If you are a devotee of time travel...

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Podcast Review of The Time Traveler's Wife 1.1


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 301, in which I review the first episode of The Time Traveler's Wife on HBO.

Written blog post review of this episode


Check out this episode!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Podcast Review of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 1.1-1.2


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 300, in which I review the first two episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount+

Written blog post review of these episodes


Check out this episode!

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Time Traveler's Wife 1.1: Off to a Fine, Funny, Complex Start



The Time Traveler's Wife debuted on HBO last night. Based on the 2003 novel by  Audrey Niffenegger which I haven't read, made into a movie in 2009 which I saw and really liked but didn't review (because I was too busy promoting the first edition of my then new book, New New Media), HBO's offering is a brand-new series.  I thought the first episode was excellent.

The set up: Henry is the time traveler, pulled into the past, sometimes the future, with nothing but his skin, not of his own volition, usually in the timeframe of his own lifetime.  He can meet earlier and later versions of himself, and often does.  Clare is the wife.  Henry, already a man, and already married to Clare, travels back in time and meets her as a girl (first time in her life she's seen him).  They love each other, but their lives together are certainly not easy.   I know some of what will happen in subsequent episodes because I saw the movie, as I said above, but this review will be spoiler-free.

There's probably more humor than heartbreak in this story, but I wouldn't call it a comedy, and it's a frothy mix of frivolity and potentially life-and-death situations and predicaments at hand.  Henry and Clare are both highly intelligent, which makes the challenges they encounter, together and separate, a lot of fun to see. Also, intellectually provocative.

The acting in the lead roles is great, just what you'd want in narrative like this.  Theo James, last seen and missed now as Sidney in Sanditon, is perfect as Henry, irreverent, fast thinking and fast acting, and pretty good in a fight.  Rose Leslie, who lit up the screen as Ygritte in Game of Thrones, ranges as required from spitfire to vulnerable, as good at strategizing as Henry, and at least as important a mover of events in the story as Henry.

So we're off to fine start with our central couple.  We'll meet other characters, of course, as well as seemingly insurmountable problems -- as befits the genre of time travel -- in the episodes ahead, and I'll be back here with reviews of each of them.





Podcast Review of The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.4


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 299, in which I review the fourth episode of The Man Who Fell to Earth  on Showtime.

Written blog post review of this episode of The Man Who Fell to Earth.

podcast reviews of The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.1 ... 1.2... 1.3



Paul Levinson interviewed on WNBC-TV about David Bowie in 2016

 


Check out this episode!

The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.4: "Tell my wife I love her very much..."



How cool and meta-perfect is The Man Who Fell to Earth new series on Showtime?  Well, in episode 1.4, just up last night, we learn that Thomas Newton, who came to Earth all those years ago, in the 1976 movie starring David Bowie in the role, lost his memory, or most of it, including of his wife back on Althea, way out there in outer space.  And in episode 1.4 Newton, now played by Bill Nighy, tells Faraday in a little hovering ball of a recording made as his memory was fading, "Tell my wife I love her very much".  The very request that Major Tom made to his listeners in David Bowie's iconic 1969 "Space Oddity" recording.   "Ain't Jenny so cool ..."  Well, not only Jenny Lumet, but Alex Kurtzman, Jane Maggs (who wrote the story Lumet and Kurtzman made into the teleplay) and everyone who put this unique sequel series together.



Bowie's presence and essence has been integrated into this new series from the very first episode, which was entitled "Hallo, Spaceboy" -- just a comma more than Bowie's 1995 song "Hallo Spaceboy".   At this point in the series, I've got to say I can't think of a better, more multi-valent TV series sequel to a movie.

And we got some important Justin backstory in this episode.  She invented a cold fusion process -- an incredible achievement, that duly impressed Faraday -- but paid for it with the loss of her daughter's father, who died of radiation poisoning.  Along with Newton's loss of memory, this was one of the two most powerful heart tugs of the episode.

Spencer has another night of flexing his CIA muscle, but the highpoint is his encounter with Mary Lou, another memorable character from the 1976 movie, played back then by Candy Clark.  She and Newton shared a love of sorts, and in his absence she's become Sister Mary Lou, now played by Juliet Stevenson.  Spencer's conversation with her was one of his best moment so far in the series, but I could've done without the bee in her mouth.

The Man Who Fell to Earth continues to be one of the most refreshingly original science fiction shows on television.  That's quite an accomplishment, given that the series is a sequel, but it draws you into its spider web to the point that you're really feeling, on a visceral level, the interstellar interplay that is at the heart of this story.

See you back here next week with my next review.





See also The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.1: Great Provenance and Excellent Start ... 1.2: The Ending We Needed ... 1.3: "I've come with a prototype ... "

first spaceship to Alpha Centauri from Mars




Sunday, May 15, 2022

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 1.1-2: Great Characters, Actors, and Stories



I saw the first two episodes of  Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount+ late last night and really enjoyed them.  More than Picard and a lot more than Discovery, to rank the new Star Treks that Paramount+ has been rolling out.   Strange New Worlds brought back a lot of the verve and joy of watching TOS aka the original Star Trek series.  And here are some of the more specific reasons why:

[No big spoilers ahead ... ]

1. It was wonderful to see so many of the TOS characters brought back, in their younger days, as befits a narrative about Captain Pike ten years before he suffered the disfiguring injuries that we saw so vividly in one of the all-time best TOS episodes, the two-hour "The Menagerie".  Anson Mount's Pike, first introduced in Discovery, is superb. I first noticed Mount in Hell on Wheels, where he also gave a top-notch performance.  His Pike is tough, sarcastic, empathetic, and now tormented by the disfiguring future he's seen.  Ethan Peck's Spock is also outstanding, providing his logical commentary in perfect pitch, struggling to throw in some lame humor, even being pretty effective in a romantic scene back home before he's called to join Pike on the Enterprise. Cecilia Rose Gooding was great as Uhura, as was her back story, and her affinity for language including music.  Jess Bush's Nurse Chapel was also fun to see, especially her crush on Spock.  And speaking of Nurse Chapel, she of course was originally portrayed by Majel Barrett,  who played Pike's Number One in "The Menagerie" -- Rebecca Romijn's Number One in Strange New Worlds looks to be a strong, literally supporting character whom Pike can confide in.  And just for good measure, Sam Kirk, James T's brother, was on board as well as an anthropologist.

2. The new characters were excellent, too.  My favorite was Christina Chong's La'an Noonien-Singh. She's tough-minded and  tough to beat, and will make a very effective Security Chief.  From what we briefly saw of the new doc and the new engineer -- as always, a bit behind the eight ball with beaming -- they'll be bringing a lot to Strange New Worlds, too.

3. I've been saying for years now, ever since cable and then streaming television emerged, that I much prefer continuing narratives throughout a season to standalone stories.  But I thought the first two standalone episodes of Strange New Worlds -- the first with the same title as the series, the second aptly named "Children of the Comet"-- worked great.  The first episode did violate the Prime Directive, though in all fairness, the don't-interfere-directive was not yet named Prime, and only became Prime as a result of what Pike did in this episode.  The second, about (I guess) an AI-driven comet, and the belief of its protectors that the comet was a vehicle of a higher power, was one of the best religion in space stories I've ever seen, a really fine and intelligent job.  And this made me realize I prefer religion treated in Star Trek to the way it's treated in, for example, Raised by Wolves. I guess that amounts to a preference for intellectual ingenuity over blood and gore.

So I'm really onboard with this new Enterprise. Its position, a decade before Sam Kirk's brother took the helm, is in many ways ideal. In particular, what Pike does to follow Number One's good advice to resist and contest what he saw in the future and those of us who are old enough first saw in 1966, will be fun and exquisite to see. 

And I'll see you back here next week with my next review.






And see also The Missing Orientation (free essay)


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Star Trek: Picard Season Two: A Roundtable Discussion


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 298, in which Captain Phil, MaryBeth Ritkouski, Michael Rizzo, and I discuss Star Trek: Picard Season 2 on Paramount+ and much more about Star Trek: TOS, Star Trek: TNG, and all things Star Trek and related.

More about Mary Beth Ritkouski and Michael Rizzo at SciFi Distilled

More about Captain Phil at Captain Phil's Planet

Boarding the Enterprise (edited by David Gerrold and Robert J. Sawyer), anthology with essay "How Star Trek Liberated Television" by Paul Levinson, which discusses the Star Trek syndication impact

Fringe Science: Parallel Universes, White Tulips, and Mad Scientists (edited by Kevin R. Grazier) anthology with essay by Paul Levinson, "The Return of 1950s Television in Fringe," which discusses Levinson's "First Love Syndrome" in popular culture appreciation.

Welcome Up: Songs of Space and Time (2020 LP by Paul Levinson on Old Bear Records and Light in the Attic Records)

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.10

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.9

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.8

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.7

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.6

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.5

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.4

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.3

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.2

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.1

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard season 1

Slipping_Time_story_covera little time travel story -- free


Check out this episode!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Podcast Review of The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.3


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 297, in which I review the third episode of The Man Who Fell to Earth  on Showtime.

Written blog post review of this episode of The Man Who Fell to Earth.

podcast review of The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.1 ... 1.2


Check out this episode!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Agnieszka Stecko-Żukowska speaks to Paul Levinson about the impact on Poland of the Russian invasion of Ukraine


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 296, in which I interview Polish social media researcher Agnieszka Stecko-Żukowska about the impact on the Russian invasion of Ukraine on her family, her studies, and her country.

Video of this interview is here.

Previous interviews about the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

 


Check out this episode!

Monday, May 9, 2022

The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.3: "I've come with a prototype ... "



The Man Who Fell to Earth just keeps getting better and better.  The last few minutes of episode 1.3 were the best so far in this very fine series.  Faraday tells the audience -- assembled in the narrative and whoever's watching the episode on Showtime or Amazon Prime or any way else on Planet Earth -- "I've come with a prototype for a quantum fusion process," and proceeds to make good on his claim by lighting London up in the night.  England swings like a pendulum do.

Faraday is progressing well.  He's a big drinker -- of water, which gets him to expel the poison that he took in last week to cure Josiah.  Before the hour is over, he and Justin are in London, brought there by Hatch Flood, ousted a few years ago by his sister Sonya from a science tech behemoth, and that's how Faraday got that crucial audience.

At this point, the bad guys seem way behind.  Spencer is driven and smart, Lisa seems even smarter, but if this is a battle between the CIA and big tech to get control of the quantum fusion process I don't see how the CIA can overcome the combination of Faraday and Sonya's company unless ... well, I guess unless the CIA got the inscrutable Thomas Newton to work with them, but why would Newton do that?   The last we saw he was being tortured by the CIA all those years ago.  

I'm beginning to think that Newton, the man in The Man Who Fell to Earth in David Bowie's 1976 movie, will be far more than just the foundational character who so far has been hovering around the edges, in effect passing off the narrative to Faraday.  The truth is, I didn't quite buy what he told Faraday in episode 1.2.  And tonight we learned that  his failure to complete his mission was not due to his getting "distracted" here on Earth, although I guess you could consider having your face peeled off an extreme kind of distraction.  (By the way, that black and white old film reminded me of The Man in the High Castle, just saying.  They had color back then, didn't they?)  The gist of all of this is that it's not clear that helping Faraday is now Newton's ultimate goal.

Well, there's nothing like keep watching the series to get answers to these and other open questions, and that's exactly what I intend to keep doing.  See you back here next week.




See also The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.1: Great Provenance and Excellent Start ... 1.2: The Ending We Needed

first spaceship to Alpha Centauri from Mars



Friday, May 6, 2022

Podcast Review of Outer Range 1.7-8


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 295, in which I review episodes 7 and 8 of Outer Range  on Amazon Prime.

Written blog post review of these episodes of Outer Range.

podcast reviews of Outer Range 1.1-2... 1.3-4... 1.5-6


Check out this episode!

Outer Range 1.7-8: Shuffle Off to Buffalo

Well, Outer Range certainly saved the best for last -- the last two episodes (of what I hope will be the first of at least a few seasons) -- waking up like after a fever has broken and everything is clear, or at least, clearer.

Here were my three favorite, clarifying parts:

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

  • Royal went into the time-portal hole as a boy in 1886, after accidentally shooting his father in a hunting accident, and emerged in 1968.  That's a nice piece of time travel that explains and makes somewhat more clear everything we've seen about Royal before.
  • Autumn is Amy!  Wow!  That explains why Autumn has such a convincing sense of she belongs here -- why she seemed to expect that Royal would know her.  It doesn't quite explain -- or maybe I missed it -- why Autumn didn't tell her grandfather her true identity when they were on good terms, or for that matter, on very bad terms. (Perhaps the time travel or something that came after disrupted part or all of Amy's prior memory.)  But Amy being Autumn is another fine example of what you can do with family narrative when a time portal is available.
  • And that herd of buffalo as one of the most destructive weapons or catastrophes to come down the pike or the plains of a time-travel story, or any story, in a while -- that was brilliant, too.
So let's see where we stand now.  Royal hearing those approaching hooves, with the kettle shaking, just as he finished finally telling Cecilia what was going on, was a great way to end the season.  How many people did those bison from the past actually kill in their stampede in our time?  Or, more germaine to the series, how many characters that we've come to know?  It seems that Autumn survived the trampling -- she was moaning when Royal approached her on on the ground -- and he carried her home.  I suppose he could have just been carrying home her body -- but I don't think so, and I certainly hope she's alive.

The series cries out for a second season.  We've learned a lot of things.  The hole in time doesn't bring people back to life -- it shunts them into another time.  Into the future, as well as the past, right? And there's an enormous amount of story yet to be told here.  Where was Rebecca (what time was she in) before she came back to get Amy?  The future -- which would explain why nobody in the present had any idea where/when she was -- or the past?  And about that past, are all moments in the past ports of call in that time portal?  And there's a whole season or more of a story of Amy becoming Autumn to tell.  Where/when did Rebecca take her, and what then happened to them?

Those rampaging bison also have more of a story.  Cecilia killed that bear -- is that why the bison were coming for her home, an expression of animal unity?  Royal took the arrow out of the one we've been seeing most of the season.  Will that result in the herd swerving away from Royal and Cecilia at the last minute, expressing their gratitude?

Put me on the list admiring fans, eager to see much more of this time travel western, now that we've learned at least a little about what's really going on.




See also Outer Range 1.1-2: Elusive Hybrid ... Outer Range 1.3-4: Twin Peaks Out West ... Outer Range 1.5-6: Time and the Bison

 


Podcast Review of Star Trek: Picard 2.10


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 294, in which I review Star Trek: Picard 2.10 on Paramount+

written blog post review of Star Trek: Picard 2.10

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.9

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.8

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.7

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.6

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.5

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.4

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.3

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.2

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.1

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard season 1

Slipping_Time_story_cover

a little time travel story -- free

 


Check out this episode!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Finale: Resolves and New Vistas



A strong season two finale of Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+, with at least a handful of scenes that were memorable, brought tears to the eyes, and were otherwise very good to see.  Let's divide them between resolved and opening up a new vista:

[Spoilers ahead ...]

Resolved:

  • Well, Q taking his leave from Picard was the piece de la resistance of this season finale.  Beautifully staged and acted.
  • I was glad to see Rios and Teresa together at the end.  But, although I knew that neither could live forever, I would've preferred not hearing how they died.
  • Tallinn's sacrifice was worthy and well played.
  • Agnes becoming the new, good Borg queen was already clear last week.  But it was good to see.
  • Picard and older Guinan -- well, they could see each other again, but that scene in the bar had a finality to it -- and was also good to see
New Vistas:

  • Wesley back -- as a "Traveler," i.e., part of a timeline correction service.  I can go for that.  Will be fun next season (I hope) to see where he goes with Soong's surviving daughter.
  • Speaking of which -- Dr. Soong is still alive at the end.  Not quite a new vista, but certainly not resolved.
  • Seven kissing Raffi -- that could and should definitely go somewhere in the next season.  On the other hand, Q bringing Elnor back to life could say otherwise for Raffi.  So, maybe a new vista, maybe not, definitely unresolved.
  • Happy scene with Picard and Laris at the end -- hope to see more of them next season, too.
So ... I'll see you back next year or sooner, whenever the third and final season of Picard is up.  And much much sooner with review of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds which is now streaming.




See also Picard 2.9: Cooperation!  ... Picard 2.8: Borg, Q, Soong, FBI ... Picard 2.7: The Bread Was Tastier than the Meat ...  Picard 2.6: Borg and Soong .. Picard 2.5: Don't Walk Away Renee ... Picard 2.4: 2024 LA ... Picard 2.3: Agnes, Borg, Badge ... Picard 2.2: Q and Borg ...  Star Trek: Picard 2.1: Cameos and Time Travel ...  Star Trek: Picard (Season One): Non-Pareil 

Slipping_Time_story_cover

                                                        a little time travel story -- free


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Podcast Review of The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.2


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 293, in which I review the second episode of The Man Who Fell to Earth  on Showtime.

Written blog post review of this episode of The Man Who Fell to Earth.

podcast review of The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.1

Paul Levinson interviewed on WNBC-TV about David Bowie in 2016 -- video


Check out this episode!

The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.2: The Ending We Needed


Well, I just loved the second episode of The Man Who Fell to Earth, especially the ending.

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

I mean, with the world and this country in the states that we're in, it was especially good to see this happy ending on the science fiction screen.  And it was set up perfectly.  Faraday aka The Man Who Fell to Earth had said earlier that it was time for Justin's father Josiah (always great to see Clarke Peters) to die.  He had lived his purpose.  And we'd previously seen that guy up in Alaska take his life, after almost killing Spencer.  So ...when Faraday walked into Josiah's room, and put his hands on Josiah, asleep ... well, I thought the worst.  And instead: Faraday cured him, draining out and taking in what had wrecked Josiah's body.  And he was whole and healthy again.   Good to see on this day.

And though Faraday was on the floor and his hands were curled, we know he's going to get better because we saw him in the first episode making that speech in the future.  And though I was annoyed with that kind of start when I first saw it last week, and said so in my review, now I'm glad I saw it.

It also was good to meet Thomas Newton at the beginning of this episode (always great to see Bill Nighy, too).  He came from Faraday's planet and has been on Earth 40+ years and got too distracted to carry out his mission.  That's totally understandable, and that's why Faraday so urgently needed to come here.  Newton's character in this new series makes it a sequel to David Bowie's 1976 The Man Who Fell To Earth movie, in which Newton was The Man Who Fell.  My only regret, of course, is, as good as Nighy is, it would have been great to see Bowie reprise his role.

Back to Spencer for a moment: I'm not sure, at this point, whether he's a good guy or a bad guy.  His conversation with Drew in the diner was unsettling (good to see Kate Mulgrew, too -- for some reason, women tend to have names that men usually have in this story).  At this point, it looks like those two could be bad news.

Last, for now: wasn't that scene with "Poppa Was a Rolling Stone" in the car and everyone singing great to see (and hear)?  Yeah, it was.  And I gotta say, those voices in the car worked really well with the Temptations.

See you back here with my review of the next episode next week.








See also The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.1: Great Provenance and Excellent Start


first spaceship to Alpha Centauri from Mars


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Review of Slow Horses 1.6


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 292, in which I review episode  1.6 of Slow Horses  on Apple TV+

written blog post review of this episode of Slow Horses

Podcast reviews: 1.1-2... 1.3 ... 1.4... 1.5


Check out this episode!

Slow Horses 1.6: The Scorecard

An excellent season one finale to Slow Horses -- firing on all kinds of cylinders.  (It's the end of the first season, not the end of the first half of the first season -- the coming attractions say "Second Season").

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

Here's some of what I especially liked about this episode:

1. The discussion early on about Assam and Builders tea.  I love Assam (I mix two parts Assam and one part Keeman for my perfect cup of tea).  But Builders is good, too -- better than anything you can get in a bag in America, that's for sure.

2. The action with the kidnappers and Hassan and the dogs in the sky (were those guys dogs?) was top-notch.  I'm glad he survived, and I liked the ways he survived, and the way Cartwright did all the right things and was the hero.

3. I'm glad Min and Louisa will be getting together that evening.  They're good people.  They're entitled to at least a little more happiness.

4. The revelations at the end pushed everything up a notch -- Lamb killing Catherine's man, on orders from Cartwright's father David -- whew, that's strong stuff, and could be the basis of all sorts of future possibilities.  If Catherine finds out, would she kill Lamb, in revenge? And if she found out about David's role, what would that do to her relationship with River (though, actually, they at present don't have much of one).

5. Sid: no big revelations here, after all.  She's probably alive.  Was that her, in the coming attractions?  Not sure, it's been too long since we've seen her on the screen.

6. And on the flatulence scorecard: not sure, Lamb may have let one go as he walked slightly ahead of Louisa to the car.  But it could have been a creaky car door, and Louise didn't seem to have much of a reaction.  If I had to be on this, I'd say, yes, it was.  Which gives Lamb a perfect, six per six record.

Anyway, I'm down -- or up -- for the next season, and I hope to see you back here with my continuing reviews.

PS -- Great song by Mick Jagger.  Just wanted to say that again.




See also Slow Horses 1.1-2: Fast-Moving Spy Thriller ... Slow Horses 1.3: The Fine Art of Bumbling ... Slow Horses 1.4: Fine New Song by Mick Jagger ... Slow Horses 1.5: Did You Hear the One About the ...

  



Monday, May 2, 2022

Podcast Review of Outer Range 1.5-6


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 291, in which I review episodes 5 and 6 of Outer Range  on Amazon Prime.

Written blog post review of these episodes of Outer Range.

podcast reviews of Outer Range 1.1-2... 1.3-4


Check out this episode!

Podcast Review of Star Trek: Picard 2.9


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 290, in which I review Star Trek: Picard 2.9 on Paramount+

written blog post review of Star Trek: Picard 2.8

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.8

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.7

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.6

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.5

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.4

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.3

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.2

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard 2.1

podcast review of Star Trek: Picard season 1

Slipping_Time_story_covera little time travel story -- free


Check out this episode!

Outer Range 1.5-6: Time and the Bison

Well, here's my idiosyncratic review of one of the most idiosyncratic series on television.  Ever.  As in, as I  said in the previous review, in Twin Peaks territory, or west of the Twilight Zone, certainly when it comes to the west pasture.

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

Here are the two things that made the most sense to me:

1. Autumn says that that pasture and everything that's going on in it and around it is about time -- all the time that ever existed.  Ok, that's a lot to chew.  But it's true, even if it leaves us nowhere closer to figuring what out what's going on.

2. The guy crashes into a bison that suddenly appears in front of him as he's driving and Tony Orlando's "Knock Three Times" is playing.  (As I said last week, the music is excellent in this series, including the song about -- I think -- dying in the snow -- and edelweiss  -- not the one from The Sound of Music, which is also excellent -- which comes at the end of episode 6).  Anyway, chances are this guy will be knocked into some other time, right, because, as Autumn says ... (see # 1 above)

And speaking of Autumn, things between her and Royal get much worse, mostly because of Royal, but you can't really blame him, but Autumn brands herself (I think) and then gets Royal's family into an uproar by threatening to go to Sheriff Joy and tell her Royal killed Trevor.  So that sort of makes sense -- but Autumn's ultimate motives are still occluded, and that's an apt word with two other concluding episodes to this season, and so much recalcitrantly incomprehensible.

Like why, for example, did Cecilia cut herself on the dead bear's tooth?  To get some of that immortality into her circulatory system?  Who knows, and for all I know, maybe that was an accident -- maybe Cecilia was reaching for something, who knows what.

Anyway, all of that occlusion is part of the series' appeal, and one of its highlights, and I'm sure we'll find out at least little more next week. I'll back to you here then.




See also Outer Range 1.1-2: Elusive Hybrid ... Outer Range 1.3-4: Twin Peaks Out West

 


Saturday, April 30, 2022

Star Trek: Picard 2.9: Cooperation!



I'll start off this review of Star Trek: Picard 2.9 by saying I thought it easily was the best episode of the season.  Every major character was sharpened, in some cases to the point of having an epiphany, in other cases with the result of being transformed into something very different from what they were all season.

[Spoilers ahead ...]

Agnes and the Borg Queen are now thoroughly integrated.  No surprise there, except -- this turns out to be a good thing!   Not just for the two characters, but for the universe.  Agnes used all of her persuasive powers and intelligence to convince the Borg Queen that being on the side of thriving life was a better way to go than turning everyone into a defacto robot.   Their coming to terms begins with Agnes saying "Bullshit!" in response to something the Borg Queen said and the Borg Queen likewise criticizing Agnes's response, “To share your own crude colloquialism — Bullshit!”  This rapprochement over a word became the Borg Queen agreeing with Agnes that she -- both the Queen and Agnes -- would be more satisfied, feel better, if she got her essential energy from cooperation rather than assimilation.  That's a lesson that's profoundly important on and off the Paramount Plus screen, especially so in our world today, where Russia would do well to learn that lesson.

Seven of course was a beneficiary of this coming together.  She ends up becoming part of the Borg again, but the enlightened, cooperative version, that respects individuals.   Seven, also of course, doesn't feel completely good about this, but she gets that this is the best way of expressing her Borgness, which she had never totally divested before the rapprochement.

Meanwhile, Picard has a life-changing experience, finally realizing and understanding how what he experienced as a boy put a damper on the rest of life.  He feels guilty about his mother's suicide, and has carried that burden throughout his life.  Now that he's free of that, let's hope he finally gets together with Laris, if not in this season then the next.

Speaking of true love, it also was good to see Raffi able to see and interact with Elnor again, even if he was only a hologram.  But his telling her that his last living thought about Raffi was the love he had for her will help her comes to terms with his death and the guilt she's been carrying about that.

And still on the subject of true love, it's not clear if Rios has said a final goodbye to the doc and her son.  Being the optimistic romantic that I am, I'm hoping we see them together again.

Which leaves the ancestor of Data's creator.  With the Borg now stepping into the light, Adam Soong, motivated by Q, has become the biggest villain on the scene.  I'll let you know next week what I think about how all of that works out.




See also Picard 2.8: Borg, Q, Soong, FBI ... Picard 2.7: The Bread Was Tastier than the Meat ...  Picard 2.6: Borg and Soong .. Picard 2.5: Don't Walk Away Renee ... Picard 2.4: 2024 LA ... Picard 2.3: Agnes, Borg, Badge ... Picard 2.2: Q and Borg ...  Star Trek: Picard 2.1: Cameos and Time Travel ...  Star Trek: Picard (Season One): Non-Pareil 

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Captain Phil interviews Paul Levinson about Elon Musk's Purchase of Twitter and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 289, in which Captain Phil on WUSB-FM Radio (Stony Brook, New York) interviews me about Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

mentioned in this interview:


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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Podcast Review of The Man Who Fell to Earth 1.1


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 288, in which I review the first episode of The Man Who Fell to Earth  on Showtime.

Written blog post review of this episode of The Man Who Fell to Earth.


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Katia Iakovlenko speaks to Paul Levinson about getting Ukrainian voices out to the world


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 287, in which I interview Ukrainian scholar and writer Katia Iakovlenko about getting Ukrainian voices out to the world via art and writing, in this time of the Russian invasion.

mentioned in the interview: 

 


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