THE DOCTOR IS IN…FLUX: With the most recent series of Doctor Who wrapping up––a six-episode event called Doctor Who: Flux––our hosts discuss its ups, downs, insides, and outs as the show leads to the exit of the current Doctor as played by Jodie Whittaker.
“Smash Talk” (14 Dec. 2018): Where D. Bethel and Andrew discuss Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the main character of Doctor Who.
“Halloween Still” (01 Oct. 2021): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the news that previous showrunner, Russell T. Davies, will be taking over Doctor Who after current showrunner, Chris Chibnall, steps down.
MISSING THE BULLSEYE: With the recent release of the Disney+/Marvel Studios show, Hawkeye, many saw similarities with the classic Hawkeye run by creators Matt Fraction and David Aja. It was soon revealed that, despite being a spiritual adaptation of the Fraction/Aja run, there was no compensation for those creators aside from mentions in the “Special Thanks” in the closing credits of the show. Andrew and D. Bethel investigate the questions this brings up.
OLD MAN YELLS AT CLOUD: Acclaimed director, Ridley Scott, argues that it’s millennials––not people skittish about returning to movie theaters amid a pandemic––that is causing his newest film, The Last Duel, to do poorly at the box office. Our host discusses all of the factors involved with this strange accusation.
“Answer Sandwich” (24 October 2014): Where our hosts discuss Ridley Scott’s Alien.
“Su Gana” (11 November 2016): Where our hosts discuss V For Vendetta and its modern applications.
“Pure Chaos” (26 May 2017): Where our hosts are joined by Taylor to talk about Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.
KOTICK TOCK TIME’S UP: This week, after a scathing report, employees of Activision/Blizzard walked out calling for the expulsion of the company’s CEO, Bobby Kotick. Our hosts examine the situation and how it symptomizes larger aspects of video game culture.
DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY:Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim turned 10 years old this week, celebrated with yet another re-release of the game across all gaming platforms. Andrew and D. Bethel talk about this milestone for a brief bit.
PLEASE STOP: NFTs continue to rear their ugly heads as major gaming publishers announce their interest in integrating blockchain weirdness into their games. After an explanation of the whole mess, D. Bethel and Andrew discuss NFTs’ possible impact on video games.
RIP DEAN STOCKWELL: After a long and storied career, actor and writer Dean Stockwell passed away this week. Nerds know him best as Al from Quantum Leap, but his strange choices and charismatic performances made him an actor everybody surely has a fond memory of in some way or another.
A screenshot from Reddit outlining the hit cryptocurrency may take after the institution of the recently passed legislation (via the Twitter account @CoinersTakingLs):
Tweets from @outstarwalker about how NFTs may not be the game changer some people think they are:
NEWS CRUISE: Andrew and D. Bethel cover a lot of different news stories this week, including the acceptance of NFTs in video games by Steam and the Epic Games Store; the workers of tabletop game developer, Paizo, form a union; developers who worked on Metroid Dread not seeing their names in the credits; Ruby Rose speaking up about their treatment on the set of Batwoman‘s first season; and some announcements made by DC during the DC Fandome event.
UPDATE: Venerated Metroid fansite, Shinesparkers, reached out to Metroid Dread developers, MercurySteam, for clarification on what qualified for crediting in the game, specifically with regard to what constitutes the “25% game dev time” and “significant creative contributions,” stating:
“A significant contribution might mean A LOT of things: from designing a playable character, writing dialogues, lore.. anything substantially important to the game. On the 25% this is something based on our experience. Of course it can be seen differently elsewhere.”
FURTHER UPDATE: Union issues with Paizo and its workers came to an agreement on Thursday, October 21, with Paizo officially recognizing the workers’ union.
BETTER DREAD THAN DEAD: D. Bethel shares some initial thoughts on the newest 2D Metroid game, Metroid 5 aka Metroid Dread.
EMULATE YOU WANT IT, THAT’S THE WAY YOU NEED IT:Kotaku got in a bit of heat when they reported a story about how people were able to get Metroid Dread up and running on emulators in a smooth 60 frames per second at 4K resolution. The problem is that, in the original story, readers felt that Kotaku was, in fact, recommending people pirate Dread instead of buying it because of the emulator’s stronger performance. This lead to another round of discussion about emulation, piracy, and game preservation. Andrew and D. Bethel do their best to weigh in on these issues.
A BAD BLIZZARD: Our hosts take a quick look at the controversy (and lawsuits!) that came out of an investigation led by the state of California into the toxic and dangerous company culture of Activision Blizzard.
I HAVE THE POWER: Having watched the first five episodes released for Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Andrew and D. Bethel look at this playful and creative reimagining of the classic ’80s toy commercial, er I mean, cartoon series.
“All-New, All-Same” (29 June 2018): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the angry internet’s attempt to “destroy” Lucasfilm following the release of The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
“Empty Justice” (01 March 2019): Where our hosts talk about internet trolls trying to review bomb Captain Marvel ahead of its release.
CAP PUNCHED FIRST: Another day, another attack on fictional characters as a cable news segment pilloried Marvel Comics for making Captain America “woke” in a recent issue, seemingly forgetting that Cap has been punching literal Nazis in his comics since his first issue. Andrew and D. Bethel explore this while also examining the variety of ways texts (movies, comics, books, music, tv shows, etc.) can be read.
PRINT ON DEMAND: After buying some RPG books through DriveThruRPG, Andrew becomes fascinated by the idea––and future applicability––of print on demand services, where a book isn’t printed until a customer orders it. D. Bethel brings his creator experience with POD services to the conversation as well.
“Slapcast” (02 July 2021): Where Andrew gave us the run down of the strange TSR Twitter fight.
The video Dan referred to with Stan Lee talking about the creation of the X-Men, though it’s one of many similar and slightly different creation stories he has told over the years:
TSR-U-KIDDING-ME: Tabletop Twitter got weird these last few weeks as debates exploded around the tweets made by Ernest G. Gygax, Jr.––son of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator, Gary Gygax––where he doubles down on strong, anti-SJW views in support of his new RPG, Giantlands.
SLAPP FEST: Andrew also checks in with the current legal fight started by Chris Avellone––formerly of Black Isle and Obisidian Entertainment––as he tries to sue people who said mean things about him on the internet.
Also, Dan has gotten even more obsessed with the Metroid series since last week.