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Posts Tagged ‘smokin’ hot babes’

Seriously, Now I’m Even Starting To Fear For Bonnie Langford

July 26th, 2012 No comments

The ’10s have been brutal for Doctor Who actors. Last month, there was sad news about Caroline John. And now comes word that Mary Tamm, who played the first incarnation of the Doctor’s Time Lady companion Romana, has died from cancer aged 62.

As with Caroline John, Mary Tamm was only with the show for a year. And I can’t help but think that, like John’s Liz Shaw, the problem was that Tamm’s competent, strong-willed character was perhaps threatening to a lead actor who needed to be the most important thing on the screen.

But, boy howdy, did she draw my attention away from Tom Baker. Whereas Elisabeth Sladen’s Sarah Jane Smith was the woman I wanted to marry, Mary Tamm’s imperious ice queen–and her form-fitting white dress–shook my teenage hormones like no actress in a British kids’ show previously had. I was deeply disappointed when, at the start of the following season, Romana “regenerated” into the form of Lalla Ward.

I met Mary Tamm a couple of times at Doctor Who conventions. I’m really not certain how I held myself together long enough to have these photos taken.

Goodbye, Mary.

And now, please, can we have a few more years before the next member of the TARDIS crew passes?

Gratuitous Alison Brie

May 6th, 2011 No comments

And now, a completely gratuitous screencap from last night’s Community episode, “A Fistful of Paintballs.”

Honestly, as much as I like Community, I would happily see it cancelled tomorrow if I could watch a weekly series in which Alison Brie wears this outfit and kicks all kind of ass.

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31 Days Of Flash Gordon #3

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

Any adventure serial worth hanging from a cliff needs a good bad girl. Sure, we all know that our square-jawed hero and his plucky, pretty companion will be together in the end, but how dull that would be without a wicked princess to tempt him onto the path of naughtiness. A bad girl is certain to be sexually aggressive and likely to be scantily clad. Bonus points if the hero’s innate goodness inspires her to betray the cause of evil.

Flash Gordon has a prime example of the bad girl in the person of Princess Aura, daughter of Ming the Merciless. As far back as the original 1930s comic strip, she’s taken her romantic rival duties so seriously that she’s had the hots for two heroes. Love, Mongo Style is pretty complicated. Flash Gordon loves Dale Arden, but is drawn to Aura. Aura is smitten with Flash, but keeps Prince Barin of Arboria on a short leash. Barin initially sees Gordon as a threat before finding him a trusted ally. Meanwhile, Ming lusts after Dale.*

In the feature film, Aura is played by Italian actress Ornella Muti. While I don’t know that it’s been scientifically proven, I believe it entirely possible that Muti, circa 1980, was the hottest object in existence. Several Arriflex cameras spontaneously burst into flame during filming, and costume designer Danilo Donati suffered third-degree burns while fitting her for this outfit.**

*The movie takes it still further. Klytus, the head of Ming’s secret police, wants the princess for himself. And there’s even a suggestion that Aura and Daddy Ming have a little somethin’ somethin’ going on. Earth standards of morality do not apply in Mingo City.

**Possibly not true.

Excuse Me, But I Need To Be Alone For A Few Moments

May 26th, 2010 No comments

While looking for a good photo of Carrie Fisher for yesterday’s Star Wars anniversary post, I stumbled across these.

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away, A Great Adventure Took Place

May 25th, 2010 No comments

I’d intended to mark the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, but I was still en route last Friday. However, I can at least give a tip of my lightsaber to the 33rd anniversary of Star Wars, which was released on May 25, 1977. I know how ridiculous this sounds, but I still divide my life into Events That Occurred Before May 25, 1977 and Events That Occurred After May 25, 1977.

I’ve written a lot about Star Wars over the years, so I don’t know that I have much to add at the moment. I will, however, share my favorite poster from its original theatrical run. It’s the “Style D” one-sheet, aka the “circus poster.”

And, because I always like to send you off with some music, here are two very special renditions of the Star Wars main title theme. First up is the jaw-dropping trumpet solo by beauty pageant contestant Stacy Hedger.

Then there’s Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher, singing “A Day to Celebrate” from the dreaded Star Wars Holiday Special. Because what John Williams’ famous theme was lacking was a set of cheesy lyrics. If Carrie hadn’t already been a drug addict at this point, this surely would’ve driven her to the pill bottle. Click on her to hear the song!

May the Force be with you…always.

Why, Hello There!

March 23rd, 2009 No comments

I don’t usually have much cause to write about Smallville. While I’ve followed this Superman-in-training series for the past eight (eight?!) seasons, it’s more of a guilty pleasure than something I actually love. And to be honest, I mostly watch it for Allison Mack as Clark Kent’s girl-next-door Chloe, and Erica Durance as a smokin’ hot Lois Lane.

Smallville has been frustrating at times. While it’s clear that the producers love Superman–and the Christopher Reeve films in particular–they play extremely loose with the character’s mythology, adding Indian caves, ancient prophecies and all manner of hoodoo to the familiar backstory of a boy from another planet. And, thanks to the series’ dogged persistence and the need to avoid stepping on any future feature films, Clark has remained in a perpetual holiding pattern in terms of embracing his future costumed identity. Eight years, and the dude still doesn’t fly.* 

While “young” Clark Kent (for cryin’ out loud, actor Tom Welling will be 32 next month) is still wearing his training cape, the show has at least embraced the wider world of DC Comics with both hands. Over the past few years, they’ve introduced Smallville versions of Green Arrow, the Flash, Aquaman, Black Canary, Cyborg, the Martian Manhunter, and the Legion of Super-Heroes. Even then, they’ve typically made a lot of conceptual and cosmetic changes to the characters.

And THEN THEY DID THIS:

Woo hoo! Hubba hubba!

Thank you, producers of Smallville. Thank you, the CW. Thank you very much.

Zatanna makes her first live-action appearance–fishnets, top hat and all–this Thursday at 7:00 pm.

*Oh, Clark can fly, but only when he’s evil, possessed or duplicated.

Blurg

December 1st, 2008 No comments

I’ve been too busy to blog lately, what with the pledge drive in full swing. So instead, please enjoy this fine Vanity Fair article about Tina Fey. (Especially the photo on page one! Thank you, Alec Baldwin, for encouraging Fey to unbutton.)

Doctor Not-Who And The Not-Silurians

July 14th, 2008 No comments

This weekend, while waiting for Vic to return home, I caught up on some recently-purchased Doctor Who DVDs from a boxed-set of linked stories given the umbrella title “Beneath the Surface.”

First up was “Doctor Who and the Silurians,” the only story in the 45-year history of the series to utilize the “Doctor Who and the…” naming convention for its title. It’s one in the continuing adventures of a bloke whose name is absolutely NOT “Doctor Who,” so just get that right out of your head. Never mind those twenty years’ worth of end credits to the contrary. Or the episode titled “The Death of Doctor Who.” Or the one in which the evil computer WOTAN demanded Doctor Who’s presence. Or that the Doctor gave his antique car the license plate WHO 1. Just forget all that. It’s just “The Doctor,” so there.

Similarly, the Silurians are not really Silurians at all, even though that’s what the Doctor dubs them on the basis of some exceedingly flimsy evidence: a globe of the Earth in which the continents appear as they allegedly did in the Silurian period of prehistory. In a later episode, he suggests that whomever named them Silurians should have more properly called them Eocenes instead, never mind that he himself was that person. And never mind that the first time he meets one face to face, he says “Hello, are you a Silurian?” and the creature nods. But perhaps, like the Doctor, they’re used to people calling them the wrong thing.

These Silurians are not at all related to the New York society of the same name even though one is a group of veteran print journalists and the other is a race of ancient, underground reptiles who intend to retake the Earth they once dominated. Though I can see where one might make that mistake.

Anyhow, “The Doctor and the Eocenes” is an excellent four-part story in seven parts. And yes, it takes four full episodes to get to the same point in the plot that a later four-parter would have reached at its first cliffhanger. (Reduce that to 12 minutes for modern day Who.)

This is one of the episodes in which the Doctor’s companion is Dr. Liz Shaw. She’s smart, sexy, and a more legitimate example of a “liberated woman” than those later companions who went out of their way to identify themselves as such. And that’s despite a wardrobe of ridiculously short skirts that surely would have undermined her credibility at the lab even as they increased her ability to attract research grants. Liz appears to have a doctorate in “Science,” as she’s equally adept at medical biology and running a nuclear reactor.

Word to the wise: do NOT watch the special features of this DVD, as they interview a former actress named Caroline John who claims to be the woman who played the very leggy Liz Shaw, even though this Caroline John is clearly just a crone people hired to scare kids away from bowls of candy. I made the mistake, and afterward I COULD NOT HELP superimposing one over the other. It totally ruined the miniskirt thing.

The story, by the way, should more properly be called “Doctor Who and the Belligerent Sons-of-Bitches,” as most of the characters (at least, those whose hemlines are below the knee) are arrogant jerks who will not listen to anything anyone says even in the face of multiple eyewitnesses, mountains of evidence and people dropping dead like giant maggots that got into Professor Jones’ fungus powder. The only one who does listen is the nameless Silurian leader, who is pretty much the Doctor with scales, and he’s promptly shot dead by the overzealous, spastic “Young Silurian.”

On the other hand, it’s okay because most of the assholes die, except for the Doctor’s associate Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who, soon after blowing the Silurian species into bite-sized chunks, becomes one of the most beloved characters of the franchise. (And, no joke, has recently been seen shooting a scene for season two of spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures. Yes, the show specifically for kids.) Granted that the Brig really does put off mass murder until after the Silurians invade the nuclear reactor complex twice, and attempt to kill the entire human race (again, twice) first by pandemic and later by destroying the Earth’s protective belt of (er…) radiation. So, honestly, when the Doctor starts talking about waking up the hibernating Silurians AGAIN to talk reason into them–only one a time, mind you, so there’s nothing that could go wrong–the Brig is pretty well justified is nuking the works.

Next up was “The Sea Devils,” which isn’t so much a sequel of “…And The Silurians” as it is a remake. This time, the prehistoric reptiles emerge from the bottom of the ocean instead of a cave complex, but otherwise it’s pretty much once again the Doctor unsuccessfully attempting to broker peace between humans and monsters, neither of which are having any of it.

This time the rush to war is led by an especially odious bureaucrat named Walker, who blandly munches on a plate of food even while he’s provoking all-out conflict. He really might be one of the worst villains in the entire series, not because of the intent or scope of his crimes, but because he just doesn’t give a shit.

Clocking in at a mere six parts, “The Sea Devils” moves more quickly than its predecessor, and the production works in jetskis, a hovercraft, location filming at an abandoned sea fort and even a reasonably convincing battle between British naval troops and attacking reptiles. It also has the benefit of Roger Delgado as the Doctor’s nemesis, the Master, whose basic plot function here is to stir up the black ants and the red ants and watch the carnage.

I’m too lazy to go back and research whether these two stories were the first instances of Doctor Who overtly moralizing the pettiness and waste of war, but certainly they’re among the most notable. By the time the Silurians and Sea Devils made a reappearance in “Warriors of the Deep” 12 years later, it’s pretty much a given that it’s all going to be a tragic tale of misunderstandings leading to massive death on both sides. “There should’ve been another way,” the Fifth Doctor famously states. But as long as mankind clings to its hatred of people in dodgy lizard suits, there never will be.

And Yet Another Two Photos Of Tina Fey

May 5th, 2008 No comments

Two photos from last Thursday’s 30 Rock episode, “Sandwich Day.” On the left, Liz Lemon uses television magic to make her best impression on an old boyfriend. On the right, she reminisces about staying up late in college, drawing D&D maps: “And behind this trap door, more orcs. That’ll really piss off Semihr.”

Guess which one I like better?

Actually, the red dress wins. But frizzy DM Liz comes close!

Some Get It

April 29th, 2008 No comments

As nerd culture seeps ever more into the mainstream, it’s not surprising to see it cropping up in prime-time network TV. But it’s easy to see which shows really have geek cred and which are just posers. Last night, I saw an example of each.

First up was The Big Bang Theory. I’ve only recently begun to watch this series, mostly while I’m waiting for How I Met Your Mother to start. It’s fairly standard issue sitcom stuff: four genius nerd friends and the hot blonde who lives across the hall. But what sets it apart is the obvious care taken in getting things right. While I’m not knowledgeable enough to confirm the science/math references (the credits list a science consultant), I do know that the geek stuff is bang on the money.

Last night’s episode was about the gang purchasing the original prop of “the Time Machine” from the classic ’60s movie of the same name. I missed the first part, but I gather that the aforementioned blonde derided one of them for his “toys,” causing a crisis of faith which nearly had him selling off his collectibles to the local comics dealer. (I took comfort in the fact that he ultimately changed his mind. And also when one of the nerds called her out on her Beanie Babies and Hello Kitty shorts.)

But what really pleased me was that not only did we get a dream sequence featuring movie-accurate Morlocks (as in the photo, right), but even a dream-within-a-dream which recast them as movers wearing embroidered uniforms reading “Starving Morlocks.” (Which, if you know what Morlocks eat, is pretty funny.) Furthermore, we got references to the Golden Age Flash, the Justice Society of America, and a rare Geordi LaForge action figure mistakenly packaged without his VISOR. And, unlike the film The 40 Year Old Virgin, which decorated the apartment of an alleged uber-collector with whatever random toys they picked up from the clearance aisle at Toys ‘R Us, the props people here made sure to have an actual Golden Age Flash figure on hand.

I’m not a big fan of The Big Bang Theory, but I do enjoy that the geeks aren’t just objects of scorn. Cringe-worthy moments are rare.

On the other end of the Cringe-o-meter was last night’s Star Wars-themed episode of Deal or No Deal. I’m not a regular Deal watcher, but I do believe that the “march of the models” which begins every game is one of the things for which television was invented. And I’ll be the first to admit that my entire reason for tuning in last night was the promise of 26 Slave Leias in formation.

But, despite (because of?) the obvious cooperation of Lucasfilm, it was painful to watch. First off were all of the lame “use the Force” references, which went as far as having Darth Vader telekinetically open the cover of the “Deal” button. (Cue the “oohs” and “aahs.”) And having the Dark Lord fill in as “the Banker” was funnier in theory than in practice. He sat up in the booth, quoting random Vader lines from the films as if he was his very own fanboy. (At least the James Earl Jones soundalike was good.)

Stormtroopers entering the corporate world. Oh, Annie, how low have you sunk?

They had two Star Wars fans competing to see which one would end the game with the larger cash amount (with the winner taking all), but the confluence of real-life geekery and typical game show contestant enthusiasm led to many embarrassing moments, including the worst. Yoda. impression. ever.

Then there were the special guest stars cheering them on. Carrie Freakin’ Fisher showed up to debase herself on behalf of a woman who, as we were repeatedly told, escaped from Vietnam as a child and found a role model in Princess Leia. (The real Carrie Fisher: not quite so much a role model.) Backed up by the leader of the Rebellion and the will of the Force, the contestant achieved a stunningly low total of $13,000.

“You there! The one in the white helmet!”

Ms. Fisher was shuffled offstage before the army of Slave Leias arrived, ostensibly to avoid giving the second contestant any clue as to how much he’d need to win, but probably so that there’d be no attempt at comparing drug-and-age-ravaged Carrie to 26 hot, young Carrie wanna-bes. Instead, geek #2 had R2-D2 and Chewbacca in his cheering section. Or rather, some tall dude in a Chewbacca suit. Giving high fives. Honestly, I would’ve thought that any schmoe in a fur coat could make a decent Chewie, but this guy’s performance had me appreciating Peter Mayhew all the more.

In the end, the Lucasfilm-sanctioned event featuring real nerds seemed less authentic than the sitcom in which four actors pretended to be nerds.

Plus, those Slave Leia outfits? Not movie-accurate.