SciFi Weekend: Karen Gillan On Decision To Leave Doctor Who; Elementary Casts Sherlock; Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock; Homeland; Mad Men

Filming is starting this week for the upcoming season of Doctor Who and it is well known that Amy Pond will be leaving some time in the next season. In previous stories on her planned departure, it was often unclear as to whether this was Karen Gillan or Steven Moffat’s idea. In an interview with IGN TV, Karen described it as her idea:

IGN TV: How did you come to the decision that this coming season of Doctor Who would be your last?

Karen Gillan: Actually, I called Steven Moffat and arranged the dinner and then basically told him roughly when I wanted to go. He told me where the story was at and where it was going and then we kind of together came up with it. So it was really pleasant, actually. We had a lovely dinner and just kind of discussed what we both want and what’s going to happen and then came to the decision. That was ages ago, so I’ve known for ages!

IGN: Why did you think it was getting to be the right time?

Gillan: I wanted to go on a high. Also, Steven Moffat comes up with endless, amazing ideas anyway, but I wanted to make sure that I went on a high when the character was at her prime. There’s just something quite nice and appealing about that to me. I don’t know… It just felt right! I like to go on instinct.

IGN: You can’t say how many more episodes you’ll be in…

Gillan: I’m not allowed to say! But I know they’re going to be damn good. It’s so exciting.

IGN: So Steven’s told you how she’s going to leave?

Gillan: I think it’s the best ever. I can’t say anything, but oh god, I’m dying to say something!

IGN: Are there certain things you’d like to see happen, as far as closure for her?

Gillan: I want to see her go with everything that she wants, because initially, when we met her, she was just seeking what she wants, you know what I mean? And she was kind of in this lost, transitional period, where she didn’t have a stable life. So I just want to see her get what she wants.

IGN: We’ve seen some Doctor Who companions in the past leave and then make guest appearances. Would you be up for that if the door was open?

Gillan: I really, really want to have a final exit and then be able to look back on that as a final exit. I don’t know… I just don’t want to take away from that exit by making cameos in the future. I’d quite like it to be final and for people just to remember it fondly.

IGN: Are you hoping for a happy ending for her and Rory?

Gillan: I don’t even know what I’m hoping for. I just know that whatever I hope for, I read it and it’s always better!

More information is out regarding the planned comic crossover between Star Trek and Doctor Who. The series will be called Assimilation, featuring the Borg and the Cybermen.

Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) returned to The Office last week.

Earlier in the week I posted a second annual set of Doctor Who Valentine’s Day cards. This resulted in a jump in traffic from Google searches which generally is only seen with pictures of nude or scantily clad actresses. (A old picture of Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory from Maxim has been popular lately.)

Last year Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch alternated in the the lead role in a West End production of Frankenstein. Now they are going to play the same role as Sherlock Holmes. Cumberbatch has stared for two seasons (with a third planned) in Steven Moffat’s updated version of Sherlock for the BBC. Miller has been signed to star in Elementary, a present-day version of the Sherlock Holmes stories for CBS. The similarity in ideas could lead to legal action:

Elementary has already been threatened with legal action by the producers of the BBC’s Sherlock, amid concerns that its modern-day scenario appears to borrow elements from the hugely-successful series starring Cumberbatch.

Sherlock producer Sue Vertue hinted that CBS are now sniffing around her team for casting clues. She told The Independent: “Johnny is a very fine actor, who I saw recently in the theatre when he and Benedict played alternating roles in Frankenstein. Let’s hope their pilot script has stayed further away from our Sherlock than their casting choice.”

As I’ve said before, my guess is that they have nothing to worry about. It is very doubtful that a weekly American network television series could compete with Sherlock in terms of quality. If the CBS show is a success, it very well might generate more buzz, encouraging people to watch the far superior BBC version which they stole the idea from.

The use of Rock, Papers, Scissors, Lizard, Spock to settle disagreements returned to The Big Ban Theory this week. Video above, which includes additional Star Trek references.  The original scene from 2009, along with the rules and a t-shirt, can be seen here.

Ever since Homeland began, I wondered where the series would go if the plot lines from the first season were resolved and the show went on to a second season. Some aspects were left open in the first season finale, and casting news provides a further clue. Navid Negahban, who played the terrorist leader Abu Nazir, will be a series regular. The role of Carrie’s snoop Virgil, played by David Marciano, has also been upgraded to a regular role. Claire Danes won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama for her role as Carrie Matheson.

Mad Men returns on March 25

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