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A wonderfully funny shame.....
29 August 2006
potential mild Season 1 and episode spoilers

I listened to this "lost" episode of Red Dwarf when I got my Series 7 DVDs and I loved it. There were a number of weak points, mostly in what would be visual gags but a few spoken jokes fell flat too, but all of that could be ironed out in the editing stage. It gives some interesting new insight into not only the surviving cat culture but also into the expansive GELF race, they're not all psychopathic pignosed bean bag chairs.

Chris Barrie's narration and character impersonations were great, a close second to Jim Dale's work in the Harry Potter audio books, at least on my list.

It's a shame because unfortunately the story was far to expensive to produce, particularly with the different GELF breeds.

It would have been great to see produced but alas it was not meant to be.
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The Tick (2001–2002)
My all time favorite show
30 November 2004
The Tick first came to my attention with the animated series, and I watched it religiously. I loved the animated series, it was the best superhero cartoon I had ever seen. Then years later I heard that Barry Sonnenfeld was working with Ben Edlund to create a live action version of the series, and I was intrigued. When I caught the pilot I instantly had a new favorite show. The thing I loved about the show was that it didn't focus on the traditional super hero format, where the hero goes off and fights a new super villain every week, it focused on the everyday experiences of real life that never seem to find their way into standard superhero fare. Using The Tick as an outside view was brilliant. His whole existence is so centered on being a super hero the mundane things of life are odd to him. One of the best examples is the episode "The Tick vs Justice". In it The Tick subdues Destroyo and leaves him at a police station with a note pinned to his chest. Then the Tick is baffled by the ins and outs of the justice system and why Destroyo is allowed a trial when he was caught red handed with nuclear weapons. Of course he also has never experienced a headache so he doesn't know what it is when a migraine strikes him. Unfortunately the Fox executives were too narrow minded to give it a good shot, or even a solid time slot. Well here's to the DVD release!
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Freelancer (2003 Video Game)
New and improved with Super Marrionation!
28 November 2003
I've long been a fanatical Wingnut (Wing Commander fan) even to the point of actually enjoying the WC movie, a characteristic that will probably get me flogged by other Wingnuts:). Because of this rabid love of all things WC I was anxiously awaiting Freelancer, and planning to upgrade my computer solely for that reason, since this was the last game that Chris Roberts initiated before leaving Digital Anvil and it was touted, at least in the Wing Commander community to be the new incarnation of WC Privateer.

Anyway the fateful day arrived when the game was released and I quickly snatched up a copy.

My reaction was: Not too bad.

When you start a new game you do have to sit through the opening cinematic that brings you up to speed on events. You are Edison Trent one of the survivors of a surprise attack on Freeport 7. Unfortunately, your ship was destroyed with the station and you wound up riding with the other survivors to the New York system. So you are short on money, clothes, and transportation. Because of this you are forced directly into the storyline, whereas in Privateer you could cruise around to your heart's content before actually starting on the story track. This is perfectly fine since between story driven missions you can take on any combat or cargo running mission you like. Once, you progress to a certain experience level it will activate the next set of missions in the story. The story itself is pretty standard Sci Fi fair, but still enjoyable. The only problem I found with it was that the CGI actors' lips almost never moved. This was only an issue for about the first two or three conversations and then my attention was no longer drawn to their lips. This is pretty acceptable though considering there are a lot of cookie cutter conversation scenes for when you pick up jobs, gossip, or an improved reputation from people in the bars. So the CG actors come off like the old Thunderbirds series but it's not much of a detractor.

The graphics are spectacular as is the environments you can fly through. There are trade lanes available in the "settled" systems that speed up travel between planets and stations in the system but you can also explore the system just using your cruise engine, although the trade lanes do propel you faster.

After the storyline is finished you can continue exploring. There are several unsettled and fringe systems to map and quite a few easter egg ship's and systems, on one planet I found myself quoting a particular Charlton Heston film. There are derelict ships in just about every system, providing a free source for spare parts and commodities. Some of these derelicts are the only place you can get the most powerful guns in the game, although you'll probably be well past the storyline before you can afford a ship that can mount such powerful weapons.

Even if you are a die hard space shooter fan it will get a little old fairly quick, although I still find myself going back to it for a little relaxation. But the game is surprisingly easy to modify so it's just a matter of jumping on the Net and downloading one of the many Mods out there if you want to liven up.

I my personal opinion, it's perfect just the way it is. The stunning visuals of the nebulae and planets is worth the price.
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A pretty good remake (Spoilers herein)
30 May 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I say that only because it fell into the same trap the TNG series did in its first season. During that season there was an episode, and possibly more than one, entitled "The Naked Now". The episode dealt with the Next Gen crew running into a ship whose crew is dead, killed by a virus that was first discovered by Captain Kirk and Co. That episode was essentially a remake of "The Naked Time" episode from the original series. Rather than Sulu prancing through the halls fencing anyone he comes across you have Data and Yar engaging in a short love affair. Nemesis was not as direct a remake as that, which is a bit of a detractor. But the themes and events have strong echoes to Star Trek 2 The Wrath Of Khan.

1)You have the enemy who has ties to the Captain's past, and plans for his future, as well as similar themes of vengeance between the two.

2) Next you have a climactic starship battle, in a nebula no less, between the Enterprise and a superior enemy. Granted the Reliant (in ST2) was a weaker ship design but Khan had the upper hand and really hammered Kirk's ship weakening it.

3)You have a beloved crewmember sacrifice his life to save the crew, but the door is opened for his return in a future sequel.

It was all pretty much a remake of ST2 but the writing and acting was quite well done and made it , in my opinion, one of the better films of the franchise. Hopefully, it won't be the last.
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Not too bad for American animation.
24 October 2002
The animation was okay for an American series and it had plenty of potential. Unfortunately it was only given one season and they never had a chance to fine tune the show. It was also nice to have the cast from the games doing the voice work. Could have been an epic cartoon series but wasn't given the time or resources to meet it's full potential.
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A challenging addition to the R6 world
23 October 2002
Blackthorn is an amazing stand alone addon for Rogue Spear. The story is on par with the original Rainbow Six. The missions are some of the most challenging, but not frustrating, in the entire series. I still haven't completed the last one, although I'm still working at it. The 'new weapons' were nothing special, though that's easily remedied with one of the many fan made weapons pack available on the web. All in all one of the best games ever made! Hopefully Raven Shield will continue this legacy. Bravo!
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