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Frost Giant

Werthead's page

2,222 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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Tarkin first appeared in THE CLONE WARS TV series as a Captain in Season 3. He was promoted to Admiral at the end of the series (during Ahsoka's trial). According to the novel TARKIN he was then promoted to Moff about five years after REVENGE OF THE SITH. He was promoted to Grand Moff by eight years after REVENGE OF THE SITH. That would have made him Grand Moff long before the events of REBELS.

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Based on some of the other early footage and screenshots, it looks like there will be both Asari and Krogans in the crew as well as humans.

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Shadowborn wrote:
I was intrigued. If this gets picked up for a season, I'll definitely be watching. I like how it's more strongly tied to the story and characters from the comic and the animated series. Jackie Earle Haley as the Terror cracked me up.

His angry eating of the kid's ice cream was the episode highlight for me.

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This is out today (unlocks in seven hours) and I broke my rule to pre-order it. The reviews have been outstanding and the technical appraisals suggest it's very solid on PC. It's done by the same team who did the PC versions of both THIEF and DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, so it should be absolutely fine.

I'm enjoying hearing there are no boss battles and a lot more options for stealthing and ghosting, although HR was pretty good on that already.

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I was happy just to be, longlisted. Of course, it would have to be in this year in the most heavily over-trolled category. Sigh.

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Oh yeah, and fill out the form after watching as well.

I don't think we have to worry too much. Like THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE last year, it's absolutely crushing the opposition.

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The pilot is out now. It's magnificent.

Darker and more grounded? Kind of, I guess? The only thing I get from that is:

That the first chunk of the pilot is from Arthur's POV, and he has this traumatic background about his father being killed by the villaint. Which is done in a really, darkly hilarious way. And I'm pretty certain Edlund is deliberately taking the mickey out of all the grimdark superhero films in this bit.

The second The Tick shows up, things get a bit looser and funnier.

Also, I thought Patrick Warburton not doing it - although he's still involved as a producer - was going to be a problem, but then they announced the brilliant, brilliant Peter Serafinowicz* as his replacement and he is excellent in the role. No problem there at all.

* From SPACED, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, THE PHANTOM MENACE (he was the original voice of Darth Maul), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and his own British comedy series, not to mention the mastermind behind the SASSY TRUMP YouTube videos. He is a legit comic legend. Almost no other actor could pull off those Tick-style incredibly hyperbolic speeches as well.

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Tuf Voyaging


A thousand years ago the old Earth Empire collapsed. Most of its amazing technology was lost and the galaxy settled back into a period of decline. But one of the Empire's old seedships, the Ark, has been rediscovered. With its cargo of ferocious beasts and genetically-engineered plagues, the Ark can lay waste to entire star systems. Fortunately for the galaxy, its new owner is the morally-minded and fussy merchant Haviland Tuf. Accompanied only his crew of telepathic cats, Tuf sets out on a voyage that will take him to many worlds...and many problems.

George R.R. Martin began writing stories about Haviland Tuf in the mid-1970s. In the mid-1980s, following the disastrous performance of the novel The Armageddon Rag and his move into Hollywood, Martin was convinced to repackage the old stories with several new ones to make a "fix-up" novel, one book formed from several smaller tales. The result, Tuf Voyaging, sold reasonably and kick-started Martin's literary career again, leading to the Wild Cards series and, a decade later, A Game of Thrones. It might not be quite the book that saved Martin's writing career, but it certainly helped give it a bit of a leg-up when it was urgently needed.

The book consists of seven short stories (the first of which is long enough to qualify as a novella). After the first, "The Plague Star", which explains how Tuf came to possess the Ark, the rest relate episodes where Tuf has to use the Ark's amazing abilities to resolve a crisis or emergency. Three of these stories form a recurring narrative when Tuf has to visit the planet S'uthlam, one of the few worlds advanced enough to be able to repair and maintain the Ark. During his initial visit Tuf incurs a massive repair bill and he periodically has to return to satisfy his monetary debt to the planet and renew his personal friendship (as much as Tuf has one) with Molly Tune, the planet's dockmaster.

The stories often resolve around moral quandaries: "A Beast for Norn" sees Tuf recruited to help a planet which pits animals into gladiatorial combat against one another. Tuf is petitioned by each ruling house in turn to give them the most ferocious beasts. The result is a neat little morality play that wouldn't have been out of place on The Twilight Zone. "Guardians" sees Tuf taxed to the limit as he uses the Ark's capabilities to genetically engineer a solution to a planetary infestation of sea monsters, only to find some kind of intelligence working against him. "Call Him Moses" sees Tuf recruited by a planetary government that has been forced to surrender to an anti-technology religious maniac using the threat of plague to seize power. These are all clever stories, but also ones that have a common thread to them: rather than facing a naturally-occurring disaster, the problems Tuf encounters are the result of human hubris greed, stupidity and fanaticism.

The S'uthlam trilogy - "Loaves and Fishes", "Second Helpings" and "Manna from Heaven" - represents the book's high point as it gives Tuf a formidable foil in the form of Molly Tune. Each one of the stories sees Tuf confronted by the problem of S'uthlam's overpopulation: the planet's population is 39 billion and rising, outstripping its ability to feed itself. Each time Tuf presents a situation, carefully noting that it is a stopgap at best and the people of S'uthlam have to back it up by not breeding so uncontrollably and by carefully preserving their resources. And each time he is ignored, for religious or economic reasons. In the final story Tuf presents Molly with the final solution to the problem, one that will save her world from starving itself to death, but at the expense of her people's right to freedom and self-expression. It's one of the thorniest moral quandaries science fiction has ever presented to the reader, and the solution is grim.

The result may be George R.R. Martin's most resonant SF moment in his long career writing science fiction (before epic fantasy stole him away). In 1976, when the first Tuf story was published, the Earth's population was 4 billion. In 2016, it stands at almost 7.4 billion. The Earth's population has almost doubled the first story in this book was published. What was a theoretical concern when Martin started writing these stories is starting to look terrifyingly prescient, and the solution presented in these stories may be horrific but there are also a lot of people who would take the solution Tuf offers Tune in a heartbeat. This element adds a surprising amount of contemporary value to a book published thirty years ago.

Moving on from that aspect of the book, characterisation is excellent, particularly of Haviland Tuf himself (the reader may detect faint pre-echoes of Varys in his character and appearance) but also Molly Tune and the demented crew of space pirates who try to steal the Ark in the opening story (Rica Dawnstar may also be the best name for a space mercenary there ever has been). The writing style is a fair bit different from his prose in other books, being more whimsical, florid and witty. Martin's favourite author is the fantastic Jack Vance. Martin can't quite match Vance's supremely joyous command of the English language (frankly, no-one can) but he does come startlingly close on occasion. This is also a book that should appeal to all cat lovers, as Tuf's brood of felines grows, gets into antics, gets older and occasionally (and sadly) shrinks as the stories continue to unfold.

Tuf Voyaging (****½) is not quite up there with A Song of Ice and Fire and Fevre Dream as Martin's best work, but it a very well-written book packed with entertaining characters, moments of real comedy (it's Martin's funniest work, by a long way) and some unexpected moments of tragedy and pathos. It's also a book that's become more resonant over the years as real-life issues catch up to Martin's vision. The book is available now in the UK and USA.

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The bard was excellent. Getting an actual musical comedian to play a bard is a great idea.


"This is the song about five dead babies

Five dead babies
In the bottom of a like
This is the song about five dead babies
Five dead babies
That were bitten by a snake."

The same team did Great Minds with Dan Harmon, with GM Spencer as his assistant. It's quite amusing, with more Aubrey Plaza and added Jack Black.

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Which one? That doesn't narrow it down! :)

One of my favourites is "Our Man Bashir". The writer brought it in as a holodeck malfunction story and the DS9 guys went, "Nope, against the rules". And he went "Oh, how about the transporter malfunctions and the holodeck is absolutely fine, it just needs to store their patterns?" And the writers apparently liked that get-out clause so much that they bought the story on the spot (and nearly got sued by the JAMES BOND people but there you go).

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And here's my full review:

HarmonQuest: Season 1


Fantasy roleplaying! A bunch of friends create characters - wizards, elves, thieves, dwarves, sorcerers and what have you - and make their way through a vivid world created and controlled by the Dungeon Master Gamemaster. Various attempts have been made to capture the fun of roleplaying and put it on the screen, but they've largely ended up being a bit poor.

HarmonQuest takes a different tack by combining fantasy roleplaying with improvisational comedy in the vein of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Just typing that makes me realise how blinding obvious an idea it is and why no-one thought of it years ago and cashed in. HarmonQuest features three regular players: Dan Harmon, the famous comedy writer (Community, Rick & Morty) and podcaster (Harmontown); comedian Erin McGathy; and actor Jeff Davis. Respectively, they play half-orc ranger Fondue Zoobag, elven barbarian Biaro Shift and goblin rogue Bone Weevil.

There is also a special guest slot which is filled in by a rotating cast of comedians and actors: Paul F. Tompkins, Ron Funches, John Hodgman, Rhea Butcher, Kumail Nanjiani (as a pathological gold and handjob-obsessed kobold), Matt Gourley, Steve Agee, Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), along with an excellent appearance by the immortal Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle). The greatest turn, arguably, comes from the mighty Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation) as the randomly insane gnome Hawaiian Coffee. The in-joke is that the guest characters can't continue into the next episode, so they have to be introduced to the adventure, fulfil a vital story role and then be written out (usually killed off in a ludicrous manner, but a couple survive) in an organic fashion, all in an hour (the episodes are the edited half-hour highlights of each game session).

That's a tall order for any Dungeon Master Gamemaster, but fortunately HarmonQuest employs the impressive skills of Spencer Crittenden, a GM for the ages. His ability to let the crazy comedy play out when it should, reign in the insanity when it threatens to completely sidetrack the adventure and pushing the story forwards whilst adapting for his players' impressive improvisational skills is completely amazing. I feel a better Gamemaster for just having watched him in action.

The adventure itself is splendid, old-skool fun: Fondue and Bone Weevil's favourite village haunt is destroyed by an evil cult seeking to unleash a powerful manticore upon the world. Teaming up with barbarian warrioress Biaro, they try to stop the cult getting its hands on the three gems it needs to complete the summoning ritual. This doesn't entirely go to plan. Along the way they have to deal with Fondue's unresolved childhood issues and confused sexuality (Harmon basically making a one-man argument in favour of characterisation in roleplaying), Bone Weevil's need for respect and Biaro's tendency to hulk out in a barbarian rage. There's some excellent running jokes but it's the guest actors that really make the show, each one bringing a different sensibility and style to the story which mixes things up nicely.

The big trick in the bag is that each episode of HarmonQuest is partly animated, with the live-action shots showing the actors and players discussing what they want to do and animated segments showing the result of their plans. The animation is colourful, well-characterised and quite funny. This is HarmonQuest's ace in the hole which lifts it from being simply entertaining to occasionally bordering on genius.

It's all very, very funny, although some episodes are funnier than others: the first, fifth and last ones are the stand-outs but even the weakest installment still unleashes regular laughs. Interestingly, the actors who have serious Dungeons and Dragons fantasy roleplaying experience seem to be the least amusing, as they take it all a bit too seriously, whilst those who have never played seem to do the best as they don't worry about the rules, just having a fun time.

I'd be interested to see that audiences with no fantasy roleplaying background at all make of it, but the show pulls back on anything to do with the rules in favour of the story and laughs so it should be pretty accessible for everyone.

Season 1 of HarmonQuest (****½) is excellent, being clever, funny and featuring a surprisingly well-executed story. I recommend it very much.

You can see Episode 1 on YouTube (embedded above) but the remaining nine episodes are only available (right now) on the Seeso streaming service in the United States. I imagine there will be some kind of international release (Netflix? Amazon?) for those wanting to watch the show in other parts of the world.

Note: the fantasy roleplaying game that is being used is the excellent Pathfinder from Paizo Publishing and, as Harmon rather worriedly points out several times, absolutely not Dungeons and Dragons in any way, shape or form, and certainly not any that suggests anything even vaguely copyright-infringing.

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BigDTBone wrote:
Pan wrote:
I think the holodeck episodes might have been a symptom of having 24 episode seasons. Eventually you need to come up with some episodic filler. In the age of the 13 ep. season they will have less time for those shenanigans.
This is actually one of the things that makes me really sad. I miss 26 episode seasons. Some of the best episodes were one-off episodes that didn't necessarily tie into the larger plot. Sure some were bad, but others were fun, or campy, or truly exceptional. I wish they would bring back 20+ episode seasons.

You get a lot of bad episodes that way, sure, but you also get gems like "The Inner Light", "The Visitor" and "Far Beyond the Stars", which would never be made if they'd been filming tighter 13-episode seasons all along.

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No scripts where every other line is a reference to another show? They won't bother mentioning Archer more than twice, given how badly that series bombed.

Given that even the latest big-screen movie referenced ENTERPRISE a fair bit, I think it's likely they will reference stuff in ENTERPRISE. More interesting would be if they had an inkling that the timeline had shifted. This new series is starting pretty much at the same time as the Abrams movies, just on the other side of the timeline rift.

I also don't think that a new 25th Century TREK show would suffer from the same problems as VOYAGER, as everyone knows what those weaknesses were. DEEP SPACE NINE did an excellent job of moving around the worst of the TNG/VOYAGER hippy future stuff and make it credible, such as having a ban on holodeck malfunction episodes and reducing technobabble.

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Book 1: Throne of the Crescent Moon


Dr. Adoulla Makhslood is a ghul-hunter, a slayer of monsters who battles against the evil wizards who summon them. He is also in his sixties and feeling his age. Raseed bas Raseed is his protege, a holy Dervish warrior with legendary sword skills but awkward social graces. A new commission leads them to a chance meeting with Zamia, a desert tribeswoman with the ability to transform into a lion. As Raseed struggles with his vow of chastity, the band of adventurers learn of a great threat to the city of Dhamsawaat and have to join forces with a dubious thief prince to defeat it.

Throne of the Crescent Moon is the debut novel by Saladin Ahmed and the first novel in the Crescent Moon Kingdoms series. It's a rollicking, swashbuckling, grin-inducing romp of a book which takes inspiration from The Arabian Nights and never lets up in its ability to entertain.

The book draws on Arabian mythology and history, so the book immediately has a different feeling to most faux-European fantasy novels. Indeed, whilst reading the novel I was reminded of the immensely fun Al-Qadim roleplaying world (for 2nd Edition Dungeons and Dragons) from the mid-1990s, which featured bands of heroic adventurers and noble thieves tackling trickster djinn and corrupt viziers with nary an orc or elf in sight.

Throne of the Crescent Moon is definitely a romp with more than a passing nod to the likes of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, but it's also a wonderfully well-characterised novel. The characters are archetypes but also have tremendous depth to them. Making the central hero a fat man in his sixties who gets winded way too easily and is physically incapable of engaging in combat is a brave move, making Adoulla the brains of the operation but also an irascible and stubborn fool on occasion. Raseed is lightning-fast with his sword and almost unbeatable in battle, but is riven by self-doubts and struggles with his faith. His humourless martinet routine is the butt of many jokes, but his religious conflict is an important part of his character which gives him depth when he finally realises the world is a messier place than his strict morals allow. However, arguably the most interesting characters are Dawoud and Litaz, former adventuring buddies of Team Adoulla who have now retired from monster-fighting to run their own business. They are reluctantly drawn back into Adoulla's adventures, allowing for a detailed examination of the lives of a middle-aged couple against a fantasy backdrop.

Throne of the Crescent Moon does this - mixing the conventional and unconventional, magical and mundane - throughout its length and it's this blending of knockabout fun with fleshed-out, realistic characters which gives the book much greater depth and longevity than just being an action novel (although Ahmed's action sequences are first-rate). Ahmed also achieves a tremendous depth of worldbuilding, making Dhamsawaat (which is basically Baghdad by way of Lankhamar) a fully-realised location so vivid you can smell the spices and hear the merchants hawking their wears.

If there are criticisms, it is the book's length: at 260 pages (in tradeback) the book rushes some aspects, especially towards the ending, and the Falcon Prince feels a bit too remote and off-stage a character for the sudden prominence he gains in the grand finale. However, plot synopses for the sequel suggests he plays a larger role in that volume, which will be welcome.

Throne of the Crescent Moon (****½) is a breath of fresh air, a fiendishly addictive novel which is over way too soon and will leave readers begging for more. The novel is available now in the UK and USA. The sequel, The Thousand and One, is due for release later this year or in 2017.

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First gameplay footage. Also, some stuff on the lore and the background setting for the game.

For "super-pre-alpha" footage, the game looks quite smart already. They've got another year or so of work (maybe less) before launch, and it looks quite likely they'll hit that. At this point Harebrained just need to sit down with every other company trying to get stuff made through Kickstarter and show how they do it so right.

Apparently this demo will even be playable at Gen Con, so that's pretty cool if you're heading that way.

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It's a completely original script they're using, but it's set in FR (specifically, Waterdeep, at least partially). Originally it was Universal/Hasbro and Warner Brothers/Sweetpea (who had the film rights from the terrible 2000 movie) fighting over the screen rights, with WB developing the CHAINMAIL idea. Hasbro seems to have ditched Universal and agreed to work with WB in return for retooling the project and keeping Sweetpea and Courtney Solomon involved as producers in name only.

Since WB/Sweetpea originally didn't have the rights to any of the individual D&D worlds, books or characters (only the most generic D&D concepts), it looks like they've thrown out the CHAINMAIL script and restarted again with a FORGOTTEN REALMS-set movie. Canny move by Hasbro, as if legal problems raise their head at a later date they can simply stop WB making any sequels by withdrawing the FR rights.

Hasbro/WotC also apparently want cross-media synergy (ergh) by keeping the film set in the most recent version of the FORGOTTEN REALMS so they can do some marketing with the P&P game and any upcoming video games, whilst a lore-appropriate CRYSTAL SHARD movie would be set in the past of the setting. They could simply re-set the story in the 5th Edition, most up-to-date version of the setting but there may be some confusion there. Legally I believe TSR and then WotC/Hasbro retained all film rights to the individual novels so they don't have to do a separate deal with the authors, but it's not entirely clear if that was the case for all of the books from the very beginning, in which case they might have to strike up a deal with Salvatore which would be expensive.

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I briefly met him at a convention in 1996, the weekend after "Severed Dreams" aired in the UK. The show was at the height of its popularity (it was a reasonably big show in the UK, and I think relatively bigger than it was in the States) and the place was jam packed. Doyle acted as unofficial compere and stand-up, cracking jokes and telling stories about filming. He was a very funny and charismatic guy. He really grew as an actor on the show as well, being quite brash in the first season but then a lot more nuanced as an actor in the fourth season.

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For a Transformers movie? Only if it's a HD release of the 1986 animated movie.

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Or for those of us outside the North American continent, we have Netflix.

Or our friend's Netlix account that they forgot they logged us in that one time.

Same difference.

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100% confirmed by Bryan Fuller, it's in the original timeline.

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I was hoping for more news at SDCC, but neither Hasbro nor Paramount have said anything about it so far, and with the film at least two years off that's not too surprising.

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The director was confirmed back in April. Since then, nothing new except that Hasbro are expecting to start shooting either late this year or the start of next, so I'd anticipate a late 2018 release.

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Belle Sorciere wrote:
Literally the only places I've seen this film discussed as a flop are this forum and MRA sites.

Thanks to Hollywood accounting, flops don't exactly mean what they used to anymore. SERENITY was a failure on initial release, but actually turned a profit once foreign sales and media releases were taken into account. PACIFIC RIM was pretty damn close to failing, but then got a lift from abroad and is now getting a sequel (although they had to fight for it). The new STAR TREK movies made, on paper, reasonable profits given their budgets and marketing, but under-performed against Paramount's targets which has caused them issues (and STAR TREK BEYOND is not looking great either at the moment). There's actually a very good chance that BATMAN VS SUPERMAN's profits were nowhere near as good as it first looks, as the film's marketing budget (especially internationally) was considerably higher than the norm.

GB is now passing $90 million, which means it'll certainly make its production budget back, but may struggle to get to marketing as well. It'll certainly recoup the rest on DVD, Blu-Ray and streaming. So the film being a flop isn't realistically on the cards. It isn't a slam dunk for a sequel though, and Sony will have to think hard on that. Sometimes studios will double down on a franchise and deliver new installments as a sign of good faith even if the franchise has not delivered as highly as you'd hoped. But it'd be tricky to do that if the film hasn't recouped on the initial box office run.

What they'd need to do is come back in a couple of months and see where the film stands once the theatrical run is over and then look at where the media release and streaming takes them.

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Every male character was an idiot or a jerk.

Like in the original movie (okay, maybe that was a little harsh).

The villain gets powers out of nowhere.

Like in the original movie.

Stupid fart jokes

Like the original movie had several stupid dick jokes and jokes about how hilarious it was to stalk a woman.

No repercussions for their actions, like being suspects in a murder.

As the movie explained, rather clearly I thought, they were getting cover from the Mayor's office from the start.

Violating their own rules where they end up flat out killing ghosts rather than trapping them.

I don't think you can kill ghosts (there may be a clue in the description there). Their equipment either traps them, disperses them or sends them to Michigan.

They pulled super ghost fighting moves out of nowhere and never missed a single shot. Somehow even had pinpoint accuracy on an arced long range shot.

This isn't true at all. They constantly miss almost the whole time. They shoot up the subway tunnel before finally trapping the ghost and then he escapes anyway. They blast up the theatre (the manager screaming about the art deco getting shot) before managing to land a hit. They also somehow manage to completely miss the giant creature at the end of the film. Their hit ratio is way below that of the original film.

The ghost driving their car to help them for no reason.

Slimer doesn't help them. He steals the car and at the end of the film they trick him into driving into the portal (rather conveniently).

This was no where close to the dry subtle humour of the original.

Original what? Certainly not the original Ghostbusters. The original GB was certainly more restrained and grounded (to a certain degree), but it wasn't exactly a Noel Coward play.

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First trailer.

Nicely done, I thought.

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I feel Paizo should be leveraging the marketing benefits of the final episode guest star :)

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thejeff wrote:
It is still only going to be available on CBS's pay platform, right?

In the USA, yes. Space gets it in Canada and the rest of the world will get it on Netflix.

Given the box office numbers that isn't likely. It is far more likely that they will continue to milk their cash cow in its current form.

The box office numbers for the new TREK films have been well below Paramount's expectations. They wanted to build up to a $1 billion franchise to go up against the Marvel movies and the STAR WARS films, and the fact they've not even gotten to half that took them by surprise. They dialled things up for INTO DARKNESS and that didn't work either, hence a budget cut for BEYOND.

Both of the previous films made profits, but it was a near thing (especially for INTO DARKNESS). BEYOND is opening at a lower ebb than either of the previous movies and has serious blockbuster competition with SUICIDE SQUAD, so it's questionable how successful it's going to be. At the moment it's Abrams's star power and Paramount's lack of an alternative franchise which is keeping talk of a fourth film alive, and if BEYOND is another modest success I can see Paramount either retooling altogether or only doing the fourth film if Abrams returns to direct.


Still waiting for a 'Starfleet Academy' or 'Starfleet Command' series or something, taking up in ye olde continuity after DS9 and Voyager and continuing in the setting with a new cast and crew, and maybe the occasional cameo by an older character. (And ignoring the movie Trek reboot universe entirely.)

Is it too much to ask to see some Cardassians and Andorians and Borg again? And 100% less Beastie Boys?

The new TV series will be set in the Prime Continuity after DS9/VOYAGER/TNG (the anthology thing turned out to be a rumour, as did the idea it'd be set between ST6 and TNG). Bryan Fuller said they have the ability to bring back some of the characters and actors from those shows, which isn't possible if it's a fresh reboot or set in the Abramsverse (and CBS doesn't have the rights to the Abramsverse, unless they bought them behind the scenes which doesn't seem likely).

My take on the new film:

It's a very good film, blowing the other two Abrams pictures out of the water and comparing favourably to many of the older ones. It makes a lot of very clever choices which recall the older, slower-paced films whilst also delivering enough explosions and action beats to satisfy the modern casual cinema-goer. The two styles don't entirely mesh, but they do a pretty good job of it.


The USS Enterprise is three years into its five-year mission exploring deep space. However, Captain James T. Kirk is feeling boredom settling in. The mission consists of a lot more diplomatic work and less boldly exploring the frontier than he was expecting. Whilst docked at the massive Starbase Yorktown, the Enterprise receives a distress call from the heart of a nearby, mysterious nebula. Kirk sets out, eager to see something new...only to get a lot more than he bargained for.

When J.J. Abrams rebooted Star Trek in 2009, he assembled an absolutely killer cast. Replicating the chemistry of the original crew was a tall order, but he somehow achieved it with the likable - if massively flawed - first reboot film. It was also pretty much the only thing holding together the appalling sequel, Into Darkness, in 2013. The diabolical quality of that movie lowered expectations for this third entry in the new series, especially when it was announced that Simon Pegg would be writing the script and Justin Lin would be directing.

To some degree that was counter-intuitive, given Pegg's geek credentials and his strong writing experience (especially on the Spaced TV series and his collaborations with Edgar Wright). But Pegg's recent writing work has been patchy and Justin Lin is best known for the Fast and Furious franchise, not known for its thoughtful exploration of the unknown. Fans may have been a little too quick to judge there: not only is Lin a massive Star Trek fan from his chilldhood but his F&F movies transitioned quite cleverly from just dumb action movies into actions movies with a strong sense of character interplay, family and heart.

These sensibilities come into full force on Star Trek Beyond. Lin delivers explosions, impressive stunts and some great action set-pieces - and unlike the two previous movies, most of these are well-shot and comprehensible - but he also delivers on bringing the characters together and driving them apart and finding out what makes them tick as individuals and as a group. He is well-served by Simon Pegg's script (helped out by Doug Jung), the writer relishing his chance to finally write an all-out science fiction blockbuster and delivering. Pegg, like Abrams, is known to be a Star Wars fan much more than a Star Trek one, but whilst Abrams ill-advisedly set about trying to turn Trek into Wars, Pegg has actually sat down and worked out what makes Star Trek different and brought those elements into the script. For example, fans were bemused by the near-total lack of any decent Spock/McCoy banter in the Abrams movies but here get an entire, fairly substantial subplot focused on the two characters which works extremely well. Zoe Saldana's Uhura also gets a great (if a little brief) storyline as she gets under the skin of main villain Kraal (Idris Elba under heavy makeup) and tries to find out what makes him tick. Anton Yelchin's Chekov gets a fair few action scenes, so of the main cast it's only John Cho's Sulu that gets short shrift. And even he still gets to command the Enterprise, lead a prison break and is given the most personal stakes in the final showdown (nicely underplayed, as well).

Star Trek Beyond in fact tries to do something that is very clever: it goes for the all-out CG blockbuster stuff but then suddenly reins it in and goes for unexpected restraint. A lengthy (and slightly nonsensical) CGI space battle turns into a low-tech, far more relatable struggle on the surface of a planet. A major CG fest of phasers and spaceships in the finale gives way to that greatest of Star Trek staples: Kirk and the villain facing off with just their fists, but done in a near-zero gravity environment against a dizzying backdrop (if you suffer from strong vertigo, I would advise against seeing this film in 3D). The movie also sacrifices the shining Apple-influenced hallways and bridge of the Enterprise for a more primitive NX-class starship (cue the Star Trek: Enterprise fans cheering, although it's not that one) and brings back a genuine sense of wonder to the graphic design. Starbase Yorktown is a jaw-dropping creation, a multi-sided city floating in what is effectively a snowglobe, evoking not just previous Star Trek designs but also the Citadel of the Mass Effect trilogy.

The film also remembers it's the 50th anniversary year and uses the recent death of Leonard Nimoy to pay homage to that: young Spock learning of the passing of his older, other-dimensional self and then discovering a box of his possessions allows the movie to tip its hat at what came before in a surprisingly effective move which informs Spock's excellent character development throughout the rest of the movie. Zachary Quinto has less to do than in either of Beyond's two predecessors but his character arc is considerably more satisfying, emotional and, as some may say, logical.

New characters are surprisingly thin on the ground. The villain Kraal is well-played by Elba, but for most of the film lacks decent motivation. The finale finally explains who he is and what he wants, and it's a great moment, but comes rather late in the day. Still, Elba's villain satisfies far more than either Benedict Cumberbatch-trying-to-be-Ricardo-Montalban or Eric Bana's way too expositionary and over-explained Nero. Also impressive is Sofia Boutella as Jaylah, a native of the new planet who quickly becomes a key ally of Scotty (and later the rest of the gang). Boutella gives Jaylah just the right mix of badass warrior and slightly overwhelmed local girl, and her fascination with science and engineering plays well into the finale. I hope we see her back in the next film (if there is one; Beyond's opening numbers are looking a bit iffy at the moment). Shohreh Aghdashloo also gets a memorable cameo as a Federation commodore, a pick-up shot to help with exposition and sell Kirk's motivations a bit better. Given it was a late addition to the film, I do wonder if Lin and Pegg had seen her in The Expanse (or, more likely, the trailers) and decided to borrow her authoritative space leader charisma for their movie. In that case, good job.

It's not all a glorious bed of roses, though. There's a fairly obvious plot hole in why Kraal decides to stay on his rubbish planet long after he managed to take control of a swarm of warp-capable spacecraft which could have taken him anywhere he wanted in the galaxy. The Beastie Boys return to the soundtrack for a very well-explained (indeed, somewhat oversold) reason but it still feels out of place, and Star Trek Beyond tries to get a lot of mileage out of a joke that was a toss-off in a 1965 episode of Doctor Who (modern rock music is described as "classical music" by people in the future...BECAUSE THEY ARE IN THE FUTURE!). Kirk also gets to ride a motorbike because, hell, why not?.

But ultimately, Star Trek Beyond (****½) brings a surprising amount of heart to proceedings, doesn't entirely neglect the brain, engages in some great characterisation and team interplay, pays homage to its departed castmembers in a genuinely moving way (a toast to "departed friends" gains tremendous pathos during Anton Yelchin's reaction shot) and features Kirk punching an alien in the face, McCoy and Spock bickering like an old married couple, Scotty pulling off an engineering miracle, Sulu pulling off an insane piloting maneuver, Uhura figuring out how to communicate with an alien species (also: best depiction of the universal translator ever), and Chekov explaining how Russia invented everything, including Scotch. It is, inarguably, the best Star Trek movie in twenty years, since First Contact, and may even (much more arguably) be the best in twenty-five, since The Undiscovered Country. The film is on general release now.

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Wait, there's an episode where Aubrey Plaza plays PATHFINDER? And I still can't watch it.


"There's two things I know in life. There's dice...and there's no dice. This is no dice."

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"I call for the militia to form up."

"Three guys show up."

"Wow. Where is the rest of the g%#@+%ned militia?"

"They're all on vacation."

"During the Restoration? Who signed off on that?"

"We don't plan our calendar very far ahead."

"We have 99 years from the last Restoration to prepare for this."

"These are all reasonable points."

Every single time a player raises a well-argued and perfectly logical objection to something that's going on, the GM should now just say "These are all reasonable points" and just carry exactly on as before. It's going to be a meme.

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I'd lovelovelove a Tuf Voyaging series, I just can't imagine who'd play the title role. I read all the Wildcards books up to a certain point, but never related to the characters on an emotional level.

Conleth Hill seems like a good choice, but he might be bored of playing bald dudes by that point :)

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Sara Ran wrote:
I am so hoping this does not disappoint. I have liked the other two films so far (not that I had seen a lot of Star Trek before seeing the first film). Isn't there a new TV series coming out soon?

Yes, January 2017.

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Has there been any discussion on this thread about how N.Ireland is affected by this? Ot affects the greater part of my family (militarised border? Good Friday agreements still valid? Etc.) but I'm too drunk to go into it

So far various people in government have looked at the rhetoric in Northern Ireland about what's happened, the risk of a return to violence, and the mind-boggling expense and practical issues involved in putting border checks back in place, and gone for a stiff drink in the bar. Like Gibraltar, it's something that they didn't quite think through before the election and now the very thought of addressing it is causing migraines.

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Rumours from the EU meeting today that Hollande suggested a compromise: giving Britain a free trade deal in return for limits on migration, but that the EU should withdraw the financial passport, removing the ability of the City of London to trade freely in stocks and capital in the EU. Paris, Amsterday, Frankfurt and Dublin would then benefit as they take over various EU finance roles currently handled by London.

Quite clever, since it gives the UK government what the people voted for (an end to EU immigration) and it apparently punishes only "the nasty big banks." Of course, it would completely undermine the economic foundation that Britain is currently built on so it should be laughed out of the building, but I can see it appealing to some.

Steve Geddes wrote:

My understanding is that (amusingly) England have to ask for Scotland's consent and Scotland can refuse to grant it, but that the term "consent" doesn't actually mean anything since it has literally no legal effect, no matter how the Scottish parliament responds. My reading (admittedly cursory) was that some overexcited journalists thought Scotland might have some kind of veto power, but that there weren't any* lawyers who thought so.

* With the usual lawyer caveat that they can argue for or against pretty much anything.

There is some angst over this issue. It very much looks like Scotland has to pass the separation from the EU as law as a devolved issue. It can refuse. Britain can overrule the Scottish decision if it chooses, but the only 100% legal way of doing that is to repeal the Scotland Act which allows devolved power to Scotland. Effectively, it would have to abolish the Scottish Assembly. That would spark an enormous constitutional crisis in the UK. It would also drive the chances of Scottish independence towards probable. Devolution - giving Scotland much more autonomy but not outright independence - took the wind out of the sails of full independence in the 1990s and this would put it right back in.

I saw nothing that indicated the referendum was actually binding and never imagined that with or without a nonbinding referendum the PM could unilaterally withdraw the UK from the EU. Do you think he could do so without the referendum?

The referendum is nonbinding in itself, but Cameron had promised that its results would be respected by the government. That's been taken to mean that the results would be accepted as binding, unless it was supersceded by a second referendum (now off the table) or a general election result where the winning party had campaigned on a platform of remaining part of the EU.

Just completely ignoring the results would be highly controversial. Both Labour and the Tories would think hard about doing that, because they would hand an enormous propaganda coup to UKIP if they tried and would suffer the consequences at the next election.

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Ajaxis wrote:
Questions from an American. How many times has the Supreme Court of the UK and its predecessors been overturned by the EU's Court of Justice? And what does the return of sovereignty do to those decisions?

Rarely. The British Supreme Court was required to "take note" of rulings from the EU Court but was not legally bound to accept them. It did so due to convention. The one thing that got people so enraged - us not being able to deport terror subjects to countries where they would be tortured - was actually down to Britain's own laws prohibiting rendition, and the EU merely reinforced the fact that it'd be illegal under both UK and EU law.

The issue here - another factor not really explained very well during the referendum - is that EU law is decided upon by European nations together. In fact, many of the laws regarding human rights were originated by British legal experts and then adopted in Brussels and replicated in our courts here.

The principle power of the EU was that UK law could not contravene the four pillars of membership of the EU (free movement of goods, people, capital and services). After leaving the EU, we will then be able to adjust those rules and prevent, for example, free immigration to the UK from anywhere in the EU. The problem is that all four factors are interrelated: you can't have one without the others. We've actually spent an enormous time talking about two of the pillars, people and goods (i.e. trade) but not much on the other two which are just as important. The EU over the weekend said that Britain's ability to trade capital and services in the EU (the so-called "financial passport") will also be withdrawn in the result of Brexit, limiting the ability of British banks and financial instituions to operate in Europe. Since Britain's economy rests firmly on the bedrock of financial services and the movement of capital this is an absolutely massive problem and is what has gotten the markets in a furore.

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Fabius Maximus wrote:
This is relevant to my interests, but sounds like young adult fiction, which I'm generally not a fan of (anymore).

It's been marketed at YA, but it's certainly not written like it. It's quite an adult book in a few ways. No graphic sex or anything like that, but it is quite violent. The Battle Royale comparison I think is apt for that: just because most of the cast is teenage kids, that doesn't make it a kid's book.

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Regarding Valyrian steel:

It's widely theorised that forging Valyrian steel requires a human sacrifice. The Westerosi blacksmiths have lost the knack of it forging it because they don't know about it - fire and blood is needed, not just fire itself - and might balk at sacrificing people to forge more blades.

Similar thing with the dragon eggs, they only hatched after Mirri Maz Duur was sacrificed along with them and Dany took her walk of faith into the flames. It does beg the question why the eggs at Summerhall didn't hatch, but that may have been because the deaths were accidental rather than a deliberate sacrifice.

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Never say never ! It will all dépends on how things turns out in a few months time... The EU is nothing but pragmatic, and the last economical crisis led it to construct on the fly new mechanisms ; even the ECB chose to ignore its own rules to do what was needed. If UK goes out of its collective way to wreck other economies for selfish reasons, nobody will object to its forced exclusion : all in the name of democracy and of the collective will of the british people.

Any such move would require the EU to change its fundamental rules to allow it to kick a member state out. Britain itself - which remember is still a member until the process is completed - will simply veto it. I suspect others - maybe Greece or Poland - would be starkly tempted to as well as the precedent would be alarming.

A third way of explaining Mr Cameron refusal to issue a formal declaration (despite having said before the vote that he would do so at once) could be that he refuses to personnally assume the responsability of the referendum he asked. Letting the next PM handle the matter could be a way of getting back at his Iago, BoJo. Of course, it can be argued that a continent-wide economical crisis is a harsh price to pay for personal revenge, but hey, politicians can be as insane, immature and mean as any other guy.

Yes. As Cameron walked back into Number 10 after announcing his resignation, he apparently said "Why should I do all the hard s**t?" He was also under the impression that the Leave camp had a plan all ready and waiting to roll.

Later that day Sky News political editor Faisal Islam asked a prominent Leave campaigner what the plan was for Brexit and they replied, "We haven't got one."

All of this is like a train wreck, all in slow motion.

Yup. We live in interesting times.

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The EU has given the UK more than enough already. And they are still not satisfied. No point in trying to coddle them any further as they will always want more and are not even able to be reasonable about this. Playing with the EU's existence and the risk of yet another grave financial and economical crisis just to advance individuals' political carreers.

I fully agree. Britain got a colossal amount back from the EU for putting not a massive amount in. This message was not even remotely communicated at all by the Remain campaign during the referendum. A lot of British people think we put in less than we got out. Many of those same people have now been told that EU funding for their (often poor and neglected by London) regions will now be pulled and that nice new business centre or sports complex won't be happening and they're confused and angry about that.

All I'm saying is that if UK aims to use the letter of article 50 to hold hostage all EU, it's not completely impossible that other countries agree to go for the spirit of the text and cut it short. Certainly not tomorrow, but maybe in some months time, especially if the Financial crisis goes deeper and drags all of the continent down.

This won't happen. There is no legal mechanism in the EU for forcing a country out against its will, and introducing one quickly and in a knee-jerk reaction to Brexit would ring alarm bells across Europe, not to mention being tremendously out of character for an organisation that prefers a more measured, careful response to issues. They will instead enact pressure through other means (perhaps a hint of a moderately better deal if we invoke Article 50 sooner). This morning, in fact, they seemed to be saying that they'd be - relatively - happy as long as Article 50 is enacted by the end of this year, two months after when it is being proposed.

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Smarnil le couard wrote:
I'a afraid that to derail the Brexit now, your next pro-Leave PM (Boris Johnson ?) would have to renege, admitting that he didn't meant what he said during the campaign (that is, utterly wrecking his political career and taking the bullet for the greater good).

The Leave campaign has reneged on its two primary campaign promises in less than 72 hours, so they're getting there.

Interesting reports suggesting that Boris's thinking was that Britain would vote Remain, he would congratulate Cameron and they'd hug it out, Boris would then dutifully and loyally support Cameron for three years, glowing with praise for him, hinting at a peerage, and then be ushered into office with the EU matter at rest, the economy improving and able to begin the Glorious Golden Age of Boris.

The fact that Leave won and he is now expected to negotiate the UK's departure from the European Union has left him with a rictus grin on his face as he's realised that he has absolutely no clue at all on how to do that. That's why he went off to play cricket yesterday rather than talking to anyone and has spent today apparently in emergency meetings with Gove and other Leave Tories trying to work out WTF they are going to do. Becoming PM and having to negotiate Brexit amidst a suddenly declining economy and the potential breakup of the United Kingdom was not in his script.

I think it's sad that many of the pro-leave are already regretting their vote. In fact quite a few younger people who voted to leave have since been interviewed by various agencies and even stated they voted to leave because they thought their vote wouldn't matter.

Apparently it was not communicated well that the rules for the referendum were different to a general election (where the Tories won majority control of Parliament last year with just a third of the vote) and that some people thought that if their area got a majority their vote wouldn't count, so they protest voted or didn't bother voting at all.

That the same petition that is all over social media and anyone in the world can sign?

Nope. You need a UK address to sign the petition. In theory people can simply use a friend's address, but their vote would then be discounted if too many people use the same address and if they do not appear on the electoral register.

The petition does allow non-UK-born residents of Britain and also 16 and 17 year olds to vote. Both groups were unable to vote during the actual referendum, amidst great controversy.

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Yorkshire now expressing concern that leaving the EU means it will lose its EU funding.

I am at a loss as to why these people think that they are either 1) going to get EU money despite not being part of the EU or 2) going to get the same amount from a British government voted into office on a mandate of reducing spending to all-time record lows.

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Damage Report: Day 2 of the New Order (Hail, Boris)

$2.1 trillion wiped off the world economy. Er, sorry about that.

Britain loses its 5th position in the world GDP rankings to France. India not far behind.

British stock markets collapse by 8%, but recover 2%. Worries of further losses next week, but some suggestion there could be a further recovery. However, the markets overall think there will be two years of volatility due to the Brexit negotiations and then a further period of volatllity as the impact of Brexit is measured.

British currency and economy crashes in the worst one-day decline since Black Monday in 1987. In perspective, this was far worse for the UK economy than any day of the 1990s recession or the late 2000s one.

Britain credit rating downgraded to "Negative" by Moodys. Standards and Poor strip Britain of its AAA credit rating.

Morgan and Stanley reveal they have a contingency plan to shift 2,000 UK jobs to Dublin and Frankfurt and will enact it if we don't get a free trade agreement with the EU. HSBC apparently has a similar plan.

The investment sector will have to stop trading in Euros. This was already annoying the Eurozone. When we're out of the EU altogether, we simply won't be able to do it which will hammer investment banking. Which would be less of a problem if the British economy wasn't overwhelmingly based around services.

The ECB confirms that Britain will lose its EU financial passport if we don't allow free movement of peoples, which will impact Britain's ability to offer financial services to Europe. Since that's the underpinning of our economy (we actually make nothing in this country that others can't do instead) that's "mildly" worrying.

Spain confirm that the c. 800,000-1 million British people (mostly elderly) living in Spain won't have to worry and they probably won't be deported back to the UK. Oh, and by the way can they start having some discussions about the control of Gibraltar? Not that the two are related, at all. Oh, and all those people living in Spain will now have to buy private health insurance because they won't be protected by the NHS any more.

EU funding for the British regions (which basically keeps Cornwall, a large chunk of Wales and parts of Northern Ireland afloat) will be terminated. £1 billion+ EU funding for British scientific projects, including our contributions to the LHC, will be terminated.

But, good news! The government has indicated that it will take over the EU subsidies for private landowners, so the British taxpayer will shortly be paying Iain Duncan Smith £150,000 a year for no readily explicable reason.

Kazuka wrote:
That's what makes me worry about this. How bad are they going to make things for the people?

Very. Cameron and Osborne's policies have inflicted colossal economic and societal damage on the UK, and there's always been the fear that they - coming from the centre-right of the Conservative Party - were actually the least worst option from the party. The likes of Iain Duncan Smith, whose policies at the Department of Work and Pensions drove hundreds of people to suicide, and Michael Gove, who almost destroyed the British education system, are not going to hold back on taking things much further. Boris Johnson is actually much more centrist and liberal than people give him credit for, so if he emerges as PM things may not be quite that bad.

The vote to leave was mainly by the older generation - that is, the people who won't have to live with the long-term consequences of this. On the other hand, the younger people voted overwhelmingly to stay - and they're the ones who will be impacted the most if the UK actually decides to go through with it. (The resolution is non-binding, and Parliament technically could ignore it if they wanted to. They may still choose to do so if they decide it's politically acceptable.)

It's worth noting that 16 and 17-year-olds were barred by voting, which was hugely controversial because they were allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum two years ago. They were overwhelmingly for Remain, and of course this will affect their long-term prospects.

EU citizens who'd been living in the UK for over 5 years - in some cases more than a decade - were barred from voting. A lot of British voters overseas, who were also overwhelmingly for Remain, also found themselves unable to vote due to complications in arranging it. So given the narrowness of the victory, yes, it's more than slightly controversial.

All this talk of the Youth getting shafted - what is the youth unemployment like in the EU again...? Oh right.

That's down to the Euro, which was a hideous mistake and should be abolished, and to the internal policies of each country. Britain was actually highly praised in the EU for how it's handled the economy and weathered the financial storm, even Germany took some inspiration from it and France's current problems stem from being unable to do the same thing.

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So the Leave campaign won by forging an unholy alliance between the hard-right of the Conservative Party and the older, disenfranchised, northern working class citizen who hasn't voted since the Thatcher years, on the basis that the Tories would massively invest in public services and local resources.

In terms of unlikely alliances, this probably isn't quite up there with the Nazi-Soviet Pact but may certainly be in the Sauron-Saruman ballpark.

There is a slight problem here, namely what happens to those disaffected working class voters when the Tories continue to sell off the NHS, continue (if not double down on) austerity and keep shrinking government and public services. Maybe a resurgent Labour under Corbyn, having survived the new leadership challenge and vanquished the last remaining Blairites, sweeps them up and delivers this country to a socialist utopia in 2020. Or UKIP starts hoovering them up at a rate of knots as part of its potential new raison d'etre, "encouraging" immigrants already here to start going home.

Seriously? (1) Could this be true? If so, how widespread is Bregret? (B) When you cast a vote, make it the one you actually want.

Anecdotally, quite widespread. This morning, the people of Cornwall - which voted for Brexit - suddenly asked if leaving the EU meant they'd lose their EU funding (hint: yes). And if so, would the small-government, ultra-capitalist, free market-obsessed Conservative Party step in and replace that funding (hint: no)?

That was far from being the sole argument of the Leave side.

It was the predominant argument once it became clear that they had comprehensively lost the economic one. At one point in the campaign the Brexit camp looked completely beaten because they had tried going toe-to-toe on the economy and were crushed. They had to double down on immigration, immigration and immigration (with a dash of sovereignty, which the Tories didn't want to get into too much because of how they won the last general election but UKIP was happy to) because the second they tried to fight on any other ground they dipped in the polls.

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"It's not all about you, Jon."

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Terrible, sad news. Anton Yelchin, who plays Chekov in the new movies, has passed away following a car accident at his home :(

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Julian Gollop, the original creator of X-COM (along with LORDS OF CHAOS and LASER SQUAD, and advising on the new Firaxis XCOM games), has announced a new X-COM-esque strategy game called PHOENIX POINT.

The game will play in a similar way to the original X-COM, with a world map from which you can organise research, recruitment and procuring equipment and then a turn-based battle mode where you fight the enemy in procedurally-generated landscapes. In a twist, there will also be procedurally-generated monsters and enemies, assembled on the fly from dozens of body parts and types to form hundreds of potential enemies.

The plot is that the melting permafrost has released a virus known as "the Mist" that mutates both people and creatures into terrible monsters. The Mist has also spread across much of the globe, destroying civilisation and reducing it to pockets surviving in Mist-free enclaves scattered over the globe. There are numerous factions of survivors, some of whom are more interested in fighting each other than the Mist, and you have to guide your faction - the titular Phoenix Point - to victory by arranging strategic alliances or even outright conquering other factions to help gather resources to drive the Mist back.

Gollop has taken inspiration from several sources: the original X-COM (and the third game, APOCALYPSE) for the strategic layer, which will be more involved and dynamic than the Firaxis games. The other factions will be fighting one another, researching and doing other stuff regardless of your actions, so if you kick back too much you might let other factions wipe one another out but you might also end up out-resourced, outnumbered and outflanked. The second inspiration is ALPHA CENTAURI, for the very different factions and their goals and ways to appear them. The third is survival horror: although the game has lots of combat and action, the monsters are disturbing and genuinely monstrous, constantly mutating and evolving to adjust to your tactics. The Mist is also active on the battlefield, capable of warping or mutating your soldiers if you don't find ways of defeating it. Some of the monsters are also absolutely huge. The final inspiration is the modern XCOM, which Gollop has praised for its approachability and accessibility, but thinks there is a way of getting a more complex and malleable game underneath. PHOENIX POINT will have at least 3 wildly different endings (possibly more) depending on how the campaign unfolds.

PHOENIX POINT's release date will apparently be in 2018 on PC, with console versions possible.

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please don't let it become a portal fantasy with a group of gamers being put into the Forgotten Realms....

I can't find the quote now, but I think that someone from Hasbro said this wasn't the case.

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I think the decision not to do novels was down to Hasbro's insistence that the movie has to tie into the current books and help shift some more of them, so it'll probably be set in the "present day" of FR 5th Edition.

Apparently there was one comment from the studio that they saw the tone of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY was something they should aspire to: dramatic and serious (it's not an out-and-out comedy) but with a knowing, even slightly meta sense of humour.

Which is great if it works, but will be terrible if it doesn't.

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...but what exactly is the movie going to be about?

DL? FR? Greyhawk?

Rob Letterman isn't a stellar director but apparently his D&D Movie Franchise pitch swayed the WB execs making this decision.

So many ways this movie can be botched. Is there any real hope?

It's set in the Forgotten Realms and will involve the Yawning Portal Inn, so at least part of the film will be set in Waterdeep.

They're also looking at the shared universe possibilities, so we may see DRAGONLANCE, DARK SUN, PLANESCAPE etc as future ideas. But right now it's going to be FORGOTTEN REALMS.

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So instead of Cersei having CGI nudity, it is Dany having it. Drat no nudity clause.

Nope, that was her.

Emilia Clarke: "But this is all me, all proud, all strong. I’m just feeling genuinely happy I said ‘Yes.’ That ain’t no body double!"

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WILD CARDS was optioned by SyFy, but then all the interested people at SyFy left. The rights are due to revert to GRRM any day now.

When they do, I suspect we could see interest from HBO.

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