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I meant to do the "getting my head together about FS" thing yesterday but unfortunately, I was knackered and me 'ed was in bits, and I had beta to finish off. In fact I was so knackered that I almost wept to discover that I could not watch "Smallville" as E4 was no longer the guest channel on cable. I mean, honestly. Smallville . I just wanted brain candy and rampant homoerotic subtext and the pretty people I suppose.
Instead, I chatted with M., which was very nice then finished beta, which was less helpful than I would have wished but, I reiterate, head-in-bits. I am *not* giving those cable TV buggers any more money (unless they put cheap DSL in my area in which case all bets are off)
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First mention of XF on the archives:
From the goddess Nancy Banks-Smith, the only woman who ever made me cry laughing while reading a TV review, Grauniad, September 1994
"The lightly lunatic X - Files (BBC2) has a hero called Fox Mulder 'An Oxford educated psychologist, who wrote a monograph on serial killers and the occult. His nickname Spooky Mulder.' Spooky is buried in the embarrassed bowels of the FBI where, among the flying saucers and skulls, he is joined by Dr Dana Scully. 'Her doctorate was Einstein's twin paradox, a new interpretation.' they are both young, good looking and only wear specs occasionally.
Thereafter we hung about graveyards in rather dreadful weather, unearthing the body of an ape with a grey metallic implant in its nasal cavity. I rather hoped you wouldn't ask. Something to do with youngsters being abducted by aliens in a forest. The X - Files , you feel, were exposed to the dangerous rays of Twin Peaks at an impressionable age.
'Time can't just disappear,' cries Dr Scully at one fraught moment. It can if you watch the X - Files , There are 24 episodes. "
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Amusing mention of Millennium from 1996 LA screenings, reported in Grauniad:
This year's object of obsession was a one-hour drama called Millennium. And what was so special about it? Only one thing: Chris Carter. He's the fellow who created the blockbuster The X-Files, and he's created this too. So it has to be a hit. (Didn't anyone remember that Murder One was created by NYPD Blue's Steve Bochco, so it had to be a hit?)
It didn't even matter how good Millennium was. It had such hype, such spin, that everybody wanted it. Said one UK network exec: 'We don't even like it and we want it.'
[Millennium aired on ITV at 11pm, on and off so it couldn't build an audience, for about 18 months before they quietly dropped it.
Also WHEN GOOD PRODUCERS GO BAD!!! No. 327: Steven Bochco. Cop Rock. That's all I'm sayin']
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First mention of Buffy the telly series, March 1997
A new American television series - based on the cultishly appalling film Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) - sheds intriguing new light upon British academe. In the pilot episode (due to be screened in Britain next year), teen vampire-hunter Buffy is assisted by a crusty professor described as none other than "the British Museum's expert in vampirology". Anxious to learn more, I ring the museum for confirmation. "We didn't know we had a vampire department," a source says warily. "But anything's possible in our basement."
People didn't really start referencing it as a cult phenomenon until the end of 1999 or so
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1999 TV review of Farscape from the Indie.
(Not actually the first mention, which was a scathing TV review by Peter Patterson of the Daily Mail. He says he prefers the Charlie Chan movies that used to air in the timeslot.
Meanwhile, Farscape (BBC2) provides an interesting example of how we react to fiction - unadulterated, unbelievable hokum, which is still thoroughly involving and entertaining. Ben Browder plays John Crichton, a rocket scientist who sets out to prove some rather nebulously outlined theory about using planetary gravitational fields to accelerate spacecraft. Halfway through the experiment, his own craft is hit by 'some kind of electromagnetic wave', (a phrase that must win some sort of prize for vaguely science-y sounding rubbish), and he is flung through a wormhole to a faraway galaxy. Here he finds himself caught in the middle of a battle between hegemonic space Nazis ('the Peacekeepers') and freedom-loving outlaws.
At one stressful point in last night's curtain-raiser, Crichton muttered to himself: 'Boy, was Spielberg ever wrong - Close Encounters, my ass.' George Lucas, on the other hand, seems to have been pretty much on the money. It's not all Star Wars rip-offs. The 'earthling flung into alien worlds' plot echoes Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, as well as Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter, warlord of Mars. Crichton's attempt to explain the softer emotions to an alien woman ('Compassion,' she demanded, 'what is compassion?') was clearly a hommage to early William Shatner. The bald alien priestess is presumably a tribute to Persis Khambatta's hairless lovely in the first Star Trek movie, although she also recalls the Marvel comic's character Moondragon - a priestess of (as far as I can recall) Titan with a soft spot for the blind superhero Daredevil.
There is some sententiousness ('Everybody gets to be his own kind of hero'), and a bit of mildly risque technical jargon ('Roger, Farscape , you are 'Go' for insertion procedure'). But Rockne S O'Bannon's script didn't take itself seriously - hence the creature who farts helium, causing those around him to speak in high squeaky voices. I have to say, this was right up my street. Mind you, I live at 44 Trashy Escapism Lane.
OK. Done now. *g*