TV Tag

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Thank you so much Tanvi @ A Reader to Whatever End for tagging me for this. She clearly knows me very well because this tag is totally perfect for me – I’m a huge TV buff, I have grown up watching lots of soaps and dramas on television and binge watching is my favorite activity other than reading books. Just go ahead and checkout Tanvi’s blog for more amazing book reviews and other wonderful posts.

I have tried but there is going to be a lot of repetition in my answers below, because I’m very picky and have very few favorite shows and I love binge watching them. So, let’s get started.

From https://ksahitya.wordpress.com/about/

I’ve not been tagged. I just found it, liked it, tagged myself!
Hope you enjoy my answers
Han x


Favourite Shows

  • Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – Present) I love this show. I can’t explain my reasons, but this show is my life. From the first ‘seriously’ to undoubtedly teary last narration, this is MY show. I’ve even made a tag for the show, which is my top viewed post to date.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)
  • Stranger Things (2016 – Present)
  • Glow (2017- Present)
  • Friends (1994 – 2004)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993- 1999)
  • Doctor Who (1963 – Present)
  • Suits (2011 – Present)
  • Line of Duty (2012 Present)
  • Lucifer (2016 – Present)

Favourite Genre

Sci-Fi has always been my genre. Crime/procedural dramas come a very close second, but its Sci-fi that has made me who I am today.

Least Favourite Show

  • Bojack Horseman
  • Archer

Most Rewatched show/ Favourite show to Binge Watch

  • Grey’s Anatomy Every year I start from the beginning and watch all the way through. Most of the time. Sometimes Izzy gets to me and I skip until she’s gone.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Gilmore Girls (2000 – 2007) I’m not sure I like this show all that much, but I find myself binge watching every year or so.
  • White Collar (2009 – 2014)
  • Stranger Things
  • Glow Season two landed on Netflix on a Friday. I put it on with the understanding that I would watch ONE episode… I think it was something like 1am and I’d finished the whole series.

Week-by-week or Binge

It depends. Shows like Line of Duty, Bodyguard and Star Trek Discovery work well as week-by-week as it allows each episode to be thought about and predictions to be made.
However, there are shows that just beg to be binged; whether you want to or not. Netflix shows like Stranger Things and Glow are ones that I binge like hell. Repeatedly.

Favourite TV Character

  • Amelia Shepherd; Private Practice (2007 & 2013) & Grey’s Anatomy. An unpopular choice for those who only have Grey’s to go off, but anyone who has seen the younger brain surgeon face her darkest moments in the Kate Walsh spin-off will understand just how much she’s been though.
  • Dr Julian Bashir; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Chief Jim Hopper; Stranger Things I don’t think I really need to explain this one.

Favourite TV Ships

  • Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke; White Collar This is a total bromance. I love it because it shouldn’t work. Neal’s a conman and Peter’s the man who caught him. However, you just have to watch the emotional exchange in the series one finale to know that these two are soulmates in much the same way as Grey and Yang.
  • Jim and Maggie; The Newsroom (2012 – 2014) One of the reasons why The Newsroom ended too soon is the development of Jim and Maggie’s relationship. They’re one of the will they/ won’t they couples, but we never really get the pay off.
  • Paul and Hugh: Star Trek Discovery I love these two, mainly for the fact that their sexuality is simply there. It’s not commented upon and it allows for a better and deeper exploration of their characters and relationship.

Shows you Couldn’t Get into

  • Black List
  • Dexter
  • Grimm
  • Mr Robot

With both Mr Robot and Dexter, it was about the narration that runs throughout the episodes. I just can’t marry the narrative and the visuals together. It’s a shame because I love both of the main actors.

Shows You Fell Out of Love With

  • Lost (2004 – 2010)
  • Heroes (2006 – 2010)
  • Marvel’s Agents of SHEILD (2013 – Present)
  • Supernatural (2005 – Present)
  • House (2004 – 2012)
  • NCIS (2003 – Present)
  • The Big Bang Theory (2007 – 2019)

With all of these shows I lost interest in the stories and, more importantly, the characters. I shed light on Lost and Heroes in my post here.

Cancelled Too Soon

  • Selfie (2014)
  • Our Zoo (2014) The mini series that looked at the creation and opening of Chester Zoo by the Mottershead family could have easily gone on for a number of series. It was a blow to hear, long after the final episode aired, that there were no plans for a second series.
  • Newsroom There’s no denying that I started to watch this show for David Harbour, but I stuck around because the story had me hooked. Much like West Wing, this Sorkin produced drama was drawing from politically and socially prominent stories. I wasn’t ready for the end and I would happily welcome a recommission.
  • Pan Am (2011 – 2012) Yup, this show also has David Habour on it’s roster, but I did what the first few episodes back in 2011 when it aired late night on BBC2. This is a show that would have fairedsefore we only have 14 episodes of this wonderfully 60s show.

Guilty Pleasure Show

  • Selfie This show was amazing. A modern retelling of My Fair Lady/ Pygmalion with Karen Gillan and John Cho at the helm. Their chemisty and humour make this short-lived so bittersweet. You know Gillan’s Eliza and Cho’s Henry are meant to find each other. Unfortunately time was called on the show early into its run.
  • Once Upon a Time (2011- 2018)
  • Hex (2004- 2005)
  • Switch (2012)

Currently Watching

  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Miracle Workers (2019)
  • The Flash (2014 – Present)
  • Arrow (2012 – Present)
  • Supergirl (2015 – Present)
  • DC’s Legends of Tommorow (2016 – Present)
  • Charmed (2018 – Present)
  • Star Trek Discovery
  • IZombie (2015 – Present)

I’m sure there are others but its hard to think. It’s like naming all of Santa’s reindeer.

Favourite Theme Music

  • Crystal Maze
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • White Collar
  • Hex

The Characters You Love to Hate

  • Jez Heriot and Azazeal; Hex
  • Louis Litt; Suits Oh, Louis! There isn’t a character that’s made me facepalm as much as the Suits antagonist. I love him and his annoying over reactions.
SUITS — “Hitting Home” Episode 507 — Pictured: Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt — (Photo by: Shane Mahood/USA Network)

Favourite Swan Song Episode

  • Hex; S2 Ep13 The Showdown
  • Friends S10 Ep17&18 The Last One: Parts 1 & 2

If you’ve gotten this far, consider yourself tagged.
Drop me a message in the comments. Do you agree with any of my choices? Any shows you think I should give a second chance?

Love Han x

TV REVIEW Star Trek Discovery: Series 2 Ep8: If Memory Serves

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Air Date: 7.3.2019
About: Spock and Burnham head to Talos IV, where the process of healing Spock forces the siblings to confront their troubled past. Stamets desperately tries to reconnect with an increasingly disconnected Hugh, while Tyler struggles to shed the crew’s suspicions of him due to his past as Voq.


When the early description of this episode and first images were released for If Memory Serves, I knew this was going to be the episode I was waiting for. I’ve literally been like a kid at Christmas all week. It’s been a long time since I’ve had such anticipation for a TV show.
Little did I know, there was much more to the episode that I didn’t even know I needed.

It all starts with a heartfelt and surprising ‘previously on…’. This isn’t one you’re going to want to skip over this week; creators have edited footage from the Star Trek Original Series pilot The Cage in order to give new audiences a condensed story. It’s charming and tasteful while staying true to the show.

It’s a truly amazing episode and everyone is giving their all. There are two things that make this episode a potential contender come next years awards season.

Michael and Spock

  • Fans get some answers to why the Federation have stopped people from visiting the system; something they’ve been waiting a long time for. Its a great way to open the scene and give Michael, and the audience, further information.
  • Getting onto the planet itself is rather problematic. It leads to a fight between Michael and the catatonic Spock. Its wonderful on so many levels. It adds a touch of humour to a tense storyline, but more importantly; it adds a level of realism to the relationship and, by extension, the show. I just love that intimacy between the siblings that breaks the boundary of being Starfleet.
  • Talos itself is stunning. Yes, its a clear upgrade from The Cage but the set designers have stayed true to the original concepts. Just wait for Michael discovering the plants that emitting a beautiful sound.
  • There’s a familiar face guest starring as the famous Vina; the woman who graced the credits in most of the Original Series run.
  • As part of the story, audiences will get plenty of answers to questions that have remained unanswered. It’s a traumatic process for both Michael and Spock. Both ? and ? are amazing in their roles. Again, my favourite interaction being a point when Spock has regained control of his mind and there’s a verbal sparing between the siblings. The conflict, regret and love between the two characters is clear to see, and its not from a script that this is gained; its the chemistry and interaction between the two actors.

Hugh, Paul and Ash

  • This was the character and relationship exploration I’ve been waiting for. I loved the relationship of Paul and Hugh last series; it was understated and representative (hopefully) of a natural progression of a gay relationship. The show didn’t make it a thing and I found that incredibly beautiful. Then obviously we had to face the loss of
  • When I heard about Hugh’s return, my mind was all a buzz with what the fallout could be. Never, did I think it would be quite so good. I’d imagine it’s an actors dream to be given such a story line to sink their teeth into.
  • Wilson Cruz is heartbreakingly powerful in all of the scenes in this episode. While it’s clear that Hugh is still processing the trauma he has been through and there’s such a lost and stranded tone to Cruz’ performance. I can only begin to imagine what a strain on a person’s sense of self this situation could cause, but Cruz helps make it a little easier.
  • I have been very vocal of Anthony Rapp’s performance since the very first episode here. Over the time, we’ve seen the range and scope of his acting and it did not disappoint. However, the scene in which he brings dinner home to Hugh is just something else. The pain in which Paul asks ‘Why are you angry with me?’ was so raw, that I wanted to reach in and give him a hug. It’s an understandable situation that I’ve seen in real life; When my dad thought he was losing my mum to COPD, there was a change. He took her the cinema, he helped around the house more and, at my insistence, he did not smoke in the same room as her. Paul is so grateful to have Hugh back that he’s trying not to take his second chance for granted. I was moved by Rapp’s performance and how real it felt.
  • I was shocked by the character reveal of Ash Tyler in series 1. Shazad Laitif is an incredible addition to the cast and having him back within the crew was always going to provide some brilliant plot points. In this episode not only we get the knowledgeable security crew member, but we see his vulnerability from his relationship with Michael but also from the actions he can’t take back as Voq.
  • The moment I was waiting for actually took me by surprise for so many reasons. I knew there would come a time in which Ash and Hugh would be in the same room and I imagined so many ways in which it could go. This wasn’t it. I was not expecting this powerful display of anger from Hugh or the resulting fight. However, there was another unexpected response that shocked me completely. At the climax of the fight, Hugh and Ash admitted to each other that neither knows who they are any more. I have so many predictions about this turn of events but for now, all I want to say is that it was one of my favourite scenes in the whole episode because it took me by surprise and was buzzing with energy and potential chemistry.

Final Thoughts, Questions and Predictions

I know, deep down, its a better episode than New Eden but I can’t quite move the second episode of series 2 from my favourite top spot. That said, this has everything you would want from a Star Trek episode. I’ve actually already watched it three times, simply because I enjoyed it so much.

One question that was raised for me was with the reveal that the Red Angel and Spock changed Michael’s fate. I hope the remainder of the series looks into answering the question that the episode raised for me: will there be a consequence for saving Michael’s life?

There’s two ways I feel Hugh’s journey could go. It’s been made clear that there’s a fracture in his and Paul’s relationship, which leaves it open for some romancing on either part.
But the much more interesting relationship development is that of Ash and Hugh. They are both men who have gone through a change at the result of something traumatic and as unconventional as it would be, they really could help each other recover. How that progresses, I’m not sure. Obviously there is the fundamental friendship that could develop from shared trauma, but I don’t think it’s beyond the show to develop a romantic relationship between them. As much as I feel like a Paul/Hugh traitor, I’d be open to them exploring this.


I cannot wait to see what the show has for us next.
Until next week
Love Han x

TV REVIEWS Star Trek Discovery S2 Ep7 Light and Shadows

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Air Date: 28.2.2019
About: Burnham goes to Vulcan in search of Spock, where she unearths surprising family secrets. In researching what is left of the Red Angel’s signal over Kaminar, Pike and Tyler end up in battle with time itself. Georgiou has a few tricks up her sleeve for Leland and Section 31.

Spoilers Ahead

The episode has gone back to having two very distinct plot lines, and it feels all the better for it.

Michael and Spock

Michael’s trip to Vulcan is much more rewarding than I was expecting it to be. Having watched the OS episode Journey to Babel earlier in the week, I was able to truly appreciate how well the casting was.
Sonuqua Martin-Green’s performance in this episode is quite simply perfect; she is able to portray a human raised in a Vulcan environment with such emotive force that I was reduced to tears. Her relationship with Spock is something I want, and need, to see more of.

I’m a little unsure as to why Michael agreed to take Spock straight to Section 31. I’ve trusted her judgement since that first episode and it saddens me somewhat that Michael doubts herself. I’m also quite curious that it wasn’t the Black Ops that tried to recruit her.

I feel like we’ve been lacking hand to hand combat this series, so it was amazing to see Michael face off with Phillipa. It’s well choreographed and that final head smash made me gasp.

Michael’s episode ends with her discovering the numbers Spock is repeating are indeed pointing at a place. One I’m excited, yet equally nervous to visit. Done well, this is going to be an amazing following episode that may even answer questions left unanswered by the Original Series.

Pike, Ash and Disco Crew

I’ve always loved temporal disturbance plots and this episode is no exception. Mainly because it has all my favourite Discovery elements:

  • Tilly being her passionate geeky self
  • Saru being the authoritative, repressed mentor
  • Pike being the best god damn Captain I’ve experienced in Trek history. That twist of a smile when he responds to Tilly’s curse is just … well, it’s what I’d want in a leader
  • Stamets and his amazing brain
  • Pike butting heads with Ash
  • A resolution with progression

I still feel that unease when it comes to the Red Angel. It feels as if it’s something that is hiding plain sight and I’m going to kick myself when it comes to the reveal. I do get a sense that it is coming to a head, but all its doing is making me wish I could binge watch the rest of the series.

Final Thoughts

Another strong episode that adds to the ongoing story. It was lacking any feature of Henry and Wilson Cruz was sorely missed. I need an episode focused on him soon and I certainly need a scene with Henry and Ash! I’m nervous about how badly it will go and I just need it out the way.

Love Han x


TV REVIEW Star Trek Discovery: Series 2 Ep 6 The Sound of Thunder

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Sorry for the delay. I’ve had a difficult week and a bit sleep-wise so it meant I had to watch the episode twice before writing my review. All should be back to running normally next week, but today you get a double dose of reviews.

I actually wasn’t sure about this episode when I first watched it and I can only think it was that I wasn’t in the right mind-set for such an emotional-wrought story line.
Saru’s journey within this episode is quite incredible. We see his relationship with Michael strengthen once more; there’s a heartwarming scene in which he takes Michael to meet his sister. It’s charming and gives us such a depth to Saru’s character.

The plot involving the seemingly superior Ba’ul is incredibly reminiscent of stories you’ll have seen before; Antz, Bug’s Life and many others all cover this idea of a weak group being strong, if only they work together and accept they can be more.
What I did enjoy with this retelling of the underdog is that it wasn’t always that way and the ethical situation Discovery find themselves in when faced with being a bystander to genocide.

The Ba’ul leader! Bloody hell, he was scary. The look is absolutely terrifying on its own, but then you add that voice that will cause nightmares for weeks to come. It’s hard to see that they were once the prey on the planet- gulp!

The episode resolves with a heartfelt goodbye between Saru and his sister. I’m hoping that the journey within this episode will ensure we gain a balance between his mild mannered and volatile self. I guess only time will tell.

My only issue with the episode is in regards to Hugh Culber. The first scene is okay and fits well within Saru’s story. However, this was not an episode that could fit in a secondary storyline, so the second scene which has such a beautiful story that explains how Hugh came to be a doctor feels a little out of place and clunky. What I felt it needed was either a resolution with an additional scene at the end or the second scene removed.
It’s something I probably wouldn’t have noticed had the previous episodes been quite so high quality. It’s not that I don’t want to see Hugh either, its an incredible story and I’m itching to have an episode that focuses on both him and Stamets. However, these out of place scenes don’t do the character’s justice.

Its a well made episode, with only a few missteps. It was quite nice to have a break from the search for Spock and have an almost ‘bottle episode’ on a planet. I’m also strangely loving the clashing of Pike and Ash; long may it continue.

Buffy Rewatch: S1 Ep1 & 2

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Titles:
Welcome to the Hellmouth
The Harvest

I started to rewatch Buffy with a group of students in school. I figured the girls needed to see a role model who wasn’t from Love Island or battling against the ‘lets be PC’ method of making TV.
Every week we squeezed into one lunch and after school session. They were amazed that I know some of the lines pitch perfect, they were shocked at what passed for fashion in the 90s, but they love it and were always begging for ‘one more’.

Welcome to the Hellmouth

That opening scene. It will always be like a sucker punch to me. Tropes are so-called for a reason. Even with the current horror resurgence, conventions are set in celluloid. This first vampire attack bends all expectations and even 20 years on, it still feels refreshing.

Buffy is introduced with a parting nightmare directly after the guitar from the credits patters out. With the vibe of a popular kid who wasn’t looking to start again, its easy to see that she’s been through something that’s humbled her. Buffy”s passing initiation with Cordelia ends with her being so uncomfortable at Cordelia’s jibes directed at Willow. It’s a testament to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s performance. Not many actresses could pull off this conflicted nature with sincerity.
We hit the 25 minute mark and I’m very happy to see that, much like Harry Potter, she’s alright at deciding who her friends are, thank you very much. Of course, while Buffy didn’t want to leave her school life and popularity behind there is that pesky little problem she was hoping to avoid.

Buffy’s reminder of her duties as the slayer comes dressed in tweed. Anthony Stewart Head, the Gold Blend Ad man, was back on my TV. As much as I love Giles, I never quite understand how he got the top Watcher job. From all the contact we see him have with the Watcher’s Council, it’s made clear that they don’t think much of him. So why is he looking after the one and only Slayer and not behind a desk?!

Buffy and Giles’ relationship is one of my favourites on the show; it works well and on so many levels. Although, watching now there are some times when I wonder how this middle-aged man got away with spending so much time with the Scooby Gang.

Welcome to the Hellmouth sees Buffy admit there is no escaping her calling and the episode ends with Willow heading into certain danger after taking advice from Buffy. We’re reintroduced to Darla; the vamp from the opening who takes Jessie down into the sewers, while Willow is saved. It’s a perfect cliffhanger if you watch it as a standalone. However, it did air in the UK as a mini movie which works just as well.

Of course, we can’t talk about this first episode without mentioning the fan-favourite welcoming gift; Angel. Myserious, brooding and apparently the definition of beautiful. I’ve never seen it myself, but seeing my students swoon, I guess I can’t deny that he still has it.

The Harvest

This episode is such a well structured compliment to episode before. It hits the ground running and within the once scenes we get a demonstration of Willow’s technological skill set. It’s these early episodes and setting up strong character traits and relationship foundations that will allow for some epic story telling.

Not only do we see Willow being established, we are already seeing character development. Thanks to Buffy, Willow is already learning to stand up to Cordelia. It’s wonderful and perfectly Willow.

There are two flaws for me in this episode and they both revolve around the death of characters; Jessie and Luke.

For the show, it was a stroke of genius, but for me I really hate that we lose Jessie so early. It’s a massive blow to lose someone you think is going to be a main player. It’s actually a shame they didn’t have the forethought to have his name in the opening credits to reinforce this. It does demonstrate that no one is safe from death and sets a tone for the series.

Luke, on the other hand was perhaps a mistake along with how the whole of series one pans out. More on this when I get to the end of the series. Luke should have stuck around for the remaining 10 episodes thought; he was a good little bad, if not a little dumb when it came to sunrise. Although it must be said that he does give Buffy a well choreographed fight scene and some excellent quips that will become synonymous with the Vampire Slayer.

It ends with the status quo back in play; even those who were at the Bronze act as if nothing has happened. Something that will crop up time after time, along with the quad walk and talk.

And just like that, we’re all doomed…

Love Han x

TV REVIEW Star Trek Discovery: Series 2 Episode 5 Saints of Imperfection

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The episode opens up on Michael’s face and wow, this is the first of many examples within the episode that demonstrates that all the actors can convey so much without uttering a word. Both Michael and Stamets break my heart in that opening scene. I do find it interesting that over the next 20 minutes or so the crew are attempting to establish that Tilly is still alive. It was something I never questioned.

The episode really brings the dialogue to the forefront; most of my notes are simply quotes; from Michael’s log insisting ‘I want to have faith. In it’s absence, only duty remains.’ and Section 31 opperative downgrading of Pike’s concerns ‘there are always lives at stake, that’s what keeps us employed.’
Of course, the most important part of dialogue comes from Pike when he informs the crew of Stamets’ plan to rescue Tilly from the mycelial network. Pike’s speech about Starfleet being a promise is a recurring theme that spans the rest of the episode and ensures the two halves join together effortlessly.

The visuals in this episode are incredible; the drop of the apple seems strangely important but regardless it was a beautiful cut. Then there was the visuals when Discovery is acting as a doorstop to the network. I want that image on my wall. It’s these clean and effective visuals that make this stand out from the rest of the franchise.

Of course, it’s the actors that make this show the addictive watch that its become. This episode had a lot of people to play with and they all bring their A game. Not only that, but the episode doesn’t feel bloated or strained. There are very few shows who could manage such a big cast in one episode without loosing some of the quality. Obviously, there are some standout performances and amazing returns, but no one flounders. The one shame of the episode is that Reno disappears from last week’s episode and I really would have liked to see her help Stamets as it feels odd.

Then, just when I can’t think the episode can get any better I start to get a sneaky feeling the monster Tilly has been brought into the Network to kill is Hugh! Amazing Hugh, who was taken from the crew mid series last year in a shocking reveal and cover up. The added blow of Wilson Cruz bowing out was that Rapp lost the person he had the best chemistry with. Yes, it gave Rapp a wonderful gift of character development but I wasn’t ready to lose Hugh.
I can’t quite work out if Hugh’s return was planned or fan wish fulfillment and that is exactly how it should be. Most importantly, I don’t care either way because it’s been so well written that I believe it. It also has me thinking; is it the real Hugh or is it a clone? Most importantly, will that have consequences? I can’t wait to find out. I can’t wait to see Rapp and Cruz working together and I’m very curious as to the backlash of Ash being back on board.

Final Thoughts

This episode felt very much like a game of chess; players are being moved and ready for what I suspect is going to be an action-fueled climax. We even got an appearance of Admiral Cornwell who orders Captain Pike and Section 31 leader Leland to play nice and work together to find Spock.

Love Han x

TV REVIEW Star Trek Discovery: S2 Ep4 (An Obol for Charon)

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What an episode. Okay, plot wise we don’t get much by way of progression. However, we have so much character and relationship development and it’s beyond perfect.

Saru

Saru is our main character in this episode. Upon being held captive by an organic entity, Saru’s biology betrays him and he begins to go into what he believes to be a terminal condition. What I loved about this thread was that we learnt even more about Saru’s species and how he ended up working within the Federation. It’s quite a heartbreaking watch and Doug Jones demonstrates his skills; not only is he able to embody the pain and empathy that Saru feels, there’s something hypnotic about watching his broken body struggle around Discovery.
The joy at the final act reveal is only surpassed by what it might mean for the character. We’ve had 19 episodes with an alien who is susceptible to fear and was the embodiment of caution. Without this and discovering everything he knew of his species was a lie, I can’t help but wonder what lies ahead for this character.

Tilly, Stamets and Reno

I’ve missed snarky Stamets. It’s been too long since we’ve witnessed a closed and stand-offish engineer. I have obviously enjoy the character break down the walls and warm up to those who work closest to him, but it was a joy to see him clash with Tig Notaro’s Jett Reno.
How they spar over the way they see the future of technology is wonderful, and one that is played just right. Its a play that could have gotten old fast, if it was handled by lesser talent. I’m hoping this is the start of a beautiful friendship; when it comes down to it it is a balance of both of their insights that they need. When things that got critical, they bounced off each other as all good scientists do.

“Hey kiddo…” Have I said that I love the growing relationship between Stamets and Tilly? It’s something that I don’t feel we’ve seen with such sincerity in a Trek franchise before. The care and trust that the actors bring to the characters is heart warming. Although, their rendition of Space Oddity was beautiful and haunting. It almost had me in tears to think that Stametts was using it as a form of distractions.

And of course, there’s a bit of a game changer to the resolution of this plot thread. In a Stranger Things/ Shawshank homage, we discover that Stammets wasn’t completely successful in keeping Tilly safe. I dread to consider how we’ll find Stamets when we pick up again next week.

Saru and Michael

I have never cried at Star Trek. I think as a kid I was relatively detached from the shows to be so emotionally involved. However, there’s a few things in the show that really had me invested in the relationship of these two characters and what each was experiencing while Saru was facing death.

Firstly, we’ve seen from the first series that Discovery has no hesitation in killing off its main crew so I did spend the entire episode believing that this was the last we’d see of Saru and Doug Jones. Throughout the franchise we’ve seen semi-regular characters die; Tasha Yar springs to mind and there is also the shocking departure of Terry Farrell in Deep Space Nine. However, its very rare to see a main character leave so early in a show. I’m completely in disagreement with my father; upon finishing the episode he expressed that they took it too close to death to u-turn. I think it was necessary in order to show how much the relationship between Saru and Michael had grown and the impact it’ll have on Michael’s relationship with Spock.
I loved the whole thread that saw Michael caring for Saru, but it was that death-bed scene that caused me to cry. I can’t help but compare it to Eastenders and the heartbreaking scene between Dot and Ethel all those years ago. Saru was requesting Michael participated in voluntary euthanasia. The words weren’t said, it wasn’t used as a way of looking at it in a political way but it still held the emotional gravitas. As a relationship, Saru and Michael have progressed, in such a short space of time, from at-odds colleagues to friends, and now family. It was beautiful and will be something that can only get better.

Final Thoughts

I still have reservations about the Spock story arc. It’s nothing to do with the storytelling, at all. It’s just that I can’t help but feel like I’m in the middle of a puzzle and I’m sure I missed something. I know I have to be patient, I know by the time series 2 is wrapped up I’ll be satisfied… but, well lets put it this way; if I was a Kelpien, my ganglia would be showing.

Love Han x

TV Review: Star Trek Discovery (S2 Ep3- Point of Light)

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Another strong episode for the show that is finding a wonderful balance between episodes that work as a stand alone but also work towards a larger story. It’s so natural that there’s no need for the dreaded ‘To be continued…’ fans used to fear.

There’s a welcome return of Shazad Latif, Mary Chieffo and Michelle Yeoh for the first of three main plot threads in today’s episode. I do love the Viking and tribal or clan-like homages made while we spend time with the Klingons. It’s not something I would have normally liked, but this had my attention from the start.
I found Ash/Vok’s situation well acted from everyone involved and that brought so much emotion to the surface. I immediately wondered if this was Discovery creating an explanation for the appearance of TOS Klingons. It still might be and, if so, this show just keeps winning me over.
By the end of the episode, I can’t help but feel we’ve seen a back-door pilot of sorts and can’t wait for more news on Yeoh’s upcoming spin-off.

Michael Burnham spends the episode chasing leads as to where Spock may be. Unfortunately, it does seem by the end of the episode she’s further removed from more than just Spock. I am torn as to whether I am happy with how this story is playing out. The questions are starting to rack up and I feel a little Lost! No, I capitalise correctly, because I feel lost in more ways that one. I have this anxiety that the questions will topple long before I get an answer; much in the same way Lost did back in the day.
That said, I had my reservations about the pre- Kirk setting and I was very happy to be proved wrong by the end of series one. I really do hope we get some resolution soon. Or at least someone else sighting the red angel.

Finally, there’s Tilly and her little ghost stowaway. For the love of Roddenberry, it was heart breaking seeing Tilly so vulnerable. From the outburst on the bridge, to her tear ridden reveal to Michael I was feeling her pain. If Mary Wiseman isn’t at least nominated for an Emmy in the next awards season, I will eat my hat. (I don’t have a hat, nor do I understand awards and nominations, but guys she deserves all of them)
I loved that it was Stamet’s she needed and that it wasn’t as clear cut as I’d predicted last week. As always, Rapp is a delight to have on screen and this was no exception. With his help there was a resolution of sorts. It’s definitely not the last we’ll see of May, but at least Tilly is out of harms way.

Final Thoughts

If this show keeps going, this is going to very quickly replace Deep Space Nine as my favourite in the franchise. Something that I never thought I’d see.

Love Han x

TV REVIEW Star Trek Discovery: S2 Ep2 New Eden

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About: A new signal brings the Discovery to a distant planet, Terralysium, that is inhabited by the descendants of human survivors of World War III, which was fought on Earth 200 years earlier.

Picking up from last week’s reveal, Discovery follows a second inexplicable signal that Spock. Discovery does what Discovery does best and hops across the quadrants to discover a planet over 200 years away and the only way our crew got to it was through use of the spore drive. So, how are their humans on the planet whose lineage implies they’ve been settled on the planet before the development of warp drive on Earth?!

One of the key parts of this episode could retcon all of the franchise and put to rest fan frustration that has existed since the first series. The concept that Kirk on the Original Series was exploring ‘new life and new civilisations’, yet in almost every episode came across humans who got there before Enterprise. It’s a retcon I can get on board with; especially if it stops my father grumbling about this exact thing every time he watches Trek.

It is Pike’s response that wins me over.

“Someone wanna tell me how they got here?”

He implores right before we cut to the credits and my inner, and outer, geek dances. I love the idea that they are clearly discovering a new planet, as so they should, but there are humans already there and everyone is as confused as fuck; and unafraid to show it.

Pike is our every man. For the love of Spock, I hope he’s not a bad guy. I wasn’t sure about Pike in the series 2 opener. I’m more familiar with the Bruce Greenwood incarnation and I was feeling the loss. No longer. Having watched The Original Series double episode, The Menagerie last week along with New Eden, I can safely say Anson Mount is a welcome addition to the bridge of Discovery. Not only does Mount seem to blend both Greenwood and Jeffrey Hunter’s portrayals; he brings something of his own to the role.

It’s through Pike we get the main theme of Science versus Religion. I have a feeling this wouldn’t suit all audiences but I, being someone who has spent the last 9 years teaching RE, adored the exploration of this theme and the fact that Pike’s character clearly has more history when it comes to this. I admire the creative team’s development of a new religion that blends all of the sixth main world faiths. It logically and emotionally feels organic when you consider that there was an amalgamation of people who were moved to the planet. This is seen best in the redacted and edited scripture.

In fact the exploration of the church was my favourite scene. Not only was it able to give us an idea of what the colony was going to be like, it provided a teaching moment. Michael goes to read the scripture and Pike informs her just to look at the windows before explaining that the stained glass was there for that purpose.

“It was how they would teach the Gospels to those who couldn’t read.”

I was a passive viewer of Star Trek until I was 11 years old. I’d become a fan of Deep Space Nine, 3 years earlier, but it wasn’t until an episode of The Next Generation helped me in a Science lesson that I embraced the whole franchise. Worf was injured and spent most of the episode in sick bay where the doctor explained about the spine and its relationship with the brain. The next day, our Science lesson looked at the spine and I received a number of credits for correctly answering a question. One I would not have been able to answer without the episode. Any time an episode has a teaching moment, I inwardly smile and wonder if there’s some teen out there who’ll benefit from that nugget of information.

This plot strand brings with it one other major debate that is seen time and time again; the prime directive and the ethical standing it brings. This clearly isn’t a normal situation and is one that should be discussed. It’s a problem that when you break it down is something any viewer can relate to; an absolute rule to fit situational ethical problems. Or, square peg, round hole. I love that no one finds the directive easy to follow but more so, I love that it’s the Vulcan raised Michael that finds it hardest to follow.

On the ship, it’s a Tilly focused episode. There isn’t a character I don’t like on this show, but I bloody love Tilly. She’s The Doctor; it will forever be head canon for me and a dream casting that Mary Wiseman will be given the keys to the Tardis someday. Her caffeinated problem solving brings the two plots together and ensures the episode is neatly wrapped up; for now.

The plot develops not only Tilly’s character but reinforces some amazing relationships that are strengthening this show. Last week we saw her sadness of Stamet’s announcement that he was transferring. Her ‘I don’t want you to go.’ Was heart breaking and its clearly the motivation for her actions that see her in the med bay. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see Rapp on my screen full stop, but his chemistry with Wiseman is delightful, charming and something I would never have expected this time last season. Tilly has broken down Stamet’s hard and frosty exterior and I can’t wait to see them become firm friends.

Viewers also get some wonderful interactions between Tilly and Saru. Saru is a mentor for Tilly; she respects him and wants to learn from him. However, there’s that parental undertone that I can’t help but smile at. Tilly doesn’t want to disappoint Saru, and Saru just wants her to be safe. While there’s not much to the interaction, I think it’s forming a foundation for the rest of the series. I’d love for the show to last long enough to see her take command.

Not only is this my favourite episode of Discovery, I think this might be my favourite Trek episode of all time. The story is fascinating, the special effects, sets and costumes are nothing short of beautiful. Not only that, I’m invested in the characters and I cannot wait for the next episodes.

Love Han x

Doctor Who Resolution Review

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Doctor Who

Series 11 Episode 11

Title: Resolution

Rating: PG

Length: 45 minutes

Air date: 1.1.2019

About: As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth?

The Good

As always, Bradley Walsh is incredible. His blend of sincerity and humour is perfect for the role. How his character handles the loss of his wife and the arrival of her surviving son is nothing short of emotional.

Speaking of Aaron, son of Grace and father of Ryan, that subplot was heartbreaking and well crafted. The acting brought to the forefront the ongoing grief of the characters and really is getting important messages across.

The guest characters of Lin and Mitch are a good addition and Charlotte Richie could be remembered as fondly as Carey Mulligan and her Blink character Sally Sparrow.

The setting under the roads of Sheffield was stunning, atmospheric and something I’d have liked to have seen more of.

The Bad and the Ugly

I wasn’t completely sold on the opening sequence: it didn’t gel with the rest of the story.

The UNiT sequence, which gained a little chuckle, was too political and soapboxy for my liking. I also feel that it would have been a perfect time to call in Captain Jack. While I know John Barrowman has a very busy schedule, but the show is doing a disservice to the show, the character and the fans by ignoring his existence.

The biggest mistake Chibnall made for me was this article (

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2018/09/11/no-daleks-cybermen-new-doctor-says-chris-chibnall/amp/), published in September 2018. The episode lost my attention when the revealed the Darlek. It didn’t matter how clever, or original the first half was; I’d been taken for a mug. I’m not sure if it was to engineer a ’twist’, but it just felt contrived and a slap in the face to fans.

It highlights a larger problem I have with tv shows and responding too much to social media opinions. It degrades the integrity of the storytelling and Dr Who is not the only one guilty of this. Check out my post on shows that jump the shark.

Final Thought

I’m worried. Chibnall had started strong with Jodie, but bringing the Darleks in makes me think he’s already run out of ideas. Having to wait until 2020 for the next series is not filling me with much hope either; it stalls the narrative and again, makes me think the BBC are not as invested as they once were.

The Flash S5 Ep1

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And into Season 5 we go. While The Flash is a show that on the surface improves each season, I really didn’t enjoy season 4s antagonist; the phd and his wife. Season 5s opener, however, is a strong episode that reminds viewers of plot threads from last year along with some hints as to what’s to come.

The theme of responsibility is at large and I think will play a big role in this season and my favourite thing about the episode is the fact that we’re not introduced to what could be the season’s big bad until the post credit sequence.

Some highlights

Schunchie-do-hickie I do love Cisco and drunk Cisco is the awesome. But the best? Hungover Cisco is best! “Don’t drink and vibe”.

It really annoys me that this would have been a perfect time to get Tom Felton back! ‘we haven’t filled your position.’ – You used to have two people work the lab, how on earth do you not have someone in the lab. You have no idea how much I loved his chemistry with the team.

Awwwww the scene with Barry and his daughter. It was so sweet to see them interact and bond. Although I do fear she might be like Dawn in Buffy or the original annoying add on, Scrappy Do; the actress is adorable, but the character is annoying.

Ralph! I love his misunderstanding of time travel. I’m so happy the brought him back last season. The presence of Ralph also gives me hope in the sense that Ralph was the Scappy Do of Season 4 and he won me around so much that points have to be given to the actor for such a good job.

Nora and Iris bonding. I love that she is happy referring to Barry as Dad and embraces the role of “mom” like a duck to water. It’s an amazing parallel to Barry and how he’s uncomfortable he is calling Iris mom. Her scene near the end where she cries is just perfect. I’ve never been massively fond of Iris, for reason I can’t quite put into words, but this role of Mom really fits the character.

Cisco and his references. He’s my man! Damn, the ‘I am fortunes fool’ line; why don’t these guys exist in real life? Be still my hear, he knows Trek, Movies AND Shakespeare! Sigh! He’s too perfect.

There is a wonderful moment where Barry remembers a lesson from the wonderful Wells and it just reminded me; I can’t wait to see which incarnation we get next. Wells is my favourite plot point about the Multi-Verse! The fact that they have this brilliant actor who can bring these character to life… Gah, I just hope its not too long before he’s back

 

Star Trek Discovery S1 ep7: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

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Star Trek Discovery
S1 ep7: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad
From IMDB:
As the U.S.S. Discovery crew attempts to let loose at a party, an unwelcome visitor comes aboard bringing about a problematic and twisted sequence of events.

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My favourite episode so far; it takes an old school Trek idea and makes it feel fresh and new.

The Logical

This is the first episode where the ‘previously on…’ and the title sequence run one after the other. Immediately I feel like something different is going to happen this episode. This then leads naturally into Michael’s ‘ship’s log’. It does feel a little bit like a homage to the recent films, but it still is a nice touch.

We get a party. A proper party. Not one of the stuffy things of Trek of old. There’s alcohol, there’s loud music and there is fraternisation. We get a drunk Tilly, and its genius.

Michael and Ash are being established as a romantic couple. It’s not subtle, it’s beautifully organic and totally fun to watch. Especially as the episode progresses and Michael is able to explore her emotions.

The plot develops around a returning fan favourite; using the good old trojan horse trick to get on board. However, it’s not the only old trick in the book that the episode uses. Henry Mudd, seeking his revenge uses a temporal loop to gain information about Discovery. It’s delightful and fun. And you know what makes it different from other shows that use this plot device? We don’t follow the character that is exempt from the loop. It’s our resident Stamets! I did tell you I loved him, right? When asked about the second run through, Stamets has to correct them:

“Multiple times actually, and I’ve yet to get a win for the home team.”

If you loved Stamets before, you’ll be bursting with love after seeing be all positive and joyful. Even more so when you see how he responds to Michael. The best part was watching him teach her how to dance.

The time loops develop to a musical crescendo and by the episode’s time runs out, everything is resolved and Mudd is sent off with a beautiful wave from Stamets.

The Illogical

Call me cynical, but was the Gormagander the alien of the week to coincide with the release of series 2 of Stranger Things?

 

Final thoughts
No Klingons and, surprise surprise I loved every minute of this episode. I’ll let you into a secret; I didn’t have any illogical points and I think the timing of the episode was genius.