”Michele Bachmann says she won’t rest until Obamacare is repealed. Or until she kidnaps all 101 Dalmatians.” –Jimmy Kimmel
”Michele Bachmann says she won’t rest until Obamacare is repealed. Or until she kidnaps all 101 Dalmatians.” –Jimmy Kimmel
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as much disagreement about an episode of Doctor Who as in the reviews to The Rebel Flesh. The underlying idea is that artificial doppelgangers are used to do the dangerous work under the control of their human counterparts. A solar storm turned them into self-aware autonomous beings. The Doctor tried to have them all get along, but of course something went wrong and the first part of this two-part story ended with the two groups at war. This was all predictable very early in the story, as was the eventual cliff hanger. As was foreshadowed throughout the episode, the first part ended by revealing a doppelganger of the Doctor. Of course the episode showed that Amy Pond is/is not pregnant and had a scene showing the lady with the eye patch. In contrast to many other recent episodes, Rory did not die.
I really don’t think it is possible to review the episode alone. If the second part turns out to be a great conclusion, many will believe it worked out well to use the first part for setting all of this up, leaving a full episode to work out the consequences. A doppelganger version of the Doctor certainly does open the door for a more interesting second half. However, if the second half goes nowhere, this week’s episode will be seem pretty pointless.
American audiences who wait for the BBC America showing will have to wait two weeks to find out how this turns out. BBC America has decided against showing the next episode on Memorial Day weekend when fewer people will be viewing. This certainly defeats the plan to air the same day internationally to reduce piracy. Many fans will download the conclusion next week to satisfy their curiosity about the ending and avoid spoilers. Maybe this episode wasn’t so compelling that American viewers could not wait, but with Moffat promising a huge cliff-hanger to conclude the spring episodes it is hard to see hard core fans being willing to remain a week behind.
Neil Gaiman had a live question and answer session about The Doctor’s Wife with full transcript available here. While it is really not up to Gaiman to resolve this issue, he was asked about his view of the limitation to thirteen regenerations:
Question: If there are dozens of new control rooms that the doctor hadn’t even seen, does this mean that the plan is to just keep going with the regenerations and ignore the rule of 13 bodies? @Acey90
Gaiman: It’s interesting, that rule. It was obviously bendable to begin with (the Time Lords gave the Master a whole new round of regenerations). So I’ve always thought that it was more a law like a speed limit is a law than like Gravity is a law.
And if there are no longer any police to make you observe the speed limit, you can drive as fast as you like. Although it’s a lot more dangerous.
And that’s my opinion. As to what Mr Moffat thinks, he may either have a plan, or he may figure it’s not his problem, but is one for eight or ten years down the line.
Doctor Who’s top eleven catch phrases for the eleventh Doctor are presented in the video above.
[The Torchwood video previously posted has been taken off of You Tube. The trailer can still be seen at the Starz site.]
Torchwood: Miracle Day premiers on July 8. Trailers started to get released last week, and I’m sure more promotional material will become available. Episode names have been released (subject to change). Star Trek fans are also expressing interest in the series as it includes former Star Trek actors John De Lancie and Nana Visitor. There are also reports that Eliza Dushku will be staring in a web series entitled Torchwood: Web of Lies to coincide with Miracle Day.
Many additional trailers for upcoming series were made publicly available, and others with private links were distributed to bloggers. I’m sure I’ll be talking about upcoming shows more over the next few months. Above is the trailer for the J.J. Abrams show, Alcatraz. Abrams discussed the show further here. It looks like Alcatraz is to the conventional prison shows as Lost was to island shows such as Gilligan’s Island.
Star Tours has reopened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Above are some highlights of the grand reopening.
It looks like we are going to have another theme park in the southern United States devoted to total fantasy. We already have fantasy-themed parks such as Disney’s Magic Kingdom which presents the illusion that Disney princesses and other Disney characters were real people. The Governor of Kentucky announced the building of a new fantasy theme park in his state. It will be a creationist theme park which presents the illusion that creationism is a valid explanation for the development of complex organisms.
Theme parks typically include spectacular attractions. The Magic Kingdom has Cinderella’s Castle in the center–a fictitious castle which was the home of a fictitious person. The planned creationist theme park will include a wooden ark, based upon a fictitious ark built by Noah, another fictitious person.
Update: And Dinosaurs Too
iO9 has compiled a list of the top science fiction cliff hangers on television. I don’t think there will be much controversy over choosing Best of Both Worlds Part 1 (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as the best of all time. Discussion of how the Borg could be defeated, how Jon Luc Picard would be saved after being turned into a Borg, and whether Ryker would really fire on Picard dominated the CompuServe forums over the summer in those days before the internet replaced it. The hype from this episode also was responsible for turning what had been a so-so remake into a major science fiction series.
A recent episode of Doctor Who, The Pandorica Opens made the list. While some object to the manner in which the Doctor got out of the Pandorica, what bigger cliff hanger can you have than the end of the universe?
There were other memorable cliff hangers listed. This included Zha’dum (Babylon 5) when Sheridan obeyed Kosh’s voice telling him to jump, Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2 (Battlestar Galactica) which jumped the series ahead a year when unprepared humans living on New Caprica were conquered by Cylons, and The Incident (Lost) in which Julia detonated the bomb in hopes of changing history.
There are some cliff hangers from last season I’m looking forward to seeing the conclusion of. The mid-season cliff hanger episode of Caprica contained several cliff-hangers. Last season’s cliff hanger from Fringe made the list. And, while not science fiction, I’m sure curious to find out how Jeff responds to both Britta and Professor Slater declaring his love for him followed by the ending with Jeff kissing Annie on Community. Personally I’d like to see him date Annie while Britta goes crazy with jealousy. Besides, I’d much rather see Alison Brie with Jeff on Community than as Pete Campbell’s wife Trudy on Mad Men.
Dexter also ended with a significant cliff hanger last season. Blogcritics reviews the first few episodes of the upcoming season, including this bit of news:
According to executive producer, Sara Colleton, this will be the year to “take a break from having a one season-long adversary. So as Dexter’s grief goes through different stages, different characters will play their part and yet eventually, these characters interlock to form a a worthy adversary for Dexter.”
In the final scene of the third episode, there is a stunning moment: a twist so totally unexpected, you’ll curse the fact you’ll have to wait a week to see what happens next.
We’ve seen many characters reimagined, including Superman, Batman, and Iron-Man. Next we will get Epic Mickey, coming in a game for the Nintendo Wii:
Disney has hinted that Epic Mickey is kind of a reboot for the beloved character – one that takes him from cute and cuddly cartoon icon to brave and embattled warrior. The questions now are manifold: Will Disney turn off potential gamers who prefer the Mickey of old? Will the game be dark and intriguing enough to appeal to “core” gaming audiences? And, perhaps most importantly, given flagging interest in the mouse, does Disney have a choice?
Cliff hangers sometimes lead to the death of characters. In case that happens Eternal Image sells urns fit for a true Star Trek fan. It comes in two models– one says “To Boldly Go” and the other that says “The Voyage Continues.”
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:
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.
Last August I had a post on Eternal Earth-Bound Pets which promised to care for the pets who are left behind after the rapture. In case anyone was wondering if this outfit is still around, BusinessWeek has a profile on them:
Many people in the U.S.—perhaps 20 million to 40 million—believe there will be a Second Coming in their lifetimes, followed by the Rapture . In this event, they say, the righteous will be spirited away to a better place while the godless remain on Earth. But what will become of all the pets?
Bart Centre, 61, a retired retail executive in New Hampshire, says many people are troubled by this question, and he wants to help. He started a service called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets that promises to rescue and care for animals left behind by the saved.
Promoted on the Web as “the next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World,” the service has attracted more than 100 clients, who pay $110 for a 10-year contract ($15 for each additional pet.) If the Rapture happens in that time, the pets left behind will have homes—with atheists. Centre has set up a national network of godless humans to carry out the mission. “If you love your pets, I can’t understand how you could not consider this,” he says.
Centre came up with the idea while working on his book, The Atheist Camel Chronicles, written under the pseudonym Dromedary Hump. In it, he says many unkind things about the devout and confesses that “I’m trying to figure out how to cash in on this hysteria to supplement my income.”
Personally I think that if there is a Heaven I can bring my dogs. I also think it will be kind of like living in a concierge suite at a premium Disney World resort, except everything is free, the lines are much shorter, and nothing is ever closed for refurbishment.
Getting Closer, this week’s episode of Dollhouse, moved the story of the future forward while filling in major information as to the past. The last few episodes have been as if The X-Files was canceled during the second season and the entire mythology story was told in the final few episodes before it got hopelessly convoluted. (Warning: Major spoilers ahead.)
In The Attic we learned that two partners were behind Rossum, with one taking control and sending Clyde to the Attic. Caroline knew the identity of the second partner and much of this week’s episode centered around an attempt to restore her memory. There were also many flash backs which filled in more of Caroline and Bennett’s (Summer Glau) back stories. The attempts to restore Caroline’s memory were disrupted by Caroline’s wedge being missing and by a doll who was programmed to kill one of the people who could recover the memory.
In the end viewers saw what Caroline saw three years ago and Clyde’s partner was revealed to be Boyd. In retrospect it is clear that Boyd was responsible for both of the complications above.
The big question here is whether there is a satisfactory answer for Boyd being behind Rossum or if this is a shocker added at the last minute without good reason. Boyd has been trying to prevent Caroline from recovering her memory while encouraging Echo’s development. Presumably next week’s episode will reveal exactly why Boyd wanted Echo challenging Rossum, while the series finale will be a follow up to Epitaph One.
The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (via Den of Geek) provides information on the writers for the upcoming season of Doctor Who. Steven Moffat reportedly will be writing six of the thirteen episodes including one story with the return of the Weeping Angels from Blink. River Song (Alex Kingston from Silence In The Library) will also be in an episode. I previously posted a picture of Alex Kingston being filmed in an episode here. There is also information on the other writers:
Joining The Moff on the roster are some familiar Who names and also some new faces to the fold. Returnees include Mark Gatiss (The Unquiet Dead), Gareth Roberts (The Unicorn & The Wasp) and Toby Whithouse (School Reunion) who will take care of one episode each whilst Chris Chibnall (42) will pen a two-parter.
Whilst news that Richard Curtis had written an episode featuring Van Gogh ‘leaked’ some time ago (by Curtis himself), the last name may seem like a surprise to some. Simon Nye, best known for the sitcom Men Behaving Badly, has been brought on board for an installment of the series.
Slice of SciFi has some rumors on villains appearing next season. This includes the Daleks (in an episode with Winston Churchill–I’ll have to search through his writings to see if their is any mention of this meeting). Others include the Cybermen (those from our own universe, not the ones from the alternative universe of season two), and the Silurians and/or Sea Devils from the Jon Pertwee era).
The White House has decided against a February 2 date for State of Union as the final season of Lost is scheduled to begin that date: “I don’t foresee a scenario in which millions of people that would hope to finally get some conclusion in ‘Lost’ are preempted by the president,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday.
Executives at Disney/ABC see Lost as too big a money-maker to give up and are now talking about a sequel to Lost after it finishes its run this year. Didn’t Disney learn their lesson from those dreadful Cinderella sequels? While maybe not the same, I fear that any attempts to continue Lost beyond the story’s conclusion would be a huge mistake.
The Star Trek sequel is tentatively set for release on May 29, 2012. I’m relieved that we have a chance to see it before the world comes to an end (per the Mayan calendar).
What happens after you are killed and go to the after life? If you are Julie Benz you wind up on Wisteria Lane. Dexter’s murdered wife has started filming on Desperate Housewives. Does that make Wisteria Lane Heaven or Hell?
Will the next blockbuster movie be Iron Man versus Cinderella? Will Spider-Man dump Mary Jane to date Hanna Montana? Is the next High School Musical to be preformed at Dr. Xavier’s school for mutants?
The big news of the week is that Disney has acquired Marvel. I know some Marvel fans are upset but there is no reason to worry that the Marvel characters will become Disneized. Disney is far more than Mickey Mouse and the Disney princesses. Disney owns ABC, meaning that Lost is part of Disney. Disney owns Pixar which has produced films such as Wall-E. Disney also owns Mirimax, which has put out movies such as Pulp Fiction.
Disney’s strengths are in marketing and cross promotion of its properties, between television, movies, books, merchandise, and the theme parks. Disney can help Marvel continue to take advantage of its characters in ways beyond comic books. Current licensing arrangements will leave some of movies in the hands of other studios for some time, but ultimately there will be no need to compromise with other studios to develop movie versions of Marvel characters.
Disney might be able to market some aspects of Marvel to girls, the market where it is weak, but the more important aspect of the deal is to increase interest in Disney’s characters among boys. Disney does well with young children and girls, but Marvel characters would be far more attractive to older boys than Cinderella and Snow White.
The Disney theme parks have added some thrill rides, but Disney’s strength has been with the more elaborately themed rides which lack the thrills which teenage boys might prefer. I can imagine adding some superhero themed rides at some of the existing parks. There has been speculation for years over a possible fifth park at Walt Disney World. I wonder if the Marvel characters might even provide the theme for a new park.
Currently many Marvel characters reside at competing Universal and reportedly that arrangement will continue as long as Universal desires to continue its current contract. I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney either finds a way to bring over their own group of Marvel superheroes, or if Disney simply continues to profit from Universal paying for the rights to the characters.
The other Marvel news of the week involves 20th Century Fox rather than Disney. They are planning to reboot the Fantastic Four movies with a script by Michael Green, who has worked on Lost and Green Lantern. There is no word as to whether they will use the cast of the previous movies or whether they will start with a new origins movie. There is also talk of rebooting the Spider-Man movie series.
Conservatives often cite Jack Bauer and 24 as if they were real sources to justify terrorism. It is a shame that instead they don’t quote Jack Bauer’s views on health care as seen in the above video. It even turns out that Keifer Sutherland has a real connection to health care.
Election day often means that Wald Disney World must update the Hall of Presidents with an animatronic of the newly elected president. The animatronic of Barack Obama has been completed and will first be displayed on July 4. In recent years I have seen Abraham Lincoln speak along with Bill Clinton and later George Bush. The new exhibit will also include speaking by George Washington for the first time and includes a new film narrated by Morgan Freeman.
The previous show, where the George Bush animatronic spoke, shut down after election day. The animatronic turned out to be more intelligent than the original. In light of recent gaffes by Vice President Joe Biden, along with the experience of a previous vice president who had turned to the dark side, perhaps we should amend the Constitution to make the Disney animatronic next in line to succeed the president.
Somewhat Related Post on The Hall of Presidents: Bush/Nixon Secret Meeting Revealed