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HVFF 2017: John Barrowman Panel At Heroes and Villains Fanfest, New Jersey
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This year’s Heroes and Villains Fanfest (HVFF) swept into the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey this past weekend. Guests included stars of DC and Marvel superhero TV series like Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Gotham, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While Stephen Amell, the star of CW’s Arrow, was the featured attraction, a guest that drew some of the biggest crowds was John Barrowman. The man has literally done it all: Broadway, recorded albums, published books, and oh yeah, he’s a geek icon. Barrowman is a double threat to the super-geek crowd, playing the villain/anti-hero Malcolm Merlyn on Arrow since 2012 while also known to many as Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and starring in its spinoff series Torchwood from 2006-2011. On Saturday afternoon, the actor packed the Exposition Center’s panel stage and kept the audience enthralled and laughing non-stop for an hour.

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TV Review: Doctor Who 9.7 “The Zygon Invasion”
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Doctor Who
Season 9, Episode 7 “The Zygon Invasion”
Directed by Daniel Nettheim
Written by Peter Harness
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Jemma Redgrave, Ingrid Oliver
BBC America
Air date: Saturday, October 31, 2015

Doctor Who is not a series that generally tackles contemporary issues head-on. It was primarily started as a children’s entertainment designed to educate and inform, where possible, but not directly enter into controversy. So the Daleks can attempt genocide, we can all boo and hiss, and the Doctor can stop them, commenting about why they are so very wrong along the way. Looking back over the last 50-plus years, there are only a handful of serials that take stands on pressing political or social topics of the day. The Jon Pertwee serial “The Green Death” is remembered for its mention of environmental issues, as one example. The Tom Baker serial “The Sun Makers” dealt with the high British tax rates that made musical artists like the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin into tax exiles, as another.

In this context, “The Zygon Invasion” that we see this week is a very rare bird indeed. It is a UNIT story, perhaps the first real UNIT story in a very long time. It is also one with a very contemporary edge. With the Zygons now settled on Earth through a treaty created in “The Day Of The Doctor,” this episode takes on what happens next… which turns out to tie in very neatly with issues of terrorism and surveillance in a post-9/11 world, the ethnic and social identity of refugees, and social reactions to the Syrian refugee crisis. How does the episode perform? Let’s find out.

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‘Doctor Who’ To Stay On Netflix; Most BBC Series Will Remain
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It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Netflix users who are also fans of BBC shows. Word leaked out a little over a week ago that the contract between Netflix and the BBC to carry popular shows like Doctor Who, Luther, Black Adder, Sherlock, and Red Dwarf was up for renewal on February 1, 2015, but the two sides had not yet reached a deal! If the two sides did not come to terms, then Netflix would no longer carry BBC content after the end of this month. More than one article appeared on web sites warning everyone to “get that last bit of binge watching in now!”

The issue is now settled, with most BBC content, including Doctor Who, remaining on Netflix, according to THR.

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Top 5 Sidekicks Who Could Be Heroes
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When I hear the word “sidekick,” the first one my mind immediately imagines is the ludicrously dressed, teenage companion of Batman. That’s right, Dick Grayson, the original Robin. And I’m sure you all initially think the same thing. But some sidekicks move way beyond their roles as mere comrades or wingmen; some sidekicks have the potential to become leaders themselves.

Check out the list below of the Top 5 Sidekicks Who Could be Heroes.

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Comic Review: Doctor Who: Series 3, Vol. 2
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Doctor Who, Vol. 2
Eye Of Ashaya
Written by Andy Diggle, Richard Dinnick, Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Josh Adams, Marc Deering, Horatio Domingues, Ruben Gonzalez, Charlie Kirchoff, Andres Ponce, Adrian Salmon
Cover by Mark Buckingham and Charlie Kirchoff
IDW Publishing
Release Date: July 3, 2013
Cover Price: $17.99

The second collection of comics featuring the Matt Smith incarnation of the Doctor follows through a few adventures that will sure to be a delight to fans of the modern Doctor Who series, with a few references to the classic series as well. Set after the Battle of Demon’s Run, but still with the Ponds as the Doctor’s travelling companions, this compilation of short adventures will be a must-read for Whovians.

The first story, The Eye of Ashaya, features the return of Lady Christina from the excellent Planet of the Dead episode from the David Tennant era. The story reunites the Doctor with the professional thief, though in the most unlikely of places – in another galaxy someplace. The tale brings into question how Christina got there in the first place, and also her motives.

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