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What does “Best Popular Film” mean to the Oscars?

Ah, the Academy Awards. Every time I give you the benefit of the doubt, you surprise me in the weirdest ways. Yesterday, the Academy announced a new category for next year- the “Best Popular Film” award. This surely means that superhero films are going to win right? Black Panther is going to walk away with an Oscar! This is great! Except… it really isn’t. Everything about this move seems cynical and manufactured to avoid giving a precious Best Picture slot to Black Panther and other acclaimed genre films this year.

Wakanda forev… wait what do you mean we’re not nominated?

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50 Greatest New Series scenes- Part Two

No dilly dallying here, let’s proceed with the countdown and see what my favourite New Series moment is-

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50 Greatest New Series scenes- Part One

Series 11 is coming. A new Doctor, a new era. Now is the time to look back on the brilliance of the past 13 years, which has encompassed four Doctors and ten seasons. Whilst I could discuss the best episodes, that would be harder than this list, so let’s look at the best moments of the revived show. With over a hundred episodes to choose from, picking 50 was hard. I’ve decided to limit the list to one moment per story, and to leave the quality of the episode aside to focus on the moment in question. There’s too much to go through, so I’ve split the list up-

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My ten favourite Doctor Who companions

One constant of Doctor Who is the companion. Designed as the audience surrogate, the companion has evolved into one of the essentials of the show. With a character as large and cosmic as the Doctor, a more grounded and relatable figure is vital to keep the show alive. Whether they’re savages, Time Lords, robots, from present day Earth, Time Agents or Highlanders, the Doctor Who companion is always a big deal. We’re getting three with the Thirteenth Doctor, so let’s look back at 54 years of companions and count down my absolute favourites. Let’s start with the ever loyal Last Centurion-

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No Daleks in Series 11- why this is a good thing

So, San Diego Comic-Con has ended, for me anyway. All I really wanted was information on Series 11, and information we got. As if I can’t get anymore excited, we get the first official footage and more information on an era I am already sold on, which is miraculous. It took me about six episodes to appreciate Matt Smith, MY Doctor, in 2010 but I am already sold on Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor and she hasn’t even had an episode yet. I’m just so excited about this new era and this new beginning.

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A Tale of Two Peters: The parallels that connect Davison and Capaldi

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Over the past few weeks Twitch has been airing a giant Classic Doctor Who marathon, from An Unearthly Child to Survival, presumably to allow new fans to catch up on the old show before Jodie Whittaker makes her debut this October. It’s been a great time for me, as whilst I’ve seen the episodes before it’s great talking to other Whovians on Twitter and through Twitch chat and seeing new fans discover the joy that is the classic series. Ian Chesterton is a meme, Patrick Troughton has a legion of new followers and it’s great seeing Elizabeth Sladen’s legacy being continued even today through her stories. Today sees the Peter Davison era start with his first three stories airing today. His Doctor is generally well liked (particularly by a certain Whovian called David Tennant) but his era is often seen as the beginning of the end of Classic Who, with story quality dropping and the once large audience fading. Sound familiar? That’s because we’ve just seen this happen as new series fans, with Peter Capaldi. Annoying companions? Check. Reliance on the past? Check. Audiences leaving and viewing figures dropping? Check, check and double check. These two Doctors are about as different to each other as you can get, yet the eras have so much in common. What makes the weakest era in the classic series similar to the weakest era in the new series apart from the leading men being called Peter? Let’s find out.

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My Top Ten Red Dwarf episodes

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On February 16th 1988, the greatest sci-fi sitcom of all time began to air. Red Dwarf has gone on to be a staple of British comedy, and its enduring legacy has resulted in a show that is still going on today on Dave. I have always loved Red Dwarf, and consider it to be one of my all time favourite shows. Three million years in the future on the Jupiter Mining Corp ship Red Dwarf, Dave Lister wakes up from cryogenic imprisonment to find that he is the last remaining human in the universe. With only a senile computer called Holly on board Lister risks going mad, until Arnold J Rimmer, Lister’s superior vending machine officer, gets resurrected as a hologram. Sounds great- except Lister and Rimmer hate each other. Throw in a lifeform evolved from Lister’s cat, an overworking and clearly outdated robot called Kryten and countless shenanigans, the Red Dwarf crew try to get back to Earth. The show can be split into five main versions- Series 1 and 2 are a sitcom in space focused mainly on Lister and Rimmer’s relationship, Series 3 and 4 are ensemble pieces that incorporate set pieces and humour, Series 5 and 6 are exploration based adventures with comedy being equal with big ideas, Series 7-9 are… weird, whilst Series 10 onwards is a return to ensemble humour with a bigger budget and more outlandish ideas. I’ve missed the 30th anniversary but it’s always a good time to talk about Red Dwarf. With so many episodes it was hard to pick just ten, but here we go-

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My ten favourite characters

In fiction, there are characters who speak to you, and characters who enthrall you. As a devourer of pop culture I have witnessed the stories of countless characters, and assembling a list of my favourites was hard. Do I include Tim Burton’s musically inclined skeleton Jack Skellington? The hilariously witty Ian Malcolm? The pop culture juggernaut Batman? The morally complex V? The smug wit and hilarity of Arnold Rimmer? After much deliberation, I have finally got a list together, encompassing some of my favourite films, TV shows and books. Let’s start with the greatest comedy character of all time-

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Skulduggery Pleasant: Midnight review

The latest book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series has been out for a while now, and after spending the past two weeks engrossed in the latest book involving Derek Landy’s Skeleton Detective, I am desperate for more. This book is once again a strong and captivating read that effortlessly continues the story established in the past ten books, whilst never feeling derivative. Midnight continues from the semi-cliffhanger of Resurrection, and sees a grown up Valkyrie and a more forlorn Skulduggery once again being forced to work together and fight the forces of darkness.

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Solo review- Is the Force strong with this film?

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It seems like only yesterday the film world was divided over the quality of The Last Jedi. In reality, it has been five months although that is admittedly a short time for Star Wars films to premier. Solo, the stand alone Han Solo prequel film, has been mired with some difficult behind the scenes issues and a bizarre marketing campaign, but now it’s here the whole world can experience the finished product. Is it worth the wait? I think it is. This is a fun and unique entry into the Star Wars saga and well worth a watch.

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