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New Escapist Video! “A Marvelous Escape” – What If – “… Ultron Won & The Watcher Broke His Oath?”

With a slew of Marvel Studios productions coming to Disney+ over the next six months, The Escapist has launched a weekly show discussing these series

This week, I join KC Nwosu and Amy Campbell to talk about the last two episodes of What If…?, streaming on Disney+.

New Escapist Column! On “What If…?”, and How We Measure What Stories “Matter”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. Because What If…? wrapped its first season last week, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the show.

In particular, What If…? demonstrates one of the tensions within modern pop culture. How does modern pop culture measure the worthy or value of a particular story? Historically, stories have been judged on their own quality, making arguments for their own value. However, with the emergence and evolution of shared universes like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it increasingly seems like audiences are being told that they should measure the value of a given story by how it “matters” to the continuity of the larger franchise. A story no longer has worth because it is good, but because it promises a return down the line.

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

New Podcast! Enterprising Individuals – “Gimme Some Mooney”

I am always thrilled to get a chance to talk about Star Trek with other fans, so I was thrilled at the invitation to join the wonderful Aaron Coker on Enterprising Individuals to talk about That Which Survives. The main feed episode went live last week.

However, our conversation tended to be a bit broader and a bit more wide-reaching than that, so we talked about everything from the recent release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to the completion of the Rebuild of Evangelion series. It was a discussion that managed to cover everything from Quibi to workers’ rights to the future of Doctor Who. It was a fun chat, and I hope that you enjoy.

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

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New Escapist Video! “A Marvelous Escape” – What If – “… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark & Thor Were An Only Child?”

With a slew of Marvel Studios productions coming to Disney+ over the next six months, The Escapist has launched a weekly show discussing these series

This week, I join KC Nwosu and Amy Campbell to talk about the sixth and seventh episodes of What If…?, streaming on Disney+.

New Escapist Column! On Russell T. Davies’ Return to “Doctor Who”…

I published a new column at The Escapist yesterday. With the seismic news that Russell T. Davies would be returning as showrunner of Doctor Who, it seemed worth taking a look at what he might bring.

Davies is, to put it simply, one of the best dramatists working on British television. He is also one of the single most important creative personnel in the history of Doctor Who. While Barry Letts did briefly return as an executive producer, his return is unprecedented. While nobody knows exactly what happened behind the scenes, it seems safe to suggest that his return is a pretty big deal. So the question remains: can Davies save Doctor Who again?

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

New Escapist Column! On the Timelessness and Timeliness of “Foundation”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of the first two episodes of Foundation on Apple TV+, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look back at Isaac Asimov’s hugely influential science-fiction series.

Foundation casts a long shadow over American science-fiction, its influence felt on projects like Star Wars and Star Trek. However, while it has been adapted as a radio play, the new television show marks the first successful effort to bring the show to screen. What is it that makes Foundation so difficult to adapt? Why has it taken so long for such a foundational text to come to film or television? How is a science-fiction saga that began in the late forties and carried on into the fifties still relevant today?

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

New Podcast! Enterprising Individuals – “That Which Survives”

I am always thrilled to get a chance to talk about Star Trek with other fans, so I was thrilled at the invitation to join the wonderful Aaron Coker on Enterprising Individuals to talk about That Which Survives.

The third season of Star Trek is an interesting season of television. It is largely dismissed and overlooked by many fans, who write it off as a season in clear decline. Certainly, the season contains no shortage of terrible episodes: And the Children Shall Lead, The Way to Eden, The Paradise Syndrome, Turnabout Intruder and many more. However, there’s an interesting atmosphere that pervades the season, the sense that the third season of Star Trek is drifting through a haunted and dead universe. That Which Survives is a pure example of this, like The Tholian Web or Spectre of the Gun or All Our Yesterdays.

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

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New Escapist Video! “Star Wars: Visions Full Season Review”

I’m thrilled to be launching movie reviews on The Escapist. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be joining a set of contributors in adding these reviews to the channel. For the moment, I’m honoured to contribute a three-minute full-season review of Star Wars: Visions, which is streaming on Disney+ right now.

New Escapist Column! On The Lingering Ambiguity of “The Sopranos”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the rapidly approaching premiere of The Many Saints of Newark, it seemed like as good a time as any to take a look back to The Sopranos.

The Sopranos remains a towering accomplishment in modern television. It is a show that ushered in what has been described as “the Golden Age of Television.” It is a show that has endured, recruiting new fans in the years since it went off the air. It is a show that is still hotly contested and debated, with fans still arguing over what particular scenes or episodes mean. This is particularly true of the show’s famous ending scene, but the truth is that The Sopranos was always deliberately ambiguous, trusting its audience to reach their own conclusions about these characters and how they operate.

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

New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 7, Episode 11 (“Closure”)

The X-Cast is covering the seventh season of The X-Files. It’s an interesting and divisive season of the show, a season that seems to have been intended to serve as the end of the show’s run, but is now closer to the middle of the series’ run. Although the sixth season had wrapped up a lot of the mythology in Two Fathers and One Son, the seventh season still had some tidying up to do. I was thrilled to join Carl Sweeney and Chris Knowles for an episode doing some of that tidying up: Closure.

Samantha Mulder had haunted the show since the very beginning. In The Pilot and Conduit, Samantha’s mysterious disappearance was positioned as the reason for Mulder’s quest. Over the years, in episodes like Colony and End Game or Redux II, Samantha remained pivotal to the show’s central mythology. She was perhaps the biggest remaining plot thread as the show entered its seventh season. Closure is an attempt to wrap up that dangling plot thread, and to provide a satisfying answer once and for all to one of the show’s biggest remaining mysteries.

You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

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