Currently playing catch-up on my Voyager watch through after falling behind at the start of the year. There are some corkers of episodes towards the end of S2! Lifesigns and Deadlock particularly standing out, though they are very different (it dawns on me now that both feature the Vidiians, as so many memorable episodes have).
Deadlock moves at a heck of a pace by the standards of the time, and even if you can see the twist coming it is kind of bold. Lifesigns is just really sweet and poignant, and at times funny. Strongly feeling I should have got into the show sooner now!
Raced through a few more episodes while feeling ill - that ending on Tuvix! I can see why people talk about this so much.
The other episodes around Tuvix are a bit mixed, but there isn't one that doesn't have at least something interesting about it. The twist in Innocence wasn't very convincing, but the characterisation around Tuvok is excellent (as it also is in Resolutions).
I've also started watching Buffy from the beginning on Disney+ with my daughter. Amazed at how well it still stands up, even from the very first episodes.
This evening I have sat down and watched Surrogates - a film whose too-brief theatrical run I sadly missed last year. An interesting premise - concerning itself with the effects on society of the development of (effectively) remotely-piloted perfect replacements for people and what happens when people start to live their lives through these Surrogates instead of in the flesh. An interesting film, which manages to have something to say about the virtualisation of life as well as to deliver an effective thriller. A good cast - Bruce Willis, Rahda Mitchell and a small but impressive role for James Cromwell. It manages to actually be thoughtful on occassion and have something to say for itself.
Re-watched this the other day. This film was ahead of its time and has a lot more kick in 2021. A future in which everyone 'normal' (i.e. excluding the eccentric and/or poor) stays at home and lives their life through a virtual reality device, in this case a remote-controlled android puppet, which doesn't age and can be replaced if damaged.
Today, partly by choice and partly by compunction, people order meals in rather than go to a restaurant, download films instead of going to the cinema, shop online instead of on the high street and have meetings via Zoom or MS Teams rather than in person. How long will it be before Zoom can do more than just put a kitten's face on a judge or display false static backgrounds, and actually allow people to convincingly alter their appearance on screen, e.g. to remove grey hair, weight, spots and wrinkles and make them look younger. If you no longer have to meet people you work with in the flesh, why not freeze your on-screen age as it is now until the day you retire? How long until people don't have a clue what their colleagues really look like because they only ever see a touched-up video avatar?
In 'Surrogates' most people in the physical world look amazing because they are controlling artificial bodies, while their real selves never show themselves in public - just as with Internet personas today, you have no idea who you're really talking to. People no longer die through violence or contagious disease, but their lives are no doubt shortened by lack of exercise.
Of course, there are important differences between the world of 'Surrogates' and the working-from-home culture that has now been accelerated by Covid. For one thing, only certain jobs, notably office jobs, are amenable to switching to WFH. For another, many people will no doubt make use of the time previously spent commuting to go out and be more active and social, and their health and well-being will improve as a result of working virtually. But there are others who may go out far less frequently into the real world as a result of no longer going out to work, and it's them I fear may slip into becoming like the perpetually-plugged-in inhabitants of the world of 'Surrogates'.