Tag Archive: time travel


Frequency series

If you had the chance to travel back in time and change just one event in your life, what would it be?

Following the path of genre movies adapted to television shows like Alien Nation, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Dead Zone, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Bates Motel, Fargo, Hannibal, Limitless, and Twelve Monkeys an awesome 2000 sci-fi sleeper is coming to the CW Network.  CW’s Frequency will star Peyton List (The Flash, Tomorrow People, Mad Men, Monk, Smallville, Without a Trace), who plays a cop who is able to communicate with her dead father via a ham radio that reaches into the past.

The new series is a twist on the original film, which starred James Caviezel as the son who can reach his dead father in the past via a similar radio.  His father was played by Dennis Quaid.  Frequency wasn’t a blockbuster, but it’s a great sci-fi movie in the vein of Timecop, Somewhere in Time, and Time After Time.  The Butterfly Effect–the ripples that occur when you alter the past–was explored in the original and appears to be the focus of the series.

Frequency series CW

Check out this promising extended trailer and a new TV spot for Frequency:

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Before Flood Fisher King Doctor Who

For fans of time travel, look no further than the past two-part episode of Doctor Who for one of the most complex and bloody brilliant time travel stories yet to make it to the screen.  Steven Moffat, after a year of getting us accustomed to Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor, has now delivered four superb episodes.  It’s enough to convince us Capaldi is the real deal and fans of not only the Doctor Who of Christopher Eccleston/David Tennant/Matt Smith series but the classic series as well should be able to embrace the current series as the real thing.

Take the first two-parter of this second season of the 12th Doctor, beginning with “The Magician’s Apprentice,” the creator of all Daleks, Davros, continuity-wise looking very much as he looked back to Tom Baker days, sets up the beginning of a clever trap for the Doctor, relying on the Doctor’s compassion as his ultimate weakness.  Then Michelle Gomez’s Missy–the Doctor’s “brother” Time-Lord also known as The Master now in its current female or “evolved” form–must partner with Jenna Coleman’s Clara to both save the Doctor and themselves, sort of.  It is my own favorite motif–the forced partnering of a franchise’s good guy with its villain against a common foe.  The chemistry between Missy and Clara was simply superb.  And of course, the finale in “The Witch’s Familiar” successfully ties up all the loose ends, but not without wrestling in some good conflicts like an emotional struggle with the Self as the Doctor deciding whether to leave a little boy to die in the middle of an alien mine field.

Before the Flood

This season is about Capaldi’s Doctor letting loose and freely occupying the role as his own.  The electric guitar show he performs in the season opener with his new sonic sunglasses replacing the retired sonic screwdriver–a brilliant and probably long-overdue maneuver by Moffat–came full circled last night in “Before the Flood,” with an updated version of the Doctor Who introduction music in the wrap-up of the two-parter begun on October 3, 2015, “Under the Lake”.  The Doctor’s Finest–a recap show highlighting the best of the reboot Doctor Who episodes shown this summer as a lead-in to Capaldi’s Season 2 (also reboot Season 9)–needs completely redone now that we have the story arc in “Under the Lake”/”Before the Flood”.

Is time linear or “twisty” as the Doctor has asserted before?

Before the Flood Fisher King

Beginning with a parable about Beethoven and showing a bust of the composer that looks strikingly like Capaldi, Moffat takes us on a magical mystery tour full of adventure, emotion, fear, self-reflection, heroism, and all-out fun.  Only this Doctor would get away with talking directly to the audience.  In fact, this two-parter may be a good entry point for those unfamiliar with the series.  It has everything Doctor Who is known for, including the best-in-class scenes of crew life aboard a spaceship, the world’s finest creature costumes and make-up work with the new villain The Fisher King (part Predator, part Xenomorph, part Mimic creature), a look at the complex and vital relationship between Doctor and companion, subplots making you care about the everymen he encounters along the way, further study of the Doctor’s singular aloneness in the universe, and his willingness to do anything to protect humanity.

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Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys

Count it among the best performances of both  Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, the 1995 Terry Gilliam modern sci-fi 12 Monkeys is the kind of brilliantly written, post-apocalyptic science fiction movie that would receive a best picture Oscar nod today with the Academy’s pool of 10 potential nominees.  It’s serious, dramatic science fiction, not the typical stuff of your average Syfy Channel made for TV movie.  But today the Syfy Channel announced it has ordered a pilot for a TV series based on the movie.

The movie 12 Monkeys followed an unstuck-in-time convict in the year 2035 named James Cole, played by Willis, who is repeatedly sent back into the past to uncover the source of a plague reputed to be spread by an “Army of the Twelve Monkeys”–a plague that will one day kill most of the population of Earth unless the scientists can stop the virus in its inception before it mutates.  Unfortunately the future’s time travel technology is flawed, and Cole is shot farther back in time than planned, to 1990, where he is arrested and kept in a mental institution.  Madeleine Stowe played a psychiatrist in the film and Brad Pitt a patient with Cole, making a sort of odd coupling like Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman in Papillon. 

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Continuum Rachel Nichols cop suit

Following on the heels of the successful Canada import Lost Girl, the Vancouver based sci-fi series Continuum premiered this year on the Syfy Channel in the U.S. and it easily earns the status of best new TV series of 2013.  Like Lost Girl, the first season has already aired in Canada, and is being shown one season behind here, hopefully to catch up in the U.S. market later this year.  The series has already been renewed in Canada, and Season 2 is being filmed on location in Vancouver, B.C.  Tonight, episode four airs at 7 p.m. Central/8 p.m. Eastern on the Syfy Channel.  You’ll want to set up your DVR for this series and if you’ve missed episodes 1-3 you can still catch them on primetime Free Per View.

Continuum stars Star Trek 2009, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Conan the Barbarian’s Rachel Nichols as a British Columbia cop from the year 2077 named Kiera Cameron who gets transported back in time to 2012 where she tracks down a group of rebel terrorists who have come to the past with her.  The terrorists, who go by the name Liber8, were sentenced to death and at their execution someone smuggled in a device that created a warp field that spun the convicts back in time and sucked in security officer Cameron.  Like her cool and tough performance as Scarlet in the first G.I. Joe movie, Nichols is perfect as a no-nonsense cop, quick to act in a gunfight and several other situations she never could have trained for.

Continuum Rachel Nichols

The producers of Continuum have created the most seemingly realistic future technology here along with a creepy possible future political structure where corporations have bailed out the defaulting government and eventually taken over all its functions, taking away individual liberties from citizens.  The police force Cameron works for is in protection of this new world order, and the great twist of Continuum is having the terrorists’ ideal be a return to our political structure today.  Continuum is the series many hoped the Battlestar Galactica spinoff Caprica would be, but in only three episodes Continuum has already surpassed that other Syfy Channel series in production quality and story.

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If only the physicists would crank up their research and get us a time machine.

The 41st Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is out and as usual it is chock full of the obvious: prices, of course, but also commentary for dealers and collectors, year in review articles, the guy who says he paid $30,000 to advertise on the back cover, and inside, more ads than you could ever read.  As price guides go you can actually spend a lot of time learning about the history of various books and characters, and see new books you may not have noticed otherwise.

If you shuffle through it all, the Overstreet Guide provides some great information.  What stood out to me first in this year’s guide is the showcase of the great swing in prices today for rare, key comic issues compared to when the Guide was first published back in 1970.

Here are some great examples:

  • Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, could be bought for $300 in Mint condition back in 1970.  Today’s guide price?  $1.4 million.  Talk about an investment!
  • Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman, could be bought for $275 in Mint condition in 1970.  Today? $1.2 million.
  • Superman #1 could be bought for $250 in 1970 in Mint condition.  Today’s price is $560,000.  As much as I am hoping for good things from the new DC #1 issues in September, it’s pretty unlikely any will fetch $500,000 in 2052.  But maybe $250?
  • Marvel Comics #1, the first appearance of the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner, could be bought for $250 in 1970 in Mint condition.  Today its guide price tag is $460,000.
  • All-American Comics #16, the first appearance of Green Lantern, could be bought for a mere $50 in 1970 in Mint condition.  Today that same book would sell for $400,000.

   

Of course, back in 1970 most people would have thought your screw was loose for buying a comic for $300 or even $50.

Books that haven’t had 70 years to appreciate–Silver Age comic books from the 1960s also have some substantial increases over the past 41 years.

  • Amazing Fantasy #15, the first appearance of Spider-Man, could be bought for $16 back in 1970 in Mint condition.  Today that comic book sells for $125,000.
  • The Incredible Hulk #1 sold for $14 in Mint condition in 1970.  Today, you might find one for $75,000.
  • Fantastic Four #1 sold for only $12 in Mint condition in 1970.  Today? $80,000.  Not bad at all!

   

It is interesting to see the steep lowered tier of values when you compare Golden Age DC Comics titles to their Silver Age Marvel Comics counterparts.  Yet the Silver Age DC Comics characters also drop off significantly compared to their Marvel Comics counterparts.

Check out the new Overstreet guide for even more comparisons.  The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 41 SC (Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide) is available at Amazon.com as well as comic books stores, or add it to your pull list at Comixology.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

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