Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review of Still Not Quite What You Expected posted

I've posted my review of Still Not Quite What You Expected, Theater Undreground's new play, on my main website.


Sunday, October 17, 2010


SyFy - Original Air Date: 10/14/10

The BL team looks into the Navajo legend of the monster bird, which could allegedly pick up humans and dash them onto high cliffs.  They investigate the beast's supposed habitat and hear the legends.  They check out both eagles and condors (including a hang glider who was attacked by one), and talk to a pterosaur expert.  They end up with a cross between condor, eagle, & pterosaur (claw hands on the wings), and create their usual beast film, in which the monster carries of a human to drop on the rocks. It's pretty cool, though at one point, the creature they come up with reminded me of The Giant Claw.  Awk!

I'm a bit concerned that, after much initial hoopla, this show seems to have been relegated to a late-night only timeslot -- the hour it had occupied being occupied by re-runs of other shows.  Is Beast Legends about to slip into legend itself?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

BEAST LEGENDS: Wildman of Vietnam

SyFy - Original Air Date: 10/7/10

The team goes to Vietnam to scout out local legends of a bigfoot-like creature.  They talk with a US soldier witness, and are shown mysterious tracks that one expert says might be from a Sun Bear.  Remember, though, this team isn't really hunting bigfoot, they're just trying to recreate this legend for a computer simulation.  They trudge through jungles, swim in caves, examine orangutan bones, and input all of their ideas into their computers.  Then they make a movie where a wildman stalks a human through the forest. and the human releases a baby wildman from a trap.  The "story" even has a surprise ending, but it's no surprise that the team doesn't actually find a real wildman.

Solving History with Olly Steeds - Lost City of Gold

Planet Green - Original Air Date: Unknown

The search for El Dorado goes back to the conquest of the Americas by Europeans.  This show looks at the histories, checks out legends and stories -- including one that the Vatican is covering up the lost city's location -- and trudges through the mountains looking for clues and Incan treasure.  In the rarefied air of the Andes, host Olly starts wondering if perhaps, when you come this far and worked this hard, your brain starts wanting the legend to be true, and you start seeing connections where there may be none. Indeed, this seems a plausible explanation, though the team is still finding ancient Incan roads -- leading to who knows where -- when the expedition runs out of time and supplies.  Olly concludes that it's possible that somewhere in this unknown region a lost city still exists.  I, for one, hope people keep looking.  This program serves as a good primer on the legend of El Dorado and is entertaining throughout.

Solving History with Olly Steeds - Nazca Lines

Planet Green - Original Air Date: Unknown

I stumbled across this program one Sunday morning.  It's a science/exploration series with a genial British host -- think a less frenetic Bear Grylls.  This episode investigates and discards many of the well-known theories about the Nazca Lines.  Theories dismissed include astronomical mapping and alien construction.  The host, Olly Steeds, talks to investigators, archeologists, and grave robbers.  He is given hallucinogens by a shaman and visits a Nazca graveyard.  Finally, he settles on a scientifically supported theory, that the lines were sacred pathways walked by pilgrims to the site.  Both studious and entertaining, this series seems a good one to watch in the future.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

DESTINATION TRUTH - Siberian Snowman

SyFy - Original Air Date: 10/8/10

In a rare, single-story show, Josh and crew go to Russia to look for the Siberian Snowman, a.k.a. bigfoot -- which Josh notes is their most popular subject.  (Gee, I never would have guessed from the number of times Monster Quest has done bigfoot -- by my estimation, about a third of their shows.)  Naturally, the DT team plays with the locals before taking the Trans-Siberian Railway and hiking into the snow-bound wilds.  They set up the usual camera trap stuff and then trudge into the darkness, hoping to find bigfoot and avoid hungry bears and wolves.  They find what looks like a big nest, but Josh notes it might just be debris washed down by the stream.  Some crew members get spooked by a noise coming downhill in the dark, and while they're running away, they find a strange fur sample.  Meanwhile, Josh finds a long line of huge footprints (though it's hard to tell how big they might have been originally, as they look melted out).  More tracks lead to wolves, which pursue Josh's team.  (I want to know if the teams are packing heat. I would in these wilderness areas.)

Next day, they head to another Russian bigfoot hotspot.  More poking around at night commences.  In this location, something breaks their perimeter sensors, but they don't find anything, though another team turns up more "bipedal" tracks.  Many sets of tracks, including what looks like an area where a big animal bedded down.  Digging in the bed, they find no hair, but do find a urine sample.  Later, they get a thermal hit, but can't locate what caused it.  (This happens a lot in these shows.)  Nor can they find its tracks.  From there, it's back to LA for analysis.  But the thermal hits are too distant for any ID. Their expert says whatever made the prints was heavy, and appears to be walking bipedal.  The mysterious fur is from an ibex, though that doesn't account for the tracks.  They don't talk about the urine sample. So, a mystery? Maybe.  Though they never rule out bear.