Forbidden Planet




Today we’ll discuss the classic movie “Forbidden Planet.”

The cast of the movie holds some interesting names. First off is Leslie Neilson if one of his dramatic roles. He plays the captain of the star ship involved.  Walter Pidgeon, portrays Dr, Morbius and Anne Francis played Morbius’ daughter.

While this is a science fiction movie, it’s a retelling of ‘The Tempest’ by William Shakespeare. It starts off with Neilson’s ship popping from FTL and starting to approach a planet. Previously, a human expedition had visited the planet and then disappeared, so a second ship was sent to investigate. This is where things get interesting.

Only two people are alive on the planet when the crew disembarks. Morbius and his daughter Altaira. A third character, the robot ‘Robbie’ (one of the most famous robots in science fiction history) rounds out the survivors. Curious as to how Morbius and his daughter survived while the rest of the ship died, the Captain and Medical Officer investigate. 

This is when strange things happen. Once night something enters the ship and steals  a necessary part for the ship to operate-forcing them to jury rig a replacement. Morbius then warns then that the same pattern that happened before was starting again. 

Next something invisible, only it’s footsteps being seen, slips through a security force field and then into the ship. It proceeds to kill Chief Quinn, the engineer, before disappearing.

The Captain proceeds to go to Morbius’ house and finds alien technology in the dear doctor’s office. Morbius has found evidence of a great civilization called the Krill, who inhabited the planet but died in one single night, leaving behind their great machines. 

Morbius shows them the massive computer inside the planet and an ‘intelligence tester.’ He stops the Captain from using it by telling him that an officer from the first ship tried it and it was instantly fatal…chastised, Neilson backs off.

That night, a creature attacks the ship. It is invisible, moves on two feet and is terrifying to see. It kills several crew and continues to attack before the scene shifts to Morbius. The Doctor is in the testing room and every power gauge is lit up. Earlier he told the captain and doctor that each gauge was “ten times ten” and that there were fifty gauges. Altaira screams and he wakes up, and at the same time the monster disappears.

The Captain and Doctor pay an unannounced visit, with the intention of one of them making it to the machine to get an intelligence boost (something Morbius said earlier happened to him.) Doc manages to complete the task and before dying tells Neilson what was happening. 

The Krill had created their greatest masterpiece: a machine that could create anything a Krill thought of. However, they forgot about the ID (or their subconscious in current terminology) and their base nature created monsters that killed the entire planet’s population in one night. 

Armed with the knowledge, Neilson confronts Morbius and the ID monster starts to approach. Morbius orders Robbie to fight it, but the robot can’t because it knows the monster is part of Morbius-thus going against its programming. 

The monster continues to come at them, fighting its way through the Krill metals until Morbius rejects it and receives a mortal wound. He tells the Captain how to destroy the planet and then dies. 

The movie ends with the destruction of the planet and then the credits roll.

What makes this movie so interesting is the combination of psychology, Shakespeare and science fiction. Now, I could go on about this movie for an hour but I won’t bore you. Don’t let the ancient special effects fool you: behind it all is a very good story. If you have time, sit down and watch it and compare the plot and story with what comes out of Hollywood today. I’m betting you’ll find it to be superior.

Happy watching!

Author Iain Banks dies ahead of cancer-themed final novel’s release

Another voice of science fiction has left us this month.

<> on August 11, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland.



(CNN) — Tributes are flowing for Scottish author Iain Banks, who has died aged 59 after a short battle with cancer just days before the release of his final novel.

The prolific writer, best known for his 1984 debut “The Wasp Factory” and 1992’s “The Crow Road,” was noted as an author of darkly humorous literary and science fiction, the latter of which was published under the name Iain M. Banks.

His wife, Adele, said he died in the early hours of the morning and that “his death was calm and without pain.”

Banks released a statement in April revealing he had been diagnosed with late-stage cancer of the gall bladder, after suffering what he believed was a back strain.

Writing that it was “extremely unlikely” he would live beyond a year, he announced that he had asked his long-term partner “if she will do me the honor of becoming my widow,” adding that “we find ghoulish humor helps.”

The couple were married in the Scottish Highlands and honeymooned in Venice and Paris, before Banks was hospitalized in Scotland on their return.

Banks asked his publishers to bring forward the release of his final novel, “The Quarry,” so he could see its publication. The book, to be released June 20, details the final weeks of a 40-something protagonist, Guy, in his own fight against cancer.

RIP Iain Banks. One of the finest writers and greatest imaginations ever.
Scottish author Irvine Welsh

His publishers, Little, Brown, said the author had been presented with a finished copy of the book three weeks ago. “Banks’ ability to combine the most fertile of imaginations with his own highly distinctive brand of gothic humor made him unique,” the company said in a statement. “He is an irreplaceable part of the literary world.”

The rapid passing of the writer, known for his love of malt whisky and strong political views — he tore up his passport in 2003 in protest at the Iraq War — drew an outpouring of grief from fellow authors and fans alike.

The English writer Neil Gaiman tweeted: “I’m crying in an empty house. A good man and a friend for almost 30 years.”

Referencing the expression for death used in one of Banks’ most celebrated novels, the Scottish author Ian Rankin tweeted that his friend was “away the crow road far too soon.” He added: “Right now I’d like to kick cancer in its sniggering head, but instead I’ll take a single malt.”

Fellow Scot Irvine Welsh, the author of “Trainspotting,” called Banks “one of the finest writers and greatest imaginations ever,” and said his debut novel “was one of those books that changed my life (and) made me want to be a writer.”

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond described Banks as “one of Scotland’s literary greats who always approached life with extraordinary vitality.”

In 2008, UK newspaper The Times named Banks one of “the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.”

Richard Matheson dead at 87

The author of “I am Legend” among other novels has left this world. May he rest in peace.




(CNN) — Richard Matheson, a prolific American science fiction author and screenwriter whose stories were made into movies and TV episodes, has died. He was 87.

He died at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to his son.

“As monumental as he is as a writer, he was every bit that as a husband, father, grandfather and friend,” Richard ChristianMatheson said on his Facebook page. “He was my hero and my best friend and I loved him deeply. I will miss him forever. I know we all will.”

During a career that spanned more than 60 years, the elder Matheson wrote more than 25 novels and nearly 100 short stories, plus screenplays for TV and film. Several of his novels were made into movies.

“I Am Legend,” released in 1954, inspired three films, including 2007’s movie of the same name that starred Will Smith.

His 1956 novel “The Shrinking Man” was adapted for the big screen, becoming “The Incredible Shrinking Man.”

Matheson was a major contributor to Rod Serling’s classic TV series “The Twilight Zone,” penning more than a dozen scripts from 1959 to 1964, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” He also wrote for “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” and was the creative force behind the classic “Star Trek” episode “The Enemy Within.”

Matheson’s death comes as he was about to be honored by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. He was to have received the organization’s Visionary Award at Wednesday’s annual Saturn Awards.

“Richard Matheson has been a singular voice in fiction, whose prolific written work is as unforgettable as the television and filmed entertainment it has inspired for more than half a century,” astatement on the academy’s website says.

Fellow writer John Shirley counted Matheson among the best at the craft.

“He was just so influential. He raised the bar for writing thrillers; he brought that high standard and sophistication to everything he did,” Shirley said on Facebook. “And his works … as books and movies, influenced me to have hope for meaning in life, and in the afterlife … he affected my point of view on life.”

Hostess: Twinkies to return to shelves July 15 – Richmond Times Dispatch: Food & Dining

It’ll be nice to see them back..and the story’s a bit inaccurate. The Union wasn’t the biggest reason for the company’s collapse. A combination of the big boys getting their outrageous pay and the union did it. So, both sides were responsible for the failure.


Hostess: Twinkies to return to shelves July 15 – Richmond Times Dispatch: Food & Dining.