Monday, April 26, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #79, February 1984: Get Your KITT On


We're definitely in the mid-1980s here, with the original Knight Rider on the cover. David Hasselhoff, last featured in these pages in issue #18 for his work in Stella Star, takes center stage in the role that would define him, at least until Baywatch.

Some design notes: I'll spare you my extended thoughts on this cover, but the short version is that it's a bad one. Can anyone explain to me what's happening to the green background to the left of the "S" and the "T" in the Starlog logo? And why did they increase the size of the logo, one month after they shrank it, only to (as we'll see soon enough) shrink it again for the next issue?

Starlog #79
70 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

This time, the Starlog Science Fiction Classic two-page foldout poster is indeed a classic; George Pal's War of the Worlds.

The rundown: Kerry O'Quinn's From the Bridge column praises the music of Star Wars (reprinted from the liner notes for the LP The Star Wars Trilogy); Communications letters include lots of feedback on Return of the Jedi's music, comment from a 15-year-old film buff, lots of reactions to recent Bond coverage, and someone sent Kerry O'Quinn a tile from the space shuttle; Log Entries short news items include a roundup of fantasy films for 1984, Arthur C. Clarke plans a third Odyssey novel, artist David Mattingly discusses his 100th book cover painting, Starlog signs a deal with Creation Conventions to stage a series of Starlog festivals, and more.

Steve Swires interviews actress Fiona Lewis about Strange Invaders; Bill Cotter interviews Knight Rider himself, David Hasselhoff (with a sidebar looking under the hood of KITT); Patrick Daniel O'Neill interviews third Doctor Jon Pertwee (with a sidebar episode guide of Pertwee's adventures); Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview actress Candy Clark about Blue Thunder, doubling as David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth, and more; Lenny Kaye's Space Age Games looks at home computers; Robert Greenberger talks to co-creator Phil DeGuere about his Whiz Kids TV series; artist Ron Miller celebrates Chesley Bonestell's birthday; Steve Swires interviews director Irvin Kershner and gets his reaction to recent criticisms from Lorenzo Semple, Jr., and others; Howard Zimmerman reports on the 41st Annual World Science Fiction Convention (with photos by Deborah Upton); Robert Greenberger interviews Dennis Quaid about The Right Stuff and his other work; David Gerrold's column (renamed simply "David Gerrold" -- no more "Soaring") explores The Right Stuff and explains what it did wrong; Robert Greenberger -- back for more -- interviews actor Kevin McCarthy about Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the Twilight Zone movie; and Howard Zimmerman presents his annual Zimmerman Awards (including "Best performance in a weird role winner Fiona Lewis from Strange Invaders).
"When Knight Rider was first announced, it was greeted with a high degree of skepticism. Some wags dubbed it My Mother the Car Meets the Dukes of Hazzard or Mr. Ed on Wheels. The actor remembers those days with some bitterness, bringing up such quotes as '"David Hasselhoff plays a hood ornament." That was Tom Shales of the Washington Post. Everybody said things like that one -- even Edward Mulhare. He'll probably deny it now, but he said he expected the show to run three weeks and flop.' Although he smiles pleasantly as he speaks, clearly he is bothered by the barbs, for he grows more excited. 'You know, I read all this stuff and said, "Hey, we got bad reviews. That means we're gonna be a hit." I don't know why, but it seems to be a foumula every time.'"
--Bill Cotter, writer: "David Hasselhoff: Crusading as the Knight Rider"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent home.
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