TV Review – Star Trek: Picard – Maps and Legends

TL;DR – Here we get to see the drive of the season and some moments that really show who this current Federation is

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek: Picard – Maps and Legends

Review

After the excellence of the first episode, the next question is can you keep that momentum moving which is a whole new problem all in itself. But if the first episode Remembrance framed this new world, Maps and Legends gave it context as we deal with its fallout.

So to set the scene, we go back in time to the fateful day on Mars when the synthetics attacked. We had seen part of this in the Short Trek Children of Mars, but now we get to see what happened on the ground as the synthetic F8 (Alex Diehl) is hacked and turns on his crew and assists in the destruction of the planet. Meanwhile, Picard (Patrick Stewart) begins his search in earnest to find Dahj’s (Isa Briones) twin sister Soji (Isa Briones) who is currently serving on a derelict Borg cube called ‘The Artefact’. Here he tries to go through the right channels only to get that thrown back in his face. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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Movie Review – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Round Two)

TL;DR – This is a film that feels both incredibly safe but yet also incredibly weird and that dissidence is really odd and is enhanced on a second viewing.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Image Credit: Disney.

Review

I have been thinking a lot about Star Wars in the weeks since I first watched The Rise of Skywalker. Was I too harsh with it? Did I let one story beat distract me from the rest of the film? Do I want to see a buddy cop film starring John Boyega and Oscar Isaac? Okay, that last one was an easy answer, of course, I do. However, for the first two, I was truly left wondering, well that is until yesterday when I went with some friends as saw the same film twice in cinemas (not something I have done in quite a while). Which means it is time to explore if a second viewing of Star Wars helps or hurts it and what I found is that it focuses you into the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

So to set the scene, at the end of The Last Jedi everything is in flux. The Resistance has survived annihilation but has been stretched to almost breaking point as The First Order storms across The New Republic. However, all is not dandy for The First Order as well, as their leader was assassinated by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and their main battle cruiser was destroyed. However, just at the cusp of this, a dark voice from the past pierces into the vale. For it appears that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has come back from the dead and is gunning for Rey (Daisy Ridley). Now in this review, we will be going FULL SPOILER discussing some really important plot points. If you want to read our spoiler-free review you can find it here.  

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TV Review – Star Trek Short Treks: Children of Mars

TL;DR – An emotional gut punch as you watch it all unravel  

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Short Treks: Children of Mars. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

Can you tell a compelling and heartfelt narrative in seven minutes with very little dialogue? That would actually be quite a challenge but today we get to look at an episode that does just that as it builds to a moment that breaks you.

So to set the scene, we open in on April the 5th, First Contact Day, a day of celebration but for two girls living in San Francisco it is a day of sadness in part. For Lil (Sadie Munroe) her dad (Jason Deline) is stuck working on the Mars Orbital Facility and can’t make it downwell to see her. On the other side, we have Kima (Ilamaria Ebrahim) whose mom (Joy Castro) also works on Mars at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. In a moment of sadness, Lil accidentally knocks over Kima on the way to the shuttle pick up making Kima late for school and then it all spirals in from there.    

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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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TV Review – Star Trek Short Treks: Ask Not

TL;DR –  A look at a bad day that only gets worse once a mask is revealed  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Short Treks: Ask Not. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

We continue our look at the Short Treks with this interesting small almost bottle episode. However, like all good bottle episodes, while it does not venture out of one location for most of its run time, it takes that opportunity to pack an emotional punch.  

So to set the scene, Cadet Thira Sidhu (Amrit Kaur) is working in inventory at Starbase 28 when all hell breaks loose. Just as she is trying to work out what happened a security officer (Steve Boyle) arrives with a prisoner hidden behind a mask. The battle has led them cut off from the brig and she has to watch the prisoner until they can return. This is a difficult situation, made all the worse when the mask is taken off and it is revealed that prisoner charged with mutiny is Captain Pike (Anson Mount).

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Exploring the Past – Alone in Space (Ensamma i Rymden)

TL;DR – A charming little Science Fiction film even though it does have a few rough edges   

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Alone in Space (Ensamma i Rymden). Image Credit: Nice Drama.

Review

If you have read our site before, you’ll know that we are all about new Science Fiction films and ways they explore the genre. This year I have wanted to branch out and see how other countries are approaching Science Fiction to broaden my cinematic experience and today we get to do that with Alone in Space a film about being trapped alone in space from Sweden.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Svea XVI an escape ship form a dying Earth, but instead of being filled with colonists/refugees the only ones on board are Gladys (Ella Rae Rappaport) and her younger brother Keaton (Dante Fleischanderl). They try and get through the day, fixing what they can of the ship, scavenging food and stuff in their journeys and talking to the ship’s Japanese AI Otosan. Well one day there is a crash, sending everything on the ship flying. Thinking it was some debris they ignore it and go about fixing the ship only to discover they are no longer alone.  

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TV Review – Star Trek Short Treks: Q&A

TL;DR – This is a great episode that shows the strength of the Short Trek formula with some truly delightful moments

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Short Treks: Q&A

Review

We are back with another season of Short Treks, one of the more novel experiments that have come out of this third Star Trek TV resurgence. These are a number of shorts in and around the Star Trek universe (mostly but this season not exclusively around Star Trek Discovery). Like last year’s The Escape Artist that looked at Harry Mudd. Today we get to dive back into this world with a fun look at someone’s first day on the job.

So to set the scene, it is Ensign Spock’s (Ethan Peck) first day on the job. After a long flight to Starbase 40, he beams aboard and is welcomed by Number One (Rebecca Romijn). After some pleasantries, Number One decides to show the new ensign the Bridge only for the turbolift to fail on transit giving them a lot of time to chat.

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