Bart and Bret Maverick, Color

Maverick Season 1 Review

  • Series: Maverick
  • Season: 1
  • Episodes: 27
  • Discs: 7
  • Cast: James Garner, Jack Kelly
  • Network: ABC (Warner Brothers Productions)
  • DVD Format: DVD, Black and White, Standard

James Garner plays Bret Maverick a professional gambler. Jack Kelly is his brother, Bart Maverick – a gambler and rogue. The series Maverick mostly centers on Bret but occasionally episodes focus on Bart. On very rare occasions we actually get to see both together. I liked the episodes with both brothers the best, Bret and Bart have great chemistry.

In terms of storylines, this is a semi-anthology show. Stories range from ghost stories and classic mysteries (including a “Five or in this case Six Characters in Search of an Exit” story and an English Manor “and then there were none”-type story) where only the setting is Western but the plots are mysteries or ghost stories. The “English Manor” story, for example, takes place at an isolated ranch, but you still have a bunch of people with nothing in common gathered together and getting bumped off one by one. Other stories are more traditionally “Western” stories, with at least one written by Louis L’Amour. It doesn’t get more Western than something written by L’Amour. There’s even a “12 Angry Men”-type story when Bret gets himself stuck on a jury.

In the first season, we don’t see a lot of stories based on gambling, especially in the second half of the season. Also, this first season, for the most part, is much more serious than what I remember of Maverick from the re-runs I’ve seen on TV. I was expecting more humor in this show, and there is some, but for the most part, this is a semi-anthology with Bart and Bret as flat-arc catalyst characters influencing people around themselves but never actually changing themselves.

There are some interesting women in Maverick. The two meet a woman named Samantha who is as much of a con artist as they are if not more so (she takes Bret for several thousand dollars in a poker game by insisting they play “According to Hoyle” and thus making Bret’s straight an invalid hand. Later, she and Bart end-up being forced together in a complicated attempt to get a reward for some missing engraving plates for US currency. Another interesting woman hires Bret to protect her and a suitcase full of cash for a stagecoach journey. They reach her destination and she deposits the money in a safe deposit box, not a new account. She then gets a loan and opens a newspaper business. Bret, who knows the money is counterfeit, sticks around to see what she is up to. The woman uses the paper to inform the locals that a cattle baron is attacking the local small farmers and running them off their land. Bret falls in love with the woman, so of course, she gets killed in a crossfire. Sigh. Bart also gets to meet some feisty women – but any that he might really care for, die on him. Sigh.

Although Maverick introduces some interesting women, they only survive if the boys, Bret and Bart, show no interest in them whatsoever. The show is much, much worse when it comes to depictions of Native Americans, Hispanics, and Mexicans. Native Americans are depicted as “savages” who only want to kill the “white man”. Hispanics and Mexicans are depicted as bandits and dishonest. This blatant prejudice is pretty disgusting and difficult to watch. It’s also a result of when the show was made more than the time period it depicts, which is probably the 1880s.

Overall, I’m not sure if I’ll buy more of this series. On the one hand, Roger Moore joins the cast eventually, and I think later seasons have more humor. But on the other, I’m not much of a fan of Westerns unless they really aren’t a Western (like The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr or the Wild Wild West).

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Doctor Who – The Day of the Moon Review

  • Series Title: Doctor Who
  • Story Title: The Day of the Moon
  • Season: 6
  • Episode: # 2
  • Discs: 1 (Part of “The Complete Sixth Series” – 6 discs total)
  • Network: BBC
  • Original Air Date: 11/15/2009
  • Cast: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston
  • Format: Widescreen, Color, DVD, NTSC
  • Originally Published on my Live Journal 5/01/2011, now hosted on Dreamwidth

UPDATE: This review was written in 2011 before I had seen the rest of New Who Season 6 much less the entire Seven Moffat era of Doctor Who. It’s fascinating what I got right, what I got wrong and what could have been done differently and even better. Oh, and in the original review I for some reason spelled the villain/monster’s name as, “Silents” – I’m fixing that for this review.

I really liked “Day of the Moon” but it was very, very scary. Monsters that you forget the second you turn away and are no longer looking at them – that is very scary. Like conceptually that’s extremely frightening – you could encounter one of these things and never know it. And, also, that The Silence have the ability to manipulate and control behavior is also terrifying.

Though the second part didn’t have as many questions as part one, I still have some. And, I’m really hooked into Matt Smith’s second season. I hope everything pays off.

First, no one, at least no one on camera (not River, not Rory, nobody) seemed to notice that the underground lair of The Silence looked like a TARDIS. I noticed this right away and I don’t think it’s an accident of similar designs.

Second, I happened to be watching “The Lodger” this morning (still working through the S 5 DVDs) and the spaceship on top of the house looked IDENTICAL to the one we see underground and the one where Amy is held, prisoner. I don’t think this is an accident, either. I think it’s probably the first spaceship that landed on Earth piloted there by The Silence, whatever they are – though I have a theory on that.

Are the Silence -Time Lords? Time Lords that escaped the Time War? Time Lords from an alternate or parallel history? (Remember how the Doctor first describes the crack “two universes that should never have touched but did”?) Being Time Lords would explain why you forget them the minute you see them – they exist outside of  Time, therefore how could you remember a point of Time that doesn’t exist? It also would explain why the Doctor can’t see them either – usually, something mental that affects humans, like a perception filter, wouldn’t affect the Doctor.

Oddly enough, the speech by the Silence describing themselves – woven in the history of the Earth, there at every major event from the first making of fire and the wheel to the present – could ALSO describe the Doctor. Scary, isn’t it?

The 10th Doctor (Tennant) mentioned something called “The Nightmare Child” in his rants about the Time War. I think this child that we hear about in “Day of the Moon” might be “The Nightmare Child”  and a cross between a human and a Time Lord, specifically Amy and possibly, the Doctor (tho’ I don’t think the Doctor would have his way with Amy intentionally). Or, another possibility, is that somehow The Silence took Amy’s child and raised it as their own.

The orphanage looked a lot like a run-down version of Amy’s house, too – and Amy seemed to recognize it. When Amy and Rory investigated the orphanage – they both seemed much older, especially Amy. And marks kept appearing on Amy while she was in the same room in the house, which indicates time jumps. Amy’s life doesn’t seem to make sense, and this is the second time the Doctor tells her this. I think it has something to do with her being a time traveler and more than just a companion to the Doctor.

There also seems to be some sort of weird connection between Amy and Dr River Song. I think it’s possible Amy is River’s mother (this possibility was discussed in a recent chat I was in).

The child at the end that REGENERATED! Who is she? Is she Amy’s child? If so, is the Doctor the child’s father? Is the child RIVER?

The Doctor kissing River and River’s reaction was very, very sad. It makes me want to see “Silence in the Library”/”Forest of the Dead” again. It seems like just possibly. River’s now seen the Doctor’s death, and the Doctor’s seen River’s. Eeeep.

Did you notice the Doctor opening the TARDIS doors with a snap of his fingers? This was something River mentioned he could do, and Tennant’s Doctor didn’t believe her (tho’ he does it at the end of “Forest of the Dead”).

Who’s the astronaut that “killed” the Doctor? Is it the child?  Is it River? If it’s River, Did the Doctor tell her to do it? If so, Why? The Doctor that died at the very beginning of “The Impossible Astronaut” was over 200 years older than the Doctor we know. Think about that. We’ve seen Time Lords go batty before (Rassilon, Omega, The Master, The Rani, Borusa, Rassilon). In “Trial of a Time Lord” the Valeyard is said to be a future incarnation of the Doctor (though, this is later disproved as a trick by the Master and the Matrix). There’s been speculation for years that the Master is more than a dark side of the Doctor – he’s the Doctor’s future.

I cannot wait to see the rest of the season.