Sunday, May 30, 2010

Popeye the Sailor: “The Mighty Navy” (1941)

In honor of Memorial Day, and Fleet Week here in New York, here’s one of my three favorite Popeye cartoons. It might actually BE my favorite. If not, then Fightin’ Pals” (1940) is, with “A Dream Walking” (1934) in the third spot.

The Mighty Navy” is significant in a number of ways.

First, it is THE cartoon where Popeye changes from his old-time black sailor suit to Navy Whites – a look he would keep for the rest of his theatrical shorts and the 1960s made for TV cartoons. Though, oddly, in the newspaper comic strip and the Dell and Gold Key comic books (all by Bud Sagendorf) his outfit would never change from that originally designed by creator E.C.Segar.

Having never before seen this (or most of the other WW II Era Popeye cartoons growing up), I simply assumed that the change in outfit was a simple “redesign” that long-running animated characters occasionally go through. Consider the Daffy Duck of the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, and you'll understand what I mean.

But, no! Popeye’s change wasn’t a routine redesign, but the change was because he actually JOINED THE UNITED STATES NAVY, and would remain a navy man for an appreciable period of time. Donald Duck would also be drafted into the ARMY in his shorts of this period.

The hook here is, despite being a “sailor” all his life, Popeye has a great deal of trouble adjusting to the modern navy of the 1940s – and frustrates his commanding officer no end. The Commander appears to be voiced by Warner Bros. cartoon writer Tedd Pierce, who co-wrote this cartoon and was credited as “Ted Pierce”. Pierce used a similar voice to that he sometimes used for the various “Bud Abbott Characters” (cat, rat, etc) that would appear in certain Warner cartoons.

Another item of note, unlike some of the, perhaps unfortunate, cartons that followed, the enemy here was UNNAMED. Their flag even says: “Enemy – Name your own!” That’s because this cartoon was released on NOVEMBER 11, 1941 – less than a month before Pearl Harbor Day, and was certainly worked on for long before that. I suspect the feeling of the time was that we KNEW we were going to war. Just not where and when.

This is a superb way to get around that sticky situation, and true, hardcore Popeye fans could even imagine that the attacking nation was “Nazilia” or “Tonsylvania”.

Notice too, the “conventional sailors” on Popeye’s ship all have the basic look of Max Fleischer’s design for SUPERMAN, another of his theatrical short series. (1941-1942)

This one also has MY VERY FAVORITE VERSION OF THE POPEYE THEME that, unfortunately, only lasted for a short time.

The ending of this carton was so great that I broke into involuntary applause when first seeing it in 2008!

Enjoy Jack Mercer as Popeye in a Max and Dave Fleischer masterpiece, “The Mighty Navy”.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Finale: Spoiler Warning Zone # 2.

I have just posted my thoughts on the Series Finale of LOST.

These thoughts are strictly based on ONE VIEWING, and were formulated before listening to or reading the thoughts of others – or seeing anything that was revealed on the “Jimmy Kimmel Post Game Show”, which I’ve not yet seen. Consider what follows to be fresh off the ending of the show.

You’ve been (spoiler) warned. Proceed at your own risk!

Lost Finale: My Spoiler-Filled Thoughts.

Okay, you’ve hurdled the Spoiler Warning Barrier. We don’t post guards at TIAH Blog, (standard “Comment Moderation” is sufficient for now), so I’ll assume you’re here of your own volition. If you don’t want LOST Spoilers, turn back now. There are other good Blogs out there. Tell ‘em I sent you!

Just to make sure you’re serious, I’ll throw out a few “Test Spoliers”.

Dr. Arzt blows up from some ancient dynamite!

Nikki and Paolo are buried alive with the diamonds.

Neil “Frogurt” is killed by a flaming arrow.

Allll righty then… You’ve gone past the older, secondary character, “Test Spoliers” I laid out, so you’re serious. Let’s go!

There are just MY thoughts. They are nothing more. They mean nothing except to me. Expect a rambling narrative (not unlike LOST itself) that offers little background for those not in the know. After all, I don’t have SIX YEARS to formulate this post.

In the beginning, there was a show about castaways – but no Gilligan or Doctor Smith. Six Seasons of the most compelling and suspenseful television drama ensue.

It started out as crash victims struggling for survival, led by the noble Dr. Jack Shephard, and, in the best tradition of Irwin Allen’s sixties television, became something bigger, wilder, more fantastic and bombastic than one could imagine. Warring civilizations. Parallel lives. Time travel. Heaven and Hell. And one of TV’s greatest villains in Michael Emerson as the wonderfully understated Ben Linus.

If you ever have the opportunity to see the first three or four seasons in succession on DVD (for the FIRST TIME, as I did)… just TRY to turn the damned thing off! You can’t do it. You must DRAG yourself away.

At the end of Season Five, in the superb episode “The Incident”, Jack (in 1977 – don’t ask!) proposes to detonate a hydrogen bomb, thereby destroying/neutralizing the pocket of energy that caused their plane (2004 – don’t ask again!) to crash on the island. If this works, the flight will land as it “should have”, and all of life will resume its course.

The bomb does not detonate. The energy is released, magnetizing everything in sight, and causing a chain to drag Juliet into the pit with the bomb. Before dying, Juliet repeatedly strikes the bomb with a handy rock… until it DOES detonate, and everything fades to white. We end Season Five.

We open Season Six with the flight taking place (and landing) as scheduled – and the Island destroyed, sunken underwater. But, we also find our survivors still on the Island (presumably) in 1977.

I can only figure that “The Incident” divided time into two parallels. The Island Timeline and the Normal Timeline.

So, Jack was right – but only half right.

Two timelines apparently co-exist. (A) The cosmic struggle between good and evil in the persons of Jacob and The Man in Black continues on the Island. (B) Everyone’s lives ultimately turn out for the best in the “Normal World”.

In “Normal Time”, Desmond and Hugo (who would seem to have some special ability to see beyond dimensions) assist everyone in repairing their lives.

In “Island Time” The Man in Black assuming the form of John Locke is defeated by Jack (…and killed by a shotgun blast from Kate?! Why didn’t he just turn into the Black Smoke Monster and doom them all?). Jack, who assumed the position as “Protector of the Island” from dead Jacob, plugs up the “Portal to Hell” with a rock and gets the “Water of Light” flowing again (Baptism metaphor?). Then, he dies of his wounds. By this time, he has named Hugo his successor as “Protector of the Island”.

At the end, we see what Desmond and Hugo have been up to in “Normal Time”. Everyone is gathered at a church for what Jack thinks is to be his father’s funeral, which was his original purpose for being on the flight. But, inside the church, he meets his father, finds an empty casket, and the two have a heart to heart.

At this point, I shouted out to Esther: “Jack’s DEAD! They’re ALL dead! It’s JACK’S casket!”

And, I was right. Much of our cast is gathered “here”. Those who died both before and after Jack! As Jack’s father, Christian Shephard (Something to that name, perhaps?), puts it: “There is no ‘NOW’ here! [This is] the place that you all made together – that you could find one another!”

And, so we are left to believe that this is Jack’s version of Heaven. A place he shares with Christian, Kate, Hugo, Sawyer, Locke, Sun and Jin, Sayid, Juliet, Desmond and Penny, Rose and Bernard, Boone and Shannon, Charlie, Claire, and Aaron. Yes, even Aaron – who seems to have died as a BABY and not the little boy raised by Kate! Oddly, Vincent (the “Dog of Death” – seen in a “final rest” with Jack on the Island) is not with the group. Maybe all dogs DO NOT go to heaven!

Ben, curiously, waits outside. I can only imagine it’s because he’s going to Hell – where I expect he’ll find his longtime rival Charles Widmore, as well as Martin Keamey, Mr. Paik, Ethan Rom., Mr. Friendly, One-Eyed Mikhail, Anthony Cooper, Nikki and Paolo, and others. Eloise Hawking is probably “on the bubble”.

I guess Sawyer somehow slipped into Heaven, despite his life as a grifter and murdering an innocent man in a case of mistaken identity. Or did Jack and Juliet’s blast wipe all that out, and result in his becoming a LAPD detective. Kate was on the run as a killer in BOTH timelines, and SHE was there too! Oddly, Michael did not join the group in Heaven. Was it for his killings, or maybe for selling his friends out to Ben? I’m confused about the entrance criteria – unless said criteria is born of Jack’s subjective view, and Jack is still pissed at Michael. Mr. Eko may have failed to make the cut for killing – AND for impersonating a priest.

Finding their “Own Heavens”, we’ll assume, are the more neutral characters of Frank, Daniel, Miles, Charlotte, Naomi, Walt, the DHARMA Folks like Dr. Chaing, Horace Goodspeed, and Roger Linus, Hugo’s family, Dr. Arzt, Neil “Frogurt”, Ben’s adopted daughter Alex, Danielle Rousseau, Goodwin and the members of “The Others Book Club”, Helen, Mrs. Littleton (Claire’s mother), Mrs. Shephard (Jack’s mother – Why didn’t SHE go to “Jack’s Heaven”?), Nadia, David Sheppard (if he even exists) and many more. Are little Ji-Yeon and Charlie Hume still among the living… if there ARE any living left?

Perhaps, Richard Alpert ended in a “Special Place” with his long-dead wife!

How ‘bout the PILOT of Oceanic 8:15 (played by Greg Grunberg)? Did he go to a Heaven reserved for the cast of HEROES?

We are also left to wonder WHEN did our principals die? When the plane crashed? When the bomb detonated? Each at his or her ordained time? Is Hell still “corked-up” by the Island, or did it release an army of Smoke Monsters to destroy our world, resulting in all these deaths? We NEVER DID see much of “our world”, other than the mysterious and “out-of-time-and-space church”, after the moment of Jack’s death scene. Maybe it’s ALL GONE! (Bummer, dude!)

While awaiting his fate, Ben did say that Hugo was a great Protector of the Island so, for all we know, things flourished after Jack’s sacrifice and one of Hugo’s successors fell asleep at the switch! (Double bummer, dude!)

And what did Charles Widmore want to accomplish in his war with Ben? SO MUCH was made of that for three or four seasons – and, even in the space of a two-and-a-half-hour series finale, it was never once addressed. Of everything, this irks me most!

Enough rambling, or I’ll become like LOST itself – posing too many questions without answers.

I can’t say the Series Finale of LOST was entirely pleasing – but, given the six-season buildup, I don't see how it could possibly please everyone. Let's just say it was better than that of THE SOPRANOS – and by more than merely a bit.

In a way, I think today’s TV sets itself up for failure by making everything so "Big and Important" that the endings couldn't possibly live up to our expectation.

Still, there remains no better ride one can take with contemporary television than a ride with LOST!

Lost Finale: Spoiler Warning Zone # 1.

Hopefully, sometime later today or soon, I will post my thoughts on the Series Finale of LOST.

These thoughts will be based on ONE VIEWING, and will be expressed before listening to or reading the thoughts of others – or anything that was said on the “Jimmy Kimmel Post Game Show”, which I’ve not yet seen. Regardless of when I post them, consider them to be fresh off the ending of the show.

You’ve been (spoiler) warned.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Where Have All the Titles Gone?

This post is to commemorate the series finale of LOST, and the unfortunate cancellation of both HEROES and FLASH FORWARD. They will be missed.

It is also to remember all the great shows of the past that led us to this point.

On with the Show(s)!

Say “City on the Edge of Forever” to folks of a certain persuasion (…the “persuasion” that would read this Blog, anyway), and they would immediately think of STAR TREK.

Ditto for “Amok Time”, “The Menagerie”, or any number of other Trek-titles ingrained in our collective memories.

Try some others: “Time Enough at Last” = TWILIGHT ZONE. “The Zanti Misfits” = THE OUTER LIMITS. And, for better or for worse, “The Great Vegetable Rebellion” = LOST IN SPACE.

Some series were better known for their “title format conceits” than for individual episode titles.

PERRY MASON = “The Case of the (Fill-In-The-Blank)”

BURKE’S LAW = “Who Killed (Fill-In-The-Blank)”

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. = “The (Fill-In-The-Blank) Affair

THE WILD WILD WEST = “The Night of the (Fill-In-The-Blank)”

BATMAN (1966) didn’t “fill in any blanks”, but the title of “Part Two” most often RHYMED with the title of “Part One”.

Mention one of these conventions and, chances are, someone will know which series you’re referencing. Okay, maybe not BURKE’S LAW… but you know what I mean!

Even 20 years after the fact, titles like “The Best of Both Worlds” or “The Inner Light” mean STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION.

As late as the early/mid 2000's, with STAR TREK ENTERPRISE, we've had titles. Though that may be more of a STAR TREK "tradition" than anything else.

The point of all this “Title Talk” is that TV episodes (for the most part) no longer display episode titles!

This seems particularly odd, given the proliferation of “fannish-types” who talk, text, tweet, and Blog about their favorite TV programs. We LIKE referring to episodes by title, don’t we? …Leastways, ‘round these parts we do, sure as shootin’!

Shows from my current list like LOST, FRINGE, FLASH FORWARD, and even THE SIMPSONS and FAMILY GUY do not exhibit episode titles. A notable exception is HEROES, which always displays “Chapter Titles” (individual episode) or “Volume Titles”(overall arc) – but that’s probably a stylistic tribute to its “comic-book roots”.

These episode titles DO EXIST, of course. They can be found at network, series, or TV episode websites and the on-screen listings of your television provider. They form the contents listings of DVD sets, and identify episodes available to download. So why are they never seen as part of an episode?

Wouldn’t the fifth season premiere episode of LOST have an even greater impact if we all saw its title, “Because You Left”, on screen? Or, if you referred to the final episode of that season as “The Incident”, you might be firing-up a collective memory of what happened at the end of the show. (Hint – Something very big went Boom and everything turned white!) Then we waited for another season to tell us what, when, where, and how.

…Come to think of it, mere days before the series finale, we’re STILL trying to figure this out.

As a writer, as well as a fan, I like to give everything a title. It always helps “set things” in my mind. Also, creating humorous and appropriate titles is one of my favorite aspects of the Disney comic book scripting work I do.

It’s a funny thing… Because of this situation, I don’t find myself referring to episodes of LOST and its contemporaries by episode title, while I still do for their more classic counterparts.

Anyone see “The Trouble with Tribbles” or “Journey to Babel” lately? How ‘bout the one where Ben kills John Locke? …See what I mean?

It just seems as if we lost something when an hour-long, sci-fi or adventure based TV drama does not lead off with an episode title. Especially when said title appears everywhere except on the episode itself. (At Left: A title from HEROES!)

…Your thoughts? (…and I REALLY want them!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Niagara Falls… Slowly I Blogged….

Niagara Falls… Slowly I turned… Step by step… Inch by inch…
If you’re of a certain age, or of a certain pop culture persuasion, you surely recognize this old-time vaudeville style bit. A stranger relates a long, sad tale of woe, punctuated with violence and pummeling against the poor innocent who merely stopped to listen.

Everyone knows it’s from the classic Three Stooges short “Gents Without Cents” (1944), and is part of an act “The Stoogey Ones” performed, giving poor Culry the worst of it every time. Right? …And so that is what I believed, for many, many years.

I continued to believe that when I became reacquainted with “Niagara Falls”, while viewing “Gents Without Cents” once again as part of the DVD set THE THREE STOOGES COLLECTION Volume Four 1943-1945, released in 2008.

Then, to my surprise, the “Niagara Falls” bit turned up courtesy of another great comedy act, as part of the recent DVD release THE ABBOTT AND COSTELLO SHOW The Complete Series.

In the third episode of the series, simply titled “Jail”, poor Lou goes to “guess where” when Bud and a shifty lawyer talk him out of paying 79 cents for a damaged water bucket and into fighting the charges instead.

Naturally, Costello spends Act Two in jail, and his disheveled cellmate does an even longer and more elaborate version of the “Niagara Falls” bit on him with the expected results. At the end even Costello gets into the act by doing his own version – naming various cities in New Jersey beginning with his birthplace Paterson, before ending up at the dreaded “Niagara Falls”.

Take your pick as to whether The Three Stooges or Abbott and Costello did it better. I love ‘em both.

And, according to THIS PIECE, it even turned up on I LOVE LUCY.

Check it out, and learn all about this classic bit… before someone tries it out on you!

Monday, May 10, 2010

End Credits Irony.

If I were doing a full-out DVD Review of STAR TREK ENTERPRISE The Complete First Season, the comments that make up this post would surely be included.

But, while this is not an actual DVD review, the irony of what follows must be reported.

I’ve never seen STAR TREK ENTERPRISE during its original run on the now defunct UPN television network but, given the period during witch it aired, I feel safe in making the following assumption. When the EPISODE END CREDITS rolled, I am certain that they were SHRUNKEN in size and SQUASHED to the side or bottom of the screen to the point of unreadability. I need not state that the reason for this is to squeeze in additional promos in the remaining screen area.

Wanna know who that guest star was? The one who wasn’t important enough to be named in the episode’s opening, after the title and before the writer and director? How about the composer of the music score? Make-up and special effects wizards?

For some unknown reason, you might even wish to learn who the “Best Boy”, “Key Grip” or “Gaffer” was. Sorry! You’re out of luck because, on so many contemporary shows, you just CAN’T READ THE END CREDITS!

Being a full-credits geek myself, I dislike – but have learned to live with – this practice.

Today, after watching the excellent STAR TREK ENTERPRISE episode “The Andorian Incident”, which retroactively introduces the blue-skinned, antenna-ed race of Andorians to STAR TREK continuity and casts additional light on the Vulcans, I watched the end credits sequence as usual. The ending was SO GOOD that I skipped back to the final "episode chapter" to watch the climax again.

At the episode's fade-out, the end credit sequence began to play for the second time, as one would expect after skipping back to the final program chapter. I pressed the “Skip Forward” button, rather than see the end credits again.

To my surprise, I found that the EPISODE END CREDITS – the very SAME end credits that Paramount (presumably) shrunk, squashed, and did not allow to be read in its original broadcasts – COULD NOT BE SKIPPED on it’s DVDs.

Of course, I can choose to fast forward through them, if need be. BUT… Just thought I’d share the irony, folks! And isn’t that what Blogging is all about?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

STAR TREK ENTERPRISE: The First Few Episodes!

It’s become an unintended tradition at TIAH Blog to compare a newly discovered sci-fi TV series to good old sixties favorite LOST IN SPACE.

The tradition began when I compared newly discovered contemporary series LOST to LIS in THIS POST.

I won’t spend nearly as much effort constructing such a relationship between LOST IN SPACE and STAR TREK ENTERPRISE, but I will draw some parallels between the first few episodes of each.

In the first episodes “The Reluctant Stowaway” (LIS) and “Broken Bow” (ENT), events on Earth spur the launch of the Jupiter II and Enterprise NX-01 to great fanfare.

Week Two: Both the Jupiter II and Enterprise NX-01 encounter derelict spacecraft. “The Derelict” (LIS) and “Fight or Flight” (ENT). Misunderstandings due to the inability to communicate result in near disaster for both ships.

Week Three: Both the Jupiter II and Enterprise NX-01 land on their first alien planets. Okay, the Jupiter II crash lands in very dramatic fashion, and the Enterprise NX-01 does not land (NO Starship Enterprise actually lands!) but uses a shuttlecraft. “Island in the Sky” (LIS) and “Strange New World” (ENT). Strange planetary phenomena abound in both cases.

Ah, but then there’s Week Four! "Unexpected" (ENT). Incidental contact with an alien female by Chief Engineer Trip Tucker, results in Tucker becoming pregnant! Talk about “Where No Man Has Gone Before”!

On LOST IN SPACE, Doctor Smith has adopted or been transformed into lots of weird identities: Cowboy Gunslinger, Middle Eastern Caliph, Clown Puppet, Hippie, and even a Living Stalk of Celery… But even Doctor Smith would probably draw the line at THIS! “Oh, the pain!”

Thus, endith our parallel! Probably for good!

And, if not “for good”, then probably “for the best”!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


In the beginning, Zefram Cochrine invented Warp Drive technology. The rest was (TV, movie, and merchandising) history!

Somehow, I’d never seen STAR TREK ENTERPRISE before. That had far more to do with my own life, circa 2001-2005, than anything concerning the show. That is, until an DVD sale proved irresistible, and I finally took the plunge.

I didn’t know what to expect. What I did know is that, while I loved both STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES (“TOS”) and STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION (“TNG”- Great shows for different reasons!), each succeeding TREK series left me less and less satisfied.

I liked DEEP SPACE NINE (“DS9”) less than TNG, and VOYAGER (“VOY”) less than DS9. As VOYAGER was winding down, ENTERPRISE (“ENT”) was starting up. Life’s ups and downs notwithstanding, I was also not too eager to sample yet another TREK show that would presumably continue the downward trend.

Elaborating on why I felt this way toward DS9 and VOY, I can only say that each moved further away from the “core” of what I thought STAR TREK should be.

Both series were not about a ship (Extra points if the ship is named “Enterprise”!) in active service to the Federation. Yes, Voyager was a ship too, but it was (um…) “lost in space”, full of weird characters, and wasn’t nearly as much fun as was the Jupiter II.

There were also too many strange aliens on these shows. In contrast, TOS and TNG were far more relatable to us humans. Vulcans, Klingons, and the occasional Betazoid are okay, but I really started drawing the line at regularly featured Ferengi (DS9 – I HATE Ferengi!) and the very annoying Neelix (VOY).

ENTERPRISE goes back to the beginning and, much as J.J. Abrams has done in his recent feature film, starts to tell the story from the ground (Earth’s “ground”) on up.

In the pilot, “Broken Bow” (the only episode I’ve seen as of this writing), it has been 90-100 years since Cochrine’s introduction of Warp Drive and travel to the distant stars is now a possibility.

The planet Vulcan has taken notice of these early experiments, and has sent emissaries to Earth… to “guide us” along the correct path. This is a SUPERB inversion of all those TOS and TNG episodes where the Federation declines or refuses to share its superior technologies to developing planetary cultures.

Resentment toward our Vulcan “friends” has grown, as they are suspect of holding back on technological developments and suppressing the development of Earth’s Warp Program efforts.

Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), the son of Henry Archer – an associate of Cochrine’s – is selected to be captain of the just completed “Enterprise NX-01”, a forerunner of the more familiar later USS Enterprise NCC-1701.

Archer seems to be a nice “middle-ground” between rough-and-tumble James T. Kirk and the more reserved Jean-Luc Picard.

The Enterprise NX-01 is wonderfully designed to look as if it preceded ALL similar craft in the various TV and movie series. (That is, its interior “looks older and less developed”.) It can reach the unheard of speed of Warp Factor 5! Later ships could travel at Warp 9 and above.

The crew for the first mission is all human, except for a female Vulcan science officer (Mandated by “our Vulcan friends” to keep us on the straight and narrow. A familiar position for a Vulcan, eh?) and an alien doctor, who was part of a Vulcan-initiated “inter-species exchange program” to benefit the primitives of Earth.

Without spoiling too much for those who STILL haven’t seen it, we have such grand moments as:

The great lines about “boldly going, etc.” that Kirk, Picard, and Archer spout were actually from an historic speech by Zefram Cochrine. The speech is played on the occasion of the launch of the Enterprise NX-01.

The first human to go through a transporter. It was, originally, not thought of for human use.

The introduction of the “phase-pistol” (with two settings “Stun” and “Kill” – nothing in between).

Communicators are of the good old “flip variety”.

The initial mission involves a Klingon that was pursued to Earth by hostiles unknown, and the sensitive diplomatic mission to return him to the Klingon homeworld. Klingons were an unknown species at the time – the one was even referred to as a “Kling-got” by the admiral in charge.

The Fourth Season TNG episode “First Contact” stated that a botched First Contact mission with the Klingon Empire resulted in decades of hostilities between the two cultures. We never learn the true disposition of the Klingons, after Archer’s mission (though their final comment was something best left untranslated), so perhaps this ties into that.

One good thing is that the Klingons, at this early point in their development, DID NOT SPEAK ANY ENGLISH – nor had they ever met an Earther before. They were of their “movie and later TV series ridge-faced appearance”, unlike their appearance on TOS, though I’m hoping the story of that is dealt with over the course of ENTERPRISE. Considering that “accelerated evolution” was a core idea of this first story, we might very well have the scoop before ENTERPRISE comes to a close.

Even the clothing had much evolving to do, as the Admirals wore basic (but somewhat futuristically designed) military dress uniforms – and Archer and his crew wore garb that was a cross between NASA gear and the crew jumpsuits from VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.

The theme sequence (Remember when these shows actually HAD THEMES?) is an impressive montage of Man’s history of travel, from high-masted sailing ships to the starship.

And Archer has a DOG! …YES! (What, you expected him to have a pet “Bloop”?)

As for the DVD itself…

Why is it that ALL STAR TREK SERIES have the most annoying and most difficult to open and negotiate packaging?! The discs of STAR TREK ENTERPRISE are housed in a large “clamshell” pack that opens like an oversized stick of deodorant!

It has a cardboard piece that wraps AROUND THE TOP FRONT, BACK, AND BOTTOM FRONT of the package… and you cannot open the package without removing the cardboard. BUT, on this cardboard, is the ONLY PLACE that it is identified as being the FIRST SEASON! So, if you remove it, nothing else on the pack can distinguish it from subsequent seasons. WHY?

On the plus side, STAR TREK ENTERPRISE is the first TREK series to be filmed in wide-screen. As great as I’ve described TNG, when played on my HD and Blu-ray, this is BETTER!

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to more. Please, no spoilers in the comments section!

Monday, May 3, 2010

You Can Help Shape the Future of TIAH BLOG!

Three posts back, in the comments section of the “Disney Comics Invade Prime Time TV!” post, reader Joecab stated that this Blog was much easier to read when I simply posted bolded white text on my black background. I thank “Joe” for the feedback, and the opportunity to reconsider how I present this Blog.

As a result, I used the same style for the two posts that followed, concerning The Simpsons.


How many of you feel I should continue this way? How many of you feel I should revert to
on-and-off bolding and multi-colored text? And how many of you see a noticeable difference one way or the other.

Let’s have some comments, please!

And, for those who might be disappointed that all I did tonight was ask a question on the formatting of this Blog… here are some gratuitous – and illustrated – mentions of Disney Comics, The Simpsons, and DVDs.

Never say I leave my readers wanting! :-)