Friday, January 8, 2021

Episode 66: Hidden Gems


 

This time around on Planet 8, each crew member has chosen a film that maybe didn't do well at the box office or get critical acclaim, but we feel deserves another look. Yes, we've picked out some hidden gems! We'll each take a turn talking about our pick, followed by some discussion. Hopefully we do a good enough job that you may be encouraged to check these films out! Our selections are pretty different from each other, and reflect our range of interests.

Chief Engineer Bob is up first with 2008's Speed Racer by the Wachowskis. Based on the famous cartoon series, the film captures the flavor of the cartoon, so if you're a fan, you'll definitely appreciate it. It's highly stylized and visually exciting, and well worth your time if you want to see something really unique. And how is Speed Racer connected to Elvis? Listen and find out!

Up next is Recon Officer Karen with the offbeat 1974 sci-fi film Zardoz, best remembered for Sean Connery in a red loincloth. The plot of the film is difficult to summarize, but if you like dystopian futures, giant stone heads, and weird psychedelia, this could be the film for you. 

Finally, bringing us to a close, Commander Larry tells us all about Phantasm, the Don Coscarelli film from 1979. This low-budget thriller has developed a true cult following. Larry gives us the scoop on the Tall Man and of course, the sphere. Did you know there were five films in the series? Neither did we! But Larry gives us the basic premise -which is that the Tall Man collects corpses and turns them into scrunched down zombie slaves to take back to his planet. What?. Anyway, it'll keep your attention!

Those are our picks. We have so many other films we could name, but we'll save them for another round!

This episode's Sensor Sweep is brought to us by Bob. This time it's a gigantic box set of 18 LPs from Waxworks Records for the Showa Godzilla films (1954 -1975)! Each film gets its own album, and a few get two-record sets. If you love the Godzilla soundtracks, and you have a few hundred dollars sitting around, check it out. These LPs are colored vinyl, and include exclusive artwork. Quite a collectors' item!

That's all for us. Let us know what you think of our hidden gems, and tell us about your hidden gems! What films would you include? 

Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Episode 65: Have Yourself a Very Mando Christmas

 


Season's greetings, friends! Welcome back to Planet 8. To wrap up the year, we'll talk about one of the bright spots of 2020: season two of The Mandalorian. It was an exciting season, full of great character appearances, amazing new worlds and creatures, and fantastic adventures. We also got to see the relationship between Mando and the Child grow. For us old school Star Wars fans, it was like being transported back to those days of stories from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. 

Warning -this is a SPOILER-FILLED episode! If you haven't seen season two of The Mandalorian, we suggest you watch it before listening, because this episode, and post, may give away details you don't want to know!

Your Planet 8 crew will discuss their overall impressions of this season and then dive into each episode. We all loved the show and had a variety of thoughts and ideas about how this season unfolded. It's safe to say, we were all pleasantly surprised, especially with the finale. Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau have done a phenomenal job bringing this show to us. It's the right mix of new and old ideas, characters, and designs. Every week was like getting a new Star Wars movie straight out of the original trilogy era.

The season gave us a lot of great action, with monsters to battle, lots of baddies, and some interesting planets too. But one of the highlights of the season was the impressive guest stars - Boba Fett, Ahsoka Tano, Bo-Katan Kryze, and...Luke Skywalker?! Unbelievable! The great thing about this all was that they didn't seem forced -they made sense given the storyline.

Of course, the finale was a tear-jerker (especially for Commander Larry). The good-bye between Grogu and Din Djarin was touching, and well done by Pedro Pascal. Now we're left with many more questions. Will we see Grogu in season 3? Can the show continue to be as popular if Baby Yoda is gone? And honestly, considering what a marketing boon he is, is there any way they wouldn't have him on the show? But how do they do that? And what happens between Mando and Bo-Katan regarding the Dark Saber? And will Mando continue to follow his creed, or has he changed? We have a year to ponder these things....

It's the holiday season and we want to wish all of our listeners the very best, whatever you may be celebrating. Thanks for spending some time with us over the year -especially this year. We hope we've been able to provide some lightness and entertainment during these difficult days. We hope you have a wonderful holiday and that the new year brings all of us some much needed happiness.

That's all for now. Send us your thoughts about The Mandalorian -we'd love to know what you thought.

May the Force be with you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Episode 64: We will control all you hear: The Outer Limits


 

There is nothing wrong with your speakers. Do not attempt to adjust the sound. We are controlling transmission. For the next hour your Planet 8 crew will control what you hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery of the classic 60s TV show, The Outer Limits!

One of the last of the anthology series on television, Outer Limits is fondly recalled by many fans today. One of its hallmarks was its "bears" - the strange, striking aliens and monsters created for the show. Appearing in almost every episode, these creatures often featured outlandish designs, which have proved to be highly memorable, such as the ant-like Zantis, the twisted Thetan from  Architects of Fear, and the Ebontie interrogator from Nightmare. The Projects Unlimited team, including Jim Danforth and Wah Chang, produced designs which have stood the test of time.

But beyond the monsters, Outer Limits was a top notch science fiction show. It explored what it meant to be human, our flaws and  our potential. This was key for the shows creators, Leslie Stevens and Joe Stefano. Much like Star Trek, they wanted to impart a message about humanity. They also aimed high, for a more literary form of science fiction, although obviously they were balancing it with the crazy monster each week!

We'll discuss a number of episodes, some favorites and some that we just found intriguing. Of course, OL had an extremely limited run -just a season and a half, 49 episodes. But there are so many fun shows to discuss! And there are interesting connections to other 60s shows, like Batman, Hogan's Heroes, Star Trek, and so on. 

As usual, we'll look at other aspects of the production, including the lighting, staging, and of course, the unique music, which was composed by Dominic Frontierre. And who could forget the control voice, performed by actor Vic Perrin?

Outer Limits is definitely one of the most important SF series ever made, and its stories and creatures continue to provide entertainment and are influential decades later.

Appropriately for our Sensor Sweep, Karen shares a beautiful book, David Schow's The Outer Limits at 50. This large paperback was published by Creature Features in 2014. It is packed full of fantastic photos from the show, some from behind the scenes. It also has descriptions and details about making each episode. This book is hard to find now (there are some ridiculous prices on eBay). But if you see it in a used bookstore, grab it! You won't be disappointed! Schow's Outer Limits Companion is also highly recommended.

As we recorded this episode, news of the passing of actor David Prowse was just breaking. Your Planet 8 crew is saddened by this news. Of course, Prowse changed all our lives by being the physical presence of Darth Vader. But he also appeared in a number of Hammer films, and trained Christopher Reeve to bulk up for Superman. He was a remarkable gentleman, and we salute his life, and shall miss him.

That's it for this time. We return control to you! Send your transmissions to us:

Thanks for listening!


Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Best and Worst of 2020! New Video!


We have a new video episode up on the YouTube channel (click here) where the crew discusses the genre TV shows and films we enjoyed, and the ones we were not so happy with, in 2020. let us know your best and worst choices for the year.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Episode 63: Thankful for Bond, James Bond




 "Bond, James Bond." Those words have introduced us to the world's most dashing, ruthless, and seemingly indestructible spy, British MI6 secret agent 007. The creation of author Ian Fleming first appeared in the novel Casino Royale in 1953, and went on to appear in 11 more novels and two short story collections. But Bond is best known to the public for the long-running series of films, which started in 1962 with Dr. No. As we celebrate all things Bond, we'll discuss a little bit of everything, but focus on the films.

With 24 films in the series, there's a lot to discuss! We'll go over our personal favorite films. These are heavily colored by nostalgia, of course. There's a fondness for Live and Let Die, as it was one of the first Bond films all of us saw. And Goldfinger is a strong contender.


There are now six actors that played Bond in the series, and each bring their own qualities to the screen. Do you like Connery's toughness? or Moore's more light-hearted approach? Did Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby get enough time in the role? Daniel Craig has been playing Bond for 14 years now - who should replace him?


We can't talk about Bond films without talking about the music of the films. Besides the Bond theme, there have been so many songs connected to the films. You have the classic Shirley Bassey vehicles like "Goldfinger," "Diamonds are Forever," and  "Moonraker," and then the pop and rock songs like "Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney, "For Your Eyes Only" by Sheena Easton, and "Nobody Does it Better" by Carly Simon. Some have succeeded and some have fallen short of the mark. 


As usual, we'll ramble around a bit but it's sort of like a turducken - there's a whole bunch of things stuffed in here, but they're all good!


For the Sensor Sweep, Commander Larry shares an anniversary gift he got for his wife, Lieutenant Jasmine -hmm, sure he got it for her! Feast your eyes on Sideshow Collectibles "The Child" life-size figure. At 16.5" tall, you'll want to give it a cuddle! 

Here in the States, we are closing in on Thanksgiving. This year, it may seem a little harder to feel thankful. But while it has been a rough year for us all, let's hope that 2021 will be better. And despite it all, your Planet 8 crew is thankful for being able to put together new episodes every couple of weeks, and for the comments and feedback you have shared with us. We hope that in these difficult times, we may have provided a few moments of escape for you all. 

All right gang, let us know your thoughts! You know where to send 'em:

Thanks for listening!

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Episode 62: Bingeing the Stream

 


Like everyone else, your Planet 8 crew has been stuck inside, trying to keep ourselves entertained and sane. So we thought we'd discuss what we've been watching and what we think of it. So settle in and get ready for a show that goes from super-heroes to zombies, to androids, to starships, to bounty hunters, and who knows what else! Note, this is a SPOILER-FILLED episode!


Among the shows we cover are:

  • The Boys
  • Umbrella Academy
  • Raised By Wolves
  • Lovecraft Country
  • Walking Dead/Fear the Walking Dead
  • Truth Seekers
  • Creepshow
  • Star Trek Discovery
  • The Mandalorian
As usual, we don't all agree on every show. But that's what makes it fun!


For our Sensor Sweep, Chief Engineer Bob brings our attention to the latest Mego figures, in particular the new Fly figure! Based off the classic sci fi film, it'll give you a chill. Bob also gives us the heads up on what's coming in the next waves of figures. Would you believe it ranges from Hammer Dracula to plush Stan Lee?  Also coming from Mego is the Creature from the Black Lagoon! The Fly can be found at Walmart, if you can track him down. You may also find Mego figures from other retailers online.



That's it for us this time. We want to hear from you what you're watching. What shows are keeping you company during the pandemic? Let us know!

Thanks for listening!


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Episode 61: Live from Grover's Mill - The War of the Worlds!


 

In this episode your Planet 8 crew takes a look at the big one...the war to end all wars...we're talking War of the Worlds! This sci fi classic, first conceived by H.G. Wells, has been adapted to radio and film most successfully, as well as TV and comic books. We will focus on the two motion pictures, the first released in 1953, the other in 2005, but we'll touch on other adaptations too.


Chief Engineer Bob gives us the lowdown on Wells' original novel and how it was adapted to a radio play by Orson Welles in 1938. Welles' broadcast caused hysteria across the country as people mistakenly thought the world was actually under attack by Martian invaders. Similar radio broadcasts of War of the Worlds occurred in other parts of the world too.


A number of film-makers tried to bring War of the Worlds to the big screen but it was George Pal who succeeded in 1953. His film still looks brilliant, in large part due to the Martian war machines, with their sleek manta ray-like design. We'll talk about just why this film has such a strong visual impact, and we might go off on a tangent or two, but hopefully it will be entertaining!


Next we take a look at Steven Spielberg's 2005 film, starring Tom Cruise. In some ways this adaptation was closer to Wells' novel, such as including the Martian tripods. The film also had scenes that paid homage to Pal's film. Di we love it? Like it? Well, listen and find out!

Before we finish, Recon Officer Karen shares more War of the Worlds related stuff: the Tripods novels of John Christopher, and Marvel's Killraven comics. It's a Martianpalooza!


We round it out with our Sensor Sweep, with Commander Larry sharing his newest treasure. This time it's a rather thick tome called The Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen by Jeff Bond, from Creature Features. Many of you will recall that Irwin Allen was the producer of Lost in Space, but he also was the man behind such TV shows as Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel, and Land of the Giants too. Allen also produced films, earning the title "The Master of Disaster" for such efforts as The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, and The Swarm. The book is filled with amazing photos and tons of info on all of Allen's projects. It's the perfect read for fans of his work. It's sold out on the Creature Features site, but you might check secondary sellers to see if you can find it. 

That's all for us this time. Please share your thoughts and feedback with us in the comments section, or at our other sites: 

Thanks for listening!