Terra Nova and Tomorrow, When The War Began

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I watched the first episode of Steven Spielberg’s Terra Nova.  Sorry, not convinced.  In a world slowly dying under its own decay a couple decide to have a third child even though it is illegal.  Why?  Because it seemed like a good idea.  We are supposed to believe these are the good guys?  Because they’re prolifers?  Dissidents without a clue in a society where compliance is a necessity for survival.

So they escape into the past through the Stargate.  The special effects were rather cool.  Has anyone told Julian May that somebody has cribbed her Pleistocene Saga, without the elves?  The good guy’s a cop.  I don’t know if I have confidence in a cop who puts his family ahead of his society’s laws.  What else is he going to break?  The guy’s a maverick.  The frontier doesn’t have to be so forgiving if pioneers don’t pull together.  That can get a person killed.

Not to mention the leadership’s keeping secrets.  Already one group of dissidents have split off from the main group and are acting as Reivers.  Part of their secret is revealed at the end of the episode.  It’s all about power.  Both groups are trying to be the ones who control history.  Cue Orwellian undertones.

At the same time I was inspired by a review of the movie to start reading John Marsden’s Tomorrow series, starting with the first book, Tomorrow, When the War Began.  It starts off well.  First a couple of chapters introducing the core characters, a group of young rural Australians who decide to hike off into the bush and avoid Show Day this year for a break.  Then a chapter where they bond and enjoy being together out in the back of beyond.  Ever had that daydream that while on camp you return and discover that civilization’s ended and you’re the last ones left?  Well, that’s what happens when they return home and discover everyone’s been rounded up because the Invasion’s begun.  And the story flows on from that.  So far it’s been competently written and the characters are identifiable.  Let’s see how dark it’s going to get.


Falling Skies: Episode One

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I missed the opening minutes and arrived in the middle of a scene where the last of the human forces are being driven of a New Englander city. With no report from Alask-Canada, Mexico, Asia, or Trans-Atlantica, Planet America has been taken over by aliens: the multi-limbed skitters and humanoid terminators the humans call mechs. I started wondering why the aliens are dimorphic way before anyone on the screen did. The aliens dominate the landscape with fortresses that look like a cross between stranded oil-rigs and the Jetsons. The humans need all the help they can get as their main character is Noah Wyle wandering around as a history professor without tenure. His pep talks run along the lines of Remember the Athenians! Oh, dear.

Everyone’s holding up way better to the end of civilisation than they did on Battlestar Galactica

The survivors stand around an dying alien they have brought down and wonder what it’s thinking. It looked fairly obvious that it was something like Bloody hell, I can’t breathe!

Note to the teenagers: if everyone can hear you snogging in the bedroom you might as well give them something worth listening to. It will be good for morale. (Oh, right. This is family entertainment.)

The episode ends with our heroic survivors being captured by arrow-toting bikies. It turns out alright when the mooks turn on each other faster than orcs. No honour among thieves, I’m afraid. Most of them go kaboom and our guys are left with the great goblin as their prisoner.

Sherlock: A Study in Pink

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The first episode of Sherlock, Steven Moffat’s new series.

The episode opens with John Watson, a veteran of Afghanistan.  He’s a man without a life.  Since it opens with him then he is the central character, the one we must identify with, rather than the titular character.  He’s an awkward man, someone who can’t live with other people.

Fortunately for him he’s introduced to another person who can’t live with others.  What an introduction!  Sherlock is several steps ahead of the rest of us, an impossible insensitive person. Lestrade is typically the bumbling policeman.

Want to see some more death? Oh, yes!  The game is on!

The police don’t consult amateurs.

People usually say piss off! I think I would too!

The third man forces Watson to choose sides, another dramatic man, Sherlock’s No. 1 fan.  The soldier and the consulting detective in the eternal war.  Holmes shows his brilliance, chasing a cab through central London on foot by predicting its path through the streets.

Holmes is given a name for his arch-enemy Moriarty!  In the final encounter of the episode it is revealed that the third man wasn’t him.  He’s still to be revealed.  An enjoyable episode watching as Sherlock moves from impossible to sympathetic.  It would be worth watching again to see how it was done.

Doctor Who and the Impossible Astronaut

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Interesting, I know you are out there, and yet I don’t know who you are anymore.  The statistics tell me that I’m getting a small number of hits when I post.  It doesn’t tell me about who is hitting these pages.  Well enjoy.  I trust that there are people who follow what my ruminations and I expect that some of you will talk with me and argue if necessary.  It is comforting to hope that you are there.

Well tonight the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who played.  We are about three weeks behind  B. B. C.  I took notes.

Hello Sweetie  I saw that line coming as soon as River Song appeared.

Oh, good, Arthur Darvill makes the credits now.  Good for him.

Who is the American?

If they have to burn the body completely so no part of it can be recovered I would have thought that it would have made better sense to do it on land rather than have some parts of it saved in the water.  I suppose it looks right.

Who’s the number one person that the Doctor trusts? Oh, that’s who it is.

What is the fate that Dr River Song fears worse than death?  It’s explained in the episode.  She’s right to fear it.  It explains her actions.  Who is she?  With the Doctor we’ll find out.

Mention of fish fingers and custard again.  Not sure if I would like that combination myself.  Amy Pond has the best of imaginary friends.

Who’s calling the President?  Right choice of president too.  Someone both at the right time and paranoid.  I wonder if they will play that up.

What’s with the po-faced aliens? They are very forgettable.  Quite literally.  Who they turn out to be seems to be one of the worst kept secrets on the internet, and on the trailers sadly.

How long has Scotland Yard had this?  The American in his younger days.  I kept wondering who the actor was and why he seemed familiar.  When I saw the name Marc Sheppard in the credits I checked the Internet Movie Database, and then mentally thumped myself a couple of times as he is one of those actors who was in the background of several things I had watched and enjoyed.  He has the ability to stand out for his work and disappear into the story.  I hope he proves to be a reoccurring character.