Monday, April 8, 2019

Episode 24: Something about The Thing

No fewer than three major science fiction films have sprung from the original novella "Who Goes There?" by legendary science fiction author/editor John Campbell. And all three have been titled "The Thing" - well, the first one was actually titled "The Thing from Another World," but most fans just refer to it as "the original Thing." All three have similarities - the remote, icy outpost, the dangerous alien loose among an isolated group of people, a heightened sense of paranoia and suspense. But they have their differences, particularly between the first film and the later two.

Join the Planet 8 crew of Larry, Bob, and Karen as they discuss each film, what they enjoy about each one, what they think makes each one stand out, and their first experiences with each. The films are:
  • The Thing from Another World, 1951
  • The Thing, 1982
  • The Thing, 2011
What's the thing about The Thing? It's got a certain special something...

We'll focus mostly on the 1951 and 1982 films. Both had excellent casts, ensembles that worked well together and really sold the story, despite how fantastic it might seem.

We'll also look at the effects, the limitations of the '51 film (and poor James Arness in gobs of make-up), and the insane practical effects of Rob Bottin in the '82 version.

The third film (2011) was actually a prequel to the '82 version. It covered a lot of ground concerning what happened at the Norwegian camp before the start of the previous film. Was it successful? The crew has differing opinions on that.

Just for fun, we also speculate on how the Planet 8 team would react to an invasion by the Thing. Who would survive? And who would decide to wipe out the team to protect humanity?

As an added treat, Larry and Bob interview science fiction and fantasy artist extraordinaire, Bob Eggleton. Mr. Eggleton is  illustrating a new version of Who Goes There -a novel-length version that's never been published before. It's going to be part of a book called Frozen Hell, which will also include a number of short stories by other authors continuing the story of The Thing. The book is a kickstarter project assembled by John Gregory Betancourt, who manages Campbell's literary estate. You can learn more at the kickstarter page here.  Mr. Eggleton shares news about this project, as well as his own personal thoughts on the Thing films.

Bob Eggleton and friend
And for the Sensor Sweep -completely off-topic -Engineer Bob talks about the new BluRay for Tetsujin 28 -aka Gigantor. It's a great anime series that you should definitely check out if you're not already a fan! You can find it at Amazon and other locations where videos are sold.

That's all the things we have to talk about this time, friends. You can comment here, or go to our other hangouts:

Thanks for Listening!


  1. Yeah, there really is something about the ever-lovin' blue-eyed idol of millions. It's amazing how a pile of orange rocks can be so lovable... Oh, wait, wrong Thing? Darn.
    I've only seen one of the Things, the second one by Carpenter, a really long time ago. Yeah, it's a damn good SF/horror flick. I really need to watch it again. As to the rather ambiguous and troubling way it ends, I think that's more of a hallmark of the '70s that carried over into the early '80s.
    As for how I'd fare in the Thing situation, I think I'd join Bob in the meatlocker, and hope a flame-torch wielding Karen never finds us...

    By the way, I finally got around to seeing Solo last week; I mostly enjoyed it, mainly because I didn't really see it as a Star Wars movie (there's no way that guy in the film later became the guy we saw played by Harrison Ford in Star Wars). There's a lot of stuff in there that I actually liked better than any of the 'main' (numbered) SW films. But I guess that's a discussion for another day.
    Great show, everyone.
    Edo Bosnar

    1. Always good to hear from you Edo. I have to lol you joining Bob and hoping Karen didn’t find you guys.

      Ah Solo a Star Wars story... that’s an interesting take on it, you not thinking of it as a Star Wars film but a side story. I have to admit I watched it recently for a second or third time and I did enjoy much more than I did initially at the theatre. I love that Darth Maul shows up, not just because I enjoy the character but it helped bridge the animated shows with the films! At some point I’d like to have a podcast on Star Wars in general, what works and what doesn’t work. Thanks again for listening and always being part of the discussions!

  2. Howdy Edo, glad you enjoyed our little Thing episode. Both the '51 and '82 films are ones I can sit and watch any time. I'm surprised you haven't seen the original! It's definitely worth it.

    We really do need to do some more episodes on Star Wars. I think we'll probably aim for closer to the release date for episode 9, or should I say the Rise of Skywalker? I don't even know what to make of that title!

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