Peter's Blog

Just commenting on things that interest me

Category: TV (page 1 of 2)

Five things I hate about Lost in Space

Lost in Space was a television show which ran for three seasons from 1965.

The show was more successful that it should have been, perhaps, because people like the interplay between Dr. Smith, the young Will Robinson and the robot. Here’s an interview where the late Jonathan Harris speaks about the effect on Guy Williams when he, Harris, became the star of the show which Williams (as John Robinson) was expected to have been.

I enjoyed the original show because I loved the robot as I explained in my old blog.

in 2018 Netflix released a new version of Lost in Space. We’ve had two seasons now and apparently (like the original series) there will be only three.

Here are five things which I hate about this remake:

1) The Robot

In the original series the Robot is one of the central characters. He is funny and wise and useful. In the new series he is none of these things. They decided that he would be more interesting if he didn’t speak and was uncooperative, unpredictable and threatening all of the time. This was a mistake imho.

2) Dr. Smith

The writers decided that Dr. Smith should be a woman in this remake. That’s not a problem, but they decided that she should be an almost entirely unsympathetic character. Actually she’s not even Dr. Smith, but is someone who has assumed that identify. And she has murdered at least one person. So of the three central characters in the original series we now have two of these who are basically evil!

3) The life-or-death puzzles

Every week there seems to be some kind of dangerous puzzle which the characters have to solve in order to stay alive. These are completely pointless and uninteresting. I can’t really give examples of the puzzles as I just fast forward through this part in every episode. This is a complete waste of time.

4) John and Don survive the destruction of their ship

During season 1, John and Don are killed when their ship explodes in episode 8. But two episodes later they are successfully rescued because they survived the explosion and have been able to cling to some wreckage in space all this time! This is just ridiculous. I don’t think there was even any attempt at explaining this! But rescuing them became yet another of these life-or-death puzzles (which I didn’t watch).

5) Penny’s dialogue

In an attempt to attract teenage viewers, I assume, there quite a bit of awful dialogue which seems to centre around Penny and her relationships. I don’t know much about this because I fast forward through this as well.

So there you have it. Five reasons why I hate Lost in Space.

Even though I have watched the first two seasons, I think this is the only TV show I have ever watched where I fast forward through a substantial part of each episode. I just don’t care what is happening in those parts!

The only bright spot in the show is that I like Molly Parker and the way she plays Maureen Robinson.

I understand that the show has been renewed by Netflix for a fourth “and final” season.

Here is a video which shows the relationship between Smith and the Robot on the original series:

Star Trek Picard and Game of Thrones

I described my disappointment with STP in my last post.

In this post I just want to link to a very interesting video where “Major Grin” shows how Alex Kurtzman admits to being influenced by the success of Game of Thrones and  wanting to introduce a “darker tone” into the new Star Trek series. He says “nobody complains about having to pay for GOT so we have to do the same”.

He also shows us how comfortable is he with “the F word”. He thinks that introduction of swearing into Star Trek is “kind of wonderful”.

The video has quotes from Kurtzman and also has scenes from both Discovery and Picard showing where these series paid homage (to put it kindly) to GOT.

The man is an idiot imho. If we want to watch GOT then we will watch that. If we want to watch Breaking Bad then we will watch that. Your job was to give us new Star trek.

Six things I hated about Star Trek Picard

I mentioned in a previous post how disappointed I was with Star Trek Discovery (STD).

In spit of that, I managed to get a little excited about the prospect of Star Trek Picard. I guess the excitement came from Patrick Stewart and the character of Picard.

So how that season one is over, I can list (in no particular order) six things I hated about STP.

Disclaimer: because the show was so  poor, I wasn’t paying the closest attention. So please forgive me if I overlook something or if I get something wrong here.

1) The swearing, the gore, and the violence

This is mindless and gratuitous. It was unnecessary and has no place in the work of Star Trek. I will come back to this again in another post.

2) Major things that make no sense to me

The Romulans (specifically the “Zhat Vash”) have been working for generations to prevent devastation from synthetics. So when they finally bring their fleet to the Android planet, they are unable to kill the androids firstly because of some trickery, and then because Riker arrives with his fleet. These are supposed to be fanatics which have had visions about the devastation which synthetics will bring. They don’t seem to behave like true believers when the chips are down and all of their fears are coming to life right in front of their eyes

3) Minor things are make no sense to me

What the hell was that all about when those flowers (?) came up and brought down our heroes’ ship and the Borg ship?

What the hell was that mysterious device all about and how were the Romulans tricked by projections of non-existent ships?!

What was that about when our heroes went to that planet in stupid disguises (hats and eyepatches!) and, in Picard’s case, with a stupid accents?

4) Picard becomes an android

In the final episode, Picard dies and his consciousness is transferred into an Android body. But:

  • That body has been designed to look like him and to have his physical characteristics (strength, age, etc.)
  • We are asked to accept that the transfer was complete and that the Picard we know and love is in that new mechanical body and all set for season two

5) The story arc of Dr. Agnes Jurati

Agnes is given the vision of the devastation which synthetics will bring to the galaxy. She is so affected by that that she kills her mentor and lover. But:

  • She is never held to account for that murder. I don’t know if anyone even rebukes her about it! She should have to stand trial for that murder
  • The effects wear off so completely that she is able to tolerate and even help the actual synthetics a few episodes later!

6) Elnor

I am trying to imagine the writers room when they came up with this character:

  • We should have someone who looks like an elf from Lord of the Rings
  • Oh yeah. And he should fight with a sword and throwing weapons like a ninja
  • Yeah and he will somehow be able to hold his own in fights with people who have phasers and the like
  • Yeah but he should be sort of naive and innocent and not really know what is going on most of the time

Pathetic really.

There are more things I could talk about but I think I’ll leave it there for now. It was nice to see Riker, Troi and Seven appearing but tbh I didn’t really like what had been done with their stories in the intervening years.

One final note: I don’t know why Picard had two Romulans working for him at the start of the season, but I liked that Irish actress Orla Brady played the part of Loris and that she did not hide her own accent. It was fun to see a Romulan with an Irish accent

Best Quiz Show – The Chase

When I was traveling to Cork a lot last year for work, and staying in a hotel at the airport, I would find myself back in my hotel room early in the evening and turning on the TV to find something to help me relax. That’s when I discovered “The Chase”.

The Chase is the best quiz show on TV by far.

In the past I have enjoyed “Fifteen to One” and “The Weakest Link”. And I still enjoy watching “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” occasionally.

But I am addicted to The Chase.

The format is just perfect. The focus is very much on the questions. And the elimination element provides just the right level of jeopardy.

And Bradley Walsh is a great host. He has a great way with the contestants, and the chasers. And he’s very funny.

I think he’s related to my cousins. And I didn’t think I liked him before I became addicted to The Chase. But now I love him.

I even went so far as to check to see if I could be a contestant. But it’s limited to people who live in the UK unfortunately. And much as I would like to take part, I think moving to the UK is too high a price!

Here is a picture of Bradley and the chasers:

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:

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: The Animated Series

in 1973 and 1973, most of the actors from Star Trek were reassembled to make an animated version of the show. Season One had 16 episodes and Season Two had a further 6.

This was between the finishing of the original series (1969) and the making of the first movie (1979).

I had seen bits and pieces of the series over the years but when it appeared on Netflix I decided to watch all of the episodes.

Well I find this very hard to believe, but there is hardly a single episode in the whole series which has even the slightest merit.

IMDB rates the episodes between 6.1 and 7.4, with the single exception of the second episode, “Yesteryear”, which has a rating of 8.2.

This episode was written by D.C.Fontana and features time travel and “The Guardian of Forever”. The episode also sees Mark Lenard reprising his role from the original series as Sarek (the only time he did so in the animated series).

Here is a still from the episode showing Kirk and Spock:

startrekanimated

 

New for fans of Star Trek

In this post I talk about a number of updates for fans of Star Trek.

The first relates to “Star Trek Continues” I which I mentioned previously.  That series is now up to 8 episodes! The most recent episode (“Still Treads the Shadow”) provided an interesting acting challenge for Vic Mignogna who plays Kirk.

The second relates to the upcoming office Star Trek show: Star Trek Discovery. While I wouldn’t normally have much excitement about this kind of show (I don’t think I watched a single episode of Star Trek:Enterprise) I am excited to see that the fabulous Michelle Yeoh has joined the cast and appears in the new trailer:

The show will be released in the Autumn and will be available on Netflix the day after it premiers in the USA.

The third is about a new spoof show called ” The Orville” which will was created by and will star creator Seth MacFarlane, and will be directed by Jon Favreau.

While the trailer is far from hilarious, it does look promising.

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