Stargate Archives

Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Dresden Files Disk1

Birds of a Feather
Harry is approached by a young boy who believes he is being watched by monsters and fears
for his life and his mothers. Harry is persuaded by Bob to give the boy the benefit of the
doubt and learns that there have been forces at play since his birth.
This was the first episode of the series proper and we have Bob as an actual visible entity
rather than a skull with flashing eyes as he was in the pilot and novel. This makes some sense
for a television show, easier for the viewer to accept the character and Terrance Mann does
a great job as the cynical yet ultimately helpful spirit.
Harry with a stay over night girlfriend is very different from the novels, perhaps an attempt
to make him the "traditional" male hero and they gave Murphey a daughter which quite frankly
hamstrings most of the characters back story.
Overall not a bad episode to kick off a new show, a decent story with some nice effects and it
certainly did enough to keep me watching when first aired. On this rewatch however being very
familiar with the original source material I find quite a bit of the back ground information offered
up and characterisations to be too jarring.

The Boone Identity
Harry is called in to aid a antique dealer who believes his mudered daughter is haunting the shop. Harry experiences her presence and events of the night she died which point leads him into a closed police investigation.
A number of coincidences point Harry to a devote of Egyptian mythology and the revelation of the power of the stolen artefact.
This episode like the first has no direct link to the novels but gives us a nice story with a human
element and a healthy does of mysticism, mythology and the supernatural as well as a good
old fashioned bunch of bad guys. It does however show us the promise that Murphy demanded of
Harry in so far as he was always to be honest with her, a failing which leads to no end of
trouble in the early novels. It is perhaps the best part of this episode for a fan of the books
even allowing for obvious issues of how Harry kept everything from the police with his only ally

Hair of the Dog
It's werewolf time along come the FBI which has echos of the second novel "Fool Moon", alas
not even in the same league but as cliched werewolf stories go I had no real problems with it.
There are a few twists and turns and a victim we can root for as well the usual bad guy types who we can despise at our lesiure and cheer their comeuppance. In terms of the investigation we do see why having a real "Bob" helps in telling a TV story although obviously takes something away from Harry's own skill set.
There is a nice nod to Kirby the Werewolf from the novels in the name of bar where the story begins and the overall resolution which is very similar to the fate of Susan in the novels.

Rules of Engagement
A beautiful woman walks in the door and hires Harry, ok sounds like the start of "Summer Knight"
but again it wasn't to be but maybe these echoes of the novels are not a bad thing because
it's better than no references to the books at all.
To underline this a crispy body with nothing but a piece of untouched skin on the victims palm turns up,
yep you know what I am getting at:)
An uber Hellion (Demon) with an understanding between himself and the high "white" council is
chasing  down a rogue lesser hellion (human turned into a demon) whose role it is to corrupt other
humans with a woman smack bang in the middle. As we come to know, Harry can't resist a woman
in distress, it's a running theme throughout the novels and it's demonstrated admirably in this story
when despite being fired he can not walk away and even risks his life to help her.
This was probably my favourite episode off the first DVD, over the top bad guy, Harry at his"soft touch"
best and some nice effects although Morgan being more friendly to Harry just doesn't sit right.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Dresden Files TV series rewatch

The Dresden Files started out and still exists as an ongoing series of novels by Jim Butcher. They tell the story of one member of a global magical community who operates in the open, even advertisers himself as a wizard in the Chicago phone book. In this feature length pilot (unaired as such and later edited into an episode) the creators have adapted the first novel "Storm Front" in which Harry Dresden investigates the death of a young woman and a mobster at the behest of Murphy a Chicago cop. Complications arise as Harry finds himself dealing with demons and vampires as well as dodging the cops who he doesn't always tell the whole truth too.

Taken as a comparison to the novel there are some fundamental changes and alas not for the better but perhaps understandable when adapting any book to the small screen. The loss of the character of Marcone and Macs as a focal point for the magical world are quite jarring as is the characterisation of Ancient Mai and Susan Rodriguez. They go into more depth with Harry's uncle Justin then you immediately get in the novel but while he is still shown as a bad guy they never really paint him as black as he was and confuse the issue with his involvement with Harry's mother. Justin's demise is shown in a more simple fashion but it's Harry's intent that is not quite as clear and he is shown as being much older again a decision perhaps made to show Harry not as the scared victim anymore which he really was in the novels.

This pilot which thanks to behind the scenes issues was not aired as the premiere to the series was then edited into the eighth episode and some of it's content spliced into other episodes during the series. When taken as a whole it's weakness in holding true to the novel is evident but that's probably a side effect of the lower budgets the likes of Syfy (Scifi as they were) operate within plus the tighter restrictions on standard and practices. I would really have liked to have seen these novels taken by HBO or Showtime who could invest and treat them in the adult manner they deserve. Alas that wasn't to be and while I think Paul Blackthorne did a magnificent job bringing Harry to life overall the pilot and subsequent series proper always struggled to live up to the wonderful and complex world Jim created.

I grabbed a copy of the pilot off the net as it's not included in the DVD boxset which can still be purchased from the usual DVD sources, it's pretty cheap and if a little supernatural fun and games is your thing I don't think you will be disappointed especially if you are new to the Dresden universe. If you've read the books first (I went from the TV to the books) then maybe steer clear as there is so much licence taken.

Saturday, 18 December 2010


Never laughed so much at a trailer which could be good or bad since we know how they manipulate trailers.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Syfy Cancels 'Stargate Universe'

Syfy Cancels 'Stargate Universe'

Alas ome sad but not unexpected news for fans of the more adult and harder edged science fiction drama. In the end the move to Tuesday and corresponding drop in “live” viewing figures regardless of good DVR and streamed viewing makes you wonder if Syfy were looking to dump perhaps their most expensive scripted show. Given the demise of Caprica they have certainly freed up a huge amount of cash and no offence to the creators of Haven or Eureka but they are far cheaper shows to produce.

RIP Destiny

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Guild Comic

The trade issue of The Guild comic arrived from Amazon today, yeah on a Sunday go figure. It was a reasonable £6 although when a solid paperback is less you wonder how they can justify the price but I guess lower volume runs means higher prices.
Anyhow looks a quality product and I may have to set aside my annual read of Memory, Sorrow & Thorn to read about the early days of The Guild.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The 4400

I'm currently half way through a rewatch of The 4400 the scifi series will tells the story of 4400 people who went missing over a 50+ year stretch only to return en-masse within a ball of light.

The DVD boxset was good value when I bought earlier this year and the video and audio quality is very good which is thankfully since there will not be a Blu-ray. I'm currently marvelling at the beauty that is Isabelle (Megalyn Echikunwoke) a delicate flower with a heart of pure ice who you really do not want to upset:)

THOR Trailer

I knew very little about the mythology of the Marvel character Thor so the trailer is certainly an eye opener.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Farscape Definitive DVD boxset

Probably a short term price but for now Amazon UK are doing the new Farscape DVD boxset for a fantastic £49.97 which is great for existing fans and any new to the series.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Space Battleship Yamato

It's one of those works I've heard a lot about over the years but never ever seen not being an anime fan.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Shrek:The Whole Story

I've ordered the US Blu-ray boxet simply because I prefer the original audio not the half arsed celebs they have doing the guest spots in the first movie, yeah it's costing me a few quid more than the UK release but it's worth it and it's region free which helps.