Tuesday, January 11, 2005

One of the weirdest TV characters ever!

When I'm at the home studio working, I need some background noise. It can either be the radio or music or even television. When it comes to listening to the TV, I prefer reruns. I don't need to devote too much time thinking about what's going on in the scenes' of these shows, especially ones I've watched before numerous times. Just listening to the dialogue will suffice. It's kind of like listening to my old albums.

Thanks to the explosion of TV shows on DVD's (Here's a great site for the latest TV Show DVD set releases) I've been able to build a nice collection of favorite classics to listen when inking pages or penciling panels.

Over the last few days I've had Disc 1 of Lost In Space, Season One, in my DVD player. To admit that you like this old Sci-Fi classic can bring about derisive ridicule from the "sophisticated" viewer. Luckily I never cared what others thought about me.

Lost In Space debuted in 1965. I was 4 years old then, so I was the right age for a show focusing on goofy monsters, a cool robot and a campy villain. (and I use the term campy when describing Dr. Smith, when I was 4 yrs. the word gay still meant happy.) This first season, all in Black & White, is the best of the three year run, IMHO. The stories have a sense of danger, Dr. Smith is still a dangerous villain (for the most part) and there are some excellent scripts that still hold up 40 years later (an episode where Will returns to Earth, "Return from Outer Space" is a stand out as does a two-parter "The Keeper" starring Michael Rennie).

But this is supposed to be about one of the weirdest TV characters, right? In episode three, "Island in the Sky", the Jupiter 2 spaceship lands on a planet to search for Professor Robinson (he had crashed there earlier). While tracking him down, the search party comes across an alien. It's, well, I guess the best way to describe him is with a picture.

Yes, it's Debbie the Bloop! Penny named her Debbie (how she knew it was female....) and it was called Bloop because..... that's what it said. "Bloop, Bloop!"

In reality, of course, Debbie was "Judy" from the TV show Daktari (which ironically enough was the show that replaced Lost In Space when it was cancelled after it's third season), a chimp with long, fake ears.

Debbie, this odd creature, wasn't around too long (unfortunately?) She was only in a couple episodes of Season 1 and the same footage was reused for quick shots in seasons 2 & 3.

So take a bow, Debbie the Bloop! In this day and age of sophisticated special effects and computerized animation, you can't beat a "blooping chimp with long fake ears" when it comes to depicting an alien creature.

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