Saturday, May 31, 2014

Batman: The Animated Series - Episodes 1-6 Reviews

Last week I mentioned that I would be taking on Batman: The Animated Series for reviewing purposes and here is the first blog to do. On average, I'm going to try and tackle the majority of the 85 episodes (if not all of them) over the summer with each blog taking on between four to six episodes (two parters counted as one review) and hopefully a new blog once a week too. So let's get started, shall we ...

Episodes 1 & 2: The Cat And The Claw

These reviews will be in order of transmission rather than production or the way they're slotted on the DVD. This opening two parter certainly didn't feel like an opening story with Batman (Kevin Conroy) already being an established force in Gotham but it was however an opening story for Catwoman (Adrienne Barbeau), who along with being a cat burglar was also something of an animal rights activist, which was a vital component of this story. With Catwoman not being quite the antagonist, it fell to European gangster Red Claw (Kate Mulgrew) to provide the villainy of the episode, including a scene where she gave the Dark Knight a lesson in gender politics. As an opening story, it's an utterly enjoyable piece from start to finish with some nice action scenes, flirtations between the Bat and the Cat, a great female antagonist and a wonderfully bittersweet last scene. 8/10

Episode 3: On Leather Wings

Originally the first episode to be made, this one was noteworthy for the introduction of Dr Kirk Langstrom and his more sinister/tragic alter ego, ManBat (Marc Singer) and it's a pretty solid story. The transformation from Kirk to ManBat was a great feat for the series and while I certainly enjoyed the scenes between ManBat and Batman, I do feel that we could've had a little more of them. Thankfully the character would be revisited later on in the series but for an opening story, it was a nice way of tackling one of the more ambiguous members of the Rogues Gallery. 7/10

Episode 4: Heart Of Ice

August would usually be the time for some continued hot weather but thanks to a certain arrival in Gotham, the city has been experiencing more colder conditions than usual. Mr Freeze (Michael Ansara), like ManBat is another one of those Rogue Gallery types who cannot be written off as a straight up villain. He's a sympathetic, tragic figure, turned into the cold hearted creature he's become due to a calculating boss's lack of sympathy and the ailing condition of his own wife Nora as well. I liked that this episode showed a rounded side to a wonderful character and that while Batman might have stopped Freeze from getting revenge on Ferris Boyle, the Caped Crusader also made sure that Boyle paid for his crimes as well. A truly stunning character piece. 9/10

Episodes 5 & 6: Feat Of Clay

I have to admit that despite the abilities that Clayface possessed, he wasn't initially one of my favourites from the Rogues Gallery but I had actually forgotten how enjoyable his opening story was with hot tempered actor, Matt Hagen (Ron Perlman) becoming a victim of his own obsession to stay young when Daggatt (a recurring menace throughout the series) and his goons caused his transformation into Clayface. This two parter was something to behold with Hagen embracing his new role and trying his damndest to enact revenge on the people that destroyed his life while coming up with the best death scene as well. It's one of those stories that genuinely surprised me with how enjoyable it turned out to be. 8/10

Next blog will tackle It's Never Too Late, Joker's Favour, Pretty Poison and Nothing To Fear.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 1x03: Resurrection

Well, this was certainly a little different to the first two episodes. This week was definitely a bit more insightful than what we've previous gotten as we got to know one character a little better than before.

Written by John Logan
Directed by Dearbhla Walsh

What Are Humans Like? That's the question that's been at the heart of Victor's original creation, which still doesn't have a proper name (though Caliban and Demon were suggestions). Rory Kinnear gave something of an exceptional performance in this episode, highlighting the confusion, anger, rejection and fear his unnamed monster experienced since his birth and his scenes both with Harry Treadaway and Alun Armstrong as a stage owner of the Grand Guignol certainly dominated a lengthy portion of the episode. Thankfully they were also the best scenes of the episode, adding some genuine dimensions to Kinnear's monster as he made it clear to his creator to make him a girlfriend or else. Victor's response to being threatened however was something of a surprise in a way.

Threaten Me With Life: When you're Victor and everyone you've loved (your dog, mother, Proteus) are all dead, then threatened with having loved ones killed will probably ring a little hollow. This episode actually highlighted how alone Victor has become with Proteus slaughtered and his original creation rejecting him as well but despite some questionable actions on Victor's part, he does seem to be man with a moral compass. He certainly didn't waste time in needling Ethan about his own violent past and he was also quick to warn Malcolm that whatever happened to Fenton (Olly Alexander) was their burden to share. I know I keep saying it but again, Victor definitely has become my favourite character of this series so far.

Your Master: As for the main-ish plot of the week - we had Vanessa get a cryptic visit from Mina (when are we going to meet her properly?), the gang then heading off to London Zoo at night where when Ethan wasn't getting acquainted with the wolves, Vanessa was encountering underling boy, Fenton and Malcolm more or less admitted that he was using the clairvoyant as bait, which Vanessa didn't seem all too thrilled about for some reason. There was so mumblings about Amunet but nothing that really progressed the story, though I did enjoy the mentions of Jonathan Harker and I don't think it takes too much to assume that Fenton's ubiquitous master is none other than Dracula.

Not So Dynamic Duo: Vanessa and Sir Malcolm might be two of the most interesting characters on this show but I can't be the only one somewhat perturbed by the fact that Malcolm's treatment of her can be a bit questionable as well. So far, he's openly lying to her about the whole Amunet prophecy, used her as bait to snare Fenton and even warned Ethan off her as well when they were at London Zoo during the night. Perhaps he's still blaming her for Mina's fate or maybe he's trying to protect her in his own way but I do think that at some point, a proper rift may emerge between the two of them if Malcolm isn't a little more forthcoming with things to Vanessa though.

Live Up To The Name: This episode might have been devoid of Reeve Carney's Dorian Gray but we did get one scene with Brona Croft (Billie Piper's Northern Ireland accent still needs to be worked on) and that mainly involved her shagging Ethan and being somewhat accepting of her consumption as well. However we did have a later scene where Ethan discussed Brona's fate with Vanessa, with the latter seemingly being nonchalant about Brona's fate too. I am hoping at some point we do get to see both Brona and Vanessa interact with each other (seeing as they're the only main female characters) and that we also get some more insight into Sembene but other than that, this was a rather delightful episode.

Next week both Vanessa and Dorian catch up with each and Victor has pressure applied to him to make a girlfriend for his original creation.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Doctor Who - Foxes To Guest Star In Series 8

I have to admit I was surprised to see this come up on my feed this morning but it seems a certain pop star will be guest appearing in an upcoming episode of Series 8 of Doctor Who.

Foxes, aka Louisa Rose Allen will be appearing in an upcoming episode and performing a song as well. The singer known for her songs Clarity, Youth and Let Go For Tonight spoke of her casting ...

"I can't believe I'm actually going to be in an episode of Doctor Who! Especially as it all came about from a chance meeting. I was playing a gig and got chatting to the show's production team who'd been watching my performance. I was telling them how much I loved Doctor Who and next thing they invited me to be on it. I couldn't think of a better place to make my acting debut than on one of the UK's most iconic shows!"

You know what though? I'm intrigued by the casting and while some fans are already complaining about stunt casting, need I point out that both Kylie Minogue and Katherine Jenkins did fine when they appeared in both Voyage Of The Damned and A Christmas Carol respectively? There's no reason why Foxes can't do well either in whatever episode she'll be appearing in. The episode that features the singer will also resolve a plot point involving a certain phone call, according to executive producer Steven Moffat.

Could we finally be getting to see something that was promised back at the end of The Big Bang? Either way, this episode sounds intriguing and going by recent filming pictures, it seems that the Doctor, Clara and Danny are in a 1920s themed episode that may also feature mummies too. Filming for the fourth block is nearly completed with the fifth block (comprising of episode 9) to begin next month.

Foxes Casting:

Doctor Who - Series 8 will air on BBC1 and BBCAmerica in August.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Daredevil - Lead Role Cast For Netflix Series

It wasn't so long ago that Netflix announced that they were intending to do four series based on various Marvel characters and now it seems that when it comes to Daredevil, we know who will be playing the lead role.

Charlie Cox, best known for his roles in both Stardust and Boardwalk Empire will be taking on the role of blind lawyer Matt Murdock and his more heroic alter ego, Daredevil. Having seen Cox previous work, I have to admit that I think he's a great choice for the role and while Daredevil isn't necessarily one of my favourite heroes, I am excited to see what he will bring to the series when it finally does air. Another reason to be excited however is the person who will be show running the series.

At first it was going to be Drew Goddard (Buffy The Vampire, Angel and Lost) but as he's now left the project, it will be Steven DeKnight (also Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and also Spartacus) who will be taking over the running of the show, which will run for a first season of 13 episodes like most Netflix shows tend to do. However while Goddard has stepped down as executive producer, he will still have a consulting role on the series, which is due to begin filming during the summer.

More Information:

Daredevil will premiere on Netflix in 2015.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

First Look: Dominion

For fans of SyFy, it seems that not only will the second season of Defiance be returning within the next month but there's also a delightfully apocalyptic themed series named Dominion also due to air fairly soon as well. The series, created by Peter Schink and Scott Stewart will focus on an army of lower angels assembled by the archangel Gabriel having waged a war of possession against mankind and there's only one other archangel who can stop this. This series is also based on the 2010 movie, Legion and character descriptions for the main players are below ...

Archangel Michael as played by Tom Wisdom (Coronation Street) is the greatest of the Archangel warriors and chose to side with humanity during the Extermination War, the only one of his kind to do so. Turning against his fellow angels and his brother, Gabriel, Michael was instrumental in helping humanity defeat the angels during the Extermination War. He is now Vega’s sworn protector, and has watched over Alex his entire life and protects him against his brother.

Gabriel as played by Carl Beukes (Silent Witness) is an Archangel warrior and Michael's brother. Gabriel assembled and led the army of lower angels to wage war against mankind. During the Extermination War, Gabriel wiped out most of the human race. Michael was only able to stop him from totally annihilating the populace when he turned against his fellow angels and his brother, and helped humanity defeat them.

Alex Lannon as played by Chris Egan (Home & Away) a young soldier and member of Vega’s Archangel Corps, an elite unit charged with the protection of Vega’s aristocracy. Alex was abandoned by his father, Jeep, at a young age. He found a new family in the military, and rose through the ranks to The Corps. Alex and Claire are in love, having met when he was assigned as a guard for House Riesen and have since developed a secret relationship, despite relationships between the ruling and soldier classes being strictly forbidden.

Other members of the cast include Roxanne McKee (Hollyoaks, Game Of Thrones) as Claire Riesen, the daughter and heir apparant to Edward Riesen as played by Alan Dale (Neighbours, Ugly Betty), Anthony head (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Merlin) Senator David Whele - one of Vega’s ruling class as well as Rosalind Halstead and Shivani Ghai. Having looked at the trailer for this series, it certainly looks like one of SyFy's better efforts and with not too much on during the summer months, it could do pretty well for them too. It certainly looks worth giving a go at least.

Season 1 Trailer:
Cast Pictures:

Dominion airs Thursdays 9pm on SyFy from June 19th. A UK broadcaster has yet to be confirmed.

Monday, May 26, 2014

First Look: Galavant

We've had Glee (which will be over in 2015), we've had Smash (which bombed after two seasons) and we still just about have Nashville (which my sister loves and I enjoy it too). Now thanks to ABC (again), we can add another musical themed series to the roster ....

Galavant - created by Dan Fogelman, Alan Menken, and Glenn Slaterand starring Joshua Sasse focuses on the titular character being once known for his dragon slaying and general acts of heroism until the love of his life Madalena was kidnapped by King Richard (Timothy Omundson) and our hero became somewhat slack in his duties until the arrival of Princess Isabella of Valencia who needs Galavant to get his act together so she can get her kingdom back from King Richard.

Having watched the trailer for this upcoming series, don't expect this show to take itself seriously. It's rather unashamedly cheesy to the hilt with Richard being more camp than sinister and Galavant himself is something of a douche as well. However, it actually does look like a lot of fun and while it could really go either way, it's one of the few other series aside from Agent Carter that seems genuinely worth getting into from ABC and even Vinnie Jones as Richard's henchman doesn't seem so off-putting either.

Season 1 Trailer:

Galavant will air on ABC later in the 2014-2015 TV season.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Doctor Who - Series 8: First Trailer

And here I thought we'd have to wait a little longer for some kind of trailer but it seems that last night, the BBC were feeling generous and gave us a tiny teaser for Series 8 of Doctor Who.

The 16 second trailer showed a glimpse of the Twelfth Doctor as played by Peter Capaldi inside a fiery TARDIS and the slogan ... the new Doctor lands this August. Which means that we have a little over three months left to witness Peter Capaldi in action but while we're waiting some filming pictures of the latest block have emerged ...

The show might have been filming in Lanzarote last week but Jamie Mathieson's upcoming episode also had some filming in Wales too with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Ellis George and Hermione Norris seen filming in spacesuits during the week. There's been some rumours that George's character, Courtney might be another companion but it's also a possibility that she's just helping the Doctor and Clara out in this one episode (a similar deal with Angie and Artie in Nightmare In Silver) but so far no signs of Samuel Anderson as Coal Hill teacher Danny Pink though. While Paul Wilmshurst is currently directing this block of episodes, the next block will be taken on by American director, Rachel Talalay.

Series 8 Trailer:
Filming Pics:

Doctor Who - Series 8 will air on BBC1 and BBCAmerica from August.

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 1x02: Seance

With the show currently airing now on SkyAtlantic, this recap/review is somewhat early so if you haven't seen the second episode of Penny Dreadful, look away now. If you have, then proceed right ahead.

Written by John Logan
Directed by J.A Bayona

A Crack In The Glass Table: This episode introduced three new characters, all of whom made an instant impression and the first one I'm going to talk about is Helen McCrory's psychic, Madame Kali as the main plot point of this episode revolved around a seance at Ferdinand Lyle's house. However the reason why Kali stood out wasn't because she had the ability to unnerve people with her gifts but it was mainly because something had possessed Vanessa and when it wasn't revealing some sordid secrets of Sir Malcolm's, it was making everyone else including Kali quite uncomfortable. I have to admit that at first the scene played out a little farcical before eventually getting a little scary but overall, I get the impression that Kali wasn't all too pleased that someone else stole her psychic thunder though.

It's Gaelic: And the award for the strangest attempt of a Northern Irish accent goes to Billie Piper folks. Brona Croft was presented here as a hard drinking prostitute who flirted with both Ethan Chandler and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) but her accent will undoubtedly take some getting used to. It's not quite as bad as I thought it would be but it's certainly distracting in parts though. As for Brona's story - we know that she's got consumption but it didn't stop Dorian from seducing her even if she did spit blood on him at one point. Will Brona make it out of the first season alive? After all she's the only other main female character on the show aside from Vanessa at the moment. Speaking of whom ...

No Gloves: This episode raised a lot more questions about Vanessa in general and her relationship with Sir Malcolm Murray. It also placed her path directly into Dorian Gray, who flirted with her before the seance spoiled the evening's events. I know Vanessa's going to be key to everything but the idea of an Egyptian goddess (Amunet) being inside her wasn't something I expected, though I am thinking there's more to it than we've been told so far. Eva Green as an actress though continues to be thoroughly charismatic in the role and Vanessa in full possession mode was quite the performance alright.

Who Am I?: Probably the most touching in this whole episode was the friendship/connection that Victor Frankenstein had with his newly named creature, Proteus (Alex Price) and it's a shame their interactions came to a violent ending courtesy of Frankenstein's first monster but at the same time, what an entrance for Rory Kinnear though. It's a shame Proteus didn't survive the episode because his delight in discovery things such as gaslights, animals and chestnuts had a wonderful innocent charm to it and his quest for wanting friends revealed a lot about his creator as well. As you can probably tell, I really did enjoy all the scenes with Victor and Proteus the most in this week's episode. It's just a shame we won't get any more now.

Don't Tell Her Anything: This episode really wasn't Sir Malcolm's, was it? He might have gotten Victor on his side but when he wasn't having a possessed Vanessa telling everyone that he was a lousy father to Mina, he was also having Ferdinand telling him to lie to Vanessa as well. I'm not sure if withholding vital information about Egyptian gods and the dangers they pose will be a smart move on Malcolm's part and I'm also not entirely sure if Ferdinand is that much of an ally either. There's something about him that seems a little off though. However, I have to admit that this episode was actually a lot stronger than the first one and two episodes in, Penny Dreadful has certainly become worthwhile to watch.

Next week we see the gang hunting for wolves as Victor faces the wrath of his first creation and Vanessa sees a certain dead girl once again.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Batman/Superman Movie - Official Title Revealed

After months of speculation, the upcoming movie that will feature both The Dark Knight and the Man Of Steel finally has it's title revealed and it's called ...

Yes, it's called Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. As titles go, it doesn't exactly blow me away but it does seem fitting for a movie that will see Henry Cavill's Superman meet up with Ben Affleck's Batman and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman and with filming for the movie begun, hopefully more interesting spoilers and casting news won't be too far off as well.

As for Batman: The Animated Series, I will start reviewing the series from next week with a post covering about five or six episodes (two parters discussed as a single episode) and probably posted at least once a week over the summer after rewatching the episodes in question. Whether or not I will take on Batman: The New Adventures, I'm not sure but if I do it will be in the same format. In terms of other animated shows (The Brave And The Bold, Beware The Batman etc), I don't plan to look at them for now but that could also change later, depending on time and how I get on with tackling Batman: The Animated Series.

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice will be released in cinemas from May 6th 2016.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

True Blood - Season 7 Official Trailer

Sookie: They're coming for every goddamn human in this town!

With a month to go (exactly), a full trailer for the seventh and final season of True Blood has been released and it looks like things are going to get really messy in Bon Temps.

The opening episode, Jesus Gonna Be Here will take place straight from the previous season finale and while the Hep V vampires are certainly going to be a prominent presence in the last season, they may not be the actual threat of the season. Instead, we'll see whether or not humans and vampire can get along with each other as they become more entwined with each other due to Sam's new arrangement as Mayor of Bon Temps.

However the vampires do pose a threat as they seem to be increasing and attacking everyone and we do get to see some violent confrontations with them and the main characters in the trailer. Tara is even seen taking a few of them out as is new regular Violet as well. In terms of a baddie, one hasn't definitely been named beyond a character named Mr. Gus (Will Yun Lee).

Not only that but we also seem to be seeing certain members of Bon Temps (Maxine for example) getting a little trigger happy while other members of the community also seem to be holding Sookie responsible for the current carnage that's happening. In the second episode, I Found You, both Sookie and Jason investigate another town in order to find a clue about the ongoing madness this season.

As for returning characters - aside from the main cast, recent reports have suggested that we will be seeing Sarah Crabtree (Newlin) once again as well as Lettie Mae and even Adele in a rather cryptic flashback or dream sequence along with some new blood. However according to Brian Buckner, the focus will be mostly on our core characters for the final year, which makes sense and should also mean no superfluous subplots that have hindered previous seasons as well.

As for other spoilers - expect Jessica to continue to make amends with Andy and Adilyn, a Bill/Sookie/Alcide triangle, Eric to be alive (was there any doubt?), Bill to seek redemption along with Lettie Mae not having Hep V (phew) as well as the deaths of some of the show's favourite characters as well. I have to admit the trailer didn't initially blow me away when I first watched it a few days ago but now, the last season is looking rather exciting.

Season 7 Trailer:

True Blood - Season 7 will air on HBO Sundays at 9pm from June 22nd and Mondays at 9pm on FOXUK from July 7th.

Coronation Street - Who Kills Tina McIntyre?

It was only last month that EastEnders kicked off their own murder mystery saga with the death of Lucy Beale and despite Coronation Street announcing their murder mystery months in advance, it's only a matter of days before it kicks into action.

Tina McIntyre - the feisty (yes, I know how meaningless that description for female characters has become nowadays) barmaid played by Michelle Keegan has been on the show since January 2008, when initially she was brought in as a love interest for David Platt. Since then she's been involved with various men folk, had a close friendship with Rita Tanner (Barbara Knox), worked in the Rovers (a rite of passage for most female characters on this show) as well as carrying a baby for both Gary and Izzy. In recent months though, Tina has also been having an affair with a certain character and now the fallout is building towards her violent exit as the producers have released four videos lining up four suspects, with one of them to revealed as the killer in Tuesday's episode. So who are they and what possible motive could they have for bumping off Tina?

Carla Connor (Alison King): She's been married to Peter for a few months now and given that she's pregnant with his child and trying to keep him on the straight and narrow from his recent relapse, perhaps finding out that Tina has been having an affair with her husband tips her over the edge? In the video alone, Carla makes Tina aware that she's privy to the affair and doesn't give Tina much of a chance to explain her recent actions either. While Carla isn't a cold blooded killer, she certainly has a temper on her and perhaps she snaps at the wrong moment with devastating consequences?

Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne): The very man whom Tina has been sleeping with for several months and the same one that she's also convinced herself into thinking will abandon Carla and leave Weatherfield with her. From the scene released by ITV, we know that Peter instead chooses to dump Tina and remain with his wife and unborn baby while at the same time wanting his former mistress to keep quiet about their affair. Could Peter really act out of desperation and silence Tina by pushing her to her death? Peter's done some pretty questionable things in the last couple of years but murder might be one step too far, even if actor Chris Gascoyne is also leaving the show this year.

Rob Donovan (Marc Baylis): The brother of Carla, soon to be husband of Tracy and not a fan of Peter, Rob might have also copped off with Tina once but recently, she's rubbed him up the wrong way by sticking her nose into his dodgy dealings with builder, Tony and even more recently Rob has become aware of the fact that Tina has been sleeping with Peter as well. Out of the main suspects, Rob seems the most likely of the bunch as there always seems to be something about him that isn't quite right. He's also probably the 'safest' option as well, given that Peter and Carla are well loved by the audiences and Tracy has previously killed in cold blood. Out of the four, if I had to choose, I would pick Rob.

Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford): Probably the second most likely person to actually do it. Tracy has a history of going to extremes and this is a woman who murdered a boyfriend because he cheated on her. Over the last couple of months, we've seen Tracy's hatred of Tina intensify over Rob and quite recently Tina becoming aware of the dodgy hairdryers and dealings with Tony as well. In the scene ITV released, Tina even foolishly needled Tracy about being locked up and kept away from Amy and given that Tracy's snapped over less, it does make her another likely candidate to kill off the barmaid.

Then again, it could also be neither of them. In the past Coronation Street have lined up suspects for a murder mystery (Frank Foster, anyone?) with it turning out to be someone completely different. Given that Tina is aware of Tony's arrangements with Tracy and Rob, who is to say that it couldn't be him decides to do her in? After all, Tina is in the builder's yard late at night and it would make more sense for Tony to see her there than any of the four suspects. However it will be interesting to see (along with the current Lucy Beale plot) if this story can be sustained over the several months it's rumoured to be played out. Either way, I'll kind of miss Tina as a character, though I hope for Keegan's sake she does actually keep with the acting.

Who Kills Tina - Carla:
Who Kills Tina - Peter:
Who Kills Tina - Rob:
Who Kills Tina - Tracy:

Coronation Street - Tina's final episodes will air Monday at 9pm on ITV as well as seven episodes airing from June 1st. A documentary called Farewell Tina will air Friday 8pm from June 6th.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Doing The Unthinkable

And here's the second part of my TV jumble blog ....

Arrow: The last three episodes of this season have easily been some of the best the show has produced. It's amazing that in the space of two seasons, this show has gone from good to gripping television and while I kind of wish that Slade had actually been killed off, the finale itself was pretty epic stuff with Thea heading off with Malcolm, Sara rejoining the League of Assassins and all kind of new back story set up for Oliver next season. Plus if you happened to ship two certain characters, this finale kind of indicated something for the third season as well.

Game Of Thrones: We've had something of a tiny lull in proceedings until the last two episodes gave us Tyrion's trial and had Lysa descend from her own moon door, courtesy of Littlefinger. I've enjoyed this season a lot and while we've had some nice character moments - Dany getting the hang of ruling Meereen, Oberyn's sympathy for Tyrion and the double acts of Brienne/Pod and Arya/the Hound, I do feel the show has been a little low on the action but considering what's around the corner, perhaps it's been a little wise for some reflective time.

Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD: I'm still a little behind (watching it at Channel 4 pace) but again, it's good to see that this show has improved rather well. I like that we got to see a bit more of Ward's dark side and the fact that Skye discovered it pretty sharpish made for some good television as well. More to the point, it was also delightful to see the lovely Amy Acker appear as Coulson's former flame as well. I am hoping we do get to see her again but I can understand if this was a one-off. Now I just need to catch up with the final two episodes of the season.

Once Upon A Time: Easily one of the best finales we've had but at the same time, I was a bit disappointed that Zelena's storyline was wrapped up beforehand though. However I did enjoy Hook and Emma's trip to the past to correct certain mistakes and while it's a bit cheesy that the show is cashing in on Frozen so quickly, setting up the arrival of Elsa (not cast yet) along Belle/Gold getting hitched and Regina maybe losing another soulmate due to Emma's messing up could be interesting for the first half of next season. However the one thing I am hoping for next season is some back story/reappearances for the likes of Ruby, Mulan, Whale and Aurora/Philip to name a few and maybe a little less on Emma/Hook and Regina/Robin at times. Oh and for our new baddie not be related to any of the main characters - especially Regina and Gold.

- Eve Myles, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, James D'Arcy and Phoebe Waller-Bridge have been added to the second series of Broadchurch.
- Jessica Chastain is being rumoured for Season 2 of True Detective.
- AMC will premiere their new show, Halt And Catch Fire on Tumblr first - launching on May 19th and will be available to watch until May 31st.
- Lauren Ambrose has joined the cast of six part series, Dig.
- Stephen King will make a cameo appearance in the upcoming season of Under The Dome.
- Michael Malarkey's Enzo will be a regular in the sixth season of The Vampire Diairies.
- Daniel Sharman will also be appearing as a witch named Kaleb in the second season of The Originals.
- DaVinci's Demons has been renewed for a third season but with a new showrunner - John Shiban.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Jack's Back

This will be a two part blog with the second part to be posted tomorrow after I've caught up with the final episode of a certain show.

24: Live Another Day: The show that was probably responsible for the boxset binge watching that most of us indulge in nowadays has returned after a four year absence and with a slightly altered format (12 episodes instead of 24 of them) and the action taking place in London, this has been something of a return to form while at the same time feeling all familiar in spite of it's new location, characters and the different shifts with familiar ones like Jack, Chloe, President Heller and Audrey. So far, it's been a fun ride and Margot has been a decent antagonist if not wholly original but on the plus side, I am glad to see the show back and that wasn't something I'd expect to feel again.

Devious Maids: Yeah this was something of a guilty pleasure series last year and while it still has that Desperate Housewives feel to it, it's still a lot of fun to watch. The opening episode for Season 2 did a time jump, set up another mystery that Marisol will be central in solving, had it's fair share of personal drama amongst the maids while at the same time showed that the Powells were still delightfully bonkers to watch and that Peri will do anything to keep her husband and Rosie apart. Overall, it's the bonkers soapy show you might not be watching because it's on TLC.

Glee: Something of a mixed bag here. I enjoyed the penultimate episode written by Chris Colfer more than the actual finale itself. Probably because the former still had Santana and seemed to make a little more sense. The finale just decided to give Rachel her own TV, while having an annoying parody of Lena Dunham shadowing Rachel for most of the episode as well as Sam being given Finn's original Lima intended plot and some minor dramas with Sam/Mercedes and Kurt/Blaine. In retrospect, while there have been some good episodes, I do think this season has been the weakest so far and it's probably a good thing that the sixth season will be the last one.

In The Flesh: If you're not watching this show on BBC3, can I just ask - why? It's probably one of the best things on television right now and like The Walking Dead and The Returned has offered something pretty interesting to the zombie genre at the moment. The first three episode alone have added more to the series with the arrivals of both Simon and Maxine and the ongoing battle between the redeemed and Victus has made for some gripping television along with Kieren's friendships with Amy and Simon and Jem being pulled back into her former hunting ways. A genuinely gripping series that certainly should be watched by more than it currently is at the moment.

Orphan Black: Having watched the second and third episodes of Season 2 for now (watching at BBC3 pace), this show has gotten that tiny bit more messed up than usual. Whether it's seeing Siobhan wield a shotgun and take some folk out or poor Helena being terrorised and forcibly married into a bizarre cult, this season has been pulling out all the stops. On top of that, there was also the introduction of Sarah's baby daddy, Rachel being a right bitch to Cosimo as well as the brief introduction of another clone and Allison losing it, this season has certainly reeled me in. It might be still a little early but I think this season could be even better than it's impressive debut year but the one thing that is abundantly clear is that Tatiana Maslany continues to impress each and every episode. The woman is a revelation. Easily the best actress on television at the moment.

- Hayley Atwell's Agent Carter will air for eight episodes between episodes of Agents Of SHIELD.
- Glee's sixth and final season will not air until early 2015.
- How I Met Your Dad was not picked up by CBS but is being shopped around.
- Adrienne C. Moore will be a regular in Season 3 of Orange Is The New Black. The second season premieres on Netflix from June 6th.
- T.R Knight and Mena Suvari will be joining Amazon pilot, Hysteria.
- John Barrowman will be a regular in the third season of Arrow.
- Marin Ireland has signed up for the fourth season of Girls.
- Heroes: Reborn will likely feature some of the original stars after all, according to NBC executive chairman Robert Greenblatt.

Monday, May 19, 2014

My Review of DaVinci's Demons 2x09: "The Enemies Of Man"

Written by Allison Moore And Marco Ramirez And Brian Nelson
Directed by Justin Molotnikov

DaVinci: “I will fix this, maestro. I swear I will make this right.”
Andreas: “I know you will, boy. You know no other way.”

It hadn’t been since about three episodes since we’ve had an important death and with Riario losing poor Zita back in the New World, in this episode DaVinci ended up losing the one person who was anything in the way of a parental figure and all because another character revealed their true colours at the worst time.

I actually wasn’t expecting either Andreas to wind up getting the axe quite literally or even Carlo to be revealed as part of the Enemies of Man, but it certainly made the last five minutes of the episode all the more interesting as well. However, both outcomes are also something of a shame as well.

I’ve always enjoyed Andreas and his protective nature over DaVinci and it’s sad to see the latter lose him as well but I’m also sad that Carlo turned out to be a baddie after all. Maybe it’s because his concern for Clarice always seemed genuine or maybe it was just down to the fact that now he’ll probably be dead by a vengeful DaVinci or someone else in the finale but either way, it’s kind of a bummer.

However, dealing with the Enemies of Man has been rather overdue and this episode did delve into an interestingly shared history with Mama DaVinci (who’s still alive it seems) and Carlo while at the same time, actually proving that the Book of Leaves was nearer to Leonardo than he thought. In fact Carlo seemed to point out that it was closer than DaVinci actually thought as well.

I really do hope that by the finale, this Book of Leaves segment is done with once and for all. It started off as fascinating, petered a little, got a bit more interesting again and now it does feel like it’s a storyline that needs wrapping up. At the very least we need to know where it is before the Enemies of Man get their hands on it.

Keeping with the Enemies of Man – I don’t think it was too shocking that Riario ended up being recruited by them. He knew in this episode that his allegiance with DaVinci was over once they returned to Florence. Also given that he burnt his bridges with both his own father and Lucrezia’s, I guess joining another fanatical cult bent on ultimate power was probably the most logical thing for Riario to have done in the circumstances.

As for Florence itself – why didn’t previous episodes actually show the city being sacked properly by Duke Federico before DaVinci and his gang managed to defeat the sadistic ruler and Clarice went from being enslaved to killing her slaver as well? I feel it would’ve helped benefit the series had that been played out a bit instead of being skimmed over for the context of this episode alone.

However Florence wasn’t completely out of danger though. With Carlo and Riario showing their hands again, we also had the misfortune of Alfonso killing his father and denying any peace with Lorenzo as Sixtus looked pretty pleased with himself. I know I’ve complained about Alfonso all season but he’s still a tedious villain lacking any kind of depth and back story and the sooner he’s bumped off the better in my book.

Also in “The Enemies Of Man”

Was it me or did Riario look a tiny bit disappointed when DaVinci told him that their truce would come to an end when they returned to Florence?

DaVinci: “You do realise that Sixtus may show you none?”
Riario: “Perhaps that is what I deserve for worshipping false idols.”

Lucrezia’s ‘torture’ involved being asked the same three questions multiple times before she unwitting revealed information about her father. It’s interesting that her ‘torturer’ seems to think Lucrezia’s father is dangerous though.

DaVinci: “Lorenzo would never abandon Florence.”
Federico: “Yet here I am sitting on his throne, among his many luxuries.”

DaVinci (to Zoroaster): “We’re not leaving Florence. We have to take the city back.”

There were some nice moments in this episode with Nico trying to protect Vanessa from being raped by a guard and Zoroaster and Amerigo’s various exchanges as well.

Bayezid (to Lucrezia): “I trust you are as happy to see me as I am to see you.”

Federico: “I will be judged by my fellow heads of state.”
Clarice: “That you will. Guilty.”

I’m guessing from the bath Lucrezia was getting in this episode, she’s either about to be killed off or married off to someone.

Clarice: “Where does this humility come from? It doesn’t suit you.”
DaVinci: “I’ve had an enlightening few months.”

Carlo was revealed to having killed Cossimo in this episode, Andreas fixed the Brazen Head while DaVinci revealed that he learned to play the lute at eight as a girl and boy were involved.

Riario: “Who are you?”
EOM: “We are the Enemies of Man.”

Chronology: Not long from where “The Fall From Heaven” left off.

“The Enemies Of Man” - something of an engaging episode. It’s a shame that Riario fell into old patterns and that Carlo was revealed as a baddie but it was certainly an interesting to Florence nonetheless and the finale should be pretty interesting when we see it in a fortnight.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 1x01: Night Work

This show might be debuting on SkyAtlantic in three days time but already the first episode has aired on Showtime (after being leaked in advance) and with the second episode also available to watch before US transmission, here are my thoughts on the first episode of Penny Dreadful.

Written by John Logan
Directed by J.A Bayona

It's An Invitation: It's London 1891 and it's also a little hard to say which point of view we're mainly supposed to be seeing this show from but the most focused POV does seem to come from Eva Green's clairvoyant, Vanessa Ives. Now she's a character who certainly drove a fair amount of the narrative in this opening episode alone. Here we saw her bring American gunslinger, Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) into her and Sir Malcolm Murray's (Timothy Dalton) dark and interesting world where we saw contorting creatures and even vampires. Vanessa's certainly an interesting character - tempting Ethan, sharing some sort of guilty past with Malcolm and those scenes when she's alone and praying like mad. Especially the second one where spiders appeared on the wall and the cross was upside down. She's one of two of my favourites from this episode alone.

My Name Is: Victor Frankenstein as played by Harry Treadaway and for the time being, my second favourite character of the episode. I actually loved him from the off when he was snappishly dismissive and equally curious about Vanessa, Malcolm and Ethan and the end scene where his creature, played by Alex Price came to life was a pretty poignant moment and beautifully shot. Frankenstein has always been something of an intriguing character (hence the reason why we've seen countless versions of him and his creature for yonks) and it looks like he's going to be that way in this series as well. He also challenged Malcolm in a pretty intellectual way that I can't see Ethan necessarily doing over the course the first season.

He Shoots A Lot: Speaking of Ethan Chandler, I've seen other blogs and posters online being less than complimentary about Josh Hartnett but he's not actually not that bad in this. It's just compared to the other characters (Vanessa, Malcolm and Victor), he just doesn't come as interesting though. He's kind of the straight man with a penchant for exaggerated tales and shagging married women and spent most of the episode reacting to the craziness of the demimonde world that Vanessa introduced him to while at the same time being very drawn to it. I'm not entirely sure why both Vanessa and Malcolm are actively seeking out Ethan (other than his shooting skills) but he does compliment the slew of characters pretty well enough.

From Africa To London: Another focus on this episode was the backstory of Sir Malcolm Murray. We learned in this episode (when we weren't looking at corpses with hieroglyphics on them) that he's on a mission to find his daughter Mina. It doesn't take much to assume that it's Mina Harker and briefly seeing her in this episode as a vampire certainly gave it away but it's an interesting enough plot and Dalton shone in all of his scenes throughout the episode. Plus the relationship with both Malcolm and Vanessa was actually pretty interesting to watch as they mulled over their guilt (for what though?), Mina and Ethan amongst other things.

The Titles, The Titles: For a show like Penny Dreadful, the title sequence really needed to stand out and by god, they certainly do. They're probably some of the most impressive ones (at least until the ones for American Horror Story: Freak Show appear) and certainly set up the macabre tone for the show impressively as well. Overall, they're really worth watching multiple times but when I wasn't being impressed by them, I also noticed that the episode opened with a grisly death of a mother and daughter and there was also the fact that we still have yet to meet three other prominent characters (though their respective actors names were in the opening credits) but that's another incentive to keep watching and recapping/reviewing this show, which I intend to do for the next seven weeks.

Title Sequence:

Next week, we will meet Brona Croft, Dorian Gray and another of Victor Frankenstein's pet projects and hopefully some more on Malcolm's right hand man as well, who we briefly saw in this episode.