Our Hot topic is the return of the ’80s – good thing or bad? Plus loads of other opinions.
Medium Atomic Weight, email Reboots, reimaginings, rehashings, it all boils down to the same question – have you got something interesting to say? RoboCop (2014) was a great example of a movie taking everything we loved about the original and making it relevant to our surveillance-saturated, privacy-eroding present. Stranger Things and Super 8 (okay, the latter is technically ’79) riff on our rose-tinted memories but nevertheless deliver great stories with great acting. I’m happy to keep digging out the legwarmers if it means I’ve got a rollicking good tale to watch. SFX Well put. Era’s nowhere near as important as the story you’ve got to tell.
Marc Farmer, Facebook One of the ways you know you’re getting older is when the decade you grew up in is used as a selling point for different media. I’m not sure it’s a bad thing if it’s not overdone but the ’80s seem to be treated differently to the ’60s and ’70s. It’s almost as if the decade is viewed as an alternate reality where everything is familiar yet different. Apart from X-Men: Apocalypse. You wouldn’t even know that was set in the ’80s if they hadn’t told you.
Nate Melander, Facebook Hollywood hasn’t even begun to do the ’80s. I do wish, however, they would stop it with the ’60s nostalgia that the boomers over-glorify.
Andy King, Twitter I’d rather have ’80s nostalgia than remakes of ’80s films, personally.
Edgar Torné, Facebook Stranger Things wasn’t that great. It relied solely on nostalgia.
Tony Greenall, Twitter They’ve overdone remakes for years. At least Stranger Things is just a nod to other stuff and not just a rehash. SFX And it was wonderful, wasn’t it? My favourite TV show of the year by a mile.
Olive Dice, GamesRadar+ I’m loving the good ’80s throwbacks in music and games these
Part of the fun is that the ’80s haven’t been mined to exhaustion
days. Synthwave music is the genre I always wanted but never thought would exist, which makes me very happy. I enjoyed Stranger Things – I want to see more original ’80s set movies, rather than remakes/reboots/sequels to great ’80s franchises.
Scott James, Facebook Yes, Stranger Things and The Goldbergs are great, but part of the fun is that the ’80s haven’t been mined to exhaustion. Ditto fourth-wall breaking wink-wink-to-theaudience stuff. It will wear thin before too long. I’m struggling to think about clearly definitive styles, cultural touchstones and media that encompass a “’10s” vibe that aren’t a throwback to summat else. Or “ironic”. God, I don’t want this to be the decade where everything is tongue-in-cheek, self-aware wackiness – imagine explaining that to your grandkids. SFX Looking past the fact that the ’80s produced some of the best genre movies of all time (Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Back To The Future, ET, Ghostbusters… I could go on), there’s also something about the era that’s great for storytelling. Not only does it look broadly similar to today – the ’60s are a little TOO retro – the lack of mobile phones and internet makes it a little easier to generate plausible peril. #FRINGE BENEFITS
Helen, email I have been watching Fringe for the first time and decided to read all your articles, interviews and episode reviews on the show as I watched each episode. I have generally enjoyed your reviews and have watched intently to “spot the Observer” in each episode wondering if I caught sight of them as you did!
But out of the 49 issues from #172 to #235 in which you featured interviews and reviews, you never once had the Fabulous Fringe Team on your front cover. NO FRINGE – SHAME ON YOU!
SHAME ON YOU again because I have been unable to read your reviews of season five episodes, because they only appeared online! And unfortunately there’s a third SHAME ON YOU coming. Your recent The Ultimate Sci-Fi Quiz Book only featured one question on Fringe, despite Fringe being in your opinion, “One of the most daringly exciting TV sci-fi shows ever” and one you “didn’t want to end”. How about a full section in your next quiz book, eh?
Okay, obsessive rant over, but seriously I’m sorely disappointed that I can’t complete my journey of Fringe discovery and read your reviews (which generally are pretty great). SFX I’ve never been so ASHAMED – though it’s nice to find someone who likes Fringe as much as I do! And fear not, our season five reviews are still online via GamesRadar+. Just Google “Fringe”, “GamesRadar” and the episode number (eg 5.01) and you’ll find them. Here’s one to get you started… http://bit.ly/ SFXFringe501.
#LET’S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN
Jon Martin, Foelgastell My copy of SFX dropped through the letter box a week or so ago, but due to having just started re-reading Peter F Hamilton’s Void trilogy and being unable to put it down again (will I ever learn?), I didn’t get around to your great mag until this morning... which is still August, just. Yet the spine assures me that it’s currently October! So if you guys with your monthtwisting ways can’t explain a few days, there’s no hope for the rest of us! SFX Happy Christmas, Jon! It is December, after all.
#NOT SO SUPER
Mark Jeffreys, email Mini complaint. Following my usual enjoyable read of your magazine, I was disappointed to find a spoiler
It was great to see a brand new series of Red Dwarf
on the TV preview in issue 278 about Supernatural (yeah, I know I am still watching it). You stated that not only did the Winchesters’ mum come back from the dead, but also that one of the brothers was shot at the end of season 11. Well, to date in the UK we’re still watching season 11 and these things haven’t yet happened. Thanks for spoiling the end of season 11. SFX Sorry, Mark. So much television these days even we struggle to keep track of everything. Season 11’s now all done and dusted on E4, though, so hopefully you can enjoy our season 12 story on p14.
#THE LONG GAME
Cliff Homewood, email I read with interest the other day the fact that Red Dwarf is the second longestrunning SF TV show as it felt wrong to me, and I suspect it is just a piece of marketing blurb. First of all I suspect a Japanese TV show would take this title. The question is how long a gap is acceptable when stating “longestrunning” between the original and revived show. If we are accepting these sort of gaps, and I am taking it for granted we are (Doctor Who fan) then Red Dwarf is definitely not the second longest-running – I would suggest that honour would probably go to The Twilight Zone (1959-64, revived 1985-87 and again 2002-3) which I suspect will be back on our screens again with a new series sooner or later. Currently its run stands at 44 years which trounces Red Dwarf’s 26 years.
So please can people stop calling it the second longestrunning science fiction series of all time, as I believe that honour may soon be held by the Japanese anime Doraemon (1973 anime, 1979 anime, 2005 anime which is still running thanks to Disney)… SFX This is a really interesting question, Cliff. For starters, do The Twilight Zone reboots count as a continuation of the same show? Whether or not Red Dwarf is actually the second longestrunning, it deserves extra points for still having its original cast intact. None of its rivals can argue the same.
#BEAT THE PREACHER
Michael Garner, email I do not get people’s problems with Preacher. Having watched Talking Preacher with Chris Hardwick (a man who could appear in SFX just for being Chris Hardwick [good job he’s already been in My Sci-Fi – Ed]), Seth Rogen stated that they wanted to make the first season of Preacher a jump-on point for everyone, not just comic book fans. I love the comic Preacher. I think it’s funny and clearly written by a non-American making commentary on the American way of life, love and religion. It was a stroke of genius making season one happen before the start of the comic. It gives a way of showing the relationships without having to squeeze character-driven scenes between nods to comicdom and bat-crap crazy scenes for the water cooler brigade. Season two should start with issue one. I’m saying now that season three of Preacher will be some of the finest TV ever. SFX You’ll get no arguments from SFX Towers, Mike. Hope you enjoyed the free DVD this issue. (Sorry overseas readers, the gift’s UK only.) #BACK IN THE RED
James Edwards, email It was great to see a brand new series of Red Dwarf back on our screens on Dave, but as enjoyable as it was, I haven’t found the show as funny since series VI myself. I’m not knocking more new adventures of Lister and the crew of Starbug – I do love Red Dwarf and the cast are amazing as always. I just don’t think it’s as great as it once was. Still, I’ll watch the remainder of series XI and hopefully give series XII a go next year too! I loved your Red Dwarf mini-mag free gift in SFX 279, by the way!
Dan Pendleton, Twitter There are a lot of Red Dwarf articles/features out there from various sources. Some good, many awful. SFX magazine gets it exactly right! SFX We’ve had so many kind words about our Red Dwarf coverage in issue 279 – thank you all! Also delighted that so many people have been going to such great lengths to hunt down a full quartet of Red Dwarf covers. Send us pics of your collections – extra bonus points if you’ve got a subscriber cover too!
#Y’KNOW, FOR KIDS
Neil Hickman, email Got to disagree with the suggestion that superhero films should be made for a target audience of kids. Most are sort of all ages anyway and there’s always the cartoons for the young ’uns.
It does the genre no harm at all to have its Deadpool and Suicide Squad-style films. You don’t see many kids in the comic stores and they wouldn’t have a clue what was going on if they did pick up a random book – the days of every comic could be someone’s first are long gone. Daredevil is awesome and you wouldn’t want your kids watching that! SFX Saying all superhero movies should just be for kids is as silly as saying all space-set stuff or all cartoons should be for kids – there’s room for all in every genre.
#SECRETS AND LIES
Stephen McAfee, email Why do the Hollywood studios seem to give us false trailers? With Suicide Squad I’m sure you’re aware of the discrepancies between the trailer and the final cut us fans paid to
see? Whole scenes seemed to be missing – surely this is false advertising? In any other marketing environment it would probably be illegal! Suicide Squad was heavily marketed with the Joker, be it posters or scenes as shown in trailers that we never saw. That can’t be fair?
SFX Playing devil’s advocate, studios usually won’t have decided a final cut when trailers are made, so they might not even know the scenes are destined for the cutting room floor. Doesn’t stop it being annoying, though...
#WE ALSO HEARD FROM
Russell Eubanks, email Am I the only one to notice the resemblance between Theresa May and Harriet Jones (MP for Flydale North)? SFX Yes, we know who she is.
Ashley Beeching, email Please pass on my gratitude to Penny Dreadful for recommending The
Invitation, a fantastically acted and tense psychological horror with lovely cinematography!
Craig Hancock, email That page in SFX where staff state their Rants and Raves... Nobody cares !!!!! It’s a one-sided argument that infuriates the reader! SFX? Just stop. You’re the reason I can only stay in comic book shops for 10 minutes before walking out empty-handed. You’re a paper version of the clichéd, droning, inane fanboy that spoils it for normal people. SFX Will you be sending us a Christmas card, Craig?
A Hanna, by post ...like to lick whipped cream off it.
SFX But what was the correspondent writing about? Answers on a postcard…
Stranger Things happen at sea… sorry, we mean in the ’80s.
Don’t remake ET. Don’t remake ET. Don’t remake ET.
Fringe: gone but not forgotten, no siree.
Nice poses boys, but not as good as our covers last issue!
There’s bound to be more of him in DVD bonus material…