Saturday, October 22, 2011

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

(originally posted January 24, 2009)

After two weeks off for finishing up Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 2 (that's the requisite Google spider-bait out of the way), we're back with the penultimate chapter of Republic's classic 1936 serial Undersea Kingdom, edited for YouTube's ten-minute video limit and the limited patience of the modern viewer. (I include myself in that category, by the way. I watch something like this, and I'm firing up Final Cut Pro in my head.)

Incidentally, "penultimate" means "second to last." That's one of those things I'd like to electronically insert into the brains of everyone on the Internet, along with the difference between "its" and "it's."

For some unfathomable (no pun intended) reason, the feature version of this serial was titled Sharad of Atlantis. Viewers were no doubt perplexed at how little the title character appears. And after the events of this episode, they might well have thrown up their hands and quit.

The compilers of the feature could have found a much better title in the text introducing the characters every week. (That would be the text you haven't seen, because I edit it out every week to save a whole minute.) Mad Tyrant of Atlantis! Grabs you, doesn't it? And when you read it aloud, you don't have to guess how to pronounce it.

And how about Diana's radiant compassion, huh? The Sacred City has just been destroyed around her, Lord knows how many casualties there are, and her first thought? The recapture of Professor Norton jeopardizes her escape! Fortunately for her, she doesn't make this observation in front of any natives of the Sacred City.

We're really racing to the end, here. This chapter started out at 19 minutes, 25 seconds, and is now 9 minutes, 53 seconds. I could have just cut out a couple of minutes, and split it into two parts, but you know me, I'm not a quitter. (People reading this who actually know me laugh heartily.)

Yet another cheat cliffhanger hit the virtual cutting room floor this week. Since we've now reached the final cliffhanger of this serial, maybe I'll produce a compilation of all the cheats. Later.

Oh, and there never was a scene to explain that Moloch is in the other empty Volkite. As you probably did, I wondered for a while how Billy became the same height as Crash.

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