This Doctor Who Christmas Special Trailer Is Full Of Cryptic Messages And Santa Claus

The closer we get to Christmas, the closer Doctor Who fans get to the real reason they’re excited for the holiday season, the annual Christmas Special. It’s still a few weeks off, but it’s never too early to get excited. If nothing else, Nick Frost plays Santa Claus (or does he?), and that should be a pretty damn good time. And just in case you’re about to burst from having to wait so long, the BBC has released another quick new trailer for the special, full of moody atmosphere and peril.

This is going to be an especially interesting installment to watch, because this is where we’ll finally get answers one way or another about the future of Jenna Louise Coleman’s Clara, the Doctor’s latest travelling companion. Back in August we first heard reports that she might leave the show to pursue other career options. Since then there has been news that she changed her mind and is going to stay, but nothing on this front is definite except the fact that the network came out and said that we’ll find out for sure in this episode. As you know, this particular episode is called “The Last Christmas,” which could very well be an ominous sign in that regard.


Star Wars 7 Reveals New Character Names On These Rad Trading Cards

star warsAs a filmmaker, J.J. Abrams is well known for his “mystery box,” where he keeps any and all details about his films under wraps until the last possible moment. This is, after all, the guy who straight up lied about the identity of Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness. Hell, if he could get away with it, he’d probably release his movies without revealing a single detail. The other day it came out that he didn’t want to put out the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but Disney essentially made him do it. And we all appreciate being throne that bone. We don’t know much about the film aside from that, but now Lucasfilm has unveiled the names of some of the key new characters. This doesn’t tell us anything about who they really are, but now we know what to call them.

There may be some spoilers beyond this point, not really, but you’ve been warned just in case.


This Star Trek Vet Wants To Direct Star Trek 3

RikerWith Roberto Orci recently vacating the director’s chair on Star Trek 3, it leaves a big opening in a valuable franchise, and we expect that there will be a number of high profile filmmakers vying for the job. We’ve heard a few names mentioned as possibilities, but one director, and Star Trek veteran, has thrown his hat into the ring and is going hard for the job. This individual is none other than Jonathan Frakes, better known to some of you as Commander William T. Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation. That certainly would be keeping it in the family.

Talking to KOMO News in Seattle, Frakes said that not only has he already reached out to Paramount Pictures, the home of the rebooted franchise, via his agent. Beyond that, he has also personally contacted producer, and director of the first two installments, J.J. Abrams.


Comic(s) Relief: Wait, Marvel’s Star Wars #1 Has Already Sold How Many Copies?

SW1With new movies in the works and the internet still ga-ga over the Force Awakens trailer, Star Wars is bigger than ever. We’ve still got a long year to wait before we see the franchise return to the big screen, but thankfully there’s still plenty of material to keep us entertained until then. We’ve got the Star Wars Rebels animated series, and we’ve got new Star Wars novels like A New Dawn and Tarkin. Next month a new era of Star Wars kicks off at Marvel Comics, with several series scheduled to premiere in 2015. And it’s gonna be a big one: Marvel has confirmed that Star Wars #1 has already sold one million copies.

That’s a big number, but how significant is it? Well, it makes Star Wars #1 the best-selling single issue of the past 20 years. As a further bit of context, that timeframe very nearly encompasses the entire time Dark Horse was publishing Star Wars comics (they held the license from 1991 – 2014). Now the license has returned to Marvel and it’s riding the crest of renewed Star Wars fervor leading up to the release of The Force Awakens. It’s probably inevitable that the subsequent sales of the series will drop off a bit, but you never know. With the comics now officially unfolding as part of the same canon as the films — a first — fans may be inspired to stick with the Star Wars comics for the long haul.


Harrison Ford Thinks Blade Runner 2 Is The Best Thing He’s Ever Read

Blade RunnerThe idea of Blade Runner 2 is a tricky proposition for most of us, especially happening 30 plus years down the road. It sounds exciting at first, like, “Ooh, more Blade Runner,” but when we start to actually think about what that means all the creeping fears and concerns materialize, and we worry that it will be terrible and taint the legacy of the first film. There’s a script for Blade Runner 2, and apparently at least one key player, Harrison Ford, thinks it’s pretty awesome.

Pumping his latest film, the biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ridley Scott stopped to talk to MTV, and as happens rather frequently, the subject of Blade Runner 2 came up. (So did Prometheus 2, which we’ll get to as well.) Scott confirmed that the screenplay is ready to go, but also reiterated that he’s not going to direct. (Honestly, after watching Exodus, which is a jumbled mess of a movie, and more than anything boring as all hell, this bit of news doesn’t bum me out as much as it did a couple of weeks ago.)


This Is The Future Of Driverless Vehicles

driverless carAs self-driving cars continue to advance and are beginning to appear on roadways for testing, people are starting to come around to the fact that driverless vehicles will soon be a reality. While at first it might seem scary to cede control to a machine, there’s an argument to be made that automated vehicles will perform more consistently than human-driven ones. Every time I bike or drive through Boston traffic, the single scariest aspect I encounter is road-rage, and I’d happily nominate this city’s drivers to turn over the controls to an emotionless computer and object-detecting sensors. Still, the future of self-driving vehicles is difficult to imagine, especially when it comes to its implications, which is why international design firm IDEO recently published a study called “The Future of Automobility,” which combines research and speculation about the future of automated transportation.

IDEO offers three different visions with regards to the future of transit: driverless vehicles, delivery service, and workspaces. The team tried to “take into account business, technology and disability lenses as [they] spot patterns that indicate how things may play out in the future.” One of the points the team makes is that in the future, people may not simply own vehicles—they might instead own access to vehicles. That possibility makes a lot of sense in conjunction with the rise of companies such as Zip Car and Uber. Services that deliver both people and goods will be greatly enhanced. Instead of calling and waiting for a vehicle, they’ll be equipped with software that allows them to process information from texts and calendars to anticipate where customers will be and when. Users will be able to plan everything from a pick-up time and location to the music for the ride.