11 Things You Never Knew About Khan, the Greatest Star Trek Villain

MeTV presents 11 Things You Never Knew About Khan, the Greatest Star Trek Villain.  Here are three of my favorites…

HE WAS ORIGINALLY AN ANCIENT GREEK, THEN A VIKING SPACE PIRATE.

So, yeah, the “Khan” character was originally a Greek, and obviously not named “Khan.” When Wilber pitched his old idea for Star Trek, he changed the antagonist to a Nordic named Harold or John Ericssen, who is later revealed to be a vicious Viking space pirate named Ragnar Thorwald. Roddenberry was apprehensive about using such outward criminals. Oddly, Lost in Space would air its episode “Space Vikings” (seen here) a week before “Space Seed.”

AFTER CASTING RICARDO MONTALBÁN, THE CHARACTER WAS NAMED SIBAHL AND GOVIN.

Mexican actor Montalbán was hardly a good fit to play a Scandinavian, so the villain was tweaked. However, this being Hollywood in the 1960s, producers figured he could play a Sikh. (That being said, he must not be observant, as he does not wear a Dastar.) Roddenberry and writer Gene Coon changed the name to Sibahl Khan Noonien… until a fact-checking research company noted that “Singh” is a much more appropriate Sikh surname. They suggested the name “Govin Bahadur Singh.” Coon and Roddenberry met them halfway and settled on the canonical Khan Noonien Singh.

CHEKOV IS NOT IN THIS EPISODE — DESPITE THE FACT THAT KHAN RECOGNIZES HIM IN ‘STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN.’

At the beginning of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Chekov encounters a vengeful Khan, who puts that creepy bug in the Starfleet Commander’s ear. Khan immediately recognizes Chekov from the events of “Space Seed.” There is just one major problem: Chekov was not aboard the Enterprise for that first-season episode. In fact, Walter Koenig did not join the cast until season two. Tie-in novels have since tried to explain this plot hole, while Koenig jokes they met in the restroom. Sulu is also not in “Space Seed.”

Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains 39: Kane, Byrne, Barr, Black and More!

If you’re a fan of fanzines, then you’ve got to check out Ken Meyer, Jr.’s monthly column Ink Stains.  Each month Ken (who is an amazing artist) posts… well, let’s let Ken explain…

I have a collection of over 200 fanzines from the 60’s-80’s that I plan to scan and talk about, one at a time. I hope to have some of the participants answer a few questions. Many of those participants are established comics professionals now, while some have gone on to other things. I will show a few snippets from each zine and give you a link to download a pdf of the whole thing, which I hope all of you will do!

For Ink Stains 39, Ken took a look at Collector 28 from 1973.   Edited and published by Bill G. Wilson.

Collector 28 is a nice find.  I’d never seen it before reading Ken’s column.  Chock full of the stuff that fanzines were known for this issue features:

  • A color Ken Barr cover
  • Art by Don Rosa, Alan Hanley, Bill Black, a Don Newton portfolio, John Byrne, Gil Kane and more.
  • Articles on Star Trek and The Shadow and more.

Ah, the memories of the glory days of fanzines.  Thanks to Ken Meyer, Jr. for making these available!

13 Things You Didn’t Know About “The Dick Van Dyke Show”

Eddie Deezen and Neatorama present 13 Things You Didn’t Know About The Dick Van Dyke Show.  Here are three of my favorites…

4. The show was not successful in its first season and was actually cancelled by CBS. Producer Danny Thomas had to personally go to the network execs and convince (beg) them to leave the show on the air. The show picked up steam during summer reruns that year, remained on the air and became the “classic” series we all know. Ironically, after star Van Dyke decided to end the series after it’s five-year run in 1966, it was the CBS executives who begged him to stay on.

7. Buddy Sorrel, the wise-cracking joke writer played by Morey Amsterdam, was actually based on Mel Brooks, who was originally a comedy writer and worked with the show’s producer Carl Reiner on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows in the 1950s.

9. The show was usually filmed before a studio audience, but was not on at least three occasions. One was on the day of JFK’s assassination- November 22, 1963. On that day, in the middle of rehearsals, the cast heard about the president’s assassination and decided to go ahead and film the episode “Happy Birthday and Too Many More” anyway. However, it was decided that they would do the episode with no studio audience, figuring no one would be in the mood to laugh at such a time.

25 Fascinating Facts About “Breaking Bad”

Jennifer Wood and Mental_Floss present 25 Fascinating Facts About Breaking Bad.  Here are three of my favorites…

2. THE NETWORK REALLY WANTED MATTHEW BRODERICK TO STAR.

It’s impossible to imagine Breaking Bad with anyone other than Bryan Cranston in the lead role, but he wasn’t as well known when the series kicked off, and AMC wanted a star. They were particularly interested in casting either Matthew Broderick or John Cusack in the lead.

“We all still had the image of Bryan shaving his body in Malcolm in the Middle,” a former AMC executive told The Hollywood Reporter about their initial reluctance to cast Cranston. “We were like, ‘Really? Isn’t there anybody else?’” But Gilligan had worked with Cranston before, on an episode of The X-Files, and knew he had the chops to navigate the quirks of the part. The network brass watched the episode, and agreed.

“We needed somebody who could be dramatic and scary yet have an underlying humanity so when he dies, you felt sorry for him,” Gilligan said. “Bryan nailed it.”

10. GILLIGAN GOT SOME HELP FROM THE WALKING DEAD CREW FOR FRING’S FINAL EPISODE.

Fring’s final sendoff is one of the most memorable visual images from the entire series—and they were able to enlist the help of some true gore experts. “Indeed we did have great help from the prosthetic effects folks at The Walking Dead,” Gilligan told The New York Times. “And I want to give a shout-out to Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger, and KNB EFX, those two gentlemen and their company, because their shop did that effect. And then that was augmented by the visual effects work of a guy named Bill Powloski and his crew, who digitally married a three-dimensional sculpture that KNB EFX created with the reality of the film scene. So you can actually see into and through Gus’s head in that final reveal. It’s a combination of great makeup and great visual effects. And it took months to do.”

15. HEISENBERG’S SIGNATURE HAT WAS A MATTER A PRACTICALITY.

Heisenberg’s porkpie hat came to identify Walter White’s dark side, but it originated from a very practical place. “Bryan kept asking me, after he shaved his head, ‘Can I have a hat?’ because his head was cold,” Kathleen Detoro, the show’s costume designer, explained. “So I would ask Vince and he kept saying no; Jesse wore the hats. Finally, Vince said, ‘I think there’s a place …’ It was Bryan asking for a hat, me asking Vince, and then Vince figuring out where in the story it makes sense: It’s when he really becomes Heisenberg.” (If you want to buy your own Heisenberg hat, it was made by Goorin.)

11 Solid Gold Facts About Bonanza

MeTV presents 11 Solid Gold Facts About Bonanza.  Here are three of my favorites…

BLOCKER FOUNDED THE BONANZA RESTAURANTS.

Not only is the popular buffet chain named after the show, it was founded by one of its cast members. Blocker started the chain in 1963, which eventually boasted 600 locations by 1989. Ponderosa restaurants started in Canada in the early 1970s and expanded to the United States in the 1980s. Today, both chains are owned by the same company.

THEY WEAR THE SAME OUTFITS FOR A REASON.

Have you ever noticed how the characters’ clothes don’t change from episode to episode? From the fourth season onwards, the Cartwrights wear the same outfits like cartoon characters. The standardization was made to make it easier to reuse stock footage for action sequences and to make it easier to duplicate the wardrobe for the stunt doubles.

MOST OF THE CAST MEMBERS WORE HAIRPIECES.

During the last few years of the series, Greene, Roberts and Blocker all had to wear hairpieces because their natural hair was thinning. Greene and Roberts started the series wearing hairpieces, while Blocker started wearing a toupee in 1968

 

11 Tiny Errors You Never Noticed in “The Andy Griffith Show”

Me-TV presents 11 Tiny Errors You Never Noticed in The Andy Griffith Show.  Here are three of my favorites…

ANDY REFLECTS – “The Bookie Barber”

Outside the barber shop, Andy tells Barney that one of his ears is longer than the other. After the quip, he walks off camera, presumably down the street. However, as soon as he exits the frame, watch the glass of the shop window. In the reflection, you can see Griffith immediately stop and hunch over, presumably under the camera. He awkwardly stands there for the rest of the shot.

TUBA – “The Mayberry Band”

You can see the reflection of the film crew and equipment in Andy’s tuba. Though warped around the curve of the horn, it’s an interesting glimpse at the set, as you can see ladders and rigging.

BARNEY IS PLUGGED IN, TOO – “Opie the Bird Man”

A handful of episodes later, another microphone cable can be spotted, running up Don Knotts’ pant leg. Look for it in an overhead shot, when Andy and Barney talk to Opie, who has climbed up a tree.

The Writer’s Bible for “Batman: The Animated Series”

When a team comes together to create a tv series a writer’s bible is created detailing how the characters are to be handled, the types of stories the series will feature and just about everything one would need to know to create an acceptable episode.

The Writer’s Bible for Batman: The Animated Series has been posted online and makes for some very fun reading.

Credit for creating the Batman: The Animated Series Bible goes to Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Mitch Brian.

Source: Greek Tyrant.

9 Festive Facts About A Charlie Brown Christmas

Me-TV presents 9 Festive Facts About A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Here are three of my favorites…

A FORD COMMERCIAL INSPIRED THE SPECIAL.

Charles Schulz was reluctant to turn his Peanuts comic strip into an animation, but ultimately allowed Ford Motors to use the characters in a commercial in 1959. Bill Melendez animated the spot, and Schulz liked the finished product so much he allowed Melendez to direct A Charlie Brown Christmas.

THE NETWORK DIDN’T LIKE IT AT FIRST.

Melendez and Mendelson screened the special for CBS just three weeks before it aired. The network hated it, thinking it was too slow and lacked energy, and the meeting ended with them telling the producers there weren’t going to be more specials in the future.

Image: ABC
THE NETWORK EVENTUALLY LIKED IT.

Maybe it was the fact that 15 million homes tuned into A Charlie Brown Christmas. Maybe it was because the special pulled a 50 share in the Nielson ratings, meaning half of all households with a television watched it. Whatever the case, CBS opened up to the special and aired it on the network until 2000, at which point ABC started airing it.

10 Minor Goofs You Never Noticed in Star Trek

Me-TV presents 10 Minor Goofs You Never Noticed in Star Trek the original series.  Here are three of my favorites…

A WOODEN STARSHIP – “Errand of Mercy”

In the opening, as the Enterprise is attacked by a Klingon vessel, you can see that the floor behind Nimoy has not been painted. The bare wood is exposed on the elevated part of the bridge.

BATTEN DOWN THE BRIDGE! – “The Changeling”

In the prologue, when a green bolt of light slams into the Enterprise — Red alert! Here we get a taste of that classic disaster technique of shaking the camera as the cast flails around on set. However, it must have been a pretty hard blast, as the helm console lifts off the floor.

THEY HAVE A L.A. ON NEURAL, TOO? – “A Private Little War”

The gang is on the primative planet of Neural. In the final act, Nona is being attacked by some tribal toughs, who look a bit like Daniel Boone in pastel pajamas. She tries to use Kirk’s Phaser against her attackers. As they struggle, Los Angeles can be seen off in the distance in the smog.

11 Top Secret Facts About “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

Me-TV presents 11 Top Secret Facts About The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  Here are three of my favorites…

LIKE JAMES BOND, NAPOLEON SOLO AND APRIL DANCER WERE THE BRAINCHILDREN OF IAN FLEMING.

The show’s creator, Norman Felton, enlisted erstwhile Navel Intelligence officer and novelist Fleming to come up with characters and premises for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The Bond author dreamt up Napoleon Solo and April Dancer (The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.). The working title for the series was Ian Fleming’s Solo.

IT IS TECHNICALLY SET IN THE SHERLOCK HOLMES UNIVERSE.

On the show, the U.N.C.L.E. organization’s nemesis, T.H.R.U.S.H., was founded by the Sherlock Holmes villain Col. Sebastian Moran. In the backstory, Moran created the evil organization after his boss, Moriarity, went over the Reichenbach Falls. So, in a way, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a sequel to Sherlock — it is set in the same world. The modern Sherlock Holmes films and the recent Man from U.N.C.L.E. flick were all directed by Guy Ritchie, who has quietly developed his own cinematic shared universe.

IT WAS THREE DRAMATICALLY (AND COMEDICALLY) DIFFERENT SHOWS ROLLED INTO ONE.

The first season was filmed in black & white. Befitting that shadowy look, it took a more serious tone. In 1965, Napoleon Solo, like Dorothy, leapt into a world of bright color. In its four year run, the series had different showrunners each season, and each boss brought a different style to a table. The show went from noir spy thriller to bright and light adventures to outright spoof. By the end, it was emulating the mod, camp vibe of the hugely popular Batman.

 

11 Whopping Facts About “The Wild, Wild West” (TV Series)

Me-TV presents 11 Whopping Facts About The Wild, Wild West.  Here are three of my favorites…

 

CONRAD LOVED DOING HIS OWN STUNTS.

The star was always ready for a fake fight. In the book A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde: Interviews with 62 Filmmakers, series stuntman and stunt coordinator Whitey Hughes fondly recalls Conrad’s zeal for fisticuffs: “Bob’s favorite expression was, ‘Get ’em up, Whitey, get ’em up! Put the needle in ’em!’—meaning ‘Get the [stuntmen’s] adrenaline going.”

CONRAD WAS ALMOST THE STAR OF ‘I DREAM OF JEANNINE’ AND ‘THE A-TEAM.’

The Wild Wild West was just one of many leading roles for Conrad, who also headlined series such as Black Sheep Squadron and the aforementioned Hawaiian Eye. However, his resume could have been drastically different. He was one of the finalists up for the role of astronaut Captain Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie (which eventually went to Larry Hagman) and he reportedly turned down the role of Hannibal on The A-Team.

RICHARD PRYOR’S FIRST SCREEN CREDIT IS PLAYING A VENTRILOQUIST ON THE SHOW.

The groundbreaking stand-up comic appears in “The Night of the Eccentrics,” the season two premiere and first episode broadcast in color. Pryor plays Villar, a creepy ventriloquist. However, it was Ross Martin who provided the voice of the dummy, Giulio.

 

The Story of Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Eddie Deezen presents The Story of Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  If you click over you’ll learn How the Grinch Stole Christmas went from simply being a follow-up to the best selling The Cat in the Hat to become not only another best seller but a loved Christmas tradition for millions.

Oh, you’ll also learn who the Grinch was based on as well.

Source: Neatorama.

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