Now that Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who, the internet is abuzz with rumours about his replacement. But this time, let’s go with a Welshman.

If you check Twitter, Doctor Who fans are pretty much in synonymous agreement that Matt Smith has been one of the best Doctors the show has ever had. And it’s going to be hard to find a worthy replacement.

Some fans are clamoring for an established genre actor like Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, or Damien Lewis, while others hope to see Doctor Who return to older, more serious Doctors like Christopher Lee or John Noble (forget the fact that he’s Australian, he’d be amazing).

Still, others are suggesting more radical options: Rupert Grint. David Tennant (again). A woman. Can you believe it? (Actually yes, we can, but that’s another article for another time.)

However, everyone seems to be overlooking a very significant, important factor: in all his regenerations, the Doctor has been many things… but he has never been Welsh.

Doctor Who has a lot of ties to Wales, of course. It films there, for one thing. The original reboot showrunner Russell T. Davies is Welsh, and had Rose and the Doctor traipsing off to Cardiff every chance they got (and even when they were in London, hey, it was still Cardiff).

Doctor Who is such a thoroughly British institution, it seems preposterous to imagine that it would ever cast a non-Brit in the role of the Doctor (although again, let’s all just think of John Noble’s name at the same time, just to see if that old season 3 mind-magic really works).

And yet, for all its Britishness, the only Doctor who has ever been anything but English was Sylvester McCoy. McCoy got to use his Scottish accent for the part, but in the reboot-era, Scottish actor David Tennant had to put on an English accent.

And that’s a shame. There is a tendency both in Britain and America to standardise accents on film and television, but Britain is so much more than just England. And since we’ve got this huge international hit on our hands, let’s continue this trend of showcasing Britain and the range of Britishness (that isn’t just Englishness) to the world – and move on to Wales!

Ioan Gruffudd

Doctor Who Welsh Ioan Gruffudd

Although Gruffudd (aged 39) has been trying to establish himself in America with Fantastic Four and shows like Ringer and Castle, his Welsh roots run deep. (He played Lancelot in King Arthur, for crying out loud.)

He is a native speaker, and is considered one of Wales’ most prominent actors. The fact that he is so recognizable in the States would hardly hurt either, considering that Doctor Who is rapidly gaining in popularity over there.

Of course Gruffudd is hardly whimsical. But perhaps it’s time to move away from the silly Doctors, considering that he will be transitioning into the Valeyard? Gruffudd might be the man for the job.

Rhys Ifans

Doctor Who Welsh Rhys Ifans

Not only is Ifans Welsh, but he is also ginger! It’s like a two-for-one special! The 45-year-old actor/musician is best known for his roles as Xenophilius Lovegood in Harry Potter and The Lizard in Spider-Man, and we think he’d be a great choice for the Doctor.

Like Gruffudd, Ifans isn’t exactly whimsical – but he can be wide-eyed, crazed and desperate, as we saw in Deathly Hallows, while remaining calm and carefully, intensely controlled. Ifans is a perfect fit for Doctor Who if the show is indeed going to be moving down a darker path next year.

And another great thing about Ifans is that in some ways, he kind of feels like an older era Doctor; we can’t quite explain why, but there’s something about him which reminds us of Tom Baker and/or Peter Davison.

John Rhys-Davies

Doctor Who Welsh John Rhys-Davies

Talk about going back to classic-era Who! John Rhys-Davies (aged 69) is one of the most talented, versatile British actors of our time, with blockbusters such as The Lord of the Rings, James Bond and Indiana Jones under his belt.

Rhys-Davies is one of those big-name British actors whom you would assume had appeared in Doctor Who at some point as a guest star, but he hasn’t yet – maybe because he’s simply too big of a name for the show. But no one is too big to play the Doctor himself, and if Rhys-Davies picked up the mantle, he would just bring so much class to the series.

We think this is one of the few actors who could truly capture the feel of the original Doctor (William Hartnell), while still putting his own very unique and memorable spin on the role. And let’s not forget that Rhys-Davies is funny. Remember Gimli – or Treebeard, for that matter?!

Here’s an actor who’s got the pedigree, the talent, and the comedic timing to pull off such a complex, conflicted character. His Doctor would be at once edgy and serious, yet quirky and maybe a little bumbling. In other words, Rhys-Davies would be pretty close to perfect.

Iwan Rheon

Doctor Who Welsh Iwan Rheon

Let’s not forget to consider the younger generation of Welsh actors, too. 28-year-old Iwan Rheon is best known for his role on Misfits, although Game of Thrones fans will shudder at the mention of his name considering he currently plays Theon’s ruthless (and so far nameless) torturer.

Rheon may be younger than the other candidates mentioned so far, but he is no less intense. In many of his roles, you’ll find him desperate, wild-eyed and borderline mad, and it is always a shock when you see him do an interview and realise that he’s not really like that at all. He just pulls off that tortured, imbalanced insanity really well.

In fact, Rheon reminds us a little bit of Matt Smith in his ability to take his character to truly dark, disturbing places one moment, and then turning light-hearted and innocent the next.

This resemblance in acting styles might not be a bad thing, considering how badly fans are taking the news of Smith’s departure. Add to this that Rheon also somewhat physically resembles Smith, and he might be the perfect replacement if the executives decide that they don’t want to scare Who fans off with a completely different type of actor.

If the story is going to continue along the same lines as during Smith’s reign as the Doctor, Rheon would be a good choice to keep a similar feel and tone. And at the same time, in terms of amping up the intensity, Rheon would be more than up for the challenge.

Alexander Vlahos

Doctor Who Welsh Alexander Vlahos

Our youngest choice on the list, Alex Vlahos (aged 24) would usher in a whole new era of Doctor Who. Plus, Vlahos actually wants the part!

Despite his recent roles on Merlin (where he played Mordred), Privates and The Indian Doctor, Vlahos is still a relative unknown, forging his path as an actor.

We like the idea of the new Doctor being someone whom the audience can watch build his character’s identity from scratch, rather than being associated with past roles from the get-go.

Considering that John Hurt will appear as “The Doctor” (whether it’s a past or a future regeneration) in the 50th Anniversary Special, the stark contrast between him and a Doctor as young as Vlahos would be jarring – but not necessarily in a bad way.

Some fans might argue that Vlahos’ Doctor would be much too young considering the dark days ahead, but here’s a counter-argument: maybe the darker storyline actually requires a Doctor who has never felt older, yet has never looked younger.

Vlahos is certainly one of the most promising and talented young Welsh actors around, and if the role of the Doctor is going to go to someone in his age range, he’d be our top choice (Welsh or otherwise).

Michael Sheen

Doctor Who Welsh Michael Sheen

Now we’re getting wild! 44-year-old Michael Sheen (no relation to Charlie) can boast a packed resume which spans pretty much every genre, from Twilight to Henry V.

Sheen is best known for playing politicians and crooks; he’s got a knack for playing ominous, almost sleazy villains, and because the majority of Doctor Who‘s adult viewers would recognize him from one or more of these roles, we’d suddenly have a very different kind of Doctor on our hands: one we might not instinctively trust.

This would certainly be an interesting approach to the character, and open up the story in new and exciting ways. One of the Doctor’s most consistent qualities across all of his regenerations is his ability to make people do what he says. He appears somewhere in time or on a random planet, says something along the lines of, “Trust me, I’m the Doctor,” and people usually do.

But what if they didn’t? What if potential companions weren’t falling over themselves to follow him into the TARDIS? What if past allies turned against him, because he suddenly looked and felt like someone who maybe didn’t have their best interest at heart?

Michael Sheen is a brilliant, versatile actor, who could turn the anger and frustration the Doctor would feel after such experiences into something gripping and intense – and before you knew it, we’d be at Trenzalore. The story practically writes itself.

Anthony Hopkins

Doctor Who Welsh Anthony Hopkins

You knew we had to go there. 75-year-old superstar (can we call him that? We just really want to) Anthony Hopkins should already have played the Doctor 10 times over if the role went to iconic British actors.

Hopkins is of course best known for playing Hannibal Lecter in the Hannibal movies (he won an Oscar for his performance in The Silence of the Lambs), but we can’t forget his quually memorable roles in adventure classics such as The Mask of Zorro, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Legends of the Fall.

Anthony Hopkins as Doctor Who? Now that would make headlines. Would he ever agree to it? Unlikely. But just for fun, let’s say that he did. Say he contacted the BBC and went, “Hey guys, mind if I take a spin in the TARDIS?” Not even Steven Moffat could overrule that.

Like with John Rhys-Davies, Hopkins as an older Doctor would bring us back to the good old days of classic Who. We’d have someone commanding, frail yet strong-willed, hardened from battle, and maybe a little bit tired of it all.

Don’t forget River Song’s words in season 5, upon seeing Eleven for the first time (for him): “It’s so strange when you go all baby-face.” Unless she was referring to John Hurt’s Doctor (or… unless this line means nothing because we’ll never see River again, but we refuse to accept the possibility), this strongly indicates that we will indeed see an older Doctor. So why not dream big?

As you can see, there is plenty of talented Welsh actors who would make great Doctors in future Doctor Who series. If the BBC’s stealthy publicity team has their way, we probably won’t learn the face of Twelve until Christmas 2013, so until then, we’ll have to keep speculating!

Which Welsh actor could you see as the next ‘Doctor Who’?

Exclusive: Richard Speight, Jr. chats ‘Kings of Con’ and his return to the ‘Supernatural’ director’s chair

"I don’t worry about hitting too close to home. It’s my home, so if I want to burn it to the ground I can."

9:30 am EST, January 13, 2017

Actor Richard Speight, Jr. joined Hypable in Australia to talk about aiming the blast laser at himself in his satirical convention-life series Kings of Con and returning to his Supernatural home turf as a director.

“Oh, I don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings or hitting too close to home! It’s my home, so if I want to burn it to the ground I can.” Such is the mantra of Richard Speight, Jr., the peppy Supernatural and Band of Brothers alumnus currently ruling the internet as the writer, director and star of convention circuit comedy Kings of Con. The question at hand is whether he ever feels trepidation about exposing the inner workings of his industry, perhaps to the embarrassment or expense of his colleagues. The answer is a resounding no. “I am an actor and it is my world, so I apologize to nobody for any jokes I make,” he declares confidently. However, if you’re a superfan, don’t expect to find yourself in the line of fire – despite the show’s premise, you’re definitely not the target.

Created by Speight and Rob Benedict, two Supernatural guest stars whose characters have, over the years, become deeply woven into the very fabric of the show’s canon, Kings of Con is a farcical yet heartfelt glimpse behind the curtain in the world of fan conventions, in which Rich and Rob play heightened versions of themselves, parodying themselves as washed-up actors clinging to the 13 weekends per year in which they’re blessed with fame and mild fortune thanks to their past roles on a popular genre show with a deeply loyal fandom, one that stars a couple of hot “lumbersexuals.” Sound familiar? Yup.

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Actor Richard Speight, Jr. joined Hypable in Australia to talk about aiming the blast laser at himself in his satirical convention-life series Kings of Con and returning to his Supernatural home turf as a director.

“Oh, I don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings or hitting too close to home! It’s my home, so if I want to burn it to the ground I can.” Such is the mantra of Richard Speight, Jr., the peppy Supernatural and Band of Brothers alumnus currently ruling the internet as the writer, director and star of convention circuit comedy Kings of Con. The question at hand is whether he ever feels trepidation about exposing the inner workings of his industry, perhaps to the embarrassment or expense of his colleagues. The answer is a resounding no. “I am an actor and it is my world, so I apologize to nobody for any jokes I make,” he declares confidently. However, if you’re a superfan, don’t expect to find yourself in the line of fire – despite the show’s premise, you’re definitely not the target.

Created by Speight and Rob Benedict, two Supernatural guest stars whose characters have, over the years, become deeply woven into the very fabric of the show’s canon, Kings of Con is a farcical yet heartfelt glimpse behind the curtain in the world of fan conventions, in which Rich and Rob play heightened versions of themselves, parodying themselves as washed-up actors clinging to the 13 weekends per year in which they’re blessed with fame and mild fortune thanks to their past roles on a popular genre show with a deeply loyal fandom, one that stars a couple of hot “lumbersexuals.” Sound familiar? Yup.

The Rob’n’Rich origin story has a slightly unusual twist: Speight, who played the mischievous archangel Gabriel, and Benedict, who portrays the prophet Chuck Shurley recently revealed to be God himself, never actually shared screen time while filming Supernatural. Instead, they met as guests on the (real) Supernatural convention circuit, and through this environment, grew into the very best of friends. This bond led to the pair becoming a fan-favorite double act, and through their work over the years hosting the tours together, where Speight acts as each weekend’s MC and Benedict leads rock group Louden Swain as the convention’s onstage “house band,” the idea for Kings of Con was born.

At this point, you may be saying to yourself “Hang on, a webseries about conventions? Isn’t that already a thing?” Yes, it is a thing. Con Man, written by Alan Tudyk and produced by Nathan Fillion, which satirizes their experience on the circuit in the wake of Firefly, is a thing that also exists. But neither project was based on the other, or knew the other even existed when they each went into production. The situation at hand simply proves two things: number one, that convention culture is becoming so prominent in the lives of actors and in the process of being a fan that it inspires multiple parties to tell their stories about it; and number two, that irony truly is a bitch, because, as Speight and Benedict revealed in their Indiegogo campaign video, the very day that they finished filming scenes for their own first pass at Kings of Con, the crowdfunding campaign for Con Man was dropped online.

A little competition was not enough to dissuade Speight and Benedict — “What if the makers of ER had said ‘you know what, there’s a Chicago Hope?'” — and the Kings of Con Indiegogo, which launched in early 2015, met its initial goal within days. The creators increased their plans from three to ten episodes, and the campaign ended on May 11, 2015 with a total of $279,655 raised by backers. Around a year later, it was announced that the series had been picked up by Comic-Con HQ, the nerdcentric video-on-demand channel launched by Lionsgate. I sat down with Speight in the lobby of his Sydney hotel on a recent visit Down Under for — what else — a Supernatural convention, to talk about how that partnership came into being, why his comedy doesn’t exploit fan culture, and what to expect from his latest episode of Supernatural.

The success of the Kings of Con crowdfunding venture was not only financially beneficial in terms of helping Speight and Benedict’s business plan, it also got the project a fair amount of positive press. From that hype came a meeting at Nerdist Industries, which is home to a whole slate of original video content alongside their flagship podcast hosted by Chris Hardwick. It turned out not to be the right fit. “Nerdist’s format for doing a show like that would have been very different,” Speight admits. “Great company, great people, but different kind of design. They do ad-supported content, it’s just very different.”

However, in that meeting was a man named Seth Laderman, who, unbeknownst to Speight and Benedict, was at the time in the process of leaving Nerdist to start a new digital arm for Lionsgate, which was a partnership with the Comic-Con International brand. When Laderman took up his new position, he called the Kings and told them that he wanted their show, and that Comic-Con HQ would be the right home. “It ended up being a perfect mix, because we had autonomy. We could make whatever show we wanted. It wasn’t ad-supported, so we didn’t have to worry about content being altered to fit a brand or anything like that. It was really a perfect storm for us.”

While Speight is quick to assure me that he and Benedict would have produced the show at any level, with just their fundraising budget and no further reach than inviting the Supernatural fandom to view it on their YouTube channel — an eventuality they would have been happy to rely on — they were never aiming to make the show feel small in scope. He disparages my use of the term webseries — a pet hate, as the mainstream implications of “videos on the internet” don’t truly reflect the current state of content creation. “Really, it’s a digital series, but so is House of Cards. There’s no difference between what we’re trying to do and what Netflix is doing. Digital is really just a distribution platform,” he explains, and that’s what makes Comic-Con HQ such a valuable asset — along with a plumper production budget to better showcase the vision and abilities of the creators, the partnership with the VOD service has provided the show the opportunity to reach a much wider crowd outside the built-in congregation that is the Supernatural fandom.

Speight describes Comic-Con HQ’s national and international plan to get their own brand and the brand of their shows out to a larger audience, and it’s no small thing. Since Kings of Con premiered in November, Comic-Con HQ has also hosted Kings of Conversation, a globally accessible live after show with special guests breaking down each week’s episode, and has cut deals with a host of other paid subscription services: iTunes, Amazon, Google, Playstation, Xbox and Vimeo to get their content available to international viewers. And if you attended San Diego Comic-Con this past summer – where Speight and Benedict hosted the Sunday morning Supernatural panel in the cavernous Hall H for their second year running, a gig that came not from their relationship with Comic-Con as Kings of Con promo but with Warner Brothers for their relationship with Supernatural itself, you’ll have noticed that the push for the channel was absolutely inescapable, with their own stage area, giveaways, subscriber sign-ups left and right. Billboards for Kings of Con, alongside Comic-Con HQ’s other projects – Pop Culture Quest, the Mark Hamill-hosted documentary series about collectors of memorabilia, and, irony strikes again, Con Man, which joined the platform for its second season – lined the walkway between Hall H and the Hilton.

2015, Speight’s first year onstage in Hall H, also saw SDCC play host to a huge panel for Con Man, and questions about the spoofing of fan culture within such a series began to arise, especially as Tudyk’s character was extremely disdainful of his own circumstances. The Firefly cast are deeply and famously in love with their own fandom, so they handled that aspect in their own way, but Kings of Con is a completely different animal, for a variety of reasons, so the same questions must be brought to the table here. Fans are always extremely cautious about anyone trying to fictionalize fandom on film — it’s failed many times in the past, but it turns out that if you point the camera in the other direction, you get a pretty accurate portrayal, because much to the delight of the Supernatural fandom, Kings of Con does a great job in normalizing its own setting and the community surrounding it.

Set on the road at various stops of a weekend convention tour for on an unnamed cult genre show (based on Creation Entertainment’s Official Supernatural convention tour, probably the biggest such event for a currently airing show) Kings of Con never draws its humor at the expense of fans. “Here’s our aim,” Speight lays it out when the question of writing about fan culture comes up. “We don’t set out to make fun of fans. Fans are the reason why we have an audience. They’re the reason why Supernatural is successful, why Supernatural conventions are successful, and why the crowdfunding campaign was successful.”

Moreso than that, Kings of Con isn’t actually about fans themselves – the representation of fan culture is actually very limited, with Speight and Benedict pulling most of their character-driven comedy from the stories of the actors and onsite staff who help make the con work. Moments in which the stars are shown meeting with fans — at autograph signings, panels, and so on — are treated very sincerely, with no mocking private commentary of these interactions, and the fact that fans choose to come spend their time and money at conventions is, as I mentioned, treated as valid and reasonable. Several episodes revolve around Rob and Rich covering up their own mess-ups in order to give a good performance for a waiting audience, and the hardest digs hand the power to the fans rather than the actors — moments when an actor is dismayed not to be recognized, or acknowledges that he’s just there to pad out time for fans keen to meet the real celebrities, the show’s as-yet-unseen stars “Justin” and “Jaden,” who only appear on Sundays.

If they’re not using the celebrity/fan dynamic to send up the fans, then what’s left is using it to send up the actors – in all their insecurities and desperation and bravado and unfounded confidence. “It makes a ton of fun of the actors,” Speight laughs, “and that’s what it’s going to do every week.” Given that large portions of the show were filmed on location on the convention circuit, the majority of characters on Kings of Con are played by other Supernatural staples also in attendance – some, such as Alaina Huffman as Rob’s ex-wife, are roles crucial to the plot, but others, including Osric Chau, Kim Rhodes, Kurt Fuller and Matt Cohen, play fellow caricaturized convention guests with all manner of odd hang-ups and habits that absolutely stink of observations totted up during exposure to all manner of other working actors within the industry over the years.

But Speight isn’t worried about his comedy offending his own community. “Robbie and I come from that world. We’re not outsiders looking in, we’re insiders looking out, so if we want to take the piss out of our co-workers we can and will, but the thing is, we don’t do it in a mean way. Rob and I don’t have a mean bone in our body in terms of our comedic sensibilities or how we write or how we perform,” he tells me truthfully. “Keep in mind, the characters we make the most fun of are ourselves. If we’re aiming that judgmental laser at ourselves, we can get away with whatever we want. There’s a blast radius, but nobody steps in more turds than Rob and Rich.”

The methodology seems to be working, as during the production of its first season, Kings of Con has attracted a host of notable guests including Speight’s Band of Brothers co-stars Ron Livingston and Michael Cudlitz, comedian Josh Meyers, and veteran character actor Bernie Kopell, who appeared as himself in a hallucination after the pilot introduced a running gag about him. In next week’s episode, the season finale, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles will also appear, presumably as their Kings of Con-verse alter egos, the pampered and elite Justin and Jaden – Speight and Benedict have clearly won the unwavering support of their peers with this project.

Returning to the real world, Speight also recently wrapped several weeks filming as the director on an upcoming episode of Supernatural — his second, after season 11’s “Just My Imagination.” That episode, a sweet story about Sam’s ‘imaginary friend’ Sully, who turned out to be a real supernatural being, was an intimate tale that hits very close to home, but Speight’s next turn in the director’s chair for episode 12 of season 12 sees him taking the reins on a much, much bigger piece. Originally teased as an homage to a certain famous director, the title was revealed to be “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” so you can rest assured that the icon in question is Quentin Tarantino – some huge shoes to fill.

Speight sings the praises of the production as he reflects. “That episode was a phenomenal experience. Davy [Perez, a new addition to Supernatural’s writing team this season] wrote a hell of a script. It’s a tip of the hat to a certain director’s style, but it is its own episode of story and action, everything else. It is not a meta episode at all. It’s simply a style nod.” This confirmation — the lack of meta — is part of our discussion of Supernatural’s history of deep absurdism, having gotten away with everything from a high school musical about the characters to a fourth-wall breaking trip to an alternate universe in which Sam and Dean find themselves on the set on the TV show where everyone thinks that they’re their actor counterparts Ackles and Padalecki. Speight’s character, especially when still in disguise as the Trickster, has even been the lynchpin of several such meta episodes.

The prospect of a Tarantino “theme” isn’t even necessarily the aspect that will make this episode memorable. It wasn’t confirmed whether the content would be monster-of-the-week-ish or tied to the season’s bigger British Men of Letters or Lucifer arcs, but given Speight’s description that it is “very cool and very full plot, with a lot of storylines going on with a lot of characters being serviced really well,” it’s safe to assume that it’s a showstopper. Speight finished shooting around 24 hours before he made the flight out to Australia, and describes the episode as “all-encompassing,” with some huge sequences to pull off. “It’s big, and it’s broad. There’s style, and there’s several different stories happening and they’re intertwine in interesting ways. It’s a doozy of an episode.” If Supernatural’s back half doesn’t take a mini-hiatus when it returns on January 26, “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” will air on 16 February, and Speight is also booked to direct yet another episode towards the season’s conclusion.

In the meantime, catch Richard Speight, Jr. and Rob Benedict in the Kings of Con season finale on Tuesday 17 January on Comic-Con HQ, or watch episode 1 right now below!

All episode stills © Comic-Con HQ and The CW. All portraiture used with permission © Stardust and Melancholy.

Nintendo unveiled their next video game console, the Switch, on Thursday.

Initially teased in October, Nintendo hosted a primetime event to share all the big details about the Switch. Amongst the news was the price, games, and how the controllers work

You can watch the Nintendo Switch’s unveiling below. Additional details are available further down the page.

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Nintendo unveiled their next video game console, the Switch, on Thursday.

Initially teased in October, Nintendo hosted a primetime event to share all the big details about the Switch. Amongst the news was the price, games, and how the controllers work

You can watch the Nintendo Switch’s unveiling below. Additional details are available further down the page.

Nintendo Switch live stream

Nintendo Switch highlights

  • Nintendo Switch will be released March 3, 2017 in Japan, the United States, Canada, major European countries, Hong Kong, and other territories.
  • The Switch will cost $299.99
  • Battery life for on-the-go gaming is 2 1/2 hours to 6 hours
  • 8 Switch systems can be connected to one another
  • Switch uses USB-C to charge (meaning you can plug Switch into any computer to charge it if it’s not docked to the TV)
  • Super Mario Odyssey is the latest 3D Mario game that is set in an “unknown” sandbox world. Mario has a hat with eyes. The game won’t be released until the end of 2017, so few details about the game were shared. It looks like an open world game similar to Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario 64, but with a variety of different worlds to explore — including one with humans.
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be released March 3, the launch date of the system. It’ll be released for Wii U the same day.

Update: Watch a few great trailers below, including one for the new Mario Kart, which is simply an updated version of Wii U’s Mario Kart 8. The new game is called Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition and includes everything from the Wii U installment plus a new battle mode, new maps, new items, and new characters. It’ll be available at the end of April:

‘The Defenders’ first look involves a messy hallway meeting

Plus: Who is Sigourney Weaver's villain?

1:45 pm EST, January 12, 2017

The Defenders are finally assembling, and our first look offers uneasy alliances — and a glimpse at Sigourney Weaver!

Our first look at The Defenders comes from Entertainment Weekly. EW was on set for the long-awaited first collision of Marvel’s reluctant, Netflix-based superheroes, and it sounds about as cacophonous as you would imagine.

Apparently, Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand all coincidentally collide on hero-business at the gigantic hole in Midland Circle. In classic Marvel-Netflix form, a tight hallway fight quickly ensues — this time, times four.

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The Defenders are finally assembling, and our first look offers uneasy alliances — and a glimpse at Sigourney Weaver!

Our first look at The Defenders comes from Entertainment Weekly. EW was on set for the long-awaited first collision of Marvel’s reluctant, Netflix-based superheroes, and it sounds about as cacophonous as you would imagine.

Apparently, Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand all coincidentally collide on hero-business at the gigantic hole in Midland Circle. In classic Marvel-Netflix form, a tight hallway fight quickly ensues — this time, times four.

“We wanted them all caught off guard,” says showrunner Marco Ramirez of the epic meet-cute. “Once they’re in that room together, it’s kind of like, “Oh, shit, who are you?””

EW has also provided behind-the-scenes video of The Defenders cover shoot, where the actors share tantalizing details of the eight-episode series.

“I’m not entirely sure how Matt fits into the Defenders yet,” says Charlie Cox, “But I can’t wait to see how he deals with those characters. I think both Matt Murdock and Jessica Jones are quite oppinionated and quite stubborn. I imagine that would be kind of a fiery relationship — in a good way!”

Kristin Ritter agrees that her Jessica Jones is not exactly the type to play nice.

Her superstrong heroine is “very reluctant to exist in the world, let alone use her superpowers,” Ritter says. “So Jessica fits in very, again, reluctantly.”

Jessica, she says, “brings her attitude and her biting sense of humor” to the motley crew. In contrast, Mike Colter says that Luke Cage is “the most centered” member of the Defenders. Hopefully, Luke can inject some groundedness into the hot mess parade of his fellow superheroes.

The unknown property of the group is Danny Rand, whose Iron Fist series hits Netflix in March. Actor Finn Jones explains Danny’s powers as the accessing of a spiritual force, and says that “he’s the one that knows really what’s going on.”

“He knows how serious the situation is,” Jones says. “He’s the one that kind of drives the group to get shit done, really.”

So what kind of villain could drive this disparate crew to “get shit done”? As announced at New York Comic Con, Sigourney Weaver will be playing The Defenders unifying villain.

EW reveals that Weaver’s character will be called “Alexandra,” though Marvel remains mostly tight-lipped on further details.

Ramirez calls Alexandra an “utter badass,” who is “a very powerful force in New York City.”

“She’s everything Sigourney is: Sophisticated, intellectual, dangerous,” he says.

Well, the Defenders are certainly plenty dangerous. Maybe between the four of them, they can scrape up enough intellect and sophistication to match wits with Weaver.

Marvel’s The Defenders comes to Netflix in summer 2017.

What excites you the most about our first look at ‘The Defenders’?