A New Star Trek TV Series Is On Its Way!

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It’s only logical it would come to this. The rejuvenation of Star Trek on the big screen, eventually, had to do the same for the franchise’s native medium, television. And after months of rumors and speculation, it’s actually happening—Star Trek is coming back to TV.

http://io9.com/holy-crap-they-are-officially-making-a-new-star-trek-t-1740024705

This *should* be exciting news, but it sort of makes my face go all grimacey in a toothy way. Kind of like this:

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If I take even ten second to consider why, I suppose it’s because nerdyness is becoming so mainstream that I worry a new Star Trek show, in an attempt to earn new fans, will lose its sci-fi, techy heart and perhaps its social consciousness lessons. (Kind of like the Star Trek movie reboot – don’t get me wrong, I love those movies, but they are more flash and less substance than the TV shows.) Mashable was kind enough to make a list of what the new show should do:

6 things the new ‘Star Trek’ TV series needs to do

1. Stay episodic — but have long-term vision

Star Trek: The Next Generation

IMAGE: CBS BROADCASTING

Star Trek was perhaps the epitome of episodic TV, and it shouldn’t lose that element. There will be a strong temptation to heavily serialize the show in order to make it more like the most popular franchises of the past decade: Lost, Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica. But Trekalways worked best when it was welcoming — a wondrous universe that wasn’t so lost in its own mythology that it became impenetrable to casual viewers.

At the same time, though, the new series needs to go somewhere. Seasons should have their own arcs; there should be a sense that the entire enterprise has some kind of destination. (See what I did there?) In this sense, the new Trek should look to a fellow reboot, Doctor Who, for inspiration about toeing the line between short- and long-term storytelling.

2. Challenge Roddenberry’s gospel

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Scott Bakula as Captain Archer from “Star Trek: Enterprise.”

IMAGE: CBS BROADCASTING

Star Trek visionary Gene Roddenberry presented a positive vision of the future. He was also so caught up his kumbaya philosophy that he inadvertently robbed the series of needed drama by requiring all of its main characters more or less to get along.

The new series needs to boldly ignore big chunks of Roddenberry’s bible, instead ramping up the tension between characters. There’s precedent for this — Deep Space Nine was the high water mark for drama in the Star Trek universe, and it got that way by introducing storylines that Roddenberry likely never would have approved of, such as an ongoing war.

3. Characters > special effects

Spock
Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in “Star Trek.”

IMAGE: CBS BROADCASTING

This should go without saying these days, but considering what a disaster Star Trek: Enterpriseturned out to be, it bears repeating: Characters are everything. Just as The Walking Dead can’t coast on zombie gore alone, Trek isn’t about zooming spaceships and odd-looking aliens. It doesn’t matter what century your show is set in: Make the characters relatable and interesting, and people will tune in.

4. Get some new villains

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Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) as interacts with the “liberated” Borg drone, Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco).

IMAGE: CBS BROADCASTING

From the Borg to Khan himself, Star Trek has a rich canvas of fantastic villains and monsters. But the new series should go ahead and throw all that stuff out right off the bat.

Between six TV series and 12 movies, there are virtually no new takes left on recurring baddies like the Klingons and Romulans. If Star Trek: The Next Generation can suddenly create a major galactic superpower that we’ve never heard of before (the Cardassians), so can this series — continuity be damned.

5. Be socially influential again

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Avery Brooks as Benjamin Sisko in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

IMAGE: CBS BROADCASTING

The original Star Trek took pains to be socially progressive: It famously featured a multi-ethnic crew as well as the first on-air kiss between a white man and a black woman. The best way for the new series to honor Roddenberry’s original vision of the future would be to include, say, a gay or transgender character in the main cast — something no Trek series or movie has ever done. Of course, the writers would need to take pains to avoid falling into the “tokenism” trap, but avoiding important social issues altogether does nothing to move the needle forward.

6. Go easy on time travel

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Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) had some advice about making sense of time-travel plot lines: “Don’t even try.”

IMAGE: CBS BROADCASTING

Yes, fans love time travel. Some of the best episodes of Star Trek ever made have the characters bobbing back and forth through time. But as a plot device in contemporary sci-fi, it’s way too overused. Star Trek is supposed to be set in the 23rd (and 24th) centuries — let’s keep it there.

At least until season 3, anyway.

http://mashable.com/2015/11/02/star-trek-new-series-6-things/#KfAdzuukzsq2

I disagree with Point 4 – keep the baddies, AND the continuity, although it’s great to add new baddies too. But more or less they make some good points. We’ll have to wait a couple of years to see what this series will be like…

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Storm Crow Expands Its Reach to the West Side of Vancouver

storm crow alehouse

Big news was just announced for Vancouver’s nerds: Storm Crow is going to open a second location on Broadway at Fir. On the one hand, it’s not surprising: Storm Crow Tavern on Commercial Drive is always packed, demonstrating there is a huge market for a sci-fi/fantasy-themed pub in this city. On the other hand, sometimes expansion equals dilution, and something that was hella cool and unique can lose some of its, well, uniqueness. But I’m going to reserve judgment and remain enthusiastically, as the new location is closer to me and with more room comes more opportunity for special events and all-around geeky fun!

For the lowdown on the new digs, click here: http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/11/storm-crow-alehouse-academic-pub-closed/

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Halloween 2015

Maleficent

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Halloween, the best non-holiday holiday of the year! As you can see above, my costume of choice was Maleficent…. and here are a few other scenes from the evening.

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The Cursed Child: Harry Potter Play is Officially a Sequel!!!

cursed child

Tickets for the first run of this show sold out in hours today, surprising no one. But what’s exciting is that it’s been confirmed: the play The Cursed Child, shaped but not written by JK Rowling, is a sequel story to the Harry Potter series!

It’s official. The Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and we have the synopsis to share with you:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

When we last saw Harry he was waving off his eldest children, James Sirius and Albus Severus, at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. This next exciting chapter in the story will explore Harry’s life after that moment for the very first time.

Written by Jack Thorne and directed by Olivier and Tony award-winner John Tiffany, the play is a brand new story written in collaboration with J.K. Rowling.

The play is in two parts, due to the ‘epic nature of the story’, and will feature a cast of over 30 actors, to be announced later.

J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany said: ‘It is very exciting to explore Harry’s world in a brand new way through the live form of theatre. Collaborating on this story is exhilarating for all of us and we can’t wait to present the eighth story at the Palace Theatre next summer.’

J.K. Rowling continued: ‘The story only exists because the right group of people came together with a brilliant idea about how to present Harry Potter on stage. I’m confident that when audiences see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child they will understand why we chose to tell this story in this way.’

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes to London’s West End summer 2016. Tickets go on sale online only at 11am GMT on Wednesday 28 October, on a first come first served basis to all who have registered for priority booking, and at 11am GMT on Friday 30 October to the general public.

Soooo, the big question is: how do the millions of us not in London and without tickets get to experience this story??

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Asexual Awareness Week and Charlie Weasley – Possible Poster Boy?

charlie weasley and dragon

I honestly learned some new words and ideas in this article, originally featured on Mugglenet.com. I’m reposting it in its entirety here!

A couple weeks ago, MuggleNet staff member Amy wrote about Remus Lupin and incurable conditions for Invisible Illness Awareness Week. This inspired me to write something for Asexual Awareness Week, which runs from October 19 through October 25. Prepare to be aware!

I think we all remember the shock of J.K. Rowling’s reveal that Dumbledore was gay. Since then, there has been a lot tossed around about queer representation in the Harry Potter world.* Some people think that Dumbledore is a great representation, others think not so much. Of course, Jo made this announcement about eight years ago and started writing the books about 25 years ago (I know! That long!). Things have changed since then. Maybe if Jo were writing the books today, it would have been more obvious in the text that Dumbledore was gay. Or maybe there would be a few other queer characters that are blatantly labeled as such in the Potter world.

Which brings me to Charlie Weasley. Here’s a conversation from the 2007 documentary J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life.

JKR: “Charlie didn’t have children or marriage.”

JR: “Is he gay?”

JKR: “Dumbledore’s gay. I told a reader that once, and I thought she was gonna slap me. But I always saw Dumbledore as gay. Um, no, I don’t think Charlie’s gay. Just more interested in dragons than women.”

So that pretty much changed everything.

Because not only was Albus Dumbledore—one of the most prominent characters in the most popular children’s series in the world—gay, but Charlie Weasley was more interested in dragons than women. Which is as close to a confirmation of a Harry Potter character being asexual as we’re ever going to get.

Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction. Now, there are a lot of terms surrounding asexuality. There’s romantic attraction, sensual attraction, aesthetic attraction, demisexuality, gray-asexuality… These are all very important but can be a little overwhelming for someone new to the idea, so I’ll direct you to this page of asexuality.org, which has succinct definitions for all of these things. The one you’ll probably hear about most, though, is romantic attraction, which is the desire to be romantically involved with someone, but not necessarily sexually involved.

I know, you’re thinking, “What do you mean asexuals don’t experience sexual attraction?” I would counter that with “What do you mean allosexuals do?” (Then you would ask, “What’s allosexual?”and I would say, “Anyone who experiences sexual attraction,” but I digress.) I have no idea what sexual attraction feels like, and apparently, it’s really difficult to define! I’m asexual; I’ve known that for years now. Before I realized asexuality was a thing, I thought everyone was exaggerating about having crushes on people. Yes, that’s how a lot of asexuals think! But a lot of asexuals also don’t have an experience as simple as this. Instead, they’re isolated and made fun of; they feel as if something is wrong with them. It takes many asexuals well into adulthood to realize that they’re not broken, that there are other people out there like them. Part of the reason this realization is so difficult is because there’s little to no representation out there.

That’s why Charlie Weasley is so important. A nice, handsome young man who cares more about dragons than women? That’s awesome! I care more about dragons than men. There’s someone out there like me!

It’s grasping at straws, I know. Does J.K. Rowling know what asexuality is? Maybe by now, eight years after mentioning that Charlie doesn’t get married, she does. Would she agree that Charlie is asexual? I don’t know, but I hope so. I can’t imagine having this character taken away from me. That would be heart-wrenching, actually. Asexual characters in fiction are so difficult to come by that I take pretty much anything I can get…

Oh, no, I’d love to go with you as friends!” said Luna, beaming as he had never seen her beam before. “Nobody’s ever asked me to a party before, as a friend! Is that why you dyed your eyebrow, for the party? Should I do mine too?” – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Luna Lovegood, who cares more about friends than anything else? Heteroromantic asexual.

Katniss Everdeen, more interested in saving her sister than her own love triangle? Aromantic asexual (or aroace for short, which is also a great pun).

Sherlock Holmes, who thinks love is an emotional thing, and whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold reason that he places above all things? Asexual, despite how often Hollywood tries to shoehorn him a love interest.**

Daryl Dixon, heartthrob of The Walking Dead despite never showing romantic interest in anyone?Called asexual by the creator of the show! I don’t know if Robert Kirkman really knows what asexuality is, but that one threw me for a loop, and now I’m hanging on for dear life.

Representation is so important. It helps people feel less alone. It gives them the strength to be who they are. I don’t know if J.K. Rowling realizes what she has done for not only gay people but for asexual people, too, but I want to thank her. I made myself a little movement called Protect Charlie Weasley Aat All Costs. I never thought a minor character who works with dragons would mean so much to me, but he really does, and I am prepared to defend him to the ends of the Earth.

I hope all asexuals have had a great Asexual Awareness Week, and I hope everyone else is a little bit more aware. This is the most public I’ve ever been about my asexuality, and it’s kind of freaking me out, but I hope it helps a few of you out there be more comfortable with yourselves! You are all magical.***

The featured image is art by kaenith on Tumblr and depicts Charlie with an aromantic/asexual flag. And a dragon, of course.

*I use the term “queer” here as a reclaiming of the word, though I am aware of the negative connotations associated with it. I prefer it as a catch-all term over LGBTQIA+ because that is so often exclusionary toward asexuals either because people think “A” stands for “ally” or because the short version (LGBT) is only ever used.

**I’m so obsessed with this headcanon that I made a Sherlock Holmes web series in which I play an aromantic asexual Sherlock Holmes. It’s called The Adventures of Jamie Watson (and Sherlock Holmes), and you can watch the first season on YouTube.

***Even as magical as dragons. And dragons are pretty rad.

Posted by: Shannen October 25, 2015 http://www.mugglenet.com/2015/10/asexual-awareness-protect-charlie-weasley-at-all-costs/

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George RR Martin Tells Us to Quit Crying, You Babies, It Could Be Worse

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A How-To Manual for Dating Harry Potter Nerds

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Buzzfeed was kind enough to make up a manual for me to hand to my next True Love when I meet her. I’m reposting it in full below. Please note the similarity between the bookshelf they feature, and my own, seen above. Thanks Buzzfeed!

26 Things You Learn When You Date Someone Who Loves Harry Potter

They’ll stay with you until the very end.

1. Their bookshelf looks like this.

To make room for your own books, claim a corner and call it “The Restricted Section.”

2. And their jewelry box looks like this.

Take. Note.

3. They’re loyal, smart, brave, and resourceful.

Harry Potter has taught them pretty much every life lesson they know. YOU’RE WELCOME.

4. You never have to worry about what to give them for Christmas.

You never have to worry about what to give them for Christmas.

Chelsey Pippin / BuzzFeed

Bertie Bott’s and an invisibility cloak if you can swing it pls, but if all else fails, a very cosy jumper with their initials on it will do.

5. And this is one of the sweetest things they can say to you.

The greatest love story of our time, that BS Sunday Times story aside.

6. Their Snap(e)chat game is STRONG.

Their Snap(e)chat game is STRONG.

Chelsey Pippin / BuzzFeed

They take their Potter puns very Siriusly.

7. The way to their heart is obscure book knowledge.

Step One: Read the books.
Step Two: Choose the right ship.
Step Three: Fall on the correct side of the the Snape debate.
Step Four: Win their heart.

8. They’re all about the Potter-themed decor.

They're all about the Potter-themed decor.

Get used to sleeping under a Hogwarts duvet.

9. And you can always count on them to throw a magical party.

Getting drunk and trying to do spells with their limited Collector’s Edition wand is actually really fun.

10. You know adding a touch of magic to their morning coffee earns you serious points.

You might even win the House Cup if you order them the Butterbeer Latte off the Starbucks secret menu.

11. You probably haven’t talked about kids yet, but they’ve got already got the JK Rowling-inspired names picked out.

Don’t worry, none of them will ever stoop so low as to name their kids Albus fucking Severus, but Hermione will be in there somewhere, just accept it.

12. And a box of Harry Potter-themed onesies ready in the attic.

And a box of Harry Potter-themed onesies ready in the attic.

CONSTANT VIGILANCE.

13. You’ve tagged along with them on at least oneHarry Potter pilgrimage.

The food at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is actually DELICIOUS, though, so no bust.

14. They will insist that you play Harry Potter trivia with them.

They will insist that you play Harry Potter trivia with them.

Chelsey Pippin / BuzzFeed

It’ll be fun, they said.

15. Even though you both know they win EVERY TIME.

You: How am I supposed to know what floor of the Ministry of Magic the Department of Mysteries is on, I mean, WTF?
Them: UGH I COULD HAVE WRITTEN HARDER QUESTIONS IN MY SLEEP.

16. Because they infuse everything in their life withHarry Potter references.

Sex definitely involves references to your wand, basilisk, or Chamber of Secrets.

17. Like, you can’t get through a conversation without a sneaky (or not so sneaky) nod to the Wizarding World.

Every time you watch a TV show, they’ll point out which actors have connections to the Harry Potter films.

18. But they will LOVE you if you play along.

It’s like that time Hermione made out with Ron when he started to care about house-elves.

19. You don’t really understand A Very Potter Musical, but you’re used to it being on YouTube in the background.

You do know that Hufflepuffs are particularly good finders for some reason?

20. Your partner has probably referred to members of the film cast as their real-life BFFs.

Your partner has probably referred to members of the film cast as their real-life BFFs.

Chelsey Pippin / BuzzFeed

“OMG Tom just posted the most hilarious Instagram, I have to tweet it to JKR.”

21. And they are honest to god still waiting for that sweet Hogwarts letter.

Or even a Daily Prophet. A fucking Howler would do at this point.

22. But they’ll settle for a Potter proposal.

HINT, HINT.

23. They dress up as an HP character every Halloween.

They dress up as an HP character every Halloween.

Chelsey Pippin / BuzzFeed

And are just waiting for the day you finally agree to do a Hagrid and Norbert couples costume.

24. They are always bragging about how *real* of a fan they are.

They are always bragging about how *real* of a fan they are.

It’s not even fair really, because even if you got into it now, out of pure love for them, they’d just take the piss out of you for being a latecomer. Slytherin move, I know.

25. Their perfect date is staying in for a Harry Potterweekend.

COSY AND MAGICAL AF.

26. And the most romantic thing you can say to them in the entire fucking world is “Always.”

It ALWAYS works. Until the very end.

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Sherlock Special – trailer!!

This definitely looks fun and I’m psyched for my New Year’s Day hungover Sherlock viewing. But some of it looks to be done in the style of the Robert Downey Jr. movies. Do you think this is an intentional homage? I like the effect, even if it’s not original.

This is all we’ll get of them until 2017 it seems, so I hope it’s good! TBH I’m looking forward to seeing how Moriarty comes back, so while I’m happy to have this tidbit one-off I am still feeling impatient for the next season to return….

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Amazing Matt Smith Impersonator!!

A friend sent this link a few days ago but I was too sick to post it then. Here it is, and it’s incredible! This kid sounds just like our 11th Doctor. Close your eyes and listen to this bittersweet reading of some of his last words. *sniff*

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Jessica Jones Trailer Looks Badass

This trailer is extremely exciting for three reasons:

  1. The story looks great
  2. I think the lead actress is hot
  3. They use my fave Of Monsters and Men song from their newest album
  4. Last but NOT LEAST, the villian is played by none other than the Tenth Doctor, aka Barty Crouch Jr., DAVID TENNANT!!! That sexy fucker is going to be mind-controlling and whatnot in an evil evil way? My body temperature just skyrocketed.

This show starts Nov. 20 friends!

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