Sigh

I really hate to do this, but I think I need to. It has been months since I updated this blog, and doing episode reviews is just too time consuming while working, writing, and doing another degree. So I am going to discontinue this blog. However, there is a silver lining. I will be keeping up my main blog at: http://cindy4books.wordpress.com/. It is fairly eclectic, but I do many book reviews and movie reviews, many of which are fantasy or SF, and I plan on adding any TV shows I watch, which also tend to gravitate to that. There won’t be any episode reviews, but there will be season reviews on occasion. For instance, you can look forward to some reviews of the last few seasons of Doctor Who, and when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes out, expect some initial impressions as a minimum.  I am hopeful that this consolidation will be a good thing all around. And if I ever get around to rewatching Star Wars or Firefly or anything of that sort, which I have never blogged about formally, my thoughts will appear there.

Thanks to my readers to all their support over the years. I hope to see you over at my main blog.

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Echoes of All Our Conversations #6

This is the final volume to this series, though a lovely volume containing an index and featuring Stephen Furst’s Vir is also available, but that doesn’t make for very good reviewing, though the index is quite extensive, and the production timeline and set blueprints are quite cool. Except that like the other volumes it is signed and includes with it a postcard and bookmark with Vir quotes on them.

But this is volume six, and features Bill Mummy’s Lennier and includes a CD with an audio interview not transcribed in the book. It also features interviews with many of the cast and crew a year or so after Babylon 5 finished principle production. Many of the questions focus on memories from when everything started back with “The Gathering” over six years earlier. We not only get a rare interview with Michael O’Hare, but Walter Koeing, several writers and directors, and a representative from Warner Brothers is included. There are then interviews with the principle cast for Legend of the Rangers, and finally, interviews with the three principle cast members of The Lost Tales. Included are many wonderful photos, including one of Andreas Katsulas in costume but without make-up or prosthetics.

And thus ends this trip down the Babylon 5 memory lane. Or thus it almost ends. There is one final book, B5 at 20: A Visual Celebration, but while it looks amazing it doesn’t look right for me. There is also my reviews of Babylon 5 itself to finish here…someday hopefully. In the mean time, I hope you have enjoyed this look at some of my favorite parts from these books, and look forward to more on Doctor Who here in the hopefully near future.

Echoes of All Our Conversations #5

This is an interesting collection because this gives us a snapshot of the end of season five, which was full of emotion between things ending and the second two movies plus the potential of Crusade. It is always interesting to hear different perspectives on the same thing. This tends to happen a lot since the interviews tend to be clustered together. The guest cast is always interesting to hear from since they give us a bit of an outside perspective. This time we get Byron, the regent, Wayne Alexander in yet another role, Martin Sheen, and the archaeologist as stand outs. The artist who helped design Thirdspace is another interesting one. It is also interesting to hear from some of the people who have been there forever, especially as far as the CGI is concerned. As usual, there is included a CD with an audio interview. This time Jerry Doyle is the actor featured, including a bookmark and postcard with quotes from his character Michael Garibaldi. There is an interview from Mira Furlan’s husband who directed an episode in the fifth season. Harlan Ellison’s interview is particularly noteworthy, having been involved on the peripheries from the beginning. Patricia Talman also gets personal. Once again, another must have volume for B5 fans.

JMS Script Book #2.5

So back in JMS Script Book #2, they included the final version of the season 2 premier, “Points of Departure”. Usually, the script team would go for an earlier version, but thanks to a hard drive crash this was not possible for this episode – or so they thought. Fast forward several years and they somehow managed to find a copy of the original script. This book comes complete with a complete discussion of differences between scripts and the script itself is annotated indicating what was different from the final version. As a bonus, they managed to capture the audio of the original version and have included a complete storybook with pictures and dialog to go along with the CD. As another bonus, we get the original notes from JMS about both the Centauri trilogy and the Technomage trilogy of books. Oh, and in addition to the CD, we get another postcard and bookmark with quotes from the original version of “Points of Departure”. All in all, very fascinating! I can’t help but wonder what they will have for us next!

Echos of All Our Conversations #4

This time we are treated to some quotes from Delen and a message from Mira Furlan herself before we dive into the goodness of this book. Much of the book there is a sense of uncertainty as it  covers the period where no one knew whether B5 would be renewed for a fifth season or not. We get Claudia Christian’s perspective on not coming back for season 5 and everything that led to that. We also get interviews directly related to the first two TV movies, “Thirdspace” and “In the Beginning”. Many of the same people are interviewed, but there are some newcomers, especially Tracy Scoggins. We also get some insight into some reorganization of the CGI department. One of the funnest parts, for me at least, was to read the comments of the guest actors. Maybe it is just me, but it seemed to me there were more of those in this volume than some of the previous volumes. Again, photos of cast and crew are included.

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012: The Snowmen

In an interesting contrast to the Christmas special two years ago, Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol: this time it is the Doctor who is grumpy around Christmas because Amy and Rory have left him. Not even the efforts of some friends who know exactly who he is helps, nor does being in Victorian England help. However, he is needed because a psychic snow has invaded the earth. It is alright now, but when it learns how to be human in snow form , well the human race doesn’t have a chance. A young woman named Clara runs into one of these snowmen at the same time she runs into the Doctor. He can’t erase her memory since then she won’t know how to defend herself against the snowmen. She ends up pulling the Doctor back into events against his will. It turns out that the snow has been using a man most of his life, reflecting back at him his darkest thoughts. It also seems it is really the Great Intelligence that is doing this. The Doctor gives in and decides to make Clara his companion – right before she is mortally wounded. Her tears and the tears of the family she works for save the day – the psychic snow reflects back their sorrow turning the snow into rain. She dies – but it turns out the Doctor has met her before. She was the same person who he met during his last encounter with the Daleks. He is determined to find her again . . .

Here are some observations. Grumpy Doctor isn’t much fun. Thank goodness for his friends – who are rather hillarious^^; Clara is great. I can’t wait to see more of her. Love the new look of the Tardis and the Doctor’s new wardrobe, though I wonder if he will modify it a bit now that he isn’t grumpy. This may be the best Christmas special yet for Doctor Who.

Doctor Who Series 5 Episodes #12-13

The first episode is “The Pandorica Opens”. Vincent van Gogh painted a picture of the Tardis exploding. It goes through a long chain into the future when River finds it. She then goes to the coordinates indicated by the painting – Roman Britain. She leaves a message for the Doctor and he and Amy find her there posing as Cleopatra by Stonehedge. This coordinates is where the Pandorica is – a box made to confine the most dangerous being in the universe. Our heroes find a passage under Stonehedge leading to it. Amy asks the Doctor about the ring she found. He only says that it belonged to a friend and that nothing is truly forgotten. River warns that there is a signal broadcasting out everywhere from the Pandorica and that they will have company soon. River recruits the Roman legion nearby – lead by Rory. Meanwhile, Amy and the Doctor are attacked by a Cyberman but escape from him. When the Doctor discovers Rory he has no explanation for how he is there. Amy doesn’t remember him which is very distressing to Rory, but the Doctor tells him she will remember eventually. The Doctor’s enemies begin arriving and he buys time by getting them to argue about who has the best claim to kill him. Meanwhile he has River go for the Tardis, but someone takes her to Amy’s house in the present day. There River finds a book about Roman Britain and Pandorica. She warns the Doctor but before she can get back to him something takes over the Tardis again and sets it for self destruct with River trapped inside. Meanwhile, the Doctor’s enemies resolve their differences and corner him and put him in the Pandorica box – since they consider him to be the most dangerous person in the universe. The Tardis explodes and is destroying the universe, which they blame on the Doctor. Meanwhile, Amy finally remembers Rory, but he is a plastic human and whatever created takes control of him and he kills Amy.

The second episode is “The Big Bang”. Young Amy draws pictures of stars, but there are no stars in the night sky. Her aunt and teacher are worried about her. She receives a message to go to the national museum, which has the Pandorica and stone figures of the Doctor’s enemies. She hides and after everyone leaves touches the Pandorica, which opens to reveal – adult Amy. The Doctor had used the vortex time manipulator to go back in time to Rory. He hands over his sonic screwdriver and tells Rory how to open the Pandorica and also to put Amy in it since it will then heal her. Rory does so, and low and behold current day Doctor is free and Amy is in the Pandorica. However, it can’t be opened again until it comes in contact with Amy’s DNA. The Doctor jumps to the future when Amy is a little girl after agreeing to let Rory stay to keep watch over the Pandorica – and Amy. This may be the first time the Doctor respects Rory. So the Doctor sets up everything to get young Amy to the Museum. He also gets River from the exploding Tardis which has caused it to be in a time loop. We also learn that even from the beginning people around Amy had disappeared due to the crack and that was why he chose her as a companion. Only one problem – the Pandorica opening revived one of the Daleks who goes after our heroes. They elude him at first and run into a dying Doctor from the future and go to the top of the building where the Doctor looks at the sun – the Burning Tardis. Everyone has disappeared – even young Amy. They are all that is left. The Doctor is shot by the Dalek and he uses the time vortex manipulator and disappears. Next we see him he is back in the Pandorica. He is going to drive the Pandorica into the Tardis, thus starting a new big bang. However, he will be on the wrong side of it and will be erased. This is exactly what happens. And it turns out there have been several points during this season where the Doctor from this point has been the one actually speaking and acting. He keeps telling Amy to remember him, including young Amy – the story of a box so blue and the man inside it. Amy wakes up in the present day and it is her wedding day and everyone in her life is back. However, she senses something is missing. River drops off her diary and it triggers Amy’s memory and with that the Doctor is back. After all the festivities the Doctor is off to travel again and Amy and Rory decide to go with him. He wonders what it means the phrase people keep saying, “Silence will fall,” but then seems to forget about it . . .

Echoes of All our Conversations #3

In this red volume, we get a bookmark and postcard with quotes by Commander Susan Ivanova and it is signed by the actress who played her, Claudia Christian. This book covers the end of season two into well into season four when there was much uncertainty whether there would be a season 5. We get some interesting stories, including the strike, the change to a different CGI company, and Harlan Ellison’s take on the B5 project. We not only hear from some of our favorite regulars (and some not so regulars like Walter Koenig, Wayne Alexander, and Ed Wasser)), we hear from some of the guest stars like Turhan Bey and Majel Barrett Roddenberry. Another must have volume for fans.

Doctor Who Series 5 Episodes # 10-11

The first episode is “Vincent and the Doctor”. In this episode, Amy is down though she doesn’t know why. So the Doctor takes her to go see  Vincent van Gogh’s work in an art gallery. He sees an alien figure in a window and decides to investigate. Amy is amazed to meet Vincent. She is even more amazed to discover he wasn’t appreciated in his own time and he is a very troubled man. It also seems there have recently been some murders blamed on him. The Doctor figures it is the alien. Amy convinces Vincent to help. That night Amy is attacked by the alien which only Vincent can see. (It seems he can see a lot of things other people can’t.) He sketches what he saw for the Doctor who goes back to the TARDIS and gets a machine that will allow him to see the alien. The next day Vincent is distraught at first at the thought that the Doctor and Amy will leave him. However, he does agree still to help them and starts painting his picture. He spots the creature and the Doctor goes after it, followed by Amy and Vincent. Good thing too since he can spot the creature best. The doctor figures out the creature is blind, probably why it was abandoned. It ends up impaled on Vincent’s easel, much to the Doctor’s sorrow. It dies. That night Vincent describes to his visitors how he sees the world. The next day before leaving the Doctor and Amy take Vincent to the gallery where his work is and he hears the curator’s response to the Doctor’s question about what he thinks of van Gogh’s work. After taking him back to his time, Amy and the Doctor again return to the gallery, but nothing much has changed. Vincent still is  troubled and his life too short. The Doctor says they couldn’t undo everything but they did add good to his life, as demonstrated when a painting now has the inscription “to Amy”.

The second episode is “The Lodger”. For some reason, when the Doctor steps out of the TARDIS into the modern day, the blue box takes off with Amy still inside, leaving the Doctor stranded. One discrete visit to an ATM with the sonic screwdriver later, the Doctor next starts looking for a base of operations. He ends up taking a place with Craig, a normal guy who has a girlfriend but is shy. Craig at first likes the Doctor, but when the Doctor dominates in football (soccer) and sparks the interest of the girlfriend and encourages her to follow her dream of going to Africa, Craig is no longer so happy. Meanwhile, the Doctor manages to create a communications device. The reason the TARDIS acted the way it did is there is a temporal distortion in the area. The Doctor can’t use Time Lord equipment for the most part, so his room ends up looking quite interesting, as Craig notices when he comes to confront the Doctor. It turns out that people have been disappearing whenever they go up to the second story of Craig’s flat where supposedly another tenant lives. The girlfriend gets lured up there and the Doctor and Craig come to the rescue just in time. There never was a second story to Craig’s place. A ship crashed there and has been drawing people to try to pilot it, anyone who wants to escape their life. It recognizes the Doctor as an acceptable candidate, but the Doctor warns if he touches the controls it would destroy the solar system. He has Craig touch it since he doesn’t want to leave but stay with his girlfriend. The two reconcile and the three escape the ship. Craig gives the Doctor a key saying he can come by any time. The Doctor tells Amy to write the note that will lead him to Craig’s house. However, when she goes through his coat pockets looking for a pen she finds the ring Rory gave her . . .

Doctor Who Series 5 Episodes #8 & 9

The first episode is “The Hungry Earth”. Rory convinces Amy to keep their engagement ring on the TARDIS to keep it safe.Our heroes travel to a near future time when scientists are doing deep mining.  Interestingly enough, a guy went missing from the site without a trace. The guy’s father-in-law is worried, as is the main scientist, while the guys wife and son are worried about graves disappearing. Tremors happen and Amy gets sucked into the earth. The Doctor realizes that there are reptile-humans far underground and the drill woke them. The boy gets taken and the grandfather is stung by one of the reptile-humans, but they capture one. The Doctor decides to go underground to find Amy and negotiate. The others aren’t entirely happy with this. (Except Rory – he knows to listen to the Doctor by now.) The Doctor expects to find a small colony. He finds a whole civilization instead. Most of them are still in hibernation, but the drill set off the alarms and woke the warriors, who look down on humans and think the Earth is theirs.
The second episode is “Cold Blood”. The Doctor and the scientist are captured. The warrior leader wants to kill them. Fortunately, Amy and the first guy captured escape. The good news is that the reptile-human doctor is more reasonable than the warriors. He ends up waking up the leader. Negotiations begin between humans and reptile-humans. And yes, the boy is found and freed. The bad news is that the captured reptile-human goaded the wife into killing her. Realizing this means a probable attack by the reptile-humans, they rig the drill to destroy the underground oxygen supply. When the warrior leader realizes this, she wakes up the other warriors to attack the surface and she kills the reptile-human doctor. However, the main leader rigs things so most of the warriors go back into hibernation. He sets events in motion so that they will be sealed off from the surface. They will try again to be friends with humans in another thousand years. The grandfather decides to stay behind so he can be cured and the scientist decides to stay with him. The family races to the TARDIS before it is sealed. The others follow, but they see a crack in time again. The Doctor manages to pull something out of the crack. The warrior leader ends up shooting at the Doctor but hitting Rory. He dies and then his body starts to be absorbed by the crack. There is nothing the Doctor can do. Once on board, he tries to help Amy remember but a jolt in the TARDIS breaks her concentration. The Doctor later finds the engagement ring . . . The Doctor encourages the family to prepare humanity for their next encounter with their reptilian cousins. The Doctor looks at what he pulled out of the crack in time, and it is a piece from a clearly destroyed TARDIS . . .