Sunday, April 26, 2009

Red Dwarf Return to Earth

Channel Dave recently brought the intrepid crew of Red Dwarf to Earth, our Earth, it would seem. Our heroes, such as they are, discover a giant quid living in a water tank and naturally going diving to confront the monster. They pass out after being attacked and when they wake up there is a new hologram with a Russian accent telling everyone what to do.

The three segments of the story flash by pretty quickly, with a few laughs, but mostly running on pure nostalgia. It's good to see the guys again, there is something heartwarming about that solid British belief that no one ever changes-at least, no one in a sitcom ever changes.

With ample plugs for Dave Tv, Red Dwarf Return to Earth was fun, but seemed to be trying a bit too hard. I liked that whole little sequence where they were gunned down in Bladerunner style, but I'm afraid I never saw any Bladerunner influence on Red Dwarf. Maybe Alien, and perhaps the Marx Brothers, but not Bladerunner. The bit with the names engraved on the bullets was classic.

They all look a bit older, as should be expected, and the Cat seemed a little past his James Brown days. The rating were good, but I have never understood how the ratings work in Britain anyway. When shows can have a full season of 6 episodes, it seems odd that anything is ever canceled. So the rumors are now flying that maybe Bob Grant will rejoin Doug Naylor for one more series. We can always hope.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dr Who Planet of The Dead

I'm gonna miss David Tennant playing Doctor Who. He has all that snap and pizazz and has a lot of great expressions. That's why I always loved Tom Baker-he was kind of a nutty Dr Who, but he was my first Doctor. In The Planet of The Dead The Doctor mention the Giant Robot to the current commander of UNIT, which was the first Dr Who episode with Tom Baker.

Anyway. Planet of The Dead starts our with a Pink Panther/Mission Impossible style cat burglary, hanging from a thin rope and stealing the item in question from above. Since this is the preferred method of priceless item theft you'd think the people running security would know to put those lasers on the top of the artifact as well.

One thing leads to another and our crook finds her way to a bus where The Doctor catches a ride and they end up on another planet. Just another day on London Double Decker. The Thief is the same actress who played the Bionic Woman in the horrid and thankfully brief remake. She was stunning in Doctor Who and I'm a bit sad she didn't hang around as his latest Companion.

I am still mildly surprised by the special effects of the New Doctor Who, well, not all that new any more, but still. The Monsters in Planet of The Dead looked really good, for pure CGI flying stingray kind of things. The Fly Men did hearken back to the good old days when Doctor Who costumes were little more than fancy dress outfits. I would have liked the trans-dimensional bus to have been a Route Master, but hey, you can't have everything.

There was danger and perils and we're all going to die moments-just like all Dr Who episodes. It was very good. There was also a woman who could see the future who warned The Doctor that The End Was Near. Well, we all know that, but it is still fun to have a bit of foreshadowing of the Doctor's demise.

UNIT is back and I loved the super genius, slightly an idiot scientist who helped the Doctor solve the wormwhole problems. His specialty seemed to be naming units of measurements after himself and his family. The Doctor saves the day and all is well. The Planet of The Dead was a fun show.