[MST3K: The Movie] "Every Year Hollywood Makes Hundreds of Movies. This Is One of Them!" A mad scientist performs an experiment on a man he has trapped in a low-budget space station: he makes him watch the movie This Island Earth, with the hopes of using it as a tool to conquer the world. The man and two robot friends defend their sanity by making fun of the movie, for their (and presumably our) amusement. [This Island Earth] "The Supreme Excitement of Our Time!" Handsome bold Guy Scientist and smart-and-sexy Lady Scientist are abducted into OUTER SPAAACE by Exeter, an alien with a BIG FOREHEAAAD, to help in their doomed war. MST3K the Movie came between Season Six and Season Seven of the show. It is unique for the show in many ways: it was shown in theaters, it is much shorter than an episode of the show (it's actually shorter than an unedited version of the movie they riff!), there's only two host segments, and there's only one Mad, Dr. Forrester, what with TV's Frank having left in 624. It's a pretty good entry point for the show in general, which might be useful considering what's happening in three days.... MST3K: The Movie is not available on YouTube. Premiered April 18th, 1996. [more inside]
The Expanse: Here There Be Dragons Season 2, Ep 11
Bobbie makes a decision that changes her life forever. [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: THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN Season 6, Ep 23
"A NATION AT HIS MERCY!" "INVISIBLE and DEADLY" Ahem! An escaped convict teams up with a mad scientist and gets turned invisibabble, but then have a disagreement as to how he should use his invisibabibility. With short The Days of Our Years: A minister tells us about his parishiners, who have to a man all been maimed, blinded or killed by machines, because God is just and holy. The poster for this movie, besides comparing the antagonist to a fart, also warned that the invisible man himself had vowed to make a personal appearance in every theater showing the film. Sigh. There is a particularly hilarious pre-movie host segment here, where Dr. F and Frank, as "Auntie McFrank," ask Mike and the bots to provide "local color" for their bed and breakfast. "Y'all got any matches for Mikey?" Jonah Ray is going to have a hard time living up this. We've also got a great short, the second of the two railroad-sponsored industrials, this one devoted to telling us about all the ways terrible, terrible machinery wages war against its creators. By the way, this is "TV's" Frank Conniff's penultimate show as Dr. F's assistant. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered March 18, 1995. [more inside]
The Expanse: The Weeping Somnambulist Season 2, Ep 9
Avasarala questions Draper as conspiracies unravel on Earth. The Rocinante crew attempts to avert a disaster. [more inside]
A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden. [more inside]
The seminal work of speculative fiction from Margaret Atwood. Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable... Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force. [more inside]
Shorts HD presents a theatrical release of the five Oscar nominees for Best Short Film, Animated, plus three "Highly Commended" animated shorts. [more inside]
By 2017 the world economy has collapsed. Food, natural resources, and oil are in short supply. A police state, divided into paramilitary zones, rules with an iron hand. [more inside]
Colony: Gateway Season 1, Ep 10
Katie and the resistance struggle to gain something from their unexpected outcome. The Bloc goes on lockdown as the Hosts express their displeasure. Will gets some favours. Synder is done. Maddie uses her connections. Bram takes a runner.
Colony: Zero Day Season 1, Ep 9
On the anniversary of the Arrival, memorials turn violent. Beau and Will work on a plan to get out of the Bloc. Synder learns that there is a move to oust him. Maddie makes a power play. Katie and Broussard work with their new cell to kidnap a VIP. Secrets are revealed.
Colony: In From the Cold Season 1, Ep 8
Qualye makes a deal to turn on his cell; Will accepts it but also makes sure that Katie knows. Broussard gets a new job offer. We get a glimpse of the factory.
Colony: Broussard Season 1, Ep 7
Katie walks a fine line with Broussard. Will and Beau hunt for Broussard. We learn that a belief in the Second Coming has materialized around the Raps, and the the nanny/tutor is a member. Maddie's employment situation gets complicated.
Colony: Yoknapatawpha Season 1, Ep 6
Following an attempt on his life, and fearing a coup, Synder holes up with Will and Katie in the Yonk. The Resistance sets up outside and tries to get Synder out while they wait for Homeland Security. Qualye dissolves the cell and concludes that Katie is a traitor, leaking information to Will.
Colony: Geronimo Season 1, Ep 5
Geronimo is revealed and put on a show trial. Will has his privilege checked, leading to a search of his own home and the Yonk. Bram goes walkabout. Katie gears up alongside the Resistance for a major raid.
Colony: Blind Spot Season 1, Ep 4
Will finds the source of the radio broadcasts. Katie deals with a staged firebombing to get intel. Phyllis reveals a depth of knowledge. Maddie figures out an angle for her insulin supply.
Colony: 98 seconds Season 1, Ep 3
Katie takes part in her first Resistance operation and experiences mixed results. Bram develops some connections. Will advances his investigation, unknowingly putting himself in jeopardy that Katie will have to mitigate.
Colony: Brave New World Season 1, Ep 2
Will begins his new job, hunting for the bomber. Katie begins preparing to re-open her bar, the Yonk, and starts feeding intelligence on Will's investigation to the Resistance.
Colony: Pilot Season 1, Ep 1
In occupied Los Angeles, Will attempts a daring rescue; Katie tries to help a relative in need; a job opportunity may divide a family. [more inside]
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.
William Gibson's 2014 novel is a noirish scifi thriller that, as usual for Gibson, raises many more questions than it answers. Set in two different-but-related post-apocalyptic worlds, it's something of a return to his early work, but by no means a rehash. [more inside]
I've requested that Travelers - the new sci-fi show from Brad Wright (Stargate franchise) - be added. Is anyone else watching it?
Westworld: The Bicameral Mind Season 1, Ep 10
In the Season 1 finale, an ambitious new narrative is revealed by Ford; Dolores embraces her identity; and Maeve’s plan begins to take shape.
Westworld: The Adversary Season 1, Ep 6
Elsie discovers a possible source of sabotage, while Bernard searches for clues to anomalies in a sector thought to be abandoned. Theresa questions Ford's leadership while Lee encounters a new arrival at Westworld. The Man in Black and Teddy run afoul of a Union garrison in their attempt to cross a border.
Westworld: Contrapasso Season 1, Ep 5
Dolores, Logan, and William reach Pariah and are recruited for a dangerous mission; the Man in Black meets an unlikely ally in his quest to unlock the maze.
Westworld: Dissonance Theory Season 1, Ep 4
Dolores joins William and Logan on a bounty hunt; The Man in Black finds a critical clue in his search to unlock the maze; Dr. Ford and Theresa discuss the park's future; Maeve is troubled by a recurring vision.
Beyond Westworld: Full first season/ entire show Season 1, Ep 0
John Moore is the Security Chief of the Delos Corporation, the people who made futuristic playgrounds where robotic humanoids existed only to serve the whims of the guests. But one of the chief scientists from Delos, Simon Quaid, has gone rogue because he wanted more from the robots than toys for wealthy people. It's up to Moore and Special Agent Pamela Williams, a fellow scientist and security specialist at Delos, to stop Quaid and his plans for vengeance and control. Beyond Westworld intro and theme song; official preview clip (3 minutes) [more inside]
Two years after Westworld (FanFare), the Delos corporation have reopened the park. Newspaper reporter Chuck Browning (Peter Fonda) and TV reporter Tracy Ballard (Blythe Danner) are invited to review the newly re-opened (and expanded) park, though Chuck has an ulterior motive. [more inside]
Westworld: The Stray Season 1, Ep 3
Elsie and Stubbs head into the hills in pursuit of a missing host. Teddy gets a new backstory, which sets him off in pursuit of a new villain, leaving Dolores alone in Sweetwater. Bernard investigates the origins of madness and hallucinations within the hosts. William finds an attraction he'd like to pursue and drags Logan along for the ride.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: 12 TO THE MOON Season 5, Ep 24
"Land on the moon with the intrepid first astronauts!" An international team of smarties haul themselves and cats up to the moon, where Gidney and Cloyd make ridiculous demands of them (they want the cats) before freezing North America. With short Design for Dreaming: One of the more bizarre things ever screened on the Satellite of Love. An annoying musical lady goes with her masked suitor to see GM cars on display, pausing in the middle to engage in Jane Jetson domesticity. If the premise to the movie sounds a bit familiar, it's got the same general idea (for the first half anyway) as 211 FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS. BTW, if you like the "many names of David Ryder" from 820 SPACE MUTINY, this episode has a good number of toughguy lunkhead names too! It also seems it shares some production elements with the movie in 902 THE PHANTOM PLANET. The short is a highlight of MST's entire run, and is a great introduction point. Also, this is the final episode of Season Five. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered February 5, 1994. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS Season 5, Ep 23
"Teen-agers zoom to supersize and terrorize a town!" Opie invents a magic growth formula, called "Goo," that turns surly teens into Olympian gods! It's the beach party of Ragnarok, and boy, is Andy ever gonna be pissed! It's another low-budget schlockfest from the most prolific of all MST directors, Bert I. Gordon; indeed, it is the last of his films the show would do. Although MST had a rule against doing comedies, Village of the Giants is partly one, although with suspiciously low-grade jokes. The script is based off of H.G. Wells' Food of the Gods. Musical guests The Beau Brummels and Freddy Cannon give this film rather more star power than you might expect from Mr. BIG's projects. It's a pretty good episode! The movie's certainly riffing fare, but is still watchable and fun all the same. And in the host segments, prepare yourself for a visit from an old fiend.... YouTube (OFFICIAL, with Annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered January 22, 1994. [more inside]
Four blue collar astronauts are stuck together on a Space Sanitation Station after they bring a mysterious device aboard their ship and Earth is mysteriously devoid of life. Also, weird inter-dimensional and time continuum stuff. And a mutant rubber ducky terrorizes the crew. Starring George Takei as the rubber duck. [more inside]
Time stands still.
Work and pleasure both cause unwanted stress.
Destination: Point-of-Exile, Colorado.
Past mistakes catch up with the town of Polvo.
Something else instead!
Continuing the trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season. The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. [more inside]
Tragedy leads to innovation; innovation leads to tragedy.
The Last Policeman is a 2012 American soft science fiction mystery novel by Ben H. Winters. It follows a police detective in New Hampshire as he investigates a suicide he believes was really a murder. His efforts are complicated by the social, political and economic effects of preparations for, and anticipation of, an asteroid impact six months in the future. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: BEGINNING OF THE END Season 5, Ep 17
"The Screen's First Full-Length Science-Fiction Thriller with Real Live Creatures!" Peter Graves is a serious science man with an interesting discovery: a substance that makes vegetables grow king-size economy style right out of the ground. But what will happen when the local insect life discovers them? Bert I. Gordon, "Mr. Big" is back with a tale of grasshopers terrorizing a helpless postcard. Say what you want about these old sci-fi movies with questionable effects, they're still more fun than your standard contemporary Warner Bros. superhero flick, or so says me. By the way, did you know that Peter Graves went to the University of Minnesota? YouTube (Official, with annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered November 25, 1993. [more inside]
"I am Time grown weary to destroy the world, embarked on a course of world annihilation."
The team takes a break.
In Andrei Tarkovsky's Russian-language masterpiece, a Stalker leads two men into the Zone – an alien place guarded by barbed wire and soldiers – to find the Room, a place where it is believed one's secret hopes come true. Adapted by its authors from the book Roadside Picnic, Stalker (trailer) is a beautiful, ponderous, dreamlike film – one which, though difficult to summarize, commonly ranks among the greatest films of all time.
A power outage creates an unlikely friendship. [more inside]
Cleverman: Terra Nullius Season 1, Ep 6
As the Containment Authority prepares to clear the city of Hairypeople, Koen must finally face his destiny as the Cleverman. (season finale)
Cleverman: A Man of Vision Season 1, Ep 5
Charlotte agrees to one last attempt at IVF at a clinic offering new technology; Slade offers Waruu a tempting deal. [more inside]
ars PARADOXICA is a love letter to physics, fiction, and the future. It's a disorienting journey through spacetime and the Cold War. It's a tome of secret history you stumbled across in a library in the dead of night. It's also a serial audio drama. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE Season 5, Ep 13
"Fantastic! Weird! Horrifying!" "Alive...Without A Body... Fed By An Unspeakable Horror From Hell!" How gifted does a doctor have to be that, when his GF is decapitated in a crash, his thought is, "I can fix this!" Two-for-two on a bad idea streak, he goes out and tries to kill attractive women so he can get her a new chassis. This movie teaches us that not only are free-standing heads capable of speech, they can communicate with horrible monsters. It's Mike Nelson's first episode as host, and boy, they change a lot of things with this episode, including updating the set and changing the door sequence! It's a pretty good episode riffing-wise, too. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered October 30, 1993. Did you know there is a stage musical based on the film, "Head: The Musical!" (Vimeo 1h40m) [more inside]
I recently started listening to ars PARADOXICA (via collectallfour's AskMe) and am really enjoying it. Is there any interest in adding it to the FanFare podcast feeds? [more inside]