Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Other Lovecraftian Clark Ashton Smith's 'Forbidden Planet' Movie Connections To The 'Old Solar System' Campaign Setting

There have always been the renegades, those that seek the miraculous, & those who have mastered far more then magick. In the Old Solar systems there are master wizards and they are not beings to be trifled with. Someplace below the gods, slightly ahead of the curve, &  inheritors of legacies far to terrible to contemplate. Mankind is the late comer to the stars for there have been many others before him & sometimes they are far more in charge then they appear.  This is something that seems to echo through the original  Star Trek series & the cult classic sci fi film Forbidden Planet. Its also a theme that we see echo through Clark Ashton Smith's Maal Dweb tales "The Maze of Maal Dweb""The Flower-Women"

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This is also something we see in Forbidden Planet especially in the Krell monologue of Dr.Morbius;"In times long past, this planet was the home of a mighty and noble race of beings which called themselves the Krell. Ethically, as well as technologically, they were a million years ahead of humankind. For in unlocking the mysteries of nature, they had conquered even their baser selves. And when in the course of eons they had abolished sickness, and insanity, and crime, and all injustice they turned, still with high benevolence, outward toward space. Long before the dawn of man's history, they had walked our Earth, and brought back many biological specimens. The heights they had reached... But then, seemingly on the threshold of some supreme accomplishment which was to have crowned their entire history, this all-but-Divine race perished in a single night. In the two thousand centuries since that unexplained catastrophe, even their cloud-piercing towers of glass, and porcelain, and adamantine steel have crumbled back into the soil of Altair IV, and nothing, absolutely nothing remains above ground."
Maal Dweb owes more then a bit to The Tempest (written c. 1610–1611) by William Shakespeare and the wizard  at least partially resembles Prospero. So does
Dr. Edward Morbius but the similarities don't end there. Both have access to incredible technology that resembles the magick technology of Clark's Law, the have built or use cybernetic robotic organisms to carry out their wishes, & they rule worlds. Maal Dweb is one of Clark Ashon Smith's anti heroes with mastery over time, space, & dimensions. But there's an original Star Trek series episode that ties this all together and more.
'Requiem for Methuselah" is a third season episode of the American science fiction television series, Star Trek, first broadcast on February 14, 1969. Its repeat broadcast, on September 2, 1969, was the last official telecast of the series to air on NBC (Star Trek would immediately debut in syndication on the following Monday, September 8, a full three years after its debut). It is episode No. 74, production No. 76, written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Murray Golden. It guest-stars James Daly as "Mr. Flint", and Louise Sorel as "Rayna Kapec" ("Kapec" is an anagram of Capek, after Karel Čapek, who introduced the term robot)' Now this was the original series Forbidden Planet episode:"According to fantasy and science fiction scholar Ace G. Pilkington, Requiem for Methuselah is a Star Trek adaptation of the film Forbidden Planet (1956).[4] Actress Anne Francis reported that Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, had talked to her about lifting some ideas from Forbidden Planet.[4] Actor Leslie Nielsen noted the similarities between Forbidden Planet and Star Trek, suggesting that the film served as a pilot for the television series"
"Ruth Morse, a Shakespearean scholar, has written on the influence of The Tempest on Forbidden Planet and Requiem for Methuselah.[5] Flint, the powerful recluse, seems to be based on Prospero and Methuselah.[5] Rayna appears to be Flint's daughter and is based on Miranda, Prospero's daughter.[5] The twist here is that "Rayna-Miranda" (as Morse calls her) is an android, not Flint's daughter. Flint hopes that the female android will fall in love with him. Flint offers her knowledge and intellectual stimulation but Rayna falls for the "irresistible" James T. Kirk. The female android faces new and (to her) unfamiliar emotions, having to choose between two men. The pressure causes her to short-circuit into self-destruction, her version of death" 
There are parallels between Flint,Maal Dweb, & Morbius all three have robotic servants who carry out their will, all three have isolated manses far from human habitation, they have ruler ship over a world or worlds. What if this isn't an accident of fiction at all. All three are looking for that perfect companion. Maal Dweb is bored with his existence and like Flint turns to other pursuits but there that hole in his life that needs to be filled.
Tiglari discerned in the throng the women of Ommu-Zain, whose flesh is whiter than desert salt; the slim girls of Uthmai, who are moulded from breathing, palpitating jet; the queenly amber girls of equatorial Xala; and the small women of Ilap, who have the tones of newly greening bronze."

Where does this forbidden knowledge of ancient technology, cybernetics, time, immortality,  &  more come from among these men? Perhaps its all from the same source.
[T]he Great Race ... waxed well-nigh omniscient, and turned to the task of setting up exchanges with the minds of other planets, and of exploring their pasts and futures. It sought likewise to fathom the past years and origin of that black, aeon-dead orb in far space whence its own mental heritage had come – for the mind of the Great Race was older than its bodily form. . . The beings of a dying elder world, wise with the ultimate secrets, had looked ahead for a new world and species wherein they might have long life; and had sent their minds en masse into that future race best adapted to house them – the cone-shaped beings that peopled our earth a billion years ago.
— H. P. Lovecraft, "The Shadow Out of Time" 

Perhaps the Great Race never left Earth or our local time space continuum as the Shadow Out of Time suggests. Perhaps they've been acting through agents of  'The Pnakotic brotherhood' who assist the Yithians as they assume new bodies throughout space and time. Sending their consciousnesses across time to many locations throughout the universes. We've never seen the Yithians actual forms.

The Great Race of Yith could have been acting through proxy agents all this time and its only now that we've figured this out now. In the star Trek original episode Assignment Earth we're introduced to Gary Seven whose proper name was a code name for a Human male whose ancestors were abducted from Earth around 4000 BC. Listed as Supervisor 194, he was a Class 1 supervisor. He has access to a Beta Five computer with time/space capabilities & even more advanced technologies. Gary Seven's computer in TOS: "Assignment Earth" and the Atavachron terminal operated by Mr. Atoz in TOS: "All Our Yesterdays" are the same Beta Fives both have time scanning abilities. So why would the Great Race of Yith be using its agents among the Star Trek or a host of local space time continuums? The answer is another of Lovecraft's tomes the  so called   Pnakotic Manuscripts, " a legendary tome containing a detailed chronicle of the Great Race's history, among other things. Copies of this manuscript would later be passed down through the ages, eventually falling into the hands of sinister cults which would guard them into modern times."

Cults would not be the only ones with access to the Vulcans possibly had access to a few Great Race texts and artifacts. The Vulcans have always reminded me of classic Sixties and Seventies Watchers, with several attitudes linking up such as the logical philosophies, the aloof attitudes, highly advanced technologies, & several cultural 'sins' in their pasts. 

 But I digress, the Xiccarph cycle indicates that Maal Dweb uses both magick and advanced technologies resembling magic and also controls five worlds that circle the triple suns of Xiccarph. Flint controls the planet Holberg 917G in the Omega system Altair IV is completely controlled by Dr. Edward Morbius and his robot. Were these locations accidently settled by these great men? These so called  tyrants,wizards, & madmen? No, I don't think it was an accident at all. I think these locations were left by design by the Great Race of Yith when they 'moved on' up the time stream. 
Which brings me to one of my final points each one of these gentlemen had some obsession with creating the 'perfect' artificial example of the fairer sex.  Altaira Morbius was as much modified by her father as Robbie The Robot. She not only sensed when the Id monster was going to murder her love but psychically experienced it. She shares many of the traits of the Great Race, psychically active & highly intelligent in her own right. Has she been altered by her own father? Possibly.

Rayna Kapec from 'Requiem for Methuselah' is Flint's highest creation an immortal companion for all the ages.  Flint shares many of the characteristics of
Maal Dweb including a solid grasp of cybernetics & highly advanced robotic science skills. He also sees Rayna as the highest creation of his skills & his true mate in whom he wishes to awaken emotion even though Flint has long since passed from such emotion himself as an immortal.

Both men are recluses of the highest order but crave adventure under different circumstances. But where is the Great Race connection? All of these men seem to have been compelled to build cybernetic organisms, there is always the element of immortality, and there seem to be lots of Great Race brain artifacts around. The Star Trek episode 'The Gamesters of Triskelion' comes to mind. So did the Great Race of Yith ever leave our time space continuum?

I don't think so. In the original Star Trek episode 'Return to Tomorrow' we see the Enterprise Crew body swapping with alien essences from world long dead & their transfer into android bodies?! The interesting is the Trek crew beaming down into a planetary dungeon for a talk with several possible Great Race survivor essences left behind from a war with another alien race we never see.
"Captain's log, stardate 4768.3. The Enterprise is in orbit above a planet whose surface, our sensors tell us, is devoid of all life, a world destroyed and dead for at least a half million years. Yet from it comes a voice, the energy of pure thought, telling us something has survived here for those thousands of centuries. Since exploration and contact with alien intelligences is our primary mission, I've decided to risk the potential dangers and resume contact. Log entry out."

What does all this mean? It means that the Great Race was still in the local space time continuum fighting its old wars with old Lovecraftian foes well into the time of Star Trek. There is some evidence that all throughout the Twentieth Century they've been monkeying with Project Tick Tock and the mega dungeons of Altair IV.

The danger of the Great Race of Yith & its various branches of the
Pnakotic brotherhood become evident. In the Old Solar system campaign setting there are literally thousands of Great Race mega dungeons scattered across the universe waiting for adventurers to find them. Those players who have played through Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea's Taken From Dunwich know just how dangerous these bastards can be.

The Errol Otus depiction of the Great Race of Yith from
the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition
Deities & Demigods remains a personal favorite of mine.

For the Old Solar System the grasp of the nippers of the Great Race is alive and well in the Hyperborean city of Olathoë where the the Pnakotic brotherhood has one of its head quarters. The danger of the Flying Polyps is only now becoming evident as their black towered cities once again dot the skylines above  parts of what was South America, the lower basin of the Mexican desert and various areas of outer Mongolia.  There are dozens of wizards out in the asteroids, on Old Earth, and the various colony worlds. The arrival of the Hyperboreans and their ilk has shifted the balance of power and now many wizards fear what might be coming. There are those who have whispered about various dangerous cults. Few know the connection between the Temple of Elemental Evil and the Great Race. But that's another blog entry

This post is not an attempt to violate the trade mark or copy right of the film  Forbidden Planet or Star Trek & its attendant properties.  The contents of this post are for entertainment & educational purposes only all writings are the copyright and trade mark of Dark Corner productions. Photos blaster and blaster rifle photos are used without permission & are for reference only the copy right and trade mark belong to their holders.

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