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The Outer Limits (ABC 1963 - 1965)
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:39 am    Post subject: The Outer Limits (ABC 1963 - 1965) Reply with quote

Music Composer Dominic Frontiere:


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alltare
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I generally liked OL a bit more than THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

My biggest complaint about OL is that a great many episodes seemed like half-hour shows that were stretched out to become 1-hour presentations, which often made them exceedingly slow and boring. Scenes would sometimes appear to drag on forever. A prime example is one that Leonard Nimoy appeared in- THE PRODUCTION AND DECAY OF STRANGE PARTICLES. If you've seen it, you know what I mean.

That being said, I think that the concepts in most of the stories were interesting and engaging, even if they did have a lot of padding.

The 2-part THE INHERITORS is one of my favorites episodes, and it wasn't boring at all.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For decades I preferred The Twilight Zone to The Outer Limits, partly because the half-hour Twilight Zones episodes had a slicker feel and a tighter pacing. The one-hour episodes of The Twilight Zone committed the same sin of slow pacing and padded stories that The Outer Limits did.

However, several years ago I took the plung and bought the box set of The Twilight Zone, and I spent two weeks "binge watching" them for hours each day.

And while doing so I slowly realized that The Twilight Zone was not a science fiction series, and it was never intended to be a science fiction series. I just had it pegged all wrong in my youth because it occasionally showed me scenes of space ships and robots (Robby, to be exact) when I was a sci-fi hungry kid in the 1960s.

I guess the series would be categorized as "fantasy" -- with the exception of episodes like The Invaders with Agnes Moorhead and On Thursday We Leave For Home (an hour-long Twilight Zone that is definitely not padded).

And those two episodes had cemented my conviction that I was watching a science fiction series that usually left me yearning for a lot more science with the fiction and a lot less fantasy.

Ah well, live and learn.

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:37 am; edited 2 times in total
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alltare
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alltare wrote:
...
My biggest complaint about OL is that a great many episodes seemed like half-hour shows that were stretched out to become 1-hour presentations, which often made them exceedingly slow and boring. Scenes would sometimes appear to drag on forever. A prime example is one that Leonard Nimoy appeared in- THE PRODUCTION AND DECAY OF STRANGE PARTICLES. If you've seen it, you know what I mean.
...

With fortuitous timing, "Production & Decay of Strange Particles" (S01 E30) will be shown on THIS TV tonight (Sunday, 11/1/2015) at 10PM mountain time.

It's best to drink a few cups of strong coffee before attempting to watch this one, for the reasons given above.
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Pow
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, Bud, TTZ is a fantasy oriented series, while TOL is strictly sf. Although TOL did an episode with David McCallum that was a fantasy based one & served as a backdoor pilot for a spin-off series of its own.

Can't recall the title.

I thought that TOL was a well done, smart sf show. Irwin Allen's 4 sf tv shows had decent casts & some marvelous production values to 'em. But they were rarely intelligent sf shows. IA wanted "running & jumping" shows & that is what he got. All sizzle & no steak.

I would love to see someone go back to TOL & remaster its visuals as they've done with Star Trek:TOS.

The show had a modest budget & had to rely on the visual FX & make-ups from that era.

Still, they managed to come up with some terrific stuff for that time period.

I would look forward to a remastered "Demon With A Glass Hand,"written by the legendary Harlan Ellison.
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scotpens
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alltare wrote:
My biggest complaint about OL is that a great many episodes seemed like half-hour shows that were stretched out to become 1-hour presentations, which often made them exceedingly slow and boring. Scenes would sometimes appear to drag on forever.

Most of the episodes that feel "padded" were in the show's 2nd season, which suffered a marked decline in overall quality.

alltare wrote:
The 2-part THE INHERITORS is one of my favorites episodes, and it wasn't boring at all.

Funny you should say that. To me, "The Inheritors" feels like an hour's worth of story padded out to two hours -- and it has a mawkish and predictable ending. WARNING: SEMI-SPOILER AHEAD

(Come on, what did you think those four guys were going to do with those handicapped kids -- eat them?)


Pow wrote:
I agree, Bud, TTZ is a fantasy oriented series while TOL is strictly SF. Although TOL did an episode with David MaCallum (sp?) that was a fantasy based one & served as a backdoor pilot for a spin-off series of its own.

Can't recall the title.

That episode was "The Forms of Things Unknown," with David McCallum (hey, you almost got it right), Vera Miles, Barbara Rush, and Cedric Hardwicke.

Pow wrote:
I would love to see someone go back to TOL & remaster its visuals as they've done with Star Trek:TOS.

. . . I would look forward to a remastered "Demon With A Glass Hand," written by the legendary Harlan Ellison.

Dear God, please, no! Which FX in "Demon with a Glass Hand" could even be redone? It has no spaceships, no matte shots, no alien landscapes. The original Outer Limits should be left alone. Would you have them colorize it?
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scotpens wrote:
Would you have them colorize it?

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Pow
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What effects would I like to see remastered for "Demon With A Glass Hand?"

1.) Harlan Ellison thought that the Kyben aliens looked like raccoons. How about redoing them?

2.) New incineration effect when the aliens are thrown back in time after Trent pulls off their medallion that anchors them in time.

3.) There is a Kyben force field around the Bradbury Building keeping Trent trapped there. Let's see an effect for it.

4.) Trent's scene where he reveals his internal machinery could be redone as it was done with the android on Star Trek: TOS episode "I, Mudd."

If people wish to only see the original effects as was done for TOL, they will always have that version available to them & they should.

However, I admire greatly the remastered ST: TOS visually remastered effects.

Fantastic show, but the effects were dated over time.
I'm not complaining but can't I have the remastered version available to me, just as you want to hang on to the original?
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as the remastered effects were compatible with the original context like in ST-TOS I could enjoy them.

However if they come out more like the redone Star Wars ones perhaps not.

Pow, your recommendations above are all positive enhancements of the story telling.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Here's how I view the whole question about enhanced FX and any other alteration to original movies and television series.

Some folks state that old shows and movies should not be changed at all. "Leave the alone!" they proclaim fiercely. Well, doing that might please the purist, but let's be realistic. Many of the movies and shows which we watched as kids not only look horribly dated as the years roll by, but even the stories don't speak well to modern audiences.

Therefore, the "leave them alone" folks are condemning these movies and shows to fade into obscurity as their original fans grow old and die. And in many cases, that's inevitable because many these productions weren't all that great to start with.

But for some of these cinematic efforts, the intelligence still shines through, even while their physical appearance becomes increasingly tarnished in the eyes of ever-critical audiences who become accustomed to slicker productions.

So, I feel that fixing special effects that were severely limited by the era in which they were made is a lot like restoring films that have suffered the ravages of time.

The producers didn't want they're creations to rot away in film cans — and they also didn't want their artistic efforts to become increasingly laughable in the eyes of future audiences who have become accustomed to dazzling special effects.

So, it seems both unrealistic and unfair for the aging fans whose days are sadly numbered to protest the creative efforts of younger individuals who respect the merits of older films and want to give them new life for the next generation.

The inflexible attitude of people whose fond nostalgia demands that old things continue to look old is in direct opposition to the filmmakers' desire to make effective stories which continue to move audiences long after the producers are dead and gone.

These people weren't making "keepsakes" for a figurative scrapbook. They were making living, breathing artwork which they hoped would entertain, inspire, and inform — for decades to come.

As an artist and a writer, I'm in favored of unrestricted efforts to create new artwork, even when it's based on old creations that need alterations to generate new interest. Just "leaving them alone" is kind of like tossing them in the trash. Sad

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Brent Gair
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Changing the FX in old TV shows is pissing in the face of people who did the original work. It's an unconscionable insult to FX pioneers and no weak excuse can justify it.

We can go back and "fix" all kinds of art. We can fix Gene Autry recordings and give him a Stratocaster.

The Lydecker brothers were on the cutting edge of film and TV FX for 30 years but their stuff doesn't hold up today. Honestly, the stuff by Ray Harryhausen looks ridiculous today. It even looked ridiculous in the 1960s. TV shows don't use stop motion anymore...Ray Harryhausen is dead anyway. Let's go back and erase this from history. The Lydeckers and Ray Harryhausen are useless to a modern generation.

It always dissappoints me when people are willing to trash the hard work of film pioneers because they think it's "dated". The idea that this pioneering work should be subject to the revision of "younger individuals who respect the merits of older films" is laughable and disturbing. Nobody who respects the merit of older films and TV shows is going to impose their modern fixes on a classic for the "next generation".

Creative people have a right to create art and let it stand on it's own merit. Some art will survive. Some will not. But art will always bear the hallmarks of those who gave it birth. If a new generation thinks that they can do better, then they have every right and, in fact, an obligation to create new art. No creative person could screw with another's art and still sleep at night.
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may be like correcting the Mona Lisa to photorealism.

There is a point where "art" must retain it's integrity.

BUT....There is also the view that the "art" that was utilized was the best available to tell the story...The point that the STORY was the "art" and the effects were only the medium to express that art. Efforts to update that expression of the story could be viewed as an effort to make the essence, that is the story being told, more available to the present viewer.

Perhaps a better approuch would be a total remake, but all too often the result is a fiddling around with story elements making the original unrecognisable!

Also remember that many of these creators were not looking at their efforts as "art", but only as expressions of the best way to portray the requirements the story dictated.


Last edited by Gord Green on Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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alltare
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I generally agree that good BW movies should be left untouched, I'm not a purist and I think there are at least 2 exceptions to that rule:

(1) The original directors/producers desire the change. Specifically, Ray Harryhausen's three colorized movies are OK as far as I'm concerned, because they were endorsed by RH himself. He has also stated that if he had been given a larger budget, he would have filmed them in color in the first place. (The colorizing was well done, too, and does not have the restricted palette of the earlier computerized systems. To keep everyone happy, the DVDs were released with colorized and BW versions on the same disc).

(2) Many movies could not possibly be considered "works of art", so there's not much to be lost by colorization. For example, how could a color version of PLAN 9 ever be any worse than the original. As far as I know, that hasn't happened yet, but there is a version of ZOMBIES OF THE STRATOSPHERE which, in my opinion, has been made much more watchable by the addition of color. I doubt that the original director was too worried about artistic lighting and shading.

It's not so easy for me to justify the colored INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956), but nonetheless, I do enjoy watching it now and then. As I said, I'm not a purist.
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Pow
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well put Bud.

I disagree that remastering visual effects on old tv shows is "pissing in the face of the creators."

The reality is that if the state of the art CGI FX we now have available to us were available to Gene Roddenberry, Rod Serling, Leslie Stevens & Joe Stefano they would have eagerly embraced them.

These were all innovative & forward thinking creative men who could see the advantages of this technology.

And yes, they should only be utilized within the context of the story as it was originally presented to honor the writer, director & cast.

As I wrote earlier let both the original & remastered versions of these shows always be available to we fans.
That way you get what you want & I get what I want.

Nobody gets to impose their choice on anyone else.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brent Gair wrote:
Changing the FX in old TV shows is pissing in the face of people who did the original work. It's an unconscionable insult to FX pioneers and no weak excuse can justify it.

The difference between you and me, Brent, is that I don't believe the creation of altered versions of movies, TV series, and artwork is the least bit insulting to the original creators.

You seem to think that making any sort of change in a creative work is the same as branding the original as flawed in some way. Art does in fact range in quality from good to bad, but doing a new variation on something doesn't automatically mean the creator of the variation thinks the original is bad.

For example, this is Robby the Robot —



— and this is a variation on Robby —



— and this is a more radical variation —



— and this robot has a few borrowed features. Sort of.



My point is, are these artist implying that Robby's design was flawed and they're improving it? Are they" pissing in the face" of Bob Kinoshita?

No, of course not. They're just offering variations on Robby's design for the pure fun of it!

In your message above, you made this puzzling statement.

"Honestly, the stuff by Ray Harryhausen looks ridiculous today. It even looked ridiculous in the 1960s."

You're entitled to your opinion, naturally, but I've been a fan of stop motion all my life, and I'm still awed by Harryhausen's work. The fact that he labored for thousands of hours to make rubber models appear to be alive and moving is amazing. The grace and beauty of his creatures' movements are stunning. The brilliance of his designs are breathtaking.

I even did some tabletop claymation in the early 1960s with my father's 8mm camera!






And yet, if someone developed a program that enhanced Ray's animation with motion blurs so that it looked more real, I'd be tickled pink. If Ray were still alive and said he hated the change . . . I'd still be tickled pink. Ray is entitled to his opinion too, but his original work hasn't been changed, and the merit of his talent has certainly not been insulted.

It would just be a different version, combining Ray's talent with some new technological tricks to give familiar scenes a new look — just for the fun of it. And of course, anybody who doesn't like the results is free to ignore them.

If an artist offers a new variation on an old work of art, and the results are exciting and interesting, I enjoy it. Why shouldn't I? And I don't give a hang what the original artist might think of it, nor for the opinion of anybody who believes the original work is too holy for someone to create variations.

It's not like somebody painted a mustache on the original Mona Lisa, or gave Michelangelo's David a bigger . . . smile.

To me, Brent, this is simply NOT a moral issue. It's just about the harmless and enjoyable exercise of creating variations on existing works. Why you insist on viewing these enjoyable creative projects as grievous insults to the original artists is something that mystifies me completely.

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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