Category Archives: Television

Dragon Prince

The Dragon Prince

The Dragon Prince is a fantasy computer-animated television series created for Netflix by Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond and produced by Wonderstorm.

The first season premiered on September 14, 2018. A second season was released on February 15, 2019. A third season has been confirmed.

The series is set in a fantasy world on the continent of Xadia, which is rich with magic derived from six primal elements: The Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Earth, the Sky and the Ocean. However, the humans discovered the use of dark magic.

They were driven off by the dragons and elves of Xadia to the other end of the continent, where they founded the five human kingdoms. The Breach, the border between the two halves of the continent, was guarded by Thunder, the king of dragons.

After the humans killed the dragon king and his egg, war is now imminent. The elves attempt to assassinate the human king Harrow and his heir, the young prince Ezran, in retaliation for the egg’s destruction.


Excellent high/epic fantasy story. The hand-drawn backgrounds and call animation are reminiscent of the later Sierra Online King’s Quest series.

The show doesn’t have trouble taking on themes from power struggles to sibling rivalries.

And after two series, the story isn’t finished. Waiting for the third.

Orville 2

Orville Series 2

Episode 13 “Ja’loja”
The USS Orville travels to Moclus for Bortus’s Ja’loja, the annual urination ceremony that is attended by Moclan family and close friends. First Officer Kelly Grayson begins dating ship teacher Cassius, straining her relationship with Captain Ed Mercer.

Bit of a slow start to the series.

Episode 14 “Primal Urges”
The Orville spends time observing the planet Nyxia that is being consumed by its expanding red star. Bortus has been leaving work early and avoiding his mate, Klyden, to secretly spend time in pornographic simulator programs. Fed up, Klyden seeks to divorce Bortus via the Moclan custom of killing a spouse.

Episode 15 “Home”
When Isaac breaks Alara’s forearm during an arm wrestling challenge, Alara discovers her body is slowly losing its superhuman strength as it adapts to Earth’s gravity. At Dr. Finn’s recommendation, Alara returns to her home planet, Xelaya, to re-acclimate. While convalescing at her parents’ house, old familial conflicts resurface, prompting the family to visit their island vacation home to get reacquainted. Things go awry when fellow vacationers Cambis Borrin and his wife show up, seeking revenge against Alara’s scientist father.

Episode 16 “Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes”
After making their romance known, Captain Ed Mercer and Lt. Janel Tyler leave for a short vacation together. While en route, the Krill capture their vessel. Janel is tortured, forcing Ed to divulge his (decoy) command codes; he soon learns that she is actually Teleya, the Krill teacher Ed encountered during a previous mission.

Episode 17 “All the World Is Birthday Cake”
The Orville detects a signal from Regor 2, a planet searching for other intelligent life in the universe, and initiates first contact. The Regorians welcome Ed, Kelly, Claire, Bortus, and new Xeleyan security chief, Talla Keyali. However, when it is learned that both Kelly and Bortus have birthdays in a few days, the Regorians denounce them as “Giliacs,” people who are predisposed to violence.

Episode 18 “A Happy Refrain”
Claire develops romantic feelings towards Isaac and wants to pursue a relationship; Isaac considers it an opportunity to study human romantic relations, but lacking emotions, is unable to return Claire’s affections.

Episode 19 “Deflectors”
The Orville travels to Moclas to have new regenerative deflectors installed. Bortus’s former boyfriend, Locar, a brilliant Moclan engineer, oversees the installation. Locar becomes attracted to Keyali but says Moclans preferring females to males is a punishable crime; she agrees to keep their relationship secret.

Episode 20 “Identity”
After Isaac collapses and becomes inert, the Orville travels to his home world, Kaylon 1, hoping he can be revived. Mercer also wants to learn whether the Kaylons have decided to join the Planetary Union.

Episode 21 “Identity Part II”
As the commandeered Orville and the massive Kaylon fleet race toward Earth to exterminate all biological life, the ship’s crew remains imprisoned in the shuttle bay.

Part 2 is a big all out space battle. There is a saying.. “Space is big.. really big”. But here the fighting is almost in two dimensions and really close.

Episode 22 “Blood of Patriots”
The Orville rendezvous with a Krill ship to initiate peace talks. Upon arrival, they find the Krill firing on their own shuttlecraft, which crash lands inside the Orville’s shuttle bay with two occupants aboard. Gordon recognizes one as his old friend and Union officer, Orrin Channing. He and daughter, Leyna, have escaped after 20 years in a Krill prison camp.

Episode 23 “Lasting Impressions”
The crew examines a time capsule from 2015 Saratoga Springs, New York. One recovered item is a cell phone contributed by Laura Huggins, a young 21st century woman who wanted future discoverers to know about her and her life. Impressed with her candor, Gordon uploads the phone’s data to the ship’s computer and requests a simulation of Laura’s environment and life.

Episode 24 “Sanctuary”
After undergoing a weapons upgrade at Moclus, the Orville takes on two Moclan passengers, engineer Toren and his mate Korick. The duo are smuggling their female infant offworld to avoid gender “corrective” surgery or persecution. Bortus uncovers their secret, but, sympathetic, agrees to remain silent.

Episode 25 “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow”
Kelly and Ed reminisce about their first date, seven years earlier. Ed is open to them reconciling but Kelly prefers their relationship as it is now. Meanwhile, Isaac is experimenting with a neurology-based time-travel device. Kelly is near the device as the Orville passes through a gravitational wave, and a Kelly from seven years in the past is transported to the present.

Episode 26 “The Road Not Taken”
Nearly a year after the original timeline was altered, the Kaylon have conquered half the known galaxy. Ed and Gordon now survive by scavenging supplies. After barely escaping the Kaylon, their ship is captured by Kelly, who has reunited the Orville officers, minus Bortus and Isaac, from her original timeline.

 

Orville 1

Orville Series 1

The Orville is an American science fiction television series created by and starring Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane stars as Ed Mercer, an officer in the Planetary Union’s line of exploratory space vessels. After his career takes a downturn following his divorce, he is given the ship Orville as his first command, only to discover that his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), has been assigned as his first officer. Inspired by several sources, including Star Trek and The Twilight Zone, the series tells the story of Mercer, Grayson, and the crew of the Orville as they embark on various diplomatic and exploratory missions.


Episode 1 ‘Old Wounds”
Introduction of the characters: Ed Mercer (McFarlane) divorces his wife, Kelly Grayson, after catching her cheating on him. Feeling guilty, she call in favours to get him a position as captain of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel.

This first episode is OK, but it’s not clear what the genre and tone will be. It feels very Star Trek-TNG.

Episode 2 Command Performance
The technologically advanced Calivon capture and imprison Mercer and Grayson for a new exhibit in a zoo filled with humanoid species from throughout the galaxy. Alara is left in command of the Orville, as Bortus has laid an egg and must incubate it. Left in charge, Alara disobeys orders and retrieves Mercer and Grayson, along with a kidnapped alien child.

This feels like another story I have seen from the original series – feels like they are recycling old TV shows.

Episode 3 “About a Girl”
When Doctor Finn refuses Bortus and Klyden’s request for her to perform sex reassignment surgery on their daughter, a standard Moclan practice on the rare occasion a female is born, they petition
Mercer to order the procedure.

The first real ‘issues’ episode. This could be a metaphor for other injustices. Fortunately they don’t resolve the problem by having the Crew’s opinions prevail.

Episode 4 “If the Stars Should Appear”
The Orville encounters an immense, 2000-year-old derelict ship drifting into a star. Mercer, Grayson, Kitan, Finn, and Isaac enter, discovering an artificial biosphere and a civilization of
three million who worship an entity called Dorahl.

Not a new concept in SciFi, from Arthur C Clarke’s ‘Rama’ series to Wesley Allison’s ‘Princess of Amathar’. A Dyson sphere is a hypothetical mega-structure that completely encompasses a star and captures a large percentage of its power output. The concept is a thought experiment that attempts to explain how a space-faring civilization would meet its energy requirements once those
requirements exceed what can be generated from the home planet’s resources alone.

Grayson is held prisoner by their theocratic dictator. Although this is mainly due to her approaching him as an enemy.Eventually the crew rescue her and reveal the nature of the world to the inhabitants. Liam Neeson turns up in an ancient video recording.

Again a bit derivative but it does have a satisfying ending.

Episode 5 “Pria”
The Orville rescues Captain Pria Levesque (played by Charlize Theron) from her imperiled mining ship. The beautiful Pria charms the crew and romances Mercer.

Anything with Theron is going to be good, and she delivers the goods, captures the ship to ‘sell’ only to be beaten by the security officer.

Episode 6 “Krill”
After recovering an intact Krill shuttle, Mercer and Malloy are ordered to pose as Krill soldiers to board one of their vessels and obtain a copy of the Ankhana, a sacred religious text via which
the Krill believe by divine right they are superior to all other species in the universe.

Everything about this story seems forced and illogical, designed to put the Captain in situations where he has to make ‘difficult’ decisions.

Episode 7 “Majority Rule”
Grayson and an undercover team land on Sargas 4, a planet with a culture similar to 21st-century Earth, to search for two missing anthropologists. LaMarr is arrested after what is considered
inappropriate public behavior and receives more than a million “down” votes by viewers watching a televised clip of the film footage.

One of the best of the series. Here the writers create a satire on social media. Popularity is everything. But the ending is rather contrived and allows everyone to escape.

Episode 8 “Into the Fold”
While traveling to a recreational planet in a shuttle, Isaac, Finn, and her sons, Marcus and Ty, fall into a spatial fold, and crash land on a planet a thousand light-years away from their original location.

Really, just an episode to allow Penny Johnson Jerald (Kasidy Yates of DS9) to strut her stuff, from mom to action hero.

Episode 9 “Cupid’s Dagger”
The Orville is dispatched to mediate talks between the Navarians and the Bruidians, two alien species at a centuries-old stalemate over which race lays proper claim over the planet Lapovius.
Also assigned to the matter is Darulio (Rob Lowe), the Retepsian whose affair with Grayson a year prior ended her marriage to Mercer.

The best of the series. Mainly due to the script and story structure. It manages to get Seth McFarlane for fall for Rob Lowe (in blue face). The humour really works, mainly because it is done by secondary characters. The solution to the talks becomes apparent to the audience before the characters discover it. And the final line “maybe” resonates through future episodes.

Episode 10 “Firestorm”
When Lt. Payne is trapped beneath debris during a plasma storm, Alara’s pyrophobia causes her to hesitate, resulting in his death. Blaming herself, she tenders her resignation, which Mercer
declines.

Another episode concentrating on a main character (Halston Sage as Firestorm). It soon becomes apparent that she has stepped out of ‘reality’ when major characters die. Fun to see some action,
but like all the ‘alt-reality’ stories, not very satisfying.

Episode 11 “New Dimensions”
With Lt. Newton leaving the Orville, Mercer must find a new chief engineer. Although Yaphit is next in line for the position, Cmdr. Grayson discovers that LaMarr has been concealing his
intellectual gifts.

This is just an excuse for the art department to show some very cool Tron-like graphics. As expected, there is reference to Flatland by Edwin Abbott.

Episode 12 “Mad Idolatry”
Grayson leads a shuttle team that crashes on a suddenly appearing planet with a Bronze Age society. After leaving, the crew discovers that the planet phases in to the universe for a short period every 11 days as 700 years passes on the planet.

The series ends with one of its best. The theme of societies evolving and leaving behind their religious part is not new. But the mechanism by which it happens is different, and manages to
provide some surprises.

Gotham

Gotham was an American crime drama television series based on characters by DC Comics and appearing in the Batman franchise, primarily those of James Gordon and Bruce Wayne.

It premiered on September 22, 2014 and its final fifth season episode aired on April 25, 2019.


Covering five seasons, it concentrates on Ben McKenzie as James Gordon and David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Mazouz was 13/14 in series one and seemed just to young and naive to evolve into Batman. However in the final season he is 18 and starting to gain the brooding depth that you can see transforming into Batman.


My favorite character has been Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock. Unlike Gordon, he is not burdened with an always good boy-scout ethic. He is capable of doing stupid, dangerous and villainous things, only to redeem himself later.


Another favorite is Erin Richards as Barbara Keen. At first she is Jim Gordon’s fiance. She is dropped, joins the other (crime) side and seems to swing both sides of the law. You always get the sense that the actress is enjoying playing her character.


The show couldn’t work without villains, and it’s Penguin and Riddler that are the mainstays. The weird plot convulsions, missed opportunities and poor shooting keeps them going to the end.

Cockoo 5

Cuckoo Series 5

As luck would have it, just as I was finishing series 4, series 5 dropped into Netflix.

Series 5 introduces Ken’s long lost sister, Ivy. Played by Andie MacDowell as a rich brat American who’s husband has been caught in a ponzi scheme. In the first episode she is left broke and on the doorstep of Ken’s house. She makes it to Steve’s place and from there she causes chaos to the family.

Unfortunately for Grey Davis she has displaced him at the top of the cast. It’s still outrageous and funny, with more farce and slap-stick humour than before.

 

ST:D 2.14

Star Trek Discovery 2.14
(Series 2 finale)

Ethan Peck as Spock

This is just a big battle with Section 31. Lots of nice CGI to look at, unfortunately much of it lacking in logic.

Eventually Burnham works out that she has to travel to the past and send the five signals that led them to this point.

The show butts up with it’s main problem; as it is set in a pre-TOS era, it has to preserve the ship and many of the characters. So right from the start we know the ship will survive, which removes a lot of the tension.

Alternative Opinion 1

Alternative Opinion 2

 

Cuckoo 4

Cuckoo Series 4

This continues the plot and characters of the previous series. There is more for the son Dylan as he goes to University. But the daughter Rachel doesn’t know what to do.

Again this is more in the farce genre, to great  success !

Cuckoo 3

Cuckoo Series 3

In this series it is clear that the writers have gone from comedy to farce. The characters do stupid things to move the plot and jokes along. With a new baby there is scope for a lot of domestic accidents and almost everything possible is included.

 

 

Cuckoo 2

Cuckoo Series 2

In series two, the main character is replaced by his ‘son’, leading to the situation where Rachel has feelings for her son-in-law !

While the first series had a premise: your son-in-law it a dropout living with you, the second is a more traditional family centered comedy. The cast expands with the neighbors and Ken’s law firm.

The jokes keep coming but the plots keep getting more bizarre !

 

ST:D 2.13

Star Trek Discovery 2.13 Such Sweet Sorrow

The whole silly premise of this episode is..
How do we get rid of the Section 31 AI ?

Well, instead of blowing up a Starship, here are a few suggestions:
– Throw it into a sun
– put it into a bucket of water
– attach it to a nuclear bomb core… detonate
– give it an electromagnetic pulse
– give it to Tilly

This is getting stupid, and to add to that a significant part of the third act is devoted to schmaltzy ‘this is the end’ dialogue by core crew members….

BRING ON THE WAR !!!!