Friday, April 15, 2011

CULT MOVIE REVIEW: The World, The Flesh and The Devil (1959)

Directed by Ranald MacDougall, The World, the Flesh and The Devil (1959) commences with the end of the world itself. 

An African-American miner named Ralph Burton (Harry Belafonte), survives the widespread effects of "atomic poison" in the atmosphere because he is trapped in a cave-in beneath the Earth's surface when the war occurs. After Ralph discovers a path to the surface, he learns from newspaper headlines that nuclear war has wiped out almost all animal life on the planet.  He is alone. 

The early portions of The World, The Flesh and The Devil remain staggeringly beautiful, not to mention eerie, as the solitary Ralph makes his way to New York City, avoiding bridges and tunnels crowded with abandoned cars. 

Once in Manhattan, Ralph calls out for help -- for any sign of life -- and editor Harold Kress cuts to a visually-dramatic montage of empty city streets near the Empire State Building. 

These scenes, lensed in the early mornings and in extreme long shot are completely convincing and discomforting. 

In particular, they create this overwhelming feeling of a hustling-and-bustling modern world transformed instantaneously into a relic; one of eternal silence and isolation. 

Dwarfed by the ubiquitous 20th century urban architecture of the Big Apple -- and with no other people around -- Ralph truly seems vulnerable; a man trapped in a very large cage.  Around him are all the sights of the old world; all the shapes and forms, but nothing else. It's like Hell on Earth, after a fashion, being able to see and touch everything that you loved...except for the very people who made life special.

Despite such impressive and affecting end-of-the-world vistas, however, The World, The Flesh and The Devil remains most famous for its controversial narrative, which in very blunt fashion revolves around racism and even, to a surprising degree, monogamy. 

As much as Ralph stands beneath the shadows of a vast, dead, technological metropolis, it's clear he also lives under the shadow of a dead and corrosive world view. One that dictated he was less valuable than white people because of the color of his skin.

In short order, the three human survivors of The World, The Flesh and The Devil must make a choice about what kind of new world they hope to dwell in. 

Specifically, the plot revolves around a black man, Ralph, a white woman named Sarah (Inger Stevens), and a white man named Ben (Mel Ferrer). And they all keep circling around one inevitable, inescapable conclusion.  If the "old" and traditional ways are to be respected and followed, Sarah can only be with one man; and she can never be with a black man.  Even if she prefers Ralph to Ben.  

In the end, the white man, Ben, is even willing to launch what he callously terms "World War IV" to re-establish the rules of yesteryear; threatening to murder Ralph if he doesn't flee town and leave Ben to his would-be bride. 

The film ultimately walks back from such a violent precipice in a way that is surprisingly hopeful and also  -- let's not be coy about it -- revolutionary. 

The World, The Flesh and The Devil's  notorious valedictory shot consists of a black man, white woman and white man holding hands together -- a threesome -- as they walk off into the sunset to the superimposed words "The Beginning.

This visual conclusion is wholly suggestive, as many critics have noted, of a new world order that eschews violence, war, and racism and encourages...polygamy. 

That's something you don't see everyday in the cinema of the 1950s, post-apocalyptic or not, and The World, The Flesh and The Devil is truly like few post-apocalyptic films you've ever seen. There's no overt, walking "outside" menace (zombies, mutants, giant scorpions etc.) for the characters to battle against.

Rather, they must each confront their own belief systems and relationships.

Do you know what it means to be sick in your heart from loneliness?

The inaugural portions of The World, The Flesh and The Devil deal explicitly with Ralph's sense of utter loneliness when he believes he is the last man alive on Earth.

Desperate for company, he brings two department store mannequins back to his apartment in the city, and promptly names them Snodgrass and Betsy. 

Both mannequins are white and Ralph quickly develops a kind of love-hate relationship with Snodgrass (the male mannequin) over his (imaginary) treatment of Betsy.  After one especially contentious conversation Ralph has had enough of Snodgrass, and actually throws the mannequin over the ledge in his apartment.  The mannequin crashes to the street below and is destroyed. 

It is neither difficult, nor inappropriate to read the sequence with the mannequins as one that deliberately foreshadows Ralph's experience with Sarah and Ben.  He literally "kills" Snodgrass in defense of Betsy's honor, and later almost succumbs to Ben's war-to-the-death over "possession" of Sarah. 

But in some way, Ralph manages to make a different choice in that real-life, climactic scenario; impelled in part, perhaps, by his reading of an inspirational quote in United Nations Plaza. Ralph throws down his rifle and refuses to kill  Ben -- the real life Snodgrass -- lest he repeat the mistakes of the world, and, finally, Sarah brings the two men together. 

But the important thing to consider here is that Ralph is able, at least in some way, to release his built-up sense of hatred and oppression on the inanimate Snodgrass, not on the living, breathing Ben.

And that hatred is a result -- without mincing words -- of the racism of the culture.

Ralph is acutely conscious of matters of race, and keeps bringing race up to Sarah even as they become friends. After her first, hostile words -- "don't touch me," the couple nonetheless builds a bond of real friendship, but Ralph always, very carefully monitors his "place" in relationship to her. On Sarah's birthday, for instance, Ralph fixes a fancy dinner for her at a chic restaurant...but then notes that the help doesn't dine with the patrons. You can see that this comment breaks her heart.

Interestingly then, Ralph -- a victim of the old social construct --- remains trapped in that construct to a much more significant degree than Sarah does. She is occasionally insensitive about matters of race, at one point noting arrogantly that she is "free, white and 21." But Sarah also admonishes Ralph to be "bold" when cutting her hair, a line that clearly holds a double meaning for her. What Sarah is saying is that she wants and desires Ralph to make the first move.

When Ralph reminds Sarah that he is "colored," Sarah's encouraging response is "You're a fine, decent man and that's all I need to know." Although Sarah often appears weak and frail in the early portions of the film, she is actually stronger than Ralph in one critical sense. She is ready to lay down the past (and old traditions) to live happily in the present with the man she loves.This is something that Ralph, for the longest time can't seem to do.

Really, Ralph is caught in a terrible bind. The way he deals with the death of the world at large is trying to re-build it.  We witness him making a radio station operational, and restoring power to various apartment buildings with a portable generator. Ralph also collects books and paintings in his apartment, so that the beauty of the old world is not lost. 

In other words, Ralph keeps attempting to deny the new world order and restore the old one. But this is strangely unproductive in a personal sense. For if Ralph restores the old world -- the world he lived in before the bombs fell -- than he must also restore the old, racist ways and ultimately lose Sarah to Ben. 

Ralph can't rebuild the old world and make a new world with Sarah.  He has to choose one or the other.

The least developed character in the film is likely Mel Ferrer's Ben, who arrives in the late second act, just when Sarah and Ralph are finally growing close. 

Ben rather blatantly represents the old world social constructs in that he immediately resorts to violence and killing; the very things that turned our planet to a cemetery. Unlike Ralph, Ben does not take his anger out on inanimate though symbolic objects of his hatred like the mannequins, but upon Ralph himself.  He takes up a rifle and nearly kills Ralph.

If Ralph represents "the world;" man's indomitable drive to bring civilization back from the precipice and wilderness, and Sarah -- with her longing for Ralph and human intimacy -- represents "the flesh," then certainly, in some fashion, Ben is definitively "The Devil" of the film's title.  He sees only what he wants: -- Sarah -- and his obstacles to possessing her, namely Ralph. 

And Ben is willing to wage bloody war when the world has seen enough of war for five billion lifetimes. 

Again, consider the audacity of such a characterization in 1959 America for just a moment. 

Ben -- a symbol for the prevailing social order -- is portrayed not as a great hope, but as sinister; as the Devil culpable for the state-of-the-world itself.  Again, this is an idea that very much escapes most post-apocalyptic films. In Damnation Alley (1977), for instance, we are asked to root for the very men (Peppard and Jan Michael Vincent) who unquestioningly "pushed the button" in a nuclear exchange.

Sooner or later, someone will ask me what I want...

As progressive as The World, The Flesh and The Devil remains in terms of dealing with matters of racial equality, it is perhaps even more so in terms of sex roles. 

The action in the film resolves not when the well-armed white man says it should; not even when another man, Ralph, refuses to kill Ben (having acted out his murderous urges on Snodgrass). Rather, the action resolves in the film when Sarah, a woman, steps up and asserts her choice.

Her choice is -- shockingly -- that she will not settle for either/or, for either Ralph or Ben. 

Rather, she will take both of them. 

Sarah takes both men's hands and marches them out of their self-established war zone, into what a title card reveals is "the beginning."

She positions herself as peace-maker and power player in the triumvirate, a latter-day Lysistrata, forcing those who would fight and kill to bend to her will. Certainly, it takes her a while to get to this point; of being treated like the property of either man. But eventually Sarah realizes her power over both men, and uses that power to unite all factions. This is the Biblical creation story re-told, but in this case, Eve has two Adams.

One should not make the mistake of thinking that because The World, The Flesh and The Devil was produced in the late 1950s it avoids matters of sex. At one point, a frustrated (with Ralph) Sarah begs Ben to make love to her, for instance. 

And Belafonte and Stevens share a potent sexual chemistry throughout the film. The scene in which Sarah implores Ralph to be "bold" while cutting her hair isn't just about a hair cut.  It's about intimacy, about sexuality, about physical contact

And in such a clear-cut situation --- when only a few humans remain on Earth -- it plays as completely natural and right.  That's (one) point of the film: that the old social construct -- which forbade love between blacks and whites -- was the unnatural order. It's just a shame it takes the death of nine-tenths of the Earth's population for that fact to become obvious, right?

The danger when interpreting a film as intriguing The World, The Flesh and the Devil is that by excavating these unique aspects of theme and narrative, I end up making the film sound like some dull polemic on race relations, politics and women's rights. 

I want to clear about this: the film's not like that at all. It's a movie about three charismatic and interesting people who survive the end of the world, and then have to find their way to a new order, a new peace, and a new sense of individual happiness. 

What remains so beautiful about the film today is that despite the end-of-the-world scenario, the movie never forsakes the hope that people -- and the systems people make -- can change for the better.  

That hope is the necessary prerequisite, perhaps, for human civilization to continue in the face of disaster, apocalypse, or even just bad days. I can't imagine this film being re-made in the same fashion  today. Today, we would demand that Ralph kill Ben, and walk off into the sunset with Sarah alone.  No mercy, no forgiveness, simply violence and reward for violence. The World, The Flesh and the Devil goes out of its way to avoid so simplistic and banal a resolution of the drama.

As The World, The Flesh and the Devil moves into its third and final act, natural life slowly begins to return to New York City. Flowers once more bloom again as the atomic poison dissipates. It's in this environment of re-birth that "the Beginning" commences for Ralph, Sarah and Ben, and for the human race. 

It's a beautiful and hopeful grace note -- the return of nature -- to go alongside the latest development in human nature, including an end to racial prejudice. Today, we might dismiss a film like this as recklessly optimistic or idealistic, but The World, The Flesh and the Devil's genetic equation is unique and admirable. 

It's a movie about mankind finally flexing the better angels in his nature, after for so long vigorously exercising his worst.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sci-Fi Wisdom of the Week

"Don't empty my mind...I've spent my whole life filling it!"

- Flash Gordon (1980)

What I'm Reading Now: Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter!

I just received my contributor copies of Open Court's new book, Dexter and Philosophy

I've had a chance to leaf through the text this morning, and thus far the book, edited by Richard Greene, George A. Reisch, and Rachel Robison-Greene looks mighty impressive.

My entry, "The Killing Joke" (comparing Dexter Morgan to a superhero) is the first article following the introduction ("Knowing Thyself") and is found under  the section called "Maiming and Necessity." 

My essay is followed by a really intriguing piece that explicitly compares Dexter to Star Trek's Mr. Spock.  It's called "Dexter's Pointy Ears" and was penned by Abrol Fairweather, a Philosophy professor at the University of San Francisco.

Other sections in Dexter and Philosophy include "The Cut of Dexter's Jib," "What Would Dexter Do?," "Bad Blood and Bad Behavior" and "Dexter's Bloodline." 

So far, I've only had the chance to read four essays in the collection, but they're all very good.  I maintain Dexter is the finest genre show on television right now, and while reading this book, you can really see how the TV series has inspired a number of authors and professors to consider some basic life issues.  What does it mean to be human?  What value -- if any -- are emotions?  And can a man who is a serial killer actually be...a hero?  Is murder ever a social good?

You can pre-order Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter at, here, today.  It's widely available on June 1st, in both paperback and Kindle editions. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CULT MOVIE REVIEW: Damnation Alley (1977)

In the year 1977, executives at 20th Century Fox believed very firmly that that they were sitting on the science fiction gold mine of the year. 

And it wasn't George Lucas's Star Wars they were so revved up about, but rather Jack Smight's Damnation Alley, a loose adaptation of Roger Zelazny's 1969 post-apocalyptic novel. 

One can comprehend their confidence.  In terms of subject matter, Damnation Alley was far more in keeping with the post-apocalyptic feel of the disco decade and then-popular genre films such as Logan's Run (1976).  Even more than that, Damnation Alley boasted a relatively large budget at seventeen million dollars, compared to Star Wars' ten million.

Of course, history pulled a twist ending on these men at 20th Century Fox. 

Upon release, Star Wars promptly re-defined the genre film (and the blockbuster...) and Damnation Alley simply crashed and burned.  Today, the Smight film isn't even commercially available on DVD, which is a shame. 

Nor is Damnation Alley highly regarded by most critics or fans.   The New York Times wrote on the film's release in October of 1977 that "the only real value of "Damnation Alley" is educational: This is the movie to see if you don't understand what was so wonderful about the special effects in, say, "Star Wars." Here, the sky features streaks of red and blue light that make it look like a giant Rya rug, and it actually moves in relation to the equally phony-looking landscape."   The same review noted that the Smight film appeared to have been shot "through a used coffee filter."

Still, this much is certain: if you were a kid growing up in the 1970s, you still can't help but love the film, at least a little bit.  Or more accurately, love a very particular aspect of Damnation Alley.

That aspect is called "the Landmaster," and it is the silver, dozen-wheeled, rocket-launcher-armed conveyance that is at the center of gravity in an otherwise-middling post-apocalyptic film.  You might laugh or sneer at Damnation Alley's lousy special effects, the goofy science or the occasionally ridiculous dialogue, but the Landmaster -- a "great rig" -- is undeniably one of the science fiction cinema's most memorable and impressive rides (and, after a fashion, a precursor to Dead Reckoning in George A. Romero's Land of the Dead [2005]).  There are fans out there who have devoted their adult lives to the study of this vehicle, and I can't blame them.

Otherwise, Damnation Alley -- starring George Peppard and Jan Michael Vincent -- is one of those films that fans absolutely want to love, and still remember fondly in terms of nostalgia but which, sadly, doesn't truly hold up as an artistic endeavor, or even, really, as high entertainment.

"The whole town is infested with killer cockroaches..."

Damnation Alley tells a frightening tale of technological apocalypse.  One day in the 20th century, at an air-force base in the desert, two officers, Major Eugene Denton (Peppard) and Tanner (Michael Vincent) receive news that a foreign power has launched a significant nuclear strike on America.  The two men are responsible for launching the American counter-strike, which they do, dutifully.  But American missiles only knock out approximately 40% of the approaching nukes.

Smight soon takes us inside a control room, where we see digital representations of the missiles on final approach, a visual that looks a lot like Atari's later video game, Missile Command.  A voice on the radio announces as American city after American city is hit in the atomic deluge.  Boston, Philadelphia, Trenton, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Portland, Denver, St. Louis, Washington D.C...

These early moments give one a sense of confidence about the film.  The unthinkable occurs, right out of the blue, and Smight keeps the tone all business.  The characters boast a kind of terse, bloodless response to their grim assignment, and the tone, is chilling, unsettling, and probably more or less accurate.  Military men such as these guys are supposed to keep focused in an emergency such as this, carrying out their directives.  They can't break down and weep, or act hysterically.  There's a sort of straight-faced bluntness about Damnation Alley's opening exchange that is compelling, or at least successfully holds the interest.  Though there's no political context or motivation provided for the nuclear war, the attack is chillingly believable.  Men working in a silo wouldn't necessarily know the whys or hows of an enemy attack, simply their responsibility in such an eventuality.

After the nuclear war, the Earth's axis shifts, and the sky overhead changes to weird, alien hues.  Storms, "radioactive dust," and "a climate gone insane" become part of the norm.  The film cuts to a long view of the damaged Earth and "angry skies," and again, the artistry involved in forging the moment is pretty impressive.  Jerry Goldsmith's effective score pulses mysteriously, the images in the sky seem alien and unsettling, and a welcome sense of anticipation hangs over the movie.

Unfortunately, the rest of Damnation Alley can't live up to the promising opening. 

Tanner, Denton, and two other men, Keegan (Paul Winfield) and Perry (Kip Niven) are among the survivors of the nuclear war.  After two years, and a deadly explosion at the missile silo, they venture out into the wilderness in two souped-up, armored vehicles called Landmasters. They plan to make a survival run for Albany, the "only place" Denton ever received a signal from after the war.

But to reach distant Albany, the Landmasters must take the path of least resistance, which Denton terms "Damnation Alley," because it is prone to storms and other environmental dangers.  Fortunately, the Landmaster can handle a sixty degree incline, and even operate in water (and under water too...).  

On the journey, one landmaster is lost, and Perry is killed during a violent storm.  The Landmaster crew makes for Las Vegas -- half-buried in the sand -- and finds another survivor: a showgirl/singer named Janice (Dominique Sanda). 

Their discovery of this woman makes for the film's best sequence, perhaps.   Tanner, Keegan and Denton run into a casino (where all the lights are still mysteriously working...) to play the machines and score a jackpot.  At first, they play cautiously.  And then they do so with an increasing sense of freedom and "escape."  On the soundtrack, we begin to hear the hollers of a casino crowd growing louder; as if the survivors are somehow bringing the dead culture back to life  The short scene, splendidly cut, nicely suggests the loneliness and emptiness of the survivor's lives, at least for an instant.  Then, Janice is spotted, and the sound returns to "normal."  It's back to reality...but one that's looking up.

Later, another danger emerges on the post apocalyptic landscape: carnivorous cockroaches!  Keegan is eaten alive by the swarming insects, and Tanner, Denton and Janice continue towards Albany.

Further towards Detroit, the survivors come across a lonely boy, Billy (Jackie Earle Haley), who has become adept at using rocks as a weapon.  His skills come in handy when the group encounters a group of irradiated, mutant hillbillies who want to take liberties with Janice. 

Finally, after stopping at a junkyard to fix the Landmaster, the survivors brace for another terrible storm; one so fierce it sets the Earth back on the correct axis.

After this final storm, blue skies return over America, and the survivors aboard the Landmaster at long last reach Albany, a pastoral community populated by friendly, healthy survivors...

"Everybody out for Disneyland"

Today, the biggest problem with Damnation Alley is that it seems cobbled together; poorly edited. 

The film leaps --often without appropriate transition -- from scene-to-scene, an approach which gives the audience no time to put each moment in perspective, or ponder the previous scene's importance. 

Instead, the movie seems a poorly-stitched together tapestry of vaguely connected interludes; the next no more meaningful, thrilling, or interesting than the last.  The film also seems strangely repetitive.  Every sequence seems an excuse to get Jan Michael Vincent back on his motorcycle.  In fact, you could probably start a drinking game based on the number of times the plot's forward momentum stops and Vincent speeds around on his bike.

The sense of a weak narrative careening out-of-control is further augmented by the film's generally poor visual effects.  Early in the film, for instance, Tanner navigates a desert populated with giant scorpions.  Not only are the perspectives in these scenes way off (with the motorcycle actually seeming to ride over the scorpions in some instances...) but the foreground and background elements do not match up in terms of film grain and contrast.  The scorpion -- real creatures filmed at close-up range -- are abundantly clear and crisp in presentation; while Jan Michael Vincent and the background components seem to be lurking in a sand-storm, appearing grainier and more diffuse than the giant rampaging threats.  Hence the "used coffee filter" look.

Near the end of the film, a storm at the Detroit junkyard is presented in what can only be termed incoherent fashion.  One moment, it's night, and we're gazing at an angry sky through the Landmaster windshield.  The next moment, it seems to be day, and flood waters are coursing through a canyon, or desert terrain, one seemingly unconnected and unrelated to the Detroit junkyard.  Then, before you can guess what's happened, the Landmaster is entirely submerged in a body of water the size of an ocean, but all the surrounding cars of the junkyard have miraculously vanished.

Even the killer cockroaches fail to visually convince.  Again, the editing is so slipshod that there are times you can make out that the bugs are just non-moving "dummies" being dragged on a long, narrow, wooden board.

Such effects flaws might be overlooked more readily if there was some overwhelming sense of danger, importance or even inter-connection in most of the film's dramatic scenes.  But there isn't: the movie just pops from set-piece to set-piece without really mining any of them for emotional or dramatic content.

One can see, just a little, what the filmmakers seemed to be going for.  After a terrible world war wipes out most of the world, the film wants to focus on the essentials -- the building blocks --of re-constructing the human civilization. 

We start with men, then add a woman, and finally a child.  Before long there's an ad-hoc family built from the wreckage of the civilization.  Following the construction of this "new" family, a safe home or harbor is introduced in pastoral Albany.   The pieces are coming together, in other words, for a re-birth.  It's not an entirely uninteresting dynamic, yet the film takes no chances either (unlike, say, The World, The Flesh and the Devil [1959])   At one point, there are three adult men and one woman living together inside the Landmaster, and yet nobody makes overtures, inappropriate or otherwise, towards Janice.  This isn't very realistic or likely.

But again, Damnation Alley seems to be striving for the re-building of the nuclear family rather than focusing on human sexual drives or other conflicts.  At one point, Denton actually goes over shower schedules, and states, "Everybody out for Disneyland," deliberately likening the survival run to Albany to some sort of (admittedly-nightmarish) family vacation in a kitted-up RV.

The film's science can't exactly be happily praised, either.  In two years time following a nuclear holocaust, the world spits up gigantic scorpions in the desert?  Fine, I'm willing to buy that (if I have to), but then why not giant cockroaches in the next sequence, instead of regular-sized ones?  Again, it seems a hodgepodge of ideas.  Either radioactive insects and monsters are gargantuan, or they are not.

More to the point, very little of America seems actually destroyed by the nuclear holocaust.  Vegetation still grows abundantly (at least near Albany) and nobody worries for even a moment about radiation exposure, or fresh water, despite the fact that the murderous mutant hillbillies seem to be suffering from some kind of sickness. They have bloody sores on their faces; and that fact alone would send me scurrying back inside the Landmaster.

Damnation Alley could have followed Zelazny's (excellent) novel.  The moviemakers had a template and compelling narrative to follow in the source material, but they ignore it in favor of a loosely-held together storyline that doesn't present compelling characters, very intriguing situations, or even much believability. 

The primary reason that some folks like me remember and enjoy Damnation Alley, beyond the wonderful Landmaster, is that the idea of the post-apocalyptic road trip is purely and simply intriguing.  It's kind of a reverse-frontier story, with brave men heading...back east, after the frontier has been obliterated.  This kind of idea -- of a journey through a post-apocalyptic terrain is enormously intriguing, and clearly fascinated many writers in the 1970s.  Damnation Alley featured the concept and so did the Saturday morning series, Ark II.  Even Logan's Run: The Series, was about navigating a "destroyed" world in a traveling home, a souped-up hover craft.   But in one way or another, all of these productions also owed something to Star Trek, because they involved "civilizations of the week" sprouting up out of the ruins.  It wasn't until films such as The Road Warrior (1981), generally, that a much-needed sense of savagery was added to the post-apocalyptic "road" scenario.  Damnation Alley, to its detriment, does feel like a harmless ride through Disneyland.

It's hard to not to boast affection for a film that features the Landmaster, Jan Michael Vincent, James Earle Haley, George Peppard, Paul Winfield and killer cockroaches.  I do, in fact, boast a lot of nostalgia for this film and its central vehicle.  I just wish, in this case, the nostalgia could be coupled with a sense of admiration for the film's quality.

Damnation Alley is pretty damned silly.  But the Landmaster, designed by Dean Jefferies, remains thoroughly impressive.  I leave this review, therefore, with a few more images of this classic sci-fi ride.  Even today, she's a post-apocalyptic beauty.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Cult-TV Faces of: Tech Support

Identified: Barney (Greg Morris) from Mission: Impossible

Identified: Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) from Star Trek.

Identified: Zienia Merton as Sandra Benes on Space:1999

Identified: Professor Frank Heflin (Norman Alden); Electra Woman and Dyna Girl

Identified: Silver (David Collings) in Sapphire and Steel.

Identified: Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), ST:TNG.

Identified: Tina McGee (Amanda Pays) in The Flash

Identified: Chief Miles O'Brien (Colm Meaney), DS9.

Identified: B'Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson), ST: Voyager.

Identified: Roedecker, Millennium.

Identified: Willow (Alyson Hannigan); Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Identified: Logan Cale (Michael Weatherly) in Dark Angel

Identified: Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub); 24.

Identified: Oracle (Dina Meyer), Birds of Prey

Identified: Kaylee (Jewel Staite), Firefly.

Identified: Marshall Flinkman (Kevin Weisman), from Alias.

Identified: Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack), Smallville

Identified: "Mac" (Tina Marjorino), from Veronica Mars

Identified: Nathan (Kevin Rankin) in Bionic Woman 2007
Identified: Topher (Fran Kranz), Dollhouse