Film Review: Prometheus

[Update: 8th June] To my surprise this post has been viewed an incredible number of times. Please note that this is my first film review and that it’s pretty damn poor! Perhaps I’ll get better over time!


Ridley Scott has come back to sci-fi and he’s done a bloody good job!

The USCSS Prometheus

I heard about Prometheus about a  year ago and have been inexorably excited ever since. It’s the freakin’ prequel to Alien for christs sake! There’s a cracking cast set up too. There’s Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, and Michael Fassbender who is surely up for an Oscar with his superb acting of the android David.

The plot is what you might expect. Evidence of Aliens (or Engineers) having previously visited Earth have been found in cave paintings indicating a star constellation. Lets go and say hi. It goes wrong. It answers a lot of questions left behind from Alien (such as the space jockey) but leaves more questions being asked. The effects in this film are utterly sublime too. The ship, Prometheus, looks absolutely breathtaking!

Ridley has said in one of his interviews that Prometheus skirts around the truth of what may really be out there. Well, I can assure you, that it skirts so far from the truth there is no resemblance of the truth remaining. It’s a science fiction, that’s it.


The one thing in the film that didn’t make sense to me was the presence of this xenomorph-like feature (pictured). I can put together how I think it makes sense, but it doesn’t really. I’ll be going to see it again anyway, so maybe I’ll get the answer a second time round.

It’s possible, and Ridley Scott has talked about it, to there being a sequel (a sequel to the prequel!) If so it looks like it’ll move even farther away from the Alien franchise, and after seeing Prometheus, I think that’ll be a great thing!

Points out of 10? 9.5! The only disappointing factor for me was that it was only a 15 (I know they were under a lot of pressure to only make it a 15) and I’d expect a few more scares and so on. Eitherway it’s a true classic – GO AND SEE IT!

Here’s the trailer to get you more excited if you haven’t seen it yet!

Looking Back at Planet Dinosaur

Explaining why we think Spinosaurus hunted in water. Credit: BBC

I’ve been re-watching the BBC’s recent series ‘Planet Dinosaur‘. It’s basically a new, modern version of Walking with Dinosaurs. The thing to note is is that they are actually completely different. Walking with Dinosaurs told us what the dinosaurs did, how they lived and so on. Planet Dinosaur does the same but with one important additional feature. They provide the evidence. Parts of each episode swipe away to look at the fossils, so we can see what kind of predator attacked this type of herbivore because of the bite marks left behind, and similar things along these lines.

Explaining the Predator/Prey Relationship. Credit: BBC

In one episode they even manage to get the complex analysis of oxygen isotope data across to show you that a land based predator hunted in the water. Impressive stuff, the graphics are pretty immense too. It’s also narrated by John Hurt, who narrated Human Planet.

So once again, well done to the BBC, a truly corking job.
The series is available on iTunes too at the moment for only £7.99

The Feynman Series

You all know that I’m a great fan of the late Carl Sagan and the fantastic tributary videos that have been made recently, notably The Sagan Series and The Carl Sagan Tribute Series.

I was understandably delighted when I saw that the creator of The Sagan Series had bought out a new series of videos, The Feynman Series. Richard Feynman was another revolutionary and outstanding scientist. Here are the first videos from this new series. My favourite is Part 1 – Beauty.

Planet Dinosaur

Just a quick post about a new upcoming BBC TV series. Planet Dinosaur is all about, well, Dinosaurs. We’ve all seen Walking with Dinosaurs (1999 – Yes, it really was that long ago), or so I hope, but there have been multitudes of new discoveries over the past 12 years by paleontologists. This series will be bring us up to date, all with some pretty outstanding graphics.

The series starts this Wednesday (14/9) at 20:30 on BBC1. Yes BBC1, it’s great to have this kind of science on at prime time on BBC1. Whilst it may look that it’s mainly aimed at kids I’m pretty sure lots of older people are going to find it pretty interesting too.

For more information check out the series’ website here and check out the launch trailer below.

What did the Shuttle mean to You?

I’ve received some great feedback from people reference my previous post ‘When We Left Earth – What the Shuttle Meant to Me‘ and I’d really love to hear what it meant to you.

How did you hear about it? How old were you? What did you think? How did it make you feel? Did it change you in any way? What did the Shuttle mean to you?

Leave a comment and then I’ll merge them into the actual post below here. I look forward to your stories.

  1. Rosie Harris

    The first thing I remember about space travel was when I was 5 – I sat on my mum’s knee and to this day remember watching the news footage of Challenger exploding. I remember how sad I felt but at the same time I was fascinated because my parents kept explaining how brave the astronauts (and teacher!) were. That is what initiated my my interest in space – the people who wanted to explore it, get closer to it and risk their lives to do it. As exciting as discoveries of the unknown from unmanned rockets are to me now, I just don’t think I would have become so interested without that initial “human” introduction – although it is unfortunate that mine was through such a tragic event.

A Few Recent Videos Worth a Watch!

Destination Titan:
This is a fascinating documentary about how a team of British scientists worked on the Huygens probe that would land on Saturn’s moon Titan – Humanity’s most distant outpost!

Around the World in 60 Minutes:
Would do you see during an orbit of the Earth? Scientists and astronauts show you the incredible things they get to see!

Tim Michin’s Storm:
A short animated poem by comedian Tim Minchin discussing some interesting issues!

The Sagan Series – A Reassuring Fable:
Part 3 of the Sagan Series. Always moving and thoughtful videos.

First Orbit:
50 years since the dawn of human spaceflight this movie shows you what Yuri Gagarin may have seen, all with the actual audio from the mission in 1961. Astonishing, and truly beautiful!

The Making of First Orbit:
A short video on the making of the movie and how the astronauts aboard the ISS set about filming.

Welcome to the Wonders of the Universe

It’s finally here everybody. Today is the day. BBC2, 9pm. Tune in! You won’t regret it.

It’s going to be with us for the next four weeks. 4 episodes of sheer awesomeness. This first episode is entitled ‘Destiny’, and looks at time. What it is, how it works. We’ll go from the Big Bang to the end of the Universe.

Typically I’ll be working when it’s being shown for the next two weeks. So no major spoilers, and please, please do not tweet me saying ‘Haha’. I won’t find it amusing in the slightest!

Eitherway, I hope you all thoroughly enjoy it all, and if you’re new to science, I really do hope it inspires you to learn more. It is a fascinating topic.

The accompanying book is also available. Find it on Amazon here and get £10 off!

Oh and don’t forget it’s the 700th episode of ‘The Sky at Night’ tonight too. BBC1, 2325. It’ll have Brian Cox, John Culshaw, Martin Rees and the other regulars. Not to be missed either!

And once again, that amazing trailer!

It’s almost here

Brace yourselves.

I’ve been anticipating this for some time (as have many others) for Prof Brian Cox’s new series ‘Wonders of the Universe’. The second his previous series ended the first question was ‘So, what’s next?’ He said on Twitter there would be another series. I’ve followed him tediously (but non-stalkerish!) seeing where abouts the BBC Wonders team are. Where are they filming today? What’s been going on? Thankfully the team have been keeping loyal twitterers informed by posting the occasional photo or video. They’ve been to Africa again, a huge glacier and up in Norway. All to make us jealous too I expect.

Anyway the trailer, here it is, accompanied by the superb music by John Murphy that was originally on the movie ‘Sunshine‘. I cannot wait, this series is truly going to rival Cosmos as the best scientific TV programme in history.

And if you’re on twitter Brian Cox is there @ProfBrianCox and the Wonders team are there @BBC_Wonders

Enjoy the series! :D

Defying Gravity

Defying Gravity. This was a stupendous TV series that was on just before Christmas last year. Unfortunately it was axed before it had even finished, partly thanks to ABC’s shoddy advertising and promotion of the series. The BBC thankfully decided to show the rest of the series but in the graveyard slot at 2am on Sunday evening. Defying Gravity saw a group of astronauts on a 6 year trip around the Solar System with a covered up mysterious mission! Continue reading