One minute I didn’t even know Altered Carbon was being made into a TV show and the next, I am shitting myself with excitement that it is almost here. Altered Carbon is a brilliant book written by Richard K Morgan and features the superb character, Takeshi Kovacs.
In the future, you back up your brain to a computer via a tiny computer stack in your head. Bodies are grown or even just used and your brain can then be downloaded into them. So if you get killed, you can come back in a different body. Or your own clone, if you are rich. In Altered Carbon – the book at least – Takeshi Kovacs is a double-hard bastard who is hired to find out who killed a really rich guy. He is hired by the really rich guy.
The book is quite a scifi noir and is violent and a great read. If you haven’t read it you definitely should. Check it out here. Altered Carbon was the first of three books to feature Kovacs but it is very much a stand-alone novel. It looks like the TV show is following the book fairly closely and has a pretty impressive budget. I hope it is as good an adaptation as The Expanse TV show. This is a truly great time to be a science fiction fan with a Netflix account!
Altered Carbon comes out on Netflix on the 2nd February and here is the brilliant trailer:
If you are interested in the superb book, and you should be, look here:
In case you haven’t heard of Honest Trailers, you should check them out on YouTube and thank me later. They do hilarious reviews of movies, games, TV shows and more. They are part of the Screen Junkies channel which has a lot of great stuff. I have now seen nearly all of the Honest Trailers but they are still a fun YouTube rabbit hole to spend an hour in.
On the 20th anniversary of Star Trek – The Next Generation they did a special one. It is 8 minutes long and bloody funny if you are cool enough to be a Trekkie. Here you go. Engage! (Sorry but it had to be done.)
I have made no secret about the fact that I think the Expanse is bloody great. I am currently in that painful period between both Expanse books and TV series. It has given me more time to do other things with my life, I guess, but it still sucks.
Anyway. Because I am a fan and the internet these days knows everything about me, I get sent a lot of Expanse related material and came across a nice little infographic guide thingy. In case you are solely ensconced in the TV show and have short term memory I thought it could be handy. The books are now a lot more complicated and would require something colossal! This is well done and has also has a cool title. Go Rocinante!
Game of Thrones season 7 is back on air tomorrow night on HBO and will be downloaded by most of the planet an hour later. (Not me, I hasten to add.) I was toying with rewatching seasons 1 to 6 but I am currently in the middle of rewatching all of Twin Peaks so just don’t have the time. Thankfully there are a lot of people on the internet who do have the time and have compiled a handy recap.
So without further ado, here is everything that happened:
I saw ‘Into the Unknown – A Journey through science fiction’ a couple of weeks ago. If you like science fiction and are in London, I highly recommend it. It consists of quite an eclectic group of science fiction artefacts, pictures, installations, models and videos. Here is the blurb:
“The genre-defining exhibition of art, design, film and literature.
From the 19th century cabinet of curiosities, to the vastness of space. Through future cities, into the inner landscapes of human perception.
Uncover the mysterious lands of Jules Verne and Ray Harryhausen where Science Fiction narratives first took root. Venture on an odyssey into our solar system, with vintage artwork promoting Soviet visions of space alongside immersive work by Soda_Jerk. Visit a gallery of aliens, and stand alongside iconic spacesuits from a galaxy of blockbusters including Star Trek and Interstellar.
Imagine dystopian worlds with Margaret Atwood and 28 Days Later. Then, with nowhere left to explore but human consciousness, delve deep and experience the transformation and mutation of the body through the eyes of Jack Kirby and Ex Machina.
Curated by historian and writer Patrick Gyger, this festival-style exhibition consists of more than 800 works, many of which have never been seen in the UK before. Continuing across the Centre, it includes artwork from Isaac Julien, Larissa Sansour and Conrad Shawcross, and an installation from the creators of Black Mirror.”
I struggled a bit to find a common theme at ‘Into the Unknown’ but maybe there wasn’t one. Just lots of science fiction goodness.
The main room has a huge smorgasbord of stuff – old magazines, video clips, models, props, outfits, books, comics and more. I really enjoyed it and even spotted a couple of books I hadn’t read. There is an interactive bit from the Martian, which was quite fun and some superb models from Harryhausen and designs based on the awesome HR Giger. Near the end are the spacesuits used in films like Star Trek and Sunshine.
The exhibition continues elsewhere but they were a bit hit and miss for me. In the Pit, there is a kind of robotic arm that moves around shining a light. It was kind of cool – more like an art installation that looked scifi-ish than anything else. There was a short film in another room that was ok. In the entrance/exit there is an installation by Black Mirror which is intriguing if you haven’t seen the show – if you have, then it just makes you want to rewatch them all again.
On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Into the Unknown’ and would recommend it. The main room is the best bit and although it feels a bit random, the stuff on display is great.
Game of Thrones season 7 is coming! There is a new trailer to prove it and it looks fucking incredible. I have utterly given up on the books now and it is pretty liberating to have no idea what is going to happen. I am pretty sure Cersei is doomed, however (I reckon eventually killed by her very loving bro Jaime). Plus. and this is a hopeful guess, there will be boobs and violence and dragons.
The new series of Game of Thrones is back on 16th July. Here is the trailer:
A couple of days ago I wrote about The Orville – a Star Trek parody that I hope will be good but I can’t help feeling on the fence about. In that case it was because it might not be funny. Now the Star Trek Discovery trailer has landed and I feel myself on a similar fence, except this time because is just doesn’t feel like should.
The trailer for Star Trek Discovery has divided the world into three camps – those who are Trek fans and think this looks great, those who are Trek fans and don’t like the JJ Abrams prequel-ness of it all, and non-Trek fans who are just getting on with their lives.
Now I will grudgingly admit that the trailer looks quite fun and seems well made with a decent budget, great cast and so on. If it had been a different series entirely, or even set after Voyager, I might even be massively excited. This is shiny new prequel Trek however, and while the films are fun and exciting, it isn’t exactly what I was hoping for when it comes to a Star Trek TV series. If asked, which I shockingly wasn’t, I would have requested something that continues the original timeline and looks like Star Trek before the Kelvin/Abrams reimagining. Something more character and story based, with less lens flare, action and see-through computer screens.
I know a lot of Star Trek fans are now sounding like whining little sad sacks but I understand where they are coming from. I guess it feels like the makers were unaware that there were a load of TV shows before the Abrams films. So they decided to make a prequel show that mirrors his ‘reimagining’ whereas most actual Trekkies want more stuff that feels like all the TV shows – and I am including Enterprise in that. I think I have just hit ‘peak prequel’. If something is going to look more technologically advanced, set it after the original.
I will stop bitching. Star Trek Discovery looks like it might be a good show with a great cast and the best effects yet. I just remain to be convinced that it is good Trek. Fingers crossed.
Seth McFarlane is the guy behind Family Guy, American Dad! and Ted. So if you like his humour you will probably like this. If you hate his stuff, then your course of action is pretty clear. Good for you. Personally, there are moments of his work that I find funny but on the whole, I can take it or leave it. But this is in space, so all bets are off.
I am hoping his live action science fiction comedy “The Orville” will be his best work yet because it looks like it has a lot of potential and appeals to my inner nerd. It is clearly a parody of Star Trek and if it is even half as good as Galaxy Quest, I will be very happy indeed. The difference between this and something like Family Guy is that the whole thing is set in a space with aliens and robots and so on, so it hopefully won’t be so reference-laden and desperate to shock. The effects look pretty decent too, although maybe that is just for the trailer. Oh, and it is also directed by Jon Favreau, who is generally pretty reliable.
We shall see. I like comedies set in space. I hope I will like The Orville. It is already pretty polarising on the internet but then everything is these days because people are opinionated idiots. (Fact, not opinion.) There is no official word on when it will be out, but it will be this year and on a Thursday. Here is the trailer:
Season 1 was great, although I understand why some people found it a bit slow to start off with. The book was a bit like that too but when it gets going it is great. The first season just dealt with the events of the first half of book one, so there is a lot of exciting stuff still to come. If you haven’t read the books or seen the first series, I highly recommend you do both. The whole Expanse series of books by James S.A. Corey are a cracking read and I hope they carry on for decades.
There are quite a few Expanse trailers around, including a bizarre recap of season one using cats (seriously). This trailer came out a month ago but is bloody superb and should whet your appetite. I will be doing all I can to publicise the show because if another Firefly scenario happens, I don’t think I can recover. I’m officially very excited.