Category Archives: Television

Dirk Gently 1

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is a BBC America comic science fiction detective television series, inspired by the novel series of the same name by Douglas Adams.

The only actor I recognized  was Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins) who is the central character of the series.

Series #1 is eight episodes long.

And it’s…….. bizarre….. There are multiple plot threads:

Todd involved in a murder scene, his sister with a strange affliction. There is the woman who is seemingly immune to death. A gang of bald guys, a duo from the Military and a band of thugs. Nothing makes sense but becomes strangely involving.

It’s not until episode six (of 8) that things begin to coalesce. Turns out it is all about a time loop, started in 1880.

Then at the end it becomes apparent that the story has not ended, so it’s on to series 2.

Love Robots

Love, Death & Robots is an American adult animated anthology web television series on Netflix. The series is produced by Joshua Donen, David Fincher, Jennifer Miller, and Tim Miller. Each episode was animated by different crews from a range of countries.

The series is a re-imagining of Fincher and Miller’s long in-development reboot of the 1981 animated science fiction film Heavy Metal.


Sonnie’s Edge (Peter F. Hamilton)

In dystopian London, a young woman named Sonnie with teammates Wes and Ivrina participate in underground “Beastie” fights: Remotely controlled bio-engineered gladiator beast battles.

This sets the style, with nudity, violence, an awesome beastly battle and a nice twist at the end.


Three Robots  (John Scalzi)

Long after the fall of humanity, three robots wander through a post-apocalyptic city, trying to understand how humans lived based on their limited knowledge of them and the things they left behind.

Amusing little tale about the who real furry survivors of humanity will be.


The Witness

A woman witnesses a murder in the apartment across from her hotel. The murderer realizes he has been caught, but notices the similarity between his victim and the witness, and he proceeds to chase her.

Very strange and stylized. With a bit of a head-scratcher  at the end that could be interpreted several ways,


Suits
A small community of farmers pilot mech suits to defend their land from an invading swarm of insectoid aliens dubbed “DeeBees”.

Fairly standard alien invasion story with a reversal at the end.


Sucker of Souls
Flynn, a hired mercenary, and Dr. Wehunt, an archaeologist, escape through an underground tunnel, fleeing an unknown assailant.

Another monster story. Rather gory despite the crude cell animation.


When the Yogurt Took Over  (John Scalzi)
A group of scientists mutate yogurt by fermenting bacteria. Although initial tests fail, a researcher takes the mutated bacteria home for her homemade yogurt, unaware that it has become sentient.

Very funny and satirical story of how yoghurt evolves past humanity.


Beyond the Aquila Rift  (Alastair Reynolds)

Blue Goose’s crew members Thom, Suzy, and Ray, are on a mission to reach beyond the Aquila Rift, but an error in the routing plot causes unexpected events to happen. Thom is greeted by Greta, an old flame, and is told he is hundreds of thousands of light years from Earth centuries later.

Amazing photo-realistic animation and detailed sets, with an end that initially is just confusing.


Good Hunting (Ken Liu)
In early 20th century China, Liang accompanies his father hunting a shape-shifting Huli jing named Tsiao-Jung, but stumbles when entranced by her.

Beautifully drawn combination of eastern style and steampunk. A story of retribution


The Dump (Joe Lansdale)

A city inspector tries to convince Ugly Dave Dvorchek to move out of his house which is located in a dump.

Fun story of an old man with an unusual pet.


Shape-Shifters (Marko Kloos)

In a world where werewolves are common knowledge, but discriminated against, two close werewolf friends who serve in the US Marines, Lt. Decker and Sgt. Sobieski, are taken by surprise when
escorting a convoy.

Military story with werewolves – what next ?


Helping Hand

Alexandria Stephens attends to a faulty satellite in Earth orbit. While in mid-operation her old model EVA suit is randomly hit by a stray screw from orbital debris, damaging her oxygen tanks,
disabling the mobility unit and casting her hopelessly adrift in open space.

The one story I didn’t like. Just too gory.


Fish Night (Joe Lansdale)

Two salesmen get stuck in the desert after their Plymouth breaks down due to a broken radiator. Spending what remained of their day around the car, the older man informs the younger man that the desert was once a sea floor, and they soon discover that the desert is not what it seems at night.

More fantasy than science fiction, kind of mystical with an unexpected ending.


Lucky 13 (Karko Kloos)

After two crews on the Dropship Lucky 13 are lost, other Marines become superstitious and give the unlucky ship to rookie Lt. “Cutter” Colby.

Good story by an author on my reading list. Somewhat predictable, but enjoyable.


Zima Blue (Alastair Reynolds)

Journalist Claire Markham is invited to interview reclusive artist Zima Blue, who wishes to tell his story before unveiling his final work. Zima, who began in portraiture, moved on to abstract
murals with the main focus on abstract shapes in a single shade of blue. He continued making larger murals until they were incorporated into celestial bodies, asteroids, and even Nebulas.

One of my favorites, due to it’s stylized drawing and science fiction theme of the difference between humans and the machines we make.


Blindspot

A cyborg crew- Hawk, Kali, Sui and Rookie- attempt to rob a convoy for a heavily guarded microchip as it is in motion to a tunnel. As they plant explosives on the back car, Sui drops one of his when swerving to avoid a desert rat, alerting the guards.

All action and not much logic. This feels more like an extract from a teenage TV show.


Ice Age (Michael Swanwick)

Gail and Rob move into the apartment finding an antique refrigerator. Opening it to get ice, they find a preserved Mammoth the size of a sand grain, and returning to the freezer they find a fast-
moving time-dilated civilization developing.

This stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Topher Grace (That 70’s Show). At first the characters appear to be animations, but I later found that they were shot live-action. A fascinating story of
a civilization evolving in the space of a few days.


Alternate Histories (John Scalzi)

Multiversity, an alternative history research simulation app, shows a user six different timelines involving the death of Adolf Hitler.

Fun little animation with progressively wild and strangely specific circumstances leading to the death of Hitler.


The Secret War

A platoon of Red Army soldiers hunt demons in the Siberian forests. Sgt. Sergei Pavlovich and his Lieutenant raise concerns the men are too dispersed, but the Major dismisses their worries. As the
Germans lay siege to Stalingrad, the Red Army Platoon continue without support into the forest.

Another bloody war story of an army vs creatures from the depth. While the animation is very realistic, the story is basic.

Designated Survivor S3

Series 3 has been taken over by Netflix. And it’s a short 10 episode series. Gone is the attempt at humour in the second series. Now it’s more ‘West Wing’ or ‘Madam Secretary’.

An it’s a lot more topical, seeming to exist in a parallel world to the current Trump administration. Unfortunately there are far too many plot elements. The bio-terrorism threat seems tagged on to keep a few actors employed. The gay romance story was just unnecessary and the bed-hoping among major characters detracted from the politicking that was far more interesting.

Then in the final episode it did seem that the president was talking about our world and not his. So an OK series, but certainly not as good as the first series.

Man Down #4

Man Down, the forth (and final season). Dan becomes a father. Not a very good one. After an unfortunate incident in the park, embarrassing himself at the christening and fighting with a goose things aren’t looking good.

This series really goes all out with the physical (and gory humour). But in the end it’s good for us (it’s very funny) but bad for Dan as he descends into oblivion.

 

 

 

Man Down #3

Man Down Season 3

Dan’s job is really going down the toilet. He is looking for a way out and wants to immigrate to America. Will is happen – hardly (he has friends to annoy).

The main plot of this series is his discovery that he is adopted (well, sort of).

Also the fun of having Tony Robinson (Baldrick) involved as his Mum’s new boyfriend.

 

And the most surprising guest cameo of Mark Hamill.

Man Down #2

Man Down Season 2

With the departure of Rik Mayall, Staphanie Cole (77) steps in as Dan’s Aunt.

Stephanie Cole

She plays a batty old farmer’s wife to great extreme.

The plots get more weird and out there. With more outside locations it looks like they have more money to spend.

Still, the scripts keep being funny, so nothing to complain about.

 

Man Down #1

Following Cuckoo, I tried Greg Davies’ earlier work.

Man Down is a British sitcom broadcast from 2013 (series 1) to 2017 (series 4). Greg stars as Dan, a man who hates his job as a teacher and who recently broke up with his girlfriend.

The notable thing is this was one of Rik Mayall’s last works. Despite being only 10 years older than Davies, he plays his father. A very rude, cheeky and naughty one. He frequently plays embarrassing pranks on Dan. It is revealed in season two he sees his son as a mate and expects something similar in response.

Dan is a teacher, and a very bad one. He subjects his students (young teens) to indifference an abuse. They give the same back.

Despite being on Netflix, it also turns up on YouTube.

Good Girl 2

Good Girls the second season premiered on March 3, 2019. NBC renewed the series for a third season.


Season two continues in a with a similar plot to the first. This time the girls have an FBI agent (or two) on to them. Will they elude capture, kill many people and do a few robberies ?

Of course, with a cliff-hanger ending and a third season.

Myth Jnr

As Adam Savage announces at beginning.. “I’m Back”

This time with ‘Junior’ Mythbusters.

This 10 episode series tackles such serious topics as.. .

1. Duct Tape Uses – A parachute ?

2. Dynamite Air Freshener
Will pressurized gar fair fresheners explode ?

3. Battery Blast
Heating, pressurizing and general destroying batteries.

4. Gravity Busters
Examination of the slinky

5. Demolition Dominoes
Getting a sequence of dominoes to destroy a car.

6. Shredder Explosion
Paper shredder + electricity = explosion

7. Gas-trastrophe – lighting farts

8. Bug Special – Wrangling Ants

9. Deep Space Hollywood – Screams in Space and fire extinguisher propulsion.

10. Breaking Bad Blow-Up
Testing the big magnets used to destroy police evidence.

 

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.