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July 24, 2003

Lost Planet of the Gods

Jane Seymour looks every bit the frazzled soccer-mom of Caprica in this image.


Can you blame her? Her home-world has been destroyed by reptile-cyborgs and she is now part of a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest. More important, she has by now discovered just how wrong a show can go:

A disgruntled Jane Seymour apparently demanded that her character, Serina, be shot dead by a Cylon at the first possible opportunity. Her wish was granted in the fourth episode, leaving fans wishing that her precocious son, Boxey, and his yapping mechanical dog, Muffet (played by a chimp!), had also fallen under Cylon swords.

Amen to that. This pilot had everything: great special effects, a promising story-line and a Mormon sub-text. The Flea will settle for some horrendous sf enjoyment. I remain a fan of Canadian crapfests such as The Starlost or Rocket Robin Hood. And my favourite sf of all time is the wobbly, sarcastic realism of Blake's 7 (the effects on this revival site are better than those of the original series). But Battlestar Galactica did something worse than start out bad. It started out good then disappointed.

This may be why my memories of the show are a bit muddled. I knew Seymour's recurring effect in the psychic development of the Flea as a boy were reinforced by Galactica but I could not remember her appearing in many episodes. Her brief quest for a shining planet known as Earth explains my difficulty in finding images of her as Serina despite her rating a nine-out-of-ten on the Space Babe Hottie Scale. Time to brush up on my trivia.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 24, 2003 10:57 AM


Blake's 7 is my favourite SF show.

Posted by: Ith at July 24, 2003 01:22 PM

Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrggggghhh... I had forgotten that "Rocket Robin Hood" even existed, until you mentioned it. I didn't know that was CanCon, either, but it explains the deep mystery of why Saturday afternoons on Canadian TV stations were full of hours and hours of Rocket Robin Hood. All I wanted to watch was Robotech or Star Blazers, but would they air that? No. Instead, I got that damned medieval-times-in-space trash.

Canada has made some seriously bad shows ("Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui" springs to mind), but Rocket Robin Hood is THE gold standard in crapulent sci-fi.

And now the stupid theme song will be in my head for the rest of the afternoon.

Posted by: Chris Taylor at July 24, 2003 03:45 PM

Most of the ealy 70's cartoons like Spiderman, Hulk, Rocket Robin Hood, etc were Canadian. Listen for voices of the Wayne and Shuster back-up actors earning pocket money.

Posted by: Alan at July 24, 2003 03:49 PM

I was too young to give Blake's 7 a chance when I first saw it. I regret that now seeing the loyalty it commands.
I've got something that tops Rocket Robin Hood: Can anyone remember the animated Hercules and that stupid centaur-boy sidekick that was all over Saturdays and Sundays in the late 70's/early 80's?
I was a Starblazers fanatic. Does anyone know if this show is playing ANYWHERE? I'd love to see it again...

Posted by: Ray at July 24, 2003 04:18 PM

Chris has a point about the stupid theme-song but I will go one further. I think this should be the new Canadian national anthem (off to find a .wav version...):

Band of brothers, marching together. Heads held high in all kinds of weather.
With fiery blasts, our roaring rockets rise, beyond the Earth, beyond the skies!
At the sight of Robin, take your stand, with the gallant leader of our band.
Send a joyous shout throughout the land! For Rocket Robin Hood!

Posted by: Nicholas Packwood at July 24, 2003 04:33 PM

Hercules series dialogue makes up 7% of all coversations among my university pals. "Hercules, Herclues - the evil Dedalus is about destroy Claridon"

Posted by: Alan at July 24, 2003 04:47 PM

My fav was the Mask of Vulcan.

Posted by: Nicholas Packwood at July 24, 2003 05:00 PM

I have another reason to hate the show. In 1978 I was about the same age or a bit older than Boxy. My parents were big fans of the show. I think my dad had the hots for Jane Seymour. Such big fans were they that they cut my hair in the same fruity mushroom bulb that the dimwitted child had. I vividly remember how disturbed my mother would get when I would tell her that I hoped that Boxy would die. Oddly enough when I made my nine year old niece watch a taped episode her response was, "I wouldn't go chasing after my dog when there were monsters around, that boy is a retard." She's a smart kid.

Posted by: Dennis P. at July 24, 2003 06:07 PM

The Quest for Iscandar Lyrics

We're off to outer space
We're leaving Mother Earth
To save the human race
Our Star Blazers

Searching for a distant star
Heading off to Iscandar
Leaving all we love behind
Who knows what danger we'll find?

We must be strong and brave
Our home we've got to save
If we don't in just one year
Mother Earth will disappear

Fighting with the Gamilons
We won't stop until we've won
Then we'll return and when we arrive
The Earth will survive
With our Star Blazers

We're off in outer space
Protecting Mother Earth
To save the human race
Our Star Blazers

Danger lurking everywhere
But we know we've got to dare
Evil men with evil schemes
They can't destroy all our dreams

We must be strong and brave
Our home we've got to save
We must make the fighting cease
So Mother Earth will be at peace

Through all the fire and the smoke
We will never give up hope
If we can win the Earth will survive
We'll keep peace alive
With our Star Blazers

Posted by: Fred Kiesche at July 24, 2003 09:03 PM

Well more things for the Flea to save for...According to Amazon.com, "Battlestar Galactica--The Complete Epic Series" will be released on October 21, 2003 and they already have it on sale for $89.99!

They also list "Battlestar Galactica--The Feature Film (Widescreen Edition)" as coming out on October 21, 2003 for (on sale) $14.99.

There is a DVD of the pilot out already, but I'm not sure if that is the real pilot or the feature film version.

Anybody see the pilot as a movie? IIRC, it was released in "Sensesurround" or whatever that "Earthquake"-inducing speaker effect was. I think that was the last time I ever saw that credit!

Posted by: Fred Kiesche at July 24, 2003 09:18 PM

Nick, look at what you've done! Imagine how many hours of productive work went into the toilet because we were searching for lyrics and sound files for all those ancient cartoons! Well, now we can all rest easy...

Someone has done the low-down, dirty (or at least highly inadvisable) deed of recording the opening themes to "Rocket Robin Hood" and "Hercules" in RealPlayer video. Anyone with inexplicably fond memories of these shows should go to these URLs for instant cringe-inducing flashbacks. We'll probably max out this guy's Geocities bandwidth in no time. =(

Rocket Robin Hood opening theme:

The Mighty Hercules:

Posted by: Chris Taylor at July 25, 2003 10:01 AM

Wow. I was a mad fan of both Rocket Robin Hood and The Mighty Hercules ("Softness in his eyes, Iron in his thighs, Virtue in his heart, Fire in every part, Of the Mighty Hercules!"). I'm certain I couldn't watch them today withoug taking an ice pick to my eyes and ears, but I sure have fond memories of them.

Okay, I watched the RealPlayer bits. Now I have to find that ice pick ...

Posted by: *** Dave at July 28, 2003 09:03 AM

Though I must confess, I have another theme song for RRH battering around in my brain. Which is kind of scary, on so many levels.

Posted by: *** Dave at July 28, 2003 09:06 AM

No, wait, I spotted it in the RP vignette linked above. (Shudder.)

Posted by: *** Dave at July 28, 2003 09:09 AM