Today, is September 13th (at least I am writing this on the 13th though it may be actually posted a little later as I am trying to get video embedding to work). Back when my astronomy club still had a newsletter (as of this writing it has been dormant for months with no end in sight), I had a regular column and every September I would have an article pertaining to the Moon. I am starting a similar tradition on this blog, but it will be on September 13th.
The reason for this is to honor(?) the greatest lunar explosion that never happened except in the imagination of the late Gerry Anderson (1929-2012), a British TV producer who had a thing for puppets that prompted him to devise (and be the only person to use) a technique called “Supermarionation” in no less than four TV series (“Captain Scarlet”, “Fireball XL-5”, “Stingray”, and “Thunderbirds”). Anderson also had a fondness for blowing things up that might have inspired Michael Bay. In addtion to his puppet work, Anderson also had two live action TV series: “UFO” and “Space: 1999”. On the latter series, Anderson imagined that the Moon would be used as a gigantic version of the waste repository the U.S. government wanted to put inside Yucca Mountain. And on September 13th, 1999, the whole kit and kaboodle exploded (evidently inspired by reports of a 1957 waste dump explosion in the Soviet Union) and launched the Moon and a dysfunctional group of humans on a crazy ride where every week they ran into aliens who were even more dysfunctional. Since I like to connect seemingly unconnectable things, I figured a lunar article every September would be the perfect way to thumb my nose at Anderson and his special effects laden but quality-challenged series (or honor it – either way works).
So, in one of those lunar columns, I thought it would be fun to put in a link to a rather hilarious video that a group called “Ill-Conceived Productions” created that raked the series over the comedic coals by taking clips from the series and turning them into an old style black and white silent movie, complete with simulated film degradation, title cards and piano music soundtrack. But, when the column ran in the actual newsletter, the link and explanatory text were missing.
Turns out this wasn’t an accidental omission. It seems the newsletter editor at the time (actually it was the individual who gave him his marching orders) decided not to include it since they felt the humor would go over the heads of kids. Evidently, this person has hung around Cub and Boy Scouts so long that they had this delusion that kids actually read the newsletter. Actually, the newsletter had more readers among the Grays and Reptilians (non-existent UFO aliens) than it did among the kiddie set. Come to think of it, it didn’t have a big readership, period.
Fortunately, that newsletter editor and his boss do not have any jurisdiction over this blog. So, here is the video. In case anyone is wondering, the cast of the series was evidently cool with the video, at least that is what I heard from Martin Landau (Commander John Koenig on the series) himself. Enjoy.