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Tag: The Multiverse (Page 1 of 50)

Universal’s Dark Universe risks being yet another extended universe franchise

Enlarge / Not just any universe... a DARK one. (credit: Universal Studios)

If you can't beat 'em, misunderstand 'em.

That appears to be the logic coming from the programming wizards at Universal Studios. The film production company took the (mummy) wraps off its "Dark Universe" initiative on Monday, and its intent is clear: to "reboot" the company's old monster-movie franchises over the next few years with big-name actors, interconnecting plots, and a rising tide of evil—a tide, of course, that can only be stopped by good guys who don't always follow the rules.

As if this didn't sound Marvel-y or Avengers-y enough, get a load of this official synopsis of what's to come:

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Twin Peaks is back and somehow as strange and beautiful as ever

Enlarge / Agent Dale Cooper is very much back. (credit: Suzanne Tenner / Showtime)

Warning: This post contains some spoilers for Twin Peaks: The Return alongside references to details from the original series.

“Is it future, or is it past?”

-Mike (a benign spirit inhabiting a shoe salesman sitting in an extra-dimensional waiting room)

It almost goes without saying that Twin Peaks felt like nothing else on TV back when it debuted on ABC in the early 1990s. Excitingly, the same applies to last night’s premiere of Twin Peaks: The Return on Showtime. A beloved cult-classic has surfaced 25 years later, and it immediately throws both old and new viewers into the deep-end without the slightest hint of a flotation device.

Don't expect any “here’s what happened a quarter-century ago” catch-up sequences. Laura Palmer gets no explanation. Margaret the Log Lady gets no explanation. And the dual Dale Coopers/Red Room/extra-dimensional lodges/otherworldly spirits sure as hell get no explanations. Ostensibly, Twin Peaks: The Return aims to please fans by making such choices, but going into the series blind in 2017 probably doesn’t leave you that far behind, even if it’ll make those Dale Cooper-Red Room sequences extra surreal and obtuse.

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National Geographic series Year Million explores the future of humanity

Trailer for tonight's episode of Year Million. (video link)

If you're interested in where science and technology might take humanity over the next million years, you might want to check out a new series from National Geographic called Year Million. Part science fiction, part speculative commentary, the show explores what could happen to humanity if we actually achieve some of today's scientific moonshots, like extreme longevity, human-equivalent AI, fully immersive VR, and space colonization.

The series' advisers included futurists like George Dvorsky and Michio Kaku, as well as science fiction writers like N.K. Jemisin. Their commentary is interspersed with the story of a family whose members go through all the changes created by technology. Thanks to life extension, they get to live for a million years and see the Earth and humanity utterly transformed.

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Doctor Who review: The Time Lord goes in search of the truth in Extremis

Enlarge (credit: Simon Ridgway/BBC)

This is a post-UK broadcast review of Doctor Who: Extremis. River Song always warned the Doctor against spoilers, so be sure to watch the episode first. Doctor Who, season 10, airs on Saturdays at 7:25pm UK time on BBC One, and 9pm EDT on BBC America.

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat clearly wants to go out in style: might he achieve that plan with a trilogy—starting with Extremis—that brings us mysterious new enemies known only as The Monks, who are plotting to conquer Earth with the help of a simulated computer game?

VR might not have taken off in the real world yet and, in my view, looks set to join the '80s versions of the headsets in the Woolworths bargain bin (remember that?). But in Extremis, the tech is used imaginatively to create a nightmarish vision that aligns with space billionaire Elon Musk's insistence that there's a "one in billions" chance we're not living in a simulated universe.

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The PicoBrew Pico: Getting closer to a counter-top beer-making machine

I’m in my mother’s kitchen in Los Angeles drinking a beer with my sister on a hot spring afternoon. The beer is a bready, hoppy IPA without any overwhelming flavors that would make you think too hard. The alcohol content is acceptable. The brew is properly carbonated and doesn’t taste flat. This beer isn’t going to win any awards, but I could serve it to friends and family without having to apologize for it. In short, it’s easy drinking, something you can have a conversation over.

The beer, however, came from a beer-making machine on my countertop, which was why the overwhelming averageness of the brew instead felt amazing. Maybe that’s a low bar to clear in order to merit applause, but given my past experience with the PicoBrew Zymatic, it felt appropriate.

In 2015, I reviewed the Zymatic, a large machine that was supposed to help brewers cook up their wort automatically—but the fermentation process was largely left in the hands of the Zymatic owner. I produced two below-average beers, perhaps owing to the heatwave I was brewing in at the time (the temperatures surely killed off some yeast). But another part of the problem with the Zymatic was that it combined a machine-driven brewing process with the traditionally hands-on fermentation, bottling, and carbonating processes. It was hardly the “set-it-and-forget-it” appliance that I expected.

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