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Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


November 28, 2013

Nostalgia Corner: Tales From Fat Tulip's Garden (1985-7)

Posted on November 28, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Lewis Collins

Today's sad news is that action star Lewis Collins has died. Best known as Bodie from The Professionals, he also appeared in a plethora of other shows and movies, ranging from Who Dares Wins, which cashed in on the SAS raid on the Iranian embassy

…through his own series of movies, including Commando Leopard and Codename: Wild Geese, through to shows like Cluedo, Robin of Sherwood and Jack The Ripper. He'll be much missed.

So what better way to commemorate his death than to look back at 1980s kids show Tales From Fat Tulip's Garden? Yes, I know he wasn't in it but bear with me.

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November 25, 2013

Review: Doctor Who - The Day of the Doctor

Posted on November 25, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Day of the Doctor

In the UK/US/anywhere in the world, even hermits' caves: Saturday 23rd November

For weeks now, we've had pictures and interviews and trailers and more trailers and minisodes and clips, ramping up the tension and expectations for the 50th anniversary special of Doctor WhoThe Day of the Doctor. Secrets, such as Paul McGann's Doctor getting a minisode of his own, had been kept and the fact the episode was even showing in cinemas in 3D meant naturally expectations were high for huge revelations and cameos that would BLOW EVERYONE'S MINDS! EVERYONE'S!

Of course, given:

  1. The BBC's budget
  2. The inexorable march of time aging anyone from the old show almost to unrecognisability  
  3. A runtime of not even an hour and a half and
  4. The fact that the British TV special effects industry isn't quite on par with Hollywood's

the chances that The Day of the Doctor would get anywhere close to satisfying all those expectations were pretty poor, especially once Steven Moffat started telling everyone The Day of the Doctor was going to reset the show for another 50 years.

Except… somehow we got something about as close as humanly possible to what people wanted. Well, except for the loons. 

Continue reading "Review: Doctor Who - The Day of the Doctor"

November 19, 2013

Review: Almost Human 1x1-1x2 (Fox)

Posted on November 19, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Almost Human

In the US: Mondays, 8/7c, Fox
In the UK: Not yet acquired
Find it in the schedules where you live

Visions of the future almost by definition have to fit into two camps: things are either going to have to go better or they’re going to have get worse. Whether it’s Robocop, Blade Runner, Minority Report, Logan’s Run, Planet of the Apes or any other piece of sci-fi, authors tend to veer towards either the utopian or the dystopian in their projections.

So to a certain extent you have to give Almost Human a good deal of credit for envisioning a future that is both worse and better. It’s 2048 and science and technology have advanced considerably. Unfortunately, gangs of criminals have access to that technology and the crime rate is increasing at 400%. So the police decide to pair every human detective with a police/combat android, capable of incredible acts of strength and analysis.

Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban from Dredd 3D, Star Trek, The Bourne Supremacy, Xena: Warrior Princess, et al) loses his leg in a police operation that goes badly wrong. When he comes back to duty over a year later, the android he’s paired with annoys him so much he destroys it. So the lab guy (Mackenzie Crook from The Office) gives him one of the older models (Michael Ealy from Common Law, The Good Wife, FlashForward and Sleeper Cell): the ‘crazy ones’ with 'synthetic souls’, capable of not just emulating but feeling human emotions, in addition to having natural robotic talents. Together, Kennex and ‘Dorian’ have to stop crime and learn to get on with one another, although is that even possible with an android?

And as you might expect from such a rundown, a good deal of imagination has gone into the science-fiction side of things, particularly as it relates to law enforcement, giving us everything from genetically targeted diseases to DNA bombs and robots capable of doing forensic analysis inside their bodies. The show also mines the obvious parallels with racial discrimination that having an underclass/slave population such a set-up gives us.

But as far as the human side of things goes, that’s where the imagination ran out. Here’s a trailer:

Continue reading "Review: Almost Human 1x1-1x2 (Fox)"

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