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Week in Geek | Noel Clarke Sues BAFTA: An Explainer

Week in Geek is The Companion‘s weekly digest of all the latest trailers, announcements, controversies, spicy memes, and more. Not everyone has the time or inclination to sit on social media all day staying on top of this… but we do and we need to justify the time we’ve wasted.

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What We’re Looking At

Poster Posse collaborator C.A. Martin delivers a glorious take on Carl Sagan-inspired SF epic Contact (1997).

What We’re Talking About

One-time Doctor Who companion Noel Clarke is suing BAFTA, Guardian Media Group, and GQ publisher Condé Nast for defamation according to Deadline. The arts organization suspended his membership after The Guardian newspaper quoted 20 women who accused him of harassment. GQ interviewed the Guardian journalists, giving the story more traction.

The Metropolitan Police decided not to investigate, saying that “the information would not meet the threshold for a criminal investigation.”

I rarely get to use my media law qualifications, so here’s some commentary:

  • The decision of the Metropolitan Police not to investigate isn’t made on whether they believe something is true or not, but on whether they think the law has been broken, and/or how likely they are to obtain a conviction with the available evidence.
  • Clarke – the claimant – is required to prove that Bafta’s suspension, and that the stories run by GQ and The Guardian – the defendants – have caused him reputational damage and financial loss, for example having lost work as a direct result.
  • If the defendants prove the allegations made are substantially true then there is no case to answer.
  • The defendant doesn’t have to prove that the claimant broke the law, but that a) their account of his actions is true “on the balance of probabilities”, and b) “On the balance of probabilities” in a civil court is a lower threshold than “beyond reasonable doubt” in a criminal court.
  • This is entirely my opinion, sincerely held and protected as such by the Defamation Act 2013: Suing an arts charity is not a great look for Clarke.

Hope that helped. (Don’t worry, it won’t be a regular feature.)

According to Deadline, cursed superhero reboot Fantastic Four has parted ways with director Joe Watts, who needs a superhero break after Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The hinted Illumanti teased for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are confirmed to include X-Men star Patrick Stewart as Professor X, in the 90s’ friendly yellow hover chair.

Mindfulness app Headspace has teamed up with Disney for Star Wars Day, giving you the option of X-Wing-raising breathing exercises with Yoda, and sleepcasts from the moisture farms of Tatooine. Sounds lovely. 

Some sad news for comic fans from the LA Times, Neal Adams – arguably the finest Batman writer/artist of the Bronze Age – has passed away at the age of 80. When people talk about Frank Miller “making Batman dark and adult,” they’re showing their superficiality. If you only read one Batman story from the ’70s, make it Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil’s Night of the Reaper. Yehi zichra baruch.

What We’re Watching

To the Journey: Looking Back at Star Trek: Voyager smashed its crowdfunding target when it launched a year ago and this first teaser is a worthy update.

What We’re Buying*

*These aren’t sponsored, we don’t get a cut, and nobody sends us freebies. It’s just some cool stuff we’re lusting over hard.

Oddly beefy Thundercats foe Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living is the subject of the latest stylized 6.6″ tall Toy Art statue from Iron Studios, sculpted in PVC atop his Black Pyramid base.

Pre-order yours for USD$39.99 (approx GBP£32) 

Drink in the work of Neville Page, Star Trek’s first name in creature design from the 2009 Abrams reboot to the current series of Discovery and Picard.

Pre-order yours from USD$39.95 and GBP£24.99.

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