What's Next, Who's This, Legion, and Breaking the Mold

Oh look, a dreaded blog post about blogging!
You may be feeling it too, there's just one Doctor Who episode left to review, and just like everyone else, I'm wondering "What's next?". Oh, I'm not quite done yet. I've promised to cover the Australian K9 series, which ran for 26 episodes, to June will act as a sort of winding down and prep period. But after that? I'm going to think out loud here, but I'm genuinely interested in readers' opinions, so don't hold back.

Doctor Who
After I finished two years of daily Star Trek reviews (gosh that seems an eternity away), I kept going with comics and the occasional novel for another year. I'm not going to do this here. Availability is an issue, certainly, and while I'm a big fan of the novels and audios, there's just no way to talk about those on a daily basis, not beyond the short capsule reviews I've already been doing every Sunday. Another factor is reader interest. While the Trek comics and books had their fans, there was far less interest in those articles, because the source material wasn't as well known or as readily available to people. If I could read a novel a day, that would be one thing, but... Of course, Doctor Who isn't over, and I'll be keeping up the numbering and reviewing new episodes as they are broadcast, starting in August. And there several episodes to revisit, the recently found Web of Fear and Enemy of the World chief among then, as well as recently animated ones like Reign of Terror and The Ice Warriors. Those episodes were originally reviewed with whatever reconstruction was available, and deserve comments in the VERSIONS section. Updates will be mentioned in This Week in Geek on Sundays, as they occur.

Long Live the Legion!
Ever since I mounted a defense of the LSH in Why the Legion of Super-Heroes?, I've been discussing the very strong possibility of covering the Legion's entire history in daily articles. After all, I cleansed my palate of Star Trek with a daily Superman feature before turning to back to televised SF, and the Legion is the comics equivalent of the huge sprawling worlds of franchises like Trek and Who. My plan wasn't to do one issue/story a day, but rather to cover more or less a year's worth of LSH stories a week, starting in 2958 and up on through the present day+1000 years. I could do stories in batches, or focus on a particularly important story, or do thematic posts even, and share my love of the future's greatest heroes in a variety of ways. But since most people are either hard core fans of the Legion, or readers in no way interested in them, it might not be the most popular feature.

Who's This? Deluxe
The other idea that's hit me recently is to expand the Who's This? feature - you know, the one where I pick some obscure character from DC's Who's Who and show what their stories were like with an example - starting back with Vol.1 and doing a post on each and every entry from Abel on. That would allow for more variety, though I would have to figure out what to do with such well-known stars as Aquaman and Batman. For sure, I'd try to only use examples from before they appeared in Who's Who. My fear here is that it might require too much research for a daily feature, or that non-obscure characters might prove a little dull for comic book fans. And what of similar features like Reign of the Supermen? I'm having a hard time imagining a Saturday with both a Who's This and a long look at some Silver Age Superman variation, a possible chore for both the writer and the reader.

Beyond Trek and Who
Plenty more genre TV out there to cover, right? Having a TV-centric daily feature, with comics, RPGs, etc. acting as a second feature has been a successful formula for me, supporting the variety I've always wanted for this blog. But while there aren't very many TV worlds as big as Trek and Who - I've never even watched an episode of Stargate, sorry - I did once imagine I could do shorter series back to back. Say, Buck Rogers for a month, then Space 1999 for a few more, etc. Battlestar Galactica and the Buffyverse could lay a claim to these pages, but I feel like I've watched them too recently to start all over. Nevertheless, this is a possibility.

Breaking the Mold
When I started Siskoid's Blog of Geekery, the point of the daily (Star Trek) reviews was that if I didn't come up with anything else, I knew there'd at least be a post that day. Turns out, that wasn't much of a problem. Over the last 7½ years, two posts a day has been the standard. One for fans of the daily thing, whatever it was, and another in case it wasn't your thing. I haven't suffered too much from the pace, though there are periods of the year where it does get to me, and when I might fall back on the daily post as the only post. But I've been asking myself: Is a daily post really required if I'm going to post every day anyway? What if I break the mold, as it were, and post only a single article every day? Could this be the best of all worlds? Could I, in fact, do EVERY feature I mention here, just on a weekly or twice-weekly basis? A couple days of Legion, a couple Who's This features, some TV series watched once a week, and Reign and This Week in Geek on the weekends, with occasional supplementary material (Who as an RPG, random funny panels about Dating Lois Lane, etc.) on top of that. Would that work? It might, and give me more time to write other things, or I don't know, having a relationship or something.

I've got four weeks to think about it. But what do YOU think?

47 comments:

Brian said...

As a fan of the IDEA of the LoSH, but one who never has been able to get into them, I vote for the Legion idea. I really like your daily posts and being able to stop by first thing in the morning and trust that I'll have another Siskoid rewatch/reread to explore. Plus, I trust your sensibilities in both coming up with a good approach to the material *and* in being the rare sort who can show the blog's reader the nature of each era the same way that you did with Star Trek and especially Doctor Who without being negative toward some like most writers one the Internet!

(as for the not having gotten into it before? I hadn't watched Doctor Who before you started going through it and showed me how awesome this thing that my friends nerded out over actually was over it's whole run, so I went back via my Amazon Instant and various web sources to watch all that I could over a few months of underemployment!)

Siskoid said...

Getting you (well, anyone) into Doctor Who through the reviews was, ultimately, the point. It's great to see it worked! That's a big compliment, thank you Brian!

LiamKav said...

I'm pretty much happy with whatever you want to do, as I'm not paying for this or anything. :) Still, as a suggestion, Babylon 5? I think you'd get a fairer comparison to DS9 than happened when both shows were on the air, and I'm also curious if the things I've grown to hate about JMS's writing were always there, or if they only come through in his comics.

Siskoid said...

B5 is a possibility, sure.

Martin Léger said...

You should do all of Stargate.

Jayunderscorezero said...

I'd vote for Buffy & Angel but mainly because I'd *love* to see you tackle Buffy & Angel as RPGs the way you did with Who.

Anonymous said...

Hard-core Legion fan here who would love to see your take on the series over the years. Plus the box with most of my Legion comics is holding up a broken shelf in my garage, so it would be extra nice to follow it with you.

TV: I think you said one time that you had never seen 'Blake's 7'. I would enjoy your insights on this series as you watch it for the first time. There are only 52 episodes; one per week would not take up too much of your free time. :-)

- Jason

Siskoid said...

Marty: Stop trolling me.

Jay: Like I said, a bit soon for me. I'd like to forget stuff before diving back in. Would you expect a Buffy RPG feature to be in Unisystem?

Jason: Sadly, Blake's 7 is STILL not available in Region 1 DVD. I wonder what it'll take?

Tim Knight said...

Interested to see what you make of K9, I reviewed them back when they were on British TV and it's... er... not very good ;-)

As a big fan of LSH, also looking forward to any on-going feature about the Legion.

Jayunderscorezero said...

Oh I know BtVS/Angel isn't likely, for exactly the reasons you've said. As for system, I'm not really into the RPG posts you've done so far for the mechanics as much as I'm into them for the cool AU 'fanfic' elements than transform the behind-the-scenes stuff, so I guess it wouldn't matter. I think I've mentioned before taking on something like this myself but I don't even have an active blog at the moment so hmm....

snell said...

As someone who's about gto undertake a new blog project (sshh!) I understand the trepidation and/or inertia to overcome.

Allow me to throw out the suggestion of the DC Animated "Timmverse"--Batman TAS, Superman TAS, Justice League & JLU. Well within your geek strike zone, all available, and only requiring 20 min per day viewing.

Or Gargoyles. Because that series was really really good.

Siskoid said...

I've long thought of doing something with the Timmverse. I have everything, and Batman Beyond is the only one I've never seen, so there would be new stuff to discover for me. The only thing that's kept me from exploiting the franchise to date is that other bloggers I respect were going through one of another of the series.

Jeff R. said...

In general, I'm in favor of things that let you continue doing "as an RPG" posts at regular intervals (obviously mostly with different groups, although in some cases there would be some crossover...), so less enthusiastic about the Who's That idea and more about Legion or other TV.

(I really would like to see Stargate, and the idea of a series you're going into blind is also appealing. [Blake's Seven isn't any more difficult to find than the non-DVD'd early Doctor Who Episodes were, is it?]. Try and watch a couple episodes of it in June at least to find out if you're allergic to it or not, possibly for thing after next if not this time.

Jayunderscorezero said...

Ooh! Seconding the Timmverse.

Anonymous said...

To Jeff R., re: Blake's 7 - No, it isn't, but I wasn't going to be the one to say it. :-)

- Jason

Jeff R. said...

Oh, another suggestion for Shorter-run Science Fiction Theater: Star Blazers, which is available on DVD. (Did that get run up in Canada at the right time for you to have watched it the first time around?)

Siskoid said...

Jeff: Well, I don't know that I'd keep doing RPG posts about series other than Doctor Who. When I started doing them, it was to provide content that would fit the DWAITAS proboards. But there seems to be some call for it, so who knows.

As for Blake's, as with anything, I'd much rather watch it in DVD form. I rather dislike watching stuff on my computer screen, which is why I probably haven't seen that new cool You-Tube clip everyone's always going on about.*

*I'm not talking about one in particular, it just seems to happen to me all the time.

Siskoid said...

You mean Space Battleship Yamato? I'm not a big fan of anime, actually. I like it fine when I see it, and I've followed some series at various times in my life, but I just can't muster much enthusiasm for it.

The only series I own is Neon Genesis Evangelion (and a couple films like Akira and Spirited Away).

Ben Sttor said...

I would love to see what you have to say about B5, and in turn re-visit it all myself.
I'd also be game for a visit to the Timmverse, since I never really got into it at the time. But more recently, I have been picking up the straight-to-bluray DC animated movies often on the strength of knowing that there'd at least be some good and relevant bonus Timmverse eps.

And not to troll, but I third the suggestion of getting into Stargate and blogging that daily. It would be interesting to get your take on it as a relative newcomer.

So, basically, anything you want to do is fine with me, except not doing something. :)

Anonymous said...

Ooh - can you get 'Sapphire and Steel' on R1?

Watched that for the first time this past fall and loved it.

- Jason

Siskoid said...

Yes, I own it. Though I've only watched the first series/story.

Jeff R. said...

Star Blazers/SBY was the ur-anime, essentially (alongside Robotech, I guess), and it was exported to the US in such a way that it was the first experience of long-form televised science fiction (or any kind of fiction, at that rate) (which is to say not merely strongly serialized but actually having a legitimate ending to each season's story.) for geeks of a Certain Age. At least in the US. But if you didn't originally watch it near your Golden Age, probably not so important.

Jeremy Patrick said...

I'll throw in my vote for Who's Who, perhaps mixed in with the The Official Marvel Universe Handbook Book of the Dead (see how many characters "dead" in 1986 have come back to life since!).

Buffy, Firefly, and everything else Joss-centric is my core geekdom, but I love it too much to see it exposed to your completely reasonable critiques.

The idea of doing some daily reviews of short-lived series as a bit of a break for yourself from the multi-year projects also sounds fun to me. Maybe a "shows cancelled too soon" (never made it past the first season) sort of thing?

Anyway, many, many thanks for (I can't believe) providing years and years now of daily blog reading. Yours is the only one I check in every single day, because there's always something new and interesting. In other words, I haven't grown sick of you yet, which from time to time means you're better than all of my family and friends ;)

LiamKav said...

Oooh, I really like the idea of doing the DC animated universe. From "On Leather Wings" to "Destroyer". I imagine 22 minute episodes would be easier to cover than 45. Still, though, that's a lot of episodes. If you wanted something shorter, what about Neon Genesis Evangelion? It's an anime series that's quite well known in the West, it's pretty , it's weird as hell, and the Alternative Version could keep you going for ever.

Siskoid said...

Jeff: I has friends who watched it, that and Robotech, but my childhood anime was all in French, stuff like (English names now) Captain Harlock and Grendizer which were HUGE here (as Albator and Goldorak).

Jeremy: Thanks for throwing at least ONE vote Who's This' way. I'm fond of it myself, though we may be in the minority.

Liam: With Neon Genesis, there's always the risk of angering the fan base. True story: I once told a fan what I thought it all MEANT, and he became so angry he tried to punch me right then, and the next time I saw him as well!

jdh417 said...

The Legion. But I hate the idea of encouraging the addict to continue his addiction for the amusement of others.

I love Stargate, but from having watched SG-1 twice as it's been broadcast on the THIS network and all five seasons of Atlantis, don't do it. (I gave up on Universe.) For all of the great episodes there are way too many clunkers.

d said...

As the guy who suggested All-Star Squadron a few weeks ago, I'd like to suggest you do All-Star Squadron. I'd really like to see your take on some of the original Golden Age references Roy Thomas used.

Anna S said...

LSH! Give the fans something to tide us over in these Legion-less times.

Chops said...

Another vote for a TV series.
Stargate: My top choice. I'd be just as interested in your first-time thoughts as any of your re-watches. You seem adverse to it though--Is there a particular reason? (I've missed the "formula" part of your reviews for Trek, and it would work well with Stargate.)

Babylon 5: It's a well-constructed world, but I didn't love it. Still, I'd be interested in revisiting it.

Timmverse: I haven't seen much besides Batman Beyond, but I'd watch along with what's available on Netflix.

Star Wars, The Clone Wars: I know this is a tough sell, but hear me out. I've always been a Trekkie, but I found myself really enjoing SW:TCW. It's got interesting characters, moral dilemmas, and fun references to the movies and other sci-fi. It's much smarter than I-III, and better than I expect the new movies to be.
If you want to get a taste of it, I'd suggest 3x10&11, not the "movie."

Anonymous said...

Who's Who. For the better known entries, you can always use a story from their lesser known periods-Superman vs slot machines or one of those weird Batman trqnsformations.

I'd also enjoy B5 to see if you could help me finish the final season.

Stargate-only seen the film, so I could follow along on that as a novice.

Siskoid said...

Why not Stargate? Well, for convenience, I prefer to review shows I have the DVDs for - I might have done Doctor Who earlier, for example, but I waited for as much material to be out as possible - and I don't own any Stargate, and because it's never interested me, I'd find it difficult to now blow hundreds of dollars on getting a complete collection (Star Trek nearly broke me, though SG isn't anywhere near those price points; though I suppose I've spent more on Doctor Who over time). Timmverse, B5, those are things I have on my shelves already, along with Mission: Impossible, BSG, Buffy, etc.

Dustin said...

I know whatever you do will make for a good read. I'm not a huge Legion fan, being barely exposed to them, but I didn't know anything about the Outsiders and now can't wait for that series to return again. I'm not sure if Who's This wouldn't become more tedious for you to do pretty quickly.

TV series give you a manageable size and nice visuals to post in your reviews. (BTW: The WB screwup with the letterboxing on CGI shots might make your options for good images more limited).

Good luck with whatever you decide for your next stage of blogging.

Siskoid said...

Thanks Dustin. I share your concerns about Who's This? which is probably what got me thinking about the "breaking the mold" solution, which became more and more enticing when I started thinking of the free time it would create.

I know about B5's technical problems, but haven't popped any of the DVDs into my machine to check them out. In any case, I've been known to save time by getting some screengrab from the Internet anyway.

Anonymous said...

All-Star Squadron is another great idea. Possibly Roy Thomas's best work, actually.

Oh, do yourself a favor and please continue to 'Sapphire and Steel' Assignment 2. It's the best of the six - at 8 episodes it's longer than all but 3 Doctor Who stories, is set in a single location, a train station, with only 3 main speaking parts. It feels like gripping minimalist theater, or a novel you can't put down. Some haunting stuff I can't get out of my head months later.

And the ending will reward you for avoiding spoilers, let's put it that way.

- Jason

Cradok said...

Personally, I'd love to see you finish off the Star Trek CCG reviews, but I suspect there's a couple of thousand reasons that won't happen.

Siskoid said...

Haha, yeah, that's a closed chapter of my life, and has never actually been a part of this blog. But thanks for remembering :)

Chris G said...

Another vote for "Who's Who," as it's my love for obscure characters that brought me to this blog in the first place!

LiamKav said...

Liam: With Neon Genesis, there's always the risk of angering the fan base. True story: I once told a fan what I thought it all MEANT, and he became so angry he tried to punch me right then, and the next time I saw him as well!

First. yikes! Second, you've spent a lot of time talking about Trek and Dr Who, so you should be experienced by now in dealing with slightly intense fanbases. Third, not doing Eva because you might upset the fans is like not going out wearing a short skirt because men might get aggressive on you... they're the ones in teh wrong, not you. Forth, I'm now really interested in what your theories are. Fifth, double yikes!

(I don't think the widescreen thing on the B5 DVDs is a screw up, more making the best of a bad situation. A situation which seems to be caused by Douglas Netter refusing to spend $100 on a widescreen monitor back in 1993.)

Siskoid said...

You're right, time to break out my short skirts--uhm... kilts.

But yeah, I don't think my theories were all that out there, guy was just an idiot.

Dave said...

as always siskoid, congrats on ur 2nd marathon. I would suggest x-files for a new review marathon, but thinking about it, any TV show worth a rewatch would get me reading, such is the quality of ur reviews. Seriously, kids in the hall, mash, friends, do what you want. But i think the key is a) TV and B) have faith in ur reviews. write them, and we will come!

Chops said...

Oh, what about Slings and Arrows? I know you've covered bits of it for HtaS, but I bet you've got some thoughts on the episodes themselves! I know it's short, but it doesn't matter to me whether you're reviewing epic TV or smaller series. I just reading them.

SallyP said...

Whatever you chose to cover, I know that I will read it and enjoy it.

Siskoid said...

Chops: Spoiler - They all rate HIGH. ;-)

CS Verdad said...

I'm still holding out hope for the Micronauts or Shang-Chi recaps.

Andrew said...

It occurs to me that there's a particular short-lived sci-fi series from around the turn of the century that might be worth your attention. Featuring a rag-tag crew of civilians making a living outside the bounds of of what interplanetary government might consider absolutely necessary or appropriate.

It has the benefit of being short, canceled before its time. The one-volume complete series should be fairly easy to pick up at an affordable price.

I refer, of course, to "Starhunter."

On a couple of more serious notes, I'll be checking in regularly regardless of what you decide to cover. Also, it probably wouldn't work as a daily feature, but it might be interesting to see some "old vs. new" posts--comparing things like the pilots of BSG, or Oliver Queen in Smallville and Arrow, seeing what works well and falls short in both versions.

Madeley said...

If it comes down to a vote over the next series to do, I would commit electoral fraud to make sure B5 wins. I love B5, and there's so much depth to it I could discuss the show endlessly.

Possible an argument against, there.

Evangelion would also be good, although I second the observation regarding relative insanity of fanbase. Back at the beginnings of my time on the internet I had a run-in with an Eva fan that I don't recall the details of, only that I came away genuinely shocked I'd found a fan more rabidly hair-trigger angry than the Who lot.

Siskoid said...

Where my thinking's at right now...

It looks like a constant stream of TV reviews is what the majority wants. The frontrunner is B5, since there's no reason not to undertake such a project in the summer months. The Timmverse might make a nice follow-up for the winter when I'm way busier, making 20-minute episodes more appetizing then. That's 116 episodes/days of B5, by the way, while the strict Timmverse could run more than a year if we included Zeta Project, Static Shock and the various movies.

Since any TV-centric scheme would make it impossible to "break the mold", there would have to be comics, RPG etc. content generated alongside. I think it might be possible to do a weekly Legion column that would service fans of that particular idea without taking the blog over entirely.

As for Who's This? Looks like most think it's fine as it is as a weekly or occasional feature about obscure characters.

 

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