Monday, August 17, 2009

Funk Railroad to the Stars

Hi everyone.

Between finishing up a couple of scientific publications, figuring out just how make money and get to Japan, and writing a very long post on my American adventures, I've not had a lot of time to post onto my blog. I might bring Wednesday Wire back this week, but I'm not sure yet.

Until I finish up my post on the USA, here are a few videos showcasing the latest of my weekly obsessions: 1970's outer space TV show themes.

Following the success of Star Wars, a lot of space-themed TV shows began to air. The most well-known of these is the original Battlestar Galactica, which was a perfectly fine piece of camp until Ronald Moore decided to ruin it by making it all good and relevant (or so goes the consensus view-- I never got into it myself). But there were others-- many others-- and unlike BSG, they wisely eschewed the sweeping, timeless, and dull orchestral approach to theme music taken by John Williams and instead fully embraced the cosmic power of Disco.

For example, take the theme to Space: 1999, the other of the more well-known Star Wars TV knock-offs which premiered in the UK in 1975:

The TV adaptation of Logan's Run seemed to want it both ways. It takes a standard (though 70's style) orchestral theme and infuses it with disco elements (e.g. the synth siren at the beginning):

Next is Space Academy, a show about a group of "young people [gathered] from the farthest reaches of all the known world" and sent into outer space:

Judging from the opening credits, in the future "all the known world" has been mostly destroyed by nuclear war, with only nothern Minnesota surviving (I assume that the black and asian kids are, like "Peepo", cute robots). One commentor at Youtube decried the fact that Johnathan Harris is starring in this trash. Damn right! He should only work in classy shows, like Lost in Space!

Thus far, I've shown you some fairly disco-licious fare. However, all of it pales next to QUARK, a short lived 70's space satire. This is pure, concentrated 70's right here. The mere sight of this may cause you to sponaneously grow a Barry Gibb beard. Your pants will shrink after you hear but a few bars of its theme. And the sight of not one, but two identical Farrah Fawcett clones will induce a John Travolta dance spasm so severe you may not be able to walk for a whole month.

You've been warned:

I'll see you in September.

"But wait!" you say. "How can you omit Disco Star Wars?"

The answer is, "easily." I already posted Disco Star Wars once on this blog. But, if you really want a discofied sci-fi theme, check out the re-scored end credits of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The disco adventure is just beginning!

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