SciFi Friday: Freema Agyeman Helps Us Get Over the Loss of Billie Piper, Attempted Surprises, and Top Movies


We’ve now had three episodes of Doctor Who without Billie Piper, but neither us fans or The Doctor are ready to forget her. The Christmas episode as well as both episodes of the third season have had references to her character, Rose. The Christmas episode, The Runaway Bride, has The Doctor meet Donna, who was a real match him. I don’t think either viewers or The Doctor could take a full season of Donna, but Freema Agyeman as medical student Martha Jones is starting out as a strong companion who is helping many fans forget about the loss of Rose. They meet the first episode of season three in Smith and Jones in which the the hospital where Martha works is transported to the moon to allow aliens to hunt down a fugitive hiding in the hospital. The Doctor is impressed by the strength Martha shows despite the shock of winding up on the moon.


It appears that one way in which the show was modernized to appeal to television viewers for its revival was to give The Doctor beautiful women for companions. Freema Agyeman has received great reviews as she replaced Billie Piper. While they don’t repeat the sexual inuendo of last season’s opener, Smith and Jones does give The Doctor an excuse to kiss Martha–in order for them to exchange genetic material. The second episode, The Shakespeare Code, even has them in bed together. (Nothing happens–remember, the BBC does clasify this as a children’s show.) Later this season we will see Daleks in Manhattan, and the season is rumored to end with the return of The Master. A couple of trailers for the season are available from the BBC. Bit torrent is needed to download the actual episodes after they air. Note that this week’s episode might be postponed if a soccer game runs over.

Lost increasingly seems to feature characters doing dumb things. I’ve recently commented on Jack ignoring the chance to get information from Cindy and the other tailies. As Locke, who has been blowing up everything in site recently, wasn’t on this episode, it came down to Jack to make the stupid mistake. Did anyone really not see it coming that Juliet is still working with the Others? From the moment we saw that she had the key to the handcuffs, it was pretty obvious that this was all a set up. Despite the obvious “twist” at the end, it was an excellent episode as we saw Juliet’s backstory pick up from from where Not in Portland ended.

The other obvious twist this week was on 24. It took until part way into the episode for me to guess that Wayne Palmer was bluffing about the attack, but the fake rescue of Fayed was obvious from the start. Then again, I was surprised (and a bit relieved) that they wrapped up the suitcase nuke storyline. After they actually had a nuclear bomb go off in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the first episode, all the chases over the bombs were anti-climatic. Even the conflict over the removal of Wayne as President all seemed like something we’ve seen before (as we have with his brother.)

I bet nobody was surprised to find that Audrey was still alive ever since they claimed she was killed looking for Jack in China. Even if this wasn’t planned from the start, once The Nine was yanked we knew she was available again. It is a bit surprising that Jack hasn’t gotten together with his daughter Kim, but after her scenes in recent years this might be for the better.

One thing which will remain a surprise is the ending of the final Harry Potter novel. In The Devil Wears Prada, Ann Hathaway was given the job of getting Meryl Streep’s kids a copy of a Harry Potter book before it was released. In reality, security will be far too tight to pull this off, not to mention the various curses which would be placed upon anyone who violates the security arrangements:

Libraries nationwide have been dealt strict rules regarding author J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

Among them: Libraries must limit the number of employees who handle the books before the release and provide names and contact information for each branch manager, according to the contract from Scholastic Inc.

And absolutely no reading ahead…

Failure to keep the novel under wraps until July 21 could mean serious retribution by Scholastic, who “intends to monitor the ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ … very closely.”

“Any such violation will cause irreparable harm to Scholastic and the author, J.K. Rowling, and that monetary damages will be inadequate to compensate for violations,” the publisher said.

SFX Magazine’s poll of top science friction movies released earlier this year came as a surprise as Serenity came in first. While I liked Firefly, the show upon Serenity was based, I’m not even sure I’d put Serenity in the top ten. The top movies in the survey are:

1. Serenity (2005)
2. Star Wars (1977)
3. Blade Runner (1982)
4. Planet of the Apes (1968)
5. The Matrix (1999)
6. Alien (1979)
7. Forbidden Planet (1956)
8. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
9. The Terminator (1984)
10. Back to the Future (1985)

Richardson Surges–Among Those That Actually Listened to Him

Bill Richardson won the respect of the bloggers who listened to him at MoveOn’s Iraq Forum, and this shows in the post-forum survey of members. Note the considerable difference in view of him between those who listened to the forum and those who didn’t per this report from The Hotline’s Blogometer:

MoveOn allowed all of their members to vote on the question: “Which candidate do you believe would be best able to lead the country out of Iraq?” and Obama won with 28% (John Edwards had 25%, Dennis Kucinich 17%, and Bill Richardson 12%). Among those who actually listened to the debate at House Parties, however, Obama came in third with 19% while Edwards held steady with 25% and Richardson surged to second with 21%. As our coverage below shows, among netroots leaders, Richardson was the hands-down winner of the forum while Obama failed to distinguish himself. Will elite netroots opinion filter through the Dem base, or will Obama coast to victory?

Richardson is a distant fourth in the polls nationally, but considering the weakness seen in all three candidates in the upper tier of candidates, he shouldn’t be written off.