A visit to the Forbidden Planet.

By Richard A. Coyle

This was one of the great Science Fiction movies of all time, and one of my first films.  I saw Forbidden Planet as young boy and absolutely loved it.  In fact, I think I fell in love with Anne Francis, too, as she became the model of a woman I sought most of my life.   And how I wished for Robby to be my big brother and chase the school yard bullies away.  This fantasy became even more meaningful after Robby’s second adventure, “The Invisible Boy,” came out, where a boy about my age (then) did indeed become owner and friend of Robby.


 My boyhood dream would finally come true decades later after the advent of the personal computer, when I was able to combine a picture of me taken with Gort from “The Day The Earth Stood Still” with a picture of Robby and a shot of the C57D space ship standing on Altar Four.   By using Corel Photo Paint, I was able to take my photo with Gort, originally taken in a camera shop on Ventura Boulevard in North Hollywood where one of the real stand-in fiberglass props was on display, and combined it to make my boyhood fantasy complete.

It goes with out saying that I hunted down all I could find and experience from Forbidden Planet over the years.  Without question, though, my two greatest discoveries were meeting the film’s renowned collector, Mr. William Malone, and of course, my hero, Robby. 

I must digress to point out that besides being Forbidden Planet's number one fan, William Malone has also become a fine director.  His third film, “House on  Haunted Hill,” has just come out, and I can’t wait to see it.  I had the wonderful opportunity to work on his second film, “Creature,” and thanks to his gracious support, I received my only film credit during that production.  Ironically, my work on “Creature” included recreating the original Master Computer from “The Invisible Boy” for use as the main computer panel in this film.  My enjoyment of  “Creature” was greatly enhanced when I realized Bill was making a subtle sequel to “Forbidden Planet.”   With his use of many  Krell Lab set parts from his personal collection, he dressed the set of the alien specimen lab of this film and paid further homage with various lines from FP.  One such reference was a line hinting  at the origins of this lab being from an alien collection that included items from a visit to our solar system. “Ten thousand century's ago…” a line right out of FP, when Doctor Morbius explained that the Krell had visited Earth and brought back specimens, like the deer and the tiger.

With my early visit to Bill Malone's home, I obtained a few shots of the FP props and went home to recreate my own copy of the famed “simple” Blaster.


Here are a few shots of Bill’s original Blaster.  Unfortunately, I seem to have lost the full shot of the blaster together, so all I have left are these two shots with the rear cap removed.  Bill was kind enough to give me a pair of blaster body vacuum-formed shells from his own run of Blasters years ago, along with a casting of the rear cap.  From these parts I recreated my own version of the Blaster, which some of you may have seen.

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