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Monday, 29 August 2016

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1-09: The Passenger

Episode:9|Writer:Morgan Gendel & Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Michael Piller|Air Date:21-Feb-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm back to Deep Space Nine season one. I've got this season box set sitting here, so I might as well watch it.

But first I need to fill this introduction section with interesting and relevant text! Okay The Passenger is the eighth episode of the series, but the first to start with 'The'. It doesn't have a stardate, but it probably comes after Dax, which was probably meant to take place far later in the season than it aired. Uh... the title is anagram of 'Strange Sheep', it's not the episode that guest stars Iggy Pop, and it was first shown on US television the day before Star Trek: The Next Generation visited the station for the only time in Birthright, Part I. Sorry, that's all I've got.

But before I spoil the hell out of this episode, remember that anything that aired before it is fair game for SPOILERS too. Not that there's really any continuity at this point.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Babylon 5 1-08: And the Sky Full of Stars

Episode:8|Writer:J. Michael Straczynski|Air Date:16-Mar-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm ruining another episode of Babylon 5!

And the Sky Full of Stars is good long pretentious TV title and I like that. It's also a call back to the pilot movie The Gathering, where Commander Sinclair described his memories of fighting in humanity's last stand at the end of the Earth-Minbari War:
"The sky was full of stars and every star an exploding ship, one of ours."
So this episode had better have some actual continuity and perhaps even a revelation or two or else I'll... be extra snarky about the next one.

I wouldn't recommend reading any further if you haven't seen the episode yet and care about SPOILERS as I'll be going through every scene of it. In fact I'll likely end up spoiling earlier stories too, though I'll not say a word about later episodes.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Doctor Who 9-08: The Zygon Inversion

Episode:821|Serial:258|Writer:Peter Harness and Steven Moffat|Air Date:07-Nov-2015

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, the second half of another Doctor Who two parter.

The first half, The Zygon Invasion, was perhaps the most divisive episode of series 9 up to this point... or perhaps not, it's hard to tell. I've definitely read a lot of hate about it though, with people calling it tone deaf, xenophobic and generally not very good. Personally I thought it was watchable enough, when it wasn't being painfully stupid, but I've got higher hopes for The Zygon Inversion for two reasons:
  1. It's got Steven Moffat's name in the writing credits and he's generally pretty good at this.
  2. The word 'Inversion' makes me think that all is not what it appears, and that'd be a good thing in this case.
But before I give away my thoughts on the entire plot, here's a quick SPOILER WARNING for you. Warning, I'll be giving away the entire plot for this episode and spoiling some earlier episodes too. I won't say a word about anything that aired after it though.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Babylon 5 1-07: The War Prayer

Episode:7|Writer:D. C. Fontana|Air Date:09-Mar-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm spoiling the episode The War Prayer, which comes right after the episode Mind War, around 17 years after Star Wars and 97 years after H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. I can't actually think of anything else with 'war' in the title right now, I'm sorry. Well, except for the original Mark Twain short story that the title refers to.

Mark Twain left The War Prayer to be published after his death because of its controversial content, but it's basically about a church full of hyped up soldiers and their families praying for victory in their glorious war followed by a stranger reading out to them their unspoken prayer for all the horrors that come with it. So I'm guessing that the plot of this has something to do with that.

The War Prayer is the 7th episode of the first season, which is notable because it means I still have two thirds of season 1 left to get through after this. Still, I remember there being some great episodes scattered around the first year of the series, and this... probably isn't one of them.

I'll be writing SPOILERS for every scene of this episode so don't go any further if you care about that. In fact I'll be spoiling episodes that came before it too (but not the ones that came after).

Monday, 8 August 2016

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1-08: Dax

Episode:8|Writer:D.C. Fontana and Peter Allan Fields|Air Date:14-Feb-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm still working my way through the worst season of Deep Space Nine, which hasn't actually been that bad so far to be honest. It hasn't been all that great either though. It's just kind of existed, like the dull droning sound of a fusion reactor, with the occasional chat between Odo and Quark thrown in to make sure I was still paying attention.

Somehow I doubt Dax is going to break this streak, but I don't know, I can barely remember it. Though I do remember that it has the distinction of being the only Star Trek episode with just a main character's name as its title. There's Spock's Brain, Data's Day and Our Man Bashir (and Q-Less, but he's a guest star) but this is the only one with the name on its own. So now we're both stuck with knowing that.

Additional Dax facts: it originally aired on Valentines Day in the US, and it's legendary Trek writer D.C. Fontana's only episode of Deep Space Nine. Funny that she'd write the seventh episode of the series (it says 8 up there because Emissary counts twice), seeing as she'd go on to write the seventh episode of Babylon 5 as well. Another spooky B5/DS9 coincidence for you.

There will be SPOILERS for this episode and everything that led up to it, but what comes afterwards will remain unspoiled.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Doctor Who 9-07: The Zygon Invasion

Episode:820|Serial:258|Writer:Peter Harness|Air Date:31-Oct-2015

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm going through the Halloween 2015 episode of Doctor Who.

The Zygon Invasion was written by Peter Harness, the man who wrote either the worst or second worst episode of series 8, depending on who you talk to. Of course if you talk to enough people you'll eventually run into someone who actually really liked Kill the Moon, maybe even loved it! But that person isn't me.

I'm not going to judge a writer by one episode though, that'd be dumb. I'll wait until after I've seen this two-parter and judge him by three. Then maybe I'll be able to approach his later stories with some proper pessimism.

I'll be writing SPOILERS for the entirety of The Zygon Invasion and perhaps even a few things from earlier episodes too. Everything that aired afterwards on the other hand will remain wholly unspoiled.