Yep, it’s that time of week again when Richard and Joe bring you a quick round up of news and links we’ve spotted over the last few days
Very sad to hear of the passing of the great George Romero at the age of 77, following a short battle with cancer. For me Romero was up there with the giants of the horror movie genre, and like some of his fellow creators from around the same period (such as John Carpenter) he didn’t just make interesting films, but gave the genre a fresh perspective. The original Night of the Living Dead is considered a solid film classic, not just by horror hounds, and rightly so, an astonishingly powerful Indy film made on a shoestring, combining the horror of the walking, hungry dead with biting social commentary. That social commentary angle was present throughout Uncle George’s work, adding layers of meaning to go along with the visceral and the psychological horror.
Several years ago I got to see him at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The audience went nuts cheering him – they were technically there to see a film but really they just wanted to see Uncle George and cheer him, simply because he was George and we all loved him. It was a wonderful moment, I could see the emotion on his face as he realised how much love was radiating out from his audience. Goodnight, George, and thank you for your remarkable films and for being you.
And more sad news, another star from our beloved fantastic genres has left us – Martin Landau has passed away at the age of 89. Landau gave remarkable performances in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors (garnering an Oscar nomination) and as the elderly Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood (winning him the Oscar). But of course to SF&F fans he will always be Commander John Koening of Moonbase Alpha in Gerry Anderson’s Space 1999, and the diguise king Rollin Hand in Mission: Impossible, playing alongside his wife Barbara Bain in both series.
The big news of the week though – and you must have been sleeping under the Tomb of the Cybermen if you didn’t hear it already – was the announcement of the new lead in Doctor Who. The unveiling of a new Doctor is always a big media event, and this time it was especially enthralling as everyone wondered … Are they finally going to do it? And yes they did, they announced Jodie Whittaker would take over when Capaldi’s Doctor regenerates, giving us a female Doctor for the first time in the show’s more than fifty years.
The internet pretty much broke as soon as the news was announced. Most of what I saw was pretty positive, including some comments from former Doctors (Colin Baker echoed his first line as the freshly regenerated Doctor to welcome Jodie to the role, which I thought was lovely and supportive of him). There were naysayers, of course, some had solid reasons why they were against it, but there was also a strand which was quite ugly, driven by misogynistic hatred and, frankly, far to disturbingly similar to some of the nasty comments from a certain kind of man (by which I mean a gibbering, immature boy) that we’ve seen around the Wonder Woman film and the casting in the upcoming new Star Trek series.
As Tom Baker’s Doctor once observed, “I’m a Time Lord, I walk in eternity”. Eternity should be long enough for us to have all sorts of diversity in our much beloved show, in my view, and I’ve been watching the show since the tail-end of Jon Pertwee’s era. I’m sure Jodie will bring her own stamp to the Time Lord, just as every actor before her has, but will still, as they too did, remain The Doctor, our hero, whichever face he or she wears. I think she’s going to be inspiring. And for those few who offered rather harsh words at the news, I direct you to the magnificent recent speech Peter Capaldi’s Doctor made concerning his motives for everything he does – kindness.
In related news, former Doctor Colin Baker graciously offers his warm support for our new Time Lord hero in an article in the Guardian. Over on the official BBC site they ask the thirteenth Doctor thirteen questions.
And for those men who just can’t emotionally deal with the change, there’s The Doctor Who Helpline:
The British Fantasy Awards have posted their shortlist, with a number of categories covering from short stories to novels, artists, best publisher and more. Check out the BFA site here for the full list of nominees in every category as there are too many to list here (winners are announced at FantasyCon at the end of September), and meantime here’s a peek at the comics and graphic novel nominees:
Best Comic / Graphic Novel
2000AD (progs 1963-2011) ed. Matt Smith
Monstress, Vol 1: Awakening – Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! (#2-13) – Kate Leth & Brittney Williams
Saga (#33-40) – Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Sixpack and Dogwelder: Hard Travelin’ Heroz (#1-5) – Garth Ennis & Russ Braun
Skal (Chapter 3, pages 1-19) – Jennie Gyllblad
Deadpool topped the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification)’s list of most complained about films of 2016. Most complaints were about sexual references, violence and bad language, apparently. Quite why anyone going to see Deadpool wouldn’t know to expect that, I really don’t know, I can only assume the same people complained there was far too much singing and dancing in La La Land…. I’m guessing Ryan Reynolds will be quite proud of this, actually… (via the Guardian)
That much-anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi behind the scenes trailer popped up online and oh, oh oh! Oh my it looks fantastic!!! (let’s out Wookie-esque roar of approval):
Bob Moran mashes up Chris Nolan’s new film Dunkirk with the ongoing Brexit negotiations/shambles (delete as your persuasion dictates!) for the Telegraph:
New Lookshkin from Jamie Smart on the Phoenix Comic’s Twitter,always good to see:
The Family Guy team pays tribute to the late Adam West with a supercut of clips from his frequent guest spots as Mayor Adam West (via IO9):