a monthly newsletter for friends of "Beauty and the Beast"

This is the news roundup from Nan Dibble and Helper's Network. Call the Central Hotline at 513-961-3317 or the East Hotline at 201-779-6040. The Helper's Network Gazette is available for: $1.25 per issue; $15.00 per year (US or abroad to Helper's Network, 379 Amazon Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220-1148; free on request to other sources of B&B information. Information here can be freely copied and shared. Ad rates: 1/2 page, $5; 1 page $10; 2 full sides, $15.00. Send check/MO and camera-ready copy to Helper's Network by/before the 25th of the month.

TNT has re-scheduled The Cisco Kid from December to February. They instead showed a TV movie about Geronimo. A theatrical movie about Geronimo was going to be released about a week later; apparently TNT wanted to show their version first and steal some of that other movie's thunder. Brief mentions in USA Today and The National Inquirer place the airdate for The Cisco Kid at February 6.

Cronos (now the official name) is Mexico's entry for next year's Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film. Contemplating Ron Perlman in a lifetime of minor roles as nasty heavies, it's nice to contemplate, instead, his first starring role in a feature film being in one that's being considered for an Oscar. Thanks to Darlene Sullivan for this item.

From Pamela Sondag of Faces of Perlman, a tentative release date for Cronos. It will premiere in NY at the end of March, then be released in LA and the rest of the country in April. See included article for a review.

From Darlene comes the news that both Cronos and Romeo is Bleeding, in which Ron Perlman has a small part, will be screened in the fifth annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, January 6-16.

Roy Dotrice's character, a priest, has definitely become recurring on Picket Fences. He's played the part twice, and at least two more appearances are already filmed and will air in 1994. His co-starring maybe-series, The Good Policeman, will begin airing as TV movies April 1st.

Beauty and the Beast will premiere on the SF channel on Jan. 3, shown daily at noon and six pm, Eastern Time. Helper Mary Tummon, in Briton, reports that the SF channel is picked up there by local systems, so B&B will again be seen worldwide.

In somewhat of an acquisitions coup, the SF channel has acquired the syndication rights for Quantum Leap. So though a lot of people's cable systems don't yet carry the SF channel (they currently reach 15 million homes, they say), know that B&B is in good company and still bringing its unique magic to yet another wave of viewers.

The SF channel is planning a B&B marathon on Valentine's day-15 of the most memorable and romantic episodes, back to back, as proposed by Nan Dibble at the kind request of Ray Kinella of the SF channel's programming department. Those lucky enough to get the SF channel will want to set up their VCRs for 15 hours of nonstop B&B, beginning with the pilot and ending with "When the Bluebird Sings," with nearly all of everyone's favorite episodes in between and perhaps with star interviews and other special things interspersed. That's Monday, Feb. 14th, beginning at noon and running through 2 am the following morning.

Starting sometime in January, the B&B books from Cinemaker will be carried by B. Dalton and Barnes and Noble stores all across the country. Not enough copies have yet been ordered to stock every store, but if you don't see them on the shelves, the books will be on the stores' computers; you'll be able to order through any Barnes and Noble or B. Dalton. This will also apply to the other books as they're published. All you'll need is title and author-no strange ISBN numbers to keep track of. In a related development, effective immediately, all the existing Cinemaker Books-for now, only those already published; later, each of the new books as it's published-can be ordered directly from Nan Dibble/Helper's Network. Ed Gross, of Cinemaker, plagued by back order problems and blessed with a new son (born early in November) at last took Nan up on her offer to take care of Cinemaker's order fulfillment.

For the moment, this involves two books: Nan's Beyond Words, Beyond Silence, and Prosser/Swope's Lost Yesterdays, Impossible Tomorrows. Each of the books, available from Nan only in paperback, is 9.95 plus 1.50 postage and handling. Make the check payable to Nan Dibble; she promises to ship within 24 hours of receiving any order. If, in past months, you ordered an EXISTING book from Cinemaker and didn't get it, send Nan a copy of the order and a copy of the check and she'll fill your order IMMEDIATELY. That goes for Europe, too, so please help Nan spread the word that she now handles the orders for Cinemaker Press, including back orders and books that, inexplicably, failed to arrive for any reason.

All the forthcoming books (except Perlman and the Beast) will be published in paperback only. The hardcover copies were driving the printing price for the whole run to astronomical heights and Ed now feels that issuing hardbacks, even as limited edition, isn't practical. If you have a preorder for a hardback, you'll need to take that up with Cinemaker directly; that's a problem/headache yet to be resolved. One problem at a time.

Nan accepts NO preorders. She wants to do everything possible to keep this operation on a pay now, get now basis, so everybody knows where they stand, with quick, reliable order fulfillment. When her new book, Bright Spirit Descending, is available-about February, by present guess-all copies ordered from her, she'll autograph (unless specifically asked NOT to do so). Even Barnes and Noble/B. Dalton can't offer you a deal like that. Orders from bookstores or anybody ordering more than 20 copies in a single order should still be directed to Cinemaker, not Nan. She's handling individual order fulfillment only.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, with Ron Perlman (briefly) as Pap Finn, is now available on video, and Free Willy, another newish video, has in its cast Jayne Atkinson, who played the abused wife Molly in "Trial". And Rising Sun has Ray Wise. Rosemarie Dunsmore, the defense lawyer in "Trial," has a small part in Cliffhanger; Lance Henricksen stars in the theatrical movie Man's Best Friend; new to video remake of Born Yesterday features brief appearances by Michael Ensign (Prof. Hughes, from "Nor Iron Bars a Cage") as the hotel manager and by Teri Hanauer (Jenny Aronson) as a Washington wife.

An accidental sighting by Nan Dibble: she happened, in the process of changing tapes, to catch a few moments of the McNeil/Lehrer news program which just happened to be featuring a segment on filming on location in Moscow. Before Nan could do more than blink, there was Ron Perlman, mustached, sitting at a table, just for a second. The segment was focused on Police Academy 7, Mission to Moscow, then still in production. Nan grabbed a fresh tape and frantically began taping, but got only David Graf wandering past as the reporter interviewed the director. Ron wasn't shown again, but Nan insists she saw him!

Nan Dibble announces an April Fool's contest. Everyone is invited to submit a funny, preferably preposterous hotline script, not too insulting to anyone and things one can say on the public phone lines. Entries should be a full typed page, single spaced, any margins. The winner will be credited and the winning entry will be read on the Helper's Network Hotline on April 1st. Final date for submissions will be March 25th. Start thinking funny!

Those who want a refund for the Christopher Caliendo tape should write and officially tell him so. Enclose a copy of your check, if it was cashed; give the check number, amount, and date. If it wasn't or if you sent a money order, give your name and address and say that you want a refund on your order since the tapes aren't going to be produced. Then keep a reference copy of everything you send. Send to the Aqua Tile Music Company, 821 3/4 20th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403.

More from Perlman fan Sandra Lawson, on doings behind the scenes on Ron Perlman's recent outing on The Untouchables: Sandi's acquaintance Buck McCall was Ron's stand-in during the filming of The Untouchables episode. According to Sandi, Ron Perlman REALLY doesn't like snakes-in a big way. The snakes he was working with either had their mouths secured with thread or had been milked of their venom just before the scene was shot. But let's face it: if you don't like snakes, a snake is a snake, even if the director assures you it's been milked. Directors always tell you things like that. Says Sandi, Ron went ahead anyway with his snake-handling role, even though it's easy to imagine that he didn't find it much fun. He even kissed one; we have photographic proof!

Nan Dibble announces that Helper Pat Arvin won the copy of Bright Spirit Descending in the drawing among charter members of Helper's Network at midnight, Dec. 31. Nan plans another drawing for those joining Helper's Network between now and Tunnelcon, with a prize yet to be determined. For membership info, send SASE to Helper's Network (address on first page).

Please send anything you want included to the Winter '94 Q-fer to Helper's Network by the middle of January. That includes zines for review, flyers on new zines, ads, and Swap Shop listings of zines you want or are willing to part with...either temporarily or forever. (No charge for Swap Shop listings.) Notice: the price of the Q-fer will go up by $2 beginning with the Winter '94 issue at the end of January. Full Q-fers will be $8; updates will be $5, to keep up with increased printing and mailing costs.

Some people have been very concerned at the possibility that Stephen McHattie, who played Gabriel, might be invited to Tunnelcon III next summer. Rest easy: it's not going to happen. Though he volunteered himself as a guest for Great Expectations and would evidently like to attend a B&B convention, Betty Nieswender states that (a) she hasn't invited anybody at this point; memberships are dragging (as is usual for convention sign-ups at this time of year; a good reason to send in your membership just as soon as you possibly can!) and she can't start contacting potential star guests until she has a fairly good idea of how many people will be attending and therefore how large the treasury for paying said guests will be; and (b) Betty has no plans to follow up on Mr. McHattie's overture of last year. She's not inviting him, he's not coming. That should put everyone's minds at ease on this topic.

Thanks to Kathy Bayne of the Official Armin Shimerman Information Service (OASIS) for the news that Armin is scheduled to appear at upcoming Creation conventions: at Houston, Jan. 8-9, and at Las Vegas, Feb. 5-6. March 18-20, Armin will be at the Creation Grand Slam Star Trek Show in Pasadena. For exact places and rates, contact Creation in California: 8180409-0960. Kathy also reports that a Quark action figure will be marketed in spring of '94.

From Beth Blighton, a sighting in a cable showlet on movies in production. Apparently Edward Albert has a new film, The New Kid, in which he plays a nasty, drunken, abusive stepfather. Jennifer O'Neill is also in it.

Starlog magazine has a special issue about writing for SF and fantasy, which includes an article about the writers credited with the story idea for "The Rest is Silence". The issue has a picture of Vincent in it. The magazine isn't the regular Starlog; it's called Starlog Presents SF TV writers, Platinum Edition, Vol.1. It's on sale now.

A request from fans of Highlander. Apparently Adrian Paul (Dmitri in "Ashes, Ashes") did a radio interview broadcast in early December around the country. If you or anyone you know, taped this interview, Highlander fans would really like to have a copy. If you have it, call Nan at home (513-961-4813) for contact information for Highlander fandom.

Courtesy of Linda Smith, an article by the late Andrew Rodriguez, a noted B&B fan. The article was printed in the Cornell University Newsletter:

Guillermo del Toro is the only one of the new generation from outside Mexico City (he's from Mexico's second largest city, Guadalajara). A devoted fan of horror films and comic books, del Toro made a couple of shorts and some episodes of Hora marcada, as well as working as a special effects and makeup artist on a handful of pictures before writing and directing Cronos (The Chronos Device, 1992). The improbable hero of this unusual vampire film is an elderly antique dealer who is turned into an unwilling vampire by a medieval device that houses a blood- drinking insect. Trouble arrives when a terminally diseased millionaire covets the device in the hope of gaining eternal life. (Editor's note: apparently Ron Perlman plays the millionaire's greedy nephew whom he sends to secure the device.) Del Toro dispenses with the cliches of the genre-fangs, coffins, and fear of crucifixes, daylight and garlic-in favor of a melancholic character whose craving for blood is a solitary vice akin to drug-taking (here is a vampire who won't hesitate to lick spilt blood off a public lavatory floor). The director expresses his admiration for masters of the genre such as Terence Fisher and Mario Bava through subtle visual references, while thematically the film is linked to David Cronenberg's obsession with the decay of the flesh. Witty and technically accomplished, Cronos is a post-modern vampire movie that isn't afraid to show its heart. Not surprisingly, del Toro has also begun to receive offers from Hollywood.

An interview with Armin Shimerman from TV ZONE, a British magazine (issue #48): Part 1 of 2. Kindly supplied by Gwen Lord of Helper's Network UK. Armin talks about the painful makeup and what he's done to remedy it. The portion of the article dealing with B&B follows, regrettably misspelling Armin's last name consistently:

TV Zone: Are you still associated with your work on Beauty and the Beast?

Shimmerman: Yes, a lot of people who are devoted to that show will occasionally come over and say hello, and say they loved the show, when I played Pascal. The great thing I've learned over the years about fans of Beauty and the Beast is that 99.9% of them are wonderful people who are just mesmerized by the show. In any fandom, there is going to be a very small percentage of people who are what you call "whackos", but basically they're people for whom that particular entertainment is very important, and they want to know more about it. The Beauty and the Beast fans tend to be really quiet, sensitive people who are intrigued by the romance and the gentleness of what that show was about. It was also a training ground, in a sense. I watched Ron Perlman deal with his makeup, I became aware of what fandom could be through that show, and I learned a lot of my craft of acting in front of a camera. It was both an education for me as well as a fun time. It was a great bunch of people.

TV Zone: Were you sorry when it was over?

Shimmerman: I think when any show goes off the air, especially after the two and a half years we were together, there is going to be a lot of disappointment. We also knew we were a class act. We knew that our scripts, our performers, and our directors were all trying to do the best TV they could with the format we had, and we also felt like many shows that are dropped, that our network had not been as supportive as they might have been.

On the other hand, Beauty and the Beast won all sorts of awards for quality TV, and Ron Perlman was nominated several times for an Emmy for his performance in the series.