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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

It's a fairly grim set of news this time around, alas.

In the same week we've had Easter, Passover and Earth Day, and at the same time, it's impossible not address the tragic events in Sri Lanka at the weekend. Co-ordinated terrorist attacks have left over 300 dead and over 500 injured.

Likewise the murder of Lyra McKee, a journalist in Northern Ireland, has political significance far beyond the tragedy itself. The fact she was a prominent LGBTQ+ rights activist was not directly related to her death, but it is a loss that should be acknowledged.

The Kingdom of Brunei has written to the EU trying to explain/justify their newly implemented laws involving death by stoning for homsoexual acts, amputation and the use of the lash, saying that it probably wouldn't happen every often due to the evidentiary requirements. It went down about as well as you might have expected it to.

POTUS 45 has been invited for a State Visit to the UK on June 3, which would involve attending D-Day commemoration ceremonies. I can only imagine how THAT will work out, but let's just say that no one other than Theresa May seems terribly keen and we've seen how well that's played out for her in recent months.

A fuller, but still redacted copy of the Mueller report has been released, and can now be searched for specific text. Happy hunting, though be warned it's a 130Mb PDF which is quite the achievement.

On lighter news...

"Star Trek: Discovery" ended it's second season, with a deal of continuity tie ups (like why certain things are not mentioned in TOS which otherwise might be expected to be), and an exit from the series for Anson Mount's Captain Pike (Who I hope we see more of somehow, because I am seriously LOVING his character).

"The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" is back on Netflix with Part 2, and I'm getting to the point where I'm finding Sabrina to be the least interesting character in the series, since quite so many of the problems she faces are of her own creation. That's not to sell the performance of Kiernan Shipka short, it's just that so many other characters are doing much more interesting things.

Maybe a little late to the party, but more details of the Disney streaming service have been announced including several MCU spin-offs;

Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in a "Winter Soldier and Falcon" series.

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen in "Vision And Scarlet Witch"

Tom Hiddleston in a "Loki" series.

Also an animated "What if...?" series, which is a bit of a surprise.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

Anyone with access to media will have been aware of the dreadful fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris yesterday. A more iconic central image of France's culture and history (it dates back to ther 13th century) is hard to imagine. Having been there quite a few times, and fallen in love with the place every time, this is heartbreaking. Astonishingly, no one was hurt or killed, but thanks to the efforts of the fire services, the fire appears to have left much of the actual structure intact and tragic though it is to see it like this, I have no doubt it will be rebuilt, as it has been before.

In yet another plotline pulled from the pages of a bad dystopian future novels, the POTUS 45 Administration is suggesting monitoring the social media activity of diability recipients. Whilst identifying those scamming the system is fundamentally a good idea, that does NOT seem like a reasonable way of doing it.

Brexit... didn't happen... yet... kind of... An extension until 31st October was granted (Won't THAT be a Halloween to remember) and we'll see what happens. Ardent Brexiteers are howling at the moon about this betrayal, and everyone else is breathing a sigh of relief for a little lessening of the tension, but Lord knows what come's next.

Climate change protestors from "Extinction Rebellion" have held rallies across the world, and in London arrests have been made.

At the other end of the scale, I finally got around to watching "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies" which was a lot more fun than I was expecting and the cameo from a certain unexpected comic book legend was outright hilarious.

A LOT of new Star Wars info released at Star Wars Celebtration this past weekend, including the name and a trailer for Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker... which given the last person to use the Skywalker name died at the end of Episode VIII is quite the achievement. (I do quite like the fan idea that if this movie heralds the end of "Jedi" and "Sith", then a "Skywalker" would be quite a good name for a new generation of Force users, but we shall see.

Episode VIII had... issues, LOTS of issues, but I worry that Episode IX is going to be outright nostalgia pandering, not lessened by the reveal at the end of the trailer about an old villain returning unexpectedly 9I know nearly anyone who cares will have seen the trailer by now, but I'd still feel rotten for spoiling it in this post, though if people discuss it in the comments, so be it.

Also the first footage of Season 7 of The Clone Wars was released a little more "safe" nostalgia-wallowing rather than trying something new perhaps, but I'll take it.

Plus materials which will be available at the new Star Wars: Glaaxy Edge park in Disneyland and Disneyworld were released, including the specially designed soft drink containers.

And if you're not following the Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures Youtube channel, you really should, because their anime re-stylings of classic Star wars moments are a delight (And I'm not just saying that for their ultimate 80's anime haired Luke Skywalker... well, not JUST because of that)
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

Buckle up US based folks, the Head of the Secret Service has apparently been fired, and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has resigned and are unlikely to be the last.

And this was BEFORE a Chinese national attempted to enter Mar-A-Lago claiming she wanted to use the pool, which led to one of the Secret Servuce Agents there, memorably noting that suspicions were aroused because "she carried four mobile phones, a laptop, an external hard drive and a thumb drive containing a computer virus, but no swim suit".

Brexit or, possibly Brexisn't it? Who knows any more, certainly not those in power. 'Nuff said (Well, by me at any rate)

The first episodes of Season 9 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which will be the last, arrived, and introduced a new big bad (who slightly nerfed some of the previous season-finale baddies who he has summoned to be his underlings), and a  set-up for a probable ending of.

If you have half-an-hour to kill then Brian David Gilbert's "Perfect Pokérap" is a... multimedia experience to be savoured.

Small children attending a cinema screening of "Peppa Pig's Festival of Fun" were, unfortunately shown horror movie trailers beforehand.

Brit's of a certain age (like... my age) might recall that it's forty years since the publication of Kit William's, "Masquerade". A series of puzzles in the form of a picture book, with the various solutions leading one lucky person to actual buried treasure in the shape of a golden hare. It's eventual solution/discovery led to the sort of accusations of cheating and underhanded practices and recriminations that suggest it's long overdue for a film adaptation.

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After yesterday's calendar-related attempted coup by a certain board member, we now return to our REGULAR Off-Topic Tuesday, though I can't promise this will be any more coherent than that one was.

In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

To be honest, looking through the headlines, it was very hard to tell what was an April Fool from what's actually current affairs.

A community in Brittany has, after thirty plus years, found the cause of the Garfield telephones that have been regularly washing up on their beaches

Jim Carrey and Benito Mussolini's grand-daughter got into a Twitter tiff over Carrey posting a cartoon of Benito Mussolini's execution as a warning about what fascism leads to. There's a rather gruesome image on that site if you click on the link, so a warning for that.

An unusually large calving (a chunk of a glacier breaking off) was caught on camera in Iceland as was the reaction of the tourists who were passing, running from the giant wave that was thus created

Speaking of unspeakable force of nature. Brex.... (insert sound of Freddy Kreuger's gloved hand being drawn slowly down a blackboard, in an echo chamber, with the volume turned up to 11, for three solid days). Thank you for your attention.

POTUS 45 has apparently decided that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' plans to cut $18m of funding from the Special Olympics might be a step too far, and has withdrawn them from his Budget plans, which probably aren't going to pass anyway. DeVos has said that she wanted the funding to be more "behind the scenes" whatever THAT means.

There's also some controversy brewing on the reversal of denials of security clearances by the Trump Adminsitration.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, actual comedian Volodymyr Zelenksy who plays a fictional president in a popular TV series, has come out on top in the first round of elections to become the ACTUAL president.

In Turkey, President Erdogan, faced serious setbacks in his hold on power in this week's local elections, despite over 75% of the media being state controlled. His party lost control of Ankara (for the first time in 25 years), and looks set to lose Istanbul both key results

A man responsible for a hoax "swatting" call over a Call of Duty game, which resulted in police being called to an innocent man's house believing there was a hostage situation, and shooting the homeowner dead, has been jailed for 20 years.

As a fan of the classic series, and it's various revivals, I started to watch the new Twilight Zone with high hopes and... I'm already finding it a slog 30 minutes into the first hour-long story, about an aspiring stand-up comedian who finds there's a rather horrible cost to getting laughs. Alas, I just don't find the character remotely funny, or even plausible, as a comedian, which may be the point I suppose. I'm psyching myself up to watch the rest of it, because I had to bail halfway through due to "not-giving a damn" syndrome. Seriously hoping it improves, or I'm in a better mood, or both.

Mark Hamill has been announced as the new voice for "Chucky" in the "Child's Play" reboot, so that's another seminal monster he'll be playing.

When asked about the state of The New Mutants movie in light of the Disney deal, Maisie Williams replied "Who knows when the f**k that’s gonna come out", and confirmed that none of the oft-reported reshoots have taken place.

Oh, and also slightly ON topic, but if you've been reading the various "Age of X-Man" series, I strongly recommend you listen to last weeks "Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men" episode 240, a live recording from Emerald City Comic-Con which is a panel discussion with writers on three of the AoX-M miniseries'; Seanan McGuire, Vita Ayala and Leah Williams. It's a fascinating listen and addresses some important issues.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

April 1st has come and gone and had the usual assortment of bizarre visuals and just generally chat amongst yourselves after a wolf destroyed it before setting out of the water from a German boat sometime in 1886.

A few bits of doctor who podcasts are getting together for ‘Who Against Guns’ to raise funds to support for organisations seeking to prevent gun violence.

(that was the appeal to me)

The Queen at Windsor Castle Dracula has stepped down as head of Tesla Inc on Netflix, courtesy of the most despotic rulers of the "chocolate” (which seems like the development of a scene from Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield).

Episode 18 of Season 2 of Miraculous Ladybug has aired, and gosh, they were officially kinda good! I have faith in Dave Filoni to make something interesting to see in the different nightmares that Marinette and Adrien have compared to Ladybug and Cat Noir’s character designs (oh, and word has it Mary Poppins Returns was the news equivalent of a large scale tyre fire at a waffle house restaurant in Nashville).

Titans Season 3 landed on DC. Since Dick’s character is motivated by anger at the loss of Boris Johnson as Britain’s Foreign Secretrary, they might have cut down on people adopting pets for christmas. “There are a lot of people disagreeing with his choice and the unpleasant levels of gratuitous violence” is the BBC’s reaction to it (Robin scraping a thugs face against the wall leaving a red trail and running a guys face across broken glass particles and the other cops basically going "shiiiiit perv”).

In a shocking upset to expectations, the Most Perfectly Good Idiot basically amounted to him giving thanks for himself of any crime he was accused of. Not to be outdone himself again, because of threats, he was accused of colluding with the US this week which tells us we should definitely address the current US Administration’s plan to keep Earth before the Galra can reach them... wanna bet how well that goes along with conservatives? It's not even going to start on the Venezuelan situation in the comments to these weekly posts (though I did check out the White House denying that the President’s abusive right wing rhetoric could have in any way contributed to the mindset of those who would feel empowered to do such things from people who like to play the long game). Immigrants are deported by the time this paragraph is finished seems too wildly optimistic to be a thing that exists in the US…

I was blown away from the Brexit deal because it meant Britain would have been completely unthinkable a mere handful of years ago. Today, it would appear that " government by tantrum " is not a phrase i ever thought I'd ever type. A good sensory analogy for Brexit is having metal fillings and biting down on tin foil... that has been connected to the mains power supply.

News outlets report exactly the same script about "biased and false news" (hell are a couple of people?) and it might look like they did nothing illegal.

E3 starts today, based around the console of the most brilliant minds of the Islamic Golden Age of ’95 (what the fallout from that might be is expected to climb again by the end of the episode), which reminds us that the Doom Patrol was ludicrously weird but fun in a sort of “Quentin Quire if Quentin Quire just wanted a fairly quiet life" way that appalls us.

It was announced that the nobel prize for physics will be awarded to a woman for only the third time since 1963, for a volume of "it was a powerful move” and (example of the sort of thing).

A little check up on Voltron Season 2 started with Trollhunters and some of my favourite Ghostbusters episodes too since “Seven Deadly Sins uses the abandoned anime style. I do thoroughly endorse the new Netflix series “Hilda”!

I lost track of the more toxic branches of certain fandoms in a sort her own right about non (and their view on world trade routes through the history of twists).

This special helpline has been set up by the Royal Society of Chemistry to tackle "a culture of secrecy" and the 'unchecked power of managers’, which I do not recommend to anyone who has even slight cases of acrophobia. It was not uncommon for a performance that started at 7:30pm to not actually finish until after 1 am! Sure there are a couple of weeks since we have a few weeks to supply them with pizza whilst they were there...

This entry is dealing with an onstage invasion with effortless grace for this post-digital age information from Facebook itself through proper channels of the more pragmatic branches of the " Windrush generation" doing the healthy thing and occasionally letting rip, speaking up about all the crap that the UK had to make (and Northern Ireland is celebrating 20 years since the Northern Irish peace settlement known as "The Good Place“ and was blown away from politics... the less said the better).

To end on an up note, which harry potter character are you?

Ps, please register to vote if you have seen it before but had little to no memory of it!
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

The Mueller Report was completed and identified no sinks between POTUS 45 and Russian interference in the 2016 election. He pointedly made no judgment one way or the other regarding possible obstruction of justice, and what happens about that is still up in the air. But for those who like to play the long game, Mitch O'Connell, human/turtle hybrid, has refused to release the whole report and it looks like a lot of people disagree with his choice there.

The Disney/Fox deal went through, though we've had a dedicated thread on that one already.

This weeks Brexit analogy is the long drawn out inhlation as you wake up on day three of a sinus migraine and you're out of any and all medicines.

We really are in uncharted waters here, with Parliament voting to allow backbench MP's to take control away from Government Ministers and Cabinet. Though there are caveats, and limits, and no guarantee that the Prime Minister will even take notice/action,

A March in London managed to have somewhere in the region of a million people attend, and was entirely peaceful, with no arrests, and an online petition on the Gov.uk website to revoke Article 50 broke every record going by reaching over 5 million votes in something like four days. And yet, and yet....

Spare a thought to those affected by Cyclone Idia in Africa, which devastated parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, and which has been followed by tropical storms to boot.

Sorry, haven't had much of a chance for pop culture viewing this week, so you'll have to fill that in for yourself.

Oh what the heck, some last minute additions (and with thanks to tripodeca113 for the reminder about the first one)

Supernatural is ending as of season 15, I'm sure it will be back as nothing and no one stays dead on that show.

Apple are moving into the streaming market

Doom Patrol managed another blinder, introducing the ACTUAL Doom Patrol (the name hasn't been used up until this story, and it's not Cliff, Larry, Rita, Jane and Cyborg, but references several old Doom Patrol members, from the 60's to the 80's; Steve "Mento" Dayton, Arani "Celsius" Calder, Rhea "Lodestone" Jones and Joshua "Tempest" Clay. Oh, and referencing a story SO weird that it simply HAD to be an actual 60's story, about a jukebox that drives people insane.

Zack Snyder got in a bit of a tizz about people being foolish enough to believe that Batman doesn't kill.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

Following last weeks tragedy in New Zealand, where 50 Muslims at prayer were shot dead by a white terrorist. Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern has already committed to change the countries gun laws with broad agreement from the other parties to do so (Beats the hell out of "Thoughts and prayers" as an approach).

She has also made the unusual, but highly commendable request that the name of the killer not be mentioned by the media or politicians, and to remember those innocents who who died rather than the terrorist who killed them.

Denying someone who sought notoriety their name is a powerful move and we would request that it be followed here, if this topic comes up in discussion below. Let us instead remember the names of Daoud Nabi, the 71 year greeter at the Mosque, or Naeem Rashid, who chose to tackle the gunman, and the others.

The more recent shooting in the Netherlands is also being investigated as a terrorist act, but very little is known about it yet.

New research shows that your brain doesn't settle down into an "adult" pattern until you're probably in your 30's, which might be reassuring for you, but still means I'm running at least two decades late.

This weeks sensory analogy for Brexit is having metal fillings and biting down on tin foil... that has been connected to the mains power supply.

The UK's already heady mix of farce and political thriller took a definite soap opera turn, when last night the Speaker of the House (an independent arbiter who keeps order in the House of Commons) unexpectedly utilised a precedent dating back to 1604 to prevent the Prime Minister from bringing her twice rejected deal back for a THIRD vote without any changes, on the grounds that that's not how these things are supposed to work. Both Brexiteer and Remainer groups are claiming it as a victory, so make of that what you will, but with 10 days to go before we exit by default, it's all getting rather desperate.

(I will note that POTUS 45 chose to weigh in, saying how disappointed he was by PM May's handling of Brexit, and that he'd offered negotiating advice which he is sure would have helped if she'd used it. Given his last negotiations were that humiliating mess of meeting North Korea's leader that went exactly nowhere. Well, draw your own conclusions as to why a longer served, more experienced, leader chose to ignore him)

"Heorodotus proved right after nearly 2,500 years", is not something one expects to see too often, but is the case this week! , which has confused historians because there was no evidence found that such boats ever existed, has been found at the bottom of the Nile.

Miraculous has aired another two episodes, "Animaestro" which, despite a lot of clever meta (It's about an animated movie of ML being released in-universe, which uses the abandoned anime style the series was originally going to use, and is directed by Thomas Astruc, the series actual creator, who plays himself in the episode.... sort of), manages to make Marinette somewhere between distinctly unlikable and outright creepy (Siding with Chloe in a nasty-minded plan and letting her selfish obsession with Adrien become something rather disturbing to watch), and "Oblivio", which is the exact opposite, a cleverly thought out, well written story involving nobody remembering who they actually are and trying to piece things together.

Also, full marks to the Doom Patrol TV series for their adaptation of the Decreator storyline from Grant Morrison's run, which retained nearly all the bonkers elements of the original (with a few bizarre Cult members cut for time and budget I suspect) and cast Mark Sheppard as Willoughby Kipling (The sort of street wizard John Constantine can feel superior to). It also had a better, IMHO, resolution, though some of that is down to them realising that if you're paying for Alan Tudyk and Timothy Dalton on the cast, it's better to use them than not.

Also a quick, if conditional, recommendation for "Love Death and Robots" on Netflix, a compilation of 18 animated shorts on various sci-fi topics. Whilst there are legitimate concerns about how women are presented in many of the stories (There's a LOT of sexualised female nudity, whilst men almost entirely keep their clothes on) there are a couple of very good stories in there, my favourites being "Fish Night" which has a definite Ray Bradrury short story vibe to it, and "Three Robots" which has the titular characters touring a post apocalyptic world with a lot of wry commentary.

Also, a trailer for Toy Story 4!

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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

It's yet ANOTHER pivotal week in the Brexit farrago, with the first decisive vote tonight. The Maybot has been running around in perhaps the most definitive case of permative negotiations, and after a suitably dramatic last ditch flight to Brussels yesterday has come back claiming that new guarantees have been agreed, which others have already pointed out were already there on the existing document.

Friday coming is "Comic Relief Red Nose Day" in the UK (And after the previous few days I suspect we'll bloody well need some) the charity telethon/event.

It's 30 years to the day since Tim Berners-Lee (now SIR Tim) submitted a document to his boss about a proposed means to share digital information, which is seen as the foundation of the creation of the World Wide Web. In an open letter he expressed his dismay at the way that it was being used and abused, with particular concern about data breaches and deliberate attempts to manipulate voters.

A Fox News host, one Tucker Carlson, is accused of misogyny and racism after old audios of his calls to a phone in show (featuring someone called "Bubba the Love Sponge"), has invited anyone who disagrees with his frankly outrageous comments to come on his show. (If you want to read his comments follow the link, but I'd add a trigger warning for sexism, misogyny and discussions of underage sex)

The POTUS 45 Administration is considering  cut of 7.1 billion in education budget. It's unlikely to pass, but says a LOT about priorities.

Several countries (Australia and Singapore) have made the decision to ban the Boeing 737 Max aircraft from their airspace after the second fatal crash in less than five months (though it should be noted there is no evidence of a link yet). Other countries have taken varied actions

Duck Tales had it's first episode for a couple of months (and the last until May), and it was a corker, giving us the story of what Della Duck, sister to Donald, mother to the triplets and adventurer in her own right, had been doing since her rocket crashed on the moon shortly before the triplets hatched. Managed to be funny, exciting and heartbreaking without breaking a sweat and Paget Brewster's rather eccentric Della was a delight.

Finished watching Seraph of the End, which ambled along in a not terribly surprising manner. "Oh look, everyone in power is a malevolent bag of dicks" is hardly a twist no-one saw coming. Apparently there might yet be a season 3.Started to watch "The Order" on Netflix, but gave up after the third episode (and that was a slog). Bland with a side-order of dull..

But to end on an up note, we have a new trailer for Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens!

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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

In the UK a patient has become only the second person to be declared free of HIV after a bone marrow transplant, though it's too soon to say that this is a cure.

The White House has said that Democrats are "harassing" POTUS 45.., which I sort of thought was their job in many ways. But then I think they might be looking to find anything to distract from the complete damp squib of the North Korea talks last week.

A senior Minister has quit the Canadian Cabinet over the Government's handling of a bribery case

My summary of the Brexit situation is perhaps best summarised by the fact that last week a topical news satire show gave a salient update on the current situation, only for me to realise that this was a rerun ONLY because the host happened to mention "It's six months to Brexit" when it's now less than four weeks.Sweet FA has moved forward and a lot of things have taken a lurching step backwards.

Apparently Fox dropped a digital Aliens based animated series last week. Did anyone notice?.

"Doom Patrol" continues to entertain, they even showcased a new (Well, new to me, I don't think they showed up in the Morrison run, but maybe in a later iteration?) personality to Jane, Silvertongue, who has a nicely televisual ability which she uses to great effect against some passing Nazi's. Also there's a terrific little cameo at the end of the episode which reminds us that the Doom Patrol was ludicrously weird LONG before Grant Morrison came along.

"Power Rangers Beast Morphers" launched, with a stronger than usual set up, and what looks to be an engaging cast, and possibly our first line up (even for three person core team), without a white male in the line up. I suspect the comedy relief security guards are going to get old VERY quickly... probably faster than Victor and Monty in Ninja Steel, which is REALLY saying something.

Oops, late addition which as token Brit I should probably mention, the next Pokemon games; Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. will be based in Galar, a Pseudo-British locale (In much the same way as Alolah is Hawaiian I guess).

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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

Before continuing, an additional note from the Mod Team. We've noticed, in recent weeks, a tendency for the standards of decorum in some parts of these threads to break down and we've had to freeze some threads. A reminder that our long established Code of Conduct is right here and all posters should be familiar with it, because they will be held to it.

Moving on...

The Oscars were their usual combination of "Of course", and "Really?", though anyone attempting to make a bold fashion statement was pretty much beaten from the outset by Billy Porters amazing Tuxedo gown. Perhaps matched only by Glenn Close's "Aww yeah" reaction to it.

POTUS 45 is having a second summit with North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un. Remembering how well the last one went, the world is not exactly holding it's breath in anticipation.

The Catholic Church has, in the same week, held a four day conference in Rome on how to deal with it's sordid history of child sex abuse and cover-ups, and seen a very high profile case reach it's conclusion, with Cardinal Pell in Australia (a Vatican Treasurer and considered to be the third most powerful official in the Church) being found guilty of such abuse.

Peter Tork of The Monkees, died at 77.

Anything I could say about where Brexit will be by the time this paragraph is finished seems wildly optimistic, as the splits within the various factions and parties are like watching those old graphics they showed in school about how cells divide. Our PM has again delayed the already delayed vote further to the extent that her own Cabinet are rebelling and the only constant is chaos.

And speaking of a warm day in hell, Britain is enjoying some unseasonably warm weather, with the warmest day in February since records began.

Finished The Umbrella Academy's first season, terrific visuals, some great performances (If Aidan Gallagher, the kid playing Number Five, can act like that at 14, he's got a bright future ahead of him) but even though I'm not overly familiar with the title, I rarely felt... surprised by the plot as it unfolded and we desperately needed some

Also got around to finishing season one of "3 Below", the second of Guillermo Del Toro's "Tales of Arcadia" series that started with Trollhunters. More of a slow burn than Trollhunters I felt and some of the affected ways of speaking got old rather quickly (I'm looking at you Varvatos!) but enjoyable in it's way.

The BBC have announced a Doctor Who Virtual Reality special. A 12 minute animated story featuring the 13th Doctor and showcasing the TARDIS console room amongst other locations

And, after searching desperately for something new and upbeat to end on, fans of comedy/horror movies might be interested in Variety's report of a proposed new "Gremlins" project; an animated prequel relating of the adventures of Gizmo (presumably using another name as Gizmo is what Billy named him) when he traveled with a much younger Mr Wing (The character played by Keye Luke in the movies), years before the events of the movies. GIMME! GIMME NOW!
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

So POTUS 45 has stated that he will declare a National Emergency to allow him to divert the money for his fershlugging Wall from other Government projects.

Sixteen States have now launched a legal action against him saying it's unconstitutional for him to do this.

There was a rather fun thread on Quora asking "Why do many British people not like Donald Trump?" which came up with some very creative, and very British, replies.

Also in the UK, seven Labour MPs have quit the party over a combination of disagreements with the current leadership over Brexit, and the handling of frequent accusations of anti-Semitism within the party. They will now stand as independents. They may be joined by more, and a few Conservatives too, as dissatisfaction with the Brexit "negotiations" continues to spread.

I'll gloss over the closing of a car plant in Swindon costing 3,500 jobs and the closure of an airline because apparently they were officially NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH BREXIT... though I think it might be more truthful to say that Brexit didn't exactly HELP the situation.

"The Simpsons" has been renewed for Seasons 31 and 32! "Supernatural" renewed for season 15. Make of those what you will.

"The Dragon Prince" season 2 arrived unexpectedly on Netflix last week. Some cracking moments in this, with the introduction of Queen Aanya being a highlight (as was the flashback featuring her parent's, the Queens' Annika and Neha of Duren (Yup, no King and Queen, but two Queens, and yes they were a couple). It might have been nicer if we didn't already know that both mum's were dead (since Aanya was now Queen), and the old "Kill your gays" trope raised it's head again, but it has to be said, if you're going to go down, going down fighting a giant dragon side by side with your wife to save two entire kingdoms, is kinda one of the most awesome options). Also more intriguing world-building and magic (and there MUST be more to Callum and Ezran's mother, since both of them have abilities that humans should NOT be able to have by the established rules)

Multiple episodes of Miraculous Ladybug aired, including a remarkably uninspired clip show episode (which did have a little gem of a scene in it, but boy was it a slog to get there). It's a long time since I saw a cartoon clip show episode.

TWO teams of misfit superheroes showed up on TV, DC's "Doom Patrol" was amazing, and Netflix's "Umbrella Academy" is as close to a live action adaption of a very weird series as we're likely to see, even improving on at least one aspect (Sorry, but the White Violin's costume was visually striking on the comic book page, but never looked like something anyone would actually wear, still less on TV)

Toy Fair happened in New York. Though some interesting things showed up, not sure there's anything particularly surprising (beyond Ectotron - a Transformer based on Ghostbusters Ecto-1) or anything which made me go "Oooh! Gimme!!"
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

In the US, a notional deal has been signed by both parties to prevent another Government shutdown, which gives POTUS $1.4 billion of his demanded $5.7 billion for his wretched wall. Whether he'll sign it, it perhaps another matter.

A BBC cameraman was assaulted by a Trump supporter (in MAGA hat no less) after one of his typical rabble rousing, media blaming rants about things which pretty much aren't true at a rally in Texas.

Russia is apparently going to attempt to disconnect from the internet briefly, as part of a test of it's cyber-defences

Speaking of removing oneself from reality, Prime Minister May is still... being May, telling her own party to "hold their nerve" as the continues to believe she can gain something better out of the EU... God alone knows what or how.

A village in Russia has declared a state of emergency due to repeated visits by polar bears

Historians have discovered evidence of Joan of Leeds, who in the early 14th century nun who was so desperate to escape her life in her convent that she faked her own death and left a dummy for them to bury, while she popped off to enjoy life elsewhere. Go Joan!!

Star Trek Discovery finally "explained" why the USS Enterprise doesn't have all the whizzy comms tech that other ships seen in this mostly contemperaneous series have. Basically, Captain Pike got so sick of them, he ordered they all be removed and a proper good old fashioned viewscreen be installed, plus he doesn't like holo-comms since he fells like it's talking to a ghost. We also briefly saw Number One again, a recast sole who was Majel Barrett's first contribution to the Trek franchise, the Enterprise's first officer (whose real name was never mentioned) in series pilot "The Cage".

I just realised at the weekend that I'd never gotten around to watching Season 2 of "Agent Carter" and from "It's the flamingo, isn't it?" I remembered how much I'd missed this series.

This week sees the inevitable inundation of highly marketable romantic type stuff for Valentines Day. A friendly reminder that, chances are, not everyone in your life enjoys that day (or "Cheap Chocolate Eve" as some of us call it), so please try not to make life harder for people who might not enjoy such things.

And we've had first sight of Will Smith as the Genie (and a proper look at Jafar) in the live action Aladdin. Reaction has been... "mixed" is perhaps the politest summary, though anyone following on from a fully animated Robin Williams performance is going to find it a tough gig.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

First off, to those who celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year, a Happy New Year of the Pig! A little googling tells me that as the twelfth, and last, sign of the Chinese Zodiac, the pig is a symbol of wealth and good fortune. (Apparently he got last place on the Zodiac because he overslept and didn't make it to the Jade Emperors banquet until late... though other stories suggest he had to rebuild his house after a wolf destroyed it before setting out, which seems like a fairly justifiable reason to me but it wasn't my call)

Since last week, the US has been hit by a Twin Polar Vortex... which sounds like a video game special move, resulting in Hell freezing over (Hell, Michigan that is... their town council clearly has a sense of humour). Britain has hit -14 in some places, and Queesnland Australia has seen extraordinary levels of flooding, notably in in the memorably titled town of ummm... Townsville, where authorities are warning  residents about the risk of crocodiles and venomous snakes washing into town!

Theresa May is running around telling everyone that's SURE she can secure a better deal from the EU, to the bemusement of pretty much everyone else, including the EU.

She's not helped, though at this point I'm not sure what short of Divine Intervention could, by Nissan cancelling a multi-million pound investment in the UK, blaming a number of factors and including pointed reference to "The uncertainty caused by Brexit". This would be bad enough, but now a 2016 memo has been found in which, despite repeated claims to the contrary, the UK's Business Secretary promised Nissan £80 million pounds of taxpayers money to ensure they kept business in the UK. Oops!

The US has suspended its compliance with the 1978 INF Treaty with Russia, citing multiple violations by the Russians over the past several years (A stance supported by other countries). To the surprise of no-one Russia has now followed suit. Well, I feel SO much safer now, don't you?

Whilst promoting his new movie, in which his character is motivated by anger at the loss of a loved one Liam Neeson gave an interview which has sparked controversy on the topic of race as he outlined a story from his past, the details of which I won't go into on an Off Topic Tuesday post, but which can be found at the link above. NB Trigger warnings on the link for discussions of both racism and sexual assault.

I'm not even going to start on the Venezuelan situation, which gets more and more complicated with each passing day.

"Scandal in the world of Tennis match-fixing" is not a phrase I ever thought I'd type, but here we are.

The Superbowl happened and one team won, and the other didn't. That's all I know, and I won't pretend otherwise. If you wish to discuss it in more detail, go wild!

Kingdom Hearts 3 has come out to what seems to be a lot of ooh-ing and aah-ing from fans of the franchise.

Well, I finally remembered to finish all available episodes of "Seven Deadly Sins" at long last. Am now trying "Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign" which seems to be the usual combination of effete, but ultra violent, vampires, teen-angst ridden child soldiers and unspoken UST between two male leads.

I also finally got around to watching Venom. As a non-fan of the comic-book Venom, this was a surprisingly fun film! Somewhere between "The Mask", "All of Me" and Warlock's rough-around-the-edges country cousin coming for a visit to Earth. (Now I want to see Doug and Eddie go out for dinner to discuss the ups and downs of morphing alien symbiotes, which Warlock and Venom discuss the problems of just how squishy humans are)
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

In the US, the Government shutdown has been averted for a few weeks, with POTUS 45 the self proclaimed "great deal-maker", facing the humiliation of not getting a single cent towards his wall and no one looking like they're going to be shifting. Join us again in February for the next exciting installment. (But here are some infographics about the first half of his Presidency, if you're interested.)

In the UK... we have puppies, and adorable chubby babies, and music. I have to focus on those things because if I start to drift into real-world things like politics I start screaming and clawing at my eyes.

In truth this is a slow motion nightmare, with the rabid right-wing exemplified by the success last night of the post-Brexit "Immigration Bill" which will officially end the freedom of movement across Europe that British people have enjoyed and benefitted from for over 40 years.

Elsewhere, John Malkovich has confirmed he will be appearing in a David Mamet play, "Bitter Wheat", a black farce based around a Harvey Weinstein like (VERY Harvey Weinstein like, the Characters name is "Barney Fine") movie producer facing his downfall. I can only imagine "black comedy" here means "beyond Vantablack" level of grimness.

My plan on doling out the newest episodes of Young Justice until June lasted less than an hour and a half, because boy this is a remarkable series. Between Cyborg getting an origin (and Halo getting an explanation), a truly bizarre headtrip inside Garfield Logan's brain (Seriously, I can't say what they are because I would hate to be the one to spoil some if it, but WOW!) to the usual array of characters appearing (Harper Row? HARPER ROW?) and a perhaps obvious, but definitely intriguing set up for the second half of the season, it has a LOT going for it.

I'm sure there are a number of major events I'm overlooking, but alas, real world obligations intrude, so away you go my pretties!
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

Brex.... I can't even bring myself to say the whole word, it's just too ####ing depressing. Suffice to say after last weeks debacles, this week Prime Minster May presented her "Plan B" which looked suspiciously like her "Plan A" wearing a new hat.

A gamer by the name of hbomberguy has managed to raised over £260,000 for UK transgender and gender-diverse charity Mermaids, by livestreaming himself playing Donkey Kong 64 (and guaranteeing to pick up every single banana in the gams). This was done basically to rebuke singularly unpleasant chap named Graham Linehan, who may have written the brilliant sitcom "Father Ted" and "The IT Crowd", but who has repeatedly made deeply transphobic comments and objected to Mermaids getting funding from the National Lottery.. Never underestimate the motivating power of spite!

The American government shutdown continues, and the level of political action has included POTUS 45 denying use of a military plane to Nancy Pelosi, who replied rather neatly be NAMING the shutdown as "the Trump shutdown", which for the master of self branding is probably as close to a knee to the groin as can be imagined.

The new "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" dropped on Netflix. Never having seen the original (Though that theme sticks in your head) it held no nostalgia with me. I like it, and the character designs are terrific (and the villain "Paper Star" has every creepy psycho kid vibe going), but making her a teenager, even with a nifty backstory, appeals to me less than her being a grown woman. Still, it is what it is, and I enjoyed it.

Star Trek: Discovery also returned for a second season, with Anson Mount proving how badly he was served by his Inhumans role as Black Bolt, by turning in a great performance as Captain Pike.

Young Justice continues to impress, with a story based around Vandal Savage having to deal with the fact that the Light's plan to keep Earth's heroes out of action casues a problem when a BIGGER threat comes along. Also a LOT of backstory there. Plus Forager's idea of nudity is not the norm, Dick having to clarify that he did NOT get his codename from an 80s mullet rock band, and Forager finding the perfect use for a towel which led to the creation of one of the strangest Twitter accounts ever
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

As has been the norm for a while, both sides of the Atlantic seem to be vying for who can be the least functional nominal democracy.

In the UK, today is the Parliamentary "Meaningful Vote" on Brexit, which is likely to overwhelmingly reject Theresa May's proposed deal in favour of... well, God only knows! It might lead to her holding on to power like a limpet to a side of the Titanic, a new General Election, a magical unicorn descending on a rainbow cloud with a brilliant new idea, or some sort of Civil Service advisory notice on where to buy canned food and shotguns, and which housepets are edible.

The chaos in the UK is perhaps balanced by the inertia in the US as the Government shutdown is now the longest in history (So POTUS 45 has at least one claim to fame... I guess?) with no sign of either side giving ground and even the GOP fanbase blaming POTUS for the shutdown rather than the Democrats he's tried to blame. It would appear that "Government by tantrum" is not a good look, but then neither is racism,and that's never stopped him yet.

The American Psychological Association has formally recognised that “Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health.” and as such can encourage homophobic and misogynistic behaviour.

The initial reaction to this may be "This is news?" or "Tell us something we don't know" but it's important to note that this is definite progress, as it is something which is ratified by a respected body and can be formally cited. (Heck, the APA didn't take homosexuality off the "Mental disorder" until 1987 and look what's been achieved in a mere 32 years (Okay, not enough, but it's better than it was I hope)).

Today would have been Dr Martin Luther King's 90th birthday. It may seem like he's from a time long past, but he was younger than say, Stan Lee and Dick Van Dyke.

Caught up on Young Justice Season 3 and darnit this show is just SO GOOD! I didn't realise how much I'd missed it. I love how the characters have grown and moved on (or not), the cameos and the new dynamic being set up, though I'm hoping we see repercussions from certain JLA members bullshit manouever in episode 1.

I really like Halo, and the whole Bowhunter Security team... and the two cameos in THAT scene on Infinity Island... Wow!.

I do wonder how open it is to new viewers though, since it tends to assume you know who everyone is and in a couple of cases even I had no clue (Turns out who I thought was Jinx was actually Traci Thirteen). Three episodes a week is just enough to engage me, but leave me wanting MORE! (But at least it's a 26 episode season!)

Michelle Yeoh has been announced as the lead in a new "Star Trek: Discovery" spin-off about Starfleets Section 31, their black ops and dirty trick department.. This along with Discovery itself, Sir Patrick Stewart returning in "Picard" and the as yet unnamed animated series with an adult tone about life below decks means there are four Star Trek series currently in the pipeline!
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

Due to the timing of the festive season, it's been a couple of weeks since we've done of these, so hopefully you have a lot to talk about.

In the US, the Government Shutdown continues, with POTUS 45 determined to get his damn Wall built and everyone else saying "Nope", to the extent he is making a public address on the matter, .

(Apparently in order to build the wall,
a butterfly sanctuary will need to be built through. As others have noted, if you used this as a metaphor in fiction it would be called trite and heavy-handed, but welcome to reality.

In possibly the most adorable bit of politicking in quite a while, California Governor Gavin Newsom's inaugural speech was disrupted by his two year old son wandering sleepily on to the stage.

In the UK, after a brief lull over Christmas, we're back on the Brexit whirligig, with the pivotal "meaningful vote" that should have happened in December, now set for next Tuesday, but nothing has really changed in the options since then, so it all seems amazingly pointless.

"Into The Spider-Verse" won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature.

Doctor Who's New Years Day episode "Resolution" was worth the wait IMHO, as we finally saw the 13th Doctor face off against an old monster, and a Dalek at that. A little, and only a little, like 2005's "Dalek", the story managed to make a single Dalek (both out of its shell and in it's new, rough and ready DIY body) a lot creepier, nastier and more dangerous than subsequent stories where you have 30,000 of them CGI-ing about waiting for a deus ex machina to finish them in one fell swoop.

This really felt a lot more like a season finale than the actual season finale did. (I could have lived without quite so much about Ryan's Dad, to be honest, but I know a lot of people liked that part too). If we have to wait until 2020 for the next season, this was a good note to end on for now.

Gravel-voiced, character actor W Morgan Sheppard died after a long career covering.. well, pretty much EVERY genre show, animated or live action, in the past several decades. Everything from "Blank" Reg in Max Headroom, characters in multiple iterations of Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Doctor Who (Where he played the older version of the character played by his real life son Mark Sheppard) and.. well, see the list here.

Young Justice (And Mr Sheppard was in Season 1 of that too) Season 3 landed on DC's streaming service, and fan response seems to have been very positive.

Walmart has a new advert, featuring a few vehicles you might recognise. I can only salute the legal team who negotiated the rights to use all of these!!
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat among yourselves.

The British Government (using the term loosely) is now looking into increasing preparations (using the term even MORE loosely) for a no-deal Brexit as complete paralysis and confusion sets in. There's the deal the PM wants that no one else likes, the deal that others think they can get that the EU has said "Not happening" to, several times, and the no-deal that will likely cause unprecedented levels of chaos.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone, POTUS45 is considering allowing the US Government to partially shut down this week if he doesn't get approval for a $5 billion allocation to build his border wall. Considering some of his comments about when that happened before one does realise, yet again that a primary failing of his is a serious irony deficiency.

Meanwhile, the US Senate has released a report that states categorically that Russian meddled in social media in the run up to the 2016 election, with a special focus on targetting conservatives with stories focussing on immigration, race and gun rights.

In what sounds more like a sitcom subplot than an actual thing, A hunter in Missouri has been sentenced to watch Bambi at least once a month whilst he's in prison for poaching "possibly several hundred" deer.

In more optimistic world news, because we could dowith some, a ceasefire in a key Yemen port seems to be holding.

And in Iraq, reconstruction of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri at Mosul, where Daesh declared their new "caliphate" in 2014, has begun.

Voltron: Legendary Defender came to an end after 8 seasons, I'll try to avoid spoilers since not everyone will have had a chance to view all thirteen episodes. Things maybe didn't end the way fans would have liked (though I was not on board at least one of the major ships, acres of delightful fanart to one side), but such is life. I did enjoy one particularly geeky Voltron easter egg in the final montage, and it ended with a final scene which would have been completely unthinkable a mere handful of years ago, so I'll give it some props for that.

Tumblr's new TOS start today, and have been greeted with an arctic level of warmth. I think I'll hang around there for a while yet, see how things go.

Late addendum: Caught up on the "Elseworlds" Arrowverse/Supergirl crossover, and that was a lot of fun, even if the nominal villain was a little underwhelming. On the other hand, we got to see the Flash of Earth-90, and Grant Gustin and Steve Amell in matching outfits with black leather jackets and cute little bandanas as "The Trigger Twins"? Woof! We might have just achieved maximum implied gayness here!)

Expect an an announcement shortly about our festive/anniversary theme.
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Brexit has lurched from "SNAFU", to "omni-shambles" to something way beyond either of those terms. We're in new and uncharted areas of f'd up here!

So Theresa May's Brexit deal, which was due to be voted on yesterday, and which pretty much no one who isn't named Theresa May thinks is viable, wasn't voted on because she pulled it from discussion, and is now running around the EU trying to get people who already told her no changes can be made, to make some changes. Insert Benny Hill theme here...

In an effort to cut down on people adopting pets for Christmas, which nearly always leads to a rise in discarded pets many animal shelters in Germany are refusing to allow adoption of animals in the run up to December 25th. That makes sense to me, if you really want a pet you probably won't mind waiting.

An area of Antarctica which was previous though to be stable in the face of global warming, is apparently not. Good thing Global Warming isn't real (/irony)

Barclays Bank in the UK is trialling the option to be able to switch of certain kinds of spending on your own bank cards, like gambling sites and premium rate phonecall and websites, so those with issues in that regard can, for want of a better term, self-regulate.

Catching up on some Titans episodes, and after the not as interesting as it should have been "Asylum" (I mean, we DID get Breton Thwaites Dick Grayson strapped down into a chair, so that was a start ;) ), we get "Donna Troy" which I thought was very good (mostly for the Dick and Donna scenes where the two actors had effortless chemistry, the scenes where Starfire casually appears to outright murder a bunch of police and government agents who are just doing their job in trying to apprehend a woman who is already wanted for murder, not so much)

And then we get "Hank and Dawn" which grinds the concept of Hawk and Dove even further into the depressing mire which is this take on the DCU, it throws in child molestation, randomly choosing vigilante-ism to appease Hank's anger management and drug issues, domestic abuse, and the death of the first Dove (and the motivaor for Dawn's eventual adoption of the name) is approaching the comedic in terms of "Really? THIS is where you're going with this?"). I want to like this show so much and the cast are generally very appealing in their roles, but the unrelenting grim-ness and violence is just so gratuitous that it's intolerable. These mostly do not seem to be superheroes, but people with serious and dangerous issues, which is probably true to life, but not particularly entertaining to watch.

At the other end of the scale, Doctor Who finished series 11, with a perhaps more traditionally Doctor Who-ish plot than most this season; evil alien with a sinister plan which the Doctor and her "fam" foils. This season has been an odd sort of a relaunch, feeling a lot fresher and less tied to complex backstories and continuity porn than previous series, but lacking a lot of the sparkling dialogue which RTD and Moffatt could do so well, though with much smaller scale stories and a Doctor Who isn't bombastic, it's been effective enough. Jodie has been a delight as the Doctor, Bradley Walsh as Graham has been exceptional, and Toison Cole very promising as Ryan (though he had the advantage of having a lot of scenes with Walsh), Mandeep Gill has been very good when allowed something to do, which sadly wasn't nearly often enough.

In some ways this has been very progressive, in others very safe. Alas, the BBC has announced that after the New Years Day Special, the next series won't be broadcast until "Early 2020" which seems a strangely long gap when you're trying to establish a feel for the a Doctor and era. 
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

A Happy Channukah to those who observe it!

The awarding of the first Ballon D'Or for Women's Football to Lyon and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg was slightly spoiled when the host asked, for no readily apparent reason, if she knew how to twerk. To her credit she simply replied "No" and walked off. The host has apologised.

Former President of the USA, George H Bush, died at the age of 94. Like most people, his legacy is a mixture with some noting his presiding over the era when the Soviet Union broke up and signing the first laws requiring the recording of hate crime statistics, but others have a less nostalgic view, especially as regards his embracing of the Evangelical sector Reagan had appealed to, and the resulting treatment of the LGBTQ+ community and the impact of the AIDS epidemic in particular.

A little reminder for those in the US who want to sign up for healthcare, the closing date for the signup period is December 15th, which is not long now, and a than it has been previously (also advertising for it has been slashed, anyone would think the current administration didn't want it to succeed.

Speaking of POTUS 45, excitement builds as his former lawyer plead guilty to lying to Congress about Russian property deals and what the fallout from THAT might be.

France, and Paris in particular, has seen significant violence from those opposed to President Macron's planned reform of fuel tax (as well as other groups basically not liking his policies). Ironically, the group opposing him has largely co-ordinated through social media, the same unusual approach that Macron took to garner support when he was elected.

Tumblr has announced that, as of 17th December it will no longer host graphic adult content. If this was simply dealing with it's fairly massive porn-bot problem then it would probably have got cheers from users, but as it is, reaction has been... less than a ringing endorsement. Certainly barring child pornography and abuse is a laudable goal, though a low bar to set, but a blanket ban and trusting algorithms to decide whether an image is showing a depiction of human genitalia, “female-presenting nipples” or sex acts (including illustrations) seems a little naive perhaps? This may well be the end of the forum, which is a shame as it did provide a good platform for those with quirks and kinks, especially women, looking for a (mostly) non-judgemental environment, though it has to be said it has become home for some of the more toxic branches of certain fandoms.

Just when you thought Brexit couldn't descend into any more of a farce, six opposition parties have tabled a motion accusing the Government of breach of conduct in not releasing the entirety of the legal advice they had received as they were instructed to do. And this is before five solid days of debate on Theresa May's deall, but recent publication of a report that shows that every single version of Brexit that has been analysed will leave the country worse off probably isn't helping things. Sigh.....

Duck Tales had a delightful Christmas episode, which features an unexpected character showing up, a revelation about Della Duck's name which clears up some historical confusion, and explaining the not quite what you'd expect connection between Scrooge and three Ghosts of Christmas.

Miraculous Ladybug debuted Season 3 only two weeks after ending Season 2 which seems a it rapid, but let's enjoy the surprise.

Doctor Who's "It Takes You Away" was an odd one and no mistake. It looked beautiful, great music, and fine performances from Jodie and Bradley (as per usual) and guest Ellie Wallwork as Hanne (The unusual situation of a blind character actually played by a blind actress), however a viewer's reaction to it's finale might be decided by how they feel about frogs... which is not a sentence I thought I'd ever type.


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