Tag Archives: TV

The 100: Series 4 review

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I thought I’d revive an old Blogga the Hutt tradition – the classic out of date review of The 100. We still don’t have an air date for series 6 so to fill the void I’ll revisit series 4 and (hopefully soon!) season 5 to refresh my memory.

Azgeda and Roan

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Roan bilaik Azgeda Haihefa ba em kru thosti gaf  hed op Polis

Roan had proved himself a useful ally to Clarke and Lexa during the ALIE crisis. But his people still hungered for domination and he grew mistrustful of Clarke after she kept him in the dark. In the power vacuum after the death of Lexa it was easy for Roan to seize control of Polis, though it was ultimately to be a short lived victory.

Ilian

Ilian

Ilian kom Trishanakru frag em nomon op kos ridou tiya em melon

This series introduced us to new character Ilian from the Trishanakru tribe. We saw his perspective on the ALIE crisis as he awoke mere seconds after killing his mother when compelled against his will. This experience lead him to despise all technology, even the sacred ‘flame’ used by the Commander. He gathered followers and sought to destroy all technology, sabotaging Clarke’s efforts to save lives.

Praimfaya

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Non ron off Praimfaya – em flosh ething klin

The greatest threat in this series was revealed by ALIE who stated that her forcing people to take the chip was actually a desperate attempt to save humanity from the combined meltdown of all nuclear reactors which the Grounder dubbed Praimfaya, their name for the nuclear war that wiped out civilization. This threat, and the realisation that it wouldn’t be stopped was what drove Clarke and others to push all their limits in a desperate attempt for survival.

Clarke and the 100

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Clarke teik aulana haken kik thru  Praimfaya ba wan em op

This season pushed Clarkre harder than ever as she had to first keep the secret of Praimfaya. She created a survival bunker, knowing that it would only contain 100 people. I really like the way the showrunners keep finding ways of making the title relevant. Later she went even further, resorting to experiments using her nightblood to trial radiation resistance on unwilling subjects. In the end she found her humanity in the only way she could, by saving her friends.

Jaha and the Second Dawn

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Jaha sak bonka daun kep Skaikru in

After pursuing the City of Light and bringing ALIEs control on the world Jaha was desperate to redeem himself. His efforts ultimately did prove successful as he found the Second Dawn cult bunker that saved the remnant of humanity but even then his need to control was misplaced as he tried to seize control of the bunker for Skaikru alone.

Octavia and the Final Conclave

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Oktavia laik Skaikru  yontsleya  den em bilaik Blodreina kom Wonkru

The series came to a dramatic conclusion as the tribes each chose a warrior to fight for whose clan would get to claim the bunker. This was basically The Hunger Games but it really worked and made sense in the setting it was in. The added tension of having known characters like Roan and Ilian in the fight made it extremely tense, along with Luna’s conviction that if she won humanity would be allowed to perish. But Octavia’s victory the the formation of Wonkru was a true surprise result, with each clan choosing 100 members to form a new clan and survive.

 

The 100 is one of the few shows to go from strength to strength. I’ve truly enjoyed all the seasons so far and season 5 was also a great one and I can’t wait to reminisce on it soon

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Sluggish Reaction: Cloak and Dagger Season 1 and 2

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While Marvel are crushing the box office and planning to launch big-name shows on their upcoming Disney+ service it is well worth noting that there are some great shows that may be smaller but are also incredibly well made. They tell personal stories while still delivering great superhero moments.

One of those shows is Cloak and Dagger.

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The show stars Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen and Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Thompson. As children they both fell into water as a nearby Roxxon rig exploded. Years later when they reconnect their contact unlocks their powers giving Tandy the ability to created daggers of light and Tyrone the ability to teleport.

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But their powers go beyond that. When they connect to other people they can sense what is inside them. Tyrone can uncover people’s fears while Tandy finds their hopes. Their powers grow and take strange turns as they develop leading to some really trippy sequences as they go into the minds of others and their own.

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The show is set in New Orleans (a departure from the comics) and weaved the culture of the city, particularly Voodoo practices, into the essence of the story. This is particularly strong in the second season as the pair encounter the Loa and cross into another dimension. I found this a little heavy at times but it did make the show stand out from others and give it a unique flavour. It is a part of the MCU, with some small references to other materials – mostly the Defenders – but largely is on it’s own which is fine with me.

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The show is a little slow-moving compared to other Marvel projects but for me it was a refreshing change of pace and the impact comes from the development of the characters. The pacing is believable with Season 1 dealing with the pair understanding and learning to control their powers and Season 2 dealing with them understanding what to do with them while also trying to get on with their lives, neither of which are going particularly well with Ty trying to be a perfect student while fighting to bring down the cops who murdered his brother and Tandy dealing with a troubled home life and the urge to run away from it all.

It is a slow build up but when the action comes Cloak and Dagger delivers some spic fight scenes that are all the better for having waited for them. This clip with Ty using teleportation to take down a stronger thug is perhaps one of my best Marvel moments of all time!

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Season 2 ended on an open but positive note. I’m hopeful we will get another season but for now we know there will be a crossover episode with Runaways another teen Marvel series I really enjoyed watching and I can’t wait to see it!

If you’re a superhero fan and you get the chance to watch this – I’d definitely recommend it.

 

 

Species of the week: Astran

astran

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Astra

Notable members: Crixon

Fandom: Marvel [MCU]

Appearances: Agents of SHIELD

 

Astrans were a powerful and widespread species with significant influence. They were humanoid with green skin and metallic bone protrusions that varied from member to member. They were politically in league with the Kree and four other races in an alliance called the Confederacy. The confederacy leader Crixon promised Earth protection from Thanos in exchange for Gravitonium and Inhuman warriors they could control but they never intended to keep their end of the bargain. Astrans were a common sight across the galaxy with a number present on the planet Kitson.

I’ve been enjoying the latest season of SHIELD, which seems to be mixing the fun Earth-bound adventure vibe of earlier runs with the darker space adventure of season 5. I do like the mix of aliens they are bringing in on their TV budget with just enough to sell the alien worlds mixed in with a number of races that look just like humans!!

Species of the week: Pahvan

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Pahvo

Fandom: Star Trek

Appearances: Star Trek Discovery

The Pahvans are a planet-wide network of noncorporeal beings who exist in perfect harmony. Manifesting as a blue cloud they were able to communicate with other species when they came into direct contact. Despite their lack of bodies they were able to build physical constructs including a transmitter calling other races to join them in harmony.

The Pahvans felt familiar to me, but I can’t put my finger on what they remind me of. I guess any noncorporeal entity is going to look pretty similar and I do love an alien that is truly alien to even a multi-species Federation

Species of the Week: Gormagander

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Designation: non-sentient

Homeworld: Unknown, possibly none

Fandom: Star Trek

Appearances: Star Trek Discovery

 

Gormaganders are large creatures the size of a small spaceship who dwell in the open reaches of space. They were endangered,  partially because of hunting, but also because their need to seek out alpha particles, their main source of food, overrode all their other instincts, including reproduction. Encounters of these creatures were extremely rare and any discovery prompted recovery to a xenologic facility under the Endangered Species Act.

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I do love a good space whale, and I respect that Star Trek: Discovery were gutsy enough to just call it such in the episode. I think as long as they’re not overused within the fictional universe they belong to (something I think Star Wars is at risk of) then they are a fascinating idea to explore and I always like seeing new and original designs on the concept.

Star Wars for very young kids – part 2

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We’re living in a great time for Star Wars fans who want to introduce their younglings to Star Wars but don’t want to expose them to too much violence. In this post I’ve selected episodes from Season 2 of Forces of Destiny that have no fighting or at least keep the action to a minimum.

You can read my post about season 1 episodes HERE

Shuttle Shock

Shuttle Shock is a fun adventure featuring BB-8. Kids adore the little droid (especially when he does his trademark thumbs up!) so it’s an instant favourite. The episode is an interlude in The Last Jedi with Finn and Rose en route to Canto Bight. They come across some giant space jellyfish which shock the shuttle and present mild peril but they aren’t particularly scary in themselves kids love the bright colours and they don’t appear too scary.

Jyn’s Trade

Jyn’s Trade is a sweet episode featuring Jyn Erso having a run in with an adorable Chadra-Fan child who steals her necklace in the hopes of trading it for some food. After chasing the child and retrieving her necklace she realises that all the child wants is to eat so she willingly gives her food.

The Path Ahead

“Can we watch Yoda in the bag?” is something I’ve heard often. This episode features more of Luke’s training on Dagobah and the wise master teaching his pupil to trly on the force to navigate. But seeing Yoda wriggle into Luke’s backpack and his classic chuckle is a great way to introduce kids to Star Wars. I would definitely say this is my number one recommendation, especially as it ties so closely to the Empire Strikes Back scene.

Porgs!

This episode features Chewie and R2 on Ach-To dealing with some pesky Porgs who steal wiring from the Falcon. After chasing them down they help the creatures find better materials to build their nest and leave them in peace. Kids love the hilarious Porgs and it’s a great way to introduce them to Chewie and R2.

 

These are the episodes which feature no weapons or violence of any kind. The following videos do feature them in a limited sense but I still feel they’re suitable as they don’t feature violence in a direct way.

 

Porgs!

Another episode on Ach-To with the pesky birds, this time causing problems for Rey when they activate her lightsaber then run off with it. I’ve added it here because the lightsaber is activated but it’s never used as a weapon and it is retrieved safely by Rey.

Monster Misunderstanding

I add this one here hesitantly because it does feature blasters firing, but never at people. The Sando Aqua Monster is ramming a building on Naboo. I tell kids that the Naboo guard are trying to scare it away as the blasters don’t appear to be harming the creature at all. The Sando Aqua Monster is less scary than it’s appearance in Phantom Menace and never directly attacks Amidala or other characters and, when reunited with it’s child, is seen playing peacefully in the ocean. Personally I think it’s fine for young kids, but you might want to watch it first and make your own judgement.

 

And that’s it for Forces of Destiny. However there are plenty more videos for young kids out there, including the growing collection of Galaxy of Adventures shorts so I’ll be back soon with another post!

Species of the week: Kel Dor

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Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Dorin

Notable members: Bo Keevil, Plo Koon

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Resistance, Prequel Trilogy, Clone Wars

 

The Kel Dor come from a planet with an atmosphere toxic to most  other species. This requires them to wear breathing equipment in what is considered a normal environment by most other species. Their species were most famous for their expert pilots; including Jedi Master Plo Koon and experminatal stunt fighter pilot and Ace Squadron member Bo Keevil.

 

OK so I haven’t seen much of Star Wars: Resistance but the fact that he is a Kel Dor has made Bo Keevil a favourite character of mine. It also doesn’t hurt that he has a sweet-looking experimental ship with multiple wing configurations that I would have given my left arm for a toy version of as a kid. We need more Bo Keevil!!!

Species of the week: Kelpien

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Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Kaminar

Notable members: Commander Saru

Fandom: Star Trek

Appearances: Star Trek: Discovery

 

Kelpiens are a species native to the agrarian world of Kaminar. On their world there are only predators or prey and their species are the prey. As such they have extremely heightened sense and abilities including threat ganglia that instinctively raise in the presence of danger. Very few of their species venture offworld and Saru was the first member to leave and join Starfleet.

I’m getting into Star Trek: Discovery and I like the design of Saru who has a modern aesthetic that still would feel at home with classic Trek races.

Star Wars for very young kids – part 1

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If you have very young children you may find yourself wishing Star Wars had just a little less…war in it so that you can share it with them. Thankfully we are in a golden age of Star Wars and there is a decent amount of content out there now where no one picks up a blaster or lightsaber, which I’m going to cover here.

Starting this week, I’ve picked out some episodes from Forces of Destiny season 1.

Sands of Jakku

The first episode of season 1 features Rey shortly after meeting BB-8. They encounter the night watcher worm, which might be scary for some children. Rey gets BB-8 back without using violence and then takes pity on the creature, feeding it which sends a positive message

 

The Padawan Path

This episode features Ahsoka who is late for a Jedi Ceremony. She runs late because she stops to help people in need. She does use her lightsabers in the episode but only to safely disable a malfunctioning droid, which she does without destroying it.

 

Beasts of Echo Base

This episode features Leia rescuing Chewie from a Wampa. The wampa is quite scary, though less so than it’s appearance in Empire. Leia puts herself in danger and distracts the wampa so Chewie can escape. No weapons are used.

 

Tracker Trouble

This episode features Rey, Finn, Han and Chewie finding a bomb aboard the Falcon. There’s no violence at all, but the episode is very wordy and not very engaging for younger viewers (or older ones in my personal opinion!)

 

An Imperial Feast

While the episode is technically about Ewoks trying to eat Stormtroopers it is very safe for kids. It features some slapstick humour and the kids will love the Ewoks. It also has a message about resolving conflict peacefully.

 

The Happabore Hazard

This episode features Rey retrieving a Quadjumper. She stops and has compassion on a Happabore (the big beast Finn shares a drinking pool with) who in turn helps her.

Crash Course

This episode is fairly safe, but I felt it was mostly punishing you for not watching Rebels as I had no idea what was going on, which I felt was a problem with the second half of the season. I didn’t have a problem with using Ahsoka and Sabine, but this episode assumed you knew the context of the story as well. If your kids are watching Rebels then you probably don’t need this video!!!

 

Well that’s it for season 1. I’ll post again with selected videos from season 2 soon

Sluggish Reaction: The Man in the High Castle seasons 1 and 2

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I gave Amazon Prime Video a whirl recently and one of the big draws for me (alongside them getting Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger) was this series. I love Philip K. Dick novels and they are seemingly an unending source of inspiration for  film and television producers as this latest addition shows. This is one of the novels I’ve never got round to reading but it’s Post-WW2 setting had always intrigued me as it stood out from most of Dick’s work which is set in the future. So the chance to see it on screen was very exciting.

The Plot

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I’ll try to avoid spoilers as much as possible going into this. The show is set in 60s in the U.S. a few years after Nazi Germany and Japan won the war by dropping a nuclear bomb on Washington D.C. America has been divided into the Greater Nazi Reich and the Japanese Pacific States with a lawless wasteland dubbed the Neutral Zone in between.

The Plot centres around the Resistance against both Japan and Germany, with tensions in both countries raised due to an ageing and increasingly unstable Fuhrer. But the show has a Sci-Fi twist with the inclusion of the titular character who collects films which show an alternate reality where the Allies won the war.

I respect that the show doesn’t make this a focal point except where it needs to be, the plot is centered on the characters and their struggle and the films are a mystery to most of the characters and the audience.

The Characters

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The show features a range of characters who are all compelling. Unassuming Juliana is drawn into the world of the Resistance by her sister’s death and cannot let go, though it costs her nearly everything even Frank who wants to stay out of it but is compelled to fight back as the consequences of her actions affect him. One of the most intriguing characters is John Smith, devoted family man and the very dangerous leader of the SS in the United States. All the characters have a real humanity and are trying to make their way in the world they find themselves in and you can’t help sympathizing with all of them.

A-Bombs and F-bombs

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The second season in particular builds tension as supposed allies Japan and Germany both contemplate the possibility of nuclear war to secure their foothold and characters on both sides conflict with their loyalty to their leaders when faced with the possibility of mutually assured destruction.

I would mention that the series does have a fair amount of salty language in, which I wasn’t keen on. The obvious argument would be that it builds realism and fits with the darker tone of the show but I personally felt that the series stood well enough on it’s own to not need that. There is also some nudity, which is sparingly used, but again I didn’t feel was at all necessary to the plot.

Verdict

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The show has a great cast and is finely crafted. The first season felt a bit slow in getting going (particularly with the epically long title sequence!!) but it put the building blocks in place and the second season felt stronger because of it.

I know season 3 is out now, but unfortunately for me there wasn’t enough on Prime Video for me to continue subscribing so maybe I’ll pick this up again in the future as well as get around to reading the novel!!