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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Sci-Fi Adventures Awards 2016

Over the past 9 months of Sci-Fi Adventures I've reviewed 46 episodes of television, 10 movies and a teaser trailer, and now that we've reached the end of the year it seems like a good time for me to look back and try to remember something, anything about them. It's lucky I've written all these words about them really or else I'd have no chance.

In fact I'm giving out awards, for as many categories as I can think of! Though all winners will be chosen by me without much deliberation for purely subjective reasons and therefore you should probably just ignore them all.

I should mention that those episodes were all from season 1 Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5, and series 9 Doctor Who. I also reviewed Doom, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Aliens and a whole lot of Star Trek movies. This is important information, because as much as I'm trying to minimise SPOILERS, I'm sure I'm going to end up letting slip something about these stories someone might have preferred not to learn from the internet.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Babylon 5 1-20: Babylon Squared

Episode:20|Writer:J. Michael Straczynski|Air Date:10-Aug-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm sharing my thoughts on Babylon Squared, the 20th episode of Babylon 5's first season.

Babylon Squared is notable for a number of reasons: the name kind of looks like 'Babylon 5' if you take the 'QUARED' bit off, it's one of only three episodes in the whole five year run with a 'Q' in it, and it's really really important for the ongoing arc. This is one of the big episodes in the first year that puts the foundations down for later seasons to build on. Doesn't mean that it's going to be good mind you, but I don't remember disliking it. In fact I'm optimistic.

In a shocking adherence to tradition, I'm going to show a bunch of screencaps from the episode, write a bit of text explaining what's happening and make some snarky comments. This means there's going to be SPOILERS all over the place, even for episodes that aired earlier, though I won't even hint at anything that happens after it.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Doctor Who - Christmas 2015: The Husbands of River Song

Episode:826|Serial:261|Writer:Steven Moffat|Air Date:25-Dec-2015

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm reviewing Doctor Who's 2015 Christmas special, The Husbands of River Song... during Christmas 2016. So I'm both incredibly late and incredibly timely, which seems perfectly fitting for Doctor Who.

The episode follows on from the season 9 finale Hell Bent, which left the Doctor a little unhappy for a number of reasons. It also left him without a companion, but that's okay as rogue archaeologist River Song is going to make a surprise return! Probably. It's possible that the trailer was a cunning trick and only her husbands ever show up, but that'd be a bit of a let down.

I'm going to recap the episode and share my thoughts along the way, so this is going to have massive SPOILERS for the entire story and anything leading up to it. Everything afterwards is safe though, and not just because it hasn't aired yet by the time I'm writing this.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1-16: If Wishes Were Horses

Episode:16|Writer:Nell McCue Crawford & William L. Crawford and Michael Piller|Air Date:16-May-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I've finally reached Deep Space Nine's leprechaun Rumpelstiltskin episode!

If Wishes Were Horses is an episode of Star Trek about imaginary creatures harassing the crew, because this is what happens when a writing staff is put under pressure to put out 20 something episodes a year. They start going strange, and this tends to get worse the longer the series goes on for (see: Next Gen season 7). Makes me glad that Star Trek: Discovery is only getting 13 episodes for its first season.

I have to admit that I'm dreading this one, but I don't really remember it, so it's possible that it'll surprise me in a good way! Maybe all those people who put it down near the bottom 10 in their DS9 episode lists were just being mean to it because they hate fun. Or maybe not.

Okay I'm going to recap the episode with screencaps, observations, opinions and SPOILERS, but only for this story and maybe a few that came before it. I'll give away nothing about where the series is going... except that it gets better, I promise.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Babylon 5 1-19: A Voice in the Wilderness, Part 2

Episode:19|Writer:J. Michael Straczynski|Air Date:03-Aug-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm rewatching part two of Babylon 5's A Voice in the Wilderness. It seems weird to split the episodes into two separate posts, but I split up all of Doctor Who's two-parters so it's only fair. Plus watching this as its own episode means I get to put that picture of a spaceship up there and feel like I'm reviewing a lost Babylon 5 video game.

In Greek mythology Hyperion was one of the twelve kids of Gaia and Uranus, so it'd make sense to find them in space. But the ship's actually named after hyperion.com, the original home of the Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. The Hyperion might look kind of basic compared to modern TV CGI and the textures are a bit fuzzy, but I assure you it was cutting edge for 1994 technology. I mean it's got eight USB ports down the side!

Okay, I'm going to be recapping and commenting on the whole episode, which means SPOILERS under every screencap, but I'll only be spoiling the episodes that came before, not ones that come after.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Babylon 5 1-18: A Voice in the Wilderness, Part 1

Episode:18|Writer:J. Michael Straczynski|Air Date:27-Jul-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm rewatching the first half of A Voice in the Wilderness, Babylon 5's first two-parter! This is a rare event, as there's only two of these in the entire five year run. I guess after War Without End the series had gotten so serialised that labelling multi-part stories seemed redundant. That's another thing B5 has in common with DS9 if you're keeping count: no numbered two parters after season 3.

I remember this one being a highlight of the first season, but it's been ages since I've seen the series, so I could always be wrong. I was way off with Eyes the other day for instance, which was much better than I expected. Maybe I'm due for a let down.

You might be wondering why I skipped over episode 17, Legacies. I will get around to it, but I'm following the Lurker's Guide Master List instead of the order they aired in, so I plan to watch it right before the season finale.
18 - A Voice in the Wilderness, Part 1
19 - A Voice in the Wilderness, Part 2
20 - Babylon Squared
21 - The Quality of Mercy
14 - TKO
17 - Legacies
I'm going to be recapping the whole of AVitW,P1 with screencaps and SPOILERS so don't be surprised if I mention things that happened in earlier episodes. Everything that comes after will remain unspoiled though, including the second half of this two-parter.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1-15: Progress

Episode:15|Writer:Peter Allan Fields|Air Date:09-May-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm digging through another episode of Deep Space Nine. A Kira episode in fact, which means more Bajoran problems.

Progress is Peter Allan Fields' second episode of DS9 after co-writing Dax with D.C. Fontana, and he'd have his name on eight more scripts before the end of its run. Stories like Necessary Evil, For the Uniform, In the Pale Moonlight, Duet... oh plus he also wrote The Inner Light for Next Gen. It's been a long while since I've seen either series, but I feel like they were some of the good ones. So you'd think that I'd be getting my hopes up right about now, but there's another piece of writing I need to take into account and that's the words "SEASON 1" on the box this episode came in. It's rarely a good omen for science fiction series, especially this one.

I'll be recapping the entire episode and sharing my opinions along the way, so you should expect SPOILERS for any episode (or movie) so far. Everything that comes after is safe though.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Babylon 5 1-16: Eyes

Episode:16|Writer:Lawrence DiTillio|Air Date:13-Jul-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm rewatching Eyes, the 16th episode aired in Babylon 5's first season, but the last one filmed. It's right where it needs to be though, continuity-wise.

I don't remember what I thought about this first time around, but the clues seem to be suggesting that it wasn't one of my favourites. It's not a J. Michael Straczynski episode, I don't think it has much impact on any of the story arcs, and I don't remember it. Plus it's by Jim Johnston, the director of Soul Hunter... though to be fair he also did Parliament of Dreams and By Any Means Necessary, both of which I liked.

I'm going to recap the whole story and there may be SPOILERS for earlier episodes as well, but I won't say a word about anything that comes after.