SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who Christmas Special and Journey to the Centre of the Tardis; Fringe; Bill Prady on Romney’s View of Voting To Get Free Stuff

Pictures from the Doctor Who Christmas Special have been released and two videos of consequence were presented at Children in Need. First there is a prequel episode, The Great Detective, in which we find that the Doctor has retired. Secondly there is the trailer for the Christmas episode in which the Doctor’s retirement on screen is a brief as we would expect.

Here is the announcement from the BBC:

‘The Snowmen’ has been revealed as the title for this year’s movie-scale Doctor Who Christmas special, and the episode that will introduce the new companion, a new look for the Doctor and a new monster that will have families shivering behind their sofas.

Starring Matt Smith as the Doctor, and introducing Jenna-Louise Coleman as new companion Clara, The Snowmen will follow their adventures as they embark on a mission to save Christmas from the villainous Doctor Simeon (Richard E Grant) and his army of icy snowmen.

Fans also got a sneak peak at a new costume for the Doctor, revealed in an exclusive trailer on Children in Need, while a special prequel showed the impact of the loss of the Ponds, with old friends Vastra, Strax and Jenny trying to persuade the Doctor not to give up on adventures.

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, said: “The Doctor at Christmas is one of my favourite things – but this year it’s different. He’s lost Amy and Rory to the Weeping Angels, and he’s not in a good place: in fact, he’s Scrooge. He’s withdrawn from the world and no longer cares what happens to it. So when all of humanity hangs in the balance, can anyone persuade a tired and heartbroken Doctor that it’s time to return to the good fight? Enter Jenna-Louise Coleman…”

Matt Smith, who plays the Doctor, commented: “For this year’s Christmas special we have the wonderfully villainous Richard E Grant as Doctor Simeon – as well as lizards, Victorian assassins and deranged warriors from the future, who all return to convince the Doctor that he should board the TARDIS again and save the world. Add to that Jenna-Louise Coleman, and so begins the Christmas Special 2012. I hope everyone enjoys it!”

The BBC Cymru Wales produced drama will return to BBC One in December, with a further eight epic episodes in spring next year.

Doctor Who TV previews an episode for the second half of the season, to air this spring:

Writer Stephen Thompson speaks about his upcoming episode for Series 7: Part 2 in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine(#454 out today.)

He confirms the story is titled Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS and explains how the episode came to be: “My first meeting was last October. I went along with a pocketful of dream-episodes. (Still trying to work out a way to shoehorn the Krynoids in. Might yet happen.) This initial meeting is fairly predictable. Before I even open my mouth and pitch to the room, Steven goes ‘I want you to do x.’ And his idea is so wonderful, and so much more clever and interesting than anything mere mortals like myself could come up with, you end up saying ‘Yes’ and the meeting’s over in record time. Or at least the same time it took last year. And so it was. ‘Would you do one where we see the centre of the TARDIS?’ ‘Er, yeah. Okay.’ Conversation took nine seconds. And then I’m chained to a laptop on and off for the next six months, basically.”

“Actually Steven had two ancillary reasons for bringing that idea to the table. One: he admits to being haunted by The Invasion of Time – the story from 1978 set on board the TARDIS, where the sets were cobbled together at the last minute. Unfortunately a TV strike meant that studio sets were not built, and as a result our only glimpse of the TARDIS interior has been a disused hospital in Surrey with bin-bags stuck to the windows. Two: Steven knows; that I’m a pure mathematician and anything involving multi-dimensional geometry gets me excited. (There’s my geek credentials.) So – that was the brief. What’s in the middle? Plus the title. And then I’m sent off to fill in all the blanks.”

He adds: “[With The Curse of the Black Spot] my brief from Steven was very different – he said a lot of the [Series 6] episodes were dark and complex, and he needed me to write something light. This year got to indulge my inner fan. (And I got to ask my kids what rooms in the TARDIS they’ve always wanted to find.)

“This episode will be different in many ways, not least because the star won’t necessarily be the usual person. You might not even see the star, it might be the guy at the drawing board. It just might be the designer…”

Fringe is now about putting things into or taking things out of the brainstem and brain, and the consequences of such action.  On Fringe, greater intellectual power tends to have dangerous trade offs, if not being outright evil. We continue to see Peter developing his Observer powers after implanting Observer technology in his neck, with Olivia now aware of what Peter has done. There is parallel story going on with Walter and Nina with Walter wanting Nina to remove the parts of his brain which William Bell removed and which were later restored.

There are so many questions leading into the final episodes of the series. I wonder if Peter might wind up being the first Observer, setting everything else in motion, and providing an explanation as to why so much has centered around Peter. Will we be better or worse off with Peter becoming more like the Observers and with Walter more like his old self? Will Peter lose all his hair? Will Walter perform a lobotomy on himself if Nina does not help him? Will the Observers continue to allow pictures of Etta to go up all over as the face of the resistance? Will Peter defeat the Observers and pull a cosmic reset switch, returning to the park with Olivia and Etta? We will have to wait three weeks to find out anything more, with the next episode featuring Peter vs. Windmark.

I have previously presented opinions on the election from people in show business. In case have not seen it, the one which you really should not miss was from Joss Whedon on  how Mitt Romney’s policies would set up the conditions needed for a Zombie Apocalypse. The same issues remain even if Romney has become a toxic-asset which even Republicans now want to be rid of. Almost everyone seems to have turned on Mitt Romney for his view on the 47 percent and takers after the election, including Republicans who defended Romney on this view during the campaign. I previously commented on this post-election Romney gaffe when speaking to donors here and here. Bill Prady, creator of Big Bang Theory, weighed in on Romney’s flawed view on his Facebook page. A portion follows:

I number among my friends many who, like myself, voted for the President. Not one of them gets “free stuff” from the government (unless you count Social Security and Medicare, I suppose). My friends are hard working moms and camera operators. They are teachers and gardeners and maids. They are writers and actors. People with jobs. Two jobs, some of them. They didn’t vote to get free stuff.

Me, I created a television show. I didn’t vote to get free stuff.

We voted for the President because we share his vision for America. We believe in a country where people are treated with respect no matter who they are. We believe in the freedom to love whom you love — and to marry the person you love. We believe that no family should go bankrupt because their child becomes sick.

We believe that women can make their healthcare decisions for themselves in consultation with their doctor and their god and that they don’t need a politician to tell them what to do. We also believe they should be paid the same if they do the same work.

We believe that lowering taxes on the wealthy isn’t an economic policy and it doesn’t lead to prosperity and higher employment. The experts believe that, too — it’s in the report the Senate recently suppressed. We also believe that because we lived through it — it lead to the worst economic disaster in our lifetimes.

We believe that the men and women who wear the uniform of our nation deserve our highest respect, and we believe that when we send them to fight unnecessary wars and then don’t care for them when they return we have betrayed that respect. We also believe that if we ask them to leave their jobs and fight for us, we should make sure they can get jobs when they return.

We believe that asking people like me to pay a little more — just what we paid during the Clinton administration (one of the greatest periods of growth in modern history) — isn’t communism. It isn’t socialism. It’s fair.

We believe the infrastructure of this nation is crumbling and that we must invest in the repair of our roads, bridges and schools. And we believe that in those schools, our children — our most precious resource — should be getting the best education whether they live in Chevy Chase or Harlem.

We are hard working people who worked hard for this victory.

The Big Bang Theory get into genre (including recent references to Doctor Who) far more than politics, as would be expected on a network television show seeking to appeal to a mass audience, but there have been a number of amusing swipes at the religious right on past episodes such as here and in the clip below.

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SciFi Weekend: Fringe; Sherlock; Doctor Who News; Spock and The Big Bang Theory

Fringe started out the season slowly as it introduced another time line in which Peter had died as a child. The story built up gradually, leading to Peter coming into this timeline. Finally, in what was supposed to be the fall finale but was delayed until January due to baseball, Peter went over to the other universe seeking Walternate’s help in returning home. This week’s episode followed up on this storyline, where Walternate appears to be a good guy but alternate Broyles and the Nina Sharp of our universe appear to be behind the shape shifters as well as the experiments on Olivia. Apparently running away from Walter’s experiments in this time line wasn’t enough. Olivia was perhaps always fated to be the subject of experiments (as well as being fated to die in that time line according to the Observer with a gunshot wound).

Fringe very gradually developed a complex story line about two alternative universes which are closely connected because of Walter going to the alternate universe and bringing Peter over here. Suddenly, after a lot of trouble keeping track of the details of this back story, everything has changed with the story moving to an alternate time line. Now we  must also consider how each universe would be different in an alternative time line where Peter had died. It seems like overkill to not only have alternate universes but to throw in alternate time lines. An interview with Lance Reddick suggests they never planned to make things this complicated:

When you look back at ‘Fringe’ now versus where it was three and a half seasons ago, it’s become one of the most complicated shows out there in between the alternate universes and what’s happening with Peter right now. When you were starting out on the show, did you ever see any of this coming? Did [the producers] give you some sort of roadmap?

No. As a matter of fact, I think the show took a bit of a turn in the second season. I honestly don’t think they were necessarily going to build alternate universes from the beginning. If they were, they just didn’t tell me — which is also possible. My character changed quite a bit from the first season to the second season — honestly I feel like he became a lot less mysterious. So in the middle of the second season, you kind of knew that he was a good guy.

So in the second season we had the alternate [Colonel] Broyles, and then he died [in the] third season. And now he’s back.

Jeff Pinker and J.H. Wyman responded to fan criticism of the move to an alternative time line

TVLINE | There is one recurring knock against this season…. What would you like to say to the fans who feel they have “lost time” with the characters they know and love? That outside of Peter, in this timeline we’re kind of watching a bunch of posers?
WYMAN | Jeff and I are huge fans of television, and the biggest thing that stuns us is that our fans are actually thinking that we would pull the old, “Nothing you knew is true!” We would never do that. There is a very specific reason why we’re doing this story right now, and why we took this turn that we did. Traditionally, what goes on with our show is that fans may have an opinion about something, like, “Oh, why did you do that?!” — but then they realize, “Oh yeah, OK, I get it.” Hopefully they’ll feel the same way now, now that things are starting to come to fruition and things are starting to happen a bit more.

TVLINE | But isn’t Peter the only character going through any development that will stick?
WYMAN | If way back when, you got some scoop that Peter was going to have an affair and be involved in a love triangle, and you didn’t know about Olivia and Fauxlivia, you would never have imagined that there’d be two versions of Olivia. That’s why Fringe is great, because you can take a very traditional thing and do something extraordinary with it. It’s the same with this. Peter’s journey and finding out how he feels, what he’s doing, is really important to us. When we first went over to the other side, don’t forget, a lot of people said, “Oh, I don’t want to know about those characters. They’re not our characters.” And fortunately, people came around to like them and actually feel invested and compelled by them.
PINKNER | And at the same time, I think that the [complaint's] premise is slightly faulty, the idea that our characters are not going to change. Peter has been in their lives now for three episodes that have aired, and he’s going to be in their life certainly for some amount of time longer, and one of the things that we’re most interested in is how he is affecting them, how he is changing them. Walter’s been refusing to acknowledge him, both out of emotional reasons and also because of Walter’s own mental instability, but that’s not to say that’s not going to change. And Olivia is also dealing with this person who in another timeline is love with her, while she’s somebody who has sort of empty heart when we met her this season.

Hopefully we will get any planned payoff from this idea before the show is cancelled. Renewal sounds questionable, but talks are underway. At least they are talking about making a fourth season finale which would work as a series finale in case the show is not renewed as opposed to running a cliff hanger.

Sherlock has two major threats this year–Moriarty and CBS. The second season has concluded on the BBC but will not air in the United States until May. Like the first season, the first and third episodes were the most memorable. The third episode ended with a cliff hanger which was far better than the first season cliff hanger. Those who have not seen it might want to skip the next paragraph to avoid  major spoilers:

MAJOR SPOILERS:

The first episode of Sherlock this season had some aspects which felt very much like Doctor Who. (“When I say run, run.”) Sherlock ended the season much like Doctor Who, with the lead character having to fake his own death in The Reichenbach Fall. Unlike the first season cliff hanger, where we just assumed Sherlock would find a way out, fans will be speculating for the next year as to how Sherlock pulled this one off. There is little doubt that Molly Hooper assisted him. She would have the ability to cover up a fake body substituted for Sherlock’s. Alternatively, Sherlock might have had a clever way to survive the fall with Molly helping him sneak away and appear dead. There is little doubt that the bicycle hitting Watson was part of a plan to distract him. Even if Sherlock were to jump (or fake jumping) to his death to prevent the deaths of his friends, what reason would he have to tell Watson that he is a fake. Could the fact that Sherlock even talked to Watson on the phone, as opposed to texting, be meaningful? I am even more puzzled by Moriarty. While he wanted to see Sherlock disgraced, would it be worth committing suicide to ensure that Sherlock was not able to force him to call off his assassins? If Moriarty really was dead, perhaps it was really Moriarty’s body which was thrown off the building, but I also wonder if they would eliminate such an important character. Perhaps there is a connection to the previous episode, The Hounds of Baskerville, with Watson again being drugged to imagine something.

END SPOILERS

Regardless of how the cliff hanger plays out, it has been announced that a third season of Sherlock was ordered at the same time as the second. There might even be more of a modern day Sherlock Holmes on television. After first looking into making an American version of Sherlock, CBS has commissioned their own modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation. The Independent reports:

In a move which has caused concern at Hartswood Films, the BBC show’s producers, CBS has commissioned Elementary, described as a new Sherlock Holmes adaptation set in modern-day New York.

Sue Vertue, Sherlock Executive Producer at Hartswood Films, said: “We understand that CBS are doing their own version of an updated Sherlock Holmes. It’s interesting, as they approached us a while back about remaking our show. At the time, they made great assurances about their integrity, so we have to assume that their modernised Sherlock Holmes doesn’t resemble ours in any way, as that would be extremely worrying.” She added: “We are very proud of our show and like any proud parent, will protect the interest and wellbeing of our offspring.”

Conan Doyle’s creation has been subject to numerous screen incarnations, including Guy Ritchie’s all-action Hollywood version. Holmes’ sleuthing skills and character quirks also inspired House, Hugh Laurie’s medical detective.

But it is Elementary’s relocation of the character to a modern setting which may closely impinge on the BBC series, which has made laptops and text messaging an important element of its plots.

Margaret Tofalides, a copyright specialist at law firm Manches, said: “The concept of a new Sherlock Holmes is unprotectable. But if the unusual elements of the BBC series – the modern settings, characters, clothes, plots and distinctive visual style – were closely reproduced in the CBS version, that could form the basis of a potential copyright claim.”

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

The cast of Doctor Who continues to be interviewed frequently, including a spot on the cover of Radio Times for Karen Gillan. The Daily Record has had frequent interviews on their Scottish actress, including an interview today.

LEAVING Doctor Who, the show that made her a household name, holds no fear for Karen Gillan.

The feisty 24-year old from Inverness, who played Matt Smith’s companion Amy Pond is relishing what life has to offer.

“My greatest fear is saying, ‘what if?’ she admitted. Being in Doctor Who has been so amazing. I don’t think I will ever have a job quite so fun ever again. I feel sad because I am going to leave, but with any story, it has to come to an end.

“It was a mutual decision with me and Steven Moffat. We had this lovely dinner and decided when the best time for me to go was. So I’m excited and slightly scared.”

Karen will leave the show this year after “a few really good episodes”.

Only “a few” good episodes? Sad. The story then goes on to discuss her staring role in We’ll Take Manhattan which airs Thursday.

Matt Smith was interviewed by Australia’s ABC Television (video above).

TV Line has the story on how The Big Bang Theory got permission to use Zachary Quinto’s image in their 100th episode, quoting Bill Prady at the Producers Guild Awards:

In order to use that prop, which is a cardboard cutout of Spock [as seen] in the new movie series, you needed three approvals. You needed Paramount [Pictures], and you had to get Zach to approve it and you had to get J.J. Abrams to approve it…. The problem is we wanted to say, “Suck it. Zachary Quinto.” Normally when you send something out [for approval] you send the pages, and we’re going, “Are they going to like this?” So we called Zachary’s agent, we called Paramount, and we call J.J.’s office. I [told them], “We need to, at some point, let Sheldon begin accepting there is a new Spock in the world, and we’re going to have him start by not liking it at all. So if you’re game, and you let us use it, we will begin the process of him coming to grips with Zachary Quinto as Spock.” And we got a message back immediately from Zach and J.J. saying they loved the idea.

I think we can expect to see Zachary Quinto show up on the show some day.

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SciFi Weekend: Torchwood, Fringe, Catwoman, Cowboys and Aliens, Banned SF, Friday Night Lights, Big Bang Theory, Community

This week’s episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day, The Categories of Life,  has a new twist on death panels, taken from Nazi Germany. The episode speeds up the pacing of the series, but I want to reserve judgment how this plays into the full series until it has completed. I did have a couple of nitpicks about this week’s villain, Colin Maloney. He turned to quickly from one-dimensional buffoon to one-dimension villain, and it is not believable that he would be so shocked by a female physician. (The UK trailer for the episode is above).

Peter Olivia Walter Fringe

John Noble has some teasers on the upcoming season of Fringe and what happened to Peter Bishop:

“Because we finished off with the season so powerfully what you’ll see now is thread in through a mini arc of four episodes,” explained John Noble during a one-on-one with the the TV Addict in Los Angeles. “We thread in the feeling, the presence of and finally the manifestation of Peter.”

And while it probably won’t come as much of a surprise that Peter does in fact return, (Joked Noble, “Josh [Jackson] is our leading man of course he does [return!]“) what sure as heck will is that Peter’s reappearance may not mark the return of the Peter fans (Not to mention the two Olivias!) have come to know and love over the course of the past three seasons.

“What we do is find a way to bring Peter back in…. but not in the way he was before,” revealed Noble. “It’s grand for Josh because it gives him a chance to finally do another version of himself, which he hasn’t had before. So it’s a great pay off for Josh and it means that we get to rebuild somehow in a different way.”

But just how different will be Peter Bishop 2.0 (Peternate?) be? Noble, not surprisingly, was playing coy. To the point that the only thing he would tease is that the start of FRINGE’s fourth season will be eerily familiar to fans of the show who has stuck with it since day one.

“That wonderful humanizing element that we’ve had in FRINGE of Walter and Peter getting to know and love each other again and build up their relationship… we start the season without that,” said Noble. “”[When the season starts] Walter is still in the lab but he’s quite insane, agoraphobic, obsessive compulsive and under the guardianship of Olivia and Astrid. He’s just locked in and won’t go out of the lab, so that’s an interesting restart from my point of view.”

The first pictures have been released of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.

Olivia Wilde discussed her dirty scenes in Cowboys and Aliens.

The Republic, Missouri school board has banned Slaughterhouse Five because “they teach principles contrary to the Bible.”

As for the modern classic Slaughterhouse Five, the book is no stranger to censorship. One of the first literary acknowledgments that homosexual men, or “fairies” in the novel, were victims in the Holocaust, school classrooms and libraries frequently ban the book for its use of profanity and depictions of sex. The Supreme Court actually considered the First Amendment implications of the removal of this book, among others, from libraries in the 1982 case Island Tree School District v. Pico. The Court’s plurality concluded that “local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to ‘prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.’” Minor’s reason for removing the novel? “The language is just really, really intense…I don’t think it has any place in high school…I’m not saying it’s a bad book.”

It looks like there really is a chance of a Friday Night Lights movie, taking place after the conclusion of the final season of the television show. I’m still waiting for the Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls movies which were discussed after those shows ended.

The two Thursday night genre comedies were both represented at the San Diego Comic Con two weeks ago. Above is an interview with the cast of The Big Bang Theory.During the shows panel,  Bill Prady  said that they will resolve the situation between Raj and Penny and explained that the show is not really a show about nerds:

“We’re not doing a show about nerd culture. We’re doing a show about people we liked,” he said.

“About extraordinary people,” fellow co-creator Chuck Lorre said.

More exchanges, including a terrific question about Sheldon:

Of course, a fan asked when Sheldon will lose his virginity, but asked in a great way: “When is Sheldon going to go through Pon farr?” (For the non-Trek oriented, this is when a Vulcan basically goes into heat.)

“Sheldon seems singularly devoted to science — only time will tell,” Prady says.

On the difference between Sheldon and Amy’s characters, Prady says: “Amy’s game. She wants to have the experiences she hasn’t had — and some of them burn between her loins.”

Parsons says his character’s famous Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock scene took the most takes of any scene he’s ever shot. “It nearly broke me as a man.”

There was also a lot of news about Community. Next season the cast will be taking Biology together. The stories will become more serialized. There will be more themed episodes, including one containing three different time lines. The vice-dean of Greendale’s air conditioning repair annex, played by John Goodman, will become an important and powerful character. Señor Chang will also return to a position of authority.

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SciFi Weekend: The Event; An Ordinary Show; Sheldon as Robot and Annie is a Knock Out; Glenn Beck Tries To Steal Star Wars For The Tea Party

The second episode of The Event gave some answers, but obviously in a show of this nature there is a lot we still do not know. The prisoners are beings which are much like us but age very slowly and differ in their DNA from us by one percent. It is left open as to whether they are aliens or if they have a closer connection to us. The president, after seeing them make the plane flying at him disappear, was far more concerned about the abilities of these beings than he was that someone was trying to kill him, and decided to keep them prisoners.  Sure, having possible aliens in our midst with such powers should concern any president, but he should also be a bit more concerned about a conspiracy which is apparently in his own government to kill him.

Sean Walker remains the show’s key character, leaving me wondering if there is more in his background of importance beyond being engaged to the daughter of man they wanted to pilot the plane. Whoever is behind this sure is determined not to leave any loose ends. When Sean escaped from the ship (which presumably he was supposed to never leave alive) he was framed for murder to make it more difficult for him to talk about what happened.

The second episode continued to jump around in time but not as badly as the first episode. It ended with another cliff hanger, but I think it is a safe prediction that all those people from the plane are not really dead. Reviewers report that the third episode has an even bigger shock.

Another new genre show premiered last week, No Ordinary Family. Unfortunately the episode was far too ordinary to develop a cult following as a genre show. It certainly didn’t have the mystery of Heroes (which unfortunately also lost much of what made it interesting after the first season).

The hardest thing to figure out about this show is how that guy above managed to get a wife who looks like Julie Benz. It is a shame she didn’t have super speed when she was captured by Trinity on Dexter.

The best hour of comedy on network television remain 8:00 to 8:30 with the combined offerings from CBS and NBC. On Big Bang Theory, Sheldon worked on ways to transfer his intelligence to a robot because he calculated that he might not live long enough to make it to the Singularity. Of course Penny suggested Sheldon already had turned himself into a robot. The episode also included a guest appearance by Steve Wozniac.

Big Bang Theory will continue to have major guest appearances, including Eliza Dushku who will play an FBI agent who interviews Wolowitz’s friends so he can get security clearance. According to various tweets from Bill Prady, Will Wheaton will be back before the end of the season. Wolowitz hasn’t seen the last of Bernadette, who also will be returning. Kaley Cuoco will only be missing two episodes following her recent injury while horse back riding. Watch With Kristin reports that Cuoco was actually dating Johnny Galecki for a while in real life as well as on the show.

Meanwhile over on Community, Alison Brie, who is always a knock out, really proved it this week:

I suspected that it would be hard for the competition to stand up against these two shows. My Generation was already canceled by ABC after only two episodes, making it the second casualty of the season. The show was not this year’s Friday Night Lights as a rare favorable reviewer had suggested, but it is also far from deserving such a quick cancellation.

It is bad enough that the Tea Party takes its name from the American Revolution when, in reality, in any analogy to the revolution they would be the Tories who opposed it. Now Glenn Beck is try to steal Star Wars according to this report form Politicususa:

In Glenn Beck’s Tea Party retelling of Star Wars, Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, and progressives are the Empire. He and the Tea Party are the resistance that is fighting to restore the Republic. I guess this makes Beck, Luke Skywalker, and Sarah Palin is Princess Leia. Darth Vader, because he is black would be Barack Obama. The problem with this is that it doesn’t match up with the obvious theme and message of the any of the prequels.

As usual, Beck has taken a quote completely out of context. What Queen Amidala was referring to with the liberty dying quote was the Proclamation of the New Order when Palpatine proclaimed himself Emperor and outlined his vision for transforming the Republic into the Empire. The movie’s proclamation bears a not so coincidental resemblance to the post-9/11 authorization to use force and George W. Bush’s vision of empire through preemptive war. George Lucas may be a lot of things, but he is not subtle.

Star Wars took ideas from many sources, with Lucas being influenced by the power grab by Richard Nixon and the Vietnam war when the original trilogy was written. The prequel movies continued to show that influence, and fit in very well with the corruption of democracy under George Bush and Darth Chaney. Glenn Beck and the Tea Party are those who are trying to destroy our republic and lead us towards the totalitarian empire. They are in no way defenders of liberty.

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SciFi Weekend: Another Hugo For Doctor Who; Jane Espenson on Torchwood; Guests Appearances on Big Bang Theory

Waters of Mars Hugo Winner

The Hugo Awards were announced this weekend. There was a tie for best novel between The City & The City by China Miéville and The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Moon won for Best Dramatic Presentation–Long Form. Moon won in a strong field which included Star Trek, Avatar, District 9, and Up.  As has been occurring quite frequently in recent years, an episode of Doctor Who won the award for Best Dramatic Presentation–Short Form.

Doctor Who has previously won three Hugo awards, all by current show runner Steven Moffat before he took his current position. In 2006  Moffat won for The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. In 2007 he won with The Girl in the Fireplace and in 2008 for Blink. His two parter Silence in the Library Forest of the Dead received a Hugo nomination in 2008.

Last year Moffat didn’t write any episodes and instead of a regular season there were a handful of special episodes written by Russel T. Davies. Davies won with The Waters of Mars, which beat two of his other special episodes, The Next Doctor and Planet of the Dead. Epitaph 1 (Dollhouse) and No More Good Days (FlashForward) were also nominated in this category.

David Tennant Single Father

David Tennant, who played the Doctor in The Waters of Mars, will be appearing in a four-part drama entitled Single Father along with Suranne Jones. The show will air in October on BBC1.

Jane Espenson on Torchwood

Jane Espenson, who has worked on shows including Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, and Dollhouse, will be writing three episodes of next season’s ten episode arc. She was interviewed about her work:

How did you end up getting the writing gig? And exactly how involved are you going to be?

I’m thrilled to say I was invited. My agent told me about it very casually; I was already busy at the time, and he thought I’d want to decline, but I jumped in fast to say I absolutely wanted to participate. I will be writing three episodes of the 10-episode arc.

What’s got you most excited about it?

Working with Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner and the others. Writing for a show I already adore, for characters and actors I already respect. Writing for a show with roots in another country—this is a new experience for me, and I’m loving it.

And is there something you’re just DYING to do or try on the show? Or something you can only do because it’s Torchwood?

I love blending tones—mixing the broadly comedic moment in with the darkly dramatic one can heighten both. Torchwood is a show that welcomes that kind of moment. I’m also really eager to play with all the culture-clash material that comes naturally out of the show’s pedigree. And I’m especially eager to write material that pushes the boundaries of what can ordinarily be done on television.

So how do you approach a show like Torchwood vs. your work on, say, Buffy or Caprica?

Because of the length of our season and the lead time before production begins, we’re actually approaching Torchwood in a very unusual way—all the episodes will be written before any of them begin shooting. This is allowing us to “break” all the episodes at once, with the entire writing staff working together in a very concentrated one-month work session. This is making for a very intense and collaborative process, all guided by Russell’s very precise vision. The final product is going to be tightly plotted and lovingly crafted.

Can you give us any juicy details? Or maybe just some slightly moist
ones? Or anything at all?

We’ve already changed the name of at least one character that was announced in the press. And there’s nothing to stop us from changing more—so if you hear anything, even if it was true at some point, it probably isn’t anymore. So the more you learn about Torchwood, the less you know.

There remains no word as to whether there will be a second episode of Caprica (beyond the second half of the first season which airs in starting in January). Contracts with the cast have been extended and there is speculation that they are waiting to see how DVD sales are since ratings were lower than anticipated.

There will be two Star Trek actors appearing on The Big Bang Theory next season. In addition to a return visit from Katee Sackhoff. George Takei will be playing himself:

In an interview, Prady explained that Wolowitz is thinking about getting back together with his ex-girlfriend Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), and it sounds as though Sackhoff and Takei will represent opposing points of view.

“George Takei plays himself, and he’s the other person guiding Wolowitz in his thoughts as he tries to figure out what to do about Bernadette,” Prady said.

Prady won’t disclose the venue for this conversation, but he ruled out a return to Wolowitz’s bathtub, where Sackhoff famously appeared last season. But Sackhoff and Takei do share some dialogue, Prady noted.

“I think they do discuss being typecast in science-fiction shows,” Prady said.

I can forgive Wil Wheaton for Wesley Crusher. After all, he was just a teenage actor reading his lines. If we weren’t told that he’s the evil Wil Wheaton from the Mirror Universe, it would be harder to forgive Wheaton for what he has done to Sheldon and, even worse, breaking up Leonard and Penny. Michael Ausiello has this news on a repeat appearance from the Evil Wil Wheaton.

It looks like Sheldon is climbing back in the ring with his longtime rival, Evil Wil Wheaton.

Big Bang Theory executive producer Bill Prady confirms to me exclusively that he wants to revive the ugly feud this season—possibly in time for November sweeps.

“We started talking about the idea of minor celebrities cutting in line,” Prady says, “and we thought it might be funny to have our [Big Bang] guys waiting in line for a one-time-only midnight screening of something like Raiders of the Lost Ark with restored footage, and Wil Wheaton and his three friends cut the line. When it comes time for our guys to get in, the line stops; Wil took the last four seats and Sheldon is just furious. Because it doesn’t make sense to him. Wil’s celebrity is not applicable here. This is not Star Trek. It’s just wrong.”

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SciFi Weekend: Torchwood, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Likely To Receive R Rating, Olivia Wilde in Cowboys and Aliens, Fringe, V, Lost Epilogue, Big Bang Theory

We have much more information on the upcoming season of Torchwood which airs next summer:

“Torchwood” picks up a while after the events of “Children of Earth,” but still deals with Capt. Jack Harkness’ (John Barrowman) state of mind after those devastating events that left him dispirted. Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) will also be back. A new character, CIA agent Rex Matheson — who’s yet to be cast — will serve to introduce new audiences to the world of “Torchwood.”

“Rex has no idea what Torchwood is and has to investigate,” explains Davies. “Torchwood has been destroyed. It’s ike a legend now, it’s almost ceased to exist a long time ago and is spoken only of in whispers. We also have a watch analyst at the CIA called Esther. The two of them become embroiled in the Torchwood legend and investigate what Torchwood is or was and they find themselves on the run and meeting Captain Jack and Gwen, having to decide whether they’re friends, whether they’re enemies. It’s a decision that takes a long time to be decided. That’s part of the 10 episodes is the two teams coming together, a lot of sparks, a lot of excitement.”

Among other things we learn:

  • Rhys Williams (Kai Owen) will be back with their baby.
  • Sorry Capt. John Hart fans, but James Marsters is not going to be in this 10-episode season, but he’s still in good with Davies for possible future participation.
  • The new series continuous and very arced.
  • Scheduling of the new “Torchwood” will be “very close” on both sides of the pond.
  • Since the show is on a premium cable network, “Torchwood” can have nudity in sex scenes, but Davies is only sold on that if the story demands it. “There’s nothing worse than a great big global international thriller that stops for a sex scene. Get on with it please.”

I was also happy to read that the American movie version of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo will probably receive an R-rating like the original version. It think this would be necessary to be true to the book. Now if they can only get the mess over Stieg Larsson’s fourth book settled.

Adam Beach created a lot of buzz  from mentioning Olivia Wilde’s upcoming nude scene in Cowboys and Aliens during an interview in the Toronto Sun:

“We just finished shooting Olivia Wilde naked in front of a bonfire in front of 500 Apache warriors,” Beach says. “That was beautiful. You won’t get to see what I saw, but you’ll get a glimpse.”

Asked about the nude scene, Wilde laughs. “Did Adam Beach talk to you? Adam Beach is the best. Last night, we did a scene where I’m naked in front of a group of couple hundred Apache. Pretty amazing, pretty interesting.”

Not that she’s only wild west cheesecake in the film, due out next July. “I do kick-ass in this. I love doing action movies … This movie is so much fun for me.”

The above picture is of Oliva Wilde from Elle.

The alternative universe will be a bigger part of Fringe next season, with much of the action taking place over there. Jasika Nicole says that Astrid will have a larger role. Her job did seem more significant over there, and back here she becomes closer to Walter since he lost both Peter and the Olivia from our world.

Anna Torv claims that the alternate Olivia is much like the Olivia from our universe. Actually the alternate Olivia was much hotter, but beyond that I’ve been wondering if there is some meaning to this. Is she hinting that the alternative Olivia is really one of the good guys, and in the end will help set everything straight? Or maybe I’m putting too much meaning into a comment made in an interview. It’s like how I assumed that Juliet saying “it worked” in the final season premiere of Lost was important and it turned out she was probably only talking about getting the candy bar out of the vending machine in the sideways universe.

Jane Badler, the original Diana from V, returns to the series in a recurring role as Anna’s mother. There’s also major spoilers regarding the meaning of the red sky and other upcoming events:

How does the season begin?

Season 2 begins with the panic that results from the red sky, the vistors cut off their communications with the humans completely and most visitors on earth return to the mother ship. Anna refuses to answer to anyone and earth panics and takes pre-emptive measures to prepare for war. The panic intensifies when red rain begins to fall.

What is the real purpose of the red sky?

The red sky is later revealed to be a “gift for humanity” spreading life on earth making deserts green. The true purpose behind the red sky is to improve human fertility and prepare them for mass breeding with the visitors.

What is Marcus’s agenda?

At the end of the first season it appeared Marcus had his own agenda with reviving Joshua and contacting Hobbs however in season 2 it appears all this was done with Anna’s knowledge as Anna is aware of Joshua’s revival however, Joshua is back missing memories and human emotions and is no longer a member of the fifth column, nor does he remember working with them. Marcus takes orders from Anna and then blackmails Hobbs into carrying them out.

What happens to Ryan in season 2?

In season 2 Ryan’s main goal is to be with his daughter. Anna seperates him from his daughter and simply sends him back to earth planning to use the hybrid child to force Ryan into spying on the fifth column .

Does Anna experience any more human emotion?

Throughout the second season Anna struggles to control and hide her human emotions.

Why is Anna so interested in Tyler?

Tyler’s humanity comes into question as Erica connects complications with her pregnancy with Tyler to materials in the red sky.

The New Man In Charge, the twelve minute epilogue to Lost which is appearing on the DVD and Blu-Ray sets, leaked out last week. I have linked to clips and, in the update, a site which Disney didn’t manage to force to take down the full clip. The post also contains a summary of the key points. The clip explains several points including where the food drops came from, what the Hurleybird was, why there were polar bears on the island, why there were problems with pregnancies on the island, more about the relationship between Dharma and “the hostiles,” and Walt’s fate.

The stars of The Big Bang Theory are trying to renegotiate their contracts to increase their salaries from 60,000 per episode to $250,000. Compared to Friends these seems quite cheap. Reportedly Jim Parsons was trying to get even more than his co-stars. That’s just like Sheldon to think he is worth more than his co-workers.

It doesn’t look like these negotiations are interfering with filming. Bill Prady tweeted a few days ago that production has officially started on season four.

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SciFi Weekend: Jack’s Day Ends; Sheldon Cooper’s Love Life; Caprica Cliff Hangers; Lost; Fringe Spoilers

The top story of the week is that this will be Jack Bauer’s extremely long day, but a movie is still possible. 24 has been canceled and hopes of NBC picking up the show fell through. That’s a shame. I could see Jack Bauer and Jack Donaghy working well together.

The Hollywood Reporter has some information on what is next for Jack in an interview with executive producer and show runner Howard Gordon:

THR: What’s next for “24”?

Gordon: There are other possible iterations of Jack Bauer and his world — whether a movie or some other sort of scenario. We’re developing the movie, Billy Ray (”State of Play,” “Shattered Glass”) is writing it. It depends on how well it comes out and Fox’s appetite. Most importantly it’s about ending the show right and doing it with the same level of intensity and commitment that we started with.

THR: When’s the soonest that fans could realistically expect a feature film?

Gordon: Obviously the script’s still being written. It could be as early as next year depending on how things come together.

THR: Since the setting shifts to Europe for the movie, will CTU still play a role?

Gordon: Yes and no. Jack is really the center of it, catching up with him emotionally and locationally where he is. The opportunity is not to use the real-time aspect and also to do it on a scale the TV show never allowed…

THR: Can you tease to the rest of the season?

Gordon: We’ve taken a risk in the last eight episodes. It was challenging to the writers to the actors. We’re taking a risk, the show has to do that. Without spoiling what’s to come, it’s pretty dark and complex and a place that was uncomfortable for us to write and for some of the actors to act. We really swung for the fences. Because the show is as old as it is, this season hasn’t really been given its due. But our audience is hanging in there with us and I think it’s been a very successful season.

Brannon Braga, who has worked on 24, along with FlashForward this season and Star Trek in the past, has signed a new contract with 20th Century Fox TV with chairman Gary Newman citing his experience in genre television:

Newman said 20th was especially interested in Braga’s background in the sci-fi genre. Scribe’s credits include all four of the modern “Star Trek” series — “The Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager” and “Enterprise.” He also exec produced “Threshold” for CBS.

And this season, Braga created “Flash Forward” with David Goyer, but wasn’t able to join that show full time due to his “24” commitment. He still serves as an exec producer on “Flash Forward,” which returns to ABC for the second half of its freshman season this Thursday.

“He’s known for his ability to write genre programming, and as a studio, we love that programming,” Newman said. “It takes advantage of all the new opportunities the digital world gives you to connect with your rabid fanbase.”

Does Sheldon Cooper now  have a hotter sex life than you? First there were the report that Judy Greer guest stars as a famous physicist. Bill Prady says “Sheldon invites her to stay over at the apartment” but won’t say why. Then came the reports that Mayim Bialik will be playing a female version of Sheldon in the season finale which airs on May 24. From various reports it sounds like the two meet through eHarmony.com and Bialik might be returning next season.

There has been some grumbling from fans about Sheldon getting a girl friend considering how totally oblivious he has been to sex. I actually would prefer to see Sheldon be just a bit less off the wall, as amusing as his character is. There’s plenty of humor in the basic premise of four geeks and sometimes the show has relied too much on making fun of how bizarre Sheldon is for easy laughs as opposed to the humor surrounding the entire four. Besides, there is a tremendous amount of material in seeing how Sheldon will try to handle romance. If nothing else, if Sheldon does get the big bang, Bill Prady will have to come up with a new word for Sheldon to rival Bazinga.

Incidentally, if Sheldon does wind up having sex one person who might be jealous is Simon Pegg, who is hoping for a sex scene for Scotty in the next Star Trek movie. (I just thought that Sheldon would feel more comfortable if any discussion about his character ultimately led to Star Trek.)

In other genre shows, we have lots of cliff hangers with Caprica going on hiatus. There’s no doubt that Zoe survives, even if it is from the resurrection of her program in another body. I suspect Amanda survives  her suicide attempt but it is possible she’ll die and return in a virtual form. I doubt that Joseph Adama will give up trying to find Tamara, even if he is dead in New Cap City. There’s no doubt left that Barnabas is not a good person.

Lost got back to the flashback format as we learned how Richard got to the island and why he is immortal. We are gradually seeing an explanation for the island as keeping in evil. An upcoming episode will again break from the main format of this season and deal with the battle between Jacob and the Man in Black.

Spoilers are also leaking out about where the remainder of this season of Fringe is heading. Reportedly Peter will find out that he was stolen from the alternate universe, creating friction between Peter and Walter and Olivia, who kept this from him. Abducting Peter sounds less shocking after hearing that the Peter from both universes would have died if Walter hadn’t taken him.

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SciFi Weekend: Tardis Remake; Avatar Sequel; Will Sheldon Meet Nimoy?; Summer Glau As Crime Fighting Blogger; Lost; Caprica

This regeneration of The Doctor is accompanied by more changes than are usually seen with a regeneration on Doctor Who. Besides a new Doctor there will be a new companion, a new show runner, and a new interior for the Tardis. The regeneration scene showed the interior being damaged leading to the changes Steven Moffatt desires for the set. The Mirror reports that the Tardis is being upgraded to withstand viewing in high definition.  “It will be the most hitech, intricate Tardis ever.” TV Overmind has more:

“It must be three times the size of Tennant’s, on multiple levels with staircases in between. Less grubby than its predecessor, with a transparent plastic floor on the main level, its walls are resplendent with polished copper and its central column features a blown glass decoration that could be straight from Tales of the Unexpected.

There are old car seats and downstairs – downstairs! – a swing. With a nod to Paul McGann’s Tardis, the central column features an old TV screen on an extendable trellis. It also has a 1980s-style computer keyboard, and a His-Master’s-Voice style trumpet speaker.”

When Avatar came and became a box office hit I figured a sequel was inevitable. After all, kicking the evil humans out doesn’t mean that they won’t return with a greater force to exploit Pandora’s resources. I doubt anyone will be surprised to read that producer Jon Landau and director James Cameron are considering a sequel among other projects. Naturally any sequel will also be in 3D. Landau said,  “I don’t think we will ever make another 2D film. Why would we make a movie in black and white if we have color. I think ultimately all movies are going to be in 3-D.” I also fear I might be upgrading televisions sooner than I had anticipated when I went to high definition.

For those who have not seen the movie enough times there is talk of a re-releasing Avatar with additional scenes this summer.

Bill Prady was not successful at getting Leonard Nimoy to make a guest appearance during the second season of The Big Bang Theory but he is going to try again:

Sheldon’s dream of meeting Leonard Nimoy may soon become a reality on The Big Bang Theory. Executive producer Bill Prady says the hit sitcom will likely approach the Star Trek legend early next season about making a cameo.

“We’ll probably make a general inquiry,” says Prady. “And if there’s enough interest, we’ll develop a story. The fans have said that’s the dream get, and we agree.”

Nimoy declined an invitation to appear on Big Bang back in season 2, although the 78-year-old has since returned to television with a recurring gig on Fringe. “There’s always an issue with actors playing themselves,” Prady theorizes, “which most actors would rather not do.”

Speaking of Fringe, TV Overmind has some information regarding the show’s first episode back on April 1 which shows Peter’s back story.

Summer Glau will play a crime fighting blogger next season:

Glau, who has probably starred in more cult sci-fi series than any other actress, with stints on Fox’s “Firefly,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Dollhouse,” has joined NBC’s superhero-themed drama pilot “The Cape” in a leading role.

In the pilot, directed by Simon West, a former cop (David Lyons) is set up as a criminal and becomes a masked hero, the Cape, to clear his name.

Glau will play Orwell, a cute and intrepid investigative blogger who fearlessly goes after corrupt cops and costumed bad guys.

This week’s episode of Lost was centered on Benjamin Linus. In the alternate reality off the island Ben returned home from the island at a younger age instead of spending his life there (which is a good thing considering that the island wound up under water). Ben was still working on evil plots but didn’t have the killer instinct he developed on the island. It was concern for Alex which led to him backing down, with no explanation as to who Alex’s father is. Next week’s episode will center around Sawyer.

A lot happened on Caprica but none of it had the impact of the final moment when Daniel walked up to the Cylon and said one word: “Zoe.” Only two more episodes are left until a break with the remaining eleven episodes of the season to air in October.

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SciFi Weekend: Lost (The Secret of the Island); Caprica (New Cap City); Big Bang Theory (Leonard & Sheldon’s Coffee Table) and How Star Trek Should Have Ended

Lost continues to suggest that the characters are on the island for a reason and that this had been planned well before the crash. Hurley and Jack are sent by Jacob to a lighthouse which has mirrors which could view people off the island. The big question raised but not answered is who Jacob was expecting to come to the island. The other character of significance on the island this week was Claire, who was quite scary–even before we learned that her “friend” is the man in black. She has been terrorizing the latest band of others, believing they have Aaron. This provided a reminder of events off the island in this timeline which we are no longer seeing.

In the other timeline Jack now has  a teenage son and we see a relationship analogous to the relationship between Jack and his own father. There was another suggestion that this is not simply a timeline which shows what would have happened if Jack and the others had never crashed on the island. Previously we saw that Jack had his appendix removed on the island. In this other reality Jack notices his appendectomy scar and is told by his mother that he had the operation as a child. He seems to recall this, but has doubts. There is no way that changing the timeline to prevent the crash would have also made Jack have an appendectomy at a younger age. Instead it appears that details in the other reality are somehow being filled in to explain changes which happened on the island, such as Jack’s appendectomy.

There are still lots of questions but Watch with Kristin reveals that we will learn what the island is midway through the season:

What Is the Island? That very huge question will be answered in less time than you think–somewhere around halfway through the season, according to  sources. Awesome, right? And you know who’s going to help deliver the message? The fantastic, ever-youthful guyliner model Mr. Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) and his longtime friend Jacob (Mark Pellegrino). It’s gonna be good.

So…What Is the Island? It’s described as a four-letter word. There’s your first clue! Shall we play Hangman? There are no A’s or E’s in the word…Wanna buy another vowel? OK, but you only get one.

Another thing I can tell you: The Island has to exist, according to my sources, and more important, someone has to protect it. It’s important to the world outside.

Kristin has more information on Lost here.

Caprica is growing on me further after this week’s episode. We know how it will end with the Cylons rebelling, and we got a strong indication of why when Daniel Graystone was describing how the Cylons would be created as essentially a slave race. This was the first episode to really do very much with Tamara who rapidly developed from a lost girl in the virtual reality to a very powerful character playing a game in New Cap City. This raises questions of whether there is a connection between her and the ultimate development of the Cylons. It is easier to see Cylons developing into a slave race capable of destroying their masters if Tamara as opposed to Zoe winds up providing much of their intellect.

Big Bang Theory returns Monday with Sheldon in jail and Stan Lee as guest star. The following week Sheldon (pictured above looking a little different) becomes obsessed with a ring found a a garage sale. They began work on the episode featuring the return of Wil Wheaton last week. In the episode to air on April 12 “Sheldon will have an opportunity to settle the score with Wil when the our genius gang competes against the gang from the comic book store during a bowling face off. Turns out that Sheldon bowled as a child and was on a championship team in the East Texas Youth Camp in the 7- to 13-year-old division.” So this explains why Big Bang Theory executive producer Bill Prady was asking questions about bowling on Twitter last week.

Meanwhile Wil Wheaton is both blogging and tweeting about the episode. This has included pictures such as the one above which shows the detail in the sets, such as with Sheldon and Leonard’s coffee table.  The magazine seen is Mental Floss. There was a lot of fun stuff at their site and I wound up sending in a subscription order. Naturally when the order page had a spot for saying where I heard about the magazine I answered, “Sheldon and Leonard’s coffee table.” From the site it is clear they will understand.

A different type of magazine has also discussed Big Bang Theory. UCLA Today has an article on the science adviser for the show.

I’ve previously reported that the upcoming season of Doctor Who will begin airing on April 3 on the BBC. In the past there has been a delay of several months before the show would air in the United States, with large percentages of fans finding ways to get copies of the episodes rather than waiting.  BBC America has now announced they will begin the series two weeks later on April 17. This is an improvement but I feel that in this day and age they are still making a mistake. Many fans of the show will not wait even two weeks to see new episodes and anything which can be digitalized can easily be transferred over the ocean.

HowItShouldHaveEnded.com has posted the above video of how they think the Star Trek movie should have ended.

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SciFi Weekend: Daleks for Sale; Evil Wil Wheaton Returns; Lost; Caprica; Seth McFarlane as James Kirk; and Jennifer Lopez Seduces Barney

Looking for your very own Dalek? A selection of items from Doctor Who will be auctioned off on February 24. Items will include two Daleks,  several Cybermen, a sea devil, and a dinner suit worn by David Tennant.

Season five of Doctor Who will premiere on April 3 on the BBC. It is unclear whether it will premiere on BBC America for days or weeks after. If they are smart they will not have much of a delay or a tremendous percentage of fans will find ways to obtain downloads of the BBC episodes. Blogator Who has a trailer for the season.

Wil Wheaton announced via Twitter that he will reprise his role as Evil Wil on Big Bang Theory, with more information now posted on his blog:

From TV Guide Magazine:

Geeks everywhere will be happy hear that Star Trek star Wil Wheaton will be returning to hang out with TV’s hippest nerds on The Big Bang Theory.

“We were very excited when Wil Wheaton appeared as Sheldon’s nemesis, and right now we’re looking to see if he can come back to give Sheldon an opportunity to settle the score,” Executive Producer and Co Creator Bill Prady announced to TV Guide Magazine when the Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences hosted an Evening With the Big Bang Theory on February 18th. “Fingers crossed that we can do that, I think an arch enemy is someone who appears from time to time.”

Even though my personal motto is Don’t Be A Dick, I’ve wanted to play an arch enemy for pretty much my entire career, and I love that Bill described me that way, because I was kind of hoping I’d earn that position in the Big Bang canon.

I’ve known this was a possibility for just over a week, (coincidentally, I found out the day after I did my Big Bang Theory Q&A post) but didn’t get the official offer until this morning.

They will begin work on  February 24 and will tape the episode on March 2. Wheaton won’t say what the episode is about but promises that it will be “a lot more awesome than just eating Chapstick.” Bazinga!

This week had new episodes of Lost and Caprica. Lost was much better than last week’s episode and either misled us or gave clues as to why everyone is on the island. On Caprica my impression of Amanda Graystone has improved considerably from earlier episodes. Fortunately for her, Joseph Adama also changed his mind about her. I also loved Zoe’s robot dance.

Seth McFarlane had a great impression of William Shatner’s  Captain James T. Kirk on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday Night as they compared events in the Star Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon to the Senate filibuster.  In other Star Trek news, Leonard Nimoy will reprise his role as William Bell in the season finale of Fringe.

Jennifer Lopez will appear on How I Met Your Mother on March 8. Above is a picture of her seducing Barney.

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