Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Peek at TNG Season 1

When Star Trek returned to the small screen with TNG I was delighted, we only had the one television at the time and no VCR so I had to negotiate to get access to the BBC2 premiere of "Encounter at Farpoint". I honestly can't recall much of my thoughts and opinions at the time I think I was just happy to have some new Trek and there were aliens as well, lots to learn about between the Kirk and Picard eras.

I eventually watched all seven seasons as they were broadcast initially on the BBC and then on SKY and as with most series there were some episodes better than others but it's never been a show I wanted to rewatch  or own on DVD. When the remastered Blu-rays were announced I was interested in the technical aspects but again not fussed about buying the boxset (I own TOS and Enterprise) but just for my own curiosity I decided to go through the episode list and see which I would want to watch again.
I have to admit I've even shocked myself with the results.

TNG Season 1
There are 26 episodes in the first season and here are the episodes I would rewatch...

Well that was a short list and truth be told I wouldn't go out my way to watch/record those if they were broadcast on TV even in their HD finery. A quick glimpse at the second season shows a vast improvement so there is hope if the price is right:)

Saturday, 29 September 2012

To Catch A Thief

To Catch A Thief is one of my favourite movies from Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock, never was a huge fan of Grace Kelly but she is magnificent in this movie.
Picked the blu-ray up from Zavvi for £8.95 (plus a little cashback) so well pleased:)

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Starship Farragut : The Price of Anything Trailer

These are the voyagers of the Starship Farragut NCC-1647

The Price of Anything Trailer

Michael O'Hare RIP

Michael O'Hare died of complications from a heart attack yesterday (Friday 28th),
he was 60 years old. Michael was born in Chicago and favoured stage work in his professional
life but perhaps has become more well known for his single season (plus a couple of extra episodes)
in the science fiction series Babylon 5 playing Commander Jeffrey Sinclair.
To this day his portrayal of a damaged commander dealing with his past and his current
responsibilities sets the standard ahead of some excellent performances from Avery Brooks (DS9)
and Louis Ferreira (SGU) in similar roles.
Condolences to his friends and family and thanks for the contribution to one of my favourite shows.

Source: 11Alive

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Red Dwarf X : Teaser

Already looks funnier than their previous outing.

The Hobbit - Second Trailer

I actually missed this when it came out a few days ago, no doubt it's looking spectacular but three films from a novel a quarter the size of Lord of the Rings, worrying.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Stargate Season 7 Favourite Episode Poll

The Gatecast Stargate SG1 season 7 favourite episode poll is ongoing, vote for the episode you like the best and the final results will be used in our end of season wrap up show out in a month or so.

Taken 2 Trailer



More of the same but now fun for all the family:)
Opens October 4th in the UK.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Discworld Reading Guide

A very pretty piece of art and informative as well, it's a 5 meg file which is half the size of the original but worth it:) It won't be long now to the next book from Terry is released ( Dodger on 13th Sept ) which isn't a Discworld novel but still sounds interesting and Terry rarely disappoints.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Stargate Marathon XX

Star Trek Marathon XX
Season 3 Disk 6

The Cage
On this disk we have the original pilot of Star Trek in a number of formats, there is the restored version which is fully coloured, an extended version and the original unaired pilot all of which make interesting viewing but I stuck to the restored version with enhanced effects. One thing is for sure the level of production in terms of filming was top notch, this gives the restoration and remastering gurus a superb starting point to provide us with a visual feast in this 4:3 HD image.
The story as you may know begins with the Enterprise commanded by Captain Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) feeling restless after mission which hadn't gone well, the ship receives a distress call and they fling themselves into the void to rescue these people. On arrival they find a crashed ship and some survivors plus a young woman named Vina played by Susan Oliver who immediately captures the attention of Pike who is then kidnapped by aliens and the survivors vanish having been an illusion. What follows is the Talosians trying to "tame" Pike into becoming part of the captive lifeform programme who in turn provide this telepathic alien race with knowledge and entertainment.

The Cage is an excellent piece of science fiction entertainment but can understand why at the time the NBC network wasn't interested in this style of programme but credit where it is due all parties could see the potential in the basic idea of a united human race exploring our galaxy.

Where No Man Has Gone Before
The second pilot is also included on this disk and is very different from The Cage but the core ideals are still there but approached from a slightly different angle ramping up the action and emotion while still retaining a level of sophistication. This time I watched the original version without the enhanced graphics and it still held up well, some of the TV episodes proper really benefited from the new CGI but this pilot didn't. 

Extras
David Gerrold 2009 Convention Coverage
Anthropology of Star Trek
World of Rod Roddenberry
Billy Blackburns Treasure Chest III
To Boldly Go... Season 3
Collectable Trek
Star Treks Impact

Final thoughts on Star Trek the original series are simple, really enjoyed the re-watch and only skipped one episode which is a remarkable ratio given the age and style of the show when compared to the latest televised scifi on offer. Season 1 is probably the strongest but the second season isn't that far behind while the third season has some gems despite the slashing of the budget and change at the helm, I'm certainly not going to condemn anyone involved at the time, they gave us more Star Trek.
The Blu-ray boxset is a thing of beauty, awesome picture and sound quality and the only let down is the packaging itself, cheap and nasty cardboard slips.

Space the Final Frontier,
 these were the voyagers of the Starship Enterprise.
 Next a more reckless style of space travel via the Tardis.


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Smallville CD Score


My copy of the Smallville Score on CD just arrived from La-La Land Records in the states, it contains the standard disk plus a bonus disk of unreleased music and a signed booklet:)
The musical score from the series was created by Mark Snow (S1-S6) and Louis Febre (S7-S10).


Monday, 3 September 2012

Star Trek Marathon XIX

Star Trek Marathon XIX
Season 3 Disk 5

The Cloud Minders
A desperately needed mineral takes the Enterprise to the planet Ardana and the revered cloud city of Stratos where art and culture thrive leaving a lower class of people to mine the mineral and be denied the benefits of their world. Spock is eyed up by Droxine ( Diana Ewing ) and complications arise as the Troglytes rebel leading to Kirk getting involved. It's said that Stratos was going to be the focus of at least one episode of Enterprise which would have been interesting and would have fit into the fourth season quite nicely.
The Savage Curtain
Kirk and Spock are stranded on the volcanic world of Excalbia playing a deadly game of life and death with manifestations of both good and bad beings from various cultures including President Lincoln and Surak. A rather weak episode including the rock monster although the justification from Kirk for their actions made perfect sense.

All Our Yesterdays
On the planet Sarpeidon the people have ventured in their own past to escape the immanent destruction due to their star going nova. Kirk get's stuck in a medieval timeframe and accused of being a witch while Kirk and Spock are thrown back 5000 years into an ace age where they meet Zarabeth ( Mariette Hartley ) a woman exiled and all alone. This is a pretty good episode more so because it was spun out to two novels by A C Crispin which deals with the consequences of the events between Spock and Zarabeth. 

Turnabout Intruder
Dr Janet Lester ( Sandra Smith ) an old flame of Kirk's from the academy days is one of the two survivors of expedition who have died from radiation poisoning, she is still bitter over their breaks years before and her failure to enter into the command programme at Starfleet. With the aid of alien technology she swaps her conciousness with Kirk's and takes command of the ship with the intent to kill off Kirk in her old body and live his life. There are some interesting ideas in this episode but they all fall by the wayside by the god awful way the writers/producers etc allow women to be portrayed, not only the fact that in the multicultural Federation women are denied access to higher levels of command in Starfleet but the claims and support of medical that a womans "hysteria" is valid. 


Extras
Previews
Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig
Chief Engineers Log
Memoirs from Mr Sulu
Captains Log: Bob Justman


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Doctor Who Q&A with Chris Hardwick (Spoilers)

Star Trek Marathon XVIII

Star Trek Marathon XVIII
Season 3 Disk 4

The Mark Of Gideon
Captain Kirk is beamed on board of copy of the Enterprise instead of to the council chamber of Gideon, he believes the crew have been taken and then he meets Odona ( Sharon Acker ) who claims to have no knowledge of the ship or why she is there. Another TOS episode that has some good ideas but some obvious flaws but fun to see Spock get out manoeuvred by Hodin.
That Which Survives
A dead world is under investigation and then the transporter operator is killed and the ship flung a thousand light years away, the landing party is left on the planet and dealing with a strange woman who claims "she is for them only" while the same woman is attacking the crew of the ship. Lee Meriwether who played Losira also played Catwoman and starred on The Time Tunnel.
The Lights of Zetar
The Enterprise is attacked by a space borne energy lifeform which effects the nervous systems of the crew, the storm continues and strikes Memory Alpha and on arrival they find the complex devastated. Mira Romaine ( Jan Shutan ) is taken over by the alien entity and the only way to save her may be to kill her but Scotty a love interest thing humming away will do anything to save her. The characters in this episode are continued in the novel Memory Prime.
Requiem For Methuselah
Looking to collect the ingredients to manufacture the cure for Rigellian fever the ship visits a world owned by a private individual who at first is not happy to see them. There is a mystery surrounding him as he has art and music which appears legitimate but centuries out of place and he also has a very high tech robot butler and of course the beautiful "ward" who is pushes towards Kirk. Tragic events follow.
Great casting for both Flint ( James Daly ) and Rayna ( Louise Sorel ).

The Way To Eden
Bloody awful episode, lasted 5 minutes before I decided I would not punish myself further and for the unaware Space Hippies, stupid space hippies.

Extras
Previews
 

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Star Trek Marathon XVII

Star Trek Marathon XVII
Season 3 Disk 3

Wink Of An Eye
The Enterprise finds the planet of Scalos deserted but the last survivors of this advanced race are living their lives in a different timeframe hyper accelerated beyond normal. Deela ( Kathie Browne ) hitchers a ride onto the ship and brings Kirk into her frame with the intent to use him to father then next generation and to keep the rest of the crew on ice for when they are needed. A fun episode once again relying on Kirk's animal magneticism to enrapture alien women.

The Empath
I guess this would be a high concept story but it doesn't quite work as the question is always asked exactly why is this the only recourse for these aliens. Anyhow Kirk gets his shirt off and is oiled up so not a total loss for the Kirk shirtless fan club:)
Elaan Of Troyius
A serious nod to Greek mythology/history as Elaan ( France Nuyen ) the Dohlman of her world is required to marry the leader of Troyius to cement a peace treaty but in Taming of the Shrew style she isn't really upto this and further complications arise with the interference of the Klingons who for some reason are interested in these worlds. The TNG episode "The Perfect Mate" has some similarities.

Whom Gods Destroy
A new wonder drug used to treat the insane is delivered to a secure facility but the former Fleet Captain Garth played by Steve Ihnat armed with gifts given to him by an alien race he then tried to destroy attempts to replace Kirk and escape to once again try to place himself as emperor of the galaxy. A clever idea with human augmented with alien abilities but once again we see the screening for Federation Starfleet captains isn't upto much:)
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
Two beings one labelled a criminal the other a security officer clash onboard the Enterprise and continue their thousands of year conflict even when they discover the fate of their homeworld. This should have been a better episode but you can't really get over the make up which is used in a totally unsubtle manner to emphasis racial conflicts on Earth.

Extras
Previews

Frighteners

Frighteners

Would you believe this is my most "double dipped" movie ever? 
I've had it on Video, Laserdisc, DVD (more than once), HD DVD and now Blu-ray (twice). All the releases and subsequent purchasers have had some solid reasoning behind them and in this "final" offering it's simply a low priced very nice looking steelbook from Play.
I guess many would claim the LOTR movies are the best of Peter Jacksons work but take out all the CGI and the original source materials I think Frighteners easily holds it's own as part of he pre-uber movie catalogue. Michael J Fox is also at his best alongside Jeffrey Combs and Jake Busey.
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