The Dark Side of the Moon

And I think it’s going to be a long, long time.

Farewell, Rocket Man.

The shuttle Endeavor’s mission has been delayed.

‘Dr. Who’s’ Series 6 premiered last week. A two-parter and I’ve reserved my thoughts til this week.

First, ‘Stargate Universe’ is happily limping along to its series finale in a couple of weeks. No new Stargate episodes in the fall. After well over 15 years, the Gate will close.  The encoded last Chevron, no more. Thank you to all the lovely people at Television Without Pity that I’ve been chatting with the past couple of years.  It’s been a pleasure to spar and imagine and create with you all. I hope to run in to many of you on chats about other series. The last two episodes could have ended the series on a graceful, tasteful note. The first part written by Robert C. Cooper, co-creator of the series. Perhaps if this episode had aired during Season One, the show may have redeemed itself and actually have gone somewhere. But it’s a reflection of more of the same. The lack of execution of the series. There is a good idea in ‘Stargate Universe’. It just didn’t seem to figure itself out. Good storytelling is show, and not tell.  The soft voice from the firelight. Not the bellowing from the mountain or Stargate-high.  The audience is smart. The audience moved on.  Sci fi fans are like that. Good memories and all. What happened in both parts of the alternate reality timeline episodes was more of ‘tell me that these are X’ instead of the voice of the firelight ‘show me’. Show me that X character is ‘X’. Not beat it over me. Alternate realities are useful  and can result in nifty storytelling but are not a crutch to get past a show’s insecurity. Two more episodes about the ‘wrong’ people. Yeah, wrong show.

Perhaps it’s just SyFy’s rebranding. Less sci-fi and more…. I really don’t know. I’m not American  and I don’t have access to SyFy’s programming but I do see that SyFy is becoming less about sci-fi and more about cheap  ratings-driven programming. The new sci-fi seems to be coming from BBC America.

‘Sanctuary’ has returned from its multi-month hiatus. It’s also been the victim of programming shifts. The current TV business model is suffering. No, many audiences will not find a program that hasn’t been on for a few months. The show does have its core audience and does well for a low-budget sci-fi modern steampunk show. The season arc of ‘Hollow Earth’ has been off and on for me. The brilliance of ‘Breach’ (I believe that I’ve watched that episode at least six times) and the introduction of the marvellous Jekyll and Hyde character of Adam Worth (played remarkably by Ian Tracey – watching his eyes as he moves between good and evil is amazingly good)  has been tempered by the quick and ultimately unsatisfying resolution of the storyline (so far). A fascinating premise, with a rushed execution (so far). Slightly reminiscent of ‘Babylon 5’s’ Great War, that ultimately fizzled. The pieces of the arc are in place, but are missing a few beats. However, the season is not yet over, and the storyline remains incomplete.

‘Dr. Who’ premiered last week with ‘The Impossible Astronaut’ and this week concluded the  sixth’s season’s two-parter with ‘The Day of the Moon’. Well, perhaps Steven Moffat has finally come up with the motivation for Amy Pond. I did like Moffat’s first season as showrunner, (even though a few mid-season episodes were ‘turkeys’) but had some issues with the character of Amelia Pond –  and wondering what exactly is/was her motivation as the Doctor’s ‘companion’. For much of the first season, she seemed to be little more than a plot device.  Along with boyfriend ‘Rory’. The Prisoner Zero arc was lacking.

The new season is off to a roaring start with ‘Space 1969’. Highly reminiscent of ‘Blink’ (one of the modern series’ stellar episodes), the X Files, and the hope and promise of the US Space Program. One small step for man, one giant step for mankind.  Apollo 11. Neil Armstrong. I was little when the moon landing occurred. Bittersweet, actually, in terms of timing with the end of the current US Space Program.

Well shot. Poignant in terms of the meta-comment on aging and Alzheimers.  A far-too-common affliction today. Sympathy for the character of River Song (portrayed as the show’s Jar Jar Binks – an unfair comparison so far). Time as destroyer. Not healer. The Time Lord not remembering the future as past. Yes, there be spoilers. Who exactly is River Song?

I was happy that the Amy Pond pregnancy storyline was quickly dropped. No, the show hasn’t jumped the shark just yet.  Babies don’t save a show. However, the opening two-parter’s storyline did introduce the possibility of another Timelord. And gave resonance and meaning to Amy Pond as ‘companion’. More than meets the eye. The aliens? Interesting but reminiscent of the statue angels from ‘Blink’. Been around for thousands of years? I don’t  think so. It was lovely to see the original moon landing footage. Series 6, so far, so good. I’ll be there next week.

Something old, something new, something Tardis blue…

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~ by hooklineandthinker on May 1, 2011.

 
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