Posts tagged ‘Virtuality’

Westworld

I typically stand wholeheartedly against anyone doing a remake simply for the sake of remaking something, especially when the original was not only pretty darned good but also something that I have a bit of a soft spot for.  Zack Snyder managed to win me over with his version of Dawn of the Dead, a film I desperately wanted to hate just because I thought that the original film should never ever have been molested by a remake.  And now here comes Jonathan Nolan and HBO to molest Michael Crichton’s classic Westworld.

And y’know what?  It works.  It’s in the process of winning me over.  The pilot episode seriously intrigued me.  I always loved Crichton’s original film, and this new interpretation looks like it could visit some pretty interesting (and rather dark) places.  I would love to see them address the various aspects of artificial intelligence and questioning reality that the creative brains behind Caprica and Virtuality suggested those shows would eventually visit.  I’m not even missing Yul Brynner.

Speaking of Ronald D. Moore, yes indeed, I have to say that this new series appears to do for the original film what Ron Moore’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica did for the original ’70s Galactica series.  The third episode here is bogged down by too much dippy exposition and some dodgy de-aging CGI, but it also includes the most chilling moment thus far:

“Analysis: what prompted that response?”
“I don’t know.”

So … three eps in and I’m enjoying it enough to ride it out for the rest of the first series.  The production value is impeccable; the interior of the park looks even better than Deadwood, and the behind-the-scenes parts of the park look far sleeker, colder, more sterile and more chilling than any of the behind-the-scenes bits of the original Delos.  The cinematography for the location shoots is gorgeous.  And Evan Rachel Wood is just amazing.  As long as we don’t dive back into dippy exposition, I expect I’ll enjoy the rest of the run.

 

Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets

The original two-part BBC miniseries that inspired ABC to develop their insipid Defying Gravity. Damn, I wish they had expanded this instead. Extremely compelling, with a decent take on modern space travel. No stoopid magnetic artificial gravity or real-time communications. No dippy extraterrestrial whatsits or banal caricatures. Yet another excellent example of how American television fails to understand (and, therefore, fails in adapting) British sources. And Ron Moore must’ve watched this, because aspects of this seem to have influenced Virtuality as well.

Caprica

(While we’re on the subject of Ron Moore ….)

One word: Craprica.

Very mixed feelings here. While I liked the (extended) pilot, the show does not seem to be living up to what I expected. I desperately wanted to like it. My two biggest problems with it are 1) it just seems to be draaaaaaggggging along, and 2) I cannot find a single likable or sympathetic character in the entire frakking ensemble. The only two reasons I’ve stuck with it are 1) I recall reading somewhere online that Ron Moore was going to use Caprica to cover some of the virtual ground that Fox prevented him from covering in Virtuality, and 2) Alessandra Torresani is smokin’ hot.

So on one hand, I’m glad Sci-Fi (er … ‘cuse me … SyFy) canceled it. On the other, I wish they had let the final five eps play through to the finish. Most of the show’s subplots can go scratch as far as I’m concerned (frak the STO, in spite of how much I adore Polly Walker), but I actually would like to see how the Greystone Industries/Tauron mafia stories turn out.

Luckily, the Space channel in Canada is still broadcasting them, so torrents are available for snagging.

Virtuality

Equal parts Dark Star, Silent Running, The Matrix, and Big Brother. Shaken, not stirred. Ron Moore’s magnificent follow-up to his re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. How is it possible for something this intelligent, innovative, and engaging to *NOT* get picked up as a series?!? One of the best pieces of science fiction TV I’ve seen in my entire life is going to remain a failed pilot for Fox. I think the last time I saw an unsold pilot with this much potential was The Questor Tapes. If you can snag the DVD for this, it is definitely worth watching. If not, well, that’s your loss.