Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quantum Voyagers!

Hey all, this video was sent to me last week by Pearvert on Youtube. They love to make opening credit mash-ups for different tv shows, and do a really fun job of it. So, the obvious mash-up would be Quantum Leap and Voyagers, right? Even I tried it with just playing around with the theme song at one point. Well, here's the video this person made and I think it's just brilliant, the special effects are great too. I so need to get a better comp and movie making program. I'm way behind...but money is an issue these days.
They really made the credits look authentic and went all out. Can you imagine Phineas as Doctor Sam Beckett? It's a stretch...but with this video it works for me!


Monday, April 26, 2010

History Channel Premiere-'The story of US'

Seeing this CGI image of the erecting of the Statue of Liberty in the commercial of this new documentary, I was naturally intrigued to at least watch the first installment of this series. If you are a history buff, particularly, American history, you will like it well enough. It's loaded with colorful CGI visuals and lively re-enactments of pivotal moments in the birth of the U.S.of A.  

'The Story of US' is compellingly told and depicted. I did learn snatches of history that I never knew  before-such as,

10% of Americans can trace their ancestry down to the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. When pushing thanksgiving, for the most part they've only talked Turkey. The Powkanoket tribe that discovered the pilgrims on their land were a friendly bunch for sure, but my big guess is they weren't stupid. They have dealt with the 'white men' before and even lost many to the plagues brought in by them. They were warring with a rival tribe and saw that the Pilgrims could be of use to them.

The Pilgrims, on the other hand were dropping like flies. More than half of them died in the first three months of landing there. They needed the food resources and farming and hunting skills that the Powkanokets could provide. The Pilgrims learned to fight and helped the Powkanokets defeat their enemies. Thus resulting in a nice, friendly meal. Okay, that's a very loose, generalized history lesson, but you get the idea.

What else was new to me? At The Landing of Kip's bay in Manhattan, over 4000 British troops came by sea to attack the Rebels. It was the biggest attack to hit Manhattan and was only superseded by the Twin Tower attacks in 2001.

I had little idea that the British took prisoners of war from the Rebels while in New York. Over three times as many Rebel soldiers died on these 'prison ships' than in actual battles! One interesting opinion was how General Washington won the war not necessarily by fighting skills, but by the fact that he outspied his enemy. They even had women spying and sending messages with the way they hung laundry and the placement of the clothing pins. 

Here you have a whole legend built upon a man who 'cannot tell a lie.' But was a master of deception. Still, Washington was a brilliant General, who continually forced his soldiers to learn new strategies and war techniques, such as employing rugged and street-smart frontiersmen and early cowboys as sharpshooters and covert soldiers with improved and accurate weaponry to defeat the British in the dense forests. It was a brand new way of fighting-clandestine and dirty.

When the soldiers started dying of smallpox in Valley Forge during the rough winter, Washington used an inoculation technique learned from the African slaves. He had small amounts of pus taken from a small pox victim put into the open wounds of the healthier soldiers. The strategy worked, bringing the death toll from the thousands to the dozens.

The first 2-hour segment delves into the earliest settlers from Jamestown, to the Mayflower and then jumps into the Revolutionary war, when America was finally coming into it's own as a fledgling nation. Of course, being the smart aleck, I could only think of the chapter title in the book I last pushed on my readers, 'The smart aleck's guide to American History' and how the Colonists are revolting...seriously smelly that is.

This segment traces the growth of the nation, but pretty much ignores the atrocities commited by the early American settlers to prosper, namely, wiping out tribes and scores of Native Americans with disease, deceit and outright murder...but that's for another documentary folks! The poor Native Americans always get the short end of the stick. It makes me curious as to how the issue of Slavery will be handled, if Slavery is made an issue at all. It most likely will since the Civil War is not far behind the Revolutionary one. It sort of boggles the mind how after all this talk of revolution and uniting as 'one nation' the country is then driven to war between themselves.

Watching this series is like having your 7th grade history class come to life. I know Jeffrey Jones would have been entranced!
I sort of lost interest in the last half hour of this segment when it just went on and on showing battles between peasant dressed Rebels and proud British Redcoats shooting muskets and driving each other through with bayonettes...another new tactic learned during those years. It's not as gruesome as it sounds. The violence in the series is very carefully presented for the sake of telling the history, but not grossing us out.

I'm not particularly a huge fan of the History Channel. In my opinion it should be called 'The WAR Network.' I've come to see that when you strip away all the rest, history itself is just war after war after war after war after...well, you get the point. There is no true peace...only 'peace time.' 

The next installment focuses on the Pioneers. And to quote another hilarious line from the Smart Aleck Guide..
'Go West young man...
and stink up some other part of the country!'

America: The Story of US airs Sundays at 9:00pm, in two hour blocks.  That's EST time folks, so check your local listings. It also has repeat showings throughout the week. The documentary itself is 9 hours long. That is fascinating, because I remember documentaries on the Old West alone being over eight parts or longer. I particularly can't wait for the parts on the Gilded Age of the Industrial Revolution, where invention, greed, and corruption reigned supreme! Yay!

So, I did my historical and Voyager duty by telling you about this documentary, all in all, it was an interesting way to spend Sunday night, adding more facts to the brain and fuel to the rabid Voyagers fans to conjure up more ideas. :P

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Voyagers: Chapter 11-The end and onward to...the 25th century?


 We know the drill...Bogg and Jeff made it out alive after the dogfight with the Red Baron and are *seemingly* safe. But, lo! There's something completely different here. Bogg goes back to the old, 'I gotta get you home' routine. Now how is that even possible with his omni? You know, "This here omni that only has circuits up until 1970..."

This tiny chapter made me a little giddy. It incorporated certain ideas that many of us FF writers have used all along. See what ones you can figure out. Because it's the final chapter and it's just so dreadfully short, I'm gonna be a good sport and post the entire chapter, then proceed with my final musings. :sniffles!:

Chapter 11:

We are alive, aren't we?" Jeff asked.

"Yeah," Bogg said. "We made it."

"And Eddie and Mary?"

"Green light, kid, remember? They made it, too."

"Good," Jeff said.

Bogg stood over Jeff, staring down at him thoughtfully.

"Time to talk business, kid," he said. 

"What kind of business?"

"I have to get you home."

"Home? But we're Voyagers."

"I'm a Voyager, kid. You're only here by accident."

"But ... you can't" Jeff said. "You told me your Omni can only be set as late as 1970."

"Not true." Bogg said. "I have an adapter to bring it up the the twenty-fifth century. 1 didn't have much faith in the adapter, because the Omni was fouled up. But it's been working perfectly the last few times."

"But, Bogg; Jeff pleaded. "1 don't want to go home."

"I know, kid, Bogg said tenderly. "And you must know by now that 1 don't want you to go. But rules are rules."

"What rules?"

''You have to be called to be a Voyager, kid. You have to be plucked out of time and assigned the job."

"How do I get called?" Jeff asked.

"I don't know," Bogg said. "But I do know one thing. When I turn in my report, your name will go to the top of the list of candidates. They won't even have to train you."

"You think they'll call me?" Jeff asked. Bogg smiled at him. "They'd be crazy not to," he said.

They stood there smiling at each other.

Then they heard a booming sound from far off.

"Hear that?" Bogg said. "It sounded like a cannon."

There was another explosion, this time much closer. Then they heard the sound of hundreds of hoofbeats.

"Where are we?" Jeff asked, looking around.

Bogg checked the Omni. "England," he said. "1066. Pearl Harbor."

More explosions. 'They didn't have cannons in 1066." Jeff said.

"They had plenty at Pearl Harbor," Bogg said uncertainly.

Another explosion. "The Battle of Hastings!" Jeff said.

''What?"

''England, 1066!" Jeff said excitedly. "The Battle of Hastings! There aren't supposed to be cannons here!"

A cannon shell exploded twenty feet behind them. They fell to the ground and covered their heads.

"No cannons, you say?" Bogg asked. 

"That's right! We have to get rid of those cannons!'"

They stood up and looked at the top of a nearby hill. There, heading for them at a fierce pace, rode William the Conqueror and his Norman army.

As they scrambled for cover, Bogg yelled, "Looks like your return trip is going to be delayed a little, kid!"

Jeff ran for the trees, grinning and giggling all the way.
 The End.

So, what did you think? Did you notice the changes and ideas? (I sound like a crazy muppet teaching on Sesame Street!) I'd most likely be Cookie Monster...maybe sometimes Oscar the Grouch depending on the day...this cast photo is so incomplete, where's my beloved snuffleupagus?

Well, now we know this Bogg certainly does lie! Whaddya know, an adapter to the 25th Century! If this Bogg really didn't want Jeffrey hanging around he would have brought him right back home from the start and not formed any attachments. I guess it's hard not to. He saved the boy's life and Jeffrey is just so endearing. Look how cute he is hanging off Bogg's side. Aww! He's a lost little puppy, he needs Bogg and Bogg needs him.

Getting back to that funky adapter, if this story came from an original script, I can think of one reason why the writers/director decided to cut that function of the omni out. It's too much work. They knew that eventually they would have to use that adapter in the series and send Bogg and Jeff into the 'future.' That is actually not a bad concept, I'm all for crazy ideas when it comes to Voyagers! It would make for an interesting fanfic.
In the show, had they incorporated it, Bogg could have met Jeffrey Jones as a grown man and help him preserve something huge that would affect earth in the coming years. Maybe even see himself as an old man...or something much more humbling, a Phineas Bogg statue erected in his honor, because he died valiantly for the cause. Then he would go back to little Jeff with so much pride and wonder...and a little anxiety over his own future...but, could it possibly be changed...ala BTTF? Remember, Doc read that letter Marty wrote! LOL. We've seen that before in other shows haven't we? 
So, my guess is that the Voyagers writers weren't prepared to invent A future far from 1982 without it looking Star Trek or 80's Battlestar Galactica...or even the horrible, terrible 70's sci-fi series with a fascinating premise, 'The Starlost.'
A friend of mine got this show for me as a gift. She did it as a joke because she wanted me to see how awfully cheesy the whole thing was! What a sweetheart! I do have to get back to watching it, but each episode is sadly 45 minutes! I mean really, just look at the sets! For more info on this Canadian TV show, here's an actual fansite!-The Starlost-The Word


Well anyway, back to Voyagers! The other references here that tickled me were the fact that Bogg actually explains a little bit of the Voyager Headquarters processing. Jeffrey has to be called to be a Voyager, and Bogg has to write up a report to get him candidacy. I've recently come up with a *new* theory on how the Voyagers are chosen in my very latest story, but that's for the next blog. Those that read it so far, liked the idea. And wouldn't ya know it, I've inadvertently used the Candidate theory! Ever since watching 'Lost,' that word 'Candidate' has been grinding in my brain and I had to do something with it. I didn't realize this little Voyagers book referred to them as such too. Right on!

So now we come to the Battle of Hastings, which I knew naught about when I watched the Pilot. I'm glad the author threw in that it involved William the Conqueror. 

But then again, that's the point of Voyagers...remember Jeffrey's mantra,

"Take a Voyage down to your public library, it's all in books!"

I'm in the library more than I care to be these days, thank you, Jeff...but I'm always finding books and movies to watch and read. You know what would have been funny? A Scholastic publicity shot of Bogg and Jeff, showing the boys actually reading books...some in a comical way, like Bogg peering over a book entitled 'History' and maybe it's upside down, and Jeffrey looking at him with arms crossed and an eye roll. I can just picture it so vividly.

One final thing the novel leaves out, which was probably decided on later during the filming, was having Bogg pick up Jeffrey like a football and run for the opposite hills. I love that, don't you?
Well, this is the end of the book! It was so cool to see how many of the readers actually went and bought it after I posted links a few months back. It's really a must-have for any true Voyagers fan and we need to swap them up quick. It's not like they are being printed anymore, there are only so many copies left. If you haven't gotten yours, I suggest you do so fast, before they are gone forever!