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The X-Files – Born Again (Review)

Born Again is a very bland episode of The X-Files that really suffers from being broadcast this late in the season. Indeed, the first season of The X-Files seems almost obsessed with life after death and reincarnation – we’ve already had episodes like Shadows, Lazarus and even Young at Heart. We’re three episodes from the end of the season, and we’ll still find room for one more “vengeance from beyond the grave!” story before we close up shop. Born Again isn’t bad so much as it’s just bland.

I don’t hate Born Again. In fact, it’s the episode that I remember least from this first season – the only evidence I had that I had seen the episode before came from a vague creeping feeling of familiarity while I was watching it. Even now, as I sit down with my notes to type a review, I’m not sure I can tell you that much about it.

It's only a paper giraffe...

It’s only a paper giraffe…

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Prophecy & Change: Ha’Mara by Kevin G. Summers (Review)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is twenty years old this year. To celebrate, I’m taking a look at the first season. Check back daily for the latest review or retrospective.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the episodes with some additional materials – mainly novels and comics and films. This is one such entry.

Comparing and contrasting the anniversary short story anthologies for Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine can be highly informative. The Sky’s the Limit, released to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of The Next Generation, features fourteen stories. Most of these stories serve as prologues or epilogues to existing Next Generation episodes. Suicide Note provides closure to The Defector; Turncoats follows a character from Face of the Enemy after the camera stops rolling; Four Lights is an epilogue to Chain of Command.

In contrast, Prophecy and Change, released to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Deep Space Nine, tends to focus on short stories that fit gracefully between episodes – fleshing out connective tissue and explaining how one plot development or character decision led to another. That says quite a lot about the two shows and the way that their stories were told, with much of Prophecy and Change feeling ling deleted scenes or inserts loosely inserted between what was seen in television.

Ha’Mara is the first short story of the collection, following the introduction and the mysterious Revisited – a book-ending wrap-around written by an author who has yet to be publicly identified. Written by Kevin G. Summers, who provided Isolation Ward 4 to Strange New Worlds IV, the short story is set in the immediate aftermath of Emissary, attempting to smooth over the rough edges transitioning from the pilot to the rest of the show.


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Non-Review Review: Take Me Home Tonight

There’s something strangely charming about Take Me Home Tonight. I say “strangely” because I’m not blind to the movie’s many awkward flaws. I can spot the predictable plotting, the douchebag entitled protagonists and the shallow “high school crush” romance. None of these are any less conventional than the plot’s attempt to conceal saccharine romanticism with cheap lowbrow humour. I can see those problems with the film, but for some reason I think it works well in spite of them. I think the strongest aspect of Take Me Home Tonight is not the eighties setting (though that helps), but the sense that Topher Grace may have finally found his niche.

We can dance if we want to…

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Donka: A Letter to Chekhov at the Gaiety (Review)

Donka: A Letter to Chekhov is a rather wonderful addition to the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival. Between this and the Absolut Fringe, theatre-lovers have been quite spoilt of late – I’m still looking forward to checking out Peer Gynt by Rough Magic in the next week or so. Donka: A Letter to Chekhov is a rather wonderful and imaginative little show loosely connected by vignettes inspired by or related to the works of Anton Chekhov, as written and directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, who also wrote and directed Corteo for Cirque de Soliel. It’ really rather wonderful and magical.

All going accordian to plan...

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