How Star Trek Culturally Prototyped the 21st Century

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 21, 2009 in Star Trek, Tech

Monocultural Sci Fi vs Multicultural Sci Fi: Forbidden Planet in 1956 vs. Star Trek in 1966

I would be a liar if I said that I spent the past day thinking of about anything but the inauguration of President Barack Obama. One one level I was just overjoyed to hear Obama publicly re-embrace the ideas of science and ecology, which in a way strikes me as sad as being something that “we have to return to” in the first place. And of course the two central issues at hand today are the economy (or rather the lack there of) and ongoing asymmetrical warfare — yet underneath all of that chaos was a very positive echo of the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. And in a sense part of the triumph of that struggle was an indirect result of a few bold visionaries who embraced the then very odd notion of the world growing smaller was a damn good thing. Read more…

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James Bond Without a Gun: The Genius of Patrick McGoohan

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 16, 2009 in Television

Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner

In 1962 Sean Connery stars in Dr. No and the spy genre takes over the world of entertainment. Within ten short years several more Bond films follows and a host of second rates clones follow — from TV shows like The Saint to comedy films like Matt Helm. In the swinging 60s the two things that make the spy genre special are guns and go go girls: Bond has a license to kill and the spy genre wouldn’t be what it was without the sex and violence.

During this era Patrick McGoohan was a successful actor as the star of Danger Man which ran as Secret Agent Man in the United States. But after a few years McGoohan grew tired of the show and was offered the chance to do something new by Lew Grade of ITC Entertainment. So McGoohan gave his pitch — and it was pure genius: Read more…

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The Best James Bond Who Wasn’t: Patrick McGoohan

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 14, 2008 in Cinema, Television

Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner

It’s 007 season again and countless fanboy hours will be wasted debating the merits of who was the best James Bond of all time — a sad process of sorting out the pecking order of a sad line up that started with Sean Connery and ends with Daniel Craig. And while I have my favorites in the role, the best James Bond of all time for my money is Patrick McGoohan. Read more…

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