Battlestar Galactica Memorabilia logo Battlestar Galactica Memorabilia logo
The no.1 Battlestar Site
Articles


Look-In 1983 Annual


Look In Annual 1983

Published by Independent Television Publictions

Copyright 1983.




Meet the Extra Terrestrials

E.T has broken all box office records to become the most popular film ever. E.T. director Steven Speilberg wanted to give aliens a better image: 'Comics and TV always portrayed aliens as bad. I never beleved that. If they had The technology to get here, they could only be kind. I know they're out there.' Well, for many years, film makers have been dreaming up all sorts of extra terrestrials so let's take a look at some of the most popular - and unusual - aliens!

No matter how friendly and lovable you think E.T. is, there's no way you can describe him as attractive. Actor Robert Macnaughton, who played Michael in the film, agrees. 'I thought it was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen!' he said. Three of the little monsters were made for the movie: there was a mechanical one operated by cables for scenes like E.T.'s heartlight, an electronic model for fine facial movements, and the E.T. suit for tiny actors to wear for the walking scenes.
These tiny actors were Tamara De Treaux, Pat Bilon (who died early in 1983) and schoolboy Matthew De Merritt who was born without legs. He actually walked on his hands to create E.T.'s waddle for the scene when he drinks the beer. E.T.'s hand movements were done by mime artist Caprice Rothe, who wore zip-on E.T. gloves for the part. And the nervous shake in his hands was created by Caprice after she drank too much coffee one day!
And if you've ever wondered about E.T.'s extending neck, designer Carlo Rambaldi explains: 'It was Steven's idea. He wanted it so nobody could think there was anyone inside." But just why has E.T. been so loved? Naturally, Steven Speilberg has the answer: "It's about human values, it's about compassion and love.' That's where so many other aliens have been lacking!

They're all aliens!

In Star Wars, all the characters were alien, even though most of them looked distinctly human! Star Wars was the film which has largely been responsible for reviving interest in space. It is the creation mainly of American George Lucas who devised a whole series of stories about a galaxy distant in time and space from our own.
The first film was, in fact, the fourth story in the series which will eventually go full circle. The latest in the series, Return Of The Jedi, is simply one step further. The word is that the stories lead back to where we join the first film and that Alec Guinness will return as Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi knight who starts Luke on his space adventures. Most of Star Wars has been filmed in Britain, using many British actors, including the lovable wookie, Chewbacca, who is played by 2m (7ft 2in) tall Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, who wears the C3PO suit, and Kenny Baker who fits inside R2D2 Surely the archest arch villain the universe has ever known is Lord Darth Vader, played by David Prowse who is equally well known as a goody: the Green Cross Code Man!

Our Ancestors?



Look-in Picture

Riding on the back of the success of Star Wars came Battlestar Galactica. In fact the makers of Star Wars thought it was a bit too similar and tried to sue! In America, all of Battlestar Galactica was made for TV but the rest of the world was able to enjoy the pilot movie at the cinema before the TV series got under way. Galactica is also populated entirely by aliens who are human in appearance. But, then again, they could be our ancestors, it's never made totally clear!
It's the story of a distant galaxy where human life is being destroyed by the Cylons, a race of deadly mechanical aliens. There are 12 human colonies which are all but destroyed, and the survivors follow the Galactica in search of a fabled thirteenth colony. That's us!

Close Encounters dealt with a more conventional visitation of aliens. Except, unlike previous visitors at the movies, they were a friendly bunch and instead of communicating in an odd sort of alien English they communicated through music.
Steven Speilberg was the director of this film, too, which is regarded as the forerunner to E.T. The aliens were also designed by Carlo Rambaldi. However, Speilberg wasn't quite happy with the film so a special edition was released where we follow Dreyfuss into the fabulous alien ship.

Going boldly

Of course, in the world of sci-fi the aliens don't always have to come to us. We've made a few good efforts at getting to them! Star Trek first appeared on TV in 1966 and the mission of the star ship Enterprise was to `boldly go where no man had gone before' and give alien life forms a few close encounters of their own!
Although Enterprise had a five-year mission, the programme was made only between 1966 and 1969. But the 70-odd programmes made have been repeated ever since. That's why in 1979 the Enterprise was dusted off and re-vamped for the first Star Trek movie. Back on board were all the regular favourites including resident half alien Spock played by Leonard Nimoy. He became an instant favourite with his pointed ears, arched eyebrows and lack of emotions which he gets from his Vulcan father. He finds us humans 'illogical'!
Like Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, Dark Crystal is set on a totally alien world - but there aren't any humans. They have weird names like Gelflings (goodies), the Urru (gentle philosophers) and the evil Skeksis. And these totally alien characters are mainly puppets.
They were created by Muppet maker Jim Henson, but people were a bit doubtful about the film and its completely original creations at first. As Jim says, 'it's about a world with trees that talk, rocks that move, races of intelligent beings and animals unlike anything else ever seen anywhere.' Sounds unlikely? Not when you think that the Muppets are regarded as quite ordinary now - and they include a talking frog, pig, bear and dog plus many other creatures putting on a theatre show. That's normal?!

The five famous doctors

Despite the recent success of E.T., BBC TV's Doctor Who has to be one of the most popular aliens ever. He's certainly been around in one form or another for long enough. 1983 marks his 20th anniversary and over 600 episodes have been made!
There have been five Doctors so far. The first was William Hartnell from November 1963 to 1966, then Patrick Troughton from '66 to '69, Jon Pertwee (of Worzel Gummidge fame) between 1970 and '74, Tom Baker from 74 to '81 and now Peter Davison.
But who is Who? Well, he's a Time Lord who travels through time and space sorting out galactic problems and seeing off all sorts of vile aliens. He has two hearts, a body temperature of 60 degrees F and he got bored with his home planet of Gallifrey so he left in his Tardis, which stands for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space.

Runaway Moon

Doctor Who may have the edge when it comes to time travel, but the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha have made some incredible space journeys in Space 1999. This TV series was created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson who were responsible for those puppet classics Stringray and Thunderbirds, to name but two!
In Space 1999 there is a massive nuclear explosion which sends the moon hurtling off into space. There the crew come into contact with some really odd aliens.
One of them was played by Brian Blessed, who went on to play another alien called Vultan, King of the Hawk Men, in the Flash Gordon film. Small world out there in space!
Flash Gordon was, of course, an Earth man. He started life as a comic strip character in 1934 and ten years later a cinema series was made starring former Olympic swimming champion Buster Crabbe. Buster also starred as a similar character: Buck Rogers!

Man of steel

However, the most popular of all the cartoon characters ever invented was Superman. Although his name includes the word `man', he too was an E.T.!
He came from the planet Krypton, sent as a baby to Earth by. his father Jor-El. Although Krypton had a very advanced population, only Jor-El saw the doom of the planet approaching as it was engulfed in their green sun. So Kal-El, as he was known to his parents, was sent to Earth where he was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who raised the boy with strange powers...
He, of course, grew up to be Clark Kent, the clumsy reporter with the secret identity: Superman! Away from his own planet he really is super, with super strength, x-ray eyes and the ability to fly.

friendly Martian

Superman is not the only goody alien to help out on Earth. For example, in the 1950s there was a TV series called My Favourite Martian! While the 1950s were being ravaged by monster movies like Attack Of The Crab Monsters, Teenagers From Outer Space and even a possessed TV in The Twonky, TV had a jovial martian.
He regularly kept an eye on Earth but on one of his visits he crash lands. He is discovered by newspaper reporter Tim O'Hara - played, incidentally, by Bill Bixby, who went on to star in another 'monster' TV hit, The Incredible Hulk. He adopts the martian as his Uncle Martin. Uncle Martin has a rather neat pair of antennae, can make himself invisible and can read minds!

Intergalactic misfit

More recently we've been able to enjoy the company of an even funnier alien. He's Mork from Ork, of course. Mork, played by Robin Williams, has Star Wars to thank for his visit to Earth. He first arrived in his egg from Ork in an episode of Happy Days. Producer Garry Marshall's daughter, Scotti, had seen Star Wars four times and thought her father ought to find an alien for his show.
Mork proved to be so popular that a series was written for him, Mork And Mindy. Mork is a misfit on his own planet and a bit of a misfit here, too, but he is accepted by we humans. Mindy (Pam Dawber) gives him a home.

Have we been visited?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if an extra terrestrial really came to Earth? Many people believe that governments would cover up the story and, indeed, have in the past. But Arthur C. Clark, the author who created the space fantasy 2001: A Space Odyssey has words of comfort. He has said that a government would have as much chance of keeping an alien landing secret as they would of keeping secret the existence of a living 50 ton dinosaur in the middle of London!