Monday, 29 June 2015

Dark Matter: S01E02

Rating: 6

In A Nutshell

Leading straight on from last week's ending, the crew are debating if they help the miners on the planet or not, now that they know that they were supposed to be the nasty people coming to exterminate the colony. Going for the middle ground, the consensus from "Two", who has assumed leadership role, is that they give them weapons and then clear off as the miners can't win the battle against the overall big boys who paid for the crew to do the job. How they really know anything about the intentions of their employees and anything else though, is massively overlooked throughout the show. Memories wiped, but only their past, but yet, not all their past? They know nothing, yet they know quite a lot despite no plotline to explain them learning half of what they seem to figure out. I'm not talking about flying ships or sword fighting, but actual knowledge of FTL and figuring out politics quicker than any of us could ever do.

Anyhow, whilst some of the crew are on the planet saying goodbye, the big bad people arrive. Well, those who are wanting to claim the planet as theirs; Ferrous Corp. They send a crew of their own down to the surface, leading to an altercation with our crew of the Raza (that's the "good" guy's ship btw). Looks like the Ferrous Corp are from the 1990s, as they arrive in the futuristic equivalent of OTT body armour, literally hanging off them. Goodness knows how they run or fight with all that clobber. As it turns out, it's also highly useless armour. Ineffective against knives and swords. Useless against bullets. Which gives you the impressions they'd probably do a lot better without the armour, but I guess they'd then not look so military. Anyhow, our Ferrous Corp boys are taken down quite quickly by the Raza and now armed miners, although it was just a group of six or so Corp boys.

Back on the Raza ship, lady leader, Two, is greeted by the captain of the Ferrous Corp ship, who looks so smug, you'd think he was an android too. Having heard what has happened on the planet, the Corp leader offers lady captain extra money to leave now without her crew on the planet. She accepts right away, of which you just know that's not going to last.

On the planet, sword wielding asian guy member of the Raza interrogates one of the captured corp soldiers, who despite saying interrogation is ineffective, gives up information easily, and without too much torture, given later on he's up and running about quite nicely. Curious ...

So, the Raza crew on planet help train up the miners against another bigger attack from the Corp, which all kicks off very nicely as the DJ ramps up the background music and we see some decent action sequence as they 99% win the battle against the corp, before that classic double cross as a few of the miners release one of the captured Corp soldiers in the hope of trying to save themselves from what they think is a lost cause. Yes, the corp guy they release looks like the one who was horribly tortured by the looks of it, but I might be wrong.

Up on the Raza, they return to orbit with two ships from a rival Corp, leading the Ferrous Corp to have to admit defeat and leave with their tails between their legs. The Raza crew say their goodbyes, whilst Han Solo Raza crew guy, "One", gets to snog one of the miners before he goes; the cute young lady one of course. Awww.

Things on the ship at the end take a little twist when the kid of the crew reveals to leader lady, Two, that she can read the mind of one of the crew, who she knows deliberately deleted their memories, but she's not sure who. I'm predicting that when we find out, it'll be quite interesting to know why, but that everything will end happily and all is forgiven because they are now nicer people. Too obvious? We'll see if this show plays procedurally or surprisingly.

What I liked

Nice action sequence within the confines of a reactor. Should they be firing guns down there? The DJ background music actually works as this is a cheese fest of eye candy action, and thus really plays up to the hamness of the show.

All the characters are likeable and now playing nice so it's easy to forgive multiple oversights in plot and memory inconsistencies.

Decent opening story, and a natural feel good factor, as the Raza help out those less fortunate, although sort of make enemies along the way.

What I Didn't Like

Although it's easy to like the crew, that's mostly because they are all so nice to each other, which given they've lost their memories of who they are, you'd think there would be more tension and less buddy like if they don't know each other. However, if you ignore this fact, it's easy to forgive them because, well, it's just easier for us viewers, although less realistic. Anyhow, it is spaceships in space. How realistic can it be?

What the Raza crew remember and don't remember really doesn't add up. They are quick to highlight what they don't know (like we need reminding!) and then gloss over the lots of other facts like how they so readily accept each other's company, and can figure out general basics of language, walking, eating etc as well as global politics after little in the way of information that we've seen. As said before, if we ignore this oversight, then it just makes the show more likeable ;)


Raza kid member of the crew is worried about not being on the list of crew last episode, but, umm, neither was the android that she was discussing it with, was she?
Ineffective against swords, knives, bullets, blast weapons and close combat. So, why drag all that bulk armour about?
And Finally

Essentially part two of the pilot episode, this episode keeps up the enjoyment by being reasonably fast paced, witty dialogues, and popcorn action sequences. It's easy to ignore the inconsistencies in the crew's memories and general simplified costumes/ships when everyone is too darn likeable!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Food: Marks and Spencer: British Elderflower Cordial

Food Rating: 9
Value for Money: 8
Overall: 9

In A Nutshell

"A refreshing fragrant cordial made with handpicked british elderflowers from gloucestershire's seven springs plantation."

So, there I was waltzing through the aisles of my local M&S when the non-alcoholic drinks selection of goodies caught my eye. Right up there at the forefront of my attention was a cordial of elderflower. It's Southern Comfort, light yellow soothing colour inside the bottle, combined with it's pleasant looking front label, lured me into its midst. Being a lover of the countryside and wishing to immerse myself within its bountiful beauty, slurping on some elderflower seemed just the tonic, although it's a cordial of course. Anyhow ...

I have to admit I didn't know what a cordial was. Being a bloke, I was going to not even bother reading the instructions, but I luckily did, because cordials are not to be drunk neat. That's not to say you have to dress up in a suit to have these. One refers to the need to mix 4 parts water with 1 part cordial. This sounds like a perfect way to take ages to get through the bottle, but I started off quite liberal with my own slightly altered ratio mix or "That looks enough" combined with "I'll just add some of this. Oh too much!". You really don't need a lot of the cordial, even with a cup full almost of water, because the taste is gentle, but pleasant and oozes through the water in a light, refreshing way.

The cordial is sparkly, which isn't my usual choice of drinks, but given you add so much water, the actual overall fizz is extremely mild. Unless you're highly sensitive to fizz, you'll hardly notice but a little ripple. The lightest of elderflower fragrance captivates your drink from first slurp until last gozzle. Oh a mildly warm sunny day, there's little else of a refreshing way to hydrate yourself.

What I liked

Well, I got more cups of drink out of it than I thought was possible. Probably about 6 or 7, although I was quite generous with the cordial initially. I reckon that's just about value for money given it's £1.50 price tag.

Gentlest of fizz. Mild elderflower taste. Great refreshing drink, especially when you use chilled water.

What I Didn't Like

The fizz was a surprise, given the label doesn't really shout out that it's sparkly, although there is Citric Acid in the ingredients of course. Usually though drinks do highlight fizz. Given it's such a low sparkle once you add water, it's negligible I guess, but not zero.


Spring Water, Sugar, Lemon Juice ... and then you get to the elderflower. Guess it has to be that way or you'd be munching on petals if it was the otherway around!

If you're one for calories there's not a lot to each cup really. ~26kcal, depending on how generous you are with the cordial.

And Finally

As good as it looks. If you are a non-alcoholic and looking for a new drink to sooth you whilst every once else boozes around you in your garden, then you can't really do much better than this.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Dark Matter: S01E01

Rating: 6

In A Nutshell

Made by those who brought us StarGate, what could go wrong? Well, it's on the Syfy Channel for starters, which in recent years has felt about as Science-Fiction as a car's wheel. The trailer for the opening episode had more cheese than a supermarket, but the premise itself was enough for me to give it a go. Was it worth my time?

Overall, yes. It crossed the watchable line and a little more, although showed some signs of concern along the way. We open with more openings, in the form of people being let out of what we can assume are stasis chambers. One by one, six of them are let out and they all suffer from the same problem. Yes, they are all far too good looking. However that's not the actual issue. It's that they have no idea who they are and what's going on. They've lost their memories and us viewers feel the same during the opening section. What follows for the next 20 minutes is very questionable at times in the ways the people are working out more about who they are and saying some of the most corny lines in doing so. This wasn't the most captivating part at all. I really couldn't care at this point who they were or if I'd ever find out. It was when they awoke the android on the ship that things really kicked up a notch. After she bashed everyone in sight, before being shut down again, my interest was restarted, just like she was moments later. Seems she has a mind link to the ship, and is able to literally control and communicate with it. She's got the personality of the very early Star Trek Data, with a hint of a look of another Star Trek character, Seven of Nine about her. In fact, this show seems to resemble collections of every sci-fi show you've probably seen before, although thankfully they manage to still make everything more or less work.

After finding the ship's original course and going down to the destination planet's surface, their interaction with the people of a mining facility really brings some more genuine and human qualities to things. It gives us an environment for these memory-less people to interact, and immediately the inhabitant's predicament pulls at our crew's heartstrings. Well, not all of them, but mostly. Seems the small mining colony are expecting an attack very soon from some aliens who do other people's dirty work. These alien's masters want to get rid of the mining colony so they can take over the planet's resources. The crew are mixed on what to do; help or not? Most of them seem to be pretty nifty with weapons so you'd think they'd be useful. On their return to their mothership though, the android has managed to conveniently (if I don't say so, for plot reasons) restore some of the data that was wiped from the ship's computers when they all woke up. The bit she has restored contains the crew's details, which she almost seems to read out to them all in a rather boasting manner, revealing them all to be criminals of mostly the murderous kind. So, by now we're all thinking that maybe these people will turn over a new leaf, but then comes the final twist about who they are, when it's revealed that the name of the aliens that the mining colony told them about, is actually the name of their ship. The crew are the people who were coming to kill everyone at the mining colony!

What I liked

Well, the majority of the characters are instantly quite likeable! That helps a lot. On the other side of the coin, most of that is down to the fact that they all seem to resemble characters we've loved and met before. Straight out of firefly seems most of these characters, with the gun loving angry one, the female ship's captain with the hips, and a young female who can "see things". There's little originality in these characters, but it helps that they look good, and they all come across as likeable.

I get the feeling this show is going to be in the style of Firefly, crossed with Stargate: Universe, rather than any hard-hitting serious sci-fi. We all need some popcorn sci-fi because there's very little of it about, and even less that's been decent recently.

What I Didn't Like

The ship's interior and the CGI is of a reasonable quality standard but almost pretty simplistic. You'd think the set came straight out of Star Trek Voyager or StarGate SG-1 at times, or some budget B-movie. There were "classic" sparks and flashing lights for a "crippled" spaceship. This is certainly no hard-graft sci-fi show, but all about the space action and anything sci-fi. Not a bad thing, because lots of us liked that stuff. Just don't expect too much to be realistic sci-fi like in "Gravity" or "2001: A Space Odyssey" movies.

Leading on from above, there's a lot of sci-fi mumble jumble, that any Star Trek fan will lap up as there's talk of FTL drives, shields, weapons, manifolds etc. It also almost felt like I should be ticking off a list of 101 classic TV sci-fi words and terms.

Bit picky here, but when will TV shows bring back classic intro opening sequences? There's too little of them these days, and this show has the standard quick 5 second one. No chance of that building up any atmosphere then.


I'm nothing like Jayne from Firefly, honest ...

What's behind that big impregnable door then?

Hmm, this ship looks familiar ...

Android only has one facial expression; smug.

And Finally

A decent opener, after the cheese fest of the first quarter we had to drag ourselves through. The introduction to the outside world and the revelation about the crew at the end really did catch my attention and make me want to hang around for what I hope will be an enjoyable ride.

Rating: 6 out of 10 (Enjoyable popcorn sci-fi adventure stuff, in space. Something there's not enough of these days).

Star Wars Rebels: S02E01: "The Siege of Lothal"

Rating: 8

In A Nutshell

The Rebels are lured back to Lothal to help rescue the president of the world (I assume she is) who has had enough of the Empire control and is willing to trade secrets for safe passage. Things go really wrong though when she's blown up along with the escape shuttle. Vader has the rebels on the run on Lothal, leading to them having to resort stealing another shuttle, which leads to showdown with Vader for Kanan and Ezra. Vader kicks some serious butt, almost decapitating Ezra, before Kanan gets in to save him. Sigh. Cheese moment. Barely escaping with their lives, the Rebels call in a favour from Lando Calrissian and use some of his transponders to trick their way past the Empire blockade. This is still part of Vader's plan though as their shuttle was being tracked. In comes Vader in his T-fighter to take out the Ghost Ship and the Rebel fleet they just met up with. He causes serious destruction as the Ghost Ship just about holds him off for the Rebel Fleet to escape. As Vader chases the Ghost Ship, they just about managed to escape by having Vader trapped in the empire destroyer's tractor beam by accident instead of them. Kanan and crew want to hang around more with the Rebel Fleet and help, whilst Vader informs the Emperor of Ashoka being with the Rebels. The Emperor tells him to be patience so they can use it to their advantage and to send in the dogs, I mean another Inquisitor, to pursue the Rebels.

What I liked

Vader with lightsaber! Vader walking about. Vader giving orders. Vader hatching a very brilliant plan. Vader in his T-Fighter. Vader talking to emperor. Literally everything to do with Vader is gold dust in this show!

A very well written and creative plot in this episode. From start to finish it was solid, captivating and keeping us on our toes!

What I Didn't Like

Vader's lightsaber battle was quite an old school fight with Kanan rather than the gymnastics samurai stuff we've got used to in recent years. Sort of fits with the time perhaps but I'd like a little more freedom and creativity with that fight.

Vader's walking motion is a bit camp isn't it? Looks like a doll on wire, blowing to side to side in the breeze. Quite odd.

As much as I love Zeb, he didn't have much to do this week, plus he doesn't fit in with everyone else in the show in terms of how they are drawn. He looks like a cartoon toy, whereas the rest look more genuine. He is funny though.


Pretty sure Ashoka knew it was Anakin, but why not tell the others? Presumably because she's not 100% how or why it could be Anakin. I expect we'll have to see her meet up with Yoda or Obi-Wan to get the confirmation and inside on what went down at end of Clone Wars.

Aren't you a little thin for a lightsabre?
And Finally

A fantastic episode. So good in fact that you get the idea it might be a while until it reaches that level again as we might return to run of the mill plots next episode? A new inquisitor will obviously be the main foe for a while until Vader returns to the fold?

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Lots of Vader everywhere, doing real Vader evil stuff! Gripping as he chased down the rebels).

Monday, 15 June 2015

Game of Thrones: S05E10: "Mother's Mercy"

Rating: 8

In A Nutshell

Finally season five delivers! This episode was true Game of Thrones. An attribute missing all season, but probably saved up for the finale in spectacular fashion. The one thing that's gripped me about the show over the seasons is that nothing really goes to plan, but this season had been quite procedural and obvious far too often. At last, unpredictable returns, and I loved it!

Starting with the least exciting but certainly right up there with bloodiest, was Arya masquerading with a face that was not her own, as she tricked her way into Meryn Trant's brothel room, and then viciously stabbed him in the eyes, stomach and lastly, after reminding her who she was, the neck. It was horribly gruesome. When she returns the face, she finds out he who has been helping her all season in the house of black and white isn't anyone either. He's got no particular face and she ends up going blind for her betrayal of the rules by killing the wrong man she was asked to kill.

In Dorne it's all loved up once more as everyone says goodbye at the pier. All quite tame and peaceful. At the start of the voyage back home, Marcelleye and Jaime have a heart to heart and it's known then that she knows he's her father. They have a big loving hug, before she starts to bleed from the nose! Yup, she's been poisoned. Those snake sand sister people got their revenge! Going to be interesting position for the Prince next season!

Stannis's plan goes all south up in the North. More troops have deserted overnight. His wife hangs herself and then the priestess legs it on a horse. He continues to storm winterfell but his smaller army is destroyed in the fields. Staggering in the woods, he's eventually greeted by Brienne, who upon knowing he was in town, deserted waiting for Sansa. She gives him his last rights and then attacks him with a final blow with her sword.

Over that big ocean, everyone is playing a game of 'Where's Dany?'. Eventually Daario and Jorah leave to go find her after they know Drogon took her north. They leave Grey Worm in charge, with Missandei and Tyrion to advise. Great stuff as Vary's returns at the end and has a reunion with Tyrion. Dany though is someone up on a grass hill, with Drogon, who has had a feast but is tired from his injuries and wants to rest. Dany goes off for a walk for food and finds herself literally surrounded by hundreds of Dothraki.

Back at Winterfell and Sansa tries to escape. She lights that candle in the top tower but Brienne isn't looking anymore. Sansa is confronted by Ramsey's lover and Theon who order her back to her room. However, Sansa doesn't care and would rather die. Facing being cut up a little, Theon jumps Myranda and she ends up falling to her death. Squash! Hearing that Ramsey is back from his victory, they both hold hands and jump of the top of the castle into what I assume will be a lot of snow below.

At King's Landing, Cersei confesses to her crimes. Well, one of them. She missed out the Jaime one. So, High Sparrow grants she may return, prior to a court hearing, to her home. But first she must have atonement. So, she gets dirtied, hair cut off and made to parade naked through the streets of the city as the public watch and abuse her verbally and with any food they can find. Once back in the castle grounds, she's in a bad way with her feet and humiliation. Her maester Qyburn though looks after her and introduces the new look head of the king's guard, zombie Mountain in armour! He carries off Cersei to be looked after and has vowed to kill all the king's enemies.

At The Wall, Jon allows Sam, missus and baby to go to the citadel and become a maester. He then has Olly come to his office and tell him his cousin, Benjen Stark has been found! An excited Jon goes out to find himself surrounded by disgruntled crows who then murder him! Wowzers!

What I liked

Unpredictable is back! Stannis's defeat, Marcellye's death and Jon's death were just what the show needed!

Varys back! Varys and Tyrion!

What I Didn't Like

Arya's plot, although very bloody, I didn't feel that was like her. She hasn't really learned that kind of attacking skills, although the art of surprise and a quick stab to the eyes will gain you a quick advantage I guess! Still, it didn't seem at all like her. Her pittance though was just as gruesome as she finds out she is blind.

Cersei's scenes were longer than one would like but they were very useful in helping us feel her humiliation and pain.

No real Sansa outcome is a little cruel on us, but I'm betting they are both fine after leaping into what I assume was lots of snow and ice.

Brienne and Podrick only had small scenes but you'd say significant to how things went down with Sansa not being rescued and Stannis being chopped.


Don't reckon Stannis is dead. But think it would be more GoT if he was. We never got to see for sure and that leaves doubt in my mind.

Benjen Stark was mentioned! Great. I'd been wondering since season one but alas it was just a lie to lead Jon to his death.

And Finally

Unpredictable and just as I like it. Never cared much for Stannis and Jon but enjoyed their story along the way. Very few I care for. Still would like Dany to be massacred but looks like I'll have to wait for that to happen!

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Lots of mystery for next season and some brutal ending to some characters).

Monday, 8 June 2015

Game of Thrones: S05E09: "Dance of Dragons"

Rating: 7

In A Nutshell

Continuing on from last weeks epic episode (the second half anyways), would the tension ramp up to a dramatic last few episodes? Well, not quite.

This week started with Ramsey's "twenty men is all I need" plan working a treat as he sneaked in, sets lots of tents ablaze and caused havoc in Stannis's camp. With food now short and horses better as dinner than to march with, Stannis sends the Onion "King" reluctantly back to Castle Black for reinforcements. Back at The Wall, there's a momentary pause as Jon Snow brings the wildlings to the gates, stares at his deputy up on the wall, who then does open the gates. You'd think there might have been problems there but the tension dried up in an instant. The wildings trounce through Castle Black freely.

Arya is still selling those cockles and mussels in what feels much like an Eastenders market if it was set in Westeros. She doesn't carry out her poisoning mission when she notices new master of coin Tyrell turn up with lannister guards. She follows him about, where she's very interested in his guard, Meryn Tren, and follows him all the way to the brothel. Meryn Tren's taste for young women makes for a very obvious scene in next week's episode you'd think.

At Dorne everyone is getting very loved up, and spreading peace and harmony, thus truly destroying any tension for the finale next week. Jaime gets pardoned and so does Bronn, of which Ellaria then becomes super sweet and lovely, making you wonder if she's just changing her mood to obey her prince, or because she wants to get even with the lannisters one day? You'd bet on the latter.

Back with Stannis, and a heart to heart with his daughter Shireen, leads to her happily wanting to help her father who was looking longer in the face than any of his horses. Thus she ends up getting led to being burned at the stake. The screams are not very comfortable to listen to and feel very genuine. Even her mum caves in but Stannis holds firm.

Back in Meereen, and the Games have started. Think Gladiator. Some rather dull conversation from where Daenerys is watching proceedings, become more interesting when Jorah takes the stage against four other fighters. As Daenerys virtually bites her nails, he overcomes them all, and then throws a spear at her ... but ... no, it's aimed and kills one of the son of Harpies who are attacking. Things kick off massive style then with the death of Daenerys future husband by the harpy, leading to Jorah and even Tyrion doing some defending with weapons. They are all surrounded in the middle of the pit by tens and tens of harpy, and things are meant to feel tense but alas they'd really would have been had they all got slaughtered. Instead, Drogon comes to the rescue (sigh). And ends with Daenerys taking to the sky on the back of him.

What I liked

Not a huge amount really. The fact that there were two significant scenes in this episode, with Stannis's daughter's sacrifice and the harpy's murdering everyone in sight in the stadium, helped raise things above "average" but as they all went exactly as one could have predicted, they lacked true tension, although the daughter's screams ...

We only got a few Bronn comedy quotes, but they were worth the wait, especially as Tyrion didn't have enough lines to say anything too amusing this week.

What I Didn't Like

Anything involving Arya's plot is dull for me. Interesting to follow master of coin Tyrell's arrival though at Dorne.

Lack of any real tension in the fighting pits really as you knew no serious harm would come to Dany.


As per last week:

STILL No Brienne or Podrick. Sob Sob.

STILL No Varys.

And new this week:

NO Sansa. We want winterfall freed!

NO Cersei or King's Landing. Not that I'm that into that story either, but I'm looking forward to the outcome we all can see coming.

And Finally

Stannis' daughter scene aside, everything else lacked any real tension although the harpy certainly made for action and drama. Still predictable and although I myself might be in awe of a dragon if I was actually there, as far as a viewer on TV goes, it was all a little cheesy for me

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Please lets have that winterfell battle next week!)

Thursday, 4 June 2015

The Flash: S01E23: "Fast Enough"

Rating: 7

In A Nutshell

I'd left it a week to see this finale and was quite hyped given what I'd heard online and on social media. Sadly, it failed to live up to the promise I thought I was going to get. Things started off on dubious grounds with the decision to go ahead with Dr Wells' plan to create a wormhole so Barry can save his mum and Wells gets to go home (via a time machine that was so ridiculously quickly built, but I'll ignore that). The morale dilemma was littered with questionable decisions with everyone mostly happy to have Barry reset time to save his mum (except his Dad didn't agree). Never mind, Barry cared less about all that it seems. Caitlin married Ronnie in a sub-plot I guess, and Eddie (ecstatic by talk of him being an coincidence that could not be explained) hitched up with Iris, who seemed to lap it up so quickly.

So, Barry went Mach 2 like (which I guess he'll be able to do whenever he wants now?) and created the wormhole with help of an hydrogen atom, and getting directed to the correct point in time. He's at his house at the right time, but sees future Flash suggest to him not to rescue his mum. So, he doesn't. He has a heart to heart with her that was quite touching I admit. Shame he didn't think of trying to help his dad out before he legged it back to Star Lab present time. Here he arrived with a bang and scuppered Dr Wells going home by smashing up his time machine for no reason I can think off other than being angry about his mum. Guess that's a good reason but not very sensible if you think clearly. Anyhow, they have a mini-fight before Eddie shoots himself, thus ultimately killing Dr Wells.

Almost game over you'd think, but no, things with the wormhole go south and it creates a singularity ripping up the city! Certainly many more people have died already due to Barry's daft decision, before Barry goes super fast to try to stop the singularity from growing.

The End. Cliffhanger!

What I liked

Barry made right decision not to save his mum but spend time with her. The only issue though is that no one would be able to fathom out why, other than he saw future Flash suggest not to save her. Very odd he'd do it solely on that, without any real tangible conversation with future Flash.

Great to see Eddie make the sacrifice in a genuine tearful moment. Although this was setup from the beginning and suggested several times during episode, I still couldn't figure out if it would happen as it didn't seem to be necessary until Barry came back and took out Wells.

The conversations Barry and Cisco had with Dr Wells were very good and revealing.

What I Didn't Like

Too many dubious decisions; this ultimately destroyed the episode for me and stopped it getting a higher score and ascending to must-watch levels. The decision to actually go back in time and save his mum was so questionable. I know he's been wanting to do this for a lifetime, but surely it didn't take a genius to realise that was not a good idea? A whole lot of circumstances, people in his life and their own lives would be destroyed by this move. Although his dad advised him not to, he still did it. I'm totally surprised everyone else was willing to give everything up just for Barry!

Why Barry Why? Why did you come back all angry? That he couldn't save his mum? I guess that would charge emotions and that was all Dr Well's fault, but surely he could see that it'll be a whole lot better to let Wells return home and everyone would be reasonably in a safer world? Just daft not to.

We missed any real decent Flash Versus Reverse-Flash battle. A quite few seconds that ended all too quickly in Dr Well's favour but then ultimately ended by Eddie's sacrifice. Disappointing.

A season ending cliffhanger. Why?


Odds are we haven't seen the last of Dr Wells or Eddie.

Isn't Iris going to be mad at Barry for coming back, wrecking Dr Well's machine and ultimately leading to Eddie killing himself?

Gideon! Hello? Every has forgotten the super tech AI in the lab!

And Finally

Failed to live up to the promise. Can't get over some of the decision making ultimately. Lack of any serious Flash versus Reverse-Flash was disappointing. Cliffhanger a real downer too. Don't like end of season cliffhangers.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Atlantis S02E12 "The Queen Must Die"

Rating: 5

In A Nutshell

It's a struggle to be bothered to watch this show, let alone write about it, but after putting it off for two weeks or so, I finally watched the last episode of the show, content in the knowledge that I'd never have to see it again.

Things kick off with Jason and gang sneaking into the city. Seriously, how many times do they sneak in and out of this city? It's hard to know if it consists of 10 guards and two streets or is really a city sometimes. They go down the sewers to get into the stadium to rescue the fighter who saved Jason's life last week and led to us having to endure another episode. Thank mate!

Anyhow, I thought their plan might have been scuppered when they clearly forgot to put the sewer grate back on after entering the foul system, or when they walked across the fighting pit in clear view under a full moon, but hey, this wasn't enough. As it happens, on the way out, the guards had been tipped off by Icarus, a man not only thinking of his dad in jail, but also of ending this show on a spectacular footing. Sadly, despite 30 odd guards all taking aim with crossbows as the heroes made their way back across the fighting pit in clear view, they didn't all get slaughtered anywhere near like in Game of Thrones at the Red Wedding. Maybe a third got taken out (mostly other fighters who tagged along), before the guards decided to not reload the crossbows but jump into the pit and do sword combat. Seriously? Not the cleverest people in this show. So, Jason and Co still somehow manage to get away and out of the slackest security in the world in the city, thanks mostly to Medea turning up and using magic to take out some guards.

Off they go back into that forest where they run to every week or so. A tad later, after Jason married Ariadne in a surprisingly slightly moving wedding, Medea turns up to tell Jason the whereabouts of Pasiphae the next day and give him some passionflower drug that will weaken Pasiphae's magic. Medea then does the honourable thing, given she's a boring character, and leaves for another city. Jason and co go off to where pasiphae is doing some ceremony at a mini-temple thing, and Jason drugs the water before she drinks it, and then confronts her. He won't kill her of course because this week he's not in that kind of mood. Sigh. So, he knocks her out and takes her back to the camp in the woods where he has Hercules do the deed. It all felt rather below the belt to just execute her like that. Rather unspectacular for the big baddie to go out, but alas she does. Although we all know that's not the end because she mumbled a spell before she was killed, of which pythagoras mentioned the word resurrection. Still, at least she didn't mention "third season".

Using Icarus's betrayal of them, they use him to lure the pretender to the throne, that shaved head guy, to the forest for peace. Double bluffs later, and he's sobbing for forgiveness as the army general decides he's had enough bloodshed after half a season. We all have had enough quite frankly mate. Anyhow, seconds later and the pretender to the throne is dead thanks to Jason and off they all troop back to Atlantis to get blessed by the gods the next morning and live happily ever after.

Except, there's still at least 40 minutes of this crap left, so we know it's not over.

Sure enough, to cut some even more dull scenes out, Pasiphae is back and the army general is dead. The army now side with Pasiphae and during the ceremony the next day they storm the temple, killing other army soldiers along the way. Yeah, I didn't quite get that either. Anyhow, the priest guy gets knifed too, before they all have to flee from the "undead makeup distorted" Pasiphae and back into the city. They end up trapped for the upteenth time, along with yet more concerns that this time they won't survive. This is where Icarus and his dad come into play. Icarus lives up to his legend status by flying (yes, wings, wax and all that) to their rescue and dropping gunpowder bombs on the soldiers to allow them to escape. One of the soldiers shoots down Icarus much to Pythagoras's horror. Sure enough though, there's no killing people off easily in this show as Icarus is ok, although maybe a little shaken, but nothing a kiss from Pythagoras won't fix. Seconds later he's on his feet in a recovery we've not seen since, well, last episode probably.

They all end up, yes, you guessed it, back in the forest where the priest child who fled with them tells them they need to destroy Pasiphae's powers and that entails heading to the city where Medea has gone and getting the Golden Fleece. Yes, that fleece. Going by the ending sequence, the priest child seems to be in league with Medea as she sends her a signal that Jason is coming. It's an interesting twist, but only for about one nanosecond, because this means yet more walking about by our heroes, complaining about Pasiphae, who Jason could have killed 5 times by now, and yet more of the Medea/Jason/Adriane love triangle that's not even remotely tear jerking or emotional. On the plus side, the credits then went up next, and the quest to put Pasiphae out of her misery is not something we'll have to worry about. At least we're out of our misery.

What I liked

First and foremost, it's the last ever episode of the show, so that's easily my favourite part.

Icarus flying, bombing everyone and his interaction with his father just before, were easily the most amusing and entertaining thing in this episode.

Ariadne and Jason's wedding was actually quite warming and nice.

What I Didn't Like

They walked across the middle of the stadium on their rescue attempt where it's lighter rather than go around the darker outside? Some brainless decision making.

Medea; what is the point of her? She showed some promise at the start of the season, but like everyone else, she's been reduced to ridiculous dialogue and changes of mind and opinion all too often.

The magic count was really ramped up in this episode although it was largely reduced to the classic "thrown through the air" in various ways. Probably the most dull of all magic. There was some choking though for a change, and neck breaking. Pasiphae has long instilled fear in those who followed her (apparently) but we've never seen any evidence of her getting all bullying with her magic ... until this week. Bit late though!

One hour 20 minutes? Seriously, they added on an extra half-hour? Torture would have been kinder to us.


Just about the only thing I've not seen coming all season was the Pythagoras/Icarus relationship. Maybe if the show had been more stimulating I may have worked this out a few episodes ago. This week though it was a lot more obvious even before Pythagoras started to do his love sick teenager face.

And Finally

I thought that an hour and 20 minutes might give us something close to a score of 6 but alas it just turned out to be something that would have been better in 20 minutes and was dragged out into a merry go round of disinterest like this show has been since day one. The second season did indeed show a darker atmosphere. We even got to see some blood on the end of those swords sometimes, and people looking angry. However, despite all the projected peril, once again this show delivered absolutely nothing, after quite frankly promising very little from that first episode, so I guess it lived up to everything.

Rating: 5 out of 10 (80 minutes of TV torture best left for under 5 year olds to watch, although even they'd probably turn it off if they could. The trio of Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules did at times throughout the show work off each ether quite nicely, but they were giving little that felt really tense, sensible or emotional to do.)

Monday, 1 June 2015

Game of Thrones: S05E08: "Hardhome"

Rating: 8

In A Nutshell

Now this a lot more like it!

Lots of interesting things going on in this episode, although very few get the coverage that the North does, especially in the second half. If the first section had been as good as the second, this could have been an epic episode. As it happens, in 1st part we got a few scenes of nothing much new really; Cersei in jail refusing to confess and feeling very sorry for herself. Arya learning some more faceless man tricks and tools. And, Sansa confronting Reek/Theon who confesses a little about his past and what happened, but then legs it under pressure for more confessions. All this was mostly intriguing, except for Arya's plotline which I still find boring. Faceless man? More like pointless man to me. Anyhow, where things were much more interesting was elsewhere, especially with Tyrion's conversations with Daenerys. Absolutely top notice exchange of words, and amazing advice given out by the Tyrion and listened upon by the Queen. However, things are on a new level altogether in the North, where Jon Snow, his crow crew and Wildling ally Tormund  , now arrive somewhere (I dunno, it's all white and hilly up there) on boats and confront hundreds of other wildlings, led by man in bones. He's soon dispensed of by Tormund for refusing to listen to reason. A later meeting with the wildling elders goes half in Jon's favour as he makes the case for peace and relocation. Things go very pear-shaped when the White Walkers arrive though and rain down terror in the extreme on everyone. Epic confrontation, battles, blood, guts and awful ways to be mutilated follow. It's everyone for themselves as they try to hold off the walkers before retreating to the boats whilst the majority get slaughtered. As the row row row the boat merrily along, we see one of the White Walker "seniors" resurrect the dead, thus adding to their army. Eeek.

What I liked

Tat second half! The north has never been so interesting. The tension with Jon Snow arriving in the north of the wall land was immense. You'd expect things to kick off at any moment. As it happens, only man of bones did. The rest got quite heated but I half expected all out fighting amongst crows and wildlings. Everyone saw reason quite quickly ... well, almost all. Then the walkers attacking! That was over 10 minutes of epic battle.

Tyrion/Daenerys conversation; probably the only time I'm going to like her.

What I Didn't Like

The first half was slower and quieter. I find the whole faceless man stuff incredibly dull and see nothing that's going to draw me into that.

Seems IMMENSELY convenient that the White Walker army arrived at that moment. Far too convenient if you ask me. The longer the battle went though, the more I forgave this contrived timing issue.


STILL No Brienne or Podrick. Sob Sob.

STILL No Varys. Although he gets mentioned.

So, Jon Snow's sword seem to repel White Walker's weapons too. Interesting.

I'm going to assume that the White Walker Army arrived purely to take advantage of the situation or because they wanted to claim the dragonglass? Were they really just passing through at the right moment?

And Finally

Second half was amazing. Tension up north and battling was fantastic. Very Lord of the Rings like but still great.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Could have got my best score so far, had the rest of the episode lived up to the North's tension and fighting)

Food: Marks and Spencer Cappuccino Bar 34g

Food Rating: 10
Value for Money: 8
Overall: 9

Trust me, this tastes amazing!
In A Nutshell

OMG! After spending ten minutes looking around the sweet aisles of M&S, I decided to spend my cash on this little baby of a bar. I love my chocolate. I also love my coffee. On top of all that, I also love my coffee chocolates even more. If you also do, then this is about as good as it gets. It's soft, smooth, chocolatey, and has the added little sprinkles of coffee within and outside it, that are just like whacking that weight with the hammer and watching it spring up to the jackpot.

Technicalities wise, the label calls this a "white and dark chocolate bar with a coffee mousse centre (58%) decorated with milk chocolate (7%)" but that could be reduced to just one word, "delish".

What I liked

Everything! Milk Chocolate. The white chocolate. The mousse on the inside. The coffee taste. The way it feels so silky in the mouth and fluffy.

What I Didn't Like

Well, at near £2 for a bar no bigger than a Mars Bar, it's not cheap.

It's also not very big. I did nibble it to try to extend its longevity but lets face it, this should be gone in two chomps really.


Heaven in my hand
How can something so small bring so much joy? Seems to be a recurring sentence in my life.

And Finally

It's not cheap, but for once it's a chocolate bar worth paying double the normal price for. It's lush, it's sophisticated and it's darn well tasty. If you like smooth chocolate and coffee, you should love this.