Westworld: The Auguries – TV Review

TL;DR – This first episode is almost a soft re-boot or realignment of the show, and while it does not reveal much, it intrigues me.   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge subscription that viewed this show.

The Hoover Dam

Westworld Review

I have always been intrigued by Westworld because even when it is not landing its hits, it is still swinging with all its might, and I always respect someone reaching for the stars, even if they don’t quite get there. Season 1 was this wild ride of betrayal and discord, where the very world shifted under your feet. Season 2 was this crazy roller coaster that inverted itself halfway through, and while it was a bit of a mess at times, it did have Kiksuya, the best episode the show has done to date. Season 3 jumped us out of the island and into the world proper for all its strengths and weaknesses. Can Season 4 capture what made Season 1 so good? Well, as long as it tells an interesting story, I will be there for the ride.

So to set the scene, we open seven years after the riots that marked the end of Season 3 and the AI controlling the destinies of humans in the background. Many people have tried to formulate new lives in the meantime, but something has stirred and has started to make their move. In the renovated Hoover Dam, a cartel kingpin (Arturo del Puerto) meets with a man in black (Ed Harris) about buying their data operation in the Dam. It is a ridiculous question because this is the cartel’s crown jewel, not for sale. But the Man in Black posits that they can sell for this price today or give it away for free tomorrow, and the cartel chooses door number two for their own demise. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Orville: Electric Sheep – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a difficult episode to watch at times as it wades into some real and challenging territory

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I streamed this on SBS OnDemand

Warning – Deals with themes of suicide

Murderer in big red letters.

The Orville Review

A few years ago, it was announced that Seth MacFarlane, most well known for Family Guy, would do his take on a Space Opera, a show that was like Star Trek with more jokes. It was a premise that had me both intrigued and also concerned. That is because I was sure you could make that balance work, just that it would be hard, and Season One was rough at times. But by the time Season Two drew to a close, it had wholly found its feet and was soaring forward. Now it is time to dive into the much delayed and possibly final season, titled New Horizons, and if it is the end, I hope it can go out on a bang.

So to set the scene, in The Road Not Taken, the threat that the Kaylons pose is seen in complete relief when we see a universe where the crew of the USS Orville never came together, and the galaxy is in ruin. But there is hope, and the team come together for some last-ditch time travel shenanigans to set the timeline right. It worked. But now, everyone on the ship has to work to get it ready for the next attack, and while the refit takes place, there is a lot of resentment brewing on board, with most of it landing square on the lap of the ship’s lone Kalon crewmember Isaac (Mark Jackson).    

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Halo: Season One – TV Review

TL;DR – While not a perfect season, the finale episode did leave me intrigued for more.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.

Master Chef about to jump out

Halo Review

When the first episode of Halo came out, it felt like it was a show of two halves. We got an exciting dynamic between Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) and the only survivor from a Covenant attack Kwan Ha (Yerin Ha). However, the show’s other half was some of the dullest paint-by-numbers military “intrigue” and “conspiracy”. I wondered which half of the show would dominate throughout the season because that would be a significant indicator of how the show would work. Well, now that I have seen the entire season, I have to say that we got some improvement, but not as much as it could have.

So to set the scene, at the end of Allegiance, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. Halsey (Natascha McElhone) turned the Spartans Riz (Natasha Culzac) and Vannak (Bentley Kalu) against John/Master Chief and Kai (Kate Kennedy). Meanwhile, Makee (Charlie Murphy) had rebuffed Halsey and was trying to trust Master Chief only to get a stun stick to the back of her head when Miranda Keyes (Olive Gray) realises that she was the one that killed the crew, which was bad. But even worse, Makee touches the artifact and sets it off, destroying much of the base. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – Strange New Worlds – TV Review

TL;DR – An outstanding pilot episode that takes us back on board the USS Enterprise and into the universe.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ streaming service that viewed this episode.  

USS Enterprise breaking through the clouds of Kiley 279.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Review

It has been a long road getting from there to here as Star Trek takes a second chance to bring The Cage [1964] and Captain Pike (Anson Mount) to life. When we saw the USS Enterprise and its crew arrive in the second season of Star Trek Discovery, the potential was instantly there. The question is, could they actually pull it off? And if this episode is anything to go on, the answer is yes.   

So to set the scene, it has been a while since the events of Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2, and Pike has been hiding out in his cabin in Bear Creek, Montana. He has been dealing with the revelation that he will die badly ten years from now. To the point, he is very much considering leaving Starfleet. That is until Admiral Robert April (Adrian Holmes) takes a shuttle and unambiguously tells Pike that Number One (Rebecca Romijn) is missing and if he wants to leave, he can do it after this. Well, one, unfortunately, timed phone call to Vulcan to pick up Spock (Ethan Peck), and the Enterprise is on to Kiley 279 to find out what happened to the USS Archer. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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Star Trek: Picard – Farewell and Season 2 – TV Review

TL;DR – A season mixed with highs and lows, but at least started and ended on a high note.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this episode.

Jupiter

Star Trek: Picard Review

We have reached the end of Star Trek Picard’s second season, and as I look back on what has come, I can see great heights and deep valleys. While there were some frustrations, when the season worked, it was some of Star Trek’s best. With that in mind, what we will do in this review is look at how the second season charted its way through and then how it landed with the finale episode, Farewell.

To set the scene, at the end of Hide and Seek, the crew of the La Sirena are no longer the crew of the La Sirena because Raffi (Michelle Hurd) did a deal with Queen Jurati (Alison Pill) where she traded the ship for Seven’s (Jeri Ryan) life. However, before Queen Jurati left, she gave the team a clue about how to save Renée (Penelope Mitchell) and their timeline. The only question is how many more sacrifices will Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew need to make to end this final game of Q (John de Lancie). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Moon Knight: Gods and Monsters and Full Series/Season – TV Review

TL;DR – After a while, the show has finally hit its stride, and while I wish it had happen sooner, it was good while it lasted.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this series.

End Credit – There is a mid-credit scene in Gods and Monsters.

Marc and Steven in the Duit

Moon Knight Review

We have come to the end of the complete series of Moon Knight, or indeed just its first season. At this point, it is hard to tell. However, as we have reached the end, it is time to look back at the final episode and how it wraps the series up, and how the season worked from start to finish, all as we explore the world of Egyptian Mythology, Mental Illness, and the underground artifact trade.

So to set the scene,  we follow up from The Tomb & Asylum with Marc (Oscar Isaac) and Steven (Oscar Isaac) being very much dead after being shot in the chest by Harrow (Ethan Hawke) in the tomb of Alexander the Great. There is a chance of getting out, but that fails when Marc gets lost in the Duat and turned into a statue, while Steven finds himself in the Field of Reeds. Meanwhile, back in Egypt, Layla (May Calamawy) has tagged along with Harrow’s entourage, looking for a moment to kill him, when the goddess Taweret (Antonia Salib) speaks to her from dead corpses telling her to free Khonshu (Karim El Hakim/F. Murray Abraham). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

Steven and Taweret in the Field of Reeds.
Oscar Isaac helps sell every moment of this some times absurd film. Image Credit: Disney+.
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Moon Knight: The Tomb & Asylum – TV Review

TL;DR – After a while, the show has finally hit its stride, and I am here for the ride.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this series.

Marc and Steven Scream

Moon Knight Review

After watching the first couple of episodes of Moon Knight, including The Goldfish Problem & Summon the Suit, I found it to be interesting, but nothing was hooking me into the narrative. I liked what Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke were doing, but I needed more. To the point that I kind of stopped watching it weekly, assuming I would catch up at some point. But I had some time one night, and I thought I’d watch the latest episodes back to back, and I am glad I did because the show has finally landed.

So to set the scene, in a last attempt to outmanoeuvre Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), Khonshu (Karin el Hakim/F. Murray Abraham) sacrificed himself by turning back the skies and letting Steven (Oscar Isaac) and Layla (May Calamawy) know where Ammit’s tomb is. They raced across the desert to find that Harrow’s men had already entered the tomb, but as they loaded up with supplies, they missed the sprays of blood that showed they were not alone in the tomb. Now from here, we will be looking at the episodes as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Moon Knight: Summon the Suit – TV Review

TL;DR – An intriguing opening, more tease than substance, which could be a good sign for the future

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this series.

Moon Knight: Summon the Suit. Image Credit: Disney+.

Moon Knight Review

One of the best things about coming into Moon Knight is that I have absolutely no idea what to expect. With other areas in the MCU, I have some vague understanding, and when they finally get the X-Men running, well, that will be my jam. But for better or worse, Moon Knight is an entirely blank slate.

So to set the scene, at the end of The Goldfish Problem, Steven (Oscar Isaac) finds himself stuck in a bathroom with an approaching Egyptian jackal and, honestly, not a lot of choice as to how he will get out of there alive. In that last moment of desperation, he lets Marc (Oscar Isaac) take control of his body, leaving carnage in its wake. Steven wakes up the following day, hoping the last night was a dream. Which almost worked right up until he got into work and saw the carnage unfold.

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Shadow and Bone: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a messy series at times, yet also oddly compelling, and had me watching through all the way.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this episode.

Shadow and Bone. Image Credit: Netflix.

Shadow and Bone Review

As I mentioned in my A Wheel of Time review, I have been struggling to avoid slipping into despair recently and aimlessly scrolling through things on streaming, trying to find something. However, instead of this spiralling behaviour, I decided to focus on something, which was catching up on the Fantasy TV shows I missed from 2021. The next cab off the rack is from another books series I have been meaning to look at but have not had the time.

So to set the scene, a long time ago, the nation of Ravka was a single whole. However, with the manifestations of a powerful Shadow Summoner, a great veil of evil called the Fold now splits the nation in two. One can cross it, but it is dangerous, and many get lost to the things that hide in the dark. In the current day, Ravka is at war and needs all the skilled warriors they can get, including childhood friends Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), who is an assistant cartographer, and Malyen “Mal” Oretsev (Archie Renaux), who works as a tracker. When Mal is chosen to accompany a group through the Fold, Alina manipulates the situation so she can come along too. However, when the convoy is attacked, Alina accidentally reveals that she is a Sun Summoner, the only Sun Summoner. Meanwhile, across the ocean in Ketterdam, there is a contract going for one million kruge, and The Crows, made up of Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter), Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman), and Jesper Fahey (Kit Young), are trying to outmanoeuvre the competition. Now we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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The Wheel of Time: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a show that looks amazing but always feels like it is just about to click together but does not quite get there

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this episode.

The Wheel of Time. Image Credit: Amazon Prime.

The Wheel of Time Review

I have been at a bit of a loss for a while now, leading to me spending nights just binge-watching Alone, which is not a good headspace when you live alone in the middle of a global pandemic. Realising that it was probably not good for me to continue down that road, I decided to focus those energies elsewhere and catch up on some of the Fantasy shows that I missed last year. The first of the three is Amazon Prime’s dive into the 14-book world of Rober Jordan.

So to set the scene, 3000 years before the start of the series, there was a battle to lock The Dark One (Fares Fares) away for good, only it backfired. The Dragon was tainted and, as legend stated, ‘broke the world’. This legacy is felt to this day as men still can’t channel the One Power without being driven insane eventually. However, prophecy has stated that the Dragon will be reborn again and will heal the world or break it apart again. This is the mission that Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred (Rosamund Pike) and her ward al’Lan Mandragoran (Daniel Henney) are on as they race to find the Dragon before others of her sect, or even the Dark One finds them. As fate would have it, five people fit the bill for the Dragon, Nynaeve al’Meara (Zoë Robins), the Wisdom of Emond’s Field, her apprentice Egwene al’Vere (Madeleine Madden). Egwene’s love interest Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski), and his best friends Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford) and Mat Cauthon (Barney Harris). However, before Moiraine could tell which of the five could be the Dragon, an army of Trollocs attacked the village. Now we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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