David Tennant Returns to Doctor Who!

Announced on their Facebook page (and later confirmed by the BBC), David Tennant and Billie Piper will be returning to Doctor Who in this year’s 50th Anniversary Special.  While most were expecting the fan-favorite 10th Doctor’s would be back, it is exciting news to finally get confirmation that Tennant would, in fact, be returning to the fold.  Their many shippers around the world are also – no doubt – very excited to see Tennant returning with his first companion, the love-her-or-hate-her Rose Tyler, in tow.

Also announced, John Hurt (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alien, Harry Potter) is also listed as a guest star on the much-anticipated 50th anniversary special.  The press release states that these are only “some of the all star cast,” so there are more surprises ahead of us.

I. can’t. freaking. wait.

Doctor Who returns tonight on BBC America at 8:00PM ET!  Headlining BBCA’s “Supernatural Saturday” block, Doctor Who is followed by the premieres of Orphan Black and The Nerdist talk show.

The 50th Anniversary Special, beginning filming this week, is set to broadcast this fall.

(Full press release after the break.)

Shut Up and Take My $5: The Flash #18

We’ve all been there: two issues in your hand, you can only afford one. What is the broke geek to do?! Sean Sorensen is here to guide you in your thrifty comics crusade by providing you with the one issue each week that’ll make you say, “Shut up, and take

Review: Community, “Economics of Marine Biology”

If you don’t like the crispy-liscious taste of Let’s, feel free to eat that other greasy brand.

A second solid episode in a row after our exploration into Changnesia! May this trend continue.

Stepping away (slightly) from the overtly serious tone in earlier weeks, “Economics of Marine Biology” was all about the hijinks that can ensue when the group can all be set together in one goal. Dean Pelton is set on landing a Greendale “whale”: a low-achieving, high-income student named Archie Decoste (Zack Pearlman), who was recently arrested for selling marijuana to a police officer at a police station. To snag the whale, the Dean enlists the study group (and all of Greendale) to showcase its best worst behavior to entice the human dollar sign to enroll.

While I’ve had issue with competing subplots in earlier this season, this episode with no less than four plots actually delivered: the main “whale” plot, Abed’s Delta Cubes, Troy and Shirley in P.E.E., and barbershop bonding with Pierce and Jeff. While there is some inherent crowding with so many plots at once, none of them overstayed their individual welcome, and each was given time to continue without any part feeling too rushed.

The episode opens with the Dean debriefing the study group of Greendale’s newest target: the perfect mix of low intellect, high lack of ambition, and limitless parental support. After Britta’s initial indignation of chasing a “rich dumb-dumb” instead of a “science genius,” everyone readily admits that Greendale could use more money. Even “too cool for school” Winger is on board with the plan, if at least to get away from Pierce, since this plan is being set up specifically on his day off.

Hit the jump for the full recap and review of “Economics of Marine Biology!”

Review: Community, “Advanced Documentary Filmmaking”

Science tells us hitting his head would only cure him if hitting his head was the original cause.

I admit to have been a little confused when I saw we were going for “Abed Makes a Documentary,” Round 3. Did we really have to do this again? (And we’re not even counting the semi-documentary in Season 2’s “Messianic Myths” and the historic Ken Burns-style “Pillows and Blankets.”)

But who am I to complain when “Advanced Documentary Filmmaking” is easily the strongest episode of this season so far?

This episode wasn’t filled with a crazy amount of laughs, but it was full of some pretty good moments. There weren’t any of the awkward pacing issues, overly rushed endings, and most importantly, competing subplots that have plagued this season. We just get a solid episode whose conceit (although not novel) is naturally executed. This was an episode where it simply felt like we were in a good place, and that hasn’t been true for much of this abbreviated season.

The episode opens with the title cards for another documentary by A.G. Nadir. The Dean, on course to help “Kevin” recover from Changnesia, discovers that his rehabilitation is actually a financial drain on the school. He has tasked Abed with filming a documentary about the pun-filled disease in a bid to obtain grant money from the MacGuffin Neurological Institute, whose coffers must be as deep as its name is fantastic.

Hit the jump for the full review of “Advanced Documentary Filmmaking!”

Review: Community, “Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations”

Just a shoelace and belt free night of fun!

“Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations” is our first solid episode of Community this season (huzzah!). It ultimately succeeds where majority of the season has failed: it left me smiling at the end, happy with our study group and hoping for more.

While the study group is imprisoned in Shirley’s house of guilt for this once-again-late Thanksgiving episode, Jeff Winger finally goes face-to-face with the man whose influence is noted by his absence: his father, William Winger (James Brolin).

After planting seeds in earlier seasons (ultimately ending with the Halloween episode earlier this year), Jeff’s storyline carried this episode. The meeting wasn’t particularly funny – frankly, it shouldn’t be – but it had a lot of truth in it. When Jeff finally confronts his father, there was an air of meaningful sadness masked in righteous vindication. It was a “you tell ‘im, Winger” kind of moment, and there hasn’t been many of those in the series, much less this season.

The episode opens up with our favorite study group in our favorite study room, all discussing plans for Thanksgiving. The Dean reveals that Jeff made arrangements to have dinner with his estranged father (breaking his “no reading student emails” policy), and the group reacts appropriately shocked to this sudden news. Britta, on the other hand, has the greatest reaction: her therapizing brought on this sudden approach, so she’s jock jammin’ it up.

Hit the jump for the full recap and review!

Review: Star Wars #3

Sometimes you just can’t get enough Star Wars. Last week saw the semi-official announcement that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford will definitely be returning for Star Wars Episode VII. What better way to follow that than with the release of Dark Horse’s Star Wars #3?! Issue #3 of

Comics Primer: What You Need to Know For “Age of Ultron”

Marvel’s latest event is upon us! The “Age of Ultron” has dawned, and you have no idea what’s going on. You might have some questions like: “Who the hell is Ultron?”, “Where did this event come from?” and “Why have I not heard about this?!” Thankfully for you, I am here to answer some of your questions, and get you ready to jump into what should be a very cool event from Marvel Comics.

Who is this Ultron character?

Let’s start with the basic question here. Ultron hasn’t been seen around the Marvel U. for a while now, so some of the new readers may have no clue who he is. Ultron first appeared in Avengers #54, but he truly debuted in Avengers #55. Originally created by Hank Pym (aka Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Yellow Jacket, Golaith, or Wasp, depending on his state of mind), Ultron is an aritifical intelligence that gained self-awareness and that decided all organic life must be destroyed. With an adamantium body, he is one of the Avenger’s most powerful enemies. He is nearly indestructible, but is often ultimately bested by the Avengers. Any time the Avengers do manage to defeat him, however, Ultron is able to transfer his consciousness into a new body.

Now, I hear you. You’re saying, “Oh boy, another mad AI bent on destruction,” but Ultron is not the same as every other AI that’s rebelled against organic life. Ultron has an obsession with the Pyms and their family, giving way to some of the most interesting moments of Ultron’s history as a villain. Ultron is constantly attempting to punish his “father” Hank Pym, while having a strange oedipal fascination with his “mother” Janet Pym (nee van Dyne, aka The Wasp.) He actually created a bride named Jocasta, modeled after Janet — weird, right? Ultron also created a son, The Vision, who betrayed him and joined the Avengers to defeat him.

To summarize: Take a sociopath and give it nearly infinite intelligence, an indestructible body, and the capability to create infinite copies of itself. This is why Ultron is one of my absolute favorite villains.

Hit the jump for the full primer on Ultron!

10 Kick-Ass Women To Celebrate

Today is International Women’s Day! I thought we would celebrate here on OTF by focusing on some badass fictional women who have busted through gender stereotypes and given us real-life women someone to look up to when the patriarchy gets us down. Here are my top ten inspirational ladies brought to life on the big and small screens.

10. Lara Croft

First stepping in to video game consoles in 1996 and then brought to life by Angelina Jolie on the silver screen, Lara Croft is the female answer to Indiana Jones, except she’s far quicker on her feet than the professor, and has way cooler toys. Sporting her trademark double-holster guns, single braid, and steely glint in her eye, this is one female Brit who’s not so much high tea as she is high adventure. I admire Lara’s fighting spirit and the fearless way she dives headfirst into sticky situations. She’s also extremely well-read and knowledgeable about her field, a deft intelligence that comes through both in the video games and the films. She may get a somewhat antifeminist rap for her bosomy profile, but she is rarely dressed for anything other than speed and comfort, eschewing the impractical for cargo shorts, backpacks, and durable non-heeled boots.

Ed. note: the newest Tomb Raider just came out this past Tuesday, and, by all accounts, it’s pretty amazing! We’re still in the middle of our playthrough of this prequel, but we’ll be sure to address the game in the future.

9. Tami Taylor

How do I love thee, Connie Britton? Let me count the many ways. While “Mrs Coach” started out on Friday Night Lights as merely Coach Taylor’s stay-at-home support system, cooking up team BBQs and putting out disagreements among the Dillion Panther boosters with her hey-y’all smile and Southern Charm, by the end of the series she was running that school as principal (and her husband’s boss, no less!). The series finale sees the Taylor family helping Tami follow her dreams to a high-profile position at a university rather than her continuing to follow the whims of Texas football. She and Eric (Kyle Chandler) have one of the most realistic marriages I’ve ever seen portrayed on TV, and it is the backbone of this excellent show. We’re rooting for her strength and grace just as much as the state championship game.

Hit the jump for the full list!