There’s still a couple of episodes left in the televisual titan’s total run, in that time it has met with international acclaim, made superstars out of its cast and creator George R.R. Martin, and has generally been the most talked about TV series of the decade, possibly the century so far… Breaking Bad is a solid contender, and I’m thinking Breaking Bad will be the more fondly remembered long term because it had a very satisfying finale. The last few episodes, with Walt living in exile to avoid police justice, trapped in a prison of his own making, before coming back to help the one person he considers a friend, confessing his sins, and dying with one last shred of redemption on his proverbial soul. It was understated, heartfelt, and truly glorious.
I don’t think we’ll be seeing the same thing from Game of Thrones. (more…)
Cartoon Network was a staple of British childrens television in the 90’s and early 00’s. Founded in 1994, Cartoon Network quickly became the go-to channel for all cool kids shows, with the only real rival being Nickelodeon. YouTube wasn’t around, Google was still a small idea, with search engines like AskJeeves and even Yahoo! being relatively comparible. As such, as a 90’s kid in the UK, you typically didn’t have a lot of channels to choose from, but rather just a few main ones. Growing up, a lot of the cartoons I loved the most were airred on Cartoon Network. These are four of my favourites which, if you’ve not seen, you absolutely must.
Squids! Octopi! Aliens! What do all of these things have in common? That’s right, tentacles. Okay, aliens maybe not always, but the rest are definitely tentacled. Whether or not you’re going to have a biological tentacle, or a mechanical one, these appendages are long, limber and part of many people’s fantasies. You know what I’m talking about. Anyway, here’s our Top 10 Tentacled Beings.
A startling revelation that came to me, a new and unique idea is genuinely hard to come by. Okay, this is a strange topic for a geek website, but hear me out. It relates to your favourite video games, TV series, films, books and stories of all kinds. When you flick through available content, a lot of stories are similar, albeit with a different cast. This Monday, I saw something that was genuinely new – And that made me and fans exceptionally happy.
We all remember ReBoot, right? Early CGI cartoon that brought to life the inner workings of computers and the anthropomorphic data living within, excellent story, great characters and villains… I mean, it was kind of trashy, but for a kids show in the mid 90’s it was good stuff, and ran until 2001. And let us not forget Beast Wars which ran from ’96 to ’99, casting fuel on the fire of CGI’s rise to prominence on the animation scene.
But here’s the thing, shortly after these series ended there was a flurry of new computer-animated shows that attempted to ride the popularity of the new and revolutionary animation style available. Today they look dated, the graphics have been outdone a thousand times over, the animation is poor, textures are all plastic and reflect light oddly, and object interactions are entertaining to say the least.
But they’re still well worth a watch! Some of them are approaching twenty years old, and to see the difference in animation quality now compared to then is something truly staggering. The series below have some serious pros and cons, but as fragments of animation history, they are well worth dredging up… if you can find them.
Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future
The serialised adventures of a science fiction hero torn straight from the pages of the 1950’s comic strip, and keeping all of the worst science involved, like manta rays that filter feed through the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, advanced civilisations on Mars capable of strip mining Venus, complex and technologically advanced creatures living on orphaned planets that survive by steeling the water of others, and the idea that punching a monitor actually hurts The Mekon.
Each episode was one of a two-parter, embracing the serialisation of stories in the old pulp comics, and racking up suspense to keep people watching. It also meant that slightly longer tales could be told of daring adventure, in which our hero always comes out on top through superior aim, ace piloting skills, and being generally good at being the protagonist.
Josh McGrath became the cybernetically enhanced superhero Max Steel to sell toys for Mattel. A nineteen year old son of a weapons engineer and scientist involved in an accident involving nanotech, imagine a cross between DCs Cyborg, the Borg, and the Energiser Bunny, because his biggest weakness is a limited power supply that causes him to grow weak and potentially die. Don’t forget kids, even superheroes need batteries. Oh but he came with one hell of a battery of villains, Psycho, a heavily modified cyborg with a love of violence and ill-gotten gains, John Dread, the man-behind-the-curtain who craves the tech powering Steel, Bio-Con the man-snake, and John de Lancie!
This one got resurrected, and even had a few films to its name, but the rebooted series and live action film are far better known than the more obscure series that ran from 2000-2001, and it’s hard to come by those old episodes now.
Here’s my favourite of the lot, a Canal+ import from French-Canada. Though taking the name, the series is wholly fantasy and removed from the Arthurian mythos, combining heavy amounts of magic with some wholly created components. A plucky and upstart heroine is accompanied by a mystic monk, a mighty warrior woman, and an irritating miniature pet dragon as they attempt to free a kingdom from the yoke of an evil sorcerer who dwells in a flying castle. It’s a D&D adventure pure and simple, and I watched it religiously about seven years before I ever played the game.
The people sound like typical fantasy NPCs, in fact you may hear a few familiar voices, I’m fairly sure I heard one or two. You may also notice how tiny the hands are of most characters… uncomfortably small, and there are a lot of cunning uses of hats, bald characters, and skin-tight metal armour so that things look “right”.
NXT TakeOver is the biggest show for the developmental branch of WWE. It’s known as one of the most exciting brands in all professional wrestling and it’s a crying shame that every show isn’t quite up to the callibre of NXT, however then we would be spoilt for choice. This past Friday night, NXT TakeOver put out an incredible show, which is just what the exciting brand keeps on giving. With five titles up for grabs, there was a buzz about this show and the results of the show were, largely, quite exciting. So, since I mentioned on Friday that this weekend is WrestleMania weekend, here’s a quick summary of NXT TakeOver: New York, as well as my thoughts about the results.
Professional wrestling is often considered to be an art. Other times, it’s just really funny. They sometimes try to touch upon some serious issues, or they decide to go completely off the rails and just have fun. No matter what though, wrestling is entertaining and I love it to bits. Every year, I end up writing something to do with wrestling and today is no different. On the build to Wrestlemania 35, here are the stories that have captivated me the most, as well as the two which have sort of left me wondering why it’s being done.
Funny how something labelled as a “versus” really shows great coordination between both sides.
That’s basically the whole story here, if you like Dungeons & Dragons & Rick & Morty… then it’s a good comic, as one would expect from a story penned by Patrick Rothfuss, fantasy author and famed D&D player with the PAX team, occasional guest star on Critical Role, and he’s a standy-up DM like me. Jim Zub co-penned the piece and has a back-catalogue of D&D comics under his belt. (more…)
Motherly figures are amazing when they’ve been portrayed correctly. The matriarch of the family can be strong-willed, strong in general or sometimes just mentally in-tune to their children’s needs. As tomorrow is Mother’s Day, today is the perfect day for us to take a look at some of the amazing mothers in film, tv, video games and comics in this week’s motherly loving Top 10. (more…)
You may be wondering how much content genuinely has been made by fans that we wanted to make a list about and the truth is – There’s a lot. We could get specific by saying best “fanart”, or best “fanfic”, or even best “fan made game”… But the truth is, there’s a lot of great content out there by crazy talented individuals. This week, we dedicate it to the fans who make their mark on the world, by taking something they enjoy and running wild with it.