This Week in Geek (3-9/08/09)


You can't stop Kung Fu Friday (except we didn't have one this week on account of a friend's bachelor party, so I guess you CAN stop it, but you can't stop me from stocking the DVD racks for Kung Fu Fridays to come: Dragon Heat, The Protector and Legend of the Black Scorpion all made it in. On the side, I also got Antonioni's Blow-Up and the HBO film, Conspiracy.


DVD: Took my time, but finally flipped all 14 episodes of Firefly. I come really late to the party, having missed it originally, and then not wanting to get my heart broken by falling in love with something and having it abruptly taken away before its time (again). Well, it doesn't sting as much given the Serenity movie's tying up of at least a few mysteries left open at series' end (I've watched it, but not yet flipped it, keep your eyes peeled), and maybe because I'm used to the purposeful short runs of British tv shows. Bottom line: Every bit as good and inventive as I've been led to believe. Yet another example of Fox not really giving a good show a chance by airing its opening chapter LAST (and three episodes not at all) and canceling it after 11. The boxed set has an entertaining commentary track on half the episodes (both funny and informative), a few deleted scenes (including one that wasn't actually deleted, oops!), some featurettes, and a few unremarkable bits besides. I'm a convert! And so, my heart is broken.

Books: A lot of Doctor Who reading this week as I finished The Left-Handed Hummingbird, a New Adventure by Kate Orman, and then ran right through the next one. In Hummingbird, the 7th Doctor, Ace and Bernice go up against an Aztec god that feeds on death, criss-crossing history a number of times. I've never read an Orman Who book I didn't like and this was no different. Her research is, as always, impeccable, painting an authentic, gorgeously detailed pre-Cortez Mexico. The New Adventures are pretty dark compared to the show and this novel is part of that particular shift. Sometimes hard (the names, the paradoxes, the darkness), but worthy.

Like I said, Hummingbird sent me headlong into the next book of the series, Conundrum by Steve Lyons. A massive change of pace (there's a four-color supervillain on the cover), Lyons offers a sequel of sorts to The Mind Robber (not much of a spoiler, since I guessed it within a few pages) acting as rather amusing meta-textual narrator. It's a send-up of Who fiction and yet the stakes remain high. It's the kind of thing I could see Steven Moffat pulling off in the television medium, and in fact, hits some of the same notes Silence in the Library does. A lot of fun.

Hyperion to a Satyr
, entries this week include:
Act I Scene 1 according to Alexander Fodor
Act I Scene 1 according to Slings & Arrows
Act I Scene 1 according to A Midwinter's Dream

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: Only 5 (from Fires of Pompeii) as a teaser for the new expansion. Oh, and its booster pack art:
Someone Else's Post of the Week
Bully's Pantone Strips of the Marvel Superheroes is a brilliant, zen-like experience. Standing ovation.


Austin Gorton said...

Welcome to the Firefly fold (where broken hearts reside)!

Siskoid said...


De said...

The fanatical fans of Firefly totally turned me off to the series during its run. I dared to say I wasn't watching it (partly because I thought Buffy turned into a colossal waste of time and partly because I worked a second job at night) and was told I was "part of the problem" becuase I didn't worship at the altar of All Things Whedon. Way to win friends and influence people.

It would be a number of years before I sat down and watched the series. I thought it was a good, fun show, but hardly the sort of thing I would beat down a TV exec's door about. It had a lot of potential and I'm sorry we didn't get to see more, but I felt that way about The Tick and Wonderfalls too.

Siskoid said...

The fanatical fans of Firefly totally turned me off to the series during its run. I dared to say I wasn't watching it (partly because I thought Buffy turned into a colossal waste of time and partly because I worked a second job at night) and was told I was "part of the problem" becuase I didn't worship at the altar of All Things Whedon. Way to win friends and influence people.

Same for me. The same way I don't want to hear about your Mac vs. my PC, I don't want to hear about your cult show and how I apparently missed out. Like I haven't done my share for other cult shows. It's not like I go cramming Classic Who in people's faces.

But I did find Firefly's writing uncommonly strongly, which would only have been a plus if it had been aired in order, pilot first. I think I DID see the first aired episode and it didn't grab me, probably because I thought I'd already missed some episodes. Thanks Fox!

Austin Gorton said...

As someone who adores Buffy, Angel and Firefly, and thus considers himself something of a Whedonite, let me just say the more militant elements of that fanbase irritate the hell out of me (just as the more militant fanbases of any property do).

Whedon's fanbase has far too many embarrassingly shrill members right now, and it makes the majority of us fans almost as angry as non-fans who end up suffering their diatribes.

To each his own, I say, and while I may recommend something to someone, it's not my job to give someone grief if they don't like something I do.

(And to say that anyone is "part of the problem" for not watching a TV show is idiotic. Unless you own a Nielsen box-and in my almost 30 years, I have to meet anyone who has or knows someone who has one-the networks have zero clue what any of us are watching.)

Similarly, I hate people who try to fan the flames of a Star Trek/Star Wars rivalry. Why can't I just enjoy both?!?

And those Mac people really are fanatical about putting down PCs, aren't they? Ugh. Leave me alone.

Siskoid said...

So how's Dollhouse?

Austin Gorton said...

Can't really say: I've only seen the first episode (and it was so-so, thought I'm told it gets better). My DVR got a bit backlogged this spring, and I have to catch up with that show (amongst others).

I know some diehard Whedonites who, of course, love it, but I also know some more reasoned ones (whose opinions I value) who think it's pretty good, too.

I remain a bit apprehensive about it, as it lacks a really strong hook to get me personally excited (Buffy had the comic book trappings, Angel had the Buffy lead in, Firefly had the sci-fi Western premise). I'll watch it, the first season at the very least, because I am a Whedon fan, but I'm not as excited about it yet as some diehards would want me to be.

The Mutt said...

You watched it but you haven't flipped it?

What does that mean?

Siskoid said...

Based on "flipping the cartridge" when we used to play to old video games. If you'd finished the game, you'd say, I flipped it. Flipped the game, fipped the tape, etc.

So when I flip a DVD, it means I've gone through all the extras, finished it completely. Only then is it considered an "Achievement" for the SBG.

De said...

Figured this might be a decent entry to show you this:

Soemone made a pretty decent custom Torpedo figure from ROM!

Siskoid said...

That's pretty nice!

Dr Mi said...

Welcome to the Browncoats!

The Mutt said...

I missed out on so much by never having played a video game. I guess.

Siskoid said...

Well, I think that's just something *I* say, and it's translated from an expression I actually use in French (well, Frenglish) "flipper la cassette".

I should post a Glossary.

Colin said...

Intrigued to see you've been reading Hummer and Conundrum - does this mean we might see something from one of them appear in the CCG, come RD5?

Siskoid said...

As you can probably see from a contest/collaborative project I launched on Braxiatel, it could happen. I want the NAs to feature prominently in the next Relative Dimensions (NAs and NSAs, in fact). I don't know how much I can get through before Christmas, but I've got everything through First Frontier, and am open to cards from them. Certainly, the Alternate History arc has great stuff in it.

I don't have concepts specifically tagged from these two novels, but you can expect a Monk from No Future. But like I said, wide open to it.

Colin said...

Well, the NAs through to about Original Sin or thereabouts are pretty much my favourite era of Who, so I think I'm going to be liking this RD set...

Mathieu said...

The Firefly comics are a decent read as well, I enjoyed them quite a bit.

There are 2 series of 3 comics out now, with a third one on the way, apparently about Shepherd Book (his background, etc).

I enjoyed Dollhouse a lot. It's not as well written as Firefly and it takes a few episodes to really "take off", but I'm happy I watched it and am looking forward to season 2.


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