jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
Yes, it's a crossover between the live-action television version of The Incredible Hulk and The Andy Griffith Show. No, I don't know why.

Set four years after the events of Return to Mayberry

* * *

North Carolina, 1990
WELCOME TO MAYBERRY, NC
Population 7,550

The last of David’s money, save for five dollars, had paid for the bus trip from Raleigh to this little town. He knew he should have walked or hitchhiked to avoid paying a fare, but the urge to get as far away from the city had been too much to ignore. Too close that time, he thought to himself. And while little towns had their own share of difficulties for him, at least it was a shorter distance to reach the road again.

The Greyhound bus sighed to a halt and the doors slid open. No station here, just a bench with a green painted corrugated awning over it, next a large shady oak tree at the edge of the town square. A young woman stepped out, waving to an older couple that waited by the tree , obviously her parents. David slipped out behind her, shouldering his knapsack, the only luggage he carried, with his spare clothes, shaving kit, and an extra pair of cheap sneakers. If there was a Goodwill store in this town he’d have to get another pair as soon as he could afford it.

David looked up and down the street. A man with thinning red hair was approaching from down the street, pulling a wagon filled with stacked newspapers, a cheerful looking red haired boy of maybe four years age walking beside him and chattering happily. David smiled slightly at the sight and turned away, only to bump straight into the police officer.

“Hey there!” the officer shouted. He was short, skinny man, barely over 5 and a half feet in height, a high peaked hat sitting on his balding head, with protuberant eyes and a prominent Adam’s apple. Recovering quickly he stood up straight, hooking his thumbs in his gun belt, looking over David suspiciously. “New in town, eh?” he asked, his voice too high pitched to manage a growl.

“Er, yes officer,” David said, backing up a step as he silently cursed his luck. He hadn’t even been in town for five minutes before bumping into the Law. And these little towns, especially in the South, always had something ugly underneath them, usually starting with a corrupt sheriff that had been in place since before the Voting Rights Act.

Wellllll you be careful,” the officer drawled. “I’m Deputy Fife, and I keep an eye on new folks who come into town.” He tugged on his gun belt with his thumbs, then kept tugging, looking down in dismay as the right one got stuck in his belt loop.

“You okay, Barney?” the red headed man asked, coming up beside them.

“Oh, hey Opie, hey Junior. Yep, just greetin’ this stranger here,” Deputy Fife replied amiably, still tugging futility at his belt. The little boy giggled, while his father reached over and disentangled the older man from his predicament. “Thanks, Ope.” He turned back to David, waggling his finger. “I’ll be watching you,” he stated, before turning away and walking off with a Bantam strut.

“Uncle Barney’s silly!” the boy stated.

His father grinned. “He sure is.” Turned back to David, he stuck out his hand. “Opie Taylor. Welcome to Mayberry.”

“Oh, hello. I’m David. Er, Belsen, David Belsen,” David shook hands briefly, Opie looking at him with considerably more friendliness than the deputy.

Opie grinned. “Good to meet you, David. Don’t mind, Barney. He always hangs around when the bus comes in. I think he gets bored sometimes.” He spoke to his son. “Hey, Junior. Want to give David a paper?”

“Sure!” Junior took the top newspaper off the pile in the wagon, handing it to David. “The Mayberry Gazette,” the boy announced proudly. “The best paper this side of Mount Pilot!”

“Thank you,” David told him, fishing in his pocket for a quarter.

“Naw, the first issue’s free,” Opie said, waving him down. “$1.50 a week, $2.00 if you want the Sunday edition.”

“I’ll think about it,” David carefully. “Though I do thank you, I was going to get a copy anyway and check the want ads.”

“Looking for work?” Obie asked.

“Yes,” he admitted.

“Can you drive? I always need somebody to deliver papers.”

“I, uh, don’t have a license right now,” he admitted. At least not in David Belsen’s name.

“Know anything about computers, like WordPerfect?”

David nodded. “A bit, yes.” Most home computers were pretty easy to use in comparison to, say, a hospital CAT scanner, he’d found.

“Terrific,” Opie said eagerly. “I bought this fancy new system to do all the page layouts and I can’t make heads nor tails of it. Tell you what, you find yourself a place to stay and then come over to my office. It's right down on the corner. By the time you get settled I should be done delivering the afternoon edition and we can talk.”

“Thank you,” David said sincerely. “Do you know a good place to stay?”

“Well there’s the YMCA three blocks down, or Mrs. Mendelbright's boarding house on Elm St.”

“Thank you. I’ll check out the Y. Good to meet you, Mr. Taylor.”

Taylor laughed. “Just Opie. My pa’s Mr. Taylor. Well, Sheriff Taylor.”

“Sheriff Taylor?” David asked cautiously.

“Yep.” Opie waved cheerfully and started pulling his wagon again. “See you around, David. Welcome to Mayberry!”

“Thanks,” David said, nonplussed, still wondering if coming to this sleepy looking town was a good idea or not.
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
Fred Rogers, if he were alive, would be 87 today.

For the record: Mister Rogers didn't wear those sweaters to hide Marine tattoos, he was never a sniper with the Navy SEALS, he wasn't doing the show as a penance for a child molestation charge, and his car was (probably) never stolen and then sheepishly returned by the thieves when they realized whose it was.

He was exactly the same person he was on TV. A gentle, soft-spoken man showing simple projects kids could make themselves, taking them on tours of interesting places, or meeting people like firemen or scientists to show what kind of jobs they do, and talking to young children about things that could sometimes worry them, so he could reassure them that they were special "just the way you are."

He did it for about forty years, on a simple set at a local PBS station, with music provided by a piano player behind the camera, and with no choppy hyperactive editing. And for that he was somehow remarkable.

Fred Rogers: We'd call you "Badass" sir, but we know you wouldn't appreciate that sort of language.
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
It's a pity the MCU didn't become a thing about ten years earlier. Because then I could write a crossover fic with Steve Rogers being a guest on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Because it would be a beautiful thing. I might even shoehorn Tony in, because watching Tony Stark do his damned darnedest to not snark or try to get away with something even vaguely sexually suggestive, because even Tony would not do that to Fred Rogers, would be hilarious.

"Why are you so surprised, Cap? I got invited on when I was eight to show off my first circuit board and DUM-E. And he managed not to kill me for rewiring his trolley. The guy's a saint."

Screw it, it's the MCU. Fred Rogers can still be alive in the MCU. Because Reasons.
jeriendhal: (WTF)
Just finished fast-forwarding through "Disaster on the Coastliner", a 70's era made for TV disaster movie. Featuring Lloyd Bridges before he became a self-parody and William Shatner before he realized he was a self-parody.

Absolutely forgettable plot but Jesus the stunts towards the end were nuts. Two helicopters flying within twenty feet of each other and playing dodge-em with a runaway locomotive and an iron truss bridge at the same time. These days that would take several million bucks in CGI to replicate. Here it was "We'll pay you time-and-a-half, try not to fly into the train, would'ya?"
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
And at a reasonable price too.

My only question is it really worth indulging my curiousity and finally viewing this series, when there's a non-trivial chance I might be compelled to rip my own eyeballs out to relieve the pain?
jeriendhal: (Sporfle)
Tonight: Hilarity Ensues as the IMF is forced to replace an injured Barney with a loaner from the Phoenix Foundation, Angus MacGuyver.

I know the IMF can rewrite their plans on the fly if need be, but I think Mac would be a bit too improvisational for them.
jeriendhal: (For Your Safety)
Note: To say this is Non-Canon is putting it mildly. Mostly I did it in honor of a certain gentle man's birthday.

* * *

Fred wasn't a physicist, to be honest, but the four foot high striped tiger standing in front of him seemed to be very sincere in his explanation, if not completely understandable.

"We understand we've given you reason to be extremely upset, sir," it said, wringing its paws as it paced in front of him. "But believe me, we'd never have used something as dangerous as the temporal holography technique if we could have thought of another solution."

"So, you didn't actually pull me forward in a time," he said slowly. "But you made a copy of me and pulled that forward?"

'Yes, exactly. That way we avoided any messy temporal paradoxes. The original you is still continuing, did still continue…" It paused, looking apologetic. "I’m sorry, the syntax of time travel still confuses Us, and we've had fifteen hundred years to think about it."

"That's all right," Fred said reassuringly. "But you said you need my help?"

"Yes, yes. In a few weeks time the Ring will be ready for habitation, and we'll begin the process of Awakening… and…" It looked at him with a pleading expression. "We know we made many mistakes when we gathered people for Processing, and so many of them were scared, especially the children. The adults, you understand, most will have the experience and knowledge to make sense of what happened, but the children will need someone who can explain it to them clearly…. And, well, it's been so very long since We've had anyone to talk to but Ourselves, I don't think we can really trust our own judgment on the matter. So that's why we brought you. We need you to help the children to understand, so they won't be so scared of Us. Please, won't you help us?"

By chance, he'd had his pocket Bible in his coat when he'd been pulled forward to this strange new world. He pulled it out, thumbing it open to a familiar passage, Luke 23:34.

And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them. They know not what they do."

The Groupmind, in trying so desperately, and clumsily, to help save people from had seemed like certain disaster, had managed to cause so much pain and misery. And knew it. Well, it had made mistakes. And wasn't learning from your mistakes and helping your neighbors what life was all about?

"I'll help you," Fred said gently. "But you have to promise to be more careful."

"Oh, thank you, Mister Rogers!" the striped tiger said gratefully.
jeriendhal: (Ears)
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Nelvana's 1979 22 minute epic Intergalactic Thanksgiving (Please Don't Eat the Planet). Proof once again that Canada really, really hates its neighbor down south (or they really hate their own Thanksgiving holiday).

jeriendhal: (Default)
Idea: The Ciniverse Avengers end up bumping into Richard Bucket from Keeping Up Appearances who inadvertently invites them over to dinner after they save his life (and before he can think better of the idea.)

Hyacinth of course is absolutely thrilled to have such a famous group of heroes visiting, even if they are all Americans.* It'll be the party of the year!

Hilarity Ensues.

Reactions:

Steve: Would be very, very reluctant to call out Hyacinth on her behavior. He recognizes her bullying (even passive aggressive bullying) right away. On the other hand, arguing with a Lady of the House on her home turf would be difficult for him.

Tony: Would have no compunctions about telling Hyacinth off to her face. Whether it would penetrate her thick skull is another question. Ends up hitting the liquor cabinet early on.

Thor: Would do his best to extricate Richard from the proceedings and head to the nearest pub to get him smashed.

Bruce: Would not be there. Five minutes of exposure to the Hyacinth Stupidity Field would have him making excuses to leave. Now. Before it was Too Late.

Clint: Would disappear into the backyard to do some target practice. Would apologize for knocking over the tree with an explosive arrowhead later.

Natasha: Would say nothing. Nothing at all. The utter disaster that would fall upon Hyacinth's head after they all left could not possibly be traced to her.

* Explanations to the contrary falling up deaf ears...
jeriendhal: (Default)
Summary: There's trouble in Superhero City, where Marvel's mightiest heroes, Iron Man, Falcon, the Hulk, the Silver Surfer, Thor and Reptil (?!) and friends battle with Doctor Doom and his minions to find the shattered fractals of the Infinity Sword before Doom can reconstruct it and RULE THE UNIVERSE!

Review: For a show basically designed to sell a line of chibified Marvel toys, SHS is a lot better than anyone could hope to be. The thing is, while the jokes are silly and the characters are softened up considerably for the kiddie show format, the writers are utter fanatics about Marvel comics history, digging up the most obscure characters (Molecule Man, Volcana, Ronan the Accuser, Paste Pot Pete)[1] for the heroes to fight. Basically it's the entire Marvel universe in its 50 years of glory, except without the 50 years of angst that go with it.

That's the first season, which is very good. The second season is even better, after they introduce Thanos, who is going after the gems that power his Infinity Gauntlet, at least until mid-season when it's stolen by MAJOR SPOILER, which sends things into... Well, I won't tell you the details, but suffice it to say the writers manage to create a fairly gripping cosmic storyline and also include more fourth breaking and insane humor than you can imagine (with the exception of a rather unfortunate episode devoted to the Impossible Man, which gets shoehorned in rather badly.)

Catch it on Netflix. It's worth your time if you're a Marvel Zombie True Believer.

[1] Yes, that last one is a real Marvel villain. Who really did fire glue guns as his main weapons. And everyone proceeds to lampshade the ridiculousness of this to the point of making him cry.
jeriendhal: (Default)
So I was poking around Netflix and much to my joy, I found that Jason of Star Command is now available for streaming. Suffice it to say that it was the final product of Filmation's 70's live action shows, where they attempted to do a Star Wars style adventure on a Saturday morning children's show budget.

This worked out about as well as can be expected. While the effects are impressive given that they were made on a budget a $20 and unlimited cheese sandwiches, the cheese also extends to the action, acting and scripts (and the music beyond the opening theme was cribbed from Star Trek: The Animated Series). On the plus side, it did help James Doohan pay the bills until ST:TMP started filming.

jeriendhal: (Default)
I have wierd thoughts when I'm operating on 3 hours of sleep. Like imagining the West Wing if it were produced in the mid-seventies by Quinn Martin, as an effort to bring some prestige back to the Presidency after the disaster of Watergate and in anticipation of the Bicentennial.

Starring

Rock Hudson as Sam Seaborn
Leonard Nimoy as Toby Ziegler
Bill Bixby as Josh Lyman
Harry Morgan as Leo McGarry
Mary Tyler Moore as CJ Creeg
Bea Arthur as Mrs. Landingham
Jimmie Walker as Charlie Young

And in a remarkable bit of stunt casting, hiring former Governor of California Ronald Reagan as President Bartlett, with his wife Nancy Reagan as Abby Bartlett, as he tries to revive his acting career coming off his failed attempt to win the '76 GOP nomination for President.
jeriendhal: (Dies!)
Space: 2099. Supposedly going to be a bit lighter and fluffier than the original, though that wouldn't be too hard given how dire dour Space:1999 was.
jeriendhal: (Bitch)
Hard to believe that even in the mid-nineties they kept in most of the original references to murder, alcoholism and drug smuggling.

It's also pretty hard to believe that the kept in the original racism references as well. Like when I started watching "The Blue Lotus" and Georgia came upstairs for something and got sucked in. Because hey, it had lots of Chinese people in it... Not to mention a severely racist Japanese caricature. Facepalm. I was wondering why they didn't show half these episodes when they originally appeared on Cartoon Network, now I know why.

Oh yeah, and the transmission quality doth suck. Lots of pixelation, which makes me they just scanned some archived VHS copies to burn onto the DVD release.
jeriendhal: (Default)
The Nelvana Tintin cartoons are now available for streaming on Netflix!
jeriendhal: (Default)
Mundane science fiction can be a pretty hard sell for a TV series. Without the striking visuals plus the cheap, easy and quick travel of Star Trek or Stargate: SG 1 and can be downright dull if handled incorrectly, and there are a million ways to handle in incorrectly.

Actually, that's the whole problem. Space, in the words of [livejournal.com profile] autopope, is shit. If you're going anywhere aside from LEO or the Moon it's going to take a minimum of serveral months travel, with at least a half-dozen people jammed into a space the size of a couple of caravans, travelling through an environment that is empty of road hazards or interesting visual landmarks, but can kill you in a dozen invisible ways from oxygen loss, to radiation poisoning to simple health problems that are irritated into major crises by the effect of zero G. That can be milked for drama, in increasing historonic ways, but in the end it doesn't get across one of the most basic concepts of modern space exploration. That is, it's a seriously complex endeavor involving hundreds, of not thousands of people, not just a few jut jawed heroes, that despite the lack of glamour is still worth doing.

Some of the more recent examples can be disheartening. The Cape has the advantage of NASA support, but was stuck with soap opera drama. The failed pilot Plymouth had a more interesting premise (small American town moves up to a failing Moon colony to take it over) but was stuck with the old He3 canard. More recently we had Defying Gravity which had a nominally hard science premise but quickly degenerated into Lost style mumbo jumbo.

I think we need a different example to inspire people. Not the soap opera of The Cape or the space opera of Star Trek. We need a program that can simultaneously show the complexities (and occasionally the absurdities) of creating a manned space mission and more importantly show why it matters. What we need, in other words, in the space equivilent of The West Wing.

Just wish I knew how to do that aside from having a ton exposition spoken very earnestly while walking down hallways...
jeriendhal: (WTF)
Bet you don't remember the episode of Sesame Street where Big Bird defied the will of Osiris and freed the spirit of an Egyptian boy from four thousand years of torment. But [livejournal.com profile] scott_lynch does!
jeriendhal: (WTF)
I think they must have been snorting a lot of coke at NBC studios when they green lighted this one in the 70's. "It's like the Love Boat, except on a big train that will require huge expensive sets and models!"

And co-created by Donald Westlake?

About the only thing I remember about it is an ad in the back of Model Railroader magazine one month, selling the original studio model. I wonder who bought it?

jeriendhal: (Mayhem)
Just one of those random scenelets that has been kicking in my head for a while. One of These Days I'll adapt it into the "Wolf Reborn" Airwolf reboot script that I've been thinking about.

Twenty Minutes into the Future )

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