Retro TV Shows: “Lost in Space”

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Lost in Space is an American science fiction television series, created and produced by Irwin Allen, which originally aired between 1965 and 1968. The series is loosely based on the 1812 novel The Swiss Family Robinson, and on a comic book published by Gold Key Comics titled Space Family Robinson. The series follows the adventures of the Robinsons, a pioneering family of space colonists who struggle to survive in the depths of space. The show ran for 83 episodes over three seasons, the first year of which was filmed in black and white.

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On October 16, 1997, the United States is gearing up to colonize space. The Jupiter 2, a futuristic saucer-shaped spacecraft, stands on its launch pad undergoing final preparations. Its mission is to take a single family on a five-and-a-half-year journey to an Earthlike planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri.

The Robinson family consisted of Professor John Robinson (Guy Williams), his wife Maureen (June Lockhart) and their three children, Judy (Marta Kristen), Penny (Angela Cartwright), and Will (Billy Mumy). The family is accompanied by U.S. Space Corps Major Donald West (Mark Goddard), who is trained to land the ship. The Robinsons and Major West are to be cryogenically frozen for the voyage, and they are set to be unfrozen when the spacecraft approaches its destination.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris), Alpha Control’s doctor, is revealed to be a saboteur on behalf of an unnamed nation. After disposing of a guard who catches him on board the spacecraft, Smith reprograms the Jupiter 2’s B-9 environmental control robot (voiced by Dick Tufeld) to destroy critical systems on the spaceship eight hours after launch. Smith, however, becomes trapped aboard at launch and his extra weight throws the Jupiter 2 off course, causing it to encounter a storm of asteroids. This, plus the robot’s rampage, causes the ship to prematurely engage its hyperdrive, and causes the expedition to become hopelessly lost in the infinite depths of outer space. Smith’s selfish actions and laziness frequently endanger the expedition; however, Smith’s role assumes less sinister overtones in later parts of the series.

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The X-Files TV Disclaimer is Over The Top

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A TV channel is playing reruns of the original X-Files every night. I loved that show back in the nineties. Space aliens, werewolves, mutants and many other paranormal entities creating havoc in Scully and Mulder’s lives.

But the new disclaimer is just plain wrong. Check out the vid below:

In all the time I watched that show I did see some violence. But never was there coarse language, nudity and sexual activity. Suffice it to say seeing Scully in the nude would have been pleasant.

Not one boob, no sex scenes and practically no vulgar terminology. Not once! I guess it is just lawyers dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s.

Tribute to John Dunsworth: Mr. Lahey from Trailer Park Boys

John Dunsworth, a Nova Scotia actor best known as the irreverent trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey, has died at the age of 71.

Dunsworth played Mr. Lahey on Trailer Park Boys, and is also known for his portrayal of Dave Teagues in the series Haven.

“With heavy and broken hearts the family of John F. Dunsworth would like to let people know that our amazing husband, father and grandfather John Dunsworth has passed away,” his daughter Sarah Dunsworth said in a statement to CBC News.

“John left this world peacefully after a short and unexpected illness,” her statement said.

Beware: strong language

The first thing that struck me was Jim Lahey’s shittaphors.  Lahey is the old warped drunkard who from time to time manages the trailer park.  The man loves the word shit. He adds the word to almost everything he has to say. And sometimes it comes across as quite funny.

So I wasted my time compiling the list below.

Lahey taking the swig

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You know what you get when two shit-tectonic plates collide? Shitquakes, Julian. Shitquakes.

Shit-apples never fall far from the shit-tree

Yes I used to drink Randy but I got the shitmonkey off my back for good

The shit pool’s gettin full Randy, time to strain the shit before it overflows. I will not have a Pompeiian shit catastrophe on my hands

Your shit-goose is cooked, Ricky

I’m watching you, like a shithawk

The ole shit liner is coming to port, and I’ll be there to tie her up.

He’s about to enter the shit tornado to Oz.

Do you feel that Randy, the way the shit clings to the air? Shit Blizzard

Captain Shittacular

Did you see that Randy, Goddamn shitapple driving the shitmobile. No body else in this park gives a fuck why should I?

Birds of a shitfeather flock together, Randy.

We’re in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky’s a low shit system!

Never Cry Shitwolf

When you plant shit seeds, you get shit weeds.

 

Lahey and his sidekick Randy in the drunk tank

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you boys have loaded up a hair-trigger, double barrelled shitmachinegun, and the barrel’s pointing right at your own heads

How dare you involve my daughter in your hemisphere of shit

We’re sailing into a shit typhoon Randy, we’d better haul in the jib before it gets covered in shit

“You started this shitstorm, limpy.”

Ricky: “Why bother with a couple of shit sticks when you can have the whole shit trolley?” Lahey: “Nice shit analogy, Rick.”

“When you keep getting pelted by shit balls, Deputy, you gotta get a shit bat.”

“We gotta nail those shitiots.”

“Well, Ricky, it looks like you cooked your shit goose this time.”

(Erica:) “Ricky is a shit leopard that can’t change his spots.”

“Those two shit rats just pissed on forty dollars worth of eclairs at the bake sale.”

“It’s some kind of distraction from those shitniks.”

“He grew up as a little shit spark from the old shit flint hen he turned into a shit bonfire and then, driven by the winds of his monumental ignorance, he turned into a raging shit firestorm. If I get to be married to Barb, I’ll have total control of Sunnyvale and then I can unleash a shitnami tidal wave that will engulf Ricky and extinguish his shit flames forever. And, with any luck, he’ll drown in the undershit of that wave….shit waves.”

“You just opened Pandora’s shit box, Ray.”

“Shit moths, Randy. They started out as little tiny shit larvae, and then they turned into shitapillars, a pandemic of shitapillars. Everywhere you look, Randy, shitapillars. I tried to put an end to the shitapillars life cycle, but I failed. And now? Shit moths.”

“I sense a shit derailment coming.”

“Listen, we don’t want to cause any shit talk here, boys. Matter of fact, I’ve been thinking about shit a lot less these days. Seeing as how I stepped in so much over the last few years, I’m sick of shit. Sick of shit.”

The Idiocy, Fabrications and Lies of Ancient Aliens

The History Channel presents self-appointed challengers of science who take on the idea that aliens caused the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs

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Until now, I have assiduously avoided Ancient Aliens. I had a feeling that if I watched the show—which popularizes far-fetched, evidence-free idiocy about how human history has been molded by extra-terrestrial visitors—my brain would jostle its way out of my skull and stalk the earth in search of a kinder host. Or, at the very least, watching the show would kill about as many brain cells as a weekend bender in Las Vegas. But then I heard the History Channel’s slurry of pseudoscience had taken on dinosaurs. I steeled myself for the pain and watched the mind-melting madness unfold.

I’m actually glad that my editors don’t allow me to cuss a blue streak on this blog. If they did, my entire review would be little more than a string of expletives. Given my restrictions, I have little choice but to try to encapsulate the shiny, documentary-format rubbish in a more coherent and reader-sensitive way.

The episode is what you would get if you dropped some creationist propaganda, Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods and stock footage from Jurassic Fight Club into a blender. What results is a slimy and incomprehensible mixture of idle speculation and outright fabrications which pit the enthusiastic “ancient alien theorists,” as the narrator generously calls them, against “mainstream science.” I would say “You can’t make this stuff up,” but I have a feeling that that is exactly what most of the show’s personalities were doing.

There was so much wrong with the Ancient Aliens episode that I could spend all week trying to counteract every incorrect assertion. This is a common technique among cranks and self-appointed challengers of science; it is called Gish Gallop after young earth creationist Duane Gish. When giving public presentations about evolution and creationism, Gish rapidly spouted off a series of misinterpretations and falsehoods to bury his opponent under an avalanche of fictions and distortions. If Gish’s opponent tried to dig themselves out, they would never be able to make enough progress to free themselves to take on Gish directly. Ancient Aliens uses the same tactic—the fictions come fast and furious.

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While the main point of the episode is that aliens exterminated dinosaurs to make way for our species—a sci-fi scenario accompanied by some hilarious, mashed-together footage of dinosaurs fleeing from strafing alien craft, perhaps a preview of Dinosaurs vs. Aliens the movie—the various ancient alien experts do little more than assert that such an event must have happened. Surprise, surprise, they provide no actual evidence for their claims. Instead, they borrow evidence for fundamentalist Christians, who are never actually identified as such. Creationist Michael Cremo is identified only as the author of Forbidden Archeology, and Willie E. Dye is credited as a biblical archaeologist without any mention of his young earth creationist views. Ancient Aliensproducers clearly did not care about the credentials or expertise of the talking heads they employed—just so long as someone said the right things in front of the camera.

And the creationists didn’t disappoint. About halfway through the program, Cremo says, “Some researchers found human footprints alongside the footprints of dinosaurs.” The quote is a line out of context from Cremo’s interview, but is played in a section claiming that American Museum of Natural History paleontologist Roland T. Bird found human footprints associated with dinosaur trackways in the vicinity of Glen Rose, Texas.

Bird didn’t find any such thing. He found many dinosaur footprints and trackways—one of which he and his crew partially excavated and anachronistically placed behind the AMNH’s “Brontosaurus“—but no human tracks. Strangely, though, hoaxed human tracks did have a role to play in Bird’s decision to initially visit the tracksites.

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Erich Von Daniken is one of the noisiest blow-hards propagating the myths and archeological lies of the Ancient Aliens family.  He is a big proponent of the theory that the Nazca Lines in Peru were space alien landing strips. The aliens travel billions and billions of miles through outer space to get to earth and they need landing strips?!! 

 

The show can’t seem to decide whether aliens exterminated dinosaurs 66 million years ago or whether dinosaurs somehow survived to the modern era. Which is it? Did aliens clear away dinosaurs so that we might live? Or did some dinosaurs escape extinction somehow? Competing ideas bounce around like ping-pong balls during the whole episode. Grandpa Simpson tells more coherent stories.

Ancient Aliens is some of the most noxious sludge in television’s bottomless chum bucket. Actual experts are brought in to deliver sound bites that are twisted and taken out of context while fanatics are given free reign. Fiction is presented as fact, and real scientific research is so grossly misrepresented that I can only conclude that the program is actively lying to viewers. To present the show as a documentary, on a non-fiction network, is a loathsome move by the History Channel spinoff. (Technically, Ancient Aliens airs on an offshoot of the History Channel called H2.) If the network and the show’s creators want to present Ancient Aliens as a light survey of fringe ideas and make it clear that the ideas aren’t meant to be taken seriously, I can’t quarrel with that. But Ancient Aliens and shows like it winnow away at actual scientific understanding by promoting absolute dreck. Ancient Aliens is worse than bad television. The program shows a sheer contempt for science and what we really know about nature.

The narrator on the show does nothing but postulate conjecture. Question after question: Is it possible…, could it be…, is there a chance…, what if…,?  The questions go on and on. And the ancient alien theorists assume that their speculation has to be true!

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This clown has gotten dirty rich off this TV show. He is laughing all the way to the bank.