silenceEpisode twenty-six in the Moderate Fantasy Violence house! Unusually, Nick has read a book (namely The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell), while Alastair stares at the new Dirk Gently show on Netflix.

a monster callsMeanwhile, in this award-movie season, two trips to the movies this fortnight: first, Team MFV saw Silence (5:59), a new serious historical movie about priests from Martin Scorsese, and then A Monster Calls (21:03), an adaptation of the YA novel by Patrick Ness.

sherlock_the_final_problemThen back to Sherlock (31:55) for the second episode running – perhaps the last one ever – for a chat about the final two episodes of series four.

Lastly, Alastair has recommended Nick one of his favourite albums: Levelling The Land by The Levellers (50:18). Will it cause him to level up?

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sherlock-season-4-sherlock-with-dogTwenty-fifth podcast – would be a giant-sized special if this were a 90s comic! (Yes, Nick writes these blurbs, how did you guess?) Nick and Alastair are back from the holiday season to talk about things they’ve seen on their travels, such as Revolting Rhymes, The Eagle Huntress and Inside Number Nine!

In our first Steven-Moffat-run TV show of the fortnight, we’re covering the start of Sherlock series 4 (5:02), as we ask: how much crime is enough? Full spoilers here, by the way, and here’s the review of it that Alastair mentions.

netflix-the-oa_1Whereas we’re a bit more sparing with the spoils in our talk about The OA (21:36), a strange new Netflix sci-fi mystery – detail-free thoughts for a while, finally plunging into total ending details at 34:31. Here’s the article Nick mentions about whether it really needs a second season.

the-return-of-doctor-mysterio-promo-cast-imageThen back to Moffatland for the Doctor Who Christmas special (44:15) – fortunately, we’re releasing this on the twelfth day of Christmas so narrowly avoid suffering a curse.

Lastly, back in MFV #23, Nick recommended Alastair the first volume of JLA by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter (55:05) – will this straight action-superhero comic be a step too far?

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mfv-2016

Only took twenty-four podcasts, but Nick and Alastair are finally in the same room for this bonus year-in-review episode!

They attempt to talk down 2016 as a year in film and television, starting with a general chat about movies lately (1:19) before moving on to each listing their top five films covered in 2016 and negotiating them into a unified MFV top 3 without coming to blows (12:48). And if you want to read the good article about Arrival that Nick mentions during this bit, it’s linked here.

And if that wasn’t enough, they do the same for TV – a little broad discussion (27:07), followed by chart listings (39:05).

Finally, needing a little mutual back-slapping after all that controversy, they each give their favourites of the other’s 2016’s recommendations (59:55). All that and the first ever live incident of the Moderate Fantasy Violence drinking game!

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star-wars-rogue-one-castTwenty-three podcasts, just in time for the twenty-fifth of December! It’s nearly Christmas, and to celebrate, Nick and Alastair have seen An Inspector Calls and the Supergirl/Flash/Arrow/Legends of Tomorrow crossover. Neither of which are particularly festive. Oh well.

But we have at least got a review of new mega-film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (5:42). Can this latest spin-off justify its own existence, or is it a Star War too far?

the-man-in-the-high-castle-rufus-sewell-amazon-season-2Next up, a rare MFV complete disagreement as both our heroes have seen Amazon’s Philip K. Dick adaptation The Man In The High Castle (22:48), but only one of them likes it much. Which host is the Nazi sympathiser? You’ll have to listen to find out. We’re also taking a look at Nate Parker’s new film The Birth Of A Nation (42:04), chronicling the 1831 slave rebellion of Nat Turner.

die-hardThen we reach a seasonal feature at last, as Nick finally watches Die Hard (53:10). Some say it’s the best Christmas movie ever. Does he agree? Is it even a Christmas movie at all? Rest assured, this will be discussed.

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the-grand-tourTwenty-two episodes of our podcast and somehow 2016 is still going! This fortnight, both of us went on London outings, Nick to the SMASH comics-chat event run by the London Graphic Novel Network and Alastair to the BFI’s Black Star season. (We also both recommend the Kraken podcast, if you like podcasts.)

Moving on, in an MFV first, we talk about a whole novel! Specifically: The Hanging Tree (5:41), the latest Rivers of London book by Ben Aaronovitch, bringing Peter Grant back for another magical mystery. We also watch the first three episodes of The Grand Tour (21:05), a new motoring/banter hybrid from Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May on Amazon Prime.

the-hanging-treeNext, because we love Doctor Who and related media, we revisit teen-focused spin-off Class (37:18) now the first series is over, to see how it ended up. And yes, to justify covering it a second time, we’ll need to include some extreme spoilers. Also Nick complaining a lot about the Shadow Kin.

You can hear our first encounter with Class back here in MFV #19, with special guest Julianne Benford.

taxi-driver-6 Finally, Alastair recommends Taxi Driver (54:59) directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, a classic of modern cinema that Nick, unsurprisingly, has never seen.

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fantasticbeatsEpisode twenty-one! The podcast comes of age everywhere, just in time for the world to basically collapse. Alastair matches the mood with Hypernormalisation, a new documentary from Adam Curtis (available here if you have iPlayer access), while Nick is escaping into a surreal superhero dream with Grant Morrison and Richard Case’s Doom Patrol run.

train-to-busanForcing ourselves into the present day, we take on Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (6:45), a new film set in the past of the Harry Potter universe. To help us get to grips with this, we bring in blogger, booktuber and Potter-lover Claire Rousseau, last seen discussing Harry Potter And The Cursed Child with us in MFV #13. This leads to some continuity deep dives and, yes, EXTREME SPOILERS for the film, right from the get-go.

chew1If you enjoy Claire’s appearance here, you can get more from her at ClaireRousseau.com, @ClaireRousseau on Twitter, or talking about books on YouTube.

Lastly, some links we mentioned during that segments – the politics of Fantastic Beasts by Gavia Baker-Whitelaw at The Daily Dot and the episode of The Mispronounced Item podcast in which Nathan Ditum discusses the Star Wars prequels.

We’ve also got a chat about Train To Busan (50:47), a Korean zombie film aiming to change the way we all see rail travel, and, on Nick’s recommendation, we look at Chew (62:59), the recently-concluded hit comic about food and flesh-eating, by John Layman and Rob Guillory.

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black-mirrorEpisode twenty! Another numerical milestone, and one recorded before the recent American electoral news, so no mention of that here. However, we do have intro talk of Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Walking Dead from Nick, until Alastair raises the tone with indie film London Overground.

Our centrepiece this fortnight, though, is an in-depth chat about Black Mirror season 3 (6:35), covering all six of Charlie Brooker’s latest techno-horror tales. Are they as miserable as people like to say? Or is there… a twist?

arrival-amy-adamsMeanwhile, in cinemas, we’ve got a review of Arrival (40:05), the new scifi/semantics movie starring Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams trying to speak to aliens, and then Lo And Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (53:26), a new documentary from Werner Herzog offering a slightly more uplifting view of technology than Black Mirror.

Finally, we find out what Nick thinks of Alastair’s latest recommendation: surreal tower block sitcom 15 Storeys High (66:17) with Sean Lock and Benedict Wong.

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doctor-strange-trailer-poster-comic-conEpisode nineteen, and it’s almost feature length this time! But in our defense, there’s a lot to get through. Before any of that, though, we’ve been attending live recordings of other podcasts, specifically Welcome to Night Vale at the London Palladium and the very special 200th episode of SILENCE!

That done, we launch into new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Doctor Strange (5:38) and ask: is there room for yet another superhero origin? Also: is there such a thing as too many glowing magic bolts?

We’ve also got Class, the new Doctor Who spin-off (25:05), and since this is our first ever Who item, we talk for a fair while and bring in guest book blogger Julianne Benford to talk about the YA aspects of it all. If you enjoy Julianne’s appearance here, she’s @ladyjulianne on Twitter, and she also writes about books on This Fleeting Dream, about general lifestyle stuff on This Second’s Obsession, and YouTubes about books both solo on Better Than Dreams and collectively on Bookish Brits. Oh, and she’s also active on Instagram. Phew. Think that’s it.

i-daniel-blake-3Moving out of mainstream geek culture, we’ve also seen I, Daniel Blake (52:59), the new movie from Ken Loach about Britain’s none-too-fair welfare system. If you want to read Alastair’s take on the politics of this film, it’s right here at his Red Train Blog.

rick-and-mortyAnd then straight back into the nerdosphere, Nick’s recommended Alastair the first few episodes of anarchic sci-fi cartoon Rick & Morty! (68:14)

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lukecageEpisode eighteen, so the podcast has finally come of age! Nick also completes a major rite of passage as he finally finishes Twin Peaks, while Alastair is out partying at the London Film Festival.

After that, it’s a game of two halves as we check out two new American TV shows: the opening seven episodes of Luke Cage, the new Marvel Netflix series (5:36 WITH SPOILERS), and the pilot of Westworld, a new sci-fi series from HBO (24:32).

westworldAnd if you want the syllabus of post-Luke-Cage reading material Alastair mentions during the episode, here it is.

In the latter stage, it’s all about British cinema with Spaceship (38:53), a spacey teenage drama we saw at London Film Festival, and Alastair’s recommendation from last week, the East Midlands revenge thriller Dead Man’s Shoes (49:41).

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thegirlwithallthegiftsThe seventeenth division has landed! It’s a Brit-heavy episode, with opening talk about the current London production of Pinter’s No Man’s Land with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, plus the revival of 90s middle class soap Cold Feet.

And then it’s down to business with new homegrown zombie film The Girl With All The Gifts (6:01) based on a book by MR Carey, which both Nick and Alastair read and loved. Next, it’s the difficult eleventh series of scifi sitcom Red Dwarf (21:57), before finally crossing the Atlantic for horror sequel Blair Witch (36:59). (Some parts of Blair Witch are spoiled quite heavily. BE AFRAID.)

red-dwarf-xiFinally, Britain goes to enhanced war in Nick’s latest recommendation: grim WW2 superpeople comic Uber (50:07) by Kieron Gillen and Caanan White.

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