Nick and Alastair start 2023 the same way they do most years – with leftover culture from the previous one, specifically Slow Horses season 2 and Netflix movie White Noise.

But first, Nick’s watched the US version of Ghosts and is ready to compare and contrast, while Alastair’s seen videogame-based anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, but hasn’t played the source material.

After which, they go undercover into the world of Slow Horses (15:30), ready to provide high quality Spooks nostalgia and thoughts on the specifics of season 2.

And lastly, they’ve also seen White Noise (29:17), a movie which is very definitely based on a literary novel.

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A mere month or so after everyone else posted their Best Of 2022 content, Nick and Alastair finally roll up to the party!

But first, Alastair’s started on the second season of Alice in Borderland, while Nick’s slumped on the sofa with Prince Andrew: The Musical.

And then it’s time to get down to business, with a summary of the year in film (11:07) followed by a countdown of their favourite releases this year (23:35), followed by the same treatment for TV – chat (44:02), followed by chart (53:32).

If you want a more readable version of this material, you can also find Nick’s Top Ten TV Shows and Alastair’s Year In Film article right on this very website.

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In 2022, the cinema was back in a big way, and I was very pleased to be able to watch 36 films released this year; either at the cinema or on streaming services. The world is still feeling the aftershock of the lockdowns, but in the cinemas at least it felt like a return to 2019. After a few months, people weren’t even wearing masks anymore.

It also felt like 2019 because we had a full program of superhero movies. Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson managed to find a somewhat fresh take on the Dark Knight in The Batman, by focusing on a younger, still grieving, and unsure of himself Bruce Wayne. It somehow managed to make the nearly three hour run time work and featured exceptional supporting performances from Collin Farrell and Zoë Kravitz.

On the other side of the superhero divide, Marvel had one of their weakest years yet. Thor Love and Thunder underwhelmed after high expectations from director Taika Waititi following the success of Thor: Ragnarok. Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness fused Sam Raimi’s dark horror comedy with the Marvel source and Dr Strange’s own kaleidoscope visual style, but didn’t do much to be more than the sum of its parts.

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I know what you’re all thinking – one year, he’ll decide not to write an epic end of year TV blog post and just keep his opinions inside his body.

Maybe, but not yet!

So here we go with the eleventh instalment, and the pasted list…

So what kind of year has it been?

I spent a lot of 2021’s TV chart apologising for failing to keep up with many recent big serious TV shows and retreating into familiar series and comedies, but I think I broke out of that cycle this year. As you’ll soon see, I’ve caught a fair cross-section of this year’s telly, including many of the big new shows.

So many of them, in fact, that a lot of old favourites have been crowded out. Our old buddy Stats Corner becomes increasingly redundant as long-running continuing shows become rarer in my viewing, or struggle to compete with the new upstarts. But there’s enough to keep it for now.

Despite keeping up with many of the latest launches, I inevitably missed a few – the most conspicuous ones which might’ve stood a chance of making the list are probably Our Flag Means Death (because it’s not showing legally in the UK til January 2023) and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (because I am too cheap to subscribe to Paramount Plus). One day, readers.

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Merry Christmas Violence! Yes, it’s the annual somewhat festive special, this year covering The Peripheral (no Christmas content) and the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (lots of it).

But first, Nick’s finally finished watching The Americans after more than a year, while Alastair’s returned to Denmark’s most haunted hospital in The Kingdom: Exodus. Which does take place at Christmas!

After all that, they log in to The Peripheral (9:45), Amazon’s new cyberpunk thriller based on a William Gibson novel. Includes lengthy chat about the plot and themes, plus spoilers for a big plot turn in the second episode.

Last of all, Nick and Alastair finally embrace the season with the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (23:27). Did it make them feel the warmth and love of the holidays? Is Santa in it?

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair knuckle down for some premium telly with new Star Wars series Andor and eagerly awaited boat show 1899.

But first, Alastair’s seen unsettling food movie The Menu, while Nick’s catching up with Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3.

And then they finally join the Rebellion with Andor (8:55), the new amazingly reviewed Star Wars series about the early radicalisation of the character from Rogue One.

Finally, they’ve also seen all of 1899 (26:13), the new series about mystery on a boat from the creators of their beloved Dark. Can it possibly live up to that legacy? Be aware, they go into full show-ruining spoilers from 33:57.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair take in an exquisite menu of famed predators, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Bear.

But first, Nick read the first storyline of Public Domain, an excellent new comic about comics by Chip Zdarsky, while Alastair’s watched a subtitled movie for once, this time the new version of All Quiet on the Western Front.

After all that, they take their seats for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (10:31) to see how the secret country looks without beloved monarch Chadwick Boseman, somehow without spoiling much of the plot for once.

After which, they ready their napkins for some high-class dining with excellent new high-tension kitchen-set comedy-drama The Bear (29:07).

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair (belatedly) celebrate one hundred years of the BBC with Doctor Who: The Power of the Doctor and Ghosts series 4!

But first, some sacrilegious non-BBC viewing, as Alastair watches acclaimed new movie Decision to Leave, while Nick finishes off House of the Dragon season 1.

After which, they clamber into the TARDIS and prepare to face their mortality with Doctor Who (10:06), including scattered spoilers throughout. In their defence, it did air 2.5 weeks ago.

Speaking of life after death, there’s a lot of that going round in Ghosts series 4 (28:26). It was Nick’s #1 TV show of 2021, can they keep up the quality?

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Nick and Alastair tackle some big TV shows this Halloween, with Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and Werewolf By Night. At least the last one is appropriate for the season.

First though, Nick’s dragging another franchise into it with Harley Quinn season 3, while Alastair brings us his annual thoughts from London Film Festival, including the one film Nick also saw there: Emily the Criminal.

But never mind that, they’ve got a lot of TV to get through, starting with The Rings of Power (13:36), a polarising prequel to Tolkien’s genre-defining fantasy novels.

And then move on to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (27:33), which might’ve inspired almost as many arguments, before finishing on Marvel’s other seasonal release: spooky one-off Werewolf By Night (39:41).

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair are trapped inside a basement in Inside Man, not to mention the metaphorical cage of their own grief in After Yang.

But first, Alastair’s gone for a trip to Pyongyang in the graphic novel by Guy Delisle, while Nick’s keeping on the theme of crime with Only Murders In The Building season 2.

And then it’s time to hole up and watch new BBC crime series Inside Man (14:36), a chance for Nick and Alastair to reconnect with oft-discussed writer Steven Moffat and find out his approach to murder. Surprisingly, they avoid spoiling the ending, but do talk about the plot of the first episode in moderate detail.

Finally, they’ve also watched After Yang (31:54), a sad (but good) sci-fi film about the passing of a robotic family member.

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