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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The Women of The Expanse

TL;DR – Here we explore the many wonderful women that make up the world of The Expanse.

The Women of The Expanse Article –

We are living in the age of prestige television and among that rise has been a Golden Age for Science Fiction on TV. In that rise, The Expanse has been one major standout and has some of the most rounded and best characters on TV at the moment. Today we are going to explore a facet of The Expanse that has been one of its best factors which is its representation of women. While there have been some great female characters across modern science fiction, in The Expanse we get so many examples throughout the series that it is a prominent part of why the show works as well as it does.

Just one note before we dive in, The Expanse is both a TV series and (first) a series of novels. While the TV series has been a faithful adaptation of the books, there are some character differences between the two. So for the sake of clarity, we will be focusing on the representation in the TV show, this also helps in regards to where we fall with Spoilers. With this in mind, at the time of writing four seasons of the TV show have been released covering Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War, Abaddon’s Gate, and Cibola Burn. With that, we will be focusing on those stories, but as Season Five (Nemesis Games) is coming soon, we may make some allusions to content there.

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Star Trek Discovery: Season 3 Primer

TL;DR – With the new season starting in a few weeks we catch you up on everything you need to know about Season 3 of Star Trek Discovery (Timeline, plot points, and outstanding questions oh my)

Star Trek Discovery. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Star Trek Discovery: Season 3 Primer

It is not long until the next season of Star Trek Discovery comes out, and with its big jump and all the new Star Trek and Sci-Fi, we are getting you might need a catch up as to where we are and where we are going. In this primer, we will sum up the critical story posts that led to where we are, give an overview of where all this fits in the timeline, and look at the outstanding questions coming into Season Three.

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LX 2048 – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a film that raised a lot of interesting ideas, but never gives the time to provide them with all the justice they need to work within the story.     

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

LX 2048. Image Credit Quiver Distribution.

LX 2048 Review

As we move into the future, the digital and real worlds are blending more and more together. Add the fact that it looks like VR finally stuck the landing this time and the future is bright or maybe not. As that line gets fuzzier, what does that mean for human connection? This impasse is the question that the film we are looking at today is asking.  

So to set the scene, in the distant future, the world of the digital and the ‘in real’ have blended thanks to a world where the daytime has become toxic thanks to the Sun’s radiation. Indeed even the briefest exposure to the Sun can create instant and painful sunburn. We meet Adam Bird (James D’Arcy), who is getting the news you don’t want to hear, his heart is failing, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Adam is one of the few people who go out in the day to a physical place to work and also kind of like to live in the real world. His desire to be in the real (among other issues) is why he is now separated from his family in his moment of need, because he does not want to die, or worse become a clone.

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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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Movie Review – Artemis Fowl

TL;DR – There is a lot of promise here that unfortunately falls flat at every turn.    

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

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

Artemis Fowl. Image Credit: Disney.

Review – Some genres really excite me when I get to see them, and one of those is when you crash fantasy and science fiction together. It is a delicate balance to get right, but when you do, it is grand. So a story where all the tales of fairies and such are real and they still live, but in high-tech cities under the Earth, well you have me intrigued. But you need to do something more than just intrigue, which is where we fall flat from almost the start.     

So to set the scene, we open in on Fowl Manor in Ireland, who is currently under siege, by the press and police. As the police arrest a Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) and take him to a black site for integration, he speaks of magic as it is real, to the amusement of everyone. However, as he continues he lets everyone know, it is not Artemis Fowl Sr (Colin Farrell) they should be concerned with, but his son Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw). Artemis is just a kid, a brilliant kid, what threat could he be? Because isn’t it the father, the thief, that is the real threat, or is there something darker at play?    

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Article – Seatbelts, Bringing a Little Bit of That Cowboy Bebop Joy Back into the World

TL;DR – The Seatbelts are doing live versions of classic Cowboy bebop songs and they slap

Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ/Kaubōi Bibappu). Image Credit: Madman.

I don’t think it will be a surprise to anyone to say that I have been finding the last few months to be quite difficult. Indeed, I think it has been hard for most people and it is only increasing as the days, weeks, and months go on. I have been trying to find something to spark my joy, and while binge-watching old shows like The Nanny and Scrubs has helped, and having a watch list that might be 90% Bon Appétit videos is just the nature of the times. Nothing has really brought that smile to my world, well nothing until now.  

At the end of last year, I talked a lot about how much I loved Cowboy Bebop, an anime out of Japan that might be many of my generation’s first introduction into that art style but it is still something resonates in my heart today. One of the core components of that series that may even outlast the show is its music. It was a show that deeply wove its music into the tapestry of the show, nothing was just dumped in as filler. At the core of this musical work was composer and instrumentalist Yoko Kanno and her band the Seatbelts which has gone by シートベルツ, Shītoberutsu, Seat Belts or SEATBELTS depending on which version of the soundtrack you got. It was the smashing together of so many genres of music from jazz to pop to rock to even country and all in-between that stuck in my mind for decades.  

Well in the age of COVID and Zoom meetings, shudders Zoom meetings, there has been one ray of joy, as the SEATBELTS came back together perform songs from the soundtrack and it is just a sheer delight and everyone can listen to it here.

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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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Countdown – My Personal Top 25 Episodes of Star Trek

TL;DR – We count down my favourite episodes of Star Trek that span the whole gamut from 1966 to 2020   

Countdown

Well, today at the time of writing it is May the 4th and I feel compelled to write about Science Fiction. However, I have spent a large chunk of the day trying to find an angle to look at its namesake without much luck, so when in doubt fall back to something you love. Well, there are few things I love more than Star Trek, at since that is a science fiction show and it is even has a ‘star’ in the title, I thought what the hay, I’m 50% of the way there.

So today I am going to count down my favourite 25 episodes from across all of Star Trek’s run, which at the time of writing is everything up to the end of Season One of Star Trek Picard but not including The Animated Series simply because I have not watched them and they are not really considered canon but maybe (that is a whole pandora’s box for another day). This means we have 743 episodes across eight series (The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery, Short Treks & Picard). Bringing them down you just a top 25 was a hard job with a lot of amazing episodes just missing out. Also, I should point out that this is my list if you have a favourite episode that didn’t make it on here let me know which one it was in the comments below. Well without further comment, let’s dive in

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