Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ashes to Ashes: The Royal Wedding

It has been a long time since I reviewed this series, but the randomizer picked Ashes to Ashes Episode 2. So I am going to look into this episode and give a slight overview of the series. Ashes to Ashes is the sequel series to Life On Mars. Both shows dealt with a cop being sent back through time trying to make it back to their own time. Life on Mars was the adventures of Sam Tyler and Ashes to Ashes is the adventure of Alex Drake, but what separates the two shows besides the main characters. It is obviously the feel of the show. Life on Mars seems to be a remake of the Sweeney in many ways. While obviously Ashes to Ashes seems to be a remake of Dempsey and Makepeace. A2A deals with Alex Drake being shot and sent back in time to 1981. Alex thinks that she is dreaming and everything going on around her is a part of her fantasy. The only thing that doesn't make sense is why is she fantasizing about the same men as Sam Tyler. Gene Hunt who is obviously meant to be Jack Regan from the Sweeney. Chris and Ray who act very similar to Bodie and Doyle from the Professionals just more screwed up. To make matters worse she has visions and her crew thinks she is crazy. Ashes to Ashes also features hit music from the era. I love this show so much that when the episode Doctor Who: The Water of Mars aired I wished that when Adelaide Brooke took her gun out to kill herself that she would of shot the Doctor first sending him to the 1990's to where he would team up with Gene Hunt in a special called Dead Man Walking, but enough of my fanboy wishes. For the purpose of the overview I am going to leave out most flashbacks Alex has.
Episode Overview: We open up to Alex in her apartment watching the morning news reporting on the upcoming Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The news reports of police beefing up security before the wedding. A few minutes later we find ourselves in the quattro while Alex and Gene head to a place where a man has barricaded himself in his apartment and posed threats to the public. Alex works her magic and they get in and see the Bond Family. Mr. Bond hates the commercial development of the company in this area and wants to stop them anyway possible Gene tries to get hi to calm down while Alex thinking she is in a fantasy tells him that this place will be gone. Mr Bond tells her to piss off. Back at the station Gene comes out with some info that a dog was blown up at a site with a note found there. It threatens the life of a Mr Moore who Chris thinks its Booby Moore the futbal player, but Chaz tells everybody she thinks its Daniel Moore. Gene tells her to shutup because he doesn't like getting upstaged by birds. They visit Daniel who refuses police protection, but later visits the police station to get Alex to ride in his new car with him a Deloreon. Outside the police station Alex hears a ticking sound and thinks its a bomb has flashbacks of her parents death and goes beserk. The timer on the bomb goes off and no explosion. Back in the station Daniel asks for Alex to be his bodyguard Gene agrees and they leave for a night out. Alex and Daniel go to a techno night club where all the patrons are dressed in gothic 80's fashion. In the bar she runs into Chris and Shaz. Alex also sees the lettering on a flyer in which she remembers from the note and George Bond's shirt. Alex asks Gene to arrest George Bond he says no, but Alex says you can stamp my bottom if you agree. Gene agrees brings him and conducts a search of the Bond's residence. Gene also appoints Alex to find George council. Alex hires her mother Carolyn Price. In interrogation room they try to force a confession out of George, but he won't budge. A few moments later in the office Gene pulls out the stamp and gets ready to stamp Alex's butt when Carolyn Price walks in. Carolyn is disgusted by Alex's actions and asks her to take him to George. A few moments later dynamite is brought in from the search and Alex charges George with conspiracy to commit murder. Something doesn't add up to Gene so he goes back to the bar and investigates some more he sees Mr Bond in WW2 photos with boxes of dynamite so he has Mr Bond arrested as well. Back at the station he tries to get Mr Bond to confess, but his son won't let him and says he did it. When the two men leave the room Gene pulls out a bag and asks Mrs. Bond to catch it. In the commotion Mr Bond tells everyone to hit the ground its a bomb. Mr Bond revels himself as the culprit. The next day the street the Bond's were from have a party and everyone is invited. At the party Alex thinks there is something strange about George she tells everyone to get to the street and then focuses her attention on George. A bomb blows up in the building he enters. A few moments later Carolyn Price shows up at Alex's door and consoles her for a few moments and then we hear honking. It Hunt and the boys from the station they return Alex the favor and show her their bottom. Credits roll.
Episode Review: This is a great followup to the previous episode. Were introduced to secondary characters for the first series like Carolyn Price and some other ideas. We also see that Alex can be vulnerable and she doesn't always have the right answer and Gene can sometimes be right. What is great about this episode is that Alex is still in denial of what happened to her before and that she thinks everything is fine. The one thing A2A does really well is the progression throughout the series of how Alex deals with the thought of death and knowing she is dying. First stage denial and everything is fine. The other great thing about this episode it really sets the stage for the rest of the first series and its purpose. Alex Drake must stop her parent's death at all costs. One other thing to notice is that the show incorporated the Royal Wedding into it to make it feel like it really happened. You can't miss this episode if you expect to follow series 1 so it is an essential episode in my book. Only bad thing about this episode is not enough car chases with the Quattro.
Tonight's Show: Keeping Mum. Maggie Smith and Rowan Atkinson can't wait.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bottom: Vulgar, Violent, and Completely Stupid. But we love it

This is my sixth post under the randomizer format and it has been interesting so far it has selected two Gerry Anderson shows, Dad's Army, Being Human, and Steptoe and Son. Today's show the randomizer selected holds a special meaning for me. While I was into shows like Doctor Who and Red Dwarf I was not into much else British. In fact, I even hated shows like Are You Being Served and more maybe because my dad liked that show. One night I was out with a bunch of friends and when we got done eating out we came back to Greg's parents house to watch British TV. He pulled out a VHS copy of a show called Bottom and we watched the episode Gas which guest starred Brian Glover. I was hooked within minutes, here was a show that really threw out all the rules television had and made its own. I had never seen anything like it before. At the same time it was the first British comedy/shows outside of scifi that I really loved. Bottom allowed me to put down the fences I had up before and try other shows I wouldn't of tried before. Really outside of Doctor Who it is my biggest reason why I watch a lot of other British television. I guess you call Bottom my gateway drug. The show starred comedy legends Rik Mayall as Richie Richard and Adrian Edmonson as Eddie Hitler. The two men live together in one of the most disgusting flats you could ever imagine. The show typically follows Richie and Eddie around as they try to find a way to make a quick buck, get laid, or just get drunk. Along the way anything that can go bad for them usually goes bad for them especially if it is Richie. Their two personalities causes them to clash quite a bit. Their clashes are stuff of legends its like seeing the Three Stooges on steroids. Along with Eddie and Richie you'll see regular appearances from Spudgun and Hedgehog, Eddie's friends, who koins the guys for the fun. Bottom was so popular and violent that Mayall and Edmonson decided to make a live show to show the stuff to violent for tv and words too raunchy. The show was so popular that they even made a movie as well called Guest House Paradiso. The only reason they stopped doing the act was because they needed a break, but it has been announced another series is in the works with Richie and Eddie to be old men living in a retirement home. I guess we will have to wait and see what comes.
Episodic Overview: We find ourselves in a police station in which Eddie and Richie have been paid to stand in a suspect line. The police chief walks in and Richie starts making fun of him thinking that he is the suspect. Like usual Richie makes an ass of himself because a few moments later the real suspects are brought in Spudgun and Hedgehog. The four guys talk with each other when the witness is brought in to identify the suspect. The witness is Spudgun's mom and she accuses him of steeling her purse, but in the end it was a clever decoy to get all the men in the suspect line 8 pounds since they all go to the same bar. The police has Spudgun's mom taken out back and beaten why we break away to the bar where Richie, Eddie, and everyone else in the suspect line went to. The usual bartender is not there instead in his place is hot young woman, Julia Sawala, serving everyone. Richie decides to make his move giving her the story that he served in the Falkland War to try to get her to shag him, but he gets interrupted by a war veteran, Robert Llewellan, who does not quite believe Richie's story. The war veteran and Richie argue back and forth with each other for quite awhile when out of no where bookie Tight Larry walks in so drunk that he is falling all over the place hitting his head on the bar and more. The exchange of words start back up and the war veteran shows Richie his carved wooden leg to prove he was in the war and Richie showed his appendix scar and his small penis to prove he was in the war and tries to drag the rest of the men in the bar on his side. When Eddie says your full of Bullocks. The conversation ends with the war veteran beating up Richie. The bartender stops them and gives Richie a free beer. The fight starts again and this time Tight Larry accidentally breaks up the fight saying Sad Ken is a sure winner at a 100-1. Everyone leaves the bar except the veteran, bartender, Richie, and Eddie, Richie pulls Eddie into the bathroom where the come up with the scheme to steal the veteran's wooden leg pawn it, place the bet, and when they win get the leg from pawn put it back on the veteran. They successfully steal the leg from the veteran despite Eddie extremely damaging his other leg and Richie stays there to keep the veteran occupied. Eddie pawns the leg for 500 and places the bet on Sad Ken. The race starts Sad Ken runs in the wrong direction and they put him down for being a three legged horse. Eddie makes his way back to the bar where he explains to Richie they lost and from the backroom comes the regular bartender and Tight Larry they are laughing at them because they tricked Richie and Eddie. Richie and Eddie now afraid that they can't get the leg back go back into the bathroom to where they plan to beat up the next person who walks in. The person walks in and they start pounding away including hitting him with the condom dispenser. It turns out to be the chief from the police station earlier. We find ourselves now back in the police station with the same situation as earlier the police chief walks in points out Richie and Eddie and the entire police force start to beat them down. Credits Roll
Episode Review: This episode just says classic Bottom all over it. The fights are there. Richie makes an ass of himself. Richie can't get a woman to save his life. Everything goes bad from Richie's scheme. Julia Sawala puts in a nice performance. Robert LLewellyn puts in a great performance especially with facial expressions. This is a top five episode in my book and would recommend it for any fan of Bottom to watch or to introduce a person to Bottom.
Tonight's Episode : Ashes to Ashes Episode 2 It was not the show I hoped the randomizer would pick, but that is okay I love Alex Drake.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Being Human: For Better or Worse

Earlier this year the 4th series of Being Human aired and some major changes happened within the show. From the start of the show we were following Mitchell a vampire and George a werewolf. The two men decided to put aside their hatred for the other species and try to work out their problems together. One of the first things they did was get a flat in which they found out a ghost name Annie was living . Together the three seemed like an unstoppable trio. Heck George even found love with Nina who he accidentally turned into a werewolf. The past three series were fantastic it was Twilight, but for a sophisticated audience. However, the randomizer has not asked me to review an episode from the first three series, but episode 5 from the 4th series. A lot of stuff changed from the 3rd to the 4th series. Mitchell is gone in the last episode of the 3rd series, George leaves the show in the first episode of the 4th, and Nina well she was just written out of the series. Out with the old and in with the new Tom a werewolf from the third series is upgraded to a main character now and we get introduced to Hal a vampire who turns out to be one of the mentioned old ones in the earlier series is introduced in the second episode of the 4th series as a main cast member. With all that being said we still do have Annie in the group.
Episode Overview: Series 4 Episode 5 We open to a girl prep school in which girl is trying to find a boy. She finds the boy who turns out to be Adam, a 47 year old vampire stuck in a teenage boy's body introduced in series 3 episode 2, who only wants to bite her for her blood, but out of nowhere the headmistress grabs his ear and stops it. A few moments later we find ourselves in a middle of a conversation with Annie, Tom, and Hal. The conversation gets interrupted by Adam knocking at the door. Annie reluctantly lets Adam and the Headmistress in who introduces herself Yvonne. Yvonne's touch seems to have a strange effect on Tom and Annie is shocked Yvonne could see her. We break away for a moment where Cutler, a vampire lawyer, drops a body in the forest and makes it look like a werewolf did it. Back in the apartment Yvonne tells her story of how they are on the run and why the reporters are out there. One reporter just won't stop bothering them throughout the entire episode. Once everything is settled they all go to their own rooms and Tom has a dream about being seduced by Yvonne. Wanting to have a cigarette Adam leaves the house and has his picture taken the photographer finds it strange he is not in the picture. Adam explains the problem to everyone and Yvonne touches Hal on his arm to where he now has dreams of being seduced by Yvonne. This all leads to another dream by Hal to where he kills Tom and scares off Adam for the love Yvonne. Hal realizes now that she is a Succubus. Hal has Annie explain the situation to Yvonne who doesn't believe it at first and then is mad that no man has ever been truly in love with her. Annie explains the situation to Adam as well outside the house he decides he never loved Yvonne. In another sequence the reporter is now in a room with Cutler explains what the picture was and tries to trap Cutler. We break back to the house where Annie explains to Yvonne the situation with Adam. Yvonne so mad goes to the reporters and tells her story of the seduction of a school boy. Annie and Hal decide to go after the reporter with the pictures, but find him dead leaving Yvonne in the house with Tom. Yvonne decides now that she is succubus it is time to fulfill her destiny with making Tom her net victim, but Adam interferes after rushing back from the bar where he saw the interview Yvonne did he said that he loved her. Next morning Hal and Annie see Yvonne and Adm off as they leave for their next destination.
Episode Review: What can I say this is not the most exciting episode of the series, but it is not the worst. What is happening for me right now I am still in the feeling phase of whether or not I like the change in the series. The overall feel of the series seemed to change the age audience it was trying to get this series to market to a younger audience. As far as the episode goes it is a standard filler episode you don't have to see the episode to know what is going on in the rest of the series. Which is not always a bad thing. In the case with this episode it is the first time we have seen any other type of monster in the series except for a ghost, werewolf, and a vampire. This might be a sign that more monsters are yet to come of all different types. So I am extremely happy over this issue. To be honest the werewolf and vampire war was starting to get a little old. Sometimes you just need to shift focus. Is the team of Hal and Tom good? By this episode I was not quite sure yet to be honest, but I think they make a decent team later in the series.
Monday Night's Show and Episode: Bottom Episode 10 Parade The Randomizer has spoken

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dad's Army: the Unspoken Heroes

As I said yesterday the randomizer chose Dad's Army Episode 23 Branded. For people unfamiliar with Dad's Army. It is a British comedy from the 60's that concentrated on a real threat of World War II. All available men in England that could fight in the war did fight in the war which left their homefront open and vulnerable for attack. England decided to set up an organization called the Home Guard. The Home Guard was setup of anyone who was old enough to be an adult back then to the age of 65. The Home Guard consisted of volunteers who may not of been fit for war, retired veterans, and anybody who wanted to join. So it is easy to see why this concept could lead to a great comedy considering all different types of people who could of joined. If you haven't seen Dad's Army then just imagine the open call to the public to join the police force in the first Police Academy film for all the different types of personalities you could see in Dad's Army. You have Captain Mainwaring, a man with a bit of a napoleon complex for control the head of the group. Mainwaring at times gets himself into trouble and relies on others to get him out. Second in command Sergeant Wilson he is usually the voice of reason in the show and tends to know everything going on when the rest of the group is at a lost for a thought. Lance Corporal Jones the local meat butcher good guy at heart, but can be one or two steps behind the rest. Private Frazer a Scottish man who tends to act tougher than he really is at times. Private Walker, my favorite character of the show,he tends to be the antagonist of the show always there for the laugh and the rebuttal if I had to compare Walker to any other character in film or tv it would be Hawkeye Pierce from MASH. I always say this show was great up until the time actor James Beck dies who played PVT Walker. Its from that moment on without him is when the show lost its magic. While Beck, not the main actor or even second main actor of the series, his role was so essential because he was the main foil to Mainwaring and the one character the younger audience needed to relate with the show. This show is just superbly put together from cast, story, and altogether production values. There are some shows that can be remade, but this is just one show I don't see it happening with. The series was so popular they asked the entire crew to make a motion picture film back in the 70's. The film is one of the few they made from tv series I would actually suggest to watch.
Episode Overview: Dad's Army Episode 23 Branded. We open up to find the crew doing training exercises in their headquarters Captain Mainwaring is off at a meeting so Sergeant Wilson is left in charge of the exercises. Godfrey is told to sit in a chair blindfolded and told to turn around and shoot when hears a noise, but he falls asleep and fails to do so. Wilson then takes the seat to show everyone how it is done. Just as the company is getting ready to make their moves up onto Wilson, Mainwaring motions the group to back off and Wilson is his. Mainwaring tries to fool Wilson, but fails. Wilson is called into Mainwaring's office and Jones decides to take over the exercise and be in the chair. Walker calls everyone off to go for a tea break and just leaves Jones sitting there. A few moments later we find ourselves in Mainwaring's office where he is discussing that Godfrey wants to leave with Wilson. Confused by the issue Mainwaring orders Godfrey to his office to explain. Godfrey says he had an incident with a mouse in his refrigerator and couldn't kill it. If I can't kill a mouse what makes you think I could kill a German. The conversation continues until Godfrey explains he was a consciousness objector in the first World War this infuriates Mainwaring and the conversation ends to where he no longer wants to see Godfrey in his squad. A few moments later Mainwaring tries to discuss this issue if the rest of the squad where he keeps getting interrupted by the squad through various movements after orders and then from the Warden interfering to where the company probably didn't take much from his speech. Later that day we find Pike, Jones, Walker,and Frazer discussing this issue while on duty in the hut and everything is fine until Godfrey enters the building. While the rest of the crew possibly would stay Frazer's comments like a queer smell when Godfrey entered the room and actions gets the rest of the group to leave leaving poor old Godfrey by himself. The next day the entire company is getting ready to go through a smoke house training exercise with the Warden. The Warden and his assistant thinks there is enough smoke in the building so they stop adding rags debrief the guys and so sure of himself Captain Mainwaring goes in first and then turns around and says this is nothing we need more smoke. Mainwaring goes around to where the machine is and adds the remaining rags. His crew start to go off one by one with Godfrey and him going last. Godfrey comes out and the Warden thinks Mainwaring will be find and leaves the area. Godfrey waits there for Mainwaring to come out, but he doesn't so Godfrey goes back in. We cut to Godfrey in bed being checked out by a physician it turns out Godfrey saved Mainwaring's life. Mainwaring and the crew walk in the room to wish him well. When out of nowhere Mainwaring sees a picture of a man with the highest Military honor Britain could offer. He asks who that man is and it turns out to be Godfrey. Where a few comments from Wilson to Mainwaring about not judging a book by its cover come across. Credits Roll
Episode Review: What I can say it is not the greatest episode of Dad's Army, but it is far from the worst. Walker's comments and actions in this episode really saved the episode from being bad to being your average run of the mill episode from Dad's Army. The same can be said for Wilson, Jones, Warden, and Frazer. Pike really is a non factor in this episode. Mainwaring is his normal self in this episode. I can relate with Godfrey was saying and if a soldier came in and said that then you have to take his word seriously. These issues happen in today's modern military. The only thing doesn't make sense with this episode even though it is funny is Mainwaring adding more rags to the machine to smoke the place up more. Mainwaring hates smoke he could of been the poster child for anti smoking campaigns in the 60's and 70's.
Sunday Night's Show: Being Human Episode 27 Hold the Front Page A show I watched just last month lets see if my thoughts change about this episode or not.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Space 1999 Vs. Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The randomizer pulled a first last night when choosing another show and episode to watch. This is the first time it has asked me to review another show made by the same production company. With all that said it is alright I love Gerry Anderson shows, but what makes this show different that I am about to review. It is one of his few shows that is live action, but what also makes it rare believe it or not it is one of his few shows I own, but have never watched. The show is Space:1999 and the episode the randomizer chose was Voyager's Return. Space 1999 stars then husband and wife duo Martin Landau and Barbara Bain better known in the U.S. for their portrayals of Cinnamon Carter and Rollin Hand in Mission Impossible. In this series Martin Landau plays Commander John Koenig leader of the Moonbase Alpha surrounded by his crew Doctor Helena Russell(Barbara Bain), science adviser Professor Victor Bergman(Barry Morse), and executive officer Paul Morrow(Prentis Hancock). A very well rounded cast if I must say. In Space: 1999, a nuclear explosion send the moon out of Earth's orbite hurling in space like a spacecraft leaving the crew stranded on the moon. The crew must not search new planets in hope of finding a new place to live.In some ways the show and crew are setup similar to Star Trek, but in other ways it is definitely its own show with its own concept. With that being said lets get to the episode overview.
Episode Overview: We open up to one of the Eagle spacecrafts investigating a strange unidentified object that came across the screen. The object's starts sending a signal. "This is the voice of Voyager One, Greeting from the people of planet Earth." All of a sudden the Eagle ship explodes and the credits roll. Commander Koenig gives his crew the order to tell Voyager 1 they are from Earth and to tell the satellite to shut down its drive, but Voyager 1 refuses because the order goes against the ship's primary directives. Somewhere else in the ship unknown to the rest crew Dr Quellen going under a different name, the man who created the Quellar Drive in Voyager, overhears what is going is his lab. Quellan hurries to the location where Koenig is at and tells him to stop. Quellan introduces himself and says that he can stop Voyager 1. A few minutes later we find ourselves in a conference room with the ship's main personnel. Bergman thinks they should save Voyager 1, Morrow thinks Quellen shouldn't be trusted because his drive killed 200 people in the past, Russell thinks Voyager 1 should be destroyed just on the basis you can't risk the entire crew's lives, and Koenig takes all this into consideration and in the end decides on a plan that gives Quellen a chance to stop the drive and recover the information. Koenig also gives the orders that no one else on the ship must know that he is Dr Quellen. Morrow objects to this notion because Quellen's assistant is Jim Haynes, whose father was one of the 200 killed by the drive before, but Morrow reluctantly agrees. Koenig's plan is to have three Eagle's spread across the red zone in anticipation if Quellen fails to shoot and destroy the Voyager 1, but the Voyager must first cross the green and yellow zones first before they destroy it. This plan gives Quellen plenty of time to prepare and a machine setup that can stop disable Voyager 1. Everything is going to plan and Quellen even succeeds in building a machine to deactivate Voyager 1, but that comes at a hefty cost his assistant realizes only one man could of built this machine and that is Doctor Quellen in a rage over his father's death Jim Haynes tosses Quellen into the machine sending him into shock and Moonbase's only chance for deactivating the machine with it. A few minutes later Dr Russell revives Doctor Quellen and after a short break he restarts his work of building a machine that could deactivate Voyager 1. Voyager 1 enters the redzone and the eagles are in place, but that is not the only thing behind Voyager 1 three more mysterious UFO's. Koenig has to make the decision now or never to destroy the Voyager 1 and save their lives. Despite his crew panicking he believes in Doctor Quellen abilities to stop the machine. All around the eagle and Moonbase alpha the ships are now trumbling getting ready to blow up at any moment with no chance of survival, but out of nowhere Quellen succeeds in deactivating the Queller drive in Voyager 1. Voyager 1 lands the crew of Russell, Quellen, Bergman, and Koenig enter the satellite to recover the information box. When out of nowhere Aachon the Chief Justifier of Sidon face appears. Aachon asks which person represents the crew Koenig step forwards and says he represents the Earth and accepts responsibilities. Aachon responds that you and your people must die for the millions of people Voyager 1 killed on two worlds. Three Zidon ships are on there way to destroy moonbase one and Earth. Nothing on Moonbase could even take these ships on. Dr Quellen feeling guilty for what his drive has done leaves his room in a hurry and makes his way to Voyager 1, but on the way Jim Haynes wants to join him, but he says no. No one else on Moonbase Alpha knows Quellen's plans. Quellen boards Voyager 1 and lifts off. Koenig orders him to return, but Quellen refuses as he makes his way to the Zidon ships. Quellen asks for an audience with Aachon explaining that he created the drive with good intentions and that only he should be responsible for deaths that occured. Aachon refuses and Quellen with no choice activates the Queller drive causing Voyager 1 to explode and the three Zidon ships. Koenig is now with Jim Haynes giving him his condolences and explaing the man sacrificed himself so billions could live. Credits Roll.
Episode Review: If this episode is what I can expect from the rest of Space 1999 then I have got a lot of great viewing ahead. The moment I heard Voyager 1 come across the screen my head immediately thought of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Was Roddenbery that bored that he had to copy their costumes and copy a good portion of the plot? Voyager 1 and Vger, you couldn't be anymore obvious where you got this from. The machine on its way back to Earth just like Vger. Everything in Voyager's path just like Vger will be destroyed. The creator must just with Voyager 1 to stop the threat to Earth just like Vger. There are other similarities and I am quite surprised Gerry Anderson didn't sue over the similarities, but then again stranger stuff happens. With all that said this a great episode. The performances from Landau, Bain, and Morse are fantastic. Jeremy Kemp puts on one of the best guest performances I have ever seen on a show. Your left hiding behind the sofa the entire episode just because of the suspense this episode had. Like I said before this is the first time I have seen this show despite owning for a few years. I watched this from A/E Blu Ray release and all I can say is you couldn't ask for a better picture. My dad's christmas present which was a show that I wanted to see, but it was not a high priority. So the Space 1999 kept getting pushed off. Voyager's Return and the randomizer just caused Space 1999 from being on the backburner to the highest priority after I get myself caught up on the show I am currently watching. One last note Space: 1999 has one of the best television intros I have ever seen, but this is pretty common among Anderson productions. Anderson knows how to get people hooked and keep them wanting more.
Tonight's Show Dad's Army Episode 23 Branded I guess the randomizer was tired of Gerry Anderson, but I was not.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thunderbirds we have a problem!!!

As I stated in my last episode review, Steptoe and Son, today's show I will be looking at is Thunderbirds Episode 31 Ricochet. The randomizer controls my fate sometimes it will pick show I love to watch alot of and sometimes it will pick a show I don't want to see much. Even if the randomizer chooses a show I love it can always pick the one episode from the show I just don't like or love to death. How did the randomizer do today? The randomizer chose Thunderbirds a Gerry Anderson production featuring Supermarionation. Some of the best special effects for film and telivision were being done for this show. I love watching the show and it can make the effects on Doctor Who and Star Trek look just plain stupid. Thunderbirds follows the Tracy family as they control the International Rescue Corp team where they perform rescue missions, fight bad guys, and more. Even though I have seen the show quite a bit I still think for some reason the five vehicles or six if you count Thunderbird Six form up together to form some kind of giant robot to protect the Earth, but I guess that shows you I watched to much Voltron and Power Rangers as a kid. The system could not of picked a better show for me to watch, but is the episode one that I care for?
Episode Overview: I'm going to keep this simple because it is a long episode, but not much goes on in my opinion. Tin Tin loves the music from a manned Radio Station from space featuring KLA's announcer Ricochet and a technician. The rest of the Tracy family can't stand it. Transmissions from the station keep going on as normal. Fast forward International Science research launch a rogue missile into space that they lose control of they try everything to gain control, but can't so they end up exploding it in space. Unknown to the world KLA's satellite was in its path. The technician for KLA decides to explore the outside of the ship for damage. He finds out the damage is unrepairable and that the satellite is on reentry path for Earth without any parachutes to break the fall, but that is not the worst of it the airlock door is stuck and he can't get back in. In a desperate call for help Ricochet decides to put out a transmission for help in hope that someone in the world is listening and can get them help. KLA is in luck the only person listening to their transmissions in the world is Tin Tin who lives the Tracy family. She tells the family what is going on they decide to launch Thunderbird 2 with Brains and Virgil for help within the Earth and Thunderbird 3 with Alan performing the rescue from space. Thunderbird 3 arrives in space on the same projectory path as the KlA satellite. Alan rescues the technician and with less than four minutes left to go he tries to rescue ricochet, but your left hanging to know what happens. The satellite is now in Earth's orbit with a direct path of an oil refinery in the middle east. Thunderbird 2 catches up with and decides they must blow up the satellite to save the refinery and people in it, but out of no where another radio transmission with Ricochet comes across and with no way of telling if he is in there or not, both brains and Virgil decide it is inhumane to blow up the ship with him in it. So they decide to play bumper cars with the satellite to knock it off course. Which they did, but not the ship is stuck to their wing so they lift up shake it off and the ship goes into the uninhabited desert and crashes. A few moments later Virgil and Brains say how they feel bad that they couldn't save Ricochet, but they see a tv transmission come across the air with ricochet live and they are confused. Alan explains that he hit the tape button when trying to get Ricochet off the ship. So what they heard was a prerecorded transmission of Ricochet. Credits Roll
Episode Review: Overall this is one of my least favorite episodes of Thunderbirds I have watched for various reasons. The episode looks as if it recycled alot of old footage from previous episodes so some sequences involving the ships looks like the video quality is down compared to the rest of the episode. The episode Ricochet itself seemed like a standard throw away episode and nothing stood out to make me want to remember the episode. Virgil and Brain's decision not to fire the missile at the satellite to blow it up also seems kind of dumb. Either way Ricochet is going to die. Firing the missiles and blowing up the satellite would of been the easy and almost guaranteed way to save the refinery. Playing bumper cars with the satellite not knowing if you could knock it off course and with the possibility of killing hundreds of people seems ludicrous. Just to add insult the satellite is stuck to your wing with supposedly Ricochet still in there you can't land the plane heroically to save him. Instead you knock off the satellite once pass the city to send Ricochet to death real humane. I can try to knock on the episode more their are some bright sides to the episode the technology, special effects, and the suspense is still there that I come from watching Thunderbirds is still there. The effects are light years ahead of what of shows done 10 years ahead of it just compare Thunderbirds to Wonder Woman and the invisible plane flown by Barbie. I just can't help but to laugh. On a side note when it comes time for a Blu Ray release in HD, Network can you please use CGI to remove the lines from the characters. I am not asking for much to be changed without hurting the integrity of the show.
Tonight's Show: Space 1999 Episode 12 Voyager's Return Another Gerry Anderson Show. The Randomizer has decided my fate and their is nothing I can do, but hope for the best.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Steptoe and Son meets The History Channel

This is my first review under the randomizer system. The randomizer has chosen Steptoe and Son Episode 22 for me to watch and review. While the people who know me do know I watch Steptoe and Son, on rare occasions it is not something I will watch on a regular basis. Which is why I was shocked when this show was picked as my first show to review under this format. Sometimes a shock can lead to good things like new appreciation for a show. Steptoe and Son revolves around father Albert Steptoe and son Harry Steptoe. The two men for the most part simply just can't get along together because of the generational gap. Albert and Harry run a picking business in which all the stuff they pick comes home. Majority of the fights happen over stuff Harry picks, jobs Harry accepts, or women. Either way the fights are some of the most hilarious moments you could watch on TV. Which at times their performances are so good that I wonder if the actors really liked each other in life.
Episode Overview: In episode 22 Crossed Swords we open with Harry out doing the rounds trying to find the pick of the century and find poor old Albert in the bathroom. When Albert tries to leave the bathroom he finds out he is stuck do to the massive amount of junk around the place falling and blocking the door. Albert has a mad fit decides to sit on the toilet and see what is interesting on the magazine newspaper, but can't seem to find anything he goes through every page in the magazine until he finds the crossword. Three hours pass and Harry returns excited with the find of the century. Harry looks for Albert and finds him trapped in the bathroom. He opens the door and starts making funny faces at Albert who is asleep on the toilet. Harry eventually wakes his Albert by pulling the handle of the toilet. The fights begin. Harry tells his Albert about the find of the century and Albert so excited like a little school kid tries to find out what is in the box, but is forced to wait by Harry. In the house Harry begins to gloat about his find and how much better it is than any of Albert's best finds like his prized cracked china and more. Eventually Harry reveals his find a porcelain statue of crossed swords. Not knowing what it is he asks Albert to take a closer look at it. Albert pulls out his big set of glasses and magnifying glass and begins examining. Albert decides they should take it to a shop and have it examined. We fast forward to the shop. The shop owner confuses the Steptoe's as delivery people which upsets old Albert, but Harry clears things up and asks him to look at the object they have came to have appraised. The appraiser begins to look over the porcelain statue and Harry tells him to look at the two cross swords mark. The appraiser looks over at Harry and says that doesn't mean nothing. Albert gives a smug remark to the appraiser saying I told him that. In the end the appraiser offers him 250 pounds, but Harry decides not to take it despite not listening to Albert's advice about the percentage an auction house would take and how fragile the statue actually is. Despite fighting over the selling of the item for awhile Harry wins out and we fast forward to the auction house. 3 teaspoons sell for 8,000 pounds before Harry's porcelain statue comes up for bidding next excited about how much the teaspoons sell for he thinks he might get more for the statue. The auction begins and the porcelain statue gets up to 250 pounds and the bidding stops. Harry is surprised about how low the item is going for so he decides to bid himself to get the bidder who is bidding on the statue to bid more for the statue this move works until the bidder decides he doesn't want it anymore and it looks like Harry is going to pay 500 pounds for the statue he brought to the auction itself. He tries all kinds of moves to get the other bidder to bid again, but it is just not happening. All of a sudden a out of nowhere a new bid comes in at 550 and it looks like Harry is safe, but when the auction ends he sees that the winning bidder is Albert. We now find Harry and Albert arguing in their household about the statue again with Albert explaining he got caught up in the commotion and bidden. Harry leaves the room in disgust and all of sudden hears something like glass break its the statue dropped by Albert himself who is just apologizing to Harry left and right. With all that has happened with the statue since it came into their hands Harry looks devestated and is just at a lost for words. Credits Roll
Episode Review: I have had this show in my collection for quite awhile, but for some odd reason I don't ever remember watching this episode before. With all that being said, I don't think I would of had the appreciation for this episode if I would have seen it before this year. Not much on U.S. television interests me, but I do watch shows like American Pickers, Pawn Stars, and Storage Wars. As a result of watching television shows like that Crossed Swords seems like an episode that could be more relevant today than it was back when it is made. You have Mike and Frank, from American Pickers, who are always on the hunt for the next big find just like Harry and Albert. Sometimes Mike and Frank get lucky and sometimes they are unlucky. Frank tends to try his luck on old beat up cars, but never seems to find the right one and usually loses money. On the other hand, a few episodes back Frank bought a samurai suit and knew nothing about it as far as worth. The suit turned around and made him twice the profit. In this case Harry on the statue had a chance to make considerable markup for what he paid for the item and he didn't take it. Rick and the Old Man, in Pawn Stars, are constantly willing to take the risks and buy items off people. When people are unhappy with what they offer, the two of them always remind the seller that the risk is with us and not you. They also remind people that the item may recieve more at the auction, but then you have to deal with the auctioneer's fee which may be 40 to 50%. Albert tried to warn Harry about the risks of the auction house, but Harry wouldn't listen. Albert also tried to explain the item is so fragile why not let the middle man take the risks and we take what we can get for the item, Harry wouldn't listen. Dave Hester, in Storage Wars, might not want a certain locker, but if he doesn't think it is going for a good price he'll keep upbidding the buyer even on a locker he doesn't want. Most of the time the move works, but sometimes he gets stuck with the locker. In Harry's case, he kept upbidding the item until he was almost stuck with it, but in the end the item want to his father cauing them to take the item for a loss. It is just to see all this stuff from an episode made over 40 years ago. For any fans of Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, and American Pickers your show was being filmed way ahead of its time and its called Steptoe and Son. Albert might be old, but he gave valuable advice that if you were thinking of selling an item you should listen to him and watch this episode.While the episode might be funny the things that happen in this episode happen all the time.
Final Thoughts: This episode is now one of my favorites when it comes to Steptoe and Son because it is more relevent today than it probably was back when it was filmed. The nostalgia factor was there along with the great comedy I expect from Steptoe and Son. Maybe I should pull this show out more often because if yesterday's episode I watch means more now than it did before maybe the other episodes would as well.
Tonight's Show: Thunderbirds Episode 31 Ricochet