23 September 2014

B5 Review: Strange Relations & Secrets of the Soul

Season Five still feels like it's just plodding along with these two entries as lives begin to change for some of our major characters and secrets are revealed...

Strange Relations
Bester returns to the station to take Byron and his telepaths back to Earth while G'kar is offered an interesting job.

As a Centauri cruiser arrives to transport Londo back to Centauri Prime, in preparation of taking over as Emperor, Bester comes aboard to take Byron into custody along with those other rogue telepaths with him. Lyta protects Byron's people though and Garibaldi is denied his revenge on Bester at the hands of Captain Lochley.

Lochley reveals to Garibaldi the truth about her past relationship with Sheridan while Delenn offers Franklin and G'kar new roles in the Interstellar Alliance. Franklin to catalogue diseases that may jump species and G'kar to be Londo's new bodyguard - following the destruction of the Centauri cruiser as it departed without Londo aboard.

This episode continues to setup the telepath situation and flesh out some more of our characters but the storyline otherwise is slowly simmering away at this point.

Rating: 6.5/10

Secrets of the Soul
Byron's people continue to be victimised by others in Down Below and Franklin reveals a terrible truth about the Hyach.

While Byron's people are causing more headaches for station security, Zack finds himself on the wrong side of Lyta's friendship as he tries to protect her and alienates himself in the process. After one of Byron's people are attacked and Byron is detained, the others go out seeking revenge.

Meanwhile, Franklin begins gathering medical records from the Alliance races including the Drazi and the Hyach, where he finds out a terrible secret about the latter and their history that they'd rather forget.

Lyta opens up to Byron in an intimate moment which reveals far more about how telepaths came to be on Earth and perhaps even in the other races through Vorlon manipulation - this cements Byron's belief that the Alliance owes his people a planet of their own.

The slow burn continues for this season and all I can really remember about this episode was how racy it was when it first aired with the scene between Lyta and Byron - that sort of stuff was never shown in science fiction! The storyline at least shows signs of ramping up at the end of this episode however.

Rating: 6/10

03 September 2014

Trek Review: Official Starships Collection - USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D (All Good Things...)

My last delivery from Eaglemoss included three ships, but only two magazines. The third was the arrival of the subscribers special edition Enterprise from All Good Things...

The Magazine
This is a simple one. There is no magazine for this ship. It makes sense in a way as this ship is not a special release and is really a double up of the ship covered in the first issue. But, in saying that, it would be nice to have had some details of this three engined and heavily weaponised version of the Galaxy class, often referred to as the Galaxy Dreadnought or Galaxy-X.

Rating: 0/10 (duh!)

The Ship
Eaglemoss took the approach taken by the producers of the show I imagine. Take their perfectly good Galaxy class model and add the bits necessary to beef it up to Warp 13.

The saucer still features the erroneous 'Intiaparisu' or whatever text behind the shuttlebay but includes the added weaponry around the bridge module and the wonderful phaser lance attached to the bottom. Where the phaser cuts through the registry numbers on the underside, these have been repositioned accordingly.

The 'fins' have been added to the warp pylons and appear moulded in (I don't know how else they could have done this) and the phaser bulges sit atop each nacelle. Yes, there are now three engines with the rear impulse drive updated as well.

Love it or hate it, they have reproduced the model wonderfully. My centre warp engine sits slightly off axis and I'm hoping this is an easy fix while there are some gaps visible from certain angles around the lower phaser.

The engines glow in the light and the stand affixes the same way as the standard Enterprise -D. I'd say the model weighs not much more than the former as all of the additions are plastic.

Despite the impracticalities of the main shuttlebay due to the third warp engine, I still like this ship and remember when I first saw it cutting up the Klingon's as it was introduced in the anti-time future of All Good Things... As a kid when the episode aired, how could I not think this ship was cool with its superior firepower, THREE engines and a cloaking device? As we have come to know now, this ship won't likely exist in the prime timeline, unless Starfleet do this uber upgrade to other Galaxy's eventually.

Rating: 9/10

The Official Starships Collection Binder
I thought I'd review the binder for the collection here as well. It's a nice looking way to store all of the issues with an interesting system for holding them in place. I have seen other binders use this system and they failed at it quite miserably - thankfully Eaglemoss has taken steps to improve this.

The best thing for me is that storing the magazines in a binder will help remove the bends and creases from the magazines themselves due to how the Australian distributor decides to send them in tough bags rather than cardboard boxes.