300 – Our 300th Episode

It’s Our 300th Episode…

Alternate title: Navel Gazing.

Ben and Simon join me for a look down memory lane.

3 thoughts on “300 – Our 300th Episode”

  1. Congratulations on hitting a big milestone! I just checked and realised that I’ve only been around for 107 of those 300 episodes, so the level of commitment put into the podcast is a good deal higher than even I had envisaged.

    I’ve appreciated Fusion Patrol providing the impetus for me to watch series which I’d always wanted to check out, but had never seen: Sapphire and Steel, The Omega Factor, The Starlost.

    Each of these turned out to be quite different from what I had imagined. Sapphire and Steel (which I still have to finish) is particularly baffling. Who was the intended audience for this? I had thought children or tweens, but the episode with the people from the future being murdered by the spirit of the lamb roast in their fridge (or something like that) would have severely traumatised any tween who encountered it.

    I know I saw an episode of Starlost when it first aired, and gave up on it as drivel. This was unheard of in my sci-fi starved early 1970s. Finally seeing the full series now … it’s not quite as bad as accounts in the intervening decades had made it seem. Yes, it’s bad, but only the giant bee episode really gets up into the stratospheric heights of badness its reputation suggested. I compare it against the Planet of the Apes TV series which is likewise gobsmackingly awful. Apes was such a chore – a dreary trudge – to rewatch. Starlost at least had me looking forward to what goofy place the trio would go next. The computer is the true star of the show.

    I’ve also appreciated fresh perspectives on shows I can just about recite from memory: The Prisoner, UFO, Ultraviolet, Blakes7, Space: 1999. While I’m usually in comfortable agreement with Ben and Eugene on these, I’ve found Simon’s input on older shows to be both enlightening and (at times) infuriating. I assume that Simon is reasonably younger than myself, and often has quite a different perspective on shows I grew up with. What does this mean for my understanding of shows I wasn’t around for, like TOS and Twilight Zone? Did I need to be there to fully get their zeitgeist? Am I blinded by nostalgia? Who knows…

    Rewatching familiar shows in tandem with the podcast has led to a lot of analysis and a few reappraisals. I think Space:1999 has slightly moved up in my estimation, while Blakes7 has been reclassified as “more than the sum of its parts”, because so many of those parts are not what they should be. Not just being a vegetable in front of the TV has given these series a fresh depth and interest.

    So again, my congratulations.

    P.S. What of the remaining 139 episodes of In Search Of… ? I want to find out in which episode Leonard Nimoy and his polyester safari suit suddenly realise what started as a good gig has now turned into a neverending un-death of videotaped inserts.

    1. Delighted to hear I enlighten and infuriate! I never intend to infuriate, but on the other hand, I don’t see the point of tiptoeing around sci-fi’s sacred cows if they haven’t aged well (hello, Blake’s 7). No point in podcasting anything less than my honest reactions! I think there is an element of nostalgia to this stuff – although I wasn’t around to see The Avengers when it first aired, I may have been at an impressionable age… Maybe that explains the ardent B7 fans who much younger than I am…

    2. In my mind, I feel Sapphire & Steel was from a time long lost on television. I’m not sure it ever existed on American TV, but on British TV, there was once a time when ratings and focus groups and demographics didn’t really matter to get a show on the air. It was a willingness to try something different. Perhaps it was the almost disposable nature of the media that allowed them to stretch a bit. Was Sapphire & steel really aimed at anyone other than people who like ghost stories? That’s what I feel it was… ghost stories for the 20th century.

      I really must continue my trudge through In Search of… Leonard is just sitting there, waiting on the shelf for me to continue my journey into my gullible childhood.

      In many ways, they are so painful to watch. I look back and a see a time when I dreamed the world was a bigger, more mysterious place than it really was, and I am offended that thousands, if not millions of people, were mislead by TV like this – even now. That for the sake of entertainment and the pursuit of ratings that pure bullshit — bullshit that the producers know to be false — is pushed out, uncritically to the masses. Masses eager to accept it because it was on TV.

      You know the producers were in the know because of the disclaimer on every episode, “This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producer’s purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine.”

      Spock, dammit… it was Spock feeding me bullshit! The Spock I grew up trusting and admiring as a beacon of logic and rationality. And Arthur C. Clarke isn’t off the hook, either! I can accept the argument that Leonard Nimoy was “just an actor” but Arthur C. Clark had no excuse!

      When I bought the DVD set, I was so looking forward to it, but, each episode makes my blood boil as they pile on logical fallacy after logical fallacy to make a case for something that never existed.

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