Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I seem to be on a roll. I found Meta4orce a couple of days ago, and now I found another show on the web, that has me impressed. And there are some interesting parallels which may not seem apparent, but as this is a place to simply indulge myself, that is what I shall do.

In much the same way as I found Meta4orce without actually looking for it, I found Sanctuary. I wasn't actually looking for it, but the internet can lead you anywhere. All I was doing was browsing Newsarama. Yes, I was. No, not the message boards(I wouldn't dare), just the site. As I mentioned before, I like to browse around to possibly find interviews, news items or anything in general on comics that catches my eye. So, while I was looking for anything in general I found an interview that had nothing to do with comics but I saw the line "innovative new Sci-Fi series". That intrigued me, as I am a sucker for Sci-Fi and who isn't one for "innovative". The interview was basically about the actor sharing his experiences while working on the show, and the line where it says that it was launched on the internet is where I went for Google, my trusty sidekick.
It seems that the show was originally meant for the internet and that there were 8 episodes, 4 of which were available for free, and if you liked them, you would have to pay to watch the rest. Now this was back in July 2007, or thereabouts. Since then, this show has been picked up by Sci-Fi for 13 episodes, because of its "cult following"(Boy, is that term overused or what, I could say my blog here has a cult following, cause I am the only reader, but I follow it religiously, but I digress). But I like to think that it had more to do with the show actually being good.

Now, the show isn't available on the site anymore. But if you use my trusty sidekick, you'll inevitably find places where you can watch it. And I did watch the episodes, all 8 of them. While the show's low budget is immediately apparent in the graphics, its obviously ambitious as the entirety of the show is done on green screen. While not a new concept, it does seem to be new for a show launched on the internet. Lead by Amanda Tapping, who people may recall from another Sci-Fi show, the show is based on a concept that comic book fans may not be new to. I would say its a mix between BPRD, and X-Men. Amanda Tapping is an immortal woman who roams the world finding freaks, urban myths, and giving them shelter. She has an entirely cliched daughter,played by Emilie Ullerup, who seems to remind me of Alba's role from Dark Angel for some reason, but she's obviously modeled after Buffy, Xena and the ilk. She's the one character in the show that doesn't sit right with me, but that may change. Robin Dunne plays the new recruit. And he's recruited as a psychologist, and at other times as the damsel in distress, or empathizing angel of kindness, as the situation demands.

The first four episodes deal with Dunne getting recruited, and Emilie finding out about her EVIL father. In the meantime we have flashbacks dealing with the good Doctor's (Tapping) role as "----ist" and "-----ist" and "Xenobiologist"(Fill up the blanks if you want to). She's apparently immortal, 157 years of age, but sexy as hell in those black trenchcoats. She actually wears a tie later in the show. Whats with that? And we go into flashbacks to look at the father - mother relationship. In short it all sounds very cliched. Well, atleast as much as I can make it feel like one. But its handled in great manner. The acting, especially from Tapping, and the shrink guy, as well as the EVIL father, is excellent, and while the show obviously look cheap, its darkened enough so that you may not even notice it. But the actual presence of a shrink is what intrigues me the most. It can lead to plenty of possibilities beyond the familiar psycho-babble bits, and episodes 5 - 8 hint at actually using those possibilities. Obviously its used to a limited extent, but hopefully its used as plot devices, instead of a kinda plot twist as is used in those episodes.

All in all, I think this show is promising. And hopefully the Sci-Fi deal will mean that the show runners can really run with the concept. I am looking forward to October when it starts airing.

By the way, a warning. If you do find episodes 5 to 8, episode 8 was left on a cliffhanger. And the website provides no information. So if you don't like your shows incomplete, you may want to watch only upto episode 4.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Peter Milligan's Meta4orce

This makes me both happy as well as sad. Happy, because I get to see Milligan written stuff, and sad because that it was only chance that brought me upon it. This really needs to be out there, because its Milligan doing great stuff in a limited environment.


I came across it accidentally while I was searching for Peter Milligan interviews to read and google brought me to this interview. Actually I only clicked it because it was dated 12 June, 2008 and I thought why have I never read an interview that he did so recently. Turns out that it was not done in relation to comic books hence my familiar haunts would not carry it. But what it did lead me to, was this new Animated Series from BBC. It seems to be one of those new type of made for the web shows with games thrown in to give the "Interactive Experience". But thats not what interests me in the least. What interests me is the writing.

While the concept seems to be a little derivative, its set in a different kind of environment. And that seems to have been something given to Milligan rather than him coming up with it. Whoever decided to come up with the concept of 2034 London, where everything has been submerged under water seemed to have global warming as a plot point in his mind for the show. But Milligan obviously wasn't interested. The series starts off with introductions for all the characters comprising the team Meta4orce which obviously stands for Meta + Force as the team members are biogenetically augmented as the tagline of the show mentions. Its a murder mystery and for a very brief period I was afraid it might turn out to be a very generic show. After all Milligan seems to have been handed down the concept, as well as having to self censor as the show is aimed at kids, but I needn't have worried. The all too familiar themes of Milligan are all present here. The victim's identity crisis, that of the team members themselves, and that cruel twist in the end are all evidences of Milligan's talent. And all of it done in a very compressed manner of storytelling, with some assist from the 2D over 3D animation.

But its Milligan's writing that makes me want to watch more of this. Although it seems that decision is entirely upto BBC. Lets hope they don't go the way DC have, with Milligan's exclusive.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Grant Morrison is back on the interwebs

He did tease that his website would be all renewed and stuff and will be offering sneak previews of things to come from him.


Go under Head where Morrison tells you what he has been upto as well as spelling out the names of the projects he has been upto. As for me, I can't wait to find out what he and Quitely have for us, next.