If it wasn’t for Lucille Ball, there wouldn’t be any Trekkies

The ultimate decision to put the original Star Trek series on the air back in 1966 fell into the hands of Lucille Ball. She was a studio executive (Desilu) who wielded power over decisions like which shows will move forward and which shouldn’t. She took the Star Trek plunge, the rest is mega science fiction franchise history.

Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American actress, comedienne, model, film studio executive, and TV producer. She was the star of the sitcoms I Love LucyThe Lucy–Desi Comedy HourThe Lucy ShowHere’s Lucy, and Life with Lucy.

How Star Trek was launched:

In April 1964, Gene Roddenberry presented the Star Trek draft to Desilu Productions, a leading independent television production company. He met with Herb Solow, Desilu’s Director of Production. Solow saw promise in the idea and signed a three-year program-development contract with Roddenberry.

The idea was extensively revised and fleshed out during this time – ‘The Cage’ pilot filmed in late 1964 differs in many respects from the March 1964 treatment. Solow, for example, added the Star Date concept.

Desilu Productions had a first-look deal with CBS. Oscar Katz, Desilu’s Vice President of Production, went with Roddenberry to pitch the series to the network. They refused to purchase the show, as they already had a similar show in development, the 1965 Irwin Allen series Lost in Space.

In May 1964, Solow, who previously worked at NBC, met with Grant Tinker, then head of the network’s West Coast programming department. Tinker commissioned the first pilot – which became ‘The Cage’. NBC turned down the resulting pilot, stating that it was ‘too cerebral.’ However, the NBC executives were still impressed with the concept, and they understood that its perceived faults had been partly because of the script that they had selected themselves.

NBC made the unusual decision to pay for a second pilot, using the script called “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. Only the character of Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, was retained from the first pilot, and only two cast members, Majel Barrett and Nimoy, were carried forward into the series. This second pilot proved to be satisfactory to NBC, and the network selected Star Trek to be in its upcoming television schedule for the fall of 1966.

The second pilot introduced most of the other main characters: Captain Kirk (William Shatner), chief engineer Lt. Commander Scott (James Doohan) and Lt. Sulu (George Takei), who served as a physicist on the ship in the second pilot but subsequently became a helmsman throughout the rest of the series. Paul Fix played Dr. Mark Piper in the second pilot; ship’s doctor Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) joined the cast when filming began for the first season, and he remained for the rest of the series, achieving billing as the third star of the series. Also joining the ship’s permanent crew during the first season were the communications officer, Lt. Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), the first African-American woman to hold such an important role in an American television series; the captain’s yeoman, Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney), who departed midway through the first season; and Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett), head nurse and assistant to McCoy. Walter Koenig joined the cast as Ensign Pavel Chekov in the series’ second season.

In February 1966, Star Trek was nearly killed by Desilu Productions, before airing the first episode. Desilu had gone from making just one half-hour show (The Lucy Show), to deficit financing a portion of two expensive hour-long shows, Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. Solow was able to convince LUCILLE BALL that both shows should continue.

 

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Imagine the world without Trekkies.

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Soldier Uniform Camouflage and The Stormtroopers

Camouflage incorporated into military uniforms helps the soldier blend in with his/her surroundings. The fusion of green and gray uniforms for the woods, khaki uniforms for the desert and white uniforms for the snowy regions of the planet. Snipers use burlap uniforms to become one with the swamps, bush and tall grass areas where they operate.

British snipers

 

Israeli soldiers

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U.S. Navy Special Operations Forces

 

Then there is the Imperial Stormtroopers

Polished white uniforms that can be spotted miles away. It appears the uniforms may be armoured, but the stormtroopers drop like flies whenever Hans Solo or Luke Skywalker shoot them.

These uniforms are not compatible with forest operations. Ewoks can spot the stormtroopers from great distances.

 

Darth Vader gets to wear black.  Black is harder to see.

Bizarre paintings of giant mecha robots prowling around eastern Europe in the early 1900’s

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The Polish artist Jakub Rozalski, who goes by the sobriquet “Mr. Werewolf,” has produced an amusing series of steampunk-ish canvases in which serene and idyllic rustic landscapes of what seem to be Eastern Europe (Rozalski’s very back yard, you might say) in the early decades of the 20th century feature the prominent and inexplicable existence of completely fictitious giant mecha robots.

Various iconographies are jammed together, the imagery of peasant life in the early years of collectivization, the imagery of science fiction, the imagery of modern warfare…. add it all up and you might find yourself calling to mind, ohhh, the first few scenes of The Empire Strikes Back, set on the icy terrain of Hoth, perhaps?

Rozalski’s intent is “to commemorate this sad and tragic period in history, in my own way, to light on this parts of history that usually remain in the shadows of other events… remember and honor the history, but live in the present.” He adds, “I like to mix historical facts and situations with my own motives, ideas and visions. … I attach great importance to the details, the equipment, the costumes, because it allows you to embed painting within a specified period of time.”

 

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Amphibious assault. Better get running!

 

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Action-Packed Sc-Fi Cartoon TV Series from the Sixties

Jonny Quest (also known as The Adventures of Jonny Quest) is an American animated science fiction adventure television series about a boy who accompanies his scientist father on extraordinary adventures. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions for Screen Gems, and created and designed by comic book artist Doug Wildey.

This was a cartoon series! Indiana Jones combined with James Bond and blended with The Mummy movies. Supernatural, Science Fiction, military action and espionage, this series covered all things a 14 year old boy loves, or in my humble opinion should love.

 

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Inspired by radio serials and comics in the action-adventure genre, it featured more realistic art, characters, and stories than Hanna-Barbera’s previous cartoon programs. It was the first of several Hanna-Barbera action-based adventure shows – which would later include Space GhostThe Herculoids, and Birdman and the Galaxy Trio – and ran on ABC in prime time on early Friday nights for one season in 1964–1965.

 

Bad guy frogman blasting away with a laser cannon!

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Nazi UFOs? Very Interesting.

Is it possible that an evil race of Aliens allied with the Nazis during World War II?  That would have been a formidable alliance to deal with.  Especially if the Aliens provided the Nazis with UFO technology.  I can’t see a P-51 Mustang defeating a souped up UFO.  But then again, maybe the Americans and Russians had their own Alien benefactors.

In science fiction, conspiracy theory, and underground comic books, there are a number of stories or claims regarding Nazi UFOs (in German: Rundflugzeug, Feuerball, Diskus, Haunebu, Hauneburg-Geräte, VRIL, Kugelblitz, Andromeda-Geräte, Flugkreisel, Kugelwaffen, Reichsflugscheiben). They relate supposedly successful attempts to develop advanced aircraft or spacecraft in Nazi Germany prior to and during World War II, and further claim the post-war survival of these craft in secret underground bases in Antarctica, South America or the United States, along with their Nazi creators.

Nazi UFO tales and myths very often conform largely to documented history on the following points:

  • Nazi Germany claimed the territory of New Swabia in Antarctica, sent an expedition there in 1938, and planned others.
  • Nazi Germany conducted research into advanced propulsion technology, including rocketry, Viktor Schauberger’s engine research, flying wing craft and the Arthur Sack A.S.6 experimental circular winged aircraft.
  • Some UFO sightings during World War II, particularly those known as foo fighters, were thought by the allies to be prototype enemy aircraft designed to harass Allied aircraft through electromagnetic disruption; a technology similar to today’s electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons.

Meanwhile, what have the Americans been up to?

 

Below: either a crashed Alien UFO, or the Americans testing a back engineered UFO that they tried to fly.

 

The Many Manifestations of R2D2

R2-D2 (phonetically spelled Artoo-Detoo, and called “R2” or “Artoo” for short) is a robot character in the Star Wars universe. An astromech droid (referred to in the novel as a ‘theromcapsulary dehousing assister’), R2-D2 is a major character in all six Star Wars films. Along with his protocol droid companion C-3PO, he joins or supports Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Obi-Wan Kenobi in various points in the saga. R2-D2 was played by Kenny Baker. Along with Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader), Obi-Wan Kenobi, and C-3PO, he is one of only four characters to appear in all six Star Wars films.