Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Starlost - The strange and wonderful fly in the spaceship and learning not to sweat the small stuff

Posted By on Sun, May 8, 2016 at 4:21 PM

I am a sucker for older SF series, especially short-lived ones. I have often found that though most such series may get off to a rocky start, they may well improve as the series goes on, as the producers find a path that works. That being said, Beyond Westworld isn’t among these.

They locked themselves into a unfortunate format at the very beginning, and so it went for the entire five episodes. For the sake of your sanity, stay away from Beyond Westworld at all costs.

And then is The Starlost, an odd little 1973 SF series from Canada, starring 2001: A Space Odyssey’s Keir Dullea. as one of group of young people exploring a huge space ark.

If you want to know anymore about the show, well, that’s why God invented Google. It’s not a terribly highly regarded series, inspiring Ben Bova to write the novel The Starcrossed, a comedic look at a show similar to to this one.

Anyhow, I’m watching an episode the other night - and I’ll keep watching until the very bitter end of the series - and saw something quite strange and wonderful. Now, we are supposed to encounter strange and wonderful things all the time in SF movies and TV series; it is the very nature of the genre.

But this strange and wonderful thing was not intended by the producers of the series. In fact, I’m pretty sure it got completely by them.

The trio of young space ark explorers are having a confrontation with a new group of residents they have discovered. Suddenly my attention was drawn away from the conversation to the console behind one of the characters, where something seems to come almost out of nowhere, walk along the console, and take off into the air.

I had to play this back about four or five times just to confirm what it was I had just seen. Now, not that much time has gone by since you read the title of this piece, so yes, I’ll just confirm that it was, indeed, a fly.

A fly? On a sterile, antiseptic spaceship?

You think we would have seen any flies on the Enterprise, or Moonbase Alpha? Hell, no.

But here - and in living color - was a fly.

Okay, maybe it was some sort of space-fly, and we’ll meet a whole nest of them in a future episode. No, I don’t think so.

This  strange and wonderful fly got past everyone’s notice - the actors, the producers, the director, and the poor guy who edited the show together.

Suddenly, it was as though I were having some sort of epiphany - a strange and wonderful epiphany. All these years I have been beating myself up because my Styrofoam coffee cup can be seen in a corner of a shot in my documentary about the Civil War battle of Fayetteville?

My frustration that an empty chair can be seen in the background of a music video we shot in the studio?

The fact that in one interview my sweater has a small hole in it?

Fugetaboutit.

No more worries about the small stuff, the stuff that gets by me by accident. I suddenly felt like a free man, unencumbered by the trivialities of the past.

And all it took a strange and wonderful fly.

******

Yeah, those wacky Canadian made for TV movies and television shows . . .

And that’s all I have to say about Canadian made for TV series and movies. Once I made the mistake of writing that, while I admired the canadian health services, I hoped, if they were put in charge of our nation’s health system, that the folks who made the dreadful TV movies weren’t anywhere around.

This was like a clarion call to every humorless person in the universe, who not only didn’t get the joke, but wrote long replies telling me how wonderful the health care system is in Canada.

Jeez . . .

*****

Today’s Soundtrack

Todays blog was aided considerably by the CD “Vivaldi: 6 Violin Concertos - I Nuovi Virtuosi De Roma.”

****

On the Air with Jonelle Grace

Now on YouTube - an interview with playwright and director JONELLE GRACE:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3B7KuMHdWo

On the Air with Richard S. Drake celebrates 25 years on the air in 2016.

***

Quote of the Day

There is a simple rule: practice a kind of generous selfishness. Give a book to a friend, but don't lend it, because you will never get it back. ~ James Wood, author of “The Book Against God.”

rsdrake@cox.net

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