Electric Dreams, adapted from Philip K Dick’s short stories, was an anthology series offering a new take on a different science fiction concept each week. Tonight saw its sixth episode, concluding the series’ 2017 run – a further four episodes are scheduled for early next year. As with any anthology series, Electric Dreams had its highs and lows; here, then, is a ranking of each of the series’ six offerings so far.
Worth noting this is my ranking of the first 6 episodes of Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams, as they were broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK – The Hood Maker, Impossible Planet, The Commuter, Crazy Diamond, Real Life and Human Is, respectively. Though not in that order, obviously.
In short, I wanted to love them, but often found I didn’t. Generally, I found that the latter four of the Channel 4 broadcast were actually better than the initial six, though I’ve never really written about any of them. I’d like to go more in-depth on them at some point, though – one possible, far off project I’d like to take a crack at would be a series of detailed essays on Black Mirror and Electric Dreams.
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With the introduction of a new gang, Archie forming a neighbourhood watch group, and a letter from the Angel of Death, there are a lot of mysteries to solve – and a lot of questions we need to find the answers to.
Here are five questions we need answering after the latest episode of Riverdale.
Another Riverdale article from me, with speculation, fan theories and so on – this one is old enough that I was still calling the Black Hood “the Angel of Death”, because they’d not really started saying the Black Hood yet.
This is also the one where I asked whether or not Toni Topaz would pose a threat to “Bughead”, which is exactly the sort of slightly ridiculous comment that typifies these Riverdale articles. It makes me laugh, anyway.
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At its heart, the movie is a consideration of perfection – an interrogation of the drive to achieve perfection and what it truly means to eliminate flaws. There’s something notable about how Gattaca presents a uniform world through its colour and lighting, dystopian because of its lack of variety – and in turn how this changes around Vincent, a tacit acknowledgment of how he still represents utopian potential in a dystopian world.
An article I wrote for Gattaca’s twentieth anniversary; it’s one of my favourite movies. First watched it in school, actually. Not for a science class, as you might expect, but in fact in an RE lesson.
There’s also a neat callback here, actually, because I’ve been meaning to write an article on Gattaca ever since I started my blog – there’s been a tumblr post to that effect sat in my drafts for nearly five years now. So, it’s good to have finally ticked that one off the list!
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Discovery is struggling to move beyond the Planet of the Hats. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, essentially it refers to a culture defined by a single ubiquitous character trait. Every single Vulcan is logical. Every single Klingon is a warrior. Every single person on the planet of the hats wears hats all the time. It’s a prominent sci-fi genre convention (or cliché, if you’re feeling less kind), and one with plenty of examples across Trek history – pick a random episode of TOS and you’ve got a good chance of finding one.
Discovery, up until now, is pretty much just doing the same thing. Vulcans are all dedicated to logic, Klingons to war, Kelpians are all fearful (or so we’re told); as ever, it’s only the human characters who have differences in aspirations and motivations and even personalities. Yes, certainly, there are differences within that limited scope; while both Sarek and the Vulcan suicide bomber are both dedicated to logic, they’ve clearly got differing interpretations of such. But even then – the Vulcan is a radical adherent to logic. Is that the most interesting thing you could have done with it?
Here’s my review of Lethe, which is the one with James Frain as Sarek. Well, one of them.
At times, I did find Discovery frustrating, even while actually quite enjoying it. This is one such episode, really; entertaining in a lot of ways, but enough little flaws to grate throughout.
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The starting point was thinking about Soviet music from the 1950s, of which there was a lot, you know, there was a whole stable of Soviet concert composers who also wrote for movies in that period. Shostakovich being the most famous, and also Prokofiev who was slightly complicated one, because he came and went, and Weinburg. In fact, there’s a large number of others who are not so famous.
And we were thinking for a long time about the tone of it. There needed to be something that would give you the nervousness of the film and genuine danger, but also not tap into a straightforward drama. And going forward, funnily enough, most period dramas are known to tend to limit the sound of the music on the set, so there was something very interesting in getting closer to that sound.
This was a great interview, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out – Christopher was great to talk to, and said some fascinating things about The Death of Stalin.
I’m particularly fond of this one, actually, just because of how nice a guy Christopher was. I’ve found – purely anecdotally – that composers tend to be the nicest of all the people I’ve interviewed. Not sure why; might just be that I’ve largely interviewed some terribly nice people who happen to be composers. But it just sort of sticks in my mind, I suppose.
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