There was lots of news on the Marvel Cinematic Universe out of San Diego Comic Con–video of panel above. This includes the name of the next Avengers movie, Age of Ultron, and a bald Karen Gillan (head shaved for Guardians of the Galaxy).
Co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo were interviewed, explaining how Captain America: The Winter Soldier will bridge the two Avengers movies. Among other news is the report of star Chris Evans kissing Scarlett Johansson.
The rumors of a combined Batman and Superman movie have been confirmed.
Matt Smith walked on the floor at Comic Con disguised at Bart Simpson (video above).
Steven Moffat says “we’re likely never going to see that final date night on Darillium with the Doctor and River Song, the one where he cries because he knows she’s going to die/get digitized on a library planet.”
The reason: Moffat’s too prude to put the Doctor and River in a room alone together. That said he might change his mind.
”I always felt that there were certain things between the Doctor and River that we should never see. So, I don’t know. He sort of said his goodbye in ‘The Name of the Doctor.’ There’s always the possibility, because it’s always out of sequence and you can do anything you like with that. It’s a tough one. I remember I wrote some extra scenes for the DVDs and all that we had available were Alex (actress Alex TK] and Matt, so I had to write scenes for the Doctor and River alone in the T.A.R.D.I.S. and I go, ‘Dear God, that’s the situation I’m always tring to avoid for obvious reasons.’ What does that woman do to him the moment the door is shut? What were they doing that night in Durillion. There are somet things surely the Time Lord must keep to himself.
“The implication is that she had met many more Doctors than just the two of them, so it’s always possible. But I quite liked the good bye in “The Name of the Doctor” and I think there should always be stuff that we never saw, and I don’t just mean that as a laugh.”
The above preview of the remainder of this season of True Blood was shown. There has been talk for a while that a major character would die this season and there does appear to be a funeral in these clips. Cast secrets revealed in these videos. The show has been renewed for another season. While the show has had its problems (including too many characters and story lines), I do see hope for improvement:
Executive Producer, Brian Buckner wants to bring the show back to its roots. While he acknowledges True Blood has a large cast, he wants to condense the number of stories they are telling and ”really come home.” And as for bringing in new creatures, right now he thinks no. He believes the show is about vampires, humans and the town. And wants to bring that back.
Despite all its flaws, Revolution keeps me curious enough to keep watching. A trailer for the second season is above. The cast and crew revealed spoilers regarding the cliff hanger at the end of the first season. From Tracy Spiradakos (Charlie):
“I can tell you that the bombs do drop, so there’s an aftermath to dealing with that.” Holy moly! Randall completed his mission in destroying Atlanta and Philadelphia, apparently, and the destruction of those cities will completely change the feel of the show. The militias will be broken up, the show that was once all about being on the road will now settle into a particular spot near Texas, characters will be more consistent, and the stories will have some room to breathe since people won’t be as busy running from Point A to Point B. Additionally, even though the power went on in the finale, there will be a time-jump of about three months, and you can expect that it will be shut off again pretty soon.”
More spoilers from this, and other reports: The power is off permanently and the Tower is no longer functional. The Patriots supporting the old United States government represent a serious threat which forces Miles and Monroe to work together.
Dan Harmon interviewed about season 5 of Community in the video above. News includes the departure of Donald Glover.
News on the final season of How I Met Your Mother posted here. More news here including comments from the kids.
Kristen Bell suggests that Veronica Mars might continue after the upcoming movie, possibly on Netflix as a way to get around contractual restrictions on appearing in two television shows:
CNN: Is this film finally going to give you a sense of closure on “Veronica Mars”?
Bell: No. This could be my whole life. And by the way, what a lucky life it would be if it were. There’s no formula for it, because it just has never been done before. Except — and I’m just throwing it out there — “Star Trek” did it. They did a TV show and then nine movies. Who knows? Why can’t we make a couple films? Or continue to produce content of “Veronica Mars”? It gets tricky because television contracts legally only allow you to do one episode of a different show. They purchase you. I am now the face of “House of Lies.” So the only way I would be able to reprise Veronica Mars (on TV) is in movie form.
CNN: What about if it were on Netflix?
Bell: There are some loopholes that we are already investigating.
Disney makes it profits by using each of its holdings to promote its business. The theme parks promote the television shows, movies, and merchandise and vice versa. Disney has long had an arrangement with Lucasfilms with Star Tours at the Walt Disney Studios at Walt Disney World. Now that Disney owns the rights to the upcoming Star Wars movies, it is likely that there will be even more promotion in the parks. The latest rumors are of the addition of a Star Wars Land:
The logical places for that expansion would be on either side of the existing Star Tours ride. From what I’ve heard, it appears that the expansion would take out the area between Star Tours and the auto stunt show stadium, including the Muppet theater and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids play area. But I’ve also heard of consideration of going in the opposite direction, which would place the new land on the site of the Backlot Express restaurant and Indiana Jones stunt show theater. Given that the Indy theater’s used for several other events throughout the year, and that both the Muppets and Honey I Shrunk the Kids attractions long ago passed the height of their popularity, I’m hearing more forceful arguments for the first option.
This appears to be a five-year project, putting completion in 2018, though Disney could choose to throw money at it and accelerate it by a year.
I wonder if they will really disrupt much of what is already there as opposed to mixing more Star Wars throughout the park. It is common for Disney to mix up different things from different movies throughout their parks. Will they really get rid of Muppet Vision 3D and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids park? While perhaps not as major as The Great Movie Ride or Tower of Terror, I’ve always seen Muppet Vision 3D as one of the icons of the park. Besides, Disney still has plans for those Muppets, such as a live stage show. We are long past the prime for the movie version of Honey I Shrunk the Kids and I could see them remove this exhibit, but it is the best item at the Walt Disney Studios Park for small children.
A Star Wars Cantina would probably be the major addition, but this could be added at various places if there is not room near Star Tours. Increased character involvement in parades and character meets would not require removal of older attractions. Increased use of Star Wars might not even be limited to Disney Studios. I wouldn’t put it past Disney to create an exhibit at Animal Kingdom with creatures from the Star Wars Universe or turn Spaceship Earth at Epcot into a replica of the Death Star in time for the release of Star Wars VII. There’s little doubt that the monorail will be used to promote the movies.
In case you are wondering why characters from the Marvel movies are not flooding the Disney theme parks, Universal still owns the theme park rights to these characters. In addition, the movie rights to some Marvel comic characters, such as Spiderman, are owned by other studios. Of course we sort of got to see Iron Man at Epcot in Iron Man 2. The Stark Expo was clearly built in the image of Epcot and the film of Tony’s father looked considerably like old footage of Walt Disney discussing his idea for Epcot.
Bleeding Cool reports on rumors of more lost Doctor Who stories which have been found–an added surprise for the 50th anniversary. This might include the lost first regeneration story. (Update: This may be a hoax. Awaiting further information).
Den of Geek gives a round up of this week Matt Smith replacement rumors.
Now that Game of Thrones has concluded its third season, here are some amusing info-graphics to help explain what is going on. One example above.
Here’s an update to the relationship chart from Person of Interest. While I was initially fearful the show would just use the Machine as a gimmick for a crime of the week show, they have certainly developed a complicated mythology over time.
An adaptation of Steven King’s novel, Under the Dome, sounds like it might be the biggest genre television show of the summer. Barack Obama was initially heard on the first episode but the scene was cut. They had used a clip from Obama’s speech following Hurricane Sandy but decided against using real life events:
President Obama has been left on the cutting room floor of CBS’ new summer series “Under the Dome.”
An audio clip of the president that was in the first hour of the series that CBS sent to critics earlier this month will be cut from the episode that will ultimately air, a CBS spokesman said. The show, based on a Stephen King book, is about a small town that for mysterious reasons becomes enclosed under a huge transparent dome.
In the scene, which comes at the end of the first hour, Obama is heard amid a slew of fake reports talking about what is going in the town. The audio of the president is actually from his remarks following Hurricane Sandy when he said the nation feels “profoundly for all the families whose lives have been upended. The most important message I have for them is that America is with you. We are standing behind you and we are going to do everything we can…”
Although the standards and practices department at CBS had approved the use, a decision was made to cut it anyway on Thursday. While use of audio from actual news events for a fictional TV show is not unusual, the network and producer Amblin Television decided that having these remarks from a real tragedy inserted in an entertainment show was inappropriate.
Emma Watson returns to fantasy movies, and Barack Obama’s name comes up once again:
Harry Potter star Emma Watson is returning to fantasy cinema after signing on to play the lead in “Game of Thrones-style” saga Queen of the Tearling, reports Variety.
Watson will play 19-year-old idealistic princess Kelsea Glynn, created by Erika Johansen after the author heard a 2007 speech by a pre-presidential Barack Obama. Johansen signed a seven-book deal in February and the first novel in the series is due next year. It is set three centuries after an environmental catastrophe, when a malevolent Red Queen reigns over the kingdom of the Tearling. Glynn must defeat the monarch to reclaim her deceased mother’s crown, and publishers have compared the tone of the series with that of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga, which is being adapted by US network HBO as Game of Thrones.
Despite the comparisons between Megan Draper and Sharon Tate, Matthew Weiner says that Megan will not die this season. After last week’s episode, the question has now become whether/when Megan will find out what Sally saw and how she will react.
True Blood returns tonight with a new show runner. This might be better because the show really needed a change in direction. On the other hand, we might wind up with the same show but with a show runner who isn’t as good as Alan Ball and have an even worse show.
Dexter returns June 30 and we meet the woman who helped Harry develop The Code. Will bringing in someone who could figure out what Dexter has been up to lead to his end?
Just one more episode to go this season on Hannibal. Lase week we saw how a comb could be turned into a murder weapon, and the murder of another recurring character looks likely. For those who haven’t been watching from the start, it was a very good show for binge watching and highly recommended.
Da Vinci’s Demons is less compelling but I have now made it through the second from last episode and will try to catch the finale this week. I might give up on Defiance after four episodes. Even though SyFy had hoped this would be the next big thing after Battlestar Galactica, there is little in the show so far to promote any long term interest in what happens to the new town. Moving beyond genre, I just finished the first season of Mr. Selfridge from ITV, also broadcast by PBS on Masterpiece Classic. It is more soap opera than serious historical fiction and fans of Downton Abbey should enjoy it. The show was light and entertaining to watch, and did an excellent job of utilizing plot threads from throughout the season to set up its finale.
I couldn’t make it to Man of Steel this weekend and will limit coverage to this link on the movie (which also gets back to Chris Nolan’s Batman, as in one of the links above).
A new trailer has been released for Star Trek Into Darkness (video above). TrekMovie.com revealed several spoilers coming from an extended screening in Brazil:
From the extended beginning of the film…
Opening sequence (previewed at IMAX theaters in December) has been reordered to have Nibiru Volcano sequence now opens the film followed by title card and then the scenes in London and at the hospital
Nibiru mission ends with Kirk rescuing Spock by violating the prime directive by revealing the Enterprise to Nibiru natives so he can beam Spock out of the Volcano
Kirk has a scene in bed (back in San Francisco) in bed with two “cat women”
Kirk makes mention of hoping to get assigned to a “five year mission” (implying that the famed five year mission hasn’t started yet for the time he has been captain)
Kirk is demoted for violating prime directive on Nibiru, loses command of Enterprise with Pike to take over command Kirk as first officer
Pike wanted to send Kirk back to Academy but was convinced (possibly ordered?) to make Kirk first officer of Enterprise by Admiral Marcus (played by Peter Weller)
Spock assigned to another ship
The “father” character uses his Starfleet ring as a bomb (dropping it into water for a reaction) and destroys a facility (in London)
London attack leads to big meeting of Starfleet captains which itself is attacked by John Harrison, resulting in Pike being injured…Harrison transport away
Later scenes in the film….
Enterprise severely damaged falling to Earth with Spock in command ordering evacuation
Kirk and Scott seen in Engineering trying to stabilize ship
Later Spock scene beaming down to San Francisco and starting long chase with Harrions
Eventually Spock meets up with Harrison and engages in a fight
The BBC has announced a three day convention at ExCeL London for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. Filming on the 50th Anniversary episode begins on March 18. Presumably more information on the show, such as who is actually appearing, will be more likely to leak out when they are filming the episode. Peter Davison does not believe that the earlier Doctors played by older actors will appear:
Speaking at February’s MystiCon panel, he said: “I honestly don’t know very much. I know that Steven Moffat will have something planned. I don’t think it will involve the older Doctors, certainly in their present form, because of course we’re meant to look exactly as we did when we left the TARDIS and none of us really do. Some of us are not here any more and others of us have weathered less well than others. I don’t know where I’d put myself in that category. I’m not going to make that decision.
“I think we’ll be featured somewhere but I should think it’s probably footage lifted from older Doctor stories. I don’t know. We are doing some Big Finish audios. I know that there are events planned by the BBC. I’ve got a meeting with the head of BBC Wales when I get back to go through various things the BBC have got planned. I don’t think she’s going to offer me a part in it… I might be wrong.”
He adds: “I decided that if we weren’t going to be involved that I would get together with Colin [Baker] and Sylvester [McCoy] and make our own little special… If we can possible manage it, we’re going to get into the 50th anniversary special whether we’re invited or not!”
Matt Smith told The Mirror that his favorite moment on Doctor Who was kissing Jenna-Louise Coleman:
Clara and the Timelord snogged in the Christmas Day special and Matt said: “My favourite moment? I like our kiss, that was quite fun, even though it was hell to do. We actually did a couple of different versions there might be some outtakes.”
He also loves New York:
If I could film we’d film every episode of Doctor Who in New York. I have an affinity with the city. It has some wonderful locations and it is devastatingly vast and huge. Central Park looks amazing on camera.
Matt might love New York, but he cannot go back in time to whenAmy and Rory are living. We have a definitive answer as to why the Doctor will never again meet up with Amy and Rory from this interview with Steven Moffat from BlogtorWho:
Last year friend of the blog Dan Martin took time to chat with Steven Moffat about the Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1 finale, The Angels Take Manhattan – and more specifically, “The Washington Theory”. Dan asked the current showrunner why could Amy and Rory not just travel to Washington (or Boston, or anywhere for that matter) and meet The Doctor there? Had Moffat left a useful plot thread dangling to bring the beloved companions back in a couple of years? Not so, according to Moffat…
“New York would still burn. The point being, he can’t interfere. Here’s the ‘fan answer’ – this is not what you’d ever put out on BBC One, because most people watch the show and just think, ‘well there’s a gravestone so obviously he can’t visit them again’. But the ‘fan answer’ is, in normal circumstances he might have gone back and said, ‘look we’ll just put a headstone up and we’ll just write the book’. But there is so much scar tissue, and the number of paradoxes that have already been inflicted on that nexus of timelines, that it will rip apart if you try to do one more thing. He has to leave it alone. Normally he could perform some surgery, this time too much surgery has already been performed. But imagine saying that on BBC One!”
More on the Ponds later in the interview:
And what about return to the show for The Ponds? Moffat said, “You could never eliminate the possibility of dream sequences and flashbacks, but will the Doctor see them again? No. When I was first talking to Karen and Arthur about it, we said ‘let’s make it the proper ending’. Bringing back things just gives you sequel-itis. Just end it and get out. Heaven knows if they’ll appear in some form of flashback – I have no plans to do that I have to say – but the story of Amy and The Doctor is definitively over.”
That’s the definitive answer. Not the Doctor Who equivalent of Star Trek technobabble about that nexus of timelines that might rip apart. Doctor Who has been utterly inconsistent when dealing with the laws of time travel. The real answer is that Moffat doesn’t want them to return. His point about “sequel-itis” is more grounded in reality than the “nexus of timelines.”
None of this stops a future showrunner from having the Doctor and Amy meet again. There’s also another way to conceivably involve Amy and Rory in a Doctor Who story should Moffat or a future showrunner decide to boost ratings with such an episode. The Doctor could go back in time to Washington or anywhere else during the time in which Amy and Rory are living out their lives in the past. A story could be written in which both the Doctor and the Ponds get caught up with the same menace but are working independently and never actually meet. If this is done after the Doctor regenerates it would be possible for Amy to get a glance of the Doctor without meeting him. If she actually had much contact with him she would probably recognize him as Sarah Jane Smith recognized the Doctor.
Disney is going to continue the Star Wars saga, producing movies set to hit theaters starting in 2015. Can you confirm whether you’ll reprise the role of Princess Leia?
What do you think Princess Leia is like today?
Elderly. She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home [laughs]. I just think she would be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle.
And still wearing the bagel buns?
The bagel buns and the bikini, because probably she has sundowners syndrome. At sundown, she thinks that she’s 20-something. And she puts it on and gets institutionalized.
She subsequently said she was joking (in a statement which many have speculated Disney insisted she release). While she was undoubtedly joking about being in an old folks’ home, it does appear likely that she will appear. George Lucas told Business Week that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford have all been contacted:
Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VII and if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”
Joss Whedon discussed topics including the difficulty in making movies about the Hulk and most of the DC Comics superheroes with Deadline Hollywood:
DEADLINE: What about speculation over potential Hulk spin-off stories? WHEDON: The Hulk is the most difficult Marvel property because it’s always about balance. Is he a monster? Is he a hero? Are you going to root for a protagonist who spends all his time trying to stop the reason you came to the movie from happening? It’s always a dance. I don’t think the first two movies nailed it, but I don’t envy them the task. It was easier to have him in a group than to build everything around him. I don’t think there would be any problem getting a movie together that had enough Banner, even if there was also Hulk. But if he was only Hulk for the entire movie I think Mark [Ruffalo] at some point would go, why am I here? I would be less inclined to pursue a storyline where the Hulk is only ever the Hulk. Mark [Ruffalo] and I loved the Hulk and went over and over the concept of rage and how it should manifest, and that part of it was fascinating to both of us. But when it comes time for the Hulk he has to put on the silliest damn pajamas you ever saw, a tiara made of balls, and a bunch of dots on his face and growl around like an idiot. The real heart of the experience ultimately becomes playing Banner. And people fell in love with Banner because I think Mark has you from the first time he shows up.
DEADLINE: How much do you keep an eye on Warner Bros with their DC properties? WHEDON: I don’t keep that close an eye on it. But I loved Batman Begins so much and thought Christopher Nolan nailed Batman in a way that nobody ever had. It couldn’t be more different from The Avengers, and the Marvel and DC universes are different animals. If they actually crack the code which has not been done in terms of creating a shared sensibilities where all the movies are interesting and come together, I’m going to be thrilled. I have no fear that we’re going to be stepping on each others’ turf.
DEADLINE: You’ve had a history with DC. Do you think anyone will ever pull off Wonder Woman? WHEDON: It’s not easy. It’s not a simple trick. The Marvel properties with the exception of Batman who has often been described as the Marvel character in the DC universe are much easier to translate to a modern audience. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern are so far above us and their powers are amorphous and that makes it 10 times harder. Even when you’re doing a fight, it’s harder to write a fight for Thor than it is for Captain America because he’s that much stronger. I loved what I was doing on Wonder Woman. Clearly I was an excited party of one. I wrote the movie, I felt good about the characters, the structure needed work, I did another outline, they read it and were done. There wasn’t even a phone call.
The difficulties which Whedon raised in superhero stories are complicated even more when the viewer is aware that the hero has a bunch of other superheroes as friends to call on. Marvel President Kevin Feige does address the question as to why Tony Stark doesn’t call in the other Avengers for help in Iron Man 3:
It’s a good question, and it’s sort of half and half. I am betting that like the comics you don’t have to keep – if you are reading a standalone “Iron Man” comic, they don’t spend every page explaining where every other Marvel hero is. The audience kind of accepts that there are times when they’re on their own and there are times when they are together. I’m betting that movie audiences will feel the same way. That being said, there is a little bit of lip service here and there to that. There is also just the very nature of Tony wants to, once he barely survives that house attack you saw today, and even you saw it in the message he left for Pepper, he’s basically saying “I’m going off the grid to try to figure something out.”
Christopher Nolan says he does not want to return to Batman, but is involved with other superheroes, producing Man of Steel and possibly Justice League. His next movie about black holes, Interstellar, will be released on November 14, 2014.
Syfy has finalized a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Helix, a dark thriller from Ronald D. Moore, marking Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer’s return to the network. Steven Maeda (Lost, CSI: Miami) has come on board as showrunner of the project, written by Cameron Porsandeh. Helix, from Sony Pictures TV, where Moore and his Tall Ship Prods are under an overall deal, is about a team of scientists investigating a possible disease outbreak Hot In Cleveland) and Maeda executive produce, with Porsandeh serving as co-executive producer. “With its well-drawn characters, taut drama, and incredible production team, we couldn’t be more excited to see this intense thrill-ride of a series come to life,” said Syfy’s president of original content Mark Stern. Helix is expected to begin production early in 2013 to debut later this year. In addition to hit Battlestar Galactica, Moore also co-created and executive produced Syfy’s prequel series Caprica.
SyFy is moving the final five episodes of Merlin to May. And people wonder why fans often download genre shows as opposed to waiting five months or more to view them.
Ashley Judd has reportedly told advisers that she does plan to run for the Senate against Mitch McConnell. The actress, best known to Star Trek fans as Robin Lefler, has been attacked by the right wing for everything from her residency to nude scenes she as done. Attack of the Show chose Ashley Judd as the fourth Hottest Women of Star Trek (video above). She also has a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and has been a Democratic activist.
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, one of the stars of Utopia, believes that continuing the story into a second season may or may not work:
Do you think there is scope for a second series of Utopia?
“I think there is scope for a second series, but I also think that it is self-contained. It really does depend. Sometimes you think things could have carried on or things aren’t resolved, and people can get annoyed by that.
“But some pieces of work don’t have a resolution and they leave you to figure it out, and that’s great. Utopia could carry on, but resolution isn’t always good.”
Io9 lists twenty things which Back To The Future got wrong about the future.
The big science fiction news of the week is that J.J. Abrams will be directing the next Star Wars movie. I think it is a good idea for J.J. Abrams to direct the Star Wars movie. His tendency to destroy entire planets (Romulus, Vulcan) fits in better with Star Wars and Death Star than Star Trek.
There are reports that they might wait until 2017 to reboot Batman. There is also speculation that the cast of Justice League of America, scheduled for a 2015 release, will be cut down to five, leaving out Batman until he is rebooted in his own movie. Other rumors say that plans continue to reintroduce Batman in Justice League but possibly leave out Aquaman. Incidentally, if anyone is interested in getting the Michael Keaton Batman movies on Blu-Ray, I found they were much less expensive when purchased as part of a Michael Keaton Collection (recently discounted even further on Amazon) than as stand-alone Batman movies.
Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome was turned into a web series after SyFy decided against picking it up as a weekly series. They will be televising this as a movie on February 10.
Dallas returns tomorrow night, starting with the final episodes filmed before the death of Larry Hagman. Considering all the publicity the show obtained in its original run with the mystery of Who Shot JR?, it only makes sense that JR Ewing will leave the series by being murdered as opposed to dying of natural causes. They should be able to keep this mystery, and other references to JR Ewing, part of the show for quite a long time.
I was initially concerned that Person of Interest would be about independent stories every week, but over time an increasingly convoluted back story has developed. If you are having as much trouble as I am keeping track of everything, the chart here will either help or confuse matters further.
Fringe took a look Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There. Walter looked at another tape and, in an uncharacteristic move, went off on his own. For a moment I thought he might be crossing over to the alternate universe but instead he wound up in a pocket universe. There are now new elements added to this season’s scavenger hunt–a bald-headed kid adopted by the Observers in a previous season who is now missing, and a radio left in his place. It will be interesting to see what type of message comes over this radio.
This was also an episode which concentrated on development for Olivia and Peter, as they continued to morn the death of Etta. The climax of the episode showed them fighting the Observers, with an Observer telling Peter that he knows what he has done but has made a grave mistake. Whether it turns to be good or bad, it may be analogous to hooking Peter up to the machine with its unexpected results. For now Peter is a better fighter, and more vicious in killing the Observer. His vision then took on a blue tint–yet another effect of the Observer implant in his neck (unless he took Viagra). There are also changes in Walter, who is becoming more like Walternate, or the Walter he was becoming before portions of his brain were removed by William Bell. I would assume this is a consequence of replacing these portions of his brain in Letters of Transit.
Revolution primarily continued its adventure of the week format, this time with a watered-down version of Lord of the Flies. We did learn more about what caused the blackout, leaving more questions. The Mathesons, along with Grace (who was kidnapped earlier this season) were working on a device to generate electricity and instead it did the opposite–stopping electricity completely. Someone from the Department of Defense pressured Rachel into accepting a government contract for this technology, and he turned out to also be the person who kidnapped Grace. It might have made sense for the DOD to be interested in this as a weapon directed against a specific country, but it is harder to see the rational for using this if it also caused the blackout in the United States. It will be interesting to see if we ever get a plausible explanation.
The web series, Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome is now available on line. Episode one is embedded above. An “explosive unrated edition” will be coming out on Blu-ray & DVD February 19, 2013.
It has been confirmed that Neil Gaiman’s episode of Doctor Who will involve the Cyberman, with Gaiman making them scary again:
Speaking to Reviewer.fr he said: “Steven asked me to write a new episode and I said no because I was too busy. And then he wrote and asked if I wanted to make the Cybermen scary again. And I thought back to when I was six or seven years old: ‘The Moonbase’, ‘Tomb of the Cybermen’ … when I saw them when they were first broadcast. The Cybermen were far more frightening than Daleks, because they do not make noise. Daleks move in all directions, shouting ‘Exterminate’, etc.. With Cybermen it’s different. You turned around and bam! There were Cybermen. It’s scary.
“I told [Moffat] that I would revive the Cybermen for the 50th anniversary year and everything that has happened since, and see what I could do. I do not know if it will work, we’ll see.”
He added: “This will be a stand-alone episode, it will be the penultimate episode of Series 7. It has a beginning, a middle and an end.”
Gaiman also stated that the title of the episode, currently believed to be The Last Cyberman, could still change: “‘The Doctor’s Wife’ was’ Bigger on the Inside’, up to two weeks before release. It could be anything,” he said.
Scarlett Johansson is on the cover of V magazine, recreating the Janet Leigh shower scene from Psycho. She found facing Anthony Hopkins to be far scarier than filming a nude scene:
The flick, about the making of Psycho, finds Johansson having to recreate a certain iconic shower scene.
“We only had the luxury to shoot the scene for a day, and everybody was feeling very nervous because it involved water and nobody wants the actor to get wet,” the 27-year-old told V. “They were concerned with modesty and all these things—but I don’t care about any of that stuff and Janet Leigh never did either.”
But Johannsson did admit that it was “terrifying” having costar Anthony Hopkins, who portrays the famed director, point a long kitchen knife in her face.
“Maybe I watched Silence of the Lambs too many times when I was a kid. Maybe I was having some flashbacks. So I didn’t need too much preparation for the scene,” the actress said.
Among the unusual items in my library is a fan published book from 1982, The Doctor and the Enterprise, featuring a cross over between the Doctor as played by Tom Baker and Star Trek: The Original Show. Since then there have been other fan crossovers between Doctor Who and Star Trek, but the first officially sanctioned cross over will be coming out the May, in comic form. This will feature the current Doctor, along with Amy and Rory, on the Enterprise of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
If you are not interested in this cross over, how about Doctor Who and Peanuts? Teefury had a one day limited edition shit yesterday featuring the eleven Doctors as Peanuts characters.
Matt Smith said in a recent interview that he is willing to do nude scenes. We can be certain that will not occur on Doctor Who. Knowing what is in the mind of many readers, I’m not aware if Karen Gillan has ever answered the same question, but Billie Piper has done lots of nude scenes since leaving the show.
Once Upon A Time has a guest appearance from Emilie de Ravin of Lost. She plays Belle of the Beauty and the Beast, with a video preview above . The Hollywood Reporter interviewed deRavin about her role:
“There are obviously a lot of similarities,” de Ravin tells The Hollywood Reporter about the show’s take on the well-known character. “Obviously, she’s quite a bit more, shall we say ballsy, than I suppose in the past versions, but she’s really brave and really forthright with her opinions and all she wants to do.”
In the world of the ABC series, Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) steps into the role of the “beast” when he helps Belle’s father in a raging war with ogres. But, there’s always the payback. In this case, it’s Belle or her father’s life.
“She would do anything basically for her father, but also her friends and family in general, and that’s what she does,” the Australian actress says. “She has this chance where she’s always wanted to be brave and make a change and do something different and not just sit around in the confinement of her castle and her simple life.”
Of course, Rumpelstiltskin may prove a harder challenge than what we’ve seen on Disney movies.
“There’s a point where Belle is a very giving, caring, passionate, nonjudgmental person,” de Ravin, 30, tells THR. “But, there’s also a breaking point, and sometimes enough is enough. And as much beauty as she can see in anyone, you know in Rumpelstiltskin slash the beast, if it can’t be believed by the other person or accepted, then you know, you can’t force somebody to feel something.”
“There’s possibly the opportunity for him to lose power and to gain love, and so does the old question of what will you choose?” she continues. “Love over power or power over love? And that’s a big struggle for him because it’s been so long of him being such a powerful, cruel person, that you know it’s almost, it’s completely hard to fathom that A, somebody would be able to care for him and B, that would be better than power.”
Emilie de Ravin will be returning later this season to continue this storyline.
Fringe is getting more interesting as the season progresses. Olivia’s memories from the original time line are now bleeding over into the show’s current time line. This week’s episode, Welcome to Westfield began with the above dream sequence. It was one of the better episodes of the season, with Olivia, Walter, and Peter once again acting as a team in an episode in which both universes were mixed together. Olivia also displayed memories of cases which occurred in our time line. The episode concluded with Olivia kissing Peter and making dinner for him as she would normally do in the original time line. I will be very disappointed in Peter if he doesn’t make Olivia’s dream at the beginning of the episode come true.
An updated version of Space 1999 is being planned. Space 1999 was a flawed science fiction show of the 1970′s making me wonder why someone would want to do a remake, until I thought that the same could have been said about Battlestar Galactica before its excellent remake. The new series, Space 2099, re-imagines the original series and takes place a hundred years later.
I was ambivalent about Fringe during the first season when there were primarily stand-alone stories, but have grown to love the show as it got more into its mythology and a continuing story line. Friday’s episode brought about one major change as we saw in Reciprocity that Peter’s connection to the Doomsday Machine has also changed Peter. Finding that Peter was the one killing the shape shifters was a surprise. It was also amusing to see the effects of Walter injecting the chimpanzee DNA and I was happy to see some movement on Peter’s relationship with Olivia.Dumping a boyfriend because he had sex with your identical counterpart from an alternative universe is the lamest reason since Rachel dumping Ross for messing around when they were on a break.
While an excellent episode, I do miss the alternative universe. We’ve been promised that the show will return there, and there was some more news on this last week. John Noble has hinted about his roles:
In a recent conference call, the actor told reporters that the brain-damaged scientist will begin to “put his life back together”.
“He finally comes to face up to his limitations, but also his strength,” said Noble. “[That is] more than enough to deal with the problems. It’s a wonderful journey for Walter this season and he gets to go through all the stages.”
Noble also promised that viewers will begin to see a more human side to Walter’s doppelganger, the sinister Walternate.
“You will learn more of what made Walternate what he is, and you will see some humanisation of the man behind that steel exterior,” he explained. “He has to make some difficult decisions. We’ve done some terrific things that don’t soften him, but help to understand that he is man, not a machine.”
He added: “I hope that there is a resolution between Walter and Walternate, because I don’t see either of them as bad men.”
I am especially looking forward to the February 25 episode which goes back to Peter’s abduction:
“Peter,” the season two episode that brilliantly chronicled how Walter Bishop accidentally abducted the alternate universe’s Peter, was such a fan favorite that producers are headed back to 1985 in an upcoming episode of “Fringe.”
Slated to air February 25, the installment will serve as a companion piece to “Peter,” according to star Jasika Nicole. “It’s going to pick up right where ‘Peter’ left off and it’s better than the first one,” she told PopWrap.
But unlike the season two edition, “this flashback is going to take place in the alternate universe as well as this universe. That’s why it’s so good, you’ll see the repercussions stealing Peter has for Walter and Walternate,” she adds.
A huge part of the fallout will involve Elizabeth Bishop. “As we’ve seen, Walternate is still with his wife and there’s a reason for that. You see all these consequences that happened as a result of that [abduction] and what that means for his relationship with Elizabeth. It’s a really heartbreaking story.”
The biggest Fringe news is that Leonard Nimoy has tweeted that he might be returning as William Bell. The actual tweet states, “Plans developing for a William Bell return to Fringe. Stay Tuned. LLAP.” As long as Nimoy is willing to return, it is hard to believe that the producers of Fringe will not take advantage of this.
I wasn’t paying any attention to the prospect of an other remake of Charlie’s Angels until Minka Kelly of Friday Night Lights was cast in the movie last week.(Kelly also has a recurring role in Parenthood this season and played Autumn in 500 Days of Summer).
ABC’s Charlie’s Angels has its trio female leads: Former Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly’s will play a former Marine and weapons expert and Transformers star Rachael Taylor will play a con artist.
The duo have been near-deals for the roles this week and are now official on the Sony Pictures TV project. Kelly and Taylor join the previously cast General Hospital star Annie Ilonzeh.
Friday Night Lights is down to only two more episodes. I won’t give any details as many are waiting until it airs on NBC this spring, but I think this was the best of the shorter, and lower-budget, seasons done jointly with Direct TV.
In other casting news, Henry Cavill of The Tudors will play Superman.
Colin Firth says he’d like to play a bad guy on Doctor Who or Torchwood, especially Doctor Who.
Keanu Reeves has created a stir in the blogosphere by stating two more sequels to The Matrix are in the works. Perhaps we could start a fund to pay them not to do this. I’m not sure where they would go after the two terrible sequels to a great movie. Would it be feasible to just pretend the two sequels don’t exist and remake a good pair to replace them?
Luke Pasqualino will play William Odama on the upcoming Battlestar Galactica prequel, Blood and Chrome. IO9 has a larger version of the above map of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.
Not only is this map a thing of great beauty, but it’s totally official — Grazier was science advisor for Battlestar Galactica from the very beginning, and helped to define a lot of the show’s concepts. And Espenson, as the original showrunner for the prequel series Caprica, had to do a lot of thinking about exactly how the Twelve Colonies were laid out. This info comes straight from the creators — and from the showrunner’s bible for BSG and Caprica. And Grazier, who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, verifies that the info in this map is “scientifically plausible.” It was created by Hollywood graphic designer Geoffrey Mandel, who made countless adjustments as the technical data underwent scrutiny…
We asked Espenson and Grazier some questions about the map, and they ended up telling us a lot more about the science and backstory of Battlestar Galactica:
I didn’t realize there were four different stars in the Cyrannus star system. I had always wondered if there were just 12 habitable planets clustered around a single sun. Where did the idea of four different stars come from? Was this in the show bible someplace? I’m especially curious about Leonis, the “heart of the colonies,” which I don’t think we ever heard about. Also, Scorpion, the “playground of the colonies.” Is that the colonial version of Risa?
Jane: Even back before Caprica the show existed, I believe Kevin and I had talked a bit about the configuration of the colonies. All the work on that is his. I instinctively loved the idea of a star cluster. The idea of 12 habitable planets all orbiting one star just seemed unworkable. And crowded. This group of stars makes so much sense. Kevin was at work on the configuration of stars and planets long before we shot a single frame.
More on the “science” of Battlestar Galactica in the full post.
As I reported earlier this week, and predicted last week, Caprica has officially been canceled. The show already had one hiatus this year, which probably did not help matters as I bet many viewers are having difficulty keeping track of the large number of plot lines. There will be a second hiatus with the remaining episodes not airing until 2011. As the show is undoubtedly costlier to produce than many of the other shows on SyFy, I can understand why the network decided ratings were too low to justify renewal. However, now that the shows have been made, I would think that it at least holds its own against many of the other shows being aired. If ratings are really that terrible that they don’t want to show the remaining episodes during prime time this fall, they could always air them at odd hours for fans to record.
SyFy is looking at replacing the show with another Battlestar Galactica spin-off based upon William Odama’s role in the first Cylon War. Presumably shows about Cylons involving actual war do better in the ratings. A two hour pilot movie is planned with production expected to start next year. The Los Angeles Times Reports:
Syfy announced Friday that it’s gearing up to bring fans an all-new chapter in the BSG saga with “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.”
The two-hour spinoff pilot, from executive producer David Eick, will follow a twentysomething William Adama during the 10th year of the first Cylon War. He soon finds himself leading a top secret mission that could change the course of the war.
“While maintaining the themes of politics, social propaganda, and the timeless question: What does it mean to be human?, ‘Blood & Chrome’ will also return us to the authentic, relentless depiction of combat and the agony and ecstasy of human-Cylon war, which was the hallmark of ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ early seasons,” Eick said in a statement.
“Blood & Chrome” was originally ordered last summer by the network as a Web series, with former “Battlestar Galactica” co-executive producer Michael Taylor tapped to write the nine mini episodes.
In a statement, Mark Stern, executive vice president of original programming for SyFy and co-head of content for Universal Cable Productions, had this to say: “The ‘Galactica’ universe as re-imagined by Ron Moore and David Eick is rich with possibilities and backstory. We jumped at the chance to revisit the William Adama character and explore this exciting chapter in the BSG narrative which falls between the events of the original series and the prequel, ‘Caprica,’ currently airing on Syfy.”
GB: What can you tell us about where this falls in the mythology?
DE: The show takes place when William Adama, the character played by Edward James Olmos in “BSG,” is in his 20s, fresh out of cadet school, on the precipice of experiencing his first taste of combat. The era — in our mythology – is the threatening, treacherous period known as the First Cylon War, which fans of “Battlestar Galactica” may remember took place over 40 years before the events of “BSG.”
GB: In some ways, all the previously shown history might be seen as confining — we know who lives and dies at this point — so how do you sidestep those challenges?
DE: I’m not sure it’s true that our past history is confining — just because we might meet someone in “Blood & Chrome” whom we don’t recognize as a younger version of someone from the realm of “Battlestar Galactica” doesn’t mean that character necessarily died. Alternatively, we may meet the ancestors of characters we’ve come to know in “BSG,” which can be Easter eggs for the “BSG” faithful without being a distraction to new viewers of “Blood & Chrome” who may not be familiar with “BSG.”
GB: Anything you can tell us about the title or its origins?
DE: Michael Taylor, one of my partners on the cracking of this story and the writer of the teleplay, gets full credit for the title. We’d been calling it “the ‘Young Adama’ project,” and then one day the script shows up with that wild and provocative title.
GB: Is there a new character being introduced that you might give us a hint or two about?
DE: “Blood & Chrome” is loaded with new characters, but I’d say the most compelling and unusual is the woman with whom Adama connects most deeply in the pilot — Beka Kelly, an enigmatic, seemingly impenetrable software genius who gives Adama a run for his money in more ways than one. She’s definitely in the tradition of “BSG’s” and “Caprica’s” uniquely strong, remarkable female characters and will be a huge casting opportunity for someone out there, whom we look forward to discovering…
While Caprica has been canceled, some other genre shows received better news in the past week. ABC picked up No Ordinary Family for the entire season and BBC has renewed Merlin for a fourth season.
In other interesting, even if perhaps not very significant, genre news reported here earlier in the week, the Texas Supreme Court has cited Spock while interpreting the Texas Constitution. The ruling (more details in previous post) quoted Spock ‘s credo “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” spoken as he was dying in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. If conservatives get upset when an American court cites a foreign court, how will they react to a court citing a Vulcan? Will conservatives begin attacking the principles of The United Federation of Planets as they now attack international law?
The discovery of someone who appears to be using a cell phone in an old Charlie Chaplin film, The Circus, resulted in a lot of buzz about the possibility of a time traveler being caught on film. It was way too much fun to speculate about time travelers to worry about details such as how one would use a cell phone in an era lacking cellular service. The explanation that this was actually an old hearing aide is far less interesting.
Maybe the time traveler in the video above had found a way to communicate through time, like Olivia Wilde in the video above which presents an urgent plea from 2057 to vote. You don’t really want a future in which President Sarah Palin declares super-war on Norway do you?
There continues to be a great hour of genre comedy from 8:00 to 8:30 on Thursday nights. I doubt anyone has questioned including The Big Bang Theory as a genre show considering its frequent references to science fiction and comics, along with its major presence at ComicCon. Last week’s episode had Leonard hook up with Raj’s sister and next week’s episode features a guest appearance by Eliza Dushku (of Dollhouse) as an FBI agent who interviews other cast members for Wolowitz’s security clearance.
I also loosely classify Community as a genre comedy due to its many references to movies and pop culture. This was most obvious in last week’s episode featuring zombies. There’s an even worse threat than zombies on next week’s episode–mean girls led by Hilary Duff. A video preview is above.
As I suspected would occur in the last installment of SciFi Weekend, Capricahas been canceled. Remaining episodes are going to be held until the first quarter of 2011, by which time most people will have totally forgotten about the show. SyFy is looking at another Battlestar Galactia spinoff which will take place during the first Cylon War. Trekweb has more information on the proposed show.
Alessandra Torresani has her farewell on Twitter:
Word is out: Caprica has officially been cancelled! I love my lil cylons so much and will continue to kick ass for you guys! Thanks for the love and support! -Love Mama Cylon
No comment yet from show runner Jane Espenson (who once tweeted as CapricaOne).
A couple of other genre shows are doing better. The BBC has announced a 4th season of Merlin and ABC recently picked up No Ordinary Family for an entire season.
Razor, a made for television movie prequel to Battlestar Galactica, included a Bill Odama who is older than the child in Caprica but younger than the one in the main series. SyFy had planned on developing an on-line series entitled Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome about Odama during the first Cylon War. They have now decided to order it to be made as an actual spin-off television show to air in 2011 or 2012.
While a decision on renewing Caprica isn’t due until early November, I take this as a bad sign, suspecting they are ordering this show as a replacement. This is all pure speculation, but I would think that the obvious time to run a show on the first Cylon War would be after Caprica concludes, unless SyFy really thinks that two simultaneous Battlestar Galactica spin-offs would be successful.
I think they made a serious mistake with Caprica setting up so many cliff-hangers and then returning months later. The show returned with far too many plot lines, making it very difficult for any new viewers to get interested in the show. It isn’t even all that easy for returning viewers to remember all the details that went on before in each plot line. Fortunately some were wrapped up last week as Daniel Graystone regained control of his company and the number of characters to keep track of were reduced by some recent deaths.
Things don’t look any better for V than for Caprica to survive. The show was postponed until winter, and now has bee cut from thirteen to ten episodes. The show is still in production and can adjust the storyline based upon the reduced episodes. Hopefully they are writing a good conclusion for the series.
The BBC has decided to “fast track” the Doctor Who Christmas episode so that it will be seen in other markets within days after broadcasting on the BBC. The hope is that this will reduce the number of people who download the show, as commonly happens when there is a delay. I think that the only way to really prevent international fans from downloading episodes is to broadcast shows with large international followings such as Doctor Who the same day. The difference in time zones makes it especially easy for BBC shows to be available on line by prime time in the United States. As long as time permits me to watch, I intend to watch the episode on December 25.
Speaking of downloaded BBC shows, Sherlock began to air tonight in the United States. I will not review a show this soon after airing to avoid spoilers, but for those interested there is a review available here.The final season of Friday Night Lights also premiers this week on Dish Network, with NBC to air it next year.
Ausiello reports that Penny’s dad on Big Bang Theory will be played by Keith Carradine–Frank Lundy from Dexter. Ausiello also has some speculation on who will have roles in Torchwood. One possibility is that Enver Gjokaj from Dollhouse will get the role of FBI agent Rex Matheson.
iO9 has compiled a list of the top science fiction cliff hangers on television. I don’t think there will be much controversy over choosing Best of Both Worlds Part 1(Star Trek: The Next Generation) as the best of all time. Discussion of how the Borg could be defeated, how Jon Luc Picard would be saved after being turned into a Borg, and whether Ryker would really fire on Picard dominated the CompuServe forums over the summer in those days before the internet replaced it. The hype from this episode also was responsible for turning what had been a so-so remake into a major science fiction series.
A recent episode of Doctor Who, The Pandorica Opens made the list. While some object to the manner in which the Doctor got out of the Pandorica, what bigger cliff hanger can you have than the end of the universe?
There were other memorable cliff hangers listed. This included Zha’dum (Babylon 5) when Sheridan obeyed Kosh’s voice telling him to jump, Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2(Battlestar Galactica) which jumped the series ahead a year when unprepared humans living on New Caprica were conquered by Cylons, and The Incident (Lost) in which Julia detonated the bomb in hopes of changing history.
There are some cliff hangers from last season I’m looking forward to seeing the conclusion of. The mid-season cliff hanger episode of Caprica contained several cliff-hangers. Last season’s cliff hanger from Fringe made the list. And, while not science fiction, I’m sure curious to find out how Jeff responds to both Britta and Professor Slater declaring his love for him followed by the ending with Jeff kissing Annie on Community. Personally I’d like to see him date Annie while Britta goes crazy with jealousy. Besides, I’d much rather see Alison Brie with Jeff on Community than as Pete Campbell’s wife Trudy on Mad Men.
Dexter also ended with a significant cliff hanger last season. Blogcritics reviews the first few episodes of the upcoming season, including this bit of news:
According to executive producer, Sara Colleton, this will be the year to “take a break from having a one season-long adversary. So as Dexter’s grief goes through different stages, different characters will play their part and yet eventually, these characters interlock to form a a worthy adversary for Dexter.”
In the final scene of the third episode, there is a stunning moment: a twist so totally unexpected, you’ll curse the fact you’ll have to wait a week to see what happens next.
We’ve seen many characters reimagined, including Superman, Batman, and Iron-Man. Next we will get Epic Mickey, coming in a game for the Nintendo Wii:
Disney has hinted that Epic Mickey is kind of a reboot for the beloved character – one that takes him from cute and cuddly cartoon icon to brave and embattled warrior. The questions now are manifold: Will Disney turn off potential gamers who prefer the Mickey of old? Will the game be dark and intriguing enough to appeal to “core” gaming audiences? And, perhaps most importantly, given flagging interest in the mouse, does Disney have a choice?
That’s nothing all that radical–just go to Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. On a related note, there are rumors that Jon Hamm will star in the next reboot of Superman.
Cliff hangers sometimes lead to the death of characters. In case that happens Eternal Image sells urns fit for a true Star Trek fan. It comes in two models– one says “To Boldly Go” and the other that says “The Voyage Continues.”
SyFy divided up the first season of Caprica into two parts, ending the first half with major cliff hangers. The show was originally to air this fall but was then moved back to January. This week they announced plans to move it back up to start on October 5. No decision has been made on whether to film a second season, with the actors’ contracts extended until November. Moving up the start of the second half of the series provides an opportunity to see how the show does before the decision is made. Hopefully ratings will be up.
Ron Moore might also be getting a new show on network television. As part of Moore’s development deal with Sony, there is consideration for developing a show described as “a police procedural that heavily involves the use of magic” for NBC. Airlock Alpha has more information.
Doctor Who won as Best Family Drama at the the TV Choice Awards 2010 in London, taking place a day after the show won a Hugo award. The current series’ lead character Matt Smith has won as Best Actor in GQ’s Men of the Year Awards. Above is Smith with his girl friend, model Daisy Lowe. There have been rumors this week that Smith is proposing to Lowe.
While signing boxes for her action figure, Karen Gillan discussed the growth of her character:
Karen Gillan has described filming Doctor Who as an “emotionally draining” experience.
The Scottish actress, who shot to fame as the Doctor’s assistant Amy Pond, said she was looking forward to changing her character in the next series of the BBC sci-fi show.
She said: “I think that she’s a completely different person at the end of the series to when we meet her, when she’s really quite odd and a bit messed up in the first episode.”
The 22-year-old added: “I think she’s much more kind of in tune with what she understands about herself mostly and the Doctor by the end of the series. And she’s been through a lot in the series.
“It’s been pretty emotionally draining. Just all the stuff when she was crying and she doesn’t know why she’s crying – that was quite a challenge. But I think there’s a lot more to come in the next series. I really want to just keep on developing her character and I want her to evolve and change lots.”
We know that the Tardis has far more room inside than it appears to have from the outside. This would make the Tardis great for storage. In the picture above a 1 TB drive has been crammed into the model Tardis, showing it really can store a tremendous amount of material. That’s more than enough space for DivX downloads of all the episodes of Doctor Who and its spin offs which remain available.
SyFy has compiled a list of ten of the best science fiction television episodes that ever aired. The list is limited to one episode from any given show. Blink from Doctor Who made the list. Some of the other notable episodes include City on the Edge of Forever, often considered the best episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. Yesterday’s Enterprise was a good choice from Star Trek: The Next Generation. X-Files was represented by Home,Battlestar Galactica by 33, and Lost by The Constant.
Heroes didn’t have any episodes make the list, and won’t get an opportunity to resolve the series-ending cliff hanger. NBC has decided against going ahead with a television movie to wrap it up.
It might be a long time before we find out about the succession plans for when Steve Carrell leaves The Office after this season. The second half of the season will deal with Michael Scott leaving but his replacement in the season finale might not become the show’s new star:
By season’s end, one character will have Scott’s job — but that person is not necessarily Carell’s replacement as the show’s star. Sources say writers are tempted to have the character who becomes the Scranton branch’s new boss fail in some spectacular manner, leaving the seat open again for another successor during Season 8.
One radical notion being explored is the possibility of subtly shifting the show’s point of view so that a current character is the star instead of the boss.
As for replacing Scott with a new manager, sources say the network and producers are on the same page.
“You’re looking for someone who can start stories,” a source said. “Someone whose judgment isn’t necessarily one where when an issue comes up and a boss with a correct judgment would quickly settle it and then you have no episode. You’re also looking for somebody who considers the rest of the office his family.”
It feels like we have learned all the secrets of the universe in the last year or so. We know all about the Cylon final five. We saw how the scenario from the Epitaph One episode of Dollhouse played out in Epitaph Two. We know why the passengers of Oceanic 815 were brought to the island and what the sideways stories meant. We know a little more about FlashForward is about, but might never get a full explanation unless someone else picks up the show. Now we know who was in the Pandorica, and how The Doctor got out. This contains major spoilers in case anyone who plans to has not done so yet.
Like The Pandorica Opens, The Big Bang began with a spectacular introductory segment. The Pandorica was opened in modern times (in an alternative time line where the stars had gone out) but we were surprised to find Amy Pond, and not the Doctor inside. Amy was released by a younger version of herself from the time line without stars (although Amy believed in them as she believed in the Doctor in the original time line). Then things really got complicated.
The Doctor had long ago been released from The Pandorica by Rory and placed a dying Amy inside to help her recover. The manner in which the Doctor escaped is rather controversial, even without consideration of whether or not fez hats are cool. The Doctor simply went back in time to ask Rory to let him out. Since Rory had let him out, he was free in the future to go back in time to ask Rory to let him out. Fortunately for the Doctor the universe has been greatly condensed, allowing the Vortex Manipulator to work much better than in the full universe.
Sure, this is cheating. Time travel stories often cheat. The question is whether the viewer comes out feeling cheated or intrigued by such solutions. When Steven Moffat used a similar device in Blink there were no complaints. A big difference here is that we didn’t know until late in Blink that the timey wimey stuf was a device being used by The Doctor to get out of a predicament. It is a different matter when the season-ending two parter uses a cliff hanger with the Doctor being locked in an inescapable prison and then uses such a trick to get out so easily.
Moffat handled selling this to the audience in a different way than in Blink. A series of quick and amusing moves through time, along with the fez hat, made the sequence so much fun that it is easy to allow Moffat to get away with this. The problem remains that repeated use of such plot devices means that the Doctor is never really in danger as a future version can always come to save him. Making matters worse, that sonic screwdriver is turning into a magic wand which can do almost everything. It might become necessary to retire the sonic screwdriver, similar to how it became necessary to remove K-9 from the original series after he became too powerful.
Escaping from The Pandorica was a trivial manner compared to the real dilemma. The universe was coming to and end. Fortunately, due to proximity to the crack throughout her life, Amy’s subconscious was filled with all the information about the universe, allowing the universe to be recreated after the Tardis created a second big bang. Sure it is hard to believe, but is this really any worse than having the Tardis tow the earth through like in a Russel T. Davies season finale?
Along the way we saw the Doctor’s life be rewound. This included returning to the events of Flesh and Stone, showing that the scene with the Doctor dressed differently was intentional as opposed to a continuity error. Actually Moffat has largely saved himself from being accused of any continuity errors with previous shows by rebooting the entire universe in this manner. If Amy could bring back Rory and her parents in the new universe, other changes could also be present. I am assuming here that the Rory who Amy married is a recreation of the human Rory and not the plastic one.
Amy ultimately was able to bring back the Doctor as the Tardis turned out to be something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue at her wedding. Despite all the implausible aspects of the episode I have accepted, I cannot resist one nitpick on the wedding scene. If, in this recreated universe, Amy had no memory of the Doctor, she wouldn’t have spent her life speaking of what others thought was her imaginary friend. Therefore when she first mentioned wanting him at the wedding, others would not have responded by questioning Amy bringing him up again as presumably she had no reason to do so yet in this time line.
Many questions remain. River Song remains as big a mystery as she was going into the season, with warnings that the relationship between her and the Doctor might change for the worse in their next meeting. Could this be because she kills the Doctor (or gives the appearance of doing so), leading to her imprisonment? We don’t know who was behind the events of the season finale, including the explosion of the Tardis, the destruction of all the stars, and the warning that “silence will fall.” I suspect that the story of who was behind all of this, along with River Song’s story, is being continued into next season.
One change from the episode which definitely will carry into the Christmas special and next season is that for the first time ever the Doctor will have a married couple as his companions. The BBC has posted this wedding album, with someexamples on this page. The Christmas special is rumored to include their honeymoon, monsters, and a new take on A Christmas Carol, and guest stars including Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) and Katherine Jenkins. Steven Moffat had these comments on the special:
Oh, we’re going for broke with this one. It’s all your favorite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters. And the Doctor. And a honeymoon. And … oh, you’ll see. I’ve honestly never been so excited about writing anything. I was laughing madly as I typed along to Christmas songs in April. My neighbors loved it so much they all moved away and set up a website demanding my execution. But I’m fairly sure they did it ironically!”
Between the other news which got squeezed out from Doctor Who dominating SciFi Weekend and all the reports out of San Diego Comic-Con, I will post more science fiction news without waiting for next weekend’s installment. This includes updates on the upcoming season of Torchwood.
The Time of Angels brings the return of characters from two different Steven Moffat stories from past seasons, River Song and the Weeping Angels. The Angels are significantly different from how they were in Blink, but I imagine that when we are dealing with creatures in different parts of the universe at a different point in time seeing such differences is plausible. It would be best to wait for the conclusion of the two part episode of Doctor Who airing on BBC America to say more and this week’s BBC episode, Vampires of Venice, is unfortunately not worth writing much about.
Pictures of a very pregnant Amy Pond have been floating around the internet. We’ve been told, “Viewers will have to wait and see how the pregnancy came about, but as always with Doctor Who, things are not always as they appear.” The previews at the end of this week’s BBC episode also leave a question as to how real this is.
Thursday had two excellent episodes of genre shows. This week’s episode of FlashForward was written by Robert Sawyer, who wrote the book which the series was based upon. We are getting close to the day which everyone jumped forward to and learned more about Simon. Unfortunately ratings were down, making it even less likely the show will survive.
Ever since we saw Walter take Peter from the alternate universe on Fringe I’ve been expecting the alternate Walter to show up here. Finally this happened, with the alternate Walter appearing not to have suffered the psychological problems of the Walter of this universe. The previews show we will also be seeing much more of the alternative universe, including their Olivia.
We know that Leonard Nimoy will be returning as William Bell, but this will be the last time as Nimoy says he is retiring. This also means no more appearances by Spock Prime in future Star Trek movies. While I wish Nimoy would be continuing in his occasional role on Fringe, it is better that the original Spock of our time line will not be appearing again. Now that they have established a separate time line they should develop with only one Spock around as ours did.
There was also a killer episode of Lost this week–literally. Meanwhile in the alternate time line Jack has figured out that there is a strange connection between the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815.
Steven Hawking is concerned about our search for alien life which might show aliens where we are. While most alien life might be limited to microscopic organisms, he is concerned about the development of intelligent life on some planets which would behave far too much like humans:
Hawking believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity.
He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”
He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”
This is obviously an idea which has been used in many science fiction television shows and movies, including this year’s remake of V. Other science fiction shows have speculated that there is a greater risk of humans creating their own threats as opposed to threats coming from space, such as in Battlestar Galactica and the Terminator series.
Obviously we have no evidence as to whether Hawking is correct and can only speculate. I tend to think that it would be far easier for aliens, regardless of their ethics, to use the vast number of uninhabited planets for resources as opposed to traveling all the way to earth. I also wonder if a race advanced enough to travel to earth will have already found renewable energy sources and ways to supply their resource needs.
Perhaps evil aliens might come to earth due to the presence of humans. They might see humans as a useful slave source, but such an advanced race might also manage to manufacture robots or train their version of intelligent apes to be servants. Of course we have seen science fiction examples where that would be a mistake–but if they wiped themselves out by trying this they would not be a threat to us. Another danger from alien visitors was suggested in an old Twilight Zone episode in which a book entitled To Serve Mankind turned out to be a cookbook.