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Star Trek – The Return of the Archons (Review)

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. Check back daily to get ready to boldly go. It’s only logical.

It is really hard to believe that this is the first time we’ve really had one of these plots, with the Enterprise visiting an alien civilisation, meddling thoroughly and freeing the population from oppression. Of course, that’s probably because the universe seemed so vast an empty in the first few episodes. The only planets seemed to be either lifeless rocks or human colonies. From this point on, the galaxy is going to seem a whole lot busier.

Return of the Archons is a little bit like an expansion of the archetypal Star Trek plot established in What Are Little Girls Made Of? The Enterprise visits an alien world following up on the disappearance of Federation personnel. When they arrive, they discover sinister plans afoot involving evil artificial intelligences that plan on stomping out free will. Kirk promptly uses his humanity to talk the machines into destroying himself.

However, Return of the Archons deals with a whole civilisation trapped in the midst of this sinister robotic plot. Kirk and his crew aren’t strolling through an alien graveyard. This is a living, breathing society. And this is the first time that Kirk would save an entire civilisation.

Some men just want to watch the world burn...

Some men just want to watch the world burn…

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Telling Vision: The Digital Age and Freedom…

We’ve been digital now for about five years. I have to admit, as much as I might have admired the scavenger sensibility that standard ten-channel Irish television might have taught me, I find it hard to imagine what it must have been like. It’s like the way I can’t imagine a world without easy-to-carry mobile phones, even though I lived in it for quite a while, or I can’t remember what the world was like without access to the information super-highway (though I do remember when we used to use dial-up internet… oh the pain). Digital television is a wonderful invention, and one that I truly treasure. It’s been heard so often that it’s become something of a truism to remark that we get 999 channels, but there’s never anything to watch… but I think that people who feel like that simply aren’t trying hard enough.

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Why the Pacific Belongs on Sky Movies

Sky caused a bit of a kerfuffle (it’s a word!) when they announced that The Pacific, the really rather excellent Second World War miniseries, would be airing on Sky Movies instead of Sky One – their television station. Queue the sounds of protest from various sources decrying the event as a television show which belongs on Sky’s primary television station – Sky One. However, Sky responded with the argument that Sky One simply isn’t equipped to broadcast a show like The Pacific, designed to air unedited and uninterrupted without overlays or advertisements. I’m going to take the unpopular path and argue that Sky were right: having watched the first two episodes, The Pacific should air on Sky Movies.

War over The Pacific?

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Great Film Adverts Are Even Better…

I’m a sucker for great cinema. I’m an even greater sucker for ways of paying tribute to great cinema. Turner Classic Movies have launched their Summer Under the Stars season (where stars like Cary Grant and Sidney Poitier get a whole day dedicated to their classics over the month of August) with a variety of teaser posters which treat these movies as if they were brand spanking new. I have my own favourites of the collection after the jump, but it got me thinking about other great ways of advertising films. Not particular films, but cinema in general or classics. As an amazing experience.

I’ve come up with some great examples that I’ve been taken with lately.

If they showed these ads in cinemas, I'd be happy...

If they showed these ads in cinemas, I'd be happy...

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