REVIEW: BABYLON 5 – SEASON 5

515627

Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Tracy Scoggins (Highlander: The Series)
Stephen Furst (Animal House)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Patricia Tallman (Dead Air)
Andreas Katsulas (The Fugitive)
Peter Jurasik (Tron)

Bruce Boxleitner, Mira Furlan, and Tracy Scoggins in Babylon 5 (1993)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Robin Atkin Downes (The Conjuring 2)
Kim Strauss (Million Dollar Baby)
Walter Koenig (Star Trek)
Penn Jillette (Sabrina: TTW)
Teller (The Big Bang Theory)
Fabiana Udenio (Austin Powers)
Julie Caitlin Brown (All My Children)
Marshall R. Teague (Road House)
Reggie Lee (The Dark Knight Rises)
Carl Ciarfalio (THe Fantastic Four)
Robin Sachs (Buffy: TVS)
Ian Ogilvy (We Still Kill The Old Way)
Marjorie Monaghan (Andromeda)
Claudia Christian (9-1-1)
Ardwight Chamberlain (Swiss Family Robinson)

Tracy Scoggins in Babylon 5 (1993)I’m a huge fan of Babylon 5. When B5 was originally airing, I’d tape each episode and watch it at least twice before the next one aired. I’d check out the Lurker’s Guide, puzzle over the “unanswered questions,” and eagerly await how the story would unfold. With that in mind, it’s difficult for me to approach reviewing Season 5. Fans of the show are familiar with the trials and tribulations that series creator J. Michael Straczynski went through first just to get B5 produced at all, and then to get it through its planned 5-year run. At one point, all concerned thought that the show would be forced to end prematurely, and so Season 4 wraps up a lot of the major story lines and provides a final episode with a nice sense of closure.But there was a Season 5, after all. So how is it? When I first saw the Season 5 episodes, I hated them. Hated them, I say, with a passion. This was not the Babylon 5 I knew and loved, but a travesty of it. In fact, I bailed out on it, unwilling to see my favorite series going through the motions like that. So I had my misgivings when it came to reviewing the set… was it really as horrible as I remembered? In truth, no.Babylon 5 (1993)Season 5 isn’t the Babylon 5 it used to be, for a number of reasons. The new captain is adequate at best; some of the recurring characters no longer ring quite true (the new camaraderie between Londo and G’Kar is simply inconsistent with their history); and after the Shadow War, the Earth civil war, and the culmination of the Narn-Centauri conflict, there doesn’t seem to be as much dramatic energy in the remaining story arcs. But it’s not terrible, with one notable exception.Robin Atkin Downes and Jack Hannibal in Babylon 5 (1993)What’s that exception? Well, there’s one particular episode, “Day of the Dead,” that manages to strike all the worst notes of the entire series. There are two story lines in this episode: one deals with a mysterious “Day of the Dead” celebration that has some strange effects on the members of the crew; the other involves the comedy team of “Rebo and Zooty” (played by Penn and Teller). The latter storyline is entirely comedic… and as I’ve had occasion to remark on in past reviews, comedy is the one thing that Babylon 5 has never, ever handled well. Whenever B5 tries to go for deliberate laughs, it falls on its face, creating scenes that are painfully bad, especially in contrast to the excellent drama of the rest of the show. Here we get that at its worst. It’s hard to explain how one episode could have such a negative effect on my perception of the entire season, but the truth is, it really is awful; frankly, I recommend skipping over it entirely.Once we leave aside truly awful episodes like “Day of the Dead” (and its close counterpart, the contrived “A View from the Gallery”), Season 5 is revealed to be reasonably entertaining after all. It does take a relatively long while to get going in the right direction, but when it does get moving, the content isn’t bad. Not as good as the earlier seasons, but not bad.Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas in Babylon 5 (1993)One thing that’s quite clear is that Season 5 was targeted toward a viewing audience who had not seen any of the previous seasons. There are many episodes that are patently designed to fill in background information, like “The Corps Is Mother, the Corps Is Father” (clearly intended to inform the new viewer about the Psi Corps), and the scripts are full of “As you know, Bob”-style references to back-story from the previous seasons, like Garibaldi’s alcoholism. This isn’t a glaring flaw, per se, but it does reduce the amount of time that the story can spend on moving forward and building on the past, which has always been one of B5’s great strengths.Walter Koenig, Dana Barron, and Reggie Lee in Babylon 5 (1993)Overall, Season 5 has a distinctly more episodic feel than earlier seasons. In fact, in many ways it feels similar to Season 1, except that the stories aren’t as good, and there’s none of the feeling that the foundation is being laid for great things later in the series. Quite a few episodes are self-contained “emergency of the week” stories, like “No Compromises,” “Learning Curve,” and even “Meditations on the Abyss.” Taken in the larger context of science fiction television, these are solid episodes; it’s just that in the context of B5’s brilliant larger story arcs, they’re disappointing.Martin East, Bill Mumy, and Richard Yniguez in Babylon 5 (1993)Fortunately, two larger story arcs are developed in Season 5. First of all, the “telepath situation” takes center stage, as a group of rogue telepaths led by an idealistic and charismatic leader named Byron form a colony on the station. In a well-handled part of this story, Lyta Alexander finds that her past experiences on Babylon 5 give her a great deal of sympathy for Byron’s cause. Much of this story arc is handled in the first part of the season, with episodes like “Strange Relations,” “Secrets of the Soul,” “In the Kingdom of the Blind,” “A Tragedy of Telepaths,” and “Phoenix Rising,” but the general tension between telepaths and “mundanes” continues to escalate throughout the season.Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)One of the strengths of Season 5 is its nuanced portrayal of the telepaths, particularly focusing on their strong sense of community identity. Their passionate belief in their own identity as special, rare, even “chosen” people raises the question of the delicate balance between individuality and conformity. Should they try to fit in? What place do they really have in the “mundane” world? Is their sense of isolation and discrimination real, or a product of their own disdain for normals? Is the Psi Corps really wrong, or does it serve an essential purpose in regulating telepaths and protecting normals? Psi Cop Alfred Bester (Walter Koenig), one of my favorite secondary characters, gets a lot of screen time in Season 5, and puts it to great use: he’s always been much more than a clear-cut “bad guy,” and here we see even more how he’s a real human being who may be more in the right than the B5 crew want to admit.Tracy Scoggins in Babylon 5 (1993)The other key story arc involves the new Alliance coming under a great deal of stress, as an unknown enemy continues to attack ships from a variety of Alliance worlds, creating discord and a growing discontent with Sheridan and Delenn’s handling of the situation. At the same time, strange things are afoot on Centauri Prime, as Londo, now the emperor-elect, discovers that there are deadly forces operating behind the scenes. This latter part of the story is particularly interesting, as it builds on the foreshadowing of earlier seasons.Peter Jurasik in Babylon 5 (1993)While the pacing of the overall season is slower than other seasons, and the tension doesn’t get cranked up like it was in comparable parts of Season 3 or Season 4, the last eight episodes of the season finally leave behind the “stand-alone episode” feel of the early part of the season, and moves into a continuing development of the main story threads that have been introduced and developed in Season 5. It’s worth sticking around for.

REVIEW: BABYLON 5 – IN THE BEGINNING

Bruce Boxleitner, Mira Furlan, and Andreas Katsulas in Babylon 5: In the Beginning (1998)

 

Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Andreas Katsulas (The Fugitive)
Peter Jurasik (Tron)
Reiner Schöne (Priest)
Michael O’Hare (C.H.U.D.)
Robin Atkin Downes (The Conjuring 2)
J. Patrick McCormack (Armageddon)
Tricia O’Neil (Titanic)
Robin Sachs (Buffy: TVS)
Ardwight Chamberlain (Swiss Family Robinson)
Nick Jameson (Lost)
Claudia Christian (9-1-1)
Theodore Bikel (The Defiant Ones)

Fifteen years before the initial setting of the television series Babylon 5, Earth becomes involved in a deadly conflict with the just-discovered Minbari race. This war nearly leads to the extermination of the human race, but it is mysteriously halted at the last moment by the Minbari leadership for reasons that remain secret for over a decade. This near-destruction of the human race leads to the Earth Alliance commissioning the Babylon space stations as a means of preventing further wars.In 2278, Centauri Prime is in flames. A man surveys the destruction from a window of the Royal Palace. Two children, Luc and Lyssa, are later seen playing in the throne room and looking out the window. Their governess finds them and tells them that it is the Emperor’s window and that only he can look out from it. The Emperor hears them and tells them to come in front of him. The Emperor is an aged Londo Mollari. Mollari allows Luc to be Emperor of the Centauri Republic for five minutes, during which time he may give any order he wishes. Luc asks for a story of great battles and heroes and villains. Lyssa wants to hear a true story. Mollari decides to give them both what they want. He tells them the story of the Earth–Minbari War that took place 35 years prior while he was ambassador to Earth. The human race, feeling cocky following their defeat of the Dilgar, is rapidly expanding into space. Word reaches them of the mysterious Minbari race. Though they are warned by Londo to leave this race alone, they seek to research the species first-hand.61ZVsohnm2LThe Minbari Grey Council, led by Dukhat, have become concerned that the Shadows may have returned to Z’ha’dum in fulfillment of Valen’s prophecy. They are taking a roundabout route to investigate when they encounter Earth ships, led by EAS Prometheus, seeking to investigate the Minbari. The Minbari ships turn toward Prometheus and engage their long-range sensors to gain more data on the unknown Earth ship. Unknown to the Minbari, the intense EMP field generated by their sensors disables Prometheus’ jump engine, preventing the Earth ship from retreating. As the Minbari ships draw closer, they open their gun ports – a sign of respect in their culture. The interference from the Minbari sensors also prevents Prometheus from determining whether or not the Minbari ships are charging their weapons. The captain of Prometheus, with his jump engines disabled and the Minbari ships approaching with the apparent intent to attack, opens fire. The Minbari ships are heavily damaged, and Dukhat is killed. In retaliation, the Grey Council declares a holy war against humanity, and the Earth–Minbari War begins.MV5BZDA2NDE0YWYtYTBmMy00MWNmLWI1ZjItZjE1YjM0ZmQ1MjkyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTM3NzI3NjQ@._V1_The war lasts three years and countless humans are killed, their forces overwhelmed by superior Minbari technology. Lieutenant Commander John Sheridan, first officer of EAS Lexington, is part of a battlegroup engaging the Minbari. After a Minbari ambush, Sheridan’s commanding officer is killed. He assumes command of the damaged ship and lays a trap for the enemy, seeding the local asteroids with nuclear mines. The Minbari flagship Black Star closes in to finish off the ship, but is itself destroyed by the mines. This is Earth’s only real victory during the war, and the Minbari faction that feels the war has caused enough senseless bloodshed uses this as an opportunity to engage in peace talks with Earth. However, the Centauri intelligence division discovers that the humans are having a secret meeting on a neutral planet that is being brokered by the Narn. Fearing the meeting is intended to secure a shipment of advanced arms, the Centauri bomb the peace conference, with neither the humans nor Minbari suspecting their intervention. All hope for peace is lost, and humanity’s losses at the hands of the Minbari continue.MV5BN2Y1NzQ2OTEtY2RlYy00NTUxLWFmNGUtZjhmYjlkZDY2OTEwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTM3NzI3NjQ@._V1_In a last, desperate effort, the President of Earth orders all available ships to form a “line” around the planet in an attempt to delay the Minbari to give some humans time to flee in transports. During the battle, Satai Delenn, a member of the Grey Council, captures a human pilot, Jeffrey Sinclair, ostensibly to learn about Earth’s defenses. The Grey Council is startled to discover that he possesses the soul of the revered Minbari religious leader Valen. After examining several other humans, the Grey Council concludes that Minbari souls have been reincarnated in whole or in part in humans. Since Minbari do not kill Minbari, they surrender to the defenseless Earth forces. Because of the damage this revelation could do to their own culture, they keep the reason for the surrender a secret. In the wake of the war, Earth builds a space station that can serve as a kind of “United Nations in space”, with the intent of preventing future wars. This is the Babylon Station, destroyed by terrorists during construction. Various fates befall later iterations of the station, until the completion of Babylon 5. After the children leave him, Londo views Delenn and Sheridan being held captive in the Centauri palace, as previously seen in “War Without End”. Toasting them as his friends, Londo drinks massively to put his Keeper to sleep so that he can let them escape.Howling0403In the Beginning” is a mark of brilliance…a perfect made for TV movie for the Babylon 5 series. It is the best of the B5 movies with the second being the pilot episode. ITB chronicles the genesis of the Earth Minbari war which was a holy war started by misunderstanding between Humans and a powerful alien race called the Minbari. In the struggle, a huge chunk of humanity is killed as the Minbari march towards Earth, destroying human colonies on the way. Since this movie comes near the end of the 3rd season and out of chronological order, it answers many unanswered questions that B5 watchers would expect to be answered from the 1st Season onwards.  On its own, the story is perfect. There is plenty of CGI war scenes, plenty of dramatized war scenes and plenty of intrigue. A perfect reason to bother getting into the series itself if you weren’t a fan.

REVIEW: BABYLON 5 – SEASON 3

Untitled

 

Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Claudia Christian (9-1-1)
Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Jason Carter (The Duel)
Stephen Furst (Animal House)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Andreas Katsulas (The Fugitive)
Peter Jurasik (Tron)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Tucker Smallwood (Space: Above & Beyond)
Ardwight Chamberlain (Swiss Family Robinson)
Patrick Kilpatrick (Minority Report)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Stephen Macht (Graveyard Shift)
Marshall R. Teague (Armageddon)
Anne Betancourt (Mission Impossible III)
Brad Dourif (Child’s Play)
Patricia Tallman (Dead Air)
James Black (Out of Sight)
Walter Koenig (Star Trek)
Kim Strauss (Million Dollar Baby)
Vaughn Armstrong (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Merrin Dungey (Alais)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Lewis Arquette (Little Nicky)
Rance Howard (Small Soldiers)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Bruce McGill (Timecop)
James Parks (The Hateful Eight)
Michael O’Hare (The Promise)
Time Winters (Sneakers)
Tim Choate (Blow Out)
William Morgan Sheppard (Transformers)
Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie)
Erica Gimpel (God Friended Me)
Robin Sachs (Buffy: TVS)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Thom Barry (Cold Case)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Mel Winkler (Coach Carter)
Jeff Corey (Beneath The POTA)

Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)Nothing encapsulates the power of the epic science fiction series Babylon 5 better than its voiceover for the credits. In Season 3 it is Commander Ivanova who speaks: “The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. It failed. But in the Year of the Shadow War, it became something greater: our last, best hope… for victory.”Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)Setting the traditional episodic format of television science fiction on its head, the five-year continuous story arc of Babylon 5 built up a fascinating and captivating story through Season 1 and Season 2. The Narn and Centauri at each others’ throats… the lurking danger of the Shadows… the growing darkness in the Earth government… the unrest on the Mars colony… all these elements have been building up and sending off sparks. The question has been, what is going to blow first? It’s for good reason that the season as a whole is titled “Point of No Return.” There is no reset button on Babylon 5… and actions taken in the past are having the most dramatic of consequences.Mira Furlan and Andreas Katsulas in Babylon 5 (1993)Season 3 packs the most punch of any season of Babylon 5 so far… and that’s saying a lot, given the series’ strong start in Season 1 and escalating drama and tension in Season 2. In Season 3, several story lines come to the forefront, with events that have been picking up steam now coming to an explosive level. The political conflict back on Earth has resulted in increasing social repression even on the station, as we see in the appearance of the Night Watch organization; a string of tense episodes like “Messages from Earth,” “Point of No Return,” and “Severed Dreams” shift that story line into high gear. At the same time, the war with the Shadows goes from being a vaguely disturbing threat to a terrifying reality, in episodes like “Interludes and Examinations,” the two-part “War Without End” that picks up on certain mysterious events from Season 1, and, of course, the season finale “Shadow Dancing” and “Z’ha’dum.” It’s a clear sign that Straczynski’s techniques of foreshadowing and careful buildup are effective, when just the title of the final episode is chilling…Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)The focus may be on the Shadows and the troubles on Earth, but in the background, other storylines continue to develop. The Narn-Centauri war continues to build up pressure, with late-season episodes like “And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place” leaving us eager for Season 4. The continuing thread concerning the telepaths also finds its place into Season 3’s episodes; in addition to the return of Lyta Alexander, we also see Psi Cop Bester (Walter Koenig) once again.Richard Biggs and Jason Carter in Babylon 5 (1993)For this season, all 22 episodes were written by series creator J. Michael Straczynski: with so many plot threads being developed, along with others being foreshadowed for the future, this was the only way to manage all the material properly. Given the impressively high quality of the episodes throughout Season 3, this was an excellent decision on the part of the series creator.Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, and Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)Of course, not every single episode is up to Babylon 5’s high standard: Season 3 does include “Grey 17 Is Missing,” with a lamentable monster called a Zarg making an appearance. Straczynski himself has commented (as quoted in the Lurker’s Guide to B5) that “I just have this constant desire to go to everyone’s house and personally apologize…” Once you see the Zarg, you’ll see why. But even in this episode, the other storyline interwoven with the Zarg storyline is handled satisfactorily, and as a whole it merely serves to underline just how good the rest of the episodes are.Andreas Katsulas in Babylon 5 (1993)On a more individual level, Babylon 5 continues to develop its characters very effectively: these are not static personalities, but real, changing people. I’ve always considered the duo of the Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik) and his nemesis, the Narn ambassador G’Kar (Andreas Katsulas) as being the characters with perhaps the most depth in the series, and this is borne out as we see them each traveling his (perhaps foreordained) path. Another instance of character development is Dr. Franklin; while earlier seasons hinted at tensions beneath his professional demeanor, it’s here that those tensions finally come to the boiling point, as we see in episodes like “Walkabout.” The cast of “main characters” is slightly fluid, with various figures naturally moving into the limelight or out of it as the overall story arcs dictate: in Season 3, the characters of Zack Allen, the down-to-earth security officer, and Mr. Morden, the very shady “associate” of Ambassador Mollari, are brought more into the action. In Season 3, we are also introduced to several new characters who will prove to be important contributors to the story as it develops: Lyta Alexander (Patricia Tallman), who is not exactly new (having appeared in the pilot), and one of my favorite secondary characters, Marcus Cole (Jason Carter).Season 3’s powerful storylines draw extensively on the material presented in the first two seasons, both in plot and in character development, so for maximum enjoyment, viewers who are new to Babylon 5 should start with Season 1 or at most Season 2. But whatever you do, don’t miss out completely! Babylon 5 is the cream of the crop of science fiction television. If you thought Season 2 was exciting… Season 3 is even better.

 

REVIEW: BABYLON 5 – SEASON 2

Untitled

Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Claudia Christian (9-1-1)
Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Andrea Thompson (24)
Stephen Furst (Animal House)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Robert Rusler (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2)
Mary Kay Adams (Guiding Light)
Andreas Katsulas (The Fugitive)
Peter Jurasik (Tron)

Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Robin Sachs (Buffy: TVS)
Robert Foxworth (Transformers)
Kim Strauss (ER)
Beth Toussaint (Red Eye)
Michael Ansara (The Message)
Russ Tamblyn (The Haunting)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Jessica Walter (Archer)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Keith Szarabajka (The Dark Knight)
Lois Nettleton (Centennial)
Jane Carr (Legends of Tomorrw)
Carel Struycken (The Addams Family)
Walter Koenig (Star Trek)
Fredric Lehne (Lost)
Malachi Throne (Catch Me If You Can)
Michael O’Hare (C.H.U.D.)
Ardwight Chamberlain (Swiss Family Robinson)
Paul Winfield (The Terminator)
Ryan Cutrona (Hot Shots!)
Ken Foree (The Devil’s Rejects)
Jsu Garcia (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Marshall R. Teague (Road House)
Paul Williams (Battle For The POTA)
Glenn Morshower (Supergirl)
Ian Abercrombie (Army of Darkness)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Julie Caitlin Brown (All My Children)
Kim Zimmer (Body Heat)
Alex Hyde-White (The Fantastic Four)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate SG.1)
Andrew Craig (Conan The Adventurer)
Patricia Tallman (Dead Air)
William Morgan Sheppard (Transformers)
Roy Dotrice (Hellboy 2)

Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, and Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)“It was the dawn of the Third Age of Mankind… the year the great war came upon us all.” This evocative phrase, in the new opening credits voiceover for the second season of Babylon 5, captures the anticipation, suspense, and drama that are waiting for us as we embark upon a season appropriately, and ominously, named “The Coming of Shadows.”Stephen Furst in Babylon 5 (1993)As I commented in my review of Season 1, what makes Babylon 5 really stand out is its storytelling. Creator and main writer J. Michael Straczynski is telling one story, planned from the beginning to develop over the course of five years; within that larger story are interconnecting story arcs that span several seasons. As a result, Babylon 5 has the richness, depth, power, and complexity of a great novel; it’s not like anything else on television.Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan in Babylon 5 (1993)If you’re used to “reset button” style television shows in which everything must return to the status quo at the end of the episode – for instance, however much I love Star Trek, that series is a prime example – then Babylon 5 offers quite a shock in this respect, especially now that the plot is really developing in Season 2. Each episode is a piece of the larger story, and it moves that larger story along; the events in an episode matter in the larger sense. That means that in any given episode, major events can happen: events that will shape the course of the season, or dramatically affect a character, or shed new light on any number of mysteries.Bruce Boxleitner and Claudia Christian in Babylon 5 (1993)From the large-scale plot to the pacing of the individual episodes, Babylon 5 is an extremely well-conceived and well-written show. What’s more, it’s an intelligent and challenging one. Viewers are richly rewarded for paying attention and thinking about what’s going on: what happened last week, or last season, may very well turn out to be of utmost importance as the plot develops. Season 2 starts out with an excellent reminder of this, when the events of a first-season episode turn out to be crucial in Dr. Franklin’s attempt to save Garibaldi’s life.While Season 1 set the stage, introduced the players, and got a few seemingly small events rolling, it’s now, in Season 2, that things really get explosive. Season 2 jumps into a tangled weave of plot threads from the very beginning, clearly showing that we’re in for quite a ride. Since Babylon 5 is so intensely plot-driven, I’m taking pains here to avoid spoilers. If you are watching the show for the first time, you absolutely, positively do not want to have any of the fantastic plot developments spoiled for you… and if you’re watching it for a second (or third, or fourth…) time, then a few hints will be enough to whet your appetite for seeing the episodes again.Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)Commander Sinclair has been mysteriously removed from his command of Babylon 5, and sent to Minbar as an ambassador; indeed, strange things are afoot with the Minbari, as Ambassador Delenn embarks on a perilous transformation in accordance with prophecy, and the Minbari reveal something that they have previously kept hidden from the humans… though they aren’t telling the whole story. A new commander, Captain Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) takes command, but with a past that’s shadowed by personal grief as well as by his infamy among the Minbari, who call him “Star-Killer.” Is he a pawn in some larger political game? Will he be able to continue Babylon 5’s mission?Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, and Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)Then there’s the issue of Earth President Santiago’s death, which may have been foul play at the hands of a conspiracy… but just how deep does that conspiracy go, and who can the Babylon 5 crew really trust? The Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari is on the ascendance after the destruction of the Narn colony in Season 1… but it seems that Londo’s relationship with the mysterious Mr. Morden is far from finished. In fact, the events of Season 1 have only served to increase the tension in the bitter rivalry between the Narn and Centauri empires. We also get developing threads about the Psi Corps and the Mars colony tied in, with the return of the Psi Cop Bester (Walter Koenig) as well as the telepath Lyta Alexander. And in the background, we learn of the appearance of strange ships, ships that G’Kar has a theory about…Bruce Boxleitner, Mira Furlan, and Bill Mumy in Babylon 5 (1993)I haven’t mentioned any specific episode titles so far, in part because the story threads are so interwoven that it’s difficult to pick out individual episodes to discuss and in part because it’s hard to talk about specific episodes without spoilers. Season 2 has 22 episodes, and they’re all good ones; even the more “ordinary” episodes are very entertaining stories in their own right, and serve to lay the groundwork for later high-tension episodes, both in terms of plot developments and in terms of pacing and theme. I’ll point out a few highlights, and leave you to find out exactly why they’re so important.Stephen Furst and Bill Mumy in Babylon 5 (1993)“The Coming of Shadows” should tell you from its title alone that it’s a momentous episode… and trust me, it is. “All Alone in the Night” likewise moves forward into deeply dramatic territory, involving Sheridan as well as Delenn. Then there’s “In the Shadow of Z’ha’dum”… let’s just say that you’ll be seeing more of Mr. Morden. “A Spider in the Web” and “A Race Through Dark Places” showcase interesting developments among the Psi Corps. “The Long, Twilight Struggle” brings certain events of the Narn-Centauri struggle to a head. And “The Fall of Night” will have you biting your nails for Season 3.

 

REVIEW: GALAXY QUEST

CAST

Tim Allen (The Santa Clause)
Sigourney Weaver (Alien)
Alan Rickman (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Tony Shalhoub (The Siege)
Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2)
Daryl Mitchell (House Party)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Robin Sachs (Buffy)
Jed Rees (News Movie)
Justin Long (New Girl)
Missi Pyle (Two and a Half Men)
Rainn Wilson (Super)
Dian Bachar (Orgazmo)
Gregg Binkley (My Name Is Earl)
Kevin McDonald (That 70s Show)
Jeremy Howard (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Corbin Bleu (Mystery Men)
Wayne Pére (Cloak & Dagger)
Morgan Rusler(Easy A)
J.P. Manoux (Veep)
Heidi Swedberg (Hot Shots)

The former cast of the once-popular television space-adventure series Galaxy Quest spend most of their days attending fan conventions and promotional stunts. Though Jason Nesmith (Allen), who played the commander of the NSEA Protector, thrives with the attention, the other cast members—Alexander Dane (Rickman) as the ship’s alien science officer, Fred Kwan (Shalhoub) as the chief engineer, Gwen DeMarco (Weaver) as the computer officer, and Tommy Webber (Mitchell) as a precocious child pilot—all resent these events.

During one event, Nesmith is approached by Mathesar (Colantoni) and others calling themselves “Thermians” and request his assistance, which he agrees to, thinking this is a planned and paying fan event. Later at that same convention, Nesmith becomes despondent after overhearing attendees speaking of him as a laughing stock by fans and his fellow actors, and he loses his temper with an avid fan, Brandon (Long). After Nesmith spends the night drinking heavily, the Thermians arrive to pick up a hungover Nesmith in the limo he had requested. Unaware that they are truly octopoidal aliens, using technology to appear human, the barely conscious Nesmith is oblivious to his limo being beamed aboard the Thermian’s spaceship. Aboard their ship in deep space, Nesmith goes through the motions of commanding the ship and asks to be returned home. When they send him back to Earth via a transporter, Nesmith realizes that it is all real. He races to meet his cast, accidentally bumping into Brandon and misplacing a Thermian communicator Mathasar gave him with Brandon’s fan-made replica. Nesmith eagerly relates his experience to the crew, who think he is drunk again. When another Thermian appears and request the entire crew’s help, Nesmith manages to convince them, along with their handler Guy Fleegman (Rockwell), an actor who played a unnamed security officer on one episode before being killed off, to come along. They are all transported to a perfect reproduction of the NSEA Protector in deep space, and are shocked by the reality of the situation.

Mathesar begs the crew to command the Protector, as Nesmith’s previous actions (namely, blowing up the opposing ship) have enraged Sarris (Sachs), a reptilian humanoid that seeks to wipe out the Thermians. While they were able to recreate the ship from the broadcast episodes, the Thermians have no idea how to pilot it. The crew hesitantly take the controls, and despite their ineptitude, the Thermians cheer them on. After the second encounter with Sarris’ ship, they barely evade his attack by flying through a minefield, severely damaging the ship. The humans take a shuttle to a nearby planet to find a replacement beryllium sphere as a new power source. They manage to secure the sphere after a run-in with the hostile alien species on the planet. Once back aboard the Protector, they find that Sarris and his soldiers have captured the ship.

Sarris interrogates the humans, discovering they are only actors, and recognizes that the Thermians have no concept of fiction, believing the show to have been real. Sarris sets the Protector to self-destruct and departs, leaving a few sacrificial soldiers to guard the humans. Nesmith and Dane use a gambit from the show to engineer their escape, and then Nesmith orders his fellow cast members to help rescue the other Thermians, finish repairs to the Protector, and prepare to engage Sarris in combat. Nesmith and DeMarco then set off into the bowels of the ship to stop the self-destruct sequence, using help from Brandon and his group of friends via the swapped communication device. Along the way, they encounter Omega 13, a plot device introduced in the final episode but never used; Brandon notes it could either destroy all matter in the universe or rewind time by 13 seconds, “enough time to undo one mistake”.

Having finally accepted their roles on the ship and gained confidence in themselves, Nesmith and his crew use the minefield as a weapon against Sarris’ ship, destroying it. They prepare to head to Earth when Sarris, who has transported over at the last moment, starts killing the crew. A desperate Nesmith activates the Omega 13, which reverses time far enough for him to knock out Sarris. They near a wormhole to return the humans home via the command module, and Nesmith assures Mathesar he has the ability to command the Protector along with the other Thermians. The humans, along with Laliari (Pyle), a Thermian that has fallen in love with Kwan, return home. The command module crashes into Earth near a fan convention and comes to a stop after crashing through one wall, which the audience takes as part of the show. As the crew exits the module, Sarris wakes up and tries to fire on them, but Nesmith reacts faster, and disintegrates Sarris with a phaser-like weapon. The crowd erupts into cheers. Some time later, Galaxy Quest is revived as a new series, starring the same cast along with Fleegman and Laliari.Great film, so very well written. A homage/parody to Star Trek, it’s also very well acted by those within it. And very, very funny.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR: REVIEW: RESIDENT EVIL: DAMANTION

Starring

Matthew Mercer (Thundercats)
Dave Wittenberg (Gravity Falls)
Wendee Lee (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Val Tasso (Devil’s Land)
Robin Sachs (Galaxy Quest)
Courtenay Taylor (American Dad)
Salli Saffioti (Watchmen)
Michael McConnohie (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Kirk Thornton (Ninja Scroll)

Biohazard: Damnation (2012)Leon S. Kennedy sneaks into the Eastern Slav Republic (a fictional post-Soviet country formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union) to verify rumors that Bio-Organic Weapons (BOWs) are being used in the country’s civil war, which the U.S. and Russia are preparing to intervene in. After his arrival, Ingrid Hunnigan, Leon’s mission support, informs him the government has ordered an immediate retreat of all U.S. forces. Determined to stop the BOWs, Leon ignores the order.[6] Leon comes across his contact, “Scarecrow,” who has been attacked and is near death. A Licker finishes off Scarecrow as Leon is knocked out by an explosion; a shadowy figure orders the Licker not to kill Leon. Leon awakens, tied to a chair by rebel fighters J.D., Alexander Kozachenko (Buddy), and the elderly Ivan Judanovich, the group’s Ataman.Matthew Mercer in Biohazard: Damnation (2012)Meanwhile, President Svetlana Belikova meets Ada Wong, who is posing as a BSAA agent. Ada explains a human infected with the virus’s dominant strain will have brief master-slave relationship with lesser BOWs. Elsewhile, soldiers burst into the rebel hideout; Leon tries warning them of Ivan’s infection, but Buddy starts a shoot-out. Ivan tells Buddy to kill him, fearing his poor health is a burden; Buddy reluctantly complies. Elsewhere, Leon meets JD, only for Plaga hosts to attack them; Leon suspects the rebels had Plaga, which have escaped confinement. JD leads Leon to the church, where they regroup with the remaining rebels. JD helps Leon escape, urging him to stop Buddy; a government bombing of a school (mistaken for a rebel hideout) killed Buddy’s fiancée and her students, causing his hatred.Courtenay Taylor in Biohazard: Damnation (2012)Leon runs into Ada; he thinks she’s responsible due to her sample-retrieval mission in Resident Evil 4. Ada denies it and confesses retrieving a sample is her primary objective in Eastern Slav before then flirtatiously teasing Leon by asking when they’re going to continue from ‘that night’. Ada then leaves, warning the city will soon be bombed. Leon returns to the church to find Ganados have attacked it, finding JD the only survivor. Buddy arrives, with JD revealing he was infected during the attack; after JD and Buddy share some last words, Leon shoots him. Leon asks Buddy to give up the Plagas. He refuses and escapes when military jets bomb the church, bringing the ceiling down.Svetlana exposes Ada as a fraud, engaging her in hand-to-hand combat; evenly matched, Ada attempts to escape. However, the room is sealed; it doubles as an elevator. Leon arrives shortly later, descending the empty shaft. Ada finds herself tied up, but frees herself with a knife hidden in her high heels. She and Leon meet up at the main hive control. Svetlana and her army troops surround them; Ada releases a smoke bomb and escapes while Leon gets into a shootout with the soldiers, managing to kill several. Buddy arrives, sending Lickers to attack the troops. Svetlana activates her own BOWs before escaping – two Tyrants- to wipe out all opposition, including the Lickers. Leon and Buddy team up and barely make it out of the palace basement, smashing the Tyrants with the elevator.maxresdefaultOutside, a third Tyrant appears; Leon and Buddy decapitate it with tank fire. With the tank overturned, Leon and Buddy are forced out into a confrontation with the first two Tyrants, which have finally reached the surface. Leon grabs Buddy to flee while the Tyrants give chase. With no ammo left, Leon brandishes his combat knife to make a last stand, when USAF A-10 attack planes appear and take out both Tyrants, proving to Leon that his superiors were keeping a watch on him throughout his time in the Eastern Slav Republic. Just as Svetlana prepares for her press conference, she is informed by her aide that they are under attack by both U.S. and Russian forces. Their bombardment and subsequent occupation eventually force her to resign.1802873455As Leon and Buddy watch, Buddy believes there is nothing left to live for and asks Leon to kill him before the Plaga takes control. Leon doesn’t comply, telling him to carry on living, even without the use of limbs, to serve as the living memory of those who died. Leon then shoots Buddy’s spine, severing the Plaga’s control over him. Three days later, Leon speaks to Hunnigan about the mission while watching the news about the U.S. and Russia intervening in the civil war on TV. Elsewhere, Ada speaks to her employer about a Plaga sample she retrieved, but haggles and says that she has not quite decided whether or not to give it, even as her employer manages to annul a global arrest warrant that was out on her. The film ends showing Buddy in a wheelchair, alive and with full function of his arms pushing himself towards a school, presumably having once again become a teacher. The credits display cinematic scenes from Resident Evil 6.32818359965_6722708b26_bAction packed all the way through. The animation is better than the first animated movie and the story and acting are great. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I think animation, horror and/or zombie fans will enjoy it too.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

Buffy_The-Vampire-Slayer_logo

MAIN CAST

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Nicholas Brandon (Children of The Corn 3)
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
Charisma Carpenter (Scream Queens)
David Boreanaz (Bones)
Anthony Stewart Head (Ghost Rider 2)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
James Marster (Smallville)
Marc Blucas (Red State)
Emma Caulfield (Darkness Falls)
Michelle Tractenberg (Black Xmas)
Image result for buffy the vampire slayer halloween
GUEST CAST

Robin Sachs (Jurassic Park 2)
Juliet Landau (Ed Wood)
Armin Shimerman (Star Trek DS9)
Larry Bagby (Hocus Pocus)
Aldis Hodge (The Invisible Man)
Kristine Sutherland (Legal Eagles)
Adam Kaufman (Taken)
Lindsay Crouse (Alias)
Walter Jones (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Amber Benson (Ringer)
Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half Men)

HALLOWEEN

Buffy and Angel finally agree to a date, but Buffy is delayed at Pop’s Pumpkin Patch by a vampire. Another vampire films the fight from hiding. As Angel waits at The Bronze, Cordelia shows up and starts flirting with him. When Buffy finally arrives, she is turned away by Cordelia’s sharp tongue. Cordelia continues to hit on Angel, unaware of his history.The next day, Principal Snyder forces Buffy and her friends to chaperone small children while they trick-or-treat. Buffy would rather take a break during the only slow night for vampires. Later, Larry, the school bully, threatens Xander while asking him about Buffy, who smashes Larry into a soda machine. Xander is angered by the damage that does to his reputation. After Xander leaves, Buffy and Willow’s conversation eventually turns to speculation about Angel’s past. The two decide to sneak into Giles’ office and borrow the passed-down Watchers’ Diary. From this, they hope to learn more about what type of women Angel used to be attracted to as a human. Buffy is slightly mopey after her date with Angel didn’t fly, and is eager for information on how to win him over.  The gang has to dress up for Halloween. They head to Ethan’s Costume Shoppe, where Willow gets a ghost costume and Xander buys a toy gun to go with his army fatigues from home. Buffy and Xander make up, but then she spies the most beautiful pink 18th-century gown—one that matches what she has spied from Giles’ Watcher files on Angel. Ethan Rayne, the proprietor, appears and gives it to Buffy.Spike is reviewing Buffy’s fight. Drusilla comes to tell him that someone will make Buffy weak on Halloween night. Meanwhile, Ethan is chanting to a statue of Janus in the back room of his shop. On Halloween night, Buffy persuades Willow to wear a black miniskirt and a long-sleeved crop top, but Willow’s shyness returns; when Buffy goes to answer the doorbell, she covers up with her ghost costume. Later that night, Ethan’s spell takes effect and everyone wearing a costume from his store turns into the respective persona. Willow becomes a real ghost, able to walk through walls; Xander a soldier; and Buffy an 18th-century noble woman.buffy-the-vampire-slayer-halloween-clip-1With Buffy incapable of leading and fighting the threats around them, and Xander armed and skilled in combat because of the spell, Willow is forced to take the lead. She persuades Xander not to shoot the monsters now roaming the streets (as most of them are the trick-or-treaters), and to obey her. They find Buffy disoriented, frightened, and confused by the modern world. Willow rushes them to Buffy’s house, where her mother is conveniently not home. Outside, Cordelia screams and Xander rushes out to save her. They find that Cordelia has not changed into what she is wearing—a cat—because she bought her costume from another store. Willow goes to Giles for help. While Cordelia searches the house, Angel shows up and takes Buffy into the kitchen. As Angel tries to kill a vampire that has sneaked into the house, he reveals his vampire face. Buffy is horrified and runs from the house. Arriving at the library by walking through walls, Willow, after scaring Giles by just showing up where there isn’t a door, tells him about Ethan’s costumes.2x06_002They head to the shop, where Giles reveals that he knows Ethan. He orders Willow to leave and forces Ethan to tell him how to reverse the spell.Spike is looking for Buffy, who enters an alley and meets Larry, now a pirate. Xander arrives to beat up Larry while Willow shows up to warn them of Spike. The gang tries to barricade themselves inside a warehouse, but Spike’s gang breaks in. Spike is trying to kill Buffy; Willow orders Xander to shoot the vampires with his now-real M16, but just then, Ethan reveals the secret to ending the spell and Giles smashes the statue, breaking the spell. Buffy recovers to defeat Spike and he flees. After being corporeal again, Willow, despite the ordeals, also feels confident, discarding her ghost costume and heading home. Oz sees Willow around town again, asking himself “Who is that girl?” Buffy admits to Angel that she was trying to impress him. He tells her that he hated those people back then. The women were dull; he wanted someone exciting. They kiss. The next day, Giles returns to the store to find a note. Ethan has promised to return soon.

Halloween was a superb episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Second Season. This episode introduced us to a new villian from Giles’s past, and I have a feeling we will be seeing him in the future as well. Chaos was the order of the night, on All Hallows Eve in Sunnydale as people started turning into their costumes. It was fun to watch this episode seeing what people were and how they changed. It was also interesting to note that Oz keeps seeing Willow in different aspects, which is a neat way to build their story line. I think that this was another Classic Episode of Buffy Image result for buffy the vampire slayer fear, itself

FEAR, ITSELF

While carving jack-o’-lanterns in Xander’s basement, the gang discusses plans for Halloween; Buffy continues to mope over her situation with Parker. They decide to go to the Alpha-Delta house for a party. The next day at school, Buffy and Oz both express their concerns for Willow and her use of magic. Buffy spots Parker and immediately runs away. Willow follows her, explaining that she should get over it and have fun at the party that night, but Buffy thinks that Giles will want her to patrol. When Buffy goes to visit Giles, she’s surprised to find him embracing the Halloween spirit. He discourages her from patrolling and encourages her to go party. At the Alpha-Delta house, the members are getting ready for the party. One finds a symbol in an old book to paint on the floor. Anya goes to see Xander, wanting to know where their relationship is heading. He agrees that they’re somewhat dating, inviting her to the party. Buffy, who skipped her psych class, visits the professor and asks for her assignment, but she receives a cold response. Riley, however, gives her the assignment, telling her to have fun on Halloween. Oz and Xander carry a sound system to the Alpha-Delta house, and Oz installs it while one guy paints the symbol from the book. Oz cuts his hand, spilling drops of his blood, which activates the ritual to summon Gachnar. Joyce alters one of Buffy’s old costumes, Little Red Riding Hood, and talks with her about how things used to be. Buffy waits outside the house for her friends, and Xander shows up dressed as James Bond. They run into Willow, dressed as Joan of Arc, and Oz, going as God. Everything at the party starts to go awry as fears begin to become real, and the fake scary objects like plastic spiders and skeletons, become alive. The gang enters the house, but they encounter several obstacles. Later, Anya arrives at the party, dressed as a bunny, but she is unable to get inside because the entrances to the house have become sealed up. She sees a girl screaming at a window, and the window then disappears from the house. Inside, Buffy tells the gang to find a way out and get help. A skeleton attacks her from behind, but after she attacks, it becomes fake again. Buffy and Willow fight over Buffy rejecting help from her friends and pushing them away, as well as Buffy and Oz arguing with Willow about her use of witchcraft. Willow insists she can safely do a guidance spell. Meanwhile, Anya goes to Giles for help.
Xander tries to talk to the gang but finds that he’s become invisible to them. Willow and Oz find a staircase and head up. As they’re walking, Oz begins to change into a werewolf and scratches Willow before running away from her. Xander approaches a mirror, and a head on the table behind him says that he can see him. Oz sits in a bathtub, chanting to himself that he isn’t going to change. Willow conjures her spell. However, it quickly spins out of control, and she screams for help as it attacks her. Buffy, hearing Willow’s cries, tries to get to her, but she falls into the basement where bodies come up from the ground and grab at her. Giles and Anya are unable to find a way inside, so Giles cuts a door using a chainsaw. While fleeing through the house, the gang ends up in the room where the mystical symbol is painted. Giles and Anya break into the room. They determine the sign on the floor to be the Mark of Gachnar, and Buffy and Giles express fear about how scary the demon looks in the illustration. Buffy destroys the symbol before Giles can tell her that destroying the symbol will bring Gachnar forth. But when the demon has manifested, it turns out to be merely a few inches in height. After a laugh at absurdity of giving in to one’s fears, Buffy squashes Gachnar with her shoe. At Giles’ place, the gang eats candy while Giles makes a discovery: the arcane footnote below the illustration of Gachnar in his book reads “Actual Size” .
This is one of the best of season 4. We get a thoroughly entertaining plot, the usual wittiness, useful character insight, and a whole lot of fun. This is a modern version of “Nightmares” (1×10), and the fear demon plot works because the characters have changed and new ground is being covered.  Much of what happens here is further setup for the internal conflicts of the season: Willow’s use of magic and growing power, Oz’s beast coming out and having serious repercussions, Xander feeling that he’s not important in the group, Giles’ aimlessness, and Buffy’s relationship issues.

 Image result for buffy the vampire slayer all the way

ALL THE WAY

It is Halloween and Anya has set the gang to work in the magic shop. She sends Buffy to the basement, where she runs into Spike. At his suggestion, Buffy attempts to leave to go patrol with Spike, but Giles points out that Halloween is an inactive day for most evil creatures, and engages Buffy in helping with bagging products.
An elderly man, Kaltenbach, is seen walking down the street humming “Pop Goes the Weasel” while carrying a bag of what appears to be groceries. He enters his home, peers out of a window at the children in costumes walking by, and says he’s going to give them something “special” this year. He then pulls a large knife out of his kitchen drawer.
Image result for buffy the vampire slayer all the way
The Magic Box has enjoyed its busiest day ever, to Anya’s delight. Xander decides that the time is right to announce his engagement to Anya, and the group makes its way back to Buffy’s house to celebrate. Back at the Summers home, Willow conjures up decorations for the party, but Tara now shares Giles’s concerns about Willow’s frivolous use of magic. Willow brushes off these concerns. Dawn tells Buffy that she is going to her friend Janice Penshaw’s house, but really meets Janice and two older boys: Justin and Zack. Dawn becomes attracted to Justin. When the foursome stops in front of “old man” Kaltenbach’s house, Dawn, on a dare, walks up to the porch to smash a pumpkin. She is caught by Kaltenbach, who warns her not to mess with them, then laughs and invites them all inside for a “special treat”. Inside, Justin volunteers to help Kaltenbach with his preparations in the kitchen. The old man is about to cut into a baked dish when Justin, now revealed as a vampire, bites and drains him. Justin then returns to the others and announces that they need to flee because he stole the man’s wallet.
Meanwhile, at the Summers home, Xander, who was already nervous in response to Giles’s serious talk with him about his and Anya’s future plans, becomes even more nervous when Anya chatters with Giles, Buffy and Xander about the wedding and plans for children. On patrol, Buffy runs across an accident scene with a corpse that was left behind by Zack while he was stealing a car. While she is tracking the culprit, she encounters Spike, who passes on a message from Giles: Dawn has misled the adults regarding her plans for the night. Now the whole gang is on the case. At The Bronze, Willow wants to use an extremely risky spell to locate Dawn, but Tara stops her, and an angry argument ensues. In the stolen car, Justin drives Dawn and the others out into the forest and stops. Zack and Janice depart, leaving Justin and Dawn alone in the car. Justin kisses Dawn – her first kiss – and then reveals his vampire face. Dawn attempts to escape from Justin, but he catches her. Giles is quickly on the scene to help, but vampires emerge from several cars, ready to fight. As they close in, Spike and Buffy show up to assist. Dawn runs away from the fight, but Justin finds her. He attempts to change her, but as he is leaning in to bite her neck, Dawn stakes him with a crossbow bolt, fired earlier in the melee. The gang returns home, where Buffy is quick to leave the job of chastising Dawn to Giles, who is unhappy about how Buffy is relying on him so much. Meanwhile, Willow casts a spell on Tara to make her forget their quarrel.

All The Way was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was a great Halloween episode. Zander finally announces that he and Anya are going to get married, much to every ones surprise! I thought Dawns little adventure was fun, and had some mystery and suspense. This episode definitely had the Classic Buffy feel to it. I think there was some character development here for a few characters like Dawn, Willow, and Tara. Willow has been using magic for every little thing and Tara is getting worried.

REVIEW: THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK

JURASSIC PARK 2

CAST

Jeff Goldblum (The Fly)
Julianne Moore (Hannibal)
Pete Postlethwaite (Solomon Kane)
Vince Vaughn (Swingers)
Arliss Howard (Full Metal Jacket)
Richard Attenborough (Doctor Dolittle)
Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street)
Richard Schiff (The West Wing)
Joseph Mazzello (The Social Network)
Ariana Richards (Timescape)
Camilla Belle (When A Stranger Calls)
Robin Sachs (Buffy)
Marjean Holden (Vampire)
Michael Milhoan (That 70s Show)
Mark Pellegrino (Lost)

Four years after Jurassic Park was overrun by cloned dinosaurs on the Central American island of Isla Nublar, a young girl named Cathy Bowman wanders around on nearby Isla Sorna during a family vacation, and survives an attack by a swarm of Compsognathus. Her parents file a lawsuit against the genetics company InGen, now headed by John Hammond’s nephew, Peter Ludlow, who plans to use Isla Sorna to relieve the company of financial losses. Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm meets Hammond at his mansion. Hammond explains that Isla Sorna, abandoned years earlier during a hurricane, is where InGen created their dinosaurs before moving them to Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. Hammond hopes to stop InGen by sending a team to Isla Sorna to document the dinosaurs, to help rally public support against human interference on the island. After learning that his girlfriend, paleontologist Dr. Sarah Harding, is part of the team and is already on the island, Ian agrees to go to Isla Sorna, but only to retrieve her.

Ian meets his teammates, Eddie Carr, an equipment specialist and engineer, and Nick Van Owen, a video documentarian. After arriving on the island, they locate Sarah and discover that Ian’s daughter, Kelly, had stowed away in a trailer being used as a mobile base. They then watch as an InGen team of mercenaries, hunters and paleontologists led by Ludlow arrive to capture several dinosaurs. Meanwhile, team leader Roland Tembo hopes to capture a male Tyrannosaurus by luring it to the cries of its injured infant. That night, Ian’s team sneak into the InGen camp and learn the captured dinosaurs will be brought to a newly proposed theme park in San Diego. This prompts Nick and Sarah to free the caged dinosaurs, wreaking havoc upon the camp.

Nick also frees the infant T. rex and takes it to the trailer to mend its broken leg. After securing Kelly with Eddie, Ian realizes the infant’s parents are searching for it and rushes to the trailer. As soon as Ian arrives, the infant’s parents emerge on both sides of the trailer. The infant is released to the adult T. rexes, which then attack the trailer, pushing it over the edge of a nearby cliff. Eddie soon arrives, but as he tries to pull the trailer back over the edge with an SUV, the adult T. rexes return and devour him. The trailer and the SUV both plummet off the cliff. Ian, Sarah, and Nick are rescued by the InGen team, along with Kelly. With both groups’ communications equipment and vehicles destroyed, they team up to reach the old InGen compound’s radio station on foot.

The next night, the two adult T. rexes find the group’s camp. The female T. rex chases the group to a waterfall cave, while Roland tranquilizes the male. Much of the remaining InGen team is killed by Velociraptors while fleeing through a tall grass savannah. Nick runs ahead to the communications center at the InGen Worker’s Village to call for rescue. When Ian, Sarah and Kelly arrive, they are attacked by the raptors. They evade the raptors until a helicopter arrives and transports them off the island.

A freighter transports the male T. rex to the mainland, but crashes into the dock after the crew is killed by a creature of unknown species. A guard opens the cargo hold, accidentally releasing the T. rex, which escapes into San Diego and goes on a rampage. Ian and Sarah retrieve the infant T. rex from a secure InGen building and use it to lure the adult back to the ship. Ludlow tries to intervene but is trapped in the cargo hold by the adult T. rex and mauled by the infant. Before the adult can escape again, Sarah tranquilizes it while Ian closes the hold. The T. rexes are escorted back to Isla Sorna, and Hammond says that the American and Costa Rican governments have agreed to declare the island a nature preserve, affirming that “life will find a way”.

It’s by no way a cheap show, and there are plenty of fun moments. Vince Vaughn and Pete Postlethwaite have fairly interesting characters, even if the rest of the supporting cast is along just to be eaten alive.

REVIEW: STAR TREK: VOYAGER – SEASON 1-7

 voyagerMAIN CAST

Kate Mulgrew (Lovepsell)
Robert Beltran (Big Love)
Tim Russ (Samantha Who?)
Robert Duncan McNeill (Masters of The Universe)
Roxann Dawson (Darkman III)
Garrett Wang (Into The West)
Robert Picardo (Stargate: Atlantis)
Ethan Phillips (Bad Santa)
Jennifer Lien (Ameircan History X)
Jeri Ryan (Arrow)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Armin Shimerman (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Scott MacDonald (Jack Frost)
Bertila Damas (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Majel Barrett (Earth: Final Conflict)
Martha Hackett (Leprechaun 2)
Vaughn Armstrong (Power Rangers LIghtspeed Rescue)
Anthony De Longis (Highlander: The Series)
Marjorie Monaghan  (Andromeda)
Brian Markinson (Izombie)
Carolyn Seymour (Congo)
Rob LaBelle (Dark Angel)
Thomas Dekker (Terminator: TSCC)
John Rubinstein (Legends of Tomorrow)
Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue)
Aron Eisenberg (Puppet Master 3)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Nancy Hower (Catch and Release)
Jack Shearer (End of Days)
Zoe McLellan (Dungeons & Dragons)
Gary Graham (Alien Nation)
Glenn Morshower (Supergirl)
Joel Grey (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Rick Worthy (Collateral Damage)
Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon A Time)
Brad Dourif (Curse of Chucky)
Gerrit Graham (Child’s Play 2)
John De Lancie (The Hand That Rocks The Cradle)
Jonathan Frakes (Roswell)
Carel Struycken (The Addams Family)
Thomas Kopache (Catch Me If You Can)
Michael McKean (Smallville)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
George Takei (Heroes)
Grace Lee Whitney (60s Batman)
Michael Ansara (Batman: TAS)
Robert Prine (V)
James Parks (Django Unchained)
Estelle Harris (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Keene Curtis (Stargate SG.1)
Harry Groener (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Sarah Silverman (A Million Ways To Die In The West)
Ed Begley jr. (Veronica Mars)
Brad Greenquist (Alias)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Harve Presnell (Lois & Clark)
Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)
Alan Openheimer (Transformers)
Kristanna Loken (Bloodrayne)
Jessica Collins (Tru Calling)
Rachael Harris (New Girl)
Wendy Schaal (American Dad)
John Rhys-Davies (Lord of The Rings)
Leland Orser (Seven)
Rosemary Forsyth (Disclosure)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and a Half Men)
Judson Scott (V)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Mark Metcalf (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Virginia Madsen (Highlander 2)
Ray Wise (Agent Carter)
Zach Galligan (Gremlins)
Kate Vernon (Battlestar Galactica)
Tucker Smallwood (Traffic)
Ray Walston (The Sting)
Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe)
Scarlett Pomers (Reba)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Willie Garson (Stargate SG.1)
Mark Harelik (The Big Bang Theory)
Lori Petty (Tank Girl)
William Morgan Sheppard (Transformers)
Susanna Thompson (Arrow)
LeVar Burton (Roots: The Gift)
Musetta Vander (Stargate SG.1)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Ron Canada (Just Like Heaven)
Ian Abercrombie (Birds of Prey)
Kevin Tighe (Lost)
Bradley Pierce (Jumanji)
Titus Welliver (Agents of SHIELD)
John Savage (Dark Angel)
Alicia Coppola (Empire)
Martha Hackett (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Larry Hankin (Breaking Bad)
Christopher Neame (Ghostbusters II)
James Saito (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Mel Winkler (Coach Carter)
Henry Darrow (The Hitcher)
Alan Scarfe (Andromeda)
Larry Cedar (Deadwood)
Maury Ginsberg (Jessica Jones)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Bob Clendenin (THat 70s Show)
Don McManus (Mom)
Leslie Jordan (Ugly Betty)
Eugene Roche (Soap)
Bruce Davison (X-Men)
Athena Massey (Cyber Tracker 2)
Suzie Plakson (How I Met Your Mother)
Lori Hallier (My Bloody Valentine)
Gary Bullock (Species)
Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul)
Marshall R. Teague (Babylon 5)
Wayne Pére (Cloak & Dagger)
Andy Dick (Road Trip)
Wade Williams (Gangster Squad )
Todd Babcock (GOds and Monsters)
Joseph Ruskin (The Scorpion King0
Ned Romero (Hang ‘Em High)
Christopher Shea (Charmed)
Lee Arenberg (Pirates of The Caribbean)
Scott Thompson (Hannibal)
David Burke (The Tick)
Bruce McGill (Lincoln)
Dakin Matthews (Child’s Play 3)
Eric Steinberg (Stargate SG.1)
Mark Moses (Mad Men)
Richard McGonagle (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Kamala Lopez (Deep Cover)
Ray Xifo (Stargate SG.1)
Paul Williams (Batman: TAS)
Ted Rooney (Roswell)
Mark Deakins (The Devil’s Advocate)
Larry Drake (Darkman)
Jeff Yagher (V)
Jonathan Del Arco (Star Trek: Picard)
Scott Lawrence (Avatar)
Robin Sachs (Babylon 5)
Michael Shamus Wiles (Breaking Bad)
Robert Ito (Batman: TAS)
Joseph Campanella (Hangar 18)
Autumn Reeser (Sully)
Andy Milder (Transformers)
Jonathan Breck (Jeepers Creepers)
Eric Pierpoint (Alien NAtion)
Claire Rankin (Stargate: Atlantis)
Robert Knepper (Cult)
Mimi Craven  (A NIghtmare on Elm Street)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Richard Herd (V)
Daniel Dae Kim (Lost)
Obi Ndefo (Angel)
Lindsey Ginter (Hercules: TLJ)
Jeffrey Combs (The Frightners)
Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious 7)
J.G. Hertzler (Roswell)
Manu Intiraymi  (Go)
Richard Riehle (Texas Chainsaw 3D)
Mark Sheppard (Firefly)
Tony Amendola (Annabelle)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
Tamara  Marie Watson (Odyssey 5)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Gregory Itzin (Firefly)
John Franklin (Children of The Corn)
Ron Glass (Firefly)
Jeff Kober (New Girl)
Robert Axelrod (Power Rangers)
Sherman Howard (Superbo)
Robert Joy (Amityville 3)
Alice Krige (Children of Dune)

Star Trek: Voyager is a great series to watch. The initial concept of the show is pretty simple: USS Voyager is taken to the delta quadrant against there will and are stranded there – leaving them no choice to but to embark on a long and dangerous journey home.

The Voyager series brings in a lot of new and old ideas about the star trek universe. The new idea of having a holographic doctor and being able to send him on away-missions is a very complex and entertaining idea. The idea of two opposing factions banding together to work as one crew is new. However, some old ideas do still remain for example the unattractive uniforms, colour designations, button sounds and the weakness of their ship.

The cast is full of good actors. At first the characters were green and so was the acting, but by the second season the characters and acting seemed to flow much better. Captain Jane-way certainly looks and feels like a leader and her choices are often made by seeking advice from other crew members, but some of her decisions are startlingly dark and immoral. There were a lot of recurring minor roles for actors and they brought a unique feel to the show.

One of the best things I like about this series is that it gets very technical, but is also dumbed-down enough to make sure the ordinary lay-man (like myself) can still understand what’s going on. The addition of Seven of Nine was a great idea. Jeri Ryan brought in a great sex appeal and added further to the technical stand-points in the show. I fully enjoyed learning a lot about the Borg. It is one of the species I was most interested in.
If you want to know about the Borg, this is the series to watch. Also, this series is very dark. At some points I had shed some tears. Rick Berman was shooting for a darker Star Trek and he made it happen. Overall, this is a wonderful show. It outlines betrayal, morality, trust, honor and integrity. Each episode takes you on journey to learning a new life lesson.

REVIEW: FANTASTIC FOUR (1994): THE COMPLETE SERIES

CAST
Beau Weaver (Transformers)
Lori Alan (Family Guy)
Chuck McCann (Ducktales)
Brian Austin Green (Anger Management)
Quinton Flynn (Digimon)
Neil Ross (Being John Malkovich)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Robin Sachs (Buffy)
John Rhys-Davies (Lord of The Rings)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Jane Carr (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
John Vernon (Batman: TAS)
Simon Templeman (The Neighbours)
Brad Garrett (The Crazy Ones)
Richard Grieco (21 Jump Street)
Clyde Kusatsu (Bird on a Wire)
Kerrigan Mahan (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Alan Oppenheimer (He-Man)
Gary Owens (That 70s Shows)
Bill Smitrovich (Ted)
1030667-0-q80
Launched in 1994 as part of Marvel’s Action Hour in the USA (alongside Iron Man), this then new cartoon attempted to bring Marvel’s First Family  to the attention of a new generation. The main US comic book of the time included a free ‘animation cel’ with #394 to promote the series and later a spin off comic book of the cartoon was launched. In its first season, the show is disappointing. Reduced to a crude sitcom, the show is creaky, toe curling and cheesy beyond belief.  Worst of all, Sue Richards is reduced to mere ‘damsel in distress’ for the entirety of the season, functioning only as a simpering wife and mother to the men on the team. Compared to the superior Batman: The Animated Series of the time and even Marvel’s other cartoons of the period Spider-man, X-Men and Iron Man, its not hard to feel disappointed with the translation of the Fantastic Four to the small screen.

Thankfully, the approach of Season One , with its comedy landlord and irksome stereotypes don’t seemed to have found favour with audiences either and the show was given a serious overhaul for Season Two. The improvement in storytelling is immense and does a much better job of servicing the characters and situations they find thermselves in. The theme tune and accompanying score are still pretty naff though, all synthesized fanfares and flat sounding parps.
ff-toon-90s-121720
The Inhumans three parter is my favourite, giving all its key characters a chance to shine and the romance between Johnny Storm and Crystal is nicely done, There’s also some neat guest appearances for The Avengers, Black Panther and even Ego – The Living Planet. As with all of Clear Vision’s Marvel releases, the set is attractively packaged with some nice artwork by Simon Williams and the picture is pin sharp and vibrant. The sound is superb as well, being dolby 5.1 stereo. There’s nothing in the way of any extras though, just the usual language and episode selections.