Doctor Who History-The Night of the Master

The Doctor decides to test Missy’s redemption-by having her respond to a distress call, just like he would. The distress call ends up being on a ship trying to break away from a black hole, with a terrified pilot at the helm.  Missy’s style is a bit different, to say the least, and does little to calm the situation.

 

The pilot asks if any of them are human-Missy isn’t, of course, and Nardole is sort of a cyborg-but Bill is. In response, he shoots her in the chest, creating a hole.

She’s then taken by mysterious, white robed and masked individuals who state they can repair her.

The Doctor, Missy, and Nardole soon figure out that the ship is in a state of time dillation due to the Black hole-while only seconds pass for the Doctor and co. on the bridge, time moves much faster on the ship’s lower levels. A repair crew on the ship, sent down not too long ago, became a fully functioning city, although a polluted one, where various citizens are being ‘repaired’.

There, Bill befriends Mr. Razor, an employee at the hospital there, and the two observe via TV the Doctor’s extremely slow movements (from their POV) over the next decade. Bill also has machinery fixed to her chest to replace her destroyed organs. Eventually, Bill is betrayed by Razor into undergoing the next step of the procedure.

Eventually making their way to the bottom of the ship, The Doctor and Missy investigate the hospital, discovering that, in fact, the ship is from Mondas, the original Cybermen planet, and the patients are undergoing conversion to original Cybermen.

Missy, meanwhile, meets “Mr. Razor”, who is in fact, her earlier incarnation, the Master…and is very worried about his future.

The Doctor is then confronted by a Cyberman and both versions of the Master-and the Cybermen reveals that she is, in fact, Bill potts, and that she ‘waited’ for the Doctor.

The two quickly knock the Doctor out and tie him up, although Missy’s blow manages to have the Doctor’s hand land on a computer console….

As the two villains dance on the roof, the Doctor figures out what’s been going on, connecting the dots from the last time he faced this particular Master incarnation. After being sent back to Gallifrey’s “Time lock”, The Master’s degenerative illness-the one that made his skull translucent and made him shoot lightning bolts, as well as ravenously hungry-was ‘fixed’, and the Master fled Gallifrey, eventually ending up in the bottom of the ship here, where he turned it into yet another dystopia, but was thwarted by a rebellion, forcing him to take up his “razor” persona. The Master’s damage has already been done to this level of the ship, though, and therefore it’s citizens are being converted into Cybermen.

 

During his knock out though, the Doctor was able to reprogram the Cybermen, so that they would target time lord biology as well as human-which means now the Master, Missy, and the Doctor have no choice but to fight the Cybermen (Of course the Doctor would gladly do so anyway). They’re rescued by Nardole, and suprisingly, Bill, who hasn’t quite succumbed to the Cybermen side of her quite yet.

The group retreats to a higher level, a solar farm that is in better shape, but still being targeted for conversion by the Cybermen. The Doctor, Nardole, and Bill befriend the citizens, although they’re a bit off-put by Bill’s Cybermen exterior. They also try to work out a way to escape, especially with the time dilation allowing certain Cybermen to evolve into their current “Nightmare in Silver” looks.

The Doctor figures they can take a stand, to evacuate the citizens to a higher level where they will be safe for a time, guarded by Nardole, while the Doctor, Bill, and the Masters delay the Cybermen. However, the Master wants to just escape in his TARDIS, and Missy reluctantly goes along with the plan of her earlier self, despite the Doctor’s plea:

No! No! When I say no, you turn back around! Hey! I’m going to be dead in a few hours, so before I go, let’s have this out, you and me, once and for all. Winning? Is that what you think it’s about? I’m not trying to win. I’m not doing this because I want to beat someone, or because I hate someone, or because, because I want to blame someone. It’s not because it’s fun and God knows it’s not because it’s easy. It’s not even because it works, because it hardly ever does. I do what I do, because it’s right! Because it’s decent! And above all, it’s kind. It’s just that. Just kind. If I run away today, good people will die. If I stand and fight, some of them might live. Maybe not many, maybe not for long. Hey, you know, maybe there’s no point in any of this at all, but it’s the best I can do, so I’m going to do it. And I will stand here doing it till it kills me. You’re going to die too, some day. How will that be? Have you thought about it? What would you die for? Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand, is where I fall. Stand with me. These people are terrified. Maybe we can help, a little. Why not, just at the end, just be kind? 

 

Image result for Doctor falls Doctor's speech

Missy however, does eventually change her mind, stabbing her former self, and perhaps triggering his regeneration into her.  In turn, the Master blasts her full blast with the laser screwdriver, possibly killing her, but maybe not. The wounded Master then heads toward his TARDIS. Missy…who knows?

The Doctor makes a brave final stand against the Cybermen, fighting them off by using his sonic to ignite several fuel pipes. He’s hit several times by the Cybermen, as well as the debris from the pipes. Boasting that he’s managed to defeat the Cybermen time and time again, the Doctor manages to draw them back, but he’s mortally wounded and in the early stages of regeneration.

Bill manages to recover the Doctor’s prone body, which at the moment is unconsciousness, although the process of regeneration has begun.

Fortunately, Bill’s water creature friend, Heather, from the season finale, manages to emerge from one of Bill’s tears, managing to undo her cyber-conversion and make her back into her normal self, but with powers similar to hers. The two place the Doctor’s body in the TARDIS, although Bill hopes she’ll see him again in some form-and then set off on their own journeys through space and time.

 

The Doctor manages to regain consciousness, but the regeneration is already proceeding. However, like his tenth self, he’d rather stay the way he is rather than change once again.

Parking the TARDIS in a snowy landscape, and the process still underway, the Doctor continues to fight off the change, but is surprised to see a familiar face approach him-and not just any familiar face, but his first face….and one that is also fighting off a change to come.

 

But first, he’s got one last adventure….

And then, it’s time for something completely different….

 

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Doctor Who History:A time for Warriors

The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole decide to pay NASA a visit when they’re taking a look at the polar ice caps. There, they find an unexpected message written in rocks: “God Save the Queen”. The Doctor and his companions decide to pop back to figure out how that happened.

 

They arrive on the planet in 1881, and unfortunately, the TARDIS-with Nardole still onboard-decides to leave and return to Earth in the present. The Doctor and Bill quickly encounter one of the planet’s natives-an Ice Warrior-but it turns out he’s with unexpected company-a group of British soldiers from the Victorian era.

Turns out, the Ice Warrior-named “Friday” by the soldiers-crash-landed on Earth, and the British regiment helped him repair his ship. The British soldiers then accompanied him back to Mars, to mine it and claim it for the Queen. However, Friday is in fact using them as labor to help revive his fellow warriors, including his own Queen, Iraxxa-which the British soldiers soon do.

Although initially considering peace, the British soldiers then open fire, which causes a battle to break out between the soldiers. However, the battle is quickly ended when Friday aides the Doctor in trying to stop his queen, and the commander is replaced by another soldier, a former deserter whose life is forfeit on Earth, but who will pledge himself to the warriors.

The Doctor then contacts Alpha Centauri, setting up events that in a few hundred years time, will occur on the planet Peladon during the Third Doctor era. He also leaves the rocks on Mars that will be sighted by NASA.

His return back to Earth, and his reunion with the TARDIS-is a bit troubling though-Nardole let Missy out of the Vault, and had her pilot it back to Mars-something very troubling for the Doctor and Bill.

 

Next, The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole-with Missy also in the ship-travel to 2nd century Scotland to search for the fate of the Ninth Roman legion, a group of soldiers who disappeared. While Bill runs into the legion, the Doctor and Nardole encounter a Scottish clan who are guarding a mysterious portal, and defending themselves against the invading legion.

They’re also using a creature coming out of the portal-an “Eater of light” to help defeat the Romans. However, the Doctor realizes the creatures in the portal are a larger threat, and if more or released they’ll eat all the light in the universe. With the help of the TARDIS translation circuits, he’s able to get the Romans and Picts to work together, and enter the portal-in which time moves much slower-to fight off the creatures until the end of time. Although the Doctor initially wishes to enter the portal himself, as he’s got a long life span and regenerations to spare, the Pict leader and the legion enter instead. The act of sacrifice actually provokes an emotional reaction in Missy, and the Doctor concludes that maybe, maybe he can trust her this time…

MISSY: I don’t even know why I’m crying. Why? Why do I keep doing that now? 
DOCTOR: I don’t know. Maybe you’re trying to impress me. 
MISSY: Yes. Probably some devious plan. That sounds about right. 
DOCTOR: The alternative would be much worse. 
MISSY: Really? 

DOCTOR: The alternative is that this is for real, and it’s time for us to become friends again. 
MISSY: Do you think so? 

DOCTOR: I don’t know. That’s the trouble with hope. It’s hard to resist. 

 

However, the past is about to catch up with Missy….

 

 

Metal Gear Profiles-FOX unit

 

FOX was born out of the Cuban missile crisis. In the world of Metal Gear, the resolution of the crisis was not due to our removing our missiles from Turkey, but for the return of defected rocket scientist Sokolov to Russia.

In order to extract Sokolov a second time, Major Zero and the Boss formed an intelligence group based within the CIA, that would utilize one-man infiltration missions, aided by a support team and the latest technology. That unit was FOX. It’s first operative, Naked Snake, the protege of The Boss-who was supported by medical adviser Para-Medic, weapons expert SIGINT, Zero, and for a time, the Boss herself.

Zero also created a second shadow unit that would aid FOX even more covertly, and ‘clean up’ after it, called XOF. But that’s another story…

FOX’s first mission, Virtuous mission, went belly-up after the Boss “defected”, putting the lives of Snake (as he was her apprentice) Zero (As he formed the unit with her) and America (As the Boss was an American hero who had reportedly used a nuke on soviet soil) in jeopardy. The only way to fix it was for Snake to kill her, as well as taking out Sokolov’s weapon, the Shagohod.

 

The mission was successful, clearing the name of Snake, Zero, the FOX UNIT and America. However, the ramifications would be felt for years to come, especially as Snake was given the name “Big Boss”.

A few years later (although the events in “portable ops” are questionable canon to some), a group of FOX soldiers rebelled in the San Hierynomo peninsula, led by it’s leader Gene, once again putting Zero and Big Boss under suspicion. Zero was arrested, but Big Boss was able to eventually foil the rebellion.

 

After that, the FOX unit was disbanded, but the incident gave rise to two new organizations: FOXHOUND, it’s sucessor as a special forces group, formed by Big Boss….

and Zero’s Cipher, AKA the Patriots, whose initial membership included the original members of the FOX unit-Big Boss, Para-Medic(Dr.Clark), Zero and SIgint(Donald Anderson).

 

Despite the disbandment of the unit, Big Boss and his soldiers in the Militaries San Frontieras would still sport the logo until 1975.

 

James Bond 25: Craig’s 007 so far.

Daniel Craig will return as James Bond, and the next film is set for a November 8th, release date. The film will reportedly be Daniel Craig’s last as James Bond, but one has to wonder, what direction will the series take in this new installment, and going forward?

While many of the earlier films had a self-contained nature, with little linking them apart from Bond himself, his supporting staff at MI6 (M, Moneypenny, Q, and occasionally Bill Tanner and Felix Leiter) occasionally the plans of Blofeld and SPECTRE (in the 60’s) and of course your basic Bond formula of “Martinis, girls, and guns,” the Craig films attempted to start (more or less) fresh (as Judi Dench was still M, with no explanation as to how this fit into anything), with Bond being a newly minted 00 who gradually grew into the more familiar spy, and with a somewhat more grittier, more back-to-basics approach than the space weapons, crazy stunts, and over the top villains that often appeared in the earlier films . CASINO showed him becoming somewhat more ‘sophisticated’ due to Vesper’s guidance…from this:

 

to this:

But it also hardens him, when it turns out Vesper had been blackmailed into stealing the Casino winnings.

Although by the end of Quantum of Solace,  as the title suggests, he at least partially understands what happened (hence the title).

In “Skyfall” he’s become a somewhat more familiar Bond, cracking quips and doing impossible feats, as well as a sense of class, pulling his cuffs up after a huge jump…

 

Although he’s kind of reverted to his early Casino Royale self after getting shot and lying low for a few months…

But he’s pretty much back to his prime halfway through.

Skyfall of course is notable in that it introduces Bond’s supporting cast of MI6, apart from M and Tanner, as well as a new Male M, Mallory, played by Ralph Fiennes. Moneypenny and Q in particular are far less office-bound than their predecessors (although Desmond’s Q did occasionally equip Bond on the field, especially in “Licence to Kill” where the roles of M and Moneypenny were minimalized).

 

Of course the film most notably killed off Judi Dench’s Q, pretty much removing the only real narrative link to the previous continuity (As Judi Dench’s M was also Brosnan’s)

 

 

SPECTRE of course introduced the Bond villain organization of the 60’s back into Bond’s world, and also (retroactively) ties the villanous plots of CASINO, QUANTUM and even the seemingly self-contained SKYFALL into the machinations of one man: Hans Oberhauser, Bond’s spiteful stepbrother who faked his death, built a criminal organization and did it all in part to spite his stepbrother. Of course, he also uses a new name, Ernst Stravro Blofeld.

 

This is in part accomplished by bringing back Mr. White, one of the players in the “organization” established in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and called “Quantum” in the latter film, turning out to be SPECTRE all along.

Asked by Mr. White to protect his daughter, Madeline Swann, Bond and Swann end up falling for each other and foiling Blofeld’s plans, but also Bond, figuring he’s got something “better to do” spares Blofeld’s life and rides off with her into the streets of London in his  rebuilt Aston Martin, possibly into retirement.

 

 

But with Craig returning, retiring’s not something his Bond is really good at. He tried in Casino Royale, and we all know how that turned out.

And of course, SPECTRE leaves Blofeld alive, and the last time in the series Bond left Blofeld alive (although it’s possible he considered him dead) and tried to settle down, it ended badly, in an event often brought up in later Bonds as a bit of a continuity nod-the death of his new wife, Tracy.

Dialing back a bit, there’s something familiar about the framing of OHMSS and SPECTRE’s endings here….

Although Bond 25’s still a bit way off, I’ll continue to offer more speculation into where the general Bond series direction is going, and how this might close Craig’s Bond ‘story’, perhaps paving the way for another reboot at some point (Perhaps even kill off Bond somehow? I’m not a big fan of the ‘code name’ theory-a fan theory cooked up to explain the changes in Bond actors and ages, like how a 60ish Roger Moore suddenly became 40something Timothy Dalton-so I’d rather something like him passing the torch does not happen, or the “this never happened to the other fella” quip) but rather a mostly fresh reboot like CASINO). Could Bond beyond Craig stick with the same basic continuity, but just change the actor without any explanation as the old films did?

Jurassic Park in Review: Jurassic World Part I

In 2013, perhaps emboldened by the recent Disney sale of Star Wars and the promise of new films, Universal Studios began to work on briging back one of their big franchises: Jurassic Park. Although the last two films had been set on people getting stuck on the “factory floor” island Isla Sorna. However, the new film “Jurassic World” would return to the concept that started it all, and on the original island.

Despite the inciddents in the original trilogy, at some point Ingen-after the passing of John Hammond-came under the control of Masareti, who like Hammond, is well-meaning but a bit naive about things. Using what’s left of the original park’s Dinosaurs, he succesfully rebuilds the park (although on the other end of the island, apparentally, leaving the old Visitor’s center abandoned and decaying)….and manages to run it sucessfully…for a time.

The concept of a Jurassic Park that actually was completed and functions was also the idea behind the simulation Operation Genesis, which came out in the early 00’s, during the height of the Sims/tycoon genre of games.

 

 

Paying a visit over the holiday season are the the sons of the Mitchell family, who are being sent to the island with the mother’s sister, Claire Dearing (Operations manager of the Park), to watch over them. Similar to the first film with Tim and Lex, this is actually in part to help them cope with their parent’s divorce.

The film begins with a creature quickly hatching from an egg, alongside another egg, looking somewhat like the Raptor hatchling from the first film….but this thing isn’t a Raptor….well, sort of.

We then cut to a scary-looking foot, but one that turns out to be simply that of a bird; once again selling the Dinosaur/bird connection first established in the original film.

Image result for Bird foot Jurassic world

 

….and then an unusual setting for a Jurassic Park film-a snowy house. It’s around Christmas, and we meet the two kids of the film, Zach and Gray.  They’re sort of similar to Tim and Lex thematically-their parents are getting a divorce, so they’re being sent to the island over Christmas vacation, with the mom (Played by Judy Greer, who played a  divorcee in Ant-Man later that same summer) jokingly telling the kids to ‘run’ if something chases them. Now that’s some advice that’s going to come in handy…and of course they’ll be in the care of her sister/their aunt, Claire, who it turns out pretty much runs the day-to-day operations of the island-also reflecting in part, Hammond’s relationship with Tim and Lex in the first film.

Since this is a fully-fledged Jurassic Park, it has it’s own ferry from the mainland, instead of the helicopter from the first film. Gray states that there were “eight species” when the Park first opened, which might be a slight reference to the number of different Dinosaurs seen in the original Jurassic Park film (although off by one). The film never really explains what happened to the Dinosaurs of the original park, with the exception of the Tyrannosaur who the directors and writers confirm is the same as the original, and even given a name (off-screen) “Rexy.” I’m guessing these are mostly new Dinosaurs, as it’s stated that they’re all female, which means that Wu might’ve gone back to the drawing board and gotten rid of the frog DNA (or used something else) that caused the mutation. Except for Rexy, but presumabely she’s the only one of her kind on the island.

Isla Sorna is also not brought up at all, despite being the setting of the last two films (although there a few nods, here and there, to the other sequels).

 

Here we also meet Zara, Aunt Claire’s sort of secretary, who clearly doesn’t want to deal with these kids. She’s also at the core of one of the film’s more controversial moments, later on.

And of course we get the ‘gate’, supposed to be the same one, but rebuilt, relocated, and placed on a monorail track.

And we get our first real look at the Park’s main center, which seems to have gotten some design tips from Disney and Universal’s own parks-a bunch of fancy restaurants-including a Margaritaville!(more on that later) and booths.

 

Soon, we’re introduced to Claire, our heroine, although she initially comes off as a bit cold and unlikable, at first. She’s giving some stockholders a bit of a private tour of the Hammond creation lab, JW’s genetics chamber (It’s presumed that, unlike the original park, that most of the Dinos here are bred on the island-it seems like a much larger operation than JP’s small hatchery anyway).

 

Speaking of said hatchery, we meet Jurassic World’s only familiar (non-Dinosaur) face-Dr.Henry Wu.

Wu of course was the chief geneticist in the original movie, who cast doubts on Ian Malcolm’s reasoning about the Dinosaurs being able to breed.  Despite his being wrong-and being involved with the troubled first park-he’s been re-hired, and is breeding a new ‘designed’ Dinosaur, Indominous Rex, since people are apparently getting bored of the same ol’ Dinos (JW’s apparently been open for around a decade according to some of the supplemental stuff for the movie, but I gotta echo what Owen says later on: “They’re Dinosaurs. Wow enough”). Of course Wu does have his own motives for creating this ‘new’ Dinosaur.

Next we get the innovation center, a new Visitor’s center but far more high-tech, with holographic dinosaurs and touchscreens instead of bones.  It also sees the return of Mr. DNA, the cartoon mascot from JP’s short film on creating the dinosaurs (and also mascot of pretty much every tutorial in a Jurassic Park video game).

Claire visits her nephews in the center, but it’s obvious she’s completely out of touch.

We next meet the Park’s control room, with Lowery and Vivian, who function largely as the film’s comic relief (and they’re certainly more likable than the original control room crew from JP, especially Nedry), while also functioning as a bit of meta-commentary on the film itself. Lowery in particular, is frustrated that the park is a bit too commercial-an accusation levied at the first film’s product tie-ins, especially the cafe scene (A criticism-well, at least of that scene as there’s no denying JP is a major universal cash cow-that I debunked a bit in my JP review a few months back). He’s also a fan of the original park, which Claire finds in bad taste because of the deaths involved-and wears a JP T-shirt. He figures since the I. Rex is sponsored by Verizon Wireless, next thing is that they’re going to let the corporations name some new Dinosaurs, like “Pepsisaurus”. He also refers to the Dinos and mess on his desk (Well, that’s one thing he shares with Nedry) as a ‘living system to keep the system from collapsing into anarchy’-which seems like something Malcolm would say.

Which is fitting, since he’s reading Malcolm’s book (It’s unclear whether this is the one Eric was referring too in the last film).

We also learn that despite being a tighter operation than the original (which was still being developed anyway and never opened) Jurassic World’s got it’s ocassional glitches. Instead of the electrical fences of the original park (as well as bits of Isla Sorna), The Dinosaurs are implanted with ‘invisible fence’ implants, which unfortunately get shorted out when certain Dinosaurs butt heads-literally, as we learn with the Pachycephalosaurus. (It seems that with the Raptors, Mosasaurus, Rex and I. Rex, they’re not taking too many changes, and we clearly see both fences, concrete or unbreakable glass surrounding them.).

Next we see Simon Masarani, Ingen’s current head, and like Hammond, doesn’t really care as much about the bottom line as much as people having fun. He also comes off as slightly less naive about the dangers of a Dino park. This scene-set to pretty much the same music as the old copter scene from the original (What I like to call the Park’s “Adventure” theme) also confirms that Hammond died, and apparently didn’t completely go from Capitalist to Naturalist entirely as Malcolm stated in The Lost World, as he asked Masarani to pretty much rebuild his “dream”. Kind of reminds me of his old qoute….

 

You’re right, you’re absolutely right. Hiring Nedry was a mistake, that’s obvious. We’re over-dependent on automation, I can see that now. Now, the next time everything’s correctable. Creation is an act of sheer will. Next time it’ll be flawless!”

I guess he didn’t take Malcolm or Ellie’s advice to heart-especially this from Malcolm:

If you want to leave your name on something, fine. But stop putting it on other people’s headstones.

Masarani flies over to the I.Rex’s Paddock, and takes a look at the new Dinosaur. To quote JP once again…ou stare at him…and he just stares right back. (Although I’m pretty sure I.Rex here is a she).

Although he hasn’t seen too much of what she can do, Masarani is somewhat alarmed by a few signs of problems with the Dinosaur-it’s thermal vision, the near-loss of a worker, it’s cannibalism of it’s sibling, and cracked glass. Like the Raptors in the first film, this thing knocks it’s locked up and it’s testing for weaknesses. It wants out. Masarani figures it’s time to bring in more of an expert to make sure the paddock is super safe. Enter: Owen Grady, the film’s hero.

 

 

 

Bond in Review: Never Say never Again Part V

Bond shows up on the Flying Saucer, in a wetsuit, but he’s expected, but his ‘hosts’ are nice enough to give him a bathrobe. Bond seems to wear these almost as much as he does tuxedos, going back to Dr.No, it seems.

 

This scene is largely similar to the scene in Thunderball where Bond is invited to Largo’s estate, except in this case it’s much later in the film. Except of course Bond is allowed to leave in this case, whereas the Flying Saucer has already set sail to Palmyra (which is the name of Largo’s estate in Nassau in Thunderball, but here is located somewhere in North Africa).

…of course he also gives Bond a look at his situation room, which of course gives Bond an idea.

He meets with Domino in the gym (with that awful music playing), aware that Largo’s probably in his observation room behind the mirror (as we saw earlier in the film). He kisses her, to get a ‘reaction’ so Largo will freak out, and Domino also pushes the fire alarm so that the situation room will be evacuated, allowing Bond to send a distress call to M. He also gets amused by Largo’s nuttiness as he takes a fire axe to the piano and stereo, and apparently the music in the gym is so loud he can’t even hear the fire alarm until he smashes the stereo!

He doesn’t do anything until they arrive at Palmyra, which is much larger and ornate than Thunderball’s oceanside estate, where he quickly orders Bond to be taken away. We then get a very, very tense scene where Largo creeps around her and messes around with a green statue (Her “Wedding present”).

It’s far more psychological than his physical torture of her in Thunderball, with Largo embracing his craziness when accused of it: “Ja. Maybe.”

And one nasty forced kiss too.

Largo

He also delivers a monologue to Bond a bit later, revealing the location of one of the nukes (Washington) and leaving him chained up. Thankfully he forgot to confiscate Bond’s watch…which of course has a laser.

Domino is put up to be sold as a wife to local bidders (Her “wedding”) and we hear that music again, but Bond quickly saves the day on a horse, leading to an awkward close-up of Connery as he shouts “HOLLLD ONNNNN!” as they jump into the sea. Including the horse.

Image result for Horse never say never again

Although part of this is accomplished via some sort of crappy green screen effects, the last shot seems to show a real horse falling sideways into the water. This actually caused some controversy, and it’s said that the “No animals were harmed” disclaimer is a result of this scene….although other sources seem to indicate that it’s been in place since 1939’s “Jesse James”.

Palmyra gets shot up by the navy, but the saucer’s already on it’s way out. Tracking them in a nearby sub, Bond figures out that the pendant Domino has is where the second nuke is being placed-right near some oil fields in an ancient underground temple. Cue Bond using the jetpack, although one nowhere near as cool as the original Thunderball version IMO.

 

Sure, the helmet’s a bit corny, but there’s just something in the less complicated design, and the fact that Bond’s wearing a suit while using it that says “Bond” more to me than whatever tactical suit he’s wearing here. Sure, Bond often wears several more tactical clothes in the films many times, but if they were trying to re-create the jetpack here, it could’ve been done better.

 

After telling a delighted Blofeld (The last shot of him we’ll see in the movie, talking once again to the skull camera), the big end battle begins in the ground temple. Although maybe it might seem a bit more fast-paced than the big underwater battle that ended Thunderball, it just seems to lack tension and excitement…and this is from the same director who did some of the most tense battles ever in film.

Yes, this one-what else?

In all the confusion-which does include a kind of cool stunt of Bond knocking the head off a statue-Largo manages to escape with the nuke, much like he did in the original, except this time he’s underwater. The result is pretty much the same. Death by Domino’s harpoon.

 

Although I think the original is far better in this regard.

Instead of crashing the Flying Saucer and getting extracted via fulton balloon like in the original, we have them lounging in a pool (probably in the Bahamas)

Domino is wearing a tiger swimsuit, which was the focus of a lot of the film’s marketing, of course, much like her predecessor’s look in the original.

 

They’re interrupted by an intruder, who just happens to be Nigel Small-Faucet, who says that

“M says,  without you in the service,he fears for the security

of the civilized world!”

But Bond state’s “never again”, recalling the title of the film…but then gives a wink to the audience, while being encircled by the pseudo gunbarrel “007”…hinting this Bond might come back.

Technically, he would return in another remake of one of his old classics, but this time the video game version of “From Russia With Love”. I’ve heard the game’s actually pretty good, but from Connery’s voice in the game it sounds very different-his scottish accent, in particular, is much more present. There were also rumors about Connery returning to film another Thunderball remake, although this time as the villain(!) against Timothy Dalton-Warhead 2000, which I brought up quite a while back. Connery of course has been retired from acting for over a decade, and is well into his 80’s, so beyond this I doubt we’ll see him in any Bond film down the line. (He also has had some mixed feelings about the character, especially given the typecasting in the 60’s).

As for the film, it’s an unusual beast. I prefer the original Thunderball, but there are certain aspects that are a bit better, such as the villains. Largo in the original was pretty much just a tough guy, whereas the new Largo feels much more dangerous and psychotic. Ditto with Fatima (Can’t really say much for Sydow’s Blofeld, though, he’s not given much to do) Connery also gives a much better performance here-and looks better-than in his official sendoff, “Diamonds Are Forever” (It also feels far less campy and dated, despite the video game aspects and the wackiness of Barbera Carerra’s Fatima). Some of the changes here-such as the gadgets, the idea of Bond losing his edge and considering retirement, and the MI6 staff changes-also foreshadow future developments in the series. The action scenes seem a bit uninspired though, the settings somewhat more bland at times (with some exceptions such as the Casino and Palmyra), and of course this lacks some of the series trademarks-the gunbarrel, the opening credits, the theme music-which help make Bond, Bond. Sure, the Craig films played around with this a bit, but they still largely kept the theme music and opening credits. So the film’s sort of an oddball, but overall, worth a look.

Metal Gear Profiles-The Philosophers

Slightly different format here, instead of focusing on one particular Metal gear character or piece of technology, I’ll focus on some of the many organizations that play big parts in the series.

The Philosophers is the granddaddy of them all.

After World War I, a group of wealthy, intelligent people from the United States, Soviet Union, and China pooled their resources together to work together to form the Philosophers-a group dedicated to World peace (This initial line up of Philosophers was known as the Wiseman’s comittee). However, like their successors, the Patriots, things got out of hand by the 1930s, and soon the Philosophers became involved in the very thing they tried to stop in the first place….and it created divisions among them, especially during the second World War.

Their influence and vast wealth funded several projects. While their backing of the Manhattan project was made public, they also experimented on soldiers, forming the Joy/ boss’s cobra unit. In addition, the Joy/The Boss’s father was one of the original “Wisemen”, so she was knowledgeable about their influence. They also ran schools to train spies, like Eva.

 

However, a member of the Philosopher during  World War II-Boris Volgin-made away with a huge chunk of the group’s funds, and scattered it throughout various banks. The location of the banks was concealed on a microfilm, and the money and the microfilm were known as “The philosopher’s Legacy”, giving most of it’s power to the Soviet Union-and it’s vast wealth allowing Volgin’s son to build his massive fortress of Grozny Grad and the Shagohod weapon.

Image result for Volgin's father

However, a faction of American philosophers still did exist, and manipulated the life of the Boss, taking her child (the future Ocelot) away from her, and holding him as a form of leverage, as well as blaming her for various missions-a NASA test flight, a mix up including a double agent-and forcing her to kill The Sorrow. (Her apprentice, Jack/Snake remained unaware  of this).

During the Virtuous mission, the Boss’s mission was to get the Legacy back from Volgin, under cover of defecting to the Soviets. She hoped that grabbing it for the US would help to reform their organization and united the world once more.She eventually succeeded, and the microfilm was later passed on to Snake himself, while Ocelot managed to get part of it as well. A third copy, gained by Eva for the Chinese faction of the philosophers, turned out to be a fake.

Eventually, those who were part of Operation Snake Eater obtained the parts of the legacy themselves. They used the vast wealth and networks of the Philosophers to form the Patriots-dedicated to the Boss’s dream of a united world and the original goal of the Philosophers. But like them, things soon got warped. But that’s another article.

The original philosophers still had a small role to play-as a distraction. The Big Shell inciddent orchestrated by Solidus Snake in 2009 was an attempt to learn the actual names of the Patriots. However, the AIs which now ran the organization planted a false lead-the names of the Wiseman’s comitee-confusing Otacon and Solid Snake.

 

Otacon : Snake, you there? It’s me. I’ve finished going over that disc.

Snake : Did you find the Patriots’ list?

Otacon : Of course. It contains the personal data of twelve people. There
was a name on it — Snake, it was one of our biggest
contributors.

Snake : What’s going on around here?

Otacon : I don’t know…

Snake : Anyway, where are they?

Otacon : Well, we were right about them being on Manhattan, but…

Snake : But what?

Otacon : They’re already dead. All twelve of them.

Snake : When did it happen?

Otacon : Well, ah…about a hundred years ago.

Snake : What the hell?