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The Easter Bus Goes to the Desert The Easter Bus Goes to the Desert

Ten years ago this month, Doctor Who aired its one and only Easter special, the Tenth Doctor story Planet of the Dead. Generally, and rightly, considered the weakest of the series of specials that concluded Ten’s run, it still has plenty of good qualities.

Her Hidden Mucus Her Hidden Mucus

A neurotic fashion blogger has an embarrassing problem in Snotgirl, a comic series written by Bryan Lee O’Malley and pencilled by Leslie Hung. I finished reading the first two volumes yesterday, all together collecting issues one to ten, and found the series enjoyable though not quite as good as I hoped.

The Bangs of Yesteryear The Bangs of Yesteryear

Well, I asked The Orville to flesh out Kelly a bit more and the show delivered last night with not one but two Kellys. “To-morrow, and To-morrow, and To-morrow”, written by Janet Lin, also showed, once again, The Orville is at its best when it focuses on relationships.

No Pain, No DNA No Pain, No DNA

Poor Aeryn and Pilot suffer some terrible abuse in one of the best episodes of Farscape’s first season. One of the more effective showcases for the Jim Henson company’s puppetry, it’s also an effective bit of body horror while adding another painful layer to the characters’ various troubles finding a place in any kind…

Someone is Julia Someone is Julia

Sometimes, family and social coercion can pressure a woman to marry. Less often, she’s kidnapped and forced to assume the identity of a dead woman as in 1945's My Name is Julia Ross. It’s a fascinating and weird little gothic melodrama.

Building Against Death Building Against Death

I looked at the news around the time I awoke at 4am yesterday and then not again until late in the afternoon. During that time, one of the things I was doing was reading Dracula again, and, has it often does when I re-read that book, the incredible amount of death impressed me. There’s so much of it that’s typically…

Everyone's Going to the Fantasy North Everyone's Going to the Fantasy North

Happy Birthday to my fellow Aries, Maisie Williams, and congratulations on having been in a pretty decent premiere to Game of Thrones, season eight last night. That’s the most expensive show on television, aren’t you lucky? But despite the show still moving generally away from the character drama it used to be to…

The Hypnotic Banal The Hypnotic Banal

The Eighth Doctor’s first independent audio series concluded in 2007 with the two part story Human Resources. What starts as a fairly amusing homage to The Office turns halfway through into a pretty effective encounter with one of the Doctor’s classic foes.

Get Up and Start Skywalking Get Up and Start Skywalking

I liked the new Star Wars teaser. Looks like they’re definitely walking very briskly away from the “Kill the past” meme. The name Skywalker is even in the title. But is it Rey? Maybe the idea will be that a “Skywalker” isn’t a hereditary name but something conferred on off-spring of the midichlorians? Probably not,…

Talking About It by Not Talking About It Talking About It by Not Talking About It

I liked last night’s new Orville but I admire its intentions more than its execution. Written by Joe Menosky, “Sanctuary” combines and reconfigures many contemporary issues to allow the viewer to contemplate the fundamental ideas and concepts with hopefully as little prejudice as possible. More than ever, I feel…

A Knight's Death Demands Immortality A Knight's Death Demands Immortality

How do you kill Don Quixote? Many people may suspect Terry Gilliam’s 2019 film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, is about the death of the human imagination at the hands of a cynical film industry. But this mad, funny, and brilliant film is more complex than that. The wit and intelligence, the unbridled creativity at…

The Mind's Common Black Magic The Mind's Common Black Magic

Farscape contemplates acts of vengeance and violence when a sadistic wizard brings Crais and Crichton together. Zhaan struggles with her own repressed sadism which she finds she must tap into in order help Crichton as well as save the population of an entire planet.

A Lady's Distorted Glass Continues to Disseminate A Lady's Distorted Glass Continues to Disseminate

I’d been in the mood for some good fantasy fiction lately and rarely have one of my wishes been granted more efficiently and effectively than when I read the new Sirenia Digest last night. “Which Describes a Looking-Glass and the Broken Fragments”, the new story by Caitlin R. Kiernan contained in the Digest, takes its…

An Erik of Errors An Erik of Errors

The conflict between the English and the Vikings is the product of a wicked Scotsman in 1961's Erik the Conqueror (Gil Invasori). Sort of a remake of the 1958 American film The Vikings, this one’s directed by Mario Bava with lots of colourful lighting and some really beautiful outdoor shots. The story becomes oddly…

Veni, Vidi, Vortisaur Veni, Vidi, Vortisaur

The Eighth Doctor takes notice of his companion’s butt in the 2007 audio play No More Lies. “Always looking at my bum,” says Lucie when the Doctor tells her to mind her backside before wandering into a confrontation with a wicked time traveller named Zimmerman. It’s a time loop story but without the usual repeated…

One Being's Peace is Another's Confinement One Being's Peace is Another's Confinement

After being a joke for most of Farscape’s first six episodes, Rygel’s bodily fluids suddenly take on unexpectedly serious thematic power in an episode that deals with the lasting effects of long term abuse. At the same time, the relationship between Aeryn and Crichton starts to look more like romance because he has a…

The Witch Trial Melee The Witch Trial Melee

Vincent Price tries his hand at witchfinding again in 1970's Cry of the Banshee, a movie that has nothing to do with banshees. It’s closer to the movie audiences might have been expecting 1968's Witchfinder General to have been, with Price as a corrupt magistrate up against a forest coven of pagan witches. There’s an…

All the Cyborgs of Heaven and Hell All the Cyborgs of Heaven and Hell

An angel falls from Heaven and is reborn in Hell in 2019's Alita: Battle Angel. What a nice surprise to find Milton references in this movie which I was already eager to see because I like Robert Rodriguez and anime. There are some superficial problems I had with the screenplay but for the most part I was delighted to…

As the Turnip Turns As the Turnip Turns

Keep the working class sedated and maybe they won’t figure out the giant turnips they’ve been pulling out of the ground are being used for nefarious purposes. It’s a simple socio-economic allegory but this episode of Farscape works primarily because of character interactions and, as usual, the visuals.

The Fearful Zone of Potential The Fearful Zone of Potential

It was Christopher Walken’s birthday on Sunday so I was in the mood to watch one of his movies. 1983's The Dead Zone was right there on my shelf so I watched that. It’s with my other David Cronenberg DVDs and Blu-Rays—The Dead Zone is one I don’t watch very often I suppose because when I’m in the mood for Cronenberg I…

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