The continuing rejuvenation of the Star Trek franchise continues apace with the release on blu-ray of season three of Star Trek The Next Generation. Seasons one and two have already been released to reviews ranging from positive to ecstatic although the quality of the digital mastering of the second release has come under fire from some fan quarters, making it necessary to recap here some of the details of the mammoth technical undertaking this release has required.
While a police procedural may seem a bit of a departure for Geek Chocolate, our writers have diverse tastes, and this is no typical show in the standard forensic template, developed by Bryan Fuller, who worked on Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Star Trek Voyager and Heroes also created Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies and Mockingbird Lane. Based on the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon, filmed previously by Michael Mann and Brett Ratner, the new series stars Hugh Dancy as criminal profiler Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Doctor Hannibal Lecter alongside many of Fuller's frequent troupe of actors, Owen Williams tells us why we should be paying attention.
Can it really be fifteen years since Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers was released? Taking the structure and events of Robert A Heinlein‘s source novel, often dismissed as fascist propaganda, it was a violent and outrageous satire on the futility of the military mindset, the eager young men and women of the Terran Federation throwing themselves on the meat grinder of the war against the bugs of Klendathu. Two direct-to-video sequels and a single curtailed season of the groundbreaking Verhoeven produced animated show Roughnecks followed, and it is that which the new animated feature Starship Troopers Invasion most resembles, at least visually.
TV SHOWS don't get enough love here on GeekChocolate; that may be because there's not a lot on the small screen to shout about these days. So, when something like SyFy's new time-hopping sci-fi cop thriller, Continuum, comes along reviewers like myself sit up and take notice.
Reader, it is excellent.
On Saturday 25th August, as part of the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, the Edinburgh Filmhouse played host to a sold out screening of the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who hosted by Steven Moffat, now in his third year as executive producer. Sworn to secrecy of major plot points, what we present here is an overview of the episode, revealing nothing that is not online already from other sources, which will be updated soon with some of Moffat's conversation following the screening.
While the stars may be the eventual destination of much science fiction, the first goal of two of the fathers of science fiction was closer and eminently more practical: the Moon. In their imaginations, both Jules Verne and H G Wells went there in De la Terre à la Lune and The First Men in the Moon, published in 1865 and 1901 respectively, classic works that have both been revisited in the past years, one in a new adaptation, the other in a revision of a historic work regarded as the first ever science fiction film.
It took reality until 1969 for reality to catch up with those fictional lunar excursions, and it was in the celebrations of the fortieth anniversary of the Moon landings that the BBC’s 2010 adaptation of H G Wells’ novel was commissioned, and now we have another reason to celebrate, with the release of the restored version of Le Voyage Dans la Lune, Georges Méliès’ ground breaking 1902 short film inspired by Jules Verne’s novel, with a new soundtrack supplied by the appropriately otherworldly French electronic music duo Air.
First generation Trekkies such as myself (and I proudly scorn the Trekker label) know only too well how shamelessly Paramount-as-was kept putting out old wine in new bottles over the years. I long ago gave up keeping track of the number of times Trek has been repackaged and reissued in all its incarnations, but one glaring omission from the conveyor belt has been the lack of The Next Generation and its successors on blu-ray.
Now in the middle of its fourth (and possibly last) season, Fringe is the brainchild of JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the men behind Lost
and the recent successful 'reboot' of the Star Trek
franchise. Produced by Fox, a network not known for its long-term commitment to quality science fiction given its cancellation of Firefly
amongst others, Fringe
has beaten the odds so far and reached a fourth full-length season despite a change in timeslots and a steady decline in domestic ratings. If web reports are anything to go by, this series may well be its last sci-fi venture, despite its loyal core audience.
Join GeekChocolate as we look back over the short run of a much maligned science fiction show and ask whether it would have been more successful had the critics and the audience gone into it with open minds rather than expectations based on other shows.
Twenty six years ago, a cultural phenomenon swept Britain. Almost thirteen years old, like all of my generation, I had grown up in a world of only three television channels. In the summer of 1984, a dispute resulted in ITV refusing to carry the Olympics, and over five consecutive nights of that first week, a major prime time drama was broadcast to fill the timeslot. As the only alternative to the saturation sports coverage on the other two channels, the show became the very definition of “event television.” Why was this so unusual? Because this show was science fiction, a genre that, while a cinematic box office staple since the late seventies, has never been well regarded on the small screen, particularly in Britain.
Those five nights comprised the mini series V and its sequel, V – The Final Battle, and the red spray-painted capital letter stood for Victory, both within the show, and in the reception it received.
So promised the opening sequence of the first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica. The implication was that the Cylons had a wider plan than that which was already evident: the destruction of humanity. And while that may have been true back on Caprica, where the Eight that would come to be known as Athena was manipulating Karl Agathon, back on Galactica, the Cylons were aiming much lower: destroy the fleet, download, get on with their perfect cybernetic lives back on the now conquered colony worlds. Except it didn’t quite work out that way, and nobody was more frustrated at that failure than the chief architect, the Cylon One, known as John Cavil.
When Ronald D. Moore and David Eick announced plans to re-make the sci-fi classic series Battlestar Galactica in 2004 they were met with scepticism and even outrage from the Battlestar faithful. I was sceptical myself – they turned Starbuck (originally Dirk Benedict, The A-Team) into a woman for frak’s sake!
Ultimately the nay-sayers were proved wrong as the series was massively successful and the rebellious, and conflicted, Starbuck was portrayed wonderfully by relatively unknown Katee Sackhoff. Moore and Eick, this time in conjunction with screenwriter Remi Aubuchon, have turned their attention to the Battlestar universe once more, venturing into the murky world of the sci-fi prequel.