Sci-fi to watch, read, and love
After getting CBS All Access so I could watch “Star Trek: Picard,” I finally got around to watching “Star Trek: Discovery.” It exceeded my expectations. Admittedly, my expectations were somewhat low, due to the online hate for the series, which is part of the reason I took so long to watch. The other reason: I didn’t want to subscribe to yet another streaming service. My opinion is it’s totally worth it. You get “Picard” and “Discovery,” and the other Trek series are available as well.
I love that “Discovery” changed up the typical Trek structure. Normally, the captain is the main character, but that is not the case here. Also, this is the first Trek series in which a black woman is the main character; Sonequa Martin-Green is awesome as science specialist Michael Burnham.
Burnham is a human but she was raised by a Vulcan – Sarek. Yep, Spock’s father. She and Spock are step-siblings. (The show begins about 10 years before the events of the original series.)
I’m confused by the criticism surrounding “Discovery.” From what I’ve seen so far (I’m in the middle of Season 2), the series is true to the values of Star Trek, but is even more intense and suspenseful. It’s full of surprises and twists. Do I love every single episode? No. But there have been hits and misses in every Trek series.
If you want a nice diversion from current events, which will keep you on the edge of your seat, check it out. (Production on Season 3 is delayed and is expected to continue later this year.)
This Facebook Watch series is a remake of a podcast. It stars Jessica Biel as a journalist whose uncle (Stanley Tucci) mysteriously disappeared, along with 300 others, from an experimental town. I enjoyed Facebook’s offerings “Sorry For Your Loss” and “Sacred Lies,” so I decided to try this one, which was a little creepier than I would have liked, but it was addictive and made me want to keep watching to see what new secret would be revealed in the next episode. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after the first season, so the 10th episode is a cliffhanger and we never get to see how the story ends.
‘The Book of Koli’
You may remember a 2014 novel called “The Girl With All the Gifts,” by M. R. Carey. If you’re into zombie apocalypse stories, you’ll love it. It has since been made into a movie, which I haven’t seen. I can only tell you the book was crazy.
Carey’s new novel, “The Book of Koli” is a post-apocalyptic story too, and it’s just as engrossing as “The Girl,” but I enjoyed “Koli” even more.
The new book is about a teenage boy who lives in a village walled off from the murderous vegetation and cannibals which threaten their lives. When Koli starts questioning the power dynamic of the ruling family, everything changes.
From the first page, I was immersed in this dystopian world, and I didn’t want to put it down. I can’t wait to read the second book, “The Trials of Koli,” which comes out in September.
Many, many films and TV/streaming series have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Wonder Woman sequel will not be released in June as planned; it has been pushed to Aug. 14. The Marvel film “Black Widow,” starring Scarlett Johansson, has been changed to Nov. 6.
Netflix suspended filming on all productions including Season 2 of “The Witcher.” The fourth season of “Stranger Things” has been postponed. Filming wrapped on Season 2 of “The Umbrella Academy” in November, but post-production was affected by the shutdown. Release dates are still in limbo.
While we don’t yet have a release date for Season 2 of Amazon’s “The Boys,” it is reportedly still on track. I’m looking forward to binge watching it this summer. Another Amazon Prime series, “The Expanse,” has also wrapped filming, but no word yet on whether the pandemic will postpone the release of Season 5.
Disney shut down production of its Marvel series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “WandaVision.” New release dates have not yet been announced.
Of course, with sci-fi, post-production is going to take longer on these special effects-heavy films and series, than on productions that don’t use a lot of effects. And even the films which are ready for release will be delayed due to theater closures.
“The Mandalorian,” Season 2, is still expected to be released on Disney+ in October. In fact, it was recently announced that they’re already working on Season 3. Disney+ will also be releasing a documentary about the making of Season 1, which is planned for May 4, aka Star Wars Day.
“Space Force,” which is being described as “The Office” in space, will premiere on Netflix on May 29. It stars Steve Carell, and is created by Greg Daniels (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation”).
Daniels has been busy; he also has another show coming out soon, an Amazon Prime series called “Upload,” about a “digital afterlife.” “Upload” will premiere on May 1.
What other sci-fi and fantasy films or series are you looking forward to seeing? Have you discovered or rewatched an old favorite? Tell me in the comments or on my facebook page!
Credits: “Star Trek: Discovery,” CBS Television Distribution; “Limetown,” Facebook Watch; “The Book of Koli,” by M. R. Carey, Orbit, April 2020; “The Umbrella Academy” and “Space Force,” Netflix.
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