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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1-14: The Storyteller

Episode:14|Writer:Kurt Michael Bensmiller and Ira Steven Behr|Air Date:02-May-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm going through another episode of Deep Space Nine season 1. Though I'm kind of tempted to just sit here and listen to the gentle hum of the DVD menu for a bit longer because I've been dreading this one. I've been dreading a lot of episodes actually, but my enthusiasm for this season drips away a little more each time.

The Storyteller actually started out as an old Star Trek: The Next Generation script, so it's a little slice of Next Gen season 7-style "Crap, we need a story, any story!" desperation in your Deep Space Nine. Plus I'm not superstitious, but if I was I'd probably make note of the fact that this may be the 14th 'hour' of DS9, but it's the 13th story.

As usual I'm going to recap the episode and share my thoughts along the way, so this will be filled with SPOILERS. But I'll only spoil episodes up to this point, nothing afterwards.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Babylon 5 1-15: Grail

Episode:15|Writer:Christy Marx|Air Date:06-Jul-1994

Today on Super Adventures, I'm going to rewatch Grail, the 15th episode of Babylon 5 season 1! Or maybe the 14th, if you're going off the Lurker's Guide Master List like I am.

The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5 has been around since ancient times collecting information on the series, such as posts made by creator JMS to Usenet, and analysing episodes as they aired. They also put together an alternate viewing order called the Master List to fix some continuity weirdness caused by delayed episodes that's been carried across to the DVD releases too. The changes seem to make sense to me and JMS has given the new ordering for the first couple of seasons his blessing, so I don't see any reason to stick with the airing order on my rewatch.

So here's where Grail fits in the list:
12 - By Any Means Necessary
13 - Signs and Portents
15 - Grail
16 - Eyes
18 - A Voice in the Wilderness (Part 1)
Basically the Master List has taken TKO out and kicked it down to later in the season. So this'll make absolutely no difference to the SPOILERS I'll be giving out in this particular episode recap... but things are going to get more complicated later in the series.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek First Contact title logo DVD
Written by:Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore|Directed by:Jonathan Frakes|Release Date:1996

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm going to go through the 8th Star Trek film: First Contact, aka The One with the Borg in it. Not to be confused with the episode First Contact, which doesn't have even the slightest bit of Borg in it. The movie was nearly called Star Trek: Resurrection, but Alien: Resurrection went and stole that title. Someone was apparently fond of the sound of it though, as the next Trek film was called Insurrection.

Here's another fact for you: First Contact just turned twenty today, as it was released in November 1996, during Trek's 30th anniversary. Deep Space Nine celebrated by compositing its crew into The Trouble with Tribbles, Voyager celebrated by putting Janeway into the 25th anniversary film The Undiscovered Country, and here Next Gen is celebrating by... sending the Enterprise back in time to meet a boring guest star from one of the most forgettable episodes of the Original Series. Seems like now would've been the time to have the epic crossover with Kirk's crew, but they tried that already and blew it.

1996 was when Star Trek began to reach its peak as a Marvel-style shared universe with Voyager reaching its third season, DS9 hitting season 5, and Next Gen shedding its TV sets to become a true movie series. It didn't shed its TV creators though, as writers Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore returned to provide the script. Also Riker actor Jonathan Frakes took the helm, beginning the Star Trek tradition of the ship's first officer getting to direct two of the movies.

Anyway my writing will contain SPOILERS for First Contact and the episodes and movies preceding it, including DS9 up to season 5 and a certain episode of the Original Series. I might even mention that this film led to the Borg showing up in Voyager, the uniform switch-over in DS9, and the premise of Enterprise, but other than that I'll keep quiet about what came after. This far, no further.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1-13: Battle Lines

Episode:13|Writer:Richard Danus and Evan Carlos Somers|Air Date:25-Apr-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I've reached episode one on the fourth DVD in the first season box of Deep Space Nine. I'm still tenaciously clawing my way through season one, chipping away at it one story at a time.

Battle Lines was written by Richard Danus and Evan Carlos Somers based on a story by Hilary J. Bader and I can't off the top of my head remember what other episodes they've done. But the Memory Alpha wiki tells me that Somers wrote just three DS9 stories in the end, and the other two are Melora and Meridian, contenders for the worst episode of season two and season three respectively. I don't know where people generally rank Battle Lines in season one though, somewhere in the middle maybe? I doubt it blew anyone away but this is the season where the senior staff have to play hopscotch and a leprechaun Rumpelstiltskin shows up to steal O'Brien's daughter so it'll have to do worse than 'mediocre' to earn a spot in the lower half.

As usual I'll give no SPOILERS for future episodes, except for just then when I spoiled Rumpelstiltskin, but I will be spoiling the hell out of this episode as I recap it and share my opinions.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Doctor Who: Series 9 Review

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm watching absolutely nothing! I'm done watching things for now, I'm taking a break until next week. Instead I'm going to be revisiting Doctor Who's 9th series (or 35th depending on how you look at it) and reviewing Peter Capaldi's second year as the madman in a box. So I'm basically going to be retreading a lot of things I've already written about, except with less pictures.

This is going to contain huge SPOILERS for everything in series 9 from The Magician's Apprentice to Hell Bent, and probably earlier episodes too.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Doctor Who 9-12: Hell Bent

Episode:825|Serial:262|Writer:Steven Moffat|Air Date:05-Dec-2015

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures it's Hell Bent, the epic season finale of Doctor Who series 9! I mean I'm just guessing that it's going to be epic, but they usually are. The Earth, the galaxy, or all of time and space tends to be at stake and only the Doctor...'s companion is special enough to save the day!

It's also epic in runtime as well. The episodes this series have generally been around 45 minutes long, but that's been creeping higher these last few episodes and now it's up to a full hour. If the runtime inflation continues at this rate they'll finally be ready for Peter Jackson to come in and direct an episode by series... 12.

Under this paragraph you'll find a few dozen spoilery screencaps surrounded by SPOILERS for this episode and the ones leading up to it. I won't spoil anything that aired after it though, not that there's much left to spoil. The series took 2016 off, so at the time I'm writing this there's just one Christmas special left (though there'll be two soon).