Activity, February to April 2022.

This spring has not been as active, scifi-wise.

I finished the Sense8 rewatch before going to the Sense8Con3.

The Fringe rewatch continues, and by the end of April seasons 1 – 3 were completed, and season 4 is in progress. One episode per day when time allows.

The spring is in full swing, and some garden activities are necessary.

I have made a very modest start with setting up a set of two solar panels to power some of my amateur radio activities.

 

Sense8Con3 in Paris, and a Visit.

In the past week end I went to the third Sense8Con in Paris.

The convention was, of course delayed 2 years due to the COVID-19 situation. While restrictions have largely been lifted, The convention did, however, require mask wearing at the convention activities, with the exception of photo ops.

Tis convention was much smaller than the previous one 3 years ago, as some people could not afford to go, and others had previous appointments at the convention days.

This made the convention even more close-knit than the others I have attended, and I got to meet some attendees from the previous one, and got to meet some new ones.

The (actor) guests this time were:

Tina Desai (once more) who played Kala in Mumbai.

Purab Kohli who played Rajan

Toby Onwumere who played Capheus in Nairobi, and

Paul Ogola who played Jela.

All of them were quite entertaining at the panels/Q&As, and responded to fan questions with very lively answers.

At the previous con I had asked about their relations to writers – evryone had been talking mostly about Lana Wachowski, so I put the focus on the co-creator J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

All were appreciative of the writer’s, no surprise, because without a writer there will be no story. At the con 3 years ago Tina told how she tried to get JMS to open up to her, and how she was happy to break through, as they had much in common.

Tis time she told us how JMS would always be available to fill in back story for the characters, as he was the only one who had the time during the filming/production, as he was, of course, very involved in the creation of the characters and the story.

Paul Ogola had a special appreciation, as he has done some writing himself.

At the autograph sessions there was ample time for the guests to chat a bit with the fans, due to the small size of the convention.

I managed to make a few photos with the phone, and here is one. I may add more later. Tina Desai at the special panel:

After the convention I made a visit to one of the filming locations. In the series it is named The Lacuna, a place which is “in this world, but not of this world”. This is filmed at the ruins of an abandoned abbey in a village near the city of Brussels, the initial building of this started in the mid 12th century.

If one is interested in old architecture and ruins, this is definitely a site to visit, and for a fan of Sense8 it is well worth standing in The Lacuna, which is in the remains of the church of the abbey. Here is the one illustrating The Lacuna:

Both pictures in this post are right out of the camera (my phone), completely un-edited.

I may try to find time to look at, and edit a few more of the pictures from the convention, but this is all for now.

Scifi Activity, January 2022

Got to watch a bit this month:

Films:

A drama-documentary about Einstein and Eddington – 7/10

A new Netflix original scifi: Don’t Look  Up A political satire  around a comet hitting Earth – 7/10

TV:

Season 4 of the Karate Kid spin-off Cobra Kai. Quite enjoyable – 8/10

The Expanse series finale An excellent series, and an excellent season 6 – 9/10

The Torchwood mini-series in 5 parts: Children of Earth. While I did not find the Torchwood seres in general all too enjoyable, this is an excellent piece of TV – 9/10

Season 1 of Fringe rewatch. Still excellent, the first season is a good introduction to the characters and the universe as such – 8/10

Started a rewatch of Sense8. Just about mid-season 1, and running.

The Fringe watch was a bit too fast, so the next season will probably be a bit less than 1 episode per day. Sense8 will just continue, probably with about one episode per day.

The days are getting longer, and some other activity is needed, indoors and outdoors.

More Rewatch: Sense8 and Fringe.

This month I have started a rewatch of two of my high ranking series:

Sense8:

I am now mid-season 1. The story is as good as I remembered, enjoying it a lot.

The filming/cinematography is excellent, the “visiting” scenes filmed in two or more places is so well done, it feels seamless, and we are now getting to know the characters better.

Fringe: Just watched season 1, episode 7 “In Which We Meet Mr. Jones”.

John Noble is wonderful as Walter Bishop. It does not detract from the other actors, but his performance really shines all from the beginning.

I am taking both series in a moderate tempo, no big binging with many episodes per day. Sense4 has a total of 24 episodes, and I go for one every one or two days, maybe with short breaks. Fringe has 100 episodes, so one or two per day will be the norm, also with possible breaks.

After this I would like to do a Babylon 5 rewatch, but I want to see the remastered version, and it is not yet available on physical media, and I have not yet found it included in the streaming services I have. I may have to wait for a while.

Sense8Con2, Part 3, Day 2, Sunday

First item of the day was a group photo with every guest from the show.

I came in early and had a more expensive ticket giving some preference in the access to the photos.

I brought a small gift, some Dutch “Stroopwafels” (syrup wafers), freshly made at my visit to the Netherlands on the way to Paris. Because they had filmed in The Netherlands I expected some of the cast to know those, and I was not disappointed. On the picture Erendira I. is holding the package in the hand. They were all great to meet close-up, and the picture is good, even if I always feel that I look a bit silly on pictures.

 

After this we had time until 1230, because there was a second autograph session, and most of us had done that already. Time to talk to and meet more fans – and have a bit to eat

At 1230 we had a panel with Tina D and Erendira I.

While Lana Wachowski deserves a lot of credit and love, because she was there at the filming all the time I felt that there had been no mention of the co-writer J. Michael Straczynski (JMS), so I went and asked them what kind of interaction they had with him during the creation of the show.

I was delighted by their answers. Especially, Tina told us that, in the beginning, JMS was a bit of a closed book, so, because she is very inquisitive, she tried to get to know the core of JMS, and when he opened up, she was delighted to find that they had  much more in common than she had thought – both with respect to the attitude to life in general, and on political issues.

(Having read Straczynski’s auto biography I think I understand a little better, his reservation to open up, at least at that time, but in the book he really did open up.)

Erendira, too, had a good experience interacting with JMS, and they are both very happy to get to know him.

When I returned to my seat, I found that quite a few of the fans were appreciative of my question and the answers we got.

When I asked Brian the same question, I realized that he had the (incorrect) impression that Straczynski was only involved in the writing of the first season, and that his reservations in opening up probably gave Brian the impression of less connectedness.

 

Another highlight was Michael Sommers performing some of his one-man show. He is so expressive (much like the Bug character) and leaves quite an impression with his performance.

 

Arriving near the end of the convention I finally realized that the Martin everyone was talking about, was none other than Martin Erhardt, who has made a good fan documentary video.

Before that we had the last gathering with all the fans and all the guests. The great finale had all the fans sing “What’s Up” for our guests, it was a great experience.

As always, the end of the convention generates sadness in most of us have. Many were in tears, and there was a lot of hugs given and received.

This was a very memorable convention, and I certainly intend to be there next year for Sense8Con3.

I will see if I can find some good pictures, and I will then share the best ones here, and possibly on my FB time line.