Thursday, 25 February 2010

Heroes: The Recruit

The current series has finished in America, but it's still mid-run over here in t' U.K. so some Heroes content is inevitable. There are still ongoing comics on the official website, though other content seems to have died down a bit with the finale. I'd still recommend getting into the comics and iStories, but this post is to get you caught up on the 'webisodes'

If you're not sure webisodes are short episodes released on the web that give extra content about a TV show. This third series is entitles 'The Recruit' and is the first to feature a major character from the show, namely Angela Petrelli. It follows shortly after the creation of the power giving serum in Volume 3: Villains and what happens to Rachel Mills a recruit ready to test the serum.

I can't embed so I'll just have to give you web links. This was kind of a bridge between volumes but it's still worth a look I'd say.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4 (this link only works in the US so I've included a link to the wiki summary for UK users HERE)

Part 5

And that's it, but there are a few more webisodes I can share with you so stay tuned and all that.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

SF at the movies - February '10

Reasonably within the constraints of the eponymous month here are the Science-Fictionally themed cinema releases available this month.

Astro Boy
Released 05/02/10

Based on the highly successful kids TV series this is a movie about a robot kid in a futuristic world. It's a kids film, but probably a good kids film, but I think I'll be giving it a miss somehow. Being a robot means he has to find acceptance with his 'father' who made him and after a big adventure he defeats evil, gets swallowed by a whale and becomes a real boy...or is that something else?

The Battle for Terra

Released 12/02/10

Another film for the young 'uns, also available in 3D. The film is about an alien world plunged into crisis when humanity, fleeing war and ecological disaster arrive at their world and begin aggressively settling it. The peaceful aliens are plunged into war until one of them makes friends with a human. This is a traditional 3D movie with stuff popping out of the screen in front of you etc.

And that's it, so there is Sci-Fi for you this month, if you're a child that is!!

For grownups there is 'The Crazies' a horror flick which may have some Sci-Fi to it. It seems to be more of a supernatural month with The Wolfman and Soloman Kane sure to appeal to many SF enthusiasts. We'll see what March brings.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Doctor Who - New series, new species part 25

A bit later than I'd planned, but hopefully this might have given my American friends a chance to catch up on Who and this won't be spoilerific for them. David Tennant's time as the Doctor came to an end with a two part special aired over Christmas and New Year. I did enjoy the specials, though they were a little overly dragged out towards the end - for more commentary check out the podcast boys in the sidebar.

But we're her for some aliens and what with the Master running rampage and the Time Lords mucking about it's slim pickings on the new species front it seems.


These guys were ok if a little contrived. They added a fun little element to the show with their spaceship and laser turrets and shimmers. Their access to technology made them interesting, though it was a little unclear why they should be carting such powerful technology around with them. I found them to be a bit of a contradiction as the Doctor seems to have no idea who they are other than they look like a Zocci from 'Voyage of the Damned' yet later on talks with authority about the properties of Vinvocci glass, odd huh? Oh well, they weren't great, but weren't bad either.

Vinvocci were an advanced race related to the diminutive red Zocci. They boasted incredible technology, including a device able to heal and maintain the population of an entire planet. Other technology included 'shimmers' a technology overlaying their bodies with a human image. Scientists from their race became involved in a conflict on Earth when one of their devices was used by the Master for domination of the planet. They very much dislike being likened to cacti, deeming this 'racist'.

And that's it for now - see you when Matt Smith kicks things off in a few months!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Stuff

Ok this is where I've sometimes had a bit of a debate on issue a game raises or what it tells us about culture. I can't think of anything in particular to discuss based on this game and I can't say I was incredibly insightful in my previous discussions, though with topical games like Darksiders out there's plenty of room for debate still.

But as this part of the established Star Wars franchise I'll just take some time to comment on what it has added to the existing continuity.


This game gave us a new character in Starkiller, or Galen Marek, or The Secret Apprentice. Trained in hiding by Darth Vader with the purpose of helping him take control from the Emperor he is able to use the force to cause incredible damage. Vader is always in the background, manipulating the character's actions. The fun of playing the character is the ability to combine force powers such as push, grip and lightning in devastating combinations, with force repulse, which sends a shockwave out blasting all enemies from nearby, a highlight.

New Jedi

Rahm Kota

This Jedi Master survived the Clone Wars because he didn't trust the clones, instead building his own army. He is one of the first agents of rebellion, using his forces to strike at the new Empire. The General has an impressive set of force skills and is a great lightsaber combatant. The apprentice is sent to kill him to prove his power, he defeats him, but Kota survives to become the apprentice's new master and to unite the Emperor's enemies into the formal Rebel Alliance.

Kazdan Paratus

This Jedi is not only deadly - he's insane! Tormented by guilt at abandoning the Jedi Temple he fled to the junk world of Raxus Prime and replicated the Jedi Temple and the Jedi Council from junk and fought to protect it. He combined his powerful use of force grip with his interest in mechanics to create force-animated droids that assembled themselves from junk and defended his territory from scavengers. He moves about on a custom-built walking frame that enables him to climb walls, rapidly eveade enemies and manipulate his long-handled lightsaber to great effect. He was defeated by the secret apprentice.

Maris Brood

Apprentice to Shaak Ti before she fell at Starkiller's hand, Maris faced dark times on the world of Felucia. After Shaak died she lost her way and gave in to the dark side for fear of Vader, corrupting the locals with her darkness. Despite being an apprentice, she had an impressive set of force skills, using the force to render herself invisible while making dashing movements around an opponent, she could also summon and control a bull rancor. She is perhaps best known for her lightsabers, with a 'tonfa' grip, known as guard shotos.

Shaak Ti also makes a reappearance, and Kento Marek, the apprentice's father is also part of the game, appearing in the first level and later as a force ghost.

New Vehicles

Rogue Shadow

The Rogue Shadow is your personal transport, as Juno Eclipse, your pilot and love interest drops you off and picks you up from your missions, very similar to Jan Ors and Kyle from the Dark Forces series. The ship is quick and nimble, equipped for stealth rather than combat with a fully functional cloaking device. The ship is a great way of getting you in and out of target locations undetected.


This is a variant on the classic 'walker' vehicle seen commonly in Star Wars. This 'Construction' vehicle uses controlled tractor beams to move large objects about with ease. It can use this ability to hurl large objects at attackers, equivalent to the power of a Jedi. In the game there is also the AT-KT, essentially a beefed up version of the normal walker.

Imperial Dropship

This makes only minor appearances in the story, but it is a new design of ship for bringing troops and materiel to a planet.



This is an advanced prototype serving the apprentice. The droid contains advanced holographic emitters allowing it to impersonate anyone of humanoid shape. It used this to infiltrate and also to give visual representations of targets during briefings. Darth Vader also used this to communicate 'directly' with the apprentice. Proxy is also fully trained in lightsaber combat and tests the apprentice regularly with surprise attacks.



Previously mentioned, but I think this game is their first appearance. The Felucians are a sentient and force-sensitive fungal life form hailing from the planet of Felucia. All are good hand-to-hand combatants and utilise the local life-forms, including rancors to their advantage. They have different forms, with chieftains towering over members and shamans able to summon and enhance groups of the warriors. The race turned to the dark side after Shaak Ti, who was their leader, died - it is unknown what happened to them afterwards.

There were also some new stormtrooper variants, but I think maybe this post has gone on long enough - comment if you want more!!