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Re: [probe_control] As easy as ITC

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  • John
    I guess the book is out of print now, because the cover price was 14.99 pounds or 19.95 dollars. I certainly didn t pay the prices you saw in your search. One
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 17, 2013
      I guess the book is out of print now, because the cover price was 14.99
      pounds or 19.95 dollars. I certainly didn't pay the prices you saw in your
      search.

      One place is selling it for $25.00:
      http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl&st=sl&ref=bf_s2_a1_t14_14&qi=5rMmMDTvvkJxGIgG4bCuz0HYfyA_8984293884_1:2219:12595&bq=author%3Drobert%2520sellers%26title%3Dcult%2520tv%2520the%2520golden%2520age%2520of%2520itc

      Grade wanted Americans in most of his shows...at least one character. Man
      In A Suitcase, The Baron, Department S, The Champions, The Persuaders, The
      Protectors, The Adventurer, etc. He thought they would sell better in
      America.

      The book says quite the opposite about The Protectors and Gerry Anderson's
      involvement in it:

      "The Protectors was not my idea. I went to see Lew, who gave me a piece of
      A4 paper and there were four paragraphs typed out. He said, 'Read that.'
      I did - it was about this international crime fighting agency and its
      jet-setting operatives who hire out their services to any government,
      business or wealthy individual that can afford them. He said, 'Do you want
      to make it?' I said, 'Um, well.' He said, 'Gerry, do you want to make it
      or don't you?' And I went, 'Yes." That's how it started. So I had to
      develop the whole series from those four paragraphs." Page 225.

      And remember, UFO was already in the can when Anderson got saddled with The
      Protectors.

      As for McGoohan, he wanted money for The Prisoner, but not so he could do
      more things, but because he was so badly overbudget. That is why Grade
      called a halt after the first 13 and told him he could do 4 more and that
      was it...and he had to do them immediately. There was supposed to be a
      much longer hiatus period between the first 13 and the next 13...that is
      why he was able to accept the role in Ice Station Zebra. But with a halt
      to the hiatus, they were forced to do the episode where the Prisoner's
      mind is put into another's body...McGoohan couldn't be there for that
      episode since he had committed to "Zebra".

      As far as it being strange to do a show while it is airing, people can just
      easily turn it around and say how risky it is to have all the shows done
      before you see their reception. I don't remember which Dickens novel it
      was (maybe more than one) where he changed the direction of the book (it
      was published in serial form) when he saw it wasn't working.

      I am not saying one method is right over the other, I can see pluses and
      minus for both methods (and again, as you point out, there are so many less
      episodes in an order on your side of the watery fence.)

      As far as reruns in the middle of a season over here (as awful as that is)
      it wasn't always like that. At one time we would do 39 shows per year...no
      reruns. It got whittled down to 22 at current. And with the smaller cable
      networks having smaller budgets, we are now seeing British episode length
      seasons.




      On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 6:27 AM, gf willmetts
      <gfwillmetts-2@...>wrote:

      >
      >
      > Hello
      > John
      >
      >
      >
      > Re: Cult TV The Golden Age of ITC. Seeing
      > the book�s price, I can see why I couldn�t have afforded it. In my reply
      > last
      > night, I could as easily have said �The Champions� or �Randall & Hopkirk�
      > or
      > �The Baron�.
      >
      > �The Protectors�, as I recall, Grade wanted
      > another series starring a US actor for a half hour spot, remember Gene
      > Barry in
      > �The Adventurer�. Anderson wanted to prove he could do live-action and got
      > the
      > series.
      >
      >
      >
      > TV filming schedules for series over here
      > are that it�s almost always in the can before being shown on TV.
      > Considering
      > our seasons can be 6 to 13 episodes, it can be done that way. Equally, I
      > find
      > it fascinating that your lot show series while it�s still being filmed and
      > then
      > go into a loop of repeats mid-season as they catch up. Logistically, I can
      > see it�s
      > a means to get money from the TV companies as they go.
      >
      > As you used �The Prisoner� as an example.
      > Don�t forget, towards the end of its production, McGoohan beetled off to
      > play a
      > role in �Ice Station Zebra� but that also enabled him to have some extra
      > money
      > to play with in the series as he was part owner of Everyman Productions.
      >
      > Scheduling is a little different over here.
      > With shorter seasons and certainly a lot more variety in those days, thing
      > could be planned out differently.
      >
      > Lew Grade really did have a lot of autonomy
      > in what he chose to do. A nod from him and things moved which I would
      > suspect
      > was in that book.
      >
      >
      >
      > Where �Space: 1999� was concerned, Freiberger�s model was
      > more �Star Trek� than what had gone before. The introduction of Maya being
      > one
      > of them although quite why she would choose animals she�s never seen
      > physically
      > to metamorphed Freiberger into beat me. I didn�t really care for the show
      > that
      > much.
      >
      >
      >
      > Geoff
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John
      Yes. While some of the Trek originals blame Mr Frieberger (anybody who spent 22 months in a German POW camp is Mr. Freiberger to me), other originals do
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 17, 2013
        Yes. While some of the Trek originals blame Mr Frieberger (anybody who
        spent 22 months in a German POW camp is "Mr. Freiberger" to me), other
        originals do not:

        http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Fred_Freiberger

        He was the kind of writer he was. I say this as no insult, because I love
        the four series for what they were, but I think he would have been a great
        fit in the Irwin Allen factory.


        On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM, martin allen <zippytkat@...> wrote:

        > **
        >
        >
        > Hi Geoff;
        > If I can throw in my two cents' worth--while Space:1999 has always been
        > something of a 'problem child', the flaws in the series were only magnified
        > by the way it was shown over here. Everyone got a print of 'Breakaway' to
        > show first, but then they had to play pot-luck as to whatever episode came
        > in next. In Minneapolis we got 'Dragon's Domain' second and 'Black Sun'
        > something like eigth or ninth in. Once you see the episodes in production
        > order, the show begins to make a little more sense. A little.
        > As for Fred Frieberger, I think he did the best he could with what he
        > was handed--the fueding Andersons, the feuding Landau's, especially Barbara
        > Bain, indifferent management from the New York and London offices of ITC,
        > etc.
        > Taking the last episode of Season One, 'Testament of Arkadia' at face
        > value, it really should have been the end...giving at least a token
        > explanation as to why Moonbase Alpha was dragged across the Universe in the
        > way it was--it only made a kind of sense that there had to be a guiding
        > intelligence behind it all--it really should have ended with everyone
        > settling on Arkadia.
        > It has been too fashionable for far too long to blame Frieberger for
        > everything--people got used to giving him stick for all the assumed flaws
        > with the third season of Star Trek. I've recently re-watched all of ST 2&3,
        > (got them for a budget price a while ago), and I have to say, now that I'm
        > old enough to appreciate them on an adult level, the third season has some
        > of the best episodes of all.
        > And as for the 'Search' negatives having to wait in line--well, at least
        > they admit they have them--I recall some time ago, they said they
        > were still trying to find them...
        > Martin
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • John
        I have heard that criticism about The Last Sunset and I don t think much of it. For the record, they did film a scene where Koenig is giving orders to put
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 17, 2013
          I have heard that criticism about The Last Sunset and I don't think much of
          it. For the record, they did film a scene where Koenig is giving orders to
          put regular opening windows in the building ports. It was left on the
          cutting room floor. When I first saw the episode, I did not wonder why a
          base on the moon had windows that opened. I easily understood that they
          were added when they were given an atmosphere. I can also watch the
          episode and know that when the atmosphere was taken away, they replaced the
          windows with the airtight ports. I think it was a strength of that episode
          that they assumed their audience was smart enough to understand why there
          were suddenly opening windows in Bergman's lab.

          And why would being farther away make a better ending for the series? Are
          you saying there are no stars or planets farther away?

          Koenig's firing a laser in the opening was a cheesy adventure
          shot...nothing more. I can hardly read anything into it. Sometimes a
          cigar is just a cigar.


          On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 2:14 PM, gf willmetts
          <gfwillmetts-2@...>wrote:

          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Hello
          > Martin
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Re: Space: 1999. From a scientific POV, the
          > worse episode was when they gave the Moon an atmosphere and put windows
          > that
          > could open in Moonbase Alpha. They would surely have all died as the glass
          > imploded when they lost the air again.
          >
          >
          > Theoretically, the �Black Sun� episode should
          > have been the last story as they are thrown ever further away.
          >
          >
          > I only blame Frieberger for the last
          > season. Wouldn�t you be kind of worried that the commander of the base was
          > waiting with a gun to shoot whoever came through the door in the opening
          > credits??
          >
          >
          > As to the third �Star Trek� season, granted
          > there were some good episodes but it held some of the worse as well.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Geoff
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • LambuLambu@aol.com
          Geoff, I totally agree about the opening windows on Alpha, although maybe one could argue (albeit in vain) that not all of the windows had that capability, but
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 17, 2013
            Geoff,


            I totally agree about the opening windows on Alpha, although maybe one could argue (albeit in vain) that not all of the windows had that capability, but maybe only one or two in different areas for "some" reason. (Emergency escape?) Even our old Shuttle had "escape balls" that crew members who couldn't get to space suits could jump inside. The balls would act as mini "lifeboats" once sealed, and the person inside could be transferred to a rescue vehicle inside the ball, which had a limited air filtration system that would last for a few hours.
            It's possible - remembering we're talking SF here - that if some emergency rescue was needed, the rescue party could open a window from the outside, retrieve the person that was safely tucked inside a ball-like mini lifeboat, which they jumped into as they realized their compartment was losing pressure - we'll call Alpha's version "escape sleeping bags" because that's the only way they would fit through the windows - and the rescuers could then transfer them to an awaiting Eagle. All hypothetical, of course.
            And with the thickness of those opening windows (or the lack thereof), unless they were made from "transparent aluminium", I think they would have "exploded" once that moon atmosphere was removed rather than "imploded", as all of the pressure against them would be coming from inside Alpha.


            I don't remember "Black Sun" - at least not clearly enough to comment on that one. I'll have to watch it again (if Netflix still has it).


            I also remember seeing an interview with Gerry Anderson (probably on the old "SciFi" Channel) in the 1990s where he commented on the "interference" from the American execs during '1999''s second series. He said it never went more than a couple of weeks before one of the Americans involved with would fly to the UK to tell him they needed to have more monsters in the stories, and then reverse that saying there were too many monsters and that they needed more "thought-provoking" stories, only to come back weeks later to say the stories were "too cerebral" and needed to incorporate some romance instead (presumably between Koenig and Dr. Russell, and Tony Verdeschi and Maya), and then the American's wanted some sort of "love interest triangle" stories (I can't remember the episode title, but the one where Tony has a young, pretty assistant who has "the hots" for him trying to help him make his beer; he gets upset because, once again, the beer is a miserable failure; the girl gets upset because he's angry at her, and because he doesn't reciprocate her feelings because he likes Maya, and that bald alien uses the girl's emotions to try and get her to help him get his people out of some sort of exile and back into the real world where they can wreak havoc again). And the constant beer failure was another American idea that annoyed Anderson; as if the Alphans didn't have enough to worry about, their security chief constantly worried about trying to make an alcoholic beverage. So it may not all have been Friedberger, but it was he and his people who were involved with that. (And many fans over here absolutely HATED those new opening credits!)


            And with the beer thing, they did something similar with "RC3" and his motorcycle during the 4th and final season of the original 'Knight Rider'; he almost got it fixed up, and something in the plot resulted in it getting wrecked again. It got old real fast.


            And I totally agree with you about that final season of the original 'Star Trek'; it had some of the best stories, and some of the worst, and to make matters even worse for it, Season 3 opened with "Spock's Brain" - the uttermost worst episode of TOS! I'm sure that didn't help Trek's viewers stick around: that, and the fact they moved the show to the "Friday Night Death Timeslot". (Strangely enough, they did the same thing with 'ST: Enterprise' - its ratings were slipping after that hideous Season 3-long story arc - which repeated the "We've got the trail... wait... aw, we've lost it, let's start over" scenario almost every episode... ratings are slipping, let's move the show to the Friday Night Death Slot. "What? The ratings fall even more? Duh... I just can't understand that".)


            Shame there as well because - as history is wont to repeat itself - 'Enterprise' Season 4 sported some of its best stories.


            Dino.


            -----Original Message-----
            From: gf willmetts <gfwillmetts-2@...>
            To: Search Chat <probe_control@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sat, Aug 17, 2013 2:14 pm
            Subject: RE: [probe_control] As easy as ITC


            Re: Space: 1999. From a scientific POV, the
            worse episode was when they gave the Moon an atmosphere and put windows that
            could open in Moonbase Alpha. They would surely have all died as the glass
            imploded when they lost the air again.

            Theoretically, the �Black Sun� episode should
            have been the last story as they are thrown ever further away.

            I only blame Frieberger for the last
            season. Wouldn�t you be kind of worried that the commander of the base was
            waiting with a gun to shoot whoever came through the door in the opening
            credits??

            As to the third �Star Trek� season, granted
            there were some good episodes but it held some of the worse as well.

            Geoff

            *************** Geoff Willmetts editor, SFCrowsnest.org.uk and other
            suffixes ****************

            SFCrowsnest.org.uk is the biggest SF website in Europe and second
            biggest in the world
            and that's only because the first is a commerical site and they
            look to what we do!

            *************************************************************************************





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • LambuLambu@aol.com
            Wow, John, those four paragraphs make it sound like The Protectors was the precursor of The A-Team , or at least a non-government version of the IMF.
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 17, 2013
              Wow, John, those "four paragraphs" make it sound like 'The Protectors' was the precursor of 'The A-Team', or at least a non-government version of the IMF.


              Also, I forget who posted it the other day, but it finally hit me: 'The Protectors' wasn't Anderson's only Live Action series; it was his only "Non-SF" Live Action series. (That should have come to me sooner, but my pain meds really have slowed down my "data recall", and it took me a while to realize what was odd about that comment.)


              Dino.


              -----Original Message-----
              From: John <actingman6@...>
              To: Probe Control <probe_control@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Sat, Aug 17, 2013 6:09 pm
              Subject: Re: [probe_control] As easy as ITC


              The book says quite the opposite about The Protectors and Gerry Anderson's
              involvement in it:

              "The Protectors was not my idea. I went to see Lew, who gave me a piece of
              A4 paper and there were four paragraphs typed out. He said, 'Read that.'
              I did - it was about this international crime fighting agency and its
              jet-setting operatives who hire out their services to any government,
              business or wealthy individual that can afford them. He said, 'Do you want
              to make it?' I said, 'Um, well.' He said, 'Gerry, do you want to make it
              or don't you?' And I went, 'Yes." That's how it started. So I had to
              develop the whole series from those four paragraphs." Page 225.





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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