“The year is 1979…”: 40 years of “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”

Blast from the past. In the spring of 1979 yet another feature film seemingly riding the late 1970s “Star Wars” wave was coming to theaters, complete with a Harrison Ford-esque hero and a little robot sidekick. The difference being that 1979’s “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” predated Star Wars by 48 years. 1979’s “Buck…

The Orville S2.8: “Identity, part 1″…

****PLANET SIZED SPOILERS AHEAD!!**** “Identity part 1”, the title of this week’s cliffhanger episode of “The Orville,” has a double meaning. While it primarily refers to the Kaylon android science officer Isaac’s cybernetic race, it also hints at something deeper…the identity of the series itself. After “Identity Part 1”, the amiable, lighthearted sci-fi ‘dramedy’ “Orville”…

Star Trek: Discovery, S2.6: “The Sounds of Thunder” truly reverberate…

The latest Star Trek: Discovery, “The Sounds Of Thunder” manages to elegantly and seamlessly integrate the ongoing story of a main character (the evolution of Doug Jones’ “Commander Saru”) with season 2’s main arc (the pursuit of Spock and the mysterious ‘red angels’). I’ve had a few difficulties with this season to date (it’s been…

“The Wandering Earth” (2019) is an ambitious Sino-sci-fi epic that gets a little lost in space…

The current Chinese blockbuster, “The Wandering Earth” (based on a novella by Cixin Liu), is “Armageddon” meets “Snowpiercer,” with a touch of “The Day After Tomorrow.” The entire Earth in peril, engaging leads, a few one-note comedic supporting characters, and tons of action. It’s rubber-stamped box office bank. Director Frant Gwo puts together an amazing-looking…

The Orville S2.7: “Deflectors” are definitely up and running…

The Orville continues to thrive in its second season with “Deflectors”, once again taking a reused story concept from Star Trek: The Next Generation (in this case, TNG’s “The Outcast”) and reimagining it enough to be both fresh and relevant for a new age. I’m intrigued (often amazed) by the ways in which star/producer/writer/director Seth…

Celebrating two mighty machines of Mars…

This week it was official; the Mars rover “Opportunity”, the second of two solar-powered rovers that first landed on Mars in early 2004, was declared dead. Engineers at NASA/JPL-Caltech lost contact after a particularly nasty Martian dust storm last year, and contact never resumed. After 15 years on a hostile alien planet, the first rover…

ALIEN (1979) is still a ‘perfect organism’ after 40 years…

Spring of 1979. A new, post-Star Wars, R-rated science fiction movie was in theatrical release, and it is to my great regret that, as then-12 year old kid, I didn’t see it in those days. Don’t get me wrong; I really really wanted to see it. I eagerly read every article about Ridley Scott’s scary…

The Orville S2.6: “A Happy Refrain” hits a refresh button on human/cyborg relations…

The Orville continues to be a sci-fi ‘dramedy’ that quietly pushes boundaries established by its antecedent, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (to which The Orville is, in many ways, a spiritual sequel). ****UNION STARSHIP-SIZED SPOILERS!!**** “A Happy Refrain” is another of The Orville’s character-driven ‘bottle shows’ (episodes which generally take place more or less entirely…