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Apologies and Catchup
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Apologies for the break in coverage. The Ion Sci-Fi Screen Awards took some recovery time.

In the interest of catching both ourselves and readers up as quickly as possible, we've produced this summary look at the past couple of weeks.

The Adam Project

The Hollywood Reporter tell us that Ryan Reynolds is now the only actor with 3 films in Netflix's top 10.

Congrats to Ryan but we see a different story here.

Netflix's top 10 films based on hours watched in their first 28 days now includes a second sci-fi film.

The first, Don't Look Up, holds second position just barely behind Red Notice.

Hooray for sci-fi!


Pre release reviews were mixed and having seen it now for ourselves we understand why.

Being sc-fi fans we feel that the show is good enough for us to keep watching but is surprisingly weak in some respects which will undoubtedly limit its popularity.

It currently has a 70% / 58% critic and audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

In the lead-up to its premiere we saw but didn't comment on several articles which detail how many script drafts there were (265) and that executive producer Steven Spielberg had read all of them.

Sometimes the PR machine spins up ahead of a title's release in an attempt to apply a sparkling gloss over serious weaknesses and that may be the case here.

The early bar scene is particularly bad, for example:

Either Madrigal is free, or it's not. There's no middle ground.

Random thought much?

No-one had suggested that there was any kind of middle ground.

This is one of those scripts where you feel like the writers have sometimes mashed together lines from previous popular works with only minimal consideration for making sense or its own story.

Some of the supporting performances are also jarringly sub par.

For the amount of money thrown at this - $90 million US - and for it being an adaptation of a very popular computer game series, this feels like another big budget sci-fi missed opportunity from Paramount.

Paramount reported that Halo set a new record as their most watched series premiere in its first 24 hours. So clearly there was substantial interest.

Though it failed to make Nielsen's top 10 and Paramount didn't report actual viewer numbers.

Star Wars

Disney+'s upcoming series Ob-Wan Kenobi announced a very slight 2 day delay to its premiere date, now May 27, but the first two episodes will release together.

Watching Halo's first episode - which premiered by itself - we felt that Paramount didn't do themselves or the series any favours in this respect.

The weekly release model is all about keeping viewers coming back for more for as long as possible but importantly is predicated on the content being great entertainment or at least the story managing to dig its hooks in.

Halo's first episode struggles on both fronts. There's some improvement in episode two but not everyone will return to see it a whole week later.

Kenobi might significantly improve its odds of retaining viewers with a two episode premiere.

On the topic of number of viewers, The Hollywood Reporter published a piece about Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe viewership based on Nielsen data.

So real viewing time rather than measures of "interest".

Star Wars beats the MCU with The Mandalorian's season 2 racking up 8.32 billion minutes (note for anyone looking at comparisons, Netflix reports hours) verus Loki with 5.23 billion.

Last week The Mandalorian season 3 wrapped filming.

On the gaming front, we recently commented on Disney's potentially politically motivated decision to choose French developer Quantic Dream - who have been the subject of harassment and discrimination complaints - to make the upcoming Star Wars: Eclipse.

Reportedly Quantic have had difficulty hiring staff to make the game, and last week were bought by Chinese internet company, NetEase.

Video adventure game Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga released today. IGN praised the laughs and world but not combat, giving it a respectable score of 8 out of 10.

Star Trek

Paramount have released a new trailer for Strange New Worlds. Better than the previous one for not being accompanied by nonsensical narrative. spoke with some of the developers from Star Trek Online about their new partnership with comic publisher IDW.

In an interview with Deadline Chris Pine indicated that he still hasn't seen a script for the upcoming Star Trek film, but more interestingly spoke at length at about how he feels that chasing Marvel size audiences is a mistake for the Star Trek franchise.

I’ve always thought that Star Trek should operate in the zone that is smaller. You know, it’s not a Marvel appeal. It’s like, let’s make the movie for the people that love this group of people, that love this story, that love Star Trek. Let’s make it for them and then, if people want to come to the party, great. But make it for a price and make it, so that if it makes a half-billion dollars, that’s really good.

It isn't Star Trek but the original Captain Kirk William Shatner features in a trailer for a new UFO / UAP (unidentified aerial phenomenon) documentary titled A Tear in the Sky.

The eponymous tear is a "wormhole-like anomaly".


Sorry, still no news about Amazon reviving our favourite wormhole traversing dramedy but with SG-1 and Atlantis having disappeared from streaming services late last year, it's interesting to see Paramount owned internet Pluto TV roll out a dedicated 24/7 Stargate channel.

If you have a VPN - Pluto isn't natively available in Australia - and don't want to pay extra for the MGM channel through Amazon then you can continute to watch about half of Stargate on Pluto.

That half being all but seasons 6-10 of SG-1 and 3-5 of Atlantis.

So yes, that includes the terrible Universe.

Meanwhile in a Collider article proclaiming Stargate the "champions" of epiodic sci-fi, we note not a single mention or even hint of Universe.

We could never be truly pleased by the recent derailing of Star Wars and Star Trek, but on the plus side, those disasters dwarf Universe.

Stargate's insanity was confined to the Destiny, is now forever lost in space and major publications (like Collider) merrily disregard its existence.

Doctor Who

The BBC have confirmed the previously leaked Easter release date for Legend of the Sea Devils, which will air (in the UK) on April 17.

There's also a trailer.

At Cannes, Bad Wolf co-CEO Jane Tranter declined to offer any new details about the next series but indicated that shooting would commence this year in Wales.

The Oscars

Dune did rather well at the Oscars - picking up 6 wins for:

  • Best Original Score
  • Best Sound
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Visual Effects

That was the most wins for any film of the evening but Dennis Villeneuve didn't hit anyone so that's more or less a footnote.

Also potentially outrageous but dwarfed by physical violence, Army of the Dead won fan favourite.

Variety are of the view that this reflects the enthusiasm of Zack Snyder's large social media fan base.

Oscar fan favourite was determined by Twitter with users able to vote up to 20 times per day during the three week voting period.

Having not seen it we can't truly judge the win but this seems crazy.

The Snyder love was strong at the Oscars, where a plane flew a banner demanding that Warner Bros. and Discovery restore Snyder’s version of the DC Comics universe.

That film we have seen and it's really awful.

Definitely worse than the Joss Whedon version which seems to have been a valiant attempt to salvage an extremely poorly conceived film.

Snyder's only succeeds in making the Whedon version look better and is the reason we haven't and may never watch Army of the Dead.

Dark Matter

Apple and Sony have announced a nine episode series based on the book Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.

The series will follow Jason Dessen (played by Edgerton), a physicist, professor, and family man who — one night while walking home on the streets of Chicago — is abducted into an alternate version of his life. Wonder quickly turns to nightmare when he tries to return to his reality amid the multiverse of lives he could have lived. In this labyrinth of mind-bending realities, he embarks on a harrowing journey to get back to his true family and save them from the most terrifying, unbeatable foe imaginable: himself.

Not related in any way to the SyFy series Dark Matter by former Stargate producers.

It will star Australian actor Joel Edgerton.

All the way back in 2016 it was reported that Roland Emmerich was in talks with Sony to direct an adapation and the rights were initially secured in 2014.

So this one has been a long time coming and seemingly moved from the big to little screen.

Once upon a time that might have been considered a downgrade but with streaming services scrabbling to make exclusive content, Sony might have seen series potential in this one.

Interestingly the author will serve as both writer and showrunner.


This year's E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) has been fully cancelled.

In January the in-person event was cancelled but the digital component has now also been axed with plans for a return of both in 2023.

Though there is some doubt about their relevance in an age when game developers can instantly and directly reach gamers through mediums like YouTube rather than paying for display space and presentation time at big expos and relying on gaming journalists to convey new product knowledge.

Sony, who had presented at the expo since its inception in 1995, pulled out in 2019.

COVID forced the cancellation of E3 in 2020.

2021 E3 was fully online. Again because of COVID.

Sci-fi roleplaying shooter Space Punks, which looks like a cross between Borderlands and Diablo, will have an open beta (i.e. free) from April 20 exclusively on Epic.

A reveal trailer was released for Deliver Us Mars, sequel to 2019's Deliver Us The Moon.

Turn-based narrative roleplaying game, Citizen Sleeper announced a May 5 release date.

[ Main Image: Deliver Us Mars trailer. Credit: KeokeN Interactive via YouTube. ]


Andreeva, Nellie (March 25, 2022). ‘Halo’ Sets Premiere Viewership Record For Paramount+. Deadline.

Apple TV+ Press (March 29, 2022). Apple TV+ announces “Dark Matter” series adaptation with Joel Edgerton set to star. Apple.

Bennett, Tara (March 2, 2022). Halo series producer reveals Steven Spielberg’s surprising hands-on influence for the TV show. Games Radar.

Doctor Who (April 3, 2022). Legend of the Sea Devils: Trailer | Doctor Who. YouTube.

Evans, G. & Tartaglione, N. (March 27, 2022). Hollywood Reacts To The Oscar Slap: “Ugliest Oscar Moment Ever”, Tweets Mark Hamill; “How We Do It”, Says Jaden Smith. Deadline.

Fellow Traveller (April 5, 2022). Citizen Sleeper - Date Announce Trailer. YouTube.

Felt, Klein (March 31, 2022). Star Wars: Eclipse's Troubled Developer Reportedly Just Got Bought. The Direct.

Fleming, Mike Jr (December 15, 2016). Roland Emmerich Orbits Sony’s Blake Crouch Novel ‘Dark Matter’. Deadline.

Fullerton, Huw (March 28, 2022). BBC confirms Doctor Who Easter airdate and new details of "lost treasure" storyline. Radio Times.

IGN (March 25, 2022). Deliver Us Mars - Official Reveal Trailer. YouTube.

IGN (April 5, 2022). LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review. YouTube.

Kroll, Justin (April 1, 2022). Chris Pine Q&A: The Barry Linen Co-Founder On Ramping Up His Banner’s Slate, His Directing Debut On ‘Poolman’, Potential Captain Kirk Return & “Following The Giggle”. Deadline.

McClintock, Pamela (March 29, 2022). ‘The Adam Project’ Soars: Ryan Reynolds Becomes Only Actor With 3 Films on Netflix’s All-Time Top 10 List (Exclusive). The Hollywood Reporter.

Moreau, Jordan (March 27, 2022). Zack Snyder’s ‘Army of the Dead’ Wins Fan-Favorite Oscar. Variety.

Nielsen. Streaming Top Ten. (viewed April 5, 2022)

OMnium Universe (April 5, 2022). A Tear in the Sky - Official Trailer- coming May 3rd, 2022. YouTube.

Palmer, Roger (March 30, 2022). “The Mandalorian” Season 3 Wraps Filming. What's On Disney Plus.

Porter, Rick (April 3, 2022). ‘Star Wars’ vs. Marvel: Which Disney+ Shows Are Most-Viewed. The Hollywood Reporter.

Richmond, Daniel (April 3, 2022). Why 'Stargate: SG-1' Remains the Champion of Episodic Sci-Fi. Collider.

Rotten Tomatoes. Halo: Season 1. (viewed April 5, 2022)

Roxborough, Scott (April 4, 2022). MIPTV: Sony Talks Bad Wolf Acquisition, Sets ‘The Winter King’ as First Series. The Hollywood Reporter.

Space Punks (March 29, 2022). Space Punks - Play For Free From April 20th! YouTube.

Spry, Jeff (April 4, 2022). 'Star Trek Online' teams with IDW for more dark adventures in the Mirror Universe (exclusive).

Sumner, David (March 28, 2022). Pluto TV Is Adding A 24/7 Stargate Channel. GateWorld.

Star Wars (April 1, 2022). Obi-Wan Kenobi | Announcement | Disney+. YouTube.

TV Show Transcripts. Halo S1 E1: Contact. (viewed April 5, 2022)

Universo Star Trek. (April 4, 2022). Official Trailer Promo StarTrek Strange New Worlds Season 1 - 4K (UHD) - Teaser - Clip S01. YouTube.

Valentine, Rebekah (April 1, 2022). E3 2022 - Digital and Physical - Has Officially Been Canceled. IGN.

Vary, Adam B. (March 16, 2022). More Than $90 Million and 265 Script Drafts Later, ‘Halo’ Is Finally a TV Show. Variety.

Wikipedia. E3. (viewed April 5, 2022)

Wikipedia. 94th Academy Awards. (viewed April 5, 2022)

Wikipedia. Pluto TV. (viewed April 5, 2022)