Doctor Who Season 9: The Highlights of the Doctor’s (Female) Supporting Cast

I enjoyed a lot about this season. It wasn’t perfect, and I didn’t like every episode, but there were a number of story arcs that captured my interest. Doctor Who season 9 was at its best when it was a little bit sad, but also gave its characters a little bit more time.

In contrast to most of the previous seasons, this season featured quite a few interesting character journeys that focused on women. Doctor Who has not traditionally been that great with female characters, so color me surprised. (Spoilers follow.) Missy almost feels like a test run for a female Doctor (though I didn’t know that back when she first appeared, and thought it might have been appeasement to the fans who wanted a female Doctor without actually providing that.)

Still, I’m glad that the season also featured Ashildr (who I wrote about previously) and allowed Clara’s sometimes mediocre character to finish on a powerful note. Because I want to see original female characters with interesting stories and agency of their own, not only gender-flipped versions of previously male characters. Continue reading “Doctor Who Season 9: The Highlights of the Doctor’s (Female) Supporting Cast”

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Agents of SHIELD S5: Still Going Strong Despite Some Stumbles

Genre: Action/Superhero

Synopsis: Our SHIELD agents find themselves thrown into the future, where the Earth has been cracked apart and rendered uninhabitable, while humanity is enslaved by an alien race. They must find out how they got here, what happened, and how to get back in order to stop the end of the world. 

Their information about the apocalypse is incomplete, and each agent must make their own decisions about what they think it will take to save humanity–and whether they’re willing to do that.

Series: The fifth season is over, there will be a sixth.

I’ve Watched: All of it.

Verdict: Totally worth it, though not everything worked for me this season.

Agents of SHIELD is always a good, solid watch. The first arc of the season, where the team ends up in the future and witnesses a post-apocalyptic world, was less enjoyable for me because the character reactions to their situation felt off. But the action was still exciting, and the moments when the characters were on point were totally worth it. Then everything was back on track after that first arc—the space arc—ended. Continue reading “Agents of SHIELD S5: Still Going Strong Despite Some Stumbles”

Sweep of the Blade: Badass Single Mother Integrates into Space Vampire Society

 

A woman wielding two swords stands with the background of planet behind her. The words read
Image: Ilona Andrews

Genre: Urban fantasy/sci-fi/romance

Synopsis: Maud was born into an Innkeeper family, and taught the customs of the varied alien races who used the inn as a waystation—or a safe house. But she left her family to marry a vampire, entering a society that viewed her as weak due to her humanity, despite her martial prowess. She had a daughter. And then her husband got all three of them exiled onto a dangerous planet where they had to fight to survive. Continue reading “Sweep of the Blade: Badass Single Mother Integrates into Space Vampire Society”

Black Panther: A Futuristic Wakanda Inspired by African Cultures, Tackling Responsibility

This was a great movie that paired Marvel’s style of adventure and humor with a fresh feeling. The setting and costumes were absolutely gorgeous, blending a futuristic/sci-fi feel and inspiration from numerous African cultures for its aesthetic–from the Maasai people in East Africa, to the Zulu people in Southern Africa, to the Akan people of West Africa. (Waris @diasporicblues details several in a Twitter thread; Lynsey Chutel and Yomi Kazeem wrote Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ is a broad mix of African cultures—here are some of them for Quartz Africa, which I was super excited to see mention Dahomey’s historical female warriors.) Black Panther is quite feminist as well, including black women as both major characters and a substantial chunk of the background characters. Continue reading “Black Panther: A Futuristic Wakanda Inspired by African Cultures, Tackling Responsibility”

Sense8 2: Psychic Espionage, Fighting Back, and Finding Acceptance

Genre: Sci-fi

Synopsis: Eight people all born on the same day are able to communicate across great distances and access each others’ skills–they are a cluster of sensates, sharing a psychic link. A powerful organization hunts them, using their own kind to do so. And they must cooperate to stay free and alive, even while navigating their own personal challenges. Continue reading “Sense8 2: Psychic Espionage, Fighting Back, and Finding Acceptance”

NYCC 2017: Experiencing the Agents of SHIELD Panel

I went to New York Comic Con this Saturday, and wonder of wonders, I actually got into the Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD panel. I did not think that would happen. And it was relatively chill, too–we didn’t have to show up 5 hours beforehand to get a seat or anything (only, like 2-3 hours beforehand. But we ended up watching the earlier panel during that time, so it was cool). Continue reading “NYCC 2017: Experiencing the Agents of SHIELD Panel”

Passengers: Shouldn’t be Marketed as a Sci-Fi/Romance if It’s Gonna Be This Creepy

Two people's faces, above an image of a ship in space. The words read "Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Passengers."
Image: Sony Pictures

Genre: Sci-fi/Romance

Synopsis: Jim and Aurora are passengers on a starship, kept in stasis inside hibernation pods during the journey. When they arrive at their destination, a good century would have passed, and they’d have reached a distant world. Except they wake up too early. 90 years too early. Without the ability to put themselves back to sleep, they’re looking at the rest of their lives spent alone, aboard the ship… Continue reading “Passengers: Shouldn’t be Marketed as a Sci-Fi/Romance if It’s Gonna Be This Creepy”

Legends of Tomorrow: A Study for Creating Consequences in an Optimistic, Feel-Good Show

A woman wielding batons is flanked by a man flying by shooting fire from his hands, another holding a gun, a third holding a gun that shoots flames, and a fourth reaching with his hand out.
Image: CW via Den of Geek 

Genre: Superhero/Sci-fi

Synopsis: A ragtag bunch of time travelers are all that’s left to defend the integrity of the time stream. Which would be easier, if they could agree on whether or not it should be protected. Continue reading “Legends of Tomorrow: A Study for Creating Consequences in an Optimistic, Feel-Good Show”

How Is It Even Possible for Agents of SHIELD to Be So Emotionally Powerful?

The agents of SHIELD over the green background, with an octopus symbol on it, the words read "Hail the new world order, Marvel, Agents of SHIELD"
Image: ABC via Wikipedia

Genre: Action/Superhero

Synopsis: SHIELD is tentatively united once again, just in time to face an AI gaining consciousness. When that AI threatens to undo their greatest regrets, however, the real question becomes: will they be able to bring themselves to fight against it? Continue reading “How Is It Even Possible for Agents of SHIELD to Be So Emotionally Powerful?”