Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Last Blu-ray of 2013

The postie just delivered the final Blu-rays I have bought in 2013, not sure what 2014 will bring as the format continues to be negated with half arsed marketing moves, more streaming and simply indifference from some studios/rights holders.



Monday, 30 December 2013

Almost Human

I've just watched the first two episodes of the first season of the new US series Almost Human which premiered on FOX on November 17th 2013. I have to admit I was rather impressed with the look of the show, they didn't try to over futurise the look of the city or the technology which of course helps to keep the budget within a reasonable range. Karl Urban now a well established movie actor is the lead but already his character John has some excellent chemistry with Dorian played by Michael Ealy who I last saw in the series Common Law.


The show was created by J.H. Wyman who was one of the minds behind the series Fringe which I'm just in the processing of wrapping up a series rewatch and certainly as a plus point the hints of Asimov in the show particularly the R Daneel stories if of course you know of that character.
The show as I said does look good, it's well produced without trying to be too big and brash and plenty of pretty things to look at even with the sex-bot story line of the second episode which was handled well, this show has already shown itself has having some emotional depth. Strangely enough with so many US shows getting picked up so quickly by UK broadcasters Almost Human as yet to find a home on this side of the pond, seems a little strange but then again this isn't aimed at the teen market or the premium adult audience so it kinda sitting on the fence.
Official Site
IMDB



Thursday, 26 December 2013

Fringe Season Three


I finished the third season just before christmas day and now the chaos is dying down here are a few thoughts on this season of Fringe. Well to put simply this has been the best season of the show so far and not to spoil it is the best season of the series as it brings together the two universes that Walter helped to bring into conflict so long ago. We get the transfer of characters and continued development of alternate characters which quickly become as valued as the original lineup and it has to be said that those actors playing two roles really got to go to town.
The season kicks off with the episode "Olivia" and we see both versions of Agent Dunham and how the two universes deal with them, in our Universe she is accepted without any hesitation thanks in part to Peter and Olivia's change in romantic status so things were always going to be a little different. Things are taking an unexpected turn in the alternate universe, Olivia is being treated so that she believes she belongs there and will ultimately help that universe win the ongoing war. This element of the season continues for just seven episodes and we then go deep into the "machine" story and how Peter is the key to it's use but that in itself gives the characters and the viewers many questions that need answers. One of the great things about this season is how we many of the characters are presented to the us the viewers and how the reality really unfolds, no one is simply good or evil, everyone has reasons and most of them are not operating with all the facts. Season three unfolds in such a well constructed manner it takes the viewer along without revealing anything too soon and the pay off is all the better for it.

To be honest I don't think a favourite episode list is practical, it would be a little too long but maybe one or two episodes really hit the mark for my personal taste in scifi/drama.
Subject 13
A flashback episode back to the days of young Olivia and the drug trials, we learnt so much about her life and when her and Peter first met, wonderfully told story, great acting and so many great moments especially the revelation of how Walternate learnt of his sons location.
Entrada
The revelation of fauxlivia and the compromises made by all involved powers the episode and it's the tragedy that many of the people involved were beginning to realise nothing was as it seemed none more so than Broyles the commander of the Fringe division in the parallel universe. He ultimately acts according to his own morals and ethics and pays the price but without him things would not have turned out as they did, it isn't a surprise that Broyles is shown as honourable in both worlds.

The third season was critically acclaimed but it didn't fare well in the ratings yet it did get renewed for a fourth season, maybe overseas sales were good and other merchandising added to the overall return. It may be that someone at FOX really enjoyed the show and while it's timeslot wasn't good it also meant not a lot was expected from the show. Regardless we're rolling into the fourth season with one very big question to be answered, not where is Peter, not who is Peter just......


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas Prezzies

Well Santa has been and gone and it looks like I've been a good enough boy to get some John Wayne westerns on Blu-ray and a steelbook of The Princess Bride along with some socks, chocolate and personal grooming gift packs:)


Blade Runner Holiday Special

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Dresden Files - Skin Game

The release date for the hardback edition of Skin Game has been announced. It's released in various markets on the the 17th of May 2014 and is the 15th book in the series and should give me plenty of time to read the rest of the novels in preparation:)
Jim Butcher


Arctic Air Season 3 Teaser

A welcome return to an excellent Canadian drama.
Official Site


  

Previously in the Alpha Quadrant

I joined Adam and Paul for a guest spot on their Star Trek Enterprise podcast "Previously in the Alpha Quadrant" to discuss the third season episode North Star, the episode was released on the 16th.

 

Fringe Season 2


The season kicks off with the excellent A New Day in the Old Town and continues the story of the season 1 finale with Olivia and her visit to see William Bell in the other universe. It also opens up the long running infiltration arc of the other side soldiers who it turns out have been around a lot longer than anyone thought and with their technology are capable of duplicating anyone.
This second season really does step up the mythology of the show and moves aways from the standalone monster of the week type episode but that style of episode will never really go away just influenced more by the overarching storyline of each season.  There were some major character additions in this season although it has to be said the characters were version of our existing group with one or two exceptions and that will pay off more in the third season. Overall the stronger mythological aspects pay off and the show held it's on in it's much more competitive day and timeslot after being moved by FOX in the US market. We also got a musical episode which is not unusually these days although this early in a show certainly is, there were elements of Black Betty that I liked but overall it didn't work for me and there's the anomaly of the episode "Unearthed" which was aired out of order. The season finale is used to really pave the way for the full integration of the alternate universe into the show full time, it seems the network was worried and maybe they were right to be but for the Fringe fans the new characters and stories were rivetting stuff. We also got a few notable guest actors both well known at the time and later on in the careers such as Peter Woodward, Meghan MarkleSebastian Roché, Peter Weller, JR Bourne, Martha PlimptonRoger CrossPascale Hutton and Orla Brady.

Favourite Episodes

  • A New Day in the Old Town
  • August
  • Jacksonville
  • Peter
  • White Tulip
  • Northwest Passage
  • Over There 1 and 2

Thursday, 12 December 2013

You Shall Not Pass, Dog

As we know it's all about attitude, dogs, cats or humans if you believe you are superior you are half way there:)

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Fringe Season 1

Well I've started my Fringe rewatch and just finished the second season but for now here are a few thoughts on the first season. The debut season of the show really does benefit from a marathoning approach, it did get a little negative feedback for being a little monster of the week but when watched rapidly you don't get that feeling at all. Little bits of the mythology within every episode even those that are pretty much standalone are more easily spotted and merge with the whole.
The Blu-ray presentation is good but not spectacular however it's certainly the best that I've ever seen it or come to think of it heard it and the extras including commentaries, deleted scenes and behind/making of are a great bonus for a fan of Fringe.
Three Favourite Episodes

  • Pilot
  • The Road Not Taken
  • There's More Than One of Everything
I didn't feel the need to skip any episodes of the first season during my rewatch infact since I hadn't seen them since they were broadcast on SKY1 there were elements from everyone that surprised me which certainly helped to keep them fresh. 
A special mention has to go to the Pilot episode which was everything a pilot should be, it was both a great story, well acted and packed a punch clearing indicating what Fringe was going to be about. The casting choices proved to be inspired and it's multi-national lineup probably gave the show a much wider global appeal which these days never hurts a show. It may seem strange but at least at the start of the show I was more pleased to see Mark Valley than anyone else having enjoyed his performances on other shows so despite how the story unfolded his presences was for me a bonus. As it turned out John Noble was a genius at playing Walter and anyone who acted opposite him had to bring their "A" game and they did just that.




Objects In Space - SF Drbris

An Opinionated review of the Firefly episode Objects In Space.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Seasonal Goodies

I picked up a few treats for the holidays including a selection hamper of British ales for me dad:)

Jupiter Ascending - Teaser Trailer

It certainly has the flare and style of the Matrix but as we saw with that franchise it requires a decent story to hold together all the pretty pictures:)
Official Site


Monday, 9 December 2013

Defiance Soundtrack

My signed deluxe CD of the Defiance soundtrack by Bear McCreary arrived today from LaLaLand Records and was part of a limited signed release so while it cost me a little more it was worth it, pity the album isn't being officially sold in the UK (as of yet) as I would have going for the much cheaper option if that was the case.

Doctor Who Titans Series 2 Vinyl Figures



Tanya Tate unboxes and reviews the latest Doctor Who figures from Titan.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Star Trek Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library

I pre-ordered a copy of Star Trek Stellar Cartography after listening to Larry on various Star Trek podcasts and for the price you've got to say it's absolute bargain and a work of art. I just wish I had more wall space to really make the most of the maps which comprise most of the "book" but what you gonna do:)
Larry Nemecek


There would be better pictures but since the sun goes down around 4pm and artificial light never reacts well with the ipad camera these will have to do and they do not do the book justice:)
Amazon UK  Amazon US