Legends of the Hidden Temple TV Reboot Aims to Capitalize on Nostalgia

Mayan Heads on set of Legends of Hidden Temple

Mayan Heads on set of Legends of Hidden Temple
Image: Nickelodeon

Many of you are too young to know what Nickelodeon’s Legends of the Hidden Temple is, but those who do should remember how it was the most lit kid show on television. The CW is looking to tap into that nostalgia by reviving the show, but this time for adults.

Advertisement

The show was Nickelodeon staple from 1993-1995, and created by David G. Stanley, Scott A. Stone, and Stephen Brown. Legends of the Hidden Temple was a mix of inspirations, mainly from Indiana Jones. As contestants compete for treasures by completing tasks that require running through a set of fake Mayan Ruins and encounter temple guards to throw them off the challenge. Kirk Fogg was the show host, while the almighty Olmec, a giant Mayan head, is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.

According to Variety, the logline for the show is as follows. “This time, the entire show is taken out of the safety of a studio setting into a “mysterious jungle” with tougher challenges and bigger prizes. Five teams begin the journey, but only one is “strong enough and smart enough” to enter the ominous Olmec’s Temple, avoid the Temple Guards, retrieve a lost treasure and return it to its rightful owner.”

They are also bringing back many aspects of the original like Olmec and task like temple run. All the original team names will be back as well.

For those of you unfamiliar with Legends of the Hidden Temple, watch this clip on youtube. I don’t know if the show has aged well because I haven’t watched it in a while, but I remember the show being great fun.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

Christopher Eccleston’s New Doctor Who Adventures Are Finally Here

Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor is surrounded by explosions and his TARDIS console room in the cover for Big Finish's new audio drama series.

The Ninth Doctor is ready to save the universe again, for old times’ sake.
Image: Big Finish/BBC

He kept us waiting—which I guess is fair, for a Time Lord.

Big Finish has been teasing the arrival of its new line of Doctor Who audio adventures for a while now. It marks Christopher Eccleston’s first official return to the franchise since he departed the show in 2005. But after a long, long wait, the company has announced that, like a TARDIS showing up on your doorstep, the Doctor is in! As of today!

The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Ravagers collects three new episodes—Food Fight, Cataclysm, and Sphere of Freedom—starring Eccleston as the Doctor, wandering time and space in the wake of the soul-scarring events of the Last Great Time War. With a few new friends along the way in the form of Nova (Camilla Beeput) and Audrey (Jayne McKenna), the Doctor’s ready to stop the universe from being devoured by sinister forces, after his plan to stop an evil business empire goes horribly wrong.

Advertisement

The Ninth Doctor Adventures is available to purchase from Big Finish now, either as a digital or physical box set.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom

Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany and Director John Carpenter Headline a Horde of Amazing Podcasts

Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany

Clone Club reunites! Again!
Image: BBC America

You might know Realm as the podcast production company that brought the sci-fi series Orphan Black back to life, complete with star Tatiana Maslany. But that’s nothing compared to what else the company will release in 2021, which includes original series from Maslany (who will also return for more Orphan Black), multiple series from legendary genre director John Carpenter, and so, so much more.

Advertisement

Literally 10 out of the 12 shows announced in the press release Realm Podcasts (formerly Serial Box) sent out sound good, which means 100 percent of the 10 sci-fi/fantasy/horror shows announced sound also sound good. Here’s what’s coming out and when:

  • The Vela – A refugee returns to her home planet in search of a missing ship that holds the key to saving humanity. Season one is written by Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, SL Huang, and Rivers Solomon. Season two is written by Ashley Poston, Maura Milan, Nicole Givens Kurtz, and Sangu Mandanna. The Vela is narrated by Robin Miles. (May 2021)
  • Low Life – This horror-comedy features a chupacabra exterminator and a marine biology student who become unlikely allies while solving a monstrous murder. Created and written by Steve Macarelli and Billy Lalor. Narrated by Nick Sullivan and Eleanor Caudill. (May 2021)
  • If I Go Missing the Witches Did It – When a Black writer goes missing in the Hudson Valley, a white podcast host with a savior complex takes up the cause of finding her—and collides with a coven of influencers she suspects are responsible. Written by Pia Wilson. (Summer 2021)
  • Elixir – In this prohibition-inspired fantasy, magic is imbibed through elixirs, which have recently been forbidden by the gentry in the seaside city of Locq. When Elsie’s sister goes missing, she risks everything to find her, including a visit to a notorious Hush Bar, where elixirs are still served clandestinely. There, she meets Vera, a woman with magic-making in her blood. As they work together to find Elise’s sister, the two women begin a dangerous romance that crosses class lines. Written by Ellen Goodlett. (Summer 2021)
  • Nemo – An Indian prince and scientific genius becomes the enemy of empires in this reimagining of the legendary submarine master from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Written by Samit Basu, Mimi Mondal, Shiv Ramdas, and Achala Upendran. (September 29, 2021)
  • Roanoke Falls – From John Carpenter and Sandy King Carpenter comes a tense, atmospheric thriller about the fear of the unknown, the dangers of superstition, and the depths of desperation. A woman investigates a string of murders in the second Roanoke settlement, leading her to a serial killer from the original voyage who waits in the woods. (October 2021)
  • Orphan Black: The Next Chapter Season 2 – Picking up where Season one left off, the Clone Club deals with the ramifications of being outed to the world. Written by Malka Older, Madeline Ashby, Mishell Baker, Heli Kennedy, E.C. Myers, and Lindsay Smith. Narrated by Tatiana Maslany, [and TV cast members] Jordan Gavaris, and Evelyne Brochu. (Fall 2021)
  • Power Trip – Executive produced and narrated by Tatiana Maslany, Power Trip an irreverent dark comedy in which a screwed-up woman indulging in dark magic tries not to screw herself over. Written by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton, Sarah Smith, and Becca Mix. (Fall 2021)
  • Angel to Some – From John Carpenter and Sandy King Carpenter, a chronically ill Catholic student calls on a guardian angel to protect her—but the angel who shows up instead wants her dead. (Winter 2022)
  • Furnace – When a former tech darling sets out to start a utopia called “The Furnace, ” he and his fellow anarchists rebuild a former dilapidated town using large-scale 3D printers—only to discover they’ve printed structures made of an A.I. biotech and trapped themselves in a city that wants to kill them. (Winter 2022)

I’m not much of a horror guy, but a murderous, mean-spirited guardian angel is such a classic John Carpenter premise that I’ll be listening, along with If I Go Missing the Witches Did It, which is the best title for anything I’ve heard in a long, long while.

All these series will be free wherever podcasts are offered. Realm is—try not to be shocked here—launching a subscription service called Realm+, which will let you listen to its series ad-free and gives you access to its entire back catalog. It’s only $2.99 per month, which is an excellent price for this sort of thing, and launches later this month.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom

Advertisement

Updates From Black Widow, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and More

Red Guardian’s ready for a scrap.

Red Guardian’s ready for a scrap.
Screenshot: Marvel Studios

Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.

Margot Robbie really wants to get Poison Ivy into the DC movieverse. Jason Behr hypes up Supergirl’s final midseason finale. Plus, a ton of clips from Army of the Dead, and behind-the-scenes on Sweet Tooth. Spoilers get!

Advertisement

Illustration for article titled Updates From Black Widow, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and More

Harley & Ivy/The DCEU

In a recent interview with Den of Geek, Margot Robbie revealed she’s been “pestering” DC and Warner Bros. to bring Poison Ivy into the DCEU.

Trust me, I chew their ear off about it all the time. They must be sick of hearing it, but I’m like, ‘Poison Ivy, Poison Ivy. Come on, let’s do it.’ I’m very keen to see a Harley-Poison Ivy relationship on screen. It’d be so fun. So I’ll keep pestering them. Don’t worry.


Black Widow

David Harbour confirmed Black Widow includes appearances from Ursa Minor, Crimson Dynamo, Sputnik, and “the rest of the Winter Guard” in a new Instagram post.

Ursa, Yelena, Nat, CD, Sputnik, I and all the rest of the winter guard look forward to sharing a popcorn bag and a big ole screen in a dark theater with ya on July 9🕷 #blackwidow #redguardian


Space Jam: A New Legacy

Production has officially wrapped on Space Jam: A New Legacy, according to animator Kevin Martel on Twitter.

Advertisement


Army of the Dead

Bloody-Disgusting additionally has five new clips from Army of the Dead.


The Convent

A girl at boarding school boasts the unique ability to smell ghosts in the trailer for The Convent, a Thai horror film gearing up for a U.S. release.


Obi-Wan Kenobi

On a recent appearance with Jimmy Kimmel, Ewan McGregor teased filming a “very special” scene on Star Wars celebration day May 4, while also teasing that his costume for the series will be “slightly different.”

Advertisement


Girl in the Woods

Stefanie Scott, Misha Osherovich, Sofia Bryant, Will Yun Lee, Kylie Liya Page, Reed Diamond, and Leonard Roberts have joined the cast of Peacock’s Girl in the Woods. Scott will play Carrie, “a mysterious warrior who escaped from a cult-like colony that guards the world from monsters hidden behind a secret door in the woods” opposite Lee as Arthur “AD” Deane, “Carrie’s former mentor turned foe who is tasked with hunting Carrie down and returning her to the colony so she can face the consequence of her desertion.” Osherovich will take on the role of Nolan, “the child of environmental activists embroiled in the town debate about the safety of the local mine and a bullied teen exploring gender identity” while Bryant has been cast as Tasha, “the child of miners on the opposite side of the environmental debate.” Meanwhile, Diamond will play Hosea, “the leader of the colony in the woods tasked with protecting its secrets” alongside Roberts as Alex, “Tasha’s loving father and leader of the West Pine miners.” Page will round out the cast as Sara—“Carrie’s former best friend and flame from The Colony.”

Advertisement

[Deadline]


Supergirl

Jason Behr described this week’s midseason finale of Supergirl as “the most intense episode” he’s been a part of during a recent interview with TV Line.

This is definitely the most intense episode of Supergirl that I’ve been a part of.I t seems like all hope is lost and yet, there is that little kernel, and they’re all racing against the clock because the Phantom Zone is crumbling before their very eyes. The idea behind the Phantoms is that when they come into contact with you, all of your worst fears and nightmares are real, and you see the worst of your imagination come to life. All the Super Friends experience something like that.

Advertisement


Fear the Walking Dead

Spoiler TV has synopses for “Mother” and “USS Pennsylvania” — the May 23 and June 6 episodes of Fear the Walking Dead.

While held prisoner by Teddy, Alicia reunites with old friends and must confront her past.

Fear the Walking Dead is starring Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia, Maggie Grace as Althea, Colman Domingo as Victor Strand, Danay Garcia as Luciana Galvez, Garret Dillahunt as John Dorie, Austin Amelio as Dwight, Alexa Nisenson as Charlie, Jenna Elfman as Naomi, Karen David as Grace and Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar.

Sunday, May 23 at 09:00-10:00 PM.

Motives are revealed and convictions are tested as our heroes rush to stop Teddy’s plan.

Fear the Walking Dead is starring Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia, Maggie Grace as Althea, Colman Domingo as Victor Strand, Danay Garcia as Luciana Galvez, Garret Dillahunt as John Dorie, Austin Amelio as Dwight, Alexa Nisenson as Charlie, Jenna Elfman as Naomi, Karen David as Grace and Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar.

Sunday, June 6 at 09:00-10:00 PM.


Sweet Tooth

Finally, Robert Downey, Jr., Susan Downey, Jeff Lemire, Jim Mickle, and Nonso Anozie discuss Sweet Tooth in a new featurette.


Banner art by Jim Cook

Advertisement

It’s Official: Mystery Science Theater 3000 Lives Again

Jonah Ray as Jonah Heston

Jonah Ray as Jonah Heston
Image: Satellite of Love LLC

Last month, when MST3K creator Joel Hodgson announced a Kickstarter to fund the cult-favorite show’s 13th season, I guaranteed it would get funded and make its third resurrection. But even I didn’t expect this.

Advertisement

When the new MST Kickstarter closed, it had earned more $6.5 million—not only enough to create a full season of 12 episodes, but so far over the $5.5 million target that Hodgson added a 13th episode to the mix—specifically, a holiday episode, to star the newest poor soul forced to watch bad movies, played by Emily Marsh. Even more excitingly for fans, Hodgson will return to the Satellite of Love as Joel Robinson for the first time since 1993, to host two of the episodes himself.

This means this will be the first time a season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has multiple hosts. Jonah Ray, Hampton Yount (Crow), and Baron Vaughn (Tom Servo) are returning, while Marsh will be joined by Nate Begle as Crow and Conor McGiffen as Servo. Hodgson hasn’t revealed who he’ll be riffing with, but given that J. Elvis Weinstein, the first voice of Tom Servo, is a writer on the show, I suspect he might be picking up the puppet again. If Trace Beaulieu comes back as Crow, it’ll be the perfect reunion, and old-school MST3K fans will likely lose their minds, myself included.

The success of the fundraiser also means the Gizmoplex—the online portal that will host the new episodes, classic episodes, live events, and more—is on the way. One of the season’s 13 episodes will be the show’s first Halloween special, and another will be in 3-D (the classic red-and-blue cardboard glasses kind). Even better, Rifftrax’s Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, all MST3K alums, will be offering some of their riff, uh, tracks on the platform, as well as performing their own live event.

But the best news, at least for fans like myself, is that I don’t have to go through the heartache of seeing the show get canceled for a fourth time. This time, there’s no network involved, and it’s entirely fan-funded. When I talked to Hodgson a few weeks ago, he wasn’t sure if the show would continue via multiple Kickstarters for new seasons, but the fans have proven the audience for the show is still there, and in fact has never left. As I told him, I will happily keep giving him money in exchange for new episodes.

There’s no announced premiere, but the show is already in production, as Hodgson has announced the first two movies that will be mocked in season 13: the 1993 sci-fi bomb Robot Wars and the 2019 supernatural stinker Demon Squad. If you’d like to contribute to Mystery Science Theater 3000‘s 13th season, you can still do so here.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom

Advertisement

Star Wars: The Bad Batch’s Cast and Crew on Omega’s Big Reveal

Welcome to the team, Omega.

Welcome to the team, Omega.
Screenshot: Lucasfilm

One of the most intriguing figures in Star Wars: The Bad Batch’s premiere wasn’t just that surprising cameo. In fact, arguably one of the most interesting additions to the Star Wars prequel canon in years comes in the form of the squad’s newest ally, Omega—and Bad Batch’s crew sees the addition as one of the show’s greatest challenges.

Advertisement

undefined

Ever since Omega was glimpsed in the show’s trailers, fans have speculated just who they could be. Many were right that Omega is indeed a new clone from the same Jango Fett template that the rest of them, including the Bad Batch, were developed from. But what the premiere reveals is that Omega, despite being brought up to believe otherwise, is part of the “Bad Batch” like our titular heroes; it’s just she’s, well… a she. Voiced in the show by Michelle Ang, Omega quickly becomes a driving force. The decision to introduce a female Jango clone wasn’t really at the forefront of producers Jennifer Corbett and Brad Rau’s minds, however. For the duo, it was what Omega represented to the Batch. “Early on in the development, we kept asking ourselves: how we can challenge the Bad Batch, because they are these efficient, skilled elite troopers—and what would really give them trouble along the way? It seemed if we added a child into the mix it would be a sort of fish-out-of-water experience because it’s something they are completely unfamiliar with and don’t know how to deal with,” Corbett told io9 on a recent video call.

That’s not to say Omega’s status as a clone—and specifically like Crosshair, Hunter, Wrecker, and Tech, a “defect” of the Fett template—isn’t an important part of her story. The Bad Batch wants to explore not just the titular squad’s relationship to the Empire, but their relationship to the standard clones that are now its footsoldiers as well, and Omega will play an important part in that parallel. “In terms of her being a clone, it’s really just us expanding on the Batch—in the eyes of the regs, they’re just really seen as these defects. The defective clones in this oddball squad who aren’t really welcomed, because a lot of people don’t really know about it,” Corbett said. “So when they find out there’s another one of them out there and it’s this child who is also considered ‘defective’ and knows what it’s like to be different and not fit in—especially on Kamino—it felt like a bonding kind of moment.”

undefined

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

“It was also fun to show her as this fan of the Batch because she’s looked up to them and heard of them and they are like her,” she added. “It was an interesting dynamic that we got to explore.” A welcome dynamic too, for The Bad Batch’s star: returning Clone Wars and Rebels veteran Dee Bradley Baker, the voice of Captain Rex and the rest of the Grand Army of the Republic, and now approximately 90% of The Bad Batch’s primary cast. “Well, it’s nice to have another member of the ensemble!” Baker joked. “It’s also… it’s a really smart and interesting idea, to add the element of Omega into this story. So it’s not just action and war, but also an experienced grown-up with his own child and interesting capacities, as we start to indicate. So, as with Star Wars—as always—it’s not just these frozen characters, but the dynamic that is playing out: the personal, human story is playing out under the canopy of these greater political, military forces that everyone has to contend with, which are quite profound and dramatic and dire, often.”

“It’s nice that it adds a counterbalancing human element to it, of a personal relationship…to have this little character, Omega, and this A-Team of very different, very independent, improvisational, kind of each-is-his own-warrior kind of team—we have to deal with this sweet, innocent, powerful, capable, smart child,” Baker concluded. “It’s an interesting story choice that I think plays out really beautifully in Bad Batch.”

Advertisement

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is now streaming on Disney+.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

Advertisement

On The Bad Batch, Choosing When to Fight Is a Family Matter

Hunter has made his decision to fight.

Hunter has made his decision to fight.
Screenshot: Lucasfilm

In the age of Star Wars’ Rebellion, deciding whether or not to rise up against the Empire is often seen as a clear-cut decision: will you be a hero, or will you shy away from a duty all good people should aspire to? But in The Bad Batch’s exploration of the Empire’s earliest days, choosing why to fight or not becomes an important question of family.

Advertisement

Illustration for article titled On The Bad Batch, Choosing When to Fight Is a Family Matter

“Cut and Run” explores the decision over whether or not to fight, as the name implies, with a connection to The Bad Batch’s predecessor, The Clone Wars. The titular cut is none other than Cut Lawquane, the clone deserter who appeared in an episode of Clone Wars’ second season. After their flight from Kamino in the season premiere and with Crosshair’s shadow lingering over them, Hunter brings Omega and what’s left of the Batch to Cut and Saleucami to try and gather themselves and figure out their next steps. Alas, as with most places ravaged by the shadow of the Clone War, Saleucami is already home to a heavy Republic—now Imperial—presence, and Hunter’s plans quickly become less about Cut offering the Batch information and supplies, but more of a rescue. Not only do the Batch need to get off-world sharpish, in a regime that tolerates deserters much, much more harshly than the Grand Army of the Republic did, but the rise of the Empire has also now put men like Cut and his family in more danger than they’d bargained for.

Cut is a fascinating thread for Bad Batch to pull on so quickly as a connection to the previous series, even more so than the surprising links “Aftermath” made to the wider canon earlier this week. Not because it’s interested in fannish questions—like, say, Cut’s inhibitor chip (a concept “Cut and Run” is so disinterested in compared to emotional ties that it leaves it off the table entirely)—but because, even if you were unfamiliar with his history, presenting him draws immediate parallels to the Batch, Hunter in particular. Here are our heroes of the tale: two men, two clones, disillusioned with the duty that was once their singular purpose. Now, having exercised their free wills, they put aside that duty after realizing it no longer aligns with their moral cores. Further still: in a time of chaos, they both now have a family to protect, that didn’t get a say in signing up for Star Wars’ ceaseless conflict of good and evil, of rebellion and ruling orders.

Truly, this episode really solidifies that Hunter has become a father figure to Omega, even if not so much by choice but out of a moral duty to protect her the second Kamino became an unsafe haven. It’s his choice to bring them to Cut after all, under the pretense of needing to learn how to stay off their former allies’ radar. And although the episode itself doesn’t interrogate it specifically, it’s hard not to wonder if that is just an excuse (what elite task force doesn’t know how to go on long-term undercover missions?), to both his fellow squadmates and the innocent Omega. So, if not to hunker down with Cut, why are the Batch here? Hunter isn’t on Saleucami for parenting tips, either. Even before the Batch is recruited by Cut and his wife to acquire the Imperial-mandated Chain Codes they need to legally transport their family off-world, it becomes clear that Hunter’s primary drive here is to keep Omega safe—and not in his own care, but with a man he already knows and trusts can look after a family away from the watchful eyes of the former Republic.

Although it’s clear to us, it’s not clear to Omega until the operation to sneak through the Imperial-occupied spaceport and forge chain codes for the Lawquanes that Hunter wants to leave her behind. His decision isn’t one of a particular animus, as he explains to Cut’s wife Suu when he firsts asks the couple to take Omega with them off-world. “It’s what she needs” is his reply when she asks if this is what Hunter wants. But it reads to us that Hunter—faced with an unfamiliar scenario onto the already debilitatingly unfamiliar one of being a renegade—is making the decision with the mind that he’s, in a way, scared to reckon with the responsibility of his sudden parentage. The consideration that this is what Omega herself would want is not on his mind, at first. Nor is the possibility that, as good as his intentions are, uprooting Omega out of the last grasp of familiarity she has from her sheltered life on Kamino and putting her in the hands of the Lawuanes—who are wonderful, but incredibly alien to her—could be just as destabilizing to the child as being with the Batch.

Hunter’s made the decision to fight already and made the decision that Omega cannot fight with them for her, which he sees as an act of love. But it denies her the choice to be with the family that she has found, and in a franchise like Star Wars—where the families our heroes make for themselves is the most powerful unifying force in the cosmos—it’s a decision that, no matter how strongly Hunter feels in the moment, he cannot possibly overcome. That, and Omega is more like the Batch than Hunter knows. When she finds out the plan while it’s underway—and it inevitably goes sideways when the Batch is spotted trying to break their shuttle out of Imperial clamps—Omega makes a decision of her own. After the Lawquanes safely get off-world for (hopefully) a life of peace, she promptly makes her way back to the Batch, joining them as they fight off the Imperial forces at the spaceport to make their escape.

Advertisement

On a solemn trip through hyperspace afterward, she confronts Hunter, apologizing for putting herself in harm’s way, but also making it clear that the choice to stay was hers to make, not his. Their connection—beyond as “defect” clones, as people put in the situation they have been by the Empire—is more than one of circumstance now, but of a found family. It’s a link that cannot easily be so discarded, no matter how good Hunter’s intentions were. But it’s equally clear that in a changing galaxy, going forward that link will be tested, and the Batch and Omega alike have a lot more to learn about themselves, and each other before it can be pushed to its limits in the tales ahead.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

Advertisement

25 Years Ago, Star Trek: Voyager Tackled One of Its Most Infamous Transporter Questions

Tuvix is born.

Tuvix is born.
Screenshot: CBS

Star Trek’s world raises a lot of ethical questions—but its transporter technology has always been one that strikes at some of the most existential. Are we the same people if all our molecules are mapped, broken down, and copied into a different location? What happens if that process is disrupted? And what happens if multiple people go onto a transporter pad, but only one entity gets beamed out? That last one was given an answer in “Tuvix,” the season two episode of Star Trek: Voyager that aired 25 years ago today.

Advertisement

That answer has had fans talking ever since. To surmise “Tuvix” is almost akin to opening with a weird sitcom that transitions into existentialist horror within the space of about five minutes. Vulcan Lieutenant Tuvok (Tim Russ) doesn’t like Voyager chef/Deta Quadrant travel guide Neelix (Ethan Phillips)! One’s taciturn and reserved, the other is gregarious and social! Oh no, they’re going on an away mission together, how will they ever get along? Then, actual oh no: the duo are beamed back from their mission, except only a singular humanoid is standing in front of the dazzled Voyager crew.

Neither Tuvok nor Neelix, yet also both, merged by accident through plant samples they had picked up in their mission to form a new lifeform. The being settles on Tuvix (Tom Wright) for their name.

undefined

Screenshot: CBS

Throughout “Tuvix,” the ethical implications of the titular character’s existence are constantly put forward to the viewer. We’re shown that by embracing and accepting the strengths of the beings that created Tuvix, he can perform their prior duties admirably, and is eager and happy to do so. We’re also shown that Tuvok and Neelix’s friends and colleagues all begin to wrestle with the idea of permanently losing those individuals and that Tuvix’s presence in their lives is an uncomfortable reminder of that loss. But Voyager is a Starfleet crew, and life goes on the way you’d expect it to. Tuvix becomes accepted and respected as a member of the crew over a matter of weeks, while Neelix and Tuvok’s closest colleagues mourn them privately, and Tuvix himself is respectful enough to keep a distance from them in that process. Then suddenly, the episode turns.

Voyager’s doctor (Robert Picardo) has found a way to reverse the transporter accident, and everyone is on board with getting their crewmates back… except, you know, the sentient being created by said transporter accident. Tuvix, of course, does not want to die and is horrified by how quickly and how willing the people who had come to treat him as a colleague were ready to support what tantamounted to execution. It is perhaps a deeply human feeling—the desire to remove what is perceived as the abnormal, for the selfish pleasure of having someone who you knew and loved returned to you. But what perhaps feels so alien to Star Trek is that the response in favor of killing Tuvix is overwhelmingly supported.

undefined

Screenshot: CBS

Advertisement

This is far from the first time a Star Trek story has dealt with the moral complexity of sacrifice—the age-old wisdom of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few. But it’s a peculiar maxim to invoke on the intimate, microscale of Voyager’s unique setting. This is just one ship, smaller than most crews we’d followed at this point, and cut off from the rest of Starfleet. It’s fair to cast them as more of a family than a crew, and those personal feelings may play more of a factor despite Captain Janeway’s (Kate Mulgrew) intent to run a Starfleet vessel, no matter how far from home they are. Janeway’s ultimate decision to bring two crewmates back to life by killing a new one is, in the broadest sense, saying the needs of a plurality outweigh the needs of one. Yet the decision still feels gutwrenching to watch unfold, especially when “Tuvix” uses characters like Kes (played by Jennifer Lien and Neelix’s partner and fellow refugee aboard the ship, embraced as part of the crew as he was) to display Tuvix’s own desire to exist as a sentient being as selfish and unfair—that it is his fault that they are distressed because they now have to, want to, sacrifice his life.

Only one being aboard Voyager, outside of Tuvix, protests Janeway’s choice—the ship’s Doctor, an Emergency Medical Hologram. Janeway overrides him by just simply doing the procedure herself, taking Tuvix to the transporter pads (almost by force, at first, until he finally relents that his last act will be to make the crew feel guilty for their role in his demise) and beginning the process to separate him back into Tuvok and Neelix. What’s wild about “Tuvix” above all however, is that it really just… isn’t addressed again. Voyager’s nature as a largely episodic show, moving from one plot of the week to the next, never really allows its characters a moment to reflect on some of the decisions along the way in their journey. There are no moment years down the line where Janeway turns to her closest friend and advisor and goes “I can’t forget the fact that I killed a man to bring you back to this ship safely.” So the fact that she is left to face the consequences of her actions at the end of the episode, only to never really do that, renders its conclusion perhaps much darker than it was ever intended.

Advertisement

undefined

Screenshot: CBS

It’s that unambiguity that perhaps makes “Tuvix” still so hotly contested two and a half decades later. It was far from the first time, and will not be the last, that we’ve seen Starfleet captains do deeply questionable things in the line of duty—and how Star Trek’s penchant for episodic structure over serialization can sometimes backfire. And yet, perhaps for reasons unintended at the time, “Tuvix” remains as one of the most hotly-debated morality plays the franchise will likely ever do.

Advertisement


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom

Advertisement

2021 Summer TV Preview: All the Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy to Stay at Home With

Vampires, superheroes, supernatural hijinks, interstellar blunders, and... men *and* kids with horns? Oh summer TV, you’re so silly.

Vampires, superheroes, supernatural hijinks, interstellar blunders, and… men *and* kids with horns? Oh summer TV, you’re so silly.
Image: Netflix, HBO Max, Marvel Studios, and CBS

Like the movie industry, the realm of television is still in the process of clawing its way back from covid-related delays. While some new seasons, hiatus returns, and debuts will need a little more time to make it to the airwaves, rest assured there’s still plenty of fresh summer TV on the way.

Advertisement

If you missed our gargantuan summer movie preview, make sure you check that out. TV choices this summer aren’t quite as numerous but that doesn’t mean you’ll be lacking in entertainment options. Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that—also like the movie industry!—all dates here are subject to change, and more titles may be coming that have yet to be announced.


MAY

Nick Zano as Nate Heywood, Shayan Sobhian as Behrad, Jes Macallan as Ava, Lisseth Chavez as Esperanza “Spooner” Cruz and Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory on Legends of Tomorrow.

Nick Zano as Nate Heywood, Shayan Sobhian as Behrad, Jes Macallan as Ava, Lisseth Chavez as Esperanza “Spooner” Cruz and Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory on Legends of Tomorrow.
Photo: The CW

Legends of Tomorrow: The kookiest show in the Arrowverse is already in progress as it returns for its sixth season, which promises all manner of deliciously ridiculous alien hijinks as well as episodes themed around ALF, Clue, and 1990s animated Disney princesses. Check out some thoughts on that revealing premiere here. (May 2 on the CW)

Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Out of the ashes of The Clone Wars comes the next Star Wars animated series, following the titular elite group of genetically enhanced Clone Troopers as the Clone War ends and the Rise of the Empire begins. Our premiere review is already up (plus an interview about that big cameo) but the second episode is already arriving this Friday. (May 4/May 7 on Disney+)

Jupiter’s Legacy: What happens when the world’s superheroes decide it’s time for their kids to step into their shoes… and the younger generation isn’t quite up to the challenge? This adaptation of Mark Millar and Frank Quitely’s comic—with a cast that includes Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels, Leslie Bibb, Elena Kampouris, Andrew Horton, Mike Wade, Matt Lanter, and Ian Quinlan—aims to find out. (May 7 on Netflix)

Mythic Quest: Rob McElhenney’s workplace comedy set at a gaming company returns for its second season, with the characters going back to the office after quarantine to bicker, flirt, scheme, and occasionally work on the expansion of Raven’s Banquet. (May 7 on Apple TV+)

Advertisement

Castlevania: The beloved, bloody animated take on Konami’s supernatural video game franchise returns for a fourth and final season, as the myriad forces at play in the wake of Dracula’s death finally make their plays—with Trevor, Sypha, and Alucard caught in the crossfire. (May 13 on Netflix)

Love, Death, & Robots: The adult animated anthology series, a riff on Heavy Metal, returns for a second season of futuristic, violent, but often darkly humorous short tales. This season draws from stories by Harlan Ellison, John Scalzi, Joe Lansdale, J.G. Ballard, Neal Asher, and others. (May 14 on Netflix)

Advertisement

Superman & Lois: Smallville’s finest are back for the rest of Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch’s debut spinoff series, as the Kent-Lanes still try to balance smalltown life with the stresses that come with being the Last Son of Krypton’s family. (May 18 on the CW).

Camp Cretaceous’ Kenji, Darius, Sammy, Brooklyn, and Yaz.

Camp Cretaceous’ Kenji, Darius, Sammy, Brooklyn, and Yaz.
Image: Netflix

Advertisement

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous: The animated, in-canon extension of the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World universe returns for its third season, with the surviving campers still trapped on Isla Nubar with rampaging dinosaurs, including a new creature that no doubt hopes “screaming teens” is on the menu. (May 21 on Netflix)

Marvel’s MODOK: Patton Oswalt voices the title character of this stop-motion animated series, which follows the giant-headed supervillain as he tries to balance his flailing career with his family life. Other voices include (Aimee Garcia, Ben Schwartz, Melissa Fumero, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Beck Bennett, Jon Daly, Sam Richardson, John Hamm, and Nathan Fillion. (May 21 on Hulu)

Advertisement

Solos: This seven-part anthology series aims to “illuminate the deeper meaning of human connection” with sci-fi and futuristic tales about time travel, intergalactic travel, memory transplants, and more. To go with that high concept comes an all-star cast, including Uzo Aduba, Nicole Beharie, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Anthony Mackie, Helen Mirren, Dan Stevens, and Constance Wu. (May 21 on Amazon)

Rugrats: Nickelodeon’s upcoming Rugrats reboot’s straightforward enough that its new adventures featuring talking babies will strike a nostalgic chord for people who grew up watching the original series. But what’s interesting about the reboot is that while the surviving cast members of the original will all be reprising their roles as Rugrats’ babies, all of the adults are now being voiced by a slew of comedians including Nicole Byer, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, and Timothy Simons. (May 27 on Paramount+)

Advertisement

Lucifer: The supernatural detective-slash-romance series returns for the second half of its fifth season, bringing with it a holy war between Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and his creepy twin brother, Michael (also Tom Ellis). Also, we can finally watch that musical episode the show’s been teasing for ages. (May 28 on Netflix)


JUNE

Lego Masters: The Lego-building team competition returns for a second season, again hosted by Will Arnett. (June 1 on Fox)

Advertisement

Lisey’s Story: Based on the Stephen King novel (King wrote all the episodes) and produced by J.J. Abrams, this miniseries is more “psychological horror” than full-on horror. But still… Stephen King! Julianne Moore stars as the widow of a famous author (Clive Owen) whose past becomes tangled with her present as she’s cleaning out his office. (June 4 on Apple TV+)

Sweet Tooth: Post-apocalyptic stories are usually so downbeat, for obvious reasons, but Sweet Tooth takes the idea of most of the people on the planet dying and gives it a fantastic twist, in more ways than one. It seems that horror may have been caused, or started, by a rise in babies born has hybrids of humans and animals. One such deer boy, the titular character, teams up with a survivor to try and get to the bottom of the mystery. It’s based on the DC comic by Jeff Lemire and produced by Robert Downey Jr. The first trailer blew us away. (June 4 on Netflix)

Advertisement

War of the Worlds: Now in its second season, this “reimagining” of H.G. Wells’ classic alien invasion story is set in present-day Europe and stars Gabriel Byrne, Bayo Gbadamosi, and Daisy Edgar-Jones. (June 6 on Epix)

Wunmi Mosaku (as Hunter B-15) and Owen Wilson (as Mobius) in Marvel and Disney+’s Loki.

Wunmi Mosaku (as Hunter B-15) and Owen Wilson (as Mobius) in Marvel and Disney+’s Loki.
Photo: Chuck Zlotnick

Advertisement

Loki: Marvel’s attempts to dominate the streaming space continue with this post-Endgame Tom Hiddleston vehicle, with the actor portraying the… *checks timelines* Avengers-era version of the titular god of tricks, last seen in Endgame snatching the tesseract out its intended timeline. Naturally, shenanigans like that cause a bit of a temporal mess, and Loki’s been recruited by the Time Variance Authority to help clean up. Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Wunmi Mosaku (Lovecraft Country, His House) also star. (June 9 on Disney+)

Tuca & Bertie: Netflix who? Cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt’s cult-beloved adult animated series has shifted over to Adult Swim for its second season, which promises more hijinks (“Just be warned, you’ll never look at plants the same way again!”) with the best bird friends voiced by Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong. (June 13 on Adult Swim)

Advertisement

Rick and Morty: It’s still incredible that we’re getting a new season of Rick and Morty (the series’ fifth) so soon after the previous season ended (just last year!). As usual, we don’t know much about what to expect from the smartest guy in the universe and his somewhat less-smart family (and their clones, as the case may be), but Hellraiser appears to be involved. (June 20 on Adult Swim)

The Mysterious Benedict Society: Tony Hale and Kristen Schaal head up a cast of mostly young actors in this adventure tale about orphans who must band together at their boarding school to save the world. It’s based on the YA bestseller by Trenton Lee Stewart. (June 25 on Disney+)

Advertisement


JULY

Monsters at Work: Set soon after the events of Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.—when Monstropolis is shifting to being laugh-powered rather than scream-powered—this animated series follows a young mechanic (voiced by Ben Feldman of Mad Men and Superstore fame) who idolizes Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman). (July 2 on Disney+)

Advertisement

Wellington Paranormal: The What We Do in the Shadows spin-off finally arrives for easy stateside viewing. It’s executive produced by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, and follows the two cops seen in the 2014 mockumentary as they investigate paranormal goings-on around Wellington. (July 11 on the CW/HBO Max)

Chip N’ Dale: Park Life: This series of animated shorts follow the chipmunk pals as they cause shenanigans in and around the big-city park they call home. Word is some classic Disney characters, including Pluto and Butch, will show up too. (July 23 on Disney+)

Advertisement

Roswell, New Mexico: The rebooted tale of aliens masquerading as humans (and humans sometimes behaving like monsters) is back for a third season of extraterrestrial intrigue. (July 26 on the CW)

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness: Capcom’s unstoppable action-horror video game/feature film franchise now has its own anime series; it takes place in 2006 and follows the characters of Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield from Resident Evil 2. (July TBD on Netflix)

Advertisement


AUGUST

 Yvette Monreal as Wildcat, Brec Bassinger as Stargirl, Mark Ashworth as Justin, and Cameron Gellman as Hourman in Stargirl season one.

Yvette Monreal as Wildcat, Brec Bassinger as Stargirl, Mark Ashworth as Justin, and Cameron Gellman as Hourman in Stargirl season one.
Photo: The CW

Advertisement

Stargirl: After spending an entire season leading viewers and its titular heroine to believe that Sylvester Pembleton, the original Starman, was dead, Stargirl’s season one finale revealed the DC Comics hero to be alive and well, something that’s sure to cause quite a stir once the surviving members of the Justice Society of America and the Injustice Society of America find out. But along with Pemberton, Stargirl’s set to introduce its takes on classic other classic DC characters like Shade and Eclipso, meaning that when the series returns to the CW for its second season this supper, Starman won’t be alone making waves in Blue Valley, Nebraska. (August 10, the CW)

Riverdale: Riverdale returns to the CW for the rest of season five right where it left off—seven years into a new future where the 20-something crew’s returned to their hometown after having grown apart from one another. Betty, Archie, Jughead, Veronica, Toni, and Cheryl haven’t been able to help themselves from falling back into their messy old ways and finding themselves… right back in high school. But now that they’re the adults in the room, their outlandish approaches to handling life’s issues are likely to have even greater consequences. (August 11, the CW)

Advertisement

Star Trek: Lower Decks: Mike McMahan’s delightful animated exploration of some of Starfleet’s most troublemaking yet heroic ensigns returns for a second season. (August 12, Paramount +)

The Walking Dead: The beginning of the end. After 10 seasons as one of the biggest, most influential shows in the history of television, this year marks the start of the final season of The Walking Dead. Not the franchise, but this original show. And the final season will be split in two, this being the first half. So it’s not like zombie killing on AMC is going way, but the version that got it started is starting to, and it’s sure to be every bit a gross and massive as it’s always been. (August 22, AMC)

Advertisement

Supergirl: Supergirl season six has just one episode before it takes a little break for Kara’s cousin to return to the CW for his family drama. Things have been extremely tense so far with Lena leaving LexCorp as the only way to get back at her evil brother and Supergirl trapped in the Phantom Zone. When the series does return this summer, it’ll be for the last time to wrap up the series as a whole. Though Kara’s friends and family will be by her side as she stands off against her enemies in the series finale, Supergirl’s coming to an end may mean that whatever Kara faces may genuinely have significant consequences for the larger Arrowverse. (August 24, the CW)

Fantasy Island: Yep, it’s a reboot of the 1970s series about an island where guests can test out their fantasies with the help of some magical realism. Roselyn Sanchez stars as Elena Roarke, a descendant of Ricardo Montalbán’s iconic Mr. Roarke on the original series. (August TBD on Fox)

Advertisement


Summer TBD

Chapelwaite: Set in 1850s Maine, this gothic horror series stars Adrien Brody as a widower and Emily Hampshire as an aspiring author who becomes drawn into his spooky family history when she becomes nanny to his children. It’s inspired by Stephen King’s short story Jerusalem’s Lot. (Epix)

Advertisement

Motherland: Fort Salem: This alt-history supernatural drama about militaristic witches who’ve made Salem their power HQ returns for more combat magic, spells, and intense interpersonal conflicts. (Freeform)

So, you turned into a zombie...

So, you turned into a zombie…
Screenshot: Marvel

Advertisement

Marvel’s What If… ?: The beauty of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always been that all the stories count. They’re canon. They happened. But what if, they weren’t? That’s the premise behind this highly anticipated animated series which will take popular Marvel movies and change one big thing about them, and see how it played out. Like what if Peggy Carter became Captain America instead of Steve Rogers? That kind of thing. Almost all of the MCU actors will be lending their voices as well. (Disney+)

Aquaman: King of Atlantis: As part of its larger project of revitalizing Aquaman’s image for a new generation, Warner Bros.’ upcoming Aquaman: King of Atlantis follows Arthur Curry’s adventures as Atlantis’ new king, an authority he isn’t quite sure how to wield beneath the ocean. Though heroism may come naturally to Arthur, Atlantis’ ways don’t always, and it’s only with Mera’s help that he’s able to find his way in the underwater world. (HBO Max)

Advertisement


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

Advertisement

House of the Dragon’s First Images Feature Game of Thrones’ Wigs, Shores, and Intrigue

Targaryens love hanging around beaches, it seems.

Targaryens love hanging around beaches, it seems.
Image: HBO

No dragons included, but, given that Game of Thrones’ first spinoff is about all things Targaryen, they’re not going to be far off.

Advertisement

HBO has released the first official stills from House of the Dragon, the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel. Set 300 years before the events of the landmark series, it follows the earlier generations of House Targaryen’s rule of Westeros—and a bloody civil war between various factions of the family over two young rulers’ claim to the Iron Throne. The pictures include up-close looks at Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith as Princess Rhaenrya and Prince Daemon Targaryen, and Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans as Alicent and Otto Hightower, respectively.

undefined

Image: HBO

Corlys Velaryon, also known as the Sea Snake, is considered one of the most renowned sailors in Westeros, and a crucial ally of House Targaryen as both the husband of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (played by Eve Best in the show) and commander of the largest naval force in the known world.

undefined

Image: HBO

Rhaenyra—be very prepared to be confused by Targaryens and their similar names!—and Daemon Targaryen are crucial members of House of the Dragon’s royal family. Rhaenyra is a powerful dragon rider, and King Viserys I Targaryen’s (Paddy Considine) firstborn child. Daemon meanwhile, is Viserys’ youngest brother, putting him in line for the Iron Throne even above Rhaenrya, given his status as a man. In George R.R. Martin’s extensive history book Fire and Blood however, Daemon sides with his niece to support her claim for the throne in the civil war that becomes known as the Dance of Dragons.

undefined

Image: HBO

Advertisement

Rounding out the first look, Alicent and Otto Hightower. Otto is Alicent’s father, and Viserys’ Hand of the King, previously described by HBO as being deeply suspicious of Daemon and his position as heir to the Iron Throne. Alicent, meanwhile, is described as “the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms” as part of Viserys’ inner circle. Eventually, Alicent becomes Viserys’ second wife, after his first wife Aemma Arryn failed to give the king a male heir.

House of the Dragon is currently filming, and expected to release on HBO Max in 2022.

Advertisement


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom

Advertisement