Pacific Rim: The Black – Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a show with a lot of potential that would have worked a lot better had it not stumbled in critical places.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Pacific Rim: The Black. Image Credit: Netflix.

Pacific Rim: The Black Review

When you hear that there will be an American Animation TV Series, done in the style of a Japanese Anime, based in the Pacific Rim universe, and then set in Australia, well, that is an exciting combination if I have ever heard it. Good or bad, you want to see how it works. With that in mind, let’s dive into this fascinating if flawed world.

So to set the scene, we open in the days after chaos erupts across Australia as rifts open up the centre of the continent. After a valiant fight, it becomes clear that Australia is lost, and the call to evacuate is put out. Everyone had five days to reach Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, or Sydney. While trying to help with the evacuation, one Jager team stays back to stop the Kaijus because their children had yet to leave. They tried to get to the evac point, but they were too late. Instead, they took the group of civilians back to their home base Shadow Basin which was also destroyed. The parents left everyone behind in an oasis and leave to go to the coast to get help. Five years later, Hayley (Gideon Adlon) and Taylor (Calum Worthy) have a fractured relationship as their parents never returned. However, one day Hayley fell down a metal hole and discovers that not all of Shadow Basin was destroyed, with the Atlas Destroyer Jaeger and its AI Loa (Erica Lindbeck) still there. But that discovery becomes a beacon for all the danger in the world. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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Tribes of Europa: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a fascinating world that I think that we have only just scratched the surface of.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

Tribes of Europa: Season 1. Image Credit: Netflix.

Tribes of Europa Review

When you think of post-apocalyptic shows or movies, you think of drab banner expanses of nothing where only the best like Mad Max Fury Road can make shine. But that is one of the many different pallets of the world could take. In Tribes of Europa, we get a very different type of post-apocalypse, even if there are some familiar elements.

So to set the scene, in 2029, a worldwide blackout called Black December destroyed civilization as we know it on the planet. The Nation-State as we know it today crashed a burned with thousands of micro-states emerging in their wake. In 2074, those micro-states have started to war over the former lands of Europe or, as it is now called, Europa. It is here where Liv (Henriette Confurius) and her family Kiano (Emilio Sakraya) and Elja (David Ali Rashed) see a plane crash while out hunting an event that would shift the balance of the continent. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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The Expanse: Winnipesaukee – TV Review

TL;DR – Today we start to see a glimmer of hope amongst all the destruction

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Expanse: Winnipesaukee. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Winnipesaukee Review

When those first asteroids dropped on Earth in Churn, you knew this would be a dark season for the show, which is amplified by the fact that our Roci crew was all spread to the winds when the attack happened. In today’s episode, we get to see the first little hope on the horizon that things might be getting better.

So to set the scene,  at the end of last week’s Hard Vacuum, Naomi (Dominique Tipper) had been able to interfere with Marco’s (Keon Alexander) automated message that he set up to lure people into a trap. We see at the start of this week’s episode that Naomi’s plan worked … sort of. On the Screaming Firehawk Bobbie (Frankie Adams) noticed that something was amiss, and even Holden (Steven Strait) on the Roci. But the question is, will they see it for the warning it is or think something has gone wrong and hurry into the trap? Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Snowpiercer: The Time of Two Engines – TV Review

TL;DR – Conflict switches from the internal to the external as Snowpiercer comes under attack from Big Alice

Snowpiercer: The Time of Two Engines. Image Credit: Netflix.

Snowpiercer Review

Last year there was an odd experiment that hopped on our screens. It was to take a cult classic film and re-imagine it into a TV show. Overall, I felt that Season One had some interesting moments but never got the heights it was aiming for. However, there was some promise here, and that promise was enough to make me want to have a look at Season Two.

So to set the scene, at the end of last season after a protracted revolution Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) and Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) agreed to fix the society that runs on steep class divisions. However, a surprise appears with another train coming into the mix at that moment of triumph, an old supply train that somehow has survived the seven years of cold. On that train is none other than Mr Wilford (Sean Bean) who is here to take back the train stolen from him. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Expanse: Hard Vacuum – TV Review

TL;DR – The churn continues throughout the Solar System as people find no matter the road forward, dangers await

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Expanse: Hard Vacuum. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Hard Vacuum Review

When the rocks hit Earth in Churn and Mother, they threw everything up in the air, both literally and metaphorically. In that one instant, power, alliances, and family all got put up for grabs, and while all of the characters of The Expanse are trying to find their new place in this world, no choice is going to be an easy one.

So to set the scene, at the end of Oyedeng, we watched as Naomi (Dominique Tipper) made a desperate leap from the Pella to the Chetzemoka in a hard vacuum without a suit. It was a perilous journey, and even though it took seconds the toll on her body severe. But as she awakes on the airlock floor, she sees just what Marco’s (Keon Alexander) plan for the Chetzemoka is. The whole ship has been wired with explosives, and on a loop is Naomi’s voice beckoning James (Steven Strait) to save her, but in reality, it is a siren call leading him to his death.  Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: That Hope is You, Part 1

TL;DR – A fantastic start to the season full of promise and potential.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Star Trek Discovery: That Hope is You, Part 1. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

That Hope is You, Part 1 Review

How things have changed, so much has happened since we last checked in with Star Trek Discovery. Since the end of Season Two, we have gotten the fascinating first season of Star Trek Picard, followed by the delightful Star Trek Lower Decks. It has been such a long time since I have been able to talk about this much Star Trek all at once, so you can imagine that it makes me almost giddy with excitement. Today we are going to dive back in with the first episode of Discovery’s third season, the season where everything changes.                   

So to set the scene, at the end of Such Sweet Sorrow the USS Discovery and its crew had to make a tough choice … do they stay or do they go? The ship had to leave on a one way trip to the future (for the why you can read our primer), and everyone in the crew had to decide do they stay with what they know or take a trip into the unknown. Flash forward in a moment, and Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) is crashing out of the wormhole, smashing into Book’s (David Ajala) ship the Nautilus much to the consternation of Grudge (Leeu) and plummeting down to the planet below. After barely dodging significant wreckage in orbit, Burnham is able to take control just before she landed. Her first question: Is there life? ‘Yes’. Where Is the Discovery? … well that one is a bit harder to answer. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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TV Review – Snowpiercer: Justice Never Boarded

TL;DR – All tease when it probably should be starting to deliver.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Snowpiercer: Justice Never Boarded, Image Credit: Netflix.

Review – Well, Snowpiercer the show started in an odd place, with a murder-mystery at the core of the narrative. I was not sure how it could all jell together, but as it has continued, those lines in the sand have become more evident as power shifts have come into the light. This brewing tension has led to an interesting premise, though it is still not clear if they can pull it off.

So to set the scene, the Snowpiercer has continued on its journey in the frozen appocalype of Earth, now steaming through the former Amazon. However, for Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) the discovery that Lilah Jr (Annalise Basso) was the real murderer was not the end of his mission because he stumbled onto something else. For he found out the real power behind Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) and ended up in the draws for his trouble. However, everything marches on, and there needs to be a trial because there have been murders, and people want justice. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – Snowpiercer: First, the Weather Changed & Prepare to Brace

TL;DR – This an okay start, but nothing really captured me with the opening episodes.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Snowpiercer: First, the Weather Change & Prepare to Brace. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

A couple of years ago, there was this truly fascinating film from Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho who would go on write/direct last year’s Oscar winner Parasite. I found the film to be fascinating right up until that ending which I am still going back and forth on. So when I heard they were going make a TV show out of it I was intrigued how they would pull it off, the setting is there, but is the story?   

So to set the scene, as the world started to crash as global warming and sea levels swamped the coasts. To fix this the world’s scientist had a plan to cool the world down … and they went too far. The world was freezing over and one man had a solution, Mr Wilford who built a 1001 car train for the world’s rich. However, as it was about to take off on its never-ending journey across the world those who could not afford it boarded the train in the last-ditch effort to save themselves from the coming death. Six years later, those who made it on still live in the tail, living off meagre food bars, trying to find the right time to rebel. They are ready to make their move when their leader Layton (Daveed Diggs), is taken by the hospitality team led by Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) because he is the only homicide detective left on the train and someone just got murdered. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – The Last Kids on Earth: Book 1

TL;DR – This is an interesting take on the End-Of-The-World genre

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Last Kids on Earth. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

When I say to you Zombie Apocalypse, I think for many people the first thing you would do is suppress a sigh. As a genre, it has been used multiple times and these days one could say that it has been done to death as long as they immediately followed it up immediately with ‘pun not attended’. However, every now and again, a new show will use the setting to explore something new and today we get to look at just such a show.

So to set the scene, we open in on Day 42 with Jack Sullivan (Nick Wolfhard) the only known survivor in his town. 42 Days ago portals opened up over his town and monsters and zombies came flooding out attacking the town. Some escaped, some were rescued, but more still were turned into zombies to roam the streets. Abandoned by his foster family, Jack survives by hiding in his foster brother’s treehouse and using that as a base of operation. He is trying to find his best buddy Quint (Garland Whitt) and rescue his flame June (Montse Hernandez), but first he needs to survive being hunted by a monster angry because Jack poked its eye out.

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Exploring The Past – Neon Genesis Evangelion (Shinseiki Evangerion, 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン) (1995)

TL;DR – An ambitious series drawing inspiration from multiple religious and mystical frameworks that while pioneering in many respects, completely fails to stick the landing

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Shinseiki Evangerion). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Today I get to finally explore the third pillar of 1990s sci-fi anime with the massively influential Neon Genesis Evangelion. For me, this was almost a form of closure given how much I have watched the other two pillars Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell but I never got to see Evangelion. It was also interesting to see a show that has been massively influential to the genre but watching it with 20 years of extra context on top of it. Well if nothing else, the ending stinger to last year’s Desert Bus now makes sense. With that in mind, let’s dive in and explore Hideaki Anno’s work of gods, and angels, and science, and man.

So to set the scene, in the year 2000 a great calamity arouse across the world when the second impact occurred in Antarctica blasting the icy continent to ruin and melting all its ice causing extensive flooding across the world. The UN authority declared that the cause was a giant meteorite impact, hence common term of it being ‘the second impact’ (okay sort of, but also sort of not, it gets complicated). However, this is all a cover, because what really happened is that a creature of great power was discovered under the ice, this Angel was called Adam and something the researchers did trigger him destroying everything. 15 years later, Shinji Ikari (Megumi Ogata/ Spike Spencer/ Casey Mongillo) is running through deserted streets to a pick-up location. The whole area has gone into emergency lockdown for some unknown reason, and that reason turns out to be a second angel that everyone kind of expected was coming. Just before he is crushed, Shinji is rescued by Captain Misato Katsuragi (Kotono Mitsuishi/ Allison Keith/ Carrie Keranen) and taken to Tokyo-3 where a secretive organisation Nerv has their headquarters. The leader of Nerv is Shinji’s father Gendo Ikari (Fumihiko Tachiki/ Tristan MacAvery/ Ray Chase) who is at best distant, but a more fair description would be icy or even abusive. However, Shinji does not have time to process that because he is announced to be the Third Child, and one of only a few people that can pilot an Evangelion which he has to do like now.

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