Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Classic Serials: Undersea Kingdom (Faster-Paced Version), Chapter Six

(originally posted December 6, 2008)

Considering she seems to be the only woman in the Undersea Kingdom, I'm really not surprised she's finding plenty of action.

(That was from the tedious introductory character cards I delete every week, by the way.)

Today, we go over the hump with the seventh of what I'm certainly hoping are only thirteen installments of our re-edited, faster-paced presentation of Undersea Kingdom, the classic serial that begs questions like, "How does Crash know that atom guns only hurt humans?" and "Why in hell hasn't Khan used atom guns against the Holy City until now?!"

Back in the early days of Doctor Who, they recorded a complete 25-minute episode a week, and recorded for up to 53 consecutive weeks. Each regular actor would have a two-week vacation (sorry, holiday) during the season. To pull that off, they'd be written out of two episodes in the middle of a serial. Yes, that means there were episodes of Doctor Who without the Doctor.

This chapter kind of reminds me of those stories, inasmuch as Crash pretty much takes a powder from his own starring vehicle until more than halfway through. Since they no doubt shot Undersea Kingdom set by set, like most movies, I can only attribute that to a plotting hiccup.

I find the cliffhanger resolution interesting this week. It's almost the opposite of the cheat cliffhangers. Rather than making it so that the cliffhanger never happened, they add footage to explain how things can be just as bad as we saw last week, and yet our heroes can escape.

Speaking of the cliffhanger, I made this week's a little earlier than the original's. I checked the beginning of Chapter Seven to see how they got out of it, and although it isn't a cheat per se, it's kind of undramatic. So I had a little fun with it, and made it a little closer to a cheat. It's not really, of course—I don't think I'm spoiling much by telling you that next week, there is a bang, but no, Crash and Billy aren't on the receiving end.

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