Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "The Visitor" (October 9, 1995)

The fourth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was one of authentic creative rejuvenation and rebirth for the series.

This sortie of episodes brought the addition of  actor Michael Dorn (Worf) to the ensemble cast, introduced a new Klingon-Federation conflict, and finally gave audiences a bald, bad-ass Captain Sisko (Avery Brook).

The season offered quite a few stunning episodes as well, including the epic "The Way of the Warrior" and my personal favorite Deep Space Nine episode of all time: "The Visitor."

Why do I enjoy this particular episode of Deep Space Nine so much?  In short, it concerns two topics that are near and dear to my heart: the father-son relationship, and...writing as a vocation.

Delightfully, the episode handles both subjects with flair, honesty and honesty.  Where so many Star Trek shows are appropriately epic in scope, "The Visitor" is all about intimacy, and the intimacy of a tragic life-story -- shared between strangers -- on a  portentous, rainy night.

In "The Visitor,"  young Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton) is hard at work trying to wrangle a recalcitrant short story when his dad, Captain Sisko (Brooks), asks him to join him aboard the Defiant to observe a twice-in-a-century phenomenon: wormhole "inversion" 

Jake reluctantly agrees to get his head out of his writing for a spell and does as his Dad asks. But on the mission, something goes terribly wrong.

The Defiant suffers a warp core breach and while repairing it, Captain Sisko is drawn into a realm of subspace beyond the reach of Federation science.  Although he re-appears infrequently, for all intents and purposes, Benjamin Sisko is lost...a ghost.

Jake mourns the loss of his father, and attempts to carry on with his life.  The years pass, and he marries a beautiful woman, and even becomes a successful, highly-respected author.  But still, Jake is scarred by what this episode tenderly and poetically terms "the worst thing that can happen to a young man:" the death of his father. 

Ultimately, Jake's driving obsession with rescuing his lost father drives away those that he loves.  He even abandons writing to focus on the problem of retrieving the captain.  When Sisko re-appears and finds that his now aged son (played with sensitivity by Tony Todd) has given up everything -- companionship, happiness, life itself -- for his father, he is shattered by the knowledge.

Given a choice, Sisko would have wanted his boy to live a complete life...a life with children and grandchildren and love.  Jake tells his father that he did it for him, and "for the boy that I was."

Told from a late point of attack, with an aged Jake sharing his moving story to a young writing student, Melanie, "The Visitor" concerns the lengths we would go to to save the ones we love. 

And though I'm often a critic of latter day Star Trek's obsession with tongue-tied techno babble, I absolutely love how the tech talk is used in this particular segment. 

Like Kirk in "The Tholian Web," Sisko keeps reappearing as a ghost...or as a memory that just won't go away.  Jake discovers that there is an invisible "link" -- likened to an elastic cord -- connecting the younger and elder Sisko to one another, and this description is a perfect metaphor for a familial connection.

We are all tethered to our loved ones by an invisible elastic cord, it seems like.  Life is the process of pulling that cord tight, giving it some slack, and loss...seeing it break.  And yet even in that loss, we feel like the connection is still present, even if we can't physically touch those who have left the mortal coil permanently.

I also admire how this episode frames the father-son dynamic.  Jake will stop at nothing to save his father.  And his father, Captain Sisko, simply wants Jake to have a life worth living.

Their purposes are crossed, and every time they meet, they re-engage in this debate. The captain wants grandchildren.  He wants his son's happiness.  Yet his son desires only one thing: the return of the guiding influence in his life; an overturning of the loss that his life could never sustain  or overcome. 

It's an emotional and beautiful dynamic, wonderfully portrayed by all the talents involved, and the story gets at another truth about family.  We all believe we know what is best for a child or parent, and we fight for that outcome.

Even if, importantly, that child or parent desires something else. The parent-child connection we see played out so dramatically in "The Visitor" is a "universal constant," as Dr. McCoy might report.

It's icing on the cake for me, I suppose, that "The Visitor" also concerns the profession of writing, and more than that, gets its observations about a writing career spot-on accurate. 

Jake is portrayed here as a mysterious, Salinger-esque figure who only wrote one book and then disappeared; the weight of crisis too heavy in his life to continue as a public figure. That's a nice bit of myth making, but other aspects of the tale are more realistic.

For example, I absolutely  love the moment in the episode when Jake's gorgeous Bajoran wife tries to lure him to bed (and sex...), but it's clear he would rather be writing his story.

As crazy as that image sounds, writing -- getting it down right -- can sometimes be just like that.  It consumes the mind, and when it's going well, you don't want to stop.  For anything.  Not even hot sex with a beautiful Bajoran soul mate.

But Jake's writing career fits into the story in another way as well.

Writing is a consuming passion, and as a career, it can be a cruel master.  Even a writing career as established as my own (nearly twenty years since my first book was published, and two-dozen books behind me...) is one of severe ups and downs.

You have years where everything you publish turns to gold, and years where nothing sticks. Your book sales go up.  Your book sales go down.  There's no security or consistency to a writing career, and yet -- because you love writing -- you stick at it.  You absolutely cannot stop.  And at some point, this dedication does take a toll on your family life.  It's silly to insist that it doesn't.  I'm blessed to have the support of those I love, but I'm sure that sometimes my wife, Kathryn, feels like she must share me with the art of writing.  I'm lucky she puts up with me.

The point of this meditation is that in "The Visitor," Jake does the one thing that every writer absolutely dreads doing yet must, at some juncture, seriously consider.  He gives up writing.

He gives up writing to save his father, and studies to become an engineer. This kind of transition is just absolutely murder for creative types.  I'm always being asked by well-meaning people: why don't you become a lawyer?  Or being informed that I'd be great at writing advertisements! 

As a writer, there's always that invisible but considerable gravitational pull to undertake a career that is more secure, or pays better than writing.  Today, I still write, of course, but my day job is as a full-time communication instructor at a local college.

So Jake bravely makes two supreme sacrifices for his family: both his writing career and his life.   

Star Trek is often about intergalactic politics, space battles, and adventures.  Occasionally, in episodes such as "The Visitor" or "The Inner Light," the franchise really gets down to the nitty gritty; about what it really and truly means to human; about the connections that make us who we are, and the things that we would do to preserve and protect them. 

In its meditation on fathers and sons, "The Visitor" is one of the most affecting Star Trek programs of any generation, and a real masterpiece of the canon.  I strongly identify with Sisko in this episode, because I understand his agony at seeing Jake age and suffer. 

When your child's life doesn't go as you hope -- even on a small, day-to-day level -- you don't merely feel real physical pain.  I see that pain in Avery Brooks' face and in his mannerisms too. 

Yet "The Visitor" also reminds us Dads (and Moms) to live up to our child's image of us; to remember how large we loom in their imagination and psyche. That's an ideal we must also seek to honor and cherish.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Runabout (Playmates)

Video Game of the Week: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Crossroads of Time (Sega Genesis)

Comic Book of the Week: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Pop Art: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (MAD Magazine Edition)

Model Kits of the Week: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (AMT)

Trading Cards of the Week: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Skybox)

Theme Song of the Week: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Season One; 1993)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Star Trek 50th Anniversary Blogging: "The Deadly Years" (December 8, 1967)

Stardate: 3478.2

The Enterprise visits Gamma Hydra IV, a planet near the Romulan neutral zone that recently came in close contact with a rogue comet.

There, a landing party consisting of Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Mr. Scott (James Doohan), Mr. Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Lt. Galway (Beerly Washburn find that scientists Robert (Felix Locher) and Elaine (Laura Wood) have inexplicably aged years -- even decades -- in less than a day. Another of their team has already died. Chekov is terrified when stumbling upon his corpse.

Aboard the Enterprise, the landing party members -- except for Chekov -- begins to show signs of the same mysterious malady they witnessed on the planet. They begin to age rapidly.

Commodore Stocker (Charles Drake), bound for a command at Starbase 10, wants Spock to convene a hearing that will judge Captain Kirk incompetent, and see him relieved of duty.  Spock reluctantly agrees, and the inexperienced Commodore takes command of the Enterprise.

Meanwhile, Kirk’s old flame, Dr. Janet Wallace (Sarah Marshall) works with Dr. McCoy to come up with an antidote to the aging illness.

While they struggle to find an answer, Stocker directs the Enterprise through the Romulan neutral zone, believing a direct course to Starbase 10 is necessary.  The Romulans, however, intercept the starship.

“The Deadly Years” is another classic episode of the original Star Trek (1966-1969), and one of the best installments of the second season.  The story is affecting, exciting and buttressed by great make-up effects.

One reason “The Deadly Years” works so well is that the theme of the episode, aging, is universal to the human experience.

We are all going to grow old, and face diminished possibilities in terms of our mental and physical acuity.  As we age, we grow weaker.  For some of us, it will be worse than that, and we will deal with age-related problems such as hearing loss, arthritis, and even dementia.  Old age is, frankly, a terrifying and implacable nemesis.

The universal nature of aging -- we will all experience it, without fail -- is not the only reason that “The Deadly Years” is so effective.  Before we face this particular enemy ourselves, we will watch it take the ones we love, too.  In the passage of the generations, we see our once-strong parents begin to weaken, grow less independent, and less able.

Here, we see the young and vital Captain Kirk transformed into a frail, forgetful, belligerent old man. There is something incredibly sad and upsetting about seeing a strong person rendered weak before our very eyes.  Kirk is a force of nature, a man of high energy. But even he is not exempt from the ravages of age.

The episode is powerful too, in part, because of Sulu’s (George Takei) and Uhura’s (Nichelle Nichols) reaction to Kirk’s aging, as he gives them orders that require questioning. Kirk repeats himself (about planetary orbit), and orders a signal sent using a code that the Romulans have already deciphered.  In one pitiful moment, he is seen asleep in his command chair on the bridge.  It is clear that Sulu and Uhura don’t want to question or harm Kirk, a man they deeply respect, and at his hearing they make excuses for his behavior. 

But you can see it in their eyes how it much it hurts them to have to question him and his competence.

One aspect of “The Deadly Years,” I never fully appreciated in my younger days was the unusual nature of the romantic relationship between Kirk and Wallace. It’s a little kinky, in a sense.  She only is attracted to Kirk as he grows old and less capable. She comes on to Kirk as he super-ages, and he realizes that this is her pattern of relationships with the opposite sex; to find herself attracted to older men. Perhaps because then any real commitment is time-limited.

It is also bittersweet to experience “The Deadly Years” in 2016, fifty years later, and reckon that the majority of the cast that grew old so colorfully (and with extensive, effective make-up) for this episode, have indeed died in their old age. 

We have lost De Forest Kelley, James Doohan and Leonard Nimoy.  It’s impossible not to think of that fact as these beloved actors “age” here in character. 

Although “The Deadly Years” ultimately sees our beloved characters restored to youthful vigor, in real life there is simply no antidote to old age, to creeping mortality.  As a forty-six (soon to be forty-seven) year old I am more conscious than ever that time only moves in one direction, and that aging is an irrevocable, diminishing process.  We may, hopefully, age gracefully.  But, regardless, the aging process occurs.

Part of that process of aging, I understand at almost 50, is failing to recognize one’s own limitations. It is especially appropriate that the impulsive, energetic Kirk would face this particular problem. He can’t let go of his command, and cannot see how his failing faculties are impacting the crew and the ship.  And he feels such intense betrayal and pain when Spock, under Stocker’s direction, must point out that he has lost the capacity to command a starship. Et tu, Spock?

The moments between an aged Kirk and Spock in “The Deadly Years” are especially heart-breaking.  Spock has performed his duty, as he must.  Kirk can’t see it that way, and turns against his old friend.
“The Deadly Years” is also a strong installment in terms of series continuity.  This is the first episode to feature the Romulans since the early first year segment “Balance of Terror.” It is also their only appearance in Star Trek’s second season. The Romulans appear in their painted bird of prey vessels, seen in that episode, and again fire their plasma-based energy weapons. 

Significantly, Kirk’s resolution to the Romulan confrontation harks back to another early first season episode of Star Trek. He re-uses the Corbomite gambit he tricked Balok with in “The Corbomite Maneuver.”   Again, it works.

One might also make the argument that “The Deadly Years” is an influential episode of Star Trek because Dr. Kate Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) suffers a similar super-aging malady in the second season Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) episode “Unnatural Selection.”

Next week: “Obsession.”

The Films of 1958: The Fly

Based on the 1957 story by George Langelaan, The Fly (1958) is an unforgettable horror movie that has -- across the long decades -- spawned a full-fledged franchise. 

Sequels to the original film followed in 1959 (Return of the Fly) and 1965 (Curse of the Fly), while the David Cronenberg remake (1986) and its sequel, The Fly II (1989) bowed in the late eighties.

I must have watched the 1958 original a good half-dozen times during my upbringing in New Jersey, on The 4:30 PM Movie and in other syndication venues. The Fly is one of those movies that, once you start watching, you can’t turn away from. 

Even though you know how it is going to end.

Speaking of endings, the film’s horrific climax --- featuring a fly with a human head trapped in a spider’s web -- stands as a pop culture touchstone, and has been excerpted on series including The X-Files (1993-2002) and Millennium (1996-1999). That chilling denouement remains effective, even today, after being lampooned multiple times on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1989-1999) and The Simpsons (1990 - ).

Today, the 1958 film certainly shows its age, though it remains a thoroughly entertaining and immersive picture.  The Kurt Neumann (1908 – 1958) film stands the test of time, primarily, in terms of its commitment to scientific progress, even in the face of disaster.  As for scientific accuracy, that's a different story.

“God gave us intelligence to uncover the wonders of nature,” The Fly asserts, and so even though the film involves a nightmarish end to a noble experiment, audiences are left with the impression that man will move forward, and eventually conquer the universe itself.  That's a philosophy I can buy into, with hope and optimism.

So there’s, oddly, a hopeful message embedded in The Fly's dark and creative imagery.

Every time I watch The Fly, I recoil with horror from the results of the experiment, in particular the fly with the human head, trapped as a spider arrives to devour it. But I also appreciate that the film recognizes that sometimes there are casualties in the great march of human progress.

“You’re the first to see a miracle.”

Francois Delambre (Vincent Price) answers a telephone call from his factory night-watchman, Gaston, who tells him he has just witnessed a horror.  His brother’s wife, Helene (Patricia Owens), apparently killed her husband, Andre (Al Hedison) using a hydraulic press to commit the bloody crime.

Francois asks a police inspector, Charas (Herbert Marshall) to investigate.  Eventually, Helene is cajoled into telling the story of this horrendous murder.

It began when Andre, a brilliant and committed scientist commenced a “completely new line of research,” the instantaneous transport of matter across vast distances. He invented a device called a "disintegrator/integrator” and after much experimentation was ready to start with live experiments.

Unfortunately, Andre first tested the device on the family cat, Dandelo, and the experiment ended in disaster. Later, he tested it on himself, but something went terribly wrong. A house fly found its way into the matter transmitter, and Andre’s atoms were mixed with that of the insect. Specifically, his head and arm were replaced with fly equivalents.

Helene and her son, Philippe (Charles Herbert) went in search of a fly with a human head and arm, with Helen aware it was the key to restoring Andre to normal. 

Unfortunately, the fly could not be captured in time and Andre, fearing losing his mind to a fly intellect, demanded Helene help him kill himself. He led her to the hydraulic press, and the rest was history.

Inspector Charas considers the story preposterous, until he and Francois unexpectedly have a close encounter with a fly with a human head, trapped in a nearby spider’s web.

“Humanity need never want nor fear again.”

Today, it is not difficult to poke holes in several aspects of The Fly’s narrative. Most of these problems stem from the science as it is presented in the film.

I will review these problems briefly, just to give readers a flavor of them.  

The first involves Dandelo, the cat that Andre experiments with. Forget the fact that it is unethical and inhumane for Andre to experiment on the family cat. Let’s just consider the feline's fate.  He goes through the disintegrator/integrator and doesn’t come out. He never re-forms.  We are told his atoms are scattered through all of space. 

But, on the soundtrack, we hear Dandelo's plaintive (and disturbing) meows echoing about the laboratory. 

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this scene qualifies as authentic nightmare fodder. But as science?  

If Dandelo’s atoms are scattered throughout the universe, how does he meow? He has no mouth, or tongue, or skeleton, or circulatory system, or…on and on. There's no way he could make a normal cat sound or vocalization.

That issue is relatively minor compared to the next one. 

Andre and the fly switch heads and arms, but how does the fly head and arm become human-sized, and how do the human head and arm shrink to fly size?  

Even if we permit that the organs trade enough matter for the size differentials, how can one explain that Andre -- for days -- retains his human identity, while boasting a fly head (and presumably, a fly brain)?  

If the transfer truly did occur as it seems to, then the fly brain would be in control from the minute the transfer is complete.  There would not be -- as suggested in the film -- a slow loss of identity and humanity, at least so far as I understand the science.  

In this regard, the 1986 The Fly is truly superior, since it involves gene splicing and the total DNA interweaving of fly and human.  The science in this film doesn't make any sense at all. 

(Though, as always, I'm open to reading any theories readers may have...)

Another problem involving this version of The Fly involves the details of the murder investigation. Even if Andre’s head were crushed in the hydraulic press, wouldn’t the police be able to determine that it was wrong in coloring, specific nature, and size? An examination of the corpse, it seems, would validate Helene’s story almost immediately. 

In a nutshell, these are the elements that age the picture in a significant way today. 

However, I don’t feel that these issues actually hurt The Fly significantly in terms of  the film's visceral impact.  


Well, there is a nightmarish, dream quality to the reality of the film, and some of the incongruities actually lend to the irrational, dream-like quality of the story. The most effective passages in the movie are those in which Andre lurks in his basement laboratory, a black cloth draped over his head.  

Andre moves about stealthily, hiding his true appearance, and the audience imagines all sorts of horrors hidden beneath the cloth.  The fly head is actually still pretty effective in appearance, but not as effective as that cloth is. 

The ebony cloth hangs like a shroud not only over the scientist’s head, but over the march of human progress as well. There's something incredible and highly resonant about the idea of science "blanketed" by the truly irrational; the monstrous.  The daylight of discovery gives way to an eclipse of nightmarish monstrosity.

Helene’s mental state, sometimes lucid, sometimes not, also lends an important element to the dream/nightmare aspects of the film. She is trapped in a dream world from which she cannot awake; one in which she and her son are engaged in fruitless, bizarre activities (attempting to catch a specific fly) to help her husband return to her, to be restored to humanity.

The scenes with Helene -- in her beautiful, very modern, mid-20th century home -- chasing a fly with a net, border on the insane. Her real life has given way to an absurd purpose.

Juxtaposed with the weird, nightmare imagery, is The Fly’s sincere belief that Andre’s experiment is but a bump on the road to a grand future. 

There’s a remarkable scene here in which Helene laments the fast march of progress. She thinks everything is moving too fast, too quickly for people to assimilate her.  Andre replies, brilliantly, that to their young son, all this progress will be an accepted fact of life, and nothing to fear.

This is very true. 

A generation ago, homes did not have computers in them. That was an advancement of the early eighties that changed, forever, the family household. Lately, we have seen iPhones and tablets incorporated into daily life, and again, to the younger generation, this seems completely normal. Not like something that should be feared.

Each generation assimilates technological progress almost effortlessly.

But fear is the first reaction to the unknown, to the shock of the new, and The Fly’s Francois aptly describes Andre as an explorer in a dangerous country. That is a great metaphor. Andre is the first to chart the unknown world that could, one day, be common place. The danger of that frontier is worth it to such explorers, for the betterment of all mankind. They take such risks knowingly.

The film actually ends with young Phillipe noting that he wants to be the same type of explorer as his father was.  

That isn’t just the plot of the 1959 sequel, but the promise that in the march of generations man will always drive forward, in spite of the setbacks, in spite of the catastrophes. It is inevitable. 

So The Fly is one part "don't tamper in God's domain," and one part, "the march of human progress can't be stopped."  

Between those two poles, rests a terrified, mutant fly, screaming, "Help me...!" for cinematic immortality.

Movie Trailer: The Fly (1958)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Memory Bank: The Star Trek Compendium (1981)

It was Christmas, 1981, I believe, when I visited my aunt Patty and uncle Bob at their house in Summit, New Jersey.  

I was ten years old, and absolutely obsessed with Star Trek

In part, that obsession had been super-charged by the premiere of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), which I found to be a challenging and beautiful cinematic experience.  

Basically, I lived and breathed Star Trek, and was desperate to see all the episodes of the original series again, because our local station, WPIX, always seemed to air the same handful of episodes ("That Which Survives" seemed to be on the air every other week, for some reason.)

Anyway, Patty and Bob presented me with a Christmas present, and one which absolutely inspired me: Allan Asherman's Star Trek: Compendium (Wallaby/Pocket Books), which was described on its cover as "the most thoroughly researched and complete Star Trek reference work ever published."

First, I have to say, I loved the look of the book cover. 

This was a crucial part of the experience. 

It was very futuristic, colored in metallic blue and silver (much like a poster of the Enterprise that hangs in my home office to this day). The Star Trek logo was that of The Motion Picture vintage, in golden or yellow lettering. 

Future editions of the book lost the metallic sheen and the futuristic feel, I felt, though added photos from the TV series in its place.  The lettering also changed back to the sixties TV show logo style.

The Star Trek Compendium -- which has indeed been reprinted and updated four times since the early eighties -- featured fascinating information on (according to the back cover): "photography and production," "technical matters," "series concept and continuity," "symbolism and trivia," "episode titles, dates of production and discussion of plots," and "career and biographical information of actors and production personnel."

In short, it was a treasure trove of information about my favorite TV series (and favorite new movie, too).  The Compendium lived up to its description on the back cover as a "gold mine" of information about Star Trek.

I read, re-read and then read again The Star Trek Compendium, and basically it with me wherever I went. I read it in the car on shopping trips.  I read it before bedtime. I read it with breakfast, the next day. 

Sadly, the book came apart from the heavy usage, by about 1984. I continued to read it, even with pages falling out. I finally got a new copy at a used book store sometime later, but it was one of the later editions, and didn't have the same feel/look of that first edition.

Today, decades later, I still remember unwrapping this book at the holiday season, and thrill of leafing through the pages of the Star Trek Compendium for the first time.  

For me, it was a magical time, and a magical book too. I am certain that this is among the handful of books that inspired me to become a writer.

I have just learned that Allan Asherman passed away, and I want to offer my deepest condolences to his family. 

But I also want to offer the author my sincerest thanks for a book that was my constant compendium as I grew up.  You made a difference, Mr. Asherman, in this young Trekker's life.

Cult-TV Theme Watch: Jet Packs

Haven’t you always wished for a jet pack?

I know I have.  A jet pack is a device worn on the back that can permit one to fly through the air or space (using propellant fuel).

Cult-TV has given us many memorable action scenes with jet packs over the years.

In 1960s animated series such as The Jetsons (1962-1963) and Johnny Quest (1963-1964), rocket or jet packs were de rigueur.

In the first, black-and-white season of Irwin Allen’s Lost in Space (1965-1968), for example, John Robinson (Guy Williams) would often strap on a backpack to search the barren planet where the Jupiter 2 had crashed.  He flew for purposes of reconnaissance, but also sometimes rescue.  In some notable occasions, he flew with passengers, like Penny (Angela Cartwright) in tow.

Filmation’s post-apocalyptic, live-action, Saturday morning series Ark II (1976) was set in the “Dark Ages” of the 25th century, as a giant roaming vehicle searched for human life in the wastelands. The series’ central protagonist, Captain Jonah (Terry Lester) would often take airborne journeys with his jet pack, also known as the jet jumper.

In Space: 1999 (1975-1977), the Alphans sometimes perform EVAs beyond their Eagle transporters using rocket thruster back-packs (see: “The Exiles.”)

Another Filmation series, this one animated, also featured a jet pack.  Flash Gordon (1979-1981) introduced a jetpack in its second season, and Flash and Dale, in particular, were often depicted jetting about.

The whole concept of jet-packs was satirized on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), when the Nerds of Dooms’ leader, Warren had one at his disposal in the sixth season tale “Seeing Red.”

The Cult-TV Faces of: Jet Packs

Identified by Hugh: Jonny Quest.

Identified by Hugh: Lost in Space.

Identified by Hugh: The Jetsons.

Identified by Hugh: Ark II

Identified by Pierre Fontaine: Space:1999
Identified by Hugh: Flash Gordon

Identified by Hugh: Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Identified by Pierre Fontaine: Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Identified by Hugh: The Simpsons

National Twilight Zone Day: "Come Wander with Me"

There are, perhaps, several episodes of Rod Serling's classic   The Twilight Zone  (1959-1964) more sharply-written, more morally-valuab...