with the year drawing to a close, your highlights of 2015.
Dan Morton, Facebook Daredevil and Ant-Man... or maybe Mad Max: Fury Road. I’m torn. But definitely Daredevil!
Doug Browning, Facebook Mad Max: Fury Road for film, Doctor Who for TV!
Medium Atomic Weight, GamesRadar+ Thank goodness for DC in 2015! The Flash was an absolute breath of fresh air: bold, colourful, playful and witty. Standing proudly alongside the equally breezy Gotham and Supergirl, I can finally enjoy the big return of fun to my TV screen. How refreshing it is to kick back in front of the telly and be thrilled and entertained without referring to furiously scribbled notes tracking convoluted plots and endless characters. It’s like being a kid on Saturday mornings watching Adam West’s Batman all over again.
SFX Strange how DC’s bright and breezy TV output is almost the tonal opposite of its dark and gritty film universe. Have to say, I’m much more enamoured with DC TV so far, especially The Flash.
Bob Pierce, Facebook Ant-Man! Amazing what they did on such a small budget! I also liked Jurassic World, it was a proper Aliens-type sequel.
Matt Abney, Twitter Game Of Thrones. Weakest season so far, but it’s still the best thing on TV.
Jacob Southgate, Twitter Ex_Machina was great – thought-provoking and really tense.
Paul Downey, Facebook Jurassic World, Ant-Man and Mad Max: Fury Road have been superb. For TV Hannibal and The Flash. Also loved Tales Of Halloween, The Final Girls and Lost After Dark.
SFX I’m obliged to point out that Hannibal isn’t science fiction, but we’ll let you off because it’s ACE.
Cortney Fry, email Inside Out made me blub more than a newborn baby. If there’s any justice it’ll be the first animated film to win Best Picture at the Oscars.
David Shaw, Facebook Loving Heroes Reborn. Hope it continues in this form.
Sean Easton, email Humans was great. Similar subject matter to Ex_Machina, but setting it in a world that was more recognisably our own gave it a much bigger impact.
Daredevil and Ant-Man… or maybe Mad Max. I’m torn
Jess Coleman, Facebook The Martian – best Ridley Scott film since Gladiator and a (whisper it) better version of that story than Andy Weir’s book.
SFX Proof, were it needed, that Sir Ridders can still make a great film with the right script. All eyes on you, Alien: Covenant.
oli Cobb, email Had loads of fun with Kingsman: The Secret Service. Preferred it to SPECTRE, which I never thought I’d say at the start of the year.
Jo lyon, Twitter Took a while to make its way to the UK, but Agent Carter was brilliant. MUCH prefer it to Agents Of SHIELD, which I now have no intention of watching when it returns for season three.
SFX Just as I expected from SFX readers, you all have excellent taste. For what it’s worth, my favourites of 2015 (so far) are Mad Max: Fury Road and Daredevil, with Song Of The Sea and The Flash not far behind.
Keith Tudor, email The news that there is a new Star Trek TV series in development is fantastic. Other than repeats, it has been over a decade since the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise aired, and in that time there have only been two successful movies. I hope the series will continue the tradition and be entertaining as well as reflecting modern society in a sci-fi setting. I’m also still hoping Deep Space Nine and Voyager will get a high def upgrade and Blu-ray release, as CBS did amazing work with the previous releases. SFX A new series of Trek is very welcome news (see p17), especially given the dearth of space shows in recent years. I’m afraid you’re the only person in existence who wants to watch Voyager again though, let alone in hi-def, Keith.
#THE DEATHLY WHO-LOWS
Andrew Modd, email Recently Doctor Who appears to have become an exploration of death and all its facets. The end of the last series powerfully investigated the concept of heaven and resurrection. It was followed by the Christmas episode which included a look at the acceptance of death. We now have a current series arc on the problems of bestowing/regretting immortality. However, there have also been references to the Doctor’s last will and testament, the odd concept of undying Daleks and of course ghosts galore (including the Doctor’s). Perhaps we should be calling Capaldi the Death Doctor? SFX Well, anything’s better than “Doctor Disco”.
#SPOT THE TARDIS
linda Scholefield, email I am loving the new series of Doctor Who, especially the Zygons. But having been brought up with watching Doctor Who all my life for me it’s not just about the Doctor and his companions having adventures, it’s also about the TARDIS and the Sonic Screwdriver. This new series you’re lucky if you catch a glimpse of the TARDIS and it’s such a shame when you have that fantastic interior. Whatever happened to the “mad man in a box”? You never get to see his box now, and don’t even get me started on the Sonic Sunglasses. I know you have to keep things fresh and modern, but I think that this series they are totally destroying the programme’s history. Without the TARDIS and the Sonic Screwdriver it’s just not Doctor Who, it could be any old show about time-travelling. SFX Wait till you find out that those question mark undies are actually his new Sonic Boxers…
#HYDE AND SEEK
John Pannell, email I’m all for a new fantasy on TV and ITV’s Jekyll And Hyde on a Sunday night looked a promising idea. As the end titles rolled so did the disappointment and amazement at what ITV regarded as a family show. During the episode three children were attacked, one burnt to death, there was a creature half-dog half-man which frankly wouldn’t look out of place in Hellraiser, a woman beaten up in an alley, but worst of all there was the script, or rather the lack of it. Clunky lines were batted back and forth with only the wonderful Richard E Grant managing to rise above them. ITV never get these fantasy shows right, remember Demons, and
I feel a thanks to the great god of television is needed
Primeval didn’t fall into place until the last two series. Let’s only hope they don’t do a fantasy series about a bloke in a telephone box! SFX Have to disagree with you John, three episodes in (at the time of writing) and I’m finding Jekyll And Hyde huge fun. And the “family show” complaints are clearly nonsense. I grew up reading far grimmer things on the pages of Goosebumps and I turned out fine. Mostly.
Fred DeRuvo, email The showrunners at Gotham need to focus. There is already too much going on and only very little to do with Bruce Wayne. Less is actually more in many cases. Gotham could be a well thought out TV series. Instead, viewers are overwhelmed with characters and action that really don’t move things forward but merely exist as a form of self-indulgence, masquerading as intelligent entertainment. SFX Despite having the exact same problem with Gotham’s first season I found the first few episodes of season two a big improvement, precisely because they focus on a smaller group of characters. Bruce is still a wet towel though.
Alan Cooper, email “Which is the only film Lee appears in with Karloff?” you ask in issue 268’s Christopher Lee Blastermind. Not just Curse Of The Crimson Altar. I think Russell should check out Corridors Of Blood, in which Lee plays Resurrection Joe and Karloff plays Dr Bolton. It’s quite an enjoyable film. SFX Russell replies: “You’re completely right, Alan, I’m a total dumbo! And I’ve seen Corridors Of Blood too, so I have even less excuse for my incompetence. Apologies to you and the other readers who spotted this. And you’re right, it’s a decent flick.”
#WE ALSO HEARD FROM
Thomas huartson, Facebook The film of The Golden Compass was nearly a great adaptation, but wasn’t brave enough to include the book’s original ending because of its potential controversy about it contradicting Christian beliefs. The new series has to have the courage to tell the whole story in order to convey the book’s proper meaning. Otherwise further adaptations are pointless. Mike Garner, email I feel a thanks to the great TV god is needed. Thank you for allowing Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD to have a third season. What a programme it’s turned into! Hunter has to be the new action hero and teaming with May is genius. Everyone is being used correctly and the storytelling is at its peak. The Simmons-centric episode is a real tour de force in writing and acting. Hopefully the amount of people watching will match the quality.
SFX Confession time: I gave up on SHIELD halfway through season two because I was finding it insufferably dull. Maybe it’s time to catch up. neil Alsop, email Midwinter Of The Spirit was a truly appalling adaptation of Phil Rickman’s novel and its very low ratings came as no surprise. Sadly, Stephen Volk seems to have lost his touch. SFX You could say it was an adaptation that lacked… spirit. The llama God, The Dark and Deeply
Cynical lands That Remember, north of the Wall Sometimes in television shows nods to continuity or publicly well-known production issues can raise a smile, as we, the viewers, receive some sort of assurance that the producers understand and acknowledge the world as well as we do. But sometimes, that sort of direct communication is unwise.
Take, Doctor Who’s “The Girl Who Died” when we finally learn why the Twelfth Doctor looks like a character we’ve previously encountered. Rather than just ignoring it we are instead given A Reason. A deep, meaningful reason. That the Doctor chose that face to remind himself that not only is he not a young man, but also that he is someone who saves people. That’s powerful.
Unfortunately, as a consequence, it also means that while he is indeed someone who saves people, if things get really dire then he’ll give up and lock his children in a room and kill them, before committing suicide.
And also, possibly, that he’s a shape-changing penguin. Isn’t that just heart-warming, re-affirming, and more than a little confusing? SFX It’s when the Doctor starts running round the corridors of Westminster dropping C-bombs that you’ve really got to worry.
Max is looking mad about his predicament, and Sadness is upset too.
Is this how Agent Carter got herself a second series?
At least now you can stick sunglasses on and be the Doctor!
Should you really be looking at this picture before 9pm?