Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: The Year We Make... A Retrospective Post

It's time to ring in the new year with some good old-fashioned robot rock.
Each and every year at this time, my television is commandeered by The One To Be Pitied and the Girl Wonder for the day long SyFy Channel The Twilight Zone marathon. It's very difficult to break in and watch something outside of that amazing, classic series. I certainly don't mind because it is that damn good. At the crack of dawn The One To Be Pitied immediately requested the SyFy Channel. You won't hear that every day. In fact, you'll hear it just this one time. Can you believe I have to wait until the final day of the year for a little, uncajoled science fiction entertainment?

Obviously The Twilight Zone is vintage science fiction like the best in science fiction literature a la Ray Bradbury. The combination of story ideas and great acting continues to find an audience. It's funny how often as I enter a new year I look back, sometimes waaay back, to honor all that was once great. Obviously there's something comforting in it just like watching The Twilight Zone marathon or A Christmas Story all day long on Christmas day. Besides who doesn't find a revisit with a young Billy Mumy, one of the most adorable child stars on the planet, to be a fine way to spend a little time?

Since I can't get near that TV I thought I might look back at my own blog over the last year and list some of the entries I enjoyed writing most or, for what it's worth, that I felt were the best I had to offer in 2010. Why not? I've never done this before, but it's nice to look back one last time before turning the page.
Babylon 5: The River Of Souls or The Sci-Fi Fanatic BIG 10: Babylon 5. After a lengthy journey through the Babylon 5 universe, much effort was put into the Ian McShane-driven The River Of Souls film. Additionally, my top 10 for Babylon 5 was even more fun to assemble after seeing the series in its entirety.
Jonathan Harris [1914-2002]: Dr. Zachary Smith. Harris was such a colorful character it was alot of fun looking back at the man as I spent time all year revisiting Lost In Space.
Gojira. The classic Ishiro Honda masterpiece was easily as influential on cinema as Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. The influence of the kaiju genre cannot be discounted and my love affair with all things Japan continues into 2011.
Space:1999 Y1 Ep9: Force Of Life. Revisiting Space:1999 was a ball and this particular installment of the first ten episodes remains my personal favorite. It was through Space:1999 I was able to discover the writing of John Kenneth Muir in Exploring Space:1999 and getting to know the writer further as a friend and the fine gentleman he is has been a pleasure. I have since picked up the remastered Blu-Ray box set for Year One and hope to get back to some Space:1999 in 2011. Force Of Life just happens to be another Ian McShane star turn. I spent a good deal of focus on the works of Gerry Anderson in 2010 and hope to continue that run into 2011.
Watership Down. Those of you who know this site know of my love for animation. This is one from outside the world of anime that I adore to this day since first seeing it as a young lad. This is a timeless, beautiful picture based on the book by Richard Adams.
Lost In Space S1 Ep5: The Hungry Sea or Lost In Space S1 Ep6: Welcome Stranger. It's hard to choose from any serial, but these two Lost In Space entries really capture some of those warm, nostalgic memories I have from this unforgettable series.
Outlander. The quiet genre picture was a quality diversion.
The Wish. A short, but fun post concept that offered a bit of conversation amongst friends.
The Killer. After years of wanting to see the John Woo classic I finally took the time to do it. It was one of my favorite films of 2010. Does that really count?
The Dead Zone. This look back at the Cronenberg classic took me into recesses of the director's mind I had never really peered. It was a lot of work but gratifying. My thanks to Leopard 13 who referenced this piece over at his wonderful Lazy Thoughts From A Boomer where nothing is ever lazy about his thoughts. Leopard 13 is a great friend and a fine writer.
Ripping Resident Evil Or Dreaming Of Milla Jovovich. It was good fun venting a little with this commentary on what is probably my favorite new film of 2010, Resident Evil: Afterlife. Now, depending on your perspective, either that says alot about cinema today or once again Resident Evil is sorely underrated and derided as usual. But seriously enough with the 3D already.
Millennium Actress. On the 2D front, this is a beautiful anime picture by the late filmmaker Satoshi Kon who passed away in 2010. It's simply gorgeous. If 2010 was the year of Gerry Anderson here at Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic, I hope to make 2011 the year of the very best in science fiction anime [among other things as always].
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine S1 Ep1 & 2: The Emissary. The post was inspired by the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine blog-a-thon over at Secure Immaturity. I put alot of effort into the post to complete it on time and I was pleased with the end result. Will's site is an eclectic mix of pop culture posts and is always great food for thought. I've had the pleasure to get to know him over the year and his diverse interests while enjoying a splendid sense of humor.
Starman. While writing The Emissary, I was simultaneously putting together this contribution for J.D.'s John Carpenter Week over at Radiator Heaven. Once again, I was pleased with revisiting the work of John Carpenter and exploring the director's themes by visiting such places as John Kenneth Muir's The Films Of John Carpenter. Starman is ultimately an unsentimental, but moving love story and who doesn't like a good love story. It was another challenging deadline of fun and who knew deadlines could be fun?
UFO Ep4: Exposed. A late entry into 2010's FAB FRIDAY run was a lot of fun and demonstrated that Gerry Anderson's UFO was showing signs of becoming a more mature science fiction tale setting itself apart from the wonderful Thunderbirds. It's a good example of the fun I had with FAB FRIDAYS through the first six months of 2010. UFO will continue into 2011.
Star Trek TOS S1 Ep5: The Enemy Within. It's hard to point to just one episode of ST:TOS. I love them all. Charlie X is a personal favorite, but The Enemy Within is a solid example of the wonders of ST:TOS and my approach on the series. I hope it comes across that way. Stay tuned for more in 2011.
Farscape S1 Ep5: Back And Back And Back To The Future. Like ST:TOS, Farscape is another exciting, challenging and immensely entertaining series that is difficult to define and narrow down to one. I really enjoyed writing about this particular episode and hope to continue the Farscape journey into 2011.

And last, but not least...

Science Fiction Images In Techni-COLOR. This post was inspired by an ongoing meme and truth be told felt inspired in general as I put it together. It was a bit of work to assemble, but it was fun and the end result was worth it. I hope to bring you Part II on this theme in 2011.
Well my friends, there it is, the year in retrospective. Nothing like lifting from yourself, but thanks for taking time to look back with me. This post took the better part of the day here, but it's nice to put it all in perspective. It has been a pleasure to write and bring these postings your way. I hope to bring you some of the best I have to offer into 2011. Thanks for being sci-fi fanatics right along with me. Havremunken, JKM, Leopard 13, J.D., Will, Crowmagnumman, Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein, Siskoid, TFKOP, M, Porky, Spacerguy, Trav28, Steve Miller, Noel, Richard F plus many more and all who just enjoy stopping for a good read [I hope] - All of you make it worthwhile!
My plans for 2011 include: Ergo Proxy, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Soldier [film], The Six Million Dollar Man, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Lost In Space, Farscape, Space:1999, UFO, Star Trek: The Original Series and much more.
Thank you for your support and all the best to you in 2011.


Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

I really enjoy your mixture of classic sci-fi Television and more recent vintage science fiction. Your enthusiasm for your subject matter shows in every post you write, Sci-Fi Fanatic.

Its looks like you have another banner year of sci-fi programming ahead. With all the series you’re currently working on, I do have to wonder when you’ll actually finish any of them. I guess it proves what a truly dedicated Sci-Fi Fanatic you really are.

Good luck with what I’m sure will be another busy and productive year for the Musings of a Sci-Fi Fanatic in 2011.

crowmagnumman said...

Thanks for the shout-out! :D Being a newcomer to your blog, it was interesting to see some of the other stuff you've been writing about this year. Looks like I share a lot of your tastes (B5, Farscape, Stargate, Kaiju stuff, Outlander, Ian McShane, Star Trek, The Thing, and Lost in Space of course).

That's awesome that you finally got to see The Killer. I'm probably not quite as obsessed with John Woo as I was when I used to be. But when I first watched that movie it completely blew me away.

UFO is the only Gerry Anderson show that I've seen any of. I wasn't that into it when I first tried to watch it. But I'm thinking that I'd probably feel differently about it now. I have the whole show on DVD, so I should definitely give it another go sometime.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Thanks so much Doc for the kind words. I'm glad my eclectic mix of old and new is received in the way you have received it. Your words of encouragement are sincerely appreciated my friend.

Boy, you are so right. I thought to myself, "self, you'll have to look back at this post at the end of 2011 and see how close you were to hitting your target expectations." : ) so I think I will do that.

But you're right, at this rate, there are few series I will complete in 2011, but I hope to complete at least one and make a dent in a few others.

Thanks for being a regular Doc. It's a pleasure having your input here. You have a terrific 2011 as well.

Best to you, SFF


More a fan of The Killer and Chow Yun-Fat than a fan of Woo, though he is a very good director of action.

You and I, like Doc, have a particular zeal for the classics. I picked that up almost immediately from your thoughtful input here.

Look forward to having you on board going forward. all the best in the new year! Best Regards, SFF

le0pard13 said...

Having discovered you blog this year, this is one fine retrospective that shows off the quality and passion of your writing, SFF. I am looking forward very much to whatever you put into the ether for the new year, my friend. Many thanks.

p.s., thank you kindly for the shout-out.

J.D. said...

Thanks for the shout-out! As always, I'm deeply honored to get mentioned on your wonderful blog! You always post fascinating articles on aspects of SF in TV and film that never cease to amaze me. Keep up the good work!

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Thank you both guys. Likewise, you are two of the finest out there and I have been fortunate to get to know both of you in 2010 not only as exceptionally thoughtful writers but as some of the finest people I know. Thanks so much- the honor is all mine.

Siskoid said...

Oooh, Neon Genesis!

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Siskoid- so glad you are with me on NGE! A truly left of center masterpiece.

John Kenneth Muir said...


I just returned from a holiday weekend to find this beautiful retrospective post; and to read your kind words about my book, and about the friendship we have developed this year (or last year, rather).

I want you to know, I feel very much the same way. I appreciate what you wrote so much, and I appreciate reading your amazing blog with every new update. You've got me hooked on your ST:TNG, TOS posts, and everything else for that matter.

Happy 2011, my friend,