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. 

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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.

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. 

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The Expanse: Oyedeng – TV Review

TL;DR – This is Naomi’s episode from start to finish

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

The Expanse: Oyedeng. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Oyedeng Review

The world of The Expanse is dramatically shifting under the feet of everyone in the Solar System. It is a dangerous time, a churn, with everything being up for grabs. It is in this chaos where we find our characters as the threat of death is very real.

So to set the scene, Naomi (Dominique Tipper) is still trapped on-board Marco’s (Keon Alexander) the Pella. While she was able to save The Roci and its crew from blowing up Tycho Station, it was at the cost of her freedom. But as she remembers better times, Marco comes in to let her walk free, of at least the ship. For there is something, he wants her to witness. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Star Trek Discovery: There Is A Tide … – TV Review

TL;DR – The awkward middle-episode of the three-part season finale

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Star Trek Discovery: There Is A Tide … Image Credit: CBS Studios.

There Is A Tide Review –

As we rush towards the end of the season, we spend a little time exploring the consequence of the crew’s actions to this point, their impact on the galaxy, and the damage they could wreak.

So to set the scene, in last week’s Su’Kal, we ended on a cliff-hanger with Discovery under the control of Osyraa (Janet Kidder) and jumping right to Federation Headquarters. Leaving Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Book (David Ajala) stuck on his ship and the rest of the away team down in the radiation infested ship. Jumping into Federation space Osyraa create a ruse getting them inside the headquarters shield but not before Book and Michael crash land in Discovery’s perpetually open shuttle bay. 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: Down and Out – TV Review

TL;DR – For every disaster, there is an aftermath, and we start to see some of that this week

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

The Expanse: Down and Out. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Down and Out Review

Last week’s episode Gaugamela was the culmination of three build-up episodes (well more than that if you count Season 4). An episode where you spent the whole time holding your breath not wanting to see what would happen next. But there has to be an aftermath, and this week’s episode is all of that and more.

So to set the scene, we open with the aftermath of the asteroid impacts on Earth as Amos (Wes Chatham) and Peaches (Nadine Nicole) wake up in a damaged and failing room. They were at the bottom of The Pit when the Pennsylvania asteroid hit. Which meant that Amos stayed on the planet one day too late, but it probably saved their lives. But surviving the impact was one thing. Getting out of a fortified prison when the prison guards don’t know the world has changed is an entirely different matter. 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: Churn – TV Review

TL;DR – An episode where we delve into Amos’ past, and my heart breaks a little

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

The Expanse: Churn. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Churn Review

We dive straight back into the second episode of the season which continues to build the tension for the potential coming disaster. However, this episode is more of a character piece as we get to see what motivates many of our cast of characters.

So to set the scene, in the first episode Exodus we focused on all the crew going their separate ways as they flew to different parts of the Solar System. Amos (Wes Chatham) landed on Luna and after chitchat with Chrisjen (Shohreh Aghdashloo) made the trip back to his home on Baltimore. Alex (Cas Anvar) arrived on Mars and faced a frosty reception from everyone including Bobbie (Frankie Adams), and Naomi (Dominique Tipper) made her way to Pallas Station. This departure left James (Steven Strait) all alone on Tyco Station, which was the perfect time for Monica Stuart (Anna Hopkins) to arrive with tales of intrigue. 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: Exodus – TV Review

TL;DR – An episode that moves everybody and more importantly everything into place

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

The Expanse: Exodus. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Exodus Review

To be honest, 2020 has not been the best of years, and that might be an understatement. However, there was one ray of light on the horizon for me, and that was a new season of The Expanse, and well now it is here, it has so far not disappointed.

So to set the scene, it has been about 100+ days since the end of Season 4 and all the drama that happened on Ilus. In that time the crew of the Rocinante, James Holden (Steven Strait), Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper), Amos Burton (Wes Chatham), and Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) have made their way to Tyco Station for refit and repair. Only it is time for reflection, and for many, it is time to close some personal demons. 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: Scavengers

TL;DR – An episode where roosters come home to roost.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Star Trek Discovery: Scavengers. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Scavengers Review –

There have been a lot of unanswered questions this season that has been left dangling. The first is of course, what or who caused The Burn that devastated the galaxy. Was it a natural phenomenon, was it an accident, or was it on purpose? The second, is what was Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) doing during her yearlong sojourn in the future? Today we get answers on one of those fronts, but also some consequences.  

So to set the scene, in last week’s Die Trying we finally found what was left of The Federation and Starfleet. It had been reduced to about 30 members and is on reactive rather than proactive footing. Well, The Discovery had to prove itself, but it was clear the crew and the ship would be an asset for The Federation, but it was also apparent when it took only one shot to take it down in People of Earth that the ship was woefully out of date. Good thing then that the Discovery has just had a major upgrade, one that went “do you need your nacelles attached to the ship”? This is just the moment that an unannounced cat arrives on the scene. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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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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Video Game Review – Endless Space 2 (with Vaulters, Supremacy & Penumbra)

TL;DR – A polished and calming take on the 4x genre

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Endless Space 2. Image Credit: Amplitude Studios.

Review –

Several years ago I picked up a new space 4X game called Endless Space. It was from a new developer Amplitude Studios and combined a strategy game with space in a way that I loved. It started a bit rough around the edges but grew into a really solid game. Now when I heard there was a sequel, I was interested but it dropped a bad time, well now I have some time at home thanks to *gestures broadly around* it was a good moment to go back and rectify that.

So to set the scene, Endless Space 2 is a 4X turn-based strategy game. This means that you pick a race like The United Empire, or The Vodyani, or The Hisso, from there you need to eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. You will do this by building new colonies on Mediterranean or terrain or monsoon planets, researching technologies from the technology web, and probably concurring a neighbour or two.

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