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September 10, 2008

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forgot to mention this in the email I just sent, and feeling lazy:

fingerless gloves
brass
goggles (just about every halloween store)
leather jackets/accessories
pocket watches
crazy hair
boots

This is my list of steampunk-y things that can help make a basic historical wardrobe fit at a steampunk event. Most of them can be found in basements and halloween stores (or made quickly), so you'll be fine.

I'd suggest something that doesn't involve your spending two nights sewing like a madwoman. How about combining elements from choices #1-2-3-4 instead?

Hi! I'm a fledgling steampunk, so our mutual friend Marilee sent me here to offer some advice ;)

Raven offered some very good advice on simple accessories to add to any of your outfits to make them a little steamy. Might I also suggest keys? A vintage or vintage-looking key (you can either hit the antique store, or check the scrapbooking section of Michaels or JoAnn's, my DH found some sweet keys there) worn on a pretty velveteen or lace ribbon adds a simple and elegant steampunk touch.

I don't know if they still do, but for the past month Target has had some simple black vests in the junior's department for $20. I bought one, removed the plastic buttons and replaced them with vintage bronze glass, and I wear that when I want to feel steamy. They also have some cute newsboy and engineer-style hats for about $10-15 that look good for steampunk

#3 sounds like a very good option, in my mind's eye it sounds like something that Agatha, hero of the steampunk web comic Girl Genius would wear.

If you go to the website of Steampunk Magazine and download their issues, one of them has a simple pattern for easy spats to wear over your boots or shoes. Dress them up with some fancy brassy buttons from JoAnn's, or some vintage mother of pearl if you have them, and you'll be looking good.

There is a lot of steampunk stuff available on Etsy, you may be able to find a seller who is close to you and would let you pick some items up in person (since you don't have time to wait for them to be shipped).

Don't forget, you may also be able to pick up some cute jewelry or accessories on the first day of the convention.

I'm really envious of you, by the way! I saw an ad for Salon Con the other day and desperately wish I could go. Maybe next year :D Have a great time!

AJ- I was lurking around and saw your comment...thanks!! You reminded me of a few things I have shoved in the back of my dorm closet I can bring this weekend.

Susan- Pieces on clockwork and gears can also be picked up at michaels and look great on velvet ribbon, or pinned in hair. Sometimes if you look carefully you can also fin them in the street, and then they have a nice rusty look. Cameos are good too, in a pinch.

AJ: Do you live in the Northeast? I'm now having this weird little idea of organizing a holiday-season excursion to the trolley museum in south-central Connecticut and getting twenty Steampunks together to ride the trolley back and forth and have a Victorian party. Hey, Raven, want to play?

I scurried around after work today and found a simple black vest at Target (thanks for the tip, AJ!), some small brass skeleton keys, some key charms, some brass chain, a ton of buttons, a brown leather belt with brass rings set in, and a cameo. No luck with goggles.

I also thought of another outfit option, though it's more goth than Steampunk - my short, flippy black skirt with a white blouse and the black vest, and with my black Victorian stockings rolled to just below my knees and gartered with green ribbon. I wore the skirt and stockings with a lace shirt to the Hugos last month and it looked pretty good. A little youthful for me, perhaps, but I think I can get away with it. I could also wear the top half with black pants, but I think the rolled stockings are neat-looking and my new cameo is green to match my garters. Maybe I'll wear it to teach.

The flowered and corduroy skirts are very A-line rather than the straight style my minimal exposure to Girl Genius suggests Agatha wears.

So now I just need to do some experimenting and play with my new accessories a bit. I have several pairs of boots. I also have two long black coats. One is leather, and it's a fairly straight style. I call it my Angel coat 'cause its a lot like the one he wears in the opening montage in the first season. The other is plain black cloth but has all the classic trenchcoat styling with the belt and epaulets and all. My only other leather jackets are a short suede one with fringe and a red and black leather motorcycle jacket. I have fingerless gloves; lace at least, and elbow-length fishnet ones. Possibly crochet ones as well. I don't think I have leather.

So with all this stuff, I should have outfits, right? Help!

If ever one of those steampunk events are held where I can attend, all I'll need is to build a Victorian device of superscience, since I already have the attire.

Susan, you sound really well-prepared! And Goth can be Steampunk, too, with the right accessories. At the steampunk panel at Comic Con there was a couple in a gorgeous all-black Victorian ensemble that they'd had custom-sewn for their wedding.

I live all the way in Arizona, so the trolley outing is a bit far away for me :( It sounds like FUN, though! They have a steam train that goes through the Grand Canyon, so some day my husband and I will get all dressed up in steamy garb and take that :D

Glad my tips helped out! The vest that Target has now is even better than the one I bought a few weeks ago. I was looking at them last night and will probably buy one soon.

YAY FOR TRAINS!! (translation: yes, I want to play ^.^)
My method for getting ready is to shove everything I might want into a suitcase, and then just stand around wherever I'm changing and try a bunch of stuff on.

Obviously that isn't ideal for tonight, but it would be good for tomorrow.

Raven:
I'm going to be doing something similar between 5 and 6 myself...

Is a Trolley enough like a Train to play? :) It's like a one-car train. And it's not technically steam, but it's pretty cool anyway. We'd ride back and forth for a couple of miles to nowhere in particular (through scenic wetlands and such, though they might not be too scenic in December) and then park and eat onboard. There's also a little museum with memorabilia and some hilarious films of cars getting smashed up by trolleys back at the the turn of the previous century (c1900). (Is it awful of me to find cars attempting to beat trolleys through an intersection and failing funny? It really is, especially in black and white with no sound.) Last time I did this they let me drive the trolley briefly.

Sounds great, except december is a tough month for me. Let me know what happens-I'll definitely try and make it!

cars getting smashed is usually funny in a morbid way (or I'm just crazy...), especially when they try to win.

Please do remember to take photos at the event.

Speaking of which... Kaja Foglio, co-creator of Girl Genius, recently posted links to threads of jäger fans in costume here and here.

Cool costumes, Serge -- yours and theirs! I have a dress I could probably work into steampunk, but I don't normally go places costumes are required.

Too late for this weekend, but AJ has steampunk jewelry -- it's just not all moved onto her Etsy site. (The Plummy Posies are mine, if she can swap out to sterling, so no picking!)

Marilee... Thanks. When I first wore it, at the LA worldcon in 2006, I got quite a few positive comments, some from writer Sean Williams. If I remember correctly, he was also impressed by the vest's buttons being shaped like tiny clocks with roman numerals. One very fortunate side effect of this costume was that, without it, Susan, whom I had never met in person, would never have spotted me after fruitless efforts at trying to get in touch - including the use of her secret connections to post a note to me in the worldcon newsletter.

Thanks for the advertising, Marilee ;) I'm thinking of moving Guildmistress over to Etsy this weekend. Even my brother was drooling over it.

I saw some great jager cosplayers at Comic Con, but I think I only managed to snap a shot of an Agatha cosplayer. I do have pictures of the awesome steampunk cyborg that I bought my goggles from, though, and the steampunk ghostbusters and an airship crew. I should get all those uploaded to Flickr soon.

Did anybody ever watch TV series The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne? It came out in late 2000, and it didn't last long, but then again I didn't care that much for it. I mention it because one of its main characters was a lady spy with really nifty gadgets, my favorite being that her crinoline could reshape itself into a metal ladder that was quite handy for climbing castle walls.

Ah, a recognizable costume is a good thing!

Serge, I watched the first episode and was bored halfway through and turned it off. It seemed too dark and historic.

Marilee... It was indeed too dark. I wish someone had turned the lights on. Heh. Seriously, except for Rebecca the spy lady, pretty much every character was unpleasant. I was about to write wondering when someone will try doing a steampunk movie or something, but they did already and everybody but yours truly disliked The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. As for the recent Around the World in 80 days, I shall be kind and avoid making any comment.

I've seen bits of the League movie, and not liked them much Two really gigantic guys pounding each other, which is getting to be really boring as a action movie trope -- the good guy has [magic suit/armor/secret potion] that makes him like the Hulk. And then the bad guy steals the [magic/technology/secret potion] and does the same thing except he gets even BIGGER! And then they pound each other, and somehow the good guy wins anyway. Yawn. It was the only part of Iron Man that bored me, mostly because it necessitated covering up Tony Stark's face and body but wasn't as fun as the yippee-I-can-fly! scenes. (Back in June I was, shall we say, extremely not-bored by Tony Stark...)

Now, I don't know whether the movie was particularly faithful to the comic book such that I would like it better if I read the book, or whether it was so unfaithful that reading the original would actually make me like it less than I already did. Any thoughts, anyone whose read Moore's work? I was just thinking (in my new Steampunk enthusiasm) that I ought to get the collections. Will they fully ruin the movie for me or improve it?

The League movie was very unfaithful to the comic-book. In the latter, one of the villains is still Professor Moriarty, but the other villain is Fu Manchu. I can see why the movie's people decided that using the Yellow Peril as a threat might not fly too well with critics or audiences. Frankly, I thought the plot of the comic-book was a mess. Still, I do wish the movie had kept the comic's Quartermain being a burnout who gets some life into him because of the indomitable will of Mina, who actually is the group's leader, and who was the only person capable of controlling Hyde's rage and savagery.

By the way, there was a sequel to the comic-book, this one dealing with the Martians having invaded England. I didn't care as much for that one, for some reason. Still, others probably feel otherwise.

I've heard that fans of the comic/graphic novels were disappointed by the movie, so the comic may be better. I've considered picking it up, but I've never gotten around to it.

However, LXG is far from the only steampunk movie out there! My personal favorite is Hellboy Versus The Evil Steampunk Faeries -- er, I mean, Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Actually, funny thing about Ron Perlman, he's in a LOT of steampunky films. City of Lost Children is a bizarre dark steampunk film from France with him in it. Cronos isn't really steampunk, but it does have a bizarre clockwork beetle that turns people in vampires. And he's not only in The Mutant Chronicles (not yet released) but he was on the panel for it at Comic Con. All fun films. Mutant Chronicles is more of a weird dark post-apocalyptic steampunk, but lots of good dumb action.

You can check out really old movies, too, like Metropolis, or this one that I just read a review of: http://www.stomptokyo.com/badmoviereport/reviews/H/himmelskibbet.html

In the anime department, Escaflowne has steam-powered "mecha" robot power suits, and airships, and is generally fun until the end, as is usually the case with anime. Other shows also have some steampunk elements, like Read or Die (the movie or the TV show), and probably others that I haven't seen. Oh, and then there's The Amazing Screw-On Head, a truly strange 22 minute animated short based on a Mignola comic.

And when I was at Comic Con, this guy was at the steampunk fan gathering/panel building up enthusiasm for a movie he's shopping around that will have a bunch of famous historic figures flying around in an airship in the 1800s. It may or may not star Orlando Bloom.

Oh, and some people consider Wild, Wild West to be steampunk, but it is of course an amazingly silly movie. Still, gotta love the giant spider.

AJ... How could I forget the giant mechanical spider of "Wild Wild West" which was otherwise disappointing with a cast that included Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline? And there is indeed "City of Lost Children", directed by the same people who did "Amélie" and "A Very Long Engagement". The early 1990's had a miniseries based on "20000 Leagues under the Sea", with the strange casting of Michael Caine as a blond Captain Nemo, but his trilobite-shaped Nautilus was really neat. My favorite steampunk-before-it-was-called-steampunk movie remains "Master of the World", starring Vincent Price and Charles Bronson, and a script by Richard Matheson. What a wonderful airship!

Susan... Two really gigantic guys pounding each other, which is getting to be really boring as a action movie trope

On the other hand, now that the technology makes it possible, it is kind of neat to see those done in a realistic manner. Those stories are about people and events that are larger than life, after all. Still, my favorite scene in Superman returns probably was right after he keeps that large plane from crashing into a stadium. He comes out of the plane, and everybody cheers him up, and one can feel his relief that they still love him even though he was away for years.

On the other hand, now that the technology makes it possible, it is kind of neat to see those done in a realistic manner.

Meh. Is this a guy thing? Fight scenes are usually boring, unless interesting gadgets are involved. Just punching back and forth and throwing each other across the room is pedestrian. And when you have pairs like:

Iron Man vs. Bigger Iron Villain
Hulk vs. Hulkier
Mr. Hyde vs., um, Mr. Really Big Hyde

basically having boxing matches on a larger scale, it gets, well, dull. (I don't watch boxing matches either for the same reason: overinflated guys punching each other, yawn.) And when it's the climactic scene of the movie, there's no suspense -- it's not like the hero is going to lose or something.

Maybe I'm missing some female gene that is supposed to program me to get all excited by guys punching each other out. Oh, well. I thought Tony Stark tinkering with gadgets in his lab was much more exciting.

AJ:
I saw previews for Hellboy II every time I saw Iron Man this summer and actually thought it looked kind of intriguing, if only on a costumer basis. It got pretty bad reviews, though. But you liked it?

Anyone else got opinions on it? I could rent it by now, probably.

Serge:
using the Yellow Peril as a threat might not fly too well

ObModesty: Willie affectionately calls her houseboy Weng "my little yellow peril" at some point, though I can't remember which book. One of the things you have to deal with in the MB books is some rather dated attitudes; in I, Lucifer, you get the nasty gay stereotypes at the beginning.

I'm far from a normal girl, but I enjoy fight scenes. I'm more into martial arts than the whole "two big dudes slugging each other" thing, but if the action is well-done, it's still fun. That said, I do think the combat was the weakest part of Iron Man.

Susan, I personally really, really enjoyed Hellboy II. It did have nice costuming and lots and lots of cool faeries. I'm a big fan of Guillermo del Toro's creature designs, so that was a big part of my enjoyment. It's definitely worth a rent.

Serge, thank you for the additional movie recommendations. I'll have to go searching on Netflix!

AJ... My wife isn't as martial-arts fan, but she likes comics and understands the attraction of stories where physical resolution of conflicts is a given. Especially if Hugh Jackman is wearing a muscle tee.

As for my steampunk recommendations... "Master of the World" has never been released on DVD, much to my despair. As for Michael Caine as Captain Nemo (and Mia Sara as his daughter), it might be available, if only because it has Patrick Dempsey as Professor Arronax.

Susan... One of the things you have to deal with in the MB books is some rather dated attitudes

I pretty much expect that from anything of that era, but can enjoy the stories. Star Trek is an obvious example where one needs to do some readjustment of one's frame of mind to enjoy the tales. The point though is that a modern adaptation of Modesty probably would airbrush things like Weng's "yellow peril", or make it an important plot point, or a joke, but it most likely wouldn't come up casually. Meanwhile League was written less than 10 years ago, and its use of Fu Manchu was a part of Alan Moore's in-depth pastiche of the tales of that era. Like I said, that wouldn't have worked too well with a modern movie. Oh well.

I'm currently struggling with a review of the film of League*. I can say that the comic is much much better. Not that it doesn't have problems, but even the problems are much more interesting and complex than the problems of the film (which are mostly that it's stupid). And the final battle doesn't involve hero vs bigger evil version of the hero (in volume 2 Hyde does go up against something bigger and nastier than him, but it's not like most comic book fights).

* My previous attempt at a review, before we sat down and I watched it again.

Yeah. I loved the movie's visuals, but I did have to suspend my critical judgment, especially when the Nautilus navigated Venice's canals without getting stuck in the mud.

Neil:
It sounds (from the link in your review) like Moore is so pissed about the issues surrounding the film that I should avoid seeing it (or any more of it than the bits I saw accidentally at some point) out of respect to the original creator.

Since hearing that Mina is the team leader in the original comics, I'm even more inclined to read them. I've had a real liking for alternate Minas ever since reading Fred Saberhagen's brilliant rewrite of the original Stoker novel, The Dracula Tape.

AJ:
I don't completely reject the mandatory fight scenes, but I'd rather they hung on "my brains are bigger than yours" or "my cool gadgets are better than yours" rather than "my biceps are bigger than yours." To quote the classic line, I don't like men with too many muscles. :)

Susan says: I don't like men with too many muscles.

Just the right amount though, right? Now, where is that photo of whatsizname who was in Iron Man?

As for people whose brain is one of their main asset... Hank McCoy has always been my favorite mutant.

AJ...

About "Master of the World", I forgot to mention that it sometimes shows up on Turner Classic Movies. I taped it last time it was aired, should you be interested.

By the way, ever seen "First Men in the Moon"? It's based on the HGWells story about humans using an anti-gravity sphere in 1899 to fly to the Moon, where, in caverns, they find an advanced civlization of insects.

Did you have a good time? What did you end up wearing? Don't leave us fashionistas in the dark!

I'm with you on the muscle-bound thing. I'd rather have a man with a brain any day.

k'zoo poke. Need paperwork - i'm about to pack the printer up to move.

Oh, I prefer brains over muscles (which is why I married a sexy nerd ;)), but movies are made for the lowest common denominator, so I take what I can get. And if I can get a lithe martial artist, well, that's fine by me!

Serge, I don't watch TV, so TCM is out for me! Maybe I should poke my parents and get them to record it. My brother's a steampunk, too, and still lives at home, so maybe he can help. I haven't seen First Men in the Moon, either, so I'll have to try to find it. I love all the now-bizarre theories they had about space travel back then.

And I second the request for a fashion report!

AJ...

I thought it was my wife who had married that sexy nerd. Riiiight.

If your family can't tape Master of the World for you, I'll lend you my tape, if you want. By the way, here is a brief entry I'd written about it, where you'll also find a link to a steampunk modelmaker's site.

By the way, 1964's First Men in the Moon is a Ray Harryhausen movie by Nigel Kneale, who created Professor Quatermass. That might explain why it's one of Harryhausen's better films.

Another movie that might pique your steampunk interest is 1958's From the Earth to the Moon, which starred Joseph Cotten and George Sanders, and which among other things has President Ulysses S. Grant trying to convince Cotten's character not to build his atomic-powered rocket.

Oops. I screwed up my links...

First Men in the Moon

From the Earth to the Moon

Not a fashionista report on me (who was pretty non-fashionista), but I put my photos up - scroll along Rixo's left-hand column for the album link.

Ooooooh. Neat. Of course I had to post a link to this in my blog, right here.

Oh, great photos! You know, I've never been drawn to the Victorian times, but before I got sick I had most of a wardrobe of vintage clothes from the 40s. I'd mix them in with my work clothes sometimes and frequently wear them out. When I got sick and gained so much weight, I couldn't find anybody who wanted them so I sold them to a vintage store.

Marilee:
Different people are drawn to different eras. There are quite a few people (myself included) who find 40s stuff very appealing.

Who said that 1940s fashion couldn't be used for steampunk - or maybe dieselpunk?

Alan Moore appears to have had disputes with nearly every major publisher and studio he has come across. Notably in the case of League the artist of the comic, Kevin O'Neill, has also disowned the film. When you combine this with the film being unexceptional, I'd say give it a miss unless you have a good reason to see it.

Those are some fine costumes you photographed.

Neil Willcox... Which do you think is worse, between League and van Helsing? The former has some nifty machines, while the latter has Kate Bakingsale wearing a corset. Still, that may be a tough choice for some people, as they both have Richard Roxburgh as the main villain. (And he was also in the dreadful Moulin Rouge. This is not a track record I'd want on my résumé.)

Neil:
I did notice that about Alan Moore. What of Watchmen (film) I wonder? Though from what I hear the studios are fighting over that one on their own.

At any rate, I'll give League (film) a miss.

I wish my pictures could have done some of the costumes better justice. The hotel lighting was just hideous in the hallways and almost every room. I was gnashing my teeth at all the dark, dark photos I ended up with.

Serge:
Unless I am missing something, both films should have someone or other in a corset, given the era. Or do you mean the dreaded and vastly overused Corsets As Outerwear thing? (cue rant...)

Susan... Yes, I did mean the dreaded and overused corset as outerwear.

Apropos of nothing, does anyone know anything about the British show Sapphire and Steel which had a short run in the early 1980s? I've just found the DVD set on sale for about 75% off ($24.98 down from $99.95) and wonder if it's worth watching. It seems to be a time travel show intended as a competitor to Doctor Who.

Thank you for the generous offer, Serge! I'll have to take you up on it if I can't get my family to tape the movie.

Love those convention pictures! And this guy:
http://smg231.typepad.com/photos/saloncon_2008/tomarm.html
Is who I bought my goggles from at Comic Con, so I got to see the arm in person, too! It's very cool. At one point he was walking around the convention with the arm and a gasmask and red goggles. If my picture turned out, I'll upload and post it.

By the way, this morning I remembered another hopefully forthcoming steampunk movie. It was called City of Ember (or maybe just Ember?) and it looked like a YA sf/f film... it was about an underground city with steampunk technology. It looked really cool, and I think it was supposed to come out this Autumn.

AJ:
That guy is actually an ex of mine from a couple of decades ago. A rare exception to my usual type of dark-haired men with beards.

Van Helsing or League? Hmm... in Van Helsing Kate Beckinsale hunts vampires and werewolves wearing a corset (as outerwear) and in high heeled boots... in Underworld Kate Beckinsale IS a vampire and hunts werewolves in a corset and high heeled boots... does Kate Beckinsale know something about the undead that we don't?

I really liked the black and white start of Van Helsing with Dracula appearing from nowhere/just-out-of-camera-shot to keep taking Dr Frankenstein by surprise. I was hoping we'd have a knowing, slightly humourous modern version of all those old horror films. (Young Frankenstein with fewer jokes and more special effects action scenes perhaps). Instead, between action set pieces it took the names of classic horror characters, gave them some ridiculous objectives and unusual powers and proceeded to insult my intelligence. Except the ball. That scene was pretty good.

On balance I'd stick both films in the I can't be bothered to watch them again pile.

Roxburgh was better in Van Helsing than in League. He played a pretty good Sherlock Holmes on the BBC a few years ago; his version was notable for having no meerschaum pipe or deerstalker and a using a fair amount of cocaine.

I'm glad I'm not missing much by seeing so few movies...

Susan, I've heard of 'Sapphire and Steel', but never seen it myself. (It's on my Australian-equivalent-of-Netflix-list, but its number hasn't come up yet.)

I've heard good things about it, although most of them have come with some form of "might not be your thing" disclaimer. I gather that it's less straightforwardly adventure-story than Doctor Who, with more of a Twilight Zone vibe.

AJ... Another steampunk movie that might interest you is 1976's At The Earth's Core. It's got it all. Victorian costumes! Earth-digging machines! Peter Cushing! Telepathic rubber-suited pterodactyls!

Has anyone mentioned an old favorite of mine, Time After Time, which in retrospect has a steampunk or at least retro-scientific element (working Victorian time machine)?

Time After Time, Susan? Malcolm McDowell as HG Wells, and david Warner as Jack the Ripper, in modern San Francisco...

"What... have... I... done? I've turned that bloody maniac loose upon Utopia!"

Neil Willcox... I think I'll go for League as the one I prefer. Heck. I even got the DVD. As for van Helsing, I caught part of it on TV months after seeing it in a theater and it confirmed that I'll be quite happy never seeing it again, especially the battle that goes on and on and on between van Helsing and Dracula's three Brides, with some gratuitous cow-throwing supposedly in there for comedic purposes.

League at least had some funny lines, like in the scene some bad guy grabs Mina as a hostage against the rest of the League, not realizing what he got himself into until she starts draining him of blood. By the time she's thru with him, she's managed to clean herself up. Then Dorian Gray points to the corner of her mouth and says:

"You missed one spot."

Did anybody else see the recent remake of The Time Machine? I didn't care much for it myself. I'll stick with the early 1960s version, fat Morlocks and all.

Would The Golden Compass be considered steampunk? It really is more fantasy than SF. On the other hand, in the most recent issue of Realms of Fantasy, Jeff VanderMeer's review of The Court of the Air suggested that steampunk lends itself to fantasy better than to SF. I don't agree, but that's just my opinion.

re. Sapphire and Steel:
The whole thing seems to be available on YouTube, but I think I'm going to order it. I hate watching things divided into itty bitty parts. It does look sort of creepy-interesting, with special effects even worse than old Doctor Who (if that's possible) but some of the same sort of humor amid the creepy.

A classic of steampunk... Thunderchild vs the Martian Tripod

Am I allowed to go this far in the past to resurrect threads? My Dad saw my goggles and steampunk bottle on my desk yesterday and it reminded him of Master of the World, so I put a bug in his ear about it showing up on TCM. Hopefully he'll find it.

I wonder who we would have to write to get a campaign to get that movie on DVD? With the rise of interest in steampunk and retro-futurism, I think studios could make some nice money releasing some of the old, lost sci-fi gems like that.

Ah, Master of the World... Yes, you'd think that they'd release the darn thing on DVD. Then again, the reasons for what gets released on DVD are a mystery to me. After all, Australian movie paperback hero was never released in North-America, even though it stars Hugh Jackman in his pre-Wolverine days.

I'm often amazed at the stuff that DOES get on DVD, like TV shows from my childhood. Does anyone really say to themselves, "Man, you know what I miss? Saved by the Bell. If only I could have a full DVD set of that"?

(turns red)
Err, yes, shows from their childhood...I suppose this is the time to mention that I am pleased that they have released Remington Steele on DVD? I only really liked season one and stopped watching it altogether after season two, but I really liked season one. I had a mad crush on Pierce Brosnan long before he took on the Bond role. I still have all of season one on ancient videotapes and will be quite happy to replace them with a DVD.

(And yes, you can resurrect any thread you like. Rixo threads are eternal! Or, if not eternal, they DEH ZOMBIE THREADZ and are coming to EAT UR BRAINZ!)

I liked Remington Steele, but I don't think I'd watch it again. However, I now have the first season and first disc of the second season of a show at the top of my Netflix queueueue that I didn't watch when I was a kid: The Big Valley. Some friends were talking about it and saying it was better than just a soap opera western and wasn't built on morals like that one with the Gilbert girl and what's-his-name (sorry). I figure if I don't like the first couple discs, I can just delete them and put other things in.

I just find that a lot of shows that I thought were pretty awesome when I was a kid and teen now seem pretty lame as I watch them on DVD... and the same with the shows my husband swears were great and makes me watch.

I'm a little nervous about rewatching Remington Steele, but I'm going to give season one a shot.

I do find that some of the early Doctor Who (first three doctors) is now almost unwatchable for me, though at some point I liked it enough to tape a ton of it. The writing on the new show is just so snappy that the old stuff doesn't compare.

I remembered -- the one with morals was Little House on the Prairie.

The old Who apparently didn't have much money (I've never watched any of the old stuff), but that doesn't make you like it better.

Ah yes. The old Doctor Who was one of the things that Chris insisted we watch, swearing up and down that it was great. We watched the first one and then no more until the new series came out. Now we enjoy that one, and Torchwood, but we laugh a lot at how ridiculous it can get.

Sheldon actually had a funny strip about that just recently:
http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/081109.html

Little House on the Prairie was a daily ritual when I was a kid, and I read *all* the books, *all* the books that some person wrote that were like LHotP fanfic, and the cookbook. But I don't think I'd like any of it now.

I read all the LHotP books when I was a kid, and they might still hold up. It's the same attraction as science fiction: the past as alien society. I never watched the TV show; as Serge knows, I've seen so little television that I can count the shows on my fingers. I might have seen an episode at a friend's house or something, but not enough to recall anything about it.

Aj... "Man, you know what I miss? Saved by the Bell. If only I could have a full DVD set of that"?

What I reallyreallyreally want is Hee Haw. Not.

As for Little House on the Prairie, I always got a kick that the kindly doctor was played by Kevin Hagen, who was evil inspector Kobick in Land of Giants.

I have a few old shows on DVD, like The Outer Limits. Primitive special effects, but very evocative, and great writing. NetFlix gave me the chance to watch The Naked City and it was as good as I remembered, even though it had been way over 40 years.

One recent show I'd recommend that's on DVD is Eureka. The 2nd season of this series about a town populated by geniuses was actually better than the first season. The third season wasn't as good, but its first episode had a great exchange.

"So. Invisible killer drones."

"Keeps getting better."

Serge, I saw an ep or two of Eureka at my MIL's house and wasn't too thrilled, but I might give it another chance in the future. As for The Outer Limits we tried watching both the old one and the 90s one and in both cases found the narrator to be a little too preachy. Too bad, because the 90s one was one of the few shows that I actually made a point to watch when I was a teen.

Susan, as in many cases, Little House on the Prairie was much better as a book than as a TV show. The show veered WAY off from the books, to the point of inventing entirely new major characters.

We've been watching a lot of Quantum Leap, which is not nearly as good as I thought it was when I was a teen, but is entertainingly quaint in how it tackles hot-button issues from the late 80s and early 90s. We frequently exclaim "Worst time traveler ever!" while giggling.

Quantum Leap wasn't one I watched, but a friend of mine loved it so I think I saw an episode or two. I don't really remember much about it.

Oh, the original version of The Outer Limits definitely was preachy, but it had some neat SF stories. My wife was really young, and living in California, and after watching the episode about the Zanti Misfits, she got scared about going outside.

I tried the 1990s version, but it was lacking what I call, for lack of a better word, the original's techno-Gothic atmosphere.

I watched the early episodes if Quantum Leap and it just didn't click for me. Like Eureka for AJ, I guess.

Oh, I loved Quantum Leap. It wasn't really a time travel show, it was a show-us-how-our-civilization-sucks show, and it was done pretty well.

Oh, speaking of time travel, Serge, I'm 2/3 of the way through the current Asimov's and there's a very odd story where, if you took out all the unnecessary words, you'd have a paragraph of time travel. I seriously wondered if my brain was jolting again, so I turned back and understood what I read, turned forward and understood, and then just skimmed the story.

Marilee:
Wait, explain further. Is that a deliberate writerly ploy, taking out all the unnecessary words? How much of it is there if you leave them in? I don't get it!

AJ... Regarding my steampunk-movie presentation at FiestaCon... I hadn't heard back from them about my schedule so I went to their site. As far as I can tell, my presentation is at 2pm on Saturday, July 4th. Someone called Mike Contos will also be on that panel. I'm not quite sure how that'll work out, what with my having an actual talk with slides and stuff. I should probably ask the con to put me in touch with him.

You might consider posting that in a more active thread, this one having been quiet for the past seven months...

True, Susan, but I wasn't sure in which steampunk-related thread I should go post this. If there's any followup to my panel thing, I'll put it in a more recent thread.

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