Saturday, October 17, 2015

Eye on Sci-Fi - The X-Files, Star Wars, The Martian, SyFy does what it does - cancel shows

October 2015
By Ken Parker

Lots of series canceled, lots of stuff coming up and a look at The Martian movie.

Continuum Series - So after 4 seasons, Continuum is done.  I followed the show since day one and for the most part I found the entire thing enjoyable.  I felt the show never ever was on track with a true direction and that might be representative of the time travel nature of the story.  The show was constantly trying to find an identity and often changed direction.  I don't think it ever figured itself out and even in the final mini season, it just barely managed to put all the pieces together.  It was not a bad show and the ending approached a satisfying conclusion but not sure it was worth the 4 years to get there.  If you are looking for a time travel, conundrum and paradox show that looks at how and why one might want to change history, this series has some great concepts and excellent characters.

Defiance Canceled - After 3 seasons SyFy has canceled Defiance.  This is another show that I think lost its way a bit but no where near as bad as Continuum.  The show had some great ideas with the integration of several alien cultures and a post apocalyptic Earth.  The series did end with a half way decent ending that could have been a cliffhanger but works just as well as a final episode.

Dominion and Haven Canceled - Boy, SyFy is on a roll now!  Is there any programming left on SyFy.  I have to admit that I did not watch either of these shows but with some reality programming seeping into SyFy's line up not to mention the Shark movies, SyFy is not short in this area.  I feel that after two fairly good summer series in Killjoys and Dark Matter and some intriguing sci-fi mini series, Childhood's End and The Expanse, that I don't mind SyFy clearing house of old series.

Teaser - One of my favorite sci-fi series is not coming back until 2016. No, not Orphan Black, but good guess. Person of Interest is back at some point, probably as a mid season replacement but until then, we have this to drool over.

Man in The High Castle – Coming out on Amazon this November, here is a trailer that get's me very interested.

Star Wars – Rebels Season 2 Trailer

And then there is this -

Lots of other Sci-Fi coming up

Twin Peaks Progress – More casting, a little teaser and a sad passing all have come out of the Twin Peaks news over the past couple of months. Peter Sarsgaard, Balthazar Getty, Robert Knepper and Amanda Seyfried have joined the cast of the return of Twin Peaks, playing new parts obviously. They join a regular cast which is made up of Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee and Dana Ashbrook. No word on who else is in the cast for the return as of yet but there have been a few people who said they are not returning. Michael Ontkean (Sheriff Truman) is not returning. Despite footage from the original series featuring Michael J. Anderson, he has denied a return. There is a rumor that Agent Denise Bryson may be in the new series. Bryson made a memorable appearance in the original series and was played by David Duchovny, of course.

On a sad note, Catherine E. Coulson, who played the Log Lady, passed away in September, 2015. She had also worked with David Lynch on many of his early movies like Eraserhead.

Boba Fett Casting - So, a rumor is going around that Michael B. Jordan could star as Boba Fett in the spin-off Boba Fett movie. Don't know the actor but web sites are stating that he would be an excellent choice. Since Jordan did work with director Josh Trank and Trank is no longer directing the film (possibly because of the poor reception of his take on Fantastic Four) it is possible that this rumor is wrong. Okay. But would Jordan make a good Boba Fett? Sure. For a reboot of the movie franchise or even a new Boba Fett causing issues for our new heroes in the new Star Wars films like The Force Awakens and its sequels, sure.

Now I disliked the prequels as a whole. I felt they added little to the franchise. They had moments that were excellent and one of those moments was not young Boba Fett. Young Boba Fett was just a dumb inclusion. Okay, the kid is a bad guy, even as a kid and in one swoop of a light sabre, now has motivation to become a villain in the Star Wars franchise. Fine – don't like this at all because it does not add to Fett's character. His character was really cool in The Empire Strikes Back and for a few seconds in The Return of the Jedi but that is it. The character died badly and unless they bring him back from that 'death', which is easy enough, and have him appear in the new films, the character is lost potential. Still, he is a popular character and so Disney is going to take advantage of this.

I have had no problem with Disney so far with Star Wars – I can't say anything they have done is bad but this might be the first misstep. First off, there has to be some explanation why the character is black. Obviously the only real explanation would be that the real Boba Fett and a new character, played by Jordan are best buddies and Fett is filled. Jordan takes over and pretends to be Boba Fett and continue his friends legacy. This is really the only way to fit a round peg in a square hole. Another possibility is to ignore the change and just do it. The media and general public won't say anything and some fans, who have disowned the prequels, will be okay because the prequels did not happen. For most fans of the movie series, it just won't make sense. Whatever is decided, the explanation or non explanation are forced and there is no reason for it.

Of course the rumor could be false or perhaps Jordan plays another part in the movie – these seem more likely I would think.

The Martian – Saw this movie and thought it was excellent. Matt Damon was excellent in it. The story was full of tension and had some excellent action pieces. All the characters were done well. A story concerning one astronaut stranded on Mars, you would think that there would not be that many characters in the movie but there were a lot and each one was well executed. It was good to see that entire cast work off one another so well.
The effects were excellent. I had no problem with the 3-D but I don't think it really added much to the film. This is a film I will purchase on Blu-ray.

I did have one complaint and this is something to do with how I watched the film. I did read the book a couple years back and I am now second guessing my decisions on reading books before the movie comes out. I think I would have enjoyed the film much more not knowing what was going to happen. Having enjoyed the book, I think I might have enjoyed the book the same if I had read it after seeing the movie.

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