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episode 9

Season 5, Episode 09—Black Superheroes

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Black Superheroes have been around for a very long time. Troy and David welcome Wayne Brown, and they discuss some of the great and not-so-great black superheroes.

This is Wayne’s first appearance on the show, and as with all new guests, Troy and David ask Wayne about his first experiences in the speculative genre, and what was his first genre love.

Wayne is also asked about his all-time faves, which includes his favourite novel, shorter work, author, and also his favourite movie, TV series, and TV episode.

Some of the Black Superheroes mentioned in this episode include
(please click on the Wikipedia links, for more info):

Black Lightning, 1997 -, DC Comics.
Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane, Issue #106 (Nov 1970)
= Lois becomes black for a day!

Blade (comics) Name = Eric Cross Brooks.
Blade (New Line franchise character) Name = Eric Brooks.
Blade (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
John Shaft (from the 1971 film, Shaft)
= you don’t have to have super powers to be a superhero)
Luke Cage (character)
Luke Cage (TV Series)

Valerie the Librarian…
Link to an article about “Valerie the Librarian” by Nicholas Hunter, from Screen Rant, Jan 29, 2022:
Marvel’s Forgotten Original Spider-Woman Was A Black Librarian

All Negro Comics. Published in 1947.
Lothar, Mandrake the Magician‘s best friend and crime fighting companion. Lothar is often referred to as the strongest man in the world. He was Prince of the Seven Nations, a federation of Tribes.
Black Panther, film starring Chadwick Boseman.
Falcon (comics). First appeared in comics in 1969.
John Stewart as Green Lantern (1971) he was the first African-American superhero to appear in DC Comics.
Green Lantern: Mosaic (1992-1993) was published by DC Comics.
Hardware (Curtis “Curt” Metcalf) began in 1993, DC Comics.
Icon, 1993-1997, DC Comics
Blood Syndicate, 1993 – 1997, DC Comics.
Milestone Media (creator of Milestone Comics, published and distributed by DC Comics)
Martian Manhunter (voiced by Carl Lumbly) and other versions.
M.A.N.T.I.S. (first black superhero on TV)
Static Shock, 2000 – 2004 – “It was the first time that an African-American superhero was the titular character of their own broadcast animation series.” – from Wikipedia.
Tom Swift, 2022, a new series, where Tom Swift is black.
Hancock, 2008 film starring Will Smith.
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, not David Hasselhoff)
Amanda Waller (in Peacemaker, and Suicide Squad)

Wayne Brown

Wayne Brown is a twin, but he’s not the evil one.

He started reading SF books when he was gifted a copy of Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine and Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint.

He started reading comics early on.  There was a newsstand down the street from his Grandmother’s apartment. He thinks it must have been somewhere around 1968.

In 1979 he went to his first convention.  It was the Chicago Comicon.  He had just gotten his driver’s license and decided after work that he would drive from Rochester to Chicago. He was young. A 12-hour drive was nothing.  He got hooked from then on. He got back and started the Rochester Fantasy Fans.

That’s been his life since then.

Wayne Brown is the chair of the NASFIC convention in Buffalo, New York, in 2024. He has run the Astronomicon SF/F/H convention in Rochester, New York, for many years.

Listen to the 2of podcast online, or download the episode to your computer using the Download icon!

Season 4, Episode 09—The Twilight Zone PT 1

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This is our look at The Twilight Zone.

Troy and David have a special guest for this 2-part episode. Tom Elliott. Please see his bio below. The Twilight Zone ran from 1959 – 1964. Hosted by Rod Serling. Rod also wrote most of the episodes.

Many have listed it as their inspiration to work in the speculative genre field.

Mel Brooks, a lifelong fan, wrote an entry for the book Everything I Need To Know I Learned From The Twilight Zone. In it, he said, “Every time I watched The Twilight Zone, I was completely ready to surrender to it.”

You know when you have an iconic series when there are so many parodies and homages. The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror had a parody of the episode “To Serve Man” that is fantastic. Saturday Night Live parodied Nightmare at 20,000 feet, and Eye of the Beholder.

Troy and David have a special guest for this 2-part episode. Tom Elliott. Please see his bio below.

David asks Tom about his early genre loves and all-time faves, before getting into discussion on The Twilight Zone.

Troy gives a history of The Twilight Zone.

And we look at the five seasons, highlighting specific episodes that stood out.

Tom Elliot began The Twilight Zone Podcast in 2010 intending to record short ten-minute stream of consciousness thoughts after each episode viewing. As the production quality of each episode increased, so did the diversity of show content. As well as episode reviews, the podcast grew to include short story readings, book reviews, event coverage and interviews.

Guests such as Anne Serling (daughter of Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling), Earl Holliman (the first actor to ever appear in The Twilight Zone) plus many others have all graced the airwaves of The Twilight Zone Podcast. The Twilight Zone Podcast has become the definitive and longest running podcast about the landmark show on the web.

Listen to the 2of podcast online, or download the episode to your computer using the Download icon!

Season 3, Episode 9—”Mystery Men”

“no copyright infringement is intended”

Janeane Garofalo holds an orb in a scene from the film ‘Mystery Men’, 1999. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)
“no copyright infringement is intended”

Dark Horse Comics – Mystery Men
“no copyright infringement is intended”

L to R (Eddy Izzard as Tony P; Geoffrey Rush as Casanova Frankenstein; Pras Michel as Tony C)
“no copyright infringement is intended”

Lena Olin “Dr. Anabel Leek”
“no copyright infringement is intended”

Paul Reubens (Spleen); Tom Waits (Doc Heller); and Janeane Garofalo (Bowler)
“no copyright infringement is intended”

Greg Kinnear as Captain Amazing / Lance
“no copyright infringement is intended”

Mystery Men was a film released in 1999. It is based on a comic book series (1939-1942), and more of a direct connection from a comic book series in the 1980s. From the web site….
“In 1987 the Mystery men made their debut in Flaming Carrot comics #16. This band of unreal heroes was brought together, well because no one else wanted them. Their powers are weird, their tempers are high and their clothing choices are questionable, but that never stopped them from trying to save the world. The roster has included such classic characters as The Shoveler, Mr. Furious, Screwball, Bondo man and The Spleen to name a few.”
Posted by Spyda-Man at 3:30 AM – January 21, 2021

For those who have seen the film, they either think it is a great film or a not-so great film. That phrase, “You either love it or you hate it” was never more applicable. The most notable character appearing in The Dark Horse comic “Mystery Men” created by Bob Burden that was not included in the movie was “The Flaming Carrot.”

So, why watch the 1999 movie?

Because, you may be one of those that absolutely loves it. The main cast and supporting cast are terrific.

Cast (in credits order – from IMDB)

Hank Azaria … Blue Raja / Jeff
Janeane Garofalo … Bowler
William H. Macy … Shoveler / Eddy
Kel Mitchell … Invisible Boy
Paul Reubens … Spleen
Ben Stiller … Furious / Roy
Wes Studi … Sphinx
Greg Kinnear … Captain Amazing / Lance
Geoffrey Rush … Casanova Frankenstein
Lena Olin … Dr. Anabel Leek
Eddie Izzard … Tony P
Artie Lange … Big Red
Pras Michel … Tony C (as Prakazrel Michel)
Claire Forlani … Monica
Tom Waits … Doc Heller
Louise Lasser … Violet
Ricky Jay … Vic Weems
Jenifer Lewis … Lucille

Beyond the cast, there are moments of hilarity. If you are someone who likes the reviewing of Roger Ebert, he recognized its brilliance, but was also aware of its failings:

“Mystery Men” has moments of brilliance waving their arms to attract attention in a sea of dreck. = Roger Ebert

Ira Nayman joins Troy and David as their special guest for this episode. Please see his bio below. Ira has made an appearance on TOF in each of its three seasons, and is affectionately known as “The Third Fart.”


Troy and David and Ira will look at recasting the film, with a “Dream Cast” = the best actor or actress, living or dead, to play the roles; and a “Schrodinger’s Cast” = unusual casting. Please note that David mentions three films that have won all four Oscars for Best Film; Best Director; Best Actor; and Best Actress, and he made a mistake. The three films that won all those awards are: It Happened One Night; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; and The Silence of the Lambs. David mistakenly put in “As Good As It Gets” instead of Cuckoo’s Nest. His excuse: “We are all getting old.” As Good As It Gets won both feature actor categories (Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt), but best film and best director were both won by Titanic.

Ira Nayman
AKA: The Third Fart

Ira Nayman writes humour featuring a heavy dose of satire.

The Ugly Truth, his 8th novel with Elsewhen Press, was published in June, 2022.

His two dozenth published short story, “Girls Rule the Steampunk World” appeared in Brave New Girls: Chronicles of Misses and Machines.

In September, 2022, Ira will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the weekly publication of Les Pages aux Folles, his web site of political and social satire.

Ira was our guest for two previous episodes:

season one, episode five podcast:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

season two, episode eleven podcast:
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Across the 8th Dimension

Listen to the 2of podcast online, or download the episode to your computer using the Download icon!

Season 2, Episode 9—”2001: A Space Odyssey – pt.2″

LEGO recreation of a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey
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Does Star Wars owe anything to 2001?
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2001: A Space Odyssey.

This is the second part of our look at the film.

We realized that, with two guests, and a big movie like 2001, we would need two parts to do the movie justice.

In Part 2, Troy and David and Mark and Rob spend more time on the film, doing a deeper dive than in Part 1.

Rob refers to the film as “a paradigm shift.”
Mark refers to the film as “a landmark.”

Stanley Kubrick wanted to make the first great SF film.
Mark and Rob mention other films that predated 2001 that were great SF films.

Would Star Wars have happened without 2001?

The Schrödinger’s Cast is looked at, which is taking the cast from the original film, and replacing them with people you may not suspect.

photo by: Amy Pagnotta

Mark Askwith is a writer and Television Producer. He has covered the Science Fiction genre for over 30 years.

Mark is the creator of the award-winning Prisoners of Gravity, and he is one of the Founding Producers of SPACE, Canada’s National Science Fiction and Fantasy Channel.

He has also produced dozens of half-hour television movie specials, featuring interviews with stars like Tom Hanks, Christian Bale, and Sigourney Weaver. As well, he has interviewed dozens of scientists and astronauts including Neil deGrasse Tyson, Buzz Aldrin, and Chris Hadfield.

Neil Gaiman called him The Secret Master of Science Fiction. So, I guess that’s no longer a secret.

Photo by Carolyn Clink

Robert J. Sawyer is one of only eight writers in history—and the only Canadian—to win all three of the world’s top awards for best science-fiction novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name.

His latest novel is The Oppenheimer Alternative.

A member of both the Order of Canada and the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, he lives in Mississauga, Ontario.

Listen to the 2of podcast online, or download the episode to your computer using the Download icon!

Season 1, Episode 9—”BARD TREK – Shakespeare in Star Trek”

BARD TREK: Shakespeare in Star Trek
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Shakespeare. Star Trek. The combination seems a bit odd.

From Wikipedia: William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist.

Star Trek, the original series, was set in the 23rd century, created by Gene Roddenberry. From Wikipedia: In creating Star Trek, Roddenberry was inspired by C. S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower series of novels, Jonathan Swift’s 1726 novel Gulliver’s Travels, the 1956 film Forbidden Planet, and television westerns such as Wagon Train.

But, the writers of Star Trek were also influenced by Shakespeare.

Troy Harkin and David Clink will do a deep dive on Bard Trek, and will also look at how theatre, plays, and drama became a part of Trek, with special guest Trevor Rines (see author photo & bio below).

Also, on this podcast, Dream Casting and The OOTB (outside-of-the-box) Casting, for Star Trek and Shakespeare.

Trevor Rines

Trevor Rines is an actor, musician, writer, notorious punster, & boardgame designer & developer, with a background in Astrophysics, who is quoted on DNA in The Dictionary of Canadian Quotations.

Since the start of the pandemic, he’s performed (online, of course) in every single one of Shakespeare’s plays with The Quarantine Players.

As a composer, he’s written music for many theatrical productions, including the incidental music & songs for two Shakespeare productions.

As a voice actor, his low, rumbling voice has been heard onstage with orchestras, as well as on TV, radio, film, documentaries, audio dramas, radio plays, & even on other podcasts…

Listen to the 2of podcast online, or download the episode to your computer using the Download icon!

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