Pixel Scroll 3/25/24 For A Short Time, They Were Amber Pixels, But All Cried NAY, And They Returned To True Green

(1) THE THOUGHT PANZER PROBLEM. [Item by Doctor Science.] “Netflix blockbuster ‘3 Body Problem’ divides opinion and sparks nationalist anger in China” reports CNN.

A Netflix adaptation of wildly popular Chinese sci-fi novel “The Three-Body Problem has split opinions in China and sparked online nationalist anger over scenes depicting a violent and tumultuous period in the country’s modern history. …

Author Liu said in an interview with the New York Times in 2019 that he had originally wanted to open the book with scenes from Mao’s Cultural Revolution, but his Chinese publisher worried they would never make it past government censors and buried them in the middle of the narrative.

The English version of the book, translated by Ken Liu, put the scenes at the novel’s beginning, with the author’s blessing.

Ye Wenjie’s disillusionment with the Cultural Revolution later proves pivotal in the sci-fi thriller’s plot, which jumps between the past and present day.

I learned of the CNN article via esteemed Sinologist Victor Mair at Language Log: “’The Three Body Problem’ as rendered by Netflix: vinegar and dumplings”.

All of this rancorous dissension surrounding the Netflix version of “The Three Body Problem” reminds me of what transpired after the airing of “River Elegy” (Héshāng 河殇), which was written during the latter part of the 80s.  This was a six-part documentary aired by China Central Television on June 16, 1988 that employed the Yellow River as a metaphor for the decline of Chinese civilization.  … I strongly believe that it was this artistic production created by Premier Zhao Ziyang’s (1919-2005) zhìnáng tuán 智囊团 (“think tank”) in an inclusive sense that precipitated the Tiananmen protests and massacre one year later …”

“The difference is that “River Elegy” was a documentary created in China by critical, progressive intellectuals, whereas the Netflix version of “Three Body” is a film adaptation of a Chinese sci-fi novel infused with Western ideas and standards by its American producers, making it a much more complicated proposition.

Let’s see if the chemistry is there in Netflix’s “Three Body” to cause the sort of ramifications that ensued from CNN’s “River elegy”.

(Dr. Mair’s history of the think tank, “River Elegy”, and the Tiananmen protests is here: “Thought Panzers”).

… As soon as I read the expression “sīxiǎng tǎnkè 思想坦克”, I had the exact same impression as Mark.  It sounded bièniu 彆扭 (“awkward”), weird, unnatural.  But I don’t think the person who translated the English term “think tank” into “sīxiǎng tǎnkè 思想坦克” was clever enough to add the extra military dimension consciously, though they may have done so sub/unconsciously ….

(2) NO AI RX FOR THE DOCTOR AFTER ALL. [Item by Ersatz Culture.] A couple of weeks ago, the March 7th Pixel Scroll covered the BBC’s plan to use AI to promote Doctor Who.  Today Deadline reports that this plan has been abandoned.

The BBC has “no plans” to use AI again to promote Doctor Who after receiving complaints from viewers.

The BBC’s marketing teams used the tech “as part of a small trial” to help draft some text for two promotional emails and mobile notifications, according to its complaints website, which was intended to highlight Doctor Who programming on the BBC.

But the corporation received complaints over the reports that it was using generative AI, it added.

“We followed all BBC editorial compliance processes and the final text was verified and signed-off by a member of the marketing team before it was sent,” the BBC said. “We have no plans to do this again to promote Doctor Who.”   

(3) AO3 VS. DDOS. Archive Of Our Own’s Systems volunteers have posted an account of last year’s DDoS attacks against the Archive. “The AO3 July/August DDoS Attacks: Behind the Scenes”.

…We later found out that the attack had actually peaked at 65 million requests per second. For context, the largest publicly announced HTTP DDoS attack by Cloudflare at the time was a 71 million request per second attack. Additionally, we received information that the attack originated from the Mirai botnet. However, Cloudflare did its job well and we saw very little, if any, impact….

(4) WOMEN ARTISTS HARD HIT AS NEWSPAPER CHAINS SHED PRINT COMICS. [Item by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.] Cartoonist Georgia Dunn discovered that Gannett has gotten rid of most of its diverse and female cartoonists, even if they’re making money for the syndicate.

Michael Cavna’s article in the Washington Post explains why “Standardization at Gannett, other chains, leaves few women in print comics” [Google cache file; article is behind a paywall.].

The latest warning signs for some female artists began last fall. Suddenly, their work began disappearing from many American comics pages.

An announcement started hitting the pages of newspapers dotted around the country: the USA Today Network, owned by Gannett, was “standardizing” its comics across more than 200 publications. One of those newspapers, the Coloradoan, published a list of comics, batched in groups, that it said made up Gannett’s new lineup of options.

What began to concern some cartoonists and industry observers: None of the dozens of comics listed as print offerings for Gannett papers was actively being created by a woman artist.

Just three strips in Gannett’s list of print comics have a credited woman: “For Better or For Worse,” which creator Lynn Johnston says is in reruns; “Luann,” by writer-artist Greg Evans and his daughter, co-author Karen Evans; and “Shoe,” by artist Gary Brookins and Susie MacNelly.

As the changes rolled out at many Gannett papers between October and early this year, Hilary Price, creator of the long-running syndicated strip “Rhymes With Orange,” said she began to see a significant dip in her sales income.

Price said she is accustomed to encountering misogynistic reader responses to her work as an artist. What is becoming professionally demoralizing to her lately, though, is the sense that female artists are being removed from America’s comics pages as several newspaper chains have consolidated or contracted their print funnies in recent years.

Some female cartoonists say that as they endure double-digit percentage losses in their income from client papers, their representation in print, already historically unbalanced, is growing alarmingly, and disproportionately, small.

…Georgia Dunn, creator of the syndicated “Breaking Cat News,” said her income dropped substantially in recent months as a result.

“I don’t think it’s a Machiavellian plot — I don’t think it’s intentional,” Dunn said of the optics that female artists are being disproportionately affected by the industry’s changes. “But they overlook us a lot.”

…The “Breaking Cat News” creator shared with her readers the bad news that she might have to make some hard financial decisions as her client income dropped sharply. But “when I shared with them how this restructuring hit me, they made up my lost income overnight,” she said.

“I woke up and opened Patreon and started crying,” she continued. “I felt like George Bailey at the end of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’”…

And here’s Dunn’s follow-up post on GoComics. (Scroll beneath the cartoon itself) — Breaking Cat News – March 23.

(5) SAM I AM. John O’Neill’s “The Horrors of Sam Moskowitz” at Black Gate begins its discussion of a series of horror anthologies with this discussion of their fanhistoric editor:

…Moskowitz was an interesting character. A professional magazine editor, he edited the trade journals Quick Frozen Foods and Quick Frozen Foods International for many years, and he gradually put his professional skills to use in the genre, starting in 1953 with Science-Fiction Plus, Hugo Gernsback’s last science fiction magazine. He began editing anthologies with Editor’s Choice in Science Fiction, published by McBride in 1954, and produced two dozen more over the next 20 years.

Moskowitz (who sometimes published under the name “Sam Moscowitz,” maybe because the ‘k’ on his typewriter was worn out?), was just as well known as a critic and genre historian. While still a teenager, he was one of the key organizers of the first Worldcon, held in New York City in 1939 (where he famously barred several Futurians, including Donald A. Wollheim, Fred Pohl, Robert A. W. Lowndes, Cyril Kornbluth, and others).

His genre histories and biographies, including Explorers of the Infinite and Seekers of Tomorrow, are still well worth reading today — as is his legendary history of fannish feuds, The Immortal Storm, which fan historian Harry Warner Jr. summed up with,

“If read directly after a history of World War II, it does not seem like an anticlimax.”

First Fandom still presents an annual award in Moskowitz’s memory each year at Worldcon….

(6) IT’S NOW AN EX-CASE.  Deadline is on hand as “Judge Tosses X/Twitter Case Against Group That Produced Study On Proliferation Of Hate Speech On Platform”.

A federal judge tossed out a lawsuit brought by X/Twitter against a watching group that produced a study that examined the proliferation of hate speech on the platform.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer concluded that the platform, owned by Elon Musk, was attempting to chill the speech rights of the Center for Countering Digital Hate and other groups.

The judge wrote that X’s “motivation in bringing this case is evident. X Corp. has brought this case in order to punish [Center for Countering Digital Hate] for CCDH publications that criticized X Corp.—and perhaps in order to dissuade others who might wish to engage in such criticism.”

X/Twitter had sued the group, claiming that in doing their study, they unlawfully “scraped” the platform for its data that led to an exodus of advertisers.

“X disagrees with the court’s decision and plans to appeal,” the company said.

Read the judge’s decision in the X case….

(7) CHECKING IN ON THE COPYRIGHT CLAIMS BOARD. At Writer Beware, Michael Capobianco suspends judgment about the effectiveness of the relatively new Copyright Claims Board: “To CCB or Not to CCB: The Question is Still Out”.

It’s been more than a year since my last post about the now not-so-new Copyright Claims Board (CCB).

Victoria covered the CCB when it first started hearing claims in June 2022, and her post gives a good summary of how it operates and what it is supposed to accomplish. The short version:  The CCB was created as a judicial body under the US Copyright Office to administer small copyright claims that would be too expensive and/or time-consuming in federal court.

At the time I confess I was worried about an eventuality that fortunately hasn’t come true. There are vanishingly few copyright trolls trying to use the CCB to collect money from innocent or ignorant individuals by scaring them into paying settlements. On the other hand, it has worked for some business to business claims: Joe Hand Promotions, Inc., a company that “serves as the exclusive distributor of all Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and select boxing pay-per-view programming” is by far the most frequent CCB claimant, with forty-five claims and counting, mainly against bars and restaurants, and many of those are withdrawn from consideration by the CCB and apparently settled privately.

What has happened in the intervening 20 months has been a disappointment for anyone hoping that the CCB would become a useful tool for writers seeking to get redress for infringement of their work. First of all, the number of “literary” claims is still very small, around 10% of total claims, and many of those, as we previously pointed out, are dismissed by the CCB because they weren’t filed correctly or have other flaws. Some are outright bizarre, and I may do a post about them in the future. With others the claimant doesn’t understand that a vendor selling used copies of their books is not a violation of their copyright….

…In short, even as its second birthday is only a few months away, it’s still too early to draw conclusions about the efficacy of the CCB when it comes to literary works, especially books. The majority of the claims that it has decided so far involve photographs and, in those cases, it generally is finding in favor of the photographer and awarding reasonable to low damages. But there are still only a handful of contested decisions and none of them involve the kinds of published material that Writer Beware usually deals with….


[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born March 25, 1920 Patrick Troughton. (Died 1987.) So let’s talk about Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor. 

(Digression: All of the classic Doctors are available on the BritBox streaming service. It’s $8.99 a month for a lot of British content including all of the Poirot mysteries. End of digression.) 

The first time that I watched his run I wasn’t at all fond of him as I thought his characterization wasn’t that serious. Rewatching them a few years ago on BritBox, I realized that he was a much better actor than I thought he was and that his Doctor was a much better, more nuanced persona that I realized. No, he’s still not anywhere near my favorite Doctor but now I can watch him without cringing. 

Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor Who.

Ok I’m getting distracted…

Part of his problem, and yes of the first Doctor, and yes this is just my opinion, is that the scripts weren’t that good. It wasn’t until the Third Doctor that they started actually thinking about having decent scripts.

So what did he do? Well he had the distinct honor of being in The Gorgon, an early Sixties horror film with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.   

Horror films involving Dracula, Frankenstein, feathered serpents and demons would all see him make his appearance. He showed in a lot of mysteries including the Danger Man and The Saint series. And several Sherlock Holmes series as well. 

I think Space: 1999 is the only other genre series he appeared in besides a lot of Robin Hood work in the Fifties, mostly on The Adventures of Robin Hood


(10) A CHANCE TO START AT THE BEGINNING. [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] The weekly 2000AD British anthology SF/F comic has its landmark 2,375 issue coming out next week. “New readers start here: jump on board with 2000 AD #2375”.

First up, it’s a little longer at 48 pages.  Second, all the current stories ended this week, so the next, 2,375 prog will see the start of all new stories: so, no jumping into the middle of something. In short this is an ideal place for newcomers to give it a try. 2000AD is perhaps most noted for its Judge Dredd strip. But there is a Rogue Trooper film in the works….

The new issue of 2000 AD has been precision-tooled for those hungry to discover why it’s called the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic – with bitingly good stories from top comics talent!

2000 AD Prog 2375 is a 48-page special on sale from 27 March, with a bold new cover by Hitman artist John McCrea and colourist Jack Davies.

This latest issue is designed to make it easy for new readers to pick up 2000 AD, with a mix of brand new stories and ongoing series that showcase the best the GGC has to offer!

(11) SHATNER ON JIMMY KIMMEL. The Captain celebrated his birthday on late night TV a few days ago with a flaming cake and a mulligan on Captain Kirk’s final moments: “William Shatner on Turning 93, Going to Space & He Gets a Do-Over of His Star Trek Death Scene”.

(12) A LAUGHING MATTER. Bob Byrne’s enjoyment is contagious in his article “Terry Pratchett – A Modern-Day Fantasy Voltaire” for Black Gate.

…Rincewind isn’t Conan, or Elric, or Gandalf (I’ve met Gandalf, and you sir, are no Gandalf). But while we love reading about the great heroes (or villains), we ‘get’ Rincewind….

(13) FUNNY VIDEO. [Item by Jennifer Hawthorne.] This clip showed up on Reddit. It’s apparently from the shooting set of Ford’s TV show, Shrinking. “Harrison Ford is too old for this shit”.

(14) CARGO CULTISTS. “Astronauts’ mementos packed on Boeing Starliner for crew flight test”Space.com has the story.

A NASA astronaut who had the honor of naming her spacecraft will fly items inspired by that name when she launches to the International Space Station next month.

Sunita “Suni” Williams, who is set to fly with fellow NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore on Boeing’s first Crew Flight Test (CFT) of its CST-100 Starliner capsule, will reveal the “Calypso”-related items once she is in orbit.

“A little homage to other explorers and the ships they rode on, I think we are going to call her ‘Calypso,'” said Williams in 2019, when she announced the ship’s name just after it returned to Earth from flying its first uncrewed mission.

Boeing announced Williams’ intentions as it completed packing Calypso for the CFT launch, which is currently targeted for April 22. All that remains to be added to the vehicle are some late stow items and the astronauts, themselves.

The CFT Starliner will carry 759 pounds (344 kilograms) of cargo, including 452 pounds (205 kilograms) from Boeing and 307 pounds (139 kilograms) from NASA. Boeing will have 25 bags and NASA will have 11 bags stored in the cabin where Wilmore and Williams will be seated….

(15) MARK WATNEY’S HOME AWAY FROM HOME. View NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day at the link – a photo of a place you’ve probably read about already.

Ares 3 Landing Site: The Martian Revisited. Explanation: This close-up from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera shows weathered craters and windblown deposits in southern Acidalia Planitia. A striking shade of blue in standard HiRISE image colors, to the human eye the area would probably look grey or a little reddish. But human eyes have not gazed across this terrain, unless you count the eyes of NASA astronauts in the scifi novel The Martian by Andy Weir. The novel chronicles the adventures of Mark Watney, an astronaut stranded at the fictional Mars mission Ares 3 landing site corresponding to the coordinates of this cropped HiRISE frame. For scale Watney’s 6-meter-diameter habitat at the site would be about 1/10th the diameter of the large crater. Of course, the Ares 3 landing coordinates are only about 800 kilometers north of the (real life) Carl Sagan Memorial Station, the 1997 Pathfinder landing site.

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Black Nerd Problems tees up the Studio Ghibli Fest for 2024.

Studio Ghibli Fest is back in theaters in its biggest year yet! Now, coming off the triumphant Oscar® win for Hayao Miyazaki’s latest feature The Boy and the Heron, celebrate this iconic studio with an all-new selection of fan favorites and iconic titles alike.

This year’s lineup highlights the works of studio co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, as well as directors Yoshifumi Kondo, Hiroyuki Morita, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi. In celebration of Hayao Miyazaki’s recent Oscar win, Studio Ghibli Fest 2024 kicks off with the acclaimed director’s previous Academy Award-winning feature, Spirited Away, which took home the Oscar in 2001.

The lineup also includes special celebrations for the Howl’s Moving Castle 20th Anniversary, Kiki’s Delivery Service 25th Anniversary, and Pom Poko 30th Anniversary.

[Thanks to SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Steven French, Mike Kennedy, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Kathy Sullivan, Jennifer Hawthorne, JJ, Doctor Science, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Mark.]

Pixel Scroll 7/19/17 By The Pixel Of Grayscroll!

(1) WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. Adam-Troy Castro links to his post “This Community We Love is Infested With Toxic Spoiled Brats” with this comment: “The object of a fandom you don’t care about is not a deadly infection to be wiped out on general principle. Fandoms can cross-pollinate. Interests can cross-pollinate.The things you ‘don’t give a shit about’ are not invaders you need to exterminate. Most to the point, you can get through your day without being a dick.”

Ed Sheeran, who is a fan of Game of Thrones, who got cast because he openly begged the producers to give him a bit part and had a nice little scene written for him, a scene that added texture to the story and even you hated it took up only three minutes of your life, has had to shut down his twitter feed because Game of Thrones fans have invaded in force, showering him with abuse because they are irate that the focus of another fandom has invaded theirs. They accuse him of ruining the show and stress that they don’t give a shit about his music, which sucks anyway.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

This community we love is infested with toxic, spoiled brats.

(2) CLARKE ALLEGATIONS. Jason Sanford and Paul Cornell are among those tweeting a link to Vice’s article “We Asked People What Childhood Moment Shaped Them the Most” which contains a first-hand account of abuse by an unnamed science fiction writer in Sri Lanka who they (logically) identify as Clarke.

The teller of the story, Peter Troyer, today is a performer with Tinder Tales in Toronto. His section of the Vice article begins —

Peter Troyer

I grew up in Sri Lanka. My dad was doing some work for the Canadian government. There were a lot of expat kids in my area and we had free reign of the neighbourhood. Our parents mostly let us do what we wanted, but we were told to stay away—never go near—a large property that bordered my house. When we asked why the reasons were always vague.

There were some rumors that someone very famous or maybe powerful lived there. We all got the sense that he was …a danger in some way. One day I was home sick from school. My grandfather was visiting from Canada and he was assigned to watch me. I remember that I was in pajamas. We were in the backyard and my grandfather was painting peacocks. Out of our hedges this man appeared and approached us. I instantly knew it was the man from the property. …

(3) TWO OR MORE. Andrew Neil Gray and J.S. Herbison include several “dream teams” among the authors of “Five SFF Books Written Collaboratively”, discussed at Tor.com.

The Difference Engine by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson

What happens when two masters of the cyberpunk genre put their heads together? Surprisingly, not more cyberpunk. Instead, what emerged was this unusual novel that posited an alternate version of Victorian England. Here, experiments by Charles Babbage resulted in a successful early mechanical computer and a very different industrial revolution. Starring airships, spies, courtesans and even Ada Lovelace, the dense and complex story revolves around the search for a set of powerful computer punch cards.

Sound familiar? Not surprising: this collaboration helped bring the relatively obscure steampunk genre to wider popular notice and launched a thousand steam-powered airships and clockwork monsters.

(4) WHO KNEW? Apparently “ruining” Doctor Who is actually part of the show’s long and respected tradition. Steve J.  Wright explains in “Writ in Water, not Set in Stone: Doctor Who backstory”.

…Then William Hartnell became too infirm to continue with the series, and the big change happened, at the end of “The Tenth Planet”.  An exhausted First Doctor is found lying on the floor of the TARDIS, and when his companions flip him over onto his back (instead of sensibly leaving him in the recovery position), the TARDIS dematerialization SFX plays, and the Doctor’s face seems to brighten and glow… and the screen whites out, and instead of William Hartnell, there’s Patrick Troughton.

The regeneration is not really explained, at this point.  “It’s part of the TARDIS; without it, I couldn’t go on.”  The first Doctor’s ring with the blue stone no longer fits; is it some sort of prop that the Doctor no longer needs?  The Doctor initially appears confused and disoriented, but when he’s settled down, it’s apparent that this is not just a younger version, this is a whole different personality – more impish, more madcap, but also capable of great passion and commitment; the Second Doctor throws himself into situations with much more zeal and energy than the austere First.

He also becomes more obviously different.…

(5) CENTS AND SENSIBILITY. Don’t tell John C. Wright — “Author Jane Austen featured on new British 10-pound note”.

Two hundred years to the day after Jane Austen died, a new 10-pound note featuring an image of one of England’s most revered authors has been unveiled – right where she was buried.

At the unveiling Tuesday of the new “tenner” at Winchester Cathedral in southern England, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the new note celebrates the “universal appeal” of Austen’s work.

Austen, whose novels include “Pride and Prejudice,” “Emma” and “Sense and Sensibility,” is considered one of the most perceptive chroniclers of English country life and mores in the Georgian era. Combining wit, romance and social commentary, her books have been adapted countless times for television and film.

The new note, which is due to go into circulation on Sept. 14, is printed on polymer, not paper.

(6) SHADOW CLARKE PROCEEDINGS. Mark-kitteh sent these links with a note, “The essay by Kincaid (the second one) asks some genuinely interesting questions about the purpose of awards and the meaning of ‘best’, although he does feel the need to end it with the now-traditional bashing of Becky Chambers.”

Of all the novels on my personal Shadow Clarke shortlist, Martin MacInnes’s Infinite Ground was the one I anticipated having most difficulty in writing about, partly because of its incredibly complex structure, but mostly because I wasn’t at all sure I actually had a critical language I could bring to bear on it in a way that might make sense to a reader. Back when I was compiling my personal shortlist of Shadow Clarke books, ploughing through the opening sections of each title on the submissions list, of all of the eighty-odd titles this was the one that felt ‘right’ to me. That is, this is the one that immediately held my attention, the one I would have sat down and read cover to cover right there and then if I had not had to send away for a copy.

I have been associated with science fiction awards ever since I was approached to administer the Hugo Awards for the 1987 Worldcon. In the years since then I have won and lost awards, I have administered them, judged them, handed them out, written about them, and even (in the case of the Clarke Award) helped to create them. Now, another first, I have taken part in a shadow jury. And the result of all that: I probably know less now about the purpose and function and value of awards than I ever did.

Well that’s not quite true. There are some awards, like the Tiptree which I helped to judge in 2009, that have a very specific remit: in the case of the Tiptree it is the exploration of issues of gender. I find it instructive that the Tiptree Award often identifies novels and stories that I, personally, consider to be among the best in the year; but choosing the best, as such, is not what the Tiptree Award is about.

For the vast majority of awards, however, that one word, “best”, explains all and explains nothing. “Best” is the prison cell that most awards have entered knowingly and from which they cannot escape.

In terms of a reading experience, the past six months has been unusual, to say the least. Between the publication of the Clarke submissions list in mid February, and the imminent announcement of the winner in late July, I have read and reviewed not only the titles on my personal shortlist and the official Clarke shortlist, but also as many of other Sharkes’ personal choices and interesting outliers as time has allowed. I don’t think I’ve ever consumed so much science fiction in a single stretch – a chastening experience in and of itself – and I have learned plenty along the way, not least how misguided some of my own initial choices turned out to be, how much we all – as readers, writers and critics – tend to fall back on untested assumptions. I have learned more than a little about the difficulties and compromises involved in serving on an award jury, how every argument provides a counter-argument, how every book selected will point to three that are lost, how it is impossible to arrive at a meaningful decision without reading or at least sampling every submission.

Most of all, I have been reminded of how multifarious and diverse is the art of criticism. When it comes to assessing works of literature, there is no universal standard for excellence, no unified ideological approach, no such thing as objectivity. We each come to the process heavily laden with baggage, some of which we cannot set aside because it is enshrined in who we are and where we come from, some of which we cling to out of habit. Part of our job as critics lies not so much in relinquishing our baggage but in acknowledging that it exists.

(7) THE EARLY NERD GETS THE WORM. Wil Wheaton is interviewed by Kevin Smith on a piece in IMDB called “How Wil Wheaton’s Star Trek Fandom Impacted The Next Generation”.  Wheaton, interviewed by Kevin Smith, talks about how he was a Star Trek nerd on the set of TNG and was ready to answer Trek questions on the set if cast members didn’t know what was going on.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Mark-kitteh, Adam-Troy Castro, ULTRAGOTHA, Cat Eldridge, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ingvar.]

Two Lost Troughton Doctor Who Episodes at Itunes

By James H. Burns: This may be old news but it was new to me last night when long-time Doctor Who fan George Downes told me that the majority of two “lost” Patrick Troughton story arcs had been discovered, and were already available on Itunes — “Enemy of the World” and “Web of Fear.”

(The first may be particularly notable, in that Troughton plays the dual role of a dictator…)

Long have I believed that Troughton was one of the great actors in genre productions, with his role in Jason and the Argonauts as the Greek besieged by the harpies a particular standout. (There have indeed been times in my life when I’ve looked toward the heavens, and paraphrased, “Lord knows I’ve sinned, but I did not sin every day…”)

I only came to the Troughton Whos about seven years ago, and they quickly became a particular joy, so this is welcome information.

George also mentioned that there’s a rumor that these episodes may well be part of a larger trove of missing BBC material…

(And, as long as we’re stepping into the Tardis, mention should probably be made that George Downes is sort of a nice footnote to New York area fandom history;  From about 1987 to 1994, George ran a series of collectibles shows throughout New Jersey, in Long Island, and even a few in Manhattan.  Today, he’s an insurance broker.)

Here is the trailer for the recently discovered missing episodes release of Doctor Who “The Enemy Of The World” on iTunes.