REVIEW: MUTANT X – SEASON 2

Starring

Forbes March (As the World Turns)
Victoria Pratt (Cleopatra 2525)
Lauren Lee Smith (The Shape of Water)
Victor Webster (The Scorpion King 3 & 4)
John Shea (Lois & Clark)

Lauren Lee Smith in Mutant X (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Michael Easton (Total Recall 2070)
Soo Garay (Foolproof)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Karen Holness (Scooby-Doo 2)
Lindy Booth (Wrong Turn)
Christopher Jacot (Slasher)
Scott Hylands (Night Heat)
Jeff Wincott (Blue Bloods)
Noah Danby (Bitten)
Sandrine Holt (House of Cards)
Gabriel Hogan (Condor)
Bree Williamson (Private Eyes)
David Sutcliffe (Gilmore Girls)
Melinda Deines (Earth: Final Conflict)
David Lipper (Full House)
Jenya Lano (Blade)
Michael Copeman (Highlander: The Raven)
Christina Cox (Arrow)
A.C. Peterson (Shooter)
Rachel Hayward (Jingle All The Way 2)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Anna Silk (Lost Girl)
Jeannette Sousa (American Housewife)
Lyriq Bent (Saw IV)
Gary Hudson (Road House)
Sebastian Spence (First Wave)
Vincent Walsh (Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog)
Lawrence Bayne (Big Wolf on Campus)
Megan Fahlenbock (Resident Evil: Apocalypse)
Nigel Bennett (Cypher)
Tom McCamus (Ginger Snaps Back)
Alan Van Sprang (Reign)
Janet-Laine Green (Bullies)
Lauren Collins (impulse)
Daniel Kash (Mama)
Martin Roach (Cube Zero)
Eugene Robert Glazer (La Femme Nikita)

Victoria Pratt in Mutant X (2001)

For a TV Series the special FX’s were decent given the budget at hand. On the other hand the launch of the airship the double helix uses the same footage every time. The same footage is used every time we approach Genomax and many other sequences give one a feeling of deja vu. The settings in Toronto are not readily identifiable but then most people have never been to the former Downview Airforce Base though they may have walked there for a papal visit. Scarborough Bluffs provide the setting for Sanctuary, the actual space inside is miles to the North-West. Aside from their mutant abilities all but Emma are remarkable martial artists. Their abilities mean that they don’t pack a lot of weapons.Mutant X (2001)Watching this second season on DVD with episodes back to back one develops a sense of the tension developing between members of the team and their leader Adam. Leaders maintain their position by controlling the flow of information and the reasons for the decisions they make. Increasingly the members of the team demand a more collaborative approach; they come to resent the paternalistic, patronizing methods used on them when they were children. Season 2 does have less story-arcs, and Mcihael Easton’s villain Gabriel is short lived despite being set up as the next big bad. Victoria Pratt and Lauren Lee Smith in Mutant X (2001)

Season 2, has it’s ups and down but the week to week adventures of team is fun and enjoyable. If you like comic book shows this is one to  watch. A Hidden gem

REVIEW: EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT – SEASON 3

Starring

Robert Leeshock (Dead End Road)
Jayne Heitmeyer (Snake Eyes)
Von Flores (Never Cry Werewolf)
Richard Chevolleau (Hannibal)
Leni Parker (Screamers)
David Hemblen (La Femme Nikita)
Anita La Selva (Running with Violet)

Earth: Final Conflict (1997)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lisa Howard (Highlander: The Series)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Barry Flatman (Odyssey 5)
Frank Moore (Rabid)
Richard Zeppieri (Titans)
Lori Alter (Senior Trip)
Richard Eden (Robocop: The Series)
Eugene Clark (Land of The Dead)
Majel Barrett Roddenberry (Star Trek)
Ramona Milano (The Last Don)
Christina Cox (Mutant X)
Page Fletcher (Robocop: Prime Directives)
Andrew Airlie (Final Destination 2)
Reagan Pasternak (Being Erica)
Janet-Laine Green (This Life)
Joy Tanner (Cold Squad)
Mark Lutz (Angel)
J.C. MacKenzie (Dark Angel)
David Calderisi (Tommy Boy)
Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: DS9)
Ellen Dubin (Nobility)
James Kidnie (Robocop: The Series)
Michelle Nolden (Red)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Simon MacCorkindale (Nightman)
Ari Cohen (IT)
Richard McMillan (Cube Zero)
Anne Openshaw (Smallville)
Peter Krantz (The Ref)
Lindy Booth (Odyssey 5)
Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica)
Martin Roach (The Shape of Water)
William deVry (Stargate SG.1)
Sarah Lafleur (Ugly Betty)
Lexa Doig (Andromeda)
Garwin Sanford (Arrow)
Shawn Ashmore (X-Men)

60284By the beginning of Earth: Final Conflict: Season Three, it is learned that the Taelons are ruthless and cunning; willing to manipulate anything and anyone to benefit their agenda. Their agenda is primarily fueled by their inter-galactic war with a race of aliens that share a common ancestor with them, the Jaridians. While the Taelons are long-lived and based on an energy physiology, the Jaridians are flesh & bone, with very short life expectancies. The Taelons main advantage has been their lifespan and technological edge, as well as their ability to travel faster than light. The Jaridians, on the other hand, have the advantage of sheer numbers with a scorch & burn policy towards their enemy and any who assist them.pholeontaelonSeason three introduced Renee Palmer (Jayne Heitmeyer) as the main female lead, to assist Liam in his fight against the Taelon agenda but it also showed her as having her own agenda, based on acquiring wealth. It also phased Lili out as a regular and solidified the relationship between Liam and Auger, a computer genius with a leaning towards capitalism (much like Renee). The show evolved with each season and the plot threads of these 22 episodes focused more on unveiling the secrets (and weaknesses) of the aliens than any other season.maxresdefault (1)The show was very much a social commentary and on its good days, showed the mindset of the radical Roddenberry whose idealism was obvious in all of his television shows .

REVIEW: RELIC HUNTER

 

MAIN CAST

Tia Carrere (True Lies)
Christien Anholt (Adventures Inc)
Lindy Booth (Odyssey 5)
Tanja Reichert (Poltergeist: The Legacy)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tony Rosato (Real Gangsters)
Damon D’Oliveira (Earth: Final Conflict)
Michelle Nolden (Red)
Ron Gabriel (To Die For)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie)
Don Francks (La Femme Nikita)
Dylan Bierk (Andromeda)
Thomas Kretschmann (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Mark Lutz (Angel)
Louis Mandylor (The Quest)
Douglas O’Keeffe (Sanctuary)
Adrian Hough (X-Men: The Last stand)
Romona Milano (Due South)
Katheryn Winnick (Vikings)
Carlo Rota (Jane The Virgin)
Anthony Lemke (Mutant X)
Malin Akerman (Watchmen)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Jane March (Clash of The Titans)
James Faulkner (X-Men: First Class)
Blu Mankuma (Tin Man)
Robert Joy (Amityville 3)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)
Noam Jenkins (Earth: Final Conflict)
Nigel Bennett (Andromeda)
Andrew Gillies (Mutant X)
Peter Mensah (Sleepy Hollow)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Daniel Kash (Goosebumps)
Peter Stebbings (Never Cry Werewolf)
Peter Williams (Stargate SG.1)
Nazneen Contractor (How I Met Your Mother)
Adrian Paul (Highlander: The Series)
Claudia Christian (Babylon 5)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
Roger Cross (First Wave)
Chyna (Sabrina: TTW)
Noah Danby (Bitten)
Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe)
James Callis (Battlestar Galactica)
Ian McNeice (Dune)

Sydney Fox is a professor but primarily a globe-trotting “relic hunter,” looking for ancient artifacts to return to museums and/or the ancestors of the original owner. She’s aided by her linguistic assistant Nigel, and occasionally by her somewhat air-headed secretary Claudia. She often ends up battling rival hunters seeking out artifacts for the money.

I needed to watch several episodes of this show to decide its qualities and I’m glad I waited as my initial response was not a favourable one.It takes a while to buy Tia Carrere as adventuress extraordinaire Sidney Fox but it did not take long for this beautiful and talented actress to make the role her own and she has superb chemistry with her excellent foil Christien Anholt who brings much of a Hugh Grant type persona to his part as the hapless Nigel.Their globe-trotting adventures are the stuff of 30’s serials and are highly derivative but handled in a never over-played tongue in cheek fashion which makes the series ever more enjoyable as it progresses. May not be the best show in the world, but is sure as hell fun.

REVIEW: WRONG TURN

CAST

Eliza Dushku (Bring it On)
Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory)
Emmanuelle Chriqui (100 Girls)
Desmond Harrington (Ghost Ship)
Kevin Zegers (Transamerica)
Lindy Booth (Cry_Wolf)
Julian Richings (Urban Legend)
Yvonne Haudry (Street Time)
Wayne Robson (Cube)
James Downing (Total Recall)

In the remote forest of West Virginia, Halley Smith (Yvonne Gaudry) and Rich Stoker (Joel Harris) are rock climbing on a cliff. As Rich prepares to help Halley, she witnesses his sudden murder. Someone begins to pull Halley up the cliff so she cuts the rope and falls to the ground. Halley then attempts to escape to her car but trips over a piece of barbed wire before being pulled back into the woods, screaming, by one of the three cannibalistic mutant mountain men.
Medical student Chris Flynn (Desmond Harrington) drives through the mountains of West Virginia. A chemical spill in the road ahead forces him to take a different route. He stops at a rundown gas station and meets an old man (Wayne Robson). The old man is not helpful, but Chris sees a map detailing another route heading to his destination. Chris decides to take the road, but on his way, he collides with a Range Rover stopped in the middle of the road. The car belongs to a group of friends on a hiking trip: Jessie Burlingame (Eliza Dushku), Carly (Emmanuelle Chriqui), her fiancé Scott (Jeremy Sisto), and a couple, Evan and Francine (Kevin Zegers and Lindy Booth). Their tires have been punctured by a piece of barbed wire.
Evan and Francine stay to watch the cars as the others go to find help. Evan goes to the woods to investigate a strange noise. After a while, Francine goes into the woods to look for him. She finds only his sneaker and his severed ear before she is killed with a strip of barbed wire by Saw Tooth (Garry Robbins), the oldest of the cannibals. Chris, Jessie, Carly, and Scott find an isolated cabin. After entering, they are surprised to find human body parts. Horrified, they attempt to escape, but they are forced to hide when they hear the occupants coming back. Three disfigured, cannibalistic mountain men (“Three Finger”, “Saw Tooth” and “One Eye”) enter the cabin, bringing Francine’s dead body. The four silently watch as her body is messily eaten. The four quietly escape after the cannibals fall asleep. However, Saw Tooth awakens, alerts the other cannibals, and begins to chase them through the forest. The group climbs up to a nearby clearing with many cars of the cannibals’ victims. Chris is shot in the leg by Saw Tooth, and Scott saves him by distracting the cannibals, allowing Jessie and Carly to steal one of the trucks. Chris gets into the truck, and they drive down a nearby path in search of Scott. Scott starts to make his way to the truck, but Saw Tooth kills him with arrows and takes his body back to their cabin.

Chris, Jessie, and Carly reach a dead end and have to continue on foot. They find a radio in an old watchtower and use it to call for help, but do not get a response. Later, they see the cannibals armed with torches, searching at the foot of the watchtower. The radio starts responding to their call, alerting the cannibals. The cannibals set the tower on fire. Chris, Carly, and Jessie escape by jumping out of the window into a nearby tree. As they escape from the tower, Three Finger (Julian Richings) catches Carly and decapitates her. After escaping, Chris and Jessie hide in a cave near a waterfall until the next morning. Just as they find a road out of the woods, the mountain men find them, pushing Chris down the hill and taking Jessie back to their cabin. Chris survives the fall and meets a police officer, but before Chris is able to convince the police officer of what is happening, the man is shot with an arrow. Chris attempts to drive away in the police truck, but cannot find the key, so he instead hitches a ride underneath the truck as it is driven back to the cabin. At the cabin, Jessie is tied to a bed and gagged. As Jessie is about to be killed, Chris, now driving the police truck, breaks through the cabin and runs into One Eye. Chris unties Jessie and they fight the cannibals. They escape as Chris manages to kill the cannibals by blowing up their cabin with a shotgun. Chris and Jessie, driving the cannibals’ truck, stop back at the gas station. Chris, badly injured, gets out of the truck and takes the map from the gas station while the old man (who was implied to be in league with the mountain men) hides in the store.The credits are interrupted by a scene showing a deputy sheriff investigating and picking over the remains of the destroyed cabin. Three Finger, who survived the explosion, kills the deputy. His insane laughter is heard, as the credits continue to roll.

All in all, this is a well-drilled and highly accomplished horror tale, with lashings of juicy blood and gore, but far more importantly, with appealing lead characters and memorable baddies. It’s very easy to see why this polished flick spawned a succession of sequels. Highly recommended

REVIEW: ODYSSEY 5

MAIN CAST

Peter Weller (Robocop)
Sebastian Roche (The Originals)
Christopher Gorham (Ugly Betty)
Tamara Marie Watson (Cold Squad)
Leslie Silva (Fools Rush In)
Image result for odyssey 5

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Gina Clayton (Degrassi: TNG)
John Neville (The Fifth Element)
Kenneth Mitchell (Star Trek: Discovery)
Lindy Booth (Kick-Ass 2)
Sonja Smits (American Gods)
Damon D’Oliveira (Earth: Final Conflict)
Barry Flatman (Just Friends)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)
George Buza (Mutant X)
Andrew Gillies (Orphan Black)
Vladimir Jon Cubrt (Hannibal TV)
Rick Worthy (The Vampire Diaries)
Clé Bennett (The Tick)
Jonathan Potts (Jason X)
Ted Raimi (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Fiona Highet (Bitten)
Michèle Duquet (The Virgin Sucides)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
Sherry Miller (Open Heart)
Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects)

Kyle Schmid (Arrow)

Michael Flipowich (Earth: Final Conflict)

Dominic Zamprogna (Stargate Universe)
Bronson Picket (Wild Card)

Image result for odyssey 5Before Manny Coto took over as head writer of Enterprise in the fourth season, he had his own SF show on the air. Odyssey 5 was Coto’s brain child, and it was an intriguing program that lasted for only one season on Showtime. (Less actually… it took Showtime a couple of years to broadcast the last four episodes which are included in this set.) It certainly deserved to go on longer. This show about a group of five astronauts who have only five years to save the Earth from destruction was creative and engrossing and had some wonderful actors in the lead roles. The US space shuttle Odyssey was performing a routine mission, snagging a satellite for repairs before docking with the international space station when something very unexpected happened. The Earth imploded. In a matter of moments the Earth went from a blue/green planet to a swirling cloud of dust. The only people who were left alive were the five members of the Odyssey: Commander Chuck Taggert (Peter Weller) and his son Neil (Christopher Gorham), Nobel Prize winning geneticist Kurt Mendel (Sebastian Roche), newscaster Sarah Forbes (Leslie Silva) and shuttle pilot, Angela Perry (Tamara Crag Thomas.) With no place that they can go to they resign themselves to their fate and wait to run out of oxygen.

Moments before the end comes however, the Odyssey is taken aboard an alien spaceship. There they meet The Seeker, an ancient being (machine?) that has been searching for intelligent life. He’s found evidence of many advanced cultures, but whenever he gets to the planets he’s detected, all that’s left is a swirling cloud of dust. The Seeker offers to send the five astronauts back in time five years, so that they will have a chance of averting whatever it was that caused the Earth to die. Naturally they accept but five years isn’t a long time, and they have very little to go on.

They soon discover that there are incredibly intelligent entities living in the internet called Sentients. They have no bodies, since they are just computer code, but they have designed artificial people to carry out their bidding. These ‘Synthetics’ are stronger and faster than real people and can be programmed just like a computer. The only external difference from humans is that they are cold blooded. Trying to discover what the Sentients and Synthetics are up to is hard and dangerous, but it’s even worse than that; there’s no evidence that they are responsible for the Earth’s destruction. It could very well be related to a military project that was on the satellite the shuttle was adjusting, related to the covert group inside NASA known as the Cadre, or something else all together.Image result for odyssey 5This is one of those shows that starts off a little slow, but really draws you in. One of the things I really liked about the show was that they didn’t forget that the Odyssey 5 have home lives. When Taggart skips out on a party his wife had been wanting to go to (in order to stop a Synthetic plot), he not only ends up in the dog house but she also thinks that he has a mistress. Sarah spends a good amount of time taking her son to doctors so they can cure the stomach cancer that killed him in the original time-line. The only thing is that it hasn’t shown up yet and her husband and doctors think she’s crazy. It’s touches like these that add a lot to the feel of the show.

Image result for odyssey 5The ensemble cast is responsible for that to a large extent. All five of the main characters do a very good job portraying their idiosyncratic characters and make them seem like real people. Peter Weller (Buckaroo Banzai, Robocop) has the temperament and attitudes of a military pilot down pat, probably because his father was a pilot (as he discusses in the commentary), but in any case he really nails the part and gives the show it’s focal point. Sebastian Roche also does well as the goofy but brilliant scientist, walking that fine line between making him a caricature and a believably irreverent character. The one person in the cast who impressed me the most though was Leslie Silva. She was magnificent as a mother who had seen her child waste away and die, only to get him back again. You could tell what she was thinking by just a look, and the scenes where she would break down were heart wrenching. This is an enjoyable show. The acting is very good and the plots are engrossing. Though there isn’t a lot of continuity in the first few episodes they refer to past events more and more as the show goes on, which makes the program even more interesting. A fun show that deserved a longer run.