Thursday, August 17, 2017

My Review of The Lego Batman Movie (2017)


Written by Seth Grahame-Smith & Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers & Jared Stern & John Whittington
Directed by Chris McKay

Batman (to Joker): "There is no "us." Batman and Joker are not a thing. I don't need you. I don't need anyone. You mean nothing to me. No one does."

After the more dark depiction of the Dark Knight in Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, it seems that Lego felt compelled to do their own spin-off on the Caped Crusader with a version that's more of a gently mocking commentary on the brooding hero than anything else.

Will Arnett reprises his role as Batman, living the high life in Gotham City, catching the bad guys and enjoying the admiration that comes with it but at the same time, he's a Batman that has some serious issues with letting people in. Even the poor Joker (Zach Galifianakis) finds himself being rather friend zoned by Batman and that results in something truly interesting.

As we all know, the Joker is a man who clamours attention and when Batman himself is too emotionally closed off to admit that the Clown Prince is his greatest enemy, the Joker's only choice is to surrender himself and virtually everyone else in the Rogues Gallery to new Commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson).

Of course Batman suspects that something's afoot and along with his adopted son, Dick Grayson/Robin (Michael Cera), he's soon breaking into the Fortress of Solitude, attempting to distract Superman (Channing Tatum) while his new protege steals a projector in order to send the baddies into the Phantom Zone.

However, what Batman didn't bargain on was the Joker actually wanting to go there in the first place where he manages to escape but not before bringing the likes of the Daleks, the Wicked Witch of the West, Sauron, Godzilla, King Kong, Agent Smith and Voldemort to name a few in order to destroy Gotham once and for all while invading Wayne Island and breaking into the Batcave. That moment led to a hilarious mistake as the Joker assumed that Batman and Bruce Wayne were roommates.

With the new set of baddies reigning chaos on Gotham City, this finally meant that Batman had to put his "working alone" mantra to one side as Barbara became Batgirl, Robin became useful and Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) was just generally awesome as the new team and the Rogues Gallery worked together in order to stop the Joker's latest scheme.

That said, the biggest theme of this movie was getting Batman to accept that he wasn't alone and while it took nearly the end of the movie for him to embrace having a new family as well as a best enemy, it was still a fun journey to see unfold. The moment where both Batman and Joker admitted to hating one another is without a doubt one of the funniest and touching moments we've seen in that 75+ year relationship.

- I loved the various nods to previous Batman movies during this one. I also liked how the likes of King Tut and Condiment King also appears along with the usual suspects. Oh and the Shark Repellent bit too was hilarious.
- Mariah Carey popped up for a few scenes as the Mayor of Gotham City.
- A Justice League party without the Batman - sacrilege!
- The musical numbers made me laugh, but points especially for Who's the (Bat) Man.

The Lego Batman Movie is an unbridled joy. Purely silly, purely heartfelt and extremely funny, I regret that I didn't see the movie in the cinemas during it's release but catching up with it now, I'm really glad this was a success too. It's easily one of the daftest Batman movies you'll ever see but also one of the best too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

A Town For Outcasts

Summer's nearly over but there's still be some highlights (and catching up for me) as I look into some of the recent stuff I've watched.


Game Of Thrones: It seems that moving this mammoth of a show to the summer for it's seventh and penultimate season hasn't hurt it in the slightest as the ratings have continued to impress. In spite of leaks and one truly unwarranted cameo from Ed Sheeran in the opening episode, this season has been amazing so far. We've had two epic battle sequences as both Cersei and Daenerys have fought for supremacy while the latter's meeting with Jon Snow has intensified pretty fast too. Along with some characters (Sand Snakes, Ellaria and Olenna) and the reunion of the three Stark children, this season certainly hasn't been idle so far and with three episodes left to go, I can't wait to see what else is in store for us.


Iron Fist: I'm halfway through this series and it's still in dire need of picking up the pace. Out of all the Marvel/Netflix shows, it's definitely emerging as the weakest as even I'm struggling a little with Finn Jones as Danny Rand. So far, he's been a bit too meh for my liking in the role. On the other hand, Colleen is more interesting, Claire has popped up and the Meachums are also picking up a little as well. The plotline with the Hand isn't much better than what we've gotten on Daredevil so far but hopefully it'll pick up in later episodes.


Luke Cage: Like it's other Marvel/Netflix show, there are some pacing issues but I am overall finding this one a bit better than the other one. Once again, you've got Claire Temple added into the mix and the ongoing rivalry between Luke and Cottonmouth has heated up nicely along with Mariah's own machinations as well. Much as I like Misty though, the show could do a little better with her other than her finding out about her corrupt partner and being a thorn for Luke though. I did however enjoy the flashbacks to how Luke got his powers though.


Midnight, Texas: Nine years ago, HBO adapted Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books and turned it into one of their most successful shows with True Blood, which ran for seven seasons. Now in 2017, NBC have done the same with one of Harris's more recent works and are probably hoping for a similar success story. This show has a lot in common with the former HBO hit  - a medium type protagonist, an assortment of colourful characters and an array of all kind of craziness and monsters that go bump in the night. Manfred might be our leading man but it's the other characters that I think people will stay for. Whether that's vampire Lemuel and hitwoman Olivia or witch Fiji (and her talking cat) or angel Joe and his husband, Chuy, this is a show that's hokey but filled with a memorable group of characters but whether or not it will around for long given NBC's history with supernatural themed shows is the other thing. Here's hoping though.


Orange Is The New Black: I have only two episodes left to go and I'm still rather surprised that the riot storyline hasn't completely tested my patience. Maybe it's because we've had some interesting flashbacks (Piscatella's) or the whole situation with Red and Piscatella coming to a head while Tasytee has also been trying to get Joe and Figuaro to actually work things out for the prisoners but either way, it's worked out pretty well so far. That said, after the last two episodes are watched, I do wonder how the show will go as things have definitely been changed a lot this season.


- Jeff Ward will have a recurring role in Agents Of Shield's fifth season. His character name has yet to be revealed.
- ITV are planning another adaptation of Pride & Prejudice for 2020 from the same production company as Poldark and Victoria.
- Hartley Sawyer has been cast as Elongated Man for Season 4 of The Flash.
- Carlos Bernard will play Maggie's father in Season 3 of Supergirl.
- Annabeth Gish will return for Season 11 of The X Files.
- Will & Grace has been renewed for a tenth season while it's upcoming ninth season will now be 16 episodes.
- Brianna Brown will recur in Dynasty's first season. Netflix have picked up the show for UK viewers.
- Emma Roberts will be returning for American Horror Story: Cult but Kathy Bates will not.
- Esai Morales and Benito Martinez will be back for How To Get Away With Murder's fourth season.
- Sydelle Noelle will recur in Arrow's upcoming sixth season.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

My Review of Batman: Under The Red Hood (2010)


Written by Judd Winick
Directed by Brandon Vietti

Red Hood: "Tell me, how does that feel?"
Joker: "You know, it only hurts when I laugh. But hey... I gotta know. Who are you? You said we knew one another. You do seem really familiar. We double at the prom? Or maybe blow up a school bus together?"

And here's another animated movie adapting a popular comic within the Batman franchise. This time around, it's Under The Red Hood which starts with a handy recap of A Death In The Family where the Joker kidnapped and bashed in Jason Todd's Robin's brains in before an explosion killed him. Back in the late 1980's, people actually voted for the second Boy Wonder to be killed but you know, the thing about comic book characters is that very few of them actually stay dead for long.

Now a few decades later and Jason Todd is back, resurrected by the Lazarus Pit in some attempt by Ras al Ghul (Jason Isaacs) to give Bruce back his other son but the process went a bit wrong and now Jason has gone into a weird hybrid of vigilante meets serial killer by donning the moniker of Red Hood, a name formerly used by someone else all those years ago.

Voiced by Supernatural actor Jensen Ackles, Jason's on a one man mission of revenge against the Joker (John DiMaggio) and he does this by targeting Black Mask's (Wade Williams) criminal organisation, bringing it to it's knees and making the gangster so desperate to take out the Red Hood that the Joker suddenly becomes the best option here.

To say that Black Mask is a patsy in this story would almost be complimenting him. He's never been one of my favourite members of the Rogues Gallery but he's absolutely useless in this story. All he seems to do is shout like an imbecile at his beleaguered staff, with even one member Ms Li (Kelly Hu) treating him with little more than contempt and disdain for him. At no point in this movie is he remotely interesting or threatening as a villain.

As for the Joker, he's not got the best voice actor in this one. I've heard DiMaggio in other DC animated movie roles and he's fine but he simply doesn't cut it as the Joker, even though he's given a decent script to work with here. His Joker is certainly lethal in the flashbacks and the delight he takes when he realises that Jason is alive and crazy is amusing enough but the voice just doesn't sound right, no matter how many times I've seen the movie. Sometimes you just need a Mark Hamill for this type of movie.

As for Batman (Bruce Greenwood), he fares a little better but mostly he's reacting to Red Hood's antics or remembering Jason's formative years as Robin before their confrontation with the Joker in the warehouse. There's a nice supporting role for Nightwing (Neil Patrick Harris) who's a bit more cheerful but sadly he's also taken out of the mix a little too quickly for my liking. The movie does however end on a rather poignant and bittersweet note.

- Nice reference to The Killing Joke, which happened a year after the events of Jason's murder. Shame we didn't get an Oracle cameo in this one.
- Judd Winick wrote the comic and adapted this movie. Apparently he prefers the latter iteration.
- There's a clever reference to the Joker's first ever comic appearance with his prison number.
-  We've seen allusions to Jason's murder in two of the DCEU's movies. Oh and a brief Riddler cameo in flashbacks too.

A strong movie, Under The Red Hood provided a great adaptation of it's comic counterpart. While I do think the Joker could've been voiced better and found Black Mask useless, Jason made for a compelling character as Red Hood than he ever did as Robin and the reunion with him and Batman was definitely handled well.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, July 31, 2017

My Review of Batman: Year One (2011)


Written by Tab Murphy
Directed by Sam Liu & Lauren Montgomery

Batman: "Ladies, gentlemen, you've eaten well. You've eaten Gotham's wealth. Its spirit. But your feast is nearly over. From this moment on, none of you are safe."

A few years before landing the role of James Gordon in Gotham, Benjamin McKenzie actually had the honour of playing the Dark Knight himself, albeit in animated form in this pretty faithful adaptation of a popular Frank Miller comic of the same.

Year One is telling us the readers/viewers of Bruce Wayne's first year as Batman and it's a pretty fascinating enough look into things as after several years of being out of the city, Bruce returns to Gotham with a mission statement in mind and a determination to help clean up the city of the crime that the police themselves just haven't been able to manage to do since his absence.

With flashbacks to his calling with a bat flying into his house, we get to see Bruce going undercover to tackle a pimp mistreating one of his girls while also getting into a fight with Selina Kyle (Eliza Dushku), who in this universe is a dominatrix before taking on her more famous role. Bruce then manages to get arrested before escaping police custody and escalating his fight even further by attracting the wrath of mafia boss Carmine Falcone (Alex Rocco).

However while this might be exploring Batman's first year, it's also delving into Detective James Gordon's (Bryan Cranston) as he not has to deal with a crime riddled city, but also corruption within his own station thanks to both Flass (Fred Tatasciore) and Commissioner Loeb (Jon Polito) playing their own role in the city's corruption.

There's a not so thrilling affair subplot with Detective Essen (Katee Sackhoff) thrown into the mix which doesn't really threaten or endanger Gordon's marriage to his pregnant wife, Barbara but it does come to a head when Bruce manages to successfully get Gordon off his scent (for a bit), even though it adds little to the storyline. However by the time Barbara actually gives birth, the baby in question is then used as leverage between Loeb, Falcone's men as both Gordon and a barely disguised Bruce rush to save the child and take down the baddies.

For an insight into one year, it covers a decent amount of stuff. We get to see both Gordon and Bruce's journeys play out really well and there's space for Selina to go on her journey as Catwoman, even if she's treated as being in the way during one particular altercation between herself, Batman and Falcone. While I definitely could've done with more of Selina and am critical of Miller's depiction of her in this story, it was nice to see both her and Batman still share some screen time together.

- The DVD for this has a 15 minute Catwoman cartoon, which sees Dushku reprise the role and take down a baddie of her own.
- Vicki Vale was added to this movie, though the character did not appear in the comic itself.
- Prior to Batman Begins, there were some plans for a Year One movie but they were scrapped.
- The movie ends with a set up for the Joker.

Year One is a dynamic enough adaptation of the popular comic. While I think McKenzie might make a better Gordon than Batman on another show, he does a decent job even though he's slightly overshadowed by Cranston's depiction of Gordon. It's a strong animated movie though, one that really should get a sequel at some point.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

SDCC 2017 - Highlights Part 2 (DC Special)

I did this last year - covering most of the DC related stuff at San Diego Comic Con and this year again, I'm also doing it because there was a lot of exciting stuff unveiled over the weekend.


- First of all, a brand spanking new trailer for Justice League was unveiled, giving us more details into the upcoming movie (November 17th, people) as well as hints that Superman fans will be pleased with the movie itself.
- There was also some footage from Aquaman but it's yet to be officially released.
- Ben Affleck also confirmed that despite, adamant media reports, he's not leaving the role of Batman just yet.
- Future movies announced as well include Shazam, The Batman, Batgirl, Justice League Dark, Green Lantern Corps, Flashpoint and sequels for both Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad.
- It's now been confirmed that the Wonder Woman sequel will be released December 13 2019.
- While I had wished that there was some new casting announced for some of these upcoming movies, it's nice that we have a definite slate coming up. We just need some filming and release dates though along with further cast announcements.

Justice League Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DblEwHkde8U
Comic Con Panel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ltriuluIhM

Meanwhile in the television universes ....


We got some obligatory trailers for the CW verse shows and a lot of spoilers to boot. Let's discuss, shall we?

- Michael Emerson will be joining Arrow's sixth season (October 12th) in a mysterious role. The trailer revealed a few survivors but not all of them as of yet.
- Danny Trejo will play Gypsy's father while Neil Sandilands will play the Thinker on The Flash's fourth season (October 10th). The Mechanic (Kim Engelbrecht) and Elongated Man will appear this season as well.
- Supergirl's third season (October 9th) will see Calista Flockhart reprise her role as Cat Grant in a recurring capacity while Adrian Pasder, Yael Grobglas, Emma Tremblay and Carl Lumbly have joined the cast as Morgan Edge, Psi, Ruby and M'yrnn J'onzz respectively.
- Legends Of Tomorrow's third season  (October 10th) will see returns from Leonard Snart, Damien Darkh and Rip Hunter in regular and recurring roles while Sara's bisexuality will be further explored. Matt Ryan may also be appearing as John Constantine in a later episode of the season. Kuasa (Anika Noni Rose) will be the main antagonist this season. Also expect a new hero not from any of the other shows to appear.
- Black Lightning (Spring 2018) has added both James Remar and Damon Gupton to it's lineup.
- Robert Knepper will be a regular for iZombie's fourth season.
- Tom Welling has joined the cast of Lucifer for it's third season.
- Krypton will feature versions of Brainiac and Hawkwoman in it's first season.

Meanwhile no new details have been given yet for the upcoming four way crossover, other than a reveal that it will happen properly in the Supergirl part of the show.

Arrow - Season 6 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpCOMDpmJ28
The Flash - Season 4 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CvhSFv1VaI
Supergirl - Season 3 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy5JnzKZBr8
Legends Of Tomorrow - Season 3Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwGNep39atY
Black Lightning - Season 1 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dM8dI_-P9o


Meanwhile Gotham's fourth season (September 21st) is certainly heading into darker territory as well. With the subtitle, Dawn Of Night, the trailer released over the weekend gave us plenty to mull over. First of all, there was seeing Bruce (David Mazouz) and Selina (Camren Bicondova) embracing their respective destinies while Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) and Ivy (Maggie Geha) unveiled a frozen Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) as part The Iceberg Lounge's main feature. Other highlights in the trailer include a confrontation between Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) along with Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) facing off a not so dead Barbara (Erin Richards), Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie) facing off a clown thug and the arrival of Jonathan Crane's The Scarecrow (Charlie Tahan). Not shown in the trailer but confirmed on the panel would be that Barbara would be working with Ras Al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) this season as will Lee (Morena Baccarin) with Nygma and Solomon Grundy (Drew Powell) while Bruce will be getting armor and weapons for his vigilante lifestyle. Viewers can also expect to meet Sofia Falcone (Crystal Reed) and Professor Pyg (casting tbc) this season as well. The fourth season will also draw influences from both The Long Halloween and Year One. Benjamin McKenzie will also be writing the season's fourth episode too.

Gotham - Season 4 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd3Dp4zVJmY


Last but not least, a preview of the CWSeed's upcoming animated series, Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Announced last year, the show will finally be making it's debut in the autumn and will see the titular hero (actor tbc) fighting evil versions of the Green Arrow, the Flash and Supergirl in an alternative universe. Touted as the first superhero show where the main hero is gay, the trailer does look promising and I'm hopeful at some point that like with Vixen, the character will eventually appear in a live action Arrow universe show. As in within this current TV season.

Freedom Fighters: The Ray Promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-YfN_moK0k

That's a warp for all the DC related stuff, until another while folks.

SDCC 2017 - Highlights Part 1

It was that time of year again. Last week, San Diego Comic Con was all over the press and here are some of the highlights of the events, spread out on two blog entries.


Doctor Who: In the past, this would've been given a blog to itself but I don't think I had enough to justify that this time around. The panel this year comprised of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss along with outgoing stars Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas and Michelle Gomez and it was certainly an emotional panel as the focus was rightly on the 12th Doctor's era, resulting in Peter himself getting a much deserved round of applause from the audience. While there was some brief discussion from various Whoverse people surrounding Jodie Whittaker's casting as the 13th Doctor, the focus was primarily on the current era. A minute long trailer was released for the Christmas special, now titled Twice Upon A Time, which sees both the 12th and 1st Doctors (latter played by David Bradley) dealing with time being wrecked once again. The special will also see the return of Pearl Mackie's Bill Potts for the last time on the show as well as Lily Travers taking on the role of 60's companion, Polly Wright (the role played by Anneke Wills) previous while Mark Gatiss will be playing a character named the Captain along with Toby Whithouse as a German soldier during the WW1 setting. Unlike last year's entry, this one does look a little more Christmassy by comparison. You can watch the trailer for it here ....

Christmas 2017 Promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCkDXegqjR0


American Horror Story: The show is back yet again, for a seventh season, which now has the subtitle of Cult and with it, at least two scary-ish promos involving sinister looking clowns to boot. Over the last few days, it was confirmed that the show would be moving to Tuesdays and airing from September 5th. On top of that, we also learned that this season will now have eleven episodes and that Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters characters are named Ally and Kai, who have "a love story for the ages" while both Mare Winningham and France Conroy will be back this season along with Lena Dunham guest starring in an episode. Oh and Twisty the Clown from Freak Show too.

AHS: Cult Promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v0ISjTugh4


Star Trek: Discovery: Another show given quite the push over the weekend with Netflix and CBS releasing another trailer for the prequel series. I've seen a lot of debate surrounding the fact that this is a prequel (that and the new looking Klingons) and while I'll admit that it feels unnecessary after Enterprise, the second trailer sold me more to the series than the first one did (and I quite liked the first one). It's also come to my attention that Anthony Rapp's character, Lt Stamets will also be in a relationship with Wilson Cruz's Dr. Hugh Culber, the Starship Discovery's medical officer. US viewers will be able to see the show on Sundays from September 24th with UK viewers getting it the very next day on Netflix.

Star Trek: Discovery Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWnYtyNKPsA


- Once Upon A Time's seventh season will see Dania Ramirez playing a new version of Cinderella/the mother of Henry's daughter, Lucy. Also joining the cast this season are Gabrielle Anwar as Lady Tremaine, Adelaide Kane as Drizella, Rose Reynolds as Alice and Mekia Cox as Tiana. Emma, Henry and Belle will return for an episode each and there will be a gay character introduced this season as well.
- The Originals fifth season will be it's last season.
- Michelle Pfeiffer will play Janet van Dyne in Ant Man And The Wasp. Laurence Fishburne will also be a part of the movie.
- Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury will also be appearing in Captain Marvel.
- Iron Fist has been renewed for a second season and Misty Knight will be joining the series.
- Game Of Thrones released another trailer for the remaining episodes of it's seventh season and more chaos is come for all concerned.
- Supernatural's female led spin-off, Wayward Sisters has it's cast with Briana Buckmaster, Kathryn Newton and Katherine Ramdeen heading up the series.
- Vanessa Morgan will be joining the Riverdale cast for it's second season. The show will also introduce a bisexual character too.
- Charlize Theron will guest star in The Orville.
- Jonathan Tucker and Neil Jackson will guest star in Westworld's second season.
- Isaiah Washington will return for the fifth season of The 100.
- Wynonna Earp has been renewed for a third season.

That's it for Part 1. Part 2 will be up and it'll be a DC related one. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Aladdin - Live Action Movie Cast

And this also happened during the weekend. A few days ago,  Guy Ritchie apparently had trouble finding the leads for his upcoming live action version of Disney's Aladdin but during the weekend, three prominent cast members were announced.


The title tole itself will be played by Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud. A relative newcomer, Mena's previous credits have included a short film named Americanistan and a role in the upcoming Jack Ryan TV series. Mena will now be the infamous street rat turned prince and while I haven't really seen any of his past credits yet, he does look the part.


Meanwhile the role of Princess Jasmine herself will go to British-Indian actress, Naomi Scott, who earlier this year played Pink Ranger Kimberly Hart in the Power Rangers reboot movie. Needless to say, Naomi's casting has generated some comments on the usual places but personally, I'm pretty fine with her playing the headstrong princess.


Elsewhere Will Smith will be taking on the role of the Genie for this live action production. He's been rumoured for the role for a while now, so I wasn't too shocked when his casting was confirmed over the weekend. The casting so far looks pretty solid and it'll be interesting to see who they get for Jafar, Iago and the Sultan. The live action movie is being written by John August.

Press Release: http://variety.com/2017/film/news/aladdin-will-smith-naomi-scott-jasmine-cast-mena-massoud-d23-1202496767/

Filming for Aladdin begins soon with a release date to be confirmed.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Doctor Who - Jodie Whittaker Is The 13th Doctor

I think in the last twenty four hours prior to the announcement, we probably all saw this one coming, huh?


On July 16th at 4.30pm on BBC1, history was made when a minute long trailer aired during the Wimbledon Men’s Final as it showed us the new Doctor walking through a forest, all hooded up, only for the last few seconds to reveal that the thirteenth incarnation of the Time Lord was in fact, Jodie Whittaker as she smiled and headed towards the TARDIS, key in hand.

The 35 year old actress, best known for her roles in both Broadchurch (created by incoming showrunner, Chris Chibnall) and Attack The Block was confirmed as the 13th Doctor and to say the reaction on social media was strong would be an understatement. The reaction primarily being one of near universal support for Whittaker’s casting but like with any actor casting in the role of the Doctor, there was also some opposition and some concerns too.

Now anyone who’s followed my tweets or read my comments on GallifreyBase will be more than aware of the fact that I haven’t been keen on the idea of a female Doctor and while I  would’ve preferred a male for the Doctor too, I am however in complete support of Whittaker’s casting in the role. Did you really think I was going to drop the show because the Doctor’s a woman now? As if!


However I do feel that there are some things from both sides of the female Doctor debate that should be addressed a little here, so here goes ....

1: Labelling people who either didn’t want a female Doctor or have concerns about what the casting means for the show as misogynistic fails to address the fact that there have also been female fans too that have shared similar viewpoints on the matter. Sorry social media, but it’s not just men who may have an issue with a female Doctor.
2: The feminist critics and ‘woke’ social media types who do this are exactly the same people who would’ve reacted in a similarly childish manner had the BBC and Chibnall cast a conventionally attractive white male Doctor.
3: Framing Whittaker’s casting as a feminist victory comes across as pretty extreme response, considering that the show itself has always had fantastic female characters since it’s debut in 1963 and that the revived series has been more inclusive to female fans and generally everyone since it’s return in 2005. The show hadn’t been lacking a strong female presence, so not let’s not act like it was people, okay?
4: There is nothing wrong with having concerns about a female Doctor. Whether people like it or not, the casting is a huge risk, but it’s also one that obviously both the BBC and Chibnall considered but felt they could pull off. Vilifying people for expressing concern on this also reeks of hypocrisy.
5: Casting a female Doctor does change the show’s dynamic. It’s naive to assume otherwise. While I don’t think it’ll help the show if it overemphasises the Doctor now being a woman, it’s still something the show has to address too but I have confidence that Chibnall will not treat it in a gimmicky way.
6: With a female Doctor now at the helm, I do think it’s time for the main companion of the series to be male. By all means, introduce a secondary female companion towards the latter half of Series 11, but for now the main companion should be male.
7: The show has been in something of a rut for a while and it needed a jolt. This might not have been the one I had in mind, but the fact that it got people talking in a way that Peter Capaldi’s era hasn’t certainly indicates that Whittaker’s casting might bring some viewers back and add some newer ones in this mix.
8: Gender swapping characters still doesn’t address the gender imbalance issue in the media either. Spotlighting existing female characters and creating newer ones should be the way to tackle this thorny issue as well as acknowledging the plethora of female led shows we’ve had in the last several decades.

That said and going back to one of my earlier statements – Jodie Whittaker is the 13th Doctor and therefore she has my support and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the role. I still do have some concerns but I will admit the trailer alone did inspire confidence that she’ll bring an interesting new side to one of the best characters of all time and I liked her costume, even though it's not actually her official one.


Elsewhere there’s still one more episode left from departing Doctor Peter Capaldi and this week (July 23rd), the 12th Doctor actor along with Pearl Mackie (Bill), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Michelle Gomez (Missy), Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss will be attending San Diego Comic Con for a special panel, complete with a preview clip of the Christmas special, rumoured to be titled The Doctors that will also include David Bradley as the First Doctor and a glimpse of Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteen Doctor as well. Further casting for the special has yet to be confirmed but both Bill and Nardole will appear in some capacity along with rumoured appearances from some other past faces as well. Either way, we’re moving into a bold new era for the series.


The Doctors will air on Christmas Day on BBC1 and BBCAmerica respectively. Series 11 of Doctor Who is rumoured to begin filming around November.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Riot, Riot

A bit of a Netflix special here with three shows I've been catching up on.



Iron Fist: The most divisive of the Marvel/Netflix shows and aside from the moaning about Finn Jones's casting, which I've long since decided to drown out, the biggest crime this show has committed has been how ridiculously slow paced it is. I'm all for build up as much as the next person but even I have to admit that the first two episodes were something of a slog to get though. As for Jones himself, he's okay as Danny Rand but I'll admit the fight scenes are a little underwhelming so far while the flashbacks are only okay. Other characters like brother/sister duo, Ward and Joy Meachum are pretty decent and I already like Colleen Wing. Harold Meachum on the other hand is a little hokey on the baddie front but at least we're getting more on the Hand threat though.


Luke Cage: Like the other Marvel/Netflix show mentioned, I've only just started this one and while there are some pacing problems with this show too, I didn't find the first two episodes to be quite as slow moving though. The Harlem setting and the use of musical acts like Faith Hill in nightclub Paradise are a high point of the series along with the deft handling of Luke's backstory and characters such as Misty Knight, Cornelius and Mariah herself. The gang and political related storylines are also strong enough so far too. In some respects, the series feels like something from a different era and that's one of it's strengths so far. I plan to have both this and Iron Fist completed before moving onto The Defenders.


Orange Is The New Black: The fifth season of the popular prison drama came back last month and I've so far managed to watch about seven episodes. Setting the seasons entirely around a prison riot in the aftermath of Poussey's death seemed like a risky venture but so far, it's actually working pretty well. While the prisoners themselves are going overboard in getting their revenge on the guards, I've liked the various group dynamics and the flashbacks have helped break up the riot scenes a little so things haven't felt too bogged down. Now onto the remaining six episodes of the season.


- Colton Haynes, Charlie Carver and Tyler Hoechlin will be appearing in the second half of Teen Wolf's final season, starting later this month.
- Jared Gilmore will appear in Once Upon A Time's seventh season in a guest role. Dania Ramirez has also joined as a regular this season.
- The 13th Doctor will be revealed tomorrow on BBC1 after the Wimbledon's Mens Final.
- Brit Morgan will recur in Riverdale's second season.
- Manu Bennett will be returning for Arrow's sixth season as will a rumoured character from the show's first season.
- Lady Gaga will not be appearing in the seventh season of American Horror Story but Allison Pill will be while Twisty the Clown will also be returning. Adina Porter and Cheyenne Jackson are also returning.
- FOX are planning a crossover event with both Empire and Star this season.
- Erica Durance will be playing Alura in Supergirl's third season, replacing Laura Benanti in the role.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The L Word - Sequel Series In Development For Showtime

Well, this was a little unexpected, huh? I mean I know we're living in sequel/reboot culture for TV shows but I was surprised to read this one.


A quick brush up though - The L Word was a series that focused on the lives of lesbian and bisexual women in LA, starring Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, Mia Kirshner and Katherine Moennig and ran for six seasons on Showtime between 2004-2009. The show was extremely popular at the time and even generated a reality TV spin-off called The Real L Word, which managed to last three seasons between 2010-2012 before it was axed.

Now it seems that the original series itself will be coming back for another season. However there's some twists - the first one being that the show will be brought back with a different showrunner as creator Ilene Chaiken is currently working on FOX's Empire and it will be a new set of women that the show will focus on.

However Chaiken will be an executive producer the rebooted series as will former stars of the show, Jennifer Beals (Bette), Kate Moennig (Shane) and Leisha Hailey (Alice). There is also speculation that along with a new cast for the show, some of the characters from the original series may also have some involvement if Showtime push ahead with the series.

The L Word joins Will & Grace as a prominent LGBT centred series that is currently being revived while US audiences will soon also get their own version of Russell T. Davies's Cucumber/Banana series with ABC's upcoming, Adult Behavior. Considering how massive the show was for Showtime back in the day, I can see this being a hit all over again, provided it goes ahead.

Press Release: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/l-word-sequel-works-at-showtime-1019916

The complete series of The L Word is available on DVD. I'll post more about this revival as the information comes along.

Monday, July 03, 2017

My Review of Doctor Who's 10x12: "The Doctor Falls"


Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Rachel Talalay

The Doctor (to Missy/the Master): "It's not because it's fun and God knows it's not because it's easy. It's not because it even works, because it hardly ever does. I do what I do, because it's right. Because it's decent. And above all, it's kind."

In that speech is everything that has ever and will ever capture the Doctor's motives for helping people and I have to admit, like a certain speech in the Zygon two parter, it's moments like this where the Twelfth Doctor well and truly shines. In this penultimate episode/finale, did he truly shine though.

Opening up with getting smacked about by both the Master and Missy, it didn't take long for the Doctor to get his old frenemies to get on side when he made the Cybermen go after Time Lords for conversion and having the Master and Missy helping certainly livened proceedings a bit as everyone went up another level of the ship from last time.

Having a bit of a mood whiplash here, we've got from a city polluted by fog and Mondasian Cybermen on the rise, to a nice countryside with a bunch of kids and an overprotective woman named Hazran (Samantha Spiro), who seemed to have a thing for the not equally receptive Nardole. Despite some of the popular rumours that floated around and that even I believed, Hazran was just a new character. A good one, but not the one we were expecting though.

Speaking of Nardole, he had his moments in this episode. I liked his pragmatic stance with both the Doctor and Cyber-Bill and I certainly enjoyed his scenes with both Masters but his exit was a little on the rushed with him being volunteered as protector for Hazran and the kids though against the evading and evolving Cybermen though.

This episode was all about the exits though. The Master and Missy in particular had one of the best with the pair of them stabbing and shooting each other in the back. Despite all their flirting, their conflict over whether or not to help the Doctor was the thing that turned them on each other. Missy was edging towards some form of redemption while the Master himself still revelled in being evil as his mocking of both the Doctor and Bill more than demonstrated. As exits go, it was a dramatic one for both of them, excellently played by Michelle Gomez and John Simm but while the character will be undoubtedly rested for a bit, we will see the Master again in some form though.

Then there's Bill herself. She spent most of this episode pulling an Oswin by perceiving herself as still human while outwardly looking like a Cyberman but she did forgive the Doctor for endangering her and she did stick around during the final battle itself to actually help him. However for those of us who feared that Moffat contributed to the 'bury your gays' trope with Bill, well he did manage to subvert it at the very last minute.

Despite there being no continuation since The Pilot, Heather came back and yanked Bill out of her Cyberman suit and the pair of them shared a kiss before putting the Doctor back in his TARDIS and exploring the universe. It's hard to deny that it's an exit that mirrors the Clara/Ashildr thing from last series but it works decently enough as a way to write Bill out of the series though.

As for the Doctor himself, he spent most of the episode holding back his regeneration, wanting to take out the Cybermen while also trying to save his friends and redeem both Masters too. He might have mostly failed with the latter and even Bill to a point, but he did succeed elsewhere and the near regeneration sequence was pretty stunning.

Of course with Christmas on the way, it was still held off but this time around we saw the Twelfth Doctor actually meet the First Doctor. It was rumoured for months and while I do have some reservations about a multi Doctor story for an outgoing Doctor's last episode, I did like the bit of David Bradley as the original you might say that this particular episode ended with.

- David Bradley previously played William Hartnell playing the First Doctor in An Adventure In Space And Time. He was also Solomon in Dinosaurs On A Spaceship.
- We saw both the 2006 and 2013 Cybermen in this episode. I think Moffat missed an opportunity by not including some 70's or 80's Cybermen while he was at it.
- Companions we saw in Twelve's head were Rose, Martha, Donna, Jack, Sarah Jane, Amy, River, Clara, Bill, Nardole, Vastra and Jenny along with Missy. Odd there was no Mickey or Rory though.
- Nice references to past regenerations and encounters with the Cybermen in this episode too.
- Rachel Talalay has now directed three finales in a row. That's got to be a record for the series, right?
- Chronology: Two weeks after the events of World Enough And Time.

The Doctor Falls could've let the side down after such a brilliant set up with it's previous episode but I genuinely think it didn't. Yes, Bill's exit was too similar to Clara's and the Cybermen were relegated to being blown up but with all the emotional beats and the hook for Christmas, it really does look like Peter Capaldi will go out on a high note.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Sense8 - Netflix Commissions A Two Hour Special



June was the month for Pride and while we had some great stuff last month, one of the misfires was Netflix announcing that Sense8 would come to an end after two seasons. Fans were upset and angry, especially as the second season had ended on a cliffhanger that was looking unlikely to be resolved.

Then we head towards the end of June and it seemed that fan outcry actually worked for once. Netflix announced on Thursday that the show would be coming back as a two hour special next year. Netflix shared the letter on its official account, along with a video tribute to the sci-fi series. "After seeing that the cancellation was a total cluster, we decided to give Sense8 fans the ending they totally deserve," said a Netflix spokesperson.

This is fantastic news and while this doesn't guarantee anything more than this upcoming special, at least it means we'll get a resolution to the overall series arc and have one more episodes of our favourite Cluster members. I cannot wait to see it and I'm imagining that it'll possibly be another Christmas special as well.

Press Release: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/sense8-two-hour-finale-set-at-netflix-1017948

Sense8's second season is currently streaming on Netflix if you haven't caught up. The special will be released in 2018.

Monday, June 26, 2017

My Review of Doctor Who's 10x11: "World Enough And Time"


Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Rachel Talalay

The Master: "Hello Missy, I'm the Master. I'm very worried about my future. Give us a kiss."

After ten weeks of episodes that ranged from good to great to middling and an overwhelming sense that things were maybe coasting along a little too much until the next era, we finally got an episode where things actually happened in a big way and appropriately enough, it was the first part of the finale to boot.

For weeks we've had the hype of both Mondasian Cybermen and two Masters in the mix, so the anticipation for this particular finale was a little higher than usual. The good news is that this episode more than delivered. The bad news - Bill really got fucked over, big time here.

It's not unusual for companions to put in tricky fates and Moffat's penchant for doing that to his main players has been noteworthy throughout his reign on the show, River Song herself is now a data ghost after sacrificing herself for the Doctor while her parents Amy Pond and Rory Williams got sent back in time by Weeping Angels to live out their lives and never see the Doctor again.

Last series, Clara Oswald's own hubris became her undoing when a raven marked her for death and while there was a cheat of sorts with both her and Ashildr gallivanting in a TARDIS, the former's days were still pretty numbered though. Then there's Danny Pink.

He was hardly the most popular character on the show and yet he was given both a gruesome exit by being somewhat converted into a Cybermen for Missy's arm back in 2014 and then he sacrificed himself to save the world or Clara, depending on your stance in the matter. The reason why I bring up Danny is because thanks to this episode, Bill underwent a similar but somewhat horrifying fate.

The episode opened with the Doctor persuading Bill and Nardole to aid him in a test to see if Missy could be good after all by exploring a spaceship heading into a black hole and dealing with time dilation. This resulted in the blue skinned Jorj shooting Bill for being human and then Bill being dragged away by a group of bandaged patients in order to give her a new heart.

The focus of the episode then is on Bill stuck in the creepiest of hospitals with the most ill and dying of patients suffering the worst kinds of pain ever while befriending the offbeat caretaker Razor and waiting for the Doctor to come and get her. Despite knowing exactly who Razor was from the get go, I actually quite like the 'friendship' of sorts between him and Bill and when he handed her over to that surgeon and nurse from hell, I was a little bit shocked.

Having Bill converted into the first Cyberman ever was not something I expected the show to do. I knew that when she first appeared in the show that Bill was going to be a one series only companion but even I didn't think that Moffat would give her such a horrifying ending of sorts. Whether or not this fate sticks though is the other thing, considering Moffat's track record with death.

However horrible as Bill's current predicament, it's also a timely reminder of how dangerous the Master actually can be. Sure, Missy might be making some of the right noises about wanting to change but we all know that the Master can never be good. It's why this two parter has given us two of them, so that the former Master (Simm) can stop the current one (Gomez) from turning over a new leaf.

I've enjoyed Michelle Gomez's take as the Master/Missy immensely during Capaldi's era of the show but it was nice to see both her and John Simm finally meet and I'm genuinely surprised that it happened. While Simm was largely in disguise as Razor for most of the episode and worked well with Pearl Mackie, his brief scenes with Gomez and Capaldi at the end were the highlight of the episode.

As for the rest of the episode, it was delightful enough. I loved the use of flashbacks and a flash forward to an impending scene and bonus points for the Doctor giving Bill a summary of his complicated relationship with the Master to boot. Nardole didn't really have that much to do in this one though but that was hardly a bad thing.

- The episode opened with the start of the Twelfth Doctor regenerating on a snowy planet. Expect to see that scene again next episode but we still have him until Christmas.
- I had to laugh at Missy's meta commentary on the show's title as well as her dabbling. And then I laughed a little at the Master's accent while pretending to be Razor.
- We can thank Steven's son for the use of black holes and time dilation for this episode. I do think it worked rather well though.
- The Doctor and Bill have adventures on Saturdays? I guess not anymore though.
- Previous origin stories for the Cybermen have included the likes of Big Finish audio, Spare Parts as well as comics such as  The World Shapers and The Cybermen. There was a Genesis Of The Cybermen story planned but it never materialised.
- Chronology: Mondas for the most part, or specifically a ship that seemed to be connected to it. I'm not sure how long since The End Of Time it is for Missy's "ex" though.

World Enough And Time provided a thrilling punch to proceedings. The start of a regeneration, the death of a companion, the origins of the Cybermen and two Masters all in one episode? I don't know how the next episode will live up to this one but I definitely can't wait to find out though. It's just a shame the ratings are still not great this series though.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cucumber - US Remake For ABC With New Title

Well, it only took Showtime a year and a half to do their own version of Queer As Folk, so are we surprised that Cucumber too would be getting a US remix?


Produced by Shonda Rhimes company, Shondaland, the US version of Cucumber will now have the title of Adult Behavior and will be showrun by Allan Heinberg and air on ABC. Heinberg will be familiar to people in recent times as the writer of the current Wonder Woman movie but he's also the man responsible for The Catch and has written for shows such as Looking and Sex And The City to boot.

Adult Behavior, is described as “a sexy, multi-generational, comedic drama” and is based on the British gay comedy series Cucumber and Banana, which US viewers were able to see on Logo back in 2015. The show will be executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers along with Russell T Davies, the creator of the UK version of both shows.

While I'm wary of US remakes and with this show being on a network, there will be a limit to how much we can see, sex wise (though How To Get Away With Murder certainly pushes the boundaries), I'm cautiously optimistic for this show and I bet we'll see a few Shondaland alumni heading up some of the cast too and ABC do have a solid history with LGBT themed shows.

Press Release: http://tvline.com/2017/06/21/adult-behavior-abc-pilot-shonda-rhimes-allan-heinberg/

I'll post more details about Adult Behavior when it becomes available.

Dracula - Moffat/Gatiss To Write Miniseries For BBC

With his time on Doctor Who coming to a close this Christmas and Sherlock over for the foreseeable future, Steven Moffat along with Mark Gatiss will be bringing another icon to the BBC.


From the press release ....

The brains behind the BBC's Sherlock series are to make a new version of Dracula, the corporation has confirmed.
Talks are under way with Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss about a series of 90-minute films based on Bram Stoker's novel about the Transylvanian vampire.
No scripts have been written and the Count has yet to be cast. According to the Radio Times, though, the series is likely to air in 2019.
Moffat's wife Sue Vertue will produce the show for Hartswood Films.
According to Variety, it is unclear whether Dracula, like Sherlock, will have a modern-day British setting.


I have to admit, I'm a little mixed on this one. The last time the BBC adapted the most infamous of vampires, it was back in 2006 with Marc Warren and it wasn't particularly a riveting adaptation. I'm not also sure if a miniseries will work, although it has to fare a little better than NBC/SkyLiving's attempts of a series back in 2013 with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I'm also hoping that both Moffat and Gatiss resist the urge to make their version of the character into a Sherlock clone as well.  That said, I'm sure the casting for this will be exciting though.

Press Release: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-40347479

I'll post more information on Dracula as soon as it becomes available but hey, at least we know what Moffat and Gatiss's first Doctor Who/Sherlock project will be.

Monday, June 19, 2017

My Review of Doctor Who's 10x10: "The Eaters Of Light"


Written by Rona Munro
Directed by Charles Palmer

Bill (re Picts/Romans): "You're wrong, Doctor, it's their destiny, not yours."

Well, this felt very much like an episode that belonged in the Classic Series and with Rona Munro back at the helm after her last effort with Survival nearly thirty years ago, perhaps that was the intention.

Bill wanted to solve the mystery of the missing Ninth Roman Legion and the Doctor along with a bed wanting Nardole decided to placate her by going to Aberdeen at the very moment in order to see if they could put the mystery to bed. Cue scenes where Bill showed off her history knowledge and got separated from her mates at the same time.

For Bill, being split from the Doctor and Nardole meant that she got the honours of encountering the monster of the week first time round but she also got the honours of finding the missing Legion, which seemed to be comprised of fit gay and bisexual lads, led by Lucius who fell into the latter category. Seriously, some people really do have all the luck, don't they?

The Doctor and Nardole on the other hand, end up meeting up with the Picts, led by the headstrong Kar and I have to admit my attention dwindled a little there. It's not that I'm shallow or anything but I was slightly less interested in the Picts until Bill and the Legion reunited with them and the Doctor and then the last few minutes picked up a little.

The creature itself killed a few cast members but unlike the Cheetah People from Munro's previous story, there wasn't really much of a story here. Both the Picts and missing Ninth Legion decided to band together in order to stop the creature from rampaging and only after Bill had to stop the Doctor from doing something otherwise reckless.

If you're looking for a highlight (aside from one I mentioned earlier), then really it's the Missy scene that's it. The Doctor's let her out of the Vault and even trusted her in the TARDIS while they were off attending to the story this week. Missy picking up on Nardole and Bill's bemusement of her to one side, the last scene between the two Time Lords was certainly powerful.

In Munro's previous story, she really caught the Doctor/Master dynamic to perfection (part of the reason why it's one of my all time favourites) and here, she did it again. The scenes where Missy was affected by the Scottish music and the Doctor wondering if they could be friends again. You just know by next week's episode we're going to get the answer to that looming question.

- There was a talking crow in this episode and for a moment, I did think about a certain episode from the previous series. Just for a moment though.
- I had to laugh a little when Lucius commented on Bill liking girls and comparing her to Vitus, who liked men.
- The scenes with at Devil's Cairn gave me a bit of an Outlander vibe to be honest.
- Will we learn when the Doctor became a vestal virgin in a later story?
- The ratings for this episode really did dip badly this time around. Shame, considering this was a solid episode.
- Chronology: 2nd century Aberdeen.

The Eaters Of Light is a solid return episode for Rona Munro and after watching it, I wouldn't oppose to seeing her once again write for the show. That said, the pacing was a little slow in parts, maybe too much for it's own good at times and the creature itself wasn't that good or interesting in any way at all. Other than that, still a decent episode.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Let's Blow Up The Island

I was meant to post this last week but things got in the way, so here's a look at some of the more recent finales I've watched.


Arrow: I have to say that overall, the fifth season of this show has been something of an improvement compared to previous ones and finale wise, I definitely think this was one of the strongest we've had. Featuring so many returning characters (Deathstroke, Malcolm, Nyssa, Black Siren etc) and a fantastic battle of wits between Oliver and Prometheus (who really did turn out to be a great villain this season), the episode ended on a rather explosive cliffhanger. I have a feeling there won't be that many casualties going into the next season, but it definitely a good way to keep viewers in suspense though.


Once Upon A Time: Solid flashback episodes for Zelena and Black Fairy/Fiona to one side, the last three episodes really seemed to serve as a series finale and had ABC been smart, they would've ended the show end here. I know we're getting an older Henry next season with his own kid and Regina/Rumple/Hook are remaining, but this show is going to suffer without Emma, Snow and Charming and I'll miss Zelena and Belle a bit too. As for the last three episodes, I loved the musical episode and thought it was one of the best episodes the show has ever done while the two Final Battle really should've served as the series finale with the amount of stuff it resolved.


Prison Break: I have to admit that this revival hasn't been half as exciting as it could've been. Despite only being nine episodes long, the show did suffer from a bit of a mid series lull and keeping the action in Yemen for the majority of the season wasn't actually that great an idea in retrospect. Michael's reunions with Lincoln and Sara were great but Jake/Poseidon lacked as a villain, Whip was a bit annoying (and super contrived that he happened to be T-Bag's son), Sucre was underused and none of the other newer characters really stood out. That said, the last episode did serve more as a series finale than the one we were given back in 2009 and unless there's a better thought out story to tell, here would be a good place to end the series again.


Supergirl: The final few episodes of the show's sophomore season were pretty enjoyable to watch. As a villain, Rhea certainly upped the ante with her Daxamite on Earth antics and the returns of both Superman, M'Gann and Cat Grant added some momentum into the mix as well. While the show seems to have put both Kara and Mon El's relationship on hold (where did he end up?), it did give us a proposal for Alex and Maggie, gave Lena something interesting to do while Lillian made for a fun grudging ally for about five seconds. Oh and there's another pod to mull over for next season as well.


The Flash: Not going to lie - Savitar has been the weakest villain we've had in the show's three years on air and I beyond glad that next season's Big Bad won't be a speedster. On the other hand, I loved how the finale subverted things. While it was sad to lose HR (but not Tom Cavanagh, he's not going anywhere), it was better that we didn't lose Iris instead and the fact that she was the one to end Savitar's reign of destruction was also a nice twist along with Caitlin mapping out another destiny for herself as Killer Frost. Barry being trapped in the Speed Force provides a little obstacle for the start of next season but I imagine he won't be stuck there for too long though.


- Odette Annable has been cast as a series regular for Supergirl's third season. She will be playing the main antagonist, Reign while Floriana Lima will be recurring next season.
- Tala Ashe will be playing Muslim-American activist superhero Zari Adrianna Tomaz as a regular for the third season of Legends Of Tomorrow. The character will be from the year 2030.
- Gotham's fourth season premiere has the current title of Pax Penguina.
- UK viewers will be able to see Outlander once again as More4 have acquired the rights to the series and will be airing it soon.
- BBC1/BBCAmerica have announced that Luther will be coming back for four new episodes for 2018.
- Fargo's currently airing third season may be it's last.
- Midnight, Texas will air on SyFy for UK viewers shortly after it's US transmission on NBC.
- 24: Legacy has been cancelled by FOX.
- Freeform have ordered a pilot for a US version for Misfits. Casting has yet to be announced.
- Game Of Thrones eighth season will be six episodes (now confirmed by HBO) but it might not air until 2019.

Monday, June 12, 2017

My Review of Doctor Who's 10x09: "Empress Of Mars"


Written by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Wayne Che Yip

Alpha Centauri: "This is Alpha Centauri. Welcome to the universe."

So, that cameo happened then and I wish for once, I had resisted my usual impulse for spoilers and remained blissfully ignorant of Alpha Centauri popping up for a few seconds to set up events from the Peladon stories in the Third Doctor's run but it was a nice little moment in an episode that's surprisingly better than expected.

Let's be honest about Mark Gatiss - the guy's a terrific writer and a decent actor but too often his efforts for Doctor Who have a tendency to be marred by his nostalgia fueled writing and this episode certainly had a fair chunk of this. On the other hand, why has it taken this long for an actual Ice Warriors on Mars episode?

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole start the episode with a trip to NASA and quickly realise there's a human colony on the red planet when the words 'God Save The Queen' appear on the surface so they go off to investigate and wouldn't you know it, a bunch of irritating Victorian soldier types are on the planet and they've got an Ice Warrior whom they've named Friday as their skivvy.

Another crucial flaw in some of Gatiss's scripts has been his tendency to waste guest actors and this episode is a bit hit and miss in that regard. The soldiers themselves are mainly red shirts, some of whom are killed in a rather daft way but at least two of them are given a bit of a personality during this episode.

The first one being Catchlove, played by Ferdinand Kingsley. The episode needed a bad guy and for once, it wasn't going to be the Ice Warriors of the piece, so Catchlove fulfilled that role by repeatedly ignoring the Doctor and Bill, undermining his fellow soldiers and declaring war on the Ice Warriors as well. Unfortunately he was a pretty one dimensional and dull baddie that his death was a blessed relief as well as a deserved comeuppance for him.

On the other hand, I do think Godsacre, played by Anthony Calf was more of a pleasant surprise. At first, he too seemed a little more generic though receptive to the Doctor and Bill but as the episode went on, his desertion was brought into play and worked on a thematic level when he attempted to sacrifice himself in order to appease the Ice Warrior Empress herself, Iraxxa.

Speaking of Iraxxa - it was nice to meet a female Ice Warrior on the show and for the most part, I think Adele Lynch was fine in the role, if a bit OTT at times. I did find it interesting that Iraxxa initially listened to Bill before attempting to declare war on the Victorian soldiers and I definitely liked that Friday (Richard Ashton) was pretty reasonable too.

As a story, it felt somewhat bigger than the previous Ice Warrior we had back in the seventh series but still reasonably small scale enough. Of course while the Doctor and Bill were in the thick of things, Nardole was relegated to a more shorter role this week. In fact, his only real contribution to the episode was that he let Missy out of the Vault and the look that was shared between herself and the Doctor really spoke volumes. Does Missy know that the Doctor is due another regeneration or what?

- There were a lot of movie references in this episode, courtesy of Bill but the best was the moment when the Doctor revealed that he had watched Frozen.
- Ysanne Churchman, who previously voiced the role of Alpha Centauri returned for this episode, which was a nice touch.
- There was a sly reference to Gatiss's last episode, the divisive, Sleep No More. We almost got a sequel to that story.
- Anyone notice the portrait of Queen Victoria from Tooth And Claw in this one? Ferdinand Kingsley is also a regular on ITV's Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman.
- Apparently there were plans for Ian McNeice to appear in this episode as Churchill. I don't think the episode really justified him at all.
- Chronology: 1881 on Mars.

Empress Of Mars might highlight some of Mark Gatiss's worser excesses (the man is very nostalgia bound) but compared to his previous efforts for this era alone, I actually think this was a strong episode. Godsacre was a surprisingly engaging character, both Friday and Iraxxa worked well enough, I loved the Alpha Centauri cameo, Mars looked great onscreen and that last scene with Missy also worked a treat.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sense8 - You Want A War?


Written by Lana Wachowski & J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Lana Wachowski

Will (to Whispers): "You want a war? We'll give you one!"

And the show ended there? Really, Netflix? I get that this series is super expensive to make and while I can understand if not approve of your reasons behind cancelling it, would it kill you to give us at least another Christmas special to tie up the remaining loose ends?

This episode itself though, whilst great, still felt very set up though. Lila made an unwelcome return and it turned out that Cannibal and Whispers are the same person and poor Wolfgang ended up being kidnapped and tortured by the guy with Kala's identity also being outed in the mix. Another reason for an extra episode should be Lila getting her just desserts too.

However the episode did take a more interesting twist when Kala worked on more blockers and Will managed to deceive Whispers into actually meeting him publicly for a change. I have to admit, the twist genuinely surprised but there was something joyous in seeing the tables turn on Whispers along with Jonas also having to suffer some consequences for his flip flopping ways too.

Of course though, we didn't actually see Wolfgang rescued and now we'll never know if he is (one assumes he would've been in another episode/season, Netflix) but when he wasn't being tortured, he was instrumental in Sun's storyline and things between him and Kala were also about to move forward in a big way too.

Speaking of Sun, her storyline took something of a mixed turn. On one hand, Mun showed up to the Gala to arrest her brother but he ended up being shot and while Sun came close to actually taking out her treacherous sibling, the police turned up to arrest her. On the plus side and with the grudging help from Puck, she did manage to escape them but at the same time, it seems like we're still back at square one with her being on the run from the law. Unless Mun succeeds in punishing her brother off screen of course.

As for the rest of the episode, Kala came close to telling Rajan that she had voices in her head but he sort of took the wind out of her sails with his own reveal. Anyone hoping that Rajan wouldn't become a villain, you'll be relieved to know that instead he's going to be informing on them instead (including on his mate that clearly fancies Kala and left that wedding gift a few episodes back). It's not a bad reveal and I bet had we more episodes/seasons to enjoy, then Rajan probably would've been a dead man walking because of this storyline.

- Nomi and Amanita both proposing to each other was pretty sweet and lovely. Another thing we won't get to see now.
- Another Cluster visited Capheus in this episode while Puck's infatuation with Riley has effected his hairstyle. We also saw another woman from his Cluster but no Old Man Of Hoy though. Not a lot of Hernando and Daniela in this one either.
- The fact that all of the gang (and Amanita) are actually together in London is fantastic. I loved that moment. Damn you, Netflix, I want more.
- Chronology: From where the previous episode left off.

You Want A War? is a great season finale, loaded with some brilliant action sequences, character moments and a promise of more to come. Except we're not going to get it and while I'm usually resigned to shows I love getting cancelled at times, this is one of those times where it stings a little. While I wasn't expecting the show to run for multiple seasons and get that it's expensive as hell to make, it's sad though that we won't get some resolution to what's ultimately been a very compelling two year arc with eight of the best characters I've seen in the last few years. A shame, Netflix.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, June 09, 2017

Sense8 - If All the World's A Stage, Identity Is Nothing But A Costume


Written by Lana Wachowski & J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Tom Tykwer

Hernando (to Lito): "So tell me, my love… If your dream isn’t worth the risk, what is?"

The penultimate episode of the season and unfortunately now, series (and yes, I will rant about Netflix's ill advised decision to cancel this wonderful show but that'll be for later though) but while things didn't progress on the BPO front aside from Whispers being a right C U next Tuesday about Will losing his father, other stuff of interest did happen in the episode.

For instance, Lito's Hollywood career is off to a bit of a flying start. Thanks to Sun's emotive skills, he managed to successfully bag that movie role that Daniela set up for him in the previous episode then sees Lito. Hernando and Daniela attending the type of vacuous Hollywood party that we've seen on countless US shows over and over again but on the plus side, at least Lito's soon to be co-star, Blake was playing by a familiar face. Extra points allotted for getting Cheyenne Jackson to appear in this series.

As for Hernando, once again he gave an inspired speech to a hesitant Lito and then we had a gorgeous sex scene between the pair of them on the beach. This is going to be another thing I am seriously going to miss about the show.

When Lito wasn't bagging movie roles though, things were a little more serious as Capheus's first public speech ended up in another riot and attempt on his life. The assassin bloke though from the last episode ended up saving Capheus's life in this one, which was a nice enough surprise. That said, Capheus's political storyline has gotten very dangerous very fast for him though.

Meanwhile, Sun was putting her own plan into action to get back at her brother. With Lito's cocktail making skills, she bagged a job at his gala and the last few minutes of the episode had the rest of the Clusters banding together to help Sun get justice for herself. However with one more episode, will she be able to achieve that or will she end up killing her sibling?

- Kala and Wolfgang were making some progress in order to get together properly. I did like Kala/Riley's conversation at the start of the episode.
- Angelica showed up to briefly comfort Will as a contrast to the sadistic pleasure that Whispers took in the death of Will's father.
- Very little of Nomi in this episode or was that just me? Nice to see Zakia again though and that Marc Jacobs cameo too.
- Chronology: A few days from where What Family Actually Means left off I think.

If All the World's A Stage, Identity Is Nothing But A Costume wins the award for longest episode title we've had on the show but as a penultimate, it didn't push anything BPO wise remotely forward but still won for all the lovely little moments throughout. I am now anticipating and dreading the finale just that little bit more though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, June 08, 2017

My Review of Gotham's 3x22: "Heavydirtysoul"


Written by Robert Hull
Directed by Rob Bailey

Selina (to Tabitha): "I'm tired of surviving. I want more."

Going by the looks of it, does anyone get the sense that next season could possibly be the last season of Gotham? Unlike last year where it's renewal seems a certainty, there was an element of apprehension as to whether or not it would go into a fourth season and now we have it on the horizon, could it be that the writers are also preparing for the worst/best too?

In this episode alone, a lot of dynamics shifted here. Selina might have been relegated to two scenes, one where Bruce rejected her and another where Tabitha took her under her wing but Selina said it herself - she wants more. In one moment we saw take a hold of Tabitha's whip and whirl it like it came naturally, pushing her that one step closer to her future self.

Similarly Bruce was pushed into his future self in a bigger way than before. Stabbing Alfred snapped him out of his conditioning and while he rejected Ras Al Ghul this time around, the latter was also quick to point out that they would cross paths again. Here though, Bruce was focused on saving Alfred's life (which he did with some of the Lazarus water and medical staff) while at the same time, also trying to figure out who he really is.

That clearly came to him at the very end when Bruce went into Year One mode by donning a disguise and subverting the very event that has defined him with another family walking down an ally at night. I honestly thought we wouldn't see a moment like that until the show's actual series finale, so I'm intrigued to see how this vigilante role is going to play out next season considering that Bruce is still just a teenager. Then again, it could also be his clone, seeing as that plot thread is still dangling.

As for the rest of the episode, Gordon's savagery came in handy when he extracted a lot of Tetch's blood in order to get a cure. The city became cured as did Leslie herself, who still kept her promise and left Gotham but the virus infection itself fell into the background with even Tetch himself being relegated to little more than leverage between various characters as a contrast to the Big Bad he had been at the start of the season.

The various characters themselves were Oswald, Nygma, Barbara, Tabitha and Butch, all of whom were trying to one up the other with some delightful results. I loved that Oswald allowed Nygma to think he had the upper hand, only for Freeze and Ivy to show up and Eddie himself to become an ice sculpture as a result while the Babs/Tabs/Butch triangle came to a rather messy ending too.

I have to admit that I was wondering whether or not Barbara would realise she was a dead woman walking before her confrontation with Butch left the latter with a bullet in the head and in a coma. The face off with Barbara and Tabitha though was better with the latter putting her whipping skills to the best use they've ever had on the show. With Butch now protected by plot armour (more on that in a bit), are Barbara and Fish the only casualties from this finale? I guess we'll know next season.

- Butch's real name is Cyrus Gold, so it seems we've gotten Solomon Grundy on the show all this time. There were rumours of Harley Quinn appearing in this finale but that didn't happen. I'm betting we'll see some variation of her next season though.
- I'm assuming Barnes was cured off screen. The second part also seemed short on Hugo Strange and Firefly as well.
- The episode's title is named after the Twenty One Pilots song of the same name, but I don't remember it actually being played in the episode.
- Chronology: From where Destiny Calling left off.

Heavydirtysoul was definitely a strong conclusion to mostly a great season of the show. We certainly had a lot of characters, potential departures, new alliances, secret identities revealed and basically more than enough to drive the next season.

Rating: 8 out of 10