Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Prisoner

I woke up this morning and turned on my phone, which promptly told me I had a text message. Holly wanted to be sure I knew that Ricardo Montalban had died yesterday. For Star Trek fans, he played Khan in the original series and in the movie The Wrath of Khan. He played every part with such dignity and verve. He will be missed.

I had some more sad news this morning when I checked Stuff on TV, a blog about stuff on TV. The particular post I'm talking about is the one where he says that Patrick McGoohan died. His post says it all.

For me, The Prisoner was on at a time in my life when I lived in a complex remarkably similar to Portmerion, while living through some strange and scary times in my own life that lead my co-workers to call my home "The Village" and call me "Mrs. Peel." 

My village was a fun place to live, but the events that lead to my nickname are the stuff of nightmares, and I'm glad they're over. I've wanted to go to Portmerion ever since the series, though.


On other TV topics, the Lost series shown last night was fabulous! It was the last three episodes (apparently) of the fourth season, shown in preparation for the premier, which will be next Wednesday night. Check local schedules.

There were explanations of the action run across the bottom of the screen. Some were obvious, but some were valuable insights that I probably would have missed the first time around if I had seen these before. I hope you got to see it, even if you've seen these episodes before.


On the home TV front, I have finally (after three or four days of requesting this) gotten Comcast to agree to send me an itemized account of what was charged to me and what they think I paid. They charge at the beginning of the month for the month of TV you're about to get, and I'm reluctant to pay up front for the upcoming month if they're going to cut off my service anyway because I seriously doubt that I'd ever get it back, not to mention that they've shorted me about a month of service already. I base that last statement on the fact that they were completely off the air for more than two weeks while they continued to expect full payment, and they've had so many malfunctions that have made various channels unusable for lengths of time up to four months, and have caused me to have to spend so many hours on my cell phone that I was charged an extra $72 for it, and made two full-day trips to their offices before they would straighten it all out.

They sound like they're doing me some great favor to send me that information, but they said that they will not freeze my account while it's getting straightened out, and I may be subject to having my cable turned off. I told them that if it's turned off, it will never be turned on again.

For all I know, somebody ordered cable TV with everything at another address, and told Comcast they were me,  and I'm getting billed for something else. 

I don't know. I don't know what's wrong, and more importantly, what's wrong with them.

Oh, and by the way, Google has put up ads for Comcast because I keep mentioning it. Their cable internet connection is good, although overpriced, but I would avoid their cable TV like the plague!

The good news on all this is that I got my DVD recorder hooked up yesterday, and have gotten some of the stuff recorded that I don't want to lose when/if my DVR goes back. The most important item was the pilot for The Dresden Files. The SciFi Channel showed it one time nearly a year ago. You can buy the DVD, but it doesn't include the pilot, which has only been shown one time, ever. It's not for sale or I would buy it, and so would a lot of other people. The Dresden Files has a large, loyal fanbase, and I'm sure that they could make money on a DVD of the pilot (Storm Front). 

Storm Front was eventually condensed from the original 2 hour pilot to a one hour episode for the series, but they cut out a lot. They also changed a lot for the series, too. In the pilot, Bob is just like in the books. He's just a talking skull with lights in the eyes. I don't know which way I like him better.

I've also been telling Holly about Blink, which is the Doctor Who episode with the weeping angels, and I got that on a disk. The other big thing is The Middleman episodes I have on the DVR. That's not out on DVD and I haven't even been able to find out if they ever plan to release it on DVD, and I really love it, so I want to get the copies that Comcast didn't ruin off there and onto DVDs next.

The stuff I really want to copy is stuff I would buy if it was available, but it's NOT, so I really don't see the problem. 

It makes me wish I had kept my Blake's 7 videotapes to copy. That link will take you to a place on Amazon where you can sign up to have your name given to the copyright holders to let them know that you want to buy the DVD, and to get Amazon to send you an email and let you know if it ever becomes available in NTSC format (will play in the US). You can get copies to watch in PAL format, but unless you buy a PAL DVD player and TV set, you can't watch it.

For those of you who don't know about Blake's 7, it was a science fiction TV show from England. They had a very small budget, so when they ran across the deck of a space ship, you could hear the wooden floors resound, and most of the special effects were terrible. But the stories were some of the best that have ever been on TV anywhere. You can find more about the series on Wikipedia here. This is something I would also put on DVD for myself if it were on TV again since it's not possible to buy it in playable form.


I want to get some more stuff off of the DVR today since I'm afraid that Comcast will shut off my service and I won't be able to do it later.

Since Comcast may turn off my internet connection (it's six of one and half a dozen of another) but I'll say:

Be seeing you!

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