Day two, a show that you wish more people were watching. That sounds very present tense. I'm not actually watching any TV at the moment, so I'll just have to go for an old show that more people ought to see. And there are hundreds. I've practically made a lifelong hobby of being in a fandom of one, and there are times when it would be nice to have somebody to talk to about a bunch of stuff! But if I'm going to have to choose one, then I'm going to go for Voyagers!.

I've chosen this one because it's one that I think a lot of people would like, if they actually knew that it existed. Although it's American, it bears more than a passing resemblance to classic era Doctor Who, and it also seems very much like a forerunner to Quantum Leap. Phineas Bogg, one of the most unfortunately-named men in television history, is a time-travelling pirate. Take a moment to ponder the wonders of that sentence. He's one of a number of agents chosen from throughout history to travel back and forth in time and see that history goes the right way. Just like in Sapphire & Steel and Quantum Leap, there's some undefined force that likes to meddle, and twist history to its own ends. Problem is, Bogg hasn't got a clue what history is supposed to look like, and neither does he have a clue how to pilot his time machine. The consequence is that he hurtles madly though time and space, landing in ever-increasing amounts of peril each week, and having a glorious time every step of the way. He accidentally acquires an orphan boy as a travelling companion, and their relationship is very nicely done.

Basically Voyagers! is brilliant fun. That exclamation mark in the title is there for good reason, because it shows you how happy the show is, and how happy our two Voyagers are to be doing their job. Repeatedly free-falling through history, and crash-landing somewhere unexpected, up to their necks in trouble, and escaping by the skin of their teeth. If you ever get frustrated by all of the angst in modern day Doctor Who, then this is the show to counteract it. Bogg hurls his little twelve-year old pal into deadly situations daily, and neither of them cares a fig. Danger's so much fun! And the cast is extremely engaging, and okay, the pilot episode is a bit slow. They usually are.

So there you are, world. Watch Voyagers!. It only got one season, so there's not much to watch (and it got axed for being too expensive, not because it wasn't popular, so for once I'm not even recommending something daft). I can't guarantee that you'll enjoy it, but I'd be very surprised if you don't. The internet needs more Voyagers!. Isn't that right, Bogg?

Oh well. Everyone's a critic.
Yes, I have been watching television again, and I apologise wholeheartedly. Before we get to all of that, though, a little public service announcement. If you feel lacking in books or amusement in your life, fear not, for I am a helpful soul, and come bearing recommendations. Well, a recommendation. Well, perhaps not so much a recommendation as a warning, but nonetheless. The book is called The Time Tunnel, written by Murray Leinster, and it claims to be the novelisation of the exciting new television series by Irwin Allen. It features two scientists who travel back in time, but there the resemblance to the TV series ends, for the book is a catastrophe of epic proportions. The TV series is not exactly Shakespeare, admittedly, but it is (mostly) entertaining. Mind you, the heroes do make it home at the end of the book, whereas Irwin Allen had them hurtling around in ever decreasing circles in time for ever. Which is an even less satisfying end for a time travel series than Quantum Leap's.

So, why is the book so bad? Well, to begin with, it tells us that the Time Tunnel project is a wonderful thing in the hands of the Americans, because they can be trusted to guard history. To rewrite it if necessary, in keeping with the great vision of sixties America. This is even more terrifying a notion than Captain Kirk trying to convince the entire galaxy that it should remodel itself in the image of, again, sixties America - albeit sixties America pretending to be the 23rd century. "You can trust us to only rewrite the bits of history that need rewriting!" This gobsmacking bit of self-importance is only one stage of this book's endless hilarities, however. There's a female character in the story. In the TV series she's a physicist, although admittedly they do veer rather between respecting her training and patronising her horribly. In the book I don't know quite what she is. A secretary or something. She knows that she can't be trusted to think sensibly, anyway, given that she's only a woman, so she slips away to make coffee and sandwiches for the menfolk when things get tense. And yes, the text does actually say that. I shudder to think what would have happened if there had been any black characters.

I don't really know why I'm regaling you with all of this, unless it's to underline the fact that, no matter how bad the TV series gets (and it does have one or two dubious moments), it could have been a whole lot worse. Instead of manic Americans trying to rule the world - because hey, sixties America was perfect, right? - we get Doug and Tony, free-falling through space, time, and the 20th Century Fox film library, and trying not to get killed by everything they meet. They're not without fault, admittedly, but they're a good deal better than they are in book form. Which is something of an understatement.

... )
Oh, Jon-Erik. Of all the things that you could have been, why did you have to go and be adorable?

*mutter mutter* )
Yes, I am going to wax lyrical about Voyagers! again. Torchwood is over for the forseeable future (be sure to make it even more of a hit, America, Canada and Australia. I want a season four). So for now we're back to Jon-Erik Hexum. Or I am, anyway.

Well, it's really rather a nice place to be... )
I am in sci-fi swashbuckly heaven. :) I don't think I've had more fun all year than I'm having now with Voyagers!. The combination of out-and-out fun and historical settings is a good starting point, but the characters are really making this show. As a lead man, Phineas seriously rocks. He's falling around through time, without a clue where he's going, or what he's going to do when he gets there; and then when he crash lands in some fairly random century, he almost invariably has a whale of a time there. Especially if there are swords, staves and bows and arrows. Jon-Erik Hexum was born to swashbuckle. He should have been around in the fifties - although of course then he couldn't have done Voyagers!, which would be sad. Think of the movies he could have done in the fifties, though! He could have been swinging from ropes and hacking about him with swords to his heart's content. Also, perhaps the fact that he's not around anymore would that way seem less tragic.

I do have one complaint, though. How come, episode after episode, we get lovely, detailed views of American history; but when we wind up in Britain we get, firstly, a bizarre Dickensian fictional London... and then secondly, Robin Hood. Complete with Errol Flynn Hollywood costumes, and Maid Marion. Yes, it is possible that there was an historical figure who was the basis for the legends. Marion, however, was added to the tale centuries later by a Frenchman. You only need do a tiny piece of research to get that one. British history is just as important as American history, Universal. And if you employed a few more British actors, rather than Americans with lousy fake accents, then you might just be able to ask them a few questions about it. :p

It's all too much fun to gripe, though. Way, way too much fun. 'Cause of the swashbuckling, and the time travel, and the swords, and the swashbuckling, and the playfulness, and the merriment, and the swashbuckling. And Jon-Erik Hexum. Always, always, Jon-Erik Hexum. Hard to believe that this year sees the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death.

Yes, there are stupid amounts of screencaps underneath. How'd you guess?! )
I ran out of episodes of Adventurer. This left me worryingly bereft of swashbuckly things to watch, until I suddenly remembered Voyagers!. Hurrah! An entire boxset of swashlebucking! I bought it in the sales just after Christmas, and then forgot all about it in the general excitement of Laramie and various other things. I rescued it from the bottom of the pile, anyways, and have now watched the first few episodes. And it's so much fun! It's one that I've been wanting to watch for years, but to the best of my knowledge it never aired in the UK (or not in my region, anyway). It stars Jon-Erik Hexum, though, so it's one that I always hoped would get released one day.

Worth the two-decade-long wait, anyhow. Mostly. )
swordznsorcery: (methos)
( Feb. 15th, 2007 00:06)
Really nice day today. Bit chilly, but dead shiny. Almost spring-like. The last few weeks the weather seems to have been confused even for Britain. The poor plants don't know whether they're coming or going.

But the weather is for people who have nothing better to talk about - and I have Manimal! Hurrah!

Under here )



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