Film/Televison

Blind Geek For Beginners

Folks who read my author bio will have realized I lead an interesting life or that I have a passion for Starbucks. No wait, that wasn’t it. Yes, you will have noticed that I’m something of a hardcore gamer and that I’m visually impaired. Granted, the latter does make my chosen love of all things geeky a […]

A New Generation of Star Wars

A couple of months ago came an announcement that caught many of off-guard. The announcement I refer to is that of the Star Wars franchise being sold to Disney and the plan of a new trilogy to be released that follows Return of the Jedi and further plans for annual releases of Star Wars movies […]

“I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s Self-Esteem Problem Part III: Robots, Reboots and Remakes. How Hollywood Kills Serious Science Fiction

The only time the public pays attention to Science Fiction is when that great machine of mass marketing and “entertainment” called Hollywood inundates the collective consciousness with that most dreaded of phenomena: the Summer Blockbuster. But isn’t that a good thing? Should we not rejoice that the tools of cinema capitalism put our beloved Science Fiction […]

The Speed of Science

Science deals with a lot of high speed phenomena, like the speed of sound and the speed of light, which can make the topic seem fast and exciting.  We also see science news on tv and the internet, and there always seems like there’s a nifty new gadget to buy.  The truth is that science […]

Ready When You Are, JJ

They’ve really done it now. It’s over. First George Lucas sold Luke, Obi Wan, Princess Leia, Han and all the others into eternal indentured servitude on the Disney Plantation. Lucas, once a man with ideas and at least a Saturday matinee kind of vision, had finally run out of steam and decided it was time […]

A Big Money Cast Doesn’t Always Make For A Hit

You’d think that fronting a new TV show with a well known cast would equal a hit. Especially in the sci-fi sector. There are a few actors who are rolled out for several shows, the most obvious is Summer Glau. However, if the show behind them isn’t great then people will still switch off. 666 […]

Life on the Fringe

Fringe finished it’s five year run the ot her night and I am grieving it’s loss. At the same time though, as I watched the two hour finale, I was left with a deep sense of closure and satisfaction which you seldom find when shows finish. These days, most good TV shows seem to be canceled […]

Doctor Who and the Strange Victorians

Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction can exist in the real world, or create hermetic worlds of their own. Which is to say genre fiction can follow the rules of the real world, or make its own rules up, ignoring reality completely. Most genre fiction falls somewhere in-between. At one extreme is Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a […]

Knock, knock…Who’s There? Doctor. Doctor Who?

Oh yes, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the one and only Doctor. Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction TV show in the world, and being that successful, clearly there is a lot for the BBC to look back on and celebrate to bring us a really special birthday episode later this year. […]

The Horror of the Asylum

American Horror Story is an odd show. I missed it’s first run but got hooking on the anthology-format and various timelines. Being British, I often find it quite hard to conceive of America as having had enough time to cultivate good horror stories. This is coming from someone who grew up a stone’s throw from one […]

How SFX Can Ruin a Horror Film

It recently struck me how most of the films that, IMHO, were truly scary were the ones that had little or no digital special effects. The reason is simple: what makes something scary is mostly what you don’t see rather than what you do see. Compare, for example, Alien (1979) with it’s putative prequel, Prometheus […]

Classic Science Fiction Science: Outland

The science fiction movie Outland has been described as a reimaging of the western classic High Noon set in space: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez2XfvN8XSc&version=3&hl=en_US] The setting is Io, which is the closest large moon of Jupiter, despite the claim of the trailer that it takes place on the second. If you count all the known moons no […]

Hollywood Loves “Remakes.” Sometimes Hardcore Fans Don’t.

The funny thing about movies is that liking or disliking them can become as political a process as anything else.  In fact, sometimes I get a pretty strong sense of whether a movie will do well not only before I have seen it, but before anyone has seen it.  I don’t mean I know whether […]

The Mirror of Our Dreams

There is a curious phenomenon not exclusive to science fiction fandom, it is prevalent in pop music worship and other places, by which those afflicted feel a need to establish rivalries. The Star Wars fan who vociferously attacks all things Star Trek. And vice versa. The Star Trek fan determined to argue against every facet […]

Some Superheroes Are Just Made For TV

It must be an incredibly hard decision for a studio to decide what superheros are worthy of a big screen adaptation, which should be aired on the small screen…and those that should never make it beyond the comic book page. Some have successfully made it on TV and in cinemas, Batman and Superman are the obviously […]

The Year’s Worst Movies – 2012

My ten best (or ten favorites) is up at North Shore Movies, where my reviews regularly appear:http://northshoremovies.wordpress.com… However I also like to unload on the worst or most overrated movies I had to suffer through over the course of the year. As I’ve often noted, some of the worst movies aren’t even screened for the […]

It’s Not Christmas Without the Doctor

There’s something specific needed to make Christmas Christmassy; it’s not the turkey or the flaming pudding, no, it’s a Time Lord. Ever since the BBC reinvigorated the Doctor in 2005, Christmas has not been the same without a season adventure. For many, it’s the perfect way to end a hectic day and, for sci fi […]

Amelia by Frank Lucatuorto

We love mad scientists. We always have. It’s arguable that the Dark Ages tradition of the Evil Wizard is the earliest form of the Mad Scientist, only they didn’t have science to hang the idea on yet. We also love clocks. Always have. There’ve been clocks dating back centuries, some of those from the Middle […]

Hollywood loves “remakes.” Sometimes Hardcore Fans Don’t

The funny thing about movies is that liking or disliking them can become as political a process as anything else.  In fact, sometimes I get a pretty strong sense of whether a movie will do well not only before I have seen it, but before anyone has seen it.  I don’t mean I know whether […]