Compendium of the Curious

Writings, Thoughts, Meta, Musings and Reviews concerning all things geeky and weird…

Happy 50 Year Mission!

So, today is the 50th anniversary of the original airing of the first episode of the original series of Star Trek. Only three years late, Trek! 😉

It’s not something I’ve ever really talked about extensively online, but I like Star Trek. I like it rather a lot to be honest, or perhaps more accurately it’s been one of my pop-cultural touchstones for as long as I can remember. It’s not as intense as my obsession with Doctor Who (I don’t think I’d presume to claim to be a card-carrying Trekker; they probably have entrance exams and everything before you get granted a licence), but it’s something I keep coming back to, and watching, and even thinking about in a fannish way from time to time, although I’ve never to my knowledge committed Trek fic. No, not even the ur-text of all fanfic everywhere, Kirk/Spock…

Continue reading “Happy 50 Year Mission!”


Comparing and Contrasting

I didn’t intend when I started this blog that my (infrequent) postings on it would mostly consist of Star Wars. It’s just turned out that way, honest.

Anyway, over the course of the Bank Holiday weekend, I’ve taken the opportunity to re-watch The Force Awakens (now available on home media!) – still good, imho.

I also took the opportunity to re-watch The Phantom Menace (which I also, inexplicably, own on home media – I’m a completist, I guess) – still bad, imho.

Continue reading “Comparing and Contrasting”

X-traordinay Rendition? (The X-Files 2016 premiere “My Struggle” – SPOILERS abound!)

Well, that’s the other, non-Star Wars, pop-cultural shoe I’ve been waiting for well and truly dropped, then. Last night, those of us here in Brit-land finally got to (legally) see the premiere of The X-Files‘ revival miniseries, a couple of weeks after its initial airing in the States. I’ve been kind of feverishly looking forward to this since the news of it first broke more than a year ago, and I’m pleased from a personal point of view to say that I actually really enjoyed it. Certainly a lot more than many of the reviewers who’ve given their two penn’orth over the last fourteen days or so, anyway.

I’m concerned, though, that this may be another example of my fanboyism overcoming my common sense, because while I can’t deny my own reaction and the similar feedback I’ve received from other hardcore X-philes I’ve discussed it with, I can also fully sympathise with all of those who seem thoroughly underwhelmed by the new episode.


Continue reading “X-traordinay Rendition? (The X-Files 2016 premiere “My Struggle” – SPOILERS abound!)”

More Star Strategy

Following on from the post about various military geeks’ analyses of the Battle of Hoth, here is another opinion from Robert Rath writing a couple of years ago for The Escapist:

Hoth: The Failure of Imperial Military Doctrine

And another piece by the same writer considering the unexpected outcome of what happened on Endor:

Endor: Anatomy of a Tribal Insurgency

As noted before, I cannot get enough of this kind of stuff, and generally wish people did more of it for a lot more fandoms.

Essentially, in Mr Rath’s estimation, both battles come down to the Imperial armed forces not being anywhere near as good as they think they are, something that historically has turned out to be true of various armed forces that spend their time primarily oppressing their own civilian population rather than fighting external enemies.

Poor Admiral Ozzel, though…

My Honest Opinion?

What a film. What a film.

The Force Awakens is easily the fourth best Star Wars film of all time, which may well sound like damning with faint praise. Let’s be honest, the fifth, sixth and seventh best Star Wars films (you know the ones) aren’t exactly stiff competition for even a moderately good addition to the saga. However, the truth is that fourth is as high as I can rank it given my complete inability to think objectively or critically about the original trilogy. If I were a rational person, it might get third, but I really do like Jedi, Ewoks and all, so that would be a hard choice for me to make.

A bit like the one a particular character is faced with towards the end of the new film, and like that character I don’t know whether I’d come through it too well.

The Force Awakens was better than moderately good, though. It made me grin, it made me tense, it made me “get something in my eye” at a couple of points. What of it?

Continue reading “My Honest Opinion?”

Ready for the Plunge…

Well, I’m going to see The Force Awakens tomorrow (not on opening day? I know, I know – bad fan). And you know that thing I said about being excited but probably not that bothered if it turns out to be rubbish? I think I lied, to myself and also to anybody who happened to read that.

It came to me the other morning, eating breakfast cereal and vaguely worrying about the working day ahead. In the words of Jules Winnfield (Mace Windu’s hairier clone from the future), I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity:

Supreme Leader Snoke??!! WTFF??!!

Continue reading “Ready for the Plunge…”

Star Strategy

While I’m on the subject of Star Wars, I came across this the other day (although it’s a couple of years old) and it tickled me greatly:

Inside the Battle of Hoth: The Empire Strikes Out

The follow-up piece might be even better:

Defense Nerds Strike Back: A Symposium on the Battle of Hoth

It’s about as geeky as you can get, but I find I can’t get enough of this sort of semi-Watsonian meta-analysis. It’s something I wish more people were doing in various fandoms.

Obviously, being an opinionated sort of cove, I take issue with some of the analysis in the links. In particular, I think Admiral Ozzel is one of the most misunderstood and unfairly-maligned figures in the whole of Star Wars canon. And don’t get me started on that lickspittle Piett…

Anyway, if you’re interested in more of this sort of thing specifically relating to Star Wars, you could do a lot worse than checking out Grand Blog Tarkin, elsewhere on WordPress.

Star Wars: The Fandom Menace

Yeah, so as much as I like to believe (falsely) that I am immune to advertising and hype, I am now very conscious indeed that we are little more than two weeks away from the Era of The Force Awakens, a.k.a. The House of Mouse Strikes Back. And as much as I’d like to be a cool fanboy and say I’m going to catch it when it comes out on DVD (not even Blu-Ray, let alone more modern options) and even then only when the DVD is on sale…I don’t think I’m even kidding myself with that one.

So pretty much the only thing currently keeping me from obsessing about Star Wars on a more or less full-time basis is what is shaping up to be a humdinger of a Doctor Who series finale this coming Saturday.

After that…the Emperor has already won. Until the X-Files reboot/revival, anyway (in January in the States, no doubt coming to the UK outposts of Murdoch’s Empire shortly thereafter). And yes, I do appreciate the bitter irony of a show about the little guys trying their utmost to expose and combat the unrestricted power of a shadowy, ruthless elite being made by a channel ultimately owned by ol’ Rupe. I also appreciate the hypocrisy of saying something like that and then directly or indirectly helping further enrich the democracy-subverting old barsteward by clamouring to watch it. I’m a shallow wretch, I make no pretence to the contrary.

Continue reading “Star Wars: The Fandom Menace”

Get On This, Disney – Now…!

Hmm, time to “christen” my WordPress with a random musing…

Watching Return of the Jedi is as good a way to finish off a weekend as any, I guess, and it is on my telly right now… Just up to the bit where Princess Leia is befriending Wicket the Ewok (the legendary Warwick Davis out of Willow and Nightmare in Silver, amongst many other things).

And as I always do when I watch this film, I’m reflecting on just what nasty pieces of work the Ewoks are on the quiet, what with their attempted cooking/eating of Luke, Han and crew and their uncompromising attitude to bashing stormtroopers on the head with rocks/stabbing them with pointy sticks in the later battle scene.

(To go off on a slight tangent, that stormtrooper armour must be made by a similar sort of corrupt pork-barrel defence contractor to the one I suspect must have built the Death Star. It can’t even stop a stone-tipped arrow, let alone a blaster bolt…)

Continue reading “Get On This, Disney – Now…!”

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