This fortnight, Nick and Alastair present their inevitable The Falcon & The Winter Soldier conclusions, then decompress with lovable scifi-romcom Palm Springs.

But first, tis the season for Alastair’s annual Oscar predictions, while Nick’s read teen alien meltdown comic Alienated by Si Spurrier and Chris Wildgoose.

And then they join the masses in receiving the gift of The Falcon & The Winter Soldier (12:18), Marvel’s much-discussed latest TV show about the weight of the Captain America legacy, including spoilers to the very end from 19:45.

Finally, Nick and Alastair live through the eventful day of Palm Springs (36:13) with Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, including somehow yet more spoilers from 39:37.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair are so neck deep in superheroes, you’d think it was 2019, with Wonder Woman 1984 and Invincible.

But first, Nick’s continued sheltering behind comfort viewing, going all the way back to The West Wing, while Alastair stays on the cutting edge of politics with We Are The Wave.

In the end, they settle for moderate relevance by reviewing a film from late 2020 – Wonder Woman 1984 (14:37), the eagerly awaited sequel which ended up taking a pasting from reviewers – will Nick and Alastair push back at the consensus like they did with New Mutants?

Reaching the present day at last, it’s time for Amazon’s new cartoon superhero adaptation Invincible (31:50), with full stinkin’ spoilers from 39:15. And seriously, if you’re gonna watch, your hosts recommend going in without having those twists ruined if you still can.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair jump on the burning train of internet discourse and watch Zack Snyder’s Justice League, stopping on the way to take in Pacific Rim: The Black.

But first, Alastair’s still in high-concept dystopia territory with Alice In Borderland, while Nick insists on taking an early look at The Falcon & The Winter Soldier.

After which, at last, they descend slowly and dramatically into the sprawling four-hour world of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (11:13). Our heroes didn’t like Batman V Superman and found the original cut of this film pretty boring – will they finally turn round on this uncensored full-length epic version?

And last of all, a quick stop with Pacific Rim: The Black (29:53), sticking to that dystopian theme.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair enter the current TV discourse with a bang, bringing you their thoughts on wildly popular Marvel series WandaVision and less-discussed Netflix dystopia Tribes of Europa.

But first, Nick’s finally run out of his two comfort shows, Lucifer and New Girl, and is left bereft, while Alastair’s digging further into the Netflix menu with Code 8.

And then, at last, they catch up on WandaVision (14:38), with their thoughts on all your favourite fan theories, exactly what type of show this is and whether Agatha Harkness is common knowledge – along with, of course, full and total spoilers

Finally, and also with spoilers throughout, it’s Tribes of Europa (39:48), a Netflix series about a dystopian Europe from both the future and… about ten years ago, aesthetically speaking.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair are back to scraping at the cultural coalface of this pandemic era – Netflix movies! Specifically, Space Sweepers and The Dig.

But first, Alastair’s begun his annual Oscar movies viewing festival with Minari, while Nick’s trying to read prose again, beginning with Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, House of Government by Yuri Slezkine and A Closed And Common Orbit by Becky Chambers.

Then it’s away to the outer reaches of the galaxy with Space Sweepers (11:01), the new Netflix space movie for fans of family-friendly adventures yet also sudden death.

Lastly, they get down and dirty with The Dig (26:40), an emotionally affecting period archaeology movie with bonus sexual tension. If you’d like to check out the very good Book to Screen Club podcast episode Nick mentions and get a little more about the film’s context in both book and reality, their show is available from these links.

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Five years of Moderate Fantasy Violence! Happy birthday to this podcast on this very day, and to celebrate the world’s continuous improvement since they started in February 2016, Nick and Alastair dig into their personal vaults to bring out some real classics: Alan Moore’s character-redefining run on Swamp Thing and Alfred Hitchcock’s cinema classic North by Northwest.

But first, slightly more currently, Nick’s finally watched the second season of His Dark Materials, while Alastair’s up to the third run of Disenchantment. Both shows which got a pasting last time they appeared here – have things improved?

And then it’s back to the eighties, before either of our heroes were born, for Nick’s recommendation: the opening eight issues of Swamp Thing (9:47) by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben, including the classic Anatomy Lesson issue and a lot of relatable plant material.

Finally, reaching even further back to 1959, Alastair suggests North by Northwest (27:55), Alfred Hitchcock’s influential suspense movie featuring Cary Grant, a beautiful suit and apparently no symbolism whatsoever.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair return to the blasted hellscape of 2020 to cover some leftover cultural scraps: last superhero movie standing The New Mutants and spinoff scifi sitcom Star Trek: Lower Decks.

But first, they mention a few more recent items to make the podcast seem vaguely relevant. Alastair’s watched French heist show Lupin, while Nick’s listened to the new albums by Sleaford Mods and Weezer.

Once that’s over with, time to witness the full horror of The New Mutants (13:52). Is this film an overlooked gem scuppered by the pandemic, or can you safely forget it happened?

Lastly, they’ve also watched the whole first season of Star Trek: Lower Decks (25:04). How much fanwank is too much? Is this a comedy, a drama or… something else? All this and more! (Also, mild spoilers for moments in later episodes, be warned.)

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair finish up Star Trek: Discovery season 3 and keep mopping up last year’s movies with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

But first, Nick’s played Burton-esque indie platformer Hollow Knight, while Alastair’s continuing that 2020 catch-up with His House.

And then they dig into the final two-thirds of Star Trek: Discovery season 3 (10:24) to find out whether anyone on this spaceship will ever exchange a cross word, including hardcore ending spoilers from 22:50.

Lastly, it’s time to check out Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (38:21), a film on Netflix based (very obviously) on a play by August Wilson and featuring the last ever performance by Chadwick Boseman.

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Only one week into 2021 (unlike last year when it was three months), Alastair and Nick unite to give one last run-down of 2020 – the highs, the lows and the other lows.

But first, one last quick film review from the tail-end of the year, as Alastair (and also eventually Nick) saw new Pixar movie Soul, while Nick was left watching Tropic Thunder on Christmas Eve because his internet crashed.

And then, before writing off last year, our heroes take a short pitstop in 2021 with a review of Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks (10:21), the latest holiday special from their favourite inconsistent sci-fi show.

Da 5 Bloods Chadwick Boseman 2020 filmAt last, it’s then time to dive into that hot retrospective material, with some analysis of the year in film (19:46), complete with Nick and Alastair each counting down their top five releases and agreeing on a unified MFV top 3 (plus the inevitable worst one), before turning to do the same for TV (47:38).

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