or get as kid-y as grimdark as Young Justice, but the series sits comfortably between series like that, tonally, all the while never wandering into the R-rated realm that’s common in many other Warner Bros. Animation projects.
Season 3 of Young Justice really shifts from junior grimdark to the harder R for violence seen in some direct-to-disc streaming.
Especially with the many bloody deaths of Halo and the maiming of Vic Stone…
Created by the Nacelle Company (Netflix’s The Movies That Made Us and The Toys That Made Us; Disney+’s Behind the Attraction) and the History Channel, the series is narrated by Dr. Beverly Crusher herself, Gates McFadden, and directed by Nacelle Company founder Brian Volk-Weiss.
Here’s a bit more on the documentary series from a press release:
“The series will be released this fall just in time for Star Trek’s 55th anniversary, each episode focuses on a different chapter in the groundbreaking program’s history, ranging from its inception at Lucille Ball’s legendary production company Desilu, to its later iterations Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Interviews with cast, crew, and experts reveal never-before-seen backstage stories and offer fresh insights. No stone is left unturned, including lesser-known aspects of the franchise like The Animated Series and Phase II. Star Trek is the most iconic television science-fiction saga of all time and remains more popular than ever. The Center Seat details how it began, where it’s been, and how it’s boldly going where no television series has ever gone before!”
The interview list is rather staggering, with Nichelle Nichols, Brent Spiner, Kirstie Alley, Walter Koenig, Kate Mulgrew, Denise Crosby, Wil Wheaton, John De Lancie, Nicholas Meyer, Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga, Nana Visitor, Robert Picardo, Ethan Phillips, Diana Muldaur, Nicole de Boer, Roxann Dawson, Robert Beltran, Tim Russ, John Billingsley, John Dykstra, D.C. Fontana, Rick Berman, and F. Murray Abraham all sharing their stories. It appears that The Center Seat won’t be touching too much on the current Star Trek series, like Discovery, Picard, and Lower Decks—but those all have new episodes currently airing or soon to air, so they’re still adding to the show’s legend. (Maybe there’ll be a Center Seat part two including cast and crew from those titles when it’s time for the 60th anniversary?)
The press release doesn’t specify how many episodes (it was initially touted as an eight-part series when announced back in March) or give a release date other than “this fall,” but it seems likely that the Nacelle Company’s New York Comic Con panel tomorrow might reveal more specific details on how we can dig into this one.
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His Dark Materials
Deadline reports Sian Clifford (Fleabag) and Jonathan Aris (Sherlock) have joined the cast of His Dark Materials’ third season as Agent Salmakia and Commander Roke, respectively—both “Gallivespian Spies: tiny humanoids who evolved in their native universe’s earth.”
Star Trek: Lower Decks
Jeffrey Combs returns to the Star Trek franchise as Agimus, an evil computer, in the trailer for “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie” — this week’s episode of Lower Decks.
Spoiler TV also reports Matthew Fox and Joanne Froggatt will star in Peacock’s Last Light, a “5-episode limited drama thriller series” based on Alex Scarrow’s international best-selling novel, which tells the story of “a family fighting to survive in a world that has been suddenly thrown into chaos” after the world’s oil supply is exhausted.
Ewan McGregor revealed to Deadline that filming has wrapped on the Obi-Wan Kenobi series at Disney+.
We finished shooting our series, and it was really, really good fun. I really enjoyed working with [director/executive producer] Deborah Chow, and I think it will not disappoint. The new technology that we employed doing it is cool, and it was a different experience than making the original three films that I did.
Michelle Gomez discussed Madame Rouge’s character arc with Den of Geek.
I think she’s like the other characters in that she has a journey through discovery. She’s finding out things about herself that may or may not be things she can live with. I can’t really say more than that, but it’s similar to the other regulars in the show, and where they’re having to live with themselves. And how do you do that, when some of it is pretty dark and at times unacceptable? And how do you decide to move forward? And so that’s in there for her, too. And it’s a pretty crazy ride that she goes on, not just for herself but with the others as well.
The IRS investigates Team Evil in the synopsis for next week’s episode, “I Is for IRS.”
The IRS taps the team to investigate the legitimacy of a new organization seeking religious status for tax exemption.
Written by: Dewayne Darian Jones
Directed by: Nelson McCormick
Y: The Last Man
Tensions at the PriceMax spiral out of control. Hero and Sam pass the point of no return. Nora uncovers dangerous secrets. Written by: Coleman Herbert, Directed by: Karena Evans
A trailer for HBO Max’s Fall schedule includes the first released footage from the Peacemaker TV series.
Finally, The Mad Hatter (a Mad Hatter?) comes to Gotham in a new trailer for Batwoman’s third season.
Banner art by Jim Cook
Somewhat more concerning than the digital company NippedInTheBud kept, though, were ideas expressed in a post likening pedophiles to gay people. In a comment posted back in 2015 (when Liu would have been 26), NippedInTheBud described how they’d done “a significant amount of research” for a show in which they portrayed a pedophile, and how the experience made them “much more sympathetic to anyone who is born with those urges.” The deleted post read: “From a biological standpoint, it’s no different than being gay – a small mutation in the genome that defines our sexual preferences. Depending on what area of the world you were born and what time, it also may have been a perfectly acceptable thing to act on those urges.” The post also made clear that the person writing it felt that people preying upon children was wrong, as is the history of queer people’s sexualities being pathologized by both the medical and criminal justice systems.
Though NippedInTheBud did not mention specifically which role they were describing, because the account seems to be Liu, it stands to reason that it was talking about the actor’s stint on Blood and Water, a trilingual Canadian crime drama that began running in 2015. In the series, Liu portrayed Paul Xie, the eldest son of a powerful real estate magnate, who becomes one of the suspects after his younger brother Charlie (Osric Chau) dies under mysterious circumstances. Over the course of the first season, you learn how, as children, Paul molested Charlie, and the abuse eventually drove Charlie to substance abuse in the following years. When Charlie ultimately threatens to tell everyone what Paul did to him, the elder brother kills his younger sibling in a panicked rage, and the bulk of Blood and Water focuses on detective Josephine Bradley (Steph Song) piecing the mystery together.
What’s particularly galling about NippedInTheBud’s old comments when you consider them in the context of the story Blood and Water was actually telling is that Paul Xie was not just a man suffering from an unfortunate affliction he had no control over. Throughout the series’ first season, Paul’s shown to be a manipulative liar who tries to use the power that comes from being an editor at a local newspaper to get the authorities off his back. When Paul’s father Li-Rong (Oscar Hsu) confronts him, he tells his son that he’s always had some inkling of what was going on, and struggled with the shame of it. The “help” Paul claims he’s received to deal with his compulsions is contrasted by his willingness to deceive others within his family about the circumstances of his brother’s death, and it all creates a picture of a tormented, but ultimately monstrous man who only feels remorse once his secret is exposed.
To its credit, Blood and Water thoughtfully explores ideas about how familial shame and secrecy often end up becoming sources of trauma in and of themselves. But it was, and continues to be beyond irresponsible and deeply homophobic to liken queerness to pedophilia as NippedInTheBud did after the mountains of research they purportedly put into preparing for the role. Unsurprisingly, Liu’s made no direct statement in response to some of the questions about the NippedInTheBudAccount. However, as the screenshots circulated and gained more attention, the actor added a tweet to a thread from 2019 reiterating that he’s only interested in advocating for “positive cultural pride.”
io9 reached out to Disney as well as Liu’s management and representatives multiple times and did not hear back by time of publishing. This entire situation certainly seems to be the sort of thing that Liu’s team would want to address concretely with a proper statement, but as it stands now, this is yet another example of why, in the end, it’s probably better to just save these sorts of posts for the drafts. Or better yet, just log off.
Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now in theaters. Liu is expected to reprise the role in other MCU productions in the future.
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