Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

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Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:34 pm

Alan's mention of Counterstrike earlier in another thread prompted me to wonder what other less well known SF shows people have fond memories of. For me, a few that spring to mind are: Doomwatch (Professor Quist and his team tackling threats beyond the ability of the conventional authorities in a series dreamed up by Cyberman creators Gerry Davis and Kit Pedler), The Omega Factor (with James Hazeldine and Loiuse Jameson), the TV version of Logan's Run, Sky (early seventies creepy kids show that probably gave many of its viewers nightmares), The Tomorrow People (OK, not obscure, but many people might wish it was, including many of the cast!), Nigel Kneale's Kinvig and Timeslip. Anyone else...?




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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:17 pm

There was "Timeslip" circa 1970-71. I also recall "Zokko" the Saturday Morning BBC show that was hosted by a `Machine`

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:23 pm

I don't remember Zokko at all! I do still have Timeslip on DVD, though almost all of the series now exists only in black & white as the colour film recordings were destroyed. There was a beautifully drawn comic strip version of Timeslip in Look-In...

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:28 pm

`Zooko` ran a sci-fi series within the show about a Moon Colony that was terrorised by some form of creature (Never seen) I reckon the Dr Who story "Colony in Space" borrowed from it a bit!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:30 pm

I shall have to investigate that one further... Smile

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:33 pm

As I recall Tony it ran on Saturday mornings! I think it was about 1970-but I may be wrong on the exact year!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:34 pm

alanultron5 wrote:As I recall Tony it ran on Saturday mornings! I think it was about 1970-but I may be wrong on the exact year!
According to Wiki, 1968. That explains why I don't remember it... Razz

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:10 pm

Have another two for you Tony! Circa 1972 "Escape Into Night" Childrens TV from the book "Marianne Dreams" was later a film `Paperhouse` I think!

Very strange! Especially the Stones with eyes that screamed "The Light! not the Light!" when the lighthouse beam caught them. Got the last ep which is B/W very weird!

Also, there was "Object Z" (Oct 1965) followed by "Object Z Returns" (April 1966) God-that was superb! The Late Trevor Bannister was the `star` of both series! "Object Z" a bit like Dr Who's `Tenth Planet` in parts. I have the first ep of this. Full season recently turned up but is held by BFI who won't put it on DVD yet!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:12 pm

British kids' TV really was excellent in the seventies. So much more imaginative than it is these days...

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:39 pm

There was a British Sci-Fi show about 15-20 years ago! All I can recall is it ended suddenly when the money ran out! There were two alien races featured. The bad ones used organic technology.

The other aliens wern't seen as I recall except for one individual who actually turned out to be human and from the war years (1939-45) He had been plucked from his time to warn 1980's (90's?) society.

I vaguely recall the last scenes when a huge Alien artifice rose from the ground. I think it was copiying from Dr Who's "Claws of Axis" that scene!

The series was never completed though! I don't know if Tony or anyone else can use what I recall to track it down?

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:29 am

Still hunting, still baffled...

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by felneymike on Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:45 am

In the 90's there was "Landforms", though I can't seem to find any information about it on the internet. The only reference to it I could find was from somebody who couldn't remember it's name!

Anyway some kids hung around this stone circle but the stones would move, and some drummer boy time travelled and was frightened of a bus. They also had a candle that would keep burning inside a tin can, and the flame was cold. I can only remember the spooky bits, though, and nothing about the plot!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:54 pm

I vaguely remember the series, though not the name. Would that have been around '92 or so?

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:25 pm

The series I vaguely recall featured a plot of poisening the wayer supply (Reseviours) I don't think it was Childrens sci-fi I think it went out post watershed!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by felneymike on Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:27 pm

Yeah Landforms was originally on in 1992-ish, and then was repeated a few years later. It also featured something about cavemen on a computer screen "seeing" the people "outside", but somebody else thought it was a videogame.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:52 am

`Bleep and Booster` anyone?

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:54 am

alanultron5 wrote:`Bleep and Booster` anyone?
No thanks Alan, I've just had some toast.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:57 am

I do remember Bleep & Booster, actually. it ran well into the seventies, but I don't think it's been repeated since. Peter hawkins did the voices IIRC.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:58 am

I used to own the annual! I wonder if any of their adventures still exist?

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:15 am

According to Wikipedia, a couple were released on video in 1993. I'm guessing more exist but they haven't been released yet. It's only a matter of time...

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:27 pm

I vaguely recall a ITV series about 1966 called "The Master" All I can recall is the villian was played by Olaf (Inferno) Pooley and was supposed to be about 200 years old! Maybe Tony can find out more on internet?

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:31 pm

I know it's not Sci-Fi but the 1960s series that had the scariest moments ever for me - even beating `Dr Who` was an ABC/Thames produced supernatural anthology called `Mystery and Imagination`.

Two episodes in particular terrified me back in 1966. First; `Lost Hearts` (Not to be confused with the 1973 BBC version) this showed the confrontation with the `child-ghosts` in far more graphic detail than its 1973 counterpart!

In a truly horrific scene, they slowly emerged from the shadows in a darkened hallway to pursue the one who killed them - Abney! Though he barricaded the study door they materialised through it!

Both actors who played the ghosts (I recall the girl is called Doy Young) attended a Sci-fi convention in the late 1980s and described in detail how they had to tear open the dummy that was used to represent Abney's (The villian) body-complete with false heart and blood!

The ghosts did this with taloned fingers (not the knife as in the 73 version) They wore plecial eye lenses to give black pupil effect and the sharpened teeth -similar to an alien in Dr Who `Dalek Master Plan` that gave them a `feral` look!

I have this on Audio now and it still brings back scary memories!

The second episode titled `The Beckoning Shadow` wasn't as bloodthirsty but had the spookiest `haunted house` scenes ever!

The scene in the upstairs landing where the shadows move of their own volation and something horrible coalesces out of them-truly terrified me back in 1966!

I actually discovered a photo only released in the Midland edition of `TV World` as it was called then- featuring the confrontation between actress Elizabeth Knight and this `creation` It looks very chilling-a masterpiece of make up design to get someone to look that scary!

Both those episodes gave me nightmares!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:03 pm

From the descriptions, I'm not surprised. But then, Doctor Who was once enough to give kids nightmares, and Sapphire & Steel probably put the wind up more than a few adults! I think TV schedulers and producers are much more cautious these days. perhaps too much so...

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:39 am

There was actually a debate from concerned viewers and an M.P about television voilence- with `Lost Hearts` discussed on Midlans regional TV show "Midland Member" My Mom watched it (It was after 10pm on the Midlands region) and said the `Mystey and Imagination" episode was given as an example of increasing voilence on TV. This would be about mid 1966.

For me, the most voilent Dr Who scene of the 1960s was in `Edge of Destruction/Beyond the Sun` where Susan threatens Ian and Barbera with a pair of scissors! I read that Verity Lambert got a telling off about it later!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:49 am

The big backlash came in about 1984, when 'video nasties' were the subject on everyone's lips. There was a big crackdown on violence, horror and sex on TV at that time, the effects of which are still in evidence today.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:12 am

Do you remember `Talkback` Tony? It began I think on BBC around mid 1967. It was a sort of forum programme that debate current television. The host was David Coleman.

I believe its first edition discussed `Tomb of the Cybermen` and that `chest gunge` scene of the killed Cyberman.

I think that edition no longer exists! I have seen one existing edition from November 1967 debating `Juke Box Jury` which ironically was cancelled the following month!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:27 am

That edition may not exist now, but I think it must have done at least as late as the mid seventies because I remember seeing a clip from it somewhere!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by felneymike on Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:16 pm

If we're straying into horror territory what about 1992's "Ghost Watch"? It was the first 'docu-drama' and was scheduled to partly overlap with some other show so a lot of people didn't realise it wasn't real, even though the ghost in it really did show up and possessed parky! I didn't watch it at the time (I don't think I would have slept again) but want to see it. It was debated on Talkback too!

There was also something else in the 90's that I think was part of a series, but I only saw the one episode. Some blokes who lived on a houseboat were brothers who had once locked their mother in a cellar as it filled with water and drowned her. Her ghost (a load of spinning rags) was living in the river and they kept seeming to sail in circles and other strange things.

Also does anybody remember Bugs, which started in about 1995 and was about hackers and that. I think it was set in 2003 and featured amazing things like the internet, small cameras, mobile phones and such like devices being used to commit/solve high tech crimes. It got more sci-fi as it went on with big corporations controlling the government and terrorists planning to detonate a huge store of nuclear missiles that was inexplicably in the middle of London. Laser guns and "electric guns" started to show up in later series as well.

There was also something from about 2001 that was a one-off show about the internet coming to life, but just as it did "they" "switched off" the internet Laughing

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:22 pm

I remember Bugs but could never get into it. Ghost Watch, though, was sheer genius; utterly terrifying and so convincing!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:08 pm

Anyone remember `Haunted` from late 1967? It was a series starring Patrick Mower who played a psychic researcher! Each episode left it to the viewer wether the `phenomena` each ep was `natural` or `pre-natural`

The episode "Through A Glass Darkly" was very chilling.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:25 pm

That seems to be another one series that's been totally lost to posterity; none of the episodes are believed to have survived.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:28 pm

I am hoping there might be a DVD release one day of the 20 or so surviving episodes from "Out of the Unknown"

One episode was really scary - "Something in the Cellar" but I think its one of the wiped ones! "Beachead" wiped too which is a shame!

Three eps (All wiped) had rather strong Dr Who ties "The Prophet" "Get Off My Cloud" "The Chopper" A quick quiz! Anyone know how?

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:42 pm

I could swear I recall seeing this on video, once...

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:40 pm

There's been some `pirate` videos about years ago Tony! "Lambda 1" was really hard to follow-bit like todays Dr Who! Wink I really liked "The Machine Stops" That got terrific reviews back in 1966. The colour seasons brought in more supernatural styled episodes. Dr Who actor Walter Randell plays the ghost in a 1971 existing ep "To Lay A Ghost"

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:02 pm

The Machine Stops? Based on a short story by E.M Forster?

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by Lucy McGough on Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:41 pm

tony ingram wrote:The Machine Stops? Based on a short story by E.M Forster?
I've read that story! It's brilliant.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:45 pm

Lucy McGough wrote:
tony ingram wrote:The Machine Stops? Based on a short story by E.M Forster?
I've read that story! It's brilliant.
Me, too-a good many years ago, though. One of my favourites from my favourite book of SF shorts.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by Lucy McGough on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:37 pm

It's good because it's true.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:34 pm

The `Out of` Adaptation is superb in my view and really got the series `in` with the reviewers (the first season got a rather mixed `critical` and public reaction!)

Both `Lambda 1` and `Level seven` from the second season are really weird, but work well in a way I think some of Dr Who eps could learn from!

Speaking of! The three related `Unknown` eps to `Who` (1) "The Prophet" (The White Robots first appeared in this- albeit dark in colour and no chest guns!)

(2) "Get of My Cloud" Both the Tardis and Daleks appeared! As I recall it was part of a `hallucinatory` devised experience to help the mind of a character whose `mind` was trapped in a machine of some sort! (Might be askew on synopsis a bit)

(3) "The Chopper" by Nigel Kneale, starred Patrick Troughton as the owner of a hanted motorbike! This had not been wiped- but! the BBC still managed to lose it - physically!

My favourite of that final (1971) season was "The Uninvited" starring Brian (Foggy Dewhurst) Wilde. A sort of `future vision` ghost story! Superb! But sadly long wiped!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:50 pm

The world of Who owes Out of the Unknown a great debt for those robots! Wonderful creations...

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:45 am

Tony and I discussed `Dramarama` a little in another thread when I mentioned the episode "The Come-Uppance of Captain Katt" I only recall the supernatural episodes ansd I have the one with the `dead army recruit` I'm looking for the two `ghostly` ones in the first season! "Dramarama-Spooky" I think was the title of the first season.

Another-slightly earlier show on children's TV that featured many enjoyable ghostly tales was "Shadows" first ep was the superb "Future Ghost" I have many of the "Shadows" eps- perhaps the finest is the P.J. Hammond written "And For My Next Trick . . . "

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:09 am

For some reason, I thought Dramarama: Spooky' was the title of the first couple of years worth...

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:11 am

I think you are right Tony! Sadly, it is those early ones that are so elusive! I wasn't that keen when it became just `Dramarama` though- there would be an episode (such as the one I mentioned earlier) that would hark back to the earlier `Spooky` titled series that I enjoyed!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:22 pm

Admittedly not obscure, but I've just been watching sapphire & Steel Adventure One. God, PJ Hammond writes some weird stuff! Time as the enemy, a malignant force, is a curiously disturbing concept...

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:34 pm

P.J Hammond is a writer whos'e work i've very much admired!

He wrote two tremendous stories for the last series (1972) of `Ace of Wands` "Peackock Pie" and "The Beautiful People" Have you ever caught those Tony? Hammond ended the `Ace of Wands` series in similar style to `Sapphire & Steel` in that our heroes don't fare too well at all!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:40 pm

I remember Ace of Wands very well. I want to get the DVD, as my VHS copies (acquired in the early 90's) have long since become unwatchable.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:50 pm

Sadly, seasons 1 & 2 still missing. The second season was very good as I recall with "The Eye of Ra" possibly my favourite till then!

My very favourite Ace of Wands story of all is Hammond's `Peackock Pie` with Brian Wilde as possibly the most unfashionable `villian` that Tarot ever encountered!

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by tony ingram on Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:58 pm

Did Brian Wilde ever put in a less than perfect performance though, in anything? Great actor, I think. Much missed.

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Re: Obscure Sci-Fi Oddities!

Post by alanultron5 on Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:05 pm

Indeed! He was superb in an "Out of the Unknown" episode "The Uninvited" in a far more serious role!

I have a copy of the 1950s film "Night of the Demon" with Dana Andrews and Nial McGinness. Brian has a small role of the villager who `cheated` the curse! He is fantastic in the `hypnosis` scenes!

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