut? Or as meat substitute?

  27. Cat, it was actually a Lost Nazi Sub full of Treasure. And yes, you’re right, they did do some handwavy things with radio signals that I had forgotten about.

    It still seems kind of a stretch to call it genre adjacent, but I guess that’s kinda the point after all! 🙂

  28. Doesn’t all this new STAR TREK material have to be different in some visible way from the original material because of the legal contract between the people making it and the company holding the copyright on the old episodes? How are they going to make Picard and Guinan etc different so that viewers will notice? Data looks different in the clip played on THE VIEW, but I assume the actor has just put on a bit of weight on since he was last in the show.

  29. (15) Seems like it could be the start of a good murder mystery. Who is Killing the Great Mascots of Commerce?

    Not sure I’d like to see Tony the Tiger taken back to cub status, but he’d probably be more popular if they did.

    Bibendum dates to 1894 and Aunt Jemima is 1893. I’m not sure how they claim Mr. Peanut is oldest brand mascot. The Quaker Oats guy might go back as far as 1877 depending how you define mascot. Even the Crow on those licorice candies, who has a similar outfit to Mr. Peanut, probably goes back further than 1916.

    Just as long as it doesn’t turn out to be a dream like the lost year of Dallas.

  30. As a Brit of certain age,I can confirm that the BBC did indeed broadcast sheepdog trials. Strangely compelling.
    Not watched much nuwho since the young one left.

  31. Star Trek was always about hope and that lifes are always worth protecting. So is Picard, how anyone will watch it, expecting otherwise is beyond me (but then again people have complained that Wolfenstein II is also about shooting Nazis)

    Do android filers dream of electric pixels?

  32. (13) As far as I can tell by a brief perusal of Amazon, the only Miller available for U.S. Kindle is his public domain works. (At least in English.) Canticle is one of a very small number of Hugo winning novels that I don’t think it’s possible to legally acquire in U.S. ebook.

    Further to Stephen Fritter, I highly recommend chasing down a paperback of The Best of Walter M. Miller, Jr. at your favorite used book source. (I know Gollancz reissued it as Dark Benediction in their SF Masterworks line.)

    Speaking of Hugo-winning ebooks, a Meredith Moment: Every Heart a Doorway is currently available for free on (at least) Amazon US.

  33. I just had a very head-spinny few minutes of discovering that Leonard Cohen wrote ThunderCats and thinking that I should go back and watch it again, but alas, it is a mere typo, and ThunderCats was written by Leonard Starr.

  34. (2) Always loved Guinan and now I have yet another reason to watch the new ST series.
    (13) Isn’t that parade just a parody of the Friday the 13th films? (Also, I had not realized that Tiffani-Amber Thiessen was now just Tiffani Thiessen, but that just makes me one of today’s 10 000.)

    Greg and Tim Hildebrandt wrote Urshurak together, and somewhere I still have my copy. I haven’t read it since the 1980s, so I don’t think I’ll try for a re-read…

  35. (13) As far as I can tell by a brief perusal of Amazon, the only Miller available for U.S. Kindle is his public domain works. (At least in English.) Canticle is one of a very small number of Hugo winning novels that I don’t think it’s possible to legally acquire in U.S. ebook.

    There’s more to e-books than Amazon.

    For example, Barnes & Noble shows several of his titles available in Nook/epub format:


  36. Goobergunch says As far as I can tell by a brief perusal of Amazon, the only Miller available for U.S. Kindle is his public domain works. (At least in English.) Canticle is one of a very small number of Hugo winning novels that I don’t think it’s possible to legally acquire in U.S. ebook.

    As I said in my Birthday note, that novel is actually the only work of his readily available today. Pretty much everything else is long OOP. And yes it’s available across all digital publishers at a very reasonable cost.

  37. @ Robert. To get people talking about it according to Adweek. To get people interested in watching their Super Bowl commercial. They may or may not bring him back to life, depends on what seems likely to keep people engaged

  38. @John Lorentz: Those titles appear to be the public domain ones, though? I see the Spanish Cántico por Leibowitz but no English version.

    Compare Project Gutenberg’s selection.

    I did see an English edition on Kobo’s site for $1.10 although the (lack of) cover art and design makes me question whether it is an authorized edition.

    @Cat Eldridge: Yeah, I did not mean to indicate any disagreement with the Note.

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