Season 3 Episode 4 - Forbidden Planet
Updated: Dec 2, 2022
Hello and welcome my survivor friends.
How are you surviving? We are careening headlong into the icy winter months up here where I live. Which, of course has its pros and cons.
Personally, I run cold, so I need to put on a lot of clothing and cuddle instensely with Ollie the Collie, because he is very efficient at converting kibble to BTUs.
In the last couple weeks I was interviewed on two other podcasts. If you want to hear me being interviewed about how the After the Apocalypse sausage is made check out these two shows.
The first was “The Successful Screenwriter Podcast” Available at https://thesuccessfulscreenwriter.com/Geoff and I recorded this in June but it just published last week.
I listened through many of his shows over the summer when I was out training on my bike,and I really like it.
Geoff interviews insiders and deconstructs how screenwriting works. This podcast is definitely a valuable resource for my fellow writers out there.
The second interview was with our friend Dylan. Dylan is a fellow writer and member of our survivor Facebook group. He started his own new show called “Dylan is Writing” on Spotify. And I know many of you are Spotify listeners so trot over to Dylan’s show and give it some love.
If you like these kinds of interviews I’ve got a few more that I put on the member’s feed that you can get if you subscribe.
If you’d like to interview me for your podcast or any kind of media thingy – I’m a decent communicator for an introvert. A solid B+. And I love to talk about the art.
So that’s that, go download and listen to those two shows.
… Moving right along…
I watched a movie called “Forbidden Planet” from 1956 last week and I’ll give you my thoughts… (I’ll try not to go as deep down the rabbit hole as the giant ant lecture.)
I had never seen this movie, but knew it was constantly referenced in science fiction discussions as one of the foundational works of the genre. So, I figured, ‘what the heck!’ I’d give it a watch, fill in that gap in my library of experiential know-how.
I was able to find Forbidden Planet streaming for free on one of the 5,287,392 cable services that lurk in the demonic hell-fires of my smart TV. (A little too smart if you ask me, sonny!)
It’s a movie of its time. Not to offend any priests of the cannon, but it doesn’t age well.
The reason it is oft-cited in SciFi movie conversations is that it had many firsts for its time and had many on the big screen.
It was the first moving to show humans traveling in an FTL (Faster than Light) spaceship. It was the first to have the movie set in its entirety on another planet.
I did notice that the FTL pods that they stand in while exiting FTL look suspiciously like transporter pods. The age of this movie makes it likely thatit had an impact on Gene Rodenberry.
It did have an early Star Trek the original series feel to it. It also had a bit of an original Twilight Zone feel to it. Which tells me that all this space SciFi zeitgeist was bubbling around at that time.
Unlike some of the other old movies I have talked about, this is not created from a novel. This was a movie treatment from the start. Chalk one up to the screenwriters! (see that? I did a call back there.)
What struck me about this movie was how it was a space SciFi movie, but, at the same time pulled themes from war movies and TV shows. It had that post-world-war II feel to it. Felt like McHale’s Navy episode or a Mr. Roberts at times.
Another thing that I noticed was how impressed everyone in the movie was with the special effects. It is very self-aware of its special effect. There are specific scenes to show off the SciFi wonders. They all stop and pose with the special effects, like, “Hey look at this! Isn’t this cool?”
It was like there was a couple nerds trying to make a movie and the Hollywood producers kept putting other stuff in.
They do this whole side story of the space-sailors getting drunk.
Then they do this pervy professor’s daughter storyline. The men have been on the ship for years to get to this planet so they’re a bit randy. And, wouldn’t you know it, the professor’s daughter is a beautiful young innocent who knows nothing of the wicked ways of men.
So of course, the first thing they try to do is to seduce her.
And, how can we talk about Forbidden Planet without mentioning its biggest star, Robbie the Robot. This iconic robot is what you see when you think ‘robot’.
I can guarantee you’ve seen Robbie the Robot. He’s on the movie poster carrying the female lead. Robbie was a fairly complex articulated suit very impressive for his time. He was so popular that he was reused as a prop in around 20 other TV shows and a few movies in the years since.
So, in summary, Forbidden Planet: it’s not a great movie but it has influenced Hollywood and SciFi greatly over the years.
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I’m working on a website and a newsletter, but I’m a bit at the end of my energy and availability so shoot me a line if you’d like to help.
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Links are in the show notes.
Have a great week and keep surviving!