Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TBT Memories

Here's a fun little article idea from blogger ilovealias4ever (who's on Australian time). Remember when you first saw Truth Be Told?


I can't help but make note of the fact that for all you internationals who are a day behind, it was 8 years ago today that our beloved spy-series first premiered.

*sigh* Where did all those years go...?

I'm sure it has been done before, but what are everyone's memories of the ALIAS premiere?

Where were you?
Did you watch with anyone?
What did you think?
How did you react?
Did you think it would become one of the greatest television series?


~PakKaramu~ said...

Visiting your blog

Page48 said...

ILA4E, good work with the anniversary notice. I wouldn't have caught that.

I managed to see every single episode 'live', including TBT. I remember it like it was yesterday.

TBT was like a rebirth of television for me. I have no idea what other shows I may have been watching circa 2001, but I know that, after Sept. 30th, whatever I may have been into in those days was rendered instantly irrelevant.

Remember, back in the day, when the big excitement on TV was that "NYPD Blues" was actually allowed to use the word "a**hole"? What a breakthrough! And then, all of a sudden they were allowed to show backal (as opposed to frontal) nudity, so viewers were allowed to tune into a network, over the air broadcast, and see Dennis Franz's arse. Such was the effect that cablers like HBO was having on network TV.

But, what the network execs didn't get, is that it wasn't vulgarity or 'cheeky' cops that made TV worth tuning in for. There was something else missing.

And then, one night, just weeks after 9/11, it happened. TV changed that night. TV shows like "Dallas" and "Murder She Wrote" and "Diagnosis Murder" were all exposed for how bad they really were.

A new standard had arrived without fanfare. I don't remember ANY hype about "Alias" before it debuted. Granted, I didn't even have internet at home back then, and at work we still had dial-up, so that whole world of hype had yet to reach me.

I found "Alias" by channel surfing. It was brilliant. At first I thought it must be a movie. TV wasn't like this show, it could only be a movie. HDTV was just in it's infancy and my satellite dish provider was running a station that was not HD, but something like 'super-definition'. This was the channel that I first watched TBT on. When I had finished watching it once, I quickly flipped through the menu to find out where I could watch it again, and so I did, I saw TBT twice that night. I watched it twice, alone, and I was hopelessly reeled in.

"Alias" changed my taste in TV and I've since narrowed my interest down to the kind of action/sci-fi thriller material that "Alias" provided (or as close as I can find).

Procedurals like NCIS or CSI or L&O drive me crazy. I don't want that stuff. I want to feel my heart pound. I want adrenaline to shoot out of my eyeballs. I want a show that would make me risk peeing my pants rather than tearing myself away from the tube before a commercial break.

There are decent shows, like "Lost" or "Burn Notice" or even "Warehouse 13" that have certain appealing elements to them, but nothing that replaces the void left when the creative genius of "Alias" disappeared 3 1/2 years ago.

I was just marvelling at the longevity of the show "Smallville". Now in its NINTH freaking season, it debuted just about 4 months BEFORE "Alias" and it's still going strong. I've never seen an episode, but oh, how I wish it could have been us instead of them, but sadly, we were ushered off the stage like a "Gong Show" loser.

And so, what are we to do now, join the rest of society and become reality show zombies?

Not me.

uncle111 said...

I'll have something for this later, but now for something off topic:)

Anyone here see the movie "Taken."
If not, it's Jack Bristow/Jason Bourne tracking down the people who kidnapped his teenage daughter and disposing of them. With the trail of bodies you would expect from those two.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I thought "Taken" was quite entertaining. The massacre at the end may have been a little over the top, but, hey, they had it coming.

I think you're right, Jack Bristow would have done as much for his daughter. Of course, she could have handled the situation herself, I suspect.

Page48 said...


Anonymous said...

All of a sudden I can't login.

I'm working on a little pictorial for the occassion and I'll pot that this weekend.

Where were you?- At home (unlike the past few years I could get home at a normal hour. Those were the days in more ways than one)
Did you watch with anyone?- no
What did you think?- Wow!
How did you react?- Wow!
Did you think it would become one of the greatest television series?_ didn't know. There was so much going on. 9/11 was still a gaping wound, but Alias provided a kind of sympathetic distraction.


uncle111 said...

The memories are going to be revived with my new Blu-ray player that was delivered today. Regular Alias DVDs look much better on it.

Page48 said...

Spy-chat all over the internet today.

uncle111 said...

Can we maybe,maybe hope, hope, hope(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) that we'll see Alias regulars (read JG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) as stars???? I mean, really. Look at the built in loyal audience they'd have from the get go.

Page48 said...

Uncle, there's certainly plenty of 'hope' to go around on my part, and obviously on the part of others.

However, we have to remember that JJ couldn't follow "Alias" (once it was convenient to say so), so what kind of dumbing down can be expected here. Not only that, but this is the era of self-contained, go-nowhere-fast TV shows.

Still, one has to think that he would have a certain amount of pride on the line here and would strive for a spy show of some considerable substance.

Page48 said...

I'm kind of appalled that ABC was in on the "bidding war" for this series, given that ABC could hardly wait to usher "Alias" off the stage.

At the same time, I'm not too thrilled with NBC landing the deal, given NBC's track record ("Bionic Woman", "Heroes", "My Own Worst Enemy", etc...)

Another serious concern I have is JJ's partner in this project, Josh Reims, whose previous crimes and misdemeanors include "Brothers & Sisters", "What About Brian" and "Felicity". Not an awe inspiring resume, IMO.

Also, I've read articles describing it as an 'action/thriller' and others calling it a 'fun romp', and I've even seen the word 'romantic' tossed around.

Bottom line for now is that we will have to wait and see.

uncle111 said...

I just read your first post on this topic. You really captured it. I couldn't say it any better or add anything to what you said. A big "ditto" from me.

Hey Robetron- got any thoughts, buddy? You've AWOL long enough.

uncle111 said...

Have any good shows started yet?

Page48 said...

Uncle, at least ~PakKaramu~ joined us for this discussion. That gives him a slight edge over Girlscout in 2009.

If you're asking about "new" good shows, I've only seen "Flash Forward", which is modestly intriguing and "Stargate: Universe", which was nothing special. Pretty uninspiring new season so far.

I see that Christian Slater is giving it a go again this year, but I didn't watch his show (can't even think of the name). By the time I remember the name, it'll be toast anyway.

Still waiting for "V", which will apparently only air 4 eppies and then break till post 2010 Olympics, so I guess that 4th episode better have a humdinger of a cliffhanger.

Page48 said...


Question: What can you tell me about J.J. Abrams’ new NBC spy series? —Keith

Ausiello: I can tell you that despite reports to the contrary, it is not a drama. “The truth is, it’s more of a comedy with drama and action than a straight drama,” says Abrams of the project, which revolves around a married couple who moonlight as secret agents. “It’s certainly sweeter and more fun in tone than Alias was.”

Whew, JJ! That was a little too close for comfort. We know nobody wants to live through another "Alias" thrill ride ever again. You really had me scared there for a minute. Couldn't you just make a game show or something really really cool like that?

Page48 said...

FWIW, "Flash Forward", which has nothing to do with JJ, still manages to have a number of JJ connections.

1.1 had an "Oceanic Airlines" reference, and tonight's episode features Gina Torres as well as 'Charlie' from "Lost". Also,a series regular is John Cho, who was Lt. Sulu in "Star Trek".

Robetron said...


AWOL? Who was supposed to sign the furlough slip?

Sorry for the delay in responding. What's a month or two between friends?

I recall things like this with vivid memory. Up to 9-10-2001, I had not been watching TV by any measurable amount. My house-mates had convinced me to throw in $10 a month for cable service the week prior, and I might have one of those blank-screen music channels on in the background. Then, I was quite shaken by the events of 9-11-2001. I started watching the news with regularity, and commercials for the upcoming fall lineup; one show in particular stood out to me.

The previews looked so good, I made a mental note of when it would premier, figuring, I would be just getting home from my preaching duties in Alabama. I still couldn't remember the name of the show, 'cause I'm bad about things like that.

I nearly forgot about the show-time on my way home that evening, but as I clicked on the tube, getting ready to wind down for the day, I saw the pretty face of a young woman with pink hair being forced into water. I actually thought I may have missed the first hour, or part of the introduction leading to that moment. With a little disappointment, I concentrated harder to figure out what had happened.

My disappointment was replaced by elation as I realized the impressive creativity with which they were telling the story, segmenting and intermingling the background build-up with main point of tension. (Yes, this is how I think.)

Like a powerful drug, from that moment on I was completely addicted. I might have been a bit over-zealous in my drive through those old country roads on my way home from Sunday evening services. After that, and after a move to South Carolina for a full-time ministering work, I never missed an episode, and I had Season One ordered from Amazon before it was even available.

Well, I never missed any until ABC moved the show to Wednesday nights, when I had obligations of teaching Bible classes, and after I moved again to Cajun country in Louisiana, I missed all of Season Four... until I realized the shows could be watched from online.

By the time that season had ended, I was only a couple weeks behind everyone else. I watched two and three episodes a night until I was startled out of my chair with that horrifying car crash at the end of S-4.

That's when I rejoined the ABC chat boards, and met GS. I think I was one of the first few to come to these boards to chat at her public invitation.

I have been a devoted fan of the show, though somewhat critical in later years, of this show, and had a great deal to do with the patriotism inherent in the show, and I owe it to 9-11.


Bonkers for Bristow said...

Has anyone else seen those cringe-inducing McDonald's Monoploy commercials with Weiss? How low can they sink?

uncle111 said...

I finally got around to making my TEXT
TBT slideshow. I just used some 99 pixel thumbnails. It turned out good enough that I may go back and use bigger photos to improve the quality, as well as drop a few frames to make the pictures time with the music track a little better.

uncle111 said...

Ignore the TEXT link. When I copied the link for my post I accidentally copied another link example with it.

Page48 said...

Nice collage, Uncle, and great tuneage to boot. Brings back priceless memories.

I've been fending off some of the "Fringe" zealots at

It's amazing the number of people who couldn't get into "Alias", but think "Fringe" is just the ticket. It's a lonely battle, but I'm on it.

uncle111 said...

I haven't seen them. Sounds like that may be a good thing:)

uncle111 said...

When does Fringe start up? I want ot see the follow up to the Spock finale.

uncle111 said...

It was that car crash that got me onto the ABC board too.

Page48 said...

Uncle, "Fringe" 2.05 aired last Thursday, now everything on FOX is on a 3 week break for baseball playoffs. Spock's big episode was 2.04. Not sure when he'll be back.

uncle111 said...

Here's a video you will find interesting:

Page48 said...

Uncle, was that a video of you getting ready for the morning commute?

Here's an interview with Orci/Kurtzman talking a little "Alias", among other things. Of specific interest was the bit about Will Tippin being written out of the show.

I'd like for someone to explain to me how fans, en masse, thought Will was working 'against' Sydney Bristow, which is what they imply led to Will getting the pink slip.

uncle111 said...

Yea, that's my routine pretty much every moring. I tried to teach it to Will Tippin, but he told me he didn't think he'd be around enough to use it.

ilovealias4ever said...

What other neat stuff is on the DVD?

In one of the deleted scenes you actually see Klingons. They're in the movie. I hated to cut it — I loved the design, I loved that world, I thought the story was really cool. And Victor Garber, one of my favourite actors, played a Klingon with a tonne of make-up — a very heavy, hot costume. And I had to call and tell him his scene wasn't in the film. But a huge consolation is that it'll live forever on DVD.

-- JJ Abrams on the features we can find on the "Star Trek" DVD. Victor Garber as a Klingon? Yes please!

Page48 said...

ILA4E, I saw that quote a while back and a couple thoughts occurred to me:

1) there weren't any Klingons in the movie (were there?), so why subject VG to hours of makeup that would render him mostly unrecognizable to the audience for a story that has no Klingons? Could/should he not have been brought on board in some role that would have been less likely to be left on the cutting room floor?

2) if you've got a guy like VG, who played such a huge role in the series that made your reputation, how do you not use his scene?

It doesn't sound to me like JJ did right by VG, considering the yeoman's work he did for JJ in the past. I was a little pissed at that revelation.