Archive for December, 2009

The Byron Chronicles Season 2 Finale, AKA: Can I Start Crying Now?

Posted in Darker Projects with tags , on December 10, 2009 by Random Frequent-Flyer Dent

I make jokes about being at a loss for words when it comes to writing reviews for The Byron Chronicles. Those jokes are based in truth, but are still slight exagerations. I’m never at a loss for words, and yet it’s taken me quite a while to figure out what to say in this review. It’ll probably be quite disjointed and make only a little sense, because even an entire day later, my brain is still going up and down and around and around like a frog on a trampoline in a dryer. Oh, and the frog is drunk, blind, and made of rubber.

The Byron Chronicles: The Hour of Portland begins with widespread chaos and news anchors being devoured, and pretty much gets better from there. Byron goes after Chris, leaving Dmitri’s vampires and Katherine’s Order operatives to protect the city. As soon as he leaves, however, Katherine decides to pull out and take the Order’s favorite approach to solving problems: bombs. Yes, just like in ‘The Taint’, the Order’s troops plan to firebomb Portland to remove the threat once and for all.

Meanwhile, Dracula is being a bad person, trying to make Chris feel better about the fact that she’s about to facilitate the rise of the greatest evil known to man by telling her that she’ll be a martyr, revered and seen almost as a goddess. Obviously, this doesn’t make her feel better at all, since…it still means she’s going to die.

Meanwhile, Byron encounters a dramatic pointing figure which dramatically points…and then Slate turns up. Good old Slate, Steward of Winter, who never interferes and always stays out of the way, has finally decided to stop playing Switzerland. He finally admits that the concept of brotherly love exists for him, and that he actually cares about Byron a great deal. He says that he doesn’t want to lose Byron, since they’ve already lost both parents…and a sister. Wait, rewind quickly. A sister? Which one? Who died? This makes me sad inside. Anyway, though, I’d like to point out this scene in particular and say this it is one of the best in the episode. We’re used to Slate being pretty uptight and all, “Follow the rules, gah!”, but now, he is, in a word, badass. I was a little bit in shock hearing it, and afterwards, I went back and listened again. I like Slate.  This scene also raised some questions…as in, who is this mysterious pointing figure, what is he pointing mysteriously at, and why won’t he talk to Byron? Either he’s extremely important, or he’s the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come who wandered onto the wrong set. I’m inclined to think it’s the former…

Now, for the instance of most surpreme awesomeness: Did I mention the fact that there’s a sword fight? A. Sword. Fight. Well, a sword-and-poisioned-metal-spike fight with a side of insults, but still. That made me happy on the inside. I will now move on to the next paragraph, because I think the words “Byron has a sword fight with Dracula” say everything that needs to be said. (Unless you add the words, “so Byron can stop Dracula’s Doomsday device.” right after them.)

Meanwhile, the Order is setting up their bomb, Dmitri makes a treaty with Lycan leader Ryuk after saving his life from a Revenant, and Felix is mean to Katherine, who definintly deserves it. This is all very important stuff, but I’ll come back to it later.

Dracula buggers off. Byron tries to save Chris, but he’s too late. She’s become a part of the machine opening the portal, and there is no way to free her. No matter what he does, she’s going to die. So, he has to kill her in order to stop Leviathan from entering the world.

Wait.

Stop.

Rewind.

Let’s get that one more time, ’cause…I don’t think I heard it right.

Byron is stuck between the hardest of all hard places (as in, say, a mountain made of adamantium-covered dimonds, reinforced with titanium) and a rock the size of the entire universe. He has to kill Chris. THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR HOW SAD THIS MAKES ME! As I mentioned before, I have formed emotional attatchments to these characters over the last two years. It also makes me sad, because its one more person Byron cares about that he’s had to kill.

Oh, one more reason it makes me sad: Laura Post is brilliant. I’m going to miss Laura Post. Let’s everyone give Laura Post a big round of applause for being awesome as Chris Sparrow, and just in general.

Oh, and one more reason why this makes me sad. I mentioned somewhere up there that Dmitri and Ryuk formed a tentative alliance against Dracula.  They killed Branlaven and chucked his head at Dracula (Yay, happy…) and at the end of the episode, the two formerly opposing leaders made plans for a treaty. Dmitri even made a comment about humans, Vampires, and Lycans working together to stop the evil. Here’s what this has to do with the sadness of Chris dying: Byron had been trying to make a new Rome in Portland, where all the races lived together in cooperation. That happened in this episode. So, in a way, he suceeded…but at the same time, he failed to protect Chris. Succeess and failure at the same time. I think there’s even a mathematical equation for that: Enormous Failure + Small Success = Enormous Failure.

Now, I kind of knew Chris was going to die — I had some theories, I asked some questions, I took Piece A and put it next to Piece B, etc… It made me sad, but I’ve had almost three months to get used to the fact that Chris Sparrow was going to die. Did that mean I wasn’t crying when I listened to the end of this episode? No. I was definintly crying. There were tears. Everywhere.

But wait, there’s more! Believe it or not, this was not the big shocker moment in this episode. Hoo, no. Writers Eric Busby and Mark D. Wrenchild aren’t satisfied with pouring three doses of liquid aweome into our brains. They need a fourth, too.

Byron takes Chris’ body back to the tower. There is a moment of extreme sadness and contemplation, we get a glimpse of how wonderfully dark Season 3 is going to be, and then the whole thing is interrupted by a Creepy Gloating Cloaked Guy. He starts talking and being creepy and cloaked and gloating and then, all of a sudden, right at the end, right before the dramatic music and the credits…

Oh, by the way. He’s Leviathan. And he will have his vengence.

I’m sorry. What?

Here I am over the course of the last year or so, thinking Leviathan is, in this order, no jokes at all: invisible, a giant space whale, Lillith, Cthulhu, a group of immortals in an underwater city, a giant space creature again, or Logan.

Leviathan is none of these things. Leviathan is a Creepy Gloating Cloaked Guy.

My brain has now been twisted into a shape rather resembling a pretzel that’s been put through a wringer washer. (i.e, it’s twisty and flat.) Thank you, oh Great Writers, for completely disabling my motor functions for round about five minutes, during which time I sat on the couch opening and closing my mouth like a surprised goldfish confronted with a piece of particularly chewy gum, trying to make a sound that didn’t resemble “Aaaaaaaaarghbpfdbsfisbbv.”

I think that I have nothing further to say.

Oh, wait. Yes I do.

1. My brain. It exploded.

2. I’m going to listen to the episode and again and again and again and—

3. Thank you so very much, cast and crew of The Byron Chronicles. All the writers, mixers, actors…everyone. You’re all brilliant and wonderful. You’ve also destracted me from finals studying, but I can lay most of that blame on the shoulders of Hulu and Monty Python, so nevermind that. This show is quite possibly at the top of my list of favorite things, and now, it’s been stuck there with industrial-strength cement. Made out of adamantium.

This story may be ending soon, but my obsession with all things Byron is not. Oh, and by the way: You guys got three or four standing ovations from my end alone. I’ve gotten my friends hooked. So, congratulations on a job well done. I wish I had more thumbs, so I could put them up.

I can’t wait for Season 3.

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Download or stream The Byron Chronicles: The Hour of Portland, the wonderful Season 2 finale episode, by clicking here.

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Doctor Who: Dreamers, Part 2

Posted in Darker Projects with tags , on December 4, 2009 by Random Frequent-Flyer Dent

There seems to be a rule about the middle episode in trilogies. No matter how awesome and epic it is, it just seems like a bridge between parts two and three.  Middle episodes don’t have their own beginnings or their own endings, and because of their spot plunked right in the middle, they have to work extra hard at being memorable. However, like the yummy goodness in the middle of a sandwich that keeps it from being more than just two pieces of bread in a little stack, middle episodes can make a trilogy awesome.

This is one such Part Two of Three.

I, for one, am very glad to see the long-awaited return of ‘DP Who’.  It’s been several months since the release of The Dreamers, Part 1, and since I have an extreme dislike for cliffhangers and would like them to be resolved as quickly and epically as possible, I was greatly saddened by the lack of updates.

Ohhh, but it was worth the wait. It was definitely worth the wait.

Here’s a quick re-cap of Dreamers, Part 1: The Doctor and Emma land in London, circa 2011. The TARDIS is experiencing technical difficulties, and so are the Doctor and Emma. Odd things are happening in the city; Scary, shiny, mind-reading  horses roam the streets abducting people, there’s a ghost train in the tube, and…oh, yes, the evil horses want the Doctor. The episode ends with the horses seemingly poised to get exactly what they want…

Part Two picks up right where Part One left off: With the horses vs. the Doctor and an unfortunate civilian. In true Doctor style, everyone’s favorite Time Lord agrees to go along with the pretty, shiny, deadly horses in order to avoid the loss of human life.

Meanwhile, Emma is getting homesick for the home she can’t go back to as she flees the museum via the tunnels. Her dislike of the Doctor is outweighed by her dislike for their present situation, and she decides to find him and get the hell out of 2011. The Doctor is with those pretty shiny horses, though, and those horses know who and what the Doctor is…but, being the Doctor, he also recognizes them. Turns out they haven’t always looked like horses, and are actually creatures called Taibhsi (it’s Celtic). The Taibhsi are using the energy from people’s dreaming minds and their imaginations to open a portal to bring them fully into our world, but they’ve encountered some difficulties. They need more energy to keep the portal open, and they want to get that energy from the Doctor’s mind.

Emma shows up to rescue the Doctor, but when she wakes him up, Jason wakes up instead…for a few moments, anyway. Unfortunatly, he turns back into the Doctor as soon as she starts kissing him. Then they start having a stubborn contest, which ends with Emma beating up the horses’ meatpuppets. The stubborn contest continues in the tunnels but gets interrupted by a Tube train, and the Doctor and Emma take a detour that plops them both right into the Taibhsi’s horsey clutches. The Taibhsi take control of Emma’s brain, and attempt to take over the Doctor’s… and then come the credits. Guess we’ll have to wait for the conclusion…yay, waiting.

The only ‘issue’ that I had with this episode is that the weird echo-y quality that the horses’ voices had in part 1 is gone…part of a re-mixing of the first episode. (Remember when it was taken off the site right after it was first put up, and then a while later Part 1 2.0 appeared? Yeah, I got lucky and downloaded the original version.) The scary horses are less scary now, for me anyway, and I miss the old voices. That’s all I’ve got, though. Everything else was brilliant.

The only thing I know for sure is that Dreamers Part 3 is going to be pretty amazing. It’ll be the final piece of bread on this sandwich of awesome.

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Download Doctor Who: The Dreamers, Part 2 right over HERE, or from wherever you usually get it.

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