Thursday, 23 June 2005

Quote of the Day

“I haven’t been avoiding you. I’ve been helping you avoid me.”—Odo (to Kira) in DS9’s “Tears of the Prophets”

Saturday, 11 June 2005

You ask, we answer

OFJay has a couple of thoughts worth responding to:

Why is it that Trek fans absolutely, positively, demonizingly hate Voyager? It’s as if that show had no merit whatsover either as a Trek show or as a TV show. This inquiring mind would like to know.

I don’t know that fans necessarily “hate” Voyager, although most would probably have it tied with Enterprise for the nadir of televised Trek. I think the main problem with the series is that televised science fiction had “grown up” since The Next Generation came on the air, as more sophisticated shows like Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5 were out there, and Voyager quickly settled in as essentially redoing TNG with an inferior cast; its oft-discussed failure to deliver on its premise left it in the position of having less intelligent things to say about pushing the limits of Trekkian ideology than DS9 did in the comparatively “safe” confines of the Alpha Quadrant.

That said, there were lots of elements of Voyager that really worked, and some of the best hours of modern Trek were on the show. It just never added up to much of anything more. (This critique probably also applies to Enterprise.)

It’s been less than a month since the season ender for House but I sure miss that cranky doctor. And the “tall dark one,” the “little girl,” and the Aussie that “would run like a scared wombat.” Also Lisa Edelstein, who played a post-op transvestite in Ally McBeal and a real woman in the last season of The Practice. At least they’ve signed it on for a second season.

Indeed, despite the occasional gore (something I’m really averse to), House M.D. is probably my favorite network show these days. Greg House is probably the best unlikeable character on TV since at least early Andy Sipowicz, and possibly even Basil Fawlty. Add my thing for Sela Ward and you have must-see TV in the fall.

Sunday, 15 May 2005

Berman fatigue

I am in general agreement with Steven Taylor’s assessment of the final two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise; indeed, I think “Terra Prime” probably would have functioned just as well if it had been the finale. Plus, I really liked the fact they actually found something useful to do with Travis Mayweather—I think he had more lines in the “Demons/Terra Prime” two-parter than he’d had in whole seasons; he certainly had more useful things to do. I still have to wonder what bizarre fashion trend made everyone on Earth abandon normal clothing in favor of jumpsuits between 216x and the TOS era, however.

As for the finale itself, I can’t agree more with this statement:

Unfortunately These are the Voyages underscores Berman’s lack of understanding of what should have been done with Enterprise–here is the chance to focus on the founding of the Federation and instead we get a side-story about Shran’s kidnapped daughter and the ramifications of that event, including the poorly written, poorly acted, gratuitous death of Trip. One tunes in assuming that the story would be about the decommissioning of Enterprise and the signing of the Federation Charter, and yet we don’t actually get to see any of it (save a few minutes in the final act).

The surrounding story on the Enterprise-D made little sense, didn’t fit in with the events it supposedly was a part of, and was really quite unsatisfactory—and I actually like Riker and Troi, unlike a goodly portion of the fan base. About the only good thing about the episode was its showcasing of Connor Trinneer—and the D/TP two-parter did a better job of that too.

In other sci-fi news, Friday also saw Andromeda finally put out of its (and my) misery. The scary thing is that the best sci-fi on Friday night was probably the damn rerun of Battlestar Galactica’s “Litmus,” and it was barely sci-fi at all. I also learned about the Monty Hall Dilemma on Numb3ers, which you’d think I’d have known as an applied stats guy but it somehow never came up.

Of course, I didn’t see any of this live since I was actually in Pearl at the time watching the Mississippi Braves at Trustmark Park, courtesy of friends-of-friends Michelle and David.

Thursday, 5 May 2005

Hey jealousy

Jacqueline is seeing Serenity tomorrow. I’m stuck at home watching Enterprise.* Life isn’t fair.

Monday, 2 May 2005

Time after time

Someone is trying to organize a “time traveler convention” this weekend at MIT. I’ve read and seen enough science fiction to know this is a really, really bad idea—particularly if it works. (þ: Alex Knapp)

Tuesday, 12 April 2005

Ain't nothin' but a horndog

While not entirely fair, I have to admit Jacqueline’s title for this post about the Battlestar Galactica miniseries gave me a good chuckle.

Plus, I want to find this gym where I can watch my own DVDs while I’m on the treadmill…

Thursday, 31 March 2005

Stallone and Selleck: Prophets before their time

Jeff Licquia finds that thieves are discovering something anyone who saw Demolition Man twelve years ago already knew: biometrics don’t do a good job checking whether or not the owner is still attached to the thing being scanned. For that matter, the Tom Selleck sci-fi flick Runaway showed biometric scamming in action 21 years ago. Do the people who come up with these things just not watch sci-fi films?

Friday, 11 March 2005

Special Handling

Tonight’s episode of Battlestar Galactica is the thoroughly awesome “Hand of God,” which is probably the best single episode of the first season (“Kobol’s Last Gleaming,” the season-ending two-parter, is equally as good, but spread out over two episodes). And don’t miss the podcast commentary by Ron Moore while you’re at it. (þ: UBSGB).

Also tonight: Stargate SG-1’s “Threads,” a 90-minute episode which promises to wrap up quite a few plotlines in time for the season finale.

Saturday, 5 March 2005

Galactica fan humor

Jeff Harrell is proposing a T-shirt design to help you join the new McCarthyism.

Incidentally, I initially considered this week’s episode (“Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down”) the weakest outing of the first season, but on second viewing it’s grown on me a bit. And those of you who just tune in to sci-fi shows for cool explosions won’t want to miss next week’s episode, “Hand of God,” also featuring the coolest bit of misdirection I’ve seen in a long time.

Another thing: don’t miss the Unofficial Battlestar Galactica Blog.

Wednesday, 23 February 2005


Starting in July we’re gonna get 20 more episodes of Battlestar Galactica according to Sci-Fi Wire. While the renewal was already public knowledge, the announcement that we’re getting 20 shows (up from 13 this season) with all of the main cast members returning (which, in some circles, might count as a spoiler) is the real news. (þ: David Janes)

This is my entry in today’s OTB Traffic Jam.

Sunday, 20 February 2005

Libertarians in space

David Janes observes in response to Ron Moore’s latest posting to his Battlestar Galactica blog:

No wonder I think this show is so good. The writer’s a fracken Libertarian.

Indeed. But it’s spelled “frakkin’.” Moore is also in quite a celebratory mood over news of the renewal, as one might expect, and gives some good answers to questions on such things as the rank structure, evolution, and what we can expect to see in Season 2 (although not really in a spoilery way).

Thursday, 10 February 2005

Galactica renewed

Monday, 7 February 2005

Trek going back to the fans

Former Star Trek producer Ron Moore has posted his thoughts on where Trek goes next in the post-Enterprise era to his blog.

Thursday, 3 February 2005

More on the cancellation of ENT

Following up from yesterday, Steven Taylor links an E! Online piece on the demise of Star Trek: Enterprise.

Wednesday, 2 February 2005

Enterprise canned

The writing on the wall was there for some time, but now it’s official; Star Trek: Enterprise will come to an end after four seasons on UPN. Although I have to say that (at least creatively) Enterprise was on the rebound, hopefully this will give the powers that be behind Trek a few years to sit down and rethink their approach to telling stories; maybe they’ll even learn something from Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica, which is getting significantly better ratings in a less desirable timeslot and with a big chunk of the potential audience having already seen the episodes that have already aired in Britain. (þ: OTB)

Tuesday, 21 December 2004

Merry Christmas

By popular command…

Sunday, 21 November 2004

TV sci-fi renaissance?

Is TV sci-fi back? PoliBlog’s Steven Taylor takes note of the recent improvements in Enterprise (or is it Star Trek: Enterprise?), Stargate Atlantis has had a fairly impressive first half-season, and I hear, since I wouldn’t want to go against the wishes of creator Ron Moore and use BitTorrent to download any episodes before the scheduled January U.S. debut, that the new Battlestar Galactica series is the most kick-ass TV sci-fi since Firefly.

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

Edwards promises Goa'uld sarcophogi to all

You know, if George Bush had said something this idiotic, he’d be the laughingstock of America. But the unfortunate phrasing of the day award goes to John Edwards on the stump:

People like Chris Reeve [of blessed memory – ed.] will get out of their wheelchairs and walk again.

There’s nowhere to even start with that one.

Monday, 5 April 2004

MidSouthCon 22

It’s taken a week for me to get around to posting about it, after a lightning strike fried a modem, a hub, and a network card, leaving chez Sides with only one fully functional computer, but last weekend I attended MidSouthCon 22 here in Memphis.

Unlike previous years, when I spent most of my time playing D&D, this year I spent most of my time playing and running board games: Settlers of Catan, Princes of Florence, Ra, Pirate’s Cove, and New England.

I ran a game of Settlers of Catan that Mark from the Conservative Zone played in.

I also extended my collection of dragon art with a print of Cherry Blossom by Maia Sanders, part of her “Dragon Garden” series. I wish I’d picked up a print of Black Pine as well. They would make a nice pair.

Wednesday, 11 February 2004