dewline: (canadian media)
2017-09-25 07:24 pm

On Reports and Discovery

I was going to explore my reactions to Star Trek: Discovery(AKA "DSC") in greater depth, and you may expect that later in this entry. For the moment, a surprising bit of news from closer to home arrived this morning: Rick Mercer's announcement that the Mercer Report will be closing up shop at the end of what will be its fifteenth season CBC Television.

Allow me to share his announcement via his own recording...



I admit that I see this as another sign of something akin to a Canadian Apocalypse. Some of you who've been watching this weblog for a while will be making informed deductions and/or guesses as to what some of the other signs are.

I'm not happy. But it's Rick's choice to make. Not mine. Not CBC's.

Okay, on to DSC.

What we ended up getting on Sunday night, after delays thanks to CBS' contractual obligations to the NFL impacting on BellMedia's obligations to CBS, was the first two episodes of DSC. Aired back to back, with "The Vulcan Hello" followed immediately by "Battle at the Binary Stars". Together they form what you might call either a prologue or a full Act One of the first season's larger story.

Without giving away too much, it's a good setup for whatever else we're about to get this year.

I'm still getting over my bout of design history dissonance considering this is supposed to be happening about a year after the events of "The Cage" and ten years before "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The uniforms, the user interface designs, the starship architecture...all seem a bit out of place with those two episodes of the original series. We're being promised explanations and evolution over time, to be sure. How fast the production team delivers is up to them. Our reactions to that speed - or the lack of it - are up to us.

Just about everything else: the scripts, the performances of the live actors, the visual effects work...all meet my hopes.

That visual dissonance remains. For now, anyway.

One bit of advice to CBS and its production partners: please show the episode titles in the episode itself.
dewline: (Default)
2017-09-24 12:25 pm

Bracing for Discovery

"Hotumn" continues in Ottawa-Gatineau. Sweat from scalp to soles is normal-abnormal right now. Sleep continues to be a luxury item by virtue of being a medical necessity.

The Invictus Games are underway in Toronto, as are the German elections, the continuing weather/climate turmoil in the Caribbean Islands, the post-quake trauma in several regions of Mexico...and on it goes. This world continues to be a busy place, defying anyone's ability to fully understand it at any one moment. I can still live with that.

The Big Event for me as a science fiction fan tonight is Star Trek: Discovery's opening episode, "The Vulcan Hello". I can't say that I'm pleased with the idea of the series being available by subscription-streaming over the Net everywhere else on the planet, but at least Canada's managed to avoid that for now via Space Channel.

Also, I'm still getting used to this being the first Trek branch-series filmed on soundstages outside the USA. In Toronto, of all places. Just over four hours away from me by passenger train. This wasn't a thing I'd ever really expected to happen. Sure, I'd imagined branch series created for every language in which Trek is watched these days in the places where those languages were most presently in use. Which was probably less than practical, even nowadays.

Not sure yet about the design aesthetics of the series, but we'll see how it goes. Looking forward to those maps they've been talking about in Lorca's ready room...
dewline: (Default)
2017-09-19 05:55 am

Random Links, Early in the Morning

On fictional user interface design for film and TV:

http://www.idnworld.com/imprints/FUI-DesignFilmGames

On Brexit's campaign against anti-corruption efforts (and yes, I wrote that as intended):

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/19/opinion/brexit-britain-corruption.html
dewline: (Default)
2017-09-18 09:42 pm

Discovery: In Case You Wondered

Since the series is going to air on Space Channel here in Canada - thank the Great Bird, the Prophets, the Grand Material Continuum, Surak and Kahless for that! - I do plan to watch the series. I do not like this "streaming-subscription" business model.

Noting the first four episode titles per trekmovie.com:
  • The Vulcan Hello
  • Battle at the Binary Stars
  • Context is for Kings
  • The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry


Some attention-getters as episode titles go, yes?
dewline: (Default)
2017-07-22 11:00 pm

Connecting Nerdish Dots in Star Trek

Noting that Netflix isn't doing business inside mainland China, but they are offering their services in Traditional and Simplified Chinese langages anyway in assorted other markets.

Also noting that Star Trek: Discovery is being carried outside of the US and Canada by Netflix.

One of the supporting cast ships in the new series is USS Shenzhou NCC-1227.

Wondering if the dedication plaque will credit the Dalian Yards in mainland China for that starship. Dalian is where mainland China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaonang, was refitted to their navy's requirements.
dewline: (Default)
2017-06-17 07:28 am

Some Random Notes

1. I just finished reading Babylon's Ashes from The Expanse series of novels, so I'm mostly caught up on the prose version. Excepting the various short stories, of course. Yet to start watching the first season DVD set, though, and would like to watch at least the first two episodes before the weekend's over.

2. The plan today includes finally watching Wonder Woman at a movie theatre.

3. Coping with assorted aches and pains in a low-volume continuing way. Welcome to normal human aging, Dwight.

4. Stuff you might want to listen to:

Alan Alda on Q

Josh Freed on The Current about queues

Clifford V. Johnson, Ph. D. on science depictions in movies and TV, which I particularly recommend for the interview's Agent Carter connection...
dewline: (Grief)
2017-06-10 04:11 pm

RIP Adam West

Laundry's done, and I'm just taking in the news and other chatter right now. Not sure I have enough brain for much else this afternoon.

Noting, however, the passing of Adam West. His version of the Batman was among the earliest I knew of. He was scheduled to visit Ottawa-Gatineau back in May of 2017 for a local convention, but cancelled at almost the last minute. I suppose we now know why that cancellation happened. Sad news about a man who entertained so many over the decades.
dewline: (Default)
2017-05-31 10:09 pm

(no subject)

Well, Sunrise Records provided me with my copy of _The Expanse Season 1_ on DVD today. Hoping to watch at least some of it over the weekend.

Also, finally started reading Book 5, Nemesis Games. Page 35 right now, slow burn...
dewline: (Grief)
2017-05-23 09:00 pm

RIP Sir Roger Moore

Yes, I saw some of his 007 work.

But for me? His Saintly adventures on the silver screens of our living rooms are worthy of our better attentions.

Vaya con dios, Sir Roger.
dewline: (bad news)
2017-05-14 10:58 am

And Speaking of Doctor Who and Ottawa

Ottawa Comiccon is this weekend, and among the actors named as guests at that event are the following:
  • Peter Capaldi
  • Jenna Coleman
  • Alex Kingston
  • John Barrowman
We have enough "names" present in Ottawa-Gatineau as of this morning that we could have filmed an episode of Doctor Who entirely on location hereabouts. A script worth performing and a production team were unavailable, however.

Missed opportunity.

Much like the CBC letting the series escape to Space Channel...
dewline: (Default)
2017-05-13 10:47 pm

Two quick notes

One: tonight's Doctor Who is an argument for labour unions if ever I've watched it.

Two: pleased by the Sens' game one results.
dewline: (Default)
2017-04-24 06:04 pm

21st Century Fox: Connecting the Dots

Some articles that you might want to look at.

First, the redoubt-building going on here in Canada (buried in a long profile on Murdoch's sons...and why would any sane Canadian government want this family setting up a doomsday retreat here?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/business/media/murdoch-family-21st-century-fox.html

Then two items from NPR that speak to motive:

http://www.npr.org/2017/04/24/525337958/beyond-sexual-harassment-lesser-known-scandals-could-cost-the-murdochs-a-14b-dea

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/24/525421649/ailes-accuser-says-fox-news-execs-ordered-eavesdropping-on-her-digital-devices
dewline: (Puzzlement 2)
2017-03-11 09:08 pm

Question Re: The Expanse

Having seen only four episodes of the second season thus far (specifically episodes 3 thru 6), and none of the novels - which look rather dense on the shelves of the local bookstores - I have to admit to some curiosity about the whole thing, and a lot of uncertainty about what questions to ask about which aspects in what order. Also, I notice among those who have already been reading and/or watching, there's a growing enthusiasm.

So...open forum for discussion of what makes the novels and/or TV series work for those of you who got there before me.
dewline: (Default)
2017-02-03 01:13 pm

Going Digging Through the Stacks...

...of my very disorganized personal library, I rediscovered my copy of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. I suspected as much, and my memory didn't betray me. Chapters 11 and 12 are devoted to what might be called an inquest or autopsy into some of the other root causes of Grazhdanin Putin's rise to political dominance in Moskva.

And from there, I think I'll spend part of the afternoon watching Agents of SHIELD as I catch up on my e-mail.

More on other matters as the day wears on.
dewline: (Puzzlement 2)
2017-01-29 10:08 pm

A Cultural Timing Joke?

Tonight, CTV - one of the privately-owned TV networks here in Canada - aired Captain America: the Winter Soldier.

I have to wonder about the timing, given the last three months in the real worlds. How long ago would the scheduling choice for this particular night have been made?
dewline: (Sketching)
2016-12-18 09:03 am

Balancing

I saw Miss Sloane at the cinema last night. Worth the time, worth the money...for reasons of timing more than anything else. More people should see it.

I think I'm going to skip Designated Survivor on TV for reasons of emotional health. Maybe things will change in time, but for now?

Some sad news I want to note: we're losing The Vinyl Cafe on Radio One for the time being. It seems that Stuart McLean's cancer issues are more stubborn than we'd all hoped. Hoping that he and his medical team have better hunting this go-round...
dewline: (SHIELD)
2016-12-14 07:30 pm

SHIELD: Slingshot

Six mini-episodes, adding up to a half-hour roughly. All available via ABC or Marvel Entertainment on YouTube for the moment.

It's an interesting little experiment centred on Elena Rodriguez AKA "Yo-Yo" AKA "Slingshot" and one last bit of vengeful clean-up from her days as a vigilante in Colombia as she signs aboard to the Sokovia Accords and status as a SHIELD "asset", rather than a full-on agent. I'd say the most expensive visual is the launch of the Zephyr done as a panorama shot.

Quick and fun. And I wonder about consequences...
dewline: (compliment)
2016-12-03 08:41 pm

After a Different Kind of Invasion

Just finished watching the last quarter of the "Invasion!" crossover via Legends of Tomorrow. It was definitely fun, and I've read about some of the stuff that ended up edited out for broadcast time constraints. Sorry about not seeing those sidebar scenes on the screen.

And yet, I'm grateful for what we got.

The new US President on Earth-Arrowverse? Just seeing her left me in tears...and seeing Donnelly Rhodes on the TV screen one more time...grateful for that.