Review: The Expanse S01E05 - Back to the Butcher

If the latest episode of The Expanse doesn't have the level of tension that the previous one did, that does at least give the show a chance to do yet more world building and let its characters breathe a little. One of the biggest problems with this show for people who aren't familiar with the books is the amount of characters and locations and story that are being crammed into a mere 10 episode season. At the very least that can make it hard to keep everything straight. Up to now each… Continue reading...

Review: The Shannara Chronicles S01E01 through S01E04

What do you get when you cross epic-fantasy heavily inspired by Tolkien with a post apocalyptic future and MTV. Apparently the answer is The Shannara Chronicles a series that is, based on the first four episodes, resolutely... okay. I mean it's just exactly what you would expect... I guess. It's not like it's bad... you know? By this point my ambivalence should be shining through and there are a few reasons for that. One is of course the fact that someone in their forties isn't in the… Continue reading...

Sherlock Christmas Special - The Abominable Bride

I'm not sure what exactly the expectations were for this year's Sherlock special The Abominable Bride. All the promotional material made it clear than unlike the regular series it was going to be set in the Victorian era and thus just a stand alone stocking-stuffer. And that's how it proceeded for let's say the first 60 minutes of its running time (I didn't use a stopwatch I may be off by 3 seconds). At which point it got, complicated. Okay let's step back. Opening with a "previously on" was an… Continue reading...

TV Review - The Expanse S01E04 - CQB

2015 has seen the rise and rise of serialized storytelling on tv. It's a trend that has been growing slowly for years but particularly with the likes of Netflix and Amazon it is coming into its own. While The Expanse is on a traditional cable tv channel it's very much serialized rather than episodic in nature. Hardly surprising perhaps given it seems to be a very faithful adaptation of the source material (a series of scifi books). There's a lot to like about serialized storytelling not… Continue reading...

TV Review: Colony S01E01 - Pilot

I am predisposed to like science fiction shows so it's probably not a good sign when part way through the pilot of USA Network's new show Colony I found my attention drifting away from the screen and over to my laptop. It's not that it was boring so much as that I just didn't care about what was happening to the people on my screen. I guess the opening sequence which subtly revealed the status quo of the world (it's been invaded by aliens, spoilers!) through the lens of a family just going… Continue reading...