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Friday, 28 October 2016

Babylon 5 1-13: Signs and Portents

Episode:13|Writer:J. Michael Straczynski|Air Date:18-May-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures, I've reached a important milestone in my epic Babylon 5 rewatch: the start of disc four! There's only two discs left after this in my season one box set and then I'm through with it.

Speaking of the box set, there's some interesting (and relevant) text at the bottom of the cover. You see every season of Babylon 5 has its own overall title, named after an especially important and game changing episode from that year, and the title printed on season one's box is...  

It's been a long while since I've seen this though so I'll try to keep my hype down to boring levels. It'd better be good though. It'd better be really good, or else I'm... throwing disc four out the window. In fact I've just checked what other episodes are on it and that's starting to seem like a good idea either way. Grail and TKO on the same disc? Damn.

The DVD also features a commentary for this episode by writer JMS and if you haven't seen the entire series before I'd recommend staying way clear of it until you have. They forgot to mention on the box that it's filled with spoilers for later episodes.

Speaking of SPOILERS, I'm going to be going through the episode scene by scene, so turn back now if you haven't seen it yet and care about such things. I'll also be spoiling some earlier episodes, but later episodes are strictly off limits.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1-12: Vortex

Episode:12|Writer:Sam Rolfe|Air Date:18-Apr-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm going through Vortex, the 11th episode of... Deep Space Nine? Really? With that title I thought it was a Voyager episode.

It'd be nice if there was an easy rule to tell what series of Trek an episode belongs to just from its names, but they all have their share of dull one-word titles. All the spin-offs anyway; old school Trek writers generally put a little more effort in (one title even goes to eleven!)

But I've noticed that if the title on screen is something short and weird like Cathexis, Parturition or Tsunkatse, then you're likely watching Voyager or Enterprise (or X-Files). If it begins with 'The' then chances are you're watching an episode from one of the first three series. And if it's something half-way poetic with four or more words in it then it's got to be DS9 or classic Star Trek. Or Babylon 5.

Right, I'm going to spoil the hell out of Vortex now and likely a few of the episodes leading up to it too, but I assure you there'll be no SPOILERS for anything that comes afterwards.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Doctor Who 9-11: Heaven Sent

Episode:824|Serial:261|Writer:Steven Moffat|Air Date:28-Nov-2015

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm back to Doctor Who again. I'm still watching series 9, though not for long as I'm in the middle chapter of the final three-parter! Though the TARDIS Data Core wiki says it's part one of the final two-parter and Wikipedia currently reckons it's just the penultimate story of the series. Either way it's carrying on from a cliffhanger ending and setting up the finale.

Which means that this is the second series in a row to end with an episode featuring 'Heaven' in the title, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay. It worked out pretty well the last time though, so I'm optimistic.

There will be massive SPOILERS for Heaven Sent, the episode before it and probably other stories too. But only older episodes, never later ones.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Babylon 5 1-12: By Any Means Necessary

Episode:12|Writer:Kathryn M. Drennan|Air Date:11-May-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm rewatching By Any Means Necessary, the first episode of the second half of Babylon 5 season one! My long nightmare is halfway over.

Actually to be honest it hasn't been a great hardship getting this far and even the bad episodes have been more watchable than I remembered. Definitely not the worst sci-fi season one I've seen. I guess it helps that I know all the characters, the setting and where the story's going this time around, but the same's true of Deep Space Nine and what I've been watching of that seems really aimless by comparison. B5's not been particularly heavy on the continuity either to be fair, but DS9 season one seems to have forgotten everything set up in its pilot besides 'we're on a space station with a swirly thing outside'.

The following text will contain SPOILERS for this and previous episodes, so proceed with caution.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1-11: The Nagus

Episode:11|Writer:Ira Steven Behr|Air Date:21-Mar-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, it's the first of Deep Space Nine's Ferengi comedy episodes, yay. Though it's also the first script written by Ira Behr, who would later take over as executive producer for the good part of the TV series, so that's... encouraging, maybe. 

I'm not actually one of the people who hates DS9's Ferengi episodes, mostly because I can't remember most of them. Because I stopped watching them. Because they're terrible and I hate them. But I am willing to give The Nagus a second chance because I'm endlessly reasonable... plus I promised I'd rewatch all of season one; if I have to write about it I might as well try to enjoy it.

Be aware that if you carry on reading past this point you'll encounter a wider selection of SPOILERS than in your average racing game. I may even mention events from earlier Trek episodes, but later eps are off limits.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Doctor Who 9-10: Face the Raven

Episode:823|Serial:260|Writer:Sarah Dollard|Air Date:21-Nov-2015

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures I've reached the antepenultimate episode of Doctor Who's series 9, Face the Raven.

Here's a few facts about it: it's the third episode of series 9 with 'the' in the title, it's the third episode from the end of the series, it has three words in its name, it's an anagram of 'cafe van three', and I can't think of anything more interesting to write here.

Oh, there is one thing worth mentioning about it: the episode was written by Sarah Dollard (as you can see in the picture above), which means that series 9 is the first series in Doctor Who's entire history to have two female writers contributing scripts! It also had two female directors by the end, but that's very slightly less unprecedented.

Alright, now I'm going to go and comment on everything that happens in the episode, going scene by scene for maximum SPOILERS, and I may even spoil earlier episodes too. Everything that aired after it is safe though.