Category: Retro Fix


To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek Voyager, the bridge crew of USS Voyager (NCC-74656) will be making an online appearance this week.  Together virtually, an online panel will feature Captain Kathryn Janeway, Commander Chakotay, Lt. B’Elanna Torres, Lt. Tom Paris, Neelix, the EMH, and Ensign Kim, along with Seven of Nine, who recently joined Captain Picard in the Star Trek Picard series.  That’s right, the actors that portrayed these characters are reuniting for charity.  And it’s all happening via YouTube.

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The sestras are returning.  BBC America’s sci-fi drama Orphan Black ran five seasons, wrapping in 2017, but the key cast members and creators will be back Sunday, this time online for a table read of two episodes of the series.  Tatiana Maslany, who earned an Emmy for her role as several clones, is leading the effort, along with actors Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jordan Gavaris, Kristian Bruun, Kevin Hanchard, Dylan Bruce, Evelyne Brochu, and more.  Based on the episodes selected, expect some great scenes with fan-favorite couples Donnie and Alison and Delphine and Cosima.  And it’s all to raise money for charity.

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When my wife bought me the six seasons of Community I secretly wondered if she was trying to kill me–because I’d laughed so hard watching episodes of the show before I frequently thought I was going to pass out.  I hadn’t seen an episode when I watched their big panel at Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012, but since became a fan.  “Six seasons and a movie” was their mantra, and they almost made it.  We’ve seen no sign of a movie yet, especially with the success of Donald Glover (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Spider-Man: Homecoming), and ongoing rise in the careers and clashing schedules of Alison Brie (GLOW, BoJack Horseman), Ken Jeong (Magnum, PI, Scoob!), Jim Rash (The Descendants, Harley Quinn), Yvette Nicole Brown (Avengers: Endgame, Mom), Joel McHale (The X-Files, Stargirl), Gillian Jacobs (Love, Come Play), and Danny Pudi (Powerless, The Argument).  But then the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and now many of our favorite creators and performers are bringing a full-on assault against isolation via podcasts and other online videos.  And it’s not a movie, but it is a welcome surprise: A table read of a classic episode of Community with the main cast is coming your way–with The Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal, as a guest.

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We watched them get the band back together the first time with Muppet Guys Talking, a fun documentary we discussed two years ago here at borg.  Now not even sheltering at home will hold back the fun-loving Muppet Guys, who are returning once again to share some more about Muppet creator Jim Henson, and the incredible creative process and their experience as Muppet performers, all while earning some money for front-line COVID-19 workers.  Part in honor of Jim Henson, who passed away 30 years ago, and part reason to get some of our favorite people back together virtually, it’s all happening this Saturday, and everyone is invited.

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To commemorate its 80th anniversary as home to some of pop culture’s most iconic characters, Archie Comics is publishing a series of special digital-exclusive one-shot comics.  Begin with Archie, Josie & the Pussycats, Veronica Lodge as Powerteen with Blackjack, plus Jughead, Cheryl Blossom, New Crusaders, Betty & Veronica, Katy Keene, and Young Salem–available now at comiXology, the Archie App, Hoopla, or wherever you get digital comics.  Then coming next week is Sabrina and Sam Hill: Private Eye, and some artist spotlights, looking at creator Harry Lucey, then on May 20, it’s Dotty & Ditto with Bob Phantom, with a spotlight on Dan DeCarlo, and finally artist Dan Parent on May 27.  Check out some looks back–inside a few of these issues–below, and a schedule of releases.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

It it’s not a Ford, it’s crap.  That maxim gets put to the test in the next must-see movie while you’re sheltering at home.

A four-time Oscar nominee only a few weeks ago, Ford v Ferrari (as titled in the U.S., it’s Le Mans ’66 everywhere else) revisits that legendary battle of man vs machine vs man.  And boy, oh, boy, does director James Mangold find the sweet spot for the auto racing motif and create a superb film for any audience.  Mangold, who has directed some brilliant movies, including Cop Land and Logan, found the right leading and supporting cast and a story that will keep you sitting at the edge of your seat whether or not you’re a fan of auto races.  But it’s Christian Bale that is the star of the film, ditching his affected American accent and playing the quirky, savvy, and real Ken Miles in the year of races that earned him entry into the Hall of Fame.  Ford v Ferrari is available at sell-through prices on all the major streaming platforms, and it’s great drama, so you won’t want to overlook it.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

When the first page reveals full-color children hiding in a trench from the bombs above, you know you’re in for some serious content ahead.  Following up on their new look at the past in their groundbreaking chronicle The Color of Time/The Colour of Time (which I reviewed here at borg), historian Dan Jones and Brazil-based artist and photographic colorist Marina Amaral have dived deeper into the horrors of war in their new book, The World Aflame And the title couldn’t be more apt.  If you think you’ve ever had a glimpse at war, think again.  As said best by The Times (UK), “Purists argue that colourising black and white photographs is sacrilege, but the world has always been in colour.  Truth be told, monochrome is a contrivance.  Human experience is always colourful.”  Your school textbooks were never so frightening, accurate, and true, as what you’ll see on each page of this gruesome and violent look back at both World Wars, or as authors and many historians and world leaders have seen it, one cataclysmic thirty-year war.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The 21st century contest was whether The Current War or The New Mutants was going to be delayed longest before their inevitable release (The Current War for the Weinstein scandal and The New Mutants for the Disney-Fox merger and now the COVID-19 pandemic), and so The New Mutants wins–or loses–still with no release date.  At least The Current War–technically The Current War: Director’s Cut, was worth the wait.  Particularly if you put aside the inevitable choices in historical interpretations of the real-life historical figures and facts involved and instead marvel at the nicely realized cinematography by Chung-hoon Chung (Hotel Artemis), production design by Jan Roelfs (Gattaca, 47 Ronin, Ghost in the Shell), costumes by Michael Wilkinson (Justice League, Tron: Legacy, Watchmen), snappy writing and pacing thanks to Michael Mitnick, and a fantastic cast of familiar genre actors, adding The Current War to your streaming list is an easy choice.

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cthulhu 1

Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce

We’re big fans of James Lovegrove here at borg.  This time, I managed to beat C.J. to one of the books!  Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows is the first volume in Lovegrove’s The Cthulhu Casebooks trilogy, an alternate history of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson’s adventures that sets the record straight about their real cases, those steeped in the paranormal and supernatural.  As the series title suggests, the trilogy draws on the canon not just of Arthur Conan Doyle, but of Lovegrove’s “distant American ancestor,” H.P. Lovecraft.  The result is a lively and somehow entirely natural mash-up.  (See our previous review of the final volume, Sherlock Holmes and the Sussex Sea-Devils, here).

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Marvin

It looks pretty close.  About like Who Framed Roger Rabbit as far the artwork is concerned.  And the voices are close, too.  If it’s anything like another reboot of a classic animated property, Blue Sky’s The Peanuts Movie–which deftly re-created the looks and voices of Charlie Brown and his friends–this may be something worth checking out.  It’s the latest Warner Brothers property making its way to the new HBO Max streaming service coming in May.  Yep, Looney Tunes are back.  The artwork, the bright colors, the classical music, those familiar animal friends (and Marvin and Elmer).  Yes, the trailer for the new cartoons looks pretty darned close.

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