Sunday 4 December 2011


Have I Got News For You
42x06 (25/11/11 edition; extended repeat)

Onion News Network
1x02 Snowlocaust


Space: The Final Frontier by Shaun Usher
(from Letters of Note)
just weeks before NBC's season premiere of the original Star Trek series, two of the programme's producers... contacted Gene Roddenberry and asked him to quickly write the show's now-famous opening monologue... For the next week or so the three men exchanged drafts by memo, a couple of which can be seen below; Roddenberry came up with the final draft on August 10th, an hour before it was recorded.

A daily dose of sci-fi - Day 21

Favourite alien invasion movie/series

Alien invasion is a constant theme of sci-fi across books, TV, film and more. Unsurprising, really -- it involves aliens (sci-fi!) and keeps it grounded on Earth, which can be good for both relating things to your viewers and, perhaps even more importantly, the budget.

It's not an invasion story per se: only one alien actually arrives and it's after, essentially, a bribe. But it's a bribe to stop an alien invasion (if I remember correctly), so I'm going to count it. And that's because it's bloody brilliant.

Torchwood was quite good through its first two series. Some episodes were brilliant, some were dire, and overall it felt half-thought-through and made up on the fly -- characters' behaviour changing from week to week, that kind of thing. I think more people wanted to like it, as a rare dose of adult-orientated genre TV in the UK, than actually genuinely did.

But that all changed with Children of Earth, which is flat out one of the greatest SF miniseries ever made, never mind its connections to previous Torchwood or Doctor Who or what have you. It's a cracking tale full of action, emotion, humour, tension, fear, heartbreak...

You don't need to have seen previous Torchwood to get it, and if you disliked previous Torchwood that shouldn't put you off: Children of Earth is exceptional.

Read about a daily dose of sci-fi, with links to the rest of the series, here.

this week on 100 Films

Just 1 new review was posted to 100 Films in a Year this week...

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
I saw a trailer for this at the cinema a few months before its release. I thought it looked to have basic animation and a too daft tone. I wrote it off, expecting a Pixar-wannabe… Imagine my surprise when it garnered endless positive reviews and a huge box office. My impression from the trailer was massively wrong. How to Train Your Dragon is, as everyone else has likely already impressed upon you, brilliant.

...but, as I'm sure you've noticed, we're now in December (almost Christmas!), so there was also the November update this week. Grand.

More next Sunday.