Alphaverse – The pilot episode begins with Charlie working a missing persons case in Cape City.  It’s a tough gig as Cape City is a pretty rough place and Charlie isn’t surprised to find that his missing person has been harvested for parts.  On his way back to his office he stops in to visit Papa Louis for pills to help with his headaches and strange hallucinations and she also gives him a pretty orchid for his girlfriend, Jasmine.

Charlie on a missing person case.

Charlie finds Katie Grail

Charlie arrives at his office to find a very disheveled woman called Katie Grail waiting for him.  Cape City police detective Sew Sew Tukarrs has sent her to Charlie for some reason.  Katie Grail says she is from Cape Town and has no idea how she got to this place because everything is so different.  She remembers being in a club called The Glass Door with a man called 01 and believes that he must have drugged her drink before having his way with her.  Charlie googles The Glass Door, actually he uses the Alphaverse equivalent of google, and can’t find any club of that name.  Katie decides she has had enough because he can’t seem to help her, and she runs off with Charlie strutting off after her.  He doesn’t catch up and this may be due to the fact that she was running and he was strutting.  Charlie heads home to a cold dinner, a warm bed and a warm Jasmine.

Too slow, Charlie. You can't strut after a running girl and expect to catch her.

Jasmine is excited to see Charlie.

The next morning he receives a video call from Sew Sew Tukarrs at the morgue.  Katie Grail has been killed in a hit-and-run incident and Charlie is a suspect because Sew Sew had sent her to see Charlie the night before.  The strange thing about this woman is the fact that she said she came from a place called Cape Town, and she has no identity.  Unlike every other person in Cape City, Katie Grail does not have an identity chip implanted.

Sew Sew is excited to see Jasmine.

Charlie knows he didn’t kill her so he goes in search of 01 Boxer who just happens to be the very strange son of Brion Boxer, founder of a large mysterious corporation called Vexcor.  He is on the trail of 01’s car when he finds it parked outside a dingy bar.  There is no sign of 01 but when a Vexcor chopper flies overhead, Charlie is sure that 01 must be on it.  Realising that he can’t strut or run fast enough, he jumps in his car and heads for the reactor.

One of the many layers of 01 Boxer.

Gammaverse – While Charlie is running around in Alpha looking for his missing person and trying to work out what happened to Katie Grail, Reena and Bern in the lush and colourful Gammaverse have found out that Vexcor is up to no good so they have devised a plan to blow up the Gammaverse reactor.

Reena on her way to meet Bern at the beach.

Betaverse – Elliott Krogg, a former Vexcor scientist and the man who engineered the link between the three universes has realised that the experiment will have extreme and dire consequences.  While Charlie is on his way to the Vexcor plant in Alpha, and Reena and Bern are on their way to blow up the Vexcor plant in Gamma, Elliott is trying to get through the locked gate in Beta in an attempt to stop the experiment.

Elliott Krogg at Vexcor in Betaverse.

Alphaverse – Charlie has a good view of the Vexcor plant and has his binoculars out.  He waits for 01 to turn up but he keeps seeing strange things.  The Vexcor plant keeps morphing into a different version of itself and he can see Reena and Bern running in and then  running back out again with security guards chasing them.  Charlie doesn’t realise that he can see what is happening in Alphaverse and Gammaverse simultaneously.  He sees Bern get shot and then Reena running for her life.  There is an explosion that rips through the Gammaverse Vexcor plant and causes a chain reaction in Alpha and Beta.

Charlie and his binoculars.

Trying to open the link to Gamma from the Alpha Vexcor plant.

Reena and Charlie come face to face between Gamma and Alpha as they are trying to escape the explosion.

The big bang at the Vexcor plant in Gammaverse.

The episode ends with Charlie lying unconscious in the desert sand.  A young girl finds him and is really excited because she ‘found one’.  Found one what?  You’ll have to wait until the next episode summary to find out.

She found a Charlie!

**Warning – spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen it.**

I recently discovered a series that was never aired on television here in Australia when I was flicking through the selections on brisbanetimes.tv  It sounded interesting so I thought I would give it a go and I wasn’t disappointed as the end of each episode left me craving for more.

The series was called Charlie Jade and it was a joint South African/Canadian production starring Jeffrey Pierce as Charlie Jade and Michael Filipowich as 01 Boxer.  Other cast members included Patricia McKenzie as Reena, Tyrone Benskin as Karl Lubinsky, Michelle Burgers as Essa Rompkin, Marie-Julie Rivest as Jasmine and Paula, Danny Keogh as Julius Galt, Langley Kirkwood as Porter, David Dennis as Sew Sew Tukarrs, and Rolanda Marais as Blues Paddock.

According to the Wikipedia page the series originally ran from April 2005 to August 2005, and while scripts had been written for a second season the series was scrapped at the end of the first season.  This is unfortunate because Charlie Jade, in my opinion, was one of the best and most interesting shows I had seen in a very long time and I would put it right up there with La Femme Nikita (the original series starring Roy Dupuis and Peta Wilson, not the horrific remake).  The show was very dark and confusing at first as it switched between universes, but after the first couple of episodes it became easier to follow.  I think I was completely hooked by the end of the second episode.

I can see why this series would not appeal to viewers of mainstream television.  It was very dark, and required the viewer to actively watch it and pay attention to what was happening rather than just have it on for something to watch.  I can also see why it would not have aired during prime time when advertising revenue and viewer numbers are of the utmost importance but viewers of mainstream commercial television are not the only audience out there.

It is such a shame that fans of excellent ‘alternative’ television series like Charlie Jade, Farscape, Firefly and the original La Femme Nikita series have to suffer short runs and are left hanging with issues and relationships unresolved while more profitable and commercially viable television shows seem to go on and on and on forever with the same tired old storylines.

What I loved about Charlie Jade:

  • Dark and dramatic
  • Great characters and excellent character development (except for Jasmine)
  • Interesting concept – three universes linked via the Vexcor reactor plant
  • 01 Boxer – what can I say about this strange and disturbed man played so well by Michael Filipowich.  I think one of Nikita’s lines fit very well here – “I’m not who you think I am”.  There are so many layers to 01 Boxer that it is fascinating to watch as each is revealed.
  • Charlie Jade – he started out a little bit bland but his character grew immensely as the episodes unfolded.
  • Sew Sew Tukarrs – the more I saw of Tukarrs the more I liked him.  A wonderful, patient and very noble character indeed.
  • Blues Paddock – flame-haired police detective in Betaverse that became Charlie’s love interest.  Not much on-screen chemistry between Charlie and Blues but a much better character than Charlie’s Alphaverse girlfriend Jasmine in my opinion.

What I didn’t love about Charlie Jade:

  • Only the first season made when the show clearly had so much potential
  • Things left hanging and unresolved – who were the men in the dark suits, what was the connection between 01 Boxer and Charlie that gave them the ability to travel between the universes without the Vexcor link, why Sew Sew was so much in love with Jasmine that he could be happy to be with her when he knew that she still wanted Charlie.  Okay, so I added that last bit because Sew Sew was such a great man and he deserved to be more than just a Charlie substitute for Jasmine.
  • Jasmine – I know this is probably a bit unfair but I really didn’t think this character was very interesting at all and I didn’t see any noticeable character development at the end of the series.  She was pretty and well-played by Marie-Julie Rivest, but I felt that the character was more concerned with her comfort and pretty things than anything else.  There is the possibility that her character may have developed more if a second season had been made.
  • 01 Boxer spitting on things and people – that was a bit gross and I did find it more disgusting than when he peed on Porter’s body.

I watched this series online and then I watched it through again before ordering the dvds.  When they arrive, I’ll do it again.

More to come…

My Sites Here and There

Posted: September 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Okay, I just rediscovered my old Tripod site that I’ve had for years. That’s the first site I made for my poetry and Priscilla of The Turkeys story. Hang on, I think the first site I had for them was at my old AOL web pages. That was a very long time ago!

Now I’m at a loss as to what to do with the Tripod site. I suppose I could use it as an alternative site for one of my domains or as a general info site to point people to my other sites. Not sure yet.

For anyone who may be interested in having a look, my sites are at http://virtualgirlfriday.net.au (my business site), http://puddymuddle.net (poetry and writing but not uploaded yet), http://offprofile.com (La Femme Nikita and Torchwood fan site but not uploaded yet), and http://a-little-bazaar.com (haven’t quite worked out what to do with this one yet).

My blogs are Life and Other Silly Things, my Curtin Uni Learning Portfolio, and my Off Profile blog.

Simplification

Posted: August 9, 2011 in Life, Uncategorized

You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve really wanted to write about or comment on something, and it has tumbled around in my head only to be eventually lost.  And the thought of trying to maintain three blogs  – puddymuddle.wordpress.com, offprofile.wordpress.com and nellygolightly.wordpress.com – was a bit daunting so I’ve simplified a bit.  Copy and paste to all three.  Not exactly original but at least it might help with keeping them all updated.

Not sure whether I will add a blog to my business site http://virtualgirlfriday.net.au.  I probably should let it have its own blog but then again that may send me completely round the bend.  It might be better to point to one of the three I already have.

Decisions, decisions.

London Riots

Posted: August 9, 2011 in Life, News

I’ve been following the news of the London riots on various news sites – http://www.news.com.au/, http://www.abc.net.au/news/, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ etc., and via my Twitter @puddymuddle.

This is the third day now and I’m still at a loss as to why London has erupted like this.  Yes, I know it supposedly all started out as a ‘peaceful’ protest after the police shot a man but hasn’t it all gone way too far?

From what I’ve read the rioting and looting has spread to other areas and the police have been struggling to get things under control.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people fighting for rights and wanting social change in countries where they are suffering under cruel despotic rulers.  But London?  This seems totally crazy to me and I’m struggling to understand why.

There was a recent tweet from @wikileaks with regard to a printed advice sheet for looters and rioters http://yfrog.com/z/h07mxcyzj.  There seems to be something rotten in the state of Denmark, or rather the city of London.  As far as I’m concerned that reeks of planning and organisation.

So who or what is behind it all and how far will it spread?  I guess time will tell.  I just hope it all settles down soon before too much damage is caused and too many lives are lost.

It’s Been A While

Posted: August 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Yes, it certainly has been a while since my last post on this blog. What’s been happening? Well, quite a bit.

I decided to take a break from uni studies for a little while because I was working on TAFE business courses, working part-time and trying to find a second job because I didn’t have enough hours from my first job and studies to satisfy Centrelink. It was crazy and getting a little bit tiring to say the least.

I’m now about halfway through TAFE Cert III in Business so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The appalling job situation here at Hervey Bay, and the struggle with trying to find a second job, led me to applying for the NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) to help me to start a small business. I now have a Cert. IV in Small Business Management but still don’t have the web site completed or the business up and running. The business was supposed to officially start from 1 July 2011 but hasn’t really had a chance yet as I was sick with flu for most of July. Them’s the breaks. The business web site is http://virtualgirlfriday.net.au

Once again I feel like I’m trying to do too many things at once.

Abomination

Posted: October 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

I recently saw the new “Nikita” described as an abomination by one of my Facebook friends and I certainly have to agree with her.  It started tonight here in Australia, and I thought I would check out the first episode.  Missed about the first fifteen minutes but that was no great loss.  And yes, all the comments I had read that had been posted by fellow La Femme Nikita fans in the U.S. were pretty much spot on.

The producers should hang their heads in shame and quickly but quietly back out of the room before Section gets a chance to cancel them.

A few comparisons-

LFN’s Section One – Fairly dark, high tech, the Section that Nikita was recruited in to and where she did her training. Nikita was convicted of a crime she didn’t commit then recruited into Section and trained by the sexy, secretive Michael.  Of course she fell in love with him.  Who wouldn’t!  We also had the very nasty Operations as the head of Section One, and the extremely intelligent and classy profiler, Madeline.  Munitions expert Walter, and tech expert Birkoff were two of the best characters ever.  Each actor suited their character perfectly, and the fans loved them all…because they were human.

NIKITA’s Division – What sort of a name is that?  Reminds me of Division 4, an Aussie police series when I was a kid.  When the new recruit, Alex, sat down at the table and the tough girl came over to taunt her it actually looked like it was some kind of badly written women’s prison show. The new Nikita is way too skinny and comes across as a cold, hard b*tch.  Michael is just totally uninteresting.  I’m afraid the actor doesn’t even come close to Roy Dupuis’ Michael.  And Percy?  Operations wouldn’t even spit on him if he was on fire.  What were they thinking when they decided to call the head of Division, Percy?  As for Amanda, I’m sure she was the floozy housewife in The OC.  The new Birkoff is so disgusting that I can’t even think of the words to describe him.  The old Birkoff was young and innocent and was a friend to Nikita.  This new one is nothing more than a foul-mouthed monster.  I don’t know yet if they have a Walter character.  I hope not.  They’ve ruined all the other characters.

La Femme Nikita ran for four 22 episode seasons, with a shortened fifth season of 8 episodes.  All up, there were 96 action-packed episodes with character development, plot twists and a passionate tragic love story.  It will be interesting to see how long this new show lasts.  I’ll be very surprised if it lasts beyond one or two seasons.

“When I was in there and things started to get bad I thought I was gonna break, but I didn’t. I thought of you. You’re the only one of us who still has a soul. I’m so sorry, Nikita. We’ll never leave this place alive. I don’t know what love is anymore… but the only part of me that’s not dead is you.” (Michael, La Femme Nikita)