Sunday, November 30, 2008

Star Trek original costumes: Ensign Pavel Chekov

Here are some images of the "Star Trek" Season 3 (1969-1969) Ensign Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig) costume, displayed with an original pair of 1960s Star Trek series pants. 1960s original Trek uniforms are really scarce, and very few have been paired together with a tunic with the original pants, which are harder to find than the Starfleet tunics from any season.

Chekov did not have any rank braid as he was an Ensign, who required nothing on his sleeve. So the sleeves are as they appeared on the show: bare. NOTE: Most often the rank braid had been removed for dry cleaning, as was never added back on, so most characters are missing their rank braid.

Note: This Chekov, he has no braid, therefore this tunic is complete.

(A single strip of braid sells for in excess of $1,500.00 US dollars, if you are lucky enough to find one available.)

The stitches still remain where the insignia patch was removed for dry cleaning by Paramount Pictures Corporation, who had taken over production for “Star Trek” by the 3rd season 1968-1969. Sold to them recently by Desilu.

This Chekov tunic still has the inscription: "Konieg #4" hand written into the "secret" location where ALL the stars names were hand written. Some supposed experts say they never had star names written in the tunics, wrong, wrong an wong !!!!

I have proven them all wrong, their made up stories and theories were total BS, coming from ignorant wanna be self proclaimed Star Trek experts, trying to get attention in anyway they could. These inaccurate statements were started because someone was sold a Kirk or a Spock or another character that did not have a name written into the tunic...well, clearly they were sold an item that was not a star's tunic, so it is not a Kirk or Spock, and they refused to realize they were sold something that was claimed to be different that what it was sold as. These people fail to except the truth. And are idiots for challenging Emerald and Hobbits experts that are on payroll 24/7.

To quote Khan in ST II WOK: "It is very cold in space" and in the world of original historical entertainment artifacts especially when things just don’t add up to equal…authenticity? BLAM!!!!

Please all fellow 60s fans and Trek fans alike....enjoy the silver sparkles on the original Star Trek pants, pretty cool...huh! Once you know they are there, you'll never not notice them again. Look for them gleaming ion the newly converted Blu-Ray DVDs. These sparkles add that bit of bling, bling- BANG! To 1960s Star Trek and reaffirms what it always had, when compared to other Trek shows that went blah! in front of the cameras.

You gotta see this stuff in person to notice these things.

Lit correctly in a museum setting these pants would look spectacular! Details such as these would be “Fabulous darling…to say the very least!!!!”

This tunic could have appeared in classics such as:

"Spectre of the Gun" (one of G. Emerald's favs)
"Day of the Dove"
"Way to Eden"

are also to take note of

If not many, many more examples of third season “Trek”

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rob Klein reviews the final seasons of I love Lucy, which were also the final years that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were together.

I Love Lucy: The Final Seasons 7, 8 and 9.

The last of the I Love Lucy boxed sets are now available, and contain the never-before released Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. These episodes are long awaited by fans, not only because these films are rarely seen, but also because format is unique and provides a different style than that of the half hour show I Love Lucy. Behind the scenes, the personal life of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz added a fascinating element to these last 13 hour-long episodes.

1957 was a big year for Desilu. Motion Picture Center, the facilities where I Love Lucy was produced, were crowded. Desilu, who owned a controlling interest in the small studio, needed more room to expand. One lunch break, Desi Arnaz went out and purchased all of RKO’s studio property. Lucy and Desi now owned the largest amount of real estate in Hollywood. Interestingly, it encompassed the very same studio that Lucy had been under contract to years before when she first arrived in Hollywood. With their new studio, Desilu expanded and grew. Live long and prosper they did, as Desilu was responsible for later producing a show called Star Trek.

Season 6 of I Love Lucy contains several memorable episodes, including “Lucy Meets Orson Welles” and “Lucy Meets Superman” which features a rare appearance of the legendary George Reeves in costume as the “Man of Steel”. I Love Lucy was, as usual, the number one show on television. Oddly, season 6 was the last of the half-hour episodes produced. The change in format to the one-hour Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour may have been in response to the lack of awards that I love Lucy received. It was the number one show, and not a single person involved with the production, including Lucille Ball, had been honored with an award. Desi had even been the host of The Emmy’s that very year! Lucy and Desi decided to change their hectic weekly production schedule of one half-hour show a week to a single one-hour show a month. This change in format did not sit well with fans, not to mention CBS affiliates and sponsors. I Love Lucy’s main sponsor, General Foods, pulled out of the program. Desi consummated a new sponsorship deal with Ford for the first season of the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. Three original Ford Motors commercials are included in this set.

Season 8 saw a new sponsor, Westinghouse, and had five shows produced. Each show was rated within the top five specials broadcast that season by all three networks. The format of the hour-long show continued to have celebrity guest-stars featured heavily in the plot. Fred MacMurray, Ann Southern, Maurice Chevalier and Caesar Romero, to name a few, made appearances on the show. The focus on the guest stars affected the screen time of the Mertzes, played by Vivian Vance and William Frawley. Desi offered Vivian Vance a spin-off series, to placate her upset to the change, but she was not interested. William Frawley, not unlike his character Fred, welcomed the change as it allowed an easier workload.

This set features restored prints and they look fantastic, crisp and clear. The bonus features are exemplary and include deleted scenes, bloopers and original titles sequences. If that was not enough disc 2 features a film made for Westinghouse employees. It is shot like an episode of I Love Lucy but Desi and Lucy play themselves along with Vivian Vance and William Frahley. Desi gives a studio tour of all Desilu’s movie studios documenting the studio property by helicopter. Including priceless footage of Motion Picture Center, where I Love Lucy was done, the old RKO Gower lot recently acquired at the time of the filming, and the old David O. Selznick Studios that had been owned by RKO since the 30s. The footage is incredible. In the fly by of the old Culver back lot … as the helicopter reaches the end of the studio property the last facade is positively Tara from Gone With the Wind, which was shot there 20 years earlier. Unfortunately to an untrained eye most will not notice Tara or the Train Station set as it is not pointed out. This DVD set will become that of legend for containing this rare film. Thank you CBS video.

Season 9 provided only three episodes, each with Desi seated in the directors’ chair. This last season is fascinating to watch, as what was going on behind the scenes adds an intrigue to these episodes. Lucy and Desi’s marriage was coming to an end, and the cracks in their relationship added tension on the set. Desi’s role as director also added fuel to the fire. The last episode ends with Desi and Lucy embracing, and Ricky saying: “Lucy, you help me more when you don’t help me”, then a kiss follows. The scene was shot over and over again; all who watched felt the emotion. It was nine years to the day that the very first I Love Lucy pilot episode was produced, a show that had been originally conceived as a vehicle to bring both Lucy and Desi to work together, in hopes to help strengthen an already troubled marriage. The very next day after the last Lucy –Desi Comedy Hour was filmed (“Lucy Meets the Moustache”), Lucy filed for divorce.
The end of The Lucy –Desi Comedy Hour was also the end of Lucy and Desi, and a milestone in television history came to a close.

The Adventures of Superman seasons 5 and 6

The Adventures of Superman Seasons 5 & 6.

by Gary Emerald

TV series’ complete seasons release on home video is the gift of the DVD format to fans of episodic television. Could you imagine what the entire 12-season run of Bonanza would look like on VHS? The Adventures of Superman is one of those titles I was looking forward to; once Warner Brother Home Video announced it I was curious about what direction they would take. Season 1 featured 26 episodes, a retrospective documentary, the 1951 Superman feature film (the first production of George Reeves as Superman), a vintage short film “Pony Express Days” featuring George Reeves and audio commentaries over a few episodes. Even a rare Kellogg’s cereal commercial was thrown in, featuring Clark Kent, Perry White and Jimmy Olson at the breakfast table, enjoying a bowl of “Frosted Flakes”. Actresses in the “Lois Lane” role never got to participate in the TV promo as the question of “what is Lois doing at the breakfast table with those three” would be on the mind of any suspicious TV viewer of the 1950s.
Adventures of Superman Season 2, the last black and white season has the benefit of featuring one of my favorite Superman epsisodes “Panic in the Sky”, in which Superman suffers from amnesia. The best scene in the episode is when Clark Kent, who having lost his memory stumbles around his apartment looking for something familiar to jar his memory discovers his closet filled with his Superman costumes. Its funny to see multiple Super-suits hanging together, as each is valued at $150,000.00 these days.

The third release featuring the first look at Superman in color featured seasons 3 and 4 of the series. It was a smart idea to put both seasons on DVD together, and the extras keep on coming. Plus the additional 2 featurettes, A look at the color era of the show, and the special effects, profiling the man behind how Superman flew and all the other special effects on the show, one artist who is not talked about enough Thol “Si” Simonson. The latest Adventures of Superman release, Seasons 5 and 6 is really lacking in the extras department. The one nice bonus is that the last disc has a nice featurette about Jack Larson who portrayed Jimmy Olson. This documentary is important as it discusses Larson’s contributions to the Superman franchise, and his popularity at the time the show was in production. Viewers get a great glimpse of how Larson’s strong acting chops and a natural ability for comedy added greatly to the show’s formula and the popularity of the Jimmy Olsen character, which ultimately demanded a DC comic Book title of his own: “Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen”.

Other than this worthwhile look at Jack Larson, the disc has no other special features, which is a bummer. There are several more details that should have been researched and incorporated into the packaging, such as original airdates of each episode and the episode production date. This set does contain three season 6 episodes that were directed by George Reeves. Reeves was aware of the fact that his future acting career could be compromised because of his possible type casting as Superman and wanted to try directing as a fall back plan if his career took a sudden turn for the worse. The three episodes that Reeves directed are “The Perils of Superman”, “The Brainy Burro” and “All That Glitters”, which were last three episodes of the season. In “All that Glitters” Lois and Jimmy end up with the powers of Superman. One could only imagine George Reeves’ delight in putting his co-stars through the same torturous special effects rigging that he endured on a weekly basis.

The upside to this release is that it is available, and it is beautifully packaged with individually silk-screened disks. The sixth season was the end of the series, sadly cut short due to Reeves’ controversial death, as The Adventures of Superman was ready to go into production for a 7th season. Contracts were signed with the cast including George Reeves, who was promised creative input, more opportunities to direct, and an impressive raise in salary. The down side to this release is that there is a lot more material that should have been be documented and included on the last DVD set of The Adventures of Superman.

The Mickey Rooney &Judy Garland Collection DVD
By—Jennifer Smith & Rob Klein

Warner Home Video has released a DVD must have: The Mickey Rooney &Judy Garland Collection. Originally Metro Goldwyn Mayer musicals, these four “Mickey and Judy” films were tailor-made for their two teen-aged leads. Both Rooney and Garland were bona-fide stars on their own by the time their first collaboration Babes in Arms (1939) was released, it was the first of four films that they would co-star in together. Rooney was just eighteen years old when Babes was filmed, Garland was sixteen, but together they presented a professional and seasoned show business fa├žade, each having come from theatrical families, literally born into the business.

Billed as “The Ultimate Collector’s Edition”, this set contains five DVD’s in truly spectacular packaging. It contains a DVD first, an actual hard cover book housing the bonus feature DVD, the book is filled with fun facts and photos of their films, and the back cover has four one-sheet posters beautifully reproduced faithful to their glorious vintage Hollywood graphics. In addition to the book and the standard packaged 4 DVD set containing the feature film, this set has a wonderful photo folder, portfolio with over 20 rare images taken of Judy and Mickey. Reproduced to look like a miniature 8x10 glossy photo. Many of these images I have never seen in print, and these show a behind the scenes look at the fantasy of the glory days of MGM when even an off camera moment is something of feature film. The MGM promotion machine is ever evident while you flip through this folio of fun.

On the bonus disc, Hollywood’s keeper of the faith and classic movie historian, Robert Osborne, interviews Mickey Rooney. It is amusing to see Mickey Rooney telling a story about his blacklisting from Hollywood in the 1950’s, spin yarns about his career and contradict himself, then become mildly irritated toward the interviewer during his attempt to make sense out of the tale. At one point Rooney tells a story with a fascinating footnote: he recalls being pressured to return to a film set by Eddie Mannix, MGM’s “man with the whip”. Mannix would later become suspected by conspiracy theorists of allegedly being involved with George Reeves (TV’s Superman) murder, as Reeves was having a prolonged affair with his wife. It’s great to hear Rooney’s gruff vocal impression of this mysterious man, whom MGM called upon in the 50’s and 60’s when little “personality problems” arose; he was the “muscle” of MGM.
Included in this set are Babes in Arms (1939) Strike of the Band (1940) Babes on Broadway (1941) and Girl Crazy (1943). All gosh-damn delightful to be sure. MGM’s A-list musical director Busby Berkley, whom Rooney heavily praises on the bonus disc, helmed three of these films. The three films also benefit from the input of legendary songwriter/producer Arthur Freed, whose place in MGM’s history will forever be cemented by major movie credits spanning from The Wizard of Oz (1939) to Gigi (1958).

If nothing else it is a delight to see a post Wizard of Oz Judy Garland grow up film after film. She reaffirms us that she was really something special. With these viewings of these movies it is no wonder Mickey can be quoted at telling her ‘Judy, you the biggest star in the world’.

Lucasfilm Archives continues to pull out new treasures.

One thing for sure is that any studios archive is probably too big to display all their assets in one exhibit. Unless the studio just decided to began saving their assets and if the studio has any ties back into the old days of Hollywood such as Universal or Warner Brothers, numerous exhibits would be necessary to showcase even a small percentage of the potential collection.

Lucasfilm has been saving their stuff since George Lucas’ first feature film THX 1138. Though Lucas is most known for the obvious favorites such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Lucasfilm Archives has displayed artifacts at all of the Star Wars Celebration Conventions. Though they had an exhibit touring the country with Star Wars stuff at the same time of Celebration IV the Lucasfilm Archives were able to put on an impressive exhibit featuring some Star Wars items never before exhibited.

The highlights were Darth Vader’s burned helmet from Return of the Jedi along with the protocol droid who Jaba the Hutt had destroyed in his dungeon. Two other exceptional pieces were from The Empire Strikes Back: Luke’s severed head from “the Tree” sequence on Dagobah and Han’s Hoth jacket. Now we know what the correct color is: brown, unlike the blue jacket that the 1980 Kenner action figure sported.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Battlestar Galactica episodes sydicated for two-hour time slots

One of the most unique and rarely talked about airings of the Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979) episodes was the syndicated two-hour night broadcast called "Odyssey of the Battlestar Galactica".  Airing one two-hour episode each night of the week.  Intercut with a brilliant blue logo and an odd choice of selection from Galactica's soundtrack: "Casopea and Starbuck", a haunting, mystical piece of music, largely featuring a melotron (the keyboard used by The Beatles on several of their groovier tracks like Strawberry Fields Forever and Bungalow Bill).

This odd part of Galactica's history has gone largely un-talked about, and forgotten except by Hollywood historian Rob Klein, who has given us a few images to share.  The Show was hosted by s
omeone called Don Galloway (who?).  He very clumsily explained about how special effects are made and basic facts about the show's production history.  

What makes his wrap arounds so unique is that he is holding an original Viper and Cylon Raider during his monologes.  These segments were produced and broadcast by Los Angeles' KCOP Channel 13, we are not sure if any other syndicated stations broadcast "Odyssey of the Battlestar Galactica."

  Impressively KCOP actually acquired the 6' Galactica Miniature and the full sized Starfighter mock-up from "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" from Universal Studios, who by this time probably had the mock-ups rotting on their back-lot for years. (the full sized Viper Mock-up was probable actually too big to move, as Universal grip Michael Smith (the crew member who BG producer Donald Bellasario only trusted to move it) was not available for a simple LA sydicated TV station shoe-string budget.

Charlie Chaplin

  Here is a interesting  review on Chaplin- 15th Anniversary Edition by Jennifer Smith and Rob Klein.

Upcoming topics and posts

We will be featuring posts and historical details from a variety of different TV shows and feature films.  Many of these properties we are proud to have been involved in the archeology of these show's legacy and historical preservation.  From Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator to Indy 4.  We have stories to share, spanning nearly a hundreds years of entertainment history.

Emerald & Hobbit's web presence has arrived

Gary Emerald and J. Hobbit are very pleased to announce the formation of their blog.  Both artists are eager to post exciting facts and historical commentary about subjects they have found fascinating and / or projects they have worked on.  Additionally, The Emerald & Hobbit Archive will be accessed from time to time to share rare and unique images from their vaults.  Stay tuned...