Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window Part One

Hello Dwellers and Welcome to the Basement...

We're continuing our look at the Netflix original series 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' with episode five of season one 'The Wide Window, Part One'. Spoiler Warning Is In Effect.


The second half of this tale of dismay opens with Mr. Poe leaving the Baudelaires on a dock for they are off to live with the Aunt Josephine, who are one point her life was a fierce and formidable woman, but with the tragic lost of her husband Ike at the teeth of the Lake Lachrymose leaches, she is now a woman who lives in fear of everything, and while not a total shut-in, she is very much not the woman that at one point in her life enjoyed sky-diving and wrestling alligators, but she won’t talk to Violet, Klaus or Sunny about the things they need to know. That’s not to say she doesn’t give them some info, Josepheine reveals that she along with Ike and the Baudelaires parents made codes and they were close associates, but nothing more than that… unless you spoke with improper grammar other wise she’d talk your head off.

That said, there is one huge big flaw with Josephine as a character, in particular when you compare her to Monty, in that while Monty was very proactive and about doing things, noticing dangers as they come and adapting to deal with a situation… Josephine is presented as just a lonely fearful person who sees danger everywhere but not right in front of her which makes her a perfect mark for Count Olaf to swoon under the persona of Captain Sham, and while the Baudelaire’s can see through the disguise rather easily, Josephine’s own self-imposed fears leads her to captivated… and apparently leads her to commit suicide, jumping out of a window that over looks the large lake (Though if one is paying attention one would notice a statue in the darken room where this took place that is not there after the Baudelaires hear the glass breaking)

Now don’t take this as me being critical of Alfre Woodard’s performance of the character, she got the character over quite well I thought, but it’s such a downer in comparison to Monty that I can’t help but fell like one of the Baudelaires in being disappointed. Which might be the whole point come to think of it.

As far as Count Olaf goes… he’s surprisingly downplayed in this episode, and does a fair job of covering most of his identify features including a peg leg to hid his left ankle. As compared to the Stephano persona form The Reptile Room, Captain Sham is a much better disguise for him to utilize since anyone can be a sea captain and talk nautical terms. He apparently knows a lot about Josephine and was able to easily set up a ‘chance meeting’ and woo her into going out on date for fried-egg sandwich while she was out shopping for supplies for a pending hurricane (has something to do with the fact that Lake Lachrymose is practically a small ocean)

Stand out scene for me was Violet and Klaus trying to determine how to proceed to escape from Josephine’s home which is being guarded by Olaf’s theater troupe, and Klaus considering that Josephine is right about being afraid of everything, which prompts Violet to bring up what their mother always said ‘Do the scary thing first and then worry about being scared’ (or something to that effect).

Other little details in this episode, when Olaf arrives in Lake Lachrymose he is confronted by a waiter, and they are very much aware with one other… Josephine has a copy of ‘An Incomplete History of Secret Organizations’ the same book that was in Justice Krauss’s library… the Baudelaire children are allergic to peppermints, I suspect this will come into play in the next episode...apparently there was a ‘Snicket’ in the organization, not sure if it’s Lemony or someone else… the Baudelaire parents had an interesting honeymoon if the implications indicated that there were in a plan that was shot at…

Which leads me to a huge problem with this episode: it’s too damn dark… to play into Josephine’s phobias, apparently there is no electricity in her home (she disconnected the door bell because she feared people getting electrocuted) and the use of candles is forbidden (cause they could fall and start a fire), meaning it’s just a bleak episode to look at for any scenes shown at Josephine’s home. I get why they did it, but I wish more could been actually SEEN!

Overall: This episode sets the status quo for the story, but I felt the pacing was rather muddled, not helped with dark lighting.

Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen #3

Hello Dwellers and Welcome to the Basement..

For this week's comic book review we are returning to Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen issue #3 of 5 from Titan Comics.


Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen #3
Cover Date: October 2016
Publisher: Titan Comics

The Story So Far: The Cybermen and Rassilon have entered into a deadly alliance, with Rassilon giving them access to Gailfrey and time travel technology, the Cybermen are re-writing history!

The Cover: The copy I have is Cover A, which featured the 10th Doctor doing his best Spider-Man impressive… no seriously, look at this cover, one slight change with how his right hand is position to that of Spidey shooting-webs and you’d sweat this was Peter Parker… kind of fitting considering how whiny the 10th Doctor could be at times. Also make note the of the Cyberman head, it’s cracked open even more than it was on issue two, showing a skull underneath it. There are two cover variants, Cover B is a photo cover of David Tennant and the cover C features Cybermen from the 5th Doctor Era

The Story: On Prehistoric Earth, With the 11th Doctor, he and Alicia enter a Silurian workshop which has been converted into a Conversion Chamber, where he discovers that the Cybermen are getting packets of data from the very end of time itself, which should be impossible. When they are pursued by the Cyber Silurian’s The Doctor figures to get Alicia to safety, using a transporter to send her to the TARDIS and for her to use the Librarian Protocol. The Doctor, knowing that Cybermen can’t convert a Time Lord, confronts the Cyber-Silurian, but it seems like they have overcome that particular flaw!

On Sontar, The 10th Doctor explains to Gabby & Cindy as to why he has to go along with the Sontar Leader’s plan, because with access to the Sontaran Cloning Facilities, the Cybermen can clone endless supplies of bodies to make into even more Cybermen… and when they attack using portals, he recognizes I t as being Gallifreyan tech and that someone is helping them, because the tech should not exist anymore. Sontar Prime takes a bullet for the Doctor to save him from a Cyberman but things go from to worst with the arrival of the gigantic Cyberkings

In the year 2006, The TARDIS is imploding and The 9th Doctor, Jack Harkness , Rose and Jackie barely escape it. The plan is to get to the flyer they were in and try to fine a safe spot. They make a run for it with Jack supply cover fire, however Rose suddenly begins to covert into a Cybermen and shoots Jack down

At the Capital on Gaillifey, The 12th Doctor meets the General who explains that Rassilon did something to the Eye of Harmony which prevented the Time Lords from launching a counter attack using Battle TARDIS, However the Doctor screams out in pain as the Cybermen’s re-writting of time is starting to have an effect on him as he gets a flood of new memories that I just detailed, including those involving the Sixth, Fourth and the War Doctor… and the comic ends with The Doctor going to have a chat with Rassilon

Thoughts On The Story: The four plots are advance fairly nicely, but the pacing is so quick, we’re just getting the ‘main point’ of each segment of course, with a lot of time spent on the 9th 10th and 11th Doctors, with at least 10 and 11 realizing they Cybermen are getting help.

The Artwork: The same issues I had with the previous two issues occures her, with four different artistic styles, the 9th Doctor content just looks bad in comparison to the style seen with the other 3, though the artwork for the 10th Doctor segments was a close second. That said the splash page with Cyber-Rose standing over Captain Jack is awesome, as is the splash page of the 12th Doctor getting the flood of new memories

Verdict: This is a fine middle chapter of the five part story, with a little explanation as to why the Time Lords were not fighting back and seeing two of the three previous Doctor Incarnation realize the Cybermen are getting help plus that the dangers are even higher with the Cyberkings, Cyber-Rose and the ability of the Cyber-Silurians to covert a Time Lord. We’ll return to this comic next month with part four of the series.

Next Week: It’ll be a different type of comic book trade paperback… which is actually a small trade paperback, as we revisit Max Allan Collins & Terry Beatty’s Ms.Tree

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