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 episode has been packed with events and characters and stuff.  This week though if you just wrote down what …Read more  »

TV Review: The Expanse S01E01 — Dulcinea

Those of you lamenting the lack of space based science fiction on tv should be very pleased about SyFy's latest series The Expanse which is adapted from a series of books by James S. A. Corey (actually a pen name for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) because we're firmly in Space Opera territory here. While the story is set within our solar system we're looking at a (partially) terraformed Mars and assorted space stations. The reason you don't see shows like this on TV very much is that even with modern CGI, doing them convincingly is expensive. People have become so used to movie style special effects that they are not at …Read more  »

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S01E01 — S01E03

While DC comics basically owns network tv adaptations of comic book characters, Marvel Comics has been setting out to do something radically different with its Netflix series. Daredevil set a very high bar giving is a dark exploration of  a street level vigilante. Marvel's Jessica Jones  is even darker and quite possibly better. I say that having only watched the first three episodes of the series so far, but the quality is immediately apparent. While Daredevil showed us the blood and violence that the inhabitants of Hells Kitchen were exposed to Jessica Jones is a much more personal exploration. The violence here is as much emotional as it is physical. Strong Female Character If ever …Read more  »

TV Review: Minority Report — S01E01 — Pilot

If you want a one sentence review of Minority Report then here it is: Entirely adequate. In fact the pilot episode of Minority Report is exactly what you would expect from a broadcast network tv show in 2015 and not one bit more than that. There are hints of an ongoing story-arc; there's a pleasantly racially diverse cast; there's a "strong female protagonist" and it's shot like a mini-movie. None of these are bad things by the way it's just that it all came across as terribly predictable. It's competent enough but we've seen it all before right down to that final moment reveal that "something bad" is coming. This is TV …Read more  »

TV Review: Luther  — Season One

Stop me if you've heard this before. There's this detective. He's a bit of a loose cannon.  Plays fast and loose with the rules.  Senior officers don't like him, but he's good. He has insight and he solves cases. That's pretty much Luther in a nutshell. And when you boil it down to those basics, it's hardly original. But it all comes down to the execution. If I was to pick a show to compare this to it would probably be Cracker. There are a lot of similarities between the shows. We see the central protagonist disintegrate, unable to separate himself from the horrible activities that his work surrounds him …Read more  »

Book Review: Emerald City Blues by Peter Smalley

Book Review: Emerald City Blues by +Peter Smalley We are firmly in noir territory with this story. We've got a down on her luck private investigator some years after World War One who's just a bit to familiar with the bottle and we've got a dead body. We also have just a touch of magic. Not a lot mind you, until towards the end it's almost a background element though it is key to the character. So technically this is Urban Fantasy. But we're not talking vampires or werewolves or most of the usual elements really. Just magic of relatively undefined but somewhat Germanic origin. It's a short story, but …Read more  »