Jurassic Park: Novel and movie differences part one-the characters Part one





Jurassic Park was a game-changing film in the early 90s. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it utilized a mix of animatronics and the then still new computer generated animation to bring fully convincing Dinosaurs to the big screen. Directed by Steven Spielberg-somewhat of a game-changer himself-the film was the highest grossing film for a few years, and spawned three sequels (one directed by Spielberg). The film of course dealt with a group of specialists brought into appraise a theme park using genetically-ressurected Dinosaurs as it’s main attractions. However, corporate sabotage and things just not working the way they should be soon cause the Park’s systems to break down, and soon they’re running for their lives from the prehistoric creatures.


However, the genesis of Jurassic Park was in Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel. Crichton took a theme he used in his film Westworld-a theme park run amok by it’s own attractions-and applied Dinosaurs to it, and soon the book was optioned into a film…the rest is history.

But with any film adaptation, certain changes have to be made. Here’s a few, starting with the characters.


Jack Horner with Kathleen Kennedy and some of the cast of Jurassic Park III.


In the novel, Doctor Alan Grant is a fairly warm presence, acknowledged as a presence in the field. He has no problem whatsoever with kids, and think’s it’s pretty cool that they like Dinosaurs a lot. He also has a beard. He’s actually based on real-life paleontologist Jack Horner, who among other things, was known for finding the nest of a group of Maisaura (Duck-billed Dinoaurs).


Grant, as played in the film by Sam Neill, is more grumpy and withdrawn (although still very in awe of Hammond’s Dinosaurs), and  not fond of kids, although by the end of the film, he’s considerably more mellow. He also is in a romantic relationship with Dr. Ellie Sattler, something his novel version is not, especially since he’s a widow.


Ellie, played by Laura Dern in the film, is pretty much the same, with a few exceptions. Her novel version is actually engaged to somebody else, with no interest in Doctor Grant. In the movie she also serves more as Hammond’s conscience and has a bit of a feminist streak as well.

Malcolm in the movie is considerably more snarky than in the novel, but largely shares many of the same characteristics (although in the novel, he’s considerably more wordy of course). In both cases, he is badly injured during the T-rex escape. However, in the novel, the injuries are more severe and require a lot more morphine, causing him to ramble a lot more. He also dies at the end (Although paradoxically he becomes the main character in the Lost World novel, something I’ll touch upon at some other point.). In the film of course, he survives and escapes the island, and becomes the main protagonist of the Lost World:Jurassic Park, the first sequel.


John Hammond is a big one. In the film, he’s portrayed as a witty, funny, and compassionate showman at first, but with empathy as he’s frightened that he’s put people-including his grandchildren-in danger, although he’s still a bit in denial about the park’s failings, but eventually comes to his senses due to advice from Ellie (during the ice cream scene) and Malcolm to a degree as well, at the end feeling he can no longer carry on the park (although he remains protective of the animals in The Lost World, and in Jurassic World it’s implied he wanted Masareti to remake Jurassic Park as Jurassic World). In the novel, he doesn’t really care for much except money (Something only really reflected slightly in the film’s lunch scene), and is very much in denial about everything. At the end of the book, he slips and falls and then gets eaten by a bunch of compsonathus. In the films, his greedy attitude is pretty much adopted by his nephew, Peter Ludow, in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and his fate, by Ludow’s mercenary henchvillain, Dietar Stark.



Literary Bond-Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds Are Forever, like the movie version of You Only Live Twice, both take the basic plots and settings of their novels, and turn them both into stories about Blofeld using space weapons.

The plot initially appears to be similar. Bond is undercover as Diamond smuggler “Peter Franks” to uncover a diamond smuggling ring, aided by female smuggler Tiffany case, with a trail that ultimately leads to Las Vegas,  and is pursued by hitmen Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, with a final showdown on a cruise ship.


However there are major differences. In the novel, Bond travels to New York initially to track down the ring; in the movie it’s Amsterdam in Holland. The new York segment in particular utilizes a death by mud bath-in the movie of a diamond smuggler, this scene is still used, but in the pre-credits teaser, where Bond presumably throws his arch-nemesis into the pit of super-heated mud (turns out it’s a body double, made in part using that mud). This is implied to be, in part, revenge for the death of Bond’s newly married spouse, Tracey Bond, in the final scene of the previous movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. (Given that the novels are in a different order, this doesn’t happen for a bit book wise).

“Welcome to hell, Blofeld!”

In the novel, it’s the Spangled Mob, a gang run by the Spang brothers out of Las Vegas. Bond also confronts one brother in a fake “Wild West” town outside Vegas, while he travels directly to Sierra Leone to take care of another, by destroying his helicopter, a kill done by Wint and Kidd in the actual film (and to a different smuggler).

“If god had wanted man to fly….” “…He would’ve given him wings, Mr. Kidd.”

In the movie, it turns out it was Blofeld behind the smuggling ring, using the diamonds to build a giant laser satellite.

In the books, Tiffany Case is mostly a serious character with a tragic past. However in the movie, she’s mainly played for comic relief, as the films were sort of undergoing a transition from the more serious thrillers of the 60’s to more comedic, gadget-laden adventures.

Tiffany Case

Incredible Hulk-Transformations part 2

This article will go into some of the lesser known versions of Bruce’s alter egos.


During a trip back from outer space, the Hulk suddenly gained Bruce Banner’s mind, and the ability to transform at will without getting angry. Although this had happened a few times in the past, this change lasted longer. This allowed the Hulk to become more accepted, and use his powers for superheroics rather than property damage. It also allowed him more time to hone his scientific endeavors, which had unfortunately been cut short in the past by his frequent Hulk-outs.


However, a series of failures, the stress of the “Secret Wars” crossover, and his mind being manipulated by the creature Nightmare had the Hulk truely fall from grace-and become a fully mute, totally raging beast, unable to turn back into Bruce Banner at all.

It took pretty much all of Marvel’s heroes to take him down. He was eventually exiled to other dimensions by Doctor Strange,  and eventually settled back into his savage state.

However, a similar version emerged when Bruce and the Hulk were seperated physically, and this one took on the Avengers.

Several times in the Hulk comics-from the 60s to now, the Hulk has appeared to be physically the green, savage Hulk, but his vocabulary and attitude is closer to the Grey Hulk (but without the temperament to be a Vegas bouncer). Some fans have dubbed this incarnation the “Grayvage” Hulk.



When the Hulk was exiled to another planet, and became a gladiator and later king, he had a similar persona to this. This incarnation, with more of a use for armor than weapons than fists, is largely known as the “Green scar”.

In the “Original sin” crossover, the Hulk’s mind was altered, making him once more intelligent, although intelligent in a separate persona from Bruce Banner. This new incarnation-which kept Banner suppressed for the most part-was bent on mainly using his strength and intelligence to de-power other beings affected by gamma radiation, although he soon realized the error of his ways. This Hulk largely vanished after the recent “Secret Wars”, as the Hulk was depowered once again and more recently shot dead while as Banner in the “Civil War II” comics events.



Doctor Who history-Beasts above and below

The Doctor and Amy’s first stop is in the future, aboard the starship UK, where England’s population has settled on a giant spaceship.


However, the ship has a secret-it’s being propelled by a giant space whale, who apparently might be enslaved by the populace when it came to Earth.

The Doctor is appalled by this, and figures he has to choose between the people on the UK starship and the whale’s life. He figures that he might have to lobotomize the whale, keeping it moving but leaving it’s higher functions dead. However, Amy is able to figure out a solution that helps both parties, as it turns out with the whale’s control disabled, it’s still willing to help out humans-as that had been it’s purpose in coming to Earth to help humanity.

However, another crack in time appears on the ship’s hull as the Doctor leaves…


The next adventure takes the Doctor into the past, into World War II, where Winston Churchill is fighting the blitz. He wants to show off his new secret weapon to fight the nazis to the Doctor, but the Doctor is horrified when he discovers that it is, in fact, a Dalek-and there’s more of them.

However, things are strange. The Daleks are acting like servants to Churchill and his soldiers, giving them tea and fighting nazis. Churchill claims that they were robots-“Ironsides”-invented by a scientist. The Daleks even have a union jack on their casings, as well as supplies and an army green color. What’s even more puzzling to the Doctor is that Amy doesn’t recognize the Daleks-although she was around when the Daleks invaded and stole the Earth.

Eventually, this angers the Doctor, who proclaims “I am the Doctor and you are the Daleks.” This then reveals the Dalek’s plan-they needed a ‘testimony’ from him to get a machine to recognize them as Daleks, as their original DNA has degraded. Turns out the scientist was a Dalek robot made to look human. This machine, in turn, creates five new Daleks-taller, multi-colored, with each given a specific role.



With the aid of some retrofitted spitfires modified to fly in space due to the robot professor choosing to fight his former masters, the Doctor is able to at least chase the Daleks from Earth-but they head back to their home planet Skaro, where they plan to rebuild the Dalek race.


Although his worst enemies have returned back and better than ever, the Doctor is also troubled by Amy not knowing anything about the Daleks. It’s clear something’s not quite right. As the Doctor leaves Churchill’s bunker, something familiar appears on the walls-another crack.


Doctor Who History-The Eleventh Hour

In 2010, Doctor Who underwent a major change. Not only was the series getting a new Doctor and companion, but also a new producer and head writer,Steven Moffat.


The Doctor’s regenerated into his eleventh incarnation, but unfortunately, the energy released has damaged the TARDIS inside and out. The out of control ship crash-lands into the backyard of a young girl, Amelia Pond. The new, disoriented Doctor greets her, and then tries to eat some of her food to test out his new body’s taste buds.


After a few tries he settles for fish fingers in custard.

Amelia points out something that’s been troubling her-a strange, talking and glowing crack in her wall. The voice appears to be warning that a mysterious “prisoner Zero” has escaped.


However, before he’s able to investigate further, the Doctor has to return to the TARDIS to stabilize the damaged systems, leaving Amelia behind.

The Doctor eventually returns to the house, except it’s day and he gets knocked on the head by a female police officer.

However, it soon turns out that she really isn’t a police officer-she’s a “kissogram”, a person who delivers messages and kisses, sometimes in costume. And she’s also Amelia Pond (Although now she prefers to be known as Amy), now 23-and not too pleased with being left behind. Turns out she’s also been obsessed with the Doctor since their first encounter (Twelve years for her, a few minutes for him due to the TARDIS being unreliable with time travel sometimes), with people ridiculing her about her belief in the ‘raggedy Doctor”.



However, now now’s the time for explanation. Prisoner Zero-a snake-like creature that can also take the shape of certain humans-has escaped from the crack, and is now being tracked by an interplanetary police force known as the Atraxi (Who look like giant eyeballs), who want to locate Prisoner Zero-or else they’ll destroy the Earth.

As the Doctor tries to find a solution, he also meets Amy’s boyfriend, Rory Williams, a slightly hapless male nurse who is surprised that the man that many presumed was Amy’s imaginary friend is in fact real.


Eventually, the Doctor is able to chat using a laptop with a group of scientists, and uploads a program that broadcasts the location of Zero to the Atraxi so they can claim their prisoner. Before vanishing, Zero has a cryptic warning for the Doctor: “The Pandorica will open, and silence will fall”.

Having saved the Earth, the Doctor then switches into his new outfit-with a tweed jacket, suspenders, and to top it off, a bow tie.


The Atraxi insist that Earth is in danger from the various alien menaces, but the Doctor tells him that he’s always protected it, and tells them to leave.

His adventure done, and his regeneration stabilized the new Doctor, who due to his youth, is a lot less vain and more compassionate to others than his prior incarnation, although he has a certain swagger and tendency to be amazed by pretty much everything.

As he enters the TARDIS, the console room has rebuilt itself, as well, giving it a fresh, if somewhat less organic and more patchwork-look. It also pops out a new sonic screwdriver.


The Doctor eventually returns to Amy’s backyard, and offers companionship to her (although due to the TARDIS being what it is, she’s had to wait two years). He also assures her of the ‘coolness’ of his new look.

The two then set off to begin new adventures together. Although Amy has failed to note, she’s engaged to Rory-and the wedding is tomorrow!



The Incredible Hulk-Transformations Part I

The Incredible Hulk, or mainly just the Hulk, is considered one of Marvel’s most popular and enduring characters-spawning a well-known 70s-80’s TV series, as well as two films and having a major supporting role in Marvel’s cinematic universe Avengers films.  Basically, in all his media, he’s a brilliant scientist working with gamma radiation, who gets caught in his experiments and, during times of stress, changes into a large, green brute with super strength.However, he’s generally known mainly for his “savage” incarnation-big, green, with a mop of wild hair, and childlike intellect. Most adaptations have reflected this, although they’ve never been as talkative as the comic counterpart.

However, the Hulk didn’t start out green and dumb, but gradually became that way as his creators-Stan Lee and Jack Kirby-worked on developing the character.

The Hulk however, started out grey in his first issue, and had a generally smaller, more grotesque, almost “Frankenstein” style look to him. He also seemed somewhat intelligent, but with a brutish mean streak. Instead of the transformations being related to stress or anger, they were nocturnal, like a werewolf. Even though starting with issue #2 his color turned green, the basic physical and mental look of this Hulk would last into the mid 60s before transition to the more savage look.



However, this Hulk would be revived in the late 80s, when a series of experiments intended to cure Bruce Banner go awry, reverting him to this initial state. This gray Hulk-after being presumed dead-briefly took a job as a Las Vegas casino bouncer and enforcer, Mr. Fixit (here with one of Wolverine’s semi alter-ego “Patch”) when the Banner persona was briefly supressed. He was also physically weaker than the savage incarnation.



It was later established that this Hulk inhabits a seperate place in Banner’s mind, and at one point, he could transform into both incarnations, which unfortunately led to a battle for dominance.



Eventually, Banner’s psychiatrist was able to merge the three personas into one-The “Merged” Hulk, aka the professor, who possessed the green hue, fighting prowess and strength of the savage hulk, the attitude of the grey hulk, but the general morality and intelligence of Bruce Banner. He largely stayed in this Hulk incarnation most of the time,  which definetly saved his clothes from constantly being ripped out of shape…

Although given his heroics, that happened anyway…


This Hulk was the main incarnation for much of the early-to-mid 90s.

The next blog post in this category will explore some of the lesser-known incarnations (although still popular in their own way)-The Green scar, the “Grayvage” Hulk, the mindless Hulk, and the recent “Doc Green”.


50 years of Star Trek-the basics

50 years ago, the popular “space opera” TV series Star Trek aired it’s first episode, “The Man Trap.” Since then, it’s become somewhat of a major global success, and has influenced several other series, including it’s own sequels, films, and spinoffs.

This post will sort of give a rough idea of what the series is about.

The premise behind the series is that after a devestating third world war, mankind develops faster-than-light travel and makes first contact with an alien race. Eventually, they form a utopian society, where most wars, diseases, and other problems have been eradicated, or don’t happen as often. They also develop new technology, such as the transporter-allowing instantenous transport from a space vessel to a planet’s surface and vice versa, and the phaser, an energy weapon.Meeting more alien races, they eventually form a United Federation of Planets, although one that borders some civilizations that don’t necessarily share the Federation’s idea of peace-among them, the warrior race known as the Klingons, and the secretive Romulans.

One of the Federation’s aims is to explore the galaxy. To this end, they have formed Starfleet, a semi-military organization devoted to not only exploration, but also defense and diplomacy. Among Starfleet’s ships is the Enterprise, whose legacy is the main subject of many of the series and all the films.

The Various incarnations of the Enterprise.

The first Star Trek pilot was actually developed in 1965, and featured a radically different crew from what we would eventually get, with Captain Christopher Pike commanding the ship, along with Number One (Majel Barret) and Spock, who would the only cast member retained for a second pilot. The plot dealt with Pike and his crew investigating some shipwrecked survivors, only for Pike to be trapped by aliens as an experiment. Although unaired, the pilot’s footage and continuity was incorporated into a later original series episode.


A year and a half later, the reworked Star Trek debuted on TV, with Nimoy returning as science officer Spock, but introducing a new captain-James T. Kirk (William Shatner), as well as Dr. McCoy (Deforrest Kelley). The three would form a sort of trinity, with Spock being the voice of logic, and McCoy the voice of emotion, with Kirk heeding their advice in making command decisions. Also part of the crew were Lt. Uhura (Communications) Sulu (Helmsman) Scotty (Engineering) Chapel (Nurse) and starting with the second season, Chechov (Navigation as well as science support, and eventually also tactical)



The series lasted for 79 episodes, before ratings forced it’s cancellation. Although not highly rated during it’s initial run, the show soon gained a massive cult following in reruns and syndication.

It was briefly revived as a low-budget animated series in the early 70’s, featuring many of the cast returning to voice their characters, as well as two new alien characters.




Eventually however, there was a more major revival. Initially, there were plans to make a sequel series called “Phase II”. The series nearly entered production, when, after the success of “Star Wars”, it was decided to make a film series instead. Using some of the ideas, cast, and sets from Phase II, the original crew-along with a few newcomers-were reunited for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.



The film featured the crew reuniting aboard a revamped Enterprise as a mysterious space entity heads towards Earth. The film was mostly criticized as lacking the charm and humor of the original series, and also making the characters somewhat cold towards each other. However, the film made enough to justify a sequel.


That sequel was the Wrath of Khan, which reworked the movie series with new uniforms, as well as more humor and action. The plot deals with Kirk and Spock using the Enterprise as a training ship for Starfleet cadets, when one of Kirk’s old enemies from the original series-Khan-escapes from exile and plans to take revenge on Kirk. Kirk also discovers he has an adult son. The film ended with the shocking death of Spock. Today, it’s still considered one of the best films.

The next two films-The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home-turn the crew into fugitives, as they discover that Spock can be revived, but they have to break starfleet rules to do it. This proves costly, although Spock is brought back, Kirk’s son is killed and Kirk is forced to destroy the Enterprise. Eventually however, they save the Earth from a giant space probe trying to communicate with the now extinct humpback whales (by going back in time to 1986 to pick some up), and have the charges lifted, although Kirk is demoted back to Captain. They even get a brand new Enterprise, the Enterprise A.


The Voyage Home was followed by The Final Frontier and the Undiscovered Country. “Frontier” was mainly panned by critics and didn’t make too much money, but Undiscovered Country largely redeemed the film series, but having a send-off for the original crew as they play a vital role in the beginning of a peace with the Klingons.

In 1987, after success of  the films, it was decided to once again try Star Trek on TV again. The result was Star Trek: The Next Generation. Taking place seventy years later, the show featured a new Enterprise (The “D”), with new technology such as a ‘holodeck’ able to create simulated environments. The crew included Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart), an occasionally strict but compassionate commander; Riker, the ladies-man first officer; Deanna Troi (Marina Sitris), Riker’s former love interest and an emphatic consular, Data(Brent Spiner), an emotionless android and chief of operations; Geordi Laforge (Levar Burton), initially the helmsman but later chief engineer; Worf (Michael Dorn), a Klingon security officer who eventually becomes tactical officer; Tasha Yar, the initial tactical and security chief, and Beverly and Wesley Crusher, the chief medical officer and her teen son.


The series would outlast the original series, running seven seasons and spawning four films. It also introduced several new alien species that would become important in later series, such as the Cardassians and the Borg (A cyborg race).Throughout the years, some changes were made. Uniforms were updated, Picard lightened up, Worf had a son, Riker grew a beard, Yar was killed off, Crusher left and then returned-and Wesley eventually left for Starfleet academy. In addition, supporting characters were added or expanded, such as Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) and Miles O’ Brien (Colm Meaney).


Next Generation also spawned four feature films. The first, Generations, had Picard team up with Kirk-trapped in a fantasy-world anomaly for decades-to stop a madman trying to destroy a star (The adventure also killed off Kirk.) This also featured the destruction of the Enterprise D. In First Contact, Picard and the crew, with a new Enterprise, go back in time to stop the Borg from destroying the Federation before it’s ever created, by destroying the first warp ship.

The next film, Insurrection, had Picard violate Starfleet’s orders to save a group of people with near immortality from being displaced by an attempt to harvest their secrets. Finally, Nemesis has Picard face a clone who has taken over the Romulan Empire. This adventure also featured the death of Data, and most of the ship’s crew leaving to take on new responsibilties and commands.

Next Generation spawned a spinoff, “Deep Space Nine”. This sees a Federation crew take control of a Cardassian space station near the deeply spiritual planet of Bajor, recently freed from Cardassian rule, and also near a stable wormhole leading to a new sector of the galaxy unreachable by warp. Led by Borg survivor Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), and featuring Bajor’s liason Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) Doctor Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) bar owner and con-man Quark (armin Shimmerman) Security officer Constable Odo (Rene Auderjonis) science officer Dax (Terry Farrell) TNG alumni Colm Meaney as chief O’ Brien, and eventually Worf, who helps out when the peace with the Klingons is briefly lost.


The show dealt with darker subject matter than the other series, and largely did not take place on a ship, although the station was eventually equipped with the Defiant, a more war-minded ship intended to be used against the Borg (Which it is able to briefly do in First Contact in a cameo role), but eventually put to use against the Dominion-a group led by Odo’s race, the Founders.



Around the time of Deep Space Nine’s third season, another spinoff was developed, Star Trek Voyager. Dealing with a ship intending to hunt federation rebels known as the Maquis, but ending up on the other side of the galaxy due to an entity, where the crew forms an alliance with the rebels (many of whom are former starfleet officers). They also pick up some new members-the alien Neelix (Ethan Phillips), who becomes the ship’s cook, and his girlfriend, Kes (Jennifer Lien); eventually they also liberate Borg woman “Seven of Nine” (Jeri Ryan), who also becomes a crew member. The crew featured Captain Janeway (Kathryn Mulgrew) first officer Chakotay (Roger Beltran) operations officer Harry Kim (Garret Wang) helmsman Tom Paris (Robert Duncan Macneill) half-klingon engineer B’lanna Torres (Roxann Dawson) tactical/security officer Tuvok (Tim Russ) and a holographic doctor known simply as “the Doctor” (Robert Picardo).

As they were in unknown space and without anyway to contact the Federation or get home quickly enough, the series dealt mainly with them discovering new planets and species, as well as often bartering for supplies. They also encountered more familiar villains, most notably the Borg.

The final spin-off for many years was Star Trek: Enterprise. Whereas the other shows mostly took place in the Next Generation era, this one took a new approach, dealing with an era a hundred years before, with the Federation not developed and Earth still not quite sure of it’s place in a larger universe. In addition, most of the familiar Star Trek technology hasn’t been invented yet (such as faster warp drives, holodecks, and instant food creating replicators) and some are still in a testing phase (the transporter). The crew are on the first ship to be called “Enterprise”, a prototype capable of Warp five, and are mainly on a mission of exploration, although they soon become involved in other conflicts, mainly a temporal “cold war” dealing with time travelers, and a threat from an alien race known as the Xindi who are developing a weapon that could destroy the Earth.

The crew of this series included Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) his first/science officer and Vulcan liaison T’pol (Jolene Balock) Charles “Trip” Tucker III (Coneer Trineer) tactical and security Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating) communications officer Hoshi Sato (Linda Park) helmsman Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery) and alien doctor Phlox (John Billinsgely).

Ultimately though, the show didn’t quite gain the ratings and acclaim of the other spinoffs, and was cancelled after four seasons.

In 2009 the Star Trek series was brought back on film, seven years after “Nemesis” with a new cast portraying the original crew, as well as a new look for the original Enterprise. Still in continuity, it explained that the older Spock (Leonard Nimoy) had gone back in time-along with a group of angry romulans-and had created an alternate timeline in part by altering the circumstances of Kirk’s upbringing, and he needs to encourage the young Kirk to fulfill his destiny as Enterprise captain. The film and it’s sequels-Into Darkness and Beyond-largely have focused more on action and humor than it’s predecessors.



The ‘reboot’ cast has Chris Pine (Kirk) Zachary Quinto (Spock ) Karl Urban (McCoy) Zoe Saldana (Uhura) Simon Pegg (Scotty) John Cho (Sulu) and Anton Yelchin (Chechov).

As of this writing, a new series is in development for CBS’s online streaming service. Known as “Discovery” not much is known yet  except that it takes place a decade before the events of the original series and features this ship.