It’s been a while since I have had the inclination to blog at all — mostly because I have been too busy, but also because I didn’t really have anything I felt compelled to post.
I’m trying to get back in to the habit of at least semi-regular posting. Toward that end, I’ve decided to mine my childhood for nostalgic memories of my favorite scifi shows while growing up. Below is the first batch of shows that shaped my young mind. They are presented in chronological order, because that is the order I grew up in.
Aliens toying with a small town. A man alone at the end of the world. A creature on the wings of a plane. A plastic surgery that fails to make a woman “beautiful.” There are so many great stories in this series. It is in some sense a guide book to tight storytelling with a twist. I watched most of the episodes on afternoons after school and in the summer at my grandmother’s house. Some of the fondest memories of my childhood, because of what I was doing and where I was at.
I always enjoyed this series when I caught an episode, but I also always felt like I was drinking Pepsi when I really wanted a Coke. A Mr. Pibb when I wanted Dr. Pepper. A Mountain Dew when I wanted a Squirt. A Cherry Cola when I wanted a Fagyo Red Pop. I thought a lot about pop as a kid (because I was from Michigan it was pop not soda pop or soda.)
For me this series was basically “A Boy and His Robot” which, since I was a boy who desperately wanted to be on a space ship with a robot, meant it didn’t need to do much else to entertain me. It also gave a me a healthy radar for people like Dr. Smith, who seem to be one thing, but are really another.
I watched this on Sunday evenings with my mom or dad or often by myself. I watched the episodes again and again, like most Star Trek fans, though I was born the year it was cancelled. I didn’t realize how much the show had affected me, and especially the character of Spock, until a few days after Leonard Nimoy died and I was watching a short documentary of his life. I found myself in tears, slowly realizing why… because Spock was the person I wanted to grow up to be when I was a boy… and he had died in a way.
I only saw one or two episodes of this as a boy, but I remembered it decades later and rediscovered it on DVD. The idea of a generation ship lost on space with a crew that has fallen apart and forgotten its mission is fascinating to me no matter how many times I see or read such a story. (See also Starship, Orphans of the Sky, Captive Universe.)