Sunday, 29 July 2012

S.H.I.L.D. Internal Memo

Thanks to Jessica for tweeting the picture:)

Star Trek Marathon X

Star Trek Marathon X
Season 2 Disk 3

Journey To Babel
This is the episode where we first meet Spock's parents Sarek and Amanda played by Mark Lenard and Jayne Wyatt. A diplomatic meeting to decide the fate of the Coridan system is taking place on Babel and the Enterprise is taking officials to the meeting but is distracted when attacked by a mysterious ship that bares no resemblance to known vessels. Complications arise with a spy on board and both Kirk and Sarek get injured and suspicion falls on both the Andorian and Tellarite ambassadors.
An excellent episode of Star Trek more for what it brings to the franchise rather than the story.

Friday's Child
Bones returns to Capella IV a world where he was once stationed and his familiarity with the language and customs will aid the negotiations for the worlds mineral rights. Trouble crops up when they learn that the Klingons are also offering aid and assistance (mainly military) to one clan faction and when the fighting kicks off the landing party are running for their lives with the pregnant wife of the former clan leader who was played by Julie Newmar (Catwoman).
The Deadly Years
A contagion from a research facility has the landing party ageing rapidly and Kirk slowly loses his command abilities and comes under pressure from Commodore Stocker who then puts the ship in grace danger in the neutral zone.
Obsession
Kirk's past comes back to haunt him as a creature which killed everyone on his old ship (Farragut) returns and comes after the Enterprise and it's crew. The son of his former captain freezes under pressure and blames himself but he and Kirk soon realise nothing they could have done would have saved anyone.
The red shirt kill count is quite high:)
Wolf in the Fold
While on Argelius II Scotty is suspected of murdering a bunch of women and with a loss of memory even he begins to suspect himself. Great to see Scotty get an episode and it's quite entertaining one at that and some what of a murder mystery.
Extras
Previews

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Star Trek Marathon IX

Star Trek Marathon IX
Season 2 Disk 2

The Apple
A red shirt bloodbath as a tropical paradise is revealed to be a controlled colony of happy go lucky people under the influence of an artificial intelligence, Kirk gets upsets (not a fan of AI) and gives these people freedom. A cheesy episode but the red shirt deaths are a riot:)


The Doomsday Machine
An excellent piece of scifi television as the Enterprise discovers her severely damaged sister ship "Constellation" and with Kirk investigating the wreck Decker takes over the conn of the Enterprise and sends this ship into the battle convinced he can win this time. This episode has some top notch enhanced graphics as well as being an entertaining episode, lots of action and drama. Commodore/Captain Decker is the father of Will Decker who was going to command the refitted Enterprise as seen in the motion picture.

Catspaw
This was a Halloween special and well couldn't quite make up it's mind what it was meant to be. There were some interesting elements with a very alien species looking into our existence and manipulating the crews minds but it wasn't funny enough or scary enough.
I, Mudd
An android infiltrates the Enterprise and steals the ship, his final destination is a world populated by androids under the leadership of one Harry Mudd, fun and games as Harry the loveable rogue indulges himself but Kirk and Co convince the androids they can do better without him and then crazy, random and illogical acts are presented to shut them down. A fun episode nicely shoot with a number of twins and Harry is great:)
Metamorphosis
A federation official is returning the the ship to get medical treatment but the shuttle craft is pulled off course and they are stranded on an small world with a sole human occupant. The "companion" an energy based intelligence brought them to provide company for the "man" but things take a twist when it realises or is convinced by Kirk that if it cares it should not hold the man on this world despite the benefits to him. This is a very clever episode even more so by the link to the Federations and Earth history, it also provided the seed for a series of Trek novels. Elinor Donahue plays Nancy Hedford, she looked great.
Extras
Previews

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Star Trek Marathon VIII

Star Trek Marathon VIII
Season 2 Disk 1

Amok Time
The second season opens strong with a trip to Vulcan and more background on that race
and Spock in particular, an excellent story and fantastic music and makeup. An epic episode
which like Balance of Terror really set the baseline for a species alas not always lived up to in
later years. T'Pring played by Arlene Martel is gorgeous:)

Who Mourns for Adonais?
Grabbed in mid flight by an energy based "hand" the Captain and land party find someone who
claims to be Apollo on the planet they are orbiting. Could the ancient legends of Greek culture
and others actually have substance in that they were alien visitors with access to high technology
which would seem to the humans at the time like magic?
The Changling
This episode is probably the source for the motion picture as a long lost probe is discovered and
it's far more powerful than it should be as well as having it's own agenda which basically relates to
killing or sterilising everything it doesn't deem to be perfect. An ok episode and well made and yes
another one where Kirk out logics a computer:)
Mirror, Mirror
Here we go a classic Trek episode and the first time we learn of the alternate/parallel universe
where the Federation are the bad guys and stomp all over the other races in an orgy of violence
and gore. This spawned the trope of bad guys have goatees/beards and it has to be said Spock
rocks the pirate look and Uhura, holy smoke:) A fantastic episode which spawned some of the
better DS9 and Voyager episodes decades later.

Extras
Previews
Starfleet Access Episode
Billy Blacburn's Treasure Chest 2


Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Walking Dead S3 Trailer (Spoilers)




So looking forward to the return of the show, that single trailer was probably more exciting than the whole of season two:)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Star Trek Marathon VII


Star Trek Marathon VII
Season 1 Disc 7

Errand Of Mercy
One of my favourite episodes and welcome to the Klingons, you know the more human like aliens of the Trek verse before the budget and makeup techniques which the movies and TNG brought to us.
The most obvious lesson to be learnt from this story is that at least with the military side of the galactic cultures the men and women are not too different, both Kor and Kirk were up for the battle although
beyond a certain point the Federation are the good guys, they don't slaughter civillians (as a rule).
John Colicos was magnificent as kor and appeared years later in DS9.




The Alternative Factor
I honestly couldn't remember much about this episode although it did come back to me but maybe the weakest episode of the first season even though it had a solid scifi backbone.


The City on the Edge of Forever
To many fans this is the best episode of TOS if not the entire franchise. It's written by Harlen Ellison and deals with the retroactove tampering of the timeline and the consequences it can bring espeically to those who retain knowledge of what has been.
Kirk's relationship with Keeler played by Joan Collins who looked smashing is realistic and shows a side of his character we don't see too often and that of course hammers home the impact of his decision in stopping McCoy at the critical moment, classic scifi classic Trek.


Operation Annihilate
A pattern of destroyed cultures leads the Enterprise to Deneva where Kirks brother lives but they arrive too late and find a world dying of some sort alien parasites. A fun episode but maybe not the greatest to wrap up the first season, seems strange not to have a cliffhanger.


Extras
Previews
Billy Blackburns Treasure Chest
Romance in the 23rd Century
Sci-Fi Visionaries
Starfleet Access Episode

The first season of Star Trek to my mind is simply the best first season of any of the Trek franchise, it probably even makes the top five first seasons of my entire TV viewing, few shows hit the ground running as most build on more dodgy foundations. Errand Of Mercy, City on the Edge Of Forever, Balance of Terror and The Menagerie are true scifi classics and the added benefit of modern CGI tweaks really makes the series shine without taking away the original tone and feel.
On to season 2:)

Monday, 9 July 2012

Star Trek Marathon VI


Star Trek Marathon VI
Season 1 Disc 6


Space Seed
A centuries old Sleeper ship is found in deep space with it's inhabitants still alive (most of them) in hibination. Their leader awakes first and he is identified as a genetically engineered super human and the actal man who controlled a third of the Earth's population during World War 3.
This is maybe one of the classics thanks to Khan being used in Star Trek II which gave the show and this episode a huge boost in recognition, Ricardo Montalban is bloody brilliant as the former warlord.



A Taste Of Armageddon
Ordered by a Federation diplomat to approach a world that has warned the Enterprise away Kirk beams down and discovers a world at war with it's neighbout via computer and his ship has been marked as destroyed with the crew as with the natives being assigned to disintegration booths.
A clever scifi idea and while it's not Kirk versus the computer it's very much Kirk forces his ideals/beliefs onto a native population and he wasn't wrong, a clean war has not impetus to stop.


This Side Of Paradise
A agricultural colony is visted by the ship and to their surprise they find the people alive and well despite the world being bathed in radiation that destroys organic flesh. The secret to their existence is revealed and the crew become "victims" with only Kirk standing alone, even Spock goes native with an old flame played by Jill Ireland.


The Devil in the Dark
A planetary mining colony is terrorised by a creature which is killing miners, the Enterprise comes to their aid and Spock learns via the mind meld that the "Horta" is defending it's territory and offspring and a truce is created as McCoy heals the creature.
A cracking monster episode but with the TOS twist, a very good episode and McCoy is a hoot.



Extras
Previews
Interactive Enterprise Inspection
Sci-Fi Visionaries
Starfleet Access Episode

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Star Trek Marathon V


Star Trek Marathon V
Season 1 Disc 5

Arena
On arrival at Cestus 3 the Enterprise finds the colony destroyed and they pursue
an alien starship as it flees the system. Running at high warp speeds the alien ship finally
slows as it approaches a solar system and then the Enterprise loses power.
A third alien species isn't happy that their system has been disturbed by violent creatures
and they set the stage for the two parties to "negotiate".
Another TOS classic as Kirk goes hand to hand with a Gorn and while physically
outmatched relies on his knowledge to gain an advantage.





Tomorrow Is Yesterday
A time warp created by the acceleration due to a star throws the Enterprise back in time to
Earth of the cold war era and a US pilot is taken on board after his plane is destroyed by the ship.
Always been a fan of time travel and it's a nice little story as we learn the Air Force
Captain's yet unborn child will make a mark on human history.



Court Martial
During an Ion storm the research pod is jettisoned killing it's assigned occupant, records
indicate Kirk ejected the pod before going to red alert and is court martialled for the death
of the officer and submitting false reports.
Samuel T. Cogley is an excellent character in the episode played by Elisha Cook.



The Return of the Archons
The loss of the USS Archon a century ago is investigated when the Enterprise visits
Beta III, the crew discover a culture at peach but at a certain pre-defined time they
go nuts and indulge in an orgy of sex, violence and destruction. A clever episode and
one of the tropes of Trek is used as Kirk argues against a computer over what is
right and wrong.


Extras
Previews
To Boldy Go "Season 1"
Birth of a Timeless Legacy

OmniCorp - The Future is Safe in Our Hands

Freaky & Funny Weather Forecasting



Saturday, 7 July 2012


Star Trek Marathon IV
Season 1 Disk 4

Balance Of Terror
A class episode of Star Trek which pays serious homage to the
WWII submarine war movies in particular The Enemy Below which
tells the tale of two Captains both intelligent men with integrity
and honour who could indeed have been friends if there were not on
opposing sides of a war.
With the destruction of a number of outposts on the Romulan neutral
zone the Enterprise tracks a cloaked starship travelling at sublight,
what follows is a battle of wits and tactics with two very different
vessels but evenly matched. This was the first story that featured
Romulans and for me they were never better than in this episode,
far superior to the laterTNG/DS9 Romulan cultures.



Shore Leave
This is an out and out humorous episode with it's fair shirt of menace
and underlying it a very solid piece of science fiction. On what appears
to be an empty world but with plenty of vegetation a number of the crew
beam down and begin to experience events that should not be happening,
a giant rabbit that's late and followed by a young blonde girl, samurai
warriors, a tiger and people long since assigned to their pasts.
Like I said a fun episode and a new yeoman.



The Galileo Seven
Spock commands a shuttle on an exploration/scientific mission but during
a storm they crash land on a world with a very large primitive humanoid
species, there are deaths and Spocks use of logic clashes with the
emotional aspects of his human crew who he has to save and things do not
look good. Meanwhile on the ship a senior commissioner is pushing Kirk to
abandon the search and get much needed medical supplies to a far away colony.
An interesting tale which maybe shows how a very rigid logical line of
reasoning may not merge well under pressure situations with humans,
amongst fellow Vulcans who knows.


The Squire of Gothos
A world where there should be no world and an alien with strange powers
who fails to realise that spying on the Earth without taking into account
the speed of the light transmissions means your environment recreating
Earth is going to be out of date. A very large and almost over the top
performance from William Campbell but it suits the role perfectly, he later
went on to play a Klingon and for many Trelane is the prototype Q.


Extras
Previews
Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner
Starfleet Access Episode

Star Trek Marathon III

Star Trek Marathon 3
S1 Disk 3

The Corbomite Maneuver
A routine exploration patrol discovers a probe like device which blocks their passage, when it shows signs of reacting to the ships attempts to evade it is destroyed and then it's bigger brother arrives and grabs the Enterprise in an unbreakable hold. To prevent destruction Kirk convinces the commander of the other ship that to destroy the Enterprise will result in his destruction as well so they are towed by a smaller ship for investigation allowing time to come up with a solution.
A classic episode which was actually the first filmed post pilots and shows the way Gene Roddenberry wanted to take the show, humans and the Federation were capable of thinking beyond the monkey.


The Menagerie 1 & 2
This two parter was created due to time and financial constraints imposed on the show by the studio and network, in many ways that pressure created a masterpiece of television and inventive use of older material.
Jeffrey Hunter played Captain Pike who had become unavailable in the aftermath of the failed pilot but the idea of a race of advanced telepaths capturing sentient beings to breed to provide entertainment is serious scifi. The show also pushes the Spock character well beyond the cold machine like entity and laid most of the groundwork for the loyal and vulcan/human blending we come to know and love.



The Conscience of the King
A horrorific situation on the planet Tarsus 4 which led to the murder of half the population during a famine returns to haunt the handful of survivors who could identify the leader of the colony who implemented the "cleansing" of those he thought as less than useful. Eighteen years on one such survivor goes to Kirk with the identity of Kodos The Executioner but is then found dead leading Kirk to investigate and become a target himself. This isn't the strongest episode of the first season but there are some very good moments and if nothing else it may be the source of the love of Shakespeare within the Star Trek universe:)

Extras
Previews
Reflections on Spock
Starfleet Access Episode



Friday, 6 July 2012

The Long Earth




I've just finished the latest Terry Pratchett novel "The Long Earth" written in collaboration with scifi author Stephen Baxter, it's a very imaginative story yet ultimately a simple premise but done with a huge amount of flare and style. While there is a narrative that could lead to a second book I think this novel pretty much stands alone although the "b" plot is a little under developed compared to the main story yet despite that it's so very human in terms of the events which take place.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Star Trek Marathon II


Star Trek Marathon II

Season 1 Disc 2

The Enemy Within
A transporter malfunction creates a physical duplicate of Kirk but one being has all
the negative emotions and the other the positive but neither one is really Captain Kirk,
only together do they have the strengh and compassion to make life and death decisions.
A great episode but certainly of it's time, the way they treat the attempted rape victim
and her own reactions is way out of sync for todays society.


Mudd's Women

A rogue trader and all round dodgy dude is transporting three willing women who are
looking for husbands and boy are they crackers (for the late 1960's). Of course we learn
not everything is as it seems because good old Harry Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) can not
do anything on the level but it all turns out ok at least for the one woman
(Eve played by Karen Steele) who shows some integrity.




What Are Little Girls Made Of
Nurse Chapel joined Starfleet to search for her fiance Dr Roger Corby and when
the Enterprise visits his last known location they discover him alive and well having
found some wonderous technology. The joyous moment is cut short when it turns
out Corby has his own agenda and controlling the Captain and then the Enterprise
are the first steps in his master plan.
Ted Cassidy is excellent as Ruk.

Miri
A duplicate Earth (weird or what) is discovered but with a destroyed civilisation.
On beaming down they discover a group of young children who shouldn't be alive
but are then discovered to be carrying a disease which kicks in at puberty and then
they contract the disease and have less than a week to find a cure.
Kim Darby (True Grit) guest stars as Miri.



Dagger Of The Mind
A visit to a penal colony results in a patient stowing away on the Enterprise but in a
surprise twist it turns out to be a doctor who is suffering from his own experiments.
The story doesn't seem to ring true so Kirk along with Dr Helen Noel beam down
to investigate (they had a fling at a christmas party) and their relationship is exploited
to cover up the shady dealings in the penal colony.
Mariana Hill is absolutely gorgeous as Helen Noel (Noel = Christmas party get it?)

Extras

Previews

Another strong batch of episodes with a mixture of humour, mystery and intrigue and
Kirk is in his prime, the guy looks good and the chemistry between the three leads is
coming on nicely.