i was, if we are honest here, somewhat bored with the regular choice of the same kind of viewing at the weekend that James insists on. i decided, mindful of the fact that he usually decides that anything of mine must be rubbish, to dig out some (fairly) family friendly science fiction classics and see how he reacted. he reacted, i am delighted to say, by more or less watching both films i picked out!
first up, owing to his love of the rather good Duck Dodgers, i thought i'd try him out on the original, as in the "film pilot" for the TV series Buck Rogers In The 25th Century.
i must have watched this film a hundred times, but then again probably hadn't seen it since 1983 or 1984. i was delighted to see all the things i remembered, though - in particular the ludicrous dancing with a glitter ball that the defrosted Buck soon changes into a funkadellic, ooompah bass display of disco dancing.
i was particularly delighted to see James take quite a shine to Twiki, much like i had done when i first saw him. yes, James copied me to this effect by going "bidibidibidi" just like Twiki says in the show!
watching Buck Rogers through somewhat older eyes you do of course notice one or two things. like, for instance, it falls into that trap of declaring that everyone in the future will all dress the same. otherwise, as much of an enjoyable fantasy romp as memory suggested. it doesn't take itself too seriously, and yet it's not a silly parody either. good fun viewing.
as for the second part of a sci-fi double bill, what could surpass the rather splendidly titled Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD? that's right, nothing could. James is rather taken with the toy Dalek that Colin, Angela, Christopher and Andrew sent us, and as there's no way we would show him the "new" version of Doctor Who, this film seemed like a safe option.
indeed it was rather tame compared to, well, any variant of the TV show, and James mostly enjoyed it. well, he enjoyed the bits where he wasn't wandering off to have a go on his trampoline, at least.
i think Michele was somewhat confused to see a young Bernard Cribbins turn up in a Doctor Who production that bore no relation at all to his recent, magnificent appearance in the TV show. that confusion, however, didn't compare to the unexplained, mysterious notion that all of a sudden Doctor Two had two granddaughters flying around with him!
probably more out of budget constraints than anything Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD doesn't fall into the trap of a pristine, clean and everyone wearing the same clothes in the future trap of a lot of science fiction films from this time, but it does have one or two pure "gem" moments. one of the best is certainly when the rebellion against the Daleks sees one chap just grab a Dalek and sling it down a ramp.
another would be the class moment when the "Dalek gas", which gets released and seems to make all the people either die or pass out, reveals itself to have hitherto unknown explosive qualities when unleased on a shed.
if you accept that Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD has nothing to do with the current TV series but the names, it's a rather enjoyable 90 minutes viewing. i mean, sure, you have to suspend as much disbelief as Bernard Cribbins character does when he finds himself, within the space of minutes, propelled from a crime scene to a revolutionary war against alien invaders, but if you do, have fun.
well, those two certainly helped improved the weekend viewing from the usual bouts of Garfield, Duck Dodgers and Scooby Doo! i am not sure i will be able to find anything else in my collection to entertain James with, but if he wishes to watch those to again next weekend, no bad thing.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!