Category Archives: tv reviews

Review: Star Trek: New Visions, Volume II

Star Trek: New Visions Volume 2

This new comic series takes a page from the original PhotoNovels, but instead of re-telling classic original series stories, it offers up new adventures from the original five year mission. Using screen captures from the original episodes (and even The Motion Picture in a short story that’s included here) and the magic of PhotoShop, writer Johnny Bryne and his team have created a series of new stories. The first three issues were collected in volume I and Volume II is set to hit shelves later this year.

These were fun, at first. I read the first couple of issues and found myself enjoying them a great deal. It was a fun novelty idea and it made me nostalgic for my early days in Trek fandom when I eagerly checked the PhotoNovels out of my local library.

But with this collection, I find that the bloom is off the rose a bit. Part of that comes down to the stories which I felt were more miss than hit this time around. The first installment with Harry Mudd felt like it was trying too hard — up to and including Captain Tracy returning to the storyline after the events of “The Omega Glory.” The basic plot is that Tracy and Mudd stumble across a device that allows a person to become a virtual clone of another person. Tracy forces Mudd to use it to make himself become a duplicate of Kirk (because we’ve never seen that before!). The Enterprise finds Mudd and begins to unravel what happened. The seams of the story start to show through early and there is some jarringly PhotoShopped images late in the story with a Harry Mudd mustache slapped onto Captain KIrk . Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under book review, comic book review, Star Trek

All Bad Things: A Star Trek Podcast Episode 35: Your Agonizer Please….

mirrormirror

The latest installment of the All Good Bad Things: A Star Trek podcast is a bit strange.  It’s almost like this episode was trying to beam up during an ion storm and got switched with this week’s actual recording.

We’d tell you more about what happened, but then Mr. Spock might demand our agonizers.

Enjoy this week’s installment (and recall that we recorded this one of the first day of the month….hint, hint)

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/7jevi-5507a0/initByJs/1/auto/1

1 Comment

Filed under All Good Things podcast, Star Trek

A Decade of New Who

doctors

It’s hard to believe that we’re celebrating the tenth anniversary of the revived Doctor Who — despite the evidence of my DVD shelf (which has eight seasons plus one year of specials).

Part of me wasn’t ready to believe that the good Doctor was coming back until the first episode appeared on our screens all those years ago.    All during that entire initial Christopher Eccleston season, I couldn’t convince myself that this wouldn’t be more than a one-season thing — a last hurrah and then we’d be done.   And so I determined to enjoy the ride and not worry about how much, if any, more Doctor Who we’d get.

Now we’re heading into the ninth new series and working on the fourth Doctor of the modern era.

And while I can sometimes be a bit cantankerous about new Who and some of the fans who follow it, I’ve got to admit I like the potential surrounding each new episode and series to take me back to my early days of watching the show and enjoying every minute of it.   I also am grateful that the new series has made a fan of my nephew and that we can share the adventures of our favorite Time Lord together.  (His enthusiasm at showing me various Minecraft levels that look like the TARDIS is a lot of fun and makes me wonder — why didn’t we have this kind of cool stuff when I was his age?!?)

Yes, I may scoff at the sheer amount of Who collectible stuff out there today (do we really need a TARDIS spatula?!?) and the attitude of some segments of new Who fans (there are other Doctors besides David Tennant…though this argument reminds me of the long-ago Internet fans who felt that you were only a true Who fan if you liked only Tom Baker) but then again I never thought I’d get to see the 50th anniversary special shown on the big-screen to a packed theater of fellow fans.  (Honestly, I thought it might be me and a couple of Who fan friends gathered together with pizza, watching a classic serial).

So, here’s to the first decade of the revived Doctor Who.  Congratulations!

Leave a comment

Filed under Doctor who

Review: Doctor Who: The Blood Cell by James Goss

Doctor Who: The Blood Cell (New Series Adventures, #54)

After reading and enjoying The Crawling Terror, I was cautiously optimistic to see what the next installment from the Peter Capaldi era of Doctor Who novels would offer. Unfortunately, I may have had my expectations set a bit too high because I came away from The Blood Cell feeling a bit disappointed by the whole experience.

I read tie-in novels for many reasons, but one of the biggest is the desire to spend more time with some of my favorite characters. James Goss attempts to distinguish his Capaldi era novel by offering up a narrative from the first-person perspective of the head of a prison that’s just received a new prisoner. The prisoner in question is, of course, the Doctor. Clara is also on hand, showing up at intervals to protest the Doctor’s imprisonment and to warn our narrator that the Doctor isn’t likely to stay in prison long.

I will admit I was a bit apprehensive about these first three Capaldi era novels because they were set to hit shelves relatively quickly after the first few episodes of the season aired. I wondered if they could capture his Doctor on the printed page or if we’d be treated to a more generic adventures and take on the Doctor with a bit of Scottish brogue and crankiness thrown in to make us believe that this was the new Doctor. The Crawling Terror did a nice job of making it feel like Mike Tucker had a good handle on Capaldi and had either seen footage of the new Doctor in action or been granted access to the scripts. Goss’ novel feels a bit more generic and was, ultimately, a lot more disappointing.

Part of it is the choice of a first-person narrator. This can work in Doctor Who novels, but it doesn’t quite feel all that effective here. Instead, it makes the Doctor and Clara feel like minor characters in their own novel for the first half. Things do pick up a bit in the second half, but by that point, I had lost much of my enthusiasm for this novel.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under ARC, book review, Doctor who, review

Way Back Wednesday: Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovich

waybackwednesday

We’re halfway to the weekend and that means it’s time for Way Back Wednesday hosted by A Well Read Woman.   The purpose of this meme is to look back on those books that made a special impact on you and that you love to read.

This week’s entry comes from the Target line of Doctor Who novelizations.   In the days before we could collect Doctor Who on VHS or DVD, there were the Target books, which adapted just about every broadcast Doctor Who story for the printed page.   A majority of these were written by one-time script-editor Terrance Dicks (and I’ll probably get to at least one or two of those adaptations in a future installment), but there were other writers in the range.   As the books caught up to the stories airing on our screens, there were times that the original script writer would adapt his or her work for the printed page, often adding in scenes that didn’t make the broadcast due to time or budgetary reason or giving deeper background to scenes or character development.

Remembrance of the Daleks Novelisation Cover“Remembrance of the Daleks” falls into the category of a script adapted by the original writer and one that expanded on an already great story and made it even better.

Featuring the seventh (and my favorite) Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, “Remembrance of the Daleks” aired during the show’s twenty-fifth season and celebrated the anniversary of the long-running show.    The Doctor and Ace are back in 1963, just days after the original TARDIS crew began their adventures together and find themselves helping a para-military group that is caught between two warring factions of Daleks.  Both sides want the mysterious Hand of Omega, a Time Lord artifact that each side believes will give them the upper hand in their civil war and their drive to conquer the universe.    Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Doctor who, meme, Way Back Wednesday

All Good Things: A Star Trek Podcast, Episode 30: The Game

agt30

This week, Barry and I discuss some of the Star Trek video games we’ve played over the years.  And no, we haven’t played them all.

Take a trip down memory lane with us as we share our thoughts, memories and frustration with just a few of the games including the Vectrex game based on TMP, to the Promethian Prophecy, the Kobyashi Alternative and the infamous 25th Anniversary Game.

And don’t forget to let us know if we’ve missed your favorite!

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/wyeq6-53cf0f/initByJs/1/auto/1

1 Comment

Filed under All Good Things podcast, podcast, Star Trek

Comic Book Friday: Star Trek: The Q Gambit

Star Trek: Ongoing, Volume 9: The Q Gambit

IDW’s re-imagining of classic Star Trek installments in the rebooted timeline takes a break for a couple of issues with the ninth collection, “The Q Gambit.”

After debating with Picard about the reality of a “no-win” scenario, Q decides to put the one man who didn’t believe in the “no-win” scenario to the test. Q arrives on the Enterprise in the rebooted universe and after some spirited debate with Kirk, Spock and others sends the ship and crew forward in time to the Deep Space Nine era and a very different outcome to the Dominion War.

Seems that the Enterprise‘s vanishing threw the time line in an entirely different direction — one where the Federation fell and the Dominion had an easy time conquering the Alpha Quadrant.

On paper, this seems like it should be a fun, entertaining little “what if” story. But I found the story overstayed its welcome a bit as it worked a bit too hard to make sure we got a check-in with every character from DS9 and got to see them pair off with various members of the rebooted original series crew.

An interesting little twist comes late in the narrative, but by this point my interest had really waned.

I’ve enjoyed much of what IDW’s done in re-imaging some of the original episodes in the rebooted universe and their lead-up stories to both movies really offered some new and interesting shadings for the two films. “The Q Gambit” represents the first significant mis-step I’ve seen in this series. Hopefully the series will get back to the elements I enjoy in future installments and the next collection.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under ARC, Comic Book Friday, comic book review, review, Star Trek