Retrospeculative TV

RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Macross: “Big Escape” (Episode 12) AND Robotech: “The Big Escape” (Episode 12)

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Back in May I did my last review in this series. Why? Because “The Democrats are back in the Whitehouse / So no one’s got no money no more*” and I just frankly couldn’t afford another disk. My new best friend and hero, “Robotech_Macross Guy” promptly informed me that the entire series was available on Hulu. I thanked him profusely, and said I’d get right on reviewing the rest of the series.

Sixteen weeks later I actually finally got started on it. I suck like that.

PLAY BY PLAY

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Battlestar Galactica: “The Young Lords” (Episode 9, or possibly 11)

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“The Young Lords” is always a bit of a surprise to me. You hear a lot of people yammer on about how stupid The Original Galactica (“TOG”) was with the disco haircuts and the Egyptian stuff and the weird costuming and how gay it all was and blah blah blah blah blah, and yet you very seldom hear any of these people say anything about specific episodes.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Battlestar Galactica (1978): “The Magnificent Warriors” (Story 6)

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I can see the network executive conference that led to this episode: a bunch of paunchy, silk-shirted boring middle-aged white guys with perms and loud, fat ties, sitting around an avocado green table, saying something like, “Glen, Glen, Glen m’boy, this whole ‘post apocalyptic’ thing you’re doing is so… apocalyptic, so grim. Couldn’t you, you know, bring the funny? And maybe involve Lorne Green a bit more in the action? People loved him on Bonanza or The Big Valley or The Virginian or My Mother The Car, or whatever the heck it was he was in.”

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: So What Have We Learned?

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Last week we finished up the short-lived Quark series, the second short-lived deservedly-forgotten 1978 SF series we’ve covered here (The first being “Man From Atlantis”). When these things are done, I like to sit back, cogitate upon them for a bit, and try to figure out what we’ve learned.

So what have we learned, here?

Well, we’ve learned that a 43-year-old man’s 32-year-old memories of an 11-year-old kid’s favorite show aren’t terribly reliable.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “Vanessa 38-24-36” (Episode 8)

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The only thing more frustrating than a crappy show that never quite lives up to its potential is a crappy sitcom that isn’t particularly funny, and *still* fails to live up to it’s potential. The only thing more frustrating than that is if the crappy, unfunny show *Suddenly* gets it right, and is immediately cancelled.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Battlestar Galactica (1978): “The Gun on Ice Planet Zero, Parts I and II” (Story 5)

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Last time out we discussed the wonky ways the episodes of this series can be numbered. This two-parter could be considered episodes 6 and 7, or 8 and 9, or (In the syndicated movie package) 3. This one is more confusing than most, actually, since there’s a rumor that this was actually intended to be the second episode of the whole series. We’ll discuss that more below.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “All The Emperor‘s Quasi-Norms, Part 2” (Episode 7)

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…and now we come to part two of the penultimate story from Quark. Why did I break it in half and run it in two reviews, rather than cover the story as a whole? Well, primarily because the writers felt this story was so sprawling it could only really be appreciated in two discrete halves, and the network agreed. But in a larger, less dishonest sense, it’s because my review was running long, and I got tired of typing. Also, I paid good money for these DVDs, and there’s only eight episodes total. I wanted to pad it out a bit.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: “Raumpatrouille Orion”

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This is a show I’d love to cover for Retrospeculative TV, but I can’t find the darn thing:

It’s called Raumpatrouille Orion, or “Space Patrol Orion.“ It was created in 1966 in West Germany (Remember West Germany? Man, that takes me back!), and was your basic Star Trek planet-of-the-week adventure series, though appearing at roughly the same time as Trek, it doesn’t appear to have been a knockoff. It does share the mid-sixties idealistic utopia hoo-hah, though. Here’s a translation of the voice-over introduction:

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “All The Emperor‘s Quasi-Norms, Part 1” (Episode 6)

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Remember how I said that Quark’s purpose in 1978 was to make fun of (Or rip off) whatever Star Trek had been doing in 1968? Well, as limiting as that was, it worked for them. You’re unwise not to go with what works. Unfortunately they got a little more ambitious this time out and, well, ambition and status quo are not friends, you know? The results are mixed at best.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Battlestar Galactica (1978): “The Long Patrol” (Episode 4, 5, or 7 depending...)

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Readers of my BSG reviews here will probably have noticed some confusion as to the episode numbering for this series. The reason isn’t one of sequencing, it’s just the wonky episode lengths, that change the numbering depending on the venue the show aired in. For instance, “Saga of a Star World” counts as only one episode, however when syndicated it counted as three. The second story - the two-part “Lost Planet of the Gods” - was the second episode when broadcast, but in syndication it was the fourth and fifth ones.

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