What The Press Are Saying About Outland

February 6, 2012

While the cast of Outland wait in the wings for their opening night – premieres Wednesday, February 8th at 9.30pm on ABC1! – the reviews are already in. It’s like time-travel.

And what do they say?

“A sitcom about a gay science-fiction club might sound niche but this new local effort is warm, accessible and very funny.” – Sydney Morning Herald

“Pick Of The Week. Sensational writing, a great ensemble, and universal themes of love, loss, and friendship… a hit…” – The Weekend Australian

“Polished, assured and full of zing” – The Sunday Age TV Guide

“…a comedy that is genuinely hilarious. The premise – a secret club for gay sci-fi fans – might sound as if it’s working itself into a tiny niche, but there’s broad appeal here… Those in the know will rejoice in background details and genre winks, but the rest of us (OK, the rest of you) can enjoy the snappy banter and comic tangles between a cast of well-crafted characters.” – The Weekly Review

“…outrageously funny… We think you’ll either love the series for the hidden sci-fi references and innocent geekery, or you’ll be googling
the number for the ABC’s complaints department.” – tvpickoftheday.com

“Must-see television… incredibly slick, campy and fun… performances that cannot be beat… All the actors are sublime, and
the comedy is superb.” – guidetogay.com

“…a must-watch program…” – Dark Matter

“(a) much-needed glitter bomb into a stultifyingly straight viewing schedule.” – The Monthly

“…it’s genuinely funny but it has a kind of sincerity that makes it more than just a comedy… I found it delightful.” – Doug Anderson, The Guide

“…very sweetly surprised… such heart… you don’t have to be gay to relate to it – you don’t even have to like science fiction… it’s funny, it’s
genuinely funny.” – Michael Idato, The Guide

“Outland will delight, scare, entertain and tickle your funny bone in the best of ways.” – molkstvtalk.com

“But beneath the sci-fi-inspired double entendres, of which there are many, Outland is a character-driven comedy about relationships – an
affectionate look at how shared passions can make us feel like outsiders but also less alone.” – The Green Guide

“The cast is terrific, working with stereotypes but bringing them deliciously to life, and there are some great lines too. It’s a really impressive debut and I suspect Outland is only going to get better — and funnier — from here.” – Melinda Houston, The Sunday Age

Advertisements

Jane Badler Speaks Near The Outland Institute

December 9, 2008

jane-badler-v_l

This week on Boxcutters our special guest was Jane Badler, who is probably best remembered as Diana in the 1980s science-fiction franchise V. Actors in science-fiction often complain they get typecast and find it hard to work – I wondered if Jane ever worried she’d be stuck with hamster-eating roles for the rest of her career.

There’s a temptation to turn an actor like Jane Badler into a pop-culture punchline – look, it’s the evil lizard-lady from V! But that would not just be insulting, but also unfair – Jane Badler is no Limahl. She has an extensive body of work, ranging from guest appearances on Fantasy Island and Murder She Wrote to regular roles on Falcon Crest and the second Mission: Impossible series. Sure, it’s not Ibsen –  but who is?

So while I was looking forward to having Jane on the show, I wasn’t a crazy fan-boy – I mean, it’s not like it was Louise Jameson! (Louise, why don’t you answer my letters?) I had enjoyed the original mini-series of V, but I thought the ongoing series was pretty dire and I hadn’t watched any of it since it first aired. So I was surprised that an odd thing happened when she arrived – Josh and I were both a little star-struck by her (I can’t speak for Brett, as he is inscrutable).

Read the rest of this entry »


Review: Survivors (episode 1)

December 3, 2008

Generally we try to avoid reviewing new material at The Outland Institute. We feel there are plenty of places to read about new films and books, and our efforts are best directed toward looking at 20 year-old annuals and exploring the importance of the moustache in 1970s television. After all, who else is going to review vampire-themed Sweet Valley High Books or take a new look at Storm Boy? This stuff doesn’t happen by itself, people.

But the new version of Survivors covers so many of the Institute’s obsessions – illnesses on screen, retro television, great theme tunescheap science fiction, Paterson Joseph – that it would be churlish not to talk about it. Beware, minor spoilers lie in wait.

For those who came in late, Survivors was a British television series that ran for three seasons from 1975. It’s premise? A man-made virus wipes out the majority of the world’s population, the few left behind trying to start anew in an unfamiliar world (so it’s a bit like Ugly Betty). It was created by Terry Nation, who also created the Daleks and Blake’s 7. Not a bad resume. Certainly better than working at Lidl.

Read the rest of this entry »


Friday I’m In Love: The Polish Science Fiction Poster Edition

August 29, 2008

Yesterday we looked at some Polish film posters, and then we cried in a corner for a bit.

Look at this – guess what this is the poster for?

Did you say Weekend At Bernie’s? Of course you didn’t. Why would you?

In the comments Tim said “Awww, you should’ve held on and revealed the answers next week, after we’d all made fools of ourselves guessing wrongly.”

Your wish is my command. Here’s round 2 – below are details from six Polish posters for well-known science fiction films. Can you name these films? Answers will be posted next Friday, feel free to share your workings in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Read the rest of this entry »


7 Popular Motifs of Cheap Science Fiction

August 26, 2008

Since last week’s article about the glory of cheap science fiction, the switchboard at The Outland Institute has been running hot. Poor Glynnis has been swamped with calls, all saying much the same thing – “I’m all ready to make some cheap science fiction – I’ve got a camera, some actors and a clever script that uses Martian terraforming as a metaphor for the war in Iraq – but I don’t know what special effects to use”. They usually go on to say that their film’s budget is three fifty cent stamps, and that Glynnis has a lovely telephone manner (it’s true, she does).

So as a follow-up to last week, let’s look at some of the common elements you can find in cheap science-fiction. You can even try these out at home! Read the rest of this entry »


“Extraordinary How Potent Cheap Science Fiction Is…”

August 18, 2008
Recently I was asked by the delightful Louise Angrilli to write something for Ethel The Ardvark, the official publication of the Melbourne Science Fiction Club. I promised to write an article about the importance of exploding collars in science fiction, but I got stuck when trying to find anything to actually say about the subject. So I wrote in praise of cheap science fiction instead.

For some reason, I’ve never trusted big budget science fiction.

Universes torn apart by CGI explosions, vast armies of robots battling across infinitive voids – it leaves me cold. But a fabric backdrop painted silver and lit by an ex-disco oil projector? I’m there. I was raised on a diet of ’70s BBC television, in which ancient Rome and the far future had a tendency to look much the same – like a large television studio, in fact. Shot on harshly lit videotape, everything was exposed – special effects were simple and often done live-to-tape, with only basic chromakey or model footage for those “wow” moments. All the film-makers could truly rely on was the acting and the writing – the very essence of storytelling. They couldn’t hide behind mere spectacle.

As a young audience member, I had no problem with that. I knew that every time an “army” of Daleks stormed somewhere, we’d only see three of them at a time. I was happy to take those as symbolic Daleks and not literal Daleks. (The Jon Pertwee Doctor Who story Day Of The Daleks features a large country house being “surrounded” by three Daleks. It always reminds me of the old Soviet joke – “Why do policemen travel in threes?” “One who can read, one who can write, and one to keep an eye on the two dangerous intellectuals”).

Read the rest of this entry »