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Can Of Worms

Red DwarfAboard Starbug, Lister and the others find a promising derelict ship on the edge of a black hole. But when Rimmer warns that it could be a trap set by Gelf Vampires who feast on the blood of virgins, Cat is suddenly less enthusiastic about the salvage operation. Lister decides to board the ship, with Cat and Kryten in tow, and they disable a mercenary mechanoid and free his sole surviving prisoner, who seems to be a female Cat. Once she is brought back aboard Red Dwarf, and expresses more than a passing interest in Cat, Kryten discovers only too late that their new crewmate is not what she appears to be, and Cat could pay the price.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Bentley Klau (Mercenoid), Dominique Moore (Ankita), Daniel Barker (Alien Natural History Presenter), Maria Yarjah (Cat Lady 1), Shanice Stewart-Jones (Cat Lady 2)

Red DwarfNotes: Much like the last episode of season two (Parallel Universe, 1988), Can Of Worms concerns a pregnant male member of the Red Dwarf crew. Polymorphs were previously encountered in Polymorph (1989) and Emohawk: Polymorph II (1993).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Nightvisiting

ClassDaddy’s home. That comes as a bit of a shock to Tanya, since it happens on the second anniversary of his death. And he’s not quite the same – maybe it’s the constant pleading for her to take his hand, or maybe it’s the vine-like root connected to his back, snaking out the window and connecting to a network of similar tendrils, all of them connected to others who have apparently risen from the dead. Ram sees his late girlfriend and runs rather than trying to reconnect with her, meeting up with April in the process. Even Miss Quill has a visitor who seems to be from the other side, though she is skeptical about it all. What has taken root across London and brought the dead back to their loved ones?

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Patrick Ness
directed by Ed Bazalgette
music by Blair Mowat
“Nightvisitor” written & performed by Jim Moray

ClassCast: Katherine Kelly (Miss Quill), Greg Austin (Charlie), Fady Elsayed (Ram), Sophie Hopkins (April), Vivian Oparah (Tanya), Jordan Renzo (Matteusz), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Jasper), Natasha Gordon (Vivian), Anastasia Hille (Orla’ath), Anna Shaffer (Rachel), Andrew Frame (Man), Janie Booth (Old Woman)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Imperial Supercommandos

Star Wars: RebelsPassage through Mandalorian space near the planetary remnant Concord Dawn has once again become hostile to Rebel traffic, and Sabine pays a visit to Fenn Rau, the Mandalorian leader she captured there. Rau has no idea what has changed, but offers to return with Sabine to find out; of course, he’s also planning to escape while he’s there. But even Fenn Rau finds no welcoming party at Concord Dawn: the Mandalorians there have thrown their lot in with the Empire, taking up arms as Imperial Supercommandos. Anyone who doesn’t join them in bowing to the Empire – even fellow Mandalorians – is marked for capture or death.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonwritten by Christopher Yost
directed by Steward Lee
music by Kevin Kiner
based on original themes and music by John Williams

RebelsCast: Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger), Vanessa Marshall (Hera Syndulla), Freddie Prinze Jr. (Kanan Jarrus / Supercommando #2), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), Steve Blum (Zeb Orrelios / Supercommando #1), Keone Young (Commander Sato), Kevin McKidd (Fenn Rau), Ray Stevenson (Gar Saxon), Dave Filoni (Supercommando #3)

Notes: In a bit of a meta-gag, the all-white-armored Mandalorians hearken back to Ralph McQuarrie’s original design for Imperial “Supertroopers”, a costume design that was earmarked for a character that came to be known as Boba Fett during pre-production of The Empire Strikes Back.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Novo Mundo

Mars2033: Daedalus, a multi-national, partially privately funded interplanetary vehicle, is about to land the first human expedition on the surface of Mars. After a year traveling from Earth to the red planet, a fault develops in one of the braking thrusters used to slow Daedaleus for a soft landing. Mission Commander Ben Sawyer personally takes on the task of replacing the circuit that will allow the thruster to fire, but this means he’s out of his seat when Daedalus enters the Martian atmosphere, subjecting him to a sudden return of gravitational G forces without the benefit of his seat in the crew cabin. Daedalus also lands off-course, away from a habitat/lab module already delivered to Mars via an unmanned rocket, but a closer workshop module may offer shelter in the meantime.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Karen Janszen
story by Karen Janszen and Paul Solet
based on the book “How We’ll Live On Mars” by Stephen Petranek
directed by Everardo Gout
music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

MarsCast: Jihae (Hana Seung / Joon Seung), Alberto Ammann (Javier Delgado), Clementine Poidatz (Amelie Durand), Anamaria Marinca (Marta Kamen), Sammi Rotibi (Robert Foucalt), Ben Cotton (Ben Sawyer), Olivier Martinez (Ed Grann), Nick Wittman (Oliver), Antoinette Fekete (Sam), Kata Sarbo (Ava Macon), Laurent Winkler (Flight Director, Mission Control), Sara Martins (Louise Varda)

MarsNotes: Interspersing dramatic re-enactments of a potential Mars landing scenario with modern-day interviews with such figures as Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Andy Weir (author of The Martian), Mars is produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (producers, through Imagine Entertainment, of such past space exploration fare as Apollo 13 and From The Earth To The Moon).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Iron Squadron

Star Wars: RebelsThe Ghost is sent to help evacuate a Rebel cell from the planet Mykapo, but a freighter identifying itself as “Iron Squadron” is already putting up a fight against the Empire, even though it’s readily apparent that the freighter has no hyperdrive of its own and can’t escape. The leader of “Iron Squadron” – all of whom are teenagers – is Mart Mattin, nephew of Commander Sato of the Rebel fleet. Sabine and Ezra offer to stay and help Mart and his friends repair their ship, unaware that Grand Admiral Thrawn is using Mart as the bait in a trap to lure the Rebel’s leadership out into the open.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonwritten by Matt Michnovetz
directed by Saul Ruiz
music by Kevin Kiner
based on original themes and music by John Williams

RebelsCast: Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger), Vanessa Marshall (Hera Syndulla), Freddie Prinze Jr. (Kanan Jarrus), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), Steve Blum (Zeb Orrelios / Imperial Officer), Dee Bradley Baker (Admiral Konstantine / Rex), Keone Young (Commander Sato), Meredith Anne Bull (Gooti Terez), Lars Mikkelsen (Grand Admiral Thrawn), Eric Lopez (Jonner Jin), Zachary Gordon (Mart Mattin), Dave Filoni (Phoenix Two)

Notes: “Iron Squadron”‘s ship is a Corellian YT-2400 freighter, of the same design as the Outrider, Dash Rendar’s ship in the Shadows Of The Empire novel and video game; a similar ship was also added to the Mos Eisley scenes of the 1997 “special edition” of Star Wars.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Grounded

Mars2033: Injured in Daedalus’ landing, mission commander Ben Sawyer is in worse shape than he’s letting on to his crew. Internal injuries are slowly killing him. He authorizes a modification to the crew’s rover, allowing it to exceed its maximum safe speed of 10kph, but the time saved by speeding up the 75-kilometer drive is sacrificed when the rover hits an obstacle that destroys its suspension system. Left with nothing but an equipment and sample cart that they must push, the Daedalus crew must set out on foot, fully aware that failing to reach the workshop module will subject them to cold from which their EVA suits can’t protect them. And even if they reach shelter, it may not be in time to save Ben’s life.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Andre Bormanis and Paul Solet
story by Andre Bormanis
based on the book “How We’ll Live On Mars” by Stephen Petranek
directed by Everardo Gout
music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

MarsCast: Jihae (Hana Seung / Joon Seung), Alberto Ammann (Javier Delgado), Clementine Poidatz (Amelie Durand), Anamaria Marinca (Marta Kamen), Sammi Rotibi (Robert Foucalt), Ben Cotton (Ben Sawyer), Olivier Martinez (Ed Grann), Nick Wittman (Oliver), Antoinette Fekete (Sam), Kata Sarbo (Ava Macon), Stephen Saracco (Ben’s Father)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Wynkahthu Job

Star Wars: RebelsAn old friend has contacted the crew of the Ghost…and an old fiend as well. Smuggler and swindler Hondo, who still regards Ezra as a partner in crime, has a new partner in crime: repugnant slave trader Azmorigan. They know where a stockpile of treasure can be found, treasure stolen from the Empire – and if that includes weapons and other valuables, Hondo’s willing to cut Ezra in on the deal in exchange for the Ghost’s support. But Hera decides to put Zeb in charge of this caper, because she correctly guesses that, much like every other time Hondo has presented her crew with an offer they can’t refuse, they’re not hearing the whole story just yet.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonwritten by Gary Whitta
directed by Mel Zwyer
music by Kevin Kiner
based on original themes and music by John Williams

RebelsCast: Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger), Vanessa Marshall (Hera Syndulla), Freddie Prinze Jr. (Kanan Jarrus), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), Steve Blum (Zeb Orrelios), Stephen Stanton (AP-5), James Hong (Azmorigan), Jim Cummings (Hondo Ohnaka), Dee Bradley Baker (Melch)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Pressure Drop

Mars2033: Ben Sawyer has died from his injuries, leaving Hana Seung in charge. As the mission’s ground controllers scramble to devise alternatives and solutions for the astronauts on Mars, they also find themselves struggling to justify continuing the mission to the international consortium funding the exploration of Mars. The workshop dome providing the crew’s shelter is not meant to serve as a long-term habitat, and its overworked electrical system catches on fire, leaving it partially uninhabitable. The only chance the mission has to succeed – and the only chance humanity has to colonize another planet – is to find an underground chamber with abundant ice.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Mickey Fisher and Paul Solet
story by Mickey Fisher
based on the book “How We’ll Live On Mars” by Stephen Petranek
directed by Everardo Gout
music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

MarsCast: Jihae (Hana Seung / Joon Seung), Alberto Ammann (Javier Delgado), Clementine Poidatz (Amelie Durand), Anamaria Marinca (Marta Kamen), Sammi Rotibi (Robert Foucalt), Olivier Martinez (Ed Grann), Nick Wittman (Oliver), Antoinette Fekete (Sam), Kata Sarbo (Ava Macon), Mimi Tyler (young Hana), Mila Tyler (young Joon), Karen Gagnon (ORB Solutions Senior Board Member), Miklos Banyai (ORB Solutions Board Member), Mate Haumann (IMSF Member USA),

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Power

Mars2037: Four years after the discovery of a suitable place to build the first human settlement on Mars, the base has expanded rapidly, and a second spacecraft with its own crew has joined Hana Seung’s expedition there. Medical, lab, and hydroponic facilities have been set up, though it’s the latter that proves the most worrisome – plants, the key to a sustainable food supply that doesn’t rely on resupply from Earth, are not growing at the expected rates. A third ship arrives with an even larger crew of new Mars colonists, including a supervisor to spearhead even further expansion. Her husband, a hydroponic expert, takes some of Javier’s workload off of him, but seems distant and obsessed with his work. But these new settlers have arrived just in time for trouble.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Ben Young Mason and Paul Solet
story by Ben Young Mason
based on the book “How We’ll Live On Mars” by Stephen Petranek
directed by Everardo Gout
music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

MarsCast: Jihae (Hana Seung / Joon Seung), Alberto Ammann (Javier Delgado), Clementine Poidatz (Amelie Durand), Anamaria Marinca (Marta Kamen), Sammi Rotibi (Robert Foucalt), Cosima Shaw (Dr. Leslie Richardson), Olivier Martinez (Ed Grann), John Light (Dr. Paul Richardson), Nick Wittman (Oliver), Antoinette Fekete (Sam), Kata Sarbo (Ava Macon), Paul Solet (Cygnus Pilot), Karen Gagnon (ORB Solutions Senior Board Member), Rebecca Emekandoko (Joon’s Assistant)

Notes: This isn’t Cosima Shaw’s first struggle to survive on Mars – she was one of the crew members of Bowie Base One in the 2009 Doctor Who episode The Waters Of Mars.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Darkest Days

Mars2037: A massive dust storm plunges the only human settlement on Mars into darkness for months. EVAs on the surface are out of the question for obvious safety reasons, and due to the interrupted work on power upgrades, it’s not long before power has to be carefully rationed for everyone to survive. One casualty of the power cuts is the greenhouse, leaving Paul Richardson nothing to do but over about his dying crops. Base lighting and heat are next, and cabin fever begins setting in. Someone will have to venture outside to reconnect the base to power…while someone else will venture outside just to end it all.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Paul Solet
based on the book “How We’ll Live On Mars” by Stephen Petranek
directed by Everardo Gout
music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

MarsCast: Jihae (Hana Seung / Joon Seung), Alberto Ammann (Javier Delgado), Clementine Poidatz (Amelie Durand), Anamaria Marinca (Marta Kamen), Sammi Rotibi (Robert Foucalt), Cosima Shaw (Dr. Leslie Richardson), Olivier Martinez (Ed Grann), John Light (Dr. Paul Richardson), Nick Wittman (Oliver), Antoinette Fekete (Sam), Kata Sarbo (Ava Macon), Karen Gagnon (ORB Solutions Senior Board Member)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Rogue One

Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryOrson Krennic, an Imperial officer, tracks down Galen Erso, a science officer who defected from the Empire to avoid allowing his talents to be used to perfect the primary weapon of the Empire’s giant battlestation. Krennic’s squadron of Death Troopers guns down Erso’s wife, but fails to find his young daughter, who has gone into hiding in a prearranged shelter, to be picked up later by Rebel insurgent Saw Gererra. Galen Erso is taken back to work for the Empire; his daughter grows up without seeing him again.

But she does hear about him. Rescued – or is it abducted? – from an Imperial slave labor detail on Wobani, Jyn Erso is taken to a secret Rebel base in the Yavin system, and questioned about her father’s work. An Imperial Pilot has defected from the Empire, carrying a message from Galen Erso to Saw Gerrera with details of the secret weapon. Under the careful supervision of Rebel intelligence agent Cassian Andor and his caustic, reprogrammed Imperial droid, K-2SO, Jyn joins a mission to Jedha, home of Gerrera’s extreme faction of Rebels. The Empire is present in force, both mining kyber to complete the secret weapon and trying to track down the defecting pilot, and Jyn and Cassian stumble into guerilla warfare that has nothing to do with them – indeed, Cassian decides it’s more of an obstacle than useful cover for their mission. They befriend a blind fighter named Chirrut, who claims a personal connection to the Force, and his heavily-armed comrade Baze, who has grown skeptical of the Force…and all of them are taken to Saw Gerrera. Jyn sees a holographic message from her father, detailing a weakness that he has carefully built into the main reactor of the Death Star, the Empire’s new weapon…but just after viewing the message, Jyn and the others, with former Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook in tow, must escape the destruction of Jedha, whose surface is tearing itself apart after a single shot from the Death Star.

From Jedha to an Imperial weapons development base on Eadu to the Empire’s repository of technical schematics on Scarif, the Rebels are fighting not just the pursuing forces of Krennic and the Empire, but one another. Word of the Death Star’s power fails to galvanize the Rebellion’s leadership into action, leaving Cassian, Jyn, Chirrut, Baze, K-2SO, Bodhi, and a ragtag group of volunteers to try to steal the Death Star plans from Scarif. Grand Moff Tarkin, keen to seize control of the Death Star from Krennic, is more than happy to demonstrate his fully armed and operational battle station to the Rebelliion. With the Empire’s technological terror now roaming the galaxy, it will take no less a miracle than the return of the Jedi themselves to save the Rebellion.

Order the DVDsscreenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy
story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta
directed by Gareth Edwards
music by Michael Giacchino / original Star Wars music by John Williams

Rogue OneCast: Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Diego Luna (Cassian Andor), Alan Tudyk (K-2SO), Donnie Yen (Chirrut Imwe), Jiang Wen (Baze Malbus), Ben Mendelsohn (Orson Krennic), Guy Henry (Governor Tarkin), Forest Whitaker (Saw Gererra), Riz Ahmed (Bodhi Rook), Mads Mikkelsen (Galen Erso), Jimmy Smits (Bail Organa), Alistair Petrie (General Draven), Genevieve O’Reilly (Mon Mothma), Ben Daniels (General Merrick), Paul Kasey (Admiral Raddus), Stephen Stanton (Admiral Raddus – voice), Ian McElhinney (General Dodonna), Fares Fares (Senator Vaspar), Jonathan Aris (Senator Jebel), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Senator Pamlo), Spencer Wilding (Darth Vader), Daniel Naprous (Darth Vader), James Earl Jones (Darth Vader – voice), Ingvild Deila (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Valene Kane (Lyra Erso), Beau Gadsdon (young Jyn), Dolly Gadsdon (younger Jyn), Duncan Pow (Sergeant Melshi), Rogue OneJames Harkness (Private Basteren), Derek Arnold (Pao), Matt Rippy (Corporal Rostok), Nick Kellington (Bistan), Michael Nardone (Shield Gate Officer), Nathan Plant (Imperial Guard Droid), Christopher Patrick Nolan (Alderaanian Guard), Michael Smiley (Dr. Evazan), Warwick Davis (Weeteef Cyubee), Dee Tails (L-1), Ruth Bell (Jedha Server), May Bell (Jedha Server), Angus Wright (Hammerhead Captain), Keith Dunphy (Blockade Runner Pilot), Alan Rushton (Eadu Engineer), Robert Bendetti-Hall (Eadu Engineer), Richard Franklin (Eadu Engineer), Weston Gavin (Eadu Engineer), Nick Hobbs (Eadu Engineer)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Crossroads

Mars2037: Paul Richardson’s suicidal step out onto the Martian surface has resulted in the decompression of other nearby parts of the base, and the instant deaths of six others in the sections adjacent to the greenhouse. His wife is wracked with guilt for not having seen the signs of his mental state earlier, while Hana Seung bears the burden for the entire mission, which is now likely to be cancelled by the IMSF. Hana and Foucalt visit the Daedalus, the vehicle that brought them to Mars, and begin reactiviating it in anticipation of being recalled to Earth. Attempting to salvage usable hardware to continue powering the base, Javier and Marta visit the abandoned workshop module that was their crew’s makeshift first shelter on Mars, where Marta makes an unusual discovery that could forever change science…and change humankind’s destiny on Mars.

Download this episode via Amazontelelplay by Andre Bormanis and Paul Solet
story by Andre Bormanis
based on the book “How We’ll Live On Mars” by Stephen Petranek
directed by Everardo Gout
music by Jake Jackson, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

MarsCast: Jihae (Hana Seung / Joon Seung), Alberto Ammann (Javier Delgado), Clementine Poidatz (Amelie Durand), Anamaria Marinca (Marta Kamen), Sammi Rotibi (Robert Foucalt), Cosima Shaw (Dr. Leslie Richardson), Ben Cotton (Ben Sawyer), Olivier Martinez (Ed Grann), John Light (Dr. Paul Richardson), Nick Wittman (Oliver), Antoinette Fekete (Sam), Kata Sarbo (Ava Macon), Eva Magyar (IMSF Member Russia), Mirjam Novak (IMSF Member USA), Mate Haumann (IMSF Member USA)

Notes: Early in 2017, it was announced that National Geographic Channel would produce a second season of Mars, but that season would be produced under the auspices of a new showrunner, Dee Johnson (formerly of Nashville, Rizzoli & Isles, Army Wives, Commander In Chief, and ER).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Farthest

The FarthestOriginally proposed in the late 1960s to take advantage of a rare planetary alignment in the 1970s, NASA’s Voyager missions are slated for launch in 1977, loaded with the best technology available in 1972. The Farthest chronicles the design and construction, the launch, the discoveries and the in-flight triumphs and travails of the twin Voyager spacecraft, as told by the scientists and engineers who sent them on their journey and waited eagerly for the data from planets that, in some cases, had never been seen as more than a pinprick of light in a telescope. The Voyagers continue onward into interstellar space, having completed their planetary explorations, each carrying gold-plated “Golden Records”, audiovisual time capsules of life on Earth in 1977 that may outlive the entire human race.

Order DVDs & Blu-RaysDownload this episodewritten by Emer Reynolds
directed by Emer Reynolds
music by Ray Harman

The FarthestAppearing as themselves: Fran Bagenal (Co-Investigator, Plasma Science), Jim Bell (Author, “The Interstellar Age”), John Casani (Voyager Project Manager), Timothy Ferris (Golden Record Producer), Suzanne Dodd (Current Voyager Project Manager), Don Gurnett (Principal Investigator, Plasma Wave Science), Heidi Hammel (Planetary Science), Candy Hansen-Koharcheck (Imaging Science Representative), Andrew Ingersoll (Atmospheric Science), Charley Kohlhase (Mission Design & Navigation), Lawrence Krauss (Theoretical Physicist & Cosmologist), Stamatios “Tom” Krimigis (Principal Investigator, Particle Science), Dave Linick (Sequence Team Chief), Frank Locatell (Project Engineer, Mechanical Systems), Jon Lomberg (Golden Record Design Director), Linda Morabito (Navigation Engineer), Carolyn Porco (Imaging Scientist), Nick Sagan (Author & Screenwriter), Brad Smith (Imaging Science Team Leader), Larry Soderblom (Imaging Science), Ed Stone (Voyager Chief Scientist), Linda Spilker (Infrared Science Representative), Janet Sternberg (Golden Record Greeting), Rich Terrile (Imaging Science)

LogBook entry and review by Earl Green Continue reading

The Pilot

Doctor WhoBill Potts works in the university cafeteria, and though she’s not taking his classes, she attends lectures by a mysteriously tenured professor known only as the Doctor. He’s as likely to lecture on poetry as on physics, and seems to know a little bit about everything – a lot, actually. He’s also very observant, and knows that Bill isn’t one of his students, and offers to tutor her anyway.

Bill catches the eye of a fellow student named Heather, though their conversations never seem to go where expected. Heather is preoccupied with a puddle of standing water which has the audacity to exist in a fenced-in concrete area where there has been no rain for days. Bill relates this to the Doctor, who is suddenly very curious about the puddle, and the scorch marks surrounding it on the concrete: the telltale sign of a recently landed spacecraft. The next time Bill sees Heather, the girl is drenched in an unending torrent of water, has dead eyes, can only repeat what Bill says, and seems to be following her obsessively. Bill races into the Doctor’s office to get away from her, and the Doctor (with Nardole still in tow) whisks her away in the TARDIS. But wherever they go in time and space, whether it’s sunny Sydney or the hell of the Dalek-Movellan war, Heather follows…and won’t give up until Bill joins or rejects her.

Order the DVDDownload this episode via Amazonwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Lawrence Gough
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Pearl Mackie (Bill), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Jennifer Hennessy (Moira), Stephanie Hyam (Heather), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek voices)

Doctor WhoNotes: This is the first (and only) screen appearance of the Movellans since their only other appearance in 1979’s Destiny Of The Daleks; they are primarily a background detail here, and not central to the plot, just like the Daleks that show up without being the central threat. The Doctor seems to have an abundance of his retired sonic screwdrivers on hand – score one product placement for Character Options and Underground Toys – and has framed photos of River Song and Susan on his desk.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

Smile

Doctor WhoBill wants to see Earth’s future, so the Doctor takes her to an Earth colony several centuries into that future. The odd thing is, the entire colony seems to be populated not by humans, but by two kinds of robots: flying, bee-like microbots that built, and make up the material of, the colony structures, and diminutive mobile robots who communicate only through simple facial expressions. But at the first sign that their guests are unhappy with what they’ve found – a city built for humans but devoid of humans – the robots don what could be a fatal frown. Determined to make sure that any future colonists aren’t walking into a trap, the Doctor decides to destroy the colony…until Bill discovers that the colonists are already there.

Order the DVDDownload this episode via Amazonwritten by Frank Cottrell Boyce
directed by Lawrence Gough
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Pearl Mackie (Bill), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Kiran L Dadlani (Kezzia), Mina Anwar (Goodthing),Ralf Little (Steadfast), Kalungi Ssebandeke (Nate), Kiran Shah (Emojibot), Craig Garner (Emojibot)

Doctor WhoNotes: Mina Anwar is no stranger to the universe of Doctor Who. She played Gita Chandra, the excitable mother of series regular Rani Chandra, on The Sarah Jane Adventures, though she plays a different, unrelated character here.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

Old Wounds

The Orville2418: Slowly-rising Planetary Union officer Commander Ed Mercer arrives home to find his wife in bed with a blue-skinned alien. Not interested in talking the situation out, he leaves to seek refuge in his career in the stars.

2419: What a difference a year makes – Ed Mercer is still a commander, albeit one whose career has become even more aimless, punctuated by a few incidents of reporting for duty while hung over. (Not all differences are good ones.) Still, to his surprise, and despite his spotty career record, Mercer is offered a promotion to captain and command of the medium exploratory vessel U.S.S. Orville. He raises eyebrows at Planetary Union Central by hand-picking his somewhat uncouth old buddy Gordon Malloy to be the Orville‘s helmsman, but he has no say in the filling of the vacant first officer position, a candidate for which will be selected by the admiralty. But not in his worst nightmares does Mercer expect his new XO to also be his ex-wife.

There’s barely time for a reunion through clenched teeth before the Orville is dispatched to answer a call for aid from a scientific colony. The chief scientist there, Dr. Aronov, introduces them to a device capable of accelerating time; while he’s rattling off a litany of potentially beneficial uses, Mercer’s new security officer, Lt. Alara Kitan, wisely deduces ways it could be weaponized – and that’s why Aronov issued the vague call for help. He believes that if the warlike Krill learn of the time accelerator, they’ll descend upon the colony like a plague of locusts.

But the warlike Krill are already there, planting the seed for Mercer’s first true test as a commander.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Seth McFarlane
directed by Jon Favreau
music by Bruce Broughton

The OrvilleCast: Seth McFarlane (Captain Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Commander Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Commander Bortus), Halston Sage (Lt. Alara Kitan), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Victor Garber (Admiral Halsey), Brian George (Dr. Aronov), Joel Swetow (Krill Captain), Patrick Cox (Ogre), Norm MacDonald (voice of Yaphit), Christine Corpuz (Janice Lee), Sean Cook (Derek), Dylan Kenin (Krill Soldier), Dee Bradley Baker (Dr. Jorvik)

The OrvilleNotes: With a writing staff loaded down with veterans of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyager (Brannon Braga, Andre Bormanis, David A. Goodman), and Star Trek veterans aplenty among the cast (Penny Johnson Jerald played Kasidy Yates, Captain Sisko’s love interest on Deep Space Nine, while Brian George guest starred as Dr. Bashir’s estranged father on the same series), a ship – with physical filming models no less! – designed by Andrew Probert, and diehard TNG fan Seth McFarlane creating and starring, it can’t possibly be a secret to anyone at the end of the first hour that The Orville is both an homage and spoof of Star Trek: TNG. McFarlane, Braga and Goodman also collaborated on the 21st century relaunch of Cosmos, while Bormanis worked on National Geographic’s Mars series. Brian George and Dee Bradley Baker are also voice actors with many a role in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Command Performance

The OrvilleThe Orville answers a distress call from a fellow Planetary Union ship, but fears of a Krill attack pale in Captain Ed Mercer’s mind to the revelation that his parents are aboard the victimized vessel. Ed and Kelly take a shuttle over to the ship, leaving Alara in command. (Bortus is on leave, hatching an egg.) But the attacked ship suddenly fades away, replaced by a buoy capable of generating a holographic image of that ship. Ed and Kelly’s molecules have been transmitted into Calivon space, a civilization not exactly on friendly terms with the Union, where they’re horrified to find they’ve been trapped in a replica of their old apartment, and are even more horrified to learn that this replica is part of a vast zoo of imprisoned living creatures with little hope of escape. In over her head, Alara receives orders from a Union Admiral: give up the search for the Orville’s Captain and First Officer, and return to Earth. She has to weigh the damage to her career against the damage to her standing among the crew as she decides whether to obey or disobey those orders.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Seth McFarlane
directed by Robert Duncan McNeill
music by John Debney

The OrvilleCast: Seth McFarlane (Captain Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Commander Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Commander Bortus), Halston Sage (Lt. Alara Kitan), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Chad L. Coleman (Klyden), Jeffrey Tambor (Ben Mercer), Holland Taylor (Jeannie Mercer), Larry Joe Campbell (Chief Newton), Ron Canada (Admiral Tucker), Brett Rickaby (Lurenek), J.D. Cullum (Calivon Zoo Administrator), Jerry O’Donnell (Bleriot Captain), Andrew Bering (Technician Jennings), Mike Gray (Ensign Parker), Alaina Fleming (Technician Reed), Jeremy Guskin (Furry Alien), Maxwell Hurlburt (Greenish Alien), George Tsai (Shuttle Bay Officer #1), Ryan Dietz (Calivon Official #1), Shannon McClung (Calivon Official #2), Sarah Buehler (Calivon Mother), Armen Nahapetian (Calivon Child)

The OrvilleNotes: Marvin V. Rush, former director of photography on the 1990s Star Trek spinoffs, joins The Orville in the same capacity with this episode, as does ’90s Trek camera operator Joe Chess. Guest stars Ron Canada and J.D. Cullum have both appeared on some of those Trek spinoffs: Canada guest starred on TNG, Deep Space Nine and Voyager (as well as a Babylon 5 guest shot), while Cullum appeared as Toral, bastard son of Duras, in TNG’s Redemption Part I and Part II in 1991. And of course, director Robert Duncan McNeill is an old hand at space travel, having played Lt. Tom Paris in all seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager before moving on to a career of producing and directing.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

About A Girl

The OrvilleBortus and his partner, Klyden, are dismayed when their egg hatches, revealing a true rarity: a female Moclan baby. The traditions of their world demand that the baby’s gender be surgically altered to male, but Dr. Finn refuses to perform the operation on ethical grounds. Bortus tries to convince Captain Mercer to override Dr. Finn’s decision, but he too refuses. With his shipmates continually trying to change his mind about the operation (which Bortus reads as them trying to force their cultures’ values on him), Bortus feels he has no choice but to contact the Moclan homeworld and ask for assistance. Shortly before that assistance arrives in the form of a large (and armed) Moclan ship, Malloy and LaMarr finally get through to Bortus by introducing him to the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. With his own people now present and ready to take charge of the situation, Bortus now agrees that the operation is unethical…and finds that his whole world (including Klyden) is now against him.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Seth McFarlane
directed by Brannon Braga
music by Joel McNeely

The OrvilleCast: Seth McFarlane (Captain Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Commander Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Commander Bortus), Halston Sage (Lt. Alara Kitan), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Chad L. Coleman (Klyden), Deobia Oparei (Captain Vorak), David Barrera (Vasquez), Rena Owen (Heveena), Lamont Thompson (Kaybrak), Jonathan Adams (Moclan Arbitrator), Antonio D. Charity (Advocate Kagus), Norm MacDonald (voice of Yaphit), D. Elliot Woods (Moclan Council Foreman), Rico E. Anderson (Moclan Doctor), Julius Sharpe (Reptilian Alien)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Vulcan Hello

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate 1207.2: An uncrewed communications relay at the edge of Federation space suddenly stops working, and the starship U.S.S. Shenzhou is sent to investigate. Captain Philippa Georgiou sends her first officer, Commander Michael Burnham, to investigate an object near a binary star that seems to be deliberately scattering the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including visible wavelengths. Burnham flies a thruster suit toward the unknown object, finding it to be an ancient vessel of some kind. When Burnham lands on the object, her presence triggers a sudden activation of the vessel, and an armed Klingon warrior appears behind her. When the Klingon attacks, Burnham attempts to escape, accidentally impaling the Klingon with his own weapon before slamming into part of the Klingon vessel and tumbling back toward the Shenzhou, unconscious.

Burnham awakens aboard the Shenzhou, rescued by suffering from acute effects of exposure to the radiation emanating from the binary star nearby. She leaves sick bay before her treatment is complete to warn Captain Georgiou of the Klingons’ presence. When Georgiou orders the Shenzhou‘s weapons brought to bear on the object just visited by Burnham, an enormous Klingon ship decloaks just ahead. As Georgiou consults with Starfleet, Burnham seeks the advice of her adoptive father, Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan. Georgiou is steadfast in her desire for a diplomatic solution, but Burnham advises her that the Klingons will only respect a show of strength: a battle worthy of their mettle. When she is unable to convince her Captain of this course of action, Burnham attempts a mutiny, but it’s too late: as the Shenzhou waits alone for reinforcements, an entire Klingon fleet warps into view.

The Klingons have been anticipating the humans’ spreading influence in the galaxy, and T’Kuvma, the leader of the Klingons aboard the ceremonial ship discovered by the Shenzhou, wants to unite all 24 of the Klingons’ disparate houses to attack the Federation before they themselves are attacked. T’Kuvma is annoyed when not all of the Klingons share his zeal…but the Federation ship before him has fallen so easily into the trap, he sees no reason to delay the war he sees as not only inevitable, but prophesied.

teleplay by Bryan Fuller and Akiva Goldsman
story by Bryan Fuller and Akiva Goldsman
directed by David Semel
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Shazad Latif (Lt. Ash Tyler), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Michelle Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), James Frain (Sarek), Chris Obi (T’Kuvma), Maulik Pancholy (Dr. Nambue), Terry Serpico (Admiral Anderson), Sam Vartholomeos (Ensign Danby Connor), Arista Arhin (young Michael Burnham), Emily Coutts (Keyla Detmer), Justin Howell (Torchbearer / Rejac), Javid Iqbal (Voq), Ali Momen (Kamran Grant), Bonnie Morgan (Crepuscula), David Benjamin Tomlinson (Or’eq), Tasia Valenza (Computer Voice), Chris Violette (Britch Weeton), Romaine Waite (Troy Januzzi)

Star Trek: DiscoveryNotes: Stardate 1207.2 equates to May 11th, 2256 – ten years before the first season of the original Star Trek (and 2-3 years after the events depicted in The Cage and the Cage-derived flashback scenes from The Menagerie), and 95 years after These Are The Voyages…, the series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise. As that finale takes place 5 years after the remainder of the fourth season of Enterprise, this may mean that Captain Archer’s last contact with the Klingons (in Affliction and Divergence) was one of the last contacts with the Klingons “a hundred years ago”.

Tasia Valenza, the new Federation computer voice (assuming the role left vacant by the late Majel Barrett Roddenberry), is the only cast member with ties to prior Star Trek: she was a Vulcan would-be Starfleet cadet vying against Wesley Crusher and others for a coveted slot at the Academy in 1988’s Coming Of Age. She also appeared in the 1990s series Space: Above And Beyond.

Star Trek: DiscoveryThe Klingons’ ritual scream at the heavens – a warning that a dead warrior is ascending – was first established in Star Trek: The Next Generation (Heart Of Glory, 1988); the concept of a multitude of Klingon “houses” originated in another TNG episode (Sins Of The Father, 1990). Ironically, Burnham’s adoptive brother, Spock, took a similar headlong plunge into danger in a Starfleet thruster suit in 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The original Klingon Torchbearer’s weapon is identified by Burnham’s heads-up display as a bat’leth, though very different in design to the one wielded by Worf in many an episode of TNG; it’s possible that, much like the Torchbearer’s title, this bat’leth is more ornately ceremonial than functional (though that doesn’t prevent it from being deadly).

Star Trek: DiscoveryCredited, but not appearing in, this episode are series regulars Shazad Latif, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, and Jason Isaacs.

The Shenzhou is named for a real family of Chinese spacecraft that had only just started flying the last time there was a Star Trek series on the air.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Battle At The Binary Stars

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given: Starfleet reinforcements arrive to assist the Shenzhou, with further ships on the way. As Captain Georgiou orders Burnham escorted to the brig, the shooting begins, and heavy losses are incurred on both sides. Admiral Anderson arrives, commanding the Europa, and tries to broker a cease-fire with the Klingons, only to have his ship rammed head-on by a cloaked Klingon ship. The Shenzhou is in no shape to keep fighting, but when the Klingons begin retrieving their dead from the vacuum of space, Captain Georgiou decides to attach an armed photon torpedo warhead to one of the floating Klingon corpses, causing critical damage to T’Kuvma’s ship. Georgiou and Burnham beam aboard the ship to try to capture T’Kuvma, which would disgrace him in the eyes of his society, but their mission has a far higher price than they expect – and rather than making T’Kuvma a pariah, they make him a martyr…and the Federation and the Klingon Empire are now at war.

teleplay by Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts
story by Bryan Fuller
directed by Adam Kane
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: DiscoveryCast: Cast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Shazad Latif (Lt. Ash Tyler), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Michelle Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), James Frain (Sarek), Kenneth Mitchell (Kol), Chris Obi (T’Kuvma), Terry Serpico (Admiral Anderson), Sam Vartholomeos (Ensign Danby Connor), Arista Arhin (young Michael Burnham), Emily Coutts (Keyla Detmer), Javid Iqbal (Voq), Ali Momen (Kamran Grant), Clare McConnell (Dennas), Thamela Mpumlwana (young T’Kuvma), Damon Runyan (Ujilli), Tasia Valenza (Computer Voice), Chris Violette (Britch Weeton), Romaine Waite (Troy Januzzi)

Star Trek: DiscoveryNotes: This episode includes a mention of the last Klingon/Federation battle taking place at Donatu V, a planet first mentioned in The Trouble With Tribbles (1967), though Trouble established that battle as having taken place in the 2240s, not a century ago. Donatu V was a Klingon planet by the 24th century (DS9: Sons And Daughters). The unusual design of the Shenzhou‘s transporter room – an early reveal of which caused fan uproar – is cited as being an outmoded transporter design still in use aboard the Shenzhou due to the ship’s advanced age.

Star Trek: DiscoveryRepresentatives from House D’Ghor and House Mokai stick around to listen to T’Kuvma’s sales pitch; other known Klingon houses include Duras, Martok, Mogh, Korath, Kozak, and Antaak, though it is not known how fragmented this system of Klingon society might have become by the 24th century. (It is clearly stated that the Klingon Empire is currently comprised of 24 Houses.) Voq says that T’Kuvma devised the cloaking device; though in much official and unofficial backstory surrounding Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, the Klingons are said to have gotten cloaking technology from the Romulans. Both could be right: perhaps T’Kuvma is padding his resume just a bit. When T’Kuvma is shot by Burnham, his blood briefly vaporizes purple – the color of Klingon blood as it appeared in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (in nearly every other instance in the franchise, it appears red).

Star Trek: DiscoveryChris Obi is the latest crossover actor to have appeared in both Star Trek and Doctor Who, having appeared in the 2011 Doctor Who episode Closing Time.

Credited, but not appearing in, their second episode in a row are series regulars Shazad Latif, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, and Jason Isaacs. Not showing up is good work if you can find it.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

If The Stars Should Appear

The OrvilleA routine – actually, boring – star-mapping mission is interrupted by the discovery of a massive artificial structure in space, adrift but falling into the gravity well of a nearby star. Ed, Kelly, Dr. Finn, Alara and Isaac board the ship, and are left speechless by its sheer scale. Artificial walkways lead to a naturalistic setting with human inhabitants, and Ed quickly learns that they have no idea where they really are, or what fate awaits them. Word of the arrival of the strangely-dressed people from the Orville spreads, and Kelly and Alara are accosted by thuggish uniformed security guards; Kelly is taken into custody and interrogated, while Alara is shot and left for dead. Ed, Dr. Finn and Isaac are introduced to a group of quiet revolutionaries, who do believe that there’s more out there than the religious rule of law that keeps most of the humans from questioning anything about their existence. Ed is determined to reveal the truth to everyone, even if it means their primitive society will fall into disarray.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Seth McFarlane
directed by James L. Conway
music by Joel McNeely

The OrvilleCast: Seth McFarlane (Captain Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Commander Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Commander Bortus), Halston Sage (Lt. Alara Kitan), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Chad L. Coleman (Klyden), Larry Joe Campbell (Chief Newton), Robert Knepper (Hamelac), James Morrison (Kemka), Max Burkholder (Tomilin), Norm MacDonald (voice of Yaphit), Liam Neeson (Jahavus Dorahl), Rachael MacFarlane (Computer Voice), Julie Mitchell (Woman), Kane Lieu (Security Station Officer), Casey Sander (Druyan Captain), David Hutchison (Alien Man), Michael Duisenberg (Uniformed Man #1), Derek Graf (Uniformed Man #2), Eddie Davenport (Guard #1), Justice Hedenberg (Dissident)

The OrvilleNotes: This episode of The Orville, like most others, has just a few connections to classic sci-fi. Uncredited on screen but unmistakable once he begins speaking, Liam Neeson plays the generational ship’s captain. Though he’s now associated with present-day action thrillers, Neeson has played characters who, to cite just one example, tried to restore peace and justice to the galaxy. James L. Conway is a veteran director of the Star Trek franchise, with his work stretching from the first season of TNG to one of the final episodes of Enterprise, with frequent stops at Deep Space Nine and Voyager along the way. Robert Knepper also appeared on TNG as well as Voyager. James Morrison was a regular as Col. McQueen on Fox’s ’90s space opera Space: Above And Beyond. In homages more scientific than fictional, the colony ship Druyan is named after Ann Druyan, wife of the late Carl Sagan and co-writer of both the original and modern iterations of the TV series Cosmos. (Seth MacFarlane, incidentally, produced the 21st century revival; the original series premiered exactly 37 years to the day before this episode of The Orville.) And finally, the concept of a generational ship falling toward a star, its inhabitants blissfully unaware that they’re aboard a space vessel, complete with a religion that forbids knowledge of their true whereabouts, bears more than a passing resemblance to the plot of the pilot episode of Harlan Ellison’s brilliantly conceived (but crappily produced) early 1970s sci-fi series, The Starlost.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Context Is For Kings

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given: Six months after her role in the fateful opening volley of the war between the Klingon Empire and the Federation, Michael Burnham has been stripped of rank and sentenced to life in prison for mutiny. But even that doesn’t go smoothly: the prison shuttle is beset by space-faring microscopic life that drains electrical energy, and is tractored to safety by a huge Starfleet ship, the U.S.S. Discovery. Commanded by Captain Gabriel Lorca, the Discovery is seemingly fresh out of spacedock, and there are at least a few familiar surviving faces from the Shenzhou aboard, including Saru, now serving as Discovery‘s first officer. But wherever she shows her face, Burnham is a pariah at best, and yet Lorca seems to have singled her out, letting her work aboard the ship (under guard) rather than letting her sit in the brig. But the more she learns of the Discovery – and the fate of her sister ship, the Glenn – the more Burnham suspects that the ship’s mission isn’t purely scientific.

teleplay by Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts & Craig Sweeny
story by Bryan Fuller & Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
directed by Akiva Goldsman
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: DiscoveryCast: Cast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Shazad Latif (Lt. Ash Tyler), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Rekha Sharma (Commander Ellen Landry), Emily Coutts (Keyla Detmer), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer), Grace Lynn Kung (Psycho), Devon MacDonald (Engineering Officer), Sara Mitich (Airiam), Oyin Oladejo (Joann Owosekun), Conrad Pla (Stone), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Shuttle Pilot), Christopher Russell (Milton Richter), Saad Siddiqui (Straal), Elias Toufexis (Cold), Tasia Valenzia (Shenzhou Computer)

Star Trek: DiscoveryNotes: The Zee-Magnees Prize is an award for groundbreaking scientific research; by Burnham’s time, it has already been won by Dr. Richard Daystrom (The Ultimate Computer). Guest star Rekha Sharma gained genre fame as Tory Foster, President Roslin’s aide de camp in the 21st century remake of Battlestar Galactica, and has appeared in Supernatural, V, and an episode of the fan-made series Star Trek Continues. Prior to her breakout role in Galactica, she had made numerous appearances in Dark Angel, the ’90s revival of The Outer Limits, and Smallville.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Pria

The OrvilleThe Orville receives a garbled distress call, apparently from a passing comet on a death dive into a nearby star. Ed leads a shuttle mission to rescue the sender of the distress call, the sole occupant of a ship crashed on the comet’s surface, but the close proximity of the star nearly makes it a one-way trip. He returns to the Orville with Pria Levesque, the captain of the crashed mining ship, though something about her story bothers Kelly. A check of the doomed ship’s manifest reveals no one aboard named Pria, but Ed is unconvinced that anything’s wrong. By the time enough evidence piles up to convince Ed otherwise, it’s too late – Pria is in control of the Orville.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Seth McFarlane
directed by Jonathan Frakes
music by John Debney

The OrvilleCast: Seth McFarlane (Captain Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Commander Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Commander Bortus), Halston Sage (Lt. Alara Kitan), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Charlize Theron (Captain Pria Levesque), Larry Joe Campbell (Chief Newton), Norm MacDonald (voice of Yaphit), Rachael MacFarlane (Computer Voice)

The OrvilleNotes: For the second time, a Star Trek veteran is behind the camera for an episode of The Orville (former Star Trek: The Next Generation star-turned-director Jonathan “Riker” Frakes), and the show boasts an A-list movie actor, though unlike Liam Neeson’s appearance earlier, Charlize Theron’s appearance was heavily promoted in the week before air.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry

Star Trek: DiscoveryNo stardate given: Burnham, having been let in on the secret of Discovery‘s experimental “spore drive” that allows the ship to traverse trails of microscopic organic particles throughout space, is re-adjusting to wearing a Starfleet uniform (albeit one with no rank). Captain Lorca assigns Burnham to work on weaponizing the creature that nearly killed the Discovery boarding party aboard the Glenn, and assigns Commander Landry, Discovery‘s security chief, to work with her. Landry’s impatience leads to a fatal accident (for her), while Burnham continues to warn anyone who will listen that the creature, a kind of macroscopic alien tardigrade, is not inherently violent. A Klingon attack on one of the Federation’s most important dilithium mining facilities forces the Discovery into action, and the still-not-fully-functional spore drive must be used…whether it gets Discovery to the besieged planet, or drops it into a situation even more dangerous than a Klingon assault.

written by Jesse Alexander and Aron Eli Collette
directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Shazad Latif (Lt. Ash Tyler), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Michelle Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou), Jayne Brook (Admiral Cornwell), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Kenneth Mitchell (Kol), Rekha Sharma (Commander Landry), Dennis Andres (Engineer Rance), Emily Coutts (Keyla Detmer), Jordana Blake (Betarian Girl), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer Voice), Javid Iqbal (Voq), Sara Mitich (Airiam), Oyin Oladejo (Joann Owosekun), Christopher Russell (Milton Richter), Tasia Valenzia (Shenzhou Computer Voice)

Star Trek: DiscoveryNotes: Corvan II is noted here for producing 40% of the Federation’s supply of dilithium crystals, but it’s also home to the endangered Corvan gilvo creature prized by Worf’s son Alexander in the TNG episode New Ground (1992). Kol hails from the Klingon House of Kor, which means he may or may not be related to Kor, the Klingon encountered by Kirk on the planet Organia (Errand Of Mercy, 1967). Macroscopic organisms are rare in Star Trek, but not unheard of, whether it’s the enormous energy-eating amoeba that nearly destroys the Enterprise (The Immunity Syndrome, 1968), or macroscopic viruses that swarm aboard Voyager (Macrocosm, 1996).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Cured

Red DwarfCat’s critical misunderstanding of the game of poker is interrupted by the discovery of a centuries-old American base on a nearby moon, one which Kryten believes was the last outpost of a project to genetically breed the roots of evil out of human beings. Cryogenic tubes are labeled with the names of some of humanity’s worst offenders – Hitler, Vlad, Stalin, Messalina – brought back to life through genetic manipulation, as well as Professor Telford, presumably the scientist conducting the experiment. He claims these pillars of human evil are cured, and over dinner they do seem friendly enough, but aware of the Starbug crew’s suspicions. When those suspicions appear to be justified, how much evil will the Boys from the Dwarf have to employ to save their own skins?

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Adrian Lukis (Professor Telford), Ryan Gage (Hitler), Chloe Hawkins (Messalina), Callum Coates (Stalin), Philippe Spall (Vlad the Impaler)

Notes: The Dwarfers are better qualified than most to know whether or not they’re dealing with the real Hitler. After all, Lister stepped through Timeslides Red Dwarf(1989) to rumble with the Fuhrer, and a waxwork droid of Hitler led his unlikely troops into a Meltdown (1990) against Rimmer’s forces.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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