Category Archives: tv

TV: Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen

Revenge_of_the_Cybermen_1984_VHS_UKThere are a lot of things about “Revenge of the Cybermen” that don’t make sense.

But the biggest thing comes not from anything that takes place on-screen but the serial’s place in Doctor Who history.

Back in the 80’s as VCRs became more and more common in homes, the BBC decided to test the waters with a commercially released classic Doctor Who serial.  And for this honor, they decided to pick something from what many fans considered the pinnacle of Doctor Who – the Tom Baker starring, Robert Holmes script-editing, Phillip Hinchcliffe producing years.

Somehow classics like “The Ark in Space,” “The Pyramids of Mars” or “The Robots of Death” were passed by and instead the world got “Revenge of the Cybermen.”

Who-lore from the era tells us that the BBC polled fans at a convention and a mix-up between “Revenge of the Cybermen” and the then missing “Tomb of the Cybermen” occurred.  Seems fans wanted “Tomb.”  Instead we got “Revenge.” Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: The Orville, “Old Wounds”

xzsw7urvcxqpskxv40ggBased on the promotional material and my expectations of what constitutes a Seth MacFarlane show, I expected The Orville to be a bit more Galaxy Quest than Star Trek.

Turns out FOX took all the “funny” and “zingy” one-liner parts of the premiere and edited those into a (much repeated) commercial for the show.

It’s almost as if Fox doesn’t quite know what kind of show Seth MacFarlane is giving them.

Which could be because The Orville doesn’t seem to know what kind of show it wants to be either. That’s my big takeaway from the first episode, “Old Wounds.” Continue reading

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Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks, Episode 1

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During my teenage years, I picked up a photonovel copy of “The Power of the Daleks” at a sci-fi convention.   The original script for the long-lost story was put together with the telesnaps (photos of the actual episodes) in an attempt to give fans a chance to see what the watching the serial back in 1966 might have been like.  At the time, I figured this would be a close as I’d get to fully experiencing “The Power of the Daleks.”

When I first got on-line, I discovered the Doctor Who fan community and the practice of sharing the off-air audio from lost serials with each other.  Thank to the generosity of a fellow fan, I was able to acquire the audio from several lost serials that I eagerly listened to, imaging what it might have been like to see the story back during its original airing.  At the time, I figured this would be as close as I’d get to fully experiencing “The Power of the Daleks.” Continue reading

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The X-Files: My Struggle II

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After last week’s installment of The X-Files, I was concerned that Chris Carter wouldn’t be able to stick the landing for this six-episode event series.

And that concern, unfortunately, was realized with the muddled mess that was “My Struggle II.”

Beginning things with a voice-over monologue by Scully of things we learned just five weeks ago is not a good sign.   Pile on the typical mythology trope of separating our two heroes for much of the episode and then wrapping it all up with little or no closure and a cliffhanger ending and you’ve got — well, you’ve got a mess that was the final few seasons of this show.

Watching the episode on my DVR, I kept pausing things, thinking — oh great, it’s going to run over and I didn’t pad the recording time enough so that I’ll see how this all winds up.  Except that Carter wasn’t really interested in giving us resolution so much as he was about trying to keep us on the edge of our seats, not give us any answers and then leave us wanting more.    Continue reading

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The X-Files: Home Again

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While a lot of the early success of The X-Files can be attributed to series creator Chris Carter, I’ve always felt that the real credit for fleshing out Scully as more than just the “skeptic” to Mulder’s believer came from the pen of Glen Morgan and James Wong.   Looking back on season one, it’s Morgan and Wong who really take the time to deepen Scully into something more than just the woman sent there to de-bunk Mulder’s work.

No where is that more evident in the first truly great Scully episode “Beyond the Sea.”

Interestingly, that’s one of the ten installments that Carter recommended fans visit again before the mini-series kicked off.

And while some fans may have been hoping that “Home Again” was a sequel to Morgan and Wong’s most infamous hour “Home,” I have to admit I was far more satisfied to see this one be a continuation of the character exploration of Scully that began all the way back in “Beyond the Sea” and served as the lynch-pin for the entire series run (even when it went completely bonkers in seasons eight and nine). Continue reading

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The Flash: The Man Who Saved Central City

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Picking up six months after the season finale ended last year, “The Man Who Saved Central City” gets the second season of The Flash off to a solid start.

The episode had to do a bit of heavy lifting by not only resolving last year’s massive cliffhanger but also putting the pieces into play for season two.   It’s interesting to note that the show doesn’t pick up right away and tell us how Barry stopped the vortex over Central City last year.  Instead, we see flashbacks to it while getting a look at where everyone is now — both physically and emotionally. Continue reading

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