Category Archives: Television

"Star Trek: Restoration" Episode 5 — Gift of the Ferengi

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for our fifth “Star Trek” session, which we played at Drew S.’s place in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 9 March 2015:

“Space, the final frontier. Our starship’s mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

About four decades after the Enterprise E fought the Borg and Remans [Nemesis], among others, the United Federation of Planets (U.F.P.) and other interstellar states are slowly recoveringfrom wars and ecological disasters. A refitted vessel takes a new crew on its first missions of defense, diplomacy, and exploration….

Player Characters for Gene D.’s " Star Trek: Restoration" space opera scenario, using D20 Prime Directive, FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures, Bulldogs, and Mindjammer 2e, plus house rulesObsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org online dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • “Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Kyerak” [Bruce K.]-male half-Vulcan with a temper, in the U.S.S. Rotha ’s command division
  • Chief Ravi Chandler" [Brian W.]-male Altairian human, non-commissioned officer and transporter expert assigned to aid Lt. Kyerak’s mission
  • “Froot” [Rich C.G.]-male Ferengi (short, large-eared extraterrestrial) merchant and negotiator, DaiMon and owner of the trade vessel Love’s Latinum Lost
  • “Kimbal Tegan” [Beruk A.]-male Trill (long-lived symbiont), operations specialist aboard the Love’s Latinum Lost
  • “Tau” [Drew S.]-male Ferengi, medic aboard the Love’s Latinum Lost

Absent:

  • “Lt. Jarric Jameson” [Dexter V.H.]-male genetically modified human colonist (former Maquis) communications and wilderness survival expert
  • “Lt. Orzzek Kalifa” [Byron V.O.]-male Andorian (blue-skinned humanoid with white hair and antennae), assertive science officer
  • “Lt. Mari Killu” [Sara F.]-female Caitian (felinoid) security/tactical officer
  • “Lt. Boran’ Gorir” [Josh C.]-male Jem’Hadar (Dominion soldier), aggressive envoy/engineer

Previously, in “Star Trek: Restoration,” the U.S.S. Rotha uncovered an Undine infiltrator during a diplomatic mission and faced off against Romulan and Klingon ships in the Neutral Zone. Some junior officers then accepted a covert mission to investigate offworld interference in a former member of the United Federation of Planets.

“Stardate 95248.047 (15 April 2418):” At Alpha Tauri III in the Aldebaran system, the away team joined Ferengi traders and defeated a Romulan spy in the science station of Nar Instel. The crew also found a rogue Federation scientist in the militaristic state of Irdrant.

A landing party beams down to the sprawling agricultural community of Folkhar. Most of the Starfleet lieutenants stay behind in orbit on the Love’s Latinum Lost to watch prisoners Dr. Sarlic Pramantha and Illiana Drah’el.

Tau offers Ravi a tip, but the human transporter chief declines the Ferengi medic’s gold-pressed latinum. DaiMon Froot leads the way into a dusty town, while Kimbal covertly scans for anomalous subspace transmissions. Lt. Kyerak notices that most of the inhabitants are human.

A blue-skinned Andorian rancher riding a horse draws the newcomers’ attention. Lissan th’Zerath isn’t interested in Kyerak, Froot, or Tau’s overtures, but she directs them to a general store.

Populous Folkhar has regressed technologically even more than other Aldebaranian nations, with draft animals, labor-intensive farming, and relatively few power tools. The explorers walk by a wainwright’s shop, where a Klingon and his son warily watch them while repairing carts.

The "Ancient West"

Frontier town

The infiltrators follow Lissan’s directions to Tellarite Bol Kerv Shaloo. Froot happily negotiates with the porcine provisioner, who collects items from the colony’s past as an interstellar crossroads. The Ferengi captain trades an inoperative comm badge for a Klingon sash, which he adds to his crown and fancy cane.

Kimbal and Tau conceal tricorders as they look for transmissions that would violate Starfleet’s noninterference Prime Directive. Shaloo mentions that he recently traded fine tools to the Klingons, even though they don’t need them.

Back at the wainwright, Tau learns that young Kolad is eager to please customers and his father, Kurgh, son of Kulam. Kyerak and Kimball talk to the gruff widower, who years to be in contact with other Klingons.

Their conversation is cut short when Froot pulls a Tribble from under his robes, getting the outlanders thrown out. The group then walks to the mayor’s office. Maria Conchitez says that her people are tired of fighting with Irdrant and seems disgusted when Froot drops some jewelry with circuitry.

As the Starfleet personnel and their Ferengi companions leave Conchitez, Ravi notices a man hanging around her office. Darius Littlefeather says little and returns to his farm. The away team heads to the ranch of Lissan th’Zerath, whom Froot found to be suspicious.

The Andorian catches the interlopers snooping around her barn, and Froot knocks her out and ties her up. Tau makes sure that Lissan is OK, but Ravi and Trill Kimbal find no subspace radio. The party rushes back into town.

They run into Littlefeather, whom Kyerak puts to sleep after conducting a mind meld to see if the mayor is responsible for the unauthorized radio. The half-Vulcan learns that Darius is in love with Maria, but little else.

Froot wants to return to Bol Kerv Shaloo’s shop, but the others determine that the Klingons are their most likely suspects. Kimball and Tau corner Kolad, while Kyerak and Ravi question tense Kurgh.

The lonely mechanic eventually admits that he has cobbled together a subspace transmitter. The Starfleet officers are relieved when Kurgh says that he hasn’t heard back from the Klingon Empire, but he adds that he has received a mysterious response, which Kimbal records.

Kimbal and Ravi tell Kurgh that his radio could draw attention from Irdrant. He shuts it down, and they take key components. Kyerak and Froot talk with Mayor Conchitez, who asks them to help open trade between Folkhar and Irdrant.

Froot notes that they are wanted by the authorities in industrial Irdrant. Kyerak later contacts Huang Peipei, director of the Nar Instel science station, to mediate and help reunite the colonists of Alpha Tauri III.

The team beams back up to the Love’s Latinum Lost and makes a rendezvous with the U.S.S. Rotha at Deep Space K-7. Lt. Kyerak reports to Capt. Andelina Nobatu, who is pleased that his team was able to defeat Tal Shi’ar agent Stuvek, arrest Dr. Pramantha, and convince Kurgh to cease subspace transmissions with limited bloodshed or violation of the Prime Directive.

Ambassador-class refit

Refitted starship

Loyal Kyerak tries to defend Cmdr. Nasami Wahid’s harsh orders to “eliminate” any offworld interference, but Capt. Nobatu reprimands her Trill first officer. Froot is skeptical that Starfleet can live up to its lofty ideals and recommends covertly reaching out to its former colonists in the Aldebaran system.

Chief Chandler requests reassignment from away missions because he doesn’t like having primitive slugthrowers drawn on him. Kimbal supervises the remaining refits to the Ferengi vessel promised for its assistance.

Tau says farewell to the Federation citizens as they return to their ship, but Capt. Nobatu invites the Love’s Latinum Lost to come along into deep space as the Rotha explores the source of the unidentified signals detected by Kurgh….

I hope that everyone enjoyed the conclusion of this story arc! Remember that your characters have attained Level 4, and we can upload them to Obsidian Portal.

In the meantime, I look forward to our next sessions for Dexter’s D&D5e “Land of Lost Souls,” Jason’s “Channel 37,” and my “Vanished Lands!” Remember to check the Google and Yahoo message boards for our discussions of upcoming games. Live long and prosper….

"Star Trek: Restoration" Episode 4 — Tracking transmissions

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for our fourth “Star Trek” session, which we played at Brian W.’s home in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 23 February 2015:

“Space, the final frontier. Our starship’s mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Almost four decades after the Enterprise-E fought the Borg and Remans [Nemesis], among others, the United Federation of Planets (U.F.P.) and other interstellar states are slowly recovering from wars and ecological disasters. A refitted vessel takes a new crew on its first missions of defense, diplomacy, and exploration….

Player Characters for Gene D.’s " Star Trek: Restoration" space opera scenario, using D20 Prime Directive, FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures, Bulldogs, and Mindjammer 2e, plus house rulesObsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org online dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • “Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Kyerak” [Bruce K.]-male half-Vulcan with a temper, in the U.S.S. Rotha ’s command division
  • Chief Ravi Chandler" [Brian W.]-male Altairian human, non-commissioned officer and transporter expert assigned to aid Lt. Kyerak’s mission
  • “Froot” [Rich C.G.]-male Ferengi (short, large-eared extraterrestrial) merchant and negotiator, DaiMon and owner of the trade vessel Love’s Latinum Lost
  • “Kimbal Tegan” [Beruk A.]-male Trill (long-lived symbiont), operations specialist aboard the Love’s Latinum Lost

Absent:

  • “Lt. Jarric Jameson” [Dexter V.H.]-male genetically modified human colonist (former Maquis) communications and wilderness survival expert
  • “Lt. Orzzek Kalifa” [Byron V.O.]-male Andorian (blue-skinned humanoid with white hair and antennae), assertive science officer
  • “Lt. Mari Killu” [Sara F.]-female Caitian (felinoid) security/tactical officer
  • “Lt. Boran’ Gorir” [Josh C.]-male Jem’Hadar (Dominion soldier), aggressive envoy/engineer
  • “Tau” [Drew S.]-male Ferengi, medic aboard the Love’s Latinum Lost

Previously, in “Star Trek: Restoration,” the U.S.S. Rotha uncovered an Undine infiltrator during a diplomatic mission and faced off against Romulan and Klingon ships in the Neutral Zone. Some junior officers then accepted a covert mission to investigate offworld interference in a former member of the United Federation of Planets.

“Stardate 95248.042 (11 April 2418):” At Alpha Tauri III in the Aldebaran system, the away team visited the science station of Nar Instel under the pretense of being Ferengi traders. It found a Romulan spy who planned to train unwitting students in the ruthless methods and beliefs of the Tal Shiar.

The explorers still have to find the remaining two sources of subspace transmissions in the former U.F.P. colony, which has regressed to a pre-warp level of technology. They had tracked the signals to the industrial city of Irdrant and the agricultural community of Folkhar.

Lt. Kyerak decides that the landing party should visit Irdrant next. Chief Ravi Chandler notes that his upbringing in the militaristic Altair system should be helpful in dealing with this nation-state of Aldebaran.

DaiMon Froot notes that the team will have to teleport from theLove’s Latinum Lost because defense forces would spot a landing starship. Kimbal Tegan scans the city and narrows the transmission site to a single neighborhood.

Industrial colony

Irdrant

Kyerak wants to negotiate with local authorities to find whoever is sending the subspace signals in violation of Starfleet’s non-interference Prime Directive, as he did in Nar Instel. Froot argues in favor of backup false identities as police officers.

Ravi changes out of his uniform, and Kimbal tunes into local radio stations. The other crew members from the U.S.S. Rotha stay with the Love’s Latinum Lost as the foursome beams down to an alley on the surface.

Vulcan Kyerak and human Ravi head toward “Nel’s Diner,” while Ferengi Froot and Trill Kimbal walk around the block and spot a military security post before entering the eatery.

Kyerak observes that most of the diner’s patrons are human, except for Illiana Drah’el, a Cardassian administrative assistant. Muscular Ravi impresses Bajoran waitress Kala Voshen and other women.

Froot watches as a well-dressed human executive arrives from the radio station across the street. Both Illiana and Kala defer to Sarlic Pramantha. Ravi listens to Sarlic confidently predict Irdrant’s inevitable victory over Folkhar.

Entrepreneur Froot offers some jewelry to Illiana, who asks for a gold and platinum earring. Half-human Kyerak doesn’t trust the Cardassian either, and he and wary Kimbal pose as potential advertisers to Pramantha, who agrees to meet the next day.

The four offworlders get rooms at the Sentinel Hotel. Kimbal examines local radio waves and finds that Irdrant’s armed forces are secretly sending messages encoded within commercial and propaganda broadcasts.

Kyerak uses a tricorder to search for Cardassian signals but finds that the subspace emissions match U.F.P. frequencies instead. Froot gives Ravi an item that Illiana touched, but her DNA isn’t in Starfleet’s records.

Froot beams up to the Love’s Latinum Lost to replicate the jewelry that the secretary requested and to plant a bug in it. Ravi confirms that the subspace transmitter must be hidden in Irdrant Tower, the same skyscraper that hosts the radio station.

Kyerak visits a library to research recent history and people who might be offworlders interfering with the former colony. Kimbal and Froot are skeptical that the Starfleet personnel will be able to uphold the Prime Directive between their mission and native Aldebaranian politics.

The next morning, the team visits Nel’s Diner for breakfast. Froot gives Illiana the earring she requested. Kyerak pretends to be clumsy and bumps into the secretary to briefly scan her telepathically.

The lieutenant learns that she plans to dismantle the jewelry for parts, presumably for the subspace transmitter. Kala avoids the Cardassian, even as the Bajoran waitress tries to flirt with Ravi.

The four explorers leave their weapons and ultra-tech tools at their hotel rooms before going to Irdrant Tower. They are patted down by strict Betazed officer Sgt. Anker Theophilus before taking an elevator to the radio station.

Illiana gives the visitors a brief tour, and Ravi sees no sign of the secret transmitter. Kimbal and Froot make a sponsorship pitch to Pramantha, who seems receptive. He invites them to dinner to close the deal. On the way out of the office, Kyerak asks Illiana to join them.

Pramantha sends a car to pick up the party. Kimbal finds that cabbie Maurice Thibaud is happy to share his opinions on numerous topics. He says that Sarlic is connected to many powerful people in Irdrant.

Lt. Kyerak, Mr. Chandler, Capt. Froot, and Mr. Tegan meet Mr. Pramantha and Ms. Drah’el at an old-fashioned steakhouse. Sarlic introduces them to Maj. Juanita Madeira, a human officer who is curious about the supposed investors.

Froot engages the major in conversation, while Kimbal finds that Illiana is fiercely loyal to Pramantha. Ravi notices that the wait staff is hovering suspiciously around their table, and Kyerak realizes that the Irdrantians mean to capture or kill them.

The impetuous Vulcan draws his phaser and stuns Pramanatha. Kimbal tries to warn Maj. Madeira, who admits that she gave the order for security forces to move in. Froot stealthily grabs Illiana’s purse to prevent her from finding the advanced bug in her jewelry.

Strong Ravi flips over a heavy table as the waiters open fire with slug throwers. Kyerak stuns Illiana, and Kimbal grabs unconscious Sarlic. The Trill tries to explain to Maj. Madeira that the radio executive is the threat to Irdrant, not him.

Froot scrambles over to Kimbal. As more troops arrive, Ravi initiates an emergency beam out to the Love’s Latinum Lost. Sarlic and Illiana are put in separate cabins as a makeshift brig, and Ravi takes blood samples.

When the prisoners come to, Lt. Kyerak and DaiMon Froot lead the interrogation. Kimbal moves the ship to a higher orbit to avoid detection by Irdrant, and Ravi and Tau find that Sarlic has antibodies consistent with interstellar travel.

Illiana says that Sarlic “is a great man who will lead Irdrant to dominance” of Alpha Tauri III. The media manipulator admits that he was a Federation sociologist assigned to covertly observe the colonists.

Sarlic also confesses that he was helping the military and sending out subspace signals in the hope of finding like-minded people willing to break the Prime Directive. He claims to be unaware of the Romulan spy in Nar Instel.

Froot is sympathetic to the need to reclaim systems before the Klingons, Romulans, or Cardassians, who are also recovering from disasters, can do so. Kyerak is unmoved and intends to turn over the rogue scientist to Starfleet Command.

Kimbal and Ravi beam down to Sarlic’s office to destroy histransmitter and any trace of advanced technology. They manage to avoid local security forces, and Kyerak begins planning to visit Folkhar, the origin point of the third and final set of subspace signals. To be continued….

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Leonard Nimoy, the actor best known for playing Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek TV series and movies. He lived long and prospered, and he will be missed.

I look forward to continuing our adventures, but in the meantime, we have Dexter’s D&D5e “Land of Lost Souls,” Jason E.R.’s FAEChannel 37,” and my own “Vanished Lands” campaigns to play!

Interstellar review

On Saturday, 15 November 2014, I met Thomas K.Y. & Kai-Yin H. for a matinee of Interstellar at the Jordan's IMAX theater in Framingham, Mass. We liked the relationship-focused highbrow science fiction film.

Plot

Interstellar follows Cooper, an astronaut turned farmer in an unspecified near future in which human spaceflight has faltered because of the urgency of feeding billions amid severe ecological degradation.

Widower Cooper's son Tom is content to become a farmer, but his restlessness is mirrored in his daughter Murph. Despite being science-minded in an era focused on mere survival, Murph claims that a poltergeist is trying to send her messages.

An errant surveillance drone leads Cooper and his children to a secret NASA base, where his former colleague Prof. Brand and his daughter are working on sending a second wave of explorers through a newly discovered wormhole near Saturn to find inhabitable planets.

Aware of the relativistic effects of faster-than-light interstellar travel, Cooper gets his father Donald's blessing and reluctantly leaves with the younger Brand and a small crew to try to save humanity….

Interstellar poster

Christopher Nolan's latest SF movie

Cast

The cast of Interstellar is uniformly solid, with several actors from past Christopher Nolan productions. Matthew McConaughey is grounded as Cooper, despite the talk of imminent Armageddon, wormholes, and love and gravity transcending the dimension of time.

John Lithgow and Michael Caine are Cooper's father figures as Donald and Prof. Brand, respectively. Anne Hathaway is emotional but strong as the younger Brand, and Mackenzie Foy plays a young Murph (named after Murphy's Law — "Whatever can happen, will").

As more time passes on Earth while the subjective time of the astronauts is shorter, the adult Murph is played by Jessica Chastain, and Casey Affleck is the older Tom. Murph and Tom react in different ways to their father's absence. Matt Damon plays Dr. Mann, "the best of us" and part of the first wave sent through the wormhole.

Bill Irwin is also noteworthy as the voice of TARS, a former military robot among those retasked with helping the laconic Cooper's mission. He brings a sense of snarky humor and potential menace to the proceedings, referring directly to HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Direction

Christopher Nolan's meticulous style is similar to that of 2001's Stanley Kubrick or Prometheus' Ridley Scott. He's more comfortable with high-concept speculative fiction in movies such as Inception, Duncan Jones' Moon, or Rian Johnson's Looper than with the emotional content of Steven Spielberg's best.

Viewers waiting for action and suspense have to wait a while before the three-hour-long movie gets to it, and the parallels between Coop and Murph and Prof. Brand and his daughter are pretty obvious. When Donald or Prof. Brand fulminate on the human condition and our need to explore the universe, it's clear that's what Nolan thinks.

Still, even if I agree with the sentiment and understand some of the underlying science, I'd rather he spent less time explaining and more time engaging the audience. Overall, Nolan handles his cast and the narrative jumps in time well, but Interstellar feels more technical than passionate, and he's unlikely to persuade any who might disagree.

Cinematography

Nolan's true strength is with creating a believable universe. As with last year's excellent Gravity, space travel is shown to be difficult, dangerous, and ultimately worthwhile. The psychedelic imagery during the wormhole travel is mercifully brief.

The visualization of "Gargantua," a black hole around which some potential homeworlds orbit, is excellent. Any good science fiction movie should show us something we haven't seen or maybe even haven't imagined before. Much of the science is sound, and the distant planets reminded me of some documentaries about hazardous arctic exploration.

Sure, one could quibble with the environmental science, the description of gravitic propulsion, and the late appearance of O'Neill cylinders in the movie, but I was glad to see this movie on an IMAX screen with a full house. As other reviewers have noted, like Big Hero 6, some of the best parts of Interstellar are when it shows people using science to try to solve problems or mysteries.

Soundtrack

As with Inception and many recent action movie trailers, Interstellar had the booming "bwong, bwong" sound to underscore important moments. I could have done without that, but I have to admit that the IMAX theater's "rumble seats" were nice for the scenes when Cooper and company were flying by the seats of their pants.

There is no music quite as memorable as "Thus Spake Zarathustra" from 2001 or Vangelis' themes in Blade Runner. As in Gravity, I liked the absence of sound during some of the space scenes.

Rating

I liked Interstellar more than Elysium and about the same as Contact, to refer to two Jodi Foster SF movies. It's definitely part of a wave of more serious speculative fiction, providing a nice balance to the explosions of Star Trek: Into Darkness or comedy of Space Station 76 while I wait for the next cyclical revival of classic space opera.

I'd give Interstellar, which is rated PG-13 for some violence, a 7.5 to 8 out of 10, three and a half out of five stars, or a B+. I think that some critics were overly harsh, but I'm also more of an SF buff than the general audience.

Speaking of which, I'm still enjoying Jonathan Nolan's cyber-dystopian Person of Interest on television, and I'm cautiously optimistic about his adaptation of Isaac Asimov's Foundation for HBO. Also, it is with some sadness that I note the passing of Glen Larson, who created the original Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and many of the other genre TV shows I grew up on.

Belated 2014 Star Trek convention report

I had a good time at this past summer's Creation Star Trek Convention in Boston, even though the actors I was most interested in meeting — Deep Space Nine's Avery Brooks, Quantum Leap and Enterprise's Scott Bakula, and Into Darkness and Being Human's Karl Urban — all canceled at the last minute.

Other cancellations included Voyager's Kate Mulgrew and Into Darkness' Bruce Greenwood. Still, the show was entertaining enough for any longtime Star Trek fan, and I wasn't expecting this year's event to live up to last year's reunion of most of the Next Generation cast with moderator William Shatner (whom Janice and I just saw at the Rhode Island Comic Con).

Most of the guest stars this time around were from the casts of Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise. Last year, I went with fellow blogger Ken G., who this year attended on Saturday, June 21, but I was busy with Free RPG Day. As usual, there were many excellent cosplayers.

Star Trek cosplay

Capt. Tzu Tien Lung and Adm. Montgomery Scott

Fortunately, I had gotten a discount ticket for this year's event, and I still got to meet Deep Space Nine's Nana Visitor (Maj. Kira Nerys) and Terry Farrell (Lt.Cmdr. Jadzia Dax). Much of the cast of Voyager was also present, and Max Grodenchik and Aron Eisnberg did a hilarious standup routine as Ferengis Rom and Nog, respectively.

Star Trek 2014 photo op

Nana, Gene, and Terry

As with most genre entertainment conventions lately, there was a big crowd and numerous cosplayers. In fact, last year's Super MegaFest got so crowded that it was often a challenge to move around the Sheraton in Framingham, Mass. Fellow blogger Ken G. and I did get to meet Manu Bennet from Spartacus and Arrow, Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie, among others.

Even though Waltham's annual steampunk festival was canceled this spring because of finances and construction downtown, we haven't lacked for other shows, such as the funny Monty Python reunion concert that was simulcast in U.S. theaters. Creation will be taking a year off and returning with a major Star Trek confab in Las Vegas to celebrate the franchise's 50th anniversary in 2016.

This year's Star Trek convention was inspirational, since I've been running occasional "episodes" of my "Star Trek: Restoration" space opera scenario.

We'll see what genre entertainment events I get to next year, and I've found it easier lately to follow the news online from huge events such as the San Diego Comic Con rather than deal with traveling to them.

Rhode Island Comic Con 2014 report, Part 2 — farewell to Warehouse 13

On Sunday, 2 November 2014, Janice and I returned to the overcrowded Rhode Island Comic Con (RICC). The lines moved more smoothly, and we took in more of the sights at this latest genre entertainment convention.

We were pleased to join a full room for the Warehouse 13 panel. Saul Rubinek and Eddie McClintock shared the same chemistry as their characters — seasoned agent Artie Nielsen and wisecracking Pete Latimer — did in the treasure-hunting TV show. Rubinek explained that SyFy canceled Warehouse 13 because of its expensive production, dwindling audience numbers (not counting DVRs), and a shift back to "harder" speculative fiction.

Warehouse 13 cast

A fun SyFy show

McClintock took several questions from the audience and was just as charming as goofball Pete was on the show. Both actors also described how they bonded with the precise but philosophical Joanne Kelly as agent Myka Bering and youthful and professional Allison Scagliotti as wunderkind Claudia Donovan over five seasons.

While I appreciate NBC/Universal choosing to return to the channel's roots, I also think there's room for quality comedies and family shows that still fit under SyFy's umbrella. I'd prefer reruns of the Twilight Zone or The IT Crowd to wrestling or dumb "reality" competitions. At least fans got a decent sendoff for the underrated Warehouse 13, and there has been no shortage of supernatural procedurals lately.

Janice and I walked through the celebrity and cosplay areas, vendor aisles, and artists' alley one more time before heading back to Massachusetts. Among other things, I picked up the complete Young Justice on DVD. We had planned to get a group photo with Rubinek and McClintock, but because of scheduling snafus, it was not to be.

We had a good time overall, and I'm glad that Janice was a good sport in dealing with the lines and crowds. The annual Boston Christmas Craft Festival this past weekend was easy in comparison.

Coming soon: A look back at this past summer's Creation Star Trek Convention in Boston, a review of Big Hero 6, and my take on the current television season!