Posts Tagged ‘mythology’

What We Leave Behind – DS9 documentary

Sat ,21/12/2019

Watched this recent Deep Space Nine documentary this week, by the showrunner Ira Steven Behr and some others. As a huge fan of DS9 (I personally think it’s the best of all the Trek series, albeit Discovery season 1 is right up there too now) it was long overdue for me to see them re-examine the show. Plus, earlier this past year I rewatched the vast majority of the episodes (along with Babylon 5, but more on that in a minute) so was excited to see DS9 finally getting its due.

So I think this is a great documentary. There are some things I would have done differently, and while I know they were trying NOT to do a linear, ‘history of the show’ approach to the series – mission accomplished on that – I think a bit more of it would still have been cool.

One thing I really liked was the ‘writer reunion’ that ends up crafting a rough outline of a proposed Season 8 kickoff episode. Not only did they come up with some very cool and interesting ideas (which I won’t spoil but if you must know – you can read about them here) it was just neat to see the writing/brainstorming process in action, even if we don’t get to see the bulk of it (I think they spent the day doing it, and then included the key highlights in this movie).

It was really good to see them make an effort to connect with most of the cast, even if many of them don’t end up getting a lot of screen time. And while Avery Brooks isn’t ‘in’ the movie per se – I believe the interviews with him were separate from it but not completely sure – they paid him a lot of respect in this, which he definitely deserves in a number of key ways.

A couple bittersweet points for me – the fact that René Auberjonois (Odo) and Aron Eisenberg (Noq) both passed away only in the past couple months this very year, and the film notes that Barry Jenner (Admiral Ross, recurring character) passed away a couple years ago. RIP to all of them.

So while I won’t offer spoilers here as noted before, there are a couple key actual *gripes* I do have with this film:

1) They don’t address the whole Babylon 5 situation. It’s well established by now that the creator of Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski, pitched his ‘space station series’ to Paramount well ahead of DS9’s appearance, and while Ira, Berman and Piller may not have ultimately been in on it at the studio mgmt level, it still looks pretty fishy to this day. While Straczynski has ultimately let it go by now, read and judge for yourself.

2) It’s obvious there were several motivations for telling this story – ‘Give DS9 its due’ (for which it was long overdue if you liked DS9 :)); Showcase all the VERY hard work that went into making it – the quip where Colm Meany talks about time in the makeup chair is a great example, but even if it was just about many of the actors having to get into work around 5am for 3 hours of makeup, EVERY DAY – gives me new respect for their dedication! The pioneering nature of several things DS9 did and did very well (watch the show itself and this documentary for more on that)…..the list goes on. But what I felt was lacking here was getting into the writers’ head (excepting the great ‘proposed Season 8 opener’ mentioned above – they don’t really address it. Moreover, there were a number of turning points in the show (several of them involving Louise Fletcher as Kai Wynn, one of the great all-time bad guys if there ever was one, otherwise known as Nurse Ratchet 🙂 – what was the thinking behind these, where did you think you were going with the story, etc. etc.? Not really discussed. For a series way more detailed-story-heavy than the previous TNG, TOS and the animated series (yes, remember that? great stuff) this is somewhat inexcusable? When they make probably a reference to this (“…the documentary would have been 8 hours or more…?” – BFD. Every fan hates that because it’s an excuse, they ALWAYS say that, and we ALWAYS want more??! Cry me a river. At minimum, there were likely a lot more fan interview extras out there they could have thrown in? Just throw in a DVD of that stuff too? Cost, schmost.

In the end, I’m really glad they did this, it was worth it just for the ‘writer’s room Season 8 opener’ thing alone but I definitely enjoyed it, even with its ‘flaws’. Just like DS9 itself 🙂

candybowl

Other links:
Interview: DS9’s Ira Steven Behr Sees Something Familiar About ‘Star Trek Discovery’
Interview: Ira Steven Behr Talks What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Deep Space Nine (Exclusive)

ST: Discovery E5 – Saints of Imperfection

Mon ,18/02/2019

Hmmm…again more of the same – we have (very, grudgingly one might argue) incremental progress in the “Search for Spock” but have at least one ‘save the world’ scenario along the way. No offense, but I think we need to get things back on track, everyone. At least last year we had Malfoy and the Klingon war/back story as a common thread, but they aren’t doing enough to push the Spock story forward, IMHO.

I like the fact that they are (yet again) drawing out Section 31, but at the same time, it begins to risk credibility when it seems like S31 has all the great toys and tech that could have won the war with the Klingons – then why was the Federation on its knees at the time? This was a minor problem in DS9 days too – hard to know….

Time will tell..

candybowl

ST: Discovery E4 – An Obol for Charon

Tue ,12/02/2019

Hmmm….Once again, Discovery giveth, and taketh away. On the one hand, we get the teaser of Number One coming to visit at the start of the episode (in the form of Rebecca Romijn – nice!) but despite the V’ger-esque main plot, we get a bit of a distraction with the parallel Tilly/spores plot, which IMHO wasn’t nearly as well executed (even though I actually enjoy Tig Notaro’s character well enough, kind of a blue-collar Scotty with even less respect for authority).

But I’m still unsure why they (the writers, not the actors) arguably strayed from the main longer-term plotline (going after Spock) to detour to these weird, arguably derivative minor side stories? The one involving Saru was completely predictable, guys? Come on.

The acting is still great, hoping for more for other members of the bridge crew as we go….onward….

candybowl

The Summer of 1787 – David O. Stewart

Mon ,04/02/2019

Also finished this book a few days ago – this is the biographical story of the Constutional Convention, held in Philadelphia over several brutally hot months, where many (but certainly not all and some only sporadically) Founding Fathers and other wise men debated, re-debated, wrote, pontificated and argued over the ultimate form of our resulting Constitution and Bill of Rights. We all owe them a lot, even if the document wasn’t perfect by any means (ignored slavery, womens’ suffrage and some other key areas that have been mostly amended since. While there are certainly areas to the narrative the author points out are lacking (as he notes, we rely today much more on Madison’s extensive notes and some letters from other attendees but are still largely in the dark about outside meetings and gatherings that took place in and around the Convention all summer long by various groups) – I’d actually like to read more, if it existed…..

Other views:
BookBrowse
Goodreads
Amazon

candybowl

woops!

Tue ,22/01/2019

but funny, too…

‘Ancient’ stone circle in Scotland turns out to be a 1990s replica

candybowl

Star Trek: Discovery – Brother (Ep. 1, S2)

Sun ,20/01/2019

Finally, it’s restarted. After the craziness of last year which saw Captain ‘Malfoy’ (Lorca) disintegrated into a Klingon ‘battlestar’ and Capt. Georgiou (sp?) come back in ‘evil’ format – what craziness awaits this season?

So far, so good. While they re-introduce (indirectly) Mr Spock, and (directly) Capt. Pike – it works for me so far. Because Burnham is still the backbone of the show, as she should be. But they finally give others (besides Burnham and Saru) on the bridge >actual things to do, and dialog – keep it up!

I also thought Capt. Pike looked familiar in a small way – and courtesy of IMDB …he was Black Bolt in the short-lived Inhumans series from a year or two ago – got it.

eagerly awaiting Ep. 2……

IMDB

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Review: Season 2, With Pike and Spock, Boldly Charts a New Course (alert: spoilers)

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Brother (Spoiler Free)

NOTE: I’m not completely in agreement this second review is ‘spoiler free’

Candybowl

2001…..still a landmark.

Sat ,26/05/2018

And given we are lucky enough to have restored one of the few remaining Cinerama theaters in the country (after all these years), we can actually WATCH the movie in its original intended format – that screen is huge, and the movie still holds up well to this day. I go about every other year when it comes around and it’s still worth it. So many other sci-fi movies just don’t hold up anymore for various reasons but this one……

2001 set the standard for the next 50 years of hard (and some soft) sci-fi

candybowl

RIP…

Wed ,24/01/2018

Ursula K. Le Guin, acclaimed for her fantasy fiction, is dead at 88

candybowl

Stormtrooper!

Wed ,17/01/2018

Saw (finally) The Last Jedi last night. Spoiler-laden review coming next, but in the meantime… 🙂

candybowl

Being Evel.

Wed ,03/01/2018

Saw this documentary yesterday – pretty interesting, actually. It’s a look back at the life of Evel Knievel, hosted in part by Johnny Knoxville, several of Evel’s contemporaries, and sports broadcasters like Frank Gifford (RIP), Jim McKay and other ABC Wide World of Sports luminaries. Weirdly, Geraldo is in there too.

As a kid in the 70’s, we all knew about Evel – hard to not know about him. And i’m halfway sure I had one of those Ideal Stunt Cycle toys they show (or had friends who had one – I definitely remember the commercials). I also remembered that EK had spent a bit of time in jail, but didn’t know the details until seeing this movie (pretty scary, actually).

I was also very vague on the whole Snake River rocket jump attempt in ’74, but they sure go into a lot of detail here – sounds like a scary event for a lot of reasons, most of them not positive (for attendees as well as EK). As the story progresses from around that point and beyond, his decline and excesses get hard to watch, and in a couple of key areas, hard to forgive.

While I’m not ready to lionize him quite the way that Johnny Knoxville, Tony Hawk and others seen here do – you can’t argue with his influence on their (and similar) careers, and the industries they spawned (extreme sports, X-Games, etc.).

And I definitely *will* say, that he’s a true American Icon, for better or worse (to the filmmakers’ credit, they cover both) – and yet another example of being true to your dreams.

candybowl