Monday, March 24, 2014

Udpdate: Gene Roddenberry - Questor Tapes

I've been curious about the television movie, The Questor Tapes, by Gene Roddenberry, and found it in several parts on Youtube.  You can find the other parts there as well or you can also order a disc off Amazon.

Well, last night I watched The Questor Tapes made in 1974 (hard to believe it's that old), after I watched The Antique Roadshow, which is my mainstay program for Mondays nights.  I didn't know a lot about it other than it was from Gene Roddenberry, and didn't want  read much about it to avoid spoilers.  I watched the first part, which was just about a ten minute segment, and then while looking for part two, noticed that Youtube has the whole movie up in one complete showing, plus it was better quality.  So if you're curious about the film that's definitely the better way to go. 

It was a lot of fun.  I could see how Questor, the android, was a seminal idea for Data on Star Trek: Next Gen.  He even had that twitch to his head that Data had from time to time, when he was thinking or perplexed about the human condition or solving some problem.  I liked how it ended as well, sort of cerebral the way the opening to the mountain opened up, and they went inside to find the original scientist who had made Questor.

A friend of mine sent me a link to the upcoming R. E. Howard Days in Cross Plains, Tx.  It's a two day event that they've held annually to celebrate the writing of Robert E. Howard, best known for his sword and sorcery hero, Conan.  I've never been, and could kick myself for not trying to attend (but was too busy anyway) last year as one of the guest they had was Tim Truman, who is writing the King Conan comic series for Dark Horse publishing.  But who has also written many other comics, like GrimJack and Scout, that I greatly admire.  If I can somehow make it this year, and if the guest are worthwhile, I'll try to attend.  It's a small affair, but I'd have to guess it's attended by diehard pulp fans.

I've also tentatively got plans to attend The Antiques Roadshow, which is being held in June as well, I think at the first part of the month.  But with that event, you have to put your name into a pot, and they draw names to see who can come to the event.  They do it that way for crowd management, otherwise I'm pretty sure the crowds would be totally unmanageable, and they are also trying to film too, which they'll air later.  I've also got my sister and nephew into the drawing as well, so maybe one of us can score tickets.  I haven't been to Austin in so long, and summers are hot down there (but they're hot all over in Texas), but if we can get tickets, I'd surely go.

Today is now Tuesday, and I plan to watch the SyFy Channel's FaceOff.  It the reality show about makeup and creating creature designs.  I like it a lot and have watched every season.  They are narrowing down contestants and the competition grows harder.  After that is a new show about Jim Henson's puppetry.  I haven't read all the details about the show, but plan on watching the first episode. 



At 10:12 AM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Wow, I haven't seen this in 40 years. I'd forgotten all about it. Roddenberry had a few projects that didn't take off but which still were interesting. I rather liked "Spectre" (1977) with Robert Culp and Gig Young as occult investigators.

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

I've never seen the "Questor Tapes" but I've heard of them. When I picked up the 20th anniversary edition of the soundtrack to "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" it came with a bonus CD called "Inside Star Trek". That was recorded in the late 70s and featured a bunch of interviews with Roddenberry. He has a funny anecdote about the "Questor Tapes" and the network censors not thrilled about a robot and human female engaging in intimate relations. :)

Robert E. Howard is one of my favorite pulp writers. His Conan work is a real treat. I just picked up a compilation of his Solomon Kane stories. Looking forward to delving into the adventures of an ass kicking puritan. :)

At 7:58 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Richard--I'd not heard of "Spectre" thanks for the head's up. Maybe I can find it somewhere on the web. Some of Roddenberry's projects have a bit of a cheesiness to them, but most of them, for a SF fan can be pretty entertaining.

Roman--anatomically correct androids: I can see where the network execs might get upset over that one, but in reality, I think pleasure droids/companions make a lot of sense and would have a huge commercial potential. :)

If you haven't seen the Solomon Kane movie check it out, it's done pretty well. I just added the 90's Conan to my queue over at NF.


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