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 Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope 
 
 SG-1 1-01: Children of the Gods 
 
 DS9 2-01: The Homecoming 
 
 B5 2-06: Spider in the Web 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Babylon 5 2-06: Spider in the Web

Episode:28|Writer:Lawrence DiTillio|Air Date:07-12-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures I'll be figuratively talking all over Babylon 5 episode Spider in the Web (or A Spider in the Web according to the DVD box). I wouldn't worry about seeing any actual spiders turn up though judging by the current run of episode titles, as A Distant Star had nothing to do with stars, distant or otherwise, The Long Dark only lasted 42 minutes, and The Geometry of Shadows had a disappointing absence of... geometry.

This is the first episode of season two to be written by executive story editor Larry DiTillio and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. The guy's episodes were all over the place on my entirely subjective season one rankings, as I placed Eyes up near the top, and TKO and Born to the Purple way way down at the bottom. But only one person wrote more Babylon 5 episodes than DiTillio and that's creator JMS himself, though after this I've only got two more stories of his left to watch before his boss took ever entirely.

It's also the first episode of any season to be directed by Kevin G. Cremin and I'm not sure if that's a good thing either. Though after scrolling through the episode list and checking out the other four stories he directed I'm thinking that signs are promising.

I'll be writing commentary under screencaps from the DVD, so there'll be SPOILERS here for this whole episode and probably a few of the ones that lead up to it. That's as far as the spoilers go though, I'll not give away anything that happens afterwards.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 2-01: The Homecoming

Episode:21|Writer:Ira Steven Behr|Air Date:26-Sep-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm watching the first episode of Deep Space Nine season 2! It's also the first part of the first three-parter in Star Trek history, and the first multi-part story in the franchise where each part has a different title.

It's not the first episode by Ira Steven Behr though, as he wrote that bloody The Nagus episode last season. But that's fine, even the best writers have their off days. Though if I ever see more than three Ferengi on screen at once I'm turning it off.

I'll be screencapping the entire episode and writing my thoughts underneath as I go, so expect SPOILERS. I'm considering any Star Trek episode made before it to be fair game, but I won't be spoiling anything that aired after it.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Babylon 5 2-05: The Long Dark

Episode:27|Writer:Scott Frost|Air Date:30-Nov-1994

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures it's episode 27 of Babylon 5! I'm going to watch it, take some screencaps and write stuff underneath them, same as usual. Well rewatch it really, as I've seen this whole series before.

The Long Dark is both the first and last Babylon 5 episode written by a guy called Scott Frost who I know nothing about. Wikipedia tells me he wrote two episodes of Twin Peaks, which may be a good sign, and two episodes from the last seasons of Andromeda, which probably isn't. It's also the first episode directed by Mario Di Leo, who didn't do a whole lot of B5 either.

There will be SPOILERS past this point for this episode and earlier ones, but I won't spoil anything that comes after it. Though I might spoil a tiny bit about the movie Aliens.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Stargate SG-1 1-01: Children of the Gods, Part 2

This is the second and final part of my Children of the Gods article. You can go to part one by clicking the text that says 'part one' here: Part one.

Beware of SPOILERS for both this episode and the movie.

Stargate SG-1 1-01: Children of the Gods, Part 1

Episode:1|Writer:Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright|Air Date:27-Jul-1997

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm kicking myself for not realising that it'll be Stargate SG-1's 20th anniversary this year! If I'd held onto this post for another month it would've worked out perfectly, but I already promised I'd write about this next and I'm two weeks late, so I decided to click publish on it today and hope I do better with the next anniversary.

What else came out in 1997 anyway? It seems like it was a good year for fantasy movies to get their own wildly successful semi-faithful TV franchises, as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stargate SG-1 both kicked off within a few months of each other. I have to admit that I'm more of a Buffy fan, but Buffy's about vampires and Stargate's about stargates so this is the one I'm writing about on my sci-fi site. Other science fiction series starting in '97 include Deepwater Black, Earth: Final Conflict and Timecop and I've got even better reasons for not writing about them. Meanwhile Star Trek: Deep Space Nine finished off its 5th season, Babylon 5 got done with year 4 and Voyager wrapped up season 3.

They may have chosen the least exciting shot possible to put the title over, but Children of the Gods is the beginning of an epic TV franchise to rival Star Trek, that lasted for 354 episodes and 2 DVD movies! It also rivals Star Wars with how much it got screwed with years after the fact, as co-creator Brad Wright decided to have it re-cut to replace visual effects, tighten up the storytelling, restore the original Joel Goldsmith score and use a slightly more exciting shot for the title. Oh plus his revised Final Cut also removes the nudity that Showtime apparently made them put in, because it didn't exactly suit the family friendly 90s TV sci-fi tone they were going for.

But I don't have the Final Cut, so I'm watching whatever version came in my season one DVD box set, and I'll be writing all kinds of SPOILERS as I go. I'll also be spoiling the Stargate movie, but I won't say a word about what happens in the rest of the series. Or any other series.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Babylon 5 2-04: A Distant Star

Episode:26|Writer:D.C. Fontana|Air Date:23-Nov-1994

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm continuing my descent into season 2 of Babylon 5 with the fourth episode: A Distant Star.

This is the first episode this season written by someone other than creator J. Michael Straczynski and the last B5 script from OG Star Trek veteran D.C. Fontana. There'll be a lot of 'last script's coming up over the next few months, as the series became too serialised for outside writers to produce standalone stories any more. That seems like a strange situation seeing as modern serialised TV series are written by multiple writers just fine, but I guess most of them haven't got an elaborate five year arc planned out in advance.

Okay what I'll be doing here is taking a few screencaps from the episode and then writing my commentary underneath, so this will include SPOILERS for the entire episode. I'll also be talking about the episodes leading up to it, so there'll be spoilers for them too. But as far as I'm concerned it's November 1994 right now so I can't say anything about what's coming next.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Written by:George Lucas|Directed by:George Lucas|Release Date:1977

I've been writing about science fiction for just over a year now, but this week on Sci-Fi Adventures I face my greatest challenge yet: trying to find something even slightly original to say about Rogue One 2: The Star Wars, also known as Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Or just Star Wars.

The 'Episode IV - A New Hope' bit was added in a theatrical re-release later, but then everyone knows that already. Everyone already knows everything about this bloody movie! There's been essential guides and technical manuals and visual dictionaries and Wookiepedias and Plinketts and podcasts analysing every minute of it, every frame of it, for 40 years now (happy birthday Star Wars!) So it wouldn't come as a huge shock to me if you know more about the movie than I do.

I'm definitely a Star Wars fan, but I've never been obsessed with it to the level that some people are. I've never bought action figures or gone to conventions. I didn't even watch the films in the right order! My introduction to the series was Return of the Jedi, then I watched (some of) Empire Strikes Back, and then Spaceballs. In fact I was probably playing the games before I saw the movie itself. I've put more hours into TIE Fighter and the Jedi Knight series than any of the films.

Though I'm sure I must have seen A New Hope at least of three times by this point. First I rented it on VHS, then I saw the Special Edition in widescreen at the cinema in '97, then I watched the 2004 DVD version a year or so back. So the movie keeps changing every time I see it and that's just weird.

Alright, this is a two hour movie so I'm going to be showing off an absurd amount of screencaps and providing my dumb commentary under each one as I go through the film. Here's something I've noticed already: the Star Wars logo text isn't hollow, the letters are filled in black. Man if I can demonstrate this level of startling insight all the way through maybe there's a chance I can pull this off!

It should be fairly obvious that this will be filled with SPOILERS for Star Wars: Episode IV, but it might come as a surprise that I won't be spoiling anything made after it. So no spoilers for Empire, the prequels, or Rogue One. Some people think that insanely popular 37 year old movies are fair game for spoilers, but that's not how I do things.