Everything you need to know about The Gifted, the new TV show set in the X-Men world

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The Gifted is a 10-part series that follows the story of the Strucker family. When two normal parents discover their children have mutant abilities, they take them on the run to avoid the reach of an oppressive government.

Rather than simply being the latest instalment in an ongoing series, this looks like a new take that’s set to restore the franchise to one of its most basic themes: Family.

Here’s my latest!

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5 years on, can we settle the question – is Elementary better than Sherlock?

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Today marks five years since the first episode of Elementary – the American retelling of Sherlock Holmes, set in the modern day and starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. 

Since that first episode, it’s been repeatedly compared to Sherlock – the British retelling of Sherlock Holmes, set in the modern day, and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. It also first aired a few years before Elementary, leading to more than one accusation of copying. 

So, with Elementary about to enter its sixth season, and Sherlock seemingly finished for the time being, can we finally settle the question – which is better?

Something of a repeat from me today, actually; the first ‘proper’ blog post I wrote on tumblr was on a similar topic, and it was also the first to pick up much traction. I don’t think, back then, I ever dreamed I’d be in the position I’m in now – so it’s nice to return to this!

To hedge against the obvious: I don’t actually think Elementary is better than Sherlock. I also, however, don’t think Sherlock is better than Elementary. They’re both such different beasts, with different strengths and more importantly different aims, it’s difficult to compare the two – to attempt to seriously is a folly, really. Essentially, then, I like them both a lot, albeit for different reasons, and in different ways.

And, in response to the other obvious question: No, I didn’t make this image, no, I don’t know who did, no, I don’t know what they were thinking.

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Maysaloun Hamoud on her new movie Bar Bahar/In Between, Palestinian cinema, and more

In Between Bar Bahar Maysaloun Hamoud Interview Sana Jammalieh Shaden Kanboura Mouna Hawa Shlomi Elkabetz fatwa palestine ophir israel tel aviv hd screenshot poster wallpaper

I just think that I was talking about the conservative people all over the world. This story is particular, for sure, as a Palestinian woman, but at the same they are so universal. I think all women all over the world, and not just the women; the men that you see in the movies are around us, all over the world. Just a difference of faces and names, I can see, but these dilemmas and these conflicts, you can find the everywhere. In London, in Britain, everywhere in Europe, everywhere in the States, everywhere in Latin America and the Far East, anywhere you want. Because this is how humanity behaves through the world and discrimination against women is everywhere.

An interview I’m particularly proud of – here’s my chat with Maysaloun Hamoud, who directed Bar Bahar, or In Between.

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 2 Review – Battle at the Binary Stars

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Star Trek has always been at its most interesting when it engages with the inherent imperialism of the Federation, taking a post-colonial view of an organisation, which is arguably just as much a space empire as that of the Klingons. For these Klingons to focus on their need for individualism in the face of this increasingly ubiquitous galactic hegemony immediately posits them as more interesting than they’ve ever been, adding a greater nuance to their status as a warrior race. 

Immediately, this presents a huge amount of potential, making it perhaps the most important reinvention the Klingons have underwent since The Next Generation; no longer are the Klingons confined to a simple “planet of the hats” mentality. Suddenly, this is an alien race with a vitality – they’re not fighting simply because their culture demands it, rather they fight to defend their culture. It’s a subtle distinction, but an important one; certainly, it’s dependent on further exploration of Klingon culture going forward, but I’ve little doubt that Discovery is willing to engage on that front.

Here’s my review of Star Trek: Discovery’s second episode, Battle at the Binary Stars – please give it a read!

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 1 Review – The Vulcan Hello

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Star Trek: Discovery is going to have to answer certain questions across the course of its run, that much is clear. Chief amongst them: What does it mean to be Star Trek in 2017?

It’s a good question. Indeed, an essential one; as a show with a legacy spanning half a century, Discovery needs to find an answer as to why it’s a Star Trek show at all – hopefully an answer that goes beyond the need to profit off a well-known franchise.

Does this episode offer an answer to that question? No, not yet. Undeniably, it posits a starting point, giving a diverse vision of Star Trek that entirely unlike any the show has offered before. With a black female lead, an Asian woman in the Captain’s chair, and the promise of a same-sex couple on the horizon, this is the show Star Trek has always claimed to be. Michael Burnham is exactly what the face of Star Trek should be in 2017, if not frankly earlier – with these characters, Star Trek: Discovery is at last able to realise the potential that the franchise has always offered but never fulfilled. It is difficult to overstate just how important this is, but it’s worth remarking on and emphasising it again, because Star Trek has finally joined the 21st Century.

Here’s the first of my reviews of Star Trek: Discovery – click the link to read the full review!

With hindsight, I don’t know exactly how, or even if, Star Trek: Discovery answered the question of what it meant to be Star Trek in 2017. It’s a difficult question, certainly – I’m not even sure I’d know what I’d want the answer to be. (Perhaps the answer was there and I just missed it; I’ll no doubt eventually rewatch the series and write about it again, so maybe I’ll divine the answer then.)

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All the Easter eggs and references you missed in Star Trek: Discovery’s first episode

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Star Trek is back after more than 12 years off our screens and it’s like it was never gone.

As we all look towards the future and the continuing adventures of Michael Burnham, there’s still time to take a look towards the past, because the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery is steeped in references to the franchise’s 50-year history.

Here are all the Easter eggs we could find from Star Trek: Discovery’s first episode. How many of these did you spot?

My Metro article on Star Trek!

I really liked this one. There was something really, really neat about knowing that I was being paid actual money to natter on about Kahless and the significance of the number 57 and redshirts and all that cool stuff for a big website as part of my actual literal job. Clearly, I’m doing something right.

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Despite a troubled production, Star Trek: Discovery lives up to the promise of the original series and then some

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If the original series can be said to have any resounding legacy, it’s in its vision of a utopian future. If you scratch the surface of the original series, though, it’s easy to see the limitations of that vision: from the episodes steeped in misogyny to the fact that the groundbreaking woman of colour character still only answered the phones, much of the purported Star Trek utopia is an invention of its fans.

Here, though, Discovery takes that vision and realises it properly for the first time; the two most senior officers on the ship are women and women of colour at that, and soon, the show will introduce the aforementioned same-sex couple, finally representing what has long been a blind spot for the sci-fi franchise. 

This is Star Trek as it was always meant to be.

One of my Star Trek articles for Metro. I was really pleased with Discovery; I think it’s absolutely great.

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Why The Big Bang Theory is still the worst show on TV

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Today marks 10 years since the first episode of The Big Bang Theory aired.

In the past decade, this science-y sitcom has taken over the small screen – there have been 231 episodes, and it’s syndicated internationally in 77 different countries. The series has been hailed as the new Friends, and it’s even set to spawn its first spinoff programme this year: Young Sheldon. Currently, there’s no similar programme that’s quite so ubiquitous.

And there’s no similar programme that’s quite so awful.

Every so often, when I write about The Big Bang Theory, I get quite a lot of hate mail – this one garnered around 600 comments, and it’s only been up for a day! (The only other show that’s garnered so much vitriol was when I wrote about Bake Off, interestingly.)

In the end, this one got somewhere in excess of 215 000 views – while I don’t have data for all my articles, I’d guess that that’s the most read piece I’ve ever done. Which is kinda staggering. Certainly, if I were going to choose one article to be my most read, it wouldn’t have been this one – not just because it is, admittedly, a little weak, but also because I think I’ve written other things on more interesting, and more worthwhile, topics, that are more deserving of a bigger audience. But hey, you can’t control these things really.

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Comic Book Review | Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor Vol 6 (The Malignant Truth)

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The Malignant Truth has a lot of interesting ideas on show; at its heart it follows the story of a Dalek splinter group, the Volatix Cabal. Granted, they’re fairly similar to the Cult of Skaro – but given the Cult of Skaro left a lot of potential unexplored, why not return to the idea? There’s a lot of strong concepts here, and the Volatix Cabal are fairly creepy in their own right. While one does perhaps get the sense that Titan were unable to license the traditional Daleks, limitations like that have always been the mother of Doctor Who’s greatest inventions – and the Volatix Cabal are an invention that feel right at home in the Time War.

Here’s my review of the latest collection of Eleventh Doctor comics from Titan.

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Comic Book Review | Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen

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Granted, there’s perhaps a value in questioning the merit of this. Supremacy of the Cybermen is, first and foremost, a continuity laden romp. It really is drenched in it – appearances from every Doctor are one thing, but going so far as to reference Looms is quite another. The extent to which the story works on its own terms is debatable; it’s a fairly basic, perfunctory plot, one that serves primarily to set up the monster runaround rather than anything more substantial. Uniting two kinda crap villains – yes, the Cybermen and the Time Lords are a bit rubbish – for a continuity entrenched tale is unlikely to ever be a groundbreaking piece of fiction.

My thoughts on the Titan Comics Doctor Who crossover event.

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