Monday, July 12, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #143, June 1989: Indy Rides Again

It’s the summer of 1989, and there is a big batch of new genre films out or soon to be released: Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, The Abyss. A number of those films would become milestones in genre history. That’s not to mention many other films of this season – nor the TV series such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beauty and the Beast or War of the Worlds. This was really a time of growth for the science fiction and fantasy genres, and Starlog’s busy covering it all.

Oh, and get out your checkbook: They’re running a special promotion this month: Subscribe to Starlog for $34.47 and get an extra issue (13 in all!) free, or buy a gift subscription for that same price and you’ll get sent your choice of a free copy of Starlog Yearbook #5 or Starlog Poster Magazine #3 (which I take to mean that the company had extra copies of the yearbook and poster mag they were looking to unload, but it’s a good subscription premium nonetheless).

Speaking of merchandise, did you know that on page 51, you can order a Fangoria t-shirt (“Member, Fango Family”) for just $9.95? And did you know that you can't order a Starlog t-shirt, because they don’t sell any? Now, does that seem fair?

Starlog #143
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $3.50

This issue we get what’s essentially the last change to the magazine’s contents page. Instead of multiple photos above a listing of articles, there is now one big photo that takes up the entire page, and the departments, features, and indicia (the publication info) are printed over parts of the photo. It allows the designers to get more impact from a big photo, and they can be more flexible with the text treatment. One thing to watch out for: After a while, for some reason that I’ve never been able to fathom, the contents page stops listing the departments and will only list feature articles.

The rundown: Harrison Ford as a horse-riding Indiana Jones is the cover boy (while Sean Connery as Dr. Henry Jones is on the contents page). Kerry O’Quinn’s From the Bridge column takes a swipe at communism as it’s fading in Europe and tells people how to help give it a kick in the rear by sending SF material behind the iron curtain; Communications letters include a bumper crop of readers responding to the recent conglomeration of Klingon articles, as well as a few other (mostly Trek) articles; and David McDonnell’s Medialog includes a round-up of genre news, such as this morsel: There’s a Spaceballs sequel planned, but it’s called Spaceballs III: In Search of Spaceballs II.

Will Murray interviews actress Heather Locklear, who talks T.J. Hooker and Swamp Thing; James P. Bozikis pens an article chronicling all of the similarities between Indiana Jones and Jiminy Cricket (he’s joking, see); 25th-anniversary Doctor Who videos are highlighted in David Hutchison’s Videolog column; Edward Gross interviews actor Ron Perlman about his starring role in Beauty and the Beast; Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman talk with John Leeson, who provided the computer voice of Doctor Who’s K-9 (which includes the tidbit that he “even managed to lose a K-9 soundalike contest”); Peter Bloch-Hansen previews The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman II; Edward Gross checks in with Tracy Torme, creative consultant on Star Trek: The Next Generation; Bill Warren talks with another Trek figure, but one who wouldn’t join that franchise for many years: Robert Picardo, here best known for appearing in Explorers, The Wonder Years, Innerspace, Legend, and more.

Kathryn M. Drennan checks in with DeForest Kelley about his role in the fifth Star Trek film (and he also comments on his cameo in the premier episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation); Robert Watts, producer of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, is interviewed by Marc Shapiro (and the article includes this bit: “The third film won’t end with Indiana Jones settling down in the suburbs with a wife and kids.” No, that comes in the fourth movie); costuming maven John L. Flynn explores the world of science-fiction fandom costumes; in fact, it’s a veritable constuming special issue, what with the Fan Network pages largely given over to Crystal Wood’s article on “10 Steps to a Winning Costume”; and don’t leave out James E. Brooks’ article going behind the scenes on the designs for Star Trek movies, including a sidebar on making your own Starfleet uniform; and there’s yet more! Adam Pirani profiles costume designer Bob Ringwood, who talks about the costumes for the new Batman film, plus Dune, Solarbabies, and more; and David McDonnell’s Liner Notes column talks about his Indiana Jones hat.
“I had played beasts prior to this. This is not only a beast, but a beast who lived as an extension of his pain every moment of every day, and all of that was there in the relationship with this woman who opened up all of these new feelings in him. It was just mind-blowing that somebody could come up with a character that crystallized all of the beasts which had ever been written in history, including the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the beast from the Cocteau film and the beast that I played in Name of the Rose. These guys, I always felt, had tremendous feelings underneath their ugliness and those things were always touched on by the other characterizations, but never as articulately as in this version. I just saw an incredible sensitivity on the part of the writer for this man’s pain and his ability to transcend it.”
–Ron Perlman, actor, interviewed by Edward Gross: “Ron Perlman: Prince of the Underground City”
To read 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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