Peter's Blog

Just commenting on things that interest me

Category: Sci-Fi

Star Trek Voyager

I had never really watched much STV until recently.

I decided to give it a chance for three reasons:

  1. It is easily available on Netflix
  2. I figured I should give it a try after the disappointment of STD
  3. I listened to an interview with Kate Mulgrew on Ryan Tubridy’s radio show and I was really, really impressed by her

I decided to watch all of the episodes with an IMDB with the highest ratings, generally 8.6 or higher.

The following is a list of the episodes I watched:

Star Trek Voyager Episodes
Episode Title
S03E23 Distant Origin
S03E26 Scorpion: Part One
S04E01 Scorpion: Part Two
S04E08 Year of Hell: Part One
S04E09 Year of Hell: Part Two
S04E14 Message in a Bottle
S05E02 Drone
S05E06 Timeless
S05E10 Counterpoint
S06E12 Blink of an Eye
S06E26 Unimatrix Zero: Part One
S07E01 Unimatrix Zero: Part Two
S07E24 Endgame Parts One and Two

 

I have reached the following conclusions about the series:

  1. The series is quite good, and some of the episodes are very enjoyable
  2. It took until near the end of the third season for an episode to reach the 8.6 rating
  3. The series ended on a high, with an enjoyable episode also rated at 8.6
  4. I can see myself going back to watch more episodes. For example, I see there is one which features George Takei as Captain Sulu

Since I wanted these episodes, I saw a video of Kate Mulgrew being interviewed and the interviewer mentioned that STV is the most watched Star Trek series on Netflix. So I’m not the only one who is rediscovering this series.

Star Trek Discovery – the first two seasons

I did a post about STD before.  That was after watching the first two episodes.

I have now watched the first two seasons. And things aren’t much better.

The main problem is still the same: I can see no reason to like the central character, Michael Burnham.

In the first two episodes she had committed mutiny, started a war, and failed to save the life of her captain.

Since then she has fallen in love with a Klingon who has been converted to a human (Ash Tyler – I don’t really know what that is all about) and she seemed to spend most of season two crying for one reason or another.

The series is littered with unsympathetic characters: Burnham, Tyler, Lorca, new Georgiou, Leland, etc. How does any showrunner expect people to like a show where there are so few likeable characters?

Some people do like Doug Jones(Saru) and Mary Wiseman (Tilly). I quite like Tig Notaro (Reno).

But the main glimmer of light was the appearance of Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn and Pike, Spock and Number One respectively. But that is only for another potential spin-off show as there is no reason for them to appear in the next season.

The most interesting episode was the one where they go (for no real credible reason) to Talos IV, linking back to “The Cage” from TOS.

I also recently watched the extra short episodes which are available under “Trailers and More” in Netflix. Nothing of any real merit there either.

The show has a rating of 7.4 on IMDB (compared to 8.3 for TOS, 8.6 for TNG, 7.9 for DS9, 7.8 for Voyager, and 7.5 for Enterprise).

Here is a picture of Pike, Spock and Number One:

Rutger Hauer

Rutger Hauer passed away on the 19th of July, aged 79.

It must be great to know that you have created something which will never be forgotten. I am referring, of course, to his portrayal of Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982).

The genius behind Blade Runner was Ridley Scott, of course, but Rutger made an unforgettable contribution.

He is also remembered for other movies, including 1986’s The Hitcher.

And for his role in a series of ads for Guinness.

Here is his iconic final scene in Blade Runner, which apparently was improvised to some extent.

Make Your Own Star Trek Episode

The sets which were used to make Star Trek Continues have been purchased by a gentleman by the name of Ray Tesi. He is promising to keep them safe.

But the even better news is that (if you can make your way to Kingsland, Georgia) you can make your own fan film there and it only costs $300 to rent the sets per day!

I think that’s amazing value for anyone who has a dream, a cast, cameras, mics, etc. and a story!

Ray’s company is now called “The Neutral Zone”.

Details about hiring the sets are available here.

Here is a link to a Star Trek fan film vignette which involved Ray in writing, directing and producing roles.

Star Trek Continues – No Longer

Back in November 2017 I make a post about looking forward to the last episode of “Star Trek Continues”. Later that month the eleventh and final episode was made available on the website.

The penultimate episode had received a rating of 9.3 on IMDB – the highest of the series to date. The last episode surpassed that with a rating of 9.6.

The last episode does what the team set out to do, and what the original series never managed to do – it brings the five year mission to a conclusion.

The episode itself is very good. But I have to say that the last ten minutes (from Kirk’s speech to the crew on, it very subdued and a bit of a downer). I think it’s a pity they decided to end it that way.

Still, the series itself is excellent – and a great tribute to the love and dedication of all of those who worked on it.

Overall the series has a rating of 8.0 on IMDB – very impressive for a fan production, especially when you consider that Star Trek Discovery (with all of the money that was put into it) has a rating of 7.4

Star Trek Continues – but not for much longer

Episode 10 of “Star Trek Continues” is available on the website.

It is the penultimate episode. The last one will be released in a few days – on the 13th of November.

It is very good.

I saw an interview with Vic Mignogna where he said that he thought the fans would be happy with the way the show ends (although fans like me will not be happy that the show has to end so soon!) The second last episode has the highest score on IMDB so far : 9.5 (the previous highest was 9.0).

There is a moment in the show which is astonishing though. So astonishing that I had to pause the video to check what I was seeing.

I mentioned in a recent post how a young Sean Young appeared in BR2049. But that was not astonishing as they had some much money available to achieve the effect.

What astonished me was that the Romulan Commander looked uncannily like the actress from the original series (in the episode “The Enterprise Incident”).

A little bit of research (thanks IMDB) told me that the new actress is Amy Rydell. The previous actress was Joanne Linville. The latter is the real life mother of the former.

What a stroke of genius! I am so impressed!

Here are photos of the two ladies side by side: Joanne is on the left, Amy on the right.

I am very much looking forward to the last episode.

Blade Runner – Is Deckard a Replicant

At some point during the making of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott decided that it would be brilliant if Harrison Ford’s character were a replicant.

Some kind of irony, I suppose, that Deckard was retiring replicants but was a replicant himself without even knowing it.

So he added the unicorn scene in the Director’s Cut so that we could all be let in on the joke.

And then Hampton Fancher, Michael Green, Denis Villeneuve, Harrison Ford and Scott himself became involved in making a sequel. So they had to face this question. Obviously Ford was going to look a lot older in the sequel. So what would that mean?

So the decision they made was to leave the question just as open as it was at the end of the first movie.

But for me (as for Harrison Ford) Deckard was always human. And the unicorn scene was a mistake.

The reason I think Deckard was human was because he was clearly no match for the replicants in combat. He was lucky to survive each encounter with a replicant. He only survived the final encounter with Batty because the latter allowed him to. And he felt pain, as the fight with Batty so clearly illustrated.

And the reason I thought that Deckard  should have been human was that he represents us. In his encounters with Rachel. In his encounters with Batty. The movie only makes sense if he is a human experiencing those emotions. Feeling empathy for Batty. Falling in love with Rachel. And Batty chooses to let him live. Not because Deckard is another replicant. But because Deckard is human. When he says “I’ve seen this you people wouldn’t believe” he is referring to “you humans”, in my opinion.

So Ford is right, and Scott is wrong.

And Fancher and Villeneuve (presumably out of respect for Scott) decided not to set the record straight.

Here is the great “Tears in Rain” scene from the original movie.

Blade Runner 2049

So as I mentioned in my last post, I went to see Blade Runner 2049 on the opening night. This posting contains SPOILERS.

It is hard, of course, for a sequel to live up to a classic (the 1982 movie has a score of 8.2 on IMDB and 90% on Rotten Tomatoes). I know (from interviews on YouTube) that Denis Villeneuve was very conscious of this. But he had Hampton Fancher on to write the story, and Ridley Scott on board as Exec Producer, and Harrison Ford on to reprise his role, so he went for it.

The movie has a score of 8.5 on IMDB and 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. So they did a lot that was right.

The thing I liked most about the new movie was (of course) the way it looked. They did an amazing job.

I also liked the way they way they extended the questions from the original about what it is to be “real” and what it is to be alive (or “human” as most people seem to say).

The things I liked least were:

  • The fact that we knew that K was a replicant before we ever entered the cinema (from things we saw him doing in the trailer)
  • The overly long scene with K, Joi and the prostitute
  • The role of Niander Wallace in the movie (and the fact that there was no resolution for this at the end of the movie)

The thing which surprised me most was when the young Sean Young made an appearance! I’ll need to watch that again because I was so busy trying to figure out how they did it (and noticing what looked like bad CGI) that I wasn’t paying proper attention to what went on.

One thing I would suggest which would have made the movie better, IMHO, would be to have asked Vangelis to do the soundtrack. They brought everyone else back, why not him! It was particularly obvious to me when they brought some of his music in towards the end.

So overall (like the majority of fans I think) I was very happy with the sequel. It is a good movie and picks up lots of threads from the original.

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