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FDL Movie Night Preview: Beam Aboard for Star Trek Discussion with David Gerrold

10:40 pm in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

 

Star Trek is awesome. I remember the first episode I ever saw–I must have been about 7, and my mom always sent me to bed before it came on, but that night she fell asleep on the couch and I got to watch as a pointy eared guy and his captain somehow ended up on modern day Earth trying to catch a mad scientist and his lady friend who would turn into a black cat.  A few years later, the entire series was in reruns, and every night at 6pm, before I Love Lucy, there would be an hour of aliens, be it children who developed weird blue spots as they turned into “grups,” Greek gods forsaken by their worshipers, android women chanting

Harcourt Fenton Mudd

amazing costumes, epic fisticuffs, and of course tribbles. Reading the book, The Trouble with Tribbles, by tonight’s Movie Night guest, David Gerrold gave me, at whatever age I was when it was published, a background into television production and excited me beyond measure about writing as a career. Gerrold wrote the script for The Trouble with Tribbles on spec; it was produced and became one of the most popular episodes ever.  And Star Trek, through eleven films, four lives series (weirdly, my ex-husband has appeared on all four, and is a Star Trek trading card!), an animated series, and ongoing conventions around the world (as well as web series Star Trek Phase 2, for which Gerrold penned a two-part episode) has shaped  our world by boldly going where no man has gone before.

Please join us Monday, March 25 form 5pm-6:30pm west coast time on the front page of firedoglake.com to talk Trek and sci-fi with one of the greats, David Gerrold.

(FYI: All of the Star Trek series are free this month on Hulu!)

NOTE: To participate in Movie Night by asking questions, please make sure you are logged in. If you don’t have a log-in, register using the red button up top. It’s fast and free! At 5pm west coast time, sign in to Firedoglake.com, Type in your questions or comments, hit the “send” button, and please refresh your browser every minute or so to see new questions and responses. To reply to a question, hit the “reply” button. Thanks!

Side note: I don’t mind the IRS making a training video based on Star Trek. WHat I mind is that it sucks.

 

FDL Movie Night Preview: Happy New Year–Celebrating the (Lucille) Ball Together

2:47 am in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

The ball in Time Square is going to drop in a just a few hours, and since New Years Eve is time of both hilarity and glamor, what better way to celebrate it than by embracing tonight in the form of Lucille Ball? Groundbreaking media pioneer, the first woman in television to head a production company, Lucy is one of the greatest American icons, full of glamor, strength and style. Heck, even FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, in the midst of the 1950′s Red Scare — Ball gave sealed testimony to House Un-American Activities Committee  because she’d registered to vote in 1936 as member of the Communist Party – said Lucy and her husband Desi Arnaz were

among his  “favorites of the entertainment world.”

Tonight we’ll be discussing Lucille Ball, I Love Lucy, and her other shows, and as a special treat, we’ve uncovered this: Lucy’s Really Lost Moments, featuringthe  only appearances of the cast of I Love Lucy in color and as guests on The Bob Hope Chevy Show sponsored by Chevrolet, along with other moments (some of which have been colorized). Segments of this compilation are fascinating because they really reveal the heavy, obvious level of sponsorship of early TV programs: The plot of one segement revolves around Ricky wanting a deal with Westinghouse for their new show, while Lucy just want new appliances. Another segment, I’ve Got a Secret, sponsored by Clairol with lots of signage, shows Lucy trying to affect the panel (including a young Johnny Carson), with her changing moods. And as a bonus, on his program, Bob Hope appears to the strains of “Aulde Lang Syne!”

See you tonight!

(And special geek alert: Desilu Productions, which Ball formed with husband Desi Arnaz, was the production company behind the original Star Trek, producing the show’s first season. By the second season, Ball sold the company to Gulf+Western, which renamed it Paramount Television. The couple had founded Desilu in 1950 to produce I Love Lucy; Ball bought out Arnaz after their divorce, and became the company’s head. Desilu also produced The Dick Van Dyke Show, and several other classics.)