Month: July 2009
Really?!? Imagine greater?!? Who is the channel trying to convice? Us the viewers, who have grown tired by the lack identity this channel used to have? Or themselves into believing this is the right direction? Those who follow politics last year heard the familiar phrase about putting lipstick on a pig. Guess what, Syfy is still a pig and not the kind of Ziggy Piggy I used to love. I liked Syfy when it was called AIG.
This comparison may go over some heads but with our “tough economic times” AIG, a huge insurance corporation, has had such a bad reputation that they decided to rebrand themselves to AIU. See the difference? And I don’t see the difference with Syfy or siffy if you pronounce this way.
I remembered back in the days, when the Scifi Channel really meant something to me. Shows which grew up on like Buck Rogers, The Incredible Hulk, and hell, even Manimal was the aired once more for us fans. The wow factor of having a channel with all scifi materials 24-7 was incredible but now…now I have other avenues like Hulu, my trusty old dvd collection and of course, my library’s collection.
Once Syfy decided to add non-scifi programming to their weak base of shows, I knew this channel was in trouble. Before I go, let me explain how a marketing mix would work or how I have come to understand the 4 P’s and not the 456.
Product – this is of course, the service of the channel to all of geeks
Price – while many have this included this in our cable subscription, there are cable companies that would charge extra for the service. Since the channel is free, the perception from the customer is the value of this service. When the channel first came out, I was willing to pay extra. Now, screw it.
Place – The channel is on cable and online. Those who missed the shows on the channel the night before like BSG, we would be able to watch the show through scifi.com. However, this channel has missed the mark like with Hulu to at least keep past scifi show online and on demand. I love watching B5 on Hulu and Firefly. Syfy does not have BSG to hang the hats on and there is nothing to bolster this channel.
Promotion – The biggest advertisement this channel had was word of mouth. When Farscape was on or BSG or The Dresden Files fans would try to get others to watch as well. No amount of PR can make this happen at little to no cost. Jump forward, we have Warehouse 13. Honestly, I really tried to muster there the first 1/2 and I couldn’t stand it anymore. Now, you are reading this entry and countless others will understand my feelings in this matter.
I’m sad that the channel that I used to watch to get all my geek fixes is no longer in my life. There is no reason to go back only forward. Sadly, this channel’s direction is completely wrong and the name change it just the tip of the iceberg that is sinking this boat.
SPOILERS!…………………Ianto is dead, and whilst Alice and her son Steven are released,Jack and Lois are arrested and Rhys gives up the tape of the cabinet meeting. U.N. colonel Oduya discovers that the 456 aliens are attached to the Scots children,using them as life-support machines. The P.M. appears on television, announcing that next day all British children will be inoculated, the cover for their abduction and delivery to the aliens. Frobisher’s children are to be included,so he kills himself and his family. Gwen and Rhys return to Wales, hiding Ianto’s nephews and nieces and their friends as the military abduct lower class kids from the streets. Alice persuades Ms. Johnson to release Jack,who communes with the aliens,using Steven as a supersonic transmitter, which wipes them out,though,sadly Steven dies too from the pressure. Frobisher’s devoted secretary, Miss Spears, visits Lois in jail and finds out about the lenses, which she uses to secure Lois’s release and blackmail the P.M.to resign. Jack, guilt-ridden that he needed to kill his grandson to save the other children, gives Gwen and Rhys his best wishes, disbanding Torchwood and returning to time travel.
This has been one hell of a ride for just 5 episodes for Torchwood. What Dr. Who achieved in throwing in the kitchen sink in Series 4, Torchwood has reached the same level but in darkness. A fair comparison is Dr.Who is Buffy and Torchwood is Angel. Torchwood has reached areas way above and beyond Dr.Who could ever reach to date. I am in awe that with just 3 main characters, Torchwood has been surpassed their previous 2 series and most scifi series in my book.
If there is a negative comment about this episode if how Frobisher’s final actions outranked Jack using his own grandson Steven to save the planet. Throughout Children of Earth, Frobisher has showed himself to be tragic character who believed in what was right for this country and for his own family. One could only wish we could have saved him or had given him just a glimmer of hope even if you despised everything he did. No one deserves to do what he did in the end. As with Jack’s grandson Steven there was not enough emotional scenes between them to strike some type of emotional reactionon Frobisher’s level. I did not feel any connection Jack had with Steven and barely with his daughter Alice.
Having said all this, Jack’s decision to leave at the end may have been very selfish but very real. My life used to be in NY and there was a moment where I realized there was nothing for me and the world I used to know had moved on. The woman I was seeing had said that running away was not the answer which was almost exactly what Gwen said to Jack six months later. I truly understood Jack’s pain and his motivation to leave. However, is the end of Torchwood and no further appearance of Jack back on Earth? The answer I believe is no.
With Gwen left behind the Rift still remains. I don’t believe she would stay still and forget her Torchwood duties. I strongly believe Gwen would start up Torchwood again with or without Jack. As for Jack, he will come back. As to when, who knows but something will draw him back once more. I know that I miss NY. I am thankful to be reconnected to certain people in my past even if it has been more than 20 years. Jack will be in a similar position where he too will miss Earth and Gwen. This may be a long time from now but I feel Jack will be back one day.
Keep your eyes and ears open for at least 4 Torchwood podcasts. Due to some setback, I’ve been delayed to produce them. The first podcast will be a pre-Torchwood on key episodes to watch on Dr.Who on the Captain Jack character. The remaining podcast will focus on each of the series including Children of Earth. You don’t want to miss this.
Here is another timely dvd review from Tony at his blog Cinema Viewfinder:
Nothing new to say here. As many of you who have read my reviews before on these direct-to-video animation efforts by comics’ Big Two, it basically boils down to this: DC good… Marvel bad. And while Marvel deserves a Most Improved award for their last release, Hulk vs., DC—by way of Warner Premiere—just keeps getting better and better. Their latest release, Green Lantern: First Flight—designed to prime the pump for the parent company’s upcoming live-action movie starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale)—streamlines the traditional superhero story to get right into the good stuff.
After almost a year of seeing the blurry at times video of Tron 2.o from Comic Con last year, we are treated to a fresh and spanking sharp trailer of not Tron 2.0 but Tron Legacy. In all honesty, until I just watched the this trailer did I understand the connection of the now old Flynn to the Flynn avatar program at the very end. Now it’s clear to me but has Flynn found a way to stay in the virtual world and has been as corrupted as Sark. I can not wait to see this can and gather more information. Don’t be suprise about hearing me doing a podcast in the future. I loved Tron movie, I loved the music by Wendy Carlos, and I loved by the Tron arcade game back in the 80’s. Good times, indeed and good times, ahead. Enjoy the trailer.
Jack is forced to confess how he helped broker a deal in 1965 when the 456 aliens offered an antidote against a deadly universal flu virus in exchange for twelve children who would ‘live forever.’ Clem and the team watch via Lois’s laptop as the aliens tell Frobisher they will ‘wipe out the human species’ if their request is not met, and a camera reveals the apparently zombic Scots victims, said by the aliens to be unharmed. Frobisher rejects Jack’s offer of help in return for Alice and her son’s release. He attends a Cabinet meeting which agrees that the Cabinet’s children will be spared and that lower-class kids should be sacrificed instead.This is recorded by Lois and sent to safety with Rhys,giving Ianto and Jack leverage to talk to the aliens but the latter’s’ response is to unleash a virus which kills dozens, including Clem and,seemingly, Ianto. The government feels forced to capitulate.
Now we get to the very heart of the Children of Earth story. I want to say that Jack’s admission to this unspeakable act was on some level understandable and yet not forgivable. Yes, the small sacrifice of the 12 children in exchange of an antidote to the flu virus might have sound great on paper when you think about the numbers 12 versus millions saved. Even the government in this episodes even refers to the term Unit instead of using the word children. This leads them to believe that by devaluing the human term that we could all live with acceptable losses. This type of justification sickens me and to some point Ianto’s feelings does turn as he is conflicted over Jack. The image of the child with some type alien breathing apparatus was truly horrific as me being a parent. Jack is a good man but committed the wrong action but what else has he done as Ianto pointed out just barely scratching the surface.
Moving forward, Jack has to make amends and the confrontation he has with the 456 is brilliant. We have Torchwood back in action and leading a counter-force against the alien threat. Jack spouts his philosophy about how an injury to one is an injury to all. Ianto counters with enough of the philosophy that the 456 will not get a single child. Jack quietly comments to Ianto how much he likes the philosophy. This little bit of humor really brightens up the moment even when death is on the line. However, I was just hoping against all hope that Ianto and everyone else in the Thames House would have survived the killing from the 456.
Just when things could not get any bleaker, there is still another episode that will you an emotional wreck. What has surprised me more about this series is how its driven by the characters in reaction to this story. This series has the monster of the week but does not rely heavily on the creature to drive the conflict. 456 is the catalyst but the real conflict is between the government officials, the Torchwood team and everyone involved. For a short lived 5 show story arc, this is a seriously condensed full season which delivers more bang for the buck rather than a dragged out season which have 18-24 shows. This series has marked themselves in my book as one of the must see scifi series before we all die. Not to be morbid but you get the point.
If you’re excited about James Cameron’s ambitious tech-fest Avatar, but you don’t feel like waiting until the film hits theaters this December, then listen up.
Cameron confirmed during his Comic-Con 09 Avatar panel that he is planning to “take over as many IMAX theaters” as he can on August 21 in order to give eager moviegoers the chance to see 15 minutes of Avatar absolutely free!
The team hide out in a former Torchwood holding facility, stealing to survive. Gwen meets with Lois, giving her a laptop and special contact lenses to report back to her. Gwen also has Clem, arrested for an affray, released and safe with the team. Ms. Johnson locates and captures Alice and her son after Alice has tried to ring Jack, soon after which children state that ‘We’ have arrived and a pillar of fire turns into green ooze as the alien leader communes with Frobisher, watched by the Torchwood team,thanks to Lois. Everything is bound up with the events of 1965,as the alien voice tells Frobisher and Jack also comes to realize. The aliens want ten per cent of the world’s children to go with them whilst Clem recalls Jack as one who allowed the alien abduction in Scotland, which Jack cannot deny.
One of the current themes that runs in both Dr. Who and Torchwood is the distrust of government officials. We want to believe that the government who is for the people and by the people would protect their best interests. On one hand the Prime Minister has to contain order with its citizens or else chaos would run amok with the coming of the 456. It is quite another thing, to have the government decided your fate or the fate of those who you love as was done or about to be done in this episode.
Those who follow Dr. Who would remember Harriet Jones who became the Prime Minister and had ordered Torchwood to shoot the retreating Sycorax ship during their attempted invasion. The Doctor was there to avert this disaster but the not very forgiving Jones gave the order. She had remarked to the Doctor that he would not always be there to protect them. On the other hand, the crisis was averted and yet, Jones went one step beyond the right thing to do and crossed the line. In both cases, we see their ultimate demise for their decisions they made. My belief in these recurring themes has to do with the power which comes for those official positions corrupting well intentioned individuals. Humans are infallible even one from the future like Captain Jack.
The devastating ending of this episode which Jack admitted to the 12 children offering to the 456 has come back to bite him in the ass. I am a firm believer that karma has a way of keeping tract of all the deeds we do in life and when it comes back, you are going to be repaid in ways you never thought possible; both good and bad. While there is still a couple of episodes left this payback does come at a dear price.
One of the funniest and sincere moments happened between Jack and Ianto about 15 minutes in Day 3. Ianto asks Jack what it felt like to be blown up which in the context of did you feel it or did it all go black? Jack in character understates the response with, “It wasn’t the best of days.” As soon as I laughed, I started to cringe as Jack stated that he felt everything. The conversation turned to a more solemn turn about their future together. From past immortal heroes like the Highlander, we generally understand those who are immortal will see all those they love die before them again and again. Since we only have one life to lead, we need to make the most of our time. It came as no surprise that Ianto wanted to be intimate with Jack then and there. I truly understood this need as someone who cares about the people I keep around me and tries to make the most of our time together. Bloody beans; indeed.