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Uncredited Contributions, Homages, etc.



The Vampire Lestat (March 2006 New York stage production of the musical by songwriters Elton John and Bernie Taupin, based on the Anne Rice novel)
“The New York version of the Lestat musical has a scene [which wasn't in the novel or the San Francisco version of the play] in which Nicki pleads 'Release me.' This assisted suicide of Nicolas wanting to go into the fire with the words 'Release me' is not from The Vampire Lestat. This is a scene from the film and novel The Hunger by Whitley Strieber.”
     “[In The Hunger] David Bowie's vampire character, John Blaylock, is withering. His maker, a blonde haired, French woman has not yet perfected the process of turning human beings into vampires. John's body has started to wither and age and soon he would be trapped within his own frail and immobile shell, doomed for all eternity. He knows what he is in for and that is why he forces the words 'Release me.'” (Courtesy of "Lestat de Lioncourt", a Lestat fan's blog)



TV Series: CSI
Episode: "Leapin' Lizards"
Episode # Season 7, Ep 22
Original airdate May 3, 2007
Gil Grissom finds a clue inside the Whitley Strieber issue of UFO Magazine. This is an actual copy of the August 2006 issue; it was not something created for the show. Anne Strieber said in blog entry that Whitley doesn't care for the photo which is used on the cover, “...he says it makes him look like some sort of Communist dictator.” You can't quite see it in on screen, but the magazine's art department added aliens standing in the windows of the building behind him.

 


TV Series: Farscape
Episode: Lava's A Many Splendored Thing

Episode# Season 4, Ep 04
Original Air Date: 28 June 2002
The “Cool Farscape Facts” section of Farscape's DVD release of episode #404 states “The costume of the belly dancing alien is inspired by the aliens Whtley Streiber [sic] describes in his book Communion. Dave Elsey felt that it was about time that the traditional 'gray' aliens made an appearance.” The dancer in the alien mask was Christina Ramon, a Brasilian-born Samba expert who lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Dave Elsey was creative supervisor of Farscape's Creature Shop (part of The Jim Henson Company).
     Test shots of this costume were also featured on the front cover of Makeup Artist Magazine, issue date unknown.
     Click for photo #1, Click for photo #2 courtesy of and copyright Image Creative Partnership.

TV Series: Babylon 5
Episode: All Alone in the Night

Episode# Season 2, Ep 11
Original Air Date: 16 Feb1995
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
“All Alone in the Night” is the 11th episode of Babylon 5's second season. Captain John Sheridan of the 23rd century space station Babylon 5 is kidnapped and held captive on an alien ship. The alien race who kidnap Sheridan are the Streib, a subtle play upon the surname of Whitley Strieber, the author of Communion. The visual design of the Streibs is based on the aliens commonly known as "greys", the large-headed grey-skinned humanoids with large, slanted elliptical eyes that are commonly associated with alien abductions. (Thanks to Jan Johnson-Smith, author of American Science Fiction TV: Star Trek, Stargate and Beyond, for the tip).

The Best of the 92 KQRS Morning Show: Volume VI
CD sold by KROQ Radio of Minnesota
1995

(This doesn't really belong in this section but I am not sure where else to put it)

A portion of Whitley Strieber's phone interview with KROQ's morning show appears on the comedy disc "The Best of the 92 KQRS Morning Show Vol 6". The reason for the humor is that Whitley comes across as really depressed, and the hosts can't seem to stir him out of his funk. (Ok, so perhaps that is only funny to people who have no empathy). The CD was sold to raise funds for Missing Children Minnesota, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization helping parents search for lost children.


Book: The Hardy Boys:
Case of the Cosmic Kidnapping

The Hardy Boys Mystery Stories #120,
published June 1993
Minstrel Books; ISBN: 0671793101 (out of print)

The character of “Hodding Wheatley, a Connecticut based writer who had undergone UFO experiences,” may sound familiar. Wheatley is Whitley! Unfortunately we don't know who to thank for this little homage, as all Hardy Boys book writers are anonymous scribes paid flat fees for their stories.



TV Series: The X-Files
Episode: Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'

Episode# 3x02
Original Air Date: 12 April 1996
Written by Darin Morgan, Directed by Rob Bowman

The X-Files art department tips their hat to Whitley Strieber by making the cover of Jose Chung's book, From Outer Space, a spitting image (or rather, a smoking image) of Communion.


Feature Film: Innocent Blood (1992)
In the vampire film Innocent Blood directed by John Landis, which is reminiscent of Whitley Strieber's novel and film The Hunger in that the vampires are never referred to as vampires, the mob kingpin turned vampire Sal “The Shark” Macelli declares “We've got the muscle. We've got the hunger. We'll crack this town like a lobster.” Possibly Sal just likes to eat seafood, but it may be a nod to The Hunger.

The band Skinny Puppy reportedly samples dialogue from Communion in their song “Nature's Revenge” on their album Too Dark Park (1990). The male voice is Christopher Walken but I do not recognize the dialogue as being from Communion. Possibly from a scene when Walken's character visits a support group?

Are you scared like we are?
Whitley Strieber (Christopher Walken): I'm not scared.
What are you?

The “screamo” band PG.99 (“page 99”) recorded a song “By the Fireplace in White” (on the album Document 5) featuring someone reading passages from Communion at the end. Possibly Roddy McDowall, reader of the audiobook edition of Communion?

TV Series: Twin Peaks (by David Lynch, 1990)
“The owls are not what they seem.”

In the Twin Peaks FAQ, Trevor Blake suggests that the owl symbolism in Twin Peaks is similar to that found in Communion: “These owls are 'not what they seem' (Twin Peaks episode 8); they are a mask worn by a sinister nonhuman being (episodes 9, 14) when that visitor from another place takes someone away (episode 17). They are encountered in the woods (episodes 4, 16, 19) although they are not of this planet (episode 9). Owls are the only memory he has of the encounter (episode 20): later, through hypnosis, Strieber is able to recall the entire incident as well as other times the 'owls' have been watching him (episodes 4, 5, 21).
     “Communion was published in 1987, three years before Twin Peaks was first broadcast. It was (and remains) tremendously popular. The use of owls in Twin Peaks reminded me of the owls in Communion right away,” Blake continues. “By the time these owls were linked to messages from outer space (episode 19) I knew Communion was an influence on where the series was heading. I recommend Communion as a good read in itself, but especially for those interested in the source for ideas in Twin Peaks.”
     The character of Donna Hayward is also outfitted with some large, black, alien-esque sunglasses in some episodes.
     For a more detailed comparison, search the internet for the Twin Peaks FAQ

TV Series: The Hunger
Showtime cable-tv horror anthology series,
created by Tony and Ridley Scott, 1998, 1999

This anthology series is named after the film The Hunger (1983), and some episodes are directed by Tony Scott, who directed the film. However, the relationship of the title is not to the Whitley Strieber story from which the film was derived, but rather to the visual style of Tony Scott. Additionally, some episodes featured David Bowie, who starred with Catherine Deneuve in the film. In the episode Sanctuary, directed by Tony Scott, Bowie portrays an obsessed artist with a penchant for the macabre and Giovanni Ribisi as his unwitting victim. In subsequent episodes, Bowie serves as the host of the program.

TV Series: The X-Files:
Episode: Detour
Episode#5X04 (Season 5, Episode 4)
Original Air Date: 23 Nov 1997
Written by Frank Spotnitz, Directed by Brett Dowler


Writing credit for THE X-FILES episode Detour is given to Frank Spotnitz, Co-Executive Producer of THE X-FILES, however the storyline comes from Whitley Strieber’s novel The Wolfen (Particularly, from the film adaptation). Both feature packs (or pairs) of hunting creatures with keen intelligence and stealth attempting to prevent encroachment on their territory and the discovery of their existance.

In Wolfen (the film), the creatures’ territory is invaded as development encroaches on the ruins of Harlem:

In Detour, the creatures’ territory is invaded as development encroaches on their forest. 

In Wolfen, the creatures leave footprints that appear to be animal with qualities of the human:

In Detour, the creatures leave footprints which appear to be human with qualities of the animal.

In Detour, as in Wolfen, the story advances when the creatures leave their territory with the intent of eliminating those who have seen them and are aware of their existence.
Both the Wolfen and Detour's Mothmen are multiple in number and hunt by using lupine tactics (as demonstrated in the X-Files when the large group of officials are cleverly seperated into two smaller, easier-to-attack groups). Had the X-Files created a single Mothman, it would not have been able to hunt in this manner.

The Wolfen are nearly invisble to humans due to hundreds of years of developing stealthy characteristics.

(Through deft body movements they can escape our attention, and they can move at such speeds as to become a mere blur even when directly in view).

When this fails, they have a keen intelligence which leads them to conclude that they must preserve their secret - no matter what the cost is in human life.

Detour's Mothmen are nearly invisible to humans due to hundreds of years of developing stealthy characteristics.

(They have a cameleonlike ability to blend into their surroundings, and are mere distortions even when directly in view).

When this fails, they, like the Wolfen, kill to preserve their secret: That they have killed others who were aware of their existence is not only a theory expoused by Agent Mulder but is implied from the skeletal remains of victims seen in the Mothmen’s lair.

In Wolfen, as in Detour, the creatures are pursued through the use of heat sensitive cameras...
...and during this effort (in both Wolfen and Detour), some of the protagonists are felled, leaving only the male and female protagonists (Mulder and Scully in Detour, Wilson and Becky in Wolfen) to see the story to the end.

To dismiss the similarities as coincidence would require both the dismissal of the similar characteristics the “Mothmen” share with the “Wolfen” as well as the dismissal of the similar plot structure (resituated from the city to the forest, but in many ways left intact - and we haven't even mentioned other common elements, such as the wonderment at the creature's ability to lock or unlock doors and windows, and the creature's awareness of a relationship between the lead protagonists, expressed in the X-Files by an otherwise mysterious scene in which Scully sings to Mulder to keep him conscious, during which time the creatures do not attack).
     Character and plot taken together lead to the overwhelming conclusion that Detour is derived largely in whole and certainly in part from Whitley Strieber’s well known horror novel, The Wolfen. That television series often mine films for plots is hardly news, but what is surprising is the extent to which the story was duplicated, and, given this extent, the lack of credit, when credit is clearly deserved.
      The possibility that Whitley Strieber was hired by the producer of the X-Files, Chris Carter, to adapt his novel for the show is possible. Whitley Strieber is certainly known to Mr. Carter. Strieber participated in 1998’s “Secrets of the X-Files” television special, appearing on screen twice to comment upon the X-Files use of alien imagery and the similarity of it to real life accounts. (Incidentally, on that program, Strieber’s name was misspelled when he appeared on screen). A couple years earlier, Strieber’s book The Secret School was reviewed / promoted in the X-Files official magazine.
     What would make the lack of credit somewhat curious is that previously when the X-Files hired famous horror writers to write episodes of the series (William Gibson and Steven King), they had promoted the fact with fierce advertising campaigns.
      The difference may be explained by the fact that what Strieber had (possibly) written for the X-Files (or had allowed Frank Spotnitz to adapt) was not a new story, but an adaptation of his most famous early book. If the comparison was known, the author’s identity known, it may have been regarded as a lesser effort. With no such comparison, the reaction was overwhelmingly favorable:
     Fangoria magazine wrote, “Arguably the best of the first batch of new episodes....Spotnitz makes the most of his ideas.”
     Spotnitz indeed!