Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Action Figures of the Week: M*A*S*H* (Tristar)

M*A*S*H* Military Base Playset (Tristar)

Video Game of the Week: M*A*S*H* (Atari)

Pop Art: M*A*S*H TV Guide

Model Kits of the Week: M*A*S*H* (Revell)

M*A*S*H* GAF Viewmaster

Trading Cards of the Week: M*A*S*H* (Donruss)

Board Game of the Week: M*A*S*H (Milton Bradley)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Star Trek 50th Anniversary Blogging: "Mirror, Mirror" (October 6, 1967)

Stardate: Unknown

On a mission to negotiate with the Halkans for purchase of their abundant Dilithium crystals, Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Mr. Scott (James Doohan) and Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) beam up from the planet’s surface during a powerful ion storm.

Because of that interference, the transporter malfunctions and landing party is sent to an alternate -- or parallel -- universe.

There, the Enterprise is a ship in a vicious Terran Empire, and all the crew wear knives, and devices called “agonizers.” The officers move up in rank by means of assassination, and control ruthless bodyguards. 

Worse, Kirk’s mission in this parallel reality is to destroy the Halkan race for resisting the Empire’s demand for their Dilithium crystals.  

Kirk plays for time, while Scotty works to modify the transporter to send the stranded crew members back to their own universe.

While Uhura contends with an aggressive Commander Sulu (George Takei), the ship’s security chief who runs the vessel like the Nazi Gestapo, Kirk must fend off his first officer, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), who has been ordered to kill him if he fails his mission. He must also block an assassination attempt by Mr. Chekov (Walter Koenig), and “bluff” his way through a relationship with the “Captain’s Woman,” the clever Marlena Moreau (Barbara Luna).

Meanwhile, on the Prime Enterprise, the mirror versions of Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura are apprehended by Spock before they can make mischief.

Back in the mirror universe, Kirk and the others race the clock to get home to their dimension, and the captain attempts to convince Spock to mount an insurrection against the evil empire.

“Mirror, Mirror” is yet another absolute classic Star Trek episode, and one that has earned a long-lasting spot in the pop culture firmament.  

It’s really amazing to think just how many episodes of the original series I could write that sentence about, but it happens to be true in this case.  

The last episode in the second season that fits the bill of "all-time classic" is “Amok Time,” the season opener.  But think about this: that means that twice in four weeks, essentially, Star Trek delivered amazing narratives that not only endured fifty years, but become touchstones for a generation.

These are iconic episodes.

Here, of course, a visual touch is the one most widely remembered in TV history. 

In the “mirror” universe, Spock wears a beard, and that visualization became a kind of trope for parallel universes, repeated on South Park (1997 - ), and Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1989-1999) to name but two productions. 

Evil twins with beards (or rather, goatees), have also appeared in series such as Knight Rider.

The idea of a parallel “evil” universe has also recurred in  Star Trek on Deep Space Nine (1993 – 1999) in episodes such as “Crossover,” “Through the Looking Glass,” “Shattered Mirror,” “Resurrection” and “The Emperor’s New Cloak.”  The most memorable episode of Star Trek: Enterprise (2001 – 2005) is the two-parter set in the Mirror Universe, “In a Mirror, Darkly.”

In terms of exhilarating action, “Mirror, Mirror” is absolutely second to none, with the battle in sick-bay between Spock and the landing party proving a dramatic high point, and everything leading up to a nail-biting ticking-clock conclusion as the crew races to return home.  

Fifty years later, the last fifteen minutes of this episode -- with the crew struggling to get home, and McCoy spending precious minutes to save the Mirror Spock’s life -- prove almost unbearably suspenseful, despite the fact that we know it is all going to turn out okay.

It works that way because the episode's success depends on emotional investment, and constructs that investment brilliantly.  

Basically, this episode is all about the concept of nature vs. nurture.  If we are all raised in a totalitarian dictatorship, would we be the same people we are today?  

Would I be an insurrectionist blogger living on the lam, posting anti-Empire screeds? Or would I be minister of propaganda in the Empire? 

More to the point: would I be the same person?  Would I be “me?” Or would my environment change me so much that I would be unrecognizable to myself of the Prime Universe?

Here, all the Enterprise crew-members are twisted reflections of themselves, with Sulu proving the most terrifying for his apparent sadism and ambition. Chekov isn’t far behind him, though.  But still, Sulu takes the cake, and "Mirror, Mirror" offers my favorite George Takei performance in the entire series. 

But intriguingly -- through direct interaction with Prime Kirk -- at least two characters in the Mirror Universe demonstrate that the parallel reality isn’t, well, an exact opposite.  

Spock maintains his characteristic integrity, most notably. 

He continues to be a man who is loyal, trustworthy, curious and intellectual. He serves an evil organization, and yet is still a being of two worlds (as he is in the Prime Universe). Spock is part of the Empire, bound to its regulations, and yet apart from the Empire in his loyalty to Captain Kirk, and his logical thought patterns.

Secondly, a person who has never known love at all -- Lt. Moreau -- proves that she is responsive to positive emotions, and can embody all the “positive” traits we would hope of a friend and ally.  She becomes an supporter of sorts, and rescues the landing party with the Tantalus Field. 

True, she wants to escape with them to the Prime Universe, but still, she reveals the kernel, at least of integrity.  Like Spock, one senses that she is growing, evolving into someone "better," someone we would recognize in our own universe.

"Mirror, Mirror" also offers a series high-point for Nichelle Nichols' Uhura.  Though it is unfortunate that the character must again endure a "Captain...I'm...frightened" moment, Uhura nonetheless proves her worth in this episode.  She wrestles a phaser away from Marlena Moreau, and distracts Sulu -- dangerously so -- on the bridge, at a critical junction.  "Mirror, Mirror" reveals why Uhura is such a valuable team player.   And my God, she is also one of the most beautiful women ever to appear on American television.

McCoy, meanwhile, reveals his core, essential humanity again. Here, he risks everything to save his friend, Spock.  Even with the ticking-clock, and Sulu's gestapo everywhere, McCoy pauses to save Spock's life.  What a testament to his friendship for the green-blooded Vulcan.

In philosophy, there is a theory of knowing God called the “Via Negativa.” Basically, it means that you cannot define God by what God is; only by what God is not.  God is not hate. God is not mortal, and so forth.   

In a similar way, one might argue we cannot really know the Enterprise characters well until we see what they are not, and that’s the insight that “Mirror, Mirror” provides.

Captain Kirk is not the clawing, opportunistic creature of ambition that his Mirror counterpart so clearly is.  He aspires to be captain of the Enterprise, and a great captain.  He does not aspire to rule the universe.

Sulu is not the power-hungry conniver and plotter of the Mirror Universe. McCoy is not a vicious sadist, and on and on it goes.  

We come to a better understanding of who these beloved characters really are, then, by studying in this episode, what they aren’t.  And by seeing these protagonists in a cruel, duplicate universe, we also see how they don't fit there.  We see their virtues all the more clearly.

Another compelling aspect of the episode involves the Halkans. 

They are the same in both universes (much like Spock), thus showcasing that the mirror universe is not a perfect reflection, or opposite, only a universe wherein Earth took a terrible turn in pre-Trek history, becoming a totalitarian, conquering force.  

Quite simply, the people of Earth in this reality were...weak. They were infinitely weaker, in fact, than the Halkans are.  The Halkans live by their words and would “die as a race” rather than give up their profound philosophy of pacificism.  Apparently Earthers were not so resolute and gave up their freedom for conquest and power.  This plays, indeed, as a warning, about carrying ideology on your tongue, but not following through with meaningful action. Kirk's final speech to Spock is meant to spur him to that meaningful action, and bring about regime change.

Finally, I must note that I admire so much the ingenuity of this episode’s production design. The physical alterations to the Enterprise -- including Kirk’s throne-like command chair and the logo of the Empire (Earth, with a dagger going through it…) -- are simple, but effective. And other modifications, such as personal agonizer devices, an Agony Booth, and sentry-like bodyguards (even Vulcan ones!) add profoundly to the idea of a world that has gone terrifyingly awry.

“Mirror, Mirror” moves with pace, purpose, humor and fiendish ingenuity, and may just be one of the three or four best episodes of Star Trek

The Films of 1964: Seven Days in May

“There’s been abroad in this land in recent months a whisper that we have somehow lost our greatness; that we do not have the strength to win without war the struggles for liberty throughout the world.  This is slander, because our country is strong. Strong enough to be a peacemaker. It is proud. Proud enough to be patient.  The whisperers and the detractors, the violent men are wrong. We will remain strong and proud, proud and patient, and we will see a day when on this Earth all men will walk out of the tunnels of tyranny into the bright sunshine of freedom.”

-Seven Days in May (1964), written by Rod Serling; directed by John Frankenheimer.

Last week I reviewed John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate (1962) on the blog, and it just didn’t seem right not to devote equal space to another brilliant and thoughtful Frankenheimer political thriller of the sixties: Seven Days in May.

The film, penned by Twilight Zone (1959-1961) creator Rod Serling is based on a 1962 best-selling novel that concerns an attempted military coup of the U.S. government by an extreme right-wing, four star general.

Like the tale depicted in The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May is actually an unusual -- and often uncomfortable -- fusion of historical inspiration, and speculation that, given the vantage point of time, reads like prophecy in 2016.

Specifically, Seven Days in May looks to historical figures and events for the nature and details of its villain, the treasonous General Scott (Burt Lancaster).

But simultaneously, the 1964 film forecasts the future (or rather, the now…) in terms of right-wing outrage over any U.S. President or agenda not to its ideological preference. 

As you may have noticed if you’ve been conscious at all for the last eight years, it’s not just that the President’s agenda is wrong to these folks, it is that it is illegitimate and dangerous, and that the Commander-in-chief is actually traitor (or “other”) for possessing non-right wing values and beliefs.

We have seen this very dynamic recur in at least three presidencies in modern times, and Seven Days in May -- in a brilliantly-worded finale -- exposes such narcissistic “patriotism” for what it really often is: sedition and treason. 

You simply can’t lay claim to being a patriotic American citizen if your sole mission in life is to destroy the legally elected U.S. President. 

Seven Days in May gives us two military men, both right-wingers, and allows us to compare them, side-by-side (much as The Manchurian Candidate provided us two right wing senators -- Harding and Iselin -- and afforded audiences the same type of comparison).

One right-wing soldier in Seven Days in May, played by Kirk Douglas, understands his duty, and obligation under the law, to serve the Commander-in-Chief, even though he disagrees with the president’s politics.  Douglas’s Casey is able to put his personal belief system aside and trust in the people, who sent the President to office.

And then there is another right-wing soldier, the aforementioned Scott (Lancaster), who plots a revolution to substitute his own judgment for that of the lawfully elected U.S. President. Duty is not what calls Scott. Evangelical certainty, and moral self-righteousness are his only guideposts.

Seven Days in May is a battle between these two men and their competing visions. One man serves his country, and realizes that to be President is to see things in a different way than a general, or soldier might.

The other man serves only his ideology (and thus his vanity). In serving this idol, he steps over the will expressed by the American people.

Seven Days in May is disturbing -- and tautly edited -- as the exquisite screenplay by Serling fleshes out the details of the coup attempt, and the President’s last-ditch attempt to hold onto the sacred responsibility that “We the People” entrusted him with.

Like The Manchurian Candidate, this film may feel dated to some today, in part because the Halls of Power featured in Seven Days in Men are populated exclusively by white men, and in part because the depiction of Eleanor Holbrooke (Ava Gardner) is a bit patronizing. She is treated, even by Casey, as a child; one who can’t select for herself how she should live, or who she should be.

But again -- as I always like to point out -- films are made in a historical context.

It’s true that Seven Days in May has seen time pass it by in some ways. But like The Manchurian Candidate, it seems to resonate more fully today, in 2016, than has in some recent years.  In some fashion, it has been passed by modern contexts, and in other ways Seven Days in May is again frighteningly timely.

“Why, in God's name, do we elect a man president and then try to see how fast we can kill him…”

Marine Colonel Jiggs Casey (Kirk Douglas), through happenstance and coincidence, discovers that his superior, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Scott (Lancaster) is moving men and equipment in preparation for a coup in just a matter of days.

In just a week, Scott and those he commands will seize all television and radio communication in the United States, using a secretly-funded and secretly-manned unit, ECOMCON (Emergency Communications Control) to usurp authority from the historically unpopular President, Jordan Lyman (Fredric March).

Scott’s reason for the coup is simple. He disagrees with a disarmament treaty between the Soviet Union and the United States that the President supports and wishes to see ratified.  Many Americans feel just as he does, and many of them protest outside the White House.

Casey reports everything he knows about the coup attempt to the President, and Lyman’s chief of staff, Paul Girard (Martin Balsam).  Girard rejects the tale as paranoid fantasy, but the President realizes he can’t afford to be caught flat-footed, and organizes a brigade of trusted aides to help him determine where he stands. 

As everyone is quick to realize, General Scott controls the military, and therefore possesses force. The President’s great power, by contrast, is the moral authority of his office, and the Constitution.
Girard is killed in a suspicious plane crash while soliciting the aid of a Navy officer (John Houseman) who refused to be part of the coup. 

Meanwhile, the President’s friend, Senator Raymond Clark of Georgia (Edmond O’Brien) is held in custody by Scott’s men when he attempts to find the secret ECOMCON base.

Casey is ordered, against his will, to hunt down incriminating love letters from Scott to his former lover, Eleanor (Ava Gardner), so that the President, if necessary, can “slime” his enemy with them. 

The President absolutely resists this option -- realizing it works against his moral authority -- and instead demands, in a face-to-face meeting, Scott’s resignation.

But Scott is not ready to give up his grab for power just yet…

“And from this…desperation we look for a champion in red, white and blue. Every now and then, a man on a white horse rides by, and we appoint him to be our personal god for the duration.”

Seven Days in May opens with a pan down across the United States Constitution. The writing on the document is large enough, and clear enough, that we can read it. 

As the camera pans down this founding document, the numerals 1 to 7 are scrawled hastily and awkwardly over it, in black writing. 

This writing suggests that in just seven days, the Constitution can be desecrated, if Scott’s plan is carried out.

The writing over the founding document is thus akin to graffiti, despoiling the image of the Constitution.

And this optical “superimposition” of graffiti, of writing, over our Constitution also serves as a metaphor for Scott’s actions. By planning to take power from the President, and from the people who elected him, he is similarly spoiling or betraying America.  We see the Constitution literally soiled. And we see Scott’s plan to trample it.

After this dynamic and effective opening, Seven Days in May cuts to a protest outside the White House as it becomes violent.

On one side of the divide are the folks who see the disarmament treaty as a cowardly, treacherous act. 

On the other are those who agree with Lyman, and view the treaty as a way to help secure peace in our (nuclear) age. Frankenheimer’s camera takes us right into the scuffle with a shaky cam, quick cuts, and very informal camera work. This approach makes the protest surprisingly visceral, and also has the effect of making us feel under siege; like we are there, experiencing the protest and the blows ourselves.

This technique is perfect because, of course, we are there. We all grapple with issues like this, on a daily basis.  We all stand to win or lose, depending on how things turn out, depending on what our leaders decide.

These two scenes, in tandem, create quite an ominous or tense mood right out of the gate. First, we see our most revered founding document desecrated, and then we see civil debate break down into irreconcilable violence. 

Together, these two moments light the match, the fuse that burns throughout Seven Days in May right up until the film’s cathartic and uplifting final speech by Lyman, a true statesman.

In terms of its approach to history, Seven Days in May has clearly selected some historical inspirations for Scott, the self-aggrandizing “patriot” who is convinced, primarily, of his own greatness/correctness.

Some critics (and indeed, Frankenheimer himself), view Scott as a Senator McCarthy figure. McCarthy, as I wrote last week, led a witch-hunt against “Communist infiltrators” in the U.S. Government to make, actually, a name for himself.

Other see Scott as a corollary for General Edwin Walker, a man whom President Eisenhower chastised for putting his own personal politics above his duty. Eisenhower asked for, and received, Walker’s resignation.

Today, men of this stripe are still with us, putting their personal religious beliefs and views on ideology ahead of their job as military men or advisors to the government.  So, Seven Days in May has not created Scott out of whole cloth in some attempt to discredit people on the right side of the political spectrum.  Instead, a straight line can be drawn from men like McCarthy, and Walker to Scott…and then people in the present time.

And again, we have the example of Casey. He is from the same political party and belief system as Scott, but he is not a demagogue or an ideologue.

What Seven Days in May also gets right is the long, historical -- and let’s face it -- disgraceful attempt to dismiss and diminish peace efforts (and treaties, specifically) as insidious weak-kneed methods by which Presidents plan to destroy America. 

Think this is a belief that only occurs in fiction? 

Consider the skepticism with which President Reagan -- a conservative! -- was greeted, by right-wingers in 1988, when attempting to get a disarmament treaty with Russia through the Senate.  One senator said, almost word for word, in that meeting, what Scott says to Lyman in Seven Days in May, beginning with the assertion “The Soviets have broken most every treaty they have ever signed.”

If you require a more recent historical example of the principle and scenario spelled out in the Frankenheimer film, just remember the response to the U.S.’s attempt to make peace with Iran in 2015-2016.  Some 47 senators signed a letter warning Iran that they would not consider any such treaty binding.  Essentially, they were circumventing the prerogatives of the U.S. President, in an act that some have called “mutinous” and “traitorous.” 

Seven Days in May cannily includes a Senator (Whit Bissell) in the conspiracy “loop” with Scott, and goes just one step further: making the mutiny and treason manifest as a military take-over.

Most deftly, however, Seven Days in May gets right the notion we see so often in our national discourse; that people are loudly patriotic only so long as their party and beliefs are in power. 

When they are not in power, what do they do? How do they act? What do they say?

They talk down America.

They say specifically, that America is no longer great. They say it is weak. (And only they can make it strong again. Not with their action, but with their “beliefs.”)

Posted at the top of the review is the speech by President Lyman in Seven Days in May, which addresses this terrible quality, the diminishing of America to score political points…even when the whole world is listening. 

President Lyman rightly reports exactly what this kind of talk really is.

It is “slander,” he declares. America is great.  Great enough to be both strong and patient, and to seek ways out of wars, rather than finding excuses for fighting them.

That speech calls out men who purport to be patriots but actually root against America when their team isn’t in power. 

Lyman has another great moment in the film.  He is baffled -- as often I am -- by the hatred of these so-called patriots for the very government they claim to revere.

He reports: “You have such a fervent, passionate, evangelical faith in this country. Why in the name of God don’t you have any faith in the system of government you’re so hell bent to protect?”

That’s a good question.

And one we should all still be asking, even fifty years since Seven Days in May’s premiere

Movie Trailer: Seven Days in May (1964)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Ask JKM a Question: Is Star Wars a positive or negative influence on sci-fi cinema?

A reader, Beth, writes:

I recently read your book Science Fiction and Fantasy Films of the 1970s and would like some clarification on a particular point.  

I realize I might be reading between the lines, but do you believe that Star Wars had a negative impact on science fiction cinema?

Hi Beth, that’s a terrific question.

What my book said -- and the idea I stand by -- is that Star Wars dramatically changed the nature of the science fiction cinema (and science fiction TV, for that matter). 

I feel I can make that case without arguing pro or con regarding the value of Star Wars influence.  But since you asked, I will argue my side too.

First, the case that Star Wars changed the sf cinema:

Before Star Wars, the science fiction cinema of the 1970s was concerned primarily with two ideas: apocalypse and dystopia. 

Thus we had films such as No Blade of Grass (1970) the Planet of the Apes sequels (1970-1974), The Omega Man (1971), Z.P.G. (1972), Zardoz (1973), Soylent Green (1973) and Logan’s Run (1976) to name just a few of the titles.

George Lucas himself began his sci-fi career with a film in this dystopian mode: THX-1138 (1971).

Following the blockbuster trajectory of Star Wars, a strong fantasy and swashbuckling component came into the genre. 

Escapism became the key defining factor of sf cinema.

We had films such as Star Crash (1977), Message from Space (1978), and so on. Notice that some of these titles seem to have a grounding not in science fiction, necessarily, but in Western movie tropes translated to the final frontier.

Even James Bond went to space in Moonraker (1979).

Instead of pondering the end of the world, or the future shape of mankind, many post-Star Wars films featured adventure, mysticism and multi-colored laser battles instead.  Politely put, this shift could be described as a dumbing-down; a movement away from big, controversial ideas and towards special effects showcases.

Yet it is undeniable that Star Wars proved that science fiction could succeed at the box office in a big way, and therefore I judge its influence as quite positive.  

The film itself is brilliantly-achieved, a blast of raw energy and hope in a (largely) cynical and down-beat decade. The film is a lot of fun, but let's not forget that it is something beyond entertainment. It presented us, in meticulous detail, the brilliant idea of a "lived in" universe. It re-purposed and re-imagined old serial tropes in a way that made them feel fresh

Without the arrival of Star Wars, additionally, it is doubtful that Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) would have been made.

Without Star Wars, we might not have gotten Alien (1979), a truly magnificent film in terms of production design, and its revolutionary view of space travel (blue collar space truckers, for lack of a better term). 

Even some films from the immediate post-Star Wars era that have been widely dismissed as Star Wars knock-offs had something of value, philosophically, to offer. The trippy and dark ending of The Black Hole (1979), elevates that movie above its juvenile shoot-em-up qualities. 

Similarly, Glen Larson’s theatrical version of Battlestar Galactica (1978) was really a fascinating Cold War allegory worrying that we would sell out our nuclear store for the possibility of a fake peace with the Soviet Union.  It was Peace Through Strength…In Space...with chrome robots.

So a careful reviewer with an eye towards history could say that Star Wars changed science fiction cinema -- moving it into deep space and other galaxies, and elevating the escapist aspect of the genre -- but that it didn’t gut the science fiction cinema of its guiding principle: to comment on mankind, his nature, and his future.

Yes, Star Wars was so successful that Hollywood producers fell all over themselves getting silly, empty-headed “space” fantasy movies into theaters. 

But other, cleverer producers, saw that Star Wars gave them an opening to work in a genre that was suddenly incredibly popular. By the 1980s, the success of Star Wars had laid the groundwork for big-screen, big-budget adaptations of the works of Frank Herbert and Arthur C. Clarke, for example.

So, no I don't judge Star Wars' existence of influence as negative.

On intellectual and critical grounds, I would not want to see Star Wars subtracted from film history.  Not merely because I feel it is a great and worthwhile film, but because I feel it opened the doorway for a lot of great movies, even if its success altered the nature of science fiction for a few years.

On personal grounds, I would also not want to take Star Wars out of film history. As a second grader, the film was revelation to me. It changed the direction of my life in so many ways.

Now, I feel this way today, I might add, as a qualifier. 

We’ll be getting a new Star Wars movie every year for now until eternity. Disney is strip-mining the property, and this will make Star Wars seem less like a special event, and more routine.

Let’s make a date to revisit this discussion. Ask me again in five years if Star Wars has had a positive influence on the cinema of ideas. 

Don’t forget to ask me your questions at

Cult-TV Theme Watch: Airlocks

An airlock is a chamber which allows people and cargo to pass between environments of differing pressure.

In cult-TV history, the airlock is famous as a way of getting rid of undesirable characters, at least in theory.  Although airlocks are actually rarely featured in Lost in Space (1965-1968), the famous joke about the series is that Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris) deserves to be kicked out the airlock.  

More modern series actually visualize that idea, in particular the re-booted Battlestar Galactica (2003 – 2008).

In Space: 1999’s (1975-1977) Year One episode, "End of Eternity, Commander Koenig (Martin Landau) must rid Moonbase of Alpha of a psychotic maniac named Balor (Peter Bowles), and blows him out the airlock.

In the Year Two episode, “Brian the Brain,” a diabolical robot, Brian, traps Dr. Helena Russell (Barbara Bain) and Commander John Koenig (Martin Landau) in adjacent airlocks. He makes them endure a love test, where air is limited, and only one of them can survive.

In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993 – 1999), the episode “The Nagus” reveals Rom (Max Grodenchik) attempting to assassinate his brother Quark, the new high Nagus of Ferenginar (at least temporarily…) by trapping him in the station’s airlock.

In “Ariel,” an episode of Joss Whedon’s Firefly (2002), Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) learns that Jayne (Adam Baldwin) has betrayed him, personally, as well as other members of the crew, and knocks him out.  When Jayne awakens, he finds himself in the airlock, about to be jettisoned.  He begs for his life, and Reynolds spares him, but the message is plain: one more betrayal and it is adios.

In the aforementioned Battlestar Galactica (2003-2008) re-imagination, in the episode “Flesh and Bone,’ President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) has Cylon enemies, including Leoben (Callum Keith Rennie) pitched out the airlock.

The Cult-TV Faces of: Airlocks

Identified by Carl: Doctor Who.

Identified by SGB: Gerry Anderson's UFO.

Identified by Hugh: Space:1999

Identified by SGB: Man from Atlantis.

Identified by Brian: Blake's 7.

Identified by Hugh: Deep Space Nine.

Identified by SGB: Star Trek Voyager

Identified by Hugh: Farscape.

Identified by Brian: Firefly.

Identified by SGB: BSG Remake.

Identified by Hugh: Star Trek: Enterprise.

Identified by Terri Wilson: Lost.

Identified by Hugh: Red Dwarf.

Not Yet Identified...

The Road Warrior (1982)

I first viewed  The Road Warrior  on a double bill with  Superman III  at the Castle Theater in Irvington, New Jersey. I was thirteen or fou...