Because I’m able to squeeze all my media reviews into one post. Which is partly due to Trixie distracting me too much in the evenings to read as much as usual, but still. Oh, and only a couple of items relate to time travel.
The British SF comedy RED DWARF (1988- ) isn’t a time-travel series: the concept is the protagonists (evolved Cat, low comic Lister, stuffed-shirt Rimmer) struggling to return to Earth across millions of light years. However a lot of the stories include a time-travel element, such as encountering parallel world counterparts, falling through a time rift or meeting their time traveling scumbag future selves (“That’s all you have to say about Herman Goering—he’s a bit ‘dodgy’?”). I skimmed a lot but even that confirmed my feeling this ran out of steam as it went along—still, at it’s best this show was hard to top.
Because so many references say the Japanese Lensman series has a time travel element, I rewatched the execrable adaptation LENSMAN: Secret of the Lens (1987) and the marginally better LENSMAN: Power of the Lens (1987). And no, no time-travel, and as I said before, unfaithful to the books—and not the kind you can excuse by the quality of the finished product. “Are you an Overlord of Delgon?”
THE BOOK OF LOST BOOKS: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You’ll Never Read by Stuart Kelly is one of those books that has a great concept—a look at lost works of literature—but doesn’t follow through. Kelly spends far more time focusing on lectures about Greek theater (when covering lost Greek works) or biographical sketches (the section on Laurence Stern, author of Tristan Shandy spends about two paragraphs on Stern’s Lost Work) or just goes completely off-theme (I’m sorry but the fact Milton thought about writing an Arthurian epic but never did doesn’t qualify it as a Lost Work or justify his inclusion). Good if I wanted a lot of Great Author mini-bios—but as I didn’t, it was a flop.
SOUTHERN CROSS by Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger is a graphic novel that starts mystery in space—what exactly is going on aboard the eponymous space transport where everyone seems to have a hidden agenda — that slides into some sort of cosmic horror story by the end. Slow and dark, but overall I enjoyed it.
As the title suggests, EMPIRE STATE: A Love Story (or Not) by Jason Shiga is a rather downbeat one, but it won me over anyway.The protagonist is a librarian and nerd who seems determined never to move out of his safety zone in Oakland; will his best friend/possible love interest moving to New York change that? This may not be to everyone’s taste, but it worked for me.
MARY POPPINS was a stage show my brother did, in the role of Bert. This was a lively, fun show and does a better job than I expected capturing the special effects. I must admit the script, which focuses much more on the father, doesn’t work for me as well as the movie (and no, it’s not a concession to being stage bound) — for example instead of the kids accidentally triggering a run on the bank, it’s Mr. Banks’ own errors that get him in trouble with his bosses (and his own good sense that gets him out of it). Still, I had a good time watching this. “She’s the worst nanny in the world—she looks like something that would eat its young.”