Tag Archives: Doctor Who

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Fall 2015 Nerd TV Roundup

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It's a good time to be a nerd.
It’s a good time to be a nerd.

Another summer gone–and that means a new crop of season premieres for us to soak up as the nights get shorter and our affects creep towards disorder. Lots of favorites are returning while a few are either dropping off our radar (bye now, American Horror Story) or settling into the grave (it was nice while it lasted, Constantine). Here are the shows we’ll be watching at least for a few episodes:

Already running

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Mary: The second season was much better than the first, and the first episode of this season indicates they may be able to keep up that momentum. If nothing else it’s nice to have something to keep my MCU hunger at bay while I wait for Agent Carter, Captain America: Civil War, and all the other goodies Marvel’s got lined up for us. Plus I’ll just never tire of Clark Gregg. Rob: Pretty much what Mary said. The show has definitely found its way and I recommend it w/o reservation to fans of the MCU.
  • Gotham: Rob: Last season got a little mushy up ’til the very end, but this year it’s focusing on the origin of its villains and feels crunchier. The story is darker for sure, but the producers are nailing that classic balance between gritty noir and Golden Age whimsy that best characterizes Batman. Should be a good time.
  • Heroes Reborn: Mary: So far I’m on board. We’ll see. I’m not super-wrapped up in it, right now my curiosity is propelling me along. But I still see potential! Rob: I’m a sucker for conspiracies, and it sure looks like this reboot is all-in on paranoia. The Japanese video game stuff is somehow both nifty and trite, but they may pull it off. Fool me twice, shame on me.
  • Sleepy Hollow: Rob: I’m in for sure. They wrapped up the show neatly last year because they weren’t sure they’d be back, so it’s not too far off the mark to call this a slight reboot. Mills is finally in the FBI and Crane is…well, it’d be disappointing if he changed too much. But Betsy Ross! Mary: ALL IN. I can’t wait for each episode, it’s every bit as fun as it’s been in previous seasons. It IS kind of a soft reboot, and that’s fine. As long as they continue the cool monsters, good chemistry, and their delightful sense of humor I think all us Sleepyheads will be happy.
  • The Flash: Mary: Every time I saw a commercial I got SO EXCITED, and last night’s premier did NOT disappoint! I’m looking forward to the crazy wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, other-dimensional action! And Cisco’s smart-ass comments! I do hope they do better by Iris this season. But I think it’s gonna be great! Rob:  Harrison Wells was such a terrific villain that Season 2 has a massive hole to fill, but I expect we’ll see plenty to keep us coming back. More Mark Hamill, please!
  • iZombie: Rob: I thought I was out, but I somehow acquired hope. Maybe they’ll focus on the overarching zombie story and lay off the murder-of-the-week crap? Plus the dang theme song brings me a weekly jolt of dopamine, so I may as well stick around for another 43 minutes. Mary: I missed the premiere last night, but I’m planning on watching it. It’s not must-see for me, but I still liked it fine at the end of the last season. You could do worse for some zombie-genre fun.

Week of 10/5/15

  • Arrow: Rob: I wish I knew how to quit you. Arrow keeps losing its way and then finding its way back–or finding a cool new path. With Legends of Tomorrow set to launch midway through the season, I expect this will be the anchor show for an ever-widening televised DC-verse. Will it lighten up? Will the R’as al Ghul business settle down or influence the show for the long haul? Will Green Lantern ever show up? Mary: I’m more enthusiastic about The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, but I’m definitely going to watch at least the first few episodes. I’m looking forward to the short-lived domestic bliss of Olicity, those bits where supers try to leave the super-life behind are always fun. (Remember the “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” montage in Spider Man 2?) Also can’t wait for the John Constantine cameo… I really hope that’s a nice long arc.
  • Supernatural: Mary: In an upcoming episode of our podcast I’ll explain all the reasons you should watch Supernatural. Right now I’ll say this: I think long-time fans will probably give this upcoming 11th season a go, and new fans should start at the beginning anyway. You could jump in with this season, but you’re missing a lot of good stuff, and based on last season I’m a bit worried about how this season will play out. Watch this space for details!
  • The Walking Dead: Rob: I just watched the finale of Fear the Walking Dead, and I think I may be more interested in that going forward. It’s not that I don’t want to follow Glenn and Michonne and even Rick–it’s more that their trauma and exhaustion get harder to watch with each new year. Maybe this time they’ll try something fresh.

Week of 10/26/15

  • Supergirl: Mary: I’ve held off on watching the pilot that’s widely available on the interwebs, but I’m looking forward to this show despite any misgivings I might have, like “will they rom-com it up too much?” I’m ready to be proved wrong! Rob:  I have seen the pilot and…well…my feelings are mixed. It’s got major problems, notably in the writing, but it’s got a lot going for it–the cast and the effects are largely terrific. If it can clean up its act in the first few episodes, it should be good fun.

Eventually

  • Agent Carter: Rob: Oooooh boy, they did it! This pops up in January during the season break, and it’s supposed to get spooky with the introduction of the Darkforce. This is essential to tons of Marvel characters, including good ol’ Dr. Strange, whose film comes out next Halloween. But honestly, I’ll take any hook to keep this terrific show alive.  Mary: CANNOT WAIT!!!! I have such a deep love for the current MCU, especially Cap and Peggy Carter. This show ranks second only to Orphan Black in my heart, and I’m so excited to see how Peggy kicks ass this season. (To hear a little of what Hayley Atwell–Peggy herself–is looking forward to, check out our post about her panel at ECCC 2015!)
  • Jessica Jones: Mary: More MCU! And it looks like we might be getting close to actually getting it, current internet searches indicate “late 2015.” If Daredevil is any indication of how Marvel conducts itself on Netflix I think we’re in for an amazing ride! Rob: The trailers have given me hope that this will hit the mark. I’ll likely burn my eyeballs bingeing it when it launches (I think I heard November).
  • Legends of Tomorrow:  Mary: As I mentioned, this ranks up there with The Flash as far as DC stuff I’m looking forward to. Very excited to see Arthur Darvill (Rory Pond from Doctor Who) again, and even if this whole show is a mess I have a feeling it’ll be fun and funny which might be enough to keep me hooked. Rob: This show has some great momentum, building off of the huge success of Arrow and The Flash–but I can’t see how it fits tonally with the other two. I think we’ll know after a couple of episodes if they know where they’re headed, and it’ll be fun to find out.
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Celebrity Panel Highlights From Emerald City Comicon

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Standing room only in the Gina Torres and Jewel Staite Firefly panel.
Standing room only in the Gina Torres and Jewel Staite Firefly panel.
Here’s some fun highlights from the celebrity panels I attended:

Amanda Tapping
I’ve never watched Stargate SG-1, and I bowed out of Sanctuary pretty early on so I really didn’t have an opinion about Amanda Tapping going in to this panel, but the friend I attended with on Saturday was a fan so we went to hear her talk. And I’m so glad! Tapping is funny and approachable and had lots of stories from the sets of her various projects (including the time she got blown up on the set of SG-1). She and her daughter are big Whovians and she fangirled about getting to meet Alex Kingston. She also said she’d love to play either River Song or the Doctor.

Alex Kingston
Many of us know her best as River Song on Doctor Who, which she acknowledged immediately by greeting the audience with, “Hello, sweeties!” Originally asked to be the headmistress of the adipose, Kingston turned it down because she had another job. “Thank God!” she said, because then she was later asked to fill this much more memorable role. Kingston said that writer Stephen Moffat knew River’s arc from her first appearance in the episode “Silence in the Library.” Kingston’s daughter, Salome, was celebrating her 14th birthday on Saturday, so Kingston brought her out on stage and the entire audience joined in singing “Happy Birthday.”
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Some Stuff We’re Stoked About at Emerald City Comicon

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logoIT STARTS TOMORROW YOU GUYS. Either you have tickets or you’re not going, but if you ARE going, here’s some of the stuff we’re most excited about:

Artists/Writers
Some special guests, some regular exhibitors. Booth number in parentheses.

  • enfu Seattle artist, creator of comics and other geeky things (502)
  • Levi Hastings Seattle artist, illustrator on the card game Salem, also paints dinosaurs and other geeky things! (1214)
  • Jody Houser Writer of the upcoming Orphan Black comic (II-12)
  • Matthew Inman Seattle writer/artist who created The Oatmeal. (202)
  • Mike Mignola Creator of Hellboy. (A-09)
  • Noelle Stevenson Comic writer and artist, known for Lumberjanes, Sleepy Hollow, Adventure Time, Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake, Bravest Warriors, The Midas Flesh, Nimona. (1002)
  • Kurtis J. Wiebe Creator and writer of Rat Queens. (P-06)

Panels
This (very condensed) list highlights some panels you might not have noticed. It’s in order of when the panels are occurring, visit the ECCC website for more details on days/times/locations/etc.

  • Supernatural Fan Panel – Sadly, the actual stars are going to be across town at the Supernatural Convention, so it’ll just be us nerds
  • Loving What You Hate: How to Love Media That Doesn’t Always Love You Back – a panel on loving problematic media
  • Meet The Valkyries – hear the insights of The Valkyries, a network of female comics retailers
  • Diversity, Representation and the Changing Face of Mainstream Comics, Cover Artist Confidential
  • Copyright Infringement and the Fair Use Doctrine Defense – great if you’re a fan creator!
  • Image Comics Presents: Your New Favorite Comics – including Kurtis J. Wiebe, creator of our new favorite comic, Rat Queens
  • How to Be a Nerd for a Living: Your Career in Nerd Culture
  • How Can You Help Diversity in Gaming?
  • Body Confidence and Positivity in Cosplay
  • It’s a (Straight White Cisgendered) Man’s World – hear from folks in the industry who aren’t straight, white, cis men about their experiences.
  • So Your Kids Want to Make Video Games?
  • Science Fact in Comics
  • Green Arrow to Katniss: Archery in Pop Culture – a panel of archers and archery nerds discussing archery
  • Women in the Gaming Industry – Industry pros discuss their experiences as women in the industry
  • Comics in the Classroom: Students as Makers

Celebrity Guests

Be sure to download the ECCC app to navigate your way through the weekend!

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SJW Link Roundup

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Some progressive nerd news and discussions from the past week:

10931594_10153551345353345_6791788542611331807_oRewriting The Future: Using Science Fiction to Re-envision Justice
More on Octavia’s Brood, the project we mentioned on our podcast a few weeks ago, by one of the editors, Walidah Imarisha:

We started the anthology with the belief that all organizing is science fiction. When we talk about a world without prisons; a world without police violence; a world where everyone has food, clothing, shelter, quality education; a world free of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, heterosexism; we are talking about a world that doesn’t currently exist. But collectively dreaming up one that does means we can begin building it into existence.

(via Nerds of Color)


 
Star Wars Adds First LGBTQ Character to the New Canon

Yub fucking nub: not only does Star Wars now have canonically female stormtroopers, but Paul Kemp’s upcoming book Lords of the Sith is also about to introduce the first official LGBTQ character to the new canon.

(via The Mary Sue)


 
Black developers speak out on stereotypes in gaming
Professor and game designer Derek Derek Manns and Dennis Mathews of Revelation Interactive Studios held a roundtable discussion at GDC 2015 (the Game Developers Conference) on how black characters are portrayed in games as well as stereotypes of black game developers and designers.

Mathews summed up the biggest reason why diversity is needed in one phrase: “People don’t know what they don’t know.” He explained that often developers who aren’t black don’t even realize when they’re drawing on stereotypes because they don’t have any black coworkers to call it out.

(via Polygon)


 
Doctor Who vs. the Bechdel Test
Sarah Barrett of The Mary Sue watched all 117 episodes of modern-day Doctor Who and analyzed how many times it passed the Bechdel test, and frankly we’re surprised it did so well. (Though things aren’t as good when you measure by people of color.)

(via The Mary Sue)

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Fall 2014 TV roundup

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We’re old enough to be vaguely nostalgic for the old network fall preview shows, when B-list celebs would tout whatever was coming up in September and October. These days, the cable bigs just drop shows whenever they feel like it, but there’s still a decent crop of new shows that just started or are dropping soon. Here’s what we’ll be watching this time around:

Already running

  • Doctor Who: Mary: “I’m not overly stoked (I lost almost all interest with the arrival of manic-pixie Clara in the post-Ponds era), but people have told me the new season is solid. And I hear there’s dinosaurs, sooo.” Rob: “I’m late to the party and still catching up with this one, so I won’t get to see Peter Capaldi work it as the new Doctor for a while yet. I am super-excited to see him take on the role, as I really enjoyed him in The Thick of It and In the Loop.”
  • Gotham: Rob: “I’m encouraged by the little I’ve read about this Batman prequel series, and I love the hell out of Donal Logue, but I’m still a wee bit skeptical. I’m hoping to get to it shortly.”
  • Sleepy Hollow: Rob: “I had somewhat mixed feelings about the first season of this apocalyptic fish-out-of-water thriller, but the premiere killed it, especially when naked Ben Franklin (Timothy Busfield!) exhorted Ichabod Crane to open his mind, maaaan. And where would genre TV be without John Noble?” Mary: “I love this legend in all its iterations (I have a soft spot for New England horror stories) and that certainly helped get me on board. But I wouldn’t have stayed if it weren’t any fun to watch, and its winking humor is never exhausting.”
  • Haven: Mary: “Speaking of New England horror, this SyFy show based on a Stephen King story has spun in to five seasons of mystery. A small town is haunted by centuries-old ‘troubles,’ supernatural afflictions that often reflect some personality trait or trauma of those who suffer them. I’m not even sure I recommend it, but if you like King or dark New England eccentricity or just need something running in the background while you clean house you could do worse.”
  • Agents of SHIELD: Rob: “Yup, it’s better than it was at first. Yup, it’s still not what I would call a strong show. But the little bits keep getting better, notably in the scripting, and most of the over- and under-acting has regressed to the mean. I’m in.” Mary: “At first I felt about SHIELD the way I felt about Caprica: I love the universe in general so I’ll watch to keep the buzz going. But SHIELD is getting its legs under it better than Caprica ever did, and I like much of what it’s added to the current Marvel film canon. I’m still not buying the Skye/Coulson relationship, but at least Skye has gotten tolerable. Plus: Patton Oswalt.”

10/7/14

  • The Flash: Rob: “We’re suckers for Arrow (see below), and this expansion of that dark corner of the DC Universe looks promising. I liked Grant Gustin enough to keep watching Glee past its expiration date, and he captures a smart, optimistic vibe that could be a great counterbalance to the brooding sadfest we see every week on Arrow. We’ll see.” Mary: “What Rob said.”
  • Supernatural: Mary: “Entering its 10th season, and I’m watching the FUCK out of it because [spoiler] you guys Dean totally became a DEMON at the end of last season! Also: Mark Sheppard, the king of genre television.”

10/8/14

  • American Horror Story: Rob: “Each new season seems to get more and more comfortable with its bigger-than-too-big aesthetic, and I’m looking forward to Jessica Lange trying on a German accent. Here’s hoping it’s as thick and nourishing as her glorious New England accent from a few seasons ago! Oh and plus there are ‘freaks,’ so it’ll be fun to watch the PR shenanigans as people inevitably (and legitimately) protest.” Mary: “Outside of Orphan Black (which destroys any competition in this department), I maintain that AHS is one of the most feminist genre shows on right now. Why? This piece sums it up better than I can in a line, but essentially the women are strong (not ‘strong’). Plus: spooky circus!”
  • Arrow: Rob: “I can’t feel guilty about this pleasure anymore. Green Arrow was never this sad and haunted in the comics (expect maybe when Speedy was shooting up), but it’s still a good time for all. The fight choreography is as good as we see in most big-budget films, the fan service is surprisingly subtle at times, and the drama is cheesy enough to go perfectly with all the wine I drink while watching.” Mary: “It may be the handsome man workout hour (ladies…) but it’s also solid superhero fun. There’s danger! Romance! Evil! Justice! John Barrowman! Just watch it.”

10/12/14

  • The Walking Dead: Mary: “I’m like a season and a half behind, but I still toy with picking it back up. I dunno, I love to hate it. And it’s still the best SFX on tv. Plus: Darryl.” Rob: “I’m all caught up and looking forward to seeing where they go after the dark turn that ended the last season. I never read the comics, but that sounds as if it may be a plus for viewers. There may be a time when I stop caring, but it hasn’t happened yet.”