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Keith DeCandido

Fiction and Excerpts [2]
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Fiction and Excerpts [2]

Ragnarok and Roll (Excerpt)

, || Cassie Zukav has always been a bit of a weirdness magnet. Strange things always happened to her, even before she came to Key West for vacation and never left. She's dealt with sea monsters and nixies and dragons, and shares her room with the ghost of an old wrecker captain, whom only she can see and hear. Now she spends her days leading scuba diving jaunts and her nights at Mayor Fred's Saloon watching the house band, 1812, rock the joint. But when 1812 takes a break, they're replaced by Jötunheim, a band everyone but Cassie loves. Their lead singer is Loki, the Norse trickster god, who is trying to bring about Ragnarok-the end of all that is. Cassie learns that she's a Dís, a fate goddess, from Odin himself, the Allfather of the Norse gods. She's the only one who can stop Loki from destroying the world. And then things get really weird...

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “The Devil’s Fingers” / “The Dead Ringers”

“The Devil’s Fingers” / “The Dead Ringers”
Written by Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Directed by Larry Peerce
Season 2, Episodes 15 and 16
Production code 9721
Original air dates: October 26 and 27, 1966

The Bat-signal: Aunt Harriet is rehearsing for the Annual Wayne Foundation Benefit, at which she’ll be singing. She’s accompanied by Chandell, the famous pianist, and they’ll be playing some Scottish tunes. Their rehearsal is interrupted by three women in tartan miniskirts who talk with comedy Scottish accents and play bagpipes. They’re able to render Chandell and Alfred unconscious and stun Harriet enough so that they can steal her earrings. They then raid Wayne Manor.

Harriet calls the police. She’s distraught, and wonders what Bruce and Dick will think when they come back—turns out Bruce is out hunting with the Millionaire’s Club, and Dick is on a school holiday.

[Batman, Batman where the devil are you in this hour of need?]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Second Season Overview

Star Trek Second Season
Original air dates: September 1967 – March 1968
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Producer (to “Journey to Babel”): Gene L. Coon
Producer (from “Bread and Circuses”): John Meredyth Lucas

Captain’s log. Where the first season had the show finding its way and figuring out what worked and what didn’t—one moment an ensemble, the next a showcase for the guest star of the week (a common mode of dramas of the time), the next a three-lead show—by season two, it had pretty much settled into a three-lead show.

We still got hints of the ensemble (moments in “Obsession” and “The Trouble with Tribbles” in particular), and occasionally the guest star became the focus of the episode (again “Obsession,” as well as “Metamorphosis,” “The Ultimate Computer,” and naturally “Assignment: Earth“), but mostly they were pretty well settled in the formula of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to a planet and have adventures. In fact, that formula was so well-liked by the end of the previous season that DeForest Kelley was elevated to the opening credits to reflect his equal role as part of the triad atop the series, and proving his mettle particularly in “Friday’s Child,” “Amok Time,” “Bread and Circuses,” “Journey to Babel,” “A Private Little War,” “The Immunity Syndrome,” “The Ultimate Computer,” and especially “Return to Tomorrow.”

[I shall do neither. I have killed my captain and my friend.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Assignment: Earth”

“Assignment: Earth”
Written by Gene Roddenberry & Art Wallace
Directed by Marc Daniels
Season 2, Episode 26
Production episode 60355
Original air date: March 29, 1968
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. The Enterprise has gone back in time to do historical research to see how humanity survived the year 1968. While orbiting and monitoring communications, the Enterprise intercepts an incredibly powerful transporter beam, one that comes from another solar system. In the beam is a human from this time period named Gary Seven, who has been trained on another world by aliens who want humanity to survive. (He’s holding a cat named Isis, with whom he can apparently communicate.) Seven insists that he must beam down to Earth or the entire human race will be in danger. But Kirk has no proof of that, and so has him confined to the brig. (Seven tries to break free of confinement and beam down, with help from Isis, but fails, getting shot and stunned by Kirk for his trouble.)

[That, Miss Lincoln, is simply my cat.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “An Egg Grows in Gotham” / “The Yegg Foes in Gotham”

“An Egg Grows in Gotham” / “The Yegg Foes in Gotham”
Written by Edwin Self and Stanley Ralph Ross
Directed by george waGGner
Season 2, Episodes 13 and 14
Production code 9717
Original air dates: October 19 and 20, 1966

The Bat-signal: We open at City Hall. (Amusingly, they use a shot of the New York County Courthouse on Center Street in Manhattan rather than New York’s City Hall for the establishing shot.) A tour comes into an exhibit hall that includes the original Gotham City charter, which is vacuum-sealed in a burglar-proof case. However, on the tour are Egghead, his two henchmen (Benedict and Foo Young), and his moll (Miss Bacon), who proceed to put the lie to the “burglar-proof” part by gassing the room and stealing the charter by using an egg-splosive.

Cut to GCPD HQ, where Gordon and O’Hara conclude, as ever, that only one person can aid them in their time of need.

[My criminal career is now egg-stinct!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Omega Glory”

“The Omega Glory”
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Season 2, Episode 25
Production episode 60354
Original air date: March 1, 1968
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. The Enterprise arrives at Omega IV to find the U.S.S. Exeter already in orbit. Kirk is surprised, as the ship wasn’t scheduled to be there. There’s no sign of damage, but no sign of life, either.

Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Galloway beam to the engineering section (Galloway is facing a different direction when they materialize for some reason), and they find a whole bunch of uniforms and piles of crystals half in and half out of those uniforms. It’s pretty grisly. McCoy reports that the crystals are what would remain of the human body if you removed all the water from it. The crew didn’t leave while naked, they’re all still there and dead.

[We killed thousands, and they still came!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes” / “The Clock King Gets Crowned”

“The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes” / “The Clock King Gets Crowned”
Written by Bill Finger and Charles Sinclair
Directed by James Neilson
Season 2, Episodes 11 and 12
Production code 9711
Original air dates: October 12 and 13, 1966

The Bat-signal: At Harry Hummert’s, the finest jewelry shop in Gotham City, a wealthy woman admires the new clock Hummert has bought for the shop. But it’s not for sale, it’s just a shop piece. However, it also has a camera inside it, one that feeds to the villain known as the Clock King. It also emits gas that renders Hummert, the wealthy woman, and another employee unconscious, allowing the place to be robbed by the Clock King’s henchmen.

[We are all forever in debt to the Dynamic Duo, so intrepid and yet so… incognito.]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Ultimate Computer”

“The Ultimate Computer”
Written by Laurence N. Wolfe and D.C. Fontana
Directed by John Meredyth Lucas
Season 2, Episode 24
Production episode 60353
Original air date: March 8, 1968
Stardate: 4729.4

Captain’s log. The Enterprise has been summoned to Starbase 6 for an experiment. Dr. Richard Daystrom—who designed the duotronic computer systems used on the Enterprise—has developed the M-5 multitronic computer system. The M-5 will be installed on the Enterprise and tested. It will require only a crew of twenty—Kirk himself just has to sit back and let the machine do all the work.

Part of the experiment involves war games—the M-5 controlled Enterprise versus a fleet of ships led by Commodore Bob Wesley and the Lexington. It’s Wesley who gives Kirk his orders.

[It just destroyed an ore freighter! In fact, it went out of its way to destroy an ore freighter!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “The Greatest Mother of Them All” / “Ma Parker”

“The Greatest Mother of Them All” / “Ma Parker”
Written by Henry Slesar
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Season 2, Episodes 9 and 10
Production code 9707
Original air dates: October 5 and 6, 1966

The Bat-signal: The Gotham City Mother of the Year Award ceremony is robbed by Ma Parker and her three sons, Pretty Boy, Machine Gun, and Mad Dog, as well as her daughter Legs. They’re each carrying their own personalized loot bags. Ma and her kids have terrorized the entire country, but this is the first time they’ve hit Gotham City. Gordon immediately calls Batman, relieving Dick by interrupting his Greek lesson. Batman is stunned that she hasn’t been caught yet.

[MY BOYS!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Patterns of Force”

“Patterns of Force”
Written by John Meredyth Lucas
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Season 2, Episode 23
Production episode 60352
Original air date: February 16, 1968
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. A Federation historian, John Gill—who instructed Kirk at the Academy—has gone missing. He was observing the planet Ekos, one of two twin planets, the other being Zeos, but nobody’s heard from him for six months. The Enterprise has been sent to find out what has happened to him.

A ship comes from Ekos—which is a surprise, since Zeos is the planet that has space travel, not Ekos. Spock reads that the ship is a robot probe armed with a thermonuclear warhead. Chekov destroys it with phasers, but the bigger concern is that the Ekosians shouldn’t be that far advanced technologically. Kirk orders a higher orbit that would be out of range of the Ekosians’ detection.

[Even historians fail to learn from history.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “The Spell of Tut” / “Tut’s Case is Shut”

“The Spell of Tut” / “Tut’s Case is Shut”
Written by Robert C. Dennis and Earl Barrett
Directed by Larry Peerce
Season 2, Episodes 7 and 8
Production code 9709
Original air dates: September 28 and 29, 1966

The Bat-signal: King Tut’s henchmen have broken into a rich person’s safe to steal an amber necklace. Said rich person caught them in the act, but was subdued by a lead pestle, of all things. He reports to Gordon, who has a temp secretary, Miss Patrick—who provides a mid-morning vitamin pill to Gordon while bending suggestively over the desk. Gordon calls Batman, and he and Robin head over. At Batman’s urging, Miss Patrick puts a call through to Yale to see if it really is Tut; the dean informs Batman that the erstwhile Tut fell off a podium and suffered another head injury, so he’s gone back to his villainous persona.

[Yes, your majesty. Of course, my good and friendly pharaoh. Your every wish is my command. I hear and obey.]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series: “Return to Tomorrow”

“Return to Tomorrow”
Written by John Kingsbridge
Directed by Ralph Senensky
Season 2, Episode 22
Production episode 60351
Original air date: February 9, 1968
Stardate: 4768.3

Captain’s log. The Enterprise has picked up some kind of reading. Sulu has traced it to a planet and they head there, with Spock reporting that it used to be Class-M until the atmosphere was ripped away in a cataclysm. When they achieve orbit, the disembodied voice of Sargon is heard by everyone—he directed the ship to the planet with his thoughts, and is now speaking to everyone telepathically. He also says that he’s as dead as the planet, and he wants Kirk to rescue him from oblivion. Spock does detect energy readings deep beneath the surface, inside a chamber that is suitable for humanoid life support. Kirk beams down along with Spock, McCoy, and Dr. Anne Mulhall of astrosciences. Kirk doesn’t intend initially to take Spock or Mulhall, but Sargon makes it clear that he wants them both there. He also operates the transporter himself, and refuses to transport the two security guards.

[I will not peddle flesh.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “The Minstrel’s Shakedown” / “Barbecued Batman?”

“The Minstrel’s Shakedown” / “Barbecued Batman?”
Written by Francis & Marian Cockrell
Directed by Murray Golden
Season 2, Episodes 5 and 6
Production code 9713
Original air dates: September 21 and 22, 1966

The Bat-signal: The Gotham City Stock Exchange is gripped by panic, as stock prices are going binky-bonkers—false stock prices are sent to the GCSE, and speculating on those false prices lead to chaos. Shortly afterward, the Minstrel, a man in a silly outfit and playing a fancy guitar, shows up on everyone’s TV screens and filks “A Wand’ring Minstrel” from The Mikado, assuring the folks on the Stock Exchange that they’ll be kept safe from the GCSE goofiness if they pay him $1000 a day, payable to his Swiss bank account.

[He’s so suave!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “By Any Other Name”

“By Any Other Name”
Written by Jerome Bixby and D.C. Fontana
Directed by Marc Daniels
Season 2, Episode 21
Production episode 60350
Original air date: February 23, 1968
Stardate: 4657.5

Captain’s log. The Enterprise responds to a distress call on a Class-M planet. A landing party consisting of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Lieutenant Shea, and Yeoman Thompson beams down to investigate, and encounter two Kelvans, Rojan and Kelinda. Rojan thanks them for their quick response and then informs them that they’ll now surrender themselves. The Kelvans press a device on their belts that paralyze the landing party, and Rojan announces that he’s their commander now, and they’re heading to another galaxy. Their lives as they know them are over.

[It’s GREEN!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Hot Off the Griddle” / “The Cat and the Fiddle”

“Hot Off the Griddle” / “The Cat and the Fiddle”
Written by Stanley Ralph Ross
Directed by Don Weis
Season 2, Episodes 3 and 4
Production code 9706
Original air dates: September 14 and 15, 1966

The Bat-signal: Late one night, a burglar breaks into Lacey’s Department Store and steals a store catalogue, dropping it via parachute to Catwoman. Another thief steals a catamaran from the nautical society and another steals three mittens from the apartment of a rich person named Andrew S. Kitten, both of which are also dropped to Catwoman with a parachute. Gordon and O’Hara realize that it’s Catwoman who’s responsible—even they could figure it out from those clues—and they call Batman, interrupting a session Dick is having with a powerful telescope. (Dick also mentions an impending eclipse. This will be important later.)

[“Why, Batman, are you blushing?” “It’s the heat of the day, Commissioner. Unseasonably warm, don’t you think?”]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “A Piece of the Action”

“A Piece of the Action”
Written by David P. Harmon and Gene L. Coon
Directed by James Commack
Season 2, Episode 20
Production episode 60349
Original air date: January 12, 1968
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. The Enterprise approaches Sigma Iotia II, and Uhura makes contact with an official on the planet, whose name is Oxmyx and whose title is “Boss.” Kirk explains to a rather confused Oxmyx that they only just now, one hundred years later, received the final radio transmission from the Horizon, a ship that went missing. It indicated that the ship had visited Iotia, so the Enterprise is following up, since there may have been some cultural contamination (the Horizon‘s heyday was before the Prime Directive). Terms like “galaxy” and “subspace” just confuse the heck out of Oxmyx, and Kirk amusedly says that he’ll explain in detail when he meets up with him. Oxmyx says he’ll send a reception committee to meet him—and the coordinates he provides are “the intersection down the block, by the yellow fireplug.” Scotty is able to pinpoint those oh-so-specific coordinates (probably by triangulating Uhura’s signal) and Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down—

—and find themselves greeted by two guys in suits and hats carrying Tommy guns and telling them to put their hands over their heads.

[“Spock, what are the odds in getting a royal fizzbin?” “I have never computed them, Captain.”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch