Friday, 14 October 2011

KICK ASS comes to Seattle

Well, it had to happen sometime.

A self-styled vigilante has been in court an waits to see if he is to be charged for wearing a silly outfit and allegedly trying to break up a fight outside a nightclub.

Not surprisingly, the police were less than impressed with the man who calls himself Phoenix and claims to be the head of the Rain City Superhero Movement.

The full story is here.

Life imitating art eh. Who'd have thunk it?

Dude's got a pretty cool outfit though.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Episodes to Savour - Space 1999 - The Infernal Machine

In 1999, the moon is rocked by a series of explosions, is hurled out of orbit and goes through a 'black sun' to emerge in a distant part of the universe. The staff of Moonbase Alpha encounter many strange things as their wandering moon passes by new planets tha might provide them with a home.

SPACE:1999 is not a great show. The scientific illiteracy of the whole thing (it takes a week to fly past a planet and yet they'll find anohter one nearby soon, what speed are they travelling at?) makes much of it laughable and the introduction of some terrible monster suits in the second series really don't help.

First series episode The Infernal Machine, however, transcends all of that with a simple tale of two travellers who arrive on the moon. One is an old man who is dying. The other is the seemingly all-powerful sentient spaceship that he is companion to. The ship wants a bit of nuclear fuel and a new companion.

Now all-powerful beings with the emotions of children are ten-a-penny in TV science fiction, but this is lifted by a superb central performance from the redoubtable Leo McKern. As the dying companion he is full of weary humanity and as the giant machine he is al arrogance and, eventually, grief and loss. Barry Morse's character Victor is also given a rare chance to really shine.

All of the other good things about the show (costuming, set design, special effects, Eagle spaceships etc) are well up to snuff, but this is an episode about characters, about the need for companionship and about grief and loss.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Television taken over by fantastic shows!

Well, the number of science fiction, fantasy and supernatural horror shows still pales into insignificance when compared with dreadful sitcoms or awful reality TV shows or CSI: Pick A City type shows, but the lover of fantastic TV has a lot of stuff spread out across the telewaves in the UK now and in the next few weeks.

TERRA NOVA, the all new dinosaur romp joins the recently re-started FRINGE on Sky 1 providing an action-orientated entertainment to counterpoint the more cerebral mystery investigations of the Fringe Division.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is back on ITV 2 next week with its teenage take on the toothsome kind, dovetailing nicely with the fact that the same writer's THE SECRET CIRCLE has just kicked off on Sky Living.

HAVEN returns to Syfy where it lines up alongside the currently running LOST GIRL and WAREHOUSE 13.

And for those people who can't be bothered with all that Skybox stuff then the good ol' BBC has MERLIN which is back on BBC 1 for Saturday nights and the much more aimed at adults THE FADES on BBC 3.

And of course, Sky Living is also still scaring the bejeesus out of people with the always excellent SUPERNATURAL.

It is interesting to note that of all the above shows only TERRA NOVA is a straight science fiction show with all the others edging more towards the fantasy and supernatural horror strands.