This fortnight, Alastair and Nick continue their regular Aaron Sorkin coverage with The Trial of the Chicago Seven, then make a nod to Halloween in Lovecraft Country.

But first, Nick’s read new Hollywood-vampire graphic novel Dracula, Motherfucker! while Alastair’s seen timely sequel Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm.

And, speaking of Sacha Baron Cohen, they then tell you about The Trial of the Chicago Seven (11:44, ending spoilers from 27:34) and whether Aaron Sorkin’s writing style can even overwhelm history.

Lastly this spooky season, they float on down to Lovecraft Country (31:25) season 1, with lots of general chat about specific episodes, although surprisingly not giving away the ending.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair take a break from talking about the devil all the time to talk about The Devil All The Time, plus the opening issue of Department of Truth.

But first, Alastair’s seen the new adaptation of Brave New World, which had writer Grant Morrison involved in its creation, while Nick’s played Batman: Arkham Asylum, the classic video game loosely based on a graphic novel written by Morrison. Truly, it’s all connected.

That done, it’s time to armour up and step out into the wilderness with The Devil All The Time (12:47), the new glum Netflix movie about constant murder in small town America.

And lastly, they’ve also read Department of Truth #1 (24:13), a new series from Image Comics by James Tynion IV, Martin Simmonds and Aditya Bidikar about conspiracy theories and the dawning horror of their reality.

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On the surface it looks like a person, but underneath it’s a robot. Then via a shocking twist, it is revealed that the robot is actually a person. It may physically be a machine, but inside its mind it has the same hopes, dreams and emotions as everyone else.

This idea has been explored many times in science fiction. Recently it has featured in TV shows such as Westworld and before that in Battlestar Galactica and British show Humans (based on the Swedish show Real Humans). The idea has been tackled in films such as AI: Artificial Intelligence, WALL-E and Ex Machina, and in novels by Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick and many others.

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This fortnight, the Netflix don’t start til Nick and Alastair walk in, as they cover Enola Holmes and Teenage Bounty Hunters.

But first – if you happen to be reading this before midday UK time on release day (October 1st 2020), you might only have minutes to back Nick’s new comic Kickstarter! If that’s something you want to do.

Anyway – back in the normal schedule, Nick and Alastair are recommending stuff, such as Batman-adjacent police comic Gotham Central, and harrowing-sounding films like The Nightingale and Bait.

Before finally launching into today’s full reviews with junior detective movie Enola Holmes (10:28), starring Millie Bobby Brown as Sherlock’s younger sister in a fun kids’ adventure.

And they round it off with some less wholesome (yet still very likable) investigative antics in Teenage Bounty Hunters (23:50), a silly action-comedy-drama from the producers of their beloved Orange Is The New Black. Just FYI, includes spoilers for a big midway twist from 36:44, followed by full-on ending ruiners from 40:15.

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[The YouTube uploader is currently not working, so let’s just get this post up and I’ll hopefully add it later.]

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This fortnight, the streaming TV continues unabated, as Nick and Alastair get into the new season of The Boys, plus go a little more obscure with new German scifi drama Biohackers.

But first, Alastair goes way undercover to document Sacha Baron Cohen’s turn to serious acting in The Spy, while Nick’s studying long distance hiking with Luke Healy’s graphic novel Americana (and the act of getting over it), with a shout to other quality travel comics, such as Pyongyang by Guy Delisle and Follow Me In by Katriona Chapman.

That done, they delve back into The Boys season 2 (10:26) – or at least, the four episodes released so far. And although the violence against deserving superheroes is brutal and explicit, they only use hardcore spoilers from around 28:14.

And not for long, because at 32:11, it’s time to chat about Biohackers, the new Netflix show where the miraculous genetic manipulation seems wholly plausible compared to some of the main character’s complex masterplans.

Lastly, yes, if you’re interested in backing Nick’s new comic And It Snowed on Kickstarter, you’ve got two weeks left! By the time the next episode goes up, it’ll be just hours!

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair return to the Netflix well with Project Power and Transformers: War for Cybertron.

But first, in the face of a confusing world, Nick returns to the comforting world of scifi sarcasm on TV with Killjoys, while Alastair continues his delve into the Netflix foreign language library with Trotsky.

At last, they must sit down and watch Project Power (13:26), a new Netflix superhero/cop hybrid engineered by Netflix, with the help of Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and beards.

Finally, even further from reality, it’s Transformers: War For Cybertron: Chapter One: Siege (29:50), a new anime series about the robots in disguise, staring almost as many different transforming machines as there are letters in that incredibly long title.

And, as mentioned a couple of times in this episode, Nick’s new comic And It Snowed is up on Kickstarter, an urban fantasy crime comic featuring lovely wintery cityscapes by Robert Ahmad and letters by DC Hopkins. If you fancy it (and also wanted to pick up any of his old comics, they’re all there too), he’d hugely appreciate it if you headed over here and checked it out.

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A bizarre and largely forgotten piece of history occurred in the Arizona desert in the early 1990s. At the time, it was international news, but the memories of this event haven’t lasted along with Tamagotchis, Game Boys and VHS tapes.

For two years, four women and four men lived in an entirely self-contained environment in the Arizona desert. Their food, water and even their oxygen could only come from inside the structure they inhabited. It was called Biosphere 2; a sequel to Biosphere 1, aka the Earth and its entire eco-system.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair return to streaming TV, as you always knew they would, with The Umbrella Academy on Netflix and Muppets Now on Disney+.

But first, they’ve both been hitting the HBO sitcoms for some premium laughs – Alastair with Silicon Valley and Nick with Insecure.

And then it’s time for The Umbrella Academy (11:07) to wow everyone with their wacky antics, inconsistent time travel and dubious taste in music. Nick and Alastair manage not to spoil the season that much, although some plot events are mentioned.

Lastly, they’ve watched the opening three episodes of Muppets Now (33:20), so must answer the big questions: can the Muppets work in 2020? And… can you really review them like this?

Finally, if anyone in the MFV audience is interested, Nick has a new comics Kickstarter coming up, an urban fantasy crime story called And It Snowed. Click here to sign up for a notification when it launches (or, if you’re reading this during September 2020, your pledges would be much appreciated!).

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This fortnight, uninspired by recent releases, Nick and Alastair delve into the old days to each bring a recommendation to the pod-table. Alastair volunteers for popular child-slaughter movie Battle Royale, while Nick signs up to contemplative spy comic Zero.

But first, Nick’s gone even further into the misty past by reading a load of David Lapham’s classic indie crime comic series Stray Bullets, while Alastair’s making one token effort to stay topical with season 2 of Amazon’s Hanna adaptation.

And then they finally get onto the Battle Royale (13:52) island, with discussion of its trashy grindy gore, before trying to work out if they fully understood the ending. (So yeah, maybe some mild spoilers for this quite old film.)

Lastly, they go deep under with Zero (29:36), by Ales Kot and various artists (Michael Walsh, Tradd Moore, Mateus Santolouco, Morgan Jeske and Will Tempest, to be specific). And after the giddy bloodsport of Battle Royale, Kot’s here to make them wonder: is violence… bad, actually? 

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Dark is not an easy show to follow. It doesn’t go out of its way to be deliberately confusing, like some shows, but the scope and complexity of its plot makes it a challenge to watch. The story spans the period 1888 to 2053 and involves many generations of characters in the small German town of Winden. A story covering so much time and so many characters would already be hard to follow, but Dark is a time travel story and approaches its plot in a non-linear way.

Dark is essentially a mystery show. The question at its heart is: “what is the strange thing that is happening in this small town?” The show’s three series slowly expose the answer. It’s not the first show to be based around a “what’s going on?” mystery – other examples that spring to mind are Lost and Twin Peaks – but what makes Dark exceptional in this sub-genre is that there is an explanation.

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