Sunday, May 05, 2013

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Doctor Who: "The Crimson Horror" - That was more like it. I still feel like there's something subtly wrong with the season, but this episode felt more "on" than any of the others since the Christmas special. Ada was very good, as was Mrs. Gillyflower, of course. And I really did love the bit at the end with Clara and the kids. Heh. Previews for next week look promising, even if I'm not a big fan of the big bad for the episode.

  • Downton Abbey: Season 1, Episode 3, UK version - I realized after watching the episode that it had been spoiled for me when I first heard about the show. However, the time since then and the fact that I didn't connect the character in question with the spoilers meant I was completely shocked by what happened. I also enjoyed the bit with Mr. Bates trying to cure his limp. For the record, I set up Amazon Prime to work through our Wii console, and there is no lag there. However, it means I am limited to the TV connected to the Wii, which is annoying. Ah, technology!
  • Downton Abbey: Season 1, Episode 4, UK version - Oh, poor Daisy! Still, that's minor compared to some of the other heartbreaks going on in the show. Mary acts like she doesn't have a soul sometimes. Sybil... I can't imagine what's going to happen with her, but I can tell a set up when I see one. And it was interesting how Violet scored one against Isobel (aka, Dame Maggie Smith smacked down Harriet Jones, Prime Minister). I admit it, I'm addicted and happy about it.

  • Young Justice: "Summit" - Oh finally! That ties up a LOT of the loose ends right there. And still one major threat left. Wowza. This was good.
  • Young Justice: "Endgame" - ... Way to go out with a bang. This was deeply disturbing and yet amazingly good. As a series, this was one of the best cartoons I've seen in a long time. I wish they'd made a third season, but if it had to end, this wasn't a horrible ending. Wow.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Apr 3rd
  • Earth 2 #11 - That's actually a pretty good origin for Dr. Fate, and certainly harkens back to the Golden Age tradition of heroes inspiring other heroes.
  • World's Finest #11 - Ha, I know of many UFO nuts who would love to get into that database. I like the joke about science fiction writers.
  • Green Lantern #19 - This issue would have much more of an impact if I thought that any of the changes were going to remain. As it is, I feel a yawn coming on.
  • Smallville Season 11 #12 - Not too horrible. I feel like what's been happening in the comic is better than the last season of the show I saw, but that's really not saying much.
  • The Massive #1 - We picked this up from the #1 for $1 program by Dark Horse, mostly because of Brian Wood's name on the cover. After finishing it, I'm inclined to go hunt out more issues, so the program worked.

Fortean Times #294
Fortean Times #294 (December 2012). It's the Hallowe'en special! The only colors on the cover are orange and black. And the cover photo features kids in creepy masks. The cover story has a number of old photos of really creepy and apparently homemade masks. Disturbing and kind of sad.

Another main article is about the Hexham Heads. This was another one I knew almost nothing about, certainly not the incredible details in this version of the story. I mean, were-sheep? Wow. Some strange stuff in this one.

There's a lovely article on Paul the Octopus, who correctly predicted the outcomes of eight games in the 2010 World Cup. It's a fun look at the event and a documentary made about Paul and how his predictions may have actually affected the outcome of the games. Good stuff, very Fortean.

Strangedays has a snippet of a possible Gnostic gospel that refers to Jesus' wife that could be a forgery, a WWII era gas mask discovered in a home that had the current owner's name on it, an image of a fire tornado, and the death of a bigfoot impersonator (struck by a car). There's also a bit about that horrible "restoration" job an old woman did on a painting of Christ. Another piece cover the annoying practice of lovers putting their names on padlocks and then fastening the padlocks to bridge railings and throwing away the keys... which eventually causes damage to the bridge railing if enough idiots do the same thing.

The 2012 Watch has a celebrity's beliefs on what would happen on the fateful day of 2012 when the world is supposed to end. Science asks whether or not plants feel pain ("I hear the screams of the vegetables"). Ghostwatch has a couple of stories, and the image illustrating the first one is a stone angel so I had a Doctor Who flashback while rereading about the Highgate vampire, of all things. Alien Zoo properly identifies an internet picture of a cryptid and also talks about a couple of other animals. The Illustrated Police News has a bit on a white gorilla.

Archaeology has the story of "Doggerland," now buried underwater but once populated by a lot of folks who eventually had to flee the rising waters to live on England and mainland Europe. There's also a spooky piece about skeletons that are composites of several individuals, apparently put together long after the deaths and reburied. Yikes. Classical Corner is about eclipses. Konspiracy Korner is about conspiracy theorists and the use of the name "conspiracy theorist" to discredit people. Sort of. That feature is never so straightforward. The UFO files talks about the possibility of UFOs being living creatures. Fortean Bureau of Investigation is about Weird Weekend in Devon.

The Forum has an article about a ghost that turned out to be a homeless guy living in a spare room in secret. Another forum article is about the popularity of ghost hunting on TV, particularly shows like Most Haunted and how real science can be applied to hunting for spooks. A third article is about "death tourism," when people visit the graves of celebrities or, worse, the sites where murdered people were discovered. The article investigates the motivations of the trips and asks whether they are ghoulish or a way of paying respect to the dead.

Reviews have some books and movies that look very interesting and I may have to check out. The letters have some interesting refutations of previous articles. I love the self-correcting nature of Fortean Times... the audience is smart and will make sure the editors hear about it if a mistake is made. Some good stories in "it happened to me..." as usual. Not a bad issue at all.