Drawing on Dada, punk and the modernist movements of the twentieth century, XX is assembled from redacted NASA reports, artwork, magazine articles, secret transcripts and a novel within a novel. Deconstructing layout and language in order to explore how idea propagate, acclaimed designer and artist Rian Hughes's debut novel presents a compelling vision of humanity's unique place in the universe, and a realistic depiction of what might happen in the wake of the biggest scientific discovery in human history. [more inside]
A stowaway on a mission to Mars sets off a series of unintended consequences. This 2021 Hard Sci-Fi film is a modern retelling of Tom Godwin's 1954 The Cold Equations, a "needlessly cruel" short story that likely "got the equations themselves wrongs" in order to pose a moral dilemma for the characters. In the film, once the ship docks with the Aldrin Mars Cycler (named for its inventor, astronaut Buzz Aldrin) and leaves Earth's gravity well, there are no other voices or characters, enhancing the feeling of isolation ahead of the crew on their two year mission. The very realistic spacecraft spins the habit module on a tether to create artificial gravity and was mocked-up for the film by Scott Manley in Kerbal Space Program, while the claustrophobic interiors look like they were shot on a real space station.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: 12 TO THE MOON Rewatch Season 5, Ep 24
Rewatch! At least I think it is, this is one of those movies it's easy to forget exists for some reason. This is another of those movies where half of the time amounts to: "Gee whiz! Space!" There's a lot of preparing and rocketry and interviews with intrepid scientists and getting ready to let's all go to space. With cats. Then we get to space and meet aliens. Who want our cats. The short, however, is Design for Dreaming, and it's terrific, just completely crazy, bonkers, nutso, a highlight of the show's entire run. Previously.
The fourth and final book in Becky Chambers' Wayfarers series. With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop. [more inside]
In 1983, a cosmonaut is involved in an incident in space and crash-lands back to the Soviet Union. A nervy psychiatrist (Oksana Akinshina, Lilya 4-ever) is recruited to help him recover from his amnesia about the incident in this sci-fi horror movie. [more inside]
In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ROCKETSHIP X-M Rewatch Season 2, Ep 1
Rewatch! Operator error sends the Earth's first ship to the moon, 828 thousand miles away, instead to Mars, which is at best 33.9 million miles away and usually much further. That's some error; some scientists would give multiple limbs to be able to make errors like that. It's the first episode of Season Two, considered the point where Mystery Science Theater 3000 started to become really good, although the movie here is kind of dull. Next time.... Previously. Remember: for the time being we're also doing Sunday shows, so if you want to watch this one you'll want to show up tonight. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MOON ZERO TWO Rewatch Season 1, Ep 11
Rewatch! On Thursday [4/16]: It's class warfare on the moon! A working-day moon savager is hired by rich-guy "Hundred Percent" Hubbard to help them crash a meteor made of gemstone on the moon. Problem is, the plot on which they crash is already claimed by a miner, Wild West style. Nefarious schemes are afoot up there in no-atmosphere zero-G. An okay movie made ridiculous by things like scantily-clad moon dancers and a board game called (groan) "Moonopoly." It's still Season One, but the riffing has improved a lot by this point. Three more episodes until Season Two! Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: PROJECT MOONBASE Rewatch Season 1, Ep 9
Rewatch! Poor Commander Brietis has the misfortune to be a women space officer in a man's (specifically, Robert Heinlein's) world. Her peers all casually call her "Bright Eyes," and her commanding officer actually threatens to spank her at one point. But in the end she and a fellow astronaut get stranded together on the moon, and Madame President (whose existence I guess was supposed to make up for how badly Brietis is treated) demands that they be married to avoid a scandal, which they agree to because they're sweet on each other. A disheartening movie, which make wisecracks from an orbiting human and his automated mocking machines all the more welcome. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: STAR FORCE: FUGITIVE ALIEN II Rewatch Season 3, Ep 18
The crew of Earth spaceship Bacchus III deals with various problems, culminating with showdowns with Ken's old girlfriend out of a murder vendetta against him, and the kabuki leader of the Star Wolves himself. Two-fisted Japanese pseudo-Star Wars space adventures with surprisingly great music that was edited into near incomprehensibility by Sandy Frank Productions. It's the sequel to Fugitive Alien, which was slightly more lucid. Previously.
As a young scientist searches for a way to save a dying Earth, she finds a connection with a man who's racing to catch the last shuttle off the planet. [more inside]
The 100: Sleeping Giants Season 5, Ep 3
Bellamy leads the charge investigating a potential way home. Meanwhile, Clarke and Madi deal with the new, uncertain threat to their home.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PHANTOM PLANET Season 9, Ep 2
"Science Shocker of the Space Age!" "See!! A 6ft astronaut shrink to 6 inches before your very eyes! See!! The Moon Maidens! See!! The attack of the Fire People!" An astronaut is stranded on a planetoid that makes him small. There are other small people there, and he assimilates into their culture. Then they're destroyed and he's rescued. Film that for long enough and you have yourself a movie. You know, every year of my life I grow more and more convinced that the wisest and the best is to fix our attention on the good and the beautiful, if you just take the time to look at it. In Castle Forrester, Pearl gets her Mad Scientist kit. Promo YouTube (1h32m) Premiered March 21, 1998. 24 episodes left. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: SPACE MUTINY Season 8, Ep 20
aka "Mutiny in Space" "There Is Nowhere to Hide from the Enemy Within!" On a colony ship sailing through the void of space, very very white people fight off a rebellion of equally-white mutineers. Titles provided by an Apple ][. This movie falls right in that zone of inept yet not abysmal, and the riffing is great. Not only do I think it's a terrific introductory episode, so does the A.V. Club. This is the episode where they keep making up names for the beefy guy ("David Ryder"). Slab Bulkhead! Fridge Largemeat! Punt Speedchunk! Here's a list of them! Here's a supercut! In subplot news, it's finally the last of the Roman Times episodes, preparing for the premise that would carry the series to the end of its original run. YouTube (warning: ad in annotations) Premiered November 7, 1997. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: STARCRASH Season 11, Ep 6
"From a vast and distant galaxy... a Space Adventure for all Time!" Clothes-adverse, redundantly-named smuggler Stella Star, her Magic Space Friend Akton, and Robo-Yosemite Sam are called by Emperor Plummer to his grand Starship Kitbash, to entrust them with the search for both a huge space weapon and his lost young Prince Hasselhoff, from among the haunted theme worlds of the colored-bulb cosmos. Some people really like this movie (Better than Star Wars?) but you can't deny it's remarkably ridiculous, even by this show's standards. It's even had its own MeFi post! Also unusual for MST3K is an exceptionally high-powered cameo, by Joel's friend Jerry Seinfeld, as investor Freak Masterstroke. And of considerable interest to MSTies is the fact that former Brains Bill Corbett, Mary Jo Pehl and Paul Chaplin helped write this one! Episode 1106 is available for viewing on Netflix. [more inside]
Doctor Who: Oxygen Season 10, Ep 5
"Space... the final frontier. Final because it wants to kill us. Sometimes we forget that, start taking it all for granted — the suits, the ships, the little bubbles of safety — as they protect us from the void. But the void is always waiting." - The Doctor [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST Season 7, Ep 1
"No girl was safe as long as this HEAD HUNTING THING roamed the land!" An astronaut dies on reentry. Aliens are emerging from his skin, including one really big one that roams the countryside, stopping watches. Everyone wants to kill it except the astronaut, who is now not dead and full of shrimp. With short Once Upon a Honeymoon: More celestial interfering with mortal affairs, this time with an angel helping a composer write a jingle so he and his wife can go on their honeymoon. Roger Corman again, this is his next-to-last featured movie. Daddy-O informs us that the exactly same costume and location were used in 315 TEENAGE CAVEMAN. This is a weird episode because there are two sets of host segments. The first showing was on Turkey Day 1995 and an alternate storyline was written involving Thanksgiving dinner with many of the show's Comedy Central movie cameo characters, making this a nice retrospective on the CC years. Because this is the first episode of the infamous Season Seven, only six episodes long and the end of the show's run on that channel. 701 701T (1h32m) Turkey Day '95 extra bits & alternate host segments Premiered: 701T on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1995; 701 on February 3, 1996. [more inside]
The Expanse: Cascade Season 2, Ep 10
Harsh realities of future life on Earth are displayed, while the Roci crew are trapped in a dying station.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MONSTER A-GO GO Season 4, Ep 21
"An Astronaut Went Up... A 'Guess What' Came Down!" "The Picture That Comes Complete with a 10-Foot Tall Monster to Give You the Wim-Wams!" "How did a 10-foot-tall monster get into that little bitty space capsule?" "You've Never Seen a Picture Like This--Thank Goodness!" It's never a good sign when the poster taglines themselves make fun of the movie. One of the absolute worst movies in MST history, and of all time. With short CIRCUS ON ICE: A newsreel report of the 40th Annual Carnival of the Toronto Skating Club. It's iceberg time again! You may think you know what a bad movie looks like. You may think you can handle bad movies. You may think badfilm is nothing to be afraid of. The punishment for your hubris takes the form of a viewing of MONSTER A-GO GO. If you're a fan or born MSTie this should not be missed, but it can be lethal if you haven't built up an immunity. One of a handful of the most terrible movies MST ever did, up there with the likes of Robot Monster and Red Zone Cuba. And don't relax yet, one its primary rivals is on the way in just three weeks.... YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 1, 1993. Trailer - Unriffed (DO NOT WATCH) [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: CRASH OF MOONS Season 4, Ep 17
"Classic Sci-Fi Advenure" Two moons are going to crash into each other, natch. It's our old friends Rocky Jones and Winky to save the people living on them! With short General Hospital #2: More scenes from very early episodes of the long-running soap opera. Deja-vu! One month ago we watched a short made of old General Hospital scenes matched with a movie made of old Rocky Jones, Space Ranger episodes. And lo, we have the same composition for this episode! This is the one where one role is played by John Banner, Sgt. Schultz himself, and the guys won't let you forget it. Satellite News points out that the title card of the movie leaves out the "The," so by their naming conventions the movie is not titled "Crash of the Moons," but just, "Crash of Moons." So, where did the "The" go? Tune in next week and find out.... YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 28, 1992. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: FIRE MAIDENS OF OUTER SPACE Season 4, Ep 16
"Out of This World SHOCK SENSATION!" "SEE: The Strangest of All Rites in the Temple of Love!" Astronauts land on a hitherto unknown moon of Jupiter and discover lonely nubile maidens, our solar system's greatest resource. This episode is especially notable for containing the saga of "Timmy," an evil alien Crow that comes aboard the SOL. The Timmy puppet was actually one of the theater puppets; they're painted back to give them a better silhouette. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered November 26, 1992 (Turkey Day marathon). [more inside]
A thread to discuss the entire first season of The Expanse, as well as the James S. A. Corey book it's based on: Leviathan Wakes.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Visionary Rewatch Season 3, Ep 17
In which O’Brien meets O’Brien, and all hell breaks loose.... [more inside]
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Destiny Rewatch Season 3, Ep 15
An ancient Bajoran prophecy of doom complicates the first joint Bajoran, Cardassian, and Federation science mission: an attempt to establish a permanent communications link through the wormhole. [more inside]
(1955, B&W, Sci-fi, Short, Gordon, Lippert) "See a Prehistoric World of Fantastic Adventure Come to Life!" Said world is teeming with
lizards dinosaurs, but it's nothing a good ol' atom bomb won't take care of. With the short X Marks The Spot, which poses the question: what if Judgement Day is a traffic court? We've already had a number of films produced by Robert Lippert (a watchword for pain if ever there was one), but this is the first of eight movies directed by our old fiend Bert I. Gordon, aka "B.I.G.!" But let's not get too down on the guy, he's still alive and has a web site! Rock on Bert, we'll celebrate your name better when we get to The Magic Sword. YouTube (1h37m) First aired December 22, 1990. [more inside]
Jupiter Jones, an undocumented immigrant working as a maid in Chicago, finds out she's the heir to an interstellar fortune including the ownership of Earth. This is the latest film by the Wachowski siblings.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MOON ZERO TWO Season 1, Ep 11
(1969, Color, Sci-Fi, Warner Bros., British, Western, Comedy, Sixties, Moonopoly) In the near future, mankind has a base on the moon. The pilot of a moon ferry based there is hired by crazy richguy "Hundred Percent" Hubbard to crash a satellite made of gemstone into the lunar surface. Meanwhile, go-go dancers flail about in a "Moon Bar." "The first moon 'western.'" "An Asteroid Worth Millions. A Robbery. A Murder." Moon Zero Two is a weird one. Parts of the movie seem to want to be comic, which is something the guys shied away from in later seasons, and there's animated titles as in Catalina Caper. This is also a very sixties movie, with sexy moon dancers and a blaring trumpet soundtrack. It's still the first season, but the riffing is improving, and I think the movie helps out a bit from sheer strangeness. YouTube (1h37m) First aired around January 20, 1990. [more inside]
In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.