Spyfall Part 1

Doctor WhoWhen spies around the world begin disappearing, MI6 begins rounding up the Doctor’s companions on Earth so they can find out what the Doctor is. But as the Doctor and friends are being driven to MI6, the in-dash GPS of the car taking them there suddenly lashes out with lasers – admittedly not a standard feature – and vaporizes the driver before the car itself tries to drive the time travelers to their deaths. The Doctor turns the GPS’ weapon against itself and gains control of the car, driving it to MI6 anyway. The Doctor’s attention is drawn to the missing spies – and the fate of the missing spies who have been found, now no longer fully human, their DNA forcibly rewritten. Another attack, this one within MI6 headquarters itself, reveals the face of the inhuman power that the Doctor is up against: creatures who can appear to be made of light one moment, and can pass through solid matter (with considerable effort) the next. The only MI6 agent who seemed to have any idea about this invasion is sequestered in the Australian outback, and is most enthusiastic to meet the Doctor and to join in the investigation…until he reveals himself as one of the Doctor’s oldest enemies, before delivering the Doctor into the hands of the new enemies with whom he has allied himself.

Order the DVDwritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Jamie Magnus Stone
music by Segun Akinola

Doctor Who: SpyfallCast: Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien), Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Sacha Dhawan (O), Lenny Henry (Daniel Barton), Stephen Fry (C), Shobna Gulati (Najia Khan), Ravin J. Ganatra (Hakim Khan), Bhavnisha Parmar (Sonya Khan), Melissa de Vries (Sniper), Sacharissa Claxton (Passenger), William Ely (Older Passenger), Brian Law (U.S. Operative), Buom Tigngang (Tibo), Asif Khan (Sergeant Ramesh Sunder), Andrew Bone (Mr. Collins), Ronan Summers (Rendition Man), Christopher McArthur (Ethan), Darron Meyer (Seesay), Dominique Maher (Browning), Struan Rodger (voice of Kasaavin)

Doctor Who: SpyfallNotes: Sacha Dhawan has plenty of Doctor Who history, most notably starring as Waris Hussein in the 50th anniveresary docudrama An Adventure In Space And Time (2013); he has also appeared in several Big Finish audio stories (The Reviled, 2014; Fallen Angels, 2016; Ghost Walk, 2018, and the 2017 Torchwood audio story Zero Hour). Here he plays a previously unseen incarnation of the Master. Struan Rodger previously provided the voice of the Face of Boe during the David Tennant era (New Earth, 2006; Gridlock, 2007).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Spyfall Part 2

Doctor WhoJust when Ryan, Graham, and Yaz are in extreme danger, the Doctor is whisked away to the realm of the Kasaavin, the “beings of light” who have been killing human spies (and collaborating with the Master). The Doctor finds a young woman named Ada sharing this strange space, and when a Kasaavin arrives to return Ada to her own time and place, the Doctor tags along, discovering that Ada is future computer pioneer Ada Lovelace. The Master also follows, but just when it seems the Doctor is finally at his mercy, Ada proves to be a formidable ally. Ryan, Graham and Yaz come in for a safe landing, thanks to the Doctor being a step ahead of the Master and the Kasaavin, but are quickly singled out by tech billionaire Daniel Barton, whose part in the Kasaavin’s plan is still a mystery. It turns out that Barton wants to hand humanity over to the Kasaavin for a compulsory upgrade, to be delivered to every human on the planet via Barton’s ubiquitous mobile technology. And the Master lets the Doctor know that Gallifrey lies in ruins as a payback for a lie that has been perpetuated since Rassilon and Omega founded Time Lord society.

Order the DVDwritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Lee Haven Jones
music by Segun Akinola

Doctor Who: SpyfallCast: Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien), Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Sacha Dhawan (The Master), Lenny Henry (Daniel Barton), Sylvie Briggs (Ada Lovelace), Aurora Marion (Noor Inayat Khan), Mark Dexter (Charles Babbage), Shobna Gulati (Najia Khan), Ravin J. Ganatra (Hakim Khan), Bhavnisha Parmar (Sonya Khan), Andrew Pipe (Inventor), Tom Ashley (Airport Worker), Kenneth Jay (Perkins), Blanche Williams (Barton’s Mother)

Doctor Who: SpyfallNotes: The Master has resumed use of his signature weapon, the Tissue Compression Eliminator, which made its debut alongside the Master himself (Terror Of The Autons, 1971); it was last seen when another incarnation of the Master was trying to “improve” it (Planet Of Fire, 1984). The “knock four times” rhythm that drove a previous incarnation of the Master insane resurfaces here (featured heavily in 2007’s The Sound Of Drums and both parts of 2009’s The End Of Time). Gallifrey was forced into a pocket universe in 2013’s Day Of The Doctor for its own protection at the end of the last great Time War, though a later incarnation of the Doctor visited it in Hell Bent (2015); as it turns out, Gallifrey didn’t stand very long. The real Ada Lovelace went on to develop a correspondence with the real Charles Dickens (a fictionalized version of Dickens met the ninth Doctor in 2005’s The Unquiet Dead; it’s probably safe to assume that they never compared notes about their strange friend with the time-traveling blue box, since the Doctor wipes Ada’s memory of their shared adventure here).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Children Of Mars

Star Trek: Short TreksKima and Lil have little in common; they’re schoolgirls on Earth, one human, one alien, who both have parents working on or near Mars. A series of chance encounters become accidental collisions and, with a little bit of time and resentment, leads to a real rivalry between the two. Before their school’s Vulcan headmaster can take action, however, word reaches Earth of a surprise attack on Federation civilians and Starfleet facilities on and near the planet Mars.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Kirsten Beyer and Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
directed by Mark Pellington
music by Jeff Russo

Voice Cast: Joy Castro (Mom), Andrea Davis (Teacher), Jason Deline (Dad), Ilamaria Ebrahim (Kima), Alix Kell (Secretary), Sadie Munroe (Lil), Robert Verlaque (Principal)

Short TreksNotes: Intended to be a prologue to set the stage for the series Star Trek: Picard, this Short Trek has an unusually large number of writers for an eight-minute story (of which only six and a half minutes is story as opposed to credits). The music for much of that running time, while credited to Jeff Russo, is actually a Peter Gabriel cover of David Bowie’s Heroes (from Gabriel’s 2010 album of covers accompanied by orchestra, Scratch My Back); the end credits, however, are the first appearance of Russo’s theme music for the Picard series, here played on solo piano as opposed to the orchestral version seen in that series’ opening credits.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

I Was Flying

Star Trek: The Next GenerationIn the late 21st century, high-end passenger travel has extended into the stars, thanks to Judd Galaxy’s space luxury liners. The newest member of that fleet, the Avenue 5, has embarked on its maiden voyage, which will loop out toward Saturn, grab a gravitational assist from its large moon Titan, and return to Earth in the space of eight weeks. The eccentric (and very rich) founder of Judd Galaxy, Herman Judd himself, is aboard for this first voyage, though he leaves the running of the ship to Captain Ryan Clark, and the running of his business to his right-hand woman, Iris Kamura. When a gravity glitch throws everyone in the ship up against one of the walls, Avenue 5‘s course shifts unexpectedly, turning its eight-week cruise into a loping three-year tour of the solar system – a longer journey for which there aren’t enough consumables aboard. The passengers learn of this development and begin to protest, and Captain Ryan Clark has to privately admit to Judd that he’s not actually a captain – he was hired by the ship’s actual, socially-deficient captain to present an acceptable point of contact for the passengers, but has no knowledge of how to run the ship…and the actual captain who hired him was one of the handful of fatalities of the gravity incident.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Armando Iannucci & Simon Blackwell & Tony Roche
story by Armando Iannucci
directed by Armando Iannucci
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Ethan Phillips (Spike Martin), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Matthew Beard (Alan), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Joplin Sibtain (Joe), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Andrea Pizza (Anthea), Ankur Bahl (Passenger), Vaughn Joseph (John), Simon Connolly (Max), Anne Witman (Lauren), Andrew Boyer (Passenger), Wanda Opalinska (Baily), Eugenia Caruso (Verity), Ako Mitchell (Passenger), Yasmine Akram (Passenger), Sonia Dorado (Yoga Teacher), Oseloka Obi (Dan), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Sandra Gayer (Passenger), Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Sophie Salako (Passenger)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Remembrance

Star Trek: PicardStardate not given: A rising AI specialist, Dahj, is celebrating her acceptance as a research fellow at the Daystrom Institute on Earth, when a group of armed and armored men beam into her apartment. Her boyfriend is murdered, and somehow she survives the encounter, calling on self-defense skills in which she has never trained, overcoming all of her opponents. She has a momentary vision of a man’s face before she flees, and sets out to find him.

The man whose face she sees is hardly an unknown: retired Admiral Jean-Luc Picard is being interviewed on the anniversary of his attempt to evacuate the population of Romulus before its sun went supernova. When a surprise attack on Mars by rogue synthetic life forms caused Starfleet to abandon the massive rescue attempt, Picard felt that the Federation was no longer living up to its ideals and resigned his Starfleet commission in protest. In the years since, he has retreated to his family’s vineyards in France, a quiet existence that is disturbed a little by an intrusive interviewer, and disturbed more when Dahj shows up unannounced. She has never met Picard, but somehow knows he will be able to help her. When hints begin to point toward Dahj being a sentient synthetic life form, and possibly even a true descendant of Data, Picard grows more protective of her. But a second attempt on Dahj’s life proves to be deadlier than the first – she is destroyed before Picard’s eyes, but not before her assassins are unmasked as Romulans.

Picard goes to visit Dr. Agnes Jurati, one of the Federation’s foremost experts on synthetic life forms and a protege of cyberneticist Bruce Maddox, even though her research is now entirely theoretical since actual development of synthetics has been banned in the wake of the Mars attack. Jurati has B4 – the last known Soong-type android – in storage, disassembled – and theorizes that someone like Dahj would have to have been created by, or from, Data…and she also reveals that synthetics were previously produced in twinned pairs. Picard decides he must find Dajh’s twin before she suffers the same fate.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Akiva Goldsman and James Duff
story by Akiva Goldsman & Michael Chabon
and Kirsten Beyer & Alex Kurtzman and James Duff
directed by Hanelle L. Culpepper
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dahj / Dr. Soji Asha), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Brent Spiner (Lt. Commander Data), Orla Brady (Laris), David Carzell (Dahj’s Boyfriend), Merrin Dungey (Interviewer), Jamie McShane (Zhaban), Sumalee Montano (Dahj’s Mother), Maya Eshet (Index), Douglas Tait (Tellarite)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: Picking up plot threads from both Star Trek: Nemesis (the death of Data) and the 2009 J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie (the supernova destruction of Romulus, which drove Nero to go back in time to change events), the first episode of Star Trek: Picard also references episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, including The Measure Of A Man (the only prior appearance of Bruce Maddox) and The Offspring (Data’s first attempt to create a daughter). In Picard’s imagined encounters with Data, the android wears both an original Next Generation uniform and the somewhat less colorful uniforms worn in Nemesis. The synthetics’ attack on Mars was shown in the Short Treks episode Children Of Mars.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

And Then He’s Gonna Shoot Off…

Avenue 5Captain Clark admits to his passengers that they’re now facing a trip home that will last about three years. On Earth, Rav Mulcair and the other Judd Galaxy mission controllers huddle to come up with solutions, including soliciting help from NASA. While the American space agency is willing to help, that help will come at a price – one that, when he sees the numbers, Herman Judd is unwilling to pay. One of the ship’s junior engineers hurries to the bridge to see Clark, insisting that the trajectory estimates are wrong: he believes Avenue 5 will only need six months to return home. Billie, promoted to chief engineer after Joe’s demise, warns Clark that this new information can’t possibly be right. In the meantime, however, Clark has to attend to four very public funerals, one of them Joe’s, along with the fact that Avenue 5’s artificial gravity will turn all of the coffins into artificial satellites, slowly revolving around the ship for the rest of its journey.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
story by Armando Iannucci & Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
directed by Natalie Bailey
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Ethan Phillips (Spike Martin), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Matthew Beard (Alan), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Neil Casey (Cyrus), Joplin Sibtain (Joe), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Wanda Opalinska (Baily), Yasmine Akram (Passenger), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Eddie Register (Gareth), Nancy Crane (Susan), Sandra Gayer (Passenger), Leke Adebayo (Pierre), Avenue 5Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Angelique Fernandez (Passenger), Rae Lim (Devon), Akie Kotabe (Kitchen Worker), Phaldut Sharma (Sanji)

Notes: This isn’t actor Neil Casey’s first sci-fi-sitcom experience – he was a series regular on Paul Feig’s short-lived series Other Space, which premiered on the equally short-lived Yahoo! Screen streaming service.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Maps And Legends

Star Trek: Picard2385: As a fleet of passenger vessels commanded by Admiral Jean-Luc Picard gathers in orbit of the planet Mars to continue the ongoing emergency evacuation of the entire population of Romulus, whose star is about to go supernova, synthetic life forms performing labor at Utopia Planitia receive a signal from an outside source, overriding their programming and causing them to turn Mars’ own defenses against it in an unexpected attack. The resulting catastrophic loss of life causes Starfleet to reconsider the Romulan evacuation plot.

2399: Picard, now retired, enlists the help of his Romulan housekeepers, Laris and Zhaban, in piecing together the level of Romulan involvement in the recent murder of Dahj, a young woman who may well have been a synthetic life form and the closest anyone has come to replicating an android like Data. Picard suspects the Tal Shiar, a Romulan secret police organization may be involved, but Laris believes it may be an even older Romulan organization, the Zhat Vash, of which the Tal Shiar has always been a very small part. When they beam into Dahj’s apartment in Boston to look for signs of Romulan involvement, they discover that the would-be assassins covered their tracks very carefully. Picard decides to go to Starfleet Headquarters with his concerns, and requests a ship and crew to be assigned to him so he can find Dahj’s twin sister before she too is killed. This request is met with the fury of Starfleet’s commander in chief, still outraged over Picard’s comments in a recent interview that Starfleet abdicated its duty when the Romulan evacuation was abandoned. Turned away, Picard decides to enlist the help of his second-in-command in the evacuation effort, Rafi Musiker, to find and hire a private ship to undertake his mission.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Michael Chabon & Akiva Goldsman
directed by Hanelle L. Culpepper
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: PicardCast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dr. Soji Asha), Michelle Hurd (Rafi Musiker), Harry Treadaway (Narek), David Paymer (Dr. Moritz Benayoun), Jamie McShane (Zhaban), Tamlyn Tomita (Commodore Oh), Orla Brady (Laris), David Carzell (Dahj’s Boyfriend), Wendy Davis (Dr. Kabath), Chelsea Harris (Dr. Naáshala Kunamadéstifee), Peyton List (Lt. Rizzo), Ann Magnuson (Admiral Kirsten Clancy), Marti Matulis (Checkpoint Supervisor), Chaka DeSilva (Burley Fuelie), Alex Diehl (F8), Kate Fugeli (Kvetchy Fuelie), Harrison Grant (Ensign), Anthony R. Jones (Pincus), Paul Keeley (Philosophical Fuelie), Jason Liles (Noiro), Meghan Lewis (Picard Computer / Utopia Planitia Computer Voice), Brit Manor (Tough Fuelie), Zachary James Rukavina (XB/Nameless), Douglas Tait (Tellarite)

LogBook entry by Earl Green