Friday, April 18, 2008

Battlestar 4X03: "The Ties That Bind" Review (SPOILERS)

This was definitely one of the better episodes they've done. The show really benefits from more serialization akin to a show like Lost, or Moore's own season of Carnivale (Season One, aka the good season). They've set up a bunch of really interesting arcs for the season to explore and there're some satisfying developments on several fronts in this episode.

The leaast interesting of these was the introduction of a status quo on the Demetrius, the garbage scow Adama gave Starbuck to search for Earth. (Among the crew: Anders, Athena, Helo, Gaeta, Racetrack. Presuambly, Hera is with them, as well.) Necessary, but not much more than an establishing shot.

The politics, on the other hand, absolutely crackled in both the colonial and Cylon fleets. The Quorum of 12 meeting was especially well-done, if overdue. I wish they'd been focusing more on Roslin and fleet politics all along, in this quasi-West Wing fashion (or maybe it's more like a sci-fi Julius Caesar). But better late than never.

They've been teasing this season's Lee arc--let's call it the "Lee finally becomes an interesting character" arc--since he turned the gun on Col. Tigh during his father's coup attempt in Season 1, choosing civilian control over the military rather than the other way around.

And now, as the representative of Caprica to the Quorum of 12, Lee accepts the questionable patronage of former terrorist Tom Zarek as the cost of making an ambitious debut at his first meeting. He leaves no doubt that he intends to resume the interrogation of Roslin he began at Baltar's trial, carrying it into this new, far more threatening, arena. Threatening to her, that is. And to him as well, given the nature of politics, not to mention the nature of his adversary.

It feels like the series is finally acknowledging and planning to deal with the fact that Roslin is a tyrant.

Lee's remark to Zarek (that sometimes people need a "benevolent tyrant" to pull them through) seems to indicate he isn't starting out with the intent of toppling Roslin -- succeeding her, maybe, but not toppling. He came to her defense over the question of the Demetrius -- an olive branch she swatted away in suitably reptilian fashion. A very satisfying moment--for both. This should be a good fight.

It's that Titan/Olympian theme again. (Remember, all of this has happened before and all of it will happen again). The progeny rising up to consume and replace the elder generation, which is mirrored perfectly by what's playing out in the Cylon fleet. It was ... unbelievably naive (and well-observed by the writers) of Six, Three and Leoben to believe they could get Cavil & Co to agree to their demands... Unboxing D'Anna would insure that Cavil gets outvoted every time. So, obviously, he answered Six & Co's challenge with treachery and, then, full scale war.

Will Roslin now attempt to do the same to Lee... respond to his little, laregly symbolic insurrection with nuclear intensity?

And, needless to say, this week's Final Four plotline was wrenching. Tory suddenly has this ancient, icy quality to her (especially in the eyes). She's the first one who's been given the opportunity to make it real, and she knocked it out of the park. It will be interesting if they give a plot like this to each of them in turn, dealing with how their newfound stataus changes their priorities and loyalties.

(This episode was written by Michael Taylor, who just struck a deal with Ron Moore to create a 2 hour backdoor pilot movie called Virtuality for Fox.)


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Amy Acker Enters Whedon's Dollhouse

Now, *that's* some good news. Unfortunately, it's not great news, as the part is just recurring.

Acker is jus the latest Whedonverse vet to join Fox's Dollhouse project, which received a 7 episode commitment after a single meeting to pitch a possible pilot. Also on board are:

-producer/star Eliza Dushku (Faith on Buffy and Angel)
-Tim Minear, Whedon's partner on Firefly and a former showrunner on Angel (we'll forgive him for being a republican due to his increidble talent)

-Sarah Fain & Elizabeth Craft, a fantastic writing team who cut their teeth on Angel and who return to the fold after several seasons of outstanding work on The Shield (itself a consistently excellent series created by Whedonverse vet Shawn Ryan). Craft & Fain also ran Women's Murder Club for ABC this seaosn, but left or were sacked after the strike, possibly the result of an intolerable amount of network interference... Though possibly not. (I have no idea.)

Tahmoh Pennikett is not a Whedon vet, but the Battlestar Galactica co-star (he plays Helo) has also been cast (in a role James Marsters was rumored to be up for -- though that was probably just a rumor).

The first reviews of the pilot script are also trickling in. Of course, they're from rabid Whedonfans, so take 'em with a grain of salt... though I admit I expect to be "wowed" by this project. The bar is set very high. (Then again, *I* am a rabid Whedonfan.)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Papa Bear

Instructions for making a homemade dart board. (Or, as close as I could come.)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Two of my favorite things...

leather and musicals... (Think they don't mix? First of all: bullshit. It's just butch drag. But more to the point: hit play. Dare ya.)

He's Six!