Above is the Doctor Who mini-episode, Good as Gold.
Pictures have been spread on line of filming for season seven of Doctor Who. Unconfirmed but apparently reliable reports claim Jenna-Louise Coleman’s character will be named Clara. Steven Moffat has said in a recent interview that he hasn’t completed the script for the Christmas episode which Jenna’s character first appears in. Presumably the reports of filming are of episodes from later in the season.
Steven Moffat continues to object to Elementary copying his idea of a television show based upon a modern day version of Sherlock Holmes.
A remake of Room at the Top has been sitting on the BBC’s shelf for a while but perhaps now that Jeanna-Louise Coleman has become a major actress throughout space and time there are finally plans for BBC4 to air the show. Jenna plans Susan Brown in the dramatization of the novel. Apparently the release has been delayed due to contractual problems.
DC comics are relaunching the concept of an Earth 2 with the original versions of its super heroes, but with some changes. Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, will be gay. I wonder if the new origin story will include a scene where Mitt Romney pins Alan Scott down and tries to cut off his ring.
Above is a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man
A common storyline in science fiction has time travelers change the past. I09 considers the question as to how we know whether our own past has been changed.
Kathryn Joosten, who has died at least three times on television (Mrs. Landingham on West Wing and Mrs. McCluskey on Desperate Housewives and on Scrubs) actually died on June 2 of lung cancer.
J.J. Abrams has been highly successful in keeping shows interesting by rebooting them over time so that each season isn’t a rehash of the exact same format as previous seasons, and viewers cannot assume that fundamental changes cannot occur. This worked with Lost and Alias in the past. It worked a little less well on Fringe, with the fourth season failing to maintain the quality of the second and third seasons (with the show still worth watching). If Alcatraz survived, it was clear from the finale that it would also have been a different show. I had concerns as to whether Once Upon A Time could be successful over multiple seasons if left with a situation where Emma must always fail to break the spell. As was rumored before airing, Once Upon A Time had a major reboot, with Emma breaking the spell, followed by Rumpelstiltskin bringing back magic. The highlight of the week was the appearance of Amy Acker on Person of Interest, also shaking up this show.
Amy Acker’s character, who turned out to be the hacker Root, surprised Finch and Reese, and from reviews it appears also fooled most viewers. While this was the second time that the person they were protecting turned out to be far different from what the person seemed, the set up was done so well that we were fooled again. The series began with a simple format of the machine giving Social Security numbers. A simpler show would have continued the format, failing to raise the underlying questions of what it would mean to have such a powerful computer. The episode ended with Finch in danger and a phone call to Reese which just might be the machine, making it likely that the machine will be more significant next season. I hope that Amy Acker’s character also becomes a recurring character next season. Seeing how this show has evolved, it would most likely be as a protagonist to Reese and Finch, but not being sure of Root’s agenda, she could also turn into an ally over time.
Awake is in the midst of a two-part series finale so I will wait until it is completed before saying much about the show, but what is the deal with Britten visiting Britten in the preview? I do hope they end this series with a satisfying explanation as to what has been happening with the two realities.
If seeing Amy Acker on Person of Interest was the network television highlight of the week, the low point was the firing of Dan Harmon as show runner of Community. Producing a season of Community without Dan Harmon as show runner is like doing West Wing without Aaron Sorkin or Gilmore Girls without Amy Sherman-Paladino. Neither show was as good as when their creators ran the show, but in this case the consequences will be far worse. Those who took over West Wing and Gilmore Girls still attempted to do a similar show without breaking from the past. In this case I fear that the goal is to make Community a more traditional sit-com about a group of people going to school together. The show has an excellent cast and might still be an above-average sit-com, but it will not be the same without Harmon’s variations from the normal sit-com formula.
As is usually done in such situations. Harmon was given a title, but it is doubtful he will have any further influence on the show. He explained how he learned about being fired after getting off a plane and turning on his phone, without any previous discussion with Sony.
Apparently great show runners are treated better Great Britain than here. Steven Moffat is to receive as special Bafta award for “outstanding creative writing contribution to television.” One of Moffat’s current shows, Sherlock, is now running in the United States while Doctor Who recently filmed the final scene with Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. Gillan is seen in the picture above taken at Cannes, and will soon start filming Not Another Happy Ending, a movie about an eccentric author with writer’s block. She did manage to steal something before leaving the TARDIS for the last time.
An episode of Doctor Who, The Doctor’s Wife, was awarded the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation at the Nebula Awards. That was quite a major accomplishment, beating Midnight in Paris, Hugo, Captain America, Source Code, and The Adjustment Bureau for the award. Among Others by, Jo Walton won the Award for Best Novel.
With Doctor Who now filming and the second season of Sherlock premiering in the United States tonight, there has been a lot of news about both shows. For those who have not seen it, Steven Moffat’s version of Sherlock is fantastic, regardless of whether you are a fan of the original Sherlock Holmes stories. It is definitely worth watching for the next three weeks on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS. I think that the second season was even better than the first. While all three episodes were excellent, like the first season the first and third episodes are the most significant.
Steven Moffat was interviewed in the United States by Fresh Air prior to the start of the second season of Sherlock on PBS. The interview was primarily directed towards American audiences who are not familiar with Sherlock and Doctor Who. Several of the questions involved casting, and one item of interest was that Matt Smith had interviews for the role of Watson before being chosen to play the Doctor. Moffat also had this to say about casting Matt Smith:
Everything else about a show, other than casting — however great or admirable or excellent it is — can only sort of really be admired. People don’t really have a relationship with great writing or great production or great art direction or great direction. They just sort of admire it. What people fall in love with, oddly enough, is other people. The difference between a beautifully made failure and a beautifully made hit is who you’ve got playing the leads. It really, seriously is. Is a nation going to fall in love with those people and want to see them week after week? And making that decision is tough. But it’s easier if you’ve got a great casting director. … In the case of Matt Smith as The Doctor, I’d be very, very adamant that we have an older Doctor — that he’d be in his 40s. I wasn’t going to have any young Doctors on my watch. And on the very, very first day — the very, very first day — he was the third one through the door. His audition was so perfect, any fool would have cast him. It was dead easy. And I remember asking, ‘What age is he?’ And he was 26 and instantly the perfect Doctor because he does do that thing of combining the old man and a young man. He looks like a young man assembled by old men from memory.”
On the importance of Watson:
“If you look at any good version of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson is every bit as important as Sherlock Holmes, and some would argue more so, because he’s our conduit to Sherlock Holmes. He’s the person to whom, in a way, the story happens. We are more emotionally resonant with Dr. Watson than with Sherlock Holmes because Sherlock Holmes is a hard man to empathize with.”
In contrast, the show is largely from Sherlock’s perspective:
“We always wanted it to be stylish. We didn’t want it to be like other television. We wanted it to have a film sense. Everybody says that about their TV show. Everyone says that. But then my wife got a hold of [director] Paul McGuigan, and he’s the one who brought the tremendous beauty to it. One of the things he said was, ‘You want to think Sherlock Holmes is behind the camera, too.’ You want to see the world as Sherlock Holmes sees it. And that informs his work on an awful lot of the show, to give you the Sherlock’s eye view of the world all the time.”
Moffat had this to say about his childhood:
“I’m a geek. I’m a writer. I spent all of my time in my childhood obsessing about Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. I was alone, I was an outsider — what do you expect? I was that bullied kid at the back of the class weeping for loneliness. I don’t think, generally speaking, people become writers because they were the really good, really cool, attractive kid in class. I’ll be honest. This is our revenge for people who were much better looking and more popular than us. I was a bit like that, I suppose.”
Even though Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are becoming big stars, Moffat is confident that they will return for future series of Sherlock. The three episode a year formula gives them plenty of time for other projects and, just to be safe, Moffat has their families locked up in his basement. Cumberbatch, now filming on Star Trek, does not share Moffat’s objection to Elementary:
“As we already know with the Downey Jr movie franchise that there’s room enough for two [Sherlock Holmes projects], so why not three?” the actor said at a Q&A session in New York to promote Sherlock series two airing on PBS.
Cumberbatch added that he considers Trainspotting star Miller – with whom he starred in the play Frankenstein at the National Theatre – a “friend”.
“[Elementary will] be different and I don’t think it’ll take away the love for ours, and there’s no reason to be churlish or bitter about them or what they’re trying to do,” he said.
It appears that River (aka Melody Pond) will pose as a gangster named Melody Malone. More pictures (and spoilers) from the upcoming season can be seen here.Doctor Who TV also gathered items of interest from an interview with Steven Moffat in Doctor Who Magazine:
Rory and Amy are no longer regular travelers with the Doctor: “If he thinks he needs them, he just pops in on them,” but, “Each time they’ll get a little older.”
Moffat on killing off companions: “Even if I don’t think I’ll do it…maybe I will do it!”
Moffat ponders, “If we did a UNIT story, would Martha be there?”
The Special Weapons Dalek will definitely appear in the opener
Moffat reiterates that the New Paradigm Daleks are an “officer class”
Can the question “Doctor Who?” be answered? “Wait and see”
We will find out exactly what Trenzalore is all about
“The Fall of the Eleventh” will also be resolved (perhaps not in Series 7 though)
Moffat is very keen that the order of the episodes can be swapped around this time
There will still be a story arc, but it will be “the opposite” of Series 6
Jenna-Louise’s companion will be different to the others and is “going to be a shock”
Filming will continue throughout the rest of 2012 and further into 2013 and beyond
Bond director Sam Mendes compared the James Bond franchise to Doctor Whoin this interview:
The first time I saw the movie, I was like, “You’ve got to be joking! You can’t do that to the poor man!” But it was too…they were playing almost embarrassment, almost apologized for having a new Bond and I thought that was wrong, and I thought what they got right was Casino Royale. There was a kind of “We don’t need Q, we don’t need Moneypenny. We’ve got this character. We’re going right back to basics. He’s real, he’s in a real situation. Let’s start all over again.” I thought that was very refreshing.
That’s why I mentioned the word in the press conference, “regeneration” rather than “evolving,” because I feel it is like, you know, we have Doctor Who…there’s a geek answer…we have Doctor Who and I was brought up on the idea of Doctor Who, who at the end of his final episode, he dissolves and a new actor pops up and he regenerates and it’s a whole other character: sometimes it’s an old man, sometimes it’s a young man, but he just changes. I’ve always loved that idea.
Julian Murphy says that Season 5 of Merlin will be darker. Time will have passed showing the established court of Arthur, and there will be an older Mordred.
Combine Marvel characters and Joss Whedon and we had a formula where The Avengers really did live up to all the hype. An interview with Joss Whedon is above. The movie sets up conditions for further movies centered around Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. Mark Ruffalo did a much better job of playing Bruce Banner than Edward Norton did , and now there are reports that further Hulk movies might be made, possibly along with a movie centered around Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. As has been the case with the previous Marvel movies, it is important to stay in the theater during the credits for an extra scene. In this case there are two extra scenes. One during the credits is probably significant in terms of a future threat for Thor and/or The Avengers. The second, at the very end of the credits, is not important but was still fun to watch.
As many watch movies long after the initial release date I tend to avoid saying much about the plot of movies in posts here. Those wanting to avoid even a minor spoiler might want to skip the end of this paragraph. In movies of this type it is necessary to accept a lot which is unrealistic, but I was bothered a little with the inconsistency in the portrayal of the Hulk. The first time Banner became the Hulk he was more destructive and showed less understanding of his situation as compared to his final appearance in the second Hulk movie. Then, when he became the Hulk for a second time, he acted with complete understanding of working as part of the Avengers team.
As usual with Awake, the personal events involving Britten in this week’s episode, Slack Water, were more interesting than the criminal cases. Once again the possible clues as to whether the two different worlds for Britten are both real are also contradictory. In some episodes there is real information obtained in one world which is helpful to solve a crime in the other. Other episodes were more like this week, were the house which is the scene of the crime in one reality was the name of a video game played by a murder victim in another, leading to Britten finding out information which helped solve the crime. Having the house be real in one reality but a video game in the other suggests that only one, or perhaps neither, reality experienced by Britten is real and his mind (or some other source) is supplying this information.
The more important story line came out of the revelation last week that Rex’s girl friend Emma was pregnant, with Emma having a miscarriage in the world where Rex survived the auto crash and continuing to carry Rex’s child in the world where Rex was killed. It was rather obvious that Emma did not agree with the decision of her parents to have a closed adoption, even if only Hannah recognized this during most of the episode. A theme of the show has been for Michael Britten to replace his loses in both realities. Where Hannah died, he keeps the older partner and has a female psychiatrist. In the reality where Rex was killed, Michael has a young male psychiatrist and is given a new, younger male partner. (I did find it strange that the older former partner was not seen at Michael’s going away party in the other reality where Michael was given new partner.) Now things have worked out in the reality where Rex died that Michael not only has the prospect of adopting Rex’s child, but events have also worked out that they have a new teen-aged child in the home.
One implication of this is that Britten is no longer planning to move to Oregon and the person responsible for the earlier attempt on his life is now likely to act again. The back story was further developed as we learned that this involves a heroin shipment, and we learned that the police Captain had been a narcotics cop in the past, providing some explanation as to how she might have become involved.
The previews for next week’s episode suggest that we might learn more about Britten’s situation. For at least part of the episode he ceases to go into the Rex universe. Could this mean that over there he is dead (unlikely), unconsciousness, or perhaps because he has to solve the mystery of his attempted murder in the other universe in order to protect himself in the other before returning. A voice over in the preview has Britten saying, “There was no accident. They were trying to kill me.” Unfortunately Britten is off screen, so we cannot tell if he is wearing the typical white shirt of the Hannah universe or blue shirt of the Rex universe and we cannot be certain if the murder attempt, so far only mentioned in the Rex universe, is now becoming a factor in the Hannah universe.
While there has been suspicion that Leonard Nimoy was going to return to play William Bell on Fringe, they still managed to keep Nimoy’s actual appearance on this week’s episode of Fringe a secret. As an example of the misdirection used, in an interview shortly before the last episode aired, Jeff Pinkner had this to say about the possibility of Nimoy returning: “We basically erected a sign outside of Leonard’s house which said, “Please come back to Fringe,” and we are hoping that by season five he says yes.” In the interview Pinkner also said we will again see the world of 2036 but avoided answering a question as to whether we will see the alternative universe again.
I09 looked at the gratuitous sex and violence on Game of Thrones.
There has been talk this week that Netflix might revive Jericho. It makes sense for Netflix to revive shows which have a strong following (such as with Arrested Development) even if off the air for several years considering they are shows which significant numbers of Netflix subscribers are currently watching. As more companies start to compete with Netflix for streaming older shows, providing new episodes will give subscribers reason to stick with Netflix.
Speaking of streaming providers, there was a major update to the Android versions of HBO Go and Max Go this week so that they finally work with Ice Cream Sandwich.
If Netflix might bring back Jericho, there has been speculation as to other old shows which might return. Damon Lindelof leaves open the idea of more Lost, but is not interested in personally being involved:
Lindelof has no interest in revisiting “Lost” anytime soon.
“It’s been two years (since the series wrapped) and we told the story we wanted to tell,” Lindelof said. But he admits ABC might look for ways to bring back “Lost” in some form. “I do feel like the world has not seen the end of ‘Lost,’ but I’m not going to have any involvement,” he said.
Lindelof isn’t bitter about the idea, however.
“It would be hypocritical for me to say I’m going to do ‘Star Trek’ but I don’t want anyone to touch ‘Lost,’ ” he said.
People who interpret the Mayan calendar as indicating the end of the world in December 2012 are mistaken. It is now clear that the Mayans were just noting the transition from Karen Gillan to Jenna-Louise Coleman on Doctor Who. We have some more information about the process of casting Jenna. Material has been posted on line from part of the audition of Jenna-Louise Coleman for her role as the new companion. The material, taken from Doctor Who Magazine, appears to be Jenna acting out a scene with Matt Smith:
The Doctor and Jasmine are investigating a haunted house.
DOCTOR: So you saw it coming in here? What did it look like?
JASMINE: Grey. Sort of dusty. Like it was made of spider webs.
D: And it came through the wall.
J: Yeah, that wall there.
D: But you don’t think it was a ghost. Why not?
J: Because there’s no such thing as ghosts.
D: You know, a lot of people who saw what you saw wouldn’t still think that.
J: Obviously. Otherwise there wouldn’t be idiots who believe in ghosts.
D: What were you doing here?
J: I love this place. It’s… beautiful.
D: It’s falling apart.
J: It’s old. I love old things, they make me feel sad.
D: What’s good about sad?
J: It’s happy for deep people. You’d know.
D: I’m not sad.
J: Oh, you are though. Under all that talking and leaping about. Takes one to know one.
D: So you come here for… recreational sadness?
J: Yeah. In a way. Okay, why are you looking at me like that?
D: You remind me of an old friend of mine. Someone I lost a long time ago.
J: Down boy. I’m not her.
D: Oh, I know you’re not – I don’t believe in ghosts either.
J: Oh my God, what’s that?
D: Okay, just stay calm.
J: But that’s the thing I saw before.
D: Yep, and it’s coming towards us. I expect you noticed that. Say it with me – I don’t believe in ghosts!
J: I don’t believe in ghosts!
D: Louder! I don’t believe in ghosts!
J: I don’t believe in ghosts!! Will this work?
D: No idea, never met a ghost before.
Whatever this is, Moffat has said that Jasmine won’t be the character’s actual name on the show:
“Two things before you read it. Her name is NOT Jasmine. I don’t like the name Jasmine (sorry all Jasmines, I didn’t mean you) so I knew I’d never use it for real. And also, you might notice there’s a line snuck in from Blink. One of those self-consciously clever, writer-showing-off lines that anyone stuck working with me better get used to.
“So here’s a spoiler from a future that is never going to happen. This is the scene we saw Matt and Jenna perform in a dull little room in the basement of the BBC, which changed the future of Doctor Who. Now remember, this is nonsense, none of this is going to happen, no clues or hints. Think of it as series of hurdles we placed in front of an actress to check her jumping skills.”
After months of rumors (spread by Steven Moffat and Sophia Myles via Twitter), Sophia Myles now says she is not returning to Doctor Who, at least in the near future:
“Steven [Moffat] and I did talk about Doctor Who and I honestly feel – and I think he feels the same – that The Girl in the Fireplace was so special, I really doubt we could do something better together on that show. It was just so perfect and I would rather leave it at that, ” she explains in the latest Doctor Who Magazine.
“If I was to come back to Doctor Who, I don’t think it should be as [Madame de Pompadour]… but it would just ruin it to come back as anything else.”
However, Myles doesn’t completely rule out another role.
“Maybe when I’m old and don’t look anything like her. I’d like to come back in 20 or 30 years’ time as a baddy, and cause some trouble! But as for anything imminently? No. I think that would be inappropriate.
This might be a major spoiler (or perhaps major misdirection) from the first episode of the next season of Doctor Who: Reportedly a prop was seen of divorce papers for Amy and Rory. There are also reports of them getting along well in scenes from episode 3, so if true early-season conflict between the two might get resolved.
The big thing we learned about the alternate universe on Fringe is that they have different superheroes, and no Batman. It was obvious that Agent Lee was interested in Olivia in our universe. Now that she is reunited with Peter, is he heading into a relationship with Fauxlivia?
On Awake, Britten wound up working with Dr. Lee on a police case (although part of their contact was real, and part induced by a drug–or was Britten having hallucinations and losing his mind?). It might have been more interesting if they had Britten run into Dr. Lee in the time line where he sees the other psychiatrist and Dr. Lee doesn’t know that Britten knows him. Of course we’ve seen that sometimes things are quite closely the same in both time lines, and sometimes individual’s lives are quite different, so Dr. Lee may or may not be around as a police psychiatrist in the other time line. From the previews, it looks like next week gets back to the conspiracy around the auto accident which precipitated events.
Las Vegas considered building a full sized replica of the Enterprise in 1992. The story came out last week and can be seen here.
The Hugo Award nominees have been announced. Nominees for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) include three episodes of Doctor Who and one episode of Community.
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (512 ballots) “The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who), written by Neil Gaiman; directed by Richard Clark (BBC Wales) “The Drink Tank‘s Hugo Acceptance Speech,” Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon (Renovation) “The Girl Who Waited” (Doctor Who), written by Tom MacRae; directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Wales) “A Good Man Goes to War” (Doctor Who), written by Steven Moffat; directed by Peter Hoar (BBC Wales) “Remedial Chaos Theory” (Community), written by Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna; directed by Jeff Melman (NBC)
Television shows typically are recognized by the Hugo Awards based upon individual episode. Game of Thrones misses out under that criteria. The entire first season was actually one long story, but it is hard to pick an individual episode. Instead the first season was nominated under Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form):
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) (592 ballots) Captain America: The First Avenger, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephan McFeely, directed by Joe Johnston (Marvel) Game of Thrones (Season 1), created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss; written by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, and George R. R. Martin; directed by Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Tim van Patten, and Alan Taylor (HBO) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner Bros.) Hugo, screenplay by John Logan; directed by Martin Scorsese (Paramount) Source Code, screenplay by Ben Ripley; directed by Duncan Jones (Vendome Pictures)
It is difficult to compare an entire season of a television show to a single movie. Perhaps they should divide into three categories, one for individual episodes of television shows and other short form presentations, one for movies, and a new category for genre television shows.
Marvel Studios isn’t waiting to see how “The Avengers” does in theaters later this year. Following in the footsteps of “Thor,” the studio Friday announced it’s moving forward with a sequel to its 2011 hit “Captain America,” prepping it for a 2014 release.
Keeping the film canon with “The Avengers,” Chris Evans will take on the title role in the present, and not during World War II like the previous film. The events at the end of the first “Captain America” film, along with some storyline in the upcoming “Avengers” movie, bring super soldier Steve Rogers to the present.
The first Captain America film is of increased interest being the film debut of Jenna-Louise Coleman. A picture of her in the movie was previously posted here.
Although not airing in the United States until next weekend, I did get a hold the first two episodes of Titanic. Some of the information posted about the mini-series on line was incorrect. Some reports claimed that Jenna-Louise Coleman doesn’t appear until the third episode but actually she was present in the first two. Perhaps she has a larger role in the third. Some early reviews also described the mini-series as each episode involving different characters, leading up to the ship sinking at the end of each hour. It is correct that each episode leads up to the Titanic sinking, but there is tremendous overlap between the characters. The second episode introduced new characters and didn’t include all the characters from the first episode, but it did provide more information about some of the major characters from the first episode.
The mini-series, written by Julian Fellowes, does have much of the same style as Fellowes’ show Downton Abbey. One difference is that the some among the wealthy are far less sympathetic characters–and in some cases their servants are even nastier.
As for Downton Abbey, there are spoilers for the third season:
What can “Downton Abbey” fans expect when the PBS series starts its third season in January?
“Matthew and Mary do get married,” ”Masterpiece” executive producer Rebecca Eaton said Wednesday at a Winter Park party. She previewed the British drama, which is in production, for supporters of WUCF TV, Central Florida’s new PBS station.
In the new “Downton” season, everyone is waiting for the arrival of the mother of Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), a character played by Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine. They’re waiting for MacLaine’s character because the British family, especially Violet (Oscar-winner Maggie Smith), needs money again, Eaton said.
“There are some wonderful scenes between Maggie and Shirley MacLaine — Shirley MacLaine being as ditsy as ever,” Eaton said. “And Maggie barely restraining her sneer in having to deal with this American. Maggie Smith is a handful, it’s true. She’s very difficult. She knows her worth, and she’s tricky on the set, but she delivers when the time comes.”
Eaton supplied more teases: “Somebody will be born, and somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast, unfortunately not going to make it. It’s the 1920s now.”
The obvious speculation is that the birth will be a child for Matthew and Mary, especially as it is confirmed that they will marry. There are other possibilities. Perhaps Bates makes it out of prison and starts a family with Anna. It is also possible that Lady Sybel might be having a child. Those interested in seeing Jessica Brown Findley in other roles might click here to see her in Albatros. (Beware, the scene is not safe for work, and the Crawley family would really be shocked to see her flashing in this scene).
The cast of Downton Abbey includes Hugh Bonneville, who has appeared on Doctor Who. Alex Kingston has a role on the second season of the remake of Upstairs, Downstairs (coincidentally also playing an archeologist). I was aware that Jean Marsh, who has been on the original and remake of Upstairs, Downstairs, has appeared in Doctor Who and was curious as to whether many other actors have appeared on both shows. I was surprised by the length of the list, which can be seen here.
The second season of Upstairs, Downstairs won’t air in the United States until 2013 and is well worth watching. The season takes place as conflict escalates between Germany and Great Britain just before World War II, giving it a much more modern feel compared to the original, or compared to Downton Abbey.
Steven Moffat was unwilling to provide any details on the role beyond the identity of the actress to play the Doctor’s next companion. Jenna-Louise Coleman is the first actress since Billie Piper to appear full-time as the Doctor’s companion without having previously appeared on Doctor Who, but she has appeared in several other shows. BBC America has posted videos of Jenna-Louise Coleman in some of her previous roles. She is pictured above arriving at the 2009 British Soap Awards.
Her first movie role was in Captain America: The First Avenger, playing Connie, one of the girls in the double date early in the movie (picture above).
She has a role in an upcoming mini-series about the Titanic written by Julian Fellowes (of Downton Abbey) as cheeky little cockney’ Annie Desmond. There is a twist in this version. Each episode will cover a different group of passengers, and each episode ends with the sinking of the Titanic The show will be on ITV in the UK on April 15. ABC will carry the first three episodes in the United States on April 14 and conclude on April 15.
“I had some really good advice from Matt actually, which is to stay off the internet. So I’m going to follow that advice. No Googling – I’m on a Google ban!” she said.
Jenna-Louise, who starts filming in May and will make her first appearance in the Christmas Day special, is also looking forward to meeting Karen Gillan, who plays the current companion Amy Pond.
“We haven’t met yet. I am potentially going to meet her this weekend so it’ll be great to chat,” she revealed.
The actress admitted that she’s trying not to watch any old Doctor Who episodes before she starts shooting.
“I’ve seen a lot of them but I’ve decided not to re-watch anything. Then I can go in with a fresh mind. Sometimes subconsciously, you take on what somebody has done before,” she added.
Former Doctor Who star David Tennant advised the actress to enjoy the ride.
“She’s going on a very exciting journey. I hope she has some good friends to hold her hand because it can be a bit scary when you get thrust into that level of attention, speaking from personal experience,” he said at the UK premiere of his new film, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists.
“But it’s wonderful, and she’s working on the greatest TV show ever made, so what can go wrong?”
Jenna-Louise Coleman has been chosen to play the next companion on Doctor Who after Karen Gillan leaves the TARDIS during the upcoming season. The BBC confirmed the story this morning after British tabloids ran stories on the choice. There are unconfirmed rumors that her character will not be from earth.
“I want to get started already,” says Jenna. “I’m a huge fan of the show”.
“Matt Smith did my audition with me. It was fun and I felt like we were in it together.”
Steven Moffat said: “We saw a lot of brilliant actresses. But Jenna was the only person going faster than Matt – he had to keep up!”
On her favourite companion: “Between Billie Piper and Karen Gillan”
Coleman was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England on April 27, 1986. She played the role of lesbian Jasmine Thomas on an ITV soap, Emmerdale in 2005. She joined the cast of the BBC’s Waterloo Road in 2009. Coleman had a small role in Captain America: The First Avenger and appears in an upcoming ITV mini-series Titanic (picture below). Coleman has been nominated twice for ‘Sexiest Female’ at the British Soap Awards
Steven Moffat had been tweeting about Sophia Myles, who previously appeared in the Doctor Who episode The Girl in the Fireplace, creating speculation that she would play the next companion. Perhaps she will have another role in the upcoming season. While her character did die, others (including Karen Gillan who appeared in The Fires of Pompeii prior to playing Amy Pond) have returned to the show in different roles.
The second episode of Awake, The Little Guy, gave more hints as to the direction the show might be moving in. Like last week’s episode, much of the show involved slightly different events in each reality. In one, Hannah (the wife who survived in one reality and died in the other) investigated mail to their dead son and found that Rex had been secretly building a motorcycle with a friend. In the other world, Rex and his friend were still working on the motorcycle without Michael realizing it until Hannah told him about it in the other reality. Hannah of one reality also helped Michael with the information needed to wash Rex’s clothes in the other.
This episode provided clear examples of Michael finding out something in one reality which was pertinent to the other. This could be the case if everything was imaginary in Mikael’s head or if we are dealing with two different realities which split apart at the time of the accident.
There were some key differences between the two worlds. One is in the reaction of the psychiatrist in each to how Michael used information from one to help in the other, including in solving crimes. Dr. Evans was impressed by the manner in which (to her perspective) Michael was using his subconscious to solve problems. In contrast, Dr. Lee saw this as negative, believing the subconscious thoughts were unreliable.
Information from one reality did help Michael solve the murder of fertility specialist Benjamin Mackenzie by a teen (a little guy) who found that Mackenzie impregnated his mother with his own sperm. (Isn’t this always the case when a fertility specialist is seen on a crime show?) . In the other reality (where Dr. Lee questioned the use of the supposedly subconscious information) Mackenzie’s murder was not solved. In this world, Mackenzie had been murdered a month before (by a little guy) but Mackenzie was a homeless drug addict instead of a doctor.
While there are similarities between the two worlds with Mackenzie being murdered in each, it is a major finding that Mackenzie had a different life in each universe which would have begun before the auto accident. This could occur if everything is taking place in Michael Britten’s mind. This could not arise out of a situation where things split into two parallel worlds at the time of the accident as if this was the explanation Mackenzie would be the same in each reality at the time of the accident. Another possibility is that the accident is causing Michael to move back and forth between two parallel universes which were already in existence but where not everything was the same. (Perhaps one even has the twin towers still intact as on Fringe.)
In another major development, Laura Innes, who plays Michael Britton’s superior in the police department, met with another man who was revealed to have been responsible for the car crash which was intended to result in the death of Britton’s entire family. The actual accident was set up by a little man. Beyond revealing that the accident was not really a accident, this answers another question about the show–whether it is possible to have scenes showing events that Britton is unaware of. (This was not the only example, but is by far the most significant to reveal that there is a world beyond Britton’s thoughts). This meeting appears to take place in the Red World where his wife is still alive and the murder of Mackenzie was not solved, but could it possibly be taking place in a different “real world” if the two worlds we see with Michael Britton are both taking place in his mind? The reasons for trying to kill Britton provides another mystery which, while not as interesting as the underlying question of how there are two different realities, is an ongoing mystery which a reasonable story could be written about.
The third episode of the upcoming season of Doctor Who is being filmed in Spain. It is reportedly a western episode in which a “half-human half-robot Terminator-style beast which patrols a Victorian-era western town”. Ben Browder of Farscape will be appearing and there are also unconfirmed rumors that Sophia Myles (also rumored to replace Karen Gillan) appears. (Myles previously appeared in The Girl In The Fireplace, an episode written by Steven Moffat.)
The episode was written by Being Human creator Toby Whithouse and directed by Saul Metzstein of Upstairs Downstairs. There is also another connection between Doctor Who and Upstairs Downstairs. Alex Kingston, in addition to being in the second season of Upstairs Downstairs, plays an archeologist. Seeing “River Song” in pre-World War II England is certainly not implausible.
Two new trailers have been released for The Game of Thrones (videos above).
A long time has passed since we last saw Mad Men. The cast helps us catch up in the above video.
Terra Nova has been officially cancelled by Fox but there are reports that Netflix might be interested in continuing the show. Until Netflix develops a following for original programming, I think it does make sense to try to take advantage of the existing audience of shows which had reasonable ratings but didn’t survive on network television, as it is doing with Arrested Development. While I (and many others) have become accustomed to watching original programing on HBO, Showtime, AMC, and now even Starz, I would be far less likely to click on an original show on Netflix unless I heard a lot of favorable buzz. I think that I, and many other potential viewers, would be far more likely to watch a show we were already in the habit of watching before picked up by Netflix.
If Netflix really is interested, they better act quickly while the cast is still available. Christine Adams has already received a role in a pilot for ABC entitled Americana.
I hope that the announcement of the cancellation of Terra Nova means that this increases the chances that there will be a spot on next year’s schedule for Fringe and Alcatraz. There are reports that Fox might give Fringe a shortened season next year to wrap up the series as a short season would extend the series to at least one-hundred episodes, which is preferred for syndication.
The above video envisions the Benedict Cumberbatch version of Sherlock to the theme of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Emily Blunt, who appeared last year in The Adjustment Bureau, passed up on some other genre roles in superhero movies. She was asked about this in an interview in New York Magazine:
At one point, you were up for parts in Iron Man 2 and Captain America, but you passed. Would you ever want to do a superhero movie?
Usually the female parts in a superhero film feel thankless: She’s the pill girlfriend while the guys are whizzing around saving the world. I didn’t do the other ones because the part wasn’t very good or the timing wasn’t right, but I’m open to any kind of genre if the part is great and fun and different and a challenge in some way. I would love to do a comic-book movie or a science-fiction film that would scare the bejesus out of me. Maybe I need to be James Bond! I just did Looper, because it’s so original and breathtakingly cool. The time-travel aspect is just a backdrop to visit this heightened world, where you’re atoning for something and attempting to be more than you’ve been.
Carlton Cuse, show runner from Lost, is joining The Bate’s Motel, a prequel to the Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho being prepared by A&E.
Stephen Hawking will be appearing on the April 5 episode of The Big Bang Theory. Will Sheldon try to tell Hawking about the physics errors he has made? Community returns this week!!!
The 2012 Saturn Award nominees are out. I wonder if this has ever happened before–two movies up for best movie in the Fantasy category were also nominees for an Academy Award. My choice as top genre movie of the year, Midnight in Paris, is one of them. Hugo is also nominated. While I’m not going to bother second guessing categorization, I don’t really see Hugo as qualifying as a fantasy movie, but as it is in contention I wouldn’t be surprised if it beats Midnight in Paris. I also wonder how well the last Harry Potter movie will do, but personally I was very disappointed in it. Going beyond the Fantasy category, another Oscar nominee is also in contention for a Saturn award–War Horse.
My choice for best hard science fiction movie of the year, Source Code, didn’t make it into the nominations for Best Science Fiction Film. I had predicted the ending early, but did enjoy watching it play out. The Adjustment Bureau was also enjoyable, but The Twilight Zone handled the same idea much better in the past. I find it interesting that X-Men and Captain America were nominated under Science Fiction while Thor was considered Fantasy. Again, I’m not going to dwell over categorization and am more interested in seeing the top genre movies recognized, regardless of category. I should also point out that my choices for top movies are limited by the fact that I’ve seen most but not all of the nominated movies.
Here are the nominations in various categories for best film:
Best Science Fiction Film:
The Adjustment Bureau
Captain America: The First Avenger
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
X-Men: First Class
Best Fantasy Film:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Midnight in Paris
Best Horror/Thriller Film:
The Devil’s Double
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Best Action/Adventure Film:
The Lincoln Lawyer
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Moving on to television, I’d choose Doctor Who as best over all if that was a choice, but it is limited a nomination as a youth-oriented show. I’d pick Fringe as Best Network Television Series, and is there any doubt that Game of Thrones will win for Best Presentation on Television (10 Episodes or Less)? I will abstain from making a pick as Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series as there are a couple of shows listed which I’ve heard very good things about but have not seen yet.
Best Network Television Series:
A Gifted Man
Once Upon a Time
Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series:
American Horror Story
Best Presentation on Television (10 Episodes or Less):
Game of Thrones
Torchwood: Miracle Day
The Walking Dead
Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television:
The Nine Lives of Chloe King
The Vampire Diaries
There are multiple other categories in play including best actor and actress, but I won’t bother with those tonight in protest over the absence of Karen Gillan among the nominees. The full list can be found here.
For several days before Comic-Con officially opened there has been lots of news, with much of it being dominated by Marvel. There has been the release of the above movie poster for Captain America, and now there is even some political controversy surrounding the movie. The shocking news is that Captain America isn’t going to be a flag-waver. The Los Angeles Times reports:
The director of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the 2011 summer blockbuster that will coincide with the character’s 70th anniversary, says the screen version of the hero will be true to his roots — up to a certain point.
“We’re sort of putting a slightly different spin on Steve Rogers,” said Joe Johnston, whose past directing credits include “Jurassic Park III” and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” He’s a guy that wants to serve his country, but he’s not a flag-waver. We’re reinterpreting, sort of, what the comic book version of Steve Rogers was.”
None of that is surprising, of course — Christopher Nolan pared away significant parts of the Batman mythology (such as Robin the Boy Wonder and any super-powered villains) that didn’t fit his grim take on Gotham City, while Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. manufactured a version of Iron Man that is hard-wired for far more humor than the old-school Marvel Comics character…
“He wants to serve his country, but he’s not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver,” Johnston said. “He’s just a good person. We make a point of that in the script: Don’t change who you are once you go from Steve Rogers to this super-soldier; you have to stay who you are inside, that’s really what’s important more than your strength and everything. It’ll be interesting and fun to put a different spin on the character and one that the fans are really going to appreciate.”
Some pundits will pounce on all of this as another desecration of an American touchstone, but how many of them have ever read the books? The character, created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, was certainly unconflicted about his country and its mission during the clear-cut days of the 1940s, but it didn’t always stay that way. In late 1974, for instance, in the months after President Nixon’s resignation, Steve Rogers chucked the star-spangled costume and changed his hero name to Nomad (although, by 1976, Cap and original artist Kirby had the hero in bicentennial mode).
In recent years, Marvel star writer Ed Brubaker’s work on the character has been exceptional and never two-dimensional. Brubaker (the son of a Navy intelligence officer who was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) came to recognize that Cap is a vessel that can contain whatever any generation or reader wants to put in it. In 2007, Brubaker told the New York Daily News: “What I found is that all the really hard-core left-wing fans want Cap to be standing out on – and giving speeches on — the street corner against the George W. Bush administration, and all the really right-wing fans want him to be over in the streets of Baghdad, punching out Saddam Hussein.”
How much of a flag-waver Captain America should be depends a lot upon the era in which the story takes place. If this is to be a World War II story going back to his origins, then James Joyner has a good point:
I’ve got no problem with rebooting decades-old comic book characters and tweaking their origins to fit modern sensibilities. After all, Marvel and DC have done this multiple times with their flagship characters.
But here’s the thing: They’re still setting Cap’s origins in WWII and having him as an American super-soldier fighting the Nazis (including, one presumes, the Red Skull). It would be incomprehensible for that character to be other than a flag-waving patriot, as that was simply the norm.
If Johnson were re-imagining the character with an origin in 2010, on the other hand, the change would be perfectly natural. American soldiers fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, for example, very much think they’re the good guys. But cynicism and ambiguity about the mission are part and parcel of their culture.
But a WWII Cap? It doesn’t make sense.
It doesn’t completely make sense if it is to be a WWII Captain America, but I’m not certain that the entire movie deals with that era. Another consideration is that the movie is being made for modern audiences, not those of the World War II era. Just as M*A*S*H successfully took Vietnam era views and portrayed them during the Korean War, it is conceivable that a World War II era movie might be written with more modern cultural views. I think we need to suspend making a decision until we see what the actual story is and to what degree Captain America ceases to be a flag-waver.
This was a pretty slow week. Several genre shows are on hiatus until after the Olympics. Caprica took one week off. Not terribly much happened on Lost until the final minute when Claire returned. The cast is out looking for new jobs with Daniel Dae Kim getting the lead role in a Hawaii 5-0 remake.
24 has been disappointing this season with rumors that this might be the last season on television, to be followed by a movie. This gives them two choices–remain in real time and have a two hour story or compress the events of twenty-four hours into a two hour movie. The word is that they are considering the compressed day idea.
Earlier today I had a post which showed a connection between Gilmore Girls and Big Bang Theory. There was more news this week regarding Big Bang Theory with Kaley Cuoco appearing in Maxim (above). In addition, nude scenes of Lucy Lawless in Spartacus have hit the internet and Anna Torv of Fringe appears topless in Esquire: