New Babylon 5 in Development.

A few days ago, Straczynski answered a query from a fan about the possibilities of new Babylon 5, saying (quoted from memory) “This may not be as far fetched as you might think”.

Yesterday the news broke via several sources:

The CW channel, owned by Warner Bros, now has a re-boot of the Babylon 5 series in development. The new show will have J. Michael Straczynski (JMS), the creator of the original series, at the helm. JMS is busy writing the pilot episode.

When hearing about re-boots of older series I am usually a bit of a skeptic. Hearing that JMS will be running the show makes me optimistic and excited to see what he can do with his much larger writing experience and modern techniques of production. Having followed a good deal of his other work over time, I get the sense that we will not get just a re-hash of the original story, but taking into account all that JMS has learned over timr, about what works and what doesn’t. I think that the experience of working together with the Wachowskis on Sense 8 has further added to this.

Additionally, he said in a Twitter thread that he is not just just going to tell the old story all over again – we have seen that story already – but that it should be fresh water in the river of story telling. I have faith in his ability to craft stories that catch many people.

The reactions in the fan community is understandable very diverse, from people simply saying no, don’t want a re-boot, to people saying I’m all in. For me I will watch and then judge the new series on its own merits, even if I see it in the light of the original series that I have seen several times (I lost count).

When it comes to JMS, expect the unexpected. Exciting times ahead!

May/June 2021 Activity.

Here is a bit of the activities for the past few months:

Book:

Finished reading Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files #17: Battle Ground. – 8/10

Film:

Joker (Netflix) – good origin story. 8/10

TV/streaming:

Finished Upload, season 1. Good fun – 7/10

Finished The 100, season 6 – 7/10

Up-to date (end of June) with:

Legends of Tomorrow(Netflix), S6, Batwoman(HBO), S02, Superman & Lois (HBO) S01

Other activities, especially outdoor (summer) activities have taken precedence, and will do for a while yet.

Watched January – February 2021.

Not a massive amount watched , but here we go.

TV/Streaming series:
Sense8, season 2 (Netflix) (re-watch)
The Expanse (Amazon Prime Video) (re-started due to not remembering enough):
Season 1 – 5, very good 8/10 overall, this may change on a re-watch.
Cobra Kai, seasons 1, 2, 3. Good fun and some very good moments, 7/10

Films:
Jupiter Ascending (Wachowskis) – 8/10

Interstellar 9/10 – I like the philosophical aspects. Also the use of family communication made me think of Contact, and also a bit of Babylon 5.

Starting (part re-watch of) Marvel Cinematic Universe:
Iron Man 7/10

 

The Expanse TV Series

A few years ago I started watching The Expanse on Netflix, then it was moved to Amazon. Unfortunately Amazon (Prime/Video) was not available in Denmark at that time, so I only got to watch a bit of the series.

Now I do have access to Amazon Prime, so it is time to revisit The Expanse.

Because I had forgotten large parts of the story, I started all over again. That is a good move, I think, because even if I recall some stuff, I can enjoy what I (re-)discover in the series.

Another reason is that at the latest Fedcon in 2019 we had a string of star guests from The expanse, whetting the appetite for the series when it became available.

Many have compared The Expanse to my favourite story on TV, Babylon 5, so I am looking forward to diving deeper into the story. It just might have the same re-watchability.

Until now I have watched seasons 1 to 5, and I am enjoying it very much. Excellent story telling and beautiful visuals.

A final season 6 has been announced, here is to hoping that it will be up to expectations.

Memories: Early Science Fiction I Was Exposed To. Tintin.

Some of the first science fiction I read was actually a set of comic books: The series of “Adventures of Tintin”.

OK, some of it is just general earthly adventures of a young journalist man in different parts of the world. Hergé (real name George Remi) started creating the stories of Tintin in 1929 as a strip in the conservative Catholic newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle.

Later he had a series of albums, or graphic novels, as we now call them, beginning in black-and-white with the story “Tintin in the Land of the Soviets”. This exists, as far as I know in an album, but I have not found that one.

Some stories, like The Seven Crystal Balls/Prisoners of the Sun (1943 – 1949) have a more fantasy/mythical theme, but the solution to their last problem is quite scientific.

The Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon (1950 – 1956) is actually science fiction, well, it was written before the space age started in October 1957, and long before the first moon landing in 1969.

Let’s face it. The stories are not complex, but fun adventures with some humour interspersed. Especially, some of the names of the characters are quite funny.

A fun little story I experienced. In 1991 a group of Hergé fans made a rather large exhibition of Hergé’s work, in the town of Welkenraedt in the Western part of Belgium, including building some models from some Tintin stories. The first one I recall very well was a model of the top of the rocket used to go to the moon, with quarters etc.

The second one was quite ingenious. You could walk in the cave in where Tintin found his friend Chang (Tintin in Tibet), but when you followed it to the end of the tunnel you were suddenly standing in the same place as Tintin in the drawings of another story, and just like Tintin in the story, I just stood there saying “The Blue Lotus!” Going there was, of course, a bit like going to a convention, meeting lots of other fans of Hergé.

One more thing: When I moved to The Netherlands to live for some years, I wanted to learn the language as fast as possible. Given that most Dutch people speak English quite well, and are proud of it, that way proved more tricky. Fortunately, I did find a Dutch colleague with one of the same interests, and we agreed that after a year we would speak Dutch only. I did. The other thing I did was finding some comic books (yes also Tintin) to read in Dutch. Yes, I will use every trick in the book, or sometimes outside the book if I want to learn a new language.

This is one of my first adventures in science fiction, I think there will be more.

Watched May – December 2020.

Even while being in isolation, more or less, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not a great amount of TV series or films have been watched. Other activities, such as some electronics building projects, have taken some of the time, so here is the list:

TV/streaming series:
Better Than Us (Netflix), season 1, 8/10
Star Trek: Picard (Netflix), season 1, 8/10
Agents of SHIELD, season 2, 7/10
Good Omens, season 1 (Amazon), 8/10
The Umbrella Academy, season 2, 7/10
Agents of SHIELD, season 3, 8/10
Dark, seasons 1,2,3 (Netflix) 8/10
Star Trek: Discovery, season 3 8/10
The Flash, season 6 up to episode 19 Season finale?
Sense8, season 1 re-watch

Films:
All the Harry potter movies, from
– Philosopher’s Stone – to – Deathly Hallows. I had seen most of them, but not Deathly Hallows It was good to revisit this universe.

At Christmas I got 2 books in the Dresden Files series, and I should find time to read them, too.
The graphic novel “The Resistance”, vol. 1 written by Straczynski came in. I had seen the separate issues online, but still need to read the story as a whole some time soon. There is a second series on the way, and I am looking forward to see that.

I just started watching “The Expanse”. I had seen a few seasons on Netflix when it was available there, but because Amazon Prime was not yet available until lately, I had not seen recent seasons. Also, I did not have the story present in memory, therefore starting all over again. What I have now (re-)watched is better than I remembered, so I am looking forward to watching more.

Not too much news, but I expect to be a bit more active on the blog this year.

Watching Activity January to April, 2020

This year has been crazy.

I managed to go to a single convention before our lives were turned upside-down by the COVID-19 pandemic. I expect to be more or less isolated, at least until the end of this year, as I am in the group with higher risk of complications if I catch the virus.

During the isolation I had expected to watch more films and TV series, but following the news and building some electronics projects has taken more time than I expected. Here is the list for January to April 2020:

TV series:

Re-watch of Sense8. As always, excellent.

DC: Arrow, seasons 6 and 7. Pretty good. 8/10

DC: Titans, season 2. 7/10

Forbrydelsen (English title: The Killing, Danish crime drama) Season 1. 8/10

DC: Crisis on Infinite Earths, This year’s cross over mini series. I liked it. 8/10

Matador (Danish drama series from the late 70s, early 80s) (English title: Monopoly (as the board game)) Very good. 9/10

DC: Black Lightning, Season 3. I like it a lot. 8/10

Kingdom (Korean SF/Netflix) season 2. Good story. 8/10

Re-watch of Babylon 5, seasons 1, 2 and 3. As always excellent. 9/10

Film:

Marvel: Venom

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. 8/10

That’s it. Maybe I will get to read/watch etc some Hugo Award nominees.

I am glad that J. Michael Straczynski’s autobiography “Becoming Superman” was nominated. It was a stunning read, even if I knew some details.

Re-Watch: Babylon 5.

After a pause in binge watching of Babylon 5, I re-started, because I expect to meet with a lot of other B5 fans soon.

I just finished the first season, and I will say that I still do not understand the people calling Michael O’Hare’s acting “wooden”. It may be a bit understated, but at times, just a facial expression tells more than many words.

While season 1 is not the strongest of the series, it serves very well for setting up the story, and a great introduction to the main characters, and a glimpse of what is to come.

Here is an example: The much maligned episode TKO has one of the really strong character moments for Ivanova. I know that many skip the episode, but then they miss out on this excellent character moment, and a follow up to a small thread from a previous episode.

I will rate my re-viewing of this season as 8/10