REVIEW: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE PLAN

 

CAST

Edward James Olmos (The Green Hornet)
Dean Stockwell (Dune)
Michael Trucco (Wishmaster 4)
Grace Park (Hawaii Five-O)
Michael Hogan (Red Riding Hood)
Aaron Douglas (The Flash)
Callum Keith Rennie (Flashforward)
Kate Vernon (Heroes)
Rick Worthy (The Vampire Diaries)
Lymari Nadal (American Gangster)
Matthew Bennett (Stargate SG.1)
Rekha Sharma (V)
Tricia Helfer (Two and a Half Men)
Alisen Down (Smallville)

The opening scenes of The Plan occur just prior to the destruction of the Twelve Colonies in the televised miniseries, Battlestar Galactica. Humanoid Cylon John Cavil is shown leading the planning for the genocidal attack on the human race. The seven known Cylons are present in the control room of the main Cylon base. Two versions of Cavil are shown in a Resurrection Ship, with the “Final Five” Cylons in stasis in resurrection chambers. The two versions of Cavil briefly discuss their plans for “teaching a lesson” to their creators, the Final Five. One version of Cavil announces his intention to witness the destruction of humanity on the ground. This version of Cavil travels to the planet Picon, where he encounters Ellen Tigh. Other characters from the series are also depicted: Gaius Baltar has a final meeting with Caprica Six; Samuel Anders is shown at his Pyramid team’s training camp along with the team doctor, who is Number Four/Simon; and Tory Foster (Rekha Sharma) is shown driving to an airport.
The destruction of the Twelve Colonies is depicted in a series of new special effects shots, with the Cylon Hybrid narrating the destruction with oblique poetry. Almost all of the planets of the Twelve Colonies are depicted in short scenes. Ellen Tigh is severely wounded in the nuclear attack on Picon. Cavil helps her leave the planet aboard a Colonial Fleet rescue ship. Aboard a civilian transport, Cavil torments the half-conscious woman with descriptions of his intent to destroy humanity. Tory Foster survives the nuclear attack as well, but is wounded when her car flips over in the blast Anders helps console his teammates in the mountainous region where they were training. Several scenes from the television miniseries are edited into The Plan.
skeletyi-v-shkafuCavil later boards the Galactica, calling himself “Brother Cavil,” and takes over the Galactica’s chapel. The creation of Galactica’s “wall of remembrance” is depicted, where survivors posted pictures and mementos of their dead or missing loved ones. Using religious fliers which talk about a “plan”, Cavil covertly gathers the seven known cylons. Cavil tells them that he intends to continue his plan to utterly destroy the human race. He also tells them that there is a sleeper agent aboard the Galactica, a Number Eight, whom he also plans to use. Back on Cylon-occupied Caprica, Sam Anders and his teammates have fled their training center for safer quarters. They spot Cylon Centurions collecting the parts of their fallen comrades. Later, Sam and his companions launch their first attack on the Cylons, losing several people in a successful attack. Sam and Jean Barolay later observe several Number Fives burying numerous dead human bodies, realize that Cylons have taken humanoid form, and resolve to attack them. They do so later, while a Cavil version supervises the Fives’ work. Cavil plays dead and survives the attack unharmed. Mistakenly believing Cavil to be a human being, Sam and his friends take the priest with them back to their camp. Cavil is clearly shocked to see Anders, because he is one of the original Final Five. 5YRYRYRTBack on the Galactica, the events of the first season episodes unfold from the Cylon’s perspective. Brother Cavil triggers the original Cylon programming of the Number Eight known as Sharon “Boomer” Valerii. She plans a bombing of the ship’s water storage facilities. As she tries to implement her plan, Boomer becomes increasingly distraught because she has fallen in love with Chief Galen Tyrol (Aaron Douglas). Cavil becomes angry when the Number Five known as Aaron Doral is exposed as a Cylon, and demands that he attempt to kill Commander Adama. The Number Two, meanwhile, listens in on Colonial Fleet communications, and becomes convinced that Kara “Starbuck” Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) holds some special purpose for the humanoid Cylons. He begins to paint the nebula depicted in Season Three episodes. Cavil, realizing that the Number Two known as Leoben Conoy has had his identity compromised, demands that the Number Two turn himself over to the humans and attempt to deceive or kill them. When Boomer’s plan to deprive the Fleet of water fails (and Boomer ironically helps the Galactica locate more water), Cavil demands that she kill Commander Adama. She first attempts suicide, and later purposefully botches the assassination attempt.battlestar-galactica-the-plan-boomerCavil, worried about Dr. Baltar’s attempt to develop a Cylon detection machine, orders the Number Six known as Shelly Godfrey to frame Baltar for treason. She does so, but her attempt fails when her evidence is exposed as a sham by Lieutenant Gaeta. Cavil orders the Six into an airlock and kills her. Cally Henderson’s assassination of Boomer is depicted as well. Cavil also orders the Number Four known as Simon to destroy the ship on which he lives with his family. Simon commits suicide rather than kill the family he has grown to love. In the aftermath of Simon’s suicide, Simon’s wife Giana tries to convince everyone that he wasn’t a Cylon. She seeks solace from Chief Tyrol, who is beginning to suspect that he himself might be a Cylon.
Meanwhile, back on Cylon-occupied Caprica, the other version of Cavil has ingratiated himself with Sam Anders. Cavil has ordered the Number Four to attempt to kill members of Sam’s team, but none have died and Cavil criticizes the Four’s actions. Starbuck returns to Caprica and meets the stranded Colonial pilot Karl “Helo” Agathon. Cavil makes a failed attempt to trick Sam into thinking they are Cylons and attacking them. Helo and Starbuck join them and attack a local Cylon base. Starbuck is wounded, taken captive by the Cylons, and subjected to various breeding experiments. Anders, Helo, and the others rescue her, discovering that Simon is a Cylon in the process. Later, Cavil tries to assassinate Starbuck and Anders but finds that he cannot pull the trigger, because he cannot stop thinking about Anders’ comment that death wouldn’t make him love these people any less. When the Cylon Centurions attack, Cavil is forced to hide with the rest of the humans. That night, Cavil meets with a Number Six who informs him that the Cylons have agreed to end their attacks on the human race. Cavil, who has changed his mind about humanity, agrees to pass on the message to the humans. Cavil returns to the human camp, and the humans leave the next day for the Galactica.

Meanwhile, the Brother Cavil on the Galactica is bedeviled by the repeated appearance of a young boy named John (Alex Ferris) in his chapel. Their various interactions finally end when the fake priest offers the boy an apple and then stabs him to death. The Plan ends with “Caprica Cavil” arriving aboard the Galactica, and exposing himself and Brother Cavil as humanoid Cylons (as depicted in scenes from the second season episode “Lay Down Your Burdens”). We realize from the Cylon perspective that he does this on purpose to stop Brother Cavil’s plans.  Brother Cavil is brought to the brig protesting that he is not a Cylon until he sees Caprica Cavil already in the brig, at which point he stops pretending. Caprica Cavil announces that the Cylons have voted to give the humans “a reprieve” because they have decided that their attempts at genocide were an error. They have left the colonies and will stop hunting the humans.The two Cavils argue while on their way to the airlock. Brother Cavil is in disbelief that the Cylons have decided to leave the humans alone, and continues to argue for their destruction. But Caprica Cavil asserts that Brother Cavil does not understand the nature of love. He says that the Final Five loved humanity, and that Brother Cavil is jealous of this love. Brother Cavil, he claims, does not understand that God and the Final Five will love humanity even more if the human race is extinguished. As they are escorted to the airlock, the Cavils see all of the Final Five Cylons watching them. They admit that this wasn’t the reunion they had expected. The two Cavils are then forced into the airlock. Caprica Cavil quietly tells his other self that he knows how terrifying death can be, and offers his hand, which Brother Cavil takes. The two are ejected, and float out past the fleet. The film ends with this scene overlaid with John Cavil’s fourth-season tirade lamenting his human-like body and desiring to be more like a machine so that he could “see gamma rays, hear x-rays, smell dark matter…and feel the solar wind of a super-nova” flowing over him.The Plan features very little to no extra scenes for the major crew members of Galactica, save Boomer, Anders and Tyrol. Olmos does a great job of directing but due to the story cutting between the work of many directors, it is hard to judge his individual style. The fact that it is stylistically seamless is a credit in itself. This is recommended for fans of the show, and a must-have for anyone interested in the Cylons and their motivations.

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REVIEW: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR

 

CAST

Edward James Olmos (The Green Hornet)
Mary McDonnell (Independence Day)
Katee Sackhoff (Riddick)
Jamie Bamber (Pulse 2)
James Callis (Flashforward)
Tricia Helfer (Two and a Half Men)
Grace Park (Hawaii Five-O)
Michael Hogan (Red Riding Hood)
Michelle Forbes (Powers)
Stephanie Jacobsen (Terminator: TSCC)
Nico Cortez (Hacksaw Ridge)
Matthew Bennett (Stargate SG.1)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Fulvio Cecere (The Tortured)
Vincent Gale (Van Helsing)

 

Related imageRazor straddles two stools. On the one hand, it is a balls-to-the-wall action story with huge, epic CGI battle sequences and lots of emotional intensity which is designed to appeal to newcomers as well as established fans. On the other, it features a lot of fan-pleasing asides and references to the original series. This is a somewhat odd idea (going for newbies and hardcore fans at the same time) but just about works, with the new character of Kendra providing a worthwhile ‘in’ to this story and universe for new viewers but at the same time allowing established fans to see stuff they’ve wanted to see since the series began.Image result for battlestar galactica RAZOR
The TV movie lives or dies on the performance of actress Stephanie Jacobson as Kendra Shaw and thankfully she delivers a competent performance. The actress has a great rapport with Katee Sackhoff and Michelle Forbes, and in these scenes she is extremely good. The other actors are as trusty and reliable as ever.Image result for battlestar galactica RAZOR
Overall, Razor  an enjoyable slice of Battlestar Galactica. The DVD edition is extended over the TV cut by some 15 minutes and features a lengthy flashback to the First Cylon War (complete with another huge battle sequence) as well as other new scenes, plus a writer and producer’s commentary.

REVIEW: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2004): THE COMPLETE SERIES

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CAST

Edward James Olmos (The Green Hornet)
Mary McDonnell (Independence Day)
Katee Sackhoff (Riddick)
Jamie Bamber (Pulse 2)
James Callis (Flashforward)
Tricia Helfer (Two and a Half Men)
Grace Park (Hawaii Five-O)
Michael Hogan (Red Riding Hood)
Paul Campbell (Andromeda)
Aaron Douglas (The Flash)
Kandyse McClure (Sanctuary)
Alessandro Juliani (Smallville)
Nicki Clyne (Saved)
Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse)
Sam Witwer (Smallville)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Connor Widdows (Dark Angel)
Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica Original)
Matthew Bennett (Stargate SG.1)
Brent Stait (Andromeda)
Lorena Gale (The Butterfly Effect)
Donnelly Rhodes (Tron: Legacy)
Jill Teed (X-Men 2)
Tobias Mehler (Wishmaster 3)
Luciana Carro (White Chicks)
Terry Chen (Bates Motel)
Dominic Zamprogna (Oddysey 5)
Bodie Olmos (Stand and Deliver)
Callum Keith Rennie (Legends of Tomorrow)
Eric Breker (Godzilla)
Kate Vernon (Heroes)
Camille Sullivan (The Birdwatcher)
Kerry Norton (Toy)
Leah Cairns (88 Minutes)
Michael Trucco (Sabrina: TTW)
Rick Worthy (Collateral  Damage)
James Remar (The Shannara Chronicles)
Benjamin Ayres (The Vampire Diaries)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Aleks Paunovic (Van helsing)
Michelle Forbes (Powers)
Fulvio Cecere (The Tortured)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Vincet Gale (Bates Motel)
Sebastian Spence (First Wave)
Colm Feore (Gotham)
Bill Duke (Commando)
John Mann (The Butterfly Effect 2)
Christopher Jacot (Mutant X)
Dana Delany (Body of Proof)
Erica Carroll (Supernatural)
Dean Stockwell (Dune)
Rekha Sharma (V)
Amanda Plummer (Hannibal)
Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary)
Alisen Down (Smallville)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Bruce Davison (High Crimes)
Gabrielle Rose (Dark Angel)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Lucinda Jenney (Rai nman)
Mark Sheppard (Supernatural)
Keegan Connor Tracy (Bates Motel)
Ryan Robbins (Arrow)
Leela Savasta (Stargate: Atlantis)
Nana Visitor (Star Trek: DS9)
Sonja Bennett (Preggoland)

If you want to watch a brilliantly scripted series, then this is the one for you. In a nutshell, Humanity inhabits the Twelve Colonies of Man, somewhere out there in the galaxy. They created robots, “Cylons”, who did everything we wanted until they rebelled. A massive war broke out which ultimately ended in the Cylons leaving the Twelve Colonies. No-one had heard from the Cylons in 40 years until the events of the Mini-Series where they come back and completely destroy Humanity. The survivors (Around 50,000 people) are forced to flee the Colonies where billions have already died and forced to find a new home with the Cylons constantly in pursuit. The idea is to follow the route of the “13th Tribe/Colony” who went out into the stars and settled on a planet named “Earth”. That’s the basic premise of the story but so much happens over the 4 seasons that I’d feel ashamed to spoil it for others. It’s hard to say what parts of BSG really stood out because all of it was so frakking good but some notable parts are the entire “New Caprica” occupation storyline at the end of Season 2/start of Season 3, the big reveal of 4 out of 5 of the “Final Five” Cylons at the end of Season 3/start of Season 4, the hopelessness that is felt after “Earth” is actually found mid-Season 4 and the final battle at the end of Season 4.

The storyline can be bleak at times and sometimes you do think whether you’d have the strength to carry on if you were in their position but that’s what makes it so interesting to watch. Add in a dash of “God”, “Angels”, “Prophecy” and “Destiny” and you have a perfect recipe for a great story.Highly recommended!

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REVIEW: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2003)

 

CAST

Edward James Olmos (The Green Hornet)
Mary McDonnell (Independence Day)
Katee Sackhoff (Riddick)
Jamie Bamber (Pulse 2)
James Callis (Flashforward)
Tricia Helfer (Two and a Half Men)
Callum Keith Rennie (Legends of Tomorrow)
Grace Park (Hawaii Five-O)
Michael Hogan (Red Riding Hood)
Matthew Bennett (Stargate SG.1)
Paul Campbell (Andromeda)
Aaron Douglas (The Flash)
Barclay Hope (Paycheck)
Lorena Gale (The Butterfly Effect)
Kandyse McClure (Sanctuary)
Connor Widdows (Dark Angel)
John Mann (The Tall Man)
Alessandro Juliani (Smallville)
Nicki Clyne (Saved)
Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse)
Ty Olsson (Izombie)
Ryan Robbins (Arrow)
Erin Karpluk (Ripper 2)

After a 40-year armistice in a war between the Twelve Colonies (the homeworlds populated by humans) and the Cylons (human-created robots), the Cylons launch a surprise nuclear attack intended to exterminate the human race. Virtually all of the population of the Twelve Colonies are wiped out. Most of the Colonial military is either rendered ineffective or destroyed due to malware in the military computer network that renders it vulnerable to cyber attack. The malware was introduced by Number Six (Tricia Helfer), a Cylon in the form of a human woman, who seduced the famous scientist Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis) and exploited their relationship to gain access codes under the cover of an insider contract bid.
The Battlestar Galactica, an aircraft carrier in space that fought in the earlier war, is in the final stages of being decommissioned and converted to a museum when the attack occurs. During her decades of colonial service the Galactica’s computer systems had never been networked so the Galactica is unaffected by the Cylon sabotage. Its commander, William Adama (Edward James Olmos), assumes command of the few remaining elements of the human fleet. He heads for the Ragnar Anchorage, a military armory station where the Galactica can resupply itself with weaponry and essential supplies.
Caprica under bombardment during the Cylon attack.
Secretary of Education Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) is sworn in as President of the Twelve Colonies after it is confirmed that the President and most of the government have been killed (Roslin is 43rd in line of succession). The government starship carrying her (Colonial One) manages to assemble a group of surviving civilian ships. When a Colonial Raptor shuttle from the Galactica lands briefly for repairs on the Twelve Colonies’ capital world of Caprica, the two-person crew, Sharon Valerii (callsign “Boomer”) (Grace Park) and Karl C. Agathon (callsign “Helo”) (Tahmoh Penikett), offer to evacuate a small group of survivors. Helo remains on the stricken planet, giving up his seat to evacuate Baltar, whom he recognizes for his celebrity status as a scientific genius.The Cylons locate the human civilian fleet, and Roslin is forced to make the decision to order all of the ships capable of faster-than-light (FTL) travel to “jump” immediately to escape. Unfortunately this means abandoning many of the survivors who are aboard ships without FTL technology, and as Roslin and the FTL ships jump away, the Cylons launch an attack on the remaining ships.
At the Ragnar Anchorage space station, Adama is attacked by a supposed arms dealer who claims to be simply bootlegging supplies, but who is clearly being affected by the radiation cloud surrounding Ragnar, which humans are immune to. Adama deduces that he is facing a new type of Cylon that looks, sounds, and acts human.
As the civilian fleet joins the Galactica at Ragnar, President Roslin appoints Dr. Baltar, who has not disclosed his suborning by the Cylons, as one of her scientific advisers to combat the Cylons. Number Six reveals herself to Baltar in hallucinatory form while attempting to direct his behavior. She suggests that she may have planted a microchip inside Baltar’s brain while he slept, allowing her to transmit her image into his conscious mind. Responding to one of her suggestions, he is compelled to identify Aaron Doral, a public relations specialist, as a Cylon agent masquerading as a human. Despite his protests and the lack of any evidence to support the accusation, Doral is left at Ragnar when the Galactica departs.
As the Cylons blockade Ragnar, the Galactica and its fleet of Vipers engage the Cylon fleet in order to allow the civilian fleet to escape by “jumping” to a distant, unexplored area outside of their star system. The Galactica and the colonial fleet make good their escape. Adama then attempts to lift the morale of the surviving humans by announcing plans to reach a legendary thirteenth colony called “Earth”, whose existence and location have been closely guarded military secrets. Roslin is skeptical and later confronts Adama and makes him admit that Earth is simply an ancient myth. Returning to his quarters, Adama finds an anonymous note has been left for him stating “There are only 12 Cylon models.” On Ragnar, Doral clearly appears to be suffering from radiation poisoning that has been shown to affect only Cylons. His identity as a Cylon is confirmed when a group of Cylons, including the metallic Cylon Centurions and several humanoid Cylons consisting of multiple copies of the Number Six, Doral, and Ragnar arms-dealer models, come to retrieve Doral. In a twist ending, one of the group appears to be Boomer, indicating that her counterpart on the Galactica is a Cylon as well.

For fans of the original series this will be an initially unwelcome show, it makes so many changes to so many aspects of the show that it will be hard to adjust at first. But give it a chance, watch this through and there’s good odds you’ll be sold. In conclusion, this is three hours of pure gold. It’s gripping, thrilling, compelling and just plain entertaining from start to finish. Once you finish watching it you’ll be heading strait to the first full season, and trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 7-9

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Robin Hood)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)


RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Curtis Armstrong (Return To The Batcave)
Jeff Fischer (Happy Feet)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Richard Gant (Rpocky V)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stargate Universe)
J.B. Smoove (Date Knight)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Anthony Michael Hall (The Dark Knight)
Elmarie Wendel (3rd Rcok From The Sun)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
Daisuke Suzuki (I Am Gangster)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights)
Azura Skyke (28 Days)
Carl Reiner (Two and a Half Men)
Alice Evans (The Originals)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Niecy Nash (Scream Queens)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Beth Grant (Child’s Play 2)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
CeeLo Green (Sparkle)
Michael Pena (American Hustle)
Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
Kristen Schaal (The Boss)
Anjelica Huston (The Addams Family)
Sally Struthers (All In The Family)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
Hulk Hogan (The Ultimate Weapon)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger)
Edward Hermann (The Lost Boys)
Kat Purgal (Her Story)
Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad)
Amy Sedaris (Elf)
George Segal (The Goldbergs)
Elisabeth Shue (Piranha)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Kathy Griffin (It’s Pat)
Wayne Brady (How I Met Your Mother)
Alan Rachins (Stargate SG.1)
June Diane Raphael (New Girl)
Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher TV)
Rupert Grint (Harry Potter)
Eric McCormack (Free Enterprise)
James Karen (Wall Street)
Peter Serafinowicz (Spy)
Jill Talley (Little Miss Sunshine)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Alison Brie (The Lego Movie)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Mariah Carey (Glitter)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss bang Bang)
Morris Chestnut (Kick-Ass 2)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2)
Sean Hayes (Will & GRace)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Sinbad (Jingle All The Way)

American Dad returns for more unconventional family. The comedy carries on this season as the series prepares to celebrate its 100th episode with an unexpected Smith family wedding. Highlights in this Volume are.

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100 AD: Jeff continues to try to get Hayley back until Stan and Francine confront him and tells him to leave her alone. Taking Reginald’s advice to give Hayley some space, Jeff decides to confront Hayley once and for all. It is later revealed that Jeff and Hayley ran away and Stan and Francine offer the public a reward of $50,000 to stop the wedding. This causes mass hysteria with 97 people killed off in a freak bus accident. Later on, they are eventually found, and Stan and Francine are tricked by Jeff into giving him the $50,000, thus letting Stan allow them to get married. Meanwhile, in response of Jeff and Hayley’s marriage announcement, Roger and Steve dress up as Wheels and the Legman (from the episode Haylias) and try to stop the wedding and get the reward themselves, until Roger is under the influence of Turkish amphetamines, landing them in Shanghai.

SON OF STAN: Francine and Stan have a clash over how to raise Steve in retrospect to Hayley running away. Francine wishes to be more lenient, but Stan is convinced that they need to be firm with him. Stan creates a clone of Steve, named Steve-A-Rino, to determine who has better parenting skills. Steve grows up as a lazy, fat video game player, but Steve-A-Rino grows up as an athletic genius. Steve-A-Rino runs away and Francine declares herself as the better parent. However, she finds decapitated cat heads in Steve’s backpack, and Stan declares himself as the better parent. The Killer turns out to be Steve-A-Rino. With his identity exposed, Steve-A-Rino now plans to kill the original Steve. Francine and Stan find Steve-A-Rino’s lair as he is about to kill real Steve. After a fight, Stan and Francine decide Steve needs both of their parenting style, and Steve-A-Rino is shot by a cat. Meanwhile, Roger selfishly decides to go after Hayley and Jeff to steal the money. When they refuse, Roger begins to repeat the annoying noise; “Myah!”. The couple embark on a cross-country trip in an effort to escape Roger, only to find he somehow catches up to the two every time. Hayley finally surrenders when Roger corners them at the Great Wall of China, however it becomes apparent that Hayley and Jeff have used all the money already, in their attempts to get away from Roger.

Image result for american dad best little horror houseBEST LITTLE HORROR HOUSE IN LANGLEY FALLS: After years of hosting the scariest haunted house in the neighborhood, Stan finds himself outdone by a former design and development specialist for Disney theme parks named Buckle (first seen in An Apocalypse to Remember). Francine makes things worse when she finds herself returning with wet pants and declares that it is impossible to beat him. Depressed, Stan goes to Roger for advice and Roger suggests he use his CIA influence to get real body parts and instruments. Stan decides to pull in five of the most dangerous serial murderers in the area. However, the killers sitting in their cell fails to scare anyone so Roger decides to turn them loose, forcing Stan, Francine, Roger and Klaus to take cover in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends take Akiko trick-or-treating while a frustrated Toshi refuses to take up the samurai costume his mother got for him. Toshi eventually does wear the outfit, only to chase down Steve when he fails to hold a promise with him. After Steve defuses the situation, Toshi leaves him alone and instead takes out his rage by brutally murdering the five serial killers after they chase Stan, Francine and Roger out their house all the way to an abandoned factory. Roger brings home one of their severed heads as a souvenir.

THERE WILL BE BAD BLOOD: The Smiths prepare for the arrival of Stan’s half-brother, Rusty’s (Lou Diamond Phillips) family for Thanksgiving. However, it gets subdued because of Steve’s brattiness following Hayley and Jeff’s eloping. They decide to go to Rusty’s to see what their home is like. However, it is revealed that Rusty is rich after discovering copper from a land given from his grandfather (Ed Asner). The Smiths try to pull the old switcheroo on Rusty, resulting in getting trapped in the desert. However, they are saved by Hayley and Jeff. In the end, Stan lets Hayley and Jeff move into their home after what they’d done.

THE PEOPLE VS MARTIN SUGAR: Stan Smith anxiously awaits his annual jury summons. But when Roger is the defendant in the trial where Stan is the foreman, he is finally in a position to make Roger accountable for his misdeeds. Roger gets the last laugh when he escapes from prison. Meanwhile, Jeff and Hayley move in with the Smiths, and Francine tries (and fails) to get Jeff to clean up his act due to him needing to be stoned in order to keep his libido in check.

FOR WHOM THE SLEIGH BELL TOLLS: Stan gives Steve a gun for Christmas, even though Francine warns him that Steve is too young. After Steve accidentally shoots Santa, he sends the North Pole into a tizzy and jeopardizes Christmas, triggering a massive gunfight between the Smiths themselves and all the elfs and reindeer from the North Pole with Santa Claus himself leading the charge.

STANNY BOY AND FRANTASTIC: Finding that they have no friends that like the both of them, Stan and Francine steal tickets to a show from Hayley and unintentionally make friends with a younger couple. Soon, their (highly dangerous) life style proves too much for Stan and Francine; they sabotage their birth control products to force them into being less active. However, this causes the couple to break up and reconcile their differences once Stan and Francine reveal the truth to them, losing their friends.

A PINATA NAMED DESIRE: Roger asks Stan to attend an acting class, but tempers flare when they audition for the same role, which Hayley believes is underlying sexual tension between the two. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends have their last slumber party as kids.I AM THE WALRUS: Steve challenges Stan for dominance, with Stan winning as he does the one thing Steve will never have. Meanwhile, Jeff and Hayley try marriage counseling — and end up being held hostage by Principal Lewis.

SCHOOL TIES: Stan arranges a plan to get a raise through a favor of U.S Senator Buckingham (Burt Reynolds). The first part of his plan is to send Steve to the private school where Buckingham’s daughter, Cookie, goes to (though Steve refuses to go, so Stan uses Roger). The second part is to meet Buckingham there and talks him into playing golf with him. Stan gets his favor, but then he is enraged that Roger sold Cookie to drug dealers, while they were high on Cocaine. He gets her back, and he takes her back to Buckingham’s house for dinner, even though Buckingham knew about Cookie’s drug issue. Meanwhile, Steve is out of school because of an Asbestos outbreak, and after refusing to go to the private school, he joins a gang of Spanish thugs. He is arrested for robbing a pharmacy, prompting Stan to use his favor to release him from jail. However, this causes Stan to frame a student from the private school for the armed robbery. He is seen riding away with John Q. Mind (Randy Spears) to have further adventures.

JENNY FROMDABLOC: Steve tries to cheer up Snot after Hayley rejects him — so he convinces Roger to dress up in his best teenage girl persona and give Snot some confidence back. However, when Roger starts dating Snot under his new persona he starts to take the relationship too far which leaves Steve extremely disturbed and Snot becoming egotistic about finding love before his friends did. Meanwhile, Stan tries to live like a man of the 1960s by making Francine serve him martinis after work, despite that Stan can’t hold his liquor.

This season is honestly one of the funniest and entertaining I’ve seen!! The writers managed to find the perfect balance so that each character got their fair share of screen-time.

American Dad  the animated series that follows staunch GOP supporter and CIA agent Stan Smith (Seth MacFarlane) and the misadventures of his unconventional family in Langley Falls, VA, returns for a hilarious eighth volume. In this volume the highlights are.

HURRICANE!: Stan tries to protect his family from a hurricane that’s hitting Langley Falls, but every increasingly poor decision Stan makes endangers the family more than the actual storm.

THE WORST STAN: When Stan realizes that he might never fulfill his dream of becoming a best man, he convinces his last single friend, Principal Lewis to marry the school’s Superintendent (played by guest star Anjelica Huston) and to choose him as his Best Man. Stan invites Lewis’ old friend from prison to the wedding only to discover a secret that could prevent the wedding from happening at all. Meanwhile, Roger finds the perfect pair of shorts in a strange room inside a Ross Discount Clothing Store and vacations in Miami, where he meets Latin pop singer Ricky Martin.

VIRTUAL IN-STANITY: After discovering that he has never been there for Steve while growing up, Stan decides to use the CIA’s avatar system to pose as a hot, blond teenage girl — whom Steve plans to have sex with at the school dance. Meanwhile, Roger starts his own limo service, and when a group of frat boys “drive and dash,” he goes on a manhunt to get his revenge.

THE SCARLET GETTER: When Stan runs into his former crush from CIA boot camp, his affection for her resurfaces, which drives Francine into a jealous frenzy. Francine convinces Roger to take up his best bachelor persona to try and separate the two. It works, until Stan discovers that Scarlett (his former crush) is actually the best alien hunter in the CIA who knew Stan was harboring Roger. Meanwhile, Steve (in a rush to get dressed for school) slips on Hayley’s panties and is stricken with good luck — until Snot takes them away to satiate his obsession for Steve’s sister. When Steve accidentally reveals to Hayley that Snot has her panties, she breaks into Snot’s bathroom and brutally beats him up to steal them back.

SEASON’S BEATINGS: In this year’s Christmas episode, Stan finds himself excommunicated from Christianity after news hits that he beat up Jesus (or rather, Roger dressed up as Jesus) during the town’s Christmas pageant. Meanwhile, Hayley and Jeff adopt a child who may be the spawn of Satan.

THE UNBRAVE ONE: After being branded a coward by Stan for not helping him during a movie theater fight, Steve takes Roger’s advice and dresses up as a superhero, but the plan goes pearshape when Roger is the one who reveals that he’s Langley Falls’ local crimefighter. Meanwhile, Francine worries over being pregnant and gets dubious advice from an Internet physician known as “Dr. Vadgers.”

STANNY TENDERGRASS: Stan puts Steve to work at the Harvercamp country club as a groundskeeper to show him the true meaning of hard work. Steve then discovers the owner of the club, Mr. Vanderhill, is actually one of Roger’s personas and also the only one Stan can’t see through. Meanwhile, Francine — with Klaus’s help — tries to come up with a memorable catchphrase. Their final result is “Looks like things are getting too spicy for the pepper!”

OLD STAN IN THE MOUNTAIN: While waiting in line behind an old man to get hiking equipment for a trip with Steve and Hayley up Mount Kiliminjaro, Stan begins rudely insulting an elderly man in a wheelchair. The man, visibly angered, utters a latin hex that curses Stan to live as an old man. Unable to cope with the lifestyle of the elderly, Stan goes to drastic measures to reverse the hex. Meanwhile, Roger takes Francine on a road trip to a dance competition — which turns out to be a plot involving a dead redhead, Roger’s tenacious desire to have an authentic red wig and one of his old personas. Francine reaches a breaking point.

THE WRESTLER: When Barry threatens Stan’s old high school wrestling record, Stan enlists Roger to beat Barry and defend his small claim to fame. However, Stan is caught off-guard when Roger (under the persona of a fake Russian wrestler named Demitri Krotchliknioff) turns out to be the threat to Stan’s high school record. The two promptly duel for 10 days on the wrestling mat. Eventually Francine shows up and reveals she talked Roger into breaking Stan’s record to prove a point to Stan.

RICKY SPANISH: While going through his costumes in the closet, Roger finds the costume of the worst persona he’s ever done: Ricky Spanish. Meanwhile, Stan and Francine’s sponsored child from Africa comes to visit them and eventually drives them mad.

This is a great product. Much like the other 7 series of American dad the 8th is funny, outrageous and above all highly entertaining. Its a great buy for any American Dad or family Guy fan.

Take a “Stan” against boring, bipartisan comedy with this all-new collection of hilarious American Dad! episodes from the infinitely creative minds of Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.The Highlights this volume are.

LOVE, AD STYLE: Roger develops a crush on Hayley after he recruits her as the main entertainer in his new crooner’s bar, and ends up kidnapping her when she tells him that she cannot be in love with him because she is already married. Meanwhile, Stan (once again) tries to prove his manhood by negotiating a good price for an SUV he wants, and tries to sell his black SUV to get money for the new one.

KILLER VACATION: The Smith’s family’s tropical vacation turns out to be anything but relaxing when Stan is assigned a mission to kill the activities director at their resort, whom his boss at the CIA insists is an ex-war criminal. Meanwhile, Hayley and Jeff try to revive their dead sex life and meet a swinger couple, Steve joins a British boy (guest star Rupert Grint) to find a nude beach, and Roger (posing as an old widow) falls for an old widower.

AMERICAN STEPDAD: Stan invites his mother to come live with the family after Stan’s stepfather, Hercules, dies, and tensions rise when Roger is forced to share his attic with her. But Roger and Stan’s mom quickly fall in love and get married, and Stan is forced to deal with Roger as his new stepdad, which goes very well once Roger actually makes fatherly advice to Stan. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends discover a mysterious plane crash while on a bike ride and come across a long-lost script of a Fast and the Furious sequel that reveals a shocking truth about the entire series.

WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS?: Stan decides that Snot is not cool enough to be Steve’s friend, so he attempts to separate them by staging a shooting at an ice cream parlor, of which Snot is the only witness and is then placed in the CIA Witness Protection program. Meanwhile, Roger hires Jeff to clean his attic for extra cash, but keeps robbing him every time he goes back to Hayley’s room.

ADVENTURES IN HAYLEYSITTING: The Smith family’s regular babysitter, Lindsay, breaks her leg in a soccer match, so Stan and Francine are forced to leave Steve with Hayley, despite her track record of being extremely irresponsible. When Hayley teases Steve about being a dweeb, Steve is determined to prove her wrong and sneaks out of the house to go to a party with the cool kids.

NATIONAL TREASURE 4 – BABY FRANNY: SHE’S DOING WELL – THE HOLE STORY: When Greg and Terry’s new talk show does a news story on the 35th anniversary of the rescue of “Baby Franny”, Francine begins to feel guilty over wasting her life while the fireman who rescued her from a well died in her place. Meanwhile, Stan and Roger team up with Toshi’s dad Mr. Hideki Yoshida to invent and market sexy shoes for male strippers. However, the deal sours when Hideki double-crosses Stan and Roger and keeps all the royalties for their creation to himself.

BLOOD CRIETH UNTO HEAVEN: In this parody of the Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play “August: Osage County,” Francine throws a birthday party for Stan, which brings back bad memories of when his father abandoned him. Meanwhile, Roger (playing a black maid named Edna) kills off the love child had between Avery Bullock and Hayley.

MAX JETS: A waitress gets her claws on Roger’s philanthropic character Max Jets, who’s just gotten out of prison and is helping the Smiths with their financial woes.

FOR BLACK EYES ONLY: In this follow-up to season four’s James Bond parody “Tearjerker,” Sexpun T’Come (Francine) is shot and killed by Black Villain (Principal Lewis). Stan must now team up with Tearjerker (Roger) to stop Black Villain’s plan to melt the Arctic glaciers, even if going through a clone of Sexpun T’Come, who is black instead of white.

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THE MISSING KINK: Unsatisfied with missionary sex, Francine finds out she has a spanking fetish when Stan tries to punish Steve. Meanwhile, Hayley tries to move on from Jeff being sent into outer space and agrees to go out on a date with Snot.

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LOST IN SPACE: Months after the events on “Naked to the Limit, One More Time,” Jeff—still on a spaceship owned by Roger’s race of aliens that was originally intended to return Roger back to his birth planet—must prove to the emperor (voiced by Michael McKean) of the alien spaceship that he’s truly in love with Hayley so as to get back to Earth.Image result for american dad LOST IN SPACEThe continuity of excellent, boundary pushing, controversial comedy from the warped mind of Seth MacFarlane and his team is absolutely fantastic. Huge fan of all MacFarlane comedy. Helps to lift your mood on your “down days”.

REVIEW: ANDROMEDA – SEASON 1-5

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MAIN CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Lisa Ryder (Jason X)
Keith Hamilton Cobb (Noah’s Arc)
Laura Bertram (50/50)
Brent Stait (Blade: The Series)
Gordon MIchael Woolvett (Bride of Chucky)
Lexa Doig (Continuum)
Steve Bacic (Flash Gordon 2007)
Brandy Ledford (Baywatch)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

John Tench (Shooter)
Emy Aneke (Star Trek Beyond)
Elizabeth THai (Saved)
Amber Rothwell (Battlestar Galactica)
Paul Johansson (Highlander:The Raven)
Dylan Bierk (Beastmaster)
Marion Eisman (Hit ‘n Strum)
Cameron Daddo (Packed To The Rafters)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Sam Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Claudette Mink (Children of The Corn 7)
Kimberley Warnat (Freddy vs Jason)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Ty Olsson (Izombie)
Monika Schnarre (Dead Fire)
Douglas O’Keeffe (Sanctuary)
Nathaniel DeVeaux (Antitrust)
Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Ralf Moeller (Conan The Adventurer)
Mackenzie Gray (Man of Steel)
Chapelle Jaffe (The Dead Zone)
Rachel Hayward (Jingle All The Way 2)
David Palffy (Stargate SG.1)
Kimberly Huie (G-Spot)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)
Anthony Lemke (Robocop: Primce Directives)
William B. Davis (The X-Files)
Anna Marie Deluise (Smallville)
Enuka Okuma (House of The Dead)
Roger Cross (Arrow)
Kendall Cross (Caprica)
Francois Yip (Smallville)
James Marsters (Buffy)
Jud Tyler (That 70s Show)
Steven Grayhm (White Chicks)
Timothy Webber (Cypher)
Kevin McNulty (Elektra)
Mark Hildreth (V)
Kristin Lehman (Hemoglobin)
Costas Mandylor (Saw V)
Heather Hanson (The Hosue Next Door)
Dean Wray (Horns)
Ingrid Torrance (Flight 93)
Brendan Beiser (The X-FIles)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie 2013)
Meredith McGeachie (Punch)
Sonya Salomaa (Watchmen)
Michael Hurst (Hercules: TLJ)
Andee Frizzell (Stargate Atlantis)
Christopher Judge (Stargate SG.1)
Ellie Harvie (The New Addams Family)
Winston Rekert (The Blue Man)
Lawrence Bayne (Dog Pound)
Krista Rae (Dawn Anna)
Kristen Robek (Cats & Dogs)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Venus Terzo (Arrow)
Sara Deakins (Tru Calling)
Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica)
William Katt (Carrie)
Geordie Johnson (Reign)
leila Johnson (School of Life)
Jayne Heitmeyer (Earth: Final Conflict)
Peter Shinkoda (Daredevil)
Adam Harrington (The Secret Circle)
Peter Bryant (Dark Angel)
Chris Potter (Heartland)
Jody Thompson (Flash Gordon 2007)
Helene Joy (Desolation Sound)
Aleks Paunovic (Mortal Kombat Legacy)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Krista Allen (Mutant X)
Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (V)
Nigel Bennett (Cypher)
John Reardon (Tru Calling)
Maury Chaykin (Entrapment)
Chelah Horsdal (Hell on Wheels)
Carmen Moore (Artic Air)
Michelle Harrison (The Flash)
Nicholas Lea (Arrow)
Colin cunningham (Elektra)
Andrew Jackson (Earth: FInal Conflict)
Ona Grauer (V)
Ivar Brogger (Bones)
Sebastian Spence (First Wave)
Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica)
Martin Cummins (Bates Motel)
Jim Byrnes (Highlander: The Series)
Christina Cox (Arrow)
Apollonia Vanova (Watchmen)
Nia Peeples (Half Past Dead)
Peter Wingfield (Caprica)
Kandyse McClure (Battlestar Galactica)
Gary Jones (Stargate SG.1)
Emily Holmes (Dark Angel)
Peter Delusie (21 Jump Street)
Erica Durance (Smallville)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Missy Peregrym (Heroes)
Marjorie Monaghan (Babylon 5)
Blu Mankuma (Tin Man)
Alan Scarfe (Seven Days)
Kyle Cassie (Deadpool)
Ken Tremblett (Caitlin’s Way)
Don S. Davis (Stargate SG.1)
Natassia Malthe (DOA)
Matthew Bennett (Battlestar Galactica)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Francoise Yip (Smallville)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)

The first season begins with a two-part story “Under the Night” and “An Affirming Flame” about the formation of Dylan and his new crew. Gerentex, a nightsider, hires the crew of the Eureka Maru: Beka, Harper, Trance, and Rev. Gerentex wants them to do a salvage operation and find the fabled Andromeda Ascendant. The ship is worth a lot of money. After a long effort by the crew, they find the Andromeda and tow it from the black hole singularity.When Beka, Harper, Trace, and Rev board the ship, they find Dylan on board. Gerentex sends a secret assault team, led by Tyr, to kill Dylan. Suddenly, the mission changes and Beka’s crew have a change of heart. They want to leave the ship to Dylan, because it is his ship after all. Gerentex does not react happy to the news and he only leaves the ship when it is sucked back into the singularity. Of course, he leaves Beka’s crew and the assault team to perish. Dylan inspires the crew to work together to get out of the situation. He saves them, and later reveals to them his desire to rebuild the Commonwealth. Reluctantly, everyone joins him. Not because they believe in his cause, but because it is better than smuggling.The two-part story is a pretty exciting introduction to the series. Some of the characters’ performances are a bit over-the-top and their ability to instantaneously adapt to using the Andromeda’s advanced computer systems and having security codes to launch the massive nova bombs (think nukes in space) is little on the unreasonable side. But, if you do not take the show too seriously, the introductory two-part story is quite fun. Another part I enjoyed about it was the mysterious hints about Trance. She was shot and killed, but miraculously recovered without any medical attention. While she seems like an innocent character with a small part, the writers have some big plans for her as the series progresses.

The  grander plot happening with the Andromeda crew tends to be a lot better than the standalone episodes. There are episodes that tie in a super duper bad guy called the Abyss. In “Harper 2.0”, the Abyss sends an assassin into the known world to erase its existence. In the season finale “It’s Hour Come ‘Round at Last”, the crew run into a huge ship filled with millions of Magogs. It becomes a very interesting story.

There are also some interesting stories with detailed background into the characters like “Angel Dark, Demon Bright”, where the Andromeda accidentally travels back in time to a major turning point in the battle against the Commonwealth and Nietzscheans. Dylan is in a position to change the future forever, but decides against toying with fate. Then there is “The Banks of the Lethe”, which puts Dylan back his fiance Sara (Sam Jenkins). Episodes like theses offer insight to the characters, their backgrounds and personalities, and the relationships they have with each other. These developments become a fairly intriguing part of season one . For instance, Tyr is a Nietzschean and cares more about his wellbeing than those he serves with. In several instances, his loyalty and duty to the crew is questionable. Like in the episode “Double Helix”.

Overall, the first season of Andromeda offers viewers a decent science-fiction series filled with action, some corny dialogue, over-the-top performances, decent stories, and a cast of likeable characters.

In season two, Dylan’s quest becomes more of a reality. The Renewed Systems Commonwealth represents more than just the unity and peace Dylan envisions; it is, as Dylan hunt says, a necessity. In the season one finale “It’s Hour Come ‘Round at Last”, Harper took a look around inside Andromeda’s code and found a backup copy of Andromeda’s core. He accidentally restored the backup. Andromeda went out of control and took the crew on a top secret mission. To make matters worse, the mission takes the crew deep into Magog territory, where the Andromeda runs into a Magog Worldship. The Worldship is a transportable solar system, with multiple planets and an artificial sun. The Worldship houses trillions of Magog and gives them the power to destroy stars. The Magog are traveling towards the known worlds with plans of conquest and destruction. In the close of the episode, the Magog have overrun the Andromeda and the crew’s fate is desperate: Trance, Beka, and Dylan are unconscious and near death, Tyr and Harper are being held by the Magog, Rommie had a pike shoved in her stomach, Rev Bem is being converted to the Magog cause, and the Andromeda Ascendant is in critical condition.

The second season premiere episode “The Widening Gyre” continues where season one left off. Despite the direness of the situation, they overcome their individual situations and manage to free themselves of capture. The real excitement introduced in this story is the notion of the Magog and the Worldship. The Spirit of the Abyss, a being that acts as the Magog’s God, is leading the Magog on a quest of utter destruction. This threat becomes a staple for the Andromeda crew to fight off. A Renewed Systems Commonwealth is a necessity. Fortunately for the crew, they have some time until the Worldship reaches space of the known world–two or three years. In the fourth and fifth seasons, the Spirit of the Abyss and the Magog are a major port of the season story arcs. The Magog still are at the front of the stories and a key reason for the new Commonwealth. And Dylan works feverishly to recruit planets to his cause. In the episode “Home Fires”, Dylan receives a message from his long dead fiance. After the initial fall of the Commonwealth, a group sought refuge on a planet called Tarazed and for three hundred years, they have survived as the last remnants of the old way of life. Dylan learns that the people of Tarazed and goes to the planet to get them to join the new Commonwealth. They, however, do not. When he arrives at the planet, he finds a familiar face, that of his former first officer Gaheris. But it is a genetic clone named Telemachus Rhade. Dylan and Rhade are hesitant to trust each other. The story takes an interesting turn in the development of the relationship Dylan had with Gaheris, as well as introduces Rhade, who joins the cast in season four.

The episodes “Into the Labyrinth”, “Bunker Hill”, and “The Prince” are more episodes focused on the restoration of the Commonwealth with the cast in diplomatic missions, facing with spies, political corruption, and other such things. “Into the Labyrinth” sees a Nietzschean clan Saber-Jaguar joining the Commonwealth. In “Bunker Hill” the Saber-Jaguar clan invokes the Mutual Defense Pact, which requires the Andromeda join their side in combat against the Dragan clan. At the same time, Dylan sends Harper and Rommie to Earth to join the resistance movement to free human slaves under Dragan control. In “The Prince”, the crew travel to Ne’Holland to save what is left the royal family from being slaughtered. Dylan wants the planet to join the Commonwealth because it is in a key position to defend against the upcoming Magog onslaught. However, in order to get them to join, he has to save its leaders from its own people. But what Dylan did not know was that the royal family’s actions have not always been just.“Ouroboros” is a major episode in the series. It is the first major cast and crew changes. Rev Bem leaves the series as a regular cast member. He apparently went away to find himself. Stait, who plays Rev Bem, talks about the reason he left in his interview featurette. Another change deals with Trance. Harper builds a machine he hopes will help rid him of the Magog larvae that was implanted in him in the season premiere. The machine works, but it also does a little more and bends space and time. The crew is able to glimpse into future versions of themselves. Trance, in particular, meets her future self, who proclaims the future unfolded very badly. The present and future Trance’s switch places in hope future Trance can set the timeline in the right direction. The new Trance is physically different, without a tail and has golden skin. The other major change is in the crew. Robert Hewitt Wolfe was released because the direction he envisioned for the series was much different than wanted. In “Knight, Death, and the Devil”, the crew are on the verge of completing the first stage in restoring the Commonwealth. Beka and Harper negotiate with the fiftieth planetary world to join the cause. Dylan, Tyr, and Rommie also find a decommissioned high guard ship. When they interact with the ship’s AI Ryan (Michael Hurst), they find out there is a solar system with over fifty other relic ships in hiding. Dylan goes to the solar to convince the ships to rejoin the Commonwealth (remember some AI’s have emotions and they were abandoned long ago). Christopher Judge guest stars as one of the AI’s.

 

The season finale “Tunnel at the End of the Light” is a literally explosive episode. Representatives from fifty worlds come to the Andromeda to sign the Commonwealth charter. It is an exciting time to see the Commonwealth officially come back into power. Unfortunately, there are forces that would rather not see the chartered signed. Sabotage hits the Andromeda and the charter signing goes up in flames. It is up to the crew to make necessary sacrifices to see it through.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the second season of Andromeda. Like the first season.  In addition, the story arcs that span the episodes offer intriguing aspects with the formation of the Commonwealth, the Magog, and the Spirit of the Abyss. In the end, I think season two makes for a good watch if you enjoy science-fiction/fantasy oriented shows.

In the close of season two, the signing of the Commonwealth charter was under attack by mysterious alien forces. The disruption caused chaos and the crew had to make sacrifices to deal with the matter. In the third season premiere episode “If the Wheel is Fixed”, the story is concluded. Tyr and Beka were left trapped in another dimension. Dylan frets and considers a way to get them back. He takes the Eureka Maru to reconstruct the events that led to the crew members being sucked into the alternate dimension. He is successful and Tyr and Beka return. Unfortunately, the two are not who they seem to be. Many problems happen on the Andromeda and it eventually turns into a mysterious plot to kill them all–Tyr and Beka are being controlled by a force in the other dimension.

The unfortunate thing about this episode is the direction the story takes. In the end of season two, the story had a lot of promise with aliens from another dimension attacking. However, in the concluding half of the episode, the story gets pretty hokey. I suppose the aliens from another dimension were not the strongest approach itself, but I liked it in the first part. The subsequent episodes also fail to be as strong as they could. This is not to say they are terrible or anything, but rather that they could have been better. The story arcs that ran through the first two seasons start become less significant. The content is more episodic with the Andromeda crew out on missions that are wrapped up in an episode.

“The Unconquerable Man” is a pretty solid episode, but one you do not want to think too much about. The storyline is based on time travel and alternate realities. The episode begins with Harper moving Gaheris Rhade’s body and Dylan notices a mark on his hand he had never seen. Then the episode jumps into a point in time when a future Rhade had the opportunity to destroy the time machine Harper built in the season two episode “Ouroboros”. Trance is with Rhade and tries to convince him not to do so. Rhade reflects on his life (an alternate reality of the events thus far). In this reality, Rhade killed Dylan and survived for three hundred years in the black hole. He teamed up with Beka, Rev Bem, Trance, Harper, and Tyr to rebuild the Commonwealth. As the episode unfolds, Rhade comes to realize it is Dylan’s fate and not his. He sacrifices himself so that the original timeline is restored and Dylan is once again put in charge of the Andromeda.

“The Dark Backward” is an exciting episode because it explores Trance’s reality. There is a deadly intruder aboard the ship trying to kill the crew. The episode focuses on Trance and one her of mysterious talents. In past episodes, she has offered advice that could only be explained by foresight of some kind. She has the ability to play out situations in many different scenarios in mere seconds. Trance explores different ways to maximize the crew’s life and stopping the intruder. It is an interesting episode because it details more about how mysterious and special Trance is as a character.

Another strong episode this season is “What Happens to a Rev Deferred?”, where Rev Bem returns. While monitoring the evacuation of Empyrium, a world that is on the brink of destruction, the crew receives a communication from Rev Bem asking to be rescued. To complicate matters, a group of renegades are after Rev. Dylan and crew go to the planet’s surface to rescue Rev and witness a miracle. Rev under goes some spiritual phenomena when an unknown entity confronts Rev and he professes his sorrow for all his ill-natured acts as a savage Magog. He is given redemption and physical changed into a new being. Rev Bem has been an interesting character, with his struggles to be “civilized” over “savage”, and his ties into the Spirit of the Abyss make him an even more interesting character. It is too bad he is not investigated further. In the season finale “Shadows Cast by a Final Salute”, things take a turn for the worst for the Andromeda crew and the Commonwealth. The assistant minister of war informs Dylan that there is something afoot with the Nietzschean clans in the Commonwealth. There have been rumors going around that they are considering leaving the allied forces and forming their own united front. They are rumors no longer, but fact. Afterwards, Andromeda is put on high alert when an elite strike force of Dragans takes hostages and demands their lives for the bones of Drago Musevini. As the situation unfolds, it becomes evident Tyr’s hand had play in the situation. With his son, the genetic clone of Drago Musevini, he plans to unite his people and save the universe. At the end, Dylan and Tyr bid a final farewell to each other with no promise their next meeting will be peaceful. But the situation was more than just Dylan and Tyr, as a plot to stand against the Commonwealth became an important issue. The Nietzscheans and several other forces joined in a battle against the Commonwealth fleet, which ended with the fall of the Restored Systems Commonwealth.

Overall, I was not nearly as impressed with this season as I was with seasons one or two. The episodes were more episodic with Dylan and his crew going on this or that adventure. The overall story arc with the Commonwealth, the Spirit of the Abyss, the Magog, Trance’s past, and others were not addressed as they were in the past seasons. The focus was a lot different. While this is not an awful move, it just was not as good. The fortunate news is that the pace picks up again with the season three finale and it puts the entire universe of Andromeda in upheaval.

Life is not looking pretty for the Andromeda. In the season three finale, the Andromeda and the Commonwealth fleet were manipulated into a situation that resulted in the apparent downfall of the newly formed federation of planets. Dylan was betrayed by his friend Tyr for a cause that Tyr believes to be more righteous and important than anything else. In the season four premiere episode “Answers Given To Questions”, the story is revisited. With the destruction of the fleet, the Andromeda crew decides what to do next. While trying to figure out their situation, they take on an injured pilot who brings Dylan a communication. The message is from a man named Paroo. He tells Dylan that the Commonwealth is no more and that he is holding one of its leaders and will kill her in due time. Dylan responds by chasing after Paroo, who he finds out is the head of Commonwealth security and the real cause behind the massive battle. But Paroo has manipulated the situation so that everyone thinks Dylan is the bad guy. Dylan kills Paroo and shows he was an agent of the Abyss. He then becomes a hero. More good news follows as enough leaders survived that the Commonwealth continues on.

In the remainder of the season, the series story arc dealing with the Magog threat is revisited in full. The majority of the episodes deal with the Andromeda crew caught up in one situation or another that ties into the Magog, the Abyss, and the Nietzscheans. A new addition to the Abyss story arc in this season begins to define Dylan’s role in the overall scheme of things. Yes, he is the captain of the Andromeda and leading the cause, but there is more to it than just that. The truth about who and what Dylan is revealed and his role in stopping the Abyss is more important than any of the lives of his crew.

“Waking the Tyrant’s Device” is an episode that takes a look at the creator of the Magog Worldship. Nicholas Lea (The X-Files) guest stars as Tri-Lorn, who gives the Andromeda orders to visit a planet. When they arrive, they are attacked. Dylan questions Tri-Lorn why they were sent to such a dangerous place without being told. Tri-Lorn reveals the importance of the mission. They are to stop Kroton, a half man, half robot. Kroton is building a massive army of androids and it is up to Dylan and crew to stop him. The episode itself is not the strongest, but it is still interesting to focus on the creator of the Worldship.

“Soon the Nearing Vortex” and “The World Turns All Around Her” is the two part episode where Telemachus Rhade joins the Andromeda crew on a permanent basis. In the first part, the Andromeda comes to the aid of a Commonwealth transport ship that is under attack from Nietzchean. On the transport is Rhade, who is holding Tyr as a prisoner. The Andromeda fends off the attacking ships and save Rhade’s life, but not before Tyr escapes. When Dylan reports back to the Commonwealth headquarters, Tri-lorn demands Rhade be returned to Tarazed so he can be dealt with. Dylan decides not to take him back because he fears Tri-lorn is corrupt. The story continues with the crew facing corrupt politicians, a scheming Tyr, and the Route of Ages, a mystical slipstream that goes to the original Vedran home world.

In the second part of the story, Dylan is ready to take on the Route of Ages. Tyr appears in a ship, with Beka in custody, demanding that Dylan give up the map for Beka’s life. Dylan comprises and allows Tyr to follow him on the journey. The Route of Ages is important because it is the key to stopping the Abyss. As the story unfolds, more intricate aspects of the plotline are uncovered, which include Trance revealing who and what she really is to Dylan, an avatar of the Vedran sun. The Abyss also makes a frightful appearance that puts the crew in a race for survival. This episode marks Tyr’s final appearance.

Other strong episodes in the season include “The Torment, the Release”, where the corrupt Tri-lorn demands Dylan hand over Rhade for prosecution, “The Warmth of an Invisible Light”, where Harper’s latest invention sends Dylan into an alternate reality, “Fear Burns Down to Ashes”, Rev Bem returns with a weapon to stop the Magog, “Lost in a Space that Isn’t There”, where Beka becomes an agent of the Abyss, and other episodes. For the most part, they all tie into the larger plot and tend to add to the excitement. The two-part season finale “The Dissonant Interval” is also an episode worthy of noting. The Andromeda goes to a space station called the Arkology when they learn the Magog Worldship is headed right for them. When the crew arrives at the station, they inform its leaders about the upcoming threat. The unfortunate part is that they are unwilling to listen. The people in the Arkology are of a peaceful nature and they believe they will be able to make peace with the Magog. But the Magog are not a peaceful people and they intend to kill everyone. The two-part story puts the crew in a battle with death-defying odds. And despite the odds, they put 110% into stopping the Magog. Unfortunately, as the episode ends, the situation is hopeless with death not far off from the horizon. Dylan is forced to abandon everyone and escape through the Route of Ages.

 

Overall, I enjoyed season four. The plotlines in the episodes tended to tie the material into a larger plot and it made for a much more intriguing watch. There were also several reoccurring characters like the devilish Nicholas Lea, the guy you love to hate, playing a questionable Commonwealth politician. The storylines touched upon the Abyss and the Magog, the Collectors, turncoat Tyr, and other exciting bad guys. Like seasons one and two, season four produces some exciting stories that are engaging and easy to get lost in.

In season five, the series takes a much different turn in events. At the end of the season four, there was some skepticism as to whether or not the show would continue into a fifth season. Well, the series was picked up for a fifth season, but with a smaller budget.The storylines lose the grandeur it once had with the epic space battles and massive story arcs. The series, stories, and character becomes more confined and lose a lot of the appeal found in previous seasons. In a nutshell, watching season five was more of a chore than fun. While there was some decent content, it does not compare to the quality of the past seasons.

In the close of season four, the Andromeda came to the space station Arkology to warn the inhabitants about their impending doom. The Magog Worldship was headed right for them and they need to get out of there. The inhabitants were a peaceful people and believed that they could make peace with the Magog. Dylan and the rest tried to tell them peace is not an option. Of course, they did not listen. When the Magog came, the Andromeda and its crew tried its best to stop the onslaught, but they failed miserably. In the close of the two-part season four finale, Dylan took the Route of Ages in a slipstream fighter and found himself transported into an alternative universe.

The two-part episode “The Weight” kicks off season five. In it, Dylan gets accustomed to his new life in the alternate universe on a planet called Seefra-1, which is one of nine barren wastelands. When Dylan tries to learn more about where he is, he finds little help. But when he meets a mysterious man named Flavin, he begins to get more clues about his situation. He is trapped in an isolated cluster of planets in another universe. Dylan explores Seefra-1 and later runs into a very disgruntled Rhade. Rhade and the others crew members (who Dylan runs into in later episodes) are unhappy with him for leaving them to die. It was through the efforts of Trance that the Andromeda (badly damaged) and her crew were brought into this alternate reality and not left to die at the hands of the Magog. They also blame him for being stuck on Seefra-1. Dylan returns to Flavin to get more information from him. Dylan learns his place is on Seefra-1; he must help the people in the coming days. Flavin also reveals the true nature of the Route of Ages.

After the not-so-exciting season premiere, “Phear Phactor Phenom” has the majority of the season four cast back together in some form or another, Dylan, Harper, Beka, Trance, and Rhade. We learn that Rommie was destroyed and Harper had been on Seefra-1 for over three years while the rest of the crew had only just recently arrived. During Harper’s time on the Seefra-1, he was able to rebuild a new android with portions of Rommie’s damaged core. The new character is Doyle, a blonde robot who was initially made to think she is human. The season five episodes proceed with the cast getting reacquainted with each other and Dylan trying to get the Andromeda up and running again. Some have changed with their new situation, most notably Trance who lost portions of her memory.

In the episode “Moonlight Becomes You”, Trance starts to remember who she is and the season starts to focus on the storyline hinted at in “The Weight”. The Seefra system is in jeopardy and the crew must work together to save the inhabitants of the nine wastelands over the next several episodes. But the story really ties into the power that is Trance. Trance is an avatar of the Vedran sun and the actual sun is approaching Seefra-1. When it arrives, the planets in the system (except for Seefra-1) will explode. The episodes “Past is Prolix”, “The Opposites of Attraction”, “Saving Light from a Black Sun”, “Quantum Tractate Delirium”, “One More Day’s Light”, and “Chaos and the Stillness of It” continue to focus on this storyline (uncovering more about Trance, the council of avatars she is a senior member of, and the crew trying to save the inhabitants), which is much more entertaining than the first portion of the season, but it still lacks the same punch the early seasons had.

In the two-part series finale “The Heart of the Journey”, the series come to a close by wrapping up the series story arc with the Abyss. While on Seefra-1, Harper receives a message transmission for Dylan. It is from Flavin, who had been killed by the Abyss, telling Dylan he is the last hope for the survival of the known worlds. The Council intends to destroy the galaxies of the known world in order to snuff out the Abyss. They, however, give Dylan and his crew the opportunity to return before their utter demise. Once back in their universe, they find only four days have passed since the Magog Worldship attacked. The Andromeda has to face the Nietzchseans and the Abyss. The situation that appeared dire ends with a happy ending and the destruction of the Abyss in a battle that is far from epic.

Overall, I really did not care for this season. The level of grandeur in the storylines was significantly diminished. The big flashy effects were part of what made the sci-fi series so much fun were gone. The show tended to have very isolated stories with limited character development. In the end, I did not see much in this season that made it worthwhile. Sure, there are some decent episodes, but they fail to compare to the past seasons. Despite my lack of enthusiasm, I give it a rent it recommendation on the pure basis that it concludes the series and there are a few decent episodes to follow.

REVIEW: HUMAN TARGET – SEASON 1 & 2

Image result for human target logo

MAIN CAST

Mark Valley (Zeo Dark Thirty)
Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Indira Varma (Game of Thrones)
Janet Montogomery (Black Swan)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tricia Helfer (Powers)
Donnelly Rhodes (Battlestar Galactica)
Adrian Hough (Underworld: Evolution)
Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon)
Ali Liebert (Legends of Tomorrow)
Courtney Ford (The Big Bang Theory)
Alessandro juliani (Smallville)
David Nykl (Arrow)
Aleks Paunovic (Mortal Kombat: Legacy)
Sean Maher (Firefly)
William Mapother (Powers)
Peter Bryant (Dark Angel)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
Sam Huntington (Superman Returns)
Kristin Lehman (Andromeda)
William B. Davis (The X-Files)
Chris Mulkey (Whiplash)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)
Ted Whittall (Beauty and The Beast)
Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis)
Leonor Varela (Blade II)
Kim Coates (Silent Hill)
Autumn Reeser (Sully)
Samantha Ferris (Along Came A Spider)
Lennie James (The Walking Dead)
Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica)
Peter Wingfield (Caprica)
Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation)
Kavan Smith (Stargate: Atlantis)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Mackernzie Gray (Man of Steel)
Armand Assante (The Odyssey)
Christina Cole (Hex)
Robert Lawrenson (Underworld: Awakening)
Amy Acker (Angel)
Timothy Omundson (Xena)
Lee Majors (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Cameron Daddo (Andromeda)
Tracie Thoms (Cold Case)
John Michael Higgins (Still Waiting)
David Orth (The Lost World)
Marie Avgeropoulos (The 100)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Carlo Rota (Stargate Universe)
James Remar (Flashforward)
Nicole Bilderback (Buffy)
Steven Brand (The Scorpion King)

Christopher Chance (Mark Valley, Boston Legal), is a bodyguard for hire. His clients come to him as a last resort because their lives are in serious danger and they have no other alternatives. Chance’s mysterious past is only partially revealed as the season progresses–much of it in the season finale. What is known about him is that he’s probably a genius, he can hold his own in a fight, he’s a super-thief, he’s a crackshot with a gun, and the ladies love him.

In each episode, Chance typically assumes a cover to stay close and protect the client. He uses the client as bait to uncover the killer’s identity. In these episodes, Chance assumes a multitude of identities ranging from a prize fighter to a monk. Beyond Batman-like fighting skills, Chance’s best tools are his intelligence and charismatic personality; he holds his own in a conversation on any topic and masterfully fits in with any group of people. Joining Chance are Winston (Chi McBride, Boston Public, Pushing Daisies), his straight-laced handler, and Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley, Watchmen), a computer hacker with questionable methods, but indisputable loyalty.Human Target is a throwback to the action series of the 80’s. While an intriguing backstory develops across the entire show, each episode is self-contained and follows a specific case from beginning to end. Viewers can practically jump in on any episode and not miss a beat. This is due in part to the swashbuckling, tongue-in-cheek script that never takes itself too seriously. It is also partly due to the brilliant performances by the main actors, Mark Valley, Chi McBride, and Jackie Earle Haley. The three play off each other extremely well. You can’t help but watch this show with a smile on your face as straight-man and former detective, Winston cringes at yet another action by Christopher Chance or Guerrero that gets the job accomplished, but is probably not entirely legal. Guerrero, especially, has morally ambiguous moments that cause those around him to be hysterically uncomfortable. When he makes his appearance on-screen, you know that hilarity and awesomeness are about to ensue. It’s similar to the height of Kramer’s heyday in Seinfeld where the studio audience would erupt when he appeared and he’d completely steal the scene. Laughs are guaranteed with Guerrero and his antics are accentuated into priceless gems by Winston’s reactions.The over-the-top action in each episode is wonderfully shot and rivals the quality of some Hollywood films. The outlandishness of the action is offset by the fact that the actors revel in the absurdity and take all the events in stride. No matter how desperate the situation, Christopher Chance always flashes a wry grin. His antics and expressions are reminiscent of Harrison Ford’s performances as Han Solo or Indiana Jones. The action is intense, but Christopher Chance can handle it and make you laugh while he does.Another testament to the excellent writing is that not a single episode is wasted. Obviously, some episodes are better than others, but all are highly watchable and re-watchable, action-packed, mysteries. Even the product placements are great and fit in with the spirit of the show. In the Tanarak episode, one of the most blatant product placements of all time occurs with a Camaro. It’s done with such blithe satire, instead of feeling the need to bathe after watching more advertisers nauseatingly snake their way into television, you just laugh at the silliness.In every episode, without requiring any background information, you are brought into the characters’ circle and get an immediate feel for their relationships. However, more information could have been provided earlier about Christopher Chance and his cohorts’ origins. Some of the information that was dumped in the final episode of this set could have been dispersed throughout the previous episodes. Instead you are left to fill in massive blanks with assumptions about the characters’ pasts. This is not a huge misstep by the writers because the characters’ mysterious origins are a large part of what makes the show so accessible.  This show is just pure fun to watch unfold and will appeal to practically anyone. Pop a bag of microwave popcorn, kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride.In season 2, with Matt Miller (Chuck) taking on executive producer-writer-show runner duties, he promised to flesh things out a bit without changing much of the original allure, which was good news. Mostly, he brought in Indira Varma  (Luther, Rome) as Ilsa Pucci, a widowed billionaire who takes a liking to the boys. And Janet Montgomery (Entourage) as a thief who also gets reluctantly entangled with the trio. So you can see the note Fox put on the show: Let’s leaven the testosterone a bit.And yet, nothing’s really changed. The escapism is sky high. Valley remains as charismatic as ever, with McBride’s disdainful asides and Haley’s chilly creepiness intact. It would be unfortunate if Human Target somehow got soapy or dumber, because good popcorn is rare.