Friday, September 25, 2009

"Couchman" interviews science fiction fans!

#136
Scroll down to click on four segments.

In 1990, ABC-TV, Australia's non-commercial network, aired an episode of Peter Couchman's popular interview show focusing on science fiction fans. It tied in very nicely with a hilarious stage revival/parody of the Supermarionation TV show of the 60s, "Thunderbirds", by actors Gavin Robertson and Andrew Dawson.

You'll see a plethora of Sydney science fiction media fandom identities of the 70s, 80s and 90s! Thanks to whoever uploaded the footage. (Gosh, I'd forgotten those amazing yellow shoes of mine... Well, they matched the Batman logos on my T-shirt.)

Peter Couchman kept returning to the escapism angle of science fiction but, if I recall, many of the fan participants were rather suspicious of Couchman's planted "experts", Dr Stephen Juan, anthropologist, and Professor Brent Waters, psychologist. However, these experts were surprisingly supportive of science fiction fandom, ie. we were adults who haven't forgotten how to "play", and who have found a sense of community and acceptance of each other.

We weren't supposed to draw attention to our dual membership of fan clubs, so I was representing Battalion, the Australian Legion of Batman Fans, while Karen Lewis was representing Sydney Star Trek fandom. Spotto also: Kerrie Dougherty, Dallas Jones, Nick Stathopolous, Lewis Morley, John Gaspar, "Garfield" Barnard, Brett Harrison, Mike McGann, Bodine Amerikah, Edwina Harvey, Robert Luxford, Adrian Broughton and Professor John Tulloch, among many others!


Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4

My beard was only rather new at the time, otherwise I'd have been dressed (at the station's request) as an Andorian or in my Robin the Boy Wonder outfit. Some of the fans in the episode are now working as professionals in their various fields (including writers, artists, actors, SPFX guys, museum curators, etc). An exciting find, because I haven't really watched it since it aired, and I haven't seen my VHS copy in about fifteen years.

"Reality is for people who can't deal with science-fiction."

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