Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek: Voyager’

4 of the Most Unusual Aliens on TV–Friday Four

8472One of the things that TV-based sci-fi often gets ragged on for is that the aliens tend to look suspiciously like ordinary humans. Sure, they might have cranial ridges (bumpy foreheads), or extra fingers/less fingers, or maybe even extra eyes or tails. But they’re still two arms, two legs, one head, approximately 5-7 feet tall. This is definitely a limitation of the medium, and there’s no arguing against it. Even as CGI gets cheaper and more realistic, it’s still far too expensive to use as extensively as most viewers and writers would like.

But those restrictions only stand on alien characters or species that have to show up often. When it’s an alien that only has to appear once or twice, however… the sky’s the limit, as these 4 bizarre alien species prove.

Read more

4 Ways Your Trip Through Time Can Go Wrong–Friday Four

Doctor TARDISAre you planning on building a time machine? Or maybe you’re just trying to figure out what to do with the one you’ve already got? Well, you’ve come to the right place, my friend. I have here four of the big mistakes that new time travelers make early in their careers. If you don’t want to return home to a future of Nazi Zombies from Space, or even just get back, excited to share your invention, only to find that no one remembers who you are, then you better read over these sci-fi missteps first.

And for the love of all that exists, DON’T EVEN GO NEAR HITLER!

Read more

4 In-Universe Familiar Faces–Friday Four

Capaldi Ten The theme around here of late has been all about the actors behind our favorite characters–or sometimes the smaller characters, who are important nonetheless. When it comes to casting in a shared universe, sometimes it turns out the best man or woman for the job might look a little… familiar. You go back and look, and yep, they’ve already had a part somewhere in there! Sometimes this results in a reworking of the plot, changing the new character to be the same as the old, like Stargate Atlantis did with David Hewlett’s Rodney McKay. Other times, there’s a little joke where the resemblance is brought up, or the problem is ignored altogether. So here are 4 cases where the actor or actress previously showed up in a small part before breaking through to the main cast, and how the show dealt with it.

Read more

4 Character Actors You Didn’t Know You Knew–Friday Four

CantonIn the past, we’ve talked about some weird casting situations, where patterns emerged or unusual relationships between characters and actors (or even whole franchises) appeared. Most of those involved the big names of the show’s cast, the people with their names right after the opening credits. And as important as the main cast can be for a show’s success, it’s often the recurring character who help to give a show its flavor, often coming out of the shadows to emerge as fan favorites. This week, continuing on from our focus on recurring characters in the SHIELD review, we’re going to look at some of the actors whose names aren’t quite so prominently displayed, but whose work you’re probably more familiar with than you realize.

Read more

4 Scenes That Shouldn’t Have Become Toys — Friday Four

4429_Chestburster_Kane_1024x1024Merchandising, as we’ve touched on before, is one of those things that makes a huge amount of money for these massive franchises. Most of the time, that’s fine, because it gives fans and kids alike figures of their favorite characters. Once in a while, they’ll take famous or popular scenes and base whole playsets and other such things off of them. And sometimes, the people making the merchandise get a little desperate for ideas. Then they turn to scenes that never, ever should’ve been made into toys. That’s how we end up with headscratching toys like these, based on 4 scenes completely inappropriate for toys.

Read more

4 of the Most Grueling Sci-Fi Costumes – Friday Four

He knows his luck.

He knows his luck.

One of the more unique aspects of sci-fi television series is that it often presents us with non-human characters, which are used in a variety of fashions to help bring the world of the show to life. The only problem is that the majority of these non-human characters are played by human actors (the rest being CGI or puppetry), and that means heavy makeup and prosthetics. Some, like Christopher Judge’s makeup for Teal’c, is quite simple and unobtrusive. Others, like Michael Dorn, not so much; his forehead now has permanent discoloration from wearing the Worf prosthetic for nearly fifteen years. And yet, there are still people in shorter roles that suffered far greater for their art. Here are 4 of the longest, most difficult, or most painful costumes seen on television.

Read more

Psychic and Sci-Fi: Why the connection?

Psi CorpsSo, after the abysmal premiere of a certain recent miniseries, people’s reactions to the various twists seemed to suggest a question was forming in the minds of sci-fi fans everywhere: why, exactly, are psychic or telekinetic powers considered to be an acceptable plot device in sci-fi? It’s certainly a divergence from most of the other tropes of sci-fi. After all, one of the ground rules that separates sci-fi from fantasy is “technical possibility.” We believe aliens could exist; we believe Artificial Intelligences are possible; traveling through the stars in massive spaceships? Well, we’re already halfway there. Sure, the execution isn’t always terribly realistic, but those are generally concessions to storytelling than deliberate breaks from reality. Star Trek‘s aliens mostly look like humans because Star Trek is a TV show and the characters have to be played by human actors (at least, until very recently with CGI). Psychic powers are the one exception that’s still often considered to be part of the sci-fi writers’ workbag–so why?

Read more

4 Bizarre Merchandise-Influenced Moments – Friday Four

Spock IDICWe’ve just finished up that time of year when selling the most toys is paramount. There are a lot of shows and films, especially ones aimed at kids, that seem to exist solely to push toys on their impressionable young viewers (looking at you, Transformers. There’s definitely more to some of those price tags than meets the eye). Other shows will indulge in this on occasion as well, often at the behest of some executive, although we the audience can’t always know for sure. So, here are 4 moments in otherwise fine TV shows and films that seem to have given in to that desire to sell the merch.
Read more

4 Episodes The Creators Hated – Friday Four

Threshold 1Putting on a TV show is a lot of work. They have to get together as many as 26 episodes, and have them written, filmed, and edited by the time that they’re scheduled to air. There’s no flexibility here. Movie dates get moved back sometimes, but this almost never happens with television (upcoming Syfy miniseries Ascension is a rare example, having been moved back from November to December). What all this really means is that, well, they just don’t have time to make sure every script is perfect before sending it out. Sometimes, the writers just have to accept the fact that this episode is going to be crap and there’s nothing to be done about that. Other times, no one realized how bad this would be on screen until it was already too late, and they can’t just throw the footage away. Everyone just has to make it as best they can and deal with it.

That’s how we ended up with these, four episodes so bad that the creators are more than willing to admit that they screwed up. So let’s honor their honesty by taking a look at what made these episodes worth rejecting.

Read more

Crossovers and Verisimilitude in the Shared Universe

Ent-D at DS9When you have a shared universe, one of the biggest benefits is the crossover–bringing characters from one show within the property over to another show. Agents of SHIELD is starting off its second season tomorrow with a crossover of sorts, featuring flashbacks with Agent Peggy Carter before her own spinoff starts early next year. While this situation is a little different, as both Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter are spinning off from the same parent property, they still have enough in common to enjoy the benefits of a crossover. And with that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to examine the crossover and how it helps with the cohesiveness and plausibility of a shared universe. Read more

Return top