Stuff I’ve Read, Watched, Done #11 – September 28, 2020

Looking back at the week just gone, it seems like it’s been a bit light in terms of reading and doing…even though somehow I’ve remained extremely busy. I guess there’s just been a fair bit of working, which does tend to fill a lot of time but isn’t what these posts are really about.

I did push ahead a tiny bit on reading my Geoff Johns Flash book (volume 2), or re-reading it anyway. I’m trying to get myself up to my newer Volume 3, but I’m still a ways off.

And I just played another round of T.I.M.E. Stories with my daughters. We still have not “won” the mission that’s included in the box, but that’s good because once that’s done we can’t play it anymore, not until we buy another deck (which represents another mission).

Both of these are things I wrote about last week.

I also revised a script for a short film that my team in YWAM is going to make–for practice and skill development mostly–called Beach Barbie. This is a tiny film–a skit really–that one of my guys is going to direct. They’re shooting this week. I’ll be around for some of it, but really I’ll be pretty hands-off with the whole thing, comfortable in my “Executive Producer” role.

So I guess I have done some things.

But mostly, it seems like I’ve just “watched” stuff. And mostly, that’s Battlestar Galactica.

This science fiction show debuted in 2004, a re-imagining of a series that first came out in the wake of the original Star Wars back in the late 1970’s. I never really watched the original (and have always had the impression that it was fancy looking, but bad). And though I have great things about the remake, I’ve never given it any time until recently, when it showed up on a streaming service that we were subscribed to.

Frankly, it’s a pretty amazing show–one of the best examples of pacing and plotting that I have seen. Similar to Star Trek Voyager and Stargate Universe, it’s a show about a finite group of characters who live on board a spaceship (or series of spaceships), separated from any homeworld, and struggling to survive. But I have to say I like Galactica better. It shows the struggle in a much more plausible way than Voyager ever did (I like Voyager, but frankly it did a terrible job in the whole “struggle for survival” arena). And it’s concept allows for much more expansive storytelling than we got on Stargate Universe–in regular succession, the show gives stories focused on war, politics, exploration, romance, relationships, religion, mythology, and more.

The show has successfully balanced quite a large of cast of characters. The actors are is really good. They includes Edward James Olmos from Miami Vice and Blade Runner, an actor with quite a high coolness factor. We’ve also got Mary McDonnell who graduates from playing the First Lady in a dumb science fiction blockbuster (Independence Day) to playing the President in a smart science fiction blockbuster. Katee Sackhoff is also memorable as Starbuck, and far less annoying than she is as a recurring villain on The Flash.

The only negative with the show, really, is the overtly sexualized and thus highly skippable use of the mysterious Cylon Number Six who appears as an illusion that only one character can see. The storyline is intriguing, but the imagery is not. (Actually, I guess the other annoying thing is evil and destructive Cylons are also the followers of the “one true God”).

I stopped watching the show a little while ago because we stopped subscribing to that streaming service, but then recently we ended up with another free month, so I’m taking the chance to push ahead and am now about halfway through season 2. Because time is short, it’s pushed Smallville off of my rotation for the time being. I’m a bit concerned, though, because I’ve heard the show has a pretty depressing ending. Hopefully it won’t be too bleak when I finally get there.

The other thing to mention is that today, I was invited to sit at a Doctor Who-themed birthday table. At my missions organization, we mostly do community meals, and when it’s someone’s birthday, they get a special table set for them that they can invite people to. I don’t know this woman tremendously well but she decided to do a themed-table, built around a fairly strong devotion to Doctor Who. People even came in costume and brought some memorabilia.

I didn’t wear anything special–I’ve never felt comfortable doing that or some reason. But I did bring the TARDIS mug that you see there. I got that for either Christmas or my birthday (I can’t remember which!). At first I was worried it’d be a bit clunky to drink out of but actually I like it quite a bit.

Because of certain people being missing, my daughters were last-minute invited to be at the table as well. There were eight of us all together (the normal number), which included seven fans and the woman’s husband, who has only seen an episode or two. That didn’t stop him from dressing up as the 11th Doctor, though. He joined another 11th Doctor, a 10th Doctor, and the birthday girl herself, who was dressed as River Song.

We had some fun Who-related conversation, and some nice cake…so all in all it was a fun time.

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