Head down, page count. But taking some time for quick commentary and some love thrown at fellow writers.
The Lost season opener was -- and I say this with all love -- soft. I know some people have flipped for it, but it was a combination of a flashback storyline that I think is both magnificently uninteresting, and also makes Jack look passive (and Jack isnt exactly Captain Action in the best of times), barely supporting a bunch of shocking reveals that ... weren't. With the admittedly uneven Heroes consistently scoring with kick-ass episode enders, the bar that Lost itself set in season one has been raised.
(By the way, did you know the meaning of the numbers has actually been revealed in the web ARG? I assume that'll show up in the episodes soon. And by the by the way -- the real-world numbers stations were among my youthful conspiracy obsessions, so I was pleased to see that mythos integrated into the show.)
Contrast the premiere, however, with tonight's muscular second episode. Good flashback story, some nice developments, fine Sawyer character beats, and THAT'S a cliffhanger. Much like the Season One finale, where two hours compressed into one would have left me quivering on the ground, five minutes of this season's premiere grafted onto this second episode would have been a neck-punching opener. With the previews from next week, I am back in.
I was not surprised to see Drew Goddard's name on the episode. Back when I was staffing Global, the bastard came in for lunch and wound up solving a major script issue between two coffee sips. He was the "player to be named later" for pretty much every show runner I know until the Abrams camp nailed him down. One of the younger guys who you know, with deadly certainty, will someday uncomfortably soon be the one hiring you. Watch for any scripts with his name on them. They're guaranteed goodness.
While I'm pimping I will direct you back to Dingo, Mike Nelson's first novel, which he serialized online. Nelson's writing X-isle and Second Wave for BOOM!, both of which are damn fine sequential stories. But I'll tell you, in between treatises on memes and terrorism, I read a hell of a lot of genre fiction, and Nelson's blend of Jack Reacher meets Fables is better than 99% of it. Some publisher smarten the fuck up and buy the thing.
Speaking of publishing, the Brit scifi mag SFX (my favorite) just did something very cool. They ran a "Pulp Idol" competition. They took horror and genre stories in open submission, collected the best fifty and published them in a wee paperback included with the last issue. The quality's surprisingly good, and the spirit of the thing's a blast. Worth hitting up a better magazine shop for it.
And finally, a reminder that the new Doctor Who is worth your time, overall -- TV writers should in particular catch the The Impossible Planet for a neat little "introduce the ensemble" trick. Grant Morrison flipped for that episode and The Satan Pit, which should mean something to you if you're right-thinking. There are a few wonky episodes, but all in all Tennant is the real deal. BBC America is about to start last year's run, so it's a fine time for those of you with cable or DirectTV to catch up.