Kara watching her own show on Netflix is the most joyfully ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. I love it.
Looks like Generation Five at DC is still moving forward:
https://www.bleedingcool.com/2020/02/25 … comics-5g/
Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!) (405 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
I assume that the Alpha Quadrant and that the Federation itself remains a near-paradise as described in DEEP SPACE NINE -- except that, due to the loss of synthetic labour ensuring a universal basic standard of living, people have to work for money again whereas in TNG and DS9 and VOY, nobody got paid. Perhaps replication power is now at a higher cost without the synths. The Beta Quadrant and the regions formerly controlled by the Romulan Star Empire, however, have fallen into what we've seen.
The STAR TREK: PICARD - COUNTDOWN comic and the STAR TREK: PICARD - THE LAST BEST HOPE novel aren't terribly enlightening. COUNTDOWN is about Admiral Picard rescuing a Romulan farming planet where the Romulans are intent on abandoning their slave labour and when Picard insists on reworking the entire rescue effort to free and save the slaves as well, the Romulans hijack the rescue ship. In the course of regaining control and saving everyone, Picard meets Zhaban and Laris who help him regain his ship and he sends them to his chateau on Earth to be safe from Romulan reprisal. It's a charming, engaging little story but not particularly enlightening.
THE LAST BEST HOPE -- honestly, I can barely remember enough about this to summarize it because it was so boring. Picard and La Forge are working at different ends of the Romulan evacuation effort. Picard talks a lot with reluctant Romulan politicians; La Forge talks with various people about building ships. Months of events are summarized in a few paragraphs, as are the flashbacks in the actual episodes. Then, as we're focused on Picard, he's informed that the synths have attacked Mars. La Forge hears about it while he's on a shuttle to Earth. Then the Federation declares that they are abandoning the Romulans and we get to see the scene where Picard delivered his resignation. Then the book ends.
It's pointless. Everything in THE LAST BEST HOPE was established with far greater effect through Picard's bitter recollections and his shame at the impoverished Romulan colony and the brief, effective flashbacks. THE LAST BEST HOPE expands on all that but is simply repeating in a more overstretched fashion what was told well enough before.
And it certainly doesn't answer any of Slider_Quinn21's questions.
Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!) (405 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
Icheb was recast. It's not the VOYAGER actor playing the character. And thank God for that. Manu Intiryami tweeted that Anthony Rapp should get a grip for viewing Kevin Spacey's assault on him as assault.
To get to Freecloud, the ship entered the Beta Quadrant (Romulan and Klingon space), so I assume that Freecloud is in the Beta Quadrant and that it doesn't reflect on the Alpha Quadrant at all.
Is there a novel or a comic book? Who cares?! The STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN comics that tied into the 2009 movie and showed how the NEXT GENERATION cast tried to stop the Romulan supernova featured Data alive and restored; that's being ignored. DISCOVERY: DESPERATE HOURS had Burnham meet Spock which is completely ignored by their TV meeting in DISCOVERY's Season 2. Also, DESPERATE HOURS has Spock visit the Shenzhou and remark that it looks a bit primitive compared to his much more advanced Enterprise ship which he describes as looking exactly like the 60s sets; DISCOVERY also ignored this by modernizing the Enterprise sets but using some of the same colours. What does it matter if there's a novel or a comic book for PICARD? It'll just be ignored before the season is even over. Who cares what's in the PICARD comics and novels?
The PICARD COUNTDOWN comic is about how Picard befriended Zhaban and Laris and how they moved into his chateau. The first issue is about Zhaban and Laris moving in the furniture. The second issue is Picard arguing with them about where to position the stove and refrigerator. The third issue is Picard painting a room blue but changing his mind and deciding he wants it to be brown instead and then there's a heart-pounding race to the store to pick up more paint before it closes for the night.
(You don't know that it's not.)
There's also a novel that I haven't read yet, THE LAST BEST HOPE, which I assume is set during Season 6 of DEEP SPACE NINE where Picard and the Enterprise-E crew dock with Babylon 5 to attend Worf's wedding only to realize they got the wrong space station and the title is based on Babylon 5's mission statement as the "last, best hope for peace."
(You don't know that it's not!)
It is absolutely possible that AT&T could shut down DC Comics publishing, stick to TV and film and animation for that line of characters going forward. It's also possible that NBCUniversal will announce a revival of SLIDERS. Just because something is possible does not mean that it is impending or even likely; as you said, Marvel contemplated buying DC in the 80s and has extended offers to license Superman. They even offered to license SMALLVILLE to publish a tie-in comic (and were of course ignored).
However, Marvel today isn't really about publishing comic books. Comics are simply an R&D lab for producing copyrights that could conceivably be made into films and TV shows. I'm not sure Marvel, a film and TV studio, would want AT&T's leftovers unless they had the DC film and TV departments as well. Marvel outsourced young adult comics to IDW as Marvel's comics department is really about catering to diehard superhero fans and generating raw material for other departments.
To see Dan Didio's firing as the flashpoint for all these potentialities becoming realities is the domain of self-important clickbait, the kind Cosmic Book News specializes in, and I have a lot of distate for Cosmic Book News and Bounding Into Comics for posting idle speculation from disgruntled former employees no longer in the loop with DC or Marvel as breaking news regarding those companies.
The reality is that DC has fired a manager for constantly demanding last minute changes that would then be reversed and then re-reversed leading to his employees leaving. This was tolerated when suffered by freelancers because freelancers are, on a corporate level, viewed as interchangeable. If Jim Shooter protests having to rewrite an issue of LEGION for the 305th time unpaid, DC will hire Temporal Flux to do it and AT&T isn't going to be concerned with constant turnover in what are essentially short-term, part-time contracts. However, when that's happening with staff members on payroll, it presents the manager's incompetence in a way that became impossible to ignore -- much as Eddie Berganza assaulting women could be ignored when reported on Bleeding Cool and Comics Beat but could not be ignored when it made Buzzfeed.
But hysterics like Cosmic Book News are using Didio's dismissal to declare that the apocalypse has come when the truth is, the apocalypse is always coming for comics whether it's printing costs, sales decreases, the rise of digital, the crash of the speculator market and it won't be one inept manager's firing that sparks the death of the company. Change is coming regardless -- ideally, I'd like that change to be DC shifting into the graphic novel market and leaving the monthly pamphlets behind.
I actually haven't gotten to the Tom King run yet. I'm perpetually 2 - 4 years behind comics, buying them in bulk during a Comixology sale and reading through them then. I often wait for a run to be complete -- except I never got around to reading the Brian Michael Bendis run on X-MEN or the recent run of THE FLASH. With superheroes in TV and film, superhero comics aren't a terribly rewarding medium for me these days. But I shall defer to your judgement on it as you know your stuff.
Ethan Van Sciver and Cosmic Book News are... not the most reliable source of 'news,' to be frank. Van Sciver is a brilliant artist, but he hasn't worked for DC since 2017 after multiple writers (with the sales figures for Didio to leave them alone) refused to work with him again for reasons not specified but easily inferred. It was the same year that Van Sciver (a brilliant artist) told a fan to kill themselves and everyone from colorists to writers condemned him.
Van Sciver (a brilliant artist) apologized and made a donation to a suicide prevention charity, but that struck me as the end of brilliant artist Ethan Van Sciver's career in mainstream comics and DC hasn't been willing to hiring him since. When Mark Brooks, Chris Sotomayor, Paul Jenkins, Marc Andreyko, Mark Waid, Cully Hammer, Fabian Nicieza and B. Clay Moore and just about anyone in comics holds him in contempt, who employed at DC or Marvel would even talk to Van Sciver (a brilliant artist) at this point to give him the inside scoop? Would Van Sciver (a brilliant artist) know anyone even peripherally involved with DC who'd be anyone but a fellow disgruntled former employee?
Van Sciver is a brilliant artist, but his story doesn't even make any sense. Why would AT&T fire Dan Didio from DC and then declare that they will be letting the company live or die based on the publishing initiative spearheaded by... the guy they just fired? Don't corporations generally prevent the previous executive's projects from coming to fruition?
What gain would there be in letting Generation 5 go forward? If it's successful, the previous executive takes the credit and one wonders why he was let go. If it's a failure, one wonders why the company allowed a project produced by someone they deemed incompetent to continue existing. There is absolutely no advantage to carrying G5 out especially if the plans were a few Post-Its at best, and there is absolutely no rationality in firing Didio over his management of G5 and then declaring DC publishing to be dependent upon G5's success or failure when firing Didio makes it clear that the project was failing AT&T's standards of competence.
Except there's a grain of truth in the story from the brilliant Van Sciver: DC (and Marvel) haven't made much money from publishing in years. The comics division is largely research and development for feature films and TV shows. And DC's owners could very reasonably decide at some point that they can do R&D without publishing monthly comic books. The brilliant Van Sciver's seemingly revelatory 'news' about DC Comics' fate is something that could have happened at any time in the last 20 years; he's just taken a guess at to what the flashpoint could be and I don't think it's a good guess.
If I keep guessing that at some point, Slider_Quinn21's child will start talking, I'm going to be right eventually. It doesn't mean I've installed spy cameras into his home.
I am still in the process of re-reading VAMPIRELLA comics written by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar from 1997. I'm pretty behind the times in my reading; Grant Morrison and Mark Millar don't even talk to each other anymore. :-)
I can't really wrap my head around why GENERATION 5 would be a good idea as anything but a temporary situation or a separate line of comics -- such as DC ONE MILLION where crazy brilliant writer Grant Morrison explored what the JUSTICE LEAGUE would be like in the year 1,000,000 and DC's books all did the year 1,000,000 version of their series or when the Marvel Universe created the 2099 line of comics set in the far future of their universe.
As we've seen with SLIDERS, replacing the core cast with newcomers is ultimately alienating and alarming; people want to see Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne. You can do a temporary situation with Dick Grayson taking over as Batman for a time so long as the story indicates that it's as much about Bruce's absence as it is about Dick's succession. Certainly, some lengthy stories such as THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA and SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN suggested that Steve Rogers and Peter Parker had permanently been replaced by Bucky and Dr. Octopus, but the audience knew that the replacement was not to last.
Even in cases like Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen, Quinn Mallory, Wade Welles and Professor Arturo where the intention was to permanently replace them with Wally West as the Flash, Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern, Connor Hawke as Green Arrow, Mallory as the Caucasian action lead, Maggie as the leading lady and Diana as the scientist -- it was clear that a future creative team would inevitably restore the originals -- unless the TV show were to be unceremoniously cancelled by the Sci-Fi Channel.
On Dan Didio:
Dan Didio did many excellent things and many terrible things during his time at DC. Let's start with the positive: when Didio came aboard DC, DC had done a lot of shortsighted if well-intentioned things in the 80s and 90s; they'd killed off the 60s versions of the Flash and Green Lantern and replaced them with new ones only to discover: TV and movies invariably used the 60s versions. Didio began seeing to it that the comics would reflect the future adaptations by having Geoff Johns restore Barry and Hal as the Flash and Green Lantern.
Didio oversaw GREEN LANTERN going from an awkward, disliked series to one of the company's biggest franchises. Didio also maintained the BATMAN line of books as written by crazy brilliant writer Grant Morrison and saw to it that the BATMAN line maintained a high standard with top talent like Peter Tomasi, Scott Snyder, Gail Simone, James Tynion IV and other phenomenal writers. BATMAN and GREEN LANTERN comics sold well and Didio largely let talented writers work well. If a DC book sold well, Didio encouraged and supported its continued success.
However, outside of BATMAN, GREEN LANTERN and THE FLASH, DC was and isn't doing well; most comics aren't. Didio's attitude with lower selling titles like SUPERMAN, WONDER WOMAN, LEGION and others was constant, contradictory interference. He created a culture where creators would see stories and artwork approved only for Didio's editorial to ask for changes and then those changes would be reversed and then re-reversed and then issues would be redrawn, delayed or pulped. BATWOMAN's 2012 creative team received approval for Kate Kane to marry Maggie Sawyer and this was abruptly withdrawn after scripts and outlines were submitted; the team gave up and quit. SUPERMAN's 2011 writer, George Perez, was given contradictory information as to whether or not Clark Kent's parents were dead or alive in the new reboot; he also gave up. Dwayne McDuffie, writer on JUSTICE LEAGUE, found himself regularly being told that characters were no longer available to star on the team after he'd written the scripts.
It looks to me like Didio, in an effort to create short term sales spikes, would regularly come up with crossover ideas but refuse to inform his creative teams or give them or himself enough lead in time to prepare, hence all the last minute changes and disapprovals on what was previously approved. There was a dismissive attitude to the creators who are all freelancers; an attitude that they could be replaced by anyone, so respecting them was not needed even as 2011 - 2019 saw creators leaving DC and Dan Didio. Didio made sure to treat the highest selling writers with consideration, giving Grant Morrison and Scott Snyder and J. Michael Straczynski and Brian Michael Bendis plenty of space but having little concern for George Perez or Paul Jenkins or JH Williams III.
Didio would often order linewide reboots and new directions but not have a clear direction or guidelines for his creators except constantly telling them that what they'd produced in lieu of clear management was not what he wanted from them at which point they would leave and be replaced. This led to schizophrenic reading for any books that weren't top sellers. WONDER WOMAN received a serious reboot which made Diana a younger trainee rather than a seasoned veteran warrior; then got rebooted again 12 months later to make her a more savage character. BATWOMAN was interrupted in mid-storyline on a cliffhanger at #23 that was resolved in an annual months later by a different writer. SUPERMAN was incomprehensible as it shifted between George Perez, Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen and Scott Lobdell, being pulled in four different directions inside 24 months with each writer's stories abruptly truncated.
While Dan Didio has many, many, many winning books to point to as a success, they are surrounded by many more comics where creators leave in mid-storyline with plots unfinished or wrapped up by a last-minute replacement writer. It looks like by 2020, this disdain for freelancers from Didio extended to his editors as well -- people who are actually on the company payroll and whose departures will indicate that their former manager isn't very good at management.
I'm not saying Marvel doesn't make the same mistakes, but they plan out their universe a year or two in advance. Sometimes, their directions are very successful: CIVIL WAR was a hit, DARK REIGN went really well, MARVEL NOW was another hit. Sometimes, their directions backfire: the SECRET EMPIRE storyline where Captain America is replaced with a parallel Nazi version was badly received; the DECIMATION era of X-MEN being reduced to around 200 mutants globally wasn't well-liked -- in which case, Marvel would see their plans through, wrap up those stories and then try something new.
In contrast, Didio was constantly changing his creative teams and storylines before they could even be evaluated for success or failure; SUPERMAN in in the New 52 went through three writers in one year.
In addition to that -- Didio ignored numerous complaints of sexual harassment from his staffers. Former editor Eddie Berganza of the SUPERMAN titles was reported repeatedly for grabbing women and forcing unwanted kisses on them. His victims were silenced through firing, layoffs, non-disclosure agreements and Didio simply banned the SUPERMAN office from hiring women as staff or freelancers. Berganza's assaults were reported for years in comics press; only when they were repeated in Buzzfeed-- not reported for the first time, just repeated -- did Didio finally fire Berganza.
Former editor Valerie D'Orazio revealed that when editor Mike Carlin was repeatedly demanding that she date him, Didio's response was to offer D'Orazio a raise for having to put up with Carlin. When D'Orazio asked for paid medical leave to deal with the trauma, Didio informed her that the company would not allow it and D'Orazio resigned at which point Didio offered to extend her health insurance by 30 days if she would sign a non-disclosure agreement. She refused. Shortly afterwards, Warner Bros. human resources informed D'Orazio that Didio had lied to her; the company would have granted her paid medical leave. Didio didn't want to acknowledge that his staff had sexual harassers; he tried to cover it up.
Didio's unwillingness to chart a course and see it through before starting another one has finally seen him removed from a job at which he was occasionally brilliant, but occasional brilliance doesn't counter regular incompetence.
Well, Cisco says that all the previous rules of the multiverse have been replaced with new ones that he doesn't know, so doubles occupying the same world is open to different results. ARROW has (according to Slider_Quinn21) featured doubles who were 'created' by altering the past so that where they originally died, they now survived to the present in the new timeline. The Brainiac 5 doubles of SUPERGIRL were (presumably) from alternate/potential futures who have time travelled back to the present which is now the merged Earth Prime. And Beth was, like Supergirl, from a parallel Earth that has folded into Earth 1 except where Earth 1 didn't have a Supergirl, Earth 1 did have a Beth in the identity of Alice.
Re: 25th Anniversary of Sliders Coming up in six months... (18 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
If they do anything, it should be these four pages:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1awJ … sp=sharing
Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!) (405 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
I don't believe Picard specified that he sold his wine, but he's putting a lot of effort into a large crop. Regardless, PICARD is declaring that capitalism is part of the STAR TREK universe and not acknowledging that it hasn't been since 1988. The more I think about it, the more uncomfortable I am with PICARD ignoring TNG, DS9 and VOY's declaration that money does not exist in the Federation.
Even though the writers mocked the concept, it's been an established part of the STAR TREK universe for 22 years and upheld by every writer up to NEMESIS. And the truth is, despite the writers saying it didn't make sense, the replicator technology offered a path of world-building to make this concept work.
I think PICARD should have gently retconned the no-money concept while still maintaining it. Every Federation citizen gets a basic replicator and housing allowance. When you can make anything from nothing, the social safety net ensures you always have at minimum a dorm room, health care, clothing and food. Education is free (thanks to holographic transmission). If you want more possessions, more storage space, more privacy, a kitchen, you can work to earn it. Restauranteurs, booksellers, filmmakers and lawyers ply their trade out of interest in their field and do receive additional replicator allowance that they can use to buy homes and furniture and clothing and whatever. However, no one is interested in working for the money any more; the money is incidental to their lives.
Seth MacFarlane once joked that THE NEXT GENERATION boasted the most professional people ever seen on television. No one was ever bored, tired, bad-tempered, anxious, nervous or uninterested in their job except for Reginald Barclay and when that came to Picard's attention, it was so unusual and peculiar that Picard had an entire senior staff meeting about how to assist and support an underperforming employee.
THE NEXT GENERATION has been regularly mocked for how blandly pleasant and therefore uninteresting the characters were and while that's a fair point, one also has to note: the replicator can make ANYTHING and the ship has an AI that operates and cleans and can presumably run almost every function automatically. Of course no one is ever drained or weary; no one has to do chores. No one has to cook or clean or do laundry.
This means that Geordi goes to the engine room because he loves engines, Dr. Crusher goes to sickbay because she's fascinated by medicine, Worf goes to the bridge's security post because he loves weapons, and so forth. There's a scene in "Hollow Pursuits" where Barclay is late for his shift and Riker towers over him, glaring at the terrified crewman and tells him, "I don't know what you got away with at your last posting, but this is the Enterprise. We set a different standard here."
Why is Barclay so scared? So what if he gets fired? He's not going to default on his loans or lose his house. Who cares about any of that in a replicator-equipped society? No, Barclay is scared because he would lose the little place and purpose he has in life.
I recognize that this can be difficult to write and that the writers in TNG, DS9 and VOY never took it seriously and PICARD, wanting to have Picard lack the unlimited resources of the Enterprise and Starfleet, has used money to hold him back. But they could have softened the discrepancy a bit by indicating that the Federation was culturally disinterested in money, that payment has become incidental, that the true acquisition is purpose and achievement -- but that there is an underlying currency of replicator credit that the average person is not interested in. It's not that money doesn't exist; it's that it's become beneath notice.
PICARD could say that Picard couldn't mount a Romulan rescue without Starfleet commiting the resources to synthesizing and replicating the equipment and fuel and then remark, "Even an admiral's replicator stipend won't produce what we need." Rios could say that he's "very expensive; well above standard replicator credit rates" because conventional civilian private charter and passage wouldn't have the security and safety clearances to go on Picard's mission. Raffi could be enraged that her basic replicator allowance entitles her to a dorm, a self-serve sickbay and access to a replicator canteen but no other luxuries. And then we could have Dr. Agnes Jurati confused. "I don't understand why you're so fixated on this 'money' concept; I haven't checked to see if I've been paid in years. I have a room above my lab and there's a replicator in the canteen."
Why couldn't Jake bid on the auction on DS9? Let's retcon that to say that replicator credits weren't accepted. Why wasn't Jake paid for his book? Let's say people receiving a Starfleet replicator stipend (which Jake was as Sisko's dependent) generally waive additional payment for their labour and what difference would it make if Jake's replicator credit could, from book sales, produce 10,000 daily root beers instead of the 100 his basic stipend covers? Instead of ignoring the past, let's add a bit of supplemental information. Why did Picard say "money doesn't exist in the 24th century"? Let's adjust that to say, "Money is no longer a cultural force in the 24th century when a replicator can create whatever we need."
But PICARD has simply blown off the no money concept (although the replicators are still present).
Towards the end of his life, Michael Piller said that he had somewhat ruthlessly enforced the "Roddenberry box" of restrictions that barred personal conflict and money from STAR TREK scripts and that writers were quite understandably fed up with Piller's insistence that writers write around these restrictions instead of throwing them away. Piller said that he completely understood when the writers working for him declared that if Piller didn't leave VOYAGER, they would leave VOYAGER. All I can say is -- PICARD is not the first series to feel that the no money element was too difficult to write, but Roddenberry introduced the no-money concept AND the replicators, so he did cover his bases there.
Well, Kate says that the Crows will inevitably locate the Batcave; that they will inevitably locate the access point as they tear apart the building and go through every bookshelf.
That said, the Crows onscreen have been grossly incompetent, allowing Alice to escape just by trouncing two guards, so if Slider_Quinn21 didn't find it plausible that the Crows would get into the cave, then I concede to him. I am just so upset right now over Beth's death that I couldn't bring myself to finish watching THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL despite having stolen my niece's Amazon Prime password to watch it. I drove past that Abercrombie and Fitch this morning and wept. And, just like with Arturo's death, it looks like we're following up on it next week by fighting horror monsters. Vampires, apparently.
Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!) (405 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
Well, THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE, VOYAGER and GENERATIONS, FIRST CONTACT, INSURRECTION and NEMESIS took place in a Federation that did not use money (however that works). PICARD is set 20 years after NEMESIS and money has become part of common parlance again, so I think we have to accept that in two decades, things have changed. Money is part of the Federation again.
THE ORIGINAL SERIES had Kirk referring to the Federation spending "a lot of money on our training" in "Errand of Mercy" and informing a crewman in "Doomsday Machine" that "You just earned your pay for the week." In "The Trouble With Tribbles," Uhura buys a tribble from merchant Cyrano Jones. DISCOVERY has Harry Mudd being very money-fixated.
THE VOYAGE HOME has Kirk referring to the 20th century "still using money," but in context, it suggests he means "money" as in "cash," with the Federation using some sort of digital credit system with no physical currency. However, THE NEXT GENERATION in "The Neutral Zone" went so far as to claim that money no longer existed in the Federation -- at Roddenberry's behest. The writers Roddenberry employed did not understand what this meant, but with the stories set aboard a starship and with replicators, money was narratively inconsequential to their scripts, so it rarely came up.
In FIRST CONTACT, Picard says, "Money doesn't exist in the 24th century. The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force of our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity." Ronald D. Moore wrote that and admitted he had no idea how that could work. But it was one of Roddenberry's rules. So he followed it. Later he wrote another script on DEEP SPACE NINE which pokes fun when Jake can't bid on a non-Federation auction and tries to borrow money from Nog.
Nog says, "Use your own money." Jake protests that he doesn't have any and Nog replies, "It's not my fault that your species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favor of some philosophy of self-enhancement." Jake repeats Picard's FIRST CONTACT dialogue about working for self-betterment and Nog says, "What does that mean exactly?" Jake cannot explain. Jake is also proud to be a professional writer only for Nog to note that Jake isn't paid for his book.
It is a strange platitude that we used on the show, the need for money was gone and everything was about bettering yourself. It was no longer about any kind of material gain or personal gain, everyone was just trying to be a better person.
So none of us could understand what that mean or how that society functioned. It all seemed very vague. None of the writers took it seriously.
We all kind of laughed about it and joked about it. We all had to pay homage to it because that was something that was built into the structure of the show. At every opportunity we tried to sneak in ways. How do you play poker if you don’t have currency?
Except... Moore is wrong to entirely dismiss Roddenberry's vision of a society that has grown beyond money by TNG because TNG introduced the replicator. If you can create anything from those little slots -- clothes, food, medicine, building materials -- then money would naturally become a lot less significant. The social safety net could ensure a universal replicator ration. Roddenberry clearly didn't think through his moneyless society aside from declaring it to be so, but I can imagine money becoming irrelevant in the 24th century if the replicator could even replicate its own fuel supply.
I think Roddenberry would have done best to say that while money exists, it's become trivial; anything anyone needs can be replicated and everyone has a basic replicator allowance. While people receive additional replicator credit for work, the payment is beneath notice; Federation citizens can barter with currency but rarely see any reason to do so. Money could have become regarded with disinterest culturally even if present economically. Everyone is now employed in the not-for-profit industry.
But this is clearly over anyway by PICARD. People are using money. Raffi lacks money. Rios charges money. Picard makes wine to earn money. Something has changed between NEMESIS and PICARD.
Perhaps the replicator economy was dependent upon the perpetually rising scale of replication to keep pace with population growth -- and then the synthetics destroying the shipyards and being banned from use has made it impossible for the Federation to be as free as they once were with replicator power.
Spoilers for BATWOMAN
Seeing Beth Kane die and Alice live was so upsetting to me; a life-defining trauma akin to the death of Professor Arturo. I haven't seen SUPERGIRL yet and it's going to be WEIRD to go from that to something so lightweight.
... the title sequence did not look any different to me.
*sigh* I'm glad Rachel Skarsten is doing so well. I met her once, but I was too shy to say anything at the time; I was in college and she was working at an Abercrombie and Fitch and I thought I needed jeans but wasted her time as she helped me locate my size and I concluded that denim is not for me. It would be another decade before I realized that I do best with dress pants and not natural fibers but synthetic blends because those hold creases and resist stains better and I fled the store without thanking her and only years later did Transmodiar cure me of my anxiety and I'm getting off track. For awhile, Skarsten was living out of her car until she booked a job on LOST GIRL. She appeared in the Season 2 premiere of WYNONNA EARP and was introduced as a new addition to the team only to be killed off within the same episode. I was so happy to see her on BATWOMAN and so pleased to see her showing her range as both Beth and Alice and I miss Beth but I understand that the show didn't really need an astrophysicist to join the cast.
Jesus, I can’t watch SUPERGIRL right now and watch Kara goofing around singing karaoke. Beth just died. :-(
Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!) (405 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
The thing is that Gene Roddenberry's original vision of Starfleet / the United Earth Space Probe Agency / the Space Service in THE ORIGINAL SERIES is not what Roddenberry later claimed was his original vision as presented in THE NEXT GENERATION. In THE ORIGINAL SERIES, Starfleet was the US Navy and while Starfleet and the Federation professed values of peace and equality, Kirk frequently found himself at odds with Starfleet. In "Errand of Mercy," Starfleet is notably imperialistic in trying to seize territory to gain advantage over the Klingons while professing that their technology will raise huts and villages into hyperadvanced cities. In "Metamorphosis," Starfleet is demanding that the Enterprise be a part of a show of military force, something which Kirk does not prioritize.
It's only with THE NEXT GENERATION that Starfleet became the bland, broadly pleasant relief organization Roddenberry claimed that it had always been, so having Picard being frustrated with a Starfleet that seems more concerned with sustaining itself than practicing its ideals is pretty in tune with Roddenberry's initial vision which he later disavowed.
I don't know how the other TNG and DS9 and VOY characters reacted to Starfleet abandoning the Romulan relief effort, but it has to be noted that if Starfleet would not commit ships, labour and resources to the evacuation and rebuilding effort, then the 20 - 30 person cast of those shows would not have been able to mount a rescue -- at least not as PICARD presents it. This is another area where, due to Roddenberry, I'm not entirely sure I understand the situation. PICARD claims that because Starfleet would not back the rescue effort, the Romulans were abandoned. This doesn't make sense because Roddenberry established that the Federation was beyond money; that people worked to better themselves; that anything anyone needed could be replicated anyway, so people worked because they wanted to, not to survive.
Following that logic -- what exactly was to stop Picard from assembling a legion of volunteers and replicating whatever he needed to save the Romulans? The argument, I suppose, could be that mass scale replicators to build ships need a certain level of power that is beyond any small group of individuals' allotment for replication, and that an effort of that scale needed the approval of synthetic labourers who were now banned.
That said, Rios tells Agnes that as a pilot, he is "very expensive," Picard can't get a ship without help, he harvests grapes for wine -- PICARD doesn't seem to be maintaining the idea that the Federation is above and beyond money and unless I missed it, they haven't even referred to it.
Picard letting people call him JL strikes me as two factors. The first is that Picard has relaxed. From Seasons 1 - 7, he was gradually softening until by the series finale, he joined the weekly poker game and was cracking wise with Data by NEMESIS. The other factor is that Patrick Stewart has relaxed. Originally, Stewart for Seasons 1 - 2 had a reputation for being strict and irritable with his cast members for conversing and chattering between takes, bellowing at them, "WE ARE NOT HERE TO HAVE FUN!"
Michael Dorn addressed this with care and maturity by using Worf's workstation as the perfect perch above the captain's chair to crack eggs over Stewart's head.
Eventually, Stewart realized that his forceful insistence on relentless seriousness had less to do with being an actor and more to do with his unaddressed grief and trauma over being a child and watching his father repeatedly kick the shit out of his mother day after day, year after year. Stewart grew up with a constantly simmering hatred towards his father matched with a paralyzing fear of the man that prevented him from defending his mother as she was on the receiving end of another fist to the face and a boot to the stomach. The most he could do was use himself as a human shield.
As a result, Stewart grew into someone who believed he always had to be locked down and controlled to restrain his rage against his father or others and out of fear that he could follow his father in becoming a physical abuser. His firm, militaristic behaviour was a mask on top of isolation and grief and helplessness.
Over time, as Stewart addressed this, he stopped being so controlling over himself and his show and this is very obvious in his performance. He became quicker to laugh; he was no longer burying a horrific childhood and could begin to relax, and it's like the things that used to upset and enrage him like actors chatting between takes or breaking character or experimenting with blocking and cue lines became trivial and welcome. He became laid back to the point where Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis would address him as "Old Baldy" and he enjoyed that because it indicated how comfortable it was to be around him now.
Also, I recently ran into a schoolteacher I remember being very much a disciplinarian. He informed me that he was now letting students call him various insulting nicknames because "I am really old and I have no fucks left to give."
Which is probably why Picard went from someone who required being addressed as "Captain" or "Sir" is now happy to be greeted with a casual, "What up, JL?"
I actually don't remember SUPERGIRL and BATWOMAN having new sequences, or the changes were minor in the way SUPERNATURAL alters the foreground elements of its titles each year but the composition and direction remains basically the same.
Re: 25th Anniversary of Sliders Coming up in six months... (18 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
Finished the mobile conversion for Part 5 of SLIDERS REBORN, a script called "Revolution."
This script... I don't feel it works. I felt that SLIDERS REBORN needed an installment where Jerry O'Connell's Quinn and Robert Floyd's Mallory would share scenes. I decided to make Mallory a hallucination after Quinn is exposed to hallucinogenic gas through a series of events so convoluted that it required a psychic character from "Obsession" to rationalize it and I think it's just too confusing.
Slider_Quinn21, however, really likes "Revolution" and feels that it worked to dimensionalize Mallory and get into Quinn's head, and I suppose that there are times when the author needs to remember that his perception of his work is not the reader's perception.
Still, I feel Tom and Cory best summarized my feelings on "Revolution" in their REWATCH PODCAST segment.
CORY: "Okay. Part 5 of Sliders Reborn: it's a 46-page script called 'Revolution,' written by ireactions and published on June 6, 2016."
TOM: "June! So, it was eight months between 'Reminiscence' and 'Revolution'?"
CORY: "I guess life happened or something?"
TOM: (laughing) "Eight months to write... this."
CORY: "This one -- can we actually try to get through a summary?
TOM: "You can try. Uh, maybe we should play the usual music."
The plot summary background music begins.
CORY: (chuckling) "Okay -- so the script is mostly a dream sequence where Quinn is trapped in this mansion that's on fire and Quinn's in a room filling with toxic gas, and he hallucinates Mallory."
TOM: "This would be the character played by Robert Floyd in Season 5 -- the lab assistant that got merged with Quinn. So -- the whole script here -- it's mostly Quinn and Mallory talking."
CORY: "Yeah, Mallory asks Quinn how he ended up in this room filling with poisoned gas, and Quinn runs through his day: this lady in the merged San Francisco was buying tech from parallel Earths, building a virtual reality machine and bankrupting her company and putting all her employees out of work to build it. Quinn went to confront her and got really upset. He went to her house to sabotage her machine only to accidentally set off the hallucinogenic gas that the machine uses -- "
TOM: (verge of laughing) "Because the VR machine uses hallucinogenic gas. Because -- what?!"
CORY: "I don't know."
CORY: "Let's try to get through this. The gas is not only a hallucinogen but highly flammable, Quinn's now overcome by the fumes, he's trapped in the house, he's hallucinating Mallory, and Mallory is trying to talk to him and figure out why Quinn was so fixated on this woman. Tom -- you finish the rest of this summary. I just -- I can't do it."
TOM: "Hahaha! Oh-kay... "
Tom takes a deep breath.
TOM: "Okay -- so it turns out, this lady -- she's Melanie Wallace -- a character who appeared for like one minute in the Season 2 episode with the psychics. She's a psychic. Quinn wanted her help to fix this broken multiverse, but Melanie's seen the future and there's just no hope, and she built this VR machine to... to give herself a perfect afterlife? I mean, I don't even... I don't even -- ughhhh."
CORY: "Keep going, you're almost there."
TOM: "Okay, so, Quinn accidentally detonated the gas. Melanie's dead. Quinn's dying. Quinn has lost hope for saving reality, Mallory gives him a pep talk, and this dream sequence helps Quinn find a way out of the burning house and survive and feel hope for the future? Okay?"
The background music ends.
TOM: "I don't even -- I don't think we exactly summarized this story.
CORY: "I think these 46-pages defy a synopsis."
TOM: "Well. You were right before -- all of ireactions' plots are sort of flimsy excuses to get the characters he wants together in the same room -- and for this story, he wanted to get Jerry O'Connell's Quinn and Robert Floyd's Quinn together in the same room.
CORY: (horrified whisper) " ... why... ?"
TOM: "Well, ireactions interviewed Rob Floyd, remember? So, as of this script, Maggie and Diana had joined the cast. And he said in his notes that he didn't feel comfortable leaving Mallory out because it'd be insulting to Rob Floyd -- I mean, they're not like best friends or anything, but they're friends. So he wrote this dream sequence script, y'know?"
CORY: (exasperated) "Jesus."
TOM: "Hahahahah! He said -- he says in his notes -- he sent the script to Rob Floyd, and Rob thanked him, but Rob never got back to him with what he thought, probably because Rob hasn't seen that many episodes of SLIDERS and didn't understand it."
CORY: "Well, I've seen every episode of SLIDERS and I barely understand what's going on."
TOM: (snickering) "Yeah."
CORY: "You've got a psychic creating a VR machine that uses hallucinogenic gas that explodes, a video game company, a terminal illness, Quinn being obsessed with the VR machine, and the VR machine creating a digital afterlife because... ?"
TOM: "Because it creates a situation where Quinn's trapped in a burning building and hallucinating and the hallucination of Mallory gives him information that helps Quinn escape."
CORY: "I think -- I've generally liked Parts 1 to 4 of SLIDERS REBORN. There's some issues in ireactions' approach -- he has a lot of tricks where he obviously works out the scenes he wants before he works out the plot, and he dresses it up with humour and jokes and it's all good."
TOM: "But this time -- it's not."
CORY: "This is where his tricks don't work. The story's a mess."
TOM: "Yeah. The main appeal of ireactions' writing is that he captures the voices of the actors which you said before. But I don't think he pulls it off for Robert Floyd's Mallory -- mostly because Mallory never had a strong voice on the show, so really, ireactions doesn't have anything to work with."
CORY: "You're exactly right. I can excuse pretty much all the problems with Parts 1 to 4 because they get characters I really like back, but Mallory isn't one of those characters."
TOM: "Also -- in Parts 1 to 4, all the references to the past were really effective. But here -- Mallory tells Quinn he's beaten all these bad guys in the past, the CDC, the Prime Oracle, the Zercurvians -- and there's all these descriptions of people Quinn's helped -- but I couldn't remember who any of these people were."
CORY: "I did know who all these people were -- Gillian, Holly the hotel manager and her son, uh, the kid from the Western episode -- but it felt like this joyless shopping list."
TOM: "Well, yeah, especially the kid from the Western episode that you love so much. 'Come back, Quinn! Come back!'"
TOM: "Throughout that, I felt ireactions was really trying. He comes up with an arc for Quinn. He finds a way to show that Quinn's scientifically talented, but Mallory knows people. But the plot's too scattered. It's just too convoluted to work Mallory into the story and give him something, like, substantial to do."
CORY: "It just shows that ireactions' strengths are in writing Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo -- and if those four characters aren't on the page in some form, his style just falls apart."
Re: 25th Anniversary of Sliders Coming up in six months... (18 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
I appreciate the sentiment, but I don't know how true that is. It's true to a degree in that before writing the first page of SLIDERS REBORN, I read literally *every* Season 6 fan fiction ever written including Slider_Quinn21's and Brand_S's parody and Chaser9's stuff and Temporal Flux even tracked down a few on Internet Archive for me. They were all deeply flawed, not because the creators weren't talented, but because they had an IMPOSSIBLE task before them: they had to resurrect Wade and Arturo, split the Quinns, recover Colin, reveal the Quinn-from-Kromagg-Prime story to be a lie, liberate Earth Prime, and have all these unrelated plot points happen within a single story arc and seem plausible and like a sensible shift from the monster movies of Season 3 and the Chandler-bound stories of Seasons 4 - 5.
It's too much and even a resurrected Ernest Hemingway would look at this assignment and kill himself again. That's why most fans have never been able to finish reading or even finish writing these stories; the story is too scattered and unfocused. I think Slider_Quinn21 is the only one who finished his. SLIDERS REBORN, set 15 years after "The Seer," however, had a massive time gap of a decade and a half and the narrative uses that advantage to focus on what Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo are up to in 2015. It's not about how they came back to life in 2000. It isn't the sixth season of SLIDERS. It's Season 20 of SLIDERS with the characters having been restored in the offscreen Season 6 and rebuilt new lives during Seasons 7 - 19.
As for canonicity -- SLIDERS REBORN was written because it was inspired by the X-FILES comic books being written for an audience of 50,000 diehards. When THE X-FILES came back as a TV show, the comics ended their original continuity and declared itself a parallel universe with Mulder looking through a dimensional window and seeing the televised Season 10. However, SLIDERS REBORN is very carefully designed as fan fiction.
The fourth installment of REBORN, "Reminiscence," is a transcript of Quinn in a mental asylum being evaluated by a psychiatrist. Quinn tells his story, the story of sliding. He describes four years of amazing adventures with Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo, then says that the Geiger experiment in Season 5 ripped him and all his doubles out of reality. The result was an alternate timeline where Quinn was now trapped in the body of Mallory. Quinn then describes the events of "Applied Physics" where Maggie unlocked memories of the past using the holographic apparatus -- and Quinn says that the memories he saw were incorrect.
He saw Seasons 1 - 2 with some strange anomalies: episodes were in the wrong order; extra sliders like Ryan and Henry and Michelle and David and Diana suddenly vanished. He saw slides he didn't remember: the monsters of Season 3, the Kromagg invasion of Season 4. He saw the Professor murdered, Maggie and Colin, none of which matched his actual memories. And through Mallory, Quinn observes Season 5 and notices that most of Rembrandt's adventures are stuck in the Chandler Hotel. Eventually, it's explained: ripping Quinn and his doubles out of reality has caused it to corrupt and collapse; that's why this alternate timeline has so many anomalies and why the multiverse is literally shrinking as it implodes upon itself. Eventually, Quinn and his friends are able to rebuild reality as recounted in the novella.
This isn't just to reconcile and explain continuity errors: the point was to declare that SLIDERS has two competing versions. The version that Tracy Torme wanted to create and somewhat managed for 22 episodes. And the version that actually aired on TV. What the show could have been. And what it actually was. SLIDERS REBORN declares that both visions of SLIDERS are genuine and true and valid. And the finale has a merged San Francisco over over a thousand overlapping parallel versions of the city co-existing. Quinn declares that everyone in the city is a slider. And later, Quinn is facing down Smarter Quinn who shrieks at Quinn:
"When will you get it?! This world; this reality; your family; your friends -- none of this is real! The multiverse is dying and all this is just the patient's last gasp. The last spasm before rigor mortis. The last flare of neural activity before brain death. Show's over, Quinn -- and everything around you is just mediocre fanfic that doesn't matter and doesn't count."
But Quinn replies, "You're wrong. We're all sliders. These people matter." The argument is that whether SLIDERS REBORN is fanfic or not, SLIDERS' multiverse is intrinsically open to declaring all variations and derivative works as part of its tapestry whether it's the TV show as aired, the TV show as imagined by Tracy Torme, the comic books where Rembrandt faces 2D beings, the florid novelization of the Pilot by Brad Linaweaver, the fan novels written by Nigel Mitchell or me.
That's why, despite my distaste for the Season 3 monsters, the finale features the rock star vampires and the radioactive worm and the scarabs and the monsters and the super-intelligent snakes and the breeder parasites and the underground predators and the laser shooting remote controlled cars -- because every story is a SLIDERS story and every story counts.
I think SLIDERS REBORN says this extremely well because it is fan fiction. I don't think it could say this as effectively if it were canonical.
And regardless, SLIDERS REBORN was the twentieth anniversary celebration. I don't think it can (or should) be the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration.
Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!) (405 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
I got to the end of the latest PICARD when _____________ shows up to the rescue and my heart soared and I was pleased because I knew that Slider_Quinn21 (and only Slider_Quinn21) would be happy to see ___ again. I am somewhat indifferent to ___ and I have also literally never seen anyone other than Slider_Quinn21 express fondness for this character and I know he will be glad to reunite with this old friend.
Mick (and his high school girlfriend) both died and both were indeed resurrected when history was altered. I am absolutely sure about this, as certain as I was that ARROW's continuity remains intact and all the resurrected characters are in fact doubles from alternate timelines where they survived their Earth Prime deaths. (Which is to say I'm a bit unsteady on it).
I like the title sequences a lot for FLASH and LEGENDS, but I also don't feel they really matter -- they have no bearing on the story, really. I'm relieved that LEGENDS has a new sequence because the original was, for me, entirely too reminiscent of the AVENGERS titles.
Of all the shows to address the post-CRISIS fallout, FLASH has been the most fun with Cisco aghast that he doesn't remember ever owning a Superman T-shirt and very worried that all the villains Team Flash has stopped could be back in new and disturbing forms. It's a very enjoyable, pleasant show -- and wasn't it weird how Joe's office was so full of what looked like multiple coffee brewers? Joe seemed to have two drip machines and a massive grinder which makes me wonder if, at a loss of set dressing, the crew grabbed some unused items from the Jitters set and put them behind Joe's desk.
Thanks for the link! Margot Robbie's thought process is... puzzling and misguided, to say the least. I'm not sure if Robbie trying to co-opt the BIRDS OF PREY brand was egotistical in the way Tom Cruise (successfully) turned MISSION IMPOSSIBLE from a team-based series with a rotating cast into a star vehicle for him and him alone. Did Robbie want to become synonymous with BIRDS OF PREY in the same way and take the name for herself?
It's possible, but given how BIRDS OF PREY establishes a team called the Birds of Prey and promptly declares that Harley Quinn isn't on it, I get the sense that Robbie misunderstood and misidentified the core elements of the BIRDS OF PREY. She says in her interview that BIRDS OF PREY seemed to be open to featuring any female superhero or anti-hero in the DC Universe and she rejected GOTHAM CITY SIRENS as a title because it was about Harley, Poison Ivy and Catwoman as Gotham-based women with a penchant for seduction. That's fair, but Robbie seems to think that BIRDS OF PREY was a generic brand for any superheroine and that is simply not the case.
While the 2000 BIRDS OF PREY TV show had many, many, many faults, it was ultimately true to the concept: the show featured Barbara Gordon as a wheelchair-bound Oracle of cyberspace guiding her superhero field agents through crimefighting missions. It wasn't a completely faithful adaptation: Barbara's field agent was Huntress instead of Black Canary; the Black Canary character was represented as a teenager (later revealed to be the daughter of a more comics-accurate Black Canary); the Huntress was Bruce Wayne's daughter (which the Huntress was in a parallel universe, but in the prime universe where the BOP comic is set, she wasn't related to Batman).
The show was bound to Gotham whereas the comic was a globetrotting series; the show had Alfred who at most cameoed in the comic -- but it was still about a woman with a disability leading a superhero team from within her base of operations. It was still BIRDS OF PREY.
The BIRDS OF PREY movie is not about a woman with a disability leading a team from her base of operations. In fact, Harley Quinn is never even on the team. I think making a HARLEY QUINN movie and making a BIRDS OF PREY movie were completely at odds; at best, the Birds of Prey are a tangent. It'd be like retitling the SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING to be called NED LEEDS: THE GUY IN THE CHAIR FOR PARKER or retitling IRON MAN to be called JARVIS: THE STARK DIGITAL ASSISTANT or retitling the JAMES BOND series to be called THE MAN WITH THE WALTHER PISTOL or retitling SLIDERS to be called MOTOROLA. The Birds of Prey are not irrelevant to the HARLEY QUINN movie, but it reflects how Margot Robbie had a truly irrational attachment to the title. This is not a BIRDS OF PREY movie. It's a HARLEY QUINN film with a supporting role for two characters (Huntress and Black Canary) who form a team at the end but well outside Harley's involvement or interest. It's like Robbie was caught between her job to make a HARLEY QUINN film and her desire to make a BIRDS OF PREY movie and tried to do both in one film.
Tom Cruise was scorned and ridiculed for what he did to the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series, but he got through it because (a) he eventually allowed the team concept to re-establish itself and (b) he was financing the films with his own production company instead of having the studio assume all the cost and risk of his creative obsessions. I don't see that happening with Margot Robbie; she's brilliant, but she's not the only person in the world who has or will play Harley Quinn.
Creatively -- I think it works out fine. The movie is extremely enjoyable and an absolute joy. From a marketing standpoint, however, the title makes no sense whatsoever and suggests an ensemble; it suggests that BIRDS OF PREY is another team film with Harley in a supporting role like she was in SUICIDE SQUAD when it is in fact the Harley Quinn spin-off focused on Harley Quinn. And Margot Robbie seemed to also have an irrational attachment to an R-rating that is totally unnecessary; a version of this HARLEY QUINN film with "damned" instead of "fucking" would still be the same movie and teenaged girls -- the perfect audience for this story -- could have gotten in to see it.
It's a shame because Robbie is an amazing performer and creator and clearly had a meaningful and special vision for producing her film and battling for her ideas -- but she seemed ludicrously insistent on (a) making her HARLEY QUINN movie launch characters who weren't Harley Quinn (b) choosing a title that emphasizes characters who aren't Harley Quinn and (c) acquiring a content rating that would keep Harley Quinn's most devoted fans from seeing the HARLEY QUINN movie.
It's strange: I said earlier in this thread that there was no BIRDS OF PREY movie in production. Informant corrected me. Having come back from a screening, I'd say that there is still no BIRDS OF PREY movie; there is a HARLEY QUINN movie that was inexplicably greenlit with the title BIRDS OF PREY (and the subtitle "the fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn"). I don't understand WHY. The Birds of Prey have never been Harley Quinn's team; they're Barbara Gordon's team.
The BIRDS OF PREY comic emerged when Alan Moore (WATCHMEN) crippled Batgirl in THE KILLING JOKE (and didn't establish her character within his story, only using her as a female body to be brutalized to make the story seem more serious). Writers John Ostrander and Kim Yale were horrified and, in their SUICIDE SQUAD title, established that the wheelchair bound Barbara had adopted a new identity, Oracle, using her hacker skills to be home base handler to superheroes in the field. Ned Leeds in SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING remarks that every superhero has "the guy in the chair" who guides him. SMALLVILLE had Chloe Sullivan as Watchtower; ARROW had Felicity Smoak; THE FLASH had the Star Labs team; LEGENDS OF TOMORROW has Gideon -- and all these voices whispering in the ears of superheroes owe their existence to Barbara Gordon as Oracle in the BIRDS OF PREY comic books.
BIRDS OF PREY usually featured Black Canary (Dinah Lance) as the lead agent in the field while Oracle guided her via Bluetooth earpiece from the computerized information hub of the secret Clocktower location. Over time, Power Girl, Huntress and others would cycle in and out, but it was Oracle and Black Canary's comic. When Barbara regained her mobility and became Batgirl again, Black Canary was the lead for a time, but the book was eventually rebranded as BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY. BIRDS OF PREY is Barbara's book. Why is the BIRDS OF PREY title adorning a HARLEY QUINN movie?
It's especially confusing to me because the movie was made because Margot Robbie was so delightfully popular and beloved as both a performer and as Harley Quinn in SUICIDE SQUAD. WB wanted to capitalize on both -- so why didn't they title the movie accordingly? I have this image of some Warner Bros. executive hoping to launch additional female properties out of a HARLEY QUINN spinoff. Then gathering a list of DC Comics brands that relate to female characters. Then getting BIRDS OF PREY confused with GOTHAM CITY SIRENS, a comic that featured Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman as flatmates.
Then approving the title and hiring a director and a writer and being too embarrassed to fix it after noticing it and only amending the mistake now by having theatres present the title as HARLEY QUINN: BIRDS OF PREY after a weak opening.
The movie is a lot of fun. Margot Robbie's craziness is totally captivating. The editing and direction are brilliantly propulsive in telling a somewhat disjointed story that reflects Harley Quinn's madness. The high comedy and absurdity are a good match for the ridiculously cartoonish violence. The hyperspeed pacing of the film makes it fly by. It is a fun, fun film -- but the title! Harley even emphasizes in the film that she is not one of the Birds of Prey; she is not a crimefighter. She is not a superhero.
I am truly baffled by why WB allowed this movie to be called what it is and at a loss as to why they had it rated R when the only element that would prevent this from airing on the CW is the profanity.
As a girl gang movie, HARLEY QUINN could have appealed deeply to teenaged girls who will have to sneak in or find an adult to accompany them. Harley Quinn represents every young woman seeking to define herself without needing a man to do it; every girl with mental health issues seeking to assert herself and prove her worth; every adolescent female seeing that the world is weighted against women and going mad.
The film has inexplicably been assigned a title from a property largely unrelated to the lead character. It has cut itself off from the very audience to whom it would speak loudest. I don't understand how this happened.
Re: 25th Anniversary of Sliders Coming up in six months... (18 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
And now Part 4 of SLIDERS REBORN: "Reminiscence" (4) is converted to mobile.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qpn … sp=sharing
It's strange: this short novella was mostly me with very little input from others, yet it exists in its current form and position entirely because of Transmodiar. Originally, this was Part 2. Part 1 opens with Rembrandt emerging from the vortex of "The Seer" and collapsing in an alley due to the injection. He briefly regains consciousness to find Quinn, Wade and Arturo with him, miraculously, impossibly restored to life and to Rembrandt's side. The plan was for this novella, "Reminiscence," to explain how this came to be. The original novella had Quinn being erased from reality, struggling to anchor himself by telling his story to a woman who doesn't know him, the entire story of sliding and how he, Wade and Arturo came back to life, found Rembrandt and restored Earth Prime. At the end, the woman is revealed to be his mother who remembers him and her remembrance bonds Quinn back into the multiverse.
You can read the original draft here -- https://freepdfhosting.com/221bcaa5ee.pdf -- and Transmodiar thought it was ghastly, pointing out that the dense continuity was alienating even to him, a man who had watched SLIDERS far more than is medically safe. He said that the plot hinged on Quinn telling a crazy story to a woman who doesn't know him and nobody would tolerate this extremely long, convoluted tale of lunacy from someone who was clearly insane.
I proceeded to rewrite the entire thing in its present form where Quinn is in a mental ward telling his story to a psychiatrist (supposedly the one from "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome") and I put the text of Transmodiar's emails questioning the plot in the text itself so that Quinn could explain the issues.
I'm not sure "Additional Plotting" is entirely the correct credit for Transmodiar's contributions except to say that it would not have been written without him and this is my favourite installment of SLIDERS REBORN and possibly the most-enjoyed chapter of the series -- I still get emails about it now and then.
People really liked this one and all the strengths they point to -- the format, the structure of Quinn explaining his ludicrous life to a doubtful doctor in a mental asylum -- they originate from Transmodiar even though he didn't suggest them.
Re: 25th Anniversary of Sliders Coming up in six months... (18 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
Alright. The third script is up. SLIDERS REBORN: "Revelation" (3):
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o9c … sp=sharing
I was re-reading it as I did the conversion and "Revelation" is a very strong piece of SLIDERS writing. The world-building is spectacular (because Nigel Mitchell handled it). The confrontation between the sliders and ________ is, despite being somewhat overlong, surprisingly gripping and effective (because Slider_Quinn21 heavily workshopped those pages). The plotting and sci-fi technobabble is effective in its imagery (because Chris Chibnall had a brilliant concept for the plot devices). The solution to the crisis is riveting and well-earned (because Transmodiar amended the storyline and was indulgent enough to encourage me to keep going no matter how stuck I felt).
As for my contributions... Tom and Cory like to highlight how all the sliders sound like Jerry O'Connell, Sabrina Lloyd, Cleavant Derricks and John Rhys-Davies, but that has more to do with the actors than with me. I can only say that "Revelation" is very well-typed. The font choices were strong.
The script for DUEL OF THE FATES by Colin Trevorrow has been released. Many questions are answered, many quandaries are settled, but I confess that the only one that interests me is what Slider_Quinn21 thinks. :-)
Re: 25th Anniversary of Sliders Coming up in six months... (18 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
I know, I know. I really need to step it up with getting the scripts adapted into a mobile format.
Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!) (405 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
I too just finished watching the PICARD season premiere. I was relieved to see Patrick Stewart winded by a heart-pounding walk up a flight of stairs -- because I was appalled by GENERATIONS, FIRST CONTACT, INSURRECTION and NEMESIS turning Picard into an action hero wrestling villains on bridges, firing tommy guns through Borg (although it was meant to be appalling), shooting down drones and leaping about catwalks and racing dune buggies. That's not what Picard is for.
In PICARD, Picard is afraid. He is frail. He is weak. But infirm or not, he took an oath as a Starfleet officer to stand for those who couldn't, to defend those who came to him for aid, if not with force, then with knowledge and strategy and care. And he's an old man; he's lived his life, so he's willing to put his body in the line of fire if it means saving someone else.
Dajh's supsersoldier combat while Picard hides behind a bench -- it suggests that fighting may be superficially flashy, but it isn't special or unique. We wouldn't bring Professor Arturo back to have him wrestle Jeffrey Dean Morgan or blow up a radioactive worm, after all; we'd bring him back for his big ideas and John Rhys-Davies' bombastic scenery chewing and his problem solving. Any fool can wrestle and shoot. We need a peacemaker.
I've never seen VOYAGERS, but Tom and Cory covered the entire season of the show in REWATCH PODCAST, so I can bluff my way through any conversation about it. (My God, Jeffrey is constantly crying! Hey, why is there so little backstory on the Voyagers and their organization? Phineas is so loaded with charm. The last seven episodes are a bit weak, aren't they?)
She definitely handled it poorly but ebay could have at least given her a heads up as not everyone has the funds to lose a sale like that.
I can assure you that I warned her and did so before asking eBay to intervene. I sent her a message quoting passages from eBay's specific policies, including:
"Even if you specify no returns accepted, under the eBay Money Back Guarantee, the buyer can still return an item if it doesn’t match the listing description"
"In some instances, we may not require that an item be returned to the seller"
"For example: if the return request was opened because the item was not as described"
"Or if the seller did not provide a return shipping label"
I seriously doubt she didn't know she was selling a 16GB item as 32GB because she refused to apologize for it and insisted that she wasn't responsible for the accuracy of her own ad when eBay policy is pretty clear that ads have to be correct. I think she was angry that she got caught. And angry to discover that selecting "No returns accepted" would not prevent consequences for fraud.
I told her that she could either give me a partial refund to cover the cost of a microSD expansion or she'd pay out the cost of the sale, the cost of the shipping, and the cost of the return shipping. She refused, shrieking, "No returns! No refund!" I reset and reboxed the laptop for a return and contacted eBay.
After eBay refunded me and told me to keep the item, I told both eBay and the seller that I'd still return her laptop even though eBay's terms no longer required me to do so. I just needed a prepaid shipping label.
She replied, "He wants to return it! He pays for shipping!" eBay responded to say, "We advise you not to pay for the shipping." She responded to say that she'd sue if I didn't return the laptop and would sue after I returned it if she wasn't happy with its condition.
At this point, I ran out of patience and had a lot of data entry to work on, so I decided to reopen the box and get to work on my $0 laptop and not worry about this person who seemed pathologically incapable of taking responsibility for her mistakes or taking action to amend them and who thought it was a good idea to threaten me when I had (a) the money (b) the item and (c) less and less reason to return either with each new threat.
And now for tech talk, with Quinn Mallory:
Zero Sum: Recently bought a Samsung Chromebook 3 for exactly $0. That's right, $0. It was very strange: I ordered a lightly used 32GB model on eBay and received a lightly used 16GB model. When I contacted the seller, she promptly replied, "It said no returns in my ad! You don't like it, too bad! No refund!" I contacted eBay and they reminded the seller that the eBay Money Back Guarantee requires that items be correctly described in ads or any seller's no return policy is overruled and that she should either provide a refund or a prepaid shipping label.
Refusal: The seller replied to us, "You knew when you bought it there were no returns! You're not getting a refund! If it's 16GB instead of 32GB, that's not my fault! eBay autofilled the listing!" eBay advised that she provide a prepaid return label to which she answered, "He wants to return it! He pays for shipping!"
Refund: eBay promptly took the seller's funds out of her PayPal account and gave me a full refund and told me that as the seller refused to provide return shipping, I should keep the Chromebook and do what I liked with it. The seller then contacted me. "You return my laptop or I SUE!" she wrote. "And if it's not in perfect condition, I sue!"
Review: As she was threatening to sue either way, I decided to start enjoying my new $0 laptop which, being $0, has to be evaluated on a very different scale. That said, even if free, the laptop's twisted neumatic screen was an abomination. It had an anti-glare coating that created a hideous rainbow grain pattern. The frosted surface also boasted dull, washed out colours and the colour black often looked like a distorted rainbow or gray. The 16GB of storage was a potential problem as after installing apps and a Linux virtual machine, I had 5GB left.
Performance: However, because a Chromebook doesn't run programs, its performance on an Intel Celeron N3060 and an eMMC drive is astonishing. It boots instantly. It logs in instantly. It opens 'programs' instantly because it doesn't really run anything other than the Chrome web browser and all the programs are progressive web apps in browser windows that can have the browser toolbars or not have them. Any web page can become an app in the app menu.
I don't know that you'll be creating AVATAR on this thing, but it's the perfect machine for social media and correspondence. And the battery life! It lasts 10 hours on a single charge! My last laptop, a Surface Pro 3, only made it to 3 - 4 hours! This all made the Chromebook worth keeping.
Retrofitting: I opened up the display and took out the monitor and put in an IPS screen I bought off eBay. Suddenly, colours were crisp and sharp and while it's a 1366x768 panel, at 11.6 inches, the lower resolution doesn't seem to be that distant from the 1080p panel of my TV or my desktop monitor. I put in a 128GB microSD card and while it can't hold app data, it can store downloaded files.
Storage: The 5GB of storage doesn't seem to be a problem when all my documents and spreadsheets are stored in the cloud. That said, I'm looking forward to a future Chrome OS update allowing me to reduce the Linux install size from 3GB to 1.8GB.
Apps: I do need some office productivity apps. I was able to, via the Linux virtual machine, install LibreOffice so that I can work with Microsoft Office files. Text in Android apps look like a blurry mess on this machine (and I've read that they look ridiculous on most Chromebooks), but I did install an Android video player for multimedia playback. Aside from that, I'm just using web pages and web apps like Google Docs.
Remote Access: The only thing that's really been a failure -- I thought a Chromebook could let me log into my Windows 10 desktop remotely from anywhere and use the desktop's i7 and 16GB of RAM and 4GB Nvidia GPU in the smaller form factor of the 11.6 inch Chromebook.
But unless I'm on my home network, the remote access is so slow, delayed and filled with pauses that it's unusable. Thankfully, the Chromebook has Linux and Linux has LibreOffice.
Value: I'm seeing a lot of high end Chromebooks for $700 - $1,500 USD and I'm not sure web apps are worth that kind of money or that blurry Android apps would be all that great. But as a used $0 - $90 item, the Samsung Chromebook 3 at 16GB is pretty perfect for sending emails and instant messages to my friends and the family members I still talk to, for jotting down notes (even offline) and posting on this board. The desktop, I'm reserving for more Serious Work like video editing and design and scripts. The Chromebook is for plain text typing and social media.
Is that actually Jerry O'Connell on location? Or is it his body double?
Funnily enough, his body double in "The Unstuck Man," James Bamford, has gone onto become a regular director and producer on ARROW.
Hmm. Now I'm uncertain -- because SUPERGIRL's history was definitely altered. The fourth season with Lex Luthor fomenting anti-alien aggression and being exposed and killed now never happened; the post-CRISIS episodes make it clear that as far as the populace is concerned, Lex has always been heroic and on the side of aliens as the head of a benign DEO which employs Supergirl. So I guess that's a point in favour of ARROW's continuity having been altered so that Tommy, Moira, Quentin and Emiko never died.
Probably going off topic -- back in 1993, Spider-Man's best friend, Harry Osborn, went insane, became the Green Goblin, tried to kill Peter Parker, had a change of heart, overdosed on the Goblin serum and died in front of Peter (but apologized for his actions and reaffirmed their friendship). However, Peter's next encounter with Harry's legacy was when a post-death plan of Harry's activated where he tricked Peter into thinking Richard and Mary Parker, his parents, had faked their deaths and returned now to be with their son. The parents turned out to be robots programmed by Harry and a pre-recorded video had an insane Harry crowing, "Gotcha," triggering a mental breakdown in Peter that lasted years.
In 2008, Harry Osborn is shown alive and well, saying he's been absent in Europe detoxing from a drug addiction. Harry and Peter have resumed their friendship between issues. A short story in the SPIDER-MAN FAMILY anthology, however, shows Peter finding Harry on his doorstep, alive and well and claiming to have no memory of their last meeting, that his father spirited him away to detox and he is now sober but confused and in need of his friend. Peter slams the door in Harry's face, haunted by the memory of Harry in the Goblin mask sneering, "Gotcha," but Harry persists in reaching out to Peter and Peter realizes he doesn't see the Green Goblin in Harry any more, only his friend.
The creator-owned ASTRO CITY by Kurt Busiek has a one-issue story where a man is haunted by dreams of a woman he is hopelessly in love with but never met in real life. A ghostly figure visits the man and explains to him that in one of those reality warping crossover CRISIS situations, his wife was erased from existence. The ghost offers to remove the memories, but the man chooses to retain them and find peace in knowing that he was loved.
An issue of HULK by Peter David has the Howling Commandos informed that Nick Fury has died. After a stunned silence, they respond with laughter, joking that everyone at the table has been reported dead at one point or another only to turn up alive and they imagine Nick will be back within the customary six to 18 months (and he was).
One of my favourite Marvel characters, Echo (a deaf woman who dated Matt Murdock and is a ninja warrior), was killed off in the 2011 MOON KNIGHT series. Echo reappears in the 2016 DAREDEVIL ANNUAL #1 (v4), running into Daredevil who didn't seem surprised that she was alive. It gave me the impression that they'd met earlier after her resurrection -- or that people come back to life so often in a superhero universe that Daredevil just shrugged it off -- or that the writer had forgotten that Echo had died five years ago.
I like TF's theory of a memory virus (but don't we always like TF's theories?). However, a few years ago, there was an episode of DOCTOR WHO where the Doctor shrieks at a woman to stop sitting on a galaxy destroying weapons cube as it's a galaxy destroying weapons cube and not a chair. The woman replies, "Why can't it be both?"
And fewer years ago, there was an episode where the Doctor's companion, Clara, asks him to take her to see Robin Hood. The Doctor says that Robin Hood is a historical fiction, not a historical figure, but he transports the TARDIS to an approximate year and location but tells her she'll be disappointed. They step out to find Robin Hood in Lincoln green emerging from Sherwood Forest. At the end of the episode, Robin asks the Doctor if it's true that in the future, history will remember Robin as a legend instead of a real person. The Doctor confirms this and says he's still suspicious; Robin Hood is a fictional character. Robin smiles and tells the Doctor, "I'm as real as you are."
Memory virus. Altered timeline. Unaltered timeline with doubles. Why be picky? Let's say it's all of the above.
My question would be: if only beneficiaries of J'onn's telepathy remember the other timeline -- then why didn't everyone remember Kate having rescued Beth-2 from the car? Why weren't the DEO staff happily familiar with all the Brainiac 5s as having always been part of the team with some recollection of them having time travelled in?
But then again, I do note that everyone remembers Lex Luthor having been a paragon of virtue except for the ones whose memories J'onn restored.
Does this mean that Sliders Reborn was part of the crisis officially?
Weren't we all officially part of Crisis?
It's strange -- if "Fadeout" was saying that Earth-1 is now an altered timeline where Tommy survived the Undertaking of Season 1 and Moira survived Slade's murder attempt in Season 2 and Quentin survived Season 6 Emiko survived Season 7 -- then why do Laurel-2 and Thea remember the deaths? Wouldn't they remember this supposedly altered timeline's version and be unaware that some people who were once dead are now alive again (as doubles from an alternate Earth where they didn't die)?
Why are Tommy and Moira and Quentin aware that there was an alternate reality where they perished? Because Thea wonders why Oliver resurrected his mother but not his father (I assume it's because Robert Queen was a murderous little creep). Laurel-2 wonders why Oliver didn't revive Laurel-1 (I assume it's because doing so would have obliterated Laurel-2's development and redemption and he didn't want to take that away).
In addition, if Moira and Tommy had been around for Seasons 2 - 7, the storylines would have unfolded at least a little differently. Which is why I prefer to think that what we saw onscreen is what happened -- and now we have the same reality we had before but with extras and additions that only arrived after CRISIS: an additional Beth in BATWOMAN; an additional Braniac 5s in SUPERGIRL, and an additional Moira / Tommy / Emiko whose doubles on this Earth are dead.
But, not wanting to go all Informant on you: let me be clear that you are in line with the fan consensus that history has been altered.
Clearly, the Arrowverse desperately needed Slider_Quinn21 in the writer's room for this one...
The third installment of SLIDERS REBORN ended with several hundred parallel versions of San Francisco now merged into a single reality within Earth Prime and ended with the sliders standing in downtown San Francisco surrounded by a Blockbuster VHS rental next to a smartwatch shop, Hillary Clinton running for mayor after a one-term presidency, anti-depressant cola ads next to posters warning of illegal sugar sales and other contradictory details. The final installment is set 18 months later where San Francisco is now a joyful melting pot of parallel cultures. Princess Diana is doing book signings. There's a Disneyland in Alcatraz's place. The sliders are keeping the city running and have a company, Sliders Incorporated, which sells 3D printed mini-hamburgers, a popular snack sensation.
Transmodiar had officially checked out of SLIDERS REBORN long before this, but unofficially, he was still involved and he expressed great alarm and concern at this madness, saying this would be very difficult to portray and explore sensibly.
Nigel Mitchell declared that he couldn't wrap his head around this merged San Francisco being a cheery wonderland of limitless possibility, told me that I was insane (in a very polite and sweet Nigel way) and checked out both officially AND unofficially. Slider_Quinn21 stepped up, but because of how my previous writer-editor relationships had been rocky, I changed my tactics. Rather than send him outlines to balk at, I sent Slider_Quinn21 about 5 - 10 script pages per day to read and comment upon.
Slider_Quinn21 remarked that he wondered why the outside world hadn't quarantined San Francisco or what happened when people from different Earths left San Francisco (did they return to their own world or would they be in Earth Prime?). He wondered how the outside world reacted to celebrities they knew to be dead wandering the streets alive.
I proceeded to add a running joke where any time anyone asks how San Francisco can co-exist with the rest of the world(s), the response is that San Francisco has always been the strangest place on Earth and this is nothing new.
There are throwaway lines about Sliders Inc. working with municipal governments to contain and manage the situation. There's a couple pages where Quinn explains that the merged San Francisco is like a bus terminal between parallel worlds with people returning to their own Earth when they leave and with checkpoints set up to make sure that buses and cars don't lose passengers and drivers. Thinking about it, Slider_Quinn21 WROTE those script pages with the bus terminal comparison and I forgot to credit him. Must fix it for the relaunch.
Anyway, Slider_Quinn21, because he had the script pages, understood the authorial intent of a merged San Francisco. He saw that every person in the merged San Francisco was now a slider; that the merged San Francisco of infinite wonder and hope represented SLIDERS as a TV show; and that the story was declaring that each person is a story and every story is a SLIDERS story. And because he was onboard with that, he was willing to play along with the merged San Francisco concept and ask questions and suggest answers to make it more plausible.
The Arrowverse, unfortunately, made the foolish and unwise choice to tell a story with a merged timeline and then not consult Slider_Quinn21 on how to present it or explain it and now we seem to be given slightly different versions and perceiving slightly different results of the merged Earth-1. They will rue the day.
All the recaps take your interpretation whereas I viewed Moira, Tommy, Quentin and Emiko's presence as being along the lines of Beth in BATWOMAN and the Brainiac 5s in SUPERGIRL -- versions from parallel universes folded into Earth 1. I thought Quentin Lance was a double whose mayoral status in his universe was reintegrated into the new Earth 1 the way the aliens and National City in SUPERGIRL and Freeland from BLACK LIGHTNING now exist alongside Central City and Star City.
It could be semantics, but the semantics other fans are choosing are your semantics, not mine. Either way, it's reminiscent of our conversations about the merged San Francisco in SLIDERS REBORN.
In terms of the ARROW resurrections, I don’t think ARROW is saying that Tommy, Moira and Quintin never died — I think it’s saying that they died and these current versions are from a parallel Earth where they survived and they’ve been folded into Earth 1.
It's going to be two weeks since Oliver died before we really get a reaction to it.
Well. I thought it was worth the wait.
I found myself wondering for the first time in EIGHT YEARS -- how the hell did Oliver store SO MANY arrows in that quiver?
More thoughts later. Good night, Oliver and Felicity.
Chibnall says in an interview that this is not a parallel universe Doctor so... TF could be right. I wonder if, playing fast and loose with the lore -- what if TF is right about this being a post-"War Games"/pre-Pertwee Doctor? I don't think it can be Patrick Troughton in disguise necessarily -- but at the end of "The War Games," the Time Lords declare that before condemning the Doctor to being trapped on Earth, they will change his face. Troughton protests, rejects every proposed face and the Time Lords say that they will choose for him.
At the time, regeneration had yet to be established as a death; instead, it was a metatextual nod to the fact that while the Doctor would be a mercurial adventurer in time and space, he would now be played by a different actor who would emphasize different aspects of the character. It was only with the Third Doctor's demise that it was (in contrast to previous stories) presented as a form of death, a death of self, a death of identity, a death of the specific persona. Which means, retroactively, that if the Time Lords forced the Doctor to regenerate in "The War Games," they were executing him. But the Troughton Doctor doesn't protest death; he describes it as a change of what he looks like.
If TF's theory is right, then it's possible that he wasn't forced to regenerate; he was biologically masked/rewritten into a new appearance.
However... it's not just the fact that Ruth doesn't recognize the sonic screwdriver. Ruth does not recognize the term "sonic screwdriver," and refers to it as "that gizmo" derisively and when Jodie Whittaker calls it by name, Ruth declares that she is "smart enough not to need one." The Doctor would never be so disdainful towards a piece of technology that she created herself. Which means that this Doctor never created it. (?)
There's another aspect of DOCTOR WHO lore to consider: "The Brain of Morbius" has the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) telepathically attacked and he sees his previous faces. We see Pertwee, Troughton, Hartnell -- but then we see additional faces before Hartnell. (They were played by various members of the production team.) Fans took this to mean that the Doctor had regenerated in the past, before Hartnell -- but later stories quietly ignored this detail, with "The Five Doctors" confirming that Hartnell was the first Doctor period. However, the Seventh Doctor's era hinted at a mysterious figure in Gallifrey's distant past and curiously, the Doctor began referring to historical Gallifrey figures as though they were his contemporaries.
The Seventh Doctor novels further indicated that at the dawn of Time Lord society was a mysterious Other, a Time Lord who died but whose genetic material were later 're-used' in the biological machines that create Time Lords, whom the novels depicted as a sterile, sexless society. The final Seventh Doctor novel revealed that the Doctor is a reincarnation of this Other, and the "Morbius" faces were this Other's incarnations. However, as time has passed and as more time travel stories have altered the Doctor's past, this history has been thrown into flux with the Eighth Doctor novels having the Doctor at one point remembering both the Other backstory and a childhood with parents. The revived TV show would later present Time Lords as reproducing sexually, so these novels have been gently set aside as a parallel timeline.
Anyway. There is some (ignored) precedent for there having been Doctors before William Hartnell.
I don't see how Jo Martin's 'Ruth' could be the Patrick Troughton Doctor. The Second Doctor created the sonic screwdriver; yet when the Thirteenth Doctor brandishes it, Jo Martin doesn't recognize it. That said -- DOCTOR WHO has always been willing to alter its continuity to suit the present story. The War Doctor was introduced as the incarnation that the subsequent Doctors didn't discuss due to their shame over the Time War -- but the Tenth Doctor never seemed to shut up about his actions during the Time War.
The Third Doctor revealed that he had two hearts to prove that he wasn't human -- but the First Doctor was shown to have a single heartbeat. The TARDIS was named by Susan, the First Doctor's granddaughter who came up with the acronym Time and Relative Dimensions in Space -- except when the Second Doctor meets the Time Lords, they frequently use TARDISes and refer to them as such and TARDISes have existed long before the Doctor's lifespan.
It's not outside the realm of possibility that DOCTOR WHO would revise its history to make room for Jo Martin's Doctor, but the dialogue where she doesn't recognize the Second Doctor's own gadget is so deliberate. That said, so much of "Spyfall" (parts one and two) didn't add up to anything. The James Bond spoof was forgotten by part two. The entire plot of taking out MI6's agents didn't gain any clarity. The alien's plans to use humans as hard drives didn't seem to depend on the Master's involvement. The cross-temporal travels involving the origins of the computer came to nothing.
We had another confusing mess in "Orphan 55" which had some great plot twists and some truly relevant material regarding our environment. But the plot itself is incoherent with a trained soldier dragging civilians into a hostile wasteland to search for another civilian who is never seen on camera again; repetitively having guest-stars charge at the monsters to sacrifice themselves for the regulars; an incomprehensible plan involving hotels and a bomb and family spite.
The Nikola Tesla episode was a solid piece of adventuring in 1903 New York and "Fugitive of the Judoon" was a very solid runaround. But after the tedium of the "Spyfall" premiere, I'm not confident that showrunner Chris Chibnall is imaginative enough to maintain anything more than bland mediocrity and boredom. It's wonderful that Chibnall has approved stories addressing racism, fascism, environmentalism; that he cast the first Punjabi Sikh companion and a woman as the Doctor -- but he doesn't have the storytelling skills to make more of it.
Anyway. I'm betting that Jo Martin is an alternate Second Doctor; someone whom William Hartnell might have regenerated into.
I think I'll have to watch the video and offer my own thoughts, but even before that -- I do think it's very easy for an unmade film to be the epitome of excellence because the imagined product will never exist; it'll never conflict with actual reality.
SUPERGIRL was fun. Great to see Winn again and they're doing a great job of continuing the idea that multiple Earths merged together means doubles inhabiting the same dimension. SUPERGIRL had a terrific sense of fun with Winn throwing up after a recap of CRISIS and Lex knowing Kara's secret is producing a lot of riveting exchanges. Lex declaring it's unfair to hold him responsible for the crimes of an alternate Lex is so willfully deceitful and semi-delusional; the writing is spectacular. Jon Cryer plays it so well, performing it so that Lex on some level even believes this excuse when it's convenient and then will immediately dispense with it to make a threat.
Quality vs. Fondness: BATWOMAN's my favourite Arrowverse show and I genuinely think that the writing is strong. I cried when Parker shrieks at Batwoman (whom she thinks is straight) that Batwoman could never understand being gay and closeted. I wept when Kate's birthday wish comes true with Beth standing at Kate's desk, warmly greeting her twin sister and Kate reacts by slamming Beth into the table, trying to rip off a Mouse-mask that isn't there and shrieking.
These are all the emotions I have felt at contemplating our community here and discovering, oh my goodness, I wasn't the only one in the world to enjoy "As Time Goes By." It's also what I've felt as I've contemplated our longing to be reunited with Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo and believe that the infinity of the multiverse would somehow reunite us with those we loved and lost in a clear and simple story.
Awareness: But I am never blind to BATWOMAN's flaws, of course -- except I don't feel the flaws are (entirely) in the writing. The physical issues with Parker running towards Alice when presumably trying to run away from Alice -- that's blocking and direction. Luke Fox somehow knowing that Kate's been kidnapped when he seems to have no connection or line of contact with the Crows is confusing -- and scenes where his relationship or observation of them were perhaps cut for time.
Budget: Alice escaping the Crows by trouncing two guards strikes me as a budget issue of limited sets, props and extras rather than ineptitude or indifference. Admittedly, it reminds me of Season 5's "Requiem" which suggests a fleet of Kromagg ships descending upon the multiverse but what's onscreen is just a few hallways and like one-fifth of a single Kromagg ship.
At the end of the day, these are TV shows made on CW budgets and there is a learning curve to every show as you work out what you can and can't render with the resources at hand. ARROW spent a whole first season trying to be a Christopher Nolan feature film and producing episodes that looked like a pretentious college-aged soap opera. The LEGENDS OF TOMORROW cast prefer not to discuss their first season.
Post-Crisis Memories: Regarding the post-CRISIS Arrowverse and looking at it in relation to another SLIDERS-situation -- I hope that the mismatched memories situation of all the Arrowverse shows is handled well because I myself didn't handle it well with SLIDERS REBORN.
One of the running jokes of the series: Rembrandt keeps referring to the Season 3 monsters. But Arturo and Wade never know what he's talking about.
Confusion: Slider_Quinn21 was constantly confused by these exchanges. "Why doesn't Arturo remember delivering Rembrandt's baby?" he would ask me. "Why doesn't Wade remember the rock star vampires?" I promised him an explanation was coming.
The fourth installment of REBORN, "Reminiscence," explains that there were two versions of the SLIDERS timeline. The original was where Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo had four seasons of wonderful adventures as Tracy Torme would have written them -- until they encountered Dr. Geiger's Combine experiment which ripped Quinn and all his doubles out of reality, creating shockwaves through the past and present.
A corrupted timeline resulted: the one we saw on FOX and Sci-Fi where episodes aired in the wrong order, where new sliders vanished between adventures, where monsters and magic appeared in Season 3, where Quinn had a new backstory in Season 4 and a present day Season 5 where all Quinn doubles were absent. (Also, the wrong Arturo slid which is why Arturo doesn't remember anything after "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome.")
A restored Quinn later notices that the multiverse is collapsing and he can tell because the worlds are "shrinking," often reduced to the Universal Backlot and the Chandler Hotel.
After reality was repaired between 2000 and 2001, Wade and Arturo remember the original timeline. Rembrandt remembers the TV show version. And Quinn remembers both.
Convolutions: The reason for this was to acknowledge that fans themselves have two versions of the TV show in their hearts: the version that Torme wanted and managed for two seasons and the version that actually aired. This story declares that both are true.
And Slider_Quinn21 liked it and enjoyed "Reminiscence" -- but with the very next script, Slider_Quinn21 was again confused when Rembrandt referred to the radioactive worm and the Dream Masters and Arturo and Wade didn't know what he was talking about. The explanation in the previous installment -- it just didn't land.
Canvas: Transmodiar had warned me repeatedly when reviewing the outlines that I was creating a situation that could be incomprehensible. That it was a problem when the reader has one set of memories -- but the characters have two contradictory versions.
While I usually heeded Transmodiar's warnings to avoid confusion, I disregarded his cautions over clarity in this one specific area. Declaring that all SLIDERS stories belong in the REBORN canvas and that every story counts -- I thought that was more important than Transmodiar's concerns and I thought it was good.
Failure: But Slider_Quinn21 worked on SLIDERS REBORN and edited the final script. And even Slider_Quinn21 didn't understand the explanation for why Rembrandt remembers the Season 3 monsters when Wade and Arturo don't -- at least not until I explained it to him over email. Which means that the script failed. It means that I either didn't convey the information properly or that, as Transmodiar felt, the information was too confusing to be conveyed at all.
The Arrowverse may be in a similar state with the timelines of BLACK LIGHTNING and SUPERGIRL now merged with ARROW / FLASH / LEGENDS.
Success? I hope the Arrowverse will do better and I would hope to learn from it. Currently, the situation seems to be playing it for drama (Braniac 5, Winn and Beth doubles causing characters to contemplate their past and present choices) rather than using it to exposit points of continuity and trivia.
So, BATWOMAN --
Recently, I was telling my film student niece that often, things that I know are good are not necessarily enjoyable for me while the things I find enjoyable are not necessarily good. By this, I mean that I am aware that LAWRENCE OF ARABIA is an excellent feature film, but I find it really slow and tedious. By the same token, I am aware that BATWOMAN is not actually good by any conventional standard of quality. I mean, Alice escaping from the Crows headquarters -- what is that!? What kind of fly by night security organization is this? They have a deadly assassin of a prisoner and their security to hold her and transport her is so meager that she only has to defeat two guards before waltzing out? And BATWOMAN expects us to believe that the Crows are a serious law enforcement operation!
Then there's Kate Kane who, being the lead character of a CW superhero show, magically does not get set ablaze in a gasoline-soaked car because the flames helpfully wait for her to extricate Beth before they ignite. There's the sloppiness of Curtis somehow knowing that Kate's been kidnapped despite no news and no indication that the Crows would notify him and then meandering around the office BEFORE Beth arrives and only after a chat with her does it occur to him to locate Kate via GPS tracker. Then there's the nonsensical situation of having Beth wander into Mouse's trap without dispatching any Crow agents to assist, although admittedly, after their ineptitude with Alice, maybe it's best that they were kept out of this one.
Kate's grief and agony over seeing who Beth would become if she weren't Alice is heartfelt. Kate's guilt over realizing that she could have saved Beth from the car if she'd tried is painful. Rachel Skarsten's performance as Beth versus her work as Alice is astonishing, showing a tenderness and warmth matched with a wonky sense of humour that is strangely like Alice but without the homicidal bent. There's something subtle and beautiful about seeing Beth attempt to masquerade as Alice but where Skarsten plays Alice is a terrifying storybook themed serial killer, Skarsten plays Beth playing Alice as an awkward grad student struggling to maintain composure in an itchy wig.
It's cool that the show seeded this development with a few brief shots of Beth, in the previous episode, wandering around, allowing the viewer to think that it was Alice in disguise.
The sequence where Kate cannot get the trunk of the car open as it's set ablaze is shot with a horrific panic as Kate rips open the backseat of the car but is barred from Beth by the grating and then Beth seizes Kate's face as though knowing that the show can kill her off because even though the actress is on contract, she has another role on the show. Then there's the relief of Kate prying the seat frames open to retrieve her sister before she expires from smoke inhalation, Mary saying that she can see in Beth what Kate wanted to save in Alice and it is so perfect and emotional and meaningful.
BATWOMAN is not a good show by any sensible standard, but it's good in terms of my obsessions. I like lesbians. (Transmodiar once called me a "fag hag," and I value our friendship so much I've decided not to look up what it means.) I like women fighting crime. I like superheroes. I like BATWOMAN, but I wouldn't put it up for any awards. It's sort of like how Slider_Quinn21 once said that he really enjoys Marvel movies, but he doesn't consider them Serious Cinema. Admittedly, the stuff that I would acknowledge as Real Cinema tends to be very long and boring and I'd rather watch Ruby Rose fight crime.
BATWOMAN was very SLIDERS-esque this week, doing Quinn's arc with his father's double in "Gillian of the Spirits," and SUPERGIRL was also very SLIDERS-esque this week with Winn encountering his own Logan St. Clair -- but a bit more like the Professor constantly contending with his double being the Sheriff of Nottingham or a liar who'd faked the sliding technology while cheating on his wife and cleaning out the joint bank account or stealing sliding from Quinn or cheating on his wife with Logan St. Clair.
Oh dear God. Now I have to watch the video. I was hoping you would summarize it and spare me the trouble. Alright fine.
Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!) (405 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
Haven't watched PICARD yet. I've been really busy and distracted and I don't want to welcome Dad home without getting my head in order and cleaning up the house, if that makes any sense. I always imagined Quinn urgently tidying up his basement before the Professor descended into the lab.
I've been rewatching DAWSON'S CREEK (my niece lent me her Amazon Prime account) and it's neat: the later years had Greg Berlanti of the ARROWVERSE running the show. DAWSON'S CREEK mirrors SLIDERS' creative trajectory in many ways: the first two seasons were run by show creator Kevin Williamson who then left the series; the remainder was run by Berlanti and some other producers. Unlike SLIDERS, DAWSON'S CREEK had a subsequent showrunner who respected and loved the show. But just like SLIDERS, DAWSON'S CREEK's later years ran the show into the ground creatively (although viewership held steady). It's very strange: Berlanti and his fellow writers approached DAWSON'S CREEK's third to sixth seasons with the best of intentions but somehow replicated almost all of SLIDERS' errors in Seasons 3, 4 and 5.
Golden Age: Original showrunner Kevin Williamson had crafted Seasons 1 - 2 as intricate blend of dysfunctional teen characters who talked like English professors but expressed the immaturity and insecurity of children. It was semi-autobiographical with Dawson, like Williamson, being a teen filmmaker. Entire episodes were built around Williamson dramatizing his childhood anecdotes. There was also a frank but tender attitude to sexuality: the characters discussed sex in terms both clinical and romantic without being tawdry.
Necessary Contrivances: In the DVD commentaries, Williamson said that the show was hard to write. The creative Dawson, the academic Joey, the troubled Jen and the dysfunctional Pacey were not cops or lawyers, so every episode needed to find some contrived crisis or goal to create drama whether it was Dawson trying to make a football movie when he hates sports, Joey and Pacey trying to avoid failing a class through a remedial extracurricular, Jen in trouble for getting in a fight with a teacher over euthanasia or Pacey having an affair with a teacher. In the second season, Williamson noted, he hurriedly introduced new characters for the year to create new situations and problems because Dawson, Joey, Jen and Pacey alone would never do anything but sit around and talk.
The Exodus: After the second season, Williamson left the show; he was committed to scripting the SCREAM film series and no longer had time to run DAWSON'S CREEK and drifted farther and farther into films. Berlanti, Paul Stupin (SWITCHED AT BIRTH) and many other writers stepped up -- and they promptly stumbled. The first eight episodes of DAWSON'S CREEK become ridiculously oversexualized with Dawson running a strip club out of his house one episode and women now filmed as though they're Kari Wuhrer in Season 3 of SLIDERS. There's also an emphasis on fist fights, arguments, and the hyperchatty Dawson and Pacey are suddenly throwing punches at each other like they're Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Maggie in Season 3.
Overzealous: It's strange: the writers were attempting to continue Williamson's highly sexual content and intense interpersonal interactions, but they misjudged the tone: they went from earnest and sweet in the sexuality to lewd and objectifying, and before the halfway mark, they began urgently pulling back from this.
The middle of the season attempts to tone down the antics and refocus on high school drama in a more restrained fashion, but then the writers miscalculate as well. As the writers had Pacey and Joey developing feelings for each other and hiding it from Dawson, they adopted a more severe tone to the writing that, while well-scripted, lacked the quippy humour and self-aware charm of Williamson's writing. Pacey becomes a vigilante defending Joey's artwork; Dawson has a nervous breakdown when his student film is poorly received -- and DAWSON'S CREEK takes a less offensive but joyless spin into grim, depressing stories much like the back nine of SLIDERS in Season 3 where the sliders are perpetually confronting corpses and monstrosity and death and doom.
The writers attempted to reduce the sexual extremes, but they unfortunately made the series too serious and not a lot of fun to watch, very much like Season 4's attempts to rebrand SLIDERS from comedy to seriousness with a home invasion and rape camps.
Season 3 Quinn Syndrome: In addition, when Dawson finds out that Pacey and Joey are an item, the third season Dawson is suddenly scripted as a vengeful, petty brute who seeks to humiliate Pacey at every turn -- a far cry from the self-absorbed but considerate and gentle character of Seasons 1 - 2 and alarmingly similar to Quinn Mallory becoming the volatile lunatic of latter Season 3 episodes of SLIDERS. In trying to allow Pacey to grow from being the dysfunctional friend to someone whom the bookish Joey could see as an equal, DAWSON'S CREEK accidentally turned their title character into a villain.
Overrestrained: In Season 4, these same writers, recognizing the oversexuality, overhostility and overseverity of Season 3, attempt to pull back. Dawson is scripted with calm gentleness and apologizes for his violence and vindictiveness of the previous season and the warring friends make peace. The sexuality is dialed down to interpersonal romance rather than physicality. The arguments are presented with a high level of restraint. The teen drama issues are scaled back. But the result is that in trying not to be overly sexual, overly antagonistic or overly serious, Season 4 of DAWSON'S CREEK ends up not being much of anything.
The Bill Dial School of Screenwriting: Entire episodes plant the characters in a hospital or a house or a restaurant and then have them converse aimlessly about their feelings without moving the story along -- very much like a fifth season episode of SLIDERS where characters restate known information to pad out the running length. In addition, Season 4 episodes are devoid of outside crisis or incident or goals that force the characters into action; instead, school assignments, academic problems and personal objectives are in the background while in the foreground are... Dawson, Joey and Pacey conversing about their feelings at a party, then at one of their houses, then at school.
One episode has Dawson go on a roadtrip and spend the entire episode stranded between destinations due to a flat tire to stretch the story to fill the hour, very much like "The Great Work" and "Map of the Mind," and the show became so unwatchable that I couldn't make it to the fifth and sixth seasons.
Best Intentions: DAWSON'S CREEK did not become offensively bad like SLIDERS. Its third season featured a perpetually confused tone, going too far into sexuality and retreating, then going too far into serious seriousness before retreating again.
You could feel the writers' boldness and then their apologetic withdrawal in Season 3. And you could feel their timidity in Season 4: they went too far last year, they're now trying to be restrained as possible. They're not trying to hurt their show; they have complete respect for their show -- but they tried to change it and it was disastrous; they tried to imitate the previous incarnation and it was awkward; now they're staying within a limited, suffocating formula of inoffensiveness and have become indecisive and hesitant and now their show is slow, tedious, boring and impossible for me to follow because I started going into a mental coma when watching even when there were two seasons left to go.
The Return: I did skip to the end -- where original showrunner Kevin Williamson returned to write the two part finale which is set five years in the future in order to show where all the characters ended up / avoid having to address the Season 6 plots. Suddenly, all his missing skills return to the series: Dawson is struggling to complete a season-ending script for a TV show based on his life; Pacey is struggling to run his new restaurant; Joey is struggling to deal with an unwanted marriage proposal; Jen is struggling with some health issues -- and these situations unfold in the course of the characters having conversations about their feelings which are affected by the arcs.
Each scene has the characters attempting to accomplish something in the course of their conversations instead of standing around one of the sets making idle chatter until the commercial break. The sexuality is presented with amusement, charm and a sense of romance; the Serious Life Issues in the stories are explored with humour and tragedy. At one point, a character bans crying or histrionics and insists on laughter in the face of personal crisis.
DAWSON'S CREEK is bizarre, but it does show how, even with the best of intentions, shows with leaders who suddenly leave can lose their way even when his successors are committed and devoted. DAWSON'S CREEK's scripts at their best came from a writer who was mining his personal life for content, and when that writer wasn't there anymore, the show became incredibly confused, and DAWSON'S CREEK (and SLIDERS) may be a strong argument for TV shows to be staff driven rather than being defined by a single voice who might leave.
Okay, Trevorrow's EPISODE IX has been leaked, reviewed by a YouTuber and confirmed as genuine by Trevorrow himself.
Why a backdoor pilot? It seems to be the result of a strange contractual situation where CW ordered ten episodes of ARROW, but Stephen Amell only wanted to do 13 episodes this year which production distributed across nine episodes of arrow, one episode of THE FLASH, one episode of SUPERGIRL, one episode of BATWOMAN and one episode of LEGENDS) -- which meant that for one episode of ARROW, Stephen Amell would not be present. Wondering how to fill the hour, the thought came to make Mia Smoak the star of the show for one episode and even a sequel series.
I’ve watched BATWOMAN, SUPERGIRL and GREEN ARROW AND THE CANARIES, but Slider_Quinn21 and Temporal Flux had so many interesting points that I want to respond to the CRISIS stuff first.
On Parallel Universes and Stacks
While I personally don’t get too much into the ‘science’ of fictional realities, I thought CRISIS did some interesting things stylistically. Slider_Quinn21 remarked upon SMALLVILLE feeling out of place; I’d argue that in a multiverse-spanning adventure, each world should be quite different.
The pastoral, rural look of the SMALLVILLE sequence with the gentler editing and slower pacing was very different from the more propulsive styles of ARROW and THE FLASH (on a good day). The score lifted from Mark Snow’s original soundtrack, with Snow’s subtle synthesizer being significantly different from the bombastic Arrowverse music.
And when we saw Earth-1996 with Brandon Routh’s Superman, the music again switched to the 70s orchestral style of John Williams. Each universe had its own filmic language, its own specific flourishes, its own interpretation of the DC mythology – and despite being remarked upon sparingly, there was a certain instinctive sense of reasoning to Superman looking like Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh and Tom Welling because each actor fit the surrounding style of visual storytelling that was specific to each Earth.
The fact that it didn’t make logical sense or ‘scientific’ sense, to me, was less relevant than the fact that it made emotional sense.
And with Ezra Miller appearing – I feel like that’s something unique and special to the Arrowverse showrunners. In the past, superhero adaptations have had a certain dismissiveness to the source material: 1966 BATMAN played it all for mocking laughs, Zack Snyder has decried the benevolent, non-lethal Batman of the comics as childish, SMALLVILLE presented Superman’s father as a villain.
But the ARROWVERSE, starting with THE FLASH, cast the previous Flash actor to play the new Flash’s father and paid grand tribute to the 1990s show, even having some of the original actors play older versions of their roles (Mark Hamill as the Trickster, Amanda Pays as Tina McGee). And CRISIS, despite not making rational sense in showing Ezra Miller and Brandon Routh and Tom Welling and Burt Ward and Ashley Scott and Dina Meyer, declared that all versions of these characters are valid and true and meaningful – and that, to me, is far more important than what Ezra’s Barry was doing in the Speed Force. By featuring all the Season 3 monsters, it was declaring that they too are part of SLIDERS and they all have a place in the SLIDERS mythology because they are stories and every story ever written is a SLIDERS story and – sorry, I’m getting off track.
I thought something was really off in this week’s BATWOMAN – specifically, the blocking and arrangement of the actors. Despite a very strong script where Kate Kane is confronted by a heteronormative press that assumes Batwoman must be a straight girl, a powerful moment where an angry and outed lesbian assumes Batwoman couldn’t possibly understand her grief, and a beautiful moment of the kid apologizing to Kate for assuming she was straight – the episode doesn’t make a lot of visual sense. And, as I said above, while superhero shows don’t need to make rational sense, they need to make stylistic sense.
How the hell does Kate stop a runaway train with a grapple gun? The average train car is going to weigh 80,000 pounds and trains would have at least eight cars. Even if the steel cable held, the grapple hook would have ripped out of any surface it adhered to long before the train was yanked to a halt. And how does Slam Bradley spot a streak of metal flying towards Kate’s head and move fast enough to knock her out of the way?
When Kate and Alice are grappling in the school hallway and Kate tells young Parker to run, why does Parker run towards Alice and past her, politely allowing Alice to hit her in the head and knock her unconscious? Why then does Alice drag Parker away but leave Kate to locate them in the one part of the school their in and how does Kate immediately arrive without needing to search?
Why does Kate stand at a distance from Alice holding Parker hostage when Alice is holding an unwieldy power saw that is far too heavy to move quickly and which Kate, even at a distance, could quickly jam with a batarang or rip away from Alice with a cable? Why does Kate allow Alice to hold Parker captive?
Why does Slam Bradley see a school being evacuated due to a bomb threat and then RUN into the school to tell the already evacuating people to evacuate and then follow them out the very entrance he came in?
The direction is so amateur and unprofessional and the script creates a lot of physical requirements to make the scenes above work and the editing and blocking don’t address the problems but in fact blatantly emphasize and add to them.
The acting was great, though, particularly Ruby Rose’s stunned silence at Parker snapping at Batwoman that Batwoman couldn’t possibly understand being closeted but then outed. And when Beth shows up at the end and Kate slams Beth into a table and tries to rip off a mask that isn’t there and starts shrieking, “Who are you?” I felt tears come into my eyes and wondered if this was an escaped Alice having another mental episode.
SUPERGIRL, however, suggests from the multiple Brainiac 5s, that the Beth at the end of BATWOMAN could be from a parallel Earth that’s been folded into Earth-1. It’s interesting: despite Oliver restoring the multiverse and all the lost realities and the SMALLVILLE reality as established by the CRISIS finale and showrunner Marc Guggenheim – Supergirl and her friends are operating on the assumption that all Earths were folded into Earth 1 and that there is no more multiverse.
It was neat how SUPERGIRL acknowledges that it has an easy out to reset the Kara/Lena friendship much as SMALLVILLE regularly used amnesia, but SUPERGIRL declines and has Lena retain all her recollections. It’s a very enjoyable episode although I question the use of random pop music for fight scenes, a trait SUPERGIRL seemed to develop with this year’s premiere.
It’s interesting how SUPERGIRL demonstrates that the Arrowverse continuity is now subjecting superheroes to situations I never expected to see outside of comic books. Supergirl remembers an entire life that won’t sync up to her surroundings, something Superman has had to endure after numerous reality warping crossovers.
Superman confessed in the SUPERMAN REBORN (hmm) plotline that he remembers multiple versions of his origin story becomes he’s been combined from so many different timelines; that he’s never entirely sure if his parents died when he was a child or an adult or if they’re even alive today. It’s obsessive, detail-oriented geekiness that I assumed wouldn’t ever be present in a mainstream TV show, but the Arrowverse is delving into the cognitive dissonance of superheroes with lives of lengthy continuity issues.
There was a hilarious issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN once where Harry Osborn reveals to Peter Parker that he was once the Green Goblin and Peter exasperatedly reminds Harry that he already knew that and Harry apologizes, saying that with all the amnesia and mindwipes and voodoo, it’s hard to remember who knows what. There was another delightful, multi-year arc where the Norman Osborn gets angry because he once knew Spider-Man’s true identity but it’s somehow been erased from his mind by a magical spell mixed with a global nanotechnology enmeshed with Inhuman genetic rewriting.
I never expected to see anything like that but here we are in SUPERGIRL where Kara goes to tell Lena all about the Crisis only to discover Lena already knows.
Uh. I thought Dreamer and Brainiac 5 broke up because of Brainy’s compulsive gift-giving. But I’ve had so much going on in Real Life that I may have forgotten the episode where they reconciled.
Green Arrow and the Canaries
As a backdoor pilot, I am very concerned that GREEN ARROW AND THE CANARIES (a) has a cliffhanger that could go unresolved should the CW decline to order it to series and (b) has a somewhat convoluted continuity with the Mia Smoak we know inhabiting a world that is mismatched to her memories. That said, I really enjoyed GREEN ARROW AND THE CANARIES and fervently hope for a series.
My niece recently remarked that every TV show I obsess over (BLINDSPOT, THE BLACKLIST, THE INSIDE, WYNONNA EARP, BATWOMAN, SHADOWHUNTERS) is about a woman with a traumatic past who now fights crime and now ARROW is rebranding itself as the kind of show I like to watch and with Kathryn MacNamara (of SHADOWHUNTERS) as a bow-wielding warrior with a troubled past and a crimefighting present.
I love the Dinah and Laurel-2 partnership that’s been established so beautifully over the past several seasons of ARROW and the Mia Smoak character is spectacular with her sardonic rage and savage combat skills which MacNamara embodies with such disarming charm and physicality.
I assumed that when the multiverse was rebuilt, Oliver/Spectre placed Laurel and Dinah in 2040 to help Mia... unless I'm wrong and the characters are meant to be 20 years older than the actors.
That said, I confess – I actually needed a few minutes to remind myself of who JJ and Connor were and which Laurel this was and where we’d last seen Mia in the 2019 episodes of CRISIS – because I’ve had so much going on in Real Life that I’d forgotten exactly who these people were and had to remind myself by going on the Arrowverse Wiki. Which is bizarre: it declares that Laurel-2’s father was an “unnamed man” and links to an entry for “Unnamed Man (Laurel-2’s father)” – when one would think we could assume that it was a parallel version of Quintin Lance.
Ooooh, LEGENDS is back!
Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!) (405 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)
Eeeeeeeeeeeek! It's like getting Professor Arturo back.