9. Please, Please, Please Stop Asking Us for Addresses.
In an attempt to get people to stop asking Starlog for mailing addresses of shows and their stars, they begin printing that information regularly. This particular issue was just TV shows. Some are familiar, some not so much.
It's times like this, when I read the words Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot, that I curse Fresno television in the 70s and 80s. How I have never heard of this show before now? (As if it wasn't bad enough that Channel 26 only showed Star Trek once a week, on Saturday mornings at 9am.) It's some classic giant robot vs. monsters action!
10. Art of Spaaaaaace!
This is the first issue to have cover art that wasn't related to a particular science fiction show, but rather was just plain ol' science. Spacescapes, to be precise, and the main feature was an interview with artist Don Dixon. The paintings really are quite lovely, and hundreds of them are viewable on his website, Cosmographica. (Sadly, I was not able to find the above colony picture.)
11. Sound in Spaaaaaace!
Or, at least, if there was sound in space, this is what it would, um, sound like. The 1974 Outer Space / Inner Mind is actually a repackaging of Leonard Nimoy's first two records, 1967's Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space and 1968's Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy. The fact that the show's ratings were low didn't keep it from spawning records and other ancillary products, which is just how the biz worked in those days. (Also, between this and the View-Master slides used above, that was evidently a popular angle for pictures of Enterprise models.) Outer Space / Inner Mind doesn't feature everyone's favorite "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," which I'm sure someone will kindly post in the comments, but it does have this:
(The animation is a little more recent, obviously.)
The Batman record in question is one of the many great read-along records that the decade produced - more on those in a later article.
12. Some Utterly Shocking Star Trek News .
No! Say it ain't so! (Okay, I'm a little surprised that Roddenberry wasn't behind the letter-writing campaign, though I also wouldn't be surprised if he engineered it, then disavowed knowledge.)
And if that isn't hard enough to believe...
Script problems on what would eventually become Star Trek: The Motion Picture! Unable to decide between a new series and a new movie, at this point, the official decision was to do both, kinda - a movie followed by a series of, at the very least, TV-movies. Paramount would keep changing its mind for the next year or so, but for sure, original ship designer Matthew Jeffries was at work on redesign sketches in June of that year.
13. Star Trek vs. Censorship, Round 2.
So, the syndicated live-action series had its censorship problems, too, mostly around anything that smacked of that deeply 1970s concept of the "occult."
Also, there was too much of a certain kind of thing around in those days.
Starlog's editors, no fools they, decided to make sure their readers knew exactly which Orion Slave Girl sequence was cut.
Oh, that one. Thanks, guys!
14. The Vernacular of Teeny-Bopper Groupies, and Tell David Gerrold to Stop Being Such a Smartypants!
I imagine so much facepalming at the Starlog offices.
Now, in his debut column in the previous issue, David Gerrold, says this about 2001: A Space Odyssey:
So here's a tid-bit concerning the film 2001 for you to dwell upon. It isn't explained in the film, but when you know this fact your whole perspective on it may be altered.
You've probably seen the movie. Remember when the ape throws the bone into the air and it becomes a spaceship? Remember the scene shows several orbiting craft, all with flags painted on them?
Fact: The first craft is not a spaceship, and neither are any of those other orbiting pieces of hardware. They're bombs. All of the space vehicles seen before Space Station 5 appears have flags on them, and all of them are orbiting bombs. (Ask Kubrick. He'll confirm it.)
Though Kubrick may or may not have directly confirmed it, since he was reluctant to confirm or deny any interpretations of his films, Mr. Gerrold's interpretation is very much correct. (Not that he needs me to tell him that!) It's backed up by not only in the records of the making of the film itself, but at 15:46 in the short documentary "2001: A Space Odyssey - The Making of a Myth," writer Arthur C. Clarke confirms it.
However, this gentleman from New York took great offense not so much at Mr. Gerrold's interpretation, but the fact that he would dare to make it.
Yikes! Okay, then. Obviously he can't be blamed for not necessarily being privy to the same insider information that Mr. Gerrold might have been, and the documentary I cited above wouldn't exist for another couple decades, but he gets so angry about someone else defending a movie that he himself does not care for! I can also imagine him overhearing a Star Wars fan referring to Darth Vader as a Dark Lord of the SIth, and telling the fan, "That's just your opinion! of what Darth Vader is!" In any event, the arbitrary (and possibly, but not necessarily, facetious) xenophobia he exhibits will also crop up in his second letter in this issue.
15. Space Nineteen Ninety-Why?
Our 2001 contrarian has a thing or two to say about the subject.
Well, the British screenwriters kinda sorta had been doing it, since this letter was written in the middle of Tom Baker's run as the Fourth Doctor, but he would have to wait another year for Doctor Who to hit American shores.
Fittingly enough for someone so outspoken in his views, this gentleman went on to have a career of his own as a science fiction novelist himself in the 1980s. Considering the force of his personality, I'll bet they're exciting reads.
16. But If You Are Disappointed, You Won't Get Your Money Back.
According to Mike Ashley's Gateways to Forever: The Story of Science-Fiction Magazines (pshaw, what a silly topic to write about!), AWR stands for Alternate World Recordings, which specialized in spoken-word science fiction. They've fallen deep into obscurity now, with only a few of their releases listed on their Discogs page, and as near as I can tell Harlan Ellison discusses them to some extent in this lo-fi podcast interview from 2006, though I haven't listened to the whole thing.
But I'd wager the records weren't quite as popular as the pictures, and the Barbarian Warrior Woman "dressed for action" was probably a bigger seller than the Flesh Gordon pictures, since most kids would have easier time getting away with putting Mr. Fong's work over their bed. Just a hunch, anyway.
17. Remember the title is Survival Run. Seriously. F'reals..
Okay, I lied last time when I said that #005's back cover would feature a different, non-KISS band. That band won't actually show up until #006; for now, it's a picture of the only young hero of a science fiction movie that Twentieth Century Fox wants you to care about. There are absolutely not any other young towheads acting as an audience surrogate in one of Fox's sci-fi flicks this year, that's for sure.
And remember: It's called Survival Run. Got that? Survival Run. Accept no substitutes.
Coming Up in Starlog #006:
Damnation Alley Survival Run Damnation Alley is overtaken by Star Wars, the animated Star Trek gets some love, and Starlog contributes to the homosexual problem.
Previously by Sherilyn Connelly: