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      Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor rocks the fashion in new Doctor Who trailer / ArsTechnica · Monday, 1 April - 16:50

    Ncuti Gatwa officially begins his tenure as the Fifteenth Doctor in May, when the new Doctor Who season premieres.

    Heads up, Whovians! We've got a newly regenerated Fifteenth Doctor in Ncuti Gatwa and a new season of the long-running British sci-fi series Doctor Who on the way. Judging by the latest trailer, we're in for another wild ride of time-traveling hijinks, punctuated by an irresistibly charismatic Gatwa sporting some very colorful outfits with confident aplomb.

    (Spoilers for most recent seasons and specials below.)

    Look, I loved Jodie Whittaker's incarnation of the Doctor , but her tenure was hampered by the unavoidable fact that showrunner Chris Chibnall just didn't give her a lot of great material to work with. Among other issues, there was an unfortunate tendency toward didacticism and preachiness in the writing at the expense of genuine emotional resonance. While there were a number of notable episodes, and Chibnall gamely trotted out all the fan-favorite monsters and tropes, nothing ever fully captured the imagination in quite the same way as the show has always done at its best. Whittaker deserved better.

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      Two Titans team up to defeat a new foe in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire trailer / ArsTechnica · Monday, 4 December - 17:10 · 1 minute

    Warner Bros. debuted the official trailer for the latest film in its Monsterverse saga: Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire .

    Legendary Entertainment's MonsterVerse brought Godzilla, King Kong, and various other monsters ( kaiju ) created by Toho Co., Ltd into the same fold. There have been four feature films, plus the animated series Skull Island , which debuted on Netflix earlier this year, and Apple TV+'s Monarch: Legacy of Monsters , which debuted last month and picked up where the 2014 film Godzilla left off. (The season finale will air on January 12, 2024.) And now we have the official trailer for the next film installment— Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire —unveiled during CCXP in Sao Paulo, Brazil, over the weekend.

    (Spoilers for Godzilla vs. Kong below.)

    Directed by Adam Wingard, Godzilla x Kong picks up sometime after its 2021 predecessor. Godzilla vs. Kong showcased not only a major showdown between its titular titans—in which Godzilla emerged the victor—but also the two teaming up in the climactic finale to take out Mechagodzilla, a telepathically controlled creature with the severed head of Ghidorah. Ghidorah's consciousness took over when Mechagodzilla was activated, and it took both Kong and Godzilla (plus some timely help from humans) to defeat him. (Kong got the final honors, although Godzilla charged the killing ax—made from one of his dorsal plates—with his atomic breath.)

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      Tensions rise between Targaryens in first teaser for House of the Dragon S2 / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 2 December - 23:51

    It's House Targaryens vs House Hightower in the second season of HBO's House of the Dragon .

    HBO dropped the first teaser for the much-anticipated second season of its Game of Thrones prequel spinoff series House of the Dragon during CCXP23 in Sao Paulo Brazil. The eight episodes will cover the onset of civil war within House Targaryen, known as the Dance of Dragons.

    (Spoilers for the first season below.)

    As I've written previously, HBO's House of the Dragon debuted last year with a solid, promising pilot episode, and the remainder of the season lived up to that initial promise. The series is set about 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and chronicles the beginning of the end of House Targaryen's reign. The primary source material is Fire and Blood , a fictional history of the Targaryen kings written by George R.R. Martin.

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      What a lovely day: Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga trailer is so shiny and chrome / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 December - 17:05 · 1 minute

    Anya Taylor-Joy plays a younger version of Fury Road 's fierce Imperator in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga .

    Among the undisputed highlights of 2015's post-apocalyptic masterpiece Mad Max: Fury Road was Charlize Theron's steely, vengeful Imperator Furiosa , a war captain who turned against the brutal ruler of the Wasteland to free his enslaved "wives." We now have our first look at the younger version of our beloved Imperator with the official trailer for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga —a spinoff prequel film starring Anya Taylor-Joy that traces the origin of this iconic character. It's everything we could want in a Mad Max trailer, and we are so very ready to witness this movie when it hits theaters next spring.

    (Spoilers for Mad Max: Fury Road below.)

    We met Furiosa early on in Fury Road , working logistics for Immortan Joe (the late Hugh Keays-Byrne), who charged her with ferrying oil from Gas Town to his Citadel with the help of a small crew of War Boys and one of the war rigs—basically tractor trailer trucks souped up with armor and novel weaponry. Furiosa stole the war rig instead, taking Joe's five wives with her. She teamed up with Max to fight off Joe's army as they made their way to the Green Place, where Furiosa grew up. When they finally encountered the Vuvalini of Many Mothers, Furiosa learned that the Green Place was now an uninhabitable swamp. They ultimately returned to the Citadel and overthrew Immortan Joe, and our last image of her was a triumphant Furiosa on a lift rising into the citadel.

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      The Ars guide to time travel in the movies / ArsTechnica · Friday, 24 November - 12:30 · 1 minute

    The selected films span several decades to show how Hollywood's treatment of time travel in Hollywood has evolved.

    Enlarge / The selected films span several decades to show how Hollywood's treatment of time travel in Hollywood has evolved. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

    Since antiquity, humans have envisioned various means of time travel into the future or the past. The concept has since become a staple of modern science fiction. In particular, the number of films that make use of time travel has increased significantly over the decades, while the real-world science has evolved right alongside them, moving from simple Newtonian mechanics and general relativity to quantum mechanics and the notion of a multiverse or more exotic alternatives like string theory.

    But not all time-travel movies are created equal. Some make for fantastic entertainment but the time travel makes no scientific or logical sense, while others might err in the opposite direction, sacrificing good storytelling in the interests of technical accuracy. What we really need is a handy guide to help us navigate this increasingly crowded field to ensure we get the best of both worlds, so to speak. The Ars Guide to Time Travel in the Movies is here to help us all make better, more informed decisions when it comes to choosing our time travel movie fare.

    This is not meant to be an exhaustive list; rather, we selected films that represented many diverse approaches to time travel across multiple subgenres and decades. We then evaluated each one—grading on a curve—with regard to its overall entertainment value and scientific logic, with the final combined score determining a film's spot on the overall ranking. For the “science” part of our scoring system, we specifically took three factors into account. First and foremost, does the time travel make logical sense? Second, is the physical mechanism of time travel somewhat realistic? And third, does the film use time travel in narratively interesting ways? So a movie like Looper , which makes absolutely no sense if you think about it too hard, gets points for weaving time paradoxes thoroughly into the fabric of the story.

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      A time-slipping Loki struggles to fix the timeline(s) in new Loki S2 teaser / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 5 September, 2023 - 17:38

    New teaser for Loki S2 provides new footage ahead of the season's October premiere.

    Anticipation is mounting among Marvel fans for the October debut of the second season of Loki , starring Tom Hiddleston as everyone's favorite Norse god of mischief. We now have a new teaser showcasing a time-slipping Loki seemingly caught in an endless cycle of shuttling between the past, present, and future as he tries to restore order to the multiverse.

    (Spoilers for S1 below.)

    As I wrote in my review , the first season of Loki was "an excellent mix of action, surprising twists, canny exposition, and intimate character moments, all leading up to the final reveal: what is the TVA's true nature and purpose, and is there someone (or something) else behind the scenes pulling the strings of the sacred trio of Time Keepers?" The puppet master turned out to be none other than Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors, who reprised the role for this year's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ) —or rather, a Kang Variant known as He Who Remains.

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      Zack Snyder unveils extended teaser for his Netflix sci-fi saga Rebel Moon / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 22 August, 2023 - 22:06 · 2 minutes

    The first part of director Zack Snyder's epic space opera Rebel Moon is coming to Netflix in December.

    Years ago, director Zack Snyder had an idea for an epic Star Wars movie that he pitched to Lucasfilm. That project never panned out for a variety of reasons. But the idea continued to germinate until it became Rebel Moo n , a two-part film for Netflix that Snyder and the streaming giant hope will launch a new franchise. Snyder unveiled the first extended teaser at Gamescom in Germany.

    Apart from Star Wars, Snyder has said that his influences include the films of Akira Kurosawa, especially The Seven Samurai and The Dirty Dozen . He has set his epic saga in a universe controlled by a ruthless and corrupt government of the Mother World (the Imperium) with an army led by one Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee), and the rebel moon of the title is called Veldt. Per the official premise:

    When a peaceful colony on the edge of a galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a mysterious stranger living among the villagers, becomes their best hope for survival. Tasked with finding trained fighters who will unite with her in making an impossible stand against the Mother World, Kora assembles a small band of warriors—outsiders, insurgents, peasants and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge. As the shadow of an entire Realm bears down on the unlikeliest of moons, a battle over the fate of a galaxy is waged, and in the process, a new army of heroes is formed.

    Kora knows something about the oppressive nature of the Imperium, since she used to be an Imperium leader, and now seeks redemption from her past. The band of allies that Kora assembles includes a former Imperium general named Titus (Djimon Hounsou); her farmer friend Gunnar (Michiel Huisman); Tarak (Staz Nair), a blacksmith who can bond with animals to rally them to a fight; a cyborg sword master named Nemesis (Doona Bae); a warrior named Darrian Bloodaxe (Ray Fisher) and his sister Devra (Cleopatra Coleman); a spider warrior named Harmada (Jena Malone); and Jimmy, the last of a race of mechanical knights from a fallen kingdom, voiced by Anthony Hopkins. Ed Skrein plays Admiral Atticus Noble, right hand to the tyrannical Regent, and Cary Elwes has also been cast in an as-yet-unnamed role.

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      Catching up with Foundation S2 as the Second Crisis unfolds / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 25 July, 2023 - 12:52 · 1 minute

    Lee Pace in long blue rob wth plunging vee neck

    Enlarge / Lee Pace as the latest incarnation of Brother Day, one of a trio of ruling Cleons in Apple TV's Foundation . (credit: Apple TV+)

    We're now two episodes into the second season of Foundation , Apple TV's epic sci-fi series adapted— or remixed , per showrunner David Goyer—from the seminal series of stories by Isaac Asimov, and it's shaping up to be even better than its first. Goyer took great pains in S1 to carefully set up his expansive fictional world, and the scope has only broadened in the second season.

    Goyer describes the new season as more emotional and romantic, with a bit more humor—or at least moments of levity—and faster paced now that the main characters and their key relationships have been well established. "Now it's a bit like jazz," he said. "We can riff on our creation and start to move the chess pieces around and create alliances or unusual pairings that didn't exist last season. Audiences have a certain expectation of how things are going to unfold, and part of the fun is subverting those expectations." The narrative is also more linear, with fewer time jumps forward and back—just the occasional traditional flashback.

    (Major spoilers for S1 below. Some minor spoilers for S2 but no major reveals.)

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      Review: Exquisite Drops of God brings the world of elite wine down to earth / ArsTechnica · Monday, 10 July, 2023 - 16:12 · 1 minute

    Asian man, red-haired woman in ties facing each other

    Enlarge / Issei Tomine (Tomohisa Yamashita) and Camille Leger (Fleur Geffrier) must compete to be the sole heir of a globally renowned wine critic in the limited series Drops of God on Apple TV+. It's based on the hugely popular manga series of the same name.

    The heady world of fine wine is often justly skewered as being hopelessly elitist and pretentious, where rare bottles sell for tens of thousands of dollars, their flavors and aromas described in florid, over-the-top language that readily lends itself to satire. (The sommelier in last year's delightful The Menu described a pinot noir as having "notes of longing and regret.")

    That's the pop culture caricature, at least. If you yearn for something that brings this rarefied world firmly down to earth and celebrates wine's role in forging human bonds and shaping culture at large, I highly recommend Drops of God , a limited miniseries that debuted on Apple TV+ in April. It is based on the popular and influential manga of the same name . This is a series that sticks with you, its most memorable moments lingering in one's mind the way a good wine lingers on the palate.

    (Some spoilers below but no major reveals.)

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