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The Full Lid 19th October 2018

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Hi! How's it going? I'm Alasdair and this is The Full Lid? Pop culture enthusiasm, freelance life, occasional recipes, crumpled optimism, movies I've seen, books I've read, areas of ancient Greece I have kicked people off, things I'm working on, It's all here. 

So! If you like what you read, please share it. New subscribers are always welcome and the link to sign up is at the archive. You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram. And my Ko-Fi is over here if you feel like leaving a tip. Please do if you can.

Now, shall we?

Contents

So, Alasdair, How's Assassins Creed Odyssey?
Captains On Deck
What I Do And Where It Is
Take Up Space
Where I Published This Week
Horror Christmas 3: 28 Weeks Later
Signing Off

Hey Alasdair, How's Assassins Creed Odyssey?

Captain On Deck

So I'm massively excited by the new Discovery trailer. Not just because it's full of the exact stuff I like (SPACE RESCUE! SPACE ANGELS! MORE SPACE RESCUE! SPACE JOKES! SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE) but because there's a very subtle piece of thematic connection I can't help but notice.

One of the first things we heard Captain Georgiou say in the promos for season 1 was this:

'Starfleet doesn't fire first.'

One of the first things we hear Captain Pike (Hi Anson, in case you're reading!) say is this:

'Starfleet is a promise. I lay down my life for you. You lay down your life for me. No one gets left behind.'

Two idealists, linked by a ship they both command and the ideals they both embody. And both, we know, make vast sacrifices for.

One of the problems a lot of people had with the first season was how deeply grumpy it was and that's fair. But with the war over, and an actual honest to God Space! Mystery plot, this looks to be a very different year. And one suffused not just with hope but with the idea of hope. Because make no mistake, that's what Starfleet is, and what it represents at it's best; hope. The willingness to push out past the known because something amazing may be out there. To engage with both the pragmatic conceit of exploration and the nebulous confection of belief in something bigger than you are. And for this crew, all veterans, and all abuse survivors, to do that is especially courageous. But then again, their other commanding officer showed them the way
 
Discovery returns in January when hopefully, the four short episodes they're releasing will also be broadcast outside the US too. Although I may be talking about those soon too...

What I Do And Where It Is

I writer a lot of stuff, for a lot of people. Here's where you can find me: And of course, here's my Ko-Fi.

Take Up Space

Here are some things that have happened in the last six months:

-Chelsea Cain, already harassed out of one book for daring to be a woman with both opinions and a pulse, has her comeback book at Marvel cancelled out from under her before it was even released. Or promoted.
-Marv Wolfman and George Perez aren't mentioned in the credits of the live-action Titans, a show whose roster is 50% characters they created.
-Chuck Wendig is fired from a Star Wars comic, that, again has yet to see print. The official word is silence. The unofficial word, via Wendig, is due to 'vulgarity' and threatening fans on his social media feeds.
-Director Mark Tanderai is not credited on the BBC iPlayer page for his first Doctor Who episode, The Ghost Monument.

This isn't about these individual events. This isn't about these individual creators. This is about the pattern they show. Two comic writers with their work shot out from under them, two more not credited for decades old work and a TV director not directly credited for work on a globally recognized brand by an internationally renowned broadcaster. All of these are, without exception, and regardless of intent, almost inconceivably insulting.

They are also the norm.

Creatives eat last. Creatives are credited last. Creatives get paid last. We're all used to this. We're all used to being treated like dirt because we arrived in this industry to find it this way. We don't know any better. We've been taught to believe we don't deserve any better.

That is a lie.

You deserve credit for the work you do. Whatever it is. However you do it. You deserve to feel the ownership of a completed project and the confidence boost it gives you to get to the next one. You don't feel those things, a lot of the time, because the nature of the creative industries is such that the vast majority of us are bent in two under the weight of the misplaced need to apologize for taking up space.

TAKE UP SPACE.

Tell people what you've done. Tell people about the people you've worked with. Like Matt Wallace said, leave this industry in a better condition than you found it, because if nothing else it couldn't be very much worse.

Do the work. Talk about the work. Get PAID for the work. Make sure the people who helped you do the work get the credit and pay they deserve too. Done, done onto the next one. Don't just strive to make better things, strive to make things better. Because no one else will do that for us but us.

Where I Published This Week

Over at SciFi Bulletin, you can find me talking about the season openers for The Flash, Black Lightning and Supergirl all of which do entirely different things in entirely different ways and demonstrate just how varied and interesting the CW approach to superhero stories is. Also check out my write up of overlooked and lovely UK comedy series Zapped which returns this week.  Also The Purge rounding the corner and speeding up into it's home run with the sixth episode and one of the best episodes of The Walking Dead in ages. Which, given it apparently posted the worst ratings the show has ever had, just goes to show there's no accounting for taste. Oh and this week's Doctor Who which was not only lovely but had the best TARDIS sequence the show has done, possibly ever.

Over at the blog, there's a ton of stuff including:
-Details of Jen Williams' new book, The Poison Song!
-Details of Adam P Knave's new book, Culture's Skeleton!
-The Woman Who Fell To Earth-My review of the first episode of this season of Doctor Who.
-My review of excellent historical graphic novel, Apollo
-A comics roundup featuring Errand Boys, Blackbird, A Walk Through Hell, Death Orb and Tony Stark, Iron Man's latest or launch issues.
-My FantasyCon 2018 Schedule! Where I am as you read this!

Horror Christmas 3: 28 Weeks Later


I talk a lot about stories set after the world ends. This, up until the last two minutes, is pretty much the platonic ideal of that concept.

28 weeks after the occasionally visible events of the original movie, the UK is a mass grave. The infected have either died of starvation or their wounds, the country is blockaded and a relief effort, staging out of a safe zone on the Isle of Dogs, is slowly reuniting families. The world, to a point, is breathing out.

Don (Robert Carlyle) and Alice (Catherine McCormack) are part of a group of survivors. During the outbreak, they were faced with an impossible choice; let a terrified child into their hideout or watch him die. They did the only thing they could. Alice apparently died for it. Don escaped. Now a custodian at the safe zone, Don is consumed with guilt. When reunited with his kids Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) and Tammy (Imogen Poots) he tells them a polite, necessary lie about how Alice died.

And then Alice is found. Alive. She's immune. A carrier but not a victim. Don is not so lucky.

An outbreak rips through the safe zone and Andy and Tammy are rescued by doctor Scarlet (Rose Byrne), sniper Doyle (Jeremy Renner) and pilot Flynn (Harold Perrineau Jr).. Pursued by the herd of Infected, and what's left of their father, they race to get clear of London before it's incinerated to stop the infection.

This is vastly superior to the original movie. Not just because it's actually shot like someone wants you to understand what you're seeing (Tough on dogma 95, touch on the causes of dogma 95) either. It works better because of the simple fact that a story has preceded it. You need to wade through the story of Jim and the world's most irrationally accurate blood drop to get to this. That story still exists, somewhere out in the countryside here. Maybe Jim and co are even heading to London when the alarms go off. Maybe they die in the bombing or are already overseas. We don't know anything besides context and context gives us scope. The world is bigger, more established than what we see here and what the original movie loses in accessibility the sequel gains in stakes and scale.

It also works much better because the movie is about infection on a macro scale. Don's understandable if inexcusable choice as the infection of his relationship. His attempt to heal that leading to a very real outbreak of violence and horror. His inability (Or perhaps latent guilt) to see what he is driving his obsessive need to find his children. Children who are in turn an infection vector all of their own. The movie doesn't happen without them breaking out after all. Elements of chaos, civilians, infecting General Stone's nice neat safe zone. And, more importantly, Flynn, Doyle and Rose's training. All three go off book, All three do so for reasons of conscience. All three pay horrific, total prices for it. And even that is an infection vector. The movie opens with Don making a terrible choice and paying a terrible price. The movie closes with the horrifying consequences of good choices. Nothing is safe.

Unfortunately, nothing in those last two minutes is surprising either. 28 Weeks Later doesn't so much lean into a trope as cling to it for dear life in its final minutes and it never fails to annoy me. However, even with that choice there's a hell of a lot to enjoy in this deeply weird, mostly very successful sequel.

28 Weeks Later is on blu-ray, DVD and streaming on part of Jeff Bezos' obscenely vast fortune now.

Signing Off

The true purpose of Starfleet! Taking up space! The end of the world! Again! That's a week huh?

I'm at Fantasycon in Chester as you read this. If you're there, come say hi! Regardless, look after yourself this week, please. Water, protein, rest breaks, lunch breaks. You've got this.

As ever, you can find me on Twitter. As ever if you liked this week's installment please feel to share it and drop something in the Ko-Fi jar.  And, as always, thank you for reading. I'll see you next week, because you know what? This?

is a Full Lid.
 
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