Owen Dennis’s animated anthology series Infinity Train stretches as infinite as its possibilities. A new world—or restored—order infuses the adventure aboard the Infinity Train after the events of season one. The rollie spherical droid One-One (Jeremy Crutchley as Glad-One, Dennis as the Sad-One) has reclaimed his rightful place as the Conductor.
As it went in Book One, humans who suffered a trauma like its first protagonist and are in need of life lessons are taken aboard a cryptic train of limitless cars, each housing surreal worlds and inhabitants. Humans are tattooed with a glowing number on their palm that can go up or down. Passengers must do good deeds or mature in emotional understandings to lower their score to zero and activate their exit door so they may return to the normal world as a healed or reformed person. Now that One-One has his Conductor mantle back, he has prepared his human charges instruction videos with more clear-cut guidelines, but his guide isn’t quite clear-cut for some individuals in the ecosystem. The natural order must be that the train denizens must help the human passengers, but one denizen is an individual disruptor of the idea.
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(Welcome to The Clock Tower, where we’ll break down the goings on of the The CW network’s Arrowverse. We’ll touch on things like themes, cultural impact, lead-ins to major events, ships, and more every week! Warning: this Clock Tower is filled with spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.)
Every major event, whether it be on the big screen or small, tells you that its world will never be the same by the time the credits roll. I’m pleasantly surprised to report that Crisis on Infinite Earths managed to deliver on that promise in spades. After a long break, the Arrowverse’s biggest crossover yet concluded in a spectacular fashion. Though I personally felt that the first three episodes were stronger as a whole, a lot went down in the last two episodes that truly does change the landscape of DC forever.
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This post contains spoilers for the season 5 premiere (naturally), but also the season 4 finale.
Last season’s finale of The Magicians was a doozy for fans; Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph), one of the main characters of the show, dramatically sacrifices himself in order to save his friends and bring magic back into the world. Death, especially in fantasy, can be an impermanent state of being. But showrunners Sera Gamble and John McNamara made it clear at the end of Season 4 that Quentin would very likely remain dead and gone.
Unsurprisingly, the impact of Quentin’s death is a major force in Season 5, and not only to those who loved Quentin and are grieving his loss; Quentin’s death also released an unprecedented influx of magic into the universe, and Earth as well as Fillory must now deal with the consequences. The last few minutes of the Season 4 finale touched on some of those potential consequences: Margo and Eliot are trapped in Fillory 300 years in the future; Julia gets her magic back because of her pain from Quentin’s death; and the now-broken Library is seeking help from a grief-stricken Alice. The beginning of this season builds on these developments and more—read on to get a spoiler-full take of what happens in Season 5’s first episode, “Do Something Crazy.”
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After fleeing the First Order untold times, the Colossus seems to have found a permanent home on an aqua planet low on the First Order radar—or so Captain Doza (Jason Hightower) assumes—and endowed with freshwater and food sources. Kaz (Christopher Sean) is naturally skeptical about a return to the old relative status quo. First, they have to face the humanoid amphibious natives who are still ailing after a First Order assault and are unhappy about new visitors. And second, the First Order increased their surveillance so that even a planet they already accounted for is still probed.
With “The New World” and “No Place Safe,” Star Wars Resistance grapples with the attempt to return to the status quo while challenging it. Both episodes echo Star Wars Rebels “Mystery on Chopper Base,” a slice-of-slice episode that featured action while meditating on the dramatic stakes.
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After the rip-roaring two-part premiere of Doctor Who, which managed to bring a new level of excitement to the series while filling me with a white-hot fury, the sci-fi series is taking a little vacation. But, this being Doctor Who, that vacation is far from restful.
The latest episode, “Orphan 55,” is an ambitious sci-fi epic made on a micro budget in a dumb location — which admittedly is very Doctor Who. But despite its grand ideas and noble messages about climate change and the future of humanity, the Ed Hime-penned episode unfortunately settles back into the bland forgettable-ness that characterized a lot of showrunner Chris Chibnall’s first season. And, in a thematic continuation of last week’s continuity-busting episode, “Orphan 55” manages to do away with much of the rules established by Russel T. Davies and Steven Moffat’s eras — because Chibnall doesn’t care about your canon.
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(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)
Ignoring any Into The Dark rankings and ratings thus far, Blumhouse’s ability to drive representation and diversity throughout their feature-length entries is a focus to be followed. Gigi Saul Gurrerro’s Culture Shock ended up a memorable 4th Of July fireworks display of borderland terror, with such a distinct cultural perspective. In tone, presentation, and presence, Gurrerro’s voice is never stifled – just like this January’s Midnight Kiss. Carter Smith’s decisively gay New Year’s Eve slasher is scripted by a gay Hollywood screenwriter (Erlingur Thoroddsen) and directed by a gay Hollywood director (Smith). Two filmmakers who are unafraid to create in a language known within their communities – experiences resonating throughout so many daily routines – and yet desperately underserved when it comes to on-screen horror opportunities.
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The end is near for Star Wars: Resistance and there’s a new problem aboard the Colossus. As foreshadowed in “Hunt on Celsor 3,” Captain Kragan (Gary Anthony Williams) and his Warbird pirates are set on committing mutiny on the Colossus.
Defying the lockdown orders, Kragan and his gang, sans their token renegade Synara, travel to an asteroid where the Captain makes a dealing with the red-clad Sidon Ithano, part of the Crimson Corsair (whom movie-verse viewers will recognize as the being who offered safe passage for Finn in the Force Awakens to flee the First Order). Kragan purchases Clone Wars-era B2 bots, recognizably Separatist droids, to take over the Colossus. Naturally, Captain Doza (Jason Hightower) is suspicious about Kragan’s clandestine trip, and Synara (Nazneen Contractor) faces her true loyalties.
Written by Mairghread Scott, “The Mutiny” brings out the fun but also has glaring shortcomings that reflect upon the series’ overall consolidation of character arcs.
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Doctor Who has never been one to stick to canon, or even really pay attention to continuity. The Doctor’s biggest villains, from the Daleks, to the Cyberman, to yes, even the Master, will return with little to no explanation after seemingly permanent deaths, and the Doctor’s home planet of Gallifrey is all-important until it’s not. When you boil down this show, it’s just a lovely sci-fi adventure about a time-traveling alien who goes on adventures through time and space with human companions. Which, at a basic level, “Spyfall, Part 2” succeeds at.
Jodie Whittaker‘s debut season last year consisted of showrunner Chris Chibnall and his writers tiptoeing around anything potentially controversial with the show’s first female Doctor, resulting in one of the blandest and least memorable seasons of Doctor Who to date. But in the season 12 premiere two-parter, it seems that Chibnall and co. have gotten over their hang-ups over what to avoid, and finally started thinking about what to do with this new Doctor and her unique persona. The result: a zippy, time-hopping episode with moments of contemplative emotion that pays tribute to Classic Doctor Who while attempting to forge ahead with new season-long mysteries. While I’m relieved that we have a season-long arc again (as messy as Doctor Who‘s arcs could be, I enjoy the unifying storylines), I dislike that Chibnall has to burn down all the work that Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat have done up until now. Justice for Missy!
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Over the decades, Doctor Who has assumed a plethora of identities: in the ’60s it was an educational program with a sci-fi twist, in the ’70s it was briefly a James Bond-inspired espionage series, in the ’80s and on, it embraced its camp. With the 2005 reboot, Doctor Who embraced and shed even more identities: the blue-collar soap, the fairy tale adventure, and even flashes of hard sci-fi. Last season was a much celebrated new era of Doctor Who, one led by a new showrunner, Chris Chibnall, and the exciting first female Doctor of the series, played by Jodie Whittaker. It was going to be an all-new Doctor Who, Chibnall promised, one without the tedious plot twists and convoluted mythology of the previous seasons. But the result was a season without an identity, with episodes that felt like solid sci-fi stories by talented and diverse sci-fi writers, but without that special oomph that made Doctor Who feel like Doctor Who. Whittaker’s Doctor, despite the effervescence with which she played her, felt like a non-entity, running through forgettable plotlines on which she made little actual impact.
It’s no surprise that the highs of last season — apart from that mid-season high-concept swing “It Takes You Away” — were when old enemies returned and familiar Doctor Who winks were made. So perhaps it’s no surprise that, after having overcome his first-season growing pains, Chibnall is doubling down on that classic Doctor Who vibe, including one big enemy making a surprise return. I still don’t know if the Chibnall era has found its own identity yet, but it’s certainly done a good job at retreading some classic Doctor Who identities; in the first episode of the season, “Spyfall, Part 1,” the series plays with some major Jon Pertwee-era stylings. This season is all shaken and stirred, with an explosive Bond-inspired opening involving a network of spies that are being attacked by mysterious translucent humanoid beings that change the very nature of human DNA. Say it with me in the Jennifer Jason Leigh voice: “Annihilatiooon.”
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Growing up for Steven Universe (Zach Callison) is no picnic. What happens in “Snow Day” is minuscule but momentous, yet another idyllic day-in-the-life without punching antagonists. 16-year-old Steven is so frazzled and focused on the Little Homeworld school that his childlike spirit has been siphoned away. He is no longer partaking in the child relics of Steven Universe. He rebuffs Pearl’s (Deedee Magno) attempt to dress him, the Gems whipping up the infamous Together Breakfast, Garnet’s (Estelle) offer of pepperoni pizza (Steven is now vegetarian), and the Crystal Gems’ insistence to play tag. Read More »