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Kamen Rider: In which we learn that Japan likes it’s kids TV to be dark and weird as hell

It’s Thursday, it’s Pilot Era

Pilot Era

First aired:3rd April 1971

Cast:

Hiroshi Fujioka – Takeshi Hongo

Akiji Kobayashi – Tobei Tachibana

Chieko Morikawa – Ruriko Midorika

Yoko Shimada – Hiromi Nohara

Goro Naya – Voice of the Leader of Shocker

Shinji Nakae – Narrator

Hiroya Ishimaru/ Eiji Maruyama – Shocker scientists

Ryuji Saikachi – The Mysterious Spider Man

Plot: A mysterious spider-creature lies in wait. Nearby a motorcycle rider called Hongo, taking time from his research scientist job at a local university, trains for an upcoming race with his coach Mr Tachibana. Hongo is soon followed by a group of motorcycle riders, he isn’t too concerned, but sees another group approaching from ahead of him. He is able to lose them, but doubles back on himself, curious about what is going on. A trio of masked women and a larger than expected spider-web cause him to crash, changing everything.

He wakes up on a sort…

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My Marvel Life Presents -Fabulous First Issue: Showcase 4

The first proper Fabulous First Issue post

My Marvel Life

Showcase 4: October 1956

I picked this because: If you are going to do a blog about 1st issues, then how can you not start with the beginning of the Silver Age and super-hero comics’ comeback.

With the end of WWII, the popularity of the superhero waned, by the late 40’s and early 50’s only Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were ongoing concerns at DC Comics. Editor Julius ‘Julie’ Schwartz made the choice to bring some of the other Golden Age characters back, people like the Flash,  Green Lantern, the Atom and Hawkman. He took the names and some of the basic ideas and created a new sci-fi take on these heroes, but none of this would have been done without the first of these, replacing Jay Garrick as the Flash with Barry Allen.  If that hadn’t worked, the entire Silver Age wouldn’t have happened, Timely wouldn’t have become Marvel…

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My Marvel Life Presents -Fabulous First Issue: Or look what I made my wife do

From the idiot that brought you Pilot Era

My Marvel Life

I am  a lucky man.

There are many reasons why I can say that and the way the world is at the moment, there are even more than there were before. But the main reason I say this today is because of my wife. I have been married to the MIGHTY Rosie for over a decade and despite our differences, we have been able to share many interests.

One of the ones we don’t really share to the same intensity is comics. Now she has always been supportive of my hobby, to the extent she even helped sort out accommodation and tickets for my trip to Thought Bubble last year. A couple of times she’s even taken a few trades from time to time and enjoyed them.

About 18 months ago, I started a project on TV that blossomed into the blog Pilot Era which is a look at first episodes…

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The Dukes of Hazzard: In which we learn the best mechanics in the world are in Hazard County.

It’s Thursday, it’s Pilot Era time ⌚

Pilot Era

First aired: 26th January 1979

Cast:

Tom Wopat – Luke Duke

John Schneider – Bo Duke

Catherine Bach – Daisy Duke

Denver Pyle – Uncle Jesse

James Best – Sheriff Rosco Coltrane

Sorrell Brooke – Boss Hogg

Sonny Shroyer– Enos

Ben Jones – Cooter

Tisch Raye – Jill Rae Dodson

Waylon Jennings– The Balladeer

Synopsis: Hazzard Country Georgia: A balladeer sings and narrates as a bright orange 1969 Dodge Charger is chasing a sheriff’s patrol car. Inside the Charger (affectionately monikered the General Lee) are bickering cousins Bo and Luke Duke. It turns out that Dukes’ friend Cooter has stolen the patrol car after his car was impounded by Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane. After Cooter crashes the car, it becomes clear that Roscoe has been bringing in slot machines.

We learn from the balladeer that Sheriff Coltrane is suffering a lot of money problems, which has left him under the thumb…

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Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

Getting back in.

This year, I took a bit of a break from blogging. It wasn’t intentional, just life sort of gets in the way and all that. Time gets away from you.

Over February, I managed to get back up to date with Pilot Era , but nothing new has been come up with since then. I wanted to get back into writing something, maybe something personal, maybe something geeky, but something nonetheless.

Then the f***ing world ended. The Corona virus has cut a swath across the world, affected countless people and more besides. The response from many nations has been a lockdown. 80% of staff aren’t there, doors are locked, so getting in and out is a pain and I have found my mental health suffering over the increased workload and the overall increase in bad news, frightening statistics and overall sense of gloom.

How can I write about comics and recent TV shows I have enjoyed when all this is going on?

I don’t know, but I can find out. As scary as this thing is and believe me it is scary. When I have colleagues in with me, they talk about how scary this is, the underlying sense of disquiet and impending disaster. For me, that’s a Wednesday. The one upside of all this is that I know how to function when I am afraid, when all seems bleak. I have had to teach Giselle and the Disney Princess about coping techniques, including one I have found most useful. Whenever you feel overwhelmed and the walls are closing in, stop.

Speak outloud: 5 Things you can see.

4 Things you can hear

3 Things you can feel

2 Things you can smell

1 Thing you can taste.

I have used this a couple of times, since this Corona Virus thing has been headline news and I was thanked for sharing it with my colleagues who have had no experience with mental health struggles. I suppose that is going to be the next big problem. We are going to be looking at something of a mental health crisis before too long. I have felt the edges of it encroaching on me, just as they did this time last year, but now I can see it and can talk about it and hopefully head it off, the MIGHTY Rosie and SuperSam have felt effects as well, but that’s not a thing to be discussed here. My parents are well as are my brother and his family, my sister-in-law and her kids and we are in touch often enough.

It’s a strange situation we find ourselves in, but even though we are locked away from one another, we are not. In this era of social media, we can reach out to one another, we can ask how each-other are. We’ve seen sing-songs across streets, I took part in a virtual pub quiz a week or so ago and a dozen or so things aside. We feel the absence of community, but is it absent? Or has our sense of what community is changed? We are isolated, we are socially distancing ourselves, but we can still talk to one another, we can still share our stories and remind one another of hope. This is not going to last forever, we will come out of the other side of this, with the knowledge of who is actually important in society. We forget about the people who make this world run, we pay them little, we ignore them and yet when a healthcare crisis occurs, they are there.

Every Thursday at 8pm, we open our door and clap, a nationwide thunderous applause to those people on the front line of the National Health Service. Those underfunded and over worked souls who care for us, who heal us and provide aid even at their own risk. Seeing people do that, week after week has warmed my heart. I have seen people put notes through doors asking if we need things. In my own road, there have been students going home with universities closed donating the food they would leave behind to anyone who needs it. A handyman we know asking if anyone needs anything when he is out doing essential maintenance, so we can cut down on un-necessary shopping. I have read the news, seen the scum-bags who have used this crisis as an excuse to be worse, but I have seen so many people step up. Leaders fail to lead, but helpers have been helping. It’s been little things, such as printing colouring in sheets to send to people who we know that have kids to keep them entertained, face-timing with my son’s grandparents, because they miss one another and saying hello to anyone in the street, so we know we are not alone.

This is a scary time, can’t get away from that, but I genuinely believe that there is a place beyond this. I believe that this crisis will pass and we will get back to some version of normal. Maybe it’s because I need to believe that, but I believe it nonetheless. We are locked away from one another, but we are not alone. We will get through this, if you are person reading this, that means you. It is these scary times that show us who we are and who we need to be. We need to be physically distant, but socially? No we need to remind one another that we are there. If there is anyone who you can think of that you haven’t heard from in the last few days, a call or a text might mean so much more than usual.

To all those on WordPress, thank you. You have been here for me when I have needed you, something to read, a response when I have read or even just reminding me that I and my family are not as alone as we think. I have rambled, but I need to say something, to not allow this part of my life to go dark. We need to do the things that make us smile, to remind us that we still can. My favourite podcaster on his excellent show Palace of Glittering delights always ends it the same way. “It’s all going to be alright.”

You know what, I think it will be. We can look out for each other, we can care for one another and can love one another.

Now I have rambled enough, I am going to go and give the MIGHTY Rosie a cuddle, like I said do the things that make you smile.

 

 

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Starsky & Hutch: In which we learn that real men wear cardigans.

Given how negative I was over TJ Hooker, I wanted to post something about a TV that I did enjoy.

Pilot Era

First aired: 30th April 1975

Cast:

David Soul – Detective Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson

Paul Michael Glaser – Detective Dave Starsky

Michael Lerner – Fat Rolly

Morgan Sterne – DA Mark Henderson

Antonia Fargas – Huggy Bear

Richard Ward – Captain Dobey

Gilbert Green – Frank Tallman

Michael Conrad – Cannell

Richard Lynch– Zane

Synopsis: San Francisco California: Two men are talking in a car, they are chatting about a John Wayne film on TV that week.  Approaching their car is a Gran Torino, cherry-red with a white stripe along the sides. A couple in the car are getting amorous inside it after parking. The two men walk to the car and shoot the couple through the window.

The next day and an identical Torino races across town and stops outside a gym. Out gets Dave Starsky who walks in and collects Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson. They get in Hutch’s car…

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T.J.Hooker – In which we learn I should be on more drugs

Another Pilot Era Post

Pilot Era

First aired: 13th March 1982

Cast:

William Shatner – Sgt. T. J. Hooker

Richard Lawson – Officer David McNeill

Adrian Zmed – Officer Vince Romano

Brian Patrick Clarke – Officer Jess Canfield

Jo McDonnell – Officer Kelly Sanders

Deborah Shelton – Lacey Canfield

David Hedison – Saxon

Michael Horton – Parker English

Richard Heard – Capt. Dennis Sheridan

Lee Bryant – Fran Hooker

Timothy Scott – Whit

Carl W. Crudup – Travis

Synopsis: Los Angeles California: Police Academy and new recruits are being addressed by Sgt T.J. Hooker. He bellows at them about how hard this training is going to be. Later the recruits banter banter and one of them Jess pines for his wife Lacey is currently getting a dressed down from her boss DA Saxon. Back at the academy Hooker is running the recruits ragged.

An ex-con named Whit is struggling to get his life back on track…

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