The Orville: Electric Sheep – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a difficult episode to watch at times as it wades into some real and challenging territory

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I streamed this on SBS OnDemand

Warning – Deals with themes of suicide

Murderer in big red letters.

The Orville Review

A few years ago, it was announced that Seth MacFarlane, most well known for Family Guy, would do his take on a Space Opera, a show that was like Star Trek with more jokes. It was a premise that had me both intrigued and also concerned. That is because I was sure you could make that balance work, just that it would be hard, and Season One was rough at times. But by the time Season Two drew to a close, it had wholly found its feet and was soaring forward. Now it is time to dive into the much delayed and possibly final season, titled New Horizons, and if it is the end, I hope it can go out on a bang.

So to set the scene, in The Road Not Taken, the threat that the Kaylons pose is seen in complete relief when we see a universe where the crew of the USS Orville never came together, and the galaxy is in ruin. But there is hope, and the team come together for some last-ditch time travel shenanigans to set the timeline right. It worked. But now, everyone on the ship has to work to get it ready for the next attack, and while the refit takes place, there is a lot of resentment brewing on board, with most of it landing square on the lap of the ship’s lone Kalon crewmember Isaac (Mark Jackson).    

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Halo: Season One – TV Review

TL;DR – While not a perfect season, the finale episode did leave me intrigued for more.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Master Chef about to jump out

Halo Review

When the first episode of Halo came out, it felt like it was a show of two halves. We got an exciting dynamic between Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) and the only survivor from a Covenant attack Kwan Ha (Yerin Ha). However, the show’s other half was some of the dullest paint-by-numbers military “intrigue” and “conspiracy”. I wondered which half of the show would dominate throughout the season because that would be a significant indicator of how the show would work. Well, now that I have seen the entire season, I have to say that we got some improvement, but not as much as it could have.

So to set the scene, at the end of Allegiance, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. Halsey (Natascha McElhone) turned the Spartans Riz (Natasha Culzac) and Vannak (Bentley Kalu) against John/Master Chief and Kai (Kate Kennedy). Meanwhile, Makee (Charlie Murphy) had rebuffed Halsey and was trying to trust Master Chief only to get a stun stick to the back of her head when Miranda Keyes (Olive Gray) realises that she was the one that killed the crew, which was bad. But even worse, Makee touches the artifact and sets it off, destroying much of the base. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Halo: Contact – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a very definition of a mixed bag, with some promise shown, but also many issues.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Halo: Contact. Image Credit: Paramount+.

Halo Review

I am what you would call an agnostic when it comes to the Halo video games. I didn’t grow up with an Xbox (or PlayStation if you are about to go video game console wars in my comments), so Master Chief was someone I had a vague knowledge about but not someone I cared about. Since then, I have watched the first couple of games streamed, and I get the appeal, even if the narrative is now a bit dated with time. I forward this all right from the start, so you know where I am coming from with this review and before I start hacking chunks of this apart.

So to set the scene, it is the year 2552, and the human race has spread across the stars, but it has been fraught with division. On the planet Madrigal, designated a Tier 4 Heavy Water Extraction Planet, the locals have been fighting a war of independence from the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) for an age. However, one day as some kids from a local outpost, including the leader’s daughter Kwan Ha Boo (Yerin Ha), go out into the woods, they stumble across not the UNSC and their feared Spartans, but something so much worse. 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: Picard – The Star Gazer – TV Review

TL;DR – An episode that respects the past as well as diving full force into the future.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this episode.

Star Trek: Picard – The Star Gazer. Image Credit: Amazon Prime.

Star Trek: Picard Review

When the first season of Star Trek Picard was announced, I was intrigued by how they would extend the story into the future. What we got was a show full of promise, but also one with a lot of rough edges. With this opening episode, we get a show that has had time to reflect on the past. Improve on what worked and upgrade the things that didn’t.

So to set the scene, it has been two years since we last checked in with the team. Picard (Patrick Stewart) now spends his time working on the château and being Commandant of Starfleet Academy. Elnor (Evan Evagora) has graduated as the first Romulan in Starfleet and is assigned to Raffi’s (Michelle Hurd) ship, the USS Excelsior. Seven (Jeri Ryan) is still fighting for the Fenris Rangers, while Soji (Isa Briones) and Anges (Alison Pill) have been on Diplomatic missions. However, things start to shift under their feet when a portal opens in space shouting for Picard. 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 – Rosetta  – TV Review

TL;DR – Preparing for the end by going into the belly of the beast  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Star Trek: Discovery – Rosetta

Star Trek: Discovery Review –

This season we have gotten a combination of some of the best Star Trek has to offer attached to what feels like story elements that just exist to pad out time. Thankfully, the strength of the characters and the production has smoothed over some of those issues, but as we rocket towards the end, I have begun to be a bit concerned. But this week, we finally got some answers about the nature of the 10-C.

So to set the scene, after the colossal stuff up of Book (David Ajala) and Tarka (Shawn Doyle) led to the 10-C not only replacing the anomaly but shifting it to the Alpha Quadrant in direct line to Earth and Ni’Var. The USS Discovery, its crew and the delegates onboard raced through the Galactic Barrier to attempt diplomacy before the deaths of billions. When they breached the barrier, they discovered a solar system near where 10-C live. It soon becomes apparent that the 10-C used to live here, as the corpses of their species litter the surface. 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 Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 7 (In the Name of Honor) and Full Season – TV Review

TL;DR – A lacklustre ending to a frustrating series overall.   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene in the final episode

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 7 (In the Name of Honor). Image Credit: Disney.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

Well, we have reached the end of the first season of The Book of Boba Fett and does it end on a triumph? Well no. What we have gotten is a season flailing around in the sand and finding the odd gem, but not much else. With that in mind, let us unpack the final episode and the season as a whole.

So to set the scene, at the end of From the Desert Comes a Stranger, Cad Bane (Corey Burton) kills the chance of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) getting back up by taking out Marshal Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) in a showdown. Meanwhile, the Pyke Syndicate strikes the first blow of the coming war by destroying Sanctuary and killing (probably) Garsa Fwip (Jennifer Beals) in the process. The oncoming storm is near, all Boba, Fennec (Ming-Na Wen), and The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) need to do is hold out for reinforcements (that are not coming) and hope that the criminal families of Mos Espa continue with their neutrality between a more significant winning power and family about to get stomped on. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole and the rest of the season, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 5 (Return of The Mandalorian) – TV Review

TL;DR – Alas, this week’s episode felt like spinning wheels, holding back the exciting stuff for next week.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 5 (Return of The Mandalorian). Image Credit: Disney+.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

I have been on the record in these reviews that since Chapter 2, The Book of Boba Fett has been badly losing steam. The show has struggled to maintain momentum as it explores two different timeframes with less than stellar results. However, this week we see a remarkable shift back on course. The question is, can they keep it up for the rest of the season. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

So to set the scene, at the end of Chapter 4, it became clear to both Bobba (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec (Ming-Na Wen) that war with the Pyke Syndicate is the only option coming to Tatooine and the streets of Mos Espa. However, away from the planet on a Ring World, Din Djarin/ The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) is about to take a bounty only for the Dark Sabre to take a bite out of him. 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 Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 3 (The Streets of Mos Espa) – TV Review

TL;DR – We get a lot more action this episode, but it did feel like it lost some of last week’s substance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 2 (The Streets of Mos Espa). Image Credit: Disney+.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

In Chapter 1, my big concern was that the show would keep navel-gazing too much into the past. While in Chapter 2, the show went almost full-past and was better for it. All of this has put my first thoughts in harsh contrast because this week, we get the reverse, with most of it being in the present, yet I think this was the weakest episode so far.

So to set the scene, last week we discovered that all was not as it seems in Mos Espa, as the Mayor (Robert Rodriquez) had let slip that others were looking to take over Boba Fett’s (Temuera Morrison) territory. Jabba had family, and just that moment, The Twins arrived with their Wookie bodyguard Black Krrsantan (Carey Jones). Boba is looking to try and stamp his authority on the city with everything in flux when vassal Lortha Peel (Carey Jones) arrives and explains that social order is collapsing and a new gang is in town. 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: Why We Fight – TV Review

TL;DR – War takes a back seat this week as we explore the emotional fallout.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

The Expanse: Why We Fight. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

The Expanse Review

If there is one emotion that films, TV, etc., rely on, it is pain. It is a universal emotion, so it is easy to use without any substance behind it, yet it still appears to have weight. These are the moments that hit at the moment yet make you feel hollow later when you think about it. There is a lot of death and pain in The Expanse, but as we see today, none of it is cheap.

So to set the scene, everyone is still reeling from the attacks across the system, and for the Martians, slow and steady is not the order of the day. They fly their newest stealth ships right through the portal to take Medina Station out of the equation. It is a daring attack. Bar, Marco (Keon Alexander) had made a deal and fortified all of ring space with railguns, killing the MCR fleet in moments. Meanwhile, The Roci has docked with Ceres Station as James (Steven Strait), and Naomi (Dominique Tipper) have found that the ring gates are killing ships, but James’ ultraism falls flat. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 2 (The Tribes of Tatooine) – TV Review

TL;DR – We get a step up from the first episode in most facets of the show  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 2 (The Tribes of Tatooine). Image Credit: Disney+.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

When I opened up the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett, I wondered just what I was going to get. Indeed, I got an episode full of promise, but also, some potential issues raised their heads. I wondered which of these two directions would pull at the heart of the show, and I am glad to say in Chapter 2, it was the first, not the latter.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s episode Chapter 1, Boba’s (Temuera Morrison) control over Mos Espa looked to be more tenuous than he thought. The Mayor (Robert Rodriquez) showed no deference to the new daimyo and even disrespect. Worst still, someone out there thought that Boba could not take care of himself and set an assassin hit squad. This week, the question remains, who sent a hit squad, and unfortunately for Boba and Fennec (Ming-Na Wen), there may be more contenders than everyone thought. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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