Foundation: Death and the Maiden – TV Review

TL;DR – The show is starting to find its place.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Foundation: Death and the Maiden. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

After Foundation’s bombastic explosion onto the scene in its first episode, The Emperor’s Peace, I had become concerned with where the show was heading. It felt like it was grasping around in the dark, possibly crushed under the weight of adapting the source material with all its quirks, while trying to bring it into the 21st century. While it still feels like it is struggling to find its place, we have now seen the bedrock it is building upon, and I am intrigued.

So to set the scene, the Anacreon’s attack on Terminus has caught everyone, including the Empire, with their pants down. Well, everyone but Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey) who spotted Phara’s (Kubbra Sait) play but not before she could enact it. Meanwhile, back on Trantor, Brother Day’s (Lee Pace) frustration with the state of things boiled over, and he breaks with thousands of years of tradition and boots Brother Dusk (Terrence Mann) off a trip to the centre of the Luminism religion in the Moon Maiden in the Surah System. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

Continue reading

Foundation: The Mathematician’s Ghost – TV Review

TL;DR – We start to see the main story unfurl, but some of the more frustrating elements are still there.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Foundation: The Mathematician’s Ghost. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

‘Non-linear storytelling’ is a method of creating a narrative that does not follow the usual A->B->C->D pattern but can jump all over the place C->D->B->A. Sometimes this comes in the form of a narrative hook where they show something shocking and jump back in a week to show how they got there. Sometimes it can be used to keep an audience off-balance. Sometimes it can be a complete surprise, like in Westworld. But if you are going to employ a non-linear story, you need to make sure it improves your narrative and that you are not losing your audience in the process.

So to set the scene, at the end of Preparing to Live, we had a moment of horror as Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) is apparently murdered at the hands of his own son Raych (Alfred Enoch) while Gaal (Lou Llobell) was jettisoned out of an escape pod. This episode we open 400-years earlier when Cleon the First (Terrence Mann) is looking over the construction of the Starbridge and preparing to create the legacy of his clones. We then jump 19 years after the bombing in The Emperor’s Peace, as Brother Dusk (Terrence Mann) has started his final day before becoming Brother Darkness. While 36 years after the bombing, the colonists have landed on Terminus and have been spending their time founding a colony and starting the task of softening the fall of the galactic empire.   

Continue reading

Foundation: Preparing to Live – TV Review

TL;DR – While still showing promise, the follow-up does not hit as hard as the first.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Foundation: Preparing to Live. Image Credit Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

Adapting a work from one medium to another is a complex process. Indeed, the media landscape is lifted with the failed attempts and aborted projects. This danger is amplified further when you adapt a work that is older and does not play within modern narrative frameworks. Today we continue to explore a show that is charging through this dangerous terrain by adapting a pillar of Science Fiction’s canon.

So to set the scene, Trantor is a planet still reeling from the terrorist attack in The Emperor’s Peace that destroyed the Starbridge sending the space elevator plummeting towards the planet, killing hundreds of millions on the ground. In the opening, Eto Demerzel (Laura Birn) leads a task force to Dwarf Planet Aethra to hunt down whoever financed the attack, but no clues could be found. But while the Empire reals, the Foundation is making the slow 5-year journey to the outer rim, but for all their training, projections still show that 30% of the colonists will still die in the first year. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

Continue reading

Foundation: The Emperor’s Peace – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a good foundation for a series that moves everything into place and hints at much more.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Foundation: The Emperor’s Peace. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

For a while now, I have been wondering just what would make me up and give Apple TV+ a go. Sure, I’ll probably watch Ted Lasso at some point and cry a lot, but I needed something to grab me. Well, I have made my position about Sci-Fi quite clear, and if you are going to hook me with something, adapting a series from one of the greats, well, that will do it. Isaac Asimov is up there with Arthur C Clarke, Ursula K Le Guin, Philip K Dick, Frank Herbert, Mary Shelly, and HG Wells and to see his masterwork brought to the screen, well count me in.

So to set the scene, we open in on the planet of Terminus, where on a promenade looking over the small colony is ‘the Vault’. It is a floating repository with a null field forcing you to turn away from it if you dare approach, as some local kids find out the hard way. 35-years earlier, we land on the planet of Synnax, a water world surrounded by rings. Here a young Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell) is making a final trip from her planet. She is going to the centre of the galaxy, the home of Emperor Cleon (Lee Pace, Cassian Bilton & Terrence Mann), and where she will meet Hari Seldon (Jared Harris), the great man of mathematics and the founder of psychohistory. But little does Gaal know that the Empire’s peace is being tested and that she might just be arriving for her trial and execution. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

Continue reading

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.    

Continue reading

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

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

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.     

Continue reading

The Expanse: Nemesis Games – TV Review

TL;DR – Today we see the end to it all and the start of something new.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

The Expanse: Nemesis Games. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Nemesis Games Review

Wow, we have reached the end of Season Five, and what a wild ride it has been. In today’s finale, we get to see the culmination of where the plot was screaming towards and the inevitable fallout from when it all goes wrong, or right depending on your perspective.

So to set the scene, in last week’s episode Winnipesaukee, Naomi (Dominique Tipper) was desperately trying to let people know that her ship was a trap, without the ability to change this ships thrust or use a radio. This worked, but in that it only made people race to her faster as something was clearly wrong. It is in this race that Marco (Keon Alexander) sends Drummer and her family to intercept the Roci and end James Holden (Steven Strait) for good. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

Continue reading

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.

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

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. 

Continue reading

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

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

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. 

Continue reading

Star Trek: Lower Decks: Season One – TV Review

TL;DR – Super charming and a fun new direction for the franchise.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Star Trek: Lower Decks: Second Contact. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Review

When it was announced that the next new Star Trek series would be an animated show that would take a more comedic look at a life aboard a Starfleet vessel, many people treated the news with some hesitation. However, when we got to see the first episode Second Contact, you felt the tone they were going for and how it was able to walk this line between making fun of Star Trek and showing its deep love for the franchise. Well, the full season has finally been released outside of North America, so it is time to dive in and see if the whole run stands up as well.  

So to set the scene, we open in on the USS Cerritos in 2380 (which for those playing at home is two years after the return of the USS Voyager and twenty years before the start of Picard). The Cerritos is a California Class Starfleet Vessel that specialises in second contact, which is the follow-up mission after first contact, not as much glory but still significant. Ensign D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) has just come on board from Outpost 79, and this is her first placement on a starship. Her orientation guide is Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) a very straight-laced command track-captain seat hopeful Ensign. Orientation is soon side-tracked as Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) decides to take D’Vana on a more personalised tour. But as we soon learn Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) has her phasers set on Mariner and is looking for any excuse to boot her off the ship and preferable out of Starfleet. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

Continue reading