Saturday, June 24, 2006

SATURDAY MORNING CULT TV BLOGGING: Land of the Lost: "Stone Soup"

Well, I'm skipping an episode of the 1974-1976 series Land of the Lost today, in particular "Follow that Dinosaur." It's one of my favorite episodes of the entire three year run, but alas, I already featured it here on the blog, about a year ago as one of my cult TV flashbacks. Check out that episode review here.

Among the things I wrote about that episode back in the day:

"Follow That Dinosaur" is a splendid example of Land of the Lost's excellent story-telling for a number of reasons. First of all, it adds to the "lore" of the land, and reveals how the Altrusians came to be known as Sleestak. It was Pvt. Koenig who named them, after an officer in the army he disliked, one "Joshua Sleestak." The episode also reveals it is Koenig who wrote the warning on a pillar near the lost city: "Beware of Sleestak," which was revealed in the first episode. These touches reveal more background about the Land of the Lost, and also uncover a great deal of its history. People have been getting "trapped" there for centuries.

Beyond revealing some great background about the Land of the Lost, "Follow that Dinosaur" is a pretty suspenseful and dark 22-minute adventure for a show that aired on Saturday mornings. The Marshall family (including two children...) happen upon the corpse of their would-be savior, Pvt. Koenig, and the episode doesn't candy-coat his failure to escape this alternate world, or the details of his death. Furthermore, the episode is quite tense (and even a little scary...) as the Marshalls' realize their predicament in the lava cave, and try to flee the city
.

But let's not linger on "Follow that Dinosaur" and move instead into this week's selection, the agreeable and entertaining "Stone Soup." Written by Joyce Perry (who also wrote "Time Trap" for Star Trek: The Animated Series) and directed by Bob Lally, this installment finds the Marshall kids growing increasingly combative as a long draught -- and electrostatic storms -- continue to wreak havoc in the land of the lost.

Instead of watching Will and Holly squabble, Marshall re-directs their attention. He starts making something called "Stone Soup," a terrible concoction (a stone in hot water...) that needs new ingredients (like potatoes, carrots, and onions...) to taste edible. Holly and Will get roped into their Dad's stone soup ruse and start working together to make a palatable dinner. While collecting ingredients out in the jungle, they are nearly run over by a dinosaur stampede (and Will amusingly yells "Duck!" as the giant lizards run by...) and the two Marshall kids seek shelter in a Pylon. To their horror, they find the matrix crystal table has been disrupted by the Paku.

In fact, the terrible draught in the land is being caused by the Pakuni, who "are territorial by nature," according to Marshall. Being good shepherds of the land (a part of the environmental message of the series that I love...), the Marshalls realize they must negotiate with the Paku to get the crystals back and fix the pylon. However, the only thing they can negotiate with is...stone soup.

In the end, as apocalypse grows near ("it looks like the end of the world," says Will...), the Marshalls succeed in their quest and once again balance the forces of nature...causing a much needed rain storm. The Marshalls have achieved their goal of restoring the environment not by strong-arming, not by attacking, but giving the Pakuni something they want and need (food). Diplomacy, not sabre-rattling, saves the day.

Along the way in this episode, we lalso earn a few Pakuni words. "Opira" is Cha-Ka's word for "salt" and "opima" is the word, apparently, for stone soup.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Production Diary # 6: The House Between: The Crew!

As I edit The House Between (and yes, I am now officially editing the first episode, "Arrived,") I get the chance to see all my wonderful cast members and the fantastic special effects again. I also get to stand back with shock and awe as I gaze at the remarkable accomplishments of my behind-the-scenes team. I've blogged about the "stars" of the show this week, but today I have to offer my kudos to the "tech" folks who were also so crucial in providing me all the useful (and even artful...) footage.

I begin today's round of gratitude with my DP Rick Coulter. How do I put this? Rick is like...the calm amidst the storm. He's a serious but mild-mannered and generous fellow...who never gets worked up. And yet, through his viewfinder, he silently and without much direction composes beautiful, meaningful shots. Every shot reflects his intellect and sense of visual storytelling. Of course, if you want to get Rick riled, just start talking about the social constructs of a capitalist society. Go ahead, it's fun, but that's another story. By early in the production week, I was trusting Rick to find his own shots, call action and cut when I was otherwise occupied, and do just about everything else too. Rick is a great guy, and on the last day when I spontaneously lost my shit and had a nervous laughter attack over a certain scene (which still cracks me up...) he stepped in and with smooth authority finished the scene.

Next up are the two brilliant lighting directors who - perhaps more than anyone else - are responsible for the unique palette of The House Between (which I like to describe as a fusion of 1940s film noir and 1920s German Expressionism.) I'm talking about Kevin Flanagan and Bobby Schweizer, who - without complaint and with precious little guidance - masterminded the lighting scheme for the entire series. Their lighting reflects character mind-states (sometimes psychotic), "pulses" with evil life (in the episode "Visited") and basically makes the series look respectable...and like nothing else being produced today. Since we shot in empty house with literally no furniture and only a paucity of props, shadows became "the backdrop" for many a scene...and with precious few resources, Bobby and Kevin made my crazy vision a reality; and what's more - improved on what I had casually conceived. When I said I wanted the shadows to be "furniture," I had no idea how to accomplish that; but they did. Kevin and Bobby also helped in ways too numerous to count (keeping the house shrouded in darkness, for instance), and I can't imagine how much slower we would have gone if we didn't have them contributing. Kevin also gave me some really good script advice for episode # 7; advice I gladly took.

Also, there would likely only be maybe four or five episodes of The House Between (instead of seven) without the efforts of my producer, Joseph Maddrey. Joe served as the producer on the Discovery Channel Series A Haunting, so he absolutely knows his stuff. On the set, he was always following the script, always following the team with an open notebook, crafting new ways to keep us on task and on time. Joe had the unenviable job of being the "bad cop," at times, telling me when I only had ten minutes or five minutes left to finish a scene that was taking too long. When I did fall behind, he was understanding, but also cleverly finding ways to make up the lost time...either adjusting the scripts or thinking of clever stagings. There were many heroes and champions on The House Between but I found Joe's contributions and steady presence absolutely essential. Every director needs a good but tough producer, and Joe fit the bill splendidly. He was fair-minded and always coming up with great ideas. We couldn't have succeeded without him, and I should also note that Joe dramatically improved the scripts before we shot. He spent the last several weeks of pre-production giving me notes on how to improve everything from dialogue and characterization to narrative flow. His advice was sound too. I remember on set, a clever actor (Mercer) precisely mirrored Joe's feedback and notes on one particular episode ("Positioned") and on how the audience would view that particular character, Bill. Joe was right then...as he was so many other times.


Finally, I can't write this post without thanking my beautiful (and very pregnant) wife, Kathryn. She is a producer on the show too, and she not only offered some critical input at the beginning of each day, she kept the entire cast & crew well fed and cared for over the long shoot (with the help of Rob Floyd's wonderful and adorable wife, Phyllis). There would be no show to post about here if Kathryn had not permitted us to open up our home to fourteen people for seven days, and utilize our family resources to realize the project. Kathryn is one-in-a-million. I've known that since forever (our seventeenth dating anniversary is September 8th, this year...), but I'm truly grateful for her level of support and encouragement throughout this process...especially considering that she's working on a Muir production of her own..our baby. And also - Phyllis - what can I say about this classy lady? She applied make-up, corralled actors, prepared meals, read dialogue off-camera, stayed up till 2:00 am for the infamous bath tub scene, and did about a million other things. Without Kathryn and Phyllis, we would have ground to a halt.

The truly amazing thing about The House Between is that over the long, sixteen hour days, no ego or selfishness ever showed up at the location; neither among the cast nor the crew. Everybody chipped in, did their part with enthusiasm...and it was an incredible experience.

Now, Rick and I move into editing...and so far, so good!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK # 41: Shrinky Dinks

For your consideration today, another great 1970s toy: Shrinky Dinks! (from the Skyline Company). In particular, I present for your approval my somewhat worn (as you can tell from the pictures...) Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Shrinky Dink set from 1979.

What are Shrinky Dinks? It's not what you think...a derogatory name for something...flaccid. No, on the contrary, it's "Creative fun for Everyone!" Just: "Trace - Color - Cut - Bake!" and the toys shrink like magic to 1/3 original size (adult supervision required during 4 minute baking...).

What can you make with your Shrinky Dinks? How about: Light Switch Decorations, Stick-Ups, Key Chains, Gift Tags, 3-D Plaques and Zipper Pulls?

Here's what came with the Buck Rogers set: shrinkable plastic and and sheets ready to color, colored pencils, a "stickum" pad, a key chain, a zipper pull and the all-important direction and idea book! Now you can sling Twiki around your neck, or put Tigerman on a key chain! Bidi-bidi-bidi-bidi...

Yep, Shrinky Dinks mean hours and hours of fun for everyone. I'm going to crack this toy open when my firstborn child (coming this October!!!) is old enough to play.

By then, who knows - maybe Buck Rogers will be back in fashion...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Production Diary # 5: The House Between: Cast

Last week, I blogged about the sets/locations for my independently shot TV program, The House Between, as well as my admiration and gratitude for the laudable efforts of Rob Floyd, our special effects expert.

I wanted to kick off this week's House Between production entries with some comment on the program's dedicated cast. Because - quite simply - everybody was amazing; all in different ways, of course, but nonetheless amazing. And, as Bobby Schweitzer noted over at Virtual Fools, the pressure on the cast during this whirlwind shoot was intense; and I'm not one to write easy (or brief...) dialogue. I went for broke in my expectations, and to my delight, the cast always kept pace. So forgive the love-fest!

Kim Breeding portrays Astrid, my central heroine in The House Between. Kim is not only beautiful, and literally able to kick ass (which is a quality important for the role...) but she came to the set 100% percent prepared for action. She's got the bruises to prove it (alas, no stunt doubles!). Truth be told, Kim had thought seriously about her character so much that she didn't really require any direction from me. I don't think there was any time during the shooting that I provided her a direction she hadn't already considered. I love that about her: preparation and discipline! The camera loves Kim, and for good reason, but what I found so valuable about this actress (besides her gung-ho attitude) was that she always understood precisely how Astrid "fit" into the scene...even if the scene didn't really focus on Astrid. She was able to fit with the ensemble as well as be "the star" of a given episode, and that worked out so well. Kim is also incredibly versatile: she can convincingly fight, emote, sing, fall, rattle off dialogue and scream with equal aplomb...and on command. Scream Queen! Scream Queen!

Jim Blanton plays Arlo, an odd character who I once likened to a "squirrel with a nut." He's strange, a little off-putting, and even a tad psychotic. Arlo does some horrible, shocking things in the course of the series, but what I love about Jim Blanton's interpretation of the role is that he makes you like Arlo. He brings a level of innocence and charm to the character that turns Arlo, ultimately, into a rather likeable guy. Not pitiable...but lovable. Jim was able to tap both anger and naivete to play this critical role, and there were times - especially watching his close-ups - that I was shocked and impressed by the honesty, clarity and openness I saw registering on his features. I didn't plan it this way, but it seems that Arlo has become kind of the show's "emotional barometer," and that's because of Jim's interpretation. There was one sequence with Jim as Arlo that was just so perfect and moving that it brought a tear to my eye. And Jim and I hadn't even gone over that particular moment...it was something that just came to him naturally.

Lee Hansen plays Travis, the fly-in-the-ointment character. Basically, Travis is a real jerk (as you'll see when this thing gets streamed online...). So Travis is basically the total opposite of Lee Hansen, the person. Lee is just about the most gentle and kind person you'll ever meet, but he tapped some inner sense of lunacy to play this part. I know that I wrote for Travis some of the best one-liners in the series, but as played by Hansen, Travis is just hysterically funny...even in the scenes without written jokes. He just brings this insane sense of humor and physical presence to the role, and we had a running regulation on the set. Don't watch Hansen during the scenes. Because if you watched him while you were acting with him, or shooting him, or lighting him, you'd crack up and ruin the scene. Literally. Hansen has a bigness about him that is both irresistible and hysterical. He also brought out new layers to Travis, ones that make the character much more three dimensional. I knew going in that Hansen could be boisterous, but I had no idea that he could turn Travis into a kind of tragic figure.

Tony Mercer plays Bill T. Clark, the sort of "alpha male" of The House Between and since his character boasts a grounding in science, Mercer was on the receiving end of many of the show's long-winded and most difficult speeches. Yep, speeches. Yet what humbled and awed me about Tony's performances was the level of passion he brought to each new dialogue challenge, especially those which could have been...well, rather dry, especially in the hands of a different performer. In particular, there's one episode that features a lengthy speech (like pages and pages...) about abstract scientific theories and such, and Tony just nailed it. His intensity and passion was amazing, but I was even more impressed when I discussed with him how he was tackling that particular soliloquy. What he told me truly impressed me: he had painstakingly mapped out the eddies and valleys and high points of the lengthy dialogue and then proceeded to explain to me what Bill was feeling during each instant. This was something I couldn't have possibly imagined or dreamed of when I wrote that dialogue. But Tony had internalized it, made the words his own - and - in fact - turned those words into a kind of poetry; a kind of lyrical story that was about Bill and his feelings as much as it was about the explanation of a scientific theory.

Alicia A. Wood plays my "resident" Spock-type, Theresa, and all I can say is that if Star Trek ever needs another sexy female Vulcan, they'd be wise to look at her performance and immediately hire her. Alicia is a gorgeous young woman in her early twenties, relatively small in stature, and yet she brought to her performance (from Day One on...) an air of supreme authority and confidence. Not arrogance, just confidence, mind you. She could recite whole chunks of strange dialogue with almost no rehearsal and then - furthermore - imbue it with petulance, attitude, humor and the like. It was an astonishing and accomplished tour de force. And then, for the fifth episode, which reveals a new side to Theresa, Alicia suddenly expressed this incredible, child-like quality that just makes the episode all the more emotionaly involving. When I wrote the part of Theresa, I realized it was going to be difficult, and require someone completely in tune (and in touch) with their body, their voice, their presence. Thank Heaven we found Alicia. I really have no idea how someone so young proved so utterly accomplished, so comfortable in her own skin, but I won't question it.


Finally, Florent Christol leapt into the production for a guest performance on the sixth episode, "Trashed," playing a really, really nasty villain. With his silky, accented voice, extreme physicality and expressive eyes, Flo brought a new energy to the show. More than that, his presence really energized the other actors, who - I think - enjoyed having someone new to play against. Flo's dedication to his part (boiling scars and all...) brought everybody to a new level and exposed new sides of each character.

So today, my hat is off to my incredible cast. Each and every actor did an incredible job. I've been watching their performances while I catalog the footage from the show, and every time I watch a scene...I'm just impressed as hell by what they accomplished....and lose track of what I'm supposed to be recording and analyzing.

CULT TV FLASHBACK # 21: Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (1987): "Shattered"

Power On!

Now here's a nostalgic (and truth be told, cheesy...) blast from the 1980s past of Izod shirts, Madonna Wannabes and the like. It's Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, a one season, live-action (syndicated) wonder from creators Tony Christopher and Gary Goddard. A pre-Babylon 5 J. Michael Straczysnski was among the series writers, as was Larry DiTillo, and the program aired during the 1987-1988 season...the same year that gave the world Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Set in the far flung year of 2147 -- after The Metal Wars -- (when "man fought machines...and machines won,") Captain Power is the inspiring but threadbare tale of stalwart Captain Jonathan Power (Tim Dunigen) and his elite squad of heavily-armored fighters, including the flying ace, Hawk (Peter MacNeill), the lumbering Tank (Sven Thorsen), the espionage expert, Scout (Maurice Dean Wint) and the lovely tactical systems technician, Pilot (Jessica Steen).

Together with their holographic computer (named Mentor), this crack resistance team combats the evil Lord Dread (a kind of Jason of Star Command's Dragos meets Star Trek's Borg meets Darth Vader...) and his evil mechanical sentries, Bio-Dreads, for supremacy in a post-apocalyptic world. Lord Dread is headquartered in a vast realm called "Volcania" (a dome that looks like a breast with mechanical nipple...) and his evil goal is to "digitize" the human survivors of the war, locking them into computers like the characters in the 1982 movie, Tron.

Buttressed by ludicrous early CGI, video effects, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future episodes tend to concern Captain Power's armored team leading the human resistance movement, and the episode I focus on here, "Shattered" is no exception.

In this story, Scout infiltrates and destroys one of Lord Dread's "energy installations" (actually a re-dressed boiler room...) and the evil lord realizes it's time to kill the meddlesome Power and his team. "Perhaps the answer to my future rests in Power's past," the Evil One muses. To this end, he digs into Power's personal past and sets a trap for our hero. Dread soon sends Power a cryptic message from an old flame named Athena, a hottie believed to have been killed in the Metal Wars. Power realizes immediately that the message revolves around a favorite chess move, and this brings back memories (i.e. a flashback...) of the days before "the new order."

When Power interprets the message from Athena (a former lab assistant to his scientist dad...), he knows he must meet her at their San Francisco rendezvous point, the book store City Limits. Though the others are wary, Captain Power is convinced that his old lover is still alive. Turns out, however, that she has been long "digitized" by Dread and is working to destroy Power in exchange for her freedom from the machine. Why? Well, digitization (like the later Borg assimilation process...) isn't too pleasant. "It touches you," she tells Power with fear. "It knows every secret...every hate...every love. It tortures you until..."

Power and Pilot survive Athena's trap only because Hawk shows up in the nick of time and engages one of Lord Dread's evil predatory Bio-Dread sentries in aerial combat, an extended sequence that merely serves to highlight how dated these special effects have become in the 21st century. Still, for a kid's show, this is a fairly dark episode of a fairly dark program. There's betrayal, death, bombed out cities, and very little hope. I guess that's why it lasted only one season...but truth be told, I dig it.

Why remember Captain Power today? For one thing, it's almost the program's 20th anniversary. And well, heck, as the advertisements for the series assertively blared: "POWER ON! TO THE INTERACTIVE VIDEO REVOLUTION!" Yep, a critical element of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was the fact that the entire series was designed as a state-of-the-art tie-in to a new line of interactive toys. To wit:

"Now kids can battle alongside their heroes in the first video that lets them interact with the TV screen. They can actually shoot at Bio Dread video targets using their Captain Power interactive toys from Mattel!"

Ah yes, a prehistoric attempt to create synergy between authentic entertainment and blatant merchandising. You gotta love it. That "dual" purpose helps explain the end credits sequence for the Captain Power series as well: it's a sustained P.O.V. trip through the bowels of Volcania (Dread Headquarters), where your toy spaceships can blow apart enemy installations. In practice, it looks like a cheesy Death Star trench as "players" weave and bob through the facility and must fire weaponry at appropriate targets (like a vent?). Drop those Cheerios kids, and pick up your toys...it's clobberin' time!

Still, craven commercialism aside, you've got to love Captain Power for its incredible ambition. This is a series that - sadly - looks like it cost about $1.50 per episode, and yet posited that five soldiers could fight a sustained war to win the back the planet from the evil machines. Human cities (like San Francisco) have been reduced to rubble, and the man-machine war forecasts movies like Terminator 2 (1991) and The Matrix (1999). The stories - though rudimentary - contain the seeds of adult drama, and are rarely maudlin or trite. In fact, one main character actually dies in an installment. Someone was clearly attempting something brave, even if it didn't always work out.

So, even if it looks fairly primitive today - as well as like a blatant attempt to steal your kid's dollars - I find something noble about the one season sortie of Captain Power. And yes... I still own most of the toys...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sequels and Equals

The Washington Post's Stephen Hunter penned an interesting article on June 11th about the summer of the sequels. It's called "Try, Try Again: In This Brand-Conscious World, Sequels Are Great Investments. Every So Often, They're Great Movies Too."

Here's a piece of what he wrote:


And that's why there'll always be sequels. The money is too easy. All you have to do is pick it up. You can distill the charm out of the original, suffocate what was special about it, use its least relevant cast members for peanuts, lowball every production decision, and ride that sucker straight to the bank, laughing all the way.

Whether a sequel outearns its progenitor (the second "Ice Age" did; "Ocean's Twelve" didn't) is not the point: The point is, the retread almost always makes a hell of a lot of money, because there's a huge audience out there that wants a taste of the original it so loved.

Sequels open big. They may die fast, but they rack up the huge numbers that first Friday night before word of mouth, the market's most powerful movie critic, lashes them to nothingness. Not even Roger Ebert can close a sequel on Friday night.

So, pondering this, I guess I was wondering: what sequels do you think out-do their predecessor? Or are, at least, equals, worthy of side-by-side comparison? The obvious, oft-given answers are: Superman: The Movie/Superman II, X-Men/X-2, Alien/Aliens, Mad Max/Road Warrior, The Godfather/Godfather II, and Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back...but beyond this widely-accepted batch, are there any others we ought to consider?

I guess From Russia with Love and Goldfinger are both superior to Dr. No. And Star Trek II is superior to Star Trek: The Motion Picture (and Star Trek VI is superior to Star Trek V).

What sequels do you absolutely love and cherish? I've written before on the blog about the "rules" of bad sequels. Which ones do you think overcome those rules? Why? What quality makes a sequel an equal? In the age of TV serials with continuing story arcs, is it even relevant for critics to carp about the unoriginality of film sequels anymore? I mean, TV shows have sequels every week, don't they?

Who among the readership here will argue for the sanctity of RoboCop II over RoboCop? Or Conquest of the Planet of the Apes over Planet of the Apes? Or the superiority of Gremlins II over Dante's original? I'm not advocating any of those positions, but I wonder if there's someone out there dying to debate it...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK # 40: Board Games

Bored? How about a board game?! One with science-fiction TV/film themes? That's the subject for this, the blog's 40th retro toy flashback.

TV/Film board games are probably somewhat out of fashion today, since we all have great video game platforms like PS2, X-Box and Game Cube, not to mention DVD box sets, to occupy our time. But let me bring out that broken record again: when I was a kid, we didn't have that stuff! We didn't have air conditioning, or automobiles either...

Just kidding. We did have those things. But as far as sci-fans were concerned, if we wanted to re-capture at home the glory of Star Wars or Star Trek, we had to weave a complex tapestry of interesting, ancillary collectibles. Model kits, comic books, photo-novels, color forms. Blah, blah. Yeah. All right.

Anyway, kids of the 1970s had great fun with board games. I know I did. But then, I liked to cheat.

One of my personal favorites, naturally, was the board game from the Gerry/Sylvia Anderson 1970s classic, Space:1999, a "game adapted from the television series." Produced by Milton Bradley, the goal of this board game is to be the first "commander" to fly his Eagle fleet to a planet on the far side of a rotating galaxy. The game came with little Eagle markers, and a board with a spinning cosmic center. Very, very cool. I played this one with my nephew about ten years ago. I think he liked it.

In 1974, just a few short years before the Space:1999 craze, Hasbro released a Star Trek game for ages 4 - 10. The box art is kind of Gold Key comic-book style, and the game promised "action and adventure in outer space." This game came equipped with two spinners, one for impulse drive and one for warp speed, and involved players racing to complete a spiral path through the final frontier, deep space.

By 1979, the Star Trek movies were upon us, and Milton Bradley had acquired the license to Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The company consequently released a board game (in an oversized box...), one which enabled two-to-four players to complete three space missions, return to Earth, and get promoted to the rank of "Starfleet Commander." Each player for this game would move a starship Enterprise icon across the board and select mission types ("Explored Stars," "Advanced Civilizations" and "Hostile Aliens.") This is actually a really fun game to play, and when my son is old enough, I intend to share it with him.

The same year, Milton Bradley introduced kids (ages 7 - 14) to a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century board game, one based on the NBC Gil Gerard series.. The goal was to get Buck and Twiki aboard Princess Ardala's mothership. Funny, I always wanted to land on Ardala's mothership...

Probably every science fiction series and film worth its salt has seen a board game version. Parker Brothers introduced a Battlestar Galactica game in 1978 (goal: to lead the rag-tag fleet out of Cylon space), and Kenner was all over the Star Wars property with games called "Escape from the Death Star" and "Destroy the Death Star."

In the 1980s, there were games for the Transformers, Escape from New York, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and many more. I had to have them all. The Escape from New York game was especially cool. For a while there, I really wanted to be Snake Plissken.

By the time of the 1990s, even Star Trek: The Next Generation was resurrected in board game form (by Cardinal; for "Game of the Galaxies.") The goal was to make Captain Picard stop talking and actually do something. No, that's a joke. I kid Captain Picard...

The last board game I got (received as a gift...) is one I'm particularly thrilled with. Yep, it's a Buffy the Vampire Slayer Board Game.

Finally, I've got Sarah Michelle Gellar right where I want her.

So, any favorite childhood board games? Which one? The one I always wanted (but never had...) was the one from the 1970s Planet of the Apes TV series. It had a "cage" or something that humans would get trapped in.

One of these days, I'll get my stinkin' paws on one.