Author Archives: Chip Mims

His Dark Materials Podcast

BONUS: Lyra’s Jordan

We are thrilled to have had such a great introduction to the world of His Dark Materials this week! Seeing Lyra, Lord Asriel, the Master, the Gyptians, and of course Mrs. Coulter made us so happy! Plus: Pan and Stelmaria and that darn monkey daemon! Of course, this is S01E01 “Lyra’s Jordan”! It aired on November 4, 2019 on HBO, was written by Jack Thorne and directed by Tom Hooper.

We have a few choice news items for you this week, beginning with Deadline profiling co-showrunner Bad Wolf’s Jane Tranter! Next up we have solid ratings debut numbers courtesy of Variety, and we close up with Refinery29 revealing that Daemons have their roots in mythology.

Then we enter the new world! In the dead of night during the great flood, a man delivers an infant to what appears to be a college. The man is Lord Asriel, and the baby is Lyra Belacqua, his niece. Twelve years later, we see Lyra running along the rooftops of Jordan College in Oxford, England, and she appears to be a happy girl being raised by the scholars. Asriel ventures to the far north to take images of the sky. He returns to Jordan College to meet with the scholars to seek funding to continue his explorations into a substance called Dust. Before the meeting, Lyra sees the Master of Jordan College putting poison into a decanter of Tokaj, and she prevents Asriel from drinking it. Lyra hides while Asriel makes his presentation to the scholars, and she sees images of Dust and a city in the sky which Asriel believes is in another universe. Funding secured, Asriel leaves a tearful Lyra. A woman names Marissa Coulter visits Jordan College, and she takes an interest in Lyra. In London, two men in the Magisterium discuss Asriel’s activities. Meanwhile, children are disappearing, particularly in the river-faring Gyptian community led by John Faa. Mrs. Coulter offers to take Lyra on as an assistant, and Lyra insists her best friend Roger join her. Mrs. Coulter agrees, but Roger is kidnapped immediately after. Lyra leaves with Mrs. Coulter by airship for London. Roger is revealed to be trapped in a cage, screaming!

After our episode breakdown, we get some terrific feedback from you guys.  Then for all the book readers we have our Bridge to the Stars segment, which is chock full of spoilers and speculation so spoilerphobes beware!

We do love to hear your thoughts about His Dark Materials, so please send them in! You can email text or audio feedback to alethiometerpodcast@gmail.com or call us at 919-907-0542. Follow us on Twitter @alethiometerpod. Please like us on our Facebook page The Alethiometer. Our homepage also has our show and links to info each week at www.thealethiometer.com. And if you do enjoy the show, kindly rate us or better yet rate and review us in your favorite podcast app!

His Dark Materials

BONUS: Welcome to The Alethiometer: A His Dark Materials Podcast

Welcome to Lyra’s world! We are Sara and Chip, hosts of the podcast Watching The Americans,  which explored the world of Soviet spycraft in the 1980s on FX’s “The Americans”. Now we are turning to another place and time, that of our heroine Lyra Belacqua, and the adventures that lie ahead for her in the HBO/BBC series “His Dark Materials”.

Every week our annotated podcast will do a deep dive into this strange new world, including scene breakdowns, extensive commentary on dialogue, plot, and characters. We will share news about the show, and point out some of the cool differences in Lyra’s world from ours. Plus we’ll have a segment for book readers that discusses similarities and differences from books to show, and speculation on future events.

This week’s introduction tells you a bit about us, our backgrounds and experiences in podcasting, and our love of Philip Pullman’s wonderful books that are the basis of the show.
We love to hear your thoughts about His Dark Materials, so please send them in! You can email text or audio feedback to alethiometerpodcast@gmail.com or call us at 919-907-0542. Follow us on Twitter @alethiometerpod. Please like us on our Facebook page The Alethiometer. Our homepage also has our show and links to info each week at www.thealethiometer.com. And if you do enjoy the show, kindly rate us or better yet rate and review us in your favorite podcast app!

The Americans S6E10 START

WTA 130- Series Finale Roundtable!

Tovarishchi! After six amazing, incredible, and ultimately beautifully heartbreaking seasons, The Americans is done. There is so much richness in this show, and we want to take one last look at it all. To do so, we have our roundtable friends Kathleen (aka alternakat), Barb, Roland, & Chris to join the fun! We reflect on the series, compare the pilot to the finale, and discuss everything from favorite characters and scenes to best disguises and wigs of all time!

Even though The Americans is over, we would still love to hear your thoughts so please send them to us! You can email text or audio feedback to watchingtheamericans@gmail.com or signal us (we have replaced the operator!) at 919-907-0542. Follow us on Twitter @WatchAmericans. Please check out our Facebook page Watching The Americans. And if you do enjoy the show, kindly rate us or better yet rate and review us in iTunes!

As we move on, there may be more content to share like reviews of a series dvd or blu-ray set, special events, or even interviews to share. And when we find our new venture, we will announce on our social media and in our feed so stay subscribed to Watching the Americans!

 

The Americans S6e10 START

WTA 129- START Bonus Feedback

The Americans, our collective passion for 6 years, has finally come to an end. And what an ending! No one dies, yet everyone suffers mightily. A fitting conclusion to one of the best television shows in the modern era! Of course we could go on and on about S06E10 “START”, which aired on May 30, 2018. It was written by showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg and directed by Chris Long.

This is Episode 129 and contains our bonus feedback. Please check out Episode 127 to get the news and our episode breakdown and analysis, and Episode 128 for history, tech of yesteryear, and part one of feedback!

You guys had so much to say that we had to add this bonus feedback episode! And this is it, all feedback, all the time!

And we do love to hear your thoughts about The Americans so please keep sending them to us! You can email text or audio feedback to watchingtheamericans@gmail.com or signal us (we have replaced the operator!) at 919-907-0542. Follow us on Twitter @WatchAmericans. Please like us on our Facebook page Watching The Americans. And if you do enjoy the show, kindly rate us or better yet rate and review us in iTunes or Stitcher!

The Americans S6E10 START

WTA 128- START Feedback

The Americans, our collective passion for 6 years, has finally come to an end. And what an ending! No one dies, yet everyone suffers mightily. A fitting conclusion to one of the best television shows in the modern era! Of course we could go on and on about S06E10 “START”, which aired on May 30, 2018. It was written by showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg and directed by Chris Long.

This is Episode 128 and contains our history, tech of yesteryear, and part one of feedback. Please check out Episode 127 to get the news and our episode breakdown and analysis, and Episode 129 for bonus feedback!

It’s our last time with history and tech for you! The Js don’t disappoint with the music montages beginning with Dire Straits’ ”Brothers in Arms”, and just when we thought that was the fitting last one, here comes the amazing train scene and U2 signing ”With or Without You”! Overcome with emotion, we get off the train with Paige in Rouses Point while Philip and Elizabeth ride the Amtrak to Canada! And our final Wig of the Week? It’s Paige ftw with that short hair! We then have so much feedback we have to split it in two!

And we do love to hear your thoughts about The Americans so please keep sending them to us! You can email text or audio feedback to watchingtheamericans@gmail.com or signal us (we have replaced the operator!) at 919-907-0542. Follow us on Twitter @WatchAmericans. Please like us on our Facebook page Watching The Americans. And if you do enjoy the show, kindly rate us or better yet rate and review us in iTunes or Stitcher!

The Americans S6E10 START

WTA 127- Season 6 Episode 10 START

The Americans, our collective passion for 6 years, has finally come to an end. And what an ending! No one dies, yet everyone suffers mightily. A fitting conclusion to one of the best television shows in the modern era! Of course we could go on and on about S06E10 “START”, which aired on May 30, 2018. It was written by showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg and directed by Chris Long.

This is Episode 127 and contains the news and our episode breakdown and analysis. To hear our history, tech of yesteryear, and feedback segments stay tuned for Episodes 128 and 129.

We have so many news items we could share, yet three really stood out. First up is Variety with a compelling oral history of the show. Next is The New Yorker’s recap of the finale that found it elegant, potent, and unforgettable. Finally Vulture breaks down the blistering vulnerability of finale’s garage scene.

Then we pick right up from the end of last week. Philip and Elizabeth meet and go to get Paige. Meanwhile, Stan continues following his suspicions about them and ends up confronting the three of them in a garage near Paige’s place. After one of the most tense and wrenching scenes of the series, Stan lets them go. As they leave, Philip tells Stan that Renee may be a fellow Soviet spy. Dennis breaks Father Andrei. Philip and Elizabeth decide to leave Henry in the United States and ask Stan to take care of him. After an awkward farewell call to Henry, the Jennings trio don new disguises to flee to Canada on their way back to the USSR. Just before crossing the border, US Border Patrol agents fail to stop them. Seemingly past the danger, Elizabeth then Philip both see that Paige has left the train and them. With nowhere to go, Paige returns to Claudia’s empty apartment for a shot of vodka. Stan visits Henry and reveals the truth of his family. Philip and Elizabeth fly to Europe and then drive to the Soviet border. Arkady meets them and drives them to Moscow, where they get out and look at the Moscow River at night. Philip tells Elizabeth “feels strange” and she replies in Russian “we’ll get used to it.”

Remember that we do love to hear your thoughts about The Americans so please keep sending them in! You can email text or audio feedback to watchingtheamericans@gmail.com or signal us (we have replaced the operator!) at 919-907-0542. Follow us on Twitter @WatchAmericans. Please like us on our Facebook page Watching The Americans. And if you do enjoy the show, kindly rate us or better yet rate and review us in iTunes!

The Americans S6E10 START

WTA 126- The Americans Series Finale Party and Aftermath Discussion!

It was a gathering, a party (not communist exactly!), and a little bit of our The Americans community together at the end. The bitter and the sweet mingled as we ground our teeth, yelled out, and shed a few tears as the best show on TV came to its brilliant conclusion. Join us as the folks who could come to Raleigh introduce themselves, tell us their hopes for the show, and react immediately after the conclusion. Then we get back together the next morning and reflect on the episode after we could sleep on it.

We love to hear your thoughts about The Americans so please send them to us! You can email text or audio feedback to watchingtheamericans@gmail.com or signal us (we have replaced the operator!) at 919-907-0542. Follow us on Twitter @WatchAmericans. Please like us on our Facebook page Watching The Americans. And if you do enjoy the show, kindly rate us or better yet rate and review us in iTunes!

Kelly AuCoin

WTA 125- Kelly AuCoin Interview

What can we say about the awesomeness that is our friend Kelly AuCoin? He got us started as our very first interviewee and then connected us with other with people working on The Americans! So who better to be the last of our series? Kelly shares his thoughts about Pastor Tim’s appearance this week, his place overall in The Americans, and his thoughts about the series as a whole. He also answers your questions and comments, and he talks a bit about the great arc for Dollar Bill on Season 3 of Showtime’s “Billions”!

We love to hear your thoughts about The Americans so please send them to us! You can email text or audio feedback to watchingtheamericans@gmail.com or signal us (we have replaced the operator!) at 919-907-0542. Follow us on Twitter @WatchAmericans. Please like us on our Facebook page Watching The Americans. And if you do enjoy the show, kindly rate us or better yet rate and review us in iTunes!

The Americans S6E9 Jennings Elizabeth

WTA 124- Jennings, Elizabeth Feedback

Could we be any more tense than we were this week? Could we have yelled at the TV any more? Could Philip be The Flash in an alternate universe? Well, The Americans universe is imploding, more characters are dying, and we are freaked out and exhausted by the end of S06E09 “Jennings, Elizabeth”! The penultimate episode of the best show on television aired May 23, 2018, was written by showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg and directed by Chris Long.

This is Episode 124 and contains our history, tech of yesteryear, and feedback segments. Please check out Episode 123 to get the news and our episode breakdown and analysis.

As we wind down the show, we only have a couple of history and tech items for you.We taste some delicious Ukha with our good friend Claudia. Then we look over Stan’s shoulder as he works the FBI Automated Case Support system and finds another Philip Jennings! Can you believe it’s yet another tie for Wig of the Week? It’s Elizabeth’s big poofy do and Tatiana’s blonde locks (too bad they didn’t stay put for long!) Then you guys get to share all your terrific thoughts with us!

And we do love to hear your thoughts about The Americans so please keep sending them to us! You can email text or audio feedback to watchingtheamericans@gmail.com or signal us (we have replaced the operator!) at 919-907-0542. Follow us on Twitter @WatchAmericans. Please like us on our Facebook page Watching The Americans. And if you do enjoy the show, kindly rate us or better yet rate and review us in iTunes or Stitcher!

The Americans S6E9 Jennings Elizabeth

WTA 123- Season 6 Episode 9 Jennings, Elizabeth

Could we be any more tense than we were this week? Could we have yelled at the TV any more? Could Philip be The Flash in an alternate universe? Well, The Americans universe is imploding, more characters are dying, and we are freaked out and exhausted by the end of S06E09 “Jennings, Elizabeth”! The penultimate episode of the best show on television aired May 23, 2018, was written by showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg and directed by Chris Long.

This is Episode 123 and contains the news and our episode breakdown and analysis. To hear our history, tech of yesteryear, and feedback segments stay tuned for Episode 124.

Two news items await us! First up The Washington Post asks and answers what does a show about Soviet spies living in America tell us about parenting? Everything. Then we have one poignant farewell retrospective in Vanity Fair: an ode to The Americans’ most unlikely hero, the beloved FBI mailbot!

We then begin the episode with the aftermath of “The Summit”, as Elizabeth begins shadowing Nesterenko, while Philip leaves a dead drop for Oleg. Oleg picks it up, but he is in turn picked up by the FBI and interrogated by Stan. Oleg asks Stan to help save Gorbachev, and Stan seems unmoved. Meanwhile, Stan’s spidey-sense leads him to tell Dennis about his suspicions and to dig deep to find out if his hunch about the Jennings being illegals is correct. He even contacts Pastor Tim, who reveals nothing. Elizabeth eventually saves Nesterenko from assassination…by Tatiana! She confronts Claudia and reveals that she is team Gorby, devastating the old operative. Then Paige confronts Elizabeth about her encounter with a drunken Jackson who ranted about the recent honeypot. She leaves the house, bitter and enraged by her mother’s lies. Philip meets with Father Andrei, who is reveals his rival Father Victor is meeting with the FBI. Philip runs from the watching FBI and in a coded message tells Elizabeth to flee!