Category Archives: Television

Gormenghast

Gormenghast is a fantasy series by British author Mervyn Peake, about the inhabitants of Castle Gormenghast, a sprawling, decaying, gothic-like structure.

There are three novels, Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950), Titus Alone (1959) and a novella, Boy in Darkness (1956), whose canonical status is debated. Peake was writing a fourth novel, Titus Awakes at the time of his death, which was later completed and released by Peake’s widow in 2009.


I first read the first two books in the 1980s and was impresses with the rich, evocative writing that has stayed with me. The books were made into a four part TV series in 200, which I’m sure I saw in TV. The DVD was released in 2008.

This re-viewing does show up some of the production values of the time. Everything that is a model, looks like a model. And it’s lit like a stage production. Clearly most was produced on a sound stage. There are some great performances, notably Ian Richardson, Christopher Lee and Stephen and Fry. John Sessions is great as the nutty doctor.

Caprica 19 (Finale)

Apotheosis (2010-11-30)

In the aftermath of her failed attempt to kill the Graystones, Singh informs Clarice that he’s going to implicate them anyway. He arrests them, but they escape via heli-jet with the help of Cyrus and fly to the city park to find Clarice’s holoband.

Now in mourning, the Adamas and friends are visited by Fidelia, who realizes the ways of her father are misplaced and outdated. Daniel uses the band and learns the details of the STO plan to blow up the arena and resurrect the STO terrorists in V-world.

The Graystones immediately embark on trying to foil the plan in a race against time while being pursued by the GDD. Fidelia manipulates her father and then allows Joseph and Sam to kill him in blood-revenge for Willie, and she assumes his ring and title.

With help, Daniel is able to equip a laptop to wirelessly control all Cylons in the vicinity, and four squads of Cylon Marines then drop into the arena by heli-jet. The final battle is a race between the Cylons, Daniel, and the STO, and the Cylons manage to eliminate all but one of the STO terrorists, Olaf, who detonates the vest of explosives he is wearing; the resulting damage, however, is localized, and the arena remains largely intact.

In the end, Zoe’s avatar destroys the virtual heaven with its STO martyrs, and Clarice’s apotheosis plan has failed.

Scenes from the near future of Caprica are revealed, wherein a new era has dawned. Cylons have become integrated into society, rebuilding the part of the arena that was damaged and performing the jobs that humanity no longer wants.

Humanity is thankful, even constructing a monument to the Cylons who stopped the Atlas Arena attack, however the Cylons are still thought of by most as merely tools. Joseph and Evelyn Adama are revealed to have a new son, Bill, who is named after the deceased William in line with Tauron tradition.

Despite their foiled plan, the STO remain active. On Gemenon, Lacy Rand has assumed the position of the Blessed Mother, while Clarice Willow has escaped justice for her terrorist activities and begins to preach directly to the Cylons, reinforcing the STO concept that becomes the monotheistic Cylon God.

In a virtual church, she tells them that they are God’s children, that they are equals with humanity, and that they can become more. She then speaks of the one that loves them all and tells of a prophecy that their belief in God will allow them to crush those who gave them life.

A virtual copy of Zoe is in the audience. Finally, a scene is shown of Daniel and Amanda Graystone finally completing a human-looking “skin job” body for their daughter’s avatar.

Zoe Graystone is then seen rising from a small pool similar to the Cylon resurrection tanks from the Battlestar Galactica series, essentially having been “reborn” in the real world.

Caprica 18

Here Be Dragons (2010-11-23)

As the three search for Zoe and Tamara in V-World, Amanda distrusts Sam and ‘removes’ him from the game.

Based on his daughter’s feedback, the Guatrau also decides to remove the Adama brothers. Joseph survives a hit at home with the intervention of Ruth, and the family prepare to flee Caprica.

Meanwhile Clarice, Olaf, and Nestor break into the Graystone residence, planning to kill them and retrieve the holoband.

At the STO camp, the death of Lacy is also planned, however the trainees revolt and kill their STO trainers.
Lacy then activates the Cylons, who then begin to follow her.

The Willows are delayed when security doors seal the lab with Amanda and Daniel unaware of the intrusion and linked to the
holobands.

However, they finally gain access and hold them at gunpoint.
Just as Clarice is about to order them killed, Daniel stalls for time, and the original Zoe U-87 Cylon, dormant since the crash,
activates.


A terrific episode with lots of action, shooting and deaths. But somehow the main characters live through it.

The Adama brothers should really know how to cover each other when opening a safe. You never know who might sneak up behind you.

I don’t thing much of the Graystone security system. It seems that anyone with minimal effort can get in. And why don’t they have
weapons on the most secure place ?

And these STO recruits aren’t very well trained. You should also check your weapon before attempting to use it. It was clearly empty, and an experienced soldier would know because it would have been lighter.

So exciting, but only because people do stupid things along the way.

Caprica 17

The Heavens Will Rise (2010-11-16)

Amanda finally tells Daniel that she is a mole in Clarice’s house and later meets Duram – who wants Amanda to switch Clarice’s holoband.

On Gemenon, Lacy watches in horror as an STO soldier orders a Cylon to shoot a young recruit who failed to salute. She tells the robot to stop and surprisingly it obeys.

Fidelia Fazekas, the Gautrau’s daughter and Joseph’s former lover, becomes increasingly suspicious of the missing Cylon units.


As Lucy can control the robots, does this mean that there is still a part of Zoe in them ? This could be the start of sentience for them.

And Amanda has her cover blown. Just what will Clarice do to her.  Only two episodes to go and it looks like there is a lot that needs to happen.

 

 

Caprica 16

The Dirteaters (2010-11-09)

Joseph and Sam are both promoted by the Gautrau.

Zoe and Tamara, now called “The Avenging Angels”, have teamed up to rid New Cap City of corruption.

Daniel discovers that the CEO of every Ha’la’tha corporation later ends up dead, and makes a deal.


After the great previous episode, this feels like it’s doing nothing. This is due to the long flashback that explains the Adama boy’s character and relationship.

With Duram suspended from his investigation, things seems to be stalled with the murder investigation.

 

Caprica 15

Blowback (2010-11-02)

The STO jump-ship transporting Lacy to Gemenon is hijacked by polytheists who begin executing the young recruits. Lacy and some acolytes finally resist their captivity and violently assault the hijackers, only to learn that it was actually an STO initiation test.

Zoe’s gold infinity-symbol pin, stored in a GDD evidence room, is delivered to Clarice by an STO mole – the pin is actually a digital storage device and contains a backup copy of the avatar program.

Daniel explains the company’s irregularities to Joseph and Sam, detailing how Cylon units are being sold to the STO on Gemenon.


This is one of the best episodes yet. It’s tense and engaging. The hi-jacking made little sense at first. But the twist was rewarding.

And the false mole I could see coming and it just ups the stakes for all involved.

Caprica 14

False Labour (2010-10-26)

Sam, disturbed by the ongoing civil war on Tauron in which his parents died, wants to do more to help than just send money, but is having ongoing troubles with his husband Larry over the issue.

Daniel continues working on the resurrection avatar holoband program, and ‘guinea-pigs’ it on an avatar recreation of Amanda.

Amanda continues to befriend Clarice’s family so she can spy on her, including lying about her history with Zoe, and reporting activity to Duram.


We get to see the robot do it’s destructive thing.  The people working for Daniel should keep these things under lock and key. It seems anyone can get a hold of one. And with no knowledge of how it works get it to kill.

Daniel creating an avatar of his wife gets to be creepy. First, he is pleased when she is compliant to his wishes. Then gets angry when she doesn’t reject him for going too far. This appears to be the inherent problem with creating replacement people (as he is suggesting his company can), they will never be perfect and everyone will expect something different.

 

Caprica 13

Things We Lock Away (2010-10-19)

Daniel is reinstated as CEO but is advised by Joseph that Tomas should be killed. Daniel refuses and proposes negotiating with him.

Lacy is now being held captive and drugged in the Willow family’s attic. In flashback,

In New Cap City, Zoe demands to see the other Death Walker. Tamara then appears, seeking revenge, and watches as family members of the STO victims beat Zoe mercilessly.

In the cabin, Amanda has been unable to find any evidence against Clarice, and Duram instructs her to search the Willow home.


Yet more killings. It looks like Lacy is going on a journey.

Strange that st this stage it is revealed that Zoe is the source of the Cylon design.

 

 

Caprica 12

Retribution (2010-10-12)

Daniel prepares to reclaim his company, and does so by having Sam and Joseph ready evidence to blackmail the board members into voting for him back.

Amanda remembers how she survived her suicide attempt and, while in the hospital, her ongoing trust issues with her husband.

Lacy and two other STO agents botch an attack on a spaceport after Lacy is confronted by security, and they flee the scene in a car driven by Keon.

Clarice then kills the two agents who betrayed her by joining Barnabas’ side.


Things just keep getting darker and grimmer as the body count rises and everyone descends into some hellhole. At the bottom will probably be some Cylons.

And everything is done in the rain.

Caprica 11

Unvanquished (2010-10-05)

Three weeks have passed and followers of the “One True God” place detonators under their seats at a Pyramid match. Clarice observes the stadium explode, revealing it to be a simulation illustrating her proposal to the leaders of the monotheist church on Gemenon for “Apotheosis”.

Daniel seeks a business partnership with the Ha’la’tha crime syndicate in order to regain control of Graystone Industries, now run by Tomas, and now mass producing Cylons.

Using Zoe’s avatar program, Clarice wants to create a virtual heaven which allows believers to sacrifice themselves in the real world to live forever in a virtual one.


We get a good look at Gemenon and it looks like it’s stuck in medieval England.

Everyone wants to kill everyone else.

It’s not clear how Daniel came to sell his company to Tomas, but to get it back he has to kill someone. This is showing just how psychotic the Adamas are.

The STO leader isn’t  much better, Clarice wants kill people just so they can come to her church.

It looks like all the sane people have left the show.