Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Doctor Is In

The first episode of Series 3 of the new "Doctor Who" has aired. Personally I felt it wasn't as strong an opening as Series 1 & 2 had, which makes me concerned that Russell T. Davies is possibly spreading himself too thin with oversight of too many Who-related projects (in addition to Doctor Who's third season there is also the 13 part animated series for Children's BBC, the "Sarah Jane Smith Adventures" has been picked up for a debut season, and "Torchwood" is working on its second season). Reminds me a bit of when Joss Whedon was simultaneously working on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," and "Firefly" all at the same time - in my opinion both Buffy and Angel suffered for it as his attention was clearly on Firefly (too bad Fox Broadcasting's attention wasn't on it).


When I first saw still shots of the aliens from "Smith & Jones" (the first episode of Series 3) I thought "Cool! They're going to re-do the Sontarans!" I mean, look at the publicity shot of one of them with the helmet on - especially when viewed mostly from the front, and darn it, if that doesn't scream "Sontaran" I don't know what does. But, sadly, they are not new Sontarans with a bit of literal Rhinoplasty. Frankly, they reminded me a bit more of the Vogons from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
It was also obvious why the Doctor would choose Martha as his new companion. She wasn't flustered by clearly hearing two hearts, she didn't lose her head when the hospital was scooped up to the Moon, nor when the aliens came, and she was willing to risk stepping out on the balcony, even though she didn't know if it might kill her. Though did they really have to "hang a lantern" on the fact she's not going to really replace Rose by actually having the Doctor SAY that to her? They also alluded to Rose when the Doctor grabbed Martha's hand and said "Run" (which, as you might recall, was the first thing the Doctor ever said to Rose).

So, anyway, good to see the Doctor back in action, and the previews for episode 2 look pretty good so maybe it was just a weak start.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Blue Mars

Well I didn’t get to MarsCon in Bloomington, MN, then again it turns out a lot of people didn’t get to it thanks to the blizzard (though the snow wasn’t the reason I couldn’t go). I was a bit bummed out about it until I talked with two of my friends who did go. They both said it was obvious there weren’t as many people there as in past years - apparently MarCon attracts more outstate and out-of-state attendees than I thought - and that it was pretty slow/dead/laid-back. There were some thoughts that if MarsCon continues to lose attendance it will first turn into a “RelaxaCon” and then just disappear (though it could rebound next year - it’s the 10th Anniversary). Which is a shame because it’s a nice break from the Winter blahs and they do tend to get decent guests - but I have little doubt the Minnesota winter weather hurts it, just more-so than usual this year.

Friday, March 9, 2007

J.J. Abrams Wired

Wired news reporter Kim Zetter interviews J.J. Abrams, though I have to wonder why Zetter bothered given that Abrams is remaining tight-lipped on the new Trek Film. Basically nothing is revealed in the interview that hasn’t been officially announced (or leaked) elsewhere. Yes, we already KNOW it’s going to be about the early days of Kirk and Spock (Shatner blabbed that months ago), and we already KNOW Abrams is going to direct it (Paramount officially announced that), yes we already KNOW who the scriptwriters are (we found that out when Rick Berman’s bunch were shut out of the project).
I know some people think Abrams is going to breathe new life into Star Trek, other people positively cringe at the thought of him being involved. Personally, I’m adopting a wait-and-see on this project. I like Lost for the most part, I have yet to actually see Alias, but those I know who are into that show seem to really love it (I was waiting for the entire series to be released on DVD and then I planned to watch the whole thing - something I haven’t done yet as I don’t have the spare cash to buy it and I’m hoping one of my friends who has been collecting the DVDs will loan them to me), like most people I had no interest in MI:III - though I think Tom Cruise going bonkers had more to do with that than Abrams. Going back to Felicity, I remember I watched the first season but quickly lost interest and now I can’t even recall what it was about - other than a young woman named “Felicity” and that it’s ratings slumped after she got a haircut, leading me to believe the most compelling aspect of the show was the star’s long curly locks (shees!).
So will J.J. Abrams RUIN or RESSURECT the Star Trek franchise? Guess we’ll have to wait and see - and hopefully whomever gets cast in the lead roles won’t “find religion” and publicly go nuts before the movie release, and let’s pray Abrams won’t decide a youthful Spock needs a crazy new hair-do that fans view as a hair-don’t, and especially let’s hope their Starfleet shuttle isn’t brought down on a wierd, uncharted planet dotted with abandoned, underground hatches left-over from some clandestine “Section 31″ experiment that produced an evil entity in the form of a dark cloud that kills people in the jungle. No, wait, now that I think of it that last one sounds like it COULD have been an episode of Star Trek. *shrugs*