Saturday, April 19, 2008

Review: Doctor Who, Episode 4.3, "Planet of the Ood"

The Ood, first seen two seasons ago in "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit", return in a story written by Keith Temple, who previously wrote for such popular non-genre shows as Emmerdale and Casualty. Set aside the great Steven Moffat or Paul Cornell written episodes, and I think this is one of the stronger episodes New Who has produced in awhile. Not as intense as last week's "The Fires of Pompeii", but along with that episode it provides a nice one-two punch early on in the current season. So far, the fourth season is made of win and Donna continues to impress me as a companion.

Warning: spoilers below, please highlight the white space with your mouse to read them.

I love the compassion Donna shows for the wounded Ood after momentarily being shocked by his physical appearance. Rose is still my favorite New Who companion, but Donna is quickly gaining ground.

The Simpsons reference is made of funny.

I also love the reference to the 1964 First Doctor serial, "The Sensorites". Two weeks in a row with a First Doctor reference!

Nice bit of political commentary about slavery.

The Ood's captivity song is so sad. :(

Yay, Ood revolution!

Yay, happy Ood song!

Next week: Martha returns (yay!) and the Sontarans return for the first time since the 1985 Sixth Doctor serial, "The Two Doctors".


Friday, April 18, 2008

Review: Battlestar Galactica, Episode 4.3, "The Ties That Bind"

It should just be assumed by now that I love any episode of this show. Love, love, love. This episode is no exception. Former Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager staff writer Michael Taylor serves up a nice dish of OMFG, especially the ending.

Warning: spoilers below, please highlight the white space with your mouse to read them.

That ending. Cally being flushed out of the airlock by Tory. Wow. Until the very last moment, I thought it might turn out differently. I'll miss Cally.

Tory is turning out to be a seriously evil toaster. It makes me think that there may be a split brewing among the Galactica Cylons that will mirror what's going on with the other Cylons and their civil war.

I love the little reference to Star Trek: The Next Generation, the show where BSG developer/showrunner Ronald D. Moore began his television career as a writer, script editor and producer. Weapons Locker 1701D, indeed.

I'm always happy when original Apollo Richard Hatch and new Apollo Jamie Bamber share scenes together.

I really dislike Roslin. Good for Lee for making her squirm.


Review: Smallville, Episode 7.16, "Descent"

After nearly seven full seasons in the making, the moment finally arrives where Lex Luthor turns completely and irrevocably to the dark side. Smallville is one of those shows that's more about entertainment than great drama, and there's nothing wrong with that, but there are a few instances here where it seems to be channeling the spirit of Battlestar Galactica.

It's the best episode of the seventh season so far, and also one of the best episodes ever. Writers Don Whitehead and Holly Henderson deserve credit for this along with actor Michael Rosenbaum. I've said before that Rosenbaum is the best film or television portrayer of Lex by far, and that's confirmed once again here. He does the brooding Lex consumed by his own darkness so well, and he's always brought a certain note of realism to the role that was lacking in the performances of other actors who have portrayed Lex over the years.