Apr 30, 2016

Black Sun

cover art by George Wilson
Three years ago I mentioned that The Time Machine was one of the first "science fiction" movies that I ever saw. Sadly, the film did not feature a "hi-tek" flying time machine like the one shown in the illustration to the right! That film was not really science fiction in the truest sense. There was no account of how the time machine was built and even as a little kid I could not suspend my disbelief over the idea that a nuclear bomb might trigger a volcanic eruption in London.

For me, as a fan of science fiction, The Time Machine is little more than an annoying horror movie. However, I do enjoy fun time travel stories such as The End of Eternity. Let's look into Deep Time and discover the nature of The Time Machine in another Reality...
'The Time Machine' by Peggy Chung

image source
Last year, I learned that in the Ekcolir Reality the analogue of H. G. Wells was a woman (Hafren Wells) who actually became a time traveler.

Yvette Mimieux
Here in our Reality, for the 1960 movie, The Time Machine, 18-year-old actress Yvette Mimieux became the love interest of Rodney Taylor. For some reason, the TCM blurb about Yvette says that she played the role of a "cavewoman". Maybe that was in an alternate universe...

Yvette in The Black Hole
Robots and Rayguns
In 1979, Yvette appeared in the role of a space-traveling telepath in The Black Hole. I never saw that movie, but reviewers of the flick have not been very kind. At least Yvette got a cool double-barreled ray gun to play with in The Black Hole.

Black hole Ending by ToyOtter
The Black Hole is often described (my previous comments) as a kind of breakthrough film for Disney, a first step moving away from the land of G-ratings towards adult entertainment. The Black Hole looks like it emerged from the Disney sausage grinder as a twisted combination of Forbidden Planet and Star Wars. To this day, Disney's accounts of the movie entice us to embrace this "vast nothingness where time and space end". OK

the Yvette action figure (source)
As far as I can tell, the one person who helped write the story for The Black Hole and who had some previous experience in the science fiction genre was Richard Landau. It appears that the good folks at Disney assumed all you needed in order to make a science fiction film was a mad scientist, a fat marketing budget and some special effects. I wonder how much ca$h Disney made selling the hideous Kate McCrae action figure.

Disney's Death Star - The Black Hole (click to enlarge)
Vision of the future: holograms and three ring binders.
Apparently the screenplay for The Black Hole was created with the help of Gerry Day. At the time, Disney wanted to start moving towards darker and creepier films that would appeal to teenagers. With that goal in mind and as a Catholic, apparently Day could not resist inserting religious references into "her" Disney movie. Day seems to have honed her science fiction writing skills with a 1976 episode of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (watch). Lucky for me, I never watched the Electra Woman television show as a child. Seeing it now, Electra Woman brings back painful memories of Bat Man.

1960 in the Ekcolir Reality

Karli Schwarzschild
The Ekcolir Reality
In the Ekcolir Reality, the term "black hole" entered the scientific literature in 1921 when Einstein and Karli Schwarzschild collaborated to publish a book on event horizons. Schwarzschild had made use of an early analog computer to calculate the mass of a star that would form a black hole following a supernova explosion.

In the Ekcolir Reality.  Original cover art by
Ron Walotsky and David Mattingly
In the Ekcolir Reality, the black hole at the center of our galaxy was first detected by astronomers in 1952. According to Gohrlay, clues to the existence of that black hole were provided by Interventionist agents from Tar'tron and published in science fiction stories as early as 1933 in the Ekcolir Reality.

In 1955, Mary Pratt published a novel called Black Sun. In Black Sun, the crew of a spaceship from Earth arrives at a small black hole that was discovered by gravitational microlensing and located not too far from our Solar System. The Commander of the mission, Dr. McCrea, is led to believe that the black hole allows her to achieve telepathic contact with aliens who live on a distant planet in the Galactic Core.

1963 in the Ekcolir Reality
In the year 1960 of the Ekcolir Reality, Black Sun was turned into a film called The Black Hole featuring Yvette Mimieux and Rodney Taylor.

blog posts in April
Three years later, the television series Galactic Core launched on the Science Television Network.

In Galactic Core, Dr. McCrea was depicted as traveling to the planet Tar'tron by way of a Hierion Tube.

Related Reading (funny): The Stogie From Beyond Time!

Next: the discovery of sedronic matter in the Ekcolir Reality
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