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.
Great martian war from PLAZMA on Vimeo.
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!
Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who
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?
Star Wars Rebels
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:
The Expanse series
Previously on this site I have highly recommended the James S.A. Corey Expanse series. Because it is fucking awesome. So far three of the books are out, with a fourth due this summer. Read my review of the first book here. The two books that follow are just as good, so you really have a treat in store if you haven’t discovered them yet.
Excitingly, Syfy have just confirmed that they are going to be making the Expanse series into a TV show with each book equalling 10 episodes, much like Game of Thrones. I know Syfy makes and produces some awful shite, like the stuff they do with Asylum movies (although they can be fun), but keep in mind that they also made Eureka, Alphas, and, much more importantly – the new version of Battlestar Galactica.
In Corey’s Expanse books no one zips about faster than light so they are all confined to the solar system. The solar system system is still epically massive though, and the series manages to be pretty exciting space opera with fleets of spaceships and exotic moon bases and so on, all while remaining in familiar, realistic surroundings. The Expanse setting is a believable one and consequently everyone lives in cramped, industrial type conditions while floating through the vast expanses of space. In other words, conditions like the ships in Battlestar. (Or Firefly.) So Syfy might do a good job here if you share my optimism that they will be more BSG and a lot less Sharknado.
Also, the writers – James S. A. Corey is actually two talented fellows called Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck – seem to be able to knock out one Expanse book a year (unlike other series I could mention), so this could run for a while. Quite frankly there aren’t enough decent Science Fiction shows on right now and this one is actually going to be in space! Recently I’ve been having to watch Firefly, BSG, Farscape, Stargate and Trek repeats just to get my space scifi fix.
Hopefully that will change. No pressure Syfy….
I saw this on IO9.com and thought I would share as they are pretty damned sexy. NASA has redesigned its next range of spacesuits and they seem to be taking science fiction for inspiration. None of these designs are definite as they have to vote on which one is best in the great NASA Suit Off competition. It will be one of these three though.
The spacesuit designs are below and I have put them in order of personal preference as I’m sure NASA reads this website.
In third place, a quite workaday spacesuit that is frankly a bit dull. Although I do like the fact that the astronaut on the right seems to be holding a raygun:
In second place, a slightly niftier design. On the left is the suit for ‘working in daylight’ mode and on the right what is ‘in nightclub picking up alien chicks’ mode. I like the fact that on the right his forward leaning pose lets you imagine what he’ll look like if he is arriving by jet pack:
In first place, a spacesuit form the designers behind Tron (possibly). It’s a bit baggier than in Tron to accommodate the more portly astronaut of the future. If this isn’t picked then NASA have yet again gone for function over style. Which is a shame.
This is just one step away from the ultimate body hugging spandex costume of the future. When I was a young lad in the early 80s I thought that people in the future would all dress like they did in Buck Rogers.
At work, the outfits will be like Colonel Wilma Deering:
Colonel Wilma Deering
And in the evening they relax Princess Ardala style.
In case you are thinking that this all seems a bit sexist – you can see Buck Rogers wore the same outfit. (For his night attire you can just google.)
Game of Thrones Season 4
In case you are into Game of Thrones and are up to date with the show, here is a treat to get you salivating about Season 4. If you aren’t up to date, you are probably wasting your life and should keep up with everyone else.
Game of Thrones: A Foreshadowing is basically a 15 minute feature that explains how things are going to be even more violent and epic than the previous three. Which is quite a feat. It is based on A Storm of Swords, which is the second part of the third book. I have read it and it’s bloody brilliant, and there is indeed quite a lot of action and general epic goings on. There is also a new trailer I have included below that, which was just released today. You’re welcome. Enjoy.
Now here is a second trailer that only came out today!