Monday, 29 September 2014

Soundtracks

I must be going through some sort of phase because all I seem to be buying music wise are soundtrack albums, this time Enterprise and Enchanted with Arrow season 2 on it's way from the states as I type:)


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Imports

Well I got fed up with waiting for a UK release of the third season of Once Upon A Time on Blu-ray and imported a region free copy from the US via Movietyme and also imported Year Zero (Hardback) a novel by Rob Reid since the UK price was ridiculous.



Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sunday Treats

An unexpected bonus of Amazon Prime was that my pre-order for season 2 of Arrow on Blu-ray arrived this sunday morning along with a original series Star Trek novel by Christopher L. Bennett. I may have already watched three episodes of Arrow and the season 1 recap:)




My Random Journey Through Trek #15

The Next Generation

S4 Reunion

A Klingon battle cruiser hails the Enterprise, onboard is Ambassador K'Ehleyr who has a little surprise of Worf in the form of a young boy, their son. She also informs Picard he has been chosen to act as the arbitrator of the Klingon succession to the head of the council, he is reluctant but as the current chancellor informs him to refuse would be an insult against the Klingon Empire but as treachery is involved and the Duras family the Federation needs to keep their eye on the situation. The two rivals for the council leadership meet and a bomb goes off and the investigation reveals that Romulan technology was part of the design and both Picard and Worf know of at least one Klingon family who have links to that empire. K'Ehleyr suspicious of Duras and more so of Worf and his refusal to talk about his prior dealings with the council learns the truth and she is murdered by Duras and in Klingon tradition despite his outcast status the face she was Worf's mate and mother to his son he gains access to Duras and in a duel kills him. Worf then dumps Alexander on his parents back on Earth and Gowron is given leadership of the Klingon high council and Worf has to accept that he may have followed Klingon tradition but he betrayed the trust of Starfleet and his Captain.
K'mpec played by Charles Cooper
So I glanced at the wiki before watching this episode and of course there is Alexander and my spirits fell but I pressed play and settled in to watch the episode. Of course it all came flooding back and even some of the Worf family drama failed to take the shine off an excellent piece of drama which drew upon what little they had written of Worf's back story and more so of the Klingons. It's also worth noting that the makeup department have really nailed the prosthetics of creating Klingons, even K'Ehleyr ( Suzie Plakson ) looked ok, the boy as well. Duras was wonderfully slimy but hats off to Robert O'Reilly who played Gowron with such an under-stated manner it emphasised his power and we all know we are going to see more of the wild eyed one in the future.
Reunion proved to be an excellent episode for the Klingon story line and a strong episode for Worf, it underlines his ongoing struggle to balance his human upbringing with his Klingon nature and pushes him into new directions as he has to deal with a son who will be affected by the decisions he has and will make. Picard handles this situation well, strength and control in a potential mine field which again pays off in the years to come and of course more Romulan shenanigans:)
A great episode, thoroughly enjoyed it.
Rating   9


Monday, 15 September 2014

My Random Journey Through Trek #14

Enterprise

S3 Anomaly


The Enterprise is traversing the expanse and is affected by some spatial anomalies which wrench the structure of the ship and the very laws that govern the technology of the ships systems, soon they come across a derelict ship showing signs of battle damage and they investigate. An alien craft appears and closes quickly with weapons armed, the ships engage in battle and in the midst of the chaos aliens beam over to Enterprise and begin to strip the ship of supplies, weapons and components from the engines. The Oosarian pirates flee into warp leaving Enterprise limping along using the sub-light drive but fortunately they are able to track the ion signature of the "pirate" ship and finally come across a break in the trail which indicates a hidden location. The ship enters this area of space and a huge sphere is discovered, they enter via the existing portal and realise this sphere is generating huge amounts of energy and could be responsible for the anomalies in this area of the expanse and more importantly they find a cache of supplies including almost all of those taken from the ship. The captured pirate confirms that his ship had destroyed a Xindi vessel a few weeks earlier and after Archer threatens him with death and maybe a little torture he agrees to help and when the Oosarian ship returns they are able to access their database and steal the information relating to the Xindi and after the battle Archer releases the pirate. They now have far more information on the Xinda and also know how to protect themselves from the anomalies, the spheres still remain a mystery though.

Anomaly was a pretty strong episode which helped to give the third season a good kick off however I was never really happy with how Archer acted in regards to the captured pirate. Yes time is of the essence and the Oosarian have probably proved themselves to be outside of the realm of where negotiation could have worked. However rushing to the prisoner and pretty much showing all your cards straight away rarely works, he may have got more information easier if he had played the prisoner rather than act like a deranged and desperate individual. I really liked the scene with the Maco's preparing to investigate the alien derelict, unlike the awful gel scenes we had men and women changing and gearing up with no unease or interesting in the fact there was flesh on display, they acted professionally and realistically unlike say Kirk eyeballing Marcus in the recent Trek movie.
So the spheres are revealed, well they are a big mystery awaiting the crew of the Enterprise and lets not forget the revelation that the Enterprise is badly equipped for operating in the Expanse but a solution has been found, as we know that will cause problems as well. Overall a good episode, easy to watch again and still holds up but why wasn't Julia Rose (Corporal McKenzie) used again, semi recurring Maco's and crew in general really adds to the realism of this sort of show.
Rating  8

Saturday, 13 September 2014

My Random Journey Through Trek #13

TNG

S6 & S7 Descent

Descent is the season six finale and the season seven premiere two parter and deals with Data, the Borg and Lore returns just to spice things up a little. So the episode kicks off with Data playing poker with some historical figures on the holodeck including Mr Stephen Hawking, a nice fun scene but then a distress call reveals all an outpost full of dead Starfleet personnel and then the Borg make their appearance resulting in Data killing one and experiencing a very definite emotion. As Starfleet mobilises for a potential Borg invasion Data tries to recreate the emotion and he describes it a mix of fear and pleasure. Another attack results in the capture of a drone who convinces Data to free him and together they flee the Enterprise but the ship is able to track the shuttle through the energy vortex which is being used to outperform standard warp travel and reveal the base of operations.

It turns out that Lore had met up with the Borg who had been directly affected by the individuality imposed on Hugh (I, Borg) and had filled in a very obvious gap in their collective and by extension giving him an almost unstoppable killing machine army to aide in his desire to rid the galaxy of those pesky biologic lifeforms. La Forge, Troi and Picard are captured and Data begins to experiment on Geordie which gives us some good dialogue between the two "friends" but it still requires a technological approach to make a wedge between the two brothers. Meanwhile Crusher is in charge of the Enterprise and is in battle with the Borg ship, she does a pretty good job but as always it requires quite a bit of luck and good fortune. Riker and Worf are captured by Hugh and the cast offs from Lore's experiments but eventually everything comes together and when push comes to shove Data (with a little help) turns on his brother and after the battle takes away the emotion chip that had been built for him an co-opted by Lore.

I wasn't a huge fan of Descent when I originally watched it and while I could appreciate the work of Brent in the two roles Lore was never a plus point of the show for me. That said this wasn't a terrible episode to use as a two parter season cliffhanger but it pales a little compared to some examples of the tv story telling "keep 'em interested" ideals. I thought it was a little amusing that everyone was in standard uniform when on the planet, this was a covert mission and well too many times you had to just live with it to allow the episode to continue. It was interesting to see Crusher in command and supported by officers other than the main cast, Alex Datcher as Ensign Zandra Taitt was excellent and worked well with higher ranked Lieutenant Barnaby ( James Horan ) who later was the mysterious figure within the temporal cold war. It was also fun to see Benito Martinez down in the transporter room, he's more familiar to me on The Shield, Saving Grace and Sons of Anarchy. One last bit of trivia, Jonathan Del Arco who played Hugh is now a recurring character on The Closer and now Major Crimes, it's always fun to recognise actors who have moved up their professional ladder in the years since a guest spot on a scifi show many moons ago:)
IMDB I & II
Rating  5 & 5





5th Passenger Trailer


5th Passenger - Official Trailer - HD from scott baker on Vimeo.
http://www.5thpassenger.com/

Directed By Scott Baker
Written by Scott Baker and Morgan Lariah
Director of Photography and Editor Prince Bagdasarian
Tim Russ as Franklin
Morgan Lariah as Miller
Manu Intiraymi as Thompson
Curtis Fortier as Myers

Originally released a year ago but it looks like there is some news just on the horizon.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

My Random Journey Through Trek #12

Voyager

S7 Nightingale

Well I guess there is no reason why a random number generator would give the next number up from it's previous calculations so that means another episode of Voyager the episode which was aired the week after my 11th random trek episode:)

So in Nightingale Voyager has landed on a planet for a week long overhaul and despite Harry's little adventure last week he along with Seven is once again in the flyer looking this time for dilithium but ends up in a shooting war between two ships, snowed by we're a poor medical ship he gets involved and seizes the opportunity to take command. To be honest I'm always amazed how Starfleet personnel can immediately understand and manipulate alien computers and technology, nothing phased Harry, at least for a while.

Meanwhile the other party in the small conflict has befriended Voyager and is dealing in good faith but for reasons best explained by Janeway she lets Harry go off on an extended adventure and well what do you know these new "friends" were not exactly telling the truth and at the end of the day we really don't know if either of the two races/societies were being totally honest. Oh and Icheb has misunderstood B'Elanna's attempts at being friendly and bringing him into the fold for a romantic interest, oh the humour.
Familiar design but new paintjob
Nightingale is a pretty forgettable episode in fact it took a while before I even remembered what was going on, both plots are weak but at least the CGI was upto spec although the composite of Voyager on the planet lacked any real polish. Nice to see Ron Glass guest starring as well, known to me now from his time on Firefly.
Rating  3

Star Trek: The Compendium

A very nice four disc blu-ray package but what's important is that they have finally incorporated the extended commentary feature for Into Darkness onto the disc, now I have seen it via itunes but for my setup it's not the most ideal way to watch the feature.
Amazon US

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My Random Journey Through Trek #11

Voyager

S7 Body and Soul 

This is a Seven and Doctor episode even though we do see too much of the Doctor although thanks to Jeri Ryan's acting talent his mannerisms and character comes through her motions and dialogue delivery. So the Delta Flyer flew by PDH is attacked by a ship as they have been detected to be carrying Photonics, it seems this culture is in the middle of a social and political upheaval as the holograms fight for well I guess we can assume self determination and freedom. To save the Doctor from being wiped Seven loads his data into her network and in essence allows the Doctor to control her body and thus we have the comedy and a little drama plus the joy of seeing the Doctor experience a few firsts via cheesecake and attraction to Lt. Jaryn played by Meghan Gallagher.

The smaller "b" plot deals with Tuvok and his seven year itch which can be handled to a degree by satiating his emotions via a holographic representation of his wife but the use of the holodeck is restricted due to the threat of the local civilisation which adds some drama on board the Voyager and smirks from Tom and well meaning annoyance from Neelix:)

Overall I enjoyed this episode, Jeri Ryan was exceptional mimicking Robert Picardo's portrayal for the Doctor with skill and precision and there was an awful lot of fun to be had as the two of them trade barbs between bouts of being themselves. It is a pity their dynamic was not explored to a greater degree, they were made for eachother but the issues of the rights of sentient beings particularly holographic are addressed.
Rating  8