Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Blue Sunshine and the Pyramids on Mars

A reader informed us that there's a new Doctor Who series coming called The Waters of Mars. Here's the scoop from the Wiki:
The story is set on Mars and the Doctor will be joined by a new companion named Adelaide, played by Lindsay Duncan, who is head of the Mars base. Producer Nikki Wilson described the character as "the Doctor's cleverest and most strong-minded companion yet." The most recent trailer shows a massive Terrarium of life on the planet's surface, and a mysterious alien which infects its victims using a water compound it creates.

This isn't the Doctor's first encounter with Mars, however. The Tom Baker Doctor (who appeared in 173 episodes) fought an incarnation of Set in The Pyramids of Mars in 1975, the first episode of which aired exactly nine months before the Viking Probe passed over Cydonia. In this adventure, it turns out that Set is actually Sutekh, the last survivor of an ancient alien race called the Osirians.

Strangely enough, The Pyramids of Mars aired around the same time that Gene Roddenberry was working with Andrija Puharich (of The Sacred Mushroom fame) and his channelers at Lab 9. How's that for a coincidence?

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On a more personal note, sometime during the mid-70s (though I'm very fuzzy on the timeline) we spent a week in a rented cottage in Egypt, Massachusetts. We being my mother, my sister and myself with the family we had essentially merged with for a time in the 70s. My mother was a nightclub performer and we led this kind of a gypsy lifestyle with all of the other performers and their families. One of the few things I miss from a generally miserable childhood. These were the same people we summered in Innsmouth Gloucester with, so I'm assuming that cottage was a timeshare.

The reason I bring it up is that I remember that I was very sick that week, with one of those chevron-summoning fevers. I spent the week in bed while everyone else spent it on the beach. I don't remember any interesting encounters, sadly. I do remember all of the girls listening to a George Carlin record- the one with the "seven dirty words" routine.

I had no idea until much later that part of Scituate was called Egypt. However, I did know that Lost in Space star Mark Goddard grew up there, speaking of classic camp sci-fi.

And speaking of hallucinations, Mark Goddard also starred in Blue Sunshine, one of the first films the missus and I rented when we got our first VCR. The film lent its name to the one and only album by The Glove, which Robert Smith and Steve Severin recorded in between Banshees albums. The Glove performed on Siouxsie and the Banshees' 1984 Alice In Wonderland BBC special, which boasted some very Doctor Who-type production values, as well as the usual semiotic (and drug-addled) insanity.

PS- I'm going to catch up with my comment responses sometime in the next couple of days, and I'm also trying to figure what to do with the other blogs. I've already merged the Seminar with the Satellite, but I'm still trying to figure how best to use an auxiliary blog without making myself crazy. For now, this is where the action is.