Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow, Snow, SNow

Old man winter has been having a lot of fun with us -- it is snowing to beat the band.  They are talking 16-20 inches here!  It's Washington for goodness sake!  We don't get that kind of snow!  This is going to be a perfect day to stay inside, wrap Christmas gifts, iron those clothes you have been putting off doing and, of course, watch some good videos. 

Be safe,

Monday, November 2, 2009


I have been catching up a bit on some of the shows I've slept through this year.  I loved Sanctuary last year and this year it is proving to remain one of my favorite programs.  The writing is just awesome and it is a show that continues to keep you guessing.  I think Amanda Tapping is marvelous as Helen Magnus and she is finally getting to show that she can act -- which was an occasional thing over at Stargate. 

This is one show where all the main characters are good.  I particularly enjoy the interaction between the characters.  Henry has grown considerably this year, as has Will.  I hated to see Ashley go, but the new addition is a good one -- and the give-and-take between her and Henry adds another facet to the show.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rainy Sunday Afternoon

It has been raining here for nearly for two days.  I found the perfect way to spend the day.  I pulled out the latest video from Warner Bros. SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES.  I have been a real fan of comic books for years and I have found that these animated movies are absolutely wonderful.  They have captured so much of the power and moral character that I remember from the comics I read way back when.
In this movie, Lex Luthor becomes President of he United States and has Superman and Batman declared Public Enemies because they would not work with him and some other super heroes.  This is a great story and resonates so well -- showing the economic crisis that we see in newspapers today.  This was a great movie and I'm sure everyone will enjoy it.  What you have to watch are the extras that come with the DVD.  It is such a wonderful mix of interviews and commentaries from some of the best in comic book history.  The new Justice League has a segment that is gives you a peek of that feature with some wonderful voice talent assembled.
Animated features can be just rich and exciting as a non-animated feature.  It's all in the writing -- good script usually means a good feature.  I find that the Super Heroes works on a number of levels -- kids and adults.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Mentalist

I love weekends -- they go way too quickly -- but it gives me a chance to watch some of the programs I've missed during the week -- and DVDs that I haven't cracked the wrapper on yet!  This week I got into THE MENTALIST.  Simon Baker is SO cute -- but the show is wonderfully clever as well.  Simon Baker portrays the haunted hero extremely well.  As Patrick Jane, he assists police with an assortment of murders.  The most interesting story arc is that of Red John -- the person who killed Jane's wife and child and continues to haunt him with additional murders -- each using a similar style and disdain for life. 

I love procedural dramas like Criminal Minds, CSIs, NCIS, etc.  The Mentalist is somewhat like that but more character involvement.  I am only now getting into Criminal Minds -- now that it is on A&E, I can watch it just about anytime.  While I like CSI: Miami - David Caruso drives me nuts!!!! 

Anyway, Happy Monday -- back to work.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

DVDs - Fringe

I am watching the Fringe DVD for season one.  I love this series -- it is very creative and really exciting.  The extras are awesome.  There are several segments on the visual effects associated with the show and it is an amazing series of segments.  You see how much green screen they have used and how CGI has been enhanced to provide the visual effects being used.  To have this on a TV series is unbelievable.  You see this stuff in movies and they have tons of time to get the effects done.  To have this on a weekly series is just unbelievable.

I know I have written about the series before.  Can't wait to see the second season to begin.  Leonard Nimoy played "the" most key character of the series and I can't wait to see where they go with their alternate reality scenario.  It is very cool!

I love watching the special features on DVDs -- especially when they explain how they have done some of the special effects.  The commentary is very cool as well.  The writers and producers discuss how they came up with the various ideas and stories and how they actually brought it to the screen.  This is what makes getting the DVD worthwhile.  You can record all the episodes of the series but you can never get this sort of thing -- only on the DVD.

If you enjoy the series, you are going to love this DVD.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Senator Edward Kennedy

I guess I am like a million other people watching the news related to the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. He was a very beloved politician here in Washington and in Massachusetts. Few ever talk ill of the dead, but it seems like more people have good things to say about him than not. I admired him for years. Unlike his brothers, he seemed content in Congress, fighting the continual fight for bills to increase minimum wage, civil rights, health care. He was good at what he did -- talking and listening to people's concerns.

At least to my generation, there are only a few names that come to mind immediately when talking about Senators -- Senator Kennedy is the first one that pops into my head. Despite the fact that everyone knew his days were numbered following the diagnosis of brain cancer, he continued to pick his appearances and lend his voice and influence when needed. I applaud him for a life of service and hope his family will find solace in the millions of people who shed tears at his passing.

I don't believe we will see the likes of Ted Kennedy again. In this age of mass media and fast communications, few stop to say hello, tell stories and share experiences as he did. He was the ultimate "people" person with a skill to energize people for a cause or an idea. His smile was infectious, as was his love of life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


It is amazing what people come up with to promote their upcoming DVDs and other projects. Warner Bros. has developed a new game where you match the pattern frequently seen on FRINGE -- the grand prize is a trip to the FRINGE studio. You get 6 chances to enter wonder what the odds are in such a contest. Anyway, its fun and since this is one of my favorite shows, if not my favorite show, I hope that the DVD sales do well.

I find that there is so little on TV these days to actually make me think -- at least while my eyes are still focused on the screen. FRINGE peeks my curiosity on a number of levels. You wonder about the A story, but you wonder about all the little things that go on behind the A story -- the Olivia/Peter chemistry that is developing, the whole interaction between Peter and his father, I just can't wait for it to return. Now I have the DVD to watch and see what extras they have tucked inside.

If you want to learn more about the series, go to

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New DVDs

There are some awesome DVDs coming out in the next few weeks-months. I was watching SMALLVILLE on Sunday. Boy has that changed from its early days on the tube. Tom Welling has grown nicely into a leading man and Allison Mach is awesome as Cloe. I thought I would miss Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) more -- but the new lady, Tess, fills in nicely. You wonder what's going on with her and Oliver (Green Arrow) and at times it seems more like a soap opera.

Coming very soon are the DVD collections for SUPERNATURAL and FRINGE. I have loved FRINGE from the first episode and can't wait for it to return for season two. This show has so many twists and turns you need the DVD so that you can run it back to see what you missed. This year promises to be even better -- with Leonard Nimoy as the mysterious Mr. Bell making another appearance.

Warner Bros. has a ton of great movies for kids, including a new Scooby-Do Where Are You? Volume Three. Their selection of animated adventures is awesome. The Green Lantern: First Flight was great. I can't wait to see SUPERFRIENDS: The Lost Episodes and SUPERMAN: THE COMPLETE ANIMATED SERIES. The previous volumes have been wonderful and my nephews children can sit for hours and watch. Oh, can't forget WONDER WOMAN! They all make for good viewing -- along with positive reinforcement of good versus evil.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stargate Universe

Are you all anxiously awaiting STARGATE UNIVERSE? I have been watching the trailers available at Syfy, but so far they haven't shown enough for me to figure out whether or not it will be good or not. So far, I'm not liking Robert Caryle - the lead for the series. I guess I like my leading men to be tall and handsome. In the most recent clip, his accent is so strong you need to listen very hard to understand what he is saying. I'm sure the accent won't be as pronounced in the series -- at least I hope it will not be. Only a couple of the crew are known entities -- Lou Diamond Phillips is a great actor and he plays a Colonel caught on the Destiny (an ancient spaceship) with the others. I guess we'll soon see. The series is set to premiere October 2.
I was surprised to see Richard Dean Anderson in the clip. Oh my! Has he changed.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Babylon 5 Favorites

I thought it might be nice to get back to basics for a bit -- and talk Babylon 5. When trying to get a discussion going, a sure bet is talking about favorites -- episodes, characters, lines, season, whatever. Everyone has a favorite of one kind or another.

I was thinking about favorite lines -- and there have to be tons of them. I suppose we could look through the Book of Quotes and find a few -- but aren't there some that just say Babylon 5 to you? Mine is "All Alone In The Night" or "Nothing's the same anymore" - from the season one opening. I guess one of JMS' favorite lines is "But in purple ... I'm Stunning!" -- the title he chose for his book of quotations.

Here are some others:
"Toast. To absent friends, .. in memory still bright"
"Until we meet again, in a place where no shadows fall"

What are your favorites?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Jonny Quest

How many of you watched Jonny Quest when you were a kid? I know I did. Saturday morning would bring a new adventure of the blonde boy with an Indian friend. Race Banner was Jonny's bodyguard and would come to the rescue at the last moment.

There's a new version out -- updated a bit. Jonny is 13 years old and Race Banner has a daughter that joins Jonny and Hadji in their adventures. The animation is pretty good and the stories are good enough to keep younger viewers engaged.

The DVD has 13 episodes-- including a number of adventures for the young detectives. Unlike some cartoons, this one has some good writing and production values.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

BBC America

I find that I am watching BBC America more and more. I haven't been a Doctor Who fan, but started watching Primeval a few months ago and found it very interesting and fresh. I am watching Being Human now. It is a new series about a vampire, werewolf and ghost who live together in an apartment and try to lead a "normal" life. Interesting concept.

Green Lantern: First Flight

Watched the new GREEN LANERN: FIRST FLIGHT movie this afternoon. I have found the movies Warner Bros. has created from their comic book characters to be quite good -- and not just for kids either. The writing is quite good and the stories are much like a regular movie. Using the comic form allows them to do much more as far as action and special effects. While I'm sure the cost is still significant, it is not what it would cost for a live-action film.
This video provides us with the background of how Hal Jordan was picked to be the Green Lantern and what the league stands for. Inter-planetary police force.

The Prisoner

I love updating The Zocalo Today because it gives me an excuse to wander around the internet looking for information to post. At this time of year, there is so much information coming out of San Diego Comic-Con that you have to really look for items that most readers will be interested in. This morning I found a clip from the new AMC remake of THE PRISONER. It is marvelous. Ian McKellan is absolutely awesome as Number Two and I can not wait for the mini-series to air. I loved the old PRISONER series with Patrick McGoohan. McGoohan was an absolute genius in developing this series. It takes advantage of everyone's interest in spy fiction, but throws in science fiction, psychological drama as well.

The other movie that looks interesting is the new SHERLOCK HOLMES film starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. From Downey's comments at Comic Con, he has made quite a study of Sir Arthur Connan Doyle - lending a bit more authenticity to the role than perhaps others who have shared in the portrayal.

Looks like a good weekend for the movies. You have the new HARRY POTTER movie along with ICE AGE and TRANSFORMERS. Have to admit, movies like BRUNO and THE HANGOVER don't interest me in the least.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Warehouse 13

OK, I'm a little slow -- but I just got around to watching Warehouse 13 from Syfy. It is nice that Syfy has the full episodes on the website. I like that about networks. They give you a chance to watch the show on your time.

I like this show. I know how others feel, but this is quirky enough for me to like. When I read the description, Indiana Jones came to mind -- the place where the Lost Arc was deposited. While that part is correct, the personalities -- the main characters -- are interesting and engaging. Myka and Pete may remind people a bit of relationship of X-files Mulder and Scully.

The pilot was fun. Artie, the curator of Warehouse 13, knows each piece in the warehouse and the power it posses. He has some very old devices -- an electric car that was shot down by Henry Ford because he could sell more cars powered by petroleum and an early version of a stun gun! Cool.

I can't wait to see what they have to offer as the series continues.

Over at Syfy, there are some interesting background files. At one time, I think I had a flashback to Legend of the Rangers. The surrounding area looked like the studio space being used by Babyon 5 in Vancouver -- the place where the movie was shot.

If you have opinions of the show, let me know. Love it or hate it, at least it's new!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite has died and I am saddened at his passing. He was, in my eyes, the greatest journalist, newsman in the world. I grew up listening to him anchor the Evening News. He brought us solace during JFK's assassination and provided memorable events as no other news reporter has done.

In an age before the 24/7 news cycle, Mr. Cronkite brought us descriptions of the world around him with honesty and integrity. Unlike many of today's newscasters, "spin" was not in his vocabulary. He reported the news as he saw it and worked tirelessly to bring you the facts.

I had the honor or working with Mr. Cronkite on a program a few years ago. He did a telephone conference with an audience at an American Embassy in East Asia. Even though he was home with pneumonia, he plugged along like a trooper, not wanting to disappoint those who had gathered to hear him speak. Everyone hoped to get their question answered by this masterful commentator and he tried his best to satisfy everyone.

The world changed dramatically during the time Walter Cronkite occupied the evening news desk. He brought those changes to us with his own special insightfulness and somehow made us less afraid of what was happening in the world around us.

And that's the way it is on July 18, 2009. The world is greatly diminished by his passing.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Favorite Old Movies

Warner Bros. has opened up a wonderful movie archive -- with a ton of classics that are totally unknown treasures to most people. Got me to thinking about old movies in general. What are your favorite old movies -- not just from science fiction genre, but any that really are #1 and #2 for you -- movies that you can watch over and over again.
I grew up in an era of wonderful action flicks -- and I still love them. THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON will be on ENCORE channel, again this month. I love Erol Flynn and while this one doesn't rank up there with ROBIN HOOD, it is one you can sit through regardless of the length. How about you? What are your favorites?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Beautiful Cities

As I was driving home today, I was thinking how beautiful Washington, DC is this time of year. Filled with tourists, I was wondering where everyone had come from. Washington is host to a large number of tourists each year and it is fun to see the new double decker buses running around town -- along with the DC Duck (a tour bus made from a converted amphibious vehicle from the US Army). While I've been in Washington for over 40 years, it still surprises me how many people travel here to see all the monuments and museums.

Washington is quite the opposite of where I grew up. Brownsville had a population of 6,000 or so. My graduating class was nearly 400; this year it was just a little over 100. It is sad that my home town has changed so dramatically. I am sure I am not alone in this. So many home towns have been reduced to dots on a map.

I have been very fortunate to have traveled a bit -- thanks to Babylon 5. Joe Straczynski gave me copies of the blooper tapes to take to conventions and I had a ball meeting Babylon 5 fans in Sydney, Brisbane, Berlin, Vancouver and a number of cities in the U.S. - from Baltimore to LA. It is amazing to realize how many fans Babylon 5 has in all parts of the world. It has affected people around the globe in many ways, using the words in wedding ceremonies and eulogies. I wish that it were being shown somewhere so that another generation of Babylon 5 fans could be introduced to this magnificent melodrama.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I had the pleasure of watching INKHEART this weekend. While it starts a little slow, before you know it you are caught up in the story of Mo and Meggie looking for a book in an effort to release Mo's wife/Meggie's mother. They are pursued by Dustfinger and Scorpion -- characters from the Inkheart book. It seems that Mo is a "silver tongue". What he reads turns into reality. That is a major problem when you are reading fairy tales!

Brendan Fraser is wonderful as Mo -- the adoring father and book doctor. His search for the Inkheart book takes he and Meggie all over Europe -- searching for a way to reverse the effect created when his wife went into the book -- and Dustfinger and Scorpion came out! Helen Mirren is adorabale as Elinor, an aunt in love with books -- but brave enough to rescue Mo and others in Scorpion's castle.

I was sad to see this not do better at the box office. It is a wonderful story and one that just could bring children back to reading more -- and watching TV and the computer less. The imagination is a marvelous thing -- and I fear too much of it is wasting away these days.

Take care.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Primeval Cancelled!!!!!!

DRAT, it seems just when I find a show that I enjoy watching -- it gets cancelled. I guess that if there is a silver lining in this, there are three seasons worth of episodes and I don't SciFi is even through season one yet! And, the PRIMEVAL movie seems to still be on track, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

One drawback (spoilers ahead), that if they don't bring back Cutter, I don't know if I'll watch. I got to like him a lot and don't care for the new guy at all. There are tons of ways that Cutter can return -- if it isn't a case of the actor not wanting to come back. There is the whole anomoly, parallel universe thing that could come to play. Heck, the manufactured double could have been killed instead of the real Dr. Cutter!!!!

I guess we'll have to wait to see -- if the movie ever comes to be.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Washington Tourists

This morning as I took a shuttle trip from our building over to the main Department of State building, our route took us past the Washington Monument. It was wonderful seeing all the tourists waiting to take a trip up to the top of the Monument. The Monument had been closed for quite some time, with renovations to the elevators and grounds -- and it just struck me as a great picture -- Americans waiting to see one of the landmarks of our country.

It is quite nice, weatherwise here in Washington. Later in the summer, the sweltering heat will turn the Foggy Bottom area back into the swamp that it reclaimed. It is that time of year that Washington does indeed feel like part of the South!

Have a great day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Have any of you been watching Primeval on either SciFi or BBC America? I have gotten to really like this show. It is a little quirky, but in a good way. You have the monster of the week sort of story line, but there are several sub-plots going through the overall story as well. You follow a group of scientists as they fight dinosaurs that are coming through rips in time. Just think of the stories that you could come up with?

The show is already in its third season in the UK, but it hasn't been on SciFi for all that long. It is a good addition to their Friday line-up -- adding a new component to their reruns of Star Trek whatever, followed by Moonlight.

I hear there are a number of changes ahead -- all of which fans of the show are a bit apprehensive about. The chemistry of the members of the team really do make the show. Connor is a quirky but brilliant computer geek always coming up with a new gizmo to fight off the latest creature coming through the anomoly. Abby is sort of Connor's partner. Nick Cutter leads the group and his wife, who is supposed to be dead, is the main baddie. There are a number of other actors in this ensemble cast, but these are the main players.

If you have a chance, you should catch an episode and see if you like it. There is so little new on TV these days, this will give you something different to watch on Friday night.

Take care.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Hey there. I just got a WII for my birthday. Yes, I know I'm a little behind the curve on this one, but I thought it would be a cool way to exercise. I sit a good bit of the day at a desk, doing paperwork or editing video or something like that. When I get home it's make dinner, do dishes and relax a little before getting ready for the next day.

I hooked up the WII to a TV down in the rec room downstairs. It would be awesome on the big screen, but I thought I would start small. I got the basic set and the sports set with bat, racket and golf club. It also includes bowling and boxing. It is amazing the number of things you can get to work with the WII. So we'll see.

I had a blast working through most of the games. I didn't do the golf yet, but did well with baseball, bowling and boxing. Tennis is a little harder to get coordinated. That will take a little more time, but it will be fun working through it.

Cool game.
Take care.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Star Trek Movie

I just came back from seeing the new STAR TREK movie. I thought it was absolutely wonderful. I loved the original STAR TREK series -- until they started going crazy with love stories for Bill Shatner. The original episodes were eye-opening and thought-provoking. They showed us individuals from new planets, with images that we'd not seen before.

I was particularly taken by Karl Urban's portrayal of Leonard "Bones" McCoy. He was perfect. You could just about hear DeForest Kelley speaking the lines. Simon Pegg was a little over the top as Scotty and having a relationship between Spock and Uhura was quite a twist. Christopher Pine was wonderful as Kirk and I loved Bruce Greenwood as Christopher Pike.

The graphics were marvelous -- and just seeing the old Enterprise again was similar to the moment in the original STAR TREK movie when Kirk comes to see the renovated Enterprise. The graphics were amazing. If there was a weakness in the movie it would be Nemo -- the baddie Romulan. I don't think it was quite bad enough-- he was OK but not on the grand scale with the rest of the movie.

I hope everyone has a chance to see the movie.
Take care.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I have just finished watching some of my favorite shows and ALL of them ended with a cliffhanger! Can you stand it! Now we have to wait through the summer to see if Ziva will ever forgive Tony for killing her lover on NCIS; if any of the CSI:NY staff survive the savage attack as they salute a fallen comrad -- and what was that alternate reality Olivia found herself in with William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) on FRINGE!

I still have to watch a couple more of my favorites -- and who wants to bet they ended in clifhangers too?

This is a great throw-back to serial television. Watching old series that would keep you guessing from one episode to the other. You just had to see what happened to your favorite character.

Remind you of Babylon 5? It should. J. Michael Straczynski took great care to set you up every chance he could. Who would have guessed Garibaldi would be betrayed by his #1 security guy. Who would have guessed Sinclair was Valen? How about Delenn turning into a half-human; half-Minbari? Each of these events led you down the road to anticipate the next event.
Thank heaven for the internet with the ability to watch TV shows after they air. I wish all shows did this. I still haven't seen The Mentalist yet -- and all you can see is snippets on the internet. Bummer. Oh well, They will be new to me on reruns.
Talk at you later.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dreary Sunday Afternoon

It is a rainy, dreary Sunday here in Washington. This sort of weather is good for two things -- keeping plants nice -- and watching DVDs. Rarely is there anything worth watching on Sunday afernoon. Seems to be reserved for sports of one kind or another. Luckily I have a petty good supply of DVDs. Today I watched THE CLOSER -- a series from TNT that is in its fourth season. I really like this show, though I rarely watching it on TV. Like a number of shows I really like, I usually seem to watch them on the computer at or some other on-line service. Thank goodness they are available -- especially on days like this. Even if there isn't much on TV or cable, you can pick your entertainment based on your mood.

If you aren't familiar with THE CLOSER, Kyra Sedgwick is a Deputy Police Chief and you follow her and her team as they investigate homocides in LA. Her team is top notch and it is a joy to watch Brenda in the interrogation room.

I seem to be into cop dramas these days -- NCIS, CSI, CSI: New York; CSI: Miami, and Fringe. If I had to pick a favorite it would be hard -- but Fringe is right up there. Can't wait to see the season finale -- the one where we actually see Leonard Nimoy as William Bell -- the guy who is behind all the weird scientific happenings Olivia has been investigating. We've gotten a taste in the last few weeks, and it will be wonderful to actually see Walter and William Bell meet again. Want to bet we'll have to wait until next season to see that????

One saving grace this summer will be the return of some series on SciFi (or SyFy by then). I do like Sanctuary and that returns in June. I think that is when the new Stargate Universe hits the airwaves as well. I am very happy to read that Richard Dean Anderson will make some appearances on the show. I've loved him since MacGyver.

Speaker of MacGyver, I heard a very cool reference the other day. Someone was talking about the economic crisis and said that "we are a nation of MacGyvers and we'll figure it out and fix it." I love that -- and truly hope it happens.

Have a great day,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Star Trek

I just finished watching some of the latest trailers for the upcoming STAR TREK movie. So far it looks good, but trailers can be OH SO MISLEADING. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has gone to the movies expecting great things only to find that the trailers were the best part of the movie!

I am hoping the new STAR TREK is good -- my generation had the old STAR TREK -- it would be good to give this generation something to stretch their imagination -- looking toward the future with hope and wonder.

I love the actors chosen for the new movie. Chris Pine is a marvelous actor. I saw him in a movie on an airplane last year and he was terrific. Zach Quinto has always been a standout on HEROES -- he was just SO evil!!!! I'm not sure of the rest of the cast, but we'll soon see. May 8 is coming up fast and reviews are already starting to hit the internet. I am glad to say that most of them seem positive, so we'll compare notes once it hits the U.S. on May 8.

Take care.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I watched the premiere episode of DOLLHOUSE this morning on  The series had been delayed a number of times and I'm sure people were anxious to see what Joss Whedon had come up with.  

Before I watched the episode, I read that ratings for the show were not very good.  Friday has killed a lot of series -- and so we'll have to see how Dollhouse does in the coming weeks.  

The first episode you got a little introduction to Echo, a girl who is programmed to do different tasks and then her memory is wiped and she waits for the next task.  It seems as if all the operatives are very good looking girls.  There is a backstory that you got a little of.  A police officer (I think he was police or FBI or something) was trying to find all the girls that had disappeared and had the key word - dollhouse but little else.  He was dedicated to finding the kidnapped girls, but his supervisors were not behind him.  They wanted him to give it up.

The main story focused on the kidnapping of a small girl -- the daughter of a Mexican businessman.  The kidnappers were asking for $10 million dollars and Echo is sent in as the mediator.  The memories she had been given were that of a skilled negotiator who was near-sighted with asthma.  As the show goes on, she challenges the kidnappers and sets up a meeting to get the little girl back.  As it turns out, the memories implanted into Echo were of a young lady who had been abducted at 9 and she runs into her kidnapper while trying to retrieve the little girl.  She does retrieve the girl -- so there is a happy ending -- sort of.  Echo goes back into the chamber and her memories are whipped clean.  She and others then go to their sleep chambers and wait for their next assignment.  

There are a lot of different things going on here.  There is the Echo story.  There is the FBI/special agent story looking for the missing young women.  There is the entire dollhouse organization and so you are left wondering what will come up next.  I liked Echo's handler -- a former policeman who really wanted to save the little girl and protect Echo.    So we'll see what happens next week.  

Did anyone else watch the episode?  What did you think?

Take care.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I don't know how many of you watch FRINGE, but I absolutely love it. Yes, I know, it is somewhat strange, but that is perhaps what I like most about it. It does have some run-of-the-mill components to it, but there are some other elements of it that you don't see anywhere. I love Walter Bishop -- the mad scientist (he spent 17 years in a mental hospital - so he is really certifiable), but he is absolutely amazing. John Noble, who portrays Walter, is a fantastic actor and seems to enjoy the role enormously. Joshua Jackson is Peter Bishop, the son of Walter, and a very complex character. He has not known his father for many years -- but is needed in this instance so that Walter can get out of the institution. Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) works for a special unit of the FBI. They take on all the "weird" casts -- things from frozen people on a bus to people that turn into huge creatures like porcuppines.

While there is a different focus of the story each week, there is a layering of the backstory that continues and I think that is what keeps my interest. The characters grow before your eyes -- the relationship between Peter and Walter become less hostile; Peter gets closer to Olivia - and Olivia discovers more about her lover/ex-partner who they originally thought was guilt of treason against the US.

Each week you learn a little more and the relationships get a little deeper. Even the secondary actors, Lance Riddick (Phillip Broyles), Kirk Acevedo (Charlie Francis) and Jasika Nicole (Astrid Farnsworth) grow in interest and importance each week.

JJ Abrams knows how to write series TV, as we have seen in Lost and Alias. FRINGE is not as complex as LOST, but it has held my interest since it was first introduced. The other benefit is that you can see current episodes on -- so you can catch up verye quickly on episodes you have missed. I wish you could do the same thing with THE MENTALIST or ELEVENTH HOUR. All you get there are clips.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Weekend

It always amazes me that amount of hype for the Super Bowl each year.  Companies pay millions for a 60 second commercial -- and fortunately, they are some of the best you will see this year.  This year, NBC will take advantage of the internet, making the commercials available on the internet right after they air on the Super Bowl.  That is a wonderful development.  You won't have to worry about missing anything when you need a snack or have to go to the bathroom.

Being from Pennsylvania, I am rooting for the Steelers.  While I guess it would be cool for the underdog Cardinals to win, the Steelers have a good team and they have worked hard this year to get to this point in time.  Given the record of the Washington Redskins, it may be a long time before this team gets close to the Super Bowl.  They didn't have the worst record -- they started well but went down hill pretty fast.  Oh well, such is life in the NFL.  I haven't really been a football fan for years -- like since Roger Staubach was the QB for the Dallas Cowboys.  I can remember sitting on the edge of my seat watching some of the last-minute heroics.  

We had winter arrive here this week -- an ice storm arrived on Wednesday.  You can deal with snow, but ice is something else.  Another storm is headed our way for Monday/Tuesday so we'll see what ole man winter has in store for us this time.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

I don't know about you, but I sat in front of the TV most of the day. The events of the day were just awe-inspiring. To see the thousands and thousands of people, braving the cold temperatures, to watch this amazing event. The pictures on CNN and other news organizations showed the patchwork quilt that makes the fabric of the United States. People of every way of life were represented by the people in Washington today.

Along with the events of the day, I loved the commercials. Cisco had some absolutely marvelous commercials. Since I do video conferencing, they were particularly interesting to me. It is one technology that may finally find it's way to the top as fuel becomes more expensive and more emphasis is placed on "green" operations.

Hope you all had a great day.
Take care.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday, January 20

Many of us have the day off today in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. It is a day of reflection for everyone -- regardless of race or political persuasion. Tomorrow, we will have a chance to see the 44th President inaugurated into office. While millions have come to Washington, DC to observe this page in history, I am going to opt out and watch it on TV. Not only is it going to be terribly cold, but with several million observers in town, the streets closed to just about all forms of traffic, I think watching the festivities from home is the best option.

I went to my one and only inauguration for President Nixon. It was terribly cold and I remember running to the corner drug store to get some hot chocolate with a friend. We had stood on a street corner for hours and still had hours to wait. Back then, security was nothing like it will be tomorrow. No backpacks, no strollers, no coolers -- just about everything is forbidden in the area of the parade route or near Capitol Hill. The news agencies will have the best seats in town -- and my seat will be nice and cozy, warm as I watch everything going on in town.

For anyone who has visited Washington, DC, you know it can be a confusing town -- even under the best of conditions. Tomorrow the subway is just about the best way around -- the absolute best is walking. With an expected record crowd coming to see Barak Obama sworn in as President, it is not a venture for the faint of heart. Everyone who ventures out tomorrow has my good wishes. I hope you enjoy the day -- and get some unbelievable pictures.

Take care,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two Passings Noted

Yesterday, two people died that are very well known to fans of science fiction.

Patrick McGoohan who many will either remember from THE PRISONER or SECRET AGENT or COLOMBO. He was a marvelous actor -- and quite a talented person. He wrote and directed many of THE PRISONER episodes. He won two Emmy awards for his role on COLOMBO. And he was also a Zorro-type character on a Disney series entitled THE SCARECROW. A&E is doing a new version of THE PRISONER. It will be interesting to see if it can capture the essence of the original series. McGoohan was perfect as #6, always challenging the authorities of The Village.

Ricardo Montalban had an air of sophistication about him that came through even when he was in heavy make-up. He was perfect as Khan on STAR TREK. He made STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN one of the most popular STAR TREK movies. He was awesome as the mysterious Mr. Rourke on FANTASY ISLAND and in his later years he lent his voice to a number of animated movies.

Both of these actors will be greatly missed. They created strong characters that we will not forget.

Take care,

Monday, January 12, 2009


Everyone has an opinion on the best science fiction movies made. A lot has to go into a selection -- your personal taste, what you have seen, when you saw the film, etc. Picking just a few is hard -- but there will always be those that stick out -- way ahead of others that have come and gone in theaters around the country.

I have trouble coming up with a #1. A lost depends on your mood when you are making the selection. Do I go with the traditional STAR WARS -- or the sentimental E.T. or CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF A THIRD KIND. There is also BLADERUNNER -- which I have not yet seen from end to end, and then the classics like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and WAR OF THE WORLDS. Where do you fit in THE MATRIX or TERMINATOR or ALIEN? And you can't forget 2001, A SPACE ODDESY or FORBIDDEN PLANET or THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN or JURASSIC PARK. Many of these we watched as we were growing up and they definitely had an impact on how we perceived science fiction. I still prefer true science fiction -- not the horror or true fantasy elements that have krept in over the years. I have to admit that it is getting harder to separate the two.

Having grown up with Rocky Jones, Space Ranger and Captain Midnight, it is hard to think of my childhood without these mainstays of the early TV schedule. Lost in Space and shows like Star Trek brought science fiction into our homes every week and made us think about life on other planets and beings that didn't look like us.

Hollywood continues to crank out movies at a tremendous pace -- but I fear there are fewer and fewer that we can call "great" or even "classic". We can keep hoping that someone will come along with a fresh look at life in space. Joe Straczynski did it 15 years ago with Babylon 5.

Take care,