The part of this that should give one hope is that it’s Straczynski, the man behind the five-year novel-for-television Babylon 5. Based on that (hey, anyone who brings Harlan Ellison aboard as a consultant has some integrity going for him), I think people can have faith that he will not debase the story for the studios.
In this issue of Starlog, the classic original Forbidden Planet is given a three-article treatment, including an interview with the great Leslie Nielsen, star of the film. It’s a pretty fine treatment to give to a movie from the 1950s, but then again, few films from the 1950s laid the groundwork for much of the genre cinema that would follow, the way Forbidden Planet did.
100 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $4.95
This 100-page, 14th anniversary issue is another example of why I liked Starlog’s 100-page special issues so much. It’s full of articles on classics (as in Forbidden Planet), recently deceased (as in Starman), and the new, such as Total Recall. That last film is another adaptation of a Philip K. Dick short story; though it was not as good or as trend-setting as Blade Runner, it was still a huge movie and one of the big ones that helped establish Arnold Schwarzenegger as a major box-office draw.
By the way, on page 88, Starlog announces that it will be publishing the official movie magazine for Total Recall.
Michael Dorn, who portrays the Klingon Worf in Star Trek: the Next Generation, tells interviewer David McDonnell that the scene with Worf having a tea party with Dr. Pulaski (in “Up the Long Ladder”) was good for developing the character’s story; Bill Warren interviews actor Leslie Nielsen, who was long known for playing serious roles (such as Commander Adams in Forbidden Planet) but who later carved out an even higher-profile career playing comedic roles; Tom and Jon Weaver share a byline for a talk with actor Richard Anderson, another Forbidden Planet veteran and later the man of authority on The Six Million Dollar Man; Lynne Stevens takes a look at Return to the Forbidden Planet, a sort-of Shakespearan stage rock musical version of the classic (so, if I were being exact, then J. Michael Straczynski’s version would really be the second remake, not the first); Marc Shapiro talks with Back to the Future III writer/producer Bob Gale; and Bill Warren interviews Gremlins-maker Joe Dante, who quips that if Gremlins was “like It’s a Wonderful LIfe Meets The Birds,” then the sequel is “The Gremlins’ New York Adventure to be sure, and I suppose you could say it’s Executive Suite with Gremlins.”
“Forbidden Planet was, I think, the forerunner of all good science fiction films. It could very easily have been the pilot for Star Trek, which is intriguing, because I never was called to do a Star Trek. I know William Shatner, and Jimmy Doohan is a very dear friend of mine. I know Gene Roddenberry and have great respect for him. And if Forbidden Planet had anything to do with Star Trek, I can understand it, because Forbidden Planet still plays every year.”
–Leslie Nielsen, actor, interviewed by Bill Warren: “Tales of the Naked Planet”To see more issues, click on Starlog Internet Archive Project below or visit The Starlog Project’s permanent home.