Star Trek: Lower Decks: Second Contact – TV Review

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

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Star Trek: Lower Decks: Second Contact. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

We are currently living in the middle of a new golden age of Science Fiction on TV, and one of the significant drivers of that has been Star Trek. With Discovery and then Picard, you feel that they are starting to get their groove back. However, when I heard there was going to be a more light-hearted animated series coming out, I felt a bit of trepidation. However, after watching the first episode, I can see I had nothing to worry about.

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 Federation 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. However, orientation is soon side-tracked as Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) decides to take D’Vana on a more personalised tour. This gets put aside when they go down to the planet to help the Galardonian High Council with a subspace receiver while things down quite go to plan back on the ship.

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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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Movie Review – Altered Carbon: Resleeved

TL;DR – It’s fine, nothing amazing but not a complete mess.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Altered Carbon: Resleeved. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I’ve been quite enjoying the jaunts into the world of Altered Carbon as of late. A world of switching bodies and switching cast members. A world of excesses and a world of death that is only real death half the time. I’ve watched both seasons, so when I heard there was an animated movie, well I had to give it a watch and well … it’s fine.

So after the events of the Second Season (I think, but I’m not entirely sure), we open on the planet Latimer. Here a young girl Holly (Brittany Cox/ Ayaka Asai) is running from her life through the upper streets as air cars and large holograms walk around her. She is being chased by two thugs, who are trying to catch her. Running into a club she is almost at a needle casting facility when a ninja slaughters the two thugs and turns on her. Things are bad but then Takeshi (Ray Chase/ Tatsuhisa Suzuki) arrives to save the day. Teaming up with local CTAC operator Gina (Elizabeth Maxwell/ Rina Satô) they get Holly to the safety of the Yakuza or as it turns out maybe into significantly more danger than she was before.

Now, this is an interesting film, in that we are usually a bit cagier about spoilers with films, but then it is also hard to talk about this film without getting into spoilers for both past seasons and a big reveal in this film. So with that in mind, there will be some big [SPOILERS] around character points going forward but not for the ending.

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TV Review – Star Trek: Picard – Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 and Season 1

TL;DR – Not every part of the final episode landed, but the promise is so much more

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek: Picard – Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review – It is time to come to the end and the first season of Star Trek Picard has drawn to a close, it was a show full of warmth and promise but also a hint of sadness. Like someone taking one last look at the old neighbourhood before moving one. With this in mind, I approached the final episode with a little hesitation and now I have seen it that felling was not entirely unmerited. Well then, let’s dive in and have a look at the final episode before having a look at the entire season.

So to set the scene, at the end of Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1 we were in a very perilous place with everything about to unravel. Picard (Patrick Stewart) had been taken hostage by the synths that had finally discovered the meaning behind the Zhat Vash prophecy and were using the death of one of their own as a pretence to steam straight ahead to the destruction of all organic life. On the Borg Cube, Seven (Jeri Ryan) and Elnor (Evan Evagora) chat not realising that they have an uninvited guest in the form of Narek (Harry Treadaway). But there might be one ray of hope because Agnes (Alison Pill) might not be who she says she is. Now we will be looking at the episode and the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Star Trek: Picard – Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

TL;DR – It is the beginning of the end, and I don’t think I am ready

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek: Picard – Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

Oh wow, I can’t believe that we are already at the penultimate of Star Trek Picard. It is a show that feels like it was always with us, and also one that has gone in a blink of an eye. Well, today we get all out horses into line because the apocalypse is upon us and someone better stop it.  

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s Broken Pieces, the crew of La Sirena was about to do something monumentally stupid and that was to jump into the Borg’s transwarp network to get to Coppelius before the Romulans can blow it out of the sky. Well, this week we open with them doing just that, only they didn’t know that Narek (Harry Treadaway) was following them, oh and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) has her own Borg cube now. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so you better believe that there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – Altered Carbon – Season 2

TL;DR – It continues the story gallantly, but the second outing is more restrained and does not fix the problems of the first season.  

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Altered Carbon – Season 2. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

A couple of years ago, there was this odd TV series on Netflix that I described as “if Westworld and Blade Runner had a baby with Ghost in the Shell as the midwife.” It was odd, it was out there, and even though it had some limitations it kept powering through. Well, I have finally caught up with the second season and I have to say it is more of the say, which is both good and bad.

So to set the scene, we open in a dive bar on some desolate system out in the deep black. On the stage is a singer (Jihae) singing a haunting song when a synth that had just needle cast in-system. Trepp (Simone Missick) is a bounty hunter, and a good one at that, and she is looking for one Takeshi “Tak” Kovacs. But in what sleeve is he in? Possibly only the malfunctioning AI Poe (Chris Conner) behind the bar knows? Well, Trepp buts a bullet in his back and brings him to her employer Horace Axley (Michael Shanks). All Tak has to do is protect Axley and he gets to keep this new body (Anthony Mackie). But more importantly, he knows where he can find Quellcrist “Quell” Falconer (Renée Elise Goldsberry), the person he has been searching for all these years. It’s a good bargain, right up until the moment he needle casts in and finds Axley dead on the ground, and all of Harlan’s World is out for his blood. Now we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Star Trek: Picard – Nepenthe

TL;DR – Picard comes home

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek: Picard – Nepenthe. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

Today we look at an episode that I think everyone has been excited for since that first trailer dropped last year. The moment that Picard (Patrick Stewart) meets back up with Will (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna (Marina Sirtis) is something that has real power to it. However, if the show keeps looking back, can it move forward? Well, that is what we look at today.

So to set the scene, after last week when Narek (Harry Treadaway) activated Soji (Isa Briones) by trying to kill her, Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco) took Picard and Soji deep into the Borg Cube to the Queencell. Here they used a failsafe transporter to take them off the cube at to Nepenthe. This week we open on when they arrive but waiting for them is not a friend, but a hunter with a bow and the arrow is ready to be loosed. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so you better believe that there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – Star Trek: Picard – Stardust City Rag

TL;DR – This episode starts with a deeply emotional moment, then goes into high farce, and then back again without missing a beat.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

tar Trek: Picard – Stardust City Rag. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

There are moments in TV that you never knew you want right up until the moment they air and then you wonder why it is that you had not wished for that before. In today’s episode, we get that but also we get something I never wished to pass and it still pains me to think of it.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Seven Domes on the planet Vergessen in the Hypatia system … and well that is all I can really say without hitting spoilers so far it would make your head twist. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so you better believe that there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – Star Trek Short Treks: Ephraim and Dot

TL;DR –  A love letter to the past and a beautiful story in its own right  

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Short Treks: Ephraim and Dot. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

It has been a long time since Star Trek ventured into the realm of animation, indeed, The Animated Series to this day fits awkwardly into the Star Trek universe thanks to the question marks as to its canonicity. But today Star Trek takes some steps back unto this uncharted frontier with a Short Trek full of joy and beauty. 

So to set the scene, we open in on a documentary called The Tardigrade in Space as it explores the life of a humble tardigrade Ephraim flying through space looking for a place to lay her eggs. A place that is warm and safe, which is what she found right up until the moment the USS Enterprise appears out of warp and trashes the asteroid she had picked. But then a starship with a nice warm warp reactor would be the perfect place to lay her eggs, unfortunately, a DOT-7 maintenance droid called Dot has different ideas.

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