Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Embrace the chaos in Moon Knight

Marvel Studios dropped a trailer for Moon Knight during Monday night's NFL Super Wild Card matchup on ESPN and ABC.

Moon Knight, starring Oscar Isaac (Star Wars) as the titular cult superhero with more than a passing resemblance to DC Comics' Batman, looks like it's going to continue the excellence of Marvel Studios' WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If...? and Hawkeye on Disney+.

“The series follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life,” Marvel’s official synopsis says. “Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.”

Moon Knight will begin streaming 30th March on Disney+.

Are you looking forward to Marvel Studios' Moon Knight on Disney+? What do you think about Oscar Isaac's British accent? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 17 January 2022

Peacemaker is a douchey Captain America

It's Blue Monday, allegedly the most depressing day of the year. But here's some subversive cheer!

Peacemaker, a Suicide Squad spin-off series from director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) and starring John Cena (Bumblebee) as the titular antihero, is streaming exclusively on HBO Max.

James Gunn and John Cena break down what makes Peacemaker so special and how the HBO Max spin-off series expands his story in a new featurette.

New episodes of Peacemaker premiere every Thursday exclusively on HBO Max.

Are you watching Peacemaker on HBO Max? Is it fun? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Moon Knight trailer this Monday

A trailer for Marvel Studios' Moon Knight, starring Oscar Isaac (Star Wars) as the titular character, drops during Monday night's NFL Super Wild Card matchup on ESPN and ABC.

Are you looking forward to Marvel Studios' Moon Knight on Disney+? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Batgirl first look on HBO Max

The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson (The Twilight Saga) as the titular dark detective, is exclusively in cinemas this March.

Batgirl gets her own spin-off origin movie exclusively on HBO Max later this year, and actress Leslie Grace (In the Heights) took to social media to share an official first look at the iconic costume.

Michael Keaton (Batman) is expected to reprise the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Are you looking forward to the upcoming Batgirl movie on HBO Max? What are your thoughts on the costume? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Eternals streaming on Disney+

As Spider-Man: No Way Home continues to dominate the box office, Marvel Studios' Eternals is now available to stream at no extra cost on Disney+. This is just two months after it was released in cinemas.

Eternals, from Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), is arguably the most divisive Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie to date. However, it may yet find an audience on Disney+.

I'll be watching out of curiosity (I'd never heard of the Eternals before) as I wait for the home release of Spider-Man: No Way Home on Netflix.

Have you seen Eternals on Disney+? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

James Gunn talks Knight Rider

Knight Rider, starring David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, premiered 40 years ago this year. With its iconic opening theme and talking car (voiced by William Daniels), Glen A. Larson's series soon established itself as unmissable television in 1982.

A generation of children (myself included) and adults dreamed of owning their own Knight Industries Three Thousand (KITT) car in an era where home computers were coming of age. Glen A. Larson's talking car also featured an Easter egg from his Battlestar Galactica series.

Incidentally, a decade ago Netflix launched in the UK, and Knight Rider was one of the first series I streamed along with classic Doctor Who.

The series was most recently rebooted in 2008, and Nick Smith reviewed it at the time. In the intervening years, technology popularised in the original series is now available to consumers from tech titans Apple and Tesla. I can check my app-enabled BMW on my iPhone, something I never imagined would be possible when I began watching Knight Rider all those years ago.

Director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) told SlashFilm he'd like to reboot Knight Rider:

"My friend [David Hasselhoff] and I have discussed doing a modern continuation of Knight Rider many times. The primary hurdle has been there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the cool things I want to do!"

Would you like to see a reboot of Knight Rider in an era of app-enabled self-driving cars? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Groundhog Day of the Daleks

Eve of the Daleks is the first of three Doctor Who specials marking the end of Jodie Whittaker's tenure as the titular Time Lord in 2022.

Nick Smith, our resident US-based stellar scribe, returns from the Flux for some déjà vu of the Daleks.

Guest post by Nick Smith

To say I had a quiet New Year’s Eve would be an understatement. I visited family in Upstate New York, near the Canadian border. No party. No fireworks. No TV. They have no TV, people!

Thank goodness for smart devices and streaming services and all that newfangled spangly stuff, thanks to which I was able to watch the brand-new Doctor Who tale, Eve of the Daleks, on my iPhone.

Unlike previous New Year specials, the tie-in with the holiday seemed less forced and NYE elements were put to good use. Having worked many a New Year’s Eve, I sympathized with Sarah (Aisling Bea) who is stuck in her storage facility while everyone else (even her Mum!) is enjoying their annual bong-bongs.

Almost everyone. She’s joined by Nick (Adjani Salmon), who has a crush on her. We get to know them in a long pre-credits sequence that has me asking, ‘am I watching Doctor Who?’

My question is answered by the arrival of a Dalek, which ruins the chance of the story becoming a full-on romcom. Or does it? The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) find themselves in a time loop with Sarah and Nick, trapped in a Day of the Daleks. The 2020s version of these metal menaces are violent, crafty, they can pop up anywhere… and they kill.

The first Skaro stories I watched were Genesis of the Daleks and its sequel, Destiny of the Daleks. Not only were these monsters important enough to have their names in the title, but they were also downright creepy. To young me, Tom Baker’s teasing didn’t stop them from being menacing and memorable. Their torture of Romana was as inhuman as their voice. They were a threat to be reckoned with.

Here they star in a story with lots of humorous moments and funny one-liners but they still manage to be threatening. Eve of the Daleks seems intended as a bit of a giggle after the more serious Flux. If this was part of a regular season, it would be the ‘comedy episode’ to break up heavier segments.

While the Daleks exterminate all over the place, Yaz’s character is developed when she admits her own feelings to the Doctor. This relationship is being built up slowly and I hope that writer and departing showrunner Chris Chibnall maintains this careful pace to create something more meaningful than the quick Doctor-and-Captain Jack Harkness snog as in 2005’s The Doctor Dances.

Maybe it was a tinge of loneliness in the cold wastes of the New York rust belt, or a drop of Dr. Pepper that went down the wrong way, but I must confess the end of the story with its firework-fueled explosion brought tears to my eyes.

The combination of wit, twists, dangerous situations, romance, likeable characters, kick-bump Daleks and the Doctor’s last stand all made this special… special.

Above all, though, the theme of hope and persistence overcoming death and darkness resonated with me on a cold January night and this was the closest I got to a New Year’s celebration.

Hope in the darkness. It sums up Doctor Who and it’s the reason why we shoot bright sparks into the cloying sky every New Year. That, and they’re both loads of fun.

Did you see Eve of the Daleks? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 8 January 2022

Doctor Who eyes Star Wars tech

Post-production on Jodie Whittaker's final Doctor Who special (airing this autumn) continues in earnest with the series intending to utilise technology developed for Disney+'s live-action Star Wars spin-offs The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett when Russell T Davies returns as showrunner from 2023.

Visual effects editor Emily Lawrence explained in Doctor Who Magazine (DWM) Issue 573:

“The 360 screens in The Mandalorian and how they used gaming software to create those amazing landscapes is something I’d love to see in Doctor Who,"

She goes on to describe the benefits of Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) StageCraft:

“The actors walk in front of the screen and the environment moves with them. That means we wouldn’t need green screen anymore and that would really help our VFX vendors, because they wouldn’t have to spend hours rotoscoping out the green screen.”

With Bad Wolf, now part of Sony Pictures Television, co-producing Doctor Who from 2023 there's every chance. Will the next Doctor have a new Kamelion? This is the shape-shifting TARDIS companion you're looking for.

Friday, 7 January 2022

Battlestar Galactica's shared universe future

Ronald D. Moore's (For All Mankind) acclaimed reboot of Glen A. Larson's Battlestar Galactica, one of the first sci-fi series I covered on this blog, ended 15 years ago and was followed by a short-lived prequel series, Caprica.

A movie was announced as far back as 2009 but didn't materialise despite the popularity of Star Trek and Star Wars at the box office, which has culminated in more spin-offs for those storied franchises on Paramount+ and Disney+ respectively.

Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Dark Phoenix) has teased a new Battlestar Galactica movie and streaming series from Sam Esmail (Mr Robot) for Peacock during an interview with Collider.

"We are in the process of going out to directors and the hope is to attach a director and start prepping the movie this year," Kinberg said. "It's a megillah, humongous film and the prep will be a very long prep period so I would imagine even if we attached a director today it would take six, nine months to prep this movie properly. So at the earliest, we'd be shooting at the end of this year. We'd probably be shooting at the beginning of next year. Time will tell who the director is and then you or someone else will tell who the director is."

Shared universes are currently Hollywood's bread and butter. Battlestar Galactica won't be an exception in the wake of the commercial success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

"In terms of the situation with Sam and the show, I can't say too much about it other than there is synergy between the two enterprises and constant communication between us," Kinberg said. "We've become close and been having a really good time together and there will be, for lack of a better phrase and it's an overused phrase, a shared universe."

Whenever the movie and Peacock series premiere, there'll be much for Battlestar Galactica fans (myself included) to discuss. In the meantime, I should watch the final season of the reboot and rewatch the original series.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock on Apple TV+

As I've written previously, one of my most enduring childhood memories (as I underwent years of rehabilitation following a life-changing head injury) is of watching Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock at my late Canadian grandmother's house after school - where I watched The Krotons during the fabled The Five Faces of Doctor Who season of repeats.

She would always pour me a glass of orange juice and I'd have a choice of biscuit (usually choosing a Jammie Dodger years before Doctor Who made them cool again). So, I'm looking forward to seeing Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock on Apple TV+.

Read the official synopsis:

"Jim Henson’s fun-loving, musical Fraggles are back! Join Gobo, Red, Wembley, Mokey, Boober, and new Fraggle friends on hilarious, epic adventures about the magic that happens when we celebrate and care for our interconnected world."

What are your childhood memories of watching Fraggle Rock? Let me know in the comments below.