Saturday, 31 August 2013

An Opinionated Review: The Doomsday Machine (TOS)

An excellent episode of Star Trek and a great review:)

Lost Girl Season 4 Teaser

Some of the content from season 3 but lets not be worried about that, it's going to be a different experience if the finale is anything to go by.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Deep Space Nine

I've just finished the final episode of Deep Space Nine my first full premiere to finale viewing since it was initially broadcast in the UK. The main reason I picked up the boxset was a slow build of appreciation of the series from the various podcasts I listen to which dealt with Star Trek and a few which were dedicated to DS9 such as The Orb and In The Wilderness.

I don't think there is anything I could say that would really convey the scope of the series when viewed as a whole, it was an impressive achievement for the time only equalled by Babylon 5 and like that series the writers of DS9 managed to weave in strong series/season arcs something that doesn't always guarantee strong viewing numbers as even scifi fans can be fickle.
Deep Space Nine sets itself well apart from the other series within the franchise, first for it's overall reliance on significant arc based stories but the level of conflict within it's part of the Trek universe as well as conflict between the characters both main, recurring and guests from within the "family" and beyond. It's long been pointed out the Gene Roddenberry favoured the happy shiny people approach exemplified by the TNG crew so sitting down to DS9 could and probably did come as a bit of shock. The series however was excellently cast, top notch levels of production and once the early seasons had allowed them to find their feet and solidify the characters the show went from strength to strength.
DS9 still isn't my favourite Trek despite totally enjoying these seven seasons of the show but I can not deny that some of these stories and characters stand out not only within the Star Trek family of shows but in the whole of the scifi genre, you might even say forget scifi they are at heart dramatic and theatrical creations.
On looking back at the seasons I picked out a handful of episodes that I could consider worthy of simply rewatching just because they are that good or personify aspects of the show, don't read anything into the list it's purely my own picks:)
The same applies to the handful of characters I really enjoyed watching thanks to the actors performances, I really didn't dislike any of the main roles nor the recurring characters but a few for me stood out such as Garak (Andrew Robinson), Vic (James Darren) and Weyoun/Brunt etc etc (Jeffrey Combs). You know what I could on because putting aside the excellent regular cast members the guest stars really added so much to their roles which helped create this world especially those under so much prosthetics who relied on their eyes and voices to convey so much.

Qapla'

Season 1
  • Emissary
  • The Forsaken
  • Duet
  • In the Hands of the Prophets
Season 2
  • Whispers
  • Shadowplay
  • Bloodoath
  • The Wire
  • Crossover
Season 3
  • The Search
  • The House of Quark
  • Second Skin
  • Through The Looking Glass
  • Improbable Cause
  • The Die is Cast
Season 4
  • The Way of the Warrior
  • The Visitor
  • Little Green Men
  • Our Man Bashir
  • Shattered Mirror
  • Body Parts
  • Broken Link
Season 5
  • Apocalypse Rising
  • Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places
  • Trials and Tribble-ations
  • The Ascent
  • Rapture
  • In Purgatory's Shadow
  • Soldiers of the Empire
  • Children of Time
Season 6
  • Sons and Daughters
  • Sacrifice of Angels
  • You are Cordially Invited...
  • Far Beyond the Stars
  • One Little Ship
  • Wrongs Darker than Death or Night
  • In The Pale Moonlight
  • His Way
  • The Sound of Her Voice
  • Tears of the Prophets
Season 7
  • Treachery, Faith and the Great River
  • Once More Unto the Breach
  • The Siege of AR-558
  • It's Only a Paper Moon
  • Badda-Bing Badda-Bang
  • Strange Bedfellows
  • The Changing Face of Evil
  • When It Rains...
  • Tacking Into The Wind
  • The Dogs of War
  • What You Leave Behind




Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Man Of Steel 2 Teaser Trailer

The skill and creativity of some people never ceases to amaze me and if only....

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Battlestar Galactica Rewatch ( Part 10 )

Battlestar Galactica Rewatch ( Part 10 )

Greetings From Earth


This story is feature length on the DVD, not sure if it was broadcast as such on
American or British TV since I certainly recall it being two episodes when I
watched yet on telly so long ago.
So another long range patrol which has Starbuck taking a nap, life sure has got
boring since leaving the Cylons far behind but hey the scanners pick up
a sub-light vessel with six life forms aboard. The Vipers take it in tow and as they
return the gossip washes through the fleet in expecatation of meeting people
from the planet Earth.
On arrival they find two adults and four children in suspended animation and
thus begins the political back and forth and power play between Adama and
the council with the warriors and security men as the pawns.
The issues surrounding opening the pods despite the risk of death has
Apollo championing their release to continue their journey unmoloested, the male
awakes and being confused and under pressure stuns a security officer.
The council demands action which allows a small window of opportunity to remove
the ship and it's passengers from the Galactica and send it on it's way.
Apollo and Starbuck escort the ship to the planet Paradeen where they find an
almost empty world but a ranch built for the group over seen by two humanoid
robots.  The history of the world and the conflict with the ominous Eastern Alliance
is then revealed and indeed a warship of this powerful entity is heading for
Paradeen as it has detected unidentifed vessels (the Vipers).  After a little angst and
family drama which leaves the Vipers badly damaged the colonials capture the
Eastern Alliance ship and return to the Galactica leaving this new family behind and
hopefully safe from reprisals.

Ok then a feature length episode which actually went by pretty quickly which is always
a good thing but the episode did feel a little different with the introduction of these
new humans and the power play on board the Galactica. The Eastern Alliance with it's
political overtones of the later 70's and the Cold War mixed with Nazi vibes was certainly
different to the Cylon menace but works pretty well. I'm not sure if someone born after
the fall of the wall and the Cold War ended will get as much out of this as is being offered
but you can never go wrong with a call back to the Nazi regime.
Lets begin with the little nitpicks and they are, you don't get so far into a series from
this era without being able to accept some of the limitations and choices made in television
production back then.
So why such a long patrol, I'm pretty sure having single seater fighters with sleeping pilots
is not a good thing especially given long range sensors the Galactica can deploy and when
they find the lower tech ship I didn't quite understand why they automatically assumed they
were from Earth and not just another remnant of the original exodus.
I did of course love the disco lighting on the sleeper units, very much of the era and speaking
of the social standards of the time Athena a bridge officer is now the school teacher, granted a
hot school teacher but the kids are too young to appreciate her in that respect:)
Party Time
It's strange this is perhaps only the second time the colonial security have made their presence
felt, granted they were needed to enforce the council's decision but it all seemed rather petty
and perhaps indicitive of the time they have for such things with the belief the Cylons are not
a problem anymore.
There were some good laughs with the hide the alien and Jolly got his time in the spotlight but
it all seemed forced especially the callous disregard for the lives of the people on the ship but
then again the powers that be have ignored their own people in steerage for so long so maybe
not that much of a surprise.
The biggest issue with this episode is the manipulation of time, speed and distance when dealing
with all the ships and their journeys, the small shuttle like vessel (repainted for Buck Rogers)
was sublight so really couldn't go anywhere significant in the time scale the story was set in
but we've ignored the issues with  light speed and flank speed etc so shut up Michael:)
So we have the Alliance, great look ship and the uniforms well black and shiny so they much be
bad guys even with when wearing a helmet visor indoors. The ship unlike any other also gave us
the cramped submarine feeling often attempted on other shows but rarely achieved and we get a
very definite dialogue as to how nasty these people really are, no confusion at all.

It was interesting that Terra has given birth to at least two political factions who have achieved
interstellar flight yet someone co-existed for so long to reach that point, not quite sure that is
a reasonable situation unless there is a lot more backstory we are not privy too.
When we finally get to Paradeen we meet the two androids (Hector and Vector) who were awful
in terms of the story, the hunour they were supposed to bring has not aged well and we also have
the issue that sentient androids exist but the rest of the technology seems a little lagging right
down to the appearence of a Laserdisc.
However the use of the Expo 67 building in Quebec was genius and production gold, like many
developments built for exhibition they have an impractical look which is easily substituted for
an alien asthetic. The ravages of the Canadian weather also gave the structures more of an
abandoned look to them so in this respect BSG were blessed to have access to them.

Give they guy a break
The romantic or angst element of the story brought forth by Sarah ( Kelly Harmon ) and aimed
at Apollo seemed a little quick and was resolved just as quickly but the studios love a happy
ending and a group on a frontier world banding together as a family is very American.
The episode closes with the Alliance destroyer landing on the Galactica and the crew being
awed at the size of the Battlestar setting the scene for the inevitable conflict as the fleet could
not and would not avoid getting involved with the humans on Terra who are the next step in
their journey to Earth.

Grettings from Earth IMDB
Greetings from Earth Wiki
Battlestar Wiki

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Katee Sackhoff _ GEEK Magazine

That's just one of the pictures from Katee's shoot with GEEK Magazine, more on her official site and of course from GEEK Magazine themselves.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Mediterranean Caper

I've been a huge fan of the writing of Clive Cussler and his main character Dirk Pitt ever since many many moons ago my sister bought me a copy of Vixen 03 for my birthday, I loved it and then bought his most well known novel Raising Titanic before going back to the start and buying as it was called Mayday.

This new hardback edition of the novel is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original story which is quite a milestone and while I still have a rat eared paperback I don't mind buying a nice pristine hardback rather than go the e-book route. This isn't a jab any particular corporate publishing house or for that matter a smaller concern but the price of e-books is ridiculous and since I've spent more on the hardback then perhaps their marketing and pricing gurus know what they are doing!
This novel was released in the UK as "Mayday" and tells the rather low key story (compared to Dirk's later adventures) of a global smuggling operation centred around a small Greek island which hosts a US air base and after it is attacked by a machine gun toting WW1 bi-plane the the mystery beckons to Dirk and Al to NUMA employees who get caught in the middle.

It's a fun read and reminds you of the simply days for Dirk and his best friend Al before they really started to get into serious trouble and the Titanic was only one of their later adventures.