SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who–The Rebel Flesh; The Doctor’s Wife; Torchwood; Alcatraz; Star Tours Reopens

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as much disagreement about an episode of Doctor Who as in the reviews to The Rebel Flesh. The underlying idea is that artificial doppelgangers are used to do the dangerous work under the control of their human counterparts. A solar storm turned them into self-aware autonomous beings. The Doctor tried to have them all get along, but of course something went wrong and the first part of this two-part story ended with the two groups at war. This was all predictable very early in the story, as was the eventual cliff hanger. As was foreshadowed throughout the episode, the first part ended by revealing a doppelganger of the Doctor. Of course the episode showed that Amy Pond is/is not pregnant and had a scene showing the lady with the eye patch. In contrast to many other recent episodes, Rory did not die.

I really don’t think it is possible to review the episode alone. If the second part turns out to be a great conclusion, many will believe it worked out well to use the first part for setting all of this up, leaving a full episode to work out the consequences. A doppelganger version of the Doctor certainly does open the door for  a more interesting second half. However, if the second half goes nowhere, this week’s episode will be seem pretty  pointless.

American audiences who wait for the BBC America showing will have to wait two weeks to find out how this turns out. BBC America has decided against showing the next episode on Memorial Day weekend when fewer people will be viewing. This certainly defeats the plan to air the same day internationally to reduce piracy.  Many fans will download the conclusion next week to satisfy their curiosity about the ending and avoid spoilers. Maybe this episode wasn’t so compelling that American viewers could not wait, but with Moffat promising a huge cliff-hanger to conclude the spring episodes it is hard to see hard core fans being willing to remain  a week behind.

Neil Gaiman had a live question and answer session about The Doctor’s Wife with full transcript available here.  While it is really not up to Gaiman to resolve this issue, he was asked about his view of the limitation to thirteen regenerations:

Question:  If there are dozens of new control rooms that the doctor hadn’t even seen, does this mean that the plan is to just keep going with the regenerations and ignore the rule of 13 bodies? @Acey90

Gaiman: It’s interesting, that rule. It was obviously bendable to begin with (the Time Lords gave the Master a whole new round of regenerations). So I’ve always thought that it was more a law like a speed limit is a law than like Gravity is a law.

And if there are no longer any police to make you observe the speed limit, you can drive as fast as you like. Although it’s a lot more dangerous.

And that’s my opinion. As to what Mr Moffat thinks, he may either have a plan, or he may figure it’s not his problem, but is one for eight or ten years down the line.

Doctor Who’s top eleven catch phrases for the eleventh Doctor are presented in the video above.

[The Torchwood video previously posted has been taken off of You Tube. The trailer can still be seen at the Starz site.]

Torchwood: Miracle Day premiers on July 8. Trailers started to get released last week, and I’m sure more promotional material will become available.  Episode names have been released (subject to change).  Star Trek fans are also expressing interest in the series as it includes former Star Trek actors John De Lancie and Nana Visitor. There are also reports that Eliza Dushku will be staring in a web series entitled Torchwood: Web of Lies to coincide with Miracle Day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_jAlFqvASU&feature=player_embedded

Many additional trailers for upcoming series were made publicly available, and others with private links were distributed to bloggers. I’m sure I’ll be talking about upcoming shows more over the next few months. Above is the trailer for the J.J. Abrams show, Alcatraz. Abrams discussed the show further here.  It looks like Alcatraz is to the conventional prison shows  as Lost was to island shows such as Gilligan’s Island.

Star Tours has reopened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Above are some highlights of the grand reopening.

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