My credentials as Chief Geek of this blog need refreshing. The smartest, and best written, science fiction show currently on the air is The Fringe. The show relates the adventures of a team working for the FBI that explore fringe events involving advanced science, extra-terrestrial aliens and other paranormal events. It is a much better written and funnier X-files. The team consists of two FBI agents, a mad scientist, the mad scientist’s son and a cow. John Noble does a superb job as mad scientist Walter Bishop as indicated in the above video where he engages in an inflora experiment on the friendliest of fruits. Go here for some of the best of Walter clips. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the joys of life for me is stumbling upon an unexpected gem. So it was on Saturday when my family and I were browsing in a Best Buy and came upon the DVD collection of the complete Middleman series. I had never heard of the series, but it seemed to be some sort of comedy science fiction show and it was only $29.00. Recalling the McClarey family shopping motto, “If we don’t like it we can sell it on e-bay.”, we purchased it.
I wasn’t expecting much when I put it on, and I was shocked while watching the pilot. It was startlingly good! Funny, intelligent dialogue, vastly entertaining, the superlatives could go on at some length. I will not give away too much of the series for fear of spoiling it for anyone who has never heard of the series that was briefly on ABC. Think of a funny X-files series that spoofs virtually every science fiction, horror and fantasy theme imaginable. This summary of course does no justice to the series. It is also a sharp satire on contemporary life. Except for a few off-color references it is a clean series fit for family viewing. It is also “adult” in the best sense of the word in scattering throughout the show references to books and movies that are a treat to pick up on. I am surprised that the series survived on ABC Family for 12 episodes. It is far too bright a series for network TV where the base, the obvious and the banal tend to reign supreme.
Enough text, time for videos!
The wit and wisdom of The Middleman:
A follow up to my initial post here on what is becoming known as Climategate. Now news comes from New Zealand about massaging of data by global warming proponents.
The New Zealand Government’s chief climate advisory unit NIWA is under fire for allegedly massaging raw climate data to show a global warming trend that wasn’t there.
The scandal breaks as fears grow worldwide that corruption of climate science is not confined to just Britain’s CRU climate research centre.
In New Zealand’s case, the figures published on NIWA’s [the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research] website suggest a strong warming trend in New Zealand over the past century.
If I can tear myself from the election results tonight, I plan on watching the pilot of the new V series on ABC which will premier at 7:00 PM central tonight. I wrote about this new V series here in a post last May, a remake of a cheesy, yet entertaining, alien invasion show from the Eighties.
MrsDarwin and I grabbed a rare chance to take an evening out last night and went to see District 9, a science fiction movie that came out a couple weeks ago. Contrary to stereotype, it was actually MrsDarwin who had latched onto this as the movie to see, and I’m glad she did as it was one of the more enjoyable SciFi flicks that I’ve seen in a while. (Movie Trailer here.)
Hattip to the ever reticent lads and lasses at Lair of the Catholic Cavemen. The original V series was a fun, if ludicrous, science fiction invasion of earth tale which ran from 84-85. We were expected to believe that Lizard-like aliens could be made up to look like humans. After it was discovered what they really looked like, and that they planned to make Lizard happy meals out of humanity, they continued, for no discernable reason other than the wardrobe budget, to disguise themselves as human. With the mind parked in neutral it was a lot of fun, especially observing the battles between Lizard-uber vixens, Diana, portrayed by Jane Badler, and Lydia, portrayed by June Chadwick, to see who would be Queen Lizard. Dallas meets the “To Serve Man” episode from the Twilight Zone. One of the more off-beat TV offerings in the 80’s.
Saw the Star Trek movie with the family on Saturday. It was exciting, full of good humor, fast paced, with magnificent and imaginative cgi shots. The acting was competent. Karl Urban gives an eerily on target portrayal of McCoy and somewhere Jackson DeForest Kelley should be smiling. Anyone who enjoys a good action movie should rush out to see it. The actors and actresses involved in this film have grabbed the golden ring and will probably be able to go on making these films until they are as old as the surviving actors and actresses of Classic Trek are today. The film was largely family friendly. Some relatively minor swearing, one reference to Kirk having carnal relations with animals, said as a put down by Uhura to Kirk during an unsuccessful pick up attempt by him, and a scene of Kirk in a bed with a female cadet, an Orion non-slave girl, with both of them in their undies, which is played strictly for laughs and is not salacious. So, all in all, we felt that we got a good return on our entertainment dollars. Only one small problem. It isn’t Star Trek.
This Newsweek article about Nobel Prize-winning economist and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman contained an interesting biographical detail:
Krugman says he found himself in the science fiction of Isaac Asimov, especially the “Foundation” series—”It was nerds saving civilization, quants who had a theory of society, people writing equations on a blackboard, saying, ‘See, unless you follow this formula, the empire will fail and be followed by a thousand years of barbarism’.”
His Yale was “not George Bush’s Yale,” he says—no boola-boola, no frats or secret societies, rather “drinking coffee in the Economics Department lounge.” Social science, he says, offered the promise of what he dreamed of in science fiction—”the beauty of pushing a button to solve problems. Sometimes there really are simple solutions: you really can have a grand idea.”
Hattip to Cranky Con. Since there is nothing of real importance going on today, at least nothing that can’t wait for comment over the next four years, I thought this might be a good time to take a look at these reflections by Dirk Benedict on the current Battlestar Galactica show.