Some of our team members have been writing excellent Fast 5 Reviews of the films/TV series we have available. Reviews like these can be found on our website, both on the front page and alongside the titles themselves. Here are some we’ve received recently: Continue reading
The Expanse: Season One
Science Fiction | 2015 | Reviewed by Michelle
Hundreds of years in the future, humans have colonised the solar system. In the asteroid belt beyond Mars, a washed-up detective is tasked with tracking down the missing daughter of a powerful Earth businessman. In space, the first officer of an interstellar ice freighter witnesses a Martian attack on his ship. And on Earth, a ruthless UN undersecretary is desperate to prevent war. These three strangers are about to uncover a conspiracy that will bring them together – and change the galaxy…
1) Did you like it?
Confession time: I’m a bit of a sci-fi buff, and I really enjoyed The Expanse.
This is great big futuristic sci-fi at its great big futuristic best – and the kind that we haven’t seen on TV for a while now. If you’ve got fond memories of Battlestar Galactica, or maybe even (nerd alert!) Babylon 5, clear your calendar and microwave some popcorn, because I reckon you’re going to love The Expanse.
3) You’ll enjoy this series if…
The Expanse isn’t just great sci-fi, it’s great television. In the same way that many Game of Thrones fans wouldn’t necessarily call themselves epic fantasy buffs, The Expanse has the potential to appeal to anyone who likes compelling characters and a fast-paced plot. That’s pretty much everyone, right?
4) This series made me think about…
Also like Game of Thrones, The Expanse is based on a series of books. I’m impatient for more, and wondering if I should just read the books (and know what’s going to happen in advance) or just be patient and let it be a surprise…?
5) Overall rating?
Doctor Who: Season 10
It’s the tenth season of the rebooted Doctor Who, and from the outset, fans already knew that it’d be the last to star Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. With companions Bill and Nardole by his side, this season sees the Doctor face new challenges – and old enemies.
1) Did you like it?
I’ve been a bit meh about the past couple of series of Doctor Who, to be honest. It’s tricky – I love Peter Capaldi, but never really thought that his version of The Doctor was fully developed. Sunglasses and a guitar are props, not character development. After the last season left me cold, I wasn’t too enthused about this season.
So what made me change my mind? The announcement that, for the first time ever, the Doctor’s next regeneration would be a woman, played by Jodie Whittaker.
Oh, and yes, I liked this series, by the way.
Bill and Nardole are great, and together with the Doctor, they make a great team. This season allows us to see a different side to Capaldi’s Doctor as well – but it all feels too late. We’re just starting to get to know him when the season is over. It’s a real shame…
What’s not so great about this season? There are a few flat episodes. The weakest point is The Lie of the Land, a 1984-esque episode that centres around Bill’s mum (who, despite being a vital part of the episode is never given an actual name). There are also a few plot points scattered throughout the series that viewers of New Who might find unfortunately familiar.
But overall, this season is tighter and more entertaining than it’s been for a while. For the most part, it’s more restrained and there’s more of a feel of camaraderie between the Doctor and his companions.
3) You’ll enjoy this television series if…
Actually, if you’re new to Doctor Who, series ten would be a great place to jump on board!
4) This television series made me think about…
As much as I’m looking forward to a female Doctor, I’m going to miss Peter Capaldi. But here’s to new beginnings and new regenerations.
5) Overall rating?
Drama | Television Series | 2017
Reviewed by Jennifer
Shadow Moon embarks on a road trip across America with enigmatic conman Mr Wednesday. On their journey, Shadow discovers that Mr Wednesday is one of the old gods, who warns of a war brewing between the forgotten gods of myth and the new American gods of money, technology and media. As Shadow finds himself embroiled in this world of gods among men, he has a choice to make. Should he follow Mr Wednesday into battle and find out more about his own mysterious past or attempt to reconcile with his recently deceased wife, who has now returned from the grave?
1) Did you like it?
Yes. I loved the Neil Gaiman book it’s based on, and have been looking forward to the TV adaptation for a while. I think it was worth the wait, though I’m only about halfway through the series as I write this.
The original book of American Gods is a series of intricately woven, atmospheric, intertwined tales, with a grounding in history, religion and mythology, all held together by the main narrative. Book adaptations are always a bit of coin toss, and this one presents many challenges. But to my eyes, the TV series retains the nuances of the book – due in part, I’m sure, to the fact that Gaiman was involved in the screenwriting process. The characters look exactly the way I imagined, and the whole show is beautiful, visually.
While the decision to create an R-rated show made with online streaming in mind may seem like a cynical attempt by Amazon to compete with Game of Thrones and the swarm of Netflix Originals, I think it was ultimately the right choice. Unlike a lot of screen adaptations (especially of graphic novels), American Gods retains the raw impact of the original story. The sex and violence is in context, and without it some of the characters just wouldn’t make sense.
3) You’ll enjoy this TV series if…
You like the urban fantasy genre – shows like Stranger Things, Grimm, The Dresden Files, etc. If you were a Buffy fan in your youth and are willing to take that extra step further into the darkness, this will probably take your fancy.
4) This TV series made me think about…
The fairly new phenomenon of the R-rated TV series, with cinematic sensibilities. I’m glad I have a projector to watch this one on!
5) Stars out of five?