Be Nice If He Stopped

I’ve just finished watching Raised By Wolves, an HBO television series which I bought on Amazon because I didn’t want to download a dodgy version and I’ve kinda been paying for things properly recently. Why did I watch this? Well, I saw a clip of people exploding on Reddit and wondered where it came from. Turns out someone had placed a comment explaining that it was from this series which, it was mentioned, was also from Ridley Scott. That man is responsible for Alien and also Blade Runner, he has excellent form. This ten part television series follows the growth of a small number of children on a planet after Earth is destroyed. Eventually the religious zealots turn up and it all gets interesting – or as I found it more boring.

This series started well but I was mostly bored by the end. I watched it all, I paid for it after all but I found it all rather “meh”. The look of the series was great and the struggles faced by the characters seemed real enough. What I found terrible was the biology and general thoughts about faith and belief. Oh, and androids misbehaving. Oh, and white “blood” for androids. Oh, and lack of guilt for androids. We get it Ridley – you are obsessed with androids going bad and like to question faith along with thinking about the origin of human life. Give it a rest. Please.

In this series the religious are the less moral and the atheist androids – where can their moral compass come from? – are the good ones until they go and kill a load of people, virtually the last of humanity. An atheist person hiding in the cult goes mad and starts to hear things and thinks he’s the anointed one meanwhile his adopted son is making model buildings out of stones and gets elevated to prophet. Seems to me these people need some decent medication and learn to work together.

Then there’s the creatures. These are apparently devolving humans. What the fuck does that mean? It means nothing. It’s not what happens or what can happen. I found some of the writing very lazy and I know that they did it to increase the crazy and “what’s going on aspect” because they are making a TV series so you need things to stay strange. I think the bigger problem is they are writing themselves into a corner and won’t be able to explain any of it. Given the premise I think I could create a better story line and investigate the issues they want without the laziness.

If this show is meant to be a moral discussion about the “humanity” of androids then that is possible and can be done. Perhaps this show wants the morality of eating meat or of eating conscious creatures to be discussed? Then there’s the elements of crazy forcing religion and that could have been handled really well. But ultimately I think this show has missed the opportunity for a decent exploration of any one thing by making too many moralistic aspects to introduce. Androids and their role along with their moral code could have been amazing but it wasn’t.

The final episode included the birth and I’m really not sure what to think. I currently consider it an easy trick to shock people and make future series work. I almost enjoyed the idea that the newborn is similar to extinct creatures on the planet but at the same time it just annoyed me. I won’t be watching the second series because all the characters are just annoying. They come across as very single-dimensional and I don’t think the show’s creators are using the medium to their fullest.

Being Dutiful

A short while back I finished watching the television series called “Tour Of Duty“. There were three seasons and I enjoyed all of them. I thought it was well acted and well written. It was a good series to watch. It also reminded me of watching it while I was at university but I doubt I watched the whole series back then.

I really did spend some time worrying about what to watch next. It seems weird to settle down in front of the television and not know what to watch and as I have got rid of all live decoding equipment I must have something that I intend to watch, I can’t just scan through the channels until I find something to numb the mind. I would probably find this an annoying waste. I try to make sure that my time is employed productively and staring at something I don’t care about would bug me.

I’ve got Brooklyn 99 on the go as a kind of filler, it’s about 25 minutes and so is easy to watch now and then when I want to fill some time. But I needed something serious to watch as well. I spent two years watching Babylon 5 and enjoyed it all. I’m kinda watching Star Trek Voyager on Netflix but only now and then when I want something else to watch. I might spend the next few years working through all of the Star Trek stuff, that should be fun.

While I was out for a run about a week ago I listened to Skeptics With A K, a Merseyside based podcast about science and skepticism, and Marsh mentioned the early 2000s series Farscape as an alternative to watch while Dr Who was off the air. Some other shows were mentioned but that struck a chord with me and I was desperate to remember that series to search for it once I got home.

Farscape reminds me of watching the television when I lived in Brentwood. I shared a house with some other reprobates and I think we got a digital TV box which was quite exciting back in the day. The actual house was horrible, there was a split down the entire front centre of the house and the windows in my bedroom didn’t shut properly which is fine in the summer but I had two duvets and extra blankets over me in the winter. I think I lived there just over a year before I moved back to Kent.

Anyway, when I remember Farscape I remember the lounge in that house and the people I lived with. Well, I can remember two of them particularly but some others I can’t even remember faces. I worked not far away in Brentwood at the time and our immediate neighbour was a pupil of mine.

Anyway, I have found Farscape on Amazon Prime and have started to work my way through that television series. I am enjoying it so far. When it premiered I remember it being hailed as an Australian series with Jim Henson puppets and the market was definitely there.

There are four seasons and a spin-off series I think. Let’s see how long it takes me to get through this!

Babylon 5

Babylon 5
Babylon 5

Babylon 5 is a space station 5 miles long. The adventures of this ship are chronicled in the TV documentary Babylon 5. Using interviews, memoirs, video messages and data harvesting a company managed to recreate what life will be like on Babylon 5. There are some stark warnings from the future for the current political elite.

So this tweet was dated 4th April 2014. That’s when I started working my way through Babylon 5. If I had paid more attention to when I started watching this then I would have tried to tweet the following two days earlier:

So, it took me three years and 2 days to complete the series. I don’t think that’s too bad. There’re 120 or so episodes and that averages out at one episode every ten days. It was a damn enjoyable experience. Jase gave me the box set a long time ago and I’ve been using them as a way of stabilising thoughts and also watching sci-fi. I haven’t stayed exclusive to this series and I have watched others along the way.

The stories are excellent and this show deserves the accolades it gets. I really enjoyed it. Obviously some episodes aren’t as good as others but overall this was a great TV show.

I am currently working through the spin-off series, Crusade, but there is only one series of that. Then there will be the B5 films.

If you want to see when I watched all the episodes of B5 then look at my offline-online twitter archive and search for “Babylon 5”.

Looking Forward to Watching

I am really looking forward to watching the following things with my children when they are old enough.

  • Star Wars episodes IV, V, VI
  • The Back To The Future trilogy
  • The Fifth Element
  • Star Trek films
  • Firefly – tv series
  • Akira
  • Battlestar Galactica

I hope they get the same enjoyment out of them that I have done for ages. The biggest problem is knowing when to introduce them to these wonders!