26 Jul 2011

Top 5 fantasy/sci-fi TV theme songs

Don't forget to check out my giveaway to get yourself a free hardback copy of Alan Campbell's Sea of Ghosts!

There's no denying it - when fantasy or sci-fi hits the small screen there's something definitely more epic than your garden variety TV show. One of the reasons for this is the theme song - that little minute or so of intro that grabs you by the collar and screams into your face, "You see this?! This is the only thing you need to watch EVER!" Here are my top five fantasy/sci-fi TV show theme songs/tunes. Pop in a comment if you think there's something even better that I've missed out on too.

5. Angel
It's a Joss Whedon show, so it's going to have 'kick ass' written all over it by default. The heavy rock/cello combo was created by Darling Violetta, and it's got a suitable darkness to the more mature Angel.
4. True Blood
I'm not that big a fan of True Blood, but I adore the intro music. It reminds me of a less disturbing Rob Zombie (sort of a dark hillbilly hibe) that fits in well with the show's setting. This little ditty was made by Jace Everett.

3. Doctor Who
The theme music for Doctor Who has barely changed in the 40 years it's been running, which is a damn good example of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". This is the latest incarnation of the theme, composed by Murray Gold and performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

2. Firefly
This was at the top of the list until the very end, pipped to the post by the grand winner. The Ballard of Serenity was composed by Whedon himself and is full of the Western feel that permeates the show. The final version of the theme was performed by Sonny Rhodes.
1. Game of Thrones
What else could it be? A newcomer, yes, but Ramin Djawadi's theme for Game of Thrones sets the tone for the srawling and epic landscape of Westeros, as well as the large scale of the story itself.

Bonus: Red Dwarf outro
Possibly winning the award for 'most inappropriate song for a sci-fi TV show, the end credits song for Red Dwarf is wonderfully absurd. A perfect reflection of the show itself.

That's my top five! What would you put as your #1 fantasy/sci-fi TV show theme?

13 Jul 2011

Mini movie review - X Men: First Class, A Dance with Dragons news and bonus discussion

Since my fiancée has gone to Budapest for a few days (and taken her Macbook with her), I'm having to condense my week's worth of posts into a single article since I've not many options when it comes to computer access. Anyhow, here's the week in brief:

Mini review - X Men: First Class
A far more grown up superhero movie, First Class is a definite contender for the top X Men movie, fighting for the top spot with X2. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender do a superb job as Charles and Erik with their opposing upbringings and their changing relationship. The supporting cast isn't as solid as the leads (and are the cause of the only scene that detracts from the 'grown up' feel of the movie) but on the whole they are a fine compliment. Although there isn't a great deal of action, especially when compared to its predecessors, First Class has excellent pacing. An unexpected surprise was Kevin Bacon's performance as Sebastian Shaw, which was excellent. I hope that First Class sets the bar for superhero movies in future.

News - A Dance With Dragons storms the charts!
Though it was only released yesterday, George R.R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons, the fifth installment in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, has already skyrockets to the top positions, reaching #1 on Amazon UK and #2 on Amazon US. Though I suspect the phenomenal success of HBO's adaptation Game of Thrones has helped bring many newcomers to the series (myself included), the five year wait for the book's release most definitely hasn't hurt either.

Feature - Fantasy/Science Fiction cross-breeding
I won't get into or fuel the fires of the whole 'what makes a fantasy a fantasy' discussion - fantasy and sci fi are two very fluid genres with concepts that bleed into each other. Although there are some things that ultimately divide the two genres (e.g. fantasy has magic, science fiction has technological advancement) there are a number of things that are able to cross the borders, even if they are usually found in one genre only. Personally, I'd like to read more fantasies that use distinct planets or worlds in the story, and possible the transportation between them (as can be seen in the recent Thor movie). What science fiction concept would you like to see more of in fantasy? And for sci-fi fans, what fantasy concept would you like to see more of?