Mulder, the Internet is not good for you.
When it was announced that Darin Morgan was part of the X-Files revival, my interest in the project was peaked. All four of Morgan’s previous offerings for the show were among my favorites of the series with “Clyde Bruckeman’s Final Repose” ranking not only as my favorite hour of the show, but one of my favorite episodes of television ever.
But even as I was enthusiastic to see Morgan back on the show and had “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” circled in my mind as the “must see” installment of the new season, I have to admit I felt a bit of apprehension. I wondered if Morgan could return to the fold after a break of nearly twenty years and capture the magic again.
Thankfully, it only took the teaser on this week’s new installment to affirm that Morgan was back and that this episode could be something special. Continue reading
Time again for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish). This week’s subject is the top future societies we like. I’m going to probably blur the lines of pop culture here and include books, movies and television series.
- Star Trek. Sure, there’s the whole post-scarcity society and all but I really want to live there for the transporter! Moving things around to get ready for the baby, I have wished more than once for a transporter to simply beam things where I’d like them go!
- Doctor Who. I’m not sure I’d enjoy living in Time Lord society, but the idea of easily traveling in time and its implications fascinates me.
- Barrayaran Empire. The society of the Miles Verkosigan saga is one that fascinates me. We hear a lot about it from Miles point of view and that of his family, but I’d love to see what it’s like for other members of the universe.
- Asimov’s Society from the Robot novels. Since I read the Robot novels in high school, I’ve been fascinated by the society that Asimov created — not just the fun sounding technological marvels like the freeway system (it’s moving belts that you step from one ring to another to speed up or slow down) but also the robots and society’s reaction to them.
- Scalzi’s Old Man’s War society. The idea of being able to upgrade your body when you get to a certain age if you serve in the military is intriguing. And Scalzi has done a great job of really expanding the society over the course of his novels.
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. The idea of exploring Mars and finding life there has intrigued me since I read this one many, many years ago.
- The Culture. Featured in Iain M. Banks’ novels, this society with sentient ships is a rich, detailed one that I always enjoy visiting. Not sure I’d be cut out to live there, but it’s fun to visit.
When The X-Files finally closed thirteen years ago, I’ve got to admit part of me was a little relieved. In the eighth and ninth season, the series had become a pale imitation of the series I loved and made appointment television for its first six to seven years. The mythology had become so convoluted that I no longer looked forward to it and the stand-alones had become a bit weaker than we saw in the early days.
When news broke that Fox was going to revive the series, my first thought was — please, don’t let me it be as unmemorable as seasons eight and nine. And the more I heard about who was being brought back for this six episode run, the more intrigued and, dare I say it, excited I became. Maybe, just maybe this six-episode mini-series could channel the series at its best and find a way to send Mulder and Scully off with dignity and grace.
After watching the first installment of the mini-series, I have to admit the results are a bit mixed. Continue reading
Time to kick off the week with Musing Mondays hosted by A Daily Rhythm. This week’s random question asks: Have you read – or do you plan to read – the Shannara Chronicles by Terri Brooks? Have you been watching the new TV series based off the books? If so, what do you think?
I’ve only read Stones of Shannara and that was a long time ago. I’m curious about the new series and have the DVR set to catch it. But so far I haven’t watched it yet. I’d like to read the novel it’s based on (the second in the series I believe) if I find I enjoy the series.
I did read several of the Magic Kingdom of Landover series by Terry Brooks and this may be why I’m hesitant to dive too deep into Shannara. I found that series followed a predictable formula for all the installments. And that kind of turned me off to the series and Brooks.
When the best thing you can say about a comic book cross-over event is — well, at least the art was nice, you know something isn’t quite working. Or maybe that this particular cross-over event isn’t your cup of tea.
Collecting the six-issue run of Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War, this limited run series is not two great tastes that taste great together. In one reality, the Green Lantern corp has just been wiped out by some evil force. Rings of various colors hop over to the JJ Trek verse and assign themselves to familiar faces in the final frontier.
Adventure ensues. Along the way, there’s a massive battle between all the various colors of the spectrum and the planet Vulcan comes back from the dead, complete with zombie Vulcans.
And yet for all of this, I couldn’t help but feel that I’d arrived late for the party and missed some important details that reduced my enjoyment of this crossover event. It could be that my familiarity with Green Lantern is limited to what I’ve seen in the DC cartoons and the big screen version of the character with Ryan Reynolds. I hope that those who are more versed in Lantern lore will get more of seeing why various rings chose certain characters that I missed here. And I suppose if I recognized any of the Green Lantern pantheon of foes beyond Sinestro, I might have felt a bit more drive and drama to the battle to save the universes.
Instead, what I felt for much of this collection (beyond the first issue) was confused and uninterested. The third issue does little more than tread water as we set up things for the return of zombie Vulcan and Scotty inventing his own power ring.
In all honesty, I can’t necessarily recommend this one to a casual fan. It feels like we’ve got a shoehorning of the JJ-verse Star Trek characters into a Green Lantern event mini-series. And it’s one that left me as cold as General Chang’s bones in space at the end of this story.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this comic book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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In his afternote to City of Death James Goss notes “There are about three people in the world who don’t like City of Death and they’re being hunted down.”
I guess I’m one of those three people. And it’s not that I hate City of Death per se. It’s just that I don’t necessarily love it as much as many of my fellow Doctor Who fans do.
Famously re-written by Douglas Adams over the course of a weekend, few scripts from the classic run are as eminently quotable nor do they deal with the implications of time travel in quite the same way that this one does. But does that make it a top ten classic? Not to this fan.
Arriving in Paris, the Doctor and Romana decide to take a holiday. But a series of cracks in time quickly put them into the orbit of the Count Scarlioni, who has set his sights on stealing the Mona Lisa. His motivation for stealing the painting is so he can sell it on the black market, making millions and financing his dangerous experiments in time and time travel.
Goss takes a page from Adams in not telling the same story precisely the same way for each adaptation. Combining the televised version with the shooting scripts and a few flourishes of his own (in the style of Adams, of course), Goss gives readers an opportunity to find new nuggets in City of Death. Goss even creates an interesting spin on the reveal the monster cliffhanger ending of episode one with the Count not realizing he’s a splintered part of the Jaggeroth and being just as shocked as viewers are intended to be at the reveal that he’s a green faced, bug-eyed monster. (Though this does create some questions when it comes to the motivation of stealing the Mona Lisa and other aspects of the story)
And while Goss certainly isn’t quite in the same sphere as Adams, he does a serviceable job of channeling Adams for this adaptation. Short of Douglas writing the novel himself, this is probably as close as we’re going to get. Goss takes time to add some depth to Karinksi, Duggan and even the art critic couple from the story over the course of the story. But he also take a page from the Terrance Dicks school of Doctor Who novel writing and rarely abridges or joins scenes together from the televised version to the printed page.
His adaptation of City of Death is more along the later entries in the Target novel line as opposed to most of the fourth Doctor ones that feel like a straight adaptation of the shooting script with minimal descriptions thrown in for good measure. It makes this one of the better fourth Doctor novelizations in the long line of books. But as I said before, it’s simply not one of my favorite stories and the adaptation doesn’t enhance the reputation of the story any more (at least in my book). It also doesn’t detract from it either.
It’s a big day. Not only is it time for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) but it’s also my birthday!
And like Jack Benny, I stopped counting my age when I reached 39. So, today is the fourth anniversary of my 39th birthday!
To celebrate, I’m going to list a couple of additions I’ve made to the to be read pile. And if you see something that is missing, please drop a line in the comments and let me know what I should add and why.
- The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
- A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
- Staked by Kevin Hearne
- The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
- City of Blades by Robert Bennett Jackson
- The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky
- Doctor Who and the State of Decay (audiobook) by Terrance Dicks
With the already ginormous size of my TBR pile, I think seven is enough to add (for now). Well, that is until I surf to everyone else’s list and find several more suggestions I need to read.