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Old 01-13-2013, 10:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Prologue: "Looks like we've got some work to do!"

How would you feel if you knew your father was a demon-hunter? That he hunted actual, real, honest to --- well, not God obviously, but real demons from the pit of Hell? To even know such things actually existed would surely fry your mind and freeze your blood. But once you'd got over such fears and doubts, what would you do? Would you follow in his footsteps, or be so scared that you'd move far away?

When Dean and Sam Winchester were children a demon came for them. At the opening of the series we have no idea why, but we can see that the demon is one BAD mofo! He takes on the form of the father, and approaches the baby, Sam, who cries and alerts his mother. She comes in, takes in the scene and lunges at the demon --- whom she had taken originally to be her husband --- but is pinned to the ceiling and the demon vanishes. As John Winchester looks on in horror, his wife bursts into flame, and unable to help her he has to rush his two children out of the house as it begins to burn around their ears. He just barely gets them to safety.

Twenty-two years later and the boys have grown, but chosen separate paths in life. Sam has gone to college, is engaged to a girl and is studying for a law degree, trying to put the traumatic events of the past behind him. Having been a baby at the time he doesn't remember much, though Dean has told him what happened. As the older brother, Dean has elected to help his father track down the demon that killed their mother, and the two brothers have not seen each other for some time.

This, then, is the premise to Supernatural, an incredibly well-written, deep and intelligent fantasy series that really begins almost as a "monster of the week" show, but soon develops into so much more. There is a complicated and involved story arc running through the series, the main element of which is the reason why the demon wanted to abduct Sam, what his connection with the Winchester family is, and how many more of his type there are. Supernatural will be one of those rising breed of shows where you can never be one hundred percent certain that anyone, even the lead characters, are going to survive from week to week. Everyone's a target, and although, being fantasy, it's possible to sidestep death and find ways to bring people back, you just never know...

One of the huge selling points of Supernatural was and is its lead actors, two very handsome and personable guys in Jared Padalecki and Jensen Eckles, who surely got the hearts of most of the ladies (and maybe some of the lads!) all a-flutter when the series hit the network in 2005. There hadn't to my knowledge been any other show of this nature that had two male leads, and it was definitely their charm and charisma, and the chemistry between the two, that got the show on its feet and kept it on the air through the first mostly shaky season.

At its heart, Supernatural is a show about family, about devotion, and about revenge too. It's also about doing the right thing. Most of the creatures Dean and Sam track down through the first and second seasons have little or nothing to do with their mother's death (and later, Sam's financee's) but the brothers know these things are evil and must be dealt with, so they become freelance demon hunters, seeking out these horrors by way of newspaper reports, rumours and later, information garnered from like-minded individuals and allies, and in the process help people they don't even know.

But what holds the series together and stands it apart from a whole slew of monster/horror/fantasy themed shows is the bond between the two brothers. As the elder, Dean has always had to look out for Sam, especially when their father has disappeared for months at a time, chasing down the demon that killed his wife and looking for his own personal salvation. Dean can be reckless though, and oftentimes the roles get turned around, and it's more often the level-headed Sam that has to look after him. But when the brothers work as a unit, demons beware!

Another great thing about Supernatural, which will be of particular interest to those reading, is the terrific music they use in the show. Mostly classic rock, you'll hear some of the greats, and unlike many shows that use "indie" rock (usually angsty ballads) as their backdrop, Supernatural gives you the clear impression that the show could have easily been produced in the seventies, as most of the music comes from around that time. As I go through the episodes/seasons, I'll note what music is used in each episode, and if possible include a video.

Supernatural is interesting in many ways, not least the fact that it really concentrates on just the two brothers. There are others who come in from time to time, but the show revolves completely around Dean and Sam, and generally any extra characters who appear are for that episode only, at least in the beginning. Later, as the seasons develop and the brothers begin to meet and make allies in the world of demon hunting, some characters do recur, with the odd one staying on almost as a supporting character.

Without then giving away too much about the show, it begins as a basic monster hunt, although even then the episodes are pretty much really great, then widens its scope as the main story arc begins to kick in. It's only then that you truly start to appreciate what a powerful and sublime series it really is. It's still running at the time of writing, in its eighth season, said to be its last. I have only caught up with it as far as season three, so after I've encapsulated the first two seasons for you, we'll be discovering the rest together for the first time.

Like Babylon 5, Supernatural is the creation and vision of one person, Eric Kripke, who up until this series premiered was known for little other than the rather low budget horror film "Boogeyman". It's interesting, looking at the synopsis for the first movie, how elements from it would filter into the creation of his hit series. We'll discuss these in the next post. He remains the driving force behind the series, piloting it through its first five-year arc, after which it's said by critics it lost its way but recovered after season six. I don't know as I have not seen it that far, but we'll find out. All indications are that this is the final season though and that it looks on course to end strongly.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Coming soon(ish) to this theatre!

Just to give you a sense of what's to come, and some hope or interest to those of you who are not science-fiction fans, this is a shortlist --- well, a relatively long list, but you get the idea ---- of programmes I intend to cover in the coming, well, years I guess. The thing is, each series will take a while to do, and I want to do them properly, not just skim through them, so this whole journal is without question going to be spread out over a number of years, meaning some of the suggested series below may not surface in this journal until next year or even the year after that. But I'll try to keep everything interesting and fresh, and fit as many new series in as often as I can, around the edges of my other two journals. Oh yeah, and my life.

At any rate, here are the ones I'm considering covering. Anything bolded is a definite. Please note I won't be reviewing series I haven't seen (obviously) and in general although I will fit in a few that are current (maybe more than a few: there are some great series on at the moment), mostly they'll be ones that have completed their run on TV. I've decided in general to stay away from comedy shows, at least those that use visual impact to get the laughs, as I think these might be difficult to translate through to the written word. Some exceptions will probably be allowed, but only ones I think are appopriate and that I think I can handle. Also, some documentary/reality-style shows may make it through: I haven't quite decided that yet. Anyone for the Apprentice?

So then, the list. These are not in order, though they may end up being approached that way. I've added a quick description of each, in case you're not familiar with any of them. I've noted the main actor/actress, how long the series ran/is running for, whether it's UK or US, or other and anything else that might be of help. Although over here we use series rather than seasons, I'm just sticking with the latter to describe a full run of episodes, rather than get confused hopping between the two. Anyway, I always considered series to be the overall show itself, as in Doctor Who is a series, with so many seasons...

Spooks (UK) --- Drama series concerning MI5, the British Secret Service. One of the most outstanding and inventive spy series ever, with some amazing scenarios and the clear intention of leaving no character safe from being killed off, no matter their popularity or status. Makes "24" look like "Baywatch" at times! 10 full seasons, now finished. Main star: Peter Firth as Sir Harry Pearce.

Farscape (Australia) --- Science-fiction series about an American astronaut who is hurled off course and into a distant part of the galaxy, where he must fight to survive, making alliances and enemies and trying to discover a way home. Features the characters from Jim Henson's Creature Shop, and written by sci-fi legend Rockne S. O'Bannon. 4 full seasons, plus one TV movie to wrap everything up nicely. Completed now. Main star: Ben Browder as John Crichton.

Love/Hate (Ireland) --- Yeah, Ireland! We're proving we can produce some pretty fine drama, none better than this gritty, realistic look at the criminal underworld in Dublin. Not quite the Sopranos, but it's a tough, harrowing drama following the fortunes of a local gang who believe most if not all disputes are handled at the barrel of a gun. Three seasons and counting, last one to date just finished a month ago. Main star: Robert Sheehan as Darren Treacy, who you may know from "Misfits".

Futurama (USA) --- What's not to like? Hilarious animated show from the creator of the Simpsons, set in the thirtieth century, but proving that people don't get any brighter in a thousand years. Great characters including Bender the alcoholic robot, Leela the one-eyed alien and Fry the delivery boy from the 21st century. Seven seasons, despite cancellation after the fifth, and still going strong. Main star: Billy West as Fry.

Sleeper Cell (USA) --- Another show that gave "24" a run for its money, but got little or no press or recognition, Sleeper Cell was a much more pragmatic approach to the idea of terrorist cells in America, with a CIA operative going deep undercover to try to infiltrate one such cell. It was gritty and uncompromising, and didn't feature a countdown clock. Only ran for two seasons, with the last one more than likely to have ended any possibility of future seasons, though there's always hope. Main star: Michael Ealy as Darwyn Al-Sayeed.

The Onedin Line (UK) --- Period drama from the BBC, set in Liverpool in the nineteenth century and chronicling the exploits of the titular James Onedin, from simple sea captain to shipping magnate, against the bustling backdrop of sea trade during the 1860s. A family drama and an action drama, and my all-time favourite show. Ever. Eight seasons, which ran during the 1970s and early 80s. Main star: Peter Gilmore as James Onedin.

The House of Cards trilogy (UK) --- Based on the hugely successful novels of Michael Dobbs, this three-programme series takes a look into the darker corners of the corridors of power, where we see a humble minister in the English government rise to become Prime Minister, and the lengths he will go to in order to keep his hold on power, and prevent his awful past from being revealed to the public. In three parts, as I say, titled in order "House of cards", "To play the king" and "The final cut", this is perhaps one of the most incisive and biting political dramas you are likely to see. Politics laid bare, greed, corruption, murder and powerplays; all the great elements of a Shakespearian tragedy, without the boring archaic English references. Main star: Sir Ian Richardson (RIP) as Francis Urquhart.

Robin of Sherwood (UK) --- The tale of the archer from the Greenwood has been told many times, often badly, sometimes well, but nobody ever got it as spot-on as HTV's "Robin of Sherwood". Mixing pagan magic, legend and historical fiction with just the right amount of drama and a touch of humour, this show still stands as the yardstick against which all future shows regarding Robin Hood would be measured, most if not all falling far short. With a mesmerising soundtrack by Irish band Clannad, the celtic influence in Robin of Sherwood can't be overstated. Three seasons in total. Main star: Micheal Praed (and later, Jason Connery) as Robin.

Brimstone (USA) --- So you think "Reaper" is original, do you? Well, a decade before that was even on the drawing board, "Brimstone" was running, with its premise of returning a cop who has died and gone to Hell, in order to capture a bunch of souls who have escaped too, and return them to the Pit. Should he succeed, he will be brought back to life. The series only ran for one season before being cancelled, a fact that has always stuck in my throat, as I consider it one of the best series ever made. Main star: Peter Horton as Ezekiel Stone, though really it's John Glover as the Devil who steals the show.

Lilyhammer (Norway) --- Whoever had the inspired idea of taking a Mafia criminal from the US and transplanting him to a little town in Norway deserves a reward, because the whole fish-out-of-water series is hilarous, endearing, enthralling and engaging as Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano becomes Giovanni "Johnny" Henriksen, and tries to settle down in Lillehammer, but soon starts shaping life in the sleepy town to the sort of thing he's used to, running into trouble with the local law and becoming once again a big fish in a very small pond. Only the one season so far, but another is promised. Main star: Steve Van Zandt as Frank/Johnny (Yeah, that one!)

Game of Thrones (USA) --- Do I need to talk about this? George RR Martin's book cycle, "A song of ice and fire" comes to the TV screen with graphic sex and violence, a warts-and-all series that pulls no punches in any way, and was probably, when it was screened at the time, the best thing on telly anywhere. Find anyone --- even someone not into fantasy --- who hasn't seen it, and I'll send you a million Euro. Okay then, one Euro. Seriously, I'm sure everyone watched this. Two seasons to date as we wait for the third to start in a few months time. Main star: Sean Bean as Neddard "Ned" Stark.

True Blood (USA) --- Vampires in the deep south! Based on the novels of Charlaine Harris, this series follows the adventures of a vampire and his lover in the sleepy litlte town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, as each learns the other's secrets and evils both small and apocalyptic threaten their home town. Graphic and violent with a ton of sex, it's another one that most people have probably seen. Now moving into its sixth season. Main star: Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse.

The New Statesman (UK) --- Comedy legend Rik Mayall puts on a straight face and yet manages to pull of some of his funniest moves in a series lampooning the Conservative Party and politics. Mayall is Alan Beresford B'Stard, a right-wing Tory politician who will stop at nothing to get his way. Money is what he craves, and women. And power. His machinations are just breathtakingly satirical, and he plays the part with a machivellian delight you would have thought not to see from the man who brought us such characters as Ritchie Rich and Rick from the Young Ones. Four seasons, with two special extra episodes. Main star: Rik Mayall as Alan Beresford B'Stard, MP.

Rome (UK/USA) --- Brutal retelling of the time of gladiators and senators, emperors and wars, as two ex-gladiators try to make their way through their tough lives while getting tangled up in historical events. The show was noted for not only its explicit violence (probably a precursor to the likes of "Spartacus" series) but also for the fact that its main characters were all loosely based on real figures of ancient antiquity. Rome ran for two seasons only. Main star(s): Kevin McKidd as Lucius Vorenus and Ray Stevenson as Titus Pullo.

Blood Ties (Canada) --- Another vampire series, this follows something that would become a bit of a trend and had already started with another Canadian series, "Forever knight", in that it features a vampire who assists the main character in her police work. It only ran for the two seasons, was pretty much blasted by the critics, and yet they loved the vastly inferior and quite similar "Moonlight"? Main star: Christina Cox as Victoria "Vicki" Nelson.

Life on Mars/Ashes to ashes (UK) --- One of the most inventive and interesting shows of the period, "Life on Mars" follows present-day cop Sam Tyler as he is somehow sent back in time to the seventies, where not only does he have to deal with "old" cop behaviour, but he must also ascertain if this is all a dream, and if so, how he can wake up? The followup series, "Ashes to ashes", did not feature Sam but concentrated on his workmates back in the 1970s, concentrating on his old boss. "Life on Mars" ran for two seasons, "Ashes to ashes" for three. Main star: (LoM) John Simm as Sam Tyler (A2A) Phil Glenister as Gene Hunt.

Spaced (UK) --- One of the few times when I will break my rule about comedy shows (yes, I know I said "The New Statesman" and "Futurama" are already being featured, but that's different!), I had to include one of the cleverest and seminal comedies of the very late nineties, with more pop culture references than you can throw a sealed, boxed collector's edition figurine of Boba Fett at, Spaced was the creation of then-unknown but now iconic cult star Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevens, both of whom also starred in it. It ran for two seasons.

La Femme Nikita (Canada) --- Not the current "Nikita", which is a remake/follow-on, this is the original series, based on the film, which ran up until 2001 and features Nikita, a vagabond who lives on the street and is involved in a murder, after which she finds herself in an odd organisation called Section, who train her to be an assassin and fighter, and for whom she carries out covert operations. Ran for five seasons. Main star: Peta Wilson as Nikita.

Homeland (USA) --- Based on the Israeli series "Prisoner of war", Homeland tells the tale of a soldier who is discovered alive, having been held in captivity in hostile territory by Al Qaeda, and who is feted as a war hero on his return home. But the soldier has been turned, and is working for the enemy. Only one person suspects the truth, and she is shrugged off by her superiors as she is known to have a history of mental problems. Homeland just won the Emmy for best drama a few days ago, and is currently finished its second season, with a third in the pipeline. Stars: Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody.

Ultraviolet (UK) --- Never has the subject of vampires been treated more clinically on TV. Never called vampires, but rather "Code Fives", they are hunted by a special squad of crack police formed to pursue vampires. However, one of the men on the team has, unbeknownst to all but his best friend, become a vampire himself... Ran for just the one season but was highly acclaimed. Main star: Jack Davenport as Detective Sgt Micheal Colefield.

24 (USA) --- Again, everyone is likely to know, or know of this series, which star Kiefer Sutherland and really restarted his career as the hard-as-nails Counter Terrorist Jack Bauer, who each season has to face a threat to America's security in a desperate race against the clock. 24 was innovative in its use of (apparently) real-time events, so that each episode was one hour in the twenty-four hours Bauer has to save the world, and the clock would regularly tick down onscreen as time began to run out. Series ran for eight seasons.

The booth at the end (Canada) --- An incredibly inventive and thoughtful series, which features "the man", who sits in, you guessed it, the booth at the end of a cafe. If you have a problem, go to him and he will ask you to do something, whereafter your problem will cease. But beware: he will not give you an alternative, you must do what he asks if you want your wish to come true. For some clients, it's as simple as a phone call. Others may have to build a bomb and set it off in a public place. According to him, even he doesn't know what the request is going to be, but it's not negotiable. Two seasons so far. Main star: Xander Berkeley as "The Man".

Hustle (UK) --- Welcome to the world of the con. These guys can make you part with your cash, no matter how hard it may seem. A team of grifters who don't know the meaning of the word "impossible", Hustle is a sassy, hip series that shows up the innate greed of humanity and how easy it is to use that greed to separate people from their possessions. Ran for eight seasons. Main star: Adrian Lester as Micky Bricks/Michael Stone.

Taken (USA) --- Nothing to do with the action movie starring Liam Neeson (or indeed, the second action movie, also starring Liam Neeson!) this is Steven Spielberg's sprawling drama chronicling the lives of three familes, who are all influenced one way or another by the arrival of aliens. The series runs over generations, and is in fact a miniseries, therefore just the one season. Main star: Joel Gretsch as Owen Crawford.

Hell on wheels (USA) --- Telling the story of the building of the railroad across America, and the people who were involved in it, Hell on wheels is set in the 1860s and features such themes as racial segregation, anti-Indian sentiment, greed, power and betrayal. Two seasons so far, with a third due. Main star: Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon.

Tripping the rift (Canada) --- A gloriously irreverent, sexy and totally politically incorrect space comedy animation, Tripping the rift began life as two short internet cartoons and soon grew to a whole series. The show is based loosely around sci-fi precepts but just refuses to take itself seriously and is probably the most fun you can have while still dressed or sobre. Ran for three seasons. Main star: Stephen Root as Chode McBlob.

Forever Knight (Canada) --- Already mentioned, this follows the exploits of vampire Nicholas Knight, who in regret for his life of murder and mayhem as one of the undead seeks to atone by working for the police. He also hopes to become human again. The series ran for three seasons, and was one of the better vampire/cop crossover shows. Main star: Geraint Wyn Davies as Nicholas Knight.

Poltergeist: the Legacy (Canada) --- Nothing really to do with the horror movies of the same name, Poltergeist: the Legacy concerns the activities of a shadowy group called the Legacy, who battle supernatural evil in all its forms. Intensely mature for its time, with a very dark subtext, it's one of the best shows you've never seen. Ran for four seasons, despite being initially cancelled after the third. Main star: Derek de Lint as Derek Rayne.

Boardwalk Empire (USA) --- The prohibition era comes to life in the latest gangster show to hit the TV screens. Set in Atlantic City in the 1930s, the show follows the life of mobster Enoch "Nucky" Thompson and his cohorts as they run illegal alcohol into the city during "the dry years", using every method at their disposal to thwart the authorities as well as their rivals. Tough and violent with a soundtrack endemic to the time, it's currently in its third season and to be renewed for a fourth. Main star: Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson.

Sons of Anarchy (USA) --- Called "The Sopranos on motorcycles", it's far better than that comparison. The inhabitants of Charming, California are "protected" by the local Hell's Angels chapter, the SAMCRO, or Sons of Anarchy, who run everything from guns, drugs, prostitution and booze to keep their profit margins fat. There are however divisions among the club, with the younger generation wondering if the time has not come to have a go at being more legit? Currently in its fourth season, and already renewed for a fifth and sixth, with the real possibility of a seventh and final being commissioned. Main star: Charlie Hunnam as Jackson "Jax" Teller.

Burn Notice (USA) --- One of the funniest, smartest and slickest drama shows ever to hit the screens, Burn Notice takes us inside the world of the spy, as a disgraced agent tries to supplement his income by taking on freelance jobs while also trying to find out who "burned" him, that is, blacklisted him with the CIA. In its sixth season, with a seventh due. Main star: Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Season 1: Three million years from Earth...

Episode 2: "Future echoes"

For the first two seasons, the episode will be preceded by Holly giving a basic rundown of what happened in episode one, with a joke tagged on at the end, a different joke each episode. The usual announcement runs like this, though later the words "a hologram simulation of one of the dead crew" is changed to "a hologram simulation of his dead bunkmate".

This is an SOS distress call from the mining ship "Red Dwarf". The crew are dead, killed by a radiation leak. The only survivors were Dave Lister, who was in suspended animation during the disaster, and his pregnant cat, who was safely sealed in the hold.

Revived three million years later, Lister's only companions are a life-form who evolved from his cat, and Arnold Rimmer, a hologram simulation of one of the dead crew.


The joke: I am Holly, the ship's computer, with an IQ of 6000. The same IQ as 6000 PE teachers.

As he prepares to make the calculations for the jump to lightspeed that will help them navigate their way home, Holly tells Lister that he and the Cat must go into stasis, and Lister tells Rimmer that he has decided to go the whole hog and stay there for the entire trip home. Rimmer is not impressed, as he knows this means he'll be left alone with Holly. When Lister suggests they could just turn his hologram off for the journey, this still doesn't satisfy him. At any rate, it seems that Holly has made something of a miscalculation and they've broke the lightspeed barrier too early. As a consequence, very weird things are happening aboard the ship.

Conversations are taking place out of synchronisation, effects are being seen and felt before the cause occurs, and Holly tells Lister, Rimmer and the Cat that they are experiencing what are known as "future echoes". As they move closer to the speed of light, time speeds up, and so they begin to catch up on their future selves, seeing and experiencing events before they have actually taken place. The Cat runs by, holding his face and shouting that he's broken a tooth, and a short while later we see him fishing in Lister's fishtank, unaware the fish in there are robotic. So it's now pretty clear what's going to happen: the Cat will bite the robot fish, break his tooth and then go screaming out into the corridor, where the "other" Lister and Rimmer will see him running past. Clear? No? It gets better...

The strangest thing they see from the future is a photograph of Lister holding two babies, which certainly look to be his. When Rimmer asks how he gets two babies he grins and says "I don't know, but it's going to be fun finding out!" He's not laughing though when Rimmer calls him to say he has just seen a future echo of Lister dying! Desperate to change the future, Lister reasons that if he can stop the Cat from eating his goldfish and thereby breaking his tooth, he can cheat fate and change the outcome. Rimmer, ghoulishly delighted at the situation Lister is in (and happy that he's in no danger!) tells him it can't be done, but follows him anyway.

Although Lister manages to knock the fish out of the Cat's grip, in the ensuing fall and struggle the Cat hits his head and ... knocks his tooth out. Thus proving the old axiom that you can't change the future, it will always realign to the same outcome. Then Holly calls to say there's an emergency, and he needs help in the drive room. This is where Rimmer said he has seen Lister die, so Lister, realising you can't cheat fate after all, resigns himself to the inevitable and goes to meet his destiny.

After a tense few moments though, he fails to die and Rimmer, making no attempt to disguise his disappointment, is unable to understand it. He knows he saw Lister die, here, at this point, and yet here he is, still alive. When they return to the bunks, they're amazed to see a very old man there, who is quite obviously Lister from the far far future. He tells Lister (well, himself, but his past self, who is his present self --- don't you just love temporal paradoxes?) that it wasn't him that Rimmer saw die in the drive room, but Lister's son, Bexley. He tells Lister to run and get his camera, which he does.

On returning, the old man is gone, but in his place is a Lister not much older than the current one, holding two babies. Lister snaps a photo, and now we know where the photograph they saw in the future echo came from. But as to how Lister gets two babies without a woman on board, well that's another story and believe me, you wouldn't guess it, not if you lived to be a million!

Best lines/quotes/scenes:

Rimmer to Lister, having seen "him" die in the future echo:

Rimmer: "Brace yourself for a bit of a shock, Lister, but I just saw you die!"
Lister: "What?!"
Rimmer: "I did warn you to brace yourself."
Lister: "You didn't give me much of a chance!"
Rimmer: "I gave you ample bracing time!"
Lister: "No you didn't. You didn't even pause."
Rimmer: "Well, I'm sorry! I've just had a rather nasty experience. I have just seen someone I know die in the most hideous, hideous way!"
Lister: "Yeah! Me!"
Rimmer: "You were fiddling around with the navi-"
Lister: "I don't want to know! I don't want to know!"
Rimmer: "You don't want to know how you die?"
Lister: "No! (Pause) Was it quick?"
Rimmer: "Well, I wouldn't say it was super fast. Not if you count the thrashing around and the agonised squealing."
Lister: "You're really loving this, aren't you?"
Rimmer: "What a horrible thing to say!"
Lister: "It was definitely me?"
Rimmer: "Oh yes".
Lister: "I don't want to know. (Pause) How old did I look?"
Rimmer: "How old are you now?"
Lister: "Twenty-five. How old did I look?"
Rimmer: "Mmmm ... mid twenties."
Lister: "Smeg! I'm not ready! I'm not smegging ready!"
Rimmer: "You did seem surprised."
Lister: "Ah! Did you actually see me face?"
Rimmer: "You were wearing a hat, but it was definitely you."

The "future echo conversation" between Rimmer and Lister (and Lister)...

Lister: "Yo, Rimmer, look, I've been thinking--"
Rimmer: "What?"
Lister: "You know, about going into stasis and everything."
Rimmer: "How did I do what?"

(Rimmer walks into the middle of the room, and Lister realises that Rimmer
isn't looking at him, but at an empty spot in the air. Throughout the
following conversation, Rimmer continues ignoring Lister and talking to
thin air, while Lister is continually looking around, trying to figure
out what Rimmer thinks he's talking to.)


Lister: "What do you mean, "How did I do what?"
Rimmer: "Lister, don't be a gimboid."
Lister: "I'm not being a gimboid!"
Rimmer: "I've just been in the library, thinking. And I've decided--"

Rimmer stops as though he was interrupted, although Lister hasn't done
anything.

Rimmer: "Shut up! As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, I've decided, when you go into stasis, I want to stay behind. I want to be left on."
Lister: "What, on your own for the rest of your life?"
Rimmer: "What things?"
Lister: "Eh?"
Rimmer: "I said what?"
Lister: "What's going on?"
Rimmer: "You're space crazy!"
Lister: "I'm space crazy?! You're the one who's (waving his hand in front of Rimmer's face, who doesn't notice) space crazy!"
Rimmer: "Well, it probably is deja vu. It sounds like it."

Rimmer shakes his head and leaves the Drive Room through the near door. As he leaves, a second Rimmer enters through the far door. Lister is staring after the first Rimmer, and gets a shock when he turns around and sees the second Rimmer.

Lister: (Screams) "Aaahhh! Rimmer! (Calms down a little) I've just seen you walk out of that door!"
Rimmer: (Now talking directly to Lister) "What?"
Lister: "How did you do that?"
Rimmer: "How did I do what?"
Lister: "You just this second walked out of that door."
Rimmer: "Lister, don't be a gimboid".
Lister: "I swear, on me grandmother's life, as you walked out of that door, you came in this one!"
Rimmer: "I've just been in the library, thinking. And I've decided--"
Lister: "Rimmer, I'm telling ya--"
Rimmer: "Shut up! As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, I've decided, when you go into stasis, I want to stay behind. I want to be left on."

As he says this, Lister realises that he's heard all this before.

Lister: "Rimmer, you've just come in and said exactly these things."
Rimmer: "What things?"
Lister: "You said that!"
Rimmer: "I said what?"
Lister: "And that! You said that!"
Rimmer: "You're space crazy!"
Lister: "And then you said, "Well it probably is deja vu."
Rimmer: "Well, it probably is deja vu. It sounds like it."
Lister: "Well, go on then. Shake your head and walk out."

Rimmer shakes his head and walks out.

Lister's idea of freshening up (it's better visually but you'll get the general idea.)

Lister reaches under his T-shirt to scratch with one hand and sprays under his arms with the other. He picks up another spray can in his free hand and sprays his face. He suddenly realises that he's spraying his face with underarm deodorant. Cautiously reaching under his shirt, he discovers that he's been spraying shaving foam under his arms. He scrapes off a handful and slaps it on his face.

Rimmer, on the drawbacks of being dead:

Lister: "Oh, come on, Rimmer, don't give me this."
Rimmer: "Don't give you what? I'm dead, Lister, or hadn't you noticed?"
Lister: "I know you're dead, Rimmer. Don't whinge on about it!"
Rimmer: "Sorry to be a bore."
Lister: "I mean, you're everything you were when you were alive. Same personality. Same everything."
Rimmer: "Apart from the minuscule detail that I'm a stiffie."
Lister: "Look, Rimmer, death isn't the handicap it used to be in the olden days. It doesn't screw your career up like it used to."
Rimmer: "That's what they say, Lister. But if you had two people coming for a job, and one of them was dead, which one would you pick?"
Lister: "It depends which is better qualified."
Rimmer: "Bull pats! When was the last time you saw a dead newsreader?"
Lister: "Channel 27 have a hologram reading the news."
Rimmer: "Oh, groovy, funky Channel 27. Big smegging deal. You livvies hate us deadies!"

Good morning, Lister, Rimmer-style:

Rimmer: "Morning, Lister! How's life in hippie heaven, you pregnant baboon-bellied space cookie?What's the plan for the day then? Slobbing in the morning, followed by slobbing in the afternoon, then a bit of a snooze before the main evening's slob? God, you're a disgrace to the species!"

The Cat, taking only "the bare essentials" into stasis:

The Cat is wheeling a rack of clothes along and meets Lister.

CAT: (Singing) "This little kitty went into stasis. Oooo! This little kitty stayed home. Ooh! Yeah, my clothes look good."
Lister: (Laughing) "What are you doing?"
CAT: "I'm doing what you said do."
Lister: "I said, "Take a few essential basics you couldn't bear to leave behind."
CAT: "Right! These are all I'm taking. Just these, and the other ten racks. Travel light, move fast!"
Lister: "You can't take all of this. There's no room."
CAT: (Rummaging around in the rack) "OK, then I'll leave ... this!" (Pulls out a small red handkerchief.) "I'll just have to do without it."
Lister: "You can take two suits and that's it."
CAT: "Two suits? Then I'm staying!"
Lister: "You can't stay. By the time I come out, you'll be dead."
CAT: "Two suits is dead!"

Lister and Rimmer discuss the causality and the inevitability of events. Kind of. With respect to his upcoming death, as witnessed by a Rimmer barely managing to suppress his delight:

Rimmer: "Lister, it has happened. You can't change it, any more than you can change what you had for breakfast yesterday."
Lister: "Hey, it hasn't happened, has it? It has will have going to have happened happened, but it hasn't actually happened happened yet, actually."
Rimmer: "Poppycock! It will be happened; it shall be going to be happening; it will be was an event that could will have been taken place in the future. Simple as that. Your bucket's been kicked, baby!"

And before I confuse you (or myself!) any more, I'm off! More Red Dwarf in the coming days. Watch for more Babylon 5 soon, and hopefully we'll get Supernatural properly started before the week is out. Yeah. Don't hold yer breath...
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You're going to do reviews on all these series, this is fucking amazing! If you don't include Blakes 7 then shame on you.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yeah sorry, like I said I have to be sufficiently into the show to merit putting all that time into it, and although I loved B7 as a kid, when I rewatched it about ten or more years ago it just didn't speak to me in the same way. Some of the stories were just peurile, and the acting generally not that great. Still have a crush on Jenna though!

I've so much stacked up it'll be hard to get through it all, but I'm definitely looking forward to Spooks, Futurama, Life on Mars and Love/Hate. Sorry, can't do every show. Doctor Who I'm still considering, though only from the Christopher Eccelston era onwards if at all --- hey, ain't that interesting? Old Who could now be categorised as BCE (Before Christopher Eccleston!)
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Season One: "Signs and portents" (Part two)

Maybe I'm just writing too much on each episode, but each time I think I'll fit up to "that" episode in the next post, I fall one short. Which is a pity, as the one after the last one here (if you follow me) is really great and now it'll have to wait for the next update. Still, I'd rather put in too much (although I don't think it's too much: the summaries are pretty basic really) and have to do more updates than skimp and just fly through the seasons. So bear with me, those of you reading who are interested in the story. We'll get there, like Commander Sinclair says at one point, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but we'll get there...

1.5 "The parliament of dreams"

New Characters: Na'Toth, attache to Ambassador G'Kar; played by Julie Caitline Brown.


Lennier, of the Third Fane of Chu'Domo, attache to Ambassador Delenn; played by Bill Mumy


With the truly awful "Infection" now behind us, it's full steam ahead as we move towards the first proper "arc" episode, but this is more a gentler, standalone comedic episode really. The main plot concerns Babylon 5's first multi-cultural, multi-religious festival, during which all races who use or live on the station will be allowed to demonstrate their culture and their religion. It's an interesting idea, ending with a great comment on humanity's various religions. But though it's interesting it's also sort of boring, and the subplot is far more engaging.

Ambassador G'Kar receives word that his old enemy, D'Rog, is dying, but before he dies D'Rog has arranged for an assassin to visit Babylon 5, with the express instruction of killing him, in revenge for G'Kar's humiliating D'Rog before the Narn Council and ruining his family. He tells G'Kar he will not know the hour nor the means, and he should trust no-one. Just then his new aide Na'Toth arrives, to replace Ko'Dath, who had died in an airlock accident. G'Kar is suspicious, believing she could be the assassin, the moreso when he learns that it was indeed D'Rog who sponsored her for the post.

As G'Kar's suspicions mount, he demands Na'Toth find the courier who brought D'Rog's message to him. When the Narn, who is called Tu'Pari, is brought before G'Kar he seems to reinforce the ambassador's suspicions about his new aide, when he mentions that the message was actually given to him, after D'Rog's death, by Councillor Sha'Toth, father of his new attache. With this in mind he lets the courier go and contacts the homeworld to demand the reassignation of Na'Toth immediately. The Narn on the screen quickly agrees they will do this, and then apologises for the delay in getting the courier to him. There was an accident, he says, and they have not yet had time to find a replacement. G'Kar is mystified, until he turns and sees Tu'Pari pointing a gun at him!

He wakes to find himself shackled in electronic paingivers, which, if he comes too close to the assassin, send a shock through his system that results in crippling pain. As Tu'Pari carries out his commission, Na'Toth enters and advises him she is his backup, in case anything happens. Although skeptical about this, Tu'Pari does let his guard down enough to be attacked from behind by the furious G'Kar, and the assassin is knocked unconscious.

They must have also drugged him, because it is three days later when he awakes. G'Kar tells him that by way of recompense he has deposited a large sum of credits in Tu'Pari's personal account, which freeze the assassin's blood, as he knows the Guild he works for will see this as betrayal, and send assassins after him! He leaves in a fluster, hoping to stay ahead of whoever is now on his trail.

Important Plot Arc Points:
The Minbari Ceremony:
Arc Level: Green
During the display of Minbari religion, Sinclair and Delenn both eat a tiny red egg. Catherine Sakai tells the commander that this could possibly signify a marriage ceremony. The significance of this will be seen in later seasons.

Satai Delenn:
Arc Level: Orange
In a follow-on from "Soul hunter", Lennier on first meeting Delenn greets her as "Satai Delenn", but she quickly hushes him, saying that no-one on Babylon 5 must know she is of the Grey Council. This then confirms the snippet of information Sinclair retrieved at the end of that episode, and shows that Delenn is more than just an mere alien ambassador.

Quotes:

Probably the best part of the episode is the second opening scene, where we see Ambassador G'Kar making his dinner, and as he cooks, he SINGS! The song goes like this: "I'm thinking of thinking of calling her right after my afternoon nap. I'm thinking of thinking of sending her flowers right after Bonnie gets back. So many fishies left in the sea, so many fishies, but no-one for me... I'm thinking of thinking of hooking a love soon after supper is done." Classic!

Also in the same scene, when Tu'Pari enters and asks if he is Ambassador G'Kar, an annoyed G'Kar, who is just beginning his meal, snaps "This is Ambassador G'Kar's quarters. This is Ambassador G'Kar's table. This is Ambassador G'Kar's dinner! Which part of this progression escapes you?"

When Tu'Pari reveals himself as the assassin sent by D'Rog, he tells G'Kar that his instructions are: "You are to know pain. You are to know fear. And then, you are to die." When he wakes and finds he has been outfoxed by G'Kar, and that the Assassins' Guild will now be after him for dishonouring his commission, as they see it, G'Kar and Na'Toth cheerfully tell him he probably won't be caught, but if he is "You will know pain. You will know fear. And then you will die. Have a pleasant flight."

G'Kar, holding a death blossom, the calling card of the Assassins' Guild, which he has just found on his pillow: "And I suppose you have no idea how this got into my bed?"
Na'Toth: "Ambassador, it is not my place to speculate upon how anything gets into your bed!"

Londo (pissed): "You too! You're cute! Everybody's cute! Everybody's cute! Especially me! But in purple, I am stunning!" (Passes out)

Delenn to her new aide, Lennier, who believes it is not his place to look at her directly: "You can look up. I cannot have an aide who will not look up: you will be forever walking into things!"

G'Kar to Na'Toth: "The Earthers have a phrase: "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." Perhaps they stole it from us."

Garibaldi to G'Kar, upon finding, while searching his quarters, a pair of pink knickers: "Let me just say, from the bottom of my heart, Ambassador: hot pink is definitely your colour!"

Last point: this is the first time we see the station's resident fixer, spiv, hawker, an alien who can get it for you if you can pay the price. N'Grath is a six-foot tall insect who lives and carries on his business in the lower levels. He's totally alien, speaking in a sort of rasping whisper in broken English, and we only meet him once or twice during the entire show, which is a pity as I always thought he was a character who could have been very much more developed.


1.6 "Mind war"

Borrowing rather a little, to be fair, from Star Trek: the Next Generation's season three episode "Transfigurations", this more or less standalone episode features the arrival of one Jason Ironheart, a high-level telepath on the run. The Psi Corps send two of their own to track him down and bring him back, and one of these is a character who will be a recurring one, and a constant thorn in the side of Babylon 5 command. He is called Alfred Bester (yes, after the sci-fi novelist) but usually just goes by his second name, and he is played by Star Trek's Chekov, Walter Koenig.

Sinclair does not hide his disdain for and distrust of the Psi Corps when the two "Psi Cops" ask for a meeting (well, demand it really) with all the staff, so that they can telepathically scan them to see if they are telling the truth when they ask if anyone has seen Ironheart. Sinclair is reluctant, but Psi Corps have jurdisdiction as this is one of their own they are pursuing, and Earthgov tends to give them a wide latitude in its dealings with them. They are a powerful force on Earth, as we will learn later, holding or at least influencing from the sidelines many positions of power.

Ironheart knows Talia Winters --- he used to be her instructor at Psi Corp HQ, and her lover --- and he trusts her, so only meets with her after the Psi Cops have conducted their scans. They are particularly brutal, mentally, with Talia, as they assume, since she has history with Ironheart, that they will have met. But her mind tells the truth, and they must accept she has not encountered the rogue telepath. Later, of course, it's too late for them to know he has made contact with her. Although Bester and his aide have advised Sinclair and the staff that Ironheart is carrying important government secrets in his head and intends to sell them to the highest bidder, thus compromising Earth's security, he tells her that he was part of a top-level, black-op mission, that he volunteered to have his psi ability --- the rating of his telepathic mind power --- increased to such a level that he was, in the end, able to do just about anything with his mind. Then he learned the dark secret behind the experiment.

Psi Corps were trying to develop something that has eluded them for years, a stable telekinetic, someone who could move objects by the mere power of their mind. He tells Talia he was being made into a weapon, so that assassinations could be carried out without weapons: mental murder with never a trace of evidence to tie it back to the killer. When he realised what was happening he ran, but of course they sent people after him. Now, the unbridled, untapped power of his brain is tearing him apart: he can hardly control it, and he tells her that if he does not get off the station he will end up destroying it. He simply can't stop what is happening to him.

As Ironheart's trauma translates itself into the shaking of whole sections of Babylon 5, Kelsey, the other Psi Cop calls it a "mind quake", and Sinclair demands to know what has been kept from him and his staff by the Psi Cops. Bester explains that they want to capture Ironheart alive because of the massive potential of what he is, and to prevent that power falling into alien hands. They possess a "failsafe code" which was written into Ironheart's brain, which they can use to shut him down, but they need to be on a line of sight for it to work. The commander is less than happy that his station has been put at risk and he kept ignorant of the danger this man poses, but again he has no choice but to help Bester and Kelsey. Whatever the morals of the situation, whatever his personal dislike for and mistrust of Psi Corps, Ironheart represents an incalculable danger to Babylon 5, and he must be removed from it as quickly as possible.

When they pinpoint his location and find Ironheart however, things do not go as planned. After warning them, pleading with them not to use the code, the rogue telepath simply waves his hand and Kelsey disintegrates. Bester retreats, to formulate a new plan. Meanwhile, Talia admits to Sinclair that she knows where Ironheart is and that he should talk to the man. The commander agrees, and when he hears what the telepath has to say about the growing power of Psi Corps, what has been done to him personally and that such power should never be allowed fall into the hands of humans, who are not ready yet, he agrees to help Jason escape.

When Ironheart gets outside his ship begins to glow, pulse, then in a rush of light it doesn't quite explode but vanishes, and standing there is a galactic superbeing, basically made of light. Jason Ironheart is gone, and what speaks to Sinclair now is a totally new lifeform; Ironheart has made the transition from human telepath to .... who knows? God? Alien? Higher consciousness? Forever out of reach now of Bester and the Corps, he slowly turns and vanishes.

There's a subplot in the story too, which concerns Catherine Sakai exploring a planet called Sigma-957. It seems at the time it might be part of the plot --- and in a way, it is --- but is essentially unimportant, as are most of the scenes with her. I'm not sure why JMS put her in the story: as a love interest for Sinclair, she does very little and as a character quite a lot less. But the one thing that's good about the "Sigma-957" subplot is that it does give us a chance to see the great, late and lamented Andreas Katsulas in his role as G'Kar, betraying a more philosophical image, which will come to dominate his personality over the next few seasons. It also hints at big revelations yet to come.

Important Plot Arc Points:
Bester/Psi Corps
Arc Level: Red
As already alluded to, Psi Corps have a huge role to play in the drama that will unfold over the next four seasons (not so much in the fifth) and their lodestone will always be Bester. Although he is a cold, dark, calculating man, played to a "t" by a villianous Walter Koenig, even his motives get a little confused as the seasons wind on. What does not change though is that Psi Corps is marshalling its forces, preparing to make a powerplay, much of which will begin to come to fruition in season two and three. Because of the importance of Psi Corps to the story arc, I have included below a selection of quotes, mostly from Ironheart, that lay the groundwork for what is to come.

Sigma-957
Arc Level: Green
This enigmatic planet will be mentioned again, but just the once I think and only then in back-reference to this subplot. It will not, in the end, really feature very much in the overall plot, which is a pity really, as it was foreshadowed as being quite integral.

Talia and her association with the Psi Corps
Arc Level: Orange
Nobody really trusts telepaths. I mean, not really. Not ever. Would you trust someone who could just look into your mind to see if you were telling the truth? So Talia is never that trusted on the station, although Garibaldi does fall for her. There's never any relationship though, and that's kind of a pity because it would have been a pretty big blow considering what's due to happen later. Talia is clearly afraid of Bester, and with good reason: his reputation precedes him. And yet she is fiercely loyal to her organisation, believing the mantra they hammer into their cadets: "The Corps is mother, the Corps is father".

Quotes:
As I said, Jason Ironheart warns us of the danger Psi Corps presents to the current order. He knows more than he will say, but he alludes to much. Here are some of his warnings from this episode.
(Note: these quotes may not be exact. No scripts for Babylon 5 episodes exist online, so I'm mostly taking these from my memory. If I have to, I'll watch episodes back to confirm, but I will not always have the time for that. So if anyone knows these quotes and realises they're inaccurate, don't bother contacting me. I know. But they're close enough to give a general sense of what was said.)

"I thought they wanted big, but they weren't interested in big. Small, that's what they wanted. Control of smaller objects - the smaller the better. If precise control over small objects were perfected, telekinetics could become the ideal assassins: Murder without a trace. No fingerprints, no poisons. Imagine, you could just reach inside someone's heart, and pinch the valve shut, cutting off the flow of blood and therby making it seem like a heart attack. No-one would ever know."

"The Psi-Corps is dedicated to one thing, Commander: control. But there is something even more powerful - something they didn't even know existed until I crossed the line. Not mind over matter, mind over energy.... I look at you, Commander, and I see not a man, but a galaxy of subatomic particles which I can ... rearrange with a casual thought."

"People believe that the government controls the Corps, the reverse is coming to be true. The Psi-Corps is more powerful than you can begin to imagine. Telepaths make the ultimate blackmailers, Talia. I've seen it all."

There are other references to the Corps, some good, some bad, some funny. When Garibaldi confronts Bester and "thinks" something at him as he leaves, the Psi Cop replies "Anatomically impossible, Mr. Garibaldi. But you're welcome to try."

Garibaldi says he feels there's something "creepy" about Psi Cops --- "The way they look at you as if you're some sort of bug", and even Sinclair snaps at Bester that he doesn't like people "rummaging about in his mind". Ivanova, of course, has good reason to hate the Corps already, and none to trust Bester or any of its representatives.

With the escape of Jason Ironheart --- although there will be a coverup to prevent Bester being reported for putting the station in danger --- the battle lines are drawn, and Babylon 5 becomes a target for Bester and Psi Corps, the two mutual enemies, even if they will be forced to work together on occasion. The uneasy alliance will break without much effort, and the two will diverge to stand on opposing factions of the coming darkness.

On a lighter note, as mentioned, G'Kar gets to shine in his spiritual discussion of the planet Sigma-957. To quickly summarise a pretty aimless subplot, Catherine Sakai heads to the planet to check if it is uninhabited and to lay claim to it on behalf of a business consortium for which she is surveying it and to whom she intends to sell the mining rights. In orbit, she is suddenly approached by a massive alien craft --- or alien being --- which although it does not attack her (in fact, goes right past her seemingly unaware or uncaring of her presence) her computer is knocked out and she has no power to return to Babylon 5. Left drifting in space, she is rescued by Narn ships sent by G'Kar, who had tried to dissuade her from going to that sector, and who arranged her rescue because of the relationship (he says) he has with Sinclair.

When she returns home she asks him what was it that she saw, and G'Kar illustrates the point beautifully and poetically by picking up on his forefinger an ant which had been crawling on a nearby plant. He holds it for a moment then returns it to the leaf. "Now", he asks Sakai, "if that ant should now ask another ant What was that?, how should it reply? There are things in this universe, Ms. Sakai, billions of years older than either of our races. They are vast, timeless ... They are a mystery, and I am both terrified and reassured to know that there are still wonders in the universe ; that we have not yet explained everything. Whatever they are, Ms. Sakai, they walk near Sigma-957. They must walk there alone."

The episode ends with a closeup shot of the ant, back on the leaf, busily scurrying about its business, and the message is clear: to some intelligences out there we are of no more importance, threat or interest than ants are to us. We are not the masters of the universe, and we would do well to remember that.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I've now watched the pilot and the first three episodes of season one and I've got to say that it would be a travesty if you didn't review every episode of the series now that you've started them. As you say some episodes are much better or more important than others, so I know you'll going to include them. For the others you could just do a few lines etc stating any important stuff (as I've noticed you're doing) Another idea of mine, might be an episode rating guide Your episode guides are concise, thorough and seem to miss nothing out.

I also really think you should do a feature on the other Doctors to be a companion to modern Doctor Who. It's like somebody doing a big feature on heavy metal and not mentioning anything pre-1990s. You could for example do a feature on each Doctor and the key stories, enemies and key companions etc. I'm a real Doctor Who buff from this period, so I for one would read it with real vigour and notice any errors you'd make
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Doctor Who is now more aimed at a family-friendly market, but back in the sixties, seventies and eighties it was dark and disturbing, and we all hid behind the sofa when the Daleks came onscreen!
That's not strictly true, during the 60s it was very much seen as a family show. You only have to look at the casting of the original Tardis crew to see that.

During the 70s & early 80s several producers of the show said they were aiming it at 'Intelligent 13 to 14 year olds'.

I would say that The Weeping Angels are just as scary now as the Daleks were in the 60s. Or the Glass Mutant Dalek that scared the crap out of me in Revelation of the Daleks when I was a kid...

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Old 01-20-2013, 01:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That's not strictly true, during the 60s it was very much seen as a family show. You only have to look at the casting of the original Tardis crew to see that.

During the 70s & early 80s several producers of the show said they were aiming it at 'Intelligent 13 to 14 year olds'.

I would say that The Weeping Angels are just as scary now as the Daleks were in the 60s. Or the Glass Mutant Dalek that scared the crap out of me in Revelation of the Daleks when I was a kid...

Yeah, I get what you're saying, and yes some of the DW episodes today have been on a certain level of scarifyingness, but when you compare how scared we as kids (well, me anyway) were at things like Daleks, Cybermen and so forth, and just looking back at the "old" Who, there's a definite darker sense about it back then, a more "serious" side, than there is today. I mean, can you see the old Who doing Christmas specials or featuring historical figures as guests?

Mind you, see my reply to US: I'm not that familiar with "old" or "classic" Who and only vaguely remember being scared/enthralled by it as a kid. I was more a Star Trek fan really....
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I've now watched the pilot and the first three episodes of season one and I've got to say that it would be a travesty if you didn't review every episode of the series now that you've started them. As you say some episodes are much better or more important than others, so I know you'll going to include them. For the others you could just do a few lines etc stating any important stuff (as I've noticed you're doing) Another idea of mine, might be an episode rating guide Your episode guides are concise, thorough and seem to miss nothing out.

I also really think you should do a feature on the other Doctors to be a companion to modern Doctor Who. It's like somebody doing a big feature on heavy metal and not mentioning anything pre-1990s. You could for example do a feature on each Doctor and the key stories, enemies and key companions etc. I'm a real Doctor Who buff from this period, so I for one would read it with real vigour and notice any errors you'd make
Well, as far as episode reviews are concerned, I certainly won't be missing out a single one. I mean, if I covered "Infection" then surely I can't leave anything else out, can I? What I had originally intended to do was run a storyline and refer back to episodes, but that hasn't really worked out because B5 is such a complex story, so yeah, I'll be reviewing each episode. As you can see, due to the character max limit that leave me only getting through 2 or 3 episodes per post, which is going to take some time, but hey...

Ratings is a good idea, I may look at that.

As for Who, well the problem here is twofold. Classic Who has about twenty seasons, so even doing a few lines per episode would take me one hell of a long time. But more importantly, it was on when I was at school, so I remember very little about it other than the obvious, and though I could go back and rewatch the episodes (yeah...) I have so many other series to get through, not to mention my other two journals, that it would be time I couldn't afford.

So if I do Dr Who at all, it will be only the new versions, no BCE unfortunately. I don't even remember enough about classic Who to refer back. I mean, I have a rough remembrance of companions, doctors, K-9, a few stories, but it's all quite fragmented, and I really wouldn't be able to do a good job.

Tell you what: if you want to, you can do a section on Dr Who here yourself... once you get back from 1972 that is...

Thanks for the comments: keep em coming! Supernatural up next!
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