The manufactured hype over the 13th doctor

jodie whittaker

Yesterday it was apparently announced that the actor to succeed Peter Capaldi on Doctor Who will be Jodie Whittaker, meaning that for the first time ever, the role of The Doctor will be played be a woman. Being that I haven’t ban a fan for nearly a decade, I wouldn’t really care less, but apparently the progressives and social justice warriors have decided they want to rub their noses about it, and use it as an opportunity to virtue signal after a number of viewers took issue with it. Indeed, plenty of people on Facebook, including people I know personally, seem to have missed the point entirely.

First, Doctor Who hasn’t “broken the glass ceiling”. Not only is the “glass ceiling a myth invented by feminists to justify their authoritarian quota policies, but Doctor Who is also not the first sci-fi franchise to have a female lead. The Alien franchise did just that since 1979. Did everyone suddenly forget about Sigourney Weaver, or is she too old to even be a part of pop culture history at this point? Second of all, from what I can tell the reason some people don’t like the idea of a female Doctor Who isn’t because she’s a woman. It’s because the BBC has a very poor reputation as one of the most politically correct institutions in the UK. Naturally this would give rise to the idea that they only selected a female doctor to appease progressives.

And they would be right, but I think what we’re all missing the real reason they cast Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor – it’s basically a massive PR stunt. You might not believe me, but it will make perfect sense when you hear of the circumstances. You see, Doctor Who’s ratings are actually falling, to the point that it’s been suggest as a reason for Peter Capaldi’s departure from the show. I’m not sure how much further Jodie Whittaker could ruin Doctor Who, being that Steven Moffat had already done that since the start of the decade.

From what I’ve been hearing under his helm the show has become yet another mouthpiece for the BBC’s lefty social justice propaganda. Perhaps the most nakedly obvious expression of that agenda is the creation of Bill Potts, a black lesbian who looks like a near-exact caricature of a middle class social justice warrior type, who I have to assume was created solely to win praise from middle class lefty fans and media critics. The result? It won over the intended targets, with many media outlets heaping praise on the show and Bill Potts, at the cost of losing more and more regular viewers who are growing tired of the pernicious invasion of social justice in their TV.

They cast Jodie Whittaker with the same exact thing in mind, and I think it what happens next will look something like this. Right now the producers are busy congratulating themselves on how progressive they are, and generating hype by blowing the sexist comments out of proportion because it’s an easy way to get clicks from you. When they air the first episode with Jodie Whittaker, I predict that the show will enjoy a slight ratings increase on the next season premiere, only for ratings to continue plummeting further and further when people realise it’s the same boring show with the same declining quality in writing. After the producers realise that ratings haven’t gotten any better as a result of this publicity stunt, the producers will probably blame sexism for their declining ratings, and insist that the show needs to be more progressive, more political, all while they have to once again fight off speculation that the show will be cancelled, which will probably be more likely to happen if I’m proven right.

After that, the new doctor will be treated with the same fondness as the new all-female Ghostbusters did last year, as one of the most cringe-inducing symptoms of a time gone wrong, and even the producers will distance themselves from it. If you think about it the idea of the 13th Doctor is almost exactly like last year’s reboot of Ghostbusters. The producers shoehorned a female lead into the series for the sake of appealing to progressives and identity politicians, using her a conduit for some sort of feminist moralising, and they expect you to lap it all up, deeming anyone who criticises the new feminist icon to be a sexist. The problem was that by calling everyone sexist, you will alienated most of the fanbase, along with ordinary cinema goers. With Ghostbusters it lead to the film failing to turn a profit, killing off all hopes of a sequel and forcing the film to be given a subtitle on all home releases.

With Doctor Who, I think you will get exactly the same result. If Doctor Who doesn’t get cancelled, it will probably come back with a reduced budget, and the next season will have even lower ratings, so either way the show is doomed, and its reputation will be thrown down the garbage chute. This whole big to-do over the new Doctor Who star being a woman simply reeks of a manufactured controversy designed to sell a failing TV show. It’ll probably succeed temporarily, but once people realise that the show is still in its zombie years they’ll probably tune out. The people who wanted a female doctor probably won’t even care. They just want to celebrate the show “breaking muh glass ceiling” and insert their agenda as far as they can. They don’t care that they’re destroying a show that lots of people like. They only care about whether or not popular culture is progressive, and if you’re not in line with their agenda, then they’ll smear you as a backwards-thinking bigot or a misogynist until you either comply, or watch your career burn to the ground.

That’s what it’s all about in the end. The BBC, and indeed the entire mainstream entertainment industry, has been taken over by toxic ideologues who want nothing more than to control the way we think, and they want to use entertainment to influence us into accepting their way of thinking, and it’s not working anymore. They realise that they’re obsolete thanks to the Internet, and they don’t like it one bit. They’re probably wondering “why do people not like our totally progressive revolutionary TV show”, and of course nobody has even considered that TV is simply outdated, and so is Doctor Who.

Why Dominion doesn’t make any sense

dominion syfy

Apparently the forces of Heaven now wear black trench coats. Does that make sense?

Two weeks ago, a new action fantasy TV show called “Dominion” came to Syfy in the UK (it already finished in America, with season 2 on the way). It’s central premise is that at some point in the future, mankind ends up fighting angels, who it turns out are their greatest enemy. This sounds like it makes absolutely no sense, but trust me. It gets much worse than that.

The story of Dominion goes something like this. Twenty-five years before the events of the story, God apparently disappeared, and the archangel Gabriel blamed mankind for it, so he decided to lead the other angels to exterminate mankind. That alone sounded like a good concept, but here’s where things got side-tracked. According to the story, very few “higher angels” fought in the war, while the “lower angels” joined Gabriel and descended to Earth and started possessing people. What? Some time after that, the archangel Michael rebels against Gabriel, and fights in the name of mankind. The story sees mankind surviving in fortified cities such as Vega (obviously a rebuilt Las Vegas) until a chosen saviour emerges to end the war for good.

I know that only three episodes have aired in the UK so far, but they’re all quite similar and unimpressive, so I’ll just talk about the show itself. In my opinion, the show had a decent concept, but it was executed rather poorly, and I have a few reasons why this is the case.

First, it shares its premise with the movie Legion, which isn’t bad by itself, except the guy who made Legion and directed the pilot episode of Dominion is Scott Stewart, who I know for making the unequivocally crappy comic book flick Priest, which I named and shamed as one the worst comic book films ever made. If that’s not a bad sign, then I don’t know what is.

Second, for a show that is supposed to be about angelic warfare, there’s an awful lot of time spent on exposition, and not a lot of it is really necessary. Also, Vega’s political system seems to act as though American democracy didn’t even exist to begin with, but then again, what about American values could realistically survive in a post-apocalyptic scenario? I mainly mentioned this because the terrible arranged marriage story arc, which is utter nonsense.

Third, let’s talk about the angels, because this is one of the major issues in the show. The lower angels in Dominion are nothing like angels at all. In fact, when they’re found in possessed humans, they act like stereotypical demons. This completely defeats the point of the show being about angelic warfare, and serves only to subvert the traditional Western view of angels, which has already been subverted many times before, and in better ways. My only conclusion is that the writers assume that we’re all idiots.

Finally, I’d like to talk about Gabriel, his army, and the so-called Black Acolytes. The Black Acolytes are essentially a cliché evil cult that worships the show’s version of Gabriel, who is completely unlike the Biblical Gabriel in every aspect. Where was the passage in the Bible where Gabriel killed one of his own? I doubt you’ll find it, because it doesn’t happen in the Bible. I also find the existence of the Black Acolytes in the story to be painfully unnecessary. The plot didn’t need more layers of complexity.The acting in Dominion isn’t good enough to keep me interested in the rest of the overly complex plot that may as well have been written by a hack director.

In conclusion, Dominion is a disappointment, but it’s more than that. It’s a confused mess written by people who, in all fairness, tried as hard as possible to make something good, but didn’t really know what they wanted. To enjoy it would require you to not so much suspend your disbelief, but to have it hanged, drawn and quartered.

Enough with the superheroes already!

guardians of the galaxy

Seriously, it’s out of control.

Since the year 2000, we’ve seen a tidal wave of superhero films, to the point that some of the highest grossing films of the past 10 years were superhero movies. This would be fine and dandy except for the fact that every superhero movie repeats the same formula, and they always feature established comic book characters in sequel after sequel, because apparently people will pay to see the same thing over and over again.

The superhero film has become one of the most repetitive genres in movie history, with almost no original ideas left, all because producers think they can only take ideas from comic books, the rights to which they’re always swarming to get their claws on. After X-Men became a box-office smash, every Hollywood studio wanted to cash in with their own superhero flick, throwing so much money at them that you’ll wonder where all that money comes from.

By the way, why aren’t there any original superheroes in cinemas? You know, brand new superheroes who haven’t had an established franchise yet? How about a new take on a genre that has gotten incredibly stale over the past five years? Will classic Superheroes like Batman, Superman, or Spider-man pass the torch to a new generation, or are the producers so scared of taking risks that originality is simply forbidden?

There are already so many superhero movies it could make your head spin, but what’s even more insane is that there are even more coming up, with each one seeming even more ridiculous. We even have a Batman vs. Superman movie coming out in 2016, which itself is set to be followed by a freaking Justice League movie with an unknown release date. I can’t help but think that by 2016, audiences will quickly grow tired of superhero movies. With cinemas set to be bombarded by big movies in 2015 alone, I kind of expect Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to fail, and be the thing that causes the superhero bubble to burst.

While some of these superhero movies are good, the superhero fad isn’t going to last long. Hopefully, when this fad dies out, the Hollywood producers will start having some sense. But then, even if the superhero craze dies out, something else will take its place, and then the whole pattern repeats itself.

Behold the new, heartless RoboCop

robocop 2014

It all looks so sleek, and so soulless.

Next Friday, the brand new version of RoboCop comes to cinemas all over the UK. This new film is basically a remake of the 1987 classic, which I loved seeing. Like everyone else in the UK, I haven’t seen it yet, but I certainly have one immediate criticism of the new RoboCop: it lacks the personality of the original film.

In the original RoboCop, you got to see a bleak vision of Detroit in the future, where violent crime devours the city everyday. I should also mention that in the film, Detroit is run by the fictional Omni Consumer Products (or OCP), who have effectively privatized the city’s police force. Enter Alex Murphy, a police officer who was killed, and later revived in a cybernetic body as RoboCop. He later learns of corruption within OCP, and sets out to destroy it.

In the new version, Alex Murphy is seriously injured by a car-bomb (where in the original, he was killed by Clarence Boddicker’s gang), and is given a cybernetic body by OmniCorp scientists. Yes, in this film. Omni Consumer Products gets its name changed to the decidedly less appealing “OmniCorp”.

The new version of the film seems to have missed the point of the old version. In the old version, Alex Murphy is killed, and later resurrected into RoboCop (please, don’t even start with the messianic connotations), but in this new version, he’s merely injured, as if Hollywood’s actually turning into a bunch of wusses.

Also, the original RoboCop only costed $13 million to make, and that film was an ultra-violent masterpiece of 80’s cinema that subtly satirized the nature of American culture, and took a jab at the power and corruption of the large corporations of the time.

The new Robocop, meanwhile, costed ten times the budget of the original film to make, but apparently all that money was spent on making the film look cutting edge, while apparently ignoring the themes that made the original RoboCop a clever sci-fi piece. Now, the new RoboCop looks like it’s going to be another dumb Hollywood CGI sci-fi action flick with very little meaning.

It’s also apparent that the new RoboCop has completely sold out to Hollywood and bowed down to Hollywood conventions. The old RoboCop was rated 18, while the new RoboCop appears to have the typical wussy 12A rating, which can only mean one thing: the new RoboCop will be heavily neutered.

To be completely honest, I still want to see the remake, if only to see how badly they could fuck it up, but my point remains valid. When all is said and done, will future generations remember the original, timeless RoboCop, or the soulless, wimpy remake churned out by the Hollywood machine?

My thoughts on Doctor Who

doctor who logo

The Doctor Who logo as I remember it.

Seeing as it’s now the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, I figured that it’s finally time for me to address a topic that I’ve been steering clear away from for so long, but have only become open about recently in college.

Sometimes I don’t like to think about it, but there was a time in my life when I liked the show. When I was 13, I felt there was pressure upon me to move away from the cartoons I loved so much as a kid. In my search, I found Doctor Who, which I felt had some interesting ideas.

At the time, I was willing to take idea from the show, and was rather patient of when I’d ever see the classic series (which lasted from 1963 until 1989). However, as soon as my Mom found out that I was watching the show, things went downhill quickly.

Apparently, my Mom thought I was a full-on fan of the show, and went around getting my Doctor Who merchandise. At first, I was just a little annoyed, but otherwise I was fine with it. However, the annoyance factor reached the tipping point when my Mom suggested that I go to a Doctor Who convention in Cardiff, in the summer of 2008. At that point, I stopped watching the show entirely, not because of any issues with the quality of the show, but because people had taken my interest in the show way too far.

Unfortunately, during David Tennant’s run as Doctor Who, the show became heavily commercialized to the point that after I had stopped watching the show, I came to view it as basically a mainstream, family-friendly sci-fi show that only a child could be frightened of.

When they replaced David Tennant with Matt Smith, however, things got exponentially worse. They changed the damn title (which didn’t even need to changed at all), and Smith’s companion was likely chosen just for sex appeal. Matt Smith himself just looks unappealing, and to me, he comes off as the 1Direction of all the incarnations of Doctor Who, mainly because they marketed the ever-loving crap out of him, knowing he was inferior to David Tennant. Not to mention, the show has gained the same cult status as football gets in this country. The tabloids love that show, and they make news out of the main star.

If that show has been around for 50 years, maybe it’s time to finally let it go. Times have changed dramatically since the “classic series” ended in 1989, sci-fi is not the same now as it was 24 years ago, and some things we thought were cool years ago now seem totally gay, especially with the amount of overacting in David Tennant’s run on the show (not to mention that the plotlines were getting ridiculous).

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that the show managed to survive as long as it did, but no TV show should ever last more than 5, 6, or even 7 years, because after around 100 episodes, the writing goes stale, and the episodes end up having ridiculous premises. Besides, the Simpsons has 25 seasons now, and that show’s been going down the crapper since The Simpsons Movie came out.

Overall, I haven’t really got a whole lot against the show, other than how out of hand it’s gotten. Will I watch the upcoming Peter Capaldi episodes? Absolutely not. Will I ever watch the Matt Smith episodes? Hell no. Will I watch the David Tennant episodes again? I highly doubt it. Will I watch the Christopher Eccleston episodes again? Maybe, maybe not. Will I ever watch the “classic series”? I’ll think about it. But one thing’s for sure, if we as a nation really love this show, we have to be willing to let it go. After all, it probably won’t be too long before the show runs out of ideas.

A look into the Star Wars movies

star wars

In the autumn of 2012, I did what I always wanted to do: watch all six of the Star Wars movies (which will soon be 7) back to back. Simply put it, Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon that has 6 movies (discounting The Clone Wars), several video games, countless books, and animated TV shows to its name. Being that today is Star Wars Day, I want to share my experience. But, I will not go into the Star Wars franchise as a whole, focusing only on the films.

I’ll be going through them in canonical order (the prequel trilogy first). I’m just throwing it out there so that I don’t have a bunch of trolls saying “you should have put the original Star Wars first”. Furthermore, I’m fully aware that the original Star Wars never used to be called Episode IV until 1999. I’m just counting the episodes as they are.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

This was the first Star Wars movie to be released within my lifetime. There was a game based on it for the PS1 (I’ve never played it, but it’s got to be better than the actual movie). It actually reminds me of John Carter, except for the fact that John Carter was a piece of crap, and this wasn’t.

The plot was a complete joke. It was far too embroiled in politics, and it was way too long for what it was, and Jar-Jar Binks only seems to make it worse. But those aside, they actually tried hard to make it good. The presentation seems to be genuinely inspired, and the action scenes look good, despite there being so few of them.

It seems as though George Lucas spent too much time making the film look good rather than having a good plot to it.

Overall, it’s definitely the worst in the series (only because I haven’t seen The Clone Wars), but it’s not as bad as everyone says it is. In fact, if they ironed out some of the flaws, it would have been great.

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

I remember seeing an ad for this movie in America when I was 8. I also remember that Simpsons gag where Lenny and Carl were fighting with plutonium rods over which of the first two Star Wars movies sucked more.

lenny and carl

It was a tough call, but I think Lenny wins this one.

Yes, it was a significant improvement over The Phantom Menace, because it was less about the politics and more about the impressive-looking action. The characters are better, except Anakin, who somehow ends up being worse than ever. The presentation is still very well done, and, pretty much everything except Anakin improved in Attack of the Clones.

Why it took three years to do that astounds me. Maybe it takes three years to make a Star Wars movie (9 years for an entire trilogy).

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

This is probably just my opinion, but this is definitely the best of the prequel trilogy.

This is where everything in Star Wars goes to its more recognized form, complete with establishing the history of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, and pretty much every major character from A New Hope. The special effects and fighting scenes look awesome, as though the special effects have been perfected, as though they actually got better with age.

It manages to capture the spirit of the old Star Wars movies in a new one, which is nothing short of an achievement.

Episode IV: A New Hope (originally just Star Wars)

And now we arrive at the obvious classic, the original Star Wars.

The characters were portrayed very well, and the special effects, though they seem outdated, were ground-breaking for the time and are still amazing. The special effects especially play a major part in the action sequences, which are very well done.

It’s a great movie, but I worry that the number of parodies have ruined the younger generation’s impression of it, with Family Guy having done the worst damage, treating the Star Wars trilogy like just another random Family Guy episode.

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (originally Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)

Once again, the original trilogy had come out with a classic for the ages.

The story actively paves the way for the sequel, Return of the Jedi, and the actors once again fulfil their roles with genuine ability. The special effects have slightly improved over A New Hope, and the locales are brilliantly designed. Of course, this is where that classic plot twist comes from, resulting in parody after parody, but it lives up to the greatness of its predecessor.

Some say this is superior to A New Hope, but I think this is better, due to plot being a little less one-sided than A New Hope, and more complex.

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (originally Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)

It may not be as good as the other two before it, but I think it’s a great way to end a trilogy, better in that regard than the way the prequel trilogy ended in Revenge of the Sith.

The presentation is still at top quality, and the characters are still all great. Speak of characters, this was the movie that showed that Darth Vader was more than just a villain. He was actually a complex character with a deep back story (something that would get needlessly convoluted with the prequel trilogy).

The finality of the ending actually makes me question whether or not we actually need an Episode VII, VIII, or even IX. The original trilogy was already great, so why spoil a good thing?

Conclusion

You could say that Star Wars is for nerds, but you’d be missing the point, just like I used to miss the point when I saw various heavy metal posters and associated them with the same death metal sound (now I know better). Even though Disney now owns the rights to Star Wars, I doubt that they’ll do too much to it. It’s not as though Disney would try and offend the millions of fans, who would vent their rage on innocent forums if that did happen.

Heavy Metal

heavy metal

They sure knew how to sell it.

A month ago, bought and watched the DVD for the cult animated film Heavy Metal. The appeal of this movie was very obvious. Then I looked into it more. Given the title, I was expecting a rather ear-splitting soundtrack, until I learned that the movie is actually based on some of the serials in the Heavy Metal magazine. Even the logo for the movie is the same as the magazine.

Either way, before any of you feminists complain, this was a movie designed for men. If you have a problem with it, take it somewhere else, because I really don’t need any of that mindless “girl power” crap that’s thrown around a lot.

As I just said, this movie was made for men, and I really like it. I think it holds up as one of the greatest animated films of all time. Why? That’s what this post is about. Sit tight, and be wary that there are spoilers in this post. If you don’t to ruin the movie, look away. Or, if you’re like me, you won’t care about spoilers, and look on ahead.

The story is divided into little vignettes (short stories that present a scene) that are all somehow connected. In this case, the thing that connects all the stories together is the Loc-Nar, a glowing green orb that is “the sum of all evils”. The (briefly summarized) vignettes are as follows:

  • Soft Landing – The opening scene of the movie
  • Grimaldi – The eponymous astronaut brought back a green cystal (later revealed to be the Loc-Nar), which later melts him.
  • Harry Canyon – A taxi driver named Harry Canyon investigates an incident involving a group of gangsters chasing an archaeologist’s daughter for the Loc-Nar.
  • Den – A nerdy teenager is transported into a fantasy world, where he is a mighty warrior and spoiler of women.
  • Captain Sternn – An amoral space captain named Captain Lincoln F. Sternn is being tried on a plethora of serious charges, and Sternn’s witness quickly turns against him.
  • B-17 – A World War II fighter plane flying through space lands on a place where the crew have turned into zombies.
  • So Beautiful and So Dangerous – A woman is taken up to a spaceship where she stays in bed with a robot.
  • Taarna – The final segment, which follows the quest of the last descendant of a warrior race.

The story is actually brilliantly constructed, and with great voice talent from the likes of John Candy (as Den and a robot), Rodger Bumpass (as Hanover Fiste), and Richard Romanus (as Johnny Canyon), the latter two being relatively unknown actors. Like the magazine, the movie is abundant with strong language, graphic violence, nudity and sexuality, the perfect ingredients for a men’s movie, all benefiting from the unique animation.

I also enjoy the creative fusion of sci-fi and traditional fantasy elements, which is genuinely creative, and serves as an inspiration for me. The other notable aspect of this film is that it features a stand-out soundtrack from such artists as Black Sabbath (during the Ronnie James Dio era), Devo, Blue Öyster Cult, Sammy Hagar, and many more. I can’t get over the Heavy Metal theme song for bizarre reason, and songs like “Veteran of the Psychic Wars” and “Through Being Cool” have become some of my favourite songs.

In conclusion, I feel that this movie is a beacon of masculinity. It’s unashamed, it’s fantastical, and it’s really bold. They released a sequel called Heavy Metal 2000, which has a soundtrack featuring contemporary 90’s metal bands like System of a Down, Pantera, and Insane Clown Posse. I’m not so sure about the sequel, but I may give it a shot.