Star Wars-the upcoming Favreau TV show-Thoughts and speculation

Jon Favreau has now been handed the keys to a live-action TV show based on Star Wars. Although of course, primarily a cinematic franchise, the series is no stranger to TV, with several animated series-Droids, Ewoks, Clone Wars, Rebels, even the Lego one-that have graced sets. Although it’s record with live-action is a bit more tricky….


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Although to be fair there were some cool moments in those Ewok movies….there’s something in particular about the Bluurg monsters that just screams “Star Wars” to me…

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Anyway, back after “Revenge of the Sith” George Lucas was still considering working on several “Star Wars” projects outside of the films. One of them, of course, turned into the Clone wars series. Another project, a live-action TV series, was also considered, and several pitches and scripts commissioned. One of these pitches-by FX guy John Knoll- would eventually see the light of day as “Rogue One”.

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When George Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney, the TV series concept largely remained dormant as Disney largely focused on getting the new films out-despite a few directorial missteps in 2017 (and some criticism) Lucasfilm/Disney now seem more secure in  the future of the franchise than ever before, commissioning new movies by Rian Johnson and the Game of Thrones writers David Benioff and DB Weiss, although what exactly they will cover remains seens (and still no word on a third spin-off….)

However, last week, we learned that Jon Favreau will be developing a new live-action Star Wars TV series. Favreau’s no stranger to Star Wars, having done a voice for Clone Wars villain Pre Visla…..


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and also a voice for a mysterious alien in the upcoming Solo..

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Of course he’s also had an incredible career outside of Star Wars as well. Apart from his acting talents, he’s also a director, having directed several hits such as Elf, The Jungle Book, and Chef (many of which he also had small roles in). But perhaps he’s best known as the director of the first and second Iron Man films, both of which launched the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”, one of the most powerful franchises in cinema today (and since 2010, also owned by Disney), and arguably a model that Disney wants to take Star Wars.

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Although Favreau hasn’t directed any Marvel films since Iron Man 2, and was replaced by Joss Whedon for the Avengers films, he doesn’t seem to harbor any ill will, as he continued to appear as the character Happy Hogan in Iron Man 3 (Directed by Shane Black)  and most recently Spider-Man homecoming, and he’s slated to appear in Avengers: Infinity War as well.


Now, onto the nitty gritty, what will Favreau’s series cover? It’s too early to really say at this stage, but from what I’ve seen, he seems to do a lot of “slice of life” projects, often with snarky, or naive characters, rather than big ‘event’ films. His Iron Man movies seemed to reflect this, mainly focusing on Tony Stark himself. Even as the Marvel films have gotten bigger and bigger and scope, they seem largely built on the Iron Man prototype, high adventure but with a lot of humor.

So I’m guessing that perhaps Favreau’s series might focus a bit on the fringe of Star Wars, not exactly the big epic events like some epic clash between the light and the dark side but those who try to make it by in this frequently war-torn galaxy…and that’s certainly a major theme of Star Wars-that even those who appear small and irrelevant can change the course of the future. After all, that’s pretty much what Star Wars is all about…as stated by Leia in the Star Wars novel,

“They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally they became heroes.”

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(OK, the TPM cast were kind of high-class characters like a Queen, but at least Anakin and Jar-Jar kind of fit that)….

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….and of course the original team did as well…

and certainly the Disney casts fit the model quite well….


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It’s possible the series might cover the “Dark times” era as well (Between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope) although “Rebels” covered a portion of that. However, perhaps a series set earlier, when people are still adjusting to this new, darker galaxy, might be a good idea. Dark Horse certainly tried the concept with their “Dark Times” series.

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Doctor who in Review: Pyramid of Mars Part II

Sutekh’s servant’s black outfit then dematerializes, revealing his true form, Marcus Scarman, much to his brother’s horror. Marcus is given a suitably pale complexion and dark eye shadow, somewhat complimenting the Doctor’s later description of him as basically, a walking corpse animated by Sutekh’s will.

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The Doctor, ducking out of the way of Scarman as he and the mummies set up a shield barrier, then gives Sarah, Lawrence, and the audience a bit of an info dump that Scarman and even Sarah are sort of confused by. He then identifies the Sarcophagus as not only the way to Sutekh, but what drew the TARDIS off course. There’s an honestly confusing sequence right here, as the Doctor activates it, seems alarmed for a second,then orders Sarah to stay back, and then seems to fling the TARDIS key at the door, causing it to cause a reaction that knocks him out. Sarah and Lawrence quickly put him in a “preist hole” nearby.

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We then get a mini subplot of sorts with a local hunter, who is trapped on the grounds due to the shield being set up. His trap has also temporarily confounded one of the mummy robots. His sort of B-plot is sort of mostly irrelevant to the story, apart from showing off some of the schemes and powers of Sutekh and his mummies, and a bit of a macguffin for the Doctor and Sarah in the next episode. Other than that, it’s kind of what a lot of Doctor Who fans considering “padding”-a superfluous plotline designed to increase the length of a story. Although there are far worse examples of this throughout Doctor Who’s history. This, at least, is a mild one.

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The mesmerized Scarman then stops by the injured Warlock, and there’s some great body language here by Archard, as he seems to slowly draw information from what’s left of his human memory, barely remembering Warlock and seeming cold to Warlock’s concerns. The mummies then quickly dispatch Warlock, disturbing the local poacher.

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The Doctor recovers in the priest hole, although he’s kind of wondering what one of them is doing in a Victorian Gothic folly. (Basically, a “folly” is a building that’s merely meant for a decorative purpose rather than a practical one, while a priest hole was presumed to hide a priest during the late middle ages).Image result for Priesthole Pyramid of mars

We get another infodump here, with the Doctor trying to figure out how to keep Sutekh stuck in Egypt by disrupting the mummies’s operations here-and comes up with using Namin’s ring.

They’re about to do so when Marcus shows up again, but this time the poacher shoots him in the back. We see him stagger slightly, but due to some admittingly clever use of reverse footage, the bullets have no effect on him (he’s pretty much dead anyway). The poacher is pretty much spooked when he discovers this guy who’s walking around with living mummies and killing people is in fact, Professor Scarman-and then we get a fantastic shot of Marcus looking out the window as he gives the kill order for the poacher.

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The Doctor, Sarah, and Lawrence slip away from the priest hole back into the mummy room which holds the TARDIS, as well as some new arrivals of equipment-equipment that the Doctor recognizes as components of a rocket that can be used to free Sutekh (Basically, Sutekh’s still suck in the tomb in Egypt by a force field being transmitted from another pyramid on Mars-hence the title-and if the rocket hits Mars, no more force field, and Sutekh is free). He also clarifies what the Mummies are-service robots.

Marcus once again shows up, and it’s back to hiding for our heroes-this time in the TARDIS, where we get one of the explanations for why the Doctor can’t just ‘leave’ a certain adventure and return to a relative point of safety….because doing so means grave consequences. We also get a “It’s bigger on the inside!” moment from Lawrence) In this brilliant sequence, the Doctor points this out by taking Sarah back to 1980 (once again, there’s that continuity problem with UNIT, but that’s a whole other thing/article/whatever)….which is a desolate wasteland.

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The Doctor basically explains that because they left without stopping Sutekh, this creates an alternate timeline or something, explaining in part I think why Sarah doesn’t blink out of existence when they land. Regardless of the temporal paradox, Sarah is adamant that they go back and fix this, with a great line reading and look by Elizabeth Sladen. “We’ve got to go back.” No wonder she returned a few times and got her own spin-off show twice.

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And now, instead of his intermediaries, we’re introduced to Sutekh himself via a kind of glowing effect on the Sarcophogaus, as well as a look inside the tomb, where he appears in an Egyptian-looking headdress, and sitting in a chair (although his outfit certainly looks a bit alien). He’s voiced by Gabriel Woolf, whose voice is calm yet commanding and with an undercurrent of anger at the same time.

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Woolf-in addition to bringing back Sutekh for a few audio dramas-would also provide the voice the beast/possessed Toby in “The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit”-another serial which featured a trapped evil alien “god” (A plot point that shows up a few other times in Doctor Who-most notably later on in “Curse of Fenric” as well)

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Meanwhile, the gang finds Warlock’s body, and Lawrence is horrified that Marcus did such a thing, but the Doctor doesn’t have much sympathy, as as far as he’s concerned, Marcus is already dead and just a puppet of Sutekh (The Doctor’s apathy on this will have a lot of payoff in the next episode).

The Doctor then proceeds with the plan that can jam Sutekh’s signals to Scarman and the mummies by using a combination of the Egyptian’s ring and Lawrence’s radio transmitter. However, they’re quickly distracted by the mummies, who’ve finally caught up to the poacher and kill them by crushing him with their chests. The Doctor decides it’s now or never….but as the mummies approach, Lawrence suddenly isn’t quite on board with it and grabs Sarah, because he’s afraid it will kill Marcus…again.

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Although Sarah manages to break free and power the device (causing Sutekh and Marcus to double up in pain), the mummies are still coming, the Doctor and Lawrence are temporarily knocked out….and one has Sarah by the throat. Cliffhanger time!


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Next: Moral relativity, Sarah’s got a gun, and the Doctor gets literally wrapped up.

Video game Overview-Final Fantasy 15

Final Fantasyy is one of the major video game franchises; specifically, in the Japanese role playing game genre. Since 1987, the series has been on multiple platforms-spawning multiple spin-offs in not only gaming, but in comics, anime, and motion pictures; as well as crossovers with Disney (The Kingdom Heart series features some characters from the games). Keep in mind when writing this, I haven’t really played or watched a great deal of FF 15’s spin-off material; DLC, multiplayer, the Kingsglaive movie etc. so I might get a few things a bit wrong 🙂


What’s interesting about many of the games is that, although they share some common features-such as the Chochobo, a ostrich/chicken style creature that allows for quick movement around a map…. (There’s also a lesser known, cat/bear like creature called the Mog)

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Usually some form of airship…

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and recurring bad guys such as blobs, fireballs, “Cactuars” and Giant plants…

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The ability to “summon” powerful, otherworldly allies to help in combat…

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and of course the “grunt” soldiers of the bad guys, represented in this game by the Magitek soldiers.


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Final Fantasy 15’s setting is far more Earth-like than other games, with a bulk of the game’s ‘world’ appearing a bit like the Southwestern united states, although with quite a few differences here and there. (Another continent, for example, resembles Venice, and the game’s capitols are somewhat similar to European capitols).

For example; the game uses a car, which, while nice-looking isn’t exactly technically advanced to begin with, and needs to often be refueled.

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The Fashions and look of things don’t exactly scream “Magical world”….

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although certain characters do look a bit more otherwordly.

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….but perhaps what ties it mostly to our present world is the product placement. While other games have been guilty of it (Metal Gear, for example)….it’s a bit immersion-breaking to have real products in a fantasy setting-in particular cup of noodles, which is actually involved in at least one quest,

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…and has optional head gear for the main character, Noctis.

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Final Fantasy 15’s storyline centers around Noctis, the prince and somewhat reluctant heir to the Kingdom of Lucis, who is bethroed to Lady Lunafreya, an oracle and ruler of one of the provinces of the militaristic Empire of Niffelhelm, in an attempt to help broker peace. He’s on his way to the wedding, and has brought along three companions and lifelong friends.

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Although the player controls only Noctis, the other three are controlled by AI and each has specific skills in both the battle and non-battle environments. Igni (Guy with the glasses) is proficient in cooking and strategy; Gladious, Noctis’s sworn bodyguard, at finding items and is pretty strong with a large sword; Prompto, the weakest of the group-and more of an outsider-,is quite a shutterbug-taking several photos-but is also a decent shot with the pistol. Noctis also has a fishing hobby in addition to his other combat skills, which include the ability to “warp” towards (or away) from enemies.

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Early on in the game, not only is their voyage to Noctis’s wedding delayed, but the Empire invades by force Lucis’s capital city of Insomnia, killing the king and laying waste too much of the city. Noctis and Luna are declared dead, and Noctis and his gang decide they’re going to have to take on the Empire and reclaim their throne, in part by claiming several ancient weapons which can give Noctis an edge in battle. However, as with most “Final Fantasy” titles-and a lot of other video games-things are not quite as simple as they appear to be-Helping” them on their quest is the mysterious Ardyn, although for reasons of his own….

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….(Who I think kind of looks like a crazier Fourth Doctor….)

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Final Fantasy’s combat and leveling up system is similar to a large number of RPGs these days, and quite different from many of the past Final Fantasy games, which worked with a “Turn based” combat system, with the characters and enemies each taking turns by selecting moves which were then executed without the need for too much control and button-smashing.

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Like a lot of RPGs there’s of course a level-up system, as well as a skill tree. Certain items, such as food bought at cafes or cooked by Ignis at camping grounds,  can also help improve character’s stats.

Image result for Ignis new recipe.Unlike some of the other Final Fantasy games, magic is less important. Noctis, at least at first, can only really use three different kinds-fire, lightning, and Ice, which he can bulk up by ‘drawing’ from certain crystals.

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In addition to the main story quests, there’s also side quests that can be taken. These include simple ‘fetch quests’ where you can just grab some items or minerals for somebody, to more complex ones such as hunting monsters.

Although they play a fairly large role in the story, the “Summons” aren’t a huge part of the gameplay of the game like they were in


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Final Fantasy is billed in part as a game both for “Fans and first timers”, a statement that makes sense-although it has many FF tropes, it’s not beholden to them, and incorporates some more modern gameplay mechanics. Overall, worth a look.

Doctor Who History-First and Last?

When we last left the Doctor, he was once again refusing to regenerate after his encounter with the Masters and the Cybermen. He landed in the South Pole, 1986….where his first incarnation-who had also had his very first confrontation with the Cybermen-is pretty much doing the exact same thing, and encounters his future self.

The Twelfth of course realizes this, but the first Doctor just figures he’s another Time Lord, sent to recover the TARDIS and return it to Gallifrey.



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The two are then interrupted by a World War I captain, who has somehow been ejected from 1914 in the middle of a standoff with a German soldier, and is confused by his sudden transportation and the strange dimensions of the Doctor’s (present) TARDIS. The First Doctor-finally realizing that the Twelfth is his future self-is equally confused as to the state of the TARDIS, considerably dirtier and darker than his version.

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The TARDIS is then scooped up a massive spaceship,  The Testimony, in a mysterious “Chamber of the Dead” piloted by a mysterious glass woman.

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Bill Potts is also onboard, although the Twelfth Doctor is suspicious of her presence, considering the last thing he knew, she was turned into a Cyberman.

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The First Doctor is likewise also confused at the current Doctor’s use of sonic devices, and ask that he observes with his own eyes, rather than tools-that the glass woman’s face is asymmetrical-like a real person’s. The entity then says it will take the Captain’s life in exchange for returning Bill to the Doctor. The Captain agrees, but the Doctor isn’t having it.

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She also puts forward a little bubble clip show of the Doctor’s various lives, as well as nicknames, which horrifies the First Doctor quite a bit, although the Twelfth Doctor believes it’s been selectively edited: “They’ve cut out all the jokes!”

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Also Believing that the Testimony might have sinister intentions, the Doctors and Bill leave the spaceship, temporarily leaving the current TARDIS behind and taking refuge about the First Doctor’s. Bill finds herself a bit offended by the first Doctor’s misogynistic attitude.

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The Doctor decides he needs a sophisticated databank to learn more about the Testimony, but the databank in the First Doctor’s TARDIS is relatively empty at this point. After briefly considering Gallifrey’s matrix, he figures he needs another one-although it involves going into some dangerous territory-the planet Villengard, a place swarming with shell-less Dalek mutants. After one attacks the captain, the Doctors explore the city while Bill and the Captain wait in the TARDIS.

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The Doctor comes to a tower where he chats with Rusty, the “Good Dalek” from “Into the Dalek” who has been fighting off his brethren but is still connected to their hive mind, a computer. Meanwhile, Bill leaves the TARDIS and talks with the first Doctor about his reasons for leaving Gallifrey and his purpose in the future.

The  Doctor learns that “Testimony” is in fact an information archive using time travel to extract people moments before their death, and record their entire lives into a computer before returning them to their proper place with no knowledge of being taken out of time. That person can then also be resurrected into a glass copy. The Doctor figures that this isn’t evil, and it’s revealed that the Bill that’s been traveling with them is one such copy. However, when the Doctors met and each refused to regenerate, it caused a sort of paradox/”Timeline error” that wound up with the Captain popping into 1986.

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The Doctors return the Captain to 1914, but the Doctor decides to cheat a little bit and place him during the Christmas truce, allowing him to live more of a life than he did originally. His name: Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart-and he asks for the Doctor to check on his family-the first Doctor promises he will, and the Twelfth knows he’s good for it (For obvious reasons).

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Confident that his future is in safe hands, the first Doctor returns to his time and place in the snow, 1986, where he collapses and changes into his second self.

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Meanwhile, his future incarnation wonders if he should continue to resist regeneration, and just die in his present form to finally get some rest from his very long life(s).

He chats with the glass avatar of Bill, which also gives him a present-it turns into Clara, and his memories of her-which were self-erased as he kind of went a bit too overboard to save her (getting Gallifrey pretty angry at him again).

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A glass Nardole also shows up, saying it’s be kind of sad if the Doctor just died-The universe would suddenly go cold, as he puts it. After giving a goodbye hug to his companions (or rather their memories in glass bodies), he says he needs to make the final decision alone.

Figuring that the universe still needs saving, that they’ll get it wrong without him etc. the Doctor decides it’s time to once again regenerate. Before he regenerates, he gives some advice to his next incarnation.

You wait a moment, Doctor. Let’s get it right. I’ve got a few things to say to you. Basic stuff first.

Never be cruel, never be cowardly. And never ever eat pears! Remember – hate is always foolish…and love, is always wise.

Always try, to be nice and never fail to be kind. Oh, and….and you mustn’t tell anyone your name. No-one would understand it anyway. Except….

Except….children. Children can hear it. Sometimes – if their hearts are in the right place, and the stars are too. Children can hear your name.

But nobody else. Nobody else. Ever.


Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.


Doctor – I let you go.


And the process begins again. The usual fireworks, and the most damage he’s done to the console room since his tenth-to-eleventh change.


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However, this time the result is a bit different….


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The Doctor looks at HER reflection in the console room scanner. She is now a woman, appearence-wise in her mid thirties, and seems kind of excited at the prospect.

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However, her excitement is a bit short-lived, as the damage to the TARDIS causes the console room to explode when she hits a button, and the doors to open in midair. Unable to get a hold, she falls out, thousands of feet in the air.

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She’ll be back in October, though!

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Doctor Who In Review: Pyramid of Mars Part One

Thought I’d write up a bit on one of my favorite Tom Baker serials, “Pyramid of Mars”.

After making a strong impression in his first season (12)-although pretty much pitted toward familiar adversaries such as Sontarans, Daleks, and Cybermen (as well as two new threats in the form of the K-1 Robot and the Wiirn) Tom Baker’s second season-13-sort of had a classic horror film vibe (Britain in particular was doing well with it’s Hammer studios horror films), with the Doctor’s adventures often recalling those films, but with a bit of a more sci-fi, or uniquely Doctor Who-style twist.

To that end, there was Terror of the Zygons and Android Invasion, both of which played on themes of body replacement or stolen identity like in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (Although “Zygons” threw in the Loch Ness Monster as well) Planet of Evil was pretty much “Forbidden Planet” with a touch of Jekyll and Hyde thrown in (“Forbidden Planet” had a bit of Jekyll and Hyde to begin with as well). “Brain of Morbius” of course was Frankenstein, and perhaps is the best example of a story being given a Doctor Who embellishment, as Morbius-whose brain-detached from his original body, although kept alive (Kind of needs a full body to regenerate though!) needs to be transported into a new body-was a former Time Lord president, although a pretty bad one. The final story, Seeds of Doom, mixes the “Day of the Triffieds” with the “Thing from Another World” (Later of course, the inspiration for  it’s 1982 remake “The Thing”).

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Pyramid of Mars, the third story, is my favorite of the season, and perhaps one of my favorites of all time. Maybe because it deals with Egyptology a bit, which is sort of a side hobby of mine, or how it really sells the threat as one of the Doctor’s biggest challenges, one that he-and the universe-was literally seconds away from failing.

Pyramids begins with some stock footage of Saqurra and the step pyramid near there, before going to studio and video with a scientist-Marcus Scarman. I’m guessing the actor-Bernard Archard-was cast in part because he has a very Peter Cushing look to him (Archard had previously been in Troughton’s debut story, Power of the Daleks, but as a totally different character).

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Anyway, he enters an old-but well preserved-tomb, but discovers a strange glowing eye of Horus which glows red (and scares the local diggers) and then opens a door-and then Marcus finds himself falling over in agony from a green light.

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One TARDIS shot later, and we’re with the Doctor and Sarah in the console room, which, in this version, has some pretty large roundels (This is actually one of the first times the console set is seen, and for pretty much most of the series after this, they’d pretty much shrink to yellowish ones. Sarah’s trying on a new dress, but the Doctor is somewhat distracted, referring to her as “Vicky”, although rather than the usual times when he misnames a companion (after regeneration scrambles his brains a bit), he explains that it’s Victoria’s old dress. Which is a bit confusing because the Doctor had a companion named Vicky, and also later Victoria (Who the dress actually is supposed to belong too).

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I think it’s pretty obvious it’s the latter. Sure, “Vicky” wore dresses, but not like Victoria’s.

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Anyway, the Doctor’s a little worried that he’s becoming “middle aged” at 740 years (although from the perspective of the new series and like, 10 regenerations later and a thousand or so years later, he’s actually very young at this point!), and therefore needs to sort of detach himself from being UNIT’s scientific adviser, a role he’s had since season 7 and, since he’s recently become a new person (In “Planet of the Spiders”/Robot”) and even earlier regained his freedom with the TARDIS (“In the Three Doctors”) he’d rather resume his old travelling days.

However, suddenly the ship gets hit by something, causing the console to spark and the ship to tremble, with Sarah getting spooked by a bizarre looking Jackal head that suddenly pops up. The Doctor’s initially disbelieving of her claim, since “nothing can enter the TARDIS” unless it has some really strong mental projection…but she’s still spooked, especially when they land….and although they’ve landed at the right destination (UNIT HQ), they’ve landed in the wrong time (In the old mansion the base was built on)….and the Doctor suspects this isn’t just the TARDIS being finicky again, but there’s something very wrong and contrary to the laws of the universe. Now he’s spooked. It’s interesting how haunted the Doctor seems in these two scenes, first by the prospect of aging, and second by time being out of whack. Although Tom is often stated to be one of the “funnier” Doctors-something which is primarily based on his later stories, no doubt-he certainly captures the alien aspect here pretty well.

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Meanwhile, in the other part of the house, some really spooky organ music is playing very loudly by a man in a Fez (of course, Fez’s would become a bigger part of Doctor Who’s iconography later on, but that’s neither here nor there in this review 🙂 ), as he is confronted by the butler and Dr. Warlock (Interesting name) a colleague of Professor Scarman, who is wondering why Marcus Scarman’s brother, Lawrence, has been banned from the mansion they share. The main room here is actually a pretty decent set, in particular the sarcophagus itself.

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Meanwhile, the Doctor and Sarah try to get their way out of the room, with Marie Antoinette’s old pick-lock, and the Doctor cracking a joke or two to lighten the mood. Although the butler opens it for them from the outside. Speaking of which, looks like less effort was put into these particular sarcophagi by the art department, but then again they’re supposed to hold the big signature monsters from this story so their somewhat strange, large size does kind of make a bit of sense, although the paint job looks a bit high school art project.

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The butler just thinks that the Doctor and Sarah are buddies of Warlock’s, and he lets them on their way, and they decide to head outside…to of course, sneak in another way.

Warlock and Namin continue their debate, with Namin making veiled threats, but the screams of the butler alert them to the room with the sarcophagi. Turns out he’s dead-strangled, by something which quickly wiggles it’s way back into the coffin before it’s spotted. Namin of course goes into full nutjob here talking about ancient gods returning, although Warlock is adamant to call the police, and then Namin produces a gun. Maybe you should’ve just run when the thing started talking a bit nutty, Warlock.

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Warlock is badly winged, but saved due to SCARF ATTACK! from the Doctor who escapes with Warlock (although it’s directed a bit oddly). However, Namin decides to activate the main hench-monsters here-The Osirian war robots, which actually kind of look pretty imposing when standing still. But kind of goofy when they walk. They don’t walk in a Hollywood mummy way, but in a kind of “I’m wearing a really bulky suit and can barely move” kind of way.

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Next we have a bit of a cat and mouse between the characters, as the Doctor and Warlock hide in the woods from Nabim and the robot mummies, while Sarah also attempts to evade them and, on Warlock’s advice, seek Lawrence’s help.Image result for Pyramid of mars robot mummies

Eventually Nabim gets distracted, sensing something, and heads back to the main room, allowing Lawrence to tend to Dr. Warlock. The Doctor initially expresses disbelief about Sarah spotting the walking mummies, despite the fact that he was literally just hiding from one himself!

Allowing Warlock to recover, Lawrence is baffled by the new arrivals. The Doctor doesn’t want to call the police because they’d obviously confuse matters (and probably wouldn’t do well against alien robot mummies either, especially in the early twentieth century)…and of course doesn’t believe that Sarah is from 1980 (which is actually a whole other can of worms in Doctor Who’s sometimes tangled continuity….which I really won’t get into here, but it mainly deals in part with something brought up later on in a Peter Davison serial, “Mawdryn Undead” and where the “Modern day UNIT” stories were set…). Despite all this, Lawrence-amazed by the Doctor’s knowledge that his experimental “Marconiscope” is actually an early Radio telescope-sort of an anachronism (and one eventually explained by the outcome of this episode). Nevertheless, it’s receiving a transmission, from Mars.

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….and it’s a warning. “Beware Sutekh”….and once again we get haunted Doctor face. Without explaining much, he states “The Earth is facing the greatest peril in it’s history”, and even more omniously.. “The forces that are being summoned into corporeal existence in that house are more powerful and more dangerous than anything even I have ever encountered.” Daleks, Cybermen, the Master, Omega—they’ve got nothing on Sutekh. Despite telling Sarah and Lawrence to stay put, they follow him as he looks on to what’s transpiring.

The Doctor heads back to the mansion, where the organ music has become really swelled (It’s never really explained how the organ music is supposed to make the sarcophagus work, and it’s pretty much playing itself at this point (Although that might be just a bit of a flourish by composer Dudley Simpson) The sarcophagus suddenly becomes a funky looking multi-colored portal, an effect we see several times in this serial.

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Out emerges a creature possessing a helmet similar to the mummies (but without the wrappings and a black suit along with some equipment. However, as it tells Namin (Who as it turns out, is part of an ancient cult who kept an eye on Sutekh’s tomb) , it’s not Sutekh, just his servant, and that Sutekh doesn’t need another (Well, apart from those robot mummies). He does away with Namin by putting his smoking hands on his shoulders, and that he’s going to help bring Sutekh’s gift of death, to all humans. Cue cliffhanger!

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Next: The identity of the man in black is revealed, something Lawrence has some severe problems with, which could complicate the Doctor’s plans big time, and we get introduced more to Sutekh and the threat he poses.  We get a look into what happens when the Doctor *doesn’t* do anything with a present threat to a time period, and a local poacher adds some light comic relief and also slightly frustrates things for the Doctor and co.

Solo Trailer:My thoughts

Solo is the second Star Wars anthology (or “Story”) film, following December 2016’s Rogue One, and the fourth Disney Star Wars film overall. However, while R1 had a roughly smooth path to the big screen-as did Force Awakens and Last Jedi-Solo had some problems….

In the middle of production, the film’s two directors-Phil Lord and Chris Miller-known for their “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” “21 Jump Street” series as well as the acclaimed “Lego movie” (Which featured Star Wars characters in it making a cameo appearance) were replaced, as Disney felt that they were trying to make the film too much of a comedy.

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While most of the cast-and probably a good amount of footage-was retained, director Ron Howard-whose experience spans decades-and he’s a longtime Lucasfilm collaborator as well. Most famously as the director of Willow…


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….but also for American Graffiti, pretty much the project that allowed Lucas to truly break into the mainstream and get backing for “Star Wars”… (a great deal of early Star Wars marketing centered around “It’s from the America Graffiti guy!”)

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…and of course inspired Ron’s later sitcom, “Happy Days”

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….was brought onboard to salvage the film. The trailer is really our first major look. The film arrives in May, making it the first of the Disney films to really be released in the traditional Memorial Day weekend that the Lucas-produced entries had (Every Disney Star Wars film-despite some early targets for  memorial day for TFA and TLJ-has been released in December. Probably marketing has something to do with it-Christmas and all!)


My thoughts on some shots, in no particular order.

Chewbacca’s bandolier here is a bit different, closely resembling the Wookie armor in “Revenge of the Sith”. Funny thing is, Chewie’s in that movie too and mainly just has his classic look.

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Looks like Han’s got the dark winter coat look again.

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Han in some sort of landspeeder seen a few times in the trailer.

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Once again bringing up “Grafitti”, kind of looks similar to Harrison’s character in that. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was deliberate, knowing Ron. (“Grafitti” is also referenced quite a few times in the various films, most notably in “Attack of the Clones” which features some slight 1950’s touches in it’s Coruscant scenes).

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The more pristine looking Falcon interior. Presumably, this is when Lando owned the ship.

Solo: A Star Wars Story screencap (Lucasfilm)

Considering his later venture, not surprising it’s super clean. (Cloud City-apart from maybe the Carbon freezing chamber-looks a lot less “used universe” than other OT locations).

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Speaking of Lando, like the old “Legends” materials, looks like Lando is teamed with a droid as his co-pilot. Possibly a female droid too (Well, although Droids don’t really have gender, maybe one programmed as female), as Pheobe Waller is part of the cast and said to play a droid character (She’s not the first “female” droid in the series of course, but  maybe the first one to really be a main character).

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I’m pretty sure that hand gesture they’re making is the same one Lando makes in ROTJ.

The look of the droid kind of looks a bit like a full body R2-unit (especially the head, but the legs and midsection also bear some resemblance.

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The design also reminds me a bit of Leebo, a character who appeared in the “Shadows of the Empire” storyline, as co-pilot of Dash Rendar, who, like Han, is a “mercenary with a heart of gold” (and often criticized for being the story’s Han stand-in).

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Back to Lando, he’s got a nice coat of his own…

As well as what seems to be his main look, a yellow shirt.



The Empire of course makes an appearance. I’m guessing this is sort of half-way between ROTS and Star Wars on the timeline scale of things. Han signing up for Imperial flight school is actually something that’s been associated with the character for a very long time….it’s part of some story notes Lucas wrote as guidelines for some of the comics and novels, and was elaborated on a bit in AC Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy, as well as the Chewbacca miniseries.

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In the Legends stuff, Han was trained by Baron Fel, a character who marries Wedge’s sister, and eventually they raise a rather large family, with one of Fel’s sons marrying Han’s daughter (and only surviving child) Jaina. And people say the prequels make the SW universe small!

Kind of curious about this creature, that looks a bit like a mix between Maz and an orangutan. I’m guessing this could be the original look of the Falcon’s gunner stations, although not quite sure on that.

…and of course, something almost every Star Wars film has…a weird bar/club.

One of the best things about the new Disney films-even if many disagree with the direction they’ve taken-is that they’ve got some really great Star Destroyer shots-Rogue One in particular of course had the interesting visual of the Destroyer over the city (Packing up what’s left of the Kyber crystals) as well as an ESB like shadow reveal of the Death Star dwarfing these things….and of course Vader’s arrival at Scarif.

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Here we see it in some strange (atmospheric? Space?) clouds, appearing to pursue the Falcon, which of course becomes a major Imperial pasttime in ESB.


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And like Disney’s other films, we’ve got a new TIE fighter. This one appears to have an extended hull, but not quite one like the TIE bomber. Red cockpit too, which is something we normally see on the First Order TIEs.

Speaking of Imperials, looks like we’re getting a new form of Stormtrooper in this film too.  Given the *ton* of Stormtrooper variants introduced in Rogue One-the most I think in a Star Wars film since “Revenge of the Sith”-


Some kind of train, I’m guessing an Imperial one. The windows in particular scream “Walker….” except this has no legs.  The cockpit area in particular seems to strongly evoke one particular Walker, the AT-M6 from Last Jedi. Maybe the train is a modified AT-M6 model? After all, the Special editions and prequels did use some CG elements from Jurassic Park to save some money on the creatures, so why not here?

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The mysterious Qi/Ra, along with Lando’s droid buddy.

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Judging by her outfit, I wonder if she has some relation to these weird armored guys, who wear a similar pattern and are involved in some train fight?

That combination of red, black and silver also seems slightly Phasmaesque too.

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Woody Harrelson, apparently a mentor character to Han who also has to “assemble a crew”, making me think this is a bit of a heist film (although one probably different in tone to “Rogue One”).

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Between Planet of the Apes, Venom and this, looks like Woody’s doing a lot of sci-fi work lately!

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Thadie Newton’s character. I’m guessing she might be an Imperial mole in Han’s crew. In a photo of her on set, that sure looks like it could be an Imperial symbol Ron’s trying to cover there.


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We also get a bit of the Falcon navigating what appears to be some giant tentacles after escaping the Imperials.  One of the most different features of the ship (apart from what looks like another alternate radar dish) is that the “Gap” between the maws seems to be filled in. Somehow I guess it eventually falls off or gets detached.

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The characters reaction to these tentacles as well (with a fairly pristine Falcon cockpit). I wonder, could this possible be the Kessel run?

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Metal Gear tech profiles-Triumph Bonneville motorcycle


Although several motorcycles are used in the Metal Gear series, the Triumph Bonneville is perhaps the most iconic in the “Big Boss” era of the games (1963-1984). It’s first seen as Eva’s bike when she’s heading for parts unknown, as her confession to Snake-and her revelation of the true meaning behind the bosses’s mission-are revealed via voiceover.

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A similar model (probably not the same one) makes an appearance in “Peace Walker” as Big Boss’s ride to the Miltaries San Frontieras beach house (His HQ before it got a massive upgrade in the offshore plant “Mother Base”.

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Years later, after he emerged from his coma, yet another motorcycle was presented to Big Boss as he rode to parts unknown (Possibly eventually to America, to restart FOXHOUND and start putting his Outer Heaven plan into action).

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Although an image exists of Venom Snake-the “phantom” Big Boss-with the motorcycle, this image is in fact not in the game, as Venom Snake traveled by horse for most of the game, including his escape from the hospital.


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Decades later, the Triumph appears again in Metal Gear Solid IV,  with Eva-now “Big Mama” once again behind the wheel, with her son Solid Snake, in an effort to escape with the body of “Big Boss” (In fact, what was left of another clone “son”, Solidus). Snake provided covering fire while Eva drove, similar to the conclusion of Operation Snake Eater. (Although that motorcycle was not a Triumph, and Big Boss was in a somewhat more comfortable sidecar).

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The bike ultimately crashed, much like Eva did with that other, non- Triumph Bike (She even sustained similar injuries, although it was ultimately a new strain FOXDIE that did her in).

A real-world version of The Phantom Pain variation of the bike was used by Triumph in a cross-promotion with Konami for the game, and also sold on Ebay for 10, 000.