The Orville : The First 2 Episodes

Ok, so as a lot of you fellow scifi nerds may know, the Orville  is an American science fiction drama created by and starring Seth MacFarlane that premiered on September 10, 2017. The show is reminiscent of and is both an homage and a light-hearted parody of Star Trek, and as Seth has mentioned in an interview, also inspired by The Twilight Zone. Along with MacFarlane as captain Ed Mercer, we have Adrienne Palicki who plays his his ex-wife  Commander Kelly Grayson and the first officer assigned to The Orville, a mid-level exploratory ship, that operates for The Union, an inter-planetary group. The show is set 400 years in the future.

We also have Penny Johnson Gerald (who had a recurring role in Star Trek Deep Space Nine) as the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Claire Finn, Scott Grimes as Lt. Gordon Malloy the helmsman and best friend to Mercer, Peter Macon as Lt. Commander Bortus, the second officer and an androgynous alien, Halston Sage as Lt. Alara Kitan, 23-year-old Chief of Security, J. Lee as Lt. John LaMarr, the navigator & Mark Jackson as the voice of Isaac, the Science and Engineering Officer who is a member of the artificial, non-biological race from Kaylon-1 that views biological lifeforms, including humans are inferior.

So far we have had two episodes aired and I like it a lot. The second episode had a lot more depth to it than the first which was a bit of a let down.

In the pilot, 25th-century space pilot Ed Mercer, who has a promising career, divorces his wife Kelly Grayson after he catches her cheating on him. He starts drinking too much and turns up for work hungover. A year later, he accepts a position as Captain of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory ship, which came as a surprise even to him. But he is informed that due to the size of the fleet and the retirement of the former captain, the Orville, was in need of a new commanding officer. He also finds to his dismay that his ex-wife Kelly will serve as his First Officer. During the Orville’s first mission, the hostile alien Krill Captain attempt to steal a device that can accelerate time, which has both beneficial and dangerous applications. Mercer and Grayson rig the device to destroy itself and the Krill vessel.

In the second episode the technologically advanced Calivon imprison Ed and Kelly in a replica of their former home as a zoo exhibit. Alara is left in command of the Orville as Bortus has laid an egg and must incubate it. Alara is unsure of herself, but gains confidence with the help of Dr. Finn’s mentorship. Ed and Kelly wonder if they could have made their relationship work, but finally conclude that they were never compatible for a long-term romantic relationship, despite their strong camaraderie. Admiral Tucker orders Alara to return to Earth instead of approaching the powerful Calivon; Alara violates these orders and rescues Ed, Kelly, and an alien child by trading an archive of Earth’s reality television for them. Ed presents Alara with a medal of honor and believe he and Kelly can prevent her from being punished for insubordination. A female offspring hatches from Bortus’s egg, stunning him and Klyden as this is thought to be biologically impossible for the single-sex Moclans.

The show is scheduled for a 13 episode run during the first season and I hope we get a lot more. We could use some light-hearted comedic scifi and this Star Trek like show is the humurous offspring of the comedy classic Galaxy Quest.

This Trekkie Is Ready For Star Trek Discovery

I just cannot be more excited for a tv show to start airing. In a few days Star Trek Discovery, the 6th live action Star Trek series and 7th overall (if you count The Animated Series) will air the pilot episode. But it won’t be on a tv channel ofcourse. It will be available for streaming on CBS All Access in the US and Netflix in some countries. India will have to wait and see – we might get it on Netflix though I don’t see it in the upcoming shows list.

I don’t care about the new uniforms – they look good and uniforms can change every few years if needed. I don’t care if there is supposed to be conflict among the crew members – that makes for good television and yes Star Trek has had some conflict amongst the Starfleet crew before. I got over the change in appearances for the Klingons – whatever I have heard and read about them is enough to satisfy me! Fuck any racist asshole who complains about diversity – this Trekkie is Indian! And Star Trek has always been about diversity and inclusion. The look and design of the technology involved in the show – yes it looks more like the Kelvin-verse but the upgrade in design is the least of my concerns as Star Trek TOS was made 51 years ago.

I like some of the cast though I feel they could have tried out for more know actors in some of the other roles. But nevermind; just having Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh (though she is supposed to be a recurring character or gets killed in or just post the pilot episode) & Doug Jones is awesome! Plus we also get Rekha Sharma in a recurring role as well as Kenneth Mitchell. You also have Rainn Wilson & Jason Issacs, two well known names but who I have only seen in one movie each. A big bonus in the casting is Indian origin actors; other than Sharma we have Maulik Pancholy as well.

So forget about the bad publicity, the delays, the negativity surrounding the show. Forget about the idiots who don’t like that there are two main characters shown in the trailers both of whom are women of colour, forget the Klingon controversy and let’s check out the show. We need more Star Trek in our lives and this is the Prime Timeline Star Trek. May it live long and prosper and who knows; the start of more shows to come. Beam me up!

I plan to post a blog about each episode of the show.

Dark Matter Cancelled

Dark Matter” has been cancelled after three seasons at Syfy. The third season finale, which aired last week, will now serve as the series finale. The series centered on an intergalactic crew who awaken on a derelict spaceship with no memories of who they are or how they got there. It starred Marc Bendavid, Melissa O’Neil, Anthony Lemke, Alex Mallari Jr., Jodelle Ferland, Roger Cross, and Zoie Palmer. Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie created the series, which is based on their Dark Horse graphic novel of the same name. Prodigy Pictures produced.

Syfy declined to comment. With the cancellation, Syfy’s scripted original lineup now consists of:  “Killjoys,” “The Expanse,” “12 Monkeys,” “Z Nation,” “Wynonna Earp,” “Van Helsing,” “Channel Zero,” and “Blood Drive.” This fall, the network will debut “Happy!” starring Chris Meloni and Patton Oswalt as well as “Superstition” with Mario van Peebles and “Ghost Wars” with Vincent D’Onofrio. They are also prepping the release of Superman prequel series “Krypton” for a 2018 launch.

Syfy is also developing a follow-up series to the cult classic movie “Tremors” with original film star Kevin Bacon, and have ordered a pilot for “Nightflyers,” based on the novella by George R.R. Martin.

Alien Movie Franchise – Best To Worst

Having watched Alien : Covenant for the second time a few days ago, I can now rate all the 6 films in the franchise and the Alien vs Predator films which I know are not in the franchise per say but are crossover movies without the large scale backing. Still they do have the alien creatures in them and hence I add them to this list. To date I have watched all of these films atleast twice and some way more than that. So here we go; this is how I would rate them.

  1. Aliens
  2. Alien
  3. Alien : Covenant
  4. Prometheus
  5. Alien 4 : Resurrection
  6. Alien vs Predator
  7. Alien 3
  8. Aliens vs Predator : Requiem

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a 2017 French science fiction action-adventure film written and directed by Luc Besson and co-produced by Besson and his wife, Virginie Besson-Silla. The film is based on the French science fiction comics series Valérian and Laureline, written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières. It stars Dane DeHaan as Valerian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline, with Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu, and Rutger Hauer in supporting roles. Besson independently crowd-sourced and personally funded Valerian and, with a production budget between $177–209 million, it is both the most expensive European and independent film ever made.

Mankind’s progress in space exploration is shown where they form a large space station called Alpha and gradually they meet representatives of various space faring alien races throughout the years and centuries, forming alliances. By the 28th century, Alpha has grown in size to accommodate millions of creatures from all these races, working in several various habitats. Valerian and his partner Laureline are special agents of the human police forces. The story is about how these two are sent on a mission to retrieve a rare object that belongs to a race of peaceful aliens in order to cover up an earthling military act that wiped out almost all of that alien race and their planet 30 years ago. Valerian was chosen by an alien princess just as she died to receive some of her memories, as she sent them out through space & time in a burst of energy.

What we get in this movie is a visual feast with weird and wonderful looking alien, a beautiful alien planet and beach, some wonderful gadgets and tech and a fun, fast paced ride. Stunning backgrounds of these alien worlds, the latest in visual effects and green screen and computer wizardry all combine with a rollercoaster ride of epic space opera proportions that puts to shame other such attempts. With jellyfish that eat memories, aquatic monsters the size of cathedrals, bazaar so bizarre its exists simultaneously in different dimensions, a creature named Bubble that can enter you and take other forms at will, to awesome spacecrafts, the peaceful alien race using pearls, that generate large amounts of energy, from their beautiful oceans to use for their needs and feed to a native cute animal that eats a pearl and spontaneously poops out replicas in the hundreds – what an imaginative world this is!

Sadly, I knew it would not be a success as the films lacks character, chemistry and story. The charisma is lacking from the leads and character development isn’t really there. A small cameo from an actor of the status of Rutger Hauer didn’t help, as didn’t the roguish brief appearance from Ethan Hawke in a totally non-Ethan Hawke role. Why do directors want rappers and pop singers to be actors? Ugh, Rhianna is terrible and I was glad that she was mostly in her character’s actual form – a squid-octopus-watery creature! One ridiculous jelly fish incident and the largest hat in the galaxy moment also was detrimental to the film. Luc Besson doesn’t want serious scifi and while his The Fifth Element worked awesomely well it didn’t with Lucy or Valerian (even if Lucy did become a box office hit, it was critically panned)

War For The Planet Of The Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes is a 2017 American science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves and written by Mark Bomback and Reeves. A sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), it is the third installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot series. The film stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson and Steve Zahn, and follows the confrontation between the apes, led by Caesar, and the humans for control of Earth.

Set 15 years after the events of the first movie, the remaining human soldiers are at war with the apes led by Caesar. A military faction known as Alpha-Omega. AO also has in its service apes who followed Koba, a bonobo who previously led a failed coup against Caesar. Some of the AO militants, including the gorilla Red, are captured and reveal that Alpha-Omega follows the leadership of a ruthless Colonel. Caesar releases the prisoners as a peace offering to the humans, but makes plans to relocate the clan across the desert, not wanting to suffer any more ape casualties. The night before their journey, Alpha-Omega infiltrates the apes’ base and the Colonel kills Caesar’s wife, Cornelia, and their elder son, Blue Eyes. A distraught Caesar leaves his younger son Cornelius in the care of Lake, a chimp who was Blue Eyes’ lover, and makes the rest of the apes leave for the desert.

Maurice the orangutan, Luca the gorilla and Rocket the chimpanzee accompany him against his orders and they come across a human who draws his gun against them and Caesar is forced to shoot him dead. They find his mute young daughter in the cabin and Maurice forces Caesar to bring the girl along with them.  Caesar’s party confronts traitorous albino gorilla Winter in an Alpha-Omega camp and learn that the Colonel has departed for a location called the “border”. Caesar inadvertently kills Winter, which causes him to worry that he is becoming like Koba. They also discover some human soldiers who cannot speak just like the girl.  Later the group meets Bad Ape, a chimpanzee hermit who lived in the Sierra Zoo before the Simian Flu pandemic. Bad Ape directs them to the border, a former weapons depot that was turned into a quarantine facility when the virus first began to spread.

At the border facility Luca is killed trying to protect Caesar from a patrol and the chimp decides to move alone. he is captured by Red after witnessing the rest of his ape clan being forced to build a wall with no food or water. The Colonel reveals to Caesar that the Simian Flu virus has mutated and now causes humans who survived the original strain to become mute and regress back to a primitive state, and that he is barricading himself in the facility to fend off rival military forces coming to defeat him because he favors killing any infected humans – including his own son – to stop the spread of the virus. While Caesar is tortured with starvation, the mute girl, whom Maurice names Nova, sneaks into the facility to give him food and water. To prevent her from being discovered, Rocket allows himself to be captured as a diversion. Together, Caesar and Rocket are able to work out a means of escape via an underground tunnel that leads out of the facility.

Maurice and Bad Ape use the tunnel to rescue the apes, and Caesar orders the others to escape while he goes to confront the Colonel. As the facility comes under attack by the rival military forces, Caesar reaches the Colonel, but realizes that he has been infected by the mutated virus. Caesar ultimately spares the Colonel, who takes his own life rather than exist as an infected primitive. During the battle between Alpha-Omega and the rival militants, the escaping apes come under fire from Alpha-Omega. Caesar attempts to attack Alpha-Omega from behind, but is shot by Preacher, one of the AO militants he had previously set free. Red saves Caesar’s life at the cost of his own, and Caesar blows up the facility’s fuel supplies, causing a cascading explosion which wipes out Alpha-Omega and allows the rival militants to triumph. However, the human forces are subsequently buried by an avalanche, which Caesar and the other apes (carrying Nova) survive by climbing nearby trees.

The apes make their way to the desert and just beyond that they find an oasis like paradise where they can make their new home. While the other apes joyously celebrate their new home, Maurice discovers Caesar’s wound, and assures Caesar that he will be remembered as Caesar quietly dies. Fitting end to a great franchise character. Just wonderfully shot and acted. This is the best of the three reboot movies and everything was done really well. 8.5 outta 10!

Buyers Beware!

The year is 2243, and your computer’s dusty hard drive has just resurfaced at an antique store. Write a note to the curious buyer explaining what he or she will find there.

23rd century and we are in 21 years before the Star Trek TOS era. So, it’s very close to the upcoming Star Trek Discovery era and 91 years after Enterprise launches. See, this is the way the mind of a hard core Trekkie works!

Anyways, back to the prompt – so in 2243 my dusty hard drive has been found and is being kept for sale at an antique store. Wow, Dell you really are good if the hard drive can last that long! But anyway some unsuspecting souls come into the antique store and they look around and find my hard drive. “What’s this?” they ask the owner of the store. The old man who runs the place smiles and tells them that it is a hard drive used for storing data on a computer back from the 20th & 21st century. This one was made in the year 2015!

“Wow!” says the people who want to buy it. “That is ancient! We’ll take it” and then they exchange money, credits, latinum or whatever the heck passes on for currency in 2243. Then the young folks take it to their home and they inter-phase it with they large computer and try to access the files hidden in my hard drive. And they see naked pics of beautiful women, rock music, music pics, Star Trek stuff, movies, pics from movies, pics from tv shows and all other goodies. “Wow, what are Minions? What is Grumpy Cat?” They wonder and they gaze in awe at the stuff in my hard drive.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the second reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise and the sixteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Jon Watts, with a screenplay by the writing teams of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Watts and Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. The film stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr.

I was quite looking forward to this film as I felt that Tom Holland & Spider-Man kinda stole a lot of the thunder in Captain America : Civil War, playing a likeable kid who is very green and is being mentored by Tony Stark. So it was with quite a bit of eager anticipation and excitement that I went in for this movie. And the verdict? We get an expansion of the same in that Spidey is being mentored by Stark but is not getting into the high stakes action that he wants to. Two months after the events of Civil War, Peter Parker is going to school and is still waiting for a call to join the good fight. Stark ignores his calls and Happy Hogan is acting as a liaison between them, fielding some of the calls that Peter makes to Stark. So we find Spidey fighting small time crime like robberies and car jackings.

The fear we all had was this, a movie about a very young Spider-Man, would be overshadowed by the large & rather dominating figure of Iron Man – it doesn’t. I felt they kept Tony for exactly as much was needed. Peter is played like an ordinary teenager who is awkward and has a crush on a girl, Liz, who he is afraid of speaking to about his feelings. He keeps his secret from his aunt and his schoolmates until best friend Ned accidentally finds out. He is also shown to have vlogged his trip to join Iron Man against his battle with Captain. His adventures don’t still well with Stark who isn’t sure he is ready yet to be a superhero without supervision so, as Spidey finds out, the suit that he is given has a tracking system in place as well as an AI interface with awesome Stark features that Peter later unlocks.

The villain works; Spidey is shown to be an average ordinary boy who suddenly gets superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Why not an ordinary man who becomes a supervillain? Keaton is almost perfect as Toomes/The Vulture, a middleaged contractor who loses his contract and livelihood 8 years ago after his salvage company were contracted to clean up the city, but their operation was quickly taken over by Tony Stark’s U.S. Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.). Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the  Chitauri technology they already scavenged and use it to create advanced weapons to sell on the black market. Toomes doesn’t have grand visions of taking over the world or even a city – he just wants to maintain a good life and income for his family.

But Toomes causes a lot of destruction and his methods are flawed and worse he is also the father of the girl that Peter is in love with, a fact which is cleverly revealed as Peter goes to meet up with his date at her house before they go for the homecoming party. For a while it looked like Peter was in over his head when facing against an experienced Vulture because, despite his powers, he was still just a 15 year old kid. But Tony’s words, while criticizing Peter, gives Spidey the motivation to overcome defeat and he is able to get the better of his villain and also rescue him from death. Vulture is apprehended and sent to prison which also means that Liz and her mother leave town to move across the country. Aunt May also finds out that Peter is Spider-man!

I also liked the fact that there are so many different skin tones shown in the film, with actors of various ethnicities seen throughout. That is very refreshing. I like the humour and lighter tone in the film, the special effects is just great and it’s a fun to watch. But Spidey using technical wizardry in the film (even though when he faces off and wins against Vulture he is just in a regular suit) ? That is not what Spidey is all about. Still that was the only major flaw for me anyways. I give it a solid 8 outta 10!

RIP Stephen Furst

Stephen Furst, perhaps best known as Flounder in Animal House & Vir Cotto in cult scifi tv show Babylon 5, died Friday from complications with diabetes, the actor’s rep told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 63. His two sons Nathan and Griffith Furst announced the news on the actor’s Facebook page, paying tribute to their “brilliant and prolific actor and filmmaker” father. The actor was also known for playing the role of Dr. Axelrod in the 1980s medical TV drama St. Elsewhere, and he also directed a few episodes of B5. After his breakout role of Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in 1978’s Animal House, he had several guest appearances on TV shows such as Newhart, CHiPS and The Jeffersons until he landed the role on St. Elsewhere, which aired from 1982-1988.

In 1979 he played the role of an overweight high school tuba player coerced onto the wrestling team in Kieth Merrill’s feel-good underdog film, Take Down. Also in 1979, as pointed out above, he reprised the Flounder character in the ABC sitcom Delta House. He also reprised the character and repeated his famous line, “Oh boy, is this great!” in the Twisted Sister music video for “I Wanna Rock.” In 1980, he played the character of Harold in the cult classic movie, Midnight Madness, and the character of “Junior” Keller (the unseen) in the horror movie The Unseen. In 1983, he also appeared in a supporting role as Aldo in the provocative ABC TV movie The Day After. In 1989, he played the character of Albert Ianuzzi in the film The Dream Team. Although not a regular, he also appeared in the short-lived 1992 TV series The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys.

In the 1995 animated TV series Freakazoid!, he voiced the character Fanboy. Also in 1995, he took a hiatus from Babylon 5 to star in a short-lived TV series, Misery Loves Company. In 1997, he played Derby Ferris in Little Bigfoot 2: The Journey Home. He also voiced a young Colonel Hathi in Season 2 of Disney’s Jungle Cubs, had a starring voice role as Booster in the 2000 series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, and also played a hulky walrus named Dash in the 2000 Disney movie The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. He starred in Magic Kid and its sequel. In 2002, he guest starred in an episode of Scrubs. Furst directed many independent and/or low-budget movies, including the low-budget movie Title to Murder starring Christopher Atkins and Maureen McCormick in 2001, and the direct to video children’s movie Baby Huey’s Great Easter Adventure.

Furst directed three low-budget movies for the Sci Fi Channel, Dragon Storm in 2004; and Path of Destruction and Basilisk in 2005; he also co-starred in both of the latter two films. Furst produced My Sister’s Keeper based on the Jodi Picoult novel starring Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin. Furst produced other several films under his production company Curmudgeon Films. Atomic Shark aired in August of 2016 on Syfy during Sharknado Week. Christmas in Homestead premiered on the Hallmark Channel during the holiday season of 2016. Cold Moon, a psychological thriller based on the Michael McDowell book, is set for a theatrical release in October 2017 in the United States. Cold Moon won “Best Horror Film” at the 2016 Laughlin Film Festival. Furst had two sons, both in the entertainment business. His older son, Nathan Furst (b. 197, is a television and film composer. His younger son, Griff Furst (b. 1981), is an actor, director and musician. He was married to Lorraine Wright, an entertainment lawyer.

Resident Evil : The Final Chapter

Here is another movie franchise which started out so well and gave us a couple of really good action-oriented horror films but then dwindled into “what the heck is going on; do the film makers even know what they are telling?” territory. Much like the other movie series I recently posted about – UnderworldResident Evil had become a shambles. I still enjoy watching Milla Jovovich kick ass plus she is hot as hell, so I watched.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a 2016 science fiction action horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. It is the sequel to Resident where to get a loan fast Evil: Retribution (2012) and the sixth and final installment in the Resident Evil film series, which is loosely based on the Capcom survival horror video game series Resident Evil. The film stars Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Ruby Rose, Eoin Macken, William Levy, and Iain Glen.

Picking up immediately three weeks after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, humanity is on its last legs after Alice is betrayed by Wesker in Washington D.C. Alice then encounters the Red Queen, who tells her that she must return to where the nightmare began – Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation has developed an airborne anti-virus which will kill every organism infected by the T-virus. In a race against time, Alice is captured by Dr. Isaacs, long thought to be dead, who reveals that the previous incarnation was a clone of his true self. Alice escapes and arrives first in Raccoon City, where she joins forces with Claire Redfield. After holding off Dr. Isaacs’ undead army, Alice, Claire and a team of survivors make their way towards the Hive. They again encounter the Red Queen, who tells them the origins of the T-virus: it was created by James Marcus, the founder of the Umbrella Corporation to save his daughter, Alicia, from an ailment that caused her to rapidly age. James was then betrayed by his business partner, Dr. Isaacs, and killed by Albert Wesker.

Dr. Isaacs and the board of the Umbrella Corporation then intended to release the T-virus on purpose in order to cleanse the world, save the rich and powerful with cryogenics in The Hive, and later rebuild it as they desire. After confronting Wesker and Dr. Isaacs at the bottom of the Hive, Alice also learns her own true nature: she is a clone of the original and still-living Alicia Marcus, who was unable to live a normal life due to her condition. Dr. Isaacs clone brought the army of undead towards Alice and the real Dr. Isaacs. Dr. Isaacs clone could not believe that he was a clone hence stabbed the real Dr. Isaacs to death. Alice then releases the anti-virus, eliminating all infected by the T-virus. Alice survives, and gains the memories of Alicia Marcus as a reward in order to reclaim the childhood she never had. The series ends with Alice riding a motorcycle to places unknown while being chased by BOW’s, stating that her job isn’t finished yet and that it will take several years for the anti-virus to circle the globe.

I have forgotten so much of the actual storyline throughout the 6 films that I had to go back and read about them. It’s all muddled and messed up and it all feels like they are making stuff up as they go along. Kinda just like Underworld which is obvious. Again too bad as I really liked the first two films and they way that they were headed. I give this film a 6 outta 10. But it’s lovely to see both Ali Larter & Milla again.

TV Show Watching & Rewatching

That was a busy fall season of tv watching. I watch a bunch of shows each year and ofcourse there is rewatching of older and beloved shows as well. The fall season has just concluded with many of the shows that I usually watch having aired their season finale episodes in the last couple of weeks. The current shows that I watch on a regular basis (meaning each week’s episode watched something in the same week) are The Walking Dead, Supergirl, The Flash, Criminal Minds, Criminal Minds – Beyond Borders (which just got cancelled), Bones (which just ended after 12 years), Arrow, Legends Of Tomorrow, Designated Survivor (which is a new show), Agents of SHIELD, Supernatural, The Blacklist, Homeland, The Big Bang Theory, Saving Hope (which ends this year) & Timeless.

I also have reality tv cooking shows like Masterchef Canada & Top Chef Canada (which came back after a 2 year gap). There are shows that I tried to watch but stopped in between like Wayward Pines season 2, WestWorld (after 7 episodes), American Horror Story (I didn’t like seasons 5 or 6 and stopped after 2 episodes each). Then there are shows from the summer like 19-2, Fear The Walking Dead, Dark Matter & Killjoys which are about to start their latest seasons. Plus there are shows that I have watched a couple of seasons and which I like to marathon like Broadchurch and Orphan Black (done with 2 seasons). I’ve also rewatched Star Trek Enterprise, the original Battlestar Galactica & Stargate Atlantis recently this year. That’s a lot of tv shows in a year eh?

Now that the fall season of tv shows that I watch is over, I’m trying to rewatch as many older shows as can. I’ve already watched a few episodes / seasons of show. Right now I’m in season 5 of Deep Space Nine, finished the first two seasons of Stargate SG1 and started season 1 of Battlestar Galactica (mini-series done & 7 episodes in) and Babylon 5 (first movie and 7 episode of season 1). I am planning to watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer & Angel and Firefly soon. And for comic relief I finished 5 seasons of Frasier. That’s a lot of tv eh? But I love rewatching shows that I love with Scifi being at the top and a couple of comedy shows too.

Excited For Star Trek Discovery

With the trailer having been dropped onto the public for the first time this week (like Wednesday I think), I have joined millions of Star Trek fans in getting really excited for the new show – Star Trek Discovery. Yeah baby! Not since Star Trek Enterprise ended back in 2005 have we had a Trek show on tv. Well, it’s on CBS All Access and on Netflix but still you get it. The new CBS All Access original series, which takes place about www free loans fast com 10 years before Captain Kirk’s five-year mission.

As an added bonus, Star Trek: Discovery has expanded its original series order from 13 to 15 episodes—which means even more sci-fi goodness in Season 1. CBS All Access has also announced that Star Trek: Discovery is getting its very own after-show. Currently announced cast and guest cast include Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Jason Isaacs, Shazad Latif, Anthony Rapp, Michelle Yeoh, Mary Wiseman, Chris Obi, Mary Chieffo, James Frain, Rainn Wilson, Terry Serpico, Maulik Pancholy, Damon Runyan, Rekha Sharma, Kenneth Mitchell, Clare McConnell, and Sam Vartholomeos.

I will be watching – how I don’t know but if Netflix has the show here for us in India, I am signing up – and will get them on dvd or whatever format once they are released. And I plan to do a recap for every episode a day or two later on my blog and perhaps even on my Youtube channel. I am not sure about the later but I will do something on Youtube as well I guess. I cannot wait. Here’s the trailer.

Alien : Covenant

Alien: Covenant is a 2017 American science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan and Dante Harper, with a story by Michael Green and Jack Paglen. A sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, the film is the second installment in the Alien prequel series and the sixth installment overall in the Alien film series, as well as the third directed by Scott. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir, and follows the crew of a ship that lands on an uncharted planet before making a terrifying discovery.

The year is 2104, 10 years after the events of Prometheus – but before we meet the crew of Covenant, we are shown a scene from the past in which a younger looking Peter Weyland addresses a synthetic android who would become part of the mission. Weyland asks the android his name; the android selects “David” after looking upon Michelangelo’s statue of the same name. During a moment of the exchange we also see that David, despite his devotion to Weyland, remarks that in a way he is better than his creator/father because Weyland will grow old and die while he, being an android, will not. Now, back to our crew who are in stasis on the colony ship Covenant is bound for a remote planet, Origae-6, with some 2000 colonists and over 1400 embryos on-board, monitored by an upgraded android resembling the earlier David, named Walter.

Enroute,  the a neutrino shockwave severely damages the ship, killing its captain and waking the crew from stasis. As the crew repairs the damage, a radio transmission is intercepted from a nearby planet. It’s a recording of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, singing “Country Roads” in a forlorn voice. As the planet, which is deemed inhabitable for humans is just a few days away, acting captain Oram decides to investigate, as the transmission is human in origin, despite the protests of acting second officer, and wife of the deceased captain, Daniels.  The rest of the crew agree with Oram as Origae-6 is 7 years away and no one wants to get back into stasis. As they arrive, a smaller group stays in orbit while the rest, led by Oram and Daniels descend to the surface. Karine sets up an ecological survey station, while the others track the signal’s source. They discover it originates from an Engineer ship, piloted by Elizabeth Shaw following the disastrous Prometheus mission. Two security team members, Ledward and Hallett, are inadvertently infected with an alien spore. Karine attempts to assist them, but Faris locks them inside the landing vehicle’s med-bay as a quarantine precaution.

A Neomorph bursts from Ledward’s back, killing him, then mauls Karine to death. Faris tries to kill Ledward’s Neomorph and fails, but accidentally destroys the lander in the process in a large explosion. The ground team witnesses the explosion and, seconds later, another Neomorph bursts from Hallett’s throat. Forced to retreat, the remnants of the landing party are attacked by the neomorphs. Mayhem ensues and one of the Neomorphs is killed. Walter loses a hand saving Daniels before the crew are rescued by David, the sole survivor of the Prometheus mission, as they attempt to radio Covenant for help. David claims that, upon his arrival with Shaw, the Engineer ship accidentally released its cargo of “black goo”, a bioweapon recovered during the Prometheus mission, killing the native population of Engineers. In the ensuing chaos, the ship crashed, killing Shaw. On the surface, the surviving Neomorph attacks and decapitates Rosenthal, who was separated from the main group. loan in usa David attempts to tame the alien, but is horrified when Oram kills it.

At Oram’s demand, David reveals his activities on the planet. Using the “black goo” as a catalyst, he created the earliest Neomorphs after experimenting with a parasitic wasp that laid eggs inside its prey; upon being born, the larvae ate the prey from the inside out. David shows Oram a chamber he has used to incubate his latest creation, Facehuggers, which implant Oram with an embryo. The embryo later erupts into a Xenomorph—an evolution of the Neomorph—killing Oram. As the crew search for Oram, Walter confronts David after learning the truth of his experiments; David had deliberately unleashed the black goo upon the planet’s population. Elizabeth Shaw became the first victim of a Facehugger, murdered by David in what he considers a necessary sacrifice. David disables Walter and confronts Daniels, telling her that he would do to her what he did to Shaw. Saved by a reactivated Walter, the crew attempt to evacuate. Against objections due to a severe weather storm, Tennessee, the pilot of the Covenant, arrives to extract the survivors of the team. They are attacked by an adult Xenomorph as Covenant arrives.

he remaining survivors kill the Xenomorph and they escape the planet. Crew member Lope, however, had been implanted by a Xenomorph embryo, which has gestated, and is now loose aboard Covenant. The Xenomorph kills all the human crew members besides Daniels and Tennessee. With Walter’s guidance, they funnel the Xenomorph to the terraforming bay, flushing it into space.

With the ship safe, the crew return to their original mission plan, and re-enter stasis. As Walter puts them under one by one, Daniels asks him if he will help her realize her dead husband’s dream of building a log cabin once they arrive on their new homeworld. Walter, with whom Daniels had previously confided this information, does not appear to understand this, and Daniels realizes she is talking to David, who had disguised himself as Walter. As Daniels enters stasis, David gains access to the colonists’ embryo cryogenic chambers and regurgitates two Facehugger embryos. He leaves them with the frozen human embryos, intending to use the humans aboard the covenant as hosts to continue his experiments.

I thought this film was awesome and good enough to rank as high as the first 2 films in the franchise which were classics of the horror/action/scifi genres. Fassbender in particular along with Waterston were excellent in their roles. Also I am not in the bracket of people who hated Prometheus – I loved it – and this movie is even better and a worthy sequel to it. I’ve give it an 8.5 outta 10!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.

Ok, fresh off watching it last night I am disappointed in the film. It wasn’t as good as the first one. There are some good points and some bad points. Let’s look at the storyline first. After first helping Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign race, to protect valuable batteries from an inter-dimensional monster, the Guardians piss the Sovereign race off because Rocket stole some of the batteries for himself. Well, they did have it coming because they put them down and even questions Peter’s parentage but anyways….In invading the fight of the large unmanned drone vessels, the Guardians are aided by a mysterious figure but their ship crash lands on a planet. The mysterious figure turns out out to be Ego, who says he is Peter’s father! He invites Quill, accompanied by Gamora and Drax, to his home, while Rocket and Groot remain behind to repair the ship and guard Nebula.

Ego explains that he is one of the god-like Celestials, and exists as the planet on which they are standing. In his travels he took the guise that they see, of a human, and visited earth where he met and fell in love with Quill’s mother Meredith. He then had to leave but on learning of his mother dying, sent Yondu Udonta to fetch him but the Ravager never brought Peter to Ego. He has been looking for his son ever since and on hearing about the feats of Star Lord, he knew it has to be his son. Gamora & Drax interact with Mantis, an emapth who was raised by Ego and it’s clear that she wants to warn them of something but she keeps it to herself. Meanwhile, Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta and his crew, who have been exiled from the greater Ravager community for child trafficking, to recapture the Guardians. They capture Rocket, but when Yondu shows reluctance to turn over Quill, his lieutenant Taserface leads a mutiny with help from Nebula. Taserface imprisons Rocket and Yondu aboard Yondu’s ship and executes his loyalists while Nebula leaves to track down and kill Gamora, whom she blames for all the torture inflicted on her by their father, Thanos.

While imprisoned, Rocket and Yondu bond. Groot, together with Yondu’s loyalist Kraglin, frees Rocket and Yondu and they destroy the ship and its crew as they escape, though not before Taserface tips off the Sovereign fleet. Nebula arrives on Ego’s planet and attacks Gamora and the pair reach an uneasy alliance when they discover caverns filled with skeletal remains of various alien species. Ego reveals to Quill that in his travels he planted seedlings upon thousands of worlds which can terraform them into new extensions of himself, but they can only be activated by the combined power of two Celestials. To that end, he impregnated countless women and hired Yondu to collect the children; they all failed to use the Celestial power, so Ego killed them, until he found Quill. Ego uses Quill to activate the seedlings, which begin to consume every world. Quill is hypnotized into helping Ego, but fights back after Ego reveals that he deliberately caused Meredith’s death as his love for her distracted him from his purpose.

Rocket, Yondu, Groot and Kraglin arrive at the planet and the reunited Guardians reach the core of the planet, where Ego’s brain is housed, and fight the Sovereign’s arriving drones. Rocket makes a bomb out of the stolen batteries that Groot plants on Ego’s brain, while Quill battles Ego with his newfound Celestial powers to allow the other Guardians to escape. The bomb explodes, killing Ego and causing the planet to disintegrate. Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill, who comes to realize that Yondu did not deliver him to Ego in order to spare him from the fate of Ego’s other progeny, and that Yondu was Quill’s true “dad”. Having reconciled with Gamora, Nebula still chooses to set out and attempt to kill Thanos. The Guardians hold a funeral for Yondu, which is attended by dozens of Ravager ships, acknowledging Yondu’s sacrifice and accepting him again as a Ravager.

Post credits scenes have Kraglin takes up Yondu’s telekinetic arrow and control fin; Ravager leader Stakar Ogord, inspired by Yondu’s sacrifice, reunites with his ex-teammates; Groot starts growing back to normal size, exhibiting typical teenage behavior in the process; Ayesha creates a new artificial being with whom she plans to destroy the Guardians, naming him Adam; and an astronaut discusses several experiences on Earth with a group of uninterested Watchers.

While it has it’s funny moments (mainly Groot, Mantis & Drax but others too) the film lost it’s charm on me due to the mystical powers of a god like creature. When they go down to the core of the planet and see a brain – oh sweet Satan! Having said that casting Kurt Russell in the role of Ego was a great choice though why Sly Stallone was in it for a bit I don’t know. Same for Michelle Yeoh who was in for 2 seconds. The mystical elements aside, it is a fun ride. The visual effects is awesome. I loved baby Groot and Mantis is so sweet that I fell in love with the French actress, Pom Klementieff, playing her. I will give it a…reluctant 8 outta 10!

Closer Look At The Krenim Weapon Ship *Star Trek Starships*

Up next is a monster. The Krenim Temporal Weapon ship from Star Trek Voyager. The Krenim weapon ship was a weapon developed by the Krenim Imperium some time around 2174 and constructed sometime afterwards. Its design and construction was spearheaded by Annorax, a military temporal scientist. The design of a weapon that pushed targets out of the space-time continuum, thus negating the events involving the target, and the construction of a ship to house it, was overseen by Annorax in the 22nd century. In the 2170s, the weapon ship was activated and used against the Rilnar, the primary enemy of the Krenim Imperium at the time. This temporal incursion restored the preeminence of the Krenim, but unexpectedly also resulted in a plague that cost over fifty million Krenim lives. Annorax attempted to rectify his error with a second incursion, but inadvertently erased the Krenim colony at Kyana Prime and with it his beloved wife.

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Annorax continued to alter history with the weapon ship over the next two centuries, obsessed with restoring his wife. Among the civilizations he eliminated were the Alsuran Empire, the Malkoth, the Zahl, the Garenor, and the Ram Izad. The weapon ship was also employed against the Federation starship USS Voyager (Component 049 Beta in their calculations). Voyager had been passing through what in a previous timeline had been Zahl space when Annorax used the weapon to erase the Zahl, turning Zahl space into Krenim space. Attacked repeatedly by Krenim warships using chroniton torpedoes against which their deflector shields were useless, they were forced to develop temporal shields to use against the torpedoes. These shields disrupted the precise calculations Annorax’ crew had made to direct the results of their temporal incursion against the Garenor. This caused the incursion to “miss”; instead of the desired results, that is, the restoration of all of Krenim territory, including Kyana Prime, a timeline was created in which the Krenim Imperium never existed at all. This was, of course, totally unacceptable, and thus Annorax turned the weapon on Voyager. Voyager, however, was able to escape by going to warp speed, taking advantage of its faster warp capability to outrun the weapon ship.

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The weapon ship itself was eventually erased from history when Voyager, all but destroyed by Krenim attacks, led a small fleet, composed of two Mawasi cruisers and three Nihydron warships, against it. Tired of the seemingly endless and futile mission, some of the crew, led by Annorax’ second in command, Obrist, shut down the temporal core. This caused the ship to phase back into normal space time, so that conventional weapons could affect it. Though the vessel’s conventional weapons were limited, they were still enough to overpower the attackers. However, Voyager’s captain, Kathryn Janeway, was aware of the exact location of the ship’s temporal core. Alone on her ship after being forced to order the rest of her crew to abandon ship due to its ruined state, she piloted it into that section in a kamikaze attack, causing the core to destabilize. This exploded the weapon ship and, moreover, caused a temporal incursion that erased the ship itself from history, and with it, every one of the alterations in the timeline it had ever made. Ironically, this had the effect of accomplishing exactly that which Annorax had been attempting to do for centuries; Kyana Prime was never erased, and Annorax never lost his wife.

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Its main weapon was a beam that pushed objects out of the spacetime continuum, effectively erasing them from history. Careful and meticulous calculations were required to create the exact changes in the timeline that were desired. The ship could be deployed against an entire species by firing the weapon on the species’ homeworld, pushing the species out of the spacetime continuum. This caused a causality paradox; all of history the species played any part in would be altered. The following gallery is an illustration of the method of operation, in which the weapon was used against a colony.

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So that’s it about this ship from the best two part episode of Voyager and some would say one of the very best in all of Star Trek. Hope you like the pics. And here is the close up video of the model