Today’s entry is favourite crime show.

This is easy. The one that stands head and shoulders above the rest for me is Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch’s interpretation of the calculating genius is exceptional, and the show is extremely well written. The cast is strong (the guy who plays Moriarty is brilliantly manic) and the whole show is clearly well produced. No contest here!

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So yesterday I chose Deep Space Nine as my favourite TV show. Now it’s time to pick a favourite season.

This is a somewhat easier choice than the one faced yesterday. For me, Season Six (the first full season of the Dominon War) was the best season. The characters were driven well outside their comfort zones, making for a good season of character development, alongside the wider narrative of the war.

I’ve seen Carla, Rae and B.G do the Movie Challenge – now is the time of the TV Show Challenge, and this is one I’ll be doing! Without further preamble, this is the list for the month:

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First up is Favourite TV Show.

This is not easy. After boiling away the options (from comedy classics like Blackadder and The League of Gentlemen, to epic fantasy shows like Game of Thrones) I am left with two clear choices.

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The Next Generation is where my love of Star Trek began. I would watch it with my mum (a first-generation Trekkie) and it’s something we shared. TNG gave us some fantastic moments, including the infamous ‘Best of Both Worlds’ cliffhanger (which has to rate as one of the most dramatic cliffhangers of all time) and loveable characters (Data). That being said, my favourite series is Deep Space Nine.

Why? Because it had gravitas. Actions had consequences, sometimes very serious ones, and the characters were more fleshed out. The Federation was shown in a different light, and we saw the effects of war upon these supposedly superior human beings. Nothing beats DS9 for me.

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So, we are just over a month from one of the biggest films to hit the cinemas – The Force Awakens! I’m stoked for this now – the final trailer was simply sensational, the TV spots are starting to appear and we’ve even seen a Japanese trailer – one that still doesn’t offer up any plot details, but teases a couple of different scenes.

I’m now avoiding the iMDB page for the film – and in fact, most of my usual sci-fi haunts, to make sure I avoid any spoilers. The work done by JJ and the team to prevent leaks so far has been tremendous, but it only takes one malcontent to ruin it for everyone else, and therefore I’m not going to risk accidentally ruining the film for myself.

What I really want to do is go out and buy a Star Wars advent calendar – and use that to count down to the film!

StarTrekLogoAs the world prepares for The Force Awakens and the excitement builds for that, another popular sci-fi franchise has recently released big news. With Star Trek’s 50th anniversary next year (being marked by the new film Star Trek Beyond), American studio CBS has announced it is producing a new Star Trek series, due to debut early 2017. It is big news for a franchise that was suffering badly at the end of Enterprise. Whether you like the 2009 reboot and its sequel, Into Darkness, the new films have reignited interest in the Star Trek franchise and without those films, it strikes me as unlikely that a new TV show would even be considered, much less be made.

It’s not yet known for certain whether the new show will be set in the ‘prime’ universe (the one inhabited by TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY), or if it will be part of the rebooted universe. The official statement on the subject that the series will be unrelated to Star Trek Beyond, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be part of the prime universe.

One thing that does have me concerned is the decision to air this show via a subscription service – though to be honest, I have no idea how this will affect me here in the UK. It might be of no consequence – Star Trek shows usually air on Sky TV before anything else, and so the chances are this will remain the case, though nothing is certain.

A lot is happening with both Trek and Wars over the next few years. I can’t wait!

In the wake of the tragic loss of Leonard Nimoy, you would think that people would be focusing on the loss keenly felt by his fans, his colleagues, his friends and of course, his family.

Unfortunately, there are some parties out there that seem determined to use this occasion to troll and berate. Most notably, the Twitter account of New York Daily News is running a big, bold headline of ‘Captain Jerk’, as William Shatner – James T Kirk on Star Trek and a close friend of Leonard Nimoy – is unable to attend the funeral.

Shatner is attending a charity function to raise awareness of and money for the Red Cross. This has no doubt been prearranged and it is a worthy cause. I very much doubt Shatner has decided he doesn’t want to go to Nimoy’s funeral in favour of this event, but he has made a commitment and he is honouring that commitment, which is what I am sure Nimoy would have wanted.

The attitude of this ‘news’ site is despicable. If you are reading this and on Twitter, I urge you to voice your disgust.

SpockAs by now many of you reading this will know, today the world lost a beautiful soul. The mild-mannered, talented actor, director, poet and all-round wonderful man Leonard Nimoy has passed away, at the age of 83.

When Star Trek began, few could know what it would become. The show was made on a comparatively shoe-string budget and it would stretch and push at the envelope of social conventions, featuring stories that would challenge existing ideas about race, gender and politics. The fanbase grew and grew and became very passionate, loving the show and its ideas.

One character in particular captured the hearts and minds of fans worldwide – Spock. The half-human, half-Vulcan Mr Spock was a cool, calm, logical man, in complete control of his emotions and able to view every situation from a calm, factual viewpoint. It was tempting to think he might be a cold, even cruel character, but Spock had a warmth to him, a sense of dignity, and everyone would come to love him.

That is down to the brilliant performances of Leonard Nimoy. He breathed life into this character, developed him, and would portray him from 1966 all the way through to 2013, when he made his final, cameo appearance in Star Trek into Darkness.

LeonardNimoyLeonard Nimoy was always humble. He had such talent, and brought so much joy to so many people, yet he never let it go to his head. He worked hard throughout his career, always wanted to please the fans. He will be sorely missed.

NIMOYTRIBUTEMy wife and I have paid our own tribute here, raising a Federation glass to the great man. Rest in Peace Leonard.

 

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So the mysterious Time Lord known as The Doctor has returned to our screens after what has felt like an age. Capaldi’s first full appearance treated us to the usual post-regeneration fare of a confused and disorientated Doctor trying to remember who he is, whilst Clara tries to adapt to this radically changed man (especially in terms of his new face, but also in terms of his behaviour).

The Tardis lands (via the belly of a T-Rex!) into Victorian London and the Doctor’s little trio of Victorian helpers (whose names escape me) are thrust into a mystery surrounding spontanious combustions and alien robots (that look and act suspiously like the ones from the Tennant-era ‘Girl in the Fireplace’, as indeed they are intended to be). The Doctor (still confused) goes off half-cocked and the result is that both the Doctor and Clara wind up in a trap.

I won’t give any more away, so will instead offer my thoughts on it all.

I am uncertain about the new Doctor. He is decidedly erratic to begin with, and Clara spends a lot of her time in emotional angst. It’s hard to warm to the new Doctor (though his harsher behaviour means that’s kind of the point).

So, the episode gets an 8/10 from me, with 7/10 for the Doctor and 7/10 for Clara. Onwards and upwards!

The100So, this show is now several episodes in and so far, despite my initial fears it would be some sort of tween-style show with a sci-fi dressing, it has proven its worth. It asks some interesting questions of what it means to be human, and how far people will go to both survive, and protect those they love.

Without wanting to spoiling the show, the basic premise is that what’s left of the human race is stuck on a space station following a devastating nuclear war. Crime – almost any crime – is punishable by being ‘floated’ – namely, being chucked out of an airlock into space. The only exception to this rule is that under-18s are not executed, but held as prisoners.

With the station in a state of decay and then need to both ease the population and discover if earth is safe, 100 teenagers and young people (all of them responsible for crimes of varying degrees) are sent to the surface, where they must discover if earth is survivable. They must not only contend with the dangerous wilderness that earth has now become, but also with each other, as a power struggle ensues.

To make matters worse, they end up (largely through their own actions) cutting themselves off from the orbiting arc, and just to further muddy the waters, they soon discover they are not alone.

The show is quite compelling. The characters are quite varied, with differing ideas of what constitutes strength, courage and loyalty. On the Arc, they have to contend with dwindling oxygen and a struggle to survive versus remembering their humanity. On the ground, they have to somehow find unity before their rivalries and tensions boil over to the point of self-destruction. Every character has something to add to the show and I am thoroughly enjoying it thus far!