First off, I'd like to thank Bronze Age Babies for posting about this. If they hadn't, I'd have never known about it, at least not in time to write about it in advance.Tomorrow night at 8 p.m., the three part documentary Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle airs, as they say, on most PBS stations. The film traces the history of the superhero genre from 1938 until the present.
You know, being a cynical sort, when I first learned of this show, my first thought was, "Oh, is it pledge drive time again?" NPR just wrapped up their fall membership drive, and its obviously PBS' turn. Superheroes seems like the kind of show you only see during pledge drives, and one obviously aimed at attracting new viewers, and thus new members. All cynicism aside, let's hope the effort is a success, as I just couldn't live without Washington Week.
Actually, the subject matter of Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle isn't all that far afield for PBS. Public broadcasting has always been geek friendly. It was, after all, local public television stations who first aired Doctor Who and Monty Python's Flying Circus here in the States back in the 1970's.
Speaking of Dr. Who, I suppose you've heard by now about the nine missing episodes recently discovered at a TV relay station in Nigeria. All are from the reign of Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor, which makes sense as that's where most of the missing episodes occur. I've just recently discovered Doctor Who, but Troughton has quickly become one of my favorite Doctors (I think I'd rank him third, behind David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston, with Jon Pertwee and Peter Davison rounding out a top five list) and its a pity that only seven (six, until this discovery) of his twenty-one serials exist complete with no missing episodes, and many are missing in their entirety.
Of the two serials recovered or partially recovered ("The Enemy of the World" is now complete, while "The Web of Fear" is missing but one episode) the one that I most want to see is "The Enemy of the World." This one sounds utterly awesome! It features Patrick Troughton in a dual role, portraying not only, obviously, the Doctor, but the villain, Salamander (and isn't that a great name for a villain?) as well.
Check out this trailer to see for yourself what I'm talking about: