Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Keep your hobbies off the plot table."

Day 13 - Favorite childhood show

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. My family was a bit unusual growing up. Other than Looney Tunes and similar cartoons, my mom hated kid's shows, so they simply weren't watched. I've never seen an ep of Sesame Street or the Muppets or probably a dozen other shows most kids of my generation have probably seen. I've seen a couple eps of Electric Company, but only because it was shown at school. At home, we only watched "real" shows, like Star Trek and Voyage and Bonanza. LOL! Voyage was my mom's favorite, so it naturally became mine and my sister's.

These were the days before VCRs, and I remember my sister and I having to be quiet during the best episodes while my mom put a tape recorder up to the tv speaker and recorded the episode for us to listen later. We also made a tape of funny dialog and sound effects. We had to wait for whole seasons to be shown so we could get back to a certain episode, and we knew them so well that my mom could start the tape just in time to capture a five second sound effect. We still have those tapes, and they're hilarious! We had a Voyage game. We had a giant trivia question book my mom created and typed up. We had sailor's caps. We had photos. We each had our favorite characters. This show dominated my early life in ways Star Trek couldn't even begin to compete with, even though it was watched just as often. I cut my writing teeth on this series, writing fanfic with my mom before I even knew what fanfic was.

The first black and white season was the serious season and has the strongest episodes. Those early eps, like Submarine Sunk Here, Doomsday, Mutiny, The Mist of Silence, The Traitor (the first thing I ever saw George Sanders in! He was so suave and cool I learned his name) hold up well over time. They're still solid shows. I always wanted to meet Paul Carr and tell him how much his arm-caught-in-the-gear scene scared me. Those yells of pain and terror always got to me. Once the series went to color, it slowly angled away from spies and traitors and old-fashioned submarine stories to monster/alien-of-the-week shows. Though there's still quite many good episodes in there, mixed among the dreadful ones. They're obviously cheesy by today's standards, but they're still a ton of fun to watch. And there's the flying sub, one of the coolest inventions ever, not to mention the jillion other inventions the Admiral came up with. And there's a mermaid! And it's really hard not to love a show where they got to carry Thompsons around on board a submarine while hunting aliens.

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