The Week in Geek: Gunn is gone, but Hardwick and Buffy are back

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Aug 4, 2018, 1:19 PM EDT (Updated)

This year's San Diego Comic-Con has ended. If you were there, you are probably like us — a shambling undead beast in search of brains. Of course, in this case, we are searching for our own brains so we can get back to work rather than the brains of others for eating, but, regardless, I think we can agree: We are all definitely zombies.

But the world carries on, and so must we all. So *heavy, exhausted sigh* here they are: the top 5 stories from... The Week in Geek!


Speaking of heavy, exhausted sighs... might as well get this news hit out of the way.

Chris Hardwick, formerly of Nerdist, after having been accused (without being named) of emotional and sexual abuse, was temporarily suspended from both his AMC series, Talking Dead and Talking With Chris Hardwick. But after what an AMC spokesperson referred to as "very careful review," Hardwick will be returning to work because it is "the appropriate step."

TV producer Owen Ellickson has pointed out that the firm who conducted the investigation on Hardwick, Loeb & Loeb, has done its fair share of business with the Hearsts, who happen to be the billionaire family Hardwick married into. Hardwick's wife, Lydia Hearst, denies any suggestion that this should call her husband's innocence into question and has vocally stood by him since allegations began.

Meanwhile, Chloe Dykstra, who initially made accusations against Hardwick, wrote a lengthy response, including this: "I intend to focus on the subject I originally wanted to shed light on: emotional abuse. I plan to continue this conversation and intend to work with institutions like RAINN and other support groups for survivors."

And since disclaimers are placed at the bottom of articles I write for SYFY WIRE regardless, let me say this: I have worked in this industry for a long time. I have seen people do terrible things. Sometimes they get away with it, sometimes they don't. But no corporation will act against their own interest, and corporate interest is defined by money, not morality. So, yes, it is fair to acknowledge that, as such, billionaires will always exist under a different legal system. And, in this case, Hardwick, like Dykstra (and the rest of us) will have to live with that fact.


Last week, pizzagater, frequent baseless pedophile accuser, and just all-around swell guy Mike Cernovich, dug up a bunch of gross tweets Gunn had made a decade ago. Despite previous apologies for said tweets, Disney still fired Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3.

Since then, a number of cast members have come out in support of Gunn, others have started petitions to try and get Gunn rehired, and, also notably, Last Jedi director Rian Johnson deleted 20,000 tweets in an effort to avoid similar repercussions.

Will James Gunn be rehired? In any other year I'd say absolutely not, but 2018 is an all-bets-are-off, up-is-down, left-is-right, and there-are-multiple-Joker-movies kind of year, so who knows?


While at SDCC this year, it was announced that, two decades on, it was finally time for there to be more Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We knew Joss Whedon would be an executive producer. We knew Monica Owusu-Breen would be the showrunner. We thought we knew this new Buffy was a reboot.

We were wrong about that third part. Oops. Breen tweeted on the topic on July 26.

So the next slayer will be a new slayer. Not Buffy. Unless she names herself Buffy, which is a valid life choice. And while my feelings on the new series remain decidedly mixed, there is now the question of how the story will continue. Will there still be multiple slayers? Do the Dark Horse comics count? Will a live-action Fray finally become a reality?

There are, if nothing else, infinitely more possibilities with a continued Buffy story rather than a reboot. And that is... interesting.

The southern polar ice cap of Mars (using infrared, green, and blue light), which is mostly water ice with a thin layer of carbon dioxide ice on top, taken by Mars Express. Credit: ESA / G. Neukum (Freie Universitaet, Berlin) / Bill Dunford

The southern polar ice cap of Mars (using infrared, green, and blue light), which is mostly water ice with a thin layer of carbon dioxide ice on top, taken by Mars Express. Credit: ESA / G. Neukum (Freie Universitaet, Berlin) / Bill Dunford


The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) seems to have discovered something that has remained elusive from our instruments on Mars for decades -- water! And not just ice like we've been seeing for quite a while now, but actual, liquid, walk up and maybe drink from it... water. I wouldn't recommend actually drinking it, but the point is, if this checks out, someone could!

Obviously the more exciting news here is what the water means for both the history and future of Mars. If, indeed, there is liquid water, that would be an excellent place for future generations to dig in and attempt to confirm what kind of life, if any, existed on Mars millennia ago. 

And, likewise, it makes the thought of colonizing Mars feel just a touch more realistic. Not for us. We're all going to be long dead before that happens. But, hey! Maybe your great-great-granddaughter will put roots down on the Red Planet, look up at the stars, and think of you. I'm kidding. Do you think of your great-great-grandparents? Of course not. Enjoy being completely forgotten in the brave new world, everybody!



Sorry, all of you who were hoping for those Deadpool/Killjoys and Fantastic Four/Magicians crossover events, but, despite Comcast getting involved and making a run, shareholders have ultimately approved a merger between Disney and 21st Century Fox. For real this time. 

Whether that means no more R-Rated Deadpool, or a good Fantastic Four movie finally, or just that Wolverine and Spider-Man will finally make out just like they do every week in the comics (don't look that up, just trust me) is anyone's guess.

All we can say for sure is this: Disney owns us all now. So while you won't have three sixes behind your ear, there is probably a Mickey Mouse symbol.

And that's it. Your week in geek. If you are as exhausted as we are, please take an extended nap. We all deserve it.

See you next week, everybody!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.