Robin Bland

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About Robin Bland

  • Rank
    Dominion Attack Ship

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  • Location
    New York
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  • Favorite Trek Movie
    The Undiscovered Country
  • Favorite Trek Captain
    Jean-Luc Picard
  • Favorite Trek Series
    The Original Series

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. Loved The Pilot. It rolled out some DW tropes, but it felt fresh and was enormous fun. Smile... had potential. No, I don't think it's a disaster, but it's very so-so. I'm being nice. I hate damning things with faint praise so I'm trying to be honest, and I don't like not liking a respected author's efforts - I know how hard the game is. Yeah, The Happiness Patrol, for all its cheap production values, is a great script and a much more interesting exploration of having to live with enforced happiness and the results thereof. Before this series aired, I watched Frank Cotrell-Boyce's previous entry, In The Forest of the Night. I liked it a lot more than I remembered - even with dodgy Who, you find something good and come to accept the successes and failures of single stories - but that too has some structural issues and a sense of "That'll do" about it in its resolution that I find difficult to accept from this respected author. His film scripts are accomplished enough, his children's books are great - but their whimsicality doesn't necessarily translate into a polished and satisfying TV script. There was no through-line to this, no essential spine that you could say afterwards, "Wow, that was an amazing insight into [X]." It should've been grief, but that was extraordinarily fumbled, in my view. Was it about the evolution of visual language? Binary thinking? No, neither of those really, either - both just gimmicks around which to build further incidents, none of which helped support a positive denouement. As a whole, it all felt very lame and clunky. The early character based scenes were lovely - but so much of what was good about the episode was the production values and the actors. I'm all for experimental Who, but neither of Cotrell-Boyce's episodes really cut the mustard. Never mind, next up: Sarah Dollard's Regency London historical - she gave us last season's very fine Face The Raven.
  2. Great! Can't wait!
  3. They got bought out by some media conglomerate, forget who off the top of my head. It depends who you read and what mood they're in... Beth Elderkin, James Whitbook are fairly reliable and say upfront when they're theorizing, but you have to remember io9 have slots to fill and a lot of the time, the pieces are opinion, not fact. (There's a presentation issue there, yes.) There's still some good stuff there though, which is why I visit it too. Gizmodo, their science and tech sister site is still largely very good. Kotaku, too, which sometimes runs some great analyses of comics and manga. Sadly, I have to point to Trendacosta and her posts on io9 as being among those that I approach most often with caution. Sometimes they're funny, but more often the tone is often hysterical and entitled. ...And that made me
  4. I thought the first half of 'Smile' was great, when it's virtually a two-hander between Capaldi and Mackie. It meanders a bit, but there's some charming character development, and the ep looks fantastic. However, it sags badly in the middle and its treatment and definition of grief as a "negative" emotion is a non-starter for me. Grief isn't negative - it's a mechanism for coping with loss, for mending a broken heart, for finding positive ways forward. Having coped with some loss in our family recently, I found myself as a parent having to answer some questions about this, and overall I have to say I found it a pretty superficial treatment of an element that deserved deeper exploration. It was tossed into the mix as a plot fixer. There's a lot of signposts like 'Erewhon' (Google Samuel Butler) to demonstrate the author's cleverness, but no actual development of any of the themes he introduces. I also thought the sudden evolution of the robots into sentient AI was the introduction of an old SF trope from out of nowhere to paper over all sorts of explanatory cracks in what seemed like a very rushed resolution. By the time the colonists were grabbing guns to deal with the problem, I was saying out loud, "Please, no." What, is this the only plot involving robots ever? Not one of the colonists knew the robots had a reset switch? The Doctor learned nothing from Bill last week that it's not okay to mindwipe self-aware beings with memories? Even when you've introduced the potentially fascinating idea of the exploitation of visual language? Regarding that, the final sight gag of the GBP sign was just so absolutely glib it left a bad taste in my mouth. It felt like a first draft of a script that needed several more to sort out the structural problems. A lot of it is saved by the charisma and chemistry of Capaldi and Mackie, but sorry, for me, this one ended up clunking its way onto the stinkpile.
  5. Lucas isn't involved in Indy 5 at all. I doubt we'll get UFOs. I suppose it's possible, but after the critical pasting it got, it seems unlikely. I hope they ditch Shia. Maybe they'll introduce his daughter instead as a "Next Generation."
  6. Got tickets for the whole family for next Saturday!
  7. BSG's Tory! Cool. Met her, once. She was lovely. Shazad Latif is also famed in the UK for his role as Clem Fandango in a comedy show called Toast of London, which is extremely funny. Well, I think it is. And he was excellent as Jekyll on Penny Dreadful.
  8. The cost of trend-as. {Should that be "az"? Okay, it's not really a pun that works.) She's doing it again, see: And everything in the article consists of confirmation bias. She interprets all the news to confirm exactly what she wants to see. In news media, this is known as using your high-profile position to broadcast incredibly irresponsible, reckless misinformation based on hearsay. Joining the dots between facts and claiming you can see the whole thing. It's only a TV show that no-one cares about, of course. We do it all the time - but we're only a message board full of fans. Below, in the comments, someone has written: "I think the staff of io9 won’t be happy until the show comes crashing to an explosive self destructing end. Just so they could say - see we told you the show was doomed. Can we have a little bit of optimism once in a while?" Right. Who knows, all her guesses might turn out to be right, but it's still damaging.
  9. Beware of Trendacosta
  10. I read somewhere else - forget where, or I'd post the link - that the script had already been revamped and Carrie Fisher's final appearance confirmed as being in The Last Jedi. Just watched the last ep of S3 of Brit comedy Catastrophe, in which she plays Rob Delaney's mother. It was the last perfomance she gave before she died - she was literally returning to LA after filming it - and she was just phenomenal. And hilarious. Damn, Carrie Fisher. We'll always be missing you.
  11. Just putting this here for @Sehlat Vie
  12. So, after The Last Jedi, you won't have to wait as long for the next episode:
  13. There are so many ways of explaining away the lack of force-pushing at opportune moments, some of which you've all already covered here. It's not a coherent world, it's one that develops as more narrative layers are added to it. I actually see this as a boon - something I complain about a lot (many of you longtime Trekcore friends know this) is the modern tendency of media franchises to explicate everything when explanations are not necessarily needed. (Hi, newer ALIEN movies.) Star Wars, with the prequel trilogy, was one of the first SF franchises to do that, but now it's turned that tendency on its head with all the spin-off animations and new movies. I like that it's broadened and deepened the details of the universe (and actually managed to explain away a lot of the awful storytelling missteps of the prequels by adding in the continuity of the Clone Wars show as a kind of narrative glue). It means there's more room for fan imagination, more mysteries where we can enjoy theorizing and coming up with our own lore. That's healthy, I think. Much moreso than how Lucas got in the end, attempting to nail down every last detail and in some cases, causing narrative goofs that'll never quite be mended. (We have to live with those, I think.) Interpretation is where it's at - because it leaves room for the viewer and reader's imagination, too. That attitude - of Star Wars being much more than just a media property - would seem to be borne out by this very uncynical view by the keeper of the flame, Kathleen Kennedy. As the article notes, it's a translated piece, but if she did say this, it's nice to know they're that open-minded. Their current output would indicate it's the case. Of course they know what a cultural phenomenon it is, and that the Mouse demands buck$, but equally if they leave it all open for fandom's own imaginative investments = everybody happy.
  14. Is it my imagination, or are prequels going even further back in time - er, timelines - now? COMING SOON: Peter Parker: The Middle School Years
  15. There's no hard and fast rule that says she'll go - it's just what I suspect will happen. I'd love to be proved wrong. The only precedent in the modern era is the handover from RTD to Moffat. On the other hand, if the BBC ask him to keep Bill, perhaps he will.