Over on TrekBBS, someone was wondering why fans latched onto the USS Kelvin's Captain Robau as a "badass" many months before they had any idea what he'd be like in JJ Abrams' "Star Trek" movie.
The now-defunct "Star Trek" Club of NSW, Astrex, once had a bizarre in-joke running about an enigmatic actor called "Frank Force". I was in the US, at a Creation convention in January 1984, and I won some very rare "ST III: The Search for Spock" call sheets in their auction. The call sheets declared that one of the very last new main actors introduced in the script was Frank Force, playing "Nacluv".
This seemed rather bizarre, till a friend of the production team mentioned it was an anagram - "Vulcan" spelled backwards. Yes, it was Leonard Nimoy under a secret, assumed name, to hide his participation as a regenerated adult Spock till the last minute. After all, Spock was the most "frank force" in the universe.
Australia waited many months after the US to see ST III, giving Australian fans a lot of idle time to generate wacky Frank Force jokes. One penpal of mine, from Perth, arrived at Sydney airport for the film's gala premiere night, only to be collected by three complete strangers wearing large "Frank Force Fan Club" badges.
You'll notice that Director Nimoy also voices the USS Excelsior Elevator in ST III as "Frank Force", which got a huge cheer from us on opening night when the credits rolled.
Green "Number 96" delicatessen jacket, as worn by Harry Michaels as Giovanni Lenzi. Bought at auction after the series ended (in 1977).
Underneath the jacket, the red T-shirt reads "I'm quite ardamant about that", a Dorrie Evans catch-phrase from the show. Unused wardrobe item made for Andrew Mercado, TV1's "The Best of Number 96" (2000).
Raw footage of 1975 Christmas message by Arnold and Giovanni, "Number 96". Harry Michaels wears the jacket I now own.
See the full Christmas messages on the bonus features of the DVD "Number 96: Aftermath of Murder" (2010, Umbrella Entertainment).
A young, impressionable, trainee teacher, Ian McLean (wearing Giovanni's deli jacket from "Number 96"), interviews Elaine Lee, who was playing Principal Margaret Gibson in TV's "Glenview High" at the time (1978).
During a hectic, very humid, power walk to work this morning, a peaceful hot air balloon on the horizon (above the road, barely a little smudge in the middle of this pic) contributed a small element of tranquility.
A hilarious discovery: watching DVD episodes of "Number 96" this week, on came a character called Dolores Hackenback, an brassy American "Oomph!" cosmetics consultant. She was helping Roma Godolfus set up a cosmetics section in the delicatessen.
I said to myself, "Wow! It's almost like they've based a character on the producer's wife, Del Harmon!"
Then I read the closing credits: Dolores was portrayed by... Del Harmon.
I'm really enjoying this batch of 32 more episodes of "Number 96", which continues the storylines following the death of the suiciding Patyhose Strangler. Also included on the DVD, as bonus features, are two newly recorded audio commentaries (2009) with Carol Raye (Baroness Amanda Von Pappenburg) and Elisabeth Kirkby (Lucy Sutcliffe) talking to TV historian Andrew Mercado; a segment from "The Australian Way: A Salute to Aussie Sex Appeal", a long-forgotten TV special (1982, incorrectly identified as 1978), hosted by Gordon Elliott and Joanna Lockwood; the original 1976 "Adults Only" TV promo for the premiere of "And They Said It Wouldn't Last" documentary special; hilarious 1975 uncut Christmas messages from cast members; and 2008 footage of the Network Ten News announcement of the previous "Number 96" DVD release, including a reunion between Chantal Contouri (Tracey Wilson, the Pantyhose Strangler) and Pamela Garrick (one of her victims, Patti Feather).
(This strip of internal artwork courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment.)
Commercial Playmates Toys' Commissioner Bele of Cheron and (customised by me in the 90s) Lokai of Cheron - from the "Star Trek" episode, "Let that be your Last Battlefield". The face sculpt of Frank Gorshin (aka The Riddler of the 60s' "Batman" TV series) is uncanny. I chose a Major Don West of TV's "Lost in Space" to double as Lokai. I did remove the silver hem of the costume's tunic, by simply tucking in Lokai's shirt, and unstitching the collar decoration.
Today's pic: They meet the official 2009 replica of the 70s Mego figure!
Oh frabjous day! I thoroughly enjoyed this evening's little excursion to the cinema to see the new "Alice in Wonderland" 3D movie! I'd heard rather mixed reviews, but this was a most satisfying 3D experience.
And how curiouser and curiouser to notice Joel Swetow in the credits as Man With Big Belly - I own the Andorian ambassador's robes he wore in "Star Trek: Enterprise". Always love a neat Star Trek connection! And yay Michael ("Alfred Pennyworth") Gough as the voice of the dodo!
I wished I gone with someone now, even it it was to get a photo standing in the middle of this huge cardboard display (above). Woulda looked a bit like this:
Me, attending the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Central Park, New York(January 1992).
Today's pic of the day: a signwriting plane going home at sunset, after a hard day's signwriting?
Otherwise known as "Therin of Andor", Ian McLean has had an active association with "Star Trek" and science fiction media fandom in Australia since 1980. Before then he was an avid fan of the "Batman" TV series (60s) and the Australian TV classic, "Number 96" (70s).