Once more around the galaxy-Doctor Who series 10

Yes here we are at Easter and it is time for the return of Doctor Who to our small screens. The seems to have been like years not months. The big difference now is that it sees the last episodes to feature Peter Capaldi in the lead role. It seems like he has hardly been the character for very long. Has he lasted long enough? Did he come at the right time?

There have been many mixed views of the quality of the show since Capaldi joined and it can be suggested that if it has been weak or lacking at times it may have been more due to the writing from Steven Moffat. So many people have an axe to grind for this man but I think he has in the past given us some very unique episodes and he really does so in the most recent series as well. It may not have been perfect, it may have still had way too much Clara for some, but around half of the episodes of the previous series were actually magnificent. So what can we expect in this last run for Capaldi?

Well we really have moved on past the whole Clara period and onto new times. We’ve passed the extended time of the Doctor contemplating who he is and what he does on his adventures which at times ventured much deeper into his past than the show ever had. This could be one grand defiant and joyful final run. It does though look as if the fun and light tone is being put back in place if the lack of that was a serious concern for the show producers and fans over the last couple of years. The Doctor does now have a new young female companion called Bill. He also has Matt Lucas as strange comedy sidekick Nardole…oh dear.

It could be that this new series is bringing back into the show a few elements that have been missing for a while and which has disappointed the fans. Do most fans of the show want a much more fast, funny and light-hearted show? With Peter Capaldi as the Doctor does that kind of thing just not work well?

We are due a new actor in the lead role next year. Can the show survive until then? Will this be another hit-and-miss series?

It could be that I am in my late 30’s and have perhaps been easily happy with an older Doctor exploring more deeper philosophical questions but it had seemed to go on like that for a good while. Given the chance can Capaldi be as wild and unpredictable as Tom Baker back in the 1970’s? This weekend will bring back the Doctor.

James E. Parsons is author of SF books Orbital Kin and Minerva Century available from amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, WHSmith, and other good bookshops internationally as paperback, ebook and hardback.

 

Class-Doctor Who spin off series 2016-short review

Are you a huge Whovian? Been watching Doctor Who for decades, years or only just begun recently? What do you like most about the show? Have you seen any of the spin-off related show from over the years such as Sarah Jane Adventures or K-9?

At the end of 2016 we were taken to a familiar school in the world of Who over the years, Coal Hill academy. While there was a break from the Doctor and his own adventures last year, this location and a group of teenage characters came along to keep us entertained.

CLASS does come from the same place as Doctor Who (and even features him at the end of the first episode) but it is quite a surprisingly different show. This may have shocked or actually upset a great many people judging from the very mixed response in the last couple of months since it first aired in the UK on BBC3.

The eight episode series does have a loose story thread but starts with individual tales. This episodes are similar to quite a few Who episodes but edge closer to other sci-fi films and tv shows such as The Twilight Zone, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, X-Files and more. The series had been aired late night on Mondays on BBC1 due to the gore, blood, violence and occasional swearing at times.

A good few loyal Doctor Who fans may have been very surprised, and I know some have just not been impressed or happy with it at all. Why is this? It is really so bad?

Since Doctor Who successfully returned long-term in the mid-00’s and has been on the small screen ever since, the show creators have taken some inspiration and chances with that success at times, with casting, scripts and other projects. One successful early spin-off show which quickly gained a big fanbase was Torchwood. It was connected to Who and came from there but had its own set of characters and stories goin on separately. People loved that show and especially the lead character Captain Jack Harkness and his golden age Hollywood style adventure hero antics and fascinating sexuality. That show though did largely stay in the same area where the whole family could watch it together, all ages.

This probably does not really apply with CLASS. Your very small kids should not see most of this. I mean, its not as excessive as any actual 15 or 18 rated horror films but it does almost get to that level, almost. Some fans therefore may feel this betrayed where it comes from and what it should be coming from the world of Doctor Who.

This isn’t the main issue that most people have had with the show. Usually reactions I’ve read or heard take aim of the low or clichéd quality of the scriptwriting. Some thought the characters were terrible, just really predictable. Others may have commented on the acting.

For me personally, I actually did enjoy the series for most of the time and like a couple of people I know, I think it probably did get better toward the end. Some thought the opposite was true.

Well look, they couldn’t just go and make another Torchwood (though the fans have been waiting for that show to return for years now) and in a way it is like seeing a more naughty, offensive and slightly subversive part of the Doctor Who show where the lead character goes missing and the cameras turn to others around him, but for eight episodes.

I’m over twice the age of the young characters but I could mostly still believe them and understand their lives, even if sometimes maybe too tragic.

Like Doctor Who over the last decade and more it is brave at times to include people and issues relating to our modern times- gay characters, people of ethnic minority background, other countries and not have them simply be ‘joke’ characters but the ones we connect with and invest our interest in. But really the best character is Ms. Quill, who comes from Doctor Who and she acts like he ever rarely does. She is regularly aloof, obnoxious, sarcastic, funny, bored, self-interested even nasty. So then of course this all makes her very watchable and entertaining all the way through. And like the present Doctor at least, she is not young-well, she is probably middle aged at a push. While most of the series looks at each individual young character and their issues while some random wild alien invasion takes place, toward the end Miss Quill is revealed as a very interesting character.

The series comes to a highly dramatic and possibly OTT ending but this does probably leave things open for the show to return. If that will happen is yet to be confirmed. I would like to see the series return and maybe some of the flaws in the scripts and writing could be smoothed out with it next time.

 

James E. Parsons is a SF/Horror author. His SF books Orbital Kin & Minerva Century are available now from Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, WHSmith, and other good bookshops. His first horror book is published later in 2017.

 

The Expanse-tv show review

In the last week or more I have managed to watch this new sci-fi show which thankfully just suddenly ended up on Netflix in the UK here. I had read about it many months ago, but there had been very little news about when it would come over here or on what television channel.

I had been aware that it is adapted from the hugely popular SF space opera book series from the last few years written by James S.A.Corey (which is actually two writers working together). Like that book series this seemed to be a very epic and complex story, weaving together a number of plots and characters.

In the last couple of years we have had a few mostly good quality new SF shows, often on SyFy channel. These included Continuum, Defiance and more recently Killjoys and Dark Matter. How would this show compare to these other recent successes? What would all of the fans of the book series it is based upon think of it?

I have not personally read the Expanse book series and so had no solid expectations or ideas of how the characters should look, act or what the show should look like. I do though write space opera-my latest published book is in that style- and I am a fan of the classic tales of that kind.

So what did I think? Well first of all, with just the first episode it looked very well made with high production values and good direction. The sets seemed to be on a big scale as if for a feature film and the visual effects seemed like something you would possibly see in a cinema. It started very well.

It soon gives us a space attack and mystery, and a small group of main characters are thrown together and left to desperately travel to safety in deep space. Somewhere else on colonised space habitat a tired detective begins to follow a trail which leads him toward some interesting but dangers people and places.

The show had the look and feel at times of the recent very popular Battlestar Galactica television reboot-quite realistic camerawork, fairly dark and gritty lighting often, desperate and tense situations. Sometimes though it has some lighter brief moments of humour and colour which remind of the cult hit Joss Whedon Firefly show.

This does look like the most visually impressive tv science fiction show for years, which is great and unusual to see on a small screen. For the most part, the writing is very good. The characters and acting do pull you in and you want to watch them interact and see where they go together and how. In some sense because the visuals do look so good, almost Hollywood sci-fi cinema level an slight difficult feeling arises as it feels like a film stretched over several hours and there are maybe a few times when it does drag just a bit.

Is it what I thought it would be? I may have been expecting something more like the ALIENS films due to the early photographs and pictures of this show in magazines and online. Was I let down? No, it was a very good show, which could hopefully continue and get even better as it does leave us with some intriguing new mysteries in space to be resolved. I also do have to say that the actor Thomas Jane -previously most well loved for his shot at a Punisher Marvel movie over a decade ago-here he is a fantastic character, so well worn in watchable.

I have recently seen the new trailer for season two of this show and so next year will reveal if it can keep going and give us even more great deep space action and thrilling adventure.

 

James E.Parsons is author of SF books Orbital Kin and Minerva Century-both available as paperback/ebook from all good bookshops internationally now.

 

 

Westworld-Friends are electric again…

Inspired by the cult 1970’s sci-fi movie written and direction by Michael Crichton-the man who also gave us Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, this new HBO show was billed as the new event to step into the place of Game of Thrones.

It may not be the first seventies SF movie that comes to mind when considering an adaptation for small screen. Other cult movies films of that period to adapt could have included A Clockwork Orange, THX-1138, Zardoz (maybe…), Deathrace 2000, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Mad Max among others.

With the first released picture of this new Westworld tv show, it looked like something that might have come direct from cinema screens and Hollywood millions. There are a great number of very big cast name actors involved including Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood to name only the main players. Yes, the producers really were aiming to give us something very special and high quality this time. We were to believe this as well given that brother of Batman director Chris Nolan, Jonathan Nolan was (who co-wrote those Batman films) helped create this series and it had the huge guiding hand of J.J. Abrams.

So is it a good show? How much like the original cult movie is it?

Well right with the first episode you will quickly recognize many familiar visual elements and tropes seen in the film. You get the wild west theme park, we are shown that the cowboys are of course robots called Hosts. Like the film, at first it seems like a great place to spend some leisure time. Although with the show, we follow a different set of characters as the story moves along.

This was a slow burning series. There were some serious changes and unexpected switches from the movie to what we were watching here. At times it almost felt as if they may have taken things too far with the onscreen violence of various forms, as if it was just too much for what we remember the film as being, besides the last twenty minutes or so. Here it is like this series starts with the end of the movie and continues along that path but then goes on to explore and wide range of notions of violence as entertainment and what that means for us humans, why we sometimes seek that out and how it affects us.

Coming from J.J.Abrams and Jonathan Nolan many of us probably did expect to some extent some mysterious macguffins or long and unwinding narrative paths which could take many weeks to unravel and reveal strange truths-if they ever would. Yes, this is a challenging show regularly. After a couple of weeks many viewers were agreeing on social media how they were confused or perplexed in a number of ways by the often very vague and elliptical way characters would walk or scenes were cut suggesting a number of thing but not always obviously clear of meaning or the plot. But how often do we really want everything always spelled out to us in cinema movies or television like we are very small children with the smallest attention span?

This show does go way beyond the basic premise of the original movie, delving deeper into the existence of the theme park robot wild west characters. They do become conscious but why and how and for what reasons are held from us but very teasingly suggested episode by episode. There are some episodes where you really do have to pay very close attention or you will sudden be very confused or lost but stay with the show and I think I can say that you will probably be very rewarded and stimulated emotionally and intellectually.

We are challenged to ask questions about how we use modern technology, what we might do with artificial intelligence and super-realistic robots in our near future. These can actually be quite disturbing things to consider but with the whole series and the well chosen cast of actors we can look at some possible times of tomorrow and the challenges of our rapidly advancing technology and how we will live with it.

 

James E.Parsons is the author of SF novels Orbital Kin and Minerva Century, both available on Amazon and in various other well known and reliable bookshops internationally.

 

 

Black Mirror Series3 Review

From one a week, to all in one weekend. The new series of this modern and often disturbing sci-fi tv series has switched from UK Channel4 over to Netflix. The budget has been increased greatly, the locations, visual effects, soundtrack all bigger this time. But does that make it better?

In the space of just over a couple of years this series has successfully become the modern equivalent of The Twilight Zone of The Outer Limits for modern times. Some episodes have been darkly comic, satirical while others have been almost too terrifying to think about for too long after watching.

Like the previous two mini series, the shows continue to jump ahead from known daily life modern technology such as smart phones, the internet, A.I., social media, online games and more. There are some differences this time, but there are enough familiar things to keep you interested and guessing like before.

Okay, so I really don’t wish to give spoilers and so I’ll try to keep things brief but informative with my casual review of the new series here.

Episode 1-Nosedive

The series starts with a fairly light and humorous episode. This looks at social media and how desperate we might get to gain top marks from friends and others, and what it would mean in society. Things go tragically wrong for the young lady who needs more likes and stars. A good start, reassuring us that the show has not simply gone all ‘Hollywood’.

Episode 2-Playtest

This one doesn’t seem to radical really. It follows a young guy needing some quick cash who signs up to test out a new experiment videogame. Ah, seems a walk in the park at first…safe word stop…stop…stop…! Actually ends up being pretty intense and dramatic. Reminded me of the underrated David Cronenberg movie Existenz.

Episode 3-Shut up and dance

Okay this one is in some ways funny to begin with, seems quite low budget, back to basics but the idea here soon gets very chilling and horrible. Very nasty, very tragic episode.

Episode 4- San Junipero

This is the episode that almost anyone can watch and will find it very sweet, very emotional, nostalgic. If you experienced or grew up in the 1980’s (I was a young kid back then) you will love this one. But as it moves along, this one moves from beautiful, romantic, time-travel (sort of), to bitter, difficult, tragic but philosophical and sombre tale. Very touching.

Episode 5-Men against fire

Much like Call of Duty or a military near future tale with parallels to recent warfare, this may not be the most original episode or best. It reminds me at times of 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead, Full Metal Jacket- which is not a bad thing. Again, this one ends with a quite nasty and very troubling close but does perhaps make us question what our governments and military may be tempted to do in the name of war or victory.

Episode 6-Hated in the nation

So this final episode is feature length. It is just under one hour and a half. Now, some people have said that this one could have been much shorter, that it dragged on too long possibly. I don’t think I felt it was too long. I did enjoy it, even though it is very much like a crime/detective drama/thriller CSI style show. It considers the dangers of social media in connection with A.I. and almost nano-tech alongside the quick reaction hate mentality of the masses. This one is probably more of a slow-burn longer lasting fear tale, which will stay with us for a while in a different manner to the other episodes.

So has the show changed far too much in the leap over to Netflix, or the way we can in theory watch the entire series in one go rather than one per week as in the past?

Some of that is just how we can watch much television these days on catch-up, but no, thankfully I think this series at least has retained the basic founding idea of what the show is and how it show be. Well done with this one Charlie Brooker, I look forward to more=if I can bare to watch through my fingers…

 

James E. Parsons is author of Orbital Kin and Minerva Century (SF fiction) both available now in paperback, ebook and hardback from all good bookshops internationally.

 

 

More human than human…Robots on television in 2016

Like my own new SF book, robots are in our thoughts and on our screens again…

We are getting close to the end of the year soon, Halloween in a couple of weeks, and all kinds of plastic creepy and kooky merchandise in the stores. But this is a good time for the small screen and tv shows return after their summer breaks and new shows land with promises of all kinds of unusual entertainment.

Here we are after summer and a couple of weeks ago the increasingly anticipated television reboot/adaptation of the 1970’s sci-fi classic movie Westworld had begun on Sky Atlantic. As the global success of fantasy swords and dragons epic Game of Thrones nears the end, this show has hopes to take its place if viewers show an interest toward the interaction between man and machine mankind.

Did you see the original movie at cinemas decades ago? Personally I finally watched it just perhaps half a dozen or more years ago. It has dated, and does seem quaint most of the way through now, right up until the end. The last twenty minutes or so are still very much pretty disturbing viewing as the almost unstoppable psychotic robot played by Yul Brynner stalks onward on the kill.

The new show, of course intends to last for at least a whole series (probably a couple more) and so sets up the tale in a slightly fresh angle, flipping around the characters and who we identify with as viewers this time. It also intends to explore just how real the cowboy robots might be, and how the humans interact with them. The original movie was a long time ago now, but adapting it to television at this present time could be a real prescient move, as it connects up with the rapidly increasing advances in robot technology around the world and our actual genuine concerns and fears around this.

 

Just a few weeks after this intense and all-star Hollywood cast sci-fi show, we see the return of a series which was possibly surprisingly popular to some. UK Channel4 series Humans makes a return-the first series turned out to actually be the most successful drama on the channel for two decades. A much smaller budget than Westworld, but arguably an even more emotionally challenging and stimulating show which focuses on a group of ‘synths’ (robots) used and built for domestic purposes but who begin to regain their original conscious memories and come together to escape being captured and ‘turned off’. This show was very much a family drama which just happened to contain robot characters portrayed in very realistic ways, and was then very engaging and a must-see show. With the obvious building popularity, the producers did soon announce a second series but how this will play out can mostly only be guessed at this stage. Does the show really much more to say? Was the one original series enough?

If you do just a brief search on the net, you will find that more and more varied kinds of robots are being built globally for many different reasons. We really will see them much more involved in our daily lives in the next few decades, but how we will react to them is something which it seem we are all very interested in finding out.

James E.Parsons is an author of science fiction/horror and more. His latest SF book Minerva Century was published this summer, is available from all good bookshops including Waterstones, Amazon, WHSmith, Foyles, Barnes&Noble as paperback, ebook and hardback. His previous book Orbital Kin is also available.

DOCTOR WHO: HYBRID GAMES…

So have you seen the final episode in the second series of Capaldi Doctor Who?

We had Clara leave the show a couple of weeks ago, but of course, things would not be so straight forward as all that would they?

After the real slow-burning challenge of the previous episode-Doctor going very mad all alone, existential episode of tragic adventure. We get the return to Galifrey with a vast space-opera set-up to start with. Some great dialogue again, which had been a regular blessing. So this final episode was taking the Doctor to find out the real truth and danger connected to the Hybrid. Where was this creature? What was it capable of doing and when?

But then there was much more going on around and between this main plot. Besides what many Whovians and casual fans think, has Clara really died? How did this really affect the Doctor and this final story?

I was personally really delighted to see a great space-opera landscape of Galifrey. A good few visual nods to films like Dune and Starship Troopers, chronicles of Riddick. Some fine actors were involved as the Doctor put these threatening characters on Galifrey to rights, before the big reveals and really mind-boggling next stages of the story. Did this all end the series in a good way? Will it be far too radical and baffling for some? Has Moffat pushed his luck way too much this time?

I think it did pull together a few great points, some great lines and brilliant visuals to end the series. Does it all seem right? Maybe not. Is it what we expected or hope to see? Possibly.

From right now, we can look forward to the rather wild and funny Christmas special in a few weeks time.

 

DOCTOR WHO: THE WAR ON ZYGONS

So did you see the latest episode of the new Peter Capaldi series of Doctor Who at the weekend? It was the second in a two part tale named ‘The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion’. The classic tall, tentacled blotched and angry alien race returned but this time after a small radical group decided to step up and challenge the human race once again.

The first episode had a few nods toward Invasion of the body snatchers and John Carpenter’s The Thing besides other paranoid sci-fi thrillers, as it became less clear who were human and who were Zygon. Quickly the agressive Zygon groups made clear their intentions, took hostages and began killing humans without hesitation.

By the second part of the story, things had progressed, with more definitive divisions appearing among Zygons, factions revealed and a situations which was not what all Zygons wanted. Between this Osgood returned to the show, but with a number of surprises as she was central to the tale.

Now, at times genre shows can have episodes which sometimes don’t feel right or comfortable, sometimes offering a very serious or with a tone which is not the usual kind for that show. With shows like Doctor Who, science fiction and fantasy series, they deal in escapism, unreal tales of adventure, things we just don’t see in the real world. Sometimes though, they draw parallels with real world events and issues. At times this works, other times it can just feel very forced.

With this two part Zygon tale, there were some very clear thoughts about war, how we engage in wars and why, why we fear other groups, people, nations. This was a tale about Zygons attacking humans, but we are in a real world with constant, regular bombardments and warnings of ‘terror’, reasons to be afraid, reasons why we should be ready as people and as a nation to defend or attack.

Like certain terror groups we may know from recent years internationally, the Zygons who lead this new attack are gradually revealed to be just a smaller, radical group. So many other Zygons already living among humans in a kind of peace, do not wish to attack or rise in such a way. This can make us think of tensions between East and West internationally.

Many of us may have seen this tale and these parallels as fairly obvious, basic or even crass, but there is also a younger audience watching this great and loved cult sci-fi show.

Already much praise has been put out toward Capaldi and the final scenes around the ‘Osgood Box’, his dialogue about war and terror, fear and peace.

Did this two-part story go too far in making suggestions about terror, modern international war and peace or was it some very well balanced Who scripts, resulting in some honestly very challenging and relevant issues toward the end? Should Doctor Who draw these kinds of links with the modern world or should it keep to wobbly large monsters and Robin Hood adventures?

That Tardis time of year…

Finally the months have passed around once more, and here we are now with a new series of Doctor Who. This is the second with older Doctor played by Peter Capaldi, and with that first series gone and done, we hope he can relax into his own focused version of what the character might be.

Many people did think that in that first series with Capaldi, he came across as a strange and uncomfortable mix of confused, depressed and anxious, which just did not seem like the Doctor that most people knew and loved. But then, this is an older actor, older Doctor (visually at least) and after Tennant and Matt Smith.

We are now at the third episode of this series and well, there is obvious change. The first dramatic and fun two-part tale was really great, uniting the Doctor and Clara with Missy, and confronting Davros and the Daleks. This was a fantastic way to start things, many great lines of dialogue and great performances generally I think.

There have been a few slight but noticable changes with Capaldi-Who I observe. Hair style a little more ruffled, character possibly more fun, assured, care-free so far.

One big continued issue with many Whovians has been how prominent Clara has been over the last couple of series, almost taking over the show, some believed. That is possibly an over reaction, but it has been good to see such a confident young female character alongside the lead male, with many regular monents of triumph, courage and opinion. Is it really so bad that we have such a confident, modern companion currently?

So there has been change to the Doctor so far this year, we should wait to see what comes next. When will the sonic sunglasses come out again?

Small screen but big thrills…TV Sci-fi/Fantasy

Let’s talk of the genre shows on the box which are doing their job well and keeping us tuned in every week (or with Netflix, letting us sitting in one place for six to nine hours possibly).

I have got past a period of desperately attempting to keep up with and regularly watch around three or four or more sci-fi/horror/fantasy shows-most people might find this a challenge, even when the shows are highly entertaining and great but try also writing a new full length novel at the same time…

Yes, often I might be watch tv more than reading fiction-I try to keep a balance-but these days there are often enough good shows worth giving my time and these shows also can help my inspiring writing in many useful ways just as well.

So what have we got going on currently?What shows have been to recent great achievements for fans of science fiction, fantasy or horror on the smaller screen?

It has been away for a few months now really but also leaving a long-lasting impression, yes I am thinking about Dr Who. With the bold change-over to much older and slightly more morbid Doctor this time, did it keep you watching? There was of course some extreme reactions to Capaldi, but you know, here we have such a talented actor, working at his craft for decades and a personal big Whovian himself, it strengthens the show. The distinctive difference mostly was in the casting aside of the built up series-long sorty arc this time, in favour of a number of seperate but each rewarding individual tales, which also gave us a more challenging and stronger Clara this time.

After new Who, 2015 moved along with the return of some shows and others which continued on after the christmas period. American Horror Story came to an end as the Freak Show series wrapped up. It became much more of a tragic murder mystery, losing some of the more regular shocking or shlocky horror moments we usually would expect but a good season anyway.

One show that I did seem to watch almost in a couple of days most of the time was Penny Dreadful a few months ago. I am going to rewatch the first few episodes again prior to the new season starting soon. Now that was one show which  could have often really sent dedicated gothic horror fans into a rage, as it reworked, redesigned and almost rewrote a number of classic and well-known gothic horror icons and characters from literature into what was certainly a spook-show hell-cart ride of loud manic screams, exploding monsters and dripping gore every week.

We do still experience on a regular basis, some shows which may seem interesting and in another time may have grown to become long-lasting cult shows, but with some many channels, shows, social media and more dividing our precious free time, one or two regularly get cut before the third or even second season and often unfairly so.

This had now happened to one of the shows which I have enjoyed the most over the last couple of years. The show I speak of is called Continuum, and is a great, very intelligent and at time very relevant science fiction time-travel show. Starting with characters which come from 2027 who fall back to our present time, it then becomes a kind of paranoid detective thriller show but over series two and now having just finished watching season three, when it knew that it had been cancelled officially-it then obviously moved on and gave the viewers a number of often very bold and challenging episodes, flipping back between time periods, the future, our present day, and then alternative futures and creating alternative versions of some of the main characters from the time-travel adventures; it has been a show to watch very carefully but one of the best in recent times for certain. Sadly it has been cut short, been due to interest and obvious fan following, it has been allowed one last if shorter season to fit the pieces of the dramatic time-travle tale together.

With regrets I can say that while Marvel’s Agents of Shield has returned to UK screens in the last month or more, I have found it fairly difficult to make time or keep interest with it, which I do feel has been a bad decision now. Could be the tone of the show, the shameless use of it to promote the Marel movies, it could be some of the actors in the show, but I often lose interest with it. It might be that it is just not what I want it to be, or hoped that it could have been. It really has been great at times, and I might now finally be getting more interesting with it once again.

The other main SyFy channel show which held my interest was Defiance, which inititally had a great deal resting on it. It was built up with a lot of hype when it first began, with a related MMO online computer game which seems to mostly have disappeared now. The show however, thankfully has more to offer than simple basic gimmick tied to various mutli-social media. The writing is good, often at times reminiscent of classic sci-fi shows such as Star Trek or Firefly regularly. Like Doctor Who until the recent series, it has developed a brace of strong story line arcs to take it through while the events with individual characters are often funny, tragic or simply entertaining and well produced with very pleasing post-apocalyptic near future Earth sets and visual effects.

Finally most recently, there has been the television version of 12 Monkeys which is inspired by the 90’s Terry Gilliam movie. Another time-travel series, and that is probably where I struggle this time. I have only just finished watching the end of season 3 of Continuum while 12 Monkeys was starting and two time-travel shows at the same time has been possibly too much to balance. They do also have much of the same tone and style of drama, with paranoid groups, undercover or double-agent characters and that kind of story writing.

Besides all of these worthwhile shows, in the last few weeks we have also have Netflix drop the entire Marvel Daredevil series on us. Have you seen this yet? What did you think? Does it sit well among the many other Marvel characters on screen?