REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE

CAST (VOICES)

Peter Cullen (Dungeons and Dragons)
Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek)
Orson Welles (Citizen Kane)
Eric Idle (Monty Python)
Judd Nelson (New Jack City)
Robert Stack (Caddyshack II)
Roger C. Carmel (Star Trek)
Neil Ross (G.I. Joe)
Susan Blu (Jem)
Lionel Stander (Hart To Hart)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
John Moschitta Jr. (Dick Tracy)
Buster Jones (Super Friends)
Paul Eiding (Ben 10)
Gregg Berger (The Jetsons)
Michael Bell (Rugrats)
Chris Latta (G.I. Joe)
Casey Kasem (Battle of The Planets)
Scatman Crothers (The Shining)
Dan Gilvezan (Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends)
Corey Burton (Aladdin)
Stan Jones (Challenge of The Super Friends)
Arthur Burghardt (Star Kid)
Don Messick (The Last Unicorn)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Ed Gilbert (The little Mermaid)
Clive Revill (Return To Neverland)
Hal Yale (Ewok Adventures)
Norman Alden (Super Friends)

In 2005, the war between the Autobots and Decepticons has culminated in the Decepticons conquering their home planet Cybertron, while the Autobots operate from its two moons preparing a counter-offensive. Optimus Prime sends an Autobot shuttle to Earth’s Autobot City for Energon supplies, but the Decepticons, led by Megatron, commandeer the ship and kill the crew, consisting of Ironhide, Ratchet, Prowl and Brawn. Travelling to Earth, the Decepticons attack Autobot City, slaughtering many Autobots and leaving only a small group alive including Hot Rod, Kup, Ultra Magnus, Arcee, Springer, Blurr, Perceptor, Blaster, and the human Daniel Witwicky. The next day, Optimus and the Dinobots arrive as reinforcements. Optimus single-handedly defeats the Decepticons and engages Megatron in a climactic battle that leaves both of them mortally wounded. On his death bed, Optimus passes the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus, informing him that its power will light the Autobots’ darkest hour, and dies.Elsewhere, the Decepticons jettison their wounded from Astrotrain, including Megatron at the hands of his treacherous second-in-command Starscream. The wounded are found by Unicron, a gigantic sentient cyber-planet who consumes other planets. Unicron offers Megatron a new body in exchange for destroying the Matrix, which has the ability to destroy him. Megatron agrees and is converted into Galvatron, gaining new troops from the other Decepticons present. Going to Cybertron, Galvatron crashes Starscream’s coronation as Decepticon commander and destroys him, before travelling to Autobot City to eliminate Ultra Magnus. The surviving Autobots escape in separate shuttles which are damaged by the Decepticons and crash land on different planets.transformers-movie-bluray-screenshot-2Hot Rod and Kup are taken prisoner by the Quintessons, multi-faced tyrants who hold kangaroo courts and execute prisoners by feeding them to the Sharkticons. Hot Rod and Kup learn of Unicron from Kranix, a survivor of Lithone – a planet devoured by Unicron. After Kranix is executed, Hot Rod and Kup escape their own trial, aided by the arrival of the Dinobots and the small Autobot Wheelie, who helps them find a ship to leave the planet. The other Autobots land on the Junk Planet, where Galvatron kills Ultra Magnus and seizes the Matrix, intending on using it to control Unicron. The Autobots reunite and befriend the local Junkions, led by Wreck-Gar, who then rebuild Magnus. Learning Galvatron has the Matrix, the Autobots and Junkions fly to Cybertron, which Unicron, discovered to be a gigantic Transformer also now in robot form, begins to destroy.14041_1The Autobots crash their spaceship through Unicron’s eye, but they end up separated. Daniel rescues his father Spike and Jazz, Bumblebee, and Cliffjumper from being devoured. Hot Rod confronts Galvatron, who tries to form an alliance, but is forced into attacking Hot Rod by Unicron. Hot Rod obtains the Matrix, which converts him into Rodimus Prime, the Autobot that Optimus said would light their darkest hour. Rodimus tosses Galvatron into space and uses the Matrix’s power to destroy Unicron from the inside. The Autobots celebrate the end of the war and the retaking of Cybertron, while Unicron’s severed head continues to orbit the planet.vlcsnap-2011-12-12-17h24m21s199_758_426_81_s_c1Transformers the movie is a retro 80’s cult classic that not only took the original series forward in the animation department but also took the story forward in to the future with the next generation of Transformers. All the fan favourites are here with new ones to be cherishing, and the soundtrack to this movie is probably one of the best sounding albums to come out of the 80’s. This movie still holds up as one of the best TV to Movie translations of all time, and it still kicks major league butt as well. The only drawback that it has that they did not make a sequel to this classic in animation.

REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS: GENERATION 2

CAST (VOICES)

Peter Cullen (Dungeons and Dragons)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Scatman Crothers (The Shining)
Michael Bell (Tangled)
Corey Burton (Aladdin)
Dan Gilvezan (Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends)
Casey Kasem (Battle of The Planets)
Chris Latta (G.I. Joe)
Michael Horton (Star Trek: Insurrection)
Gregg Berger (The Jetsons)
Victor Caroli (My Little Pony)
Don Messick (Tiny Toon Adventures)
John Stephenson (Centurions)
Hal Yale (Ewok Adventures)
Neil Ross (Centurions)
Garry Chalk (Beast Wars)

After the Transformers franchise had all but sunk into obscurity, the toys were relaunched and given a new shot at life as Generation 2. And just as the old toys were given new paint jobs, the old episodes were updated and enhanced by the best technology a relatively low-budget production could buy. What this translates into is lots of annoying computer graphics (called the “Cybernet Space Cube”) popping up at random intervals to denote a new scene, or even just a change in camera angle or character perspective. The results would test the limits of even the shortest attention spans. So while Transformers–Generation 2 does collect some of the finest episodes of the Transformers cartoon, telling the origin of the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons and how they came to earth, as well as introducing the popular Dinobots and Constructicons, it’s ultimately a frustrating experience. The episodes here are…maxresdefaultMore Than Meets The Eye Part One:
With energy reserves low, the Autobots set out to find new supplies. But the Decepticons attack them and the ship crashes into Earth. Millions of years later a volcano eruption triggers the Decepticons to reactivate and they prepare to raid the world’s resources. Will the Autobots be reactivated in time to stop them?1280x720-UA2More Than Meets The Eye Part Two:
The Decepticons continue to plunder Earth’s resources, planning to return to Cybertron with enough energy to lead them to victory. In an attempt to stop the Decepticons, the Autobots set off an explosive device in a cave. But it goes very wrong when Optimus Prime is injured.Transformers G1 Ep3 0381More Than Meets The Eye Part Three:
As the Decepticons blast their way out of the cave the Autobots come up with a plan to trick them into attacking a false location of a rocket base. But Megatron has forseen this and has built a new ship to get back to Cybertron. Will the Autobots be able to stop them?93_cvSOS Dinobots:
The Autobots discover dinosaur bones in their cave and it leads them to create three Dinobots, Crimlock, Sludge and Slag. They are however mentally unstable and Optimus prime orders them to be deactivated. But when the Autobots are captured by the Decepticons, Wheeljack reactivates the Dinobots hoping they will save them.Heavy_Metal_War_DevastatorHeavy Metal War:
Megatron creates a machine capable of transferring all the Decepticons’ special powers to him. He then challenges Optimus Prime to a fight which Prime inevitably loses. The Autobots must therefore abandon earth in order to keep their side of the bargain. Will they discover that Megatron has cheated in time?dfd3db10cf1f5f4b6d439628d2384c91These are some great orginal episodes, but are substantually ruined by new fangled computer enhancment, and so called Generation 2. Each episode is basically viewed through a ‘Cybertron cube’-somthing like that-which will use crazy special effects to take you to the next scene, with annoying sound effects to boot! The theme tune isnt the original TF theme you would expect either. The whole DVD is a crazy Generation 2 adaption of, what were, great original episodes. But it is a must for any TF fan such as myself. A true collectors item.

 

REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS – SEASON 2 – PART 2

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CAST (VOICES)

Peter Cullen (Dungeons and Dragons)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Scatman Crothers (The Shining)
Victor Caroli (My Little Pony)
Chris Latta (G.I. Joe)
Corey Burton (Aladdin)
Dan Gilvezan (Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends)
Casey Kasem (Battle of The Planets)
Ken Sansom (The Tigger Movie)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Gregg Berger (The Jetsons)
Michael Chain (Dink The Litte Dinosaur)
Bud Davis (House of The Rising Sun)
Walker Edminston (Dick Tracy)
Paul Eiding (Up!)
Ed Gilbert (The Little Mermaid)
Michael McConnohie (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Hal Yale (Ewok Adventures)
Peter Renaday (Archer)
Neil Ross (Centurions)

In 1984, Hasbro unwittingly gave pop culture the world over a swift kick in the balls when it unleashed The Transformers onto an unsuspecting and surprisingly hungry public. Boys (and girls) the world over would run home from school every day to take in the weekly animated adventures these robots in disguise. The ability to turn from an average every day vehicle (or in some cases, a gun, a dinosaur, or a Walkman) into a bad ass robot was something that, for whatever reason, just clicked with the kids of the eighties and it’s something that really hasn’t gone away over twenty-five years later, thanks to spin off series’ galore, an animated movie, a big budget dumbed-down Hollywood film and sequel, and of course, plenty of very cool toys.The series revolves around the Autobots, lead by the noble Optimus Prime, and the Decepticons, lead by the sinister Megatron, two warring factions from the planet of Cybertron who have unwittingly crash landed on the Earth when our series begins. They bring their conflict with them to their new home and soon find themselves battling it out across the globe, each side hoping to find the energy source it needs to return back to their native planet. And that’s more or less it, kids. Good guys fight bad guys while the fate of a world hangs in the balance. This series deviates only slightly from countless other children’s shows in that, like the competing Go-Bots (who were not so much robots in disguise as they were might robots and mighty vehicles), they had the super cool ability to transform.The first season introduced us to the core characters – Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz and Spike on the Autobots side and Megatron, Starscream, and Soundwave comprising the Decepticons as well as The Dinobots, and the Constructocons. All of those characters are still here but this time around we get some other interesting Transformers thrown into the mix. Omega Supreme plays a big part in the first episode in this collection where we learn of his origins and how he ties in with the Constructocons. Smokescreen gets his fifteen minute of fame in this collection and Elita One and the female Autobots show up to make trouble for the Decpticons only to get captured forcing the female Autobots to have to work hand in hand with their male counterparts to save Elita and Optimus. Powerglide, Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Seaspray, the Stunticons, the Arielbots, the Combaticons, the Protectobots and other assorted oddball supporting characters come and go throughout this collection as well, making it sometimes a fair bit more interesting than the earlier episodes that centered around more or less the same few characters.Plenty of cliffhangers are found this time around and there’s tighter than average continuity here as well, for a kid’s show at least. There’s still a lot of formulaic writing on hand even if it is more interesting than the extremely formulaic first season, but younger viewers probably won’t mind so much, in fact some might see that as a plus. There’s something to be said for children’s entertainment delivering what you expect it to and hope it will and this series definitely falls into that category. As the second season winds to a close you can see that the stage is being set for Transformers: The Movie, the animated feature film that hit theaters the summer after this season finished airing. The movie would in turn set the stage for the third season, the series’ last full length, and the very brief fourth season. These would prove to be considerably different in tone and which featured a vastly different array of characters thanks to the repercussions of the events in that film.

 

REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS – SEASON 2 – PART 1

TRANSFORMERS 2

CAST (VOICES)

Peter Cullen (Dungeons and Dragons)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Scatman Crothers (The Shining)
Victor Caroli (My Little Pony)
Chris Latta (G.I. Joe)
Corey Burton (Aladdin)
Dan Gilvezan (Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends)
Casey Kasem (Battle of The Planets)
Ken Sansom (The Tigger Movie)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Gregg Berger (The Jetsons)
Michael Chain (Dink The Litte Dinosaur)
Bud Davis (House of The Rising Sun)
Walker Edminston (Dick Tracy)
Paul Eiding (Up!)
Ed Gilbert (The Little Mermaid)
Michael McConnohie (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Hal Yale (Ewok Adventures)
Peter Renaday (Archer)
Neil Ross (Centurions)

As one of the most successful franchises in American pop culture history, The Transformers have entered their 25th year in the public eye. Based on Hasbro’s toy line of the same name (which, in turn, was based on a Japanese toy line by Takara), their success established a strong connection between animation and marketing for younger audiences. Case in point: Hasbro’s own G.I. Joe was relaunched in 1982—just two years prior to The Transformers—and after an FCC regulation was dropped in 1984 (which prohibited companies from broadcasting product-based animated shows), all bets were off. The swift success of The Transformers that year was also due to a Marvel Comics line based on the toys, which led to an avalanche of sales, spin-offs…and, of course, the infamous 1986 motion picture. In short, you’d be hard-pressed to find a thirty-something not familiar with this group of transforming robots from the planet Cybertron.The second season of The Transformers, as expected, doesn’t change the established formula much; aside from the typical “good vs. evil” plots and over-the-top action, plenty of new supporting characters are introduced to expand the Transformers universe…and to sell more toys, of course. This four-disc set includes the first 24 episodes from Season 2 in their original production order.Again, it’s no secret that The Transformers—or most animated shows aimed squarely at kids, for that matter—focused its attention on marketable characters, not compelling storylines. At its heart, The Transformers presents a simple tale of good vs. evil, while even the most complex problems are typically resolved within a 23-minute timeframe. This second season features a slight change in tone: though the adventures are varied and often entertaining, the urgency of the first season has been scaled back a bit. If kids didn’t fully realize that The Transformers was nothing more than an extended commercial during the first year, it’s painfully obvious by this point. Even so, there’s some good material here; what’s more, it can be watched sequentially or browsed through. Aside from the occasional two-parter, there’s very little in the way of an overall story arc. Standout episodes include “Changing Gears” (in which a normally grouchy Autobot undergoes a drastic personality change), “A Prime Problem” (two Optimus Primes for the price of one!), several of the two-part episodes (especially fan favorite “Dinobot Island” and “Megatron’s Master Plan”) and  “Microbots” (Megatron uncovers a powerful relic on the Deceptions’ ancient crash-landed ship) . There really aren’t any genuine clunkers in the bunch here, though most of the highs don’t approach the level of certain Season 1 episodes. Even so, The Transformers remains one of the most consistent and enduring Saturday morning spectacles from the decade of excess.

 

REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS – SEASON 1

CAST (VOICES)

Peter Cullen (Dungeons and Dragons)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Scatman Crothers (The Shining)
Michael Bell (Tangled)
Corey Burton (Aladdin)
Dan Gilvezan (Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends)
Casey Kasem (Battle of The Planets)
Chris Latta (G.I. Joe)
Michael Horton (Star Trek: Insurrection)
Gregg Berger (The Jetsons)
Victor Caroli (My Little Pony)
Don Messick (Tiny Toon Adventures)
John Stephenson (Centurions)
Hal Yale (Ewok Adventures)
Neil Ross (Centurions)

As one of the most successful franchises in American pop culture history. Based on Hasbro’s toy line of the same name (which, in turn, was based on a Japanese toy line by Takara), their success established a strong connection between animation and marketing for younger audiences. Case in point: Hasbro’s own G.I. Joe was relaunched in 1982—just two years prior to The Transformers—and after an FCC regulation was dropped in 1984 (which prohibited companies from broadcasting product-based animated shows), all bets were off. The swift success of The Transformers that year was also due to a Marvel Comics line based on the toys, which led to an avalanche of sales, spin-offs…and, of course, the infamous 1986 motion picture. In short, you’d be hard-pressed to find a thirty-something not familiar with this group of transforming robots from the planet Cybertron.Our story begins nearly four million years ago on Cybertron, where the honorable Autobots (led by Optimus Prime) battle the dastardly Decepticons (led by Megatron). The Autobots and Decepticons have never gotten along and probably never will. After crash-landing on Earth, they awaken in modern times and quickly resume their conflict, this time fighting for the energy it would require to return home. This origin story is presented in the three-part pilot, “More Than Meets The Eye”, which also served as a tagline for the franchise in general. From there, 13 more episodes would comprise the rest of Season 1—and although its initial success was massive, the first animated series would be virtually gone from domestic television in less than four years. Subsequent relaunches—which would include Generation 2, BeastWars and the newer live-action movies, among others—have kept the Transformers name alive during the last few decades, but many die-hard fans consider the 1984-87 series as its creative pinnacle.The Transformers presents a simple tale of good vs. evil, while even the most complex problems are typically wrapped up in a 23-minute timeframe. Still, there’s more urgency during this first season—in certain stretches, at least—that focuses on the Autobots and Decepticons struggling to find the energy needed to return to their home planet. During this short 16-episode run, a handful of episodes manage to stand out: aside from the respectable three-part pilot “More Than Meets The Eye”, other highlights include “The Ultimate Doom” (another three-part story), “Heavy Metal War” and the respective Dinobot / Insecticon introductions. These new characters presented more toys to be sold, of course, but they helped to add new elements to an already layered group of good and bad guys. There’s really not a bad episode in the bunch, though plenty of unintentionally hilarious dialogue certainly shows its age. Overall, those looking for a quick nostalgia fix—or newer fans who’ve never witnessed The Transformers’ earliest years, even—should find this to be an entertaining batch of 1980s goodness. Die-hard fans may already own these in some form or another…but as we’ll find out, this particular release is special in more ways than one.

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: INHUMANOIDS

CAST(VOICES)

Michael Bell (Rugrats)
William Callaway (Annie Hall)
Dick Gautier (Transformers)
Ed Gilbert (The Rescuers)
Chris Latta (G.I. Joe)
Neil Ross (Centurions)
Stanley Ralph Ross (Batman 60s)
Richard Saunders (Valley Girl)
Susan Silo (Lilo & Stitch)
John Stephenson (Centurions)
Charlie Adler (The Super Hero Squad Show)

CAPTIVE-002

The story begins with the discovery of a monstrous creature encased in an amber monolith buried in Big Sur national park, which is recovered by the government-funded Earth Corps, a geological sciences research team. The finding spurs corrupt industrialist Blackthorne Shore to clandestinely uncover a second monster buried elsewhere — a giant vine-like creature called Tendril, who attacks the amber block’s public unveiling in San Francisco to release the macabre colossus trapped within, D’Compose. They rampage through city streets before fleeing into the watery darkness of the bay. Earth Corps member Liquidator returns to Big Sur in search of further clues to the origin of these monsters, whereupon he discovers a race of sentient trees, the Redwoods, who explain that they are members of a subterranean population known as Mutores, and that their kind sealed the evil Inhumanoids Tendril and D’Compose beneath the Earth ages ago. The malevolent Inhumanoid leader, Metlar, remains imprisoned below the surface, paralyzed by the magnetic field of a Mutore duo named Magnokor.

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A nocturnal assault by Tendril demolishes the Earth Corps base, prompting a chase into the depths of the Earth, but even with the help of another Mutore species, the rock-bodied Granites, they are forced to retreat back to the surface. When their budget is summarily cut by Senator Masterson — a crooked politician in Blackthorne Shore’s shady pocket — they are approached by Sandra Shore, Blackthorne’s sister, who has learned of her brother’s sinister plot to liberate Metlar. Funded by Sandra, the team constructs new vehicles and embarks back below the Earth’s surface, tracking D’Compose and Tendril to the city of the Granites, where an ensuing battle frees Metlar from Magnokor’s hold. Having pilfered Earth Corps’ engineering schematics via his ties to Masterson, Blackthorne joins the fray, now equipped with his own battle-suit whose magnetic powers he wields against Metlar, only to be derailed by Tendril’s interference while Sandra falls victim to the mutative touch of D’Compose.

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Earth Corps manages to escape and forms an alliance with the Granites. Herc accompanies them to D’Compose’s domain of Skellweb while Auger and Liquidator venture into Metlar’s kingdom of Infernac, and Bright convinces the Redwoods to help defend the surface world against attempts by the Inhumanoids to acquire sources of power. Herc and the Granites are able to defeat D’Compose’s reanimated soldiers and restore Sandra to normal. Blackthorne pursues Auger and Liquidator to Infernac and tries to use his magnetic powers on Metlar once again but is foiled by Magnokor and taken captive by Metlar. Acting on information forced from Blackthorne, the Inhumanoids raid a Soviet air base, stealing a handful of nuclear missiles. A seemingly repentant Blackthorne warns Earth Corps that the missiles are intended to shatter the divide between the Earth’s crust and mantle, but upon travelling into the Earth to preclude this catastrophe, the team discovers that Blackthorne has set them up and that the missiles are actually meant to detonate the planet’s core. Earth Corps is able to convince D’Compose to allow them access to Infernac — a deal made easier by the fact that the Inhumanoid already fears for his own survival in the face of Metlar’s insane plan — and they manage to defuse enough of the missiles to thwart the explosive scheme.

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Following a climactic battle, D’Compose is re-sealed in amber casing and Tendril is imprisoned by the Granites. Finally, Magnokor succeeds in neutralizing Metlar even as Blackthorne is arrested by Earth Corps. Senator Masterson provides the Earth Corps team with a new headquarters facility, but a tissue sample secured from Tendril during their first encounter with the monster has mysteriously gone missing.

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The theme song is decent, which to me is the only weak part of the show it’s not really memorable like most animated show themes I know and love. The only bad things are this show just like the toy line didn’t last long which I though was too bad because I really felt this franchise had potential to be more if given more time. We could of had new monsters good and evil, may’be a few new Earth Core characters, plots could been even darker, characters more developed; they really lost an opportunity for another big franchise. Another is that it doesn’t have a proper release with all the episodes, hopefully somewhere around the line we will have it if possible. I think I wouldn’t mind seeing is a revival to the franchise.

REVIEW: STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE – SEASON 1-7

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MAIN CAST

Avery Brooks (Roots: The Gift)
Nana Visitor (Dark Angel)
Rene Auberjonois (Boston Legal)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Terry Farrell (Hellraiser 3)
Colm Meaney (Intermission)
Cirroc Lofton (Soul Food)
Armin Shimerman (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Nicole de Boer (Rated X)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Felecia M. Bell (Nightman)
Marc Alaimo (Total Recall)
Aron Eisenberg (Puppet Master 3)
Max Grodenchick (Apollo 13)
J.G. Hertzler (Roswell)
April Grace (Lost)
Majel Barrett (Babylon 5)
Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser)
Gwynyth Walsh (Taken)
Bertila Damas (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Vaughn Armstrong (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Rosalind Chao (I Am Sam)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
Scott MacDonald (Jack Frost)
Jennifer Hetrick (L.A. Law)
John De Lancie (The Hand That Rocks The Cradle)
Tom McCleister (Angel)
Gregory Itzin (Firefly)
Fionnula Flanagan (The Others)
Julie Caitlin Brown (Babylon 5)
Chris Latta (Transformers)
Barry Gordon (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Cliff De Young (Glory)
Jonathan Banks (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Keone Young (Men In Black 3)
Jack Shearer (Star Trek: First Contact)
Harris Yullin (Rush Hour 2)
Louise Fletcher (Heroes)
Frank Langella (Masters of The Universe)
Stephen Macht (Galaxina)
Steven Weber (Izombie)
John Glover (Smallville)
Tim Russ (Samantha Who?)
Daphne Ashbrook (The Love Letter)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Brian Thompson (The Terminator)
Salli Richardson-Whitfield (I Am Legend)
William Schallert (Innerspace)
K Callan (Lois & CLark)
Chris Sarandon (Child’s Play)
John Colicos (Battlestar Galactica)
Michael Ansara (Batman: TAS)
William Campbell (Dementia 13)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
Michael Bell (Rugrats)
Alan Oppenheimer (Transformers)
Salome Jens (Superbot)
Martha Hackett (Leprechaun 2)
Ken Marshall (Krull)
Mary Kay Adams (Babylon 5)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Brett Cullen (Lost)
Jeffrey Combs (The Frighteners)
Tricia O’ Neil (Gia)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Deborah Van Valkenburgh (Free Enterprise)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Richard Lee Jackson (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
Andrew Prine (V)
Tracy Scoggins (Lois & Clark)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)
Leland Orser (Seven)
Chase Masterson (Terminal Invasion)
Penny Johnson Jerald (Castle)
Andrea Martin (Wag The Dog)
Diane Salinger (Batman Returns)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Robert O’ Reilly (The Mask)
Obi Ndefo (Stargate SG.1)
Patricia Tallman (Babylon 5)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Jeremy Roberts (Veronica Mars)
James Cromwell (Species II)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Conor O’Farrell (Lie To Me)
Robert Foxworth (Syriana)
Brock Peters (Soylent Green)
Casey Biggs (Broken Arrow)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Robert DoQui (Robocop)
D. Elliot Woods (Agents of SHIELD)
Jason Marsden (Full House)
Ron Canada (Just Like Heaven)
Jeffrey Nordling (Flight 93)
Gerrit Graham (Child’s Play 2)
Cliff De Young (THe Craft)
Jim Jansen (Death Becomes Her)
Tom Towles (Fortress)
Philip Anglim (The Elepehant Man)
Bruce Gray (Cube 2)
Ron Taylor (The Simpsons)
Larry Cedar (Deadwood)
Bill Mondy (Smallville)
Michael Reilly Burke (Mars Attacks)
Heidi Swedberg (Hot Shots)
Amanda Carlin (Friends)
Bernie Casey (Under Siege)
Molly Hagan (Izombie)
Michael Jace (The Fan)
Dennis Christopher (IT)
Joseph Ruskin (The Scorpian King)
Lawrence Pressman (Dark Angel)
Jill Sayre (Hercules and The Amazon Women)
Jonathan Frakes (Sar Trek: TNG)
Tina Lifford (Babe)
Bill Smitrovich (Ted)
Lark Voorhies (Save By The bell)
John Doman (Gotham)
Marshall R. Teague (Babylon 5)
Susanna Thompson (Arrow)
Clarence Williams III (The Butler)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Charlie Brill (Silk Stalkings)
Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Lawrence Tierney (Resevoir Dogs)
Thomas Kopache (Catch Me If You Can)
Rick Worthy (The Vampire Diaries)
Paul Popowich (Rupture)
Courtney Peldon (Out on a Lamb)
Michelle Krusiec (The Invitation)
Clayton Landey (Staragte: Atlantis)
Kevin Rahm (Bates MNotel)
Mike Starr (Ed Wood)
James Black (Anger Management
Meg Foster (Masters of The Universe)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
John Prosky (The Devil Inside)
Hilary Shepard (Power Rangers Turbo)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Charlie Brill (Silk Stalkings)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Eric Pierpoint (Alien Nation)
Robert Picardo (Stargate: Atlantis)
Marjean Holden (Hostage)
Brian Markinson (Arrow)
Christopher Shea (Bounty Killer)
Marc Worden (Ultimate Avengers)
Gabrielle Union (Ugly Betty)
Shannon Cochran (The Ring)
Iggy Pop (The Crow 2)
Brad Greenquist (Alias)
Leslie Hope (24)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Michael Weatherly (NCIS)
Henry Gibson (Sabrina: TTW)
James Darren (T.J. Hooker)
Bill Mumy (Babylon 5)
Kevin Rahm (Bates Motel)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
William Sadler (Roswell)

DS9 is one of my all-time favourite television shows. It edges out Star Trek’s original series just barely as my favourite in the franchise. I am not going to state that it’s the best Star Trek series, because it definitely will not appeal to everybody, but it is my favourite.

DS9 deviates from the Trek franchise formula in an important way – it is based on one location – a Cardassian-built space station near the planet Bejor. So even the architecture of the main set is alien – not another sterile militaristic star ship inhabited by a primarily white European crew – but a true Babel. Bejor has just been liberated from 60 years of occupation by an expansionist militaristic race – the Cardassians. Both Bejorans and Cardassians will play important roles throughout DS9. Since the station does not move much during the show’s seven year run, DS9 has a much stronger sense of place than the other ST series, and is able to develop story arc and character continuity much more powerfully than the others.

All of the major characters and most of the frequent returning characters have their own interwoven story arcs – most of which span the entire series. Ben Sisko (Avery Brooks), the station’s commander, is a somewhat disgruntled Star Fleet officer who has several personal vendettas which have almost driven him from Star Fleet. He is also a single parent and a genius. In the very first episode, Sisko’s arc begins and it is clear that his story will be the frame within which the entire series is organized – though the reasons for this will no become entirely clear until near the end. Also memorable are the gruff, shape-shifting Chief Constable Odo(Rene Auberjunois) who does not know what he is and where he came from; Kira (Nana Visitor) Sisko’s aggressive and intense Bajoran second officer; Garak (Andy Robinson) a Cardassian Tailor and – possibly – spy, who is easily the most well-developed, well-acted and interesting recurring guest star Star Trek has ever had; Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) – the beautiful Trill science officer whose consciousness is enhanced by the memories and personality of a 600 year old symbiotic slug who lives in her stomach and has inhabited dozens of previous hosts; Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) the station’s young, brilliant, adventurous and naive doctor; and Quark (Armin Shimmerman), the greedy, conniving, but entirely lovable Ferengi casino owner.

The characters, cast, and serialized stories make DS9 stand apart from the franchise as the most powerfully plotted, intensely dramatic and politically charged Star Trek ever. The show is, however, not for those with limited attention spans and a disdain for complexity. While it isn’t exactly hard to follow, the dialog is often dense and DS9 – more than any other Trek show – uses non-verbal communication very well. Brooks, Visitor and Robinson – all of whom are masters at this – are particularly non-verbal and make a big impression from the first few episodes.

Throughout the series, there are constant underlying political intrigues and surprisingly little filler. Almost every story connects with the main story arc (Sisko’s and Bejor’s) in one way or another, and no time is wasted with aimless experimentation by the writing team (a problem Voyager and Enterprise both suffered from).

The production is consistently theatrical in scope. The special effects are still – even today – above average for television, and even the new BSG doesn’t approach the scope and coherence of the plot.Highly recommended for bright people looking for something more than typical TV drama normally delivers.

REVIEW: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – SEASON 1-7

Image result for star trek the next generation logo

MAIN CAST

Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Jonathan Frakes (Roswell)
LeVar Burton (Roots: The Gift)
Denise Corsby (Dolly Dearest)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Gates McFadden (Franklin & Bash)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
Brent Spiner (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Wil Wheaton (Powers)
Diana Muldaur (Born Free)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

DeForest Kelley (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral)
John De Lancie (The Secret Circle)
Michael Bell (Tangled)
Colm Meaney (Intermission)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Elektra)
Brooke Bundy (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 & 4)
Armin Shimerman (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Tracey Walter (Batman)
Stanley Kamel (Domino)
Marc Alaimo (Total Recall)
Majel Barrett (Babylon 5)
Robert Knepper (Izombie)
Carel Struycken (The Addams Family)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Amy O’Neill (Honey, I Blew Up the Kid)
Carolyn McCormick (Enemy Mine)
Katy Boyer (The Island)
Michael Pataki (Rocky IV)
Brenda Strong (Supergirl)
Vaughn Armstrong (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Vincent Schiavelli (Batman Returns)
Judson Scott (Blade)
Merritt Butrick (Fright Night: Part 2)
Leon Rippy (Stargate)
Peter Mark Richman (Friday The 13th – Part 8)
Seymour Cassel (Rushmore)
Ray Walston (The Sting)
Whoppi Godlberg (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Chris Latta (G.I.Joe)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Billy Campbell (The Rocketeer)
Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark)
William Morgan Sheppard (Transformers)
Brian Thompson (The Terminator)
Clyde Kusatsu (Doctor Strange 70s)
Paddi Edwards (Halloween III)
Sam Anderson (Lost)
Robert Duncan McNeill (Masters of The Universe)
Mitchell Ryan (Lethal Weapon)
Nikki Cox (Las Vegas)
Lycia Naff (Total Recall)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
Robert O’Reilly (The Mask)
Glenn Morshower (Supergirl)
Scott Grimes (American Dad)
Ray Wise (Agent Carter)
Andreas Katsulas (Babylon 5)
Simon Templeton (James Bond Jr.)
James Cromwell (Species II)
Corbin Bernsen (The Tomorrow Man)
Christopher McDonald (Fanboys)
Tricia O’ Neil (Titanic)
Elrich Anderson (Unfaithful)
Hallie Todd (Sabrina: TTW)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Harry Groener (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13)
Mark Lenard (Planet of The Apes TV)
Ethan Phillips (Bad Santa)
Elizabeth Dennehy (Gattaca)
George Murodck (Battlestar Galactica)
Jeremy Kemp (Conan)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Beth Toussaint (Fortress 2)
April Grace (Lost)
Patti Yasutake (The Closer)
Alan Scarfe (Andromeda)
Bebe Neuwirth (Jumanji)
Rosalind Chao (Freaky Friday)
Jennifer Hetrick (L.A. Law)
Michelle Forbes (Powers)
Theodore Bikel (Babylon 5)
David Ogden Stiers (Two Guys and a Girl)
Gwyneth Walsh (Taken)
Paul Winfield (The Terminator)
Ashley Judd (Divergent)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil TV)
Leonard Nimoy (Transformers: The Movie)
Malachi Throne (Batman 60s)
Henry Darrow (The Hitcher)
Daniel Roebuck (Lost)
Kathryn Leigh Scott (Three Christs)
Pamela Adlon (Better Things)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Matt Frewer (Watchmen)
Ron Canada (Wedding Crashers)
Elizabeth Hoffman (Stargate SG.1)
Stephen Lee (Wargames)
Kevin Peter Hall (Predator)
Richard Cox (Alpha House)
Liz Vassey (Two and a Half Men)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Ed Lauter (The Number 23)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)
Famke Janssen (X-Men)
Shay Astar (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Thomas Kopache (Stigmata)
Susanna Thompson (Arrow)
Richard Riehle (Texas Chainsaw 3D)
Alexander Enberg (Junior)
Lance LeGault (Stripes)
Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad)
Richard Cansino (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Anne Ramsay (Mad About You)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)
Suzie Plakson (How I Met Your Mother)
Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes)
Max Grodénchik (The Rocketeer)
Lanei Chapman (Rat Race)
Barbara Tarbuck (S. Darko)
Mike Hagerty (Overboard)
Michele Scarabelli (Alien Nation)
George Coe (Kramer vs Kramer)
James Doohan (Some Things Never Die)
Olivia D’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Clive Revill (Batman: TAS)
Jean Simmons (Spartacus)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Stephanie Beacham (The Colbys)
Reg E. Cathey (Fantastic Four)
Scott MacDonald (Jack Frost)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Cristine Rose (How I Met Your Mother)
Richard Herd (V)
Tim Russ (Samantha Who?)
Patricia Tallman (Babylon 5)
Salome Jens (Superboy)
Andrew Prine (V)
J.C. Brandy (Halloween 6)
Alan Oppenheimer (Transformers)
Eric Pierpoint (Alien Nation)
John Neville (The Fifth Element)
Ned Romero (The Lost Child)
Stephen Hawking (Futurama)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Joel Swetow (The Orville)
Bruce Gray (Starship Troopers)
Richard Lynch (Puppet Master 3)
Robin Curtis (General Hospital)
Julie Caitlin Brown (Babylon 5)
Kirsten Dunst (Bring it On)
Lee Arenberg (Pirates of The Caribbean)
Fionnula Flanagan (Lost)
Mark Bramhall (Alias)
Stephen Root (Dodgeball)
Terry O’Quinn (Lost)
Penny Johnson Jerald (Bones)
Jonathan Del Arco (The Closer)
Brian Markinson (Arrow)
Alexander Enberg (junior)
Ellen Albertini Dow (The Wedding Singer)
Brenda Bakke (Hot Shots 2)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas)
Erich Anderson (Friday The 13th 4)
Lawrence Tierney (Reservoir Dogs)
Robert Ito (Quincy M.E.)
Vyto Ruginis (Moneyball)
Richard McGonagle (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Time Winters (Thinner)

When the TNG series premiered in 1987, it wasn’t greeted well by many of the old-time Trek fans, including myself. It didn’t help matters that one of the earliest episodes, “The Naked Now” was a superficial retread of the classic “The Naked Time” from ’66. The new episode should have served as a way of spotlighting several of the new crew, but all it did was show them all in heat. I wasn’t too impressed. What did work was keeping the central theme of exploration (something lost in the offshoots, DS9 & Voyager). The new Enterprise was twice as large as the original, with about a thousand personnel aboard. Capt. Picard (Stewart) was a more cerebral, diplomatic version of the ultimate explorer we had known as Capt. Kirk. Again, Picard wasn’t too impressive in the first two awkward seasons, as some may mistake his caution for weakness. The Kirk-like first officer Riker (Frakes) was controlled by Picard, so the entire crew of Enterprise-D came across as a bit too civilized, too complacent for their own good. It’s interesting that this complacency was fractured by the most memorable episode of the first two years, “Q Who?” which introduced The Borg. All of a sudden, exploration was not a routine venture.

Other memorable episodes of the first 2 years: the double-length pilot, introducing Q; “Conspiracy”-an early invasion thriller; “Where No One Has Gone Before”-an ultimate attempt to define the exploring theme; “The Big Goodbye”-the first lengthy exploration of the new holodeck concept; “Datalore”-intro of Data’s evil twin; “Skin of Evil”-death of Tasha Yar; “11001001”-perhaps the best holodeck story; and “The Measure of a Man”-placing an android on trial. Except for “Q Who” the 2nd year was even more of a letdown from the first. Space started to percolate in the 3rd season. I liked “The Survivors”-introducing an entity resembling Q in a depressed mood, and “Deja Q” with both Q & Guinan squaring off, as well as other alien beings. A remaining drawback was the ‘techno-babble’ hindering many scripts, an aspect which made them less exciting than the stories of the original series. As Roddenberry himself believed, when characters spoke this way, it did not come across as naturalistic, except maybe when it was Data (Spiner), the android. The engineer La Forge (Burton), for example, was usually saddled with long, dull explanatory dialog for the audience.

In the 3rd year, truly innovative concepts such as the far-out parallel-universe adventure “Yesterday’s Enterprise” began to take hold, topped by the season-ender “The Best of Both Worlds,part 1” in which The Borg returned in their first try at assimilating Earth. After this and the 2nd part, the TNG show was off and running, at full warp speed. There are too many great episodes from the next 4 seasons to list here, but I tended to appreciate the wild, cosmic concept stories best: “Parallels”(s7); “Cause and Effect”(s5); “Timescape”(s6); “Tapestry”(s6); and the scary “Frame of Mind”, “Schisms” and “Genesis.” There’s also the mind-blowing “Inner Light”(s5), “Conundrum” and “Ship in a Bottle”(s6), “Second Chances.” The intense 2-parter “Chain of Command” was almost like a film, and the great return of Scotty in “Relics” was very entertaining, though it showed you can’t go home again. The show also continued to tackle uneasy social issues, as in “The Host”, “The Outcast”, “First Contact” and “The Drumhead” as well as political:”Darmok”, “Rightful Heir”, “Face of the Enemy” and “The Pegasus.” The series ended on a strong note, “All Good Things…” a double-length spectacular with nearly the budget of a feature film. But it wasn’t really the end. A few months later, an actual feature film was released “Star Trek Generations”(94). It’s rather ironic that the TNG films couldn’t match the innovation and creativity of the last 4 seasons of the series. “Star Trek Insurrection”(98) for example, is a lesser effort than any of the episodes mentioned above.