• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

New Escapist Column! On the Fetishising of the Federation in the Third Season of “Star Trek: Discovery”…

I published a new piece at The Escapist today. With the third season premiere of Star Trek: Discovery last week, it seemed worth taking a look at the new season of the Star Trek spin-off.

The third season of Discovery finds the characters thrown into the distant future, after the collapse of the Federation. This is interesting, because it represents both a clear extrapolation of the futures suggested by Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise, and also a clear progression of the franchise status quo suggested by Star Trek: Picard. This is a franchise dealing with the decline and collapse of American exceptionalism. However, Picard and Discovery offer easy answers to hard questions, lacking the introspection that their premise deserves.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Video! On “Star Trek: Discovery” and the Forgotten Psychedelic History of “Star Trek”…

So, as I have mentioned before, I am launching a new video series as a companion piece to In the Frame at The Escapist. The video will typically launch with the Monday article, and be released on the magazine’s YouTube channel the following week. This month, it will be releasing on the Tuesday.

With that in mind, here is last week’s episode, covering the first season of Star Trek: Discovery and the way in which the show taps into the forgotten psychedelic history of the original Star Trek television series.

New Escapist Column! On “The Romance of Certain Old Clothes” as the Key to “The Haunting of Bly Manor”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of The Haunting of Bly Manor last week, I figured it was worth a look at the season’s standout episode, The Romance of Certain Old Clothes.

Early in the season, the character of Peter Quint explains to young Miles Wingrave that people are like locked doors – in order to understand them, and get inside of them, one needs a key. That key serves as a detail that ties the whole together and makes sense of it all. The Romance of Certain Old Clothes, the penultimate episode of the season, serves that purpose – not only for The Haunting of Bly Manor itself, but arguably the bulk of showrunner Mike Flanagan’s output.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On the Forgotten Psychedelia of the First Season of “Star Trek: Discovery”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the third season of Star Trek: Discovery premiering later this week, I thought it was worth taking a look back at the first season of the Star Trek relaunch.

The first season of Discovery is fascinating, in large part because it genuinely feels like a completely different iteration of the Star Trek franchise. As befitting the mood of the moment, Discovery largely bypasses nostalgia for the Berman era and reconnects the franchise with the psychedelia and anxieties of the franchise’s original sixties television series. This is a show that exists in the same irrational and chaotic universe as episodes like The Man TrapCharlie X, Dagger of the Mind, Catspaw, Mirror, MirrorThe Immunity Syndrome, The Tholian Web and many more.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On “The Best of Both Worlds” as the Moment that “The Next Generation” Came of Age…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist yesterday evening. Because The Best of Both Worlds, Part II aired thirty years ago on Thursday, it seemed only right to take a look back at one of the most beloved stories in the Star Trek franchise.

The Best of Both Worlds, Part I is widely accepted as one of the best cliffhangers in television history. However, the episode is really the culmination of the growth and development of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The spin-off had a rocky first couple of seasons, but really came into its own during a much more ambitious and consistent third year. That third year built inexorably towards that cliffhanger, demonstrating the effectiveness of that approach to storytelling.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Podcast! The Escapist Movie Podcast – “The Devil All the Time, Antebellum, Mandalorian, and Pushbacks”

The Escapist have launched a movie podcast, and I was thrilled to join Jack Packard and Bob Chipman for the fourth episode, primarily discussing The Devil All the Time, Antebellum, the trailer for the second season of The Mandalorian, and the changes to the release schedule after the releases of TENET and Mulan.

You can listen to the episode here, back episodes of the podcast here, click the link below or even listen directly.

New Escapist Column! On the Charming Crassness of “The Boys”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the second season of The Boys releasing on Amazon Prime, it seemed worth a look.

The Boys is not a subtle television show. There is little ambiguity or nuance in its cartoonish portrayal of a world dominated by superheroes defined by their selfishness, vindictiveness and childishness. However, this lack of subtlety is not necessarily a weakness. The Boys is outlandish to the point of being crass, but that’s part of the appeal. These are crass and vulgar times, and so it seems reasonable to filter the superhero genre through that sensibility. The age of prestige television is over, but then there is nothing especially prestigious about this moment.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On Ridley Scott’s Science-Fiction Sensibility in “Raised by Wolves”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist on Friday. With the launch of Raised by Wolves on HBO Max, I thought it was worth taking a look at the streaming science-fiction series.

The most striking thing about Raised by Wolves is the extent to which it feels like a Ridley Scott production. Scott did not write or create the show, the was Aaron Guzikowski. However, Scott directed the first two episodes, and they often feel like an extension of Scott’s work. There are obvious echoes of Scott’s iconic science-fiction work in classics like Alien and Blade Runner, but also shots and sequences that seem to have been lifted from Prometheus and Alien: Covenant.

This works rather well, as Raised by Wolves delves into some of Scott’s core thematic preoccupations. Like Prometheus, Exodus: Gods and Kings and Covenant, this is a story about religion. Like Prometheus, Gods and Kings, Covenant and All the Money in the World, it is also a story about parenthood and the responsibility of caring for a younger life. However, because Raised by Wolves is not tied to any existing intellectual property, it gives Scott a lot of space to work. More than that, it suggests that Scott is a brand unto himself.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On “Lovecraft Country” and Making Room in America’s Imaginary Spaces…

I published a new piece at The Escapist earlier today. Lovecraft Country premiered last week, an interesting exploration of a particular type of American weird fiction.

Lovecraft Country is a show that consciously blurs the line between America’s landscapes and its dreamscapes. In doing so, it touches on the psychological horror of generations of segregation of these spaces, exploring what it means for entire groups of people to have been excluding from these places real and imaginary. Lovecraft Country is about trying to navigate this terrain, and in doing so explores this familiar ground from a new angle.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On the Paradoxical Nostalgia of “Star Trek: Lower Decks”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. Star Trek: Lower Decks launched last week, the latest entry in the larger Star Trek canon.

Lower Decks is an interesting phenomenon. It is perhaps the most overtly nostalgic Star Trek show of the new era, given how transparently it harks back to Star Trek: The Next Generation in both form and content. However, the show’s aesthetics – an animated series with a modern comedic sensibility – are likely to alienate those fans most obviously yearning for a nostalgic Star Trek hit. At the same time, the show’s reverence for the trappings of Star Trek prevents it from working in the mold of good comedy – even good Star Trek comedy.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.