Alien: Covenant (2017)

There is an old parable about a man saving 18 months for a pair of shoes.  Another man saves longer for a nicer pair of shoes. One them is eaten by a bear.  That story may or may not have been told in Alien: Covenant.  I saw it 24 hours ago and honestly have no idea whether it was used in the movie or if I just dreamed it. Literally just dreamed it — I dozed off early this evening after a couple of Monkey Shoulders and just woke up with that hazy memory.

Which, I guess, is to say that I got more entertainment out of this fine moderately-priced scotch whiskey than I did out of a pair of movie tickets that cost about the same as the bottle.  My memory of the movie is already fading, so I have no right offering an opinion, or maybe that is the opinion.

I think most people, like me, went to the theater full of good will.  Sure, Alien III was dull and Alien IV was a fiasco.  Alien vs Predator might have had a slight guilty-pleasure vibe, but Alien vs Predator 2 killed that.  Then Prometheus . . . well, then Prometheus.  Never in history did a movie with such a spotty pedigree have people anticipating greatness.  This is like thinking, yeah, George Bush III, he’ll be the great one!

Still, it was directed by Ridley Scott.  You can’t take the original Alien away from him, and The Martian last year was great.[1]  His name, plus the promise of this being a lot more xenomorph-centric than Prometheus, and the absence of Damon Lindelof boded well.  Boded?

The thing that keeps coming back to me is a line from the great Plinkett review of The Phantom Menace.  This movie is about an old man [4] “shoving as much crap into each shot as possible.”  You can’t just have a simple computer display like MOTHER in the original — you must have a wholly impractical 3-D light-show.  You can’t just have a corporeal alien — it has to also be shown as choreographed black mist.[2]  You can’t just build suspense interspersed with a few earned jump-scares — you must use that god-awful choppy editing technique that no-one — literally not one person I’ve ever spoken to in my life  — likes. [5]  You can’t have the simple gritty claustrophobia of the Nostromo or the remoteness of an alien outpost — let’s throw in some rock-climbing and a scene of the world’s most over-praised robot playing John Lennon’s piano from the Imagine video.[6]

It might be a selective memory, but I have a feeling when I left the theaters, I could name every character in Alien & Aliens (except a few cannon-fodder Colonial Marines).[3]  Looking at the Alien: Covenant IMDb page, I remember Daniels, Tennessee, Oram (but no idea who he was), and the robots.  That’s it.  There was zero characterization to be found here.  Where were the working class guys like Parker and Brett?  The weasel like Burke?  The panicky guy like Hudson?  The grizzled tough guy like Apone?  Where is any character that is distinguishable from any other character?  Oh, Tennessee wore a wacky hat.  And was named Tennessee.  Any movie that makes me long for the acting skills of Bill Paxton is in trouble. At least he had a character, and I still remember him.  I guess it is not a coincidence that most of those characters were not in Scott’s Alien.

I get that you can’t just have a new group of people be slaughtered in every Alien movie; that would be as boring as any Friday the 13th movie (except X — Jason in space should have won an Oscar).  I understand new elements must be introduced to energize the story. You had to have the Dharma Initiative in Lost; the cast couldn’t spend 5 years on the beach hearing noises in the trees.  Lost might have been short on answers, but it understood you had to have interesting, definable characters.  Hey, maybe this needed Lindelof after all.

This is just a huge squandered opportunity.

Other Stuff:

  • [1] To be honest, it is best to overlook a lot of his films in between.  Blade Runner looked great, but people forget how deadly dull it is.  The rest of his resume is flirting with the Mendoza Line.
  • [2] Did they learn nothing from The X-Files?  Black Oil never works out well as a story-telling device.  Except in There Will Be Blood.
  • [3] Even ones I can’t picture, like Spunkmeyer and Wierzbowski — at least I remember dialogue using their names.  Hmmm to be fair, I have no idea who Private Crowe was.  And I always forget there was a 4th woman in the rescue mission.  Everyone in Alien: Covenant is that woman.
  • [4] Although, George Miller was 106 when he directed Mad Max: Fury Road, so it isn’t necessarily a function of age.
  • [5] And by the way, I don’t know if Ridley Scott invented it, but Gladiator is the first place I remember being annoyed by it.  The technique is objectively crap.  It is the worst kind of crap.  It is crap that is more difficult to produce than non-crap.  If it is cheaper, easier and more interesting to produce non-crap, what is the point?
  • [6] Mea Culpa: I just noticed on IMDb that the piano in the movie was black, not white.  However, in this case, being wrong further proves my point.

Science Fiction Theatre – Barrier of Silence (09/03/55)

Dr. Richard Sheldon can’t remember what happened from the time he vanished in Milan, Italy until his appearance two weeks later in Zurich, Switzerland.  Thornton from the US State Department and Harcourt, a prominent psychiatrist, await his arrival at the airport. Sheldon is catatonic as they wheel him off the plane.  Unable to find a cause for Sheldon’s symptoms, Harcourt injects him with truth serum even though he wasn’t lying, unless it was by omission.

He is put in a hospital bed in his home.  His wife Karen tries to get him to respond, but doesn’t really use the best tools in her fine-ass arsenal.  When a firetruck goes by blasting its siren, Sheldon’s eyes open and his eyes dart around.  Once it passes, his eyes close again.  Harcourt deduces that when Sheldon is alert, it is always in the presence of loud obnoxious noise.

Harcourt tries beaming [          ] [1] through a parabolic dish and Sheldon’s eyes open.  When it ends, his eyes shut again, but he dreams of [          ].  High and low frequencies all produce the same response over the course of a week.

Dr. Neilson proposes that Sheldon should be subjected to absolute silence rather than noise.  He designs a field that will screen out ALL sounds so that Sheldon can be put into it.  He shows Harcourt a ringing bell that, when held inside the field, is silent.  As usual, SFT gets it backwards.  That proves sound within the field is silenced to an outside observer, but not that sound from outside the field will be eliminated to the person within it.

Even worse, he tells Harcourt to “say anything” and walk into the field.  Harcourt starts counting “one, two, three” and enters the perimeter.  He reacts as if stunned by the sudden silence.  But guess why — the dumbass stopped counting!  His lips aren’t moving.  Did no one on the set have the cajones to explain this to Adolphe Menjou? Were they still scared of a guy named Adolphe in 1955?

They bring Sheldon in and sit him in the cone of silence.  He awakens in response to the silence.  He still seems anxious, and they determine that he can still hear the sound of his own heartbeat.  Well, wait a minute — Harcourt couldn’t even hear himself speaking in the cone.  How . . . oh, who cares?

Sheldon has a flashback to being grilled by his captors during his time missing. Sleepily, he says, “I can’t go through it again.  I’ve told you everything I know.”  Which are my feelings on this post; I can’t even go back for pictures.  Turns out Sheldon gave up some secret codes, I guess to the Commies.  He snaps out of his catatonia.  The codes can be changed.  And now scientists can study silence as a cure for “amnesia and even more complicated forms of mental illness.”  The end.

Other Stuff:

  • [1] I’m so bored that I spent more time looking at this blank than watching the episode.  At first I had Amy Schumer in there.  She is a terrible comedian, but not really known for being loud, so I took her out
  • Sam Kinison was not funny either, but was loud.  But, really, who cares anymore? OK, that one bit was good.  How long before Amy Schumer starts using it?
  • Googling “worst band” gave me some ideas.  One idea is that people who write about music are pretentious dicks.  C’mon, Wings or The Eagles are the worst bands ever?  Get over yourself.
  • Nickelback seemed to be the knee-jerk, go-to worst band choice, but I’ve never heard anything by them, and it seemed like piling on.
  • Then I was fixated on how many spaces should be in the brackets.  Seven seemed too few, so I bumped it up to ten.  Made all the difference in the world.
  • Zzzz-zzz-zzzz-zzzz-zzzz.
  • Title Analysis:  Barrier of Silence?  Why not Silence Barrier to play off “sound barrier?”
  • In the intro, pseudo-science guy Truman Bradley again uses a tuning fork for his demonstration.  This time he calls it a vibrator.  Hehe.

Outer Limits – A Special Edition (07/25/97)

From my Voice of Reason post:  Sometimes I wish I had an editor.  The downside, of course, is that I would be fired immediately.  But it would be nice to be able to ask someone, “C’mon this is a clip-show, do I really have to do a post?”  I would happily skip it with permission, but my completist philosophy forces me to watch it.

Whereas Voice of Reason assembled a diverse group of both white men and white women, this episode goes one better and has four clones of the same white guy kick off the action.  They are parked conspicuously about 15 degrees off-kilter in a hotel parking lot waiting for newsman Donald Rivers.  The crusading journalist, the progres-sive savior of the oppressed, the afflictor of the comfortable, [3] the champion of the underdog,  outsmarts them by sending a homeless guy in his coat & hat out to be killed in his place while he sneaks down the back stairs.

Rivers takes a cab to the studio where he anchors The Whole Truth.  For this very special broadcast, they are going live.  The script is loaded into the teleprompter, back-up generators are in place, studio doors are locked down, and most importantly Rivers makes sure his make-up is perfect and tells the camera-man he wants lots of close-ups.
His producer Sandra [1] counts down.  The opening of the show, backed by a musical score, teases the big story to come.  Rivers voices over, “DNA, genetic engineering, cloning.  The daily advances in bio-technology are almost overwhelming, but what does it mean for our lives and where will it ultimately lead us?”  OK, so he has a blockbuster story about aliens, government conspiracies, the military-industrial complex, eugenics, immortality, and genocide — and his tease could have been from a 1957 episode of Nova [2] ?  Rivers just doesn’t understand ratings.

After congratulating the network for their courage in airing the episode, Rivers goes to Exhibit A, Last Supper.  He describes the horrifying tests performed on a young woman to find the secret of her immortality. Rivers runs a “dramatization” of those events which is pretty amazing since he only gave his producer the script minutes before.  Sadly, the segment does not include the part where Fred Savage hooks up with a girl his father banged 30 years earlier.  Rivers just doesn’t understand ratings.

After a commercial, Rivers introduces his source.  The informant, in shadows, is a molecular biologist from the Pentagon who claims the government is trying to “change the course of human genetic development.”  He has no beef with research into human longevity, but says the government didn’t plan on sharing that discovery with the riff-raff (i.e. him & me).  Exhibit B concerns reversing necrosis — reanimating the dead — as seen in New Lease.

Outer Limits is a little boxed in on these type of clip shows because they can’t use any episode set in the future, can’t use any episode that ended with the earth being destroyed (Trial by Fire!) or humanity being permanently altered, and it must fit within the theme of the clip show.  I guess that is why they had to reach all the way back to Blood Brothers (S1E3) for Exhibit D.

Rivers interrupts his own show to tell viewers that the show’s parent company is giving a press conference airing on some of his affiliates.  The corporate spokes-weasel says they do not control Rivers’ show and they are appalled by the sensationalism.  She says his informant is mentally ill and, “The name of his show not withstanding, he is only interested in ratings.”

What?  Didn’t I debunk that already?  Keep up, lady!  This network’s knee-jerk defense of the government and lack of curiosity is, of course, ludacris.  Well, except for 2009 – 2016.  Welcome back!

As affiliates start dropping out, Rivers brings his informant out into the light — hey, it’s Byers from The Lone Gunmen!  He is using the alias Avery Strong, but I’d know him anywhere!  In a masterstroke of economic storytelling, Exhibit E in this clip show is a scene from the first season clip show Voice of Reason, which reveals that Randall Strong, the informant in that episode, was Avery Strong’s brother.

What finally prompted Avery to go public — other than his family’s genetic disposition to be tattle-tales — was seeing alien DNA injected into a human.  We get another “drama-tization” from Exhibit F, Afterlife.  A soldier was painfully transformed into an alien. Stretching the boundaries of clip show technology, they even graft Avery into that earlier episode.

Avery’s unified theory is that the government is creating clones which they can control.  These look-alike clones will then be used to replace world leaders and other powerful individuals.  For Exhibit G, they completely wreck the time-space continuum by using a clip from a future episode, season four’s In Another Life.  They have invented the self-spoiling spoiler, so I have to fast-forward past that segment.

When I rejoin the program, power in Rivers’ studio has gone out.  As Feds pound on the door, Avery and Rivers grab the evidence and run.  We follow as the episode turns hand-held.  They end up in the Whole Truth news van.

The last Exhibit is from Dark Rain showing thousands of mutant cloned babies.  Avery shot that footage himself.  Rivers announces that they are going to that facility now.  There is a fine twist.  The repetitive stacking up of the evidence actually contributes to the denouement rather than just being a cheap dramatic device.  The episode was hurt a little by the necessary lack of a score.  As it swells over the ending, it really sells the twist.

Playing a news-reader or DJ on TV seems to be nearly impossible to do well.  DJs in particular are nearly always dreadful.  I have to give credit to Alan Thicke (Rivers).  I might not have watched Rivers’ show (or any of Thicke’s for that matter), but he did an excellent, credible job as the anchorman.  I even kind of secretly like clip shows, and they at least tried a couple of new ideas here.  The last few minutes even rise to a Trial by Fire level of quality.

A Special Edition was no Special Bulletin, but it was pretty good.

Other Stuff:

  • [1] In a bizarre choice, Sandra wears an almost comically short skirt.  It’s not like she is a floozy — she is a 39 year old professional woman.  She’s attractive, but not eye-candy for the episode.  Weird, man.  Maybe that’s what the producers at FOX News look like.
  • [2] OK, PBS was created in 1970, and Nova began in 1974.  Wait, the evil Richard Nixon allowed this to happen?  Next you’ll be telling me the EPA began on his watch.
  • [3] As in “The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.  Which is complete bullshit.  How about honestly reporting the story?

The Hitchhiker – A Whole New You (02/01/91)

I try not to pre-judge, but this does not bode well . . .

  1. The opening shot establishes this as a European production which has been a bad sign, from The Miracle of Alice Aames in this series, to dozens of Ray Bradbury Theater episodes.
  2. It is from the writer of the aforementioned Miracle of Alice Aames, although she has a fine resume otherwise.
  3. It is from a director with no other American credits.  No offense to foreign directors, it just makes her un poisson hors de l’eau.
  4. It stars our least-talented successful living American actor (regaining first place after the sad, untimely death of Bill Paxton), Elliott Gould.
  5. It is The Hitchhiker.

A white van pulls up to a French hotel and disgorges Elliott Gould and his gendarme body-guards.[1]  He might as well have come in a Mini Cooper for all the help his entourage provides.  A room service waiter in the hall pulls a gun as they pass.  Only Gould has the brains — am I really writing this? — to kick him down the stairs and pound his head into the floor.  This, BTW, after they magically appear on the stairs via a botched edit.

In his room, Gould lambastes the “stupid frogs supposed to be protecting me.”  While Gould is sometimes tolerable when he is just lumbering through a role, here he — God help us — tries to act.  He chews out LeBreaux, the French cop, for their “frog talk” and reminds them they promised to keep him safe while he was “here to get me a new face.”

We get a few hints about why Gould is looking to change his looks other than the obvious, but you have to be smarter than me to put it together. Some guy named Palazzo was killed by a car bomb in the states.  The sweaty, screaming Gould threatens to expose what Palazzo and LeBreaux “were up to.” He tells the cop, “You agreed to print that story about Palazzo if he would come here and give evidence for you!”  Wait, is LeBreaux a cop or a reporter?  Gould gives an extended buffoonish laugh that might be the most unpleasant thing I’ve ever seen on TV.

LeBreaux says, “OK, we’ll do it your way . . . for now” although I’m not clear on what that way is; or the other way.  Gould — and why is he so sweaty? — says, “Now you’re being smart.”  The camera is tight on the cop’s face and Gould’s grubby fingers creep into the shot to pinch his cheek.  BLECCH, as Mad Magazine used to say.[2]   At this point, Gould is not just sitting down, he is slouched in the chair.  HTF did he reach the cop’s face?  Maybe these French directors is just too smart for me.

The next day, they go to see Dr. Renaud.  Discovering the doctor is a woman, Gould rants, “She’s a dame?  I don’t trust dames!  They’re always flapping their gums at the wrong time!”  Gould meets Renaud in her office and they have a very strange silence. They aren’t sizing each other up, they aren’t attracted to each other.  It is just a long, weird lull like they were bored, waiting for the director to say “action.”  Finally, she says, “Welcome to the institute.”

Gould is a complete dick, smoking a cigar  in her office after she asks him not to. He demands they get started immediately on replacing his face and, really, who can blame him?  Dr, Renaud tells him, “Here at the institute, we feel that cosmetic surgery is just one step in a much larger process.”  He suggests they get down to business “before I shove this desk down your stinking throat!”

LeBreaux suggests he talk to Dr. Renaud alone.  Gould says, “Well talk good, cop, or they’ll be fishing Palazzo out of the river!”  That would be the same Palazzo that LeBreaux told Gould was killed by a car bomb?  Christ, could anyone on this set read English?  Renaud understandably does not want to treat a psychopath like Gould. LeBreaux tells her if she doesn’t do this, she could lose her government funding.

Gould is subjected to tests like he was trying to be in the Mercury 7 [sadly, the relevant Right Stuff clip is not on You Tube].  After a week of this, Gould puts his hand on her throat and tells her she better not be playing him for a sucker.  Just repulsive.  The doctor’s assistant walks in and he lowers his hand.  He takes the opportunity to light up another cigar in the lab after spitting the tip on the floor.  Just repulsive.  Later, he starts feeling up Renaud’s assistant to unwind before his operation.  Just repulsive.

That night, Gould sneaks in to Bloc 6 where the surgery will be done.  He picks up a couple of instruments which look like a garlic press and a mixer to me, but I’m no brain surgeon; or chef.  On the X-Ray screen there are a lot more shots of brains than you might expect from a cosmetic surgeon.  He finds a room of men either bald or with their head in bandages.  One of them repeat–edly asks, “Bon jour, comment tallez-vous?”  I think they were lobotomized, but to be fair, Gould never answers him.

Gould decides to not have the surgery, runs oafishly out of the complex, steals the white van and speeds off.  LeBreaux finds Gould and tries to take him back.  Gould uses his one martial art — banging a guy’s head into the ground — and beats LeBreaux unconscious.  Blah blah, some other goons knock Gould out and take him back to the institute for surgery.  After the surgery, his head is bandaged like the men he saw at the institute.  And:

  • LeBreaux comes to visit, carrying flowers.  Hunh, they’re suddenly bros?  Or is it frères?  Is this the beginning of a LeBreaux-mance?
  • Gould’s personality is completely changed.  He is now warm and smiling and friendly.  Was he supposed to have gotten a lobotomy?  I don’t think this would be the result.  Why is he not like the other men?
  • And why is the doctor so gung-ho about lobotomies anyway?  It wasn’t just revenge against Gould — remember, there was a room full of these guys.
  • There is a long, purposeful close-up of Gould’s eye which I don’t understand at all.  I know lobotomies can be done through the eye-hole, but there is no indication of that. There is no tear which would indicate something . . . anything.  It just seems random.
  • The cop lights a cigar as he leaves, just as Gould had smoked them before. LeBreaux had only smoked cigarettes.  Are we supposed to think that Gould and the cop switched faces?  Clearly they did not, but why else throw that scene in?

Merde.  Just a steaming load of merde.

Other Stuff:

  • [1] Kudos where due.  They exited the van with all the men wearing military garrison caps, except one wearing a fedora.  I immediately thought they were idiots by making their charge so easily identifiable, but Gould was wearing one of the caps.
  • [2] And maybe still do.  Every 10 years, I’ll look at a current issue — same jokes.
  • After some time back in the US, the titular hitchhiker is back in France.  This guy really needs an AAA membership (remember, this was pre Google Maps).

Alfred Hitchcock Presents – The Crystal Trench (10/04/59)

In September 1907, a train rolls across one of those impossibly huge bridges in the Alps.  I’m not sure we could build one of those now.  It’s like those gigantic statues and titular towers in Lord of the Rings; how did those simpletons build such colossal structures?  There is probably a 50 page LOTR answer replete with Elvish songs, so I retract the question.

Mark Cavendish [1] is arriving in Switzerland today to climb the Schwarzhorn, which I hear is very popular in German porn.  He sees the other members of his climbing party arguing on the veranda about whether they can see some dumbkopfs atop the mountain at 4:00 PM.  That would very dangerous as the weather is unpredictable, visibility decreases, and the pro shop charges you another full day for carabiners and crampons.

That night, the concierge — possibly the hotel manager, but concierge is so much more fun to say . . .  Concierge!  Concierge! — informs Cavendish there has been an accident on the mountain.  Mr. Ranks led a pair of young men up the mountain, taking a route that was beyond their skills.  Only Ranks and George Liston made it back. The other young man, Michael Ballister, died before reaching the summit.  Ranks and Liston were too fatigued to haul him down.  The manager thinks since Cavendish is from England like Ballister, he should be the one to tell Mrs. Ballister to cancel that couples massage.

They find the lovely Stella Ballister sitting alone in the ballroom as others dance around her.  Apparently, they feel this is the perfect place to let her know her husband of six months is dead.  Before Cavendish can give her the news, she asks him to dance.  She is not flirting; she loves her husband, but just feels like having a little fun with a fellow Brit.  They get in a few steps before he takes her aside and says, “Mrs. Ballister, your husband is dead. His body is up on the Schwarzhorn.”  Amuse-bouche?

Stella insists that he retrieve her husband’s body off the mountain. Cavendish and his pals brave a Frosty Blizzard and a blinding Blast of McFlurries to find Ballister. Despite the heavy snow, they are wearing lederhosen (also fun to say  . . . Lederhosen!  Lederhosen!) [3] and hats that don’t cover their ears.  They find Cavendish draped frozen along the side of a cliff.  As they are hauling him up, they lose their grip and he comically slides down the mountain like Stallone rode that dude in Cliffhanger,[4] until he disappears into both a crevise and a crevasse.

Cavendish returns and again must give Stella tragic news — maybe during pool aerobics this time. She asks him to go with her to see Ranks and Liston in the hospital where they are recovering from frostbite.  Stella thinks Michael was too strong to just die of expo-sure. She wants to get “the truth” out of the two men.  At the hospital, Ranks is wheeled in.  He gives Stella his condolences.  Ranks admits they left with too little food and that the boys were too inexperienced for the route he took.  Even in a wheelchair, he’s a stand-up guy.  However, he insists that he and Liston stayed with Ballister until he died.

Stella doesn’t buy his story and shouts, “You left him up there to die!  I know it!”  The nurse wheels Ranks back out and Stella gets her groove back.  She tells Cavendish that she will keep her husband alive through her memories.  She — not me, she — says it will be easy because being packed in ice, he will never change.

Back in London, Cavendish and Stella begin attending dinner and concerts together.  One day, she invites him to tea and he shows up with a ring.  She refuses his proposal.  To explain why, she takes him with her to see a professor.  He describes — in very authentic sounding jargon, BTW — how glaciers move and transform over time.  He blows his credibility when he absurdly predicts the glacier will poop Ballister out in 40 years on July 21, 1947, around tea time.  Stella plans to wait all that time to be with her beloved, perfectly preserved Michael.  In a stunning Hollywood reversal, the wife would be 40 years older than the husband.  Madness, I tells ya!

Forty years later, Cavendish and Stella return to the glacier. [5] Some men picking at the ice, not realizing it will never get better, reveal Ballister’s frozen face, unchanged after 40 years in the glacier — I guess . . . we never saw him before.  Cavendish retrieves a locket from around Ballister’s neck.  Stella doesn’t seem thrilled.  When Cavendish opens the locket, the picture inside is another woman.  He tries to protect Stella, but she knows her husband had no such locket with her picture.  She takes the locket and tosses it back on the ice.

There is a lot to like here . . . I seem to use that phrase a lot in a passive-aggressive way.  I enjoyed the location.  This ain’t a James Bond movie — you’re working with a 1950s TV budget, meaning stock footage, papier-mâché rocks and snow made of deadly asbestos shavings.  But they were all cut together great.  In particular, the shot of Ballister sailing down the mountain sticks with me.  That is too specific to be stock footage, and didn’t strike me as a model. It was just a great drawn-out Hitchcockian “uh-oh” moment like Norman Bates trying to sink Marion’s car.  If that shot cost half the budget, it was worth it.

Although I respect the twist, it rings hollow.  While I enjoy seeing other people waste their lives — the Dead-Heads always made me feel like my life actually had direction — the premise is just too flimsy.  OK, Stella’s handsome young husband died tragically.  I can imagine her going into seclusion.  I can imagine her heart-broken.  I can imagine her never remarrying.  I can imagine her expressing her grief by having a steamy affair with the proper young woman who just arrived on the train to be a dance instructor at the local academy, who wears jodhpurs even though she doesn’t have a horse, and never had time for men and their boorish ways.  However, I can’t understand her waiting 40 years for her dead husband’s body to reappear.  To what end?  And Cavendish, dude!

Still, 30 minutes well-spent.

Other Stuff:

  • AHP Deathwatch:  Only one survivor, but his character had no name.  However, the professor (Patrick McNee) had a good run, dying at 95 in 2015.
  • [1] James Donald, Senior British Officer at Stalag III.
  • [2] Werner Klemperer, Senior German Officer at Stalag XIII.
  • [3] Or maybe they were knickers.  They were pants that did not break at the shoe, but ended with socks from the calf down.  Just seems a strange choice for freezing weather.
  • [4] I didn’t find a clip, but everyone should watch Cliffhanger (again).  It’s just great fun.
  • [5] I think it was meant to be a stunning reveal when the actors turn to the camera and are made up to be older.  However, we already knew it was 40 years later.  I do admire the restraint of the make-up, though.  Rather than the hideous job done on Guy Pearce in Prometheus (or anyone ever in any series of Star Trek), for example, just some gray hair and an ashen complexion are perfectly adequate.
  • This is the end of Hulu’s AHP line-up.