REVIEW: THE WITCHER – SEASON 1

Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, and Anya Chalotra in The Witcher (2019)

Main Cast

Henry Cavill (Man of Steel)
Anya Chalotra (Wanderlust)
Freya Allan (The Third Day)
Joey Batey (The White Queen)
MyAnna Buring (Ripper Street)
Royce Pierreson (Thor: The Dark World)
Eamon Farren (Chained)
Mimi Ndiweni (The Legend of Tarzan)
Wilson Radjou-Pujalte (Hunter Street)
Anna Shaffer (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
Mahesh Jadu (I, Frankenstein)

Henry Cavill in The Witcher (2019)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Lars Mikkelsen (House of Cards)
Emma Appleton (Clique)
Jodhi May (Sister My Sister)
Adam Levy (Rome)
Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Agnes Joy)
Therica Wilson-Read (Fox Trap)
Shaun Dooley (Eden Lake)
Julian Rhind-Tutt (Lucy)
Ben Wiggins (Anna and The Apocalypse)
Anna-Louise Plowman (Stargate SG.1)
Josette Simon (Wonder Woman)

Henry Cavill in The Witcher (2019)Piecing together what’s going on at any given time in “The Witcher” is both impossible and insignificant. Netflix’s big-budget fantasy adaptation looks like “Game of Thrones” and plays like “The OA” — an extravagant budget fueling a ludicrous premise. Frankly, it should be a catastrophe, and yet the batshit energy driving a slew of increasingly odd choices makes for a pretty entertaining spectacle.Henry Cavill in The Witcher (2019)Based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s books (which have already been adapted into a popular video game series), “The Witcher” tells the wild tales of Geralt of Rivia, the eponymous witcher played by “Witcher” enthusiast Henry Cavill, who travels from town to town accepting missions in exchange for “coin.” Usually his quests are focused on killing a monster. Sometimes they involve taking baths — which are, surprisingly, an extremely important act for anyone who loves the “Witcher” video games and books.Lars Mikkelsen and Anya Chalotra in The Witcher (2019)Whatever Geralt does, he does with a lovable bluntness, made even more appealing by Cavill’s growly performance — and the absolute mess that makes up the rest of the show. You see, Geralt’s storylines are pretty much episodic; each new episode brings a new mission, just like sections of a video game. It’s easy to track what he’s doing because the goals are explained to him by whatever weirdo hires ol’ Gerry. In the second entry, he’s helping shoo away a grain-stealing devil. In the third, he’s chasing a rare creature that likes eating people’s guts.But when not focused on Geralt, “The Witcher” gets very, very messy. There’s a mage-in-training named Yennefer (yes, Yennefer!), who just kind of hovers in the B-plot for the first four episodes. Played with startling conviction by Anya Chalotra, Yen-eh-fur’s plot holds together with a kind of dream logic, where you may not know exactly how things are happening, but you get the gist as to why. The same cannot be said for Princess Ciri (Freya Allan), a little girl who escapes a crumbling castle with only two words of advice: Find Geralt.Henry Cavill in The Witcher (2019)That it takes more than the five episodes provided to critics for her to do so — or even find people, places, or things connected to Geralt — disconnects Ciri from the core story in what feels like an irretrievable way. Maybe she’ll form a Baby Yoda-like partnership with her witcher-destiny by Season 2, learning the witcher tricks of the trade while being protected by her witcher at all costs. But for now, she’s just kind of weird, hard-to-connect-with baggage in a show that’s so freaking strange that anything extra risks turning everyone but the die-hard fans off.Henry Cavill in The Witcher (2019)And “strange” is an understatement. For newcomers, there’s a lot to absorb, starting with Geralt’s name. A witcher isn’t a witch, but a species that’s shunned aside by humanity and forced to fend for themselves by fighting monsters and performing other unwanted tasks. He’s got powers, but they’re not that powerful — Geralt will let off a burst of energy when in a close-quarters battle, but he doesn’t do it that often, and it’s unclear if the blast equates to more than a shove. Like the actor embodying him, Geralt’s most telling attribute is his towering physique and sword skills. He seems like a really good warrior, who can sometimes do magic when the story requires it.Henry Cavill in The Witcher (2019)Yennefer, meanwhile, goes through a physical and spiritual transformation that’s so bonkers I dare not spoil it here. I also can’t spoil it here, because even explaining it to my curious friends proved impossible. There are a lot of parts in “The Witcher” like that; scenes that feel too absurd to be spoken aloud, let alone taken as seriously as the “Witcher” team does, but it’s exactly that dedication to the series’ fantastical elements that make it work. Cavill has spoken at length about how badly he wanted this role, and his commitment not only makes the show that much better, but it’s clearly mirrored by everyone on set.Henry Cavill in The Witcher (2019)“The Witcher” isn’t for everyone, and it’s not trying to be. The soapy scheming that drove people to choose sides in “Game of Thrones” isn’t here. Neither is the tender romance of “Outlander,” the big-minded ambition of “The OA,” or the coherence of, I don’t know, “Vikings.” But that’s OK. “The Witcher” is “The Witcher,” and nothing else matters. Just go with it.

 

REVIEW: STARGATE SG.1 – SEASON 7

Starring

Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver)
Amanda Tapping(Sanctuary)
Christopher Judge (The Dark Knight Rises)
Don S. Davis (Twin Peaks)
Michael Shanks (Smallville)

Michael Shanks in Stargate SG-1 (1997)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis Can’t Loose)
George Touliatos (This Means War)
Kevan Ohtsji (Elektra)
David Palffy (Blade: The Series)
Michael Adamthwaite (Supergirl)
Eric Breker (Scary Movie 3)
Cliff Simon (Project Eden)
Adrian Hough (the Fog)
Michael Welch (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
Tony Amendola (Annabelle)
Odi Ndefo (Angel)
David Richmond-Peck (V)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Peter LaCroix (Atomic TTrain)
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight (I, Robot)
James Parks (Kill BIll)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Steven Williams (Jason Goes To Hell)
Alex Zahara (Horns)
Kavan Smith (Mission To Mars)
G. Patrick Currie (Dark Water)
Scott MacDonald (Jack Frost)
Peter Kelamis (Stargate Universe)
Benjamin Ayres (Saving Hope)
Patrick McKenna (Robocop: The Series)
Christine Adams (Black Lightning)
Jolene Blalock (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Kirsten Zien (Elektra)
Carmen Argenziano (House)
Bill Dow (Izombie)
Teryl Rothery (Arrow)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Ingrid Kavelaars (Dreamcatcher)
John Novak (War)
Sasha Pieterse (Pretty Little Liars)
Craig Veroni (Dark Angel)
Emily Holmes (Paycheck)
Anna-Louise Plowman (Black Sails)
David DeLuise (Wizards of Waverly Place)
Sebastian Spence (First Wave)
Nels Lennarson (The Cabin In The Woods)
Saul Rubinek (True Romance)
Mitchell Kosterman (Smallville)
David Lewis (Man of Steel)
Adam Baldwin (Chuck)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Jim Byrnes (Highlander: The Series)
Kristen Dalton (Jack Reacher)
Brad Greenquist (Ali)
William Devane (Interstellar)
James McDaniel (Sleepy Hollow)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Jerry Wasserman (Alive)
Jessica Steen (Chaos)
Colleen Winton (Van Helsing)

Richard Dean Anderson in Stargate SG-1 (1997)That is the season when Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) returns from being an ascended being, albeit on an alien world without his memory (“Fallen”). This required getting rid of Jonas Quinn (Corin Nemec) to get the old gang back together again, which happens when Anubis download Jonas’ memory and the Goa’uld attack Kelowna (“Homecoming”). Wisely, this is not the last appearance of Jonas for the season (“Fallout”) as he becomes another one of recurring guest characters that are a major strength of the series.Don S. Davis, Amanda Tapping, and Michael Welch in Stargate SG-1 (1997)There are several Daniel Jackson stories that make a point of giving the actor interesting things to do, such as “Lifeboat,” where his mind becomes a resting place for a bunch of alien minds, “Enemy Mine,” which requires Jackson to show diplomatic skills, and big time flashbacks in “Chimera,” to before Daniel first saw the Stargate.Amanda Tapping in Stargate SG-1 (1997)Overall, Season 7 is really Samantha Carter’s season and Amanda Tapping has several episodes where she pretty much goes it alone. “Space Race” has her joining an alien pilot for a little intergalactic competition, while “Death Knell” finds Carter being hunted by the supers soldiers of Anubis after an attack on Earth’s secret off-world base. In “Grace” Carter literally ends up alone when the Prometheus is attacked and she wakes up to find herself the only one on a ship drifting in deep space. The other characters show up as the angels of her better nature, which is the only way that Sam and Jack are ever going to have an honest conversation.Richard Dean Anderson, Christopher Judge, Michael Shanks, and Amanda Tapping in Stargate SG-1 (1997)The whole Anubis/Lost City bit ends up being equal parts time to beat another bigger and badder system lord and find a fitting end point for the series that can also work as a transition to the spinoff.

REVIEW: STARGATE SG.1 – SEASON 5

Starring
Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver)
Michael Shanks (Smallville)
Amanda Tapping(Sanctuary)
Christopher Judge (The Dark Knight Rises)
Don S. Davis (Twin Peaks)
Christopher Judge in Stargate SG-1 (1997)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Carmen Argenziano (House)
Peter Williams (Catwoman)
Jennifer Calvert (Earthsea)
Gary Jones (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Tony Amendola (Annabelle)
Brook Susan Parker (Strange Days)
David Lovgren (Two For The Money)
Teryl Rothery (Travelers)
Sean Patrick Flanery (Powder)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Eric Breker (X-Men Origins)
Dion Johnstone (The Core)
John Prosky (True Blood)
Colleen Rennison (Down River)
Jacqueline Samuda (The L Word)
Larry Drake (Darkman)
Alex Zahara (Horns)
Earl Pastko (Land of The Dead)
Alexander Kalugin (Final Destination 3)
Garry Chalk (Arrow)
Garwin Sanford (Stargate: Atlantis)
Marie Stillin (Nightscream)
Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Christopher Cousins (Breaking Bad)
Dion Luther (The Net: The Series)
Robert Moloney (Power Rangers)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Tom McBeath (Van Helsing)
Bill Marchant (Chappie)
Carrie Genzel (Jennifer’s Body)
Willie Garson (Hawaii Five-0)
Michael Deluise (Wayne’s World)
Peter DeLuise (21 Jump Street)
Jill Teed (Godzilla)
Courtenay J. Stevens (Suits)
Elisabeth Rosen (Cult of Chucky)
Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica)
David Kopp (Freddy vs Jason)
Michael Kopsa (Fantastic Four)
David Hewlett (Rise of TPOTA)
Colin Cunningham (Elektra)
Jeff Seymour (Mutant X)
Anna-Louise Plowman (Black Sails)
Cliff Simon (Project Eden)
William deVry (Beauty and The Beast)
Kevin Durand (Swamp Thing)
Rick Worthy (The Vampire Diaries)
Obi Ndefo (Star Trek: DS9)
Kirby Morrow (X-Men: Evolution)
Danielle Nicolet (The Flash)
Colin Lawrence (Watchmen)
Henry Gibson (Sabrina: TTW)
Christina Cox (Earth: Final Conflict)
Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis Can’t Loose)
Mel Harris (K-9)
David Palffy (Blade: The Series)
The year began with a cool premiere, “Enemies”, There were some amazing story developments this year, beginning with the final demise of Apophis (Peter Williams), the Goa’uld System Lord who has been making life difficult for the SGC ever since the first season. Next, the Tollan, an extremely advanced race of humans who are allied with Earth, begin acting suspiciously, the SGC begins recruiting new officers, the motives of the Aschen from last season are revealed, the Tok’Ra are nearly destroyed, and the Jaffa rebellion begins to truly become a problem for the System Lords. 
Christopher Judge in Stargate SG-1 (1997)
And then, Daniel is brought to a System Lord summit where he has the chance to wipe out the Goa’uld threat forever, that is until he learns of the return of Anubis, an ancient System Lord who was banished for his horrific crimes. Also, we finally learn the origins of the Replicators. Finally, SG-1 must endure a change that they never thought would happen in the episode “Meridian”, and then, Anubis and Osirus (Anna-Louise Plowman) reveal plans to attack the Asgard.
Anna-Louise Plowman in Stargate SG-1 (1997)

This is a very important season, good episodes include: “Enemies”, “Threshold”, “Between Two Fires”, “2001”, “Wormhole X-Treme”, “Proving Ground”, “Summit”, “Last Stand”, “The Warrior”, “Menace”, “Meridian”, and “Revelations”.

REVIEW: STARGATE SG.1 – SEASON 4

Starring

Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver)
Michael Shanks (Smallville)
Amanda Tapping(Sanctuary)
Christopher Judge (The Dark Knight Rises)
Don S. Davis (Twin Peaks)

Amanda Tapping in Stargate SG-1 (1997)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Colin Cunningham (Elektra)
Gary Jones (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Teryl Rothery (Travelers)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Anne Marie DeLuise (Love Happens)
Kyle Cassie (Deadpool)
Laara Sadiq (Arrow)
Vanessa Angel (Kingpin)
Musetta Vander (Wild Wild West)
Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Ron Halder (Antitrust)
Kirsten Robek (Cats & Dogs)
Andrew Jackson (Sea Wolf)
Robin Mossley (Elf)
Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: TNG)
Tom McBeath (Bates Motel)
Dion Johnstone (The Core)
Jason Schombing (Tin Man)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Brian Markinson (Izombie)
Alessandro Juliani (Smallville)
Kim Hawthorne (Greenleaf)
Willie Garson (White Collar)
Matthew Bennett (Cold Squad)
Steven Williams (Jason Goes To Hell)
Peter Williams (Catwoman)
Anna-Louise Plowman (Black Sails)
Ben Bass (Bride of Chucky)
Lorena Gale (Traitor)
Douglas Arthurs (The Butterfly Effect)
Daniel Bacon (Brain of Fire)
Paul Koslo (Robot Jox)
Christopher Cousins (Breaking Bad)
Obi Ndefo (Dawsons Creek)
Lawrence Dane (Scanners)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Dion Luther (The Net: The Series)
Erick Avari (The Mummy)
Michelle Harrison (The Flash)
William deVry (Earth: Final Conflict)
Yee Jee Tso (Antitrust)
Elisabeth Rosen (Cult of Chucky)
Hrothgar Mathews (When Calls The HEart)
Bill Dow (Izombie)
Michael Kopsa (Dark Angel)
Jay Brazeau (Bates Motel)
Belinda Waymouth (Meet The Spartans)
Ron Halder (Antitrust)
John DeSantis (Legends of Tomorrow)
Carmen Argenziano (House)

Stargate SG-1 (1997)The Replicators. The Russians. The Aschen. These are only a few of the new enemies presented this year, in Stargate: SG-1 (okay, so technically, the Replicators were introduced last year). These new baddies made a lot of trouble this year for the SGC in what is definitely the best season yet. We learn more about the Replicators this year when Sam (Amanda Tapping) is brought to an Asgard-controlled planet to help defend the O’Neill, the Asgard’s newest and most advanced ship ever. Also, the Russians retrieve the Giza gate from the bottom of the ocean from when Thor’s ship, the Beliskner, crashed, while the SGC is now using the Antarctica gate. And, 10 years in the future, an advanced race, known as the Aschen, are quietly wiping out the human race by making humans infertile.Richard Dean Anderson and Teryl Rothery in Stargate SG-1 (1997)These are just a handful of the amazing new stories that occurred this year. It seems that Col. O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson), Maj. Carter, Dr. Jackson (Michael Shanks), and Teal’c (Christopher Judge) can never catch a break. This year, not only have their alien enemies become more powerful than ever, especially Apophis (Peter Williams), their enemies on Earth have truly become a threat. Senator Kinsey (Ronny Cox), the man who tried to shut down the SGC in Season 1, has been linked to the rogue sector of the NID, the civillian organization responsible for the theft of numerous alien technologies over the last few years.Richard Dean Anderson, Vanessa Angel, Michael Shanks, and Amanda Tapping in Stargate SG-1 (1997)The stories this year are better than ever, especially with an increasing number of arcs occurring. Episodes like “Crossroads” and “The Serpent’s Venom” were expertly executed, and had immense emotional effects on our heroes. However, I have to praise the stand-alones this year, especially “Window of Opportunity” and “The Other Side”, which have never been better.Some other great episodes are: “Small Victories”, “Upgrades”, “Watergate”, “Point of No Return”, “Tangent”, “The Curse”, “Chain Reaction”, “2010”, “Absolute Power”, “Double Jeopardy”, and “Exodus”.