REVIEW: STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES – SEASON 1-3

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MAIN CAST

William Shatner (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Leonard Nimoy (Transformers)
DeForest Kelley (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral)
James Doohan (Some Things Never Die)
Nichelle Nichols (Heroes)
George Takei (Heroes)
Walter Koenig (Babylon 5)
Grace Lee Whitney (60s Batman)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jeffrey Hunter (King of Kings)
Susan Oliver (Peyton Place)
Majel Barrett (Spider-Man 90s)
Malachi Throne (It Takes a Thief)
Meg Mylie (Lipstick)
Robert Walker Jr. (The War Wagon)
Eddie Paskey (Mission: Impossible)
Gary Lockwood (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Sally Kellerman (Meatballs III)
Roger C. Carmel (Transformers)
Sherry Jackson (Batman 60S)
Ted Cassidy (The Addams Family)
Kim Darby (True Grit)
Michael J. Pollard (Superboy)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Morgan Woodward (Cool Hand Luke)
Marianna Hill (Messiah of Evil)
Ricardo Montalban (Fantasy Island)
Madlyn Rhue (A Majority of One)
Arnold Moss (Gambit)
John Astin (The Addams Family)
Mark Lenard (Planet of The Apes TV)
Emily Banks (Gunfight in Abilene)
Elisha Cook Jr. (Rosemary’s Baby)
Diana Muldaur (The Survivors)
John Colicos (Battlestar Galactica)
Joan Collins (60s Batman)
Michael Forest (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
David Soul (Starsky and Hutch)
Billy Curtis (The Terror of Tiny Town)
Julie Newmar (60s Batman)
William Schallet (Innerspace)
William Campbell (Dementia 13)
Stanley Adams (The Great Gundown)
Michael Pataki (Rocky IV)
Frank Gorshin (60s Batman)
Charlie Brill (Bloodstone)
Ned Romero (Children of The Corn III)
Teri Garr (Tootsie)
Jack Donner (Stigmata)
Dick Durock (Swamp Thing)
Lee Meriwether (Batman: The Movie)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)

The original Trek series established, within it’s brief 3-year span, the panorama of an ever-expanding Federation of planets & civilizations, of which Earth was, in the 23rd century, a founding member (tho the audience never saw Earth during this run, except in time travel stories back to our 20th century). This series also presented mankind as, first & foremost, explorers, embodied by the trio of dynamic captain James T. Kirk (Shatner), his number two, science officer Spock (Nimoy) and irascible but kindly Dr.McCoy (Kelley) – but Spock was, of course, an alien (a Vulcan), an example of the alliances Earth held with many extraterrestrial races. They operated from a magnificent starship, Enterprise (one of several such ships in Starfleet), with a crew of about 400. Creator Roddenberry used the series as a platform to address many social & political concerns of the time. The general consensus of most familiar with the show is that the 1st & 2nd years were superior; the 3rd suffered in the writing & budget dept’s.

The best episodes: “City on the Edge of Forever”-Kirk almost sacrifices Earth’s history for the love of a woman. Almost, and he might’ve done so had he known her a little longer; “Mirror,Mirror”-4 members of the crew switch places with their counterparts in a parallel universe, where the Federation is a hostile Empire; “Space Seed”-the crew awaken Khan, an old-time conqueror boosted by eugenics, who returned in the 2nd Trek film(“The Wrath of Khan”); “Arena”-Kirk battles a lizardian captain of an unfriendly race on a desolate asteroid; “The Naked Time”-the crew lose their inhibitions, back when this was original; “This Side of Paradise”-another one with everyone affected emotionally and forgetting their mission; “The Trouble With Tribbles”-hugely entertaining romp on a space station; “Shore Leave”-another romp on a weird planet; “Journey to Babel”-Enterprise hosts ambassadors, Spock’s parents included, dealing with intrigue & politics; “Where No Man Has Gone Before”-the 2nd pilot which green-lit the series and the 1st with normal humans acquiring godlike powers; “The Enemy Within”-examines duality of human nature; “The Doomsday Machine”-space epic about a huge alien weapon destroying planets; “Amok Time”-detailed look into Vulcan customs; “Balance of Terror”-warships testing each other in space,introducing the aggressive Romulan race; “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”-answering all questions on androids; and “The Devil in the Dark”-which shows you cannot judge monsters by appearance.
As the list above demonstrates, all the concepts we have come to know in later films and series (Next Generation,Deep Space 9,Voyager) were laid out just fine in the late ’60s by some inventive writing (the first film to follow this, for example, merely reworked the episode “The Changeling” with a $50 million budget). The 2nd season also ended with a pilot for an unrealized spin-off “Assignment:Earth” which would have focused on human agent of aliens ‘Gary-7’ in the present day. It was back then, also, that omnipotent beings, such as “The Squire of Gothos” and the Organians (“Errand of Mercy”-which introduced Klingons) popped up to work miracles. The final 3rd season show ended things on a hysterical note as Kirk’s body was taken over by an unbalanced woman – quite unPC these days but nonetheless intriguing & entertaining. The series was followed 4 years later by an animated version, which took place during the same mission. Yes, the original is still the best, and it’s easy to see why. Image result for star trek the original series

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REVIEW: BATMAN: HOLY BATMANIA

 CAST

Adam West (Family Guy)
Burt Ward(Return To The Batcave
Julie Newmar (Seven Brides of Seven Brothers)
Frank Gorshin (Star Trek)
Cesar Romero (Ocean’s 11)

Holy Batmania! is a 2-DVD set of documentaries about the iconic ABC television show and its actors. This famous series ran from January 1966 to March 1968. With this set you get to see and hear how this series was conceived through interviews with some of the cast members, creators, including Executive Producer William Dozier, some of the writers, screen tests from 1965, network promos, syndication promos, theatrical trailers, TV spots, a trivia game, the Batman craze, and much more. I found the stories that were shared were very interesting and fascinating.

The two DVDs are broken down this way:

Disc 1 contains four 44-minute documentaries:

1. Batman: Holy Batmania! – a documentary about the series itself
2. Adam West: Behind The Cowl – a documentary about the career of Adam West
3. Cesar Romero: In A Class By Himself – a documentary about the long career of Cesar Romero, who played The Joker on the series.
4. Julie Newmar: The Cat’s Meow – a documentary about the long career of Julie Newmar, who played The Catwoman for the first two seasons of the series.

Disc 2 contains screen tests of Adam West and Burt Ward and also of Lyle Waggoner and Peter Deyell, who were the runners-up for the roles of Batman and Robin. This disc also contains the Network Presentation from 1966, network promos for all three seasons, syndication promos from 1983 and 1989, theatrical teasers and trailers for Batman: The Movie (1966), TV spots from 1989, a Bat-Marathon and Bat-Trivia (1989).

I found the documentary about Julie Newmar to be probably the most interesting (not by much, though), but all of them are excellent and very well done. I think viewers will gain a new appreciation for Cesar Romero as The Joker. In the last twenty years or so he’s sort of been forgotten about when it comes to actors over the years who have played The Joker. It seems like when people compare who’s the best movie Joker of all time, they always compare Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger and forget about Cesar Romero and the fact that he was in Batman: The Movie (1966). Either they forget about him or they’ve never heard of him or they just dismiss him as campy. Sometimes animated Jokers and the men who have voiced them get thrown into the contest, such as Larry Storch, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Mark Hamill. Personally, Cesar Romero is my favorite Joker of all time. He was 58, 59, 60, and 61 years old when he played him. Amazing. He was the most animated, lively and energetic Joker and had by far the best laugh, in my opinion.

All in all I feel this set is worth purchasing as a nice companion to the 60s show.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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CAST
Lynda Carter (Sky High)
Lyle Waggoner (Return To The Batcave)
THE DEADLY TOYS
Frank Gorshin (Batman 60s)
James A. Watson Jr. (Airplane 2)
John Rubinstein (Angel)

 Three world renowned scientists,  Dr. Tobias, Dr. Prescott and Dr. Lazaar and members of the military are seated around a conference table listening to Dr. Tobias discuss Project XYZ. He angrily tells them that when he and his colleagues realized they were developing the most devastating weapon that would escalate the arms race. Each of them was responsible for one part of its development. To prevent it from falling into the wrong hands they have burned every page of notes, every equation and every trace of their work. The military men look uncomfortable, except for  Major John Dexter [JOHN RUBINSTEIN]. As Dr. Tobias continues, a strange high-pitched buzzing sound is heard and it continues to grow louder.  Soon Dr. Tobias eyes are blinking in a mechanical, rhythmical manner. As the high-pitched sound becomes piercing, Dr. Tobias slowly begins to melt. While the people around the table look on with horror, Dr. Tobias melts to a blob of slightly smoking liquid plastic and formless clothing, hair and wiring.  The next day, Dexter, an old college friend of Steve’s, explains to Diana Prince  and Steve Trevor, Jr. That the real doctor was replaced by an android. Since all three scientists are involved in Project XYZ, there is the possibility that the other two, who are still flesh and blood, may also be replaced by an android. Steve and Diana decide that they must place both remaining scientists under tight security and Steve leaves to arrange this.

Diana leaves to check Tobias’ laboratory for clues. Somebody is already there when she arrives and he pulls out a gun and tells Diana not to move as he makes his escape. Diana sets off after him and spins into Wonder Woman. She captures the man with her lasso and asks him what he was doing in Tobias’ laboratory.   Meanwhile Steve, accompanied by Dexter, has just placed Prescott in a secure location and is returning to his car just as the phone rings. It is Diana who tells Steve that she wasn’t the only one at Tobias’ laboratory.  A short while later a package is delivered to Dr. Prescott -a set of toy soldiers, which he seems to have been expecting. As he places the soldiers into their positions a miniature cannon fires a needle into Prescott’s arm. He gasps, he eyes glaze over and he appears frozen, stupefied, mouth slack and eyes staring. The phone rings and a voice instructs him to do exactly as it says. He leaves the apartment, walking by the guard who suffered the same fate by a toy, and walks to the back stairway. Another Prescott appears and the real Prescott disappears.  It is the Christmas season and a toy maker,  Orlich Hoffman , is busy putting the finishing touches on a toy drummer when a buzzer sounds. He walks to the back of the toy shop and two men enter carrying a long coffin-like box. Inside the crate is the real Dr. Prescott, sound asleep.

Meanwhile, the android Prescott is being visited by Diana. He insists that she has a cup of tea. While questioning him about Project XYZ, she notices that one of his hands is on a hot burner with the coils glowing red, she pulls it off the coil. He quickly jerks his hand away but knowing he’s been caught with no chance of reprieve. He starts to speak and his eyes begin to blink rhythmically too, Diana releases that Prescott has also been replaced by an android. Diana rushes to Dr. Lazaar’s apartment and has a doctor verify that he is still human, warning him that he is the only one that hasn’t been replaced with an android. She tells him that he will have to be moved again so that he will be safe. She notices a set of toy soldiers and questions him as to where he purchased them, then leaves immediately for the toy shop. Diana arrives at the toy shop and meets the owner Hoffman, who grows suspicious when she asks to purchase toy soldiers. He invents many excuses and send her to another toy shop. He hands her a little Santa Claus to put on her dashboard, to make up for his rudeness. It is really a tracking device for a toy plane that will follow and kill Diana. As Diana drives away she notices the plane above her car. It swoops low and drops explosive devices. She stops the car and runs to take cover as more devices are fired toward her. She spins into Wonder Woman and uses her bracelets to deflect two further shots then leaps up and catches the plane. She carries it over to the car and realizes that the Santa Claus was a tracking device.  Later that night, Hoffman applies the finishing touches one of his most recent creations -another android identical in form, figure and costume to Wonder Woman.

Back at Steve’s office Diana tells Steve about the plane and is just telling him that she has had Lazaar moved when Dexter arrives. He seems very agitated and becomes more so when Diana refuses to tell either of them where she has moved Lazaar too. Diana has grown suspicious of Major Dexter. She checks him out with the computer console, IRAC. As IRAC flashes out the information she requests, she now knows that her suspicions were correct. Dexter and the toy maker are working together. While she is gathering her information, Dexter and Hoffman are together in the toy shop. They are making plans to capture Diana as she is the only one who knows where Dr. Lazaar is. Through a phony telephone call, using Steve Trevor’s voice to convince her, they lure her to a park in the middle of the night and to her surprise the android Wonder Woman is waiting for her. She tells her that the two missing scientists are in the basement of the toy shop. Diana follows warily.  She is greeted by Dexter, who points a gun at her and demands that she tells him where Lazaar is. She tells him that she knows he is behind the switches and that she won’t tell him Lazaar’s location. Hoffman opens the lid of a box near Diana and releases some toy butterflies. One lands on Diana’s hand. It clamps on and a needle appears where its mouth should be. As it bites her, she immediately staggers and falls to the ground, out cold. When she comes round Dexter is sitting beside her. The butterfly contained a truth serum and she tells Dexter that Lazaar is at her apartment. He leaves to get him and Wonder Woman is left to guard Diana. She slowly regains consciousness and sees Hoffman and ‘Wonder Woman” loading Prescott and Tobias onto a truck. She realizes she talked in her sleep and Dexter is on his way to get Lazaar in the hiding place. She gets up and whirls into the real Wonder Woman. The two Wonder Women battle and one crumples to the floor. Hoffman has no idea if it’s his android or not. The two continue loading the van and pick up Dexter. When they explain to him their reason for being late, he becomes suspicious He fires at Wonder Woman and she’s forced to deflect the bullet. He knows it is the real Wonder Woman. Hoffman runs but is knocked off his feet by Wonder Woman’s tiara. She stops Dexter from getting away by holding onto the back of the van.

Diana and Steve watch from a distance and they see Dexter and Hoffman drive off in the truck thinking that their precious cargo are the three scientists. Since the lasso makes people forget things that have happened, they are not aware that Steve and Diana have substituted three androids for the real scientists. Steve and Diana take great pleasure in realizing that Hoffman and Dexter will get what they deserve when the people who paid them for three live scientists will be getting three androids. Diana tells Steve she has something she needs to do.  Wonder Woman stands outside Hoffman’s toyshop, she sprays  “Merry Christmas W.W.” onto the window, turns around and smiles.

Wonder Woman is a classic show and the first Christmas episode was a classic and is one I watch every Christmas and will continue. Biggest highlight of course is Wonder Woman vs Wonder Woman.
POT OF GOLD
GUEST CAST
Dick O’ Neill (The Jerk)
Brian Davies (All My Children)
Steve Allie Collura (Perfect Gentleman)

Diana Prince  is on a stake-out in London. She picks up the car phone and reports to the Inspector that she is outside Thackery’s office and is waiting for someone to come out. Inside Thackery’s office, he is giving instructions to a courier  who is on a very important assignment to him. He is to deliver three elements required to produce hundred dollar bills. Counterfeit of course. Accompanying the courier will be a killer dog, Rasputin. The courier leaves the office for the airport with Diana following him. The dog is led to a room behind the counter and the courier leaves the counter and notices Diana behind him. He runs onto the field. Diana whirls into Wonder Woman and runs after him -leaping over planes -catches him. When she asks him where the counterfeit plates are, he informs her that they are on the dog. She looks up and sees that the plane has just taken off for America.

While this was happening in London, Pat O’Hanlon  a man in his fifties who talks with a thick Irish brogue and a cobbler by trade, is just closing his small store which is located on a quiet street in Washington, D.C. He leaves his store and is attacked by two men, Rancher  and Maxwell  who demand he turn his gold over to them. They put him in the back of their van and moments later, they turn to check on him and he is gone. He disappeared into thin air… They report this to their boss, Bonelli who is very angry. He needs the old shoemaker’s gold to buy the counterfeit plates. He promised Thackery the money and he wouldn’t dare not come through. In the meantime, Diana has contacted Steve  to clue him in about Rasputin. He drives to the airport and watches the animal crates being lowered. Unbeknown to Steve, a truck pulls up, stops and the driver gets out. As soon as the latch to the dog crate is opened, the driver blows a whistle and the dog reacts to the silent whistle by running across the airfield, jumps into the truck and the truck races out of sight. Steve stands there and watches it.   A few days later Thackery arrives in Washington. Bonelli toes not have the gold to pay him for the counterfeit plates. Thackery tells him that the dollar has gotten stronger against the pound and he is upping the price by $50,000. Bonelli must do something fast. He and his two henchmen pay Pat another visit. This time Pat takes them to the basement of hls shop and in the center of the floor, Pat sweeps away the dirt from a heavy lid. He raises the lid and there is a large receptacle filled to the top with gold coins. They take the gold and leave Pat locked in the basement. Through a secret trapdoor, Pat escapes and follows them to their hideout. He overhears them discussing that they must steal more gold. He hides in back of an armored truck. They leave for the next job; which is to steal a small shipment of gold. What they to not know is that is a set-up arranged by Steve and the IADC. So much gold has been stolen lately that the IADC was called in to help catch the thieves.
3696d4affd4b2e847380b40b0444a5deDiana is dressed as a security guard. Just as she is ready to catch Maxwell and Ranchers Pat flings open the back of the armored truck and ruins Diana’s chances. Pat is thrown to the ground as the truck quickly speeds off. Diana whirls into Wonder Woman, leaps into the air and lands on top of the truck. Pat is now up on his feet and tries to block the gateway. Rancher and Maxwell are about to run him over when Wonder Woman leaps from the top of the truck and saves Pat’s life. The two thugs get away.  Bonelli now makes plans to meet Thackery and get the counterfeit plates. Pat, who now knows where Bonelli’s hideout is, hears the plans. But, once again, he is caught and tied up. What Pat doesn’t know is that Diana has been following him, and when the thugs to meet Bonelli, she whirls into Wonder Woman and saves Pat. Once inside the hideout, they find an address and know that is where Bonelli is to meet Thackery. She instructs Pat to call Steve. Bonelli and Thackery meet at the appointed place. An exchange of the gold for the counterfeit plates is to take place when Thackery tells Bonelli that the plates are on the dog. As Bonelli reaches for the dog, Rasputin growls and snaps. Bonelli .now realizes that it is a double cross. Steve now moves in and captures Bonelli and his two henchmen. But, Thackery grabs Pat and uses him as a shield as he runs to a waiting helicopter. Diana whirls into Wonder Woman and comes running up behind the helicopter. The helicopter takes off and Thackery pushes Pat out the door. Wonder Woman easily catches him. She then unties her lasso, throws it and it wraps itself around one of the struts on the chopper. She begins pulling the chopper to earth by drawing on the
lasso and within minutes the chopper is on the ground. Thackery is taken away. Wonder Woman promises Pat he will get his gold back. He smiles so kindly that Rasputin turns into a playful little puppy dog…
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Thou not as memorable as The Deadly Toys, this episode Pot of Gold is still a nice episode it has a cuteness too it, thou a Christmas episode the Christmas theme is mostly just in the background so its one that can be watched anytime.

REVIEW: RETURN TO THE BATCAVE

CAST

Adam west (Family Guy)
Burt Ward (The New Adventures of Batman)
Frank Gorshin (Star Trek)
Julie Newmar (My Living Doll)
Jack Brewer (Clueless TV)
Jason Marsden (Full House)
Lyle Waggoner (Wonder Woman)
Lee Meriwether (The Munsters Today)
Betty White (Th Golden Girls)
Amy Acker (The Cabin In The Woods)
Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)
Brett Rickaby (The Crazies)
Julia Rose (Something’s Gotta Give)
Erin Carufel (Untraceable)

TV reunions can be pretty painful to watch. It usually just seems like a bunch of overly familiar clips, fluffy talking head retrospectives, and maybe some misguided attempts at material that really should’ve been put to rest a decade or three earlier. If you happened to catch Return to the Batcave when it debuted a couple years back, you already know that this 90 minute special isn’t anything like that.
As you could hopefully guess from the title, Return to the Batcave takes a look back at the Batman television series that aired on ABC in ’60s.  The framing story is set in the present, as original stars Adam West and Burt Ward are delivered phony invitations for a charity auto show. Some cackling criminal offscreen swipes the Batmobile from under them, and to ensure that those orphans don’t suffer any more than they already have, he types with a sniffle, Adam and Burt set off to reclaim the Batmobile and Oof! Wham! Pow! whoever’s responsible. (It’s really not much of a mystery, but play along anyway.) Along the way, they stumble onto clues suggesting that the theft has something to do with their past, and as they reminisce about the show, it’s time to cue the flashbacks.
 The sequences set in the here-‘n-now are played with the same sort of campy, goofy sense of humor as the original series, down to the garish set design and Dutch camera angles. The flashbacks are treated a little more seriously, with Jack Brewster and Jason Marsden stepping into the roles of Adam and Burt. The camp may be dialed down, but these flashbacks aren’t dry, monotone re-enactments. They’re teeming with some of the lurid details from any one of the stars’ tell-all books, everything from Burt Ward’s divorce, Adam West’s relentless womanizing, Ward’s excessive man-basket unsettling the religious right, Fredric Wertham’s accusations of homosexuality between the Dynamic Duo, struggles with the censors, Ward almost getting skewered after a disastrous one-night stand, and internal bickering.  Since it’s not just E!’s True Hollywood Story with a bigger budget, everything from the original casting (including some actual footage of Lyle Waggoner testing as Batman) to the series’ numerous guest stars (including Cesar Romero demanding makeup be smothered over his moustache and a food fight with Vincent Price on the set, to rattle off a couple) to Burt Ward getting bruised, battered, and par-broiled during botched stunts (I don’t have a parenthetical reference for this one) is covered.
 This isn’t a shameless, half-thought-out ratings grab — Return to the Batcave manages to capture the spirit of the original Batman series. A lot of the gags in the framing story got a laugh, particularly quips about the structure of these sorts of reunion specials and more subtle ones like Adam West suggesting they drive his car because it’s already been established. I don’t know how many liberties the movie took with reality for the flashback sequences, but they’re certainly interesting enough, spouting off a bunch of stories I hadn’t heard before. If you’re a fan of the original television series, then…well, you probably already saw this when it originally aired…but if not, I guess you have a chance to now. There isn’t much on this DVD aside from the movie itself, but at least it’s cheap.
Return to the Batcave captures a lot of what made the original TV series such a blast to watch, and if you like the show, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll feel the same way about this reunion movie

REVIEW: LOIS & CLARK – SEASON 1,2,3 & 4

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CAST

Dean Cain (Supergirl)
Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives)
Lane Smith (V: The Series)
Michael Landes (Final Destination 2)
Justin Whalin (Child’s Play 3)
Tracy Scoggins (Babylon 5)
K Callan (Heroes)
Eddie Jones (C.H.U.D.)
John Shea (Mutant X)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Elizabeth Barondes (Oscar)
Kim Johnston Ulrich (Passions)
Mel Winkler (Coach Carter)
Shaun Toub (Iron Man)
Clyde Kusatsu (Paradise Road)
Persis Khambatta (Star Trek: TMP)
Joseph Campanella (Guding Light)
George Murdock (Star Trek V)
Terence Knox (Children of the Corn II)
Tony Jay (Beauty and The Beast)
Leslie Jordan (Jason Goes To Hell)
Jim Beaver (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Miguel Sandoval (Alias)
Jessica Tuck (Super 8)
Alexander Enberg (Gia)
David Deluise (Vampires Suck)
Courtney Peldon (Say It isn’t So)
L. Scott Caldwell (Lost)
Morgan Fairchild (That 70s Show)
Charles Cyphers (Halloween)
Fred Stoller (Little Man)
Richard Belzer (The Flash)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven)
Eve Plumb (The Brady Bunch)
Penn Jillette (Sabrina: TTW)
Richard Gant (Godzilla)
Chris Demetral (Dolly Dearest)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Beverly Johnson (Crossroads)
James Earl Jones (Star wars)
Phyllis Coates (Adventures of Superman)
Robert Beltran (Star Trek: Voyager0
Denise Crosby (Star TRek: TNG)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Traylor Howard (Two Guys and a Girl)
Michael Des Barres (Poison Ivy 3)
Barry Livingston (Argo)
William Schallert (Innerspace)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
Rick Overton (Cloverfield)
Bronson Pinchot (True Romance)
Bruce Weitz (Deep Impact)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Farrah Forke (Wings)
Peter Boyle (Taxi Driver)
Melora Hardin (17 Again)
John Pleshette (Rocky II)
William Devane (Interstellar)
Isobel Sanford (Love at First Bite)
Dick Van Patten (Spaceballs)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Sherman Hemsley (Amen)
John Rubinstein (Legends of Tomorrow)
Scott Valentine (My Demon Lover)
Christian Clemenson (Apollo 13)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groudnhog Day)
Gerrit Graham (Child’s Play 2)
Raquel Welch (Fantastic Voyage)
Cliff De Young (Glory)
Jim Pirri (Alias)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad)
Danny Woodburn (Watchmen)
Terry Kiser (Friday The 13th – Part VII)
Lane Davies (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Legally Blonde)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Frank Gorshin (Batman 60s)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Jason Carter (Babylon 5)
Michele Abrams (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Adam West (Batman 60s)
Maurice Godin (Working)
Jessica Collins (Tru Calling)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)
Olivia Brown (48 Hours)
Rob LaBelle (Jack Frost)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Genie Francis (Roseell)
Kenneth Kimmins (Beauty and The Beast)
Shelley Long (Cheers)
Mary Gross (Sabrina: TTW)
Sandra Hess (Gargoyle)
Sean Whalen (Twister)
Andrew Bryniarski (Batman Returns)
Robert Carradine (Django Unchained)
Harve Presnell (Star trek: Voyager)
Beverly Garland (Decoy)
Gary Dourdan (CSI)
Emily Procter (CSI: Miami)
Hamilton Camp (The Little Mermaid)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Brad Garrett (The Crazy Ones)
Tony Curtis (The Great Race)
Larry Poindexter (Blade: The Series)
Daniel Roebuck (Lost)
Kyla Pratt (Dr. Dolittle)
Justine Bateman (Family Ties)
Roger Daltrey (Highlander: The Series)
Jon Tenney (Green Lantern)
Nark Lindsay Chapman (Swamp Thing: The Series)
J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: DS9)
Eric Allan Kramer (The Incredible Hulk Returns)
Simon Templeman (Angel)
Jack Larson (Adventures of Superman)
John D’Aquino (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Alan Rachins (L.A. Law)
Jasmine Guy (The Vampire Diaries)
Sydney Walsh (Point Break)
Antonio Sabato Jr. (The Big Hit)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Drew Carey (Fuck)
Kathy Kinney (Arachnophobia)
Howie Mandel (Bobby’s World)
Keene Curtis (Stargate SG.1)
Tony Amendola (Annabelle)
Kristanna Loken (Painkiller Jane)
Vito D’Ambrosio (The Flash_
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Patrick Cassidy (Smallville)
Keith Brunsmann (Tweek City)
Lori Fetrick (CIA II)
Tim Thomerson (Transcers)
Stacey Travis (Highlander: The Series)
Grant Shaud (Antz)

Die-hard Superman fans are torn on this one. Some think of L&C as the black sheep of Superman history. Others see it as one of their favorite adaptations. And how could they not, really? Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher as Clark and Lois had some serious chemistry going on. The late Lane Smith as Perry White is still my favorite version of the character, though Michael McKean did a darn good job himself. Michael Landes as Jimmy, Tracy Scoggins as Cat, Eddie Jones and K Callan as Jonathan and Martha… it all really gelled. And John Shea as Lex – how was he missed as a regular in the later years. Because of personnel changes throughout the series’ run, unfortunately, there were very little references or flashbacks to the first year because the show was now guided by a new regime.
 But the first year really is where it’s at. Teri Hatcher, before she was a desperate housewife, looked real and spectacular as Lois Lane. They dressed Lois in retro outfits that looked like they came from another decade, which gave the show a timeless quality. Dean Cain as Clark offered a “cool” but alien take to the role. Both Dean and Teri look really fashionable even to this day in the first season of the show.
The special effects are hit-or-miss; in some scenes, the effects work, but in others, you cringe. We’ve really gotten spoiled by the top-notch effects work in programs like Smallville. Guest stars in that first season include model Beverly Johnson, James Earl Jones, Michael McKean, Law & Order’s Richard Belzer, Morgan Fairchild, Dean Stockwell, and many others. But it’s the show’s recurring cast that makes it the most, well, super.
The DVD set includes commentary on the pilot episode by actor Dean Cain, director Robert Butler, and show creator Deborah Joy LeVine. It’s a lot of fun, especially hearing stories about the show’s casting and production of that pilot episode. I really wish Deborah Joy LeVine had stayed on the series as an executive producer, because she had such an amazing vision for the show that I think is a big reason of why that first season was so good. There’s also a documentary on the effects, but the real treat is a bonus documentary where almost all of the L&C cast and many members of the crew are interviewed about the show, except for Michael Landes (Jimmy #1) and Lane Smith (Perry White). How cool is it, ten years later, to see Big TV Superstar Teri Hatcher talking about her days of Lois Lane, all while speaking on Housewives’ Wisteria Lane set. Even K Callan, Eddie Jones, Tracy Scoggins, and John Shea participated in the action. I applaud Warner Home Video for going to the effort of including these people.
 The second season of L&C holds a special place to me because it is the year that taught me how to be a fan. Series creator Deborah Joy LeVine exited after the thrilling first season finale, and departing at the same time were Tracy Scoggins (Cat Grant), Chris Demetral (Jack), and – the most painful loss at the time – Michael Landes, who I referred to back in the day as “the real Jimmy.” He was replaced by Justin Whalin in the role, and I admit, I didn’t take to him very easily. The show went for more of an action-oriented tone, but luckily, Lois & Clark had some very good writers who still managed to find a way to keep the romantic elements of the series. Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain had a chemistry, as did their characters of Lois and Clark, and you can’t help but feel for them as they go along.
Season Two was also the season where Lois & Clark finally became a hit – no “sophomore slump” here. From the time Clark finally asked Lois on a date in “The Phoenix” things were looking up. No Mayson Drakes or Dan Scardinos could get in the way of finally getting these two characters together.
Upon watching the DVD, my first stop after the special features was “Whine Whine Whine.” In it, Superman fights a foe more dastardly than Kryptonite – greed. The episode featured guests like Ben Stein, Adam West, Frank Gorshin, Martin Mull, and others… it’s just great. Long-time Lois & Clark fans will also remember it for bringing in a scene that we’ve waited for for a while. “
Like Season 1, the producers of the L&C DVDs went all out in providing an assortment of special material, and for the most part they were very successful. Dean Cain provides interviews again (no Teri this time), and other interviewees included K Callan (Martha Kent), Eddie Jones (Jonathan Kent), Denise Crosby (Dr. Gretchen Kelly), and Justin Whalin (Jimmy Olsen). The show’s Season 2 writers and some crew are also featured, including John McNamara, who is awesome not only for his great L&C contributions, but because he co-created Profit, which is the best show you probably have never seen.
In the interviews Justin Whalin talks about the initial fan reaction to his recasting, which makes me feel a bit bad for the way I felt and posted years ago after he was cast. I later met Justin and thought he was a really nice guy. I’ve also noticed on the DVD interviews that Justin has apparently not aged at all in the past 10 years – he looks almost exactly the same.
Another bonus feature takes a look at the fandom for the show, again featuring some actors and creators and some visits to some fans at a recent “FoLCFest” (Fans of Lois & Clark) gathering. I was glad to see an assortment of people interviewed for the featurette, but I was a bit disappointed that no one from the Krypton Club was represented – after all, its subscriber list WAS bigger than the listserv or the IRC channel for most of its existence – but that fact seems to have been forgotten in the passing of time.
Finally, Dean Cain provides commentary for “Season’s Greedings,” where you hear – about 2 dozen times – about how foamy material rather than real snow were used to provide the “snow” for the episode. It’s very cool to hear Dean talking about his writing debut, which conveniently also happened to be one of the most popular episodes of the series. Dean’s a great sport and I really love the fact that he’s even doing DVD commentary. .
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 The third season was probably the most memorable time for me to be a part of the Lois & Clark fandom, as the show started hitting high gear. Unfortunately, some of the situations that I found to be “funny” back as a kid are just kind of annoying and childish now. If I ever see Olivia Brown’s Star anytime soon, it’ll be too soon. Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis also camp it up way too much as collectors Tim and Amber Lake. And they’re not the only ones who bring bad camp to the season.
Luckily, some episodes have a good mix of camp and story. “We Have A Lot To Talk About,” the season’s premiere, is an episode that will always be close to my heart and has some of the best quotations in Superman history. (“That is so unfair! You know I can’t fly!”) There’s camp in the form of the Churches in that said episode, but when it’s Peter Boyle, Bruce Campbell, and Jessica Collins, you really don’t seem to mind.
“Ultra Woman” gives Lois super-powers, and again, a very campy costume, but makes for a good story anyway. The episode also features the Metropolis Park Wishing Well, which now can be paused so you can actually see this author’s name inscribed on the well! Another highlight of the season – and one of the series’ best all around – is “Tempus Anyone,” a return appearance for the Tempus character from Season 2’s “Tempus Fugitive.” Season Three rushed right into a wedding, and “I Now Pronounce You” promises the “wedding of the century” – a wedding that ABC touted as being “bigger than Burt and Loni, Michael and Lisa Marie…” You see where they’re going with that. I don’t want to spoil the episode, but the episodes following it may become increasingly frustrating, even though “Double Jeopardy” and “Seconds” are also two of the season’s best shows.
The season finale introduces some aliens fom a New Krypton. This is the spot where the producers chose to ignore the whole “Last Son of Krypton” aspect of Superman.
 Season 4 does have some gems. Some I liked the first time around, like the “Meet John Doe/Lois and Clarks” two-parter… and some were surprisingly better than what I remembered, like the Leslie Luckabee trilogy. One advantage of watching this season on DVD ten years later, besides the feeling of nostalgia, is that many of these episodes were ones I had only seen once back in the day… compared to the dozens of times I re-watched the early episodes. So, in effect, this is kind of new, and I like that.
 Season 4 is still enjoyable but as you get closer to the last episode you know the end is coming, plus the final episode is a cliffhanger that will never be resolved.

REVIEW: LEGENDS OF THE SUPER HEROES

CAST

Adam West (Return To The Batcave)
Burt Ward (The New Adventures of Batman)
Frank Gorshin (Star Trek)
Jeff Altman (Highlander 2)
Charlie Callas (Switch)
Gabriel Dell (Earthquake)
Howard Morris (Splash)
Mickey Morton (Starchaser)
William Schallert (Santa Barbara)
A’leisha Brevard (American Pop)
Garrett Craig (The Blue Knight)
Howard Murphy (Satan’s Mistress)
Danuta Rylko Soderman (The 700 Club)
Bill Nuckols (Sunset Cove)
Rod Hasse (Hero at Large)
Barbara Joyce (Hothead)
Gary Owens (That 70s Show)
Ruth Buzzi (Freaky Friday)
Pat Carroll (The Little Mermaid)
Alfie Wise (The Cannonball Run)
Ed McMahon (Bewitched)

On January 18, 1979, NBC aired Legends Of The Superheroes: The Challange, an hourlong special in which Adam West, Burt Ward, and Frank Gorshin reprised their Batman, Robin, and Riddler roles from the campy ’60s Batman series, alongside a cast of legendary TV comedians and generic hunks. The show had the heroes dealing with a series of traps laid by a team of supervillains, with each trap setting the stage for a wacky skit. Intended as a live-action Superfriends, LOTS came off more like a live-action version of Scooby’s All-Star Laff-a-lympics.But even The Challenge wasn’t as wretched at what NBC aired the following week: Legends Of The Superheroes: The Roast, in which the cast of the previous special returned for a series of painfully unfunny sketches and stand-up routines. According to the website TV Obscurities, The Challenge finished 58th out of 59 shows the week it aired, and The Roast finished 62nd out of 63. NBC and Hanna-Barbera’s experiment with live-action superhero slapstick was over.

The Challenge opens with the heroes and villains in their respective lairs, where the former have an orderly meeting, complete with a salute to elderly superhero Retired Man (played by William Schallert, better-known as Patty Duke’s dad on The Patty Duke Show), while the latter have a chaotic meeting complete with random acts of violence and lots of indistinct muttering, captured in an ugly-looking medium-long shot.
The villains seize on a doomsday plot put forward by Dr. Sivana (played by sitcom vet Howard Morris, a.k.a. Ernest T. Bass on The Andy Griffith Show) and divide up, each tasked to find ways to slow the superheroes down. Sinestro (played by funny-faced comic Charlie Callas) poses as a gypsy and reads Green Lantern’s fortune.The Weather Wizard (played by fast-talking young comedian Jeff Altman) poses as a used-car salesman, and sells Batman and Robin a lemon. The Riddler pretends to be a psychiatrist and gets Captain Marvel to sit on his outdoor couch and talk about his feelings. Finally, the heroes locate the villain’s island hideout, where Batman and Robin hop on Jet Skis and chase the wizard Mordru (an obscure DC bad guy played by former Dead End Kid Gabriel Dell) before heading indoors for an old-fashioned punch-up.
Oddly enough, the cheesiness of the costumes are a point in favor of LOTS: The Roast, where the ridiculousness of everything is part of the concept. At the outset, host Ed McMahon jokes that he hasn’t seen so many crazy costumes since he last “had lunch at Alice Cooper’s house,” and adds that the heroes’ HQ looks like “Truman Capote’s closet.”
The Roast is a beast to sit through. The special includes several corny routines in which McMahon trades quips with guests like Hawkman’s mom (played by showbiz legend Pat Carroll, who jokes that when young Hawkman brought notes home from school, “they were strapped to his leg”) and hulking monster Solomon Grundy (who roars and threatens McMahon whenever he’s reminded of the word “swamp”), and, yet again, Retired Man.
Later, Dr. Sivana shows up, giving Howard Morris a chance to get uncomfortably close to Black Canary’s breasts.…and the inevitable Ruth Buzzi pops up as a gun-toting Aunt Minerva.
Also, gossip-monger “Rhoda Rooter” conducts an interview with the unlikely couple of The Atom and Giganta……and West and Ward participate in an interminable skit where Robin tries to keep Batman from finding out that he totaled the Batmobile. Again, it’s impressive—at least for an old DC devotee like myself—to see how far into the character pool the writers were willing to jump, and it’s not like the level of comedy here was any worse than moist shows of its time.  Hanna-Barbera use the occasion of this special to allow Jeff Altman to do a few minutes of stand-up material as Weather Wizard (complete with storms), and to have comedian Brad Sanders lay down some jokes along the lines of “If Hawkman walked through Harlem, by the time he got to Lennox Avenue, he’d be Kentucky-fried,” in the unfortunate guise of Ghetto Man. The Roast ends with Mordru doing a little song-and-dance routine, changing the lyrics to “That’s Entertainment” to something more villain-friendly……and then the whole affair should’ve been permanently consigned to the ash-heap of TV history. But alas, it was dug back up by warner brothers.
It’s a collectable piece for any DC fan as long as they don’t take it seriously

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE MOVIE (1966)

CAST

Adam West (Return To The Batcave)
Burt Ward (The New Adventures of Batman)
Lee Meriwether (The Munters Today)
Cesar Romer (The Little Princess)
Burgess Meredith (Rocky)
Frank Gorshin (Star Trek)
Alan Napier (Marnie)
Neil Hamilton (Tarzan The Ape Man)
Stafford Repp (Plunder Road)
Madge Blake (The Long, Long Trailer)
Reginald Denny (Of Human Bondage)

Batman is a faithful movie adaptation of the hugely successful live-action TV series, which for most of 1966 had been a genuine pop culture phenomenon comparable to the James Bond craze and Beatlemania, and almost unique for a TV show before or since. The Batman movie, filmed in the late Spring of ’66 and released that August, between the end of the first season and premiere of the second.
The story is relatively simple, far too simple to justify its 105-minute running time: Commodore Schmidlapp (Reginald Denny) is kidnapped – along with his fantastic new invention, a “Total Dehydrator” – by the United Underworld, an uneasy alliance of Gotham City’s most notorious villains: The Joker (Cesar Romero), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), The Riddler (Frank Gorshin), and Catwoman (Lee Meriwether, replacing an unavailable Julie Newmar from the TV series).
As Bruce Wayne/Batman (Adam West) and his ward Dick Grayson/Robin (Bruce Ward) inch toward finding the villains’ lair and uncovering their dastardly plot, Bruce and his alter-ego fall for a Russian journalist from the Moscow Bugle (love that name!), Miss Kitka, actually Catwoman in disguise. Meanwhile, the villains come up with a plan to lure Batman into a trap, using a kidnapped millionaire as bait – Bruce Wayne! Oh bitter irony.
Like the TV show, the movie reaches two very different audiences at once: kids were attracted to the comic book elements while adults appreciated its deliberately campy humor. Many people were responsible for Batman’s success, but the biggest share must go to star Adam West, without whom the show probably wouldn’t have worked. Other actors could have played Robin, and some of the villains were played by different actors over the show’s three seasons. But West was the perfect match for this Batman: there is an earnestness in his consistently hilarious performance that only Neil Hamilton’s Commissioner Gordon comes close to matching. (Hamilton was an excellent “straight man” on this series and a fine actor late in life; by 1966, he had been making films for nearly half a century. See his appearance in the The Outer Limits episode “The Invisibles” as an example of his diversity.)
Handicapped by a cowl that severely restricted his facial expressions, West relied on a funny clipped speech, constantly adjusting its speed. Like Fred Astaire’s dancing, West makes something extremely complex seem easy and natural, but that precise type of delivery had to have required hours upon hours of thought and preparation: it’s a masterwork of comic timing.
In the movie, one also has a new appreciation for his talent as a physical comedian. The scene everyone remembers succeeds largely due to West’s funny, frantic movements: Batman darts around a pier with a lit bomb the size of a basketball, vainly trying to dispose of the thing before it explodes. In every direction is an obstacle, however: a group of nuns, lovers in a rowboat, a Salvation Army brass band, a family of ducks. Again, though hindered by a head-to-toe costume that would seem to limit most expression, West somehow conveys Batman’s sense of urgency, panic, and controlled frustration. For that gem of a scene alone, Batman is worth watching. (Interestingly, West doesn’t simply play Bruce Wayne as Batman unmasked, but in a much less stylized manner. I wonder if this was deliberate, or if wearing the costume somehow inspired him.). The rest of the film is hit-and-miss. Some ideas are quite funny: when the Batcopter is struck by one of The Riddler’s Polaris missiles, sending it crashing to earth, Batman and Robin are saved by an enormous pile of foam rubber – an outdoor display at the Foam Rubber Wholesalers Convention. (“I’d say the odds against it would make even the most reckless gambler cringe,” Batman says.) However, the picture makes the mistake of shooting its wad in the first half-hour. During that time everything there is to see is shown: the Bat Cave, the Batmobile, the four villains and their submarine, as well as several new gadgets, the aforementioned Batcopter and Batboat. After that the film becomes rather serial-like in its extreme repetitiveness. Almost every scene drags on way too long; had it been fine-tuned to 70-75 minutes instead of 105, it might have become a classic ’60s comedy instead of the kind of footnote it’s become.
The film will always be a classic and will always be fondly remembered