SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who, A Town Called Mercy and other News

A Town Called Mercy brought Doctor Who to the old American west (even if filmed in Spain) for the first time since 1966. The Doctor once again got to wear a Stetson. Another alien doctor, played by Adrian Scarborough of Gavin and Stacy and the recent remake of Upstairs, Downstairs. His character on this episode, Kahler Jex, turned out to be rather morally ambiguous, a situation which Scarborough has experience with in his role of Mr. Pritchard on Upstairs, Downstairs. The ambiguity with regards to who was good and who was evil saved the show from being simply a story of fighting an evil cyborg killing machine. In contrast to the other more ambiguous guest stars, Ben Browder’s character was unambiguously good, although less fun than his character on Farscape.

We are now three episodes into the five episode run scheduled for the fall. There have been some continuing themes. Light bulbs have played a recurrent role in each episode as with Rory’s father changing the bulbs in Dinosaurs On A Spaceship and with the flickering light bulbs at Amy’s photo shoot in Asylum of the Daleks.   The theme of memory was seen with a girl looking back on the story at the beginning and end but, at least at this point, there is no known connection between this and other events of the season. The Doctor’s increased willingness to kill was seen again, until Amy stopped him.

Some memorable lines and dialogue from the episode:

Rory: “The sign does say ‘Keep Out.’”
> The Doctor: “I see ‘Keep Out’ signs as suggestions more than actual orders. Like ‘Dry Clean Only’!”

***

The Doctor: “Anachronistic electricity. ‘Keep Out’ signs. Aggressive stares. Has someone been peeking at my Christmas list?”

***

Jex: “That wasn’t the plan. He’s not following the plan.”
Amy: “Welcome to my world.”

***

And, with regards to the horse: “No, his name’s Susan and he wants you to respect his life choices.

Next week we see an alien invasion and the return of UNIT in The Power of Three. From Radio Times:

“The day the Earth got cubed. The year of the slow invasion. The time the Doctor came to stay.”

There have been many ways to invade the Earth, and the Doctor has seen them all. Or so he always thought – and then the human race wakes up one morning and discovers the world has been overrun by… small black cubes. Which then proceed to… do nothing much at all. A plan is afoot, humanity is endangered – but by what and how and, above all, when? For the first time in his world-saving career the Doctor has to call upon the least of his virtues: patience. And the Ponds face something possibly more terrifying than any world-ending apocalypse – the Doctor is moving in!

Not just a tale of alien intervention, this is also the story of a nice young couple who happen to have a bow-tied lunatic from space staying in their spare room. It’s halfway between an alien invasion movie and The Man Who Came to Dinner.


Steven Moffat and Matt Smith have commented on the return of UNIT:

Moffat told the BBC: “When I was a kid, and just getting obsessed about the Doctor (still not recovered) it was the Jon Pertwee era, and UNIT was as big a part of the show as the TARDIS itself. So when Chris asked if he could bring them back I couldn’t say yes fast enough. And being Chris, he gave it a clever little twist which I know the fans are going to love.”

Matt Smith also spoke about working with Jemma Redgrave, who plays UNIT’s new leader Kate Stewart.

“I loved Jemma Redgrave! She was graceful, funny and charming and an absolute delight. UNIT’s return is one for the fans. I think they like cyclical things and we have a good story. It was great to do an episode with UNIT and I hope the true fans like it.”

It is just two more weeks until the final episode with Amy and Rory. Steven Moffat discussed The Angels Take Manahttan with Digital Spy:

“All stories have to end, and painful though that is, the most important thing about a story is how it finished,” said Moffat. “I had over a year’s warning to get this sorted out, and I’m very proud of what we’ve done. A fitting end to the mighty era of the Ponds!”

Head writer and showrunner Moffat explained that he had devised the characters’ exit while in New York, which influenced the episode’s setting.

“There was something about [returning monsters] the Weeping Angels and New York that just seemed to make sense to me,” he revealed. “And I thought of the story for this episode while in New York.

“It’s always good to find a new form for [the Angels] and we’ve got little cherubs this time. I had loads of ideas for the Weeping Angels on both the previous stories that I never got anywhere close to using, so it was good to find the opportunity.”

Moffat previously revealed to Digital Spy that he “completely” rewrote Amy and Rory’s final scenes after completing his first draft.

“I completely changed the ending as I was writing it, thinking ‘No, I’ve got it wrong… I’m on the wrong emphasis’ – but it’s a good one and it’s properly emotional,” he insisted.

This week marks the start of another heavily hyped J.J. Abrams genre show, Revolution (promo above). The big mysteries are why there is no electricity and whether this genre show can survive. You can find out more about the show here, here, and here.

This was a big week for topless pictures on the internet. Besides the highly publicized  pictures taken of Kate Middleton, Alison Pill of The Newsroom accidentally sent out a topless picture of herself on Twitter. So far the show has referred to Anthony Weiner tweeting pictures and had an episode in which a character accidental sent out email to everyone. Being that it is on HBO, there’s nothing to keep Aaron Sorkin from working this nude pic tweet into the show. He might receive even higher ratings if he has Oliva Munn’s character do this. As for Kate Middleton, I guess I was wrong when I wrote that these nude pictures of Camilla Luddington, who played Kate on the television movie William and Kate, were the closest we would get to seeing Kate Middleton nude.

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