Stuff I’ve Read, Watched, Done #2 – Feb 29, 2020

It’s Week 2 of where I just talk about all the bits and pieces of the week which haven’t (and probably won’t) make it into their own articles. My intention is to do this every week as a form of logging and journaling, but we’ll see how that goes.

Stargate Continuum

Stargate

I forgot last week that in addition to everything else, I also watched my final installment of TV’s Stargate franchise—the SG1 TV movie, Continuum. It’s not the final produced episode of Stargate, as the whole series Stargate Universe came later, but I’ve already seen it. This was, though, the final story to focus on the SG-1 characters (though many did reappear on Universe in mostly small bits), and it was a rip-roaring, incredibly fun episode.

The plot involved a scheme by recurring villain Baal to go back in time and sabotage earth’s Stargate program before it ever starts, involving a change in timelines that only Cameron Mitchell, Samantha Carter and Daniel Jackson are aware of. They manage to convince people in the new timeline of the accuracy of what they say, but not of any need to change it back, leaving them all trapped in this new version of reality. Of course, it doesn’t stay that way, and in the end they all give their lives (in one way or the other) to set things right.

It was the perfect sort of story to serve as an anniversary celebration or something like that, with a big high-consequence story that also had the opportunity look back at the series’ history and to position the characters in new ways. It’s not, however, a great conclusion to the series, as it doesn’t really suggest the end of the characters’ stories or even a closing of a chapter. Any hopes that I would finally see some sort of confirmation that O’Neil and Carter got together in a relationship is finally dashed. But it was fun and I’m glad to have seen it.

Day of the Doctor

Doctor Who

Well, aside from this week’s latest episode and all the attendant discussion about the canonicity of the program due to the anticipation of the season finale (which, thanks to Australia and time delays, I don’t watch til tomorrow, but for which, thanks to internet and streaming, I only have to wait til tomorrow), the only Doctor Who of the week has been finishing up my re-watching Season Seven (the last one with Matt Smith) with my girls, and getting into the 50th anniversary celebrations. That means we basically saw The Name of the Doctor and watched about half of The Day of the Doctor. We had to stop there because my daughters’ non-Doctor Who watching cousin has come to visit and is staying with us. So carrying on is on hold for now.

But I’m having a good time with what we did see. The Name of the Doctor has got some of the sloppiness which seems to characterize the Seventh season of the show, but it has lots of good moments as well. I think there’s a bit of a misstep with the “conclusion” to the River Song story. The idea that he saved her to the Library, then never re-visited her, and now tells her to just go away and leave him alone…well, that’s a bit of a let-down from the promise that The Forest of the Dead held, and so it’s disappointing to see it resolve that way. Oh well, at least there’s still The Husbands of River Song, even if that takes place earlier.

And even with that, the conclusion of Clara’s “impossible girl” arc is satisfying, the appearances of the past Doctors (including basically a brand new scene with the First Doctor) is fun, and the introduction of John Hurt as the Doctor is still a great reveal.

Flash Rebirth Volume 1

The Flash 

For Christmas, amongst other things, I invested in two hard cover collections of The Flash, from its Rebirth era, written by Joshua Williamson. Basically, this is the first 24 or so issues of the relatively recent series, featuring Barry Allen remembering and briefly interacting with the long-missing Wally West, whose return was at the heart of the whole Rebirth banner. He also spends a lot of time trying to advance his relationship with Iris West and also teaching his new Kid Flash protégé, who is also called Wally West, but is a totally different character.

Throughout all this are battles with the Rogues, facing a new speedster called Godspeed, and a whole lot of angst with the Reverse Flash. Like on the TV show, in modern continuity the Reverse Flash murdered Barry Allen’s mother in front of him as a young boy. And like the TV show, the Reverse Flash has gone through so many time travel paradoxes that he somehow is always sort of a present threat, no matter what else happens to him.

Also like the TV show, there’s a lot of people being angry at Barry for keeping secrets, and a lot of guilt that Barry is feeling because of how people are angry at him. And finally, like the TV show, there are occasional moments when the fastest man alive easily lets normal-speed villains get the drop on him, rather than just running up to them before they can pull out their little guns, and ending the situation with a knock on the head.

Basically, even though there’s fun stuff in these volumes, there’s also a lot of annoying stuff, and it’s hard not to see the show’s influence in that less than appealing material. I enjoyed reading the books overall but they’re not the sort I’m likely to come back to again any time soon.

Soxie the Cat
Bonus picture of Soxie the Cat!

Making Movies

As mentioned last time, we’re busy working on the as-yet-untitled sequel to Lost in Spaces for our upcoming YWAM staff retreat. I spent a bit of time last week and a whole lot of time today (Sunday) working on it. Not there yet, but progress. I think we’re maybe 70% of the way done with shooting? Hopefully more soon–indeed, it needs to be 99% edited by the time next week’s post roles around.

I was also teaching six young teens from the Home School Co-op where one of my daughters attends a bit about filmmaking. They all worked in pairs on small projects, and came up with some funny ideas. I’m continuing that a bit this next week. A bit busy but fun!

Bubblegum
A still taken during production of the movie my daughter is working on.  This llama is named Bubblegum (as in, “Bubblegum strikes fear into the hearts of criminals, who are a cowardly and suspicious lot.”)

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