Monday, January 31, 2005
B5, With A Vengeance
B5 Season 4 begins slowly, but then, when they've killed the Captain and vanished Garibaldi, the first few episodes are just going to be getting the ensemble back together. "The Hour Of The Wolf" opens 7 days after the finale... Ivanova is blaming herself, Delenn is fasting (for 7 days? Is she mad?!), Londo has returned to Centauri Prime, and the opening commentary is now given by all the cast instead of just one of them. And we're back to something like the original title music, after the strangeness that was the season 3 theme.
Mr Morden shows up on Centauri Prime, looking a little the worse for wear after being caught in the explosion on Z'ha'dum. He worries Londo by telling him that the Emperor has agreed to allow Shadow ships to use a small island as a base.
Delenn meets with the new Vorlon ambassador... and Lyta seems to be missing her gills... what happened there? G'Kar is looking for Garibaldi. And Londo witnesses the image from his dream of the Shadow ships flying overhead.
Okay, Sheridan is dead... but he's also wandering around stone tunnels in a big hooded cloak. Oh, and he's not the only one wandering around the tunnels...
Vir and Londo form a conspiracy to kill the Emperor, who's clearly insane.
And then, in "Whatever Happened To Mr. Garibaldi?" Sheridan has a long talk with Lorien, who sounds like the Inquisitor, and talks like a Vorlon. He seems to know all the questions - Who are you? What do you want? Oh, and he seems pretty sure that the Captain is dead.
G'Kar and Marcus search for Garibaldi. Unfortunately, G'Kar is captured by the Centauri and paraded in front of Londo by the Emperor.
Delenn is sick - Franklin wants her to start eating again. After finding a diary entry in the Captain's things, she decides to make a last strike on the Shadows at Z'ha'dum, with the entire Ranger fleet. Something to do with falling off a mountain and learning how to fly.
And Garibaldi is locked in a metal room.
G'Kar and Londo make an agreement to remove Cartagia from the throne, in return for the Centauri leaving Narn.
Ivanova has been teaching herself Minbari but I think she needs some more practice. I'm not sure what a hatrack ratcatcher is, but finding one in the heat of battle may be a problem. The Centauri are treating G'Kar as the court fool. "The Summoning" sees an opening with more personal diaries. Ivanova, Franklin, now Delenn. Then we see Marcus and Ivanova's search for the First Ones.
Zack gets a lead on Garibaldi, but no-one's heard from G'Kar... well, obviously... but you would have thought there was more news from the Centauri on his capture. So Zack has to pursue the lead on his own.
Lyta seems to be missing all her furniture. And she knows that something is brewing with the Vorlons, but she doesn't know what.
The rescue of Garibaldi goes badly when the ship he was on is destroyed when they try to disable it. However, they're lucky that he was in the only lifepod ejected. But what's happened to him during his captivity?
During their search, Ivanova and Marcus discover a huge Vorlon fleet hiding in hyperspace.
The Captain returns to station, persuading the League that they should continue their alliance against the Shadows. But the Vorlons have other plans - they're taking the war to the Shadows, destroying anyone and anything touched by them. Including whole planets...
The Vorlon planet-killer is still on the march in "Falling Towards Apotheosis" and Garibaldi is suspicious of the Captain and his new alien friend. Oh, and if we needed more proof that the Centauri Emperor is insane (other than his shadow cabinet of decapitated heads of ministers, that apparently talk to him), there's the fact that he won't blockade Centuari Prime against the Vorlon fleet, preferring to let it burn, lighting the way to his godhood.
There's a lot of wounded fleeing to Babylon 5 from the Vorlon fleet. Garibaldi is still convinced the Captain doesn't trust him since his return. And they want to get the Vorlon ambassador off the station... so Garibaldi has to ask him.
That didn't go so well... but the Captain has another plan, involving the fragment of Kosh that still remains in him. Delenn finds out that the Captain's return is only for a short while - Lorien isn't able to keep him alive forever... only a portion of his life was returned. In this case 20 years. But when Sheridan tells her, he also proposes marriage.
Londo only has 7 days before the Vorlon fleet get to Centauri Prime... so he has to move quickly to get rid of the Emperor... and so he suggests the trial of G'Kar on the Narn homeworld. Unfortunately, the Emperor has one more punishment for G'Kar before they go... and Londo misses another of his chances at redemption.
On to disc 2, and Sheridan's fleet is almost ready. But the Shadows release their own planet killing creation, to counter the Vorlon planet-killer. Londo plots with other loyal Centauri to stop Cartagia. It's "The Long Night" and Ivanova has to go searching for more First Ones... with Lorien's help perhaps they'll find some this time!
G'Kar breaks free of his shackles, and runs rampant in the court. Cartagia flees, and Vir ends up killing him. Londo uses the death to persuade the Centuari to leave Narn forever, but he manages to get put into the position of Prime Minister... which was obviously not his intention.
Reports on the Shadow planet-killer also include details of where the Vorlon fleet is going to strike next - Corianus 6 - a planet with six billion inhabitants. Sheridan has a crazy plan - delay the Vorlon advance on the planet, but invite the Shadows to fight them. For that he has to order the deaths of one of the White Star crews...
And then, the war... "Into The Fire" sees Ivanova collecting the last of the First Ones for the fight with the Shadows and Vorlons.
Unfortunately, in defending Corianus 6, they've left Centauri Prime undefended... well, except for whatever defence the Centauri can put up now that they're free of the Shadow influence. Londo finds out who killed Lady Adira... and the perpetrator gets what's coming to him... and Vir is the only one who gets what he wants from the Shadows.
But Londo has miscalculated... there is still something that has been touched by the Shadows on Centuari Prime... Londo himself. Fortunately, the First Ones attack on the fleets causes the Vorlons to call for reinforcements, indirectly saving Centauri Prime.
And then there's the slightly silly telepathic conversation with Sheridan and the Vorlons, and Delenn and the Shadows. And then Sheridan gives them a good talking to, and tells them to "get the hell out of our galaxy" and so everyone leaves.
Huh, if only we'd known that all they had to do was sit them down and give them a stern lecture, it would have saved a whole lot of strife and bloodshed. And so begins the Third Age of Mankind.
And because I'm a sucker for punishment, I get to watch an hour of Charmed... and now that they're living in utopia (and Brody is dead), it's up to Leo to realise everything is bad and he has to undo what has been done. I presume they're going to kill him off here (especially if the rumours about the 150th episode are anything to go by). Huh... Kerr Smith is still listed as a guest star... flash backs?
Huh? Another unbeatable bad-guy defeated by a stern talking to... what is it with these omnipotent villains? And Leo is back... but he has to answer to the Elders... and that won't go well... Oh, but Brody is back... how did that happen? Oh, they made him a whitelighter. What a cop out. But I guess one of the sisters need to hang on to a boyfriend eventually. Hold it - he's leaving? But if he's a whitelighter he could drop in whenever he had a free moment!
Back to B5, and there's another war to deal with - this time against Earth. Although everyone is celebrating the end of the Shadow war, "Epiphanies" sees the Psi-Corps given orders by the President to shut down Babylon 5.
Garibaldi gets a mysterious swirly graphic sent to him... so what has he been programmed to do? Well, resign apparently. Londo's back on the station, and so's Bester. Oh, and the President has ordered that no Earth ship is allowed to or from Babylon 5.
Bester insists on going to Z'ha'dum in return for information on the President's plans. There's a bunch of allies of the Shadows leaving when they get there, and the planet blows up. Where have those allies gone? Centauri Prime by the looks of things.
Zack tries to make friends with Lyta... who's definitely more than the P5 she was rated as...
The next episode, "The Illusion Of Truth" sees ISN come to B5 to make another report. Of course, with the network in government hands and the President determined to shut down B5, this is going to be a very skewed report...
Wow, it's like watching Fox News... Government propaganda, masquerading as hard-hitting news reportage. The allegedly qualified expert spouting any rubbish that follows the party line. Yes, definitely an offspring of the Murdoch "news" enterprise.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Okay, over the past two days I've watched Predator 2, Unbreakable, and Signs, but had nothing substantial to say about any of them... Predator 2 wasn't as good as I remember, and M. Nigh Unspellable really is waaay too pretentious... but he makes good films.
And that brings us to today - and the first two episodes of Point Pleasant. The premise sounded like it might be quite good, although a little soap-opera-ey. Sort of the modern day American Gothic (with the usual pretty teenage cast). Although I enjoyed the two episodes, I've noticed that the ratings figures for its airings have dropped off the scale, so it's probably not long for this world... can they make a sci-fi show that sticks around for a while? It looks like I'll have to try Medium at some point, as that seems to be getting good ratings...
And as anyone can see, I'm procrastinating over starting another series... I should jump into B5, but I'd like to break it up... I'm just not sure what to break it up with...
So we'll continue with the single discs... and take "Doctor Who: Horror Of Fang Rock" with Tom Baker. From the synopsis, I don't think I've seen this one before, but who knows!
Okay, we have a lighthouse, or at least, a vaguely convincing model of a lighthouse, and a badly drawn pink streak runs across the image and disappears into the sea. And then a thick fog rolls in unexpectedly. And then the Tardis turns up. Apparently they were looking for Brighton but missed by a little.
It's a pretty good story - scout for the invasion of earth - stalks crew in lighthouse, and the setting makes for some tension as they're dodging the creature up and down the winding staircase. The creature itself is a bit disappointing (and sounds a lot like a dalek when it talks), and it apparently has tentacles, although you almost never see them.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
End of Season 3 (Starts with Z, Ends With 'ha'dum)
"Shadow Dancing" sees the Alliance trying to make a substantive strike against the Shadows (based on Sheridan's spotting of the Shadows' plans in the last episode). Of course, persuading the League worlds to provide ships is a tough job, especially when they can't tell them what the mission is.
Unfortunately, they need a scout ship in the area, to alert the fleet when the Shadows turn up... so Marcus and Ivanova have a tough mission. And darn it, I can't remember the Egyptian blessing that Sheridan would have given to Ivanova to send them off - oh, Ivanova supplies it - "May God stand between you and harm, in all the empty places where you must walk." I presume they didn't have God there though.
Tourists in Down Below? Franklin doesn't look like he's doing all that well. And there's more of the Z Minus countdown. Okay, Franklin intervenes in a mugging, and gets stabbed for his troubles. Of course, when his double shows up, he's got a lot to answer for.
Ivanova and Marcus get into difficulty when a Shadow scout ship turns up, and they need to jam its transmission to keep the rest of the Shadow fleet coming in. But in stopping it, their engines are damaged, and the rest of the fleet is here...
Garibaldi puts it best after the battle - "Now that we've shown we can hurt them, how long until they come knocking?" Well, they don't come with warships... they send a personal message... picking up from Delenn's vision in War Without End - she's watching Sheridan sleep, and someone important comes calling...
And then, the Z countdown makes sense, with the last episode, "Z'ha'dum."
Okay, Anna Sheridan has come to the station... didn't she die on Z'ha'dum with the rest of the Icarus crew? And apparently the Minbari equivalent of "What is past, is prologue" is "What is past, is also sometimes future"? Huh?
But Anna has all the answers... as long as John goes to Z'ha'dum to get them... didn't Kosh have a saying about that? Oh yeah, easy to forget (?!) "If you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die!" Probably shouldn't take that offer John...
Londo gets promoted to the royal court - adviser to Emperor Cartagia on matters of planetary security - and a Shadow agent turns up warning Londo to leave the station really damn sharpish if he values his life.
Oh, and Anna's scarring on her neck? It matches the implants in the telepaths they rescued in Ship Of Tears.
Okay, Anna spills the beans... well, not really, but apparently IPX planted a homing device in the first Shadow ship found on Mars... which allowed them to track down Z'ha'dum. Then they went there, found the Shadows, and the rest of the crew died in an accident (which destroyed the comms system) - and in return for not harming the Shadows (huh?!), the surviving crew members were allowed to study their technology. Yeah... and I have ten thousand acres of swampland and a bridge I want to sell you...
Okay, Garibaldi's covering up something for the Captain... and the talking about the weather thing is a little spy vs. spy, but what can you do?
Yeesh... I'm narrating the episode... but there's so much of interest here... oh, and we have three of the crew of the Icarus (Anna, and Morden we've already met). The other member, Justin, an elderly gentlemen who does a good job of talking in riddles... he's something of a middle man, and he's deciding what the hem length should be this year... hopefully long, with a well turned ankle...
Sheridan thinks going to Z'ha'dum will prevent the fall of Centuari Prime... Delenn really should do a better job of warning him against going when she meets him there in 20 years... especially after she knows the whole story...
Okay, and the Vorlons are the Lords of Order... while the Shadows are Lords of Chaos... which was a pretty cool game that could have done with more levels and a PC conversion...
Oh, and Shadow ships are going to drop in on the station, which forces them to scramble all the fighter squadrons (including Garibaldi... which'll be important later).
Two of the nuclear devices G'Kar was obtaining are missing... I wonder where they could have gone! So John gets to stand over a big pit... with Anna trying to persuade him to come back inside... with the White Star (and its cargo) heading planetwards... and with Kosh's final message "Jump. Jump Now!"
And Garibaldi's last line when the Shadows pull out? "What the hell?"
And G'Kar gives good speech... Moments of Transition... Moments of Revelation... Okay, what's Garibaldi's first name? Michael? They don't use it very often... but his Star Fury appears to be trapped in a Shadow ship... And that's a kickarse season ending...
And then, because I'm a sucker for punishment, I'm watching the JMS commentary on the last episode... Ah, useful information - "Why are you here, and where are you going" are the questions for the Humans... this'll come up when we get to Crusade... and I think the only remaining question pairing is "Who do you serve, and who do you trust?" which may be the Drakh question... but it could come from somewhere else...
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Picking up after all the action, Lyta is looking for details of Kosh's death when she returns to the station in "Walkabout" - and we get a replacement Vorlon Ambassador... Also called Kosh, but looking a lot more sinister... And his reply when they try to get a better name for him? "We are all Kosh!" whatever the hell that means! But obviously the episode's focus is Franklin's wanderings since his resignation.
A few Narn warships appear to have survived the war, and at least one is part of the defence force taking turns to guard the station.
Franklin has gone Walkabout, and meets up with a singer in a nightclub, who wants him to get drugs for her.
Meanwhile, Sheridan sets out to determine whether their theory that telepaths can be used to fight the Shadows - taking Lyta along for the test. It initially goes okay, Lyta (after finding the fragment of Kosh residing in Sheridan's mind) manages to freeze one Shadow ship, but it takes everything the White Star has (including taking the jump engines offline) to destroy it... so when four more Shadow ships turn up, things obviously aren't looking good.
The next episode, "Grey 17 Is Missing," sees the station recruiting real telepaths to fight in the war... and they've got to track down Franklin again to see if he has the files from the Telepath Railroad he was running.
A missing maintenance worker in Grey 16 leads to Garibaldi's discovery that there's a whole level of Grey Sector that's been sealed up. Of course, this is a really dopey A story, but meanwhile, the Rangers are looking for a new commander - and Rathenn, Sinclair's second in command, suggests Delenn would be good for the job.
Garibaldi gets to deal with a crazy cult on a sealed off level. Neroon turns up to challenge Delenn for the leadership of the Rangers. Lennier is forced to vow that he will not tell Sheridan of this... so he twists the logic around until he's able to tell Marcus... who agrees to try and delay Neroon long enough for the ceremony to take place.
Z Minus 14 Days - and the telepaths are shipping out to the front lines of the war... oh, and Brother Theo makes a re-appearance. And G'Kar wishes to send a Narn bodyguard along with each telepath shipped to the front lines. Londo wants to deal with G'Kar now... which would entail getting him off the station (and back to Narn). In "And The Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place" we get four other priests (of various denominations) visiting the station to see Theo and Lord Refa coming back to talk to Londo.
After much politicking and Centauri intrigue (oh, and persuading G'Kar to go to Narn to rescue Na'Toth who's apparently being held prisoner there), Sheridan realised the Shadow attacks are herding refugees to one area, before attacking them for maximum effect, apparently like San Diego... I presume that was why it was a Badland when we saw it in Spider In The Web? Any hints what the attack was? You know, just so I know to be out of town then...
And then the extremely surreal Londo/Refa/G'Kar/Narns sequence with the gospel music...
Oh, and Delenn's been hiding a whole darned fleet of White Star ships... the biggest problem with which, is the fact no-one bothers to name the darned things - they're all "White Star 27" and "White Star 15" and such like...
And then there were two...
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
ISN News is back online, but the propaganda has taken over in "Ship Of Tears." Oh, and Bester's back, floating in space in a Black Omega Star Fury, and broadcasting a distress signal that the Captain responds to.
G'Kar forces the issue over his joining the War Council. And Bester insists that he can't help them if they drug him to supress his abilities again.
Bester knows of a convoy carrying weapons and supplies to the Shadows, and only he can pinpoint the ships in Hyperspace. They take the White Star, which seems a little incautious considering Bester is along. The succeed in capturing the ship, and discover that it was carrying telepaths in stasis. Why they're described as weapon system components is the big mystery...
Delenn has to tell G'Kar that they knew about the Shadows before they were employed to take the Narn homeworld.
They defrost one of the passengers, but she reacts badly, forming some sort of interface with the computer. She and Bester appear to know each other, and she seems docile until she sees the Psi-Corps logo, at which time she reacts with electrical force.
Before Stephen manages to put her back to sleep, she manages to transmit images to Bester. And then they get the rest of the story... Bester is in love with her, and she's carrying his child. Oh, and the Shadows were planning to use the telepaths as pilots of their living ships.
Oh, and somehow they've managed to construct a whole new command center for running the war on the station. And Garibaldi finally finds something useful in the book of G'Quan. They're apparently afraid of telepaths... and it's come at just the right time, as the Shadows are openly attacking the Brakiri.
Mr Morden makes it back onto the station, and Londo is arranging things for Adira's return... "Interludes And Examinations" sees Sheridan needing a victory against the Shadows to get the League worlds to join together. And Franklin is losing it, what with the Stim addiction, and the stress of the job.
There are a lot of flashbacks to Londo's original meeting with Adira... presumably to cut a few costs considering the crazy space battles coming up.
Morden learns of Adira when he runs into Vir by the marketplace. Garibaldi confronts Franklin about his stim abuse... and Franlin has to make a decision about his future.
Sheridan asks Kosh to help in one fight - to give them one victory - and Kosh's reply? Well, there's a bit of petty squabbling between him and Kosh first... and then? "I will not be there to help you when you go to Z'ha'dum." "You always said I'd die if I went to Z'ha'dum" "Yes, now."
So the Vorlons intervene in a Shadow attack on Brakiri space... now, I'm sure there's some significance to the enemy being triangles on the display and the good guys being stars, but they really should have put it the other way around as the stars look like spidery Shadow ships...
Adira doesn't make it to the station - dying en route. Londo jumps to the conclusion that she was poisoned, and it was Refa's doing in revenge for Londo's poisoning of him a few episodes ago... and he does the stupid thing and falls back in with Mr. Morden (who obviously arranged the death).
All the ambassadors sign on to the alliance. And the price of the Vorlon intervention - the Shadows attack Kosh, killing him. Of course, Kosh visits Sheridan one last time in his sleep, appearing as his father... but he doesn't say anything substantial...
And Franklin takes a leave of absence.
And then we get to see Ranger headquarters on Minbar... well, briefly, when Ranger One gets a cryptic message - a letter addressed to him, to be opened on that date, from Valen. Oh, and B5 gets a distress call from B5 - made by Susan Ivanova - being transmitted from the site of B4's disappearance. Everything is a little strange at first in the two part "War Without End"... which is really a three part episode, but part 1 was in season 1 (Babylon Squared).
But we gets hints from the mysterious Vorlon about Sinclair's future - "He is the closed circle, he is returning to the beginning."
Garibaldi goes to investigate B5 - and finds that the rift is bigger than before, being opened by a beam emitted from Epsilon 3. He gets to witness the destruction of Babylon 5 at the hands of the Shadows.
We get some back story, about the war against the Shadows 1000 years ago... and they were losing, with their starbase destroyed. Amazingly, a replacement base appeared - Babylon 4 - sent back in time 1000 years to save the war effort. But first, there's it's initial disappearance to deal with - the Shadows attempted to destroy it when its construction was finished. And the records show the White Star was there to save, and then steal the station...
Yes, this is very, very silly... but it's such an elegant set of time travel sequences. And Ivanova's reaction sums up how this all sounds. "I'll be in the car."
Sinclair gives his goodbyes to Garibaldi, while the White Star fights the Shadow attempts to destroy the station with a fusion bomb. And in destroying the bomb, Sheridan's time stabiliser is damaged and he becomes unstuck in time.
Sheridan's first reappearance - Centauri Prime, 20 years in the future, and Londo is Emperor - old and grey, and clearly near the end. Apparently, Sheridan didn't do a very good cleanup job after the war, and a few of the Shadows' minions came to Centauri Prime, and the planet isn't in very good shape - fires burn everywhere, and buildings appear in disrepair.
Meanwhile, everyone else manages to sneak on board Babylon 4, and start setting up the homing device so they can move the station through time.
And then on to part 2... and Sheridan gets a very friendly reunion with Delenn on Centauri Prime - and she tells him their son is safe. And she tries to save him some of the pain and grief that is coming in the future - and tries to warn him off going to Z'ha'dum.
Londo is drunk enough to put his keeper to sleep, so that he may let Sheridan and Delenn escape. But he's not going to make it, which is when G'Kar steps in, and we get the death scene that was fortold many years previous... and Vir's taking of the throne as Emperor.
Delenn gets a flash forward to her being in Sheridan's quarters, handling a snow globe, that she drops in shock after some woman arrives at the door.
Sinclair is mysteriously aged by the time shift - to match his appearance at the end of Babylon Squared when talking to Delenn... apparently due to his previous exposure to the tachyon field without protection.
Finally, after Sinclair puts his foot down about taking the station back in time, Zathras explains about The One... how all is three... as Sinclair, Delenn, and Sheridan are three, as they are one, as they are The One. Sinclair is The One Who Was. Delenn is The One Who Is. And Sheridan is The One Who Will Be. And then Sinclair and Zathras take the station back 1000 years to fight the last Shadow war... and we finally find out how Valen can be Minbari not born of Minbari.
Monday, January 24, 2005
The Big Three
"Messages From Earth" sees Marcus smuggling a woman onto the station. And G'Kar seems to be enjoying his incarceration - although the other prisoners think he's being tortured when he starts singing.
The woman is an employee of IPX, and she has knowledge of a Shadow ship being unearthed on Mars. However, another ship has now been found on Ganymede, and Earth doesn't want to give this one back to the Shadows. They'd rather take it back to Earth for study... but Sheridan has decided to stop the ship.
The Night Watch has been given new orders to investigate everybody even on the basis of anonymous tip-offs. And Sheridan's mission is raising suspicions about his absence.
Sheridan has to cope with the Minbari beds, inclined at an angle as they are.
Unfortunately for the White Star, they get there just too late - seeing the Shadow ship awakened and insane. Fortunately, they manage to destroy it in Jupiter's gravity well. However, the Agamemnon shows up to stop them... and the Captain is obviously reluctant to fire on his old ship.
Zack's still having a major conflict between duties to the Night Watch, and friendship with Garibaldi. And the President declares martial law...
Londo continues to criticize Vir's reports about the Minbari, and he gets news that Lady Morella, the seeress is coming to the station. Of course, everything's going to hell back on Earth, but as we're in the series title episode "Point Of No Return" we'd pretty much expect some action.
The Night Watch are having a secret meeting, and G'Kar is still singing - but Garibaldi releases him as they need the personnel out maintaining security rather than guarding a non-threatening prisoner...
Sheridan gets a message from Earth, with new orders, including the Political Office turning over all Earth security to Night Watch... however, the message also tells the Captain to "respect the chain of command."
General Hague ends up in a firefight with other Earthforce ships. Sheridan has to declare martial law on the station, but the fighting has already broken out in the Zocalo.
The Captain comes up with a plan to put the Narn in charge of security, and leaks it to the Night Watch (through Zack) that a Narn ship will dock shortly - and all of Night Watch end up penned in... oh, and Zack ends up on the right side... finally. And the Narn do get to take up the slack in security.
Morella gives Londo his reading - there are still three opportunities to avoid the fire. Save the eye that does not see, not kill the one who is already dead, and surrender himself to his greatest fear, knowing it will destroy him... he's already wasted two opportunities... oh, and one more thing... Londo wil be Emperor... as will Vir...
G'Kar wants to be let in on the Council in return for his help with security. And Hague's little rebellion is not going all that well...
"Severed Dreams" sees the conflict come to B5 - the Alexander (Hague's ship) arrives seeking repairs. Unfortunately, Hague didn't make it. Earth starts bombing Mars. Delenn has to go and see the Grey Council, as the Shadows have started their attacks - and have coerced a number of the League worlds into a combined alliance.
Earthforce ships are on their way to take control of the station - they don't want B5 breaking away from Earth like some of the outer colonies have.
Delenn breaks the Grey Council, and the Worker and Religious Castes go their own way...
A major firefight breaks out around B5, and the Churchill is lost (but takes out the Roanoke in its last act). Unfortunately, just when they think its all over, more ships arrive. Fortunately, so do the Minbari. Of course, Delenn's entrance is completely over the top...
After taking a break from B5 to watch X2: X-Men United on TV... it's not completely terrible, but it still feels like a set-up for the Phoenix saga rather than an actual movie in itself.
And then, back to B5 with the cleanup episode "Ceremonies Of Light And Dark." Someone on the station wants to kill Sheridan, and Delenn wants to hold the Rebirth ceremony. Oh, and Lord Refa visits the station.
Londo poisons Refa to give him enough leverage to stop any further dealings with the Shadows. Garibaldi's attempts to secure the computer system accidentally turn the AI system back on. Delenn is taken prisoner by the Night Watch and used to get rid of the Minbari warships.
The ceremony does take place. Sheridan gives up his uniform, and admits how much he cares for Delenn. Marcus has to give up his clinging to what he lost. Garibaldi is afraid all the time of what he might do if he ever let go. Ivanova loved Talia. Franklin finally admits he has a problem with stims. Lennier admits to Marcus that he loves Delenn.
And once the command staff have given up their Earth Force uniforms, Delenn gives them new ones.
Oh, and I'll have to watch another really terrible Charmed episode. Utopia is here, and the next episode looks to be another comedy but then, that might just be the WB's normally terrible trailers.
Okay, back to B5 - and after Ivanova's dream of going to C&C naked, we cut to Centauri Prime, where Vir meets with the Prime Minister, who has a very poor Narn joke... But Vir is having lots of problems with the Narn this episode, and obviously he's getting all the focus today in "Sic Transit Vir."
Londo is having an insect infestation problem in his quarters. And Vir's future wife shows up - Lyndisty - and she's a little too bloodthirsty for Vir's tastes, although the fact that he appears to be slaughtering thousands of Narn seems to go down well. Well, okay they're just disappearing at the request of Abrahamo Lincolni, a suspicious name for a Centuari...
Sheridan cooks dinner for Delenn, although I'm not sure it's entirely edible when she's desperately shaking condiments over it...
One of the Narn has declared a blood oath over the missing Narns, and the truth about Vir's activities come out - he's been smuggling out injured women and children, and declaring them dead so that the Centauri homeworld don't investigate their disappearance.
Lyndisty meanwhile manages to capture a related Narn trying to carry on the blood oath, and then tells Vir about her father's activities "culling the herds" on the Narn homeworld to remove aggression. But you know, she's slightly crazy... saving the death of the Narn for Vir's hands... "after the first few, it gets easier..." She should know, she's done it hundreds of times!
Disc 4 starts with "A Late Delivery From Avalon" and Garibaldi is having a problem with the mail. Well, okay, really it's an excuse for Michael York to play King Arthur... running about the station with a sword, suffering from post traumatic stress due to being the gunner that started the Earth-Minbari war...
Yes, it's a pointless episode, no it doesn't pogress the arc anywhere, yes we get a little bit more about the war, but it's not as if we really care at this point - we've got Earth and the Shadows to worry about...
Okay, Marcus and G'Kar get some good scenes in this show, but otherwise, one you can skip.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Up To The Arc
We've finished Mutant X, so we can go back to season 3 of Babylon 5, and in three episodes time, we hit the big three part storyline... but first we have to get through "Voices Of Authority." The council wants to make contact with the remaining First Ones, in the hope of forming an alliance with them... Draal makes an appearance, Sheridan gets embroiled in politicking and can't go on the search, so Ivanova gets to go hunting. G'Kar has heard about the Rangers.
NightWatch assign a Political Officer to the station, and Zack Allen finds his loyalties torn over who to report what to (like Garibaldi's mysterious Code 7R).
We get to see Sigma 957 again... but Ivanova's wandering around in the Great Machine attracts the attentions of the Shadows. Oh, and she finds the evidence against Vice-President Clark in the death of President Santiago.
Oh, and evil naked women - not to be slept with!
Ivanova gets to insult the First Ones after they tell her "Zog" to her request for help in the war. The Political Officer gets recalled to Earth after the footage gets released. Garibaldi gets given the Book of G'Quan by G'Kar to read... presumably it'll help with the upcoming war?
Next up "Dust To Dust" and tension is cranking up over the Ministry of Peace and it's charges of sedition against anyone with anti-Clark opinions. Alfred Bester returns to the station tracking a Dust dealer - some drug that gives telepathic abilities to people.
Vir makes a return to the station... Ivanova nearly gives in to her impulse to kill Bester before he comes on the station... Bester is a little distracted by the Minbari telepaths that are in on the meeting with the command staff.
Bester manages to see the positive in being called a pinata. Vir's obviously come back in time to be beaten up by G'Kar... who's now going to attack Londo, having taken a suitable quantity of Dust.
G'Kar finally discovers that Londo was dealing with the Shadows. But Kosh steps in to stop any further digging... and G'Kar finally hits bottom and start clawing his way back up to the light.
Oh, crackling speaker is back in "Exogenesis" and we get to meet the other half of the knowledge-power pairing, the Vendrizi. Corwin gets a promotion to Lieutenant, and the command staff consider bringing him into their War Council.
And that was so unmemorable, I had nothing else to say about it... I know it probably had to be in there, but yeesh, get on with the arc already (heh, knowing the next three episodes, I guess they needed a little quiet moment first!).
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Mutant X is sooooo over!
Okay, I've got to finish Mutant X, but there's six episodes to go, and my brain might start dribbling out of my ears before I finish that many. But lets gets started with "Presumed Guilty." And it opens with confusion - two mutants looking to go into the underground - well, one of them is, the other one seems a lot more reluctant. An accident happens and the girl dies. At this point, Adam shows up, questions the guy about what happened, the guy reacts with anger and then drains some energy from Adam, leaving him unconscious/dead on the floor.
When Adam awakens, Griffin has framed him for the murder of his girlfriend, and Adam doesn't remember anything (Griffin absorbed all of his memories). After much running around, Adam gets arrested, and Griffin gets captured by reptile girl (Eckhart's latest goon... she has a second eyelid, so she's immune to the memory-sucking mutant).
Of course, Eckhart uses Griffin to invade Sanctuary... Adam manages to get his memory back... and reptile girl can apparently climb walls even when no skin is touching the wall - how does she manage that in high-heeled boots?
Next, "Ex Marks The Spot" sees Callum Keith Rennie make a guest appearance as an ex-con who's negotiating a job in one of Mutant X's safehouses. Obviously Jesse and Brennan don't particularly like the intrusion and deal with the rest of the criminals. Zak Lockhart (Callum Keith Rennie) apparently knows Shalimar (oh, and he's a new mutant... but I guess we'll have to wait a while to see what his powers are...).
Oh, Zak can detect what's on the other side of a wall, just by touching it (which'd come in very handy working out which safes to open).
Alright, so the Russian counterpart of Genomex - or really their head geneticist - was researching the DNA strand that controls free will. And he hid all his research in his prize Faberge egg. So now they've got to stage an over the top breakin at an auction house to get the egg out. And obviously Shalimar has to get over her history with Zak to work with him to get into the safe.
Episode three tonight is "Nothing To Fear" and sees Shalimar hooking up with a new mutant frantically running from a mob... who are presumably GSA goons wanting to catch him. Fortunately Brennan is on hand to handle the excess.
The mutant, who I can't quite place, but looks vaguely familiar, places some mark on Shalimar's temple, and makes some crystalline connection, that Brennan fortunately turns up to break. The mutant runs away at this point...
Okay, I've looked up the mutant, don't recognize him... he's been in lots of things but nothing memorable. He can apparently control dreams, so presumably he's going to have some influence over Shalimar...
Okay, fun little episode where we get a better understanding of our lead characters' fears... and a reasonably nice "Eckhart loses" ending.
And then we're on to episode 20, with another familiar looking guest mutant... I'm guessing she's a good girl... 'cause they've had waaaaay too may mutants who are rescued who work for the GSA. Oh, she's a feral... but she's apparently crossed with a scorpion... so what's with the seductive pheromones?
In "Deadly Desire" Brennan's previous associate is hooked up with the previously mentioned feral, and they're after some obscure chemical that the GSA are also after... so cue pointless three way crossfire. However, the feral sees Brennan in action and decides he'd make a suitable mate, so doses him with her pheromones and then sleeps with him.
Of course, dating a scorpion ends badly for Brennan, but we knew that was coming, especially as aforementioned feral has had a run of guest appearances as villainous femme-fatale characters (the Seer in Charmed, Desiree Atkins in Smallville).
In "Dancing On The Razor" Proxy Blue announces footage of a recent Mutant X / GSA fight in available for purchase... so obviously both parties are desperate to get hold of the video before it can be broadcast.
Of course, Emma's wardrobe leaves much to be desired! (Or at least, the end of the episode leaves it that way... the rest is thoroughly unmemorable, other than the GSA backing down from a fight).
Finally in "A Breed Apart" Brennan and Shalimar lose a new mutant to the GSA... but all the GSA agents were new mutants... and Brennan's powers malfunctioned mid-fight.
Of course, this is a whole big scheme to break Ashlocke out of statis at the GSA... and who is he you might ask... well, so far we have no idea, but he's going to pop up in season 2, so we'll pretend he's important. Oh, he's patient zero... the first child of Genomex.
Okay, all of Mutant X's powers are running rampant... there's a "new mutant growth spurt" going on. Ashlocke's forming a new club... and of course the blonde from the teaser is a part of it... and yes, that's Michael Easton of VR.5 non-fame (or Total Recall 2070, or Two)...
Apparently, Gabriel Ashlocke isn't just a Feral or a Psionic, but he's got all four powers... Molecular and Elemental as well... although we're probably not going to see anything of his powers this season... Oh, and it was Adam who developed the sub-dermal governor and statis pod, purely for Ashlocke... so he's suitably worried...
Oh, and once Ashlocke has invaded Genomex, he places Eckhart in statis (Yay!)... but Mutant X have got there too... so we get to see a Brennan - Shalimar fight...
And everyone gets a handle on their new enhanced powers (Brennan can fly, Jesse can phase other objects so people can pass through, Emma can zap people, and Shalimar can still has the strength of 10 tigers...). But Ashlocke has control of Genomex... "a lunatic with a lust for an empire."
Okay - it wasn't the worst series in the world... it's biggest problem was it did very little that was original. Most of season 1 was derivative - stolen from any number of previous sources. Hell, when they started doing 3 or 4 "Evil Character" episodes in a row towards the end, you could see they were reaching.
They'd probably have been better releasing Ashlocke in episode 17 or 18, and building his organization over the last 5 episodes, because throwing him in to the last episode of the season weakens the "Eckhart in static chamber" moment and feels like deus ex machina.
Friday, January 21, 2005
After last night's coming in and crashing, tonight started with finding the Strange finale "Asmoth" on Showtime... it's still a reasonably intriguing show, but they'd have needed to make a second series to tie up some loose ends... like was the priest a good guy or a demon? Can they save the kid? And can Tom Baker look any sillier?
Then we went back to Mutant X, and Emma gets seduced by a tall dark stranger in a club... Only he appears to want to suck her life out with a kiss... So Brennan gets some over-the-top wire work in the subsequent fight. All this in the teaser of "Lazarus Syndrome."
Eckhart's latest henchperson, the unlikely named Ms Freeze (who has thermal control, so can heat coffee as well as cool stuff), has to hunt down the guy involved - who's been preying on a whole host of female new mutants.
They track him down, Brennan has a pointless fight with him, and the GSA hit him with a car and kill him. Then Emma starts seeing him when he isn't there.
Of course, Pamela Freeze and Emma get captured by the vampire, and Emma has to help the GSA agent use her powers to escape the handcuffs. Unfortunately, it doesn't end well for Ms. Freeze... but her GSA tracking chip might give Caleb reason to trust Emma.
Okay... this wans't the worlds best episode, but there sure was a lot of Emma... which is never a bad thing!
It's followed by "Interface," where Emma is attacked while out shopping, and Shalimar drops in at the last minute after buying some bricks to put in her shopping bags. Meanwhile, someone has broken into a safehouse and captured all the residents.. obviously the GSA.
Unfortunately, the GSA appear to have an agent who can telepathically interface with computers, and she is seriously career minded... and Emma was her best friend back at high school... so lets expect a little undercover work... and can I say, having two Emma-centric episodes in a row can never be a bad thing!
And then, in a completely pointless fight scene, a GSA agent with extreme martial arts skills takes on Brennan and Jesse at a safe house... oh, and he can teleport as well... but it's all a training simulation... how pointless...
But this was fun - get Emma captured by the GSA, let Michelle find out how bad Genomex are, escape Genomex again, and obviously heal Michelle of her slowly degrading DNA...
Oh, okay... really bad CGI makes up the fourth act... and the telempath has to give emotions to the emotionally deficient. Erm... and where did her clothes go?!
Not the worlds best episode, but it finishes the disc... only 6 more episodes to go... and still nothing has happened in this show. I guess I'm spoiled by B5 (which I'm trying to avoid while I finish Mutant X because the last episode of the next B5 disc is the first part of the 3 part breakaway from Earth extravaganza... and I probably won't stop at 1 disc).
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
A Day In The Strife...
B5 is in turmoil due to new weapons searches instituted to cargo, and Sheridan and Ivanova are facing down a bunch of angry shipping guys. So obviously Sheridan pulls the macho crap - swapping his gun for the loudmouth's metal bar, and facing him down. Meanwhile, Na'Far arrives to replace G'Kar as the Narn ambassador (and brings Ta'Lon with him). It's "A Day In The Strife," and first contact with a science probe is made - it wants them to answer a whole bunch of questions in return for a whole bunch of useful knowledge.
Londo persuades Delenn to make Vir the Centauri representative to Minbar, to get him away from the station. Garibaldi holds an intervention with Franklin that doesn't get through.
"Passing Through Gethsemane" sees Brother Edward, one of the monks that turned up a couple of episodes ago being haunted by the image of a black rose. And Lyta makes a return from the Vorlon homeworld... Of course, Brad Dourif carries this episode - like he does most times he's a guest star.
Oh, and rather than watch any more episodes, I found myself over here, reading X-Files / Voyager fanfic...
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Change Of Plan
Is it just me or is Mutant X just not all that gripping? Oh well, four more episodes tonight - probably... we'll see after the first two if I have a change of heart... We've had the evil double episode, so we've got the "we're running out of money, better have a clip show" episode, maybe the "no-one's ever set an episode on an aircraft... let's do that..." episode...
But we kick off with "Blood Ties" - the "distant family members mysteriously show up and involve our heroes in trouble" episode. So Jesse's father is a covert operative? And he's stolen a disc from a company that implicates the GSA in some accident - and Eckhart temporarily assigns a mutant with genetically enhanced hearing to track it down.
We get a humourous moment when Emma and Shalimar have to infiltrate the company that had the accident and they get into a debate about underwear - and Emma's going commando...
Otherwise this is about as predictable as episodes come...
Then in "Altered Ego" the GSA snatch a guy who can kill plants, while Shalimar manages to rescue his sister? Girlfriend? Associate? Whatever... one gets captured and one gets away in the teaser. Presumably plant-killing guy would have been the better one to rescue, as the girl seems to be able to bring out people's worst instincts... or as she describes it, she can turn bad people good. Adam worked with her father, which explains his interest... And why this won't end well...
Of course, she manages to work her evil magic on Adam, and he uses his knowledge of everyone's powers to defeat them. So we have evil double episode, and then brainwashing evil episode. Can they make anyone else evil in this show?
Heh, yes, I was right, after two episodes, I ended up watching the commentary to Blood Ties (with Forbed March and Victoria Pratt), and then didn't want to do two whole episodes, so swapped out the disc.
Instead, I'm starting S3 of B5... with "Matters Of Honor." And we open with Sheridan thanking Kosh for saving his life. Apparently though, being seen by so many strains Kosh, so he had to rest for a week. And why did Kosh take the risk? "It was necessary!" And yes, I do love Kosh... he gives the best cryptic answers of anyone...
Marcus Cole makes his first appearance as this season's extra cast member... making up for Keffer's loss last season. And Ivanova gets to give the title spiel this season. She really should have stuck around for all five years... but more on that later...
We have a change in the theme music here... and I've never been sure I particularly like the more martial theme... maybe it'll grow on me... but I doubt it as this'll be my fourth viewing.
And now they've put the title up, I can bitch about having to check my spelling... yes, I spelled Honour with a U... because it has one damnit... and if the Americans can't spell, it's not my fault!
We have guest star David Endawi, Earthforce special intelligence, visiting the station and hoping to meet with the Captain and Ambassador Delenn. Medlab has expanded. Oh, and Mr Morden is back... and Londo wants to reconsider their relationship. And I love the little sound effects to indicate the Shadows are prompting him in the meeting.
And of course, Earthforce are there to check if anyone recognizes the Shadow ship Keffer managed to get footage of. Delenn denies all knowledge (that's a lie, but presumably there's a get-out clause from the Minbari do not lie dictum); Londo tells the truth, but he's only seen them in his prophetic dream of them flying overhead on Centauri Prime; G'Kar gives him historical references from the book of G'Quan.
Oh, and Marcus is a cynic. And we get the first CGI Minbari fighting pike... and that would be a cool weapon to have... and girls could even keep them in their purse, as they're nicely collapsible!
And I love the way Ivanova knows everything about the Rangers without having to be told by anyone!
Yay, and the White Star makes an appearance... finally Sheridan has his warship... of course, they're going to get a whole bunch more, but one'll do for now...
Morden makes his deal over which parts of the galaxy the Centauri and the Shadows can conquer. But there's one world that Morden has asked Lord Refa to take for the Shadows. And it's the same world, Zagros 7, that Sheridan has just gone to to save the Ranger training colony.
Morden is seen on Earth, and Sheridan forms a war council... and then breaking my rule, I'm doing another episode...
So "Convictions" sees a whole bunch of missionaries coming to the station, and a bombing campaign making Garibaldi's life hell. Brother Theo and his band of merry men arrive at the station... which sets up Passing Through Gethsemane in a few episodes time...
Lennier does some more lying... which he agrees to do penance for... to get rid of an overly-talkative human, before saving both Delenn and Londo from the next bomb... and getting caught behind the pressure door in the docking bay.
And this is the episode where Londo and G'Kar get trapped in a lift together - we're starting to get to the lowest point of G'Kar, and he's going to start on his upwards journey soon... where's Dust To Dust? Ah... four episodes away.
Monday, January 17, 2005
The End Of Miami
"Money For Nothing" has another appearance of Azura Skye, and an armoured car hijacking that Horatio is in the vicinity of. Oh, and I've seen this one... the money was counterfeit, the armoured car drivers had already switched it. Well, maybe... the bank manager looks pretty suspicious and my memory is fuzzy...
"Wannabe" sees a guy die of multiple stab wounds after running away from his murderer. The precision of the knife wounds indicate a professional. And a guy wearing a CSI Miami jacket invades the crime scene and steals evidence. Meanwhile, Calleigh and Eric have to deal with a woman's body in a dumpster.
Ms Duquesne is scared of ants... strange phobia I guess, and when the girl appears to have eaten fried leafcutter ants before death... can I iterate that with an EWWWW and a YEUCH!
In "Deadline" a man gets shot through the door of an apartment building, and I think I've seen this one... but don't remember what happens. But the press witnessed the murder. And there's plenty of corruption at the newspaper in this episode.
"The Oath" sees a girl pulled over by the police, and then have the officer drop dead when he gets to her window. Horatio still hasn't told Yelina that Madison is Ray's daughter and not his... when is that bombshell going to get dropped?
Oh, and someone's decided to initiate an internal investigation of Horatio... that won't go down well now, will it?
"Not Landing" and a plane crashes on a crowded beach, and only the pilot dies. Well, okay, he was murdered, but we wouldn't have much of a show if he wasn't...
Erm, he was smuggling potassium permanganate? How is that an illegal substance? We made it in chemistry classes in next to no time... so why are the drug dealers having such a hard time with it? If they can make coke can't they make the purple stuff? Of perhaps this is some strange American restriction that drug dealers aren't allowed anything purple?
Alex is injured when a body's jacket explodes on her while being removed. Okay, this is just a surreal episode! Now we've got hidden spy cameras in all the suspects houses...
In "Rap Sheet" a rapper gets shot live on stage... his bodyguard dies though. Meanwhile, another dead body that isn't, and a flying car passenger missed because she was in a tree.
"MIA/NYC Non-Stop" sees the backdoor pilot for the latest spin-off CSI show - New York. So obviously our Miami crime has to get there somehow. Okay, well the opening is back to freaksville - girl comes home from a night of clubbing, there's blood all over the apartment, her father is dead with a knife in his back, and when she finds her mother, her head falls off...
Ah, there we are, the killer flew down from New York... and now he's returned there, so Horatio will have to follow. Cue another change in colour schemes. Grays and blues are the order of the day here. And Gary Sinise makes his appearance, although they do a lot of build-up before actually showing his face. Heh, and the introduction scene between the two leads has Horatio in bright sunny light using the Miami lighting scheme, while Sinise is in the New York colours.
Okay, one to go - "Innocent" - and taking a stab at predicting the story before I start - the internal investigation on Horatio finds him guilty of something, Yelina finds out that Madison is actually Ray's daughter... and there might be a murder. Let's see how we do.
Okay, two teenagers making out in the park find a body in the bushes, so I was right on the murder. The body is apparently that of a porn star, which the police at the scene are quick to point out.
Oh, we have the internal investigation after someone in the lab releases HCl in the lab to destroy a phone conversation recording that could incriminate one of their suspects - a very rich guy with an extremely slick lawyer.
Oh, well Yelina didn't find out about Ray's daughter, but the internal affairs guy she's dating knows about it. So I was nearly right...
Okay, yes, I stopped alternating Mutant X with CSI but it only followed my usual tendency to get distracted by shiny new things - I've seen Mutant X before... but I'll go back to do at least a few more episodes before season 3 of Babylon 5...
So we open with "Crime Of The New Century" and they'd obviously decided the stunt men weren't getting enough to do, as the entire teaser is Jesse and Brennan having a punchup with Eckhart's goons.
AFter the credits, someone breaks into an extremely high tech house, and kidnaps the son (who's a new mutant)... the wife, apparently with premonitions, wakes up realising he's missing. The father is an astronaut and hero, so there's a lot of FBI interest... well, okay, the supposed FBI, as the head of the investigation is really Eckhart's latest second-in-command.
Okay, my speaker's playing stupid interference games again... so "Dark Star Rising" will have to be watched with strange crackling/hissing... anyway, we open with Shalimar getting beaten up by a pair of ferals, and then a huge guy turns up and puts a stop to her - the guy sounds familiar but his face isn't shown.
Oh, another member of the Codename: Eternity cast shows up as Eckhart's henchman - Banning gets to be the head of the company that this Dark Star group tried to attack (TriCorp). Oh... and the guy who appeared off screen is Conan (well, Ralf Moeller, but same difference).
Apparently, TriCorp found a way to turn the squad into Ferals, but the shots killed most of them. Okay, and Eckhart puts his failure of a henchman in cryogenic suspension each week... he's going to need a hell of a big storage are with the number of failures he has!
And then I did the stupid thing and sat through another interminable hour of Charmed... is this show ever going to get any better? Okay, yes, I'm glad they've got away from the stupid gimmick episodes temporarily, but it's still not a very good show at the moment.
But enough moaning, back to Mutant X - "Whiter Shade Of Pale" sees Adam's invention of a genetic sequencer (that stops a new mutant's genes mutating out of control) stolen by an invisible mutant.
Although the invisible mutant turns out to be a former love interest of both Adam and Mason, her genes are breaking down and she's losing control... oh, and she has a daughter that also has her stealth mutation.
Of course, they never actually tell you if the daughter is Adam's, Mason's, or someone else's entirely...
In the subsequent episode, "Double Vision," an old friend of Brennan's asks to meet, but she betrays him and the GSA are there waiting. In the fight her power and Brennan's interact with a big explosion, and suddenly there are two Emmas. Presumably one good and one evil? As that's usually how these things go... although both Buffy and Farscape did splitting a character in two and having them both be the same person, so they could go anywhere with this.
The Emma back at Mutant X appears to be afraid of the medical scanner... oh, and Brennan's friend has been having surgery at the GSA which explains her newfound powers.
Oh, Banning hasn't been cryogenically frozen... he's still alive and kicking. And the GSA appear to have Evil Emma after all... or maybe just the rash and crazy version.
And no, I can't be bothered to link all these titles to a suitable guide...
Sunday, January 16, 2005
"Blood Moon" is the next CSI:Miami episode, and we have Cuban refugees, a cigar-maker dead in his shop, a guy shot at an ATM, and Maria Conchita Alonso as guest star.
"Slow Burn" sees a body found out in the everglades where a firebreak is being burned. Unfortunately, the fire gets out of control and Alex and Eric are caught in it (hiding under a fire blanket). Oh, and the hero of Stargate: Atlantis makes a guest appearance.
"Stalkerazzi" gives us the life and times of a movie star, and the photographer who caught a murder on film. This wasn't a great episode on the whole...
And then, home invasion and murder in "Invasion." Oh, Vincent Ventresca makes a guest appearance - guess he won't be going invisible here though... Is it just me, or when there's a family involved in this show where one of them dies, it almost certainly destroys the family, with large chunks of them going to jail?
Well, I didn't have a lot to say about those did I? I did however go out for a few hours, which kinda cut short the viewage. But I watched Shaman King when I got in - although as this was volume 2 and I haven't seen any of it before it wasn't the easiest to follow show... maybe I'll have to track down the earlier volume...
Saturday, January 15, 2005
We finished a CSI: Miami disc last night, so we're back to Mutant X... and we open with "Lit Fuse" and a girl needs electricity to survive, and drains the power grid to survive. When she's discovered and accidentally kills someone, she runs away.
And oh my goddess - Mr Dent is Genomex's latest hunter... will he die horribly in some obscure fashion like in Codename: Eternity?
Okay, this girl absorbs electricity, and Brennan throws off energy, so there's lots of warnings that they shouldn't get too close, but this episode gets really silly when she absorbs Brennan... and somehow gains his power.
The following episode "In The Presence Of Mine Enemies" sees Proxy Blue reporting on Eckhart himself, and so the GSA are searching for the source of the electronic newswoman. Meanwhile, Jesse is in love with a telekinetic who's decided to go straight after a life of crime.
Oh, and that's not good - the GSA's latest hunter has been set up on a blind date with Brennan by Jesse's girlfriend... it's alright though, the subterfuge doesn't last long, when a whole bunch of agents come in to arrest Toni (Jesse's girlfriend).
Toni is then forced by the GSA to create a new Proxy Blue - a replacement that would spin the news their way. Meanwhile, Mutant X has to invade Genomex because they have a data drive that could pinpoint the location of their headquarters - unfortunately due to Toni's previous hacking...
I then watched "Dog Soldiers" and what's not to like about werewolves and soldiers... okay, it's not really a comedy although there are some amusing moments - like the dog pulling at Sean Pertwee's bandages and the bitching about missing the footy. Oh, and the werewolf costumes in this are pretty good too.
You know, I've been slowly adding my dvd collection to DVD Spot, but their selection of Region 2 discs is pretty minimal, so I'm having to add a lot, and while I'm entering the data and reading the plot for each of the discs, I keep going "Oh, that was actually quite a good movie... I should watch that again." Which was pretty much what led to the Dog Soldiers viewing...
Friday, January 14, 2005
Well, although not commented on because I was dog-tired and needed sleep, I managed to get through two episodes of CSI: Miami last night - "Hurricane Anthony" and "Grand Prix" both of which I appear to have seen before... so I did see some of this series when it aired.
The hurricane episode was a fun episode, unlike the episode about the racing cars, which was predictable and didn't have enough actual racing in it!
Anyway, as I should finish the disc, tonight kicks off with "Big Brother," from which I only remember one of the two stories - the murder of the stockbroker and the webcam sorority house. I'd completely spaced the story about Horatio's brother and the fact that they catch his killer in this episode. Of course, he keeps most of the surrounding details a secret from Yelina, which isn't going to do much for his relationship when it all comes out...
Now, because I seem to be interspersing Mutant X discs with CSI discs, it looks like we have to change show - I don't really want to, but otherwise I might not end up watching the mutant show for months...
So we pick up with "Kilohertz" - about a mutant terrorist who goes by the name of the episode. He can turn into electricity and travel inside computer systems and between satellites. Also, he's more than a little power hungry, so Mutant X trying to find him and bring him in to help them goes a little awry.
Then we have "Meaning of Death" where new mutants' powers start going haywire and causing accidents nationwide. Adam discovers a spore that causes uncontrolled mutation in less than 1% of new mutants, but then becomes extremely contagious when those are infected. Of course, half of Mutant X end up infected and Adam has to make a deal with Genomex to work on a cure... and Eckhart wants to double cross him...
Not a bad episode, and it finished the disc (well, okay, it finishes side A of the disc, and I should really do side B as well, but I'm going to go back to CSI instead).
So Miami picks up with "Bait" and it's amazing how good this picture looks after Mutant X - is it really much better, or is it the scenery and lighting? Anyway, Bait opens with a shark attack... but the woman had previously been shot. She turns out to be part of a sting agency that entraps cheating husbands. And one of those husbands who's been set up is a cop... so Eric tries to keep that quiet while he investigates it.
Then "Extreme" sees a couple of thrillseekers pay for the girl to get kidnapped so they can rescue her. Unfortunately she turns up dead, so what went wrong? Eric gets involved by a woman he helped out a few weeks earlier, but while doing odd jobs for her manages to entangle himself in a car-jacking case that the cop from the previous episode was investigating.
"Complications" - a boy with his telescope finds a body hanging from the ceiling of an apartment a couple of blocks away from him. It looks like a suicide, but it's been staged. And apparently Kristy Swanson is guest starring here... so we'll keep an eye out... ahhh, the dead guy was the anaesthesiologist, and Kristy was the patient getting liposuction... oh, and his lover.
Oh, and another Buffy reference point in this episode - one of the marines from Season 4 is here too... Forrest? I can't remember, but he's the teammate of Riley's who ends up as the second subject of Walsh's Frankenstein-like experiments.
Finally, we have "Witness To Murder," where a mentally handicapped witnesses a murder in a parking garage (yeesh... that should be multi-storey car park... I've been here too long...). The victim was a diamond broker... but he had a gun when he got out of the car, so what happened. Meanwhile, a body pickup in the boondocks leads the CSIs to ask for the body to be returned to the lab due to bad weather before they've taken any trace evidence. Unfortunately, the body never arrives at the lab...
And hey, look, I discovered hyperlinks! Well, okay, usually I forget, or I'm tired, or I just can't be bothered... but tonight you get the episodes in full webby goodness... it'll probably wear off by tomorrow though!
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
CSI: Miami continues with "Hard Time" where a guy masturbating find the lampshade above his bed is full of maggots (due to the dead body in the apartment above). Okay... they aren't pulling any punches here - even with the maggots and blowflys crawling through her head wound, she's still alive... and EWWW! YEUCH!
That was a fun little episode... first one I hadn't seen any of before, and ignoring the really completely horrible start, it wasn't too bad after that. Have they upped the rating for this season? We've had semi-naked models and government sponsored torture, spearguns and drug dealing, and now masturbation and people with maggots in their head wounds... I'm not sure I want to know what'll be next, but here we go with "Death Grip."
A 14 year old girl gets snatched out of her bed, and there's a registered sex offender living nearby. Then the scent dogs find an arm.
Okay, one I had seen before, tennis coach stalks young tennis players... and an amusing interlude with a whole host of crocodiles. Not their best episode.
And it looks like I'm going to do the next disc rather than go back to B5. So we kick this one off with "The Best Defense" - owners of a club get killed by a masked gunmen, but there's one survivor.
You know what I've just noticed? There's never a second case in Miami - they always have just the one story and all the cast deal with it (unlike Vegas, where there's at least two cases in most episodes).
Oh, and Calleigh's father is in it - he's got a job in the public defender's office. So he might be in this series a bit more... of course, him playing a lawyer will be a little strange, as he played the overly-ambitious lawyer Roy Foltrigg in The Client (the TV show) - John Heard.
And there goes my cunning theory, as Eric is working on Calleigh's father's case, and everyone else is working on the club shooting.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
More Mutant X, in this case "Russian Roulette," which sees Tina, a mutant with amphibious abilities, being tracked by some Russians. When Brennan gets in the way, they zap him with some red laser beam thingy which causes him to lose his powers. Unfortunately, he'll die unless they manage to get hold of the weapon that caused it, and the precise triggering sequence.
Not a bad episode on the whole - I missed the twist with the traitor selling out the underground. Jesse gets a lot of screen time here. And what's with Emma's black PVC jumpsuit at the end?
Then "Fool For Love" sees Shalimar going clubbing, to meet another Feral mutant and bring her into the Underground, but she's changed her mind. When the second Feral, Donna, goes off with some guy in a BMW, something happens to her, causing her to go wild.
Shalimar, investigating the woman's apartment, meets another Feral, who's doing research at Genomex in an attempt to remove the mutation from someone's DNA.
A fun little episode, but I'm not at all convinced by the choices Shalimar makes in this episode. Emma gets to have fun at the guys' expense the whole time.
And now, a change of pace - CSI: Miami, Season 2. And it begins with "Blood Brothers" which I apparently saw when it aired... there's probably a reasonable chunk of this series I haven't seen though.
In this, a girl gets run down running out of a fashion show, after clubbing a guy over the head with a wine bottle. Tracking the culprit of the hit and run proves relatively easy, but he appears to have diplomatic immunity (and for prescience - he gets it because the US are using his father to illegally torture prisoners of war taken in Iraq and flown out to a third country by the CIA - murder and political commentary in one easy package!). Horatio is obviously getting pressure from above to drop the case and apologise to the criminal.
Oh, and Horatio needs to decide whether to make a move on his brother's widow...
Jim from Neighbours makes an appearance as a Canadian diplomat.
Okay, I'd only seen the very start of that one, so I probably haven't even seen that much of "Dead Zone." Although the guy with the spear through his chest, pinned to the hull of a boat is familiar looking.
Sunken treasure, drug smuggling, exploding mail, all in all a normal day in Miami... But for an episode named after a Stephen King novel, not very horrifying!
Monday, January 10, 2005
The End... Of Season 2
"Knives" sees Londo's old friend, Urza Jaddo, come to the station. They were colleagues in a duelling society on Centauri Prime. Urza is about to be declared traitor to the Empire back home, and Mollari agrees to do anything to try and stop it.
Meanwhile, the Captain goes wandering around in Grey Sector, and gets zapped by a dying Markab, and subsequently starts hallucinating. The Markab travelled through sector 14 before coming to B5 (past where B4 disappeared), and seems to have picked something up on route.
Unfortunately for Mollari, it's Refa who's bringing the resolution that Urza is a traitor, and when Urza finds out that Refa and Londo have had dealings, he challenges him to a duel.
"Confessions And Lamentations" sees a plague spreading amid the Markab, and the Captain having a loooooong drawn out meal with Delenn... which Lennier spent three days preparing.
A long overdue transport from the Markab homeworld turns out to be floating dead in space - the entire passenger count dead. Unfortunately, when Franklin discovers the plague, he also finds out that it is 100% terminal, and 100% contagious.
The Markab decide to quarantine themselves, and Delenn and Lennier ask to enter the isolation zone to minister to them in their hour of need. Meanwhile, the plague appears to jump species to the Pak'mara.
And now we're into the last four - the big arc episodes leading up to the series finale. Firstly "Divided Loyalties," and the Captain and Garibaldi are considering bringing Talia into their conspiracy. Meanwhile, Ivanova and Talia, are becoming much closer friends. And Lyta Alexander returns to the station, pretty banged up.
Apparently, one of the crew has been programmed by Psi-Corps as a traitor, and Lyta has the password that would destroy the primary personality and bring out the traitor. She wishes to send the password telepathically to each of them to discover who it is, and obviously, Ivanova strenuously protests.
Lyta gets shot at by somebody, and ends up running around Down Below, before calling Delenn to arrange another meeting with the command staff. Ivanova comes clean to Sheridan about being a latent telepath, and a phrase she uses reminds him of his dream with Kosh, where Ivanova says "Do you know who I am?"
Presumably, if the actress hadn't left the show, this episode was why Kosh took that data crystal a year ago, so that they could restore Talia's original personality when the supressed one wiped it out. But I guess we'll never know...
"The Long, Twilight Struggle" sees the Narn hoping to prolong the war by making an all out strike on the Centauri supply depot at Gorash 7. Of course, it'll leave the Narn homeworld defenceless temporarily, but it'll only be a really short time. Unfortunately the Centauri have intercepted the plan and want Londo's forces to protect Gorash 7 while the Centuari fleet attack the Narn homeworld. Oh, and the Centauri are planning to use mass drivers, outlawed by every civilised race, to bombard the planet from space. And Londo is having an attack of consciounce about whether to call in the Shadows again.
Meanwhile, Sheridan and Delenn are invited down to the planet below by Draal (this is the other Draal... he's had a complete physical change of appearance while plugged into the Great Machine). He's agreed that the Great Machine could be useful in their future endeavours, and wants to form an alliance with them.
The Narns surrender (unconditionally), and Ambassador G'Kar is instructed to ask for sanctuary from the Captain. Meanwhile, the Centauri disband the ruling body, and increase the penalty for the murder of any Centauri by any Narn to the execution of 500 Narn.
And Delenn and Garibaldi introduce the Rangers to Sheridan, and he's given equal command with Delenn.
The Vorlons test Delenn in "Comes The Inquisitor." So he sends for an inquisitor, who arrives on a Vorlon transport. He turns out to be from Earth, dressed as a 19th Century gentleman, his name was Sebastian, and he lived in London, 1888.
G'Kar's authority as resistance leader is questioned, and he has to go to Garibaldi and the Captain to get a message from Narn families on the homeworld.
Sebastian goes through a whole questioning session of Delenn, torturing her at every reply he dislikes. Lennier discovers her, and goes to the Captain for help. Sheridan stupidly intervenes, and the Inquisitor turns his attention to him.
Of course, the best bit of this episode is the reveal of the Inquisitor's identity at the end of the episode...
Finally, in "The Fall Of Night" the Centauri have expanded their attacks to include Drazi and Pak'mara territory. Frederick Lance from the Ministry of Peace, and Mr Welles of the Night Watch, come to B5 to try and relieve tensions.
Meanwhile, Keffer gets a tip on a Shadow sighting in hyperspace and proceeds to try and track it down... this won't end well!
And just to heighten tensions, a Narn heavy cruiser, probably the last surviving, turns up at B5 in secret for repairs and resupply - or at least Sanctuary.
And the Night Watch are pushing Zack Allen beyond where he's willing to go in informing on people on the station.
The shoe drops when the Captain finds out Mr Lance is there to sign a non-aggression treaty with the Centauri. The Centauri send a heavy cruiser to handle the situation and a shooting war commences. The Narn ship gets away, but the Centauri ship explodes due to the damage taken.
Unfortunately for the Captain, he's required to apologise to the Centauri for it. But on the way to the Zen garden, a bomb forces Sheridan to jump from the transport tube, and there's only one way to save his life - for Kosh to reveal himself to all those present...
Sunday, January 9, 2005
Mutants and Distractions
And we pick up where we left off... in the middle of the Mutant X pilot. Although, here it's presented in its two part form of "The Shock Of The New" and "I Scream The Body Electric." Anyway... what's it about? Well, John Shea was a researcher at Genomex, an organisation that performed genetic experiments on a whole bunch of children, who've now grown up and developed special abilities... basically they're mutants.
Realising that the organisation wasn't one of the good guys, John Shea went outlaw and started a band of mutants called, obviously enough, Mutant X, while Genomex was headed by the suitably creepy Mason Eckhart, whose job was to capture mutants and make them safe (by sticking chips in their neck and controlling their powers).
Mutant X starts with two members, Shalimar (played by Victoria Pratt) who can leap tall buildings in a single bound and beat up twenty men without breaking a sweat, and Jesse, who can become both hard and tough to deflect bullets, and transparent and airy to pass through matter.
However, Genomex are on the trail of two other mutants, Emma, who can read and control people's thoughts and emotions, and Brennan, who's using his electrical abilities to commit crimes... robbing banks, stealing cars, you know, usual penny ante stuff!
Amazingly I'd mostly forgotten the second part of this pilot... although I think I've seen the first part at least three times - presumably when they're shown together I lose interest half way through and give up.
The effects here are pretty good, but the fight scenes (at least in the first part) are absolutely terrible - the kicks and punches come nowhere near connecting with the stunt doubles who have to react to the blow.
Oh, and Lauren Lee Smith (playing Emma) is a hottie... not that I'm watching this for purely shallow reasons, oh no!
It's nice to see John Shea again, and he's not quite as sinister here as when playing Lex Luthor, but I guess it's difficult to be sinister when playing against Tom McCamus as Eckhart, who's the over the top villain all mutant shows need, while John Shea's Adam is the stereotypical Professor X type mentor figure.
But enough of this sillyness... on to the next thing... or rather back to B5...
Or rather, get distracted by other shiny objects and end up not watching much of anything for the rest of the day... Hollywood Homicide isn't very good...
Saturday, January 8, 2005
B5 And Werewolves
Tonight's viewing begins with "In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum."
Vir has a meeting with Mr Morden, substituting for Londo (who's been called back to Centauri Prime on urgent business) - and Morden asks the obvious question "What do you want?" Vir, being Vir, just wants to live long enough so that he can see the day when Mr Morden's head is on a pike, and he can look up at it and wave... important to know!
Station security is concerned by the sheer number of Narn refugees coming through the station. While Garibaldi is talking to the Captain about it, he finds him going through crew manifests of the Icarus (Sheridan's wife's ship that disappeared), and sees Mr Morden was part of the crew. Sheridan wants him captured and questioned about the Icarus.
The Ministry Of Peace makes its first appearance on the station, and they recruit for the Night Watch on the station. Recruits wear the colours of the Watch, promote peace, and inform their superiors on people who may not be embracing peace. Jack Allen ends up joining... which'll pay off later on...
Franklin has started taking stims to handle the pressure of the number of injured refugees.
Morden stonewalls - claiming he escaped the explosion but lost his memory. Garibaldi resigns over holding a guy without charging him. The Centuari claim him as a guest and thereby covered by diplomatic immunity. Sheridan engineers a way for Talia to scan Morden against her wishes, and she catches a glimpse of the Shadows accompanying him. Finally, Delenn and Kosh claim he has to be released because everyone on the station is in danger if he doesn't.
Unfortunately, Delenn has to come clean to Sheridan - telling him about the First Ones. And how some of them stayed behind, for when the Shadows returned. 10000 years ago was the last war, and 1000 years ago, they returned to their places of power, but were struck down by an alliance including the last of the First Ones that stayed behind - the Vorlons. Delenn's question from Chyrsalis is revealed here: "Have the Shadows returned to Z'ha'dum?"
Kosh shows Sheridan the images of the Icarus' mission to Z'ha'dum, how it landed there, and how they awakened the Shadows.
The Shadows lost last time because they moved too quickly. This time, they're moving slower, because they don't know how much anyone knows... and there aren't any First Ones left to aid the younger races this time, so tipping their hand with Morden could be a bad thing, as the Minbari aren't ready.
Sheridan catches a glimpse of the Shadows when he tweaks the monitor, and relents, letting Morden go (after a looooong monologue about Churchill's decision to let the bombing of Coventry go forward in WW2). And Sheridan asks Kosh to teach him to fight Shadows... and Kosh's reply? "If you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die."
Instead we'll change gear completely, and go to "Hue And Cry," an Ealing comedy from 1947, and the first in the collection I got for Christmas. I seem to be building up a whole stack of "classic" films that I've never seen, so I should probably watch a few of them!
It's basically about a bunch of kids who discover that a band of criminals are using a children's adventure comic to pass secret messages to each other about crimes they're planning to commit.
Although it's billed as a comedy, I only got one really good laugh out of it, and that came right at the end - you see, the climax involves hundreds of kids chasing the crooks through the London Docklands, and getting involved in punch-ups and hair pulling and other shenanigans to bring the crooks down and have them arrested. Right at the end, we return to the choir from the opening scene, but this time they've got black eyes, plasters covering cuts, and in one case, an audition for the invisible man! I'm not sure how he can sing under all those bandages!
The picture quality was pretty good - there were a couple of scenes showing a lot of scratches, but on the most part, it's from a pretty good print. I'm just disappointed that the set as a whole just has a single disk of extras at the end for the nine films - there's no commentaries on these films, but then I'm comparing to the gold standard of the Fox Studio Classics line of disks.
It was clearly filmed just after the war though - there's a lot of ruined buildings on show in this film, and one of the kids (choirboy Alec) sits around making bombing raid noises. The kids' meeting place is a semi-ruined house on their estate, and they play around and amid piles of rubble.
The scenes of masses of kids running through the streets vaguely reminded me of Mr Smith Goes To Washington, and I had to check which came first (Mr Smith, 1939). I'm not sure it was really that similar, as its been a while since I saw Mr Smith, and they were delivering newspapers rather than running after criminals...
Hopefully the comedy in this collection will pick up as the films go on... this was the first Ealing Comedy, so they've got a while yet, and there's a lot of classics in here, including the orginal The Ladykillers and The Man In The White Suit (which I've seen bits of here and there, but never all the way through).
But now, a change of pace, and Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed. After the first part (seen here, but not commented on as I was very drunk), this picks up with Brigitte, infected and on the run (after killing her sister in the first one).
Unfortunately, there's another werewolf hunting her, and although she's shooting up with monkshood to slow the transformation, her sister tells her its a futile effort.
When the chase and the drug lead her to collapse in a snowdrift, she wakes up to find herself in a drug rehabilitation center, prevented from using monkshood, and finding the transformation slowly progressing. Of course, she could have the drug if she'd only comply with the freaky nurse guy who wants to have sex with the all-female patients in return for supplying them with their drug of choice (Eric Johnson - Whitney from Season 1 of Smallville).
However a young girl, Ghost, appears to have her run of the center, and could provide a way out...
Lets be fair, this film is really freaky, moreso than the first film, and the imaginings of her dead sister are an interesting way of illustrating Bridgette's inner demons, pushing her to give in to the change.
The star of this film (and the original) is a little funny looking - she's not the most beautiful girl in the world (okay, I'll admit, her sister was a babe) but she's pretty tough, and they make it easy to want her to win out in the end.
And Ghost is also pretty freaky... she knows more than she's letting on, the relative who's in the hospital suffering severe burns appears afraid of her, and her cut-out cartoon pictures are extremely strange. But she also has comic books about werewolves, and thinks Bridgette can be a hero.
Bridgette and Ghost carry this film, and they do a pretty good job of it... the ending is surreal and freaky, but that suits the tone of the film up to that point, so it's understandable that that is the correct direction to take it. And although it's fractionally anti-climatic, it leaves the story open-ended for a sequel... of course, the next film seems to be a historical prequel, so I'm not sure where they're going with this.
And no, however good this is, it doesn't jump to the top of my all-time greatest werewolf films... although it's pretty high up there. Lets see - An American Werewolf In London probably has the best transformation scene of any film, but is otherwise weak; An American Werewolf In Paris is entertaining but ultimately weak; The Howling probably has the best werewolf I've seen so far. But top film so far is Wolfen, and you don't see any transformations, or any psuedo-human-wolf-hybrid type creatures in that. But the wolves are really vicious.
Oh, and Jenny (Sabrina's best friend from the first season of Sabrina The Teenage Witch who mysteriously disappears - played by Michelle Beaudoin) makes a brief appearance here...
And because I'm still up, and can't be bothered to find something good to watch, I'm going to put on the two-part pilot episode of Mutant X... now, lets be fair, I slagged this show off good and proper when it was airing originally, but I got a huge discount on the first season, so thought I'd see how it holds up to a repeat viewing...
But I'm going to stop part way through, get some sleep, and give my opinions in the morning...
Friday, January 7, 2005
While Garibaldi keeps an eye on the search, Sheridan tries to get closer to Kosh - learn more about him, and why he appeared in his mind while trapped on the Stribe ship. Haig sends an operative to tell Sheridan to protect Jacobs - the Doctor knows that the Vice President wasn't sick when he left EarthForce One prior to its explosion.
Garibaldi and Franklin go searching for Jacobs, who manages to get himself captured by a thug in Down Below. Kosh agrees to teach Sheridan about Sheridan... until he is ready to fight legends - which makes about as much sense as anything Kosh does...
Next episode, and merchandising sounds like a good idea to the guys back home, and a Minbari steals the Captain's link, provoking an incident that leads to the death of another Minbari. With an episode called "There All The Honour Lies" we know it's going to be a Minbari heavy episode.
Delenn puts Lennier on the case, while Garibaldi gets stonewalled. Everything appears to hinge on the fact that Minbari never lie. And Earth send a lawyer to defend the Captain... because Earthdome has decided to go along with an indictment against him.
Kosh gives Sheridan a lesson - he's taken to one of the worst parts of Down Below, shown a dark crawlspace, and expected to enter. Kosh describes it as "One moment of perfect beauty" which tells you nothing, as usual. After his moment, he describes it to Ivanova as "Beauty, in the dark" so his lessons seem to be working!
Vir gets word from Centauri Prime that he will be replaced, because aide to Londo is now a prestigious position. Londo also has a problem when he sees the merchandise, and wants it stopped due to its lack of anatomical correctness. Fortunately, Londo also knows about the loophole in that whole "No Lying" thing.
In what is a really annoying episode, "And Now For A Word..." ISN are making an exclusive report on B5, interviewing everyone and generally doing a hatchet job on the command staff and ambassadors.
Meanwhile, the Narn and Centauri conflict heats up around the station, when weapons of mass destruction are found on a Centuari ship, and the Narn start attacking all Centauri ships around the station.
The only other interesting element of the show is the ad break in the episode, where the advert for the Psi-Corps, with the subliminal message (The Psi Corps Is Your Friend. Trust The Corps) embedded in it, is shown.
Thursday, January 6, 2005
Just The One (Mrs Wembley)?
"Acts Of Sacrifice" sees the Narn - Centauri war heating up. G'Kar asks the Humans and Minbari to intervene to stop the Centauri attacking civilians. Meanwhile, the Limati arrive at the station and Ivanova has to persuade them to sign on as part of the League.
The Narn on the station get provoked by the Centauri and a killing takes place on both sides. G'Kar finds his authority with the Narn challenged. Londo is searching the station for a real friend.
The Limati feel that you shouldn't aid genetically inferior species, so of course they're against MedLab, but when they finally get to see Down Below, they're impressed that the Humans have isolated the genetically inferior in their own species, and agree to a deal. Unfortunately sealing a deal in the Limati culture involves having sex...
Sheridan finds a way to aid the Narn on the QT, at least with food, medicine, and limited evacuation.
And Ivanova gives the silliest sex scene outside of the diner scene in "When Harry Met Sally."
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
"Why Are You Here?" Night
In tonight's opening episode, and we get G'Kar and Londo both making big mistakes in "The Coming Of Shadows." We get our first shot of a Ranger in this episode, and more of Lord Refa scheming behind the scenes.
The Centauri Emperor comes to Babylon 5, and the Narn are obviously upset about this. So their government endorse G'Kar's plan to kill the Emperor. "Why Are You Here?" as a question makes its first appearance, when the Emperor questions Sheridan about his choices in life. G'Kar doesn't get to carry out his assassination though, as the Emperor suffers a heart attack just before hand.
Refa prods Londo into making a rash choice, asking Mr Morden to take out a Narn listening post, and then sending in Centauri warships to take credit. Unfortunately, the Emperor came to Babylon 5 to apologise to the Narn.
Londo has the dream - ships being destroyed, great hand reaching out of the sun, shadow ships flying over head, being crowned Emperor, dying with G'Kar's hands wrapped around his neck.
The Shadows destroy the Quadrant 14 listening post. The Centauri move in. The Narn reinforcements arrive to find them there. War begins...
The Ranger gives a message from Sinclair to Garibaldi. And Londo lies about the Emperor giving his blessing to the war.
In the mostly throwaway episode "GROPOS," Franklin's father, infantry General comes to B5 for a few days layover with 25000 troops. The only thing worth referring forward is Garibaldi and Dodger's non-relationship. She might come to a sticky end here, but she'll be back with insightful comments later...
Oh, and B5 gets a newly upgraded defense grid, so they can theoretically take on a warship.
Delenn has to face the Gray Council, and Sheridan takes on a fighter mission in "All Alone In The Night." Of course, Sheridan's mission doesn't go quite as smoothly as expected when he is captured by the Stribe and forced to fight a Narn, Ta'Lon, who makes his first appearance here (although credited only as "Narn").
General Haig comes to B5, but of course, Sheridan is missing...
Delenn's meeting with the Council doesn't go all that well either - they've voted to remove her from her position as Satai while she was absent, and they're still debating whether she can remain ambassador to B5. Things get worse when she finds Neroon has been chosen as her replacement, unbalancing the Nine with four from the warrior caste and only two from the religious.
Oh, and while Sheridan is on the Stribe ship, he has a strange vision: Ivanova with a big black crow on her shoulder says "Do you know who I am?", a vision of himself, then Garibaldi with a pigeon on his shoulder (okay, it might be a dove...) says "The man in between is searching for you", then Ivanova again, wearing a black veil, says "You are the hand." Finally, Kosh - Sheridan asks "Why are you here?" and Kosh replies "We were never away. For the first time your mind is quiet enough to hear me." Sheridan asks "Why am I here?" and Kosh gives the suitably cryptic answer of "You have always been here."
When Sheridan finally shows up, Haig debriefs him - he was supposed to be determining the command staff's loyalty to Earth. Haig tells him Psi-Corp is manipulating things back home, and the President's death may not have been an accident. Haig (and other high ranking military people) are planning to take back the government, and want Sheridan to help... Sheridan has to break it to Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin.
Tuesday, January 4, 2005
Just The Four
Dwight Schultz makes hit B5 debut in "The Long Dark," where an old Earth ship, the Copernicus, drifts into range of the station. It was launched back in the 21st Century, with the crew put in cryogenic suspension. Fortunately, one of the crew survived, and Franklin manages to revive her.
But the ship has picked up another passenger during its journey - some sort of Shadow creature that Dwight Schultz has faced before...
Okay, the Shadow creature is pretty goofy looking when you finally get a shot of it, but it's otherwise a reasonably good episode.
It's followed by "Spider In The Web" which sets up lots of threads that never pay off. San Diego is even more of a wasteland in this episode than it is currently, but it is where mysterious black ops agency Bureau 13 operate out of (at least for this episode, before they permanently disappear).
Meanwhile, Talia Winters has to help broker a deal between the Mars Provisional Government and Taro Isogi, a wealthy businessman from Earth. However, he's killed by the Bureau 13 operative in Talia's presence.
Okay, and tea is Garibaldi's third favourite thing in the universe. And this may be the first appearance of Zack Allen - I don't remember having seen him up to now anyway...
Then we have "Soul Mates" where Londo's wives (Daggair, Timov, and Mariel) come to the station, as does Matt Stoner, Talia's ex-husband. Delenn has hair troubles.
Londo's celebrating the 30th anniversary of his Ascension day, and the Emperor has allowed him to divorce two of his wives, and he has to decide which of the three to keep.
And Matt Stoner is claiming he's left Psi-Corp, because experiments on him have caused him to lose his telepathic abilities. But he does appear to be very persuasive...
Finally, in "A Race Through Dark Places" Earthforce have decided to start charging Sheridan and Ivanova rent for their "larger than necessary" quarters.
Meanwhile, Bester comes to the station looking for the telepath Underground Railroad. I think this is the last time Bester's allowed to come in with no drugs or opposing telepaths to counter his attempts to scan the command staff. And chief telepath in the railroad was a bit character a few episodes ago... Oh, and Ironheart didn't just give Talia telekinetic abilities, she can apparently block Bester's scans.
And Delenn wishes to go to dinner with the Captain (apparently to get to know humans better... yeah, right!).
Oh, and a relationship that they only hint at, starts in this episode...
Monday, January 3, 2005
The lack of update yesterday has been due to me not watching any DVDs either yesterday or today. I started yesterday with the end of the 100 greatest horror moments which I'd recorded... other than missing The Exorcist, the top 7 were fairly easy to guess.
Then I bounced around watching bits of films here and there, before finishing Sam And Max and then starting Escape From Monkey Island. Today I've done much the same... playing Monkey Island, and bouncing around watching bits of films.
Okay, Nicholas Cage going progressive nuts in Vampire's Kiss is plenty silly.
But back to plan A, and we open season 2 with "Nouveau Depart".... Ah, here we hit a problem, as my copy of season 2 came with the insert in French, which makes the episode titles a problem... let me see, this should be "Points Of Departure" in which the Agamemnon comes to Babylon 5 to drop of Captain John Sheridan, the new commander now that Geoffrey Sinclair has decided to disappear off to Minbar.
Of course, he's not the best person to be dealing with a renegade Minbari warship that's been spotted in Earth controlled space. Especially as he was the only one during the war that had some success against the Minbari in the war (having destroyed the Black Star - their flagship - in a cunning trap... well, okay, he mined an asteroid field).
Garibaldi is still in a coma, Delenn is still in her crysalis, and G'Kar is still off looking for answers about Quadrant 37.
Amazingly, after Kalain - Sinoval's second in command during the war - shows up and gets captured, Lennier explains everything to Sheridan... what happened at the Battle of the Line with Sinclair, why the Minbari surrendered...
Oh, and Warren Keffer makes his first appearance. Not that he'll be around for long.
Episode 2 is "Revelations" which fortunately (as I'm not putting accented characters in my titles), is the same in French and English. G'Kar discovers the Shadows at Z'ha'dum, Franklin and Sheridan wake Garibaldi with the alien healing device, Delenn finally breaks out of her cocoon, and we get back to a full crew complement.
John's younger sister Elizabeth comes to visit. A brief mention of his wife Anna gets made. Londo meets with Mr Morden and agrees to inform him about any news of the Rim.
They catch the guy who shot Garibaldi, but the new President whisks him off to Earth before he can be suitably interrogated. G'Kar's investigation of Z'ha'dum ends in tragedy when Londo warns them of the coming ship, and Delenn gets some hair.
Then we have "La Geometrie Des Ombres" or "The Geometry Of Shadows," an episode title that translates properly. And the technomages come to Babylon 5. Of course, they're planning to disappear ahead of the coming war, but Londo wants to meet with them first.
The Drazi make for one of the most entertaining B stories in the series - they're going through their 5 year leadership contest between the green and the purple. And Sheridan decides that Ivanova is up to the task of resolving it (especially with her promotion to Commander) - peacefully!
Garibaldi has a crisis of confidence over whether he should go back to work as chief of security. Vir shows a little bit of backbone when he's required to ask the technomages if they'll meet with Londo.
And finally (as I'm back at work tomorrow and should get some sleep first) is "Une Etoile Eloignee"... which might make more sense as "A Distant Star." It's about an explorer class ship visiting B5, and one of the Captain's old friends trying to persuade him to go back out and explore rather than get stuck in an admin job. Of course, the ship goes missing in hyperspace and they have to come up with a crazy scheme for the Star Furies to rescue it. And Keffer gets to see something of a shadow ship, starting his year long efforts to get it on camera. Of course, Keffer also gets to be squadron leader, but only because the Shadow ship manages to kill Commander Dallas.
Franklin puts everyone on a diet... which leads to major rebellions by the command staff. But he relents for Garibaldi after finding out about his birthday meal.
And we'll pick up tomorrow (or whenever I next feel like watching DVDs) with "L'Ennemi Du Passe" which probably makes more sense in English...
Saturday, January 1, 2005
Nibbled To Death By Cats
After a couple of hours, eating and playing Sam And Max Hit The Road (a game I really should have played and finished years ago...), I've finally gone back to the last two episodes of Babylon 5 Season 1.
"The Quality Of Mercy" sees Londo attempting to befriend Lennier. Of course, Londo asking anyone to trust him is doomed to disaster. Meanwhile, a murdered is convicted, and sentencing is planned.
The real focus of this episode though is the alien healing device that one of the station residents is using to aid the poorer residents. Ignoring the ethical dilemmas involved with draining one person's life force to heal another, this device gets two big uses later in the series, for Garibaldi, and for Ivanova. Of course, the outcomes for the other party in each case are very different...
The murderer is sentenced to a mindwipe, or death of personality, and obviously he's less than eager to suffer that fate.
It's interesting that the doctor who's using the alien device in down below lost her license due to addiction to stims... you would have thought Dr. Franklin would have taken the hint... but I guess the coming war pushes him a bit too far.
And finally, "Chrysalis" - and Londo gets in over his head with Mr Morden over the Narn holding of Quadrant 37. One of Garibaldi's informants dies with the knowledge that the President's life is in danger, and shortly, so will be Garibaldi's. Delenn needs to talk to Sinclair, but there's a deadline, and Sinclair's day is pretty hectic (especially after proposing to Catherine... who mysteriously disappears after this episode... she's never seen on Minbar after all).
And yes, this episode is supposed to be part 2 of my New Years Eve entry, but I just love the Londo-Vir discussion where they get from feathers, webbed feet, goes Quack, to cats.
And we get the first hints of the telepath railroad in this episode... or they just re-use the actor when that story comes up...
It's interesting that they've gone from barely enough space to set aside enough for a Zen Stone Garden, to having a whole hedge maze... but I guess the symbolism of Londo wandering into the maze is just too good to pass up.
But I guess this is apt as a New Years Eve episode, considering it's set on December 31st.
And now, I'm apparently seeing in the new year with Celebrity Poker Showdown - I can't find a film I want to watch, although I'm going to keep looking... Ooh... episode of Kim Possible I haven't seen - Kim and Shego accidentally pick up some emotion controlling doohickeys, and the device controlling them keeps getting passed around to people who think it's a video game. Alright, back to the poker... and Dennis Rodman has just left the table in a huff... and not because he'd lost the hand, but because they thought he'd folded the hand! Huh?!
Okay, he came back... and he seems to bet absolutely everything. It's difficult to know if he's bluffing or not when he's willing to play a 10-8 hand... but he was finally killed off by Mekhi Phifer.
And no, I've no idea who's going to win this, but Doogie Howser and Mekhi Phifer seem to be the most likely two at the moment... but I'm going to call this entry a day here.
Happy new year everyone (unless you're in Hawaii, in which case you've got a few more hours to go), and I'll be back with more abbreviated DVD reviews, and if you're really lucky, an update to the Graveyard... hell, I might even dig out the next episode I'm supposed to be transcribing...
New Years Eve (Part 1)
New Years Eve, and only six episodes of B5 season 1 to go... but before we ramp up for the end of the series, we've got to get through "Legacies" first - the Minbari are touring a fallen war leader through a whole bunch of systems, and their ship comes in with gun ports open. Now, Sinclair is obviously suffering temporary amnesia and has forgotten that it's a sign of respect and not an imminent attack (and basically the misunderstanding that started the Earth-Minbari war). And Talia and Ivanova battle over a latent telepath whose powers have just awoken.
Neroon makes his first appearance here, and he's as suspicious and antagonistic as ever. And of course, the body goes missing, which is more than a little suspicious after the Minbari insisted that only they could guard the body before the viewing.
Ah, and Sinoval gets his first mention - he comitted suicide when the order for surrender went out. I'd wondered where the Dark, Distorted Mirror star came from and now we see that in this timeline he was just a footnote in history.
And then the big two parter - "A Voice In The Wilderness" - the planet below them suddenly sends out a signal, Sinclair is receiving strange holographic messages from an alien calling for help, Draal comes to visit Delenn, and Mars erupts into conflict.
We get the first mention of Lise here, as Garibaldi tries to contact her during the near-communication blackout on Mars.
And we get Sinclair and Ivanova rescuing dying alien from the planet. Of course, all the diplomatic tension, crazy Londo adventures, and meaningful sacrifice are in the second part, so a lot of part one is setup.
Part two gives us another bunch of aliens claiming the planet, an Earthforce cruiser also wanting control of the planet, and Londo, Draal, and Delenn going down to the planet to help the dying alien.
And Lise is apparently expecting a baby with someone other than who she's married to later in the series... so the questions become what happened to this husband, and what happened to the baby?
"Babylon Squared" sees the temporary return of Babylon 4, which disappeared 24 hours after becoming operational. They're trapped in some kind of temporal flux, and Sinclair and Garibaldi have to go in to rescue the crew.
This is a neat little episode, but only half as neat as the two parter in a couple of series time. They set up just enough to be able to tell a whole second story during the same time frame, but it'd be nice not to have to wait two series for an explanation of the mysterious blue space-suited figure, or Zathras' cryptic comments.
Meanwhile, Minbari politics takes center stage, as Delenn faces the rest of the Gray Council. They want Delenn to leave her position on the council and become their leader. She refuses the offer, which no-one has ever done, which may force the council to make her outcast...