2018 Driving SF streaming/film to higher heights

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2018 Driving SF streaming/film to higher heights

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Edited: May 26, 2020, 1:13pm

I finally reached a new plateau in my battle with the cable company and got a cheaper (new & fiber optic!) connection all the way to my desk from a different company for a much lower price - fie on you overly loud cable tv commercials! The cable company owes me a refund they are dragging their feet about.

Now that my software is working again I got to view Altered Carbon on Netflix through the 4th episode, defying Richardderus's warning #215*, and enjoy it immensely so far. It has been a long time since I read the R.K. Morgan novel but I think the series does justice to the novel which I rank very highly - great SF noir.

* Richardderus, You should repost in this 2018 topic if the notion moves you.

:edit: a link to Wired review of Altered Carbon. They quote some whiny review that complained of sex & violence but if not that then it is not Altered Carbon. The article also points out set design which I forgot to mention - fantastically good and no doubt expensive.

Edited: Feb 19, 2018, 5:56pm

I saw Blade Runner 2049 on blu ray and was surprised I liked it so much after seeing all the negative news surrounding the movie. 2049 did not have the impact of the original Blade Runner {which was dissed also upon its release - by whom or what I don't know and also took a long time time to recoup the money spent} but I found the flick an enjoyable sequel, much better fare than a lot out there.

Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas all earn their paychecks and the special effects are great, as in the 1982 flick. I agree with the IMBD rating of 8.2 stars - nice weekend flick.


I09 review with links to others:

Feb 20, 2018, 4:40am

>2 DugsBooks:
I concur with your view of Blade Runner 2049. I watched it in the cinema with an open mind and concluded that, while it was not the original, if did not do the original any harm and it stands on its own two feet. My elder son bought me the DVD for my birthday and my two sons and I watched it together on Saturday night. (I am going somewhere with this.)

Both my sons, one 30 years old, the other 20, are so much younger than me that they know so much more than I could ever have learnt in my more than six decades. The older one has an arts degree in English and Sociology and considers him and expert on every form of art. My younger son studied the original Blade Runner film for his Leaving Certificate exams. Another expert. He also considers the idea of a sequel to a classic to be revolting.

At the end of Blade Runner 2049 they both said they had enjoyed it and that it was a good film, albeit not as good as the original.

Some of the things I liked about 2049 are:
- It did not try to be the original
- It did not try to compete with the original soundtrack but used mood music with homage paid to the original Vangelis
- The musical humour in the casino scene
- The fact the film did not debunk any of the mystery created by the original
- It was/is a good, enjoyable film.

Feb 20, 2018, 7:57am

>2 DugsBooks: I particularly liked the joke about Deckard's dog:

K: "Is it real?"
Deckard : "Why don't you ask him?"

Feb 20, 2018, 10:23am

Saw Black Panther last Friday and loved it. All the roller-coaster thrills I look for in such a movie, plus thoughtful on race relations. Relatable characters, cool visuals. The fight scenes were sometimes hard to follow, that's about my only nitpick.

Feb 20, 2018, 10:52am

>5 dukedom_enough: I am looking forward to seeing that film. The trailers look great.

Feb 21, 2018, 11:11am

Amazon Studios to produce Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks.

Why do these deals happen after the writer has died? Hard to see how they'll do it right.

Feb 21, 2018, 11:36am

>7 dukedom_enough:, could be a lot of good episodes in that. A couple I may have to skip so my lunch stays where it is, but more than a couple of must-watch ones, too.

The many deaths along the way are perfectly suited to today's GOT-weaned audience. Expect some plot changes: I'd imagine we'll get to meet the Idirans who show up near the end a lot sooner, the Culture woman will have more to do, etc.

Edited: Feb 21, 2018, 12:04pm

>7 dukedom_enough: Iain sold film rights to a number of his novels but the purchaser never made the film. In the case of at least one novel the rights reverted to Iain after a specified term (standard practice) in which the film had not been made and someone else then bought those rights only to also fail to make the film.

I am sure he would have loved to have seen the Culture on screen.

I look forward to seeing what Amazon will do with Consider Phlebas. Their making it is reason enough for me to sign up for the Amazon service. I have resisted to date but my resistance may have suddenly become futile.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Feb 21, 2018, 12:21pm

Something that may have held up this sort of production is the way the series isn't really a series in the traditional sense with continuing characters, etc. If it's a grand success, you're still mostly starting over with Player of Games.

Feb 21, 2018, 12:24pm

>7 dukedom_enough: What Iain would have made of the series being acquired by a rapacious capitalist exploiter of working people is another matter.

It certainly gives me a problem.

Feb 21, 2018, 12:40pm

>10 Cecrow: There are a few series these days that film each season with the new cast - unrelated characters or the children/parents of an earlier season - Fargo, for example. So they could follow that scheme. Or they'll telescope stories set over a span of centuries into a duration short enough that one set of characters will suffice.

Feb 21, 2018, 12:41pm

>11 RobertDay: I was thinking that, too. Still, he must have known what Hollywood would likely do to his stories.

Feb 21, 2018, 12:43pm

>9 pgmcc: We've seen announcements that haven't resulted in shows, at least not yet. Remember the Spike TV announcement about producing Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy? So don't subscribe just yet.

Feb 21, 2018, 1:10pm

>11 RobertDay: You are right.

Feb 21, 2018, 1:12pm

>14 dukedom_enough: I shal keep my hard earned shillings clutched in my hand untill I see the whites of their eyes.

Feb 21, 2018, 3:41pm

>5 dukedom_enough:

I just saw Black Panther last night. Overall I liked it but I found it confusing at times, especially at the beginning. It sort of jumped right into a scenario and not knowing the comic character I had difficulty knowing what was going on. The accents were great but sometimes they sounded muddy to me so following the conversations was difficult as well at first. The frequent flashbacks made things difficult as well. I had trouble telling father from son at times.

Having said that, this is obviously a character introduction and as such it was fine. It had a "Wonder Woman" quality to it because of the hidden world on earth aspect except they come out at the end of the movie. I was sad that they killed off the villain at the beginning of the movie. I thought he was well done, funny and interesting. I wish there would be more of him in the future.

The visuals were amazing... I saw it in 3D ... more because I had to rather than wanted to as the other theater showings were sold out at the time. In general, I am not a fan of 3D movies, Avatar being a notable exception. I also saw a trailer for the new Jurassic Park movie... It looked interesting but the second one was a bomb so I will reserve judgement til it comes out in May.

Feb 21, 2018, 7:04pm

>13 dukedom_enough: Well yes. Still, Hollywood is bad enough. But Amazon???

Feb 22, 2018, 9:53am

>11 RobertDay: But if Amazon goes on to develop the paternalistic AIs that bring about the socialist/libertarian utopia of the Culture wouldn't that realize his vision?

Feb 22, 2018, 10:33am

>19 justifiedsinner: I've been having a debate (with examples from sf) on one of the software testing discussion boards over how to test AIs, especially to ensure that their decisions are ethical. At the end of the day, it's going to be down to system designers and those who draw up the specifications and parameters as to how ethical the systems that are built will be.

It would be nice to think that the systems will transcend the ambitions of their creators. However, perhaps I'm being cynical, but I think I side with Dave Langford over this:

"Actual future robots are more likely to follow Langford's Laws of Robotics, which I invented at some SF convention and which have since turned up in Wikipedia: "1. A robot will not harm authorised Government personnel but will terminate intruders with extreme prejudice. 2. A robot will obey the orders of authorised personnel except where such orders conflict with the Third Law. 3. A robot will guard its own existence with lethal antipersonnel weaponry, because a robot is bloody expensive." (https://ansible.uk/sfx/sfx146.html)

(We saw this in the original Robocop film, as I recollect.)

Feb 22, 2018, 10:44am

>19 justifiedsinner: More: I've just checked Banks' own thoughts on the matter ('A Few Notes on the Culture') and he implies that the socialism came first and the Minds second, though not by very much. Perhaps I haven't read it deeply enough (this time), but I certainly thought that the Minds didn't create/impose the shape of the society.


Edited: Mar 9, 2018, 5:26pm

I'm 80% through VanderMeer's Annihilation, and liking it. But I'm genuinely puzzled as to why anyone would see it as a candidate for adaptation in film, and how they would do that. The movie looks like it's getting pretty good press, though.

Mar 9, 2018, 8:15am

>22 paradoxosalpha: The film is directed by Alex Garland, who has form for such things. Though I did hear one BBC Radio 4 arts presenter refer to 'Annihilation' as "...a follow-up to his 'Ex_Machina'". Still, this was a BBC arts presenter, for whom SF is still something to be held a bit at arm's length, so "if it's sci-fi it MUST be a sequel, because - well, you know, sci-fi..."

Mar 9, 2018, 8:31am

Finished reading the book; hoping I get to see the film while it's still on big screens. Press has been good, but box office dismal.

Edited: Mar 9, 2018, 5:22pm

>22 paradoxosalpha: I am looking forward to Annihilation, a big fan boy of Natalie Portman. The trailers look pretty neat, great animation:


oops! I think this is the right link for the book the movie is based on, your link goes to a Marvel concept with the same name:


Mar 9, 2018, 5:27pm

>25 DugsBooks:

Huh. I thought I had made sure I had the right touchstone. Fixed it now, anyway.

Edited: Mar 14, 2018, 10:32am

So I did see Annihilation yesterday. The visual effects and soundtrack were both great. The cast was solid, and gave good performances. But it was certainly a far cry from the book. To the extent that the movie plot reproduced phenomena in the novel, they were far more rationalized and subjected to explanations, undermining the weirdness and mystery of the whole thing. The movie was very much science fiction with horror flavoring, even providing the epistemological consolation "So it was aliens," whereas I've classed the book as weird horror with espionage and sf elements.

Mar 22, 2018, 7:25am

It's not out yet, but I just discovered that IMDB has a page for the miniseries adaptation of China Mieville's The City and the City. Hard to see how Mieville's milieu can really be captured on screen, but I'm looking forward to seeing how they try. Out in 2018.

Edited: Mar 22, 2018, 9:48am

Flipping channels I caught a piece of a Will Smith mess called 'Enemy of the State'. The scene involved following Smith and a female around a park and secretly recording them using numerous trackers. It was a complete rip-off of Coppola's 'The Conversation' edited by the brilliant Walter Murch.

Mar 22, 2018, 10:31am

>29 justifiedsinner: The Conversation is a brilliant film. At least they kept Gene Hackman in the mix but no very young Harrison Ford.

The end of The Conversation is wonderful.

Mar 22, 2018, 1:48pm

>28 dukedom_enough: I had the same reaction a couple years back when they made a play of it in Chicago. Description and audience reviews here.

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 9:29pm

2001: A Space Odyssey" returns to theatres in 70mm

Yep, this is the big one! I saw the original in 70mm "CinemaScope" where they used 3 projectors simultaneously if I am not mistaken. Stereo sound with a great sound system. All the editions since then seem like parodies of the original to me - especially when shown on the old TV format or even the DVD's. If time/money/availability all materialize, I think most would really enjoy seeing this movie in its original {or very near original, will there be 3 projectors?} form. The 70mm format was twice as big as the standard 35mm format and it was very noticeable in the amount of detail on the screen.

A couple of articles I read said a new 4k version to be released on disc also. Link to trailer of the flick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHjIqQBsPjk

It would be great if they had the same ticket price as the original !

Apr 2, 2018, 5:17pm

>32 DugsBooks: For the 40th anniversary of its release, there was a version that went around the IMAX screens in the UK. I was pleased to see that nearly all the effects were as good blown up to seven stories high as they were on the original 70mm release (which I saw). Only one shot didn't work, when the Lunar shuttle is shown passing the limb of the Moon, and it was clear that the Moon was a photograph matted into the picture (and the best photograph you could get in 1968 wasn't as sharp as we could get today).

When much more recent films such as "Apollo 13" - which was state of the art in its day - look badly dated in terms of their effects just ten years later on a modest domestic flat screen, that 2001 had only one major fail when projected at such a huge extreme shows how much thought and effort went into the film. Kubrick may be derided in some quarters for his perfectionist approach, but who's to say he was wrong?

Apr 3, 2018, 11:51am

>33 RobertDay: Yep, I agree.

Listening to this as I multitask; NPR radio is interviewing the author of Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece at this site 2001: A Space Odyssey' 50 Years Later

They are also interviewing people who made the movie, very interesting and on a podcast at the site I believe.

Apr 4, 2018, 6:47pm

>27 paradoxosalpha: we watched Annihilation the other day, agree music and visuals were great. But it was not a patch on the book. I remember how scary and mind bending the book was, and I didn't get that with the movie. The book was vivid, and has stuck with me for the few years since I read it. I was drawn into VanderMeer's world, and it must have spurred Garland's imagination. I too had worries about it being translated to film. My husband seemed to like the movie well enough though, so if you were never going to read the book, at least there's a film to watch?

We binged WestWorld, loved it. Only one or two episodes dragged a bit, and best to go in with as little knowledge as possible. There was a nice subtle nod to the original movie, but it's so much better. Like Battlestar Galactica's reboot was to the 70s show. Looking forward to Season 2 which is coming this month.

We also started Legion, from what I had seen and heard I thought I would like it. Again, I would try to go in with as little knowledge as possible.

Edited: Apr 5, 2018, 7:17am

Found lots to love in the movie version of Ready Player One, after also enjoying the book. It's a just-for-fun flick, nothing too deep, but the fun was a truckload. Looking forward to seeing that again.

Apr 5, 2018, 10:41am

>35 wifilibrarian:

I'm now just a few pages from the end of Acceptance and the full Southern Reach Trilogy. I think the screenwriter and director of Annihilation pulled quite a few ideas and images from the later books in their effort to create a more cinematic story out of the first one. That original book is just so textually documentary, and it gets a lot of its narrative power out of the limitations of its medium.

Also, I can imagine that it would be possible to make a sequel to the Annihilation movie, but it's hard to imagine it being much like the Authority book.

Apr 5, 2018, 1:18pm

>37 paradoxosalpha: I'm not sure where I read this, but I think I remember reading somewhere that Alex Garland, the fellow who made the movie adaptation of Annihilation said he hadn't read the other books in the Southern Reach Trilogy. I can't find the interview now, but here is one where he talks quite a bit about how the movie differs from the book, and how he felt he had the latitude to make the movie without being completely faithful to the book.


Apr 5, 2018, 1:35pm

>38 Dr_Flanders: Alex Garland ... felt he had the latitude to make the movie without being completely faithful to the book.

Well, no question there. But I'd be really surprised if he hadn't read the other books at all, because there really are a few elements that are in the movie that are only disclosed in the later books. Of course, there are a number of things in the movie that aren't in the books at all. Thanks for the link.

Apr 5, 2018, 1:48pm

>39 paradoxosalpha: Hey, I found it. https://nerdist.com/alex-garland-annihilation-interview-adaptation/

Here is a quote from the linked article above where Garland explains that he had written the film script before the next two novels had even been released. It looks like you are right notice that elements from the later books made it into the film, but it looks like he got those elements from either conversations with Jeff VanderMeer, or other people who had read the last two books. I assume that might have happened after the first draft of the script, but who knows.

"Thankfully, “there were some weird correlations” between the books based on what others told him. “I didn’t read books two and three because I was worried about them, but other people filled me in on the elements.”"

For what it is worth, it doesn't sound like Garland had any interest in making sequels to the movie. I haven't been able to see the movie yet, but I loved the books...I'm looking forward to watching the movie but rarely go into a movie adaptation of a book expecting an extremely faithful adaptation either, so I don't think I'll mind if the movie is different, so long as the movie is enjoyable.

Edited: Apr 5, 2018, 3:23pm

All three books were published in 2014, but according to the interview you linked, Garland decided to write and direct the film based on reading a pre-publication proof of the novel. Garland says:
you can only really demonstrate that with the changes themselves. You can’t say, I’m gonna do this and this and this. … What I did was I just wrote it and I showed it to Jeff and said, ‘Look, this is what I came up with.’
So possibly some of the content of the later books was actually inspired by elements of the screenplay!

Edited: Apr 5, 2018, 2:06pm

>40 Dr_Flanders: I'm looking forward to watching the movie but rarely go into a movie adaptation of a book expecting an extremely faithful adaptation either, so I don't think I'll mind if the movie is different, so long as the movie is enjoyable.

I felt like I might not have gotten an optimal experience watching the movie so very hot on the heels of having read the book. But I wanted to read it without being imaginatively prejudiced by the screen version, and I knew I wouldn't have long to catch it in theaters. If I'd already read all three books and then saw the movie a couple of months later, I don't think I would have felt any tension over the obvious differences between them.

The movie does some flat out amazing things. There is a plot aspect (not present in the book) that I found off-putting, but that's down to me and my narrative prejudices. I didn't like the "Kill the magician and his spells dissolve" way that Area X was "cleaned up" at the end. It was a little mitigated by Lena the biologist's persistent transformation/substitution.

Apr 5, 2018, 1:59pm

>41 paradoxosalpha: Haha, it certainly sounds possible that the screenplay could've influenced VanderMeer, I hadn't thought about that. I am looking forward to seeing the movie and I am kind of glad that it wasn't intended to be the beginning of a trilogy of movies, because I hate it when the first movie gets made, doesn't make enough money, and the rest of the series doesn't get adapted, like with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. It is kind of nice that apparently Garland's movie stands on its own.

Apr 5, 2018, 2:07pm

>42 paradoxosalpha:

It does stand on its own. Catch in on a big screen if you can.

Apr 5, 2018, 5:01pm

>43 Dr_Flanders: Of course, there were underlying reasons why 'The Golden Compass' didn't do well at the box office in some countries. When we saw it on general release in the UK, it was playing to a fairly packed theatre.

The BBC's television adaptation is due to start filming any time now. They have led us to expect five series, obviously with an eye to the box set market (being the BBC, they have both physical and virtual box sets in mind).

Apr 5, 2018, 5:15pm

>45 RobertDay:

A BBC version? That's good news. What would be even better is if the BBC would grab a do-over on The Dark Is Rising after that terrible movie.

Apr 5, 2018, 5:32pm

>45 RobertDay: Yes, there were certainly some issues with 'The Golden Compass' in the United States (which is where I live). I don't know how much of it was due to the outcry of people who opposed the film on religious grounds and how much was due to people just not being as interested in the film here. I'd imagine that Philip Pullman is probably better known in the UK than here.

I didn't realize that the BBC was doing a television adaptation, but that is something to look forward to. Hopefully they have more freedom to plumb controversial subjects than the people putting the movie together were afforded.

Apr 6, 2018, 12:14pm

I'm a bit late to note this, but apparently Amazon is also planning a series based on Cixin Liu's The
Three-Body Problem. The reports also say Amazon will throw $1 billion at the production...

Apr 6, 2018, 7:38pm

>48 dukedom_enough: Assuming of course someone doesn’t hold Amazon and the entire world hostage with a diabolical weapon for ........$100 million dollars!!

Edited: Apr 10, 2018, 5:51pm

I saw the Stephen King based movie The Dark Tower some time ago on blu ray and enjoyed it as a SF western based adventure movie. The movie is an "adaptation" of KIng's prolific series of novels by the same name and seems truncated if you have read even the first novel. The flick stands well on its on however. IMOHO

I read the novel The Dark Tower years ago and if I remember correctly Mr. King stated it was a novel he started in college and then set aside until many years later. Since then the book has exploded into a series , of eight?, novels. I read a couple in the series overall and got a little bored with the last one I read but that could have been a result of the times.

Link to wiki with info on the novel series: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Tower_(series)

Apr 10, 2018, 5:48pm

The First trailer for the new upcoming Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, just came out yesterday. It looks interesting and fun without the sometimes heavy handed gravitas of typical SW fare.

Link to trailer here or at IMDB link above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPEYpryMp2s

On the movie Blade Runner 2049 ;
>3 pgmcc: Late to reply but great, informed!, confirmation of my opinion by your kids - thanks.
>4 RobertDay: Will have to look for that comment the next time I view the flick ;-)

Edited: Apr 11, 2018, 9:55am

Apple adds Isaac Asimov sci-fi series to TV development list

Just saw this on the net, Asimov's "Foundation" series scheduled to hit the screens. I am pretty sure I have read most all of these. I wonder if they will use Hari Seldon's equations/algorithms to predict the success of the series and the amount of the resultant increase in Apple stock?


Apr 11, 2018, 7:30pm

>5 dukedom_enough:. Just bought a “Groupon” AMC theatre $26 gift card for $13 {last day of sale!!}. Hope to see Black Panther this weekend.

Apr 12, 2018, 9:57am

>53 DugsBooks: Hope you enjoy it.

Apr 13, 2018, 5:02am

>52 DugsBooks: What a time we live in, when all those sf novels we loved as kids but now find unreadable are being turned into shit movies...

Apr 13, 2018, 6:51am

Amen Ian. I read Asimov as a kid (although I think my first SF was Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Mars Series) The books - both Asimov and Burroughs - are unreadable (by a 70+ yo) ME.

Apr 13, 2018, 8:15am

>55 iansales:, just experienced that with A Wrinkle in Time. Thought that was great as a kid, but I can't see anything in the book or movie now.

Edited: Apr 13, 2018, 8:45am

>52 DugsBooks: I think the worst risk with a Foundation series, if we have to have one, is that they don't stop with the original trilogy.

Apr 13, 2018, 9:21am

>58 RobertDay:, don't worry! That'll only happen if the first movie is dumbed down and pumped chock-full of explosions and speed. Nobody could POSSIBLY do that to Foundation, amiright?

I might as well spread the salt and butter on those words right now ...

Apr 13, 2018, 10:48am

Interesting Polish post-apocalyptic movie from 1985:

O-bi, o-ba. The End of Civilisation

(link to YouTube, English subtitles)

Edited: Apr 13, 2018, 10:49am

Has anyone seen the third season of The Expanse, which premiered Wednesday here in the States? To my mind it's the best SF series since Battlestar Galactica and in terms of hard-sf even better.

Edited: Apr 13, 2018, 10:58am

>55 iansales: >56 guido47: >58 RobertDay: >59 Cecrow: Hey wait a minute - I own a small dab of Apple stock! I say we work those algorithms and make the series a visual & experiential narcotic for the masses!

It has been a long while since I read the novels & as >58 RobertDay: said the subsequent novels were not as compelling as the originals. Might have been a part of how old I was when I read the original 3, I really got lost in Asimov's galaxy as a kid. I am guessing they will jump from action scene to action scene if they are made - didn't Asimov have a lot of world building exposition?

Edited: Apr 13, 2018, 11:04am

>61 justifiedsinner: I have to wait until each season of the series is a complete package at Neflix - really enjoying the series so far however.

Apr 13, 2018, 5:59pm

>59 Cecrow: Yeah, no chance of that happening at all. (Awakes to see social media blaring "Vin Diesel IS Hari Seldon!"... :-( )

Apr 14, 2018, 3:28am

Saw the first episode of Netflix's Lost in Space. Humorless and lacking in basic scientific knowledge.

Edited: Apr 14, 2018, 5:22am

>56 guido47: To be fair, I thought the John Carter movie was excellent and hugely under-rated.

>60 LolaWalser: Yes, Piotr Szulkin. I have a box set of his films: Golem, Wojna Światów - Następne Stulecie, O-Bi O-Ba Koniece Cywilizacji, Ga, Ga Chwała Bohaterom, Kobiety Pracujące, and Mięso (Ironica). The last is one of my favourite films - after all, how can you not love a film that tells the history of Poland under Soviet rule using an amateur cast through the medium of dance and the use of meat products as metaphors?

>62 DugsBooks: Shouldn't it be a*pip* of Apple stock? :-)

Apr 14, 2018, 12:24pm

I'll have to look up that box set, thanks.

Apr 14, 2018, 6:19pm

>67 LolaWalser: It was released in Poland, although it has English subtitles. Copies are hard to find now, but it's worth seeing if you can find a reasonably-priced copy.

Apr 15, 2018, 12:48pm

Ack! I guess another viewing on YT is in order... have never been lucky with finding Eastern European stuff reasonably priced online (or off-line for that matter).

The YT copy is surprisingly good, so there's that, at least.

Edited: Apr 16, 2018, 2:37pm

>66 iansales: Of course I meant a pip of Apple stock! {after looking the word up} Finally, a level of competence the proofreaders at LT can aspire to
- thanks for providing such a fine example!

Apr 17, 2018, 1:50am

>70 DugsBooks: You had to look up "pip"? What do you call them in the US?

Apr 17, 2018, 8:30am

>65 justifiedsinner:, I saw most of that (wasn't entirely paying attention) but I'd like to know the basic science facts they messed up because I thought the whole magnesium thing was really interesting. Had a hard time believing water would freeze that suddenly/fast like it did though.

Apr 17, 2018, 11:01am

>71 iansales: Just Apple seeds, American English tends to lack embellishments.

>72 Cecrow: Magnesium is so reactive it wouldn't exist in the pure state. On Earth it exists in over 80 different mineral forms such as carbonates, silicates, halides etc.

Edited: Apr 19, 2018, 5:34pm

>71 iansales: Yep, as Justified said - I had to look it up. Doesn't mean I don't get around though, I have been as far as Salisbury ---- North Carolina. That is more than 100 miles up the interstate! { no cathedral there however} ;-)

Edited: Apr 19, 2018, 5:53pm

I caught a discounted early morning screen of The Black Panther movie last weekend. It was exciting with big explosions, action and a compelling storyline that touches briefly on some racial issues. The younger kids there were mesmerized by the flick but it also made entertaining adult fare. Unless the whole family is going I would wait until blu ray edition comes out.

Special effects are top notch and only a few spots I noticed that were a little distracting but I can't remember the exact scenes. Stan Lee once again has a cameo role that is short {15 seconds?} but entertaining as an inside joke to the audience. In a possibly related story there are several headlines about with themes similar to; Stan Lee Being Held Prisoner by Real-Life Villains?. The NYT article has Stan himself put everyone at rest. My contention is a big stack of Marvel money fell over on him while he was at home and trapped him there for a few days. BP is really bringing in the gold for Marvel.

Edited: May 4, 2018, 4:24pm

>65 justifiedsinner: I binged watched the Lost in Space series {link to home site with trailers} after reading your review. The binge watching was inadvertent, while the first episode took a little time to get off the ground the series really appealed to me and I finished it off in few days :::blush::: making it a guilty pleasure I guess.

"Dr. Smith" in the new series is female and truly hateful, even murderous when necessary to assuage her warped ego for her "survival". This as opposed to the original who was a walking pratfall with , usually, unintentional dangerous consequences. The new series also has a larger budget - so far, as they have yet to use people with artfully costumed paper bags over their heads appear as aliens {I swear, later in the series that happened!}.

I winced a bit at the Magnesium thing, I have a wooden box that some Mg came in while suspended in oil, but the movie also has a worm hole in it and a rich vein of Mg might be easier to imagine. In summation I guess the new series has quite an edge to it with sharp emotional scenes that involve the audience {wanted to strangle Dr. Smith}. The didactic life lessons of the original series aimed toward the YA or younger are there but framed in gripping {to me!} situations in which the audience really becomes emotionally invested, instead of the banal aphorisms that were a part of the original.

I also missed "robby the robot" - who was also the robot from Forbidden Planet {still great movie} but the new robot is great.

Couple of links to reviews:


Did some editing in an attempt at clarity

Apr 30, 2018, 12:53pm

Not the same robot, though similar. You can web search images of both. There was an episode of the original Lost in Space series where Robby from Forbidden Planet guest-starred.

Edited: May 1, 2018, 11:03pm

>77 ChrisRiesbeck: Thanks for the head's up ;-) The contrast in clarity and resolution when I viewed Forbidden Planet - streaming or dvd {I forget} was just startling when compared to late night tv on old cathode ray tube TVs.

Last week I thought I would use my discount pass to see Avengers: Infinity War but the darn seats were reserved already early in the week before the weekend premiere. There were only tickets at the end on the very front rows or at the back , again on the extreme end {last seat}. Marvel just killed at the box office evidently, blurb from the official website below:

"Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” was unstoppable in its opening weekend, breaking records for both the biggest domestic and international box office openings of all time.
Domestically, the film brought in $258.2 million through Sunday, while the international take from opening weekend is a massive $640.9 million. Domestically, it also broke records for the biggest Saturday box office haul ever with $83 million and biggest Sunday ever with $69.2 million. As of this week, six of the top 10 biggest domestic opening weekends ever are now from Marvel Studios, including “Avengers: Infinity War,” “The Avengers,” “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: Civil War,” and “Iron Man 3.”


May 2, 2018, 7:55am

>78 DugsBooks:, and thus another decade or two of Marvel films was born.

Edited: May 4, 2018, 1:41pm

May the Fourth be with you!! Solo: A Star Wars Story tickets are now on sale for the May 25th opening of the flick. Ron Howard {Opie Tayor, who has also been to Salisbury NC} directed the film. I seem to remember complications getting directors for some of the recent SW movies but I am sure Ron was a great choice.

Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14224099

Edited: May 9, 2018, 7:33am

>80 DugsBooks:, Ron is the substitute director, after they fired the duo behind cultural hallmarks like "The LEGO Movie" whose sense of humour applied to Han Solo's backstory wasn't satisfying the powers that be.

Let's not forget his other Lucas connections: starring in "American Graffiti", and directing "Willow".

May 9, 2018, 4:50am

>78 DugsBooks: Just came back from "Avengers: Infinity War" and frankly I thought it was a great movie. What amazed me was the number of star actors and they "played" well together on the screen. All seemed equal... no one seemed to step on the lines of another. I don't usually like "Spectacle" movies like that but this one gets full marks from me.

Edited: May 17, 2018, 8:12pm

Netflix really has a plethora of SF films available for streaming now and many are "Netflix Originals". I have watched a few, among which are:

The movie, Bright ,starring Will Smith {wiki link} The premise of the movie sounds corny, where Lord of The Rings type monsters live in a modern setting but there are no fuzzy golden halos surrounding breath taking creatures here. Will Smith a police officer, illegally with a baseball bat, swats down angry fairies attacking his porch light at night and his partner, an orc, battles stereotyping as he goes about his duties. A lot of surprising gritty realism with the mythical creatures dropped into characters who would fit into any noir/detective movie. Will Smith really makes the movie IMOHO by convincingly interacting with everyone/thing in a hum drum no nonsense manner. Good, surprising, flick if you have the time.
IMDb link with trailer https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5519340/

Beyond Skyline {Link to trailer} Is a "B" movie, complete with brain eating monsters from outer space, that has an above grade B execution. A Vietnam war scene , involving monsters, is thrown in also touching as many bases as possible I guess. Again worthwhile if you have time to kill IMOHO.

>82 Lynxear: I look forward to seeing the flick - probably on DVD.

Edited: May 24, 2018, 10:24am

I finally saw The Shape of Water {rotten tomatoes link} on blu ray some time ago and it was great. I actually thought Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth was better but it looks like "Shape of Water" transcended the science fiction label. I was surprised at del Toro's {see link} filmography - there are several movies I have never heard of {loved Gahan Wilson's cartoons!} and he contributed to some of the biggest drawing flicks.

>83 DugsBooks: I would like to warn that Skyline has neither scantily clad women or men in the flick which is a departure from the genre. I mention this because I viewed a movie "At the Earth's Core" {1976} on a SF "side channel" , Comet TV, of the new HD broadcasts. Several of the people in it were wearing uniforms that would make many table dancers look over dressed.

Edited: Feb 18, 2019, 11:41am

I saw the new Star Wars flick, Solo, that shows how the trader Han Solo came to be this weekend and it was great. How Han got the last name of "Solo" was a great scene - shout out to the writers , father & son, Jonathan & Lawrence Kasdan. A very entertaining quintessential summer flick. I saw the "IMAX" version which, to my surprise, is the second most expensive version. The Dolby sound version is now the most expensive, explained the lady scrutinizing my 50% off discount pass.

My perception is that they have degraded the sound quality of the other versions of films and retained both the patented "Dolby" process and the normal surround sound effect in the highest price flick. In the other versions they just crank the sound up louder in lieu of refining the sound. In my inexpensive home system you can run a test program that runs sound of specific wavelengths through each set of speakers and adjusts the sound from each based on the results of a remote microphone you set up beforehand {included!}. Why theaters couldn't do this to adjust the volume to the number of bodies there who absorb sound for that viewing is beyond me.

Anyway, Ron Howard did a great job on Solo and the flick does not have any of the constant "dark side evil foreboding" mired angst comprising several of the recent SW flicks and thereby is a little more light & uplifting. Not to say there are no dark moments however, this flick settles forever IMOHO who shot first in the bar scene of the first SW flick. Not a huge weekend opener so far but I think this flick will grow on audiences. A lot of divergent opinions in reviews of Solo but I give it a solid 8.

May 28, 2018, 2:27pm

>85 DugsBooks:, that's a fancier range of options than we have here in small town Ontario, Canada, where it's just "to 3D or not to 3D?". No local IMAX. I have no idea if sound quality differs between our showings, although it seems like the volume varies a bit: sometimes painful, sometimes acceptable.

I just want to find out if a Kessel Run is most correctly measured in time or distance.

Edited: Jul 2, 2018, 9:55am

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Jun 7, 2018, 1:10am

>85 DugsBooks: I avoid 3D films for the most part. I find the 2D versions to be just as exciting and I hate seeing just a series of head shots of characters in 3D.

I agree with you that "Solo" was a great movie... probably the best Star Wars movie since the original one IMHO. All characters were great... Woody Harrelson stood out for me.

I don't know why the movie does not agree with movie patrons. Probably it is because there is less mindless battles. This movie has story line which is basically absent in many StarWars movies.

It deserves a better audience.

Edited: Jun 8, 2018, 6:51pm

Just got a message that they are streaming 500 episodes of classic Doctor Who on Twitch:


It's The Spearhead in Space, the first Third Doctor story...!

ETA: Apparently a re-run, the new story starts on Monday 11 AM PST (but they also repeat them?)

P.P.S. OOh it's Inferno on Monday

the chat looks fun!

Jun 11, 2018, 11:10am

Correction!--they are showing The Ambassadors of Death first, then Inferno.

Edited: Jun 12, 2018, 4:07pm

I have been watching Andromeda the TV series as of late for free on Roku {one of those sticks you plug into the tv, uses the internet to stream}. Being able to watch in sequence rather than catching whatever show might be on make the series habit forming. Fairly light hearted despite the high body count in some episodes {the bad guys shoot like Star Wars stormtroopers}. Developed by Gene Roddenberry before he passed away and into production afterwards, the show hits a sweet spot for me with the dialogues, special effects and sets. Touches on a lot of philosophical topics of lifestyles and technologies as is typical of Roddenberry. Resolution is much better than on the old cathode ray TV's also.


Jun 12, 2018, 6:35pm

>91 DugsBooks: When it was first shown here in the UK, I kept thinking of the projection of the ship's persona as that holographic woman who used to advertise AOL (remember them?). And of course, given that the original idea for the show was an extension of Roddenberry's Trek universe into a distant future where the Federation has collapsed, I had a lot of fun spotting the subsititutions (Nietzscheans are fairly obviously Klingon substitutes, for a starter).

At least the Nietzscheans were actually seen reading Nietzsche fron tine to time...

Jun 20, 2018, 8:25pm

15,000 people are tuning in as the Third Doctor regenerates into Fourth today! Two more episodes of The Planet of the Spiders left, then they repeat today's stories.


Tomorrow they are streaming Robot, The Ark In Space, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks--full schedule here:


I caught this sporadically because the chat is cracking me up (but if you haven't seen the stories before, you probably don't want the distraction).

Edited: Jun 21, 2018, 11:42am

>93 LolaWalser: First time I ever visited twitch - looks like the "group" participation could enhance the experience as you state. Roku has commercials also, always four of them {but still much less than with a normal broadcast TV station} and lets you know when you are back to the movie.

Edited: Jun 25, 2018, 5:29pm

I thought I would try to be more cosmopolitan and mention some foreign movies featured on Netflix as it spreads it tentacles across the oceans and nation's borders. That also brings up the always arguable topic of whether or not to have subtitles on movies or lip sync. with voice overs for the dialogues. I was going to brag about how I sold some NFLX "puts" to pay for my subscription but since Trump's efforts today to make the world safe for oligarchs and pop the stock market , I am more concerned about the deposit available on aluminum cans as I walk down the road.

Dark, a German series with several episodes in the first season looked like a bust a first but developed an intriguing, spooky, suspense as seemingly normal people become warped by a time shifting phenomenon in their small semi remote town. The series progressively becomes more & more compelling and will make a binge watcher of you if not careful.

One of the main reasons the series gets off to a slow start is that for some reason Netflix or whoever decided to voice over all the characters and the English dubs over German speaking lips do not match up so well often - this goes away quickly but is irritating at first.

By contrast in El Barco {The Boat} English subtitles are used in this Spanish language dystopian flick about the earth being decimated by a mini black hole created by an atom smasher. I did not finish the series as its only objective, evidently, is to tantalize the audience with "hot latin sexual tensions" aboard a boat of college student survivors. These very vocally expressed {at great length} feelings about relationships take place with their importance overwhelming mundane background chatter like the world almost ending, a possible bomb on board and not much mention of where food will come from. I stopped watching when impassioned emotional speeches were given in lieu of actually doing something about a bomb ? ticking down on board the boat. With over a dozen sailors no one came up with the idea of putting the breadbox sized electronic gizmo on a dingy with a long line attached to the boat and letting it play out its 8 hour purpose there.

Can't really recommend this unless "hot", unrequited dysfunctional endlessly verbalized relationships are your thing.

Edited: Jun 26, 2018, 8:31am

>95 DugsBooks: With Netflix you can go into settings and set the language to German and the subtitles to English. I did this for Babylon Berlin where the dubbing was also terrible.

Jun 25, 2018, 9:38pm

>96 justifiedsinner: Will be trying that soon & recommend it for “Dark” if anyone is so inclined.

Jun 26, 2018, 9:16am

>95 DugsBooks: I watched "Dark". It was fun working out the intricate, time-shift elements, but I quickly grew tired of all the speechifying about What It All Means. Suppose I'd watch season 2, if any.

Jun 27, 2018, 10:38am

Article about the continuation of The Expanse series. I am way behind viewing that, waiting on Netflix to pick up some new seasons.


Edited: Jun 30, 2018, 7:13am

Harlan Ellison has passed away, a giant in SF. Washington Post article on Harlan Ellison's passing which mentions the award winning Star Trek episode he authored. "The City on the Edge of Forever" was awarded the Hugo Award in 1968 for the "Best Dramatic Presentation" and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Episodic Drama on Television {from wiki}

The City on the Edge of Forever

The entire Star Trek series is on Netflix still I believe, I will try to catch the episode this weekend.

::edit:: Just watched the show - great as advertised. It is the 29th episode of the first season, wiki says it is the 28th & incorrect....Aha, Netflix lists the pilot episode “The Cage” , where “Capt. Pike is held prisoner and tested by aliens who have the power to project incredibly lifelike illusions.”, as the first episode- creating the discrepancy.

Edited: Jul 19, 2018, 2:10am

A little off topic but .....>96 justifiedsinner: I watched Babylon Berlin on Netflix & it was great - really got hooked on the characters and was ready to launch a net tirade when they were apparently being killed off.

If anyone thinks the plot element of a huge hoard of WWI Russian gold was a contrivance check out this breaking news:


Jul 19, 2018, 7:28am

>101 DugsBooks: But note, only "believed" to hold $130 billion's worth of gold. Like mythical Nazi gold trains buried under Polish mountains.

Jul 19, 2018, 8:59am

>101 DugsBooks: The Adenauer plot was something of a contrivance too and probably shocking to a lot of Germans. Bit like saying George Washington had the clap.

Edited: Jul 19, 2018, 12:42pm

>102 RobertDay: >103 justifiedsinner: I should have said "just a contrivance" I guess, never really tried to find out about a Russian heiress gold train.

Robert, but at least they know where the gold ship is exactly - unless they fabricated a ship's prow, sunk it there, and now asking for 1 $billion loan to start salvage operations? ;-)

Jul 19, 2018, 4:57pm

>104 DugsBooks: I don't doubt the ship's existence, just the gold's. But don't we all just love a good conspiracy or lost treasure story?

And wasn't it Louis B. Meyer who said "When the legend is better than the truth, print the legend" ?

Edited: Aug 7, 2018, 11:36am

Patrick Stewart is back in a new series of Star Trek. Here is a speech he gave at a convention announcing the news.


I have not seen all that the series will entail - I saw one article that said it would be the period after Picard retires from service.
An extremetech article on Mr. Picard's return to Star Trek

...and most of the news about Quentin Tarantino's R rated Star Trek has been speculation so far:

Aug 7, 2018, 11:40am

>106 DugsBooks:, just about anything they do with the TNG timeline will bring it to a better place than where Nemesis left it. I do hope it's more introspective than prior ST series, since Picard all by himself is a lot of character to delve into, given his many experiences and background. Lots of things to mine there, hope they take full advantage and not just use him as a face to help them carry on without looking back.

Edited: Aug 13, 2018, 2:53pm

>27 paradoxosalpha: >35 wifilibrarian: I saw Annihilation some time ago in a super cheap theater that picks up films after they are "discontinued" from first run - $3 a ticket if I remember correctly. That was a mistake & waiting for the DVD to come out is a better plan, right now getting ready to stream it on Netflix for a second showing. There were some elements of going to Mordor I thought with the trip to the lighthouse and I was muttering out loud they should have tried "shielded fiber optic cable" to stay in touch after penetrating the affected zone. I look forward to reading the books it was based on.

Edited: Aug 13, 2018, 6:51pm

Of course the real question is : Go to see The Meg at the cheap movie time or wait for the DVD?

I read an article {can't remember where} where a scientist familiar with the fossils said the movie Meg was a little larger than known fossils. He was commenting on the recent discovery of an entire skull for livyatan melvillei {extinct Sperm Whale}which had teeth of over a foot long , much larger than the Megalodon.{'s teeth}

Aug 13, 2018, 4:15pm

....and I see that The Matrix trilogy is available for free on Roku

Edited: Aug 22, 2018, 10:54pm

>89 LolaWalser:. Off topic but of great import for obvious reasons; Are you familiar with the monitization of Twitch & Amazon Prime?? I had never heard of twitch until you mentioned it and then was stunned when I heard this guys story on NPR & other sources.

Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins explains how he makes more than $500,000 a month playing video game ‘Fortnite’

Twitch streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins says lot of his income is derived from Amazon Prime subscribers, who are allowed to donate to his Twitch channel, and his 5 million subscribers on YouTube.


Edited: Sep 10, 2018, 4:45pm

Well, saw >109 DugsBooks: The Meg at the early cheap showing over the weekend and my verdict is - wait for the dvd, if then. Hard to understand but I was a little bored in parts of the movie which consisted of a little Jurassic park and a lot of sharknado. Kids may like it a lot however and the set designs were great. Some of the actors did a good job but a lot of the acting left some to be desired IMOHO.

Sep 11, 2018, 7:16am

>111 DugsBooks:, it's true; much is being made of the rise of esports, professional-level videogaming, but the real money is to be had in the streaming. Make enough entertaining videos and be convincing enough as an "expert", you can attract sufficient audience and subsequently dollars to have your mooching parents living in style in your basement.

Edited: Sep 24, 2018, 8:48pm

I have seen several articles on a new movie production of the classic Frank Herbert novel Dune. It appears Denis Villeneuve, the director of Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 >2 DugsBooks: has agreed to be the "Guild Navigator" of the flim. I have enjoyed the other film iterations of the book but as with most fans thought they did fall short of conveying the magnitude of the original novel {which I and many others became lost in}.

A couple of resource article links below:




Image ripped from this site:

Edited: Sep 24, 2018, 7:35pm

>111 DugsBooks:

Nice work if you can get it!

Freshly uploaded on YouTube in a very fine copy, a Russian sci-fi from 1961, "Amphibian Man". I saw it first some years ago in a sci-fi retrospective here and apparently it's a "cult classic". So fill in your "cult classics" points card...


I'm deeply cross with all things Russian at the moment but what can I do, gotta admit I love that movie...

Sep 25, 2018, 7:57am

>114 DugsBooks:, I appreciated the television version, but it would be great to see it done right on the big screen. Something to look forward to.

Sep 25, 2018, 10:03am

>114 DugsBooks:, >116 Cecrow:

Villaneuve already justly refused a precedent for voice-over internal monologue in Blade Runner 2049, so we can bank on him to get that right, in any case.

Sep 26, 2018, 4:40am

>117 paradoxosalpha: didn't like Blade Runner 2049 at all so I'm not expecting to like his Dune

Oct 10, 2018, 12:04pm

She came, she saw, she dangled off a crane... she conquered!

Scenes from the first episode here--spoilery maybe, if you plan to watch later.

Regenerating Doctor Who | Doctor Who: Series 11

Oct 10, 2018, 2:29pm

>119 LolaWalser:, didn't see it and probably won't be following the show, but I did appreciate this online review of the episode: https://www.tor.com/2018/10/07/because-were-friends-now-doctor-who-the-woman-who...

Oct 10, 2018, 2:47pm

>120 Cecrow:

If you didn't see it and won't be watching I don't see how you managed to "appreciate" that review. I've no time for the NotMyDoctor haters.

Oct 10, 2018, 2:58pm

>121 LolaWalser:, just my means of saying, I can't personally compare notes on the show since I've maybe seen two whole episodes in my entire life. No particular doctor loyalties here. But I find it interesting to follow where they take this show, given its long history. It sounds like it does a good job of honouring all that while at the same time evolving to suit the present audience.

Oct 10, 2018, 3:13pm

>122 Cecrow:

Agreed! Sorry if I misunderstood your motives.

Oct 10, 2018, 5:54pm


Personally, I wasn't blown away by the Eleventh Doctor's first appearance in the way I might have expected to be based on some of the early reviews. The companions look an interesting bunch, though sadly they killed off perhaps the most promising one.

The plot was lifted from 'Predator' and possibly ST:Voyager's strand about the Hirogen, with a climax lifted directly from "Quatermass and the Pit". But at least (for some Brits) it was good to see Sheffield usurp Cardiff's position as Centre Of The Known Universe; and some of the whole Northern vibe felt quite hopeful, almost hearking back to the early days of Ecclestone's revisionist Northern Doctor.

"I'm a woman? Half an hour ago, I was a white-haired Scotsman."

Oct 10, 2018, 10:52pm

I thought she was the 13th Doctor.

Oct 11, 2018, 2:44am

>125 justifiedsinner: >124 RobertDay: 13th Doctor, 11th series.

The episode was actually set in the city where I live, not that I could really tell. I did laugh at "we've got 20 minutes to get our train", when they were clearly up in the Peak District and would never get to Sheffield Railway station in twenty minutes... Not to mention that the train didn't resemble any train used around here. Other than that, it was all a bit monster of the week, but Whitaker was good. Not sure about her companions yet - there was too much running around to allow for real characterisation.

Oct 11, 2018, 4:31am

>126 iansales: It didn't look like any bit of the Peaks I've been to, but likewise I enjoyed the Sheffield setting. “Swiss army sonic – now with added Sheffield steel”

Edited: Oct 11, 2018, 7:42am

>125 justifiedsinner: >126 iansales: You're right, of course. I ran out of fingers.

I took the reference to "20 minutes to get our train" as meaning that they were somewhere out along the Hope valley, where there are still local stations for trains back to Sheffield.

Oct 12, 2018, 4:52am

>128 RobertDay: Good point. Although they wouldn't be InterCity 125s, which is what that train resembled. They'd be crappy Class 144s... but perhaps Northern were too embarrassed to have their shit rolling stock shown to the entire world...

Oct 12, 2018, 7:48am

I just took that as part of the long cinematic/tv tradition of using the wrong trains in a geographically unique story location. Film companies were doing that in the 1930s (in the UK, at least). Perhaps the funniest instance of this was Ken Russell's 1974 biopic Mahler, where the Bluebell Railway in Sussex stands in for the Orient Express travelling along the Kaiserin Elisabeth Westbahn between Munich, Salzburg and Vienna. There is utterly no resemblance between the two...

Oct 12, 2018, 9:03am

>130 RobertDay:, speaking of counting on fingers, I think the producers could count how many people watching would notice that, and you might have been one of them. :)

Nov 16, 2018, 3:56pm

>82 Lynxear: I saw "Avengers: Infinity War" on dvd finally and also enjoyed the flick. Huge body count of dead super heros so I guess the sequel is being set up quite nicely.

RIP Stan Lee, may his cameo appearances continue!

Dec 16, 2018, 8:13pm

Has anyone caught The Orville? Seth MacFarlane's show which feels like a homage to Star Trek. It's meant to be a comedy, and each episode usually has a few good laughs, but it doesn't feel like a parody. It feels more canon than Start Trek Discovery. Enjoyed first 3 episodes, the next couple weren't as good so haven't gone back to it yet but for any trek fans out there it's worth checking out.

Dec 17, 2018, 5:01am

>133 wifilibrarian: saw an episode while on a long-haul flight recently - not impressed.

Dec 17, 2018, 3:55pm

>133 wifilibrarian: I saw most of The Orville's first show online but then found out I was on a timer and not only would I have to endure commercials I would also have to pay a fee to someone to stream the series on Fox networks. I thought the series was clever and would have watched up to date but I was discouraged by the pay wall.
....same for CBS & the new Star Trek series, can't get past the paywall.

I have mentioned them before but one of the best parodies out there is a very low tech mock up of Star Wars - Space Janitors.
Looks like they have moved from Felicia Day's site to youtube now. Link below. The episodes are very short and very funny.


Dec 17, 2018, 7:13pm

>133 wifilibrarian: I watched the first season of The Orville. At first, I wasn't that impressed, since I am not much on parody. But, as I watched, I noticed a lot of digs at some common cultural things, e.g. aliens are attacking a planet and someone says "Think of the women and children." And the pilot guy says something like "What about single people." As a single person in a world of married with kids people, I totally get that comment as I am considered a nonperson in a lot of respects. I liked the show after that. I will probably watch season 2 when I have some time.

Dec 17, 2018, 8:48pm

>134 SChant: episodes definitely vary in quality. I was just on a long haul flight on Qatar airlines it was so frustrating that everything saucy was edited out making TV and movies unwatchable. Not to mention you couldn't watch the first episodes of a series, instead you'd get the first 4 episodes of season 3. Although, it was amusing watching the Rock in the movie Rampage say "Son of a witch".

>135 DugsBooks: How annoying. I actually watched a lot of Orville clips on YouTube before it came on our state owned streaming service. We get commercials on it (which I swear are higher volume than the show) but luckily don't have to pay. I should check out Space Janitors. Felicia Day is great.

>136 daxxh: totally agree! I loved that line, funny and a bit of social commentary, even if that character is sometimes a bit too annoying and what we would call a boofhead. He was in another great scene where two characters chatted in a hallway and actually said bye to each other when their interaction ended, and mentioned going to the toilet/bathroom. In star trek they seem never to greet or farewell each other and never leave the bridge for a comfort stop.

Edited: Dec 22, 2018, 9:06pm

I just finished watching the third season of "Travelers" on netflix and I think it is the best so far. IMOHO a lot of series degrade into the actors "mugging their way" through scenes without a lot of apparent effort but so far it appears all the actors here are glad to have a paycheck, it pays off in the "suspension of disbelief" made a lot easier.

"Travelers" creator and executive producer Brad Wright also created "Stargate Atlantis" and "Stargate Universe"; as is explained on the official Netflix webpage. The plot grew in tension over the season, as they tend to do, and the last show of the season was interesting in that it was not apparent how it would all be resolved until the end. Will there be a season 4 of the Canadian based show? Link below has speculation about that.

Dec 24, 2018, 5:11pm

> 138 I've only seen two episodes so far, but I'm also impressed by the high quality of Travelers third season so far.

Dec 25, 2018, 12:32pm

Generic symmetrical beigey 20-to-30-something people, ugh.

Edited: Dec 28, 2018, 5:25pm

>140 LolaWalser: I think several of the actors would be flattered to be called "20-to-30-something people" and when you are from the future and have taken over someone's body, beige is the way to go - the fish whose behavior attracts attention gets eaten! ;-)

Edited: Dec 28, 2018, 5:24pm

Just binge watched the Altered Carbon series on Netflix again - great!, caught a few points I missed first time around. I hope they make some of the other books into the series.

Edited: Dec 28, 2018, 5:33pm

>141 DugsBooks: Haven't seen it; do we know what the characters' actual future bodies look like?

Dec 28, 2018, 5:51pm

>143 dukedom_enough: Not giving away to much here I think but in the future people’s consciousness can be digitized and then “written” into an existing brain - even one in the past using a tiny wormhole & A.I. Computer. Most of the characters have been through several bodies but so far all the action takes place in the “present” save for a few flashback memories of the future by ‘travelers”

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