Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Lunch break at the Outpost

Today was another good day – I mailed a translation and a chunk of gaming-related material, and then I did some improvisational cooking to put together some lunch. As I was eating, I checked out the first two episodes of a series I did not know, called The Outpost.

Let’s pilfer the summary from Wikipedia:

The Outpost follows Talon (Jessica Green), the lone survivor of a race called ‘Blackbloods’. Years after her entire village is destroyed by a gang of brutal mercenaries, Talon travels to a lawless fortress on the edge of the civilized world, as she tracks the killers of her family. On her journey to this outpost, Talon discovers she possesses a mysterious supernatural power that she must learn to control in order to save herself, and defend the world against a fanatical religious dictator.

Oh, my…

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A candle in a tomb

According to an old saying among Chinese grave robbers, “The living light the candle and the ghosts blow it out”. That’s my story and I’m sticking it… or rather, that’s Chinese fantasy author Zhang Muye’s story, and by sticking to it, his first novel in the Candle in the Tomb series got six million online readers, and when it later was printed, it sold half a million copies.
More volumes followed, then an online videogame, and it was quite obvious that the movie people would come along soon afterwards.
Films were made, and then TV adaptations.

And last night, as I was once again dealing with my insomnia, I went through the first five episodes of 2016 the web-series that was based on Zhang Muye’s novels. The 35-minutes episodes can be found on Youtube, with handy English subtitles.

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Space Rangers (1993)

The first science fiction novel I ever read was Jack Williamson’s The Legion of Space, that my grandmother gave me as a gift on my tenth birthday, and that I probably read fifteen times in the course of the following summer. This to explain that I have a soft spot for old-fashioned space opera of the pulpy kind, and I am not ashamed of this fact: Jack Williamson, Edmond Hamilton, Leigh Brackett and C.L. Moore are still very high in my personal list of favorites, and if you can give me mysterious planets, strange aliens and some kind of space adventurer, I’m fine.

Which leads me to Space Rangers, a very short lived TV series from 1993, that I found by chance – you find the six episodes on Youtube. The quality is not the best, but who knows, you might want to check it out.

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Houdini & Doyle

A TV series canceled by Fox after a brief first season of ten episodes. Hadn’t we just left this party?

I have come to discover Houdini & Doyle, the 2016 series killed by Fox after ten episodes, through a circuitous way: I am currently watching, and enjoying, the 1920s whodonnit series Frankie Drake Mysteries, and I was trawling the web in search of details about the series leads.
I am particularly fond of the Mary Shaw character, as portrayed by Rebecca Liddiard, and through her IMDB profile I found a few series that looked promising.

Because after all, an intriguing premise and a star I like are enough for me to give a series a try.

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Tea-time with Frankie Drake

I’m sticking to my idea of dropping out of Facebook between 5 and 6.30 PM, and my levels of stress are dropping fast. Just give a wide berth to the socials as people get out of work and pour their frustration online, that’s the trick.

During these 90 minutes of freedom, I’m checking my mail, listening to some music, and maybe watching some TV show. I went through YouTube’s Origin in a week, and right now I’ve found another thing that keeps me happy while I detox from the socials: it’s called Frankie Drake Mysteries, and it’s just my cup of tea.

Which is quite fitting, considering I’m watching it at tea-time, or thereabouts.

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The new Magnum

So I went and watched the first episode of the new Magnum PI TV series. The reboot of the old one, the one with Tom Selleck. And I thought I’d write a review.
But first, two observations.

Observation the first: I was 14 when the original series was broadcast for the first time in my country. A lot was made of the location and the Ferrari, so much so that I actually skipped the first few episodes. I was a Rockford Files fan, and I did not care for a billionaire detective. And we had Hart to Hart covering that angle, right? Only later I found out about the car and the villa being on loan, and considering the enthusiastic reaction of my friends, I gave it a look, and liked it a lot.

Magnum-P.I.

Observation the second: I can’t stand those people that whine ceaselessly when a remake or a reboot is made about some old series they liked. The recent hubbub about the new She-Ra cartoons was embarrassing. Get a life, and give the new stuff a chance before you start tearing your hair off, that’s what I say. It’s OK not to like a remake or a reboot, but first look at it. Not at the trailers, not at the production stills. Judge the product based on the frigging product.

So I went and I checked out the new Magnum PI.
And I did not like it.
I’ll try to discuss why, now. Continue reading


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The Murdoch Mysteries

While it is absolutely certain that we are living in a very exciting time for TV series, I’m not particularly fond of the recent explosion of superhero shows.
I watched Arrow out of loyalty for a character I had loved in the comics, but apart from a savage crush for Felicity Smoak, I did not enjoy the show that much.
Granted, YMMV, but… I don’t know – I still prefer superheroes in comic books.

Green_Arrow_The_Longbow_Hunters001

What I get into, a lot, these days, are mystery shows.
And having already waxed lyrical about that absolute gem, the Australian Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, I thought I might as well do a few posts on a few other shows I enjoy a lot. Starting with Canada’s own Murdoch Mysteries (which, I just found out, is called The Artful Detective in some quarters).

Murdoch Mysteries Series 4

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