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LEGO Brawls multiplayer game will unleash brick-based battles

Array ( [post_title] => LEGO Brawls multiplayer game will unleash brick-based battles [post_content] => Rob Leane

Mar 26, 2019

Fancy fighting your mates in a cutesy new battling/building game? The newly announced LEGO Brawls could be for you...

LEGO has teamed up with RED Games to serve up some brick-based multiplayer mayhem with a new video game entitled LEGO Brawls. This was announced yesterday during Apple's big keynote thingie, where the iconic tech manufacturer unveiled a new gaming platform called Apple Arcade, which will step up the video game output across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. 

Not much of the game was revealed during the event: only the title and an image (that we've plonked atop this page), and the fact that LEGO Brawls will launch on Apple Arcade. But a description of the game has since popped up on the official Apple Arcade website, which tells us a little bit more about what LEGO Brawls will be.

"The blocks will fly in this multiplayer brawler set in the LEGO universe", the description tells us. "Players create their own characters, collaborate with teammates to build and control machines, and battle to win." A trailer has also popped up online, showcasing gameplay that draws to mind the chaotic cartoony combat of titles like Super Smash Bros...

To our untrained eyes, as well as seeming like a LEGO take on Smash Bros, this game looks like a mashup between the cutesy appeal of the LEGO franchise and the immense popularity of online multiplayer 'fight with/against your mates' games like Fortnite and Apex Legends.

Apple Arcade is expected to arrive in autumn, and it will be a subscription-based service that will connect you to over a hundred games across all of your Apple devices. As we hear more about the service (especially how much it will cost), we'll be sure to keep you updated. 

The exact release date for LEGO Brawls is yet to be confirmed, but we'd expect to launch around the same time that Apple Arcade goes live.

[post_excerpt] => Rob Leane
Mar 26, 2019

Fancy fighting your mates in a cutesy new battling/building game? The newly announced LEGO Brawls could be for you...

LEGO has teamed up with RED Games to serve up some brick-based multiplayer mayhem with a new video game entitled LEGO Brawls. This was announced yesterday during Apple's big keynote thingie, where the iconic tech manufacturer unveiled a new gaming platform called Apple Arcade, which will step up the video game output across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. 

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Not much of the game was revealed during the event: only the title and an image (that we've plonked atop this page), and the fact that LEGO Brawls will launch on Apple Arcade. But a description of the game has since popped up on the official Apple Arcade website, which tells us a little bit more about what LEGO Brawls will be.

"The blocks will fly in this multiplayer brawler set in the LEGO universe", the description tells us. "Players create their own characters, collaborate with teammates to build and control machines, and battle to win." A trailer has also popped up online, showcasing gameplay that draws to mind the chaotic cartoony combat of titles like Super Smash Bros...

To our untrained eyes, as well as seeming like a LEGO take on Smash Bros, this game looks like a mashup between the cutesy appeal of the LEGO franchise and the immense popularity of online multiplayer 'fight with/against your mates' games like Fortnite and Apex Legends.

Apple Arcade is expected to arrive in autumn, and it will be a subscription-based service that will connect you to over a hundred games across all of your Apple devices. As we hear more about the service (especially how much it will cost), we'll be sure to keep you updated. 

The exact release date for LEGO Brawls is yet to be confirmed, but we'd expect to launch around the same time that Apple Arcade goes live.

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Replacing images : - ON Rob Leane

Mar 26, 2019

Fancy fighting your mates in a cutesy new battling/building game? The newly announced LEGO Brawls could be for you...

LEGO has teamed up with RED Games to serve up some brick-based multiplayer mayhem with a new video game entitled LEGO Brawls. This was announced yesterday during Apple's big keynote thingie, where the iconic tech manufacturer unveiled a new gaming platform called Apple Arcade, which will step up the video game output across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. 

Not much of the game was revealed during the event: only the title and an image (that we've plonked atop this page), and the fact that LEGO Brawls will launch on Apple Arcade. But a description of the game has since popped up on the official Apple Arcade website, which tells us a little bit more about what LEGO Brawls will be.

"The blocks will fly in this multiplayer brawler set in the LEGO universe", the description tells us. "Players create their own characters, collaborate with teammates to build and control machines, and battle to win." A trailer has also popped up online, showcasing gameplay that draws to mind the chaotic cartoony combat of titles like Super Smash Bros...

To our untrained eyes, as well as seeming like a LEGO take on Smash Bros, this game looks like a mashup between the cutesy appeal of the LEGO franchise and the immense popularity of online multiplayer 'fight with/against your mates' games like Fortnite and Apex Legends.

Apple Arcade is expected to arrive in autumn, and it will be a subscription-based service that will connect you to over a hundred games across all of your Apple devices. As we hear more about the service (especially how much it will cost), we'll be sure to keep you updated. 

The exact release date for LEGO Brawls is yet to be confirmed, but we'd expect to launch around the same time that Apple Arcade goes live.

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :LEGO Brawls multiplayer game will unleash brick-based battles

Array ( [post_title] => LEGO Brawls multiplayer game will unleash brick-based battles [post_content] => Rob Leane

Mar 26, 2019

Fancy fighting your mates in a cutesy new battling/building game? The newly announced LEGO Brawls could be for you...

LEGO has teamed up with RED Games to serve up some brick-based multiplayer mayhem with a new video game entitled LEGO Brawls. This was announced yesterday during Apple's big keynote thingie, where the iconic tech manufacturer unveiled a new gaming platform called Apple Arcade, which will step up the video game output across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. 

Not much of the game was revealed during the event: only the title and an image (that we've plonked atop this page), and the fact that LEGO Brawls will launch on Apple Arcade. But a description of the game has since popped up on the official Apple Arcade website, which tells us a little bit more about what LEGO Brawls will be.

"The blocks will fly in this multiplayer brawler set in the LEGO universe", the description tells us. "Players create their own characters, collaborate with teammates to build and control machines, and battle to win." A trailer has also popped up online, showcasing gameplay that draws to mind the chaotic cartoony combat of titles like Super Smash Bros...

To our untrained eyes, as well as seeming like a LEGO take on Smash Bros, this game looks like a mashup between the cutesy appeal of the LEGO franchise and the immense popularity of online multiplayer 'fight with/against your mates' games like Fortnite and Apex Legends.

Apple Arcade is expected to arrive in autumn, and it will be a subscription-based service that will connect you to over a hundred games across all of your Apple devices. As we hear more about the service (especially how much it will cost), we'll be sure to keep you updated. 

The exact release date for LEGO Brawls is yet to be confirmed, but we'd expect to launch around the same time that Apple Arcade goes live.

[post_excerpt] => Rob Leane
Mar 26, 2019

Fancy fighting your mates in a cutesy new battling/building game? The newly announced LEGO Brawls could be for you...

LEGO has teamed up with RED Games to serve up some brick-based multiplayer mayhem with a new video game entitled LEGO Brawls. This was announced yesterday during Apple's big keynote thingie, where the iconic tech manufacturer unveiled a new gaming platform called Apple Arcade, which will step up the video game output across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. 

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Not much of the game was revealed during the event: only the title and an image (that we've plonked atop this page), and the fact that LEGO Brawls will launch on Apple Arcade. But a description of the game has since popped up on the official Apple Arcade website, which tells us a little bit more about what LEGO Brawls will be.

"The blocks will fly in this multiplayer brawler set in the LEGO universe", the description tells us. "Players create their own characters, collaborate with teammates to build and control machines, and battle to win." A trailer has also popped up online, showcasing gameplay that draws to mind the chaotic cartoony combat of titles like Super Smash Bros...

To our untrained eyes, as well as seeming like a LEGO take on Smash Bros, this game looks like a mashup between the cutesy appeal of the LEGO franchise and the immense popularity of online multiplayer 'fight with/against your mates' games like Fortnite and Apex Legends.

Apple Arcade is expected to arrive in autumn, and it will be a subscription-based service that will connect you to over a hundred games across all of your Apple devices. As we hear more about the service (especially how much it will cost), we'll be sure to keep you updated. 

The exact release date for LEGO Brawls is yet to be confirmed, but we'd expect to launch around the same time that Apple Arcade goes live.

[post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 10:50:59 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 12:50:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-26 10:50:59 [post_modified] => 2019-03-26 12:50:59 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [guid] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/go/64270 [meta] => Array ( [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => ) [syndication_source] => Featured Articles [syndication_source_uri] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/feeds/all [syndication_source_id] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed_id] => 3 [syndication_permalink] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/games/lego-brawls/64270/lego-brawls-multiplayer-game-will-unleash-brick-based-battles [syndication_item_hash] => Array ( [0] => b84a63a31304484f8bef4ed924c3ec6b [1] => 4e38a4390c969ff200bf0d63db9a6c8e [2] => 9b3cb680d61d19c64325c7706365ab22 ) [faf_featured_image] => 543491 [faf_process_image] => 543491 ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 543 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( [0] => 21 [1] => 15 ) [post_tag] => Array ( [0] => 2438 ) [post_format] => Array ( [0] => 2439 ) ) [post_name] => lego-brawls-multiplayer-game-will-unleash-brick-based-battles-2 )

FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

Array ( [post_title] => The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections [post_content] => James Hunt

Mar 26, 2019

We look back at Marvel's Phase Two opener and perhaps the MCU's most divisive entry – and we're firmly in the 'love it' camp...

This article contains spoilers for Iron Man 3 and the wider MCU.

Following up Avengers Assemble was always going to be a tricky job, but Iron Man 3 was more than up to the job. Although its audacious plot twist and hyper-irreverent tone sharply divided fans, director Shane Black (who'd previously worked with Robert Downey Jr on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and writer Drew Pearce turned out an idiosyncratic, genre-savvy script that blew away any lingering cobwebs that remained around the franchise following Iron Man 2. To date, we reckon there’s not a bad threequel in the MCU – and this is the one that kicked off that trend.

The Iron Man franchise has always enjoyed amazing chemistry between its leads, so in addition to Robert Downey Jr returning as Tony Stark, we’re treated to Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle back as James Rhodes (aka War Machine, aka the Iron Patriot). Guy Pearce is suitably creepy as Aldrich Killian (boy, there’s a name) and while Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen is sadly underused, you can easily buy her as someone brilliant enough to draw Stark’s eye.

In fact, there’s not a weak performance in the movie and certainly, the main cast is filled with actors (and characters) you could watch again and again. Sir Ben Kingsley is clearly having the absolute time of his life as disgraced luvvie Trevor Slattery, and so are we every moment he’s on-screen.

We’ve spoken before about the many things that make Iron Man 3 great: a story rooted in character yet rich in theme. A twist so sharp it’ll leave you stunned that they ever went there. More overt comedy than any MCU movie at the time had ever gone for. Meanwhile, the action scenes are still some of the best in the franchise. Do you like Iron Men? Well if not, you’re in the wrong franchise. For the rest of us: there are armours, and lots of them.

There’s a tonne packed into the film's running time, and yet it still delivers on all its promises. With Avengers Assemble having set the bar for an MCU movie unreachably high, Iron Man 3 wisely takes its cues from the events of that movie, building off the enthusiasm of moviegoers while telling a personal story that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of Captain America (except in the sense that all movies would benefit from the inclusion of Captain America).

It’s arguably the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave some extra space to a director to really put their stamp on the franchise. With the possible exception of Joss Whedon, everyone else seemed to be on a tight set of reins. Here, though, there’s no mistaking that it’s a Shane Black movie –right down to the Christmas-for-some-reason trope. For a studio often criticised for sanding directors down until they’re completely unrecognisable, Marvel Studios undoubtedly gave Black the leeway he needed to succeed.

Ultimately, Iron Man 3 works because it does actually provide a conclusive narrative arc for the story begun in Iron Man. If you only watch Iron Man, IM2 and IM3, you’ve got a story. Sure, it’s a story with a major narrative beat happening off-screen in a team-up movie, but the core journey – of Tony and Pepper, of Stark saving the world and himself, of Tony realising that he doesn’t need Iron Man, he is Iron Man – it all tracks. If RDJ had ridden off into the sunset after this film ended we’d have been upset, but it wouldn't have felt like unfinished business.

Standout scene: Take your pick! The “barrel of monkeys” rescue sequence has a claim for being Iron Man’s definitive hero moment, made no less impressive by the reveal that Tony isn’t even in the suit at the time. Iron Man fans are spoilt for choice during the Iron Legion sequence, which shows you around 40 amazing armour designs fighting it out at once. However, the real star has to be the Trevor Slattery reveal, which remains one of the most audacious things the MCU has ever done. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the entire film turns on this brilliantly-executed twist.

Best quip: “Dads leave. No need to be a pussy about it.” Like most of Shane Black’s scripts, the fun is in quickfire back-and-forth rather than one-liners, but this line (from Tony to Ty Simpkins' Harvey) works on multiple levels. At face value, it demolishes the classic superhero parental issues trope. On another level, it exposing Stark’s own unresolved daddy issues. And on a third level, it brings you the hilarious character moment of Tony being unable to turn off his famous snark even when he’s dealing with kids. And if you’re thinking: “You got all that from one line?” Well, yes. This is why we love it.

First appearances: Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery, who admittedly only comes back once more in a Marvel One-Shot where he’s being interviewed about his role in the events of Iron Man 3. But what a character.

So long, farewell: Rest in peace Aldrich Killian, aka the Mandarin, killed by an Extremis-powered Pepper Potts in a moment that gets us excited for the possibility of her finally getting her own suit of armour in Avengers: Endgame. And also RIP Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, who should have been the main villain of the piece (comic fans, go check Hall out in the fantastic Professor Marston And The Wonder Women). We also wish to lament the Iron Patriot armour, which remains surprisingly cool (though not as cool as War Machine) and all those other really awesome-looking Iron Man armours. So long, Red Snapper, we hardly knew ye.

And finally, let’s not forget to say a proper goodbye to Tony’s arc-reactor heart, which was finally fixed at the end of this movie thus bringing the trilogy and his character arc to a meaningful close. Tony Stark himself will return in… well, lots more movies since.

It’s all connected: Aside from the obvious callbacks to Avengers Assemble's Battle Of New York, which is responsible for Tony's PTSD, there are a few other MCU references...

• In the opening flashback sequence, Tony brushes off Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub) so that he can swan off with Maya Hansen, little knowing that the guy will one day help save his life and build the original Iron Man armour with him, as seen in Iron Man.

• The Mandarin – or rather, Trevor Slattery – has a tattoo of Captain America’s shield on the back of his neck, only instead of a star there’s an “A” for anarchy. It’s all part of the character.

• The accountant that Slattery murders on live TV works for Roxxon – first referenced in the original Iron Man movie but a fairly hefty part of the MCU in general, especially when it comes to the TV shows. They are what people in the biz call “legally distinct” from Exxon.

Credit check: Anyone sitting around after the final shot of the movie gets to see some fantastic end credits, showcasing key moments from the entire Iron Man trilogy with Brian Tyler’s 70s-influenced theme Can You Dig It? over the top, and that’s enough of a treat in its own right. But wait even longer and you get the reveal that the person Tony has been narrating this movie to is none other than Bruce Banner, Tony’s one true science bro from Avengers and the first hint we’ve had that the team are still hanging out in their downtime. Bruce’s protest at being used as a therapist – “I’m not that kind of doctor!” – falls on deaf ears. The science bros will reunite in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Are you a fan of Iron Man 3? Are there any other aspects of it that you love, or anything that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

 Get Iron Man 1-3 Complete Collection on DVD for £21.65

[post_excerpt] => James Hunt
Mar 26, 2019

We look back at Marvel's Phase Two opener and perhaps the MCU's most divisive entry – and we're firmly in the 'love it' camp...

This article contains spoilers for Iron Man 3 and the wider MCU.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Following up Avengers Assemble was always going to be a tricky job, but Iron Man 3 was more than up to the job. Although its audacious plot twist and hyper-irreverent tone sharply divided fans, director Shane Black (who'd previously worked with Robert Downey Jr on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and writer Drew Pearce turned out an idiosyncratic, genre-savvy script that blew away any lingering cobwebs that remained around the franchise following Iron Man 2. To date, we reckon there’s not a bad threequel in the MCU – and this is the one that kicked off that trend.

The Iron Man franchise has always enjoyed amazing chemistry between its leads, so in addition to Robert Downey Jr returning as Tony Stark, we’re treated to Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle back as James Rhodes (aka War Machine, aka the Iron Patriot). Guy Pearce is suitably creepy as Aldrich Killian (boy, there’s a name) and while Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen is sadly underused, you can easily buy her as someone brilliant enough to draw Stark’s eye.

In fact, there’s not a weak performance in the movie and certainly, the main cast is filled with actors (and characters) you could watch again and again. Sir Ben Kingsley is clearly having the absolute time of his life as disgraced luvvie Trevor Slattery, and so are we every moment he’s on-screen.

We’ve spoken before about the many things that make Iron Man 3 great: a story rooted in character yet rich in theme. A twist so sharp it’ll leave you stunned that they ever went there. More overt comedy than any MCU movie at the time had ever gone for. Meanwhile, the action scenes are still some of the best in the franchise. Do you like Iron Men? Well if not, you’re in the wrong franchise. For the rest of us: there are armours, and lots of them.

There’s a tonne packed into the film's running time, and yet it still delivers on all its promises. With Avengers Assemble having set the bar for an MCU movie unreachably high, Iron Man 3 wisely takes its cues from the events of that movie, building off the enthusiasm of moviegoers while telling a personal story that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of Captain America (except in the sense that all movies would benefit from the inclusion of Captain America).

It’s arguably the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave some extra space to a director to really put their stamp on the franchise. With the possible exception of Joss Whedon, everyone else seemed to be on a tight set of reins. Here, though, there’s no mistaking that it’s a Shane Black movie –right down to the Christmas-for-some-reason trope. For a studio often criticised for sanding directors down until they’re completely unrecognisable, Marvel Studios undoubtedly gave Black the leeway he needed to succeed.

Ultimately, Iron Man 3 works because it does actually provide a conclusive narrative arc for the story begun in Iron Man. If you only watch Iron Man, IM2 and IM3, you’ve got a story. Sure, it’s a story with a major narrative beat happening off-screen in a team-up movie, but the core journey – of Tony and Pepper, of Stark saving the world and himself, of Tony realising that he doesn’t need Iron Man, he is Iron Man – it all tracks. If RDJ had ridden off into the sunset after this film ended we’d have been upset, but it wouldn't have felt like unfinished business.

Standout scene: Take your pick! The “barrel of monkeys” rescue sequence has a claim for being Iron Man’s definitive hero moment, made no less impressive by the reveal that Tony isn’t even in the suit at the time. Iron Man fans are spoilt for choice during the Iron Legion sequence, which shows you around 40 amazing armour designs fighting it out at once. However, the real star has to be the Trevor Slattery reveal, which remains one of the most audacious things the MCU has ever done. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the entire film turns on this brilliantly-executed twist.

Best quip: “Dads leave. No need to be a pussy about it.” Like most of Shane Black’s scripts, the fun is in quickfire back-and-forth rather than one-liners, but this line (from Tony to Ty Simpkins' Harvey) works on multiple levels. At face value, it demolishes the classic superhero parental issues trope. On another level, it exposing Stark’s own unresolved daddy issues. And on a third level, it brings you the hilarious character moment of Tony being unable to turn off his famous snark even when he’s dealing with kids. And if you’re thinking: “You got all that from one line?” Well, yes. This is why we love it.

First appearances: Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery, who admittedly only comes back once more in a Marvel One-Shot where he’s being interviewed about his role in the events of Iron Man 3. But what a character.

So long, farewell: Rest in peace Aldrich Killian, aka the Mandarin, killed by an Extremis-powered Pepper Potts in a moment that gets us excited for the possibility of her finally getting her own suit of armour in Avengers: Endgame. And also RIP Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, who should have been the main villain of the piece (comic fans, go check Hall out in the fantastic Professor Marston And The Wonder Women). We also wish to lament the Iron Patriot armour, which remains surprisingly cool (though not as cool as War Machine) and all those other really awesome-looking Iron Man armours. So long, Red Snapper, we hardly knew ye.

And finally, let’s not forget to say a proper goodbye to Tony’s arc-reactor heart, which was finally fixed at the end of this movie thus bringing the trilogy and his character arc to a meaningful close. Tony Stark himself will return in… well, lots more movies since.

It’s all connected: Aside from the obvious callbacks to Avengers Assemble's Battle Of New York, which is responsible for Tony's PTSD, there are a few other MCU references...

• In the opening flashback sequence, Tony brushes off Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub) so that he can swan off with Maya Hansen, little knowing that the guy will one day help save his life and build the original Iron Man armour with him, as seen in Iron Man.

• The Mandarin – or rather, Trevor Slattery – has a tattoo of Captain America’s shield on the back of his neck, only instead of a star there’s an “A” for anarchy. It’s all part of the character.

• The accountant that Slattery murders on live TV works for Roxxon – first referenced in the original Iron Man movie but a fairly hefty part of the MCU in general, especially when it comes to the TV shows. They are what people in the biz call “legally distinct” from Exxon.

Credit check: Anyone sitting around after the final shot of the movie gets to see some fantastic end credits, showcasing key moments from the entire Iron Man trilogy with Brian Tyler’s 70s-influenced theme Can You Dig It? over the top, and that’s enough of a treat in its own right. But wait even longer and you get the reveal that the person Tony has been narrating this movie to is none other than Bruce Banner, Tony’s one true science bro from Avengers and the first hint we’ve had that the team are still hanging out in their downtime. Bruce’s protest at being used as a therapist – “I’m not that kind of doctor!” – falls on deaf ears. The science bros will reunite in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Are you a fan of Iron Man 3? Are there any other aspects of it that you love, or anything that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

 Get Iron Man 1-3 Complete Collection on DVD for £21.65

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Mar 26, 2019

We look back at Marvel's Phase Two opener and perhaps the MCU's most divisive entry – and we're firmly in the 'love it' camp...

This article contains spoilers for Iron Man 3 and the wider MCU.

Following up Avengers Assemble was always going to be a tricky job, but Iron Man 3 was more than up to the job. Although its audacious plot twist and hyper-irreverent tone sharply divided fans, director Shane Black (who'd previously worked with Robert Downey Jr on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and writer Drew Pearce turned out an idiosyncratic, genre-savvy script that blew away any lingering cobwebs that remained around the franchise following Iron Man 2. To date, we reckon there’s not a bad threequel in the MCU – and this is the one that kicked off that trend.

The Iron Man franchise has always enjoyed amazing chemistry between its leads, so in addition to Robert Downey Jr returning as Tony Stark, we’re treated to Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle back as James Rhodes (aka War Machine, aka the Iron Patriot). Guy Pearce is suitably creepy as Aldrich Killian (boy, there’s a name) and while Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen is sadly underused, you can easily buy her as someone brilliant enough to draw Stark’s eye.

In fact, there’s not a weak performance in the movie and certainly, the main cast is filled with actors (and characters) you could watch again and again. Sir Ben Kingsley is clearly having the absolute time of his life as disgraced luvvie Trevor Slattery, and so are we every moment he’s on-screen.

We’ve spoken before about the many things that make Iron Man 3 great: a story rooted in character yet rich in theme. A twist so sharp it’ll leave you stunned that they ever went there. More overt comedy than any MCU movie at the time had ever gone for. Meanwhile, the action scenes are still some of the best in the franchise. Do you like Iron Men? Well if not, you’re in the wrong franchise. For the rest of us: there are armours, and lots of them.

There’s a tonne packed into the film's running time, and yet it still delivers on all its promises. With Avengers Assemble having set the bar for an MCU movie unreachably high, Iron Man 3 wisely takes its cues from the events of that movie, building off the enthusiasm of moviegoers while telling a personal story that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of Captain America (except in the sense that all movies would benefit from the inclusion of Captain America).

It’s arguably the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave some extra space to a director to really put their stamp on the franchise. With the possible exception of Joss Whedon, everyone else seemed to be on a tight set of reins. Here, though, there’s no mistaking that it’s a Shane Black movie –right down to the Christmas-for-some-reason trope. For a studio often criticised for sanding directors down until they’re completely unrecognisable, Marvel Studios undoubtedly gave Black the leeway he needed to succeed.

Ultimately, Iron Man 3 works because it does actually provide a conclusive narrative arc for the story begun in Iron Man. If you only watch Iron Man, IM2 and IM3, you’ve got a story. Sure, it’s a story with a major narrative beat happening off-screen in a team-up movie, but the core journey – of Tony and Pepper, of Stark saving the world and himself, of Tony realising that he doesn’t need Iron Man, he is Iron Man – it all tracks. If RDJ had ridden off into the sunset after this film ended we’d have been upset, but it wouldn't have felt like unfinished business.

Standout scene: Take your pick! The “barrel of monkeys” rescue sequence has a claim for being Iron Man’s definitive hero moment, made no less impressive by the reveal that Tony isn’t even in the suit at the time. Iron Man fans are spoilt for choice during the Iron Legion sequence, which shows you around 40 amazing armour designs fighting it out at once. However, the real star has to be the Trevor Slattery reveal, which remains one of the most audacious things the MCU has ever done. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the entire film turns on this brilliantly-executed twist.

Best quip: “Dads leave. No need to be a pussy about it.” Like most of Shane Black’s scripts, the fun is in quickfire back-and-forth rather than one-liners, but this line (from Tony to Ty Simpkins' Harvey) works on multiple levels. At face value, it demolishes the classic superhero parental issues trope. On another level, it exposing Stark’s own unresolved daddy issues. And on a third level, it brings you the hilarious character moment of Tony being unable to turn off his famous snark even when he’s dealing with kids. And if you’re thinking: “You got all that from one line?” Well, yes. This is why we love it.

First appearances: Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery, who admittedly only comes back once more in a Marvel One-Shot where he’s being interviewed about his role in the events of Iron Man 3. But what a character.

So long, farewell: Rest in peace Aldrich Killian, aka the Mandarin, killed by an Extremis-powered Pepper Potts in a moment that gets us excited for the possibility of her finally getting her own suit of armour in Avengers: Endgame. And also RIP Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, who should have been the main villain of the piece (comic fans, go check Hall out in the fantastic Professor Marston And The Wonder Women). We also wish to lament the Iron Patriot armour, which remains surprisingly cool (though not as cool as War Machine) and all those other really awesome-looking Iron Man armours. So long, Red Snapper, we hardly knew ye.

And finally, let’s not forget to say a proper goodbye to Tony’s arc-reactor heart, which was finally fixed at the end of this movie thus bringing the trilogy and his character arc to a meaningful close. Tony Stark himself will return in… well, lots more movies since.

It’s all connected: Aside from the obvious callbacks to Avengers Assemble's Battle Of New York, which is responsible for Tony's PTSD, there are a few other MCU references...

• In the opening flashback sequence, Tony brushes off Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub) so that he can swan off with Maya Hansen, little knowing that the guy will one day help save his life and build the original Iron Man armour with him, as seen in Iron Man.

• The Mandarin – or rather, Trevor Slattery – has a tattoo of Captain America’s shield on the back of his neck, only instead of a star there’s an “A” for anarchy. It’s all part of the character.

• The accountant that Slattery murders on live TV works for Roxxon – first referenced in the original Iron Man movie but a fairly hefty part of the MCU in general, especially when it comes to the TV shows. They are what people in the biz call “legally distinct” from Exxon.

Credit check: Anyone sitting around after the final shot of the movie gets to see some fantastic end credits, showcasing key moments from the entire Iron Man trilogy with Brian Tyler’s 70s-influenced theme Can You Dig It? over the top, and that’s enough of a treat in its own right. But wait even longer and you get the reveal that the person Tony has been narrating this movie to is none other than Bruce Banner, Tony’s one true science bro from Avengers and the first hint we’ve had that the team are still hanging out in their downtime. Bruce’s protest at being used as a therapist – “I’m not that kind of doctor!” – falls on deaf ears. The science bros will reunite in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Are you a fan of Iron Man 3? Are there any other aspects of it that you love, or anything that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

 Get Iron Man 1-3 Complete Collection on DVD for £21.65

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Mar 26, 2019

We look back at Marvel's Phase Two opener and perhaps the MCU's most divisive entry – and we're firmly in the 'love it' camp...

The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

This article contains spoilers for Iron Man 3 and the wider MCU.

Following up Avengers Assemble was always going to be a tricky job, but Iron Man 3 was more than up to the job. Although its audacious plot twist and hyper-irreverent tone sharply divided fans, director Shane Black (who'd previously worked with Robert Downey Jr on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and writer Drew Pearce turned out an idiosyncratic, genre-savvy script that blew away any lingering cobwebs that remained around the franchise following Iron Man 2. To date, we reckon there’s not a bad threequel in the MCU – and this is the one that kicked off that trend.

The Iron Man franchise has always enjoyed amazing chemistry between its leads, so in addition to Robert Downey Jr returning as Tony Stark, we’re treated to Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle back as James Rhodes (aka War Machine, aka the Iron Patriot). Guy Pearce is suitably creepy as Aldrich Killian (boy, there’s a name) and while Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen is sadly underused, you can easily buy her as someone brilliant enough to draw Stark’s eye.

In fact, there’s not a weak performance in the movie and certainly, the main cast is filled with actors (and characters) you could watch again and again. Sir Ben Kingsley is clearly having the absolute time of his life as disgraced luvvie Trevor Slattery, and so are we every moment he’s on-screen.

We’ve spoken before about the many things that make Iron Man 3 great: a story rooted in character yet rich in theme. A twist so sharp it’ll leave you stunned that they ever went there. More overt comedy than any MCU movie at the time had ever gone for. Meanwhile, the action scenes are still some of the best in the franchise. Do you like Iron Men? Well if not, you’re in the wrong franchise. For the rest of us: there are armours, and lots of them.

There’s a tonne packed into the film's running time, and yet it still delivers on all its promises. With Avengers Assemble having set the bar for an MCU movie unreachably high, Iron Man 3 wisely takes its cues from the events of that movie, building off the enthusiasm of moviegoers while telling a personal story that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of Captain America (except in the sense that all movies would benefit from the inclusion of Captain America).

It’s arguably the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave some extra space to a director to really put their stamp on the franchise. With the possible exception of Joss Whedon, everyone else seemed to be on a tight set of reins. Here, though, there’s no mistaking that it’s a Shane Black movie –right down to the Christmas-for-some-reason trope. For a studio often criticised for sanding directors down until they’re completely unrecognisable, Marvel Studios undoubtedly gave Black the leeway he needed to succeed.

Ultimately, Iron Man 3 works because it does actually provide a conclusive narrative arc for the story begun in Iron Man. If you only watch Iron Man, IM2 and IM3, you’ve got a story. Sure, it’s a story with a major narrative beat happening off-screen in a team-up movie, but the core journey – of Tony and Pepper, of Stark saving the world and himself, of Tony realising that he doesn’t need Iron Man, he is Iron Man – it all tracks. If RDJ had ridden off into the sunset after this film ended we’d have been upset, but it wouldn't have felt like unfinished business.

Standout scene: Take your pick! The “barrel of monkeys” rescue sequence has a claim for being Iron Man’s definitive hero moment, made no less impressive by the reveal that Tony isn’t even in the suit at the time. Iron Man fans are spoilt for choice during the Iron Legion sequence, which shows you around 40 amazing armour designs fighting it out at once. However, the real star has to be the Trevor Slattery reveal, which remains one of the most audacious things the MCU has ever done. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the entire film turns on this brilliantly-executed twist.

Best quip: “Dads leave. No need to be a pussy about it.” Like most of Shane Black’s scripts, the fun is in quickfire back-and-forth rather than one-liners, but this line (from Tony to Ty Simpkins' Harvey) works on multiple levels. At face value, it demolishes the classic superhero parental issues trope. On another level, it exposing Stark’s own unresolved daddy issues. And on a third level, it brings you the hilarious character moment of Tony being unable to turn off his famous snark even when he’s dealing with kids. And if you’re thinking: “You got all that from one line?” Well, yes. This is why we love it.

First appearances: Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery, who admittedly only comes back once more in a Marvel One-Shot where he’s being interviewed about his role in the events of Iron Man 3. But what a character.

So long, farewell: Rest in peace Aldrich Killian, aka the Mandarin, killed by an Extremis-powered Pepper Potts in a moment that gets us excited for the possibility of her finally getting her own suit of armour in Avengers: Endgame. And also RIP Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, who should have been the main villain of the piece (comic fans, go check Hall out in the fantastic Professor Marston And The Wonder Women). We also wish to lament the Iron Patriot armour, which remains surprisingly cool (though not as cool as War Machine) and all those other really awesome-looking Iron Man armours. So long, Red Snapper, we hardly knew ye.

And finally, let’s not forget to say a proper goodbye to Tony’s arc-reactor heart, which was finally fixed at the end of this movie thus bringing the trilogy and his character arc to a meaningful close. Tony Stark himself will return in… well, lots more movies since.

It’s all connected: Aside from the obvious callbacks to Avengers Assemble's Battle Of New York, which is responsible for Tony's PTSD, there are a few other MCU references...

• In the opening flashback sequence, Tony brushes off Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub) so that he can swan off with Maya Hansen, little knowing that the guy will one day help save his life and build the original Iron Man armour with him, as seen in Iron Man.

• The Mandarin – or rather, Trevor Slattery – has a tattoo of Captain America’s shield on the back of his neck, only instead of a star there’s an “A” for anarchy. It’s all part of the character.

• The accountant that Slattery murders on live TV works for Roxxon – first referenced in the original Iron Man movie but a fairly hefty part of the MCU in general, especially when it comes to the TV shows. They are what people in the biz call “legally distinct” from Exxon.

Credit check: Anyone sitting around after the final shot of the movie gets to see some fantastic end credits, showcasing key moments from the entire Iron Man trilogy with Brian Tyler’s 70s-influenced theme Can You Dig It? over the top, and that’s enough of a treat in its own right. But wait even longer and you get the reveal that the person Tony has been narrating this movie to is none other than Bruce Banner, Tony’s one true science bro from Avengers and the first hint we’ve had that the team are still hanging out in their downtime. Bruce’s protest at being used as a therapist – “I’m not that kind of doctor!” – falls on deaf ears. The science bros will reunite in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Are you a fan of Iron Man 3? Are there any other aspects of it that you love, or anything that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

 Get Iron Man 1-3 Complete Collection on DVD for £21.65

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Mar 26, 2019

We look back at Marvel's Phase Two opener and perhaps the MCU's most divisive entry – and we're firmly in the 'love it' camp...

The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

This article contains spoilers for Iron Man 3 and the wider MCU.

Following up Avengers Assemble was always going to be a tricky job, but Iron Man 3 was more than up to the job. Although its audacious plot twist and hyper-irreverent tone sharply divided fans, director Shane Black (who'd previously worked with Robert Downey Jr on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and writer Drew Pearce turned out an idiosyncratic, genre-savvy script that blew away any lingering cobwebs that remained around the franchise following Iron Man 2. To date, we reckon there’s not a bad threequel in the MCU – and this is the one that kicked off that trend.

The Iron Man franchise has always enjoyed amazing chemistry between its leads, so in addition to Robert Downey Jr returning as Tony Stark, we’re treated to Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle back as James Rhodes (aka War Machine, aka the Iron Patriot). Guy Pearce is suitably creepy as Aldrich Killian (boy, there’s a name) and while Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen is sadly underused, you can easily buy her as someone brilliant enough to draw Stark’s eye.

In fact, there’s not a weak performance in the movie and certainly, the main cast is filled with actors (and characters) you could watch again and again. Sir Ben Kingsley is clearly having the absolute time of his life as disgraced luvvie Trevor Slattery, and so are we every moment he’s on-screen.

We’ve spoken before about the many things that make Iron Man 3 great: a story rooted in character yet rich in theme. A twist so sharp it’ll leave you stunned that they ever went there. More overt comedy than any MCU movie at the time had ever gone for. Meanwhile, the action scenes are still some of the best in the franchise. Do you like Iron Men? Well if not, you’re in the wrong franchise. For the rest of us: there are armours, and lots of them.

There’s a tonne packed into the film's running time, and yet it still delivers on all its promises. With Avengers Assemble having set the bar for an MCU movie unreachably high, Iron Man 3 wisely takes its cues from the events of that movie, building off the enthusiasm of moviegoers while telling a personal story that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of Captain America (except in the sense that all movies would benefit from the inclusion of Captain America).

The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

It’s arguably the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave some extra space to a director to really put their stamp on the franchise. With the possible exception of Joss Whedon, everyone else seemed to be on a tight set of reins. Here, though, there’s no mistaking that it’s a Shane Black movie –right down to the Christmas-for-some-reason trope. For a studio often criticised for sanding directors down until they’re completely unrecognisable, Marvel Studios undoubtedly gave Black the leeway he needed to succeed.

Ultimately, Iron Man 3 works because it does actually provide a conclusive narrative arc for the story begun in Iron Man. If you only watch Iron Man, IM2 and IM3, you’ve got a story. Sure, it’s a story with a major narrative beat happening off-screen in a team-up movie, but the core journey – of Tony and Pepper, of Stark saving the world and himself, of Tony realising that he doesn’t need Iron Man, he is Iron Man – it all tracks. If RDJ had ridden off into the sunset after this film ended we’d have been upset, but it wouldn't have felt like unfinished business.

Standout scene: Take your pick! The “barrel of monkeys” rescue sequence has a claim for being Iron Man’s definitive hero moment, made no less impressive by the reveal that Tony isn’t even in the suit at the time. Iron Man fans are spoilt for choice during the Iron Legion sequence, which shows you around 40 amazing armour designs fighting it out at once. However, the real star has to be the Trevor Slattery reveal, which remains one of the most audacious things the MCU has ever done. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the entire film turns on this brilliantly-executed twist.

Best quip: “Dads leave. No need to be a pussy about it.” Like most of Shane Black’s scripts, the fun is in quickfire back-and-forth rather than one-liners, but this line (from Tony to Ty Simpkins' Harvey) works on multiple levels. At face value, it demolishes the classic superhero parental issues trope. On another level, it exposing Stark’s own unresolved daddy issues. And on a third level, it brings you the hilarious character moment of Tony being unable to turn off his famous snark even when he’s dealing with kids. And if you’re thinking: “You got all that from one line?” Well, yes. This is why we love it.

First appearances: Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery, who admittedly only comes back once more in a Marvel One-Shot where he’s being interviewed about his role in the events of Iron Man 3. But what a character.

So long, farewell: Rest in peace Aldrich Killian, aka the Mandarin, killed by an Extremis-powered Pepper Potts in a moment that gets us excited for the possibility of her finally getting her own suit of armour in Avengers: Endgame. And also RIP Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, who should have been the main villain of the piece (comic fans, go check Hall out in the fantastic Professor Marston And The Wonder Women). We also wish to lament the Iron Patriot armour, which remains surprisingly cool (though not as cool as War Machine) and all those other really awesome-looking Iron Man armours. So long, Red Snapper, we hardly knew ye.

And finally, let’s not forget to say a proper goodbye to Tony’s arc-reactor heart, which was finally fixed at the end of this movie thus bringing the trilogy and his character arc to a meaningful close. Tony Stark himself will return in… well, lots more movies since.

It’s all connected: Aside from the obvious callbacks to Avengers Assemble's Battle Of New York, which is responsible for Tony's PTSD, there are a few other MCU references...

• In the opening flashback sequence, Tony brushes off Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub) so that he can swan off with Maya Hansen, little knowing that the guy will one day help save his life and build the original Iron Man armour with him, as seen in Iron Man.

• The Mandarin – or rather, Trevor Slattery – has a tattoo of Captain America’s shield on the back of his neck, only instead of a star there’s an “A” for anarchy. It’s all part of the character.

• The accountant that Slattery murders on live TV works for Roxxon – first referenced in the original Iron Man movie but a fairly hefty part of the MCU in general, especially when it comes to the TV shows. They are what people in the biz call “legally distinct” from Exxon.

Credit check: Anyone sitting around after the final shot of the movie gets to see some fantastic end credits, showcasing key moments from the entire Iron Man trilogy with Brian Tyler’s 70s-influenced theme Can You Dig It? over the top, and that’s enough of a treat in its own right. But wait even longer and you get the reveal that the person Tony has been narrating this movie to is none other than Bruce Banner, Tony’s one true science bro from Avengers and the first hint we’ve had that the team are still hanging out in their downtime. Bruce’s protest at being used as a therapist – “I’m not that kind of doctor!” – falls on deaf ears. The science bros will reunite in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Are you a fan of Iron Man 3? Are there any other aspects of it that you love, or anything that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

 Get Iron Man 1-3 Complete Collection on DVD for £21.65

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Image exists, checking for same file size

Replacing images : - ON James Hunt

Mar 26, 2019

We look back at Marvel's Phase Two opener and perhaps the MCU's most divisive entry – and we're firmly in the 'love it' camp...

The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

This article contains spoilers for Iron Man 3 and the wider MCU.

Following up Avengers Assemble was always going to be a tricky job, but Iron Man 3 was more than up to the job. Although its audacious plot twist and hyper-irreverent tone sharply divided fans, director Shane Black (who'd previously worked with Robert Downey Jr on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and writer Drew Pearce turned out an idiosyncratic, genre-savvy script that blew away any lingering cobwebs that remained around the franchise following Iron Man 2. To date, we reckon there’s not a bad threequel in the MCU – and this is the one that kicked off that trend.

The Iron Man franchise has always enjoyed amazing chemistry between its leads, so in addition to Robert Downey Jr returning as Tony Stark, we’re treated to Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle back as James Rhodes (aka War Machine, aka the Iron Patriot). Guy Pearce is suitably creepy as Aldrich Killian (boy, there’s a name) and while Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen is sadly underused, you can easily buy her as someone brilliant enough to draw Stark’s eye.

In fact, there’s not a weak performance in the movie and certainly, the main cast is filled with actors (and characters) you could watch again and again. Sir Ben Kingsley is clearly having the absolute time of his life as disgraced luvvie Trevor Slattery, and so are we every moment he’s on-screen.

We’ve spoken before about the many things that make Iron Man 3 great: a story rooted in character yet rich in theme. A twist so sharp it’ll leave you stunned that they ever went there. More overt comedy than any MCU movie at the time had ever gone for. Meanwhile, the action scenes are still some of the best in the franchise. Do you like Iron Men? Well if not, you’re in the wrong franchise. For the rest of us: there are armours, and lots of them.

There’s a tonne packed into the film's running time, and yet it still delivers on all its promises. With Avengers Assemble having set the bar for an MCU movie unreachably high, Iron Man 3 wisely takes its cues from the events of that movie, building off the enthusiasm of moviegoers while telling a personal story that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of Captain America (except in the sense that all movies would benefit from the inclusion of Captain America).

The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

It’s arguably the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave some extra space to a director to really put their stamp on the franchise. With the possible exception of Joss Whedon, everyone else seemed to be on a tight set of reins. Here, though, there’s no mistaking that it’s a Shane Black movie –right down to the Christmas-for-some-reason trope. For a studio often criticised for sanding directors down until they’re completely unrecognisable, Marvel Studios undoubtedly gave Black the leeway he needed to succeed.

Ultimately, Iron Man 3 works because it does actually provide a conclusive narrative arc for the story begun in Iron Man. If you only watch Iron Man, IM2 and IM3, you’ve got a story. Sure, it’s a story with a major narrative beat happening off-screen in a team-up movie, but the core journey – of Tony and Pepper, of Stark saving the world and himself, of Tony realising that he doesn’t need Iron Man, he is Iron Man – it all tracks. If RDJ had ridden off into the sunset after this film ended we’d have been upset, but it wouldn't have felt like unfinished business.

Standout scene: Take your pick! The “barrel of monkeys” rescue sequence has a claim for being Iron Man’s definitive hero moment, made no less impressive by the reveal that Tony isn’t even in the suit at the time. Iron Man fans are spoilt for choice during the Iron Legion sequence, which shows you around 40 amazing armour designs fighting it out at once. However, the real star has to be the Trevor Slattery reveal, which remains one of the most audacious things the MCU has ever done. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the entire film turns on this brilliantly-executed twist.

The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

Best quip: “Dads leave. No need to be a pussy about it.” Like most of Shane Black’s scripts, the fun is in quickfire back-and-forth rather than one-liners, but this line (from Tony to Ty Simpkins' Harvey) works on multiple levels. At face value, it demolishes the classic superhero parental issues trope. On another level, it exposing Stark’s own unresolved daddy issues. And on a third level, it brings you the hilarious character moment of Tony being unable to turn off his famous snark even when he’s dealing with kids. And if you’re thinking: “You got all that from one line?” Well, yes. This is why we love it.

First appearances: Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery, who admittedly only comes back once more in a Marvel One-Shot where he’s being interviewed about his role in the events of Iron Man 3. But what a character.

So long, farewell: Rest in peace Aldrich Killian, aka the Mandarin, killed by an Extremis-powered Pepper Potts in a moment that gets us excited for the possibility of her finally getting her own suit of armour in Avengers: Endgame. And also RIP Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, who should have been the main villain of the piece (comic fans, go check Hall out in the fantastic Professor Marston And The Wonder Women). We also wish to lament the Iron Patriot armour, which remains surprisingly cool (though not as cool as War Machine) and all those other really awesome-looking Iron Man armours. So long, Red Snapper, we hardly knew ye.

And finally, let’s not forget to say a proper goodbye to Tony’s arc-reactor heart, which was finally fixed at the end of this movie thus bringing the trilogy and his character arc to a meaningful close. Tony Stark himself will return in… well, lots more movies since.

It’s all connected: Aside from the obvious callbacks to Avengers Assemble's Battle Of New York, which is responsible for Tony's PTSD, there are a few other MCU references...

• In the opening flashback sequence, Tony brushes off Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub) so that he can swan off with Maya Hansen, little knowing that the guy will one day help save his life and build the original Iron Man armour with him, as seen in Iron Man.

• The Mandarin – or rather, Trevor Slattery – has a tattoo of Captain America’s shield on the back of his neck, only instead of a star there’s an “A” for anarchy. It’s all part of the character.

• The accountant that Slattery murders on live TV works for Roxxon – first referenced in the original Iron Man movie but a fairly hefty part of the MCU in general, especially when it comes to the TV shows. They are what people in the biz call “legally distinct” from Exxon.

Credit check: Anyone sitting around after the final shot of the movie gets to see some fantastic end credits, showcasing key moments from the entire Iron Man trilogy with Brian Tyler’s 70s-influenced theme Can You Dig It? over the top, and that’s enough of a treat in its own right. But wait even longer and you get the reveal that the person Tony has been narrating this movie to is none other than Bruce Banner, Tony’s one true science bro from Avengers and the first hint we’ve had that the team are still hanging out in their downtime. Bruce’s protest at being used as a therapist – “I’m not that kind of doctor!” – falls on deaf ears. The science bros will reunite in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Are you a fan of Iron Man 3? Are there any other aspects of it that you love, or anything that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

 Get Iron Man 1-3 Complete Collection on DVD for £21.65

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

Array ( [post_title] => The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections [post_content] => James Hunt

Mar 26, 2019

We look back at Marvel's Phase Two opener and perhaps the MCU's most divisive entry – and we're firmly in the 'love it' camp...

This article contains spoilers for Iron Man 3 and the wider MCU.

Following up Avengers Assemble was always going to be a tricky job, but Iron Man 3 was more than up to the job. Although its audacious plot twist and hyper-irreverent tone sharply divided fans, director Shane Black (who'd previously worked with Robert Downey Jr on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and writer Drew Pearce turned out an idiosyncratic, genre-savvy script that blew away any lingering cobwebs that remained around the franchise following Iron Man 2. To date, we reckon there’s not a bad threequel in the MCU – and this is the one that kicked off that trend.

The Iron Man franchise has always enjoyed amazing chemistry between its leads, so in addition to Robert Downey Jr returning as Tony Stark, we’re treated to Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle back as James Rhodes (aka War Machine, aka the Iron Patriot). Guy Pearce is suitably creepy as Aldrich Killian (boy, there’s a name) and while Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen is sadly underused, you can easily buy her as someone brilliant enough to draw Stark’s eye.

In fact, there’s not a weak performance in the movie and certainly, the main cast is filled with actors (and characters) you could watch again and again. Sir Ben Kingsley is clearly having the absolute time of his life as disgraced luvvie Trevor Slattery, and so are we every moment he’s on-screen.

We’ve spoken before about the many things that make Iron Man 3 great: a story rooted in character yet rich in theme. A twist so sharp it’ll leave you stunned that they ever went there. More overt comedy than any MCU movie at the time had ever gone for. Meanwhile, the action scenes are still some of the best in the franchise. Do you like Iron Men? Well if not, you’re in the wrong franchise. For the rest of us: there are armours, and lots of them.

There’s a tonne packed into the film's running time, and yet it still delivers on all its promises. With Avengers Assemble having set the bar for an MCU movie unreachably high, Iron Man 3 wisely takes its cues from the events of that movie, building off the enthusiasm of moviegoers while telling a personal story that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of Captain America (except in the sense that all movies would benefit from the inclusion of Captain America).

The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

It’s arguably the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave some extra space to a director to really put their stamp on the franchise. With the possible exception of Joss Whedon, everyone else seemed to be on a tight set of reins. Here, though, there’s no mistaking that it’s a Shane Black movie –right down to the Christmas-for-some-reason trope. For a studio often criticised for sanding directors down until they’re completely unrecognisable, Marvel Studios undoubtedly gave Black the leeway he needed to succeed.

Ultimately, Iron Man 3 works because it does actually provide a conclusive narrative arc for the story begun in Iron Man. If you only watch Iron Man, IM2 and IM3, you’ve got a story. Sure, it’s a story with a major narrative beat happening off-screen in a team-up movie, but the core journey – of Tony and Pepper, of Stark saving the world and himself, of Tony realising that he doesn’t need Iron Man, he is Iron Man – it all tracks. If RDJ had ridden off into the sunset after this film ended we’d have been upset, but it wouldn't have felt like unfinished business.

Standout scene: Take your pick! The “barrel of monkeys” rescue sequence has a claim for being Iron Man’s definitive hero moment, made no less impressive by the reveal that Tony isn’t even in the suit at the time. Iron Man fans are spoilt for choice during the Iron Legion sequence, which shows you around 40 amazing armour designs fighting it out at once. However, the real star has to be the Trevor Slattery reveal, which remains one of the most audacious things the MCU has ever done. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the entire film turns on this brilliantly-executed twist.

The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

Best quip: “Dads leave. No need to be a pussy about it.” Like most of Shane Black’s scripts, the fun is in quickfire back-and-forth rather than one-liners, but this line (from Tony to Ty Simpkins' Harvey) works on multiple levels. At face value, it demolishes the classic superhero parental issues trope. On another level, it exposing Stark’s own unresolved daddy issues. And on a third level, it brings you the hilarious character moment of Tony being unable to turn off his famous snark even when he’s dealing with kids. And if you’re thinking: “You got all that from one line?” Well, yes. This is why we love it.

First appearances: Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery, who admittedly only comes back once more in a Marvel One-Shot where he’s being interviewed about his role in the events of Iron Man 3. But what a character.

So long, farewell: Rest in peace Aldrich Killian, aka the Mandarin, killed by an Extremis-powered Pepper Potts in a moment that gets us excited for the possibility of her finally getting her own suit of armour in Avengers: Endgame. And also RIP Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, who should have been the main villain of the piece (comic fans, go check Hall out in the fantastic Professor Marston And The Wonder Women). We also wish to lament the Iron Patriot armour, which remains surprisingly cool (though not as cool as War Machine) and all those other really awesome-looking Iron Man armours. So long, Red Snapper, we hardly knew ye.

And finally, let’s not forget to say a proper goodbye to Tony’s arc-reactor heart, which was finally fixed at the end of this movie thus bringing the trilogy and his character arc to a meaningful close. Tony Stark himself will return in… well, lots more movies since.

The Marvel movies debrief: Iron Man 3 recap, legacy and MCU connections

It’s all connected: Aside from the obvious callbacks to Avengers Assemble's Battle Of New York, which is responsible for Tony's PTSD, there are a few other MCU references...

• In the opening flashback sequence, Tony brushes off Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub) so that he can swan off with Maya Hansen, little knowing that the guy will one day help save his life and build the original Iron Man armour with him, as seen in Iron Man.

• The Mandarin – or rather, Trevor Slattery – has a tattoo of Captain America’s shield on the back of his neck, only instead of a star there’s an “A” for anarchy. It’s all part of the character.

• The accountant that Slattery murders on live TV works for Roxxon – first referenced in the original Iron Man movie but a fairly hefty part of the MCU in general, especially when it comes to the TV shows. They are what people in the biz call “legally distinct” from Exxon.

Credit check: Anyone sitting around after the final shot of the movie gets to see some fantastic end credits, showcasing key moments from the entire Iron Man trilogy with Brian Tyler’s 70s-influenced theme Can You Dig It? over the top, and that’s enough of a treat in its own right. But wait even longer and you get the reveal that the person Tony has been narrating this movie to is none other than Bruce Banner, Tony’s one true science bro from Avengers and the first hint we’ve had that the team are still hanging out in their downtime. Bruce’s protest at being used as a therapist – “I’m not that kind of doctor!” – falls on deaf ears. The science bros will reunite in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Are you a fan of Iron Man 3? Are there any other aspects of it that you love, or anything that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

 Get Iron Man 1-3 Complete Collection on DVD for £21.65

[post_excerpt] => James Hunt
Mar 26, 2019

We look back at Marvel's Phase Two opener and perhaps the MCU's most divisive entry – and we're firmly in the 'love it' camp...

This article contains spoilers for Iron Man 3 and the wider MCU.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Following up Avengers Assemble was always going to be a tricky job, but Iron Man 3 was more than up to the job. Although its audacious plot twist and hyper-irreverent tone sharply divided fans, director Shane Black (who'd previously worked with Robert Downey Jr on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and writer Drew Pearce turned out an idiosyncratic, genre-savvy script that blew away any lingering cobwebs that remained around the franchise following Iron Man 2. To date, we reckon there’s not a bad threequel in the MCU – and this is the one that kicked off that trend.

The Iron Man franchise has always enjoyed amazing chemistry between its leads, so in addition to Robert Downey Jr returning as Tony Stark, we’re treated to Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle back as James Rhodes (aka War Machine, aka the Iron Patriot). Guy Pearce is suitably creepy as Aldrich Killian (boy, there’s a name) and while Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen is sadly underused, you can easily buy her as someone brilliant enough to draw Stark’s eye.

In fact, there’s not a weak performance in the movie and certainly, the main cast is filled with actors (and characters) you could watch again and again. Sir Ben Kingsley is clearly having the absolute time of his life as disgraced luvvie Trevor Slattery, and so are we every moment he’s on-screen.

We’ve spoken before about the many things that make Iron Man 3 great: a story rooted in character yet rich in theme. A twist so sharp it’ll leave you stunned that they ever went there. More overt comedy than any MCU movie at the time had ever gone for. Meanwhile, the action scenes are still some of the best in the franchise. Do you like Iron Men? Well if not, you’re in the wrong franchise. For the rest of us: there are armours, and lots of them.

There’s a tonne packed into the film's running time, and yet it still delivers on all its promises. With Avengers Assemble having set the bar for an MCU movie unreachably high, Iron Man 3 wisely takes its cues from the events of that movie, building off the enthusiasm of moviegoers while telling a personal story that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of Captain America (except in the sense that all movies would benefit from the inclusion of Captain America).

It’s arguably the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave some extra space to a director to really put their stamp on the franchise. With the possible exception of Joss Whedon, everyone else seemed to be on a tight set of reins. Here, though, there’s no mistaking that it’s a Shane Black movie –right down to the Christmas-for-some-reason trope. For a studio often criticised for sanding directors down until they’re completely unrecognisable, Marvel Studios undoubtedly gave Black the leeway he needed to succeed.

Ultimately, Iron Man 3 works because it does actually provide a conclusive narrative arc for the story begun in Iron Man. If you only watch Iron Man, IM2 and IM3, you’ve got a story. Sure, it’s a story with a major narrative beat happening off-screen in a team-up movie, but the core journey – of Tony and Pepper, of Stark saving the world and himself, of Tony realising that he doesn’t need Iron Man, he is Iron Man – it all tracks. If RDJ had ridden off into the sunset after this film ended we’d have been upset, but it wouldn't have felt like unfinished business.

Standout scene: Take your pick! The “barrel of monkeys” rescue sequence has a claim for being Iron Man’s definitive hero moment, made no less impressive by the reveal that Tony isn’t even in the suit at the time. Iron Man fans are spoilt for choice during the Iron Legion sequence, which shows you around 40 amazing armour designs fighting it out at once. However, the real star has to be the Trevor Slattery reveal, which remains one of the most audacious things the MCU has ever done. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the entire film turns on this brilliantly-executed twist.

Best quip: “Dads leave. No need to be a pussy about it.” Like most of Shane Black’s scripts, the fun is in quickfire back-and-forth rather than one-liners, but this line (from Tony to Ty Simpkins' Harvey) works on multiple levels. At face value, it demolishes the classic superhero parental issues trope. On another level, it exposing Stark’s own unresolved daddy issues. And on a third level, it brings you the hilarious character moment of Tony being unable to turn off his famous snark even when he’s dealing with kids. And if you’re thinking: “You got all that from one line?” Well, yes. This is why we love it.

First appearances: Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery, who admittedly only comes back once more in a Marvel One-Shot where he’s being interviewed about his role in the events of Iron Man 3. But what a character.

So long, farewell: Rest in peace Aldrich Killian, aka the Mandarin, killed by an Extremis-powered Pepper Potts in a moment that gets us excited for the possibility of her finally getting her own suit of armour in Avengers: Endgame. And also RIP Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, who should have been the main villain of the piece (comic fans, go check Hall out in the fantastic Professor Marston And The Wonder Women). We also wish to lament the Iron Patriot armour, which remains surprisingly cool (though not as cool as War Machine) and all those other really awesome-looking Iron Man armours. So long, Red Snapper, we hardly knew ye.

And finally, let’s not forget to say a proper goodbye to Tony’s arc-reactor heart, which was finally fixed at the end of this movie thus bringing the trilogy and his character arc to a meaningful close. Tony Stark himself will return in… well, lots more movies since.

It’s all connected: Aside from the obvious callbacks to Avengers Assemble's Battle Of New York, which is responsible for Tony's PTSD, there are a few other MCU references...

• In the opening flashback sequence, Tony brushes off Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub) so that he can swan off with Maya Hansen, little knowing that the guy will one day help save his life and build the original Iron Man armour with him, as seen in Iron Man.

• The Mandarin – or rather, Trevor Slattery – has a tattoo of Captain America’s shield on the back of his neck, only instead of a star there’s an “A” for anarchy. It’s all part of the character.

• The accountant that Slattery murders on live TV works for Roxxon – first referenced in the original Iron Man movie but a fairly hefty part of the MCU in general, especially when it comes to the TV shows. They are what people in the biz call “legally distinct” from Exxon.

Credit check: Anyone sitting around after the final shot of the movie gets to see some fantastic end credits, showcasing key moments from the entire Iron Man trilogy with Brian Tyler’s 70s-influenced theme Can You Dig It? over the top, and that’s enough of a treat in its own right. But wait even longer and you get the reveal that the person Tony has been narrating this movie to is none other than Bruce Banner, Tony’s one true science bro from Avengers and the first hint we’ve had that the team are still hanging out in their downtime. Bruce’s protest at being used as a therapist – “I’m not that kind of doctor!” – falls on deaf ears. The science bros will reunite in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Are you a fan of Iron Man 3? Are there any other aspects of it that you love, or anything that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

 Get Iron Man 1-3 Complete Collection on DVD for £21.65

[post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 08:22:47 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 10:22:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-26 08:22:47 [post_modified] => 2019-03-26 10:22:47 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [guid] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/go/64265 [meta] => Array ( [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => ) [syndication_source] => Featured Articles [syndication_source_uri] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/feeds/all [syndication_source_id] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed_id] => 3 [syndication_permalink] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/iron-man-3/64265/the-marvel-movies-debrief-iron-man-3-recap-legacy-and-mcu-connections [syndication_item_hash] => Array ( [0] => a17607d8cd1b93c62f5e559ce8aed774 [1] => c3deb50ebeaf9860657f3df02184f1c4 [2] => c3deb50ebeaf9860657f3df02184f1c4 [3] => 2bfe3b395129d6acf864157274257e5d [4] => 759685d259a4e010e1d61a740db1b244 ) [faf_featured_image] => 543495 [faf_process_image] => 543495,543498,543500,543502 ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 543 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( [0] => 21 [1] => 15 ) [post_tag] => Array ( [0] => 2438 ) [post_format] => Array ( [0] => 2439 ) ) [post_name] => the-marvel-movies-debrief-iron-man-3-recap-legacy-and-mcu-connections-3 )

FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

Arrow season 7 episode 17 review: Inheritance

Array ( [post_title] => Arrow season 7 episode 17 review: Inheritance [post_content] => Delia Harrington

Mar 26, 2019

Arrow begins tying the season-long threads together in a fun, rewarding - if not altogether surprising - episode. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

7.17 Inheritance

Oliver learned a hard lesson in this week's episode: you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. It’s yet another learning moment for him (although a bit of a repeat…) that doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but does bring a truly excellent fight, including back-to-back arrow deflections.

One downside to the way this story unfolded is that it doesn’t leave much room to critique Oliver’s very real need to play hero even when it’s unnecessary or patently unhelpful. If Emiko’s plight had been real, going in against her wishes could have truly endangered her further. It’s also a reversal of a lesson he supposedly learned in their relationship just a few episodes ago, about respecting her wishes and following her lead. As the count down to Arrow’s end has officially begun, it feels more important than ever that Oliver learn certain lessons and set a good example to the rest of the Arrowverse. Listening to others, especially the women in his life, is a desperately overdue lesson for Oliver Queen.

I’m sure there’s much more to be told about Emiko’s story, and the fact that she spared Rene speaks volumes. Like her brother said, she doesn’t miss. Back in the Team Arrow Lair, she was expecting Rene to lay into her for being with Dante, or at least grill her over it. But he didn’t – that’s really not his style, and he long ago realised it wasn’t hers.

This episode adds to the rather grim picture of Moira Queen. I loved her so much as a character, but it’s hard to resolve the character we saw on screen with the things we’ve learned about her since then, largely off-screen. Robert, on the other hand, never had such a complicating warmth to him, and most of the revisions to his history have involved seeing actor Jamey Sheridon portray him again, making it easier to integrate those actions into our concept of a living, breathing Robert.

Moira, on the other hand, feels like two separate people. The complex matriarch played by Susanna Thompson, loving but at times single-mindedly so, and also a brutally cold woman who paid off William’s mother and blackmailed Robert into abandoning Emiko and her mother. That said, I call bullshit on the concept that Robert couldn’t fight back here. He didn’t even sound like he believed his own excuses in the flashbacks to Emiko’s childhood. He was a grown adult and should be held responsible for his own choices – he could have taken responsibility for his affair, even if Moira went public.

Emiko’s black suit and red-tipped arrows were no doubt cool, and a nice nod to her comics origin. But they raise an interesting question: why did Emiko bother running around in green to begin with? She literally dressed up exactly like her brother for months while she had an entirely different leather suit, a whole other set of arrows, and for what? Was she always trying to get his team’s attention? Surely the Ninth Circle knew he was in Slabside. I hope we get some resolution on this, since there was so much build up around the concept of the other green archer. I would hate for the answer to simply be that it looked cool and they wanted to mess with us.

Everything seems to be coming together nicely to tie all of the season-long threads together. Dante works with the Ninth Circle, who crop up around regime changes. Emiko is interested in Archer and seems to be the one who takes it nuclear, which Felicity is creating, first born out of her Diaz-related paranoia, and now as an attempt to make some next-gen law enforcement software. The more this unfolds, the more appreciation I have for this season’s overarching story, even if early players like the Longbow Hunters petered out rather quickly, and Diaz overstayed his welcome by a season (and a half?).

We haven’t heard any mention of Emiko or the Ninth Circle in the future – it’s possible the Ninth Circle and Eden Corps have some sort of connection, but what happens to Emiko? She’s definitely a vigilante, which could put her in the crosshairs of the new world order, even if she helped bring it about. It seems highly likely that she’ll get some sort of eleventh-hour redemption, possibly giving her life in an attempt to rescue Rene, Oliver, or someone else on Team Arrow or of importance to them, like Mia or William.  

This episode is the first time Felicity has been faced with the idea that Archer is not a good idea, in our timeline at least. Her new CTO was a welcome return from Alena Whitlock. After seven seasons of impunity, Felicity is finally being called to account in a real way for her many digital crimes. We’ve seen her called a hacker in the past tense, but Archer is so obviously a violation of citizens’ rights that it’s disturbing no one else has really mentioned it until now. I hope that when Emiko and the Ninth Circle eventually “weaponise” it, they make clear to Felicity that any version of Archer is inherently dangerous and discriminatory.

Oliver screwed up in part because he assumed Emiko was a damsel in distress. But Arrow wants the audience to know that we underestimated Emiko, too, when she holds a dagger to Dante’s throat – she’s the leader. Robert Queen walked away from his daughter twice, first when he abandoned her and her mother, and again when he admired her thoughtful business plan but couldn’t possibly take a chance on his own daughter. After all, he had to keep her a secret and maintain Oliver’s inheritance. His reward was the sinking of the Queen’s Gambit, for which Emiko framed Malcolm Merlyn.

Perhaps this season’s greatest strength is the sheer number of interesting, complicated women it features. When before in the show’s history have this many of the major players been women? Felicity created Archer, an incredibly dangerous piece of technology, along with Alena Whitlock. Emiko is going to weaponise it. Dinah is a Captain in the SCPD, trying to earn back their reputation from the city while balancing her vigilante past with her cop present, and keep the (female) mayor’s favor. Laurel is running from her past, which Emiko is helping to do more than just nip at her heels. And that’s just the characters in 2019.

Read Delia's review of the previous episode, Star City 2040, here.

Watch Arrow season 7 on NOW TV

[post_excerpt] => Delia Harrington
Mar 26, 2019

Arrow begins tying the season-long threads together in a fun, rewarding - if not altogether surprising - episode. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

7.17 Inheritance

Oliver learned a hard lesson in this week's episode: you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. It’s yet another learning moment for him (although a bit of a repeat…) that doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but does bring a truly excellent fight, including back-to-back arrow deflections.

One downside to the way this story unfolded is that it doesn’t leave much room to critique Oliver’s very real need to play hero even when it’s unnecessary or patently unhelpful. If Emiko’s plight had been real, going in against her wishes could have truly endangered her further. It’s also a reversal of a lesson he supposedly learned in their relationship just a few episodes ago, about respecting her wishes and following her lead. As the count down to Arrow’s end has officially begun, it feels more important than ever that Oliver learn certain lessons and set a good example to the rest of the Arrowverse. Listening to others, especially the women in his life, is a desperately overdue lesson for Oliver Queen.

I’m sure there’s much more to be told about Emiko’s story, and the fact that she spared Rene speaks volumes. Like her brother said, she doesn’t miss. Back in the Team Arrow Lair, she was expecting Rene to lay into her for being with Dante, or at least grill her over it. But he didn’t – that’s really not his style, and he long ago realised it wasn’t hers.

This episode adds to the rather grim picture of Moira Queen. I loved her so much as a character, but it’s hard to resolve the character we saw on screen with the things we’ve learned about her since then, largely off-screen. Robert, on the other hand, never had such a complicating warmth to him, and most of the revisions to his history have involved seeing actor Jamey Sheridon portray him again, making it easier to integrate those actions into our concept of a living, breathing Robert.

Moira, on the other hand, feels like two separate people. The complex matriarch played by Susanna Thompson, loving but at times single-mindedly so, and also a brutally cold woman who paid off William’s mother and blackmailed Robert into abandoning Emiko and her mother. That said, I call bullshit on the concept that Robert couldn’t fight back here. He didn’t even sound like he believed his own excuses in the flashbacks to Emiko’s childhood. He was a grown adult and should be held responsible for his own choices – he could have taken responsibility for his affair, even if Moira went public.

Emiko’s black suit and red-tipped arrows were no doubt cool, and a nice nod to her comics origin. But they raise an interesting question: why did Emiko bother running around in green to begin with? She literally dressed up exactly like her brother for months while she had an entirely different leather suit, a whole other set of arrows, and for what? Was she always trying to get his team’s attention? Surely the Ninth Circle knew he was in Slabside. I hope we get some resolution on this, since there was so much build up around the concept of the other green archer. I would hate for the answer to simply be that it looked cool and they wanted to mess with us.

Everything seems to be coming together nicely to tie all of the season-long threads together. Dante works with the Ninth Circle, who crop up around regime changes. Emiko is interested in Archer and seems to be the one who takes it nuclear, which Felicity is creating, first born out of her Diaz-related paranoia, and now as an attempt to make some next-gen law enforcement software. The more this unfolds, the more appreciation I have for this season’s overarching story, even if early players like the Longbow Hunters petered out rather quickly, and Diaz overstayed his welcome by a season (and a half?).

We haven’t heard any mention of Emiko or the Ninth Circle in the future – it’s possible the Ninth Circle and Eden Corps have some sort of connection, but what happens to Emiko? She’s definitely a vigilante, which could put her in the crosshairs of the new world order, even if she helped bring it about. It seems highly likely that she’ll get some sort of eleventh-hour redemption, possibly giving her life in an attempt to rescue Rene, Oliver, or someone else on Team Arrow or of importance to them, like Mia or William.  

This episode is the first time Felicity has been faced with the idea that Archer is not a good idea, in our timeline at least. Her new CTO was a welcome return from Alena Whitlock. After seven seasons of impunity, Felicity is finally being called to account in a real way for her many digital crimes. We’ve seen her called a hacker in the past tense, but Archer is so obviously a violation of citizens’ rights that it’s disturbing no one else has really mentioned it until now. I hope that when Emiko and the Ninth Circle eventually “weaponise” it, they make clear to Felicity that any version of Archer is inherently dangerous and discriminatory.

Oliver screwed up in part because he assumed Emiko was a damsel in distress. But Arrow wants the audience to know that we underestimated Emiko, too, when she holds a dagger to Dante’s throat – she’s the leader. Robert Queen walked away from his daughter twice, first when he abandoned her and her mother, and again when he admired her thoughtful business plan but couldn’t possibly take a chance on his own daughter. After all, he had to keep her a secret and maintain Oliver’s inheritance. His reward was the sinking of the Queen’s Gambit, for which Emiko framed Malcolm Merlyn.

Perhaps this season’s greatest strength is the sheer number of interesting, complicated women it features. When before in the show’s history have this many of the major players been women? Felicity created Archer, an incredibly dangerous piece of technology, along with Alena Whitlock. Emiko is going to weaponise it. Dinah is a Captain in the SCPD, trying to earn back their reputation from the city while balancing her vigilante past with her cop present, and keep the (female) mayor’s favor. Laurel is running from her past, which Emiko is helping to do more than just nip at her heels. And that’s just the characters in 2019.

Read Delia's review of the previous episode, Star City 2040, here.

Watch Arrow season 7 on NOW TV

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Replacing images : - ON Delia Harrington

Mar 26, 2019

Arrow begins tying the season-long threads together in a fun, rewarding - if not altogether surprising - episode. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

7.17 Inheritance

Oliver learned a hard lesson in this week's episode: you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. It’s yet another learning moment for him (although a bit of a repeat…) that doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but does bring a truly excellent fight, including back-to-back arrow deflections.

One downside to the way this story unfolded is that it doesn’t leave much room to critique Oliver’s very real need to play hero even when it’s unnecessary or patently unhelpful. If Emiko’s plight had been real, going in against her wishes could have truly endangered her further. It’s also a reversal of a lesson he supposedly learned in their relationship just a few episodes ago, about respecting her wishes and following her lead. As the count down to Arrow’s end has officially begun, it feels more important than ever that Oliver learn certain lessons and set a good example to the rest of the Arrowverse. Listening to others, especially the women in his life, is a desperately overdue lesson for Oliver Queen.

I’m sure there’s much more to be told about Emiko’s story, and the fact that she spared Rene speaks volumes. Like her brother said, she doesn’t miss. Back in the Team Arrow Lair, she was expecting Rene to lay into her for being with Dante, or at least grill her over it. But he didn’t – that’s really not his style, and he long ago realised it wasn’t hers.

This episode adds to the rather grim picture of Moira Queen. I loved her so much as a character, but it’s hard to resolve the character we saw on screen with the things we’ve learned about her since then, largely off-screen. Robert, on the other hand, never had such a complicating warmth to him, and most of the revisions to his history have involved seeing actor Jamey Sheridon portray him again, making it easier to integrate those actions into our concept of a living, breathing Robert.

Moira, on the other hand, feels like two separate people. The complex matriarch played by Susanna Thompson, loving but at times single-mindedly so, and also a brutally cold woman who paid off William’s mother and blackmailed Robert into abandoning Emiko and her mother. That said, I call bullshit on the concept that Robert couldn’t fight back here. He didn’t even sound like he believed his own excuses in the flashbacks to Emiko’s childhood. He was a grown adult and should be held responsible for his own choices – he could have taken responsibility for his affair, even if Moira went public.

Emiko’s black suit and red-tipped arrows were no doubt cool, and a nice nod to her comics origin. But they raise an interesting question: why did Emiko bother running around in green to begin with? She literally dressed up exactly like her brother for months while she had an entirely different leather suit, a whole other set of arrows, and for what? Was she always trying to get his team’s attention? Surely the Ninth Circle knew he was in Slabside. I hope we get some resolution on this, since there was so much build up around the concept of the other green archer. I would hate for the answer to simply be that it looked cool and they wanted to mess with us.

Everything seems to be coming together nicely to tie all of the season-long threads together. Dante works with the Ninth Circle, who crop up around regime changes. Emiko is interested in Archer and seems to be the one who takes it nuclear, which Felicity is creating, first born out of her Diaz-related paranoia, and now as an attempt to make some next-gen law enforcement software. The more this unfolds, the more appreciation I have for this season’s overarching story, even if early players like the Longbow Hunters petered out rather quickly, and Diaz overstayed his welcome by a season (and a half?).

We haven’t heard any mention of Emiko or the Ninth Circle in the future – it’s possible the Ninth Circle and Eden Corps have some sort of connection, but what happens to Emiko? She’s definitely a vigilante, which could put her in the crosshairs of the new world order, even if she helped bring it about. It seems highly likely that she’ll get some sort of eleventh-hour redemption, possibly giving her life in an attempt to rescue Rene, Oliver, or someone else on Team Arrow or of importance to them, like Mia or William.  

This episode is the first time Felicity has been faced with the idea that Archer is not a good idea, in our timeline at least. Her new CTO was a welcome return from Alena Whitlock. After seven seasons of impunity, Felicity is finally being called to account in a real way for her many digital crimes. We’ve seen her called a hacker in the past tense, but Archer is so obviously a violation of citizens’ rights that it’s disturbing no one else has really mentioned it until now. I hope that when Emiko and the Ninth Circle eventually “weaponise” it, they make clear to Felicity that any version of Archer is inherently dangerous and discriminatory.

Oliver screwed up in part because he assumed Emiko was a damsel in distress. But Arrow wants the audience to know that we underestimated Emiko, too, when she holds a dagger to Dante’s throat – she’s the leader. Robert Queen walked away from his daughter twice, first when he abandoned her and her mother, and again when he admired her thoughtful business plan but couldn’t possibly take a chance on his own daughter. After all, he had to keep her a secret and maintain Oliver’s inheritance. His reward was the sinking of the Queen’s Gambit, for which Emiko framed Malcolm Merlyn.

Perhaps this season’s greatest strength is the sheer number of interesting, complicated women it features. When before in the show’s history have this many of the major players been women? Felicity created Archer, an incredibly dangerous piece of technology, along with Alena Whitlock. Emiko is going to weaponise it. Dinah is a Captain in the SCPD, trying to earn back their reputation from the city while balancing her vigilante past with her cop present, and keep the (female) mayor’s favor. Laurel is running from her past, which Emiko is helping to do more than just nip at her heels. And that’s just the characters in 2019.

Read Delia's review of the previous episode, Star City 2040, here.

Watch Arrow season 7 on NOW TV

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Arrow season 7 episode 17 review: Inheritance

Array ( [post_title] => Arrow season 7 episode 17 review: Inheritance [post_content] => Delia Harrington

Mar 26, 2019

Arrow begins tying the season-long threads together in a fun, rewarding - if not altogether surprising - episode. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

7.17 Inheritance

Oliver learned a hard lesson in this week's episode: you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. It’s yet another learning moment for him (although a bit of a repeat…) that doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but does bring a truly excellent fight, including back-to-back arrow deflections.

One downside to the way this story unfolded is that it doesn’t leave much room to critique Oliver’s very real need to play hero even when it’s unnecessary or patently unhelpful. If Emiko’s plight had been real, going in against her wishes could have truly endangered her further. It’s also a reversal of a lesson he supposedly learned in their relationship just a few episodes ago, about respecting her wishes and following her lead. As the count down to Arrow’s end has officially begun, it feels more important than ever that Oliver learn certain lessons and set a good example to the rest of the Arrowverse. Listening to others, especially the women in his life, is a desperately overdue lesson for Oliver Queen.

I’m sure there’s much more to be told about Emiko’s story, and the fact that she spared Rene speaks volumes. Like her brother said, she doesn’t miss. Back in the Team Arrow Lair, she was expecting Rene to lay into her for being with Dante, or at least grill her over it. But he didn’t – that’s really not his style, and he long ago realised it wasn’t hers.

This episode adds to the rather grim picture of Moira Queen. I loved her so much as a character, but it’s hard to resolve the character we saw on screen with the things we’ve learned about her since then, largely off-screen. Robert, on the other hand, never had such a complicating warmth to him, and most of the revisions to his history have involved seeing actor Jamey Sheridon portray him again, making it easier to integrate those actions into our concept of a living, breathing Robert.

Moira, on the other hand, feels like two separate people. The complex matriarch played by Susanna Thompson, loving but at times single-mindedly so, and also a brutally cold woman who paid off William’s mother and blackmailed Robert into abandoning Emiko and her mother. That said, I call bullshit on the concept that Robert couldn’t fight back here. He didn’t even sound like he believed his own excuses in the flashbacks to Emiko’s childhood. He was a grown adult and should be held responsible for his own choices – he could have taken responsibility for his affair, even if Moira went public.

Emiko’s black suit and red-tipped arrows were no doubt cool, and a nice nod to her comics origin. But they raise an interesting question: why did Emiko bother running around in green to begin with? She literally dressed up exactly like her brother for months while she had an entirely different leather suit, a whole other set of arrows, and for what? Was she always trying to get his team’s attention? Surely the Ninth Circle knew he was in Slabside. I hope we get some resolution on this, since there was so much build up around the concept of the other green archer. I would hate for the answer to simply be that it looked cool and they wanted to mess with us.

Everything seems to be coming together nicely to tie all of the season-long threads together. Dante works with the Ninth Circle, who crop up around regime changes. Emiko is interested in Archer and seems to be the one who takes it nuclear, which Felicity is creating, first born out of her Diaz-related paranoia, and now as an attempt to make some next-gen law enforcement software. The more this unfolds, the more appreciation I have for this season’s overarching story, even if early players like the Longbow Hunters petered out rather quickly, and Diaz overstayed his welcome by a season (and a half?).

We haven’t heard any mention of Emiko or the Ninth Circle in the future – it’s possible the Ninth Circle and Eden Corps have some sort of connection, but what happens to Emiko? She’s definitely a vigilante, which could put her in the crosshairs of the new world order, even if she helped bring it about. It seems highly likely that she’ll get some sort of eleventh-hour redemption, possibly giving her life in an attempt to rescue Rene, Oliver, or someone else on Team Arrow or of importance to them, like Mia or William.  

This episode is the first time Felicity has been faced with the idea that Archer is not a good idea, in our timeline at least. Her new CTO was a welcome return from Alena Whitlock. After seven seasons of impunity, Felicity is finally being called to account in a real way for her many digital crimes. We’ve seen her called a hacker in the past tense, but Archer is so obviously a violation of citizens’ rights that it’s disturbing no one else has really mentioned it until now. I hope that when Emiko and the Ninth Circle eventually “weaponise” it, they make clear to Felicity that any version of Archer is inherently dangerous and discriminatory.

Oliver screwed up in part because he assumed Emiko was a damsel in distress. But Arrow wants the audience to know that we underestimated Emiko, too, when she holds a dagger to Dante’s throat – she’s the leader. Robert Queen walked away from his daughter twice, first when he abandoned her and her mother, and again when he admired her thoughtful business plan but couldn’t possibly take a chance on his own daughter. After all, he had to keep her a secret and maintain Oliver’s inheritance. His reward was the sinking of the Queen’s Gambit, for which Emiko framed Malcolm Merlyn.

Perhaps this season’s greatest strength is the sheer number of interesting, complicated women it features. When before in the show’s history have this many of the major players been women? Felicity created Archer, an incredibly dangerous piece of technology, along with Alena Whitlock. Emiko is going to weaponise it. Dinah is a Captain in the SCPD, trying to earn back their reputation from the city while balancing her vigilante past with her cop present, and keep the (female) mayor’s favor. Laurel is running from her past, which Emiko is helping to do more than just nip at her heels. And that’s just the characters in 2019.

Read Delia's review of the previous episode, Star City 2040, here.

Watch Arrow season 7 on NOW TV

[post_excerpt] => Delia Harrington
Mar 26, 2019

Arrow begins tying the season-long threads together in a fun, rewarding - if not altogether surprising - episode. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

7.17 Inheritance

Oliver learned a hard lesson in this week's episode: you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. It’s yet another learning moment for him (although a bit of a repeat…) that doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but does bring a truly excellent fight, including back-to-back arrow deflections.

One downside to the way this story unfolded is that it doesn’t leave much room to critique Oliver’s very real need to play hero even when it’s unnecessary or patently unhelpful. If Emiko’s plight had been real, going in against her wishes could have truly endangered her further. It’s also a reversal of a lesson he supposedly learned in their relationship just a few episodes ago, about respecting her wishes and following her lead. As the count down to Arrow’s end has officially begun, it feels more important than ever that Oliver learn certain lessons and set a good example to the rest of the Arrowverse. Listening to others, especially the women in his life, is a desperately overdue lesson for Oliver Queen.

I’m sure there’s much more to be told about Emiko’s story, and the fact that she spared Rene speaks volumes. Like her brother said, she doesn’t miss. Back in the Team Arrow Lair, she was expecting Rene to lay into her for being with Dante, or at least grill her over it. But he didn’t – that’s really not his style, and he long ago realised it wasn’t hers.

This episode adds to the rather grim picture of Moira Queen. I loved her so much as a character, but it’s hard to resolve the character we saw on screen with the things we’ve learned about her since then, largely off-screen. Robert, on the other hand, never had such a complicating warmth to him, and most of the revisions to his history have involved seeing actor Jamey Sheridon portray him again, making it easier to integrate those actions into our concept of a living, breathing Robert.

Moira, on the other hand, feels like two separate people. The complex matriarch played by Susanna Thompson, loving but at times single-mindedly so, and also a brutally cold woman who paid off William’s mother and blackmailed Robert into abandoning Emiko and her mother. That said, I call bullshit on the concept that Robert couldn’t fight back here. He didn’t even sound like he believed his own excuses in the flashbacks to Emiko’s childhood. He was a grown adult and should be held responsible for his own choices – he could have taken responsibility for his affair, even if Moira went public.

Emiko’s black suit and red-tipped arrows were no doubt cool, and a nice nod to her comics origin. But they raise an interesting question: why did Emiko bother running around in green to begin with? She literally dressed up exactly like her brother for months while she had an entirely different leather suit, a whole other set of arrows, and for what? Was she always trying to get his team’s attention? Surely the Ninth Circle knew he was in Slabside. I hope we get some resolution on this, since there was so much build up around the concept of the other green archer. I would hate for the answer to simply be that it looked cool and they wanted to mess with us.

Everything seems to be coming together nicely to tie all of the season-long threads together. Dante works with the Ninth Circle, who crop up around regime changes. Emiko is interested in Archer and seems to be the one who takes it nuclear, which Felicity is creating, first born out of her Diaz-related paranoia, and now as an attempt to make some next-gen law enforcement software. The more this unfolds, the more appreciation I have for this season’s overarching story, even if early players like the Longbow Hunters petered out rather quickly, and Diaz overstayed his welcome by a season (and a half?).

We haven’t heard any mention of Emiko or the Ninth Circle in the future – it’s possible the Ninth Circle and Eden Corps have some sort of connection, but what happens to Emiko? She’s definitely a vigilante, which could put her in the crosshairs of the new world order, even if she helped bring it about. It seems highly likely that she’ll get some sort of eleventh-hour redemption, possibly giving her life in an attempt to rescue Rene, Oliver, or someone else on Team Arrow or of importance to them, like Mia or William.  

This episode is the first time Felicity has been faced with the idea that Archer is not a good idea, in our timeline at least. Her new CTO was a welcome return from Alena Whitlock. After seven seasons of impunity, Felicity is finally being called to account in a real way for her many digital crimes. We’ve seen her called a hacker in the past tense, but Archer is so obviously a violation of citizens’ rights that it’s disturbing no one else has really mentioned it until now. I hope that when Emiko and the Ninth Circle eventually “weaponise” it, they make clear to Felicity that any version of Archer is inherently dangerous and discriminatory.

Oliver screwed up in part because he assumed Emiko was a damsel in distress. But Arrow wants the audience to know that we underestimated Emiko, too, when she holds a dagger to Dante’s throat – she’s the leader. Robert Queen walked away from his daughter twice, first when he abandoned her and her mother, and again when he admired her thoughtful business plan but couldn’t possibly take a chance on his own daughter. After all, he had to keep her a secret and maintain Oliver’s inheritance. His reward was the sinking of the Queen’s Gambit, for which Emiko framed Malcolm Merlyn.

Perhaps this season’s greatest strength is the sheer number of interesting, complicated women it features. When before in the show’s history have this many of the major players been women? Felicity created Archer, an incredibly dangerous piece of technology, along with Alena Whitlock. Emiko is going to weaponise it. Dinah is a Captain in the SCPD, trying to earn back their reputation from the city while balancing her vigilante past with her cop present, and keep the (female) mayor’s favor. Laurel is running from her past, which Emiko is helping to do more than just nip at her heels. And that’s just the characters in 2019.

Read Delia's review of the previous episode, Star City 2040, here.

Watch Arrow season 7 on NOW TV

[post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 03:20:01 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 05:20:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-26 03:20:01 [post_modified] => 2019-03-26 05:20:01 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [guid] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/go/64263 [meta] => Array ( [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => ) [syndication_source] => Featured Articles [syndication_source_uri] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/feeds/all [syndication_source_id] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed_id] => 3 [syndication_permalink] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/tv/arrow/64263/arrow-season-7-episode-17-review-inheritance [syndication_item_hash] => Array ( [0] => 6aa2a2134a8e5a1b1d3bd6d2f58927cc [1] => 24f15ab11af18b2cd7f4fa8bb0c1816c [2] => 16bf02cc991dc7280985f686cfadd3ba [3] => ab60c6a6fdf529a5df41f65c4ae432dc ) [faf_featured_image] => 543506 [faf_process_image] => 543506 ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 543 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( [0] => 21 [1] => 15 ) [post_tag] => Array ( [0] => 2438 ) [post_format] => Array ( [0] => 2439 ) ) [post_name] => arrow-season-7-episode-17-review-inheritance-3 )

FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

Iron Man VR: new Marvel game coming to PS4

Array ( [post_title] => Iron Man VR: new Marvel game coming to PS4 [post_content] => John Saavedra

Mar 26, 2019

Hop into Tony Stark's famous armor in Marvel's Iron Man VR! Here are the details...

If you ever dreamed of jumping into Marvel's most famous armoured suit and saving the day as Iron Man, PlayStation has just announced the VR experience for you. Iron Man VR brings the world of billionaire-turned-superhero Tony Stark to your living room, exclusively through the PS VR headset. The game, which is being developed by Camouflaj, is coming later this year. 

"We've set our sights on not only giving the player thrilling moment-to-moment action," Camouflaj director, Ryan Peyton, wrote in a PlayStation Blog post, "but also a deeply personal, and appropriately funny, narrative that puts players in Tony Stark's armored shoes."

From what we can tell from the opening footage, Iron Man VR is a shooter from the perspective of Iron Man's HUD, as he punches and shoots enemies out of the sky. You can move both of Iron Man's blaster-equipped arms as well as his head, but there's no indication that players will be able to freely fly the hero, meaning that this may very well be an on-rails experience. The announcement trailer didn't actually feature any actual gameplay, so it's possible we've not seen everything the game has to offer. 

Check out the Iron Man VR trailer below...

Iron Man VR isn't the only Marvel game currently in the works. There's also the Nintendo Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, which pits the Avengers, X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy against Thanos and the Black Order in a four-player co-op adventure.

A mysterious Avengers project - dubbed, imaginatively, The Avengers Project - is also being developed over at Square Enix, although we've not heard much about the game in quite some time. Also, rumour has it that Eidos Montreal is developing a secret Guardians of the Galaxy game. 

And let's not forget a sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man, which may very well be on the way as we speak, although Sony hasn't made any official announcements about a second game. It's likely after the success of last year's web-slinging title that Insomniac is preparing the project. 

We'll keep you updated as we hear more about Iron Man VR and other upcoming Marvel video game projects. 

[post_excerpt] => John Saavedra
Mar 26, 2019

Hop into Tony Stark's famous armor in Marvel's Iron Man VR! Here are the details...

If you ever dreamed of jumping into Marvel's most famous armoured suit and saving the day as Iron Man, PlayStation has just announced the VR experience for you. Iron Man VR brings the world of billionaire-turned-superhero Tony Stark to your living room, exclusively through the PS VR headset. The game, which is being developed by Camouflaj, is coming later this year. 

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

"We've set our sights on not only giving the player thrilling moment-to-moment action," Camouflaj director, Ryan Peyton, wrote in a PlayStation Blog post, "but also a deeply personal, and appropriately funny, narrative that puts players in Tony Stark's armored shoes."

From what we can tell from the opening footage, Iron Man VR is a shooter from the perspective of Iron Man's HUD, as he punches and shoots enemies out of the sky. You can move both of Iron Man's blaster-equipped arms as well as his head, but there's no indication that players will be able to freely fly the hero, meaning that this may very well be an on-rails experience. The announcement trailer didn't actually feature any actual gameplay, so it's possible we've not seen everything the game has to offer. 

Check out the Iron Man VR trailer below...

Video of Marvel’s Iron Man VR – Announce Trailer | PS VR

Iron Man VR isn't the only Marvel game currently in the works. There's also the Nintendo Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, which pits the Avengers, X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy against Thanos and the Black Order in a four-player co-op adventure.

A mysterious Avengers project - dubbed, imaginatively, The Avengers Project - is also being developed over at Square Enix, although we've not heard much about the game in quite some time. Also, rumour has it that Eidos Montreal is developing a secret Guardians of the Galaxy game. 

And let's not forget a sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man, which may very well be on the way as we speak, although Sony hasn't made any official announcements about a second game. It's likely after the success of last year's web-slinging title that Insomniac is preparing the project. 

We'll keep you updated as we hear more about Iron Man VR and other upcoming Marvel video game projects. 

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Image process :: Saving local image

grab remote location : https://cdn-static.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeek/files/iron-man-vr.jpg

Image exists, checking for same file size

Replacing images : - ON John Saavedra

Mar 26, 2019

Hop into Tony Stark's famous armor in Marvel's Iron Man VR! Here are the details...

If you ever dreamed of jumping into Marvel's most famous armoured suit and saving the day as Iron Man, PlayStation has just announced the VR experience for you. Iron Man VR brings the world of billionaire-turned-superhero Tony Stark to your living room, exclusively through the PS VR headset. The game, which is being developed by Camouflaj, is coming later this year. 

"We've set our sights on not only giving the player thrilling moment-to-moment action," Camouflaj director, Ryan Peyton, wrote in a PlayStation Blog post, "but also a deeply personal, and appropriately funny, narrative that puts players in Tony Stark's armored shoes."

From what we can tell from the opening footage, Iron Man VR is a shooter from the perspective of Iron Man's HUD, as he punches and shoots enemies out of the sky. You can move both of Iron Man's blaster-equipped arms as well as his head, but there's no indication that players will be able to freely fly the hero, meaning that this may very well be an on-rails experience. The announcement trailer didn't actually feature any actual gameplay, so it's possible we've not seen everything the game has to offer. 

Check out the Iron Man VR trailer below...

Iron Man VR isn't the only Marvel game currently in the works. There's also the Nintendo Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, which pits the Avengers, X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy against Thanos and the Black Order in a four-player co-op adventure.

A mysterious Avengers project - dubbed, imaginatively, The Avengers Project - is also being developed over at Square Enix, although we've not heard much about the game in quite some time. Also, rumour has it that Eidos Montreal is developing a secret Guardians of the Galaxy game. 

And let's not forget a sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man, which may very well be on the way as we speak, although Sony hasn't made any official announcements about a second game. It's likely after the success of last year's web-slinging title that Insomniac is preparing the project. 

We'll keep you updated as we hear more about Iron Man VR and other upcoming Marvel video game projects. 

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Iron Man VR: new Marvel game coming to PS4

Array ( [post_title] => Iron Man VR: new Marvel game coming to PS4 [post_content] => John Saavedra

Mar 26, 2019

Hop into Tony Stark's famous armor in Marvel's Iron Man VR! Here are the details...

If you ever dreamed of jumping into Marvel's most famous armoured suit and saving the day as Iron Man, PlayStation has just announced the VR experience for you. Iron Man VR brings the world of billionaire-turned-superhero Tony Stark to your living room, exclusively through the PS VR headset. The game, which is being developed by Camouflaj, is coming later this year. 

"We've set our sights on not only giving the player thrilling moment-to-moment action," Camouflaj director, Ryan Peyton, wrote in a PlayStation Blog post, "but also a deeply personal, and appropriately funny, narrative that puts players in Tony Stark's armored shoes."

From what we can tell from the opening footage, Iron Man VR is a shooter from the perspective of Iron Man's HUD, as he punches and shoots enemies out of the sky. You can move both of Iron Man's blaster-equipped arms as well as his head, but there's no indication that players will be able to freely fly the hero, meaning that this may very well be an on-rails experience. The announcement trailer didn't actually feature any actual gameplay, so it's possible we've not seen everything the game has to offer. 

Check out the Iron Man VR trailer below...

Iron Man VR isn't the only Marvel game currently in the works. There's also the Nintendo Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, which pits the Avengers, X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy against Thanos and the Black Order in a four-player co-op adventure.

A mysterious Avengers project - dubbed, imaginatively, The Avengers Project - is also being developed over at Square Enix, although we've not heard much about the game in quite some time. Also, rumour has it that Eidos Montreal is developing a secret Guardians of the Galaxy game. 

And let's not forget a sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man, which may very well be on the way as we speak, although Sony hasn't made any official announcements about a second game. It's likely after the success of last year's web-slinging title that Insomniac is preparing the project. 

We'll keep you updated as we hear more about Iron Man VR and other upcoming Marvel video game projects. 

[post_excerpt] => John Saavedra
Mar 26, 2019

Hop into Tony Stark's famous armor in Marvel's Iron Man VR! Here are the details...

If you ever dreamed of jumping into Marvel's most famous armoured suit and saving the day as Iron Man, PlayStation has just announced the VR experience for you. Iron Man VR brings the world of billionaire-turned-superhero Tony Stark to your living room, exclusively through the PS VR headset. The game, which is being developed by Camouflaj, is coming later this year. 

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

"We've set our sights on not only giving the player thrilling moment-to-moment action," Camouflaj director, Ryan Peyton, wrote in a PlayStation Blog post, "but also a deeply personal, and appropriately funny, narrative that puts players in Tony Stark's armored shoes."

From what we can tell from the opening footage, Iron Man VR is a shooter from the perspective of Iron Man's HUD, as he punches and shoots enemies out of the sky. You can move both of Iron Man's blaster-equipped arms as well as his head, but there's no indication that players will be able to freely fly the hero, meaning that this may very well be an on-rails experience. The announcement trailer didn't actually feature any actual gameplay, so it's possible we've not seen everything the game has to offer. 

Check out the Iron Man VR trailer below...

Video of Marvel’s Iron Man VR – Announce Trailer | PS VR

Iron Man VR isn't the only Marvel game currently in the works. There's also the Nintendo Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, which pits the Avengers, X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy against Thanos and the Black Order in a four-player co-op adventure.

A mysterious Avengers project - dubbed, imaginatively, The Avengers Project - is also being developed over at Square Enix, although we've not heard much about the game in quite some time. Also, rumour has it that Eidos Montreal is developing a secret Guardians of the Galaxy game. 

And let's not forget a sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man, which may very well be on the way as we speak, although Sony hasn't made any official announcements about a second game. It's likely after the success of last year's web-slinging title that Insomniac is preparing the project. 

We'll keep you updated as we hear more about Iron Man VR and other upcoming Marvel video game projects. 

[post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-25 23:20:01 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 01:20:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-25 23:20:01 [post_modified] => 2019-03-26 01:20:01 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [guid] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/go/64259 [meta] => Array ( [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => ) [syndication_source] => Featured Articles [syndication_source_uri] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/feeds/all [syndication_source_id] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed_id] => 3 [syndication_permalink] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/games/64259/iron-man-vr-trailer-new-marvel-game-ps4 [syndication_item_hash] => Array ( [0] => 4d341fc8ca97c4559b2496d9969346ea [1] => d2c028f3e825c55df2877de2a4d377c7 [2] => d2c028f3e825c55df2877de2a4d377c7 [3] => d2c028f3e825c55df2877de2a4d377c7 [4] => baf102ab0b5d534041417887455fbb81 [5] => 77da0faa05590b1183e714629d828a7b ) [faf_featured_image] => 543510 [faf_process_image] => 543510 ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 543 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( [0] => 21 [1] => 15 ) [post_tag] => Array ( [0] => 2438 ) [post_format] => Array ( [0] => 2439 ) ) [post_name] => iron-man-vr-new-marvel-game-coming-to-ps4 )

FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

Five Nights At Freddy's VR game on the way

Array ( [post_title] => Five Nights At Freddy's VR game on the way [post_content] => Matthew Byrd

Mar 26, 2019

The next Five Nights At Freddy's game will be a VR title, and we've got the trailer right here

Five Nights at Freddy's is coming to PSVR, as Sony confirmed during the first State of Play stream. 

Titled Five Nights At Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted, this upcoming title seems to be a VR re-imagining of the series rather than a straight port of a previous game or even a VR translation of some of the original titles in the franchise. Much of the content seems to be based on previous games in the series, though, even if it does sound like there will be some content exclusive to this game. 

Gameplay-wise, it's not entirely clear how Help Wanted is going to work. Based on the trailer, it seems like at least part of the game will aim to recreate the experience of classic FNAF levels. That is to say that you'll be responsible for monitoring various security feeds in order to protect yourself from the murderous animatronics that roams the night. Other scenes featured gameplay from some of the later titles which require you to do things like fix animatronics and perform other seemingly rudimentary tasks that usually harbour a dark twist.

Of course, the most important way that Five Nights At Freddy's: Help Wanted distinguishes itself from the other games in the series is through its use of VR. Whereas the older titles in the franchise restricted player movement to just a few glances at various screens, it seems that this version of the game will afford you a far greater range of motion that seems to do an excellent job of selling the already notable atmosphere of these titles. 

While the Five Nights At Freddy's franchise isn't quite as prominent as it used to be, there's no denying that the series helped change the state of horror gaming and revitalized the indie horror market on PC. Games like Resident Evil 7 have shown that the PSVR is capable of delivering high-quality horror experiences, so we don't doubt this game from a technical perspective. The question now is whether or not it will be able to spark excitement in a franchise that has been dormant for some time.

Either way, here's the Five Nights At Freddy's VR trailer...

Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted is set to release for PSVR sometime this spring.

We'll keep you posted as we hear more.

[post_excerpt] => Matthew Byrd
Mar 26, 2019

The next Five Nights At Freddy's game will be a VR title, and we've got the trailer right here

Five Nights at Freddy's is coming to PSVR, as Sony confirmed during the first State of Play stream. 

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Titled Five Nights At Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted, this upcoming title seems to be a VR re-imagining of the series rather than a straight port of a previous game or even a VR translation of some of the original titles in the franchise. Much of the content seems to be based on previous games in the series, though, even if it does sound like there will be some content exclusive to this game. 

Gameplay-wise, it's not entirely clear how Help Wanted is going to work. Based on the trailer, it seems like at least part of the game will aim to recreate the experience of classic FNAF levels. That is to say that you'll be responsible for monitoring various security feeds in order to protect yourself from the murderous animatronics that roams the night. Other scenes featured gameplay from some of the later titles which require you to do things like fix animatronics and perform other seemingly rudimentary tasks that usually harbour a dark twist.

Of course, the most important way that Five Nights At Freddy's: Help Wanted distinguishes itself from the other games in the series is through its use of VR. Whereas the older titles in the franchise restricted player movement to just a few glances at various screens, it seems that this version of the game will afford you a far greater range of motion that seems to do an excellent job of selling the already notable atmosphere of these titles. 

While the Five Nights At Freddy's franchise isn't quite as prominent as it used to be, there's no denying that the series helped change the state of horror gaming and revitalized the indie horror market on PC. Games like Resident Evil 7 have shown that the PSVR is capable of delivering high-quality horror experiences, so we don't doubt this game from a technical perspective. The question now is whether or not it will be able to spark excitement in a franchise that has been dormant for some time.

Either way, here's the Five Nights At Freddy's VR trailer...

Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted is set to release for PSVR sometime this spring.

We'll keep you posted as we hear more.

[post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-25 22:20:01 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 00:20:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-25 22:20:01 [post_modified] => 2019-03-26 00:20:01 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [guid] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/go/64258 [meta] => Array ( [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => ) [syndication_source] => Featured Articles [syndication_source_uri] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/feeds/all [syndication_source_id] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed_id] => 3 [syndication_permalink] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/games/64258/five-nights-at-freddys-vr-help-wanted-trailer-and-release-date [syndication_item_hash] => Array ( [0] => 3282b3a99364caeab1d31f17581cf832 [1] => 89c7cdf3b651797dab6f355253149369 [2] => 3f6c3251814098b9ff57c5670e51d023 ) ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 543 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( [0] => 21 [1] => 15 ) [post_tag] => Array ( [0] => 2438 ) [post_format] => Array ( [0] => 2439 ) ) [post_name] => five-nights-at-freddys-vr-game-on-the-way-2 )

Doing filter:faf_image_filter

Execute image filter

Image process

Local save:https://cdn-static.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeek/files/five_nights_at_freddys.jpg

Image process :: Saving local image

grab remote location : https://cdn-static.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeek/files/five_nights_at_freddys.jpg

Image exists, checking for same file size

Replacing images : - ON Matthew Byrd

Mar 26, 2019

The next Five Nights At Freddy's game will be a VR title, and we've got the trailer right here

Five Nights at Freddy's is coming to PSVR, as Sony confirmed during the first State of Play stream. 

Titled Five Nights At Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted, this upcoming title seems to be a VR re-imagining of the series rather than a straight port of a previous game or even a VR translation of some of the original titles in the franchise. Much of the content seems to be based on previous games in the series, though, even if it does sound like there will be some content exclusive to this game. 

Gameplay-wise, it's not entirely clear how Help Wanted is going to work. Based on the trailer, it seems like at least part of the game will aim to recreate the experience of classic FNAF levels. That is to say that you'll be responsible for monitoring various security feeds in order to protect yourself from the murderous animatronics that roams the night. Other scenes featured gameplay from some of the later titles which require you to do things like fix animatronics and perform other seemingly rudimentary tasks that usually harbour a dark twist.

Of course, the most important way that Five Nights At Freddy's: Help Wanted distinguishes itself from the other games in the series is through its use of VR. Whereas the older titles in the franchise restricted player movement to just a few glances at various screens, it seems that this version of the game will afford you a far greater range of motion that seems to do an excellent job of selling the already notable atmosphere of these titles. 

While the Five Nights At Freddy's franchise isn't quite as prominent as it used to be, there's no denying that the series helped change the state of horror gaming and revitalized the indie horror market on PC. Games like Resident Evil 7 have shown that the PSVR is capable of delivering high-quality horror experiences, so we don't doubt this game from a technical perspective. The question now is whether or not it will be able to spark excitement in a franchise that has been dormant for some time.

Either way, here's the Five Nights At Freddy's VR trailer...

Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted is set to release for PSVR sometime this spring.

We'll keep you posted as we hear more.

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Execute : Enclosure images

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Five Nights At Freddy's VR game on the way

Array ( [post_title] => Five Nights At Freddy's VR game on the way [post_content] => Matthew Byrd

Mar 26, 2019

The next Five Nights At Freddy's game will be a VR title, and we've got the trailer right here

Five Nights at Freddy's is coming to PSVR, as Sony confirmed during the first State of Play stream. 

Titled Five Nights At Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted, this upcoming title seems to be a VR re-imagining of the series rather than a straight port of a previous game or even a VR translation of some of the original titles in the franchise. Much of the content seems to be based on previous games in the series, though, even if it does sound like there will be some content exclusive to this game. 

Gameplay-wise, it's not entirely clear how Help Wanted is going to work. Based on the trailer, it seems like at least part of the game will aim to recreate the experience of classic FNAF levels. That is to say that you'll be responsible for monitoring various security feeds in order to protect yourself from the murderous animatronics that roams the night. Other scenes featured gameplay from some of the later titles which require you to do things like fix animatronics and perform other seemingly rudimentary tasks that usually harbour a dark twist.

Of course, the most important way that Five Nights At Freddy's: Help Wanted distinguishes itself from the other games in the series is through its use of VR. Whereas the older titles in the franchise restricted player movement to just a few glances at various screens, it seems that this version of the game will afford you a far greater range of motion that seems to do an excellent job of selling the already notable atmosphere of these titles. 

While the Five Nights At Freddy's franchise isn't quite as prominent as it used to be, there's no denying that the series helped change the state of horror gaming and revitalized the indie horror market on PC. Games like Resident Evil 7 have shown that the PSVR is capable of delivering high-quality horror experiences, so we don't doubt this game from a technical perspective. The question now is whether or not it will be able to spark excitement in a franchise that has been dormant for some time.

Either way, here's the Five Nights At Freddy's VR trailer...

Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted is set to release for PSVR sometime this spring.

We'll keep you posted as we hear more.

[post_excerpt] => Matthew Byrd
Mar 26, 2019

The next Five Nights At Freddy's game will be a VR title, and we've got the trailer right here

Five Nights at Freddy's is coming to PSVR, as Sony confirmed during the first State of Play stream. 

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Titled Five Nights At Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted, this upcoming title seems to be a VR re-imagining of the series rather than a straight port of a previous game or even a VR translation of some of the original titles in the franchise. Much of the content seems to be based on previous games in the series, though, even if it does sound like there will be some content exclusive to this game. 

Gameplay-wise, it's not entirely clear how Help Wanted is going to work. Based on the trailer, it seems like at least part of the game will aim to recreate the experience of classic FNAF levels. That is to say that you'll be responsible for monitoring various security feeds in order to protect yourself from the murderous animatronics that roams the night. Other scenes featured gameplay from some of the later titles which require you to do things like fix animatronics and perform other seemingly rudimentary tasks that usually harbour a dark twist.

Of course, the most important way that Five Nights At Freddy's: Help Wanted distinguishes itself from the other games in the series is through its use of VR. Whereas the older titles in the franchise restricted player movement to just a few glances at various screens, it seems that this version of the game will afford you a far greater range of motion that seems to do an excellent job of selling the already notable atmosphere of these titles. 

While the Five Nights At Freddy's franchise isn't quite as prominent as it used to be, there's no denying that the series helped change the state of horror gaming and revitalized the indie horror market on PC. Games like Resident Evil 7 have shown that the PSVR is capable of delivering high-quality horror experiences, so we don't doubt this game from a technical perspective. The question now is whether or not it will be able to spark excitement in a franchise that has been dormant for some time.

Either way, here's the Five Nights At Freddy's VR trailer...

Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted is set to release for PSVR sometime this spring.

We'll keep you posted as we hear more.

[post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-25 22:20:01 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 00:20:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-25 22:20:01 [post_modified] => 2019-03-26 00:20:01 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [guid] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/go/64258 [meta] => Array ( [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => ) [syndication_source] => Featured Articles [syndication_source_uri] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/feeds/all [syndication_source_id] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed] => http://www.denofgeek.com/index.rss [syndication_feed_id] => 3 [syndication_permalink] => https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/games/64258/five-nights-at-freddys-vr-help-wanted-trailer-and-release-date [syndication_item_hash] => Array ( [0] => 3282b3a99364caeab1d31f17581cf832 [1] => 89c7cdf3b651797dab6f355253149369 [2] => 3f6c3251814098b9ff57c5670e51d023 ) [faf_featured_image] => 543514 [faf_process_image] => 543514 ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 543 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( [0] => 21 [1] => 15 ) [post_tag] => Array ( [0] => 2438 ) [post_format] => Array ( [0] => 2439 ) ) [post_name] => five-nights-at-freddys-vr-game-on-the-way-2 )

FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

Apple Arcade: gaming platform from Apple announced

Array ( [post_title] => Apple Arcade: gaming platform from Apple announced [post_content] => Matthew Byrd

Mar 26, 2019

Apple gets into the game subscription market in a big way with the reveal of Apple Arcade...

Apple has announced its own game subscription service, which some are seeing as a response to Google Stadia and other futuristic game platforms. Unlike Stadia, however, Apple's offering isn't fully dependant on the user having a strong internet connection.

Dubbed Apple Arcade, this new service is designed to offer what Apple is describing as a curated collection of games. According to Apple's Ann Thai, this service will grant subscribers access to over 100 new titles, including games that won't be available anywhere else. While the full list of games that will be available as part of this service hasn't been revealed yet, it has been confirmed that it will include titles form the likes of Hironobu Sakaguchi (creator of the Final Fantasy franchise), and developers like Konami, Platinum Games, Sumo Digital and dozens of other partners that Apple revealed during the event. Apparently, there are also other partners that will be added to that impressive roster at a later date.

Much like Google Stadia, Apple Arcade will work across multiple devices. The catch, as you probably guessed, is that it will only work on Apple devices like the Apple TV, the iPhone, the iPad and the Mac. While these games will not be streamable from the cloud (it's actually somewhat similar to Xbox Game Pass), it will include a family sharing option as part of the price of the service and will also allow you to play all included games offline. The latter is made possible by the ability to download all games included with the service. 

Sadly, there's no word regarding how much this service will cost. Given that this is Apple we're talking about and you should always anticipate a slightly higher price tag, but your guess is as good as ours at this stage.

This is quite an interesting announcement for several reasons. While this isn't a direct competitor to Google Stadia in terms of the service's functionality, it is in the sense that both services represent the efforts of two tech giants who are trying to break into the games service industry in a big way. It also represents one of the first notable competitors to what Microsoft offers via Game Pass. Apple jumping on that particular bandwagon makes us all the more confident that Game Pass really is Microsoft's future, and makes us that much more interested to see what Microsoft has in store with Project xCloud. 

And finally, here's the Apple Arcade announcement trailer...

Although we don't have an exact release date yet, Apple Arcade is expected to release sometime in the autumn. We'll keep you updated as we hear more...

[post_excerpt] => Matthew Byrd
Mar 26, 2019

Apple gets into the game subscription market in a big way with the reveal of Apple Arcade...

Apple has announced its own game subscription service, which some are seeing as a response to Google Stadia and other futuristic game platforms. Unlike Stadia, however, Apple's offering isn't fully dependant on the user having a strong internet connection.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Dubbed Apple Arcade, this new service is designed to offer what Apple is describing as a curated collection of games. According to Apple's Ann Thai, this service will grant subscribers access to over 100 new titles, including games that won't be available anywhere else. While the full list of games that will be available as part of this service hasn't been revealed yet, it has been confirmed that it will include titles form the likes of Hironobu Sakaguchi (creator of the Final Fantasy franchise), and developers like Konami, Platinum Games, Sumo Digital and dozens of other partners that Apple revealed during the event. Apparently, there are also other partners that will be added to that impressive roster at a later date.

Much like Google Stadia, Apple Arcade will work across multiple devices. The catch, as you probably guessed, is that it will only work on Apple devices like the Apple TV, the iPhone, the iPad and the Mac. While these games will not be streamable from the cloud (it's actually somewhat similar to Xbox Game Pass), it will include a family sharing option as part of the price of the service and will also allow you to play all included games offline. The latter is made possible by the ability to download all games included with the service. 

Sadly, there's no word regarding how much this service will cost. Given that this is Apple we're talking about and you should always anticipate a slightly higher price tag, but your guess is as good as ours at this stage.

This is quite an interesting announcement for several reasons. While this isn't a direct competitor to Google Stadia in terms of the service's functionality, it is in the sense that both services represent the efforts of two tech giants who are trying to break into the games service industry in a big way. It also represents one of the first notable competitors to what Microsoft offers via Game Pass. Apple jumping on that particular bandwagon makes us all the more confident that Game Pass really is Microsoft's future, and makes us that much more interested to see what Microsoft has in store with Project xCloud. 

And finally, here's the Apple Arcade announcement trailer...

Video of Apple Arcade Preview — Coming Fall 2019

Although we don't have an exact release date yet, Apple Arcade is expected to release sometime in the autumn. We'll keep you updated as we hear more...

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Replacing images : - ON Matthew Byrd

Mar 26, 2019

Apple gets into the game subscription market in a big way with the reveal of Apple Arcade...

Apple has announced its own game subscription service, which some are seeing as a response to Google Stadia and other futuristic game platforms. Unlike Stadia, however, Apple's offering isn't fully dependant on the user having a strong internet connection.

Dubbed Apple Arcade, this new service is designed to offer what Apple is describing as a curated collection of games. According to Apple's Ann Thai, this service will grant subscribers access to over 100 new titles, including games that won't be available anywhere else. While the full list of games that will be available as part of this service hasn't been revealed yet, it has been confirmed that it will include titles form the likes of Hironobu Sakaguchi (creator of the Final Fantasy franchise), and developers like Konami, Platinum Games, Sumo Digital and dozens of other partners that Apple revealed during the event. Apparently, there are also other partners that will be added to that impressive roster at a later date.

Much like Google Stadia, Apple Arcade will work across multiple devices. The catch, as you probably guessed, is that it will only work on Apple devices like the Apple TV, the iPhone, the iPad and the Mac. While these games will not be streamable from the cloud (it's actually somewhat similar to Xbox Game Pass), it will include a family sharing option as part of the price of the service and will also allow you to play all included games offline. The latter is made possible by the ability to download all games included with the service. 

Sadly, there's no word regarding how much this service will cost. Given that this is Apple we're talking about and you should always anticipate a slightly higher price tag, but your guess is as good as ours at this stage.

This is quite an interesting announcement for several reasons. While this isn't a direct competitor to Google Stadia in terms of the service's functionality, it is in the sense that both services represent the efforts of two tech giants who are trying to break into the games service industry in a big way. It also represents one of the first notable competitors to what Microsoft offers via Game Pass. Apple jumping on that particular bandwagon makes us all the more confident that Game Pass really is Microsoft's future, and makes us that much more interested to see what Microsoft has in store with Project xCloud. 

And finally, here's the Apple Arcade announcement trailer...

Although we don't have an exact release date yet, Apple Arcade is expected to release sometime in the autumn. We'll keep you updated as we hear more...

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Apple Arcade: gaming platform from Apple announced

Array ( [post_title] => Apple Arcade: gaming platform from Apple announced [post_content] => Matthew Byrd

Mar 26, 2019

Apple gets into the game subscription market in a big way with the reveal of Apple Arcade...

Apple has announced its own game subscription service, which some are seeing as a response to Google Stadia and other futuristic game platforms. Unlike Stadia, however, Apple's offering isn't fully dependant on the user having a strong internet connection.

Dubbed Apple Arcade, this new service is designed to offer what Apple is describing as a curated collection of games. According to Apple's Ann Thai, this service will grant subscribers access to over 100 new titles, including games that won't be available anywhere else. While the full list of games that will be available as part of this service hasn't been revealed yet, it has been confirmed that it will include titles form the likes of Hironobu Sakaguchi (creator of the Final Fantasy franchise), and developers like Konami, Platinum Games, Sumo Digital and dozens of other partners that Apple revealed during the event. Apparently, there are also other partners that will be added to that impressive roster at a later date.

Much like Google Stadia, Apple Arcade will work across multiple devices. The catch, as you probably guessed, is that it will only work on Apple devices like the Apple TV, the iPhone, the iPad and the Mac. While these games will not be streamable from the cloud (it's actually somewhat similar to Xbox Game Pass), it will include a family sharing option as part of the price of the service and will also allow you to play all included games offline. The latter is made possible by the ability to download all games included with the service. 

Sadly, there's no word regarding how much this service will cost. Given that this is Apple we're talking about and you should always anticipate a slightly higher price tag, but your guess is as good as ours at this stage.

This is quite an interesting announcement for several reasons. While this isn't a direct competitor to Google Stadia in terms of the service's functionality, it is in the sense that both services represent the efforts of two tech giants who are trying to break into the games service industry in a big way. It also represents one of the first notable competitors to what Microsoft offers via Game Pass. Apple jumping on that particular bandwagon makes us all the more confident that Game Pass really is Microsoft's future, and makes us that much more interested to see what Microsoft has in store with Project xCloud. 

And finally, here's the Apple Arcade announcement trailer...

Although we don't have an exact release date yet, Apple Arcade is expected to release sometime in the autumn. We'll keep you updated as we hear more...

[post_excerpt] => Matthew Byrd
Mar 26, 2019

Apple gets into the game subscription market in a big way with the reveal of Apple Arcade...

Apple has announced its own game subscription service, which some are seeing as a response to Google Stadia and other futuristic game platforms. Unlike Stadia, however, Apple's offering isn't fully dependant on the user having a strong internet connection.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Dubbed Apple Arcade, this new service is designed to offer what Apple is describing as a curated collection of games. According to Apple's Ann Thai, this service will grant subscribers access to over 100 new titles, including games that won't be available anywhere else. While the full list of games that will be available as part of this service hasn't been revealed yet, it has been confirmed that it will include titles form the likes of Hironobu Sakaguchi (creator of the Final Fantasy franchise), and developers like Konami, Platinum Games, Sumo Digital and dozens of other partners that Apple revealed during the event. Apparently, there are also other partners that will be added to that impressive roster at a later date.

Much like Google Stadia, Apple Arcade will work across multiple devices. The catch, as you probably guessed, is that it will only work on Apple devices like the Apple TV, the iPhone, the iPad and the Mac. While these games will not be streamable from the cloud (it's actually somewhat similar to Xbox Game Pass), it will include a family sharing option as part of the price of the service and will also allow you to play all included games offline. The latter is made possible by the ability to download all games included with the service. 

Sadly, there's no word regarding how much this service will cost. Given that this is Apple we're talking about and you should always anticipate a slightly higher price tag, but your guess is as good as ours at this stage.

This is quite an interesting announcement for several reasons. While this isn't a direct competitor to Google Stadia in terms of the service's functionality, it is in the sense that both services represent the efforts of two tech giants who are trying to break into the games service industry in a big way. It also represents one of the first notable competitors to what Microsoft offers via Game Pass. Apple jumping on that particular bandwagon makes us all the more confident that Game Pass really is Microsoft's future, and makes us that much more interested to see what Microsoft has in store with Project xCloud. 

And finally, here's the Apple Arcade announcement trailer...

Video of Apple Arcade Preview — Coming Fall 2019

Although we don't have an exact release date yet, Apple Arcade is expected to release sometime in the autumn. We'll keep you updated as we hear more...

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FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

The Case Against Adnan Syed director: "In true crime often the victim gets lost in the storytelling”

Array ( [post_title] => The Case Against Adnan Syed director: "In true crime often the victim gets lost in the storytelling” [post_content] => Rosie Fletcher

Mar 25, 2019

The Case Against Adnan Syed follows the investigation explored in podcast Serial. Director Amy Berg discusses the hazards of true crime

In 2014, podcast Serial became a massive international phenomenon. Telling the story, week by week, of the murder of schoolgirl Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of 17-year-old Adnan Syed for the crime, the podcast exposed holes in the prosecution's case that cast serious doubt on Syed's guilt. He's still behind bars, though many think he's innocent.

Now a new documentary series focusing on the case has arrived, directed by Amy Berg, who's no stranger to miscarriage-of-justice cases – Berg made West Memphis Three doc West Of Memphis, which was influential in getting the three eventually released.

The doc arrives in four parts – it's already showing on HBO in the States and will be available in the UK via Now TV from 1 April. Recapping the main parts of the case (so it doesn't matter if you haven't listened to Serial), the doc focuses on developments in the case, while emphasising the impact of the murder – and the podcast – on the real people involved. Packed with talking heads including many of Hae Min Lee's best friends, it strives to focus on what Hae was like and who she was. "Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life," Berg tells us.

Can you tell us about how this series came about from the podcast, and how involved Sarah Koenig was in it?

Sarah was not involved in the series at all. I listened to the podcast and I was approached by some producers out of the UK asking if I wanted to do a series about the case. So that's how it came to life. Then we went to HBO and partnered up with Sky in the UK, so that's the origin story for you.

The podcast is quite a lot longer in terms of total runtime, so how did you go about picking what you wanted to include from that and what you would omit within the series?

We picked up where the podcast left off. We really started the story at the PCR hearing. The current day story, which is the case and is the timeline that happened after the podcast in February 2016. We were documenting everything that happened with this case in Baltimore from February 2016 to now. I really just wanted to look at the state's case and follow their path and investigate that, what they presented in the trial. Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life and I wanted to really understand who she was and get into the high school mindset at the time with all the students. That was really important to me.

I feel like in true crime oftentimes the victim gets lost in the storytelling, because it’s about injustice and wrongful convictions and prosecutors and the police work. I just wanted to make sure that we didn't set the series up with that.

The decision to animate Hae Min Lee was really fascinating. Can you tell me how that decision came about?

Yeah, I had seen Diary of a Teenage Girl the summer before I spoke to the producers. I was really moved by the animation in that film and the teenage experience so I approached the animator Sara Gunnarsdóttir to collaborate with me on this. After looking at her journals in the process of choosing excerpts that I thought was really important. We collaborated on that whole storyline for over three years now.

There is a really fascinating series of interviews with Hae's friends. Did they take much convincing to take part?

In terms of the interviews with her friends, it took a while to build trust. I was mostly speaking with them on a research basis in the beginning. Then as we went along, some of them decided that they wanted to participate. But it was really important for them to trust me, and how I was telling the story, before they agreed.

The pieces with Jenn Pusateri were particularly interesting and at the time she seemed to find it quite stressful. Again, how was that?

Jenn is really stuck in her life as a result of having involvement in this case. She definitely wanted to get some things off her chest. She's called me at different points over the past three and a half years wanting to talk. Then she disappeared for a while. It’s hard to keep up with Jenn. Poor Jenn has been victimised by being a part of an investigation that she's just confused by. You can see how it affected her, physically and mentally, it's very stressful for her.

The impact of the podcast is something that you talk about in the documentary a lot. Was that an important part to bring to life for you?

Yeah, after working on West of Memphis for almost four years and seeing how a murder case in a small town affected so many different people, I've always had a fascination with how people move on from something like this and the devastation attached to it. From both sides, I feel like it's important for law enforcement and then the people in the justice system to see the impact and the damage that is done when the investigation isn't accurate.

West of Memphis was amazing, you and others who focused on the case were massively instrumental in getting them released. But with something like Making a Murderer I feel slightly doubtful that those two will ever get out, possibly because of the loss of face for the local police…

The thing that upsets me the most, just looking at the justice system in this country, is that you never hear of prosecutors saying, "You know what, I want to retry this case. I think there might be a mistake, I want to test this evidence. I want to get to the bottom of it so that there's not so much doubt." But it just never happens.

Did you and the crew talk a lot about what might have actually happened to Hae?

I think it's hard to not wonder about that all the time, so we talked about it all the time. There are people that have theories and tell you things that you're not sure if they're true. It was constantly a discussion around our production office and on our trips down to Baltimore, just like, "What actually did happen? If this didn't happen, if this scenario that was put forth didn't happen then what actually did happen to her?"

Do you have any theories about the specifics?

We got as close as we could get but I just don't know, like if you take this scenario, the Adnan Syed scenario, off the table, what other options exist. There are people that were close to her that weren't interviewed and I'd like to know more about their alibi; where they were, if their DNA or prints will ever be collected and tested. There are lots of questions but I don't know that anything’s getting us closer there unless the prosecutor actually decides he wants to go forward and have a new trial but that doesn't seem likely anymore.

In terms of things like impartiality, documentaries like The Staircase have come under criticism for perhaps not showing the full picture. Is that something that you were conscious of and how important was that to you?

Well I mean, I guess it depends what you mean by the full picture because there are so many different perspectives. I mean, I had four hours to tell this story and I wanted to create extra. I stuck to the state's case and the questions around that and then our investigation into the key elements of the state's case. That's all I could handle in a four hour block but I'm sure there are many more stories to tell about this case and many other cases.

Why do you think people are so obsessed with true crime?

There was one study that I read, true crime affects your brain like an addiction, like when you ride on a rollercoaster. I think it also makes us feel safer to know everything we can about a situation so that we can protect ourselves and know more about the darkness in society. So I think there's an element of that and there's just curious minds, I guess, jump into this. I have one of those. My first series as a child was the Nancy Drew series so I've been into this space since I could read.

That's lovely. Given that you worked on it for so long, you must have absolutely reels and reels of footage. Depending on what happens, is there scope to carry on the story? Is there scope to reveal any more of the footage that you've got?

Yeah, I mean I definitely don't think we're done with this yet, we were still editing just two days ago. I don't know when this will end. I feel like there's a lot more to explore and justice needs to be served so I hope that we'll keep getting closer.

Was there anyone that you wanted to talk to, for this one, that you weren't able to? And was there anyone that you did speak to that asked to be cut?

There are a few people that I still wish that I could talk to. We spoke to Don, obviously off camera, we spoke to a few people off camera that I wish we could have had on camera. I, of course, would love to speak to the detectives. We didn't speak to any detectives besides Detective Massey. We really wanted to talk to Ritz and MacGillivary and tried to get in touch with them many times and other crews on the force at the time. We were struck by the silence.

You’ve made several great documentaries, but as you were saying, this is years and years and years of your life dedicated to one thing. How do you choose which case is going to be something that you will follow?

In different ways. This came to me but I was really interested in the case, after listening to the podcast I felt really curious at the end of that 11 hours, I guess. I usually respond through passion or curiosity.

Because of Serial, Adnan’s case was very well known. How did that affect you as a filmmaker?

 I think it makes it a little bit more challenging as a filmmaker because people are less inclined to want to talk about it because of the podcast. There was so much coverage that a lot of people were just wanting it to go away. The podcast created so much attention to this case that certain people felt like their privacy was no longer intact. So that was one of the bigger issues, I think.

What has the response to the documentary been like so far?

It's been interested because I've been watching it unfold in real time and it is interesting to see all of the people on Twitter that know the case learning new things about some of the characters and talking about it publicly. It's really interesting and exciting to see the response so far. I hope that they'll continue to reveal interesting things for everybody.

The Case Against Adnan Syed is out now on HBO. The documentary will debut in the U.K. via Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV on 1 April.

[post_excerpt] => Rosie Fletcher
Mar 25, 2019

The Case Against Adnan Syed follows the investigation explored in podcast Serial. Director Amy Berg discusses the hazards of true crime

In 2014, podcast Serial became a massive international phenomenon. Telling the story, week by week, of the murder of schoolgirl Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of 17-year-old Adnan Syed for the crime, the podcast exposed holes in the prosecution's case that cast serious doubt on Syed's guilt. He's still behind bars, though many think he's innocent.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Now a new documentary series focusing on the case has arrived, directed by Amy Berg, who's no stranger to miscarriage-of-justice cases – Berg made West Memphis Three doc West Of Memphis, which was influential in getting the three eventually released.

The doc arrives in four parts – it's already showing on HBO in the States and will be available in the UK via Now TV from 1 April. Recapping the main parts of the case (so it doesn't matter if you haven't listened to Serial), the doc focuses on developments in the case, while emphasising the impact of the murder – and the podcast – on the real people involved. Packed with talking heads including many of Hae Min Lee's best friends, it strives to focus on what Hae was like and who she was. "Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life," Berg tells us.

Can you tell us about how this series came about from the podcast, and how involved Sarah Koenig was in it?

Sarah was not involved in the series at all. I listened to the podcast and I was approached by some producers out of the UK asking if I wanted to do a series about the case. So that's how it came to life. Then we went to HBO and partnered up with Sky in the UK, so that's the origin story for you.

The podcast is quite a lot longer in terms of total runtime, so how did you go about picking what you wanted to include from that and what you would omit within the series?

We picked up where the podcast left off. We really started the story at the PCR hearing. The current day story, which is the case and is the timeline that happened after the podcast in February 2016. We were documenting everything that happened with this case in Baltimore from February 2016 to now. I really just wanted to look at the state's case and follow their path and investigate that, what they presented in the trial. Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life and I wanted to really understand who she was and get into the high school mindset at the time with all the students. That was really important to me.

I feel like in true crime oftentimes the victim gets lost in the storytelling, because it’s about injustice and wrongful convictions and prosecutors and the police work. I just wanted to make sure that we didn't set the series up with that.

The decision to animate Hae Min Lee was really fascinating. Can you tell me how that decision came about?

Yeah, I had seen Diary of a Teenage Girl the summer before I spoke to the producers. I was really moved by the animation in that film and the teenage experience so I approached the animator Sara Gunnarsdóttir to collaborate with me on this. After looking at her journals in the process of choosing excerpts that I thought was really important. We collaborated on that whole storyline for over three years now.

There is a really fascinating series of interviews with Hae's friends. Did they take much convincing to take part?

In terms of the interviews with her friends, it took a while to build trust. I was mostly speaking with them on a research basis in the beginning. Then as we went along, some of them decided that they wanted to participate. But it was really important for them to trust me, and how I was telling the story, before they agreed.

The pieces with Jenn Pusateri were particularly interesting and at the time she seemed to find it quite stressful. Again, how was that?

Jenn is really stuck in her life as a result of having involvement in this case. She definitely wanted to get some things off her chest. She's called me at different points over the past three and a half years wanting to talk. Then she disappeared for a while. It’s hard to keep up with Jenn. Poor Jenn has been victimised by being a part of an investigation that she's just confused by. You can see how it affected her, physically and mentally, it's very stressful for her.

The impact of the podcast is something that you talk about in the documentary a lot. Was that an important part to bring to life for you?

Yeah, after working on West of Memphis for almost four years and seeing how a murder case in a small town affected so many different people, I've always had a fascination with how people move on from something like this and the devastation attached to it. From both sides, I feel like it's important for law enforcement and then the people in the justice system to see the impact and the damage that is done when the investigation isn't accurate.

West of Memphis was amazing, you and others who focused on the case were massively instrumental in getting them released. But with something like Making a Murderer I feel slightly doubtful that those two will ever get out, possibly because of the loss of face for the local police…

The thing that upsets me the most, just looking at the justice system in this country, is that you never hear of prosecutors saying, "You know what, I want to retry this case. I think there might be a mistake, I want to test this evidence. I want to get to the bottom of it so that there's not so much doubt." But it just never happens.

Did you and the crew talk a lot about what might have actually happened to Hae?

I think it's hard to not wonder about that all the time, so we talked about it all the time. There are people that have theories and tell you things that you're not sure if they're true. It was constantly a discussion around our production office and on our trips down to Baltimore, just like, "What actually did happen? If this didn't happen, if this scenario that was put forth didn't happen then what actually did happen to her?"

Do you have any theories about the specifics?

We got as close as we could get but I just don't know, like if you take this scenario, the Adnan Syed scenario, off the table, what other options exist. There are people that were close to her that weren't interviewed and I'd like to know more about their alibi; where they were, if their DNA or prints will ever be collected and tested. There are lots of questions but I don't know that anything’s getting us closer there unless the prosecutor actually decides he wants to go forward and have a new trial but that doesn't seem likely anymore.

In terms of things like impartiality, documentaries like The Staircase have come under criticism for perhaps not showing the full picture. Is that something that you were conscious of and how important was that to you?

Well I mean, I guess it depends what you mean by the full picture because there are so many different perspectives. I mean, I had four hours to tell this story and I wanted to create extra. I stuck to the state's case and the questions around that and then our investigation into the key elements of the state's case. That's all I could handle in a four hour block but I'm sure there are many more stories to tell about this case and many other cases.

Why do you think people are so obsessed with true crime?

There was one study that I read, true crime affects your brain like an addiction, like when you ride on a rollercoaster. I think it also makes us feel safer to know everything we can about a situation so that we can protect ourselves and know more about the darkness in society. So I think there's an element of that and there's just curious minds, I guess, jump into this. I have one of those. My first series as a child was the Nancy Drew series so I've been into this space since I could read.

That's lovely. Given that you worked on it for so long, you must have absolutely reels and reels of footage. Depending on what happens, is there scope to carry on the story? Is there scope to reveal any more of the footage that you've got?

Yeah, I mean I definitely don't think we're done with this yet, we were still editing just two days ago. I don't know when this will end. I feel like there's a lot more to explore and justice needs to be served so I hope that we'll keep getting closer.

Was there anyone that you wanted to talk to, for this one, that you weren't able to? And was there anyone that you did speak to that asked to be cut?

There are a few people that I still wish that I could talk to. We spoke to Don, obviously off camera, we spoke to a few people off camera that I wish we could have had on camera. I, of course, would love to speak to the detectives. We didn't speak to any detectives besides Detective Massey. We really wanted to talk to Ritz and MacGillivary and tried to get in touch with them many times and other crews on the force at the time. We were struck by the silence.

You’ve made several great documentaries, but as you were saying, this is years and years and years of your life dedicated to one thing. How do you choose which case is going to be something that you will follow?

In different ways. This came to me but I was really interested in the case, after listening to the podcast I felt really curious at the end of that 11 hours, I guess. I usually respond through passion or curiosity.

Because of Serial, Adnan’s case was very well known. How did that affect you as a filmmaker?

 I think it makes it a little bit more challenging as a filmmaker because people are less inclined to want to talk about it because of the podcast. There was so much coverage that a lot of people were just wanting it to go away. The podcast created so much attention to this case that certain people felt like their privacy was no longer intact. So that was one of the bigger issues, I think.

What has the response to the documentary been like so far?

It's been interested because I've been watching it unfold in real time and it is interesting to see all of the people on Twitter that know the case learning new things about some of the characters and talking about it publicly. It's really interesting and exciting to see the response so far. I hope that they'll continue to reveal interesting things for everybody.

The Case Against Adnan Syed is out now on HBO. The documentary will debut in the U.K. via Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV on 1 April.

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Mar 25, 2019

The Case Against Adnan Syed follows the investigation explored in podcast Serial. Director Amy Berg discusses the hazards of true crime

In 2014, podcast Serial became a massive international phenomenon. Telling the story, week by week, of the murder of schoolgirl Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of 17-year-old Adnan Syed for the crime, the podcast exposed holes in the prosecution's case that cast serious doubt on Syed's guilt. He's still behind bars, though many think he's innocent.

Now a new documentary series focusing on the case has arrived, directed by Amy Berg, who's no stranger to miscarriage-of-justice cases – Berg made West Memphis Three doc West Of Memphis, which was influential in getting the three eventually released.

The doc arrives in four parts – it's already showing on HBO in the States and will be available in the UK via Now TV from 1 April. Recapping the main parts of the case (so it doesn't matter if you haven't listened to Serial), the doc focuses on developments in the case, while emphasising the impact of the murder – and the podcast – on the real people involved. Packed with talking heads including many of Hae Min Lee's best friends, it strives to focus on what Hae was like and who she was. "Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life," Berg tells us.

Can you tell us about how this series came about from the podcast, and how involved Sarah Koenig was in it?

Sarah was not involved in the series at all. I listened to the podcast and I was approached by some producers out of the UK asking if I wanted to do a series about the case. So that's how it came to life. Then we went to HBO and partnered up with Sky in the UK, so that's the origin story for you.

The podcast is quite a lot longer in terms of total runtime, so how did you go about picking what you wanted to include from that and what you would omit within the series?

We picked up where the podcast left off. We really started the story at the PCR hearing. The current day story, which is the case and is the timeline that happened after the podcast in February 2016. We were documenting everything that happened with this case in Baltimore from February 2016 to now. I really just wanted to look at the state's case and follow their path and investigate that, what they presented in the trial. Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life and I wanted to really understand who she was and get into the high school mindset at the time with all the students. That was really important to me.

I feel like in true crime oftentimes the victim gets lost in the storytelling, because it’s about injustice and wrongful convictions and prosecutors and the police work. I just wanted to make sure that we didn't set the series up with that.

The decision to animate Hae Min Lee was really fascinating. Can you tell me how that decision came about?

Yeah, I had seen Diary of a Teenage Girl the summer before I spoke to the producers. I was really moved by the animation in that film and the teenage experience so I approached the animator Sara Gunnarsdóttir to collaborate with me on this. After looking at her journals in the process of choosing excerpts that I thought was really important. We collaborated on that whole storyline for over three years now.

There is a really fascinating series of interviews with Hae's friends. Did they take much convincing to take part?

In terms of the interviews with her friends, it took a while to build trust. I was mostly speaking with them on a research basis in the beginning. Then as we went along, some of them decided that they wanted to participate. But it was really important for them to trust me, and how I was telling the story, before they agreed.

The pieces with Jenn Pusateri were particularly interesting and at the time she seemed to find it quite stressful. Again, how was that?

Jenn is really stuck in her life as a result of having involvement in this case. She definitely wanted to get some things off her chest. She's called me at different points over the past three and a half years wanting to talk. Then she disappeared for a while. It’s hard to keep up with Jenn. Poor Jenn has been victimised by being a part of an investigation that she's just confused by. You can see how it affected her, physically and mentally, it's very stressful for her.

The impact of the podcast is something that you talk about in the documentary a lot. Was that an important part to bring to life for you?

Yeah, after working on West of Memphis for almost four years and seeing how a murder case in a small town affected so many different people, I've always had a fascination with how people move on from something like this and the devastation attached to it. From both sides, I feel like it's important for law enforcement and then the people in the justice system to see the impact and the damage that is done when the investigation isn't accurate.

West of Memphis was amazing, you and others who focused on the case were massively instrumental in getting them released. But with something like Making a Murderer I feel slightly doubtful that those two will ever get out, possibly because of the loss of face for the local police…

The thing that upsets me the most, just looking at the justice system in this country, is that you never hear of prosecutors saying, "You know what, I want to retry this case. I think there might be a mistake, I want to test this evidence. I want to get to the bottom of it so that there's not so much doubt." But it just never happens.

Did you and the crew talk a lot about what might have actually happened to Hae?

I think it's hard to not wonder about that all the time, so we talked about it all the time. There are people that have theories and tell you things that you're not sure if they're true. It was constantly a discussion around our production office and on our trips down to Baltimore, just like, "What actually did happen? If this didn't happen, if this scenario that was put forth didn't happen then what actually did happen to her?"

Do you have any theories about the specifics?

We got as close as we could get but I just don't know, like if you take this scenario, the Adnan Syed scenario, off the table, what other options exist. There are people that were close to her that weren't interviewed and I'd like to know more about their alibi; where they were, if their DNA or prints will ever be collected and tested. There are lots of questions but I don't know that anything’s getting us closer there unless the prosecutor actually decides he wants to go forward and have a new trial but that doesn't seem likely anymore.

In terms of things like impartiality, documentaries like The Staircase have come under criticism for perhaps not showing the full picture. Is that something that you were conscious of and how important was that to you?

Well I mean, I guess it depends what you mean by the full picture because there are so many different perspectives. I mean, I had four hours to tell this story and I wanted to create extra. I stuck to the state's case and the questions around that and then our investigation into the key elements of the state's case. That's all I could handle in a four hour block but I'm sure there are many more stories to tell about this case and many other cases.

Why do you think people are so obsessed with true crime?

There was one study that I read, true crime affects your brain like an addiction, like when you ride on a rollercoaster. I think it also makes us feel safer to know everything we can about a situation so that we can protect ourselves and know more about the darkness in society. So I think there's an element of that and there's just curious minds, I guess, jump into this. I have one of those. My first series as a child was the Nancy Drew series so I've been into this space since I could read.

That's lovely. Given that you worked on it for so long, you must have absolutely reels and reels of footage. Depending on what happens, is there scope to carry on the story? Is there scope to reveal any more of the footage that you've got?

Yeah, I mean I definitely don't think we're done with this yet, we were still editing just two days ago. I don't know when this will end. I feel like there's a lot more to explore and justice needs to be served so I hope that we'll keep getting closer.

Was there anyone that you wanted to talk to, for this one, that you weren't able to? And was there anyone that you did speak to that asked to be cut?

There are a few people that I still wish that I could talk to. We spoke to Don, obviously off camera, we spoke to a few people off camera that I wish we could have had on camera. I, of course, would love to speak to the detectives. We didn't speak to any detectives besides Detective Massey. We really wanted to talk to Ritz and MacGillivary and tried to get in touch with them many times and other crews on the force at the time. We were struck by the silence.

You’ve made several great documentaries, but as you were saying, this is years and years and years of your life dedicated to one thing. How do you choose which case is going to be something that you will follow?

In different ways. This came to me but I was really interested in the case, after listening to the podcast I felt really curious at the end of that 11 hours, I guess. I usually respond through passion or curiosity.

Because of Serial, Adnan’s case was very well known. How did that affect you as a filmmaker?

 I think it makes it a little bit more challenging as a filmmaker because people are less inclined to want to talk about it because of the podcast. There was so much coverage that a lot of people were just wanting it to go away. The podcast created so much attention to this case that certain people felt like their privacy was no longer intact. So that was one of the bigger issues, I think.

What has the response to the documentary been like so far?

It's been interested because I've been watching it unfold in real time and it is interesting to see all of the people on Twitter that know the case learning new things about some of the characters and talking about it publicly. It's really interesting and exciting to see the response so far. I hope that they'll continue to reveal interesting things for everybody.

The Case Against Adnan Syed is out now on HBO. The documentary will debut in the U.K. via Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV on 1 April.

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Mar 25, 2019

The Case Against Adnan Syed follows the investigation explored in podcast Serial. Director Amy Berg discusses the hazards of true crime

The Case Against Adnan Syed director:

In 2014, podcast Serial became a massive international phenomenon. Telling the story, week by week, of the murder of schoolgirl Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of 17-year-old Adnan Syed for the crime, the podcast exposed holes in the prosecution's case that cast serious doubt on Syed's guilt. He's still behind bars, though many think he's innocent.

Now a new documentary series focusing on the case has arrived, directed by Amy Berg, who's no stranger to miscarriage-of-justice cases – Berg made West Memphis Three doc West Of Memphis, which was influential in getting the three eventually released.

The doc arrives in four parts – it's already showing on HBO in the States and will be available in the UK via Now TV from 1 April. Recapping the main parts of the case (so it doesn't matter if you haven't listened to Serial), the doc focuses on developments in the case, while emphasising the impact of the murder – and the podcast – on the real people involved. Packed with talking heads including many of Hae Min Lee's best friends, it strives to focus on what Hae was like and who she was. "Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life," Berg tells us.

Can you tell us about how this series came about from the podcast, and how involved Sarah Koenig was in it?

Sarah was not involved in the series at all. I listened to the podcast and I was approached by some producers out of the UK asking if I wanted to do a series about the case. So that's how it came to life. Then we went to HBO and partnered up with Sky in the UK, so that's the origin story for you.

The podcast is quite a lot longer in terms of total runtime, so how did you go about picking what you wanted to include from that and what you would omit within the series?

We picked up where the podcast left off. We really started the story at the PCR hearing. The current day story, which is the case and is the timeline that happened after the podcast in February 2016. We were documenting everything that happened with this case in Baltimore from February 2016 to now. I really just wanted to look at the state's case and follow their path and investigate that, what they presented in the trial. Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life and I wanted to really understand who she was and get into the high school mindset at the time with all the students. That was really important to me.

I feel like in true crime oftentimes the victim gets lost in the storytelling, because it’s about injustice and wrongful convictions and prosecutors and the police work. I just wanted to make sure that we didn't set the series up with that.

The decision to animate Hae Min Lee was really fascinating. Can you tell me how that decision came about?

Yeah, I had seen Diary of a Teenage Girl the summer before I spoke to the producers. I was really moved by the animation in that film and the teenage experience so I approached the animator Sara Gunnarsdóttir to collaborate with me on this. After looking at her journals in the process of choosing excerpts that I thought was really important. We collaborated on that whole storyline for over three years now.

There is a really fascinating series of interviews with Hae's friends. Did they take much convincing to take part?

In terms of the interviews with her friends, it took a while to build trust. I was mostly speaking with them on a research basis in the beginning. Then as we went along, some of them decided that they wanted to participate. But it was really important for them to trust me, and how I was telling the story, before they agreed.

The pieces with Jenn Pusateri were particularly interesting and at the time she seemed to find it quite stressful. Again, how was that?

Jenn is really stuck in her life as a result of having involvement in this case. She definitely wanted to get some things off her chest. She's called me at different points over the past three and a half years wanting to talk. Then she disappeared for a while. It’s hard to keep up with Jenn. Poor Jenn has been victimised by being a part of an investigation that she's just confused by. You can see how it affected her, physically and mentally, it's very stressful for her.

The impact of the podcast is something that you talk about in the documentary a lot. Was that an important part to bring to life for you?

Yeah, after working on West of Memphis for almost four years and seeing how a murder case in a small town affected so many different people, I've always had a fascination with how people move on from something like this and the devastation attached to it. From both sides, I feel like it's important for law enforcement and then the people in the justice system to see the impact and the damage that is done when the investigation isn't accurate.

West of Memphis was amazing, you and others who focused on the case were massively instrumental in getting them released. But with something like Making a Murderer I feel slightly doubtful that those two will ever get out, possibly because of the loss of face for the local police…

The thing that upsets me the most, just looking at the justice system in this country, is that you never hear of prosecutors saying, "You know what, I want to retry this case. I think there might be a mistake, I want to test this evidence. I want to get to the bottom of it so that there's not so much doubt." But it just never happens.

Did you and the crew talk a lot about what might have actually happened to Hae?

I think it's hard to not wonder about that all the time, so we talked about it all the time. There are people that have theories and tell you things that you're not sure if they're true. It was constantly a discussion around our production office and on our trips down to Baltimore, just like, "What actually did happen? If this didn't happen, if this scenario that was put forth didn't happen then what actually did happen to her?"

Do you have any theories about the specifics?

We got as close as we could get but I just don't know, like if you take this scenario, the Adnan Syed scenario, off the table, what other options exist. There are people that were close to her that weren't interviewed and I'd like to know more about their alibi; where they were, if their DNA or prints will ever be collected and tested. There are lots of questions but I don't know that anything’s getting us closer there unless the prosecutor actually decides he wants to go forward and have a new trial but that doesn't seem likely anymore.

In terms of things like impartiality, documentaries like The Staircase have come under criticism for perhaps not showing the full picture. Is that something that you were conscious of and how important was that to you?

Well I mean, I guess it depends what you mean by the full picture because there are so many different perspectives. I mean, I had four hours to tell this story and I wanted to create extra. I stuck to the state's case and the questions around that and then our investigation into the key elements of the state's case. That's all I could handle in a four hour block but I'm sure there are many more stories to tell about this case and many other cases.

Why do you think people are so obsessed with true crime?

There was one study that I read, true crime affects your brain like an addiction, like when you ride on a rollercoaster. I think it also makes us feel safer to know everything we can about a situation so that we can protect ourselves and know more about the darkness in society. So I think there's an element of that and there's just curious minds, I guess, jump into this. I have one of those. My first series as a child was the Nancy Drew series so I've been into this space since I could read.

That's lovely. Given that you worked on it for so long, you must have absolutely reels and reels of footage. Depending on what happens, is there scope to carry on the story? Is there scope to reveal any more of the footage that you've got?

Yeah, I mean I definitely don't think we're done with this yet, we were still editing just two days ago. I don't know when this will end. I feel like there's a lot more to explore and justice needs to be served so I hope that we'll keep getting closer.

Was there anyone that you wanted to talk to, for this one, that you weren't able to? And was there anyone that you did speak to that asked to be cut?

There are a few people that I still wish that I could talk to. We spoke to Don, obviously off camera, we spoke to a few people off camera that I wish we could have had on camera. I, of course, would love to speak to the detectives. We didn't speak to any detectives besides Detective Massey. We really wanted to talk to Ritz and MacGillivary and tried to get in touch with them many times and other crews on the force at the time. We were struck by the silence.

You’ve made several great documentaries, but as you were saying, this is years and years and years of your life dedicated to one thing. How do you choose which case is going to be something that you will follow?

In different ways. This came to me but I was really interested in the case, after listening to the podcast I felt really curious at the end of that 11 hours, I guess. I usually respond through passion or curiosity.

Because of Serial, Adnan’s case was very well known. How did that affect you as a filmmaker?

 I think it makes it a little bit more challenging as a filmmaker because people are less inclined to want to talk about it because of the podcast. There was so much coverage that a lot of people were just wanting it to go away. The podcast created so much attention to this case that certain people felt like their privacy was no longer intact. So that was one of the bigger issues, I think.

What has the response to the documentary been like so far?

It's been interested because I've been watching it unfold in real time and it is interesting to see all of the people on Twitter that know the case learning new things about some of the characters and talking about it publicly. It's really interesting and exciting to see the response so far. I hope that they'll continue to reveal interesting things for everybody.

The Case Against Adnan Syed is out now on HBO. The documentary will debut in the U.K. via Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV on 1 April.

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Mar 25, 2019

The Case Against Adnan Syed follows the investigation explored in podcast Serial. Director Amy Berg discusses the hazards of true crime

In 2014, podcast Serial became a massive international phenomenon. Telling the story, week by week, of the murder of schoolgirl Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of 17-year-old Adnan Syed for the crime, the podcast exposed holes in the prosecution's case that cast serious doubt on Syed's guilt. He's still behind bars, though many think he's innocent.

Now a new documentary series focusing on the case has arrived, directed by Amy Berg, who's no stranger to miscarriage-of-justice cases – Berg made West Memphis Three doc West Of Memphis, which was influential in getting the three eventually released.

The doc arrives in four parts – it's already showing on HBO in the States and will be available in the UK via Now TV from 1 April. Recapping the main parts of the case (so it doesn't matter if you haven't listened to Serial), the doc focuses on developments in the case, while emphasising the impact of the murder – and the podcast – on the real people involved. Packed with talking heads including many of Hae Min Lee's best friends, it strives to focus on what Hae was like and who she was. "Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life," Berg tells us.

Can you tell us about how this series came about from the podcast, and how involved Sarah Koenig was in it?

Sarah was not involved in the series at all. I listened to the podcast and I was approached by some producers out of the UK asking if I wanted to do a series about the case. So that's how it came to life. Then we went to HBO and partnered up with Sky in the UK, so that's the origin story for you.

The podcast is quite a lot longer in terms of total runtime, so how did you go about picking what you wanted to include from that and what you would omit within the series?

We picked up where the podcast left off. We really started the story at the PCR hearing. The current day story, which is the case and is the timeline that happened after the podcast in February 2016. We were documenting everything that happened with this case in Baltimore from February 2016 to now. I really just wanted to look at the state's case and follow their path and investigate that, what they presented in the trial. Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life and I wanted to really understand who she was and get into the high school mindset at the time with all the students. That was really important to me.

I feel like in true crime oftentimes the victim gets lost in the storytelling, because it’s about injustice and wrongful convictions and prosecutors and the police work. I just wanted to make sure that we didn't set the series up with that.

The decision to animate Hae Min Lee was really fascinating. Can you tell me how that decision came about?

Yeah, I had seen Diary of a Teenage Girl the summer before I spoke to the producers. I was really moved by the animation in that film and the teenage experience so I approached the animator Sara Gunnarsdóttir to collaborate with me on this. After looking at her journals in the process of choosing excerpts that I thought was really important. We collaborated on that whole storyline for over three years now.

There is a really fascinating series of interviews with Hae's friends. Did they take much convincing to take part?

In terms of the interviews with her friends, it took a while to build trust. I was mostly speaking with them on a research basis in the beginning. Then as we went along, some of them decided that they wanted to participate. But it was really important for them to trust me, and how I was telling the story, before they agreed.

The pieces with Jenn Pusateri were particularly interesting and at the time she seemed to find it quite stressful. Again, how was that?

Jenn is really stuck in her life as a result of having involvement in this case. She definitely wanted to get some things off her chest. She's called me at different points over the past three and a half years wanting to talk. Then she disappeared for a while. It’s hard to keep up with Jenn. Poor Jenn has been victimised by being a part of an investigation that she's just confused by. You can see how it affected her, physically and mentally, it's very stressful for her.

The impact of the podcast is something that you talk about in the documentary a lot. Was that an important part to bring to life for you?

Yeah, after working on West of Memphis for almost four years and seeing how a murder case in a small town affected so many different people, I've always had a fascination with how people move on from something like this and the devastation attached to it. From both sides, I feel like it's important for law enforcement and then the people in the justice system to see the impact and the damage that is done when the investigation isn't accurate.

West of Memphis was amazing, you and others who focused on the case were massively instrumental in getting them released. But with something like Making a Murderer I feel slightly doubtful that those two will ever get out, possibly because of the loss of face for the local police…

The thing that upsets me the most, just looking at the justice system in this country, is that you never hear of prosecutors saying, "You know what, I want to retry this case. I think there might be a mistake, I want to test this evidence. I want to get to the bottom of it so that there's not so much doubt." But it just never happens.

Did you and the crew talk a lot about what might have actually happened to Hae?

I think it's hard to not wonder about that all the time, so we talked about it all the time. There are people that have theories and tell you things that you're not sure if they're true. It was constantly a discussion around our production office and on our trips down to Baltimore, just like, "What actually did happen? If this didn't happen, if this scenario that was put forth didn't happen then what actually did happen to her?"

Do you have any theories about the specifics?

We got as close as we could get but I just don't know, like if you take this scenario, the Adnan Syed scenario, off the table, what other options exist. There are people that were close to her that weren't interviewed and I'd like to know more about their alibi; where they were, if their DNA or prints will ever be collected and tested. There are lots of questions but I don't know that anything’s getting us closer there unless the prosecutor actually decides he wants to go forward and have a new trial but that doesn't seem likely anymore.

In terms of things like impartiality, documentaries like The Staircase have come under criticism for perhaps not showing the full picture. Is that something that you were conscious of and how important was that to you?

Well I mean, I guess it depends what you mean by the full picture because there are so many different perspectives. I mean, I had four hours to tell this story and I wanted to create extra. I stuck to the state's case and the questions around that and then our investigation into the key elements of the state's case. That's all I could handle in a four hour block but I'm sure there are many more stories to tell about this case and many other cases.

The Case Against Adnan Syed director:

Why do you think people are so obsessed with true crime?

There was one study that I read, true crime affects your brain like an addiction, like when you ride on a rollercoaster. I think it also makes us feel safer to know everything we can about a situation so that we can protect ourselves and know more about the darkness in society. So I think there's an element of that and there's just curious minds, I guess, jump into this. I have one of those. My first series as a child was the Nancy Drew series so I've been into this space since I could read.

That's lovely. Given that you worked on it for so long, you must have absolutely reels and reels of footage. Depending on what happens, is there scope to carry on the story? Is there scope to reveal any more of the footage that you've got?

Yeah, I mean I definitely don't think we're done with this yet, we were still editing just two days ago. I don't know when this will end. I feel like there's a lot more to explore and justice needs to be served so I hope that we'll keep getting closer.

Was there anyone that you wanted to talk to, for this one, that you weren't able to? And was there anyone that you did speak to that asked to be cut?

There are a few people that I still wish that I could talk to. We spoke to Don, obviously off camera, we spoke to a few people off camera that I wish we could have had on camera. I, of course, would love to speak to the detectives. We didn't speak to any detectives besides Detective Massey. We really wanted to talk to Ritz and MacGillivary and tried to get in touch with them many times and other crews on the force at the time. We were struck by the silence.

You’ve made several great documentaries, but as you were saying, this is years and years and years of your life dedicated to one thing. How do you choose which case is going to be something that you will follow?

In different ways. This came to me but I was really interested in the case, after listening to the podcast I felt really curious at the end of that 11 hours, I guess. I usually respond through passion or curiosity.

Because of Serial, Adnan’s case was very well known. How did that affect you as a filmmaker?

 I think it makes it a little bit more challenging as a filmmaker because people are less inclined to want to talk about it because of the podcast. There was so much coverage that a lot of people were just wanting it to go away. The podcast created so much attention to this case that certain people felt like their privacy was no longer intact. So that was one of the bigger issues, I think.

What has the response to the documentary been like so far?

It's been interested because I've been watching it unfold in real time and it is interesting to see all of the people on Twitter that know the case learning new things about some of the characters and talking about it publicly. It's really interesting and exciting to see the response so far. I hope that they'll continue to reveal interesting things for everybody.

The Case Against Adnan Syed is out now on HBO. The documentary will debut in the U.K. via Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV on 1 April.

[post_excerpt] => Rosie Fletcher
Mar 25, 2019

The Case Against Adnan Syed follows the investigation explored in podcast Serial. Director Amy Berg discusses the hazards of true crime

In 2014, podcast Serial became a massive international phenomenon. Telling the story, week by week, of the murder of schoolgirl Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of 17-year-old Adnan Syed for the crime, the podcast exposed holes in the prosecution's case that cast serious doubt on Syed's guilt. He's still behind bars, though many think he's innocent.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Now a new documentary series focusing on the case has arrived, directed by Amy Berg, who's no stranger to miscarriage-of-justice cases – Berg made West Memphis Three doc West Of Memphis, which was influential in getting the three eventually released.

The doc arrives in four parts – it's already showing on HBO in the States and will be available in the UK via Now TV from 1 April. Recapping the main parts of the case (so it doesn't matter if you haven't listened to Serial), the doc focuses on developments in the case, while emphasising the impact of the murder – and the podcast – on the real people involved. Packed with talking heads including many of Hae Min Lee's best friends, it strives to focus on what Hae was like and who she was. "Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life," Berg tells us.

Can you tell us about how this series came about from the podcast, and how involved Sarah Koenig was in it?

Sarah was not involved in the series at all. I listened to the podcast and I was approached by some producers out of the UK asking if I wanted to do a series about the case. So that's how it came to life. Then we went to HBO and partnered up with Sky in the UK, so that's the origin story for you.

The podcast is quite a lot longer in terms of total runtime, so how did you go about picking what you wanted to include from that and what you would omit within the series?

We picked up where the podcast left off. We really started the story at the PCR hearing. The current day story, which is the case and is the timeline that happened after the podcast in February 2016. We were documenting everything that happened with this case in Baltimore from February 2016 to now. I really just wanted to look at the state's case and follow their path and investigate that, what they presented in the trial. Most important for me was to bring Hae Min Lee's story to life and I wanted to really understand who she was and get into the high school mindset at the time with all the students. That was really important to me.

I feel like in true crime oftentimes the victim gets lost in the storytelling, because it’s about injustice and wrongful convictions and prosecutors and the police work. I just wanted to make sure that we didn't set the series up with that.

The decision to animate Hae Min Lee was really fascinating. Can you tell me how that decision came about?

Yeah, I had seen Diary of a Teenage Girl the summer before I spoke to the producers. I was really moved by the animation in that film and the teenage experience so I approached the animator Sara Gunnarsdóttir to collaborate with me on this. After looking at her journals in the process of choosing excerpts that I thought was really important. We collaborated on that whole storyline for over three years now.

There is a really fascinating series of interviews with Hae's friends. Did they take much convincing to take part?

In terms of the interviews with her friends, it took a while to build trust. I was mostly speaking with them on a research basis in the beginning. Then as we went along, some of them decided that they wanted to participate. But it was really important for them to trust me, and how I was telling the story, before they agreed.

The pieces with Jenn Pusateri were particularly interesting and at the time she seemed to find it quite stressful. Again, how was that?

Jenn is really stuck in her life as a result of having involvement in this case. She definitely wanted to get some things off her chest. She's called me at different points over the past three and a half years wanting to talk. Then she disappeared for a while. It’s hard to keep up with Jenn. Poor Jenn has been victimised by being a part of an investigation that she's just confused by. You can see how it affected her, physically and mentally, it's very stressful for her.

The impact of the podcast is something that you talk about in the documentary a lot. Was that an important part to bring to life for you?

Yeah, after working on West of Memphis for almost four years and seeing how a murder case in a small town affected so many different people, I've always had a fascination with how people move on from something like this and the devastation attached to it. From both sides, I feel like it's important for law enforcement and then the people in the justice system to see the impact and the damage that is done when the investigation isn't accurate.

West of Memphis was amazing, you and others who focused on the case were massively instrumental in getting them released. But with something like Making a Murderer I feel slightly doubtful that those two will ever get out, possibly because of the loss of face for the local police…

The thing that upsets me the most, just looking at the justice system in this country, is that you never hear of prosecutors saying, "You know what, I want to retry this case. I think there might be a mistake, I want to test this evidence. I want to get to the bottom of it so that there's not so much doubt." But it just never happens.

Did you and the crew talk a lot about what might have actually happened to Hae?

I think it's hard to not wonder about that all the time, so we talked about it all the time. There are people that have theories and tell you things that you're not sure if they're true. It was constantly a discussion around our production office and on our trips down to Baltimore, just like, "What actually did happen? If this didn't happen, if this scenario that was put forth didn't happen then what actually did happen to her?"

Do you have any theories about the specifics?

We got as close as we could get but I just don't know, like if you take this scenario, the Adnan Syed scenario, off the table, what other options exist. There are people that were close to her that weren't interviewed and I'd like to know more about their alibi; where they were, if their DNA or prints will ever be collected and tested. There are lots of questions but I don't know that anything’s getting us closer there unless the prosecutor actually decides he wants to go forward and have a new trial but that doesn't seem likely anymore.

In terms of things like impartiality, documentaries like The Staircase have come under criticism for perhaps not showing the full picture. Is that something that you were conscious of and how important was that to you?

Well I mean, I guess it depends what you mean by the full picture because there are so many different perspectives. I mean, I had four hours to tell this story and I wanted to create extra. I stuck to the state's case and the questions around that and then our investigation into the key elements of the state's case. That's all I could handle in a four hour block but I'm sure there are many more stories to tell about this case and many other cases.

Why do you think people are so obsessed with true crime?

There was one study that I read, true crime affects your brain like an addiction, like when you ride on a rollercoaster. I think it also makes us feel safer to know everything we can about a situation so that we can protect ourselves and know more about the darkness in society. So I think there's an element of that and there's just curious minds, I guess, jump into this. I have one of those. My first series as a child was the Nancy Drew series so I've been into this space since I could read.

That's lovely. Given that you worked on it for so long, you must have absolutely reels and reels of footage. Depending on what happens, is there scope to carry on the story? Is there scope to reveal any more of the footage that you've got?

Yeah, I mean I definitely don't think we're done with this yet, we were still editing just two days ago. I don't know when this will end. I feel like there's a lot more to explore and justice needs to be served so I hope that we'll keep getting closer.

Was there anyone that you wanted to talk to, for this one, that you weren't able to? And was there anyone that you did speak to that asked to be cut?

There are a few people that I still wish that I could talk to. We spoke to Don, obviously off camera, we spoke to a few people off camera that I wish we could have had on camera. I, of course, would love to speak to the detectives. We didn't speak to any detectives besides Detective Massey. We really wanted to talk to Ritz and MacGillivary and tried to get in touch with them many times and other crews on the force at the time. We were struck by the silence.

You’ve made several great documentaries, but as you were saying, this is years and years and years of your life dedicated to one thing. How do you choose which case is going to be something that you will follow?

In different ways. This came to me but I was really interested in the case, after listening to the podcast I felt really curious at the end of that 11 hours, I guess. I usually respond through passion or curiosity.

Because of Serial, Adnan’s case was very well known. How did that affect you as a filmmaker?

 I think it makes it a little bit more challenging as a filmmaker because people are less inclined to want to talk about it because of the podcast. There was so much coverage that a lot of people were just wanting it to go away. The podcast created so much attention to this case that certain people felt like their privacy was no longer intact. So that was one of the bigger issues, I think.

What has the response to the documentary been like so far?

It's been interested because I've been watching it unfold in real time and it is interesting to see all of the people on Twitter that know the case learning new things about some of the characters and talking about it publicly. It's really interesting and exciting to see the response so far. I hope that they'll continue to reveal interesting things for everybody.

The Case Against Adnan Syed is out now on HBO. The documentary will debut in the U.K. via Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV on 1 April.

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FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Array ( [post_title] => Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead [post_content] => Aaron Potter

Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

[post_excerpt] => Aaron Potter
Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

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Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

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Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

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Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

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Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

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Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

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Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

Local save:https://cdn-static.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeek/files/2019/03/season_3_episode_5.jpg

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grab remote location : https://cdn-static.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeek/files/2019/03/season_3_episode_5.jpg

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Replacing images : - ON Aaron Potter

Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

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grab remote location : https://cdn-static.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeek/files/2019/03/season_4_episode_3.jpg

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Replacing images : - ON Aaron Potter

Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Array ( [post_title] => Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead [post_content] => Aaron Potter

Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Looking back at the toughest decisions from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

[post_excerpt] => Aaron Potter
Mar 26, 2019

Aaron looks back at the most thought provoking choices facing players of Telltale's hit game

Almost every episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is prefaced by the following statement: “This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play”. Not only does this indicate that no one player’s journey throughout this video game version of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-ravaged landscape will be exactly the same, but that the decisions asked of you while in it all carry weight – nearly always in ways that you don’t see coming.

See related 
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Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Meaningful choices like this are what has come to define a lot of Telltale’s games, but with the studio coming to an unfortunate close last October and The Walking Dead’s final ever episode just released, we thought we’d look back at some of the toughest. The following is a list of our picks placed in chronological order. However, with many people likely not yet having played The Final Season’s fourth episode, we’re leaving off any of those events.

To steal supplies from the car or leave it be (Season 1, Episode 2)

The Walking Dead’s first season placed you in the role of Lee Everett, an ex-con seeking redemption from his past life by looking after a young girl called Clementine. It isn’t too long before his morals are called into question, though, as the second episode – titled “Starved for Help” – sees Lee and the surviving group faced with the conundrum of stealing food, ammunition and medication from a stranger’s car or leave it untouched and retain the moral high ground.

This decision is particularly difficult given the episode’s earlier events, wherein the group has just barely escaped the dinnerplates of a cannibalistic family. Looting the car would mean guaranteed supplies for the next week, but little Clementine’s puppy dog eyes leads Lee to stop and consider whether doing so means screwing over another innocent group of survivors. This choice is notable because it goes on to play a crucial factor in the season’s finale. It’s also one of the earliest to substantially affect Lee’s relationship with Clementine in one way or the other.

To leave Lilly at the roadside or take her with you (Season 1, Episode 3)

Feathers are further ruffled in season 1 when, in an attempt to sniff out who amongst the group is a traitor, Lilly shoots either Carley or Doug (depending on who you saved back at the Chemist in episode 1). She’s understandably agitated since the death of her father Larry, and her shooting an alleged traitor is done fully while having the best interests of the group in mind. Killing people without council, though? Not very cool.

What follows is a choice that has ramifications all the way up to The Walking Dead’s Final Season, as the group can either kick Lilly out of the RV and leave her at the side or the road or keep her in the group, albeit handcuffed so that she can’t cause harm to others. The twist of the knife comes from that neither of Lilly’s potential victims is in fact the traitor. Innocents will die regardless of your actions, and this was just the first of many examples.

To let Lee turn or show him mercy (Season 1, Episode 5)

All the way through season one, you as Lee have been doing your best to be a good example for Clementine – setting her straight and guiding her in this world. As what’s left of the group finally arrive in their zombie-infested destination of Savannah, this finally comes full circle when a bitten Lee has one last heart to heart with her before turning or dying. The season’s final choice assures that no dry eye is safe, almost certainly what cemented it countless game-of-the-year awards. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the game that forced players to have a nine-year-old girl leave or kill her guardian angel. Regardless of your decision, the action is one that Clementine carries with her through to every future survivor group and bleak scenario. The Walking Dead paints a harsh, bitter world, and a hardened Clem is what steps out back into it once the deed is done.

To shoot Kenny or trust he’ll change (Season 2, Episode 5)

Kenny was a hot-headed member of the group from the first season that was presumed dead following an act of heroism he made in Savannah. Seeing him return at the end of season two’s second episode was a nice surprise, albeit one that was all-too brief, as it soon becomes clear that the loss of his wife and kids has caused him irreparable emotional trauma. What previously kept him grounded in season one is no longer there, causing him to show a callousness that culminates when he repeatedly bludgeons an already-beaten foe named Carver to death in episode 3.

Fast forward to season two’s final scenes and Clementine is eventually forced to either kill her former friend, recognising his soul can’t be saved, or let him live and trust he’ll change. The moment comes from where he and Jane (another member of the group) are wrestling on the snowy ground, with Clem raising her gun out of fear. She makes her choice knowing that whoever lives will need to help her raise an orphaned baby AJ.

To go with your family or defend their escape (Season 3, Episode 1)

The Walking Dead’s third season shook things up somewhat unexpectedly, having series mainstay, Clementine, take a back seat in favour of new protagonist Javier. What could have been a strong error of judgement is swiftly avoided, however, when season three’s first big decision makes you feel for Javier and what’s left of his family.
It comes at the end of an opening two-parter titled “Ties That Bind”, where your search for supplies at a nearby shack results in the death of your niece – in quite a horrific way, we might add. From here your given the choice or fleeing with the rest of your family (sister-in-law Kate and Nephew Gabe) or holding off the attackers responsible alongside Clem in an intense shootout. Kate and Gabe get away either way, but it lights the spark as to what man your Javier will be.

To give in to David’s hate or keep your promise to your dad (Season 3, Episode 5)

Family plays an important role throughout Javier’s arc in season three. Nothing proves this sentiment more so than when he reunites with his long-lost brother, who now heads up a military outfit of raiders known as The New Frontier. Taking up refuge in a city called Richmond, Javier and friends eventually expose the raiding activity Richmond is responsible for, hoping to tempt David back into doing what’s right.

Javier and David are constantly at loggerheads, culminating in a fight between the two around the mid-point of the season’s final episode. David wants to beat his brother to a pulp after learning that he has fallen in love with wife Kate, but Javier can choose to rise above it and keep an earlier promise to his father by refusing to fight him. Three times players are offered the ability to have Javier lash out at David. The other choice? Continually saying that you’ll love him no matter what.

To let AJ shoot or teach him forgiveness (Season 4, Episode 3)

Season 4 of The Walking Dead sees Clementine back in the firing line, forced to take care of AJ who is now coming of age while mirroring the guardian figure Lee was to her during the first season. At certain points in each episode she asks AJ to recount certain rules and views she has taught him, all of which contribute to how he will act during the most heated of moments.

The best example yet of this is where we last left AJ and Clem, in the final season’s penultimate episode, where Clem can have the scared youngster wither pull the trigger on the enemy or let them live. All the way up to this point survivors have been telling you how scared they are of the man AJ will eventually become, but does this matter if it means giving the bad guys their due? Both outcomes look to have dire consequences in The Walking Dead’s last ever episode, available today.

Get The Walking Dead Telltale Series Collection on PS4 for £35

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FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Array ( [post_title] => Line Of Duty recap: the story so far [post_content] => Louisa Mellor

Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

[post_excerpt] => Louisa Mellor
Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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Replacing images : - ON Louisa Mellor

Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four
Line Of Duty recap: the story so far

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

[post_excerpt] => Louisa Mellor
Mar 26, 2019

Crime drama Line Of Duty return to BBC One on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to remember from series one to four. Major spoilers…

It's almost upon us; this Sunday night, a brand new episode of Jed Mercurio's Line Of Duty will batter down our front doors using a police-issue enforcer and spill into our homes shouting indecipherable acronyms into walkie talkies, running up the stairs, kicking over plant pots and occasional tables as they go. 

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

To help us cope with all the excitement, with major spoilers for series one to four, here's a wee reminder of the story so far...

Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)

This is Superintendent Ted Hastings, like the battle, and also unlike the battle in that Ted would never allow himself to be depicted in embroidery by the French. He’s too busy sniffing out bent coppers, saying “God, give me strength” and conducting enquiries to the letter of the law. The letter, which is L.

Other letters are AC, which stand for Anti-Corruption, which is what Ted does and what he is. He runs AC-12, which makes him about as popular as a fart in a lift with the rest of the police service, but Ted pays that no mind. He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to say ‘fella’ and stand for what's right.

Helping him are DS Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott, whom Ted loves like he’s their Da but God, give him strength sometimes. (Ted’s God is the Catholic one, so as a young Northern Irish officer during the Troubles, he learned about prejudice and police conspiracy the hard way.) They’re good wee officers the both of them but sometimes they need to catch themselves on.

Ted is a plain steak-and-no-sauce kind of man. He’s separated from his wife, childhood sweetheart Roisin, having made an unwise investment and lost their savings, but still wears his wedding ring and lives by his vows. His granite morals often stand in the way of his personal advancement. He’s turned down promotions, sexual advances and white wine, all for the sake of probity.

He’s Ted Hastings, a steadfast island in Line Of Duty’s choppy ethical waters, last seen shooting square between the eyes a member of the ‘Balaclava Gang’ organised crime syndicate attempting to storm AC-12’s headquarters to remove a witness. On you go, son.

Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)

Kate Fleming’s the chameleon of AC-12. A skilled undercover officer, she blends in imperceptibly against any background. Serious Crime, CID, Armed Response… Kate has acted the part in all of them.

‘The part’ is new transfer Kate F, a blue-eyed beauty who’s always ready with a head-tilt and a sympathetic ear. When Kate F isn’t doing pub banter to get in with the lads, she’s approaching her superior officers and saying ‘sorry sir/ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear. If there’s anything I can do to help with all this corruption you’re up to, just say.’ It’s an approach that works a surprising percentage of the time.

Kate’s a trained firearms officer and gutsier than a butcher’s slab. She won an award for bravery when she tooled up to pursue corrupt officer DI ‘Dot’ Cottan on foot after he tried to escape an AC-12 interview with the help of armed gunmen. Dot ended up taking a bullet for Kate, and while he bled out, she collected his Dying Declaration naming corrupt police names.

In her personal life, Kate was married and has a son who lives with her ex, and we know her to have had an affair with a married friend, but her head’s really in the job. Though she and Arnott sometimes lock horns and jostle for position, they have each other’s backs. When Cottan attempted to frame Steve, Kate undertook an undercover mission against her own squad and ate a bowl of corrupt chilli to clear Steve’s name. She’s AC-12’s coolest customer.

Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)

Aka: the waistcoat warrior. DS Arnott is AC-12’s three-piece-suited pit bull: tenacious, argumentative, cocky and unlikely to let go after he sinks in his jaws. The past four series have put Steve through it. He’s been kidnapped, almost had his fingers amputated, framed for murder and held in custody, beaten with a baseball bat and thrown down a flight of stairs resulting in a coma and temporary wheelchair use. It’s a wonder the man doesn’t start shaking every time he reaches for his lanyard.

Steve was originally recruited by Hastings after he refused to collude in a police cover-up after a botched anti-terrorism operation in which an innocent man was shot dead, proving his moral fibre. He may know right from wrong on the job, but Steve hasn’t always had a squeaky clean personal life. He was romantically involved with a witness on an active investigation, and seduced DI Lindsay Denton in series two in an attempt to uncover the truth about her corruption. (Though the details are sketchy, her audio recording of their liaison, which was played in court, caused Steve major embarrassment and helped to overturn her conviction.) He is unmarried and his on-off girlfriend DS Sam Railston works for murder squad.

Series one

AC-12 exposed ‘laddering’ malpractice by DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), an award-winning officer whose Serious Crime Unit’s boasted exceptional, and inflated, statistics. Gates’ team included DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and DC Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey), DC Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub), and an undercover DC Fleming. Kapoor was fired from the squad when he was wrongly suspected of leaking information to AC-12 (really, it was undercover officer Fleming, whose cover was blown by DC Morton, who it was revealed had been faking a leg injury in order to exploit desk duty and payments).

While investigating Gates for fiddling the numbers, AC-12 discovered his involvement in a much more serious cover-up. Gates’ wealthy mistress Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), who was laundering money for an organised crime syndicate her property holdings company, killed her accountant with her car when he discovered her criminal activity. Laverty lied to Gates that she’d been drunk-driving and hit a dog, so he agreed to cover up the incident, staging the theft of her car.

The criminal gang attacked Gates and murdered Laverty, keeping her corpse - contaminated with Gates’ DNA - in a freezer to blackmail him while his squad investigated drug murders they’d committed. Blackmailed, Gates disguised the murders as terrorism-related for the return of Jackie’s body. The gang refused to return it, so Gates tracked down its leader Tommy Hunter, arrested him and elicited a confession while driving, which was broadcast to Arnott and Fleming. Thinking that Hunter had been caught and that, due to his corruption, he faced a lengthy prison sentence, Gates committed suicide by walking into moving traffic, and urged Steve to report that he had died in the line of duty to ensure that his wife and children would receive a pension. Steve and Kate did so.

During the investigation, DS ‘Dot’ Cottan gave (false) evidence that incriminated DCI Gates, which led Supt. Hastings to recruit him for AC-12, thinking him an officer with strong morals. Dot was actually a long-time corrupt officer nicknamed ‘The Caddy’ who’d worked for Tommy Hunter and the criminal gang since he was a teenager. Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to also be working for the criminal gang, put Cottan forward for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Series two

AKA: did Denton do it? AC-12 investigated DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), the sole survivor of an ambush on a police transport in which three officers were killed and a witness severely injured. The ambush had been orchestrated by DI Cottan on the orders of the criminal gang in order to murder former leader Tommy Hunter, then in Witness Protection. Cottan had bribed DS Jayne Akers to place a tracker on Denton’s car, enabling two other corrupt officers (DS Prasad and DS Cole) to follow the convoy and kill Hunter. Akers, who had bribed Denton to collude in the plan to kill Hunter with cash and the promise that she’d be taking a dangerous criminal off the streets, was killed in the ambush, and Hunter was later murdered in hospital by DS Cole. DI Denton was left alive as a scapegoat and because she had no knowledge that Cottan, Prasad and Cole were behind the ambush, her only point of contact having been Akers.

Denton had previously had an affair with her married boss DCC Dryden (Mark Bonnar), which he’d ended when she fell pregnant, pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy. While stalking Dryden, Denton witnessed him engage in sexual activity with a minor – Carly Kirk, a teenager in care who was groomed by DS Cole to work as part of Tommy Hunter’s sex work operation, and who’d been instructed to target Dryden so that Hunter’s gang could gain compromising blackmail evidence on the Deputy Chief Constable. The corpse of a girl believed to be Carly Kirk (not actually her, Cole had disguised another body to look like hers and Carly, unbeknownst to everyone but us, got away) was discovered as part of the gang’s attempt to frame Dryden for the ambush.  

Denton was remanded in custody for her role in the ambush until her trial, where she was abused for being a police officer. Allowed out to attend her mother’s funeral, she was kidnapped by Prasad and Cole, but fought them and escaped. Dot maintained the illusion of innocence by having former colleague Nigel Morton frame dead corrupt officer Jeremy Cole as ‘The Caddy’.

In the finale, DS Prasad gave evidence against Denton in exchange for full immunity from prosecution while DCC Dryden resigned from the police service, and Denton, whose bribe money had been discovered by Steve among her dead mother’s possessions, was sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Series three

AC-12 investigated Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), a firearms officer we met shooting dead a suspect who presented no immediate risk, and forcing his team to collude in a cover-up. The question wasn’t whether or not Waldron did it, but why? 

That was answered when Waldron murdered a second man, the uncle of the first victim. It’s revealed that both men were abusers in a child sexual abuse ring that operated for years at Sands View Children’s home, where Waldron grew up. Soon after, Waldron was shot during an operation and dies. His team first said he shot himself, but later placed the blame on PC Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) after he was found hanged (by members of Cottan’s organised crime syndicate, to frame compromised officer PC Hari Bains, whom they were also blackmailing). Before Waldron died, he'dleft a list of the names of the Sands View abusers (which included former gangleader Tommy Hunter) addressed to Steve Arnott, but the list was intercepted and destroyed by Cottan.

The main action of series three was split between the attempt to untangle the Waldron case, Cottan’s attempt to frame Arnott as ‘The Caddy’ – he planted evidence and attempted to prove that Steve had killed PC Kennedy – and the return of Lindsay Denton as she fought to have her life sentence overturned by exposing Arnott’s dubious honeypot operation and arguing that he planted money Akers bribed her with. Denton was freed, and briefly teamed up with Arnott to discover a digital copy of Waldron’s abuser list, which they found to include now-retired senior police officer Chief Inspector Fairbanks (with whom Supt. Hastings was seen to share a Masonic handshake). Cottan, using Arnott’s car, attempted to bribe Lindsay in exchange for the abuser list linking Tommy Hunter to Sands View, but she refused, so he shot her dead and framed Steve for her murder.

On the orders of another AC-12 Superintendent, Fleming was revealed to have been undercover in AC-12 at this point, sniffing out the bent copper in their ranks. Realising that AC-12's legal council Gill Bigelow had been manipulated by Cottan, Kate's investigation exonerated Arnott and proved Cottan’s guilt. During interrogation, he staged an escape with the help of the gang, but pursued by Fleming, his final act was to jump in the path of a bullet meant for Kate, and to confess all as he’s dying. Bye bye Caddy.

Series four

Forensics bod Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins) urged DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) to consider forensic evidence that he thought showed Michael Farmer, the suspect she just charged for a series of murders, was framed. When, under pressure from her boss ACC Hilton, Huntley ignored him, Ifield took the matter to AC-12, suspecting a cover-up. Huntley confronted Ifield at his home about the AC-12 investigation and in a struggle, she was accidentally knocked unconscious.

When Huntley awoke, she saw Ifield about to dismember her presumed-dead body with a chainsaw, which then accidentally killed him in the ensuing fight. Huntley covered up Tim’s death by tampering with forensic evidence that would have put her at the crime scene. She amputated three of Ifield’s fingers because in a dying act, he’d scratched her arm to get her DNA under his nails. She buried the fingers along with Ifield’s laptop in woodland. The resultant arm wound became infected and worsened throughout the series, until her lower arm had to be amputated. Seeking treatment for the infected wound was key in the discovery of Huntley’s cover-up.

To save herself, Huntley attempted to frame her husband (Lee Ingleby) for Ifield’s murder. His university friend and lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi), was revealed to have been working with the organised criminal gang responsible for the original murders all along. Lakewell had suggested Farmer, a former client of his and a vulnerable young man, as a potential candidate to be framed for the killings, which had been committed to gain blackmail evidence on police officers (the victims had worked in the sex trade and their corpses were contaminated with DNA from officers).

Confronting Huntley’s husband and Lakewell, DS Arnott was brutally attacked with a baseball bat and pushed down several flights of stairs by a member of the criminal gang, injuring him gravely. Fleming eventually discovered Huntley’s guilt by tracking her movements on the night of Ifield’s murder and discovering buried evidence in the same spot in which Huntley had discovered a body on a previous case.

When accused, Huntley requested Jimmy Lakewell as her solicitor, admitted to Ifield’s accidental murder and subsequent cover-up, exonerated her husband, and, because she was still good police, arrested Lakewell for his part in the criminal conspiracy and convinced newly corrupted officer Jamie Desford, who'd been taken under the wing of ACC Hilton (bent as they come) to stop before it was too late. Before Hilton died (apparently taking his own life but much more likely murdered by the criminal organisation blackmailing him), he was being passed information about AC-12 by a member of its own team, PC Maneet Bindra, who'd also tricked Desford into giving her his login details so she could access sensitive files at Hilton's request. Huntley got ten years. Lakewell pleaded guilty and refused to testify and enter witness protection, presumably knowing there'd be no point seeing as what happened to Tommy Hunter in series two.

And AC-12 lived to fight another day. Specifically, this Sunday. And then five more Sundays after that one. And then another six after that. Thank goodness.

Line Of Duty series 5 starts on Sunday the 31st of March at 9pm on BBC One. 

 Get Line of Duty - Series 1-4 on DVD for £20

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FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

Gollum action adventure game will retell The Lord Of The Rings

Array ( [post_title] => Gollum action adventure game will retell The Lord Of The Rings [post_content] => Rob Leane

Mar 25, 2019

Daedalic Entertainment will produce The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum for release on PC and consoles in 2021...

German video game studio Daedalic Entertainment is set to produce an action adventure game entitled The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum, having signed a deal with Middle Earth Enterprises to licence J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy novels.

This upcoming game's official press bumf tells us that the Gollum game will "remain true to the vision" of the books whilst also exploring "new events and details related to Gollum's journey." We've been promised that the game will cover how Gollum came to be, as well as filling in the gaps in Smeagol's story that the books don't cover.

The Gollum game marks a major step up for Daedalic, a company which is best known at the moment for its point-and-click titles. The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is definitely an action adventure game, and it will be built in Unreal Engine. It will also be localised into numerous different languages.

Carsten Fichtelmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Daedalic, offered this statement about the news:

“The Lord of the Rings is one of the most epic and renowned stories of all time - it's an honour for us to have the opportunity to work on our own contribution to this universe. In Gollum, players will assume the role of one of the most iconic characters in Middle-earth. We tell Gollum's story from a perspective never seen before, in any storytelling medium, all the while staying true to the legendary books of J.R.R. Tolkien.

“At a time when the games industry is undergoing structural changes and seeing new business models evolve, we are excited to realize a huge new production based on a story that has stayed fresh and relevant for more than 60 years."

The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum game is still in pre-production, with Daedalic working towards a release date in 2021. The Gollum game will apparently launch "on PC and all relevant console platforms at that time."

If you want more info on the game, you can click over to our interview with the developers right here...

[post_excerpt] => Rob Leane
Mar 25, 2019

Daedalic Entertainment will produce The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum for release on PC and consoles in 2021...

German video game studio Daedalic Entertainment is set to produce an action adventure game entitled The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum, having signed a deal with Middle Earth Enterprises to licence J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy novels.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

This upcoming game's official press bumf tells us that the Gollum game will "remain true to the vision" of the books whilst also exploring "new events and details related to Gollum's journey." We've been promised that the game will cover how Gollum came to be, as well as filling in the gaps in Smeagol's story that the books don't cover.

The Gollum game marks a major step up for Daedalic, a company which is best known at the moment for its point-and-click titles. The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is definitely an action adventure game, and it will be built in Unreal Engine. It will also be localised into numerous different languages.

Carsten Fichtelmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Daedalic, offered this statement about the news:

“The Lord of the Rings is one of the most epic and renowned stories of all time - it's an honour for us to have the opportunity to work on our own contribution to this universe. In Gollum, players will assume the role of one of the most iconic characters in Middle-earth. We tell Gollum's story from a perspective never seen before, in any storytelling medium, all the while staying true to the legendary books of J.R.R. Tolkien.

“At a time when the games industry is undergoing structural changes and seeing new business models evolve, we are excited to realize a huge new production based on a story that has stayed fresh and relevant for more than 60 years."

The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum game is still in pre-production, with Daedalic working towards a release date in 2021. The Gollum game will apparently launch "on PC and all relevant console platforms at that time."

If you want more info on the game, you can click over to our interview with the developers right here...

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Image exists, checking for same file size

Replacing images : - ON Rob Leane

Mar 25, 2019

Daedalic Entertainment will produce The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum for release on PC and consoles in 2021...

German video game studio Daedalic Entertainment is set to produce an action adventure game entitled The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum, having signed a deal with Middle Earth Enterprises to licence J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy novels.

This upcoming game's official press bumf tells us that the Gollum game will "remain true to the vision" of the books whilst also exploring "new events and details related to Gollum's journey." We've been promised that the game will cover how Gollum came to be, as well as filling in the gaps in Smeagol's story that the books don't cover.

The Gollum game marks a major step up for Daedalic, a company which is best known at the moment for its point-and-click titles. The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is definitely an action adventure game, and it will be built in Unreal Engine. It will also be localised into numerous different languages.

Carsten Fichtelmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Daedalic, offered this statement about the news:

“The Lord of the Rings is one of the most epic and renowned stories of all time - it's an honour for us to have the opportunity to work on our own contribution to this universe. In Gollum, players will assume the role of one of the most iconic characters in Middle-earth. We tell Gollum's story from a perspective never seen before, in any storytelling medium, all the while staying true to the legendary books of J.R.R. Tolkien.

“At a time when the games industry is undergoing structural changes and seeing new business models evolve, we are excited to realize a huge new production based on a story that has stayed fresh and relevant for more than 60 years."

The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum game is still in pre-production, with Daedalic working towards a release date in 2021. The Gollum game will apparently launch "on PC and all relevant console platforms at that time."

If you want more info on the game, you can click over to our interview with the developers right here...

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Gollum action adventure game will retell The Lord Of The Rings

Array ( [post_title] => Gollum action adventure game will retell The Lord Of The Rings [post_content] => Rob Leane

Mar 25, 2019

Daedalic Entertainment will produce The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum for release on PC and consoles in 2021...

German video game studio Daedalic Entertainment is set to produce an action adventure game entitled The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum, having signed a deal with Middle Earth Enterprises to licence J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy novels.

This upcoming game's official press bumf tells us that the Gollum game will "remain true to the vision" of the books whilst also exploring "new events and details related to Gollum's journey." We've been promised that the game will cover how Gollum came to be, as well as filling in the gaps in Smeagol's story that the books don't cover.

The Gollum game marks a major step up for Daedalic, a company which is best known at the moment for its point-and-click titles. The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is definitely an action adventure game, and it will be built in Unreal Engine. It will also be localised into numerous different languages.

Carsten Fichtelmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Daedalic, offered this statement about the news:

“The Lord of the Rings is one of the most epic and renowned stories of all time - it's an honour for us to have the opportunity to work on our own contribution to this universe. In Gollum, players will assume the role of one of the most iconic characters in Middle-earth. We tell Gollum's story from a perspective never seen before, in any storytelling medium, all the while staying true to the legendary books of J.R.R. Tolkien.

“At a time when the games industry is undergoing structural changes and seeing new business models evolve, we are excited to realize a huge new production based on a story that has stayed fresh and relevant for more than 60 years."

The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum game is still in pre-production, with Daedalic working towards a release date in 2021. The Gollum game will apparently launch "on PC and all relevant console platforms at that time."

If you want more info on the game, you can click over to our interview with the developers right here...

[post_excerpt] => Rob Leane
Mar 25, 2019

Daedalic Entertainment will produce The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum for release on PC and consoles in 2021...

German video game studio Daedalic Entertainment is set to produce an action adventure game entitled The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum, having signed a deal with Middle Earth Enterprises to licence J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy novels.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

This upcoming game's official press bumf tells us that the Gollum game will "remain true to the vision" of the books whilst also exploring "new events and details related to Gollum's journey." We've been promised that the game will cover how Gollum came to be, as well as filling in the gaps in Smeagol's story that the books don't cover.

The Gollum game marks a major step up for Daedalic, a company which is best known at the moment for its point-and-click titles. The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is definitely an action adventure game, and it will be built in Unreal Engine. It will also be localised into numerous different languages.

Carsten Fichtelmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Daedalic, offered this statement about the news:

“The Lord of the Rings is one of the most epic and renowned stories of all time - it's an honour for us to have the opportunity to work on our own contribution to this universe. In Gollum, players will assume the role of one of the most iconic characters in Middle-earth. We tell Gollum's story from a perspective never seen before, in any storytelling medium, all the while staying true to the legendary books of J.R.R. Tolkien.

“At a time when the games industry is undergoing structural changes and seeing new business models evolve, we are excited to realize a huge new production based on a story that has stayed fresh and relevant for more than 60 years."

The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum game is still in pre-production, with Daedalic working towards a release date in 2021. The Gollum game will apparently launch "on PC and all relevant console platforms at that time."

If you want more info on the game, you can click over to our interview with the developers right here...

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FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

Clark Gregg looks back on Agents Of SHIELD's most essential decision

Array ( [post_title] => Clark Gregg looks back on Agents Of SHIELD's most essential decision [post_content] => Kirsten Howard

Mar 25, 2019

"I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided 'Eh, screw it.'"

This article contains spoilers for The Avengers (2012) and Agents Of SHIELD seasons 5 and 6.

Clark Gregg has been playing Phil Coulson for a lot longer than we ever thought possible. Like, about seven years longer to date, since he originally bought the farm back in Joss Whedon's 2012 MCU gamechanger, The Avengers. But being run through by Loki at his maximum badness aboard a SHIELD helicarrier back then didn't keep the character down for long, as he soon turned up to lead the cast of ABC's Agents Of SHIELD on the small screen in a revived state.

The first few seasons of the series had some thematic and narrative problems behind the scenes. While the writers tried to connect the events of the feature films to the story 'on the ground', Agents Of SHIELD occasionally found itself being Admin Of SHIELD, a situation that Gregg has reflected on in a brand new interview with io9:

"I think in the early days it was very much an experiment and honestly, Marvel was really one big company, and now it’s really not. I think it’s really two separate divisions and there was a real desire to thread very carefully what we were doing with the movies. You know, at the end of season one with the Hydra reveal in Captain America: Winter Soldier, it turned our show upside down.

"But I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided 'Eh, screw it. We’re going to take what we can get and there’s a lot of stuff [Marvel Studios] doesn’t seem to be using. They don’t seem to be using L.M.D.s, they don’t seem to be using Ghostrider or the Framework.' At first we didn’t believe that we were doing Secret Warriors, but then it became clear—‘Oh, that’s Quake.’ They’ve ingeniously taken the parts of the Marvel universe—which is broad—that no one seemed to be interested in, and we’ve squeezed every drop out of them and really let our train go on its own track."

Now that Coulson is dead again (or is he?) Gregg is still coming back for the sixth season, which is set to start airing in May. But how has he made it back this time, and is he really him? Could taking him out, or whoever seems like him, be the ultimate answer for the series? Again, the actor was faced with the knowledge that he was probably done playing the beloved character, only to be thrust back into the sunlight as Agents Of SHIELD got a surprise renewal for season 7, too.

"Coulson goes off to Tahiti with Agent May at the end of season five without much time left and it was a very moving, sad thing the show did. We thought we were maybe done. Then they picked us up for two seasons, and at a certain point they asked me to direct an episode, and sat me down to explain some of this season. One of the things we’re exploring is an idea that while half the team’s out in space trying to find the other timeline cryogenically frozen Leo Fitz, the other half of the team is here grieving and trying to put SHIELD back together with Agent MacKenzie running it, which is exciting to me because Henry Simmons is so amazing.

"There’s some strange anomaly happening that feels like a very threatening rupture every time it occurs and there are these people, these humanoid people who show up in the footage and one of them looks a lot like Coulson. He’s bad, he’s dangerous, and terrifying. He’s a different person and it’s difficult for everyone to cope with, but especially Agent May and Daisy."

Season 6 looks like it's going to be essential viewing.

[post_excerpt] => Kirsten Howard
Mar 25, 2019

"I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided 'Eh, screw it.'"

This article contains spoilers for The Avengers (2012) and Agents Of SHIELD seasons 5 and 6.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Clark Gregg has been playing Phil Coulson for a lot longer than we ever thought possible. Like, about seven years longer to date, since he originally bought the farm back in Joss Whedon's 2012 MCU gamechanger, The Avengers. But being run through by Loki at his maximum badness aboard a SHIELD helicarrier back then didn't keep the character down for long, as he soon turned up to lead the cast of ABC's Agents Of SHIELD on the small screen in a revived state.

The first few seasons of the series had some thematic and narrative problems behind the scenes. While the writers tried to connect the events of the feature films to the story 'on the ground', Agents Of SHIELD occasionally found itself being Admin Of SHIELD, a situation that Gregg has reflected on in a brand new interview with io9:

"I think in the early days it was very much an experiment and honestly, Marvel was really one big company, and now it’s really not. I think it’s really two separate divisions and there was a real desire to thread very carefully what we were doing with the movies. You know, at the end of season one with the Hydra reveal in Captain America: Winter Soldier, it turned our show upside down.

"But I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided 'Eh, screw it. We’re going to take what we can get and there’s a lot of stuff [Marvel Studios] doesn’t seem to be using. They don’t seem to be using L.M.D.s, they don’t seem to be using Ghostrider or the Framework.' At first we didn’t believe that we were doing Secret Warriors, but then it became clear—‘Oh, that’s Quake.’ They’ve ingeniously taken the parts of the Marvel universe—which is broad—that no one seemed to be interested in, and we’ve squeezed every drop out of them and really let our train go on its own track."

Now that Coulson is dead again (or is he?) Gregg is still coming back for the sixth season, which is set to start airing in May. But how has he made it back this time, and is he really him? Could taking him out, or whoever seems like him, be the ultimate answer for the series? Again, the actor was faced with the knowledge that he was probably done playing the beloved character, only to be thrust back into the sunlight as Agents Of SHIELD got a surprise renewal for season 7, too.

"Coulson goes off to Tahiti with Agent May at the end of season five without much time left and it was a very moving, sad thing the show did. We thought we were maybe done. Then they picked us up for two seasons, and at a certain point they asked me to direct an episode, and sat me down to explain some of this season. One of the things we’re exploring is an idea that while half the team’s out in space trying to find the other timeline cryogenically frozen Leo Fitz, the other half of the team is here grieving and trying to put SHIELD back together with Agent MacKenzie running it, which is exciting to me because Henry Simmons is so amazing.

"There’s some strange anomaly happening that feels like a very threatening rupture every time it occurs and there are these people, these humanoid people who show up in the footage and one of them looks a lot like Coulson. He’s bad, he’s dangerous, and terrifying. He’s a different person and it’s difficult for everyone to cope with, but especially Agent May and Daisy."

Season 6 looks like it's going to be essential viewing.

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Image process

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Image process :: Saving local image

grab remote location : https://cdn-static.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeek/files/2018/11/agents_of_shield_pilot.jpg

Image exists, checking for same file size

Replacing images : - ON Kirsten Howard

Mar 25, 2019

"I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided 'Eh, screw it.'"

This article contains spoilers for The Avengers (2012) and Agents Of SHIELD seasons 5 and 6.

Clark Gregg has been playing Phil Coulson for a lot longer than we ever thought possible. Like, about seven years longer to date, since he originally bought the farm back in Joss Whedon's 2012 MCU gamechanger, The Avengers. But being run through by Loki at his maximum badness aboard a SHIELD helicarrier back then didn't keep the character down for long, as he soon turned up to lead the cast of ABC's Agents Of SHIELD on the small screen in a revived state.

The first few seasons of the series had some thematic and narrative problems behind the scenes. While the writers tried to connect the events of the feature films to the story 'on the ground', Agents Of SHIELD occasionally found itself being Admin Of SHIELD, a situation that Gregg has reflected on in a brand new interview with io9:

"I think in the early days it was very much an experiment and honestly, Marvel was really one big company, and now it’s really not. I think it’s really two separate divisions and there was a real desire to thread very carefully what we were doing with the movies. You know, at the end of season one with the Hydra reveal in Captain America: Winter Soldier, it turned our show upside down.

"But I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided 'Eh, screw it. We’re going to take what we can get and there’s a lot of stuff [Marvel Studios] doesn’t seem to be using. They don’t seem to be using L.M.D.s, they don’t seem to be using Ghostrider or the Framework.' At first we didn’t believe that we were doing Secret Warriors, but then it became clear—‘Oh, that’s Quake.’ They’ve ingeniously taken the parts of the Marvel universe—which is broad—that no one seemed to be interested in, and we’ve squeezed every drop out of them and really let our train go on its own track."

Now that Coulson is dead again (or is he?) Gregg is still coming back for the sixth season, which is set to start airing in May. But how has he made it back this time, and is he really him? Could taking him out, or whoever seems like him, be the ultimate answer for the series? Again, the actor was faced with the knowledge that he was probably done playing the beloved character, only to be thrust back into the sunlight as Agents Of SHIELD got a surprise renewal for season 7, too.

"Coulson goes off to Tahiti with Agent May at the end of season five without much time left and it was a very moving, sad thing the show did. We thought we were maybe done. Then they picked us up for two seasons, and at a certain point they asked me to direct an episode, and sat me down to explain some of this season. One of the things we’re exploring is an idea that while half the team’s out in space trying to find the other timeline cryogenically frozen Leo Fitz, the other half of the team is here grieving and trying to put SHIELD back together with Agent MacKenzie running it, which is exciting to me because Henry Simmons is so amazing.

"There’s some strange anomaly happening that feels like a very threatening rupture every time it occurs and there are these people, these humanoid people who show up in the footage and one of them looks a lot like Coulson. He’s bad, he’s dangerous, and terrifying. He’s a different person and it’s difficult for everyone to cope with, but especially Agent May and Daisy."

Season 6 looks like it's going to be essential viewing.

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Clark Gregg looks back on Agents Of SHIELD's most essential decision

Array ( [post_title] => Clark Gregg looks back on Agents Of SHIELD's most essential decision [post_content] => Kirsten Howard

Mar 25, 2019

"I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided 'Eh, screw it.'"

This article contains spoilers for The Avengers (2012) and Agents Of SHIELD seasons 5 and 6.

Clark Gregg has been playing Phil Coulson for a lot longer than we ever thought possible. Like, about seven years longer to date, since he originally bought the farm back in Joss Whedon's 2012 MCU gamechanger, The Avengers. But being run through by Loki at his maximum badness aboard a SHIELD helicarrier back then didn't keep the character down for long, as he soon turned up to lead the cast of ABC's Agents Of SHIELD on the small screen in a revived state.

The first few seasons of the series had some thematic and narrative problems behind the scenes. While the writers tried to connect the events of the feature films to the story 'on the ground', Agents Of SHIELD occasionally found itself being Admin Of SHIELD, a situation that Gregg has reflected on in a brand new interview with io9:

"I think in the early days it was very much an experiment and honestly, Marvel was really one big company, and now it’s really not. I think it’s really two separate divisions and there was a real desire to thread very carefully what we were doing with the movies. You know, at the end of season one with the Hydra reveal in Captain America: Winter Soldier, it turned our show upside down.

"But I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided 'Eh, screw it. We’re going to take what we can get and there’s a lot of stuff [Marvel Studios] doesn’t seem to be using. They don’t seem to be using L.M.D.s, they don’t seem to be using Ghostrider or the Framework.' At first we didn’t believe that we were doing Secret Warriors, but then it became clear—‘Oh, that’s Quake.’ They’ve ingeniously taken the parts of the Marvel universe—which is broad—that no one seemed to be interested in, and we’ve squeezed every drop out of them and really let our train go on its own track."

Now that Coulson is dead again (or is he?) Gregg is still coming back for the sixth season, which is set to start airing in May. But how has he made it back this time, and is he really him? Could taking him out, or whoever seems like him, be the ultimate answer for the series? Again, the actor was faced with the knowledge that he was probably done playing the beloved character, only to be thrust back into the sunlight as Agents Of SHIELD got a surprise renewal for season 7, too.

"Coulson goes off to Tahiti with Agent May at the end of season five without much time left and it was a very moving, sad thing the show did. We thought we were maybe done. Then they picked us up for two seasons, and at a certain point they asked me to direct an episode, and sat me down to explain some of this season. One of the things we’re exploring is an idea that while half the team’s out in space trying to find the other timeline cryogenically frozen Leo Fitz, the other half of the team is here grieving and trying to put SHIELD back together with Agent MacKenzie running it, which is exciting to me because Henry Simmons is so amazing.

"There’s some strange anomaly happening that feels like a very threatening rupture every time it occurs and there are these people, these humanoid people who show up in the footage and one of them looks a lot like Coulson. He’s bad, he’s dangerous, and terrifying. He’s a different person and it’s difficult for everyone to cope with, but especially Agent May and Daisy."

Season 6 looks like it's going to be essential viewing.

[post_excerpt] => Kirsten Howard
Mar 25, 2019

"I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided 'Eh, screw it.'"

This article contains spoilers for The Avengers (2012) and Agents Of SHIELD seasons 5 and 6.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Clark Gregg has been playing Phil Coulson for a lot longer than we ever thought possible. Like, about seven years longer to date, since he originally bought the farm back in Joss Whedon's 2012 MCU gamechanger, The Avengers. But being run through by Loki at his maximum badness aboard a SHIELD helicarrier back then didn't keep the character down for long, as he soon turned up to lead the cast of ABC's Agents Of SHIELD on the small screen in a revived state.

The first few seasons of the series had some thematic and narrative problems behind the scenes. While the writers tried to connect the events of the feature films to the story 'on the ground', Agents Of SHIELD occasionally found itself being Admin Of SHIELD, a situation that Gregg has reflected on in a brand new interview with io9:

"I think in the early days it was very much an experiment and honestly, Marvel was really one big company, and now it’s really not. I think it’s really two separate divisions and there was a real desire to thread very carefully what we were doing with the movies. You know, at the end of season one with the Hydra reveal in Captain America: Winter Soldier, it turned our show upside down.

"But I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided 'Eh, screw it. We’re going to take what we can get and there’s a lot of stuff [Marvel Studios] doesn’t seem to be using. They don’t seem to be using L.M.D.s, they don’t seem to be using Ghostrider or the Framework.' At first we didn’t believe that we were doing Secret Warriors, but then it became clear—‘Oh, that’s Quake.’ They’ve ingeniously taken the parts of the Marvel universe—which is broad—that no one seemed to be interested in, and we’ve squeezed every drop out of them and really let our train go on its own track."

Now that Coulson is dead again (or is he?) Gregg is still coming back for the sixth season, which is set to start airing in May. But how has he made it back this time, and is he really him? Could taking him out, or whoever seems like him, be the ultimate answer for the series? Again, the actor was faced with the knowledge that he was probably done playing the beloved character, only to be thrust back into the sunlight as Agents Of SHIELD got a surprise renewal for season 7, too.

"Coulson goes off to Tahiti with Agent May at the end of season five without much time left and it was a very moving, sad thing the show did. We thought we were maybe done. Then they picked us up for two seasons, and at a certain point they asked me to direct an episode, and sat me down to explain some of this season. One of the things we’re exploring is an idea that while half the team’s out in space trying to find the other timeline cryogenically frozen Leo Fitz, the other half of the team is here grieving and trying to put SHIELD back together with Agent MacKenzie running it, which is exciting to me because Henry Simmons is so amazing.

"There’s some strange anomaly happening that feels like a very threatening rupture every time it occurs and there are these people, these humanoid people who show up in the footage and one of them looks a lot like Coulson. He’s bad, he’s dangerous, and terrifying. He’s a different person and it’s difficult for everyone to cope with, but especially Agent May and Daisy."

Season 6 looks like it's going to be essential viewing.

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FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

Nintendo Switch rumour suggests two new consoles are coming

Array ( [post_title] => Nintendo Switch rumour suggests two new consoles are coming [post_content] => Rob Leane

Mar 25, 2019

A high-end version of the Nintendo Switch and a portable-only alternative could be on the cards, it seems...

A report from The Wall Street Journal has suggested that two new versions of the Nintendo Switch could be launching as soon as this year. Of course, we'll treat this report as a rumour and take it with a pinch of salt until we see an official confirmation or denial from Nintendo.

According to the report, Nintendo is likely gearing up to reveal two new takes on the Switch at the E3 conference in June: one of these new versions of the Switch would reportedly be a high-end edition with "enhanced features" that is "targeted at avid video gamers"; the other new version of the Switch, meanwhile, is expected to be a cheaper edition that is aimed at a more casual market.

Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal claims that the cheaper variation of the Nintendo Switch won't have the vibration feature, which could mean that the Joy-Con controllers do not detach from the console at all. If this turns out to be true, the cheaper version of the Switch could be a portable-only device, which would cut out the expense of the docking station and position itself as a successor to the Nintendo 3DS.

As for what extras the high-end version of the Nintendo Switch would entail, we don't have any details at the moment. We have seen some speculation, though, with sites like The Verge has suggested that a new processing chip from Nvidia would be a clear way to boost the system.

This report comes a couple of months after Shuntaro Furukawa, the president of Nintendo, stated that the company is "not considering a successor or a price cut [for the Nintendo Switch] at this time." Semantically speaking, releasing two new versions of the current Switch - one mega version and one cheap edition - doesn't completely contradict that statement. Right?

If Nintendo does announce this at E3, we'll be sure to let you know. Certainly, as rumours go, this one has a real sense of plausibility about it. But still, we'll wait for an official announcement before fully believing this...

[post_excerpt] => Rob Leane
Mar 25, 2019

A high-end version of the Nintendo Switch and a portable-only alternative could be on the cards, it seems...

A report from The Wall Street Journal has suggested that two new versions of the Nintendo Switch could be launching as soon as this year. Of course, we'll treat this report as a rumour and take it with a pinch of salt until we see an official confirmation or denial from Nintendo.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

According to the report, Nintendo is likely gearing up to reveal two new takes on the Switch at the E3 conference in June: one of these new versions of the Switch would reportedly be a high-end edition with "enhanced features" that is "targeted at avid video gamers"; the other new version of the Switch, meanwhile, is expected to be a cheaper edition that is aimed at a more casual market.

Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal claims that the cheaper variation of the Nintendo Switch won't have the vibration feature, which could mean that the Joy-Con controllers do not detach from the console at all. If this turns out to be true, the cheaper version of the Switch could be a portable-only device, which would cut out the expense of the docking station and position itself as a successor to the Nintendo 3DS.

As for what extras the high-end version of the Nintendo Switch would entail, we don't have any details at the moment. We have seen some speculation, though, with sites like The Verge has suggested that a new processing chip from Nvidia would be a clear way to boost the system.

This report comes a couple of months after Shuntaro Furukawa, the president of Nintendo, stated that the company is "not considering a successor or a price cut [for the Nintendo Switch] at this time." Semantically speaking, releasing two new versions of the current Switch - one mega version and one cheap edition - doesn't completely contradict that statement. Right?

If Nintendo does announce this at E3, we'll be sure to let you know. Certainly, as rumours go, this one has a real sense of plausibility about it. But still, we'll wait for an official announcement before fully believing this...

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Image exists, checking for same file size

Replacing images : - ON Rob Leane

Mar 25, 2019

A high-end version of the Nintendo Switch and a portable-only alternative could be on the cards, it seems...

A report from The Wall Street Journal has suggested that two new versions of the Nintendo Switch could be launching as soon as this year. Of course, we'll treat this report as a rumour and take it with a pinch of salt until we see an official confirmation or denial from Nintendo.

According to the report, Nintendo is likely gearing up to reveal two new takes on the Switch at the E3 conference in June: one of these new versions of the Switch would reportedly be a high-end edition with "enhanced features" that is "targeted at avid video gamers"; the other new version of the Switch, meanwhile, is expected to be a cheaper edition that is aimed at a more casual market.

Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal claims that the cheaper variation of the Nintendo Switch won't have the vibration feature, which could mean that the Joy-Con controllers do not detach from the console at all. If this turns out to be true, the cheaper version of the Switch could be a portable-only device, which would cut out the expense of the docking station and position itself as a successor to the Nintendo 3DS.

As for what extras the high-end version of the Nintendo Switch would entail, we don't have any details at the moment. We have seen some speculation, though, with sites like The Verge has suggested that a new processing chip from Nvidia would be a clear way to boost the system.

This report comes a couple of months after Shuntaro Furukawa, the president of Nintendo, stated that the company is "not considering a successor or a price cut [for the Nintendo Switch] at this time." Semantically speaking, releasing two new versions of the current Switch - one mega version and one cheap edition - doesn't completely contradict that statement. Right?

If Nintendo does announce this at E3, we'll be sure to let you know. Certainly, as rumours go, this one has a real sense of plausibility about it. But still, we'll wait for an official announcement before fully believing this...

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Nintendo Switch rumour suggests two new consoles are coming

Array ( [post_title] => Nintendo Switch rumour suggests two new consoles are coming [post_content] => Rob Leane

Mar 25, 2019

A high-end version of the Nintendo Switch and a portable-only alternative could be on the cards, it seems...

A report from The Wall Street Journal has suggested that two new versions of the Nintendo Switch could be launching as soon as this year. Of course, we'll treat this report as a rumour and take it with a pinch of salt until we see an official confirmation or denial from Nintendo.

According to the report, Nintendo is likely gearing up to reveal two new takes on the Switch at the E3 conference in June: one of these new versions of the Switch would reportedly be a high-end edition with "enhanced features" that is "targeted at avid video gamers"; the other new version of the Switch, meanwhile, is expected to be a cheaper edition that is aimed at a more casual market.

Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal claims that the cheaper variation of the Nintendo Switch won't have the vibration feature, which could mean that the Joy-Con controllers do not detach from the console at all. If this turns out to be true, the cheaper version of the Switch could be a portable-only device, which would cut out the expense of the docking station and position itself as a successor to the Nintendo 3DS.

As for what extras the high-end version of the Nintendo Switch would entail, we don't have any details at the moment. We have seen some speculation, though, with sites like The Verge has suggested that a new processing chip from Nvidia would be a clear way to boost the system.

This report comes a couple of months after Shuntaro Furukawa, the president of Nintendo, stated that the company is "not considering a successor or a price cut [for the Nintendo Switch] at this time." Semantically speaking, releasing two new versions of the current Switch - one mega version and one cheap edition - doesn't completely contradict that statement. Right?

If Nintendo does announce this at E3, we'll be sure to let you know. Certainly, as rumours go, this one has a real sense of plausibility about it. But still, we'll wait for an official announcement before fully believing this...

[post_excerpt] => Rob Leane
Mar 25, 2019

A high-end version of the Nintendo Switch and a portable-only alternative could be on the cards, it seems...

A report from The Wall Street Journal has suggested that two new versions of the Nintendo Switch could be launching as soon as this year. Of course, we'll treat this report as a rumour and take it with a pinch of salt until we see an official confirmation or denial from Nintendo.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

According to the report, Nintendo is likely gearing up to reveal two new takes on the Switch at the E3 conference in June: one of these new versions of the Switch would reportedly be a high-end edition with "enhanced features" that is "targeted at avid video gamers"; the other new version of the Switch, meanwhile, is expected to be a cheaper edition that is aimed at a more casual market.

Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal claims that the cheaper variation of the Nintendo Switch won't have the vibration feature, which could mean that the Joy-Con controllers do not detach from the console at all. If this turns out to be true, the cheaper version of the Switch could be a portable-only device, which would cut out the expense of the docking station and position itself as a successor to the Nintendo 3DS.

As for what extras the high-end version of the Nintendo Switch would entail, we don't have any details at the moment. We have seen some speculation, though, with sites like The Verge has suggested that a new processing chip from Nvidia would be a clear way to boost the system.

This report comes a couple of months after Shuntaro Furukawa, the president of Nintendo, stated that the company is "not considering a successor or a price cut [for the Nintendo Switch] at this time." Semantically speaking, releasing two new versions of the current Switch - one mega version and one cheap edition - doesn't completely contradict that statement. Right?

If Nintendo does announce this at E3, we'll be sure to let you know. Certainly, as rumours go, this one has a real sense of plausibility about it. But still, we'll wait for an official announcement before fully believing this...

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FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

American Gods season 2 episode 3 review: wheel-spinning and lacklustre

Array ( [post_title] => American Gods season 2 episode 3 review: wheel-spinning and lacklustre [post_content] => Ron Hogan

Mar 25, 2019

American Gods squares off with New Media and the meaning of afterlife for Laura Moon. Spoilers ahead in our Muninn review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.3 Muninn

I try not to read too much into a show's behind-the-scenes drama, but with something like American Gods, that is harder than it looks, because the results on the screen in the second season have little in common with the magic that happened in the first season. Certainly, the budget seems to remain as high as it always has been, but things feel off, different somehow, and I can't help but feel like it's all down to all the trouble season two experienced during filming. After all, reports say that actors were improvising large sections of dialogue to the point where Orlando Jones was given writing credit to avoid clashes with guild rules, shooting without scripts, clashing with producers who were clashing with the network and each other, and so on.

However, the results on the screen suggest that the off-screen drama has an obvious effect on-screen. The creative team tries to cover it up with cool special effects—which work fairly well—but there still feels to be something missing this season, as characters go through the motions, and have long conversations with one another, while failing to retain much interest in the process. Various characters go on missions for their respective bosses—Technical Boy and New Media (Kahyun Kim) and Salim and the Jinn for Wednesday—while other characters (Wednesday, Laura, Sweeney, Shadow) either work for themselves or against their boss, albeit with some nefarious purpose in mind from the one who, in Heather Bellson's script, has his hand under the skirts.

Like an emoji version of Marilyn Monroe, American Gods is interesting to look at, but flatter than it once was. Argus, the many-eyed God struck down by Zeus for guarding Io from his advances, is explained well enough by Mr Ibis, through the magic of a clockwork nickelodeon, but while the cartoon looks nice, it fails to enthrall, and the fact that Argus was reincarnated in America via Hera's direct intervention doesn't line up with the show's traditional take on the Gods and how they arrived in the New World. He is technically an Old God, but his modern incarnation makes him firmly a New God, something akin to Vulcan transforming from a smith to a gun manufacturer, albeit without the panache of Corben Bernsen. Argus is more akin to a less charismatic grotesque from Guillermo Del Toro, or the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact, and his dialogue doesn't really matter once his cables come into play and he, ahem, interfaces with New Media.

The pacing of the entire episode feels slow, as if director Deborah Chow was given the command to stretch for time, despite the episode being longer than a standard television hour by its very nature. Some of the slow motion seems unnecessary. The transformation acid trip where New Media introduces herself feels just a little too long. The “sex” scene between Argus and Media also feels a little delayed, as the two trade conversation back and forth while Technical Boy watches and scoffs needlessly in the background.

Certainly, the move is to show that New Media is seductive, and that she'd be a perfect partner for an all-seeing being. What the New Gods have offered Argus would be perfect for him, and the execution is good (but not great). New Media is a seductive sort, as she always has been, though the “upgrade” is a downgrade if only due to replacing Gillian Anderson. That's a difficult task for any actress, particularly one younger and less experienced than the more forceful, confident Anderson. Old Media was a threat, even when she was offering you the world on a platter; New Media, for the moment, is as much a cypher as the current media marketplace. She grabs attention, but offers nothing in the way of substance as currently written.

American Gods was never exactly a show with a lot of heavy-hitting thoughts. It was fun, and flashy, and entertaining. The knowledge that it dropped tended to be sprinkled in, and it leaned more on amusing than tugging at heart strings. This season, however, the show has tried to make bigger swings, and has mostly missed those, with most of the exchanges being a bit less sparkling than previous seasons, despite the best efforts of the actors.

Only Mad Sweeney's continued lack of luck seems to carry any sense of fun to it, with the other characters seeming to have even less direction than the comic relief unlucky leprecuaun. Shadow's grifting attempt being snuffed out by Sam (Devery Jacobs) was amusing enough, but there didn't seem to be a ton of chemistry between the two of them at first meeting. Certainly, Shadow and Sam pale in comparison to the companionship building between Laura and Sweeney, given Shadow's eternal straight man quality.

With Shadow drier than normal, and the other characters save Sweeney running out of witty things to say, American Gods is in trouble. The show's slow pace is only worth it when the journey is resonant, and it seems that season two has been more misses than hits. Despite the short season, there's time to turn things around, but it might take a little effort. Luckily, there's a third season coming, and hopefully with a calmer shooting schedule and less upheaval behind the scenes, the show will get back to something closer to the first season.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, The Beguiling Man, here.

Watch American Gods season 2 on Amazon Prime

[post_excerpt] => Ron Hogan
Mar 25, 2019

American Gods squares off with New Media and the meaning of afterlife for Laura Moon. Spoilers ahead in our Muninn review...

This review contains spoilers.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

2.3 Muninn

I try not to read too much into a show's behind-the-scenes drama, but with something like American Gods, that is harder than it looks, because the results on the screen in the second season have little in common with the magic that happened in the first season. Certainly, the budget seems to remain as high as it always has been, but things feel off, different somehow, and I can't help but feel like it's all down to all the trouble season two experienced during filming. After all, reports say that actors were improvising large sections of dialogue to the point where Orlando Jones was given writing credit to avoid clashes with guild rules, shooting without scripts, clashing with producers who were clashing with the network and each other, and so on.

However, the results on the screen suggest that the off-screen drama has an obvious effect on-screen. The creative team tries to cover it up with cool special effects—which work fairly well—but there still feels to be something missing this season, as characters go through the motions, and have long conversations with one another, while failing to retain much interest in the process. Various characters go on missions for their respective bosses—Technical Boy and New Media (Kahyun Kim) and Salim and the Jinn for Wednesday—while other characters (Wednesday, Laura, Sweeney, Shadow) either work for themselves or against their boss, albeit with some nefarious purpose in mind from the one who, in Heather Bellson's script, has his hand under the skirts.

Like an emoji version of Marilyn Monroe, American Gods is interesting to look at, but flatter than it once was. Argus, the many-eyed God struck down by Zeus for guarding Io from his advances, is explained well enough by Mr Ibis, through the magic of a clockwork nickelodeon, but while the cartoon looks nice, it fails to enthrall, and the fact that Argus was reincarnated in America via Hera's direct intervention doesn't line up with the show's traditional take on the Gods and how they arrived in the New World. He is technically an Old God, but his modern incarnation makes him firmly a New God, something akin to Vulcan transforming from a smith to a gun manufacturer, albeit without the panache of Corben Bernsen. Argus is more akin to a less charismatic grotesque from Guillermo Del Toro, or the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact, and his dialogue doesn't really matter once his cables come into play and he, ahem, interfaces with New Media.

The pacing of the entire episode feels slow, as if director Deborah Chow was given the command to stretch for time, despite the episode being longer than a standard television hour by its very nature. Some of the slow motion seems unnecessary. The transformation acid trip where New Media introduces herself feels just a little too long. The “sex” scene between Argus and Media also feels a little delayed, as the two trade conversation back and forth while Technical Boy watches and scoffs needlessly in the background.

Certainly, the move is to show that New Media is seductive, and that she'd be a perfect partner for an all-seeing being. What the New Gods have offered Argus would be perfect for him, and the execution is good (but not great). New Media is a seductive sort, as she always has been, though the “upgrade” is a downgrade if only due to replacing Gillian Anderson. That's a difficult task for any actress, particularly one younger and less experienced than the more forceful, confident Anderson. Old Media was a threat, even when she was offering you the world on a platter; New Media, for the moment, is as much a cypher as the current media marketplace. She grabs attention, but offers nothing in the way of substance as currently written.

American Gods was never exactly a show with a lot of heavy-hitting thoughts. It was fun, and flashy, and entertaining. The knowledge that it dropped tended to be sprinkled in, and it leaned more on amusing than tugging at heart strings. This season, however, the show has tried to make bigger swings, and has mostly missed those, with most of the exchanges being a bit less sparkling than previous seasons, despite the best efforts of the actors.

Only Mad Sweeney's continued lack of luck seems to carry any sense of fun to it, with the other characters seeming to have even less direction than the comic relief unlucky leprecuaun. Shadow's grifting attempt being snuffed out by Sam (Devery Jacobs) was amusing enough, but there didn't seem to be a ton of chemistry between the two of them at first meeting. Certainly, Shadow and Sam pale in comparison to the companionship building between Laura and Sweeney, given Shadow's eternal straight man quality.

With Shadow drier than normal, and the other characters save Sweeney running out of witty things to say, American Gods is in trouble. The show's slow pace is only worth it when the journey is resonant, and it seems that season two has been more misses than hits. Despite the short season, there's time to turn things around, but it might take a little effort. Luckily, there's a third season coming, and hopefully with a calmer shooting schedule and less upheaval behind the scenes, the show will get back to something closer to the first season.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, The Beguiling Man, here.

Watch American Gods season 2 on Amazon Prime

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Replacing images : - ON Ron Hogan

Mar 25, 2019

American Gods squares off with New Media and the meaning of afterlife for Laura Moon. Spoilers ahead in our Muninn review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.3 Muninn

I try not to read too much into a show's behind-the-scenes drama, but with something like American Gods, that is harder than it looks, because the results on the screen in the second season have little in common with the magic that happened in the first season. Certainly, the budget seems to remain as high as it always has been, but things feel off, different somehow, and I can't help but feel like it's all down to all the trouble season two experienced during filming. After all, reports say that actors were improvising large sections of dialogue to the point where Orlando Jones was given writing credit to avoid clashes with guild rules, shooting without scripts, clashing with producers who were clashing with the network and each other, and so on.

However, the results on the screen suggest that the off-screen drama has an obvious effect on-screen. The creative team tries to cover it up with cool special effects—which work fairly well—but there still feels to be something missing this season, as characters go through the motions, and have long conversations with one another, while failing to retain much interest in the process. Various characters go on missions for their respective bosses—Technical Boy and New Media (Kahyun Kim) and Salim and the Jinn for Wednesday—while other characters (Wednesday, Laura, Sweeney, Shadow) either work for themselves or against their boss, albeit with some nefarious purpose in mind from the one who, in Heather Bellson's script, has his hand under the skirts.

Like an emoji version of Marilyn Monroe, American Gods is interesting to look at, but flatter than it once was. Argus, the many-eyed God struck down by Zeus for guarding Io from his advances, is explained well enough by Mr Ibis, through the magic of a clockwork nickelodeon, but while the cartoon looks nice, it fails to enthrall, and the fact that Argus was reincarnated in America via Hera's direct intervention doesn't line up with the show's traditional take on the Gods and how they arrived in the New World. He is technically an Old God, but his modern incarnation makes him firmly a New God, something akin to Vulcan transforming from a smith to a gun manufacturer, albeit without the panache of Corben Bernsen. Argus is more akin to a less charismatic grotesque from Guillermo Del Toro, or the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact, and his dialogue doesn't really matter once his cables come into play and he, ahem, interfaces with New Media.

The pacing of the entire episode feels slow, as if director Deborah Chow was given the command to stretch for time, despite the episode being longer than a standard television hour by its very nature. Some of the slow motion seems unnecessary. The transformation acid trip where New Media introduces herself feels just a little too long. The “sex” scene between Argus and Media also feels a little delayed, as the two trade conversation back and forth while Technical Boy watches and scoffs needlessly in the background.

Certainly, the move is to show that New Media is seductive, and that she'd be a perfect partner for an all-seeing being. What the New Gods have offered Argus would be perfect for him, and the execution is good (but not great). New Media is a seductive sort, as she always has been, though the “upgrade” is a downgrade if only due to replacing Gillian Anderson. That's a difficult task for any actress, particularly one younger and less experienced than the more forceful, confident Anderson. Old Media was a threat, even when she was offering you the world on a platter; New Media, for the moment, is as much a cypher as the current media marketplace. She grabs attention, but offers nothing in the way of substance as currently written.

American Gods was never exactly a show with a lot of heavy-hitting thoughts. It was fun, and flashy, and entertaining. The knowledge that it dropped tended to be sprinkled in, and it leaned more on amusing than tugging at heart strings. This season, however, the show has tried to make bigger swings, and has mostly missed those, with most of the exchanges being a bit less sparkling than previous seasons, despite the best efforts of the actors.

Only Mad Sweeney's continued lack of luck seems to carry any sense of fun to it, with the other characters seeming to have even less direction than the comic relief unlucky leprecuaun. Shadow's grifting attempt being snuffed out by Sam (Devery Jacobs) was amusing enough, but there didn't seem to be a ton of chemistry between the two of them at first meeting. Certainly, Shadow and Sam pale in comparison to the companionship building between Laura and Sweeney, given Shadow's eternal straight man quality.

With Shadow drier than normal, and the other characters save Sweeney running out of witty things to say, American Gods is in trouble. The show's slow pace is only worth it when the journey is resonant, and it seems that season two has been more misses than hits. Despite the short season, there's time to turn things around, but it might take a little effort. Luckily, there's a third season coming, and hopefully with a calmer shooting schedule and less upheaval behind the scenes, the show will get back to something closer to the first season.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, The Beguiling Man, here.

Watch American Gods season 2 on Amazon Prime

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :American Gods season 2 episode 3 review: wheel-spinning and lacklustre

Array ( [post_title] => American Gods season 2 episode 3 review: wheel-spinning and lacklustre [post_content] => Ron Hogan

Mar 25, 2019

American Gods squares off with New Media and the meaning of afterlife for Laura Moon. Spoilers ahead in our Muninn review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.3 Muninn

I try not to read too much into a show's behind-the-scenes drama, but with something like American Gods, that is harder than it looks, because the results on the screen in the second season have little in common with the magic that happened in the first season. Certainly, the budget seems to remain as high as it always has been, but things feel off, different somehow, and I can't help but feel like it's all down to all the trouble season two experienced during filming. After all, reports say that actors were improvising large sections of dialogue to the point where Orlando Jones was given writing credit to avoid clashes with guild rules, shooting without scripts, clashing with producers who were clashing with the network and each other, and so on.

However, the results on the screen suggest that the off-screen drama has an obvious effect on-screen. The creative team tries to cover it up with cool special effects—which work fairly well—but there still feels to be something missing this season, as characters go through the motions, and have long conversations with one another, while failing to retain much interest in the process. Various characters go on missions for their respective bosses—Technical Boy and New Media (Kahyun Kim) and Salim and the Jinn for Wednesday—while other characters (Wednesday, Laura, Sweeney, Shadow) either work for themselves or against their boss, albeit with some nefarious purpose in mind from the one who, in Heather Bellson's script, has his hand under the skirts.

Like an emoji version of Marilyn Monroe, American Gods is interesting to look at, but flatter than it once was. Argus, the many-eyed God struck down by Zeus for guarding Io from his advances, is explained well enough by Mr Ibis, through the magic of a clockwork nickelodeon, but while the cartoon looks nice, it fails to enthrall, and the fact that Argus was reincarnated in America via Hera's direct intervention doesn't line up with the show's traditional take on the Gods and how they arrived in the New World. He is technically an Old God, but his modern incarnation makes him firmly a New God, something akin to Vulcan transforming from a smith to a gun manufacturer, albeit without the panache of Corben Bernsen. Argus is more akin to a less charismatic grotesque from Guillermo Del Toro, or the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact, and his dialogue doesn't really matter once his cables come into play and he, ahem, interfaces with New Media.

The pacing of the entire episode feels slow, as if director Deborah Chow was given the command to stretch for time, despite the episode being longer than a standard television hour by its very nature. Some of the slow motion seems unnecessary. The transformation acid trip where New Media introduces herself feels just a little too long. The “sex” scene between Argus and Media also feels a little delayed, as the two trade conversation back and forth while Technical Boy watches and scoffs needlessly in the background.

Certainly, the move is to show that New Media is seductive, and that she'd be a perfect partner for an all-seeing being. What the New Gods have offered Argus would be perfect for him, and the execution is good (but not great). New Media is a seductive sort, as she always has been, though the “upgrade” is a downgrade if only due to replacing Gillian Anderson. That's a difficult task for any actress, particularly one younger and less experienced than the more forceful, confident Anderson. Old Media was a threat, even when she was offering you the world on a platter; New Media, for the moment, is as much a cypher as the current media marketplace. She grabs attention, but offers nothing in the way of substance as currently written.

American Gods was never exactly a show with a lot of heavy-hitting thoughts. It was fun, and flashy, and entertaining. The knowledge that it dropped tended to be sprinkled in, and it leaned more on amusing than tugging at heart strings. This season, however, the show has tried to make bigger swings, and has mostly missed those, with most of the exchanges being a bit less sparkling than previous seasons, despite the best efforts of the actors.

Only Mad Sweeney's continued lack of luck seems to carry any sense of fun to it, with the other characters seeming to have even less direction than the comic relief unlucky leprecuaun. Shadow's grifting attempt being snuffed out by Sam (Devery Jacobs) was amusing enough, but there didn't seem to be a ton of chemistry between the two of them at first meeting. Certainly, Shadow and Sam pale in comparison to the companionship building between Laura and Sweeney, given Shadow's eternal straight man quality.

With Shadow drier than normal, and the other characters save Sweeney running out of witty things to say, American Gods is in trouble. The show's slow pace is only worth it when the journey is resonant, and it seems that season two has been more misses than hits. Despite the short season, there's time to turn things around, but it might take a little effort. Luckily, there's a third season coming, and hopefully with a calmer shooting schedule and less upheaval behind the scenes, the show will get back to something closer to the first season.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, The Beguiling Man, here.

Watch American Gods season 2 on Amazon Prime

[post_excerpt] => Ron Hogan
Mar 25, 2019

American Gods squares off with New Media and the meaning of afterlife for Laura Moon. Spoilers ahead in our Muninn review...

This review contains spoilers.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

2.3 Muninn

I try not to read too much into a show's behind-the-scenes drama, but with something like American Gods, that is harder than it looks, because the results on the screen in the second season have little in common with the magic that happened in the first season. Certainly, the budget seems to remain as high as it always has been, but things feel off, different somehow, and I can't help but feel like it's all down to all the trouble season two experienced during filming. After all, reports say that actors were improvising large sections of dialogue to the point where Orlando Jones was given writing credit to avoid clashes with guild rules, shooting without scripts, clashing with producers who were clashing with the network and each other, and so on.

However, the results on the screen suggest that the off-screen drama has an obvious effect on-screen. The creative team tries to cover it up with cool special effects—which work fairly well—but there still feels to be something missing this season, as characters go through the motions, and have long conversations with one another, while failing to retain much interest in the process. Various characters go on missions for their respective bosses—Technical Boy and New Media (Kahyun Kim) and Salim and the Jinn for Wednesday—while other characters (Wednesday, Laura, Sweeney, Shadow) either work for themselves or against their boss, albeit with some nefarious purpose in mind from the one who, in Heather Bellson's script, has his hand under the skirts.

Like an emoji version of Marilyn Monroe, American Gods is interesting to look at, but flatter than it once was. Argus, the many-eyed God struck down by Zeus for guarding Io from his advances, is explained well enough by Mr Ibis, through the magic of a clockwork nickelodeon, but while the cartoon looks nice, it fails to enthrall, and the fact that Argus was reincarnated in America via Hera's direct intervention doesn't line up with the show's traditional take on the Gods and how they arrived in the New World. He is technically an Old God, but his modern incarnation makes him firmly a New God, something akin to Vulcan transforming from a smith to a gun manufacturer, albeit without the panache of Corben Bernsen. Argus is more akin to a less charismatic grotesque from Guillermo Del Toro, or the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact, and his dialogue doesn't really matter once his cables come into play and he, ahem, interfaces with New Media.

The pacing of the entire episode feels slow, as if director Deborah Chow was given the command to stretch for time, despite the episode being longer than a standard television hour by its very nature. Some of the slow motion seems unnecessary. The transformation acid trip where New Media introduces herself feels just a little too long. The “sex” scene between Argus and Media also feels a little delayed, as the two trade conversation back and forth while Technical Boy watches and scoffs needlessly in the background.

Certainly, the move is to show that New Media is seductive, and that she'd be a perfect partner for an all-seeing being. What the New Gods have offered Argus would be perfect for him, and the execution is good (but not great). New Media is a seductive sort, as she always has been, though the “upgrade” is a downgrade if only due to replacing Gillian Anderson. That's a difficult task for any actress, particularly one younger and less experienced than the more forceful, confident Anderson. Old Media was a threat, even when she was offering you the world on a platter; New Media, for the moment, is as much a cypher as the current media marketplace. She grabs attention, but offers nothing in the way of substance as currently written.

American Gods was never exactly a show with a lot of heavy-hitting thoughts. It was fun, and flashy, and entertaining. The knowledge that it dropped tended to be sprinkled in, and it leaned more on amusing than tugging at heart strings. This season, however, the show has tried to make bigger swings, and has mostly missed those, with most of the exchanges being a bit less sparkling than previous seasons, despite the best efforts of the actors.

Only Mad Sweeney's continued lack of luck seems to carry any sense of fun to it, with the other characters seeming to have even less direction than the comic relief unlucky leprecuaun. Shadow's grifting attempt being snuffed out by Sam (Devery Jacobs) was amusing enough, but there didn't seem to be a ton of chemistry between the two of them at first meeting. Certainly, Shadow and Sam pale in comparison to the companionship building between Laura and Sweeney, given Shadow's eternal straight man quality.

With Shadow drier than normal, and the other characters save Sweeney running out of witty things to say, American Gods is in trouble. The show's slow pace is only worth it when the journey is resonant, and it seems that season two has been more misses than hits. Despite the short season, there's time to turn things around, but it might take a little effort. Luckily, there's a third season coming, and hopefully with a calmer shooting schedule and less upheaval behind the scenes, the show will get back to something closer to the first season.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, The Beguiling Man, here.

Watch American Gods season 2 on Amazon Prime

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Who is Marvel's Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu?

Array ( [post_title] => Who is Marvel's Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu? [post_content] => James Hunt

Mar 25, 2019

We look at the comic-book origins of Shang-Chi, the character who'll be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase 4...

With a writer and director now formally attached to the project, it's only a matter of time until Marvel announces actual dates for its Shang-Chi movie. But who is the Master of Kung Fu, and what can you expect of the film version? We've got the essentials right here...

Who is Shang-Chi?

Created by Steve Englehart (creator of Star-Lord) and Jim Starlin (creator of Thanos), Shang-Chi is the Master of Kung Fu. That means he’s REALLY good at martial arts. Indeed, the character actually began life as a thinly-disguised attempt to capitalise on the martial arts exploitation boom of the 1970s. Put it this way: it's no surprise his name rhymes with Bruce Lee.

But who is he? Well, look at it this way. He’s a pure-intentioned, noble martial artist with a discipline and focus that makes Captain America look sloppy. Raised to become an assassin by his father, he escaped his fate and dedicated his life to taking down his father’s criminal empire, initially as part of the British secret service. And he’s perhaps the only man capable of doing so… 

What are Shang-Chi's powers?

Unlike many Marvel characters – but a lot like most martial arts heroes – Shang-Chi traditionally has no superpowered abilities. However, he is an expert in all forms of armed and unarmed combat. His mastery of his chi gives him the ability to surpass normal human physical limits by small amounts, so he is able to withstand amounts of pain and fatigue that would fell a normal person – but he’s not mystically powered. He doesn’t have iron fists, he doesn’t have unbreakable skin, he’s just really really good at what he does.

That said, more recently he gained the ability to create duplicates of himself so that he could fight multiple foes at once. We, er, don't expect that ability to turn up in the movie. Comics, right? 

Who are Shang-Chi's supporting characters?

Originally, Shang Chi was introduced as a previously unmentioned son of Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu, a character to whom Marvel had just acquired the comics rights. In later years (and once the license had lapsed), this relationship was re-interpreted with Chi being the son of an ancient Chinese sorcerer named Zheng Zhu, who merely used Fu Manchu as an alias.

Shang-Chi also has a number of half-siblings, most notably M’Nai, the Midnight Sun, who Zheng Zhu rescued after his village was destroyed in an attack by the British. Although the two were friends growing up, M’Nai remained loyal to his adoptive father after Chi abandoned him and attempted to bring his brother back to receive their father’s judgement.

Who is Shang-Chi friends with? 

Within the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi is most closely associated with street-level characters, in particular the version of Heroes for Hire run by the Daughters of the Dragon (Colleen Wing and Misty Knight). He has also been a member of the Avengers and the Secret Avengers. At one point, he gave Spider-Man formal martial arts training when the latter lost his spider-sense ability.

That said, Shang-Chi mostly works alone, so any connections to the MCU as it stands might be tricky to make. His work as a secret agent could mean he’s worked for or with SHIELD in the past, which might be an in for the Marvel universe, but the natural partner in this movie would be Doctor Strange and Wong – after all, Shang Chi’s father is a sorcerer. Could he have come up against The Ancient One even? We’ll see! 

But hey, maybe they’ll 'Phase One' it and keep him solo.

Which comics are a good primer for Shang-Chi?

There are a few places Shang-Chi’s story gets told, but if you’d like to learn more about the character here are some of the best options:

Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 1 -4A four-part volume collecting many of the earliest Marvel Universe appearances of Shang-Chi in chronological order.

Secret Avengers Vol. 2: Eyes of the Dragon – Shang Chi and Steve Rogers’ Avengers team up to prevent rogue SHIELD agents resurrecting Chi’s father. 

Heroes for Hire Vol. 1: Civil War – Shang Chi joins the Daughters of the Dragon, the Black Cat and more street-level heroes for some classic paid-for heroics.

[post_excerpt] => James Hunt
Mar 25, 2019

We look at the comic-book origins of Shang-Chi, the character who'll be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase 4...

With a writer and director now formally attached to the project, it's only a matter of time until Marvel announces actual dates for its Shang-Chi movie. But who is the Master of Kung Fu, and what can you expect of the film version? We've got the essentials right here...

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Who is Shang-Chi?

Created by Steve Englehart (creator of Star-Lord) and Jim Starlin (creator of Thanos), Shang-Chi is the Master of Kung Fu. That means he’s REALLY good at martial arts. Indeed, the character actually began life as a thinly-disguised attempt to capitalise on the martial arts exploitation boom of the 1970s. Put it this way: it's no surprise his name rhymes with Bruce Lee.

But who is he? Well, look at it this way. He’s a pure-intentioned, noble martial artist with a discipline and focus that makes Captain America look sloppy. Raised to become an assassin by his father, he escaped his fate and dedicated his life to taking down his father’s criminal empire, initially as part of the British secret service. And he’s perhaps the only man capable of doing so… 

What are Shang-Chi's powers?

Unlike many Marvel characters – but a lot like most martial arts heroes – Shang-Chi traditionally has no superpowered abilities. However, he is an expert in all forms of armed and unarmed combat. His mastery of his chi gives him the ability to surpass normal human physical limits by small amounts, so he is able to withstand amounts of pain and fatigue that would fell a normal person – but he’s not mystically powered. He doesn’t have iron fists, he doesn’t have unbreakable skin, he’s just really really good at what he does.

That said, more recently he gained the ability to create duplicates of himself so that he could fight multiple foes at once. We, er, don't expect that ability to turn up in the movie. Comics, right? 

Who are Shang-Chi's supporting characters?

Originally, Shang Chi was introduced as a previously unmentioned son of Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu, a character to whom Marvel had just acquired the comics rights. In later years (and once the license had lapsed), this relationship was re-interpreted with Chi being the son of an ancient Chinese sorcerer named Zheng Zhu, who merely used Fu Manchu as an alias.

Shang-Chi also has a number of half-siblings, most notably M’Nai, the Midnight Sun, who Zheng Zhu rescued after his village was destroyed in an attack by the British. Although the two were friends growing up, M’Nai remained loyal to his adoptive father after Chi abandoned him and attempted to bring his brother back to receive their father’s judgement.

Who is Shang-Chi friends with? 

Within the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi is most closely associated with street-level characters, in particular the version of Heroes for Hire run by the Daughters of the Dragon (Colleen Wing and Misty Knight). He has also been a member of the Avengers and the Secret Avengers. At one point, he gave Spider-Man formal martial arts training when the latter lost his spider-sense ability.

That said, Shang-Chi mostly works alone, so any connections to the MCU as it stands might be tricky to make. His work as a secret agent could mean he’s worked for or with SHIELD in the past, which might be an in for the Marvel universe, but the natural partner in this movie would be Doctor Strange and Wong – after all, Shang Chi’s father is a sorcerer. Could he have come up against The Ancient One even? We’ll see! 

But hey, maybe they’ll 'Phase One' it and keep him solo.

Which comics are a good primer for Shang-Chi?

There are a few places Shang-Chi’s story gets told, but if you’d like to learn more about the character here are some of the best options:

Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 1 -4A four-part volume collecting many of the earliest Marvel Universe appearances of Shang-Chi in chronological order.

Secret Avengers Vol. 2: Eyes of the Dragon – Shang Chi and Steve Rogers’ Avengers team up to prevent rogue SHIELD agents resurrecting Chi’s father. 

Heroes for Hire Vol. 1: Civil War – Shang Chi joins the Daughters of the Dragon, the Black Cat and more street-level heroes for some classic paid-for heroics.

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Image exists, checking for same file size

Replacing images : - ON James Hunt

Mar 25, 2019

We look at the comic-book origins of Shang-Chi, the character who'll be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase 4...

With a writer and director now formally attached to the project, it's only a matter of time until Marvel announces actual dates for its Shang-Chi movie. But who is the Master of Kung Fu, and what can you expect of the film version? We've got the essentials right here...

Who is Shang-Chi?

Created by Steve Englehart (creator of Star-Lord) and Jim Starlin (creator of Thanos), Shang-Chi is the Master of Kung Fu. That means he’s REALLY good at martial arts. Indeed, the character actually began life as a thinly-disguised attempt to capitalise on the martial arts exploitation boom of the 1970s. Put it this way: it's no surprise his name rhymes with Bruce Lee.

But who is he? Well, look at it this way. He’s a pure-intentioned, noble martial artist with a discipline and focus that makes Captain America look sloppy. Raised to become an assassin by his father, he escaped his fate and dedicated his life to taking down his father’s criminal empire, initially as part of the British secret service. And he’s perhaps the only man capable of doing so… 

What are Shang-Chi's powers?

Unlike many Marvel characters – but a lot like most martial arts heroes – Shang-Chi traditionally has no superpowered abilities. However, he is an expert in all forms of armed and unarmed combat. His mastery of his chi gives him the ability to surpass normal human physical limits by small amounts, so he is able to withstand amounts of pain and fatigue that would fell a normal person – but he’s not mystically powered. He doesn’t have iron fists, he doesn’t have unbreakable skin, he’s just really really good at what he does.

That said, more recently he gained the ability to create duplicates of himself so that he could fight multiple foes at once. We, er, don't expect that ability to turn up in the movie. Comics, right? 

Who are Shang-Chi's supporting characters?

Originally, Shang Chi was introduced as a previously unmentioned son of Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu, a character to whom Marvel had just acquired the comics rights. In later years (and once the license had lapsed), this relationship was re-interpreted with Chi being the son of an ancient Chinese sorcerer named Zheng Zhu, who merely used Fu Manchu as an alias.

Shang-Chi also has a number of half-siblings, most notably M’Nai, the Midnight Sun, who Zheng Zhu rescued after his village was destroyed in an attack by the British. Although the two were friends growing up, M’Nai remained loyal to his adoptive father after Chi abandoned him and attempted to bring his brother back to receive their father’s judgement.

Who is Shang-Chi friends with? 

Within the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi is most closely associated with street-level characters, in particular the version of Heroes for Hire run by the Daughters of the Dragon (Colleen Wing and Misty Knight). He has also been a member of the Avengers and the Secret Avengers. At one point, he gave Spider-Man formal martial arts training when the latter lost his spider-sense ability.

That said, Shang-Chi mostly works alone, so any connections to the MCU as it stands might be tricky to make. His work as a secret agent could mean he’s worked for or with SHIELD in the past, which might be an in for the Marvel universe, but the natural partner in this movie would be Doctor Strange and Wong – after all, Shang Chi’s father is a sorcerer. Could he have come up against The Ancient One even? We’ll see! 

But hey, maybe they’ll 'Phase One' it and keep him solo.

Which comics are a good primer for Shang-Chi?

There are a few places Shang-Chi’s story gets told, but if you’d like to learn more about the character here are some of the best options:

Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 1 -4A four-part volume collecting many of the earliest Marvel Universe appearances of Shang-Chi in chronological order.

Secret Avengers Vol. 2: Eyes of the Dragon – Shang Chi and Steve Rogers’ Avengers team up to prevent rogue SHIELD agents resurrecting Chi’s father. 

Heroes for Hire Vol. 1: Civil War – Shang Chi joins the Daughters of the Dragon, the Black Cat and more street-level heroes for some classic paid-for heroics.

Local save:https://cdn-static.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeek/files/styles/article_width/public/2019/03/master_of_kung_fu_comic.jpg?itok=vi0HH8MC

Image process :: Saving local image

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Image exists, checking for same file size

Replacing images : - ON James Hunt

Mar 25, 2019

We look at the comic-book origins of Shang-Chi, the character who'll be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase 4...

Who is Marvel's Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu?

With a writer and director now formally attached to the project, it's only a matter of time until Marvel announces actual dates for its Shang-Chi movie. But who is the Master of Kung Fu, and what can you expect of the film version? We've got the essentials right here...

Who is Shang-Chi?

Created by Steve Englehart (creator of Star-Lord) and Jim Starlin (creator of Thanos), Shang-Chi is the Master of Kung Fu. That means he’s REALLY good at martial arts. Indeed, the character actually began life as a thinly-disguised attempt to capitalise on the martial arts exploitation boom of the 1970s. Put it this way: it's no surprise his name rhymes with Bruce Lee.

But who is he? Well, look at it this way. He’s a pure-intentioned, noble martial artist with a discipline and focus that makes Captain America look sloppy. Raised to become an assassin by his father, he escaped his fate and dedicated his life to taking down his father’s criminal empire, initially as part of the British secret service. And he’s perhaps the only man capable of doing so… 

What are Shang-Chi's powers?

Unlike many Marvel characters – but a lot like most martial arts heroes – Shang-Chi traditionally has no superpowered abilities. However, he is an expert in all forms of armed and unarmed combat. His mastery of his chi gives him the ability to surpass normal human physical limits by small amounts, so he is able to withstand amounts of pain and fatigue that would fell a normal person – but he’s not mystically powered. He doesn’t have iron fists, he doesn’t have unbreakable skin, he’s just really really good at what he does.

That said, more recently he gained the ability to create duplicates of himself so that he could fight multiple foes at once. We, er, don't expect that ability to turn up in the movie. Comics, right? 

Who are Shang-Chi's supporting characters?

Originally, Shang Chi was introduced as a previously unmentioned son of Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu, a character to whom Marvel had just acquired the comics rights. In later years (and once the license had lapsed), this relationship was re-interpreted with Chi being the son of an ancient Chinese sorcerer named Zheng Zhu, who merely used Fu Manchu as an alias.

Shang-Chi also has a number of half-siblings, most notably M’Nai, the Midnight Sun, who Zheng Zhu rescued after his village was destroyed in an attack by the British. Although the two were friends growing up, M’Nai remained loyal to his adoptive father after Chi abandoned him and attempted to bring his brother back to receive their father’s judgement.

Who is Shang-Chi friends with? 

Within the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi is most closely associated with street-level characters, in particular the version of Heroes for Hire run by the Daughters of the Dragon (Colleen Wing and Misty Knight). He has also been a member of the Avengers and the Secret Avengers. At one point, he gave Spider-Man formal martial arts training when the latter lost his spider-sense ability.

That said, Shang-Chi mostly works alone, so any connections to the MCU as it stands might be tricky to make. His work as a secret agent could mean he’s worked for or with SHIELD in the past, which might be an in for the Marvel universe, but the natural partner in this movie would be Doctor Strange and Wong – after all, Shang Chi’s father is a sorcerer. Could he have come up against The Ancient One even? We’ll see! 

But hey, maybe they’ll 'Phase One' it and keep him solo.

Which comics are a good primer for Shang-Chi?

There are a few places Shang-Chi’s story gets told, but if you’d like to learn more about the character here are some of the best options:

Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 1 -4A four-part volume collecting many of the earliest Marvel Universe appearances of Shang-Chi in chronological order.

Secret Avengers Vol. 2: Eyes of the Dragon – Shang Chi and Steve Rogers’ Avengers team up to prevent rogue SHIELD agents resurrecting Chi’s father. 

Heroes for Hire Vol. 1: Civil War – Shang Chi joins the Daughters of the Dragon, the Black Cat and more street-level heroes for some classic paid-for heroics.

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Who is Marvel's Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu?

Array ( [post_title] => Who is Marvel's Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu? [post_content] => James Hunt

Mar 25, 2019

We look at the comic-book origins of Shang-Chi, the character who'll be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase 4...

With a writer and director now formally attached to the project, it's only a matter of time until Marvel announces actual dates for its Shang-Chi movie. But who is the Master of Kung Fu, and what can you expect of the film version? We've got the essentials right here...

Who is Shang-Chi?

Created by Steve Englehart (creator of Star-Lord) and Jim Starlin (creator of Thanos), Shang-Chi is the Master of Kung Fu. That means he’s REALLY good at martial arts. Indeed, the character actually began life as a thinly-disguised attempt to capitalise on the martial arts exploitation boom of the 1970s. Put it this way: it's no surprise his name rhymes with Bruce Lee.

But who is he? Well, look at it this way. He’s a pure-intentioned, noble martial artist with a discipline and focus that makes Captain America look sloppy. Raised to become an assassin by his father, he escaped his fate and dedicated his life to taking down his father’s criminal empire, initially as part of the British secret service. And he’s perhaps the only man capable of doing so… 

What are Shang-Chi's powers?

Unlike many Marvel characters – but a lot like most martial arts heroes – Shang-Chi traditionally has no superpowered abilities. However, he is an expert in all forms of armed and unarmed combat. His mastery of his chi gives him the ability to surpass normal human physical limits by small amounts, so he is able to withstand amounts of pain and fatigue that would fell a normal person – but he’s not mystically powered. He doesn’t have iron fists, he doesn’t have unbreakable skin, he’s just really really good at what he does.

That said, more recently he gained the ability to create duplicates of himself so that he could fight multiple foes at once. We, er, don't expect that ability to turn up in the movie. Comics, right? 

Who is Marvel's Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu?

Who are Shang-Chi's supporting characters?

Originally, Shang Chi was introduced as a previously unmentioned son of Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu, a character to whom Marvel had just acquired the comics rights. In later years (and once the license had lapsed), this relationship was re-interpreted with Chi being the son of an ancient Chinese sorcerer named Zheng Zhu, who merely used Fu Manchu as an alias.

Shang-Chi also has a number of half-siblings, most notably M’Nai, the Midnight Sun, who Zheng Zhu rescued after his village was destroyed in an attack by the British. Although the two were friends growing up, M’Nai remained loyal to his adoptive father after Chi abandoned him and attempted to bring his brother back to receive their father’s judgement.

Who is Shang-Chi friends with? 

Within the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi is most closely associated with street-level characters, in particular the version of Heroes for Hire run by the Daughters of the Dragon (Colleen Wing and Misty Knight). He has also been a member of the Avengers and the Secret Avengers. At one point, he gave Spider-Man formal martial arts training when the latter lost his spider-sense ability.

That said, Shang-Chi mostly works alone, so any connections to the MCU as it stands might be tricky to make. His work as a secret agent could mean he’s worked for or with SHIELD in the past, which might be an in for the Marvel universe, but the natural partner in this movie would be Doctor Strange and Wong – after all, Shang Chi’s father is a sorcerer. Could he have come up against The Ancient One even? We’ll see! 

But hey, maybe they’ll 'Phase One' it and keep him solo.

Which comics are a good primer for Shang-Chi?

There are a few places Shang-Chi’s story gets told, but if you’d like to learn more about the character here are some of the best options:

Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 1 -4A four-part volume collecting many of the earliest Marvel Universe appearances of Shang-Chi in chronological order.

Secret Avengers Vol. 2: Eyes of the Dragon – Shang Chi and Steve Rogers’ Avengers team up to prevent rogue SHIELD agents resurrecting Chi’s father. 

Heroes for Hire Vol. 1: Civil War – Shang Chi joins the Daughters of the Dragon, the Black Cat and more street-level heroes for some classic paid-for heroics.

[post_excerpt] => James Hunt
Mar 25, 2019

We look at the comic-book origins of Shang-Chi, the character who'll be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase 4...

With a writer and director now formally attached to the project, it's only a matter of time until Marvel announces actual dates for its Shang-Chi movie. But who is the Master of Kung Fu, and what can you expect of the film version? We've got the essentials right here...

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

Who is Shang-Chi?

Created by Steve Englehart (creator of Star-Lord) and Jim Starlin (creator of Thanos), Shang-Chi is the Master of Kung Fu. That means he’s REALLY good at martial arts. Indeed, the character actually began life as a thinly-disguised attempt to capitalise on the martial arts exploitation boom of the 1970s. Put it this way: it's no surprise his name rhymes with Bruce Lee.

But who is he? Well, look at it this way. He’s a pure-intentioned, noble martial artist with a discipline and focus that makes Captain America look sloppy. Raised to become an assassin by his father, he escaped his fate and dedicated his life to taking down his father’s criminal empire, initially as part of the British secret service. And he’s perhaps the only man capable of doing so… 

What are Shang-Chi's powers?

Unlike many Marvel characters – but a lot like most martial arts heroes – Shang-Chi traditionally has no superpowered abilities. However, he is an expert in all forms of armed and unarmed combat. His mastery of his chi gives him the ability to surpass normal human physical limits by small amounts, so he is able to withstand amounts of pain and fatigue that would fell a normal person – but he’s not mystically powered. He doesn’t have iron fists, he doesn’t have unbreakable skin, he’s just really really good at what he does.

That said, more recently he gained the ability to create duplicates of himself so that he could fight multiple foes at once. We, er, don't expect that ability to turn up in the movie. Comics, right? 

Who are Shang-Chi's supporting characters?

Originally, Shang Chi was introduced as a previously unmentioned son of Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu, a character to whom Marvel had just acquired the comics rights. In later years (and once the license had lapsed), this relationship was re-interpreted with Chi being the son of an ancient Chinese sorcerer named Zheng Zhu, who merely used Fu Manchu as an alias.

Shang-Chi also has a number of half-siblings, most notably M’Nai, the Midnight Sun, who Zheng Zhu rescued after his village was destroyed in an attack by the British. Although the two were friends growing up, M’Nai remained loyal to his adoptive father after Chi abandoned him and attempted to bring his brother back to receive their father’s judgement.

Who is Shang-Chi friends with? 

Within the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi is most closely associated with street-level characters, in particular the version of Heroes for Hire run by the Daughters of the Dragon (Colleen Wing and Misty Knight). He has also been a member of the Avengers and the Secret Avengers. At one point, he gave Spider-Man formal martial arts training when the latter lost his spider-sense ability.

That said, Shang-Chi mostly works alone, so any connections to the MCU as it stands might be tricky to make. His work as a secret agent could mean he’s worked for or with SHIELD in the past, which might be an in for the Marvel universe, but the natural partner in this movie would be Doctor Strange and Wong – after all, Shang Chi’s father is a sorcerer. Could he have come up against The Ancient One even? We’ll see! 

But hey, maybe they’ll 'Phase One' it and keep him solo.

Which comics are a good primer for Shang-Chi?

There are a few places Shang-Chi’s story gets told, but if you’d like to learn more about the character here are some of the best options:

Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 1 -4A four-part volume collecting many of the earliest Marvel Universe appearances of Shang-Chi in chronological order.

Secret Avengers Vol. 2: Eyes of the Dragon – Shang Chi and Steve Rogers’ Avengers team up to prevent rogue SHIELD agents resurrecting Chi’s father. 

Heroes for Hire Vol. 1: Civil War – Shang Chi joins the Daughters of the Dragon, the Black Cat and more street-level heroes for some classic paid-for heroics.

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Supergirl season 4 episode 16 review: The House Of L

Array ( [post_title] => Supergirl season 4 episode 16 review: The House Of L [post_content] => Delia Harrington

Mar 25, 2019

A thin, Lex Luthor-centric ret-con of this season threatens to collapse under the weight of the infamous villain. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

4.16 The House Of L

In a strange reimagining of its own history, Supergirl ret-conned most of this season to make it all about Lex Luthor. Though the episode was full of interesting character moments, it didn’t have quite enough substance to stand on its own, and ultimately felt less satisfying than it could have if it were less of a ret-con and more of a payoff.

It’s too bad that the Kasnia plot has been doled out sporadically, and almost all the real Lex Luthor information is contained in the last two episodes. The end result is that this episode feels like a rushed attempt to pull a fast one on the audience. Even the connection between Ben Lockwood and Lex’s machinations is limited to just one conversation, a line or two about having patsies in both the east and the west. The inclusion of Otis Graves and Eve Tessmacher felt far more natural.

We got an effective look at who Lex could be as a sort of caregiver, without Lena being able to fill that role. I’m hoping we’ll soon get a clearer picture of how much of what Lex has said he actually believes, and how much was for the benefit of his Kasnian counterparts or simply useful to moulding this version of Supergirl as needed.

This episode leaves us with many more Lex Luthor questions than it answers. Where did he get is Iron Man-esque suit? Is that how he could lift the Daily Planet logo – and why did he have to look so very dumb doing it? Why was Lex writing in what looked like Kryptonian at his trial? Going by the trial alone, it seemed like Lex would be a more natural ally of Ben Lockwood.

I’m curious to see what comes of Mikhail as a result of Otis’s mercy and sound advice vis a vis bald men. How will she react when she finds out he’s alive and sees his deception? Frankly, I was expecting that discovering the true identity of Alex would make a bigger impact on her, and that perhaps learning more about Lena and Supergirl’s motivations would be kept for later, as a way to eventually turn her.

The Harun-el has similarly been deployed a bit sporadically. This episode posits that it has been an animating force behind the entire last season in a way that feels less like a revelation and more like confusion. Since when? Why? To what end? It has been a presence, but it feels awfully late in the game for it to gain this much importance.

This speaks to the larger issue Supergirl has had breaking the plot for their last couple of seasons as a whole. While there are plenty of stand-out episodes and even great runs of two, three, or four in a cluster, taken as a whole it’s a bit of a jumble, especially in the home stretch.

The House of L has a lot of style but ultimately little substance. Lex scores some excellent moments, but one of this universe’s greatest villains deserves more than such a thin plot to support his entrée into the series. His character has been written with such panache but so little purposeful connection to the rest of the show that Supergirl threatens to collapse under the weight of Lex Luthor’s presence.

Read Delia's review of the previous episode, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, here.

Watch Supergirl season 4 on NOW TV

[post_excerpt] => Delia Harrington
Mar 25, 2019

A thin, Lex Luthor-centric ret-con of this season threatens to collapse under the weight of the infamous villain. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

4.16 The House Of L

In a strange reimagining of its own history, Supergirl ret-conned most of this season to make it all about Lex Luthor. Though the episode was full of interesting character moments, it didn’t have quite enough substance to stand on its own, and ultimately felt less satisfying than it could have if it were less of a ret-con and more of a payoff.

It’s too bad that the Kasnia plot has been doled out sporadically, and almost all the real Lex Luthor information is contained in the last two episodes. The end result is that this episode feels like a rushed attempt to pull a fast one on the audience. Even the connection between Ben Lockwood and Lex’s machinations is limited to just one conversation, a line or two about having patsies in both the east and the west. The inclusion of Otis Graves and Eve Tessmacher felt far more natural.

We got an effective look at who Lex could be as a sort of caregiver, without Lena being able to fill that role. I’m hoping we’ll soon get a clearer picture of how much of what Lex has said he actually believes, and how much was for the benefit of his Kasnian counterparts or simply useful to moulding this version of Supergirl as needed.

This episode leaves us with many more Lex Luthor questions than it answers. Where did he get is Iron Man-esque suit? Is that how he could lift the Daily Planet logo – and why did he have to look so very dumb doing it? Why was Lex writing in what looked like Kryptonian at his trial? Going by the trial alone, it seemed like Lex would be a more natural ally of Ben Lockwood.

I’m curious to see what comes of Mikhail as a result of Otis’s mercy and sound advice vis a vis bald men. How will she react when she finds out he’s alive and sees his deception? Frankly, I was expecting that discovering the true identity of Alex would make a bigger impact on her, and that perhaps learning more about Lena and Supergirl’s motivations would be kept for later, as a way to eventually turn her.

The Harun-el has similarly been deployed a bit sporadically. This episode posits that it has been an animating force behind the entire last season in a way that feels less like a revelation and more like confusion. Since when? Why? To what end? It has been a presence, but it feels awfully late in the game for it to gain this much importance.

This speaks to the larger issue Supergirl has had breaking the plot for their last couple of seasons as a whole. While there are plenty of stand-out episodes and even great runs of two, three, or four in a cluster, taken as a whole it’s a bit of a jumble, especially in the home stretch.

The House of L has a lot of style but ultimately little substance. Lex scores some excellent moments, but one of this universe’s greatest villains deserves more than such a thin plot to support his entrée into the series. His character has been written with such panache but so little purposeful connection to the rest of the show that Supergirl threatens to collapse under the weight of Lex Luthor’s presence.

Read Delia's review of the previous episode, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, here.

Watch Supergirl season 4 on NOW TV

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Replacing images : - ON Delia Harrington

Mar 25, 2019

A thin, Lex Luthor-centric ret-con of this season threatens to collapse under the weight of the infamous villain. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

4.16 The House Of L

In a strange reimagining of its own history, Supergirl ret-conned most of this season to make it all about Lex Luthor. Though the episode was full of interesting character moments, it didn’t have quite enough substance to stand on its own, and ultimately felt less satisfying than it could have if it were less of a ret-con and more of a payoff.

It’s too bad that the Kasnia plot has been doled out sporadically, and almost all the real Lex Luthor information is contained in the last two episodes. The end result is that this episode feels like a rushed attempt to pull a fast one on the audience. Even the connection between Ben Lockwood and Lex’s machinations is limited to just one conversation, a line or two about having patsies in both the east and the west. The inclusion of Otis Graves and Eve Tessmacher felt far more natural.

We got an effective look at who Lex could be as a sort of caregiver, without Lena being able to fill that role. I’m hoping we’ll soon get a clearer picture of how much of what Lex has said he actually believes, and how much was for the benefit of his Kasnian counterparts or simply useful to moulding this version of Supergirl as needed.

This episode leaves us with many more Lex Luthor questions than it answers. Where did he get is Iron Man-esque suit? Is that how he could lift the Daily Planet logo – and why did he have to look so very dumb doing it? Why was Lex writing in what looked like Kryptonian at his trial? Going by the trial alone, it seemed like Lex would be a more natural ally of Ben Lockwood.

I’m curious to see what comes of Mikhail as a result of Otis’s mercy and sound advice vis a vis bald men. How will she react when she finds out he’s alive and sees his deception? Frankly, I was expecting that discovering the true identity of Alex would make a bigger impact on her, and that perhaps learning more about Lena and Supergirl’s motivations would be kept for later, as a way to eventually turn her.

The Harun-el has similarly been deployed a bit sporadically. This episode posits that it has been an animating force behind the entire last season in a way that feels less like a revelation and more like confusion. Since when? Why? To what end? It has been a presence, but it feels awfully late in the game for it to gain this much importance.

This speaks to the larger issue Supergirl has had breaking the plot for their last couple of seasons as a whole. While there are plenty of stand-out episodes and even great runs of two, three, or four in a cluster, taken as a whole it’s a bit of a jumble, especially in the home stretch.

The House of L has a lot of style but ultimately little substance. Lex scores some excellent moments, but one of this universe’s greatest villains deserves more than such a thin plot to support his entrée into the series. His character has been written with such panache but so little purposeful connection to the rest of the show that Supergirl threatens to collapse under the weight of Lex Luthor’s presence.

Read Delia's review of the previous episode, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, here.

Watch Supergirl season 4 on NOW TV

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Supergirl season 4 episode 16 review: The House Of L

Array ( [post_title] => Supergirl season 4 episode 16 review: The House Of L [post_content] => Delia Harrington

Mar 25, 2019

A thin, Lex Luthor-centric ret-con of this season threatens to collapse under the weight of the infamous villain. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

4.16 The House Of L

In a strange reimagining of its own history, Supergirl ret-conned most of this season to make it all about Lex Luthor. Though the episode was full of interesting character moments, it didn’t have quite enough substance to stand on its own, and ultimately felt less satisfying than it could have if it were less of a ret-con and more of a payoff.

It’s too bad that the Kasnia plot has been doled out sporadically, and almost all the real Lex Luthor information is contained in the last two episodes. The end result is that this episode feels like a rushed attempt to pull a fast one on the audience. Even the connection between Ben Lockwood and Lex’s machinations is limited to just one conversation, a line or two about having patsies in both the east and the west. The inclusion of Otis Graves and Eve Tessmacher felt far more natural.

We got an effective look at who Lex could be as a sort of caregiver, without Lena being able to fill that role. I’m hoping we’ll soon get a clearer picture of how much of what Lex has said he actually believes, and how much was for the benefit of his Kasnian counterparts or simply useful to moulding this version of Supergirl as needed.

This episode leaves us with many more Lex Luthor questions than it answers. Where did he get is Iron Man-esque suit? Is that how he could lift the Daily Planet logo – and why did he have to look so very dumb doing it? Why was Lex writing in what looked like Kryptonian at his trial? Going by the trial alone, it seemed like Lex would be a more natural ally of Ben Lockwood.

I’m curious to see what comes of Mikhail as a result of Otis’s mercy and sound advice vis a vis bald men. How will she react when she finds out he’s alive and sees his deception? Frankly, I was expecting that discovering the true identity of Alex would make a bigger impact on her, and that perhaps learning more about Lena and Supergirl’s motivations would be kept for later, as a way to eventually turn her.

The Harun-el has similarly been deployed a bit sporadically. This episode posits that it has been an animating force behind the entire last season in a way that feels less like a revelation and more like confusion. Since when? Why? To what end? It has been a presence, but it feels awfully late in the game for it to gain this much importance.

This speaks to the larger issue Supergirl has had breaking the plot for their last couple of seasons as a whole. While there are plenty of stand-out episodes and even great runs of two, three, or four in a cluster, taken as a whole it’s a bit of a jumble, especially in the home stretch.

The House of L has a lot of style but ultimately little substance. Lex scores some excellent moments, but one of this universe’s greatest villains deserves more than such a thin plot to support his entrée into the series. His character has been written with such panache but so little purposeful connection to the rest of the show that Supergirl threatens to collapse under the weight of Lex Luthor’s presence.

Read Delia's review of the previous episode, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, here.

Watch Supergirl season 4 on NOW TV

[post_excerpt] => Delia Harrington
Mar 25, 2019

A thin, Lex Luthor-centric ret-con of this season threatens to collapse under the weight of the infamous villain. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

4.16 The House Of L

In a strange reimagining of its own history, Supergirl ret-conned most of this season to make it all about Lex Luthor. Though the episode was full of interesting character moments, it didn’t have quite enough substance to stand on its own, and ultimately felt less satisfying than it could have if it were less of a ret-con and more of a payoff.

It’s too bad that the Kasnia plot has been doled out sporadically, and almost all the real Lex Luthor information is contained in the last two episodes. The end result is that this episode feels like a rushed attempt to pull a fast one on the audience. Even the connection between Ben Lockwood and Lex’s machinations is limited to just one conversation, a line or two about having patsies in both the east and the west. The inclusion of Otis Graves and Eve Tessmacher felt far more natural.

We got an effective look at who Lex could be as a sort of caregiver, without Lena being able to fill that role. I’m hoping we’ll soon get a clearer picture of how much of what Lex has said he actually believes, and how much was for the benefit of his Kasnian counterparts or simply useful to moulding this version of Supergirl as needed.

This episode leaves us with many more Lex Luthor questions than it answers. Where did he get is Iron Man-esque suit? Is that how he could lift the Daily Planet logo – and why did he have to look so very dumb doing it? Why was Lex writing in what looked like Kryptonian at his trial? Going by the trial alone, it seemed like Lex would be a more natural ally of Ben Lockwood.

I’m curious to see what comes of Mikhail as a result of Otis’s mercy and sound advice vis a vis bald men. How will she react when she finds out he’s alive and sees his deception? Frankly, I was expecting that discovering the true identity of Alex would make a bigger impact on her, and that perhaps learning more about Lena and Supergirl’s motivations would be kept for later, as a way to eventually turn her.

The Harun-el has similarly been deployed a bit sporadically. This episode posits that it has been an animating force behind the entire last season in a way that feels less like a revelation and more like confusion. Since when? Why? To what end? It has been a presence, but it feels awfully late in the game for it to gain this much importance.

This speaks to the larger issue Supergirl has had breaking the plot for their last couple of seasons as a whole. While there are plenty of stand-out episodes and even great runs of two, three, or four in a cluster, taken as a whole it’s a bit of a jumble, especially in the home stretch.

The House of L has a lot of style but ultimately little substance. Lex scores some excellent moments, but one of this universe’s greatest villains deserves more than such a thin plot to support his entrée into the series. His character has been written with such panache but so little purposeful connection to the rest of the show that Supergirl threatens to collapse under the weight of Lex Luthor’s presence.

Read Delia's review of the previous episode, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, here.

Watch Supergirl season 4 on NOW TV

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FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

The Walking Dead season 9 episode 15 review: The Calm Before

Array ( [post_title] => The Walking Dead season 9 episode 15 review: The Calm Before [post_content] => Ron Hogan

Mar 25, 2019

The Walking Dead takes its cue from Game Of Thrones by unleashing one of the most ferocious pre-finale episodes in the show's history...

This review contains spoilers.

9.15 The Calm Before

As a general rule, I stand against expanded episodes. Unless it’s a cinematic quality show, and you're putting extra budget on screen, it never typically works out. Historically, that's never worked out for The Walking Dead, as it doesn't work out for most of the shows on Netflix. That was under the old regime. Under the new regime, the extra-long penultimate episode of season nine is a stellar exercise in taking a television show and making it look like an event.

To the credit of director Laura Belsey, she does just that. The cinematography seems to be turned up even more than usual, with a few little subtle shots—a particularly good, brief overhead shot of Carol, Daryl, Michonne, and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) as they're surrounded by a group of Whisperers after slicing and dicing through several waves of zombies. Even something relatively simple, like the four characters reuniting, or walking through a field, looks beautiful, and the sequences at the fair crackle with lightness and fun; it truly feels like a new beginning, as Ezekiel intones in his opening speech to kick off the fair. 

And then Alpha shows up in her most devious disguise yet. At Samantha Morton is first visible on screen, all that happy mood evaporates and is instantly replaced with a feeling of dread, and all the good things that have been happening for Henry and Lydia, Carol and Ezekiel, Gabriel and Rosita and Eugene immediately get subsumed by that instant stomach-tightening dread. Everyone's laughing and smiling, Ezekiel is making polite conversation with an unknown person from Alexandria—who knows enough to ask after Carol and mention Michonne—and all the while the viper is in their midst, waiting to strike. 

Meanwhile, what happens is pretty historic and important to the four communities. Once again, they're drawn together. However, it's not so much a group of people getting together to fight against a superior threat, though the Whisperers are crucial to bringing them all together. What reunites the survivor groups is something much more meaningful and human: their relationships with one another. 

These are people, as pointed out in Geraldine Inoa and Channing Powell's script, that have a lot of shed blood shared between them, and bonds of true love forged over time. They've forgotten this, as Michonne explains, and have been distracted by keeping themselves safe. But they're not four communities who occasionally work together, they're four communities who brought down an army, fought and died as one in service of bigger things. It's natural that it should bring them together while their initial pair groups begin to fracture slightly.

The Calm Before is full of sweet character moments. Henry and Lydia have a kiss. Henry is reunited with his parents. Daryl gets to act civilised and spend time with other humans, even trusting Dog to Connie. Connie has a beautiful reunion with her sister Kelly (Angel Theory) that is a credit to both actors as their grief and sadness and love is communicated solely through American Sign Language. Such communication is capable of great emotion, and both Theory and Lauren Ridloff do a stellar job of communicating without it becoming something too showy, as often seen by those viral videos of sign language interpreters at heavy metal concerts.

That all this happens while Alpha watches, sneaking among them, plotting her retribution, only makes it all the more poignant, because it emphasises that she doesn't simply select targets at random, she's going for maximum impact with a minimum body count. She's not simply looking to cut the head off a snake, she's looking to kill the snake by using a thousand well-placed cuts, as well as sweeping up other people who are unlucky enough to try and get involved at the last moment. 

Too often, decisions have been made on The Walking Dead due to behind-the-scenes drama or for shock value rather than under the guise of telling the best possible story. The events of The Calm Before could be more shocking, but they will have a serious ripple effect in a way that will make the death of Carl seem like a sneeze in a glass of water.

The events of this episode will reverberate across all four communities in a way that hasn't been seen since the war with the Saviors, except with a little poignancy because it allows the characters to grow and change, to deal with something and grow from that, be they little-used side characters or some of the show's main leads. 

That's a credit to Angela Kang's guiding hand; she's able to stun the viewers and yet also not lean on shock for the shake of shock. Certainly, there's a shock or two to happen at the end of the episode, but as the finale triggers and all the pieces begin to fall, it doesn't feel like something as rash as, say, Glenn's death at the hands of Negan. This is something akin to watching a string of dominoes falling, with the destruction yielding a beautiful pattern (albeit this pattern is far less beautiful and far more poignant and grisly). 

It's up to Siddiq to weave this tale not on sadness and death, but on a hopeful note, as he spins a beautiful tale of love, people working together, fighting for one another, even if they're strangers to one another, that doesn't stop them from struggling, trying, uniting out of something other than fear or pain. Avi Nash has a difficult task with this monologue, and he absolutely nails it over footage of the last battle between the overwhelmed and surrounded survivors and the Whisperers.  

Ezekiel mentions in his opening speech that the fair, and the greater cooperation for defense and trade it brings about, is the dream of Rick and Carl Grimes made life. Even the Whisperers, with their cruelty and aggression, can't snuff out the greater thing that the fair has put into motion. It's up to the outsiders—Siddiq, Lydia, Ozzy—to remind those who have been struggling all along as to what they're actually fighting for, and against. 

The Walking Dead rarely deals in taut emotions, preferring to manipulate with big pushes and pokes. The Calm Before has that in spades, but the creative team is able to dial it back, sprinkling moments of hopefulness in front of Alpha.  Unlike Lydia, who was taken in by it, she's repulsed, and while it doesn't show on her face, it shows in her actions, and her talk with Daryl at shotgun-point. The very same incidents strike two related people totally differently, and in the denouement of the episode, the very things that lend sweetness and happiness end up causing the greatest in bittersweet pain.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, Scars, here.

Watch The Walking Dead season 9 on NOW TV

[post_excerpt] => Ron Hogan
Mar 25, 2019

The Walking Dead takes its cue from Game Of Thrones by unleashing one of the most ferocious pre-finale episodes in the show's history...

This review contains spoilers.

See related 
Us movie references: Jordan Peele’s influences and inspirations
Us review: Jordan Peele's horror is scary, subversive and sublime
Winston Duke talks Us: 'It doesn't let anyone off the hook'

9.15 The Calm Before

As a general rule, I stand against expanded episodes. Unless it’s a cinematic quality show, and you're putting extra budget on screen, it never typically works out. Historically, that's never worked out for The Walking Dead, as it doesn't work out for most of the shows on Netflix. That was under the old regime. Under the new regime, the extra-long penultimate episode of season nine is a stellar exercise in taking a television show and making it look like an event.

To the credit of director Laura Belsey, she does just that. The cinematography seems to be turned up even more than usual, with a few little subtle shots—a particularly good, brief overhead shot of Carol, Daryl, Michonne, and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) as they're surrounded by a group of Whisperers after slicing and dicing through several waves of zombies. Even something relatively simple, like the four characters reuniting, or walking through a field, looks beautiful, and the sequences at the fair crackle with lightness and fun; it truly feels like a new beginning, as Ezekiel intones in his opening speech to kick off the fair. 

And then Alpha shows up in her most devious disguise yet. At Samantha Morton is first visible on screen, all that happy mood evaporates and is instantly replaced with a feeling of dread, and all the good things that have been happening for Henry and Lydia, Carol and Ezekiel, Gabriel and Rosita and Eugene immediately get subsumed by that instant stomach-tightening dread. Everyone's laughing and smiling, Ezekiel is making polite conversation with an unknown person from Alexandria—who knows enough to ask after Carol and mention Michonne—and all the while the viper is in their midst, waiting to strike. 

Meanwhile, what happens is pretty historic and important to the four communities. Once again, they're drawn together. However, it's not so much a group of people getting together to fight against a superior threat, though the Whisperers are crucial to bringing them all together. What reunites the survivor groups is something much more meaningful and human: their relationships with one another. 

These are people, as pointed out in Geraldine Inoa and Channing Powell's script, that have a lot of shed blood shared between them, and bonds of true love forged over time. They've forgotten this, as Michonne explains, and have been distracted by keeping themselves safe. But they're not four communities who occasionally work together, they're four communities who brought down an army, fought and died as one in service of bigger things. It's natural that it should bring them together while their initial pair groups begin to fracture slightly.

The Calm Before is full of sweet character moments. Henry and Lydia have a kiss. Henry is reunited with his parents. Daryl gets to act civilised and spend time with other humans, even trusting Dog to Connie. Connie has a beautiful reunion with her sister Kelly (Angel Theory) that is a credit to both actors as their grief and sadness and love is communicated solely through American Sign Language. Such communication is capable of great emotion, and both Theory and Lauren Ridloff do a stellar job of communicating without it becoming something too showy, as often seen by those viral videos of sign language interpreters at heavy metal concerts.

That all this happens while Alpha watches, sneaking among them, plotting her retribution, only makes it all the more poignant, because it emphasises that she doesn't simply select targets at random, she's going for maximum impact with a minimum body count. She's not simply looking to cut the head off a snake, she's looking to kill the snake by using a thousand well-placed cuts, as well as sweeping up other people who are unlucky enough to try and get involved at the last moment. 

Too often, decisions have been made on The Walking Dead due to behind-the-scenes drama or for shock value rather than under the guise of telling the best possible story. The events of The Calm Before could be more shocking, but they will have a serious ripple effect in a way that will make the death of Carl seem like a sneeze in a glass of water.

The events of this episode will reverberate across all four communities in a way that hasn't been seen since the war with the Saviors, except with a little poignancy because it allows the characters to grow and change, to deal with something and grow from that, be they little-used side characters or some of the show's main leads. 

That's a credit to Angela Kang's guiding hand; she's able to stun the viewers and yet also not lean on shock for the shake of shock. Certainly, there's a shock or two to happen at the end of the episode, but as the finale triggers and all the pieces begin to fall, it doesn't feel like something as rash as, say, Glenn's death at the hands of Negan. This is something akin to watching a string of dominoes falling, with the destruction yielding a beautiful pattern (albeit this pattern is far less beautiful and far more poignant and grisly). 

It's up to Siddiq to weave this tale not on sadness and death, but on a hopeful note, as he spins a beautiful tale of love, people working together, fighting for one another, even if they're strangers to one another, that doesn't stop them from struggling, trying, uniting out of something other than fear or pain. Avi Nash has a difficult task with this monologue, and he absolutely nails it over footage of the last battle between the overwhelmed and surrounded survivors and the Whisperers.  

Ezekiel mentions in his opening speech that the fair, and the greater cooperation for defense and trade it brings about, is the dream of Rick and Carl Grimes made life. Even the Whisperers, with their cruelty and aggression, can't snuff out the greater thing that the fair has put into motion. It's up to the outsiders—Siddiq, Lydia, Ozzy—to remind those who have been struggling all along as to what they're actually fighting for, and against. 

The Walking Dead rarely deals in taut emotions, preferring to manipulate with big pushes and pokes. The Calm Before has that in spades, but the creative team is able to dial it back, sprinkling moments of hopefulness in front of Alpha.  Unlike Lydia, who was taken in by it, she's repulsed, and while it doesn't show on her face, it shows in her actions, and her talk with Daryl at shotgun-point. The very same incidents strike two related people totally differently, and in the denouement of the episode, the very things that lend sweetness and happiness end up causing the greatest in bittersweet pain.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, Scars, here.

Watch The Walking Dead season 9 on NOW TV

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Replacing images : - ON Ron Hogan

Mar 25, 2019

The Walking Dead takes its cue from Game Of Thrones by unleashing one of the most ferocious pre-finale episodes in the show's history...

This review contains spoilers.

9.15 The Calm Before

As a general rule, I stand against expanded episodes. Unless it’s a cinematic quality show, and you're putting extra budget on screen, it never typically works out. Historically, that's never worked out for The Walking Dead, as it doesn't work out for most of the shows on Netflix. That was under the old regime. Under the new regime, the extra-long penultimate episode of season nine is a stellar exercise in taking a television show and making it look like an event.

To the credit of director Laura Belsey, she does just that. The cinematography seems to be turned up even more than usual, with a few little subtle shots—a particularly good, brief overhead shot of Carol, Daryl, Michonne, and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) as they're surrounded by a group of Whisperers after slicing and dicing through several waves of zombies. Even something relatively simple, like the four characters reuniting, or walking through a field, looks beautiful, and the sequences at the fair crackle with lightness and fun; it truly feels like a new beginning, as Ezekiel intones in his opening speech to kick off the fair. 

And then Alpha shows up in her most devious disguise yet. At Samantha Morton is first visible on screen, all that happy mood evaporates and is instantly replaced with a feeling of dread, and all the good things that have been happening for Henry and Lydia, Carol and Ezekiel, Gabriel and Rosita and Eugene immediately get subsumed by that instant stomach-tightening dread. Everyone's laughing and smiling, Ezekiel is making polite conversation with an unknown person from Alexandria—who knows enough to ask after Carol and mention Michonne—and all the while the viper is in their midst, waiting to strike. 

Meanwhile, what happens is pretty historic and important to the four communities. Once again, they're drawn together. However, it's not so much a group of people getting together to fight against a superior threat, though the Whisperers are crucial to bringing them all together. What reunites the survivor groups is something much more meaningful and human: their relationships with one another. 

These are people, as pointed out in Geraldine Inoa and Channing Powell's script, that have a lot of shed blood shared between them, and bonds of true love forged over time. They've forgotten this, as Michonne explains, and have been distracted by keeping themselves safe. But they're not four communities who occasionally work together, they're four communities who brought down an army, fought and died as one in service of bigger things. It's natural that it should bring them together while their initial pair groups begin to fracture slightly.

The Calm Before is full of sweet character moments. Henry and Lydia have a kiss. Henry is reunited with his parents. Daryl gets to act civilised and spend time with other humans, even trusting Dog to Connie. Connie has a beautiful reunion with her sister Kelly (Angel Theory) that is a credit to both actors as their grief and sadness and love is communicated solely through American Sign Language. Such communication is capable of great emotion, and both Theory and Lauren Ridloff do a stellar job of communicating without it becoming something too showy, as often seen by those viral videos of sign language interpreters at heavy metal concerts.

That all this happens while Alpha watches, sneaking among them, plotting her retribution, only makes it all the more poignant, because it emphasises that she doesn't simply select targets at random, she's going for maximum impact with a minimum body count. She's not simply looking to cut the head off a snake, she's looking to kill the snake by using a thousand well-placed cuts, as well as sweeping up other people who are unlucky enough to try and get involved at the last moment. 

Too often, decisions have been made on The Walking Dead due to behind-the-scenes drama or for shock value rather than under the guise of telling the best possible story. The events of The Calm Before could be more shocking, but they will have a serious ripple effect in a way that will make the death of Carl seem like a sneeze in a glass of water.

The events of this episode will reverberate across all four communities in a way that hasn't been seen since the war with the Saviors, except with a little poignancy because it allows the characters to grow and change, to deal with something and grow from that, be they little-used side characters or some of the show's main leads. 

That's a credit to Angela Kang's guiding hand; she's able to stun the viewers and yet also not lean on shock for the shake of shock. Certainly, there's a shock or two to happen at the end of the episode, but as the finale triggers and all the pieces begin to fall, it doesn't feel like something as rash as, say, Glenn's death at the hands of Negan. This is something akin to watching a string of dominoes falling, with the destruction yielding a beautiful pattern (albeit this pattern is far less beautiful and far more poignant and grisly). 

It's up to Siddiq to weave this tale not on sadness and death, but on a hopeful note, as he spins a beautiful tale of love, people working together, fighting for one another, even if they're strangers to one another, that doesn't stop them from struggling, trying, uniting out of something other than fear or pain. Avi Nash has a difficult task with this monologue, and he absolutely nails it over footage of the last battle between the overwhelmed and surrounded survivors and the Whisperers.  

Ezekiel mentions in his opening speech that the fair, and the greater cooperation for defense and trade it brings about, is the dream of Rick and Carl Grimes made life. Even the Whisperers, with their cruelty and aggression, can't snuff out the greater thing that the fair has put into motion. It's up to the outsiders—Siddiq, Lydia, Ozzy—to remind those who have been struggling all along as to what they're actually fighting for, and against. 

The Walking Dead rarely deals in taut emotions, preferring to manipulate with big pushes and pokes. The Calm Before has that in spades, but the creative team is able to dial it back, sprinkling moments of hopefulness in front of Alpha.  Unlike Lydia, who was taken in by it, she's repulsed, and while it doesn't show on her face, it shows in her actions, and her talk with Daryl at shotgun-point. The very same incidents strike two related people totally differently, and in the denouement of the episode, the very things that lend sweetness and happiness end up causing the greatest in bittersweet pain.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, Scars, here.

Watch The Walking Dead season 9 on NOW TV

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :The Walking Dead season 9 episode 15 review: The Calm Before

Array ( [post_title] => The Walking Dead season 9 episode 15 review: The Calm Before [post_content] => Ron Hogan

Mar 25, 2019

The Walking Dead takes its cue from Game Of Thrones by unleashing one of the most ferocious pre-finale episodes in the show's history...

This review contains spoilers.