I don’t care what you think of me, I quite enjoyed the Minority Report movie. Right up until most of the ending when it all turned to treacle and was all ‘Spielberg-nice-and-huggy-and-happy’ and shite. I hated the end of that film. I would like to have seen Tom Cruise successfully do his thing, but the pre-cogs get caught and go back under into that pool thing, trapped with no freedom but stopping murders and helping society. This way you have a bit of a moral dilemma. Obviously someone like Spock would just say, ‘The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. So fuck’em.’ And I guess he’d be right.
I digress, but only a bit. As the title suggests, there is going to be a Minority Report TV show where one of the pre-cogs is roaming around and gets a bit of a vision but not enough to solve much. Society is going back to being all “murdery” as the pre-cogs had escaped. It seems he will team up with police woman and they will solve crimes. So quirky guy and no-nonense, hot, kickass female cop form an unlikely bond. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, Castle, The Mentalist, Sleepy Hollow, etc. I actually enjoy most of the times this pairing happens in TV shows, so I’ll allow it.
This post was originally twice the length as it descended into a rant about big budget scifi being cancelled after a series or two but I will save that treat for another time. Hopefully this will be good and will last. To be fair, it actually looks alright. Here is the Minority Report TV trailer:
The Syfy channel and Spielberg’s Amblin Television have just announced that they are going to make a TV show based on Aldous Huxley’s superb Brave New World. I have to admit, I have mixed emotions about this – and most of those emotions are negative.
On the one hand, I can’t help but get excited when a novel I like is being turned into a film or TV show. On the other hand, I have been disappointed the vast majority of the time. I know I recently got fairly excited by the prospect of The Expanse coming to TV, but the books are written so visually that I can almost see the TV show in my head. On the third hand, Brave New World is pretty much a novella and short stories can make great TV/films as they can go with the idea and not be too beholden to the source material. On the fourth – alright, bollocks to the whole ‘hand’ thing – another point is the fact that the best novellas are the length they are because they have a precise story in mind that is longer than a short story but has a definite end. A Brave New World has a definite end.
I’m a huge Orwell fan. Animal Farm and 1984 were perfectly complete stories that were far too long for a short story, but not quite book length. They were the length they needed to be for the finite tale they told. The same goes for the perfectly written The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. (All of these have actually translated quite well into films as the novella is perfect film length.)
I just don’t think a Brave New World will translate into great TV. They should make it a movie or fixed-length mini-series. I guess we shall see.
Do you remember the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers? If so, poor you. It sucked. I recently worked for a kids TV channel and had to watch a ton of the different Power Rangers on a daily basis and they were all dire. I grew up in Hong Kong and masked heroes from the 70s on kids’ TV were generally a lot cooler – Gatchaman, Masked Rider V3, and so on.
If you never saw the Power Rangers, the basic story is this: an evil alien witch, who had been imprisoned in a space container, escapes and decides to attack the nearest planet – Earth. Usually using robots or weird creatures. Another alien picks five teenagers and gives them the power to morph into a giant robot. They could also fight really well, which is what you want in a load of angsty teenagers.
Got that? Right. Well here is a short film starring Katie ‘Starbuck’ Sackoff, and James Van Der ‘Dawson’s Creek’ Beek in a gritty reimagining of how the whole story may have played out, if the annoying Power Rangers grew up to be attractive adults twisted by a life a violence. This new Power Rangers short movie is pretty well done, given the source material. Enjoy.
The Expanse books are coming to Syfy and I’m incredibly excited. The trailer looks pretty good and they’re managed to show a lot of the characters without showing much of the action. According to Syfy it’s their most expensive product to date and if you’ve seen Sharknado 2 that’s no small boast. To be fair they are trying to get away from the Sharknado bollocks and make more science fiction so I should be more supportive.
I’ve written about every book in The Expanse series and raved about them but if you haven’t yet, give them a read starting with Leviathan Wakes. Each book feels like it’s a slightly different genre:
Leviathan Wakes – Noir detective / zombies.
Caliban’s War – Political / military
Abbadon’s Gate – Exploration / Arthur Clarke’s Rama
Cibola Burn – A bit like a Western
They are all great though and the recurring characters are awesome. The TV series seems to be just the first book but they have also included a character called Avasarala from the second, who is a brilliant character and is brilliantly cast. In fact the whole cast seems great and I knew the characters just by looking at them, so I that’s a positive sign.
Anyway, that’s enough waffle. Here is The Expanse TV series trailer:
The Great Martian World War is a documentary from the History Channel. I really felt like I should establish that first to give the whole thing a bit of gravitas. As far as I can tell it is basically a way to explain the First World War to people who are shallow or young. Which is kind of a noble thing right? The idea is this (from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3199240/):
“Documentary-drama recounting the Martian War of 1913 – 1917. Europe was on tenterhooks in the 2nd decade of the 20th century, everyone was expecting a Great War between the major European powers. But then, in 1913, something crashed into the forests of SW Germany. Troops were sent to investigate but were wiped out. Martian fighting machines began making their way across Western Europe and the countries of Europe combined forces to resist them. With aspects taken from “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells and from WWI itself, this dramatisation presents a documentary style look at events as they unfolded and the effect they had of our world today. Lots of references to real events including the mass attacks and defeats as men were thrown against machines on the Western front, the Christmas truce and the Angel of Mons, America’s isolationism and late entry into the conflict, the worldwide “Spanish” flu epidemic that killed more people than the war, and many other things.”
More info about the Great Martian World War can be found here: http://www.history.co.uk/shows/the-great-martian-war. Here is the trailer:
There have been a lot of foul, terrifying wars but WW1 is in the public eye right now with the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak. It is synonymous with innocence lost and a new type of conflict. WW1 was awful. The documentary was designed as a kind of desperate attempt to make kids (of whom a staggering percentage couldn’t tell you the century, let alone the participants) be slightly interested. The main battles are included so education and stuff happens. Remembrance is a good thing.
So with that all established, I give you a fan made video introducing the documentary with heavyish techno. It’s comes with a great soundtrack that basically works as an intro the the documentary. If you feel sad and a bit shocked about the devastation and reality of the horror faced by the people involved, then that is normal. It was an horrendous waste.
Some clever chap called Billy Hanshaw had an idea for a new Doctor Who opening sequence. He made the sequence and it went viral because the internet has both taste and a lot of nerds. Stephen Moffat consequently saw the clip and it is now the basis of the new credit sequence. Moffat obviously has permission from Hanshaw and the BBC are obviously going to add a couple of expensive graphics to it. But the new Doctor Who opening sequence is pretty much good to go already. Go internet and go creative Doctor Who fans!
A couple of new trailers have been released to drum up excitement for the new Doctor Who series. Which isn’t really needed but is appreciated nontheless. Thanks BBC! The first was released last month and is a taster for the series as whole:
The second is a trailer for the first episode ‘Deep Breath’
Annoyingly, Doctor Who season 8 (depending on how you judge these things) or the 12th Doctor’s first series or whatever you want to call it, starts on Saturday 23rd August 2014. Just after I leave England. If only there was some kind of advanced technology that will let me watch it…
I saw this a few days ago and I felt selfish for not sharing it. Plus, anything to do with Futurama is always worth a mention as it is brilliant. Artist Alexy Zakharov has made a 3d 30 second rendition of the skyline in Futurama. It is basically the opening sequence but without the Planet Express crashing into the screen at the end. It looks incredible and I want to live there. I need to work out how to make this a screensaver.
If you are a Trekkie try not to get too excited because we are still very much in the realm of internet rumours. But the word is, there might be a new Star Trek series being pitched. There are numerous stories circulating the web on sites like Den of Geek (http://www.denofgeek.com/tv/star-trek/20931/is-a-new-star-trek-tv-series-in-development) that a guy called David Foster is pitching an idea for a series set after Voyager. Apparently it won’t clash with the JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot as that is in a new timeline. Or something. Whatever, it will be Trek.
I don’t know how likely this is going to be though because I had also read other rumours that seem to be talking about different Star Trek series from the one above. One involved Jonathan Frakes (aka Riker) directing some new Trek show but I think that particular story stemmed from confusion about the fact that Frakes is about to direct a TV series of the Librarian franchise. (Which is actually pretty fun in a ‘rainy Sunday afternoon might as well give it a go’ kind of show.) I hope I am wrong as Frakes is a great director.
Yet another rumour was to do with an apparent casting agency looking for a young Deanna Troi. But that could just be a load of Trekkie pervs trying their luck.
I think the big question should be: ‘Why the hell is there no current Star Trek on our TV at all?’ Going by all the fan made stuff appearing on youtube (which I have written about before here and here), there is clearly a big call for it. I’m pretty sure Trekkies would be rabidly keen on it. My main worry is that they will try a reboot or make it all gritty or something. I want a traditional Trek series where the first couple of seasons are pretty average apart from the occasional brilliant episode, then it gets awesome, with all the characters being quite nice and vaguely attractive. Might as well bring Worf into it as well. Can someone make that happen please?
For a brief second I was a bit shocked by the news that Disney had bought Star Wars but then I remembered that they had been responsible for all the recent Marvel movies. They also made Tron: Legacy which wasn’t very good (and I have forgotten everything that happens in it already) but it looked and sounded great. The first Pirates of the Caribbean was fun and – I don’t care what you say – I even enjoyed John Carter of Mars (the books were pretty daft but enjoyable too, in case you are bored).
So why not let them do Star Wars? It’s not like Lucas was going to steer the series to a dark and brooding universe. I have more faith in someone involved with The Avengers than I do with someone involved with Ewoks or Jarjar or Darth crying ‘Noooooooooo!’ I know they are kids films but if you are old enough to have watched the original trilogy (not including bastard Ewoks) you will understand how disappointing the new trilogy was. Not to mention the constant tinkering / ruining of the originals. Han shot first! If you saw the newer films first then you are approaching the series from a different mindset and are probably wrong about everything relating to Star Wars.
This mild, heavily edited rant brings me nicely to Star Wars: Rebels. It is animated, you know, for kids. Or Young Adults – whatever they are. It teeters dangerously close to being a bit too childlike and cutesy but it could be fun and might help fill in the time until Star Wars VII comes out. On the other hand it might make you feel sick and anxious about the direction it is all taking. A feeling I got the first time I watched an Ewok defeat a helmeted soldier of a galaxy-conquering army by dropping some rocks on his/her head.
Alright, I’ll lighten up. This is for the kids out there. Here is the trailer: