Retrospeculative TV

RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “Giant” (Season 2, Episode 4)

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Wow.

I don’t throw the phrase “Stupidest thing I ever saw” around lightly, but this might be a contender.

Certainly there’s one sequence in this episode that might actually be the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I remember this episode from when it first aired - vaguely - so I remembered the scene. A year or so later, my mom was in the hospital, and this episode came on the Waiting Room TV, presumably to fill up dead air on the schedule. At first I remember being excited, but when I realized what episode it was, I sighed and flipped around looking for Hogan’s Heroes or whatever.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “The Hawk of Mu” (Season 2, Episode 3)

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I saw this one when it first ran back in October of ‘77, but curiously I only remember one scene clearly, and one other seems familiar after I saw it again. I quickly realized the reason: this was a completely pointless story with a beginning, a middle, but no end.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Macross: “Miss Macross” (Episode 9) and Robotech: “Miss Macross” (Episode 9)

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We pick up our story just a week after Minmei’s sixteenth birthday, and just two or three weeks at the most after the Battle of Mars. Exactly how long the SDF-1 Macross has been in space is unclear, but it’s been several months, long enough for people to settle into a more-or-less accepting daily routine. The series never says, but it’s probably going on half a year by the time we get to this week’s story

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “The Mudworm” (Season 2, Episode 2)

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We now come to the first episode of the regular series that I have strong memories of. Well, “Strong” perhaps too strong a way to describe it. Suffice it to say that I had *some* memories that were definitely of this one, and a whole lot of random memories of the series that turned out to be from this one. I had a bunch of flashbacks while watching it, that allowed me to remember as-yet-unseen scenes from later in the episode, and, most surprisingly, one line/mannerism that I often use, but which I’d long since forgotten the source of.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “Melt Down” (Season 2, Episode 1)

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Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, and the ‘real’ main sequence of the show has begun, there’s a whole lot of changes in Man From Atlantis, some for the better and some for the worse. Well, really, no, I can’t think of anything that isn’t better, actually. Maybe some of the set redesign, but generally everything is way better than it was before. In many ways, this is a rebirth of the series, so let’s just jump right to it, shall we?

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “Man From Atlantis IV - The Disappearances” (Season 1, Episode 4)

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As the short and wildly unsteady first season of Man From Atlantis comes to a close, I think the producers learned something: I think producers learned that chick dig a shirtless, wet Patrick Duffy running around in tiny yellow shorts. I think they realized that a large segment of the people watching these shows were *not* dateless wonders, Trekies, and geriatrics who’d misplaced the TV remote control. Rather, there were a lot of chicks who tuned in every week to get a little beefcake.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Space 1999:"Breakaway" (Season 1, Episode 1)

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It has been a bit over thirty years since I last watched this show attentively. After R3's disastrous encounter with "Man From Atlantis", I was a bit hesitant to subject good childhood memories to the light of 21st century sensibilities.

How well did it hold up? Well, that'd be telling.

Oh, okay. I'll tell you, but after the jump.

(Is it appropriate to post 'Spoilers' for 35 year old TV shows?)

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “Man From Atlantis III: The Deadly Spores” (Season 1, Episode 3)

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You may remember how oddly excited I was when I recently watched the first “Man From Atlantis” TV Movie, for the second time in 33 years, and suddenly knew where I was and what I was doing on March 4th, 1977, between the hours of 8 and 10 PM. Well, though I knew I’d missed some of the episodes of this series, I’d assumed I’d seen most of them. Turns out I was wrong: I’m more-than-passingly sure I never saw Episode 2, and I’m certain I never saw this one.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Macross: “The Longest Birthday” (Episode 8) AND: Robotech: “Sweet Sixteen” (Episode 8)

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There, see, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Only a week between reviews of this show. I should be able to keep up this not-at-all-breakneck pace for a couple more weeks, anyway. For those of you that are new, I’m simultaneously reviewing both “Macross,” a Japanese Anime from 1981, and “Robotech,” the somewhat bastardized American version of “Macross” from 1985. I’m generally using the American names for the characters because presumably our readers are more familiar with ‘em, and also they’re easier to type.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “Man From Atlantis II - The Death Scouts” (Season 1, Episode 2)

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I’ve received a fair amount of Email from people complaining that this show is called “The” Man From Atlantis, not just plain old “Man From Atlantis” by itself, and people tell me in no uncertain terms that I sound like a damn idiot when I leave the “The” off. Well, I’ll agree I sound like a damn idiot, but it’s not my fault, there simply was no “The” in the title in any of these episodes. Weird, huh?

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