SciFi Weekend: Agent Carter;Daredevil; Sleepy Hollow; The Flash; Arrow; Broadchurch; Gotham; 12 Monkeys; Penny Dreadful; The 100; Edward Herrmann; Stuart Scott

Agent Carter is one of the more eagerly awaited new shows to begin this winter. ABC has released another promotional video, in which Haley Atwell discusses her character’s double life.

Entertainment Weekly has more information on the upcoming Daredevil series on Netflix. Here are just some of the points:

1. Daredevil will be a uniquely localized Marvel story. Unlike the globe-trotting Avengers or SHIELD gang, Matt will stick to his hometown. “Within the Marvel universe there are thousands of heroes of all shapes and sizes, but The Avengers are here to save the universe and Daredevil is here to save the neighborhood,” Loeb said. “It’s a very unique look at Hell’s Kitchen in New York, where Matt Murdoch grew up and continues to defend it from people who would harm the people that live there.”

2. Daredevil will feel like a crime story, not a superhero show. “We really wanted to take our cue from [films like] The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon, Taxi Driver, and make it very, very grounded, very gritty, very real,” DeKnight said. “We always say we would rather lean toward The Wire than what’s considered a classic superhero television show.” Added Loeb: “There aren’t going to be people flying through the sky. There are no magic hammers.”

There are five more points in the full article.

Unreality Primetime has some spoilers as to what happens when Sleepy Hollow returns, including information on Frank Irving and an encounter between Abbie and an avenging angel. Spoilers also available for the return of The FlashThey also have some information on season two of Broadchurch.

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The released synopsis by CW of the next episode of Arrow might also be seen as something of a spoiler:

THE TEAM DEALS WITH OLIVER’S DISAPPEARANCE — In the aftermath of Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) fight with Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable), Diggle (David Ramsey) and Arsenal (Colton Haynes) continue to protect the city in the Arrow’s absence. However, after three days without hearing from Oliver, they begin to fear the worst may have happened to their friend. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) refuses to believe that Oliver could be dead until Merlyn (John Barrowman) pays the team a surprise visit. Thea (Willa Holland) suspects there is something more behind Oliver’s disappearance and asks Merlyn for a favor. Meanwhile, Ray (Brandon Routh) tests a part of his new suit and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) takes up the mantle of the Black Canary. Glen Winter directed the episode written by Marc Guggenheim & Erik Oleson.

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Speakeasy looks at the second half of the season of Gotham and interviewed series developer Bruno Heller:

Heller said we can look forward to a bigger, more complex show as stories start to pay off and others take hold. “A lot of the episodes set up for later story. So, certainly, in that way, the story will become much more engaging and much more operatic and suspenseful. It will drag you in because these are characters you have come to know and perhaps love,” he said.

Because it’s such a big show, Heller said it takes a while to get it right, particularly how to pack all that story, character and sense of place into a network show. Now that the series is grooving along, though, Heller and company plan to deliver something even bigger. “On that level, you will see more production value, more action, more drama — you know, more,” he said with a laugh.

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Entertainment Weekly described some of the differences between the movie and upcoming television version of 12 Monkeys. Among the differences listed, more will be seen of the future and there will be different factions interested in the time machine which pose a threat. Unlike the movie, in which the 12 Monkeys group turned out not to have a rather trivial goal, the group is more important in the television show.

The synopsis for the pilot, which airs January 16, suggests yet another major difference:

27 years after a virus wipes out most of humanity, scientists send a man (James Cole) back to 2015 to stop the plague from ever happening. Cole’s only lead is a virologist (Dr. Cassandra Railly), who knows the dangerous source of the outbreak

In the movie, Cole was seeking information to help the people in the future find a cure for the virus but the past had happened and could not be changed. The pilot synopsis provides a different mission. I suspect that these differences will make for a stronger television show as the more limited premise of the movie would not provide as much material for an ongoing weekly show. There are more potential stories in trying to change things as opposed to getting information, events in the future present a new avenue for stories, and the title of an ongoing television series should refer to something more significant than in the movie.

Showtime has released a trailer for Penny Dreadful’s second season. The season will be ten episodes, two  more than in the first season.

When I gave my list of top new shows last week, I mentioned two shows which I did not rank as I had not seen them, but have heard excellent things about–The 100 and Manhattan. Over the holiday I decided to catch up on The 100 based upon many excellent reviews from both genre bloggers and mainstream television critics. I picked this first since the show is now on hiatus but resumes on January 21, while we have more time until Manhattan returns. I very quickly got hooked on The 100, quickly knocking off the first season this weekend and starting the second season last night. I’ll discuss it more in the future, but wanted to give it a plug while there is still plenty of time for everyone to get caught up.

In order to plan out television binging and viewing for January, Vulture has a list of when television shows are returning.

Io9 has a good list of the top science fiction and fantasy books of 2014.

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Edward Herrmann, who played  Richard Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, died last week. Alexis Bledel had this to say:

Bledel, who played the granddaughter of Herrmann’s character in the Gilmore Girls, described him as “a wonderful actor and a kind man”.

“He was endlessly knowledgeable about theatre, TV and film, and would generously share his wisdom or tell stories from a long and rewarding career,” Bledel continued.

“I am grateful to him for that, and will miss him tremendously.

“He loved acting and was the head of our Gilmore family with his strong presence and great sense of humor. May he rest in peace.”

I anticipate hearing his voice for a long time to come as he is also the recorded voice giving announcements on Shepler’s Ferry coming into and leaving the docks going to and from Mackinac Island.

Other deaths this week include Donna Douglas, who played Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, and  ESPN anchor Stuart Scott. Think Progress wrote about how Scott changed ESPN:

In a media world largely devoid of both African-American faces and, especially, African-American vernacular, Scott’s iconic catchphrases — “Boo-Yeah!”, “Cool as the other side of the pillow,” and “Can I get a witness?” chief among them — brought a style that had been absent from sports and media programming straight to ESPN’s most-watched program and, by virtue, to the living rooms of white and black families alike.

Scott’s popularity, and the appeal of his brand of style, made him an icon for other aspiring African-American broadcasters who hadn’t seen anything like him on TV before.

“He was a trailblazer not only because he was black — obviously black — but because of his style, his demeanor, his presentation,” ESPN anchor Stan Verrett, also black, told ABC News for Scott’s obituary. “He did not shy away from the fact that he was a black man, and that allowed the rest of us who came along to just be ourselves.”

“Yes, he brought hip-hop into the conversation,” Jay Harris, another SportsCenter anchor who followed in Scott’s footsteps, said. “But I would go further than that. He brought in the barber shop, the church, R&B, soul music. Soul period.”

He changed ESPN too. Scott’s style wasn’t immediately popular with ESPN’s audience or even its top brass. According to the ABC obituary, Scott and ESPN received regular hate mail over his “hip-hop style,” and at times, ESPN officials asked him to consider dialing it back. Scott refused, and over time that unwillingness to relent proved right.

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14 Comments

  1. 1
    David Duff says:

    You may read my view of the first episode of the second series of ‘Broadchurch’ over at my place.  It’s not a “spoiler” because it was so abysmally, cretinously bad that nothing I could say about it could spoil it any more than it did to itself.
    http://duffandnonsense.typepad.com/duff_nonsense/2015/01/broadchurch-is-blx.html

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    I watched it last night. I also hated it. I’m not sure if I will watch next week’s episode.

  3. 3
    David Duff says:

    There’s a thing – we agree!  Hands across the sea and all that sort of thing. 

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    If you didn’t see the first season then the first episode of the second season would be even harder to like, not knowing the people or situations developed. However I still didn’t like it despite liking the first season. Essentially the story seemed to end when they found the killer, and now they are just dragging that story out and bringing up a different crime which, at least so far, I’m not interested in.

    I believe that I commented on David Tennant’s accent a while back and you didn’t take that complaint seriously, probably thinking it was an American thing. Now you should see what I meant. There were lines which from context I believe could have been significant in the episode which I could not make out. I don’t understand why they would make the main character speak in a way which is so hard to understand.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Or actually I’m not even sure if that old case he mentioned is something of significance going forward this season or just something mentioned for background. I was having so much trouble making out what he was saying that I’m not sure what it was all about. I’ll probably watch at least one more episode and see if it gets interesting after the first season was so good. I also wonder where they are going with the trial. There must be some reason they are going back to the case, but if so they better give some reason to make it interesting quickly.

  6. 6
    David Duff says:

    That is very ‘Jock-ist’ of you, Ron, and I may have to report you to the Tartan Commissars!  Tennant is Scottish although he is perfectly capable of speaking in ‘received English’.

    Actually, it was the other actors I found incomprehensible partly because they seemed to avoid all consonants and secondly because the director kept introducing that ridiculous reverberating sound effect.

    By the way,I meant to tip you off.  Last night at 10.00pm (UK), BBC4 began a re-run of ‘Smiley’s People’ – six episodes with Alec Guinness.  I wonder how dated it will look?  Still good stuff, though.

  7. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    The reviews have generally been good (at least in the small number I read) other than the one you linked to and another blog post which said the same thing with the same link. Maybe the show was excellent if you could understand what people were saying. Unfortunately the only way I can watch in the US is by downloading pirated copies and the copy I got didn’t include subtitles. Occasionally I get a download which includes the subtitles in the same file as the video making me have to keep them on and generally I find them annoying. In this case I do wish I had subtitles. When I get a chance I plan to search for a blog post which has a detailed summary of the episode before I give the second episode a shot. However if I keep coming away from the show questioning what happened because of not understanding dialog I will probably give up on it.

    I didn’t watch the US remake, which also stared David Tennant, but I’ve also heard complaints about how he did an American accent in that version. I did read that in some ways the finale was a little different than the original so I might watch just the final episode sometime.

    Being two years since the original is also a problem. I remember the main characters but there very well could be details I’m forgetting which have an impact on the current story.

    The first season really was worth watching, and unlike The Fall was self-contained with the murderer revealed in the final episode (assuming they don’t tell us something different in season 2). I would suggest watching it but it might be spoiled for you now that the episode you watched showed the killer.

  8. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    The last time I got a link regarding a television show saying, “We are not alone” it was for X-Files.

  9. 10
    David Duff says:

    Just watched my recording of the first episode of ‘Smiley’s People’ – superb!

  10. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    That was a classic.

    I have a podcast playing in the background in which someone is running off his list of top 30 shows. He mentioned one I never heard of before–a BBC spy show set in the 70’s. Have you seen it?

  11. 12
    David Duff says:

    Well, ‘Tinker, Tailor …’ was made in 1979.  Is that the one he means?

  12. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    No, it is a show which just recently started airing on BBC America, and I don’t know how recently on the BBC, which is set in the 1970’s.

  13. 14
    David Duff says:

    Can’t help, I’m afraid, there have been quite a few such series over the years and not many of them compare well with ‘Smiley et al’!

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