Revolution episode 20 ‘The Dark Tower’ review

So we make it to the final episode of the season. Going in I wondered if we would have a “game changing” ending, i.e. would the power be turned back on and all the cards thrown up in the air setting up a different concept for season two.

To find out read on. Or watch the episode. Or both.

The episode begins with Miles and Monroe being chased by Tower Denizens. They discover a sort of underground river deal and promptly fall in. The flow of the water leads outside and they are washed out into a muddy sort of steam situation. OK, I guess the tower can’t have been too far underground for the underground river to end up where it did.

But Monroe and Miles are not going to worry about details like that. They start fighting again. Lots of that homoerotic subtext is going on.

Back at the militia camp Tom Neville takes over and shoots the other dude who was holding out on the whole betray Monroe thing. Now he wants into the tower too.

Obligatory photo of Charlie
Obligatory photo of Charlie

Inside Aaron is upset to find that the Tower operating system is based on code he wrote at MIT. It turns out that University sold it to DOD. He wrote the operating system! This could turn out to be an advantage, Aaron.

Rachel tries to talk Grace into turning the power on. But Grace is a holdout. “OK, plan ‘B’,” thinks Rachel and chloroforms Grace and takes her key card. The plan is to turn the power back on by force.

Meanwhile up on the surface Miles and Monroe fight some more. Then they stop fighting and Monroe is captured.

Rachel and chums are making their way to the “Turn Power Back On” room when they are stopped by some Tower Denizens. They rig an explosive and manage to blow up some denizens but along the way Nora is unfortunately injured by shrapnel or a bullet or something.

Up top Miles releases Monroe from the Militia tent to cause a distraction so he can get back in the tower.

Looks like Nora is toast
Looks like Nora is toast

In a side room are Rachel, Aaron, Charlie and Nora (injured). Rachel is all for going right to the “On Button”. But Charlie is pleading with her to help take Nora to the infirmary to patch her up. Rachel refuses.

So Charlie is left alone. Next thing a Bad Militia Man appears and beats up Charlie but Miles comes to the rescue and stabs him. Now we get a replay of the “Do I stay with Nora?” dilemma. This time Miles refuses to leave Nora. Which is nice, except that Nora succumbs to her injuries. Looks like Nora is toast. Sniff.

"This one? No? How about this one? That one? Control, Alt and Delete?"
“This one? No? How about this one? That one? Control, Alt and Delete?”

Miles and Charlie hook up with Rachel and Aaron and they make their way to a big computer room after a gun battle with Tom and his Militia gang. Aaron works the computer and turns the power back on.

Cue a montage of, er lights coming back on in Atlanta. (OK, nice image, but seriously? There was generated power just hanging around waiting for 15 years? I would imagine all the power stations have been shut down for years.)

Randall Flynn appears in another computer room, separated by a glass wall. He says he wanted the power back on so he could launch ICBMs at Atlanta and Philadelphia. He says he did it to reunite the country and that he’s a patriot. Our heroes look on aghast as he launches the missiles and then kills himself!

The scene shifts to a darkened office. A man enters and says “Time to go home, Mister President.” A caption is displayed on the screen as the camera pulls back from a window: “US colony Guantanamo Bay, Cuba”.

Right, I didn’t see that coming!

So yes, we got the game changer. The power is back on and Atlanta and Philadelphia are potentially nuked. I suppose the writers could say that the missiles broke down or the nanobots in the upper atmosphere sucked the power out of them.

Again, I do have a problem with all the lights just coming back on as no electricity has been generated in years. Maybe I missed a line about the Atlanta power station all set up and ready to go with coal or oil or whatever.

But for all its faults I have enjoyed Revolution season 1.

And Charlie remains hotalicious.

The Making of Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan by Allan Asherman

Here’s the first in a potentially occasional series I want to call “Books I Didn’t Know Existed”.

Lately I’ve been getting back into Star Trek, probably influenced by the release of the new movie. I’m a particular fan of the original series movies and found myself looking up various bits of memorabilia online.

Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan has always been my favourite of the movies and one night I found myself thinking “you know, it’s a pity they never did a ‘making of’ book for The Wrath of Khan. I would have bought that.” This thought was inevitably followed by “huh, maybe they did do one…”

It turns out they did indeed. In October 1982 Pocket Books released The Making of Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan by Allan Asherman, author of the Star Trek Compendium.

After a bit of hunting around online I found a very inexpensive copy from a seller in the USA and ordered it. It arrived yesterday and I’m very pleased to get it. I really can’t believe I didn’t know that this book existed. In my defense I guess it was never published in the UK.

It is worth mentioning that this is not a big glossy Making-Of book with lots of full colour pre-production art. It’s more like a collection of essays on the development of the movie where the author had access to the film-makers.

I thought I’d take a few photos of the book. First of all the front cover which features a great photo of the Regula One space station and asteroid.

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And logically that leads to a photo of the back cover.

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The copyright page gives a publication date of October 1982, a few months after the movie was released in June. This allows the author to candidly talk about the controversy surrounding death of Spock without spoiling the surprise. The later date of publication also allows him to allude to the movie being well received by audiences.

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Here’s the contents page which should give you an idea of what the book, er, contains. The author has interviewed the movie makers including director Nicholas Meyer and producer Harve Bennett about the making of the movie. There is also some material about the special effects work. One section I was particularly interested in was called The Cuts and discusses some scenes cut from the final release.

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Finally I thought I’d include a photo of Kirstie Alley as Saavik. Back in the early 1980s the much younger version of me had a bit of a crush on Saavik and I’m recognising that here!

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So thirty years after first seeing the movie I’ve finally got the book. Better late than never I suppose.

Rebecca Ferguson InStyle photos

I’m not going to make a habit of fashion-related posts, but I thought there were a couple of photos of Rebecca Ferguson on the InStyle site that were worth sharing.

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Source: www.instyle.co.uk

I like Rebecca. She’s pretty.

Rebecca appears in episode 2 of The White Queen on BBC1 tonight. I thought episode 1 was fine. It didn’t blow me away but it passed an hour agreeably so I’ll check out the new episode and see if things start happening.

UPDATE: I’ve scanned the article and you can find the scans at www.monobrowze.co.uk/rebecca-ferguson-instyle-uk-magazine-scans

Defiance Episode 1 review

DefianceI had heard a little bit about the new sci-fi show Defiance. Not much, but just enough to get me interested in finding out more about the concept, and that in turn made me want to check out the first episode. So I did. And I liked it.

There’s a lot of back story to the show but the makers don’t spend a lot of time giving you a history lesson. It’s more a case of “find out as you go” I think. And it works.

Briefly a lot of aliens called the Voltans arrived at Earth wanting to colonise and terraform the planet. War breaks out with the humans, the alien big ships are destroyed and along the way Earth gets accidentally terraformed into an alien world. And that’s kind of all you need to know.

After the prolog showing massive alien arks arriving we jump forward 33 years (I think) where a human man and an alien girl are driving along in their “roller”. Nolan is an ark hunter who scavengers alien tech out of crashed arks. The girl is Irisa, an “Irathient” (it says on Wikipedia) who he adopted and brought up as his daughter. Their plan is to make enough money to make it to Antarctica, which apparently is quite nice now.

But they’re not speaking. Well, he’s speaking and she is doing a lot of silent ignoring as only a teenage girl probably can. The silence continues until he plays a song on his alien looking iPod and starts to sing. Reluctantly the girl finds herself joining in. It’s a very well-judged scene in both the writing and the performances as it introduces you to the characters and tells you about their world very efficiently. And it also shows that this series might well concentrate on character.

Without giving too much away they find an alien tech McGuffin in a crashed ark, only to end up on the run from some scavenging alien dudes on bikes. Eventually they find their way to the town of Defiance – formerly St Louis – where new mayor Julie Benz (Darla From Buffy And Angel) is marking 15 years since Armistice Day.

But there are tensions just under the surface, especially between alien loan-shark Datak Tarr and human miner Rafe McCawley. And it doesn’t help that their kids are seeing each other…

Adventures will be had, murders solved and a big battle at the climax of the episode.

Special mention must be made of Stephanie Leonidas who plays the sulky and occasionally violent Irisa. I remember seeing Stephanie in various British TV shows in the past, including an interesting take on Dracula. Here she is just about totally unrecognisable as the alien Irisa and gives a wonderful performance. The show will be worth watching for her alone I think.

And a that’s a perfect excuse for me to include a photo of Stephanie both before …

Defiance_Stephanie_Leonidas

… and after …

Stephanie-Leonidas-2-as-Iri

I also want to mention Trenna Keating as the sarcastic Doctor Yewll. Her Indogene make-up is one of the most “alien” aliens I have ever seen, certainly with a human actor under there.

Revolution episode 19 ‘Children of Men’ review

And so the follow up to the exciting cliffhanger. Rachel is all set to blow everyone up but someone manages to throw the grenade out of the tent, so rachel and monroe survive for the rest of the episode at least.

They make Rachel open the door to the Tower. She is surprised that she gets in so easy. Is someone inside helping her? Monroe takes them inside the Tower which has tunnels with some super-collider type deal going on.

Behind hem the big front door closes under the control of some mysterious people inside who are in control. All very Lost. (I even glimpsed a Dharma type octagon at one point.)

Miles and his gang arrive and link up with Aaron. I bet Aaron is annoyed he didn’t just wait and go in the chopper instead of walking all across he country.

Inside Monroe wants to go down to level 12 but the elevator stops at level 11 and they have a battle with the Mysterious Tower People. While the battle is going on Rachel escapes to secure lockable room and Monroe follows her inside.

Outside the front door another battle is going on. Aaron manages to get them in with a long password he finds in he book. But the door closes on Tom and Jason who are still outside holding off the Militia. Charlie is upset. Tom and Jason captured by the Militia.

Miles and his gang go down to level 11 and see the aftermath of the earlier battle. Another elevator car is heading to them so they run from whoever it is and escape into a convenient shaft, the type of shaft they only have in tv shows.

In the secure room Rachel accuse of Monroe of killing Danny and makes him admit he has blood on his hands. Cue a flashback scene to after the blackout where Rachel says all the dead are blood on her hands. This is irony.

Tom and Jason are held prisoner in a tent. Tom tries to talk the Monroe militia guys into defecting.

In the secure room Rachel sees Miles, Charlie and the others on the monitor. Monroe convinces Rachel to open the gun locker to save Charlie. Shes does so and hey venture out. But Rachel is captured by Tower People. Rachel taken to see folk in charge. She actually recognises them. It turns out they were the people who working there the night of the blackout. They have decided to prevent people going to level 12 as it is too dangerous. And their children will follow them in this duty and so on.

Main Tower dude takes the ‘Tower Spellbook’ and burns it to prevent them turning the power back on because apparently there is a one in a billion chance it could put the world on fire.

Just one episode to go. Will it be a game-changer, i.e. will they turn the power back on?

Revolution episode 18 ‘Clue’ review

In the last episode we saw Nora being captired by the Militia. This episode opens with her in a cell. A very big cell. And her captors let her keep her fashionable leather jacket. Which is nice of them. Someone comes to the door. Maybe it’s a pizza delivery.

No, Monroe has brought Nora a white dress to wear! Next thing you know shes having dinner with Monroe. And a candlelit dinner at that. (Well it would be with the electricity being off.) Still, it’s all very Belloq and Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Marion, no sorry, Nora tries to hit Monroe with a bottle.

A caption on the screen says Day one. That’s ominous. We then get a montage of Militia interrogation techniques while they ask her where Rachel is. By day four they’re drowning her. It’s day 10 and the dress is still white. On day 14 Leland Orser injects her with something. On day 21 she breaks and tells them that Rachel is off to Colorado and the Tower.

Monroe makes Randall tell him what the Tower is. He then decides that he doesn’t need Randall any more and orders his men to kill him. Randall says he’s needed to get into the Tower. He explains that the Tower was a sort of “Skunk works” for the DOD that the president didn’t know about. They prepare for a road trip to the Tower.

Leland goes to Nora’s cell and tells the guards that he has orders to put her down. He injects her with something but I bet she’s not dead.

Atlanta is being evacuated as the front has collapsed.

Jason sees some dude while snogging Charlie and gets distracted from the snogging.

Leland drives Norah in a car to a hospital in Atlanta. See, told you she wasn’t dead. Still, no one stops and says ‘look at that working car’. Miles understandably thinks it was a set up.

Leland Orser says Rachel is in danger from Monroe who is on his way to the Tower with an army. Miles says Leland will take them there too. Luckily they have a helicopter riged up to fly using Leland’s electrical device.

Monroe and his buddies get to the Tower. It turns out there has been a bit of false advertising as there is no actual above ground tower. Randall tells him that it goes down underground for a 1/2 mile. Randall goes to the keypad but oops, he can’t get in. Seems he’s been locked out.

Miles and his gang land at an old airbase to refuel the chopper. Is Nora is drugged because she’s acting all weird with weird-drugged-o-vision. A little later Charlie sees blood and investigates. She finds the pilot and he’s dead. One of the gang killed him!

Rachel reaches the tower and sees the Militia. She says she will kill Monroe tonight as a distraction while Aaron opens the door with an override code as found in the book.

Back at the airfield Miles finds another Georgia soldier dude who is in the process of dying. He tries to say who killed him but can’t quite do it. Miles gathers everyone in a hanger and disarms them, then goes to find Nora. Miles finds Nora on ground outside. Maybe she was the killer?

Suddenly it’s an interesting little mystery. He finds a bloody knife on Jason who says it was planted. Shock horror, Charlie doesn’t support him! And after the snogging incident earlier! She says she saw the dude on street who distracted Jason. Jason says the dude was a Militia guy and he told Jason to kill Miles but Jason didn’t want to.

Leland realises the knife is from Annapolis. This is important as I neglected to mention a line of dialog cunningly added to the episode earlier where the former Militia turned Library dude (from a few episodes ago) said he was there! He shoots Leland. It turns out the militia captured his wife. Jason shoots library dude.

Nora is feeling less weird and fixes the chopper.

But they might be too late. Rachel steels a uniform and walks into Monroe’s tent with a grenade. Monroe is understandably surprised to see her. She let’s go of the stop-grenade-from-exploding lever! Cliffhanger!

Decent enough episode. The mystery element was more interesting than I had expected as they did set up a few suspects. Good cliffhanger ending. Elizabeth Mitchell gives good grenade value.

Radio Times The White Queen scans

Yesterday I picked up the new edition of the Radio Times magazine which features a lot of content on the new BBC series about The War of the Roses, The White Queen, which starts next Sunday 16 June 2013.

And oddly enough I have now decided that I quite like actress Rebecca Ferguson, mainly because she’s pretty. Hence the scans.

Radio Times The White Queen CoverRadio Times The White Queen ContentsRadio Times The White Queen ArticleRadio Times The White Queen Article


Radio Times The White Queen Article
Radio Times The White Queen ArticleRadio Times The White Queen Article Radio Times The White Queen Article Radio Times The White Queen Article

Revolution episode 17 ‘The Longest Day’ review

The episode begins at a Militia camp where there is a trailer, inside which we see operators sitting at electronic consoles. It looks a lot like a drone control room.

Meanwhile back at the rebels Nora is having morning after regrets about sleeping with Miles and explains she is worried that one of them will eventually be killed. Elsewhere in the rebel camp Tom Neville and his son have a serious staring contest. They are not getting along.

Drones appear at the rebel camp and fire missiles. Charlie rings a bell to sound the alarm. This is not a stupid thing to do as it warns people of the attack. Sort of. But it will prove to be a stupid thing for Charlie herself.

After the drone attack Miles digs out Nora from under a brick wall. He calls for Charlie but can’t find her. The rebels do a head count and realise they’ve gone from 300 to 30 men. Lucky the main characters survived, huh? Miles thinks there’s a mole. But hold that thought because Militia troops are on the way to finish the job.

We then discover Charlie is trapped in the ruins of the bell tower thing. Miles is still desperate to find Charlie and Nora decides to cause a distraction. She runs and the soldiers follow her, giving Charlie time to free herself and get to safety. But Nora is captured by the Militia.

In Philly Monroe is persuaded to go for a celebratory drink by his current second-in-command. As they walk across the street a sniper fires on them but Monroe survives the attempt on his life. Monroe is immediately suspicious that his trusted lieutenant had him set up and eventually has him shot. Later Monroe is told that it was a Georgia spy acting alone. Oops! Monroe did something stupid this week!

In the Plains Nation Aaron is upset to discover that he’s in the “Tower Spellbook”. Rachel thinks Ben knew something about Aaron and it is why he trusted him with the pendant. Rachel is badly injured from her encounter with the dude on the horse last time. Aaron won’t leave her so Rachel produces the chip thing she took from Danny’s body.

In a workshop Aaron scavenges electronic parts from a diagram in the book to build a gizmo that will program the chip to fix Rachel’s leg. He pushes the chip into her wound. Ouch! Then some cgi fixes her leg. Just then some men with guns capture them. Rachel is taken to a family who have an injured boy who fell off horse. They want them to heal him. Rachel says sure, but we need to go back to get the equipment.

One of the men takes them back and asks Aaron how the healing worked. You ever read Michael Crichton asks Aaron. Then Rachel knocks the dude out and says the kid is too far gone to be healed. Aaron is shocked and says they should help people. Then we get the best line of the episode from Rachel, “what makes you think I’m in it to help people?” She just wants to kill Monroe.

In the flashback sequences it is seven years after the blackout. As seen in an earlier episode Rachel has given herself up to Miles, but he is looking for rest of Rachel’s family. Rachel calls Miles the Butcher of Baltimore and a monster. She is ashamed to call him a member of her family. That’s not what you used to say about me he responds. She replies that they were kids and it was cheap and ugly fling that she regrets. Yep, it will turn out that Charlie is his daughter. Just wait.

As the episode ends the Atlanta president is going to surrender to Monroe as she can’t fight his superior weapons…