Heard on the newsgroups

Here are some USENET postings I picked up from their archives. Most of the postings are fairly recent [95-97] and some are pretty funny. Most of the information is old but I thought it might make interesting reading.

Re: Captain Power ever renewed?

From: gharlane@ccshp1.ccs.csus.edu (Gharlane of Eddore)
Date: 1995/06/02
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv

mintedb@ndlc.occ.uky.edu (David Minter) writes:

Did Captain Power survive to a second season all those years ( almost 8! ) ago?

Well, sort of. The only personnel loss in the destruction of Power Basewas Pilot/Jennifer Chase played by Jessica Steen. (She was moving to a long story arc on WISE GUY so they wrote her out with a bang..)

So, yes, Captain Power survived. However, CAPTAIN POWER did not.

I've been told that Larry DiTillio has the second year's scripts all laid out, and that a couple of them are even written.

The show was put out of production because the fostering toy company was getting too much flak over running half-hour toy advertisements; the complaining parents had never watched the show long enough to notice that there were often scripts.

From: rfurr@jazz.ncren.net (Rob Furr)
Date: 1995/06/06
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv

gharlane@ccshp1.ccs.csus.edu (Gharlane of Eddore) wrote:

I've been told that Larry DiTillio has the second year's scripts all laid out, and that a couple of them are even written.

Actually, I've read about, oh, five of them. Katherine ... er ... I've forgotten her last name ... she wrote a bunch of _Conan: The Adventurer_ and _Mighty Max_ scripts ... heck. Anyway, she also wrote one or two CP episodes in the first season (I think), and had a five-episode arc (titled 'the Archers,' I think,) which is currently residing as a file in GEnie's SFRT2 archives. There are also two other scripts in the archives, but I can't remember if they're first or second season. At any rate, the direction the show was going in that arc was ... interesting. You didn't see much of an indication of where the overall plot was going, but the arc was definitely a change from first season.

NOTE: Katherine Lawrence wrote two CP scripts - both which were never made for some reason. The five episode arc 'The Archers' was written by Christy Marx, who wrote 'Freedom One' and 'Gemini and Counting' in the first season.

RE: Looking for Captain Power

From: John T. Carr III (jtc11@columbia.edu)
Date: 1995/07/12
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5

On Tue, 11 Jul 1995, James E. Smith III wrote:

And JMS, if you're reading, I want to congratulate you for a fine series. If I recall correctly, Siskel and Ebert gave the show some fine reviews at the time, which they don't often give for tv shows. Also great job in casting Jessica Steen as Pilot. Great actress. And she certainly made the character a real, living character.

Echo them statements. Back when I was working in Japan, I had the good fortune to meet the producers of Landmark Entertainment (at the time, Captain Power had been doing quite well in video rental sales and they were looking into possible co-production efforts. Got a Power On lapel pin to show my support, which I still have lt ;). That is a show which definently was for adults (though you have to admit, the three animated training tapes - done by AIC (Iczer-One, Genocyber, Big Wars et al) studios in Japan) were fun, too). It inspired my friend Jim Kapostas to make a music video to it to Queen's Machines Back to Humans (sp?) which ended up being shown at a mid 80's Media West.

Sorry for the rambling, but that show was one of my favorite Sunday morning fixes, and while I still have the eps on tape *somewhere*, I'd love to see a boxed LD set someday. After all, Sauron was the first regularly appearing CG character...

Re: Captain Power ever renewed?

From: gharlane@ccshp1.ccs.csus.edu (Gharlane of Eddore)
Date: 1995/06/13
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv

cwhart@delphi.com) wrote:

...... No. Capt. Power was cancelled due to costs which exceeded those of many prime-time series of the same season.

gc3@infinet.com(George Cifrancis) writes:

Hmmm, I thought Captain Power was canceled simply becuase the toys weren't selling? That was the main mission of the show, to sell toys.

Actually, the toys were selling like hotcakes; no one had made such a bundle peddling show-specific interactive TV toys since the fifties, when the guy who did WINKY DINK was selling Special Magic Saran Wrap and Grease Pencils to use in marking up the TV screen without getting the front of the picture tube all marked up.....

But there were MANY complaints from parental organizations of hyped-up retards who felt their precious little snookumses were being brainwashed into buying toys by half-hour advertisements HE-MAN,SHE-RA, G.I. JOE,and the like all came under fire. .... But CAPTAIN POWER was the only one that was expensive to shoot, since it used live actors, so it was easy to sneeze it away and say, SEE? We're responsive to the concerns of parents. (Never mind that most TV sets sold in the U.S. come with an OFF! switch..)

It should be noted that the demand for CAPTAIN POWER toys was huge in a number of major urban markets, and demand far outstripped supply, even after local stations moved the show to impossible time slots. (For example, in Reno, NV, it was carried at 0300 on a Thursday morning; in Sacramento, Ca, it showed at 10:30 AM on Sunday morning....)

From: gharlane@ccshp1.ccs.csus.edu (Gharlane of Eddore)
Date: 1995/06/05
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv

mintedb@ndlc.occ.uky.edu (David Minter) writes:

Captain Power survive to a second season all those years ( almost 8! ) ago?

Well, sort of. The only personnel loss in the destruction of Power Base was Pilot/Jennifer Chase played by Jessica Steen. (She was moving to a long story arc on WISE GUY so they wrote her out with a bang..)

But I thought she was only in the pilot of WISEGUY? She only signed for a year of Captain Power anyways, she said she was "Bamboozled" into doing CP by her agent according to her interview in Starlog a few months ago.

Interesting; I could be wrong on this, but I thought I recalled her appearing in several WISE GUY episodes.

As for "bamboozled" considering the quality of her acting in those days, she should have been danged grateful for the job; and the scripts she was getting on CAPTAIN POWER; were easily superior to anything she's been handed on EARTH 2, so either she was NOT "bamboozled" or she's STILL being "bamboozled " (Of course, the E-2 salaries were considerably higher than the CP's, so the pay-scale variation might have instituted an agonizing re-evaluation of her judgemental criteria....)

As for only signing for a year; that was all ANYONE was signing for on CP.... and at the end of Year One, she specifically asked Straczynski to write her out so she could leave, and he complied, giving her the nicest send-off he could manage within the format. (Personally, I think she got digitized, and is resurrectable, since we don't know for sure what happened after the camera cut away... but who knows. JMS *likes* to kill of major characters, simply to fly in the face of normal TV-character immortality.)

Captain Power Question

From: gharlane@ccshp1.ccs.csus.edu (Gharlane of Eddore)
Date: 1996/10/31
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated

as I know of no other (better) place to ask this, the last episode of CPatSotF I saw was the one that the power base was destroyed by the woman in the team (I believe her name was Jenifer pilot J ???, this is all a long time ago) . What I'd like to know is if this is actualy the last episode made or how much i've missed. Thanx, Elroy Coltof

Gharlane of Eddore wrote:

Sounds like you missed the entirety of Season Two, in that case.

And yes, "Pilot/Jennifer Chase", played by Jessica Steen, was really really dead, since she'd left to go play a long-arc part in WISE GUY

Funny, last I heard there was no season two, it was cancled years ago. The destruciton of the power base, death of the big mean robots, and that Dread guy (is that his name?) was the finally. How could there be a season two when all the bad guys are dead?

Also, anyone know of a Captain Power page on the internet? I've been searching all around, but have only found a few scattered pictures. Loved the show, wish someone would re-run it.

Soaron and Blastarr were both Bio-Dreads which means they had organic repair capacity and the ability to rebuild themselves literally from scratch; it just takes time when you've had big chunks blown off. (Nowadays they could explain that they're built of nanobots, down at the molecular level, and capable of a huge degree of self-repair; *then* the term was not really public jargon.)

"Pilot" has finite odds of having been digitized and stored just before the Base blew up around Blastarr, so the possibility exists that Blastarr can reproduce her in toto, hopefully close enough to medical aid that her injuries can be treated before she dies. (This capacity was established in the series; one of Jonathan Power old girlfriends is brought back from limbo to bait him.)

Taggart/Lord Dread was damaged so severely that his robot flunkies were carting him out to do a complete Cyborg adaption on him; he was obviously coming back as a fairly nasty robot with a slightly deranged human brain. We still have a betting pool over on Grognet concerning what was going to happen to Lackey.

Some day we'll pin JMS down and get him to tell us, and then the winner will get the prize money, which is currently gathering interest in a savings account in a Fort Worth bank, where we keep all of the betting pool pots..... (Some of the interesting current bets have to do with the aftermath of Ep 322, Z'HA'DUM. *GRIN*)

Season Two was to have dealt with Powerand his team trying to survive and continue the war; remember,Pilot got them a complete core dump of Mentor, so all they need is hardware to plug the memory module into, and they'll have all of the Power/Taggart technology available, at least as INFORMATION; building it without a decent industrial base would have been agonizing, and finding another computer of that capacity would have been a non-trivial task.

The fact that Pilot; also rescued the backup Power Suits provided the capacity to get a few team members killed and replaced, as well.

There was plenty of room to continue the series, although the solution to the whole mess is relatively telegraphed; the same one applicable to the TERMINATOR future. When you're dealing with a world-girdling electronic entity you can't kill, and will probably need its help to rebuild the world, you don't *destroy* it, you make friends with it.

Since Overmind's insanity was obviously born of the imperfect interface with Taggart's mind when *Taggart* went nutso, the best solution path appears to be to capture Taggart, get him to a shrink for extended treatment, and then get him to help them get Overmind back on an even keel, so that Overmind will re-create all the humans it's digitized and stored, thereby bringing back many of the casualties, hopefully AFTER the BioDreads and Centurions have rebuilt the infrastructure of a civilization. An alternative path might have been for the Mentor program to have the capacity to overhaul Overmind, given sufficient maturation time to perfect its skills, and access to Overmind.

...And then they might have to deal with a suicidally depressed Overmind, once it realizes how many intelligent, aware, lives it took during its period of insanity.

Oh, yeah, there was room for *years* of plot development there. Power's dad might still be locked up in the machine somewhere, too.

Sorry to go on at this length, but when JMS writes half-hour kiddie-toy commercials, he writes *GOOD* half-hour kiddie-toy commercials, even if the chess moves on the screen don't match the dialog in the script...... (And even if the continuity is a bit mussed, since we got different, mutually exclusive dates, for the death of Power's dad....)

CAPTAIN POWER was primarily of interest for the way it managed to tell reasonable stories in 22 minutes or less of air time; most of the jugheads in Hollywood refuse to believe you can do a decent dramatic script in twenty minutes. Perhaps all new dramatic writers should have to serve time on half-hour drama shows until they learn how to tell stories economically.....

Re: Captain Power Question

From: nyrath@clark.net (Nyrath the nearly wise)
Date: 1996/10/31
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated

Daniel Pawtowski (dpawtows@access.digex.net) wrote:

Yes, that was the last episode of Captain Power made, it was supposed to have been the end-of-season cliffhangar.

And once JMS made mention of some of the plans he had. They were inspired!
( example: Deep in the heart of Volcania, is a room, all done in white.
Every night, Lord Dread goes and sits in waiting on the room's sole occupant.
It is Dread's first attempt at transplanting a human mind into a shining metalloid body.
Her eyes shine with the light of total madness.
It's Jonathan Power's mother.....:)

Bernice: This one is my favourite! Beats all the other 2nd season plots they stuck out...

Re: Looking for Captain Power

From: l40746@alfa.ist.utl.pt (Tiago Joao Silva)
Date: 1995/07/19
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5

James E. Smith III (jsmith3@host1.dia.net) wrote:

I was a fan of the CaptainPower and the Soldiers of the Future series that was on a few years back. This series should be of interest to most of us B5 fans, because Mr. Stracynski worked on it predominately. Anyway, I missed the last two-parter,because I had to leave town and I was unable to set the VCR at the time. Does anyone out there have the concluding two-part finale? And if so, could they let me know. I knowPilot gets killed, but I would like to see the series conclusion anyway.

Ahh.. Saturday afternoons... 'V' and then 'C. Power'... Well, I *was* a kiddie then. But I didn't see much of it because those 'digitizing' sequences really gave me the creeps! But I loved Soaron, Blastarr and my favourite, Lacky. Those two first were CGI before there *was* CGI. Amazing. But I was what, 12 years old? All I can really remember fromCaptain Power is what came to be in a movie with 'the best' of the storyline. It covered the first season right to the very end. Ah lovedit. Ahdid!! By the way [SPOILER WARNING] Pilot gets killed, the base is destroyed (so I still believe Mentor died), Power can't avoid the last stages of Dredd transformation, and all in all, the good guys got in deep trouble. I never did see the second season, so to me that was *the* most terrifying ending in a Tv series. Ah, thank you OH Great Maker...

And JMS, if you're reading, I want to congratulate you for a fine series. If I recall correctly, Siskel and Ebert gave the show some fine reviews at the time, which they don't often give for tv shows. Also great job in casting JessicaSteen asPilot. Great actress. And she certainly made the character a real, living character.

Yeah, I know! I had a crush for Pilot (when she was off the suit, ofcourse!). And Scout's 'stealth' abilities, didn't we see something akin in 'The gathering' (ya know, the changeling net). *shudder*

Tj (aka Brainscan)

Re: The Best Sci-Fi Shows

From: gharlane@ccshp1.ccs.csus.edu (Gharlane of Eddore)
Date: 24 May 1997 03:03:37 GMT
Organization: Evil Beings from Planet Eddore, Inc.

IMHO Captain Power had some exceedingly good writing in it. Remember the episode where Jennifer was put on trial for her part in the massacre in Sandtown when she was a young member of the Dread Youth Group? Remember the episode where the blinded artists is given a choice between serving evil Lord Dread and getting her sight back and being a free woman but being blind for the rest of her life? And didn't you get a little misty-eyed in the last episode?

Not at all. It was quite obvious that Blastarr digitized and stored her *just* before Power Base blew, and that eventually, after the Power Group managed to get Overmind straightened out, and reach a mutually beneficial modus vivendi, most of the stored humans would be reconstructed. (Since, given enough time, Blastarr can reconstitute from practically nanobotic constituents....)

Of course, since by that time Jonathan Power will be gray-haired, evil, twisted, horrible, and worse than the machines he's fighting, Jennifer Chase will take one look at him and either run like or kill herself....

.....and *THAT* would be the ultimately horrific ending, not just having her killed heroically.....