Picard is back for a second season of time-travel, trauma and Q. But can Season Two correct the flaws of Season One while also juggling the Borg?
One of the immense frustrations of Picard‘s first season was just how much good will the show had going into it, and just how much of that good will was completely wasted on go-nowhere plots, a bunch of who-dat side characters that never really cohered into anything, and wasting Patrick Stewart in a series named after his character but which only occasionally gave him anything to actually do. The conclusion to that season, especially, was simply dreadful, with Picard apparently becoming a robot but for no good reason, and the series going out of its way to point out its own irrelevancy. Everyone flew off into the sunset at the end of the season, a crew together for plot expediency rather than any other reason, and speculation inevitably mounted as to whether Season Two would have the ability to course-correct in any meaningful way and address the issues that Season One so glaringly failed to.
Is third time the charm for Chris Chibnall’s version of Doctor Who? Remarkably, yes!
What’s The Show?Doctor Who‘s six episode long truncated series 13
What’s It All About, JG? Trying to find out if there’s anything worth salvaging from the Chibnall era of Doctor Who before both he and the reliably brilliant Jodie Whittaker bow out, and also embracing the full force of serialisation. But in terms of plot, the universe is threatened by a mysterious “Flux event” the Doctor knows nothing about. The Earth is protected by the Lupari, as represented by the appealingly dog-like Karvaista. Turns out there’s been some kind of battle between Space and Time (capital S and capital T) as represented by Azure and Swarm on one side and the mysterious Division on the other. Meanwhile, two survivors of the Flux, Vinder and Bel, are separated and are trying to reunite while getting into/out of the way of the plot, and the Doctor has a new companion, Dan (a surprisingly strong John Bishop), a Liverpudlian who turns out to be a dab hand at taking out Sontarans with a wok. It all ends with the Doctor struggling to get back her memories from her adoptive mother (unsuccessfully), a snake-like Grand Serpent infiltrating UNIT, and the Flux wiping out vast amounts of Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans. Whatever else you can say about Flux, it’t not lacking for event!
What’s The Topic?Korean TV, and the wonders thereof.
Even the most pop-culturally blind person in the world could not really have failed to notice just how dominant and mainstream K-Pop has become in the world. BTS are, of course, the big-ticket item there, and have secured an enduring legacy outwith their home country and around the world . Even just a few years would have seemed vastly unlikely except with a novelty hit like “Gangnam Style”. Yet music – and there’s a whole lot more to Korean music than just K-Pop – isn’t the only place Korean culture has been flourishing.
Exploring science-fiction on the small screen, from its inception right up to the 21st century.
Telefantasy (or television sci-fi, or sci-fi on television, or fantasy sci-fi, or any one of many monikers) is one of those terms that covers a wide range of programming and has been around from the mid-40’s in America. The first notable science fiction show was the marvelously-named children’s programme Captain Video And His Video Rangers, and in Britain sci-fi was launched in 1938 with an adaptation of Karel Capek’s almost indescribably influential R.U.R.
Can Netflix manage to do the whole nostalga-meets-new-technology thing?
[NB – This article was written after the first season had been released, but prior to the subsequent ones]
So here we go with another reboot. History (and by history I mean, “the last fifteen or so years” for the most part) is littered with the corpses of failed reboots. For every successful attempt to drag some forgotten franchise into the twenty-first century (Battlestar Galactica, say, or Doctor Who) there’s a dozen more that fell by the wayside, as forgotten as the shows they tried to resurrect. Hokey old 60’s and 70’s sci-fi shows come with a built-in fanbase – not always very large, but often very dedicated – so it’s not exactly difficult to work out why producers might think old franchises might be worth taking a gamble on. Why bet on something new and completely unknown when you can dredge something up from the past which, even if it won’t bring in huge numbers, will at least bring some?