10356Re: [probe_control] All Search and no play...
- Dec 24, 2013Geoff,
Semantics: Thanks for the compliment. Let's just say that I'm not as good at understanding some differences of wording as you are. (You are a writer and editor; my field has always been electronics.)
Actors: There are a few American actors who were "weaned" on stage rather than going straight to film or TV. They're easy to spot when on the screen, and when they give interviews they do say they prefer stage work, even though the pay isn't as great as in the film industry. And then there are some celebrities who "think" they can act, but can't. (Madonna and Jessica Simpson come to mind, but at least Madonna can sing.)
Downton Abbey: They didn't need Shirley MacClaine to sell it to the US audience. The series has captivated US audiences since Series 1. But since Cora Lady Grantham is an American, I think when they wanted to have Cora's mother appear, they needed a strong American actress to stand up against Maggie Smith. (Not many American actresses are strong enough to stand up to an actress of Maggie Smith's magnitude.)
Failing of US shows: You're right about that. And to add to your comment of writers being afraid to do anything drastic, they're also afraid of doing anything that might be construed by someone as "politically incorrect". (For the record, I HATE political correctness - it was invented by people who can't take a joke.) Anyway, we seem to have developed a society of "Mary Whitehouses", where anything done on TV is attacked as offending someone. It's almost gotten to the point where you can't pick up a newspaper these days without seeing an episode of some show being attacked by some group of offended people. I think that's why we find UK programming so refreshing; your writers let characters do and say things that would or could happen in real life, or let loose a joke that would never get past the editors over here.
Scrumpy: I think our moonshine would be far worse. You could run a car on moonshine. I've seen on travel shows like 'Globe Trekker' and Rick Steves' 'Travels in Europe' (and Burt wolf, Rudy Maxa, Samantha Brown, even Anthony Bourdain) where they've visited pubs selling Scrumpy. I'm not saying I'd drink a pint of the stuff (with my pain meds?!), but I'd at least like to get a taste of it.
KR Conventions: Thanks for that link! I'll be poking around there later.
Mustang KITT: I completely agree, and I think partly why the series failed.
The TKR C5: Again, I totally agree. And while I'm sure some people recognized the voiceovers, they missed some blatant references in the episodes. The TKR web site (which is still up, but hasn't been updated in years: http://www.teamknightrider.com), has little trivia bits at the end of each episode's synopsis, but they missed a huge reference in the episode "Apocalypse Maybe". One of the baddies operating the earthquake machine (and who supposedly built it by following TKR's Trek's designs) was named Jackson Roykirk. Jackson Roykirk was the inventor of the original "Nomad" probe in the ST: TOS episode "The Changeling". (And yes, one of the TKR members was named Trek, and explained in one episode that he was named such because his parents were hardcore 'Star Trek' fans, and he was "conceived under a table at a Star Trek Convention".
SEAVIEW and Retirement: I'm not sure how they used it in the series. Nelson was said to have been retired from the Navy. That would mean he was no longer a Navy man (yet for some reason he continued wearing his Navy uniform). Crane wasn't actually 'retired'; in the pilot episode the letter from the Naval Department said he was being "discharged". Retirement means he would receive a pension; being "discharged" would mean he was just booted out - no pension. Based on a 4-star admiral's pay - given that it takes close to 30 years for an officer to reach that rank - at 75% of his base pay, which is standard for a 30-year pension, it would give Nelson more than enough money for him to live very luxuriously. (In today's dollars Nelson's pension would come to about $11,230 a month - and that doesn't include any disability he may get, and everyone gets some percentage based on years of service and "wear and tear".) So Nelson and his crew probably operate on grants and some government funding, especially considering that the Navy could "borrow" SEAVIEW anytime they wanted. Nelson probably lived on his pension alone. The rest of the crew probably got their pay from Nelson's institute and its funding. And since it was initially a government research institute, anyone working there would be entitled to a retirement pension when the time came (if they lived to reach retirement!). As for Crane, since he was moving from one government position (Navy) to another, his Navy time would count towards any retirement, so he wouldn't have to start over. That's also common practice in our real-life government workforce.As for SEAVIEW being overtaken, I believe that only happened twice: once in the pilot episode, and again in one of the series episodes (using the same stock footage from the pilot for that). I don't remember if it was mentioned in the dialogue that the pursuing sub was closing in or gaining on them, but in each external scene the two subs were shown with the pursuing sub closer and closer each time (until the water pressure crushed the pursuing sub because SEAVIEW could go much deeper). So I guess the being overtaken part was inferred visually, and perhaps not verbally. And unlike "Hunt for Red October", where the sub battle was as you rightly say, done with vectoring and intercepting, in the Irwin Allen world of the SEAVIEW, those sub battles were simply linear chases.
Dallas: You've got me there. We'd have to ask the producers what their reasoning was for having Duffy all wet in the opening credits. To me (and again this is just MHO) it was just a wet guy used to increase the interest of female viewers in the same way that a wet woman (like Cheryl Ladd in the opening credits of 'Charlie's Angels') was used to increase the interest of male viewers. (Yeah... I know just the Angels themselves were enough, but as one guy I knew years ago said "Take a beautiful woman and get her soaking wet and she has an immediate fan club." So, maybe others thought that way and that's why they soaked Duffy. Again, it could have been ANY actor in that role; it just happened to be Duffy.) 'Man From Atlantis' wasn't exactly a popular show when it aired, and most people of the age who watched 'Dallas' back then - if you ask them about 'Man From Atlantis' - they'll likely say "What was that?" (As for Hagman... it would have been him holding a Jim Beam Bourbon bottle rather than an oil lamp, as the Genie bottle was a brown Jim Beam Bourbon bottle, with gold leafy vines painted on it in the B&W episodes, and then that colorfully-painted version we're all very familiar with when they went to color film. But just the shape of the plain bottle would have been enough.)
From: gf willmetts <gfwillmetts-2@...>
To: Search Chat <email@example.com>
Sent: Tue, Dec 24, 2013 6:19 am
Subject: RE: [probe_control] All Search and no play...
Hello DinoRe: any sort of semantics??!! That tends to suggest you can’t articulate which you clearly can do.Over here, actors develop their skills on stage and many actually prefer it that way because it allows interaction with the audience and can modify their performance. Some of your actors follow a similar route, seeing TV or film as a means to pay for the comparatively low wages of stage work. In the States, your people get pigeon-holed too early now to adapt. I’ve never watched ‘Downton Abbey’, although considering they pulled Shirley MacClaine I couldn’t help wonder if it was to boost a sale to the USA.One of the failings I think US shows currently have is writing by committee. Yes, it works well for continuity purposes but when the showrunner moves on or takes a back seat, those that are left tend to flounder and are afraid to do anything drastic.Re: scrumpy. It’s rather akin to American moonshine and not made legally. Your daughter would have to be out in the sticks to even hear about someone selling some.Re: Knight Rider Conventions. This link might help: http://knightrideronline.com/news/Re: Mustang KITT. That sounds like all the wrong reasons to choose the car.The C5 plane is something like the current ‘Agents Of SHIELD’ plane. It would never do vertical take-off like that in real life because the torque forces would tear the wings off. Dialogue over-lays like that are nothing new. It’s been done a lot over the years in other series whenever they want to see if people are paying attention.Re: Seaview. I’m not entirely sure how far ‘retired’ means in the States. Having him and Crane seen that way would mean the USN would be off the hook for anything they do. Don’t forget, the reality was supposed to be in the late 70s in their timeline.I think you’d have to give examples of when other subs overtook Seaview because I can’t recall them. They were chased and attacked from time to time but with submarine battles it’s less about speed and more about vector and being in the right place.Re: Dallas. Except, the show was about oil and money, not about getting a dunking which is why I thought Duffy was done that way to remind people what he’d done last. We should be grateful that Hagman wasn’t shown with an oil lamp.Geoff
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