Archive for SyFy

Not exactly defying tropes, but maybe that’s a good thing.

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on April 16, 2013 by Karan Seraph

One might wonder how many people are going to watch a premiere airing on the same day as a tragic terrorist act receiving national attention. In the case of Defiance: 2.7 million, near half of which are over 18. And, that’s not bad in the world of Syfy Original Series. (I watched it Tuesday on the DVR.)

Not that everything about it is original, considering the plot of the pilot has been seen in ‘x’ number of western genre stories. A motley assortment of characters must band together and put aside past differences when a new threat endangers the town. But, given that Star Wars was originally pretty much a Space-Pirate-Western-Samurai movie, we’re in the Science Fiction/Action comfort zone with this one. It’s got the Ninja-Pirate-Zombie-Robot thing going for it. Cool + cool = 20% cooler. Defiance has lots of comfy, familiar characters and themes: a reluctant town sheriff with a dark past in the war, a plucky orphan, a brothel madame with a heart of gold, a determined new mayor, a deputy, the town mining family, the opposing underworld family, star-crossed lovers, a tribe riding without the town, and a ‘Doc’ that can fix anything (complete with crotchety bedside manner).

Yet, it is original in that Defiance throws a new skin over our familiar genre tropes. OK, a skin not altogether different than Alien Nation, or Farscape (both of which Rockne S. O’Bannon also created), but not altogether the same. Oh, did I mention there are aliens? That’s the thing: a bunch of different aliens came to Earth from their home system, which was destroyed, which lead to bureaucracy, war, space junk falling from the sky, and accidental terra-forming (should it really be “not-Terra” forming? Whatever, it works if we just translate it as changing lands). So now, 33 years into our near future, it’s pioneer times again, with everyone running into hazards along the trails  (dysentery, again?!), and isolated towns fending for themselves in the absence of reliable (or well-intentioned) federal governments. [Insert political joke about aliens and the federal government.]

Of course, this being a series with Canadians, Americans, O’Bannon, and Syfy involved, there are plenty of interesting (and sure to inspire fan-art you may or may not want to see) make-up and costumes used in portraying the various aliens. There’s nothing like the “we need a third person” thing in the Alien Nation television series (yet?), but the pilot’s already presented us with an intimate bathing scene and multiple counts of implied inter-species sex. (It worked for Mass Effect.)

But seriously, the show looks good. It gives us a fair blend of practical effects and props, with CG interfaces and mecha. (Some of the latter kinda do look like they’re probably from Japan.) The acting is solid, with appropriate subtlety from those characters which are meant to be concealing some of their feelings, or deceiving their fellows. Which leads me to believe the writing is also solid. I predict there must be one episode at least about a new drug, and one in which everyone is suddenly under the influence and fights over crackers, or something. (No, seriously, this means I like it.)

So, look forward to seeing an explosion of steam-punk-western-space-fetish-military cosplay at all your conventions, and runs on custom contacts! Defiance looks good enough to last for at least one season less than its fans should want.

Oh, yeah, and there’s a game. You too can run around facing virtual hazards of the twisted-future-midwest!


Review of Sanctuary Season 4 Episode 11

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on December 17, 2011 by murthareviews

“OH WOW, I hope you’re not watching this after the zombie apocalypse. But if you are, remember, they are very slow and they can’t climb trees.”

***Contains Spoilers***

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Review of Sanctuary Season 4 Episode 10

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on December 11, 2011 by murthareviews

“From below, we rise.”

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Review of Sanctuary Season 4 Episode 9

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on December 3, 2011 by murthareviews

This week’s episode of Sanctuary aired on Tuesday, but due to my current situation I am only posting the review now. I am sure that both of you will forgive me(who am I kidding more people read my Sanctuary reviews than my comic reviews. SO, to all four of you, I apologize.)

“If this was a movie, right now, the audience would be screaming ‘Don’t open the door!’.”

***Contains Spoilers***

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Review of Sanctuary Season 4 Episode 8

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on November 26, 2011 by murthareviews

“I can handle monsters, I can handle death, but I can’t handle singing.”

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Review of Sanctuary Season 4 Episode 7

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on November 23, 2011 by murthareviews

Martin Wood has directed many Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis and Sanctuary episodes. This episode he not only directed, but he wrote as well. He did a great job. This season has had many great episodes and this one certainly keeps up that trend.

***Contains Spoilers***

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Review of Sanctuary Season 4 Episode 6

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on November 13, 2011 by murthareviews

Actor Robin Dunne gives directing a shot.

***Contains Spoilers***

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