Sherlock is Finally Returning, and It’s Not a Game Anymore

At Comic-Con last week, this shiny new trailer for the fourth season of Sherlock was released into the wild.

They also released the traditional three clues to give the fans a hint about which stories they will be adapting for the new season. The three clues they released were, “Thatcher. Smith. Sherrinford.” We already know that Smith is Culverton Smith, the villain of “The Adventure of the Dying Detective”, and we already know this because Moffat and Gatiss have told us that (unless they were lying…again). Sherrinford is believed to be a reference to the third Holmes brother, who isn’t actually a character in any of Doyle’s original stories but instead appeared in the non-canonical Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street. (I don’t know how Sherlock and Mycroft could have an older brother when Sherlock stated in the original stories that Mycroft was his only sibling, but details, details). No one’s quite sure who or what Thatcher is supposed to be (a reference to Margaret Thatcher? Someone who thatches roofs?), but it’s bound to be just as intriguing as the rest of the clues.

Between a fresh season of Doctor Who and shiny new episodes of Sherlock, 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year.

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Happy Birthday, My Turn to Talk!

It’s that time of year again–time to celebrate the fact that my blog has survived yet another year without my running out of things to write about! And plenty of stuff happened this last year–there was the stage version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame; there were the online versions of The Phantom of the Opera and Nosferatu I posted for Halloween; there was Clara’s heartbreaking farewell and the Doctor’s heartwarming reunion with River; there was an analysis on the roles of fear and free will in Return of the Jedi and the long-awaited review of The Force Awakens. And let’s not forget the Sherlock New Year’s special, the news of Moffat’s departure from Doctor Who, and the teaser trailer for the live-action Beauty and the Beast!

But, as always, it is you, noble readers, who make this blog a worthwhile effort. Knowing that there is a strong, loyal gathering of you who continue to read my blog even when I’m not sure if anyone else is interested in what I have to say is a powerful motivator, and I am beyond grateful for all of you. Thank you for sticking it out this far.

And now for the obligatory posting of “One Day More”:

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A Relaxing Song

I know I’m not the type to randomly post relaxing music, but this is a particular favorite of mine. Also, with all the violence that’s been running rampant in the world lately, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post something that might bring a little bit of peace to someone who desperately needs it.

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Star Trek Online Now Lets You Play in the TOS Era!

I’m not really a gamer per se; I just enjoy casually playing video games and 9 times out of 10 have absolutely no idea what I’m doing (consequently, I die a lot). But this was particularly exciting news that I wanted to share with all of you–Star Trek Online now lets you create a character in the 23rd century, i.e., the same time frame as The Original Series!

For those of you who might not know, STO usually sets you up sometime in the 25th century after most of the established events of all of the other shows. But with their new “Agents of Yesterday” expansion, you can now create a character in the 23rd century and play out story lines that correspond to TOS episodes (among them are “The Galileo Seven” and “Journey to Babel”). You even get to interact with some of the famous Enterprise crew members!

About the only bad thing I have to say about this is that–and I think this technically qualifies as a spoiler–there’s a point in the game where your character “dies” but really gets rescued by time travelers and brought to live in the 25th century. I suppose that’s all well and good, but I wanted to keep hanging out in the 23rd century! It was more fun! Or perhaps I’m just biased because TOS will always and forever be my favorite Star Trek series.

If I’ve left out anything important or skipped over important details, I apologize. As I said, I’m not really a gamer and don’t know what I’m doing half of the time. This was just something I found that was really fun and exciting and paid homage to one of my favorite TV shows.

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A Constitutional Reflection for Independence Day

When July 4 rolls around, I usually recall the Star Trek episode “The Omega Glory”. It was never the best of TOS (frankly I have to pretend this whole episode took place in a parallel dimension and that no one realized it), but there’s no denying its patriotic flair, especially when Captain Kirk starts talking about the importance of the Constitution.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this episode, but I decided to find Kirk’s speech and listen to it again. And then I decided to share it with the rest of you.

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When You Have No Clue about a Franchise and Enjoy the Movie Everyone Else is Hating

The majority of you are probably aware that Independence Day: Resurgence is currently playing in theaters. It is the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day and once again features the good ol’ US of A pitted against fearsome alien invaders who want to mine the Earth’s core. Here’s the thing, though–I haven’t watched Independence Day yet, and I didn’t want to see Resurgence for that very reason. Movies are supposed to be watched in order, people! We must have standards and rules if we don’t want chaos to descend! Watching movies out of order is two steps away from anarchy!

Ahem. Sorry about that. Once I got over my initial hangups, I found that I enjoyed the movie. I didn’t know about a lot of the characters at first, but I figured things out about them from context. On the whole I found it to be an intriguing story that hinted at a deeper, more richly layered backstory, and it got me even more excited to watch the original.

Needless to say, I developed quite a bit of confusion when I began seeing a plethora of reviews tearing it to shreds, asking questions like, “We waited 20 years for this?” Basically, most of the articles I’ve seen on it have been saying it’s a horrible sequel with terrible acting and lousy writing, and I’m over here like, “But…but I liked it. I thought it was good.” Granted, my opinion of it may change after I watch the original, but I still thought it was a fun mishmash of war movies and science fiction.

Or maybe this is all just a lesson in you can’t always believe what the critics have to say about a movie. Sometimes you just have to watch things for yourself and form your own opinion.

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“Jurassic Park” is a Book with Bite

Last year was when I watched all of the Jurassic Park movies for the first time, which was a bit unusual for me because I normally read the book first. However, I didn’t read it until last week. Part of me is kind of glad I didn’t read it before the movie because chances are I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much (I’m one of those people who nitpicks about changes made from book to movie, in case you didn’t already know from my Hobbit and Les Miserables reviews).

There wasn’t a whole lot changed from the book, though; it’s the same basic premise of, “Hey, look, we cloned dinosaurs and put them in a park; isn’t it neat?” and three hours later everyone is on the carnivores’ menu. There were minor deviations that didn’t affect the overall plot; the most noticeable changes were that Lex and Tim’s ages were reversed, Grant and Sattler were most certainly not in a relationship, and both Hammond and Malcolm are dead by the end of the book. They kept them alive in the movie for the sequel, I suppose, although I think I remember reading that The Lost World was already a book before they adapted it, and they never fully explained how Malcolm was in that when he was supposed to be buried in the first one. Or maybe I’m thinking of something else entirely.

I liked the book’s pacing better than the movie’s–it was a nice, medium pace, not too fast and not too slow, and there was more time to flesh out details that didn’t get as much attention in the movie. Also–and this is probably a weird observation–but there was something about the book that felt more intellectual than what the movie was like. I’m not sure if that makes any sense or not, but that was the impression I received.

Overall, I think both the book and the movie were well done, and it’s not often you can find a movie that lives up to its book.

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