As ever, Nick and Alastair spend the first episode of a new year mopping up the leftovers from the end of the last one, with What If… season 2 and Slow Horses season 3.

But first, Nick updates us on his big Christmas comics reading project, blasting through the whole of Deadly Class, while Alastair’s hit the cinema to see The Boy & The Heron.

Then they strap themselves down and hurl themselves into the multiverse once more to cover the latest episodes of What If… (12:49), including the traditional top 3 episodes from each of them.

And lastly, it’s already ranked highly in Nick’s TV chart, but time to really dig into the dirty secrets of Slow Horses season 3 (31:17).

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The New Year has begun! Which means it’s time for Moderate Fantasy Violence to talk about the previous one, as Nick and Alastair assemble once again to talk 2023.

But first… well, more 2023, but in a specific way, as Alastair’s seen Paradise and Nick’s watched The Diplomat.

And then we get into the main course – a quick overview chat and then a top five countdown of their favourites in the fields of both movies (9:47) and TV (35:47).

Who will be #1? Is it Barbie, or is that image a cunning decoy to throw you off the scent?

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It’s the MFV super-festive late-2000s nostalgia Christmas event, as Nick and Alastair cover the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials, featuring David Tennant back as the Doctor, and new anime semi-sequel Scott Pilgrim Takes Off!

But first, Nick’s watched a whole other Netflix anime, in the form of robot murder-mystery Pluto, while Alastair’s eschewing the future for Roman times in Domina.

After all that, they finally return to the glory days of their early twenties with the Doctor Who specials (11:38) featuring the Fourteenth Doctor played by the Tenth Doctor, while also introducing the Fifteenth Doctor. Just to make everything clear.

And last of all, it’s time for Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (36:36) on Netflix, exploring the very notion of being a late-2000s manchild.

Multiple spoilers for both Who and Pilgrim scattered throughout their respective reviews – if anyone’s super-invested in either and hasn’t seen them, probably don’t listen to this yet. Especially the Pilgrim anime, there’s a lot of joy in experiencing that unspoilt.

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This fortnight, there’s all kinds of sinister things happening at the universities, as Nick and Alastair cover polarising dark academia movie Saltburn and edgy superkids-at-uni show Gen V, a spin-off from The Boys.

But first, Alastair’s seen thoughtful new relationship drama movie Past Lives, while Nick’s read Home Sick Pilots, a very good comic about haunted houses turning into robots.

And then, at last, time to head out to the posh underbelly of Saltburn (13:49), where our heroes manage not to explicitly spoil the film’s ending, but do discuss the general shape of it quite a bit. If you feel strongly about remaining unaware, you may want to watch the movie first.

Finally, Nick and Alastair go on exchange to Gen V (37:05), to find out how the superheroes do student hedonism and whether this spin-off justifies its own existence.

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Nick and Alastair enter the state-of-Marvel discourse like a glowing missile of relevance as they review both The Marvels and Loki season 2!

But first, Nick’s listened to Buffy-sequelling audio drama Slayers, while Alastair’s seen Oscar-contending murder movie The Killer.

After which, it’s time to get stuck into the hot stuff, as they talk about The Marvels (14:55, post-credits mega-spoilers from 25:29) and whether it deserves the buckets of bile thrown at it.

And finally, a similar chat for Loki season 2 (33:38, ending spoilers from 39:30), covering both whether it’s any good and what (if anything) it might all mean.

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Back to regular business for Nick and Alastair this fortnight, as they cover the final series of their beloved haunted-house sitcom Ghosts, plus scifi future-house movie Foe.

But before that, Alastair’s thrilled to see the arrival of Oscar movie season with Killers of the Flower Moon, while Nick’s finishing off old business with the final season of Netflix’s Sex Education.

After all that, they enter the hilarious afterlife of Ghosts (12:10) for the fifth and final time. Will the characters’ already-ended lives change forever? And does it matter either way?

Lastly, a trip to the climate apocalypse with bleak domestic scifi drama Foe (23:42), hoping neither one of us has been replaced by a robot.

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It’s our double-centennial episode! And to mark this frankly unnecessary amount of podcasting, we recommend more of our all-time favourites, with Nick bringing popular comic series Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye and Alastair supplying cult movie The Royal Tenenbaums.

But first, Nick’s finally completed his year-long mission to watch all of Justified and 2023 comeback show Justified: City Primeval, while Alastair’s headed out on his annual pilgrimage to London Film Festival where he saw movies like The Zone of Interest, Molli and Max in the Future and many more.

All that dealt with, it’s time to get stuck into Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye (15:08), the one piece of transforming-robot media Nick likes, featuring a group of misfit Transformers on an accident-prone journey across space. Will Alastair be able to tell all the similar-looking mechs apart?

And lastly, we cover The Royal Tenenbaums (32:52), a major work in Alastair’s personal cinematic journey. Will this be the one that finally makes Nick shut up and love Wes Anderson?

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A robot rampage this fortnight, as Nick and Alastair tackle new scifi movie The Creator and latest Star Wars streaming show Ahsoka.

But first, Alastair’s enjoying the nostalgic doublehit of Roald Dahl and Wes Anderson in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (and other stories) on Netflix, while Nick’s back with the latest update on Only Murders In The Building, his favourite murder-podcast-TV-show.

After which, they weld themselves up and head into the dark future in The Creator (11:40), ready to finally all have our big questions about AI answered.

Before finally enjoying a less stressful robot-filled world in Star Wars: Ahsoka (24:33).

And oh yeah – aren’t they getting to quite a large episode number here?

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair do battle with romance itself in Love Everlasting, and the horrifying scale of capitalism itself in How To Blow Up A Pipeline. Heavy stuff.

But first, they’ve also caught up on their streaming series, as Nick’s seen Heartstopper and Alastair’s done Foundation.

After which, it’s time to read the first volume of Love Everlasting (12:43), the surreal romance-fantasy puzzle comic by Tom King and Elsa Charretier.

Last of all, they learn some important lessons about terrorism with 2022 movie How To Blow Up A Pipeline (23:34).

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair return to the hellish kitchen of The Bear for its second season, then descend into a more literal underworld in Damn Them All.

But first, Alastair’s sticking with the monstrous angle in What We Do In The Shadows season 4, while Nick’s in more scholarly territory with Poisoned Chalice by Pádraig Ó Méalóid, a book chronicling a longrunning legal saga (about comics).

After all that, they gird their loins and dive into the kitchen of The Bear (14:14), only to find it’s… maybe a little less stressful than they remember it? (Also there are a few unlabelled spoilers in this review, sorry.)

But don’t worry, new comic Damn Them All (31:44) by Simon Spurrier and Charlie Adlard is exactly as demonic as you’d expect.

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