Saturday, 11 November 2017

Star Wars Rebels S04E07 "Kindred" and S04E08 "Crawler Commanders"

Synopsis

The rebels look to move a stolen Imperial hyperdrive and flight data recorder off Lothal, while the mystery of the loth-wolves deepens. Desperate to contact Rebel command, the Ghost crew pirates a mining vehicle with long range communications gear, but the Empire arrives to spoil their plans.

What I thought

The series of double-billing episodes continues this week with probably the first two-parters that really would have worked as standalone episodes. There's certainly no 'planet of the week' sort of stuff this season with Rebels as episode 7 starts not long after last week's finished with the Rebels looking for the hyperdrive they stashed. Sure, everywhere looks similar to me on Lothal but they ARE STOOD RIGHT NEXT TO THE ROCK they hid it behind last week. We all know it's there! lol. It takes a Lothal cat to show them where it is, although quite why Ezra says he's not sure where they stashed it "because it was dark" I don't know. It wasn't dark! Anyhow, the Empire is just up the road, where Governor Pryce is recovering what's left of the TIE Defender Elite craft. Thrawn is on hand to give her the news that he's dispatching his agent to help find the hyperdrive; enter Rukh! Why he uses him in this episode and not at anytime before is head scratching as these two are supposed to be a duo from what I know of Thrawn in the books. Anyhow, this episode is a great debut from Rukh with his nifty ape like running, awesome fighting skills and unique voice. I'm very much reminded of Darth Maul's debut with Rukh; the "my apprentice is on his way", the revealing, the flirting attack on Rebels, and a speeder bike, which is what Maul arrived on in A Phantom Menace. Throughly enjoyed seeing Rukh and feel he could truly be a real thorn in the Rebel's side. 

Most of episode one though is about Kanan/Ezra and the Lothal Wolves, which help lead them to safety through caves in a rather cryptic but magical series of scenes. The cave paintings, the growling of the two 'bodyguard' wolves has you wondering if they are friend or foe. Then there's the connection with Kanan and Ezra, the revelation that Kanan suspects more going on Lothal regarding the Empire and their journey across the entire planet by way of some force/Narnia/teleport!

In the second episode, the Lothal gang intercept and takeover a MASSIVE mining craft that's literally destroying the land in order to take resources from it. This land vehicle (although it might fly?) is spectacular in every way, from the outside due to it's vast size, right into the rooms inside which are rustic, cold, dark, steam-filled and as dirty as you'd expect in such a heavy-duty mining vehicle. There's a bit of further head scratching by me in this episode as to why they sent Sabine to take out a couple sentry droids, then seized the bridge and then didn't bother to take out any of the other mining guards etc until they had to later on? The captain on the mining vessel was funny although how they kept allowing him to shout out for so long i don't know! Zeb's battle with the mining guard with that electric whip was awesome although quite how Kanan came around so quickly from being taken down by the whip ...? Well, it's cartoon huh? Further comedy provided by the returning Cikatro Vizago in this episode really helped make it super enjoyable for me.

You can't help but feel now like this season is really building up to something big, much like last season. Sadly, the rug is about to be pulled from beneath our feet again, as there's only one more episode before a long mid-season gap :( That so destroys the tension!

Rating: 8/10 - Fantastic debut by Rukh, cryptic magical stuff with Lothal Wolves and a visual splendour with the mining craft makes this a highly enjoyable double-bill.

What I liked

  • Great visual debut for Rukh
  • A welcome back from the comical and lovable Cikatro Vizago.
  • Intrigue and mystery with the Lothal Wolves and what else the Empire is up to there.
  • Fantastic scenes on the Mining Vessel.
  • Kanan/Hera kiss and reaction by the gang.


What I didn't like

  • Not a lot to dislike, aside from more needing more Thrawn/Rukh in second episode, although this wasn't a classic two-parter anyway.
  • The whole debating will they/won't they with Hera at Rebel HQ seemed a waste of time as we all sort of knew how that would go down.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Star Wars Rebels S04E05 "The Occupation" & S04E06 "Flight of the Defender"

Synopsis

Ezra and the Ghost crew are called back to Lothal when a new Imperial threat rises. The rebels look to secure intel on a deadly new Imperial fighter prototype.

What I thought

After dropping multiple hints every week, Ezra finally gets to go back to Lothal with the gang, after Mom Mothma gives them approval to find out about a new upgraded TIE-defender. In season one I was glad when they left Lothal, and here we are back there, albeit for one double-parter. It was much as I expected; cutey/nasty Lothal cats, creeping about, and some random zany Ezra like stuff to appease the younger audience. It was very acceptable entertainment although felt very much like it was all planned out rather than flowing smoothly.

In the first episode the gang arrive on Lothal in some ridiculous disguises. Ezra and Sabine head to a bar which was anti-Empire but is so pro-Empire now you'd think you was on the Death Star. A pilot as a bar host? Imperial march music playing? And ... hardly anyone in there? Outside someone was being done for breaking curfew but inside the bar no one questions this fact. A local helps Ezra and Sabine out of a tight squeeze but this only leads to the obvious as the whole gang soon are being pursued by the Empire and head down the sewers. Zeb isn't happy but these have to be the cleanest sewers in the world as there's absolutely no material of any substance down there. There's a typical cartoon dilemma as the gang seem pinned down by a handful of Stormtroopers one minute but got rid of at least 3 imperial droids not long before. Anyhow, Lothal giant, Ryder is on hand to help the gang out of a sticky situation right near the end of part one, much like Saw did at end of previous two-parter. Hey, it's a good "cliffhanger" situation right?

In part two, it's all about the Defender, as Ezra, Sabine, Zeb and Ryder (plus Lothal Cats) head to the TIE compound where the new Defender is just landing. Sabine heads in to steal the flight recorder, which is a new tactic because last time they decided to steal the schematics. Anyhow, whilst she's inside pulling wires out, none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn, Governor Pryce and two Death Troopers arrive to inspect the Defender. Great timing! Ezra runs a distraction by basically causing a hell of a mess, before ending up in the Defender with Sabine as that's their best route of escape. Watching that thing blow everything up was awesome, as was how cool Thrawn was as he never flinched from being shot at!!!! Amazing. Thrawn wants to use the opportunity to see the Defender in action, learning that it's likely to be Ezra flying. Wonder what use he'll make of that?

After crashing the Defender, due to a kill switch being used by the Empire, they smuggle the hyperdrive and flight recorder from the wreckage, and get an odd ride back to Ryder's camp by a direwolf. Ok, it's actually a Lothal Wolf but it could be a direwolf as it's massive. What are we to make of this? Is it anything other than Ezra's connection to the force and animals?

Rating: 6/10 – The return to Lothal was thankfully a short-stay one, but had some memorable moments along the way.

What I liked
  • Great to see Rex and Kallus get some better screentime although it was brief.
  • How cool is Thrawn in this episode? Not at all concerned about being shot down. Then there's his calculating analysis of the Defender.
  • The occupation of Lothal was grim and dark.
  • The Lothal cats were super cute and funny this week, especially with those two stormtrooopers.
What I didn’t like
  • Didn't Ezra say he was going to stay on Lothal this week?
  • Death Troopers were once again different to the Rogue One version but certainly less rubbish than in the previous episode. However, they didn't really do much but bark orders in these episodes.
  • Very "staged" in first episode down the imperial bar with the imperial march music playing and a former pilot now running a bar?
  • Some good interaction with Kallus and Rex but we hardly got to see them.
  • Umm, where's AP-5?

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Star Wars Rebels S04E03 & S04E04 "In the Name of the Rebellion"

Synopsis

As members of the Rebel Alliance, Ezra and the Ghost crew must accept a mission to spy on an Imperial outpost they would rather destroy. Later, after being separated from Hera and Kana, Ezra and Sabine join the desperate quest of Saw Gerrera to hunt down the Empire's elusive secret super weapon.

What I thought

After a reasonable opening hour episode to the season, things really beef up in this double-parter, especially in the second half as Saw Gerrera arrives and so do multiple massive explosions. Although there are references to Ezra and Sabine always blowing things up in this episode, given what we know about Saw, we also know to not only expect things to go boom but also to take a turn for the worse when he’s about. However, for the first half, he’s not about, at least not physically, except for his massive big head (visually and probably figuratively to many other Rebels) appearing to transmit a message to the Rebel base on Yavin IV. This absolutely beautifully stunning setting for a base is interrupted by Saw telling them how rubbish they are and not willing to do what it takes. As if waiting for him to appear, Mom is out of the base and there to dispute his accusations and then cut the plug on his mouthing off. Before this, we had the gang together again as Kanan, Ezra, Sabine and Chopper meet up with Zeb and Hera at the base. I expected Hera and Kanan to rush into a hug but they really held that off, leaving the handshakes and fist pumping to our imagination. As rewarding as seeing Yavin IV was, we also got to see Rex and Kallus once again, albeit both in a small supporting role. Sadly, no AP-5 who would have been fantastic in this episode with his cynical nature.

What gets this episode going is that a new massive communications antenna (you know, just like the ones we see in Rogue One) is being used by the Empire and is causing them to get the heads up on the Rebels. Mom Mothma therefore instructs the Ghost team to utilise it to the Rebel’s advantage rather than destroy it. This was going to plan, until the Rebels actually landed on the device, by way of a heavy landing by Ezra, Sabine and certainly by Chopper! This whole skydiving that happens in this show I have to just accept at face value. It all doesn’t quite add up for me, as Ezra says he doesn’t need a jetpack, yet he uses it? It’s all just odd how casual they are with this but, hey, it’s a cartoon! Anyhow, once an Imperial cruiser arrives, things start to go comically wrong, as he there’s Stormtroopers falling over each other as Chopper manipulates the tilt of the dish, and Ezra doing an even worse impersonation of an Imperial voice than Han Solo in the detention centre on the Death Star. Seriously, that was Ezra’s plan, to chit-chat to that incoming cruiser? That’s the biggest waste of an idea ever. Sure enough, it’s time to bail out, but the Ghost is preoccupied by TIEs but luckily Saw is at hand, as he helps rescue the three and also nuke the dish, taking out the cruiser at the same time, naturally.

This takes us into part 2 and Sabine/Ezra/Chopper hooking up with Saw and his wingman to infiltrate a civilian cargo ship which Saw has intel on being used by Imperials. Sadly we see little of the space station that the cargo ship undocks from but once inside the cargo ship, it’s all creeping about like Scooby Doo and totally awesome as the gang indeed find the Empire is using the cargo ship, where they find a group of prisoners whom seemed to be on the way to Scotland’s Comedy Fringe Festival, given their comedy abilities. But no, they are all weapon experts who were made prisoners by the Empire for not agreeing to help them. Rogue One reference? Tick. Secret Weapon? Tick. Krennic and Death Troopers? Tick ... well, almost. Krennic gets name dropped but there be Death Troopers guarding a massive Kyber Crystal in this cargo ship! This isn’t just any gang of Death Troopers. Oh no, these boys and girls are fresh out of Death Trooper training squad because they seem unable to know how to utilise their secure comms, weapons or armour, for they are made mugs of by the Rebels. Saw, determined to find out what’s really going on, has no interest in helping the prisoners, leading to a game of cat and mouse with Sabine/Ezra before he destabilises the kyber crystal upon bailing out when a Star Destroyer shows up and no secret Imperial weapon evident. Needless to say our gang get out alive, but not before the cargo ship goes supernova, taking out the Star Destroyer with it ... naturally.

Rating: 8/10 – A gritty action packed episode full of Star Wars and Rogue One nostalgia.

What I liked

  • ·         Saw Gerrera and his wingman were cool and were awesomely portrayed.
  • ·         The secrecy and conspiracy elements were top-notch.
  • ·         References to Rogue One were like hand outs of candy to fans
  • ·         The ‘green’ alien prisoner was absolutely a great comedian as well as scientist.
  • ·         Chopper back on form providing humour and comically dealing with Stormtroopers.
  • ·         Yavin IV looked beautiful.

What I didn’t like

  • ·         It was odd hearing Death Troopers talk in English. They are way more cool when talking in code.
  • ·         Death Troopers made to look like the they were no better than StormTroopers.
  • ·         How did the Star Destroyer captain not notice the energy build-up until the last minute?



Yavin IV looks absolutely beautiful.
I'm so reminded of Rogue One here!


Meet the new comedy gang!

Death Troopers, but not as you've seen them before ...

That's a massive crystal!

Chopper kicks Stormtrooper butt!

Bang, Crash, Wallop.



Thursday, 19 October 2017

Star Wars Rebels S04E01 & S04E02 "Heroes of Mandalore"

Synopsis

Sabine leads a mission to free her father from the Empire, but finds that a past mistake has been resurrected with deadly consequences.
What I thought
Having known for months that the first episodes were Mandalore centric, I really wasn't looking forward to this double part opener, but I was pleasantly surprised. Perhaps my buildup of being sure I'd dislike it helped me to appreciate it more? I've never been a fan of Mandalorian culture. Aside from the Fetts, whom were merely wearing Mandalorian armour, everything else about Mandalore has been more of a Mandabore for me. Sure, they look super cool in their armour and have amazing gadgets, it's just everything else seems to be, well, dull. There's clans all over the place falling out with each other, and it seems to be one civil war after the other and a constant competition as to who is the best clan. Therefore, it was somewhat unexpected that I enjoyed this opening hour long episode, most likely because the action really helped keep the boring Mandalore politics out of matters ... most of the time.

It's great that the episode starts with action, and pretty much continues with battling the Empire for the duration of the double-parter. Ezra, Kanan, Chopper, Sabine and her Mandalorian chums are attacking an outpost to rescue Sabine's dad, who'd I'd forgotten existed. After taking down just a handful of imperials and cutting down walkers in the usual Jedi style, they find that there's no prisoners in the compound in record time. That's impressive searching abilities. The intel that her dad was there was supposed to be irrefutable but wasn't. Therefore, when new intel drops that her father is instead being transported to the capitol to be publically killed, naturally they seriously doubt it's authenticity. No wait, they don't. Sorry. They simply just believe it and instead launch a plan to intercept the convoy. Saxon, the brother of the other Saxon who perished last season, and the one in charge of the Imperial Mandalorians, says it was his plan to lure Sabine in to the deserted compound, but then doesn't seem to expect the attack on the convoy? I dunno. I gave up at this stage in trying to work out the logic. Anyhow, naturally the Rebels and Mandalorians rescue Bail Organa from the transport. Oops, nope, I mean Sabine's father. Well, it's an easy mistake. They look like they were separated at birth. This episode then ends with Sabine's father giving her tips in painting ... or was heading that way, until Saxon unleashes the Empire's new weapon on Sabine's mum, brother and co, with what is basically a walking electric wielding walker. UNLIMITED POWER! It's a super end, not least that we're rid of a few Mandalorians, but also the scene of the destruction is breathtakingly heartbreaking to see.

In part 2 it's all about destroying the weapon she helped create. Bo-Katan isn't happy with Sabine over her creation, and who could blame her, but for the sake of a long drawn out argument, she's easily convinced to forgive all that and help take the weapon down. Sneaking in using jetpacks, which Ezra seems to have mastered by this point after a rather embarrassingly comical performance in part 1, they enter the hanger bay of Saxon's star destroyer. Luckily the weapon is just inside. That's very convenient. When Sabine and Bo-Katan go off to locate the actual heart of the weapon, we find that it's just a trap by Saxon, as he uses the weapon on them. Not wanting to fry them, he needs Sabine to increase the yield of the weapon to it's maximum potential, using his threat to kill Bo-Katan as the bargaining chip. Here's where it goes into cartoon overdrive, when Sabine agrees to his demands (naturally tricking him) presses a few buttons, warns him not to use it, which of course leads to him pressing the button that sets the weapon on all Imperial armour instead. I'm not sure what's ridiculous more. That she could make that change so quickly, or that Saxon was stupid enough to think she'd done it in a few button presses. Anyhow, a quick darksabre through the weapon and it's time to bail out of the imperial ship quickly, as the weapon's core seems to be so powerful that it ultimately takes down the whole Star Destroyer. When it comes to Star Wars Cartoons, it's not enough to cripple a ship, you have to absolutely blow it up!

Right at the end, and for no particular reason that I can see, all the Madalorian clans decide to follow Bo-Katan, whom Sabine gives the darksabre for the iconic raised sabre pose.

It wasn't anywhere near as bad an episode as i feared. Despite it being all on Mandalore, the politics was not as potent as the action. There's a lot of 'WTF' moments, but this is a cartoon at the end of the day and therefore I try to overlook as much of that as I can and just try to enjoy matters. However, despite all the action, it did feel a little like a "did we really need an hour to get to this point?" kind of episode. The good news is that perhaps we can all move on from the Mandalore/Sabine thing now and get back to the Rebellion.

Verdict 6/10 - Decent opener full of action, and thankfully not as stuffy with Mandalorian stuff as I feared.

What I liked:
  • Lots of action! 
  • Ezra's comedy moments helped cheer matters up.
  • Empire's weapon was pretty impressive.

What I didn’t like:
  • Contradictions. One minute the heroes are taking out two TIE fighters and the next they are pinned down by two stormtroopers. 
  • I know the weapon was on reduced power, but Sabine and Bo-Katan did recover amazingly quickly.
  • Saxon not being able to increase usefulness of weapon but is convinced by Sabine's 5 second tapping of buttons that she's significantly increased the weapon's yield.
  • That core in weapon took down a whole Star Destroyer? 
  • Mandalorians are easily swayed to hop sides aren't they?
  • Don't want to be mean, but it would have meant more if Sabine's mum and brother had been wiped out by the weapon.
  • I don't know why, but I was a little surprised by Sabine's Dad's references to Jedi.
The view after the weapon was deployed was stark and emotional.

Ezra provides the comedy in episode 1 as his flying is a disaster.

Saxon; with brains like he had, he was never going to last long.

Nothing is ever as delightful as a Star Destroyer in a destructive descent.

We have another new Mandalore leader. Ok, she was previously a leader, but she's back now. 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Star Trek Discovery: Season 1 Episodes 1 & 2

The anticipation level I had about this show was simmering very nicely. Sure, the trailer hadn't done much for me, but surely I couldn't be as unsure after watching the opening episodes than I was after watching the trailer? Well, seems that is possible. Now, I've watched every Star Trek TV Series, the films and even the rebooted films (aside from the third one). Admittedly I didn't enjoy the new rebooted films, and I wasn't the biggest fan of Voyager, but I welcomed a return to Trek in the timespan between 'Enterprise' and the 'TNG' onto TV. I also was well chuffed that it was 'canon' Trek, and not the new timeline from the rebooted films. I loved 'Enterprise' so more of that with some bells and whistles would suit me fine. So, what did we get then?

Having watched the opening two episodes, I'm feeling quite flat. I'm trying to 'cling on' to aspects of what I saw in the hope that I'll feel inspired to keep watching the series but there's so little there to really say I enjoyed. Let's do a little recap ...

Things start off with the new hairless crustacean version of Klingons. Tick. That was the best way to start. Introduce the menace early. Then we get two of the new cast on a desert planet trading compliments and conversation as if written from an educational textbook between each other. Yes, let's meet Captain Philippa Georgiou and Michael Burnham as they essentially walk miles to fix a water well with a phaser and then walk around in circles to create sand patterns of the starfleet insignia. As great as it is to see Starfleet helping other civilizations and boldly going, this is a little dull due to the dialogue by two characters who seem unable to show emotion even in the heat of a desert. Sure, Michael has been raised as a vulcan so it's a little hard to show anything remotely emotional I guess. Plus, she's been called Michael since birth. Some mistake with the birth certificate I gather and someone who can't spell Michelle right. Ok, I made that bit up. If it was true it would have been more exciting than this segment though. The groan in my head when sand patterns helps the ship find and rescue them was deafening. How exactly did that insignia help through a heck of a lot of clouds and an incoming storm?

We then have Michael doing what she ends up doing for the next two episodes; being impulsive, self-indulgent, pompous and about as likeable as phaser pistol to the head. If you've seen the actress in The Walking Dead, you'd think she was playing the same person for they are almost indistinguishable. She goes off in a funked spacesuit to investigate a nearby oddity, finds an ancient ship of amazing decorative sorts, gets into a two second battle with a klingon that also seems to be suited up and standing around on the hull of the ship, kills the klingon and narrowly gets back to the ship alive. She exits the medical bay dressed in bandages around the important bits, looking like a half dressed mummy, and starts blabbing onto the Captain about Klingons being everywhere. Captain eventually believes her as they have somehow managed to serve together for seven years without killing each other, and hey presto, big bad Klingon vessel comes out of invisibility cloak nearby. It then shines like a massive lightbulb, summoning all Klingons to come join them and unite the Klingon Empire together. We know this as we are treated to several long arduous scenes of the new styled klingons talking to each other as if they are speaking about one word every 10 seconds. Nice to see the language of klingon's being used but boy does it go on and on and on. It really doesn't help in any way to stimulate the audience. But anyhow, at least when the 24 factions of klingons all warp in to join the massive ceremonial klingon ship, we can get back to some normality and see proper klingons, right? Nope, don't be daft. All Klingons now lack hair, any real traditional forehead and instead look like they've been swimming with starfish for a few years. Even their ships barely resemble anything we've seen before. Apparently, humans haven't seen Klingons for a 100 years. Now where have I heard this story setup before? Oh yeah, Battlestar Galactica.

Michael demands in a rather teenage manner relentlessly at her Captain to fire first on the Klingons but she won't. No worries though, because in true adolescent style she ignores the chain of command that she's served for 7 years and nerve pinches her captain and attempts to assume control in the most unconvincing manner ever. Naturally, for apparently tension purposes only, the Captain recovers from the assault in record breaking time and comes out waving a phaser about. Sadly, before she can shoot Michael and spare us another hour of listening to her blabbing on, all hell breaks loose as federation ships turn up and it's like fireworks in space. I've not got a clue what's going on as it's damn hard to tell with lense flare and more background objects than at any landfill site. Basically the federation loses this battle, mostly thanks to the best scene of the battle which is a klingon ship cutting up the admiral's ship in half. Michael is sent to the brig ... during a battle ... because rules are rules folks. One of the bridge crew gets injured and is asked to walk to the medical bay. Hang on. If he can walk there, why can't he continue at his station? Anyhow, he gets lost, walks to the brig. Easy mistake huh? He's then blown up as miraculously, and damm annoyingly, the brig is all but destroyed, except for the bit where Michael is standing. Later she bores the ship's computer into helping her get to safety for fear it might try to kill itself if she keeps talking any longer. She's then back on the bridge with zero security people about and not one person really surprised or caring. Rules go out the window and she and the captain transport to the Klingon vessel after disabling it in the most un-federation like manner ever (bomb in a body), and go after the main baddy, which results in Michael shooting him just a few minutes after she said that they need him alive or he'll become a martyr. Oh well. Sadly still, the captain is killed just moments before so I guess we'll have Michael feeling guilty for that for the rest of the series. Then, just to help set us up for a cliffhanger of sorts, we have Michael in a court martial meeting, in the darkest of rooms ever. Quite how the judges can see each other, let along anything else, I don't know. Are they still into saving energy? Naturally she pleads guilty to all charges and is sentenced to life imprisonment, which naturally won't happen as we all know she's a star of the show. So, quite pointless to end with that one.

Final thoughts? Well, after thinking "We've got a whole season of this?" my next thought was something like ... 'meh'. It's not horrendous. It's not brilliant either. Critics apparently loved it but they most be smoking weed and stoned still from the rebooted films if you ask me. This is more Star Trek than the rebooted films, but only just. The modern sci-fi style of lens flare overload is everywhere, including the modern trend to have camera angles that look impressive but do nothing to help you engage with the story or understand what is going on. We only got introduced to three of the new crew in this opener and now one of them is most likely dead as a dodo. The Captain was a little Janeway like but, and even I thought this impossible, less interesting and likeable. She almost displays more humanity on a few occasions, giving us genuine emotional facial features but they were too far and few between, with most of the time all she did was give orders and reread Starfleet protocol manuals at us. Michael was so much like her Walking Dead character that I half expected her to put a knife to her captain's head instead of the vulcan nerve pinch. She's portraying a Vulcan-Human as if this is a B-movie; i.e. badly. It's as if she's so much naturally like a Vulcan in real life that she hams it up ridiculously in the show. The only other crew character we see anything of is Saru, an alien, but far more likeable than any of the humans in Starfleet in this show, thanks to his Scooby-Doo like ability to want to get away from danger and crisis. He's the only breath of fresh air on a ship that thus far is rather stale.

There's far more of the crew to meet and it's almost certain we will over the course of the season but why we couldn't' we have seen more of them in the opener, I don't know. They decided to ignore most of the crew and just go straight into a Klingon versus Starfleet storyline. Probably most of that crew we're never see as that ship is already fodder. I guess we're heading to a new ship and crew, which is very much welcome because this lot were only just about bearable because most of the time I couldn't see them due to lens flare. And what of the new Klingons? Why? This needs some explanation, that's for sure. I'm a little lost here. Why have the Klingons changed so much across the lifetime of Star Trek but humans stayed the same?

I love Star Trek but even I'm having a hard time with this show. However, there is plenty to go, and with a heck of a lot of crew not even covered yet, there's promise of there being people much more interesting than those we've seen so far. Star Trek needs interesting characters, just as much as all the alien stuff. So far there's only been two to try to identify with and one of them is about as interesting as a brick and likely to be shoved down out throats as the star of the show for the whole season. This could be a long road, getting from here to there ...

Rating 6/10 - There's some promise here but it's incredibly hidden behind a lot of annoying and unlikeable issues currently.

What I liked:


  • Like the ancient feel to new klingons and design. 
  • Starfleet ship looks cool on outside and the instruments are an electronic delight.
  • Lieutenant Saru; thank goodness for this character. Entertaining in every scene he was in.


What I didn't like:


  • Lens flare alert!
  • Some really unuseful camera angles.
  • Why is everyone in Starfleet suddenly so pompous and arrogant?
  • Did we really need another 'Vulcan/Human with issues' character?
  • Sarek? Did we really need him either?
  • Long distance mind-meld communication. No thanks.
  • Cringe inducing sand insignia moment.
  • Nice touch with old theme in new theme but at start and end? Didn't need it twice.
  • Flashback scenes didn't really work most of time.
  • Not the most interesting klingons and they are very very chatty in a manner that makes it tedious to watch.
  • Hologram communications? WTF? Even 'Enterprise', Voyager and TNG didn't use that form of communications!
  • Only introduced to 3 of crew in episodes 1 and 2.
  • Isn't Commander Michael essentially just playing the walking dead character? i.e. Dull, opinionated. Not sure how her and the captain served for 7 years together without hitting each other.
  • Captain is/was very goody goody but that's starfleet although she always looked like she was going to end up dead.
  • Since when do a Captain and 'Number One' go alone to launch an attack on an alien ship?

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Twin Peaks Season 3 (The Return): The Finale

Yes, this is my first review since episode 8! It's been a long hard struggle for me, finding words impossible to describe what I've seen between that episode and the finale. It's safe to say that from episode 9 up until 15, I've really found it hard to care or stay interested in a lot of what I've been watching. Aside from anything at Twin Peaks Sheriff's department, the FBI, Evil-Cooper or Dougie, everything else I honestly did not get attached to, and there was a lot of stuff in those episodes that just skipped me by. That stuff was mainly for those who'd seen the previous two seasons of the show. For those, like me, who'd just started watching with the opener of series 3, it was just fodder, and a lot of stale fodder that was never going to be engaging or make enough sense to get our teeth stuck into.

Episodes 15, 16 and 17 were for the most part very good. Sadly though, for all the hope of a build up to a Cooper show-down, we didn't really get it. Everyone came together for episode 17 but good Cooper had very little to do, and didn't even get any screen time with evil-cooper as he'd been taken down just before he got there! I'd loved Dougie, and I'd really enjoyed the return of real Cooper, but there was not enough real Cooper interaction in the finale to really justify any grand return for the character. It felt like he was left standing outside the front door instead of being welcomed in, which is exactly where we headed for the finale hour. Whereas I was largely totally following episode 17, the last hour I mostly found so dull that I couldn't really be bothered to play too much attention. Ok, so it's a parallel world of sorts etc, but it was full of nothing much aside from the most rubbish sex-scene I've seen in ages, unlike the epic-dougie sex scene earlier in season, and lots of driving in the dark. I've found watching traffic cams more stimulating. I don't mind watching something with little happening in it, but this took the biscuit, or donut or mug of coffee.

Overall, how would I rate this season? Would I recommend it to anyone? Hmmm. There's been some great surrealism in the show, not least in the opener, where it was at it's best for me. There's been some great comedy with Dougie, and there's been much intrigue with the FBI, evil Cooper and at the Twin Peaks Sheriff's department. However, it feels for me that all that only encompassed 40% of the entire season, leaving me for vast majorities banging my head on wall during long musical endings, and watching paint drying scenes of people I'd never seen before nor really could care about.

Twin Peaks isn't a show I could binge on, nor is it something i think should be binged on. You need space and time to assess what you've just watched with this show although I'm still none the clearer even after hours of debate in my head.

It's been a long ride this season, maybe 8 episodes longer than we needed, but like a marriage, it's had some great moments, along with hours of idle time. But, just like a marriage, it should be honoured, held in high regard and respect, and cherished for the union it is.

Finale Rating: 6/10


Saturday, 22 July 2017

Twin Peaks S03E10 "Laura is the one"

I think I can safely say that this episode marks the moment when everything is starting to come together in a cohesive way. Finally, a few more things made sense this week; not least when FBI Director Gordon Cole "saw" Laura, they worked out that the white haired lady is communicating with Evil Cooper and they obtain a photograph from the apartment we saw in opening episode which shows Evil Cooper in that glass structure. Tying together all the different parts is essential for a newcomer like me, so I was very pleased to see such explanations so obviously spelled out this episode.

Dougie! What can we say? He has his doctor's checkup, as his wife and doctor both notice he's lost weight and looks in peak shape. I was expecting much more from an examination as the doctor didn't get into the mental side of things at all. Surely he noticed his behaviour and limited communication skills??? Then there's the Dougie sex scene! LOL. That was just amazingly funny.

Remember the guy who ran over the kid a few episodes ago? Well the sicko is back and he kills a witness this week and also seems in cahoots with one of the police officers on order to remove evidence. This guy is totally off his head and sick. He also steals money off his family in a rather surreal scene.

Aside from that, we've the organization in background that hire the dwarf now trying to pin everything on Dougie with the Casino's issue of not getting an insurance payout. Seems more hitmen might be going after Dougie? This can only be superbly entertaining.

Rating 7/10 - Enjoyable and thankfully revealing this week even though I'm still baffled by most of it.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Twin Peaks S03E09 "This is the Chair"

What I thought

I'm still struggling a little now that we're half way through season but this episode was very welcome as it was much easier to follow, absorb and enjoy.

Evil-Cooper is very much alive, as expected, despite taking multiple shots to the chest. We saw him getting seen to by those "miners" shortly after he was taken down. This week he's meeting up with yet more contacts for a new ride and gun. Interestingly, he sends a text message to the lady with the white hair (yup, I'm rubbish with names) which is very curious given that she's with the FBI who go to identify the man with the missing head.

Dougie gets some screentime this week but not a lot as it's mostly the police guys in the station talking to themselves, his boss or doing their thing arresting the dwarf guy in a semi-comical fashion. The laughing police guy is frustratingly amusing. There's also more evidence that Dougie is starting to slowly remember things as he stares at a USA flag and power socket this week.

At Twin Peaks Police HQ the guys get their hands on more information in the form of some small papers showing coordinates and dates, which happen to have been foreseen and are only a few days away! Curious. They also have a hint that there might be two Coopers.

There's more ridiculous dramatic confessions from the librarian killer guy from many episodes ago this week which explains a lot, as he and the lady killed had a paranormal blog and were dabbling in things to do with another dimension, Seems they made contact and then things went seriously wrong.

Didn't care much for last 5 or so minutes, as it's another segment in the bang bang bar with a band playing and a couple characters talking things out. Don't think I've actually watched an episode through to the end because of the musical interludes - something I just don't like in my TV.

Rating 7/10 - So, decent stuff. Nothing too cryptic for my well confused brain this episode and also dripping of explanations.


Sunday, 9 July 2017

Colony Season 2 Episode 1

After what has been an incredibly long time in the UK, finally Season 2 started this last week on Sky Atlantic. We were treated to a 'Previously on ..' segment to quickly warm our memories up, before we launch into ... 45 minutes of a flashback. Yes, we went to before the alien occupation. In fact, hours before, as we see Will with his then work partner, Devon, having their disagreements before being sent to investigate numerous VIPs that have gone missing.  There's a massive EMP attack, which takes out everything electrical, including transport. With panic around the city, Will has Katie get the family to safety, which in his view is their bar business in town. Right, because that's safer than anywhere else, right? Initially I wondered if this was just a brief flashback or we'd be going to and fro for the whole episode, but no, it went on until the last few minutes, leaving me with little doubt that one of the main reasons for the flashback was to setup Devon. Indeed, we return to Will right before the end, being on the other side of the wall as he was at the end of Season 1, looking for his son. After a beating by a gang who are less than helpful, he heads to a house where he's greeted by a gun being held at him by ... Devon. Cue the dramatic conclusion music and the credits. Yes, this was pretty predictable from that perspective.

However, all in all, it was very interesting to see what happened on that day, especially the very little actual alien activity. We hardly saw anything extraterrestrial, aside form the massive blocks of wall flying through the air and landing in place. This show's greatness is keeping the alien's in the background, if they are actually aliens at all! We don't know do we? Maybe it's a major government coverup? Who knows. But by keeping the mystery at arm's length, the show has an awesome backdrop of mystery, fear and the plain unknown that in itself is the prime draw for me to this programme. We learn along the way more about Broussard, who seems to be a genius at working out when to leave a building before it's demolished. Why the rest of the troops didn't think like him I have no idea. We also find out that the EMP took out his mother's life support, thus giving him even greater resentment of the alien arrival. Proxy Synder we see coming into 'power'. He's probably my favourite character in the show, although he didn't really get to do an awful lot this episode aside from look mystified as he was escorted about with little to no information on what was going on.

Rating 7/10 - An enjoyable opener which I hope the payoff of the long flashback wasn't just so we had Devon setup for her introduction at the end. The arrival of the aliens in a very stealth and invisible manner was done amazingly well, and really helps propel this show high in the watchability factor for me, aside from of course, having likable main characters.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Twin Peaks S03E08 "Got A Light?"

Well, what are we to make from that??!?!? Quite easily the most weirdest "out-there" episode since the opener of this season. After seeing evil-cooper in the getaway car be tricked by his driver and shot, we spend the rest of the episode in some psychedelic drug-fuelled utopia of visuals and audio, with brief flirtations into anything comprehensible. We have flashes of lightning, with these rather poor and ugly looking individuals "helping" evil-cooper (or maybe not helping?) before we are then taken back to the 1950s and the testing of the atomic bomb, with a long series of visuals on what you might imagine it's like inside the reaction. Next we're taken to those same figures and lightning flashes around an old petrol station, before we head it seems to some obtrusively darkened building on an island where there's a victorian-era dressed lady and the giant, who seem to sort of react to more banging noises and a drum of sorts, before the giant goes to their home-made cinema of sorts, watches what we just watched for last half hour (but in seconds) and then seems to ascend, project light matter out of his head, generate a ball, which has Laura Palmer's face in it, which the other lady then sends to Earth. Yes, the Planet Earth. Still back in the 50s, we have a courting couple ending their night out, the scruffy men from earlier arrive, kill people in a radio station, start broadcasting the same words recursively, as everyone in the nearby town listening to radio dies. The egg sent to Earth is born as some weird insect which goes into the mouth of one of the town's inhabitants. Quite frankly I'm baffled.

There were minutes when this episode was tiresome, not least 4 minutes of the Nine Inch Nails near the start, but the majority of this acid-trip experience was nonetheless intriguing although there were so very few aspects of it I could cling to and interpret. Is the 50s when all the issues in Twin Peaks started? Is this the start of it all? Was Laura Palmer born this way? Are these supernatural forces powered by nuclear matter? Do they have an interest in it? Was this all kicked off by evil-cooper being shot, or just a flashback that was going to happen anyways?

Much like watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, this episode took us through all manners of visual candy and conflicting details that swish around in our minds like a mess of little details to form some sort of soup that will taste nice but you never know what was in it. It was a bit too much for me on several occasions but it also was undoubtedly amazing at times and a very intriguing passage of play.

Rating: 6/10 - I thought the tea I was drinking had really gone to my head watching this.

Windows 10 Mobile - Insider Build 15228

If you're going from 15226 to 15228, there's 35.15MB of goodness in this build upgrade to get your phone feeling loved. What puzzles me is this; how does 35.15MB take so long to download and install? If it's 1GB or 1MB, when it comes to Windows Update it seems to still take 5-10 minutes to download it, before we get to the initialising bit. What's that all about?

So, what's new in this build? Well, I've noticed one thing that wasn't mentioned on the build release notes; Windows Update font is no longer looking like a 5 year old's writing!!! Woohoo!


The rest of the fixes are just that, fixes. There's nothing else to talk about but I'll go on to say one of my two main moans about Windows 10 Mobile at this point. I'm not going to go on about apps or it's looming EOL, but about issues that seem to keep being annoying, which is Apps Resuming and Backup Options. Both take a long time to do anything. Sure, not all Apps appear to sleep when you are using them, but sometimes it can take an age to resume an app when you click on it - Messenger being one of the biggest offenders. Then there's clicking on the backup options link under Backups. It spends 10 seconds or more with the 'please wait' dots. I'm sure it used to be quicker man many builds ago.

Oh well, we've got to be thankful for small mercies when you are a Windows 10 Mobile user, so a new build is still something new although surely these could just be cumulative updates?

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Windows 10 Mobile - Insider Build 15226


Released in the last few days on the fast ring, this ~45MB build (think UUP technology that keeps build sizes down) took longer to download/initialise/install than it will ever take to check out the improvements. It was a good 20-30 minutes ... for 45MB? It's great that the build sizes are small now with UUP in the Creator's Update but why does it take so long to upgrade?

15226, as with the last several handful of Windows 10 Mobile builds, has been all about fixing minor issues in the OS and little else.

With the most notable change in recent Windows 10 Mobile builds being the label for Phone Updates changing to Windows Update, it's more of the same in this build as the release notes say:

  • This build also includes all the improvements from KB4022725.
  • We fixed an issue where some apps could not subscribe to SMS receive notifications.
  • We fixed an issue for Windows Insiders where some binaries stopped working when transitioning from Insider Preview builds to officially released builds.
  • We fixed an audio issue with Bluetooth headphones after Cortana reads an incoming SMS message to the user.
Bug fixes and security updates are better than nothing, but lets face it, sadly Windows 10 Mobile is coming to an end. No one will admit it though. We might yet be surprised but it's looking increasingly unlikely.

On the plus side, this latest build, as with most of the recent ones, runs very very smoothly. App updates still come thick and fast, making using Windows 10 Mobile very enjoyable, if you ignore Edge and the lack of a variety of apps. As a phone, email and news device, it ticks boxes very well. Add in the lumia camera (which is brilliant!) and it's a very useable device. If you want to use it as a serious web browser or get your hands on whatever app you might please, you're bang out of luck.

Still, though, it's confusing to use mobile users why there's still things like WeGo as a known bug for not working correctly, and the relabelling of Phone Update to Windows Update still looking like a 5 year old wrote it:


Will there be more build updates for Windows 10 Mobile? I believe so. 

Will there be anything worth getting excited about with these builds? Doesn't look like it.

Still, at least the phone works :)

Twin Peaks S03E06 "Don't Die"

After the previous few episodes being somewhat hard work for a newcomer to the saga like me, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Lots of Dougie really brightens any episode! I could watch a whole season just of this character! This week he's still outside the workplace where last week ended. He loves the statue but is eventually helped home by a security guard, only to get berated by his wife and adored by his son. The reports he was given, he draws the weirdest of patterns on, with help from magical bright dots. Upon his return to work and the boss calling him into his office, it appears that whatever Dougie did was genius! The turnaround and performance during all this is absolutely divine like chocolate sauce. I loved it.

Away from Dougie, the next longest segment this week concerns a drug deal that was far too drawn out for me, but what follows caught my attention, not least when the drugged up young lad knocks over a child at a crossing. It's all done in the strangest Twin Peaks style with people's OTT behaviour as they witness this, including a guy who we see before arriving on the scene, who sees the child's spirit floating to heaven. For me this was a mixture of emotion. Naturally what happened was sad and disturbing but it was also difficult to fully take too seriously due to the Twin Peak's style of mannerisms that everyone displayed.

Then to the scene near the end, when a hitman dwarf goes on a blood rampage in some office with a poker instrument of sorts. Oh, it's a spike, that's right. LOL. He was given photos of a lady and Dougie, killing the lady in gruesome fashion and nearby witnesses, before being disappointed that his spike is bent. It's truly bizarre and it's also very bloody.

Away from this, there's classic Hawk at the Police Station making a discovery in the toilet and one of the FBI guys meeting a lady in a bar. The latter means nothing to me but I'm sure means more to long standing Twin Peak Fans.

So, there we have it. A much more enjoyable episode for me, thanks to Dougie and some scenes that were easier to follow and appreciate than previous weeks.

Rating: 7/10 - Dougie rules and blood goes everywhere.

Dougie is a legend!

No idea what this was all about, aside from the some magic.

Potent and seriously odd scene with the poor boy.

This dwarf causes a blood bath.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Twin Peaks S03E05 "Case Files"

Synopsis 

Cooper/Dougie goes to work, someone is after Dougie, fake-Cooper causes a stir & various other little storylines.

What I thought

I'm struggling somewhat now. It's a shame to say it but there are segments in this week's episode and last week's that I am just not connecting with at this time, which makes it a real struggle to stay focused and interested. The biggest offender is Dr Amp, whom I know is a big deal from the previous series but I don't get his rants over the airwaves although his advert for his golden spade to dig the shit out of our lives was mildly entertaining. Then there's the stuff at the cafe and the daughter of the daughter hanging out with the junkie. I totally found those two really hard to care about. I guess as time goes on it'll mean something more but right now I was zoned out on those two storylines.

The centre-piece of the whole season so far for me continues to be Cooper/Dougie who is just a plain daft simpleton with a variety of amusing expressions and mannerisms. Thoroughly enjoyed Dougie's "first" day on the job and his obsession with coffee and the statue outside the building. Fake-Cooper in the jail was also highly intriguing, how he perceives what's coming next and then somehow manages to send all the electronics into chaos to make a phonecall that the FBI then can't detect. What's with the black box in the middle of nowhere shrinking in size? Totally intriguing.

So, a reasonable episode, inter spread by elements I loved and plenty I just didn't connect with. I reckon going forward there will be more of this so I need to develop a thicker skin perhaps :) At least there was no musical ending although we did get an extended scene near the end of a band.

Rating 6/10 - Decent enough but I'm struggling a little at times.


Stand-up comedian in the autopsy :)

Blimey, his wife goes on a lot!

Cofffeeeeeeeeeee

She's cute and he's a nut.

Didn't connect with Dr Amp sadly.

Fake-Cooper pulls a fast one on the FBI.





Thursday, 8 June 2017

Twin Peaks S03E04 "Brings back some memories"

Synopsis

Dale "Mr Jackpot" Cooper returns to Dougie's home, Twin Peaks Police still try to figure out what's missing and fake-Cooper gives an interview to the FBI.

What I thought

This was a bit of a drawn out episode for me but still nevertheless intriguing and entertaining. Mr Jackpot at the Casino just keeps winning, much to the owner's annoyance, and is eventually sent packing via a limo. You'd think there's be a limit on how many wins one can have in 24 hour period or there'd be major suspicions of cheating? Well, it gets no mention. Through limited knowledge, Cooper is taken back to Dougie's home where the now deceased Dougie's Wife and boy live! Yet more simpleton Cooper antics follow where he's incapable of doing anything for himself (he puts the tie around his head) and has to be shown to the bathroom. I thought he'd pee in the sink but that joke never happened. Strange how he knows nothing about peeing but walking and breathing isn't much of a problem? Still, it's an amusing time in the household, much to his son's entertainment. There's also a warning from the red room that Cooper was tricked and one of them must die. I'd assume that's fake-Cooper?

Speaking of which, fake-Cooper gives an odd interview to the FBI in a manner that suggests he's real Cooper but also not quite. The FBI don't buy it at all and seem to believe there's something very wrong with Cooper. You think? LOL.

Aside from that, the investigation at Twin Peaks HQ goes nowhere, but does provide the biggest laugh of the episode, with the receptionist freaking out over mobile phones. This was a LOL moment although the conversation with her son and the sheriff was just simply bizarre. It was like an Oscar Award speech combined with lots of weirdness.

Rating 6/10 - Great intrigue and pockets of entertainment continues, but somewhat harder for me to digest this week.

What I liked:

Cooper at Dougie's home was great.
The receptionist freak out over mobile phones.
Fake-Cooper debrief was somewhat semi-revealing.

What I didn't Like:

Drawn-out segments weren't easy for me this week to get through.
Still musical endings. I think that's going to be the norm now sadly.
What the heck was that Marlon speech about?


It's only been 25 years, but she can't get the concept of mobile phones into her head. LOL.

That was one heck of a speech.

Simpleton Cooper at Dougie Home was charming stuff.

Fake-Cooper just feels evil.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Twin Peaks S03E03 "Call for Help"

Synopsis

Dale Cooper takes the journey back to the real world and arrives in form of a simpleton who is good at winning in a casino.

What I thought

Well, it was always going to be hard to live up to the roller coaster of the opening double-episode but this was still one heck of a headbanger. I'd said last episode that perhaps things would have been better if Dale had returned to reality sooner, but now I know why: there was a shed load of stuff for him to go through still. He wibble-wobbles through time/space and then ends up in small metallic room with a lady who can't speak or see, with loud banging on a door, and a balcony at the top that is surrounded by the open-universe! This is seriously odd stuff. After sacrificing herself, Dale returns down to the room, to see the lady again, who can now speak and see, and sends him through the smallest of contraptions. Time is of the essence it seems as that banging is "Mother" and she obviously isn't a happy lady for some reason. We then get introduced to this week's nudity and another Cooper doppelganger called Dougie who has just finished with a prostitute. He starts throwing up, as does the original doppelganger after crashing his car, which leads to more oddness but essentially Dale Cooper arriving back into reality via a power socket. You couldn't make this stuff up! LOL. We then get introduced to a rather simpleton form of Dale Cooper, who does his best Data from Star Trek impression at a local Casino. Not only does he keep winning but he's also apparently straight out of Dumb and Dumber in his inability to really comprehend his surroundings. Speaking of which, back at Twin Peaks Police HQ, there's a rather funny segment with Hawk and his colleagues trying to figure out which piece of evidence is missing from Dale Cooper's disappearance. Is it the chocolate bunnies? No, it's not the chocolate bunnies. Or is it? LOL.

It's hard to know what to think but now Dale is out, you'd think maybe we'd get closer to understand the season arc but I'm not sure that's ever going to be obvious. LOL.

Rating 7/10 - Another episode of oddness personified.

What I liked:

  • All that Dale Cooper journey to reality oddness was just baffling and genius.
  • The Casino scenes were amusing and daft.
  • Dumb and Dumber at Twin Peaks Police HQ was quite funny,
What I didn't like
  • Another doppelganger? It wasn't too bad, but I'm not biggest fan of doppelgangers as I've said before.
  • Another musical finish? Looks like that is sadly going to become the way of every episode although I hope not.


Life is like a big metal room with a bell drum on top.
Doppelgangers contract a vomiting illness this week.

Is it the chocolate bunnies? No, it's not. Or is it?

Simpleton Dale wins big at the casino.


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return S03E1 & S03E02

What I thought

First up, a confession. I've not watched ANY of the previous two series of this show, HOWEVER, I am familiar with many of the concepts of the show; the red curtains, dancing dwarf, a giant, murder, mystery, weirdness, Dale Cooper, a lady who talks to logs etc. Even without seeing an episode before, I know all about these bits and bobs (no pun intended) because I'm a sci-fi TV fan, and it's been impossible to get through the last 25 years without hearing and seeing photos/clips from this show. I toyed with watching the first two series on catchup, but life is too short.

I sat down highly excited about this show's return, which, considering I hadn't seen it before, I'm not sure why I was so much in anticipation. However, once I started watching it, it quickly became apparent. Somehow my subconscious knew this was my type of show. The similarities to LOST and especially 2001: A Space Odyssey are uncanny. This is an intoxicatingly hypnotic show, mostly due to the mannerisms of the character's and the way it's filmed. Everything is just plain weird. The characters, the way they behave (which even for the most typical person doesn't seem quite normal) and their dialogue is somewhat a classic lesson on how to say just enough without actually being totally implicitly clear. It's like a lesson on how to be a politician in many ways. They will say and do just enough to plant questions and confusion in you, but never enough to actually enable you to be sure you really know any answers..

Exactly what's going on, I'm not sure. I can take lots of guesses, but I'd probably be shot down by hardcore Twin Peak fans for being totally wide of the mark. How the episode started and everything in the top-floor skyrise apartment building was just mesmerising and so 2001: A Space Odyssey; little to no conversation, not a lot to really make sense of, lots of sitting around, posturing, posing and looking mysterious, but at the same time just looking visually beautiful to observe. Sure, I knew something would eventually happen, and that Tracey was really into that guy. Wasn't quite expecting them to get it on and get mutilated by an entity, but it was a pleasant viewing surprise. In fact, there's another death in this episode and I'm clueness as to how they all relate. This poor high school principal getting pulled in for murder, the double revelation to his wife that they are both cheating on each other and all the confusion as to who knew what and why ... well, every time I thought I knew where that was going, i didn't. I'm still not sure if he knew or not? It seemed he did but then one moment he and his wife were so close and the classic loving couple and the next they were really like worst enemies. Amazing how that turned around. And the body which is of two people? The lady he supposedly murdered? Does that relate to poor Tracy and the lad in the skyscraper? Who knows.

Of course, then we have Dale Cooper's doppelganger wandering about, being all kung-fu, mysterious and murdering people I've no idea who they ever were, but it was sort of entertaining. Why he has to have his hair like that though ... it's just ridiculous. The real Dale Cooper is in the black lodge place with the red curtains, having entertaining and quite frankly odd conversations with random people, including a tree with a brain on the top? What? It sometimes looks a little 1950s sci-fi and then also just feels plain weird and fascinating at the same time. I love everything in that place even though i don't really understand it all. The posturing. The pausing between speaking. The way they walk about. The background sounds. The camera positioning. It's really amazing and captivating to me.

I don't like musical endings to any episode so the last few minutes deflated the experience for me somewhat, and also the fact that I really wasn't totally sure what I'd been set up for. What is the series arc? I guess it's Dale Cooper and his doppelganger but what else? Those murders? We could have done with seeing real Dale out in the real world before the end I think, just so we know where we are starting next episode. I'm also no fan of doppelgangers for the reason that it never feels right or real when the real person and doppelganger are in the same scene. Never quite works for me, although we've not had that in this show yet.

Anyhow, at end of episode, I was reasonably satisfied. It mattered not that I'd not seen the show before, or knew who anyone was aside from a few characters, as it was a fascinating world with so many questions coming to mind and visual delights that I really enjoyed it.

Rating 8/10 - A fascinating and captivating beginning, full of serious weirdness.

A room with a view

Don't drink coffee before sex.

Like an episode of Judge Judy.

Don't be cheeky.

It's a talking tree!